Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday Jude !

Where have the years gone by? My son turns seven years old this May and in reality it feels like twelve. The shyness and self doubt of a toddler are replaced with a sociable and confident grown boy. The "real" questions of life are asked of unsuspecting parents while my son tackles monstrous and complicated thousand piece LEGO building sets in record time. Time flies when you have three kids, so make sure to cherish the moment.

The seventh birthday celebration begins with a long weekend trip to Orlando, Florida with non stop aquatic fun. The family spent more time poolside than inside our Hilton Orlando Resort Hotel room. Who could blame us? Slide, lazy river, shallow pool, warm weather and never ending patio dining makes a happy family.

We come in peace. The people of earth have nothing to fear from the little green visitors to Hollywood Drive In Golf at Universal City Walk. My children bring the latest Apple mobile devices and the ultimate armageddon deterrents, dirty diapers and projectile vomiting. Even aliens from the far end of the galaxy fear the true weapons of mass destruction.

A double milestone celebration occurred this past weekend. The day my son turned seven is the day my youngest baby daughter took her first real steps to walking. I captured the spontaneous bouts of walking with my Canon 5D Mark III. Call it the "Cinema Verite" of baby steps.

First it was two steps, then five steps and then she kept on going and going. The family bear witness the evolution from crawling infant to walking toddler poolside. The family can now add one more walking menace to the group.

Little green men ran out of green body paint. The Blue Man Group performance at the Aquos theater in Universal CityWalk gave an outer body multimedia experience.

The creative Blue Man fusion of very loud music, bright technical displays and slapstick comedy honestly gave me a headache for a late Friday night. As for the short attention spans of my kids, the vibrant Blue Man Group celebration of art, technology and music illustrated with enormous "Gi-Pads" made it worthwhile.

The baby days are over. We welcomed you seven years ago into a world of LEGO's, Apple mobile devices, Call of Duty: MW3 and complicated adults. You are a true blessing made simple to this family.

Happy 7th Birthday, Jude! You are growing faster than I can snap pictures, process the RAW files, transcode to AppleProRes 422 and render my Final Cut Pro timeline with my 2006 MacBook Pro. No worries, there will always be more Carvel Ice Cream Cake with chocolate crunchies to celebrate future milestones.

You can view more milestones in my Happy 7th Birthday Jude 2012 Gallery shot with the Canon 5D Mark III paired with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS and EF 35mm f/1.4L lenses.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

LEGOLAND Water Park Preview

Over 5 days and counting to the official grand opening of the newest aquatic addition to LEGOLAND Florida theme park in Winter Haven, Florida. May 26th, 2012 marks the date for the LEGOLAND Water Park debut filled with slides, wave pool, lazy river and interactive water playgrounds catered to toddlers to 12 year old kids.

Like I said before, membership has its privileges. LEGOLAND Premium Annual Pass members had a sneak preview of LEGOLAND Water Park on the very first day open to the public. You know what that means? My family in full LEGO force converged on the renovated "Splash Island", the former Cypress Garden water park of year's past. With a brand new makeover and the official LEGO branding, the new LEGOLAND Water Park was all ours for endless fun.

The Joker Soaker was ground zero for my kids. It is an enormous interactive water playground filled with slides off all sizes, water sprayers, waterfalls and water obstacle courses. For parents with elementary school kids, it is a virtual baby sitter. Rejoice! You can relax in the plethora of lounge chairs to soak up some sun or take a well deserved nap. Take comfort that an army of Life Guards are constantly patrolling the watery playground.

Our next stop was the LEGOLAND Water Park lazy river. Called the Build-A-Raft River, you can just lazily float in your Bricktacular inflatable all day. Foam bricks are provided with your raft as you wind around the 3 foot deep river with glee. I pushed my kid's rafts with a Titanic send off for that couple minutes of peace and quiet. Make that two round trips of peace and quiet!

Hitting the surf was as close as the LEGO Wave Pool. No massive and crashing waves here to speak of. Just gentle and rolling waves at the shore for the babies and bigger waves for the able swimmers at the deeper end. Surf's up for Central Florida!

"Don't Worry, Be Happy" like my almost 15 month old daughter with DUPLO friends! Parents of toddlers don't worry as well, LEGOLAND Water Park has you covered. The DUPLO Splash Safari has your 2 year old kids entertained while the older siblings hit the bigger kid slides on the other side of the park. My youngest daughter missed out on the fun because of her afternoon nap. There is always next time!

When your older kids are not attached to their Apple mobile devices, they can take a spin on the Splash Out and Twin Chasers. Big kid rides are big fun. They are even more fun when there is no waiting in line for the constant repeats!

Make a bigger splash with a visit to LEGOLAND Water Park. The summer heat is almost upon us and your family can cool off after a long day at LEGOLAND Florida. There are also bathing suits for purchase, lockers for your stuff and towels to dry off. Hungry? You can dine at the Beach-n-Brick Grill in the water park.

"Mr Hasselhoff, your new cast of BAYWATCH is ready". Your kids are safe with the LIFE GUARD crew of LEGOLAND Water Park. My oldest daughter even noticed there are more LIFE GUARDS than guests on opening preview day. I can take comfort in that!

You can view more rides, slides and attractions in my LEGOLAND Water Park Preview 2012 Gallery shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Consider Mother's Day a victory for all mankind. Despite the commercial greeting card bombardment of the modern age, Mother's Day can still be called an official holiday. Call it a celebration of maternal bonds between mother and child. You can also call it a last minute gift scramble for your number one fan. How does an adorable 14 month old praise her mom? Simple...rare moments of photogenic smiles for Daddy's camera in the studio.

Watch out Hallmark! Quilling is not for the birds and aristocrats anymore. This decorative paper art form makes full use of your shredded sensitive documents or you could just order a fancy colored set from Amazon, just like my wife did. Nothing says Mother's Day like curled strips of paper from the shredder.

Like mother like daughter, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The creative juices are flowing with my oldest daughter. From Kids Arts Fair at school to contemporary Quilling at home, my daughter became mommy's new art assistant. Truly a Mother's Day gift of heart and free child labor.

Like father like son, the apples are eaten before they even hit the ground. For my son, this motherly holiday is an exercise of strong will and hapless determination. Difficult describes the gifted effort for my son this honored day. His inner "Christmas everyday" soul is challenged with the phrase "giving is better than receiving." Of course with the help of his first grade teacher, this Mother's Day came with barely a smile wrapped in a homemade frame with a loving card. Priceless!

You can view more adorable smiles and quilling delights in my Mother's Day 2012 Gallery shot with the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III full frame DSLR.

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