So last week was our last class of the Music Together semester. This would be the last semester we would be participating as our move to Germany is fast (too fast) approaching. We had started going before Little Lue’s first birthday and it had quickly turned into our Tuesday ritual. On the few weeks that the class was not going on I felt utterly lost… Little Lue and I (and daddy and Nana on the occasional class) really enjoyed our time there. The teachers, Miss Sandra and Miss Molly, were awesome, the company (mostly our closest friends) was exceptional. And music class was often followed by coffee dates and park visits.
Ok… so I just teared up a little…
Seriously… I can’t believe we are leaving our amazing Key West family. Going to our last class was kind of the first real marker that our time here is almost over.
I tried to take a few photos… but evidently my heart wasn’t in it. As they are all blurry and gloomy looking. I don’t want to say good bye. Don’t let the lackluster photos deter you. Music Together is AWESOME and worth it. I enjoy the music, the singing, dancing, and all their fun props and instruments. Little Lue loves it and I got to really see her grow in it as she started to learn how to talk, sing, follow directions, and just everything. It has been really great… I wish we could stay and enjoy it a little longer…
Sorry for being such a downer today. On a more positive note, I’ve been really busy with the photography business! Lots of weddings to edit and a few fun events as well! Go check that out over on my Photography Services page. 😀 All the action over there has been cutting my personal blogging time a bit short. But I promise Camera Latte is here to stay and I can’t wait to share all of the adventures that await us in Europe!
Ok, so what started out what sounded like a totally dorky idea turned out to be so much fun!
My good friend Kelly has a lot of connections with the city’s Conch Train Tour so she suggested we go on a ride as a play date. I thought it would be a great idea since Little Lue loves rides and this train definitely looked like a ride! It just so happens that it “rides” around town hehe.
Turns out that the tour was 90 minutes long (split into a 50 minute portion and another 2 smaller portions, divided by short stops). I was a tad nervous that this would test Little Lue’s attention span, but it actually worked out great! It was 90 minutes of sitting *mostly* in the same place and just taking in the sights. And the information about the history and architecture of Key West was really cool too.
It was really nice and the girls LOVED it. Little Lue was excited all morning because I kept telling her we were going on the choo-choo and she couldn’t wait to get on the train once we got to the “station”.
Little Lue and Miss O got to check out the engine and even pulled on it’s bell! They got some cute little engineer paper hats, but the little stinkers wouldn’t keep them on.
Oh! And at the little gift shop we got a cute little train whistle. I also grabbed some popcorn to maximize toddler compliancy for the remainder of the ride.
It was great. I kept joking with Kelly that I’d pay to ride it again… me in one car with my Kindle, and the hubby and Little Lue in another… he he he
So the last few days I’ve been trying to focus on putting away the iPhone, the iPad, the Kindle Fire… All those glowing fun little screens we’ve all come to love and can’t seem to remember what life was like without them. It’s hard.
After trying to keep these things away from Little Lue as a baby, there was no way Little Lue the toddler was going to ignore them. If mommy was playing with her phone all day long, what do you think she wanted to do?
So the fights over who gets to play with the phone started. This turned into swapping my phone for “her” iPad which I filled with fun games. This worked out well for a while. She would play her puzzle games for a reasonable amount of time and then move on to the next activity on her own… It didn’t feel so dangerous. And so we got more and more comfortable letting Little Lue handle the glowing magical mirrors…but something changed.
Of course the joy had to end somewhere. Little Lue discovered that these gadgets had something else hidden inside them, something far more… well… fun… Little Lue found the YouTube app as well as the Netflix app. And what started off as a fun game time on these little computers was slowly turning into more time spent watching TV.
In this house there is no TV until the end of the day. And it’s not even cable, it’s movies. Come evening time, when mommy and daddy are feeling pretty spent, we put on a couple of Disney movies and call it a day. Not exactly proud of how much I look forward to 6:30 pm, but it feels like a reasonable arrangement.
So you can imagine how frustrating it is to realize that Little Lue’s already pretty extended amount of tube time (2-3 hours) was having another hour or more added from letting her play with the iPads/Kindle. It seemed fun and great at first. A portable entertainment center that could be used for a few minutes while mommy does dishes, or folds laundry, or plays on her own phone (guilty!). But then I hear that little voice in my head telling me WAKE UP! and get Little Lue off the mini tube, and the kid’s happy fantasy world comes to an end.
What follows is a concert of tears, screams, and begging for her favorite shows. “Broom, broom!!!” (Cars), “Honey!!!” (Whiney the Pooh), “Bumbo!!!” (well at least she got one of them). Her tears go on and on for what seems forever, but I image is more like 30 minutes. But if you’ve been in the same room as a screaming toddler, you know that 30 minutes is a LONG time. Long enough to completely drain up mommy’s patience and sanity. Long enough to induce a horrid migraine for the rest of the day. And long enough to completely sabotage whatever it is that needed to be done in those 30 minutes and drain a large portion of the motivation you had to get anything done around the house for that day.
