Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Birthday Cake! {365 - Day 31}

Holy shmoly, I made it a whole month without missing a day!  I didn't quite realize how much work it would be to post a daily photo, but it's also been a lot of fun.  It makes me notice how quickly a day goes by and then it's gone.  All we have left is the memory and maybe a photo or two.  I already know that the photo album I create of these daily photos is going to be one of my most favorite things.

On to today's photo.  Tomorrow is my husband Kurt's Birthday.  And when there's a birthday, there must be cake.  So Sarah Beth and I got busy.  She is an excellent helper, especially when it comes to tasting frosting.  Or is it icing?  Whatever you call it, SB was on top of it.  I let her "test" the cream cheese before tossing it in the mixer.  She wholeheartedly approved.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sandbox. {365 - Day 30}

We hit the park today so SB could do some serious playing.  She was cooped up yesterday and it wasn't good for any of us!  So, off to the playground we went.  The sandbox is her #1 favorite playground activity and where she spent the afternoon, so it's appropriate for today's photo. 

Note the excavator of doom behind her.  I don't know why they have those things in little kid playgrounds.  I have yet to see a kid who can work the complicated handles properly, but I've seen lots of kids pinch their little fingers in the machinery or get whacked in the head with the heavy metal backhoe thing.  Not a great toy in my opinion.  Sarah Beth likes to make mudpies on the seat and calls it her oven.  Whatever works for her!

Day 30 {Canon Elph}

Sunday, January 29, 2012

TP {365 - Day 29}

Unrolling the toilet paper is one of Sarah Beth's favorite pastimes.   Early on I created a monster by dressing her up in TP "gowns" when she did this, wrapping her up like a mummy.  It was cute, but now it's getting a little old, having to re-roll the TP all the time.  And it never goes back on the roll the same way. 

We do remember to bring out a fresh roll when we have company coming over, because we're classy like that, but on any given day, its just a huge wad of half re-rolled TP perched on the back of the commode.  If you've ever had a toddler, you completely understand.

Day 29 {Canon Elph}

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Brattonsville. {365 - Day 28}

Continuing our apparent January theme of historic farms, we headed to Rock Hill, SC to visit Brattonsville, an historic plantation.  There are 30 buildings on the property, dating from mid-1700s through the Civil War period.  Much like our visit to Latta Plantation Sarah Beth was thrilled to be greeted by some farm animals.  Free-ranging chickens, cats, a pair of large pigs, and some handsome sheep were in attendance.

The main home is beautiful.  The movie "The Patriot" (starring Mel Gibson before he went all wack-a-doo) was filmed here.  We had a wonderful afternoon exploring the grounds and the buildings at our own pace.  We couldn't believe that we were one of only a few groups visiting on such a pretty warm day.

The photo I chose for today was taken in the main house.  Sarah Beth was hesitant to walk inside, but once we got her in there she didn't want to leave.  Like a giant playhouse to a 2 year old.  I loved the ornate staircase, the well-worn banister and the way the light poured in from the window on the landing.

Day 28 {Canon 7D + Photoshop}

Here are a few more shots of the day so I can share how cool this place is.

Aforementioned sheep.  They are some fancy boutique sheep breed according to the brochure.  They were very friendly until they realized we weren't going to feed them.  I don't think they would have liked peanut butter Lara bars anyway.  Here he is saying hi.
They have historic interpreters at the farm who dress in period costume and do period "stuff."  Today they were picking cotton.  SB got to pick cotton too.  I tried to explain that cotton growing in the field is what her clothes were made from.  I don't think she got it, but the cotton was fun to play with.

I believe these were old slave quarters. The slave quarters were made of brick on this plantation, which was unusual.  Either done to flaunt the family's wealth or more practically, because they made the bricks on the farm.  I love how ominous the bare trees look.  And I love the word ominous.

