Friday, June 30, 2006

Stuff Portrait Friday: Shaun Style

Welcome to Stuff Portrait Friday, the day we go on the photographic scavenger hunt. Shaun wants to see:
a photo with a story behind it, a random&odd add-your-own caption photo, and something borrowed.It was a bit too taxing for my already over-taxed brain, so I only did the last 2/3 of the assignment.

A Random & Odd photo.... IMG_7757
add your own caption.

Something borrowed:
My wedding dress was my mother's. It's mine now, but at the time it was borrowed. 067
Did you play?

Monday, June 26, 2006


(The theme from Elmo's World plays... and Elmo sings in his gratingly-high-pitched voice:
"La-da-di-da, La-da-di-da! Elmo's World! La-da-di-da, La-da-di-da! Elmo's World! Elmo loves his goldfish, his crayons too!......That's Elmo's World!!!)

"HI! Welcome to Elmo's World! Elmo's so happy to see you! And so is Dorothy. Say hello, Dorothy."

(Pan to the fish): 'glub...glub...'

"Guess what Elmo's thinking about today?"

"YA TA TA TAAA! Ducks! Yes, Ducks. And Elmo's friend Critter helped Elmo learn all about them. Let's watch. Turn yourself on TV."

"This weekend the Critter went to feed the ducks with his family. It was a really hot day, and the Critter and his daddy and brother stopped to climb a shady tree.

Don't they look like they're having fun? Their sister Lulu was enjoying the fun, too.


They were very near the pond and could see the ducks, but they wanted to feed them, so they kept going. They went down a hill, and there it was! The pond, and the ducks were swimming right there in the middle. Can you see them? There were lots and lots of lilly pads in the pond with frogs on them, too.

The Critter's Daddy brought bread for them to feed to the ducks, and as soon as they pulled it out, the ducks started swimming toward them. The Critter and his little brother tore off pieces of bread and threw them for the ducks to eat. And in no time, the bread was almost gone...


OH NO!! OH NO!!!! What's happened to the Critter?!? The Critter fell into the pond! Get him out! get him out!

The Critter's Mama, who was taking the pictures, threw the camera down and ran to help the Critter's Daddy get him out of the pond. It was very slippery, and they almost fell in too, but luckily, they got the Critter out first.

Poor Critter! Now he's covered in stinky, slimy pond water, and the ducks all swam away. Oh, well, better luck next time Critter! Thanks for sharing!"


Camera pans away from T.V. and focuses on Elmo.

Elmo really liked seeing the ducks, and Elmo's so happy the Critter's ok.... And now Dorothy wants us to sing the Duck Song, are you ready?"

(Elmo bangs out the Jingle Bells tune on the piano and sings...

"Ducks, Ducks, Ducks. Ducks, Ducks, Ducks. Ducks, Ducks, Ducks, Ducks, DDDUUUUUUCCCKKKSS. Ducks, Ducks, Ducks. Ducks....." )

"Bye Bye! See you next time! And remember, Elmo loves you!"

"....That's Elmo's Wooorrrrllllddd!"


Has anyone else had trouble uploading pictures the last few days?

I have a post all typed up and ready to go, but it just won't be the same without the pictures!

Again, grrrrr......

Thursday, June 22, 2006

SPF: Don't Drink and..... Write?

It's Friday, and that means it's time for SPF. This week Kristine is apparently dreaming of getting drunk and running off with all the new wedding gifts without writing thank you notes....or something. Anyway, she wants to see:
1. Your Drinking Glasses.
2. Your Address book/Stationery (remember that stuff we used BEFORE email?)

Glasses for drinking the official beverage of summer here at Casa McAustin:

Basic Crane's embossed ivory

Something New:
A classic sterling rattle given to my daughter.
Can you see us in the reflection?
Did you play? Leave me a comment so I can come check out your Stuff.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


All these new blogger babies put me deep into the nostalgia. I think about how I felt when I was doing those things with my kids.

Molly will be bringing home her new little angel soon. I remember just after the Critter was born the doctors wanted to send us home a day earlier than I'd planned on and I completely lost it. What the heck am I going to do with this tiny thing? I don't know what I'm doing! NO! I have to stay one more day! There were tears, there was wailing. And then I took a shower and felt better. The feeling of panic left as swiftly as it came.

MRTL hasn't been around much lately, and I hope things are going ok with the adjustment to having two kiddos. I am reminded of when I discovered that I was pregnant with Little Bit when the Critter was just 4 months old. I had serious doubts about how I would manage. My initial thought was that there would be no way to leave the house ever again. But then I realized that people do it all the time, and 8 months later when he arrived I was confident that I could do a good job. Despite some bumps here and there, it went well. Truth be told, my expectations were so low that I was pleasantly surprised that having two children just over a year apart wasn't as soul-crushingly excruciating as everyone assured me it would be.

Gerah is adjusting to life with her new baby boy. Her story reminded me of the time I lost my mind when Lulu was 7 weeks old, and the walls came crashing down, buried under a pile of dirty laundry and Christmas gifts that never got gifted.

Motherhood was something that I always felt very natural about, and I'm good at most of the motherly-type things: planning, comforting, organizing, cooking...etc. It's a role that I've always been comfortable with, even before having children. After my babies were born most things came relatively easily, and even when they were hard I knew it would get better: this, too, shall pass, and all that. Mostly, my hardest parenting events have been similar to the ones I mentioned earlier.

And then came potty training.

