Saturday, January 12, 2008

I need a nap

Lilly had a doctor appointment on Friday and got a clean bill of health. She weighed in at 8 pounds and 6 ounces and the doctor said she looked fine.

We have been trying to potty train Violet for the past year, and today Cindy decided we were just going to put her in big girl underwear and see what happened. One accident, but the rest of the day she told us when she had to go.

Candy, parties, big girl panties, and even beatings have been tried in getting Violet to go in the potty chair. We decided to go buy a bunch of Disney princesses and pinned them to the wall. Every time she goes poopy in the potty chair, she gets a princess. They have been up there for two weeks, so it's pretty challenging.

Today was a major breakthrough though. Cindy doesn't have to be anywhere until Tuesday (except for church Sunday) so we are going to try to keep the big girl underwear going until then.

I worked today, covering a quilt show and a health fair, then I fought Photoshop for an hour and decided to come home. I was trying to crop a photo to a specific size (width) but it kept locking in the depth. I fiddled with it for an hour before I decided I would just come home and ask the experts on Monday.

I am still trying to decide what to do about my camera -- either way I have to take it to Beaverton to get it fixed, and they need the camera too. So I think next week I am going to play with the Nikons. The Silverton Appeal didn't need any photos next week anyway. :) Not like we put them on the website.

Oh, and I got called to jury duty. Yes, I am going to try to get out of it.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

One more day

Came back to work on Monday and just like I thought... they gave me five stories. So Monday and Tuesday I cranked and got them done. Even took the front page photo, not bad for a guy who is back from paternity leave.

Anyway, at the end of the week and Cindy and I have decided our lives are going to be insane when Cindy goes back to work in February. I'm not entirely sure how this is going to work, but I panic when I am tired, so judge my comments accordingly.

In the photo Violet is reading "destructions" and talking with Zoo Grandma on the phone (Grandma Johnson). Lilly is getting yellow again, and Cindy doesn't like having her photo taken. Cindy is taking Lilly to the doctor again Friday to see if Lilly is doing OK. We were told the appointment was optional last week, but Lilly's color still doesn't seem quite right.

Saturday I have a bunch of events to cover, so I am going to take tomorrow afternoon off so Cindy can take Violet to "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything."

Brett, my brother, and his wife Lauren are back from England. They had a really fun trip and are back safe and sound. Three weeks in England -- I told him to not have kids until he was done with the traveling thing. I can't imagine having two kids and traveling, but that's just me. :)

I keep thinking about Grandma Adams and her raising five kids under the age of five, and it just amazes me. How did she do it?!

Well, I am off to finish the dishes and help where I can, then maybe rock Lilly.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hi, I'm stupid

So there is this age-old question among weekly reporters that goes something like this.

Weekly papers are notorious for having horrible camera gear. They don't have the budgets larger daily papers have -- but even some of those have obsolete gear.

Anyway, as a reporter who takes pictures too, do you just use the gear they provide, or buy better gear for yourself. Of course you can write the purchase off, and the added benefit is it's great for home use, but in the end if you damage your camera, you are stuck with the bill.

I have always been a "buy better stuff and use it on the job guy." Over the 12 years of my career it hasn't really been a problem. I have had only two camera-related issues, both of which have happened since December.

First off, my five-year-old camera died during a Christmas tree lighting. It was pretty old and after looking on the Internet and talking to a repair guy, I decided to replace it with newer technology. So for my Christmas present I bought myself a Canon 40D with all the toys -- battery grip, new lens and even a waterproof bag for those rainy assignments.

Then, last night, I dropped it after tripping on a curb and not having it secured in my bag. The camera is fine, but the battery grip is pretty banged up, as you can see from the photo above. Now the shutter button won't work on the grip, and the wheel is pretty much useless too. A new grip is $170.

The Appeal uses Nikon gear, and I have always used Canon. So if I do start using work camera gear there is going to be a learning curve -- but I could save myself the headache of having my own stuff get trashed. It isn't like weekly papers pay a huge salary or even a stipend for camera gear.

So once again the question: Do I continue using my own gear, and have way better pictures, or use the company gear?

I am going to talk with my editor about repairing the battery grip. If he isn't open to that, I think I am done using my own gear. Especially with one of our reporters leaving and some better gear opening up at work -- I will just have to take some time and learn how to use Nikon. How much different could it be?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Buried under laundry

OK, so when Violet was born I was prepared for the amount of laundry that was going to be created. I had pretty much reserved myself to do at least five extra loads of laundry a week due to the burp ups, blow outs and general accidents.

