About Me

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Thank you for visting my blog. When I started this blog, it was just the vehicle for which I had hoped to share photos of our life in Chicagoland with our loved ones, but it has turned into so much more for me. Life is ever evolving in our household and time no longer stands still. Every moment is precious and worthy of being captured and treasured. In addition, through my love of the camera, I have had the opportunity to meet and also capture moments in others' lives. It is my hope, with this blog, that when my memory fails me, the words and photos on this blog will remind of where we were. History...Through My Glass...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It Was Just a Dream

The words made me feel alive again...day dreaming like a young school girl. Now it just hurts. Found: 2-tickets to Harry Potter.

On another subject, here is a totally cheesy storyboard that I made from Roan and my 1/2 an hour before bedtime last night.

I am working four, 10-hour days this week so that I can have Friday off legitimately for our vacation to Denver. When I get home, I have one good hour to spend with Roan so we try to fit as much in as possible. Unfortunately, then we don't always have time for a real bath.

I wanted to order this for our trip, since I don't want to fuss with a stroller in the airport and since Roan and I are going to be traveling without Choua. I thought it was an adorable and great idea. It's made for children between 3-6 years old and it's a real hard case suitcase, but it's made so that your child can ride it and you can pull it if they get tired walking around the airport and you don't/can't pick them up. I don't think it'll get here in time though. I guess for our next trip.

I've got to add a quick and cute story about Roan. We were out one day; the location escapes me now, but we were heading back to the car and I guess he wasn't ready to go home yet. Choua says to him, "You want a time out?" and he says, "Yes!" in his fake, cute voice. Anything, but home, right? He is so his Daddy's son. That sounds just like Choua.

Evening Playground Series

I traded in my 70-300mm and 50mm f/1.8D for a 50mm f/1.4! It's so amazing! I love this lens. After I put Roan down for the night, I headed out to the park and all of these little kids wanted me to take pictures of them. At first they were shy, but soon enough, I couldn't respond quickly enough.
A lonely cat...thank goodness for the many that run around our neighborhood because even in our very old house, there are no mice!

My attempt at photojournalism.

She ran up to the swings and looked at me...shy at first, but then she started flashing smiles.

Her little sister...what beautiful eyes?

A couple other kids. I had some group shots, but it was after dusk when I went out there and so I had to open the lens up at 1.4 in order to get enough light so most of the picture was fuzzy.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Snapshots

Choua did major yardwork on Saturday so I decided to take some pictures. Unfortunately, I forgot to take them before he started. Above is a picture of our very old garage and the flowers below one of the windows. Before he cleaned up, the weeds were taller than the flowers. I converted it to B&W because I felt it had more of an effect.

This is my little boy in his true essence. He loves carrying his sword around, which he sometimes uses like a rifle and riding on his toy ATV.

I was taking a picture of my expanding stack of old magazines on top of our radiator, which Roan decided he wanted some attention too so he climbed up and laid down. There is just something about little feet.
I'm so out of shape. I took Roan for a walk yesterday morning and when we got back, my front thighs were sore. That has never happened before from walking. I have vowed to start running again and for the last time, get back down to a healthy weight. I want to come out from behind the camera.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Yawm, Mini Oreos, & Time Out

Roan and I drove to Evanston to visit with Grandpa (Yawm). He is there to finish up his Master's degree. Go Yawm! I wish I could have snapped more shots, but we had limited time. Yes, it is the same picture twice. The other three were not the least bit flattering.

It was such a beautiful day. I missed the shot in which they were both peacefully watching the waves and the sailboat. As we all know, I am still having trouble with very bright daytime snapshots. Our prayers are with you while you finish your stay here and our thoughts with you when you have your operation.
Doesn't Roan [below] just look like he is enjoying eating mini oreos so much?
Roan had a grand time with the mini oreo cookies that were on sale--10 bags for $10. Thank goodness, I didn't have to buy 10 at once to get in on the deal.

He is so generous, he shares the rejected parts of the cookie with me. It's adorable how he eats the cookie. I swear, I did not teach him this. He opens the mini cookie up and tries to peel out the middle. He leaves the sandwich parts in tact. He is quite good at it.

Earlier in the morning, I had him dressed to play with his Sand and Sea water table. He was throwing sand and I told him to stop, but he was not being a good listener so I put him in a time out on the back porch stairs. He was so good for the first minute or so, until I ran to grab my camera, then he started to fake cry. Ahhhh...classic Roan. :) I love this little boy so much!

