Meagan Musing: September 2010

Meagan Musing


Camera Upgrade

I've been shooting with my Canon Rebel XSi for over a year, and I've loved, loved loved it. When I picked out my Rebel in the summer of '09 I had no idea I'd end up loving photography as much as I do. I wanted an entry level camera that I could use on the full-auto setting; I just needed something fast to capture Andrew's quick smiles.

But then I realized that I could take really awesome photos with my camera and lenses if I'd just take the time to learn how to use them.

I started out shooting in Av (Aperture priority) Mode and then this past January I switched to full Manual (meaning I select my shutter speed, aperture and ISO for every shot) and I haven't looked back. I can't believe what a difference it made in my photos!

Here's one of my favorite shots from last Christmas taken in Av Mode:


It's a good shot, and I love the subject and the composition, but the exposure could have used a little help. See how dark Brian's face is? I'm sure my camera calculated the exposure using some of that bright background as well as Brian and Andrew so they came out a little too dark.

And here's one of my favorite photos ever from just last weekend:


What a difference practice, practice, practice (and manual mode) makes! :)

Recently I felt like I was ready to upgrade my camera, and I decided to make the move to the Canon 7D. It has a 19-point focus system compared to my Rebel's 9-point, and I think this is the part I'm most excited about.

I manually select my focus point for every photo, and I think having that many focus points will really help me do that. It also has high ISO capabilities and has a 100% viewfinder so everything that will show up in my frame will be visible in my viewfinder.

So, my new camera arrived yesterday afternoon! It's going to take some time to get it all figured out, but here is my first days' attempt.



It's fun to take pictures of Andrew watching TV. He sits still!




Every little boy needs a dirty tushy after an hour in the backyard.




I'm happy with most of them, but I feel like they're all just a little soft. I really feel like it's just user error. I'm sure I'll get better with time, and lots of practice!

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At the Park

We've had the most wonderful, beautiful fall weather the last two days, and it's supposed to stay this way for most of the week ahead. October weather in Dallas is the best, and we're getting a little taste of it early. Yay!

So we headed to the park this afternoon to meet my mom's group friends and their kiddos. We hadn't been to the park in months because we've been trapped inside by the 100 degree heat.



The last time we were there I had to watch Andrew really carefully, and the whole time we were there I was super nervous he'd do a header off the slide. But today he seemed so much safer, steadily climbing up the steps and running through the tunnels.


He was crazy about the swirly slide and I was afraid he was going to have a meltdown when it was time to leave, but I was able to lure him away from the slide with snacks. I hope it's always that easy!


I should start a weekly word log to report Andrew's increasing vocabulary. Today he started saying Elmo just as plain as day. He also started saying Wrigley, the name of my parents dog, over the weekend. But he doesn't say Fenway, yet.

We were at Target today and passed a little boy and his mom in the face wash aisle. The little boy was probably two and was really whining to his mom. "Mommyyyy.....mommmmyyyyy."

And Andrew repeated him! But he says mama...."Mammmmaaaa, mammmaaa". It was hysterical! He thought it was funny, too; he said it with a smile on his face. But it was the first time he'd said Mama to get my attention. Maybe it was a turning point. :)


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One and a Half!

Andrew's been 18 months old for about a week now so I thought I should tell y'all all about him these days. I know you're thinking there isn't anything you don't already know, but I'll see if I can surprise you. :)

I know I'm a little biased, but he is just so darling and so much fun.


He's talking up a storm. He repeats lots of what we say. He's just started saying his name and it is the cutest thing. He says "An-do". It might be a while before we get the "r" in there. :)

And you won't believe it, but he finally says mama!! It only took 18 months! Now, he still won't say it directly to me or if he's trying to get my attention, but he'll repeat it if we say it to him.

He still says the cow says "boo" so I'm thinking the mmm sound is just a hard one for him. He can say lots of the animal noises, but his favorite is the duck. He flaps his wings while saying "quack, quack."


