Posts Tagged ‘kids’

My Week(251) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

It was really hot this week, so went to the lake, wore babies and sat on each other. Obviously.

Sunday:

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Morning photoshoot at a marina

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They both seemed OK with this, so I didn’t stop it.

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Evening at the lake

Monday:

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Morning at the lake

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Sleepy baby face

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The Queens Elsa

Tuesday:

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Morning at the lake

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When did his legs get so long?

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More sibling sitting

Wednesday:

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He figures by now he’s the boss of the lake

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Linc walked around and around this bench for 20 minutes

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Even the kids thought we should buy lavender to bring home because it smelled so good

Thursday:

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This is what Caroline requested for breakfast.

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Spoiled, spoiled children

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Allllllll day at the lake

Friday:

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This was supposed to be a nice picture of Caroline holding flowers, but she tried to smell them and stabbed herself in the eye

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We were a hit in the frozen section

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It’s really hot in my house.

Saturday:

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There was music, so she was dancing

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Heeeeere’s Lincy!

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Planet viewing in the planetarium

SCHOOL STARTS ON WEDNESDAY. It’s so good and also so bad. I’m suddenly going to have a lot of time on my hands in the middle of the day and way too much to do in the morning and evening. I’m worried about the kids having a hard adjustment to classrooms (and Caroline to full day) after and structure and rules and having to wait their turn and stand in line and all of that after a summer of nothing but lake life and vacations.

But going grocery shopping with ONE baby I can put on my back? Heaven. My fridge is never going to be empty again!

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Yelling At A Kid Doesn’t Make You A Hero

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

This is not the post I was supposed to be writing today. Right now I am supposed to be taking pictures of my 364-day-old baby so I can post a sweet, heartfelt, sob-worthy birthday post tomorrow when he turns 1. But my baby is blissfully taking a much-needed nap while I get to sit on the couch with a Diet Coke and think about how much needs to be done before his party on Saturday.

Except instead of party planning, I am working myself into a rage for the third time this week over that story out of the diner in Maine. I have spent entirely too much time, energy and furious typing on this story already, so what’s another hour?

Sometimes my children are monsters. I'm sorry.

Sometimes my children are monsters. I’m sorry. But screaming at them is not the answer.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can catch up here on Buzzfeed and also read the mother’s account of what happened here. Do NOT read the comments.

Although I am extremely inclined to believe the family over the diner owner, I cannot prove anything one way or another. Even in this age of social media and cell phone videos as far as I know there isn’t any footage to confirm or deny the length of the tantrum. I’ve already word-vomited my feelings about that part of the story all over Facebook, much to the distress of some of my friends’ friends who insist I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about because THEY SEE parents being bad parents ALL THE TIME. I actually hardly ever see anyone being a terrible parent and can’t remember any time vividly enough to recount it for you now. Maybe I’m not observant or maybe my threshold for “terrible parenting” is just wicked high after having three kids. But if that is something ALL these internet commenters experience ALL the time, I cannot deny it happens.

So I give up on all my previous statements, assumptions and conclusions. You are right, people of the internet. Maybe these parents were incredibly neglectful, lazy and selfish and their monster of a toddler screamed at the top fo her lungs for 40 minutes, ruining everyone else’s morning. They are horrible and completely in the wrong for not taking their kid out of the restaurant.

But the part I absolutely WILL NOT concede is that the diner owner should be congratulated or treated as some sort of hero, standing up for the rights and eardrums of all the polite, respectable people who all seem to have raised their children without a single mistake ever or who are doing us all a favor by not having children in the first place.

I will cut a paste a few congratulatory comments so you don’t have to read all 1,000+ of them yourself.

“LOL I really like this owner!”

“owner did the right thing. that’s it!”

“I think the owner had every right when the parents r sitting there making everyone pay for their child’s temper tantrum. If u can’t control a Whiney kid….Stay the hell home! When I go out the last thing I want to listen to is a whaling brat!”

“Ugh. I’d have thanked her right then. Take your shrieking spawn outside please.”

“Restaurant owner is right. Dumbass mother is wrong. Case closed.”

“As for the owner, I applaud her. Simply put, her restaurant, her rules. It doesn’t necessarily matter if she has kids of her own or not either. She acted perfectly fine.”

