Brooke came over today. We've been meaning to get together for a while....especially now that she and Rob moved in just down the street, but busy and conflicting schedules have made it difficult to do so. We took Ashlyn over to Sears at South Coast Plaza for her very first studio portraits. I had a coupon for a 53-picture package for only $7.99! What a bargain! Or so I thought...
The sneaky people at Sears make you choose three portrait backgrounds, and even before any pictures are taken, you have to specify which background you want as your 53-picture package. HUH?!?!?! *scratch head* How the hell does that work? I haven't seen a single shot yet! But that's what you have to agree to...so I chose the wispy white background. They took six different poses...two for each background. Ashlyn smiled brightly for each picture with very little effort. I must not get out much because the equipment at Sears was most impressive. There were two monitors in the room- one monitor displays what the camera sees and the other monitor displays the picture taken. That way you avoid picture flaws (ie..movement or eyes blinking). But every picture Ashlyn took came out great. Afterwards, we sat down at a computer station to go over the six pictures. The original packaged picture turned out perfect, but so did the other 5 pictures....and that's where they got me. If I had just stuck with a single pose, I would have just paid the $7.99 plus $9.99 sitting fee and tax. But for each additional pose, they tag on $12.99 per sheet (which is either an 8X10 or 4-3 1/2X5's or 2-5X7's and so on..). I chose 20 additional sheets, got suckered into joining the Smile Saver Club, and purchasing a personalized matted and framed picture collage. In the end, I walked away shelling out over $200!!! Sucka! It definitely made my attempt in saving a measly buck the night before pointless. =P

Ashlyn's pictures turned out amazing...she looked like such a big girl, and it made all of my daily snapshots look cheesy. Still, I couldn't help but feel guilty over how much I paid. Brooke was very reassuring...listing all the pros to my purchase. I had to finally call Aric for reassurance. He was surprised at first, but was very supportive. But then again, he's never against anything I do or buy...which is not always a good thing.

Brooke, Ashlyn, and I walked around the mall a bit then went to Mitsuwa for a snack and drink. I had a kid's ramen at Tampopo Ramen, Brooke got fried rice, and Ashlyn had potato stick snacks from the market. Ashlyn's starting to feed herself snacks. She enjoys eating crackers and biscuits all by herself. =) Afterwards, we walked around and checked out all the cutesy japanese stuff then fought traffic on the way home. Brooke and I hung out and discussed her wedding plan....we looked through friends' wedding pictures and my box of wedding invitations, favors, and programs for ideas. She left after that. For the past couple of days, I've had my handy camera with me, but disappointingly forgot to take any pictures. =P

Aric came home and fixed us dinner...chili plate and spaghetti! YUM! We watched TV while Ashlyn had some more potato stick snacks. I noticed that she is left hand dominant, and pointed it out to Aric. He was adamantly in denial. We tested her a few times, and she still grabbed and ate with her left hand. I refused to give her the snack unless she reached out with her right hand, but once she had the snack, she cleverly transferred it into her left hand and proceeded to eat. Aric shook his head with disapproval. When I asked him what the big deal was, he answered, "It's such an inconvenience...she has to get a left-handed mouse." *UGH!* What a computer geek! HAHAHAHAHA! The evening was spent with Aric working on the floors and me and Ashlyn parked in front of the tube. I watched "Friends", part of "Spy Kids", "Will & Grace", and "ER". Patrick came over to pick up some computers. It's been almost a month since I last seen my bro-in-law. He's still busy with work at E! and his documentary.

Ashlyn had a long tiring day and fell asleep at 10pm....which is earlier than her usual bedtime.
I'm pretty tired too. Till tomorrow...

Ashlyn riding her new walker/rider

Ashlyn's pics of the day

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