Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Brutus 2006-2018

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Previously: 2013 photos of Brutus with the kids 

I’ve spent several days staring at this box on my computer trying to figure out the best way to say that my dog is dead.

I don’t want to say “We lost Brutus this weekend” because we didn’t lose him, the way you think of losing a dog. He didn’t run away, he’s not missing, there’s no chance he’s coming back.

I don’t want to say “Brutus died on Sunday” because he didn’t just die. It wasn’t that easy. He got sick, really sick, really fast and I spent a week talking to vets about whether or not we could help him before we had to make the terrible choice that we couldn’t.

I don’t want to say “I had to put Brutus to sleep” because he’s not fucking sleeping. He’s dead.

I don’t want to say “I had to do the kind thing and save Brutus from his suffering” because when it came down to it, I couldn’t even do that. I sent my husband to the vet with the dog while I took the kids to a birthday party, so I didn’t have to make the decision or tell the kids right away.

And now our dog is dead.

Up until Sunday, November 4th, Brutus was basically a puppy. He was hit by a car when he was 3 or 4. I saw it happen, he went completely under the wheel of a big SUV. I carried him home, threw my infant in the car, and rushed him to the vet. They looked him over and diagnosed…a scrape on his lip. That was it. No other damage. He loved other dogs so much that walking him on a leash was next to impossible. As soon as he saw a dog he’d drag you into the road to say hi, barking and yelping and totally freaking people out. He liked to talk by making these growling-grunting noises. It made him seem scary until you realized it was basically the dog version of purring. When he had cancer last year and had to have a toe removed, he was up and jumping around long before the wound healed and had to have it restitched twice because he couldn’t be still. He was an amazing guard dog, barking loudly and alarmingly at everyone who dared to walk past the house, but calming down when friends came in and he realized they were good humans.

After I posted on Facebook that Brutus was gone and people started sending their condolences, I realized how many people had known Brutus, just like they know my kids. So many friends have pet him and rubbed his ears. So many kids have climbed on him or used him as a pillow or fed him their cheese sticks. We’ve had him since before we had kids, before we bought a house, before we were even real adults. He’s given everyone he’s ever met so much love, and I hope he knew how much he was loved in return.

You’re a good boy, Brutus. We’ll miss you forever.

Brutus at 3 months old, in our old house, on our old couch, when my face didn’t look like I’ve been crying on and off for days:

I took the kids out this week to take pictures, just in case. I’m so glad I did.

 

Halloween 2018: The Greatest Showman

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take

A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make

Last year, the kids got really into Halloween. They agreed on a family costume and were super (pun intended) into dressing up as many times as possible for photos.

This year, Lincoln decided he HAD to be P.T. Barnum from The Greatest Showman. He is beyond obsessed with that movie, we’ve watched it multiple times a week ever since it came out. Caroline was fully on board with that as a family costume, since she wants nothing more in life than to join a circus as an aerialist. The rest of us agreed we could live with being assigned other characters, which Lincoln was happy to choose for us.

None of these costumes are available straight from the store yet. I had hoped that Chasing Fireflies might have them when this year’s catalog came out, but I think most kids still want to be superheroes or unicorns instead of characters from a musical with a pretty flimsy plot line. But I am not afraid of hot glue and sequins, and once I realized that wasn’t quite enough I learned to use my sewing machine. None of it would pass a close inspection, but for trick-or-treating (or photos!) they worked great.

So for Halloween 2018, I officially present:

Lincoln…as P. T. Barnum

Caroline…as Anne Wheeler

Evan…as Phillip Carlyle

Finnegan…as The Tattooed Man

And me…as Jenny Lind

the greatest showman costume

anne wheeler costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

 

 

These photos aren’t going to win any awards for technical perfection – taking pictures inside dark spaces is NOT my specialty, four kids is a lot of kids to pose, and toddlers are not the best listeners. But that doesn’t make them any less fun. None of the kids care if the pictures are a little grainy, all they care about is seeing their dreams come true.

