Shots of my historical poison ivy costume! Better ones will hopefully come soon!
I'm taking a photography class at the local community college and our assignment for this week was to take photos emphasizing shallow and great depth of field. This is my attempt to take a photo with shallow depth of field of the baby girl. I think it turned out pretty well, but I still need one more example of shallow and two more of great. =)
This is the first Mother's Day of many for me, but it's also the first Mother's Day where I can properly appreciate how wonderful my mother is. Seriously, she's amazing. I mean, I already loved her like crazy and brag to my friends about how cool she is. I hope that in the coming years I can be as fantastic a mother as she is for me. Thanks, mom, for always putting up with my shit and being the coolest lady ever!
If you had told me ten years ago that I would end up being a stay-at-home-mom, I would have just laughed and thought you were crazy. But there you go. I just recently put in my notice at the job I've held (and generally enjoyed) for the past four years and as of May 1st have officially become a full-time stay at home mom. I'm definitely feeling like I'm struggling with this decision because, while I feel like it's the option that makes the most sense for me and my family, I also just never pictured myself as the Suzy Homemaker type, you know? I mean, I only learned how to cook properly five years ago. Before that I was famous for having made my mom grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner one night when my dad was out of town and burning both then attempting to strain the burnt pieces out of the soup. But I'm also really happy about this decision. It's what my parents decided to do when my sister and I were little. Brian and I talked about it and basically decided that we only have one guaranteed chance (because we're not sure if we will have a second child) to raise a baby and we don't want to squander that opportunity just so we can afford a couple extra toys a month. I still haven't told a lot of people yet, because I almost have a sense of shame behind the decision; like I'm giving up and deciding to take the easy road instead of continuing to work. Part of that, I think, is because a couple of the friends I have told I turned in my notice at work have then said "where are you going instead?". I know they mean well, but it also kind of subtly hints that perhaps the idea of being a full-time mom isn't quite "job" enough, so I must have found traditional employment elsewhere. Bah. This is definitely rambling, I know. I'll keep you guys posted on how this new part of my life goes, I'm excited and apprehensive and nervous and all the feels. Wish me luck!
This week on my photo adventures with Natalie, I tried to capture the adorableness that is her playtime. We've set her nursery up in our new house to be baby proof (we think) so she can play with anything she can reach. Recently a good friend of ours sent our baby girl a set of wooden blocks with laminate pictures of letters, numbers and various other things for her to learn. Needless to say, she's a big fan of them. They live sprawled out on her floor and she spends most of her time sucking on them and banging them against each other. It's also helped to encourage her to start crawling. That's right, my little baby girl has finally started learning how to crawl. It's more of a creep at the moment, but she's definitely on her way. Sniff, sniff.
It's starting to get pretty hot down here in the sunshine state. Our four seasons vary from most other parts of the world, they consist of: Normal Summer Everywhere Else, The Boiling Sun, Normal Summer Everywhere Else, and Fall. That pretty much means that is officially time to bust out my ice cream maker. We were invited over to a friend's house for dinner the other night and I volunteered to make dessert. My favorite supermarket (Lucky's) recently had strawberries on sale, so I decided to use them in crafting a yummy and delicious ice cream. I opted for this recipe that I found on Pinterest. I was drawn to this one because it lacked eggs, which also meant I wouldn't need to cook this ice cream before I set it up in the fridge. First I chopped up the strawberries. I opted not to use the food processor because I wanted larger chunks. Next I added the strawberries to the awaiting bowl of milk, sugar, cream, vanilla and salt. I poured this into a gallon size plastic bag and set it in the fridge over night. The next morning I turned on my Kitchen-Aid ice cream maker attachment and poured in the ice cream mixture while the machine was churning. As the ice cream was churning I tossed in some more strawberries I had held back and some homemade chocolate wafer cookie crumbles, because why not! I let this run for about fifteen minutes while I made myself some breakfast and constantly stared at the deliciousness in the making. After what felt like forever, the ice cream was finally done churning!! For the last step I poured the ice cream into a parchment paper lined metal loaf pan. I covered it up and let it set up in the freezer. This ice cream was amazing and so so delicious. Plus, as an added bonus, it was SO EASY TO MAKE! Now go make some yourself!
Baby Natalie is getting so big, you guys! She's so much more fun than when she was a newborn... Don't get me wrong, the newborn stage was adorable. It was the sweetest thing when she would fall asleep in my arms, or the first time I knew she was really looking at me. But it was also so so hard. You give so much of yourself to a newborn and they can't even give you a smile in return. Now, though, Natalie is just starting to get to the point where she wants to roll around and play. She loves playing with toys (obviously!) and she has just recently discovered how to play peek-a-boo. One of her favorite things has been having kissing battles with her daddy. She'll lay on the ground and Brian will go in and smother her with kisses and she just laughs and giggles. It makes my heart melt. I need to get better about taking more pictures of her, I feel like she's gotten so much bigger since I last took really good photos. Luckily, since we moved, we now live practically across the street from a wonderful park. Brian and I have started taking her out to the park in the jogging stroller and taking turns while each of us run laps on their jogging trail. We finish it out, assuming she hasn't fallen asleep, by playing on the swing set. She absolutely adores the swings. She laughs, giggles and grins. The happiest of babes.
I previously mentioned that it was recently my bosses birthday and I made her cupcakes... Well I also made her a pretty quick and (I think) cute necklace as a birthday gift. I took a piece of LEGO tree branch and attached LEGO flower pieces to one side and LEGO jewels to the other. Then I attached the whole thing to a chain so it would hang at around 18" on the neck. My boss said she loved a pair of LEGO earrings that my parents got me at DragonCon, but that she thought her metal allergy in her ears would prevent her from wearing a similar pair. I thought it would be a cool idea to make her something she could wear out of LEGO. I think it turned out pretty well, I'm very pleased with it. What do you guys think? Is lego jewelry just too weird? Or is it just cute enough to work for a nerd?
My boss, and good friend, recently had a birthday and what else do you do when one of your favorite people as a birthday? You make cupcakes of course! I knew I wanted to make flavored cupcakes, but I didn't have a ton of ingredients in the house. Thanks to Pinterest, though, I found a recipe for lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting. So delicious and scrumptious! They were definitely a big hit. I decorated them with some left over pearl-looking sprinkles and edible yellow glitter flakes. It was my first time trying to frost a cupcake in a method other than just dumping frosting on top. I think it turned out pretty well! I used a ziploc bag and just snipped a hole in the corner. Maybe someday I'll pick up a party bag with some basic tips, but until then this works just fine!
Hey guys! I'm gonna be coming back from a brief hiatus in the very near future. Turns out when you have a family vacation and then have to pack up and move back to back it makes it hard to get back into the swing of things. Go figure. But fret not, I'll be back soon!