I am usually not a big fan of clowns, but of course the little cute one below is an exception to the rule. All the kids at the daycare were performing some kind of circus activity the other day and Sienna had chosen to be one of the clowns. At first they were all tripping over some toy and then Sienna pulled the chair away from under one of the other clowns so he fell to the ground. They were also throwing pies at each other. While Sienna was performing, Elliot was busy checking out the premises; he was looking for escape routes, testing the power outlet, and ensuring that the doll’s bed was sturdily built and could hold a doll of at least 25 lbs.
Every month since the kids were born I have been taking their picture – Elliot on the 17th and Sienna on the 29th. Today I quickly had to shoot Sienna before she headed over to mormor and BC’s house for some quality time, and naturally Elliot decided to do everything in his power to obstruct this project. First he kept getting in the frame and as soon as I tried exploiting this by getting a shot of them both, he catapulted off the couch and ran over, jumped on my back, and tried to pull the camera away from me. He is crazy about pushing the buttons on anything electronic. He turns the dvd player and the Wii on and off at least 70 times a day. Although Elliot gets on Sienna’s nerves sometimes (for instance by turning her Diego dvd off for the 20th time in 5 minutes) they really play nicely and they love to cuddle with each other. They are becoming more and more inseparable. Before Elliot will eat his kale breakfast smoothie he has to go and wake Sienna up. He will stand at the end of the bed and continuously do the “eat” sign until she gets going and joins him at the dinner table.
This little guy is hard to catch on film (or on a digital memory card for that matter). The moment he notices the camera, he runs towards me hoping that I’ll let him press all the buttons. Despite horrible lighting conditions, I managed to get a good shot of him today, though. He is turning 14 months old and he is still a very happy, curious, loving, slightly rough, and impatient little boy. He has no problem expressing himself, particularly when things aren’t going his way. He is getting stronger and stronger both physically and with respect to communicating. He is using sign language every day and he really enjoys the ability to communicate with us on a more sophisticated level. The signs he is using right now are; eat, more, drink, bird, down, cold, baby, ball, book, bed, b@th, hot, out, change and wait (although he is incapable of waiting himself).
I love traditions and Sienna is now at the age where she can start to grasp the concept, so we kicked off the first Sunday of advent with some Christmas related activities. First of PJ (Santa’s little helper/Sienna’s bear) had hung up advent calendars for the kids. Elliot got a game and Sienna got a nice grocery basket for when she goes shopping in her fully equipped in-house super market. After playing with the new toys for a while, Sienna went with her dad to the skating rink. Meanwhile Elliot and I went downtown to pick up some new stuff to decorate with. Elliot had a hard time understanding that all the glittering balls weren’t meant for throwing, but we made it out of the store without braking too many items. I’m not crazy about the Christmas elfs, so I usually bring home rein dears or mooses instead. This time we found some quilted grey ones that were cute and decorative. When Sienna and Shawn returned from the skating rink, we all sat down to have hot chocolate with cream, æbleskiver (the little round donuts) and clementines, which to me are very symbolic of Christmas time. I decided that this would be a great way to kick off Christmas for time to come, so hot chocolate, æbleskiver, and clementines on the first day of advent will be a tradition in this family from now on.
I finally got the last pictures from the cruise together. One of the kids favorite activities on the boat was to splash around in the pool. A rice bowl from the restaurant and a pot from home kept them entertained for quite a while.
Here are the pictures from Elliot’s first birthday party. We had the entire family over and the day went really well. Before everyone arrived, Sienna and Latimer were busy decorating the miniature muffins and I was busy decorating his cake, which was shaped as a giant cupcake. The birthday theme was somewhat spontaneous. Instead of my usual long term planning I didn’t decide what to do until I was at the grocery store two days before. The only somewhat nice napkins they had were with Buzz Lightyear, hence I decided to go with the space theme. I decorated the spaceship cookies the night before and also prepared some marshmallow-fondant stars. I figured the giant cupcake could serve as a foreign planet. Other than cupcakes and cookies we had a feast of delicious sandwiches that Shawn had prepared. When I put Elliot’s birthday cake in front of him, he used a potato chip to scoop off some of the frosting. Unfortunately the little guy ended up having a major allergic reaction, because the frosting had both dairy and hazelnuts in it to which he is apparently allergic. With a little help from some antihistamine he quickly recovered and was able to open his presents and enjoy the rest of the party.
