iPhone dump.

One good thing about not blogging for a billion years is that you have lots of material to cover. One bad thing is that it can be overwhelming to cover everything and it makes you want to crawl back behind the “too busy too blog” excuse…

Anyway, I will take the easy way out here and give you some updates via the iPhone. The little magic box that is always with me. So much so that my one-year-old understands the concept of swiping. Don’t get too excited, grandparents, it is no marker of his genius. I hear that all the kids are doing it.

Anyway again, here are the photos.

Dash had a first birthday with 42,000 balloons. They are all still inflated and in our house. It’s getting old, except not for Dash. “Ba-oo!!”

Dash had so much fun with all the family who came to visit and celebrate with him. Especially cool cousin Luke.

We enjoyed the last of the summer heat.

We ate frozen yogurt barefoot because that is about the last time it is acceptable to walk into a restaurant barefoot – when you are still being carried everywhere.

Dash learned to stick his tiny, tiny fingers in the the holes in the fountain so as to spray the big kids in the face. Who you callin’ little guy?

Then we utilized some child labor on our weekly trips to the farmer’s market.

Dash and I made a trip up to Omaha to see my BFF’s new baby girl. The road home as literally washed away so these trips are now on a series of twisted highways and very slow. On this 5 1/2 our car trip we found thrilling things like old time-y merry-go-rounds and the outer edges of our patience.

We got to meet baby girl #2! Dash wasn’t really aware of the baby – been there done that. He is more interested in the older kids and what they can teach him. But I got some warm little newborn snuggles in. (Here she is at 3 weeks – I think Hazel is actually flashing a 3 with her right hand. That, or her neurons are randomly firing.)

The BFF and I tried out her new double wide with the two big kids. See what I mean about Dash’s fascination with big kids? Cora is 10 months older than Dash and as far as he is concerned sliced bread is chopped liver compared to her.

Also while in Nebraska Dash got his first Husker’s jersey! Yay for KU and NU being in different conferences! Now Dash can fully celebrate his Midwestern roots. We got a size 2T which he will probably be able to wear until he is 5.

 We got to go out to the lake for Labor Day and see family again. Dash got to play in the sand and hang out with his cousins. Here he is tolerating his cousin Lizzie only because she is closely related to cool cousin Luke. Sorry, Liz. You can try, but you will just never be Luke. 😉

Dash had his first trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s for his friend Schaefer’s 3rd birthday party. He enjoyed watching his dad play pop-a-shot and his mom whac-a-mole. Then he had a minor meltdown and we headed home.

Dash got his first football and had his first lesson in garage-sale bargain hunting. So far he has gotten this football and a tiny, spotted puppy for free.

I got some glimpses of what it will be like to be a parent to toddler Dash – smashing crickets, tasting worms, and diving head first into fountains. He is curious and thoughtful and by thoughtful I mean he seems to think, “What more could I do to explore this situation fully?”

So now you know a little more about what we have been doing. Or really what me and the magic box have caught Dash doing.

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Photography skills.

I have been taking a digital photography class at a local university on Saturday mornings. I have a Canon EOS Rebel and it works great for taking pictures of the house, the dog, family and friends. What is lacking are my skills in understanding my equipment. I have three more classes and so far I already feel that I have a better idea of what my camera can do. Improving my photography skills has been a goal of mine, but now with the baby coming I have extra incentive to hone my skills. For now my subjects are mainly Watson and Zach.

One of them is cute, hairy, and happy to have the attention. Well…both maybe fit that description but one of them poses like this:

And one makes faces like this:

And this:

Can’t you just see the love in his eyes?

Maybe its me. Maybe learning how to make my subjects feel comfortable before the lens of a camera is a skill I will pick up in class. Or maybe it is just the men in my life.  I did grow up with this guy:

If you don’t know my dad perhaps you can’t pick up  on the sarcasm in his smile. It’s there. It may help to spot it if you knew that he is a Husker born and bred and he bought this ridiculous hat to wear to a KU v. NU football game in Lawrence.  Is this just part of being a male, or of being a husband? You can’t try to look your best and flash your cutest smile every time someone pulls out a camera? As a former show choir and drill squad member maybe I just take smiling too seriously.

I have faith that if our little baby is a boy he’ll give me some genuinely sweet smiles. At least for a little bit. Until he is a teenager? Sometime before then? I really need to get this photo skills polished up in case my sweet smile capturing window is even smaller than that.

In other news one of our neighbors recently had a sweet baby girl. They have a goldendoodle who has had a bit of a hard time adjusting to not being the only baby in the house. Watson volunteered to help a fellow Doodle out today and she came over for a puppy play date. Watson has such a good heart.