Things have been moving full speed ahead in our household, with more time spent away than at home. Our little family is just hanging on and enjoying the ride.
Last week I had to stay at the Grand Californian (after trying to check into the wrong hotel-haha), while I photographed a few events over the course of a couple of days. Little T, Grandma K, and Big T met up with me on Friday night. On Saturday morning, Little T woke up and was amazed that the moon had disappeared from the window (we had the blinds open). He was moon gazing all night, sweet baby boy.
After we woke up, we went to Disneyland for a little bit. Little T met all of the princesses at the new Fantasy Faire, and was quite the little charmer. He’s learned that the ladies really enjoy it when he blows them kisses, and had a blast telling Cinderella and Snow White about every single cut, bruise, and scrape he’d ever gotten, and then threw in that he really really loved basketball.
After we met with the princesses, we had to change hotels and move to the Disneyland Hotel. Big T and I photographed an awesome wedding that night until about 1:30 in the morning, but this didn’t stop Little T from waking us up at 7:00.
We went swimming in the pool for a while, then drove over to San Diego for Baby N’s birthday party. By this time, I was too exhausted to lift a finger and couldn’t take any more photos!
Last week, I got to be a part of an art show in Pomona that features local artists. When we got there, my display kind of fell apart, ack!
Big T and I were the oldest people there, and my photography was by far the most cheerful. We decided that in order to fit in, next time we’ll need to take angsty pictures of parenthood like dramatic photos of Big T at 6 in the morning with Little T jumping on the bed trying to wake him up. Holy moly, we’re getting old. I may or may not have needed a glass of wine the size of my head to get through the night.
On Friday we drove up to Fresno. I was amused that Big T’s head was cut out of this picture, and told him I was going to make it my Facebook profile, heh heh. We celebrated my mom’s birthday, and had the hardest time fitting all those candles on her cake.
We took Little T to the park and played for a while:
On Sunday, we went to celebrate the life of my late step sister at her memorial service. There were so many people there, which just goes to show how so very loved she was. Here’s Little T with his cousins after the memorial.
We’ve mastered the art of a four hour drive with a two year old, and came up with this sticker reward chart. Every time he is good and gets to certain places on the map, he gets a Cars sticker. If he gets all the stickers, he gets a lollipop. This kid is super motivated by lollipops.
In one week, going to two birthdays, two weddings, and a memorial service made me realize how important our family is. They’re the ones who get us through life. The good times, the hard times, and the bad times. So I’ll end this post with a quote that I love,
“Family, we may not have it all together-but together we have it all”.
Hello world, this post is long overdue. Life has taken off at jet speed and it’s hard to sit down and find the time to write, but I promise to try harder, mainly for Little T. I want him to be able to read about his younger days.
Little T: Sometimes I look at sweet Little T, and wonder what day it was that he sprouted up so quickly. I’m amazed at how much he’s learning, how much he’s talking, and how much he’s grown. He’s a fun loving little toddler, even though a week and a half ago, he woke up and officially began his terrible two’s. Big T and I looked at each other and scratched our heads, as his new favorite word became “no”, he suddenly decided that everything was “mine”, and he began to show his more “spunky” side. At the same time, he is still the sweetest little boy who loves and remembers everyone, and can win a smile from anyone he meets. He fiercely loves all his grandparents and cousins, and constantly asks us to take him to see them. He plays basketball like there is no tomorrow, and has made us listen to the Pirates of the Caribbean song approximately 314 times. He loves all things Mickey Mouse, Cars, and Tinkerbell. He has a silly side and loves to laugh. My friend Janet, commented on my Facebook page the other day, saying he was such a kid. I think that’s the perfect way to describe him. Little boy, through and through.
Big T: I love to watch Big T and Little T play together. They’ve become best buds and to my dismay, love to sit on the couch and watch Football and Basketball together. I see a lifetime of sports ahead of me! 0_0 Because of my crazy schedule and workload, Big T drops Little T off for daycare, helps out with the dishes, gets him ready for school, packs his lunch, and gives him his baths. He gets a A+ for daddy duties and I don’t know what I’d do without him.
