31 May 2009

365 Photography Project, Week 19

127 of 365: I present the most boring view of a ferris wheel known to man:
127 of 365

128 of 365: Completely unprocessed.
128 of 365

129 of 365: Bought a pound cake instead of baking it, used canned whipped cream instead of whipping it.
129 of 365

130 of 365: No amount of pleading or bribery will get a kid to sit up for smiley pose if she doesn't feel like it. And then you get better pictures than you would have if she'd sat up for her smiley pose!
130 of 365

131 of 365: Fierce! Work it, girl!
131 of 365

132 of 365: The gates of Pioneer Park
132 of 365

133 of 365: Cosmos
133 of 365

30 May 2009

Forget Justin Timberlake. Spock just brought SexyBack!

Oh, woe is my neglected blog. If I haven't disappointed my 10 readers enough by posting only every blue moon, then this sci-fi-heavy post will surely alienate the remaining 2 readers! Heh. I said alienate. Heh.


I think that clicking sound was the last of my readers navigating away from this page as quickly as their left-buttons can find the Back arrow.

Okay, so here's the thing, my love of science fiction is not as bizarre as it might seem at first glance. I think the fantastic nature of science fiction allows for incredible storytelling through parable. And what is more ancient and enduring than the allegorical tale? Let's look at this particular narrative through Spock's journey. He is the Commander--of our beloved Enterprise of Star Trek lore and of his own destiny. And even then, he struggles. Like Dorothy who possessed her own passage back to Kansas the entire time, Spock also possesses his own answers and resolution. But Dotty and the green-blooded hobgoblin are both distracted by the pressures around them to realize that in each of us awaits great potential ready to be actualized as long as we are willing to listen to our hearts, willing to risk following our bliss.

Of course, it's a great miracle that I am able to type any of this. Star Trek's future is so bright, I should have worn shades (yes, thank you very much, I got the symbolism of the lens flares after the first hour or so of blinding light) but at the end of the day, if you attach J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof to any project, I will likely love it. And if you mix in even a little Star Trek mythology, I will definitely love it. So what can I say? I loved it!

Oh, and for those casual folks who have stopped by upon my begging, here are photos of the boys...so you can actually tell this is my blog and not that of a rambling, photon torpedo-loving, amateur photographer who doesn't ever sew:
towel guy

24 May 2009

365 Photography Project, Week 18

120 of 365: It seems not everyone is eager to get a free photo shoot! My poor baby cousin ran to her car and zipped away from our Grandparents' house when she saw the camera.
120 of 365

121 of 365: Sometimes, it really is that funny!
121 of 365

122 of 365: Savvy BWers can see a FWCC with Kipawa, which happens to be part of my permastash. Heh. Jargon is funny.
122 of 365

123 of 365: Eh.
123 of 365

124 of 365: Couldn't get this shy guy to smile at the camera for the entire playdate until he finally started giggling...and promptly put his sippy cup in front of him to hide from me! What a cute little stinker!
124 of 365

125 of 365: More chocolate & cream than black & white. I love it. I really love it--partly the photo, mostly the subjects. I mean, he looks like he's in such deep thought. Some babies radiate innocence, some exude joy, but this one's got all that and wisdom too--it's written all over his furrowed brows.
125 of 365

126 of 365: I know, I know, I'm supposed to leave the flower photos alone and not run them through Photoshop until they're barely recognizable!
126 of 365

22 May 2009

Babies are such nice ways to start people!

How can you not get all aflutter at the sight of a 3-week old? There's something about a newborn that is so remarkable and inspires such hope for the future. Maybe it's their smell. I'm addicted to that new baby smell!

Get used to these faces because you'll be seeing lots of them. I plan on chronically this little guy pretty thoroughly!

21 May 2009

Thankful Thursday

1. I got pictures of the pansies before the rabbits came and ate the entire patch. Okay, you're sensing a small amount of ambivalence. Hmm...not the best foot on which to start a Thankful Thursday list.

2. I love that tracks from different train sets all fit together. Since the boys have no idea who Thomas is, they don't mind the generic sets from Target or Ikea at all.

3. I am thankful for chubby hands...that they exist and that I have the time, energy, and ability to appreciate them. This particular pair belongs to A2.

4. Our yard smells so sweet! Do these honeysuckle flowers look like they're in the middle of a boxing match to you, or is it just me?

