Tag Archives: caleb ray

Counting down the weeks….

Caleb must be going through some sort of growth spurt because it doesn’t matter what time he goes to bed, he’s been waking up around 10am these days. Hey, I’ll take it! So, while he’s snoozing, I figured I’d update the good ol’ blog.

I’m 33 1/2 weeks now! The end is near and we’re hoping to FINALLY get working on the nursery. I’m hoping to paint it this week and get some furniture assembled. We went out this past weekend to buy a new dresser and crib mattress so our “big” purchases are done. The crib and changing table are still in pieces in Caleb’s closet so that’ll free up some space once we can get those out. Then, I can finally see how the bedding looks that I made for her! Next, I’ll have to figure out curtains (got 3 big windows to cover) and wall art.

belly progression weeks 4-33

Overall, I feel pretty good. Most nights, I can sleep through the night without getting up to pee, but I still have to sleep on my back because of my SPD. I have the head and foot of the bed raised (Steve calls it “sleeping like a pretzal”), but it’s the only way I can get comfortable. Most nights, he can fall asleep, but if he wakes up in the middle of the night, he usually goes to the guest room to sleep. Sometimes the SPD acts up if I overdo things, but it’s usually ok after I slap on the maternity belt.

So far, I’m up 17 lbs. I was reading up on my pregnancy with Caleb and I was up 35 lbs. by this point already! Even though I’ve gained half the weight, I still feel really heavy…moving slower, waddling, getting tired…grocery shopping takes a lot out of me! Thankfully, Caleb will sit in the cart (went through an anti-cart phase for a bit) and he helps me pick out fruits and veggies to put in the cart. He’s very much into being mommy’s little helper so I’m glad! I also have tell him my shopping list and have him recite it back to me just in case pregnancy brain sets in. Apparently, we always have to get ice cream according to him!

We went on the maternity ward tour a few weeks ago and the hospital is really nice! It’s also super busy (5k+ births a year? YIKES). They’re very pro-breastfeeding and don’t bathe the baby for at least 6-12 hours after birth. Very into skin-to-skin and family bonding time.

I’ve been doing more arts and crafts. Thanks to Pinterest, I learned how to crochet! I could never do it correctly, but the tutorial looked fairly simple so I decided to give it another go. When I went to buy a crochet hook and yard at Michael’s,  an older lady saw me staring at the yarn with my pregnant belly and asked if I was making something for my baby. I was clearly a newbie so she brought out some hooks and yard and gave me an impromptu lesson in the middle of the aisle. It helped watching someone do it because I made my blanket that night :) Since then, I’ve made another blanket and two additional mini blankets for newborn props. I had some leftover yarn so I also made a pennant banner. I’ve been on a roll!

Steve knitting, me crocheting

Steve wanted to learn how to crochet, too, so I told him I’d teach him. But, then he thought it’d always be a comparison so he went out on his own to buy knitting needles and pink yard so he could knit Jenna a hat :) He used to knit years ago and made me a scarf for Christmas one year so he’s trying to re-learn and pick it up again. How sweet! We spent the other night in bed like two old farts with him knitting and me crocheting as we watched TV…lol. I’m currently working on a big blanket for Caleb since he wanted one, too. We went to Joann’s and he picked out the colors he wanted so I’ve been slowing working on it. Goes by a lot slower when it’s twice the size!

I’ve been also working with felt. I had bought a bunch of wool blend felt from Etsy to make flowers for headbands and recently made a sweet felt food themed goodies for a friend’s 2 year old (magnetic cake with candles, donuts, cookies, macarons, cupcakes) and most recently onesies. Caleb asked for a dinosaur shirt so that’ll be next–can’t forget about my big boy!

felt food–all calorie-free :)

camera onesie for my baby girl

Speaking of my big boy, he hit a milestone at swim class yesterday–he can float independently on his back now! Whenever we did the “mommy and me” type classes, he would always want to bend his back whenever we tried to float him. Since starting classes with a swim instructor, he listens so much better to him than he ever did with us. Yesterday thanks to more snow, he was the only student in class so he got a 1:1 with his instructor and at one point, I saw the instructor with both hands in the air and Caleb on his back–proud parent moment! He did this several more times so he was able to get a ribbon, a bracelet and got his pic taken for the swim school FB page :)

Caleb and his ribbon/bracelet showing he can now float on his back!

