Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring 2015 Part 2

Now that you made it through Spring 2015 Part 1, here is Part 2 with all the rest of the good stuff: photography for the school & headshots, winter ballet recital, school talent show, Evie gets glasses, "photoshopping" skills with Wacom, Evie's birthday & room remodel,Valentine's Day, roller skating party, engagement trip, April Fools Day, Easter, my birthday, Spring Break, Penny's birthday, baseball and yard work.

This school year I officially took on the Photographer role which means shooting at the major events. Post-processing is the time consuming part. After sitting at the computer for days working on hundreds of photos for the school and suffering with the back pain from all that clicking it's hard to sit back down at the computer. I'm sure this contributed to me blogging less this year. I'm reevaluating my plan for how to fulfil my volunteer hours for the school next year. My most recent "job" was shooting the students' headshots for programs for the Spring Plays (which are next week). Shooting and editing 93 headshots is no small job, but it pushes me to do things I otherwise wouldn't. This is my 2nd year and learning from past experience I decided to try out a new backdrop and lighting stands this time for a more controlled lighting environment. I've also put in a ton of extra hours "photoshopping".  So I would say all in all it's not been a bad thing other than the time it takes. Last week I took the 8th grade graduation class picture and one student was at an appointment. She happened to be one of Evie's best friends so we spent an entire night figuring out how to "photoshop" her in. (The lighting was different since we used her headshot photo but even though it was difficult we did it.) For the moment I am done, until the plays next week.



E&A's headshots.

Evie's performance at the school talent show. We were so proud!

Celebrating afterward with cake. It was so awesome Ainsley ate a whole piece and wanted more!

Winter dance recital - pointe class.

Winter dance recital - ballet class.

Finally Evie got a new pair of glasses, her last pair was from 4th grade.

I bought myself a Wacom tablet with my Amazon gift cards knowing Evie can also use it for drawing in Photoshop. It's a very cool tool, and how I wrote on the pictures above.

Evie turned 14! Yes seriously!

We got a table near the gorillas at the Rainforest Cafe. This year Ainsley wasn't too afraid and thought it was cool. 


The night sky is my favorite part. 

Volcano!

The kids went into the photobooth together. 

Ainsley loved it!

My silly girl, has no fear. She's singing and dancing non-stop these days, even in the mall.

She had a simple sleep over party with local friends. We'll have to have her Seattle friends over in the summer. Her one wish was for the Disney icecream cake (Brave).

We redecorated her room. She wanted the bed in the corner. It was ours so needed new bedding. More than anything she wanted string lights. The loveseat was an awesome find and has turned out to be quite useful as a place to do homework and play guitar, plus it fills the bay window perfectly and really pulls the room together. The wall was half done here so I'll have to take a new picture for you. The girls had an awesome time hanging out in her room, playing guitar and singing songs, dancing and just being silly. 

Everyone loves Steve's pancakes which he makes every morning after a party. The girls are so nice about including Ainsley.

For weeks we had the loveseat box in the living room. They had SO much fun, Ainsley especially.

We went roller skating for cousin Issabella's birthday. We even got Adrian out on the rink. I think we all fell once. Steve had a bruise on his tailbone for a week! They say it's like riding a bike. But I'm not so sure. I used to be pretty good on skates. Not so much anymore. Though Steve was rockin' it like a true 70's kid!

Evie and I went on a road trip to Oregon for my sister's engagement "ski" (with no snow) weekend.

She's quite a bit younger. They played drinking games. I can't tell you the last time I did that. I played along but kept thinking I'm way too old for this ****. I did stay up until 3am playing poker one night. So I guess I wasn't too lame even if I was the old lady of the party.

Evie performed. 

After 4 years in the house I finally got Steve to hook up my B&O turntable so we can play our vinyl. 

