This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Red Eyes in Photos

In the past, I have tried many ways of fixing red eyes in photos and they just don't work so I gave up for awhile. Well, I've recently been uploading pics from my digital camera to my computer using Photoshop Elements 4.0 and selecting the option to automatically fix red eyes. It works well for the most part but occasionally blackens out the wrong thing. I have been laughing at some of the decisions it has made to blacken out things such as 2 or 4 pink flowers on Alisa's outfit (which had hundreds of those same flowers), the tear duct area of her eye, just one eye, a spot on her bib and even her lips! Fortunately, it saves the corrected version under a different name (puts "_edited-1" on the end) so the original file is not deleted.

Someday I will make time to correct older pics with the red eye issue but for now I am only doing new pics. At least I finally found a program that works pretty well!

Here is the red eye fix that turned her lips black:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Craig, Alisa and I stayed home for Thanksgiving and I cooked my first turkey. It turned out very well and I was only mildly panicked for a bit when everything was cooking at once. I totally forgot to make stuffing and get cranberry sauce because I'm not a fan of those items. I remembered the stuffing just before the turkey was done and told Craig I could run out and buy some but he said I could just get it tomorrow so he could have it with his leftovers (he loves stuffing). Looks like I made enough food for 10 or more people so we will be eating yummy leftovers for several days.

Craig with his Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, green bean casserole, corn, and sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

North Florida Fair

The North Florida Fair was open from November 8th - 18th. Craig wasn't interested in going so I went without him on opening night because admission was free during the first hour. It wasn't crowded at all so I didn't have to wait in any lines--so nice! I saw all the shows (swine racing--hilarious, American western show--educational, wild animals show--bears, wolves, mountain lion--and rattlesnake show), rode a few rides, drank some fresh squeezed lemonade & hot chocolate, ate some chili fries & deep fried Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (oh my, so delicious!) and did lots of walking and people watching. I brought a coat and hat but not gloves--I didn't realize just how cold it was going to be since it was warm during the day. The hat didn't cover my ears all the way and my fingers were freezing during the rides. As I drove home at 9:30pm, I saw on a bank sign that the temperature was 45 degrees.

(All the photos in this post can be clicked on for a larger view)

2 days later my friend Nevada asked if Craig and I wanted to go to the fair with her and her husband Al. I said I'd have to convince Craig (since he's not very interested in fairs) and we'd have to get a babysitter so I'd let her know. We ended up booking a sitter (our good friend Karen) and they booked a sitter for their 5-month-old boy but then an hour before we were supposed to meet, Nevada called and said their sitter had to cancel because he missed his flight back to town. I was sooo disappointed because I was all geared up to go on a double date. Craig and I ended up going on a date by ourselves since we already had a sitter coming and we took a raincheck on the double date at the fair. It was very cold that evening so it was probably best that we didn't go to the fair afterall.

Craig and I ended up going to the fair on the last day because admission price was only $2. We took Alisa because we couldn't find a sitter (we don't know many yet) so we didn't buy unlimited rides passes. We ate kabobs, deep fried cauliflower & deep fried Oreos and walked around looking at the animals and then I rode one ride. Alisa slept in the stroller for about an hour and then I put her in the baby carrier so she could see everything as we walked. She loved it! We took her to the petting zoo and she looked at the camels, llamas, kangaroos, various birds, bunnies, goats, pigs, sheep and more. The weather was perfect and Craig had a decent time afterall.

We thought the hand written "Fat Balls $4" sign at this stand was funny. I had never heard of fat balls before (they sound disgusting). I only got a glance of one and it looked like a large fried ball of dough filled with cherry pie filling.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Minga Update

I haven't mentioned this before, but when Minga eats in the morning she gets some food in her mouth and chews it while walking around the kitchen island. She walks counter clockwise every time. She does this after every bite for awhile and then leaves the rest for later. So funny! When she finishes her food later (sometimes right before bedtime) she usually just stands at her bowl and chows down without moving. Minga weighs 80 lbs now.

Minga has mellowed out some in her second year of life. She is really good with letting Alisa pat her, pull at her ears & flesh and even climb over her. When Alisa was starting to scoot on her belly over a month ago, she'd reach for Minga's paw and Minga would move her paw away. Alisa would reach again and Minga would move it away again. This went on and on and was fun to watch. It gave Alisa a reason to scoot and later crawl! Since Minga is a large dog who doesn't know her own strength, we have to keep a close watch when Alisa is sitting by her legs because if Minga starts rolling around on her back, her legs go flying and often she comes close to kicking Alisa across the room. She has been good about not touching Alisa's toys. The only time recently that she has touched a forbidden toy has been when Alisa offered it to her by holding it up to her mouth. Minga will usually just nuzzle it with her nose but sometimes she nibbles at it. She stops nibbling when I say "No" so that is great. Minga is very funny and exciting to Alisa. She loves having Minga nearby. Sometimes she tries to get Minga's attention when she is across the room by letting out a couple of high pitch "aah!" sounds. So cute!

Comparing hand to paw:

In August, Craig cooked spaghetti while Minga stood nearby hoping to catch any food that fell. Unexpectedly, the garlic Craig was pressing shot out of the press, over the counter and into Minga's eye. Her eye watered a lot and swelled up. Craig rinsed it out with water and Minga ran to another room of the house to recover. She was fine by the next day and from then on whenever she smells garlic, she doesn't go near or stay in the kitchen.

