Monthly Archives: November 2016
We’re now up to day 316 at the end of this post, which means less than 50 days before the end of this 365 project. I think it will be an interesting one in terms of seeing how Chloe has changed so much, from being born to sitting up, standing and crawling, and who knows… maybe even walking before we finish? There will be obviously much less of the trick photography and clever shots that there was in my first year doing a 365, but it has been good to document the year and keep my finger on the shutter button so my skills stay fresh between weddings etc.
The worst bit is that I just realised I had created a draft of this post and never actually posted it! D’oh!
309: With the christening just 10 days away, its time to finalise the list of who is coming. We’re quite relaxed about this one, as we’ve done it once before and waited a little longer to do this because of the harness that Chloe had to wear when she was a few months old, the same age Olivia was when she was christened.
310: One thing we have seen a lot of during November has been some amazing sunsets, and its always hard to let one pass without picking the camera up. Its just a little annoying that we have telegraph poles with cables stretching across the street, so I decided to take to photoshop to get rid of them and tidy this image up.
311: Cuteness. A gorgeous smile and the fact that this little lady is standing at every opportunity she can find. She loves being on her feet.
312: A quiet Saturday where we don’t do much more than head out to the local Tesco Extra store, and find their impressive christmas aisle, and almost decide to head home and get the tree out of the loft. Thankfully we manage to resist the urge. Once home, we find the girls both asleep in the car, and decide to leave them there for a little while as they were both wrapped up and warm, and we could see them easily from the living room window.
313: The supermoon! Well, thats what everyone was saying anyway. Truth be told, I couldn’t see a massive difference by the time I got outside with my camera. I think the most obvious difference was when it was rising, but it was hidden in cloud at that point from where I was. Managed to get a half decent shot of it though. Gave up hand holding the camera for this kind of shot, and got the camera mounted on a tripod.
314: With my 70-200mm lens still attached to the camera, I decide to sneak a pic of the wife, as she is doesn’t often want her photo taken these days. Its a great lens for portraits, but doesn’t fair so well in really low light, mostly due to its sheer weight!
315: Sending Olivia to nursery was one of the best things we did, she has got so much from it. Today she came home absolutely exhausted and passed out on the sofa watching childrens programmes on the tv, and even gave up on her biscuit!
316: Bath night, and this little lady looked so grown up after we finished in the bath, as she was sat there with her hot chocolate and her legs crossed!
In the closing stages of the 365 project now, and this has been a tough one, particularly in the later stages. Mostly on the basis of having two children, a full time job, a part time photography business and not enough hours in the day! When trying to finish this, for example, I should have been happily typing away here, looking at my watch about and considering heading up to bed at a sensible time for a change. Instead I have been dealing with the joys of parenting, and trying to stop our little one from crying, whilst working out what are the most likely reasons she has given up sleeping through the night and taken to crying instead. When you’re feeling a tired and a bit cranky yourself, you can easily forget to be grateful for all that you have, and a crying baby can feel and sound like the neighbours have started drilling the wall! I remind myself that Olivia still sleeps through for us, and is rarely woken by any of the crying, and to top it off has even started staying dry through the night. Plus, Chloe is normally a happy, healthy little baby, and has slept well through the night before the teething started, and will do again. Having recently watched a programme about Great Ormond St childrens hospital, and thinking of a friend there at this moment, a bit of perspective is called for, and crying through the night may feel pretty torturous, but in the grand scheme of things is nothing, absolutely nothing. There are a lot of parents out there who have really sick children, who would give anything for a health baby who just cries through the night.
So before whining about staying up late and not getting any of this typed up, I want to say how thankful I am for my two healthy little girls and the delight it gives me to see their smiles when I come home from work, and not forgetting how grateful I am to my amazing wife for all that she does without complaining, and for the times she gets up during the night to try and prevent me being woken up when I have work the next day! I still do get woken up however, Chloe can steer ships away from rocks on a foggy night with that cry of hers, and the walls are thin enough already, it sometimes sounds like she’s in the same room! This is team work though, and neither of us can do this alone! The nocturnal crying won’t last forever, and we can get our own back when they are teenagers and want to have a quiet lie in on a saturday morning!
And on with the photos…
299: Its halloween, and the pumpkin carving had been well and truly left until the last minute unfortunately. This may explain why we had so few trick or treaters calling, as I like to leave a carved pumpkin in the porch with a candle inside to let the parents and kids know that we’re on board with the whole halloween thing, and they can happily knock on our door. The pumpkin didn’t turn out too bad, and I did get Olivia to help where she could, including choosing the design!
300: With halloween out of the way, it means that November is here, and the weather seems to have adjusted itself accordingly. So with the choice of two bikes in the garage, one pedal powered, the other petrol powered, its a tough choice as to which to take to work. I can’t lie, the novelty of taking a motorbike has not worn off, and the joy of not having to cycle when you start the day exhausted because of another nights broken sleep… well, it speaks for itself!
301: Ah yes, the sight of the stairs when you hear that cry from the small bedroom again. I don’t know if its just because Chloe has a good set of lungs on her, or if its because it just really echoes in such a small room. One of the best things we did was put that night light on the landing though. I’d originally put one in Olivias room, and it was so good that I got one for the landing. A faint glow until the sensor detects movement, then a second brighter light comes on so you can see what you’re doing. Just brilliant! Not the cheapest night light, but worth every penny!
302: Coming home from work takes on a new meaning when you have children. Its not that I am especially eager about my work day being over because I dont like my job or soemthing, I just really want to get home to be with my two girls! Olivia is at a great age now, and is loving being a big sister.
303: Friday night, and when you’re weekend isn’t all about going out and painting the town red, its more likely being spent at home with the family… that is until they all bugger off to bed early and leave you to it!
