June 2008

Inspiration

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My best friend, Taryn, is opening a dental practice in our home town next month, and she asked me for some photos to frame for the office. I kind of panicked when I thought my high school photography teacher (who I have deep admiration for) might actually go to get her teeth cleaned and see my photos and realize that I never made it as a photographer and that my oeuvre has become 99% toddler subject matter. Hmm. During Greta's nap time today I headed to the most beautiful place I know of in Rochester: Highland Park. Specifically, I went to Lamberton Conservatory, Warner Castle and Sunken Garden, and the outdoor amphitheater. I had a lot of fun walking around and finding some of the obvious beauty in these places.

As much as a I love Rochester, I love that being at the conservatory and castle always make me feel like I'm in some magical land. Here are some of my shots. Hopefully they effectively yell, "Don't forget to floss!

















My biggest task of the day was trying to keep Greta occupied while Pat started installing some Pergo tile-like flooring in the kitchen. Greta is always hell-bent on helping when she sees the need, and keeping her from "helping" Pat was quite a battle - one I lost more than once. Here she is acting as foreperson.

Also this weekend we FINALLY hung up the family portrait that was taken of us when Greta turned a year old. For being such motivated people, we certainly know how to put the simplest tasks off. I love how they look on the red wall that they were photographed in front of.

Fran

2008-06-28 23:09:06

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The weather cooperated this afternoon, and we had a handful of people over for a barbeque. It seemed like everyone really enjoyed the food and had a great time.

Group shot!

Greta's buddy Nathan, who is about 11 months younger than her, showed up. Greta always has fun with him, and she seems to enjoy being all big-sistery with him, which is pretty cute.

Nathan was leery of the pool, but Greta lured him in by showing him what fun it is.

After dinner, they cozied up in a chair together.

They had the giggles here.

Now I'm all tukered out.

Fran

I got a tattoo!!

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JUST KIDDING, MOM. I surprised you, didn't I?

As I was just reading some information on laser tattoo removal, I was thinking how happy I am I never got a tattoo. The thought definitely crossed my mind more than once in college, but I definitely thought that anything I might get tattooed would likely be regrettable, and I couldn't possibly think of anything I would even consider having on my body forever, other than possibly a battleship across my chest (at least there would be a nice flat surface for the tattoo artist - tee-hee). Anyway, I am siting here saying, "Thank goodness I never got a tattoo!" And I started thinking about all of my friends who did get a tattoo in college or even our friend Erik, who got a tattoo as recently as this month.

So, for this lovely Friday, riddle me this: Do you have a tattoo (or more), and if so, what is it and where is it located? When did you get it, and do you regret or rejoice your decision?

Fran

Hmm

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When we started out for our walk tonight, a very perky and smiley young woman came up to me and introduced herself, saying she lives two doors down. She said she is a U of R student and said that she would be happy to babysit for us sometime. I liked her immediately and even Greta, who instantly warms up to new people maybe 2% of time, smiled at the woman and said, "Hiiiii," as in, "Hey pretty lady. I like your blond hair." Soooo, the thing is we haven't had a babysitter in ages and only had a semi-stranger babysit one time. Does it seem crazy to try and set up a time for her to babysit? Is it acceptable to ask for references, or am I being completely anal? Oh, and what the heck is the going rate for a college-aged babysitter?

Fran

2008-06-22 21:55:03

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This weekend was good but exhausting on multiple levels. I'm not really at a juncture where I can be forming words right now, so here are some pretty pictures from this morning's trip to the zoo. We all voted that it was our most favorite trip to the zoo, and we go to the zoo a lot.













Fran

Quick update

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The book I edited, Minus the Imple, is in many online stores in the US and internationally, and it is in some physical stores locally. The author, Robert Chandler, has been doing a great job of promoting the book, and he recently did a one-hour radio interview with Tony Kay. I listened to the interview from start to finish and really enjoyed it. There were some good anecdotes in there and some really great advice for anyone itching to write a book but who wants to do it simply (well, relatively) and inexpensively. Additionally, he said some very nice things about me (toward the middle of the interview), which was fun to hear. That being said, probably the only people who would really enjoy this are Bob’s friends/family, me, and possibly my mother, but, hey, if you’re so inclined, here is a link to the archived interview.

