January 23, 2012

Hats off to you, my son

You asked me for a hat to keep your head warm. It seemed a silly request considering that we live in warm, sunny San Diego but it’s been cold in the mornings lately (low 40′s!) and your little ears and head were feeling the brunt of the cold on our morning walks to the bus stop.

On my lunch break the other day, I stopped off at the local store and picked you and your sister up a knit hat for a whopping $4.01. Bargain. I was excited to bring it to you and you were equally excited to receive it. The first night, you slept with it on your cute little head and it was evident you were excited to wear your hat to school.

As I returned home from work after your first day at school with your new hat, I was eager to find out how the day had went. It was then that I received some news that made me hurt for you.

You tell me, “Some girls in my class made fun of my hat today, Daddy.”

I can see the sadness in your face and that you are struggling with the conflict between the love of your hat and the acceptance of your peers. I give you a hug and as I pull away I ask you if this made you sad. You nod yes with solemn eyes and I pull you close again, searching for a way to take away the hurt.

As I hold you in an embrace, I whisper into your ear, “Buddy, the important thing is that you love the hat. These girls are being mean and if you don’t wear this hat tomorrow to school, you are letting these girls – these haters – you are letting them win. It doesn’t matter what they think, buddy. We don’t make decisions based on what others think, okay?”

You pull away again and you nod. I’m not sure my talk has sunk in but we leave it be for the rest of the night. As I walk you to the bus the next morning, you carry the hat in your hand and I’m still unsure what you will do. As the bus comes, I lean down to give you a longer hug than usual and I whisper in your ear, “Don’t let the haters win.”

With that, you smile and turn to board the bus. As you walk on and find your seat I can see you sitting with your sister and your best friend. And as the bus pulls away I notice something that makes me smile.

You’re wearing the hat.

New Hats

July 18, 2010

A Year in Pictures

A little over a year ago, I got this idea (I’m sure after seeing something similar on the internet – I’m really not that creative).  The idea was to take a daily portrait of Swee’Pea and TheMonk starting on their 4th birthday and ending on their 5th birthday.  And so we did.

Over 365 days, Swee’Pea and TheMonk posed for 312 portraits – which averages out to six portraits a week.  So, six out of seven days every week they took their portrait.  The rules were simple.  The kids could make whatever face they wanted and I would try and take only one photo no matter what it came out like (this didn’t always work but for the most part it was one take only).  As you can see, Swee’Pea is not as much a morning person as TheMonk.  The range of her photos from frowns to smiles to one flat-out tantrum is quintessentially Swee’Pea.  TheMonk, on the other hand, liked to experiment with faces and loved seeing them on my digital display each morning.  His photos too capture the true essence of TheMonk.

If I had to do it over again I would have chosen a flat wall rather than the back of our door.  I thought it would create a good center point for the kids but instead it made it very obvious when they moved from their mark.  I also would have put the camera on a tripod rather than me on my knee but this was the last thing we did each morning before leaving and we were often rushed so a quick snapshot was all we could do.  The editing isn’t as sophisticated as I pictured in my head but I still really love watching the transformation.

The music was chosen for the sole reason that they are our most played songs right now.  The kids love both of them and we have been known to boogie to these songs while getting ready for bed.  It just seemed fitting to include them here.

So, without further ado, I give you Year Four of Swee’Pea and TheMonk:

April 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – Family

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

September 19, 2009

Daily Portraits – The First 100 Days

On June 12, 2009, the twins’ fourth birthday, I began taking a daily portrait of Swee’Pea and TheMonk. Today marked the 100th day since their birthday. In those 100 days, over 14 weeks, I have missed a total of 12 days. Not bad, in my opinion. Below is all 88 photos for both Swee’Pea and TheMonk. You can see that Swee’Pea has begun to warm up to the photos and TheMonk enjoys engaging the camera in different ways. Enjoy.

