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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Here we are, approaching the Due Date of March 15, 40 weeks this Friday.

Today forward I have opted to work from home until the baby arrives. I am thankful that this time it is an option, since my previous job didn’t allow us to work from home at all. This will make things more comfortable and less worrisome for all of us, since Brian is just minutes away and the doctor keeps reminding us that things may move much more quickly this time.

I took these photos (self portraits I took myself! with a tripod! and occasionally a button click from Brian) a couple weeks ago, around 37 weeks pregnant. My belly hasn’t grown much since then (in fact, I’m still only measuring 36-37 weeks belly-wise, it’s just shifted down quite a bit!).

The past few weeks they have begun exams for dilation. I have very slowly progressed from 3cm to 3.5cm the past three weeks, and 70% to 80%. The “any time now” message is getting old, since I have been hearing it now for 2-3 weeks already.

Today we had another ultrasound (our third in the past couple months) to check fluid levels again, staying extra safe because of Jameson’s fluid issues. However, we have plenty and are looking good still. Baby is happy and wedged pretty far down.

This week the doctor told me that he doesn’t expect me to make it to next week, though we did schedule an appointment anyway in case. Next week, should I make it to that appointment, I will have a non-stress test (NST) and another ultrasound for fluid levels, since I will be past my due date at that point.

We did opt to -ahem- stir things up a bit? at this visit and are hoping that it works. If we go into next week, we will be looking at induction.

The doctor is of course flexible to our wishes in this, but we are all in agreement that 41 weeks is pushing us to our maximum. Seeing that I have had a successful induction before, even though we are not pleased that it could happen again, we would be willing to opt for one next week.

Hopefully baby doesn’t need much more encouragement to make her appearance! We are all getting anxious for her to arrive.

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It’s here! The final month of our 24 month block photos. I thought I’d feel nostalgic, but between last month and this, I am only glad that we are done! Jameson thinks it’s a stellar game to push the blocks off. When I told him “don’t touch” he kicked them off instead. With promises of chocolate, we managed to get a couple (as in, 2) shots of him with the blocks in some sort of legible position.

24 Months

What a 2 year old he is! This month, we started swimming lessons, so now he loves to practice swimming in the bathtub and asks for help going on his back all the time. Jameson also had his third hair cut after swimming lessons on Saturday, and we were able to get him to stay still in the toy car without crying by telling him that the lady was getting all the knots out of his hair! He just loves to talk about the “knots” in his hair whenever it gets wet or messy. Mom combs all the knots out and then we blow dry his hair. It’s my favorite time during bedtime, when he sits still on my lap for a moment.

24 Months

He frequently asks to see “trucks” on the way to or from places. We talk about big trucks, small trucks, and color is big this month as well. He asks for “pink trucks” and “lellow trucks” (he is still mixing up the color yellow with just about every color but orange, which he knows without error). He also knows what a “bus” is and the difference between that and trucks. Oh, and he always asks to visit “lamb-aw” which is his word for grandma, and papa, on the way home from anywhere.

24 Months

Jameson loves umbrellas, dice, and his step stool. He also still adores his bear and his “leeks” which are his lovey blankets. He used to call them his “B” but recently that changed to leeks.

24 Months

He can identify Bert, Ernie, Abby, Big Bird and Elmo Sesame Street characters; and while he still loves to watch Sesame Street, the past couple weeks he’s come home and requested to watch “Tiger” or “Lion” which is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (the Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood cartoon replacement) or the Lion King movie. He loves to identify all the animals at the beginning of the Lion King movie: baby giraffe, elephants, zebahs, lion, birds, mouse.

When we were reading the ABC Dr. Seuss book, he identified B,C,F,T, and L in the book correctly. He is recently insisting on reading books himself. He has mini Sesame Street books that he “reads” and talks about Bert cleaning and Ernie helping. At the same time, he has also started asking for repeats of the same book over and over the same night. His current favorite, Ten Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle, I had to read 3 times in a row a few times over now.

2 Years Old

We’ve made a lot of progress with potty training, which is surprising considering that we weren’t really planning on putting a lot of effort into it until baby is born. He is not consistently telling us when he has to go, but he is doing great holding it for the potty (not at night or nap yet). We also introduced a “treat” when he goes potty successfully to try to encourage him to tell us. It’s not working well yet, but there is no rush. We are planning to get pull ups for him soon since everything is “myself!” He likes it when he can do anything on his own.

2 Years Old

And now for the stats! Jameson is 26 pounds, 4 oz (44% percentile); 2 feet 9-3/4 inches (26% percentile); and head circumference of 19 (51% percentile). His stats are looking good, we were surprised since we consider him so small that he actually weighs in near average. The doctor said we can put him on the same milk now that we are, so we are happy that we no longer need two kinds of milk in the house!

We have a happy, healthy child, and believe me, in light of recent events, we are treasuring that to the fullest.

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This week, at the very end of October, we had 70 degree weather. It was beautiful! I’m just sorry I missed seeing Jameson play outside all week, since I was away at a conference in Chicago. At the least, I got to enjoy similar nice weather there.

