would you believe that we took the girls to the beach for the first time in their short lives?
we live not even an hour from the beach if i might add. unacceptable? perhaps. but after this weekend i am on a mission to frequent the beach quite often in the upcoming summers. we will pack up & haul our ocean loving selves up to our sister state of Maine & enjoy the coast.
(we do have beaches in NH. but the ones in ME are better. tis' a fact.)
i also have every intention on decking us out in awesome beach gear. people had the neatest little pop up umbrella/tent shade things.
not to mention some pretty sweet shovels & buckets...and rakes.
i was jealous as i surveyed our layed out comforter, random lawn chairs & lack of any beach toys. damn. we were obviously beach newbs.
anyway- i have a ton of pictures- so i'll split them up. for today, lets focus on myself & my mom suit. oh yeah, and brynn.
the sunshine & salt air made her deliriously happy.
gone are the days of strappy 2 pieces- instead i must embrace full coverage. this is what a "mom suit" looks like. it covers everything that could be considered "offensive" & is somewhat flattering.
...because it's black.
but sitting down always looks good.
and megan told me to look "forlorn" - hilarious.
meanwhile- my bff#2 (meg) flaunts the fact that her body is untouched by the effects of childbirth. one day...
i often get the comment, "Oh my goodness! How do you do it all?! You're like...supermom!"
this is usually after i've presented the hostess with a plate of cookies or a loaf of bread.
i reply with a brilliant tired smile & declare, "I don't even know!" and it's true. i have no idea how i get things done.
people, i. am. tired. so very tired 75% of the time.
i work full time. i have kids. i have a husband. i have friends & family. i have things to cook & cakes to bake. i have promises to keep. i have to clean the house. i have to do laundry & clean up after animals. and somewhere in there i have to sleep- but only a little.
and recently i've added on taking pictures of people. other people. other people who may or may not be aware of all of the things i have going on, but it doesn't matter because if i want to legitimize myself as a photographer then i need to get pictures edited. like now- not 2 weeks from now.
sometimes i collapse on the couch & exclaim to the husband- "oh my God. i'm so TIRED!"
and then i pop up because the timer on the stove goes off & i need to check cupcakes.
then i sit back down. then i get back up because brynn is crying. then i intend to go sit back down but i hear the dryer bell go off & i know that if i don't fold those clothes right now then i'm never going to.
so i fold the clothing. by then the cupcakes are cool & they have to be frosted. but look at the clock- it's 8:30. son of a...whatever.
i frost them. it's 9. wait- the load in the washer is done- into the dryer.
crap- i need to defrost breastmilk & fill brynn's bottles. oh yes- and alex's "juice" & milk cups.
i should also cook that hamburger for tomorrow's dinner.
it's 9:30. hmm- i really need to edit a few more pictures for a client.
ok- i'll edit like 2 or 3 & call it a night.
i look up with glazed over Photoshop eyes- 10:30. crap again. the dryer is done- but that's ok. i'll pull the clothes out & thankGOD KB will fold them tomorrow...i have time to edit 1 more picture.
11:15. i have to be up in 6 hours. i should go to bed. the husband is already in bed.
i turn off lights & notice that the milk is now de-thawed. i REALLY need to get those bottles filled & into the fridge. and look at that- dishes on the counter. i should wash them now so i don't have to do them in the morning...
11:45. bottles filled. cups filled. dishes washed. lunches ready for tomorrow. living room picked up. clothes sitting in the laundry basket. computer on Sleep. doors locked. my clothes set out. teeth brushed. face washed. sleeping children checked on. bed? yes.
