Papa’s Day – The Swing

What’s a good day at the creek without a rope swing?

Tori clapping for Noah.? SHE LOVES NOAH!

A face view would have been nice but hey – this is real photo journalism here :).? Aren’t the nicely lit braids beautiful though?

She was having a fabulous time until the rope started to spin her.? It went downhill from there.? Daddy to the rescue.

Nice looking fellow isn’t he?? 🙂

Homeward bound.? She said only “Uncles Daniel” could carry her.

When this posts at 1:00 AM I will be in the middle of ECLIPSE with a jabillion teenagers!? 🙂

Year Nine Part Deux

The top picture on the left might be my favorite.? Those wide incident eyes and ruby red lips (he was born with the most perfect lips you have ever seen) just melt me.? Does it seem odd to you that I love to capture the serious side of children?? I chose to process a lot of serious expressions from this shoot because they capture my son.? He IS the serious sort.? I rarely process a serious shot of Ty because if I even have one, it probably means he was upset (for a half a second).?? Tanner is a very happy child.? He is not moody or sullen.? He is even tempered and good natured.? He smiles a lot – and giggles a lot – and bites his lip in the cutest way when he knows I am watching him.? But he also has a serious side.? In these pictures, one must factor in that few nine year old boys think a photo shoot with their mother is their idea of a good time.? In fact, after every few shots he was asking me if I was ready to go get pizza yet.? I admit – some of the expressions do reflect that sentiment hee hee.? It was real though.? Very much what one would expect from a nine year old male who already had to wear a long sleeve shirt AND tie during the summer IN PHOENIX.? Lucky I captured any smiling shots at all hee hee.

Let’s talk about Tanner’s hair again…

About a month ago, I was getting the kids ready for church one morning and Tanner was not satisfied with the way I was doing his hair.? Odd.? He kept double checking in the mirror and straightening spots.? When we got to church I noticed him checking his hair in the car door reflection again.?? Hmmmm…..

This has continued weekly.? No thought about his daily appearance until Sunday rolls around.

Yesterday, he came to me and said “Mom are you going to do my hair for church tomorrow like you did for pictures?”

“Why?”? I asked.

“Just wondering”.

“Do you WANT me to do your hair like I did it for pictures tomorrow?”

“I was just wondering mom – that’s all.”

“Just wondering?? Is there a particular reason you are concerned about your hair Tanner?”

“No mom.? I was just wondering – that’s all.”

Mystery unsolved.? I am suspicious though.? Suspicious indeed.

On another topic…he has asked me about three times this week about when we are going to have another baby.? He wants to know what we will name him or her and tells me he is getting really excited.? He loves babies.?? Maybe baby “Coopy” (as Tori calls him) has stirred up Tanner’s heart for another.??? He is such a good big brother.? He has a tender heart and tender conscience.? His siblings love to have him nearby and he doesn’t like to be separated from them for long either.? He still wants (and needs) a mama hug and kiss from me every night and has gotten more snuggly as he has gotten older instead of less.? He isn’t the type that will “ask” for affection.?? You will just notice him subtly inching closer and closer to you.? I love it when he does that and I take the opportunity to, also subtly” cozy right up to my boy.

One of the many things that I love about home schooling is that it seems to instill an acceptance in children.? They co-exist with others a bit differently because they are used to spending their days with people of all ages.? Instead of being surrounded by 25+ other nine year olds, they learn to interact with adults, children their age, and younger children with few prejudices.? Because of this, young children LOVE Tanner.? He does not discriminate and finds areas of commonality even with the littler ones.? I love that.? I also love that my children will know each other well because they spend every day together.? Love is a choice and love is learned.? I hope that the time they are given will afford for very close relationships with one another when they are older – despite their age differences.? If we get the blessing of baby number 4 next year, Tanner could be 10 years older than the baby but I think (hope) that they will still be close because they will still get a lot of time together.? (Dustin and I are nine years apart and we are very close so that helps me not to be concerned too).

I just asked him if he wanted to see his pictures and he said “Do I have to?”? :).? That was so Tanner.

Ahhhhh… still my beating heart.? My beautiful boy.

Year Nine

Nine?? NINE?? I only get nine more and then he is a legal adult?? Say it isn’t so.? Tanner’s birthday was May 22nd? but it took me a month before the two of us got our picture day worked out.? We had a wonderful little date he and I.? After shooting these pictures, we went to CA Pizza Kitchen and had our favorite BBQ Cilantro Pizza.? Then I bought him a new baseball hat and we got ice cream.? Precious time with my firstborn child.?? I still remember the first time I saw my living room littered with baby toys and cried at the beautiful sight of it.? There was a baby in my home.? MY baby.

