Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sister Photo Shoot

Last week I took Lana and Nora in for their first "sister photo shoot." They've each had their photos taken separately (Lana has many, many times) but this was a first for the two of them together. I figured as long as Nora had a full tummy and a clean diaper, she'd be happy. Lana happily becomes a trained model (or camera ham, your choice) once the camera comes out, so I figured she'd be fine too.

I don't know if my mom had the same thoughts nearly thirty (30! GASP!) years ago when she took me and my baby sister in for pictures. She scrubbed us up good, bribed us with lollipops to hold still for hair curling, and I'm sure employed every trick in the parenting handbook (speaking of which, I misplaced my copy, can I borrow yours?) to get us to look presentable and behave. Back in the days before digital photography, the Olan Mills photographer didn't have the luxury of snapping 200 shots to ensure he got a handful of usable pictures and instead used his own bag of tricks (puppets, silly faces, promises of candy, peek-a-boo, and bubbles) to get kids to do his bidding.

Despite all that, baby sister Jen and I did take some cute pictures, didn't we?

My little-girl she-mullet is, ah, interesting, but I would pay good money for those natural highlights and lowlights right now. Even though they're quite dated, I also still love those dresses. (In fact, if the navy blue one that Jen is wearing is still around anywhere, I'll take it and have Nora wear it in a year or so. If I recall correctly my corduroy jumper had to be tossed when it fell apart.)

And here we are, our faces glowing in the light of sisterly love and affection (or in the light of candy and bribery, I don't really remember).

My mom had us do individual pictures too. I was told to sit up straight, look over here, and smile. Easy peasy. Now, where's my lollipop?

The photographer's bag of tricks had to come out for this shot of baby sister Jen. He knew what all parents quickly learn - kids love bubbles. They crazy fierce love bubbles, and Jen was no exception. Plus it made for a very cute picture.

To be fair to sister Jen, she did sit for an adorable, bubble free picture as well. She just had the biggest blue eyes, didn't she? And don't you just want to squeeze those delicious cheeks?

And now thirty (30! GASP!) years later, my girls have their own photo shoot story to tell. (With fewer bubbles.)
(This photo was taken with my phone in between the pro working. We haven't gotten the official pictures back yet. Yes, all grandmas will be getting one in the mail shortly.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March: 12 on the 12th

Whew! Where did the last month go?

(Click on pictures for larger view.)
Sweet baby Pudgemuffin snuggles * The ridiculous number of items I pack out of the house in the mornings * T (for turtle) day at the library * Mount Saint Laundry * Chopping off of the locks, before and after (I don't know why the after looks so auburn. I promise, it's blonder in person.) * Cupcakes * Baby smiles and jazz hands * Sister loves * Fancy breakfast * Snow play * Daddy-Daughter snow plow

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Maternity Leave: By the Numbers

Tomorrow I head back to work full-time. The weeks and days just flew by, which is funny because some nights I thought lasted forever. Here's a by-the-numbers summary.

10: Number of weeks I took off work after having Nora

174: Times Lana belted out, "Let it go! Let it go!"
1,800,321: Times I thought this baby was the dearest, sweetest wee thing I had ever seen in my whole life.

9: Number of Pioneer Woman recipes made
10: Number of kale salads eaten (not enough to counteract the effects of above recipes)
9: Freezer meals waiting and ready for those days when making a from-scratch dinner just 'aint happening.

55: Episodes of Property Brothers and Love It or List It watched on HGTV.

489: Reasons why Lana is, and will continue to be, an absolutely terrific big sister.
2: Number of custom-made Seahawks beanies we had made for the girls to wear before the Superbowl.

3: Visits to the lactation nurse to get the whole feeding-the-baby thing down
90: Percentile category Nora is now in for weight
95: Percentile category Nora is now in for length
0: Percent I am now worried about her not eating and gaining enough : )

75: Number of times Lana asked to play outside in snowy/rainy/windy/crazy weather.
45: Times I gave in and let her.
0: Complaints Lana had about being cold.

15: Number of visitors we had. They came mostly to see Nora, but that didn't stop Lana from commandeering them for her own use.

0.5: Times I cleaned my house as thoroughly as I wanted to.

9: Trips to the Colfax Library for story time. (Rabbits on R day and turtles on T day. Pretty neat-o stuff.)

8: Weeks before Nora slept through the night.
10: Hours she slept last night
1: Sleepy 3 AM selfie I just had to take to record this fleeting time in our lives.

6: Times in snowed and accumulated.
8: Times Lana wanted to go out and plow with Daddy.
4: Times Dan actually did need to plow.

5: Days before Lana was completely and totally in love with her baby sister.
100: Times per day Lana tells Nora how cute and sweet she is.
1000: Times per day I am so grateful and feel so blessed to have these two daughters.

65: Episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, Henry Hugglemonster, and Sheriff Callie's Wild West Lana watched while I fed Nora, cooked food, took a 22 minute nap, or cleaned a bathroom.
7: Grown-up movies I watched in 15-20 minute increments.

12: Inches I cut off my hair.
40: Hours per week I'll be working again starting tomorrow.
25: Percent confident I'll get the hang of working full-time, loving on my family, getting dinner on the table, and being on-time to anything in the near future. Hopefully this confidence percentage increases over time.
100: Percent sure everyone will get lots of extra hugs and snuggles from me this week!