Posts Tagged ‘boys’

{Secret Agent Party} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

April 5th, 2013

Recently, my oldest was invited to this SUPER AWESOME Secret Agent themed birthday party. Since my boys are All About Spies, this was pretty much the greatest thing ever to happen in their lives. I think my youngest may have taken it a mite too seriously. I don’t think I saw a smile on his […]

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Recently, my oldest was invited to this SUPER AWESOME Secret Agent themed birthday party. Since my boys are All About Spies, this was pretty much the greatest thing ever to happen in their lives. I think my youngest may have taken it a mite too seriously. I don’t think I saw a smile on his face the entire time. Because, you know, Secret Agent Spies never smile. First, they had to have a password to enter the party. Next, they got to make their Secret Identity Card. Then, there were the Secret Agent Disguises. They even got to have their fingerprints taken. Next, they got “Secret Agent bags” which contained a crayon, a decoder wheel, a magnifying glass, and some other spy paraphernalia. Then, Secret Agent “D” led the boys on an obstacle course. There were clues to decode, balloon “bombs” to burst, juice to help you decode, and finally, an infrared “laser” field to get to the goodie bags! Overall, it was a smashing success and very, very fun!

I have to give major props to Mom (Secret Agent “M”) and Dad (Secret Agent “D”) of the birthday boy. They were 100% involved and led the boys all around in all the “secret missions”, not to mention setting up all the obstacles beforehand. Without them, the party couldn’t have gone off without a hitch!

 

Ordinary boys, ready to turn into Secret Agent Hawkeye and Secret Agent Flash. They even needed a secret password to get into the door! (provided by Agent “M” and Agent “D” prior to the party)

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Arriving inside Headquarters

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The laser field was blocked off with caution tape for the unwary.

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Secret Agent Disguises

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Agents, ready for their secret mission!

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Working on their identification badges with Secret Agent “M”

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What the badges look liked, aren’t they cool? My boys LOVED these.

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Hanging out with some other agents.

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Who are those cool spies?

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Awesome and tasty cake.

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Secret Agent “D” helping to take fingerprints.

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Yes, he did fingerprint that entire line of kids! Big kudos to him.

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The boys were just cracking me up with their spy antics.

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Getting ready for their secret mission.

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Finding the first clue.

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Their Secret Agent bags with their decoders, and what the clues looked like that they were finding.

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Hard at work. The papers had the list of where all the clues were listed.

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There was a clue where they “painted” this decoder juice onto it to reveal the secret message.

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Are you REALLY a secret agent?

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Another mission!
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This part was hilarious for me, some of the “bombs” were a smidge harder to burst than the others. There was a lot of giggling involved.

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Last obstacle to overcome!

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Goofing off after the mission.

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I noticed that my water tasted sort of funny…

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The birthday boy (and sneak attack by Secret Agent Little Brother!)

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My favorite picture of the day.

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Birthday Boy and his momma.

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Happy Birthday, Secret Agent!
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{A Letter to My Sons} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 26th, 2013

**Disclaimer: triggering subject matter ahead**   I usually do not discuss political or current event topics on this blog. There has been a surge lately in the news about sexual abuse, not just in the USA, but worldwide. People are speaking up, speaking out about the violence, speaking out about the silence surrounding child sexual abuse, […]

 

**Disclaimer: triggering subject matter ahead**

 

I usually do not discuss political or current event topics on this blog. There has been a surge lately in the news about sexual abuse, not just in the USA, but worldwide. People are speaking up, speaking out about the violence, speaking out about the silence surrounding child sexual abuse, speaking out about the stigma. Many people have written about it much  more eloquently than I have, such as the blogger Ask Moxie and her beautiful open letter to her sons, and this mom’s piece on what we should be teaching our future boys. But this is my blog, and as such, I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of voice I want my boys to hear. Both inside their heads, and the voice they speak with as they grow older, and encounter these situations amongst friends and peer groups. It’s terrifying to think about as a mother, and as the mother of two boys, that they will be swimming upstream against societal pressures and norms to be perpetrators. Or worse, silent victims. I write this letter to them, and I hope in my heart that this will be the voice they will hear as they grow older.

 

Dear boys: as I write this to you now, you’re wrestling with each other in the other room, it’s on the verge of bedtime, in that sweet spot where everything is giggles, boy laughter, and best brother hugs. I know the fighting and “I don’t want to go to bed” and “just one more story” is going to come soon, but right now, life is perfect. I love you guys to bits, and I want to freeze this moment forever and hold it still, and cherish it always.

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You guys are best friends, as well as best brothers. There is nothing I love more than catching you two curled up together reading, playing, or sharing a moment. I know that growing up is inevitable, but I hope that you guys will look back on your childhood, and remember that it was ok to be kind to each other, to laugh and hug with each other, and to be there for each other. I want you guys to remember that it’s ok to use your words to express how you feel, even if it’s “not cool”, even when you are feeling angry or sad. Especially when you are feeling angry or sad.

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I want you boys to always think it’s cool to have a picnic with your teddy  bears, even if the popular crowd doesn’t think the same as you. I want to hear you proudly declare at 2, or 12 with the same zeal “but mom, the teddy  bears need me RIGHT NOW”, and still believe in the magic of imaginative play. I love that you cuddle, and care for them, and pretend that they need help and you give it to them. I hope that when you’re older, and you see a friend who needs a hug, or needs someone to care for him or her, that you’ll step up and be there for them, just like you were for your teddy bears. I hope that when you’re with someone, and they say “No”, you respect that. And if you see someone who can’t say “No”, you can stand up and be their voice for them. Be caring. Be loving. Be kind.

