Thursday, March 5, 2015

Momma and Her Photo Assistants (Julia at 3 Months)

Like most moms, I love having pictures of my babies as you know, babies. But time and budget being what it is, most of the pictures are taken by me.

When Julia is happy I grab the camera and see what we can get. I am not even close to a professional and employ the "take a thousand pictures with the hopes one or two will turn out well" strategy. Some sessions are a complete loss, but sometimes I get some adorable little glimpses of her sweet personality.

But I also have the advantage/challenge of having a crew of big brothers and sister around, always.

It can be helpful to get baby to smile or engage. But it can also mean someone is in the light or just straight up in the way.

{I see potential use for this picture for YEARS}

And, it would appear, I am teaching some bad habits along the way.

For example: It is okay to stand on the furniture as long as you have a camera in your hand.
{Seriously, she went and got her camera and I almost died of the cute.}

And I am once again reminded that it is the outtakes (in film and life) that I love the most.  It is often the moments I don't plan, even moments quite opposite of what I have planned that I love the most.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lydia Turns 2!

She is smart. She is fun. She is happy. She is adventurous. She is beautiful. She is so much more than these words and we are blessed to celebrate a second year with our precious Lydia Jane.

On her birthday morning there were presents (which she was all about) and a sick big brother (which put a damper on it for momma, but she seemed fine because - presents)

Eggs and chocolate milk for breakfast - favorites

Chick fil a and (more) chocolate milk for lunch

And cupcakes and cookies before dinner

(and not pictured - Gammy came to visit, which is an awesome present all in itself to these kiddos)

What more could a two year old want? And it is amazing that she is this kid with likes and dislikes and not this little baby on my hip anymore. (insert crying emoji here)

What a blessing to celebrate our big girl with our family. She completely realized she was the center of attention and ate it up.

Can we pause? There are not words in my heart to express how much I love having our people in our home.

Colin helped her blow out the candle - these two are developing a sweet little friendship and I love it.

I absolutely love being her momma and cannot wait to watch, guide and explore future days with her as a big two year old!

And for good measure - One year ago - time, man...

Monday, February 9, 2015

the week that was

Last week was hard y'all. Our homeschooling family with five children and an entrepreneur daddy can be pretty "labor intensive" on the best days.  But when momma and toddler lead the charge with an illness and are quickly followed by the rest of the small folks, it can get pretty hairy around here.

Even in those hard weeks, and maybe even more so, these people are just my favorite.

On Monday I was feeling pretty bad, so Jason worked from home to help with a sick Lydia and let us still have our school day.

I cannot take sly pictures often these days, but I love this kind of a photo bomb.

Toddlers are a great example of doing just what you can when you don't feel great. Lydia would alternate between laying on the sofa and watching Frozen and getting up and playing for a bit. She rested when she need to, but still had some of her normal activities. Like cooking hair bows in her Minnie pot.

And story reading

But of course when she just couldn't get herself together the only solution was a bubble bath.

As always there was much snuggling. Probably only intensified by a week in pajamas.

(this is probably where some folks are saying, "hey why didn't you isolate the sick kid and keep the germs away from the others." and i say to those folks: impossible. the only way to keep these kids away from each would be to send one away. and i haven't had any volunteers to take a contagious kid off my hands.)

So back to hanging out in pajamas under a quilt on the sofa in the messy living room.

(such a real life shot here)

We really should have had a field trip to the zoo last week to go with our African Savannah lessons, but youtube had to suffice. Yay for technology. I remember taking a "media" class in college, that was supposed to teach us how to use the library resources in our classrooms. I am super glad I can google, preview and hit play instead of fighting a film strip (yes I had to prove I could use a film strip to get my teaching degree - I am obviously 100 years old).

Of course the sad underbelly of home schooling is that when the students are just cold-symptom-type-of-sick they still have to do their work. Maybe there are a few more breaks, but it is *possibly* easier to get stuff done with boys who don't mind sitting still.

And when everyone needs a pick-me-up from days of being stuck inside, the solution is always paint something.

Julia just went with the flow. She had some congestion and coughing, but nothing too bad. Baby Girl found her hands, and it is about the sweetest thing in the world. She wakes up and entertains herself for a bit with her newly discovered attached toys.

In other hands news, Lydia is obsessed with washing her hands. Forever she is dragging her stool around and declaring (not asking), "wash hands, wash hands, wash hands..."

My favorite moment of the week is when Lydia was napping and all three boys were in our bed while I rocked Julia to sleep and read Prince Caspian to them. So many of our moments are on the edge of chaos, but this was a lovely pause we needed.

Gloriously, by the end of the week everyone was on the road to recovery and the sun came out (literally and figuratively). It was even warm enough for Julia's first swing nap.

Jason and I were able to squeeze in a date night (with baby in tow) to celebrate a late anniversary and early Valentine's.

I'm thankful for the Disney/vacation/holiday weeks, and I'm thankful for the sick/stir crazy/quiet weeks as well. I feel pretty confident that one day I will miss them all.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Celebrating 9

He is almost into double digits.  How is that possible? It seems just yesterday this tiny babe with big dark eyes was placed in my arms. Oh how I had no idea what to do with him, but we soldiered on, him learning how to be and me learning how to be momma. And now we are here, him doing quite well at being him and me still figuring out this momma thing.

Walker is wonderfully independent. He is strong, yet sensitive. He has his own ideas, but he trust those he loves completely. He stores up little thoughts in his heart and can break if he isn't forced to speak them out. He enjoys the language arts side of school more than the math and science, but he does well with it all. He loves his sisters completely and takes the initiative to make sure they are happy. He is maturing into being the helpful big bother in the family.

He has decided he wants to be a formula one race car driver when he grows up. He knows much about cars, racing and the mechanics of such things. He also read about a famous race car driver who started racing go carts when he was ten. So he is preparing himself to do the same next year. We shall see. He is a pretty determined fellow when he wants to be.

On to the celebrating..

Birthday morning there were presents

and donuts

and jumping at the trampoline park and outside play

and Moe's for dinner

After a year away we really enjoyed being able to celebrate with our family.

I am so proud of Walker. I love walking this journey with him. It is amazing how you can love someone more each day, when you were fairly certain that your heart might burst from the love just the day before.