The Up Side

Every day lately seems to be a struggle with Samuel. Independent spirit is a gentle way to describe him. “I. Do. It. Myself!!” is on repeat. He becomes frustrated and angry when I try to brush his teeth, put the lid on his sippy cup, help him put on his pants, etc. etc. and I don’t even want to talk about what happens when his blood sugar drops a little below normal.

He likes to torment his brother, hit (me and others – something we’re working on) and throw tear-filled tantrums.

But he also tells me he loves me about 10 times a day (often for no reason at all), can’t leave me without a big wet kiss and a cuddle, breaks out into an enormous grin without too much prompting, says sorry easily (especially when he thinks he’s going to be put in time out) and is constantly trying to make me laugh.

I know he knows that all of this makes me more tolerant of his bad behaviour, but I just can’t help myself. The kid is a charmer and he’s adorable.

I guess you could say he has me wrapped around his little finger.

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Amusement Park: A Photo Walk

On Saturday morning I managed to drag myself out of bed at 4:30am to head to a photowalk at a local amusement park. Rising at the crack of dawn on the weekend was a challenge, but it was definitely worth it. I feel like I learned more about my camera in just a few hours than I have in many months. It’s amazing what a little photo “me” time can accomplish. I played with motion, lighting, colour and angles and it was just so much fun.

The trouble was culling the 700 or so photos that I took down to my favourite 20 or 30. And now what should I do with them? Maybe a book? Or perhaps I should consider printing some to hang in my house (my house is woefully lacking in the photo display department – it’s tragic).

I had to submit one photo to the photowalk website.  I chose one that I thought was unique to our walk and would grab attention. Which one would you pick?. I have three days to change it so please be honest (and quick) with your response. 🙂

Purple

It’s funny how Monday’s are so much easier to deal with after a fulfilling weekend. Mine was packed with a special photowalk at an amusement park (at 5:30am!), a fun five-year-old pool party where we discovered our little water baby (Samuel – we’ll take you to the pool again soon, promise!) and a wonderful pot luck get together with good friends. And to top it all off, I have downloaded the first episode of Mad Men. Sometimes Monday’s aren’t so bad.

This week’s I ♥ Faces photo challenge is “Purple” and, well, there’s not a lot of purple in my world. I have never been a very big fan of the hue and, with two boys, purple does not make much of an appearance in our closets.

So to meet the challenge, I unashamedly borrow the daughter of a good friend who has declared purple to be her favorite color – right down to the specially chosen first pair of glasses.

Now off to watch Mad Men. I’ll be back with photos from my weekend adventure soon.

Mosaic Monday: The Special iphone Edition

I know I have been MIA lately. Work is busier than I remember it. Or maybe it’s my life that’s busier and it makes it harder to fit work in. Either way, I have barely found time to breathe. I have been relishing every moment away from the computer instead of enjoying the “me” time that it provides.

On the up side, I have been taking a lot more photos as part of my day job and I love that! It helps me dream of a day when all I do is take photographs from dusk until dawn.

Speaking of photographs, I my iphone arrived a week or so ago and I soon discovered the joy of camera apps. In the mood for a Holga? It’s right there in the phone.

So, today’s mosaic is a collection of iphone pics. It should also give you a tiny glimpse into how I’ve been spending my time lately.

Off to babysit for a neighbour and then enjoy two whole days off from work. I see a visit to the zoo in our future.

Back soon with more – promise!

My Fireworks Are Bigger Than Your Fireworks

Yesterday was the 4th of July. I did not grow up with the 4th of July. Well, we had a 4th of July, but not one that with BBQs and big balls of fire. For one, the 4th of July was always cold during my childhood. And, while this 4th of July in Portland will not break any heat records, it’s clear that my children will grow up with a much different experience of this date than the one I had.

Exhibit A:

I wonder who comes up with the names for these things.

This year we were blessed to spend the holiday with three teenage boys who may have pushed the excitement to a whole new level for Thomas and Samuel. Oh, and Kei was right there in the mix.

Thomas was instructed (no, ordered) to stay as far away as possible.

While Samuel remained safely in my lap (in the same pajamas he wore to bed the night before and lived in all day – hey, we’re on vacation).

Some of the fireworks we’re a little loud.

And they only lasted about an hour, but worth every minute until the sun went down and our stash ran out.

Little did we know that, after Thomas was in bed and we all settled around the backyard fire pit, that the REAL fireworks were about to begin.

The view up our street (thankfully a good distance from our car and house).

And then they got bigger…

And bigger…

And bigger…

Until the grand finale, seen from our backyard.

It’s insane, expensive and dangerous, but I have to admit that it was pretty cool. Thank you neighbors for the free light show. Until next year…

Friday Flashback: Then and Now

The boys have arrived…

…and they’ve turned into giants.

Photo #1: 2003

Photo #2: Last night.

Excuse the poor quality of the photograph. It was late and I had yet to take out my camera. I plan to do so a lot more over the next few days but would appreciate it if the rain gods would give us JUST ONE LITTLE BREAK. Don’t they realize how difficult it is to seat 9 people around a four-person dining table? A nice dry backyard would be useful right now.

Plans over the next few days include a visit to the Nike campus, a day trip to the coast and a little time on the waterfront before the boys head out for some more adventurous activities.

More to come.