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Category Archives: Brooklyn

2 Year Pictures and a Sister Shoot

 

Isn’t she just gorgeous?

I mean, I know I’m her mama and mama’s always think so…but she’s super-dee-duper cute.

And now she is big.

She was super-dee-duper small. Like, 5 lbs, 12 oz kind of small.

After small, she got..well, not small. Like, 20 lbs at 6 months kind of not small. By 1…she was round and fluffy, like a “puff ball”, as Jackson would call her.

The baby is all gone.

She sleeps in a big girl bed and speaks in complete sentences. She knows her alphabet and can count to 10. She loves to sing songs, and just this morning when I went to get her out of bed she says,

“I want to dance today, Mama!”.

She has been my introduction into “the terrible twos”. I’ve never had one of those before. I thought the 3rd was supposed to be easier? The difference, though, in getting a “terrible two-er” when you are three kids in is that instead of just seeing how frustrated it makes you, you can understand and appreciate the passion that drives them.

She is very passionate.

London came along with us.

The two of them are basically inseparable now.

I think London has gone through a growth spurt, because they used to almost be the same height. Maybe now the twin question will stop? {probably not if they keep walking around like this}

Can I tell you how unbelievably blessed I feel to have two precious girls? Sisters are the absolute BEST! I’m so happy that they sometimes let me pretend like I’m one of them.

But only sometimes. 🙂

I love my girls. I am one lucky Mama.

{what a weekend!}

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I love three day weekends.

So much TIME, you know? I feel like there is never enough of it, and then a 3 day weekend comes with perfect weather and family activities, and everything seems just right.

Saturday was gorgeous in Phoenix! A “cold front” had moved in, and brought our temperatures down into the low 80’s, which is unheard of at the end of May. We took advantage and worked on our deprived, forgotten backyard. We played in the pool and had a picnic lunch on our patio. We soaked up the sun, enjoyed the cool breeze, and took delight in the time we had.

   

For Memorial Day, we went down to Tucson to spend the day at Nana and Jerry’s house! We went swimming, spent time playing with cousins and family, enjoyed a delicious BBQ dinner, and had such a wonderful time. London at one point declared that it was, “her best day ever.”

    

We had such a great time, and now we are in countdown mode for our much anticipated, week-long vacation in San Diego! Less than 3 weeks…

A Perfect Day

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I have two types of perfect days.

There are perfect days that are perfect because I have no responsibilities (read: for some reason, my children aren’t with me). Don’t get me wrong; I adore my children. I do. But, in order to keep adoring them, I have to have a few perfect days without them. Usually they are with my husband, and they involve things like sleeping, reading, talking, walking, eating without cutting up food, eating hot food, eating my own food, not sharing my food, shopping for things that I need, not having a diaper in my purse, getting in and out of the car in 3 seconds flat, actually going inside a Starbucks rather than the drive-thru…you get the point.

Then there are the perfect days that are full of responsibility and cut up food and diapers and drive-thrus…the perfect days that are about our family. Friday was that kind of perfect day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and we decided to go to the pool. Yep. It’s the beginning of April. It’s 95 outside. The days of constant wet swimsuits and towels in the dryer have started. I could not be happier about it.

 

It was perfect. The water is still heated from the winter, the temperatures aren’t scorching yet, and school isn’t out, so the pool isn’t busy. No lines, no crowds…just warm water, warm weather, the sweet smell of coconut sunscreen in the air and happy squeals from my children.

Perfect.

After the pool, we drove with the windows down to the nearest Rubios and sat outside, munching on food that reminded us of the beach and sea breezes. We went home, laid the kids down for naps, and took a nap ourselves.

I got a pedicure. I’ll spare you the picture, but a perfect day almost always includes a pedicure.

Then, we dyed Easter eggs.

I went with something new this year. I had seen a blogger do a post on dying your eggs with Kool-Aid instead of vinegar. I liked the idea of not stinking up my house (on a perfect day, stink house is not allowed), so I gave it a whirl. My house smelled of sugar, and the colors were vibrant and pretty. The only thing I noticed is that you have to wait until the eggs dry before you really handle them, or the color will wipe off. Other than that, it was fantastic, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to vinegar based dye!

