Archive for the ‘kid photos’ Category

Getting Ready for Christmas: Christmas Cards

Yikes, November is almost over. And with the end of November means the start of December. And the start of December means the start of the Christmas holiday season. This year I was invited by Cardstock to try out their custom photo Christmas cards. I’ll be writing an Everything Fabulous post in the next few weeks on tools for making custom Christmas cards so this was a perfect opportunity to try them out.

Of course that meant I needed pictures and not shots of the kids at the beach (not very Christmasy). We don’t even have snow here yet. Hopefully the wooly hats and mittens help set the scene. My kids had a great time, though I had a hard time getting them to stand still. I don’t know how professional photographers do it. Oh and these photos, I took with my iPhone 4. Is there nothing that phone can’t do.

Ice Cream

Nothing says summer nights like a sweet, drippy, chocolate dipped ice cream

Top Ten Tuesday: Kids’ Crazy Faces

Yesterday we celebrated Victoria Day, as did many people across Canada. The weather was beautiful and we spent most of the time outside, either at the park working on our cycling skills or in the backyard BBQ-ing. We switched to charcoal a long time ago over propane. It may take longer but the taste is far superior.

So as we cooked, the kids played and played and played. It’s amazing how long the 3 of them can play together without any major battle. Watching them goof around, I thought what a great post for Oh Amanda‘s Top Ten Tuesday blog meme: our Top Ten Crazy Kids Faces. Okay, this post might not have mass appeal but the kids had fun making faces and I can’t help but laugh when I look at them, even now, hours after I took them.

My kids with Iron Man and AC/DC’s Angus Young

Sunday’s are for families. Maybe you go for a bike ride together or head out to brunch. Some of you might hit a movie theatre for an afternoon flick. Us? Well we head out to ComiCon. Comic books, super heros and hard rock, how else would you spend time with your family.

It was a few weekends when we went and the kids had a chance to ‘rock out’ with Angus Young from AC/DC and here are the pictures to prove it:

Okay, so it’s not the real Angus; I think they were more excited about the Iron Man back drop. Heck, my kids don’t even know who AC/DC really is so standing in front of a cutout is okay.

Call it a gut feeling

Yesterday we went to the cities big Santa Clause parade. It was a little chilly but the promised rain didn’t show so we were happy. The kids were happy because they didn’t have to wear their snowsuits like last year.


Hey mom, look at what I'm colouring

We arrived early to get our curbside seat. A family near us had brought a bag of chalk which was a great idea. They let the kids take a piece and cover University Avenue (at least where we were sitting) with pictures and messages to Santa. My two girls were right into drawing on the road (my son’s not very keen on drawing so he passed).

My youngest got right into her drawing by laying down on her tummy colouring away, oblivious of the thousands of people around her. A reporter from one of the community papers took a picture of her (with my permission of course).

But then a young man, maybe in his twenties, came up and commented on my daughter, saying she was such a cute baby (what baby, my daughter’s two, almost three) and asked if he could take her picture. He was with a young woman, but I thought it was a strange request. Yes my kids are cute, all moms think that and it’s a wonderful compliment if a stranger agrees, but I’ve never had someone not in media ask to take her picture.

Of course my instant mommy protector mode kicked in and a fained an excuse that she really doesn’t like her picture being taken (ha) and that was the end of it; they walked away. Of course they may have gone and taken a snap of her without my knowledge; having kids out in public, you can’t guarantee that doesn’t happen, but I didn’t see them even standing nearby.

Perhaps the request was completely innocent and they did just want a picture because she was doing something cute, but you can never be sure. And when it comes to my kids I’d rather err on the side of caution.

Has something like this ever happened to you?

We believe in Santa Claus


Discovering Santa 2008

There’s great excitement in our house this week. We’ve just discovered that the cities big Santa Claus parade is this Sunday. Yes, it is only mid November, but that means we can jump right into the Christmas season that much sooner. The walk to school consisted of the kids talking about what they were going to ask Santa Claus for (we’re writing letters this week to give to Santa at the parade).

I love seeing my kids so excited; they’ve already started being extra nice to each other. Flyers now have big holes in them from the kids cutting out pictures to include in their letters. I know one day their belief in the jolly fat man will wain so I’m enjoying the moment while it lasts. I can’t imagine what Christmas will be like without Santa Claus. Sure we’ll still have baking and songs and cards and gifts, but something magical will be missing.

I know there are many people who don’t believe in Santa Claus. My sister’s family celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. We do as well and my kids understand the real purpose of Christmas (for us), but I love having the fun part of Santa too. 

Some people don’t believe in any of those fantasy characters, like the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny or leprechaun.

Since these characters aren’t real, why fool your kids telling them they are. One day they’ll discover the truth and be devastated.

Yes, that might be true. There will probably be some tears on the day my kids realize the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus aren’t real; tears from them and myself. But the years of enjoyment we get from these beliefs far outweighs the disappointment to come (I say now, though I haven’t yet hit that disappointment stage yet). Am I really doing such a disservice to my kids by letting them believe? Isn’t childhood all about imagination and fantasy and all the stuff we lose when we move into adulthood. Somehow having my kids believe in these characters makes me believe, just a little. And believing in a fairy who rewards children as they move from babyhood into childhood or a jolly man who encourages being nice and taking care of others seems to fill my heart with love and understanding and everyone can benefit from that right?

Foto Friday: Beaver Boy

Happy Foto Friday

It’s Friday and again I’m participating with Candid Carrie and her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta (you can see who else is playing by visiting her blog). I know everyone’s been focusing on the first day of school but we’ve have had our own special first day.

