Friday, October 22, 2010

Reality Check

I looked around and felt slightly amused (if not exhausted) by the scene unfolding around me, so I grabbed a camera and snapped a photo. Then today I decided to procrastinate and make note of the details that sum up life around the home... that is, when I am trying to work. Pretty sure you have to click the picture to read any of the captions..

In a nutshell, they are wonderful kids. They of course have their moments, but what preschoolers don't, seriously? I just find that it's such a striking, instant, difference in their behavior from when I am playing with them and paying 100% attention to them... to the instant I stop, they switch into crazy mode! Needless to say, next year I might have to consider one or two days a week putting Henry in some kind of daycare or getting a nanny. Lucy will be in kindergarten. A few hours of peace, a couple days a week, would do wonders. I think right now it's a tough time to run a business and be a SAHM. It won't always be this way, with all the chaos.

At least I can laugh about it... sometimes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Henry is 2!

Today is Henry's 2nd Birthday! I can't believe it! He's so cute, sweet, naughty... he loves to get into all kinds of trouble, then walks up and says, "hug?" looking at you with his big blue eyes. So hard to keep a straight face sometimes. He thinks he can cute himself out of anything. Sometimes, I am so tired just trying to keep him from tearing the house apart... but he's wonderful, and makes life so much fun! He and Lucy love each other, when they're not trying to hurt each other... right this very moment they are playing nice. I hope that it continues for a little while... usually someone starts screaming within a minute or two!

Anyway, here is a photo of him by the birthday bunting my mom made for the kids. I will hang it up somewhere every year - for both of them - on their birthdays... it's really cute, and I appreciate all the work she put into it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gun Lake

This is my sister and my aunt Pam on a kayak, coming in by the neighbor's dock (a long exposure created the major motion blur). It's kind of a funky photo, but I really like it because it reminds me of a very fun night we had out there. :) I'm currently uploading more pics from our Girls Weekend to our Smugmug Site (link coming soon).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bird Shirts

Ready for a lame trivial blog post (better suited to a Facebook status update, but over 240 characters!)? Here you go:

I went shopping last night... at the mall. I don't like going to the mall, but fortunately it wasn't too busy. It was a Monday night, and I only went in 2 or 3 stores. I had the most luck at Charlotte Russe, which sounds weird - I used to think that store was just for ultra trendy teens who wanted to gear up for Friday night, getting overdressed, cruisin' around listening to Ke$ha, but alas, they actually have cute things that I can wear (despite the fact that I'm closing in on 30 years old... and yes, I do listen to Kesha on the radio, she's weird, "I like your beard" - what on earth? But her music is fun :)).

I have to find a few other basic things, but I made myself go. Spend money. On clothes. Not my favorite thing to do, and I have a hard time justifying it. However, feeling good in what you are wearing is worth it, and I just need to get that through my head! Charlotte Russe has cute stuff, and it's really reasonable, so I got a lot for my money. I also found a cheap t-shirt at Old Navy ($8) to update my other cheap Old Navy t-shirt I find myself wearing too often. Both the old one and the new one feature birds... interesting.

Meanwhile, I'm still here... working, photographing, trying to keep the house under control and drinking loads of coffee.

We just celebrated our 6th Anniversary on Saturday August 7th. I will probably blog about that soon enough, but I didn't want to lose focus here, when the main purpose of this was to talk about my lame clothes! LOL :) Enjoy your day, faithful readers...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Because I'm Keeping Track...

This blog is the best record of my kids (so far) so I am adding a random post about all the latest and greatest accomplishments of Lucy and Henry. I will use these posts someday as a resource to make an awesome book. I will.

