Monday, August 31, 2009

Is peeing on the floor progress?

Yes. It is. We're going to say it is, anyway. Because when one is scared to pee anywhere but one's diaper, then peeing on the floor is progress because we have peed somewhere other than the diaper.

Zo's teachers put her in underwear (which was fairly uneventful, as she was quite proud of her new undies and eager to show them off) today after their mid-morning snack of moon doughnuts, as they didn't know what to expect and didn't want to ruin her birthday treat. Given that it was mid-morning, then, the child was able to hold it all. day. long.

Oh, boy.

She held it for most of the night, too. Getting antsy only near the end. She sat on the potty with no pants on, but refused to go. After awhile we plopped her in the tub for her "stand-up bath," (what the rest of us refer to as a shower), and that's when all hell broke loose. The running water and the warmth combined to be simply too much for the poor girl. She was miserable. We had the windows in the house open due to the unseasonably cool weather, and so I'm sure the neighbors were also able to partake of her misery.

We hung tight. Finished her bath and dried her off and tried to convince her to go on the potty. Nothin' doin'. So we went with the suggestion of her teacher. We handed her a diaper and said, "You can either put this on yourself, or you can go on the potty. Your choice." Then we walked away.

She wailed and screamed and I think she'd have dropped the f-bomb if she knew it. Poor thing.

She does know how to put on her own diaper - done it many times before - so it wasn't like we were leaving her in a lurch. It's just that when you've got to pee so bad you're seeing yellow, that's pretty much all you can concentrate on. You simply cannot portion off another part of your brain to handle something as complex as self-diapering.

We stuck to our guns. Or rather, I stuck to my guns as most of this was addressed to me. M patted me on the arm, whispering, "Stay strong." He's a good man, M. I put some things away, retrieved my computer bag from the car, cleaned up the bath, all with a screaming banshee on my heels.

Finally, I wound up back in the bathroom, sitting on the edge of the tub and cajoling her to come back in and sit on the potty. That's when, standing in the hallway outside the bathroom with a diaper half on, she began to lose it. Literally. "I'm...I'm...I'm leaking!" she shrieked.

"It's okay, sweetie! It's okay! Let it go!" She did. M looked horrified at the liquid on the floor, and then gamely went to get paper towels and the kitchen disinfectant. What a trooper. Zoe looked relieved.

I picked Zozer up and hosed her down in the tub, and we talked about how, wonder of all wonders, it's okay to go pee without a diaper. Look at that. Didn't even hurt or anything. In fact, it kinda tickled. She likened it to warm bathwater or a swimming pool. Yup. Any positive associations are good, so we went with it.

The rest of the night was considerably calmer, and we talked about how cool it is that we learned that it's okay to go pee without a diaper.

Baby steps. Tomorrow is another day. We'll get there.

Thanks to everyone who is keeping tabs on our potty progress, and those of you who are cheering at every little step forward.

The waiting is the hardest part...

I just went to the restroom and, during that brief respite from work, could no longer bury myself in the paperwork that covers my desk. I began to think of Zozer, and wonder how she's doing, and imagined her wailing in a small, bare bathroom at school. While her friends and teachers gleefully eat two dozen moon doughnuts purchased in her honor.

And that's when Mother's Guilt set in.

Maybe I should have taken the day off work and done this myself. (Which would have resulted in both of us crying, I'm sure, and not much progress forward.)

Maybe I should just say, "She'll go when she goes" and not push it. (Although if I have to change one more poopy diaper I'm going to scream.)

Maybe I should have worked with her more yesterday. (I didn't because I didn't want memories of her fourth birthday to be all jacked up with terrifying potty nightmares. Birthdays are supposed to be fun.)

Maybe if I had done things differently before now, I wouldn't be going to the bathroom worried about Zoe going to the bathroom. (I'm not sure what I'd have done differently, but, you know. Something.)

I keep pulling the phone number for Zoe's school up in my Outlook contacts list. And the cursor sits there, blinking at me, waiting for me to make a decision. Do I call and see how she's doing? And if she's not doing well, then what? I sit here and cry knowing she's sitting there crying. "Well, she's been in the bathroom since 8:15 this morning, but we have hope she might get hungry enough to come out soon." I'm killing myself here. Slowly.

