Wednesday, March 23, 2011

52 week project: Week 3

My daughter begged me to give her bangs last month. I had them when I was little and decided to change it up for my girls but secretly, I miss them. The problem is that as soon as I get them for myself they start to bug me and I end up pinning them back until they grow out again for months. For now, I live vicariously through her.


My little one deeply engrossed in a flash card activity. I was trying to capture her lips as she said "moon". They fan out and make me smile every time she says it. I ended up getting a good one of her beautiful eyelashes.




Tuesday, March 15, 2011

52 Week Project ; Week 1 and 2

I am a little behind on my blogging these days. I promised myself that I would pick back up on my personal photo project somehow and have decided to start a 52 week instead of a 365 project, starting last week. Some weeks may have more then one photo entered then others but at least one photo a week must be included in this project.

My first of many to come is from our first family vacation last week. Both my husband and myself were apprehensive of taking the girls at such a young age since they are still so dependent on us and can be trying at the best of times but we opted to enjoy seeing those first impressions of experiencing the ocean and the tropical breeze and the sense of togetherness over the fact that it will probably not be as relaxing as we may have needed. I am so glad we decided for it. We found an amazing resort that I would highly recommend anyone try if they are bringing along a young family to a sunny destination (email me for a link if you want more info). The first couple of days were a bit of a challenge. Day one was rough catching up on lost sleep from a day of travel but after about day 3 we were all in a nice groove and enjoying the sun, beach, food and the "Kids Club" that had me breathing a huge sigh of relief. I think I needed this trip to loosen the invisible strings of over protectiveness I have on both my girls. Madison has rarely been out from under my wing in her 2 short years that it was hard to leave her behind at first but after seeing the poof of smoke behind her as she bolted happily through the gate the second time we brought her there I felt instantly at ease. It helped to know how good Abby is with her sister and see the nurturing side come out in her even more while we were there. I could still only leave them for no more then 1 to 2 hours each time but that is still a pretty big development for me.



Below are a couple of favorite pics from our small excursion about a 2o minute drive away from the resort. We opted to try for a dolphin encounter with Abby but alas, she fell asleep on the bus and was not a happy camper for the experience. Although I did not go into the encounter myself, just being around these happy creatures made both Madison and myself smile from ear to ear. The trouble was, keeping her from jumping into the water to join them, she was so excited to see them :). Dolphins have always been a favorite animal of mine. At one time I wanted to be a Marine Biologist, along with being a Veterinarian until a friend of mine started to explain all the other gory things that come along with the job aside from years of schooling. Mind you, this was at the age of 8. I still think I could have managed but the discipline in education would have required more patience that I don't think I have.


Both girls recognized that this bird was a pelican from their "Finding Nemo" movie.
The girls on day four, exploring a small sea pool with their dad. Those giant potato bug looking creatures kind of made me squeamish and I don't mind bugs all that much.

Madison curiously gazing at one of the many turtles we could see over one of the bridges to our favorite buffet restaurants on the resort.

One of the resort attractions that the girls loved to see every day.

I had every intention of getting a really nice family portrait on the beach with coordinating outfits for everyone but our hotel room was quite remote and a walk away that by the time we were all ready, the sun had set :(. Oh well, we had such a great time together and really enjoyed the warmth. This winter has been very long, longer then any I remember, but being at home has probably intensified it for me. I have to say, being a SAHM (stay at home mom) is a wonderful experience, but it is hard work and very isolating. I still think going back to an official job away from home can be easier then being on from the moment you open your eyes until the little ones finally give in to sleep at night. I am not complaining, I wouldn't trade this time for anything, but it isn't an easy experience for anyone who would think otherwise, regardless of whether you have one, two or four children. It isn't all about eating bonbons all day and chatting with other house wives...those are merely coping mechanisms for the isolation and need to keep up with the kids. It has very little recognition in our society and we have the most
important jobs that anyone could ever have. We are responsible for the next about pressure to perform. The kicker is, no matter how well we do our jobs, we can not always predict or control how our children act or turn out. We just have to have faith that we are laying down the best possible foundation for them to build on and we make so many mistakes as we learn. Such a learning curve to have, unlike any other.

Week Two:

Our official March Break is this week. We are all on vacation mode and the girls were spoiled with up to 2 hours or more of exercise each day from our trip that I was all about the kid play places, bike riding, play dates, etc this week. It was nice to reconnect with friends that we haven't seen in awhile and to come back to gorgeous spring weather. An interlude to spring...I love it!!