So, Lucy took a little "dance" class this summer at the Horizons Center - not far from our house. Only one other girl was in her class (a 5 year old) and it didn't really involve a lot of dancing, but a lot of jumping, somersaults, hopscotch, balance beam, trampoline, and even some hilarious attempts at cartwheels. The 5 year old is a little ahead of the game in that department. Lucy's cartwheels need some fine-tuning, to say the least. She had a lot of fun. Now she's in a 4 day pre-preschool in Grandville that, we hope, will give her a little preparation for the real deal this fall. She is there for 2 hours (today is day two) and there are about 8-10 kids in there with her. Yesterday she came home with a very fancy piece of artwork and marker all over her arms. She had a blast.

She also had her second cousin Ryder in class with her, although she didn't necessarily cling to him. Ron saw her sit down by another girl. Probably a good thing, boys have cooties, right? Lucy is incredibly bright and funny, and all parent-bias aside, I can't believe how well she speaks, and how perceptive she is. On the other hand, she still has her moments ... when she catches Henry getting attention for saying something cute (ie: "mama eating too?"), she copies him, and talks like a baby. We don't like that. It seems no matter how much attention and praise she gets for her achievements, she is still jealous when her baby brother steals the spotlight a little. Another positive note: her desperate attempts at fridge raiding have really subsided. She hardly ever opens the fridge now. Maybe we will be able to skip those locks. Until Henry gets a little older, then I imagine he'll probably follow in Lucy's footsteps in that area as well. Sigh.

So Henry says little sentences, copies everything he hears, he even does pretty well trying to sing songs, and he mimicks whatever Lucy does. The following scenario plays out several times a day: Lucy does something kind of naughty and as we tell her to stop / make her stop, Henry does the same thing with a big cute grin on his face, so we have to bust him too, and then Lucy smiles because she has successfully gotten Henry in trouble, and shared the negative attention with her brother. We do our best not to crack a smile, because depending on the kind of day we've had, our tolerance level varies.

  • Good day: We are very patient, borderline amused by mischievous antics, but discipline is calm and fairly consistent.
  • Bad day: We are not at all tolerant of bad behavior, firm parenting, nothing is funny.
  • VERY Bad day: Now the antics might actually push you toward laughter, but it's the laughter of a madman, or in our case, kind that you experience when you just can't believe how loudly your kids can scream when they are trying to outdo each other, chasing laps around the island, and the only way anyone can hear anything is to scream above their noise, and a camera crew should come bursting out of the closets any time now. This type of day, thankfully, is rare.
Cracking a smile never goes unnoticed, and it is the ultimate victory for an almost 4 year old professional button pusher and her trusty sidekick.

I digress. Henry is an awesome little boy. He points out and names countless objects in books (especially animals and foods), and repeats words pretty clearly (recently I said "triceratops" and he said it back to me almost perfectly). He loves to crawl around and act like a puppy, saying "ruff" and panting. He loves playing with little cars and lines them up like a parking lot, and Ron was overjoyed when he remembered "Camaro" days after being taught. He found the Camaro and said it! So cute. At bedtime if he's not screaming with his head thrown back, and pushing on my neck in a violent attempt to escape my arms, he will snuggle and let me set him in the crib, then he puts his hand over his mouth, and throws kisses one after another, going faster and faster until he cracks up laughing,. Yes, he is still in the crib. We haven't made the switch yet - mostly because it's easier to keep him contained in the crib for naptime and bedtime (obvious reasons). He turns 2 at the end of September, so I don't think we're necessarily "late" on the transition, although we put Lucy in her toddler bed a couple months before her second birthday. Shortly after that, she stopped napping. Forever. See how that might kill my motivation? We'll do it soon...

At this very moment he is pulling the folded laundry out of the basket and chewing on my toothbrush.... and that is why I probably won't post again for a while.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baby Buggy

Ron caught an earwig nymph (baby earwig), because he thought it was an unusual bug and wanted to show me... neither of us had ever seen a white earwig before! I had to look it up online to find out what it was. He had put it in a Mason jar with a lid. Now Lucy seems to have declared it as her pet.

"Thank you Daddy for giving me my baby pincher bug pet!"

