My Pumpkins

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Every once in a while I get this idea in my head. “I’m going to get a picture of all 3 kids looking and smiling. It won’t be hard, I’ll be fast. It’ll be easy. You would think I learn. And really, I’ve learned to not only live with it, but love the pictures, even if they’re not perfectly posed – I like them because they’re real.

Today I thought it would be easy to get my 3 kids to sit, smile and be happy for pictures in their new Halloween shirts from Nana. Easy? No. Funny? Yes. So to lighten the mood and relieve the pressure off them I just told them to SCREAM.

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And then (after a shirt change…one of Ethan’s issues was wearing that new cute Halloween shirt, he doesn’t like to change clothes just because) we made faces.

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And don’t you think Ethan looks surprisingly happy for a boy about to be eaten by his mother? I sure do.

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Good Things Come in {small} Packages

Not THAT small package – that the saying infers – but a relatively small package arrived at our house today from Nana. I knew it contained many Halloween treats and other goodies, but what it really contained was 2 hours of happiness and contentment from my children.

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I made them go slow. One thing at a time, look at it, read it, see it, even taste it before moving on. Ethan noticed the car/truck right away (I’m not even sure what it is…b/c I can’t see it well in this picture and he had it all night and its even in bed with him but apparently I didn’t take a good look at it).

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See? We couldn’t get him to move on to his next item. He was all about the car/truck (although in this shot I’m thinking its a truck.)

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Candy is always a good distraction!

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To end the festivities they all sat and read their new Halloween books. Well, Bella read hers, the others looked at them until I put away the camera and read to them. Then the girls spent the next little while using their new stickers to create Halloween pictures all while Ethan…played with his truck/car.

Thanks Nana for a fun afternoon activity. And Nana, just so you know their favorite thing was the Taco Bell gift card. I told them I’d take them there on Friday when they’re off school. Such funny kids to be so excited about a tortilla rolled up with melted cheese, I’ve tried making them for them at home and they insist it isn’t the same (probably because at home it doesn’t come with a lemonade or a toy). I’ll have to take a picture of them in their Halloween shirts for you too.

*Edited to add: I decided to look up the phrase, “Good things come in small packages” just to be certain of its intended meaning. I always thought it was talking about small boxes that held diamond rings, necklaces…you know those king of “good” things. Apparently the origin comes from babies being born…and this certain isn’t about THAT kind of small package either. 🙂

Just the Way You Are

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This boy of mine is something special. I can’t necessarily pin point what exactly makes him so wonderful, but I know that he is. Maybe its the parent in me dotting on my child, but honestly, I believe he is destined for great things. Maybe its even me telling myself all his restless energy and stubbornness will have a great purpose one day – just to make myself feel better. Whatever it is, I am not changing my mind.

I do struggle with Ethan. He’s been my most difficult child as far as behavior in public goes. But,  boy do I love this kid. I love that when he wakes up in the morning slowly walks around the house and when he finds me he looks up at me with his big blue eyes and gestures for a kiss. I love that he misses his sisters when they are at school. I love that he can sing, and picks up the words to most any song after hearing it once. I love how he says “okay” every time you ask him to do something (although that doesn’t mean he is really in agreement!). I love his little boy obsessions – cars, trucks, trains, space shuttles, dinosaurs, dragons, etc.  I love how when he sits on my lap he insists that my arms be around him.  I even love the traits that make him difficult because I can see that those traits could serve him well in the future (okay, not the hitting thing, but that is improving).

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I am finding this time in his childhood now magical. Watching him understand and take in the world around him is nothing short of awesome. I want to freeze time, I want him to always be my little boy. I want to stop the process of growing up and just stay in this place with him forever.

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Basically, what I’m trying to say is:

“Ethan, I love you just the way you are.

Love, Mom {XOXO}”

At the End of the Day

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Lately it seems I have been in a bit of a slump. I am tired, and I feel like I never have enough time to do it all. Its just the ups and downs of life, and then the other day I had an epiphany. Anthony was out of town. It had been a long day. The kids were pushing every last one of my buttons. I was tired and part of me just wanted to run away and have a few hours to myself.

That wasn’t an option. So instead of my first instinct to run and hide I told the girls to go and get some books and each of my kids snuggled in next to me (or on top of me) and we read stories. We even sang songs. And as the evening was coming to a close they told me how much they loved me. My heart swelled. And I knew, once again, that I loved them. But THAT wasn’t the epiphany. The epiphany was something I already knew, but had forgotten somehow. I realized that no matter how bad the day, no matter how tired I am…at the end of the day I have these three kids. Amazing kids. Blessings. These three kids tell me they love me even when I haven’t been the best of moms that day. These kids inspire me to be a better mom – today, tomorrow, and the next day. These kids are mine. They always will be, forever. No one can take away the fact that I am Bella’s Mom, Natalie’s Mom or Ethan’s Mom.

