Monday, November 15, 2010

Up Close & Personal...By Request

In August, my dad and brothers took a long hike in the Sierras. They are obsessed with low weight gear. I'm not sure obsessed is a strong enough word, but I can't think of anything stronger. Example: my dad carries a flashlight that's essentially just a teeny tiny LED light that weighs all of .3 oz or something like that. His tent weighs like 1.5 lbs. (You'd have to ask him the exact ounces, which I'm sure he knows!) It's slightly excessive to say the least. At least to someone like me who has zero interest in hiking for that long no matter how beautiful a hike it is!

Other than his love for diminutively weighted objects, my dad also loves photography. And you can't go hiking in the Sierras without a camera! He has a really nice, but big SLR camera. You can see how these two loves are in conflict with each other!

But thankfully, my camera, while still being a good sized SLR camera, is not as big of a good sized camera. (Bear with me, I'm getting somewhere with this) In fact, my camera body and lens weighs less than half of his camera body and lens. Granted, that only means it's 1.2 lbs lighter, but every ounce counts. Apparently. So it made perfect sense for him to borrow my camera for the week and for me to borrow his. And I got to borrow all his goodies that go with his camera while I was at it! Definitely a win-win situation!

Okay, getting to the real point of the post. My dad has a really nice macro lens. One that I would have to sell one of my children if it were to break and I needed to reimburse him for it! He requested that while I was borrowing his stuff, I practice with his macro lens to see if I could get a good shot of Austin's eyelashes. Of course, trying to take a picture of a zippy nearly two year old's eyelashes is easier said than done, but I did get one in focus!

So as requested, Dad...

It's not quite as up close & personal as that lens can get but it's as up close & personal as that lens can get to a moving target...with sticky fingers...that likes to poke lenses...really expensive lenses.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

If You're Happy And You Know It...

Shout Woohoo!

Honk your nose!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hello Fishies

Our fun vacation week was capped off by a visit from the cousins! My niece and nephew had their first stay-over-with-the-grandparents weekend. Nani took them to the Long Beach Aquarium on Saturday and the kiddos and I decided to join in. I got a very insightful look to how life could be with four children. (5, 4, 1.5 & 3 months) It was a little intimidating! Really they all did great, the only challenge was my 1.5 year old that has listening/obedience issues.

It was a wonderful day though and the kids all enjoy each other so much! Austin adores his cousins!

All strapped in the minivan, watching a video. I think it was Monsters' Inc. Apparently it's a little scary!

Nani & her crew

Learning about the inside of a shark

Nani & Bryce touching a jelly fish. Austin touched one too! I was so impressed!

Austin's favorite place at each exhibit. He'd go right for the bottom corner and would just watch.

Three Sweet Kiddos

Monkey loves McKenna!

Always the happy tagalong!

My sweet Wiggles

Austin & his Nani

Feeding Lorakeets

Austin was fearless. Despite my protests (and the rules!), he kept trying to touch the birds. And the birds kept biting him! And he kept at it!

Monkey did so good with the birds!

Before we left, we splurged on some soft serve. Monkey really wanted to help Austin eat his. Usually that means eat it for him, but in this case he really wanted to help Austin!

Even wiped his mouth for him!

What a good cousin!

Good end to a good day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Early Giggles

While we were on Catalina, we were able to get some McKenna giggles on video. She had been giggling for a bit, but it's difficult to capture them solo and I wouldn't necessarily remember when Brian was around to help. But while on vacation I remembered to try! And since her giggles are just so gosh darn cute, I figured it warranted a separate post from the vacation posts.

So enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Heart Vacations: Part 2, Happiest Place on Earth

After a day of rest to recover from Catalina, we took Austin to Disneyland for the first time. Brian and I have loved Disneyland together since we first started dating 14 years ago. We could not wait to get to share it with our kids and were so excited Austin was finally to the age that he could "get" it.

Poor McKenna didn't get to come. Actually we didn't want to subject her to a full, hot day in the stroller just so she could be with us. It was really hard to leave her though! It was her 1st full day away from Mommy. McKenna hates taking a bottle, so before this, the most she had been away from me before was for one feeding. That way if she wouldn't eat, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Even though she'd be in good hands with Auntie Suz and Nani, I was nervous, but I vowed to be a strong momma so that Austin could have a fun day.

And a fun day he had! From the first ride on The Jungle Cruise until the last moments of the day running through Toon Town, with the exception of a short breakdown, he was just a wide-eyed kid joyfully taking it all in.

He thought just about every ride looked like a train, so he was in choo-choo heaven.

Austin was very confused by The Jungle Cruise at first. It was the first stop and I'm pretty sure he thought they were all real animals for a bit!

Checking out the bird while in line for Pirates of the Caribbean - This is my favorite pic of the guys from the day!

And my favorite pic of me and my sweet boy! Trying to keep him patient while waiting to meet Pooh & Tigger!

He had NO desire to meet Winnie the Pooh at first. I'm such a nice momma...dragging him along when he obviously doesn't want to go!

I'm glad I pushed a bit though. He warmed up quickly and LOVED Pooh! He kept talking about him for hours.

Momma got in on the Pooh action too

And then we got to meet KKcghchgt! Otherwise, known as Tigger. He was much more enthusiastic about this encounter!

Austin loved Autopia. He's always trying to get into the front seat of the van to play with the steering wheel, so we knew he'd enjoy actually getting to steer! Poor thing couldn't see over the steering wheel though. In fact, you could just barely make out his hat over the top of the wheel! It made it hard to get a picture of him!

Horses are a close second to choo-choos in Austin's world, so he loved the Caroussel

Of course he was in true heaven when he got on the actual train that goes around the park. It was the perfect ride when he started to get really tired.

And then he just zonked out! So we walked around for a bit to give him the chance to recharge.

After his recharge, we hit Toon Town. He was so happy to just get to run around and pull on everything!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Brian from our very first trip to Disneyland together back in 1996!

So I had to have both my boys recreate it! Brian's still got it!

Austin doing his best to impress!

He loved Mickey's house

My boy is obsessed with phones too. But I thought it was hilarious that he actually recognized this as a phone with no prompting!

And he definitely knew all the parts of this instrument!

Probably the only 1.5 year old there that knew what a harp is! Nani would be so proud!

While not quite as loved as Tigger, Mickey was definitely recognized!

What a blessing to get to share one of our favorite places with Austin! Can't wait to take him again!

And as an added bonus, McKenna did great! It was such a relief! Thanks Auntie Suz & Nani for making that day possible!