Playground Fun

Let’s get real, we’ve all done it.  How many photos have you taken of kids at the playground?  On the slides, on the swings, coming down the slides.  But really, how many of the same picture can you take of them at the playground before you have too many of the same photo?  Annddd…what if you post the same photo you’ve taken before on Instagram…{horrifying!} j/k haha.

Here are my tips to spice it up a bit and change up the routine.  Because, YES, even as a photographer, looking at the same photo over again is a bit boring.  “You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

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Take photos from a different vantage point.  Try getting their photo while they’re climbing up the ladder or the makeshift chain thing…whatever it’s called.  Different levels make for interesting composition and a new way of looking at what your kids look like.  It might just be your new favorite pic!

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Take photos of them through things.  Through the different holes or through the safety bars.  Even just getting the kids peeking through things creates a bit of a hide and seek feel in your photos and you can just feel the laughter coming from their eyes.  Is that too Mom sappy for you?!

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Here’s a fun one taken a few weeks ago.  I knew that he was coming down the slide a different way and so I sat there waiting to get just his feet.  I have a thing for photographing feet…I know, I’m weird.

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Let’s end with a smile because who doesn’t like a smile from this guy?  Melt my heart.

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Coming to America

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{Photo Credit: Left is unknown and right is the fabulous Abra @ Abra Klinger Photography}

And you’re probably thinking Eddie Murphy?!  Well…not quite like him.  This is my story.  The picture on the left is my Dad and I taken in the Philippines right before we arrived in the United States in 1984.  Our family fled the country of Cambodia amidst the Khmer Rouge war with my older sister and went through Thailand where I was born and were sponsored by a church in California and had the latest addition to our family, my younger brother.  In the photo, I just turned 2.

The photo on the right is of course, my guy and I.  He is about to turn 2 as well.  This is probably one of my all-time favorite photos.  Though my parents had very little money, they were able to get film photographs of my sister and I when we were very young.  When my toddler gets older, I hope that this is also one of his favorite photographs.  I want him to be proud that he is half-Khmer and to be able to speak and understand it as my parents have taught us.

{Photo credit on the right is fellow photographer of Abra Klinger Photography.  She specializes in newborn/maternity photography! She is amaze balls!}

Toddler-ease

My little guy is starting to slowly speak in words that I guess I’m the only one that understands.  It is a mixture of sign language and words missing letters.  He hits 22 months at the end of May and regularly points to objects and says what they are.  Favorites right now are “dog, tuck (truck), fwouah (flower), laf (Olaf, and uh-oh along with the sometimes happy screeching that sometimes feel like fingernails scraping on chalkboard.

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I also have been away from blogland for awhile but it is my goal to post on a weekly basis so please don’t give up on me and check back for new posts!  Thank you to all my readers!

Cambodian New Year – El Dorado Park Celebration

Cambodian New Year 2014 ends at El Dorado Park in Long Beach, California.  Very big, big changes that I’ve seen from when I was a kid.  Don’t tell anyone I said this…but the organizers of this affair has gotten smarter over the years.  From upped security to excess volunteers, it has gone from just us Khmer folk getting together… to a huge festival of another level.  One of my favorite parts of the new year is seeing the traditional dances.  I think they are just enchanting to watch.

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Far too many things to cover.  Long lines forming at food booths that I did not get in line for, jam-packed peoples like sardines near stage area, toy vendors hawking their merchandise to grandmommas and pappies, traditional games, Khmer karaoke…in public, even a small carnival with rides!  It was very refreshing to see so many more races and nationalities attending the celebration.  Now this is something I am thankful my Viking got to experience.

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This was also the first time that my sister and I have attended with our kids.  They had a fantastically awesome time!  It was nice that we stuck with our tradition of picnicking near the lake and walking towards the brouhahas when we were ready.  It was quiet and away from the chaos where we could eat and play without worry.

_MG_4884_Fotor_Collage…and also sleep!  Check out Mr. Daredevil in the top right corner after a wagon-ride around the lake 🙂

 

 

To The Wat We Go

Wat means temple in English in case you’re wondering.  Onward to the Wat we went with all our kids and Grandma duded up for the big day in celebration of Cambodian New Year.  Collared shirts and pink cowgirl boots…I wonder what the monks thought of that.

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Flags billowing in the breeze made for a gorgeous day…if only we could keep the boys from climbing the chairs and running around the not-so-kid-friendly temple.  We offered up rice and my Mom’s fine cooking for the monks to enjoy and took the kids outside as not to disturb the sermon.  We enjoyed fried banana for the whopping price of a $1…you could get as many as 5 for a dollar, that’s a sweet deal.  Odin was the only one chowing those down like water.

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I ran into a few people who recognized me from middle school!! (really) Is it terrible that I don’t remember them or forgot their names?  The person was a grade down from me and she knew who I was??!!  Was I really that memorable or do you think I aged well and probably still looked the same?  I hope it was the latter.  On another note…what do you guys think of my Mom’s debut on my blog?!

What should we jump off of today?

Can’t you just see them saying that in the photo below?  Do you ever wonder what kids are saying or thinking about when they talk to each other?  Even when they don’t say any words yet?  What do you suppose these two are conversing about?

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These two hooligans together are a mischievous pair.  If it’s too quiet…then you know something is going down.  The little one likes to jump off of everything no matter how high it is and doesn’t wonder who’s gonna catch him or if it’s gonna hurt or not. The bigger one pushes his weight around like nobody’s business.

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These two are pretty amazing boys though…wouldn’t trade them for anything, even a cherry limeade from Sonic.

Happy Cambodian New Year!

A little backstory on my family so that you understand certain opinions of mine on this post.  My siblings and I are what you call first generation Cambodians.  The major difference between us and majority of other Cambodians our age is that while we speak fluent Khmer (other name for Cambodian), we also speak perfect English without a trace of any accents.  We celebrate our new year on April 13th/14th and it lasts for about three days.  It marks the end of the harvesting season before the rain and monsoons arrive.

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It’s been over a decade since our family has participated or attended an event for our culture.  That’s not to say we are not proud of our heritage or culture, we just aren’t those types of peoples.  And so we gathered our children up to experience the Cambodian New Year’s parade that takes place in Long Beach, California from Junipero Ave to MacArthur Park (about 17 blocks).

We got there with enough time to get a pretty good spot, kids and I on the front line and my sister behind me.  While I was clicking away she decided to give me a running commentary on everything that we saw coming down the street.  Luckily, I was able to get accompanying shots of her hilarious observations.  Did I mention this was all out loud as well?

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“Why are native american’s in the Cambodian New Year’s parade?” (aren’t their headdresses beautiful?)

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“Why she wearing that red dress…it shows everything and it’s too dang hot!  Someone should tell her they sell panti-liners!  I have those shoes in black, she got them at Linda’s store.  Why are they wearing such high heels, don’t they know they gotta walk all the way from Junipero?” (it was also really hot if you can’t tell by how bright the photos are!)

What was even funnier was the older Cambodian women around us saying the same darn things but in Cambodian!  I die…it was sooo funny!  Check back next week as I may decide to really join in the festivities and go to the big one at El Dorado Park…dang I’m really getting my Cambodian-On!

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