Monday, April 30, 2012

Just Me, Keeping it Real

Lakin is a lovely child.  Like really cute and fun and lovable.  She also has a little mind of her own and can be quite impatient when she's forced to do something she's not all that interested in doing.  She is almost two and we're feeling it.

Our latest point of contention is that devil of a seat in the shopping cart.  Target, a place that typically brings me great serenity and joy, has become my arch nemesis.  Since the girl has legs and she knows how to walk, she wants to do it everywhere we go.  "I walk, I  WALK!"  The problem is, when Lakin walks she's pretty unpredictable.  I don't always have time to stop with her as she examines every speck on the floor and picks up items from the lower shelves to touch and look at.  It slows down the process.  She also has yet to completely prove that she can obediently listen when I ask her to stay with me.  We always start off strong.  She might even hold my hand to give me the false confidence that this shopping trip will be different.  Then she sees something that catches her eye and she's off.  I am forced to quickly push the cart in pursuit of her and left feeling regretful that I gave her the freedom to walk beside me in the first place.  Yes, we have some work to do in this department.

So typically it's into the cart she goes and she must be buckled because she likes to stand up and lie down sideways in the seat.  Mostly because she knows it's dangerous and it drives me crazy.

If I am taking too long, she whines which begins as small protests and can easily grow into a scene.  Friday morning we were picking up our groceries and she began the tirade.  I ignored and kept about my business.  I'm getting thicker skin and not so worried about patrons around us and their opinions.  I am learning that all she wants is attention and a lot of times ignoring the behavior is enough to end it.

But every grandmother who passes by gives her puppy dog eyes and shoots glares at me.  Store clerks attempt to cheer her up and make comforting comments.  Men move further from us and moms with smaller children in their carts (who are behaving perfectly) give a little self-righteous humpf as they pass us in the soup aisle.  It's okay, I was that judgmental mom a few months ago when Lakin couldn't talk and a couple of rings hanging from the cart was enough to mesmerize her mind through an entire shopping trip complete with loitering in the clearance section.  Don't worry Momma, your time will come too.

After an insufferable trip we finally make it to check out.  Our sales associate is all of fifteen.  He's checked us out before and he likes to comment on the things we're buying.  I try to avoid him at all costs but desperate times call for desperate measures and my mission is to get out of this place asap. Lakin is really hamming it up, whining and begging to get out of the cart.  I'm stone faced, seething inside and reminding myself that she's two- well, almost.  The well-meaning clerk sees our predicament and in an effort to help, offers a sticker to my daughter.  My responses is an icy, "I don't think we've earned a sticker today."  Both Lakin and the clerk look deflated.  This sets off a whole new set of whining about the stupid Target sticker that Lakin is now missing out on.

We get to the car where I load Lakin and our groceries up and proceed to speak sternly to her about her behavior and choices in the store.  We make it home in under an hour but are all traumatized.

How did we get here and how to we move forward?  Why is it when you're trying to teach your children right from wrong well-intentioned people get in the way?  When we leave the gym daycare and I ask Lakin to clean up the toys she was playing with, the staff always excuse it and tell her it's no problem.  When Lakin gets crazy greedy eyes and snatches toys from friends while screaming "MINE," the victimized parent tries to laugh the behavior off and interest their child in another toy so mine doesn't have to apologize and give the toy back.  Target clerks try to appease my child when she's being unruly in an effort to get her to stop- only reinforcing the attention-seeking, bad behavior.  I mean, help a sister out!

We're in the heat of discipline.  It takes a village.  My village includes Target employees.  All I'm asking is for a little support.

And then I found $5.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Last Saturday we ventured to the Minneapolis Zoo for some creature exploration.  The MN Zoo was quite impressive and had both indoor and outdoor exhibits since MN weather has been known to be cold about 70% of the year.  It was awesome to be up close and personal with the animals and Lakin had herself a good ole time.  She walked alongside the stroller the whole day and would go right up to the glass to get a good look at all the animals.  Our favorites (in no particular order): grizzlies, otters, penguins, and monkeys.  There is also a little farm at the zoo where kids could pet goats and see pigs and cows.  We spent a lot of time talking to the goats.  Lakin was worried that the, "baby goats hungry," since they seemed to be eating all the food children purchased from the machines to feed them.  She really wanted to give the goats a kiss but that fence was in the way (thank goodness).
 Lindy, Lakin and Chris checking out what the moose, "doing?" 
 Whispering sweet nothings to baby goat #1.
 Leaning in for the kiss.
 Oh, those humidity curls, I love them so.

