Saturday, January 31, 2009


I LOVE my babygirl!
Today we went to Old Town Scottsdale to meet the Chief's family to have some professional photographs taken for his parent's 50th wedding anniversary. Here are a few shots of Alexa that I took. It is a great place to shoot with lots of sculptures, green grass ( not a lot of that up by us), flowers and trees. I definitely want to bring Alexa back for some more opportunities to shoot. She was not really in the mood to be photographed ( imagine that?) since I had been taking pictures of her for 30 minutes before the professional showed up. She did say to me afterwards that Alexa has great potential( not sure what she meant by that) and was super photogenic and that she enjoyed taking photos of her. I can't wait to see what her shots look like. : )
Totally off topic: Does anyone have a Jill.e camera bag? I was looking at their medium black leather but not sure it would fit my 75-300 lens. Any suggestions for great bags would be great as I am having the hardest time finding one that doesn't look like a "guys" bag. Suggestions?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Tomorrow is the first day of Chinese New Year so we spent today preparing. We bought a new plant and set it out. It symbolizes rebirth and growth. We stacked our oranges in a pyramid and set them out to symbolize abundant happiness. We also put out candies. We only had Valentine M&M's but they will have to do.

Next we decorated our front door with our Spring Couplets.

Then we hung up our special lanterns, dragon and good luck banner.

Last, we cleaned the house. Oops...wrong door. Yikes. Sweeping the dirt out the front door is considered bad luck and it could mean that you will sweep away a family member or all the goodness in your home! OMG! As soon as I realized my mistake, Alexa and I got the broom back out and did it correctly. We swept the dirt into the center of the room then carried it out the back door. Just in case we stated out loud, " Chinese ancestors please forgive our mistake for we did not know." It cracked me up when Alexa said it but I wasn't taking any chances! ; ) You are also not supposed to clean during Chinese New Year, until the celebrations are over so you don't scrub the good luck away. Works for me. : ) Tomorrow Alexa will wear red to school to celebrate the holiday and I'm sure the Chief has some firecrackers hidden away somewhere to shoot off in the evening. I also plan on taking her to have her hair cut this week which is another tradition. My parents also give her money in red envelops to celebrate.
Enjoy your Chinese New Year celebrations!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let's go Fly a Kite

Alexa loves to fly her kite and today she did it all by herself. The Chief got it up in the air for her and she was on her own. I love the smile on her face in the first picture. She is all about new experiences and trying new things!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthday Lunch

Today we went to lunch for my dad's birthday. It was a beautiful sunny day and a great day to take photos of everyone ( and for me to practice). None of these are edited and after viewing them I noticed that my lens was dusty ( boy, I HATE the dust in AZ, it is everywhere!!!!). We had a nice Mexican lunch outside to celebrate the day. Alexa was super chatty and kept us entertained as usual. She sang a solo "Happy Birthday" to her Papa. She loves when we are all together. We are blessed to be so close. : )

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy 70th!

The BIG 70! You are way too young to be 70! Happy Birthday Dad! We love ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is that in the curriculum?

When I picked up Alexa from school today this is the conversation we had....
A: Mom I had a great day today!

Me: Great, I knew you would.

A: I met an older boy named Michael and I danced for him.

Me: Hmmm, what kind of dance?

A: A special dance.

Me: What did he say?

A: He said, "Dance, girl"

Me: Oh my. What else did he say?

A: ( In her softest voice) He said, " Wow, that was pretty."