But I don't want to be one of those parents who calls all the time and annoys teachers who are busy enough keeping a small band of savages from creaming each other with moon doughnuts.

It's 12:30. I have four hours until I can fly out of here to go pick her up.

Tick. Tick. Tick.


After months and months of talking about how we were going to go pee and poo on the potty when we were four, it didn't happen. Sigh.

So today, along with two dozen birthday "moon" doughnuts to share with her teachers and friends, Zoe went to school with a bag of extra clothes and three pair of underwear. Her teachers had told me, no matter what, bring the underwear and the clothes (and her washable Crocs) Monday and that would be that. Showdown in the potty. At the first pull-up changing, after the soiled one is discarded, she'll be handed a pair of underwear. "Put these on and come out, or don't and stay in the potty. Those are your only options."

I'm living in fear that my child will be spending the entire day naked in the potty at school.

We arrived this morning and Zoe announced that she had underwear in the bag. Her teachers looked at me hopefully. I sighed and said, "We have underwear in the bag, but we're not actually wearing it." Ms. Carrie responded in a determined manner, "She will by the end of the day."

Today, Underwear Day, is just going to crawl by...probably for two of us, anyway.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Waiting for the Train

Our little girl is four years old today. We took her to the zoo, which has become our annual tradition. Last year she was all about the carousel. This year it was the train. We rode it around and around and around. Didn't see too many animals - just tigers and bears and some birds (including two hootie owls, of which we specifically went in search), but we sure had fun. It's hard to believe how much has changed in four short years; it's hard to believe how fast it has gone.

We love you, Doodlebug. Happy birthday, my Boopsie SweetPea Pie.

It's getting harder and harder to get these shots. She was wiggling and dancing all over the place, wanting to go look at the fountain, at the train, at the acorns on the ground. I got my shot, though, along with several others (most of which involve Hoot in front of her face - camera hog that he is).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Almost forgot...

the petits fours...yum! (And we even have some left!)

Zoe's Fourth Birthday Party

Our little girl turns four tomorrow, and we're making our annual birthday trip to the zoo first thing in the morning.

Today, though, we celebrated big with family and friends. If everyone had half the good time we did, well, then they had a heck of a great time. Many, many thanks to all our loved ones who helped us celebrate our wonderful daughter (that includes those who couldn't make it but sent their birthday wishes...we missed you!).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Papa Update

Papa did really well with his cardiac cath. I still am absolutely amazed that a doctor can stick a camera in your leg and go all the way to your heart and take a look-see, and you can be awake for the whole thing. Mind-boggling.

Anyway, there's a small amount of blockage in his lower heart, but nothing to really be concerned about (yay!). He does have quite a bit of blockage in his upper legs though (boo) and they'll schedule another procedure sometime in the near future to go roto-rooter out his veins.

All in all, positive news this morning. Whew.

Prayers for Papa

Papa is having a cardiac cath done this morning, you know, stents and the like. I can't type too much about it because typing about it makes me think about it which makes me cry.


Thoughts, prayers, good vibes...the usual, please.

Secret Message For Papa: ee-ah-eeeee!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wild Child

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Birthday Flowers

Birthday flowers from last week.

They don't look like this anymore, which is exactly why I made a photograph!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Question of the Day

I donated blood at an American Red Cross drive up at church last night, and M and Zo walked up with me. We were hoping she'd get to see the process, but they were running late so M took Zo home while I waited. Before they left, though, the three of us sat together and just observed our surroundings, which included the little old KC guy who coordinated the drive. He was cute and ran to and fro doing various things. Zoe watched him intently, and then turned to me and asked, very seriously, "Do you think his toenails are painted?"

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Zoe's beautiful big girl bed comes with colorful big girl sheets and a quilt. She picked out a fantastic pattern that suits her personality perfectly. It's bold, bright, colorful and a lot of fun. After we made up her new big girl bed, I realized that the pastel pink and green princess blanket that hung so sweetly over her crib now clashed horribly. Oh. Crap.

