December 31, 2010

hello manual

OMG I actually turned the dial on my camera to manual yesterday.  I was trying to take some pictures in the morning, and it kept slowing down my shutter speed or throwing the aperture all the way open, making everything over exposed and blown out.  I was throwing a little hissy fit about it, when finally I was like, ok, so I know what I want my camera to do.  Why don't I tell it?

Now I am by no means claiming any of these photos are good, but the first two were shot in Tv mode, or where I am controlling the shutter speed and the camera is controlling the aperture.  It took a lot of photoshop editing to take down the highlights and open up the shadows.  Part of my problem is that Ry is really close to the light, and the white window seat reflects a ton on to her face.  My bad.  But the fact that she is pointing makes it super cute no matter what right?

I'm a horrible photoshop editor.  Horrible.  My pictures never come out looking the same because I don't pay attention to what I'm doing, just trying to make each picture look 'better'.  So it would be way better for me to get shots that turn out ok straight out of the camera.

I'm happy to report that the following pictures came pretty much straight out of the camera.  I did a little editing on the ones of me, because lets face it, I don't look so great in the morning.  I was trying to hide some of the mascara smeared on my face.  It didn't work :o).

 Chris wasn't paying attention.  Lame.

Ok on the photos with her and Chris, I did edit the levels, whereas the photos of Ryann and I, I only used the spot healing tool to clean up some of my mascara mess.  That was the only editing I did.  Which photos look better/more natural to you?

why oh why did I decide to take pictures in the morning?  
morning is not a good look on me...

Thanks to the fact that my house is filled with everything green, my photos all have a slightly green cast that I have a tough time getting rid of.  Anyone out there have any suggestions?

Seriously, why was I absolutely too scared to shoot in manual?  Even try it?  I've had this camera for 2.5 years.  I'm a dork.

December 30, 2010

embrace the camera

I've missed a couple weeks on embrace the camera as far as the posts go... but don't worry, I've got plenty of pictures.  This post will make up for my lack of participation lately.  :o)

 Two weeks ago these were the pictures I intended on posting.  Neither of us were feeling much like embracing the camera, but we did it anyway.  And then I was too lazy to make a post.  Fail.

Chris, me and Ryann at Meaghan's wedding.  Ryann was more than a tad grumpy, not to mention that she hates camera flashes.  Whenever someone takes her picture they wonder why she isn't used to it by now.  Uh, because I never use a flash at home!

Ryann and I with Santa Clause on Christmas Eve.  I had hoped to get the typical baby screaming with Santa photo, but she was so grumpy that I was wearing her for awhile.  It was too much of a hassle to take her off for the five seconds she was going to sit on his lap, so we both participated.  Maybe next year. 

Christmas Eve in the hotel...

 stay back mom, I want that camera!
she is definitely not a lay in bed and cuddle kind of girl.  
more a stick her fingers up your nose and sit on your face kind of girl...

 Some random pictures Chris took this past weekend...

 again, give me the camera people.

These pictures we took last night.  I figured since we all were decked out in KU gear we might as well capture the moment.  Ryann only wanted to hold the camera, obviously.

Ok I mentioned she doesn't like flashes?  She has learned that when she sees the focus light (most cameras have a red or orange light that shines when they are focusing, maybe to eliminate red eye or something?) that she just needs to hold her eyes closed after that.  You have to wait a good five seconds after you focus so you can catch her off guard.  Silly girl.

Whew, so there you have it.  My overfilled but makes me smile embrace the camera post.  I think that covers it, don't you?

December 29, 2010

nine months

*fyi, taking any pictures of this child sitting where I want her to sit doing what I want her to do?  not happening.  at all.  at one point we tried putting the sticker on her butt but it was still hard to catch*

My little bitty baby girl is three quarters of a year old today, and she isn't so little bitty anymore.  I can slowly (but more quickly than I like) see the baby fading away and her moving closer and closer to being a toddler.  It is insane.

We don't go to the doctor until January 11th, so we played guess how big the baby is at home.  She is about 19 lbs 10 oz and 28.25 in long.  She is still hanging on to her nine month Carter's clothes, and wearing almost all of her 6-12 month outfits from BabyGap and Old Navy.  Just some of the dresses still seem a little big.  Ryann is wearing a size three diaper, and size 3-4 shoes, when she actually wears shoes.  Which isn't very often :o).  As of yesterday she has three teeth.  One of the top ones just poked through.

