Thursday, March 28, 2013

King of the Pinch!

Quinny got a "pinch", actually a finger prick and 2 shots at the Dr today. This is pretty rare because we do not go by the government suggested vaccine schedule and we only get about 1/4 of the recommended vaccines, so this is the only time he's ever needed two shots in one day, it was pretty traumatic. I've been teaching Quinn how to be a tough guy lately and he's been really trying hard. Well today at the doctors office he LOST HIS CRAP.  Screaming like the lady was sawing his limbs off, before, during and after the shot. Sigh.
The best part was, after this I took him to my work and he told everyone he was so "bwave" and didn't cry at all. I wonder if it was so traumatic he actually blacked out and didn't remember any of it. Lol. Anyways, my boys love my work, I mean, what kid wouldn't? Everyone of my amazing coworkers is constantly giving them little surprises and they get to "ride" in fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and garbage trucks! And my boss, who is an amazing coach & baseball player plays catch with them, they feel like rockstars at the City of Hanahan!

Quinn & the Fire Chief.

I told Quinn he could pick where we went for lunch. I tried to use Jedi mind tricks to get him to pick Mexican, but we ended up at Mickey D's. Bur Burr.
Baby girl scraped her nose up pretty bad last week. It's healed quickly! (Yay for Aquaphor. I think that'll heal anything!)

Vivi loves to kiss & hug every baby she sees, like trying to make out with the other baby sister on the t-ball team.. it's pretty hilarious. She even kisses the baby in the mirror!

She'll literally brush her teeth for an hour if you'd let her! But not with a manual toothbrush, with the electric toothbrush. It's a miracle for teething babies!


And every picture I take of Judah lately has been like this. Him, his baseball, glove & bat (or some combination of these items). This boy is obsessed! Finally something we can encourage his competitive spirit!
Have a GREAT Easter weekend!  And don't forget the reason for the season or as Quinn told my coworker, "Did you know on Easter Jesus died on the cross and God was like superman and came back 3 days later cause nothing can keep him from coming back".. there it is, Easter. Nailed it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Create a Blog Title Picture

The question I get asked consistently is how do I make my graphics, personally and professionally. Now I am NOT a graphic designer, I just LOVE to do it and by default became the graphics person for my last 2 jobs.  I'm sure there are far more sophisticated programs and faster/better ways to do this, but I've been in a teaching/learning mode lately and so I figured I'd share the little bit I  do know!
First of all, I use Microsoft Publisher.  Most people cringe when they see I use Publisher (the same way I cringe when I find out I have to work in Access, ughhh, I hate it, why anyone would use that instead of Excel is beyond me..I digress).  If you have the Microsoft office suite, you should have Publisher. Anyways, Publisher intimidates people for some reason, but it's actually REALLY user friendly once you start using it!
Ok, wanna make some awesome -ORIGINAL blog title headers? Let's go!
Find yourself a cool picture online (make sure it's not copyrighted of course) and snatch it....(you obviously can use your own pictures) for this title pic I'll use one image I got online and 2 of my personal photos.

This is the photo I found, you copy that purty picture and paste it onto a blank Publisher page.

I  LOVE a blank digital canvas! This is my favorite thing to do, I could play all day!
Next you'll want to insert your other pictures (if there are other pictures). You do this by copy & paste, or use the insert function at the top tool bar.  If you only want one picture, bear in mind your blog title picture needs to be rectangular "landscaped" shaped or it'll look weird, so the picture image above wouldn't be optimal (by itself).
I add my other pictures and crop and size them down to be about the same size as the first picture I chose. Now if you're new to Publisher, you'll see when you click on your image you resize it by clicking on one of the little white dots that come around the image and if you drag the corners it keeps the proper proportions of the photo rather making it super tall or wide (see the red arrow, it's normally white, but for this tutorial I made it red).
You may  have to crop your pictures too, find your handy little floating picture tool bar (see above, it's floating above & to the right of the images, below I've blown it up so you can see it better) and the crop button is circled, the intersecting corners. It's super easy.
Once you're happy with your images, I like to clean them up and make sure all of the edges match, the sizing is right, etc, I like to put a border around the whole thing, just to make it look really sharp. Do you see the rectangle drawing tool all the way on the left hand tool bar? You click on that and you can draw a border all the way around your picture.  Right now it's a black skinny border.
Once it's there, double click on the box (border) and you can change the color and make it thicker.
This seems like an worthless exercize, but learn from my mistakes and know these are the little things that make your images much better!
Ok, so I want to write on my picture, which in Publisher you can do very easily with a text box, but I want really COOL fonts.... and I don't want to take the time to download fonts (although this is very easy & fast), it's just that I want lots of font options and I've found a great font generator that'll do it for me easy, free, fast.
Type whatever you want in the box and you can chose the font name and color and size until you find something you love, this is SO AWESOME. I love fonts. I'm a nerd.
See the "Summer 2013"- that's the font/color/text that I've chosen. Now I don't "download" this, downloading crap from the internet scares me so I just do a print screen, in fact my FAVORITE computer action is print screen. I use it for so many things. It's like taking a picture of your computer screen and you can paste it wherever you want, in an email, in publisher, etc.