Anyway, it’s 10:40am and the beast has finally awoken so more later!


Caleb is 3!

This week on February 25, my big boy turned 3! This day sort of snuck up on us and we had his birthday party the weekend beforehand. This year, we decided to have it at a bouncy house per his request and for once, we didn’t have to clean up afterwards :) That was a big plus being 29w pregnant!

The night before his party, I stayed up late so I could bake him a special cake from scratch…a 3 layer yellow cake (it had 8 egg yolks in it) and strawberry swiss meringue buttercream frosting. I put sprinkles on the side and wrote a simple “Happy 3rd Birthday, Caleb” on it. The entire cake had 10 sticks of butter! I also made him a shirt since the one I had ordered from Etsy didn’t arrive on time. I sent Steve scrambling for materials at Walmart at 9pm, but it all worked out in the end.

Caleb with his cake and shirt made by yours truly :)

He had so much fun at his party! We had about 12 kids there and it was nice because we had the bouncy house place to ourselves (no crazy kids plowing over the little ones) and they could run around and explore everything. After 30 minutes, we moved into a second room with more bouncy options. When the full hour was up, I tried to get a group photo, but Caleb refused to smile because he was sad the bouncing was over.

Then, it was time for food and cake! I ordered cupcakes for the kids, but Caleb didn’t want any–he wanted my strawberry cake!! It melted my heart :) We had pizza and a fruit platter for the kids and pizza, baked ziti and salad for the adults. The cake was a big hit (yay for butter) and there was nothing left at the end of the party.


birthday boy with his mom and pops

On Tuesday was his actual birthday so when he woke up, I sang “happy birthday” to him. I made him some birthday pancakes (inspired by another March mama, Rebecca, where she posts a recipe and shares pics of her cuties). I didn’t have yellow cake mix nor Bisquick on hand so I was Googling to see if there was something I could make with the items I already had at home. It was snowing so I didn’t really want to head out to the store, but I used this recipe and it was great.

Caleb and his birthday pancakes

Caleb and his birthday pancakes

So, next we got cleaned up and I set up an area for Caleb’s 3 year interview where there are 20 questions that he answers and the idea is to ask the same questions every year. I’ve watched this video so many times because it’s just so funny! His answers, his tangents, his mannerisms (how he crosses his legs, tapping his chin while thinking), I love it so much!

1. What is your favorite color? pink & green
2. What is your favorite toy? dinosaurs
3. What is your favorite fruit? cantaloupe, pineapple, bread (ha), watermelon
4. What is your favorite tv show? Team Umizoomi
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? noodles, broccoli & chicken
6. What is your favorite outfit? shirt, pants, underwear
7. What is your favorite game? hide & seek
8. What is your favorite snack? fruit leather
9. What is your favorite animal? cow & pinkfoot (from Bubble Guppies I think)
10. What is your favorite song? ABCs
11. What is your favorite book? Frederick
12. Who is your best friend? Aidan & Aaron Patrick
13. What is your favorite cereal? banana (banana Cheerios) & elephant cereal (Wegman’s organic frosted flakes)
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play in the snow and throw snowballs at Daddy’s face
15. What is your favorite drink? water, milk & lemonade
16. What is your favorite holiday? I don’t know
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? brown doggy
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? marshmallows (?? LOL)
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? cake
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a doctor

And then I snapped a few photos because that’s just what I do!

my 3 year old!

Caleb at 1, 2 and now 3

He’s such a little person with so much personality! I love the things that come out of his mouth now. Just the other day, I told him he talked too much and he retorted with, “No, I don’t. You talk too much. You always say ‘blah blah blah'”. It took me back and Steve just laughed his butt off.

Caleb’s currently in a parents day out program once a week, but just got accepted into their preschool program that will meet three times a week starting this fall. He’s currently taking karate and swim lessons, too. When did my lil’ guy get so big?


Project 365, Day 56: my little pirate is 2

February 25th. A day that will forever etched in my brain because that’s the day Caleb entered the world! It’s hard to believe he’s now 2. It feels like just yesterday, he was a baby wrapped up like a burrito :)

Caleb at 12 hours old and 7 days old

The day was a pretty mellow one. I didn’t sleep that night because I had a Thai iced tea during dinner so that kept me up until 3:30am. Caleb woke up at the same as Steve getting ready around 7am so even though I was dead tired, I jumped out of bed to wish my lil’ guy a happy, happy  birthday!

