Monday, June 24, 2013

Pictures by Bella: Mexico Edition

For Bella's fifth birthday Cairn and I decided to buy her a digital camera. I researched a bunch of "kid" versions at first because I was worried that buying a "real" camera for a five year old was certifiably insane because let's face it she's going to drop it out the car window; however, the kid versions of digital cameras are THE WORST. I knew that this kid, after being exposed since birth to a lot of photography both on our good camera and our iPhones, would scoff with all the eye-rolling indignation she could muster (a lot) at these horrible low rez atrocities. Instead, I researched kid-friendlyish (determined by me) grown up cameras instead.

End of the day I settled on a Nikon CoolPix S30, which is geared towards use for the whole family and you know what? It's awesome. It's waterproof, shock proof and has fun features like borders and filters that are appealing to kids. It's also takes really great video. It's as kid-proof as a 'real' camera can be and I got it on sale so the entire gift - camera, memory card and case - was around $100. Quite proud of myself, can you tell?

My point? BEST GIFT EVER. I wanted her to have it mainly because we were headed off to Mexico with extended fam and all of us are photo-takers. I didn't want her asking to use our good camera or my iPhone - because clearly they'd end up buried in the sand - but figured that it would be fun to see our trip through her lens as well as my own.

OMG. I was so right, you guys! She doesn't pick up the camera that often, but when she does the results are pure gold. I recently downloaded her photos onto my computer and the idea for this series was born. I just have to share these pictures.

In this first installment in 'Pictures by Bella', all photos are from our vacation in Mexico this February. They are in chronological order. Almost all of the photos were taken by Bella herself, but a select few were only art-directed by her - mainly because her arms were too short for selfies. Or because she wanted a few photos of herself that featured more than just a close-up of half her squinting face. I haven't edited them in any way other than cropping a few to save space or remove the odd unsuspecting tourist from the shots. Hope you'll find them as entertaing as I do - enjoy!

Clearly not my best angle but still a sweet shot of a tired Mommy and adorable Ever on the plane.
Happy Nana on the plane.
Ever testing out the sleeping arrangements upon arrival. She took about 400 in this series but I love the lighting and composition of this one.  She's so artsy.
A classic back-lit silhouette I like to call, 'Happy Mommy in Hat'.

Dad in his happy place.

Shots of feet is a recurring theme in her work.
Shots of herself in reflection is another recurring theme. This one is complex.
I call this one, 'Poor Sofie'.
This begins a selfie series: Photo taken by me, art directed by Bella, starring Dad and Bella.
Amazing family selfie: Photo taken by Cairn, Art Directed by Bella, photo-bombed by that kid drowning his brother in the background.
Mom + Bella selfie on the ferry to Cozumel: Photo taken by me, Art Directed by Bella, Photo-Bombed by the really angry dude behind me.
Shadow selfie: Another recurring theme.
Bella taking a photo of Papa's viewfinder displaying Bella displaying her own viewfinder. Existentialism.

Amazing photo of Papa. Also that guy's shirt in the background. 
Yes I drank the whole thing.
Leaving Cozumel on the scariest ferry ever. Fear significantly dulled by giant margaritas (mine not Bella's).
Another in the feet series. This time, mine and hers in Tulum.
Everley cuteness in Tulum.
Sandcastles in Tulum: Photo taken by me, Art Directed by Bella.

Okay this one is actually just taken by me. But HOT DAD!

Sometimes the artists signature "blur" works in the subjects favour. As in this shot, where it is masking a multitude of post-partum imperfections.
Underwater feet!

Unabashed poor parenting and less than desirable water safety.

Greatest photo of all time.

There's a less blurry version of this adorbs shot, but it features my bosom in an not-safe-for-work way.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy Birthday To You: Everley Edition: 8 Months Old

Dear Everley,

A month ago you turned eight months old. So here's how it's going to be from now on. I will always be one full month late getting your birthday posts written and I will always be one hour late for absolutely everything else in my life. Let's accept it, deal with it, move on.

Let's see. The weeks between seven and eight months were packed with a lot of firsts. Here's a run down:

1. First teeth! OMG cutest little teeth ever. The two on the bottom. They came in together on the same day and took about a week to really poke through. So far, no more to speak of but I'm totally fine with that because those little razors hurt and you're a biter. 

2. Sitting up on your own! Yay! You really hate being confined to any sort of baby-wrangling contraption (except the Jolly Jumper and the stroller both of which you still love) so the fact that you can now sit up unassisted is helpful because I can plunk you down where ever and you're happy because you don't have to lie still. Not that you ever lie still. Ever.


Sitting skills also makes bath time easier and more fun. Splashing is also a fav pastime.

3. "Crawling" everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I call it crawling but it's not really, it's more of an army-style, military drag using your left arm to pull yourself and your right big toe to push yourself. Arm, toe, arm, toe. It's as adorable as it sounds and surprisingly efficient.

You need to work on not getting stuck under ALL THE FURNITURE. But I'm sure that's coming soon.

4. Obsession: magazines! You can't get enough. You will bee line all the way across the room, though a virtual obstacle course of baby toys, just to get to my stack of magazines. You know I don't want you to have them, but you can't resist them. I understand, I have a magazine addiction myself. But I do think you need to stop eating them.

5. First swing! So fun. Your big sis hated the swings until she was... well, until about six months ago. She refused to swing! This made visits to the park almost unbearable because really? What's a parent supposed to do at the park if not push the swing? Stand there and watch the kids go up and down the same stupid slide for three hours? Kill me. Swinging is where it's at and thankfully you love it. Small mercies.

First swing!

Aside from all of these milestoney-type things, which are fascinating and exciting for me but probably a full-on snore fest for anyone else, we just had a really fun time this month. You've hit optimal baby age, in my opinion. You're funny, you're entertaining, you've got personality for days. It's a very good thing because you and I spend A LOT of time together. A LOT OF TIME ALL THE TIME SO MUCH TIME 24/7 ALWAYS. You're my little shadow and I wouldn't have it any other way.

"Oh I got tricks in store."

Can't wait to see what tricks and treats are in store for us next (LOL that's funny because I already know! Because this post is a month late! I bet the suspense is killing you! Or not, whatevs, see you in a month).

"But wait! What happens next month? WHAT HAPPENS NEXT MONTH??!!"
I love you!