Sunday, July 29, 2012

3 and 1

Well, I can officially say that I now know what life is like with a 3-year old and a 1-year old.  Not easy.  So fun, but nope, definitely not easy.  Of course, it's not like I thought it would be, but some days I just look around at the chaos and it does catch me by surprise.

Some updates as of late:
Alex loves swimming, reading books, watching one of her many princess movies (and even a few non-princess ones), doing ANYTHING outside, laughing, and just generally being a happy kid.  She is SO smart (says her biased mommy), and comes up with the most amazing observations and comments on life.  She is a master negotiator.

She is the pickiest eater, and generally eats like a bird.  I'm amazed at how little she eats, and yet how much energy she has.  Her favorite foods are not always the healthiest choices, that's for sure: macaroni & cheese, chicken nuggets, waffles & syrup, bean burritos, and anything sweet or junk-food related.  She loves all her fruits, but is SO resistant to vegetables.  It's a daily frustration for me and something I have a hard time relating to, because I pretty much love anything that is edible.  We just keep hoping she will turn the corner and start eating more things.  We don't make separate meals for her or cater to her tableside tantrums, but she is just stubborn and will skip a meal rather than eat a vegetable! Grrr......

Alex is an amazing big sister.  I have no complaints in that department, and I'm just so happy to see her love and concern for Kathryn.  She helped teach her to walk, she pretends to read books to her, she plays with her, and is always looking around making sure that baby sister is ok.

Kathryn has been going through a very needy stage lately and has been having some very serious separation anxiety from me.  It gets to be so bad that I can barely walk out of the room at home without her screaming like it's the last time she will see me.  She wants to be held ALL the time.  Not exaggerating, seriously.....all.. the... time!  Alex didn't go through this, (at least not anything noticeable) and I am not sure exactly how to handle it.  My first inclination was to just let her cry for a bit (while staying close) and saying, "I can't pick you up right now while I'm cooking dinner, but Mommy is here, don't worry Kat!" Nope.  Didn't help.  So then I thought, maybe she just needs some Mom time, so I started picking her up--- while cooking dinner, folding laundry (her in my lap), sitting at the computer----pretty much anything.  But it didn't really help reassure her; she still screamed bloody murder for the rare minute that I had to put her down.  My back is killing me and although I love the extra snuggle time, it has been three months of this.  Rich and I both noticed that Alex has started misbehaving and talking back more, and I think it's related to the need for attention since Kat has been taking nearly all of mine.  We are hoping for a change on the horizon soon.

But Kathryn isn't all tears.  She is a sweet girl who idolizes her big sister, loves food (I mean LOVES food, almost anything), and has now taken off walking & running everywhere.  She talks a little, but most of her words are only understandable to us: she says MORE, GO, THANK YOU, BALL, BITE, EAT, BYE-BYE, HI, MAMA, DADA, THOR (our dog's name), WHAT'S THAT?, WHERE IS IT, GOOD GIRL, THERE SHE IS, and a few other little phrases that I can't remember at the moment.  She is definitely a mama's girl and loves just sitting quietly on my lap, sucking her thumb and looking around at whatever action is happening in the room.

Life is just crazy lately.  I'm a little overwhelmed with working full-time and the 1.5 hour commute I have everyday.  I enjoy my actual job, but it takes so much energy to get the girls ready, get myself ready, drive them to daycare, then drive to my territory---I feel exhausted by 8:30 each morning! The daycare being so far away from my house, and my sales territory being pretty far from that---those are the two things that cause me the most stress.  I keep trying to come up with a solution--I really do hate complaining about things without coming up with solutions, but I'm kind of stuck for now.  Oh well.

There are so many other updates, but this is a crazy long post, so I'll end for now.

Some recent pics:

And a really cool look at Alex in 2010 and 2012......crazy how much she looks the same!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kathryn's Cake Smash!

Kathryn is 13.5 months old, and we finally got to do her cake smash photo shoot this past weekend.  Every single weekend for the past 6 weeks, one (or more) of us has been sick with something or another.  So even though I intended to do it at 12 months, it just didn't happen!

It was pretty entertaining to let her play with the cake, but she didn't get into it as much as we thought she would.  Lately her appetite has been insatiable, so we thought she might inhale the cake faster than I could take pictures of it.  But she was pretty dainty about it, and even when we helped her along with a few smears and handfuls of cake, she wasn't a huge fan.  Oh well.   

