1) Just the kids in the picture, not us
2) It's a special picture taken just for the card
3) The kid/kids are doing something mildly related to Christmas
4) You can really see the kids & what they look like this year
The first year, saben was sitting by a tiny snowman, the next year by a tiny tree, and last year they were dressed in red/white and wrapped in garland.
Last year was tough with both kids, but I pulled of decent expressions on both their faces and was quite pleased with the results. Maybe you can't even see the garland, but at least Annika was wearing her Christmas dress.
This year I finally threw in the towel. I am out of time and have orchestrated two carefully planned photo shoots, to no avail. At least they make for a funny blog post.
First idea: "I know! I'll have them eat candy canes! They'll be so happy, hold still and the candy canes are christmasy!"
hmm. This one is the best shot of the group, especially if you like seeing festive red candy cane drool . And I wasn't happy you couldn't really see Saben. And no smiles. boo. It only goes downhill from here.
Even with candy canes, the kids move around so much I was practically yelling the entire time for Saben to "Stay next to Annika! Get over there! Go stand next to her, I know she's moving, follow her!" Poor guy.
Then there were the chewing faces. I didn't realize Saben would chomp down his entire cane with the focus of a beaver gnawing logs to prevent his home from washing away in a flash flood.
Apparently candy canes don't make my children smile. Silly me. By now Annika had it all over her white sweater too and I'd forgotten to bring baby wipes.
A smile at last! Sweet.
Outing number two. Sunny day and I had been daydreaming about how cute it would be to get the kids dressed up a little and go take pictures out in the mossy woods I love. I carefully fed Annika, picked a time when she wasn't tired and headed out with a bag filled with crackers, more candy canes (for emergency only this time) and crackers.Once again, I got one decent shot. See how cute of an idea it was? Especially if I zoomed in just a little more, Saben didn't look quite so goofy and they were actually in focus? This one was taken with my broken flash, (it's only 1/2 broken, it sort of flashes...a tiny bit) which I then turned off, thinking they would be better. Wrong-o
Right after I took the first picture, Annika burst into tears for no apparent reason and did not stop crying the entire time unless she was running down the muddy trail in her pretty dress with Saben. So I whipped out the candy canes, already knowing their dangers, but desperate....
Even with the candy cane, she cried and cried. And my camera decided it was much to dark to take any pictures that were not at excruciatingly slow shutter speeds.
Sigh. Ever heard a mom freaking out at her kids all alone in the middle of the woods? I hope not, it wasn't pretty. (mostly me just asking annika why she was crying in occaisionally angry tones)
I actually don't think Annika likes these woods. Every time I take her there, she is generally unhappy for no apparent reason. We've had several bad hikes/walks here where she cried and I had no idea why. As long as she was on the trail, she would run, fall in the mud, be happy. But if we stopped walking to try and pose by a stump or if I dared venture off trail, she started crying.
So this year, we will use a picture we took in November, one that is not festive, but shows both kids and is funny. Oh well.