Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Picnic Basket {Then & Now)

Juliet, three months:
Juliet, seven months:
Juliet, 15 months:


My sister-in-law and I decided that we should dress the girls in identical outfits for Memorial Day.

Needless to say, the girls were thrilled.
Awe, first of many many forced portraits. ;)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Picnic in the park {and a new summer header!}

With summer right around the corner I've been thinking about my summer header photos quite a bit. We've had a couple rough weeks with Juliet, so keeping my mind off my screaming baby toddler, and on something much more pleasant was the only way.

When Juliet's yellow sandals came in the mail this week, it hit me, I wanted my summer header to be red and yellow.

Location of header photos is another thing I love to think about, I want the location to dictate the season (always the most tough for the spring header since nothing in yet looking very spring-like in early March). When we went to one of our favorite parks earlier this week and everything was so lush and green, I knew we'd found our summer spot.

Best bonus? Tons of baby ducklings!
One of my favorite outfits of all time was an amazing red romper I bought for Juliet when she was tiny and she wore it last year in our summer header photos. When the end of season clearance rolled around last summer I had the foresight to buy another identical outfit for this year. I am GENIUS! This summer it is even better than last, because now she is walking and it is really just perfection.
 She's changed a little bit in a year, hasn't she? ;)
Favorite outfit purchased in two different sizes. I adore it more this year, if that's possible. 
 James was being fantastic and laughing at all of Daddy's silly antics.
 Daddy is pretty funny.
These two hiking buddies are amazing. Two short weeks ago Juliet could only take a handful of steps, and only on even ground. Now she can walk well on uneven footing and keeps up with James if he walks slowly.
Each time I spotted beautiful light I made the kids stop and smile. And then I found the most beautiful light of all, the kind of light photographers dream about. I told them to stand still, hold hands and watch Daddy. E got right to work and with it I might have taken my favorite photo of all time. I am not exaggerating. When we came home and I uploaded this beauty I hoped over to the Costco site and ordered this photo on a huge canvas. I love it that much.
Juliet is a happy wonderful baby as long as she is getting her way.
 Walking with Daddy. We tried to hold her hand because she kept stopping to pick up/eat rocks.
 Hand holding didn't stop her.
 Finally E picked her up and told her to cut it out. Oh the tragedy!
But rocks are so yummy! (This looks funny now, but seriously it is not. When she doesn't get her way on anything, this girl can throw and epic tantrum.)
As soon as we were away from the rocks she was completely happy with the sticks.
The patio at this park looks over this pond (full of water birds) and up towards the mountains. It is seriously the most amazing view, right in the middle of Salt Lake.
We decided to hang out on the patio and cook a little dinner instead of moving over near the playground. The shade felt lovely and the kids were happy watching the baby ducks and throwing sticks into the water.
E requested a portable grill for Father's Day and his birthday. This man and his grills... I really can't complain though, he planned dinner, went shopping, and cooked the entire thing while I sat back and enjoyed.
My favorite three and a half year old. It was a fun excuse to celebrate.
Three out of the four of us. Not sure where James was (playground maybe?) but we jumped on the opportunity when a stranger asked if we wanted a photo.
Neat pic huh? It's a regular photo flipped upside down. Easy fun edit when you have a great reflection shot.
Dinner is served! Enjoy the summer header!

Outfit details:
Romper - Janie & Jack
Shoes - Saltwaters via Amazon
Bow - homemade

Polo - Old Navy
Shorts - Target
Shoes - Saltwaters via Amazon

Friday, May 24, 2013

Today he is three and a half

Today was prefect according to any three and a half year old. Daddy stayed home from work and the day started with watching Cars and playing iPad. We went to one of our favorite parks prepared to play only to discover the splash pad was turned on. It was far too chilly, but the look of hope and happiness on his face convinced me to say yes. He was freezing ten minutes later but oh so happy.

