Mommy Monday: My Wild Thing

I came across these shots as I was going through my pictures for today’s post. Even though they’re only 6 months old, I see a difference in his face, a look at might have been just a phase because I haven’t seen it since, and a stolen shot of a goofy little dance that is RARELY seen in public. I see a smile that warms my heart, eyes that remind me to be a better person, a face that brings me joy. He has a spirit that tests me everyday and a character created for BIG things.

He restored a large portion of my faith, mended what I’ve let get eaten away, and is a constant reminder that I am blessed.

I’ll set the example for him on when to say ‘thank you’, how to brush his teeth, and how to add 1 + 1 but he sets the example for me on how to trust deeply, how to love faithfully, and how to dance joyfully – all things I’ve lost along my way. Seems his job is much more important and I’m not sure how I’d ever thank him other than respecting that he was sent from God.

… just goes to show you, there’s a lot you can get out of just 3 pictures that you had completely forgotten about.

Mommy Monday: High Surf Advisory {Dana Point Harbor}

A favorite family outing of ours is to go to the harbor. Sometimes, we walk around, look at the boats, watch people walk their dogs, or just sit on the grass. Other times, we walk over to the jetty to sit and watch the water. This particular afternoon had a high surf advisory – and boy, was the tide high!

We enjoyed watching the big waves roll in … here are some of my favorite shots of a great afternoon.

Reading some info about the harbor.

The harbor has some of the cutest "statues" you'll ever see!

That would be some of the "high surf" hitting his normal lookout rock! It's typically a 4-5ft drop off from that rock on the right to the beach below...but not today!

I know I'm bias but he sure is cute.

"Did you see that HUGE wave?!"

We usually check the base of this rock for starfish, but they're about 5ft below the surface this particular day.

Thanks for stopping by …

Photog Friday: 5 Things to Practice

Last week, the post was about what to avoid when shooting your wild things. If you missed it, you can find it HERE. This week, let’s talk about tools you should practice to avoid beginner’s mistakes. Some of these things I learned the hard way, some I’ve read along the way. Either way, if you keep some of these tips in mind next time you shoot,  it will get you closer to capturing your wild thing’s story.

Here are my Top 5 Things to practice while shooting your Wild Things –

1. Practice Finding Your Story. Is the story: we were on the beach and there happened to be a baby? Or is it: Look at my baby on the beach! See the difference there? Decide what your story is (baby or beach?)  and let the other be the background. And not too much background! Sometimes that background helps tell the story but most of the time it camouflages your Wild Thing so if its not enhancing the story – cut it out!

2. Practice Getting Closer. Fill the frame with at adorable face! If the background enhancing the story, you want just a bit of it (see above #1) but otherwise, get in close.

3. Practice Your Timing. Get to where you want to be when the light is flattering – Morning and Evening. Wild Things will almost always avoid looking at a camera in bright outdoor light. And even if they DO look, it will be a squinty face. So, trying to get them to look at you at noon sets you up for failure. I like to shoot my wild things in the morning when they’re fresh or in the evening when they’re a little slower from a busy day.

4. Practice Turning Your Back. There will be times when you have to shoot when it’s bright out. Instead of trying to get them to look towards the sun, move so the sun is behind them. If it’s high noon, find a tree or building for some shade. This may be a good time to learn to use your flash as fill to get rid of the raccoon eyes a high sun leaves on your darling’s face.

5. Practice Turning Off the Lights. Stop and take a second to look for the light. One way to make the natural light more dramatic is to turn off the indoor lights. So, open up those shutters & raise your ISO.

… those are my Top 5. Don’t worry, they’ll be more – Stay Tuned!

Mommy Monday: Boy meets Octopus

My boy is fascinated with ocean life , in particular – squids, octopus, and jellyfish. So, when we went to the aquarium, it was no surprise we had to drag him away from the Octopus Garden after close to half an hour. And I have to admit the octopus in the tank that day was the biggest & most active I had ever seen!

