I was itching to photograph something this weekend, but couldn't bear to snap another photo of the back of my child's head as he/she ran/crawled away from me.
The weather was perfect both Saturday and Sunday and we had lots of mums and pansies and sweet potato vines to plant, so out to the yard I went, macro lens in hand. I really need to play with this lens more. It's quite a challenge to shoot macro, especially after drinking a big cup of coffee (*shakes*), but lots of fun to see the final product, blurry water droplets and all.
Sam "helped" me with some of the fall planting and porch cleaning, and in his underpants, no less. After I cleaned up all his messes and mine, the front and back yards both looked really nice. I can't wait to see everything filled in. So glad autumn is finally here.
Sam and I met Chester, Chestnut Square's most famous kitty, about two years ago after we had finished taking some Christmas photos there. He followed us to our car and Sam sat down to pet him for the longest time. Sam never forgot about Chester and talks about him every once in a while. When I told him we were going to do back-to-school photos at "the houses" in Chestnut Square his first comment was "I hope we see Chester". Sure enough, Chester was there to greet us as soon as we pulled in to the parking lot. And then he promptly tinkled on our car. An extra-special greeting! Sam was equally horrified and impressed. He made sure I knew we needed to wash it off as soon as we got home and then followed Chester right in to play chase around the houses.
Chester is so popular with the kids around town he has his own picture book and often posts on Chestnut Square's Facebook page. He nipped at Sam and a couple other kids while we were there, but he's pretty tolerant overall and the kids love to chase him around.
After Sam and I spent some time taking photos, he spotted Chester alone on the sidewalk and the two of them had a little playdate of their own. I'm not a cat person, but any kitty who likes my kid is a friend of mine. Even if they potty on my car.
Until next time, Chester!
to see our first encounter with Chester, way back in November 2011*
Sam starts Pre-K in three days, seventeen hours and forty-two minutes. Ish. It's not like I'm watching the clock or anything. Ahem...
I knew we had a playdate with our Lens Baby friends coming up, and our plan was to get some back-to-school pictures of our kids. I
knew that I would be more likely to get some nice shots of Sam if we were alone without the distraction of our sweet friends running circles around us! So I struck a deal with Sam that if he did "nice" pictures with me in McKinney on Monday, we'd have some silly fun when we came back with our friends on Thursday. He agreed and it was a success, I'd say.
♥ Happy Back-to-School 2013 ♥
So...this was the deal. Go out on Monday with Mommy for nice back-to-school pictures and we'll go back with our Lens Baby friends on Thursday for silly back-to-school pictures.
He agreed to this deal without hesitation and had a great time portraying this character and running around with his friends in between shots. Little does he know, this deal was a win-win for Mommy.
Evelyn Mae, you are nine months today and what a smiley girl you are. If I had a nickel for each time a stranger stopped us and commented on your smile I'd be rich!
weight - 21 lbs 7 oz - 90%
length - 29 in. - 90%
head - 18.3 in. - 97%
Clothes - You're wearing both your 6-9 month and 6-12 month outfits. We're still in summer clothes, with a long way to go, I'm afraid.
- You're still in a size 3!
Feedings - You're now eating four times a day for a total of about thirty minutes a day. You eat around 3, 10, 6, and 11. This month you tried lentils, broccoli, spinach, peas and various fruits. You like everything Mommy makes you! You also like baby poofs, mum-mums and baby yogurt bites. These things keep you happy while Mommy makes dinner
Sleeping - You're still getting up for one feeding each night, and needing a binkie re-plug here and there. Dr. G. said no more eating in the night. You're too big of a girl to need a mid-night meal. We'll see how that goes!
You're a very busy baby, pulling up to everything and everybody, cruising around the furniture and crawling so fast we can hardly catch you. You are showing signs of being an active little person! You loved watching Sam swimming at swim lessons and I'm sure you're anxious to try it yourself. We took you to the pool a couple times this month and you're very happy floating in your baby raft as long as you have your binkie. Sometimes you spit it out and try and lap up the pool water like a little puppy.
We don't see any teeth yet, although I can kind of feel something working its way up on your bottom gums - Dr. G. felt the same thing. Looks like you're going to sprout teeth a little later than the average baby.
