Monday, March 31, 2014

March Photo love!

I took a LOT of photos this month!  Not always every day, but when I did pick up my camera I took quite a few at each "session".  I've been trying to get better at picking up the camera every day, but let's face it, life with 3 kids leaves me a little forgetful and I can't quite remember my camera every day.  Either way, the girls are still very much well documented even if it isn't every day!  Below are my favorite photos from March!

Mackenzie does not have bangs, but her hair naturally falls out of her face.  I love this 5 year old smile!
Brandon and my Aunt have this picture as their phone background or lock screen!  Such a cutie!
Pure joy!
Meredith fell asleep on her chair.  Well at least her head and one shoulder was on her chair! ;)
This one is my super favorite!  Mackenzie wanted to hold Miranda and was trying to make her laugh by crossing her eyes.  Clearly, Miranda was very interested. ;)
We're are ready for April and warmer weather WITHOUT the allergies!  Here's to a beautiful Spring!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Strawberry Picking - 2014

For the third year in a row (see here and here for the past years), we went strawberry picking with my grandparents.  As usual, we fill up our buckets very fast with some tasty, juicy, ripe strawberries!

After editing my photos I discovered two things...
1.  I was clearly paired with Meredith as I only have 2 photos of Mackenzie picking berries.
2.  At some point in the very beginning I got strawberry juice on my lens and have a red spot on all of my pictures! :/

This is Mackenzie showing me the big strawberry she picked just for her daddy!  I probably should have moved a little so that the strawberry wasn't right in FRONT of her face! ;)
 Meredith might have gotten a little too much stem when she picked this strawberry! ;)
 All fixed!
10 minutes later, our buckets were full!
Mackenzie really wanted her picture taken with the wooden strawberries!
 It was super windy that day, so EVERYONE's hair was in their face, not just Meredith's!
And, Miranda stayed comfy and cozy in the stroller!  Next year she'll get her chance to pick some strawberries!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Miranda is 7 months!


Miranda turned 7 months old this past Wednesday.  I'm looking forward to these next 5 months because that's when all the real fun begins...rolling, crawling, pulling up, standing!

After her 6 month check up, I fed Miranda her first solid food meal.  She actually had oatmeal because rice cereal has soy in it.  I also used the formula for babies with allergies to mix with water rather than my milk.  As it turns out, the formula that is suitable for "most babies with allergies", is not suitable for Miranda!  After 5 days of a fussy and gassy baby, I put two and two together and eliminated the formula.  She's better now, but then this past week she had another 2 bad nights in a row and I think the sweet potatoes might bother her, so that food is out! She already wakes up a lot in the night, I don't need a fussy baby waking up every hour too!  ;)  She's tried peaches, pears, green beans, carrots & sweet potatoes.  She's liked all of them and is always eager to eat, but since she's getting plenty of nutrients through my milk, I'm not pushing the foods as much as I did with Mackenzie and Meredith.

At 7 months, Miranda...
- nurses 4 or 5 times during the day
- is still NOT sleeping through the night.  She has started waking up every 2 or 3 hours to nurse a little. :/
- wears 6 month clothing and is starting to fit in 9 month clothing (see comparison pic)
- sucks on her hands all the time and drools all over herself.
- is sitting up!  She still falls, so I can't just leave her alone, but she does sit up pretty well.
- has found her feet and enjoys laying on the floor playing with them! ;)
- eats one meal a day about 5 times a week.  (see above)

When I was editing my photos to make the comparison of all three girls, I realized that Mackenzie and Meredith just happened to be wearing the same outfit in their 7 month photos.  I didn't think we still had the same outfit, since we didn't keep many under 12 months, but I checked Miranda's closet just in case.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the outfit hanging up, so I quickly changed Miranda and took new bear photos just for the comparison photo! ;)
Meredith is the only one who filled out the clothes at 7 months and wore the pants as capris, but all three look cute!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Miranda's first visit to Moshi and Gapa's

I didn't realize it until we got there, but this past weekend was Miranda's first visit to Moshi and Gapa's (my parents).  They've seen her here at our house lots of times, but when we were supposed to go visit at Christmas that's when Brandon and Miranda were sick.  Anyways, the big girls had a blast as usual and Miranda seemed to enjoy herself too!

There was dancing and singing...
Book reading...

And just general hanging out...

But the real excitement came when Moshi let the girls try on her jewelry and scarves!
This picture is overexposed (I'm still working with manual settings and she came running out very quickly), but it captures her excitement so well!
Now, the posed picture (excitement lost)...

They tried on a lot of necklaces and bracelets.  This is Meredith trying to decide what to wear next!

And just for fun...
After several tries to take pictures of Mackenzie with all of the jewelry on and me telling her to correct something or another, she finally resorted to holding her eyes open while I took the picture!  Silly girl!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Instagram wrap-up

I started working on this post a week ago and forgot about it.  Hopefully I'll be able to blog more this week.  Raising three kids kind of zaps your time! ;) 

Our recent goings on through instagram pictures...