5. I can throw together a strawberry cheesecake lickety-split!
strawberry cheesecake

6. Life through my boys' eyes is wonderful! I mean, without their viewpoint, spying a lizard catching and eating a cricket in the garage might be pretty gross instead of pretty awesome.
cricket food

7. I've been lurking on the discussion forums and seeing how much people have invested, financially and otherwise, in making their single trip to Disneyland. I can't even believe how lucky we are to have visited Disneyland almost 20 times since we got our (relatively very inexpensive) annual passes in February. Instead of racing from one attraction to the next, worrying about how much we'll fit in, the boys and I have to opportunity to do leisurely things like following the marching band around.
marching band

Thus ends this lucky 7 list of things for which I'm so grateful.

19 May 2009

Great Shootout, v2.0

I thought the original Great Shootout went so well that I scheduled another one this morning. The theory is that mamas turn their cameras on each other so that we finally end up in photos with our kids. Here's a selection of the ones I snapped:


As you can see, I put this event on both my MOMS Club calendar as well as the babywearers' group calendar. I know, I'm lazy like that.

18 May 2009

Confessions of a lazy mom

I know mothers who plan for half a year leading up to their children's birthday parties. I've attended those parties and been awed. I am, sadly, not one of those moms. First off, I feel every day should be special so I exert my energy fairly evenly throughout the year (Good excuse, huh? You buyin' it?). Second, I didn't grow up with big birthday parties. And I didn't mind it at all--I never felt like I was missing out on anything.

This year, A1 had a "Special Day" at school (his class has 24 kids and each one has had or will have a Special Day on or near their birthday during the academic year). The class sang to him twice and he got to wear special birthday garb. I brought in the designated snack (hot dogs, chips, BBQ baked beans--it was Western Day), cupcakes, and goodie bags with leis, bubbles, and noisemakers to hand out to his classmates. Yes, folks, I convinced A1 that that was his party. He couldn't have been happier about it, too!
special day

I would have felt guilty* about scamming him out of a real birthday party, but the next day, we got to Disneyland on his actual birthdate and received a no-strings-attached gift card for $59. He left that day with so many gifts, he felt like he completely looted the place!

The only other thing he asked for was a rainbow cake. So I gladly obliged.
rainbow cake 1

* Okay, I'm completely lying here. I totally feel guilty even though he showed no sign of disappointment at all.

17 May 2009

365 Photography Project, Week 17

I'm not entirely pleased with this week's offering but I have to step back to see the forest (I'm such a trees-and-other-minute-details kind of person!) and trust that the 365 Project is slowly making me a better photographer even though individual weeks may be bad--or at least worse than the preceding week.

113 of 365: I have no clue why I picked this mundane shot to be the 365 photo of the day. I'm not even sure it's in focus.
113 of 365

114 of 365: Wow, is that boring or what?!?
114 of 365

115 of 365: This one's both repetitive and boring. At least I'm learning about my lenses' capacities now that I'm not Photoshopping the flower pics.
115 of 365

116 of 365: It was so dark and crowded (notice all that stuff obstructing the camera's view?) that it made for a dreamy feeling. I've learned to deal with grainy photos in the dark...better than the pop-up flash, I suppose.
116 of 365

117 of 365: I like how the petals get transparent as the flower withers.
117 of 365

118 of 365: Not my best effort.
118 of 365

119 of 365: This photo is sort of useless without a sense of scale. A seagull or two might have helped.
119 of 365

13 May 2009

On bilingualism, the beginning of the end?

Lately, there are lots of times when A1 speaks English to me when though I have addressed him in Vietnamese. And he speaks English to A2 unless I intervene. In fact, he even speaks English to himself! He narrates his play in English and speaks to his beloved Froggy in English. And I'm starting to detect very distinct pauses when he speaks in Vietnamese, as if he's struggling to find the necessary words to complete his sentence.
towel boys

While I don't necessarily see having Vietnamese language skills as functionally beneficial in terms of employment prospects in the future, I do recognize the cognitive benefits of any second language. And of course, there are bits of cultural knowledge that are embedded within one's native tongue that cannot be translated. There's certainly more than sufficient justification to maintain our bilingual household, but I feel like such a nag reminding him to speak Vietnamese to me all the time.

(Yes, it's made entirely of tiny Lego blocks and no, these photos have nothing to do with this post.)

11 May 2009

Like butta...

In this age when natural, whole foods that are low in fat and high in fiber are more popular than ever, I still proudly pronounce that butter makes it better! I loves me some butter! And besides, I'm much more of a fan of consuming all things in moderation instead of overdosing on some while depriving myself of others.

Alas, butter is often its own conundrum. From the frig, it's too cold for immediate use but sitting out on the counter, it goes rancid. But my new butter bell has rectified this quandary! Oh, je t'aime, butter bell. 19th century France must have been amazing because butter bell keeps butter soft and spreadable for up to a month on the counter.

I can fit a full stick of butter!