Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A new language.

When I was going through all the infertility mess I realized that I learned a new language. I blogged about it here. Now I have a new language full of words that might look more recognizable than those in the infertility world, but they meant nothing to me at one time and now I could talk in depth about any of them. 

Still so much to learn, but here's a list of some of the photography words that meant next to nothing to me at this time last year...

Layer Masks
Gaussian Blur
Light meter
Edit in vs edit out
35mm vs 50mm vs 85mm
1.4 vs 1.8 vs 2.0
60D vs 6D vs 5D
ISO 200 vs 1000
Fast lens
Wide open
Softbox vs umbrella vs umbrella softbox
Full frame vs crop sensor
Custom white balance

Sort of fun to think about! I wonder what I will all be able to add to this list at this time next year. Surely a ton of things I haven't even thought of yet. This is one reason I foresee sticking with photography for a long time to come (provided people hire me!), the fact that there is always something new to learn. How could you ever get bored? 

Anyway, I've really sucked at blogging about my kids lately and maybe all of the above sheds some light onto why! There is only so much time in the day and clearly I spend a lot of my minutes devoted to learning about and working on photography. It's safe to say it's taken over my life for now, but it's getting slow so I can spend the winter here :) 

Friday, November 22, 2013

This is Simon.

This is Simon. He does this face and nods his head vigorously all the time when he's excited about something or just trying to be funny.

This boy of ours is so many things, as I expect all kids are. He can be so sweet and thoughtful and kind and polite and easy going and affectionate. He can also be rude and belligerent and sassy and lazy and sneaky and inconsiderate.

No matter what, even if he was just being completely naughty, when he hugs me I completely melt. He gives damn good hugs. His 6th birthday is approaching and it just sounds so old. One day I'm going to wake up and he's not going to give me a legs and arms and head hug. It's going to be just his arms and his head, and maybe one day just his arms.

I'm rambling and I'm not sure where I'm going with this other than to say how much I love that little guy up there...and that picture serves as a good reminder to point my camera at him more even if he does only talk at me, make weird faces or run away from me when I bring it out....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Too Fast

Cecilia is growing up too fast. In the past month she has started sleeping in a big girl bed, sitting on a regular chair at the table, eating with bowls/plates rather than always on a tray, getting herself utensils, helping unload the dishwasher of clean utensils, drinking out of a regular cup (when she sneaks it), going down the stairs by herself, sneaking out of the house, asking questions ("where daddy?"), saying statements ("I wanna see Adia!"), understanding the concept of if/then, and the list goes on. She peed on the potty today and said so. Yesterday she hid her hand behind a corner and when I asked her what was in her hand she looked brightly up at me and opened the hand that was visible and shrugged with this shit eating grin...all the while she made sure to keep the hand with contraband hidden. So I guess she started lying?

That is TOO. MANY. NEW. THINGS. in too short a time. All of a sudden she is not just a toddler, but she is a full blown experienced toddler practically overnight. So you know what? I am going to keep giving her a bottle when she asks. Yup, we still have bottles in our house and hell if I am going to take it away anytime soon. I love her and I love that baby bottle.

Picturing her with that bottle makes me want to break down and cry right little baby is just not a baby at all, but when she has that bottle she will let me hold her or at least change her diaper without a fight.

Now I am someone who loves to watch her kids grow up. I find it fun and exciting and don't typically miss the stages that are gone. And really that's true here too, but I feel like there was a stage that was skipped somehow....she's just such a big girl!!!

I would post pictures too, but it's late and my brain is tired. Maybe tomorrow I will get around to posting pictures and something about Simon too :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cecilia's Woes at 21 Months

I want to preface this by saying that I am not crying, complaining, desperate or overwhelmed by any of the below. Not every moment is easy and blissful of course, but I accept that this is my life right now and we're taking the good with the ugly. Because the good always outweighs the ugly.

This post just tells you how ugly it can be :)

I decided to keep a little log today to track every time Cecilia expressed her anger. Some of these "fits" as I will call them were a few seconds of disapproval, others maybe up to a minute or so, others came with a writhing body and swings at my face. I didn't keep track of the severity of the fit, only that she expressed her anger with some kind of howl or gesture. And also take note that this was a very typical day, not too out of control and not too overly easy.

