Monthly Archives: August 2009

Exploring the Tv setting

I’m actually reading the manual that came with the new camera and there is quite a bit of information in there. Today I decided I should bring “Eye Candy Friday” back to my blog and share some of the playing around I’ve been doing each week for the different settings on my camera.

Upon a cursory read of the manual, the first thing that intrigued me was the Tv setting and what the manual had to say in there about changing the shutter speed to do things like blur movement, particularly the movement of water, on purpose or capture them in crisp detail. So that was one of the first things I wanted to try.

What I learned today is that if you want to get the blurred water look, you should probably not head out with your camera in the middle of the day when the lighting is super harsh. Most of the pictures I took using a slower shutter speed were way overexposed. I was able to selvage a few of them though by messing with them in the editing process.

Crisp shot of the fountain shooting into the sky.

An attempt of the same shot with a slower shutter speed to blur the fountain, but as you can see it is very over exposed.

Crisp shot of a the mini “rapids” section of the creek in the park.

And some blurred shots:

Overall, I admit these are not very good photos. I’m still learning, so bear with me. 🙂


Filed under Eye Candy Friday

Week Forty Six

* Quick unrelated note: If you missed the Facebook announcement last night, I took down yesterday’s post because I didn’t really want people to start stuff on here. A couple people sent me some good research/information, but most of what I got was personal stories and opinions which wasn’t what I was really looking for and which I knew could potentially turn into a train wreck among my friends. So in an attempt to avoid that I deleted all references to the issue put out by me. If you still want to send me something privately, feel free to do so, but I don’t want my blog or my Facebook page to turn into a war zone. Thanks. 🙂

Bean is 46 weeks old today. I don’t know why, but it always seems like Wednesdays are her hardest days around here and that’s when I usually write and then it ends up sounding like I’m always complaining about how hard she is being or cranky or whatever. Before sitting down to write about each week’s milestones and things I want to remember, I think of stuff throughout the week that would be good to write about. Then Wednesday comes and she starts being cranky and I forget all about it. So I need to remedy this. I am thinking that maybe I’ll try to either physically write down the stuff I think of in a journal or keep an open draft post on here to jot down little things into so that every week doesn’t sound so negative! Because really, my life with Bean isn’t that hard and she can be quite cute, joyous and chipper most of the time. Everyone who’s ever watched her says she’s one of the easiest babies to deal with and probably thinks I am up-the-wall-crazy with all the complaining I do on here. Besides I don’t want to just remember negative stuff. So that needs to end.

Today has so far been another one of those days, but I do remember one thing I wanted to mention… words! Bean says the following:
• Papa: There are different inflections and tones that she uses when she says it, but mostly it is Pa!Pa! in a kind of high pitched cheery voice. When she hears the key in the front door she says it. When I’m changing her diaper she’ll arch her back to look out her bedroom door and say it as if she’s expecting him to walk through any minute and entertain her (which he usually does when he’s home). She’ll say it as I’m taking her up for bed at night. And sometimes she’ll say it during the day and proceed to look around the house or at the front door for him. She LOVES her Papa.
• Mama: This one is mainly only said when she is in tears and needs to be comforted or when she’s hungry.
• Nuh Nuh Nuh: I don’t really think this is a word or that it has meaning, but she starts doing it over and over and over again when she’s getting tired in a very husky voice. She’ll wander around the room aimlessly saying it or she’ll come up to the couch or chair where one of us is sitting, rest her head on the cushion and say it.
• Yeah: More like, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” Ask her any question and if she isn’t feeling shy the answer is almost always, “Yeah!” Sometimes she says it just once really loud, other times she’ll say it in a whisper several times. If she doesn’t wake up fussing from a nap, usually my clue that she’s up is a pretty loud, “Yeah!” from her room upstairs.
• Oh: This one is new this week. She mostly uses it when she’s playing with toys, but occasionally she’ll combine it with, “yeah,” for an “oh yeah.”
• Oooo: This is also new this week. When something is really interesting she says it, like when Papa holds her up to watch Mama cooking.
• Mmmm: During solid mealtimes she’ll say this. I think mostly because we try to say it to her to encourage her when she’s eating or trying new foods. But sometimes she doesn’t even have to have food in her mouth to go, “Mmmm.”