This one's for Uncle David.  Some inside joke from childhood...  Your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baby J will be a Baller

Like you had any doubt.

I had my big anatomy ultra sound last week.  I was afraid it would be anti-climactic since we decided to not find our the gender of our baby but it was totally mind blowing to see another little person thriving and bouncing around in my womb.

The ultrasound technician asked me right off the bat if we want to know.  My response was something like this: "No, we're not finding out.... BUUUUT...  Nope we're letting it be a surprise... However...."  She laughed, apparently I was not the first indecisive momma to cross her path.  The woman was good though, she turned the monitor away every time we neared baby J's nether regions and I was as good as clueless when I left the appointment.

She called the baby beautiful and of course, in a momma bear kind of way, I could see all that beauty.  However, I will spare you the skeletor-like images from the ultrasound.  If you want to see them, they're up on the fridge.  Come on over.  :)

Baby J is looking good, dancing like big sister and appears to be one moving, grooving, little bean.  Now we just wait for September.

What do you guys think?  Boy or girl?

Baby M On the Way

I want to start sharing some of our company work with you.  I mean, I left my job to be a photographer and I figured you might be interested in seeing some of the work I've taken part in.  Please know that the images I share are from Midwest LifeShots, they may or may not have been specifically taken by me.  However, if I share it, it was a session I worked on.

My friend, Catherine, most recently let us take her maternity photos as she waits for baby girl M to make her big appearance.  Isn't Catherine the cutest little pregnant woman you've ever seen?  She came to the session with tons of ideas and Jen and I had beautiful subjects and a great setting at Quarry Hill to be able to capture some pretty spectacular stuff.  Can't wait to meet baby girl M come May.  She's due on my birthday after all, so I feel we're already deeply connected.

All images ©Midwest LifeShots Photography

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Little Tuesday Morning Reflection for You

I've mentioned my morning devotional before.  I'm currently reading, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence  by Sarah Young  and it can be dead on Godly wisdom for me in a particular moment in time.

This morning I woke up, much like many other mornings, and lay in bed thinking of all the things that needed to happen today.  I found myself wondering when I would have time to get dinner in the crock pot and if I had enough time to squeeze in a before dinner walk with a friend.   I worried that Chris did not save an empty egg carton for my upcoming busy bag exchange when he made us a delicious meal last night (french toast and eggs- sorry ladies, he's taken!).  I thought of getting up and checking my Google calendar to make sure I hadn't missed a scheduled appointment later this week and worried about when I would clean the bathrooms today.  I remembered the reading I need to do for small group tomorrow and then worried if it was our week to provide a meal.  Which reminded me, I wanted to cook something for a friend who just had a baby boy and I immediately began running through some possible menus for the meal I hoped to provide...  This all ran through my mind in a sixty second reel and all of sudden, before I'd even gotten out of bed, I felt overwhelmed.

Am I crazy or can I get an amen?

This morning's reading hit right at the heart of my over planning, anxiety-ridden way of life.

"I (God) am always with you, so you have no reason to be afraid (or overwhelmed or anxious).  Your fear often manifests itself in excessive planning.  Your mind is so accustomed to this pattern of thinking that you are only now becoming aware of how pervasive it is and how much it hinders intimacy with Me.  Repent of this tendency and resist it, whenever you realize you are wandering down this well-worn path.  Return to my presence, which always awaits you in the present moment. I accept you back with no condemnation. "


So if you are anything like me and a good old fashioned to-do list is all it takes to bring you back from that ledge, you might also benefit from this wisdom.  Perhaps I need to live more in the moment, trusting God's provision and timing rather than aways trying to be the great orchestrator of my life.  Hmmmm.