The Daily Dose of Swee’Pea

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

TheMonk: Day by Day

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

You can also follow Swee’Pea’s daily portraits here and TheMonk’s daily portraits here.

July 22, 2009

Who says you have to behave like an adult?

I might have gotten a little excited

I might have gotten a little excited

From our trip to LegoLand and SeaLife Aquarium.  If you’d like to find out more, see my Uptake post here.

June 15, 2009

A picture says 365 words

So I got this hair-brained idea.

Okay, granted, one could argue that the vast majority of my ideas are hair-brained but this one sat in my head for a while and it was harder to shake loose than a stubborn booger. So I went with it.

See, the idea is this. For the next year I will, upon leaving the house, line up each kid at the door and take their photograph. The goal, of course, is to look back on their fifth birthday at all 365 photos and see the transformation in a matter of seconds. But then there are also other intriguing elements that I have discovered in just the four days we have done so far. The most interesting aspect is the fact that I have found they are not always in the mood to take their photo as we are heading out the door. This, I have decided, is an added bonus. One that will be fully enjoyed only when they are much older and I can make fun of them for having some of the most forlorn looks known to man (Yes, Swee’Pea, I’m talking to you.).

The other bonus is that I have found that encouraging them to make whatever face they want in the photos will open up a window into their personality and, I think, become better understood after the year is up. I hope this project will be one that they will look back on and think, “Boy, Dad sure was crazy had a great idea.”

Now I know that the hardest thing will be to keep this up for an entire year. I also know it will be hard to get every single day on camera. Having said that, I think this will be a successful project if I can get close to 300 photos each. And if this doesn’t turn out the way I think it will, then at the very least I will have prepared them well on how to take a mug shot.

If you are interested, I will be posting each photo on flickr (One set for Swee’Pea and one set for TheMonk) but will try and resist putting many more on the blog until I put them all together in a video in June of 2010.

But, a little peek into the first four days are in order. I present days 1-4:

December 23, 2008

Hey, isn’t there a holiday coming up?

I apologize for the dearth of posts lately but I’ve been searching high and low for my muse here at the ol’ blog.

Turns out, I just needed to spend some time with my kids.

Have a very Merry Christmas my wonderful readers. May visions of sugar plums dance in your head.

Christmas Card

April 7, 2008

Thank You Easter Bunny!

So I’m finally getting around to post Easter photos of the kids. This was their first Easter where we actually dyed eggs and then hunted for them. We were going to do the search outside but that was before I headed out to the back yard to hide the eggs only to find a not-quite-dead rat lying right in the middle of the lawn. I don’t know about you, but I feel that dying rodents kind of take the magic away from searching for colorful eggs on a sunny Easter morning.

Anyway, now that you have that lovely image in your mind, I’ll distract you with cute photos of my kids. Enjoy.

Edited: Well, I was going to put my fancy photo pictobrowser in here but it seems the code does not like the new version of WordPress.  Until I get that figured out, you can see the photos by going here and seeing it on my Flickr stream.

March 12, 2008

FYI, Mommy was not in the room

February 14, 2008

My Honey Valentine

Hello my Love,

I haven’t told you about this, but since I have started my new job I have a whole new group of people who don’t know what you look like. Over the past month several people have visited my office for the first time. And once in my office they cannot help but notice our wedding photos that sit on my desk. Every person always says a variation of the same thing… “Wow. She’s beautiful. How’d you get so lucky?”

And my reply? “I haven’t a clue. Just don’t tell her she married down.”

I am as thrilled as ever to call you my Valentine, Sweetie. And I am even more thrilled that I get to help two little ones also become your Valentine.

Thank you for choosing me. Not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am that you decided, in a moment of insanity, to choose to spend every day of the rest of your life with me. And because of that crazy thought, we made a couple of amazing kids.

We love you with all of our chocolate-covered hearts. Of course, we’ll share all that chocolate with you (Well, I will. You know how TheMonk is with sharing his food.).

Happy Valentines Day!

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