Saturday, September 22, 2012


Things have still been a little crazy around our house.  The adorable psychotic two year old, Rhys, who has learned to escape her crib and won't co-sleep, still stalks us at night.  But she's does it less often, is a little quieter now, and usually doesn't wake everyone up anymore (thank goodness).  It is very adorable to wake up to a 2-year old snuggled next to my head, meowing like a cat.  hehe.  So cute!  How can we be upset at that?

We've been able to get her to stay in her bed (after she gets up and comes in) by having one of us sleep on the floor in her room until she's asleep.  Tyler has volunteered himself almost all of the time now since Ella is teething and is quite the restless sleeper at night, and I wasn't sleeping when I was doing both girls (read that to mean I WAS GOING TO LOSE MY MIND!).  If one of us doesn't stay in there until she's asleep, Rhys won't stay in her room.  And, neither one of us are into just putting up a baby gate and letting her scream in there by herself.  So, this works, and we are getting better sleep again!  Yay!

But that also means that I've been getting up at 5:45-6:15 most mornings (time Rhys gets up), which isn't really a favorite time of mine. That also means by 9pm, I'm so tired I usually end up going to sleep & haven't been getting much personal time (good thing I can pay Emma during the day to babysit for an hour or something, though, that hasn't really been successful yet).  But it actually works a lot better for homeschooling.  So, I haven't tried changing it too much.  I can usually get both babies down for naps for a couple hours at least, which makes schooling much easier.  That's the one thing I find really difficult about schooling - when the babies are demanding and screaming/crying when I'm trying to help the kids.  Rhys is definitely getting much easier, but Ella...she's getting harder as she gets older, more mobile, and teething.  So, this is a perfect solution!  Get them up early enough that they'll sleep for a nice, long time in the morning, and we can have a few hours to do stuff in a much more relaxed atmosphere.

I haven't been putting much time into playing with the camera as I had been, but I've pulled it back out a few times to learn a little more.  I'm expanding my horizons and trying to do more pulled back shots.  It's been hard with the 50mm, especially since my camera has a crop sensor (still don't know what that is, just that it makes it more like a 70mm or something).  And, it's hard to get back far enough to snap photos that include our surroundings more.  But with the 18-55mm lens, if I set it on 18mm (or anything under 50 really), it is awesome, but I really don't like that the aperture isn't very wide open (or however one says that).  It only opens up to f/3.5, which doesn't give very nice bokeh OR work very well with low light.  And, I prefer to use no flash and just use natural lighting when I it's not the best for that.

Anyway, here are some of my more recent offerings with the 18-55mm lens.  Maybe one day, like in several years, we'll be ready to spend money on a wide angle lens with a better aperture option!

I spied on my kids (because I'm a ninja) and took some photos of them playing a video game together.

Have I mentioned that I love to take pictures in our new house.  It's so much more fun than our other house.  When you're at home almost all the time, especially in the flu season due to an immune compromised child, it's really like a whole new world in the new house!  (The way it all worked out was just really amazing.  I still need to share that story - definitely lots of blessings from the Lord).

Anyway, here are some photos of Ella taking a bath in our bathtub.  The sun was in a really nice spot outside (maybe a couple hours from sunset) and shined in really nicely through the windows.  I would try to line things up a little better on some of these, if I could redo it, but they're still cute!

(And, I just looked out the window as a truck drove by and a guy was texting on his phone!  Don't freaking text on your phone while you're driving.  There is no text important enough to risk anyone's life over it.  I find it so ridiculous that people still do that!)

Now, to the baby girl.  These are mostly not edited.  I think I tried lightening her eyes in the one below (they looked almost black!), but that's it.

I brought out my nifty reflector to try to brighten up Ella's face a little better.  Since I have friends even newer into photography than me, here's what a reflector looks like (or at least part of a reflector).  It takes the light that is shining in from the windows, bounces it off of the reflector and onto Ella's face, brightening her eyeballs and face up nicely.  It's not very expensive.  (I got this one HERE.  It's under $14.)  I should have used the golden one, but I didn't and then had to warm it up a bit with PS (or I could have changed my Kelvin setting to make it warmer, but I didn't.)

It brightened her eyeballs up nice and bright!

I am definitely a fan of the reflector thing.  It can be challenging trying to hold it myself while taking photos at the same time.  I'm glad there wasn't anyone to watch me. Actually, no, what am I saying!  It would have been very entertaining having someone there, especially one of my sisters, to make fun of me.

If only I could have gotten her to look somewhere besides the reflector most of the time.  hehe.

Ella is almost a whole year old!  I knew it was going to go by quickly, and it did.  While I love the baby stage, I am looking forward to a little more order, which will come with age.

Rhys is getting easier.  She is communicating better and making a whole lot more sounds and saying words.  It's been nice.  There's still a ton in there that she's not able to communicate to us yet, but she'll get there.  I tease about Rhys being insane, but she is really a very gentle, precious, sweet little girl.  Compared to my others at this age, she has been one of the most laid back ones.  She's usually very happy and likes to play on her own a lot.  I regularly feel grateful that she has been the one just older than Ella because she's not a very demanding little girl and is content overall with life.  But, a two year old is a two year old!  Life is fascinating and exciting and they want to check it all out.  And, it can get exhausting!  haha.  And make for funny memories. LIKE HER HAIR.  But we are completely smitten with our sweet Rhys and are absolutely in love with her and her wonderful, adorable little self.  She regularly melts my heart with her sweetness.  She makes me laugh hysterically because she's so funny...and not always on purpose.

(Oh, and for those concerned, the boob in the other entry was actually the floaty for Ella, and it was Tyler's arm.  I'm sure you were all very, very concerned.)


  1. Your house is spotless. How does that happen with 5 kids?

  2. Your house it way too clean for having 5 children! My house is a disaster and I only have 2!