Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Family Photos {2014}

Ginger and I exchanged family photos last week and I love how some of them turned out! We decided to add Diesel in to a few of them this year. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ren {8 Months Old}

Ren, you are 8 months old!

At 8 months:

*Grandma Janet weighed you this past week and you were around 21.5 pounds.

*You wear size 3 diapers, and they're not snug at all yet.

*We're moving into 12 month size clothes. Some 9 month stuff fits you still. I bought you a 12 month size outfit at Target and had to exchange it for an 18 month size because you were just too long. Tall and thin, with chunky thighs. :)

*You continue to be so happy all the time. You just smile and smile at everything and everyone. If you are hungry, you get upset. Especially when I start making motions to feed you, then you start all-out crying sometimes. As soon as you're fed, you're back to our happy boy.

*You have started becoming more aware. When I'm around, you're whinier because I think you just want me to eat and hold you all the time. You will sometimes reach out to Daddy and I when we go to pick you up. You get sad when you're left alone for very long.

*You sleep from 8-8:30pm til 7 or 8am. You had been waking up consistently just twice a night, but lately it's been a little more rough. We had one night this week where you had me up 7 times. The next night was 5 times. And you didn't need to eat each time, you just wanted to be awake. I still nursed you almost every time because that's the only thing that would relax you enough to go back to sleep.

*You've been rolling over for awhile, but you've just begun to roll over in bed. You've always been a tummy sleeper, but lately I've been finding you on your back when you wake up at night. I think that's part of what's waking you up...the new-found discovery of laying on your back in your bed.

*I just put the crib bumpers in your bed today because since you're now rolling/moving around more in there, I've found you a couple times with a hand or leg through the crib slats.

*You nap mid-morning (the time depends on how early you wake up) for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. Then you take an afternoon nap around 1:30pm. That nap is still frustrating because you always wake up after 30-45 minutes and want to nurse, but then you go right back to sleep for sometimes up to 2 more hours. If you wake up early from your afternoon nap, you'll also take a short evening nap. Then you go to bed between 8 and 8:30pm.

*I still just don't understand that afternoon nap because when you wake up in the middle of it, you always cry/yell out...which is not how you wake up at any other time. When you wake in the mornings, sometimes you whimper or sometimes I just can hear you moving around. Same with nighttime wakings. You usually just whimper a bit, or do kind of a quiet cry. But that afternoon nap waking is hard, sad, or maybe even scared crying.

*You had been on a pretty consistent schedule of nursing every 3 hours. Sometimes it's still like that. But lately I feel like you've been eating less more often. And not taking a bottle as well when you're away from me. I don't know if it's part of you being more aware and realizing you prefer nursing to bottle feeding, and you prefer cuddling with momma more often, or if it's teething, or what.

*We've finally gotten you to eat a few things. You will eat broccoli, lunchmeat, cheese, puffs, chicken. I even let you try a little hummus this week that you seemed to like. But even with those, if I leave your pacifier on your high chair tray, you'll eat a few bites and then suddenly decide you're done and pop your pacifier in. There's a lot of whining that goes on while I feed you real food and I can't decide what that's about. Maybe you just still don't like eating much.

*Foods I've tried that haven't gone over well with you: sweet potatoes, fruit purees, meat purees. All seemingly good things that you just haven't liked.

*You've become a lot more interested in toys. You need to have something to entertain you when you're sitting or laying around, so we have a special basket of baby toys now.

*You're a pro at sitting now. We still put pillows around you if you're going to be sitting for awhile by yourself, but you do a really good job!

*You love love love bath time. You splash around and squeal and smile. This month, I've started letting you sit up in the bath, but we have to be really careful because you always bend all the way forward to look at your hands under the water and your face gets dangerously close to the water.

*You love to empty my makeup bag. It's hilarious how deliberate you are about it. You sit in the Bumbo on the counter and take things out one by one and chew on them then drop them and go in for another thing. You're much more interested in my makeup than any of your toys.

*You don't nap on my bed anymore. It's too light and too distracting in there. Your room is much darker and more soothing, so all of your sleeping is done in there now.