12:30. i fall asleep thinking about all the crap i have to do tomorrow. and the next day. and lets not even think about this weekend.
the husband always tells me i need to "sit down & relax." this actually annoys me because it's usually when i'm doing something that doesn't have the option to not get finished.
laundry. lunches. dinner. bathing the girls. etc etc.
i get snippy & say, "well if i don't do it who will? you?"
he usually rolls his eyes & tells me that i like "being busy." this is partially true. i can't sit still for too long. but it's not because i dislike relaxing- it's because stuff HAS to get done.
i know some people say, "welp- there's always tomorrow!" and this is very true, but tomorrow also brings more things that need to be done. & coupled with yesterday's stuff that i never got to- well, geeze.
at times he has a point. like on a sunday evening i'll actually have nothing else left to do & it's only 7. wow. so what do i do? i put in a batch of cookies.
wtf?! why wouldn't i just sit down on the couch instead?
well, i'm not sure. except maybe that i bake those cookies because that's for ME! i love to bake. it relaxes me. cracking eggs & creaming butter. sifting flour & pouring in vanilla. ahhh. nice.
but 2 cookie sheets later i'm over it. i just want to be done already- but i'm commited. cookie dough isn't going to go to waste on my watch.
despite all of the above- i feel like i do a ok job balancing.
if i'm folding clothes & brynn crawls up my leg & reaches to be held, i put down the socks & scoop her up. she's more important.
and if i'm on the computer & alex is watching a movie (after brynn has gone to bed) & i hear her say "mamma. sit! sit wif me!"- i immediately get up & go sit with her. wether it be for 5 minutes or an hour- doesn't matter. she comes first.
the only thing i really sacrifice is time for myself.
4-5 hours per night = typical.
i'm not one who needs her 8 hours. i function fine on less. i also don't need a coffee or a shower to wake me up.
once i step out of bed- i'm awake.
and my body has an internal alarm clock- so even on the rare weekend day where brynn sleeps in- i'm still up at 6.
my eyes open despite my weary body's protests & i simply cannot re-close them. it's time to get this day started.
lately i've been stressing slightly. i have a lot to do within the next few weeks.
wedding cupcakes to make. a 2 year old's birthday party to plan. photo shoots. a full weekend without the husband (as he'll be off doing his own thing)- then the entire next week off as i prepare to go to NY for a dear friend's wedding & fret about leaving the girls for 3 days.
then back home. more photoshoots. more editing. work. blah blah blah.
but i can do it. right? and on only 3 hours sleep. i'll survive.
and as busy as i am i have to admit that i love almost everything i have to do.
i love taking pictures (though i dislike editing. i so need to hire someone to do that for me.) i love cooking & baking.
i love seeing people's eyes light up when i deliver a cake.
i love hearing people tell me how good something tastes.
i love the finished product of a party planned for weeks.
those things make me happy. and i can get them all done- because i guess i sort of am a supermom. like every other mom. and dad.
but a week's vacation in the tropics sounds pretty good too. i'd be down with that.
so- are you busy? wicked busy? how do you do it? do you feel like you're doing too much? how to you unwind & how do you balance it all? what do you do for yourself?
first off- i have a visual for you in regards to how my Monday is currently going:
yeah. a $103 ticket for "following to close"
wait, shouldn't that be "folowing too close" Mr. Officer?
either way. i am annoyed. i don't get stopped & i don't get tickets. ever. well actually, i have gotten 1 ticket like 6 years ago (which i tried to fight & lost) & i do sometimes get pulled over (but not within the past 4 years)- but i never get ticketed. ever ever ever.
plus, i totes wasn't following too close. lies. i'd love to "fight" this- but we all know how that'll go.
i'll take time off of work. waste gas driving to the courthouse. curse as i look for parking. pay out the ass for said parking. wait around for 2 hours. the damn cop'll show up & the judge will look at me like i'm the worst driver ever & declare me "Guilty as charged!"
bang gavel. done.
i'll have to pay anyway & my meter will probably run out & i'll get a parking ticket.
and for what? because Mr. Office needed to meet his quota for the month of August?
but moving on. photoshoot. this weekend. it went awesome (for the most part) the engagement session rocked- but the kid session before hand was like pulling teeth.
smile? no. um...why are you crying? wait- stop. don't touch that. SMILE! are you ok? crap.
