le petit poulet

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Back from the woods!

Amazing! That is the one word that comes to mind when describing the scenery from our vacation to Wyoming. When we set out on the long drive I was familiar with a good portion of the drive, a much more interesting drive than the drive South when we head out to Vegas. The southern route is tons and tons of NOTHING. Flat, ugly, boring for the most part. But this drive to Wyoming is green and rolling with fields and farms and pastures of cows grazing and swishing their tails.

While we have gone as far as Jackson Hole before and into parts of Yellowstone we had not gone much beyond into the mountains, so this time would be fun for the whole family to see what lie beyond Jackson Hole. My inlaws planned the trip, my father inlaw knew that I was not much of a camper. Having grown up in a family where "camping" was a foreign word and things like "fishing" and "hiking" were also words that made us blink in confusion, my father inlaw didn't want to throw me into shock with tents and outhouses made of a hole in the dirt. But he also wanted the girls to be able to experience fishing and nature, so he made reservations at Togwotee Lodge"> a fantastic place with cute little cabins in the mountains where deer grazed outside of windows early in the morning for breakfast, birds chirped happily in the tops of swaying pine trees and streams and lakes sparkled like they were filled with diamonds.

We had cabins right next to each other so that the girls could navigate the dirt and rocks back and forth to visit Grammie and Poppa, while stopping to practice casting their new little fising rods, before asking gleefully if they could go and play with rocks.

I have never seen the two of them more carefree and dirty and it was wonderful! The mountain air turned Little One into a crazy woods baby. She was bouncing all over the place mud smeared on her cheeks arms waving in the air.

And G took to it like she'd been born to BigFoot and had lived in the mountains her whole life! She built fantastic rock formations, had her Barbies put on an outdoor production of Pirates of Penzance singing at the top of her lungs! She even tried to actually fish until she caught a fish and as she was reeling it in realized that she didn't really want to catch a fish and took off in horror her pole dropped to the dirt.

Fishing was actually really really fun! I have never been fishing before and had always wanted to try it. Not the kind of fishing where you haul the little guy out, beat his head on a rock and then fry him up for dinner. But just some catch and release. It's not that I don't like a good fish dinner, I LOVE fish! But there is just something quite ookey about seeing him flopping around and then knowing soon you'll be adding some seasoning salt to him and digging in with a fork!

I loved the whole process, watching my father in law put the worms on the hook and learning how to cast. That was quite funny, it reminded me of someone lining up to hit the perfect ball in golf. The one that is going to land on the green inches from the hole and then roll in....but instead you whack that ball only to have it barely plop off the tee about a foot in front of you. That is how I would describe my first few times of casting the fishing line. It would basically shoot out and then straight down almost hitting me as it hit the ground at my feet. "Release at 1:00!" My father inlaw would call out....and soon I felt like Norm McClean in "A River Runs Through It" The line sailing out into the water with a beautiful arc. And when I caught a fish well HELLO! That was awesome. G still talks about her favorite part of the trip, "When you caught that big fish mommy and then it fell off the hook and you screamed and took off!" Well you try having the big flopping fish come off the hook spazzing out at your feet....I'm sure even Norm McClean would have run off screaming like a girl!!

In addition to the great fishing day we also got to do a full on chuck wagon dinner evening. Driving further into the gorgeous wilderness we were greeted with three wagons hitched to the most incredible horses and driven by some really nice cowboys. They took the wagons on a gorgeous 30 min trek up into the mountains where the cutest couple awaited us with yummy steak dinners complete with baked potatoes, homemade baked beans, corn muffins, yummy brownies and hot dogs for the kids all cooking in this open canopy area where we ate and listened to the adorable elderly woman of the couple told cute jokes and then the sweet man sang us fantastic songs as he strummed the guitar. When the two of them sang together it was something straight out of the Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash movie! (totally having a mental block on the name of that movie right now argh!)

There was even a fun sing along where they did the chicken dance and the hokey pokey. The girls seriously thought they had died and gone to heaven and it was smack dab in the middle of the Wyoming mountains!

Then the last full day we were there we went on a wonderful boat ride that took us to the base of the tetons where you were able to see the glaciers. The water was incredible, I just wanted to jump out of the boat and swim in it. Perfectly blue and sparkling with boats zipping around and people fishing and milling about. I honestly wished I could have bottled up the scenery there and brought it home to take pictures of 24/7. Clearly you can see I enjoyed using my camera on vacation!!