 One of the many outbuildings (chicken coop maybe?) along with my two favorite people.
If you live in the area, pack a picnic and go for a visit.  You won't be disappointed!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chucks and Tutu. {365 - Day 27}

I enlisted SB to model for the photo on my Valentine card that I'll be sending clients.  I dressed her up in appropriate Valentine regalia - red Chucks, purple striped socks, hot pink tutu and pigtails.  I armed her with cute valentine-themed pinwheels (DIY pack at Target for 5 bucks - too cute!) 

I took at least a zillion photos of her bopping around in her tutu, playing with her pinwheels, looking as Valentine-y as she could be.  The photo I ended up choosing was a beautiful extreme close-up of her face.  No shoes, no tutu, no pinwheels.  Remind me of this the next time I go overboard on styling. Here's one of the outtakes.  Don't you love a kid in a pair of Converse?

Day 27 {Canon 7D}

P.S.  Remember our Lizard from Day 25?  Guess who showed up in our laundry room hallway tonight?  Yep.  He must've come in through the dryer vent.  He is very lucky I found him first before our dogs did!  My husband scooped him up in a box and set him free after close inspection from Sarah Beth.  Hopefully he's learned his lesson and will stay outside from now on.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Imaginon. {365 - Day 26}

Today's agenda started off with storytime at Imaginon, the downtown children's library, with a few of our playgroup friends.  Sarah Beth sat through about half of storytime (a personal record) before wandering off in search of adventure.  She socialized at the train table for a few minutes before stumbling upon the computers.  A computer she could actually play with?  Fun, yet not as alluring as Mom or Dad's forbidden computers.  It kept her amused for a little while.

We had a fun impromptu lunch date at Brixx, then on the way back, SB jumped on the literary-themed public art and squealed with delight.  Here she is, mid-squeal.

Day 26 {Canon Elph + Photoshop}

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lizard {365 - Day 25}

We started off the day with swim lessons.  Sarah Beth has been going for a year now and she loves it. Mommy gets a little tired of getting in the pool every week, but it's worth it to see her swimming underwater like a guppy.  Her favorite part of the lesson is going down the water slide and splashing into the pool.  She talks about it all week. 

Well, today she went rogue on me and jumped out of the pool, hopping up the steps to the top of the slide.  I jumped up after her and caught her before she took the plunge, but it was close.  2 year olds move quick and are slippery when wet.

After swim lessons, we headed home to find a very green lizard sunning himself on the wall of our house.  He and another lizard friend were hanging out enjoying the nice weather, so we stood there for a while watching and snapping a few photos.  He didn't seem to mind.

Day 25 {Canon Elph with a little Photoshop'd contrast}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

S-u-n {365 - Day 24}

We have had so much gloomy weather the past 2 weeks, it was amazing to see the sun and blue skies this afternoon.  We emerged from our house and headed to the park.  Sarah Beth has been cooped up for a while and a trip to the playground was long overdue.  Fortunately there were lots of other kids there with the same agenda today.

I know, I know, another "swing" photo.  But I was really trying to capture the glorious sunshine.  Cute happy swingin' girl is just an added bonus.  She played hard, mostly in the sandbox.  Her pants and shoes were completely caked in wet sand by the time we left, so much so that she had to ride home pantless to avoid a mess in her carseat.  You know you had a good time at the playground when you go home with no pants on!

Day 24 {Canon Elph - I'm really starting to like this handy little camera!}

Monday, January 23, 2012

Trader Joe's {365 - Day 23}

We love Trader Joe's.   I feel like I'm there every other day.  We are obsessed with their plantain chips, cereal, chocolate and cheap avocados.  Sarah Beth likes it for the free samples.  Oh and the stickers.  As soon as we pull in the parking deck, she shouts, "I try it!" referring to the free samples, followed by "Stickers please!"  She's very polite with her demands.

Today the nice lady checking us out gave her a whole bouquet of flower stickers.  She immediately got to work decorating the shopping cart. By the time we got to the car, she had at least a dozen stickers neatly planted in a row, which I subsequently had to peel off one by one in the freezing cold so she could transport them home with her.

