As an early anniversary present
I got we got a new camera and I am so very excited about it! I chose the Canon 7D as a good balance between the features I wanted/needed and the features that I have no idea how to use. I have heard the 7D called a pro-sumer camera and I think that describes it pretty dang well.
I also got a 50mm/f1.4 lense to go with it, because of course I need a new lense for taking pics of the kids. Duh!
Now that I have been playing around with it for a few weeks, I am starting to get the hang of what it can do. We have a rock wall in the backyard that makes the perfect background for pictures… if I can get the kids to stand still in front of it. They usually don’t, so outtakes are the name of the game here.
I am very happy with how the camera is doing in low light sittuations as well (aka, any picture I take inside the house). It is almost fast enough for the shots I want on Auto, but not quite. Luckily, the kids are willing to run around and help me practice.
I am just so excited to take our family pictures this fall! Now I just have to figure out how to get myself into the picture as well.
Now that we have been in CT for a few months, I am thinking that we made the right decision. I know that the family (mostly my in-laws and that side) think that we are insane for moving to another state. A state where we know no one, have no family, and have never visited other than me coming for my interview. I admit that there have been a couple moments where I thought, What the eff have I done to my family? Those thoughts have been very few and far between, though. I would be crazy to not have any thoughts or questions about this huge change.
The kids are thriving out here. They are doing great in their new school and love our new house and huge yard that they can play in. Living in an old house is a huge change for us, I am not used to all the “quirks” that come with an old house. Windows that don’t open, sagging floors, and ZERO closet space. But we also have amazing original door and window frames, a huge backyard, and a great central location for activities and shopping.
I love my job and feel like I have an identity again outside of “Mom”. J and I are happier for having faced this challenge together. We will see how we do when the snow comes and we are stuck inside for weeks at at time. For now, we are enjoying the last days of summer.
Banana slugs are fascinating
Recently we decided to be
brave and go camping over the weekend with the kids. We have taken Liam camping before, just after he turned 1, and it was great. We were gone for a week and there was lots of family around to give us a hand with him. This time, we went camping for a weekend with an almost 3 year old and a 2 month old. Yikes! Luckily, we happened to go with people that had older kids and they gave us a ton of help with watching Liam. After this most recent camping experience, I have a few tips to make camping with little ones a little less stressful. We actually ended up over-packing quite a bit, but I know that if we had left anything out that would be when we needed it.
Bring lots of wipes and then pack even more. We went through a ton of baby wipes because both kids pooped a ton while camping (of course). We also used them to clean L's face/hands/feet/arms throughout the day and on our own faces/hands. They are also nice to use to give your feet a quick wipe-down before bed to keep the sheets clean.
Bring toys for the dirt. We brought L's construction vehicles and they were a big hit. They kept him occupied for hours during the trip! I think we all would have gone a little insane if we didn't have those toys to keep him occupied while in camp.
Plan on the kids being dirty all the time.
Every time we tried to clean L's hands up before a meal, he would walk away and start playing in the dirt. Eventually, we decided to just let him eat with dirt under his fingernails. Unless you are staying in a cabin (also known as not really camping), dirt is going to be everywhere no matter what you do. Might as well just give in early and enjoy it.
You have a little something on your face…
Citronella candles. R is to young for bug spray, so the only way to keep her from being eaten by the mosquitos was to hang out near a citronella candle. It worked great because she didn't get any bug bites… J and I won that lottery.
Make sure there is a good adult to kid ratio. 2 adults to every 1 child is a minimum to have a good time. This ratio allows time for everyone to relax and sit around the campfire at some point while someone else is chasing the children. If there are more kids than adults, the camp will quickly be overrun. In a pinch, older kids can substitute as adults for the purpose of distracting the younger ones.
Pack 2 complete outfits for each day. We did not end up using all of the clothes we packed for R, but L went through almost all of his (see #3). Kid clothes don't take up a ton of space, so squish a couple extra onesies or t-shirts in where you can.
Just watching the trees
You would think that camping with a baby was difficult, but it was the preschooler that was giving us heart palpitations constantly. The baby just wanted to be held, her food was mobile and available with minimal fuss, and she only woke up once a night and went right back to sleep after eating. The preschooler was fighting bedtime, refused to nap, picky about his food, and did not understand the concept of "in or out" when it came to the tent. All in all, just being a normal, exhausting, little boy.
Even with how tiring it was, we had a great time. L loves being outside (he gets that from J) and the lack of TV just blew his mind. R enjoyed sitting with me and just staring at the shadows made by the wind moving the trees. I hope that we can go again later this summer or fall before it gets too cold for the kids.