She talked about him the whole 20 ride home. She was smiling from ear to ear. I was cracking up but secretly thinking..."What, an older boy?? Dancing??" " What is going on here???" I thought you were supposed to be immersed in intensive phonics, learning practical life skills or figuring out the power of ten. The funniest was seeing the Chief's face when she told him all about Michael. I told him that he needs to drop off on Friday to check this boy out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Before & After



Well, it's finished for the most part. The room is so narrow that I couldn't get all the details in like the mirror that I hung opposite the window to open up the space. I decided not to add the new hardware for the cabinets that I bought because I liked the look of the wood cabinets without. I also need to add a little desk/workspace in between the dryer and the window and hang some sort of drying rack on the opposite wall. I am LOVING my new almost makes doing laundry enjoyable!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Look What I Found

I was at Pier 1 yesterday and found all this cool stuff for Chinese New Year. My favorite is the nesting dolls which Alexa will love. I found the red envelopes, the plate, napkins, and a little notebook for the year of the Rooster which is Alexa's year. I think they just put it out and may have been adding more stuff so I need to go back and check this week. Just wanted to pass along a good find for all you shoppers!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My first big project

This is what I spent all day yesterday doing. My first big project of the new year is to redo my laundry room. It is a pretty small space but has a nice window out to the front courtyard and I rather like the space. I am FINALLY getting rid of the 15 year old Kenmore washer/dryer and can't wait to have my new front loaders delivered. So in the meantime I decided to paint the room a cool light blue and jazz it up. Alexa, my junior assistant, helped me tape the room and even did a little painting ( before the fumes started). I got two coats done and today the Chief hauled those dinosaurs out of there so I could finish painting ( which I put off and instead watched the Real Housewives of Orange County). I am so sore know you are out of shape when standing on a ladder for 4 hours makes you cry for Motrin. I will post before and after pics when I get it done. In the meantime my laundry is piling up!!!

Update: New School

First I would like to say THANKS for all your encouraging words. Your comments really did make me feel better. : )
Today was Alexa's second day and she is really liking it. She was super relaxed going this morning and I could tell she felt comfortable. She has made friends with another little girl named Alexa in her class. As most of you know, it is tough getting any information out of a "almost 4 year old". The first day she came home and told us that she was not served lunch, the girls did not ask her to play with them, and she sat alone all day and did nothing. Needless to say we were a little concerned but her teacher assured me that "Yes, of course she ate lunch, and that she had a great first day." I was relieved to say the least. It has been a little tough having her gone for such a long time but I am getting a lot done in that time period. I think this school is a really great fit for her. We are all glad that we made the change. : )

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New School

Alexa will be starting her new school tomorrow. Prior to Christmas break she had been attending a private Catholic preschool near our home. She also went to this school last year. It has been a horrible school year and we made the decision in late November to pull her at the end of the year. She was in the 3's class and went MWF from 9-1. From the beginning I was nervous about the teacher. She was the Spanish teacher last year and I remember observing her teach and thinking "Oh my, I have never seen a more unenthusiastic teacher in my life." When I was told that she would be teaching Alexa's class this year I really felt like she was hired as a last resort. So after months of being positive and trying to stick it out we had finally had enough and pulled her. Alexa will now be going to a Montessori private preschool which will be totally new to her but we think she will really excel. Considering nothing was being taught at her old school, I am excited to see how much she learns. I have been working with her at home and she is so bright; she deserves every possible resource to move forward. Her days will also be longer. She will still go MWF but from 8-3. I am nervous about tomorrow but trying very hard not to show it. I hate to see her safety net disrupted and for her to leave her friends. We made good friends at the old school, most of which we will keep in contact with. It is hard enough for me to leave her and now it will be even harder. I know it will get better and we will hopefully grow to love it there. Wish us luck tomorrow!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Favorite

This is my first favorite photo of 2009. I think I will start a new folder just with my favorites and then by the end of the year they will all be together and organized instead of all over the place. Anyone have any good tips on storing all the photos we take? I have the first 2 years on disks now. I need to do that for 2008 and clean up my computer. I can tell with this new camera that I will be taking double if not triple the amount of photos I normally do.

Like Mother Like Daughter

Alexa is loving her new digital camera. My brother sent it for Christmas and she loves it. She is so funny how she sets up her shots. I told her she could post some of her photos on the blog...coming soon.