Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Mind Of The Father Of A Two Year Old

Potty training, not eating this or that, and of course the daily, is that cough going away? Are all issues that I am dealing with right now. It's funny for me to look at the small things and not stress much about them because I know Ara is doing such an amazing job with Evie. Sometimes I wish she knew what I know, but hopefully that will come.

Evie has had her problems this week with having a bad cold, peeing her panties and just not eating her usual foods. As her Daddy, it makes me nervous when she drifts from her normals. As a kid I have to remember we all did this, over and over again. It won't stop when she turns 5, as a matter of fact this headstrong little kid is probably going to be the worst combination of her Mama and Dada.

I hope we can just relax and settle in to having a preschooler soon and realize how amazing our little trip through the terrible two's has been. For now, we will just have to relax and remember that she might have a bad day, or even a bad week, but we are so blessed to have a happy, healthy little girl and God has blessed me with an amazing wife to raise her.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Lorax

I love the fact that Evie is old enough to enjoy movies at the theater now. Tonight we ventured out to see The Lorax. It was amazingly cute and very well done. Evie did have a few spots of hand holding and big eyes, but she did great.

I have no idea how well my Radar did snagging this shot in a dark theater, but hopefully you can see a little bit of her excitement in the image. If not, just take my word for it... She had fun.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Love Free Phones...

Ok, it's not like that it was really free. I did have to give up a phone that I really had no interest in keeping, but I did get smoked by Windows Phone today with my Samsung Exhibit II. I then surrendered the Android beast to the service counter for a brand new Focus S.

The Focus S is powered by a 1.4Ghz processor and has a beautiful 4.27" AMOLED screen. It really is a beautiful phone. The other plus is that it will work with Red Pocket Mobile 4G data services. So when I pull the plug on my poor T-Mobile connection, I have an alternative to slower 3G or even 2G coverage.

I've been very impressed with Red Pocket's coverage and speeds, so I'm ok with that move if needed. But honestly, the Radar has been awesome so far, so I'm not in a huge hurry to change over just yet. Of course, I can't just let that shiny new Focus S just sit there. Maybe I'll do a week of My Life in Focus blog posts just to see if I like it better.

A Beautiful Day... Sort of?

I love days where it seems like a "great day" right off the bat with a plan to head to the farm, get some work done early, then sneak off for a bit of fun. Unfortunately, today didn't cooperate with my master plan at all.

The morning started off with Ara feeling extremely sick. Evie was boogery, Ara was pukey, and I just had too much going on. I guess the good part is that Evie was doing much better when we hit the farm. She hung out with Nana and played with the puppies. I headed down to the barn to get stalling.

The two stalls that were left to finish were the worst of the bunch. Big holes, mounds, and overall a ton of work. Luckily, Alan decided to fill the major holes with gravel. This made the whole process go much smoother.

We were just getting wrapped up when the call came that Mom was at the hospital with a nose bleed that was out of control. As the evening went on, they had it stopped, under control and were just observing her. Thank goodness!

The evening also got much better as Ara started feeling better as well. Her bout with the flu really took a toll on her, a toll of about 10 lbs in one day actually. It was a bit scary as she described her day, but also just a touch funny too since I knew she was getting better.

I never worry too much on days like this. Sure, Ara being sick killed a gorgeous day for her, but there will be more of them soon. It does however make it easier to know that on a rough day, God paints me a beautiful backdrop to take my worries away.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Daddy Date Night

I love my daddy date nights. I shot this as Ara was ready to leave us for the evening. Tonight was a bit of dinosaurs, ball tossing and a Cat In The Hat marathon over the neighbor's new surround sound unit. It drives me nuts to have another surround sound next door. I'm sitting here right now able to hear it better than our own TV. Evie is kicking back like she doesn't even know that it's there, but it's crazy loud none the less.

Anyway, back to the fun... Mama escaped to the Breathe night deal at The Rock tonight. I'm really happy she got out and is spending some time with the women at the church. It should be fun, and I just hope she has a good time.

