Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Read it if you like. I mean no offense by it. But it's true.

A photographer-friend of mine posted about this article on Facebook. I was curious and read it and couldn't help giving the author a standing ovation in my head. I'm not saying that I'm the bee's knees or anything, but when she talks about professionals pouring their souls into their training, research, and craft and that being the difference between a pro and an enthusiast with a nice digital camera, I wanted shout "here, here!!!" Yes, the camera makes a difference in the "quality" of an image...but it's the photographer who makes the image into art.


Monday, July 26, 2010

There's Little a Nap and Sunshine Won't Cure

This is how my afternoon started...
(I know it's hard to tell in this picture, but Anslie was throwing a tantrum.)

But once we I got this one subdued...
and asleep...
(with a foot picture for good luck..because I love his toes, lint and all)

And this one outside...
We had a much happier day ahead of us.
And yes, if you were wondering, this post was just an excuse to post some more cute pictures of my kids.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tiny Dancer

We signed Anslie up for a dance class today! To say that I am excited would be a major understatement! I am a dance LOVER and took ballet for many years growing up. I didn't start dancing until I was 12, which is pretty old for most people if you want to do anything professional with it...so that dream was unattainable for me (I was most definitely not a child prodigy). Not that I am planning on pressuring Anslie to pursue dance if she doesn't like it, nor am I living vicariously through her. I just want to give her the opportunity to choose what she wants to do by giving her the tools she needs to discover if she is passionate for and/or has a talent for dance.

Anyway, her class is once a week for an hour and it's a combo class which includes ballet, tap, jazz, and motor skills. It's pretty much the latter that she will develop most at this age. I hope she loves it! She loves watching So You Think You Can Dance on TV with me and usually dances around the living room while the dancers on TV are performing. She LOVES music! I think she'll have fun. We'll see! Classes start on August 5th!

Here are a few snapshots I took with my phone of her being fitted for her first pair of ballet and tap shoes. I sure wish I had my camera with me...but don't you worry... I'm sure I will design some kind of photo shoot around her and her new dance gear.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I think I found Heaven.

Kevin and I have never had a backyard (no, I don't count the patch of earth that we had in our townehome in Utah a backyard) since our youth. It's something we have longed for: A place for the dog to do her business. A place to entertain friends and family. A place to BBQ. A place to spend lazy summer afternoons, basking in the sun in privacy. And now, a place for our children to live out their childhood fantasies in safety.

One of the things I insisted on spending money on right away when we bought our home was landscaping the backyard. I was NOT going to spend this summer cooped up inside with a two year old and a brand new baby! Today was the first time we were able to fully enjoy our money well spent!

My friend brought her two boys over and we had a swim party in the backyard! It was so much fun for the kids and so absolutely wonderful to be able to enjoy the sun and let them play without having to worry about anything. We were out there for HOURS. SOooo awesome! What a wonderful afternoon!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

KdBuggie Boutique: Mingle Mondays

I have to admit that I am not that great about leaving comments on other peoples' blogs, participating in contests, or really even joining in on all of the potentially exciting things that are going on in internet land. A big part of that is because I have two little kids at home, a household to manage, and a budding photography business that consumes any free time that might be left over. But I have kept an eye on someone who probably has no idea that I have been. Granted, she is family, albeit through marriage to a cousin whom I don't keep as closely in contact with as I should. Anyway, she also has two little ones at home, manages not only her household but an entire apartment complex, and still has had the time to start her own budding cottage industry. My cousin's wife, Katy, is the creator of KdBuggie Boutique and makes the most darling infant gear I have seen. I was given a few of her items as a shower gift when my son was born a few weeks ago and I have just loved them! Obviously this piqued my interest even more and I began following her blog even more closely. And that brings me to this post: Katy participates in something called "Mingle Mondays" for "blog hopping" which I am still not really sure of what that is. But, I thought I would give this a try since Katie has done such a wonderful job of building her business and creating a community. So, here's a little attempt at reaching out there and socializing with the internet universe to not only continue growing through my own blogging adventures, but through others' as well. And hopefully I will inspire, be inspired, and have the opportunity to share with an even wider audience the things I am most passionate about. Happy mingling! (oh-and if you would like to check out my other blog, click HERE)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Has it already been a month?!

Yes, time flies by when you're having...fun? If you think stretch marks, flabbiness, stitches, and tears are...fun.

But, really, the first month that we have had Zachary in our home has been amazing! It feels like he has always been a part of our family. There wasn't really any "adjusting" to having two kids. Sure, I have to figure out a new daily routine, how to juggle two little ones who need both me and different things at the same time, and do all of this while properly managing our home. I'm not there 100% yet, but I'm on my way.
Everything I feared about having a second child hasn't come true: not being able to bond with Zac because I'm too busy with Anslie; not being able to be a good parent to Anslie because I'm too busy with the baby; not being a good wife to Kevin because I'm too busy with the kids; my house being a total wreck all the time because I can't keep up with life's demands; not having any time to myself to enjoy the other things I love, like blogging, photography, etc; most of all, not having a big enough heart to love everyone as much as they deserve.

