Sunday, January 22, 2012

Peri's New Fort

 We noticed that Peri likes to be under a blanket to play sometimes. She laughs and smiles and generally has a good time.

 So today we made a cardboard box and blanket fort for Peri. She seems to enjoy playing in it a lot. This is what it looks like:

she likes to drag toys into it and play under the blanket
we can fold the flap up in case she wants to see mom and dad while she plays
but whenever the flap is up, she starts to eat her fort!

  We think it's petty cool, and it seems like she does too!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Good Weekend

We've had a pretty good weekend so far. Except for Peri being particularly resistant to naps and therefore cranky all day (but we got through it okay), we had some pretty good news this morning! Gary got offered an interview at Union Pacific Railroad! This is definitely a preliminary sort of interview, and it is in no way certain that he'll get anything more, but it feels so great to finally get another interview after six months of literally nothing! It's been like banging our heads against a wall. His interview is in 2 weeks in Portland, OR. That's quite a drive, as it'll cost us money that we'd really like to keep to ourselves, but we can't afford not to follow up on a chance like this. So we're mostly just excited and crossing our fingers and hoping this is the answer to our prayers we've been keeping an eye out for. We'd appreciate any prayers that any of you'd like to send our way too!

The only downside if Gary gets this job is that we'd move around probably every few months for the 18 month training period, and Gary would be on call day and night and would probably work a 50hr week or so. Anyone who knows me knows that I have no problem moving around (in fact living in the same place for even 2 years is very, very hard for me) but we have no idea how that will effect Peri. Gary will probably have a hard time with it too, and think of all the packing and unpacking we'll have to do! We'll be pros by the end though. The 50hr week will mean less time at home with his family, but we'll just have to spend a lot of quality time together when he is home.

That's still an "if" scenario, though, and right now we're content to hope that this might be just what our family needs. Hopefully the good ju-jus keep rolling in!

Now just for fun, gratuitous family pictures!

The whole family! I have to work on putting everyone in a spot where we all get enough light on our faces.

These two are so cute together!

Peri loves the feel of Daddy's stubble : P

That's all for now folks! Good Night!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Even More Photographs of a Family Nature

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine at work asked me, "so with a new baby, have you come home to find your living room transformed into a photography studio yet?" Now I can say that I have. This friend has since ordered a professional grade backdrop and some other camera hardware. For the time being, we're still using fabric cuts from our supply, but we may see some more legitimate stuff in the future.
This turned out to be a good picture of me and Peri sure is interested  in something.

Our little family. We're still figuring out how to get more light onto Peri without overexposing the whole image.

This one was just fun.

This happened just after a "pulling Mom's hair" incident. We're still working on the idea  that pulling hair really hurts.

This was from a previous session, but I'll include it with this set because I'm kind of fond of this little one.

Although I will admit I'm also fond of Mom. 
When the weather warms up a little bit we're going outside for more pictures; maybe we'll get some shots of us doing our outdoors playing. We've still got that Kelty carrier we haven't used yet.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Like a Duck in Water

 Naomi has really taken to this photography thing. It's been nearly four years since I got my "last year's" entry level Nikon DSLR on clearance at Costco, and for the first time it's really being put through its paces. Naomi is loving it and loving finding places to get better at it. Basically, I come home every day to a new folder of great photos of Peri, and they're only getting better.

I like her expression here

By far, my favorite of this batch
I guess we're really embracing the arts around here. Next up: polymer clay sculpture, more sewing projects,   and further endeavors in the kitchen.

Gary, out.

Peri Picture Dump

Gary and I have been wanting to learn how to use our camera better for a while now, but we haven't made much progress for various reasons. The past few days though, I've been reading up on how to take better pictures, and what better way to practice than to take pictures of my beautiful (and very photogenic) daughter? These pictures haven't been messed with in any way, other than some cropping here and there.

What I'm focusing on right now is how to adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to compensate for lighting conditions. The following photos were taken with the noon sun shining through our window, which makes for really pretty colors but very harsh shadows. For a first experiment, I think I did okay!

 Without further ado, Peri!

I wish I had a little more light on her face so I could see her features better.

Just playing a little with perspective in these next few pictures.

I love the face she is making here!

It's actually really hard to capture Peri smiling this big, so I'm really rather pleased with this.

There will  probably be more of these little "photo shoots"  in the future, but hopefully they'll get better as time goes on!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas. Finest Kind.

