Tuesday, February 21, 2012

When you're Hudson...

...it's not a cow. it's a "moo."

...you're not cold. You're "brrrr" (well, "buhhhhhh" if you want to be accurate)

...you're not sad or crying. You're "wah."

...it's not a dog. It's a "woof."

...I'm not mommy. I'm "mama."

Pac-Man face

Jasmine learned about Pac-Man last week, when Hudson wore his new shirt with a big Pac-Man on it.
I promptly forgot the discussion.
Until yesterday, when Jasmine told me that her face looked like "the character you told me about last Wednesday." She couldn't remember his name, or where he came from, just that he wasn't from Disney and that I'd told her about him. Finally she remembered his shirt, and I figured out what she meant!

It's also the only way she was willing to actually document her chickenpox. Which is amusing, since now she wants me to get this picture printed, framed, and hung up on her wall near her bed.

I tell ya, life with Jasmine is never dull.

Oh, right. The Pac-Man. What do you think?
(second photo edited to finish off his face) :)

Bekah is more willing to show off her spots!
I'm thankful, our doctor was willing to document their case without seeing them or requiring a blood test. I didn't really want to lug them in when they are still so contagious and I knew they wouldn't be able to do anything other than tell us to give them oatmeal baths!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

*clever title here*

I'm not feeling very creative today. I've spent the past couple days counting chickenpox and smothering them in lotions to ease the itching and help the healing process. I'm thankful that they're all getting better now and that life will soon be back to normal. I'm also thankful for the beautiful lifelong immunity this is giving them!!

Photo Challenge Submission

But I did have to throw my hat in the ring for I Heart Faces' current challenge, "hugs and kisses."

My sister-in-law and her husband love getting their picture taken, so it works out well that I enjoy taking their pictures, too!!

Go see all the other gorgeous pictures on I Heart Faces! www.iheartfaces.com

Thursday, February 16, 2012

101 in 1001, an update

I'm more than halfway done with the time allotted for my 101 list.

So...how'm I doing?
I've completed 45. I've changed a few. There are a bunch on the "not done" side that are actually partly done, but I counted them as incomplete when I went through the list.

And now a couple pictures that have nothing whatsoever to do with my post:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Linking my life together

I finally created a portfolio that I'm pleased with.

It has the option of a blog there, so I'm going to try to use that for photo shoots, though at this point it's identical to the portfolio section, making it redundant. And I detest redundancy!!

But if you like my pictures and want to see something other than my kids once in awhile, there's the place to look. I might put a little update here when I've added a new gallery for those who want to see, so you know to go check it out.

I've decided not to keep my store on charlaarts.com going. It was too much work for the lack of attention there. I'd rather just keep etsy going. People know that it's a safe, secure site, and I have the added bonus of getting people finding me accidentally, which is much less likely on my personal store.

I took some pictures of this fabulous ballerina about 10 days ago. They're in two of the albums I linked to in the top (currently the first and last galleries. Don't ask why they're not all together.). She was hoping I could take more pictures on Friday, but being a mom comes in priority, so I had to say no.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Feeding Bekah

You'd never know it by looking at her, but Bekah is every bit as stubborn as...well, me.

She doesn't like to eat. Well, if it's something she likes, she'll eat. But if it's something she's not fond of, she'll just excuse herself and "patiently" wait for the next meal. (in quotes because she will tell me that she wishes she could eat a snack, but she knows the rules).

So I thought I'd see if my creative friends and family could help suggest some new ingredients to try. It's not just that she won't try new meals...it's that most of my favorite ingredients have joined her "no way" list.

She likes 
chicken nuggets, hot dogs (which are becoming obsolete in our house) and eggs.
She loves vanilla yogurt and macaroni, though she gets this awful, barky cough if she has more than a little dairy so I limit her intake there.
She loves cereal, and she's a big fan of pizza (with pepperoni, but since that gives Josh a reaction we usually get cheese pizzas).
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a big hit. She likes it when I make them with mozzarella and dip them in sauce. I do, too.
She likes peanut butter and jelly (or honey) but isn't really a fan of the peanut butter. Or the crusts (I don't budge on that one)
She's okay with cauliflower and likes lima beans (I think. but that might have been Jasmine.)
noodles are sometimes acceptable, depending on what's on them.
Fish. she loves salmon sandwiches (of course that's expensive, but we don't do tuna because of the mercury content).

She doesn't like:
potatoes in any form
chicken (unless in chicken nuggets or drumsticks with a yummy skin still on it)
salad or any greens
burgers, or really any ground beef unless it's in tacos
sweet potatoes (I don't think she'll actually try these, and I've never cooked with them, but she says she doesn't like them, likely because they have potato in their name)
eggplant, zucchini, brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach
corn (corn-on-the-cob is okay but she won't eat much of it that way, either)
peppers, mushrooms (I don't like them either so they're not usually ever in this house)
spaghetti (see note above)

That's all we can come up with. I'll add things if I think of them later.
(side note: as far as we know, there are no allergies. She does get that barky cough with too much dairy, or any ice cream or milk at all, but that's it. who knows about MSG, since it's just not allowed in the house. But this all seems to  be preferences and not true dietary issues)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Couponing: A Challenge

I'm in the process of figuring out ways to save money (and actually start putting money aside).
I have a lot of friends who are serious couponers. It's more than a game to them. It's a lifestyle, a challenge, and I'm blown away hearing their stories.

