Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Odyssey 2012

This has been a long and stressful week. We shipped my Marine husband off for a few weeks and then the Things and I traveled from Baton Rouge to Pennsylvania in our van, picking up their pop pop along the way.

The trip was nothing I imagined it to be. The kids didn't squall and fuss the whole time, they hardly even fought. They didn't play with most of the toys we brought or use the neck pillows they were so excited about. They did spend hours using their Crayola Color Wonder markers, which must be handed down from God himself!

We hardly ate at McDonald's the whole trip! I knew I didn't WANT to eat there every day (two or three times) but had no idea how that would work out. I packed TONS of food and sandwich stuff and we stopped at national parks or nice rest areas, so instead of feasting on Mickey D's, we ate wholesome, homemade food and got real exercise along the way! I think we ate under the golden arches just once in the whole 5 days, which is pretty much our average for a non travel week (don't judge me)!

One major stop was at the Georgia Aquarium before picking up my dad in Atlanta. That part went as expected, actually. I didn't enjoy it. We've been there twice now and I can't shake the impression that it's the Mall of America of aquariums. It's too much flash and not enough fish. That feeling is worse after seeing their dolphin show. My kids liked it well enough, but it was so much about the special effects, you barely noticed the dolphins. I should move on now, because I could go on for a whole post about the serious lack of dolphin in their uber fancy dolphin exhibition.

beluga whale tail

Fetching my dad from the Atlanta airport was harder than anticipated (he would say "SEE!?"), but we soon found him and got on our way. It was really fantastic of my dad to fly down so I would have company and help for the rest of the trip, but I had no idea how it would work (again). We didn't bicker or grouse, neither complained about the others' driving, and whoever was in the passenger seat kept track of directions and entertained the kids. Amazing.

The one part of the trip that I didn't expect trouble or find any was in North Carolina. We spent a day with some family, which was a wonderful break from the road and chance to see a much missed part of our lives! Love you, NC!

Then on to Pittsburgh for a night before our final destination Monday. It could not have gone smoother! It may have been an invasion of the body snatchers because things never go that well for me! Other than Thing 2 letting go of me just as I got on an escalator and staying at the bottom as I was carried ever upward, the drama we saw was on the periphery and gave the kids much to discuss along the way. (Thanks SO much to that family at the bottom of the Dolphin stairs who took my 3yo by the hand and safely planted him on the escalator!)

Now to settle in and see if the adventure of living with Nana and Pop for six weeks goes the way I expect! 


Monday, May 7, 2012

G violence vs. PG cute.

So what is the deal with kids movie ratings? How is a movie who's characters spend the entire film plotting to, talking about, and attempting to kill each other G rated? Because, apparently it's OK to do violence to characters that aren't shaped like people. But guess what? My kids don't know the difference. Not really.

The hubs and I finally previewed Cars 2 last night because the Things (aka our children) have been begging us to see it. We had avoided it this long because I had preconceived notions related to the story line. I despise the big-oil/big business is bad meme that I knew existed in this picture, but figured it might be a teachable moment. No. Such. Luck. It was funny, we adults were genuinely entertained for most of it, but there is no way in hell my 4 and 5 year olds will be watching this. It's violent! With a capital V, Violent. Cars are killed, shot at, blown up, and plotted against throughout, but apparently, since they're only cars, it's OK for a G audience. I don't get it. It's OK to do violence to characters that have all the attributes of people except for the physical ones?

Admittedly, I have no idea how movies are rated or who does it, but in my opinion, they fail miserably.  My brain keeps going back to Tangled. A crazy cute, funny movie with some violence that earns it a PG rating. I think PG is a little much, but I accept it because kids really shouldn't hit people with frying pans and the old lady does knife the hero at the end. Fine, but if Tangled gets a PG shouldn't Cars 2 get an R? What the hell?

My kids adore Lightening McQueen. They would be distraught at the thought of other cars trying to destroy him, every bit as distraught as when Rapunzel or Flynn Ryder find themselves in danger. They don't know the difference. They don't see skin color or size, they barely see the sex of the characters, and they certainly don't register on any meaningful level that McQueen isn't as real as Rapunzel. As much as we talk about cartoons and pretending, they don't yet understand.

The short version of this story is that the movie rating system is not helpful at all. For anything.  My children will not be seeing this movie. It is way too violent.


On a totally unrelated note, here is my Supermoon shot from this year. Yeah, it stinks. The moon doesn't get high enough to see until it's too dark to get a good pic. I may edit some shots together, but for now it is what it is.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Identity crisis

My very first blog post. Ever... In my life. I have about a million things going on lately, and can't quite decide which direction to charge. And now I'm adding a blog? Awesome sauce.

About a year ago I started sewing for money. I sew accessories: handbags, kids clothes, gadget covers etc. Then I got into photography. Well, then I got MORE into photography. I learned how to use my Canon DSLR outside of auto (Yay me!) and figured out that I'm pretty good at getting great pictures. Now I'm obsessed with learning everything photography.

Here are some images from a recent shoot with my own little princess:

So, now what?

I still love the sewing. I love creating something that wasn't there before. I love making a product that my clients love, buy again, and buy for their friends. It may be that I'm a bit too much like my grandfather who, so I'm told, was into every 'get rich quick' idea that came his way and they frequently overlapped. While I have no delusions about getting rich with either of these endeavors, I definitely tend to move on to a new project leaving the old one unfinished or even forgotten. It is a bit like a dog and squirrels. SQUIRREL!! Wait... what was I talking about?

On top of these creative and business endeavors, I have a burning passion for politics and, in case you hadn't noticed, campaign season is in high gear and keeping up with my candidates is exhausting.  Did I mention I also have two children? Well, you might not know by this blog, but they come first. At least I hope they do.

The one thing that's clear? I need to prioritize and organize. I am not someone who does either of those things... at least not on an extended basis. Also, I am a procrastinator. My name is the root of that word (really, it's right there in the middle) and while I do work best under pressure, there is no need to take it to such extremes that the dishes don't get done or I don't feed my family!

For now, I think I'm going to focus on the photography. (??) And sew on the side when there is time. The sewing was making me actual money, but whatever! Oh, and the politics, and traveling while the Marine is away and...