She is not going to be happy when we tell her she can't sleep with that jar. Yuck.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Visiting Kelly & Heath

A couple weekends ago (end of May) we visited Kelly and Heath in Evanston, with our kids! It was a fun trip down, the kids were really good in the car. We had a DVD player and put in a couple movies. They each slept (a little, but not at the same time) and there was minimal screaming! Friday night we went out to eat at a great little restaurant in Evanston called Gulliver's. The kids were crazy. They ate a ton of fries, and although they were really tired, they were in good spirits. A little more screaming than I would have liked. However, the owner / manager (?) and our server were amazing, did what they could to keep the kids happy, and never showed the slightest bit of annoyance. Well, that makes the kids sound really bad... but it wasn't their fault. Actually we came totally unprepared, and the the kids got bored, so they didn't know what to do with themselves (other than spill water, fight over keychains and menus, and eat limes). I learned I should always have crayons or stickers or something!

Saturday we went to Lincoln Park Zoo. We had perfect weather. There were so many cool animals to see. Henry hated riding in his stroller - it was nice to keep him contained and convenient for a while, but we took him out so he could walk and get a closer look at some things, he seemed a lot happier! Lucy scraped her knee falling on the rough ground (tripping on her own foot, running, etc.). She'd calm down, until she ripped open the same knee again... and then again. The nice thing is, the zoo is free (you only have to pay for parking), and they have an incredible collection of plants, animals, fish, and the whole thing is so beautifully designed and landscaped. I don't think I had ever been there before. We were there for quite a while, and again the kids were beyond tired. They both took a nap that afternoon when we got back to Kelly and Heath's apartment. That night we ordered dinner in, and relaxed, watched "Cars" and after the kids went to bed, hung out and had some drinks - we were all in desperate need of a little wind-down time!!!

Sunday morning we walked over to a playground less than a block from their place, the kids were in their element again, just playing and happy. Lucy was running an ice cream parlor and Henry was grabbing fistfulls of dirt. We walked over to Starbucks and had "breakfast" (Lucy wanted the "C-One" - a croissant. It looked like a good one too, big and fluffy! Ron and I had big lattes, apple fritters, and iced green tea for Kelly and Heath. Later we decided to go to a great buffet place in Wilmette (?) for lunch, then Kohl Children's Museum, so the kids could play some more. We headed home around dinner time. McD's (which tasted soooo good!) and lots and lots of screaming in the car. Ron even had to pull over by a toll station to give them a stern talk, which stopped things temporarily. Wow. They were both so exhausted, we were sure they'd fall asleep before we hit the highway. Neither one slept a wink until we got home and put them to bed. Yikes!

Here are some of the photos we took while were were there!

Thank you so much Kelly and Heath for letting us stay at your place! All in all, I think the kids did pretty well, and it was a great experience for them to see where their magic aunt and uncle live (who usually appear out of thin air at our house, when the kids wake up in the morning). :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ice Cream Headache

Yesterday was a long day (they all seem kind of long lately!) so we went to the Rainbow Grill for dinner. The service was unusually slow, so the kids were getting wacky, there wasn't a saltine cracker in sight, and we were quickly running out of diversions. Finally we got our food and it was all good. The kids ate their split grilled cheese sandwich with no issues, no spills, no freakouts. Thank goodness - successful dinner out. But there had been a delay on Ron's meal, so our friend John came over and said we'd get a free dessert! We never once complained about the service (which is always amazing, but not this time), but it was still a nice gesture, so... sure!

