Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I was missing this little blog during the late winter months, when we slid down the slippery slope of toddler rule. It's so easy... To bring this sobbing little one into your bed, to cuddle him and hold him tight and make his tears go away. And to realize that 4 months later, you have not accomplished anything past 8:30pm because you've somehow still got this little monkey sandwiched in between you every night. I see why families co-sleep. I really do. I'm empathetic to how they got there. Because I did too. And little by little, it got better and better. It was so nice to lean over and kiss Dean's sweet forehead in the night. We snuggled and he slept with his head tucked under my chin. Firoze said in my ususal sleep walking and talking state, I kissed and hugged Dean all night long and he kissed me back. Those nights were sweet and precious. But, they had to stop. It was time for us to take back our spot on the throne. Dean just had to go. And so he did, right into his new big boy bed! And finally, I got my evenings back. Imagine all the things you can do after 8:30... So, when I have time, I'll be posting some catch-up posts from the last few months. Starting with our trip to our favorite spot to go with the boys. It's pretty much perfect. It's the "duck park" and it's just a two minute trip from our house, which means it's our favorite hangout! Now that Devon's getting older, he can ride his bike like the other cool kids at the park. But, our favorite activity is feeding the ducks! Even Dean is so mesmorized, he sits at the waters edge and doesn't even move. The ducks were showing off their pretty colors. And Dean was loving life with his little duckie friend! But the best was yet to come. A gorgeously huge white crane flew towards us like a small airplane and glided to a stop right in front of us. She put on quite a show and we were mesmerized! And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, she dove into the water and showed off her skills! I mean, come on... how cool is this?! And so we stared and watched her, slowly stalk through the water, quietly waiting for her moment and then... SPLASH! The beauty of nature in perfect focus... It was better than watching Animal Planet! After crane watching, there was duck chasing... "We might catch these birds if we work together!" "Now how did I miss them?" I just love this picture and couldn't believe I caught the exact moment of the ducks in flight. After all the bird watching, it was time for some exercise... Little shadow chaser... And there was quite the game of frisbee! Devon mastered the frisbee on this trip! Dean even tried his best to run away with the frisbee. Baby bear ears on jackets just melt my heart... But eventually he got his stance and his throwing arm into position... And looked cute while he was doing it. No matter how good we thought we were playing frisbee, we were no match for this dog! He literally could leap about 8 feet in the air and catch the frisbee mid-air. I was so happy I caught the catch with my camera! Devon is so grown up, he easily climbs trees and gets a little higher each time. But Dean knows how to get a real birds-eye-view! The best father I could ever imagine for my boys. He is everything to me. Such a sweet picture. Father and son. Duck, duck, goose. Lovely little lashes. Little boy silhouettes on trees... magic. Littlest park ranger. And my big boy rock climber. Capturing these fleeting moments of babyhood... Love these sweet cheeks and little rosebud lips. I love you my sweet Dean, my little snuggler, my bed stealer! Lovely park paths, see you next time!
Posted by Julie at 7:02 PM
Friday, April 13, 2012
Cameras have been a passion of mine for a long time. It runs in the blood. I have casual photos of my great, great relatives doing all kinds of things... having picnics, holding babies, proudly standing in front of their car and even their buggy! These photos date back to the 1910's and I love seeing these moments captured on film, perfectly suspended as though time stood still. My first real photography class was during college, when I got to train on the entirely manual Rolls Royce of cameras, my grandpa's vintage 1950's Leica. It was love at first click... Fast forward to now and hundreds of baby photos are archived in files on the computer and carefully stored on discs. If the house were on fire, my first thought (after the people, of course), would be "save the photos!" They are my most prized and treasured possesions because they posess the power to transport me back to that moment, to uncork the bottle and to breathe in the realness of that time, and to preserve the happiest memories of my life. That being said, I truly try and capture as much as I can. I wouldn't think of leaving home for a vacation without my camera, or maybe two or three! But somehow being the photographer eliminates me out of at least 90% of our family photos. In fact, I can count on ONE hand the number of family photos that have been taken of the four of us. Going to Charleston, I was so blessed by the generosity of Courtney's sweet friend Beth, who agreed to take some family photos of us. Family photos that I actually got to be in! I am so blessed to have my sweet sister, to think of the idea, to arrange it, to drive and pick up Beth and her three kids, to get us all lunch, to convince me to make time for it even when things got complicated, and to babysit 8 kids (yes 8!!) while we got everyone looking "photo worthy!" Oh yes, and she even threw in her mad skeelz as a MAC makeup artist and gave me cheekbones and defined eyes! I love you so much Court! Beth did such a beautiful job and I hope she takes her talent pro one day soon, so lots of Charlestonians can hire her to take family photos, baby photos and wedding photos! Thank you Beth for blessing us with your time and talents and for capturing the love we have as a family of 4!!
