Thursday, April 30, 2009

security measures

So, you may have noticed my new addition to the sidebar, a label warning against blog plagiarism. Recently I read, in my own blog lurking, that a few of my fav blogs have been copied word for word and used in conjunction with spam to sell anything from viagra to um, well, let's just say Bad Things. The accused have used photos and complete text, changing only a name or place. Reportedly, most of the copying was done by people elsewhere, in every language from spanish to japanese, but sadly some was done right here in the US of A by bored housewives looking for a better life than they have. They used the life trials of these ligitimate bloggers to jazz up their own stories and to gain accolades from their readership: "You have such a way with words! You should be published!"

It's such a shame to hear of this because a blog is supposed to be a place where people can communicate and share little snippets of their lives, and sometimes just to vent about whatever is going on. The realization that people with such impure motives can ruin such a good thing is saddening. I personally use this blog to keep our out-of-town family and friends in touch with our lives, as well as to post previews for a few of my photography clients. I of course do all this with permission from the family members in question as a security measure to protect all involved. And I'm happy to announce that as of yet I have not been copied or plagiarized in any way! I guess that's the benefit of being a small-beans operation and not having a huge readership. If at anytime I felt that problems were arising from my use of this blog I would go private immediately and that would be the end of it. But as of now I'm thankful I don't have to do that.

All of this is to say that I'm thankful for a place to post about our goings-on and thankful that I can keep up with others in the blogging world. And I added that label to hopefully deter any copy-cats in the future. I still believe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I'd rather you at least give me credit for what I've done and not say it's yours. I'll do the same where I find inspiration. Honor System, I thank you!

eta: if you read this and are curious how I checked into the situation, I went to and ran a check of both my blog and my website. There was no obligation to do the basic check, and since I didn't have any hits I didn't pay to go forward with the search of who is using/where it's being used..

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

what I've been up to.

So, I decided to apply for a guest designer position at one of the blog shops that I love, Shabby Chic Crafts, and for the app I had to send in some of my recent work. These are the things I put in; I had my friends help pick out the Layouts because I'm a horrible judge of my own work. This first one is from Josiah's exploits unrolling the toilet paper. The going home one is about how the kids each got special going home from the hospital outfits. And this best friends one is from superbowl sunday. Josiah and Ethan were taking turns pointing out "eyes" and "nose", etc. Josiah had to yawn and should have called a time out because Ethan took the opportunity to do "mouth" and stuck Josiah in the back of the throat. We all laughed hysterically at Josiah gagging and coughing, and it was a total fluke that I even had my camera out for this.

For the application I also had to include an altered item . . . something that is not meant for scrapbooking but that has been reused as a paper craft project. I made this summer margerita glass into a Smoothie/Mixed Drink recipe book for my sister's last birthday:

And I also had to include a mini album sample. This is the Lego album from Josiah and Ethan's first birthday party:

And a completely fabric album about my sister and me. Even the photos are fabric; I printed them on iron-on transfers and adhered them to white fabric, then sewed them onto the felt.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

more of Miss "A"

I can't say it enough: I love my job. Here's a few more from my most recent session. I had so much fun capturing all the details -- her tiny hands and feet, perfectly formed but oh, so small.

Even her tiny eyelashes.
She slept thru most of it, as she should at 3 weeks old, but did open her eyes for me for a minute at the end.
And then one more of the sisters. I love those eyes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Okay. . . so Kendra, you literally just drove away from my house and I came in here to download the pictures and I HAD to get this on here for you to see. It was just so sweet . . . I couldn't help myself. Thanks so much for letting me do this - it's such a blessing to see them together. I love you, friend.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Alright, Beans, it's official. You are starting Big School in the fall. I know we've been talking about it forever but I actually wrote your big name on some papers and the lady took them and said you are signed up for school. No more "Gennie"; now you're Genesis. I had to tell them if you had allergies and sign the permanent permission slip for you to go on field trips. And I had to come back with you to have your photo taken for the teacher's file. And I don't care if your dad laughed at me for taking this camera-phone picture: "Oh my gosh, you are NOT taking a picture of her getting her picture taken, are you? You're such a mom." (He was kidding, especially when I gave him the greasy eye and told him to shut it.)
You are such a big girl now, not my little side-kick anymore. I don't have to buckle your seatbelt anymore and you can see over the handle of the shopping cart enough to push it now. You pick out your own clothes and do your own hair. You are going to make your own friends and have your own secrets. You are going to learn and discover and grow all on your own, away from me. And maybe by September I'll be okay with all this.
But I don't think so.


