Saturday, February 28, 2009

lashes and a bit of love.

Have you ever noticed that babies have the longest eyelashes? I don't know what it is about boys especially...but this little man's lashes are just stunning. Kinda makes me jealous.

He is moving so much these days, I don't get many opportunities to document all the little things about him that I love. So when he fell asleep in his car seat a couple of days ago, I quick grabbed my camera!

Have you ever noticed that babies look much chunkier when they are asleep? I soon as they drift off to La-La Land...they gain 10 lbs. I love those squishy squeezy cheeks and those smooshy lips!

I'm not the only one who loves this little guy. His bigger, bigger sister thinks he hung the moon. I used to get an ear full as soon as she ran in the door from kindergarten. But now I am completely bypassed for the chubby little man rolling around the floor. She just can't get enough of him!

Luckily he pretty much feels the same way about her!

We've been spending a lot of time playing together this past week...enjoying all the little moments that make

I am trying really hard to memorialize moments in my kid's lives. I hope this blog will serve as a journal for our family of our journey together. I'm hoping to create a blog book (see Tonya's blog if you want serious inspiration in this department!) to help my family keep the memories alive!

On that note...I did a bit of scrapping as a little gift for a special friend.

Happy weekend...hope you are busy making memories too!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

friendship {Kansas City Children's Photographer}

There's an old Nigerian Proverb that says, "Hold a true friend with BOTH of your hands". And we are holding on tight.

These are our "everyday friends". You know the talk everyday...find excuses to get together as often as possible...and help each other through the daily struggles of raising little ones.

We first met at the library. She was killing time trying to speed up her days crammed into a tiny temporary apartment. I was killing time while our house was being looked at by prospective buyers. We got to chatting and realized we had quite the group of little girls on our hands. We ended up moving into the same neighborhood just around the corner from each other. We feel so thankful to call them our friends.

Now we have each added a little guy to the mix...and the fun just keeps increasing! Yesterday the temperatures after school we grabbed our girls and let them each pick out their favorite pettiskirt for a fun mini photo shoot. Even the "big girls" joined in on the fun...they couldn't resist those ruffles for long!

Here's the line-up:

E is a second, easy going, sweet natured, smart as a whip.

My "kinder-grader" A...studious, silly, persistent, with a mouthful of wiggly teeth (love how both her top teeth are so lose they are sticking out in all sorts of funny directions!)

Sweet K is all Pre-K...all girl, flamboyant, silly, and a total rock star in front of the camera!

My Preschooler J...drama queen, sweet and spicy, definitely the resident princess.

Little "baby" A...spunky, mischievous (but oh so cute), ball of energy, lives life to the fullest!

These girls (and boys) are so special to me. Their friendship has helped me through so many long, hard days as a stay at home mom. Thank you, Nance for humoring me yesterday. I hope these images will be a special reminder to both you and "the girls" how lucky we feel to have you as friends!

{A new favorite image. This may become my business photo logo}

True friendship consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and value!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nanny 911

Please tell me I'm not the only mom out here who would like to make that call?

We've been struggling with a couple of "issues" at our house over the past couple of weeks. I'm determined to nip some less-than-desirable behavior in the bud before things get worse. Unfortunately, my children seem determined to win this battle as well!

Can someone tell me WHY it is so hard to sit in a chair at dinner? A is such an animated gal..she talks with her whole body. But this makes dinner a tad tricky....she is always jumping from her seat in excitement, crawling under the table to pick up a dropped napkin, or scootching her chair over to be a few inches closer to her sister. We've tried several tactics (including taking her dinner away) to coerce her into sitting still in her seat. I know this isn't too much to ask as her 4 year old sister handles this request quite nicely.

Last night we had chocolate cake. And while I was cleaning up the kitchen I could see A squirming and goofing around her in seat. Just as I opened my mouth to issue a final warning her plate teeter-tottered right off the table and smashed to the floor...bursting into a thousand pieces...and sending cake flying throughout the kitchen. The howling that ensued would have woke the dead....because....SHE KNEW. No. More. Cake.