We find TJ's stickers all over our house, in the car, on the bottom of our shoes, in Sarah Beth's hair...it's like a never-ending Easter egg hunt. I am guessing I'll discover a whole garden of flower stickers tomorrow behind her door or maybe stuck to her bedpost.  You never know where creativity may strike.  As long as it keeps her happy at the grocery store, I won't complain. Thanks Trader Joe's!

Day 23 {Canon Elph}

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Piano. {365 - Day 22}

When I was six, my parents bought me a piano.  This very piano you see in the photo below.  I took piano lessons for 13 years, and still love to play.  When Sarah Beth was a baby, I'd prop her up in her bouncy seat and play for her.  I had this little fantasy of playing the piano with her singing along as she grew older, her falling in love with music the way her Mommy did.  I want her to feel that magic I felt as a kid when I could sit down and make music out of those 88 keys.

So that was the fantasy.  The reality is, whenever I play the piano, no matter where Sarah Beth is or what she is doing, she will RUN into the room and scream "No Mommy!  Too LOUD!" and attempt to pry my hands off the keys, directing me to the kitchen where I belong, apparently.  If I fight her and continue to play, she will eventually break down into sobs until I quit.  What the heck?  I know I don't get to practice much, but I didn't think I was that rusty! 

She does enjoy playing herself, as you can see.  But when Mommy sits down at the bench, forget it.   She loves all kinds of music on the stereo, just not Mommy's version, as it seems.  What a blow to my musical heart!  I'm hoping she grows out of this phase soon.  For now I guess I'll just be satisfied to let her play.

Day 22 {Canon Elph + 30 seconds of Photoshop}

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Little G. {365 - Day 21}

Yesterday I mentioned that our across the street neighbors had a new little boy on Thursday.  Today I had the honor of meeting little Gage for the first time.  He is the spitting image of his older brother Gavin - absolutely precious.  So of course my picture of the day has to be of this beautiful family of four.

Day 21 {Canon 7D + Photoshop}

I'll do a full blog post of this special photo session, but I had to share just a few more from today.  This one cracked me up.  18 month old Gavin was very interested in his little brother, but also interested getting into everything else too!

Beautiful, perfect baby boy.

We can't wait 'til you come home little G! Sarah Beth is very excited to meet you!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Boat. {365 - Day 20}

Yesterday our across the street neighbors welcomed a new little boy into the world.  This bundle of cuteness is little brother to Sarah Beth's playmate Gavin.  SB adores Gavin and looks across the street all the time talking about him.

There was someone in their yard today installing one of those new baby signs, like a stork but this one wasn't a stork, it was a boat.  Very cute.  Anyway, Sarah Beth was fixated on what was going on in Gavin's yard when I snapped this photo.  "Boat Mommy!  Gavin has a boat across the street!"  She is very observant.

I can't wait to meet Gavin's little brother tomorrow.  Hmm...wonder what my photo of the day might be?

Day 20 {Canon 7D with B&W conversion in Photoshop}

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wheee! {365 - Day 19}

This morning we went to the playground.  It was a little chilly, but we bundled up and the sun was kind enough to keep us warm.  Unfortunately, there was not another soul at the playground this morning.  Sarah Beth seriously loves to have some kids around to play with, so this was a disappointment.  Finally, after a while, another family with 2 little boys showed up, but they only stayed for a few minutes - not long enough for SB.  As they were leaving she said, "no, no, stay on the playground and play!"  Poor girl.

She didn't let it get her down though, and we took to the swings after an extended castle-building session in the sandbox.  Nothing lifts your spirits quite like flying through the air with the wind blowing your hair, squealing "wheeeee!" every time you go up towards the sky.  She definitely my day a little brighter!

Day 19 {Canon Elph with a smidge o'Photoshop}

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pinocchio is Scary. {365 - Day 18}

A while ago, Sarah Beth received a bunch of classic Disney movies on DVD.  She's finally old enough to get the concept of watching a movie, so I popped Pinocchio in for her and watched along as I was folding laundry.