He's an excellent eater. He almost always eats whatever we're having for dinner, which is wonderful. I really hope he doesn't get picky because I have a hard enough time making one meal. I don't know if I can do two. :)

He loves music and dancing. His teachers at Mother's Day Out say the music class is his favorite part of the day. He dances his way through Gymboree every week. He even wants me to sing to him - he must really like singing!

His favorite toys are anything with buttons. He likes phones and TV remotes and anything he can pretend is a phone. He'll put it up to his ear and say "her-ro", "buh-bye-oh". He also likes to switch the lights on and off, but I have to hold him up there to do that so we don't do it too often. :)


He's still wearing mostly 18 month clothes and size 5 or 6 shoes. It's time to buy his fall wardrobe, and I guess I'll get some 18-24 month stuff, but I worry it'll be too big for now. We haven't been to our 18 month doctor's appointment yet, but I'm guessing he's still about 25 lbs. and right at 50% for height and weight.


He's still a crazy climber, but he seems to be getting a little better. I'm hoping maybe this means he's really listening to me and learning what not to do. But I'm afraid it's just that he's already climbed everything in our house and it's all boring now. :(

Overall he's just an awesome, adorable kiddo! :) We love him like crazy. Being Andrew's mama is the greatest thing I've ever done. We are so, so blessed!

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We're having lots of fun!


This picture of Andrew in my sister's kitchen today makes me want to paint my kitchen white. What a beautiful background! And all that white to reflect the light. But it would never work in our current house. So I'll have to be happy with the pretty lighting in my den.


We've spent lots of time with Aunt Kels these last few days. We hosted their couples baby shower at our house on Saturday night. It was so much fun! And they were super cute.


Our co-hostess made the adorable diaper cake! I have to learn how to make one of these.


We had a babysitter for Saturday night during the party, but Andrew had different ideas. He was supposed to go to bed and the sitter was going to hang out upstairs in our room after he went to sleep.

But he never went to sleep! I went up to check on him at 10:30 and he was wide awake, hanging out in his crib as happy as could be. So he got to come down and go to the party.

Y'all, he stayed up until 12:45! He loved all the attention, Mr. Party Animal. :)


Andrew can now very easily get in and out of the bathtub. I keep finding him in there playing with his toys. I don't mind except for when he's wearing his shoes in the tub. Somehow that just seems gross.

I think that's all the random pictures I have to share with you with you for now, but I'll be back soon! :)

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Andrew looked like this one afternoon last week after we got home from Mother's Day Out.


He loves MDO so much that when I go to pick him up he waves at me and goes back to playing with whatever he was doing before I got there.

I can't tell you how thrilled it makes me that he's so happy. It just makes my heart full every time I pick him up.

But they're so busy the whole time, and he only naps for about an hour when he's there so he's a little cranky by the time we get home and get settled.

It's a good thing the weather is cooling off a bit so we can do this:







Being outside always makes us feel better. He's such a boy! We had some branches down in the yard after our storm last week and Andrew dragged those things all over the place!

I have so much to talk about, but things have been crazy busy around here and I'm having a hard time fitting it all in. Like, did you know that Andrew is going to be 18 months old tomorrow? And he's finally, finally started saying "mama"!

I'm working on a post all about him and what he's up to at 18 months - it's a lot!

Oh, and here's a new, cute picture of Kelsey and Matt.


She actually knew I was taking that one so maybe she'll like it a little better than that other one I posted last week. :)

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One of Those Days

My living room looked like this all day long.


I'd pick up a mess and Andrew would come right behind me and make the same mess all over again. He's so busy, and when we're stuck at home on a rainy, stormy day it's hard to keep him occupied.

We even ventured out to Gymboree this morning in the pouring rain because I knew that would be our only activity for the day and we would need it. But it doesn't seem to wear him out like it used to.

We did get to see Aunt Kels for a while this afternoon so that was fun.


(She is going to kill me for putting this up here!)

Isn't she darling? My nephew is in there! She is 34 weeks today, and we're all really ready to meet the little guy. Andrew totally needs a partner in crime!