Dr. G. was happy to hear that you are talking to us, although he wishes you were using more consonants when you babble. You're rah-rah'ing and yah-yah'ing with an occasional Da-da thrown in, but he wishes you were buh-buh-buhing, too. He suggested it might be because there's someone else...
who shall remain nameless...
who's taking up most of the talking time in the house. I think that's a very possible explanation! He still gave you an A+ on your baby report card. Mommy forgot to tell Dr. G. the funniest thing you say...Hi! You love to say "Hi!" to everyone - strangers we meet, Daddy when he comes home, even your own reflection in the meat department at the grocery store. You say it with quite a punch, almost yelling it at us, and you sound like you have a Southern accent already. "Hah!" you say. It tickles us every time! What a friendly gal! You have a strong, deep voice - I wonder if you're going to be an alto? You sound a lot like Sam. Sometimes when one of you makes a sound from your room at night, Daddy and I will look at each other and ask, "Which kid was that?".
You still love books and all your toys. Mommy's old pop beads and Sam's talking mailbox are your favorites right now. We always know when you've found something on the floor that's not a toy because you pick at it and talk to it - almost growling at it - for a long time. I always have plenty of time to take it from you.
Your official nine-month photo and below it, Brother's nine-month chair photo
We love you Evie Mae!
Evie "modeled" for a photog friend this morning so I knew she'd be getting her picture taken today. It was a nice surprise that I was able to shoot some photos of Sam afterward, as lately it's been a little harder getting photos of him for the blog.
On the walk back to our car we found two trees with branches low enough for climbing. We only had time to climb one, but we'll definitely have to go back this fall. I'm imagining cool temps, pretty autumn colors and no giant mowers stirring up dust in the background...
He's been telling me all summer he wished he had a tree to climb, so these were a lucky find. And all posing credit goes to Sam. These were the more traditional poses. I need do an outtakes post with some poses he came up with that I decided to pass on. Creative little guy!
We met up with our Lens Baby friends this week for sno cones at Bahama Bucks. Sno cones have changed it seems - these were not the sno cones I remember eating when I was little! The ice was shaved and really soft and the flavoring was pretty yummy (as it should be at three bucks a pop). There were lots of fun flavor options, but Sam and I played it safe this time and ordered just cherry and orange.
Sam was very into his sno cone at first, eating it with the same serious "I've-got-a-job-to-do" look on his face he always has when eating. But soon, the party music playing from the speakers took ahold of him, as music often does, and he jumped up on the bench to dance some of that sno cone syrup right out! His friend Carter joined him and they made quite the dancing pair, although their moves were very different. Carter's dance was really happy and chipper and his moves were quick; it was like watching someone dance on tv while holding down the fast-forward button. I'm thinking his root beer sno-cone played a large part in that! Sam's dance moves on the other hand, were a little slower, groovier, moodier if you will. Think John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. Sam's moves matched his mood perfectly. Interesting, seeing as they were dancing to the same songs. And entertaining for sure!
That's what we're instructed to call him when he gets out his chair, posters and pointer. Sam's been very interested in the solar system for a while, particularly the order of the planets, their colors and whether they are hot or cold. Having taught third grade for so long I have quite a few little nuggets of interesting information about the solar system and he soaks it up like a sponge. Every once in a while I'll tell him something about space that's a little surprising and he'll argue with me, but that's just for the sake of arguing, which he likes to do even more than learn about space. We drew a picture of the solar system the other day and as soon as we were finished he decided Evelyn needed to learn all about the planets, too. Out the pointer came, along with a couple of chairs, and a classroom was built. She wasn't a bad student, but she certainly wasn't
in the lecture. Teacher Sam doesn't mind. As long as he has the floor, he's happy.
It was Friday and Brian had the day off. Knowing a couple weeks in advance that he wouldn't have to work this day we had planned a Family Fun Day. Brian's last day at PIC was the day before and he wasn't supposed to start his new job at FlexJet until Monday. That meant one day off, so Family Fun Day was officially on the calendar.
When we woke up that morning the plan was to head out to Lake Ray Roberts for some sand and sun, then over to downtown Denton for some lunch. After looking at the forecasted temps for the day we decided to scrap the beach and go the opposite direction - down to Addison Airport to check out the Cavanaugh Flight Museum. Brian had a couple of passes and it seemed like a great day to try it out. It took some convincing to get Sam out of beach-mode and into airplane-mode, but eventually he was on board - so Addison it was!
