Monday Love / I miss my couch

Another edition of Monday Love…

A quote: “The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.” Lane Olinghouse

Something personal: When I found this quote I just about fell off my chair laughing.  It was perfect following a morning where Jeff and I found ourselves falling on top of each other in the kitchen, answering all the breakfast needs/orders to keep our prince and princess from whining/crying/melting down, etc.  I mean, when do WE get to eat breakfast???  I know the days of sleeping in, lounging around, and watching TV are gone – but breakfast too?  Quite simply, yes.  If anyone has any suggestions to curb this morning riot behavior, please let me know.  I’m considering a free-for-all around here soon.  Lunchable anyone?  😉

Another hot topic around our house is Kylie.  It has become all too clear that this little girl is growing up into a lovely young lady, and an ornery one too.  In the last two weeks she has sassed me, pushed me, yelled NO at me, run away from me, and even taken a reluctant swing at me (gasp!!!).  I’m trying to make sense of it all since none of this behavior is normal for her, and I know that much of it has to do with her little brother doing all the same things and getting plenty of attention for it (but he’s TWO, not FIVE).   Not only has she been having some tantrums, but she’s also very hard to please lately.  This reminded me of a book that Liz Seymour gave me: Your Four Year Old, Wild and Wonderful. It describes the Four Year Old Child by saying “No one is more responsive to the adult effort to entertain.  He will accept what you have to offer with delightfully uncritical enthusiasm.”  Oh how I miss those days when Kylie would cheerfully accept any offer of fun (even laundry) that I might offer to do with her.  Now, the first response is usually something like (insert whiny voice here) “well, I wanted to go to (insert anything BUT what I suggested here).”   Even after a really fun day, she will think of something negative to say before any words of appreciation come out of her mouth.  I feel like I’m doing something wrong.  But I look at her sweet face and I know that she’s just trying to figure out who she is, what part she plays in the world, and how much control she has over her life.  Jeff says she’s stubborn like me (huh?) and has a short temper like him.  And just when I think I can’t handle anything else, she will look at me and with so much love and sincerity say “Mommy, I love you so much.”  Well, okay then, all is forgiven.  *sigh*  Sorry for the rant.

Here she is – wild and wonderful at four years old and still wild and wonderful (but in different ways) at five years old.

In the words of Olivia’s Mommy…. Kylie “you wear me out, but I love you anyway.”

Something useful: After Liz did the last Wider Angle column about her obsession with printing pictures and storing them into photo albums, it got me thinking that MANY people would probably like some ideas on how to make this process easier.   I know that in an ideal world, we would all make a 4×6 print of every awesome picture we take and neatly store them in beautiful albums, categorized by date or event, and tuck them onto a living room shelf for everyone to enjoy.  Right??  Oh, and of course we would take the time to enlarge our favorite images and put them in frames for unique wall collections all around our home too.  Right??  Okay, I admit it, I’m really bad about the photo album stuff.  So, here is an idea for a QUICK, EASY, and INEXPENSIVE solution to getting the images from your camera on paper so people can look at them (that includes your spouse, who probably hasn’t even seen half the pictures on your computer yet).  This process took me less than 10 minutes and only cost me $15.  The pictures are relatively small, so don’t waste your time trying to do any special photoshop stuff on these, just pick and print from all those thousands of pictures you’ve taken and never shared…..

Step One: Go to and open a free account

Step Two: Go to “My Albums” at the top and click (+add an album)

Step Three: Allow the Java Uploader access to your computer.  It will show all of your folders, so you can go to any folder on your computer and pick any images from that folder.  Add images, then navigate to another folder, add more images, etc.  When you’ve picked all the images you want in this album, click “upload.”

Step Four: Click on “Specialty Products” at the top of the page, then select: “Proof Portfolios” at the bottom of the page.

Step Five: Select your album, then select 8×10 Proof Portfolio – then ADD TO CART.  (The options come next)

Step Six: Go to your cart. Click OPTIONS, then choose 4 per page, background color, and the order of your images.  You can also choose to have the file names listed or not (I did not, since I put the date on the cover page).

Step Seven: Click “Add a Cover Image.”  By checking the “use a cover image” option, it will automatically use whichever image is first in your Mpix album as the cover for the proof album.  Then you have the option to add text (I put our family name and April 2011).

Step Eight: CHECK OUT – you’re done!!!  This little goody will arrive in 1-2 days!  🙂

A couple side notes:

  • I did this super fast and made the mistake of using the black background, but I would prefer white I think.
  • My proof album was 8 pages, plus cover, with 32 images.  Next time, I would probably do more pages and include several months of images.  Make sure the images on your computer are “heads up” when you upload them.
  • The images are small on the pages, so I’m not suggesting this process as the way to display ALL of your precious memories.  But, it’s definitely a really fast and easy way to get caught up on printing and sharing.  🙂  Then you could do special albums or scrapbooks for your favorite images, special occasions, holidays, trips, etc.  I think it’s less overwhelming if you get some of it out of the way, so you can focus on doing something unique with the truly special images.  And don’t forget to enlarge some and hang them on the wall!  Oh, and of course, you could hire a professional photographer to help you as well.  *wink-wink*

Happy Monday!!!

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by Crystal

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