Another tip I had seen (I can’t find my original pin to post for you) was to use whisks to hold your eggs while they are being colored. GENIUS! I mean, it was absolutely fantastic. Using whisks means that even your little ones can get in on the fun…Brooklyn loved dipping it in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out…you get the point. Aren’t the colors fabulous? Kool-Aid, ya’ll. It’s wicked awesome.


While I wouldn’t always put such an intense, time-consuming, possible tantrum-causing activity on a perfect day schedule…this made it the kid’s perfect day.

And when everyone around you, from 1-35, feels just as perfectly perfect as you do…then you know it’s a perfect day.

Milestone Pictures – Downtown Gilbert Railroads

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About a month ago, I was all geared up to take London’s 3 year and Brooklyn’s 18 month pictures together.

Then the Great Plague of 2012 hit, and everyone was sick for a month.

It ended up working out pretty well, because during that time Jackson turned 6. So, I decided to just get all three of them done at one time. Whilst doing it I realized that probably wasn’t the smartest idea on my part; the kids weren’t focused and if I had done it one-on-one, I probably would have ended up with more shots. However, doing it this way gave me great rewards…such as the picture above.

I’m just going to say it: my children are adorable. 😉

Brooklyn: 19 months. Adorable, squishy ball of fun. She is a very tall girl, sitting at 34 inches (just 2 inches shy of her big sister…trust me, I get the “are they twins?” a lot!) and 24 pounds. She is wicked smart and very expressive. She loves to sing and dance, color, and can be frequently found with a baby doll or stuffed animal under her arm. This child is addicted to her blankie and her binky, much to her mother’s chagrin (but, hey! she’s the baby! who cares, right?). You never would know now that she had a developmental delay, as she gets exactly where she needs to be in record time. She is the life of our party.

London: 3 years. Holy moly, this girl is SPUNKY! As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of how we used to call her “spicy pepper.” A girly-girl sparkly princess to her core, she glitters and glows. She still has her charming fairy voice, and is my super polite, always compassionate, tender-hearted little soul. She knows all her letters and the sounds they make, can count to 20, and is learning how to make and follow patterns. She will start preschool (at home) in the fall, and she is VERY excited! She loves to dance, color, and can usually be found near her kitchen set in the playroom, preparing delicious treats for her family!

Jackson: 6 years. No longer are his updates about traditional milestones; we’ve reached the “boy zone” where, well…he’s made it all. His milestones are now focused on bigger things, like learning to ride a bike on his own and mastering multiplication. His current interests are weather, human anatomy, and volcanoes. He is currently planning on writing the National Hurricane Center to request that his name be used to name a hurricane in the future (there has never been a Jackson).  He is finishing up second grade (six weeks left!) and is looking forward to our week long vacation to San Diego this summer. He plans to rock it at Legoland. 🙂

1,3, and 6. All such great ages, really. Each one of them bring their own jazz and spark to our family, and I really couldn’t imagine life without any of them. I love my precious babes!

First Popsicle

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It was a hit!

Sick, Sick, Sick

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The flu.

I’ve been blessed up to this point when it comes to that icky virus being in my  house. We’ve never had it. Sure, we’ve had some nasty stuff, but never the real life, they-make-you-put-a-mask-on-your-child-and-walk-you-out-the-back-door-of-the-clinic kind of flu.

Apparently, it hasn’t really hit AZ yet. In fact, London is our pediatrician’s office first confirmed case this year.

Where is my prize? I don’t think I should have to pay my co-pay as a reward.

That day, I caught Brooklyn drinking out of London’s cup several times.

The next day, Brooklyn woke up with the flu. Surprise, surprise.

Daddy’s chair has been the place to be. The girls rotate sitting in it. It’s closest to the TV, which has had a steady stream of Bubble Guppies, Max and Ruby, and Peppa Pig on.

Sometimes they share.

We are on Day 4 for London, Day 2 for Brooklyn.

No end in sight for either of them.

