Patches and Boots

Doesn’t today’s blog title totally sound like we just got new kittens?  LOL.

When my mother was a baby, it was popular to canonize baby’s first shoes by bronzing them.  That was out of vogue by my time so I wasn’t real tempted BUT boy would I be tempted to bronze these gold boots!  Tori L.O.V.E.S. these gold boots.  I purchased them on Ebay for her last year (along with a few other pair of boots), and she has worn these nearly too death.  She believes they go with everything.  Gold is neutral you know.    People smile at her wherever she goes with these boots (probably in part because not all would agree that they truly go with every outfit).    Fighting over shoes is not the hill I am willing to die on most days.  In fact, I planned her outfit for the fall shoot AROUND these boots because I knew she would insist upon them.   I did a quick fall shoot with the kids last week because I knew that if I waited, I wouldn’t get them done as I have now entered my “busy” season.  They are pretty cute (if I do say so) but I likely will not get the editing done on them for a bit so this will have to be a sneak peek.

As you can see in the above shot, Troy and Ty are now BOTH patching.  The same eye no less.  Ty is finally down to 1.5 hours per day (and he is thrilled) and Troy is patching for 3 hours.  When I took him to the eye Dr. this week, it was really obvious that he isn’t using his left eye.  When the Dr. would cover up his right eye and show him a toy, Troy was wiggling all over trying to get Dr.s hand out of the way so he could see the toy.   When the Dr. would cover the left eye and show him a toy, Troy could care less.  He isn’t using that eye to see anyhow, so it just didn’t matter that it was covered.   Because of this, we know Troy to be on the path to blindness in that left eye.  He will develop amblyopia (where the brain doesn’t recognize the eye) if this goes untreated.  First step is to patch the right eye (good eye) for 3 hours a day so that the brain will be forced to recognize the left eye.   Once that starts happening, he will very likely have surgery (I think that will be pretty unavoidable at this point).   They don’t want to do surgery first because if the brain isn’t recognizing the eye now, straightening it surgically won’t do a bit of good for his vision.  The brain will still ignore the eye.   He will probably be patching post surgery for 8 or 9 years (just like Ty).   It’s all very frustrating BUT it must be done.  Ty’s eyes were in much worse shape than Troy’s and we have seen what a world of difference patching did for Ty so that encourages us.

It was really sad the first morning I patched though.  He was in his high chair when I put it on and I nearly cried when I realized he couldn’t “find” me.  His left eye was all over the place and couldn’t hold focus on anything.  I was talking and talking to him but not once did that eye find me and hold focus.   Several minutes later though, I got him out of his high chair and put him down.  He immediately started walking around.  I noticed he tripped on things that he was obviously not seeing but he was making it around.  Next thing I know, I found him in Ty’s room, beside the bed trying to wake Ty up.  That made me feel better because even unfocused, he obviously can see some and can get around.

Some people have inquired as to why we are not using the drops instead of patching.  The reason is because the drops dilate the eyes and make the vision blurry but in Troy’s case, his vision is already poor enough that he is used to that so he would just “see” through it.  That would make it much less effective than eliminating the vision in the right eye.   (Not to mention, it would make it very painful for him to be outside at all for the several hours that the drops were in).

I am using protective wipes to help the skin and to help the patch adhere better and he seems to be leaving the sticky patches alone pretty well.  I am surprised at how well he has acclimated to patching.  I thought it would be a huge battle but he is putting up with it like a champ.  He cries a second when I first put it on, but then he just toughs it out.   I feel sad for him but also so grateful that this will help him keep his vision in the left eye so that is really motivating to make sure he stays patched 3 hours a day.


Tori:  Mom I like it when you call me “girlfriend” because we ARE girlfriends right?

Ironic because when I call her “girlfriend”, it is typically in this type of context: “Hey girlfriend!  Exactly how many squirts of my perfume did you just use?  I can smell you clear down the hall!”

And yes, she is my little “girlfriend” but more importantly, I am mama.  I was thinking about her words this week and was reminded of the fact that I am so grateful that my mom is MY MOM.  One never “outgrows” their need for a mom and I am so honored to have that title in her life.

She loves to interact with me as a “girlfriend” though and it is simply adorable.  A couple of examples…


She loves morning tea time.  We sit at the breakfast table and share my Earl Grey latte (which she is a big fan of).  This week she started our conversation with “So how was your trip?  Did you see many flowers?”.   It sounded very 30 and I couldn’t help but grin through all our girl chatter.   I love my “girlfriend” time with my baby girl.


