Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Photoshop

For the past 6 weeks I've been sneaking out of the house every Tuesday evening and running up to the local community college to take a continuing education class with a friend.  We took beginners photoshop and had a blast!  I missed the beginner's photography class but I'm looking forward to taking that with another friend next time they offer it.  It was so much fun to be back in school, sort of.  The first night I rushed around the house dusting off my old briefcase and finding a notebook and pen so I could take notes.  I loved it!

Anyway, this was definitely a class for beginners and I'm not looking to ever do anything professional with it.  I really just wanted to learn how to do digital scrapbooking and make collages.  Ha!  I'm such a mom.  But it was a well taught class that had a nice flow to it.  And one of the neat important little tricks I learned was how to size down the pictures so they wouldn't take forever to load on the blog.  You're welcome.  =)  What was great was that the class came with a free copy of an old version of Photoshop.  The downside was it was the windows version so I had to use Chris's computer for all this stuff.  And he likes to take his laptop to work with him even though he doesn't use it there (I don't get it) so blogging has suffered because I blog during nap time but can't photoshop during nap time.  All this to say: I was going to make some neat before and after collages in PS but Chris has his computer today so instead you'll just have to look back and forth at the pictures to see the differences.

Class 1: Levels and Adjustments
So the first night we learned how to look at the histogram and adjust the levels to fix the exposure and also to adjust the color balance and the contrast and saturation levels.  I'm not great at messing with the colors and tend to over correct however the level tool has been a life saver.  I have been able to save a number of pictures that were too dark.  I know I just posted these but here are the before and afters.
Straight off of Camera
Photoshopped.  I lightened it with the levels and then adjusted the blue down a little and the pink up a little.

Straight off of Camera

Photoshopped.  Obviously I had to lighten it, but I also cropped it and used the clone tool to take out the orange toy.  Chris says I also should have cloned out the power chord.  Whateves.

Class 2: Burn, Dodge, Sponge, and Clone
Wow, burning and dodging takes a steady hand and some creativity and I never really figured out when I'd want to use the sponge tool but I did see other people's awesome homework assignments.  

After, I burned the area behind to get the window out.  I also adjusted the levels and the contrast.

Before, my cousin posted this picture and said she wished that person wasn't in the background.

After, I used the clone stamp to make the people disappear.  And also messed with the saturation and contrast.

Week 3: Tinting
We learned how to use the history brush to do hand tinting.  You know when a picture is black and white except for a few things.  

Week 4: Layers
This was probably my favorite class.  This week we learned how to make collages and layers.  So that's how I made the Easter cards that I posted.  We were also supposed to make a logo to show how we could use text and layers.  And from this lesson I also made some nifty facebook timeline coverphotos.
So here's the logo I made for my SIL.  

My timeline coverphoto.

Picture for SIL.

Week 5: Clipping Paths
We learned how to create and use clipping paths.  For homework he wanted us to make a picture that made sense.  He suggested adding a bird to a sky or a bee to flower.  Well, I don't take pictures of skies and birds, or bees and flowers.  So I had to use what I got.  And what I've got is lots of pictures of my family.  So I made this creation.  I put it up on FB to show my homework and it got quite the roar of a response.  So if you've made it to the end of this really long post then I guess this giggle is your reward.

Best FB comment: "I've got to say, Chris's expression almost suggests he just filled his diaper! LOL"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Cody's 7 Months Old

My Dear Sweet Handsome Boy, you are 7 months old now and here's how you've grown.

* You weigh 15 lbs 13 ounces.
* You wear 6-9 month clothes.  The pants are usually a little baggy on you but they look oh so adorable.
* You wear a size 2 diaper because we bought a big box at Costco and so I keep cramming you into them. I promise next week when it's time to buy diapers I'll move you up to a 3.
* You LOVE, and I mean LOVE food.  Not nursing, not bottles.  You want to be fed purees.  You make the funniest sounds while you are eating like you are savoring every bite.
* You've pretty much mastered the pincer grasp and no longer just slam your hand on a bunch of cheerios and eat whatever sticks.
* You love Multigrain Cheerios and that's one of the benefits of being baby #2.  We made Sarah eat the plain stuff until she was probably 18 months old.  But since the slightly sweetened multi grain is what is in the house now you get to eat that.  Lucky you!
* You like Gerber puffs better than cheerios.
* You have mastered mobility and can army crawl your way out of whatever room I put you in.
* You find every bit of whatever on the floor and immediately put it in your mouth.
* And you are fascinated by the cool air return vent.  You will often crawl out of Sarah's room to play with it.
* You love your Mommy and get quite insulted when she doesn't pick you up straight away after coming into the nursery at the gym.
* You are so full of energy and would rather be jumping, bouncing, turning, and looking around instead of just sitting still on someone's lap.
* You still are a horrible, HORRIBLE napper.  We just can't get a day routine down for you.  But you do go to bed at 7 pm and generally sleep until about 6:30 am.  You still get your dream feed bottle around 10-10:30 each night.
* You love to explore and are fascinated by your environment.
Instead of just staying on the blanket you like to crawl to the edge and play with/eat the grass.