The museum was great and Sam really enjoyed looking at all the cool airplanes. Of course we had a most-knowledgable tour guide which made it even more fun! There were lots of airplanes to look at and a helicopter that Sam could crawl around in. We just strolled from hangar to hangar looking high and low at all the planes on display. We even got to see a yellow bi-plane taxi to the runway!
Brian had a great surprise for Sam after the museum - he parked the car at the end of the runway and Sam had a (Sonic) picnic lunch in the back of the car while watching the planes take off and land. Brian and I ordered something from Sonic, too, but we didn't eat much of our lunch. While we were in the museum, Brian got a phone call from PlaneSmart, a company right there at Addison Airport that he had interviewed with a couple weeks prior and really,
liked. So he spent his lunchtime talking on the phone and I spent my lunchtime pacing back and forth, trying to figure out what they were talking about by watching Brian (from far away - totally pointless). By the time he was off the phone and filled me in on what was going on - an offer from PlaneSmart! - we were too hyped-up to eat much lunch or watch the airplanes so we headed home to plan an immediate, child-free celebration dinner-date.
And on Monday, Brian started work at his
, new job - and Addison it was!
We met up last week with some of our Lens Baby friends for a day at the "beach". If our California family had been with us they might have felt "beach" was a bit of a misnomer. It's more like a small stretch of sand, or a large sandbox if you will, alongside Lake Lewisville. But having not yet seen the real-deal, this little pseudo-beach was plenty exciting for my two! It's pretty nice to have something like this smack-dab in the middle of North Texas, about twenty minutes from our house in fact!
We decided to meet here to let the kids play in the sand and water while we practiced shooting full sun, mid-day, when the sun's light is overhead and at its harshest. As it turned out, the weather was partly-cloudy, but that was good too, as it kept us cooler (or less miserable) than we would have been otherwise.
This was Sam's first time swimming here. He took a minute to scope it all out, then jumped right in with the rest of the kids. It was the perfect little spot for him to swim on his own and I was able to watch him from the shore.
This one loved the beach, too! I wasn't sure how she'd do in the sand, but it didn't seem to faze her a bit. I plopped her down and she played and played. Finding this red bucket was pretty neat, too.
Evie's made her first friend, another little baby in our playgroup named Evie (pronounced Eee-vie), who is just a couple months older than she is. She smiles whenever she sees her new friend which just cracks me up. They had a great time at the beach, both of them watching the big kids swim while they stuffed fistfuls of sand in their mouths. I promise my baby's not sunburned, despite her looking like a sweaty, pink Easter ham that's just been pulled from the oven. It appears she's going to flush just as easily as her brother. Boo.
Oh my, look at those rolls! Is there anything cuter? She had a great time exploring the wet sand, dry sand and rocks on the beach. I was impressed with how well she handled all these new textures.
Eventually we had to head home for a nap, but we'll definitely go back someday this summer. Just waiting for the forecasted highs to dip below 100!
I love these photos. Love them. I wasn't planning on photographing Sam that day, and I certainly wasn't prepared to capture these since I never in a million years would've thought he'd go on something like this. Some are blurry or too warm or too cool, all of them too tedious an edit to be done very well, but I'm so glad I have them. They crack me up each time I look at them.
This was one hundred percent his idea. The three of us had popped over to the soccer field next to our house where our neighborhood had set up a little pre-Fourth of July celebration. There were sno cones and bounce houses and these blow-up water slides. It was hotter than you-know-what so we planned on having a quick sno cone in the shade and trying a bounce house for a second before heading home. As we were walking back to the house we passed this slide. It was the biggest by far (and called "The Niagra") and go figure - he begged to go on it. I couldn't believe he wanted to try it; he's never been one to go for things like this. We had just been at Jack Carter Pool the week before and he was terrified of trying the baby slide that wasn't even as tall me. Where all this courage came from, I don't know.
As we headed home to put on his suit and sunscreen I thought for sure he was going to change his mind. But he didn't! He hopped right in line and slid down over and over and over again. He looked so little in line with all the big kids and the ladder to the top of the slide just dwarfed him. Every time he'd get to the top he would disappear around the corner and I never knew when his little body was going to come flying down the shoot! I had to stand pretty far back and only had my wide-angle; I can't believe I caught the expressions I did! He looked absolutely terrified going down, but once he reached the bottom, he was grinning every time. It's so wrong of me to laugh at these pictures of him scared out of his mind - but I do!
