Category Archives: travel

Ketchup

I’m getting really bad at this, aren’t I?

Anyway, here are my general goings-on:

My photography business is going well.  My last two jobs – a sweet sixteen party and a portrait session with five kids under five – both mentioned wanting me to work for them again in the future.  That makes me so happy, that these people are happy enough with my work (and with me) that they want to give me more of their money to have fun taking pictures.  I can dig it!  I have a wedding to photograph tomorrow, which should be fun and is in a lovely location.  It’s just a touch less pressure because the couple actually is already married – they tied the knot about a month ago for technical reasons.  So tomorrow’s just for fun and show for their friends and family.  The bride and groom are both older, and most of his family won’t be there (he’s from very very far away) so the posed formals of the whole thing (by far my least favorite part of weddings) will be very low-key and relaxed and focused mostly on the bride and groom.  The only thing I’m really not looking forward to is that I’m sick right now.  Not crazy feverish or anything, but feeling kinda stuffy and with a tickly throat and feeling very, very run down.  I foresee fueling myself with cold medicine and coffee tomorrow.

Lane’s doing really well in kindergarten.  We had our first parent-teacher conference and we heard how her skills are all really far along, and (more importantly to me) that she is a real pleasure to have in class.  I can officially say she’s reading.  We laid all the building blocks for her, and something about school just helped her put it all together and she can read straight through some of the simpler Dr. Seuss books now.  She’s started taking *very* informal piano lessons and likes them. 

Jake is just such a boy now.  He was watching Little Bear on Noggin today and just laughing in a very amused way at very appropriate parts and it just struck me that he’s a kid now.  Not my baby anymore!  Though I wish someone would tell that to him when he insists on nursing.  I still mostly don’t mind but where Lane was more laid-back about scaling back or shortening sessions, Jake will have none of it.  Oh well, he’s only little like this once.

Frank and I are talking about another baby.  Gluttons for punishment, no?  😀  It’s funny though… for a long time I’d bring up the subject and he was very noncommittal about talking about a baby.  Very recently though, something’s changed.  He’s more into it now.  I wish he’d be more forthcoming with his affirmation, rather than me having to infer it from his intense concern that I get the H1N1 vaccine in case I get pregnant.  Though it may be a while in coming, as I and my (new, feels like a great fit!) midwife are both pretty sure I’m not ovulating, and we’re trying to figure out why through myriad tests, including an ultrasound of my lady parts that I have to schedule.

Frank, in actuarial matters, took one of the FSA exams a couple weeks ago, and he’ll find out if he passed in January.  In the meantime, he got ahold of the syllabus for the other FSA exam and he’s started studying for that one.  Each of the FSA exams is only offered once a year, but not at the same time.  So the first one was offered in October, and the other one will be offered end of April.  So… you either focus on one and only take an exam once a year (and have to wait a whole year if you don’t pass the first time) or you split your focus on both of them so you’re always working toward an exam that isn’t more than a few months away.  Not to say Frank’s definitely chosen one approach over the other, he’s just in limbo right now, not knowing if he passed, with an exam coming up in April.  So I think he’s optimistically going to start studying for that one, hoping he passed the exam he just took.  If he finds out he failed the exam, I imagine he’ll switch back to studying for that one.  I know this seems a sort of weird subject to dedicate a big ol’ blog paragraph towards, but our lives sort of revolve around exams and the time Frank needs to study for them.  Plans are put on hold in favor of studying.  Our friends have largely forgotten what we look like.  However, we ARE taking two vactions in the next few months!  In addition to the week we’ll spend in Buffalo for the holidays, we are going to Disney world in mid-February, and Aruba in April.   I kind of hope I can make those trips pregnant.  🙂

Progress

Things are getting done around our new abode, which is encouraging.

Our living room is all painted — three walls are the same warm beige (“oat cake” says Behr) as our bedroom with one accent wall of Ladybug Red.  And Frank likes it.  Yay!  I’m fairly confident in my color choices and I like to go out on a limb sometimes.  Nothing that a can of primer can’t fix, right?  I figured he’d be wishy-washy on the red at best, and he’s actually digging it.  Cool!  Our next color challenge is to pick a color for our dining room.  I was, and still am somewhat, leaning toward a muted, darkish orange color for the dining room… but just now I started playing with some warm browns and ooooooohh.  I’ve never painted a room a dark brown before.  I’ve done navy blue in a half-bath, but never a whole room of something so dark.  It might be fun.

