Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Model

Yesterday Tracy and her kids came over for some play time.  After lunch I asked Ellie if I could take her pictures.  I was counting on her standard pose (which cracks me up, by the way) as my "picture of the day".

Well, several shots later we were done.  Here's some highlights.

First up: This is the standard "Ellie Pose".

Actually, the shot before this was the standard Ellie pose.  But it wasn't usable because it's accompanied by a gigantic yell of "CHEEEEEEEESE" wherein her face is completely tightened ear to ear as she grins out that word.  Tracy and I got her to relax the grin a bit on this shot.  I have also seen her use this look to her best advantage when trying to get something from Grandpa and Grandma, or whoever else can get her what she wants.

After I took this shot, Ellie told me to take another picture.  Tracy might have warned me that Ellie would be gung-ho on the picture front.

So, we started giving Ellie posing instructions.  First I just had her look out the window...

Then it was to look frightened...

I think she was supposed to be scary here.  Or excited.  I don't remember and really, it could go either way...

I'm not sure what this face was meant to be....

But, my plan is to save it for her 21st birthday wherein I'll be sending a copy of it to her to let her know that excessive drinking is not her best look.

This was a prelude to her "chubby belly" shot that she insisted I take.  It didn't turn out, but this one made us laugh...

Still she wanted more pictures.  Tracy and I were running out of facial expressions so we just had her move to the floor.  I believe Ellie said this was her interpretation of a seal pose...

This one struck me as being removed from the Batman movie where Jack Nicholson played the Joker.  Look it up...Creepy.

But then the real Ellie - no forced poses, no suggestions (at least that I remember...), just a cutie-patootie little girl...

Before she was finished she asked me to take some pictures with her mom.

And after all that, I got the shot.  I knew it wouldn't be technically great, but I knew it would capture exactly what I see when I watch Tracy with her kids.  She's totally there for them in playing and imagination (which her kids have in SPADES) and is never short on cuddles.  She's one of the best moms I've ever witnessed.

Despite setting out to get Ellie for my picture, I got a happy accident and called it a day.

That and my model went upstairs to play with her cousins.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dear Mother Nature...

Not. Funny.

My family was not happy yesterday.  My husband was exceedingly grumpy in the morning when he looked outside and saw that there was not only snow on the ground, but it was still coming down.  Then it snowed harder and longer than we expected.  If he hadn't been working, it might have driven him to drink.

I also admit - I wasn't thrilled.  I love snow.  I love winter.  I have learned to mentally allow and accept what you have to offer for winter until the Boy's State Hockey Tourneys; then you need to be done.

I checked.  The hockey tournaments ended March 12th.  Get out.

Two days ago I could not only see my grass, but also the pool cover.  In fact, I asked Mike if we should place bets as to when we would get our first swim.

I had even pondered sitting in this chair during spring break and cracking open a book.

Then you dumped this on us.

Our dog wasn't quite sure what to do with herself. It was cold yesterday. Was she supposed to play? Get out and get back in as quickly as possible? Why was this stuff back??

I'm also thinking of writing the meteorologists.  In December I can laugh it off when they predict one to two inches and we get eight.  On March 23rd when they predict one inch for our area and we get around three....Not. So. Funny.

I had to dig these out of the back of the cubby...

I had to put these back on.  While I absolutely love these boots, I was done wearing them for the season.

When I got back in from shoveling I collapsed.  Exhausted, I admitted to Mike that winter had won.  I didn't have it in me to shovel the third part of the driveway.  That was some ridiculously heavy stuff you dropped.

By this afternoon I was happy to see you were starting to sing my tune...

While I still can't see my grass, I accept your apology and your continuing effort to do that which is in the best interest of mankind.

In the meantime I have taken matters into my own hands to console our family...

I look forward to a spring-like spring break.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Maddie couldn't find her St. Patrick's shirt this morning and was sorely disappointed.  Guess she found a way to celebrate the day at school anyway...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Around These Parts

It's been a miscellaneous kind of week.  Little things accomplished that I thought I'd just pool together so you can see how things roll here in the Murphy household.

