Here comes a super long, super random post. I've got tons of photos from this fall that I haven't used at all, so here's me doing something with them.
I've been watching my cousin Tab's baby Eternity Jewel Lizella Beth (we call her "Liza") three days a week, to help her out and to earn a little dough. Liza's a little doll. And Bobby's pretty darn cute helping take care of her. Makes me even more excited for baby brother to arrive.
One day while Bobby was playing outside I brought Liza out to snap a few pics since it was such a beautiful day (yeah this was over a month ago -- now we've got snow). Open shade (meaning places that are shaded but not covered overhead, or right at the edge of covered shaded areas) is perfect for outdoor portraits in the middle of the day when you don't have the lovely slanty sun rays. Here Liza is lying under the maple tree in our yard. You have to be careful under trees not to get splotches of sun and shade, but if you find a good spot it can be perfect. Move yourself around to get a couple of different angles -- get high, get low, put the bright light in front of your subject and put it behind -- you never know which will provide the best outcome until you try (or at least, you won't at first, but you'll learn to anticipate what will make the best shots).
Somehow blankie and suckie got snuck outside one day, so before I brought them in I took the opportunity to get a nice photo of some snuggle time. As much as we wish Bobby didn't need/want these guys so often, I know one day we'll miss this little blankie-toting boy.
Shooting in the woods is a little tricky because there is relatively little light. Success is achieved with a combination of waiting for the right moment to press the shutter and taking lots of shots and getting lucky with a few.
Bobby loves to hop and jump off everything nowadays.
There are a few vines of concord grapes growing in Gram's yard. When they were finally ripe, Bobby loved searching for the black ones and eating them, skins and seeds and all.
In this rainy fall, Bob has spent quite a lot of time on the front porch at Gram's, playing out his fantasy as a football-playing trike cop.
Bubbs had a fever a month or so ago. But that meant he got to take medicine sitting on the counter, so it was pretty much a winning situation for him. He just saw me looking at this and I told him, this is when you were sick, and he said, "I need get sick with my blankie and suckie again!"
Adding a little fancy artistic angle to a photo like this can make it a little more interesting and help you include more of your subject in the frame and less of the boring stuff like kitchen cabinets.
One warmish weekend we finally got around to taking Bobby to play mini golf. Wish we had done it sooner because it was a huge hit. We've had endless requests for another round, but unfortunately for Bobby the place is closed for the season. And unfortunately for us it's right on the way to Gram's, so we pass it all the time, and oh yes, he remembers. Pepere came over one day and informed Bobby that there's indoor mini golf at the Cove in G.B., so ever since Bob's been saying, "One mini golf door is still open! I can play mini golf!" We'll have to go down there sometime soon.
Yes, we let him climb on a couple of the obstacles. Whatever, he weighs 22 pounds.
Sometimes it works better to just throw the ball through...
A new hobby Bobby acquired this fall is skateboarding. This mini thing belongs to one of the neighbor boys and Bob is obsessed with it. The kids told me they got it at Five Below so I got one for him for his birthday (don't tell) so that he can break his neck inside on the carpet instead of outside in the street. We also got him a helmet -- to reduce the chances of the cracked-open head scenario and because Bob thinks helmets are the coolest.
Here's his "I'm such a tough cool strong skateboarder carrying my awesome friend Travis's awesome heavy skateboard across this dangerous street after I just finished doing some stunts over there" look...
This is a sky that Bobby pointed out to me saying, "It's boo-ful sky right now, Mommy!"
Bailey's over-excitement about this hug made Bobby extremely under-excited for it to continue.
Also, this is where Bob was watching me work on this for a minute, and offered his own captions for the photos.
bailey is not squeezin me too hard anymore
The boy loves climbing trees.
Also, trees make lovely photo ops.
Since we have Liza at our house so much we've brought out some of the old infant items, like the bumbo and the bouncy seat -- the froggy chair as Bob calls it. He loves this stuff so much more now than he did as a baby. He bounces on the froggy chair like a maniac and he snuggles in there with his blankie. On the front it says "Calming Vibrations"; tonight we finally put a battery in and Bob turned it on and sat on it and said, "Is it calming, Mommy?" which means he wants me to say, "Is it calming?" to which he replied, "Zes." Oh, brother.
bobby sittin in vuh bumbo chay-ah
This thing's been at Gram's forever; it's supposed to be a remote control toy I think, but the remote's long gone. Bob rides it all the time.
widin my tiny motah-cytle
Bobby loves puffers. Well, I'm sure that's not really the name for them, but I don't know what is. He had tons of fun searching for them around the yard and then puffing them into the sky and all over his face.
pwayin outside at dwam's
Along with the funny moments like "I'm tuttin my hay-ah"...
