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Friday, December 30, 2011

Sammy's top 11 of 2011

Time to recap my favorite eleven photos of Sammy that I took this year (you can check out last year's top ten by clicking here)!  It was really difficult to narrow it down to only eleven, but somehow I managed--I hope you're prepared for a cuteness overload.  Here they are, in chronological order (you can watch Sammy grow up in front of your very eyes):

Bubble Boy (March 2011)

Snuggling with great-grandpa (April 2011)

Unofficial diaper model (May 2011)

Invisible mustache twirl (May 2011)

Quite possibly my favorite photo of Sammy, ever (June 2011)

Wishing the rain away (July 2011)

Hunter S. Thompson, Jr. (August 2011)

If Sammy were in a band, this would be the photo in the cd jacket (September 2011)

Portrait of the artist as a young boy (September 2011)

Splashin' Sammy (September 2011)

Sheriff Sammy (October 2011)

I hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past--see you all next year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Texture Thursday: A visit to the archives

My in-laws arrived the other day, so we've been busy getting caught up and having a belated Christmas with Captain Husband's family.  As a result, I've been very, very bad about taking photos, mostly because Sammy took a bit to warm up to his grandparents and was thus attached to me for the last twenty-four hours or so.  But I'll be busting out the camera today, don't you worry!  So, in the meantime, please enjoy this photo of our friendly neighborhood red-naped sapsucker enjoying a little treat in our backyard.

The Daily Wyatt

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: A camera question

{I've been noticing this rather odd phenomenon going on with my camera lately; weird light reflections are popping up in nearly all of the photos that I've taken indoors recently.  I honestly have no idea what's going on and have tried asking the almighty Google, as well as the oh-so-talented Ashley Sisk, but it's still a bit of a mystery.  I know my camera is in desperate need of a cleaning, but I don't think that's the root cause...I've also adjusted my aperture and other settings to see if that has anything to do with it, but to no avail.}

{This lighting/reflecting issue has become even more apparent since I've been taking photos with the Christmas tree in the background so I'm bringing this issue to my readers.  Hopefully someone can tell me what's going on here or at least how to work around it.  Anyone have any ideas/theories?}

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Christmas recap

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas with their family and friends on Sunday!  Captain Husband, Sammy, Sandy Cat and I spent our Christmas hanging out together and playing with the new toys that Santa brought for us.

It was so much fun watching Sammy this Christmas; while he initially didn't know what to do about all of the presents in front of the tree, he soon got the hang of it after CH and I got the ball rolling.

The biggest hit by far was the giant fuzzy kitty pillow; Sammy spent most of the morning dancing around with it, hugging it, and throwing it on the floor and then jumping on top of it.  Santa hit a home run with that gift!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A stocking for Sammy

I will freely admit that I'm a procrastinator and this holiday season was no different; I didn't have the tree decorated until Thursday last week and it wasn't 'til Friday that I decided to make Sammy's Christmas stocking.  I had all of the supplies for nearly a month but for some reason I just couldn't get my butt in gear...however, there's nothing like a fast-approaching deadline to light a fire under me.

I found the tutorial for the stocking on Prudent Baby and I can easily say that Sammy's stocking was the most advanced sewing project that I've attempted to date.  It involved bias tape, people.  I decided to embellish the stocking with a felt applique rather than quilting it like the tutorial suggested and I think it turned out pretty cute.

I think Sammy liked it, too, especially the pom-pom trim. Of course, the little goodies that he found inside of it yesterday morning probably helped form a positive opinion, too.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Eighteen-month update

Sammy turns eighteen-months old today, which is kind of mind boggling to me because I have absolutely no idea where all of the time has gone.  It seems like just yesterday he was a tiny little baby and now he's most definitely a big boy--I can honestly say that it's been a joy watching him turn into the person he is today.

Vitals: 15 teeth, waiting on the last incisor to come in and then it's on to the two-year molars, yay.  He's wearing all 2T clothing and is just under three feet tall and I'm going to guess that he weighs around 28 pounds or so--he honestly doesn't feel that much heavier although he's definitely gotten taller in the last month.

