As we approached the rhodedendrun garden, it occurred to me that our last visit was when Samuel was just a couple of weeks old. Such is the life of a second child. By the time Thomas was Samuel’s age he had been to the zoo numerous times, fed the ducks at least a couple and seen so many fun, interesting things. Not that he remembers any of it of course.

Samuel, on the other hand, was in awe of the waterfall. Poor kid has never seen a waterfall. I blame it on the sheer effort it takes to get two kids out the door.

He was all about feeding the ducks of course. We had the inevitable fight over the bags of duck food and who got to throw the most. Thomas used up his bag early and tried to get in on some of Samuel’s stash. Samuel responded with loud screeches. That kid is no pushover.

It took him a while, but he eventually learned how to get the food in the water, instead of at his feet, on his clothes, on his father…

And the entire time, I looked through the camera viewfinder and prayed that I wouldn’t end up in duck poop infested water fishing out one of my children.

It seems the squirrels at this park are well fed and not in the least bit afraid of people. I took this photo immediately before the enormous squirrel tried to carry my child away. OK, maybe not, but he did try to get some imaginary food out of Samuel’s hand.

And then, fo course, it was time for a snack. And a game of keep the food away from the squirrels. Thomas did his part by roaring at them whenever they came close. The squirrels had little fear, though, and almost took off with Samuel’s PB&J.

Finally, after the duck food was gone (and much Purell was dished out), we headed home. A beautiful day in the park and a good day for ducks – and squirrels.

Sweet Dreams

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

This week’s challenge is Sweet Dreams

Although I do have to mention that there were not many sweet dreams in this house last night. Samuel is sick and woke up almost every hour. I am sick and took some medication, which made getting up with Samuel difficult – although Kei definitely pulled his weight there. Thomas apparently had a bad dream and so ended up in our bed (ALWAYS my side) at 4am. He slept soundly for a little while and then began kicking and wriggling so I walked him back to his own bed after about an hour.

So I suppose this weeks photo challenge was chosen to torture me and remind me of a time when people actually did sleep around here… 🙂

Pretty in Pink – Portland, OR Family Photographer

Regular readers of this blog will know about how much I covet the color pink. In a house full of boys, I am surrounded by blue and red and brown – no pink.

So when I had the opportunity to photograph our good friends who seem to be single-handedly keeping the female population alive, I was secretly hoping for just a little splash of the good stuff. This is what I got…


We started the shoot indoors where I managed to get a few photos before a four year old ran out of patience and we decided to take it outside.

After we got there, though, she turned into the perfect little model.

And look at this adorable face.

We headed to the park for a little fun. Late November photo shoots in Portland are risky to say the least. Thankfully we found an hour between rain showers – and even some dry swings.

And then some time for a few family portraits.

And finally this cute moment between two sisters.

Thanks for the pink fix friends. I think I’m good for another couple of months.


Thanksgiving is a quiet event in the Ishida house. Most years it has been only the two of us (and then three, and now four). Kei I used to go out for Thanksgiving dinner and then we had children and… well… let’s just say that it’s more relaxing to stay at home.

And I buy a takeout turkey dinner.

What? I’m not ashamed. It’s easier and it tastes just as good and I get the chance to spend the holiday with my family rather than in the kitchen. And besides, I’m Australian. Thanksgiving is my adopted holiday so I am free to create new traditions.

And I did make the brussel sprouts (the key is LOTS of bacon).

In the midst of a string of unusually sunny Portland days, Thanksgiving was still grey and miserable. We tried to keep the boys occupied with indoor football.

Excuse the blurry images – it was a dark Portland day and I am not a big fan of the flash.

And I’ll let you in on a secret… the photos are in black and white in the hope that it will hide the colours of our messy house.

Then it was time for lunch and the discovery that Samuel REALLY likes corn.

Hey, how did a photo of me get in there? That almost never happens.

After lunch I tried (unsuccessfully) to get a picture of the boys together. Here are the results.

So, yep, an uneventful Thanksgiving. Just the way I like it.