Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

Twinkly Christmas Magic

Monday, December 19th, 2016

This was my first attempt at twinkle light bokeh photos, almost exactly 5 years ago. 

Here is the best one. It was a total accident because I had no idea how to use my camera.

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I took some more for our Christmas card in 2014, but for some reason I never blogged them?! That seems very unlike 2014 Suzanne. She blogged everything. Not like this lazy cow 2016 Suzanne who can’t even do once a week. But I’ve looked through every post from the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 and can’t find them.

For posterity, here’s the best one from that set:

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And this year, I attempted them with all FOUR of my children. Finnegan is still super skeptical of group shots and being held by his siblings. He is pretty sure that’s neglect, and I should rethink my life choices for allowing it.

But capturing matching jams and twinkly lights is my favorite and I’m going to take this photos every year for as long as I have even one child who will cooperate.

This year’s jams were a gift from my friends at Gymboree, who are the best. Finding jams that fit ages infant to big kid isn’t always easy, but we’ll be able to match for years in gymmies.

(Also, I’m actually sort of horrified by how much bigger my children are. This is not ok. Why do they grow so fast?!)

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Here’s my quick 30-second list of tips if you want to take twinkle light photos yourself.

  1. White lights on white cord on a white background.
  2. The further away from the lights you can place the kids, the blurrier the lights will be.
  3. Set your DSLR camera on A or AP (so you control the aperture) and use the smallest number your lens allows.
  4. Use natural light (besides the Christmas lights) if possible, otherwise your photos will be really yellow.
  5. Don’t be afraid to crop after the fact – if the edge of your backdrop shows, just cut it out when you’re editing/looking at your pictures on the computer.

Let me know if you try, I LOVE this kind of pictures!

 

 

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Then Someone Hands You A Baby

Friday, November 18th, 2016

A lot of people told me that once you have three kids, adding any more is basically no big deal. You’re already outnumbered and have been practicing zone defense for a while. You probably already drive a minivan. You’re used to multi-tasking while being perpetually tired. The bigger ones can help with the smaller ones.

Although all of those circumstances are true for me, going from 3 to 4 has not been easy. At all. I’m getting my ass kicked a little bit. There’s a Jim Gaffigan bit where he talks about having five kids: “Imagine you’re drowning. Then someone hands you a baby.” I feel like four kids might be the point where I’m still treading water but seriously wondering why the shore is so, so far away.

When I went from one to two, Evan was still a toddler with no commitments. If everyone was tired and wanted to sleep in, we all slept in. When he napped, she napped, and then I could nap. He ate basically nothing but goldfish crackers and cups of milk. We owned 243% fewer toys that could be spread out over the entire house. It was still hard, because taking care of kids is hard, but it wasn’t daunting. By the time I went from two to three, both Evan and Caroline were in school, so although I had to get them up and out the door every day once that was done I just had one newborn to keep alive which I could do entirely from the couch. Linc and I could handle errands or chores or work thanks to babywearing and an infant who started sleeping 8+ hours a night around 6 weeks.

Now I have both big kids who have to be dressed and fed and packed and put on the bus; a toddler who wakes up too early, is trying to give up his nap, needs to be fed a constant stream of pb&j sandwiches; and then I also have a helpless baby who isn’t much of a fan of sleeping.

Being a stay at home mom has always been a weird mix of always having way too much to do and long, boring periods of nothing. There is always something or someone who needs to be cleaned, so my work is never really done. There is so much laundry it feels almost comical – how can we own so many things that constantly need to be washed?! It’s so much mindless work. I can’t trust Linc alone with Finn for very long, so I’m not taking as many showers as I probably should be. (I don’t think he’d hurt him on purpose, but sometimes he gets the urge to just SQUEEZE HIS HEAD BECAUSE HE’S SOOOOO CUTE and doesn’t know that’s not a good idea.) I am currently serving as a 24 hour buffet for the baby, so having to feed everyone else too seems ridiculous. Can’t they all just feed themselves with food that magically appears in our kitchen? I used to love cooking, now it’s tedious. The level of being touched-out has reached new heights – Finn is a very cuddly baby, especially at 2 am, but Linc is also a very cuddly toddler. There are So. Many. Diapers.

I know in my head that this is all super temporary. We missed a lot of our favorite October stuff this year because I was too tired to wrangle everyone out of the house, but there will be 18 more Octobers where I have at least one child at home to do fun fall things with me. Right now I need to choose the less stressful option, maybe let myself be more lazy than I’m usually comfortable with, perhaps do just a little less for the holidays so I don’t end up freaking out completely. I’m hoping my friends and family can grant me some grace for not being as thoughtful and timely with their gifts and thank you notes and baked goods and holiday cards.

One day, in a future I can’t quite imagine yet, having four children will be totally normal for me. It won’t take me 30 minutes to get everyone settled just so I can go do laundry for 5 minutes. I won’t constantly run out of food because I forget how much 6 people eat. I will sleep more than 3 hours in a row and it might even be in my bed instead of on the couch. There’s even a chance I will go to Target and won’t lose ANY of my kids. For now, I will keep my head above water however I can and not pretend I’m doing it very well.

I can, however, occasionally force them into photos.

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Here Are Some Nice Pictures To Look At

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

I don’t think I’ve ever written about my 365 Project here on my own blog. I wrote about it for Jill’s blog once last year and I share my photos on Facebook and Flickr (when I remember to put them on Flickr – here’s 2015 and this year). But if you just happened to stumble across my blog here, you’ve never seen most of those photos I take every day.

Since pictures are about as much as I am capable of right now, here are a bunch of this year’s photos that make me smile. And who doesn’t like happy photos?

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Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

We’re playing Pokemon Go. I don’t actually want to hear about how it’s a secret plot from the CIA to data-mine us all or whatever. I don’t care. It’s been a super fun way for our family to spend time, outside, together, getting lots of fresh air and exercise. It’s gotten my tired, pregnant butt off the couch every day since I downloaded it. The kids are all exhausted at the end of the day from the walking. And believe it or not, looking at REAL animals or boats or flowers is still really fun, in between catching Clefairies (Caroline’s favorite) and trash birds (stupid Pidgies are everywhere).

And if you want to visit Mystic in the summer, may I recommend the Monday night after-hours at the aquarium? The outdoor section isn’t all open (no penguins) but it was SO fun to visit when the place was empty, plus the octopus, whales and frogs were all extra active and fun to watch.

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Aquarium Date With Linc

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Linc and I went to the Mystic Aquarium this morning, with no real agenda and as much time as we wanted to wander. I realized with school ending tomorrow we’re at the end of the “off season” and from now on we’ll basically avoid Mystic like the plague, because tourists are the worst. Even if we go on less-nice days, or weekdays, or days you wouldn’t expect it to be crowded it will be the Special 15 Day Camps From Long Island All Come At Once Day or something. But today at 9 am we were golden and after 2 hours of saying hi to all the animals, we left just as the buses started pulling up outside for end-of-the-year field trips.

Photography at the aquarium is always fun but definitely a huge challenge for me. The indoors is very dark and has lots of colored light. Outdoors is super bright and sunny and without a really nice zoom lens the animals are too far away. Remembering to switch settings back and forth between those locations seems to get forgotten while I’m also trying to make sure I don’t lose Linc or let him throw stuff in the touch tank. One of these days I’ll go ALONE and bring a macro lens and try to just get fish shots, but for now you mostly get the back of my kid’s head while he looks at things.

Linc took a nice nap today and everyone got 100% green points at school which means they earned some iPad time, so I managed to get these sorted AND edited less than 12 hours after taking them. I’m very proud.

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