When I was a little girl, my mom would have me help her clean house while we pretended to be Snow White and Cinderella.  I decided to try this with Tori and it was a BIG hit.  She was HYSTERICAL with all her stories.  Tanner was eavesdropping and kept coming into the room to straighten out our fictions (birds can’t wash windows!).  We explained to him that when we are pretending, “truth” is whatever we say it is!


We had a big dialogue going full of all kinds of twists and turns.  One thing that stood out to me though was that Tori keeps her characters very real.  No one is all good or all bad.   I love that about her.   At one point, she (Cinderella) had two moms.  One who died and one who went to jail for fighting.  I thought that was funny that she would invent a prison drama but that isn’t too far off of the fairytale if you think about it.  (She also said her mom was now out of prison and very nice now).  She also was telling me about her bunny named Grumpy.  I asked her if the bunny WAS grumpy and she said “Yes.  Most of the time she is grumpy BUT she puts on makeup really good.”   Even the bunny was gifted with a redeeming quality (and in Tori’s world, that particular quality is a goodie!)


Tori has had a thing about being “brave” lately.  She finally learned how to keep herself afloat with a life jacket on this summer and instead of saying “I can finally do it or I learned how!” she would say “I am finally brave!  I am brave now!!!”.  Made me wonder how many things I don’t do, not because I can’t, but because I am not being brave.  I thought her perspective interesting.

She also let me know that when I was gone on my trip she did miss me but only ONE time.  How could I expect more than once when she was with Papa and Sweetie right?  I should be grateful she remembered me at all.


And a few “powerful” quotes from the little Queen…


“I really don’t like not being the boss.  I want to be the boss someday!”

And all the little forest creatures heard the gentle thumping of the apple as it landed next to the base of Mother tree.


Tori:  Mommy  I accidentally bumped Troy’s head on my door on purpose.

Me:  Was it on accident or on purpose?

Tori:  Um.  Both.


This morning Tori tried to feed Troy eggs.  He spit them out.  Tanner said “I don’t think he likes eggs”  I then said,  “Sometimes he does”.  She says “Well I think that sometimes is going to be now!”

I really really like her.


And a cute Ty quote from today:


Bridgette (the OT):  That was impressive Ty.


Ty:  You’re impressive Bridgette.


That all I got…


The Fall busy season has officially begun!

This is J and N and their three darling kiddos.  I have had the privilege of shooting for this sweet family before and as I have known N for probably nearly twenty years, it was so good to see her and spend time with her sweet babies.  I was so proud of these little munchkins.   They made my job easy!

Nate wanted to play this game over and over again so he authentically having a GOOD time with his sisters.

It was so good to see you again N and to spend time with your precious family.  I love those kiddos and they are growing up beautifully.  Lucky them.  They have a great mama.   Love you.


Irksome Ailments

Just a few tidbits on this fine Friday…

This past weekend, Jim and I took our very first trip without children in over ELEVEN YEARS!!!!!!   Since I was pregnant with Tanner, we have never gone away overnight together.  We went to our honeymoon spot up in Oak Creek Canyon and it was pure bliss.  Interpret that however you like.  😉  It has been EIGHTEEN wonderful years and we wanted to celebrate US.   It was cool, and beautiful, and we found gluten free food, and we hiked, and talked, and sat near the creek and just enjoyed the alone time.  I am so glad we finally did it!!!  (Thanks Mom and Aunt Beck for making that possible!)


Let’s talk about my girl Tori.

Tori loves to carry around a notebook these days so that she can write out her thoughts (of which she has many).  She interviewed Jim and I the other night asking all kinds of schedule questions.  At one point, she asked her Daddy what he did on Saturday mornings and he told her that during the night on Saturdays he goes to a roller coaster park and plays all night and then comes home early in the morning to catch up on sleep before anyone notices he was gone.  Her only response to that tall tale was  “Ooooookkkkkkkkkkkaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy” in her best teenager voice.   Then she made us sign and date our interviews all official like.  We wondered what she intended to hold us too.


She wears her pink or blue flannel shirt over her outfits all the time and I finally asked her why she liked those shirts so much and she said “This is how Barbie dresses”.   Hmmmmmm.  Fashion inspiration from Barbie dolls?  Didn’t see that coming.


At the dinner table this week…

Me:  Jim who did you tell me the 2013 American Idol judges are?

Tori:  I don’t recall.

Jim:  You don’t recall?

Tori:  No.  I do not recall.


Yesterday Ty was frustrated having to finish school at an unscheduled time of the day.

