Friday, February 13, 2015

Ellie's Haircut - Captain's Log, Week 251

What the girls said this week

Zelda said "Ellie" for the first time. We were showing her a picture of the family and she was saying everybody's names, and we pointed to Ellie and asked her to say "Ellie." And she said "Eh-ee"!

Ellie: "I was driving crazy! Drive, drive, drive! I drive you crazy!"

Ellie: "I made two big flowers and one little baby flower. It's like my old baby. Like my old baby sister."

Ellie: "Zelda, come here because it's your naptime."
Me: "Oh, is it her naptime?"
Ellie: "Yes, because she hitted me in the heart."

What we did this week

On Friday Jason and I had a more elaborate date than usual since it was the tenth anniversary of our first date. On our first date, we ate at an Italian restaurant and then went to our high school's winter formal. So, for this date we had a big Italian dinner (we bought the really good bread from the store and made garlic/mozarella toast, and also had lasagna, and salad, and sparkling grape juice) and then played playstation Lego Hobbit and ate different kinds of fancy chocolate. It was great!

On Saturday Ellie had her first haircut. We've trimmed her bangs at home before, but we've never taken off any length. This was her first real haircut.

We decided to cut her hair it was getting to be too much of a battle with her to take care of it. Ellie really hated washing, conditionering (is that a word?), and/or brushing her hair, so nights that we washed it were pretty miserable. Plus since she hated brushing it too much (she'd cry and say that it hurt), we'd often go places without brushing it, and it was kind of embarrassing. It was time to do something!

We took her to a place called Baldi's (that name cracks me up) in Holly Springs, and they did a great job. Ellie was wiggly (although not as wiggly as she could have been - she did really well), but the lady was really patient and managed to give her a really cute haircut.  I saved one of her curly locks of hair, too. :)

Ellie's hair before:

Ellie's hair after:

I think I may have confused Ellie, though. The day after she got her haircut, we watched the Disney movie Tangled. At the end (spoiler alert), Rapunzel's hair gets cut short, and turns from blonde to brown. And in the movie, if her hair gets cut and turns brown, it stops growing. I pointed it out to Ellie and said, "Look! She got her hair cut, and it turned short and brown, like yours!" But now Ellie keeps saying that she doesn't need to get her hair cut ever again, because it's brown. And she's pointed out a couple people with brown hair and said that they must have gotten their hair cut. So, apparently Ellie now thinks that anyone with brown hair has gotten their hair cut, and it stops growing from that point onward. Oops!

Zelda, meanwhile, has had a really rough week. She's suddenly getting all of her molars in at the same time, and she's been pretty miserable. We keep rotating giving her ibuprofen and acetaminophen to help with the pain, and it does help, but overall she's been pretty grumpy. She demands different things all day long, but then isn't happy even if she gets them.

Some moments have been good though:

One thing that has really improved for Zelda this week is her, um, bowel functionality. She's had constipation issues since she was seven months old, and has been on Miralax since her twelve month doctor's appointment. At her fifteen month appointment last week I asked about it again, and the doctor recommended really cutting back on milk and switching her to almond milk instead. Ellie's already fully on almond milk (she gets perpetual sniffles if she's on regular milk) so it was a really easy transition. And since Zelda's been on almond milk, she's been able to go a lot easier! We've been reducing the amount of Miralax she's on every day, and today is the first day she's off it entirely. So we'll see how that goes!

Unfortunately, our computer problems have only gotten worse this week. Remember how I said that our computer now had a couple streaks of light running through the screen? Well it got way, way worse. One day after the computer had been on for a couple hours, I walked in to see the screen crazy all over, with streaks and waves of light just going nuts over most of the screen. We turned off the computer, but even that was hard to do. We didn't know if we'd be able to use the computer again. And the worst part is that our external hard drive just broke like two weeks ago, and we're sending it in this week to get replaced (it's still under warranty). So our files weren't backed up!

Luckily, we had another (much smaller) external hard drive that I usually have just for my Mac (which has also been broken the last couple months, but that's a different story), but we reformatted it and were able to fit all the important stuff onto it the next day. Fortunately, the computer was more functional when we turned it back on and were able to copy all that we needed onto the external hard drive. So that's a relief.

Unfortunately, the screen is still really messed up, and it's now really impacting functionality. Plus, the computer doesn't turn on correctly now; it has to go through this restoration cycle every time it turns on, and it takes about a half an hour. So this weekend we're going to take the computer apart, and hopefully be able to fix it. If not, we're going to be looking at new computers.