Sources (all Amazon affiliate links):

Tiny tuxedo
Red vest
Pink wig
Purple leotard
Sparkle tank top
Cream bolero
Hoop skirt
Black hat (this is the only one of several I ordered that actually fit Linc!)
Red Hat
Temporary tattoos
More tattoos
Girl’s dance tights

All the trim and fabric is from Joann’s. One stick is a dowel I painted, the other is from Party City. Evan and Finnegan owned most of their costumes, I got the vest at Goodwill and Finn’s undershirt at Walmart. All the sparkly jewelry is also from Walmart. Also a huge shout out to my amazing hairdresser Jackie at Wild Love Hair Studio for making me a redhead.

And the biggest thank you goes to The Garde Arts Center in New London. I sent an email asking about maybe possibly using just their lobby for some photos and within 24 hours they had found me a time to come in and use the whole theater. Carolyn was beyond generous with her time and resources (I think Finnegan wanted to go home with her) and I could not have made this magic without them. They are a non-profit organization that has worked to painstakingly restore this old movie house to its original glory. I made a donation to thank them for their time and we’ll be attending as many events there as possible, both because it’s an amazing building and because they’re a wonderful organization. (They’re having an awesome Halloween Movie event! You can take the kids to see Hotel Transylvania on Saturday the 27th!)

Happy Halloween!

Where it’s covered in all the colored lights
Where the runaways are runnin’ the night
Impossible comes true, it’s takin’ over you
Oh, this is the greatest show
We light it up, we won’t come down
And the sun can’t stop us now
Watchin’ it come true, it’s takin’ over you
Oh, this is the greatest show

 

 

Sunflowers for Wishes 2018

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Previous year Sunflowers for Wishes: 2013 2012 2011 2010

Apparently, I didn’t manage to blog our trip last year, even though I know we went. I have one picture in my 365 project but I remember it being REALLY hot and crowded so I don’t think I took many photos.

This year was not at all crowded and only a little bit hot. I took a ton of pictures.

Key lime & chocolate brownie batter

Lavender honey

Peppermint stick

Caroline The Mermaid Photo Session

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Sometimes I get creative ideas in my head and they turn into very elaborate events, like the photo book Caroline and I are making where she dresses up as Disney Princesses using Well Dressed Wolf dresses. And sometimes I order a mermaid tail at 6 pm on a Friday and by Monday night we’re already on the beach for our mermaid photo session. We didn’t even brush her hair before we jumped in the car with my camera bag, but that’s ok because mermaid have wild hair.

Please enjoy Caroline’s dream come to life.

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

 

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

mermaid photo session

 

The mermaid top/shorts and tail all came from Mystic Cove Mermaid on Etsy.

The special effects I added in Photoshop also came from Etsy – this shop here.

We did the photos at Seaside State Park in Waterford, which used to be a tuberculosis hospital/sanatorium and is now just abandoned buildings. It’s a super awesome photo spot.

5 Tips To Survive Summer With Little Kids

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Blog disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of The Breastfeeding Shop via SoFluential Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Guys, summer is here!

You can read that in a super happy, excited voice: Horray! It’s summer! No school! Beach days! Ice cream for dinner!

Or you can read that in a slightly panicked voice: Summer is HERE. You are out of time to find camps or activities and I hope you like making 17 separate meals a day.

I have a million children. Technically, the actual number is four, but let me tell you reality means absolutely nothing when all of them are hungry/bored/tired/mad/have a tiny hangnail/thirsty/fighting at the same time. Four kids at four different ages means four different sets of needs and ability levels and nap (or no nap) schedules. Did I mention I also really hate having to feed everyone all the time? I really hate that part.

After 9 summers as the parent of at least one baby I’ve learned a lot about how to survive – and enjoy – summer, even with a million kids, even when I’m solo-parenting, even when I’m running on empty by lunchtime and still have a long way to go before bed. Here are my top 5 best tips to survive summer with little kids.