If I had to sum Zac up in one word, it would be "precious." He still sleeps most of the day which has been great! And he follows a really nice rhythm of "sleep, eat, awake" so it has been really easy to anticipate and take care of his needs. On good nights, he's up only twice; not so good nights, three or four times. Fortunately for both of us I am an experienced nursing mother and can catch a few zzz's by nursing him while laying in bed. During the day he is on a 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hour feeding schedule which allows enough time for me to get things done. Zachary is starting to become a little bit more alert so it's been fun to look into his deep blue eyes and try to get a smile out of him. And yes, I know that he is a little young for me to expect a meaningful response, but I SWEAR he has smiled in response to my baby talk at least twice in the last few days.
Anslie has been an absolute angel over the last week an a half and I have had more fun with her than I have had in a long time. She loves to carry her baby dolls around now more than ever and will often sit and "nurse" her babies right along side me. Soooo cute! Her vocabulary has exploded and she puts fulls paragraphs together. She is a little girl who knows just what she wants and now she is finally able to express exactly what that is in words.

Kevin is back at work but longs to be home with his two darling kids instead. He came home from work one day promising me to learn photography so that he could quit his job and we could be a photography power couple like Jasmine Star and her hubby. It made me laugh...maybe someday.... Kevin's a hard worker and a loving husband and father as always and he has been a major part in making the last month as enjoyable as it has been.

I feel like the biggest changes have come over me and my temperament. Life was rough after Anslie was born and most of that was due to my attitude. I chalk a lot of that up to wacky hormones, sleep deprivation, and maybe even a little postpartum depression. And it didn't help that Anslie was so sick and unhappy. It really took a toll on my marriage. My biggest fear of all about having another baby was having to go through that difficult time in my life all over again. Happily, I feel like Zac's presence has made me a little more patient, loving, and kind...mostly toward Kevin...and I can feel the love growing and abounding through my home. What a relief!

So, that's us in a nutshell...the Ruffner family is officially a family of four!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The good, the bad, and the uuuuugly!

What do you do when your 1 hour "road trip" turns into a 3+ hour road trip due to traffic?
I take pictures:
Anslie screams her head off:

In all reality, both kids were actually pretty stellar considering the circumstances: I needed to turn a lens in for repair and the nearest Canon repair center is in Irvine. Google maps said it would take us about an hour to get from our house to the repair center...and it mostly did. We hit a little bit of traffic on the way there (weird, because it was 10:30/11:00am-ish on a Friday afternoon) which extended our drive by about 30 minutes. Not too big of a deal.

It was the start of Kevin's weekend so we decided to stay in OC and enjoy one of our favorite restaurant's cuisine from the time we spent in Utah (Cafe Rio -- I know all of you who no longer live in Utah and don't have a location near you are jealous! They just opened this location in Lake Forest fairly recently) and then walked around the Irvine Spectrum and enjoyed the sun and the shopping.

We headed home not at the best time of day for rush hour... but we had no idea how bad it would be.
It took us over 2 hours to go 10 miles on the 91 fwy!!! Ya, not so fun. Again, considering we had been out the entire day, everyone was hungry, road rage was abounding, and we got home and had dinner about 2 hours later than we had originally planned, (plus Anslie also missed her nap because we were out and about), the fact that Anslie only cried for the last 30 minutes of the trip was a small miracle.

While Kevin was talking to a friend on the phone today (who is familiar with the freeways in the area) and recanted our experience, he told us that you should never travel on the 91 before 11am or after 4pm because the traffic is horrible. Thanks, Owen. It would have been GREAT to know that beforehand :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zac and Anslie: Sensory Time

My friend took us to this great kid's play place called Sensory Time a few weeks ago. Anslie loved it so much we are making it a frequent fun destination for our weekly down time. Sensory time is perfect for kids Anslie's age! She has so much fun playing with all of the toys, climbing equipment, slides, etc (and it's indoors which is really nice for our hot, hot, hot summer temperatures)! I braved the outdoors with two kids today and took them for a couple of hours. Zachary slept the whole time, of course, and Anslie was an angel!
This is what I get when I tell Anslie to smile and look at the camera. Pretty.

Of course, no post would be complete without some artsy shots...

And I couldn't resist snapping a few shots of my darling little ones when we got home.

Anslie has been surprisingly well behaved over the last few days. Today could have gone miserably wrong, but because of her sweet temperament and obedience, we had a really nice day! You know the saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."? Well, I've discovered that it's more like, "If the kids ain't happy, everybody else is miserable!!!" I am really grateful that both kids have been awesome and easy on me during my first few days of parenting two by myself. That makes a HUGE difference, I think!