The next battle started this morning when J insisted I pack a snack and water bottle for her trip to preschool. I declined (her preschool is less than 5 minutes from our house and one of their first activities is snack time!) INSERT HUGE TANTRUM HERE. I continued to pack her backpack and wrestle her brother into his car seat. With a final warning to "stop all grumpy behavior", we loaded into the van. That is when Mr. Bear came hurtling toward me from the back of the van...accompanied by a loud "HMMMPPPHHH!" Out of the van we went...back through the door...and up to her room for ANOTHER time out.

I'm exhausted and it is only Tuesday.

I love these girls. And I know the investment in character building will be worth it in the end (and makes me love them even more)....but today I could really use a break. Or a trip to the spa. Or maybe a cruise.

And did I mention that Sam does indeed have ANOTHER ear infection? {Sigh}

And because this post is awfully whiny and more than a bit pathetic I thought I would share some pictures of one of my new studio products....storyboards! This one is 20x10 and includes baby's name and up to three descriptive words.

And this one is a giant 30" square! Pardon the plastic...I had it ready to deliver to a client and didn't want to unwrap it again and risk any damage!

If you have had a previous session and are interested in having a storyboard created please email me for details!

The sun will come out tomorrow...right??

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I've begun to find Sam in some strange places...under the couch, under the bed, tangled up in his exersaucer, setting the alarm off on the weather radio, etc.

I can't say he is really crawling...propelling, yes. log rolling, yes. spinning in circles like he is chasing his tail, yes. This weekend he has learned to get on all fours from the sitting position and is quite proud of this feat. Although, after a few moments of rocking back and forth, and looking longingly at the object he is so eager to reach, he usually buckles under his own hefty weight. But he is getting around. And I think this baby-proofing thing is going to have to get underway before my husband ditches me for another couple of weeks (fear not...I've called in the reinforcements again!)

We've got some suspicious behavior brewing again....general fussiness, refusing his bottle, drippy nose. And while I'm blaming it on his swollen gums that should be producing teeth any day I'm secretly thinking he might be brewing ANOTHER ear infection. And I've been right every time (except that one time...but that didn't count).

So we are getting in lots of extra snuggles, and cuddles, and games of pat-a-cake (his personal favorite). I'm more of a peek-a-boo kind of gal. I'm also thinking that first hair cut might be unavoidable in the next few weeks. He's got some long strands that are going to require a serious comb over or a ladybug clippie. I'm thinking that if I just snip a few ends on my own I don't really have to count it as a hair cut right?

Hoping in the next few days I'll have my ultra happy little man back!

Until to dust off that baby gate!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Winner and a few pics (of course)

So here is A sporting her newest ~take a bow~ tee (I can still call it that even though I'm not officially in business anymore right??) This is the "take the picture quick so I can get back to my breakfast and get to school look". I get lots of those these days.

This winter THIS shirt has been one of her favorites. So I thought I'd do a similar version for spring. Of course layering on cold days works too ;) I still have one more blank tee and can't wait to sift through all the comments before diving into that one!

This is one of the tees I made for my little man. I planned on sharing him IN the tee to up the cute factor. But I apparently grossly mis-judged the size of his noggin and will need to re-create the hat (this one is now residing in our enormous pile of Bitty Baby clothes). my little man has grown I guess.

And speaking of little men.

These two are best buds. Ok. Actually his mom and I are best buds and they are just usually along for the ride. But that is all about to change. Today they were just a stitch playing the "let me steal your sock and make you belly laugh game". Sam was enthralled with W's nifty orange socks (they were awfully was his "squeeze-me lemon tee". And W was equally enamored with Sam's attention. Pretty cute little duo!

Ok. ok. I know you are only reading to find out if you won the contest. But my mom insisted on a few photos of the kids. Oblige the woman ok?!

Due to the vast creativity of my fellow bloggers...and my inability to choose just one great idea (you all are just so clever)...I am resorting to the random number generator.

