Friday, November 30, 2012

fish oil

Wow, I can't believe it's almost been two weeks since I updated last!  There's a couple reasons for that:

1)  Ella has lost her mind and won't sleep at night.
2)  I have lost my mind because Ella won't sleep at night.

That means I've often either been going to bed immediately after Ella goes down at night or else I stay up, but I'm so tired I can't write anything coherent (is that much different than normal, though?).

I already fell asleep at the computer twice tonight.  Once while it was turning on, and the second time was after I signed in and was waiting for it to finish booting all the way.  But I WILL UPDATE THE BLOG, BY GOLLY!


Our Thanksgiving was nice.  I made a nice big meal with yummy turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce my sister made, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, sweet rolls.  I can't remember if there was anything else.  I started cooking around 7am, and by 12:30 noon, it was time to eat!  It was just our little family, and it was lots of fun.  They kids actually enjoyed the meal a lot, which was very unexpected.  We enjoyed having Tyler at home for a couple days longer than usual.

I'd post some pictures here, but I don't have any seeing as how my camera is STILL GONE, and I didn't think to use my phone camera.

Other than feeling like an exhausted, grumpy, impatient. lazy, boring mom due to lack of sleep, here's some other stuff we've done.

I bought some fish oil.

Why would I do that, you might ask.  I don't really know.  I wanted the Omega 3's from it since I don't think I get enough otherwise.  

When it arrived in the mail, I looked it over and suddenly felt a really, I'm supposed to take FISH OIL and drink it?  How gross is that? type of feeling.  My mind was thinking of fisher man squeezing the fish so all this oil squirted out into the bottle for me to drink (yes, I'm sure that's not how they really do it, but that's what my imagination said they do...).

The thought of actually pouring fish oil onto a spoon and then putting that into my mouth was enough to make me want to gag.  I couldn't make myself do it.

So, I did what any normal person would do.  I gave some to the two year old to see how she reacted and to see whether or not she died from it:

Here Rhys is alive and well, about to take some fish oil:

Here she is STILL alive and well, right after she'd taken some!  Who knew?!  It didn't kill her!  (sorry about her messy face.  She was eating lunch.)  She didn't even seem to think it was gross.

So, I thought, okay, I can do this.  The two year old did it.  So can I.   But the more I looked at it, the more I realized that no, no I can't.  How am I supposed to drink oil from a fish?

This is where there is a noticeable benefit to having several children.  Not only do we have more help to clean the house and several girls to give fashion advice, but we also have several children to use for things just like this. *insert evil laugh*

So, I gave some to Emma.  I didn't tell her what it was or where it came from.  She didn't ask either.  Okay, so maybe she asked what it was.  I told her that it was something good for her that might taste weird.  That perked her interest (you know how much kids enjoy drinking lemon juice just for the enjoyment of puckering at it).

Here she is before: 

Here she is almost during:

Here she is after (yes that is an infant hat on her head.  I have bought her some other hats for Christmas):

Clearly she liked it.

Actually after she made a few gross faces, she reassured me that it really wasn't too bad.

So, I thought of all the brave men and women I know.  People who have fought for our country, faced death, lost limbs, lost loved ones, had crazy trials in their lives and survived, and I thought, I can take a teaspoon of fish oil. 

And, I did.

And, I'm alive.

And, I didn't gag.

But it was gross.  It didn't taste anything like fish.  It was just a really heavy oil feel/texture that coated my mouth, and it had a very strong lemon flavor. I have since learned to have a bite of something else at the ready before taking the fish oil.

Overall, not a big deal.

Anyway, that's the most exciting thing I can think of at the moment.

Oh, and somehow TS got sick a few days ago.  Emma is just now getting it.  She's already running a higher fever than he did and she is feeling really crappy.  Her mouth can get sores in it really easily from illness (common when you have really low white blood cell count, i guess).  She's starting to get some of those.  So, please keep her in your prayers that she'll be just fine and be able to handle this illness like any other child.  Other than one evening, it ended up being pretty mild for TS.  So, hopefully the same will happen with the Emma.

Now time to go to sleep!  Hope you're all doing well!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

he left for FIVE days!

I've had such a tragic week.

The spacebar on my keyboard stopped working like normal, making it really hard to type at any decent speed (and apparently if I can't type over 100 wpm, it's not worth the effort).  That means I haven't been able to email much or update our blog.  I know.  It's awful.  I do have a keyboard for the iPad  too, but the batteries died, and all the rechargable batteries I found had all-the-way-dead-toss-in-the-garbage dead.  (Seriously, how do these things happen?  How is it that nowadays someone with two keyboards could end up with neither one working?!).

And...I'm pretty sure my 50mm f/1.8 lens, and possibly my camera, are having some front and/or back focusing problems.  Maybe not, but I wanted to have them checked out since they're still under warranty, and this checkup should be free (see photo HERE.  I had several photos like this where the focus was inches in front of where I placed it (which I put it on his right eye, not the wall, like it shows)).  They just need to calibrate it correctly and then send it back.

