Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Season Ago

If she's wearing a cardigan, you know it must be cold.

 She's also wearing snow boots, but that tells you nothing since she will wear them with a bathing suit.

 An entire season ago (almost two seasons now), it was winter.

 And I took these photos on a chilly but sunny morning.

 My parents came out for a wonderful visit, and we made our way down to Shoup Park to check out the usually-dry creek.

 John brought lunch for all of us, and we sat on picnic benches and ate sandwiches while the kids played.

 Bennett's fingertips were dyed completely orange from so many Cheetos.

 A boy in the sandpit had a cement mixer Bennett could borrow, and he was in heaven.

 No truck is better than the truck that isn't his.

 The usually-dry creek was quite un-dry this year after all of our rain.

 These California kids are very well versed in beach-going, but found creek life to be pretty novel.

 And a creek under the canopy of Redwoods isn't half bad.

 I'm surprised there was a single rock left on the shore when my kids were done with the place.

 They spent a good hour just throwing rock after rock into the water racing by.

 Orelia's favorite method was two at a time.

 Bennett's favorite method was into another kid's bucket.

 The splash right into his face was downright hilarious, apparently.

 Simple pleasures are nice.

 And I'm so glad Noni and Grandpa could be there with us.

During the visit Orelia was Grandpa's special chef helper.

 And Bennett made Noni read Cars and Trucks and Things that Go perhaps a hundred times.

In a few weeks we will be reunited with Noni and Grandpa, and I can't wait to see whether cooking and Cars and Trucks will be on the agenda again.  See you soon!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Bennett's Last Day of School

 Bennett had his last day of school on Friday!

 This was his first year of preschool, and he truly loved it!

 He was in an 18-30 month class (based on their age when the school year starts), and he and I went to school every Friday morning together for two hours.

 I think preschool was his favorite morning of the week (beating out gymnastics, soccer, and Little Explorers).  He was always so happy come Friday morning to head to school with his big sister.

 Just like on his first day of school, Orelia insisted she be included in the photos.

She was wearing a costume on both mornings, and it turns out the same Cinderella headband.

 And yes, she really went dressed to school like that.

 Comparing his photos from the first day to the last day, it's hard to even say why he looks older.  To me, I mostly see the gleam in his eyes in the recent photos that remind me of the curious and purposeful boy I know today.

Congratulations on your first year of preschool, Bennett - now onto your dissertation!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Bennett Out Back

 Per usual, I'm taking an insane amount of backyard photos these days.

 Once Spring hits, we spend so much time out back with beautiful light and lots of laughs, so I can't help but document it.

 My best photos lately have been of Bennett.

 While Orelia can be quite the performer at times, Bennett seems much more interested in cracking jokes for me/my camera.

 He fancies himself quite hilarious and will tell the same joke over and over, laughing at it every time while I take photos.

 Orelia almost runs away when I get the camera out, but at least this guy doesn't seem to mind.

I know this photography tolerance isn't here to stay, so I will take advantage of any moment Bennett is smiling and not running away from me.

So, I hope you like to look at the grass in my backyard.

 It goes well with this guy's blonde hair.

And everything goes well with his toothy grins.

You make me laugh, Bennett, and I'm glad you make yourself laugh too.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Little Hands, Busy Hands

 I've always loved the artistry of hands, and used to love the work of Rodin in particular.

Other than for newborns, it seems kids' hands never are the focus of photos (at least mine), and I think it's a mistake.

 These little hands tell a story without saying a word.

 They convey an age.

 And an afternoon spent outside.

 I may not always remember to take photos of my kids' busy hands.

 Or their ten tiny toes.

 But at least for a couple of days when Bennett was two and a half and Orelia was four and a half, I will remember exactly how their tiny hands worked and played.

And the curl of their little feet.

And the dirty and torn fingernails showing a childhood worth having.

These little hands, these busy hands, mean the world to me.