Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 179: Yogurt and Rice Krispies

The kids have been difficult to get to sleep and keep asleep the last few nights.  We’ve noticed that Charlotte in particular isn’t eating much at dinner and figured that might be part of it.  So whenever they don’t eat very well for dinner we give them yogurt with baby oatmeal mixed in because it’s a sure way to get them to eat something and it’s healthy.  We ran out of baby cereal so I put Rice Krispies in the yogurt instead.  It was a HUGE hit!

Cooper decided the spoon was too slow so he scooped it up with his fingers and ate it that way.DSC_8206_edit_Wm

Charlotte asking for more Rice Krispies.  I remember a time when she would just melt down before even attempting to tell us what she wanted.  Now she tries to say the word and if we don’t understand her, she points.  If we still don’t understand her she says the word over and over and makes some kind of sign.  It’s rare that she melts down anymore.  We are amazed with her progress in only 8 short months!DSC_8209_edit_wm

Day 178: Bubble Wands

We went to a coworker’s daughter’s birthday party a few weeks back and they had bubble wands for the kids to play with.  Charlotte and Cooper loved them, so I found a couple in the dollar bin at target.  I was snapping these photos to adjust my settings and before I knew it Cooper turned the hose on and began spraying.  I put my camera away and didn’t even try again.

DSC_8177_edit_wm DSC_8179_edit_wm

Scavenger Hunt

I’m going to cheat this week and pull all the photos from my archive.  I am out of time to take the photos and have two kids fighting bedtime for several days in a row (when I normally do my photography stuff).

1.  Summer – The first trip to the pool.  This was taken in August 2008, shortly after Charlotte came home.  Swimming was something that helped Charlotte and I bond because there was a lot of skin to skin contact.

2.  Letter A – This one of Cooper and Charlotte’s favorite books and one of several we have on adoption. DSC_1459_edit_wm

3.  Celebration – This isn’t a celebration photo, but rather a reason to celebrate (taken by my friend Jason with our old Sony Cybershot P&S during our Breckinridge ski vacation 5 years ago).  We are finally moving home to Colorado!!  We are so excited to get back closer to family and friends.  We’ll be moving in just a few weeks, so I probably won’t be posting much when we are in the middle of the move.  I’ll still be taking photos and I’ll upload when I can.  I probably won’t be doing any editing, so this will be a challenge for me to get everything perfect in camera!422786028205_0_ALB_edit_wm

4.  Door – Charlotte used to army crawl halfway through the doggy door and get stuck before she learned how to fully crawl.  Taken in November 2008 with Sony Cybershot P&S  

5.  Symbol of Love – This was Cooper’s symbol for love for his dog Scout when he was about 4 months old.  This was taken in August 2008 with a Sony Cybershot and obviously the onboard flash.

Next week’s assignment due July 4th.  One photo can be from your archives.

1.  Shutter Speed

2.  Patriotism

3.  Creative Crop

4.  Time

5.  Flower

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 177: Ducks at Central Park

Both the kids were wild today, so I took them to Central Park to attempt to burn some energy.  I’m not sure it did much good, but I at least got some cute photos of them sitting and watching the ducks.  Cooper kept inching forward on this butt, then he found a stick and scared all the ducks away.DSC_8137_edit_wm

Another photo from the same series, but with a vintage edit.DSC_8134_edit_wm

And here’s one straight off the camera, since there are several hotspots I’m not up for editing.  I was attempting to try aperture priority mode again since the kids were so close the water.  I’m just not quite quick enough with changing all my settings yet.  It’s close to being ‘automatic’, but I still have to think about what I need to do.  I’m not able to do that and watch the kids, but I still hate the poor exposures I get in A mode.  I also had my 50mm lens on my camera, and I wasn’t comfortable backing up too far, so I cut their legs off.  All in the name of safety.DSC_8161

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 176: ER Visit

Cooper went to bed a little warm so we gave him some ibuprofen.  Two hours later he woke up crying, burning up, having trouble breathing and unable to cough very well.  We called the online doctor and they told us to take him to the ER.  After an exam, some x-rays, some medicine, and a diagnosis of croup we were on our way shortly after midnight.  I took this photo on my cell phone just before we left.downsized_0624002332a_edit_wm

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 175: Stinky Feet

Charlotte’s newest thing is to take our shoes off (or hers) and then smell our feet, plug her nose and announce ‘Teenty’ (stinky).  I think it’s really funny, so now I volunteer to have my feet smelled.