“I give the owner support for her so-called rude response…apparently that’s the only way to get thru to the parents…the child had given a pure example of that truth! 40 minutes of ignoring your child is rude …BE A PARENT!”

Let me just be clear here: yelling at a kid in this situation does not make you a hero.

Do you know what makes you a hero in this situation? Kindness.

Kindness, patience and sympathy, which all seem to be rarer than unicorns these days. I feel extremely lucky that most of my interactions on a daily basis fall into the “polite indifference” section of the grid rather than “angry hostility” or “crazy screaming person” areas. I appreciate anyone who lets me just go about my parenting and life business without instantly writing me and my kids off as brats, jerks, whiners, life-ruiners who don’t really deserve to be out in public at all.

My heroes are the people who help when they don’t have to. The waitress who sees that I am struggling to keep my toddler in his high chair long enough to eat my meal and brings him apple slices to gnaw on is a hero. The cashier at the grocery store who starts to talk to my whining 4-year-old to distract her is a hero. The nurse at my doctor’s appointment who holds my baby for me so I can get changed is a hero. The lady at the beach who shares her snacks with my kids so they don’t have a hunger meltdown after all the snacks I brought have run out is a hero. My definition of hero here is pretty low, but in all those situations I am as grateful as if they had saved me from drowning. In a way, that is exactly what they are doing.

Those people are heroes because not only are they doing me a huge favor and embodying the idea that it takes a village, they are demonstrating in a real, tangible way to my kids what good behavior looks like. Instead of reacting to anger and frustration with anger and frustration, they are living proof being kind and calm is a real solution. “Oh!” thinks my kid, “She is trying to communicate without throwing a fit! Maybe I should also try that!”

That is how you turn irrational, screaming babies into full-sized good people. You model the behavior you want them to emulate, in private, in public and in diners. It can take a while, years even, but there isn’t really another option. I work really, really hard every waking hour of my day to give my kids the life skills, language and emotional maturity to one day be someone’s employee, boss, wife, husband, neighbor or friend. It is a fact of human survival that babies and children are necessary to create full-grown adults, so we need to allow for them to exist, even if sometimes they are awful. Kindness is how we teach them not to be so awful.

If you tell me that because these are not YOUR kids and YOU didn’t choose to bring them into this world you have no responsibility or obligation to help me teach them to be kind, I cannot argue with you. That is totally true. You are not obligated to do any parenting, so please enjoy doing things like sleeping in, going to brunch and yelling at whoever you want. But try to remember that you – YES YOU – were once a child. If your mother or father is available, call them up and ask them to tell you about their absolute WORST parenting moment. Maybe they can remember a time someone was kind to them while they were struggling, and the next time you encounter a horrible child in public you can pay that act of kindness forward.

No, you do not have to go above and beyond for me just because I have kids. No, I am not asking for special treatment. It is just so disheartening to think that so many people hate my family just because we exist in public spaces, we have bad days, and sometimes we make noise. I swear I am doing the best that I can to raise my tiny humans into people you would be happy to sit next to in a diner. If you can show them a little kindness, you can be a hero.

I’ve been staring at this for 15 minutes now, trying to decide if it’s worth hitting publish when I am fairly certain I’ll get yelled at for my post about not yelling at people. If you feel the need to comment or share, please be kind and give me and my commenters the benefit of the doubt when it comes to judgment, entitlement, parenting styles and anything else.

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My Week(244) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Hello. It is summer.

Sunday:

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Morning lap naps because we have no where to be

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Sports!

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She’s very good at selfies

Monday:

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Our Mystic day started at the aquarium

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Then I tied my baby to a chair to eat grilled cheese…

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Then Caroline decorated a whale at the seaport

Tuesday:

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I’M A BIG KID

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LOOK AT ME BEING BIG

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Being a big kid is exhausting

Wednesday:

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That whale is definitely trying to eat her

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Caroline thinks sitting is boring

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LINC THINKS SITTING IS VERY EXCITING

Thursday:

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Bed stealer

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Perfect

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One Caroline to push 3 babies. She’s got it.