I put it off until the very last moment. Why? Because it scared me. I don't know why, maybe all the stuff you read about how you can irreparably damage your child's self-esteem and doom them to a future of bedwetting? Maybe. Whatever it was, I was daunted, and our beginning did nothing to help me out of my funk. The early phases of training did not go particularly well.

My biggest downfall as a human being is patience, or lack thereof to be specific. Throw messiness into that mix, and I'm not a very nice person. I know this, and did my best to counteract that: I sent up little prayers for added patience throughout the day, and counted to ten scores of times. I cognitively understand that all children figure it out eventually, but that was cold comfort as we were trailing a yellow river in a mad dash for the restroom at the grocery store that day. I seriously had doubts about whether I could see this thing through: I almost had myself convinced that he would indeed be the first freshman in the history of time wearing Goodnights in his dormroom. And all these people that told me about their kid who was completely trained in two weeks? They lie! Or they just can't count.

Once the Critter mastered the liquid version, then there was the sitting versus standing issue. (Pee like Daddy! Come on! It's fun!) Then there was the aim issue, which is still not perfect, but definitely improved. To be fair, I know grown men who don't hit the bullseye all the time. Then there was the "solid" issue, and his outright refusal to have anything to do with that involving a toilet. Then there was the cleaning issue when he decided that having poo in the Pull-up at naptime just would not do, and so he would take it off. And put it in a drawer. And then use four trillion wipes to try to clean up the mess. Yes, he's helpful like that. But then? Put them Um. Yeah. His bedroom still has a faint odor, but I'm certain I found them all...mostly.

That brings us to today.

I am happy to report that it's been a month now of total toileting here at Casa McAustin. Not a single accident , and he's dry upon waking 95% of the time.

I can now say with a great deal of certainty that he has conquered the toilet.

Thank God.

Monday, June 19, 2006

This I Know

Here are a few things I have learned thus far in this motherhood gig that nobody told me. If they did, I either wasn't paying attention or didn't believe them.

I have bought more ketchup in one year with children than I ever bought all the previous years of my life combined. And I never intended for ketchup to even pass the sweet lips of my child .

The perfect gift on any child's first birthday should be a cow. This is because milk is ALWAYS on my grocery list. No, really: ALWAYS. If I had a cow at home, think of the gas I'd save.

Most of those multiple hundreds of dollars I spent on childproofing the home when the Critter became mobile was rendered completely wasted once he was toilet trained.

Silence from a room with multiple children usually means that something is drastically wrong.

The love really does grow exponentially.

Thanks to my sons' obsession with all things mechanical, I can identify each and every type of truck, all pieces of heavy equipment of any sort, and am able to spot them at 200 yards. I also feel compelled to point them out to unsuspecting adult passengers riding with me, or to the air if I happen to be alone. I have found this equally true if I am in own car or in someone else's: "Look! A skid steer!"

They really are all different.

Contrary to what you would think, the person you know who is toilet training a toddler will have the cleanest bathroom in a one-mile radius. This is because that bathroom will have to be cleaned completely after each and every trip the child makes to the facilities.

'Shoots a little left' will have a whole new meaning for you, if you have boys.

What I have on my plate, MUST be better than what is on a child's plate, even if it is the exact.same.thing. I have yet to figure out what age my children must reach before I will be able to eat all of my own meal again.

The days I wake up early, feeling good, and get up to steal some time for myself or to get a jump on the day are invariably the days that at least one child wakes up 45 minutes earlier than normal.

Some days seem so very long, but my babies are growing up faster than I ever imagined possible.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

SPF: Riddle Me This...

This week, the lovely Kristine (who is still a bit wacked out about her upcoming wedding) wants to see our puzzle, our best___?___ , and something old.

My puzzle:
Sudoku. Love it.

My best:
These three. The best things I have ever had any part in, hands down.

Something old:
A 1907 picture of my grandmother as an infant.

Bonus: The actual "something old" from my own wedding:

I wore this penny in my shoe. The same penny that my grandmother (she of the above pictures) wore in her shoe on her wedding day in 1927.

Did you play?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pardon Our Dust!

Casa McAustin is currently under renovation.
Please watch out for falling photoshop projects, and kindly excuse any misplaced sidebars or mismatched colors.
It's a work in progress...
as is everything else around here come to think of it...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Baby, It's Hot Outside



The best $6.99 I ever spent.

And on to a splash of a different sort...
Lulu's baptism pictures.

Today at Casa McAustin you get two votes! How many times in life does that happen? They didn't come out exactly like I wanted (focus is a bit soft, and some funky shadowing in spots), but I'm not sure I want to go to the trouble of re-shooting them. So the question is: do we do another session to try to get 'the perfect shot' or stick with what we've got already? Tell me what you think.

Vote 1: Tell me which round 1 photo/photos you like.

Vote 2: Re-shoot or no?

BW 1

BW 2

BW 3

Color 1

Color 2

Color 3

Blogger won't let me add this one, and I'm at my frustration limit from dealing with this; it's like the #3bw only in color

Friday, June 02, 2006

Stuff Portrait Friday: Contrast

Welcome to Stuff Portrait Friday, the day where Kristine gives us direction for what she wants to see. Up this week:

Something sparkly

Diamonds (which, it turns out, are VERY hard to photograph...didn't have time to really make it come out the way I wanted)

Something dull

My knives. Time to get to the knife sharpist.

Something colorful

My new indoor/outdoor placemats.

Did you play?

Leave me a comment so I can come check out your contrasts.

Have a great weekend!