Saturday, October 31, 2009

Photo Practice!

I have a Canon digital SLR and love it.  But, after having had it for 3 years, I still don't feel I'm taking full advantage of my awesome camera.  I can take pictures, and I can take pretty good ones, but it takes me FOREVER to get the settings right.  And when you are photographing a fast-moving toddler/dog/cat/husband, you can't take forever to set up.  So when I've had to get pictures fast, they have always turned out badly.  I have decided to fix that by this year's holiday time.  That's right, I am making a pre-new year New Year's resolution.

I'm going to read this book: The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion: one chapter a week.    And for that entire week, I am going to practice.  I'll be taking pictures using the techniques from the chapter of the week.  And I'll post the results here.  Hopefully this public commitment combined with risk of embarrassment will ensure I will actually learn. 

Do it with me! I'll start reading at Chapter 5 (Photography 101), as the previous chapters (including but not limited to "What is the SLR anyway?" are thankfully already clear in my mind.  Hey, there are 12 chapters in the book and we are going to start already at chapter 5! See, I am a believer in setting yourself up for success.) You can get the book on O'Reilly Safari here:

Well, this should be good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A First.... But don't say the T word!

I got my first foot-stomping, arm-waving, high-pitch screaming, scrunched-up face with huge tears running down his cheeks today.


And that is all I'm going to say about that.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hurray for all things fall!

We went to Butler's Orchard Pumpkin Festival today (together with 1000000 other people. At least it seemed that way. You could pick yourself a minivan model at that place right along with your pumpkin - the parking lot should've been called 'minivan patch'. Anyway).

They have everything. I mean everything. Hay rides. Pumkins. Petting zoo. Farm animals (sans-petting). Pony rides. Slides. Giant slides. Biggest slides you've ever seen outside of 6 flags. Candied apples. Face painting. Mazes. Anything missing in this list? They had that too.

Elijah and I took two hay rides, picked out a pumkin (Wombat-sized :) ), watched piglets, sheep and goats with great delight. We walked through leaves, we walked through hay, we walked through mazes. We watched Rubber Ducky Derby. We watched tractors. And then..... we RODE A PONY!

This was Elijah's first pony ride, and I wasn't sure how he would do. He's not too crazy about the ride-on toys he has, but he does enjoy riding Bismarck and so I thought we'd give the pony a shot. Oh my gosh. As soon as the pony started moving, Wombat got the giggles. He giggled, and reached for the silky pony mane, and giggled some more. He rode, and pet, and giggled. :) Such joy.

See if you can pick out our pony shot in the slide show below. Hint: it doesn't show the horse itself (the person taking the picture got too close). Boo. It is, however, followed by a picture of our horse.

After 2 hours of this fall madness, we got back to our minivan patch. Wombat was too tired to protest the car seat (a rare condition!) As the russian saying goes, 'tired but feeling fulfilled' we trekked home to dream of ponies trotting in the fall crisp air.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Well, this is fun.

On our walk with Bismarck today, somehow Wombat got a hold of one of the dog treats. Taking the treat away from him will cause mucho screaming, I know that. So I watch him like a hawk, making sure he doesn't try to eat the dog treat (as I pull the wagon and also hold the dog leash).

Halfway through the walk, the following takes place repeatedly:
- Wombat, staring at me with a sly look, sloooooooowly moves his hand with dog treat to his mouth.
- I lunge toward him, saying "no no no no eating that!"
- Wombat giggles happily and waves hand with treat out of my reach.
- Repeat.

After he did that a couple of times, I caught on that he was playing a game called "get Mom to jump". So I decided to not respond - you know, like they say in those baby books. So the next time he sloooooowly moved his hand with dog treat to his mouth, I didn't jump toward him and instead said "no, no, it's not a nice game".

Wombat gave me an even more sly look, giggled and with a "oh, is that so?" expression on his face stuck the dog treat into his mouth. Causing me, of course, to jump toward him, at which point he promptly giggled, got the treat out of his mouth and waved his hand out of my reach.

I am so going to get a run for my money.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Great Falls Park, from up high

He enunciates

Two months ago, I was a little concerned that our Wombat hasn't really said any words yet.

Two weeks ago, Wombat started running around after the cat giggling "kid-dy!kid-dy!" the whole time.

Two days ago, Wombat ran to me saying "Ma Ma!", to Grandma screaming "Ba Ba!" and to Daddy screaming "Da Da!"

In the morning, Wombat and I were getting ready - Iggy had to go to work early. Wombat made a couple of circles around the living room, mumbling "Da da da da da". Then, standing by the gate to our front door, he said "Da da? Da da?" "Daddy had to go to work early today, but we'll see him later" I said. He looked up at me and said "Da da ba bye?" Gulp.

While dropping him off at daycare, I tried to sneak out as soon as he settled into his chair for snack - I think that if I sneak out when he doesn't see me leave, that doesn't upset him as much. As I turn around and begin sneaking, behind me a little voice says "ba-bye?". "That's right, bye-bye, Mommy will be back later" says the teacher. "Ba-bye...." repeats my Wombat with a pleading look in his big dark eyes.

Now that he can say things it is so obvious that he understands way more than he let on. Gulp.

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