So, as promised, here's a taste of our Easter. We had the usual potluck breakfast at church - Kev lives for that each year, along with the Thanksgiving dinner and pretty much any other potluck supper at church - then the kids got to do the Egg Hunt in the parking lot. This year we had a bunch of kids running around and it was great!

The hardest part was keeping Josiah out of the eggs before they were hidden - he found them in the church kitchen and was just sure he could get them all open and cleaned out before we noticed. We tried to put more than just candy in them; some had erasers and some had stickers (which happen to be Josiah's favorite thing at the moment). Then after church we went home for a snack and a nap before Easter supper with Grandma and Grandaddy. When they got up from napping we let them go thru their easter baskets.Gennie loves Barbies and all things princess-y these days so hers was full accordingly - complete with a pair of princess sunglasses which she has barely taken off her face since then. Josiah is beyond obsessed with vaccuum cleaners . . . and anything you can push around while making the vaccuum sound . . . so he got a wagon (which he calls My Back-oom) and a helicopter and a plane. And yes, all his toys with wheels make the vaccuum sound, except for the cars which make a humming sound ending with a high-pitched squeal at the end when they screech to a stop. All boy.

Anyway, we had a great Easter! Hope you all did, too!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Just a quick family photo for you. More easter to come once I finish up some photoshopping and *sniff sniff* registering Gennie for Kindergarten.

Just breathe, Amy, just breathe. You knew she was going to start school someday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Miss M sneak peek.

So, some good friends came to GR to visit all of us over their spring break and I got to play with this little beauty! I couldn't get these proofed before they had to head home so I promised I'd put a few on here while they wait for their CD. Thanks Sam and Bri!

She was on the move and I had a great time chasing her around my living room! This last one I shot after we were all done - just happened to catch it when the pressure was off - and it's definitely one of my favorites, binky and all. And of course I love the black and whites - they are always my favs.

Thanks again, friends! I can't wait to see you again!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

So, have you ever been evicted from the library?

I must admit I have. More than once. The first few times were when I was in 6th-7th grade. In the carefree spirit of preteens, my best friend Shannon and I used to go down the street to the Manor Branch Library to "do homework" and "research for our book reports." In all honesty, not nearly as much time was actually spent on either of these tasks as it was on staring at the heartthrob of our school, Gian Roselli. Shannon wasn't so enthralled with him and admittedly I'd never uttered a word to him and would put money on it that he didn't know of my existence, but I couldn't resist. Every time he got up from his chair I'd drag her thru the shelves of books to peek at him and see where he was going, and then run back to our table just before he came back to avoid seeming suspicious. All of this ridiculousness would eventually draw the attention of the library workers and we'd either get the loud, over-emphasised "SHHHH!" or, on those few occasions when we'd performed this little feat too many times in a row, we'd be asked to come back another day. Ahh, middle school.

However, my most recent library eviction actually came today.

I'm 30 years old. I've been happily married for almost 9 years now. I have 2 kids, one of whom is learning to read. I return books/movies on time, every time. I'm a shining example of what a library patron should look like.

And I got kicked out. Because of my son.

We went to the library today after I picked up Gennie from preschool, to get a new book for me and some kids DVDs for them to watch this weekend while we get housework done. Innocent enough, right? Yeah. I let them go over to the kids corner to play with the little toys they have set out while I hunted for my next read. I didn't find anything eye catching right away so decided I'd better go and find out if they were indeed still in the building. They were, and having a great time playing with this other little girl there. I stood watching them for a few minutes, then it occurred to me that none of us had eaten lunch yet and that we'd better get going so we could get home and eat before the inevitable melt-down began.

