Wednesday, November 30, 2011

cookie monster

spritz cookies + one excited girl = lots of sprinkles all over the floor.  

still finding them

totally worth it

great joy this Christmas!
 step one: put pantless wonder in Bumbo on counter and give her the "tools"
 step two: let pantless wonder make it rain sprinkles
 step three: remind pantsless wonder that sprinkles should ultimately land on cookies
 step four: observe pantsless wonder discover the edible nature of cookies
step five: watch in horror as she demolishes multiple cookies in a matter of seconds.

step six: put pantsless wonder in bed for afternoon nap and clean up sprinkles from your floor

Monday, November 28, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Being a young family we get to form our family traditions which is especially fun around the holidays.  I love decorating for Christmas and thought the best possible time to put up the tree had to be the instant Thanksgiving was over.  So the morning after T-giving, we got out the tree and put it up along with our humble collection of Christmas decs.  The stash grows each year but is pretty meager in it's beginnings.

I thought Lakin would be pretty interested in the tree but she was very content to play with Gigi while I put the tree together and strung the lights.  Her interest did peak when the ornaments came out in all their shiny, colorful glory.  It was game on from there.

 a brief pause for a belly button poke

When the tree was finished Lake was pooped.  She chilled out in her elf costume (made by my mom last Christmas) and watched some Dora.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

pack it up, pack it in, let me begin

Anyone get that House of Pain reference?

We had a thankful holiday, despite our little temper tantrum running a bit of a muck.  BTW, things are much better.  I think maybe the lingering ear infection was to blame, but now we know just how much fury is in that little lady.  I fear the teen years.

We spent the day at our friends, Casey and Daniel's, house.  Chris' parents came in town to celebrate with us.  It was a wonderful afternoon with friends and some delicious food.  Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday.  Completely about being thankful.  Pausing to share a meal with those you love.  Very few things can taint or distort the day.  This is our second Thanksgiving in Rochester and we have much to be thankful for.

 Here is Lakin getting a little pre-turkey nap in on the toilet.
 She was wearing a fancy little dress from Miss Cathy but after being stripped down for lunch we decided something more casual was the way to go since someone has been known to use her shirt as a bib.
 Here she is sneaking cracker #456.  Little hands would sneak up on the counter, snatch a cracker and disappear.
 Reading a few books to help someone from coming unglued.  It's a miracle she was sitting still for this photo.
 Lakin helped me crush cornflakes for the party potatoes.  It was a task she was extremely excited about
 until she realized
 she couldn't just help herself to the cornflakes.

 Lakin with her dad, what a good guy, wand and all.
 Fiji laying low.

 cracker # 513
and #514

Our hearts and bellies were full by the time we left that evening.  Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with the joy too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The first year of a kid's life is pretty amazing.  I remember running errands with a car seat-bound infant and thinking, this parenting thing is not hard at all.   Sure, there's tons of uncertainty about when to take baby in to the doctor, why she won't take quality naps, and how to soothe her teething gums but for the most part, your bundle of joy thinks you are amazing, likes to snuggle, and is willing to follow your lead.

Now that Lakin's almost 16 months (gulp, where has time gone) I'm in a whole new phase of uncertainty and this one is a real challenge.  I hinted that things at our house have gotten a bit more difficult as our intelligent and fiercely independent toddler finds her voice and her own opinions.  Lately everything has become a battle.

For example, breakfast the other day was berries and bananas- a favorite for BG and she refused them.  No polite, "no thank you, mom, I'd rather have something else"- it was a snarly, "no!" and a shove to the floor.  I kept my composure and placed the food back onto her high chair and did my best to ignore her chorus of whiny refusal.  I unloaded the dishwasher, turned up the Pandora play list and acted like the world was just peachy.  You know what?  After five minutes of ugly she finally devoured her breakfast and then asked for more.

When we got out to run a few errands things continued to be difficult.  The first battle was getting her strapped into her car seat.  She's not only strong willed, she's physically strong and I have to hold her down to keep her in her seat long enough to buckle up.  She cried through the grocery store as I stoically picked up my last minute Thanksgiving items and place them in our cart.  Onlookers were staring and I know they were wondering what was wrong with my kid, or better yet, the mother who was allowing her to act this way in public.