Tori:  It’s okay Ty!  I am going to help you do it!

As an after thought…”I can’t read though.  How hard is it?”


In Costco, Ty falls and hurts his knee…

Tori:  When we get home I will get you all fixed up Ty.

She fancies herself a Dr.


This household learns a lot from Ty.   His sunny disposition is infectious and really influences his siblings.  I was laughing in the car yesterday because Ty said something Tori didn’t like so she (uncharacteristically) bit him and then he hit her for biting him.  She got in trouble for biting him.  I told her to apologize.   Ty apologized to her as well.

Ty:  Tori!  We both just said “I am sorry” at the exact same time!  Let’s both say “I forgive you” at the same time too!

Tori:  Okay!

Then they giggled and were back to their happy selves.  This type of scene plays itself out in our home all the time.  I don’t think Tori realizes what grudge holding is all about because she is being taught by a sibling who has no concept of the notion.  It is oh so refreshing that they make up as quickly as they get mad.


Diet Update

I am three weeks in now and I am noticing the following:

1.  Knee pain almost gone.

2. Feet pain (likely arthritic) is much improved!

3. NO swelling on my recent trip up north.

4. Headaches gone.

5. Sleeping much better with very little pain in my lower back in the morning.

6. Jim’s head pressure issues have not returned.

7. No after meal bloating feeling.

8. I get full easy (which is nice because I don’t feel deprived)


Both of us are actually ENJOYING this to tell the truth.  Eating out is not fun – I do admit that – but we have had lots of good stuff at home and I am collecting recipes left and right.  My sweet friend Debbie came over and cooked with me and the kids LOVED the almond flour pancakes we made.  I am going to make lemon bars for Jim tonight.   So far, I am not missing much.  I still crave the Coke Zero some but I am getting through it.  I also caved and bought dark chocolate because I couldn’t find a substitute for chocolate that I could live with.  The maltitol in diet chocolate really gets me sick and my attempts at creating it with cocoa and stevia have been a bust – too bitter.   I bought 90% cocoa bars as the sugar is pretty negligible per serving and I love dark chocolate so that little bit of indulgence goes a long way.

I read Elizabeth Hasselbach’s book on being G Free and it really has me concerned that I really may have bonafide celiac.  Between me, my mom, my grandmother, and my Aunts, we have all the celiac symptoms covered pretty much and celiac is a genetic disease.  For me, some of the long term conditions associated to celiac are fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue (check), peripheral neuropathies (check), rheumatoid arthritis (assuming that is what is happening with my feet – check), GERDS (check), anemia (check), B12 deficiency (I am going to assume check because of my nerve issues).   (Note to Dennette:  Hashimoto’s can be a long term effect of celiac too).  Jim and I are discussing having me formally tested but I would have to go back on wheat to get the blood panel run or to do the endoscopy and I don’t want to do that right now.  I am wondering how much the genetic test costs because while it won’t “officially” diagnose by itself, if you have the genes and you have the symptoms, and they abate when you are GF…well then…you have it.

I don’t want Celiac.  I would much prefer to think this is Celiac Lite.   I think it is pretty important to know though because one you can cheat a bit with and the other you cannot.


Troy finally broke two molars through last week.  As a mother of four, you would have thought that I would have assumed that from the grumpiness and clear runny nose but it wasn’t until he bit me that the light bulb went off.

And I will close for the day with this….

Tori has been suffering lately from significant arm pain and general fatigue.  It is always centered around cleaning time.  She ails terribly.  I have seen this before.  At the age of four, Tanner had a really bum leg.  The only way he could ease his suffering was to rest it up on the ouch for a bit until the pain subsided.  Ty too.  Cleaning gets Ty right in the gut and causes all kinds of nauseousness and general malaise.  Being the researcher that I am, I am quite fascinated by what allergy Troy will develop at approximately four (as that seems the average age of onset).   There is no doubt in my mind that he will inherit this irksome infliction as well.   I try to encourage them to just work through the pain as best as they can and keep a stiff upper lip about it.  It’s one of those pains that most grow out of and you just have to get through it until then.  Time for me to go clean my kitchen now.  I feel a terrible headache coming on.

And Even…

Tori:  Mom I don’t think my pillow pet is doin’ too good.

Me:  How come?

Tori:  Look at her eyes.

I agree with my daughter.  I think the ole girl looks to be on her last legs.


Tori has gotten very chatty on the phone lately and begins most every sentence with “Even” or “And even”.  Jim and I love to hear her chatter.