Not that it's the end of the world or anything, but really, it started to bug me. We are transitioning here, after all, and the princess blanket symbolizes baby and not big-girl-who-finally-goes-pee-pee-on-the-potty-already. Then I began obsessing on what to put in its place, as once we take the princess blanket down there's a big blank expanse of wall that looks goofy. I floundered around trying to figure something out that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg (having already sacrificed those to buy the new quilt and sheets).

Then, one day, I looked around our kitchen at all her fantastic art hanging everywhere, and I knew exactly what to do.

This is how we spent a good amount of time this afternoon. The finished piece is still drying in the garage, and every once in awhile I steal out there just to look at it some more. I hope I always remember which daubs she told me were fishies and which were people, and that the lime green swath across the top is clouds. There are apparently some sharks in there, too, and houses. She told us, when she was finished, that this is The Forest.

Whatever its title I think it's beautiful, simply because she created it and had such a good time doing so. I wonder if this something she'll remember. The trip to Art Mart (one of Mommy's most favorite stores ever and Daddy's Hell on earth) to pick out the canvas and the paints. That she got to carry her new throw pillow so we could carefully match the colors. The day she painted a big canvas in the garage. Ah, well, if she doesn't, I will, and I'll tell her all about what a great time we had.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Zoe having fun at the Fun Fair

Zoe's school and Parents as Teachers program hosted a Family Fun Fair this morning and we went. She got to draw with sidewalk chalk, eat a popsicle-thingy, swing, visit with our PAT parent educator, make a blowfish out of a paper lunch sack, get her helmet checked for size (Children's Hospital - you rock!), rock on the rockers, climb on the climbers, and bounce in the bouncehouse. She had a blast, as did her mommy, popping off a gajillion photos in about 90 minutes. I heart digital.

Blame it on Perseid

I'm a bad neighbor. I freely admit it, and I don't apologize for it. There it is.

This is the gorgeous new view from my darkroom/pseudostudio window. Notice the trees in silhouette. Notice the deep, rich color of the sky. Notice the gigantic light on the pole that is no longer shining.

Yeah, that last one there? That's my fault.

The people who lived in our house before we lived in our house had a lawn jockey in their backyard and it was stolen one night. (I know...a lawn jockey...that's a whole other post, people. I'm just tryin' to stay on topic.) It was recovered, because the idiot boys who stole it dragged it through the fresh snow to get it home and it doesn't take the cast of CSI to track something like that down. It doesn't even take one of 'em. Okay, maybe one. Someone's gotta follow the trail. Anyhoo, because their lawn jockey was stolen and there was some other general mischief going on in the 'hood around that time, the Browns had Ameren come out and install, basically, the sun in their backyard. Which we inherited when we bought the house.

We also inherited the $7.60/month charge that comes with having the sun in one's backyard.

It's been rather annoying as it's really, really bright (suns tend to be that way) and then it started annoying me even more after we had Zozer and it shone right in her back window. Grrr. We've debated canceling the thing but decided it would be unneighborly and so just sorta put up with it.

But last week was the Perseid meteor showers, and we sat outside for 30 minutes waiting to see one and waiting for our eyes to adjust to the darkness. Only there wasn't any darkness, because of, you know, the sun. We gave up and came inside, meteorless and pissed at the light all over again.

That's when I said, "Screw the neighbors." (No offense, Mom and Dad. I love you!)

I took our electric bill to work so I'd have the account number, and it sat on my desk for a few hours while I debated whether to ax it. Should I check with the neighbors, see what they think? I don't really want to get in the habit of collecting $7.60/4 every month to split the cost, as I'd still be paying something for a light I don't want. Still, I have to live next to all these people and I really don't want them hating me. And, silver lining, it's saved me the trouble of having a nightlight in Zoe's room. I debated all this in my head, naturally, so my officemates didn't think (okay, confirm) that I'm a total crackpot.

Then I thought, "What would M do?" Because M's a pretty smart guy. Well, one of the first things M does when solving a problem is open a new Excel spreadsheet. Excel is this man's version of duct tape. Excel can fix just about any problem known to man, and probably a few we haven't discovered yet. Give the boy a laptop, Excel, and enough time, and he could rule the world. Or at least organize it really, really well.

