Christian DeWild

I usually photograph young children… my young children. It is my new passion in life and I am hoping on making photography my new, second career. So I have been practicing on anyone who will let me and my camera within 10 feet of them. A few months ago, I shot a few pictures of a set of twins who were at Sherida’s house. I had a dandy of a time trying to get the two of them to sit next to each other long enough to get a couple of shots. I eventually got some and printed them out for their parents.  Turns out their daddy is a musician who writes his own songs and plays at gigs around town. He was looking to have some photographs done and he thought that I have a good eye. We exchanged several emails trying to find a day and a time that we could get together and shoot some photos. After finally getting our schedules to coordinate, we met at a dive bar in Old Roseville to get some shots. Four hundred shots to be exact. There were so many great settings in which to shoot against: an old brick wall, an alley, an abandoned lot. The light was a little harsh at first, so we went into a bar, had a beer and discussed music. Turns out we are the same age, so we could relate our favorite genres of music and concerts we had been to. Thank goodness we have similar tastes… I don’t know that I could have related too well if he started busting out some Top 40 tunes. 

After I got to know Chris a little bit and the light had improved, we stepped outside to start shooting. The photos that I am about to show, dubbed “the Plaid Series” are the ones that I have finished so far. We started out with Christian posing next to his guitar. I’m not big on posing… I’d rather photograph people doing their own thing, as though there was not a camera for miles around. It took me a while to find my groove, but eventually I did. Things started to get rolling when Chris sat down on some milk crates in an alley and played his guitar. 

Without further adieu, here are some of my favorites from the Plaid Series:

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

Christian DeWild

I still have the “leather series” and the “hat series” left to edit. I am also trying to get to one of his shows to get some shots. 

If you would like to hear some of Christian’s music, please visit his website at http://www.myspace.com/christiandewild. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Accommodations

I talked to my sister today and she asked how camping went. She seemed a little surprised about our accommodations, so I thought I would post a few photos to show them to her.

I’ll start with the water situation. No Christina, there was no plumbing. This is what we had:

 

"Running" water

"Running" water

Two pipes in a creek. That’s it. And since there is no plumbing, this is what our showers look like:

 

Shower time

Shower time

Sponge bath. There was some hand soap available for serious dirt. And as long as we are talking plumbing, here is a look at the toilet situation:

 

The Potty

The Potty

Well, Chloe got to have a toilet. Since she is potty training, we brought one along for her. And she did so great! But for the rest of us, we got to be au natural, sans plumbing.

And what a great segue into our kitchen! Since there was no electricity, our refrigeration consisted of a series of ice chests. Thankfully we had a propane tank for the grill, which was used to cook everything and to boil water (so we wouldn’t get the “Beaver Fever”). Here’s a look at our cooking accommodations:

 

At the stove

At the stove

Daddy and his sous chef Chloe cooking some eggs.

 

Coffee!!!

Coffee!!!

 I would love to say that all that fresh, clean air was enough to wake me up, but I would be lying. I needs my coffee and there is no better coffee than camping coffee.

 

The kitchen

The kitchen counter

Yup, the kitchen counter is a piece of wood nailed between two trees. Sounds awful, but it was really quite beautiful. I wish I had this view from my kitchen!

Okay, so we have covered that we had no running water and no electricity. We cheated and brought some propane along… shhhhh, don’t tell! There was no air conditioner, unless you count shade from the trees. And there was no heat, which would have been nice once the sun set. So we built a fire. What is camping without a camp fire? Chloe was a good little helper and collected sticks for kindling.

 

Our Camp Fire

Our Camp Fire

The girls enjoying the warm fire

The girls enjoying the warm fire

Family Portrait

Family Portrait

You have already seen our tent in a previous post. But I thought I would show a few photos of Ella sleeping in the tent, because she is just so gosh-darn cute!

 

Shhhhhh!

Shhhhhh!

 

Nap Time

Nap Time

And the last thing I will mention is that we forgot to bring any toys for the girls to play with. Thankfully, Amy brought all sorts of great toys on Saturday. But we got there on Friday, so the girls were forced to play with what they had. For Chloe:

 

Pine cones and a paper bag

Pine cones and a paper bag

And for Ella:

 

Carabeaners

Carabeaners

They were much happier on Saturday… thank you Amy!!!

And that is all for this installment of McArthurs Go Camping. There will likely be several more installments, as I have hundreds of photos and so many stories to tell. Until next time…

A Few Thoughts on Camping

I survived our camping trip this weekend. Gary says that I not only survived, I overcame. I’m not quite sure what that means, but I’ll take it as a compliment.

