Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grandpa Trains

Since we are not spending Thanksgiving Day with our extended family, I decided to take the kids down to Tucker the weekend before. The only problem with this plan was our crazy busy schedule in Spartanburg that weekend. Jayce had social group, Jaina had a cheerleading banquet, and our whole entire family was invited to celebrate my friend Amy's birthday. Oh, and Jayce had his Winter Piano recital the next day, too.

In true Walker fashion, we said, "yes" to everything and squeezed it all in :)

(Most pics from crazy weekend are on my phone so they'll have to be dumped later)

We might have only spent 24 hours in Tucker, but we still had fun :)

Jocelyn would pick up a train, turn around and look at Grandpa sitting in his recliner and say, "Grandpa... trains?"

And even though his 69 year old double knee replacement foot/ankle reconstruction body doesn't enjoy being on the hardwood floor, sometimes you have to make a toddler happy :)

Aunt Jami came over with her dog, Buddy. 

Aunt Jami took the big kids to Fernbank Science Museum. And we all watched the movie Epic while eating pizza.

Trains, science, movies and pizza. Not bad for 24 hours :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mobile blogging

It appears that I can mobile blog anywhere... just not from my house. We are currently in Atlanta for a quick visit with the family and two photo sessions.

I can't transfer any photos from my phone to my pc due to the old version of fedora I'm running but brian promises to fix it in january after I finish all my sessions.

Lets see if I can manage to post some from my phone while using the blogger app.

"hi. my name is Doug. "

If you have seen the movie Up, then you know the aforable talking dog that continually gets distracted by a squirrel.

For some reason, My parents have a talking stuffed animal Doug that Jocelyn is convinced is really Pluto.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mickey and Minnie: How the obsession began

It all started with a simple iphone app.

Fisher Price has a free App called "Rock Star Mickey" that I believe goes along with one of their toys titled the same. My mom just happened to download it for free when she was searching for new Fisher Price apps for her phone. This is how she keeps Jocelyn occupied for me at numerous doctor's appointments and baseball games :)

Soon, Jocelyn stopped asking to play with any other app on her phone. It was all about the "Mick Mouse!" on the iphone.

She had never even seen a single episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or any of the old cartoons on the Disney Channel. She didn't even know who Mickey Mouse was, except that he wore sunglasses and played a guitar on grandma's phone.

Soon afterwards, our family was completing our weekly grocery shopping at Walmart and I just happened to glance at their toy aisle in search of a Mickey Mouse doll for $5. They didn't have one, but they had a Minnie Mouse. We bought it.

And Jocelyn could have cared less about it.

But then Grandma found Mickey at Dollar General and brought it over to our house one day. Jocelyn exclaimed, "MICK MOUSE!" and gave it a hug and a kiss. Then promptly went over to her discarded Minnie Mouse so the couple could be together.

Now she has to have Mickey and Minnie everywhere she goes. And they have to stay together. She even puts them in the doll stroller and says, "My babies!"

My mom also found some Minnie Mouse PJs for her for $6. She literally wears them almost every night. Anytime I wash a load of clothes or towels, I put them in so they'll be clean.

She also has a Mickey Mouse bib that was a party favor from our friend Evan's first birthday. There was a period over about a week that she refused to take the bib off. Seriously. (I have camera phone pics, but none with my big camera).

We have this Christmas movie that both big kids LOVE. Its probably our family's favorite Christmas movie of all time. "MIckey's Twice Upon a Christmas" is something we've watched for 9 years. Jayce put the movie on for Jocelyn and her obsession was born. "Mouse Chris! Mouse Chris!" she says when she wants you to put the movie on. She talks about the movie frequently, too. "Minnie Mouse fall. Down. Minnie sad. Quack Quack Donald Duck silly! Pluto? Arf arf!"

So, we've got the Minnie Mouse PJs, a bib, the dolls, the movies, the shows, a shirt, a halloween costume, shoes that Jocelyn believes are "pretty minnie mouse shoes!" since they have red and black bows on them, and brand new socks that grandma bought yesterday that almost went into the bathtub with Jocelyn since she refused to take them off. (I had to convince her that they needed to be cleaned in the clothes washer instead).

Obsessed much?

That's okay. She still likes Dora, and Blue's Clues, and Sesame Street. She's pretty well rounded when it comes to shows and toys and books and characters.

But we are secretly glad she loves her Mickey and Minnie so much because it will make our Disney Trip that much more exciting for her :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Halloween 2013

Our first stop on our Halloween Night was at Aunt Monica's house. She has moved into a new neighborhood that isn't filled up enough yet to get many trick or treaters.

Jocelyn had started taking independent steps more often the day before so she got to actually walk up to Monica's door to knock and say, "Trick Treat!"

Then we were invited inside so Jocelyn could open her Reece's Pieces and eat her "candy, yum!"

Jayce and Jud had interesting conversations on the back porch while Jayce tested out the hammock.

When did my oldest daughter get so tall?

Grandma came with us to get a tour of Monica's new house :)

I'm totally making a note about how beautiful Monica's trees were in her back yard so I can  borrow her yard for future Fall seasons :)

Then we headed over to Jordan and Hayden's house. Again, we let Jocelyn walk up to the door and do her thing. And again, we were invited inside. This would prove confusing to her later on in the evening when we couldn't go inside every house :)

We love trick or treating in our old neighborhood! Although it was a bit sad to me that only a handful of neighbors are still there that we know.