I made breakfast and then we Skyped with Bubbie and Zeydie for a bit. Then, I set up our spare room for Caleb’s 2nd year photos in a pirate theme (which is the theme for his party this weekend). I set up some seamless paper on my backdrop stand, set up a crate I bought from an antique shop and some netting I had bought as a party decoration. Even though it was bright in the spare room, I set up a wireless flash and bounced it from the ceiling.

Caleb wasn’t really in a picture taking mood so there was some bribing going on (hence, the jelly beans in his mouth in almost every picture). I got a lot of funny outtakes that really show off his personality and at least one picture of his sitting and smiling. So overall, I’d say the shoot went really well!

My winning pick and photo of the day!

Deciding that he didn’t want to sit anymore

My silly pirate :) My favs of the outtakes!

After we got our photos done, I had Caleb relax in my bed with his LeapPad 2 while I got ready. I had spent the morning setting up his LeapPad to be more kid friendly with him by downloading a few more apps. They had a buy 2, get 1 free sale going on so I bought 6 apps. I also found a few codes online for a free ebook called Book of Awesome Stuff (code 5813-1140-1518-1413) and Alphabet Stew game (code 5813-0790-4610-4973). Both codes were still working as of 2/25/13 and not sure when then will expire.

Even though he’s only 2, he did a pretty good job navigating around the menu already though I’m sure most of it is just pure luck since he really like tapping the screen with the stylus. When I finished, I got into bed with him and we read a Dora ebook. Once we finished, he said, “all done,” grabbed the LeapPad and shut it off. I guess it was his cue that he was tired since it was around nap time. I was all for that especially running on less than four hours of sleep. We napped three hours. It was awesome!

Shortly after we woke up, Steve came home early from work. After Steve changed (with help from Caleb who picked out his outfit), we took a few pictures in the pirate set up. Caleb was not a fan of the sticky mustaches…lol.

Daddy & Mommy with the birthday boy!

My mom called to wish Caleb a happy birthday and we got ready to head out for Caleb’s birthday dinner! I saw signs for a new hibachi place in town, but when we got to it, it turned out to be one of those fast food/take out places. We ended up going to Ziki Japanese Steakhouse with Brian and Roxie meeting us there.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, I heard a big slosh and Caleb started to cry. I thought he had opened the cap to his milk and dumped it all over the place–and then the smell hit me. When we parked and I got out, Caleb had apparently threw up a TON of the most FOUL smelling thing EVER all over himself and the car seat. I could see cottage cheese-like liquid leaking from the car seat onto my seat.

Caleb was really upset so the first thing I did was unstrap him and get him out of the mess. I took my jacket to do my best at wiping him down and cover the car seat since the smell was horrid. Steve went to Kohl’s around the corner to buy him an outfit since his shirt and pants were soaked.

We went inside to wait with Brian and Roxie and Caleb’s mood shifted to being happy. Steve finally returned and I went to change Caleb in the bathroom and we finally got to sit down for our meal. This is probably Caleb’s third time in this type of restaurant, but he LOVES the fire show. And whenever the chef pretended to throw something towards Caleb, Caleb would immediately stick his hands in his mouth…lol.

The meal was great and we went to get some fro-yo at our favorite spot, 16 Handles. I guess I forgot to mention it was Caleb’s birthday because you get up to $6 worth for free so we ended up taking a container home with us–sah-weet!

Steve gave Caleb his bath while I went to clean the car and car seat…yuuuck. We both went to read Caleb a story, but before Steve could even finish his book, Caleb grabbed it and said, “night night.”. He was ready for bed so we both gave him a kiss, said our goodnights and left his room.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy :)



Tips on taking Christmas tree bokeh photos

Well, it’s that time of year where everyone starts to take bokeh-filled photos in front of their Christmas tree! What is bokeh you ask? It’s the out of focus points of light created by your lens. Usually, they’re spherical like this:

Taken in front of our Christmas tree
Nikon D700, Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens, shot at ISO 2500, 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ambient light

Here is another example of bokeh. This was taken in Chinatown in Washington DC. You can kind of make out the shape of Friendship Gate, but all the circles are made up of headlights of cars, street lights, and reflections from all of the above. To get this area out of focus, I switched my lens over to focus manually and purposefully made everything out of focus.:

Nikon D700, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens, shot at 62mm, ISO 1000, 1600 sec, f/2.8, ambient light

You can even create your own shapes of bokeh! Here is a great tutorial. I used construction paper and crudely cut out a small heart with a steak knife (not advisable). My hearts were a little fuzzy around the edges, but you get the idea! EDIT: Apparently, I forgot how to cut hearts out properly. If you fold the paper in half and then cut, it’s a lot easier (see picture on the right). It’d probably work best with a hole punch or you can just buy the kit offered by LensBaby.