Then The Dessert came: a nice sundae for us to share - and a few spoons. The Dessert caused Henry to shriek so loudly... wait, I need to add a sidenote: everyone says their kids scream louder than someone else's kids, yada yada yada... I know it's not a contest. Who would want to have a screaming contest anyway? Oh wait, I can think of two people! I digress. There are a few of you who have heard Henry, he can actually cause hearing damage if you're too close, it sort of reverberates through your skull, you can physically feel it! I wish I could somehow convey it with my description, but even if he wasn't my own kid, I would be thinking the same thing - that kid screams loudly. Well, I'm sure someone has screamed like that - perhaps when they were suffering from some kind of agonizing pain... like we just sawed off one of his fingers with that ultra dull restaurant butter knife... only what actually happened was the sight of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry, being cheerfully presented to him. That's understandable, right? I mean, he usually loves ice cream like every other child, so why wouldn't he just flip out randomly, and fling his head back so hard he almost throws himself out of the high chair? He doesn't mess around... I had to take him outside! Everyone was looking at us... I was kind of smiling as if to say, "Ha ha! Kids, right? ha ha..." Don't worry, we'll be back. Soon.

Stay cool out there.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Putting Her Money Where Her Mouth Is

Just a few minutes ago, Lucy swallowed a penny. Immediately after she did, she started crying, "Uh-oh!!! I swallowed a penny!" She seemed really freaked out, so I acted totally calm, telling her that lots of kids swallow money, and they should not be putting money in their mouths. Secretly I am kind of freaked out too... I hope it passes easily. Speaking of which, she asked, "How do people get the pennies out?!" and I said, "They have to poop it out." She replied, "Poop it out?! How is THAT going to happen!!??" and continued to wail. I think it's probably in her tummy by now, but she has a tendency to over dramatize things juuuust a little, so it's difficult to know how she really feels. She suggested that maybe eating a sucker would make her feel better. I think she'll be fine.

Several months ago she swallowed a "flat" marble - like the kind you put in a flower vase to hold stems in place - and I wasn't about to go fishing for it, if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It's my birthday. I'm 29. A few people have said something regarding the fact that this is my last year in my 20's... as if turning 30 was something to dread. I suppose it's normal not to want to age, but I think there is a difference between aging, and growing up. I don't particularly love the hints of wrinkles by my eyes and on my forehead. I tweeze out gray hairs from time to time, but I'm starting to give up that battle. When I rub Lucy's hand while she falls asleep, there is a remarkable difference I notice in the texture of our skin. The light from the hallway catches the wrinkles and creases on my fingers, hers are still perfectly smooth. I always noticed the way my grandma's hands look. It happens so gradually, it sneaks up on you... I thought my hands hadn't changed at all until I looked at my hand by my child's. Take that literally or symbolically, I am making a point either way.

Ironically, I feel better about myself than I ever did when I was a kid, especially when I was a teenager, or even five years ago, when I was married, trying to start a family, but had no idea what the path ahead of me might look like (and a lack of ambition to create one!). Now I'm very blessed... I am content, and confident. And sometimes I still get carded.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Henry - 18 (19) Months

I took Henry to his 18 month checkup Monday - although he is 19 months old! I better schedule earlier next time! He was weighed and measured - and he is 25 lbs. 3 oz. and 34 inches. His weight was surprisingly in the lower percentiles (40%) but his length was higher (80%). He looks kind of skinny, but he still feels heavy to me!

He wandered around the exam room while we waited for Dr. Joe, climbing up and down from the chairs, looking at books and naming things. When our pediatrician came in Henry waved up at him from the floor and yelled "hi!!!" with a big smile. What a charmer. He showed Dr. Joe his "jumping" skills too ;).

He hated having his ears checked, or basically anything having to do with the physical examination! He's so grabby and doesn't like being poked or prodded at all. Well, that's normal. He had two shots - MMR and Chicken Pox, and let out his trademark ear-piercing scream... but I'm not really one to get too upset at these appointments (I think vaccinations are awesome, personally), so when I scooped him back up and gave him a cuddle he settled down right away. With a big tear under his eye, he even smiled at me, then he looked at the nurse and gave her a big frown :(. He walked out to the car with me... I find that I don't always need to carry him on my hip. Reality check: he's getting to be a big boy. We even took away pacifiers, which is going really well!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Here Fishy Fishy!