As mentioned earlier we celebrated Elliot on Sunday, but in addition to this I decided to give him some quality time on his actual birthday, so I stayed home from work to snuggle with him. My good friend Chris came by to play and to top-up on the kisses and hugs. Mormor also popped by to give him some extra lovin’ and a gift. Since we recently found out that he is allergic to dairy, it is somewhat limiting what you can produce in respect to birthday cakes with frosting etc. I ended up giving him some little donuts that are known as “æbleskiver” in Denmark. They are usually only out around Christmas time and they are super yummy. Elliot would definitely agree with me on that one!
Besides a Barbar truck from mormor, a wooden truck from Chris and a game from mommy, he got some nice warm slippers from his cousins Kenzie and Logan, aunt Angela and Uncle Pete. Thank you very much guys. They are the right size and just what he needed. Perfect! Also thanks to great grandma and great grandpa for the nice birthday card.
Here is todays little birthday boy. I have lots of pictures and details about today and his party that we held on Sunday, but I upgraded Windows on my computer (or Shawn did), so it is taking me longer than expected to get all my programs up and running again. All good things come to those who wait, though, so just have a little bit of patience!
My maternity leave ended on Sunday so this week has been quite busy. A few hours ago I just realized that I haven’t made arrangements for Baby Elliot’s Birthday, which is coming up in less than 2 weeks. So as soon as the kids were in bed I sat down to create an invitation. When he turns one he is officially a toddler (in my book anyhow), so he will have to lose his cute nickname that Sienna gave him long before he was born, i.e. “Baby Elliot”. I don’t think we will be calling him “Toddler Elliot” instead. He will just be known to the world as “Elliot”.
I think many parents have great difficulty realizing when their little ones are due for their first haircut. There is something about those first locks of hair which are so fine and so incredibly soft that makes it almost impossible to part with. Over time I have seen babies with some crazy and not so flattering hairdo’s and I’ve always promised myself that I wouldn’t let that happen to my own kids. I should have heeded my own advice and gotten the scissors out sooner for baby Elliot, because as you can see from below this little Blondie was out of control already. But I finally got my act together and with a little help from daddy and a banana candy (a dehydrated banana packed with healthy vitamins and minerals) we said bye bye to the sideburns.
Before a photo shoot I always ask my clients about the lighting conditions at their home. When they say “I think there is a fair amount of light here”, I can pretty much count on the fact that I am going to be challenged and that we are going to be quite far from having ample and good lighting conditions. This was also the case with my most recent client – a family of five. It was a nice and charming family living in a nice and charming house situated just north of Copenhagen, but there was no way I was ever going to make any magic happen with my camera at that location.
Thankfully the sun was shining and the kids were all teenagers that could take directions, so I made everyone go to an Open Air Museum just 2 minutes away from their house. The Open Air Museum is one of the largest and oldest in the world and it is spread across 86 acres of land and houses more than 50 farms, mills and houses from the period 1650-1950. The museum tells the story about the rural population of earlier times and tucked away in the back of the museum there is a very simple an old little barn house (or something along those lines… probably a garage like it would have looked in the 1800) which is made from really old wood. This particular spot is officially my new favourite photo shoot location in the world (or in Copenhagen at least). The light is cast ind the most amazing way. It doesn’t matter which way you turn, you are guaranteed great lighting and a great backdrop. I LOVE IT!
So naturally I had to pull my own family out to this spectacular location the other day. Sienna was heavily bribed and she performed like a dream and looked ever so cute frame after frame. Elliot had an agenda of his own and was most certainly not cooperative. Unfortunately that seems to be somewhat of a reoccurring problem with this young man, but at least he hadn’t decorated himself heavily with snot and crusties and other goodies all over his face (for which I was thankful).
Well, enough chit chatting for now. As you can see, I did manage to get a few good ones of the little mr. Ramsey too. After picture taking it was time to sit down in the sun and enjoy some freshly baked brownies.
Today I was unloading the dishwasher and I quickly had to drop something off in the bedroom. In the meantime my precious little helper decided to assist me in unloading the upper basket, so when I returned he was balancing on the dishwasher door while waving some cups and utensils around. The kid is weighing around 23 pounds these days so thank goodness for good German engineering… and little helpful souls, of course. By the way, he must have brought the coconut. I am pretty sure it wasn’t inside the dishwasher.
I thought Sienna was developing pretty fast when she started walking the day before she turned 10 months. This little guy is out of control, though. He has been standing up in midair without any kind of support for around a month and yesterday – without any encouragement – he decided to take a few steps on his own. Those were his official first steps and that was yesterday. Today he is tiptoeing around all over the place like it is the most normal thing to be doing when you are only 8½ months old. It must be something in his milk!?!