 In case you didn't know where this amazing feature is on your keyboard, here it is. All you have to do is press this button while you're looking at the font screen, and right click on your blank screen in publisher, hit "paste" and you'll see the internet screen you were just staring at! Now of course you don't want your whole "print screen", just the words- Summer 2013, so just crop that screen down until all you have is your writing:
Now, this actually has a white background, so you'll want to make that transparent. It's as easy as clicking on the "summer 2013" to make sure you're working with that image and go over to your picture tool bar (see below), hit the transparent button (the wand with the corner), go back up and click the wand on the white background of the writing and now you have just the text with a transparent background!
 Pretty right?
Ok, to save this sucker & make it our new blog title pic!
If you were to press "save as" it'd be a publisher file, so I'll show you the (longer, but easier to explain) way to save this as a picture file.
Go to Edit, and select all. This will snag each component of this picture you've created.
Once that's done you want to group the different components- see the two boxes here, press that. It groups everything together (to act as one big image rather than the 3 pictures, text picture, border).
Now right click on your image and "save as picture" (if you haven't grouped the components at this point, it'll just save the portion you've clicked on as the image, not everything). Once it's saved you can put it on your blog.  If you've never posted your own original blog title pic, here's how you do it.
Click on Design on your blog, then get to the Layout. In your title hit the "edit" button and it will open this box. Browse for your image and make sure "instead of title and description" are clicked. Depending on how big you've made your picture you may want to click the shrink image as well.
And Voila! New blog title pic! I hope you have as much fun playing as I do! I am more than happy to help anyone who reads my blog with their own blog title picture, just get in contact with me!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

T-Ball in the house!

Errmegerrrrrrr... my house is being over run with sports.  For those of you who really know my family, you know I HATE sports. And for those of you who know my husband, you know he lives/breathes for sports.  So of course, our family course was charted when I had two baby boys for SPORTS.  We finally took the plunge to add one more thing to our busy schedule & put both boys in t-ball.  But they are so darn cute! And I knew Judah would be good because he's insanely competitive and very athletic, but I thought Quinn (although athletic, he's just a giant clown) would be picking his nose and trying to make the other kids laugh rather than paying attention and trying hard to play serious baseball.  But I'm surprised, Quinn has done really, really well! I'm so proud of both of them! 

And of course our little cheer leader!  
Our buddies, the VanHoutens met us after practise. And just to ensure each child was completely covered in the red clay after their practises, we let them play on the mound afterwards. Thank God for Oxi-clean.
Now we're not Irish, and we didn't do anything other than church & dinner at my parents on St Patty's, but we'll rock the green! And wear all of Mimi & Papa's awesome hats! 

It's the Irish-Puerto Rican Abraham Lincoln! 
I love the green "hair" on the back of the hat! 

And the baby who won't keep a Leprechon hat, a cute bow or anything on her head anymore.
Now this guy on the other hand could LIVE in a Batman mask & cape!
The innate differences between girl babies & boy babies is so stinkin adorable. Viviana can already "shush" and rock a baby like no one's business. And the girl is "on the phone" all day long! I love to imagine her conversations, like Bonita Bitrell from In Living Color (do you remember her?)... goes something like this.....
Girl, she did WHAT??? 
Well, she is a total skank, but I ain't one to gossip, so you ain't heard that from me!
But actually the really cute thing is every time she's with me she's "calling" Guillermo. She says "Dada?" each time she puts it to her ear.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cruising Part 2!

Our next port was Roatan, Honduras.  It was so green & lush.

 Cousins!! I love this picture!

My little cowgirl!
Look at my handsome nephews! 

Look at that beach bebe!
Of course our trip couldn't go by without that picture...... 
I seriously need a full body rash guard too! I was a lobster by this point! (even with 60 spf!) 

 Now THIS was my favorite port, Costa Maya, Mexico. It was a slice of Heaven.....

Shrimp Ceviche, I can't quit you. Seriously my mouth waters just looking at this picture.

Now, what do you do when you realize you're done with all of your ports?
You get all fancy like for formal dinners! 
And if you're 13 months old, you whine a lot at dinner. Bur Burr. 

 And if you're lucky, you win a lot at the roulette table!
If you're a dancer, you work it girl.

And when you're especially ancy, you turn your stroller into a jungle gym.
You act like a cool guy as you patrol the decks.
You go down the kiddie water slides 182 times while sunburnt mamas sit under umbrellas.

You walk on the twelfth deck holding hands tight so the kids don't blow off the ship on the big gusts of wind!

You play putt putt.

 And last but not least, you get all gussied up one more time to celebrate love and the ones you love!

(you boogey down while wild boys before you turn them over to camp carnival)

The steak house restaurant we went to was Guillermo's meat heaven!

What an amazing time. With amazing people. We are truly blessed!