* You've been to the zoo for the first time and thought the double stroller was great.  Your face just lit up when we put you in it because you could see so much stuff.
* You like music and smile when mommy sings to you and think her dance moves are hilarious.  
* You love to play with toys and think that whatever your sister is playing with must be the best toy so you will immediately crawl over and start to play with her stuff.  You guys actually do play well together unless it's the Princess toys.  Sarah doesn't like to share those.  And you keep putting the little rubber shirts in your mouth.  Big chocking hazard no no.  Still you get pretty mad and refuse to be distracted by any other toy when those are out to be eaten.  
* You can sit up in the bathtub all by yourself as long as it's very shallow.  You think it's great and splash and chew on all the toys.  

* You are a happy, smiley baby and we are all thoroughly enjoying watching you grow, learn and explore.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Sarah's Super Imagination

Sarah is so much fun to play with and she just keeps getting better and better.  She's always had a great imagination but as her vocab has taken off it seems she's better able to articulate her play scenarios.  Recently when we were playing princesses she gave me Belle and Jasmine while she played with Ariel 1 and Ariel 2.  They started with their normal conversation, "I like your shoes.  I like your dress.  You got hair.  I got red hair."  Then she threw one of the dresses not being worn in the middle of them and said, "Oh no!  Snakes!  Run!  Come on follow me!" And her 2 Ariels took off running with Belle and Jasmine close behind.  Finally we made it to the lid which she declared was a waterfall and we were safe from the snakes.  The princesses of course went for a splash in the waterfall complete with Sarah provided sound effects.  

Sarah has started playing Super Sarah!  It's tons of fun.  She grabs blankets for everyone to tie around their necks.   And as I tie them on she announces, "Super Sarah! Super Cody!  Super Mommy!"

So far our documented powers include flying, spinning, dancing, and jumping.

I haven't started collecting dress up items for Sarah yet so this new super hero blanket cape play is the extent of our dressing up.  But I kind of like it that way.  It doesn't take more than a few household items and an imagination for Sarah to have a great time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Quick Shutter Speeds

Best FB caption: "You will not replace me as favorite child baby!" --Dan 

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Easter 2012 Wrap Up

We had a fantastic Easter weekend!  A few years ago Chris's company started giving everyone Good Friday off so we were able to spend it together doing fun family things. 

We got up and had a nice big breakfast then headed over to Annie's where she helped me make most of Chris's bowtie for our Easter outfits.
But after I broke her machine about 8 times in 5 minutes she decided it would be best for her sanity to finish the project for me.  So she finished Chris's bow tie and made all of Cody's.  She left it for me to finish a small seam by hand and then put the velco on the back.  Instead I just said, forget it!  The straps are covered by the collars so the guys ties are held on by safety pins.  I'm that awesome!

Then we came home and put Cody down for his morning nap and took Sarah outside to dye her legs even though she was supposed to be dyeing Easter eggs.
She was so cute!  She did try to put the eggs in the bowls with her spoon but didn't quite grasp the concept so she instead slung most of them in or dropped them on the way.  I think about 5 of the eggs got cracked in the process.  Later after her nap we tried to put the finishing touches on the eggs by applying the "tatoos" the kit came with. They didn't work and the dye started coming off the eggs.  But it was still fun.  Then Sarah and I ran over to the local bakery to pick up some treats and enjoyed a pettifore that was decorated like an Easter egg.  

On the way home we noticed one of the local churches had up on their sign something about a "flashlight Easter egg hunt" that evening.  So I came home and looked it up.  It also included dinner and other entertainment so I was sold on the idea!  We called the Joiners and asked if they'd like to join us.  Sarah and ET had a great time watching the puppet show while we waited until dusk for the egg hunt to begin.  It was a well organized event and the kids were split up by age groups so that bigger kids didn't run over the little ones.  Sarah was excited to fun the eggs and ran around having a great time.

Saturday we celebrated Easter with the Schwartz's.  So the morning was spent grocery shopping and of course, having breakfast at Chic-fil-a!  Sarah and I both love that place.  I made my mom's glazed baby carrots, the Keller's Mustard Relish, and Grandma Coelho's cream cheese rolls for my part of the meal.  (Chris later let the secret out that when I make the cream cheese rolls I just use store bought dough.  I hate it when he undermines my awesomeness.  LET PEOPLE THINK I CAN DO SOMETHING IN THE KITCHEN!  Come on!)

We had a great time with the family.  We always do.  Melissa was sweet enough to take some family pictures for us so we wouldn't have to worry about it before church.

Then I buzzed everyone into the house to change before anyone started sweating in their church clothes for Sunday.  Ha!  The kids played while we got dinner together.  Then while Melissa took care of her boy's Easter pictures we played in the golf course narrowly avoiding being hit by a golfer with a bad hook.  His ball actually hit the tree we were all hiding under.  During that time I took the BEST PICTURE EVER!  But it deserves it's own page so check back tomorrow for it.