Anyhow, I took around 700 photos this weekend, and I haven’t had the time to edit all of them. And I have received several messages asking how it went. So I will show just a few shots right now, just to give you an idea of what it was like. 

 

Dirt Ball 1

Dirt Ball 1

Dirt Ball 2

Dirt Ball 2

Mother of Dirt Balls

Mother of Dirt Balls

Actually, those are the feet of Mother of Dirt Balls. But you probably already figured that out. And please ignore the fact that I haven’t had a pedicure in a while.

As you can see, we got a little lot dirty. Really dirty. Pretty sure that is the dirtiest any of us 3 girls have ever been. And Gary is always dirty, so this was no new experience for him. 

I’ll post more later. Just thought I would give you this little sample of our weekend. And I just realized that I didn’t really write about my thoughts on camping, as the title would suggest. I don’t think I have recovered enough to put those thoughts into words. But I’m working on it.

Until then…

Rage Against the Wiggles

There are several unpleasant duties that are inherent in the job of “mommy”. The obvious ones being diaper duty, profound sleep deprivation and, of course, the actual process of childbirth itself. Several friends had prepared me well for these less than glamorous tasks. But nobody prepared me for what I endured this past Tuesday. Although I’m not sure that anybody could have. You see, two days ago, I took Chloe to her very first live concert. That’s right folks, I’m talkin’ the Wiggles.

Our friend Megan informed me that the Wiggles would be coming to Arco Arena and that she wanted to take her daughter Sydney. She thought it would be fun if Chloe and I came along. Her husband (who was the best man at our wedding) even found floor seats on eBay. Megan said that they put on a great show and I thought it could be fun. Besides, I haven’t been to a concert in years. In fact, the last concert I saw was Rage Against the Machine at Arco Arena some 8 years ago. And I even had floor seats. I figured that if I was able to survive the mosh pits during a Rage concert, the Wiggles would be a piece of cake. Boy was I wrong. 

I took my camera along with the hopes of photographing Chloe at her first concert. At first, I had a hard time getting my settings right… I have never shot in a concert venue before. Eventually I got my settings dialed in and I was able to follow Chloe around, snapping pictures here and there.

Take a look at my little rock star:

 

The ride there

The ride there

 Megan’s car has a DVD player… I will never be able to get Chloe to ride in my car again.

 

Happy Girl

Happy Girl

I would love to say that this is how she was the entire concert. Happy, smiling, entertained by the bright and shiny show that was going on in front of her. Don’t get me wrong… she was happy. She just had a severe case of ants in her pants and couldn’t manage to sit longer than 2 minutes before she was up and about. Climbing the stairs, in search of junk food to eat. And telling me on several occasions that she had to go potty. Only one time did she really have to go. The rest of the times were just ploys so that she could go climb stairs. 

I could go on for pages and pages, but I think I will let my photos do the talking.

 

Murray plays "Stairway to Heaven"

The Groupie

Chloe was taken by Murray’s solo performance of “Stairway to Heaven”.

 

Coveting Someone Else's Gold Fish Crackers

Coveting Someone Else's Gold Fish Crackers

Dancing Queen

Dancing Queen

Again, the Groupie

Again, the Groupie

Wow! This is Amazing!

Wow! That's Amazing!

Sydney, on the other hand, enjoyed the entire show from her seats. They were awesome seats! Here’s a look at Chloe’s friend “Sweetie”.

 

Sydney the Rock Star

Sydney the Rock Star

Rock On Sydney!

Rock On Sydney!

As the show drew to a close, the Wiggles said that they would be turning down the lights and encouraged everyone to pull out their cell phones and light sticks for a last song. Which brought back memories of burning my thumb on a lighter while Metallica played “Nothing Else Matters”. Here’s what the audience looked like:

Wiggles_116

And here is what the stage looked like during the last song:

 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Chloe knows the words to Twinkle, so we sat there and sang them together. As exhausted and annoyed as I was for having been suckered in to going to this concert, that moment made it all worth it. I would love to say that as the song ended, Chloe looked into my eyes and said “mommy, I love you”. But she didn’t. She leapt out of her seat as though it were electrified and was off again, looking for popcorn.

Here’s a look at the girls after the concert:

 

Just to prove that we were there...

Just to prove that we were there...

 

We love the Wiggles!

We love the Wiggles!

Well, Sydney loved the Wiggles. Chloe loved running the stairs at the Wiggles.