Getting a really good whiff of my husbands feet.DSC_8115_edit_wm

Letting me know that my feet are ‘teenty’DSC_8112_edit_wm

(Cooper isn’t feeling well today and he didn’t nap, so no pictures of him tonight.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 174: Homemade choo-choo

Charlotte put their little chairs together to make a choo-choo.  Then she yelled at Cooper:

‘Poopeh, way-aye-you?’ (Cooper, where are you?)

so that he would come and play with her.  She thought it was funny when I sat down to play instead.

I love this photo, because they both posed for me.  I asked if I could take a picture and they both said ‘yeah’, then they turned and smiled at me.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 173: Stamps, shapes, counting, colors, animal sounds

The kids are little sponges lately, so I’m taking advantage and spending time doing activities that teach, but also things that are fun.  I found some Melissa and Doug stamp kits for $7 at TJ Maxx, and since the kids love stamping and the ink was washable, it was a great find.  I bought one wild animals and one farm animals.  I drew four shapes on a piece of paper – square, triangle, circle, and star.  I had them identify each shape.  Then we got to stamping, while saying the animal sounds, choosing a color and counting the number of stamps.  They had a blast and I think they finally learned circle!

Charlotte is a master stamper, kept all her stamping within the shapes, and attempted to count and say all the shapes.DSC_8087_edit_wm

She also liked to line up the stamps on the ink pad (I wish I had focused on her rather than the stamps/ink pad).DSC_8098_edit_wm

She also enjoyed the challenge of stacking the stamps.DSC_8103_edit_wm

Typical Cooper enjoyed putting everything in his mouth.DSC_8090_edit_wm

When I asked him to show me his mouth.  (This looks so much like his surprised face.  And don’t mind the ridiculously warm photos in that post.  Wow.)DSC_8091_edit_wm

Then I clarified and asked him to show me his tongue.DSC_8099_edit_wm

Again with stuff in his mouth.DSC_8093_edit_wm

And when I asked him to show me his nose because it looked like he had a bloody nose.  Charlotte kept pointing to him and saying ‘oh, no. uh-oh. oh, no.’DSC_8106_edit_wm

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 172: Fun with toys

Cooper likes to ride all of his Tonka and Little People trucks.  I try to convince him that he’s a little big to ride them, but I don’t think he believes me.


We don’t watch Yo Gabba Gabba (I can’t stand how annoying it is, although the glimpses they’ve caught of it, they are completely mesmerized).  I bought them this ‘green monster’ before I knew what it was because they loved dancing Elmo.  Charlotte will dance with Goby and loves letting his arms swing around and hit her.  I love her face in the last one.DSC_8080_edit_wm DSC_8081_edit_wm DSC_8082_edit_wm

I am frustrated lately with my exposure.  I think when I had the walking boot on for 4 weeks, I quit trying so hard to get the photos technically correct for composition, focus and using my lighting because I couldn’t move very well.  This sort of put me in a photography rut.  I prefer shooting outdoors with natural light and now it’s really hard to expose the photos just right inside.

I’m also learning when to use my speedlight vs. the natural light indoors, and also the limits of my camera.  I wish I had more than 11 focus points since I prefer to toggle my focus points.  I also have found that once I get to an ISO 800, if I’m not properly exposed I get more noise than I would like.  Maybe noiseware will be my next purchase.  And where did my easy going, slower moving toddlers go??  I used to be able to take their photo at 1/100 shutter speed without motion blur and now I’m lucky if I get no blur at 1/160!