Is it me, or is this the creepiest movie of all time?  I guess I never watched it as a kid, because I don't remember anything about boys being rounded up and taken to an island where they were horrifically turned into donkeys!  The whole movie is just one nightmare after another.  Pinocchio escapes the island, but what about all those other donkey-boys?  You'd think in a Disney movie they'd go back and rescue them.  But no, they are fated to be sold to work in the mines as pack mules.

Now that I think about it, a lot of those Disney movies were pretty scary.  She watched Snow White the other day.  The queen orders the woodsman to kill Snow White and bring her heart back in a box?  Yikes.  Sounds more like a horror film to me than a children's movie!  I guess we'll stick to Blue's Clues for a little while longer.

Day 18 {Canon Elph with a little Photoshop}

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

City. {365 - Day 17}

I really need to get out more.  This is my second photo this week from the Target parking deck. Today's visit to the red dot was precipitated by our very bad dog getting into my office trash can and strewing half-chewed paper all over the room.  Time for a trash can with a lid.  So off to Target I went with my sidekick in tow.  She stayed awake this time, thankfully.

There was a storm a-brewing and the clouds rolling in over the city looked interesting, so we popped up to the roof of the parking deck to take this shot.  Nice view for a Target.

Day 17 {Canon Elph plus Photoshop}

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Heart Faces: Family Fun

I haven't entered the I Heart Faces photo challenge in a while, but since I'm on a roll with my 365 photo project, I thought I'd get an entry in this week as well.  Especially since I know exactly which photo I want to share.

This beautiful boy is Eli along with his proud parents.  Eli was adopted at birth, and God could not have made a better match for a family.  It was wonderful to see the happiness and love these three have together, and to capture it with the camera was my great privilege.  See the full preview here.

Check out lots more family fun at I Heart Faces!

Four Eyes. {365 - Day 16}

Sarah Beth got a Mr. Potato Head for Christmas from her cousins.  This toy wasn't even on my radar as something a 2 year old would like, but boy does she love Mr. 'Tay-to as she lovingly calls him.
Mr. Tato came with 40, count 'em, 40 pieces.  I find eyeballs, ears, and noses all over the house.  We started putting Mr. Tato "to bed" at night in the closet with all this pieces so we could get a break from the carnage left in his path.  Her favorite potato accessory is the glasses.  As you can see, she thinks they look great on herself as well.

Day 16 {Canon Elph with some Photoshop for pizazz}

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hoot. {365 - Day 15}

Today was a great day.  It started off with delicious blueberry pancakes (thank you Kurt and thank you Bisquick Gluten Free Baking Mix) followed by a lazy morning in PJs.  After lunch, we headed up to Latta Plantation to enjoy the beautiful day.  We've been to this park dozens of times but never went to the actual homestead, so today was the day.

Much to our delight, the place had chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, a horse and a big brown cow.  Who knew?  Sarah Beth loves all things farm, so this was a big treat for her.  She also got to try out her new owl backpack.

Day 15 {Canon 7D}

A few bonus shots of our day...

After the plantation tour, we backtracked to another part of the park to go for a little hike through the woods to this big grassy plain.  Our friends Scott and Caveni joined us for the hike.  As most of our friends do, they fell victim to my camera and obliged me with a few poses in this beautiful sun-drenched field.  Lens flare anyone?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Guacamole. {365 - Day 14}

We love us some Mexican food.  We cook Mexican at least 3 times a week.  Burritos, enchiladas, tacos, whatever.  Always accompanied with fresh made guacamole.  I am very into themes, so for every meal there is related dinner music - on Mexican nights, we listen to my Tito Puente station on Pandora.  Wildly festive, it typically results in post-dinner dancing led by our 2 year old salsa queen.

