A Glimpse Of My Future

This was such a fun photoshoot – a glimpse of my life in about 4 years. Two boys about three years apart in age with two very different personalities.

We started at the park and lucked out with the weather. Lots of beautiful light to be found.

I made them stand up and switch seats a few times which made for some fun family portraits.

And captured a few photos of the parents while they weren’t looking.

Then on the walk to my new favourite photo location (you’ll recognize it) I caught some of my favourite photos from the day.

I need more of my clients to move close to gelato shops with fabulous plastic yellow couches.

And then apparently I just couldn’t stop taking pictures.

Can you blame me?

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Embracing the Dark Side

My latest photo challenge entry for the I ♥ Faces photo blog.

We have crossed over to the dark side for Halloween this year. Here’s a sneak peek.

Look for more photos after Saturday – including some of Kei and me if we can get our act together (I have my costume worked out but Kei has grand plans for matching costumes). I am saving Samuel’s costume for the weekend so I have a better chance of keeping him in it for more than 5 minutes.

The Person Who Invented Infused Sake is a Genius

I have always loved to sing. I was in a few musicals in High School and I loved it – but it was clear that it was never going to a career. I was destined to be in the chorus so the dream didn’t follow me to university.

I think my voice is OK. In fact I have full confidence in it when I sing lullabies to my children at night. And by lullabies, I mean whatever mellow song I can remember the words to – Away in a Manger, Silent Night, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds…

And the I moved to Japan for a year and suddenly I became a pretty good singer in a sea of people who loved to sing regardless of their level of talent. There is no such thing as false modesty (or even real modesty) when you are with a group of Japanese people in a Karaoke bar. EVERYONE is expected to sing and everyone marvels at your singing ability. There’s nothing better to boost your confidence level.

That was about 12 years ago. It’s been a long time between Karaoke sessions, but the truth is that I didn’t leave it my love for Karaoke in Japan. I have carried it with me for 12 years – that desire to get in front of a group of friends and belt out classic songs from the 80s.

And then a couple of weeks ago my friend Leeann requested a Karaoke night for her birthday. It may as well have been MY birthday present.

It started off well with my signature Karaoke song, but I’m pretty sure it went downhill from there. Although, admittedly, it was difficult to make an informed judgement after the 4th jalapeno-infused sake.

Two things I was reminded of during the evening:

  • You are really not as good a singer as you think you are, and
  • Karaoke is FUN (especially when you’re drinking jalapeno-infused sake)

Oh, and one more thing. A great evening of Karaoke ends with a very grand finale.

A Quick One

I have been so busy lately that this blog has been a little neglected. So here’s a quick photo so I can say that I blogged today.

I actually really like this photo taken at Thomas’ birthday party. I love how everyone is doing their own thing but the kids are the center of the universe (aren’t they always?).

It was all about the cat

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of photographing Spanky – a grey tabby who reminded me so much of my childhood cat Dusty.

Oh, and I took a few photos of Spanky’s parents as well. 🙂

Photos were all taken in one of my favourite Portland neighborhoods. Oh how I miss the days when Kei and I would see movies and eat dinner at restaurants without highchairs and kids menus…

Sorry, became distracted. On to the photos.

I wish every neighbourhood had a gelato shop like this. So much fun!

I think this is my absolute favourite from the session

Such a fun photoshoot and wonderful friends. Coming soon – the extended family.

Just like his mother

My grandmother was a big believer in astrology. She spent hours drawing up charts and reports and I know a lot of people thought it was crazy – and I was one of them. But still, every now and then, I use astrology to explain away some of the character traits of those I love. For example, my parents were both Virgos and I blame that on the fact that my mother couldn’t deal with my messy adolescent bedroom. It was the stars.

Then I found out I was pregnant with my first child and that it was most likely that he was going to be a Virgo. I was a little frightened. Being the child of two Virgos can have a lasting effect. There are definitely traits about Thomas that are Virgo-esque. He’s a little obsessive (the colour yellow, Star Wars, certain clothes and underwear and, right now, the Beatles), but I am yet to see the obsession with cleanliness. How much of it is regular toddler behaviour and how much can be attributed to the phase of the moon?