I'm so happy to be able to show off these special people on our blog. As our family website's biggest fans, Papa Emil and Grandma Jan have loved and appreciated every photo, video, and story about their children and grandchildren over the last four years. I'm glad they get a turn to be on the other side and we're so thankful for the wonderful time we spent together last week!
They arrived at our house Thursday to meet Evelyn and spend some time with her before going with me to pick Sam up at school. He gave them a little tour, showing them the incubator of chick eggs and their indoor recess spot known as "the play tubes". Friday we had a nice lunch at Market Street, explored Heritage Farmstead, played in Haggard Park and finished our busy day enjoying some awesome pizza at Urban Crust.
Papa and Grandma made it back out bright and early the next morning to see our Kansas City Royals play ball. After the game the boys went fishing at the pond while Jan and Evie and I had girl talk at home, and in the evening we had a nice dinner (and lots of Trader Joe's Pub Cheese) at Gram and Pops' house. Sunday was a relaxing day with more beautiful weather and we were able to chat, play with the kids, and enjoy another meal together.
We hopped on over to the park for a quick pic before they left Sunday evening. No matter what we were doing - talking on the porch or exploring the city - we enjoyed every minute of our time together. It was hard to see them go, but we so appreciate them making the trip to Texas and we're looking forward to the day when we can take the kiddos to California to see what's known around here as "Papa and Grandma's beach"!
Thank you for visiting, Jan and Emil. We love you!
As soon as Sam and I got in the car yesterday after school, he asked me if I wanted to hear a Psalm. I thought he said "song', so it took me a second to figure out what he was doing when he started reciting (almost yelling) "Lord you know what's in my heart". I watched him in the rearview mirror as he rattled off the rest of Psalm 139 at lightning-speed. I was so impressed with how much he'd memorized and how well he spoke. I asked him if he would do it for me again today so I could record it for all the grandparents to hear and luckily he agreed. After I stopped recording he informed me that Psalm 139 does not have an amen at the end! Sorry...
He's a ball player now, and a Kansas City Royal, no less. Pretty exciting for Gram and Pops and the rest of his Kansas City family! The first game was last Saturday. We were worried it was going to be cancelled due to the heavy rains the night before, but luckily the grass held up nicely and despite the cloudy, chilly weather, Opening Day went on as planned.
He had a great time and played really well, too. He got four solid hits and ran the bases. The things we thought might be issues like wearing a helmet and batting in front of strangers turned out to be no big whoop. Ask him what the best part was and he's likely to tell you the "granilla bar" (granola bar) they got at the end, but I think he liked hitting the ball, too. He played two positions - pitcher (who doesn't pitch) and something called "second shortstop", which was located between first and second base.
It's funny to watch the kids play ball at this age. They're just working on the basics at this point - hitting the ball off the tee, automatically running once they've hit the ball, knowing where to run, etc. When a ball comes their way, they often will just look at it rolling by them. They
reach for it...if they're wearing their glove and not throwing it in the air! His coach and the assistants are all very nice and
- oh are they ever patient!
Before the first practice, Brian got him a glove from Play it Again Sports. It was an older-model glove with former Royal George Brett's signature stamped inside. Last week the kids got their jerseys and Sam was assigned #5, which happens to be George Brett's number. Perfect for this new Royal!
We practice once a week and have games on Saturday through the spring. He loves to practice and play and we're glad he can get outside, be with kids his age, and learn the game of baseball. Here's to a great season - Go Royals!
Got quite a few shots of him doing this...typical ball player already...
I chose to crop this photo so we could see Sam's face, but in the original photo Coach is off to the left and Sam is looking at him just before his first swing at the tee, something he also does when he bats at practice.
Coach pulling him aside to remind him to stay in one place, face the batter, and pay attention when the other team is batting. :)
When I picked Sam up at school last Thursday he announced loudly and with great excitement (in the hallway packed with parents) that he made en-erection eggs at school this week. My eyes got big and I giggled, then I asked him to tell me again what he had made, as if I hadn't heard him right the first time (when really this was just for my own amusement). He repeated himself, this time with even more enthusiasm, and with a smile I replied "Oh! Resurrection Eggs! You'll have to tell me the story when we get home". And he did.
By the time we got around to recording his retelling of the story he decided they were called something different - closer, but still not quite right. Nevertheless, he tells the story well. The things kids say!