Peri sitting up like it's not a big deal at all.
I volunteered to do the Christmas blog post. We had a pretty good time in Steilacoom with Grandma. Peri got to show Grandma and Uncle Gary all of her new tricks, and she improved on some of them while we were there. In her repertoire, Peri can now stay sitting up without weebling over, she can roll over off her tummy (she hates tummy time), and she can creep along for several inches (I call it proto-crawling for some reason) if all the conditions are met. Grandma was also very impressed how Peri can put down her oat cereal. I'll tell you though, Peri does not like traveling long distances. I don't blame her; I've driven enough to feel every mile in my bones.
Peri is contemplating what to do next. So much concentrated awesome .
Peri showing her Singing Star Stack to Grandma.
Peri absolutely LOVED Christmas. Santa takes the extra time at my house to lay some toys out so we could play right away, and he remembered that for Peri. She loves her little bucket of shapes and her singing star stack and her pop-lantern and several dolls and her giraffe hat (thank you Grandpa!).
Possibly the cutest picture on record of any baby, anywhere.
Peri is a big fan of giraffes, and it came about accidentally. It started with a plush giraffe which I had from somewhere. When Peri first started grabbing hold of things, we gave it to her and the two were inseperable. Next, we got her a little jungle playmat/tactical command center which features a giraffe in one corner. She loves that beyond all else. And third, She has a nice giraffe hat from Grandpa to keep her ears warm when we go out on walks. The first instance of Peri doing her creep-crawl thing occurred when she went after her hat.

Naomi and I got some pretty neat things as well. We got a Kinect, which opens up a lot of doors for us on the Xbox. We set it up in my mom's living room and put it through its paces Christmas morning, and we use it on the daily here at home.

My mom got us everything we need to get started with painting landscapes. The instructional material came with a pretty slick little guide and a DVD. The style is similar to that which Bob Ross made famous, though he used oil paints on a wet canvas, whereas we're using acrylics on dry. Naomi and I made a fun date out of watching the instructional video, practicing on the plastic sheet, and finally putting brush to canvas. This was a really great gift and I'm excited to do another piece. I already have an idea in mind that is at my skill level and really carries some meaning for me. I'm going to let it sit in my mind for a while so it can grow and develop a little more before I commit to canvas, but it's on.

Naomi's is on the left; a classic New England lighthouse. Mine is on the right. It's vaguely what I remember from the time when I actually saw a lighthouse in the Pacific Northwest.
We decided that we couldn't leave Peri out, so we cooked up some finger paint out of corn starch and food coloring. We found a big piece of stretched canvas and let her go to work on it. The result turned out far, far nicer than we had expected. The corn starch doesn't hold up too well, so it's cracked a little now, but it still looks pretty nice. In fact, it's hanging over our mantle right now, and we have no intentions to move it anytime soon.

Peri's interpretation of a New England lighthouse, having never seen a lighthouse or knowing what a lighthouse is.

I want to conclude with some more photos of Peri, because she's a lot cuter and far more interesting than I am.

She loves playing with the tray to her little seat, even more than playing with toys on her tray on her seat.

Playing with wrapping paper on Christmas morning. She split her time pretty equally between her toys and the stuff her toys came wrapped in, so we count it as a victory.

Absolutely adorable. Finest kind.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Zoo Lights

While we were at Grandma's house for Christmas, Gary remembered that Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium hosted something called Zoo Lights during the holiday season. I'd never heard of this before, but let me tell you, it is a great idea, and we all had lots of fun!

Zoo Lights is pretty much what it sounds like: the zoo puts up lots of fairy lights and light displays around the zoo, and you walk around at night and admire the awesome luminosity. These guys don't skimp either. There are lights everywhere!

I suppose the best way to explain is to show you, so that's just what I'll do. Luckily we remembered to take the camera, and a lot of the pictures turned out really well!

There is actually a gaggle of geese at the end of a rainbow. Who knew?

I especially liked the ice skating puffins! Their little scarves are so cute!

Do you see the little baby caribou?

This one came out all blurry, but I kind of like it that way. I thought this tree looked so cool with the bright green and purple contrast. I think it might have been my favorite.

This one is blurry as well, but it gives a good feeling of just how many lights there were!
There were much more lights and cool things to see; it would have taken us forever to take pictures of them all. The aquarium was open too, because I guess fish don't sleep or something. Peri liked to watch the sharks swim back and forth in the big tank. We all had a great time, and Peri enjoyed the walk and all the pretty lights to look at. I think this will be a tradition to go see whenever we are at Grandma's for Christmas!

5 Months

Peri is 5 months old! She is so cute. She is getting so big, and so beautiful! We love her very much.

We also love, love, love showing off pictures of her! So here are a few of my beautiful 5-month-old baby girl!

We had some ribbon I scavenged from Christmas presents that look adorable in her hair. I also decided to teach her how fun ties can be :D

I just love her beautiful blue eyes!

Another great shot of those peepers.

Peri gets to wear the Sombrero! She thought it was pretty cool.

Also, she's been able to sit up on her own for a while now, but she got really good at it while staying at Grandma's house. 
I just can't get over how many things she can do now! I love to watch her play and see those little cogs turn in her head. What a great experience being a mother is!