I cleaned out our hall closet at the beginning of March and found a box of our wedding stuff I had saved.  I decided I didn't need all 50 of the programs, so I kept 6 (one for me and each of the girls + 2 extra for scrapbooking) and threw out the rest.
Same with the bells we used at the wedding.  I kept 6 with the tags on and put the rest in sensory bin storage without the tags.
Mackenzie and Meredith were pretty excited that I gave them our ring bearer pillow for their dress up box.
They also got my rehearsal bouquet made of ribbons from wedding shower gifts. 
Meredith had her first playdate with only one of her friends.  You can tell these girls both have older sisters because they sat down together and "talked" their dolls.  Mackenzie and Lyla (the older sisters) didn't even do this at age 3 when they started playing together.
Meredith is "swimming" here.  Since swimming lessons at this point is all about floating on her back, she's doing great! And yes she's a little close to the trashcan, but we washed our hands and took baths that night, so all is well. ;)
Miranda has found her tongue!  It's itty bitty when she sticks it out, so she looks adorable!
Miranda also had her first ride in the grocery cart.  She did pretty great with even with the occasional falling over. ;)
After Miranda's 6 month doctor appointment, she had her first taste of "food."  I fed her in her bouncy seat and as soon as I was finished, Meredith put her baby in and fed her.
Randomly, Meredith came up to me and said, "When I cross my arms like this, I'm mad."  Looks about right!

I think I've posted one other instagram photo since starting this post 8 days ago, so clearly I've been MIA in the media department (sort of).   Here's hoping to many more posts this week - museum fun, photography challenge, visiting moshi & gapa...and I'm sure several more once I start looking at pictures or actually thinking about what we've been doing.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Photography Challenge - Day 2

I am loving Click it up a Notch.  Courtney has such great blog topics and I'm learning a lot about taking photos, even if it's only pictures of my 3 silly girls. Today I'm sharing photos from Day 2 of Courtney's photography challenge e-book.  I really like the tips broken down into one challenge at a time.  It's much easier to learn to take better pictures if you only have to focus on one concept at a time.  Especially, when I'm still getting the hang of adjusting my f-stop, shutter speed and ISO.

Challenge 2 - Catchlights

Brown or blue, I love looking at my daughters' eyes.  I especially love seeing "the light" in their eyes.  This challenge helped me to accomplish that in my photos.  As before, I took A LOT of photos over the course of several days.

All the pictures below include my straight out of camera image (left or top) and my edited image (right or bottom).  I used my Canon 50mm lens to take all of the photos, but I'll list the details of each shot below if you are interested.

This first photo didn't capture any catchlights, but I love it, so it's here. ;)
Meredith playing outside.
f/2.5    1/4000ss    ISO-200

Well, at least you can see one eye...which is typical!
f/2.0    1/640ss    ISO-100

Mackenzie smiled for me for this challenge!
f/2.0    1/100ss    ISO-1600

Meredith doing what she loves - playing dress up!  I think I washed out the photo a little too much during editing, but I can fix that.
f/1.8    1/160ss    ISO-1600

This is her pose she does when showing anyone her knew clothes!  The photo was a little dark, so I lightened it up a bit in editing.
f/2.5    1/160ss    ISO-1600

Mackenzie was a butterfly and was a little hard to photograph while "flying" around. ;)
f/2.0    1/160ss    ISO-1600

We call this the scared butterfly! ;)  I've said this before, but since Brandon has brown eyes, I never figured my children would have blue eyes like me, so I love seeing her blue eyes in pictures.
f/2.0    1/160ss    ISO-1600

Of course, Meredith had to imitate laying down in the chair.  I love her eyes too!
f/2.0    1/160ss    ISO-1600

Another cute close up of Mackenzie.  I used a photo effect I found online to edit this photo, but now I cannot figure out which one I used.
f/2.0    1/250ss    ISO-1600

There's the baby!  I couldn't get her to quit grabbing her shirt, but changing it to B&W or chocolate eliminated those pesky wrinkles. You don't see her blue eyes anymore (another blue-eyed child!), but you can still see the catchlights!
f/2.0    1/125ss    ISO-1600

Mackenzie jumped in for a silly face and I still managed to get a good picture of her.  You can faintly see Miranda's blue shirt in the background behind her hair!
f/2.0    1/200ss    ISO-1600

Miranda is not always a fan of tummy time!
f/2.0    1/200ss    ISO-1600

But two minutes later, she realizes it's not that bad! ;)
f/2.0    1/320ss    ISO-1600

Day 2 complete!  Tomorrow we go to the museum and I'm going to attempt to shoot on manual mode while out and about.  We shall see how that goes!

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