Ty:  Mom you are the greatest person in the world.  Like the way you make my breakfast and my food and my stuff…and then kissed me on the nose.”


Cracks me up to see Tori carrying Troy through the house with his feet nearly dragging the floor peering at me helplessly.  The other day I observed this while she was cooing to him “It’s okay baby.  I am right here.”  Don’t think he was particularly soothed.


Jim was giving me a foot massage the other night and I was moaning and groaning (my feet are really hurting right now).  Tori cannot rest comfortably when she thinks I am in pain (and fights agitation with her Dad for putting me through it).  Naturally, I explain it to her but she doesn’t care.  He is causing me pain.  That is it.  Anyhow, the other night she pushed the ottoman up by my head so she could sit right next to my face and watch me.  She says “I think I know what is going to help you.  A big glass of cold water.”  Next thing I know, the little nurse is putting a straw in my mouth and telling me to drink.  Every time I made a peep, she had that straw in my mouth.  As adorable as it was, I did my best to cowgirl up because it obviously causes her stress if she thinks I am hurt (and worrying my daughter does not sit well with me).  Such a tender little heart my girl has.  I told her she was going to make a wonderful mommy someday.  She said “I know”.


Troy loves to climb inside (and on top of) everything.  The other day when I was getting ready in the bathroom, he climbed into my lower bathroom drawer.

Me:  Hey!  What are you doing?  Don’t get in there.  (As he was on his way)

Tori:  Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnndddd…..he did.  You goose.


Tori is FINALLY playing with the (rather expensive) doll I bought her for Christmas when she was a baby.  I expected her to play with dolls before the age of 4 but she really didn’t.  Now she loves “Katy Perry” though.


And my favorite this week…..

Tori:  I know a girl named Sissy.

I launch into this explanation about what Sissy means and how that probably isn’t her name and how my brothers call me Sissy thus “Aunt Sissy” to their children.

Tori:  Well a girl in my gymnastics class IS named Sissy.

Me:  Ah ha!  That little girl has a twin brother in class and I bet he is just calling her that because that is his sister!

Tori:  Well God named her that and He said it’s good!

Well what on earth could I say to that?  She is already learning to play the “God card”.  Great.   Her Uncle Daniel does that to me all the time (LOL).  Where does she come up with this stuff?


Low Glycemic Index Diet Update

In case you’re curious…

We are on day 10 now and going strong.  Well, I was going strong until I ate 4 pieces of Russell  Stover sugar free candy yesterday and that made me sicker than a dog!  Why make diet candy that can be used as a laxative?  Really?  I thought I would be okay with it because the package says they use Splenda but there must be maltitol as well and I didn’t check the ingredients I guess.    I should have known better.  Both Brooke and I have made ourselves terribly sick over indulging on “diet” candy.    So unfair.  (And for the record, 4 small pieces doesn’t seem like a binge to me but my body disagreed).

Minus that unfortunate incident, I have been doing really well with it.    I had an epiphany about it this week that has helped to get me through the changes pretty seamlessly.   One of the biggest roadblocks for me to “healthy” eating is that I was raised in a culture that associates food to good living.  It’s used in a celebratory kind of way.  (Actually – we are mood group eaters and there really isn’t a reason under the sun that good food won’t soothe).   Additionally, both my grandmothers were from the South (basically).  Grammy hailed from Oklahoma and Grandma from Virginia.   Show me the butter!  And the flour, the cream of everything, the cheese, the sugar…and yes the deep fried okra, collard greens, corn bread, and beans in vinegar too.

I am a proud member of the “Cook from the South” club.  Can’t deny it.  Don’t even want to.  I believe in it.  As Paula Dean would say “Put some SOUTH in my MOUTH”.  (Rock on Ms. Paula!)

My fear is that by cutting wheat and sugar, that I will diminish the quality of my life.  This may seem stupid to some, but I mean this very sincerely.  Ask my Grandmother, my Mother, and both Aunts and I am sure they will echo what I just said.   We live to eat.  We dream about recipes.  We think about dishes.  We delight in cooking (sans Aunt Beck on that one).   Cooking meals for our family is a gift we offer.  A gift we LOVE to offer.  Food is a strong chord that binds.  When I was growing up, our family of seven spent a good hour plus on dinner at the table every night.  We often had guests that would (conveniently) show up at mealtime.  It wasn’t just a meal.  It was a gathering.   Relationships formed, hearts shared, wounds healed, much laughter, joy shared, life lived…all this at the family table.   So do I have a warm and fuzzy association to meal time?  Oh yes.  It’s more than food.  It always has been. Most of the most memorable conversations I have ever had happened at a family meal.