Nikon D700, Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens,left shot at 2500 ISO, 1/25 sec, f/1.4, ambient light, right shot at ISO 640, 1/50 sec, f/1.4,  flash triggered wirelessly & bounced

To take your own bokeh pictures in front of the Christmas tree (or any background with a lot of light sources), here are a few tips to help you out:

  1.  Put some distance between your subject and the tree. For my photos, Danbo (my toy model), was about 3 feet from the tree on the coffee table. To get bokeh, you’ll want the lights to be out of focus so the further away, the better.
  2. Shoot with a lens with a wide aperture. A popular lens for Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc. is the “nifty fifty” 50mm f/1.8 lens which can be found around $100. All my photos were shot with a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G.
  3. Increase the ISO. Since the lights are behind you, you’ll want to bump up your ISO to try and make sure your subject’s face isn’t pitch black. If your photos are too noisy, you can try to place a white poster board or anything bright to try and reflect some light back onto your subject. In my living room, we have windows so I have my subject face in that direction. If you’re really adventurous, you can set up an off-camera flash and bounce it to get some light to your subject’s face.

This is the set up I used for my son because I know he wouldn’t sit very still. I aim it towards the ceiling behind me and it bounces back a soft light. I used a cheap Yongnuo flash ($60–just a note, I wouldn’t use this on a camera since it doesn’t have TTL capabilities, purely manual), Pocket Wizards to trigger the flash, light stand, and bracket.

These were my photos with my son. He only sat still for about three minutes, but he was a good sport.

Nikon D700, Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens, shot at ISO 500 1/60 sec, f/1.4, flash triggered wirelessly & bounced except for the main photo which was with ambient light and adjusted in PS.

So, have fun and experiment with taking lots of pictures with bokeh!

An update…kind of.

I’m glad to hear LJ is still kicking. I want to get back into and blog about Caleb’s milestones before they all mash together. Plus, remember these days before I get old and forget.

Well let’s see. I last left off in June. Lots has happened since then and I wish I could remember all about it, but I’ve been so busy with the photo biz (which is great). I got a lot of repeat clients especially with kids so I just LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing how big they’ve gotten. I shot eight sessions this weekend–left the house at 7am and came back just before 7pm. Long, long days with lots of traveling. I went everywhere from a winery in Virginia, to the Constitution Garden in DC, all parts of MD and everywhere in between it seems like.

Caleb is now 20 1/2 months. He can count to 13 on his own and count to 10 in Mandarin. I told Steve that his job was to teach him the Hebrew version. He knows his colors and we’re working on our ABC’s now. He loves to sing and dance especially at the same time so I’m seriously considering the Toddler Bollywood Dance class offered through the county. He loves singing and dancing to “Gangham Style” and I made up dance moves to Bruno Mars’ “Marry Me” song that we do together.

He talks all of the time now. I’ve lost count of how many words he knows, but it’s probably well over 100. He’s constantly pointing things out and saying them over and over and over even after you’ve acknowledged them. He knows “please” and “thank you” which he still does with the sign language which is adorable. He says “I love you” which is awesome. He knows to say “cheese” when I have my iPhone or camera out. He’s just a little sponge and learns so much so quickly! Lil’ guy is growing up fast.

He learned all the basic body parts when he was just over a year so we’ve moved onto more specific parts. I’m also trying to teach body parts in Chinese. Whenever I give him a bath, I give him the shower head for the final rinse off and tell him what parts he has to wash–I rarely get sprayed on anymore which is a plus! He’s known his animal noises for quite some time now.

The boy loves books and being read to, but only by me. He will barely sit still for Steve, but he will sit nicely on my lap and I can get through several books with him. I don’t know why he won’t do the same for Steve–any tips? I suggested maybe Steve should read to him at bed time, but when we try, Caleb will take the book from Steve, hand it over to me and sit in my lap. Sigh.