After photos it was time for another egg hunt!
 Uncle Adam was nice enough to keep to joy going for Sarah but taking a few eggs out of her basket and tossing them behind her while she put some in.  I think they did that for about 10 minutes and Sarah could have done it for longer.  She just kept turning around excitedly shouting, "look!  More eggs.  We have to get them!"
This year she learned there was stuff in the eggs.  A secret I kept from her last year.  We put marshmallows and jelly beans in them for her.  She likes the marshmallows.  She spits out the jelly beans. 

Sunday we went to church.  Sarah and I talked about the Easter story.  I asked her if sometimes she had to go to time out.  She said yes.  And I explained she goes to timeout when she's been bad.  Then we talked about Jesus and I showed her an awesome video and she was so sweet about it.  She pointed at Jesus and said, "Jesus sad".  And to explain it to a little to year old I told her that Jesus died for us so that we wouldn't have to go to eternal timeout.  Chris laughed.  But I thought it was a good way of watering it down for Sarah.

After her nap we hunted the same eggs again.  Chris put them in the back yard.  Then she still wanted to find more so he put the eggs out for her one more time, this time in the front yard.  

We had a wonderful Easter weekend filled with plenty of time with family and friends.  Next year I think I'll start a tradition one of my friends Bekah does with her family for Holy Week.  Each night they have a lesson, craft, whatever to talk about the Easter story.  I'm looking forward to doing that with my family.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Awkward Nursing Mom Moments

Cody and I are still fighting the good fight.  He's falling off the growth chart and I know we've got to switch him probably within a month, but while we can we do.

 I don't often nurse in front of Sarah.  Not because I don't want her to see it but because Cody is so busy and has ADD!  He gets distracted by the strap on my bra and will pop off to play with it and then doesn't want to pop back on.  So if he hears his sister there is no way he wants to nurse.  He just wants to sit up and look at her and talk to her.

That being said, she's getting a little older and starting to pay a little more attention to what Mommy and Cody are doing.  Here's a collection of funny/cringe worthy/awkward things she's said and done recently.

*  I pump twice a day.  Once in the morning single side (to make his evening bottle) and once in the evening double side (to freeze).  The other morning I got the bottle and pump stuff put together than put it on the couch while I went to get a glass of water.  I came back and Sarah had her shirt up and the pump on her stomach and looked and me and said, "I'm making a bottle".
* Sarah sat on the couch and put one of her baby dolls up next to her chest and threw a blanket over them and said, "I'm feeding Belle."
* Cody was crying and Sarah turned to me and said, "Cody's hungry.  Feed him mommy!" and started pulling up my shirt.
* Sunday Sarah looked at me and said, "I'm hungry mommy".  So I said, "ok, sweetie, let's go make you a sandwich."  Her response, "No mommy, I want to eat under your shirt."   Chris thought that was hilarious.  Me, not so much.

Should I have shared these for the whole world to see...probably not.  But Chris and I laugh about them a lot right now so I thought it was worth writing it down.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Cody's Big Day

Cody is becoming such a big boy!  This weekend he rode in the cart for the first time and did a great job!  He loved it!  He held on to the handle and looked around at everything with a huge smile on his face.  Sarah was so cute about it too.  She was just as excited to have Cody next to her and she'd randomly pat him on the back and ask him if he was ok or tell him "hi buddy".  He'd just beam at her every time she talked to him.   

Then Friday night he went to the pool at the Y for the first time.  Sorry, no pictures I didn't take the big camera and apparently forgot my phone as well.  He didn't love it, but he didn't cry.  I guess the best that can be said is he tolerated it.

He also had squash for the first time this weekend.  He loved it.  He is such a fan of solids, you can actually hear him say "nom nom" while he's eating.  

The really big news from this weekend though was today we finally felt one little tooth spike sticking out of the top of his gums.  Yes!  His first tooth has broken the surface and will be making it's appearance sometime within the next couple of weeks hopefully.  And if I'm not crazy I thought I felt another little spike next to it so he may be getting both of his bottom teeth at the same time.

He also keeps pulling up onto his knees and rocking so I think by next month he should be at least army crawling.  I love that!  He's going to be so happy once he's able to control his mobility.  

Also today he had another first!  I'm sure we should have but he had Cheerios for the first time today.  Everyone was starving so none of us wanted to be the one to hold Cody while the other person ate so we put Cody in his high chair.  He started practically hyperventilating because he wanted to join in the fun.  So I put a few cheerios on his tray thinking that would keep him busy trying to get them to his mouth.  He loved it!  He chased them around, dropped some, grabbed handfuls of them.  Because they're lightly sweetened they're also a little sticky so he was able to get some into his mouth.  He nommed them until he could swallow.  He loved them!  

He's just growing by leaps and bounds.  It's very exciting!