✍ All sorts of new and exciting things coming up for the cast of L to the Third so stay tuned!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Gentle into that good night

My paternal grandmother passed away Saturday evening in her sleep; she had been deteriorating physically and mentally over the past year or so, but her health started to rapidly decline around Thanksgiving.  I'm just glad that she was able to meet her first great-grandchild and even hold him for a bit.  Sammy and I will be heading back to western Pennsylvania soon for the funeral, so blogging may be a bit sporadic this week.  Thanks for understanding.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Foto Friday: Reflections

This week's suggested theme over at the Household 6 Diva is reflections; I was going to try and do something artsy but I kind of ran out of time this week.  However, I did take some photos of Sammy playing around in his high chair and I noticed that the stainless steel tray was a wonderful reflective surface:

Click below to check out the rest of the photos; have a great weekend everyone!

Household6Diva FotoFriday

Shoot and Edit Challenge: Good Night (After)

The lovely and talented Ashley and Jill have teamed together to share their awesome photo editing tips and tricks; I definitely need all the help I can get in this department though I've been trying my best to fake it thanks to sites like Picnik and Pixlr.  This week’s prompt/theme is what says “Good-night” to you so I used a bath-time photo of Sammy. Here's how I edited the photo in Picnik:
  1. Manually adjusted the exposure and contrast to brighten things up.
  2. Manually adjusted the saturation and temperature balance as the overall tones in the photo were pretty warm; I played around with the settings until I came up with something that minimized the red color cast and remained true to Sammy's skin tone.  (I usually use the neutral dropper to help even things out, but I got better results by manually playing with the settings.)
  3. I then used eye bright (at 50% fade) to make Sammy's eyes really stand out.
I'm pretty happy with how the edited photo turned out; here's a side-by-side comparison:

Interested in learning how to edit your photos so that they go from good to wow?  Click below!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #28

In an effort to learn more about fellow MilSpouse bloggers, Wifey from Wife of a Sailor started this weekly meme;  here are this week's questions.

1. If you were a famous movie star, what types of movies would you star in? 

Horror movies and indie films--it would be so awesome to be in the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (seriously, I'm not making this up).

2. What is a vacation you would like to take if money were no object? 

I would love to explore Europe for a year or so; I've always wanted to go to England and Scotland and of course, I'd have to visit Captain Husband's family in Italy. Then I'd take in Oktoberfest in Germany and trace my family's origins in Belgium, Germany, Holland, and Ireland.

3. Did you have pets growing up? 

We had a Great Dane named Fred, a beagle named Ethel and a cat named Ricky. Sadly, we had to find them new homes when my little brother was born (I've never really forgiven him for that).

4. What do you do for exercise? 

I've started using the eliptical machine twice a week over at the gym, plus there's toting a twenty-pound baby in his carrier and all of his various accoutrements up and down several flights of stairs on a daily basis.  My left arm is beginning to look like Popeye's.

5. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received as a MilSpouse?

Live in the moment and stop worrying about what the future may entail; something I'm currently struggling with a bit, but I'm trying, darn it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Welcome to L to the third!

Hi and welcome to those of you coming over from the Blizzard Bloghop; pull up a chair, get comfy and enjoy your visit!  (New to the Blizzard Bloghop?  Go write yourself an intro post, link up over at the Household 6 Diva, and join in on the fun!)

My name is Laura and all of my initials are the same, which is how the name of this blog came about.   This is the story of my ongoing adventures as a historian, military spouse and a new mom.

Captain Husband and I met at a Halloween party in Washington, DC in 2007; I was dressed like a zombie flapper and he was a 80s hair-metal rocker, complete with an awesome mullet wig.  We were married in July of 2008 and became proud parents to a bouncing baby boy named Sammy in June of 2010; we also share our home with a very lovable and fuzzy kitty named Sandy. 

Want to know more? Click here for our story.  Thank you for stopping by--please leave a comment so I can swing by your blog, too!

Shave and a haircut, two bits

Mom's Barber Shop is now open for business!  We specialize in taming the unruly hair of young men.  Take this patron for example--he was long on hair, short on style:

His hair was out of control--long and shaggy, practically begging for a trim.

But with just a few snips of the scissors and a pass or two with the clippers, he was transformed into the dapper young man you now see.

