zach. 2011.

Zach was my first senior shoot of the summer....
He's a pretty sweet breakdancer.

he also happens to be my (baby) cousin. Don't tell him I called him that, though.

So fun...went to a few locations I've been eyeing for months....
didn't get the police called on us, so I guess we're good to go!
FYI, this will most likely (hopefully) be the last "business" post on this blog- I'm working on a mini-blog specifically for photography stuff that will be attached to my website. The pictures will be bigger, and my clients can see a peek of their proofs thereSo, of you usually get here from the site and want to continue to hear stories about my life & hubby & kids-then click the little button on the lower right and "follow" me. Or bookmark it. The other blog will be (mostly) photography stuff...I'll let you know when the big switch is about to happen!! Hopefully this weekend...


The Toddler School of Life

After books & prayers with Daddy and snuggles with Mama last night, little Mr. "i'm not (yawn!) tired" pulled out the ONLY bedtime procrastination tool that works:
"Mama, I have to go POOP!"
sigh. He's still just learning this, I tell myself...go put him on the potty, even though he's wearing a diaper....
so we sit.
and sit.
finally, I ask, "Pax, do you REALLY have to go poop? Cause if you don't and you told Mama you did, that's lying and that's not ok,"

Pax: "ROar!!"

Me:"No, not a lion; lying,"

Pax: "ROAAAAR!!!"

at which point I started to crack up, which set off more "ROARRR!!"s and effectively ruined my teaching moment.
Not sure who, exactly, is in school here...


Lovely Day.

What a sweet morning- got to have some mama + Pax time doin' some playing the river by our house...in the same place I used to play with my little friends as a kiddo. B stayed home with my mom-didn't realize how much I miss doing things like that with the buddy. So fun. We played and splashed and laughed and pretended to be ducks (he's 2..playing pretend is what we do!) and i didn't have to think once about where the baby was, or if she was ok, or finding her a toy if she got fussy. Just focused on my little son. He soaked it up. So did I..I know that time is essential, but as the baby gets older it gets harder to find. Gonna have to make more of an effort- Adam sometimes takes him to get a donut early Saturday mornings, just the two of them, but I realized today how important it is that he gets that "away" one-on-one time with me, too. And, if you're wondering (because I know EVERYONE is as interested as I am...) he's doing beautifully with the plug exchange. Actually, he's slept better the past 2 nights than he has the past 2 weeks-go figure! So glad that's over!! And, sorry, no pictures of us pretending to be ducks--for once I didn't have a camera with me. Just enjoyed our time.


The Great Debate- pt. 4

Every parent debates about it...when to take the plug away. Or the thumb, fingers, etc...We didn't plan on Pax having a pacifier. But with the circumstances after his birth (he had to be under an oxygen hood for 2 hours immediately after birth, and they had a hard time getting him to calm down to get his heart rate back to normal), the nurses made a judgement call and gave him one. I'm glad they did; but since he had a plug for hours before I was even allowed to nurse him-he was pretty hooked on it right away. We've gone back and forth (and back and forth...and back and forth...) about when we would take it away. On one hand--after about 18 months, we knew he didn't need it. Once he hit 14 or 15 months, we limited the plug to his bed. He gave it to us immediately upon waking up; no walking around with it in his mouth; didn't have it in the car either (except when we moved up North and I drove with him in one packed car by myself for 10 ours while Adam drove a van with the uha*l attached...but that was a matter of sanity!) We talked about getting rid of it when he hit 18 months- but we knew we were moving, and wanted to keep it for the sake of transition (I'm so glad we did....it was hard enough for him to adjust even WITH the plug!!). Then we thought we'd get rid of it at the end of the summer...and he started potty training himself at 19 months. And the baby was on the way. Too many changes at once are...well, let's just say the boy isn't the best with change. So, I decided I'd rather have him close to or totally potty trained before the baby came than give up the plug. About 6 weeks after B arrived, we started talking about it again- when to get rid of IT. And then-ta-da!! the plug solved the problem for us.
Pax has (had!) 4 plugs-and slowly, one by one, he chewed holes in each of them. Because, at this point, he chewed on them more than he sucked on them...so, slowly, one by one, Pax threw away his "broken" plugs. A week or so ago, we were suddenly down to one. Then last night-the blue plug had a hole in it, too. I kinda freaked out a bit...I mean, was I really ready to do this?? I kept remembering our friends in D-town, and the horrible time they had after they got rid of their daughter's plug...but I knew it was time. *Gulp!* At dinner last night, we talked about different ways to say "goodbye" to the plug...you know, tie it to a helium balloon and let it fly; toss it in the trash like the others; and then my mom suggested having Pax "exchange" the last plug for one of the trains he wants. Which, of course, was genius because of our small son's obsession with trains in general and Thom*s trains specifically. SO this morning I mentioned to Pax that his blue plug was broken (which he knew; he also knew what this meant-trash can.), and asked him if he'd like to trade his last plug for a new train of his choice. I made sure he understood that if he traded it, the plugs were fini and there wouldn't be any more for him since he was a big boy now. His response? "sure!!" (runs into the bathroom with his plug and puts it in the trashcan) "I put pwub in the trash. Let's go to the store!!" Bingo. This might actually work! After all, we've discovered external motivation (ahem-bribery-cough) does work very well with this kid. It worked with the bottle; and, more recently, gave him enough motivation to go back to pooping on the potty, instead of in his pants. Or the tub. But that's a story for another day.

We headed to a train store about 10:30 this morning...I wanted to do nap time without the plug before bed. ( I'm a chicken, yes. Just couldn't stop thinking about Kate, Jill!) I gave him the choice of any train in the store- he picked a dark purple train with red wheels called Charlie. He was SO EXCITED!! couldn't wait to tell Daddy about it when he called at lunchtime.

He's down for a nap now. It was a little hard; maybe 5 minutes of whining/fake crying...I went in after about 10 minutes and all he said was, "snuggle me, Mama,". Not a word about the plug. He totally gets it...smart kid! So, of course, like any good Mama, i rubbed his back for a few minutes as he drifted off to sleep, Charlie clutched tightly in his little hand....and I'll let ya know how tonight goes. A little nervous, not gonna lie. Not really expecting to sleep well the rest of the week. But- He did it. Sniff, sniff... my baby's growing up. Woohoo!!


thankful Thursday

It's summer!! hooray! and, seriously, summer HERE is so wonderful...The mountains are minutes away; big lakes are minutes away; there are 85,000 parks in town (ok, maybe not QUITE that many....but I've been to 5 fantastic, different ones in the past 2 weeks. Yup. It's cool!); there's a small outdoor pool that is seriously 5 minutes down the street if we walk at the little Dude's pace; there are tiny vegetables putting out roots in our container garden on the deck (which will be yummy IF they survive Dude's "watering" skills, which are about as gentle as a hurricane); and my kids are adorable in their summer clothes & barefoot. Love. It.
So very thankful to be HERE, RIGHT NOW...learning to savor each moment, because they are growing SO fast-and there's always time later to vacuum. Plus, if Dude helps me, he gets his own "monies" for a train he's saving for...but that's another story.
What are YOU thankful for today?