So here we go...

  1. Simon left a lidless water cup out and she got her hands on it....I took it away after she dumped it all over herself and the coffee table. She was displeased.
  2. I put her coat on her.
  3. She didn't want to go to the Y Kid Care.
  4. She didn't want to leave the Y Kid Care.
  5. We turned into our driveway.
  6. I got her out of the car (I think she was still holding out hope that we would leave right away).
  7. I pulled her off of the stairs.
  8. I let Elliot clean up the food she dumped on the floor.
  9. I said "Hey Cecie," when she was batting at the dog.
  10. I put her down for a nap.
  11. After she awoke, I suggested a diaper change (not to be confused with an actual diaper change).
  12. I wasn't turning the pages fast enough in her book of choice.
  13. I declined her request for candy.
  14. I shut the gate going out to our back door.
  15. I took a battery away from her.
  16. Unknown.
  17. I look lotion away.
  18. Unknown.
  19. Unknown.
  20. I was holding her while cooking and she grabbed the pepper. I took the pepper away.
  21. I wouldn't let her reach the parsley.
  22. I actually changed her diaper.
  23. I put her discarded, but still partially full, milk cup in the fridge.
  24. Simon ate her discarded end pieces of apple pie at Grandma Ruthie's house.
  25. I collected her as she tried to run in the opposite direction of the door upon leaving Grandma Ruthie's.
  26. Leaving the Y again (this time she was ripped away from the jungle gym...bigger loss and bigger writhing mess).
  27. Another damn diaper change.
I THINK I got them all. I'm sure there were a few missed disagreements, but it's irrelevant. You get the idea! I was sure we'd be in the triple digits by the end of the day. Ha. She exceeded all of my expectations I guess! :) She was awake for about 8 hours today, so that's less than 1 fit every 20 minutes. I don't even know if that is a good or bad statistic. All I know is that this is what's happening round these parts these days and it just is what it is.

I do hope that one day she won't hate that nasty turn into our driveway so

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

1) Dog Update, 2) Cecilia is Crazy

1) So it turns out that our dog DOES have the disease the vets suspected. Addison's disease. Luckily she was able to pull through her body trying to shut down on her with the aid of meds and fluids and now she should be good to go. She will be getting pills twice a day for the rest of her life, but she shouldn't get sick from this again as long as we don't miss any doses. I need to come up with a system to remember! So far I have reminders on my phone set, but I might need to physically write down when I do it so that I can be 100% sure. So that is that!

2) Last night Cecilia REALLY didn't want to be in her crib so she got on her tip toes, jumped a little and flipped herself right out. I was right there and saw it happen, but it was dark so it was hard to see. And I couldn't believe what I was seeing so that just added to the confusion. One second she was there and the next I see her diving for the ground. She basically landed on the back of her head/back/butt. I was so afraid to touch her for fear she broke her neck, but she popped up right away and came into my arms. Since she stopped crying within about a minute I figured she escaped uninjured somehow. She slept with us in our bed last night because we didn't know what else to do, and this morning I monkeyed around with her crib so that the bars now go up to her chin. If she really tried to climb out, I'm sure she could but she won't be able to just topple out like she did last night. So right now, I am glued to the video monitor because after a 30 minute nap she woke up crying. 30 minutes is unacceptable so I'm trying to let her cry herself back to sleep, but I'm worried she is going to somehow manage to escape again....

Gooooood times.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Our other girl

Our dog, Elliot, has a history of annoying me. Mostly she has annoyed me over the years with her food stealing. If you leave out something edible, or something that smells like it might be edible, she is probably going to eat it. It has driven me crazy over the years.

But she is a nice dog. I never worry about her with the kids. And she's quiet; she doesn't bark much. And she flips her bowl when she's hungry or out of water. She sneaks on the couch after we've gone to bed because we don't usually let her on it during the day. She often jumps on the bed after Bryan leaves in the morning to enjoy his warm spot. She always greets people at the back door with something, anything, in her mouth. She only bothers Bryan in the middle of the night if she has to go out (score extra on that one). She has a special sound she makes when she sees a deer in the yard. She helped us rid our roof of raccoons by alerting us when they were out of their nest so we could go out and block it before they could get back in. She earns her keep by cleaning up after the kids (brooms are for suckers if you ask me). She's a good girl.