Life has brought us a lot of unexpected turns over the past year and a half, but Big T has been there the whole time, cheering me on. Of course, we’ve had our little fights, but if I was to throw them in a pile, they’d be nothing compared to the support he gives me every day. Last night, I was upset because I can’t help with Little T as much as I’d like because of my busy schedule. Big T reminded me that I was with Little T 100% of the time for the first year, and that my schedule is temporary and not forever. Big T is kind of awesome and supportive in that way.
Momma J: My foot is still healing, but it’s doing so much better than it was 9 months ago. I’ve gained more weight than I would care to admit from not being able to walk or exercise, and am beginning the slow process of shedding the weight. My business has been amazing. I can’t think of a better job than photographing people on one of the happiest days of their lives. I’ve discovered that I love my job, love having a business, but hate taking money from people. If only my payments could grow from the orange tree in the backyard…then I’d be a happy camper.
Our family looked at my schedule for the next year, and we’ve made some decisions about how many weddings I can book in a month. This is so my family life will be a little more balanced. Having so many weddings is an amazing problem to have, so I’m not complaining! Oh, how I wish I could do them all! But I want to make sure I have time for my two T’s.
Running a business is definitely much harder and time consuming than I thought (think 60-70 hours a week), but there are great perks. I can work in my pajamas, I can be in the living room so that I can still listen and feel like I’m a part of Little T and Big T’s playtime, and I get to make my own decisions. It’s been a lot of learning this year, but it’s been amazing.
And that’s where we are right now! Pictures to follow of all of us at the Rose Parade this year
Wow, what a whirlwind of a week it’s been. I’m having a hard time winding down and getting back into work mode, so I thought I’d update here about our adventures.
It started last Thursday, when I woke up at 3:00am to photograph a Nightmare Before Christmas Wedding. I didn’t need to wake up until 4:00, but I woke up early and began to mentally plan things out, and couldn’t get back to sleep. When I made it to the wedding, the bride was incredibly thoughtful and friendly. It was one of those weddings where I was sad when it was over. I think we had a lot in common with the Nightmare theme:
I was tired from waking up so early, but fortunately I had called in my assistant Marc to help, because I knew we were in for a long day. I wish I could have gotten a picture of us asleep in the lobby of the Grand Californian at 1:00 in the morning~but more on that later…:p
When the wedding was over, we checked into the room for my family at the Grand Californian. We only had a few hours before our next event was scheduled to begin, so we snacked and had dinner and looked through our photos. At the next wedding, we were actually photographing for the venue, so we weren’t technically there for the couple and needed to get photos of the decor. It was a fun change of pace. While we were getting our equipment ready and waiting, I was calling my family who was on there way to the hotel for our own family vacation. We weren’t going to see each other until the next morning, so I wanted to make sure everything was set up for them to arrive.
Big T and Little T met up with us at the hotel, and we handed Little T off to our friend Jackie who was going to babysit for us until our family got there. Jackie and Little T walked around Downtown Disney and went to dinner while they waited for everyone to arrive. Big T, Marc, and I went over to the wedding and began taking photos of everything. I can’t even begin to tell you how beautiful this wedding was! Hopefully their photog posts some photos soon.
There was one point where we had a three hour break, before we had to go back at 1:00am for more photos. The three of us snuck back into the hotel room where my family was sleeping, grabbed my computer, and started downloading the photos in the lobby. Big T was done for the night, so he went to sleep a little more, while Marc and I sat in the lobby. We were exhausted and terrible at staying awake. Fortunately, we were both dozing off at different times, so one of us was always awake and ready to shake the other person into coherency.
We went back to the wedding around 1:00am, and finished up around 2:30. I waved goodbye to a tired Marc and went back to the hotel where I slept for about 3 and a half hours. I woke up to what my husband called, the opening scene from Home Alone. The babies were running and jumping and excited to be together, and everyone else was scrambling to get ready for Magic Morning. It was probably the best trip to Disneyland I’ve ever had, even if I was a walking zombie for it. Here’s a few photos:
Later that night, we all drove to Oak Glen to stay at Serendipity Ranch Bed and Breakfast. We were greeted at 10:00PM by Nina, who was kind enough to show us where the coffee, tea, and hot chocolate was located. It was a nice end to a long day. And yes, I finally got some sleep!
