Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Tech Talk

October 22, 2014

Last weekend I used our Thomas the Train excursion to test drive a lens I’ve been wanting to shoot with for the longest time. For those of you who may be curious, it was the Canon 35mm 1.4. I usually always rent out any equipment I’m considering buying a couple of times before I make the decision to purchase. Photo equipment is not cheap, no m’am, so you want to make sure its worth every cent of your precious dolla if and when you do decide to invest.

I’m not sure if anyone is interested, but for those of you who might have a slight curiosity about the photos I capture, most of the time when I’m shooting the boys, I’m shooting with the 50mm 1.2. I’m predominantly a prime (fixed) lens shooter, I love the wide aperture abilities it gives me and the shallower Depth of Field (DoF). True the focal length is fixed, so my zooming capabilities are 100% reliant on 2 things, my feet. But I much prefer to be in full control of my composition and I’m not shy about getting up close and personal with my clients or kids to secure a great shot. Also I feel prime lenses often produce sharper images then their Zoom lens counterparts. But hey, these are just my personal preferences and my style is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. And this blog post is starting to get a little more techie then I intend, so if you slipped into a momentary coma, I completely understand and am not in the least bit mad.

Anyway, so given that most of Thomas the Train experience was going to happen on a train, I knew space was going to be tight and I would be restricted in how much moving about I’d be able to do, so I needed a lens wider than my 50mm. I do have the 24mm 2.8, but I often find this lens to be a bit too wide and my images can sometimes look a little distorted around the edges, so hence the decision to give the 35mm a go. And of course, I LOVED it.

But to make sure I was comfortable with the lens before our day with Thomas, I spent a good part of the day prior test driving it on the boys as they went about their business of playing in the sand.

Keane was in a very “lets throw sand around” mood.

And Cullen was in his usual “lets taste everything” mood. The trucks,

the spade,

and the bucket.

Keane continues with the theme of throwing sand.

One thing about Cullen, he is not a great napper. Unlike his brother who is an excellent napper and can often sleep for a good 3 hour stretch. No, Cullen likes to power nap, 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, so essentially, momma is never off duty. But that worked out well for me this particular day, cos now at least I had a subject to continue my shooting on.

Cutie!

Oh and Cullen has recently discovered his pointing finger and puts it to good use all day long, pointing at everything.

Railway Idol

October 20, 2014

If you’ve ever been a fan of anyone or anything and you finally got the opportunity to meet them, would it not just blow the socks completely off you? Well Keane had such a sock blowing experience this past weekend. A “short” 2 and a half hour drive (only short if you do it without a 2 year old and an 8 month old, otherwise, very long. Google maps needs to add that to the small print) south of Atlanta in the small railway town of Cordele, we got to spend the day with Thomas the Train. I know, you can’t believe it. You’re beyond jealous, and you should be. Keane has been a fan of Thomas for over a year, so when I found out about the “Day with Thomas the Train” there was absolutely no way we were not making this happen for him.

We arrived bright and early to find Thomas shiny and beaming in all of his blueness.

It was so hard to get Keane and Cullen to look at me for these photos. They just couldn’t take their eyes off their railway hero.

All aboard for a ride with Thomas.

A little assistance from a Thomas helper.

Perfect seats.

Cullen has no idea whats going on, but he’s caught up in all of the excitement.

Thanks to the lady sitting across from us for offering to snap a family photo, now there’s proof I was there too.

In this moment, for this 2 year old, life doesn’t get much better.

Hmmm, our early start was being to catch up on some of us.

Back to the station, safe and sound.

Playing on a mini Thomas.

Just chillin in front of a fake station, waiting to meet Sir Topham Hatt.

And there is Sir Topham Hatt. I wouldn’t say his personality was the warmest or fuzziest, and the kids certainly approached him with great caution.

And Cullen couldn’t quite figure this guy out.

Awaiting our ride back to the car park after a very enjoyable Day with Thomas the Train.