As much as I hated the idea of going to a Wiggles show, I actually had a really nice time. Perhaps we’ll go again some day, once Chloe has an attention span worthy of the spectacular show that was put on. But somehow I’m afraid the Wiggles will no longer be alive when that day arrives.

Thanks Megan and Sweetie!

Camping… the Dress Rehearsal

We are currently preparing for the girls’ first camping trip next weekend. Yup, you heard me right. Camping. Complete with tent, sleeping bags and bug repellent. It has been at least 10 years since I have slept in a tent, and I am actually kind of excited about it! 

We will be going with our good friends Officer Lou, his wife Amy and their daughter Avery. Officer Lou is quite the planner, and was over a few weeks ago to plan the menu. Which I find amusing because in our house, we never plan a menu. We live by my sister’s philosophy: you find it, you eat it. Anyhow, in the spirit of preparedness, we decided to give camping a trial run in our backyard last night. Turns out my sister and her husband took bets on whether we would make it all night outside. Let’s see how it went.

First things first:

Man of my Dreams

Man of my Dreams

 I just love this man! Do you see what he is bringing me?!?!

Cerveza!

Cerveza!

 

I’m not much of a beer drinker, but there is just something so refreshing about a beer on a hot day. By the way, my car thermometer read 110 degrees at 4 o’clock when I was driving home from work. 

Now that the adults had proper refreshments and the girls sippy cups were filled with cold water, it was time to get the tent set up. 

 

Chloe the Scout

Chloe the Scout

Chloe searched high and low for the perfect place to set up camp. She checked with our supervisor to be sure it was a good spot:

 

Chief of Camping Operations

Chief of Camping Operations

Ella approved the site, so daddy got the tent out.

 

This isn't a cow...

This isn't a cow...

 Chloe was more than willing to help out:

 

Triangle

Triangle

She practiced her shapes while helping out… such a learning experience for Chloe.

With a little sweat and a few bad words, the tent was up:

 

Ta Da!

Ta Da!

The next step was to lay out the sleeping bags and blankets and necessary accouterments.

 

I helping

I helping

Need help daddy?

Need help daddy?

Ella wasn’t able to help out with this portion too much, seeing as though she can’t really move very far on her own. But don’t worry, she made herself useful by being cute.

 

You okay Ella?

You okay Ella?

Ella was doing just fine. She was fueling up on some graham crackers.

 

You want a piece of me?

You want a piece of me?

I could always use a little Ella… those cheeks alone will keep me happy for a week! Ever the gracious baby, Ella was sure to offer me some of her food:

 

Have some mommy

Have some mommy

I had a bite just to make her happy. Look at how happy it made her

 

Love you!

Love you!

Okay, back to Chloe…

 

Number 1 worker bee

Number 1 worker bee

While I was busy noshing on graham crackers with Ella, Chloe had the inside of our tent all ready. And it was a good thing because the sun was setting…

 

Sunset at the McArthurs

Sunset at the McArthurs

 Not a bad way to end the day, wouldn’t you say? We were hoping that with the setting of the sun, the temperature would drop a bit. At 8pm it was a brisk 94 degrees. A big improvement over 110. 

We had lantern to light the way. And Gary left the porch light on, just in case somebody was scared of the dark. It was quite nice:

 

Camp McArthur

Camp McArthur

It looked nice, but it sure didn’t feel nice. We zipped up the tent to keep the Beast from roaming around the yard. The temperature and the humidity quickly climbed to uncomfortable levels. But determined to stick it out, we hung in there. However, Chloe made a few desperate attempts to escape. It seemed as though any time that I got myself comfortable, Chloe would start to work on the tent’s zipper.

Me: Chloe, what are you doing?

Chloe: I go see Diego.

Me: No Chloe, Diego is sleeping.

It was quiet for a few moments and I found a comfy spot. By the way, I was more comfortable sleeping on the ground than I am sleeping on my Sleep Number bed. I should have never listened to Lindsey Wagner. Anyhow, the moment I was comfortable, Chloe turned on the lantern.

Me: Chloe, what are you doing?

Chloe: I go potty.

Me: You just went potty, do you have to go again?

Chloe: No thank you.

And it was like this for the next half hour. Meanwhile, Ella continued to kick me and pull my hair. If she wasn’t so cute, I would have been mad.

Finally, Chloe and Ella both fell asleep. I had just drifted off to sleep myself  and was dreaming when something startled me awake. There are coyotes and raccoons and all sorts of fun wild life in our neck of the woods, and I was worried that one of them was coming to eat my baby. I opened my eyes and there was Gary, sitting up and wiping his head with a towel.

