Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Card (with out takes)

I'm pretty fond of this years card. I planed it out last year right after Christmas after seeing a similar idea for family portaits on the web. I was so sure this is what I was going to do that I bought the fake snow right after Christmas because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it early enough in the season to get the photos taken. Apparently I wasn't the only one who saw that idea because it was all over the different Christmas card vendor websites. Admittedly that was a big bummer but all the other cards used a forward facing blowing snow toward the camera design and I went with the photos where they were blowing at each other so at least it wasn't identical!  All in all I was thrilled with how they came out.


The kids had so much fun taking the pictures. If it weren't below freezing when we took them we probably could have gone on for quite some time.  Here are some of the more amusing outtakes from our photo shoot.
The first few pictures the only snow in the shot was from Colin. Meghans technique was less than effective at actually getting the snow to move.
Colin got the occasional piece in his mouth from breathing in too close to the pile.
 Soon Meg began bending from the waist and it became increasingly difficult to keep them both in the shot.
 What she lacked in technique she made up for in enthusiasm! Here shes moving so fast she is just a blur.
In hysterics!

Soon Grandma added in some extra snow to enhance the image. Unfortunately I caught her hand in a few of the shots, and the kids found this new addition very distracting.
 "Whatcha doing over there Grandma?"
 Again with the bending over!
Waiting for the countdown from Daddy.. I had no idea they would focus so much on him or I would have done the countdown myself!
 We did have a little trouble with the sun coming and going in different shots, leaving the kids very washed out when we had full sun and very pale as it went away. It made it more difficult to find photos of each kid alone for the two pictures had the same shading.
Ready to reload! As you can see they were having a pretty good time! If only all photo sessions went over this well!
 Colin found the snow stuck in Meghan's hair quite amusing!
I found it adorable.
 This is her "I"ve got snow under my tongue" face. Finding clear plastic inside your child's mouth is not the easiest thing to do.. particularly when it is under their tongue

Colin reminding me that it was indeed colder than it looked.  Time to wrap this up!

Hope everyone had a Very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Meghan is 2 and 1/4 years old!

Here she is: my "big girl"! We are three months into her being two and it is nothing close to "terrible". In fact, she is mostly sweet and sensitive and definitely knows her own mind.  She loves her family and is quick with a hug and kiss, in fact if you leave her without giving her a hug and kiss she will quickly become distressed. She is quick with a smile and a hello for a passerby and has taken to singing in the stroller as we walk through the neighborhood which always elicits a smile from people.  In the last three months she has been transitioning to part time pre-school. Meghan's schedule is a bit more intense than Colins was at this age to accommodate my work schedule. I honestly thought it would be no problem, boy was I wrong. Likely a solid three months of crying at drop off, but we seem to be through it now. She now walks into school on her own with no tears, she just needs a big hug and kiss from mama before she walks away.

Sleeping: Goes to bed by about 7:30 and generally gets up around 7:00am, on a good day 7:15, on a not good day 6:10.  This seems to be an adjustment to her new napping schedule because of school. On days she has school she generally sleeps a little over an hour, but days she doesn't I try to get her down in time to get a full 2 hrs before we have to pick up Colin. I would say 75% of the time I have to wake her up, and we both hate it. On more than one occasion she has said something to the effect of "put me back mama I'm still sleeping".  On rare occasions she drops the nap, usually if she falls asleep in the car while we are running errands, but I think the nap will stick for the foreseeable future. 


  • New friends: Meghan is making some new friends at preschool and we hear about them frequently. Nigh is one of the few other girls in her class and has been much more confident with drop off. I think Meghan eventually started taking cues from Nigh that school was an okay place to be. Meghan recently began asking for "Nigh's hair" in the morning.. which I had no idea how to accomplish until Meghan pointed it out one day at school. It was half up in two antennae like pig tails. Another friend I hear a lot about is Nazereno, which you can imagine I had no idea who she was talking about until I saw then name on the cubby. When she says it it sounds more like ay-ya-YEno.
  • Walking: Meghan could easily walk a mile without getting tired. Which would be great if we could cover that distance in less than an hour and a half! She wants to look at every leaf and rock, inspect every crack in the sidewalk and tight rope walk every tree pit. I feel bad having to squash her joy by putting her in the stroller, but it is very difficult to keep track of two very didn't speed children!
  • Bee-bops. AKA lollipops. Meghan has figured out that the hair dresser and the doctor are suppliers of lollipops and if you bring up either she will immediately say "bee-bop?" In fact at her last hair cut she choose a purple lollipop but after finishing it, decided she didn't like it and wanted orange. I didn't allow this since she finished purple one. Now she will randomly remind me that at her next haircut she doesn't want a purple lollipop she wants an orange one. 
  • Mater. as in Tow-mater. I'm guessing this started in California at cars land but I didn't notice it until a few weeks ago when she popped up at bedtime and started asking for "mayor"..since this meant nothing to me I pulled her out to show me what she was asking for. She walked to the car box and started hunting but still didn't come up with anything. I had to ask her what it looked like and she told me "brown truck". After we found it she slept with it for a week. Such a funny thing to be attached to.
  • "So-sie". AKA Rosie. Still a must have companion, the second place "friend" changes every few weeks. For a while it was Aunt Katie's bitty baby, then it was Minnie Mouse, and now it is Mater. 
  • Eating. This girl can put away food! She loves hot dogs, and grilled chicken and any type of pasta. Sandwiches aren't her favorite but if cut with our new Elmo sandwich cutter she will tolerate cream cheese and jelly. She doesn't like pie, or cake really (frosting yes, but not always the cake), but does love cookies.

Hair tucked behind her ears!

  • Getting her hair washed. I'm not sure when or why this started but she complains when I wash her hair. I've started doing it every other day because it is a pain to blow it dry every night and she gets very excited when I tell her that there will be no shampoo today. 
  • Changing her clothes. She seems to get attached to whatever she is wearing and doesn't like having to change into pajamas if she is wearing clothes, or clothes if she is wearing pajamas.

Look how big!
New things:
  • Chatty Chatty Chatty. Meghan seems to have gone from one/two word phrases to very complex sentences very quickly. She often negates her sentences by shaking her head while saying "I like this show" which is obviously confusing if you aren't looking right at her. She also will say something like "No mommy do it" which can either mean, "No, I want Mommy do it", or "I don't want mommy to do it." Regardless of if I always understand her she talks a lot! She even will talk out her imaginary play which is my favorite. She talks a lot about Mommy coming back and a worried little child often while she is playing. Another recurring theme is taking turns.. which brings me to..
  • Taking turns. Colin and Meghan often have to alternate choice activities (like going second at bath/shower time) so we often alternate who gets to "choose". This approach also allows me to get "Mommy's choice" when it come to picking outfits or hairstyles for special occasions. Meghan has gotten much better about taking turns since school started and we have implemented alternating the choice. She is starting to really understand. 
  • Teeth. The bottom molars are in, but the top ones aren't yet through. Sometimes it is difficult to know when she is anxious about school or just in pain from her teeth!
  • Counting. This started a while ago, but I never wrote about it. If you count along with her she has no problem counting to fifteen, but if she is just playing and counting it goes something like this. 3,2,5,MM,FF,18, FF, 18.... It cracks me up. It is starting to disappear now and I'm kind of sad about it. 
  • She is about 95% on her letter recognition, both upper and lower case. 100% on her number recognition 0-12.

Hello up there!