Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Easy Christmas Card Photos

I know, I know respect the bird! Usually I don't even consider Christmas until Thanksgiving is over, but there are so few days in between Christmas and Thanksgiving this year, and with not feeling great, I have to get things in when I can. 


Therefore, I took Henry's Christmas pictures a little early this year. They were so easy and so cute, that I had to share! 



First, the setup. It was a simple white sheet, some Christmas lights and ornaments. The lights are taped to my fireplace and the ornaments are hung with pipe cleaners. So, all stuff I had sitting around! I used my Cannon T2i and a 50mm lens for this shoot. 


The room has a large picture window in it to let plenty of natural light in. However, the natural light washed out the Christmas lights, so I had to shut one of my (very light colored curtains) to help get this effect. 

To get the nice blurry background I had to play around with a couple things. One was my f-stop. I turned it to a f2.0. My lens could go lower, but I found that I couldn't get a clear enough picture of a wiggly toddler with it any lower. 


Second, I had to move my subject away from the background. I tried with a stool first. If the stool was too close to the background, the background wouldn't blur. Move the stool a couple of feet, and the whole effect changed. 




Getting Henry to cooperate was by far the hardest part. That required left-over Halloween candy, and bribes for Henry's ultimate treat -- a glass of juice. I took probably close to 200 pictures, and I'm glad I did, I think we got some really cute ones! 




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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

House of Cards

Blogging. Working. Henry. Tot School. Housework. Dogs. Morgan. 

Prior to this pregnancy I had created a perfect house of cards. Everything was carefully balanced, on top of each other in neat little time slots that dictated the week. 

Mondays was early morning blogging, toddler classes, working, dinner making, more work and more blogging. Tuesdays was more of the same, just less work and usually an afternoon project. And the list goes on. Each day had to be run like a well-oiled machine in order to get everything done. 

Enter new baby, progesterone, and morning sickness. It was like dropping a stone on top of my perfectly constructed house. It all came crashing down -- for the best reason possible. 

It means I'm struggling to keep up with everything I did before. Henry is spending more time being entertained by an electronic. My early morning blogging sessions have turned into a much needed extra 45 minutes of sleep. Dinner has turned into hot dogs and take out. The house is only clean because of {amazing, totally wonderful, awesomely supportive} Morgan. 

I couldn't be happier that life is falling apart, that I feel like garbage, that I've only been able to drink apple juice for the last two days. But, it's hard. And, it's going to take some time to rebuild my little house and find our new normal. Until that time, it may be quieter around here. I hope you guys understand and will be here when life is back together. 

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween Tot School

This post may be an example of "better late than never." But with the baby news and constant morning sickness, things are getting done when they get done around here. 

Last week at tot school we did a Halloween theme. I always love a themed week, and this was a lot of fun. On our first tray was a bowl of plastic pumpkins and a tray. My idea was to sort the pumpkin by type and count them. But most of the kids, including Henry just used it for one to one correspondence. 



On the second tray was a candy sorting activity. There were three types of candy that the children could sort. I half-expected there to be issues over wanting to eat the candy, but there weren't any. 


The final tray was a glass dish (technically shaped like an apple, that I thought looked enough like a pumpkin -- the kids weren't fooled!) with two small glass cups on it. In one of the cups was a bunch of jack-o-lantern erasers. The tray also included a pair of tweezers to transfer the erasers from one cup to the other. 


Other things we did this week included: 

Chalkboard Pumpkins: Included chalkboard and some orange pastels to draw pumpkins. 


Pumpkin size sorting: Big and Small 


Candy Corn Color Matching: This was a game I found and used last year. Its supposed to be played another way, but its perfect for fine motor and color matching skills. 


Orange Magnet Board 


Tot School
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Hello Baby!

Today our prayers were answered! For now I can breathe! 

One perfect baby! Heartbeat of 142! 


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