Sunday, January 29, 2017

New Camera, Cicada Shells, and long long car trips

 This year, for Christmas, Josh presented me with a little card, that stated it was redeemable for a really nice camera.

 I had been daydreaming about the Canon eos rebel T2i ever since my sister got one on eBay 2 years ago. It's amazing.

Josh and I have had very different philosophies when it comes to photography. Josh feels like it changes the moment by being observed, like quantum mechanics and knowing collapsing the wave function. He thinks photographing life interferes with living it. And as he points out, “if you photograph your whole life, when do you have time to look at it all?” 
I am in the opposite camp, “This 50th variation of the 6 week old grimace must be documented...”

So the camera voucher for Christmas surprised me <3

Chilling in AL....

If you are as obsessed with photographing your kid's everyday life as I am then this camera is so worth the cost (used on ebay, still a decent chunk of money) even if it means pinching the grocery/clothes/household budget for 6 months.

{{Digression on the awesomeness of this camera: while some of the outdoor pictures in this post are with my old pocket camera, all my indoor pictures are now taken with the new camera. I can actually take photos in indoor lighting in the evening (usually when all the daddy-kid playing is happening), instead of having a blurred out humanoid shapes or shell-shocked kids after a flash. And best of all, instead of a 3 second reload times between shots (usually when my kids attention span would fade, or instead they'd sit frozen with their picture grimaces expression for 5 seconds, I can actually get a series of expressions, capturing their real everyday expressions. Now I just have to be really really careful not to break it.}}

 Because you can get little interactions like this....

She was very pleased to have the cicada shell bestowed upon her.

She gave it to Mariam, who sensed the honor of the gift....

Jenny was also thrilled to get to wear it.

Although I don't know if this series of pictures justifies my philosophy of documenting all the memories or Josh's philosophy that documenting life cuts into actually living, because I honestly didn't know Aunt Mali was passing around a cicada shell while I was taking these pictures. Only afterwards, looking through them, do I realize that's what was going on. Um....changing the subject....

Aunt Mali really got the kids excited about getting ready for bed. She turned the toothbrushing and the Pajama-garbing into royal rituals, in which they were all ceremonally knighted afterwards. Jenny and Keziah were the princesses, and Isaiah got to be a knight (he rejected the title of prince for that of a knight). Later that evening when they were skyping Josh (who had to fly back to AZ earlier due to work), they reported their recently ennobled status to him. He asked them who he was, and they answered “Duh King”, on which the King made a royal decree that all the princesses and princes had to go to bed (it was their bedtime). “But I'm a knight” Isaiah explained, Josh then decreed all the knights had to go to bed too. “But he has to guard us!!” Jenny explained.
The knights and the princesses did all eventually get to bed.

The kids would all cluster round for skyping Daddy. Mariam would hold the computer, and just repeat “Daddy! Daddy!” over and over again.

The kids had a blast, hanging out in Alabama with their Grandmommy and Grandaddy and Aunts and Uncles.

Mariam especially enjoyed hanging upside down.

They went on walks, scouted out the local parks, and were introduced to "Voltron, Legendary Defender," had their first piano lessons with Grandmommy, and even got to explore the library.

Uncle Elijah helped (meaning, did all of it) drive us back to AZ, Jenny started singing “Sweet Home Arizona” (her own variation) as we buckled into the car.
 It was quite an adventure, including almost running out of gas in middle of the night in rural Texas surrounded by red blinking windmills and a giant reassuring cross (we made it 20 miles with the empty light on, to a town of a single gas station with a few dozen houses), and a mirage cow (which Elijah saw after being awake 24 hours straight, necessitating a 1.5 minute frolic at a Chic-Fil-A playplace while Uncle Elijah napped in the car), as well as a 10 minute frolic in a snowstorm in the AZ mountains. I had been freaking out about sliding off the road, and Elijah had the idea to enjoy the snow while it was there. Little brothers give you perspective on life...

When we got home, the kids were excited to see Daddy again, and become reacquainted with all their toys. Keziah in particular has a very maternal streak for all her (and her sister's) dolls. She lines them up and tucks them into bed with the utmost care. 

Mariam started using new words, unprompted. On the road, when we got pizza, I was startled to hear a little voice in the back saying “pizza! Pizza!”, I looked back, expecting to see Keziah saying it, and it was Mariam.

Mariam also continues to enjoy slapping people in the face.
not the moment I was trying to capture....

Like everything else she does, her violent actions are accompanied by extreme cheerfulness. She might tease or hit her siblings, but always with joy and never with malice.
This one was...

She remains, in her core, a little sweetheart.

Isaiah lost his first tooth. That is, he bravely let mom pull it out because his new one had already come in behind it. Daddy took him to Walmart to get some legos as a reward afterwards, here he is building them, with an admiring audience.

I'm a bit behind on updates on all the kids, but I hope to post on that soon.
Little Sadar #5 is doing well, hanging in there and kicking, I'll be 31 weeks tomorrow. Thank you so much for all your continued prayers!