Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Photo a Day Week 4+

Photo a Day inspired by Fat Mum Slim


No doubt when you have a little girl you end up with a lot of pink things whether you want them or not. Papa gave Riley one of grandma's cows after she passed away.


Yes, everything else we own has newer technology than this old radio, but just imagine what life was like when this came out. Now we are presented with so much new technology constantly that I still think this was probably more amazing for everyone at that time. You could be entertained... receive the news... stuff we all take for granted now as it is always within reach. This radio, by the way, belonged to my great uncle George and was passed down through my dad. One day I hope to have it cleaned up and in full working order.

5/24, er 5/25
Something new


I put these together because I never took a picture on 5/24. I had intended to take a picture of a new game my husband picked up months ago that he's been wanting to play with me, but then he decided he'd rather watch a movie... and then I didn't know what I'd take for this picture (and then didn't care). So I am stretching it a bit here when I have these pictures stand for 'something new' and 'unusual' because these picture aren't really out of the norm. However, she is wearing her new shorts in the first picture so I guess it does qualify even if it is on the wrong day. Jesse has been doing this bucket on the head thing so she wants to copy. Only thing is the bucket ends up slipping and it's not uncommon to now find it around her neck. Unusual? Yes?

12 o'clock

Technically this was probably closer to 10:43, but we were trying to get out of my dad's house around noon. My husband was painting my dad's kitchen ceiling so Riley and I went into the basement and found some old toys. She had a lot of fun trying to bowl.

Something Sweet

I couldn't decide on which picture I wanted to select so I went with both. Hey, I can break the rules sometimes. I love seeing her laugh with her daddy. And check out those eyelashes.

The weather today

We went to the zoo this morning. We were concerned about the potential thunderstorms around 11, but it ended up being a beautiful day.

A number

Numbers, numbers everywhere...

Your personality

I didn't intend to take a picture of myself for this prompt, but I just couldn't think of what else to capture. If this had been 'my mood' you might have seen an obscene gesture with my hand as well, but I tried to hold back. I mean, I don't think you can even tell what a foul mood I was in when I took this picture. Hopefully, what you might see it a handful of 'laid back' with a pinch of 'quirky'.

Something beautiful

My family. My family hanging out at the library.

See May Photo a Day week 1, 2, and 3.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Review: In Search of Lucy

In Search of Lucy by Lia Fairchild

Due to her alcoholic mother Lucy has had to take care of herself and her sister for years. She eventually becomes estranged from both of them and finds herself alone, working a meaningless job and having few, if any, friends. At age 30 she reunites with her sister when she discovers her sister needs a kidney transplant. She gains support from the friends she didn't realize that she had and they help her to navigate through the emotions and events that come.

I found this to be an engaging story, but wasn't sure about the writing. I couldn't decide if the writing was poor or if that was the style in which they were going for. It only really bothered me when I felt like she should have added details earlier. It seemed at times that the author completely forgot about certain details only to add them later, but perhaps that's what she was going for. I wasn't sure what I wanted to grade this book as I enjoyed the story, but was less impressed with the writing. I thought about giving it a B, but then followed up this book with one that had fantastic writing (review to come). I may be slightly generous here: Grade: B-

Books read since the beginning of 2012: 15

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

We spent Saturday morning of Memorial Day Weekend at my dad's. He had asked my husband, Jesse, to paint his kitchen ceiling since he can no longer do it. Riley and I spent much of the time playing and I attempted to clean a little, but didn't get nearly as far as I would have liked. While we were there I showed my dad some of the genealogy research I have been doing. I started the research 5+ years ago and then put it aside until recently. Between a conversation with a co-worker about her family history and my mom passing away it got me interested in the search again. I was able to show my dad one of his dad's WWI documents and one of his great grandpa's civil war documents. My dad was pretty impressed and I can't wait until I can present him with more information on his family. The great thing about this is that my dad is now sharing stories about his family that I would have never known otherwise.

After the painting was done, and lunch was eaten Jesse took Riley home and my dad and I headed over to Fort Snelling to see my mom's grave. My cousin gave each of us kids and my dad lily plants to plant in her memory and my dad wanted to bring the flowers to her grave... and one of her cows. I'm pretty sure that Fort Snelling has rules about what you can  and can't put at a grave, but whatever... he wanted to do it. Plus, even after giving the grandkids a bunch of her cow collection you can still see cows everywhere you turn at my dad's house. We also tried to find my great uncle Jack's gravestone. I had all the information about where to find it, but forgot the exact grave number at home. We wandered around for some time before giving up. Turns out we walked right by the back of it.

My mom's view.

On Sunday we tried to spend some time outside in the morning because it was supposed to get hot in the afternoon. Unfortunately, Riley was being fussy so we spent a lot of time trying to soothe her which meant that we let her watch more TV than usual. Thankfully, after her afternoon nap she was herself again. I've been needing some new glasses so we decided to go to the mall and finally get them. The pair I favored the last time I was there didn't work out as my mascara'd lashes hit the lenses. Oh well. There was a very helpful employee who worked with me until I found a pair that I liked (and she pointed out that I was the same age as her mom - wow, is it really possible that I could have a kid in her 20's?). I was excited to try something new and bolder, but not sure how crazy I wanted to go. In the past I have had solid frames, but for the last 3+ years I've had something that was a lot less obvious on my face. And it wasn't until the last handful of years that I stopped wearing contacts. So whatever I got I had to be used to wearing them all day long. So I purchased glasses and sunglasses, but wasn't able to wait for them to be made. Instead I would pick them up on Monday.

