Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family pictures

I fell in love with custom photography this year after having Mason's newborn pictures. It was so nice to have pictures that weren't in a studio and involved things in our life, like our couch and Mason's room. I can do decent pictures of the kids but there are so few pictures that I am actually in and even less that the whole family is in so I knew I wanted to do more family pictures when Mason got older. We scheduled pictures for August because I knew he would be sitting up and look more baby-like than newborn-ish.

I was so happy with how these pictures turned out. I can't wait to get them printed and displayed in my house to share with everyone.

All photos were done by Nikki of Magnolia James Photography. She was awesome to work with and even helped me out when our cd of pictures got lost. Awesome lady.

I made this one to be my Facebook cover picture and I love it so much I am going to have to incorporate it onto the blog somehow. That might be a little above my skill level but I will figure it out eventually.

I think she's found her niche

As I've mentioned before, soccer was a big dud for Aubrey. She liked to kick the ball but forget running and kicking at the same time. And she didn't want to participate in the drills with the other kids so we decided one season of soccer was enough. We aren't expecting her to fall in love with everything she tries so it wasn't a huge deal when she wasn't a fan of our first extracurricular.

As soon as I found out Aubrey was a girl I knew she would start dance as soon as she was able. I was a little disappointed she couldn't start last year because she wasn't potty trained. Once potty training was complete I started counting the months until dance started. We've talked about it for months and she loves watching Angelina Ballerina and Dora the Explorer's ballet DVD. When it was time to go buy her first pairs of dance shoes and tights she was so excited. It was surreal to me watching the clerk fit her tiny little foot in that teeny little ballet slipper. Aubrey was so proud of her shoes so I had to hide them when we got home to keep her from destroying them before she could wear them.

It was also never a question of where Aubrey would dance. One of my really good friends teaches at her mother-in-law's studio which happens to be the studio we both danced at as children. I also danced there after college in my friend's adult class, including the year I was pregnant with Aubrey. She attended her first class with me at less than a month old and went to the recital a few months later. I knew I wanted Aubrey to dance there because it is a family fun business and many of my friends send their children there as well. Mrs. Rhonda is one of the sweetest and most patient teachers I've ever met so I knew she would be perfect for Aubrey.

The first day finally arrived and after getting Aubrey dressed in her cute little leotard it was finally time for her to go. When we arrived at the studio Mrs. Rhonda recognized her right away and helped Aubrey feel a little more relaxed. She still wasn't too sure about me leaving her in the studio with a bunch of strangers but Mrs. Rhonda told them there would be princesses and crowns and that's all it took for Aubrey to be hooked. The only drawback to this studio is you can't really watch the classes while they are in session but that's livable. After the hour had passed I went in to pick Aubrey up and she was so excited. She loved being a princess and wearing tap shoes so I called the class a success. When she asked me the next day when we were going back to see Mrs. Rhonda I knew we had a hit on hands. She has had several classes since that first time and loves each class which makes me so happy. I keep reminding myself she is 3 and her attitude about dance could change and that will be ok, but for now I just enjoy knowing she enjoys something that was such a huge part of my life for over 20 years.

The surprise hit of the summer was gymnastics. With the Olympics being on this year, Aubrey got hooked into watching gymnastics. She loved to watch the girls twist and turn and then she started trying to copy them by doing rolls off the couch. She would ask us every day if gymnastics was on tv that night and would cry if we told her no. Since she seemed so excited about it, Todd and I talked about it and did some research to see what we could do about gymnastics classes for her. We found a gym near the house that has classes at a time that worked for us and signed her up for the year. She was beyond excited when we told her and asked us everyday for a month when it would be time for gymnastics. When that time finally came, she was like a kid in a candy store. She did so well in her first class and seemed to enjoy every single minute. I can watch her from the observation area and I've never seen her so happy. I mean, what's not to love for a 3-year old. They got to do rolls on the mat, walk on the balance beam, jump on a trampoline, and play in a ball bit. I get it, its awesome. She was so sad when class was over and said she couldn't wait to go back.

So, I think our girl has found her niches, if that's possible for a 3-year old. We just want her to find an area that she loves and is passionate about in life and hopefully we can continue to make that happen for her.

She refused to take her tap shoes off after her first dance class.

First time walking on the low beam.

Making the big jump from the beam.

