Friday, May 30, 2008

Submerged - Day 3 of swimming lessons

Today was a big day for Sam. He went under the water! He even put his mouth in the water to blow bubbles. We celebrated with a hot fudge sundae afterwards. I was so proud of him! Looks like he was pretty proud of himself too. :) They started the lesson with the bucket of water. Check out my brave Sammy Sam! Then it was on to the barbbell this time Eric didn't have to support Sam. He kicked on his own towards the goal of reaching the monkey he'd thrown out ahead of himself.

A perfect execution of Monkey Cheeks if I do say so myself.

I am in awe of this particular photos. My experience with kids in the water is that the part they like the very least is floating on their backs. Getting his ears wet is a pretty big accomplishment for Sam. Eric is hardly holding him at all. There is a mat under Sam which gives him some added support.

WAY TO GO SAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sink or swim - Day 2 of swimming lessons

Sam was still timid about having any water come near his face, but he did grow more and more comfortable paddling and kicking using the dumbbell for support as well as Eric's hand. Yesterday he wouldn't let Eric put the bucket of water over his head, but today he did just fine. The best part is that there wasn't any blood curdling screams when he did get water in his face. He'd just wiggle himself away to a different part of the bench. Julia entertained herself with blowing bubbles and reading a book and I tried not to snap a picture of every little move Sam made. :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Like the dandelion fluff flies off with the wind, so has any trace of my former business name of FootPrint Photography. When I chose the name I thought I'd covered all my bases by searching for another FootPrint Photography in Minnesota. There was a Footprint Photography in Missouri, a Footprints Classic Wedding Photography in Chicago, and a Footprints Photography in Michigan. I had no plans to expand my business beyond the Metro so I went ahead and filed my new business name with the Secretary of State and within a couple weeks received my paperwork. Almost a year later I received a comment on my photography blog saying that I was infringing on some lady's trademark rights and I needed to contact her immediately. I quickly sent off an apology explaining that I didn't realize I had done anything wrong and kindly asked her if she could explain a little more about how trademarks worked. We had different business names so what was the problem? From then on her emails turned sour. You can read them for yourself -

"OK, think about it this way... Coca Colas, Coca Coleh, Addida, Addides , Nikes Footwear, A Nike Footwear, The Nike Footwear, NIKEY Footwear, Nike Inc Footwear, Nike NYC footwear, Joe's Nike Footwear. Does it make sense now?
Honestly, I am sorry but are you serious? You took the "s" out, big deal. It is still the same and it is NATIONAL trademark. Not just a DBA in Whichever state you live in.
Does that clear it up for you?"

My Reply:

Hi Erin -
First of all, I certainly didn't infringe on your trademark on purpose. Obviously I'm not an expert in Trademark law.
Second, your rude comments as I was trying to get myself up to speed were not appreciated.
I am a small, one woman business with zero aspirations to open up shop in Michigan. Changing my business name to something else is not something I can do overnight. I would hope you could cut me some slack as I redo my blog and contact my current clients with a new address. If you have a change of heart and decide that in the grand scheme of things my little photography business isn't going to have any impact on you and your trademarked name, I would be most grateful.


I was not rude. The minute you looked up FOOTPRINTS PHOTOGRAPHY ® on the net, my webpage came up with a ® right next to the name. I own the NATIONAL trademark. That includes Minnesota. You have one week. I will keep checking and I will also report you to Google for copyright/trademark infringement according to the Digital Millennium Act. You do not have a choice here.
Calling me rude did nothing for your request. It only made it more clear that you think you can do whatever you want. Get my name off of your site immediately. Unless you want a big fight. Because I promise you, you will get one.

After a week of exchanges with this woman I didn't even want to use the name anymore. For my own piece of mind I contacted a trademark attorney to see what he would say about the situation. He gave me a typical lawyer response to my question of whether I did anything wrong, "Yes and no."


Since I don't have $1000 to have a new business name trademarked I simply chose to use my name as my business name. Problem with that is I can't create any links to my new photography blog if I want to keep my last name out off
this blog. If you know me (in real life or through blogging) and want to continue to follow my business endeavours please leave a comment under this post and I will send you the address.

rain or shine hail

Yes, I said hail. Didn't phase this family though.

They were so fun to photograph and have the sweetest girls. The dad also happens to be a childhood friend of Brian's. Once the storm passed we were able to use their lake as a beautiful backdrop.

