I’ve been photographing these twins & their parents (Gabriel and Isabella & Maria and Paul) since the twins were 1 years of age. Now they are 4! I can’t believe how much they change each year. They’re basically grown people now with extraordinary personalities. As usual, we hit up Santa Monica Beach just in time for a perfect California Sunset.
This summer was certainly a different type of one than I’m used. My summers since I’ve been in LA have been filled with BBQ’s, beach volleyball, my reluctant attendance to a friend’s birthday at a bar, and so on. But this time around, I was inundated with playdates, quick trips the park, and early morning walks with a cabin fever’d toddler.
We kicked off the beginning of the month with a Labor Day dinner at a friend’s pool. Our good friends, Stacy and Hal, brought their daughter and son, too. It was one of those afternoons were we parents secretly and silently compared our children’s tantrums to the other child. The blowouts came in waves. Ellison was doing so well at the top of the day… exploring the pool, laughing at everything and anything, and calmly eating the bowls of snacks. There were tears here and there from Lukas and Elle, the other two children. But I warned Stacy and Hal that Ellison will eventually take home the grand prize for tantrums once we begin eating dinner.
I don’t know what it is, but Ellison LOSES his mind when food is brought into the picture. The thing is, Ellison is a sensational eater for his age. The boy deserves a medal. He cleans his plate, much to the envy of other parents of toddlers. Not a single crumb or kernel left behind. But with that hefty appetite, comes a big price. Everything is hunky dory while he’s eating, but once he’s done, the devil emerges. And I’m not speaking facetiously… Satan literally possesses my son and rears his head when my son is done eating. We have to perform an exorcism to get the boy to calm down. He just wants and NEEDS more. MORE MORE MORE!!! And he does this thing when he’s angry at the dinner table where he clears the table like a king. He literally takes both of his arms and swipes the table of plates, cups, candles and everything else in the way. And it’s quite remarkable, because his arms are probably no longer than 9 inches, but they manage to swipe everything in their path.
Other than King Ellison tossing the table in the fit of anger, the Labor Day celebration was enjoyable.
On a typical weekend morning, Brenda and I took Ellison to Zuma Beach and Malibu to meet up with Benny, Hannah and their son, Wylie. It was actually nice to get to a beach before 9am. We were only accompanied by the wave-catching surfers.
There’s a boy named Jude… a beautiful boy. He’s the product of my friends Wells and Oliver. He’s also a biracial boy like Ellison, so I already have an affinity for him. He’s about 6 months older than Ellison, so I’ve been dying for the two to meet. We finally found a playdate time-frame that worked.
Unfortunately, Ellison got his vaccinations early that morning, so he was moody! In addition to being moody, he was a bit of a bully. He kept taking Jude’s toys. Jude eventually wanted NOTHING to do with Ellison. Despite the photos below, they were really in the same square foot of each other. We will get another playdate soon enough.
…immediately thinking of my honeymoon back in October of 2011. My wife and I went to the island of Moorea. It was probably the most free I’d ever felt — I was on a beautiful island and beginning the journey of matrimony with Brenda.
So I’ve decided to dig up an old photo. This was the very first photo I took on my honeymoon. We’d just landed in Moorea at 5am. We couldn’t believe how bright it is at that early hour on that island. Though we were tired, we headed out to the sea and laid on lawn chairs. My wife took a 5 minute snooze and I decided to photograph her. Hearing the shutter click, she opened her eyes and I caught this moment. It’s still one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken…
I met Anastasia shortly after she gave birth to her first child, Levi. In fact, it had only been a week. Since then, it feels like I’ve known her Israeli-American family forever. Anastasia and Yaron now have two beautiful boys — Levi (3) and Guy (1). They invited me over to their home to capture they’re usual morning routine.
Usama has clearly instilled bravery in his two daughters, Zeina and Dalia. I spent a good portion of the afternoon with them at the beach, and I quickly learned the two girls had zero fear when it came to the ocean.
This month marks Ellison’s first golden birthday… he turns 17 months on the 17th. It’s a fitting birthday because these last 30 days have seemed so special. Ellison continues to grow at such a remarkable rate; both physically and mentally.
Another ‘first-time parents’ started having us around. Our friends, Jason and Joanna are happy parents to little Cali. They started this Sunday tradition called ‘Family Sundays.’ We went to their house for our induction.
We also suited up and headed to Ellison’s second wedding. This time around I was not in the wedding party, so Brenda didn’t have to lug Ellison around herself. Ellison seemed to have the time of his life during this reception, with a little help from his friends.
|Ellison and Emilio became partners in crime during the wedding|
|Ellison was stalking this girl.|
Sundays to many is the “Lord’s Day” or “Football Sunday.” To our family, it’s now “Cranky Sunday.” I have no idea what it is, but Ellison always chooses that day to be CRANKY!! Maybe it’s because he’s with us all day Saturday and gets worn out. And by Sunday, he’s had a enough. Or maybe it’s this weird calendar coincidence. I don’t know. But he wakes up on the wrong side of the crib, every Sunday and kicks.our.ASSES!!!
|He’s not having it…|
|…still not having it.|
This month marked Ellison’s return to the beach! Brenda kept counting it as his first visit, although it’s technically his 2nd. However, It is indeed his first comprehensible visit. If you can recall, when he was two months old, we took him to the beach and that session lasted all of 30 minutes because Ellison got very squirmy and cranky. We ended that session with a tearful Brenda lamenting that her life will never be the same during the car ride home.
But look at us now! Happy as ever! Our friends, Katie and Usama and their two daughters, had us over to their Malibu summer beach house. Jess, Brenda’s hometown friend, was visiting us so she tagged along.
Upon getting there, Ellison didn’t now what to make of the ocean and the beach sand. But he quickly warmed up!
|“What the hell is this place?”|
|Ellison’s first contact with the sand. His toes sunk right in.|
I have to say it… parenting is lots of fun. Ellison is a bit of a whiner these days and the terrible two’s are creeping up faster than I would like, but I’m enjoying this stage in his life. The wonderment in his eyes can’t be beat. I’ll never forget this period. I’ve said it before, but perhaps losing my job during the summer of 2014 was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Laura is one of my oldest friends. The one thing I can say about her is she has this enthusiasm that exudes through her smile. She’s the type of person who always lightens the mood in the room.