Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just Scrumptious

This child

who does things like this

and this

and who is wearing the cutest dress I have ever seen in my life

and who has impossibly tiny barrettes

and matching impossibly tiny braids

might be the most scrumptious thing I have ever laid eyes on.

I can't get enough of her cuteness.

I might be a little obsessed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Juste Photography

I have an announcement to make!

My brother and I have joined forces, and creative minds, to start a photography business Juste Photography!! Nathan has worked as a professional photographer for several years and I have dabbled on and off with professional photography since I was 19 years old. Remember when I posted pictures of one of the weddings that I shot last summer?

Nathan and I love photography. We love taking artistic photojournalist type pictures and even have a website where you can check out our work: Juste (zhoost) itself is a french word that translates to "no more and no less" - we explain the meaning on our website so if you are curious you should go and check it out!

We have already shot a couple weddings together this year, which was really fun! Not only did we get some great shots, we also have a ton of fun shooting weddings together and so we are really hoping to be doing this a lot more in the future.

A couple of things for YOU:
1. If you or anyone you know is interested in doing a portrait session (this could be anything from new baby pics, a family session, grad pictures, or even coverage of an event such as a birthday party, grad party, or anniversary celebration) let us know! For the next two months we are going to be offering a fabulous deal of only $100 for a portrait session along with a DVD slideshow of your edited and professionally touched up portraits (a package regularly valued at $350). If you are interested you can find our email addresses on the Juste website, leave me a message in the comments here, send me message via Facebook, or leave a note on the Juste Photography Facebook wall!
2. Pass the word along! If you know someone getting married or anybody who might be interested in a portrait session feel free to share our website or contact information! We would greatly appreciate the referrals!

Nathan and I are excited to be pursuing something that we love and so hopefully you will be hearing (and seeing) a lot more from Juste in the future!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dress Up

Tryn's new game is Dress Up, only, it doesn't always and sometimes never includes a dress. It involves her opening up her drawers and the closet and putting on whatever fits her fancy at the moment. She has - except for jeans - learned how to put on all items of clothing herself. So now she will ask if she can play Dress Up and disappear into her room. I might see her in as many as 10 different outfits over the course of an hour.

I despise Dress Up.

The reason? On top of the fact that I already spend most Sundays doing 7 or 8 loads of laundry, I am now washing a lot more clothes that have been worn for approximately 7 minutes and are not at all dirty.

I am trying to teach Tryn to put her Dress Up clothes away. Because, really, this game can distract her for an hour and so I can't hate it completely. And she is learning. Sorta.

I am still washing way too many clean clothes.

Tryn is pretty creative though. My favorite outfit so far is this shorts/t-shirt/tank top over t-shirt/cowboy boots/crown combo that she put together. Spectacular.

Friday, May 21, 2010

First Things Friday

As per their new norm, the kiddos woke up fairly early this morning and came and crawled into bed with Steve and I before we were ready to get up. It would be great if this changed sometime soon, not really sure how to bring that change about though.

Also, as per their new norm, they got bored quickly when they realize we weren't going to jump out of bed to play. They usually go find dresses and start playing dress up or some really girlie thing like that. This morning Berlin decided that she wanted to put on some underwear, which is fine since she has been wearing it more regularly. However, about 5 minutes after she put it on she started crying from the kitchen table, "I peed! I peed!" She was rather hysterical about it, as she was about almost everything this morning.

Definitely time to get out of bed.

I grabbed her and took her to the bathroom to rinse her off. When I got back out to the kitchen Tryn told me proudly, "Mom! I cleaned up the pee!"

"Really? You did? With what?"

"I cleaned it Mom!" She was so happy with herself, which, really, she was being so nice and helpful and kind, so she should feel good about that.

"I know sweetie, that's great. But WHAT did you clean it with?" This was all that mattered.

"A towel!"

"Babe, WHERE is the towel?" Again, this is all that mattered.

"I put it back, in the's right here." She grabbed the soaked towel from the oven door handle, where she had put it back, just like a good girl should.


"Thank you sweetie for helping clean up. Please go put that in the laundry basket and then wash your hands with lots of soap, okay?" And time to sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Little Pride Isn't Always Bad

There are lots of proud moments in parenting. I have felt proud when my kids learned to speak, when they learned how to walk, all of the typical moments when a parents chest swells with the feeling of “my child is smart, my child can learn, my child is good.” I know that all you parents know what I am talking about, and maybe you feel like me, that you don’t know why those things make you feel proud.

Sure, my kids learned some things from my direction and coaching, but, honestly, I think they would have learned them regardless – that’s just how people develop. They learn to walk. They learn to talk. It’s just part of growing, but for some reason it makes us parents proud.

Some of my prouder parenting moments have happened recently though. I especially feel proud of Tryn when she is being extra kind or gentle to other kids, particularly her little sister. I am glad that she is turning out to be such a good kid with a kind heart. I love it when both my kids love to help out with chores and things, when they like to ask me, “Mom, can I do you any more favors?” It makes my heart proud to be the mother of such nice little helpers. I hope they keep these traits as they grow older.

However, I think my proudest moment as a mother thus far came this last week. Lately I have been feeling pretty frustrated with Tryn’s obsession with sucking on her fingers. I remember the day she started sucking those fingers, she was only about 3 months old and I was so happy that she had finally found a way to soothe herself! Up to that point she had needed to be bounced to sleep for EVERY nap or bedtime, and even then would wake up all the time and need to be put back to sleep. She wouldn’t take a pacifier at all, so the day she started sucking her fingers, and could immediately start falling asleep on her own, I almost cried I was so happy. I remember calling Steve at work and explaining the whole thing and then saying, “The bummer is that we can’t just take it away eventually, like we could with a pacifier. But at this point I don’t even care!”