Granted, we may have had the clippers at too high of a setting for one pass, but it's still an improvement.  After all, if the client doesn't mind, then neither do we!  Mom's Barber Shop: Cutting Corners on Cutting Hair since 2011.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walking after midnight

Every night I put Sammy down to sleep at one end of his crib.  But when I go in to check on him a couple of hours later, right before I go to bed, he's scooted himself all the way to the other end. Some nights he manages to wedge himself so forcefully into the corner of the crib that he wakes up crying.  I don't really know what to do, so before I go to bed I've been "resetting" him, which entails picking him up and sliding him back down to where I had originally placed him earlier in the night.  This seems to help as he hasn't woken up crying in the corner for the last couple of days, but I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do when we're staying overnight away from home.  The pack-n-play that I have is on the small size and Sammy is now so big that all it takes is one scoot and he's jammed into a corner.  This weekend we stayed overnight at my friends' house and Sammy kept wedging himself into the pack-n-play's corner and crying (okay, it was more like screaming); I finally made him a bed on the floor and that seemed to do the trick.  Does anyone have any tips or tricks for dealing with a sleep-walking baby?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shoot and Edit Challenge: Good Night (Before)

The lovely and talented Ashley and Jill have teamed together to share their awesome photo editing tips and tricks; I definitely need all the help I can get in this department though I've been trying my best to fake it thanks to sites like Picnik and Pixlr.  This week’s prompt/theme is what says “Good-night” to you; part of Sammy's nightly routine is taking a nice long soak in the tub, so I think a bath-time photo works with this theme.  Here is my SOOC (straight out of the camera) shot:

Interested in learning how to edit your photos so that they go from good to wow?  Click below!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Seven-month update

Yesterday Sammy turned seven months old.  I'm going to guess that he weighs about 21 pounds; a lot of his twelve-month sized clothing is getting tight, which is absolutely blowing my mind.  In the past month, Sammy has added avocados (they didn't go over too well), squash and sweet potatoes to his menu of foods, as well as Baby Mum Mums (most of which wind up mashed into his clothing and/or the carpet).  He's even been trying to feed himself and often grabs the spoon away from me when it's time to eat:

I've tried introducing a sippy cup just to get him used to the idea but he mostly just chews on the nozzle while water drips all over him. Holding his own bottle is still not high on his list of things to do, either. Oh well--I suppose they're called baby steps for a reason.  (I'll be here all night, folks.)

Bath time is a favorite around here, especially now that Sammy's figured out how to splash with his hands and his feet.  Plus the rubber duckie makes an excellent chew toy.

Sammy is absolutely infatuated with Sandy.  He recognizes the sound of the bell on her collar and whenever he hears it, he searches for her and then lets out a high-pitched squeal as soon she crosses into his field of vision.  I honestly think that when Sammy does decide to start crawling it's going to be because he's trying to get to Sandy.  In fact, my new trick for getting him to last through tummy time without having a total meltdown is to position him so he can watch me play with the cat; while she chases after the string, he just laughs and laughs and does his little baby push-ups.

Sammy's still babbling a lot but I can't make out any actual syllables, although sometimes when he's crying it does sound like he's saying "mama."  (I have had this verified by a third party, so I'm not being totally nutso here.)  I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that his first word is going to be something Sandy-related.  He loves talking to her.

I will say that Sammy isn't sunshine and rainbows all of the time; these past few days have revealed a new aspect of his personality in that he appears to get quickly frustrated though fortunately these spells don't last too long (he's easily distracted so I've been able to redirect his attention elsewhere when this happens--thank goodness).  I can't wait to see what this next month will have in store for Sammy; maybe he'll actually get some teeth (or finally figure out how to roll over from his tummy to his back)!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Foto Friday: Light

This week's suggested theme over at the Household 6 Diva is light so I thought that this photo that I took of some ice-covered foliage after Monday's freezing rain would do the trick; I love how the bubbles in this teeny tiny icicle appear to be lit up from within (not too mention how lightweight and ephemeral it was):

Click below to check out the rest of the photos; have a great weekend everyone!

Household6Diva FotoFriday

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

In an effort to learn more about fellow MilSpouse bloggers, Wifey from Wife of a Sailor started this weekly meme;  here are this week's questions.

1. What do you usually want to know about someone when meeting them for the first time?

 I am always interested in learning about a person's passions, hobbies and interests.

2. Would you rather know everything about your spouse, or be regularly surprised?

I definitely enjoy being surprised every now and then...especially if the surprises are pleasant, like finding out that my husband is a big Star Trek fan.

3. If you could live in one city for the rest of your life, where would you live?

Hmmm...I really enjoyed the years that I lived in Philadelphia, although my husband isn't really much of a city person (and especially not much of a Philly person; he really hates that place for some irrational reason).  I loved the different neighborhoods and the history on every block; it's a great walking/biking city and there is always something going on, be it a new art exhibit or a band playing in someone's basement. 

4. When you go out of town, what one material thing do you ALWAYS take?

My cell phone.  I actually get nervous if I don't have it on me (that's sad, isn't it?).