When I first realized that Samuel was going to be a Taurus, I was proud. You see, I am a Taurus and I think there are many great aspects to the Taurean nature – loyalty, strength and reliability are just a few. I was even proud of my own stubborn nature because it meant that I stood up for my principles. What’s not to like?

But every positive trait has a corresponding negative. This weekend Samuel showed us his stubborn side.

Yes, my child that eats just about everything decided that he would limit his intake to a few select foods. And he learned the word “no”. At first it was cute – the way he said it in his little tiny sticcato voice – but it has become irritating. The worst part is that he doesn’t seem to know the word “yes” so he uses NO for everything – even things he actually wants. And Samuel KNOWS what he wants.

Enter the stubbornness that is destined to follow him into adolescence.

Don’t get me wrong, most children are stubborn at some point in their lives, in fact I think it’s a right of passage for all toddlers. It just feels like Samuel is starting early. I thought our honeymoon period of having him follow directions and do what we want was going to last more than a couple of months.

Who knows whether it’s the second child syndrome (this child wants to be heard) or the fact that he was brought into this world in the month of the Bull. One thing is certain, though, this is definitely MY child.

I guess you could call it payback. And, Mum, don’t think I can’t see you nodding your head on the other side of the world.

Photo Challenge: Excited

Posting my very first photo challenge for the I  Faces photo blog.

I have been looking for some inspiration lately, and this is one of the places where I find it.

Here is my entry – a child who gains a whole lot of excitement from a meal of Soba noodles. Fun to watch – not so much fun to clean up.

More inspiration coming in the results of a couple of fun recent photo shoots. Nothing gets me more inspired than a photo shoot.

Nicole

Blue

This is how Thomas came home from school a couple of days ago. And this was AFTER his teachers at after school care had cleaned him up.

Apparently Thomas was drawing with a blue marker a decided it would be fun to turn it around and start colouring his face. Ahhh, the impulsive actions of a four year old.

This week has had its ups and downs. The shine of a new adventure has started to wear off, friends are being made – as are a few foes. We had an “incident” early this week where Thomas was on the receiving end of another child’s impulse. I won’t go into details, but the school took it seriously and spoke to the kid’s parents about it. Thomas told me it made him really mad and then I guess the next day he decided it was payback and threw bark chips at the child. Then Thomas (and I) got a talking to (although secretly Kei and I could understand Thomas’ behaviour).

This is the toughest part of working full time. It’s difficult to discipline when you’re not there to see the event and act in the moment. And it’s often difficult to determine the truth from a well-told story. While I want to stand by my child and believe every word he says, he can tell me a story of complete fantasy with such conviction that I have no idea if the other things he tells me are truthful. Kids have great imaginations.

On the drive home the other day I heard all about how Samuel went to visit Thomas at school by crawling and walking there in the middle of the day (about 15 miles). The story even included things that Samuel said to Thomas when he arrived. And, if I didn’t know that my 16 month old is incapable of traveling that distance and…well…of talking… then I may have believed it, simply based on the way the story was told.

The definite up side is that Thomas is being challenged every day and he loves to learn. He can now count to 5 in Japanese and say a handful of basic phrases. He even taught Kei and I a few words.

It’s all a learning process and we’re still getting in the groove of a new schedule. And let’s face it, the things that happened this week were not terrible in the grand scheme of things – I have a friend at work who is having a much tougher time with her child. This is just a new parenting experience and Kei and I are learning as we go.

Indulge me

We recently held a birthday party for Thomas in the park near our house. I have been feeling overwhelmed lately, so the goal was something low key – just a few kids, a pinata, pizza, cupcakes and some playtime at the park.

And of course we had balloons. A beautiful bunch of bright primary colours that I planned to hand out to the kids as an extra party favour at the end of the party.

And when a photographer has balloons, well, you know….

Ten minutes after I took these photos, the very clever slip knot tied by the guy at the party store proved to be not very clever at all. I watched helplessly as the balloons floated away into a perfect blue sky.

But that’s the great thing about photography. The balloons would have been deflated in a few days anyway, but these photos will remain forever.