Time again for trick or treat! Knowing my wife, I was sure she was planning something again this year, after coming up with Seven Potter a year ago. So the first week of October, I asked her what she had in mind. This time will be more difficult, since we now have two boys. If Seven would be Harry Potter, we didn't want Sunday to be sidekick Ron Weasley. They had to be equals.
A lot of ideas but certainly no to settling for common or too-easy characters. So Anie told me what she was thinking...... and I liked it. It may not be as popular as the wizard from Hogwarts, but I definitely dig this one better. I'm a huge fan of the show, and I haven't seen this one being done by kids (or their mothers) before.
If last year was Hogwarts, this year it's Westeros.
Protector of the Realm. Breaker of Chains. The Silver Queen. The Unburnt.
Mother of Dragons. ANAERYS TARJERYEN. ANEESI of the Great Grass Sea. :)
Really fun when the kids dress up for trick or treat. And shooting them is even more exciting, nevermind if 3-month-old Sunday cooperated better than his 2-year-old brother. I love the output! And my wife made sure I blogged this, she's a bit upset that I haven't blogged Sunday's photos yet, as compared to Seven's baby photos. Okay, I'll find time to blog more often, and let me start with this one.
To cap this post, let me tell you the funniest part of this whole thing. While planning their characters, my wife told me : " Baby, dapat family tayo. Ikaw si Khal Drogo."
Funny not funny. No way.
My wife is due to give birth to our second son in late-July. And with a new baby comes the search for a name. We pored over thousands of baby names and words that could ring a bell. It's easy to go for royal names of kings, heroes, or celebrities. Couldn't go wrong with biblical names. Or fashionable and current popular baby names. But in the end, we wanted something truly unique and special to us.
We wanted it to have significant meaning in our lives, something that's dear to us. It had to pique curiosity, nevermind the need for explanation everytime people hear it. Like our eldest, Seven, whose name held much importance to us, we decided on a unique name for our new kid. Explaining our choice starts now, hence this blog.
Yes, we're going to name our second son, "Sunday". Yup, the day of the week.
Like I said, we wanted a name that has special meaning to us, something that we value. Sunday is the Lord's day. The day of the week that we set aside for church and worship service. The day of the week that we shut things down - business and appointments foremost of them - so we can devote our time and attention to Him. Sunday is also family day. We'd rather stay home and be with family, or go out and have fun with them. It has got to take something REALLY important or urgent to deviate from our Sunday routine.
In short, Sunday, for us, represents two of the most important things in life : God and family. Doesn't get more significant than that.
Seven, soon you'll meet your baby brother, Sunday.
I love how it sounds.
It's been a while since I blogged photos. It's been a while since I've gone out for a photoshoot. This is the perfect chance to break the lull.
Our dearest son, Seven, turns two years old today. We are so thankful and proud of him (and it shows, if you're my friend on Facebook). For his birthday, I thought of featuring him in another shoot, something I haven't done in a while. My wife and I planned to do it in April, but time went by so fast and we didn't notice it was already May and a week before Seven's birthday. To cut the story short, we had to cram and do the shoot. So a few days ago, we did it. Anie mixed and matched Seven's clothes for the shoot, I charged my camera batts and emptied the memory cards. We waited for the summer afternoon heat to subside then went outside to shoot. By outside I mean outside our house and in our lawn (although we ventured past our backyard for one location). When time is not on your side, you get desperate. Sometimes, you settle for what's available. It was just up to us to make things work.
Easily distracted and having a short attention span, and at two years old we still couldn't direct him to stay still or do a specific pose, Seven could be tricky to shoot. Most of the time we just let him be his natural self in front of the camera, while I wait for the moment to snap pictures. The only advantage we have is that he's also naturally cute. When he's in a good mood or flashes that smile... game over. That's all I need.
Here are the photos from the shoot. Done in two days, each session lasting an hour and a half. This is what happens when your mom's a model and your pop's a photographer. You get photographed a lot. An awful lot.
It's a wrap. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, kiddo! Stay sweet. :)
Thanks for looking. :D
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. :)
It's that time of year when parents dress up their kids in costumes, make them look cute and splendid, send them to go trick or treating, and enjoy the Halloween event. Last year, my wife wrapped up then-five-month-old Seven in a cute bee costume. For this year though, she really wanted Seven to be a character, but not the same-old, same-old Disney or superhero types that one can easily find in kiddie party shops. Had to do a lot of searching and customizing, but alas, she did it.
I have to give props to my wife for the idea and execution. I got excited to do the shoot, too. Sure it's seeing our kid clad in Potter-wear that amped us, but The Boy Who Lived also has a special place in our hearts for a reason : Anie and I's first movie-date ever was Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (2002). So you see, the boy was both cute and sentimental for us. Tee-hee.
Here are the photos from the half-hour shoot with Seven Potter... The Gwapoy Who Lived. :)
Thanks for looking. Happy Halloween, everyone!
Seven's growing up so fast! Month by month, milestone-to-milestone, post by post. Here's an index from oldest to newest blogs on baby Seven. Click on title to go directly to the post :
Updating Diaper Diary with recent photos of Seven, who's now fourteen months-old. He has gotten bigger and stronger, a lot smarter and funnier, and he can now walk a few steps on his own. I love it when he's asleep because he's so snuggly, and mornings just after waking up is when he's on his most pleasant mood. We make sure we enjoy it.
I'm pretty sure I missed including some photos. Anyway, there's more to come in the next post. =)
Two weeks after the event, we got the photos from the official photographers. Sharing with you some pictures from The Sevens...
We initially wanted a simple thanksgiving party for Seven's 1st birthday. I still remember the conversation with my wife when she was still pregnant, that if I were to choose, I don't want a big first birthday party, because Seven would be too young to really appreciate the event and I don't think he'd even remember it at all. Something happened along the way, I don't know what exactly, but our original plan was set aside. Maybe it's because of all the love we felt for Seven that we wanted to give back to the important people in our lives with a big celebration. It's the least we could do for all the kindness and blessings people have showered upon our son.
And I don't know what got into me to decide on a party theme that, let's just say, hasn't been done in a kiddie party before. I do remember back in January that they announced the nominees for the upcoming Oscar Awards. Suddenly an idea crept into my mind that, hey, maybe we can do an Oscars-themed party for Seven. And we'd call it, what else, The Sevens. That's where it started and things just took off from there.
I enjoyed the planning stage, sometimes I felt giddy about the details and gimmicks that we had. A lot of work, but we were glad that things fell into place.
Presenting... The Sevens.
A special photomontage was shown, created by one of the best After Effects artists in the country, Manuel Joson of GraphicoFX. Click the play button below to view the photomontage.
Best Picture made by the Best Director. Play to watch.
We'd like to thank everyone - our family, friends, and acquaintances - who attended the event and celebrated with us. We really appreciate your time and effort. And gifts. We'd like to thank our suppliers for helping us execute what we had in mind. Thank you to all the people who made The Sevens a success.
We'd like to thank Seven for giving us the inspiration, for being our pride and joy. Happy Birthday, buddy! Look back on these photos a few years from now so you'd know how we celebrated your first year.
Finally, we'd like to thank God for everything. To Him be the glory.
(Photos courtesy of Shutter Panda Photography. Friends, if you're wondering where your photos at the event are, I shall upload them on Facebook and tag you.)
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.