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lollipop Girls

My girls.  I love them.  I'm trying to practice my studio photography work, and it's really quite funny trying to teach myself from youtube videos and various websites.  I wish I had the time for a real class.  So much more efficient.

This photo is definitely not going to win any studio photography awards.  The lighting is pretty blah and I'm sure it breaks some rules in terms of angles of light and reflectors and white balance.  

But I love it.  It shows my girls' funny personalities.  I love Kathryn's tongue coming out at the exact moment that Alex goes to swipe a lick from her GIGANTIC lollipop.  I love Alex's hand that is about to jump off her lap-- I can just feel the excitement in her very core, and I can hear what must be going through her brain...."CANNNNNDDDDYYY!!!!"

Monday, April 30, 2012

Photo time with Alex

Alex has definitely been needing some one-on-one time with me lately.  Kathryn has been going through a very needy stage, and she is attached to my hip almost constantly, so Alex is starting to feel a little left out.

When we got home from work tonight, Alex said, "I want you to take photos of me, Mommy."  That has NEVER happened! She hates the camera, or at the very least, barely tolerates it, and only with candy bribes coming every few seconds.  So I immediately said yes, and she ran to her dress-up drawers, pulling out a tutu and pearls.  I couldn't help but giggle.

I love my girl.  She is growing up.

Kathryn's 1st BEE Day!

Well, it's official.  I have a one-year old.  We celebrated the busy little bee with a BEE themed birthday party.  I love my party themes, that's for sure!

And it was a fun excuse for a themed photo-shoot too. I dressed Kathryn in a cute little bumble bee tutu that her Aunt Katie found and took some pics to use for her invitations.  Here was the finished product (minus our personal details, because HEY, I'm sure all of you readers--all 3 of you-- are nice, but we don't need to share our home address with the whole world! :)

I had a little onesie personalized with Kathryn's name on it from Christi Creations

I got the party printables (other than the invitation) from Dimple Prints.  

My friend Laura made the beautiful cake.  Thanks Laura!! 

The Menu:  sandwiches ("HIVE yourself a sandwich!"), a vegetable platter ("BEE Healthy!!"),  BEE-BEE-que chips (ha!), Honeycomb pasta salad, yellow & black licorice, honeycomb cereal snacks, Brownie & Pudding Push Pops, and Yellow Creme Oreos.Who knew they even made those things?! I am clearly not up-to-date on my Oreos; they had all kinds of those little cookies!  

Photo credit: Sarah Crank Photography

Happy Birthday Baby KAT! It was a fun party, and I think Kathryn had a blast! She almost fell asleep in her cake, which, if you ask me, is a sure sign of a good party!

Stay tuned for her one-year summary another day! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Easter

We had a nice Easter celebration at the house with family.  Alex actually got into it this year--she was ALL about the candy.  Kathryn liked the plastic easter eggs and the noise they made when she shook them (full of jelly beans).  Altogether a fun day of memories. :) 

Friday, April 13, 2012

(almost) ONE!

Kathryn turns ONE (!!!) next weekend.  Please pass the tissues. :(

AliKat Photography

Monday, April 2, 2012

An Easter Tea Party

I did a little Easter photo session for a friend this past weekend, and since I already had all the props set up, I decided to let my girls join in after she was done.  We took photos in my mom's back yard to take advantage of her beautiful wildflowers.  She is such an amazing gardener, and I have always enjoyed spending time in her garden, especially since I have a true BLACK thumb myself.  Bonus: it makes for an awesome photo backdrop!

The theme for the photo shoot was an Easter Bunny Tea Party.  It was an imaginary tea party for my cute little client, (no tea involved) but once she was gone, my mom said that just wasn't any fun at all.  So she made some mint tea (caffeine-free) and sweetened it with agave nectar.  She poured it into the tea pot and let the girls have at it.  It was the funniest thing ever.  Alex was very serious at first.  She carefully poured the tea into the dainty cups, trying not to spill.  And she shared with her sister too.  Kathryn isn't exactly a pro at drinking out of cups without a sippy lid, so I was curious to see what she would do.  Well, she tipped the cup to her lips and guzzled away!!! Of course, half of it ran down her neck, but she had no complaints.  They had so much fun, they were completely oblivious to me taking photos or to my mom and I hysterically laughing in the background.