I realize the fact that she’s chewing on/playing with wetbags may be kind of gross. I realized this after I took the picture of course, but I loved her facial expression here and couldn’t get rid of it. These did just get washed and haven’t been in contact with any soiled diapers. So it really isn’t gross. Just the same, I took them away from her, folded them and put them up in the changing table where they belong shortly after this photo.

Here she was telling me a big story all about something. Not sure what she was saying. She was also having fun removing dirty clothes from the hamper. Taking things out of boxes, baskets, etc is one of her favorite things to do right now.

The story continues… but this time I am thinking it has something to do with her rocking horse.

This and the shot above were taken literally within seconds. And that is when I realized, after several similar breakdowns throughout the morning over very silly stuff, that even though it was only 9am it was definitely time for a nap.


Filed under Family, Parenting

20 weeks (give or take)

So even though I’m still in my pajamas and might actually stay that way today (it’s my birthday, I’m allowed), I figured I couldn’t let another week go by without documenting this pregnancy at least a little.

A few pictures from this morning:

Few things…

I don’t know how my tummy and this baby are growing considering I’ve only gained one pound (net). But they are. Neither my midwife or my OB are worried about it. But I still can’t help wondering where the heck that tummy comes from. It’s got to weigh something, right?

Umm, my hair. Does anyone else out there feel like their hair COMPLETELY morphs when they are pregnant? I mean yes, there is the more/thicker phenomenon that is usually attributed prenatal vitamins, but I honestly haven’t been that great about taking them and I am still experiencing it so I don’t really know if the vitamins are what causes it. What I’m talking about though is completely different texture and volume. I now have tons of random little hairs I find in my head that are so kinked up that you would swear that it isn’t possible for them to grow from my head. It is completely frizzy and poofy, but still oily and flat by the end of the day. I always blow dry my hair after a shower which makes it stay pretty straight, but now when I do that it really doesn’t seem to help. An hour later my hair is wavy in some parts (especially by the nape of my neck) and straight in others (like on top). So yesterday I tried to scrunch it with product and not fight the wave/curl, but I really hate my hair feeling all crunchy and weighed down by tons of product. Plus, a few hours later I still had the same partially straight/curly/wavey thing going on and it still looked bad. I just don’t know what to do with it. Spending tons of time in front of a mirror with a straightening iron just isn’t practical for me and I really don’t want to fry my hair that much anyway. If you have easy beauty secrets to share, please do so.

The boy thing. Honestly, I’m over it. I was over it the next day when I saw my doctor. I was definitely over it Saturday night when we walked through the mall and window shopped boy clothes. Besides, when you read stuff like this, it really puts things into perspective. A healthy baby is all that really matters, right?

So yeah, saw my doctor again the day after the ultrasound and seriously again I have to just praise how cool and laid back he is! Still nothing was said about the midwife homebirth thing. I brought up some things from my last appointment with our midwife and he talked about them with me completely cool and calm just like he was would when working with any other medical professional. I can’t tell you how many times my other OB full on sneered when I brought up something my midwife said during Bean’s pregnancy.

The main thing we talked about was hyperthyroidism again. At my last blood draw that my midwife did, my TSH levels were a little on the abnormal side. She said that when she looked into it that basically since I’m not experiencing any symptoms of hyperthyroidism that it is up to me whether I want to go on medication for it and whether the risks of the medication really outweight the benefits of it. Last time around my OB just said I really need to be put on medication and didn’t give me much insight or options into it. Well, if you’ve read this blog for long you know that after giving birth I found out that the medication I was on could cause Bean to have hypothyroidism. She had to get her blood drawn once a month for the first six months of her life and she is supposed to get subsequent screenings for it every single year for the rest of her life. Looking back, I don’t know that the medication really did all that much for me last pregnancy and if I had known about the blood draws for Bean I probably wouldn’t have taken it.