With Violet and now Lilly the laundry loads have increased exponentially. It's like we never stop doing laundry.

Cindy and I bought a dented and dinged washing machine and dryer when we were first married. They work pretty good, but the dials don't fit quite right and the dryer never turns off, so we run around with an egg time to make sure we don't shrink our clothes. I think we are going to start saving for an industrial washer and dryer.

Well today I am looking at the Mount Everest of laundry. Cindy went over to her folks with the kids, and my job today is to keep laundry going. I also have a story to write for work. Plus the NFL playoffs start today.

The picture above is Violet trying to have daddy take a picture of her instead of Lilly -- but I thought I would zoom out and try to get both. It's a little dark because I didn't want to flash a sleeping baby, but I like the photo, regardless of the shadows.

Lilly went to the doctor Friday and her weight is up to 7 pounds 13 ounces -- 1 ounce over birth weight. That's excellent news. She is more alert and is kinda gassy, but nothing we haven't dealt with before when Violet was her age.

I may update this again today after the girls get home.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Oh no! THAT'S my dad?!

Lilly is starting to feel better. She is less yellow and even the whites of her eyes are kinda white now instead of yellow.

Today Violet started preschool, and it was pretty cool seeing her play with the other kids and do the school thing. She talked and talked about it this afternoon.

We also brought out the big guns for the potty training for Violet. We have tried the positive feedback, the jellybean for every time she goes and even beatings. OK, OK, Cindy won't let me beat her.

We went to Target and got a bunch of stuff, namely a bunch of princess action figure things from Disney -- Violet LOVES Disney princesses. She wants them. But we have them in the bathroom, in their packaging, and if she goes potty for an entire day, she gets one princess.

Now we are hitting her where she lives. She sat in the bathroom this evening for 20 minutes just staring at them, and even came and got me once saying she had to go to the bathroom. Could this possibly work?

Tomorrow I am easing back into work in the afternoon and Lilly has a doctor appointment in the morning.

Will update you tomorrow night.

Happy now, mom?


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Marsh Family Christmas

Here is a photo from the annual Jan. 1 Marsh family Christmas. We went over to Casa de Marsh in Colton yesterday evening and had another present opening, this time for Violet and her second cousin Kyla. Cindy is sitting next to her cousin Lisa, who is holding Lilly, and Lisa's husband Luis.

You can tell Luis is confused about something in the box he is holding.

My goal during the Marsh family Christmas was to take as many photos as possible with my flash blinding people. Cindy, at one point, offered to put my flash in a very uncomfortable place, unless I stopped taking pictures.

Overall it was a fun night, even though I took a 90 minute nap before the event and felt, well, dead.

Yes, you get two posts today, simply because I am home and trying to get back into writing.

Is anyone reading this? If so, just say "yes" in an e-mail to

I will probably continue to update this daily, as I am sure family folks want to see Violet and Lilly.


Back to work

Today I swung by the office to see what was going on and to take on a few stories. My plan is to work on a couple this week and slowly get back into the swing of things. The big challenge will be getting sleep. So that's my goal, do four stories by Monday without screwing them up, on about three hours of sleep at night.

No naps are making it pretty rough. I was getting six to eight hours a day, but with a nap in the afternoon. Now that there are no naps, I am going to try to do it at night and hope that Cindy can handle it.

When Cindy goes back to work, all bets are off, so I better get some sleep now, or find a good place to pick up some meth.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ringing in the New Year

Violet (left), Pat (center) and Lilly watch the first part of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Violet can't look away from Dick Clark and Pat is shocked to see that they allow a zombie to be on television (I'm talking about Ryan Seacrest).

Lilly gave Cindy and I a New Year's Rock Eve -- until about 4 a.m. crying and whatnot. Cindy slept for about three hours, until I couldn't take it anymore and woke her up at 3 a.m. Then I went to bed.

Got up bright and early this morning (8 a.m.) to the sounds of Cindy running the coffee grinder -- if anyone needs coffee, it's us.

Of course I couldn't get back to sleep, so I folded clothes and did the dishes. I am thinking about going back to work part time tomorrow, but after last night and the doctor appointments coming up, I'm not sure how I would pull it off.

Tonight we have the Marsh family Christmas -- yes another in-law extravaganza, if I am still feeling this tired I may con my way to stay home and sleep. Sleep-deprived Pat, plus in-laws, equals bad news.

Well Violet is starting to "help" me write this alskdjfaioen;alkfne

Better go...

Pat and Violet