Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ten on 10 :: September 2014

The point of this project is to find beauty in the ordinary day.

So often I find that my days are just that. Ordinary. There's only so many times I can capture the same picture of the same kids playing with the same toys and eating the same lunch. I really struggled this month to find beauty in the mundane routine that is our lives right now.

Please forgive the lack of pictures of my oldest two. At ages 9 and 12, they aren't the most willing photography subjects. And, quite frankly, they have better things to do. Like practising piano, attending tumbling class, playing baseball, texting, playing video games, and trying to avoid homework. I promise they do exist, despite not having much photographic evidence of it.

(and yes, I know I skipped 2:30. I was in car line to pick up Jayce and forgot my camera)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Those Eyes :: I Heart Faces Submission

Photo Challenge Submission

 I know, its been forever and a day since I've entered an I Heart Faces photo challenge. I faithfully look over all the image submissions every month, but struggle to find one of my own images that meets the criteria and my standards for entry.

This month's theme is "Beautiful Eyes" and I knew exactly what picture I would choose. It may be several years old, but it is still one of my favorite pictures of Jayce ever. A print of this goes in a frame every Fall.

The story behind it is simple. I wanted to get pictures of Jaina and Jayce playing in the Fall leaves. As per usual at that age, they weren't cooperating. Jayce picked up a leaf to show me and I was standing way too close to him and not paying a bit of attention to composition. What resulted was a happy accident with my automatic focus on my camera :)

All three of my children get complimented on their unique eyes, but none more than Jayce. His eyes are "Chameleon Eyes" which change color depending on which shirt he wears. If you stare keep down in them, you won't know color to describe them. "Brown? Green? Hazel? Blue?" Its all in there.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Summer's Last Hurrah!

Just because the calendar has flipped to a Fall Season month doesn't mean that the weather has actually cooperated yet. Its been hotter than blazes these past two weeks with temperatures well into the 90's. Yes, I know I live in the South and we should expect such numbers but we've been spoiled this Summer. We've actually had a quite pleasant Summer with very mild temperatures and a lot of rain.

So, I guess we can deal with a few weeks of heat without complaining. Soon it will be jacket weather and we'll start complaining about how "cold" it is when the temperature dips down into the 50's :) BRR!!!

Our neighbors like to turn on their sprinkler system and let my kids play in them, too. We all wish our neighborhood had a pool! Yet, sprinklers can be fun, too!

Jaina's not been interested in pictures lately, unless she is jumping, tumbling, or doing a hand stand. 

So then all the girls had the great idea that they were going to jump all together. Except that they couldn't do anything "all together" :) Jocelyn was always the last one to jump!

Our best attempt:

Afterwards, we dried off by sitting on the hot driveway while eating chips and oranges. 

It was sure fun to remind ourselves that we still have a few weeks of Summer left (Technically).

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

But I was hungry!

Brian has been grocery shopping on Sundays since the beginning of time. Or, at least since he's been out on his own and responsible for his own food.

I joined him on his trips when we started dating, mainly just to tag along. I found it amusing to see him buy the same items week in and week out. Brian is definitely a creature of habit.

Soon, he was helping me out of his tiny two-seater convertible on Sundays as we I leisurely strolled waddled behind him, very pregnant with Jaina.

Then we added the baby carrier to the cart and going on the "baby and diaper aisle" was a must.

We tried to figure out where to put a 3 year old AND a baby carrier in the cart when Jayce arrived. Ironically, we had less room in the cart for food, yet we needed more room for more food than ever before.

I wised up some by the time Jocelyn came around. Rear facing infant car seats aren't really supposed to go up on top of the cart like so many parents (including me) usually put them. I wore our third child in a maya wrap ring sling or in a mei tai baby asian style soft carrier for our grocery trips.

You would think that a family that is used to shopping together every week for the past 13 years had this shopping thing down pat.

Ha! Totally not.

My big kids push each other out of the cart (Don't even ask how a 9 and 12 year old still even fit riding in the cart), my husband likes to smack them on the head with the grocery list, the toddler whines that she wants to go home and eat cookies the entire time we are there, and I try to discipline all FOUR family members while making sure things get crossed off the list and not forgotten.

And don't forget that we live in a relatively small town so chances are, we are going to run into 2-3 families that want to stop and catch up with us.

Jocelyn has been also known to throw random things in the cart. She gets away with it, too, since I'm usually yelling at Jaina, Jayce, or Brian to "seriously, just stop! This is a grocery store, not a playground! Leave each other alone! No, you can't have that. No! We already have some at home. No, you can't get that. You didn't eat the last box we got!"