5. Using no more than 10 nouns, and ONLY nouns, describe yourself.

Woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, dreamer, optimist, historian, antiquer (yes, I made that up).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cloth diaper confessions

I have a dirty little secret--I use a disposable diaper on Sammy every night.  Don't get me wrong, I love my fuzzi bunz and they kick butt on a daily basis.  But after Sammy turned five months old, they weren't holding up so well at night (Sammy's apparently a super soaker).  I was stuffing his cloth diapers with as many inserts that could fit and even tried putting those rubber pants over top of them, but to no avail--he was waking up, soaking wet, at 3 am every. single. night.  I was at my wit's end--I had gotten used to actually sleeping through the night and to go back to waking up two or three times was hell on wheels.  However, it wasn't until Sammy and I went to New Jersey to visit with family that I discovered the solution to my problem; since I didn't have access to a washer or dryer during our trip, I opted for disposable diapers.  Guess what?  Sammy didn't wake up once in the night the entire trip.  Once we were back home I continued using the disposables at night and Sammy was back to his old sleeping pattern, but I honestly felt a little guilty using the disposables--mostly because I wondered if I hadn't tried hard enough to find a cloth alternative that would work for us.  I talked to a couple of other cloth-diapering moms for advice and was surprised to see that nearly all of them had run across the same issue and were also using disposables at night.  My guilt quickly evaporated and I haven't looked back since; Sammy's sleeping better, I'm sleeping better, what's not to like?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: Oh, deer!

{Due to freezing rain Monday night, everything yesterday was covered with a thin layer of ice, which made the trees look as though they were made of glass.  It was really quite beautiful.  Sammy was asleep in his carseat, so I took the opportunity to pull over and take some quick photographs while he napped in the car.}

Ice-covered trees

Ice-covered needles

Icy pine needles

{I was busy taking photos of the ice-covered foliage when I saw something moving in the trees out of the corner of my eye:}

Oh, deer

The buck stops here

{I think I'm going to have to make a habit of having my camera on me at all times.}

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Specs Appeal: The Paper Mama's Valentines Challenge

*Click to enlarge*

Heart sunglasses: $1.00
White foam board: $4.54
Adding to Sammy's blackmail file: Priceless
 (Heart bokeh texture courtesy sure2talk

Be sure to check out all of the other awesome entries by clicking below:

The Paper Mama

Monday, January 17, 2011

Show and Tell: Looking up (literally)


This is one of the outtakes from a little Valentine's Day-themed photo session that Sammy and I did over the weekend.  Sammy really enjoyed hamming it up in front of the camera in his new specs and I got a lot of great pictures of him...too many, in fact.  I had a bit of a problem picking the one that I liked the most to use in the Valentine's Day card that I'm making for the Paper Mama's Valentine challenge.  I finally managed to narrow it down thanks to some input from my mom so be sure to stop by tomorrow when I'll be unveiling Sammy's funny Valentine (I am having entirely too much fun with this themed stuff).

Be sure to click below to check out the other entries:

Photography love...

Friday, January 14, 2011

A swing (and a near miss)

Earlier this week I decided to take Sammy outside for a bit as it was nice and sunny; I bundled him up and we went for a short walk over to one of the playgrounds in the neighborhood.  I thought Sammy might enjoy giving the big boy swings a try, especially since he's about this close to outgrowing his precious bumper jumper and will need something else to occupy him soon. 

Sammy's first time on the swings

Yeah, not exactly the face of pure joy that I was expecting.  I may have been pushing my luck on several fronts as it was a. pretty cold even with the sun and b. close to his nap time.  He nearly broke down in tears towards the end.  Hopefully the next time will be more fun for him (and me).  Have a good weekend everyone!

Household6Diva FotoFriday

It's baaaaaack: Milspouse Friday Fill-In

In an effort to learn more about fellow MilSpouse bloggers, Wifey from Wife of a Sailor started this weekly meme;  here are this week's questions. 
1. What are you looking forward to most in 2011? from Jessica Lynn Writes 

Being reunited with Captain Husband in just six short months and celebrating Sammy's first birthday together as a family.

2. What is something random you do on a boring night when your significant other is away? from Lovin Ma Soldier 

Lately it's been playing furniture tetris and rearranging just about every single room in the house.  Thank goodness for those nifty furniture slider thingamabobs.

3. What has been your greatest adventure as a MilSpouse? from Misadventures of An Army Momma 

I'd say I'm living it right now--taking care of a baby on my own while ensuring that the house remains standing and functional.  Woohoo!