So anyway, I gave my doctor copies of my labs and we talked about what my midwife said and the results.

“Well your results aren’t really that glaring to me. Actually your T3 and T4 levels, which are more active and a better indicator have gone down since the first blood draw she did. So that is really encouraging for me. Experiencing the amount of nausea, vomiting and weight loss that you did can really mess with your thyroid levels. Were you still feeling sick at this last draw?”


“OK. Well then that could be the reason for the levels on here. I think we should redraw in two weeks and see where you are at. Since you are feeling much better they might be back to normal. You don’t feel hot or like your heart is racing? I mean other than how this heat can induce?”

“No, I don’t have any symptoms like that. It’s funny, I’ve completely adjusted to the weather here after only a few months. My friends in Bakersfield are so excited this week that it is cooled off there in the 80s and I’m over here complaining about it.”

“Yeah, this heat can make anyone feel like they have hyperthyroidism. Anyway, like I said your levels really aren’t that glaring to me. I’ll check with an endocrinologist and see what they have to say, but I don’t think you need to go on medication and I completely understand your concerns about not wanting to subject your new baby to blood draws. I’m sure that is not fun.”

With regards to the ultrasound and screening test…

“Well I talked to the perinatologist this morning and he said there were no markers for Downs Syndrome and that the baby is measuring behind what your LMP says it should be.”

“Right. Just like I thought because I have longer cycles and ovulate later than most women.”

“But he said everything looks good. Now, since the measuring dates are so far off what we could do is contact the state and ask them to recalculate your numbers based on the dates of the new measurements. I don’t know if they’d actually do that though. Or we could redraw and send them off again. But honestly if he says there are no markers I’m comfortable with that and don’t see any reason to act if you are not concerned.”

“I’m not concerned and I’m really not interested in participating in another test with them.”

“Yeah, I think that is a good decision. The ultrasound and your history give us no reasons for concern.”


Filed under Family, Pregnancy and Birth

Getty Center Gardens

Tomorrow I turn 26. Stephen arranged a babysitter and took me to the Getty Center to celebrate. I got to mess around with my new camera a bit in the gardens today. I was kicking myself for not bringing the manual because it would have been the perfect opportunity to try out some of the techniques and settings on the camera, but I really didn’t know ahead of time where we were going and what we would be doing.

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite shots:

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Filed under Photography

Garden update

I tend to write blogs in bunches. Sorry if that overwhelms some of you. I’ve tried to do the whole schedule thing to spread them out, but for some reason it never seems to work right for me and I wind up with a bunch of unpublished blogs that I have to go and publish myself.

So first post today is about my garden. Despite all the morning sickness pretty much immediately following the planting of the garden, I’ve still managed not to kill it. This is mainly due to the fact that my husband installed a timer for our drip watering system so I don’t have to actually remember to or feel up to watering it every single day. It does it all alone.

I was a little worried about my bell peppers because the got all dark colored for a couple days, but now they are turning red. So I guess even though their label clearly showed green bell peppers, they are going to actually be red ones.

In other misleading plant label news… apparently I got a cherry tomato plant instead of an Early Girl tomato plant:

These little guys have been completely delicious, just much smaller than I was expecting. If you have some great tomato growing secrets. please share them because I think I must be doing something wrong. But then again everyone I know is having size issues with their tomato plants this year, at least I know it isn’t just me.

Oh and my Oregano plant is getting a little out of control with its tendrils:

There are a lot of weeds and spiders out there. We’ve had a series of black widows building webs inside and outside of our grill. I am thinking we must have accidentally transported an egg sack with us from Bakersfield because they really aren’t that common here.

The compost bin is still ruminating though, I haven’t had the stomach to open it up and add stuff to it for quite some time. It is kind of disappointing to toss so much green waste, but that’s just the way it is when you have a sensitive gag reflex. Plus, the bin has been germinating some interesting fly species. First we had these little red ones and now there are these weird little black ones. The black ones made me extremely nervous at first because they showed up right after our trip to Mammoth and we did not have good experiences with black flies there (blood sucking ones to be exact), but thankfully these ones are just really lazy and don’t do anything. I think Stephen’s over the whole composting thing and isn’t sure why we did it in the first place. I doubt he’ll let me start it up again next year, but I know we’ll have some great fertilizer for the crops next year.