Tomorrow is a day of horse stalls. We have two to get through before the last new border arrives at Kaelie's Farm. Its great to see the stalls full again. Of course, we did save the two worst stalls for last, so we will see how that goes. I'm pretty sure there might be a water heater to install and maybe a bit of general cleaning as well.

Oh well, time to get monkey ready for bed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Love Monroe Sunsets

Even though this isn't the best sunset that I've seen in Monroe, it is the first one in quite some time that has painted the sky. We were lucky enough to be out tonight when the sun went down to see the beautiful oranges and whites blend together to make an amazing painting.

I took this using the standard panoramic camera on my new phone. It really is simple to take decent photos with the Radar. HTC did a fantastic job with the camera and settings on it. While it isn't a 12MP D-SLR, it is more than adequate for quick snapshots and saving a glimpse of time.

I can't wait until this fall when we venture to Disneyland for Evie's first trip. I'm sure the Radar's camera sensor will get a serious workout by the time we are done with that trip. Now, just how well do you think the battery will do?

The View From Work

I never really worried too much about what was outside of my 4 walls at work. There was usually just a parking lot, some lights and a few other stores. When I went to worn for Shur-Loc though, it was just a driveway and a yard.

When the office moved to Monroe, the view changed to something amazing. We are directly across from Lake Tye and the mornings are gorgeous. The sun peaks over the mountains, hits the hillside behind the lake and everything glows. The photo I took only captures a tiny fraction of the beauty, but I thought I'd share it with everyone anyways.

Layer this year, when the sunsets come in their full glory, I'll make sure to post one of those as well. But for now, just stop and enjoy God's handiwork.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Had Some Camera Fun Today

I was playing around with this great free App from the Marketplace today and realized that it could be a never ending pile of fun. Photofunia is this great program that uses facial recognition to pull a face from your image and put it into any one of the 240+ templates that are included in the App.

I started out with a fun shot of Ara and Evie on a "Wanted" poster. Then a lovely shot of Evie in a painting background. I finished out my half our of fun with Santa Ron.

Photofunia is available free in the Windows Phone Marketplace and requires a data connection to work. Check it out and have some fun with your Radar's camera right now.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Late Workout, Good Workout

Today was a later workout day than yesterday, but it was a good one. I made it 60 minutes at my 120+ strides per minute on the elliptical tonight. It was great knowing that Ara was in her water Zumba class and Evie was having a blast in the kid area.

I really enjoy pushing harder and not worrying that they are at home bored or tired of just being there. The benefit of pushing harder is that the calories come off so quickly. As a matter for fact, the calories came off so well tonight that I have a negative intake for the day!

Gotta love a good workout and a wonderful stop for a late snack afterwards.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wow Means Windows Phone

I have to admit that I thought I'd "like" Windows Phone out of the box. What I didn't know was just how much I would enjoy it. The simplistic look and easy functionality makes WP7 amazing.
The hardware I selected for my first device was the HTC Radar 4G. I went that direction because of the overall build quality of the device. Glass screen, aluminum body and WP7.5 loaded out of the box. The fact that the device was also unlocked was also a major bonus.

So, after my first day of Windows Phone living, the best far out ways the bad, but let's look at the minimal issues that an Android user faces coming to Windows Phone.

1) The lack of navigation options is a killer. Going from a gorgeous 4.3" HTC Evo 4G with Google Navigation to the horrible options that Windows Phone presents makes one cringe. Basically for the average WP user, there are 2 good options that cost $30 to $50 each. Not a great deal...

2) Quality of free Apps. Amazon really ruined Android Apps for most of us, and WP really just does ok in my book. All the standards are there, but honestly, I have 350 Apps that I acquired from Amazon in the last year plus. Now, if WinPhone might start offering a free App of the Week like the iTunes store, we might start talking differently.

3) Toggles and widgets. I know that Live Tiles are AWESOME to say the least, but the lack of clocks, weather and even just a bit of customization, leaves the OS a touch flat.

4) Not being able to customize sections of the device. Here's what I mean... I love the white start screen, but a black music player would be nice... Unfortunately, I have yet to find a way to do that... Maybe tomorrow?

