Sunday, August 29, 2010

Model Babies

A couple weeks ago I posted Lilah's blooper reel, establishing that Lilah has inherited my unphotogenic genes, poor girl.  I have managed to get some good photos of her over the months, but it's hard work, and I have to take dozens of shots (at least!) to come out with one or two really worthwhile ones.

Apparently, though, this is not universally true of babies.  There are actually babies out there who smile for the camera and look up when their name is called, even with a big ol' lens pointed straight in their face. There are even babies who actually ham it up for the camera - will wonders never cease!   Several of Lilah's friends have some serious modeling skills, as I discovered while looking back through photos from the summer.  I've asked them to share some tips with her.

First up is Baby C.  He knows how to set the scene for a great photo shoot.  He crawled under this hydrangea bush completely of his own accord, and then proceeded to sit still and look up every time I called his name, all while maintaining this sweet, serene little smile.  Talk about a photographer's dream!

Then there's Theo, who pretty much smiles on command.  As long as his diva demands are met.  You know, clean diaper, full belly, a full police escort to and from photo shoots, that kind of thing.

 And this is Baby F, who, when told to channel the Crocodile Hunter, came up with this look:

 A is a master of the "twirl and smile" technique - adorable and great for showing dresses off to their full advantage.  I think Lilah did take some notes from A when they were together, because she's been doing a lot of spinning ever since - now she just has to get the "smile and look at the camera" part down.

Last but not least is my niece, M, who is such a talented professional model that she can even make sand look appetizing!

Many thanks to all of these cuties for showing Lilah a thing or two, and to their parents for allowing me to post their photos.  Get ready, Tyra, these babies are poised to take the modeling world by storm!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Love Is...

Love is going out into the pouring rain and getting drenched from head to toe so that you can close your daughter's window from the outside without waking her up from her nap.

Love is navigating a treacherous path littered with discarded toys, books, sippy cups and squashed bananas several times a day, risking life and limb just to get from the kitchen to the living room.

Love is feeding your child before yourself, even though she just ate an hour ago and your stomach is so empty it's threatening to digest your esophagus if you don't put some food in it soon.

Love is making up silly songs and rhymes at the risk of looking like a total lunatic in public.

Love is becoming a contortionist in order to curl your body around your sleeping or sick child without disturbing them.

Love is ignoring the rising feeling of motion sickness so that you can sit next to and entertain your cranky child in her rear-facing car seat.

Motherhood is love.  It's decidedly unglamourous and often down-right ridiculous.

But pretty great at the same time!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Three Years Later...

Today is our third wedding anniversary.  The Hubs and I wrote our own vows, and mine started out like this:

You are my love, my laughter, my best friend.  You are my home.

Three years later, this is still 100% true, and I hope it will also be true in thirty years.

Our Vows
There are a few things that have helped us make it this far, and I have a feeling they will also serve us well into the future:
  • Taking ten or fifteen minutes to check in each day - no TV, no distractions, just chat.  We call this "T-time" - more on this in a future post.
  • Separate bathrooms - a girl needs her sanctuary, afterall!
  • Maintaining a sense of humour - the Hubs is better at this than I am, but I'm learning!
  • Being silly together
  • Paying people to clean our apartment every two weeks - we are both frugal people by nature, but there is a point at which we have to admit that our time is worth more than our money and splurge a little.  Coming home to a clean house - and clean bathrooms! (see above) - every other Saturday is an absolute treat, and it means we can focus on things that are more important to us and not spend our time bickering about whose turn it is to scour the inside of the bathtub.
  • The fact that my husband is an incredibly generous and caring individual who calms me down when I get stressed out and makes me laugh when I start to take myself too seriously.
Reminding me not to take life too seriously.

(Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's also not bad to look at!)
 Thanks for hanging in there with me, Hubs, and here's to many, many more years of this:


*All photo credits to Elizabeth Soergel, who did our engagement and wedding photos.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Cousin bonding, how cute!
Best friends?
Mmmm, not so much!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lilah: The Blooper Reel

People are always commenting on how much Lilah looks like her daddy. Well here is irrefutable proof that she is her mother's daughter in at least one way. I am, and have always been, totally unphotogenic. The poor kid has inherited my uncanny ability to ruin a perfectly good picture with an overactive blink reflex or poorly-timed facial grimace.

The evidence:

That's my girl!

*I'm sure someday she will absolutely hate me for putting these photos out into cyberspace, but for now, what she doesn't know won't hurt her!  (Besides, I'm sure by then I'll have given her so many other reasons to hate me that this will be the least of our problems!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Four (Five?) Fs

I can sum up our trip to Ontario in four Fs:  Food, Family, Friends, and Fun (in that order).