Drum roll please. Ok...that was dorky...
EILEEN THE BEAN! You are my WINNER you luck dog you! Email me from my sidebar so I can hook you up with a tee!

That was so much fun I just might run another contest here soon so keep checking back!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ready for a CONTEST??

{EDIT...just as an FYI. Did you notice that I forgot to add the bodies to my butterflies? Were you just going to politely overlook this or was someone going to actually tell me that I had mutant mariposa on my hands?? I stared at that picture for a good 10 minutes trying to figure out WHY that shirt looked funny...problem solved now though :) A week of single parenting has robbed me of important brain cells apparantly!}

I don't know if any of you have school aged girls. But I am really struggling to find cute, age appropriate (and cheap!) clothing for my kindergartner. She has a definite opinion these days about what she wants to wear and it usually revolves around jeans and some type of hoodie (don't forget the gym shoes!) I've started thinking about spring clothes as the temperature here is just starting to warm up. I'd love to order her one of these or these. But I can't bring myself to drop that kind of cash on a t-shirt that is likely to come home smeared in peanut butter. So I opted to make a few simple tees myself that can be paired with fun plaid capris or denim cut-offs for a similar look.


This is where I need your help! I purchased 5 tees in a rainbow of colors. (I must mention here that I got these at Walmart for $3.50 each. I really like their Faded Glory brand because they are 100% pre-shrunk cotton that retains its shape nicely...and they have no spandex so she won't look like a sausage stuffed into a too small casing!) Anywhoo. After 2 tees I ran out of ideas for a simple applique. Help a girl out already!

Post a comment with some fun ideas/themes (keep it simple here folks...time is limited and I'm pretty lazy these days). If I use your idea I'll make you a FREE TEE!! "But I have boys!" you problemo! I'm thinking of making my little man a few roughly appliqued duds as let the ideas flow forth! Just remember the style of the tee may vary according to the size and gender. But no sizes are off limits...I even have a great stash of onsies!

I'll make my decisions by Friday and post the winner(s) here! Sound like fun....leave me a comment! feel free to share it on your own blog...the more the merrier!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

keepin' the ball rolling

I'm really trying. I sent my better-half off to a remote village this week to do some missions work. He is eating iguana as I sit here...building a church, purchasing machetes for a local village, pouring concrete latrines, etc. And to be a bit honest, I feel a little lost without him. The timing of the trip was a definite drag as well. After 12 years of's not like we had an uber romantic getaway planned. But it is nice to be able to tell your love "I love you" on the appropriate day.

But the kids and I are trying to keep the ball rolling around here. My parents have come as reinforcement...what a huge blessing! "Mimi" and "Baboo" played with the kids, spoiled us with several restaurant meals, and even took me for some retail therapy. The girls (and little man) enjoyed the extra attention (and extra presents!) so very much. There was a big snow storm in Nebraska which earned my Mom a snow they came a day early. I kept the surprise from A and sent her off to school knowing full well my parents were already on the way. My mom and I sneaked down to A's school just in time for her Valentine's Day party. OH MY! The look on her face when she spotted us coming in the room...SHEER BLISS! I wish I could have frozen her expression...bottled it up for a bad was so sweet!

So a HUGE THANK YOU Mom and Dad for spoiling us. We love you!

So a few other things to mention. This little guy wants to get moving! He is scootching backwards and pulling himself forward on the edge of our family room rug. I'm thinking it won't be long before I need to put up some baby gates. He loves this little jingle ball....he totally reminds me of a crazy little cat. I love this "stare down" shot. I can just hear the gears in his little mind turning....

And to any of you who have little guys. When did you cut their hair? Sam's is starting to really sprout. I'm kind of sad he lost his little mohawk...although it does still stick up pretty crazy some days. It is growing over his ears and is so scraggly in front. If he was a girl I'd get out my vast supply of little clippies and give him the "fountain do". But I'm in uncharted territory here...anyone have any advice??

Had to include this last shot. Whenever my camera comes out...I get this look? Sam is SO inquisitive...definitely going to be my little engineer. And those little soulful eyes....SIGH...what a sweet boy :)

Sorry for the rambling. This is what happens when adult conversation is at a premium around here.

