{Savoring} Boo-Boo, Princess Dress + Imagination Reading

Last week, while lil' bro was napping,  I pulled out my DSLR and asked C if she wanted to take some pictures.  She happily agreed. Score!!

I was thrilled because I SO need the practice.  It was a super overcast day, so we went into her room and sat on the floor by the window and I asked her what kind of pictures we should take.

As you can see, she gave me some super duper poses.   All her idea!

These types of pictures are great, but I prefer to just sit back and watch her in action and snap what I see.  But, this time, since we were doing this together, and I decided to focus more on spending quality time with her while practicing with my indoor settings on camera at the same time, I was totally fine with these. ;)

Before I knew it, things began to change.  She started to turn away from the camera and do her own thing. YES!

Like here...

she began to look at the boo-boo on her thumb.  And, at this time in her life, when she has a boo-boo it's a BIG deal.

She sat till for a few minutes (I think she was thinking back to how that boo-boo happened to her and how it felt).  Another YES!! because it's these faces that I just love to capture.

The details of her little hands and her sweet, sweet three-year-old 'thinking' face.

But, the coolest part of these is that this represents my daughter right now.  She's SO into painting her face.  She saw a little girl getting a spider painted on her face at the local festival here in town and once it was her turn to paint her face she asked for the very same spider.

And then a few days later, we ended up purchasing our own set of face paints for her.

Since then, everyday she asks me to paint a spider on her face, which has now turned into a butterfly and cat faces and hearts and so much more.  :)

But then, THE BEST thing happened.

More of her three-year-old stage began to unfold.

My daughter can't keep one outfit on all day (I'm sure all you moms of toddlers know what I'm talking about!).  And, when it comes to dresses that look like a princess, she's definitely got them on.

She changes dresses at least 3 times a day. I'm SO thankful that she can do this all by herself now.  Helps this mama out BIG TIME!! :)

But it's this dress that always wins the show.

It's a dress we bought at Target around Easter time.  We went to find it for her because she remembered it for weeks and she wanted the BLUE one!

Well, when we got to the store, there was only ONE blue dress left and it was a size 5T.  C wears 18 months to 2T dresses.  So we stood there and looked at the dresses for quite some time trying to get her to understand that a 5T wouldn't fit her.  Not happenin'!

So we tried to show her how BIG the 5T would be by putting it on her, but to our surprise it actually FIT her!  Yes, it's super long and not so tight around her chest area...but it's perfect for her to play in and she'll grow into it.  So we bought it and now there's NEVER a day that her blue dress isn't on her.

She's also SUPER into changing her shoes 3 times a day, too.  But for this moment, it was her flip-flops that won.  I couldn't believe that she actually didn't change them out during our camera time together, but I think it's because she was really into her book, where you'll see below.

What I love about this picture here is how I captured her little cuteness getting up onto her big girl bed.  She does it every time on her own because if I even try to help she yells, "I CAN DO IT!!!" at me.

This is something I ALWAYS wanna remember, because it's this moment that won't last long. Before I know it, she'll be taller and bigger and older and won't be letting me in her room.  ;)

Once she got settled on her bed, the three-year-old magic happened.  She began to get into her own little imaginative, three-year-old world....

and began to read her book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The way she uses her little index finger to 'pretend' read the book (she makes up her own story as she goes along)...so stinkin' cute!!

And this moment...this is my favorite...the way she uses her little hands and pretends to eat the yummy food shown to her on the pages.

She did this over and over and over and over again.  Heart. Melting.  I couldn't listen and watch her do this all day.

I mean, seriously...those little fingers looking as if she's really grabbing the food...ah, mama love!!!  And totally reminds me of my favorite part of the movie Hook when the lost boys are using their imagination to see all the colorful food on the table.

And then she says to me, "Here mommy!  You want some?"   Awww...she always loves including me in her imagination and I always loving riding the imagination ride with her.  She's SO bringing this fun way of child-like living back into my life.  THE BEST!!

Heart explosion!!

And then she finished the book...

and looked at me and my camera and yelled, "I WANNA SEE!!"

It's these moments that I LOVE to capture.  HERstory right now. Messy hair. Boo-Boo's. Painted Face.  Princess Dress. Flip-Flops. Books where she reads with her own words.  Sharing imaginary food.  And SO much more!

It's been awhile since I've done this because my hands have been filled with adjusting to having two kiddos.  So I couldn't be happier finally connecting with my daughter in this way... a way that helps me capture what she's completely into in this chapter of her life...her chapter that I like to call chapter 3! ;)

I want her to be able to look back and remember these little moments in her room.

I want her to remember how she used her imagination each and every day and how princess dresses and shoes were her favorite things to change into three times a day each and every day.

Because, like I said, this story of hers is changing everyday as she blossoms into her life journey.

So tell me...

wanna take more pictures like this of your kiddos or something you LOVE that's happening in your life right now?

Here's HOW (and what I DO, too!!)!!

Even though I used my DSLR camera for this, you can use ANY camera to catch these little moments of your children.  It's not about the fancy camera...it's about capturing the moment that fills you up with joy and you want to always remember.

Just check out my instagram feed...all pics used with my iPhone.

All you have to do is forget your to-do list for a little while and just sit (on their level - I spend most of my time on the floor!) with your child/children.  Play with them with your camera in hand.

Get them involved.Ask them what kinds of pictures they'd like to take or if they have a favorite toy they'd like to take a picture with.  Let them take a picture with your camera.  If they don't how, show them.

And, the biggest tip of all...and it's the hardest one...don't tell them to smile or to say cheese.  Don't even tell them to look at the camera.  When they look toward you SNAP!  When they look away SNAP!  Tell their story through your pictures...even if it's their backside (these pictures tell great stories...like the one I took of C climbing up onto her big girl bed).

Just let their natural REAL self unfold and savor it through your lens.

Smiles and poses are great, but true authentic, candid pictures of your child just BEing themselves are even better!!  Because a few minutes later, your child will start to do their own thing, which lets you snap and savor the moments of their life RIGHT NOW.

What's your child LOVING right now, in this very moment?  Snap it, because, like I said, before you know it, what he or she loves right now will be changing into something else in the near future.  So why not capture the princess dress stage, the boo-boo stage,  the movie you watched over and over and OVER again stage...any stage that brings your child joy RIGHT NOW is their story.

And that camera of yours (even if you think you take shitty pictures, which I promise you don't!! what YOU take is what YOU see which will always be beautiful!! no camera rules is artsy food for the soul!) is the most perfect way to slow down and snap and savor the moments that you SEE for many...many... years to come.  :)

Until next time..

Life IS what you love...SAVOR it!