*You said "dada" all the time. I hear baba sometimes and I've heard mama maybe once or twice, but usually it's dada all day long.

*I think you recognize a lot of words, such as Mommy or Momma, Daddy or Dadda, Sutton, Diesel, hungry, sleepy, hi.

*You still are in full effect with the man-growl. You yell in your man voice all the time. It's still hilarious.

*You love to clean the hair out of my hairbrush. Sometimes I find you with fistfuls of my hair if I left the brush too close.

*You have the cutest little toes.

*You still grab our faces a lot, especially when you're tired. You love to pull at Daddy's beard.

*You just have so many cute expressions!

*You like to blow raspberries. You haven't gotten into giving kisses yet.

*You like to bury your face in my chest. Especially when someone is trying to talk to you. It's almost like a shy reaction. But then you unbury it and smile at them.

*You chew on your fingers a lot. You have gotten really good at putting your own pacifier in.

And here is our monthly comparison! You're getting so big!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ren in Video

Ren is a pro at saying "da-da" lately.

So many times I want to tell Sutton to STOP OVERWHELMING THE BABY but Ren seems to love all of his brother's craziness.

And he loves his Daddy so much. Daddy gets the best laughs and knows the best tickle spots.

Monday, October 6, 2014

This Thing Called Busy...

Okay, I don't really have time to write this, but I thought I'd explain why I don't have time to write this post or any post, really. :)

Another photographer posted this on Facebook tonight and I just thought how perfectly it sums up my life right now.

I am so, so glad that my business is booming, but if I'm being completely honest, this is a very hard time of life for our family every year, but especially this year. October has always been a crazy month for me with tons of sessions and weddings, but add taking care of two kids into the mix with very little daycare, and it makes for one stressed momma.

Adam and I have opposite schedules...as soon as he comes home I leave for a shoot. The house is a mess, and I feel like I'm in survival mode with the kids. They're fed, changed, bathed, and supervised, but they definitely aren't getting my best. I can't help but think how much easier this time of year will be when they're in school! But I definitely don't want to wish these precious years away.

Darn October.

Here's a fun photo of my two lovies cuddling on Saturday morning before I left for work. We've started having some chilly mornings around here!

In conclusion, if you know of any good babysitters that are available in the mornings, send them my way! :) I'm only halfway kidding and will really take suggestions into consideration. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ren {7 Months Old}

Ren, you're 7 months old! You keep getting more and more interactive and fun. Here's what you're up to:

*I have no idea on your weight and length, but based on last month, you're probably in the 18 pound range.

*I just moved you up to size 3 diapers. They still seem a little big, but we'd run out of 2s from your diaper shower and I have a box of 3s. Plus, you're technically in the weight range for the 3s, and too big for the 2s. Proves my thought that you're long and skinny.

*You're in 6 month to 12 month size clothes. I think the romper you're wearing here is 12 month and it's a bit big, but not much. The problem is all in the length with you. Most 6 month things you're too long for. 

*Your schedule is still pretty much the same. You go to bed between 8:30 and 9. You get up once or twice to eat, usually at midnight or 1am, then around 5am. Sometimes you skip the first feeding and that's awesome! But sometimes I have to get up and pump.

*You nap in the morning, once or twice (for 40 min to 1 hour each time) depending on how late you slept in. Then we usually all go down for a nap in the 1pm hour and sleep for 2-3 hours. You still have a weird thing about your afternoon nap. You always wake up after 45 minutes or so and want to be awake even though I know you're tired. So I pat your bottom and lay with you in my bed until you go back to sleep. I've been napping with you every day since you're in and out, and since you need your pacifier put back in all the time during this nap. Then I stay up late after you're in bed at night to work. This schedule has been working for the most part for us.

*Your daddy slept on the couch downstairs for about 3 weeks due to a cough he just couldn't get rid of. So I got in the habit of bringing you to my bed after your 5am feeding. You seemed to love it because you would sleep in til 8:30am most mornings, which you did NOT do in your crib. We're still transitioning now that Daddy's back in bed. There's not as much room for you in there, but sometimes you won't go back to sleep at 5am in your own bed.


