Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Photoshoot that Wasn't

I had it all planned out: a beautiful meadow scene and a sweet princess in a tutu rocking her beloved bear in a darling little cradle.

The scene would be straight out of a fairy tale!

There was just one thing I'd neglected to consider: my kid.

I never stage pictures. Never ever. I much prefer to capture the moment as it naturally unfolds. I don't use props. I rarely even ask her to look at me. But this time I had a specific image in mind and I was going to capture it if it killed me.

Hahaha. Are you laughing at me yet?

Of course, Nadia had other ideas. She didn't want to wear a tutu. She didn't want to sit by the cradle. She didn't even want TedBear. She just wanted to play at the park in the 102-degree morning sunshine...and ignore Mommy.

I may or may not have promised ice cream in return for cooperation...but I finally did get her in the vicinity of the cradle. But she wasn't happy about it. And she wouldn't sit next to the cradle and rock it. And she sure as heck wouldn't smile.

But at least I got my pictures. Sorta. They have a princess and they have a cradle, but other than that....not what I envisioned.

Like that pout? It wasn't in the plans.

Pout

And this woe-is-me expression wasn't supposed to happen either.

Not a happy camper

The furrowed brow? The kid's two, what does she have to worry about?

Motherly concern

Eh, I guess this one works. We can pretend she's crossing her arms in an I-love-you sorta way. Which is about as far from the truth as can be, but hey, I've got an imagination. We'll ignore the crooked cradle, too.

Cross my heart

But we can't pretend away the fact that she's escaping from my charming little scene.

I'm DONE with this, Mom!

So I gave up. I went back to my usual method of capturing photos, letting her just be herself while I clicked away. And you know what? Then I actually got some pictures I like. I can capture a spontaneous moment, I just can't make a moment happen. Now I remember why I never pose pictures!

My beautiful girl

The little mama

Sweet toddler curls

Sweet toddler eyelashes

Doesn't that curlicue pigtail and those sweet toddler eyelashes make your heart go pitterpatter? They sure do make mine. And they weren't in the original plans for the photosession...so maybe it's for the best that it didn't go as planned?

Now the whole reason I even tried to plan a photoshoot is because I have a session scheduled with friends tomorrow, and I wanted to scout out the location ahead of time. So here's hoping that kids other than my own will be a little more cooperative. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

And go check out Stacy today, to see if others were more successful with stylin' pictures.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless & Special Exposure Wednesday: Rockin' Toddlers

Mini rocker

Rockin' hard

Rock on

Rock on, baby!

Start 'em young

The kid can rock

Rockin' duo

Cousins & Friends

Laugh out Load

Tiny toes

Find more Wordless Wednesday Moments here and here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A few more family pictures

My father-in-law sent me some of his pictures from the family reunion today - thanks Pappy! So now of course I have to share them with you. ;o)

Isn't that a good looking group?

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I told you his yard is like an oasis! Isn't it gorgeous?!

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And...hehe, this makes me laugh...I found these ones hiding in the album he shared. Nadia enjoying a little snack over at their house one day. Now I know why she tells me some mornings, "I want to go to Baba and Pappy's house, and then you go byebye." Yep, she sure makes me feel loved. ;o)

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The Cousin Reunion

After a Saturday of fun and games, Sunday was a day with the family - the extended family.

It was my father-in-law's family reunion, hosted by my inlaw's 5 minutes away. It was great to see people we haven't seen in years. There was a lot of "oh my goodness, how'd she get so big?!" - said both by others about Nadia and by me about the other kiddos.

Of course I took pictures. Like this one of Pappy.

Pappy

And this one. Wouldn't you like a drink from a plastic soda bottle?

have a drink on me

And those are the only two pictures I got with of anyone over 4 foot tall. Since I hung out with the little ones most of the time, all the pictures are of kiddos. And almost all of Nadia and her cousin P. That's just the way it goes when you have a two year old!

Playdough partners

Nadia and P used to see each other at least once a week, but now they don't get together nearly as often. It was a very happy cousin reunion. They are just a couple months apart in age.

Playing playdough

I love Pappy's backyard. It was well over 100 outside, but in Pappy's shaded backyard it was perfectly pleasant. With the little stream and all the flowers and birdhouses, it's like a nature preserve back there.

Teamwork

The girls created playdough zoo animals together. They played great, except for when Nadia insisted that P take this cutter now and P didn't want it. Most of the time, my kid's only problem with sharing is that she's a little too forceful about giving someone that toy regardless of what they think of it.