Lucy caught her first fish this afternoon - a little bluegill, which was tossed back into the water shortly after this photo was taken. She was very excited!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Lucy has been able to unlock the deadbolt and the doorknob lock for a few months now, but it hasn't been a problem until recently. She has crossed the street once without one of us with her, and she has repeatedly opened the door and stepped out onto the porch before I could stop her. We have told her about cars hitting her, people taking her away, but chose not to mention the fact that if she unlocks the door while I am not aware, someone might be able to come into the house and do bad things.

Since she stopped napping a year and a half ago (I know I could "make" her... trust me, it's NOT worth the 2 hour battle for a 90 minute nap. If you have a kid like this, you might sympathize. If not, you will have to take my word for it, I am tougher than a preschooler, but I have better things to do with my time than force her to sleep). She wakes me up in the morning around 7:00 asking for breakfast, and she is up and doing silly, busy things until she falls asleep around 8:30 PM (extended because of the later daylight). In order to do anything, literally - shower, throw in a load of laundry, change Henry's diaper, anything - that might require me not to be staring at her, that means she is unattended for short periods of time throughout the day.

She decided to use a couple of those short periods of time to go outside without one of us too many times. This morning she went for it, and when I pried her hands off the doorknob, she fell face down to the floor, requiring me to drag her out of the way, in order to close the door and lock it again. I immediately went to our cabinet in the mudroom, found another Safety 1st doorknob cover, and clicked it in place over the doorknob. Lucy swatted at it with dramatized futility, and as it loosely spun around the doorknob... my blood pressure dropped 3 points. That battle is over.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Henry - 18 months

Well - I need some big parenting demerits because I have been completely neglectful of record keeping in the form of a baby book - relying on this blog as a resource for information when I get around to it. Awful! Someday, an incredible baby book for both kids, as well as beautiful family albums, will grace our shelves. That being said, here's what Henry is up to at 18 months.

  • He is insistent on self-feeding, getting pretty good with a fork and spoon, hates if you try to feed him, (screams "no" and pushes your fork-wielding hand away violently).
  • He no longer uses a sippy lid, and has mastered drinking from a "normal" cup or glass, does not spill and dump it all on is face. He might tip it over on purpose, just for the purpose of splashing in liquid on his tray. Drops bits of food into his drink. Grr..
  • Trying to jump (he's really close) - see previous entry.
  • Dances to music - seems to respond most to hard rock - and spins in a circle.
  • CLIMBS a lot! Climbs onto chairs and tables, and into bins, baskets, and drawers.
  • Opens cabinets and drawers and empties them (loves the draw with tea packets and coffee).
  • Says lots of new words every week, we stopped keeping track, but no sentences. Uses plural "s" correctly sometimes.
  • Says, "peez... peez!" ("please") whenever he sees you eating something.
  • Still loves bathtime, stands up in the tub to get a reaction. Loves to splash!
  • Good at following directions, like "put the ___ in the basket."
  • Can identify (by patting or pointing) his tummy, feet, eyes, hands, nose, mouth, ears, head, and his "pee pee". If anyone has suggestions for a better name for it, please let me know! Thought there should be an understanding before we start potty training (we haven't yet).
  • When he points to his nose he always says, "beep!"
  • Eats sand and dirt.
  • He's getting a couple molars!
  • Enjoys hiding. What are you doing? "hiding". Crouches into corners and in closets.
  • His physical "stats" are unknown, his appointment is at the end of this month. All I know is, he's getting heavy!
I can bet I will think of things I'm forgetting here, but this is what I came up with off the top of my head! I hope to include notes about what he is like, what he does, and what he says along with my favorite photos of him (and I hope this blog proves to be a good reference for me to document Lucy in the same way - because I have been fairly good about keeping up on it ever since she was born!). It's very easy to forget when these stages took place if you don't write it down somewhere. It seems like only a few months ago she could only take a couple unstable steps before falling over. It is insane how the time flies. I'm sure my kids' grandparents can attest to that.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Jump Around!