So I opened the spreadsheet and stared at a bunch of blank boxes. Well, I suppose I should calculate something. So I calculated $7.60 x 12 months per year x 8 years (we've been here about that long).

I wanted to hurl. We've spent roughly $730 on this f'ing light that I hate. Decision made. I called Ameren, and they stopped billing us for it immediately and said someone would be out to disconnect probably within a week.

The nice Ameren man showed up today and, with a gigantically long telescoping pole, quickly and easily removed the light bulb from the sun. "So, like, really? That's it?" "Yep. That's it." Sweet. I couldn't wait for night.

As I've sat here typing this, it's grown darker and darker. It's pitch black out there. I can see a few porch lights on here and there, but it's blissfully, sweetly, inkily black. I love it. I can't wait for the next meteor shower or comet or space station sighting. I'm hoping against hope that none of my neighbors calls Ameren this week and takes on the $7.60 monthly payment themselves.

'Cause if they do, now that I've had a taste of night, you just might find me out there throwing rocks at the sun.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night...

so I made some pictures.

My muse

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Val...and water

I made a new friend the other day...which is way cool considering I wasn't even in the market for a friend or considering acquiring a friend or thinking, "Huh, it's been a long time since I made a friend."

I made this new friend through knowing an old friend, which I guess makes the new friend a friend of a friend, only that's what she was and now she's a first generation friend. We've promoted each other from friend of a friend to simply friend.

Anyway, this new friend, whom I'll call Val since that's her name, is a mommy and a photographer and a mid-west workin' girl, much like me, only she lives in Chicago, which is pretty cool. Our mutual friend, Chris, showed some of my work on-line to Val when Val was visiting her in Estes Park, Colorado, and Val found me on Facebook and sent me a lovely message. It was so lovely that I replied (I wish I could say promptly, but I can't keep up with Facebook too much) and instantly friended her. She sent me her Flickr link and I got to see that she has a beautiful eye and that her muse appears to be her daughter, much as my muse is Zoe. We've sent a few messages back and forth now, and I feel like I've known her for a long time. Perhaps because she has the same wicked sense of humor as Chris and I so love and appreciate that. Or perhaps because she taught me the word, "boffo," having just learned it herself.

Bear with me...I really am getting to the point of this post.

Val also shared with me the link to the blog she shares with her former sister-in-law, whom I'll call Holly since that's her name. Holly lives in California* and is a mommy and a photographer (and a professional one, to boot). On their blog, each week, one of them chooses a topic and they each shoot and post various interpretations. It's a pretty damn cool concept, and forces one to really look for subject matter in everyday life. I'll post a link here once I get around to asking Val if she minds. I hope she doesn't, as these two women are insanely talented and how cool would it be to link to their blog from mine?

Their current topic is water. In editing images tonight, I found two taken this week that fit the subject. And so I'm participating vicariously in their little photographic joyride.

We have bottled water delivered every week to work. Cases and cases and cases of it. Whole rivers full, it seems. Normally they sit there in their dusty plastic packaging and wait to be yanked out and distributed around the spa. This week, though, someone pulled a bunch out and stacked them neatly on top. The laws of physics took over and bounced enough light around the dingy storeroom to light these things seemingly from inside. I walked past them three times today before caving and grabbing the camera. There's probably a much better way to interpret them, but I was after all on work time, and since I'm not paid to make artsy-fartsy photographs, I kind of just had to snap and run.

Technicallly this shot doesn't contain water, but merely the reflections of it on the underside of a bridge. Feel free to belt out "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers while viewing. Zoe would approve, having developed a fine appreciation for the Chili Peppers thanks to her mother.

*I've impressed myself by being able to mention three states - Illinois, Colorado and California - all in one post. Geographer Stef will be so happy. And, even though I've grown up with technology, I still think it's cool as shit to easily make a new friend who lives in another state.

P.S. Happy birthday, Mama! I hope you had a wonderful day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Word of the Day

"Sometimes, when I'm at school, I say 'butthead.'"

How would you respond if your adorable little nearly-four-year-old girl looks at you in all seriousness and offers up this confession?