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Boys, I want you guys to know that, no matter what, you guys are my goofballs.  I hope that you will always go through life with the same sense of confidence and zest that you display now. You guys continually amaze me with how self assured you guys are with both your individual personalities, and how devastating you guys are when you combined together in your Vulcan mind meld to get exactly what you want. I also want you to know, you will always have us, your mom and dad, and you will always have each other. We will always be here to listen to you, no matter if it’s a bad dream in the middle of the night, or a phone call you need to make to let us know that there’s a bad decision going on and you need us to come get you. We will never get mad if you need our help.

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Dearest oldest son, with your infectious laughter, and your empathy that extends for miles and miles, I worry about you the most. You have a keen sense of justice, and a very indignant sense of what is right and what is wrong in the world. I wish that I could tell you that it’s easy to make the bad people own up to their problems, but you already know that it’s not that easy, and that sometimes, doing the right thing means people don’t want to hear what you have to say. But I’m proud of the little man that you are becoming, and I’m proud that you are always there to help with a kind word, and you have the biggest heart of anyone that I know. Speak up if you see someone can’t speak up for themselves, and go against the tide. I know you can do it.

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Dear youngest son, you are my fireball. You are my fight first, and ask questions later. You defend your brother’s honor at all cost, even if you don’t really understand what’s going on, and for that, I adore your loyalty to him. I hope that as you grow, you continue to be loyal to your friends, and that you know when you see a situation that is wrong, that you continue to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. I hope you will help those that can’t help themselves, that find themselves unable to say no, unable to walk away, and fight for them.
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Boys, you have your entire future ahead of you. It’s full of wonder, and joy, and excitement. I know you guys wake up every single day with a can-do attitute, and dreams that you want to fulfill. I hope that every day can be like that for you. But I know that there will be difficult days ahead, as you journey through growing older, and navigate the waters of adolescence. There will be parties, and tough decisions. Friends and frenemies making good and bad choices, and people you may not want to help, but will need your help. I hope that when you’re older, and read through this blog, you’ll remember these words: be true to yourself, care for your fellow human beings. We love you guys, and we are always here for you.

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I love you guys.

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{Tidepool Exploration} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

August 23rd, 2012

Living here in the lovely Pacific Northwest, we’re very lucky to be able to go to the beach and explore the sand and surf. Along with building sandcastles, my kids love to explore the tide pools. It’s a lovely reminder of the wonderful and fragile ecosystem surrounding us, and which we live alongside. There are […]

 

Living here in the lovely Pacific Northwest, we’re very lucky to be able to go to the beach and explore the sand and surf. Along with building sandcastles, my kids love to explore the tide pools. It’s a lovely reminder of the wonderful and fragile ecosystem surrounding us, and which we live alongside. There are a few things we do to make a trip to the tide pools more memorable:

Tide Pools Checklist:

  • Check times for low tides. I like going to the NOAA website, or your local newspaper (like the Seattle Times) will have it listed as well, usually under the weather section.
  • Bring appropriate clothing, including footwear. Rocks are slippery, so flip flops would not be a good choice. A sturdy shoe with good traction and grip will prevent cut feet or turned ankles.
  • Likewise, it’s good to have a full change of clothes in the car, just in case. Like, a brother dumps a full bucket of water on top of another brother’s head.
  • have the kids bring a bucket (or a flat tupperware container)
  • if you have it, bring along some popsicle sticks and string. You can mark off a square section of the tide pools (use the sticks as fence posts, and rope the string around to make the square). Makes a great and quick observation point for kids, especially small ones who may be overwhelmed with everything.
  • for bigger kids, have them bring along a magnifying glass as well to check out sea animals.
  • Remember, tide pools are animal homes. So talk to your kids about not removing animals to take home, etc. In my pictures, you do see my kids handling sea stars and hermit crabs, but I made sure they replaced them where they found them. We talked about how it would be if someone came and removed them from our house, and how they would not like that very much. Practice good, ecological etiquette so others can also enjoy the tide pools as well.

 

At Marina Beach Park during a neap tide. See how far out the low tide went?

 

Sunhat? Check. Boots? Check. Bucket? Check.

 

Tide pools aren’t only found in the subtidal area left after a high tide leaves, they can be found amongst the rocks in the intertidal area as well.

 

 

Don’t forget the appropriate footwear! My son loves his ladybug rainboots.

 

In cases when you don’t plan ahead, the tide pools can provide you with these fabulous seaweed footwear instead.

 

Checking out the sea life.

 

The best thing about tide pool exploration is the sense of wonder by all ages! You’re never too old, or too young, to be too cool to check out tide pools.

 

A very serious discussion about where to explore next.

Tiny hermit crab! My oldest actually would stalk out a tide pool for half an hour to watch a hermit crab move to a new shell home.

 

Starfish in your hand! My youngest said that it was very tickly, and not like a spider at all.

 

The boys were quite intent on all the new discoveries they were making left and right among the tide pools.

 

Don’t forget about looking down inside the rocks either. We found this between rock crevasses. It’s either a flattened sea anemone or a sea cucumber

 

Another hermit crab! You can see the little antennae poking out towards my son’s thumb.

 

After closer examination in our buckets, we put everything back in their original tidepool “families”.

And one last cool find!  We found this guy clinging to some rocks. We believe it’s a tonicella chiton.

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