Babies Now Versus Then

Awww. . . a baby bear hat!  My son-in-law couldn't wait to finally take this picture.

Awww. . . a baby bear hat! My son-in-law couldn’t wait to finally take this picture.

My grandson is two weeks already!  Him and his parents are doing well, albeit with the usual issues of lack of sleep and trying to figure out why he might be crying this time.  In other words, everything is normal.

This week’s photo challenge is “reward”.  Last fall, I wrote a post about parenthood being the ultimate endurance test (to see my post, click here).  One of the things I didn’t mention though, is that having grandchildren is one of the rewards for parenting.

I’ve enjoyed watching my daughter and son-in-law learn to take care of a baby and each other.  Initially, it took two of them to change the diaper.  Nursing was another learning curve, as were the trips back to the doctor for both the baby and my daughter, for well baby checks and questions she had about her recovery.  They figured out how to dress the baby for the cold, get him in and out of the car, plus planning ahead for what all needed to be in the diaper bag.

My sister and I both remember that learning curve well.  We’ve spent a fair amount of time this last week comparing how it was for our first few days home from the hospital and how our husbands learned along with us.

For a further trip down memory lane, I thought I’d share some photos of my grandson versus his mother.

At seven months pregnant, she was smaller than I was, although her 6″ difference in height helped her!

My daughter wasn’t too enthused about how she looked right after the baby was born, but I assured her that all women look that tired, sweaty, and worn out.

The fathers help take care of the baby too.

And then we have pass the baby –

even among the grandparents.

Eventually Mom gets the baby back again.

Aren’t the babies just cute?

Lastly, here are some other pictures of my grandson for your enjoyment!

I’d like to thank my son-in-law and daughter for providing some of these pictures.  The uncle and grandfather are my son-in-law’s family.  The aunt is my sister and the great-grandmother was my maternal grandmother.  I have posts about my sister here and here; posts about my maternal grandmother are here and here.

To see how others used this week’s word, click here.

Baby Bump (Last One!)

Here are the last of the baby bump pictures!  I expect the next time I show my daughter, it will be with the baby in her arms.  Look at how much she’s changed!


In fact, here’s all the baby bump pictures just so you can see how much she’s changed.  I also included a Halloween one that I hadn’t seen before.

She sprouted!  I went to see her last weekend and even though she’s nearly at the end, she was still exercising, walking dogs, and getting down on her hands and knees to look under the bed for something, in addition to cooking and shopping with her mother.  We had fun and it was nice to see each other before the baby comes.  As long as I’m unemployed, I’m going to enjoy having time with her.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

In 2012, the Richmond Virginia Art Community joined with national street artists to create murals on the flood walls along the James River Canal (media coverage is here and here).  Because it was on the path I walked during lunch, I had the opportunity to watch as it was being created and later, the final product.  I’d never gotten around to posting these before and thought they’d be perfect to share for this week’s photo challenge on scale.

You get an idea of the scale of this project here:


Maybe this one gives you a better idea of how huge these murals were.  My sister took this picture of me last spring when she came for a visit:

DSC01891 Blog

Here are some of the finished murals:

The “James” written on the wall is a reference to the James River, from when it was polluted and smelly.  It’s tremendously improved these days (thankfully).

The murals are still there.  Each year since they were done, the city has added murals in other places.  It’s purpose is to bring art to Richmond, cover up blank walls, and show off the arts.

There were other noteworthy things the day I took these photos.  A woman was walking two baby goats along the canal with a leash and collar, just like the many dogs that walk there.  I wasn’t the only one to stop and pet them and they created quite a buzz.  In a corner by the murals, a growing collection of memorabilia was left.  It contained all kinds of things, from clothes to eyeglasses to a clock.  I’m not sure what its purpose was, but over the next few weeks it got bigger and bigger.  After a few rains, someone (probably the city) cleaned it up.


In general, the murals highly creative and quite complex.  Some of it was tactless and tasteless (little kids walking by do not need to see naked boobs).  That’s not a surprise.  Everyone has a different idea of what is good and proper.  While most of the artists worked in teams, one artist had his young children help paint the bottom of his mural.  I enjoyed watching them – the kids were enthused to help Dad and their Dad seemed to be enjoying the time spent together.  It took the artists a long time to finish their portion of the flood walls (I think at least two weeks for most of them).  It’s certainly distinctive and worth seeing if you ever come to Richmond, Virginia.