We get complimented on how well behaved Caleb is when we’re out with him and someone once commented that Caleb was a “smart-ass kid” (we were waiting in line at a gas station and he was counting and pointing out colors). I am very proud of my lil’ guy. He is well behaved for the most part, but he does have his moments. His most recent thing is like a silent protest. We’ll be out shopping and he’ll just decide he wants to lay on the floor. When I try to pick him up, he gets spaghetti legs. No screaming, no yelling, just laying on the floor in silence. So weird.

Steve’s super busy with his job, but things have slowed down slightly since the fiscal year is over. That was a crappy time because Steve was working long, long nights, going in on weekends and barely seeing Caleb. But we’ve been getting more family time in. We just finished Caleb’s last toddler sports class, but every Friday morning, Steve would meet us for the class and then we’d go out for lunch before he returned to work.

We booked a cruise to the Bahamas for our family vacation. It’s the same one we went on last year, just on a different ship. We were trying to think of something that wasn’t too expensive and they were cruising out of Baltimore for cheap! We had tossed around St. Maarten, Disney World, Turks & Caicos, but then we saw this deal and just decided to go with it. I’m just happy I won’t have to cook or clean for a week and I can relax on a beach! Plus, Caleb will have a lot of fun especially now that he’s older.

Dogs are still around and Caleb has learned all of their names finally! For the longest time, he’d only say “Coco” and refer to all dogs as “Coco”. He gives them hugs and kisses, helps me feed them and gives them their treats whenever we leave the house.

My folks are good. My mom came down to stay for a week in late Sept/early October and then we went up in mid-October. My mom just had a birthday and we all pitched in to buy her a 51″ big screen TV–she was one happy lady! My dad’s in China for a business project until Thanksgiving. The man never slows down.

Steve’s folks are good, too. They’re gearing up to move back to TX for the winter, but not until after Chanukkah so we’ll get to celebrate that together. While scoping out a potential photo location, I passed by a Jewish Congregation not too far from our home. I mentioned it to Steve and when we looked it up, it really appealed to him. They also have a non-denominational daycare there–part time is only $195/month. So cheap! Steve took Caleb to a Shabbat service with his mom this weekend while I was on my photo shoots to check things out. He really liked it and wants to join. I think at some point, we’re going to get together with the rabbi for lunch or something.

Time is flying by so fast. It feels like Thanksgiving crept up on us and I have no idea what we’re going to do for Christmas. Shopping? No plan, hadn’t even thought that far ahead.

I have been thinking about personal goals. I want to get back into running. I just hope my pelvis is ok for me to do that now. I also want to get back to being crafty. I want to make a quilt for Caleb, be more DIY. Time always seems to be an issue so I’m going to learn how to say “no”. I always try to accommodate clients and fit them into my schedule which leads me to crazy weekends (like this weekend), late nights, gone all weekend, me feeling like a zombie and wishing Mondays to appear sooner. I want to get back into blogging, maybe getting my own domain and being more involved. Also must update my photo website.

I guess that’s enough of a brain dump.


I’m just going to admit failure to my Project 366. I’m sure I did take picture everyday, but most of them are of my clients and I don’t really want to be posting their pictures for my project. Ahhhh well. It was so much easier to do this project when I was kid-free and not running around the state taking photos and then staying up late to edit them :o)

Anyway, we’ll be in Texas in less than 2 weeks because Steve is graduating from his dual masters program! I’m so proud of him :o) He’s flying in before me and Caleb because as a birthday gift, he’s playing in an $$$ golf tournament on a PGA golf course that includes lunch and dinner so he’s pretty excited. I hope to see a lot of my ol’ friends out there–can’t believe it’s already been 10 months since we’ve moved from there. Think I could bring a 1 year old to Schlitterbahn!?

On the home front, we’ve been making good use of our Costco membership and buying boat loads of things in bulk, especially food. Steve bought this book on the Kindle that’s all about prepping freezer meals so you can come home to a quick meal after work. Him and Roxie spent an entire day prepping meals for a week. There’s everything from stuffed peppers to stuffed chicken breast.

I bought a lot of meat and prepped them as well. I marinated flank steak in freezer bags and then stuck them in the freezer. I also bought a cut of rib eye that I ended up cutting 9 steaks from and individually wrapping them. Once we move to MD, Steve and I have looked into purchasing half or whole cow in a CSA beef share. They are grass fed, hormone free and the price is reasonable–only $3/lb which includes everything from filet mignon to ground beef! We just need to pick it up from the butcher. Once we move, we’re going to purchase a freezer chest.