So it kills me when she is not well. And today she is not well. She is at the animal hospital getting fluids because she wouldn't eat or drink for more than 2 days and was severely dehydrated. She is still in a "critical" state, but we are hopeful for a full recovery. They think she has Addison's disease based on all the symptoms she is having now as well as all the weird things that have been going on over the past few months (originally the vet thought maybe arthritis). We should find out soon whether she for sure has this disease, which is treatable but not curable. As long as she makes it through the night and survives this "crisis" as it's formally called, she should be okay.

Long effing day today. Say some doggie prayers for her!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Family Photos 2013

Ever since I started taking photos of other people's families, I've really, really wanted to get some done of my own family. I contacted a handful of other photographers, but either we couldn't get our schedules to work or I couldn't justify the price (obviously I value photography, but $900? Good for you, but I'm not your ideal client I guess!). So I took matters into my own hands. I set my camera how I wanted it, told my sister where to stand, and she snapped away. I did a little bit of editing to my favorites from the bunch and I'm really happy with the results! Thanks, Al :)

Simon was busy finding a home for a bug and Allison caught me yelling to him. Hahaha!

Bryan just ran a marathon the day before and was in a little bit of pain still....

So you may or may not know that a little over 2 weeks before the aforementioned marathon, Bryan sprained his ankle. These next 2 photos were taken just seconds after I STEPPED ON HIS FOOT. Ooops.

He's not over what I did to him. But I love this picture :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cling Monster

On a normal day, I can tell you that I HATE LOATHE DESPISE when Cecilia gets clingy. I'm all about snuggling, but on days when she has to be in my arms or on my lap ALL. DAY. LONG. I get super crabby about it. So when she is being a cling monster when I'm not feeling well, I hate it even more. Currently she is on my lap because she is refusing to be put down. I could scream. My head hurts, my stomach is queasy and I'm exhausted despite getting 12 hours of sleep last night.

So we are off to a super crabby, long day. As with all things, though, this too shall pass. Nap time will be here before you know it...please, please, please Cecilia take a decent nap today!

Yesterday was a better least until I took the syrup out of her reach at which point we had some drama:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chris and Brenda, Sitting in a Tree

This past weekend a very old friend married a very new friend. It was such a fun day and and definitely the most fun wedding we've been to in years! No offense to anyone's wedding over the past few years, but this one had all of our oldest, closest friends in attendance so there's just no competing with that. Here were the highlights from my seat:

  • Seeing Wes and Macey walk down the aisle. Their (terrified) smiles were PRICELESS. 
  • Laura telling us how Mike got her a Nutter Butter ice cream thing (too long to retell, but it was funny).
  • Wes saying to Tiffany, "So. I see that you're wearing glasses." And later, "So who's the bo-" but he was unable to finish his question because his mother smacked him on the arm so fast.
  • Going to get drinks in between the ceremony and reception with Andy, Peggy, Jason and Bryan.
  • Going to Home Depot with the aforementioned crew so Bryan could get rubber cement in an attempt to glue his heel back onto his shoe. It fell over several times throughout the night. Our dinner table smelled like the rubber cement and several people indicated they'd like to huff it.
  • Charlie's bib/tie.
  • Seeing all of our good friends looking so handsome and dressed up! We all clean up nicely I think.
  • At one point every single person in our group was on the dance floor, including the guys and gals who usually "chair dance" as Deanna calls it. It was only one song that brought everyone to their feet and I THINK it may have been a Miley Cyrus song, but I can't be sure. 
  • I got really drunk for literally 5 minutes. Someone bought everyone shots and I wound up having 2 of them. I think they were my second and third shots in my whole life. Well about 10 minutes later it HIT me and 15 minutes later I was good to go again. Very odd experience.
  • Andy being there!
  • Andy laughing about the fact that he heard literally 5 different women comment at the ceremony about how there were two people named Macey in the wedding party.
  • We had a 30 minute after party at the Taylors and I don't think I've ever seen Mike Taylor laugh that hard in the 10+ years I've known him. He sent a drunk text to Andy, which Andy retold to Mike once we arrived and Mike LOST it. I thought he might puke. Lots of laughs all around in that 30 minutes. (The text had something to do with a badger.)
  • Seeing Chris and Brenda together was awesome. They are so perfect together. He's a little more serious and she's a little more wild, and I think they compliment each other perfectly. I am so happy to have her a part of our little group and I think I even like Chris a little more because he picked her. Haha :) 
I'm sure there's a million things that I missed, but I guess these are the things that stick out 2 days later. Congrats and love to you both :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Boots and Teeth