On Monday we decided to go to the zoo. We weren't sure what we would find on a holiday so we tried to beat the crowd by getting there first thing when they opened. It was busy, but the real crowds didn't seem to come until we were leaving. I know I just showed a ton of zoo pictures in my last post (which was from a couple weeks ago), but I have more. I actually didn't think I would take any pictures, but I did. Plus, we explored some new areas. 

Otter. Riley, for some reason, doesn't like to get close to the displays where she can see below and above the water. At a distance she liked this, but if I got her within 5 feet she started to freak out.


The camels above were all watching the camels below. You can pay to ride a camel which is what the below camels were for. The ones above seemed so intrigued by these other camels that it made me wonder what was actually going through their heads.

This is where I wasn't going to take a picture because I've already done it here and here, but then I thought it might be fun to take a picture of her with the goats each time we visit the zoo and then we could compare the pictures when she's older. It will be great... I can see her now when I have to bribe her to stand next to the goats when she's 16 years old. Ok, maybe this isn't the greatest idea after all.

Every time I visit the cows are chained up eating. Please, someone tell me that you've gone and seen the cows out wandering in a field or a pen?

Piggies were 6 days old! 

I have a love/hate relationship with zoos. I get a bit disturbed by trapping animals in enclosures. Sure they may attempt to replicate their natural habitat, but THEY ARE ENCLOSED! There is another, smaller zoo in town that I stopped going to because I couldn't stand to see the polar bears pace back and forth. Back and forth. Luckily, those polar bears have new digs at that zoo, but I still saw a couple 'pacer's' today at this zoo. At this display it had a note that the eagle had broken his wing and was no longer able to fly. The note sort of implied that the eagle was better off in the zoo. I sure hope so.

I don't know about you, but I find this picture creepy... and not because the lynx was right in front of us. I may be crazy, but I think there is something human like in his look...

After the zoo, and lunch I headed back to Lenscrafters to pick up my new glasses. I tried them on and had total buyers regret. "What have I done? Why did I make such a big change?"

Then I realized I was probably just freaking out because it's a change. I'm used to looking at myself like this:

But once upon a time I looked like this:

(with my co-workers, Jennifer and Erin in 2009)

And each time I get new glasses I feel like I am going through an identity change, but then I get used to them and life goes on.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Random Roundup

I apologize in advance for the photo dump. I'm trying to get caught up with what we have done recently. 

We finally decided to get a family membership to the zoo after Riley started asking to go there each time we left the house. Riley's favorite area is the farm which allows you to get pretty close to the animals. 

This picture doesn't do justice to this bull. He looked twice as big in person.

Haha... see me in there trying to get Riley to put her face up to the hole. It sort of worked. 

There are a couple playgrounds at the zoo and they are just as much of a pull as the animals... if not more.

This was heaven for her. She would stop, yell out the alphabet, go down the slide, run back, and start the loop all over again... and again... and again. I'm guessing she did this close to 20 times. I'm not kidding. I had to really convince her to go see some animals. 

Trying to find the tigers.


Looking for Nemo.

Other random photos taken recently:

Weather in Minnesota can be a little weird sometimes... 60 degrees one day, 90 the next. We've had a couple of these really warm days thrown into our May weather so it seemed like a good excuse to bring out the water table and pool. 

Jesse recently brought Riley to an indoor pool where he had to pay like 16 buck for both of them only to have Riley freak out the moment her toes hit the water. I was hoping that she might ease into water if she saw this tiny pool. She wanted nothing to do with it... until I told her it was an outdoor tub.Whenever we are outside now she asks to go into the 'tub'.

Tuesday I was happy to come home to this in the driveway. Sure, Jesse wrote it, but see how some of the letters are outlined in pink? That's all Riley.

One of little misses many faces. My favorite new one is the fake pout. I haven't been able to really catch it on camera (below is what I would dub a semi-fake pout), but it is one of the saddest faces I've seen (and so clearly fake).

We were making faces and having fun, but them she remembered she was on the potty and started whining to get off the toilet. She hasn't been too keen on potty training, but this week she's constantly telling me that she 'pooped'. I've come to realize that this means she might have peed, tooted, or pooped or is about to pee, toot, or poop. Yet, she still doesn't want to sit on the potty. I take this as a positive sign that she is becoming a little more aware of what's going on down there.

We often make faces in the mirror after bath time. She was all about me taking our picture this day.

Riley knows her colors quite well, but I sometimes still ask her what color certain things are. Recently she was in the bath with her purple elephant and yellow duck bath toys. I asked her "what color is the elephant?" She replied "umm, purple". After also correctly identifying the color of the duck I asked her what color she was. She looked down at her body and responded with "um, orange". Lol. Well, yes, I guess you are kinda orange. I then asked her what color I was and, after looking me up and down, she told me "um, black". Uh, sure. I was wearing black pants. Makes sense. BTW, daddy was also "black" as he was wearing a black shirt.

Up next? Another trip to the zoo. I thought I wouldn't have any reason to take anymore pictures there, but I guess I was wrong.