Jim is really itchin to cut Tanner’s hair but I wouldn’t let him before pictures.? I wanted to capture it and really see all the glorious red.? I have shared this detail before but since I am walking down memory lane and this IS my blog, I am going to revisit it again.

When I was young I dreamed I would give birth to a little boy with brilliant red hair.? The dream stayed with me and planted a strong desire for a red head in my heart.? When I was pregnant with Tanner I asked God over and over to bless him with red hair.?? While I do love red hair, I think in my heart, it was a more significant and symbolic conversation with God.? Because Tanner was my snowflake, I had no frame of reference.? I knew I would not see my eyes.? I wouldn’t see Jim’s perfectly chiseled jaw line.? I didn’t wonder what we would pass on to him knowing that wasn’t a possibility.? I didn’t mourn that either.? I was excited to be surprised by this little one that God was hand crafting inside me.?? I did see him with red hair though.? Because I recognized him as a gift straight from heaven, it just stood to reason with me that God had placed this little boy in my heart before He placed him in my womb.? I thought God whispered to me ahead of time about this little child and gave me a glimpse of him.? And so I always hoped…hoped that God had really spoken.? Hoped that the beautiful little red head would one day be mine.

When he was born and Jim held him up for me to see, my heart nearly exploded to see all that red hair.? I knew.? This was MY son.? I am crying again just thinking about it.? I look at these pictures and tears stream.? Nine years later and I have not forgotten the grandness of the gift I have been given.

More pictures tomorrow.

Papa’s Day

On Father’s Day, we had planned to go up North for the day with Papa and Sweetie.? Unfortunately, Jim remembered Sunday morning that he was on call and couldn’t go that far from home.? Being the rational man that he is, he insisted that the kids and I continue with the plan and celebrate Father’s Day with him this Saturday.? I hesitated to do that for obvious reasons but logic won out.? :)??? Due to a lack of planning, David and Aimee were outside the loop, Dusty and Michelle had other plans, and Darin and Jodi didn’t want to travel yet with Cooper so that left me and the kids, Papa and Sweetie, Dan, Brooke and kids and her family.? We had a WONDERFUL time enjoying the day together.? I am not normally a “document the day” kind of gal.? In fact, I don’t like to bring my camera along for trips a lot because I know I will get hung up on trying to get the “right” capture and then not enjoy the time.? This time I determined to relax and just take moment by moment shots and hope for the best.? :)?? I’ll have to break this up into more than one post so expect pictures next week too.? AND…drumroll…I FINALLY got Tanner’s 9 year old pictures done so that’s up next week to.? :)? I haven’t actually processed them yet but I am looking forward to it because my boy did a GREAT job for mama.

Let’s start with the turtle that Uncle Daniel found.? (Note to Daniel – Tori saw your picture today and kept saying “Uncles Daniel!”? She has decided she is a big fan of her Uncle.

This turtle smelled to high heaven.

And here we have Cozy and her mommy.

Tanner’s coloring is TOO DIE FOR.? Seriously.

Huntin’ for crawdads.? They found plenty.? Those nasty little creatures were everywhere.

Cousin talk

I love that Tanner and Noah are so close.??? Wonderful to have a lifelong BFF in their cousin.

And Graham…

Papa and the girls

Checkin it out

My Ty boy

This picture tells a story doesn’t it?

Looking at the tones of my kids, I think I should have named my blog “Neapolitan” instead of Mama’s Diaries hee hee.? 🙂

She Loves Alice

I have often heard photographers say that shooting their own children is, by far, the most difficult.? I am so glad to hear it or I would feel like a complete and utter failure.? Two year olds can be tricky but Lil Miss Mind of Her Own makes my job exponentially more difficult.? A month ago, I did a few shots of her in her tutu outfit and I wasn’t quite satisfied.? I did a do over last week and…sigh…still not completely satisfied but better than last time.? SHE is adorable.? I just have trouble meeting my own agenda when it’s MY daughter.

I haven’t posted a personal update in a bit so I can’t remember now what I have and haven’t said – forgive me but I am bound to repeat myself.

So Tori…what’s going on with her….

She still weighs 22 pounds and is in the 2nd percentile.? :)? She is 28 months now.?? She still speaks in short sentences but adds new words all the time.? This week we were taking a bath and she wanted to wash my hair and said “Mommy relax”.?? :)? Cute.? I also love it when she says “Okay.? Awwwww white”.

It drives me crazy when she won’t answer a question (like Tanner) and then I finally say “TORI ANSWER ME – YES OR NO” and then she says “Yes No”.? Grrrrrrrrr.

She still doesn’t have a long attention span for shows BUT she did discover a new love.? ALICE IN WONDERLAND.? And no…she wasn’t a bit scared.? In fact, she laughed clear through the Jabberwocky scenes.? We rented it and she loved it so much Daddy bought it for her.? She asks me for it everyday.?? I guess she is going to love fantasy just like her daddy and mommy.? (I loved Alice too).