It was such a fun vacation that our family was really really in need of.

Next week back to work and back to real life again but for now I'm going to enjoy this final weekend and have some fun :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Sign That a Good Day Has Gone Horribly Wrong...or How to Stick Your Foot in Your Mouth Without Even Trying

(A Brady Bunch Rerun is Playing on t.v.)

G: Mom, I wish you weren't my mom and that Mrs. Brady was my mom! *big happy smile*

Me: Well, I wish that Cindy were my daughter and not you.


Me: G you have a beautiful heart and that is what everyone loves about you. Always keep your beautiful heart.

G: Oh no *look of horror overtakes face* Well great, no one will think I'm beautiful anymore.

Me: What do you mean? You are so beautiful?

G: Well, everyone says I look like you. And when you wake up in the morning you look all tired and rusty like this *makes a face like someone who has been melted by molten lava*.

Me: You don't think I'm pretty when I wake up in the morning?

G: NO. I mean you look like this *makes same face in case I didn't get the point the first time* And if I look like that no one is going to think I'm beautiful.

Me: You should probably just stop talking now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Nothing like a good trip to the doctor when you think you have scurvy (a few weeks ago) to make you feel like a giant whale. When I had to step on the scale I was quite surprised at the weight on there. I actually thought I was feeling and looking better, so if that is the case than what did I look like a few months ago when I felt like Shamus long lost sister?

I came to the conclusion that I needed to get my butt in gear and do something about it. For years and years I played the weight game, obsessive exercising, dieting, etc to the point where it really played with my body and I felt like it was getting to mental about it. I vowed that I would not do any of the crazy diets or whatnot once I had children. I didn't want to have some massive heart attack just to look good. After I had G my weight snapped right back and I even lost extra weight and felt pretty good about myself. I can't say the same thing after Little One was born! I'm still trying to get in shape from that baby and she is almost three!

I go through periods where I am more healthy than others but I have a hard time getting motivated, plus I have a husband who is tall and thin and can eat a bag of Oreos at 11:00 pm and never change a pound.

Never one for soda pop, I've always been more of a water or Crystal Light or juice fan...this last month all of a sudden I was craving anything and everything that had bubbles in it. I all but abandoned any other form of beverage and started going cukoo for soda pop. After my visit to the doctor I knew one thing I needed to do was cut that soda pop out of my diet!! For the last week especially I have had nothing but water, tons and tons of ice cold water which has been so nice. I crave it! I have also been watching what I am putting in my gut AND I have been going on walks! Tonight I really really didn't want to go but I just got up and threw on my walking shoes and and pair of shorts and tshirt, grabbed my Ipod cranked up the My Chemical Romance and hit the road. I was so proud of myself for doing it. The air was nice and cool and it was so great to just walk along setting my own pace, not having to talk or think. I could just listen to music and enjoy the beautiful neighborhoods. In my mind I framed different scenes I passed the way I would if I would have had my camera with me. There was an enormous tree that was so beautiful I couldn't believe how large the trunk was! The branches were all craggy and stretched far beyond the little house below it. There was a wonderful home with bright red window boxes and bunches of sunny yellow flowers spilling over the edge. I saw a backyard with a fantastic retro slide, the kind you saw in parks when you were a kid. Metal and shapped like an elephant where you slide down the trunk! There was a cheery cantaloupe colored dumpster filled to the brim in front of a house that was being remodled....I didn't know dumpsters could be so bright and fun!

I kept a good swift pace down the tree lined streets making it back just before dark, energized to continue editing another clients photographs.

I am officially on a "Summer Break" from photography, to give myself a rest so that I can continue to be passionate about it when I start back up in July. Once I finish these last few clients pictures I can sit back and relax and enjoy my vacation!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Business Trips and Sunday in the Park with Bob

Last week Bri was gone for three days on business.....business being schmoozing and golfing with work associates! The time with the girls alone actually wasn't too horrible. He traveled enough last year that it really got me used to being a single mom for a few days, although I do have to say we had quite a few timeouts! The girls just seemed to be bugging each other. Alot of times Little One antagonizes G, grabbing what she is playing with and taking off in an effort to get her big sister to follow her and actually engage in some sort of activity together.

The above mentioned behavior usually results in Little Ones sister squeezing her. G doesn't hit or shove, she just squeezes. Squeezes Little Ones arm, her cheek and through gritted teeth will inform her sister that she is making her "sooooooo mad!"