Well, if you're me, you nearly have a stroke trying to keep yourself from laughing out loud. Then you send her into the kitchen to tell her father while you convulse with laughter whilst hiding behind the couch.

We managed to pull ourselves together enough to tell her with some semblance of seriousness to please not say that anymore.

Then, out of sheer curiousity, I asked her who taught her that word.


I know people always say that kids don't come with an instruction manual. I'm kinda glad they don't. Life is much more fun this way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jane's feet

Little baybay feet.
They get me every time.

(Thanks to Jane's Uncle Marty for providing the lovely backdrop. Turns out your interview oxford has dual purpose, eh?

Monday, August 17, 2009

2 Peas in a Pod

Or, better yet, 2 Z's in a paddleboat.

This is one of those times where I thought I had something cute when I shot it, but it wasn't until days later, when editing, that I really grew to appreciate it. I love that they're both wearing bright orange (granted, Zoe's in a life jacket, but it's orange nonetheless). I love that they're both wearing sunglasses. I love that they are sitting at almost exactly the same angle relative to me. And I love that both of their expressions are pretty much, "Jeez, take the damn picture already."

I love my little family, and I love that they indulge me with my camera.

I also think Zozer's little head poking through an obnoxious orange life jacket is adorable, but that could be because I'm just a wee bit biased.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Something smells fishy...and I like it

Many of my family members asked me what I wanted/what was M getting me for my birthday. I practically salivated when I told them, "A 10.5 mm f/2.8 fisheye Nikkor!" They all looked at me like I had three heads. I tried to explain to several people what a fisheye lens is, only to have their eyes glaze over about 10 seconds into it despite my evident enthusiasm.

A fisheye lens is ultra-wide angle. You get almost 180 degrees in your viewfinder. This latitude comes with a price, though. Collossal distortion that curves just about every straight line in sight. This is not an everyday walk-around lens, but it's damn fun to play with.

The easiest way to explain what a fisheye does is to show two images taken from the same viewpoint so you can see the difference. So that's what I did, choosing our trip to the top of the Arch as that's a pretty kickass view.

Here's the first shot, taken with my awesome 17-55 mm f/2.8.

This lens is no's pro-grade gear with phenomenal optics. Normally 17 mm is a lot of latitude and can get most everything you want. This lens is my everyday walk-around lens and it has served me well and will continue to do so.

Now, here's the exact same view, taken with my new fisheye.

You get a lot more in your frame, but the distortion is crazy. I like it, though, for certain applications (like this one). I'm willing to trade the curves for the fact that I have the entire downtown St. Louis skyline, complete with the Dome to the north and Busch Stadium to the south. Union Station is back there to the southwest, and, if you look at the original file with full resolution you can see the Clayton skyline on the horizon. You even get some of the curvy ponds that are on the Arch grounds down there at the bottom.

So that, my friends, is a fisheye.

Anyone still awake?

Zoe and the Arch

Okay, I couldn't wait. Here's an image made this morning during our trip to the Arch (duh). That's Zozer walking there by the Arch. Used muh new fisheye lens, hence the distortion. I have to admit I'm kinda digging the distortion. Thought about messing around with the shot in Photoshop to correct some of it, but decided I like it this way, thankyouverymuch.

Getting to the Arch first thing in the morning, before all the other tourists arrive, is the way to go. By the time we did our tram ride and bought our souvies, the place was crawling with people and the line to get in stretched from the door to past the leg. There's no way I could have gotten this shot with just Zozer if we had gone later. (More props to M on this one...he planned our whole day and mapped everything out to maximize time. And, inadvertently, photo opps.)

Our week "off"

Okay, so I realize I've been a little remiss in posting lately. Or a lot remiss. But I have a good excuse! Really! M was on forced-vacation this week (his company's attempt to save money without laying people off - I'm good with long as he has a job to go back to!) and with no looming deadlines, I decided to join him. We did a staycation, essentially, and became tourists in our own hometown while also getting a lot of stuff done around the house we've been meaning to get to for over a year and half since grad school started.