Food - This F comes first, no question.  I don't think I ever actually gave myself the chance to be hungry while we were away.  I just ate and ate and ate.  And ate.  I shoved more calories into my face than I care to think about, and after polluting my body for almost two weeks, I am in need of some serious detox.

Mmmmmm, s'mores!!!

Lilah's cousin C getting every last drop of chocolate

No corn is better than Ontario Peaches 'n' Cream in August.  Lilah will attest.

We did eat the occasional green veggie.

Family - Seven adults and four kids living together makes for an ineresting week to say the least!  It was wonderful to see my family again, and to finally meet my 10-month-old niece, who also happens to be the cousin who is closest to Lilah in age.  I think they hit it off!
Partners in crime
Cousin bonding on the beach

My niece and nephew take the plunge together.
Friends - We had the honour of attending the beautiful wedding of some long-time friends of ours and meeting up with several old friends.  The Hubs was a groomsman (you may recall a certain Vegas bachelor party that just happened to take place the very same weekend that our apartment was transformed into Casa de Puke).  He looked quite dashing in his tux. 

Lilah: "Which one's my daddy?  They all look the same!"

Friend Tim with 20-month-old daughter A.

We also made a quick lunch stop in Toronto to meet up with a friend and her son before getting on our flight back to Vancouver.  The funny thing is, I consider this woman a "good friend," and our babies were born only 6 days apart, but we'd never actually met in person!  We have "known" each other since before our babies were even concieved and have spent hundreds of hours sending emails back and forth that probably number in the thousands (if not more).

Lilah fawns over cutie R in his sweet ride
Fun - Don't get me wrong, we did have a wonderful time.  Unfortunately, our fun was dampered slightly by Lilah's difficulty with the time change and a severe case of mommy-itis.  She seemed overwhelmed by the constant presence of so many people and other kids.  Which is strange because at home she is quite the social butterfly.  I guess she's like her mama in that she needs a good amount of down time.  She seemed to be struggling with some kind of inner conflict that went something like this: "Put me down, I want to explore.  No, no, pick me up, I want to be held!  I want that, give me that!  No, no, not that, that!  THAT, THAT, I WANT THAT!  NOWWWWWW!!!!"  She has reached that stage of extreme frustration because she knows exactly what she wants but does not yet have the words to express it.  She also perfected the art of the scream-cry while we were away.  (Sidenote: my sincerest apologies to the Air Canada flight 108 passengers whose eardrums will never be the same.)  I couldn't help but think it was a shame that family and friends didn't get a chance to see Lilah at her best.  But we did manage to have a fantastic time nonetheless and I am so glad we made the trip.  It was truly worth it.

Playing "toss the baby"

Water balloon fight!
*I'm flattered to report that my friend Lisa liked this series of jumping photos
so much that she and her sister recently spent some quality time recreating them.

**The fifth F?  Fotos!  Hmmm... I guess that only works if you say it with a Spanish accent.  But pictures were certainly a theme of the trip, and I really got a chance to flex my (kinda puny but apparently growing) photography muscles.  I knew I had taken a lot of photos, but I didn't realize just how many until I uploaded them.  Between the two cameras, there were over 800!   Which is what I'm going to use as my excuse for why this post was such a long time coming.  My rule of thumb: when you're feeling lazy and disorganized, blame technology!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

July 2010 Recap

Amber Strocel does a monthly recap and has invited others to play along and link up. So here's what I learned in June:

1. Balancing work and family is, ummm... work!

2.  Strollers have changed quite a bit in the past 30 years.

3.  Bragging on your blog about your nursing amenorrhea will most certainly prompt Aunt Flo to show up at your doorstep.  Oh well, I was able to keep her at bay for 22 months, so I'd say I had a pretty good run!  I was hoping for two years, but I guess that was just utterly greedy of me!

4.  I'm going to have to get myself seriously organized if I'm going to be a working mom.  Lunches, laundry, ironing, outfit-choosing, and baths/showers should all be done the night before since I'm trying to get out the door by 7 am every morning.

5.  A one-year-old's birthday party is more for the parents than the one-year-old.  Like any party, it's a lot of work, but a lot of fun!

6. This one seems pretty obvious but... don't let your one-year-old touch hot candle wax!  You'd be surprised how many people admitted that this or something similar happened at their child's first birthday party.

7. Worm composting is a great solution if you don't have a backyard.  And it's a whole lot easier than I expected it to be.  (So far, at least!)

8.  I have some amazingly talented friends.

9. One-year-olds do not enjoy wearing sunscreen, sunhats, or basically anything that keeps their tender skin safe from the sun's harmful rays.  But I'm pretty sure they'd enjoy a sunburn even less.  Thankfully I haven't had to find that out yet!

10. Make the most of summer while it's around.  You never know when the weather gods are going to go "psych!" and laugh in your face.


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