1.  New Month

Yes, I am that much of a dork, that I get antsy at the end of each month.  It means I get to wipe the calendar clean and write out the next month!  Dorkability #2 - we have a color coded system.  Ahhh...that makes me so happy.  Dorkability #3 - I would prefer a computer screen mounted to the side of our fridge that is one of those all-in-one things that we can just pull up the calendar or write notes to each other.  This would make me seriously delirious.  I remind Mike of the infinite possibilities of this ideal system each month.  He reminds me that it is a pipe dream.  We don't seem to be communicating very well on this front.  Dorkability/Dictator #4 - I am the one who gets to write on the calendar.  Occasionally Mike writes on it for his work stuff.  The children: not happening.  I know that's anal.  I know it's semi-ridiculous.  This morning Jake noticed our day had nothing notated so he wrote, "Happy Friday".  I have all I can do not to erase it.  OCD?  Slightly.

2.  New Wreath

I was really having a hard time coming up with a new wreath idea and I couldn't decide between St. Pat's, Easter, or a general spring theme.  It wasn't helping that there wasn't much available in stores for me to work out the St. Pat's thing, and Easter is SO late this year, that it seemed a bit premature.  And well, Spring seems like a bit premature at this point as well.  So, I went with a rainbow using fabric strips I already had and make a little pot of gold (minus the gold - too busy).

In retrospect, I should have made the pot bigger.  If you aren't up close it just looks like a sash indicating that our wreath was voted Miss Colorful 2011.

3.  Old Dog, New Tricks

Maddie received this guitar for Christmas.  She has managed to pick out "Happy Birthday" since then.  It's driving me nuts that it's been sitting here unused.  So, I took matters into my own hands and have started teaching myself how to play.  I currently know how to hold a pick correctly, hold the guitar correctly, and I can strum out a D chord.  I plan to have it restrung with lighter strings which my sister assures me she can help me do.  Maybe after volleyball is finished Maddie will have more time to devote to this endeavor.

4.  Photo Shoot

I actually tried to take pictures of water drops for my picture of the day.  I was explaining to Mike what I needed for this the night prior.  Mainly: light.  He said, "We don't own a lamp."  I had thought the same thing, but then I remembered we had lamps in the living room.  Then I remembered we had an old one in our basement that sits unused and I didn't care if it got ruined.  I clamped a baggie of water and weighted it down with old books.  I used scrapbook paper for a colored background and white to reflect more light.  It's a complete ghetto set-up.

I learned I need more light.  I'm not sure where to find it at this point, but I'll continue looking.  I also learned that this "red" color is kind of disgusting - it reminded me of the inside of a stomach. 

I didn't use this one because I thought if I looked at it upside down it looked like a weird tonsil.  However, the reflection in the drop is actually the reflection of the cut-glass bowl.  Interesting how that works.

5.  Organizing 101

At the start of the year I began trying to organize our kitchen a little differently.  I rearranged a cupboard once every few days.  I took on some drawers too.  This week I tackled our second junk drawer.

This is again, not exciting to many, but I love this.  I think it goes along with the OCD mentioned in #1.  To date I've revived four drawers, three cupboards and the space atop our refrigerator.  I've realized that doing this in small increments (not more than 15 minutes each drawer/cupboard!) is so much more doable and I'm giddy by the end of the day because I accomplished this task.  I'm fairly close to finishing the kitchen, then I'm moving upstairs to our room to attack a closet of clothes and miscellaneous shoes.  I even have a box of current items ready for our garage sale and everything has been priced already!

And with that, I'll wish you a "Happy Friday".  Envision it written in dry-erase in Jake's handwriting.  {sigh}

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Alternate Meanings

We've been dealing with the average sniffles that most people have in their houses lately.  And by "we" I mean the kids and I.  Mike has steered clear of us all in hopes of not having to look like Rudolph.

This morning as we were waiting for Maddie to head out for the bus stop, Jake came up to me and gave me a hug and said, "I don't mind hugging you even if you have a cold.  We'll all just be known as the 'Murphy Sickos'."

I told him that was probably not something he should advertise as a new name for us.  I plan on having them play with friends this summer.  I'm not sure playtime would be well received when a kid walked in the door and said to his mom, "Can I go over to Jake 'The Sicko' Murphy's house?"