Last weekend, it was typical fall weather. I decided to take advantage of the empty lots around our house with their wonderful changing leaves before they were all gone. I’m pretty excited with how the photos turned out, and you’ll never believe that I’m holding Jameson’s hands in the close up pictures to get him to stay still. He thought it was all a hilarious game, which made for some awesome — though hard to get in focus — photos.

Jameson was running with one hand in his pocket naturally. He had a rock he picked up that he put in there. Also, his jacket is a little too short for him now from this spring, but the thickness and width of it are perfectly appropriate for fall, so we continue to use it.

That’s my little boy!

We also enjoyed pumpkin carving last weekend, though Jameson wasn’t sure about it. We decided to do it on the floor, so he had good visibility to what was going on.

We tried over and over to get him to reach his hands in the pumpkin, but he played hard to get and barely reached in. He would try to get at one seed instead of a fistful like mom. He wasn’t sure about the texture and temperature of the pumpkin seeds.

First I drew the face on the pumpkin (which I messed up the tooth, but Jameson didn’t care). Then Brian did the carving honors and we removed all the seeds and created the lid. Finally Brian did the face while we watched.

Jameson did like putting the lid back on the pumpkin!

When the pumpkin was finished and light shone through, Jameson was less intimidated; and when he dropped a sticker in it, he happily fished after it, reaching all the way in.

Neither Brian or I love pumpkin seeds, but I did save a few to bake for tradition. I tried a new recipe which I am pretty happy with. You bake the seeds as normal with a little salt, and then you caramelize them with sugar and oil in a skillet. Once the sticky sugar coats the baked seeds, you toss them in spices as you choose!

A lovely fall weekend, with more to come this weekend as indian summer leaves us today and probably for the final time. I am looking forward to seeing Jameson in his costume, going to Boo at the Zoo, and being back at home after a long week away.

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We weren’t originally planning to visit Muir Woods because I had heard it was very touristy and crowded. However, Brian convinced me we could make it there early in the day and still hit Napa Valley by our appointment at 2, so we changed plans and decided to go.

I’m so glad we did!

But first, we had to cross the Golden Gate Bridge! I took these shots from our moving car, can you believe it?

We did pick up a rental car that morning, which wasn’t too exciting, but did it’s job well. It was a comfortable enough ride, though I was very unhappy with the cleanliness of the windshield. Most of my good shots were out the passenger side window; the windshield straight on was covered in soap spots, in and out, even after we rubbed it down with towels.

I felt like I should say something meaningful as we crossed and left San Francisco behind, like “straight on til morning”. The way ahead was beautiful; it was a perfect mist-free day with bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds. I was surprised at the hills — covered in some sort of brown hay interspersed with green trees.

The way was pretty intense as we got into the hills; the road twisted around more than Lombard Street, and I got mildly nauseous. It may have just been Brian’s driving though. (just kidding)

We arrived at Muir Woods shortly after 9 in the morning. We enjoyed the early morning light among the trees which were, in short (or tall, heh heh), amazing.

It was difficult to capture their size on my camera. I tried though! A lot.

Muir Woods is filled with old-growth coastal redwoods. These are different than the Giant Sequoias, which are known for their girth rather than their height! (Think of the trees that you can drive through; those are sequoias) However, they are of the same family. Coastal redwoods can grow up 365 feet tall.

I could understand why Muir Woods is so popular; the trail was easy for any age. There was a trail back around which was a little tougher and not appropriate for strollers, but there was a good path on the way in which you could return by.

I was happy that we had arrived so early so we could enjoy the woods without too many other people.

Well, but I’m always happy when there are enough people to ask one to take your photo together. Someone who could even use my camera!

The ground was carpeted in large clover, moss and ferns, and even though the sky was clearer than we had seen in days, there was a heavier humidity to the air in the woods. It seemed to retain a lot of moisture from overnight; every once in a while, the wind would blow droplets of water off the trees.

On our way out, we saw an owl perched in a tree, just watching us watch it.

And then we were on our way again! Twisting our way out of the hills and to our next stop, a brewery for lunch.

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Have you missed me? I can’t believe the backlog of posts and photos I have to share with you — but I’m afraid you’ll have to be consoled for now by taking a peek at this beautiful family:

This is Katie, Kevin, and their daughters. I work with Katie, and have formerly worked with both Katie and Kevin at a previous job. We decided it was high time to get together again, since Jameson was still a sluggy newborn when he met them before (and obviously, wee little baby wasn’t around yet either!)

I offered to take some photos for Katie of her family as practice. I think maybe I could have adjusted the apeture somewhat more, but I didn’t want to be at risk of losing some focus. Practice makes perfect, right?

I spend so much time photographing Jameson and Lily, I really wanted to try my hand at a hard target: a toddler who doesn’t know me, and a baby who doesn’t care.

What I learned? I need to develop confidence in posing. Katie and Kevin were so natural that it didn’t matter, but I was uncomfortable telling them how to pose. Anyone less photogenic than this beautiful family and the photos wouldn’t have turned out nearly so well.