Fall into Pumpkins

October 16, 2014

We love Fall here in Georgia. Fall means cooler days and even cooler nights. It means pumpkins and apples, and of course Halloween. Last weekend we made our annual trip up into the Georgia mountains to take care of all of our pumpkin needs.

This year was Keane’s third pumpkin farm trip, but it was Cullen’s first.

Not only was it Cullen’s first trip, but it was our little friend Baby Maya’s too.

Being the pumpkin veteran, Keane got a little ambitious with his pumpkin selection.

Until he realized there was no way he could lift a vegetable that size.

So he downgraded his ambitions just a tad and went with something more manageable.

Keane put Cullen in charge of guarding the pumpkins as he went on the hunt for more.

But Cullen had better things to do, like check out these weird mint green and flesh colored pumpkins.

Our friend Mike with Keane and Cullen.

Taking a moment to think deeply.

Taking a moment to find the joy.

Group shot! Rachel, Baby Maya, Keane, Mike and Cullen.

Group shot! But substitute Rachel for me. Just to prove I was actually there.

Maya.

The lads.

OK, so this image would lead you to believe that Keane is strangling his brother, but I assure you, its a hug.

Maya swears she smells something funky.

No, never mind, everything’s fine.

Time to load up and take these pumpkins home.

When making the decision to have a second baby all The Husband and I wanted was for them to be close. To be best friends, to always look out for each other and to always have each others back. These days we are already seeing this happen. Keane is hands down the best big brother. When he wakes in the morning the first thing he asks is ” Momma, where’s Cu’en?” Whenever we leave the house to go anywhere he reminds me that “Cu’en coming too”. He likes to be the one to demonstrates how all of the toys work and even though it frustrates me, when he sees Cullen wants something, Keane will announce “My get it for you Cu’en”, as a result, my baby boy is learning how to sit there and wait for his big brother to shuttle the objects of interest back and forth to him, rather than figuring ways to get it for himself. So momma had to explain to Keane how Cullen has to learn to do things for himself, so he can grow up to be the best big boy, just like Keane. So now Keane does the complete opposite. Now he will deliberately move toys out of Cullen’s reach, Cullen will put in a huge effort of scooting, crawling and pulling himself up on everything to try and get his hands on the toys, and just as he’s about to grab it, Keane will pull it away again or worse, hide it. All of that time and effort, and in the end, no reward. Its too much for Cullen to bear, so he cries a stream of frustrated tears. Keane on the other hand thinks its the best game. The plus side of all of this, they are playing and interacting together and enjoying it. One of us a little bit more than then the other.

On Saturday evening Keane wanted to play outside on our driveway with Cullen, and since Cullen has yet to perfect his walking skills, Keane decided that “my should pull Cu’en in the wagon momma.” So he did.

Everything was going so well, the first part of the driveway is a slight down hill.

Cullen travelin in style with a basic level of comfort.

But then the driveway flattens out and all of a sudden Keane was feeling the weight of his load.

Cullen was becoming a real struggle.

So he was evicted.

Not that Cullen cared, he much preferred to be out playing diggers with his big brother.

Once he started standing and taking a few shaking but supported steps, we got Cullen his first pair of shoes. Look at his fat little legs and feet.

Eventually both boys were tired, so who was left dragging the wagon back to the house? Me of course.

My precious cargo.

Boys Toys

October 11, 2014

The morning before the boys flew back to Boston they were up so early, the sun hadn’t had a chance to burn away the morning chill. There were big boy toys to be played with and everyone was anxious to get as much time on the 4-wheeler as they could before leaving for the airport.

Paul was first in line.

Cullen getting a little driving practice in before his turn.

S’up beeaches?

For his turn Keane had to switch to his bicycle helmet, the big boy one was way to big.

Cullen puts Dinara to work trying to catch up to his brother.

James is up next.

Cullen’s very first ride on the 4-wheeler.

Already trying to take over the controls.

“Look Dada, trees!!”

A tough morning on the 4-wheeler = some well deserved hammock time.