Here was our week, in a nutshell:
  1. Kicked off the week by touring the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Kirkwood. Way, way cool, but the man was on crack if he expected that sort of house design to be for the "common man." The tour is worth the donation and I highly recommend it. Visionary architecture and design, and funky stuff like a parallelogram bed.
  2. Breakfast for two at a different place each morning after dropping Zozer off at school. We hit some good places: Companion Bread in Clayton, Kaldi's in Kirkwood, Starbucks (always popular with me), Coffee Cartel in the Central West End.
  3. Heavy-duty cleaning of the house and yard from after breakfast til noon. I mean heavy-duty. Like, OMG-this-place-is-disgusting heavy-duty. M tackled outside, I tackled inside. Made much progress. That I'm sure we'll have to repeat immediately upon graduation in December.
  4. After working our asses off around the house, we treated ourselves to lunch at a different place every day, also good joints: Spencer's Grill, Crazy Bowls, Lemongrass, and Jimmy John's that we delivered to new parents Michelle and Ryan in a lame excuse to get to see Jane.
  5. Shopped for, purchased, and arranged delivery of (thank you, Grandpa Ray!) Zoe's new Big Girl Bed. She now has a full-size bed that she loves. We took her shopping for new bedding and she picked out an awesome rainbow-colored set at Target. I will post pics soon. I'm pretty sure Aunt Steffi will be off to purchase a set for herself once she sees them.
  6. Zozer had Thursday off school, so we started with breakfast at the Pancake House (IHOP) and then hit the City Museum. The girl, and her father, went crazy. They climbed through every tunnel and slid every slide they could find. I participated in most, but opted to stay firmly on the ground with the camera bag and Zozer's backpack when they went up five stories outside through spiral-welded re-bar. Got some great shots...those will be posted later.
  7. M and I went to see a small Ansel Adams exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum. Very small, but lovely, and highly recommended. I made some great images of Sculpture Hall while there. How cool is it to make art in the art museum?!
  8. Took Zozer on a whirlwind today, beginning with doughnuts for breakfast before heading to the Arch. She did great the entire time, until falling on the steps leading out of the tram tunnel after it was over. She told us later, "I'm going to tell my teachers that I went to the Arch and fell on the steps and got a boo-boo on my knee." Great. Apparently that's what is most memorable about that experience. Anyway, after the Arch we hit the Boathouse in Forest Park and paddle-boated our way into the Grand Basin and back. Lunch at City Diner, and home for a nap (Zoe took the nap, while we puttered around the house and M fixed a toilet - see item #9 for details), after which we hit Imo's for dinner and Ted Drewe's for dessert.
  9. M had the joyful task of fixing not one, but two toilets this week. Several months ago, the toilet in our finished basement sprung a leak and flooded the bathroom and part of the carpet in the finished area. We cleaned it up and aired it all out with fans and turned off the water to the toilet and got back to studying. Priorities dictated not screwing around with a busted toilet when we had two perfectly fine working ones upstairs. In anticipation of having time off this week, he ran to Home Depot a week or so ago and got the parts to fix it. It was on the TTD list (that's Things To Do), but we put it off because M hates plumbing and I hate listening to him swear about plumbing. Friday afternoon I'm walking past the hall bath upstairs on my way to take a nap (you can do that when you're on vacation, and it's luxurious and makes one wonder why they stop that practice after kindergarten) and I hear water running. "Huh, that's odd," I say to myself, since we had just gotten back from the grocery store and neither one of us had used the restroom. I figured we hadn't turned the tub water off all the way from Zoe's bath the night before and went in to do so. That's when I stepped in water and realized that the water I heard running was the toilet. With a cracked tank. It's amazing how it doesn't take long for a toilet with a cracked tank to flood the bathroom and leak downstairs to flood that bathroom and, you guessed it, the exact same carpeted area that had flooded the first time. M came running when he heard me gently exclaim a few choice words in my surprise, and he promptly joined the chorus. Needless to say, my nap was kaput as I spent the time cleaning up the mess while M got out the fans, turned off the water and surveyed the damage. We picked up Zozer early from school and went shopping for a new toilet, which, by the way, was so not part of our staycation plans. Then M spent most of his Friday night installing the damn thing. It's a lovely toilet, though, and I'll be happy to post images of it here, just as soon as I get around to making them. It's now my favorite toilet in the house as it's new and sparkly and doesn't take super-human strength to flush.
All in all, the toilet issues aside, we had a great week and I made tons of wonderful images. Many with my new 10.5 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens that M got me for my birthday. This means nothing to most of you, but I'll throw up some shots and you'll see what I mean by "fisheye" and hopefully you'll think it's as cool as I do. Or maybe half as cool, as only photographers get really geeked out over new camera toys.

