Wednesday, December 29, 2010

White Christmas 12/25/10






I only remember some white Christmases growing up in Ohio. Alex's first trip to Ohio delivered a white Christmas. Alex had fun opening presents, playing with family, and checking out the snow. Alex is having fun with his new toys and playing with old toys that belonged to his dad, aunt, and uncles.

Traveling

Traveling with a toddler is an adventure, but our flights to Ohio went well. We made is smoothly through security, and then Alex enjoyed some rice and beans for lunch.

We were serenaded with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by one of the flight attendants when we landed in Dayton.

We had not been back in two years, so things are familiar and different all at once. We are staying with my brother who has a unique approach to baby-proofing.

We will see how the return trip goes!

Warm Christmas (Christmas Round 1)

I uploaded the pictures that I took on my brother's camera at our first Christmas celebration in San Antonio on December 19th. I was impressed with the photos from his Nikon (COOLPIX S360) camera.











Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Round 1






We had "Christmas Round 1" over the weekend with my family since my brother was in town. I have a few photos to share, but the rest are on my brother's camera. (I was having trouble with our camera while we opened presents, but it is fine now.)

We kept the decorations and dinner simple this year. The dogs begged for some ham, and Alex enjoyed the "scalloped" corn. Alex is enjoying new toys and books, and I have some new crafty toys. I am looking forward to the rest of our Christmas celebrations!

Daycare Confession

I was able to take 12 weeks off from work when I had Alex. Since I work at a university, people ask me if I have summers off. (No!) My office works with most of the new freshmen on campus, so summer is actually our busiest time of the year. June and July are busy but August is a blur. I went back to work at the end of May, and my goal was just to make it through that first summer of working and motherhood.

The good thing about summer is that we have the option to work a flex schedule with Friday afternoons off. I was so excited to pick up Alex early on my first Friday afternoon off. It was going to be great mommy and baby bonding time! Instead Alex slept the whole afternoon.

I found it difficult to have Alex in daycare the first year, even though he attends a wonderful on-campus center. Over time, it has become easier because of all he is learning. He really enjoys going to "school" most days.

As I type this post, I am off work and Alex is at daycare. The good thing is that I accomplished a lot around the house today, and I do not feel guilty.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Alex's Artwork

We recently received a bunch of Alex's artwork from daycare. I photographed things, and some items will make it into his scrapbook. Alex seems to enjoy coloring and art time. I was impressed with his stamping!









Saturday, December 18, 2010

Meatballs



After moving to Texas, I discovered that I like the flavor combination of sweet and spicy (mmm... mole sauce). This worked in my favor when I needed a quick dish to take to the office Christmas potluck. I put about 30 pre-made turkey meatballs (yay Costco), 1 can of cranberry sauce and 1 jar of "Grilled Pineapple and Candied Jalapeno" sauce into the crock pot. It turned out better than I expected, and my co-workers and family enjoy the results of my experiment. I started with the recipe on the back on the cranberry sauce can but changed it up a bit.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Love This!

Kari Byron's Affirmations for a Working Mom
This is good to read since it is one of those weeks when both work and home feel like a mess.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekend Update

I did not take any picture this weekend... Things have been busy, and I was sick on Sunday. It is turning into a busy week, and I am looking forward to some time off later this month!

Edited: It turned out that I had bronchitis and was sick for a week! I am glad that I went to the doctor...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Photos with Shrek and Brutus



The first photo taken of Alex with Shrek and Brutus Buckeye was on April 24, 2009, when he was 7 weeks old. I snapped another photo of them on November 26, 2010, for the split second that Alex was sitting still. He is now 20 months old and is no longer Baby Alex. He is running around and starting to put two words together. He is repeating almost everything we say and constantly learning new words. He now looks like a little guy. It is going by so fast!

one weekend 2 shots (extra shots from the long Thanksgiving weekend)



We enjoyed the long Thanksgiving weekend. Friday was the laziest day that I have had in a long time, and it was nice not to set an alarm clock for four days striaght. Alex got sick on Wednesday but was getting better by Saturday. We watched so much football! Alex wore his OSU shirt for the Ohio State vs. Michigan game on Saturday. It was a gift from his Uncle Shrek, so I took some pictures of Alex in the shirt before he outgrows it.



We went Downtown on Sunday for dinner at the Riverwalk to celebrate my parents' 35th Anniversary. Congratulations Mom and Dad and thank you for including us in your celebration! The Riverwalk and Alamo Plaza look gorgeous lit up for the holidays. I had this idea that I could get a good family photo of the three of us in front of the Christmas tree for our Christmas card. WRONG! All Alex wanted to do was run around Alamo Plaza. He was exhausted when we got home.

Taking pictures at night reminds me that 1. I want to learn more about photography and 2. It was would be great to have a digital SLR camera. (It may be worth it in a few years when Alex might sit still for some photos...) I do like having a point-n-shoot camera that fits in my purse though.

We are back into our busy work week. This is the last week of the freshmen seminar class and spring registration for freshmen is about to begin. Our lobby is packed during walk-in advising! I only have two full weeks of work before my Christmas vacation.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving


We had a nice Thanksgiving even though Alex is sick. He was sent home from daycare on Wednesday, but he perked up a bit for Thanksgiving. My parents and a couple of friends came over for dinner. Mom and I did a lot of the cooking, and it came together nicely. John made the green bean casserole and Sharis made a yummy pecan pie, which may be my new favorite pie. Pecan is the Texas state tree, but can it beat out the traditional pumpkin?