Yesterday night was my weekend night out. And as I spend most of those weekend nights out, I went to Borders to catch up on my guilty pleasures--magazines! In addition to making my rounds at the magazine stands, I also found myself in the music department. I wanted to check out Mini Driver's new CD. I quickly learned though, that I could look up almost any artist and listen to snippets of their CDs. For some reason, I had a longing to hear my two favorite singers from the 80's. I have to say, there are no two voices like Peter Cetera [of Chicago fame] and Rick Astley.

And OMG, as the kids write now, the 80's are back in full swing. NO! I have to shake my head at colored, high waisted jeans. I have to draw the line somewhere. Suddenly, I was very aware of how old I am now. For a moment, I was frozen in time.

Mid Summer

I can't believe summer is more than half over already. Although we haven't been town much at all on weekends, I feel like there is still so much to do. We took Roan back to the Arboretum, but there was a wedding going on so the children's garden was closed. We were not deterred though. Roan just ran around and tried to roll down the hill like the bigger kids. (Click on the photograph for a larger picture.)

I don't like how this picture turned out, but it is one of the rare ocassions in which he is looking into the camera and has a big smile on his face. This is one of those that I categorize as "Only A Mother Would Love".

This 'sculpture' is one of the main attractions this summer. It's kind of a house/maze, made of tree branches. It's really cool and very organic looking.
The above picture was so blown out, so I tried to save it by converting it to B&W. There are still some blown out areas, but he has his little thinking face on.

Another one I attepted to save. I remember back in the old P&S days, I always wanted a day with light so that I wouldn't have to use the flash. Now I pray for overcast days. Unfortunately, last night was very bright. It was an amazing evening, but not quite for my limited picture-taking skills.
We 'found' this park near our home that has a little island. These are my guys. Choua never wants me to post pictures of him up on my blog. I would say that this one does not count, since you can't see his face.

I tried to work on my focusing issues again. These were taken on a stormy evening. I didn't have much light to work with so I had to up the ISO, which caused a lot of grain. Again, in the 'Only A Mother Would Love' category.

He's so handsome! I wish he'd let me capture him more.

This one was the best of the bunch, so I didn't have much to work with. He's holding his cool light saber sword. He calls it his "stick".

Just as I am planning to call the specialist, he is starting to say so many more things. He put his finger to his lips when we were lying on the mattress is his room before bed and said, "Shhh," and then something like, "be coyit", which I took to be "be quiet". He's also randomly naming things that he's playing with. I feel a little more at ease now so I think I'll hold off on making that call. Thank you for everyone's kind words.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hard Parenting Decisions

The picture above is SOOC. Roan loves to be topless--this part of Roan is all Choua. The angle of this picture is a little distracting, but I just love how it is so 'Roan'. Today, he just wasn't himself. I hate the helpless feeling you have when you know that something is off in your child, but you can't put a precise finger on it. I hope he's feeling better tomorrow.

Roan is still not saying much. He speaks and has been since before he turned one, but he really doesn't say much. He's 26.5 months now. At this two-year appointment, his pediatrician was not concerned since he says things and even puts a couple of words together, but I asked for a referral. I haven't called yet. I think calling would have meant that there is possibly something wrong with my beautiful, perfect child. However, I think I have to face the truth.

The words he does say are the most polite ones possible: please, thank you, sorry, and excuse me, or rather, his versions of those words. And he babbles a lot! I try not to compare him to other children his age. And for the most part, I don't as I really was not in a hurry to have him talk. My nieces and nephew spoke early and a often. I don't know how I can answer and deal with all of the questions that come with talking. Alas, it is time to call on the experts and put my fears to rest.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Focus Issues...Go Away!

I am still having really bad focusing issues. At least now I know that it's not just a focusing issue, but rather, an exposure issue. I think I have to switch to M mode because A mode is not cutting it for me since I have such a mobile toddler as the subject of most of my pictures.

The next three pictures are my lost opportunity pictures. We were leaving my cousin, Chonh's, wedding and it was after dusk (even though the pictures don't look like it). The reception was out in the country and there was a hay field nearby so on our way out, we stopped the car and got Roan out. He had a blast running in the field, but we were being eaten alive by mosquitos and Choua was afraid a snake would get him so I hurridly starting taking pictures.

My settings were way off. I opened the aperture as much as I could because there seemed to be no light, but my shutter speed was way too slow to capture my active Roan. In retrospect, I should have closed the aperture a little, upped the shutter speed, and upped the ISO.