Henry is learning how to jump... which basically means he crouches down a little bit, and then straightens up as if he's trying to use his upper body to pull his feet off the ground. It's really cute.... and of course involves squealing (from both kids)!

Lucy showing Henry how to jump from Mindy on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The other day Lucy wanted to go outside in the rain. It wasn't too cold out, and she took the initiative to put on her boots and coat, she just needed a "balella" - so we went out and I snapped a few pictures of her in the driveway. This one is probably my favorite. She didn't want to come back inside!
More Photos Here

Click on the photo to see it larger. I have considered moving this blog so I can post larger photos - they seem so small compared to my other blog now.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Tale of Two

Grandville High School, where I attended (Class of '99), my husband teaches technology education, and my mom is a secretary, had a World Record breaking Lip Dub earlier this week, and it was a huge success. Over 1400 students were involved, and it took cooperation and enthusiasm on the part of everyone to make it happen. Two cameras moved through the building simultaneously, and cross paths, coming together again at the end... the planning and creativity to make this work out amazes me, and I love the school spirit this generated! Unforgettable experience for so many kids and staff, and proof once again that the A/V teacher Terry Blevins is incredibly dedicated and passionate about his classes (he's the best teacher I never had). Great job GHS!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Kids' Portraits

Last weekend Ron and I went out with our kids in an attempt to get some nice photos, commemorating the "milestone" age of 18 months for Henry, and 3.5 years for Lucy. I would say it was fairly successful... but a lot of work! I'll probably be taking more and more pictures of them again, as a resolution I have recently made (since I have started my business the number of photos of my own kids has dropped drastically). I definitely want to give it a valiant effort to do a real session every 6 months with them. Anyway, I put a few favorites on my MLP Blog. You can check out the post HERE.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Jonah Rocks!

This kid found his gift at a very young age. It's fun to watch him play! There are a few videos of him on YouTube... Here's one I really liked. Check out his flourish at the end of the song, he really knows what he's doing!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ahhhhh, Fresh Air

... Maybe it's jumping the gun a little bit to think that we're into "open-window" weather, but it sure felt nice to have the slider open for an hour or two this morning.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Well last night I decided that I wanted to work out with Ron doing P90X (I have missed a couple days), and I did it, and I didn't have a hard time at all keeping up with the workout (apparently last night's workout was one of the "easy" ones). I think I could get in incredible shape if I go through most of these workouts with him. Anyone can do it, it's just a matter of how well you do it, and I am hanging with it better than I expected. I don't feel any injuries or strains, but I get my heart rate up for an hour or more and the "muscle confusion" approach is great because it keeps you from overdoing it on any one part of your body. Last night was "Kenpo-X" (they put an "X" at the end of everything), which is a high-intensity cardiovascular workout packed with lots of punching and kicking combinations to improve balance, endurance, flexibility, and coordination. I think it is considered a kind of martial art. I also think my years of dance gave me an edge, because I seemed to be able to balance and control my kicks quite well. Anyway, I am not going to beat myself up if I miss a workout here and there, but it would be great if I can stick with it. Ron wanted to do this for his health and fitness and he has not missed a workout, and I know he will continue with it. He even said that now he is looking forward to the workouts, so I think his body is beginning to adjust, wanting that activity each day. After 1 week he already has more ab definition and feels like he is standing straighter. He even bought a pull-up bar (so now he doesn't have to hang on a door header!) and a yoga mat (this program incorporates just about every type of exercise you've ever heard of)!