*You are SO CLOSE to crawling. You've got the leg part figured out, just not the front part. Just in the past few days, you've started getting up on all fours (instead of just sticking your bottom in the air) and rocking before kinda face-planting. You want to crawl so bad. You would probably be crawling if we didn't have hardwood floors upstairs...I'd probably put you down on your tummy a lot more if it was soft and carpeted, so your tummy time isn't super often.

*You still roll over pretty much the second I lay you down anywhere. And somehow you can move around quite a bit just from your rolling and rocking.

*You sit up a little. If you have something that's eye-level or above to look at, you are able to sit for awhile. But if you're looking at the ground, you just bend in half and your face ends up by your toes. Sometimes you'll fall backwards or to the side. We've got to work on that balance.


*You still love to do your weird, deep man-yell/cry. It's not always when you're mad, sometimes you just love to yell.

*You have a fake cough you do. Daddy thinks you're just experimenting with different noises you can make, so when you find a new one, you do it over and over.

*You love love love your bouncy seat. We went to 3 stores looking for a new bigger, sturdier one, but couldn't find one.

When I laid you down to take this photo, it was a job to keep you on your back. You just wanted to roll over, as evidenced by the photo below this one.


*You are still so smiley. You smile at strangers, and then bury your face in my neck, like you're bashful or something. You smile when Daddy gets home from work. You smile whenever we smile at you. You smile sometimes when Sutton is crying because you think he's laughing.

*You love to be tickled. Daddy knows all the good spots. Sutton knows some too. There are so many times where I think he's being too rough with you and I'm getting ready to tell him to stop pushing on your tummy or rubbing his head on your tummy, and then you'll let out this funny belly laugh. I suppose boys are tougher than I expect.

I got some new backdrops for my studio, and Papa Bruce made me a little baby bed. So we tested them out and had a little 7 month photo shoot. I think we really captured your personality!

*You are still refusing food. I have tried so many times to feed you purees, and you don't ever eat a single bite. It all comes back up. You'll eat puffs - we tried those for the first time on August 30. You like them. And the other thing I've found is that you love to suck on food. So I let you suck on fruits like cantaloupe and apples. The other night you were acting interested in my dinner, so I let you suck on a piece of chicken and you LOVED it. You probably sucked on the same bite for like 10 minutes. But any time I'd let you have a little piece to try to actually eat, you'd act like it was the end of the world and spit it out. So you're liking the flavors, just not the actual swallowing.

*It seems like you've started eating more often. We were on a pretty regular 3-hour schedule, but now you've started wanting to nurse sometimes every 2 hours. Sometimes you still go 3. We just never know. I'm grateful that I get to be home with you most of the time so that I can follow your lead with feedings and don't have to try to plan ahead since you're not as regular anymore.

*You've started getting really impatient when it's time to nurse. I will get you in position and start to get ready, and you just start yelling at me. It's like you know what's coming and you don't want to wait!

*Pooping has been on and off. Sometimes you'll still have the super runny blowouts, sometimes it will be normal. Everything else is normal though so I've let go of worrying about it.

*At night time, we usually put Sutton to bed first and read a story or two. Then I rock you in your room and sing or hum. Sometimes I feed you then too. Sometimes you're out within about a minute, and other times I'm in there rocking and singing for 20-30 minutes. You sleep with a noise machine on an ocean waves sound, and a fan blowing on you.

*Your brother is your favorite person. You love him so much and are always smiling at him and trying to be by him. He loves it. For now. Often, we'll watch a movie while laying in my bed, and you'll be between Sutton and I. You will roll towards him and reach out your arms. I tell him that you want to cuddle with him, so he'll put his arm out for me to lay you in his arm so you two can cuddle together.

*I think you're taking a toll on him subconsciously though. Big bro has been having a rough time lately. Lots of crying. So....so much crying. Lots of tantrums. Lots of yelling. Lots of impatience. I think it's partly his age, but partly because he was used to getting all the attention before you came and he's realizing that it won't be that way again. He loves you so much, but he is figuring it all out.

