Playing Style

Xiao Huang has been taking Jackson outside to play every morning and afternoon since it’s so nice out now.  It sounds like lots of the ayis bring the kids out to an area in our compound near the exercise equipment; I’ve went to their little playgroup a couple times and there are lots of babies Jackson’s age.  The nannies help the babies practice walking – it’s pretty cute!

All of the fashionable babies are matching their strollers now…

I love his cute little tummy!  Grandma sent us some summer clothes – they all snap onesie-style which is great for playing and staying stylish.  :-)



Jackson doesn’t want to wear hats anymore… he will not keep them on his head.

Hats aren’t for wearing; they are for nomming!

Jackson wore:

Shirt – OshKosh, gifted from Grandma Reisch

Pants – Faded Glory hand-me-down from cousin Amber

Shoes – from the Hongqiao fake market

Hat – Quechua from Decathalon

Stoller – Combi travel stroller


Starbucks Style

These were taken in a Starbucks in Japan.  The Starbucks is located inside the park, next to the playground.  It’s a brilliant idea…. moms thrive on caffeine.

As usual, Stella was very patient with Jackson as he tried to nom on her!

Jackson wore:

overalls – The Pumpkin Patch, gifted from Gil and Chris Fewtrell

sweater – Baby Gap (probably real), from the Children’s Market

cap – from the Children’s Market

shoes – from the fake market

Lack of blogging….

I try to blog frequently.  I do.  However life seems to get in the way….

Jackson’s first time in the ocean!  He wasn’t too impressed.  I think the water was a bit too cold for him.  (Photo by Erica)

Last week we were in Japan, visiting Stella and her mommy Erica. We did all kinds of baby-friendly fun things.  See the highlights here.  Really, click on this link!  Erica’s photos are awesome.  Maybe someday I will post some of mine.


Flying Style

Last Thursday Jackson and I were on a plane to Fukuoka, Japan. Comfort over style on these days. Luckily it’s just a 1.5 hour flight. No diaper changes mid-air needed.




Jackson wore:

Sweatshirt – SDSU Jackrabbits from the University Bookstore in Brookings.

Pants – Chinese brand from the baby market, with a perfectly legally used Thomas the Tank Engine icon.

Slipper Socks – Chinglish from the baby market. They say ‘Warking. Go! Go!’ Not working, or warning, or walking. Whatever.

Toys – Stella’s!

Small Style Duo, Part II

 I’m so late on posting this.  I’m blaming the cough that turned into a fever and pneumonia, resulting in a baby that would not let me put him down.  Tonight is the first night he’s slept for two hours in his crib.  So, my arms are now free to finally post this!

Crazy baby hair!

Stella is “Ton-Ton-Ton-ing” Jackson, which is how they put babies to sleep in Stella’s daycare in Japan.  Check out her other photos here and here for a better description!

Jackson wore:

Skull thermal shirt – baby Gap (gift from Megan)

Camo pants – Garanimals (hand-me-down from Amber)

Sweatshirt – Circo 

Small Style Duo

Erica and Stella (of Expatria, Baby fame) was here visiting last week.  So of course we had to do a dual Small Style post! It was so much fun to have two babies around for a week with such different personalities.  Stella is just over a year older than Jackson, but they weigh the same.  It’s hard to imagine him walking and talking like she is – she even could say “Jackson”!  (well, we could she tell she was saying Jackson.)

Definitely click over to Erica’s blog to check out her photos.  The last one is the best!

Snap quick mama, this is the only photo you’ll get of us looking in the same general direction.

Wow, Stella, your legs are really skinny.

Check out my two new teeth!

My, that’s a beautiful flower on your shoe.  I’m going to attempt to eat it now.

Wait, Stella!  We’re not done smiling yet.

Your sweater looks like good eating too! I’ll just have a nibble…

Jackson wore:

shirt – Old Navy (hand-me-down from Amber)

carpenter jeans – The Children’s Place

shoes – from the fake market in Hongqiao

While you are over at Erica’s blog admiring the two most adorable children in the world, vote for her on Top Baby Blogs.  It’s really easy; just click the banner and vote for her.


Jackson is pretty excited about riding on Mike’s shoulder!


Chinese New Year Style

It’s the Chinese New Year holiday right now and we’re welcoming in the year of the Dragon and saying goodbye to the year of the Rabbit.

About 95% of my photos were of Jackson doing this.

Jackson’s Chinese nickname is “Koushui Xiansheng.”  Literally, it’s translated as “mouth water mister” … or Mr. Drooly as he’s known in English.

Jackson wore:

Chinese outfit – gifted from Dan and Wendy

Drool – model’s own




More yogurt please! (My child has not yet discovered any food he dislikes.)



My baby’s first tooth broke the skin today! So I got out my DSLR to snap some photos of that toothless grin before he is no longer toothless.



Chenchen came over to visit Jackson today. He was a little more enthused about her than she was about him!




Sitting Style (late style)

I took these photos last Thursday for Small Style… but didn’t get around to posting them.  Whatever, here is my baby who can now basically sit all by himself!

5/366 – my little biker


Rally Style

Yesterday Jackson received his Christmas gift from his Uncle Chris and family. His first Sturgis Rally t-shirt!

Jackson wore:

Harley Bandana-hat – gift from Grandma Reisch (thrift store find)

T-Shirt – gifted from Uncle Chris (official Sturgis Rally gear)

Thermal – Old Navy hand-me-down from cousin Amber

Pants – Faded Glory hand-me-down from cousin Amber





Christmas Style

 I went to the baby and children’s clothing market to get Jackson a new outfit to wear to Claire and Carl’s housewarming/Christmas party last weekend.