Here is a snap from this week with our point and shoot camera. I am no expert at the point and shoot equipment so it isn't a great photo. The girls love going to Creative Play in Ajax. It sure was hopping with March Breakers when we were there earlier this week.

Alas, coming home to such sad news about Japan has me in deep contemplation about our world and all the natural disasters that have occurred recently. We were sheltered by the news while we were away and saw footage as we were picking up our baggage at Pearson Airport on Monday morning. My heart sank. The sad part is that while we were on the beach one of the days, the waves had me thinking about tsunami's and how scary they must be and then to learn of such devastation actually happening across the world had my heart sink. I sat down the first night and watched footage on Youtube. Unbelievable and so sad.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Testing 123 Testing....and loving :)

I had the opportunity to test out a lens that I would love to add to my collection one day soon. I was asked to photograph a wedding for an acquaintance of mine who I coincidentally met at a mutual friend of ours during their vacation wedding in Tobago years ago. With the social network of Facebook we have managed to stay connected. I decided to take this opportunity to try out this very expensive lens by way of renting it out for the weekend to see how much I would like it to justify putting money forth into it. The 70-200mm which would complete my wedding kit of lenses that are a must have. It is a costly lens but I can see why...sadly, it will have to wait until a long list of other wishes come true first in my collection and will be rented out only until they all come true. Please magic camera land ferries, if you are listening, I have been a good girl this year and would love for you to put the word out to Santa to see if he is listening. I would love a new camera body, lenses, lighting, etc, etc....oh, why oh why did I stumble into love with such an expensive passion in life? Here is a sample from this lens I took the night before the wedding of our dog from the other side of the house.

70-200mm testing

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Seasonal Cheer!

A Classic Christmas

I started reading Abby stories from this book over the past few days. There are little pictures in it so it can be a struggle to convince her but after she hears me read a few lines she gets into it. I couldn't resist getting some holiday bokeh in the background last night. So pretty. I love decorating so much for the holidays. This will be the third year that we have decorated way earlier then we are used to. I love it but have to say, I think we are going to enforce a new rule here that the tree and decorations come out after December 1st. Our little ones get so wound up with excitement and Abby has been asking every other day if tonight Santa will come. I find myself giving the idle Santa won't come threats if she doesn't do as she is told or misbehaves...I never thought the words would come out of my mouth but they do. It rarely works. We shared Santa's PNP message with her already and I can already see the wheels turning in her sharp little mind as though she doesn't completely believe in it. How do you keep the magic alive with your kids? If you don't have any, what were some things you remembered that made this season so magical?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A lesson or two or three...

Our end of the weeks are so busy with play dates, swimming lessons, dance lessons and this weekend for the first time, Matt gave Abby her very first skating lesson. She was in her glory and despite being a bit chilly after protesting when I suggested she wear her new snow pants, she had a great time and was all smiles. It warmed my heart to see them together and how proud Matt was in his element on the ice.

Here are some photos from the experience. Abby was like bambi learning to walk on skates at first but did surprisingly well for her first time.







Madison was a little upset when she couldn't follow her dad and big sister onto the ice but was quickly distracted and excited to just be there, running up and down outside the rink squealing with laughter as I chased her.


Friday, October 29, 2010

365 / Day 91 ~ Positive Changes

Again, this week has whirred by and I haven't managed to stay true to the project yet again. I have decided to dedicate this space to random moments in my life, little things and some of our family adventures in the Black household. I want to keep my photography work separate from my more personal blogs anyway so it works. So what have we been up to, or myself more specifically?

I have some exciting news! I finally did it...I joined the gym! Over 4 years and 2 children later and I have not really attempted a single structured work out. After Abby was born I tried to do a stroller fit class. 6 weeks after a c-section was a bit too soon despite my enthusiasm and I was so discouraged when I could barely muster half a sit-up. I also tried a mommy and me aerobics class when Abby was 3 months old. That experience had me running, not literally. I have never taken dance classes as a child and I must have looked hilarious trying to keep up with all the steps and routines. I was always a few steps behind, extremely uncoordinated and Abby was the biggest little one in the group that kept slumping over asleep in her carrier. So, after two classes, I hold my head in shame on both counts of not returning to either.

