28 July 2009

A swimmer!

Last year, A1 started swim lessons but by the end of the summer, he was still annoyed by water on his face. This summer, he made amazing strides (literally!) and was able to dunk his whole head in the water, which made it so much easier to learn how to swim. I'm so proud of my little fish!

Actually, he's made so many developmental leaps this summer. He's gotten so much more social.
about to slide

Oh, and the sass. He's gotten a bit sassy too...but I'll take it--and I'll even pretend to be exasperated even though I secretly think it's kind of cute.

27 July 2009

365: Lessons at the halfway point

I've been doing this 365 thing for a while now and I think I may have actually gotten some things from it!

1. Taking photos every single day means having to keep my camera on me at all times. This has allowed me the privilege to capture people and things I wouldn't have been able to otherwise--what with the A's having been my sole photographic subjects and all. And I have enjoyed the closer view of the kids on our playgroups because of the way the camera analyzes them.

2. There's no way I would have snapped as many frames as I do now without the 365 project. With all of that practice, I've come to use my eyes differently. I can't always tell what will become a good capture, but I can certainly tell when it's not going to translate well two-dimensionally. That's probably because I've taken my fair share (and then some!) of bad photos. The great part about this is because my eyes are always searching, and thus always finding, amazing visual treats everywhere! I get excited about puffy clouds in the sky, the color combination of the fliers in our junk mail, everything! And that's quite a gift to have receive from this project.

3. I've gotten better at composition because there can be only one (yes, I'm having a Highlander flashback). That means that among a selection of images of the same subject, I have to find the one photo that conveys visual impact and emotion in the way that I intended. I end up scrutinizing every aspect of a photo from side to side, from corner to corner. Strangely, it's not always a "perfect" composition that strikes me the most but the imperfect ones that grab me. And just so this post doesn't go without photos, I'm including 4 SOOC shots of our society garlic and 4 SOOC shots of the sugar snap peas in the veggie patch to show you part of my process of selecting the photo of the day.



26 July 2009

365 Photography Project, Week 27

183 of 365: The boys and I made fuzzy caterpillars by gluing pom poms to popsicle sticks--they insisted theirs have noses.
183 of 365

184 of 365: 6 weeks old. 6 weeks old!!! Sometimes I see a photograph like this and I wonder if I'll love it as much a few months from now. There are a few photos that I loved loved loved...and now I look back at them and I don't feel the same. Oh well. In the meantime, I love this pic. Maybe it's the composition and lighting and such. Or maybe it's just because I love the people captured by this pic.
184 of 365

185 of 365: FAIL. No clue what I was going for here. I clearly missed the mark.
185 of 365

186 of 365: S Q U I S H !!!
186 of 365

187 of 365: Finally, a macro (or micro as Nikon calls it) shot with my macro lens. I'd been using the lens for portraiture, cuz I'm a one-trick pony like that. This pic is totally uninspired, but I suppose I'm new at it so I don't have to bang my head on the wall for being so inept. I guess I'm also self-punitive like that.
187 of 365

188 of 365: We went on a hot air balloon ride...um...up in the air. It's a bad place to be for someone who's afraid of heights. And freaking A2--he wanted me to hold him the whole time (he was too short to see over the sides). It makes it very hard for me to clutch onto the railing for dear life while having to carry a 2-year-old. Here is our party before the ride:
188 of 365

189 of 365: Summer is a time when I can make everyone a bowl of watermelon balls and call it breakfast. And no one flinches.
189 of 365

25 July 2009

Field trip: Bus ride

We took a round trip bus ride from one local strip mall to another. You wouldn't think it was such a great event, but the boys loved it! I think it had to do with the digger they watched prior to the ride

The ride itself was smooth and we were quite happy with our drivers who were very gracious about the giant horde of children and our endless rounds of The Wheels on the Bus.

The boys especially liked the OCTA packages with a Metro train, bookmarks, buttons, crayons and coloring book, and other goodies.

24 July 2009

Vacation lessons

A while ago, we took a family road trip. Here are a few photo remnants from that trip.

The boys spent a lot of time together on this trip and it didn't occur to me until we were home (and they were playing in separate rooms) that they actually need some space to do well during those times they are together. Another thing I learned is that when you only drive during naptime, and you're trapped so the only photos you can take are through van windows

...things move by quickly.

Very quickly.

So here is a selection of photos taken by James, who was much freer than I was during the trip.

23 July 2009


We're a little behind the times. Without a TV in the house, the boys aren't quite up on pop culture. It wasn't until we started going to Disneyland that A1 first came to love Buzz Lightyear, who worked right into A1's love of rockets and all things space travel. Here he is completely aloft, helping Buzz fly.

22 July 2009

The rabbits are unimpressed

Man is a top predator who hunts his prey ruthlessly and intelligently. But the gazillion bunnies on our lawn laugh at this notion. When I walk out and our eyes meet, they just lick themselves and go back to what they were doing, which usually includes using our yard as their personal all-you-can-eat buffet.

21 July 2009

Concert in the park

Every summer, the City puts on a fabulous concert series. I usually send the boys with their grandparents so I can stay home and clean (there's something so gratifying about solitary cleaning, when things actually stay organized for longer than 30 seconds after I've put them away or wiped them down!) but I tagged along this time.

A2 enjoys these trips.

He really likes to soak in the music

...until he has to pee. In all honesty, it was way more convenient when he wasn't potty trained and I sort of miss it. Especially when there is a public restroom in my near future. Then I really miss it

...so I asked his grandfather to take him. See that serious look of urgency on A2's face? Ha!

I tried to take pics of A1, but he was being uncooperative. Hmph. Four-year-olds.

It's a good thing he totally lets his guard down with his grandfather around.

20 July 2009

Preschool award ceremony

A1's preschool knows how to put on an event! There was dinner, but we hardly noticed it because of the cotton candy, ice cream cart, and other baked treats. There was also a Border Collie soccer show. I know, weird, right? As usual, the face painters were there. A2 was nervous...

and remained so even after the painter was done.

A1 was pretty happy about his painting.

In contrast, A2 was very pleased with his balloon sword and holster.

But A1 really didn't like his balloon crown--at least, not until his dad wore it.

While they were waiting for the ceremony, the boys mostly played on the park's play apparatus.

And here is the reason for the whole evening. The kids all wore shirts that they made in class with handprints by their friends. So sweet.