"Be still, and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10

Thursday, April 19, 2012


You know how many times I've picked up all 64 pastel Easter eggs leftover from the holiday?

Probably 64 times.

Maybe more.

Yes, definitely more.

It's no fun to play with them unless they are all sprawled across the floor.

You know what else is no fun?  Reading a book before all it's little book friends are lying on the floor around us sad with rejection having been uprooted from their shelf home in our attempt to find that "just right book."  Forget carefully selecting one title to read, books must be flung in all directions in order to locate just the book we had in mind.

You know what I may never serve my daughter again?  Spaghetti.  Never mind that she loves it and it's cheap and easy to prepare.  There is a permanent film of spaghetti sauce oil on the highchair and Lakin is always left with a faint sauce beard until her next bath.

Tiny messes fill my day.  Most of the time I don't mind unloading the dishwasher, color coding the lacing beads, and picking up the miscellaneous play kitchen food for the zillionth time that day.  But then there are moments where I just want to say, "Can't you just keep some order around here little girl?!"  Do you really need to bring the training potty into the living room so you can sit on it and play with your kitchen?  How about the serving utensils that always find their way out of the drawer and onto the kitchen floor - I mean is that necessary?  You can follow Lakin's mess to find out just where she's previously been and what she's been doing.  It's her trail of breadcrumbs; omit breadcrumbs and insert empty sippy cups, Easter eggs, foam bath bath toys, and the occasional cooking instrument.

But then I remember, homes are for living in, toys are meant for playing, and little ones create messes as they discover the world.  We're learning, we're loving, and we're playing.  It is good.  Even if it is messy.

While this job feels redundant and small sometimes, it's not.  It's incredibly important.  In fact, it's the most important job I've ever held.  So I will continue to vacuum regularly and assist my little one  in constant state of clean up.  I guess it's a small price to pay.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


This question fills my days.

Lake: Mommy?

Me: Yes, Lakin.

Lake: Dora, doing?

Me: Hmmm, probably saving some poor baby animal from rouge watermelons.

Lake: Okay... Mommy?

Me: Yes.

Lakin: Map, doing?

Me: Well, Map is probably showing people the way.

Lake: Okay... Mommy?  Cathy doing?

Me: I don't know, I suppose she's probably having breakfast with her family.

And then we proceed to wonder aloud what all our friends and family might be doing at that moment.

This is especially a favorite at bedtime when Lakin is trying to stall going to sleep.

Audrey doing?  Annie doing?  Ben doing?  Emily doing?  Mommy doing?  Daddy doing? .......

Monday, April 9, 2012

4 Months Preggie

In fashion with my updates with Lakin, here is the first installment of: Pregnancy deets you wished you didn't know...

Maternity clothes? Some pants still fit fine, mostly those with a little give.  I have worn my maternity jeans on a few occasions when I knew I would probably be indulging in some extra yummy goodness, i.e. any trip to Chipotle.  Breathing room is a gift, people.

Stretch marks? Too early. Hopefully we make it through this pregnancy unscathed.  

Sleep: Um, lets jut say I have been on Pinterest at some ungodly hours lately.  I wake up to pee a few times a night and sometimes I can lie awake for a couple of hours.  Ugh.  Nice thing is I have some napping flexibility with our new schedule.  

Best moment this week: When I ask Lakin where the baby is she lifts up my shirt to reveal my belly and gives the baby a kiss and a hug.  Yesterday she told me it was her baby sister.  We'll see if she's right come September.  

Movement: Gas or movement, jury is still out.

Food cravings: Well, if it's bad for you, I probably want to eat it.  Trying to resist my desire for a bag of potato chips and make healthy choices for myself.  Sometimes the baby wins out.  Baby wants what it wants.  

Gender: Check back mid-September.   

Labor Signs: Nope, too early.

Can we talk about how much of a belly I've got?  Crazy town.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Overzealous Parent Documents Easter

I'm crazy.

But then again, if you've visited this blog, you know that.

And yet, you're still coming back for more.