I cannot get enough of these boots. I want her to wear them every. single. day. forever.

And this guy has his first loose tooth. I can't believe he is old enough for this...his lower left front baby tooth will be outta here soon. Crazy, crazy, crazy.


I don't know what it is about TODAY, but TODAY I am overwhelmed. There is so much on my mind that I feel like I don't know where to place my efforts. So I'm resorting to a quick blog post to help clear my head.

What I really need to do is edit. I have 2/3 of a session to go of an adorable little 6 month old. Then all of a senior session, and tonight I am meeting with a 7 month old. Then Saturday and Sunday and Tuesday and Saturday I have more sessions. Then it all thins out, so I am then stressed about that too.

Plus I really want an actual logo so I need to figure that out. And Black Friday is coming up so maybe I should do some kind of promotion for that? And my website still doesn't have an "About Me" section so that should probably be checked off the old to do list. And I need to create a contact list of all of my clients' emails so I don't have to rely soley on facebook for them to know what's going on around here. Oh and did I mention I'm officially backlogged on the actual work? I think I did.

Ha. Just one of those days!

I am loving every second of this new line of work, so don't misunderstand this to be complaining. I'm still just trying to figure it all out - how to manage now and how to keep the business coming in! There is so much to learn about the actual photography part AND the business part. Time to take some deep breaths and get moving :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Then and Now

September 2012 vs September 2013
That's all :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013


So it's been a hot minute since I've posted much about Cecilia's hair, a subject that more or less took over this space for awhile. The thing is that for the past several months I have not been able to try anything new. We've basically had 2 options: 2-3 puff ponytails or twist the front section back into 2-3 puff ponytails (shown below). These have been our options because I absolutely will not risk spending time on trying anything new because time is of the essence right now. Cecilia is a healthy 19 month old, after all. And what healthy 19 month old wants to sit and have their hair messed with for hours? None that I can think of.

Today she was awesome, though. She no longer fights hair washing (THANK GOD!) and she is obsessed with iPhones so we handed her Bryan's and she was good to go. I took these pictures almost exactly 45 minutes apart. I'm rather amazed that in 45 minutes we transitioned from one look to the next, including washing and detangling. It was quite the treat.

So thank you, beautiful girl, for having an unhealthy obsession with gadgets at such a young's really making hair time so much more manageable for us both :)

And I think now would be a good time to share the running commentary in my head when I look at the above pictures: "Holy SHIT this kid is {stronger than "shit" expletive} beautiful." Please tell me you curse in your head to describe how much you love and think your kids are beautiful?! Haha. I'm sure I'm not the only one :) Also, "God that's a lot of hair," is mixed in there. Seriously. Look at it. There's a lot. Can you tell?

This final product photo doesn't really do it justice, but there you have it! From fro to styled in 45 minutes. Boom.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Cave

We were lucky enough to get (fairly decent) tickets to see Mumford & Sons this week. A few people asked me what song I wanted to hear most and with zero hesitation I replied, "The Cave." The show was going on and they were nothing short of amazing (seriously....AMAZING), but no Cave. As it turns out, this song must be a favorite for a lot of folks because they chose to finish with it and the crowd went totally and completely bonkers, myself included of course.