It turns out that Alex was better behaved than the dogs were yesterday. Frida got herself shut into the pantry and had to scratch at the door a few times to get us to let her out. (I heard scratches at a door and thought some wild animal was in our garage...) One of the dogs pulled on the table cloth and broke a plate. Finally, Frida jumped on the chair in search of some leftovers.

Frida is pictured on 11/25/10. We think that she is at least 10 years old.

50,000 Miles

I joke about having a "5 Mile Radius" that I travel regularly, but it is actually quite true. I work close to home and have many things that I need near my house. For two years we lived even closer to work than we do now. Even my commute for graduate school was not very long. All of this means that my 8 year old car just turned 50,000 miles on Tuesday. I really do not drive far, and my little Toyota has not needed much beyond oil changes, new tires, and tire rotations. I called the dealership down here to schedule some maintenance, but they did not have my car in their computer system yet. This is the first car that I purchased, and I was a graduate student on a limited budget at that time. I think that I have gotten my money's worth out of my first car!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

one weekend 2 shots (Nov. 20-21)


On Saturday I ventured outside of my "five mile radius" to hear humorist David Sedaris speak at the Borders at the Quarry. He was very funny, and I enjoyed the evening with my husband and friends. It was a fun people watching event because so many people tried to cram into the second floor of the bookstore near the children's section. We managed to claim some good seats on the floor. The unanswered questions from the evening are 1. Who gets the reserved seats? and 2. Who put Rudy in charge? We read David Sedaris' most recent book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk for book club.

(I have borrowed the term "five mile radius" from a friend at work. It is so fitting since I live close to work and rarely have to venture far from home.)



Alex is in full blown toddlerhood. He has developed strong opinions about when and how he wants to do things. On Sunday morning, he only wanted to wear his jacket and diaper. A trip to the grocery store that morning was no longer in the cards. I finally wrestled some pants on him. He did not want to take a walk, but he was willing to put on some shoes to go play in the backyard. John finally got a shirt on him when he came home from work around noon. Alex was more cooperative by the evening.

Texas Conference For Women

Here is a link to an article about UTSA students attending the Texas Conference for Women. I decided that I was listed as a student with the photo caption because I look young enough to be a student. I liked reading what the students thought about the conference.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why I Love My Digital Studio

My Digital Studio software can be used to make photobooks, scrapbook pages, cards, journals, calendars, and more. The sotware is both MAC and PC compatible, which makes this MAC girl happy. It is from Stampin' Up! and can be purchased through one of their demonstrators. I purchased the software last June for my birthday. It is $79.95 and comes loaded with lots of digital stamps, papers, embellishments, etc. You can also purchase more items from their website for about $.95 to $9.95 each depending on how much is included in the download. I am part of a "stamp club" that meets once a month, so I was already purchasing products from this company. I have not printed anything from their printing service yet but plan to in the near future. The printed items I have seen are good quality, and they recently made their prices more competitive with other companies. I love My Digital Studio for many reasons: it is easy to use, it is helping me to regularly scrapbook again, it saves space, and it is "mess-less."

I had tried some digital scrapbooking in the past with Photoshop Elements but found the software difficult to use. I would often become frustrated, and it was difficult to get back into using the program after taking a break. I also would have needed additional software or an external hard drive to organize all of the papers and embellishments. The My Digital Studio software is intuitive and easier for me to use than Photoshop Elements. By watching a few videos online, I have been able to learn many features of the software.

Between October 8th and November 14th, I have made seven scrapbook pages using the software. I do not know if I have every completed so many pages in a little over a month! I like the ease of going through my favorite photos on my computer and then making them into some pages. I do not have to worry about sizing the photos until I am making the page. I do not have to think about printing photos ahead of time or where they are stored.

I have a craft desk in our family room, but it has gotten quite full. I enjoy the physical scrapbooking and stamping supplies, but they take up a lot of space. My Digital Studio allows me to access more supplies digitally than I could (and should) own physically. I started using the software to print out greetings for hybrid cards. The software came preloaded and organized with hundreds of digital stamp sets and papers that I did not already own.

I was in need of some "mess-less" scrapbooking and card making. I am a messy crafter with a curious toddler, so I can no longer leave projects out on my desk. I am able to start a project in My Digital Studio, save it, and come back to it later with no mess. I don't have to worry about glue, glitter, or scraps of paper getting everywhere. (I am especially messy with glitter and should be banned from using it. I got green glitter all over myself at stamp club this week...)

You can visit http://mydigitalstudio.net for more details about the product. The website includes great information and inspiration, so I have become a regular visitor there.

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Stampin' Up! I am a regular customer who enjoys their products. This blog post with be linked to the My Digital Studio Blog for the chance to win a free copy of the software. I would love to share the software as a gift to a friend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

one weekend 2 shots (ok, a few shots from Nov. 13-14)

The weeks are flying by! John and I are both keeping busy at work, and the holidays are quickly approaching. Of course, Alex is keeping us busy and has so much energy.



Alex and his Grandma are pictured playing with legos on November 13th. Alex was trying to build the tower so tall that it would fall over.



We gave Alex some water in a cup on November 14th since he has already tried that at school. He did pretty well, but then he just wanted to play in the water.