I had to be feeling pretty bad to consider such a big change.

I was trying to change my thinking to “Eat to Live”.  Guess what though?  I can’t and I don’t have to.


Would you believe I am enjoying the heck out of my food?  I mean REALLY enjoying it!  I am enjoying it more than I have in months and it has shocked me.  I have analyzed this odd phenomena and I have a few  theories.

1.  I had been stuck in the rut of familiar meals.
2.  Southerners eat a lot of comfort meals.
3.  Comfort meals seem to go hand in hand with eating in front of the TV.  Don’t ask me why.    This is a strange one to me.  It isn’t about the prep time or the energy I put into it.  If I cook a high carb meal, I am much more likely to eat it while watching TV.
4.  Comfort meals don’t satisfy the body for long.
5.  Comfort meals tend to be eaten in large and double portions.
6.  Comfort meals have a lot of ingredients that are added more for texture and substance than for taste.  As a result, the bulk of what was eaten was minimally flavorful.

I needed a good plan to start this endeavor so I sat down and came up with a list of 88 meals that I could adapt to gluten/sugar free.  Some were familiar recipes that I thought were easily adaptable (without substituting ANY gluten products with high glycemix index products by the way).   Some were new recipes that I want to try.   Feeling inspired makes a big difference.

I also bought fresh spices and more herbs and I endeavor to make sure my meal is flavorful.

I will admit, breakfast is hard for me.  Eggs or a smoothie every day isn’t my all time favorite and some mornings I want neither but I can get through that.  Eventually I will find my favorite smoothie and stick with that.  I don’t like a lot of sweetness in the morning and the fruits really sweeten it up more than I would prefer.  I want to try just cocoa powder, greek yogurt, coconut milk, and splenda and get that combination right.  Simple is better for me for breakfast.

Dinners though?  Now that meal I have enjoyed most every night.  Ironically, by cutting out the wheat, I feel like I am TASTING my meal more and everything just honest to goodness tastes better to me.  Wild isn’t it?  Sure didn’t see that coming but oh am I grateful.   That being said, I am not nearly so stressed about keeping this up.  I have not been tempted by carbs either.  The only thing I am battling is my Coke Zero addiction.  I want that really bad.  I could try Zevia (which uses Stevia and not the other more harmful chemical and sugar substitutes) but I don’t want to exchange one addiction for another so I am trying to just fight the battle out.  My headaches went away by day five and I do wonder if that was associated to giving up the Coke Zero.

I haven’t seen improvement in my feet or back yet but I am still hoping to see that.  So far my ulcer/reflux has been good though (and that includes eating avocados which I normally can’t tolerate and I LOVE them).   I am not retaining as much water and my eyes seem to be doing better than they were.  My knee is also getting MUCH better.   I have been waking up with more energy and sleeping pretty deeply.  At night, I am falling asleep sitting up by 10:30 and I consider that a good thing.  I would far rather have an easy time falling asleep and then wake up ready to go.  I have not battled fatigue during the day.  I don’t think I have taken a nap at all in 10 days.  Not that I usually do, but for the last several months I was fighting the need for one most every day and some days succumbing to a one hour nap when the baby slept.  Jim has been feeling really good to with no headaches (and IT HAS BEEN RAINING!).

Thought I would share just a couple of meals I enjoyed this week…

I love Chipoltle’s barbacoa so I made barbacoa and then mixed it with refried beans, a little cheese, a small bit of sour cream, and cilantro.  Loved that!  Next time I will use Greek plain yogurt instead of sour cream because it tastes SO similar and has more protein.  I also discovered a love for Mexicali Rose Dehydrated Refried Beans.   They were so much better than canned refried beans and very easy to make.  The kids absolutely loved them too.  I made them bean and cheese cups, as a side, and that went over really well.   The recipe I have for barbacoa called for cloves and I found that an amazing addition but Jim HATED the clove addition so I’ll have to nix the cloves next time.  I was bummed.

Another day I made fajitas in a bowl.  I bought organic chicken breasts and cut them into fajita strips.  Browned them and added several colors of peppers and little pearl onions.   I made my mom’s fresh salsa (which is so good) and added that with cheese, sour cream, avocados, and lime.  Ate it straight out of the bowl instead of in a tortilla.   Very very good.