To see how other photographers interpreted the word “scale”, click here.

Building After And Before

Photo after editing

Photo after editing

One of the fun things about blogging is making new friends and trying new things.  Stacy Fischer, over at Visual Venturing, presents a picture each month for post-processing interpretations for whoever would like to participate.  I did it last month (in this post here) and really enjoyed it.

Manal Ali shared such an interesting photo for this week!  Although the sky was a challenge, I wanted to preserve and highlight the bright colors in both the foreground and background of the photo.  This is the original:

Original photo submitted by Manal Ali

Original photo submitted by Manal Ali

Isn’t this picture just full of potential?  I can’t wait to see what appealed to the other photographers who are participating.

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A Walk With Mom

Playing with my favorite toy - the squeaky soccer ball

Playing with my favorite toy – the squeaky soccer ball

Dear kind and gentle readers – yes, it’s once again me, the beagle.

I’m really liking Mom being home during the day.  Why?  Because she’s taking me for a walk nearly every day.  Oh such joy – I get to check pee mail!  Poop on the neighbors lawns!  And best of all, I’m finding all kinds of things to eat.

I go along, nose to the ground, when suddenly I get a whiff of something.  The other day at the park, I took off into the woods, shuffling through leaves that were nearly halfway up my short little legs.  Mom let the retractable leash out, not dreaming that I was on the scent of something yummy until I snatched up a stale bun.  Whoa – did she ever reel me in.  Worse yet, she dug it out of my mouth and told me I was a bad boy.  Then she threw it back into the woods.  I got the last laugh though.  As we walked away, I turned around, snatched it back up and nearly got it down before she dug it out of my mouth again.  ** sigh **  I was so close to eating it too.

I’m keeping a pretty good trot out there!  Mom’s getting a brisk walk in and so am I.  In fact, the other day she texted Dad that I was acting wild.  So she walked me around the entire park.  THE WHOLE PARK.  I could barely make it back to the car!  In fact, we were nearly there and I just ran out of mojo.  She finally coaxed me back to the car and then – this is so embarrassing – she had to boost my butt up into the car because I was too tired to hop in.

Where's the beagle next door?  I'll find him yet!

Where’s the beagle next door? I’ll find him yet!

For some reason, her and Dad found it incredibly funny when we get home.  Just because I stood there in the hallway, swaying on my feet and trying to sleep while keeping an eye on Mom.  Because I knew she was getting ready to take my brother, the Vizsla, out for his walk.  How dare she?  Those walks are for ME.  NOT him.  She left despite my vigilance and I made sure to howl and sob so she could hear me all the way out to the street.  Yeah, until Dad yelled at me to stop.  Hey!  I’m entitled to ALL the walks!  Who knows what I’m missing out there!?!?!

I slept the rest of the day.  In fact, I might have been snoring.  Dad complained about having trouble hearing the television, although more likely it was my brother.  I’m sure it couldn’t have been me.

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2015 Word – Create

House Taken at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia

Winter Scene at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia

Creativity should be an everyday experience.
Creativity should be as common as breathing.
We breathe, therefore, we create.
– Erwin Raphael McManus in the book, “The Artisan Soul”

2015 – Create!

For 2015, my word is CREATE.  Not nurture (like nurturing my creativity theme last October), practice (everything I’ve learned) or even creativity.  No, the word is create.

I took a number of classes last year – on photography, journaling, and being creative.  I took them to learn and have fun, both of which I accomplished.

But the time has come to just create.  Not to worry whether I’ve learned the techniques good enough or if there’s another something to learn.  It’s time to use it all and show it off to the world.  To not be intimidated as to who might be better than me, whether I’m worthy enough, or whether I’m even good enough.

I need to sharpen my focus, cut back on the classes and possibly other activities.  To create – whether writing up my blog, taking pictures or post processing pictures.  To create – keeping my journals, telling my stories, and writing up my observations each day.  To create – in each and every facet of my life, every day, every way that I can.

How will I do this?

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