Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beach pictures

For the past couple of years, David and I have discussed having pictures taken at the beach (well, I discussed it, and David listened to me talk and talk and then agreed because he loves me). We've gone to the same beach every year since we were expecting Jacob, save for year or two, and we love it. It feels like our beach. We've had years when we spent more time in the toy closet in the condo than actually on the beach, and we even loved those trips. This year seemed like a good year to try some pictures because the kids are "older," and we hadn't had a family picture in a while. So we met up with our favorite photographer, Heather, who just happened to be vacationing with her family at the beach the same week.

We met up with Heather at Rosemary Beach, aptly nicknamed "Pottery Barn Beach" by David's brother, and Heather worked her magic. She got some great shots even though Caroline was not at her best (she came down with something later that night), and one of her symptoms was a complete aversion to sand. If you'd like to see the pictures, you can click on this slideshow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ice cream : delighting four of her five senses since 2008

I think the fundamental difference between children and adults is that children don't seem to notice when they are sticky:

I can barely look at these pictures without feeling the desperate need to hose her down, or at the very least rummage through my bag for a wet wipe. But Caroline just kept sloooooowly licking.

I just forget what age you have to hit before it affirmatively starts to bother you to sit there while an ice cream cone melts in your hands. Because it's definitely not two.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jacob's Star Wars Party

As usual, I took too many pictures of Jacob's birthday party(ies). And sadly, I took them on a corrupted memory card, which is currently at the camera store, which is valiantly trying to save the images. I realized that there was a problem before everything was disassembled, so I took a couple of pictures of the breakfast party decor and his light saber cake. I hate to think that we lost the photos of our surprise guests (Darth Vader, Princess Leia and a Padawan), and that the Padawan Pancakes, Clone Scones, C-3POJ, Barriss Offee Coffee, Ewok Eggs and Shaak Tea might not be forever memorialized, but at least we have a few pictures in the event that the rest of them can't be saved (and if they can, I'll post them).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lake weekend

We spent the weekend at the lake with David's parents, and we took out a boat one day while we were there. This is the first year since we've had kids that we could even consider attempting such an adventure (we laughed at the thought of trying this with Caroline last year). For the past 8 years we've either had a baby, or one on the way -- which is wonderful, of course, but limits the range of extracurricular activities that are available to you -- so we really enjoyed getting a taste of the fun things that we can start doing as a family now that we have "big kids."

Jacob took the boat driving extremely seriously:

(He lightened up a little bit by the end):

In contrast, Elizabeth fell asleep at the wheel:

Okay, she did pay attention some of the time:

Caroline's turn (be afraid, be very afraid):

Caroline handing out high fives after her successful stint behind the wheel:

Jacob and Grammy just riding along chillaxin' (that's the first and last time I'll ever use that word - promise):


Elizabeth and Jacob trying to get onto the raft at the same time, yet miraculously laughing instead of yelling at each other:

Taking a little break from swimming for a snack of Star Wars fruit snacks, Wheat Thins and Capri Suns. Just like on Diddy's boat.

In case you were wondering, this boat driving/lake swimming will tire a girl out:

Elizabeth and David:



Elizabeth & Caroline:

Thanks for a fun weekend, Grammy and Granddaddy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Photo of the Day - 7/7/10


Photo of the Day - 7/6/10

Meant to post these on the 4th, but there was too much frolicking going on for me to get the necessary computer time. The cousins photo session:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Alex goes swimming!!

Today Alex went swimming for the first time, and we were lucky enough to be there to witness it. In keeping with his dream baby nature, Alex overcame a little bout of tummy trouble earlier in the day to thoroughly enjoy the pool and completely charm us with his splashing, giggling and kiddie floating.

Here are a few of Alex with his awesome mom and dad:

We have traveled many, many times with our infants and small children. For every day away, three days of planning and packing is required. There is frequently vomit involved. The child who has slept through the night for 18 months will decide to take advantage of the close sleeping quarters to start screaming in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. Good sleep habits are undone and everybody returns exhausted (but hopefully happy!). When you have small kids, it is SO much easier to stay home. The only reason that any sane person would sign on to embark on a trip with a little is because they really, really love the people at the destination. Thank you for making this trip, Diane and Sal. We love you!

Photos of the Day - 7/3/10

Alex is here!!!

And we can't keep our hands off him.

This child is downright edible. Even after a long day of travel and a missed nap, he was STILL the happiest, sweetest little man. His cousins cannot get enough of him {and neither can I!!}. They have set up "Alexland" in the living room:

And the girls have been graciously offering him their baby dolls and feather boas. Jacob lives with that kind of thing day in and day out, so he is particularly happy to have Alex around:

We plan to soak in every minute we have with Alex this weekend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Photos of the Day - 7/1/10

I think the best thing I've learned so far in Finding the Joy has been how to use the selective focal points on my camera. I'm sure I could have learned about them by reading the manual that came with my camera, but it seemed so much easier to pay money to sign up for a Virginia-based online photography course than it did to pull that thing out of the filing cabinet. The next best thing I've learned has got to be how to find, and use, natural light in the house to take better indoor pictures. One thing that I've noticed from reading blogs (food blogs authored by excellent food photographers, photography blogs, etc.) is that many contemporary photographers loathe the flash. The Pioneer Woman has gone so far as to say that if she can't get the picture using natural light, she'll just skip the picture. I'm way too much of a novice to have a strong opinion about these things one way or the other, but seeing as I'm already trying to work the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO while toggling the focal points and reading the light meter and chasing down my kids, I'm more than happy to skip the flash if somebody with some air of authority tells me to.

Elizabeth and I were playing in her room this afternoon. Afternoon is the perfect time to play in Elizabeth's room. because it gets great afternoon light. Today we were playing "puppy library," which is just like a library, except that you borrow puppies instead of books. And sometimes you can borrow things other than puppies, it just depends. Elizabeth was getting her puppies ready to borrow/be borrowed, which involves putting their collars (and maybe crowns) on them and putting them to bed. (If you walk around our house you'll have to just step around a virtual minefield of little beds all over the house with puppies/babies sleeping.) Anyway, in the pictures below Elizabeth is getting Rosie ready to be borrowed (all of Elizabeth's puppies have names like Rosie, Sophie, Lucy, Chloe, etc - very sweet girly names - and they are all girls. If she shows you a puppy and says "isn't my puppy cuuuuuuute?" and you say, "oh yes! What's his name?" she will invariably look at you very seriously and say "it's a girl. Her name is Maddie." Anyway, here are some pictures from Puppy Library.