And that's when I made the fatal mistake. I announced, "It's time to put up the toys!" and bent down to pick Josiah up. At that moment, he let loose a tantrum like you only read about. It was a quick one, but loud. I pried the little train from his fist and jammed his binky in his mouth, gesturing to Gennie that it was time to head out. I still hadn't checked out her movies or found a book for me so we hurried over to the Mystery section. By this time Josiah was quieting down, and the screaming had all but stopped so I felt sure I could just grab something off a shelf and hope it was good. As we entered the aisle Josiah started reaching out trying to grab at the books on the shelves at his level. I told him No and pushed the books back into their places, all the while bouncing him on my hip and whispering, "shhhh". This didn't make him happy and the crying started up again but without the tantrum's fist-banging and decibel level. I handed him my library card to hold and my cell phone to play with while I was quickly scanning only the shelves at my eye level - who wants to try to balance a screaming toddler while bending down to see what treasure might be stashed on the bottom shelf? With the introduction of the library card he finally quieted down, enough so that I thought we were home free. I scanned a few more titles hoping for something promising.

Enter the Noise Nazi. She descended upon us like she'd been following us all along, just waiting for him to start up one more time before she struck. As she approached I was thinking it was one of the older librarians - in my experience age seems to rid some people, even those who had toddlers at one time, of the patience that it takes to handle crying children. But no, to my surprise it was a lady probably not even as old as me. Honest to goodness, this is what she said to me:

"Ma'am? Oh, I see he seems happier now. (smile, poke-pokeing Josiah in the tummy) That's good. But I must say that if he begins that crying again I have to ask you to take him outside. The noise really is disturbing to our patrons. (unnecessary baby talk to Josiah) But he seems happy now! That's good."

And she turned around and was halfway back down the aisle before she mumbled over her shoulder a quiet "Thank you for cooperating." She continued past the front desk and out the door.

Needless to say, I decided to forgo the hunt for a book and we crept out of the aisle and up to the desk to check out Gennie's movies. Another of the librarians came to help us and I apologized profusely for his loud display. She was so nice and said that he hadn't really disturbed anyone, especially compared to the riot that happens each week during Reading Hour in the children's corner.

Now, I just have to say that I can understand how hard it can be having to approach someone and deliver such a speech. Back in my kid-free days I worked in several jobs where I had to be the bearer of bad news. One such occurrence happened while I was a Case Worker for the Dept. of Social Services. I had to tell a man face to face that his wife (who was just recovering from major spinal surgery) would not be covered by the state medical insurance (to the tune of 100's of thousands of dollars) even though they had sold off all their possessions and liquidated all of their stocks and savings to become eligible, because they had chosen to use a small private hospital instead of one of the ones in town who accepted state aid. Yeah, wasn't the happiest day of my life, that one. That said, I understand that except for those few people in the world who delight in the rush they get from yelling at others it isn't pleasant to approach a stranger and ask them to vacate the area. But for a library system who wants patronage, especially that of young mothers who are able to bring their children to the different story times and summer programs, is it really in their best interest to ask someone to leave simply for some crying? Do they not realize that the chorus that emits from the corner every week during the story time is much more disturbing to the "patrons"? And more than that, did she not recognize the telltale signs of a frantic mom ransacking her own pockets for some treasure with which to stop the embarrassing display?

I think I'll lay low for the next few days until the heat dies down before I venture in there again. Too bad I don't have a book to read to pass the time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

in my most polite voice

taken yesterday. we've had a whole week of terrible snow storms. and my roaming gnome is not impressed.
dear snow, let me begin by saying i do enjoy you. i look forward to your arrival each fall because it means i can wear whatever new hat/scarf i've procured most recently. i love watching my kids play with you. i don't think i could ever go back to christmas mornings without you. you bring a fresh and clean feeling to the day when i peek out the window in the morning.
but let's be reasonable. here we are, beginning april, and you are still here. just a few days ago we were at the park and you were all but gone. the sun was warm and inviting and we laughed and played in short-sleeved shirts without jackets. but then you decided to rush back in with reinforcements. really, i think it's over for this year, okay? we're done here. stop teasing us by letting the sun come out for a time then chasing it away again. we have years and years ahead of us to spend with you and we'll be happy to see you again next winter. get that - winter! but now it's spring and we're ready for the sun.
warmest personal regards, amy