I'm so excited to say that, despite computer difficulties, I finished our 2012 photobooks this week! There's two of them because there's so many pictures. I made them on Shutterfly, and now they're just sitting in my cart because I'm waiting for a really good sale/coupon combination to come along so I can get them at the best price.

In the meantime I've started on my next projects. The ones I'm working on right now (kind of all at the same time) are the 2012 home videos, the 2013 photobook, 2013 home videos, 2014 photobook, 2014 home videos, my home movies from when I was a kid, and my grandparent's photo albums.

For the 2013 and 2014 photobooks, the action plan is first to delete the extra/blurry/lame pictures from each year, then choose good photos from each month for the books, then photoshop all of those photos, then upload those pictures to Shutterfly, then make the books. That's how I did the 2012 book, and it worked great. For the 2012 book, I gave myself a month to make it. I planned for the first two weeks to be filled with choosing pictures for the books, and the second two weeks to be actually making the books. Choosing the pictures is always the hardest part of making a photobook for me, and this time frame worked well because that meant each day I needed to choose the pictures for just one month. By breaking down a big task (choosing the photos for the whole year) into twelve smaller tasks (choosing the photos for just one month), it made it less intimidating and kept me on track.

For the 2012, 2013, and 2014 home video projects, I'm first relabeling all of the videos so they have consistent titles (Year-Month-Day), deleting the obvious duds (videos that are one second long, or are only of the wall, etc.), rotating the sideways videos upward, and then uploading all the videos to Youtube as private videos (so, only we can watch them).  I'm uploading them to Youtube on one of our email accounts I've dedicated just to our home videos, to make organization easier.

I'm uploading them to Youtube for a couple reasons. One, Youtube has unlimited storage. You can upload as many videos as you want, and it will never cut you off. Two, it's online. So even if all of our computers and external hard drives crash simultaneously, we won't lose the videos. We'll still have them, as long as Youtube's around. Three, it'll make them a lot easier to watch. A lot of these videos we haven't seen since we took them. Now they're on Youtube, I'm organizing them into chronological playlists and it will be super easy to play them for Ellie and Zelda, and we can watch them (on our computer or the TV, through our roku or Chromecast) any time at all. And I do plan to watch them with the girls; I know they'll love them.

This is essentially the same plan I have for my own childhood home videos, as well. Years ago I started a project where I planned to convert our home video VHS tapes to DVDs and make copies for all our family members. Well, I did get the VHSs converted into computer files, but the project ran into major roadblocks there and I couldn't finish it. To explain the problem in a nutshell, the video files were in a really weird format and even though I tried several different programs to convert them, they were really difficult to work with. It became so frustrating that I abandoned the project and haven't even tried to work on it for three years. Three years!

Well, now that I've figured out how to convert the files into a youtube-ready format, the project is easy! All I have to do now is to convert all the files using Adobe Premier, label them chronologically, upload them to youtube, and share them with my family. That's it! It's so easy! I'm so excited that this once hard, very frustrating project has suddenly become easy and I can see the end in sight, so soon.

Finally, I'm also working on what I'm calling the "Smith Picture Archives," which is all the pictures I got from my grandparents last year. First I need to reorganize and relabel some of them photos, and then upload all of them to Google Drive so that I can share them with my extended family.

So those are all the projects I'm working on right now, kind of all at once.

Ellie's projects - making valentines.
Finally, the girls and I went to library storytime this week. Ellie did so good! She's really  getting better about sitting down and listening to the librarian telling the stories. The library had a special Valentine's storytime this week, which was fun. After reading the Valentine's-themed books, they gave the kids Valentine's coloring pages to do, and each child got a little Valentine's bag to take home. It was fun. Afterward we went to a friend in the ward's house ,and Ellie and Zelda got to play some more with some kids from the ward (and I got to "play" (talk) with some of my friends from the ward, haha!). I'm glad going to library storytime is one of my New Year's goals, because it's hard for me to push myself to go, but I'm so glad when we do.

Anyway, I know this is a super long post. I guess I just feel chatty today, haha. I'll end with a couple cute videos. I hope you have a great weekend!


  1. Her hair looks adorable, and that Tangled story is awesome- I can definitely see how that would be confusing ;)

  2. "Conditionering." Haha. Maybe try "conditioning." And I love you.

  3. Ellie's hair is cute. I loved the Tangled story. Hope Zelda's molars come in so she feels better.

  4. Such a cute haircut and I love the Tangled story. I totally see where she's coming from LOL


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