Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sing To Me, Grandma!

Growing up, my mother used to sing to me during my bath time. Every song was sung in Spanish, and I remember thinking how beautiful they were. I would tire her with my requests to sing them to me over and over again. Thinking back now, I have to say that those are the best childhood memories I have with my mother. As the years went by and I got older, those moments with her became seldom. As a teenager we would argue and as a young adult I was rarely home. Now as a mother, I find those turn of events quite sad.

Then one day as my mother held Lily in her arms, I heard her sing to Lily one of my favorite childhood songs. I turned to look at them and those childhood memories came rushing back. They must have been singing these songs together for some time since Lily knew them all by heart. I stood there feeling nostalgic as my mother smiled and sang along. It took me a minute to realize that I should capture this moment, so I grabbed my camera and let it roll. It brings a smile to my face every time I watch it. 

Sing To Me, Grandma! from Super Lily on Vimeo.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bits of Lily

When I used to imagine having a child, I wondered if they would be anything like me. Would they be shy and quiet as I was, keeping to themselves until called upon? It wasn't until I attended college and took Speech 101 that I came out of my shell (that was a nightmare by the way). Would they use their imagination and pretend they existed in their own world? My imagination as a child was so great that I would turn my dad's shoes into a Barbie limousine. Would they follow instead of lead? A good leader takes a lot of character, and an honest one would make me proud. Would they love to learn as I always have? Oh I wished and wished and wished for them to love learning. Having children is a roll of the dice, you really never know what you're going to get.

 Fast forward to today, and two months before my child turns 4 years old. Lily seems much older in my eyes than her age. Though she is initially shy and quiet, she's no wallflower. She takes her time to analyze people and her environment, and when she feels ready she takes over a room. Don't let that little face fool you, she has tricks up her sleeves.

Her imagination would stump mine on many levels, and she loves super heroes and underdogs versus princesses any day. She prefers to be the savior, and being the damsel in distress does not appeal to her. She's a born leader, and feels comfortable leading kids much older than herself (leaving me to wonder how she does it). She loves to question you, and may even lead you to doubt yourself. She's a pretty smart cookie, and proves me wrong when I underestimate her...which I've learned not to do by now. 

She's probably the most sympathetic person you'll meet. She worries when babies cry, and will request that I pick them up (this is awkward when in public and I have no idea who the baby is). She cries if you do, gives hugs when she knows something is wrong, tells you how much she loves you,  reminds you she missed you, and will kiss any wound you have. If there is such a things as an old soul, I feel she may have one. She's mature beyond her years, and can make me feel like the child at times. Playfully hitting her with a pillow will get me a "don't hit me, I'm your best friend!" and I instantly feel guilty. 

As her 4th birthday approaches, I realize a few things. This year marks the end of her toddler stage, she'll be  attending school next year. She's so prepared for school that she can't wait to meet her teacher. She's getting a haircut this weekend, so we're removing six inches of baby hair. She has an opinion about everything, but her only concern is whether or not she'll still look like a super hero after her haircut (3 year old problems). 

Ultimately, I could never have imagined the child I was blessed with. She's just one very happy little girl...everything else is just icing on the cake.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Embrace the Camera: February 16th

   If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of comfortable much that I have been wanting a pair of footsie pajamas for a while now. So you can imagine my surprise when I received a Pajama Gram at work on Valentine's Day. While many of my coworkers were receiving flowers and teddy bears, I got to open a Pajama Gram carrying pink fluffy footsie pajamas (and chocolate covered strawberries). I'm not lying when I say that I hugged my pink fluffy new pajamas and laughed like a school girl knowing how well my Valentine really did know me.

   The moment I got home I tried them on, and stood in front of Lily saying 'look at me...look at me baby...I have footsies too'. She smiled from ear to ear at the sight of me, and couldn't contain her excitement. She loved that we were actually wearing the same exact thing.

     Needless to say, I slept like a baby! Literally. 
Thanks to my loving husband (and best friend of 18 years)...the one person who knows me best.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lily's 3 year portraits...