So my focus right now is to get exposure right straight off the camera, which means I probably will have some focus and composition issues in my upcoming photos.

Day 171: Dapper in Plaid Mini Golfers

I noticed they had been using sticks and their play cooking utensils to hit balls around the house.  I figured they were practicing a motor skill and bought them a toy to help.  I was in the middle of making dinner and gave them their new golf club and ball toys.  I also picked up some new sunglasses (or ‘eyes’ as they call them) from the dollar bin.  Besides them running away from me yelling ‘no mama, go mama’, the clubs swinging everywhere, and me being too busy with dinner to worry about getting the perfect photo, these are too cute.  Now I need to take them back to the putting green where I did Easter photos.

Those are Charlotte’s new flip flops since she finally has grown!  I guess since they are pink, Cooper claimed them as his own.  They’re about 2 sizes too small for him.  He also claimed the pink sunglasses.


Check out the attitude on Charlotte.  I wish this photo wasn’t blurry, but they would.not.sit.still.DSC_8073_edit_wm 

And a big Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband!  He had a good day getting to sleep in, getting a new razor/shave set, and a steak and twice baked potatoes dinner.  Here is the photo I had printed for him in 10x15 size (others from this set here).  Note to self, purchase frame before the print!  I had to special order the frame and it’s still not here.DSC_7538_edit

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 170: Sliders

Saturdays are my husband’s ‘day off’ since he has the kids all week.  I took the kids to the duck pond by myself.  Not the best idea since there isn’t a fence around the pond, and it’s a small hill toward the pond.  Cooper loves chasing the ducks (his favorite game is tag, and well, the ducks run away from him!), and once his little legs get going he has a hard time stopping.  There were several close calls of him running right into the water.  Needless to say, I didn’t even bother pulling out my camera while feeding the ducks. 

I put my kit lens on my camera today because I like the additional focal range sometimes.  I’ve been exclusively using my primes lately, and I’ve grown to love them over my mid-range zoom.  Well compared to all the other lenses I own, I now dislike my kit lens.  It is slow to focus, the aperture range is dismal, and it pretty soft with focus.  I didn’t enjoy taking photos today, but the kids had a ton of fun on the slide.  They even learned to climb up the slide (with a little help from me).

Again straight off the camera, since the quality isn’t great, so I didn’t feel up for editing.  And wow is it hard to meter inside a slide!DSC_7987DSC_7988DSC_7992DSC_7993

Scavenger Hunt

I felt like I lacked creativity this week.  I just couldn’t ‘see’ anything that fit the scavenger hunt assignment.  I sort of felt blah about photography this week, so maybe that’s why.  Anyhow…here are my finds.

1.  Sky – When I first moved from Colorado to California, I was in awe of all the palm trees.  I couldn’t get enough of them.  What I loved most was how they seemed to line every street.  I still love looking up at all the palm trees.DSC_8019_edit_wm

2.  Reflection – This a photo from my archives right after I got my new D90 and my 50mm f/1.8.  This is one my most favorite photos I’ve taken because you can see the two of them, the dog, and me.  It was one of the first times that I could ‘see’ the shot before I took it.  You can see more photos from this walk here.DSC_0069_edit_wm


3.  Health – Now that I have my walking boot off I am very slowly starting to work out.  I don’t want to overdo it and hurt myself again, so I started with a very basic Pilates workout.  I’m hoping that Pilates will help me align my body/hips/feet so that I’m not compensating on one side or another.  Since I was doing a lot of floor work, I put down both my Pilates mats.DSC_7966_edit_wm


4.  Sun Flare – I took several photos with sun flare this week because I realized I have no idea how to get really good sun flare.  I also have no idea how to use it to enhance a photo.  It’s almost like another layer of photography for me – subject, exposure, composition, color, texture, pattern…and sun flare.  Here’s what I learned:  a wider aperture (lower f/ stop) makes a softer, hazier sun flare, while a narrow aperture (high f/stop) makes a starburst.  My prime lens (35mm and 50mm) don’t flare much, but both my zoom lenses do.  I prefer sun flare that comes in from the side and creates ‘bubbles’ in my photo.  Here are my attempts at sun flare.sunflare storyboard