Friday:

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So grown

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Evan is doing is presentation about Seaport Camp and explaining his picture looks like that because he “only works in black and sometimes very very dark gray”.

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Babies do not have good table manners

Saturday (Happy Fourth!!):

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The Mayflower!! Linc is unimpressed because he knows it’s a replica.

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Matching dresses are awesome

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We stayed up waaaaaaay too late

And on that note, I am going to bed. The weekend was fun but exhausting and NO ONE has taken a real nap in more than a week. I need at least 6 hours of sleep in a row if I have any chance of functioning this week. Good night!

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#Lakelife

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

One of the reasons I keep up my photography business, if only on a very very part time basis, is because it gives me a tiny bit of truly disposable income. I can spend that little bit of income on whatever I want, whether it’s new photography equipment or getting my hair done or an investment in something else. That last one is what I did with my first quarter income from 2015 – I invested it in my family in the form of a membership in the Amos Lake Beach Club.

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So far, it is proving to be a very worthwhile investment. The lake has shade, so much shade that I don’t have to wear sunscreen. The lake bottom is mostly sand and no rocks. There are picnic tables and grills so we can sit and play cards and stay for dinner. It is approximately 15 minutes from my front door to the parking lot. There are swings and climby things for the kids, fish so plentiful and fearless you can catch them with popcorn and a net, and there are almost always other children there for my children to play with but it is rarely crowded.

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To be honest, I was sort of dreading the summer and all the free time we would have to…stare at screens and ignore each other. I am not good at saying no to iPad time when it’s only 10 am and the kids are already whining. The lake solves the “should we pack up and go somewhere or stay home and relax” problem. We can do both! At the lake! And we can bring beer! I enjoy my family the way I imagine people are supposed to enjoy their families when I am at the lake with a beer. I mean, I love my family all the time, because they are my family. But there are definitely moments where all I want in the whole world is the freedom to go do something FUN that doesn’t end up being incredibly stressful. But when you’re relaxing only 15 minutes from home, it’s easy to relax. As long as no one breaks their leg (KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD) there are no emergencies at the lake.

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I feel really really lucky we can live the #lakelife this summer. It’s going to be good for all of us individually and good for all of us together.

 

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Sunday, May 31st, 2015

We went to the lake 6 out of 7 days last week. Then we went again today. When I wrote the (large) check to pay for our membership for the summer I thought “Ugh, this is so much money just to sit on a beach when we could go to so many other beaches for free.” But I am eating those words for sure. I’m eating them right along with the beer I drank on the beach today while I watched my big kids play in the water and the baby chewed on a shovel and I chatted with my mom friends. It’s perfect. It’s my favorite place in Connecticut. And next year it is the FIRST membership we buy instead of the last.

Appologies this week and every week for the same 5 lake pictures over and over and over.

Sunday:

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Never tired of lap naps

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Wine, baby, kids in the lake

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So many of my favorite things in this one photo

Monday:

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Unimpressed baby is unimpressed

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BFFs

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She calls this Mommy Hair

Tuesday:

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Don’t tell the big kids we went to the lake while they were in school

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Waiting for roadside assistance (aka Daddy) to fix our flat

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I’m going to make his hair do this all the time

Wednesday:

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There weren’t any store windows on my walk home so I used my phone to see if he was asleep. He was.

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3-6 month shirt

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Begging for cheese from the deli guy (obvs it worked)

Thursday:

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I let him have half an oreo while I put away a giant pile of laundry

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100% Linc

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A beautiful day for soccer. Why doesn’t it ever RAIN?

Friday:

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We walked down to pick up a friend at preschool, so Caroline dressed appropriately

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I found this on my phone. I did not take it.

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So many fish!

Saturday:

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Laaaaaaaake

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Running away to go eat rocks. Whatever kid.

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The rare big kid smile!

We have a packed week coming up with end-of-the-year school stuff, appointments, regularly scheduled things, field day, plus at some point my husband is going to get promoted and we’re all supposed to go. Since he’s currently on night shifts and we’ve barely seen him I’m not EXACTLY sure when that’s going to happen, but I’m told it definitely will. Probably. Maybe. All I know is in between a zillion must-dos this week I will be at the lake.

 

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