At the end of the day I am blessed beyond imagining by these three beautiful spirits. And that fact alone is enough to make me smile – good day or bad.

Little Red

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Today’s “everyday” came from Natalie trying on her Halloween costume. I tried my best to convince her NOT to wear this costume (I wanted to do a theme with all the kids) but she was adamant about it. I do love this costume, and I love that she wanted to wear it because her sister did. After all, its her turn, and all must be fair.

Everydays

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Homework. It doesn’t get more everyday than this.

{P.S. “Everydays” is what I’m entitling my daily shots that I talked about reviving yesterday.}

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Can you tell how thrilled she is to do homework while her siblings play? I try to keep her away from where they are playing but she always ends up back wherever they are. Natalie says she doesn’t want to go to Kindergarten because she’s scared of homework.

Revival

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On January 1st I began a 365 project with other photographers as a way to improve my skills, make photographer friends and just for fun. I was determined to finish. I failed. Somewhere between beaches this summer I fell WAY behind and have never been able to get back to it. About the time I was giving it up a photographer friend of mine emailed me and had just discovered my project. She expressed an interest in doing one herself.

Well, this week she began and she was/is looking for others to do it with her. I think I’m going to join in…but I’m not promising daily posts. I’m not going to stress about it. I’m just going to have fun, try some new things and if I miss a day – I won’t stress over it.

Oh, and I most definitely don’t promise not to cheat. Some day’s my picture won’t have come from that day. Sorry, it just won’t always happen that way. Feel free to critique away. Just be nice about it. Constructive I can take, its helpful and welcome. Nothing I post do I deem perfect. Right now I’m already listing a bunch of things I wish I had done differently or wonder how I could have done better.

To be completely honest, I am not 100% thrilled with these. I only had a few minutes with the butterfly this afternoon. I still have it so as long as its not eaten up by bugs by the morning I may give a second go at it. It was dead on the side of the road being eaten by ants and I brought it home. It was too beautiful to leave behind but I found it difficult to shoot. Sometimes I think the hardest pictures to take are the simplest ones like this. Or maybe I make it more difficult than it is.

You tell me.

So, lets call this a revival of sorts. We will see how it goes.

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{And one more piece of business. I am thinking of creating a separate page for this, I’ll put a post up when I do. I just don’t want to fill my home page with these daily posts. }

E.T.H.A.N.

I thought I would share a few things about Ethan. He’s almost 2 1/2 and changing so much, and even though he is a wild and crazy little boy (and a very difficult one at that) I don’t want to forget any of it.

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E – energy. He almost never runs out of it. Never.

T – tag along. And I don’t mean this is a negative way. I mean this in a excited way. Ethan LOVES to be with is sisters. He wants to be with them all the time. He doesn’t play Barbie’s with them or anything, but if they are playing he wants to be right there with them.

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H – happy. He really is a happy kid. (But if he doesn’t like something he will most definitely let you know.) Lately he’s really found his sense of humor, of course its totally boy humor. Burp around him and he gets the giggles, when he makes a stinky diaper – well, he finds that very funny. Seriously.

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A – awesome. Having a son is seriously awesome. And I really do look at him at least once a day and am amazed at how lucky I am to have him. In my opinion he is the cutest, smartest, funniest, and possibly craziest kid there is.

N – naughty. This makes me giggle. I don’t really think he’s naughty. Challenging? Yes. Naughty…no. He’s just 2. But thankfully lately there have been little things that are signaling to me that he is slowing down and catching on to consequences. (Thank you!)

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And one more thing I have to share. It is definitely a thing I don’t want to forget, although Natalie would love to forget I am sure. Ethan is talking more and more each day and about a month ago he learned the word “brother.” His sisters (especially Natalie) call him “brother” instead of his name sometimes and for some reason he’s attached “brother” to his sister Natalie. He calls her “brother!” It drives her CRAZY. When she gets out of the car in the morning he screams, “My brother!” And when she gets home from school he says, “Hey brother.” Even when we show him a picture of the family and you ask him the names of everyone in the picture he names everyone right until he gets to Natalie. When we point to Natalie and say “Who’s that?” he’ll quickly say… “My brother!” What a funny kid.

In THAT Stage

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Ethan has hit THAT stage. Its one that I have always dreaded, and have always hated with all 3 kids. The “I’mgivingupmynapeventhoughIstillreallyneedit” stage. Its terrible. And I must say, Ethan is winning the battle. He has worn me down to the point that most days it is easier to just ignore nap time than to start the fight.

However, when I do that either the above (picture) happens, or by 7pm he and I are both so ornery that I just put him to bed. I’m trying to persevere through this stage because both girls did this and then eventually gave up the fight and returned to naps for another 6 months to a year. I’m not sure I have that much fight in me though, we’ll see.