  1. Add more children. OK, this seems counterintuitive, but hear me out. Some of our easiest playdates are with my friend Sarah, who also has four children. Her kids + my kids = so many kids there’s always someone to play with or talk to or rope into your particular imaginary world. My babies love having big kids to play with who aren’t the regular big kids they see every day, and then when my big kids see the babies getting attention from other kids they remember that they love their babies too and then everyone just seems more fun.
  2. Find your happy place. Our happy place is The Lake. The Lake is a local beach club we pay a membership for each year. It has lots of big trees for shade, picnic tables, grills, a big grassy field for running around, a beach for digging and swimming, a dock for fishing, swings and a playset for climbing and it’s awesome. The Lake requires some supervision, but not nearly as much as you might think (see tip 3). If you don’t have a lake, think of somewhere your whole family enjoys – somewhere kid-friendly, where you might run into other kids for your’s to play with, where you can SIT DOWN and relax. It might take a few tries, but one you have a happy place it can be your go-to all summer long when you can’t stand to stare at the inside of your house any longer but don’t have the energy to do something new. Go every morning. Go every afternoon. Don’t worry you go to the same place too much, your kids don’t mind.
  3. Floaties. Listen, kids are going to try to drown themselves. It’s just what they do. If you have a tiny baby who can’t walk or crawl yet, your summer will be fine. If you’ve reached the mobile stage, going anywhere near water is beyond stressful. We have the floaty rule: if you are near the water, you wear a floaty. The baby wears one 100% of the time at the lake. The toddler wears one 85% of the time at the lake. The big kids – who are 9 and 7 – had to pass a swim test last year and this year before I let them give up the floaties. If we go to a pool, anyone who can’t touch the bottom wears a floaty. Our friends enforce floaty rules with their kids, my parents enfore floaty rules at their house, it’s just non-negotiable. We have found that the Speedo brand Splash Jammers are ideal – they have shoulder straps as well as arm floats, they’re approved by the Coast Guard as life jackets, and even my 1-year-old can’t get it off on his own. Target sells them. WEAR YOUR FLOATIES.
  4. Lower your standards. For real, set that bar at a level you can achieve by noon every day. Did your children eat something? Does the baby have a clean diaper? Did you remember to eat something too? Is your house clean enough that you could escape in case of a fire? Then you’re fine. Tomorrow you can put away some laundry or do the dishes. Next week you can plan a fun outing to the zoo or the splash pad. But right now, you’re doing fine. It’s fine. You’re a good parent.
  5. Have fun. This tip is sort of like “treasure every moment because you only get 18 summers with your kid before they’re old enough to leave home” but that is bad advice no one needs. The days are long but the years are short is the same thing, but again, the days are SO long it’s not helpful to remind anyone it won’t last forever. But we can try to have fun, even when we have small humans to take care of. Put on a bathing suit and get in the water with them. Have ice cream for lunch or dinner (or lunch and dinner). Roll your windows down in the car. Play music really loud and have a dance party. My kids get such a kick out of me being Fun Mom, they act surprised and delighted every time. It’s like when Fun Dad chases them around pretending to be a dinosaur or Fun Grandma lets them pick out candy at the grocery store. You can be fun too! You’re the boss, even if you bend the rules a little bit for a special treat. It won’t ruin your children forever, I promise.

Military friends! One way to make your life easier when you have a baby is getting a NO COST breast pump from The Breastfeeding Shop. If you have Tricare, all you need is a prescription from your doctor and The Breastfeeding Shop will ship a pump right to your house. If you or someone you know is pregnant or has a new baby, be sure to tell them about this program, because having a pump is a lifesaver when you’re nursing. My baby will be 2 in August and I still need my pump occasionally (yup, still nursing, nope, no plans to stop). Check out The Breastfeeding Shop’s Tricare page for more information.

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