Jackson wore:

Santa Hat – baby market

Sweater – baby market (real Baby Gap $78 USD price tag on it… but I got it for $7!)

Vest – baby market (Zara Baby tags)

Jeans -The Children’s Place

Shoot in RAW – Photo Tip Tuesday

My photo tip for today is to shoot in RAW if your camera supports it.  (All DSLRs can do this.)  I resisted for a really long time because I didn’t know how easy it was to do post-processing.  After someone I met told me how easy it was, I finally tried it.  Now, I regret all of the photos I didn’t take in RAW!  I could have saved myself loads of work in PhotoShop and gotten much better results in many cases.

I have a Canon 5D Mark II camera so I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software that came with the camera. (It was the same software bundled with the Canon Rebel XT too.)

Basically, a RAW file doesn’t throw away any information, so you can easily change the white balance, or lighten or darken or change the contrast or tones without make it look weird.  This photo is SOOC (Straight out of the camera).  Terrible lighting, which is what happens when you shoot at 5 PM inside.

Here I clicked on the white in the skunk’s tail to set the white balance.  Then I cropped.  (It took 5 clicks of my mouse to get the photo to this point.)

Next I warmed up the color tones by using the slider and clicked up the sharpness by a few notches.  I also reduced the noise in the photo.  (Those three steps are my favorite ones that are only available on RAW photos, not when using the software to process JPGs.)

Last, I stepped up the brightness.  I really should have used a white blanket for a background instead of a cream-colored one.  (I need to buy a white one!)

Overall, it’s not an award-winning photo, but I like the look on Jackson’s face and his sweater, although it makes him look really round!

Leave me a comment if you are interested in learning more about RAW and I can explain a bit more about my workflow next Tuesday.  I have a baby (AKA not a lot of free time).  I tend to take the easy (AKA fast) way when it comes to processing my photos.

Live, Love, TRAVEL

Cammo style

Our little man is getting so big!! Yesterday, our friend Carl said he looks like a 1-year-old.  (He’s 5.5 months old now.)

I love the look on his face – he is such a smiley guy!  I guarantee this is the beginning of a laugh and kicking feet.

Jon bought him this hat sometime during my pregnancy.  This photo was on the second day after he was born.  His poor little eyes were so red and swollen!

After the nurses gave him his bath in the hospital, he came back to us wearing a pink “Born in Shanghai” shirt.  (Colors don’t mean anything in China, but we did receive a blue one upon our checkout from the hospital.) He fills it out a little better now!

Jackson wore:

Skull beanie –

Born in Shanghai t-shirt – gifted from Parkway Health

Cammoflauge pants – hand-me-downs from cousin Amber

Shoes – from the fake market in Hongqiao

Photo Tip Tuesday – Baby Shots

 A few weeks ago, I went to a Bumps and Babes meeting about photography.  The photographer suggested putting baby on a blanket, face the window, and take photos!  Really, it’s so simple to get great photos. (Well, as long as baby cooperates.)

Here’s my setup.

It’s easy to get at eye level if you put the baby on the bed!  I pile some pillows behind him and throw the sheet over the top to create a make-shift “seamless backdrop.”

Also, with babies a spit-rag to mop up the drool between photos is essential. (As pictured to the left.)

My back is to the window and he’s looking into the light (notice the nice catch-lights in his eyes.)

Move the camera close to baby, set at a low F-stop and focus on the eyes.

That’s it!

Live, Love, TRAVEL

Robot Style!

I love these jammies.  Jackson loves them too.  They were gifted from Megan, who went through every pair on the rack to find the ones with the cutest robot placement.  Check out the orange guy waving and the gray one peeking out on the foot!  Jackson has just as many jammies as outfits, I think.  But hey, he’s a baby.  It’s OK to wear your jammies all day, right?

Jackson wore:

Footed Robot PJs – gifted from Megan (from The Children’s Place)

Small Style

I’ve been reading lots of mommy/photog blogs lately.  There are so many different themes for posts I could do!  Photo Tip Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Small Style on Thursdays, SOOC Sunday (Straight Out Of Camera), Macro Monday and all of the fun linky parties that go with it.  I took a bunch of photos today but didn’t have time to process them, so they’ll be posted for next week’s Small Style.

So here’s Jackson debuting his first Small Style post.  (Thanks for dropping the hints Erica.)  He looks like such a little boy and not a baby!  And it’s his first time ever to wear shoes!

Jackson wore:

Sweater – gifted (from Zara)

Jeans – gifted (from Baby Gap)

Shoes – from the fake market in Hongqiao

Silk Duvet Shot

I’ve spent almost all of my non-Jackson time working on a Holiday Shopping website for Shopping Tours Shanghai the last couple weeks.  I did it all, from taking the product shots to setting up the shopping cart with PayPal.  This is my favorite shot though!

and then, she {snapped}

Jackson – Four Months

Last week I went to a Bumps and Babes meeting where a photographer spoke about taking photos of kids.  It inspired me to grab a blanket, put a hoodie on Jackson to help bring the focus to his eyes, and shoot away!  I’m entering it in this week’s “I Heart Faces” contest with the theme of “Let them be little.”

More from Jackson’s photoshoot

Here are three of my top choices from Sunday’s photoshoot!


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