   A few days after Lily's 3rd birthday we decided to take a trip to The Arboretum. I was in search for a quiet spot to capture her appearance and personality at this new age, and I looked forward to a relaxing afternoon after all the party planning.  I wasn't necessarily there for the flowers, yet the moment we walked in we met two friendly old ladies raving about the orchids. I heard one of the ladies voice her regret of not bringing her camera when she turned around and noticed mine around my neck. She smiled at me and said 'Oh, you brought a nice should come with us and take a few pictures of the orchids. There is an extremely rare blue one you MUST see!'. Not wanting to turn her down we proceeded to follow her, but not before she advised us to bring a stroller if we had one. I didn't want to lose time by taking the stroller out of the car since we weren't planning to stay I told her Lily would be fine walking. Then she lead us on a LOOOONG walk to the orchids (I nearly gave up).

Lily was so fascinated with the greenhouse that it was nearly impossible for me to capture her. She was careful not to disturb anything, but would hop from one orchid to another...then sneak around the corner.

As soon as I would call her name to let her know she had gone too far...
she would turn around and run back to me smiling.

Here is the infamous Blue Orchid...the reason why I lost breath reaching the greenhouse. It really was beautiful, just as I was told. Once the older ladies witnessed my documenting the orchids, they kindly left us to explore on our own...pointing out the Marriott Orchid on their way out.

I found the Marriott Orchid the most interesting. The very way it shields and captures water captivated almost seemed like an art piece.

These are Red Orchids

We stepped out of the greenhouse, and ran into a female peacock sitting on her eggs. The peacock didn't budge one bit, and I made sure Lily watched from a distance. The animals at The Arboretum roam freely so I was always on alert when Lily came upon one.

We kept a distance, not just for their sake but for ours also...the male peacock was apparently on guard.

We were finally back on track with only an hour to spare before closing time. 
So we began our stroll into the gardens.

I found a random rock in the middle of the field and asked Lily to sit down for a few shots. She was obviously in a wacky mood, and I couldn't get a serious face out of her for very long. Yet, her daddy really does like the larger image on the right...that's the face she gives when she's up to no good and proud of it.

It began to get cold so we decided to keep moving...

I sat her on this large bench then realized how small she looked sitting there. I took this image with the idea that I will be back every year and sit her here...I would love to have a series of these images. 
Lets just hope the bench survives that long.

Just as we were about to leave, I see that tired look in her face. She looked so tranquil standing there, and far too exhausted to act out. She didn't fight it, she just stood there looking at me as she touched the little piece of  skin on the tip of her lip. 

This becomes the portrait I was seeking. My daughter...being 3 years old.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Embrace the Camera: October 27th

First visit at a pumpkin patch...

With Halloween fast approaching we had it set in our mind to find a great pumpkin patch to take Lily to. I searched through many links until I found the pumpkin patch I felt had everything I always wanted to experience as a kid. So first thing Sunday morning we headed to the Irvine Railroad Pumpkin Patch!

 Lily didn't know what to make of such a place, everywhere she turned there was something exciting going on. I tried to convince her to sit on a pumpkin to take a few pictures...but she wouldn't have it. She just stood there like a deer caught in headlights. So I dropped the idea and asked her to pick out a pumpkin instead.

 She grabbed the smallest pumpkin she could find and held on to it for dear it became hers.

At this point I figured I might as well get a photo of her even if it meant holding her down. 
But she had her mind set on other the tempting smell of fresh popcorn.

 ...and before I knew it, I was able to capture this!

 She got a kick out of all the 'pop your head in the hole boards'...okay, I'm not really sure what you call these. I love her little feet sticking out from the bottom. 
She's suppose to be corn if you didn't catch that. lol

I had way too much fun with this one. I laughed with her...not at her (half the time). 

Then we found this awesome pony to ride on. It was made of hay and an old stuffed animal. 
I think we found the answer for when Lily begins to ask us  for a pony.

 She eventually found her way to a real pony, and we named it Bullseye for the 5 minutes we had him.

 It was love...and she wouldn't stop petting it. She would even order him to 'Giddy Up!'. 
This seriously made her day.

 After the sad farewell to Bullseye, we opted to help her win a prize.

She won a Lion...but again, she had her heart set on something else.