I took Caleb to the Reston Zoo after seeing what a hit the lambs were at Mt. Vernon. He LOVED it! The zoo isn’t very big so that’s a plus for a lil’ guy who just wants to walk (while holding my hand) and see every animal. I bought a bottle of milk since I asked the worker which would be the best option for a 1 year old to feed the animals with. I also bought a cup of feed.

When we went to see the lambs there, I gave Caleb the bottle to give to the lamb and what does he do? He tries to drink it himself! Then when I gave him some feed, he put the pellets in his mouth. Such a silly guy.

During the drive through safari, he was a bit more intimidated by the animals since they were bigger and more forthcoming. The camel snatched the cup of feed right out of my hands! The watusi has HUUGE horns and every time he’d turn, he’s almost whack someone with them.

Anyway, I’m off to bed. My first photo session tomorrow is at 7am!

mom/son outing to Mount Vernon

I took today off from all photography business related items (except for answering emails). It’s just been so insane and then I stay up late to edit photos after I put Caleb to bed. I’m exhausted during the day so I just need a day to recharge.

Today was beautiful. It was high 70’s, sunny…it was just beckoning us to do something outdoors. I first thought about taking Caleb to the National Zoo since he’s really fasinated with animals, but then I remembered that Mount Vernon had a petting zoo so I went that route. Two minutes into my drive, I saw super backed up traffic on 95/495 (thankfully, I wasn’t going that way), but I saw people pulling over and getting out of their cars. I was perplexed as to what was going on, but apparently the Discovery shuttle was riding piggyback on a 747 over DC on its way to Dulles Airport. So awesome!

Anyway, I had Caleb in his carrier and toted his diaper bag. We started off at George Washington’s mansion. Caleb is in a phase where he wants to walk (while holding me) and go wherever he pleases. Thankfully, it wasn’t busy and the mansion tour was short because the lil’ guy wanted to go up the stairs, in the rooms that were blocked off, you name it! Once we got through, we sat on the grass to enjoy the views of the Potomac and have a snack. Then, I let him roam around, we checked out a few of the other displays, visited the gardens, saw the animals, visited Washington’s tomb, had lunch and then made a quick stop at the museum and gift shop before heading home. Caleb passed out as soon as the car got moving.

Caleb LOVED the lil’ lambs. They were adorable and would come right up to you. He had a blast petting them and kept calling them dogs (dah-dahs). A few of them slipped out of the fence so I put one back but there were at least 4 more or so roaming around. I had a hard time prying Caleb away from the lambs. He probably would have stayed there all day if he could!

mom/son day!
mom/son day

When we got home, I sat in my car for a bit to let Caleb sleep. When he woke up, we went in so I could get started on dinner. Caleb was on the couch and I saw a flash of his diaper. I came over and saw that he had pooped in his diaper and took it off. He apparently got some on his hands and was not happy about it (thankfully, he’s not into playing with his poop). Ohh boy…Steve misses all the fun stuff. Note to self: Make sure Caleb has pants on whenever hw wears velcro cloth diapers.Anyway, I got him cleaned up and we had turkey chili with cornbread for dinner. He’s really into using utensil now so that gave him lots of practice.

I gave Caleb a bath and then put him to bed. Then, I checked out my big toe. Last week, I got a splinter in my big toe. I thought I had gotten everything out with tweezers, but it was super tender today. I felt like the lion with the thorn in my paw. I took a needle to it and what do you know, there was still a HUGE piece in there! My toe feels so much better :o)

Anyway, going to relax with some TV and maybe start a new book :o)

I suck at updating…

…especially when I’m so busy with photography. This is the last month before that Amazon Local voucher that featured my business expires so I’m sure things will slow down. Then I’m taking 1 1/2 months of personal time to fly to TX to see Steve graduate and get his dual masters degree, drive back one of Steve’s parents’ cars from TX to MD (they bought a 2nd home in MD), pack up our place and move to our new house that’s got TONS of space (yay), drive to MA where Caleb will be staying with my parents for a week, FLY TO ICELAND, turn 30.