Frank and his dad tackled a bunch of clearing out the overgrown landscaping this weekend, and I conquered more of it this afternoon.  Then I dug a two-foot hole and set up our new roadside mailbox at the behest of the postal service (with a bit of help from my father in-law — but I did dig the whole hole myself with a post hole digger).

Frank and I just finished changing out all the switches and outlets in the living room to shiny new stuff and adding dimmers and all that fun stuff.  I gotta say, nothing makes me feel more like I’m a cool, confident adult than installing a dimmer switch, and I say that without a hint of sarcasm.  Just gotta shampoo the rug in there, and put in our furniture.  The cable company is coming next Tuesday to install cable for us, and our own internet service (right now my only internet is off of the in-laws’ router, for which we can only get a signal against the outside wall of our dining room, which is why I’m sitting here on a cushion from our couch instead of the dozen or so infinitely more comfortable spots in our house.)

The last couple days have felt quite productive.  Tomorrow, I’m spending a day with just Lane, while Jake gets to hang out with his grandparents for the day.  I figure since she’s starting pre-K next week, we should do some sort of send-off, to kind of celebrate her last days before she becomes SCHOOL AGED.  Ack!  So, she and I are going to drive down to Sesame Place for some kickin’ mom-and-daughter time.

Bon dia!

That’s Aruba for hello, I think.  Most Arubans speak English pretty fluently so I was, admittedly, geocentrically lazy about learning much in Papiamento, the native language.

We are back.  The trip was awesome.  I have a ton of shit to do tonight, but I wanted to say hello and I wanted to share some random thoughts about the vacation upon which I will probably elaborate more in days to come.

  • My landlord is frigging crazy.  Not like dangerous crazy, but neurotic crazy.  He noticed we weren’t around for a few days, and our mail wasn’t coming.  But despite Frank’s car in the driveway, and our stuff still visible through windows (like our plants in the kitchen window), he left me a rambly voice mail wondering if we had stopped living there and should he start looking for new tenants?!?  I think all the creepy sex between him and his hotty Latina girlfriend has decreased the bloodflow to his brain or something.
  • Frank and I went out to dinner our last night there, to an awesomely awesome restaurant.  Good food, incredible ambiance.  I can’t wait to have time to tell you more about it!
  • Lane was a little stressed out by the general situation of two whole days without Mommy in an unfamiliar place, and her stress carried over into the rest of the vacation.  Overall she handled it well, for her.  However she wasn’t keen on doing much without me the rest of the trip, and tears were shed any time Frank and I went off to do something without the kids.  But it got better as the time passed, to be sure.  I am happy to report that she learned to swim by the end of the vacation, and since I was a lifeguard/swim instructor in a previous life that has me all sorts of proud.   And she won’t do that swimming-with-her-face-out-of-the-water-for-fear-of-getting-her-face-wet business… in fact we have the opposite problem, she can’t quite figure out the mechanics of lifting her face out of the water to take a breath, so her swimming is limited to about six feet before she runs out of air.  But she swims, and floats, and there were no floaties required to get her to that point so I am all sorts of proud of her.
  • Jake loved every minute of it.  He loved the ocean, and the pool, and the toilet in the room, and eating sand, and throwing coral rocks with me and Lane, and more than anything the eight days down there cemented his Grandpa Frank as unequivocally the coolest person in his universe.  They truly are like peas and carrots, to borrow a turn of phrase.
  • I have decided I simply love Aruba and would stay there forever, if possible.  The weather is amazing (highs of 88 degrees F like, all year, lots of low humidity, constant trade winds which make it never feel really hot even when it is, and no hurricanes).  The people are friendly, and there is stuff to do without there being too much to do.  You can lay on the beach every day of your vacation and not feel like you really missed anything.  There’s stuff to do if you really are inclined, and it’s interesting and fun, but you’ll never on your deathbed regret not doing it.  It’s not a cheap place to visit… but we will certainly be back.