Posted by Julie at 9:58 PM
Thursday, April 12, 2012
When we were at Courtney and Guillermo's house, I was busy in the kitchen and turned my back for a second. I heard Judah say "Dean loooves Peeps!" I turned around to see that he and Quinn had taken the initiative to give Dean a little Easter treat and put a Peep in his hand. Dean could see by my face that he had to make a split second decision, so he shoved that entire Peep in his mouth and clamped his teeth shut. He knew a good thing when he had it and he CERTAINLY was not going to let his chance at pure bliss be snatched away! Well, we saw our opportunity to have a mini beach vacation while we were in Charleston and you can say we snatched that Peep up! Charleston has two sides... The one side is the normal working world, where people go to work and pick up Chick-fil-A lunches for their kids in the drive thru. That side has strip malls and rush hour traffic. That is the side we normally see. But Charleston has this whole other side... the vacation getaway. The side where people lay around on the beach and stare at the dune grasses blowing. The side where people eat fresh oysters and crab cakes at beachside restaurants and drink cold beers at lunch. The shops here sell Palmetto hats, sweet grass baskets and wooden signs that say "Gone to the Beach." And this is the side, that my peeps and I wanted to visit! So, we drove past the strip malls, over the bridges, past the islands until we hit Folly Beach... We stayed at the Tides Hotel and were lucky enough to be right on the beach, with a perfect view of the Folly Beach Pier. We loved taking a swim in their pool overlooking the beach. And the boys LOVED swimming with their Papa! After swimming, these two needed a quick lollipop break and snuggled under the towels. We went out for lunch (although it was a sad, sad story that Bowen's Island was closed). We returned ready to take on the beach... The boys got to build their much anticipated sand castle (or more like sand bucket) and Viviana got to hang out and rock the cutest little baby bathing suit you ever did see! Seriously, could you just die of cuteness overload? I mean, come on... Look at those pink ruffles and little squishy baby arms! After all our beach fun, the rest of the family headed back home and we stayed to enjoy the sunset and an evening walk on the pier. This is our hotel. When I asked Devon his favorite part about the entire Easter weekend, he said it was this moment... "When the fisherman caught the sting ray on his pole!" This sweet baby face with the still chubby cheeks just warms my heart... Deansie, doing his best Abercrombie modeling... And being a little boy again... I treasure these moments with my family, when I can take a minute and truly be happy. Family on the pier. Fishermen at sunset. Perfection. The next morning, I woke to a very peaceful sunrise and peeked out the curtain while the rest of the family were sleeping and snuggled under the covers. But the empty sand was calling to me to come outside and wake up with the sun... So we ran outside to play... What a glorious morning! The ocean waves were just sparkling in the sun. There were seashell negotiations... The face that brings me so much love... I was happy to let the boys have their moment, to just use their imaginations and let me quietly slip away to just observe them. But the most fun we had was just playing under the Folly Beach Pier. The sun was making the ocean glitter... While I was enjoying the view, Devon was busy making "mud soup" in the tidal pools around the support beams. Dean had a standoff with the tide... I couldn't love this picture more... Devon didn't care that the tide came in. He was perfectly fine getting soaked through his pants! Dean loved being chased by the waves... But to top off a perfect day, Dean had to find his favorite toy on the beach... I had to laugh when I saw the angle of this photo. Hmmm... Dean looks like he is VERY blessed by nature! What? My pants are NOT wet! So after our morning of beach fun, Devon begged for one last swim in the pool.. And poor little Dean was VERY jealous... Let's just say he was NOT happy to be stuck on the balcony overlooking the pool! "Hey, how come I always get treated like the baby around here?" Bye Beach! Thanks for the memories!
Posted by Julie at 7:23 PM