5.  Two of a kind – I enjoy running and walking through the neighborhoods near our house.  There are some really unique houses and I often wonder what kind of people live in these houses.  This house in particular is symmetrical in nearly every aspect and the front is shaped almost like an isosceles triangle.  This house appeals to the engineer in me, and I love the little mural at the top.  Admittedly, photographing something that appeals the engineer in me, makes for one of the most boring photos I’ve ever taken.  It doesn’t appeal to the creative side of me at all.  I have no idea who lives in this house, but I imagine they are Type A personalities.DSC_8026_edit_wm

Assignment due June 27.  Remember one photo can be from your archives.

1.  Summer

2.  Letter A

3.  Celebration

4.  Door

5.  Symbol of Love

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 169: Summer fun in the sand

The first two are straight off the camera, except for watermarks.  I attempted to use ACR tonight and it reminded me a lot of Lightroom.  I think it’s a great tool for simple post processing, although I feel like I have less control than with Photoshop.  It’s probably more of a perception issue since I feel more comfortable with PS. 

I do like the recovery slider, since it’s more straightforward than attempting to recover the highlights in PS.  The only thing I don’t like is that when I save the photo from ACR it seems to make my photos cooler.  I think this is a color profile issue as it seems to set my profile to Adobe RGB when I save, rather than using sRGB.  I’ll have to figure out how to correct that problem.

They love to fling the sand around and I just love how these photos turned out.  The first one my camera focused on the sand particles and which blurred the kids…I think it's a pretty cool effect.  Adding texture without any editing!  (You can tell I don’t hold my camera straight.)


This one just screams fun to me.  It’s pure joy on Charlotte’s face.DSC_7917_wm 

Cooper was fascinated with the sand flowing between his fingers.  I wish I had been sitting further back from him so I hadn’t chopped his head, and I probably could have used a higher f/stop so that when I focused on his hands, his face remained in focus as well.  I still love his expression though.DSC_7940_edit2_wm

First photo entered for Trendy Treehouse Summer Fun.  For more Summer Fun photos click below:Shutter Love Tuesdays

Day 168: Not even trying

I was considering trying to really play with the late evening light that streams through the windows, but I just wasn’t up for taking photos tonight.  Here’s what I got for not even trying…poor composition and exposure, plus the focus is off on Cooper. 

Things in his mouth again!DSC_7890_edit_wm

Charlotte loves the laptop and gets so focused!DSC_7899_edit_wm

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 167: Hands and Feet

They stripped down naked, played in the sink water, went potty (YAY!) and then asked for a bath.  The routine couldn’t have been easier tonight!


Day 166: Race Car Train Bed

My husband got a silly picture of Cooper eating his toe.  I swear he still puts EVERYTHING in his mouth!  I hope he eventually grows out of it.


Before I ever had children I always wondered how a child could ever get a bag over their head and suffocate.  Now I know.  Cooper and Charlotte are both loving hats these days and they think everything is a hat.  Cooper started to put this on bag on his head and I took the photo to remind me how easy it is for an accident to happen.  I will now be putting all plastic bags promptly in the trash, away from the children.  (This particular bag is the what the diapers are package in.)  DSC_7853_edit_wm

My children surprise me with their creativity.  I couldn’t figure ou t why I found a ton of cars between Charlotte’s mattress and bed frame, until they showed me!  Charlotte made her bed into a race car track!  Now if I could only get her to say rAce Car instead of rEE Tar (I absolutely hate the use of the R-word.  It is completely offensive, so it really bothers me that she can’t say this word properly.  Especially since she says it over and over and over several times a day.)


And how’s this for completely missing the focus on the car??DSC_7860_edit_wm