Tuesday, April 30, 2013

He Is Kind

There has been a big change in Dylan this year, and I need to write about it, so that I can remember.  Dylan started going to preschool when he was almost 2.  As an only child, I felt it was important to get him around other kids regularly.  Unfortunately, each year I seemed to be getting the same report from the preschool teachers... he didn't interact with the other kids that much.  Dylan has never been shy, but he just seemed to like to do his own thing.  

I will never forget going to the spring program at the preschool 2 years ago (when he was 4).  The teachers had asked each child a few questions and put their answers on big posters placed on the walls. One question was "Who is your best friend at school?"  I looked to see what Dylan had said... "Maya".  Then I looked to see who Maya had answered.  It wasn't Dylan.  I held back tears as I noticed that no one had answered that my sweet boy was their best friend.

I worried at the beginning of this year.  Would he make friends in kindergarten?  At the beginning of the year, things seemed to be the same as they were in preschool.  But, sometime during the course of this year, things have changed... in a big way.  In his kindergarten class, each child gets a chance to be "Kid of the Week" once.  A couple weeks ago,  it was Dylan's turn.  Once again, I had to hold back tears, but this time, they were happy ones.  This is what he brought home...

Dylan has always been described as "smart", and I have to say that each answer made me really happy, but nothing made me more proud than seeing that someone said "He is KIND".  

You know the expression "Be careful what you wish for?"
Well, yea, I'm living it!  There is a little girl that is a year older than Dylan that lives next door.  The two of them are inseparable lately!  We cannot take a step out into our back yard without her appearing, and vise versa.  The two of them playing is unbelievably cute.  Dylan is SO sweet to her, always giving her drinks or snacks when they play, letting her go first, being very gentle with her when they play.  (Once when I said they could play a certain game, he replied, "I don't know about that.  That might be too rough.  She is very delicate".  DELICATE?!  

I sometimes joke with Jim that we might have a problem on our hands with these two when they are teenagers.  The other day, Jim and I were finishing dinner while Dylan and her played in our yard.  Suddenly, she appeared at our back door, saying that she picked flowers for me!  After I thanked her and she went off to play some more, I told Jim, "I might cry!  My future daughter in law picked me flowers!"  He laughed, and replied, "She's already buttering up her mother in law.  Smart girl!"

(I don't know if you can tell, but they were pretending to talk on the phone!)

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Photography Journey

Maybe you noticed that this space is seeming more and more like a photography blog lately?  I apologize for those of you who are wondering if I will ever get around to writing something again.  There are two reasons I don't write as much as I used to.  One, Dylan is in school all day and I don't see him as much as I used to, so I have less stories.  Also, he is getting older, and at some point he might not appreciate me sharing certain stories on my blog.  Two, since making the decision to shoot only in Manual, in January, I have found something I am passionate about and I have immersed myself in it as much as I possibly can.  I'm pretty much an all or nothing kind of gal.

The first thing I did was to join a Project 52 group through My Four Hens Photography.  I missed the first three weeks, but I've done it consistently since starting.  I have even had some of my photos featured!

 Week 2 : Fresh : I missed weeks 1, 2, and 3, so this one was not entered.  I still need to take a shot for the week 1 and 3 themes to catch up.

 Week 4: My Daily Routine (as a part time nanny)

 Week 5: My Favorite Color : Green
I love the color green, because my husband, son, and I all have green eyes.  I love that I can see myself, (literally and figuratively!) in his eyes in this shot.

 Week 6: Light: *Featured*
I watched the sunset for a while on this evening, and suddenly there was a ray of light shooting up into the clouds!  It had an otherworldly feel to it, and looked like something out of the movies. (This is SOOC).

Week 7:  Composed:  
I wanted to do a self portrait.  I think this captures the fact that I try not to take myself too seriously, and I crave fun in my life!

 Week 8: Inspired: *Featured*
The love that my grandparents shared inspired me.  I kept this book that my grandfather wrote in, and this is what he wrote about his first kiss... "my main kisser is my wife.  When she kisses you, you forget about everything else.  That's why we have been married for almost 58 years.  A kisser you never forget.  That's my wife".

 Week 9: White:  

 Week 10: Sunshine: *Featured*
“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”  - Laura Ingalls Wilder

 Week 11: Wild Card: *Featured*

 Week 12:  Natural Beauty: *Featured*
I took this self portrait to portray the fact that as women, it it easy for us to see the beauty in others, but often extremely difficult to see it in ourselves.  When I was in my 20's, I made a CD for my friends called "Girl Power", with inspiring songs by powerful women.  One friend told me recently that her 8 year old daughter is now listening to it.  I love that it is inspiring the next generation.  Here are lyrics from one of the songs on the CD...
"When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me.  Every freckle on my face is where it's supposed to be.  I know my creator didn't make no mistakes on me.  My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes, I'm loving what I see".
(India Arie - Because I Am A Queen)

Week 13: Pride and Joy:  
When I was a kid and my parents took me to the museum, there was one room that I loved - the Hall of Architecture.  Every time I went in there, I would stop and stare up at the large columns and sculptures in awe.  You can imagine the joy I felt, when I took my son to the museum last week, and he stood staring up at everything in that same room, muttering "Wow!"   I love the wonder he finds in so many things.  I am incredibly proud to be his mom.

 Week 14: Warmth: 
"We enjoy warmth because we have been cold.  We appreciate light because we have been in darkness.  By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness".

 Week 15:  Texture: 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Break 2013 : Great Wolf Lodge

We went to Great Wolf Lodge, in Sandusky, Ohio for Spring Break.  We had been to Kalahari water park for my 40th birthday, which is in the same area, but this time we wanted to try Great Wolf.  I'm so glad we did!  We had a great time.  These are the things I want to remember...

*Dylan singing his own made up song on the way there, called "I Love Today".  Me telling him I wished he would sing that song every day, because I loved it... the first few times.  After about the 20th time?  Not so much.

*It snowed on the way there.  At one point, I was complaining about how dark and cloudy it was, and Dylan said "Hey, at least it stopped snowing, right?"  Love his positive attitude!

*Dylan's huge smile when he first got in that water.

*The first day of the Magi Quest game, we did one "quest" and Dylan was ready to quit.  I insisted we do "at least one more".  After that second one, he was hooked!  He said that was the best part of his day, and the second day he insisted that we do every single quest, until he got the "Master Magi" button for completing them all.

*The looks on all the parents faces who were doing the quest!  We all started helping each other, just to finish.

*Dylan trying to help the little girl in front of him pull the first "lily pad" closer to her, and falling in the pool.  Him attempting to go across the first time, and Jim saying "I see him going in the pool" seconds before he did indeed fall in the pool.  He got right back on and finished, before trying a second time and mastering it.

*Dylan falling asleep within minutes of us pulling out of the parking lot to go home.

The day before the trip, my new camera (Canon D60) and new lens (50mm 1.4) came in.  I was too nervous to take the new camera, but I did use my new lens and I love it!  I'm still figuring it out, so the pictures aren't perfect.  In other related news, I'm taking "The Best Darn Beginner Class Ever" from Clickin' Moms this month.  I already had my first "a-ha!" moment, after only the first lesson!