New words:
Walk, thank you, no (we've been hearing this one A LOT), circle, star, "O" for orange, and tree.

New tricks:
Sammy can now walk up the stairs using the bannister, although he prefers to hold our hand.  He can also use the remote to turn off the tv/stereo components, much to my chagrin.  Sammy loves to turn on the clock radio on my nightstand and tune it to fun stations and dance while I'm getting ready in the morning.  He has mastered the art of eating soup and cereal and eats most every meal with a fork and a spoon.  Sammy can also identify a square, circle, triangle and star when asked.  He also really enjoys making fun imaginary meals for me and CH to enjoy and he loves to feed his stuffed animals "snacks."

Favorite things:
Peppa Pig is still his favorite show--when he hears the theme music, he comes running, saying, "Peppa!" over and over again. Sammy LOVES steamed broccoli, even going so far as to steal some bites from his dad's plate the other night.  Bear snores on is still Sammy's most requested book to be read to and he also really enjoys nursery rhymes and funny songs.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shoot and Edit: Holiday traditions (after)

So here's my edited version of my photo from Tuesday--let's be honest here, the original photo needed a lot of work.  Here's what I did in picnik:
  1. Converted the photo to black and white using the Tri-X 400 setting under the curves tab;
  2. Increased the exposure by 80%;
  3. Brightened Sammy's eyes using the eye bright setting at 80% fade;
  4. Cropped the image and called it a day.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the before and after: it's definitely an improvement in my opinion (black and white conversions tend to forgive a lot of photography sins).  What do you think?

And don't forget--if you'd like to learn how to make your photos go from good to wow, be sure to check out what's going on over at Jill and Ashley's blogs:

The Daily Wyatt

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: All wrapped up

{I managed to get all of the Christmas gifts wrapped last night, so I can cross that off of my list.  I'm still waiting for a few last-minute gifts to arrive in the mail, and then I'll be all done as far as the presents are concerned.  There's still a bit left to be done before my in-laws come into town next week, but at least I'm getting things crossed off of the list.}

{And don't forget to vote for our Christmas card if you haven't already over at the Paper Mama!  You can vote once a day until Wednesday this week so I'd really appreciate it if you could click here and give us a vote--we're #28 (just look for the little Christmas cowpoke below).  Thanks so much!}

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shoot and Edit: Holiday traditions (SOOC)

There are only five days to go before Christmas and I still haven't decorated our tree; at this rate, I think I'll finally get around to tackling it some time next year. At first I was beating myself up a bit for not being more holly jolly about everything for Sammy's sake, but I have finally come to the realization that it's more important that Captain Husband, Sammy and I enjoy our very first Christmas together as a family without staying up all night decorating the house and stressing over whether everything "looks" right.  After all, as far as Sammy's concerned, the lights on the tree are the best thing since sliced bread--why fix something if it's not broken?  Now, hopefully our undecorated tree won't become a holiday tradition, but with any luck, this Christmas will be the first of many happy holiday memories that we make together as a family and that's a tradition that I'll embrace wholeheartedly. 

Oh--one more thing: our Christmas card made it to the top thirty in the Paper Mama's Holiday Photo Challenge!  You can vote once a day until Wednesday this week so I'd really appreciate it if you could click here and give us a vote--we're #28 (just look for the little Christmas cowpoke below).  Thanks!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Christmas train

I was feeling a little bad about last week's debacle with Sammy and Santa Claus and wanted to make it up to him, so Captain Husband and I took Sammy to the local mall to ride the Christmas train.  One of Sammy's favorite toys (at the moment) is his pull-along train, so I figured that this would be something he'd really enjoy.  And even though these photos don't really show it, Sammy had a blast:

After his first ride on the train, we took him over to the indoor playground to run around and play for a little bit before we headed home for lunch, but he all but ignored the other kids running around in favor of watching the train make its loops and saying "choo choo" over and over again.  After about ten minutes of this, CH got the hint and walked Sammy over for a second ride--Sammy was in heaven.  I have a feeling we're going to be making several more visits to the mall this week so that Sammy can get his choo-choo fix before it has to get packed up and returned to the North Pole.

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