Then it was back home to our house to go out again with Daddy. No pictures of costumes since it was so dark, but here are our pumpkins:

Jaina carved Jayce's Minecraft Creeper pumpkin for him because the rind was so hard!

I carved Jocelyn's Mickey Mouse pumpkin and watched in horror as his entire face fell in from the pressure of the carving. I had to rig his face back in with toothpicks. I wanted to cry.

And our "most successful" award goes to Brian on Jaina's pumpkin of our dog, Shaggy:

We had a great Halloween :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let's just chalk it up to being busy

I'm going to look back on the Fall of 2013 and wonder where all the pictures of my kids are.

Using my "big" camera for work every weekend makes me not want to get it out during the week. Its become heavy and cumbersome. I have to check to make sure I'm not using a compact flash card that has a client session on it by accident. I worry about wasting precious battery life since I think all 4 of my batteries are going at the same time.

But I got a new lens the other day and had to try it out on my only willing model before using it during a session.

Bottom line?

I'm in love with both the baby and the lens.

We've been enjoying the beautiful Fall temperatures, although none of us liked the below freezing cold snap we got on Tuesday.

I am desperately combing through every clothing store we frequent (Walmart, Target, Old Navy) for a Minnie or Mickey Mouse winter hat for Little Miss. I think that might be the only way we'd get one on her this Winter at all.

No news to report on the big kids as of late. I just remembered that I never did post their Halloween Costumes from Trick or Treating on the blog (nor emailed Monica her copies of the pictures). I already feel like Halloween was months ago!

We are all decorated for Thanksgiving here. I love buying stuff 50% off the day after a holiday, then putting it away until next year so I forget what I bought. I found a beautiful wooden turkey plaque that says, "Give Thanks" at Great Wolf Lodge and added it to my paltry Thanksgiving decoration collection.

Jocelyn still takes her big sister's pumpkin basket around going, "Trick treat? Candy?" even though we've told her that Halloween is over and its time for Turkey and Gobble Gobble and all that jazz. She already knows how to say "Christmas" and can point out a Christmas tree a mile away. I have a feeling she'd be fine skipping Thanksgiving this year. I would, too. It will be my 35th birthday on our nation's made up holiday this year. Don't get me started on how I feel about my birthday sharing my least favorite holiday. :) Or the fact that I am going to be 35.

So, we'll just keep trucking along and trying to keep it together for the next few weeks until Mommy can just be a mommy on the weekends and not a part time photographer. We're looking forward to a fun filled week at "Mickey Mouse's House Castle" as Jocelyn has come to think of Disney World. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Our Neighbor's Tree

If you want to see beautiful Fall color around here, you have to go somewhere other than our back yard.

See, Brian doesn't like trees. (I know, the inner tree hugging hippie in me is gasping right along with you). He doesn't like to mow around them. He doesn't like how close their dangerous branches get to the house. He doesn't like raking leaves or gumballs from the sweet gum tree. He hates pollen (well, who doesn't?). He hates the smell of Bradford Pear trees, too. (I can't blame him on that one, either!)

Thankfully, though, we only have to go next door to our neighbor's house to enjoy her trees :)

While Jaina had no problem plopping down in Mary Anne's yard, Jayce refused to go over our property line. He didn't want to get in trouble. I tried to explain that Mary Anne wouldn't mind if we used her yard, in fact, she'd probably smile when we told her, but he wouldn't budge.

And Jocelyn promptly got up and started walking ALL over Mary Anne's yard. I could barely keep up with her!

She was so stinkin' pleased with herself :)

No picture of the three of them together, though. I actually took all three of their pictures at separate times of the day!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Our "Pumpkin Patch"... sort of

Our tradition started out of convenience. One year we just happened to be eating dinner on the West Side of town, probably at Moe's, and realized we still needed to get pumpkins.


Its not really a pumpkin patch per se.... its more like a church parking lot with a bunch of pumpkins scattered about. I don't even think the pumpkins are grown here in SC.

Now, our area has some actual REAL pumpkin patches that we've visited over the years. Strawberry Hill, Nivens Apple Farm, the old Children's barnyard. But we typically go there with school or therapy groups. 

I even suggested that we stay on our side of town this year and get our pumpkins closer to our house. But with guys like Brian and Jayce who like to do the same thing every time, I was quickly voted out.

Back to our same old "Pumpkin Patch". 

Jocelyn was THRILLED, or really, beyond thrilled, that they had Mickey Mouse cut outs this year.

In fact, she didn't want to do anything else.

I wanted to get her picture amongst the pumpkins, but couldn't get her to crack a smile.

So, she just got up and walked back to the Mickey board.

Yep, walked.

About a week ago, she surprised us by taking more and more independent steps. Now, she walks about 90 % of the time. (video to come!)

(sorry for the orange color casts that I'm too lazy to get out of the photos)

After Jayce's first and only picture with the pumpkins, he saw several bees flying around and totally lost it. He cried and screamed the rest of the time we were there. (But refused to go sit in the car by himself, which was offered several times).

So, that was our "Pumpkin Patch" adventure of 2013.