Since hearing it live I've of course listened to it about a hundred more times trying to relive the fun of that moment two nights ago. And for whatever reason it popped into my head that of the very few songs I've posted on this blog, another was a Mumford delight a couple years ago. I guess they're share worthy!

I'm so glad we decided to go see them (not that it was ever in question as far as Bryan was concerned). Nice to do something that makes you feel youthful and lively and non parental every so often. That's all :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Simon is in Kindergarten.

Simon kind of cracks me up. Going to his first day of all day school was honestly no. big. deal. to him in the morning. He was completely whatever about it and didn't have a care in the world. His mother, on the other hand, was fighting back tears all morning and making that first lunch felt like entirely too much. I was on the brink all morning and then the damn bus tipped me over the edge (not unlike his first day of 4K). It was really no big deal, he just wound up being on a different bus from the neighbor boy but in that moment it was the straw. 

The poor neighbor boy's dad had to see me cry about it. Not my finest moment.

{No clue what he is doing in half these pictures...just being a goof!}

The rest of the morning I felt like crying and I couldn't even tell you exactly why. Sentimentality? Anxiety? Sadness? Happiness (haha)? Maybe a mixture, I don't know. It was unexpected, this I know. My friend Julie whose daughter had her first day of 5K as well yesterday met me out at Target and that helped for sure. 

By nap time, my only concern was that my dear daughter was boycotting a nap for the third day in a row. I'm hoping today doesn't make four because the chick is CRAZY come dinner time when she doesn't nap. Like total bat shit. Not crying, just all over the place and literally walking into walls over and over.

Anyway, back to Simon's first day. After he got home he wanted to play with the aforementioned neighbor boy and I said I wanted him to come home first to decompress and have a snack. This didn't go over well. He wouldn't tell me anything about school and was just scowling and talking sassy to me. You may have seen this on FB, but I'm repeating it here...I sent him a note in his lunch that read "I hope you're having a fun day" and I asked him if he got it and what it said...Simon replied angrily, "yes I got it! It said I hope you're having a LAME DAY!" and he stormed off.

Okay then, I guess you're still mad at me for not letting you play? Ha. Eventually he was able to talk calmly to me and told me about a penny system they have for good behavior and that one kid lost his penny that first day (not him). He didn't have a lot more to add, but I'm sure more information will trickle in each day. 

{Finding a cicada shell....and getting ready to throw it at me. Look at that naughty face!}

So that's it. My boy is a full time student. We will see how much he's grown by this window at the end of the year! (Thank you Macey's teacher for the idea!)


Love you, kid. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Top 10 for a boy and a girl

I was just sitting here thinking about all the things I love about my children. I mean, they're kids, so they are going to drive me batty plenty but, they're kids, so they're going to be uber lovable all the same. Now seems like as good a time as any to mention the top 10 things I love about each of those little people I have the privilege of calling my own.

The boy:

  1. The way he plays pretend allllll the time. He is constantly in his own little world doing who knows what and I love every second of it. 
  2. The way it kind of looks like he has a widow's peak because he has two white blonde patches where his receding hairline will presumably be some day. 
  3. That he needs about 90 seconds to be put to bed at night.
  4. That he is so confident he can say with zero jealousy that his sister is "the funniest."
  5. That he runs outside to greet the people he loves because waiting for them to get to the door is just too hard.
  6. That he is always thinking two steps ahead in order to get what he wants.
  7. That he will play with his sister when I need her to be distracted, that he watches out for choking hazards for her, that he tells me when she has something she shouldn't, that he is her protector (and antagonizer, but that is for a different post). 
  8. That he regularly says "guess what?" and "um, um, um, um" and "did you know that?" and "I'm really good at (fill in the blank)" and "I'm having a rough day" and "okay mumma." I'm sure there are many more things he says that are just so Simon, but I'm drawing a blank now.
  9. That he will give me the biggest, full on body hug any and every time I ask.
  10. His laugh, his voice, his greenish eyes, his perfect teeth, his sense of humor, his confidence, his everything.