Finally... a Beaver

Finally... a Beaver

Beaver Boy: When my oldest daughter started Sparks (the youngest group of Girl Guides), she loved sharing stories about what she did in her girl club. Then my son heard there’s was a boys club, Beavers, and from that moment he’s been counting down the days, every day for two years.

Well yesterday was that day. My son wanted to wear his uniform to school so he’d be ready to go right away. He was at school ‘recruiting’ his friends to join. He could hardly eat his dinner. When he came home from his first Beaver’s meeting he was all smiles, big tired smiles.

When my son started junior kindergarten last year it was a big day for both of us. The first day is always big and one I will probably remember. But somehow my son starting Beavers has a similar effect on me. He’s participated in outside activities, on his own, without me, but Beavers is at night. I mean he’s out while his sisters are getting ready for bed and he doesn’t get back until they’re asleep. Maybe that’s it. Attending something that keeps him out past his regular bedtime means something. It means he’s getting bigger. It means he’s not my little baby boy. I’m so excited for him.

Now my youngest has started her countdown….

Today’s Parent photo shoot

Some of you may know that my family has been working with Today’s Parent for a few years now as one of their toy testing families. It’s been an amazing job and I say job because it is work. If you’re interested, I wrote a blog post about what’s involved with testing toys. Maybe you want to apply to be a toy testing family too.

Well testing for this year has come to an end but the final list of toys wouldn’t be published until the November issue of Today’s Parent (don’t worry, when it gets closer I’ll be reminding you to pick it up).

But this year we had a surprise request. Along with the list of top toy picks the magazine wants to include some information on the toy testing process and they asked if they could take pictures of me and the kids ‘testing’ the toys (it’s to accompany an article they’ve asked me to write).

So yesterday was photo day. If you’ve been following me on twitter, you’ll recall a few tweets about trying to clean (and keep clean) my house this week until the photo shoot. That’s a task in itself with three kids at home. It almost got to the point where the kids weren’t allowed downstairs and then I realized I had to feed them. But we made it, house and kids intact.

The photographer arrived at 2 p.m. and scoped out the main floor of the house for the best lighting. That gave the kids time to change (turns out not many people in Canada wear shorts in November so they couldn’t be in shorts for the photo). Into the fall back to school close they went.

The kids were so excited, they were hyper and all talking at once but the photographer was great (it helps that he has a three year old son). We took pictures playing with toys at the table in the dining room. The photographer even took some crazy face pictures to let the kids get it out of their system. Then we moved into the living room to use toys there. After a short meltdown from my son we took a quick snack break while the photographer scoped outside.

Pay no attention to the man behind the camera

Pay no attention to the man behind the camera

We moved outside for a few group shots (with fall jackets on of course). I’m not a hot person but I was starting to sweat in the sun. After two-hours the shoot was over. Funny a million shots and you know they’re only going to pick one. There may have been a few small incidences where I had to speak to my kids about behaviour, but all said and done they were amazing, especially about listening to the photographer. And the photographer was very patient.

Overall it was a great experience. We usually look forward to the November Toy Issue of Today’s Parent to see what toys made the list, if any of them were our favourites and if the kids were quoted. But this year we have even more to look forward to. Can’t wait!

Foto Friday: Big Thunder Mountain

Happy Foto Friday

Another Friday and another week I’m participating in Candid Carrie‘s Friday Foto Finish Fiesta (you can see who else is participating over on her blog). We’ve just come back from a recent trip to DisneyWorld so I’m full of vacation pictures. Though this week I’m sort of cheating since I’m posting a video instead of a photo (just this once, I promise):

Big Thunder Mountain: Roller Coasters have always been a favourite of mine. The hills and twists and turns. The freedom to scream from terror and excitement all at the same time. My seven year old daughter recently discovered the roller coaster bug on our last DisneyWorld trip. And, like all children, she of course has to kick it up a notch. Even at her young age she’s riding the rails with her hands high in the air. The video depicts her first ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster ride in Magic Kingdom. Trust me, after this initial ride her hands never touched the inside of the car. Yes, I love the Honey Pots ride and the Spinning Tea Cups (well, maybe that one not so much), but it’s kind of nice when your kids are old enough to enjoy some of the bigger, more thrilling rides I also enjoy.

When was the first time your child or you yourself enjoyed a coaster?

Summer reading club finale

You know summer is coming to a close when the libraries Summer Reading Club program comes to an end. All three of my kids have been participating in this year’s Secret Agent 009 reading program. We’ve participated in the past, but this is the first year we’ve actually completed it. So to celebrate we attended the finale party.

Only my two oldest finished their books but all three kids received participation awards. Anyone who read at least one book as part of the program was given an award, which was great for my youngest.

An award for all

An award for all

After the awards the real fun began. And no party is complete without a magician. The great thing about this magic show was that it was based around the secret agenct theme. He also had lots of participation from the kids. Some kids were called upon to be secret agents to help the magician detective. Others were called into bad guy roles to try and capture the magician detective. The show was enjoyed by adults and kids alike.

We're watching the detective (magician)

We're watching the detective (magician)

Enjoying the show

Enjoying the show

My oldest daughter trying to figure out the tricks

My oldest daughter trying to figure out the tricks

Near the end of the show, the magician had magnifying glasses to give to all the kids for their own secret missions. My oldest daughter was selected to help hand these out, but first she needed a secret agent name. Secret Agent White Meatball (colour + food) enjoyed her important role.

Secret Agency White Meatball at work

Secret Agency White Meatball at work

Then came the ice-cream and random name draw for prizes. My son was thrilled to have his name picked and walked away with a secret agency pen (it has a light that flashes at the end). And all three of my kids were on the winning trivia team so they all received a free book.

When my daughter found out the person who read the most books received a bag of books as a prize, she vowed to read the most next summer (ah, a girl after my own free book giveaway heart). It was a great way to end the summer reading program.