There is no saving these shots now. :(

On Sunday, Roan and I went to the free splashpad. As usual, he made a friend, Joshua. He kept taking Joshua's noodle and saying, "mom", which is his way of saying, "mine". I had to remind him several times that it was not his.

Joshua has the most beautiful eyes. He is half Mexican and half Polish. I realized that my child is part of the reason why I have such focusing issues. He will not sit still or look into the camera. Joshua kept posing for me so I got some really clear shots of him.

And I have to sneak one in of my little stinker.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Black & White Conversions

I'm trying out Me Rah's B&W instructions. I don't know if I've got it down.

We are still trying to get him to eat "our food". The battle continues, but he's been doing this really cute thing. He will say, "Awww" as he hugs me when he knows that he has done something wrong. It's amazing how you notice your own mannerisms when you see your own child doing it. He sounds just like me.

This is my beautiful niece and Goddaughter, Ayden. I just love how this picture turned out, even though her feet are cut out. And hey look...I've got a copyright! Somehow I got that pop up when I exported from Lightroom to PS. Now I just have to figure out how to make it say Captured by Kaosong vs. just Kaosong. Do you like it better in color?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Welcome Rain

The pictures are a bit blurry as I still am having my little focusing issue. I shot all of these in sports mode and still I am having the issue. I've got to figure it out soon. I want to take serious pictures at my cousin's wedding this weekend. I'm posting the pictures even though they have no technical merit. We bought his this little umbrella because he saw it in the window of the mall store, "Cool Things", which has what I believe to be imported cartoon stuff. They have a lot of Japanese animation stuff. He ran into the store and picked out this umbrella from a tin of many other characters. We let him play with it for about two minutes then Choua took him to the back of the store to get his mind off of it. That never works. Roan remembers how to get back to things very well. He ran all of the way back to the front of the store and picked out the exact same umbrella. He didn't have one so we decided to get it for him.Roan already has a great sense of direction. When we were at the Taste of Randolph in Chicago, he kept finding his way back to the doggie tent. It was cute the first two times...
At the museum, he kept going back to the movie sections between the ages in the dinosaur exhibit. Again, only cute the first couple of times.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Snapshots from our trip "Home"

For the Hmong in Minnesota, Fourth of July has a completely different significance. It's the one time a year, in which Como Park is transformed into what I like to call, "Little Vientiane". This year, after many years of lessons, they outfitted the main field with turf [which made for vivid pictures] and a path that was laid with something so as not to kill the grass. I'm not sure it worked.

We haven't been to the July 4th Tournament in years, but Choua wanted Roan to see his "people" so we loaded up the family and headed out on a sunny evening for eats and people watching.

I don't know how interesting this picture is, but I really liked the way the colors turned out. It's pretty much SOOC. In fact, I actually had to tone it down a bit.

I thought this shot was a cool action shot of the ladies soccer tournament. I cropped it a bit though so the picture seems a little out of focus. Uggghhh!

A vendor had these silver necklaces hanging out.

Another vendor selling traditional Hmong dress.

How can I resist putting up a picture of my little one? He found a box of my "little" brother's old cars and legos. My parents have this big living room window that children love because they can walk right up to it and look out. On this day, he thought it would be fun to line them up on the windowsill.

Another angle.

After the 4th, he spent two days with Taylor and Ayden (and his Tais Hlis (Auntie Kaohly). He loved being with them. In fact, he loved being back home with his family. It's hard for me to bring him back.

Above: Taylor, being shy.
Left: Ayden and Roan.

Thanks to Grandma Yang, Choua and I got an (a couple of them) evening out to dine as adults. It is nice to not have to rush through dinner. Or maybe, I need to train my child better? We had dinner at Mirror of Korea, Choua's favorite Korean Restaurant...ever! :)

We enjoyed with both sides of the family as there were two birthdays last Saturday. First it was Ayden's party at Edinborough Park....

...then Jennica's belated party at Bald Eagle Lake. It was an incredibly hot and humid day, but we were fearless, in the name of family.

Uncle Austin and Cousin Leo enjoying watermelon in 100+ degree temperature.

Lastly, we wouldn't let him swim in the questionable water so he made a little trouble by trying to pick up his two month old Cousin, Evan. It was adorable.
More later...it was a relaxing vacation, yet somehow I am exhausted! Not so glad to be back to work, but it pays the bills.