Posts Tagged ‘
Sunday, August 4th, 2013
2 years, 8 months.
By no means am I a professional photographer. In fact, my style of taking pictures could pretty much be summed up as “take a dozen shots, then hope up one or two turns out okay.”
For every savory and polished picture I post with these letters I write to you, there is at least eleven that don’t deserve a second look. I always present the best of the pictures I take of you.
But not today.
Today, I want to show you a glimpse of the kind of photos that don’t make the cut- because the only way I would use these in a story… is to write a story about pictures that don’t make the cut.
In particular, these are what I call “photo op fails.” They are failed photograph opportunities.
Clearly, in both of these shots that Mommy took for us at the Williamson County Fair today, you were not so eager to have your picture taken, whereas I was.
Granted, you had just woken up from a nap, then you were all of the sudden surrounded by half the surrounding area of Nashville as we checked out the local farm animals on display.
I love how in the top picture, you are reaching for Mommy; though looking in a different direction at a bull that you are probably a little bit freaked out by.
Then in the next shot… it’s just simply an awkward (!) photo.
In one arm I’m holding a fishing pole connected to a magnetic fish I just “caught” in the pool, while holding you with the other. It looks unnatural because I couldn’t turn around to face Mommy, since I was holding the fishing pole; though you weren’t facing Mommy anyway.
To be fair, though, I shouldn’t finish this letter to you today without showing a “photo op fail” with you and Mommy.
Yesterday, we met your best friend Sophie and her parents at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway to watch the races.
I wanted to catch a good shot of you and Mommy. Here’s what I got instead…
You had a toy Volkswagen beetle you clenched onto for the entire race. I happened to accidentally catch the moment when the bumper of that toy car got stuck in Mommy’s hair.
I immediately had to untangle it for her!
Maybe one day I’ll become a professional photographer. Actually, I’d even settle for the title of “amateur.”
Until then, there are sure to be plenty more photo op fails!
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Sunday, July 21st, 2013
2 years, 8 months.
All Mommy and I really could do was just embrace ourselves and expect for the worst, as we boarded the plane yesterday morning from Nashville. It was your first time with your own seat on a plane (and that we’ve had to pay for one for you) and we didn’t know if that would be better or worse than you sitting in Mommy’s lap like the other two times we’ve flown to California.
The 90 minute flight to Minneapolis was fine, being that we all had to wake up at 3:30 AM to get to the airport in time. You were in a daze.
And during the one hour layover in Minneapolis, you were fine, because they offered free use of tablets, which you took advantage of by watching clips on YouTube of Jeeps plowing through the mud.
But by the 2nd half of the 3 and a half hour flight to San Francisco, you had plenty of energy to release… in the form of kicking the seats of the people in front of us.
I immediately (!) corrected that- by letting you kicking my legs instead.
It was the best idea I could come up with.
Trying to discipline an overtired, energetic, and restless toddler on a plane is a tricky thing.
After all, everyone was watching. And I just simply wanted to subdue you and most importantly, not make a scene.
Mommy was able to tone you down a little bit by pulling out crayons and coloring books for you.
About that time, the man sitting across the aisle from me, a friendly Wisconsin resident named Tom Potter and his wife let you borrow a couple of their grandson’s books… ones that you’ve never read, like Dr. Seuss’s Hop on Pop.
Soon after the plane landed, Tom and his wife, as well as the lady sitting next to them, all individually commented on how well-behaved you were.
My reaction was something like this: “Ha ha! Oh? Really?.. Um, thanks!”
I had prepared for a a meltdown, but fortunately, it never happened. This was a situation where less was more.
It was best to not try to discipline you for being an overtired, energetic, and restless little boy. You just needed a distraction.
In reality, you weren’t the token brat on the plane that annoys everybody. What a relief!
Having those people tell me that you were well-behaved made me feel really good.
As for the hour and 50 minute drive from San Francisco to Sacramento, you fell hard asleep about 10 minutes into the ride.
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Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
This week I introduced Mommy to a 25 year-old movie called Rain Man, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.
It’s one of those movies where, now that I’ve seen it for the 3rd time, I realize that it’s actually one of my favorite movies.
I mentioned to Mommy some of the similarities between Rain Man and The Guilt Trip , starring Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen; another movie we both really like.
And then it hit me… most of my favorite movies are “road movies.”
A road movie is a film genre in which main characters travel across the country (or at least the state) motivated by some random plot device; during which they learn to overcome their differences in personalities and communication styles.
