This was the photo shoot that taught us the importance of gelato.
You think I’m kidding.
It all goes back to this spring (and I don’t want to get into a history lesson, but I want to be honest about our experiences here) when we figured out that my son had a gluten and soy allergy. Five trips to the doctor and dermatologist to discover the source of his eczema, two rounds of steroids, you-have-no-idea-how-much stress, tears, frustration… and all to no avail. Countless hours of research and experiments led us to discover the allergies on our own. Bingo! Suddenly his body is healing and making up for lost time with the biggest growth spurt he’s seen since birth. You know what that means? The kid is constantly hungry. I mean, he’s eating four and five helpings at mealtime and constantly asking for snacks. Healthy snacks, no less!
How does this tie in to photo shoots? It means we are suddenly dealing with the obstacle of low blood sugar. If my little buddy hasn’t had his 8000 calorie Michael Phelps breakfast of champions before we trek out for a photo session, our generally cute and playful guy will turn sour and grumpy… head hanging, lip protruding.
So we were hanging out in Venice and nobody there is cooler than a gondolier (Caleb played gondolier every night on the couch, pretending to row us around in his “boat.”). He talked about being a gondolier ALL WEEK until the glorious morning we dressed him up and took him out to met his heroes. All frowns. Huh… What to do. I was about to give up hope for getting a photo shoot out of him when Grandma suggested that the little guy probably needed some ice cream (People, take Grandma on vacation with you! That woman will solve all kinds of problems!). That was when some good (and some goofy) things began happening. Let’s mark another one down for food being awesome.
Oh do you want to see the chaos that is a Finding Storybookland cosplay? Here’s a set-up shot from my father-in-law:
COSTUMES: Every Halloween, TJ Maxx gets these gorgeous costume dresses with hoop skirts. They’re really reasonably priced, around $30, I think. We’ve been coveting one for a while, but since I usually make my own, we haven’t broken down and bought one before. That changed last fall when we discovered the European equivalent: TK Maxx. Two great dresses on clearance for 14 Euro, and we were sold. So we’ve been waiting for the right moment, and this was definitely it. The mask came from a street vendor.
For the gondolier costume, I found a Gondolier Hat easily enough (It was an adult size, so I rolled a dish rag and lined the inside). I proceeded to drive all over town looking for a black and white striped shirt. I wasn’t picky- I even looked up and down a size. Finally I found one in the girl’s department of a thrift store. I didn’t choose it; it chose me… whatever that means.
We wandered around the Venice city center looking for gondolas, mooring poles (The Marriott has some nice ones) and cool bridges to position the children on or in front of.