304: Bonfire night, and we had some friends over with their kids for hotdogs, beer and fireworks. A lovely evening, but I sadly didn’t get to photograph any fireworks, as I was the one lighting them. I did get this lovely shot of Olivia using sparklers for the first time, even though she didn’t look very happy in this photo.
305: Sunday, a quiet day in. In fact the second day I hadn’t actually left the house at all, not even to go to the shops, a real rarity for me! When you have this cute face to look at, you don’t need to go anywhere. She’s a great eater and loves having a go at doing it herself, even if it does get a bit messy!
306: Oops! The day I forgot to take a photo, so this is from the day after as the weather begins to turn. The temperature has dropped, the rain has arrived, and Autumn is definitely here!
307: My poor bicycle has been neglected a bit lately, and I need to get back out on it again. The motorbike has been great fun to ride, and its made a real difference at the end of the day when you are exhausted and couldn’t bear the thought of cycling home. The big problem recently has been frost on the roads, making the motorbike a less favourable option as the back wheel seems to like to slip out a bit!
308: After numerous nights of broken sleep, you have to remind yourself how cute this one is when she is happy and smiling during the day. With reduced daylight hours at this time of year, its getting hard to photograph stuff after work, so I figured I’d add a bit of flash to enhance the shot!
As we plough through October, the weather is changing rapidly, and the days are starting to feel cooler and much more like Autumn, but we are seeing the biggest change in the time it starts to get dark. We seem to forget each year just how quickly it begins to get dark each night, or at least I do, and so does the wife. Its becoming a little darker each evening when I leave work, which is less desirable now I am on a motorbike too. Still vulnerable, like cycling, but now moving at a slightly faster speed!
Lets get to the photos anyway…
285: Well, with the wife out for dinner with friends, its down to me to put the girls to bed and then entertain myself for a while… and what better way to spend the evening than to upgrade the operating system on my laptop. Man, I know how to have a good time!
286: Meeting up with an old school friend of mine again to cover some basic photography training, and this time talking about focusing on specific parts of an image and how much of the photo was in focus! She seemed keen and enthusiastic, and even said that she felt like she’d learned something, which was nice to hear as it wasn’t just me talking to myself and her blindly nodding and grunting in the right places!
287: As we’re having a bit of a sort out and tidy up lately, the wife has been urging me to get up in the loft and put away a few bits that have been lying around and waiting a few days to go up there. Whilst up in the loft I find my foil blanket from an old half marathon run, a perfect sensory toy to Chloe to play with, and she loved it! Sometimes its the simple things.
288: Right, I have been waiting long enough, the wine I have been making has been sitting in the garage for ages, even though it should only have taken a couple of weeks. Tonight I finally poured it into bottles, ready for drinking. It was a thoughtful birthday present from my sister, and is actually quite surprisingly tasty for home made wine, so I am hoping there is still a bottle left to share with her when she next comes for dinner, although I am making no promises!
289: Finally, its Friday, and the last day of the half term too, meaning a whole week off work with the family. A chance to finish work and hour early and spend a bit more time with my girls before they go to bed. Not much time for a photo today, but I did like the way the light fell across these flowers before it went dark and we took the girls up to bed.
290: Amongst all the chores we had planned out for half term, I had made the unpopular choice (with the wife) to help my friend to chop firewood, which he wasn’t able to do by himself. When I got home I was able to grab this quick shot of Chloe making silly faces at the camera, with a bit of off-camera flash to brighten it up. I often shoot the girls inside with just window light, which is fine most of the time, but having a bit more light really makes a big difference. Sometimes I just like to play around with the light and create some clearly different photos that will be nice to look back on.
291:A day out with the family to see friends, off to an adventure farm for the day, plenty for the kids to see and do, plus they even got to go pumpkin picking at the end of it. When we got home Olivia decided that she wanted to take her hand to computing and show off her IT skills.
292: Monday and we’d got the morning booked out, as we were off to have the second of Olivia’s meningitis jabs. We decided to turn it in to a bit of an adventure (well, its an adventure when you’re 3 years old!), and so caught the bus into and out of town, which Olivia really enjoyed, especially as she got to go upstairs and watch the world sailing by from the top deck.
293: I managed to catch up with a couple of old friends today for a little walk around the Wyre forest. I always love catching up with old friends, one of the big bonuses of the internet and social media, where you simply wouldnt have had the opportunity only a handful of years ago. On our walk around the Wyre forest, I discovered there was a Gruffalo trail I was previously unaware of, and knew I had to bring Olivia here, she’d love it!
294: Today we’d agreed to meet a friend at Sheldon Country Park, a lovely place we like to go to where there is a park, some farm animals, a lovely little cafe and a nice walk up to the bottom of the runway at Birmingham airport. I do always feel a little guilty tucking into a delicious sausage sandwich, then having to walk past the pigs on the way out of the cafe!
295: Nursery day for Olivia, and with halloween around the corner its a dressing up day. Naturally our little lady couldn’t wait to turn up in her witch outfit.
296: Today should have been a free day out, although it still ended up costing us! We decided to take advantage of our free return ticket to West Midlands Safari Park, that we’d got from going earlier in the year. We didn’t even end up driving round the animal enclosures, but we did take advantage of the rest of the park and had a lovely day out.
297: Olivia is a wonderful big sister and very mindful of her little sister and interacts with her so gently, and is learning to have a little patience when Chloe won’t leave her alone. After a slow morning of being harrassed by her sister, we got them both dressed and headed off to see Nanny Rose and Grandad Al.
298: Sunday, and the last day before heading back to work after a week off. Today we’re off to visit the other Nanny and Grandad, and I grabbed this shot of the colourful leaves hanging down, as I am a real sucker for the autumn colours.