but nevermind that- allow me to show you some of the ones from the love shoot.
these have all been re-sized & sharpened for the web.
feel free to CC- i won't be offended.
i tossed up a FB page with the rest: FB Page and you're totally allowed to "Like" it- as in, please validate me?
yes, i am aware that i haven't updated since monday.
this week has been the epitome of busy.
sick babies. ear infections. teething. work. errands. no sleep.
all of those things that make you realize that you're an adult. and a parent.
but the highlight- an 8 month old (on tuesday) that finally got her 1st tooth!
see how happy she is about it?
i got home yesterday & KB told me that brynn had been a bit fussy. hmmm- ok. i noticed the incredible amounts of drool & snot & decided to stick my finger in her mouth for exploration.
that's when i felt a tiny little nub. a tiny & sharp little nub.
that's also when she bit down. hard. like a crocodile that won't let go.
i'd forgotten how dangerous teething children, and puppies, can be.
so yes. amidst everything else, my children continue to age & grow.
have a great weekend.
and keep my sanity in your thoughts- i have 3 photoshoots (i'm skill building) this weekend & i may or may not be slightly nervous. maybe. possibly. kinda. yes.
i am well aware that BlogHer 11' has ended & 99% of the lady bloggers are back in the saddle; ready to delight you with tales of meeting one another, Sparklecorn, swag & all around good times.
so i'll keep this short & sweet.
we were invited to a birthday party this weekend. my eldest child, as anti-social as her father, screamed for half of it & spent the other half holding onto a mylar pig balloon that was attached to a bale of hay.
see the 90° angle of that ribbon? yeah, as i said- attached to a bale of hay. hooray.
eventually she stepped away & made dying sheep noises whilst sticking her head through a few cutouts:
and then we let brynn in on the fun:
i attempted to coax alex over to watch her friend unwrap presents- but she was having none of it. brandon took her back to her bff (the mylar pig) and i let brynn explore the wonders of a plastic lawn chair:
eventually it was cake time- and even alex can't ignore the lure of cake. she let go of the balloon string in exchange for sugar:
the only problem? she wanted to keep this sugar pig. forever & ever. terrible. it was melting everywhere & there was no way she was getting into my car with that thing in tow.
i'd love to describe the meltdown that occured once i took it away from her- but i've blocked it from my memory.
brynn was in good spirits though:
chillin' with daddy
and the coolest party guest ended up being this praying mantis- who was hitching a ride on one of the kid's heads:
and of course i didn't have my macro lens- so i had to get all up in his personal space with my 35mm. my apologies good sir.
after 3 hours we packed up & headed home. alex screamed for 10 minutes- then passed out for another 10- then woke up & refused to nap.
the husband has often remarked that he wouldn't want to be my brain. this is because i am incredibly random & somewhat spastic.
(i'm also painfully smart. so smart, in fact, that it hurts -which is probably why he wouldn't want to be my brain. because he would literally be in agony 24/7 -you know what i mean?)
right. but there is a brain that is even more terrifying than my own. in fact, there are several millions of these brains. no, i'm not talking about serial killers or Paris Hilton- i'm talking about my toddler.
your toddler. our toddlers. every toddler in the whole wide world.
no matter how hard i try i cannot grasp how their minds work. how they go from one extreme to another in the blink of an eye. how they love something with all their hearts on Monday at 11am- only to loath it at 3pm. on the same day. not even 5 hours later. whaaaa?
a perfect example of the randomness of toddlers is alex in the car. most trips go something like this.
both girls get buckled in. brynn happily sucking on her fist & alex watching a DVD with a cup of "juice" (she thinks it's juice- it's really flavored water. sucker.)
i drive. about 5 minutes in brynn starts laughing about something. alex decides that brynn isn't allowed to express joy of any kind & promptly screams. i stare her down in the review mirror & tell her to knock it off. brynn (who adores alex regardless) coos for another 5 minutes or so & then falls asleep.
i drive on. alex finishes her juice & tosses the cup onto the floor. nice kid. thanks for that. i count down in my head- "5, 4, 3, 2, 1..."