A few weeks ago Little One came upstairs after a ruckus between the two of them.

Little One: "Mom, I hit G and G squeezed me."
Me: "Then what happened?"
Little One: "G said she was sorry, and I said I was sorry."
Me: "It sounds like you worked things out?"
Little One: "Yup!"

Well this last week while we were on our own there was no working things out between them. The whining and complaining reached a fevered pitch where I was sure at any moment my ears were going to start oozing blood from the timber of their howler monkey screeches. So off to timeout they went, one after another and then we started over again! By Saturday they had the gist of what would happen if they couldn't work things out so I must say Saturday went much more smoothly!

It's funny when the hubby is out of town how strangely enjoyable the evenings are. It reminds me of being in Jr High or Highschool, after your parents when to bed and you could stay up and watch t.v. or read a book. Or you could put on your headphones and jam out to Depeche Mode or Crosby Stills and Nash if you happened to have a very wide ranging eclectic taste in music! There is no one to tell you that you really should be in bed because you have a full schedule. There is no one tempting you with his 11:00 pm bowl of icecream that he slurps down happily in between handfuls of chips! There is no one to doze off and leave you to check the windows and doors and the girls when you are so stinkin' tired from staying up and editing photos that you just want to fall into bed!

Now I'm not saying I would want this forever! Bri is my best friend, the only person I can imagine being stranded with on desert island with and never running out of things to say and laugh about. But once an awhile it's good to have a little space to just be!

Sunday in the Park with Bob.....actually Bob and T....my mom and dad!

In celebration of his being finished with radiation and the after surgery we went on a picnic! We met at a lovely park, one of the few parks that has a wonderful canyon for off leash dogs. My parents are dog lovers so being able to watch the dogs parade on their way down the canyon, where they would be able to sing "Born Free" as they froliced with their doggie pals, was so fun.

After lunch we walked down to the playground, which we had to ourselves nearly the whole time we were there!

Anybody who knows me knows how much I adore my parents. It isn't this perfect Beaver Clever thing where you want to gag when you hear about my life with them, I just love them plain and simple. And they love me.

My dad is my hero, the man that all other men in my life are measured against. He can do anything and he knows so much. But he has always been very careful about letting me make my own conclusions on things rather than make them for me. He also can get snitty sometimes about weird things and him trying to teach me how to do my homework was like oil and vinegar....always ending in me stomping upstairs and slamming my door. But it is all the things good and bad, funny and sad that make our relationship so wonderful.

And my mom, she is such an example of how to be a good wife and mother. Of course she is also an example of how to be extremely paranoid of everything and anything.....when I was little she taught me that if someone ever pulled a gun on me it was important to flee in a zigzag pattern so that they would have a harder time shooting me! Such important lessons for a gradeschooler! We talk pretty much everyday and just thinking about her now makes me smile.

After our fun park day we stopped for yummy Slurpees, which G replied "Everyday that it is hot we really should totally get Slurpees" and then home!

Last week my dear friend Carin came to visit with her girls so that we could celebrate her daughter Kate-Kates big third birthday! We had so much fun taking pics of the girls and I can't wait to post them and talk about the fun we all had but both of us are dreadfully behind on photo shoots and editing for clients so we haven't had time to go through the birthday photos! Hopefully this week we are going to hang out and play around with pictures so we can post something!!

Signing off for now!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Little One......Her Mama's Girl

Little One: "Mama is that your tummy" (pats my tummy)

Me: "Yes, that's Mama's tummy. When you were very very small you lived inside of Mama's tummy. Then you grew bigger and came out to be with me."

Little One: *smiles* "Mama, I wanna go back in there."

Me: "If you could I know you would."

Monday, June 4, 2007

Summertime summertime sum sum summertime....

I defy anybody to listen to LILY ALLEN and not smile.
She is one of the freshest voices to come around in a long time, her lyrics are fantastic and witty and cutting all the while sounding so upbeat! I just absolutely adore her CD ALRIGHT STILL. Now there are two versions, the explicit lyrics and the "clean" version. I opted for the clean version, so that I could rock out with the little chickens and not worry!

Today was what summer is all about! We started off with a playdate with Kate the Great and Sister Ceci. They are ready to embark on a lovely ten day journey so I thought it would be nice for their mom to get a little free time to get things in order! The girls played and played and were able to head out to the pool, I have dubbed the backyard the "Country Club" with the pool and towels for everyone and swimsuits and the playset and other various entertaining things to do. The girls all ate beneath the kids umbrella table under the shade of a tree and it make me laugh how they looked like they were at some posh resort. Towels wrapped around them, sunglasses on, arms stretched over head as they chatted and noshed on mac and cheese and sandwhiches on fun and funky new IKEA plastic childrensware that was purchased for just such an occassion.

