Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Family Photos, One Moment In Time

Growing up my family didn't get professional (or even non-professional) photos very often, partly (I think) from monetary reasons and partly because of my mom's battle with her weight and feelings of self-worth. As we are once again approaching the anniversary of her death, I am saddened by how few photos we have of the family. Looking back, I don't remember my mom being overweight, what I do remember is a great laugh, a lap that was soft and warm, always willing to read a book or give a hug, and a mom willing to go outside with us to help us with whatever sport we were currently playing (and goodness knows she had her hands full trying to turn this girly-girl into an aggressive sports player).

Luckily I am blessed with a great friend who does a fabulous job taking photos (the great Erika Snow has done all of James's photos and several of Colby and I), who values the importance of photos, and isn't afraid to push me a bit when it comes to family photos. Do I want pictures of James to capture that moment in time?! Yes, I am great about making sure they happen. Photos of myself?? Not so much.

My baby is now over one and those 30 pounds that I was supposed to lose right after he was born have stubbornly stuck around. (Can you still call it baby weight when your child is no longer considered a baby?!) But as a thought about (and stressed about) getting these latest family photos taken I realized a couple of things, first, no matter my weight I would always find something about myself that was less than perfect and, in my mind, ruining the photos (which the mean voice in my head is a whole 'nother discussion).

Second, that I have an amazing husband who hates getting his photo taken even more than I do but he is willing to do it, without complaining I might add, because I wanted it done. Not only did he show up in the appropriate outfit, he listened to me stress and obsess over the color palate of the outfits and have a freak out the day of regarding the clothing I had already chosen.

Third, and most important, that regardless of what I think about it this photo captures a picture of what our little family looks like at this exact moment. Our family will never look like this again, other children may come, James will get older, and never again will we look like we do right now. So I am going to ignore how round my face looks and my dress size and appreciate the great setting, the way my family looks at this exact moment, and, let's be completely honest, nobody is really looking at me when they can see that cute little boy in the front.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

James is One!

I can't believe how fast time flies (and that it has been a year since I last posted on this blog). One of the best pieces of advice I received while pregnant--and I received it from several people--was to take time to enjoy each stage of James' growth because it passes so quickly. Boy were they correct! We love having him as a part of our family, with all the joy, noise, frustrations, mess, and giggles he brings with him.

This little monkey has been anxious to get out and see things from the very beginning (3 weeks early) and that hasn't changed. He loves people, he LOVES going to the grocery store and being fawned over by the older people there so I try to time our visits to coincide with as many of the older generation as possible. James is constantly on the go! He doesn't like to sit still but crawls laps around our kitchen island.

He loves food and will eat just about anything offered to him (and anything off the ground). About two weeks ago he decided that he is a big boy and now won't eat anything that he thinks is baby food. It is really annoying and I have to get creative with how I present some food to him. For instance, I tried to do homemade burritos the other day but the tortillas were too tough for his six little teeth to handle so I put the burrito stuffing in a bowl, not thinking that I chose the blue bowl that his baby food is put into, and when he saw I was still eating the tortilla-clad burrito he refused to eat what was in the bowl. I ended up pretending I was scooping out the inside of my burrito to get him to eat it. He is much too smart for his own good (or his Mama's efforts).

He loves Smokey Joe (yes, my 19 year-old cat is still alive) but Smokey Joe does not love him. James loves to chase Jojo around the house (Jojo is never fond of this) and likes to pat Jojo with either his hands or whatever toy happens to be in his hands. Poor Jojo! To give Jojo some peace we have modified (i.e. cut a hole) in a baby gate so he has one room he can go into that James cannot. We had to do this partly because James kept eating the cat food and partly because Jojo doesn't move as well as he used to and can't always jump up on furniture to get out of James's reach. :(

James loves swimming and anything to do with water. He will put his face under water or splash himself over and over again. Needless to say bath time is frequently a wet experience for everyone involved.

James LOVES his daddy, he will choose Colby over me every time. I try not to be too jealous and I have to admit that sometimes it is nice that he prefers his dad and I get a bit of a break. :)
Not only does James never stop moving, he never stops making noise. He loves to talk, sing (I hope it is singing), making little boy noises, pounding things, clapping his hands (you get the picture), if it makes a noise he wants to do it and he wants to do it loudly. You will notice in this photo he has a rock in his hand, the first thing he did when we stood him up next to the crate was to grab a rock and start pounding on the crate. When I took the rock away he calmly reached down, picked up another rock, and continued to pound. Erika Snow Photography took these fabulous photos. James did a pretty good job, much better than his six month photos but he did finally reach the "I'm done" point.