You start to pray for naptime. Or helplessly hope that the husband is on his way home a bit early. You try giving options of activities that could be enticing enough to forget about crying. You offer up water play, or markers, or whatever it is that’s supper fun but you don’t do so often because it becomes way too mesy… And eventually Little Lue settles down enough to nurse and God bless boobs and their mystical powers to calm down a screaming baby.
And Little Lue is calm and starts to wonder around the house. And you exhale a sigh of relief for the worsts has passed.
And then my sweet innocent daughter comes over to me, grabs my hand, and quite calmly starts to pull me and say “Come on… Honey.”
Cue mommy tears.
So no more. No more. NO. MORE.
I’ve come to realize that as soon as I pull out my phone to check emails/facebook/blog stats (ha!) Little Lue is reaching for the phone as well and starts asking to watch one of her shows. As if what I’m watching isn’t cool enough. I’ve come to realize that any time Little Lue finds the iPad laying around the couch and starts playing with it, instead of trading it for a more appropriate toy I look away. I look away and relish in a few minutes of not having to entertain/watch her (but you already saw the results of that!).
BUT. NO. MORE.
I’ve put my iPhone in a shelf on the desk. The iPad is hiding on top of a dresser. Daddy’s Kindle Fire is charging out of sight. And I have promised myself to limit MY computer time to “desk” computer time. Simply put, if I don’t have time to sit at the computer desk with my back turned to the living room, I certainly have no business playing on my phone. Playing on my phone while sitting next to a pile of unfolded laundry is not multi-tasking. Playing on my phone while Little Lue builds with blocks is not watching her. Getting minute by minute status updates from friends on facebook is not really a social life and I need to stop pretending it is.
I know that if I put my magical glowing mirror away and do other activities Little Lue will join me. I know that it is really me who is aggravating the situation by constantly having my phone out as she watches me. And I know that, just like her, I have no real “need” to play on my phone as often as I do.
I’ve decided that if I must have a distraction during the day it will be limited to the reading Kindle (original non colorful/internet friendly version). If I have some moments to spare they can be spent reading books or a news paper. Seems more enriching than FB and Little Lue hardly has interest or understanding of what I look at a gray screen filled with letters for.
So… This blog is supposed to be about pictures, correct? LOL
Weekends and family outings are usually the most tech free in this home. We make an effort to not pull out our phones while out for dinner, or being at the park, or whatever else. Here are a few pictures I took Sunday while wondering about Mallory Square. We wanted to kill some time before returning home after dinner, so we just walked around looking at the ocean, the buildings, the people. Eventually I pulled out my camera, because lets face it, that’s what I do. Yesterday the hubby asked about the pictures and I was almost embarrassed to say that I had yet to give them a look! So here are a few for your enjoyment.
May my days be filled with more quality family time and less magical glowing screen time.
Today was my Mother’s Day shoot and it was SO much fun!
I decided to split up each of the mini sessions instead of writing up one post for every body because I can share more pictures of each session that way hehehe…
So on to the first mommy, Elyse!!!
This adorable mommy and baby boy were just to die for. He was just a chunky happy little man who was having a blast checking out the garden. You could tell that he’s at that age where they are really paying attention to their surroundings and enjoying this new found world.
It was so fun and easy to shoot this family. It was hard to mess this one up, and yet… I did! I almost cried when I realized I had an incorrect setting on the camera. And while I managed to work around this mistake while processing the pictures, it was still a BIG lesson for me. This wasn’t a happy accident like last time. It was mistake and I’m still kicking myself about it! Anyhow, lesson learned. ALWAYS check ALL settings before starting a shoot.
That being said, I love how this is all one big learning process. It’s amazing how much I learn from each family, each location, each editing session. I love this stuff!!!
Alright, without any further delay… Here are some gorgeous shots from this morning!
So today I got to play with little baby Andrea! Somehow it took me forever and a day to come visit with this gorgeous little creature, but we finally got together. And goodness me, was I missing out on a complete cuteness explosion!
Little Lue got to play with baby Andrea’s big bro… and boy was that fun! Sure, sharing still isn’t yet mastered at this age, but it was fun to see them truly interacting running around the house and checking out all the toys.
Now… Of course I had to take pictures! However, with a cloudy day and indoor lighting, it was a bit difficult to really get some good ones. So I guess I decided to over compensate with some funky editing. I admit… I might have gone a little crazy with it LOL… But I’m just experimenting
Gia, I hope you enjoy the pictures!