The characters involved typically find themselves rewarded by the end of the movie; most of all because of their shared personal experiences and character development. In other words, they become better people because of the road trip.
Ultimately, they prove that life’s a journey, not a destination.
(Just to name a few more examples of my favorite road movies… Dumb And Dumber, Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Little Miss Sunshine, and Sideways.)
On a similar note, Mommy and I have been totally psyching you up for this weekend. Friday is our 5th wedding anniversary and we’re celebrating it by…
Taking you on a 2 and a half hour road trip from Nashville, TN to Louisville, KY!
We’ve got you so excited/slightly confused as we keep telling you about the fold-out couch you’ll be sleeping on:
“Jack, do you want to sleep on your own special ‘big boy bed’ at the hotel in Louisville?”
Not to mention, our zoo membership is recognized there too, so visiting the zoo ultimately becomes the plot device for our little road trip.
You’re hoping to see camels and bears.
For me, this is really fun. I’m already cracking up at the thought of you sleeping on a fold-out couch in a hotel in Louisville.
That’s something I adore about you:
Here Mommy and I have hyped up this trip for the past couple of weeks and you don’t even know what a hotel is, or Louisville, or a fold-out couch.
Yet, your eyes light up at the thought of it all.
I think you’re going to do great on your first real road trip. It’s all about the journey, anyway.
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Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
Here’s a picture of you at the Nashville Zoo last Friday night during an animal show where you saw and learned about the Clouded Leopard.
You were lucky- Mommy and I let you stay up an hour past your bed time that night!
It was quite the spectacle for a 2 and a half year-old boy to witness, though that might not have been obvious to anyone sitting near us.
Seriously, check out the look on your face.
To me, you appear in this photo to be extremely bored or at least slightly sedated, as you munch on your goldfish crackers.
However, this is simply how you look when you are learning.
You have taught me that when you have that glazed-over look on your face and remain silent, you couldn’t be any more in tune with what’s going on. That’s simply you taking it all in.
About six months ago, I took you by the reptile aquarium/pet store near our house. You were expressionless the whole time.
Yet even now, when we drive by that place, you ask to go back to see the lizards and snakes.
Though you never look excited when I let you watch your favorite shows on Netflix, like All About Monster Trucks with Hard Hat Harry, you never smile… just that glazed-over stare.
Then, an hour later, you’ll be playing on the floor, imitating the monster truck mayhem you absorbed earlier.
So I’m no longer fooled into thinking you’re not learning or at least being entertained. I know you’re totally paying attention and anything I do or say during that time may and will be used against me.
Sure, you’ll smile and laugh while you play; when you’re the one creating. But you respect the process of being presented with education (and entertainment) so much, you take it extremely seriously.
Some might even say too seriously.
I just say you’re intense.
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Saturday, June 15th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
One of the most noteworthy things about seeing you grow up right now, in this phase of your life, is the way you’re experimenting with your speaking abilities.
We’ve been taking advantage of our family zoo pass by going every single weekend since we bought it about a month ago. In the process, I learned what a hot potato is.
“Look at that hot potato!” you would exclaim, referring to the climbable statue in the zoo’s playground.
I realized that in your version of the English language, a hippopotamus is a hot potato.
My mind went back to the year 1988 as you preceded to “feed” the “hot potato” some mulch.
Apparently, I was witnessing the live version of the board game “Hungry, Hungry Hippos.”
Of course, “hot potatoes” aren’t the only thing I have to remember to immediately translate in my mind.
When Mommy makes you Annie’s Homegrown macaroni and cheese for dinner, you always ask her to put “black cheese” on it.
Any guesses as to what that means?
Pepper. Black pepper is “black cheese.”
One of my favorite phrases of yours is a “regular bar.”
We have so many different types of organic fruit strip snacks we keep in the pantry, that’s how you have been identifying and differentiating fig bars.
Somehow the fact they have a whole wheat coating around them makes them “regular.”
“Mommy, I have a regular bar?” That’s the kind of thing I would overhear you ask Mommy.
Finally, I had to finally ask Mommy what that meant.
She explained they are the Nature’s Bakery brand (non-GMO verified) version of Fig Newtons.
So there you have it…
Hot potatoes are hippopotamuses.
Black cheese is black pepper.
And regular bars are fig bars.
It has just now occurred to me that really, only Mommy and I understand your version of the English language.
Even then, we’re still decoding what you say every day.
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