Every girl in their extended family has their portraits taken in this pretty pink dress when they turn two.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sink or Swim - Day 1 of Swimming lessons

Sam acted exactly as I expected for his first day of lessons. He ended up being the only one in the class. There are pros and cons to private lessons. The biggest being:
Pro - one on one attention
Con - no peer pressure

Here he is gingerly putting his toes in the warm water. Geez Sam, you're not THAT afraid of the water! Hurry up and get in and make it worth the $17 a lesson! Of course I didn't say that, but instead smiled encouragingly from the sidelines.
First Eric had Sam pour water on his shoulder, then his cheek and then his face. Each time having Sam repeat each step on himself. He was easily distracted, but came around and eventually put his face partially in the water to talk to the toy under the water.

It was slow going, but in the 30 minute lesson Sam got his face wet without screaming and floated on his back. Can't wait to see what kind of progress he makes tomorrow! I'll need some excitement after being up so late tonight. Some teenagers wanted to camp here tonight. Problem was they didn't bring camping gear. I found them walking in the woods instead. Yeah. That doesn't fly with me. What kind of mom comes into a campground, makes a reservation with her daughter and then goes home - leaving me responsible for the growing crowd of recent high school grads? I'll tell you! The kind of mom I call at 11pm and say that I refunded her daughter for the campsite and sent them all home.

uncharted territory

At 4pm today a young lady will be coming over to our house to interview for the job of being Sam and Julia's very first (non-family) babysitter. I think I'll be more nervous than she will be. I don't like to pry, yet I want to make sure she's responsible enough to watch my babies. I Googled "what to ask a potential babysitter" and found a bunch of sites that list deep, probing questions the sites suggest you may want to ask at an interview. Thankfully Brian will be home when she arrives so he can keep the kids distracted and she and I can talk before she starts interacting with the kids.
I'd love to hear some questions you asked your babysitter(s) or wish you had asked.

Thanks! I'll keep you posted. :)

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

To Love, Honor, and Cherish

That's what Brian and I pledged to each other seven years ago today.
These are the roses he came home with after work in honor of our wedding anniversary. Aren't they beautiful?

And speaking of flowers.... I was tickled pink to discover we have tulips at this house, but that excitement was dimmed when I realized that this single bloom would be the only one we'd be able to enjoy.

My disappointment is a thing of the past now that the other perennials are making their appearance. This is a rare Fern Peonie that lives in our front yard.

The kids and I made our front porch more welcoming with the addition of these beauties . I have a collection of pots from my hometown pottery shop. You might remember them from our failed container garden last year.

Isn't it funny what makes you feel like a grown up? For some reason having my very own flower box on my front porch makes me feel like an adult. The two children planting the flowers? You'd think that's what would do it. But nope - they help me feel like a kid again.

The hints of yellow in there are the Mother's Day marigolds the kids gave me via their Sunday school teachers. The rest we picked out at the local greenhouse.

This jungle of green boasts giant Peonies as well as what I think are Day Lilies.

This one Hosta plant is bigger than the ten plants at our old house combined.

Then there are the Irises.... Purple I think. They remind me of the farm I grew up on in Wisconsin. We had tons of Irises by the cellar doors.

What's blooming in your yard right now?

sink or swim

On a whim I stopped in at a local swimming pool to check on the openings for swimming lessons this summer. Sam has a terrible fear of getting water in his eyes or anywhere on his face. He has to have a dry towel near him to wipe his face off while he plays in the tub. Much to my surprise, I walked in on the very first day of spring swim camp. Perfect. Sign us up. And that's exactly what I did. Tomorrow at 11am Sam will be nervously clinging to my leg in his orange and blue shark covered swim trunks as we embark on this rite of childhood. Only he gets to overcome his fears in 90 degree water. I on the other hand, had to endure freezing cold temps in Lake Ripley where I was too short to touch bottom in the area designated for my swimming level. In between laps I would have to tread water. Often I would be become fatigued and would have to hold onto my instructor.
You know me. I'll have my camera ready and waiting to document every minute of the 30 minute lesson. That is of course, the minutes I'm not trying to keep Julia out of the pool and keep Sam in the pool.
What are your memories of swimming lessons as a child?

What a difference a year makes!

My observations when I look at these photos compared to the ones in the previous post:

And I thought Julia's hair was curly then!

Sam wore this same shirt this year under his sweatshirt. (Last year it was HOT, this year? Not so much. Today we're struggling to make it to 60.)

Hmmm...where are those blue shorts hiding? They'd probably fit him this year. Last year they were practically falling off of him.

I wish I could find the Memorial Day photo from two years ago - I'm sure there was a flag in the back pocket one that year too.

Sam looked like a toddler last year. At some point he turned into a preschooler. A year really does make a big difference!

Beginner Knit Hat Pattern

I've been asked so many times if there is a pattern for the hats I make,  but I was too busy filling Christmas orders...