When I write a post,
it’s crap. But time passes and
the post gets better.

Lucy recently had the opportunity to model for Hot Shotz Photography some new spring items from Sweet Treats Boutique.

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Julia has never been so jealous. She just couldn’t understand. Why Lucy?

“Do they know you have other daughters? Did you tell them about me? I don’t think you should let her do it. It doesn’t seem fair that only Lucy gets to do it. Lucy doesn’t even care about being a model!”

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But the truth was, Lucy cared. A lot. She tried so hard. And I think she did well.

This one is my favorite:

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You can’t tell, but she has marker on her hands.

I don’t often do professional pictures of my girls. Pictures are expensive and there’s just so much pressure getting them done. You have to figure out what they’ll wear and how to do their hair. Then you have to actually make them wear it without messing it up, all the while keeping their spirits high – you want them to smile, after all. And will they smile? No. At least not at the same the time. Or while looking at the camera. And you sweat pit stains with all the jumping and dancing and begging and “Weee! Look at Mommmeeeee!” you do to try and get them to, “Look over here! Smile! Hurry! The next session just walked in the door!!! Who wants ice cream!?!?! Smile! Smile!!! Uhhh, hey girls! BUTT! Ha! ha! Mommy just said ‘butt!’ Isn’t that funny? Yeah, that’s right! BUTT!!!” All for fake, forced grins in bought-it-just-for-the-picture outfits, because let’s face it, everything else they own is stained.

I already hand over way too much cash for the school and extracurricular photos that are taken of the kids, unfortunately, by the same old photographer in front of the same old backdrop doing the same old pose. In different outfits, however! I know I don’t have to buy them. Not legally. Still, I feel obligated. How can I not buy pictures of my kids? Even when the experience is, “What package did they buy?”

“Just a 5 x 7.”

“Oh.” Click. “Next.”

I prefer to take – for free – my own pictures at my own pace where we live and play in clothes we actually wear with smiles that grew organically from the joy of life, not because I sold out and said “butt.” (Not that saying “butt” isn’t a joyful part of our daily life. It’s just better when it happens spontaneously. Or in conjunction with “chicken” in response to the query “Guess what?”) Still, I know my pictures aren’t the same as professional pictures as I am not a professional. My plan has been to have a photo shoot with a professional at our house as a gift to myself when I reach my goal weight and then yearly thereafter. But yesterday I made a peanut butter marble cake with peanut buttercream frosting and I ate most of it, so it seems unlikely that will happen soon. It’s a good thing I had photos taken of all the girls before Lucy’s modeling session.

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I absolutely love them.

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Lacey – the photographer at Hot Shotz – is magic. I don’t know how or when she grabbed these images. I was there, but I don’t ever remember my girls looking like this. I don’t recall them ever looking like anything but uncaged chimps on LSD.

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Lacey also happens to be one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I’ve never heard her say anything but kind things to or about other people.

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My kids love her.

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I do, too.

Her pictures were so worth it.

You can see the entire set of photos from our session here.

And you should listen to Def Leppard’s Photograph by Chris Daughtry and Santana.

automatic wash
the doors close, the water sprays
Lucy fah-reaks out

“Remember how you used to lay my work clothes out for me every night?”

“Uh huh.”

“And you used to pack my bag and my lunch and everything?”

“Yep.”

“What happened?”

“You kept knocking me up. Now I have real kids to take care of.”

“Oooh! Burn!”

I licked my thumb, touched it to my bum and made a sizzle sound.

Dave raised his eyebrows and tried to look sexy. He doesn’t know he looks sexiest when he isn’t trying.

I think I’m going to surprise him by laying out some clothes for him tonight. I actually like doing it, because I like making Dave happy. And I like it when he looks more like a man and less like Mr. Goodbar. It’s really the little things that Dave thrives on, anyway. Like when I put love notes in the lunch I packed him instead of telling him, “There’s food out there. If you want to eat, you better grab something.” Or when I wake him up with kisses in the dark, then slowly bring up the lights rather than flipping them on, tossing laundry on the bed and screaming, “The kids are out of control!!!! GET UP!” Or when I greet him at the door when he comes home from work, preferably braless, with a cold drink in one hand and the remote control in the other.