Her potty training is going so-so.? She RARELY has a number 2 accident (which is awesome) but she goes number 1 in her pullup frequently and on purpose.? Then she changes herself.? With the exception of finding wet pullups in random places, she is, at least, pretty independent with it.? One day when she did have a rare number 2 accident, I laid her down on her changing table and was reminding her that we use the potty and she said “Dadgummit!? Grrrrrrrr!”?? LOL.? Was she predicting what I was going to say or was that her own expression of personal frustration?? 🙂

When she sees me getting aggravated over something she will often ask “Happy Mommy?”? Which means “please be happy mommy okay”.? :)? Puts a grin on my face everytime.? How can I help it?? She still tells me she is happy all the time.? She is too.

She thinks she can write her letters.? She was sitting beside me yesterday with a pencil and paper writing chicken scratch and I heard her say the letters “T,? A,? I,? R,? H,? E , D”.??? I wrote the letters down as I heard them because I was curious as to how many she recognized.? I thought she was pretty smart until I remembered that Ty knew his alphabet and all the letter sounds by this age.? 🙂

I love that she can’t say her Ls.? It sounds so cute when she says “Daddy.? Mote.? Yowd”.? (Daddy get the remote and turn it down – it’s too loud).? Or “Mommy yap.? Kiss yips”.

And did I already post this?? I sometimes write stuff in a separate folder to post later and I can’t remember if this was ever posted or not.

Well, I am ashamed to admit it, but Jim and I have fallen into a habit of intentionally deceiving our youngest every night.? Here’s the truth of it – sometimes parents gotta do what they gotta do to curtail the drama in the household.? Sigh?just has to be done.

When Heidi was visiting, we got into the habit of putting all the kids to bed at the same time because the boys were waking Tori up at night when they would brush their teeth.?? Tori quickly realized that we had been holdin out on her for quite some time.? The boys got story time.? Once she realized our neglect, it was all over.? She refused to go to bed without sitting in on story time.? She would wail “DADDY DADDY DADDY” from her crib until the softy could take it no longer.? Turns out, bedtime is darn near her favorite time of day.? She loves to brush her teeth and when I announce bedtime I hear her from across the house yelling “YAAAAYYYYYY!”? She finds her brothers and says “NANNER… NOW!? TY?.NOW!” then herds them both into the bathroom for their nightly routine.? After that is story time, hugs and kisses, and off our baby bear goes to bed.

All was well and good until the boys realized that they shouldn’t have to go to bed at the same time as their two year old sister and circumstances rose to afford them later bedtimes.? What to do?? We tried putting Tori to bed without the routine and she would have none of it.? I mean NONE of it.? After a few nights of her terrorizing the household with her complaints that were lasting FORever, we went to plan B.? We are faking bedtime.? The boys PRETEND it’s time for bed and we go through the entire ritual and once she is laid down, they get back up giggling away.? Everyone is happy.? :)? I admit this sheepishly.? Heidi accused me of being totally and utterly wrapped by my two year old.? How can I make an argument against that in light of telling stories like this?? Jim and I are not sure how this has happened, how we just crumble at the very sight of her, but we both lack the emotional and physical energy to put our foot down in a serious manner with our little one.? Wrapped indeed.? As I told Heidi, she is only two and I have plenty of time to gain the upper hand with her and for the most part, she isn’t disrespectful she is just two?just a little bitty adorable two.

And what makes this whole thing all the more endearing to witness, is the fact that Tori believes SHE is putting her brothers to bed.? The last few nights I have noticed that after she climbs out of the bottom bunk bed (where Daddy reads the story), she immediately turns on their fan, then turns on the nightlight for Ty, then says “Ni-nigh Nanner.? Ni-nigh Ty”.? She hugs and kisses them and heads for her bed – completely in control.? 🙂

I was a little surprised tonight though when I attempted to enter the bedroom during storytime and she looked me in the eye and loudly said “BYE”.?? Guess? I need a special invite for the greatly celebrated bedtime routine.? Nah.? Daddy’s got that one and Mommy’s more than happy to leave it in his hands.? As long as I get my kisses.

Going to post more pictures now and then off to bed.

First – I think you need a joke for the day (as I heard on Happy Town)

One day a man was talking to God and he asked Him “God how long is a million years to you?” and God replied “only a second”.? He then asked “How much money is a million dollars to you?”.? God answered “just a penny”.? The man smiled and asked “Can I borrow a penny?”.? God smiled and said “in a second”.?? Hee hee.

Enjoy your day.

This is her “I don’t really care to do this your way thank you very much” look.

I’ll title these “Sweet and Sour”? :).? Sour is my favorite.