Last Sunday, I left Brian and Jocelyn in the produce section while I went back to the meat department to pick up a package of chicken breasts we had forgotten. I came back to this:

"Jocelyn, what are you eating?", I ask.

"Its a 'mato, mommy."

"Where did you get it, Jocelyn?"

"Right here at the store."

I turned to Brian and said, "Seriously?"

He shrugged.

I'm trying not to think about the pesticides my 2 year old consumed from an unwashed roma tomato.

Let's see what the next shopping trip entails :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Want My Brudder!

We are two weeks into our Back To School routine and all is well.

I'm not sick of packing lunches quite yet. And Jayce isn't yelling in the mornings at me (yet), either, so things have been smooth thus far.

Even Jocelyn has enjoyed hanging out with just Mom over the past two weeks. She'll occasionally ask, "Where Jaina go? Jayce upstairs, mommy?" and will have to be reminded that they are at school.

But when they come home in the afternoons, its a different story. Jocelyn sticks to Jayce like white on rice as soon as we pick him up.

Before Jayce can go to a friend's house to play,  he has to do his homework.

Then, he has to practice the piano.

And there's also daily reading to log...

Then it comes time for Jayce to leave and go ride his bike.

This makes Jocelyn sad and she pleads, "Jayce! Don't go! Don't leave! I want to go, too! I want my brudder!"

He always turns back around and gives her another hug. "I'll be back soon and then we'll play, okay?", he reassures her.

It might just be the cutest thing in the entire world.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Dreaded 5 O' Clock Nap

Two and a half is a hard time as a toddler. Some kids take a 3 hour nap at this age while some give up their nap altogether. Jaina was the former; Jayce was the latter.

Jocelyn is somewhere in between. She's still not the best at sleeping through the night (and has almost surpassed Jayce in this feat as my child that took the longest to stop waking up and needing me at night) so naps for her are imperative still. Yet, if we aren't home for her to wind down in my bed, you can pretty much forget about her getting a nap in the car during school pick up.

The other day was typical. She needed a nap around 11:30 but instead, we went out to lunch. Then I drove around from 1-2 thinking she'd pass out in the car. Nope. We picked up Jayce at 2:15 and headed home. She watched TV on the couch but didn't go to sleep then, either. (Which was good because we had to go back out at 3:30 to pick up Jaina).

I was folding laundry on my unmade bed while Jocelyn was eating a cup of goldfish. She climbed up on my bed, laid down with her cup, and was passed out in about 5 seconds flat.

It was 5:30 PM.

Ugh. One of the worst parenting dilemmas you can have.

Do you wake them up immediately and batten down the hatches for the worst overtired tantrum of their life?

Do you let them sleep for just a little bit... say, 45 minutes? One sleep cycle should be enough of a power nap. Then batten down the hatches for a fairly bad overtired tantrum?

Or, do you realize that your child really needs sleep and just leave them be. Bedtimes are just a number on the clock. Its more important for her to listen to her body.

I went with the third option.

I finished folding my laundry and went to use my 85mm lens that had been gathering dust. I really can't decide which lens is sharper... that one or my 50mm f/1.4

She's lucky that she's cute.

I have to admit that I let her sleep until 8:30 PM. Actually, the darn doorbell woke her up at that time. Let's pretend I didn't host thoughts of strangling the neighbor kid that came by at 8:30 PM.

Jocelyn woke up screaming, unfortunately, She was so out of it. She said her mouth hurt and she felt very hot to the touch. It took a good 30 minutes to calm her down. I also gave her motrin in case her throat really did hurt.

Want to know what time she went back to bed to sleep that night?

1:30 AM.

That means, my friends, that I will NEVER LET MY 2 YEAR OLD NAP AT 5:30 AGAIN AS LONG AS I LIVE.

There. I said it. Its official. And I mean it.

Thank goodness she is cute!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back To School for 2014-15

Our Summer went by in a wink, but you know what? I was actually ready for school to start back this year. I love my kids and I enjoy them being home and spending fun times with them. Yet, the middle kid really really craves the structure of the public school system. He likes to wake up to an alarm, have certain choices for breakfast, eat lunch at exactly 12:05, and finds comfort in his "1. Snack 2. Chores 3. Practice 4. Reading 5. Homework" afternoon chart.

So school is back in session and all is well with the world.

The preteen is excited to show off her new iPhone (Thanks Uncle Jason!), her new chevron patterned clothes, and see all the friends she's missed all Summer long.

I thought Jocelyn would be sad with her big brother and sister gone all day, but we had a great time at the library on Monday, just her and me.

I have a good feeling about this school year :)