Back to the grindstone...rollin', rollin', rollin'....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

on piercings and tattoos

When Daddy goes off to play...we get a bit wild at our house. You know...popcorn for dinner, no bed making, and a sink full of dishes.

J has been asking for weeks to get her ears pierced. And since she has conquered the thumb habit I thought this was a good time to oblige her big girl request. So off we went to Claire's today. I'd love to say it was completely uneventful but this is Ms. Drama I'm talking about here. She did (eventually) get them pierced...after our SECOND trip to the store. It was really quite a funny site....her squealing that she wanted them pierced...followed promptly by the "I just can't do it" cries. Eventually her desperate need for sparkly ears won out and she hopped into the chair and let them do their thing.
Here she is before her Valentine's Day party at preschool this morning (pre-piercing)

A bit of a bunny trail here...but I wanted to share the tees I made the girls for their V-day festivities! I will try to get a photo of A in her's tomorrow. But I can't make any guarantees. You know that child and the camera :)

In the chair getting those itty bitty ear lobes cleaned off.

Back at home and happy as a clam. I couldn't take any pictures during the actual event because my arms were otherwise occupied being clawed to death by the aforementioned screaming child.

And no. A did not get hers done as well. And no. She didn't ask. In fact...over the past few weeks she has reminded me several times that she doesn't plan on getting hers pierced until she is 15. And today when she saw J's sparkly ear lobes her only reply was, "I'm getting clip -ons".

Had to throw in a snapshot of the little man too. I totally fell in love with this tattoo inspired tee for him. Isn't he the cutest? I have this weird obsession with rock/guitar inspired clothing for him. Which is kind of ironic since I am a classical violinist. Although I would be a whole lot cooler if I played the guitar, or ran away with a band, or pierced my tongue or something.

But alas...I will walk the wild side here at home and stare at those dishes in the sink for one more night.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Well hello Mr. blue eyes {Kansas City Baby Photographer}

When I went to this little guy's house to play on Sat. it had been a few months since our last visit. His mom is a good friend...beautiful and smart...and she obviously makes the most handsome babies in the world! (well...second to Sam of course). This chunky guy has grown so much and was so curious and playful at almost 4 months. He was just recovering from RSV but you never would have known he was full of smiles and inquisitive looks at my camera!

This was one of his newborn of my all-time favorites.

And here he is at 4 months!

He has the most gorgeous blue eyes...they are SO bright. Is he going to be a heart breaker or what?

Loved this image with Daddy!

His mommy had all sort of cute hats and props laid out for him. He is definitely one stylin' little guy!

Sleep tight sweet boy! See you in a couple months...can't wait to play again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

my heart.

It is hard to believe this little guy has really been around for 8 months already. Some days he still feels so fresh and new to me. I'm amazed by how much he has grown and changed in such a short time. And how he has completely captured my heart.

At 8 months he is a hefty 20 lbs. 10 oz. I don't know if that's a "boy thing" but he is tipping the scale at the weight of a typical Cooper one year old already. He does like his food though...and has the thighs to prove it.

I can't measure the amount of joy he has brought to our lives already. The girls are enamored by him and so proud to show him off to visitors and friends. He revels in the spotlight...the life of the party this little one.

He's a babbler and knows how to work the room. He's inquisitive and happy...and so easy going that his cries often catch me off guard.

He's a log roller. I'm thinking that extra weight has kept him from really getting mobile. It isn't that he hasn't attempted to pull up. But half way through the endeavor he usually plops back down shaking his head from the sheer strain of getting himself off the ground!

We've got him officially switched to soy formula (after about a week of projectile vomiting he seems to be finally getting used to it). And his recent trip to the cardiologist showed that the troublesome heart valve is growing nicely and won't require any correction.

Super Sam...Mr. Peepers...chunky monkey...little booger (can't claim that nickname)...thank you for the unconditional love....

for making our little family complete....

for showing us God's infinite grace and goodness. We love you!