Went a little crazy documenting our Easter celebration this year.  You're welcome.  Enjoy.
 Woke up with this little one looking cute and begging for some loving.  We read the Easter story and went to church.
 She was thrilled to have her photo taken, as you can obviously tell from that expression.  Chris was looking quite dapper this Easter morn, if I do say so myself.
 "Read it."
 Mommy and Lakin, take one.  Eyes closed.
 "Oh mommy, you are so hilarious."  Just two girls and we're having a good time, having a good time.
 And this is when the loving became suffocating.  Time for church!
 While brunch was cooking, Lakin opened her Easter basket.  My parents sent her an awesome Easter package this year as well as her basket from Chris and I filled with some Target Dollar Section gems.
 Among the goodies from Grandma and Grandpa was this sweet book about being a big sister.
 Dora was lurking around every corner this Easter.
Doing some digging to find out what was inside her Dora trash can.
 Holy stickers!  Awesome time had by all with these stickers.  Still finding them randomly around the house.
 "Dis one, pleeeeze, Mom"
 "Oh, and dis one and dis one too."
 Handmade cinnamon rolls for the kitchen made by my crafty mother, modeled by my husband.

 Dora tattoos.  Chris, Lakin and I have matching Dora tattoos on the inside of our wrists.  It's a Jaeger family marking.
 Brunch time!  Party Potatoes- Jaeger family classic dish.
 Deviled eggs, devoured in one day.  Sick and beautiful all in one.
 Pumpkin muffins
 Egg Bake- Aunt Cheryl style.  Yes, please.
And as most holidays of fun end, some tears and finger pointing.  Oh my, she's not even two yet!

Hoping your Easter was full of blessings and Dora tattoos as well.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Let's Get Real: Installment 1

I am toying with the idea of writing a series of children's books.  This one wouldn't involve bunnies or balloons, although I'm not opposed to those elements but it would help parents educate kids on the facts of life.

Lately, we've been doing a lot of education in our home.  Lakin wonders about everything and asks what we're doing or inquires why we do it that way.  For example, we peel the orange before we eat because the peel doesn't taste good and was not meant to be eaten.  We flush after we use the potty because it's rude to leave our surprises for other people to clean up.  Yelling in the grocery store to hear our voice echo is funny but disruptive to other people in the store.  And you get the idea.

My first book will be called: No One Likes Dragon Breath.  It will discuss the importance of oral hygiene and how to properly brush one's teeth.  We're working on this one in our house.  Someone prefers to suck the toothpaste from the tooth brush and then throw it to the ground, thus delaying the actual brushing and requiring her mother to reload the toothbrush with more delicious tooth paste.  No one said she wasn't a genius.  But even geniuses have some gnarly morning breath.  I'll let you know how my initial drafts are coming.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Day Lakin's World Stopped

..and she came face to face with her idol, Dora.  We were beside ourselves to find Dora just hanging out for photos and hugs.  Thanks Miss Cathy for inviting us along to the Mall of America.  This little girl was rendered speechless.

something to spice up your Wednesday

File this under: things Lakin might resent when she's older.  Photo taken by my talented friend, Sarah Cooper.  Teeth supplied by the generous Benjamin Cooper.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

random thoughts

- Ever feel like you spend more time dreaming than actually doing?  I can't tell you how many pins I've made on Pinterest but have yet to get off my tush and make it happen.  I got time.

- Insecurity keeps us from living.  I have avoided classes at our gym forEVA.  I figured I was not that in shape or that I would look ridiculous.  Guess what?  I did... look ridiculous. But no less ridiculous than the eighty year old woman in a turtleneck and jeans Zumba-ing her little heart out.  And guess what, no one was judging her.  Lesson learned: get over yourself and get out there.

- Revenge, the show on ABC, is very good.  It is also keeping me from productivity.  Not familiar?  No problem, you can catch all the episodes on  Watch them.  Then lets talk about it.

- Photoshop is crazy complicated.  Like, they win an award for the most confusing software yet.  No worries, I have a book.  I can be self-taught.

That is all.  For now.  You've been warned.

I'll leave you with a sweet image of Lakin and Lindy reading together.  Lakin feels jewelry is best worn together.