Ryann is still getting 4-5 six ounce bottles a day.  And solids still suck.  It is a battle every time.  She throws a fit when we first put her in the high chair.  She gets upset when we put on the bib.  And then I have to do anything and everything I can think of to distract her while Chris tries to shovel food in her mouth.  We've tried letting her feed herself (she doesn 't put anything in her mouth, fail).  We've tried hand feeding her small bites of food, she either throws up or freaks out like we're trying to hurt her.  The only thing she will consistently eat is puffs, and those damn things have zero nutritional value.  What baffles me is that she gets all excited when she sees the container and will happily eat them when we put them in her mouth.  But even if she plucks it out of our hand on the way to her mouth she absolutely will not put it in her mouth.  And a sippy cup?  She would rather chuck it across the room or just play with it.  When I try to give her a drink she usually gags.  Oy.  Anyone have any more suggestions or dealt with something similar?

get this thing off me.  i'm not participating in this photo shoot.

Oh the most common question.  Does she sleep through the night?  This month I thought I was going to be able to happily say she had started sleeping at least 10 hours straight every night, but then her top teeth started coming in/ we went out of town and we are back to horrible sleep.  It has been getting progressively better (just a little bit) since we got home so hopefully it continues to do so.  Ryann is still taking two naps a day, lasting 1-2 hours each.  The only bonus to her crappy night sleep is that her naps are usually 2+ hours.  Yet that probably messes with her night sleep... who knows.  Getting her to sleep is still pretty tough, but since naps usually last a decent amount of time it isn't as annoying.

Alright enough with our little difficulties, on to the good stuff.  Favorite development this month?  Pointing.  A couple weeks ago Ryann started pointing at me, it was random and kind of goofy.  Now she points at stuff when she wants it, or wants to go somewhere.  I absolutely LOVE it.  It is amazing to have some form of communication, as little as it might be.  I feel like we can connect a little bit more when she wants something, can show me what she wants, and I can give it to her.  She most frequently points at the puffs can, her books, uh, the bottle of tylenol :o), and well, me.

Ryann is still mostly saying 'da da'.  She has more sounds when she is babbling, but now I think she really realizes that 'da da' means Chris.  She uses it while she babbles, but as soon as she sees him she gets all excited and says either 'da da', or something that sounds like 'hi da'.  She says 'da da' most forcefully when I ask her to say 'ma ma'.  I'm pretty sure she finds it funny.

Clapping is still inconsistent.  She will do it randomly, but not on command.  We have started getting a random wave here and there too.  Just this past week really... Chris has the month off, so I've been taking Ry back in the bedroom when she wakes up.  Chris sat up and said 'hi Ry' and waved, and I swear she waved back and said 'hi da'.  We just looked at each other like 'did she really just wave'?  since then we have seen it a few more times.  Ryann is also passing out a few more smooches.  Generally I only get them before bath time, but Chris can randomly lean in while she is playing and get a big open mouth tongue out sloppy kiss.  It is so cute.  I think she is also starting to dance.  She will stand up at her little music table and bounce up and down.  Sometimes when I tell her to shake her booty she does the same thing.  Super cute!

Ry is now playing peekaboo.  She doesn't say anything, but she will squat down behind something, pop up, and wait for you to say peekaboo, then go back down again.  Or if we are in the car, she grabs on to the cover we have on her carseat and pull it in front of her face a little bit, and then pull it back.  When you say peekaboo she gets the biggest grin.

 she just wanted to play with my camera

Ryann has always seemed to enjoy her bath, but now that she takes one like a big girl it is probably her favorite place to be.  She cries every time Chris gets her out.  She stays in there until her little toes are pruney and her ears are freezing, and we decide it isn't good for her to sit in there anymore.  She doesn't really splash much, just sits in there and pushes her toys around the water.  The other day Ry was a little cranky and she kept pointing toward the bathroom.  So Chris set her in the tub with her clothes on.  You could tell it wasn't quite as fun without the water, but she was still happy just to be in the tub.  She also knows what the word bath means.  If she is crawling around on the floor and I ask her if she wants to take a bath, she will crawl into the bathroom, pull up on the tub, and try to climb in.

 seriously mom, I'm done with this!