It’d be easy to shrug all that off and act like Dave has some insane 1950′s expectations for a wife, but that really only works if he was asking me to do those things and I was opposed to them. I used to do them all! The truth is, I’ve been a slacker. And not just in the Wifely Duties (nonsexual) category. The stuff I don’t do that I used to do is piling up, literally. My house is a Disaster! Disorganized! Embarrassing! Overwhelming!

I have decided the solution for all my problems lies in reorganizing the playroom to make it more functional for the kids AND I NEED YOUR HELP!

Along one wall of the room is a window seat with an open closet on either side.

Lucy in the window seat

Playroom closet 1

Playroom closet 2

Lucy and her army of Elmo's

I love the window seat. I’d like to keep it as it is – well, minus the crayon scribbles on the wall.

But I know I can make better use of the closet space. I’d really like to be using it for toys, games, and craft supplies instead of, well, nothing. I had tried using some of these hanging storage thingies from Ikea, but they didn’t work out so well. They don’t really hold all that much and the kids kept ripping them down, anyway. So I ask, what would you do there?

I’m thinking of adding shelves. I figure I can pick up some shelf brackets and wood and have at it this weekend. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, keeping in mind that I am doing it myself with limited funds and skill. I know you’re just bubbling with ideas. Head to the comments and go! Go! GO!

Hey! Flashback Photo! Julia. Window Seat. 2006. Back when I used to “watermark” my photos for fear of thievery.

Window

Oh, silly me.

Did you play that game when you were a kid? Colored Eggs? It goes like this: A bunch of kids sit on the front porch steps. They are colored eggs. Each kid decides which color they are and when they do, they tell the “mother.” Once the colors have been determined, the “wolf” comes to visit. He tells the mother, “I want some colored eggs!” The mother asks what color the wolf wants. If the wolf says a kid’s color, they run as fast as they can around the house. If they make it back to the steps, they remain a colored (albeit changed) egg. If they are caught, they become the wolf. I was always caught because I was (and am) very slow. And then the game was pretty much over because I could never catch anyone else. Unless the kid we called Jeremiah Bullfrog played. He was two years younger than the rest of us and the only kid on the block who was slower than me. I frequently volunteered to be the mother. Otherwise, I was a virtually unguessable chartreuse egg.

Yesterday, after Julia’s cheer and tumbling classes and one false start, we colored eggs.

Going to color eggs

Julia was too excited to even change her clothes.

We had six color tablets, so I gave Julia and Lucy each three cups and three tablets.

Stirring the colors

Julia stirred each of her cups simultaneously.

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Lucy preferred the one-at-a-time method.

Bee-nut

Phoebe looked on and offered an occasional, “Da da DA! PPTHHPTHPFFTHPPPT!!!”

Lucy colors eggs

Yellow is Lucy’s favorite color.

Hands work best

Her egg coloring technique was decidedly hands on.

Lucy's egg coloring technique

I like to imagine Lucy as an abstract artist, painting like Jackson Pollock or the Ben Stiller character in If Lucy Fell.

Lucy's egg

Lucy herself is like an action painting.

Julia coloring eggs

Julia was a little more careful. She used utensils. She didn’t get so much as a spot on her tumbling outfit.

Beautiful Julia

Gosh, look at that kid. Julia is beautiful. And she has no idea. I mean, she believes that she’s beautiful in the “everyone is beautiful in their own way” sense. She doesn’t realize she’s extraordinarily beautiful. I guess that’s not a bad thing, though. Right?

Bitty Bee

Bee says, “Right!” and remains the happiest child on the planet.

Most of our eggs turned out looking like they’d been painted and started to peel.

Blue egg

Perhaps due to a reaction with our water softening chemicals? I don’t know. They look cool, though.

We tried to change things up to create new and different looks.

Rubber band technique

We wrapped some eggs with rubber bands.

Rubber band results

That was kinda cool.

Here’s my attempt at a Van Halen egg.

My try at a Van Halen egg

I call it “Running with the Deviled Egg.”

Bee!

When I feed Bee applesauce, I sing, “Applesauce” to the tune of Panama.

“Apple-sauce! Apple-sa-auce! Apple-sauce! Apple-sa-a-a-a-a-auce!”

She digs it.

We made a total of 30 eggs.

Our colored eggs

You know how Cool Hand Luke said no one can eat 50 eggs?

Colored eggs

Well, maybe no one can eat 50 eggs, but Julia can eat damn near 30.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. She ate 5. That’s still a buttload of eggs.


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