*Your momma is still figuring stuff out too. I know we have it so good, but it is really hard to juggle two kids and a business. There have been times where you're crying for no reason other than you want to be held, but I have to send "one more email" or get "one more photo edited and posted." I feel guilty all. of. the. time. I look at you and can't imagine my life without you, but then I try to figure out where the last 7 months have gone and realize I've been so busy, so stressed, that it's all a blur. If I could just sit and hold you every day all day, I would!

*You love bath time. You lay in your little bath sling and just kick your legs like crazy to splash and splash. You yell sometimes too. It's like you think it's funny to make a bunch of noise. You've really started trying to roll off your sling though, so I can't take my eyes off of you for a second.

*You like to play with toys. Everything goes in your mouth. You play with toys in your high chair a lot while we're eating, and you always start with a tray full of toys and about 2 minutes later, there's nothing there. You knock them all on the floor or in your lap.

*You also love to play with everything in my makeup bag. Your brother did this too when he was your age. I sit you in the Bumbo on the counter while I'm getting ready, and you just start taking stuff out of my makeup bag and trying to chew on it or throw it. Crazy kid.

*Your hair is starting to look redder. I think you're gonna be a redhead just like your brother. You've also got this little curl right on top of your forehead, so we'll see what that turns into.

*You've just started this new thing when I'm putting you to bed at night, where you scratch your head. I try to hold that hand down, but you pull it away forcefully. I also have tried to cover your head with my hand, but you'll just find a different place to scratch. Your cousin Carson has given himself scrapes on his head doing this, so I don't want you to get into that habit! Sometimes you'll also just play with your ear.

*You're not the biggest fan of your carseat and you grow tired of it after you've been in there awhile. You have started leaning forward when we go to unbuckle you, cause you know we're getting you out.

And our monthly comparison:

Monday, September 15, 2014


My DSLR (aka my "nice" camera) also has video capabilities that I've just never taken the time to figure out.  I decided to see if I could make a couple little videos of the boys last night, and so I googled some things and voila!

I'm intrigued by this because I still have control over the settings such as aperture and shutter speed, so I can adjust how light or dark it is, which is AWESOME. And also, I can make the background blurry like I do in photos, which I think makes the video look so much better. The only thing I'm still trying to figure out is focusing (as you'll see). The only way I could do it was by manually focusing it, and that doesn't seem the best way, especially when you have moving subjects. So I'll need to do a little more research on that.

Enjoy a couple of test videos of the boys! I figure we'll look back at these and LAUGH at Sutton's cute little boy voice and the pink snow boots that he is currently obsessed with wearing (hand-me-downs from his cousins). He's even decided that pink is his new favorite color now. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Last Lake Day of the Summer

One of the Sundays in August, we had our last lake day of the summer. The four of us took the boat out and swam and drove around. It was a perfect day. The sky was pretty, the water was calm, the temp was perfect.

We drove out to the middle of the lake. This had been one of the few days we'd tried to go without Sutton's nap. He fell asleep as we were driving. So did Ren. Adam got this photo of the tired little dudes.

We parked and they woke up. Adam tied the tube onto the boat and he and Sutton got on and just floated around for a bit. Then they both jumped in and Sutton swam around like a pro on his own. We were so proud of him.

Ren got hot just hanging out in the boat, and while he didn't complain, I felt bad for him.

So after I took those two photos, I stripped him down to his diaper. There's a wooden platform on the back of the boat, so he and I sat there and let the water run over our legs. He really seemed to like it.

I even got to go float out on the tube by myself for a bit. That hasn't happened since pre-kids. It was short-lived but awesome. After awhile, we decided to head back to shore. The boat wouldn't start. We were in the middle of the lake. Luckily, Adam figured out whatever it was that was wrong and after a few panicky moments, we got going.

We found some picnic tables near the boat ramp and had peanut-butter-and-jelly tortilla roll-ups and Sun Chips. Mm mm.

I wanted to remember this moment with Sutton, in all his little boy shirtless glory, sitting across from me having a picnic.