8 months and growing

I think this past month has gone the fastest of any month since Mason was born. We have been so busy with all of Aubrey's activities that the days just seemed fly by. Mason gets to see a lot of his car seat now because we spend a lot more time going here and there so I hope he's comfy.


*When I said 8 months and growing, I meant that literally. I measured him about a week ago and had to do it 3 times because I thought my eyes were tricking me. He's grown almost 3 inches in the 7-8 weeks since his 6-month check up. I noticed his sleepers were starting to fit a little tighter but didn't think he had grown that much. I am guessing he weighs between 17-18 pounds, but that is much harder to accurately check at this point. I am sure it was just a growth spurt, but it would be awesome if he kept growing like that.
*Sitting up like a champ now. I love it.
*He loves for us to stand him up. And then sit hown. And then repeat. Again and again.
*And with sitting up came the big boy car seat, stroller, high chairs, and sitting in the front of shopping carts. I love this even more. While I miss the convenience of the infant seat, I don't miss lugging it around.
*He loves for us to stand him up. And then sit him down. And then repeat. Again and again.
*He likes doing baby push-ups like a body building champ.
*He has started doing an army crawl/lurching movement to get where he wants to go and it is funny to watch.
*He is jabbering up a storm. No real words, but says dadadada and the occasional mamamama.
*We think he might/maybe/hopefully is starting to outgrow the soy intolerance. I've started eating some foods with soy in them and haven't seen any signs of trouble so hopefully I can keep easing those back in to allow me more freedom with food. We might try dairy again as he gets closer to 9 months.
*He is eating solids really well. So well that he is completely uninterested in drinking his bottles. We cut the solids back a bit to make sure he gets his bottles in but it is just a chore to get him to drink them all.
*He will hold his own bottle now, but only if you make him. He is still pretty lazy with it.
*He had his first trip to the lake to ride on Todd's parents' boat. The water was a little too chilly for him to get in but he enjoyed watching everyone else go crazy while swimming.

First trip in the big boy car seat.

Chillin' with Todd and Todd's mom on the boat

Friday, September 7, 2012

How did this happen?

How did we go from this newborn baby girl

to this big preschool girl

so quickly?

I've been anticipating this moment since I registered her in February. We've talked about it all summer and tried to pump us all up. Reality started setting in that preschool was real and starting soon at the beginning of August when we got the postcard telling us about open house and tuition due dates. When we got to open house it was really a mad house. There were so many kids and their parents and I think Aubrey was a little overwhelmed at first. But, soon the lure of the toys took over and she was fascinated. There were a few screaming children at open house because they thought their parents were leaving and they didn't want to stay. Not our child. She started screaming when it was time to go because she wanted to stay and play. Go figure. But, I felt good after open house and was sort of excited about the first day.

Until the first day got here. It hit me like a ton of bricks that my baby girl, the one I sometimes swear I just brought home from the hospital, was starting preschool. She was so excited so I kept up the smily, brave face for her but inside I was a big ol' pile of mush. When we got to the preschool Aubrey became a little overwhelmed again, but the toys sucked her back in and she was fine. She gave Mason and me a kiss and happily went off to play with the legos. I bit my lip to distract myself from the tears trying to form, put Mason back on my hip and dragged myself out of the classroom and back to the car. Luckily, I had to focus on Mason and getting him situated in the car or I probably would have lost it. Once we got home it was so strange to be there without Aubrey. There was no sound of Team Umizoomi or Bubble Guppies coming from the tv. I put Mason down for his morning nap and I had to seriously make myself realize I could relax and do what I wanted to do for the first time in a while. Nap time is usually chore time, but I took that glorious 2 hours to catch up on my People gossip, read some photography stuff, and clean my desk. I decided Aubrey going to school was not so bad after all and looked forward to Friday when she went back.

I was still excited when it was time to pick Aubrey up from school. I was not excited to see the long line of parents waiting to pick their children up, but seeing Aubrey's excited face when she saw us made up for the wait. She was so excited to show us her art project and the sticker she got for listening (really, my child actually listened? I'm shocked). Her teachers said she was such a sweet girl and listed so well. Hmm, let's see how long this good behaviors lasts! I was relieved that she had a great time and hope she always enjoys school in that way. So the first day of school was a success and we'll keep the fingers crossed the entire year goes as well.