So if you consider yourself a couponer, this post is for you.

Here are our restrictions. After reading this list, how much do you think *you* could save on our grocery bill? I'd love to know how to add in some money-saving techniques without completely changing our lifestyle.

1. We have specific brands (and specific flavors of those brands) that we can eat, and that we absolutely can't let into our house, thanks to Josh's MSG sensitivity. Canned soups (other than Annie's) are completely off-limits. As are Dorito's, and anything made from a box (except for Wegmans Mac and Cheese).

2. We eat a lot of organic food. I've cut down a little bit on some of this to save some money, but we still try to eat as much organic as possible. Fruits and veggies, half and half, butter, eggs, tomato sauce and canned beans are always organic. I'm trying not to buy canned tomato products after hearing that there's BPA in the lining, and we don't buy anything with HFCS in it. Or artificial colors.

3. I only go to one store a week, preferably without any additional trips there unless I forgot the eggs.

4. Wegmans doubles coupons up to $1.00. You can't go under free. It messes up their registers.

5. The newspapers here are extremely expensive, so buying one on Sundays isn't practical when I can only use an average of one or two coupons a week. I'd lose money. Besides, I tell myself I'm helping save the environment by not bringing home more paper.

6. I have no problem printing coupons (but won't purchase those coupons since in general they expire before I use them).

7. We make our own laundry detergent. I can't imagine getting it to cost less than the probably $9 a year this costs us.

8. We don't use normal medicines or deodorants. Well, Advil is in our cupboards, but that's about it. It's all herbs and homeopathics, most of which we get on Vitacost at much lower prices than what we can find locally.

So...any suggestions? Or am I just too stubborn to save any money without changing things up first?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Get a cup of coffee. this one will be long.

Random moments from the past two weeks:

Jasmine: "she's a geeseherd. It's like a shepherd, but geese." (on "it's a small world" ride)

The highlight of Hudson's day: Meeting Buzz and Woody, and showing them both that they're on his shirt.
(he's offended that this is a picture of Buzz. He insisted, all in mime, that we bring a picture of just him next year.)

Nothing quite as cute as having Hudson narrate Beauty and the Beast to me at the live show. He loved telling me what was going to happen next!

Jasmine has gone on a real roller coaster, and loved it. (The Rock n' Roller Coaster). My little girl is growing up!

me: "okay, Jasmine. Do you want your camera so you can take pictures on Safari, or not need to be responsible?"
Jasmine: "not responsible. That's a good choice, right?"

Hudson, upon seeing a tiger through a window: "can I touch him? he's soft."

Hudson seemed much more concerned that the flame throwers were "naked" than that they were throwing fire!

Standing in line to see Winnie the Pooh and friends, hearing Hudson call out, "Tigger, I wuv you!"

Me: "why am I carrying you?"
Hudson: "you pick me'd up!"
(at this point I think he wonders how smart Mama is!)

Hudson kept asking, "where's Charla, Daddy?" A little young for that, kid!

Went to China with Kimberly, then ate dinner in France. We'll sleep well tonight!
(we spent Saturday with my friends and their kids, and Monday at Epcot with another friend and her family.)

Hudson looked at me with concern as we stood in line to meet Tinkerbell and said, "What's Tinkerbell's name???"

I overheard Aladdin tell Princess Jasmine just how cute Hudson was as we were walking away. He melts hearts!!

How quickly Hudson goes from "I scared from the pirates" to "I want to go on again!"

Hudson ordered "leafs" with his dinner. And yes, that's what he called it to the waitress. He enjoyed his salad, too!

A wild first: I waited longer for the change table than Josh and Jasmine did for Rock n' Roller Coaster!

Hudson, walking away from Rafiki, said loudly enough for the monkey to hear, "I LOVE dat guy!" I looked back to see Rafiki sign the same thing back to him!

Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother to Bekah, when she saw Bekah's Mickey Mitt-ed hands: "have you seen someone about those? I think I'd be concerned."

(Josh calls this one "the view from the bathroom")

 My rockstar, doing her best to make "floods" be the next big thing in pants! (how'd she get so TALL???)

They were so proud to get all 6 stamps at Animal Kingdom!
 let there be music!

 (Legoland. one of two days not at a Disney park)

 Butterfinger Cupcakes (wisely changed from being called Butterfinger Muffins). Found only at Disney Hollywood Studios, and worth the sugar coma that follows unless you share it with your entire family.

 riding the rides! (hard shots to get, even with a cool camera!)

Enjoying the shows (yes, that man IS on fire, and yes, that car IS driving on two wheels!)

 Just a bit too short...

*happy sigh*

Disney Trip

We just got back from the most perfect vacation in the most perfect spot on Earth.

*happy sigh*

I'll just leave you with this collage of the characters we met. Well, this is most of them, anyhow!
Stories headed this way soon...