The next day, we woke up to a delicious breakfast that Nina had made, and then helped the babies feed the animals on the farm and the fish in the pond. After this, we drove over to Los Rios Farm to pick apples.
These two couldn’t stop eating apples:
Once we finished picking apples, we went to have lunch at Riley’s Farm. It was really crowded, but luckily we found a table to relax at while a few unlucky adults (ahem, as in-me) stood in line to get food. Then we went back to the ranch to give the babies a nap, while the rest of us sat on the porch and relaxed with wine and crackers.
Once the kiddos woke up, we got ready to go see The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Riley’s Farm.
We took hay rides, where we rode by the Sleepy Hollow Grave Yard:
And saw Ichabob being chased around the woods:
Then we listened to music and had dinner, and watched the play.
When it was time for the party scene, the room was cleared and we all danced and played games and participated in contests. Little T got a special kick out of the seed spitting contest. My favorite game though, was this one:
The night ended by watching the headless horseman chase Ichabob down the road with a pumpkin that was on fire. It was an amazing way to end the night. The next morning, we had pumpkin waffles and cinnamon rolls that were made by Nina, then said our goodbyes and stopped to by some apple cider on the way out. Little T was crying for the rest of the day because he was sad it was over. I couldn’t really blame him, it was a great vacation.
Do you ever have those mommy moments, where you just have to sit back and laugh at the absurdity of it all? I think I had the mommy moment to top all mommy moments this summer.
This year, we decided to get ambitious and throw Little T a birthday party, despite my injured foot and busy schedule. I made a mistake and didn’t see the R.S.V.P. list, and thought only a few people were coming. I was planning for a low key event with a few family members until the night before, when I found the link to the r.s.v.p. list and realized that everybody and their mother was coming. Suddenly, the birthday party became more exciting and involved.
On the day of the party, Big T and I split up to tackle the chores. I ambitiously announced to Big T that I was going to take Little T to Target with me to get supplies, to which he responded by raising an eyebrow and glancing at my foot, and saying, “you sure?” I was feeling like super mom that morning, so I shrugged off his concern and confidently said, “Of course, I’m sure!” I scooped up Little T and waddled with my injured foot to the car, and we were quickly on our way.
At Target, my foot began to throb and I had to admit defeat and use one of those crazy electric scooters. I was really embarrassed about this, but determined to do a great job with this birthday party. I plopped Little T onto my lap, and began to slowly roll my way through the store. Oh, how I wish I had a camera.
Little T thought this was exciting for about two minutes, and then he decided it would be more fun to run around the store on his feet like a normal person. It took all my strength to hold onto him and keep him on the electric scooter.
By the time we got to the food aisle, Little T had it. He didn’t want to look at my iphone, he didn’t want to help put things in the cart. He wanted to go over to the basketball aisle, and couldn’t for the life of him figure out why on earth I didn’t want to go there, too.
With a determined wiggle, he leaped out of my arms and ran down the Target aisles, dropping my phone on his way. I couldn’t walk fast, so I limped slowly after him, shouting his name and calling for him to come back. I got a mixture of “what’s wrong with you” and pity stares. Yep, I looked like the mother of the year. By the time I got to Little T, he was in the basketball aisle (of course) and had managed to pull out every single basketball he could find. It. Was. Awesome.
We were met by a Target employee who had found my phone on the floor somewhere. I’m sure he was thrilled to see the mess Little T had made and began to help pick things up. He was polite, even though I could tell he was questioning my parenting abilities, and asked if I needed any help. I looked at a restless Little T, looked at my foot, and said “no, thank you”. Unless he sold a magical toy that was capable of entertaining my sports obsessed son, or perhaps could make my foot instantly healed, there was nothing he could do.
