Friday, February 24, 2012

Project 52 {8}

My favorite thing about you is:
That you're growing up.

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Don't get me wrong here, I'm not rushing anything.  I know that these days will pass by all too fast.  I'm going to blink and you'll be 5 and 7, 12 and 14, 17 and 19, gone and out of my house leading your own lives.  I dread and look forward to that day.  But right here, in this moment, I'm thankful.  Privileged, that I get to watch and guide you as you become your own, amazing person.  I hope that someday you get this same privilege.  

I've said it before, I'll say it again, 3 years old is hard.  I try to put myself in his shoes, he's still learning appropriate ways to express his feelings and that's tricky.  Other times I know darn well he heard and understood me and is just exercising his new found free will (that's a nice way of putting it).  But this week we made a very tangible step in his growth progress.  Kale moved to a big-boy-bed.  Yup, no more cribs in this house (unless you count that both of their beds are convertible cribs).  And one more bed for me to make in the morning (on those days when I really want to make beds that dogs don't lie on).  Despite a new mattress, sheets, comforter, and pillow, Boomer (the boy with no pants) and Max (the pillow pet dog) still hang around and I think they enjoy the extra space in their new digs.  

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Project 52 {7}

My favorite thing about you is:
Your determination.

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Both of you.  We've been working on reading with Haley since October.  I'm determined not to rely on schools filled with too many kids to teach my kids what could possibly be the most important educational skill they'll ever pick up.  Haley has caught on to this and loves to practice her reading.  She's determined to make it through this yellow book.  And within this last week she's taken off.  Things are totally clicking, I'm not having to help out as much because she has the drive within herself to be able to start reading her books (Doesn't it make homework so much easier when they want to do it?!).    The pride when she's able to read one of us one of the books from the collection is like nothing else.  She loves it!  I love that she enjoys reading so much.  I really look forward to the days when she takes a book in the car instead of her gaga (and that's only partially because I don't need to throw the book in the laundry).  

We were lucky enough to be given a hand me down version of Hooked on Phonics (complete with unused workbooks)!  This program has been fantastic and something that I find super easy to work with.  We'll get to the point where I can just sit her down with the tape and workbook and let her go, but for now I'm involved and enjoying seeing every inch of her progress.  BTW this is as close as I'll get to homeschooling my kids.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Project 52 {6}

My favorite thing about you is:
Your big, sloppy, wet nose.

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Atlas is our first baby.  He was our wedding present to each other 8 years ago. We knew right away we wanted a Lab, the big debate was Chocolate or Yellow.  I wanted Chocolate.  When we went to the breeder in California, there was a whiny needy Chocolate and Atlas, who wandered the goat farm/breeder and didn't need anyone (there was $h!+ to be smelled... literally).  I made the first sacrifice for our marriage that day and went home the loser (you may note that we never did get a Chocolate,but that's another story for another day).  We thought we were smart in picking the independent one.  Oh boy.  OH. BOY.  Fast forward a couple months and this monster of a pup would look at me, steal the pillows off the (brand new) couch and run out the giant sliding glass door waiting for me to chase him down and corner him.  He would only drop something for a piece of tri-tip.  Screw you and your dog treats, Mom.  He was a handful who was gaining about 10 pounds a month.  Let me let that sink in... Ten. Pounds. A. Month.  He currently weighs in at a healthy 100 something pounds - that's enormous for a healthy Lab, his chin sits level with the dining room table.  At the encouraging of one of the parents I worked with, we joined up with a gun dog trainer and got to work.  It was comical, but he came around and became manageable at home.  His energy was spent running in a field, swimming in a pond, and focusing his attention on birds - what Labs are meant to do.  We (with the help of some professional trainers) worked with him so much that we (Jeff) eventually competed and titled him.  I called the breeder back that summer to let her know what a great dog he is, and she made the comment that a lot of his litter had behavioral problems, one was even returned.  We made the right choice with that independent pup with the huge GIANT paws that day, and  can't imagine our family without him.  Owning a dog takes work and commitment and he was the perfect primer for having kids.  Seriously, you've heard it:  Owning a dog is perfect practice for having kids, we totally believe it.  

8 years later we thought he would calm down and for the most part the picture above is his normal day (save for maybe a change in location from the on couch to behind the couch or on our bed).  But I dare you to ring our doorbell, or try to pet him (or worse, Bella).  He loves people.  LOVES.  He is 100% Jeff's dog, his doggy sun rises and sets with Jeff, as evidenced by the giant hairy flat spot on the carpet on Jeff's side of the bed.  He care's that I'm in this world only when Jeff's not around, obviously he's the 2nd in line Alpha Male and has to keep his pack in order.  His wet nose will sniff your butt, drool gallons of water on you, and make all kinds of funny snorting sounds.  He's our Atlas and he's amazing!  For all his goofball quirks we just wouldn't be the same family without him.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Style, by Kale

So last week I gave you an example of one of Haley's outfits when I leave her to her own devices.  Well, at the end of last week we had a snow day around here, so we weren't going anywhere and Kale actually dressed himself (for once).  This is what he came up with.  You'll note that he even did his own straps for the red fleece lined overalls.  All he really knew was that it was cold outside and he needed to be warm.  What's not seen in this picture is the pair of grey sweat pants that are under the overalls - I can't even begin to figure out how he got the overalls on over them...

I bet you can't guess where his sister was while I was taking these pictures...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Project 52 {5}

My favorite thing about you is:
Your prayers at night.

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Every night before bed we say prayers.  The exact same prayers my parents said with me growing up.  I love that it's a passed on tradition and that we're making faith a part of our everyday.  We pray to give thanks and to talk about our day, each night the you are asked to list one thing you're thankful for and one thing that made you sad during the day.  Every night you can come up with something you're thankful for, and most nights you have a difficult time coming up with something that made you sad:  proof that you guys are just happy kids (something I'm thankful for).  We use this time to talk about our day, things that were fun, behaviors we can improve upon, and lots of other conversation starters.  We also pray for each other and our family.

One day this week I asked Kale what he was thankful for, without hesitation he said "You, Mommy."  It was one of those mom moment's where I could actually feel my heart melt.  Pile of goo.  As difficult as some days are with a three and a five-year-old, it's moments like this...  That keep me from eating my young.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Style, by Haley

Remember last week when I told you that we battle her outfits and how much I love her style when she can just play?  We had Yanni over the other day and she decided that since the boys had played enough with the Imaginext, and "shooter guns", it was obviously time for a photo shoot.  So after chasing the boys away from my tripod (clearly a "shooter gun") and out of my studio (a great sniper location because the loft looks over almost the entire house).  She had her accessories set:  The outfit I made her wear because we had conference that day (cream shirt from Children's Place, and a reversible smock from Nordstrom Rack), a faux fur (duh) boa, purple flower sunglasses and a Tinker bell Umbrella.  Done.  Also, it should be noted that all outfits can be completed with this pink boa (if you're 5).

Also, I apologize for the lack of white balance here, totally forgot to do it before I started the shoot and lost some cool pictures because of it.  Bummer.  Lesson learned.