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Posts Tagged ‘kids’

“Stop and smell the roses.” It’s a phrase we say to remind us to press pause and enjoy the little things.

But with the hustle and bustle going on in our lives, sometimes it can be hard to remember that. I like to find tangible ways to cherish every day.

One way I like to do this is through photography. Taking some time to walk around and notice the little things you’re grateful, then photographing them, is like making a visual gratitude journal.

I pick up my camera, and snap a picture of things that make me smile. This week I zoomed in extra close to the nitty gritty details that make me smile. I used my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 iS USM  Macro Lens and went around our home to take note of the pieces I’m especially thankful for.

Here are some of the things that came from that:

Playtime

The joy I feel when I watch my son play. He’s such a silly boy and from a super young age he’s always known how to push our buttons just hard enough to make me flip out while simultaneously making me laugh. He’s always been one to take good care of his toys and I’ve loved watching his imagination grow. For this image I was inside his room where there was a good amount of window light. My settings: ISO 2500 f/4.5 1/200sec

Nature

I love spring and all of the fresh color that comes with it. We’ve always enjoyed seeing Texas wildflowers while driving down the road but now we’re finding them all over our backyard. The kids and I are enjoying picking them and pressing them into our nature journals. I don’t think I ever paid as much attention to flowers as I have this year as we’ve been noticing the different details we we try to identify them.

I’m all about photographing people but small plants and animals are some of my favorite macro photography subjects. My settings for the flower inside: ISO 4000; F/3.5; 1/250 sec. Settings for the flower outside: ISO: 2500; F/5; 1/8000 sec

Budding Bravery

As we’ve been growing used to our new digs and lots more land, with that has come getting used to more critters. I’ve put on a tough face as I’ve stepped over spiders and through webs. Instead of squealing at a giant beetle crawling through the grass I instead point out how cool it is to the kids. I’m noticing as I’m demonstrate more bravery, so do they.

Lil’ J was terrified to touch this little caterpillar but after a little while she not only poked it, but held it (and proceeded to name it).

My settings for both images: ISO 2500; f/11; 1/200 sec

Baby Chub

There are very few things in life that are as sweet as the chunk on a chubby baby. And mine always have a lot to spare. I love zooming in on it and getting a crisp shot of those rolls. Lee Lee is already pulling up on things and before I know it that chub is going to melt away. I’m trying to enjoy these rolls as long as possible.

I also love capturing sweet details like her tiny toes, her nose, even her little eyelashes. A macro lens is perfect for all of the teeny tiny baby details.

My settings: ISO 2500; f/10; 1/320 sec

Healthy Happy Children

Close up shot of sisters smiling at each other. An Intro to macro photography.

My favorite detail to capture up close are the smiles of my children. Though this isn’t quite a macro shot, I love the closeness and the sharpness of this image of my girls enjoying each other’s company and the details in their eyelashes.

The nice thing about the 100mm Macro lens is it works as a wonderful portrait lens. So you can zoom in for the details of your baby’s fresh new tooth, then step back and get a beautiful shot of her whole face along with her new-tooth grin.

My settings: ISO 2500; f/10; 1/250 sec

A helpful hint: When shooting with a long lens like this you don’t need to open up the aperture as wide to get a shallow depth of field. Especially when taking photos really close. In the photo above the background behind my daughters is still blurred with some lovely bokeh, even with an f-stop of 10.

Some other great macro lens options are the EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macros IS STM Lens if you have a crop body camera (such as the Canon Rebel). Or the EF-M 29mm F/3.5 Macro IS STM lens if you have a mirrorless EOS Canon camera.

It’s not always about capturing the right image, but capturing the right moments and details that mean something to us. Take some time to think about your routines and try stepping in and capturing a closer look.

I remember when my family first got the internet.  I’m from a long line of tech-loving people, so we were ready to embrace it. My mom was pretty much cool with me logging on and playing whatever game I wanted to play, or doing research on my favorite anime shows. Of course I had to make sure no one needed to make a phone call lest I get bumped off.