I still managed to get a lot done yesterday, got some album designing done, kept the house pretty picked up, and even threw in a 2 hour (!) coffee meetup with another photographer who lives close by. So, I am feeling fairly good about all that. Now... if only today can be as productive!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New and Improved

Today I updated my Mindy Leigh Photography Blog. I think it looks a lot better. My old one was all hand-made in the Blogger code, and I felt like it was seriously lacking. Then we got an email informing us that Blogger no longer supported files through FTP (?), so I knew it was time to make a change. There are still lots of adjustments I want to make... I am pondering a new logo / brand this year, and general elements like fonts and background texture will probably be switched up. I currently just modified some of the defaults to match the aqua in my existing logo. I love some of the new features this blog has, which will allow me to embed slideshows and mini galleries very easily, it includes a contact form, thumbnailed archives, and scrolling comments. Just the act of uploading images is simplified so much (I was amazed), even with storing them in our hosting server, I am literally skipping 3 or 4 steps I used to go through every time I'd upload a photo! Sigh. So nice.

The URL is the same: - something I was intent on having, and Ron got everything all set up for me. Since I wanted to import everything from my old blog (photos, text, even comments), it wasn't totally simple and quick - but he figured it out :). However if you are subscribing with an RSS feed, you might need to make an update!

So, that's how much of this morning was spent...

Oh, unrelated note: we have made it through 2 sessions of P90X. Kind of crazy. No, I am not doing all of the workouts, but about 75% or so, which I am really proud of! Ron wanted to challenge himself, and he is doing great... I am going through as much of it as I possibly can, which keeps him motivated and will help me get in great shape (hopefully) by summer! It isn't as "bad" as we feared. It's tough, but the workouts move along quickly.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Real Life Photoshop

I ran across this today and thought it was pretty clever...

borrowed from the Luxecetera Blog

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Title Track

My blog is named "A Day in the Life".... kind of cliche, but I'm sticking with it. Anyway, a couple weekends ago I felt like I hadn't spent enough time taking snapshots of our own kids, and decided to document the stuff that goes on around here; a day in the life of our little family. The date happened to be the morning of SuperBowl Sunday - February 7 - and we were skipping church. It was kind of a fun little project and I hope to try it again sometime in the near future. Check it out HERE.


This was Henry's face after he fed himself his apple-cinnamon flavored Quaker Oatmeal. The web takes out some of the redness, but you can still see the area where the cinnamon apparently burned his skin. It is already back to normal (10-15 minutes later) after some cool water and baby lotion. He didn't seem bothered by it, but he looked like a clown for a little while!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One In a Billion...

Or more accurately, a billion trillion. At least. But this was one lucky little flake that landed on our window while I was waiting with my camera. It was intact (not all are), and I had about a second before it melted away forever, only to become part of the water cycle again. I had posted a few more on FB (see sidebar), but I wanted to put one here too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So, It's 2010, What's New With Us?

Personal blogging has fallen by the wayside. I thought that over the holiday and early part of January I would have just tons of free time and be able to kick back a little bit. That has not been the case. I've been busy shooting, editing, and communicating. I click on my homepage and keep seeing a Christmas post, thinking about how I have to fill in my friends on what has been happening around here for the past few weeks!

First of all, we spent New Year's Eve with our good friends Eric and Jen. For the past few years we've been taking turns with, hosting a low-key NYE and this year was our turn to host. We played Texas Hold'em, watched Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve, and ate snacks. I like that kind of party. I am not sure whether or not I want to go back to the days of overindulging on food, drinks, and staying up so late that the next day is all about "recovering" from the night before! Good thing in this case, because New Year's Day we got up and took the kids to my parents' house, so we could drive to Wisconsin...
Ron's friend Chad from high school was married on 01-02-2010 (which is a cool date, same forward as backward!) and I was the photographer! We went to the rehearsal dinner with the family and wedding party, and the wedding day was really nice. When we left the reception, the temperature on our car's digital thermometer read -4. Eek.