Well, now is when I care.

And over the past several months I have told Tryn, “You need to stop sucking your fingers. You need to stop. Don’t do that anymore.” And it hasn’t worked.

About a week ago I tried a different tactic. I told Tryn, “Babe, you need to stop sucking your fingers because you are getting to be a big girl. Only babies suck their fingers, and big girls who want to go to school can’t suck their fingers. I don’t suck my fingers, and other older people don’t suck their fingers. It’s not good for your teeth. And when you go to school next year nobody at school will be able to suck on their fingers.”

You know what? She listened.

That’s not that part that makes me proud though, the fact that she listened. The part that makes me so very proud is her self control. We will be riding the car, prime time for normal finger suckage, as she is normally bored and doesn’t have much to do. Now she will just tell me, “Mom, I am not sucking my fingers because big girls don’t suck their fingers.” And I know that it is hard for her not to do something she has done her whole life. Her hand will be resting up near her mouth, but she won’t put her fingers in. When she goes to bed at night she will tell me how she won’t suck her fingers, and I believe her. We haven’t needed to paint her fingers with yucky tasting stuff, she hasn’t needed to wear things over her hands when she goes to bed, I have not seen her suck her fingers one time since we had that conversation last week.

She is breaking an almost four year old habit, on her first try.

And for some reason that makes me immensely proud.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Many people have been wondering how potty training Berlin has been going. To be honest, we have not been working on it very consistently. Last weekend Berlin had her first little poop on the potty, although it was slightly traumatic as she ended up crying about it in the end. However, yesterday morning I decided to let B run around bottomless - completely. She wanted to and so I didn't stop her.

After a few minutes she ran up to Steve, "Daddy! I peed!"

We had her run to the potty, she went, and we couldn't find any wet spots anywhere so we figured that she probably meant, "I have to peed," instead of, "I peed." Two completely different things :)

Five minutes later she ran up to Steve again, "Daddy! I poop! I poop!" and, since it was apparent that she hadn't, Steve told her to go sit on the potty again. About 30 seconds later we heard, "I'm all done!"

Sure enough, the deed was done.

Three potty training accomplishments all in one day! She told us twice that she needed to go (instead of us asking her), she POOPED on the potty, and went by herself! It was a big day in Berlin's world.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I don't have much to say about these pictures. They just make me smile :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Darn Bugs


So, yesterday, on the way home from work I had to stop by Blockbuster to rent the next series of the TV show that Steve and I are watching. Had to. I won’t tell you which one it is though, you might think I am disturbed. I am disturbed.

Anyway, you might think I am a bad mom, but whenever I have a one minute errand – such as running into the gas station, or like running into the movie store – I leave the kids in the car. I only do it if there are windows where I can see the car outside and only if I can find a parking spot in front of the windows. It is just so much easier to run the 1 minute errand by myself than to make it into an 11 minute ordeal by getting both kids out of the car, trying to get them to both follow me in the store, making sure they don’t touch anything, and then getting them back into the car. That’s a lot of work.

However, after my approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds run into the movie store I came back out to the car to find Tryn close to hysterics.

“What’s wrong babe?” I asked her.

She looked at me with terror in her eyes, “There is a BUG on my sucker!” She and Berlin both had gotten suckers from the receptionist at church right before we headed home.

I always try to take opportunities like this, where my kids are illogically scared of something, to work with it and show them there is no reason to be afraid.

“Trynie, it’s okay, the bug can’t hurt you,” I reassure her.

“But I’m scared mom!” Big crocodile tears start rolling down her face, “Get the bug off my sucker!”

“Sweetie,” I grab her hand not holding the sucker and start rubbing her arm, “There is absolutely no reason to be scared. That bug can’t hurt you and I am right here. I won’t let anything happen to you. You just have to flick the bug off with your finger.”

“NOOO!!! I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!!”

“Tryn, look at me, I am right here and that bug cannot hurt you. I promise. Just try. All you have to do is try and flick the bug off. If you can’t do it I will help you.”

She tries a very timid flick about two inches away from the bug.

“Now that’s good sweetie, but you have to get closer,” I encourage her.

She tries again, still a good two inches away. The stupid bug is just sitting there the whole time, enjoying his little meal of sticky sweetness.

She tries one more time, this time getting within a few centimeters of the bug and then screams, “Mom! I can’t! I can’t! It’s freaking me out!”

Hahaaa!! I had to turn away so she couldn’t see me laugh. Lesson failed. I had to get the darn bug off the sucker myself. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Universal Truths

A co-worker forward these universal truths to me. The list gets funnier and funnier and I think I have thought 90% of the things on this list at one point in my life, and agree with 100% of them. Enjoy :)

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your
computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure
I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the
person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work
when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the
rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't
want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if
I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did
not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - ever.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dang
it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to
voicemail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing
anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to
answer when they call.

18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or
Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

21. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and
suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw

22. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than
take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

23. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish
a text.

24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

25. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and
smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to
prevent someone from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and

27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty,
and you can wear them forever.

28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?

29. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going
to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

31. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not
know what time it is.

32. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys
in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey -
but I'd bet my behind everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3
feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!