Today, Steve flew to TX for a week so it’s just me and the lil’ guy. And, of course, today is the day that Caleb decides to take his first steps. For a while, he’s been wanting to walk, but only if he held onto my hands. When we go out, he never wants to stay in the cart so I have him help me push it around the store. Then, he wants to walk across the parking lot, but he’s so slow so when I pick him up, he pitches a fit. Anyway, we’ve been going for short walks around our neighborhood and I took him to a park today to have him walk in the grass. He took 5-6 steps before plopping on his butt. I’d help him get up and he’s take more steps before plopping again :o) I’ll have to get it on video so Steve can see.

Anyway, it’s past 2am and I should hit the sack. Hope to update soon and maybe catch up on Project 366.

Caleb and his calendar pose :o)

Project 366, Days 57 & 58

Day 57
Day 57 – I got to photograph Ang’s sweet baby girl and caught a smile :o)

Day 58
Day 58 – Cake smash photo session with Caleb after turning the big O-N-E!

The last two days were all about picture taking! Sunday morning, I headed over to see Angela canadagirl to take pictures of her new baby girl! It took a while for her to sleep, but once she did, she was out so I got to dress her up in lots of headbands, wrap her up in different colored cheesecloths and even put on a mermaid outfit. Newborn babies are just so precious :o) Angela posted a pic of me working which is kind of strange to see since I never really see myself in action.

me at work
me workin’ it!

Afterwards, I met up with a couple expecting their first baby and talked about a package where I’d photograph their baby several times throughout his/her first year of life. So far, I’ve only had one other couple sign up and I’m about to photograph their son for the third time–it’s so neat to watch him grown and change.

Today, I went to my friend Kelly’s house since her son is about the same age as Caleb. She wanted to do some first year pictures and a cake smash so she volunteered her house and to bake cakes in exchange for me setting up and taking pictures. It was so much fun and it’s great to see our boys together–it’s hilarious to see how they interact together. Caleb couldn’t wait to dive into the frosting and cake whereas Aaron doesn’t like to get his hands dirty. After we cleaned up and the boys took a nap, we went over to a park where Caleb ate sand *shakes head* That’s my boy.

We went home to clean up and then met up for dinner with our husbands in tow. When we came home, I started editing pictures when I should have been doing laundry. We have to pack for MA soon…oops!

Project 366, Day 55 & 56 {Happy 1st Birthday, Caleb}

Day 55
Day 55 – Party prepping!

Day 56
Day 56 – Caleb’s 1st birthday and party!

Yesterday, Steve helped me with party prepping. When Steve came home from work, we went to Target for last minute party purchases and when we got home, I printed a bunch of things that needed to be cut out. After I put Caleb to bed, Steve and I watched some show about the universe while cutting out cupcake toppers, water bottle labels, masks & capes for the Tootsie Pops (as soon above) and Steve ran out to print pictures of Caleb that I took for his monthly photos for a banner (as seen in the collage above the food table). I finished making cake pops and Steve helped me assemble them together.

This morning, I finished party prepping by making capes for the adults, frosting the cupcakes and chopping fruits and veggies. We were out of the door just in time at the recreation center to start decorating and putting things together. Brian, Roxie and Lavi (Roxie’s mom), arrived early to help put everything together.

Caleb’s superheroes party was great! I forgot the memory card to my SLR and my point and shoot camera’s battery was dead so I had to use my iPhone for pictures! I’ll have to get pictures of the party from everyone else…lol.

We had about 30 people (20 adults, 10 kids) come. For the first hour, everyone mingled and ate food. Then, we sung Caleb “happy birthday” and he did his cake smash. It was hilarious! At first, he dug his hands into the cake frosting and then stuck his face in the cake to eat the frosting. He went at this for a good 10 minutes before he dug his hands into cake and found the chocolate layer. Then it was all over! When I tried to take the plate away, he kept grabbing at it. He made a HUUUGE mess and I had to strip him on the spot.

singing and face stuffing!

We played a game called “pin the mask on the super baby” where I had a 20×30 picture of Caleb on the wall and masks to put over his eyes. We opened gifts and had a time capsule for Caleb where people could write him a message about anything. When we got home, I put a copy of his party invite, his cape and today’s newspaper in with his messages.

I’m so appreciative that we had so many people come to Caleb’s first birthday party! The lil’ stinker made out like a bandit with all the gifts we got. He was so happy to be surrounded by so many friends and family. Plus, he got to stuff his face and kill a cake! Even though I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked, the memories are forever locked in my heart.

Happy 1st birthday, my sweet lil’ Caleb! We love you!