It was cramming time for our Christmas family portrait. The original plan was to do an outdoor shoot this year, so we set up the location and had the props prepared in the front lawn. Then about 5 minutes before going outside for the shoot proper, it rained. Quickly retrieved the props and hoped that the drizzle would be short-lived. It wasn't.
So we had to do it indoor. Set up in the theater room and used one of the blank walls as background. The problem with the whole thing was that no one was there to shoot us (my sister, who clicked the shutter for us last year, wasn't available). I had to mount the camera on the tripod and use an intervalometer to continuously shoot photos every 5 seconds. The focus was preset, meaning we couldn't move too much or else we will go out of the focus zone. To make it even more challenging, Seven was in a playful mood, getting distracted with the Christmas balls that we used as props. It was a tiring shoot, and we just got lucky to get some decent frames.
What I'll be showing you, however, are the outtakes or rejects from the 20-minute shoot. Photos are proof just how cooperative Seven was, and just how exasperated I was getting. Haha! Am I just glad we pulled it off. (Desaturated the photos to alter the look from the final photo that we really liked.)
Here are some photos that we also liked, but ultimately we decided on the final photo.
And the winner from all the frames... this one. Our official Christmas family portrait for 2013.
Next year, by God's grace, our second baby shall join us in the photo. For now, the Santa doll will do.
And that's how we did our family portrait. Took a lot of patience, but in the end, it's all worth it. Thanks for viewing. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! Enjoy the holiday season! :)
Three Saturdays ago, as I was watching the evening news, I noticed my wife (who just came out of the bathroom) standing a few feet from the TV. Just standing there, as if waiting for something. I looked at her and she flashed a wide smile with a pair of gleaming eyes. I asked her why and it turns out she had big news of her own. "I'm pregnant." I shot back if she was serious, and she said yes. Another "ha??" and she showed me the test kit. There they were, the two lines. The two lines that are considered a precious breakthrough by married couples who long for a child of their own. Also the two lines that signal an unwanted life shift for teenage moms or ladies with unexpected pregnancies.
We were caught off-guard. The plan was to TRY for baby number 2 AFTER Seven's second birthday, not 8 months before. Well, things happen for a reason, and this is a pleasant surprise from God. To be honest, I was worried at first because I didn't feel ready yet for a second child. We are still enjoying Seven immensely, and my biggest concern was how to divide our attention once the second baby is born. How do we make sure Seven keeps getting our full affection? And how, also, do we give our best to our second kid, the standard of what we did for Seven? A lot of questions and apprehension (especially on my part) but nonetheless we are truly thankful for this surprise. Sorry, Seven, your time as our unico hijo will end sooner as planned, but we pledge that our love for you will never lessen. Sorry, new baby, for I didn't greet your arrival as ecstatic as I would have liked, but I assure you we will do our best to love and care for you as your kuya. For what it's worth, you're luckier because we now have some knowledge in raising a child, owe it to our experience with your "kuya". So you are sure to benefit from that.
How do we divide our attention and still give a hundred percent to two kids? Impossible. We just have to double our love and effort. It's another challenge but based on our time with Seven, it's definitely going to be a highly-enjoyable journey. Three has become four.
Upon consultation, Anie's doctor advised her to wait two more weeks before having her tummy scanned. Today we finally had the procedure. It's confirmed : she's 7 weeks pregnant. Heartbeat is strong and things look okay. Such a blessing.
We pray for Anie and the baby's health, we pray for a safe and smooth pregnancy. We pray for a hassle-free delivery. We pray that we can continue to provide our babies' needs. And finally... Lord, we always welcome what you give to us. Your will be done, but if we can request, can you please make it a girl this time? Anie would be overjoyed, and she deserves it. Kung pwede lang naman po.
Friends, we will appreciate your prayers, too. Thank you so much.
To God be the glory. Thank You so much.
(For those thinking it was made in Macau... just do the math.)
Faster. Higher. Stronger.
That's the Olympic motto but I'm also describing Seven, who's now 18 months old.He walks (runs) faster, causing us near heart attacks whenever he suddenly takes off across the floor to reach for something. He jumps higher (on the bed, that is) and is definitely taller, I'm giving it a maximum of 6 months until he won't fit in his crib anymore. And Seven's definitely stronger. Make him drink his vitamins, or take away something he shouldn't be holding, and you'd be in for a wrestling match. Seriously.
Our baby is now a boy in our eyes, sensitive enough to know what's going on, talkative enough to mumble words of pure jibberish, and smart enough to find ways to make us laugh or give in to his wants. We enjoy it, no doubt, but we also realize that pretty soon, this boy's going to be tough to handle (physically speaking). So it makes me appreciate things now while he's still young and sweet as a baby. I want to document his moments thru my photos. Recently I got to spend a whole day with him. We took him out to have some fun, my wife and I's way of making up for our Macau trip (when we left Seven for 3 days in the care of his yaya.)
I've done this before when he was just three months old, but I'm doing it again. A 24-hour series of photos featuring Seven.
0545 : His day starts as he wakes up....hungry.
Goes back to sleep then wakes up again. 0725.
0740 : Busts out to his playroom to grab some toys...
...and plays a little basketball, too.
0755 : Bath time...which is just like playtime, only with water and soap.
0830 : Outside to get some good air.
0850 : Breakfast (he now regularly eats solid food)
0915 : A selfie before the family leaves for the metro
1035 : Bit of idle time as pop drops by a car showroom
1110 : Finally at the mall, a walk with mom
1130 : Trying out clothes and shoes at a kiddie store
1150 : Picture-taking and getting amazed at the mall's Christmas decors
1200 : Window-shopping, or -gazing.
1220 : Feeling like Vettel in an amusement center
1235 : His favorite and MY favorite : the playpen with the sea of balls (I LOVE IT!)
And some sliding action in the colorful playground...
1330 : More walking...
1400 : Settled down for lunch
1500 : Knocked out
1800 : And he springs back to life, already on the way home
1920 : Time for dinner. In a great mood.
2035 : Home at last. Time to clean up before going to sleep.
2100 : Sleepy
2130 : Slowly but surely getting lulled to sleep by the TV and darkness...
...and he's off to dreamland.
2230 : Sleep well, buddy.
And that's a whole day I spent with Seven. Someday I'm sure he'll see these, and hopefully he'd be thankful. Haha. I sure enjoyed doing it, combining two of my loves : my son and photography. Nothing compares.
Till the next post. The big news. :)
Father to Seven. Prefers to be called "Pop" because Daddy is too sosyal, Papa can mean boyfriend / boy-toy or a ketchup, Tatay is too un-sosyal, and Popsie is just three letters too much. I don't like the cola because it's too sweet, but I esteem coach Gregg Popovich because he gets the job done. So Pop it is.