When Alex finished the last of several cups, she peered deep into the tea pot to see what was left.  Then, with no hesitation, she lifted the pot to her lips and drained it! We couldn't stop laughing because it was such a dainty little set up and she was absolutely not dainty at all!!!! When she finished the pot, she reached for the saucer where she had spilled a bit earlier and licked that clean too.  Let's just say that we need to work on our tea etiquette before we visit the Queen. ;-)  And that must have been some TASTY tea! I didn't get a sip, but I'm fairly suspicious that it was light on tea and heavy on the agave nectar! ha!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's Springtime in Phoenix!

We survived the cold, dark winter that hits Phoenix.  Ha!  I apologize for the sarcasm if you are reading this from a place that actually does get hit by cold dark winters.  But we deserve some amazing weather at least part of the year since we endure some crazy miserably hot summers.  March is my favorite time of year in Phoenix.  The mornings are crisp, the afternoons are in the 80s, and the citrus blossoms are ripe and heavenly-scented wherever you go.  

We have been enjoying the weather by having a few picnics and taking lots of trips to the park.  

This next photo just cracks me up.....It's important to go to the park with your pink purse and your puppy. :)

Look Daddy! A dandelion!!!!!

In other news, Kathryn was very sick recently.  She had RSV, but after a very scary weekend of hearing her struggle to breathe, we managed to stay out of the hospital and battle through with only the home breathing treatments.  She still has a nasty cough, but in comparison, she's a million times better.  It was the most scared I've ever been as a mom. I slept on the floor of her room next to her crib because I was just terrified I wouldn't hear her if she got really bad overnight and couldn't breathe.  She had this glassy-eyed, pink, dazed look to her all day long, and just clung to me or laid her head pitifully on my chest.  So sad.  But now she is back to herself, and her spunky little personality is here again! 

Yesterday was Rich's birthday.  We celebrated with a nice low-key dinner at home.  I made Rich's favorite--Stir-fry Spicy Cashew Chicken for dinner and Alex helped me sing Happy Birthday.  We had family over for a visit this past weekend.  

Alex had her first swim lesson today.  We talked it up for the past few days, and she was SO excited to go today.  She kept telling me, "I'm gonna go SWIMMING!!!!!"  But then we got there, and she realized I wasn't going in the water with her, and she completely freaked out. (They have the parents wait in an observation room because the students tend to learn better when they are alone with the instructors.) She screamed bloody murder and cried the ENTIRE 30 minutes of the class.  But I couldn't believe that she complied with the little activities and lessons (jumping in the water, kicking her legs, swinging her arms) all while crying and sobbing "I WANT MY MOMMMMMMMMMMY!"  She climbed over the edge of the pool a couple times and took off running, and the instructor had to run and catch her.  Once, she came up to the glass observation window and plastered her red face to it, crying "MOMMMMMY, come and get me, I don't want to swim!!" It was heart breaking!! But when the class was over, I came around the corner, and she beamed up at me with her tear-stained, blotchy face, but with the biggest smile, and said "That was SO fun!" I couldn't believe it.  She was so proud of herself for jumping into the water, and she couldn't stop talking about it all night.  After dinner, we asked her if she was looking forward to another swim lesson, and she looked at us with a very serious face, and said, "No, that's ok.  Just one day is good.  I'll be fine." Ha!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sister Loving

I always wanted a sister when I was growing up.  I'm sure I imagined it to be much more starry-eyed and best-friend-like than it is in many cases, but still.

But one great thing about having kids is you get to re-do your own life through them. HA! (Harvard, here we come?!) I kid, I kid. But seriously, I am truly enjoying the view as I look down on my two little girls who are so loving with each other (yes, I KNOW that won't last longer than another month or two, but don't rain on my parade!).

For now, I see the big sister that Alex has become, and my heart just swells with pride.  She is attentive, caring, and loves that baby sister with all her heart.  It is a beautiful thing for this only child (me) to witness. And Kathryn--well, Kat's favorite person in the world is Alex.  From the day we brought her home from the hospital, she has been following her big sister's every action with her eyes, and her face  brightens even at the sound of Alex's voice coming from another room.  She sits, playing with toys, (before recently becoming mobile) hoping that Alex will join her for a moment.  And when Alex obliges, Kathryn starts giggling and bopping her head, just soaking up the undivided attention.

I feel like this is such a short-lived, beautiful moment in time.  I know the day is right around the corner when Kathryn is going to become more intrusive into Alex's toys and playtime, which will cause bickering and conflict.  I know Alex is going to be growing more independent and less interested in rolling the ball to her baby sister every night after dinner.  I wish I could freeze these moments.  The camera will have to do.