"more?" "honey i'm driving. i'll get you more when we get home. i promise."
"more? more juice?" this time she frantically starts signing more as well- as if expressing her desire for more with her mouth & hands is going to move things along
"honey- i'm dri. ving. when we get home."
ok. she's quiet for a minute. she totes understands that mommy is behind the wheel of a 3 ton SUV & doesn't have Go Go Gadget arms. she's going to wait, like the patient little angel she is, for us to arrive home in 25 minutes....
"some? some snack?" " alex honey...well ok. let me see what i can find."
i manage to snake my arm behind the seat & fish around in the front pocket of the baby bag. i find fruit snacks. success!
"here hon, fruit snacks? you want these?" i hold the bag up so she can see it. "some! some!" maniacal laughter
i open the bag & pass it back to her. she happily accepts & all is right with the world. ...
"all done. done...."
i ignore her in the hopes that she realizes she is not, in fact, done.
"...posicle?" craaap. "honey- mommy is driving. we don't have any popsicles. when we get home. i promise." "DONE SNACK. POSICLE!" "ALEX- WHEN WE GET HOME! I PROMISE!" at this point i'd promise her a beer if she asked for it. anything to avoid what's coming next.
"AAAIIIIIEEEE!!!!" "ALEX! ENOUGH!"
::insert thermonuclear meltdown here::
she looks at the bag of half eaten fruit snacks and reacts violently, throwing them away from herself with movie perfection abruptness. almost as if she's just realized that i'm attempting to poison her. then her mouth forms an O. a big, fat O.
like this: O
silent for a second & then loud. so freaking loud. like a locomotive blasting through your head.
there is really no sense in trying to reason with her. as you can see- there are so many things going on inside of her little brain right now that i don't think anything, short of Jesus or Elmo (in real life), would get through to her.
she wails for a minute or so & then goes silent.
i hold my breath & contemplate breaking the 1st & 2nd commandements by praying to the toddler gods & possibly constructing some sort of offering stone on which to sacrafice a goat if they can make her be quiet for the next 15 minutes.
then i remember that the past 9 week's sunday sermons have been about the 10 commandments & the pastor was pretty clear on the fact that God isn't down with us breaking them.
so i re-think the above & just pray to God. that's cool. i didn't want to kill a goat anyway.
i hear Larry the cucumber singing a silly song & then she laughs.
everything is ok now.
"cheese?" "oh alex, i don't...wait. YES! i DO have cheese!" maniacal laughter (see how the tables have turned?)
i pull a slightly warm cheesestick out of her lunch bag & hand it to her.
"cheese! i LUB IT! MMM!"
awww. she loves cheese.
"momma! car! dog, woof woof! tales tales tales!" she starts singing along with veggie tales.
omg. my kid is a savant. i make a mental note to call the New England Conservatory.
i look in the mirror & see, with relief, that brynn has slept through this entire ordeal. score. in 10 minutes we'll be home & i can escape from this prison exit the vehicle, lovingly unbuckle my child from her seat & feed her a dinner of "posicles", fish & grapes.
very well balanced.
i drive. i bob my head along to Nicki Minaj & think about how maybe i'd like a vanity plate. hmmm- what would it say? oh crap, we're out of paper towels. we also need toothpaste. OMG! i have a coupon for said toothpaste- yessss. i really wish i'd stuck with ballet, imagine how lithe & graceful i'd be...i wish i knew how to play the piano or the violin. how cool would that be? you know, i could TOTALLY be a background dancer for Britney Spears....PINTEREST! i wish i could sew- i'd make the most perfect little girl's clothes everrrr. i love singing- i have a really good voice i think. i want a new lens. like a $1600 lens. how can i convince the husband..? hawaii?!!! san francisco? NEW YORK! i can't wait for fall- but winter suuucks...