Pennelope 1

I took frame after frame of P - it's nice to have a subject other than my kid! It sure is different capturing her white-blond hair and pale complexion. And, it's different photographing a kid that actually liked the camera.

Pennelope 4

Her expression in this next one cracks me up. I wonder what the heck she was thinking!

Pennelope 3

And isn't she just gorgeous in this one?

Pennelope 5

But this last one is my favorite. The dimpled grin is so perfectly P!

Cheese!

So that was the family reunion - or the kid's reunion anyway!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Maybe I'm a dog person after all

At least, I'm a dog person when it's my own little girl barking and scampering about with white and black puppy paint decorating her face.

There was a face painter at the company picnic on Saturday. This was actually the first time Nadia's had an opportunity to see one up close and personal. And she was freaked the heck out at first. "No, I don't want that," she said. "It's scary."

But Daddy showed her that it's not scary by having his own arm painted, and then he invited her to sit on his lap for to have something painted on her arm.

Safe in daddy's lap

She requested a flower. A pink flower. What a girly-girl!

Rose in progress

And then she got glitter! Glitter brought the smiles out!

Glitter is always good!

She was very excited that she and Daddy both had new "tattoo!"

Just like Daddy!

A little later in the afternoon, she saw that the painting station was open and all on her own she ran over, climbed into the chair, and said "I want to be a doggy!" And so the transformation began.

Getting done like a dog

Nadia sat as still as could be, the perfect canvas. The artist asked me "are you sure this is her first time? She's being so good!" She was quite serious, but every once and a while the corners of her mouth twitched up into a smile.

Puppy in progress

Those squinchy eyes! They make me fall in love with her all over again.

Squinchy eyes

The puppy face is almost complete!

The puppy dog is almost complete!

But first it's time for some glitter. Glitter is always good.

Applying glitter

And she's done! I wish I'd been able to capture her full reflection so you could see her reaction to seeing herself. She just grinned and grinned. I didn't have time or space to get her entire reflection in the picture, tho.

Admiring herself

After all that, I forgot to get one good picture of the finished product. Oh well, at least I got one though the mesh of the bounce house. Isn't that tongue hanging out just too cute for words?!

Puppy Nadia

Hours later, post nap, this is what was left. Yes, her pillow was now black & white. Just like every dog, she'd left her mark behind.

Post nap

Don't even ask me to pick a favorite out of this series. I love the story they tell all together. So for this week, I have Best ShotS Monday.

Visit Tracey to see what others are sharing today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Use your noodle!

This may not be a popular sentiment, but it's the truth: I'm ready for Monday so I can get some rest!

What a weekend it's been! With our company picnic on Saturday and my FIL's family reunion today, it's been jam packed with fun festivities.

I have a ton of photos to share, so let's get started with some from the company picnic. I know some people that gripe about their company picnics, but we love ours. It was held at a big ol' ranch this year, complete with bbq catering, hay rides, moon walks, face painting, caricature artist (but we didn't get one done - line was too long and the kiddo was wearing down), and lots of totally funny competitions.

I have a feeling the pictures of the competitions are a "you had to be there" type of thing, but they crack me and and it's my blog so I'm going to publish them. Trust me, it was funny. The awful lighting in there is partly responsible for the poor picture quality, but the fact that I was laughing too hard to hold the camera steady also played a part.

Hula hooping champ - NOT!

First up was the kids' hula hoop competition. You have never seen anything as funny as a bunch of toddlers trying to hula hoop. And while I admit to being a biased Mommy, I don't think I'd be wrong to say Nadia was the funniest one there - she had the whole room cracking up at her antics.

Some of the older kids did amazingly well, tho! That girl in the front won.

The kids' competition

Then it was the adults turn to hula hoop. Yes, I did participate, but it didn't take long at all for me to drop out. But I think Stacy could have kept going all day long.

The adults' competition

Next up was the kids' noodle race, and the hilarity of the hula hoops was nothing compared to this. Everyone was divided up into teams of four, and each team was given a pool noodle to hold between their legs. The idea was to race forward to the finish line without letting the noodle drop, and without touching the noodle with your hands. Well, unless you were two years old. Then the idea was to be adorably funny and make everyone laugh until they cried. The little ones actually did surprisingly well, tho!

Noodle race

And they're off!

Go kids, go!

Uh-oh, she she fell off her noodle. But she's not gonna let that stop her!

She fell off the noodle!

On the home stretch...

Almost there!

And they made it!

They made it back!

Fun time, fun times.

The careful observer may have noticed the resemblace Nadia bears to a puppy dog in these photos. Tune in tomorrow to watch the transformation from little girl to little puppy dog.