Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentine's day: better late than never

Valentine's day was last week.  I've been meaning to post about our happenings for the day of love, but you know......I'm a busy gal!  The week got away from me and the weekend blew by even faster and now here I am almost a week later just getting my pictures up.  Oh well, better late than never, right?  I decided to have the girls make their Valentine's this year.  I stand behind my decision and we'll probably continue to do so in years to come, but MAN was it a messy process.  The girls were only somewhat interested in this task which meant that I had to split the process up into many steps that took many days to complete.  I really thought they would enjoy glittery heart stickers more than they did.  I do realize that they were coming off of being sick, so that might be why they weren't over the moon excited about making cards.  The glitter glue is another story.....they LOVED that part of the project!  I think the cards turned out cute and looked exactly like a 3 & 5 year old made them.  We decided to celebrate Valentine's day on Monday since the girls were home from school that day.  I made heart shaped pancakes and we read all of our children's books about love and V-day.  It was mellow....nothing major happened, but it was nice.  On Tuesday the girls had their party at school (which I did not attend) and got all hyped up on candy.  I had taken pictures of all the kids in the class the week before and they used the pics to make Valentine's for the parents.  They were really cute!  One of the boys in the class gave everyone a heart shaped box of chocolates and my girls now think he is the bees knees.  They enjoyed their party and had an early bedtime that night.  This weekend Dan took Maddie and Charlotte out on a date to Tripps which is a pretty fancy restaurant near us.  They dressed up and went to dinner with their daddy and I was told they had great manners and did really well through the whole dinner even though Maddie drank too much chocolate milk and didn't eat much of her dinner.  Dan was proud to be out with his beautiful girls and I was happy to hear about their good time!  All in all a very nice Valentine's holiday.
Making Valentines

Eleanor helped too......mostly she just put stickers in her mouth

Heart pancakes

Their school photos

Ready for their date
Maddie even put some lip gloss on!

Monday, February 13, 2012

At the park

I take a lot of pictures of my children.  I'm pretty sure that I've written this before, but I have very few pictures of myself before the age of 4.  I guess that is pretty normal when you have a 15 year old biological mother and spent a good chunk of time in foster care.  I always wished that I had more pictures of myself from when I was a baby....I have less than 10.  Add to my history the fact that I love photography and the outcome is a very well documented childhood for my little ones.  People have commented on the sheer volume of pictures that I take of my kids and I've been asked if they ever get annoyed at the lens in their face.  The answer to that is yes.  They do get annoyed with me on occasion!  A lot of the pictures I take are candid ones.....snapping shots as life happens.  I try not to bug the girls too much with "look at the camera, give me a big smile, move your bangs out of your eyes," etc. but it does happen.  I think more than anything, they are just used to it.  All three girls have had a camera in their face since they were born.  Every time we go somewhere I have my camera out capturing moments.  It's just what I do.  I try and balance my picture taking with being in the moment and having fun and occasionally I won't even bring my camera along, but most of the time it's there and I'm taking pictures.  

Eleanor is at an age where it's really easy to take pictures of her.  She's happy and smiley all the time and always doing cute photo worthy things.  She's eager to please and all I have to do is say her name and she looks up at my camera smiling.  The older girls are kind of a mixed bag.  Maddie is generally anti-photos.  She doesn't want to cooperate, she doesn't have the patience to hold still while I tweak my camera settings and most of the time she just wants to be difficult....not smiling, making funny faces, turning her head away from me.  But lately she has also been requesting that I take pictures of her doing certain things, and there have been a couple occasions where she was totally and completely "into" me having a little photo session with her.  Charlotte has always been my photogenic child.  She hams it up for the camera and follows direction really well.  I can get her to do just about anything and she'll do it again and again until I get it right.  As of late she has been doing a lot of princess posing....head tilting to her shoulder, hands tucked under her chin, batting her eyelashes.  This drives me insane.  I am not a fan of the super posed princess look and I have been working at distracting her so that she'll just be normal in pictures.  She's still pretty good at taking directions and doing things that I ask of her, even if they are wacky, or boring.  Both girls dislike it when I try and take pictures of them while they are busy doing things like crafts, and both girls have recently shown a big interest in taking pictures using my camera.  I've been letting them use my camera a little more and I'm always surprised at how good their composition is.  It surprises me, because my camera is very heavy and they are able to hold it still and shoot in focus.  I think their interest in photography is great and I hope to foster that in them.  I was thinking that next Christmas might be a good time to get them their own digital cameras.....not like little kid ones and not expensive DSLRs either.  Something in between.....a real camera with a big LCD screen that would be easy for them to work with.  We'll see.  

I'm not really sure where all of the above came from.  I never have a plan for what I'm going to write when I just appears.  With all of that said, the weather has been nice & we took the girls to the park in our neighborhood.  We all had a lot of fun and I took a lot of pictures.  The end.


I'm so glad I ended up cutting her bangs.....they were always in her eyes!

Sisterly love.  And a little push.

I know she looks slightly terrified, but she really loves sliding

There were about 100 pictures of Eleanor in the swing and they were all edible
I made myself choose 3

Sisterly love: sharing snacks

I really wish this picture was in focus!

I really wish Dan's back wasn't in this shot
but this slide is crazy steep and his assistance was needed.

This makes me SO happy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Love is in the air

I've never been big on Valentine's day.  Even when Dan and I were young and dating we never made a big deal out of the love holiday.  It's not that I despise the day, or have any deep feelings about it one way or just never seemed very important.  And it still isn't.  We have nothing planned for Valentine's day, although we have talked about Dan taking the big girls out for a fancy date night somewhere.  But it probably won't even be on V-day.  

For the first time ever I decided to make an effort and do some Valentine crafts.  This decision was mostly based on the fact that hearts are fun, and my house feels less festive and a bit sad since taking down all the Christmas decorations.  I'm trying to be better at keeping the crafting momentum going all year and what better way to do that then fill my house with hearts?!?  We haven't really talked about what Valentine's day is, but the girls have a party at school each year so they know that hearts and glitter and cards and candy are involved.....which are all very enjoyable.  I'm going to have the girls make their own Valentines this year instead of buying store bought ones which I think we'll have a lot of fun making!  My house feels cheerful and I've spent lots of good time with my precious ones being crafty and artistic.  It's all good.

I cut out a ton of felt hearts and sewed them together

Gratuitous baby

Remember these hearts?

They are now strung up between our kitchen & living room
We used to have snowflakes hanging here
Maddie asked if we could always and forever hang different stuff across here
I said yes, of course

Painted the hearts with string

This is what Eleanor does during most crafts
I think she's pretty lucky......her, not so much
She is dying to craft with her sisters!
Soon baby.

(and a little bit of Eleanor in Charlotte's shoes)

Paper mache + paint + string = mess!

But it also = pretty!
Please disregard the disaster that is our office.  
Someday I will throw away the Halloween candy that we never eat.

Maddie being a ham

Our front door "wreath"

County McCounterson