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July in Review

Lookin’ Up

Read on for more of my favorites from the month… Continue reading July in Review

More HDR Pictures of the Sky

So at the urging of John, I’ve been trying my hand at some HDR photography (and editing). Thrill a minute, no? The back side of our house and the sunset.

House, from the back yard


Sunset

I’m doing these straight from RAW so they’re not using bracketing yet as I don’t have anything resembling a tripod. It is fun except the investment per photo seems rather high, timewise.

Miscellaneous Pictures

Just some random pictures as I figure out more and more stuff about this new fangled camera thing.

The first is a view from the thumb.

Enter at your own peril

Enter at your own peril

Control

Control

And the second was trying to get a picture with a reflection of the ceiling fan stopped. Never did work.

Ceiling fan reflection

Ceiling Fan Reflection

Zoe’s Birthday

After a brief discussion, Heather and I decided that the prudent course of action would be to forgo waiting until I came home from work at around 6pm to dispatch all things present like — and making bedtime a certain impossibility — and give her the gifts in the morning and letting her play with them all day.

First thing’s first, however… as Frank was celebrating Zoe’s birthday by another new bloom…

Frank on Zoe’s Birthday

As Heather got ready for the day, I retrieved the presents from the secret stash and top-secret, Zoe-proof location.

The Presents

Everything in place, showers done, Frank cataloged, we descended upon the poor cribbed one at 7:42 am sharp, camera in hand. She was shocked at first, but a moment with mommy and everything seemed suddenly better.

Zoe’s Morning Smiles

Now, mind you, the last time we woke her up like this, we took her to get a bunch of shots in her leg. She’s either forgetful or forgiving, the results of either we found particularly helpful. After hinting that there might be something out in the living room for her, she wanted down… she wanted to go see.

Zoe find her birthday stash

She wasted no time of course, being a bright ‘2′ she’s already figured out the whole ‘present’ thing.

Zoe selects the first present

And inside we have… Your Personal Penguin!

Zoe finds Your Personal Penguin!

… and a stuffed penguin, and a penguin pillow case. The next thing she grabs is a card…

Zoe with her card

The card contained an activity… a free day at Build a Bear! Of course being a child and having more presents, it wasn’t long before we were off to the next item in the stack:

Zoe opens another package

 

And inside? A fish! And not just any fish… a fish that makes glug glug sounds when you touch his ear. She laughed.

Zoe with her stuffed fish

While the child was momentarily diverted by the newfound toy, I snapped a picture of Auntie Gail’s card:

Auntie Gail’s Card to Zoe

Distractions, of course, are short lived when there are more presents to be had.

Another present makes its way to mommy for help

And yet another present

After a few more openings, she decided she wanted to play with a few of her toys so we helped her get them out of the packages. Which brings me to the question — are all of these tie-downs, plastic locks, zip ties and glue necessary? These are kids toys, not Fort Knox. Anyway… Dad got to take out the teapot set and help put the Thomas Lego set together (I really have a hard time with that one…).

Zoe’s Musical Tea Time Set

Thomas the Lego Train

We let her play for a bit because we knew one toy would probably distract her from all the rest as she gets excited any time we see one on the street, in a store, on television. I mentioned something about not quite having everything. Heather agreed yet Zoe continued to ignore us. Heather left the room.

And then there was a ring.

Zoe Hears the Ringing

She sees what mommy is pushing and begins to giggle and dance around, all excited.

Zoe sees her last present

It’s… it’s…

Zoe with Tricycle

Her very own tricycle! She wasted no time running over our feet.

Zoe Riding

Zoe Riding (#2)

She doesn’t have a helmet yet so right now this toy is pretty much an ‘indoor’ thing (no, I’m not particularly big on the whole ‘helmets are mandatory’ thing, but when you’re just starting out…). She also can’t completely reach the pedals at full extension, even after I moved the seat forward.

The latter fact does not, in any way shape or form, stop her.

Of course she’s not real good at it just yet. She has trouble steering. The problem here is that in the course of a few hours, she made our nice textured white walls look like the SAFER barrier at Darlington after the running of the 2006 Dodge Avenger 500. We have ‘The Stripe”.

Okay, enough with the NASCAR jokes.

In any event, she ended up playing with all of the toys all day long and had a great time.

As I was leaving for work, she looked back down the hall from where she was saying goodbye to me.

“More birthday again, please.” She said.