The following weekend Kelly and Heath came to MI to visit and celebrate Christmas.
I have to update our Smugmug galleries - I have more great pictures from that weekend :)

The other cool thing that has happened over the past couple of months is Lucy has become officially potty trained. She started using the potty chair several times a day around 18 months - I guess some people consider that potty trained, but I did not. We thought starting her early would be a good idea, and those successes reinforced that belief. In hindsight I think we started her too soon and she wasn't really ready even if she could technically do it. She is smart as a whip and we thought, 'oh she'll get this no problem!' She had fewer and fewer accidents each day and we thought we were in good shape - around age 2, I thought we were right on track and in no time we'd be done with diapers and/or accidents! Not so fast, eager Mom and Dad! When she started to get less attention than she was used to (partly because of her baby bro, and partly because of my work), she started having more and more "accidents", and not seeming to even care if she was wet or dirty! She knew how to undress, get on the toilet, wipe, flush, and do everything all by herself, and yet she seemed to be using potty training to prove to me that I couldn't make her do anything, and she was in charge. Grrr. I guess in that respect, she is right. You can't make a kid go to the bathroom on command, and you can't really know when they need to go (and harassing them 100 times a day only makes then say "NO!" even if they do need to go).

I was so discouraged, and felt that we had tried everything - rewards, bribes, punishment, other incentives, throwing away panties, encouraging with clapping, singing, dancing, hugs, kisses, high-fives, charts, promises... it really didn't matter. I read blogs, and was tempted by boot-camp-like programs that promised to potty train your kid in 3 days. Although from age 2 to age 3, when we were in the midst of the worst potty training times, I knew in my heart that she was too young to be considered for any kind of drastic program, and she'd get it eventually. I just had it in my head that I wanted it to happen right around age 2, because my sister was around age 2 and I was around 2.5, so that was what I considered "normal" (but that's not necessarily normal at all, and furthermore, so what?!). For Lucy, it was only going to happen when she decided she wanted it to. Of course, when I kind of "gave up" and backed off, and stopped trying to make it happen, she stopped digging in her heels and just became potty trained, and she gave up the battle. Now accidents are very rare (and if there is one, she's just a tiny bit damp and gets to the toilet for the rest), and life is a lot less stressful! Hooray!
We have registered her for preschool (Hudsonville), where she will go three mornings a week. I am so excited for her to get out and learn and play with other kids. She graduated from her toddler bed into a big twin sized bed with drawers underneath, and she has more space to sprawl.

Henry is saying more and more words - and is getting cuter every day. Here is what I can think of off the top of my head:

Ba (ball)
Ca (car)
[he makes car noises when playing with cars]
Mama, Dada
Mmmmm (if something is yummy)
Bear (sounds like baieh)
Up! Up!
Ruff (whenever he holds a stuffed animal he makes little high-pitched "ruff! ruff"!)

...And he still has a super high-pitched loud scream. True story: his food ran out a night or two ago, and his scream literally made my ears ring. I'm not even kidding, and I get to sit right next to him! Adorable, right?! I would love to measure the decibels he can kick out.

Here are some more Henry tidbits, since I feel like I haven't talked about him much lately... even though he is a charming, loving, sweet little boy and growing and changing so much!

He loves to get into cabinets and pull everything out, particularly the one with big mixing bowls, or cookie sheets and trays.
He carries large pieces of chalk around (sometimes likes to chew on them),
He bangs things together, bangs toy piano,
or bangs his head on the back of his highchair for attention, so hard the high-chair scoots across the floor.
He climbs up onto the couch, ottoman, or soon-to-be-his toddler bed.
He always picks red cars out of the basket of cars.
He screams when his food is gone, loves to eat anything, drinks all his milk in one gulp.
He is starting to learn how to feed himself with a spoon (like applesauce),
He dances to anything making music (he bounces up and down bending his knees, or he twists)
He claps and looks back at you smiling when he puts something into a container,
He can stack a few blocks,
He climbs steps quickly (but can't go down safely).
Gets mad and chases after Lucy if she takes his toy, but...
if she chases after him he runs terrified.
He throws a tantrum by sitting down, then slamming himself face down on the floor sobbing, then rolls his head to the side to see if you are paying attention to how upset he is.

So, life is typical, busy, sometimes monotonous, and I think we are getting a bit of cabin fever around here. Looking forward to spring! Meanwhile, the kids keep things always entertaining.