Hopefully the rest of us are spared. I don’t have much hope for myself since I’m Mom and therefore all up in their business, but we’ve done a good job keeping Jackson away.

Keep my little loves in your thoughts and prayers.

B-bear.

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It’s pictures like this that make me want to go wake her up, right now, and squeeze her. She is just edible, really.

DIY: Wood Floor Drop (for photography)

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I’m lucky enough to have EXCELLENT lighting in my house. Like, crazy good lighting. Most of the time it annoys me, actually…no one should have to wear sunglasses in their own home. 😉 But when I want to take photos, it is pretty much perfect.
There is a spot in my front room (which is the playroom/schoolroom) that I love to take photos by. There are two huge windows right behind me and then another big window to the left, so plenty of light streams through. The wall is blank with a very neutral tone (which I rarely use…I almost always use fabric as a sort of backdrop) and I usually have pretty good luck in this spot. The only thing that has been a thorn in my side is the tile floor.

It is currently trendy to have wood floors in studio photography. I can see why; they are seamless, have no wrinkles, and just look nice! Was I going to rip out my tile and lay down wood flooring? Yeah right. If I’m gonna spend $2k for photography, its going to be on lenses, not flooring. You can buy wood floor drops, but those can run anywhere from $100-$150 dollars, before shipping. And I’m not a professional! I just like to take decent pictures! So, I got the bright idea to make my own!

If I wood (ha ha ha!) have known how easy this was, I would have done it a LONG time ago! Total project cost was around $32 dollars, and it took about 30 minutes to put together.

Supplies you will need:
Laminate tile squares with adhesive backing in your choice of finish. I found these at Home Depot in the flooring department. They were .88 a square and I used 20. You could use more or less depending on the size you want.

Foam board ( I used 6 from Walmart) OR a piece of plywood/PDF cut to size. Either will work, its just a surface to attach the tiles to.

Once you have all your supplies, just adhere your tiles to your choice of base! Could this be any easier?!?!? When I finished, I flipped it over and used packing tape on the seams of the foam board to add some extra support, but if you use a seamless piece of wood, you won’t have that issue.

So much better than the tile!!! I can’t wait to put it to good use!

Artistry

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I don’t take enough photos.

No, really. My obsession with photography is almost a sickness. Shooting with a DSLR can be a bit…finicky. I REFUSE to shoot in auto, but that means that I have to take the time to find just the right aperture/ISO/fstop…blah blah blah, right?

So I miss moments like this. Ones that are so tender and cute you could almost feel her squishy cheeks on your lips. This picture is far from perfect. It’s grainy because I had to have my ISO at 1600 because I don’t have an external flash (if you use flash, you have to use external so you can swivel it away from your subject and avoid the “white out” look from a direct flash hit). Its a touch out of focus because the ISO was so high and the shutter speed so slow that any movement from my hand would send things a bit fuzzy.

But you probably didn’t see any of that until I told you.

What you see is what I should see…a baby who isn’t a baby anymore practicing her craft of coloring.

So, I’m going to take more photos. And I’m going to try really really hard to not care about grain or focus or anything like that. I’m going to care about moments and time and how fast it all goes.

So be prepared for an onslaught of horrible photos.

But first, this one. ‘Cause it ain’t so bad.

Sisters

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I love having two girls.

I know there will come a day where having two teen girls running through my house will be….interesting.

But for now, its mostly fun.

They have their moments, for sure. They bicker and yell and cry at each other. Mostly because of the ages they are at; both of them have yet to learn to really communicate effectively, so you can imagine the “arguments” they have. At least twice a day, the following happens:

Brooklyn isn’t gentle as she is trying to tickle London, London takes that as a personal insult, London shoves Brooklyn in retaliation, Brooklyn grabs London’s hair, London screams, Brooklyn laughs, Mommy crawls in the corner. Repeat.

All that is balanced out by the good moments. The moments they are separated by a thick piece of glass where neither of them can love on touch each other. London made it her personal mission to make Brooklyn laugh as hard as she could, and it was a victory. They played this way for a good 10 minutes…just enough time for me to think about getting a cup of coffee but not enough time to actually follow through.

Such is our life.