Even though this shots are from 3 months ago, Reed retold me the entire story about how we watched the giant mollusk eat and swim around. We had so much fun that day … but anything he finds that interesting is automatically MY favorite part.

 

Mommy Monday: Rubba Dub in the Tub

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you KNOW one of my favorite things to shoot – bath time! A few months back I got a new lens and whenever that happens, the first place I’ll use it is almost always during a Wild Thing bath! Who could resist really, when you have a Wild Thing that LOVES the water?! Added bonus: he can’t run away from the camera while in the tub!! And I love the light a bounced flash creates in the bathroom.

A beautiful little face that seems to have suddenly traded every ounce of “baby” for “little boy” … sparkling water drops, giggles, little boys in desperate need of a haircut, and smiling happy little face – these are the later forgotten details I love capturing.

 

 

Mommy Monday: Meleon the Chameleon

My boy LOVES animals. And the good news is he enjoys helping take care of them. So, when after much discussion about his constant begging for a lizard, we decided it would be a good pet for him and off to the pet store we went. He fell in love with the baby chameleons. And Meleon the Chameleon was added to our family.

It’s now 2 months later and he still sits and watches Meleon stalk crickets – the launching tongue always gets a giggle! And Reed is very excited about his baby dragon that will some day lay dragon eggs … hmm, that bridge we’ll crossing another day. But turns out chameleons are pretty low maintenance pets so mommy is happy about it too!

He’s (actually a she) is little now but will get to be about a foot long. Here are some of the shots from Meleon’s first day home. And in a few months I’ll take some more to see how he’s grown.

(Meleon had just shed the morning we got him so that’s leftover white skin on him)

 

 

Mommy Monday: The First Bike

Not too long ago, we decided to go to Toys R Us just to “look around”. We go there every once in a while, maybe pick up something small, maybe talk about birthday size toys, and do some practice putting toys back on the shelf with the boy. But I should have known as soon as Reed’s daddy said, “So, we’re gonna go look over here while you look at baby stuff” that daddy might of had other plans for this particular trip. As I dabbled in the world of double strollers I heard giggles, then I heard “Mommy! Look at me!”. So, I followed the voice to the corner of the store to find my son sitting on a bike – a big boy bike! Seconds later he was doing circles around the aisle so I pulled daddy over to the helmets. It has training wheels but let’s not get crazy. We laid down the “No helmet, No bike riding” law and it was official – Reed got his first bike.

For a boy that showed no signs of wanting a bike, he sure looks proud doesn’t he?

 

Mommy Monday: The 1st shots of Thing 1 & Thing 2

So, most of you already know but in case you didn’t, we’re expecting a new Wild Thing to arrive in late September. YAY! Reed will be a big brother … we can’t wait! Weeell.. the sleepless nights, changing diapers, and starting all over with potty training part we’d rather put off but its all so worth it!

It’s been a looong 12 year stage of “waiting for baby” for us. In four short months that stage will be all over. We can finally move on. I can’t even finish typing this post without tears … WE’RE HAVING ANOTHER BABY?!

Reed was our answer to many many years of prayers – our redeemer baby, more than anything we had asked for, and the best thing we’ve ever done … and here we are totally undeserving of yet another blessing!

… and the best part is – Reed is just as excited as we are.

Mommy Monday: Fishing off the Pier at Dana Harbor

Daddy’s days off are few and far between lately … but if you ask Reed & Daddy what they want to do for that day off, they’ll always say “FISHING!”. Reed loves to pick out the lures for Daddy to put on his hook. And I love the way he’s so chatty with all the other fishermen, “what you caught? oh, a mackerel. Good job catching that mackerel. How you caught that mackerel?“.

But once his line is in the water, there’s not much time before you start to hear “why we haven’t caught anything yet? That boy over there caught something … daddy, are you trying?“.

So, if you ever fish with Reed, you better bring your A-game.