Thursday, July 30, 2009

i like! makes really excellent stuff from your photos. the magnets and notebook for my mom's birthday were from shutterfly, and i have ordered lots of things from them in the past and have always been impressed with the quality of the items they produce. i frequently get emails from them with special offers like free or discounted photo books and free prints. today i got an offer for 12 free 5X7 stationery cards and i just couldn't pass it up. they have a huge amount of designs for either photo or text only cards, and i ordered some with a flower photo on them. i don't write real actual notes very often, but how cool is it that if i want to, now i will have some pretty note cards with a photo on them that i took myself? i think it's going to be fabulous. here's what they're going to look like:

shutterfly stationery

i had such a hard time picking a photo, but i really wanted something "timeless" since i will probably use them so rarely that i will have these for years to come, and i wanted to pick a yellow or orange flower to complement the blue on the note cards i chose. i'm looking forward to getting them in the mail! the cost would have been about $34 with shipping and taxes, but i was charged only $6 and paid that with a gift certificate i got from erik and my hubby for christmas. thanks guys!

Monday, July 27, 2009

happy birthday mom!

today is the birthday of a most awesome woman - my mom!!! i'm so lucky to have her in my life and hope she had a great day today!

i was so excited that i had my mom's present weeks ago, and it was actually a couple months ago that i spied a field of her favorite flowers in schenley park and took the pictures that i had made into magnets for her:




i also got her a notebook with my favorite picture of her with erik that says "world's greatest granny!"


our family went out yesterday to celebrate her birthday at joe's crab shack in station square (or as erik calls it, "station squarepants." we ate much awesome food - i got a steampot with lots of yummy crab legs and clams and corn and potatoes and sausage. it was SO good. i am kind of drooling thinking about it right now! mom was a good sport and let us have the waiters and waitresses sing to her and make her put on a silly hat.


a short video of the birthday song:

after lunch we let the kids run around by the dancing fountains and erik LOVED it! i got some cute pictures of the four kids.









i hope my mom enjoyed the day as much as we did. it was nice to see everyone again as it has been a little time since we've all been together on our vacation. when we got back home, i spent a little more time cleaning, organizing, and freecycling. we have a TON more to do, but i feel like i am making progress a little bit at a time. one of these days we will have a clean and organized house!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

dots and loops

here's a warholized mosaic of an extreme closeup from the childrens museum yesterday:

dots v3

this weekend so far has been pretty good. friday started out with taking erik to his 2.5 year well visit with his doctor, and he's growing and developing awesomely! he's now 34 pounds and 38 inches tall and perfectly proportional in the 90th percentile for both height and weight (can you tell i'm a super proud mommy?). he's right on target for his physical and cognitive development and is a smart and happy little boy. although he wasn't super cooperative with the weighing and measuring and poking and prodding, he sat and answered all of the doctor's questions perfectly, and didn't freak out too much when his daddy had to hold him down for the hib vaccine. after the doctor, peter and i both decided to skip out on work/school and took erik to the childrens museum. i think he had a really good time there, but sharing (or rather lack of sharing) still remains a frustrating issue for peter and i!

(check out the cool ocean city t-shirt!)






and the original of the photo above:

i also stopped for a quick self portrait with the cool "raining letters" light thingy.

raining letters

after the museum, we had a nice lunch at wendy's where erik totally pigged out and then went home where erik didn't take a nap but i did. we had a quiet friday evening at home and peter weedwacked the front "yard." erik has thanked him repeatedly for doing this because now he can go out into the front "yard" without getting lost.

our saturday was also really nice, kind of lazy but also kind of productive. we slept in a little, had bagels for breakfast, and i did some laundry and started the formidable task of cleaning out our closet while erik and peter played. it was long overdue, and i've actually made enough room for most of our clothes in there. it still needs a lot of work though. we decided to go out for a late lunch (with gift cards for red lobster - YUM) and some shopping at ikea. we are looking for a "big boy bed" for erik and i can't decide between a toddler bed and a twin bed. the toddler bed is attractive because it will take up less space in his room (for now) and we already have the mattress for it, but he'll probably outgrow it in a couple of years and we'll need to get a twin bed anyway. they did have a cute toddler bed with a built-in rail for less than $100, so we're tempted by that. plus when asked, erik said he wants "a little bed," so maybe we will go that route. we'll think about it a little more before committing to one or the other though. they had a couple really neat twin beds as well, and there's also the idea of getting bunk beds which he may like in the future. too many choices!