This weekend I made BLTs.   Butterflied some chicken, seasoned and browned it.  Laid it on a bed of lettuce and layered bacon, slice of sharp cheddar, avocado, and dash of home made ranch dressing.  Wrapped it in the lettuce and ate.  Loved it.  So flavorful.  I preferred it this way using the chicken as bread.

I am also adding fruits and vegetables to most every meal as well.  I set cut strawberries out or peaches, pears, apples, grapes, etc.  The kids gobble them up.  I bought a ton of fruit this week and we are going right through it.

I made a gluten/sugar free apple pie this week using almond flour (which is low glycemic) and Jim and I both really enjoyed that.  Tonight I am going to make hamburgers on that cloud bread I told you about.

So yes, this is a pretty high fat diet but it’s all (fairly) natural fats.  We aren’t eating stuff with a long list of preservatives and chemicals and the body handles the natural fats differently sans the carbs.  The fat converts to energy (partly why I am incorporating coconut milk and avocados – also because I really love both luckily).   If my body starts resenting it, I’ll let you know.  From my past experience though, that is unlikely.  I can eat these foods with out stomach issues IF they are not combined with carbs.  For some reason, the combination makes them intolerable.  And by the way, I am trying to buy all the pork products nitrate free and uncured.

I have resisted the temptation to weigh and I am grateful.  As I thought this through, there are several reasons for me to avoid the scale.  First, it can change expectations and the performer in me is way too easily frustrated by that element.  Second, it keeps me focused on my main goal (which isn’t the weight).  Third, when I do eventually weigh, I won’t know how much I lost because I won’t know what my starting weight was.  That is oddly comforting.  Also removes some of the temptation to weigh because no comparison can be made.   When I put something on and feel changes, that will be big reward all by itself and much more motivating than my constant arguments with the bathroom scale.

(Rabbit Trail:  My numbering habit is compulsive.  I can’t speak (or write) without numbering things.  Fault my father for teaching me to outline at a young and impressionable age.  The funny thing is, I have passed on this trait to my daughter.  She loves to number her thoughts, make lists, “write” in her notebooks, and just this morning asked me for her own file in my file drawer (which I will of course make because I also discovered she has been adding her art work to my files at random.)

Gotta go start that Cloud Bread now.  Dinner’s a’comin.

P.S.  Just had an idea…can I pull off an Earl Grey Smoothie?  I love Earl Grey in the morning. Not giving tea and coffee up.  Add strong Earl Grey with milk or coconut milk maybe a tad bit of plain yogurt for thickening, and stevia?  Or the vanilla stevia that should be in the mail today?  Maybe the orange stevia?  Hmmmmmm……  OR could I freeze Earl Grey in an ice cube tray and add that to freeze it up?  Now I gotta know.

If you have got ideas…send them on.  I would love to hear them.  My mom calls me with ideas for my diet all the time and she is quite the powerful resource.  Last week she suggested Egg Plant layered Chicken Enchiladas and I gotta experiment with that.  Going to try Enchiladas in a zucchini boat later this week.


The Community Pool

We don’t get a ton of rain in Phoenix so when we do, it’s time to celebrate!  The kids saw our neighborhood park flooded and begged to go swimming.  Made for quite the fun photo op.

What do you think Troy is saying to his brothers with those accusing fingers?  “If you two get me wet, you will be sorry!”

Guess he wanted everyone to just love one another.  Took it a bit too far though with the love bite (lower right).

No worries.  I wouldn’t let them drown Ty.  Ha ha!   I felt like I was referring UFC from the sidelines but it was all in good fun.  Got me thinking…this week I have been keeping a conscious eye on a lot of the Disney channel shows.  I am getting really fed up with the way they feminize so many of their male actors and then often emasculate their females.  I am all for supporting strong, independent, woman but I am really “over” Hollywood’s attempts to gender swap.   I want my daughter to grow up with a strong sense of self.  I want her to be secure.  I want her to be healthily independant.  I also want her to be nurturing and embrace those wonderful qualities that are oh so very feminine.  I want her to embrace the entire package of who she is.  I want my sons to grow up with those same traits of security but I also want them to be free to embrace their masculinity.  Boys are all things rough and tumble.  They were created that way.   My boys love to get down and dirty and as long as they are not drawing blood, drowning, or going straight to powder, I enjoy watching it play out.  They had the time of their lives and I am glad I had my camera to preserve it.  Speaking of my camera, my Mark III is so fast!  I was thrilled with the tack sharp images that were shot so quickly in all these action sequences.  I also love just sitting back from afar with my 70-200 and capturing these precious scenes as they play out.  These will definitely make it into my 2012 family album.