Allow me to insert a disclaimer, something to make me feel better about her atrocious behavior:

She has been sick with an ear infection lately and the last two weeks have been touch and go in the mood department.  Maybe her ear is still bothering her?  Maybe she's under the weather, who knows?  Either way, the 'tude is unbearable.

I hesitated writing this because I can't bear to have readers think my sweet little girl does anything other than fart rainbows but I wanted to be real.  Being a mom is hard work.  It's a lot of guessing and hoping you get it right.  When do I walk away and let the fit happen, when do I intervene and offer the comfort that she's begging for?  Will any of my actions cost her thousands of dollars worth of therapy down the road?  Will I unknowingly enable my kid to a new level of brathood by coddling too much?   How is a mother supposed to know?  Why don't these kids come with a user manual?

As a kid I thought my parents had it all figured out.  They kept their cool in all situations, seemed to know how to lovingly put the fear in me so that I behaved in all circumstances.  Thing is, I was their first, their only, their guinea pig.  They had never handled any of these parenting situations before I came along but they parented with ease and grace and a wisdom that I pray for.

Parenting does make me depend on God in a whole new way.  He created Lakin.  He knows her  heart and what she needs.  Only His Spirit can change her.  She's sinful.  We all are.  But God is bigger than our sin.  I pray He will guide and lead as we navigate these uncharted waters of parenthood.  No user manual but He did give us His Word and His Holy Spirit.  I suppose those blow user manuals out of the water.

I leave you with a scene from Thanksgiving.  This was right before Lakin was sent to bed with no dinner.  The picture says it all.  (Don't worry, she filled up on crackers before the meal so she went down for a nap on a full, carb-loaded stomach.)

Despite her epic fit before dinner, it was a wonderful holiday with so much to be thankful for.  We spent it with Chris' parents and our Rochester "family."  We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such love.  I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with laughter and joy, like ours.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the diva's BACK

If you recently started reading this blog you don't know that my lovely, sweet, friendly daughter spent the first four months of her life scowling and refusing to nap.  She was strong-willed and I prayed that God would give me the wisdom and strength to stand my ground with her.  Then, like light peeking from behind a cloud, the heavens opened and she began giggling, smiling, and seemed much more willing to rest and comply with my requests.  She was a changed kid and I sighed a breath of relief.  We'd seemed to have dodged a bullet and entered a sweet spot of parenting.

THEN... she learned two words, "no," and "mine."  With the advance in vocabulary has come all the 'tude and will that first plagued my newborn baby.  Only now, she can walk, shake her head, and knows to run from me when she's not interested in what I have to say.

The above picture is from her buddy, Annie's, first birthday party this last weekend.  I wish I could show you a photo of sweet Annie investigating her cake but my camera battery was dead, unbeknownst to me.  Lakin was pretty well-behaved but she did want to take Annie's new toys, and she did think she needed to be right there next to Annie the entire time she opened presents, and she did feel the need to take the shape sorter from the littlest baby in the room and screech, "no," as she did it.

Ah, this is when the real parenting starts.  Seeing your own child's sin is a bit heartbreaking.  It's in us all, but you like to think your kid might be immune.

But she's not. So we begin the process of teaching her right from wrong and how to treat others.  Character building.  It's a life long process.  I have a feeling God's going to build our own character as we attempt to shape and influence our daughter's.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

us: lately

can I just say there are so many times where I think, this needs to be recorded on the blog.  then days pass and the urgency wanes and I figure its not worth recording.

but life is full of tiny moments that are worth recording.

if I could have a camera in my hand at all times to capture these moments I would.

speaking of cameras, I love my job taking photos.  I am now working part time with Midwest LifeShots.  they hired me on.  they're teaching me tons and overlooking my blurry, over exposed photos, to see my potential.