Ok, so there's my minor gripe session and I'll start on some real blogging again soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Day, New Phone

 Today marks my first official day in almost 3 years that an Android device will not be the daily driver in my phone. It is a strange difference, but, so far Windows Phone is amazing me. Which isn't all that easy to do. The OS is smooth, snappy and downright fast. That's even on the HTC Radar, which isn't even the fastest kid on the block.

I guess this means another new banner... Photoshop, here I come...

Evie's First Hockey Game

Tonight we ventured out to a hockey game with Mike and Noey. Evie was pretty much memorized with the entire game. We watched the Silvertips skate their way to a 3 to zip win over the Royals.

Evie was such a big girl, listening to me, being polite to those around and I vendors going potty two times! Even end of the first period meltdown didn't ruin the night for her.

I can't thank Mikey and Kalee enough for the great night and I'm sure Evie would do the same, when she's old enough to appreciate how amazing the night was. Now the question is, how to top a great night of hockey for daddy and baby's next date night?

Friday, March 9, 2012

The iPhone...

So we're in the middle of this monster switch from Sprint to a prepaid cellular carrier and I was lucky enough to finally get to have an iPhone for an extended amount of time. I've been wanting to play with one for a while now, but just never had the chance. Fortunately, a friend knew of one for sale and we jumped on it.

I have to admit, I just don't get what the hype is about. As one that roots, tweaks, plays and likes to know what makes the world tick, the iPhone is the opposite side of the universe from me. I tried to like it, and can definitely see the benefits of using it, but it's just so clumsy. 4 steps to change this, 2 to change that, it's just wrong.

I thought I'd be an Android users for some time after iOS failed me so badly, but honestly, I set my Exhibit II up in Windows Phone mode using Launcher7 and a few other tweaks and I loved it. I loved it to the point of grabbing a used Radar 4G off Amazon and am making the move back to Microsoft!

So, I'll keep bogging from here until my new Windows Phone device arrives and then it will be life in my Radar? Or something like that...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Baseball Season Is Almost Here

On our last trip to Wal-Mart, Evie slipped on a really cute baseball mit and posed long enough for me to capture this shot. The cuteness of the image is one thing, but to think she might be in t-ball soon is even better!

I know she has another year or two before it will happen, but the first 2 years have flown by so quickly that the next 2 will be just as fast. Then she's going to be starting preschool, having soccer games, t-ball in the spring, it's just going to be crazy!

And of course the cooler part about seeing the little baseball gloves is that it means that another season of Phillies baseball is here... LET'S GO PHILLIES!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Snowing Again!

I'm sure it won't stick around for long, but we are seeing a bit of the white stuff falling from the sky today. It's my perfect snow, covering the grass, trees and buildings, but not the roads. It's perfect.

The only bummer side of things is that Mom and Dad were coming for lunch, so that visit is probably off now.

Oh well, enjoy the snow people!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Growing Up So Fast

Yesterday night was Evie's first night in her "big girl" bed. It started off a bit rough, but she settled in nicely. It was so fun watching her climbing in and out of bed. At the same time though, it was strange to think how big she has gotten since we brought her home.

She came home just under 5lbs and so small have could lay in her crib sideways and not touch the sides. Now, she's all grown up and ready for a real bed.

I can't wait to see what she's ready for next, but at the same time, don't grow up too fast baby!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Great Date Night

Sometimes, we are blessed to have great people living around us. Tonight was one of those times that we really appreciated our neighbor, and we left Evie home for a nice night on the town.

We originally headed out to a concert, but quickly changed plans to head to the Snoqualmie Casino. I won a bit, Ara lost a bit, but overall we came out within a few bucks of even. It was a fun night. After our high roller escapades at the casino, we drifted in to Bellevue for some sushi at Sushi Maru. It was our first time there and well worth the trip.

We made a quick stop on the way home to grab Evie a bit of medicine to head off her cold early, and hopefully save her a week or two of not feeling well again. We will see on that one.

For now, it is the end to a great night, so good night all!