We didn’t really slow down to talk about the rules. Back then there really weren’t any.

Much later, my younger siblings had fair warnings about dangers on the internet, which back then usually meant inappropriate pop ups or dirty chat rooms.

A full generation later the Internet is much wider. And there are many other concerns lurking.

My kids have been a part of my internet legacy since before they were born. Naturally they’ve seen their pictures online on my website, and they’ve grown to love re-watching old videos we’ve recorded and uploaded to YouTube. The internet is an incredible, powerful tool. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips. So many connections and so much good. When used wisely.

My daughter used an online homeschool curriculum for about six months. Even now, she and my son know how to log onto the family computer, and navigate to their approved programs and websites for typing practice, math practice, and reading.

As they get older I know their range of requests will grow and I want them to be smart about their choices. And I’m trying to teach them how to discern those now. I want my kids to use the Internet. But I want them to be smart about it.

We want to allow our kids to have some freedom online but we want them to be smart about it. Sometimes navigating those conversations can be tricky. Or we don’t know where to start. Google’s Be Internet Awesome is a great resource to find all of that information.

Be Internet Awesome is home to a Digital Safety and Citizen Curriculum for parents and teachers to help us teach our children important lessons about navigating the Internet:

Being internet smart, sharing with care – How to communicate responsibly.

Being internet alert, don’t fall for fake – Being aware that people and things online aren’t always as they seem.

Being internet strong, secure your secrets – Safeguarding private information.

Being internet kind – Learning how to take the high road, by spreading kindness even in the face of negativity.

Being internet brave – Talking out doubts and questions with parents or trusted adults.

To help children learn all of these lessons Google has created a fun little interactive game called Interland.

Interland helps kids learn how to navigate the internet in a safe and responsible way. I set it up for my kids to try and they love the game aspect but I sat by and watched and it brought up a lot of great conversation starters such as “what do you do if you get a friend request from someone you don’t know?” and “What should you do if someone messages you a juicy rumor about someone from another class?” It dives into the “why” behind some of the rules we set for ourselves and our children online with security and kindness.

There are also sections about deciphering what’s real and what’s not, how to set a strong enough password, what information you should or shouldn’t share online, and how to treat people when you’re behind the screen (hint: the same way you would in person).

Of course each family can go further with their own guidelines, rules and frequent re-evaluations (for instance, I told her she could share her email password with me where the game suggested she keep it private) but I love how the game made a lot of problems that come up relatable and something we could discuss before issues arise.

Our babies are growing up. Not long ago we were stressed about sleep training and starting solids. Now we’re at the age where they’re gaining independence, but we don’t want to just hand over the keys to the world without some gut-checking first. Be Internet Awesome is a great resource, and then the Family Link app takes things a step further and helps parents set and monitor some digital ground rules and help guide their kids as they learn, play and explore online. You can set time limits for different apps with compatible devices. I like that I can let her read as long as she wants in her reading apps, but add a limit to game time. She’s gaining more independence but also learning healthy habits regarding screen time.

The Internet led me to choose my college, find my scholarships, my husband, and eventually was an avenue for my dream job. But online I’ve also witnessed a lot of heartache, bullying, and lies. Let’s give our kids a head start on learning to use it right.

Overall the internet is awesome. Let’s help our kids to be Internet awesome.

I have two amazing kids I occasionally take for granted. Sure I feed, teach and entertain them on a daily basis, but they teach me a lot too. And when I’m not exhausted or hiding from them in the bathroom, I tend to notice some pretty awesome qualities they possess. Here are a few to know about my son who is just shy of 16 months as of today.