Me: Boyfriend, what are you doing?

Gary: F*@k this. It is too hot to sleep out here.

And with that, Gary and I collected up our little limp wet noodle babies and took them inside where the air conditioner was working oh so nicely.

It was 11pm and our first family camping trip was officially over. I guess it lasted longer than most people would have guessed.

Dennis, I hope that you bet my sister something good…

The Tooth

It has been a little over a week since Ella’s first tooth sprung forth. I think it’s neighbor is about to peek out as well, but Ella won’t let me look in her mouth. For the past week, I have been determined to photograph her pearly white but I have been denied. I have ripped through almost an entire 4GB card trying to capture her tooth, only to get blurry shot after blurry shot. Thank goodness I don’t use flash, or else my little baby would surely be blind by now.

Yesterday I finally succeeded! We were at a birthday party and Ella was laughing, delighted by some child’s antics. I fired away and managed to document the first known photograph of Ella’s tooth:

 

Kailoa's party_025

Debut of Ella's tooth

Can you see it? It is just barely visible, but it is there! I know because she chomped down on my finger last night and it HURT! Nine months in the making and there it is for all the world to see. When she wants the world to see it, that is. I’m enjoying it now, because in the blink of an eye, she will be putting that very tooth under her pillow, waiting for the tooth fairy to come. It is hard to believe how much she has grown already…

And because it is too cute to leave out, I have a photo of big sister from the party yesterday:

 

I'm thirsty!

I'm thirsty!

Most children drink out of sippy cups, but not my daughter. She likes to drink out of squirt bottles, or “squeak squeak” as she calls them. And don’t you just love the icing on her nose? It matched the swimsuit she was wearing. I’m so glad to see that even at this young age, she has learned the importance of color coordination.

That is all from the zoo today.

Ring a Ding Ding

For our wedding, Gary and I gave cow bells as gifts to our guests. I know that may seem weird, but it made perfect sense 8 years ago when we were married. You see, Gary is a cow vet. And in 2001, I was a freshly minted cow vet myself. In fact, I was 3 weeks in to dairy practice on our wedding day. I had even performed my very first solo fetotomy (if you don’t know what that is, don’t ask because you will be disgusted) 2 days before our wedding day. That lovely procedure, which took me 3 1/2 hours, left me with a raging case of pit rash. Not exactly how I dreamed myself to look in my wedding gown, but hey, that is life when you work on cows.

I don’t work on cows anymore… that was a lifetime ago. But we still have a set of cow bells from our wedding, which I just put out the other day. I found them while unpacking some boxes, and I though it fitting to place them next to a framed portrait of Gary and myself. 

Here is a look at one of the bells:

 

The McArthur Cow Bell

The McArthur Cow Bell

Pretty cool, eh? It has our names and our wedding date engraved on it (that way we can’t forget our anniversary). Except for a short stint of Kings playoff games several years ago, the bells have been very quiet.

Until today when Chloe found them. And I realized that these engraved bells are more than just party favors, they are children’s entertainment devices. Take a look:

 

Chloe and the big bell

Chloe and the big bell

Here’s Chloe with the big cow bell that we received as a “thank you” for our order of 300 engraved sheep-sized bells. In case you were wondering, it is very loud. Which made Chloe giggle almost as loudly. She rattled this bell up and down and all around. She chased our cat Milo with it, which nearly gave him a heart attack. Then she chased her doggie Percy. He was not amused. In fact, at this point, I had to take the bell away from her as I was afraid Percy might unleash his wrath upon her.

But Chloe wasn’t the only one having fun with the cow bells. Ella joined in the fun as well.

 

Wow, this is amazing!

Wow, this is amazing!

Here is Ella inspecting her new noise maker. I can only imagine her 9 month old thought process with this: I move my hand and this big shiny thing makes noise. Wow! 

And did you know that the bell has yet another function? It makes a nice soothing apparatus for teething babies. 

 

Yummy!

Yummy!

Ahhhhhh

Ahhhhhh

I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get this piece of metal away from Ella! Every time that she dropped it on the floor, she burst into a fit of screams and tears until I picked it up and gave it back to her. 

Poor Gary happened to call during the height of our bell ringing extravaganza. It was pretty difficult to carry on a conversation during all of the clanging and laughing and screaming and crying. I wished that he was here to enjoy with us. Alas, he was out working on cows.

So here is one last look at our bell and our little girl’s feet:

 

Bell and feet

Nicole and Gary July 7 2001

Ring a ding ding!