Archive for December, 2016

The No Drama Santa Visit

December 14, 2016

Last year’s Santa visit was all drama and tears for Cullen. This year there was zero drama and zero tears. So disappointing, I love a good toddler rage photo. But I guess my baby is growing up. He even tried jumping the line, thats how focused he was on getting to Santa and giving him all the information about his Christmas wish list. Keane was his usual chilled shelf. He and Santa chatted like old friends catching up on all the happenings since they last saw each other.

2016 Family Photos

December 11, 2016

I’m not a person who enjoys being in front of the camera, but I am a person who understands the importance of capturing visual memories, especially family memories. Do I not have a blog dedicated to this very thing? But deciding to do family photos, then taking the steps necessary to actually do the family photos are 2 very different and challenging things. Especially when you’re dealing with a 4 yr old, a 2 yr old, a reluctant husband and an avoid the camera at all costs wife (me). Thats when you need the heavy hand of a good friend and downright amazing photographer to slap the sense into you and not under any circumstances let you back out of your decision. Lucky for me, Tessa is not only that friend, but she is that photographer.

Together we co-ordinated a day, a location, and since this shoot involved kids, a time that was conducive with their “happy hours”. Anything too close to nap or meal times and we could have a disaster on our hands. With the logistics figured out it was now time to think about outfits and prep The Husband. Husbands in general are allergic to family photos, so an encouraging conversation that went something like “this is happening, so suck it the f*#k up“, went down to ensure his corporation on the day. The day of the shoot, in the car park as we put the final touches to ourselves, Cullen found himself a piece of dirt to drive his mini trucks through. Wanting to keep his mood happy, I let him play for a few minutes. But the carpark was definitely not the backdrop I had envisioned for our family photos. I tried to explain this to Cullen as a way of encouraging him out of the dirt, but you know what a 2 yr old isn’t? He isn’t rational or understanding. He didn’t care much for my idea of relocating us to a prettier spot. No, all he wanted to do was play in his little patch of dirt. Cue the meltdown. A meltdown that continued for most of the shoot. I dug deep into my mothering skills, piled on the distraction tactics, made promises of new dirt, rocks and even sweet treats if he would just pause the meltdown for 20-30 minutes. I smiled and laughed more than I really wanted in a desperate effort to prove to him we were all having a great time. But he was having none of it. Eventually I started to feel defeated and wanted to quit, it was all starting to feel not worth it, but Tessa wouldn’t hear of it. She stepped up as the back up to my struggle. She gave Cullen and I a break to focus on capturing Daddy and Keane. And when she brought us back, she was armed with distraction games and tricks that helped turn the group mood from struggling, to fun. We worked hard, we persevered and in the midst of what felt like a complete disaster, Tessa pulled a miracle capturing the most amazing photos my family now get to treasure forever.

All of the photos I’m sharing here are from Tessa’s blog about our family shoot.

The struggle is real people. No sugar coating this reality.

I wanted to be fabulous for one day, not even a day, just for the duration of our shoot. To leave my yoga pants and sweats and mom bag filled with emergency snacks, drinks, wipes and other random kid stuff aside for 30 minutes. But here I am, all dressed up, wiping snot with my hands.

A break in the storm. We are turning these frowns upside-down.

Oh Christmas Tree

December 8, 2016

A little later than previous years, but you’re never really late unless the big man in red has actually been and gone, then forget it. Otherwise, yesterday was the perfect day for us to get our family tree. The lads love this part of the Christmas prep shenanigans and as always we arrived with our “go big or go home” game faces.

There was lots of exploring and running around. One can’t be too hasty when choosing the right tree.

Cullen found some of the trees down.

But was willing to use his man power to try lifting them back up.

Keane and Daddy believe they have found “the one”.

Cullen arrives to sign off and approve the selection.

And a happy dance seals the deal.

Time to load up.

Thank goodness Cullen was there to hold onto that little branch. Otherwise I don’t know how the lads would have carried it.

Keane’s impressed with his bold tree decision.

Loaded and ready for home.

It was a job to get it in position, but we eventually did.

The Avoidance Game

December 5, 2016

I’m in classic avoidance mode. Christmas is closing in fast and I’m feeling so not ready. Ugh! And the more that needs to be done and the closer we get to the big day, the more I’m avoiding. Cos I know the roads and malls are going to be filled with people just like me, who have procrastinated and avoided, right up until the last second and are all now driving around, shopping in panic, frustration and anger. Basically ticking time bombs who are just one stollen car space or one cheque writing elderly lady who forgot her identification away from combusting. And yes, I know there’s online, but online is only useful if you know exactly what your getting everyone. Otherwise, trolling the malls is your playground/madhouse for inspiration.

One morning last week I had actually planned to troll for inspiration. To put on my positive panties and take on the busy shops with a smile and a winning mentality, but at the last second decided I just couldn’t do it. So instead the boys and I and Dexter opted to preserve out mental health with a chilly but sunny trail walk.

Yep, Keane is still very much enjoying his instax camera.

Dexter’s face reads: “this is all your fault. Your camera, now his camera, WTF?”