Minga's right eye wouldn't open very far until hours after the garlic was rinsed out of it:

In October, Minga went into heat for the second time. She bled for 3 weeks her first time (last December) and this time she bled for 2 weeks. Most dogs bleed for less than a week so maybe next time she will drop to just 1 week (one can hope). The diaper we bought her last time was too messed up to use again. It was a little too big anyway (even though it was supposed to be her size) and kept falling down--ew! We bought her a smaller one and it worked great...didn't fall down at all. Because she urinates frequently when in heat, it's too gross and troublesome to put her diaper off and on for potty breaks if we were to let her inside all day. Therefore, we ended up keeping Minga outside in the fenced yard during the day and put her diaper on and let her inside during the night. We made the mistake of leaving her diaper outside (not on the ground, but still within reach) one morning after removing it and she chewed it while we were out for a few hours. That happened the second day after we bought it so it was quite upsetting (after all, she ruined her fancy new denim diaper). We ended up duct taping it and it still worked because we put the sanitary pads in it like normal, but on top of the taped part. Ha!

Here is the duct tape repair job on the diaper:

Minga has skin problems that flare up here and there. During the worst of it, she is itchy, gets red sores on her belly and loses lots of hair (mostly from her belly, but also other scattered patches on her legs where she has been biting a lot. We've tried a few tests (as suggested by the vet and others) to see what the issue might be but we still don't know (no, it's not fleas). It would cost hundreds to have the vet do an official allergy test. For now, we give her medications which help (they aren't cheap though).

Minga loves the ocean:

Minga's bed is under the stairs and for a few nights during one week she rested with her head on the bottom stair:

Stretching while chewing bone:

Minga's dirty head from playing outside:


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alisa Enjoys the Beaches

Alisa first went to the beach when she was almost 6 weeks old, but she wasn't able to really enjoy it then because she just nursed and slept the whole time (5-17-07):

She was afraid of the waves on St George Island (10-04-07):

She enjoyed the calm waters at Shell Point Beach (10-06-07):

She played in the sand for the first time at Silver Lake (11-03-07):


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Alisa is 7 Months Old Today

Alisa's first solids after having rice cereal were fork-mashed avocados, bananas and sweet potatoes (introduced one at a time with a 3-day period between each one to make sure she didn't have any allergic reactions). She liked them all, though surprisingly I had to really water down the mashed bananas.

Rice cereal on her face:

Avocado on her face:

Daddy feeding her bananas and rice cereal:

Eating banana puffs:

She gained 1 lb this month--she went from 16 lbs 13 oz to 17 lbs 13 oz. She slept in the bassinet part of the Pack 'N Play in our room for the 1st half of the month because we had guests staying up in her room. Her first night upstairs in her crib (far away from Mommy and Daddy) was 10-25-07. She woke up at 12:30am (4 hours after going to bed) and needed to be comforted...she was back in her crib sound asleep half an hour later. The following nights in her crib were without incident. With the fall time change, she has been going to bed around 8 or 9 PM (used to be closer to 9:30 PM) and sleeps an average of 12 hours each night. She still takes 3 naps (30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours long) each day (she misses one occasionally).

Alisa loves playing with the fountain on our porch, though the water is very cold (10-09-07):

10-15-07 was the first day she was sitting up in her crib in the morning when I got up to get her. She was in the bassinet part of the Pack 'N Play so she was able to see all around the room. We kept telling ourselves that after our guests left the next week, we'd put her up in her room to sleep, but we liked having her in our room so much that we didn't make the change right away. What finally got us moving was that we had a couple of cold nights so our room was very cold in the morning (the bottom floor is 10 degrees colder than the top floor). Alisa's little hands were so cold that we decided we shouldn't delay the move. Also, if I didn't get up and get in the shower before she woke up and sat up, then I wouldn't be able to shower until later because I couldn't sneak by with her sitting up. Once she saw us, she'd persistently cry for us to get her out of bed. If she didn't see us, she'd happily talk and play with her feet for about half an hour.

By 10-21-07, she could stand holding onto coffee table or ottoman for a good while if you placed her there. Then her legs would start shaking and she had a scared look on her face that said "I'm tired of standing but I don't know what to do...I'm afraid to move."

On 11-01-07:

She started clucking her tongue on 10-22-07. We realized that we had been doing it a lot when trying to get her attention or make her laugh with funny noises. I was so proud and impressed that she figured out how to do that at such a young age!

On 10-26-07, she first did her version of the "downward dog" yoga pose (hands and feet on floor with legs straight and butt up in the air). She began to do it all the time, sometimes as a way of getting from her tummy to a sitting position. I found it to be so adorable and fun to watch when she did it repeatedly.

She started pulling herself up using things such as Craig's laundry basket and the coffee table on 10-27-07. Once she did that, she always wanted to be standing at the coffee table banging things on it.

Here she is about to pull herself up to a standing position (10-29-07):

She was a bumblebee for Halloween, though she ended up taking an unusually long nap that night so we didn't go anywhere. She had already worn her costume to the monthly playgroup and 2 other occasions.

At the monthly playgroup:

Some of the babies in costumes:

I absolutely love Benjamin's mummy costume...his mom made it! So cute and clever!