We’re slowly but surely getting settled in. I still have a lot of boxes sitting around & painting to do but I’ve been unpacking a lil here & there & had big plans of finishing the dining room this week until I got slammed two nights ago with a nasty head cold that’s pretty much laid me out by sucking every last ounce of energy from me. The good news is I think I just might be on the mend now but I still feel far from healthy.

The girls are loving the new place. There is just so much space for them to explore, move around & play in. There will be even more of course once I finish unpacking & hauling out the countless boxes I have taking over the family room which are for donation. I then plan to convert the family room into a nice organized play area for the kids.

The bonus room which is our office currently has their Little Tikes climber/slide that’s been having to sit outside in our itty bitty back yard for the past year & a half only to be used by the dogs.

I washed it all down before moving however & now have it all set up right in the middle of this big room & both dogs & kids are getting much enjoyment & use from it. Unfortunately however the girls have just about outgrown it now…

I also finally got a couple floor lamps to give some light in our office & living room and set up our Christmas Tree for a lil festiveness even though we won’t really be seeing much of it this year.

Roy got the girls a bunch of things that I’ve wrapped up for them & put under the tree along with a couple things from their Auntie Barbara & my Gramma. So we’re going to have a lil Skype Christmas with Roy so he can watch them open their surprises & hopefully if he gets the package I mailed him in time we can watch him open that too!

Since the floors throughout here are either laminant or tile I decided to get the dogs a nice big cushy bed from Sam’s Club. It’s so big & soft. They love it!

…Apparently so do the girls.

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I suffer from a huge sensitivity to loud noises & chaotic situations & do my best to keep my home as calm & relaxed as possible. This is not an easy endeavor with 2 three year olds, 2 dogs & 2 birds one in particular of which never seems to be quiet unless it’s between the hours of 12 & 7 am.

I’ve blogged previously about my discontent with Sam & his noise level back when we first got him but he has calmed down considerably the more he’s settled in. Now he only really gets super talkative in the evenings & particularly when I’m on the phone or Skype because when I’m trying to have a conversation with someone he assumes I’m trying to converse with him.

Our Lovebird Phoenix on the other hand starts this high pitched shrill chirping the moment the sun comes up & carries on sporadically throughout the day. I attempted covering him, changing his location in the house, even putting his cage in the laundry room for the nights when I knew I’d want to sleep in the next morning & it all helped temporarily but never for long. Eventually it got to the point that no matter what I tried it had zero effect on him & he would do his high pitched shrill chirping regardless.

His chirps are mind rattling to me & like little explosions in my head. I simply can’t stand it!

For over 6 months I’ve tried to cope through it because he really was a cute & pretty sweet little guy. Perhaps we should have gotten 2 but it was advised that if we wanted him to bond with us that we only get 1 and so that’s what we did & bond with me he did to the point that any time I left the room to go upstairs, or even into the kitchen he would call out with his high pitched shrill chirping.

Unfortunately it finally brought me to the end of my rope & with great consideration I decided to bring him back to the store we bought him from so that he could be adopted out to a family that hopefully has more time to spend giving him whatever it is that he needs because with 2 kids, 2 dogs & a parrot I just don’t have the time to spend holding only the Lovebird all day long just to keep him quiet.

I feel tremendously guilty about bringing him back because I feel that when people get pets it should be a life long commitment. That they aren’t disposable & should be treated as members of the family yet I don’t have a very good track record with this & once again here I am returning my lil guy after over a year with him simply because of his noise level which to many may seem like such a minor issue but believe me when I say I suffer from a huge sensitivity to loud noises & chaotic situations. I truly felt that I was at the end of my rope in putting up with his constant, seemingly never ending, mind rattling chirps that this was the best thing I could have done for him. I do feel he needs more than I can give him which is why he feels the need to make constant noise about it & I really do hope he finds an amazing family to adopt him & give him that as soon as possible.

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Guess who’s coming trick or treating with us this year?

Well, Sasha actually comes with us every year but I noticed last year that her puppy pumpkin costume had gotten pretty snug.

So, I decided to go on and get her something new & chose this bumblebee costume for her.

Adorable hey?

… Unfortunately I don’t think she feels quite the same way I do.

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Most of you who are friends with me on Facebook also have already seen these pictures. But for those of you who haven’t, I took these two photo’s on the same day as I took the photo from my earlier post on testing fast shutter speeds. I was also testing apertures & really wasn’t overly impressed with these two photo’s to begin with. Mostly because I’ve come to the conclusion that the lens which came with my camera really sucks  & I need a new one.

Anyways, I decided to upload them to Picnik the other day to play around with them a bit & see if I could make any improvements. With just a few tweaks this is what I ended up with…


AFTERI have to say I’m pretty impressed!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Picnik???

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So, I finally learned some stuff about my camera & how to control the aperture & shutter speed manually instead of just auto shooting like I normally do. This picture was a test of a fast shutter speed which allowed me to catch the dogs wrestling in action with NO blur!!

I feel so proud!

… and yes the dogs really are as psycho as they look.

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