10 Awesome things you should know about my son: Baby belly laughs1. He will most definitely blow raspberries on any bare belly he spots.10 Awesome things you should know about my son: Baby belly laughs
2. He has the coolest hair of any one year old I know.
3. He also has the most adorable smile, and super long eyelashes (ok he’s just darn cute). 10 Awesome things you should know about my son: Baby belly laughs4. When he greets you, it’s with a very deep “Hi!”
5. When it comes to coordination, he’s got it. He has a great arm, and great aim.
6. It’s almost impossible to look at him and not smile. I notice this as I walk with him anywhere.10 Awesome things you should know about my son: Baby belly laughs
7. Whenever he’s extremely squirmy while I’m changing his diaper, or not wanting to get into his carseat, I start singing a song… Usually the ABC song or BINGO and he calms down right away. Finally, someone likes my singing. 10 Awesome things you should know about my son: Baby belly laughs8. He will take the challenge and slide down any slide, no matter how high. But you have to count to three so he knows it’s his cue.10 Awesome things you should know about my son: Baby belly laughs9. He’s a very perceptive people watcher, and can pick up new mannerisms very quickly. He picked up his sister’s dolls, started bobbing them and mimicking the high-pitched voices we use when we play dolls.

10 Awesome things you should know about my son: Baby belly laughs10. He will always join you in laughing at a funny joke. Even if he missed the punchline. (Pictured above laughing with my mom).

Up next: My daughter. She’s pretty awesome too.

My husband has been promising Lil’ J we’d go to Disney once she turned four. She hasn’t mentioned it since her birthday but I’m already making plans in my head. When trying to sort them out with the hubs, we seemed to be talking about different theme parks it went something like this:

She says: We should start planning our trip to Disney, I hear you can get good deals if you book in advance. How about we go this fall?
He says: Fall? We are going for Spring Break.
She says: When everyone else is going to be there? Bad idea! Disney World will be so crowded.
He says: Disney World? We are going to Disneyland.
She says: Why? Disney World is way better.
He says: Says who?
She says: Say everyone! Disney World is way bigger.
He says: Have you ever been to Disneyland?
She says: No but–
He says: So how do you know it’s better?

Disney World vs Disneyland decisions: Which to take our princess to?

What say ye? Have you been to either or both? We’re right smack dab in the middle of both of them.

 

My kids know me as “Mom” but I also want them to know I’m Jennifer, my own person, and I’ve been living my own life and learning from my experiences. I’m hoping this little journey of writing exercises will be something I can share with them someday, to help them get to know another side of me. So remember that fun post I wrote a few months back? A pretty cool project I started for my offspring documenting 30 things my kids should know about me? Well, pregnancy got the best of me and I didn’t quite get around to finishing it. But, May is the month of mother’s day, and I’m now a mom of two… KidS versus just one KID, so this has more meaning for me now. Not only that, but I was just approached by an awesome woman named Erica who helped bring these babies to the next level with her graphic design skills. Now I’ll be working on an 8×8 printable book the same time I’m blogging these… So two birds with one stone! And a great Mother’s Day gift for myself when it’s all done! Well, eventually for my kids but I’ll hang on to it til they can appreciate it.

30 Things My Kids Should Know: A Journal Prompt for Parents30 things my kids should know about me - WOW, thinking about how this could have helped me if my own mother had done something like this. This will take some time, but it's perfect to kick off for/by Mother's Day.

Let’s do this!

I already shared 20 Random Facts About Myself but I’m sharing it again using the graphics for my book, and you can see how I used mine. Erica did her page much differently so there unlimited ways to go!

Here’s a preview of the graphics for week 1.

You can download them for free here. Again, a big thanks to Erica for designing them!

Week 1 graphics Week 2 graphics Week 3 graphics

Week 4 graphics

Week 5 graphics

And once again, here’s the list of prompts. I’ll add my new links as I complete them. Let’s do this!

THE LIST:

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears (graphic version)

3. Describe your relationship with your spouse. (graphic version)

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

6. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?

7. What is your dream job, and why?

8. What are 5 passions you have?

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?

14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.

15. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one or how I fell in love.

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

18. What do you think your spouse loves most about you?

19. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

21. Describe your relationship with your parents.

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

23. What’s your favorite holiday and why?

24. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

28. What’s your favorite quality in your spouse?

29. What are your hopes and dreams for your prosperity?

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

Want to play along? I’d love to read your lists! Link to your blog journal in the comments!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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