erik fell asleep on the way home so we stopped by my lab to make sure my shipment arrived yesterday and was placed at the appropriate temperature, and at the library to get peter's book. at home erik played outside while i did more closet cleaning/organizing. then bathtime, yo gabba gabba, dinner and erik's bedtime (aka fun time for peter and me).

yeah, i still need to catch up with blogging about our vacation. it'll happen sometime. for now, it's getting late and i need to figure out what i'm going to get when we go to joe's crab shack tomorrow to celebrate my mom's birthday!

Friday, July 24, 2009


i have finally completed just a small bit of organization of my photos on flickr. i have TONS more to do, titling, tagging, etc., but i finally have a complete set with all of my FLOWER photos in it! YAY!

please stop by and look at it if you're interested!

flower set


when we got back from the beach, i went down to rialto (the local pizzeria), to pick up a yummy pizza for dinner. i noticed that they had some beautiful sunflowers planted along the building but i didn't have my camera with me. on tuesday night after dinner i decided to take a walk down there to take some pictures. when erik heard me telling peter that i was going for a walk, of course he wanted to go too. so all three of us went down and i took some photos of the pretty flowers. i was hoping for some gorgeous yellow-on-blue shots, but the sky was overcast enough and it was closing in on dusk and the sky ended up looking white in most of the pictures. regardless, i got some nice ones with my macro lens and here they are.




i'll definitely have to go down there again soon when the sky is bright and blue. i'll keep you posted!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

leaving assateague

eventually i will get around to blogging more in depth about our vacation (or i won't). but i can't help but compare these two photos side by side. both were taken in my car on the way back to ocean city from assateague, about 11 months apart. both are of erik, sleeping peacefully. what a sweet little boy! he often looks somewhat angry when he sleeps (at least when he sleeps in the car), but here he looks almost angelic. he's growing so fast ...

erik sleepingIMG_3750

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


i dreamed last night that i could fly.

ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in space

that was not the central part of the dream, but the part that stuck in my mind when i woke up and all through the day today. i don't dream of flying often, but when i do it's exhilarating and my mind wanders back to the dream for sometimes as long as a week after, and sometimes even longer. my flight last night was unusual in that it was a simple mode of transportation rather than something i did for fun, and the dynamics were totally different from past dreams. most times when i dream that i am flying, it works kind of like in super mario brothers 4 when you get the feather and can't so much fly as leap high into the air and, with a small effort, float gently back down again. only when i am doing it, i can hop on the air to go a little higher. last night it was more like swimming. i could only move with any speed by flapping my arms and kicking my legs, and i could rest and float by taking a deep breath and holding it. most of the dream has completely faded, but i remember that i was flying from somewhere around the intersection of 66 and 22 in delmont out towards new kensington of all places. my flight was complicated by the fact that i was holding a rather large book that made it difficult to really flap my arms efficiently. i am sad to say that this book was most likely the third installment in the twilight series and i was unwilling to let it go. in other news, i tried to buy this book tonight and found out that it doesn't come out in paperback for another couple of weeks, and i just can't bring myself to shell out the big bucks for a hard cover. i am only somewhat embarrassed that i am wrapped up in a teenage vampire drama/romance. i figured i'd give it a shot since so many people rave about it, and i wanted something fun to read on vacation. while not the pinnacle of groundbreaking literature, the books have so far been entertaining, and that's all i'm looking for right now!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

sneak peak

here are a few more of my favorite pictures from ocean city:







i've finally gotten all of my photos uploaded to my flickr page, so please feel free to check out the full set there!

ok, one more

as long as i am avoiding reality and responsibility, here is a picture of a giant rainbow-colored stingray from the kite loft in ocean city. i could devote an entire post talking about my love of the kite loft, but here is just one picture that doesn't do justice to the beauty and surreality of their sky creatures:


one day i will have to attend a kite festival. i found some amazing pictures on flickr of various festivals around the world.

i refuse to believe that vacation is over ...

