Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dear life!!

"Dear life, when I say 'Things could not get any worse', it is NOT a challenge!" (source)

After spending some days indoor because of the "kindergarten virus" and some other days because of my chickenpox, here we are stuck AGAIN in our tiny flat, this time because of Maria's chickenpox.

Room temperature on a daily basis: 28 Celsius degrees.

1. grumpy baby

I know! It seems quite impossible for her to be grumpy ever. But believe me, she succeeds so well in being grumpy these days! And, in those moments, I simply forget I have a photo camera. So, no proof here.

2. her wild sister:

Wait! Here I have a little sample of her wilderness:

(This is the yesterday's "water love" picture. Today she tried to teach the infrared forehead thermometer float. She failed in her attempt.)

3. their nervous mother.

Missing you, nature! Missing you so much!
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Baby steps. Mine. In photography.

I always loved to take photos. But, since we have the girls, I'm C.R.A.Z.Y. about photography! My Facebook friends know this so well. Poor guys!...

I want to improve my photos quality and thanks to my cyber friend, Sue, I started to study a great book which teaches me more than the classic point-and-shoot-in-Auto-mode that I was doing until now. The book is: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera. And because of it I'm already mourning my dying camera, an Olympus C770, bought back in 2005. I realize just now what a capable digital camera it is (was?). 

The book is really good. I didn't finish it yet, but, until now, I learned some important things, including:
* the Auto mode is not the only shooting mode my camera is equipped with ;-)
* shooting with the camera set on Manual mode is not such a scary thing as I used to think.
* shooting at dawn or dusk is preferable in order to obtain the warm (yellow) light. The noon provides a cold (blue) light.
* the best portraits (the ones with a blurred background) are obtained by setting the aperture to f/minimum_value.

With these things on my mind, on a beautiful June evening, two weeks ago, I took my family and some friends to "the orchard" (Vulcan). Ilaria is scared by the orchard because of all the insects that roam there, but, thanks God, she still wants to come.

At dusk time, with my camera set on ISO Speed: 100, Exposure Time (shutter): 1/50sec., F-number (aperture): f/2.8, I shot this beauty:
(many thanks to Ramona & Alexandru S. for the flower bouquet! It really adds an important part of beauty and color to this photo)

Then, came home and spent some hours after midnight!, until, with help of Pinterest (source) I found picMonkey, a super user friendly, fast, beautiful and free site-application which helped me to add more color to my photo(s).
This was the 1st. time I ever edited one of my photos. And I obtained my most beautiful photo until now. I  the result!

And, since that day, I'm always using picMonkey, because the improvement on photos is great:

I am thrilled on how many people and resources are always involved in order to obtain good results! In this case of mine: Sue, Ramona & Alexandru, Adrian (still willing to leave home in order to chase the sunset light, during the week, after tiresome and busy days spent in the office), Pinterest, picMonkey. Thank you all!
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Watched it and loved it

Based on a true story! ( my favourites ;-) )
It makes you want to be better.
I loved Sandra Bullock in this movie. She is amazingly good and funny.

The Blind Side
The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Photo of the day

While Daddy is cool wearing his summer hat these days, for Ilaria it is a must to be cool too ;-)

Me: Ilaria, do you need a hat while sleeping, over the night?
Ilaria: Yes, I do!
Me: Why?
Ilaria: So I won't get headaches because of the sun.
Me: Sun?? But it's dark outside! From where could we have sunlight at this hour?
Ilaria: From the moon!
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The price of socialization

On 9th of May Ilaria started kindergarten. She went there for two days. From home she was planning to skip kindergarten, but, when we were reaching the place, she was too attracted by kids and toys to even remember me. So it was easy to let her there. Then, during the 4 hours of kindergarten time, she was having an episode of crying for Daddy and Mommy, but it was nothing as dramatic as we expected. When I was going back to pick her up, she was happy again. Both days the same scenario.
During the first day's beauty sleep she woke up crying and saying she was dreaming she was in kindergarten. That was OK. We were prepared for her to be affected by the separation.
On second day, when I went to pick her up from kindergarten, she was wearing another pants than the ones I left her with. The ladies there explained me that she had thrown up food! WHAT?? My girl who thrown up for only 3 times in her entire life (once because of fever, once because of overfeeding herself and the last time during a... tantrum). Later, Ilaria she told me she didn't like the food. That was half OK. That meant respect for the kindergarten's staff members. That meant she ate food she didn't like, while at home almost any food was "not good".
Then, on that very night's sleep, she was crying while sleeping, and she was having a nightmare dreaming and "seeing" dozens of doggies on her bed. In fact she was raving because of fever. WHAT?? My girl who didn't have fever I don't know since when (probably more than 1 year).
In the end it proved to be a bad virus which got the all four of us down for more than three weeks!

We payed too much money, medicines and a big part of my nerves in the battle. Money - because we payed kindergarten for three weeks, even if Ilaria went there for only two days. My nerves - because we had to stay locked inside for four days in a row. Which, with a grumpy baby and a wild little girl wanting to "fix the problem" by slapping the baby, was pure jungle.
Thanks God everybody is just fine now, enjoying the wonderful summer time we have here now!
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Monday, June 11, 2012

One thousand gifts (part seven)

I continue the wonderful experience of counting my life's blessings.
I am grateful also for:

83. miracle in my family. My uncle survived a serious car accident, on 19th of March. On that day our hearts skipped lots of beats when we heard terms like: SMURD, cardiac arrest, deep coma, resuscitation, intensive care, traumatic brain injury, memory loss, multiple fracture, affected lung, internal hemorrhage. In less than 2 months from the accident he went back in the office!
84. Ilaria trying to calm Maria, by telling her: "Don't cry, Maria! Ilaria loves you."
85. I was feeding Ilaria with fish. After 2 bites she told me "this fish is not good". I ate it and in my 2nd bite I discovered 2 dangerous bones.
86. "Entire galaxies have been formed by His hand. A hand that looks like mine. A hand that reaches into my life, writes my name, knows my children." Wonderful words. Cath's.
87. sunny days when we can finally meet again the pure nature, after many weeks of rainy weather
88. my chickenpox (varicella) illness these days, with only 15 blisters!, which, for my age, is a little miracle
89. Ilaria answering back: "I love you too!"
90. rediscovering my old summer clothes after a long cold season
91. get back in shape after pregnancy (back to my normal weight - 65 kilos)
92. get rid of maternity clothes and rediscover the "normal" ones
93. Adrian's joy to meet the girls after few days work delegation out of town (and country. The Russian one.)
94. flowers bouquet ( with no reason ;-) )
95. reading a good book and realizing, once again, what a lucky girl I am and how easy I have everything (Escape)
96. cuddling Maria (she loves  loves loves to be hugged and kissed)
97. Ilaria's current good night ritual, which works so well: story (always the same - "The big turnip") -> "Our Father" -> eyes shut and sleep.
98.  Ilaria "protecting" Maria in park: touching Maria or even her stroller is strictly forbidden for any kid; when outside, nothing is more important for Ilaria than keeping away the "intruders".
100. Ilaria: "hipopopotam"
101. nicknames for Maria, invented by Ilaria: "Manina", "Mănită Nononită"
102. my colored life:

This post has been linked to Ann Voskamp's gratitude community:
Have a blessed week!

P.S.: My previous "One thousand gifts" post can be found here.

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