So, what I'm saying is I DON'T HAVE MY CAMERA!  I feel like I'm missing a leg or something.  Yes, that's exactly it.  I now know exactly what it feels like to be a one legged person.  (No offense to any one-legged readers here.  I hope you know I'm being sarcastic...).  But, for real, it feels really strange to see my kids doing something funny/dangerous/bizarre, to start running for the camera, only to realize I DON'T HAVE MY CAMERA!  Then I usually fall to my knees crying for five minutes, then eventually laying in the fetal position for a while.  How am I supposed to go back to a little point and shoot camera?  Maybe I'll just sleep for a while, until my camera comes back.

I'd like to thank my mother for teaching me such awesome coping skills.

Then, to add to an already tragic week, Tyler had to leave for five days for a conference for work.  FIVE DAYS.  One day per child we have, apparently.  But, it's okay.  I know single moms out there who survive. I know women who have husband's that leave for long periods of time regularly, and they survive too.  I was going to survive too, by golly.

So, to keep it short and sweet, it went something like this:

-  We take Tyler to the airport and say our goodbyes.
-  He closes the van door and the children turn into demon-possessed crazy psychos.
-  For the next three days, the kids are overly emotional, whiny, fighting, disobedient, screaming, unhappy, etc...until I finally got them to act a little more like themselves.  But the whole time (the remaining days beyond that) they were so disobedient.  It was crazy.  I could go into more detail, but there is no reason.

Actually I will go into a little more detail:
We had a dr appointment on Monday.  We went, and the kids did great.  It was awesome.  It was SO awesome, and I thought, "We should ruin this awesomeness and go to the nature park and see the ducks!"  So that's what we did.  Only, I didn't realize I was going somewhere that would ruin the awesome.

It went about like this:

We arrive at the park.  Everyone is so excited.  They jump out and we start on our walk with joyfulness and an abundance of energy.  They're all smiles and giggles.

By the end of our journey, no one was excited.  No one was jumping.  There was no joyfulness.  There was no energy.  Violet was even crawling until I sat her on Rhys in the stroller.  It was similar to pioneers crossing the plains.  Only, my kids would have made loser pioneers.  I mean, they couldn't even make it around a duck pond without crawling by the end.  How would they walk across the United States?

I'll skip all the other details because my kids were behaving horrible, and I really don't want to speak negatively of them - just trust me that it was a way unexpected outcome for the walk.  haha.  Now it's funny. Then, not so much.  Oh, and I got some geese poop on my hand with no way to wipe it off!

When we got back in the van, the kids were like "That was the worst idea ever!  We should never do that again!"

And, I was like, "I completely agree!  Whose idea was that anyway?!"

With Tyler gone, I was not expecting such awful days.  I could not wait to get them in bed at night so I could have a moment of peace.  Normally, I don't feel that way about them.

Speaking of getting them to bed at night, that was quite a challenge.  Tyler and I typically split off and he takes TS and Violet, while I take Ella.  He usually goes in there, lays by them for a few minutes and they talk about whatever they want.  Then he'll sit in there (on his iPad) until they fall asleep.  Meanwhile, I take Ella and nurse/rock her to sleep.

So, having three kids, who are used to going to sleep certain ways, suddenly not have daddy there to help do his part, was a bit challenging.  For the first two nights, we ended up having Tyler FaceTime with them, and it worked.  hehe.  It was so sweet to see!  I'd sit the iPad on the shelf where they could see him, and they'd go to sleep.  (He couldn't do it the other two nights because he had to go to dinners for work, but I managed to make it work.)

Most of you won't care about this next little part, but I am going to write it anyway (if you don't want to read it, feel free to skip to the photos below these ones).

Normally I can't use my shutter speed very slow.  I keep it around 320 since I have children who won't hold still, and I can't take it lower or else it blurs.  The downside to that is that I have to up my ISO instead, which can get a little grainy at times.

But with the photo above, I was able to put the camera on a tripod and set the shutter speed to super slow - 0.3 sec.  It clicks, pause, then clicks, and the dark room suddenly becomes well lit so that you can see the kids laying there sleeping.  My ISO was only 2000, though I should have lowered it more so that I could have made my SS even sloooooower.

This is about how dark the room actually was:

Letting the shutter speed go slower/stay open longer, allowed it to soak up more light, which is why the photo below (the same one as up above) is so much brighter:

I'm not sure how well you can see this without clicking on the photos to see them larger, but the photo below was at ISO 6400 and the shutter speed was still slow but not nearly as slow as the one above (it was 1/25 sec).  But if you look at this photo below and the photo above, the photo below is WAY grainier.

Pretty much I'm rambling for no reason except to say it was SO FUN to have subjects that DIDN'T MOVE!!  And, I could slow the shutter speed down enough to get the lighting nice.  If you notice in the photo directly above, the iPad was very bright.  It was even brighter, originally, in the photo above this photo.  So, I took two shots of the same photo and exposed them differently, then I combined them and replaced the iPad image so you could see Tyler better.