my heart thrives when I take pictures.  I spend way too much time on pintrest admiring the art form.  I try to figure out lighting, angles, what the photographer must have said (or not said) the moment before the photo was snapped.  tiny moments are what we work to create and capture as photographers.

tiny moments around here include:

bg's ear infection that was discovered yesterday morning.  she is loving that antibiotic, acts like it's candy. the second she sees the oral syringe, she starts smacking her lips and repeating, "me."  Yes, baby girl, this medicine is for you.

while my prescription was filled, I got a chance to talk to my sweet friend, Ashley, who's expecting her first little boy in March.  We chatted about strollers and baby photography.  I'm so excited for them.  every time someone asks me questions about baby stuff I realize I'm getting rusty.  once you're out of the phase it's hard to remember what it was like to be in it.

Lakin and I raided Hobby Lobby a few nights ago.  we got the makings of a few homemade Christmas gifts and some glitter to glitterize our Christmas decorations.  also found our family Christmas stockings at a crazy discount (considering it's early November).  we've been having fun crafting and playing together downstairs lately.

Chris has been working his tail off.  we don't see the guy until well into the night and he's gone before we wake in the morning.  i'm so proud of him.  he never complains.  me, not so much, but Chris, he always has the best attitude.  he's so grateful for the learning opportunities.  he's pretty dang amazing.  still wish he could join us for dinner some nights.  but in due time.  the best moment of my day is when Lakin's eyes light up as she hears the garage door close and Chris come in from a day at work.  the world stops.  she smiles.  my heart melts.

Lakin wore the most ridiculously ruffly, pink outfit the other day.  each time I would look at her in it I would just die a little.  SO precious.

disregard the insane hair, we're working on something fantastic there.  trust me.

this morning we're making some breakfast for some of my favorite Rochester ladies.  yummers!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

lazy Saturday

 Woke up with a "hey!" and some play time with Daddy.  Nothing beats milk, wearing Mom's headband, and sitting in Dad's lap.
 For my second breakfast I enjoyed some biscuits with Mom and Dad.  Never heard of second breakfast?  How do you think I keep this figure girlish?
 I was really wishing someone would open the freaking fridge and get me some grapes.  If only I was strong enough to pull that door open myself.
 "Who me?  I am quite certain I had nothing to do with whatever you're insinuating."
 Stomping those leaves with all my might.

 Checking out the view from my Cozy Coupe.
 Showcasing the fine mullet I am growing.
 If sitting is fun, imagine how fun standing must be.
 Hanging out the back like I just don't care.
 My license plate should read CRZY COUP because I'm pretty wild.
 Say, "Cheese!" I just did.  This is my cheesy, fake smile.

 Iconic Fall Picture:  Me in the leaves, so kindly raked up recently by Dad.
 Dive bombing the leaves.
Things we're loving right now:

- Daddy's weekends off
- No coats in November!
- Big Butter Tastin' Biscuits
- Raising a ruckus

truly amazing footage

This raw footage was shot in Lakin's natural habitat.  She was not provoked or encouraged in any way to do this... well, maybe a little.  Click and be amazed.
We're you expecting an Eminem impersonation based on the still picture of the video?  Hopefully I didn't disappoint too much.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Now That's What I Call Halloween: Volume II

Let's be honest, these are the pics you been pining for.  Better late than never.  I know you already have your Christmas tree up and your holiday music play, but humor me on one last blast from the Halloween past.

We took Lakin trick or treating and I was actually impressed with how involved she was.  Of course, the first house we went to she climbed up to the front door and then turned around and climbed down without waiting for the home owner to come to the door.  Once she figured out we were waiting for candy, it was game on.

Lakin had three friends to do the night with: Caleb, Audrey, and Lauren.

 Audrey had already started the candy eating party. She's the pumpkin to the far left.
 Eating a stick... sigh.
Trying to convince others to join her in eating the stick... sigh.

Our little troopers were happy to stay out late and even visited the scariest house in town with the promise of a king size candy bar.  Here are a few action shots from the evening.

Notice, there was no snow.  Holding strong, Rochester.  Proud of that.