Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 4 of 52: faces

These faces slay me. Drool and all...

We call his eyes "statue of liberty eyes." And yes, he is dressed up in costume.
Sometimes Miles reminds me of my Nana. This shot is one of those. There is much thought, many times worry, and wonder in his eyes.

I took a few additional shots this week that I put through Lightroom. I have quite a lot to learn, still, but I am starting to enjoy playing with the "healing" tool and luminance slider.

Gus loves fingering through books. In particular, this Tails book and another one called Global Babies. I love watching him chatter to himself while looking at the pages.
Miles not only had pajama day this Friday, but he also got to take home the class "pet" Houdini.
This is a look that says, "whaaaa? no more food?" 

Finally, two additional images that I did not put through LR, but are images of moments that tickle me:
This is Felix "eating" milk with a spoon.
Why this touches me is that I was exactly the same way as a child
and distinctly remember drinking lemonade on many,
many occasions with a medicine dropper...just because. 
I wish this picture wasn't fuzzy because it is an accurate representation of meals at our house. There is at least some intermission when all the boys go cuh-razy. Generally the object is to spend as little time sitting in your seat as possible with the excuse of giving mommy a hug, making Gussy/Guster laugh, or having to go poop. 

Week 5: BRING IT!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Over the holidays, I took up a hobby of painting wood. Sounds pretty killer, no? From 11pm-2am most nights, I was honoring any lingering vestige of wanting to have a girl of my own. And also indulging in the Disney Princess culture I tend to question in terms of its impact on today's girls. (As if I have any dog in that fight...)

It all started with my wanting a wooden nativity set, scouring Etsy and finding one for over $150, and then making one myself. During the hunt for a modern Baby Jesus, I stumbled upon examples of the little peg Disney Princesses and immediately thought of the handful of little girls I know in my family as well as children of my closest friends and thought: holiday gifts! (You may have also seen my peg creations in my handmade holiday posts or on Instagram.)

So I ordered some supplies and took a stab at recreating "that which my wallet could not support."

And then my boys kept asking if I could make them peg people, but they didn't want princesses. So clearly the next step was making superhero peg guys. Of course, I looked to Etsy for inspiration because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?  I also poured over images on Etsy and Google because lord knows I don't know the difference between ironman and wolfman, er, wolverine.)

What I found was that this wasn't the best craft for someone who is addicted to caffeine and someone who is too impatient to use or create a template (ie, I free hand it all). But I think they came out cute. And twofor? It totally felt like therapy. Me time. A way to focus some of my energy on something purely creative. Or perhaps it has been a veiled attempt at avoiding laundry. Knitting has recently left me feeling uninspired, which I think I attribute for being all "knit out" from the copious amounts of knitting I did while on bed rest that began almost a year ago!

I was surprised that so many people commented about how much they liked the little people and even asked if I would make some for them. Or open an Etsy shop. My inclination is to spend 100s of dollars of my own money in supplies and just make and ship these to all those I am friends with.  And when I win the lottery, that's the first thing I'll do right after paying off everyone in my family's mortgages and *maybe* going on a shopping spree at J. Crew.

So I've been toying around with perhaps selling them to those I know. I have zero interest in opening an Etsy shop. The pressure to produce and ship to strangers who can flame me on the internet (because in honesty, I have no formal training and no steady hand!) makes my palms sweat. And there are others who have the market covered in all honesty.

But I'm struggling with the idea of charging. On Etsy, peg Princesses range anywhere from $4 to $10 a peg (shipping not included). Of course, the skill level is not the same among offerings (and I am probably on the low end). I certainly could not make any substantial money on these given the supply cost, but with an economy of scale, if I could do a set of these for a handful of people, I was thinking I might be able to cover 1 of Miles's extracurricular classes he takes in his extended care. Every little bit counts, no?

My thought is to create a Google form, post it on my personal FB and let anyone interested in getting some fill it out. And then just say that shipping times will vary as I do this at night. I'd like to just do 1 sweep of interest, work for 5-8 weeks on production, and then see how much work/cost, etc it is. Perhaps do another batch processing around Christmas time again.

Am I rambling?

What do you think:
  • $5 a peg
  • Flat rat shipping $5.80 (Priority flat rate charge for a small box)
  • turnaround time not guaranteed
  • At this time, I would just do princesses and super heroes (I do have a friend I am doing Yo gabba gabba for and 2 I am doing personalized families...but those take a long time.)
Crazy-town, or worth it?








Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 3 of 52: exchanges

This week, my goal was to get to the end of it without being diagnosed with an ulcer.
And not to have my breast milk confiscated by TSA during my first work travel since Gus was born.

I'm happy to report I am 2 for 2.

Due to my work trip this week, I knew I would have even less time to take photographs with my camera, so I tried to approach the challenge focusing on a simple moment during an exchange or interaction I had with each of my kids. While they aren't staged or perfectly composed, I know looking back, it is these moments that will forever stick with me...even the nose picking ones.

Miles arguing with me about the difference between a thousand and a billion. We tend to have our most in depth and challenging conversations in the car. And no, I wasn't driving.
Felix and I were playing trucks in the dirt and he was demonstrating how each truck makes a different sound. 
Gus is *so* close to crawling, but can't figure out how to swing his feet around. He is a booty-scooter. When we spend time each day trying to get him to crawl, he always looks up at us with his big eyes to say, "you think I can easily navigate these cheeks?"
Listen. Here's the thing. I know your kids do this, too. And of all my kids, so far he has been my only nose picker. I told you these moments would be honest...