See.  I told you it wasn't going to be very interesting, but since I don't have my camera, I can at least talk about it.

Here's some random photos that I took before MY CAMERA WAS MAILED AWAY! *sob*

The girls put makeup on Ella...

 Rhys posed like this for 4-5 pictures.  hehe.

This is Tyler when he was a little boy.  I don't know how obvious it is from Rhys' photo above, but I think they look a lot alike, especially her eyebrows and the position of her eyes.  I see Violet in there too!

Though I think her actual eye shape is more like mine...

Here she is being Dora by wearing her Lighting McQueen backpack that TS gave her.

I thought this was cute.  It's not quite right and it's a little too close (I really want a 28mm lens), but I still liked it.

Oh, and Tyler and I celebrated our 11th anniversary while he was gone.  I still need to write a blog entry about that.  But for now, I'm going to go fall asleep.

I'm so glad Tyler is back home!  Life runs so much more easily when he's here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A few weeks back, Rhys made a little bed and laid down on it.  She looked super cute, so I decided to take some photos of her.

While Rhys was "napping", Ella was on the other end, using the blanket to play peek-a-boo.

She loved it!

Here's Rhys looking completely insane.

Not so insane...just super cute.

And then suddenly Ella had pulled the blanket off and was sitting with it covering her completely, which she thought was AMAZING until...

Rhys got really upset and took her blanket back.  I wanted to tell Rhys to let Ella keep it, but that wouldn't be fair to Rhys!

Ella's life was nearly ruined, so she received many hugs after this:

Our Halloween

The past seven years or so, I've felt rather preoccupied, and sometimes completely overwhelmed, with pregnancies and new babies, and I haven't had the focus to do the extra fun little things that I thought would make fun memories for the kids...

So, I made up for it this month and made way too many things.

Through out the month of October, we made a lot of fun Halloween themed things.  Here are some photos:

Mummy Dogs:

Eyeballs (which weren't very realistic looking).  I didn't have any of the red stuff to paint the veins on better, and so I just used ketchup.  

 Here are the kids seeing it for the first time.  They were seriously so grossed out by the eyeballs, it was funny.  Emma thought she was going to be sick.  It made me laugh.

Earwax on Q-tips, quite tasty!  Though, we didn't eat much of it (I made more than the amount shown here).  We each had a few and then tossed the rest.  It was homemade caramel too.

Frankenstein Twinkie Pops:

Mummy Twinkie Pops:

Packaged them up all nice and went around and delivered them to some of our friend's mailboxes.  We ate a few too.  The Frankenstein ones were the yummiest with the chocolate.  So delicious!  If only we could eat these everyday...or at least more than just 1 or 2 of them total.

We also made some snicker doodle cupcake things.  They were SO yummy:

They had cinnamon chips in them.  Seriously so delicious!

Yeah, I know.  That looks like a lot of crappy food.  And, it was!  It was also really fun to make, eat a little bit of, and then give or throw the rest away.  

Then for Halloween, we made a graveyard cake.  It didn't really look like a graveyard because I didn't realize I hadn't bought enough Oreos, but it was really tasty!  The especially neat thing about this photo, though, is that I caught two of them in the middle of a blink, another in a squinty eye expression, and only one looking at me.  

We had the kids dress up in their Halloween costumes.  Then we did a scavenger hunt in the house.  We started off by giving them a note with a clue (very simple clues so they could read and figure it out one their own).  They'd go look where it said, and they found a bag of candy for them to share, as well as another note telling them where to look for the next bag.  And thus it happened, on and on.  They had a ton of fun.

Before the night ended, I thought it would be fun to take a quick photo of the kids in their costumes.

(I feel the need to apologize for the lack of quality with the photos because (a) I'm too lazy to try to edit them much, and (b) The kids were all hyperspastic, and I knew we were doomed.)

Everyone is clearly very thrilled about having their photo taken.  Ella looks especially excited to be a ladybug (it was pretty hot outside, so we couldn't put the pants on her or else she'd over heat).

Realizing Rhys was missing, we grabbed her and stuck her next to the others.  Apparently that was very painful for TS:

And, here's the best photo we got, with all children included in it.  
I especially like the direction Rhys is facing.

Then Rhys started escaping...

Now Ella is trying to escape:

Both are succeeding:

And, she's free.  Except she can't get out of the costume.  So, I ended up taking it off.  At least we got some beautiful photos of her in it.  Oh wait,, we didn't.  At least we got some crappy photos of her in it screaming.  That's good enough for me.

Kids make life so much more exciting, disorganized, and fun.  It was a fun month.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the journey of Rhys' hair

Her hair still has a lot of growing out to do, but at least it's getting closer to looking more normal again.  In just a few months, I think she'll have much more normal looking bangs (that are still a little messed up but are closer to normal).  With a head band, it helps a ton.  Luckily she (usually) loves wearing headbands!

Anyway, it's been fun seeing progress!