After the girls headed home we jetted down the street for another playdate that G was invited on. Ever since I did pictures for this family we have started hooking the girls up to play and they are so fun together. I have to say how really awesome it is when I go into the house of someone I have done pictures for and there is my work displayed in 16X20 format on their wall! She couldn't wait to show me how great the pictures looked framed, and when her son came out and said wide eyed "HEY YOU'RE THE ONE WHO TOOK OUR PICTURES!" I couldn't help feeling a little like a celebrity!! I know, I'm a big dork!!

At some point the playdate moved a block over (with my permission) to another friends house with her own mini water park in her back yard courtesy of her clever husband who rigged up an awesome playland/water park from playground equipment! When Little One woke up we walked over to join the fun and visit and watch the kids be crazy. I love visiting with this friends, she is just one of those people you know is 100% genuine. She is funny and smart and not put on in any way shape or form. She is currently working on my new website which I can't wait to unveil!! I just need to finish giving her pics for the galleries and we'll be good to go!

After her house we moved across the street to visit D and the kids for some laughs and then home. We were supposed to go bowling with my favorite Davis family but alas little Soph was not well so we had to postpone. :( I hope she feels better soon!

Walking home I reflected back on my summer days, the house hopping the sunshine, the smell of suntan lotion. Friends, friends and more friends from morning until night with maybe a pit stop or two inside a nice air conditioned house to break and suck on a popcicle.

These are the days to cherish and the times that we're making memories for our children that will last a lifetime!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Happy Sunday and a Book Review!

Well I'm finally finally feeling almost 100% from the dreaded semi summer cold!

I had a two fun family photo shoots on Saturday and have uploaded quite a few recent shoots to my PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG".

My dad's surgery went well, better than he had expected. He was in the hospital Thursday and Friday and then came home. He looks like the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders now that the really icky part is over. This is a guy who has never been in a hospital in his whole life so the prospect of not only having to undergo radiation for the last month but then to top it off with the surgery at the end was almost too much for him to take! When we went to see him in the hospital he was his usual hilarious self, we joked around and my mom and I took turns mothering him. Asking him if he needed another pillow, did he want help eating, was he cold? Should we get him another blanket? I'm sure he couldn't wait for us to leave so he could enjoy his crossword puzzles in peace!

Tonight we had my parents over and ordered some yummy take out from The Spaghetti Factory. Hard to believe that he was just lying in a hospital bed and tonight we were slurping up yummy mizithra chesse and clam sauce! We now wait for three months and then they will check his PSA levels again and we'll see how the treatment has worked.

Church today was nice, the girls were really excited to return after a brief absence. Little One made some mighty fine binoculars in Senior Nursery and told us tales of dancing and singing with the other little ones. G was quite pleased with her lesson today about baptism. She told us how she answered the most questions correctly, she even knew what body of water Jesus was baptized in which made me wonder did I know that answer? Perhaps a little more studying on my part might be in order so that I can also raise my hand and answer some questions when they ask!

And now my long awaited book review! Long awaited by whom I am not sure, but I like that phrase so I will use it!

Okay all I can say is WOW. This book was AMAZING.....Jody Picolts writing is so beautiful I wanted to be able to keep each paragraph in my memory for the rest of my life. The story itself was a hard subject, but very timely and I can't tell you how much it made me think. I could easily relate to every single one of the characters and their emotions and decisions or lack of decisions. I adored the character of Anna and could see her so clearly as if she lived down the street from me. It is hard to say too much without giving the story away but I can say you will not regret reading it for a minute. If you have problems dealing with cancer (as I do) it is a harder read. I found myself having to skip some of the more grim times when Kate was small and first diagnosed. And you have to be prepared to invest time in these peoples lives knowing that it isn't going to work out exactly how you might want it to work out, but you won't regret for a second taking the time to read it!

Now onto the next book......and the winner is......

Yes that's right! Another Jody Picoult!! How could I get off the roller coaster of My Sisters Keeper and not want to jump right into another world created by this amazing author! I'm about twenty five pages into it and already I am totally enjoying it!

Well I'm off for now and looking forward to another fun filled week!