I love to capture Bobby in those moments that happen all the time, that right now are so everyday but not long from now will be long gone, like my tiny standing at the door asking, "Mommy, pwease tome pway outside wif me!"
These two at the door shots are perfect examples of why you need to switch to manual mode on your DSLR if you haven't already done so. In auto modes, the camera will always underexpose backlit shots, making the potentially best images way too dark. In manual, you control how much light is getting in.
spwashing in vuh puddles
Bob recently got over his fear of this car; it used to scare the crap out of him.
pwayin his twut
We all love to go out to eat, and Bob is usually really fun to take. Here he is at breakfast at the Misty Moonlight Diner...
havin sip of miwt
We have our electronic keyboard set up practically on the ground so that Bobby can play it. Or, play with it anyway.
Every single one of Bob's sleeping poses is the most precious thing I've ever seen. Every now and then I have to get my camera and turn on a light and take some pictures. It's better to use a lamp in the room than to use the flash, even in a super dark situation like this, because a flash will make a sleeping in the dark shot look completely unnatural. Just up the ISO, open up the aperture, slow down the shutter speed and lean on the crib rail to keep yourself steady.
We take Liza for walks occasionally.
The owner of this shop heard Bob admiring his motorcycle from inside and let him sit on it. Huge thrill, trust me. And no, I would not normally dress my son in socks and sandals but he insisted on wearing them both.
I don't get myself into as many photos as I'd like (except on those far too frequent days when I don't even look in the mirror and I haven't showered and I'm wearing a sweatsuit in some form, on which days I am glad the camera is firmly clasped in my fingers). Reflections make for some cool opportunities. Because I do want everyone to remember that I was there, too.
And once in a while I do take a photo of something other than my son.
Sometimes (or maybe just this once) Ben gets home early from work and helps with Liza. So darn cute.
My two loverboys... Can't wait til I have three to snuggle!
This car belongs to a little boy who lives in our building but I have never once seen him ride it. We keep it on our side of the house and let it be Bob's pretty much.
Some sun flare is cool every now and then...
"My suckies can drive this Jeep!" At least someone in the family still has a Jeep.
He rubs his ears with his blankie. Could he possibly be any sweeter?
Liza's a cutie-patootie too. This shot's taken with just window light -- some of the best portrait light there is.
One day when we were stranded with no car and no food in the house I pushed Bob in his stroller all the way to Donut Man. I say "all the way" but in reality it's just a little over a mile and a half. About halfway there I seriously wondered whether I'd be able to make it all the way back. I did make it, by the way. After powering up with a bagel sandwich.
Bubbs loves donuts. So much. He never forgot his first taste and since then he can spot a donut shop or a bag of donuts from a hundred yards. For a while after that first Saturday that Ben went out and came back with donuts and Bob got to have one, he'd say, "Where's Daddy?" and I'd say, "At work," and he'd say, "Eatin donuts?" Like that was Ben's job. Hah.
Bobbert likes everything to be clean. Here he's very serious about cleaning out the wagon and apparently disgusted with the state in which he found it. He usually asks me to clean it for him, but on this occasion he took the initiative himself. Atta-boy.
Bobby lives for every sport. He doesn't really care what it is; if a ball is involved he's in.
An unsolicited hug for Grammie; how sweet. This is the sort of shot you can only get if you are a freak like me and your camera is almost always within arm's reach.
Playing flashlight outside in the dark is super fun to an almost two year old.
One day we found this "lots to love" baby doll up in the attic and bobby wanted to play with her. I asked what her name was and he said "Abby." He tried hard to change her diaper.
(I love how in the bottom left he's looking to Liza for some advice.)
We play play-doh pretty regularly. Bob asks me to make a dog, then a ball for the dog, then a cat, then a toy for the cat. And then he plays with them until they no longer resemble their intended shapes whatsoever.
Here's, "okay, mom, stop taking pictures and come play this with me."
There's an old mill right near our house that provides for some good photo ops...
Spots like this are great for taking pics of toddler people like Bob because he loves to climb on stuff, and then once he's up he thinks he's super cool.
So, there's fall part one; before the winterfall came. With little photo comments and tips interjected.
Hope your weekend's swell!