We started school tonight, logging in to our new classes and finding out what's in store for the next nine weeks. Profs are already on my shit-list for going off the course description outlined on the university's web site and assigning way more work than expected. So we bit the bullet and plunged in, reading our first two chapters of International Business. Wasn't bad, least I didn't fall asleep reading it as I typically did with Managerial Economics.

So here we are, at the end of our week, and I'm so glad we had it, and so happy how we spent it. M worked way harder than I (he's not as big a fan of naps as I am, choosing productivity instead - nerd) so I have to give him props for that. I'm relatively pleased with what I accomplished, and feel ready to tackle the next 18 weeks of school (our university doesn't believe in a break between the two 9-week fall terms) knowing it will all be over then. I'm excited, too, that I now have a bevy of images to work on as relaxation after a night of studying. So you'll get the photographic output of our week in drips and drabs as I get to them. Hell, I might even put one up tonight (this morning, actually - just noticed it's now Sunday...). More to come!

Friday, August 07, 2009


It's been a week of babies for M and me! We met Jane Wednesday night, and last night we caught up with little Gavin, who is now 8 weeks old and managed to convince his mom and dad (Tiff and Doug) to finally bring him to the Lou.

Gavin is a real sweetie who looks just like his dad, right down to the dimple and the crooked smile. His eyes sparkle with Tiff's spirit, though.

I had to use an extremely high ISO to handle the low lighting, and high ISO on a digital camera does exactly what high ISO does on film - introduces noise (called grain with film). I used to hate it, but grain, like wine, is an acquired taste and I've come to appreciate it for the texture and feeling it introduces to a photograph. I've also come to appreciate wine, but that's a whole other blog post. Anyway, this one is particularly noisy, because of the uber-high ISO and because I cropped way in to capture his expression. It's my favorite of the bunch.

Hmmmm. I wonder how I can convince Mom and Dad to move back to St. Louis permanently. It's hard to find Cardinal games on TV in Vegas.

He's either yawning or serenading Aunt KK. Your choice.

Aunt KK relishes her role as "cool aunt" and overall "baby hog." She was in her glory tonight, and even got to change a teeny tiny diaper.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Daddy takes Zoe to the ballgame

Daddy and Zoe went to the Cardinals game last Sunday...a real Daddy/Daughter bonding day. Hard to tell who had more fun, really. It's quite obvious that Zozer is becoming quite the Cardinals fan - even though she slept through most of the actual game. By doing things like letting her have her Cardinal red popsicle before lunch, M is in full baseball mentoring mode. And he says I train my young?!

Pretty good for a self-portrait!

Zoe got a free Build-a-Bear upon arrival at the stadium.
He's cool, but he's no Hoot.
(Notice who is facing forward.)

Mmmm. Probably tastes even better since it's before lunch!

We didn't know if she'd run the bases by herself.
She did. Practically flew around, according to M.
She told me later, "I gave Fredbird a sidewards-five!"

Another run scored by Zoe!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Welcome, Jane!

Got to meet our newest cousin tonight. Welcome to the world, Jane Isabella. We're sure excited to finally see you. Congratulations to your mom and dad, and all your grandparents and new aunts and uncles. You are surrounded by an extraordinary amount of love, and we can't wait to watch you grow. Love to you, and to your parents.

(Just wait, kid. Cousin Amy's gonna set you up right with a camera just as soon as you can focus. Your eyes, that is.)


I'm working on a new promotion for work that revolves around the idea of gratitude, so I'm searching for appropriate quotes about gratitude on the Internet today.

Found this, from Buddha:

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.

Smart guy, that Buddha.