He took a long nap next to his Daddy (their new favorite weekend tradition) and this afternoon we took a little portable BBQ to another favorite park and had dinner lakeside. We finished off the evening with a trip to get ice cream, because you don't turn three and a half everyday.
This boy is pretty damn sweet. Yes, we have our rough moments. Our rough days, our rough weeks, but he's sweet an amazing and wonderful. The other day at the park Aunt Melissa brought three candies for each kid, but not for Juliet, because they were big hard candies. James noticed Juliet didn't have any and spent the next ten minutes biting off tiny pieces of one of his treasured three candies and feeding it to his sister.

He has been nicer to the kitties (a struggle we always have come winter because when three year olds are bored, chasing the kitties is quite fun), amazing with his sister, and pretty awesome with his friends as well. Some days are harder for him than others, but overall he gets a sticker on his "Don't be aggressive sticker chart" almost every night.
He's a big kid, wearing size 8 or 9 shoes, 3T pants, and 4T shirts (this yellow one is 5T!). He knows all his letters and numbers, loves to count everything in sight and eats pretty well. His favorite foods still include fruit fruit fruit and quesadillas.

I watched a youtube video not long ago (so wish I had bookmarked it!) that talked about the mundane and repetitive behavior of motherhood. Each day I help him get dressed, I take him for walks, I cut up his lunch just so, I put him down for a nap. Every single day, 365 a year. But one day, in what will feel like a blink, he won't need me to tuck him in, to buckle his shoes, to zip up his jacket.

One day too soon I won't even remember how he liked his quesadilla cooked (22 seconds in the microwave) and how in liked it cut into little squares. I try to remember this when he's driving my up the wall or has had to be asked one too many times to please follow me to the car, it's time to leave the park.

{Now I'm sobbing.}

I love this boy more than I ever ever ever thought I could love.

Now, before I turn into a real crying mess, I'm going to post a HUGE list of funny things James has said over the last six months. I try to always make a note on my phone when he makes me laugh, but I've been horrible about transferring his silly conversations to the blog. Please don't feel like you need to read this entire list, it is mostly here just to document it for future use (like when I'm 65, and lonely and missing my three year old child more than life itself, because by then he'll be 35 and won't need me to pull up his pants after he pees. Wahhh!)
  • I saw a wolf on our walk! I was worried about it! (After seeing wolves at the zoo, and then seeing a husky at the park)
  • I want to go all around luke! (loop) 
  • It looks gorgeous outside (in Boston accent) 
  • After a big wet burb "that was delicious
  • "Step on it people!" While we were in the car. 
  • I went to the park. I had my best behavior.
  • You're a good daddy dada! 
  • I'm working with the fire. I'm really careful with it over here. I'm making a big hot dog over here! 
  •  Those were delicious trick or treats! 
  • It's mom-ME sweet girl! Not mom! (After teasing him that he needs to call me Mommy forever, never Mom, so he was correcting Juliet who can't really say anything but "Mama")
  • Your the best mommy! I need a hug! 
  • I'm making a new video on Facebook. 
  • I'm a good boy I bet! 
  • Wow! Look at that TOTALY beautiful view! 
  • I know all the people I love, like mommy and daddy. 
  • Owen is my sister! He's my favorite! (A friend, obviously not his sister).
  • I'm so happy your home daddy! I miss you when you're at work. It's the weekend! You didn't give me a kiss yet! On the lips. And a hug! A big hug! 
  • My bladder is humongous. 
  • How about a jump hug? 
  • This is a big hill! My cars getting a workout (when we drove up a big hill).
  • When I was wearing a hat he told me "you look like a lady
  • Wolfy is waiting for me and he says "where's my James?" 
  • There's a baby growing in Grandpa Chuck's tummy! 
  • I'm starving for Zion Canyon! 
  • After wetting the bed he told E "It will dry, just like my tears
  • Look at my face. It's not crying (he actually tells me this a lot).
  • James: That's true like a hammer! Me: Where'd you learn that? James: I got it at Costco! You remember! 
  • I want a lawn mower from the Easter bunny! He's my snuggly friend! 
  • I love you in the whole world.
  • Don't put her to sleep. I love her! (when taking Juliet out of the tub).
  • E asking him "Want to be a park ranger?" James: "Maybe I can be a deer!" 
  • My belly button says I'd like a chocolate almond please! 
  • That's perfect. Perfect like you mama. 
  • I saw it with my sweet little shining eyes.
  • Every night he snuggles all sorts of stuffed animals, but the most important are his twin lovies, that he named himself "Jack and Lacen"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In the garden

I firmly believe it is 900% times easier to parent in the warm months. That is an accurate percentage by the way. When it's cold we are grumpy inside. When it's warm we are happy in the backyard. Easy easy.