The girl:

  1. The way she runs around and laughs and everything and nothing all day.
  2. That she still runs as though she has no control and looks like she will fall any second, but usually stays upright.
  3. That her smile is so big and bright and shows off all her pearly whites (even the molars, it's kind of crazy huge).
  4. That she has more hair than any other kid I've ever seen at her age...and even lots of adults.
  5. That she says "thank you" when she hands you something. 
  6. The way she says the words Berta, shoes, whoa, swing, Cecilia, cheese and hello. I don't know why they stand out to me but I love the way they come out.
  7. That she likes to be in her stroller 90% of the time it's required of her.
  8. That she will pull Bryan into the living room and start dancing so that he puts music on for her, so that she can really start dancing.
  9. That since she could smile she's been particular about who gets to see it. If she doesn't see you regularly, chances are you're not going to see that beautiful grin of're likely going to see a cold stare straight in the eyes (which is why I understand when people call her "serious" even though I would never, ever in a million years describe her that way). 
  10. That she too goes to bed in 90 seconds, her deep brown skin and even darker eyes, they way you know she loves her brother and will say "bradah" if you tell her to say Simon, that she gets wild and loopy rather than crabby when she's tired, her laugh that I could never explain in words but could surely pick out of a line up, her everything too.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Camping Trip (From Hell)

Ok so when the sun was up, it wasn't hell. It was actually pretty fun. We took the kids up to Door County to go camping on Sunday night and planned to stay through Tuesday. Simon was in heaven finding dead snakes, "deadly" caterpillars, playing with sticks, swimming, kayaking, biking, roasting marshmallows and cheese curds, eating junk food, having fun with Grandma and Grandpa and generally just doing what you do when you camp.

Cecilia was being an 18 month old at a campsite, falling on everything, running into the road, finding herself in the stroller a lot, etc. She had fun, though, and behaved better than expected actually. Like I said, when the sun was up it was pretty fun - with both of them.

Then the sun went down.

Now Cecilia has always been an excellent sleeper so I probably shouldn't complain when we have a rough night, but this was beyond a rough night. So rough that we refused to endure another one and went home early.

For whatever reason the night before we left she talked to herself until 10pm. Weird for her, but not that big of a deal except that it meant she'd be a bit sleep deprived the next day. So 7:30pm rolls around the following evening and she's ready for bed so I put her in the pack and play in the tent and let her cry it out for awhile. Eventually she calmed down and then started calmly yelling out the side window for everyone..."MAMA?! DADDY?! BAPA?! UM UM UM UM BAPA?!" (She's developed the "um" stutter already thanks to Simon.)

By this point it was about 8:15 so we decided to try going for a drive with her to see if that would shut her up. It took her a solid 30 minutes to close her eyes so we drove another 30 to make sure she was good and asleep before taking her out. She hears the zipper to the tent and she's up. She could not stop moving. She was rolling around, kicking us, sticking her diaper in our faces, flapping her legs around, etc. She could NOT. STOP. MOVING. Just couldn't. And every time we'd try putting her in her pack and play again she would cry, which we didn't want to let her do for too long since we were in a campground. At one point she starts going through all the ways to say Daddy while climbing all over him, "Dada! Dadeee! Da! Dadeee!" I believe this is when my delirious laughing fit occurred.

I forgot to mention that it was STIFLING hot in the tent. Like suffocating, can't breathe kind of hot. We had all the windows open but the cross breeze was missing us somehow. Plus, it was too small for 2 adults, 2 kids and a pack and play. It all just added to the misery.

Then around midnight Bryan took her back in the car again to see if it would work a second time. After all, it is midnight and she HAS to be exhausted, right?!?!! This can't go on forever, RIGHT?!?! So he took her out and again she stayed awake for almost a half hour before giving in. And again, when she heard the zipper she woke back up. After another hour of much of the same as before, we tried the pack and play (AGAIN) and after who knows how long of walking around it she finally collapsed. I think this was around 2am or so. I don't even remember how she wound up back by us by morning come to think of it. I think she started crying again at some point so we took her out.

And here she is finally snoozing away in the morning...

So that was fun. I know that was quite a detailed account, but it was quite a night. One that I'm not probably explaining that well, but I tried. Ha. I should mention that Simon was awesome throughout all of this. He fell asleep and stayed asleep through all the nonsense. Phew.

