Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'Tis the Season

This time of year can be tough for photographers and their families. I'm not going to lie, having a two-year-old and a three-month-old and providing photography services for twenty-seven families over the course of two months has been a lot for us. Dan's this close to secretly selling my camera and computer and telling me they were stolen. He wouldn't, in fact he's been amazingly supportive, but, you get it. So if you've invited us out or texted me for a play date and we've declined (or didn't respond), that's why. We still love you, friends!

I think the holidays are different for moms with small children. Like all the other areas of life, there's simply no room for selfishness in the day-to-day when there are little ones needing needing needing something every minute of the day. I admire the families who do things like Elf on a Shelf and crafts projects and cookie decorating and DIY Advent calendars and -- gasp -- hosting a party. Maybe when the girls are older.

I've officially delivered all photos to families wanting to order Christmas cards, so yesterday, I took the morning "off" and decided some fresh air would do good for my (presumed) sinus infection and my restless toddler.
We took a very long walk around the neighborhood delivering Christmas cards and fresh-baked banana bread to a select few neighbors. I took the opportunity to talk to Penny about how Christmas time is for Mommy to sit at the computer all night giving and loving our neighbors. It warmed my heart each time she carefully placed a bow on the mini loaf and then waited anxiously to see if anyone would answer the door after we knocked. If they did, her eyes would light up and she would say "look!" as she presented them the bounty of Saran-wrapped goodness. If they didn't answer, she carefully selected a spot on their front door mat to place the banana bread or envelope so that it could surprise them when they got home.

And, for that little while, I wasn't stressed about anything, and I got excited for Christmas.

Today, somehow in between Penny's whining and Josie's crying and my making more tea for myself because I can't take the drugs my body needs to shake this awful cold that I've picked up, I wrapped a present. And put it under the tree. And I got excited about Christmas a little bit more.

The other day while I was nursing and browsing the web, I stumbled upon the first Christmas post I ever wrote , when Dan and I were engaged. It made me so happy and thankful about where any are in our lives right now.

Even in the chaos and craziness, except maybe not being sick, I wouldn't change a thing. 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last Minute Shoppers....

If you haven't haven't ordered Christmas cards (or New Years Cards) yet, Tiny Prints has your back.

First, their sitewide sale of up to 30% off is still going on today, until midnight. Second, if you order before midnight PT tomorrow, 12/17, you can save $10 on "super rush" shipping.

Here's how it works:

1. Go to Tiny Prints and choose from their selection of holiday cards. Personalize the cards with your pictures and text.

2. Use the code 30SWDEAL to save 25% on all orders and 30% on orders of $99+.

3. Stack the code SRSAVE10 if your order is more than $100 and you'll save $10 on their super rush shipping. You'll get the cards within two business days (if you are in the lower 48 states).

And, if you don't know what to get for the people you love the most, would they like a photo session?  My own mother told me ALL she wants for Christmas is photos with my kids.  If you're in the Phoenix area and would like to gift someone a photography package, please contact me by December 22nd so I can prepare a printable certificate for you in time for Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Josie Lu: Three Months Old


This girl is long. She's already filling up size 6mo pajamas in the feet, though they're still baggy in the mid section.  She's not an extremely chunky baby but she does have some pretty prominent cheek jowls and fat-rolls on each thigh.  She has long fingers and feet. No birthmarks. 

Eyes are dark blue, hair (the minimal amount she has) is blond. She has a hilarious baby mullet, like pretty much a strip across the top of her neck. 

She's starting to look very robust to me, and she's extremely strong in the torso and neck for a three-month-old. 


She wants to be a big kid.  She wants to see what's going on. She loves phones and TV screens. She has giggled a few times. She has rolled over a few times (back to front). She's very alert and interested in people's faces.  Loves to chew daddy's thumbs.  She's also discovered her own hands and feet.  She's got a very easy-going disposition and is extremely generous with smiles and coos.  Her favorite thing to do is read books on the floor of big sister's room.  She's really cute when she gets mad too, like she's trying to tell at us that she wants something but it's in her own little language.  She's also started doing the thing where she (attempts to) grab things with her hands and corral them into her mouth. We think she's already teething. 


She nurses every two to four hours and is very efficient, nursing usually only one side per feeding and only for about four minutes.  She's at that distractable age where she will pop off to look around then come back, which is adorable but can be cumbersome when nursing in public.  She is already showing an interest in real food. She so wants to be a big kid.


My dream of her being on the verge of sleeping through the night is not coming true.  She can't decide if she wants to be swaddled or not.  She can't decide if she wants to cuddle or not.  I think she's had a couple growth spurts, plus the temperature change, so we just can't seem to get a consistent rhythm going.   Most nights she is back and forth between our bed and a pack'n'play in our room.  One thing I am thankful for though is that she is not awake for long periods in the middle of the night. She wakes up and fidgets, then after a pacifier adjustment or maybe a dream-feed, she goes right back to sleep. I can count on about 11 to 12 "sleeping" hours from her at night, even if she wakes up a few times in the middle.  During the day she is typically awake for about two hours and then naps for 45 minutes, kind of all day long. Some afternoons I get lucky and she will take a long nap at the same time that Penny takes her nap. Those days are the best!

Things other people say about her that are more credible coming from them (and not me, since I'm obviously bias) are: how sweet and agreeable she is; how strong and alert she is; how much she looks like a Cole (my side of the family); how bright-eyed she is. 

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Banana Bread Recipe

It all started when we were enjoying some homemade banana bread at my mother-in-law's, and she told me that she always makes banana bread when her bananas start to get too ripe, so they don't go to waste.   I love banana bread... I'm going to buy bananas all the time now so I can make it.   It had never occurred to me that banana bread was made with real bananas (as opposed to banana pudding mix, or banana extract or something).  Dunno why, just never thought about it.

So I set out to come up with a recipe that was just to my liking; and Penny and I have been baking banana bread and trying different things almost every week for the last two months.  She's very helpful, that Penny.  Stirs brown sugar like a boss and always makes sure no chocolate chips are astray on the counter.

Anywho... here's what we've come up with.  Penny calls it 'Nana Bread.  Let me know if you make it!  Or what you'd do differently!

(Click on recipe to view full image, then print away!)

Oh, and if you're wondering why my posts have been so... ahem... seldom, it's because I've been crazy swamped with photography busy season, so pretty much all of my computer time has been dedicated to delivering images to clients... because, well, I also have two small children to take care of.  But, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Advent Season to you all!   You can see what I've been up to with the photo business on my Facebook page.  Is it a business if you haven't made any money yet?  Things to ponder...

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