Anyway, now that Sarah Beth drags a chair over to the kitchen counter at every opportunity, she has started helping us with the cooking.  Her designated job on Mexican nights is cilantro sprinkler and guacamole stirrer.  We usually end up with lots of cilantro in the bowl and lots of avocado on the counter, but SB has fun so we're ok with the mess.  Here she is in action helping Daddy.

Day 14 {Canon Elph with BW conversion in Photoshop}

Friday, January 13, 2012

Attention Target Shoppers. {365 - Day 13}

Today we had a busy day at the Toy Store, Salsaritas, and Target.  Say what you want about fast food Mexican, but Salsaritas has the best black beans ever. Sarah Beth ate the whole bowl without dropping one bean on her white shirt.  That's saying a lot.  

On the way to Target, SB fell asleep in the car.  Hard core, snoring, drooling kind of sleep.  I hated waking her up to drag her into Target, but it had to be done.  She perked up quickly and enjoyed her Target shopping experience as usual, but you'd never guess it from this picture in the parking deck.

Day 13 {Canon Elph and a smidge of Photoshop}

A Girl and her Dog {365 - Day 12}

Today's photo is a series of 4 pictures.  (I want you to remember that in case I ever falter and miss a day this year - I've got extra credit stored up.)  Yes, our back door needs a serious paint job.  It's on the list, trust me.  Right behind installing crown moulding and cleaning out the closets, which means it may never happen.  But it is on the list.

This afternoon the sun actually came out for a few minutes, so I rushed Sarah Beth and the dogs outside for some fresh air before the weather got icky again.  Our dogs are the biggest couch potatoes.  As soon as they go outside, they want to come back in and lounge around on their comfy beds.  Lazy. 

So it was no surprise that a few minutes into our playtime in the yard, Savannah, our beagle mutt, was at the door ready to go inside.  Sarah Beth soon joined her.  She first stood there with the watering can she had been dragging around the patio.   

Day 12 {Canon 7D}

Then she told Savannah in a very serious and calm tone to wait there, she would get Daddy.

She tried the doorknob while simultaneously yelling "Dad-deeeeeeeee" at the top of her lungs, hoping he'd come to the rescue.

Daddy was busy apparently.  So they waited.  And waited.  Until Mommy gave in and let the squatters inside.  So much for fresh air.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sweet Dreams {365 - Day 11}

It was pouring rain most of the day.  The perfect day for a nap, as far as Sarah Beth was concerned.  Our dear daughter gave up her daily nap when she turned two, so this is a rare occasion.  While it's lovely to have a few hours during the day to get some things done while she sleeps, I knew we would be in for it when it came to bedtime.

Sure enough, I can hear her banging around upstairs with Daddy right now and it's 10 PM.  She drifted off to sleep an hour ago during my fifth recitation of Good Night Moon, but reemerged 10 minutes later ready to party.  I am now hearing what sounds like 200 legos hitting the floor.  It's going to be a long night...

Day 11 {Canon 7D with a B&W conversion in Photoshop}

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Outfit. {365 Day 10}

Today we toured a preschool that Sarah Beth may attend this fall.  We brought her along to see how she'd like it.  We were the only ones who brought their kid on the tour, so it was a bunch of adults as we started out.  I think SB thought we were at a doctor's office because her lower lip pouted out and she started to cry.  Pitiful.  Once she saw all the happy kids and the beautiful playground, she perked up and then we had to wrangle her to get her to leave. 

Anyway, I wanted to get a nice picture of her outfit since it was technically her first day at school, even if she didn't enroll yet.  However, (1) I couldn't manage to get my big camera from downstairs and (2) SB thought it was funny to pose for shot then take off running at the last second.  What a little comedienne.  So I had to settle for a grainy iPhone action shot today.

She is in the middle of vigorously pouring a cup of raisins all over her table.  The outfit is a Christmas gift from Grandpa.  He picked out this snappy ensemble all by himself.  Nice job Grandpa!