 When I was asked what I wanted painted on her face my first thought was a butterfly...thinking they would paint a tiny one on her cheek. The artist had another kind of butterfly in mind apparently...

But it came out so beautiful that I would have been a fool to have asked for anything less.
An hour later she slept on the drive home and that beautiful butterfly face became clown-like and transferred all over her shirt. This why you always take a picture!

We'll definitely be back for Christmas!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Embrace the Camera: August 25th

San Diego Zoo...

   Our vacation was finally winding down, and we were preparing to return to our daily life. Yet, on our last day before checking out, we decided we would treat Lily to one more quick adventure. We explained to her that we were leaving, and that we were heading back to see her grandparents, cousins, and friends. She seemed excited to leave, but she couldn't walk away just yet. She insisted on spending a little more time on the balcony watching the scene below as she had many times during our vacation.

We waited on the balcony together as my husband loaded the car, and prepared for our departure. She was quite chatty that morning and kept asking to see monkeys and tigers. She's random, and will bring up many subjects without warning. The week before  we were watching "The Jungle Book", and she turned to me to proclaim that she wanted to go to the jungle and dance with a bear.

I love the way her mind works...I can have conversations with her forever.

The glass elevator was another one of her favorite past times during our stay. We must have ridden that elevator more than a dozen times. At one point, we kept running into the same people, and I'm sure they were wondering if we were lost. The fact is that we kept using the elevator as our own personal amusement ride since it reached 10 stories and the view was of a beautiful waterfall. 

Let's not forget the mirror...she made sure to dance and jump every time we walked by.

Once we reached the San Diego Zoo, we bought Lily a hat and headed straight for the smelly flamingos. Why do they always insist on placing the flamingos in the front? Luckily, on the way out of a zoo I know I'm near the entrance by the stench of the flamingos. This time though, the baby flamingo made the stench worth standing still least for a quick photo.

This little guy was too cute to pass up. I caught him walking out of the pool, pull down a towel, and begin to dry himself up. I whistled at him like I would a dog, and he gave me this look.

We were then off to see some colorful birds...

We entered the new bird exhibit, and it was amazing. You are literally placed inside a giant cage with all these exotic birds. Some were so large that when they flew above us their wing span stretched as tall as me. The blue bird above was feeding so close that we would be able to touch it...but we didn't of course.

This yellow beauty flew over my head and perched itself on a branch inches away. Even with a camera in its face the bird didn't attempt to fly. Such an awesome experience!

My monkey...ready to make our way down to see her favorite animal.

It was a LONG and STEEP trek down to visit the monkeys!

Though she enjoyed every single primate...the Orangutans captured her the most. 

This was the only photo I was able to take of the lazy tiger, I mean they do sleep longer than they are awake. Once he woke up, he sprayed the walls with urine? He smelled every single spray on the wall as to make sure it was really there. Must have been due to all the strangers camping out so close to his territory.

The elephants instantly reminded Lily of Dumbo...of course! She kept asking to sit on Dumbo, so that little tiny person on top of the baby elephant is Lily as excited as can be. lol

The Giraffes kept following my camera...they were more than ready for a photo opt. 

Can you tell someone was EXCITED to see the polar bear?

I LOVE THIS PICTURE! She's smiling from ear to ear and showing her dimples.

...and with that intro we entered the Polar Bear Research exhibit.

Flying a WhirlyBird

Here were are with a seal...but she's ready to move on.

I wanted to see the Tiger so much...and it was asleep of course. Isn't it still so beautiful? There was nothing but a small chain link fence between us though. Yikes!

My Koalas were all asleep too...except for the tiny baby on the left. Toddlers never sleep when we want them to so I can relate. Poor mom on the right looks exhausted. I could be making all this up though. lol

Our last planned stop was the Reptile exhibit...I take WAY too many pictures of reptiles so I limited myself to my two favorite.

Just when I thought we were done...Lily discovers a petting zoo within the zoo. 

She came into this adventure with a smile, and I can call it a success knowing she left this place with an even larger smile. I, on the other hand, will not be visiting another zoo or animal for the rest of the year. ;)