... but it is.

sinister queen

the end of vacation is like a prickly weed. or something. speaking of weeds, the state of our "yard" when we returned on saturday was appalling. actually it was appalling when we left, and by saturday it was utterly ridiculous. peter did a bunch of weeding on sunday (i helped a little, napped mostly) and it's a bit better now, but our "yard" needs to be mowed/weedwacked/burned to the ground still.

i have tons of pictures that i am almost finished editing and uploading. one of these days i will talk about our trip to ocean city, maryland here. but not today.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

on my way

OC baby!!!

ghosts on the boardwalk:




Thursday, July 9, 2009


since i'm a little behind (as usual) here's what we did on fourth of july weekend:

on friday peter had to work, but erik and i went to our friends the conrads' house for an independence day bbq and swimming party. unfortunately i didn't take any pictures, but we had an awesome time. the conrads are the best! well, it was supposed to be a swimming party, but i think it was in the 60s and low 70s and raining all day so that didn't work out too well. we still had a ton of fun playing inside and on the deck and just hanging out. our friend amanda (who we don't get to see too often) came from ohio with her family too, and it was amusing watching all the little ones play. afterwards i brought erik home and then went to the lab for awhile when peter got home, and then we had a late dinner of take out from lulu's - YUM!

saturday was the fourth of july, and we had no plans at all. we slept in, had bagels for breakfast, and it was a beautiful day so we took erik to the playground for awhile. (as you can see, he is quite fond of his diego hat!)



he looks so big and long legged here:


after lunch, erik went down for his nap and i decided that i wanted to watch a movie so we put hancock on (which i actually kind of liked). our big plan for the evening was going to be walmart and finding somewhere for dinner, but then out of the blue my mom called and asked if we would like her to babysit so we could go out to a movie or something. i immediately said yes - AWESOME!!! so peter and i went out, wandered around walmart for a good long while and got some things we needed for our upcoming vacation and then had a most excellent dinner at joe's crab shack. we had lots of great seafood. here's me in my sexy bib:

guess who's got crabs!

if that wasn't great enough, we went to cold stone creamery for ice cream afterward, and took some ice cream home for erik and granny. we had been toying with the idea of trying to find somewhere to view pittsburgh's fireworks, but by the time we got home it was almost 9pm and the fireworks were slated for around 9:30. but we decided at the very last minute to run out of the house when granny and erik had finished their ice cream (and granny went home) and headed down to the hot metal bridge. erik was totally wrapped up in the excitement and could barely contain himself! we parked in the parking lot of the building where my lab is, and half walked/half ran up onto the bridge and saw fireworks going off all over the place, although the pittsburgh ones hadn't started yet. erik was loving every minute of it! we decided that we might have a better view from the 5th floor balcony of my building, so we ran up there where there was only one other person waiting for the fireworks. a bunch of drunk guys on the hot metal bridge sang the star spangled banner and we clapped for them. someone by the river was shooting fireworks periodically right near us, and every time they did, erik got a little scared and said "we have to go inside now!" but he got over it and when the big display started, it was really cool even though it was on the other side of the city from us. this is what we saw:

fourth of july

fourth of july

fourth of july

fourth of july

fourth of july

fourth of july

fourth of july

it was super cool. erik was running around like a little maniac, and then we went home and watched the whole thing over again on the dvr. god bless america!

sunday was definitely not as exciting. i was starting to get really stressed out over a grant application that i hadn't started yet that was due on the 10th, and we still needed to do some shopping for stuff for vacation. we went to the mall for a bit and i found a swimsuit i liked, but when i got it home, i realized they had left the ink tag on it. ARGH! luckily for me i have a super awesome mom who took it back and got it fixed for me! later in the day we went shopping yet again, and then to dinner at bob evans. i didn't take my camera with me, but i had my phone and caught a very patriotic scene as i let erik run around in the grass after dinner:


our shadows were really long and we looked like stilt people:

super tall shadow people

even erik's shadow is freaking adorable! erik was running around and trying to catch his shadow, and laughing as he stepped on mine. it was really funny.

that was about it for independence day weekend. monday it was back to the grind, and this week has been a whirlwind of grant writing and preparing for vacation. i'm so glad it's FINALLY over and our trip to ocean city is imminent! i can't wait to have some awesome vacation fun with my awesome family!!!