We had tornado warnings all over Dallas today, and Andrew and I watched on the news as one hit just south of downtown, about 15 minutes from our house. (Okay, I watched and Andrew ran around and pulled the cushions off my chairs.) I've always loved severe weather, and it's really never made me nervous before.

But it was different today because I was worried about what I'd do with Andrew if we had to take cover. I even cleaned the toys out of the bathtub and got the cushions out just in case.

But we were safe and thankfully no one was hurt in the storms. I'm so grateful we were protected, and that I didn't have to take cover in a small, confined space with my toddler and my dog. :)

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Labor Day Weekend

We had such a fun Labor Day weekend at the lake with my family. It was a nice end-of-summer celebration with just a small crowd.

My parents live right on the water facing west so they have the opportunity for a beautiful sunset every night.

On Saturday we got this one:



Absolutely gorgeous!


Doesn't this make you want to grab a book and hang out?

When they first moved in my dad wanted to cut these trees down because he was afraid they blocked too much of the view. I'm so happy they decided to leave them. They create such an inviting spot.

One of my favorite things to do when our family gets together is play card games. This trip we played Phase 10. I highly recommend it. Next time we'll have to start earlier though because we didn't have time to finish our game, and I was in the lead when we stopped. Does that still count as a win?!

I didn't get any good people pictures all weekend. Isn't that crazy? I'll have to do better this week.

We came home from the lake Monday afternoon, and it was time to switch gears and get ready for our week. Andrew finally started school today so I had to make sure he had clean clothes and a packed lunch.

He was supposed to start last week, but his nose was all runny so we just pretended like today was the first day of school for everybody.

Andrew did really well when I dropped him off this morning, and then when I came back to get him he was standing by the door reading (okay, looking at) a book. I said "Hi Andrew!", and he looked up at me, pointed to the book and said "dog!". It was a book about dogs and apparently it was much more exciting than I am. :)

This made my day! I so want him to love his MDO program and this seems like the best possible start. I really hope he does as well on Thursday.

Sweet Shot Day

(I linked this post up to Sweet Shot Tuesday this week. Head on over to see some other sweet shots!

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Beautiful Friday

I love Friday afternoons. I love having the promise of a wonderful weekend ahead of me. This Friday is especially nice. A cool front blew through town yesterday and we woke up to 72 degree temperatures with a fresh, dry north breeze. It's been months and months since it was this cool and pleasant in Big-D.

As soon as Andrew gets up from his nap we're taking the dog and the BOB and we're heading out for a neighborhood walk. And Brian is going to grill hamburgers for us on the new grill tonight.


(Apparently there are photographers who can get their children to look at them when they take their picture. I am not one of them.)

I've always been very sensitive to the lighting in a room. Like I want to keep the light on in the entryway all the time because that's the best way to light up that end of the house. (This drives Brian nuts.)

But since I became a pseudo-photographer lighting has become even more important to me. I look at it differently than I did before, or maybe I just notice it more than I ever did.

Well, I'm currently loving watching how the light is changing at this time of year. The sun is, of course, starting to set a little earlier, but it's also a little softer and a little warmer than is was a few weeks ago. And it comes in our windows at a new angle. And it's just so pretty, one more reason to enjoy this beautiful season.

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Sick Day


Andrew was supposed to start his fall Mother's Day Out program today, but he has a cold. I was so disappointed. Summer colds are terrible! I debated taking him anyway, but his nose was pretty runny and it wasn't clear.

(Ewww...that might be TMI!)

I hated to start the year out with his teacher unhappy with me so he missed the first day of school. Hopefully he'll be up for it on Thursday because I really, really need to get some work done at the office. And he really needs to burn off some energy. :)



I never told y'all about my new camera bag. It's a Ketti Handbag and I'm so happy with it. It holds all my camera stuff and it looks good, too!

I know it has birds on it, and they're usually not my favorite, but I just love all the bright colors. And the birds just kind of blend in to the colors - right? :)


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