As for the gym, the last time I officially had a workout was a couple of weeks before we found out we were blessed with my sweet little Abigail. I was feeling ill with the flu that was going around work. I wrote it off. When I found out I was pregnant, less then a week later I was in the hospital with a ruptured Ovarian cyst. Both Abby and myself were close to not making it and the doctor was truly amazed that she fought to be here and continue to grow strong and healthy inside me. He did an amazing job with the surgery. I was out of commission afterward though and the thought of exercising was furthest from my mind as the pregnancy progressed. Despite having always been very slender, I gained 70lbs with my pregnancy with Abby and had people really shocked at my size at my work. I also developed gestational diabetes which is rare from I have been told for someone with a slender build. I gained 40lbs with Madison knowing I was at risk. I still got gestational diabetes but knew to monitor my eating right from the start. That is hard to do when one has a severe sweet tooth! Serves me right for gorging on sweets all my life without shame and rarely seeing side effects other then cavities or pimples...or crazy mood swings.

Why now? Well, since the weather has cooled down quite a bit and we have been inside the house more I have noticed being short of breath going up the stairs or even walking to drop Abby off at school. I have been having pretty scary chest pains for a few months now. I actually spent an evening in the ER a couple of months ago for fear that it was something worse then it was. Thankfully the tests were fine. Being at home and not exercising can do pretty horrible things over time. I am active, don't get me wrong. Running around after the kids has helped keep me relatively slim but my morning walks have slowed down with the weather and I have noticed a big change. Another reason is to clear my mind. I did a Yoga photo session with a really remarkable women recently and just chatting with her and seeing her peaceful aura and friendly demeanor really inspired me. I have been meaning to do something for awhile but talk is talk and doing something about it is entirely different. So far I have gotten a couple of work outs in and have a new zest for life already and look forward to the next workout even with the pain I am feeling today from waking up some muscles I forgot about the other night.

I am starting to focus on the positive things and help nurture my children and their zest for learning and life with fresh eyes. Starting my daughter in JK this fall has taught me a lot about myself and those around me that I haven't had to encounter in awhile since being at home with the kids. My shyness can be overwhelming at times and I almost feel as though I am the one who is the new kid at school in a sea of parents and care givers dropping little ones off. I have always had challenges with being in situations where I don't know anyone but am very rusty having been at home since a few weeks before delivering Madison who will be two very soon. Two years is a long time to be away from working out in the world with other adult human beings. Even with my photo sessions with new people I get very nervous just before I go out to meet new families or couples. The fear disappears immediately after a few minutes as my photography sessions are more intimate and more my element since I am in the mindset to create. I love the challenge and the desire is there but this whole school thing is quite different. It has me wondering, do I need to get back out in the work force? I think the gym is a good start for now ;).

So here is to a new beginning, or chapter so to speak! Wish me luck and send some encouraging vibes my way to help keep me on this track. I know I will need it! My sister has told me it only takes 21 days to make this lifestyle a habit and I am committed. Poor Matt has been trying all along to motivate me to go and like anyone with a bad habit or addiction, it has to be me or you to actually do something about it and make our own mind up about changing things. Oh, we are also getting rid of cable TV! Now that is a habit I would love to get out of our house! Oh, I almost forgot a photograph....can't forget to include one of those being a photographer and all =). Here is a snap of a festive snack I prepared for Abby to take with her to school. The carved out orange pumpkin was inspired by Jamie Schultz, a fellow photographer that has been sharing some of her healthy lunches on FB. I filled her pumpkin with strawberries and raspberries. I was hoping to get this posted sooner in case someone wanted to try it this week but got busy. Hopefully I will have some more to share from this weekends Halloween fun.

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

365/ Day 90 ~ My little Artiste!

Abby started working on this picture before bed last night and this morning she was so inspired to finish what she started that as soon as she got dressed she couldn't wait to get back to it. My little artiste!! Her vision was inspired by a photo of a dinosaur eating a rice crispy square treat. I see it ;). She loves using bright colours close together when she draws and colours pictures. Having an artistic background I have really been trying to avoid teaching her to choose certain colours that match objects yet and colouring inside lines. I want her to find her own voice and vision. I know with school, this will change but in the mean time, I am enjoying seeing her visions of brightly coloured objects take shape and her pride that goes along with each work she completes.

365 / Day 90

365 / Day 90

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