I forgot my camera sadly, so I have very few pictures from our little adventure, but I did whip out my iPhone when the kayaking adventure commenced!

They had a ton of fun and I'm glad they got to do it! All around it was a fun little trip, but not one that I want to repeat anytime soon. I have no idea how we will approach the sleep situation when we go again! What can I say, the girl loves her crib. It's 8:45am and she is still sound asleep. Thank God :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ten is the magic number?!

Things have been a little crazy for me lately, and the next couple of weeks are going to be my craziest yet. When I launched Theresa Hermus Photography back in early June I thought I'd be lucky to get a few sessions a month, with a goal of booking 21 sessions by the end of the year. I didn't expect to have more than double that less than three months later, including some into 2014. Yowza.

It's all a little overwhelming and feels a little too good to be true. In case you're wondering, this is my TENTH job since graduating from college in 2003. I've been like a little lost puppy trying to find my way for the past decade. I didn't leave college with a clear direction and set up a career for myself; it just didn't work out that way. I kept floating from thing to thing until something better came along. Finally it seems like I found a "thing" that I want to stick with and hopefully people will keep wanting to hire me so I can keep at it.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been sooooo supportive and encouraging; your kind words about my work, your "marketing" for me and even your likes on facebook mean the world to all makes me feel so incredibly lucky to have you in my corner!! :)

Off to work! :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ups and Downs

Lately Simon and I have been having a lot of ups and downs. He can be so sweet, hilarious, creative and awesome so much of the time. The rest of the time? He's whining, complaining, crying, bothering his sister, bothering me, talking back, throwing toys, lying, manipulating and generally making my hair turn grey.

I go back and forth between feeling sentimental about school starting and feeling excited. Today I'm excited. This kid is BORED out of his mind. We do things, go places, visit people, play outside, play with friends, do art projects, etc. but the second we aren't doing one the aforementioned activities he is looking for trouble. To be fair, he does still play well on his own and get absorbed into his imaginary world but it takes longer for him to get to that place. Once he's there, we're good, but it doesn't start up as easily as it once did. And while we're waiting, it's just trouble.

Funny, a month ago Cecilia was giving me a run for my money and one day it switched. Just like that. She became normal (for an 18 month old), and the boy lost his damn mind. Thankfully, whenever we have phases like this he always finds his way back to normalcy eventually. I'm sure that will be Cecilia's cue to crank things up a notch :)

Here are some of our brighter moments over the past few days....

He was reading to Cecilia - how cute is this?

He actually helped me clean his room with little complaint, even getting under the bed thoroughly:

We were babysitting for some friends and they set up a farmer's market (I bought strawberries from myself). After it was all set, he went to the end of the driveway and started yelling "FOOD FOR SALE!" at the top of his lungs and was mad nobody was coming. He was hellbent on it being a REAL store and not pretend and was very adamant that he got paid with real money. The whole thing was just pretty cute.

And finally a little video of him...this is not how he normally is, but this is Simon trying to be funny. He laughed heartily at himself when looking back at his several times:

Like I said, we've had ups and downs :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

State Fair 2013

What's a summer without State Fair?

I don't know, but I do know that this year was not all that fun if I'm being completely honest. Only because it was so much more crowded than it normally is that we just didn't get to see/do as much as we normally would. I don't know what the crowds were all about, but they were insane. We didn't go through animal buildings, didn't see pig races and didn't get a cream puff. We did, however, go on the big slide, spend a lot of money on food and watch a monkey show.

Simon and his cousins were sitting right up front at the start of the monkey show and the SECOND Simon saw that baboon emerge he was on his feet and running to the back.

After a few seconds of realizing he wasn't going to be attacked, he slowly inched his way closer and loved every second of the show (frankly, so did I).

I couldn't get a good angle because of damn crowds but you can see his laughter in his neck :)

Here is Auntie Allison's "this is how I feel about going to State Fair with children" look :)

This is my "a little eyeliner and mascara go a long way so I should really take 30 seconds to do this every day" look:

So that's State Fair 2013. I might request a report from the State Fair people to find the least busy time and day next year :)