Katie’s favorite: The one that included their pup, Lucia. She told me they didn’t have a single family photo that included their dog. Let me tell you, we almost gave up before we got this shot. I didn’t realize I had a blow out spot until later, that was a little disappointing.

Tip 2: Dog treats from the start with the family, and a good loud voice to get the dog to look at you.

Meanwhile, Brian was chasing around Jameson who was running through the yard like a whirlwind. When I crouched down, he wanted to climb on my back, which was cute, and brings me to tip 3:

Toddlers like other kids. She wanted to smile at Jameson! He was conveniently located behind me for the last couple shots. However, the most natural smiles from her were when they were unposed or she didn’t think I was looking:

Yeah, I got a couple of my own kid, too. After the “official” shoot, we blew up the bounce house and let the kids go wild. Katie and Kevin own an RV, so they played in there for a bit too before we had a cookout lunch on their deck.

It was funny to watch Jameson watching her — she was jumping up and down all over the place, and he seemed to be wondering how to imitate her. He doesn’t know how to jump yet!

It was so fun to do these photos, to try my hand at observing the lighting to select the best locations for shooting in her yard, and to see what it’s like to take photos of kids you don’t know (that don’t know you!)

My personal favorite was this one, of Katie unposed smiling down at her new 7 week old baby girl.

Oh, just keeping it real, this great color coordinated family did all change after the photos were finished into much more casual outfits. (The baby’s changing might have been necessitated by a very successful poop. Thankfully she had good timing!)

P.S. Speaking of babies, our friend Lauren finally got to take her twin girls home at just under 4 weeks old. They are about 4-1/2 pounds and are super cute! (And I’m not just saying that; they really don’t have that “premature” look about them at all. They’re adorable!) I got to meet them briefly last week, and I’m so very excited that they finally got to come home.

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It’s only June and the grass is already dried out and sharp. We have gotten some early hot, dry weather this season!

But, it’s perfect for popsicles:

I attended a free Lightroom webinar session a couple weeks ago and got a few tips and tricks from it. It was mostly an intro course, but I felt like I learned somewhat. At the end, they had a discount code for their shop at Pretty Presets (it was a free webinar remember).

My photos in the evening are mostly outside now. And since I take a lot of evening photos because I work most days, I felt like it was a smart investment to purchase some sunlight and color enhancing and adjusting presets for Lightroom.

I went ahead and purchased their Spring Color, Flare & Haze Collection, and I’m really happy with it. The key to presets though is knowing how to tweak them to your needs, which they showed in the webinar. I’ve never used the gradient adjustments in Lightroom, so this has opened up a whole new world.

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We had a wonderful weekend! Saturday, we relaxed most of the day away. Jameson took a nearly 3-1/2 hour nap, ran errands with dad to Home Depot (they were gone for a lovely hour), and was in such a great mood all day. It was so relaxing and, dare I say it? Easy.

Sunday it was nice out, so we decided to go to the zoo. There was a small chance of rain in the morning, but we opted to go early anyway to try and by pass the crowds that were sure to come. It definitely worked, and many of the animals were out and active!

We saw the elephants first, and then we heard calls out to our right. I didn’t know what animal was making the noise, but as it turns out it was the lion. I don’t think it was a full out ROAR but it was the first time I think that I’ve heard the lions calling out.

We headed up toward the Australian exhibits, and a small kangaroo was right up near us.

Can you see the joey poking out of her belly? The zookeeper standing by pointed it out. His or her little arm or leg is sticking out. I couldn’t believe how close she was to us! We took Jameson out of his stroller so he could get a better look at all the animals near by.

He loved watching the birds and the train going by.

We didn’t stray too much into the Australian exhibit, and turned around to go see the giraffes. The giraffes weren’t out but we saw them inside. Jameson didn’t want to stand forward for this picture, but at least I got him next to the measurement.

The great part about having a pass is not feeling obligated to see the entire zoo in one visit. We picked and chose the best exhibits with big animals that Jameson would appreciate. After seeing a few more birds, reindeer and camels, we came around to the best exhibit of the day!

The bears were out and they were actually playing! I don’t believe I’ve ever seen them moving like this before, so I had to take video evidence as well.

Jameson loved it. Brian would say “Can you say bear?” and Jameson would say “Beh”.

Next door, the polar bear was out. He was calmly surveying the scene.

So calm was he that we decided he’d be a perfect backdrop for a few photos.

This one cracks me up, it looks like Jameson is a little concerned about the polar bear behind him.

Our last stop at the zoo was the monkeys, and we plopped Jameson next to one statuesque monkey on a bench. Jameson wasn’t so impressed.

Before we headed over the rainforest just outside the main zoo, we stopped for some lunch. Jameson had his very first happy meal, and insisted on eating his chicken nuggets whole rather than cut up. He loved the apples, but wasn’t too fond of the fries.

The rainforest wasn’t too crowded, so we let Jameson walk around a bit. He held Brian’s hand really well and walked from exhibit to exhibit.

I hadn’t realized before, but most of the glass is set low, low enough for Jameson to see.

We really tired him out that morning, but he only really napped for 45 minutes in the car on the way home. He was up and at ’em again after that, ready to play outside for the rest of the day!

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