4. What is the ugliest fashion trend you ever bought into (I'd like to make fun of you, so can you please provide a picture as well)? from More Than An Army Wife 

I never really was one for trends...in fact, I pulled out my photo album from my senior year of high school and I realized that I haven't really changed so much in the sartorial sense.  In fact, I wish I had been more comfortable with my body back then and flaunted it a little more rather than wearing oversized t-shirts all the time.  I can confidently say, however, that I was a fashion victim from about fourth grade through seventh grade and here are some pictures to prove it (I call this my collage of shame; from left to right we have old lady glasses complete with chain and adult-size footie pajamas, the infamous roller skating outfit, and last but not least a crushed velvet dress--with attached lace-trimmed shawl, naturally--and a giant bow jauntily askew on top of my dome):

5. What was the high point of last month?

Finishing Sammy's nursery and getting my own room again.  Now I can watch all of the late night cartoons while in bed that my little heart desires--that is if I can actually stay up past 10 pm.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Memories, Dreams and Reflections of 2010

I'm a little tardy to the party on this post, but better late than never, right?  So without further ado, let's start remembering and reflecting upon 2010.

1. Me!
Mommy & me

There aren't many photos of me from 2010; hopefully, now that I have a remote for my camera, I'll be able to actually take some self-portraits in 2011.

2. I love you
Getting comfy

Sandy-up close and personal

Captain Husband, Sammy and Sandy--my three main squeezes.

3. Still laughing
His "thinking hard" face, if you catch my drift

This is what I get for trying to capture a cute Christmas photo of Sammy; our shoot was interrupted by some very important "business"...in his pants. This face just gets me every time.

4. Winter Wonderland
Sammy's first snow--he's not that impressed

Sammy was not impressed by winter. At all.

5. Birthday
Introducing Samuel

It's not the best photo, since I took it with my iPhone (so I could text it immediately to Captain Husband), but this is the very first photo taken of Sammy--just minutes after he was born.

6. Friends
Sammy & Lillian

Sammy and his baby buddy, Lillian.

7. I Was Inspired
Another test shot: Pretty Kitty

This is the first picture that I took with my new DSLR; I still have so much to learn, but fortunately Sandy is a very willing test subject.

8. Spring Fever
Pink and white
Cherry blossoms in Brook Branch Park, New Jersey.

9. Travel or Vacation
My room at the Melrose Mansion

My room at the Melrose Mansion in New Orleans where I stayed when I traveled there for my friend's daughter's wedding in March.

10. Summer Days
NoVa Mommies play date at Fantasy Playground, Lake Ridge, Virginia

A playdate at the park...I didn't take Sammy out much in the summer since he was just a newborn and summers in Virginia are horrible, but this is one of the few occasions where I was actually able to spend some time outdoors and mingle with some other moms and their children.

11. A Day in My Life
The diapers are DONE, man

Diapers...enough said.

12. All Smiles
Say cheese!

This is the first smile of Sammy's that I managed to capture on camera; he was eight weeks old.

13. Autumn Harvest
Sammy's first pumpkin

Sammy's first pumpkin.

14. Family
Four generations of Azzinnaris

Four generations of my husband's family on one sofa

15. Celebrate!
Ben and Sarah at their wedding

My little brother's wedding on 10/10/10.

16. Let's Do it Again...
Pinecone elf party!

Craft night with my girlfriends; we're going to try to get together and get our craft on at least every other month.  It's nice to do something that doesn't involve diapers or bottles every now and then.

17.  I Miss You
Captain Husband

Captain Husband (now you can all see where Sammy gets his striking blue eyes).

18. Beautiful
Magnolias in New Orleans

Magnolias in New Orleans; it was the most beautiful spring weather the entire time I was there.

19. Dress Up
Striped Sammy
Sammy in his white tiger costume.

20. Macro
Tiny snowflake

Tiny little snowflakes on the dash of my car.

21. Holidays
Sparkly + bokeh = holiday fun.

22. My Favorite
Snug as a bug
This is still my all-time favorite photo of 2010, for obvious reasons.

23. Don't Ever Change
Putting up with petting

Sandy is so incredibly patient and gentle with Sammy, especially when he attempts to pet her.  I love that they're both so fond of each other and I hope that never changes.

24. Just Because...So There!
Looking up

My attempt at an "artsy" photo.  I really need to take more photos of things that aren't Sammy and get to know my camera a bit better.

25. Hopes and Dreams
The happy family

This photo was taken on our second wedding anniversary, which coincidentally was just a few days before Captain Husband left for Korea. As such, it's one of the few photos that I have of the three of us together as a family. My hope and dream is that we'll have plenty more opportunities for family moments like this in 2011.

Thank you for revisiting 2010 with me and a special thank you to the lovely and talented Ashley for hosting this!  Click below to check out everyone else's Memories, Dreams and Reflections of 2010:

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