Books/ pulling books off the bookshelf is still another one of Ryann's favorite things.  If she takes off crawling toward her room and I shut the door because we've already sat in there for an hour with the books maybe 20 minutes ago, she cries.  Pretty much anytime she sees her door closed she cries (actually she cries when she sees you close any door, she doesn't like her exploring missions to be compromised).  Right now her favorite books are Dinosaur Roar, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Tails and this book called Who? that I randomly grabbed at Sams.  She wants us to read that one over and over and over again.  She also loves to help turn pages.  After we finish a page we say 'turn the page?' and she flips to the next page.  I also love watching Ryann look at Peekaboo Kisses.  She turns the pages, opens the flaps and touches the little furry patches like a pro.  Too cute.

 thought I'd sneak a couple of bath pictures in here

Some other random/ funny things that don't really need there own paragraph... sometimes she giggles when she sneezes.  She makes a really weird sucking in noise when she gets excited.  She loves her ball pit.  Sometimes she stands barely holding onto something with just one hand.  she cruises like a champ.  She wants to climb anything and everything.

  how cute is that smile?

Miss Ryann, mommy and daddy think you're the greatest.  Just keep being you :o).  Happy nine months little girl!

December 28, 2010

orange honey garlic chicken

I'm not going to lie, we've been eating out a lot, or eating things like chicken nuggets we make in the oven.  But last night we actually cooked some dinner.

We tried this recipe for orange honey garlic chicken.  I figured it would be good, considering the ridiculously long name included three items that Chris and I love.  Overall the chicken had good flavor, but it turned out a little dry.  Also we checked the chicken at just over an hour in the oven and it was done.  The picture on the website has grill marks, so we might try grilling the chicken next time.  Or letting it marinate a little longer.


December 27, 2010

our christmas weekend

Whew, I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.  Ours had it's ups and downs, but overall I think Ryann had a great first Christmas.  She got lots of new toys and books, and enjoyed all the wrapping paper more than anything.

Thanks to some incoming weather, we left a day earlier than planned.  So we hung out in the hotel a little bit, and Thursday evening we hung out at my grandma's apartment.  It was fun to watch all of the little ones try and interact.

Friday we spent some more time at my Grandma's apartment, and headed back to the hotel to change.  Ryann is near impossible to get dressed these days.  After I got her tights on she took off.

Christmas Eve was spent at my aunt and uncle's house.  Ryann was pretty cranky, her mouth was killing her and she hated her dress.  She kept pulling on it and yelling.

 Can you tell she is teething?  This is her night in a nutshell.  And no, she is definitely not sleeping.  Just upset and worn out.

 After a quick visit from Santa (those pictures are on Chris's camera, I'm too lazy to go find it right now) we changed Ry into her jammies.  Between those and a pile of ping pong balls she was a much happier camper.

Christmas morning we had stockings in the hotel.  Then after Ryann took a long two hour nap we headed over to my Grandma's to open presents.  Ryann got just a little bit spoiled :o).

Ryann and her GiGi, my grandma.  I love this picture, even though Ryann doesn't look super thrilled.  She was running on empty.

Ryann slept horribly in the hotel as I mentioned in the previous post.  We weren't sure if it was just the hotel, or if it was her teeth, or staying up too late.  Whatever the reason we decided we couldn't take it another night, so for everyone's sake we skipped out on Christmas dinner and headed home a night early.  I was a little sad, but when we got home Ryann was so happy.

Unfortunately coming back home hasn't helped her night sleep yet.  The last two nights she has been up every hour to two hours, and has a really hard time settling down to sleep.  We are using orajel and tylenol.  Her top gums are so swollen, and now she has an incredibly runny nose.  I hope everything goes back to normal soon, because I feel bad for her, plus Chris and I are pretty exhausted.

Quick funny tidbit.  We got Ryann a collapsible tunnel to crawl through.  When I got it out Saturday night she cried and clung to me as hard as she could.  She was absolutely terrified of the thing.  Since then she has decided it's ok, but it was pretty funny.