Enjoy the moments and exchanges with your kids. They are fleeting. And so, so precious.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 2 of 52

I've quoted Walter Kornbluth from Splash before, but...
What a week I'm having!

If it wasn't work drama, then it was incompetent people at the DMV (mixed with a little expired passport), or gas station crises, and low grade fevers. And turning 34. Oh...and Felix decided to celebrate his first week as a 4-year-old by getting stitches. It happened on a Friday that turned out to feel more like a Monday. Let me break it down for you--cliff notes style.

  • 7:45 am. The kids are all dropped off at school, and I am working remotely.
  • My work e-mail and network have apparently been attacked by zombies and don't work.
  • Eric calls and tells me that Felix ran into a door and has a huge gaping gash on his head.
  • I rush down to school and get stuck behind construction equipment while my child hemorrhaging. (Okay, he wasn't bleeding profusely anymore, but it adds to the urgency.)
  • I drive him to an urgent care center and take out an old credit card from the depths of my wallet to pay the co-pay because the one time in the past 4 months I went to Target, SOMEONE STOLE OUR ACCOUNT and we were waiting for our new credit card.  
  • The receptionist informs me my credit card expired in 2010. Oops.
  • We go back into the room after the payment situation was resolved, and after cleaning his wound, the Dr puts on a numbing cream and says she will be back in 20 to give him stitches.
  • Felix has to go to the bathroom. 
  • Felix's penis decides to stick to his scrotum and he says "uh-oh Mommy!" as urine floods the floor and saturates his pants so he is essentially sporting a urine fanny pack when he pulls his pants up. 
  • Felix screams that he doesn't want to wear his pants while I furiously try to clean up the floor mess with 1-ply toilet paper.
  • I take him out of the room in his saturated undies and ask if I can go out to my car to look for additional clothing.
  • I have ZERO spare clothes in my car as it's been over a year since we've dealt with potty training.
  • I remember that a friend put in 12-18 month clothing in Felix's school bag for me to give to Gus. And that bag is in the examining room.
  • I shove Felix into 12-18 month old pants and an 18 month old shirt, but not before the doctor walks back in while Felix is completely naked and I am crouched down trying to shove my 4 year old in toddler clothes.
  • I'll spare you the procedure explanation...but let's just say that holding a 4 yo down while he screams "I HATE THIS PLACE" and gets shots of lidocaine and stitches in his head was *not* on my bucket list.

I'll give you 1 guess how long it took for Felix to be back to normal. He spent the afternoon watching movies from his cardboard birthday rocket ship (picture below was taken before the fight with the school door).

I took quite a few photos with my camera this week and feel like I can earn the "import to Lightroom" merit badge. (Although, I am having serious anxiety over not importing to iPhoto anymore. Like, I stay up at night and freak out about how my photos are stored.) And as you can see, I found the "B+W" button. Now about all of those other sliders, functions, and steps. 

Gus: early morning "sleep lines"
Gus: bath wonderment
Gus: my walking companion
Miles: the underbite
Miles: baby blue eyes
Miles: track workout

2 down, 50 to go...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Team Heintz 2014: Week 1 of 52

I don't do NYE resolutions...well.

And I will let you read that sentence however you want, because either way you interpret the "well", it rings true. 

This year, I have similar goals as last year (outside of having a full term baby--check!), but know that making resolute promises that I will end up falling short of does nothing for one of my lifelong goals--reducing anxiety and pressure on myself.

So, sure. I have lifestyle modifications I want to try and maintain. Let's call them junior varsity resolutions.

  • Some may give up candy. I will try only eating chocolate that is organic or fair trade.
  • Some may give up ice cream. I will try only eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
  • Some may give up sugar completely. While it may seem in stark opposition to the first 2 bullets, I am going to try to reduce my overall sugar consumption.
See? I'm just setting myself up for success. With slightly fewer sweets, which will unfortunately be far more expensive.

Something I have wanted to do for a long time has been to use my SLR camera more often. With the integration of an iPhone in my life, I've resorted to taking 90% of my pictures with easily accessible device. I have also had Lightroom 4 sitting in a pretty box in my cabinets for almost 2 years. So folks, it's time to get them both out and start experimenting. 

And I have no intentions of becoming a true photographer. I just want to continue to have documentation of the boys as they grow so quickly. (Um, can I just say that Felix turned 4 yesterday? Oh, you missed the post? That's because I'm still in denial and never wrote one.) I also have no intentions of editing photos so much that they lose the essence of the original image. I would just like to figure out how better to adjust lighting and enhance photos. No need to edit out limbs 'n stuff. 

I love how so many people are doing 365 photos of their families and children. But did you *see* my previous bullets? I have to start off slowly before I can try out for varsity. That, and after it took me an hour to figure out how to even get a photo INTO Lightroom, it took me another 2 hours to figure out how to even do a darn thing. So right now, I am pretty adept at sliding the exposure bar around. Yeah, that's it. 

Let's not even get to exporting. I have no idea how to do it. So the fact that there are images below appears to be a miracle. 

For 2014, I am keeping my SLR out and ready to shoot. As the week starts, and the spirit moves me, I'll snap pictures of the boys and select 1 picture of each to go through Lightroom. And then I'll post here and let's hope by December 2014 not only will I have posted 52 times, but let's hope my images look better. 

Week 1/52

Bee-tee-dubs: I know there are 2 pictures of Gus, but I couldn't choose.