Day 10 {iPhone}

Monday, January 9, 2012

Groceries. {365 - Day 9}

For Christmas, Sarah Beth received a play kitchen and assorted pots and pans.  We also gave her a set of play food.  I liked the wooden toys better than the plastic - I thought they looked nicer and would hold up better.  Little did I know that they would become Weapons of Mass Destruction in our house.

The round food objects such as the orange and lemon are dangerous projectiles in the hands of a spunky 2.5 year old.  Not to mention the ramifications of accidentally stepping on one of these objects.  If we're lucky, we'll escape with only twisted ankles. 

The other thing I didn't think through was the noise.  Wood blocks are loud, even when painted in clever food-like disguises.  Dropped repeatedly on  hardwood floors or slammed down on her table, it's enough to make a grown adult reach for the Excedrin Migraine.  My advice for other parents is to buy plastic.

She does love them, though.  And when not knocking them to the ground or hurling them at her increasingly agile parents, she spends hours organizing and displaying her groceries.  She's got a future in retail.  Here is her latest showpiece on her windowsill.

Day 9 {Canon 7D with Photoshop just for fun}

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Coke. {365 - Day 8}

Today I woke up with a scratchy throat.  I'm guessing I caught the little bug Sarah Beth had the other day.  Perhaps I should not have shared my ice cream with her yesterday, but it's inevitable I'll catch whatever she has regardless, so at least I got her germs with a side of dessert.

Whenever I feel icky, I crave a Coke.  Not Pepsi, not RC, not Mountain Dew, an authentic Coca-cola, preferably in a glass bottle.  We no longer keep soda in the house, but every now and then as a treat, I'll buy a few Mexican Cokes from Earth Fare.  Today was one of those days.  Mexican Coke is the BEST because they use real sugar, not corn syrup.  It is the ultimate Coca-cola experience.  Cheers!

Day 8 {iPhone with cruddy Earth fare lighting}

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ice Cream. {365 - Day 7}

What better way to spend the warmest January day I can recall than with ice cream?  Sarah Beth though so too.

Her cold seemed to have faded today so we went to a park for some fresh air.   I took her to Edgehill park in the swanky neighborhood by the Duke Mansion because no one ever uses that playground.  In case she was still contagious, I didn't want her spreading her germs to other kids.  Sure enough, no one was there except two couples enjoying a little romance over lattes in the park, so the playground was all ours.

After playtime, we stopped in at Elizabeth Creamery for some delicious homemade frozen deliciousness.  Ice cream for her, Sherbet for me.  About halfway through, she stole my cone and ate it like it was her job.

Day 7 {Canon Elph with a little photoshop}

Friday, January 6, 2012

Salt. {365 - Day 6}

Our rousing start to Potty Training fizzled out today.  Sarah Beth woke up with a cold and felt pretty cruddy.  I didn't think it was wise to drag her to the potty every hour in her weakened condition, so we spent most of the day watching movies on Netflix. 

I fixed macaroni for lunch - her favorite when she's under the weather.  Apparently, she thought it needed more salt.  I ran down to put laundry in the dryer and returned to this.  She had dragged a chair to the counter to grab the salt, opened it and poured the entire thing over her pasta.  What does that say about my cooking, I wonder?

Day 6 {Canon Elph plus a little Photoshop for pizazz}

Thursday, January 5, 2012

P-Day. {365 - Day 5}

Today is "P-Day"at our house.  D-Day for Potty Training.  Sarah Beth tried on her big girl underwear for the first time and we spent the day in lockdown trying to grasp the concept of the potty.  I've read about these people who potty train their kid in a day or two and after today, I cannot imagine how they are doing it.  We were 0 for 8 today.  I don't know who was more exhausted, me or SB.

I took these shots during lunch.  Greek yogurt with fruit. Deep in thought.

Day 5 {Canon 7D with a quick BW conversion in Photoshop}

If anyone has any tried and true potty training tips, please share!  Otherwise, send wine (for me) and stain remover.  It's going to be a long weekend!  ;-)