Thursday, August 25, 2011

Photo Shoot

Ok, so before you go thinking I've jumped on the "update blog format" bandwagon, let me tell ya's something. I have been planning on updating my blog for a while now. I mean, the picture for my header was taken 5.5 years ago on our honeymoon in Hawaii. And the other pictures were of Emma when she was 9 weeks old. So, we're overdue for a change. BUT. I wanted to wait to update my blog until we had our family photos taken! Which happened in July!! Soooooo now I have lovely pics to highlight here. So don't go thinking I stole the idea from you!

ANYWAY. My friend Dani happens to be married to Matt who happens to be an amazing Sports photographer. He's had photos in Sports Illustrated, among other things. Oh, and he also done family portraits now! WOOT WOOT for connections! So Matt did our photos and they are amazing. I was totally nervous, because I thought Izzy was going to be a wreck. The shoot was right smack dab in the middle of when she'd normally be napping. But, surprisingly, she was alllllllll smiiiiiiiiiiles for the entire shoot. Emma, on the other hand... well she was her usual wild self.

At first she was pretending to be shy for Matt. Then she got all weird and actually MADE HERSELF SAD for real. Like, crying, tears-running-down-the-cheeks sad. But Matt wooed her with his camera and some high fives, and then she was down for it. For about 30 minutes. After that she started trying to eat sticks, ran away various times, and nearly jumped into a pond. But I digress.

Moral of the story, Matt (and Dani, who joined us later) were awesome and got some great photos of the family and especially of the girls. They were so lovely, in fact, that afterwards at lunch, Emma asked us why "cousins" Matt and Dani didn't come with us:)

So if you're in the area, and you need photos, Matthew O'Haren Photography is the way to go. Here's a peek at a few of my favorite pictures!!

My favorite family portrait

My three most absolute favorite people in the universe

My lovely ladies and I

Emma, pre-stick eating

My hammy little Izz-bot

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Life as Muppets

Recently, I've been reflecting on my family. I have been thinking about the unique characteristics of each of us, and the unique qualities we bring to the family. We are definitely an interesting bunch. And the thought occurred to me that with the whackos we are, everyday life is like an episode of The Muppet Show. Waka waka. So, without further ado, let me introduce my Muppet Family.

Alyssa, as Janice.

Free loving, guitar slingin', leader of the crew. Tries to go with the flow, and keep the people happy. Known to have a fondness for side ponies.

Mike, as Waldorf and Statler.

He's one man providing the crotchetyness of two muppets. Ever the outward grump, full of sarcasm and dry wit. But although he may seem like a grump on the outside, on the inside he's really more like

Fozzie Bear
Just loveable, cuddly, and ever the comedian.

Emma, as Animal.

Self explanatory, but for those who've never met her, I'll explain.

Wild, with a proclivity towards turning every item in a room into a drum. She bounces off walls and shouts at the top of her lungs in a barbaric, primal tone. Looks, and is, a little bit crazy. Ok, a lot crazy.

Isabella, as Beaker.

Known for high pitched, unintelligible mutterings. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she is often luckless and forlorn. But no fear, each day is a new chance to "meep meep" her way to happiness and success. Also, the hair.

And there you have my Muppets.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I am about to vent. Feel free to disregard.

There are a lot of things going through my head right now. Over the last two years there have been a lot of negative experiences piling up, and they are just getting to me. For example, almost as soon as I had Emma, I learned that perfect strangers will feel completely comfortable giving me unsolicited advice, criticizing my actions or inaction, giving dirty looks or glares, making rude comments in that kind of whisper that is meant for you to hear, scolding my children, or PUTTING FOOD DIRECTLY INTO THEIR MOUTH. And the list goes on. I've just learned that there are crazies out there with no filter, no sense of proper social etiquette, no concern for the feelings of others. It was hard at first not to take these encounters personally. It was hard to realize that these people were making snap judgments based on minimal observation, and that they REALLY had no clue what they were talking about. But slowly, I've gotten better at letting those harsh encounters roll off my back. I still get upset sometimes, (like when a woman scolded me in the parking lot of Target for changing izzy, who'd had a blow out, in the back of my car instead of taking her inside where "they have stations for that...") but generally I'm able to take it for what it is.

But more recently, I've picked up on an undertone coming from people who aren't just strangers. People who I consider friends. People who know me, and know my kids, and know about our life. People who I thought would be understanding. The first part of this that bothers me is the "you're JUST a stay at home mom" attitude. I chose this path. My husband works very hard to make it possible. And I think I do important work. I don't like it when others minimize that.

The second part of this is the small little digs people make about my kids or my parenting. Emma is hyper and out of control sometimes. I know that. It is only exacerbated around large groups of kids/people. She is just so happy to be out and about, and she really has unbounded energy. She has gotten much better about controlling it, and about knowing how to behave, but for heaven's sake, she's 2! Isn't that part of what being 2 is about? Being wild and crazy and running and playing and jumping and singing and being all spunky and stuff? And yet, two different people made the comment to me that if their oldest was like Emma, they'd be an only child. Adding "haha" to the end of that statement does not make it any less insulting.

And Izzy. Poor Izzy. First the stomach problems, and now teething. She's having a hard time, and she cries. A lot. I'm sorry if it bothers you, but telling me to just "nurture more" because you "nurture" your baby and he hasn't had any problems with teething, well that's not really helpful. And obviously it means you think I don't nurture my kids! OF COURSE I DO!

Ugh. So stupid. I wish these types of comments were coming from people that I could just blow off. Or from people that I could just tell off. But these comments come from people that I never expected. And it hurts.

So I've just been asking myself why I let it get to me. And the honest answer is that its because I'm insecure. People aren't saying anything that I haven't already worried about in the back of my head. I worry about Emma. I worry about whether or not she'll be able to slow down and thrive in a school environment. I worry about Izzy, and if I'm doing enough to comfort her. But I know deep down that I am doing the best that I can. I know we all can't be perfect. And I don't expect perfection from myself. But goshdarnit I hate hate hate when others feel the need to put me down to elevate themselves. Worst of all, coming from my friends. And its just made me realize that a purge is necessary. No more room for haters.