Anyway, that about sums up the current status of our garden. I did see a much more extravagant and well kept garden today that I plan to share photos of in my next post.

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Filed under Family, Homemade, Natural Living

And… another one!

I’ve been wanting to knit the Men’s Zipped Raglan from Last Minute Knitted Gifts for quite some time now. Basically, ever since I bought the book a couple years ago. I have to say that the main thing that attracted me to this pattern was the fact that it is knit in the round with minimal seaming. I hate seaming. Ugh!

However, the yarn called for is a tad on the expensive yarn snob side. It would have cost me a fortune to knit the sweater out of the yarn they used in the book. So I’ve been keeping my eye out for something that would be similar in coloring and weight. I finally spotted it at JoAnn’s of all places. They have this new line of yarns called “Debbie Mumm for JoAnn”. I’m not sure who Debbie Mumm is, but the yarn is pretty cool.

Anyway, finished product:

Stephen thinks he has a gut in this picture. Ummm… whatever.

Now that I’ve knit the thing, I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it.

Pattern: Men’s Zipped Raglan from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Needles: US 8 Circs
Yarn: Debbie Mumm for JoAnn Traditions in Adirondack
Started: I think May
Completed: August 7, 2009
For: Not quite sure. I think the right indie kid with a cool hair cut and appropriately witty Urban Outfitters tee could pull it off. My husband doesn’t like it, the red zipper is “questionable”. So I am currently mulling over who it would make an appropriate gift for.


Filed under Craftopia

My first FO of 2009

For those of you not in the “know” of the craft world, FO stands for “finished object”. And yes, despite all my crazy craft lady prowess, this is actually the very first one of 2009. I have started plenty of projects, but finishing anything did not happen until now.

So I got to Mammoth with all the good intention of actually finishing the knitting part of the boy blanket I had recently re-started. However, I also brought up two other projects I’ve been working on this year and the bird button sweater just struck my fancy once again. However…

Problem #1: I had been making up my own pattern for this sweater and did not document what the heck I was doing, which is normally fine because I have a fairly decent memory.

Problem #2: Insert pregnancy brain.

Problem #3: Entire body of sweater was done in seed stitch making it really hard to detect the exact pattern of decreases used on the armholes.

Problem #4: The sleeves have to have the same decrease pattern as the armholes on the body in order to fit together properly.

So. I ripped it. Again. For the fourth time. I frantically searched Ravelry for ideas and then I saw it. A pattern I’ve been wanting to knit since last year’s Tour de France/Tour de Fleece: Cherry. Every single finished version of this cardigan looked fantastic and that is important when choosing a knitting pattern. I got super inspired and cast on immediately.

Here are pictures and specs of my Cherry:

The entire finished product. Definitely looks better on someone than just hung up. But even though it was knit in my “normal” size, it definitely isn’t my pregnant size. So no modeling was possible. I did try it on, but I looked like a sausage.

Ribbon and button detail.

Stitch definition and button detail.

All pictures were taken with the new camera, but I’m still trying to figure it all out so definitely not my best work.

Pattern: Cherry by Anna Bella
Needles: US 2 and 5 circs
Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark 100% Peruvian Highland Wool (apparently Peruvian Highland sheep are a cross between cashmere sheep and some sheep that make really warm wool) in the color Fjord Heather.
Started: July 21, 2009 (if you don’t count all the other rips and restarts)
Completed: August 2, 2009 (that would be 12 days total)
For: Originally this was going to be for me. However, I’m pregnant and won’t be able to wear it for another year which with something this cute is just a crying shame. My friend Megan’s birthday is coming up and I decided that this would be perfect for her when it is sweltering in the Bakersfield heat, but 30 below in the newsroom. Now I just need to make it to the post office and get it shipped!


Filed under Craftopia