In other news, there was a great, yet heartbreaking, story in yesterday’s Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester’s local paper, for those of you not in the area). It features an interactive class picture of the 24 students from a 1995 kindergarten class at School 9. This is technically the year they should be graduating from high school. Sadly, only one-third of the students are actually graduating. The remainder have either dropped out of school or are still in school and plan to graduate at a later date. It was amazing to see that most kids were tracked down, some even being found wandering the streets on Joseph Ave, Clifford Ave. Their stories range from horrifying to hopeful. As an added note, because I can’t help but think about myself at all times, one of the things I found most shocking is that these kids were in kindergarten in 1995, some of whom are graduating this year, which is the same year I graduated high school. HELLO!?! I feel old.

In other-other news, I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love. I loved the Eat part, of course, because I love food – eating it, cooking it, thinking about it, talking about it, and apparently reading about it. The last two nights I’ve been reading the Pray part, and, boy oh boy, all of a sudden I’m having a hard time concentrating. Apparently I’m not as interested in prayer as I am food. (Shocker!) The last part sounds promising. Hopefully it won’t get all Harlequin romance novel on me.

Happy Friday.

Fran

Snails are our friends. Why, I don't know.

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It's no secret that I hate bugs, but, somehow, snails and slugs have won me over. Well, unless they try to eat my pea plants, in which case I chop them in half and spear their body parts on a twig and splay them for two reasons: 1) to provide as food for birds and 2) to serve as a fair warning to others who may try to eat my pea plants. Slugs should also note that they are welcome to eat anything in the garden other than the veggies.

We get some very pretty snails and ridiculously giant slugs that are actually quite beautiful. When it rains, Pat and I always make a conscious effort to be very careful walking around the yard and sidewalks. Even so, we are no strangers to hearing a little crack under our feet when we're running into the house during a rain storm. RIP, snails.

It has been pretty wet around here the last few days, and I got a few pictures of some of the little critters around. Here is one guy I was particularly fond of.

I call him Aloisius St. James. And here is a close-up of his eyes. Even Greta loves snails! How could anyone not?

PS - I love our camera.

Fran

Abbreviated weekend redux

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Friday we went to Greg and Kimmie's for dinner and so the girls could play. Here's a cute picture of Maddie and Greta. Unfortunately you can barely make out Maddie's awesome Las Vegas tattoo.

Saturday my parents had a bit of a McCarthy family reunion. My parents went all out, and it was a great time. They got Greta quite a few new toys for their house, including a great new sandbox. Here is a picture of Greta knocking over a plastic chair (chair not pictured), which she did repeatedly until she noticed the sandbox.

I had sort of big plans for today for Father's day, but it turned out to be one of the duller days in the Reed family household. I felt crummy for most of the day, which put a damper on my plans. Luckily we still had a nice day. Highlights include Greta actually eating a Mickey Mouse pancake at Flour City Diner this morning (rather than just poking it and making faces like she did the last time we ordered one there), watching Pat and Greta run through the sprinkler in the back yard, and Greta FINALLY using the potty for the first time ever. To date, Greta has logged quite a bit of time sitting on the potty, but she had never actually used it for its intended purpose. She seemed kind of shocked at first, but then she seemed to enjoy saying, "yellow pee-pee bye-bye."

My cousins gave Greta some super cute dress-up clothes yesterday, and here is Greta modeling one of the outfits today.

She also wore a crown during most of breakfast. I'm enjoying the girly-girl phase for as long as it lasts!

Fran

Happy Father's Day, Pat Reed and the other baby daddies!

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Love,
Frances and Greta Olive



Ceci n'est pas une stunt double

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We saw a side of Greta today that we had never seen before: her daredevil side. We went over to Dave, Laura, and Sydney's house, and Greta saw Sydney jump into the kiddie pool. With little hesitation, Greta jumped right in, spread eagle...






...And then she did it about 500 more times.

Fran