And in late May my backyard transforms itself into a bit of a fairy land.

We spend hours back there every day, and it's almost warm enough to start eating dinner out there on a regular basis! Yea!

Looking at these images brings me such peace.

*More on the hardships today brought after these lovely flower photos.

For Mother's Day this year E decided to replace my old iron rain chain with a real copper beauty! It adds so much to our front yard and I just adore it. It will patina over time, so I've got to soak up all of its copper loveliness now.
 With a full weekend of rain and more early this week, it's left the yard looking green and dreamy.
 Flower pots, flower boxes.
White bleeding hearts. My Japanese garden is primarily green with some white blossoms. The hot pink peony near Buddha will bloom soon, but other than that, I've tried to keep the colors to mostly white and green tones.
The flower boxes I fill with color.
This sweet bunny was my birthday present from E. Can you tell I love garden items the most for presents?
Last week my dad brought a wading pool and some fresh soft sand. The digging zone has an entirely new level of awesomeness.

 Buddha meditating under a tree.
After walking around my yard taking the above photos I decided to walk across the street and take some photos of this amazing snowball bush.
I need one of these in my yard. So so stunning.

*Today wasn't horrible, actually it was pretty great, but right before E came home for the day Juliet took a tumble and broke her lip. There was a lot of blood but only a minute of tears. I wiped her down and gave her a popsicle. The blood didn't stop.

During dinner and bath the blood didn't stop. For three hours in bled and bled. The bathwater was pink when we finally pulled her out.

I decided that I needed to investigate a little further and discovered that she and broken the little "fin" of skin above your front teeth, the little piece of skin that connects your lip to your gums, it was obliterated.

A quick Google search reveled that this can't be stitched or fixed, but pressure will stop the bleeding. So I pressed on her little gum for a long time until finally the blood eased up. I didn't want to re-open her wound trying to nurse her (now she only nurses before bed) so I gave her to E to rock to sleep.

The most upsetting thing for me was that she was totally fine. Not phased in the slightest and not wanting or needing to nurse at all. Baby girl is growing up.

Other developments with Juliet? She now walks 95% of the time, hardly crawling at all any more. Morning nap is a thing of the past and girlfriend can trow an epic tantrum.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cutest dang babies you've ever seen

My neighborhood is in the suburbs. Nothing really special, except for everything is really special.

When we first moved in and I started walking, I hardly knew about all the hidden gems right in the middle of suburbia.

One of these hidden gems in the goat farm not far from my house. About six months after living in our home E said something along the lines of "have you ever seen the goats down the road?" I was skeptical and might have even made fun of him. Goats? Here? Nah.

Of course the very next day he wanted to prove me wrong, and for the first time I met them, the most perfect little heard of African Pygmy goats.

Since having children the "goat walk" has become a favorite. These little goats are so gentle, never biting or butting and both my children adore them.

Every spring the Mama goats have babies. It is one of my favorite things ever, to see these tiny babies and love them. One year we even saw a baby born.

This year we've visited the goats a handful of times and have enjoyed seeing the babies again and again.

Today when James suggested the goat walk to his favorite friend, a neighborhood boy, I knew I needed to grab my camera.

So so glad I did. :)
The neighbor that owns the little herd is amazing. He lets us inside to see the babies and visit the new mommies. Such a treat.
I die of cute.

These babies are so tame, so gentle that they can easily be picked up and hugged.
My sweet gentle boy is a bit aggressive as of late when he gets frustrated or doesn't get his way, but seeing him with these babies, it melts me.

Hopping baby goats?!! NOTHING cuter.
And the sweet boy who joined us is James's "favorite friend." These two are tight as thieves, and are so cute together. After visiting the goats James said "let's hold hands and run up the big hill!" It was too sweet not to capture.

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