What's this? 
Every year Adrian gears up for April Fools Day. He wanted to do something that wouldn't make me too upset so he rearranged the food in the frig. He also taped the paper towels and toilet paper together. Evie woke me up at 5:00 am. I was pissed off to lose 2 hours of sleep! Later I found out she put tampons in his backpack. Not so nice. He didn't care. It was Ainsley's IEP that day. Seriously. We covered her 30 page educational plan with a team of 10 while I was short on sleep because my kids are CRAZY for April Fools day.

My only prank was to put this snake in Ainsley's sandwich. Her aide freaked but Ainsley thought it was funny. It almost looked like mustard.

Easter morning we woke to breakfast in the crock pot (that's veggie sausage for Adrian, it's been nearly a year). It's my new holiday thing. I'm much better at late nights than mornings. 

Even the smell couldn't raise Evie. She's so like me: Hates to go to sleep, but is impossible to wake once she's asleep. 

Ainsley got a super cool Unicorn rainbow ball popper/shooter. 

She got a dinosaur egg with a baby triceratops in it. (She loves dinosaurs.)

Every year the kids hang out in our bedroom Easter morning while we have our coffee.

After coffee then we start the egg hunt. 



When Ainsley was done she signed she wanted more. She had so much fun!

We baked Peep cupcakes using green Twizzler Easter grass. It took so much food coloring to make the green frosting. So gross! Never again.  

Cupcakes and a veggie plate were our contributions to the dinner. My SIL hosted and I was so grateful not to be. She does a great job. 


Adrian has decided he likes bow ties. This outfit was his choosing. I thought he looked quite dapper.


They have an egg hunt there too. There is no shortage of candy for these kids. 


The day after Easter was my birthday which happened to also be the start of Spring Break. The kids and I watched Glee all day and got take out. It was perfect.

I did take the kids to the zoo. It had been awhile. Recently I'd come across this picture. It's crazy how fast the years fly by. 


Ainsley really wanted to see the hippos.

The giraffe.

And the elephant which was surprisingly difficult to find. He kept moving from place to place and wheeling 100lb wheelchair around on an elephant hunt is exhausting.

My mom donated money for the penguin exhibit to be built and we located all the kids' names on fish plaques.

 Ainsley was very excited to see the penguins. And flamingos.

Ainsley's new thing is french fries. She LOVES them! Funny because she used to hate them. But ice cream not so much a fan. She said she wanted it but after one lick she was done. Booooo! Smart mommy suspected she was going to do that and got it in a dish instead of a cone. I trust that one day she will love icecream, like she's learned to love french fries and cake. All in all I can't complain. She's fully oral now and we'll be getting her g-tube closed at the same time as her trach stoma on July 27th. Woohoo!

At the end of our zoo trip we got to vote for which endangered animal we'd like part of our entrance money to go to. Ainsley voted orangutang. She had a great time. 

As always we walked until our feet were killing us. 

Since it was Spring Break we took the kids to the Cheesecake Factory. Evie couldn't believe there was such a place. Indeed there is. More delicious cheesecake flavors than you would think possible.

On the 13th Penny turned 2 years old! She got a Filet Mignon cake. 

Adrian started baseball season. When he's in sports we are just that much busier. At this age they have 4 events per week, games or practice. His team is doing well this year and he is playing well. It feels like baseball dominates our schedule right now, but it will end soon enough.  

It's also the time of year that we can no longer ignore the weeds. So we've been spending full days in the yard many weekends, paying for our past neglect. The strange weather this winter (cold, warm, cold again, several times) killed off my entire herb garden, which we've now replanted.  

I also planted some more rhubarb and moved my strawberries hoping they'll get more sun and won't die. I filled the pots that were dead. Spring is here and for awhile we were slaves to the yard each weekend. Hopefully the investment will reap rewards and we'll have time to relax and enjoy the yard this year. 

 

I cleaned out the vegetable pots and got them planted and in position in the only sunny spot in our yard (the front along the driveway). I'm looking forward to summer and it's nearly here!