By the time we got to the party supplies section, Little T was crying non stop. He wanted to go back to the basketball aisle. I grabbed whatever party stuff I could find, and decided that the theme of Theo’s birthday party was going to be “mass chaos”, or “working parents”, and wound up with a hodgepodge of colors and characters to display for his party. I like to think we were just being inclusive and didn’t want to leave any theme out.
All in all, it was a crazy and exhausting day, but the birthday party turned out to be a big hit. Little T still talks about it and likes to pretend to blow out his birthday candles. It made it all worth it. I have birthday pictures to share, but I’ll save that for another post!
It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life~Bilbo Baggins
The start of our trip this year was rocky, because Little T had a bad fever. The night before we left we made a trip to urgent care to make sure it was okay to bring him up to high altitude. We were debating cancelling the trip or going up later, but the doctor said it was fine to take him, and the fever actually made the six hour car ride pretty mellow with Little T getting a chance to rest. I spent the first two days of our trip in the cabin working and taking care of Little T while he slept. Thankfully, his fever finally broke yesterday and he was able to walk around, so we walked over to the river to take some photos while the sun was setting.
You can tell he’s still feeling out of it, poor little guy.
I caved, we’re over on Youtube. I’ll be uploading our videos over there from now on, feel free to check us out if you want to see Little T rocking a hot pink diaper, or showing off his mad dance skillz.
Remember my foot injury? I went back to the doctor yesterday and apparently it’s worse than we originally thought. I damaged the tibial nerve in my foot and have tarsal tunnel syndrome, and can’t walk on my foot for a while. There’s no good time for something like this, but if it’s going to happen-this was the best time for it. My mom is off for the summer and can help with Little T, and I don’t start up again with weddings for seven weeks. The doctor is giving me a knee scooter so I can still work and get around, but it will be so much easier to do a wedding if I can walk without the knee scooter.
While we wait for the scooter, I’m getting around on a roller chair because it’s easier than the crutches. Little T thought this was hilarious, and decided to run and push me down the hallway into a door. Oh man, this summer is going to be awesome. I’ve turned into his favorite toy.
I started browsing for wheelchair workouts so I can still be a little active during the next six weeks. I think I found what I’m looking for:
This last weekend was awesome, in an, is this really my job?-kind of way.
We had an early morning castle shoot on Saturday that began at the Fairy Tale Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. Our start time was 3:45 A.M., so we stayed overnight at the DLH with Little T, Big T, and Grandma K. As we pulled up to the hotel, Little T said, “Minnie?” It freaked us out that he knows the words Minnie and Mickey. I can only guess that he learned it from daycare, but it’s crazy to think that Disney is such a big part of our culture that it’s a word little kids just know. 0_o
We got adjusted in our rooms and decided to go to Trader Sam’s for dinner and a cocktail. We ordered a fruit plate and a vegan salad and some sweet potato fries. Little T didn’t want anything to do with the fries. He can be such a health snob sometimes.
After dinner, we walked around the hotel a bit. I was excited because I saw Hope, who told me they were helping with a friend’s wedding. Because of Wendy’s wedding, we saw a lot of friends walking around. Big T met up with us after having dinner with one of his buddies, and then we tried to go to sleep early so we wouldn’t be tired for the shoot.
I woke up around 2:00AM because my mind was excited and I couldn’t rest. I had made up a storyboard for this shoot and was going over it again and again in my head, thinking of the photos I wanted to try and capture and wondering what the Suite would look like. Around 3:00, I finally got up and met with my new intern, Marc. Big T met us downstairs with the equipment, and we made our way up to the Fairy Tale Suite. Across the hall from the Fairy Suite Suite was the Pirates Suite (!!!) I hope I get to see it someday.
When they opened the door to the Fairy Tale Suite, pixie dust music played and an animated Tinkerbell flew across the wall and lit up a beautiful crystal statue of the castle. No joke! 0_0 Fairy Tale Suite, indeed! We thought this was amazing, but after we had to go in and out of the room about 20 times in a row, the magic wore off just a little bit.
Tara from Fairytale Hair and Makeup was there getting Tina ready. We talked about how early it was, and how amazing this was, and all three of us kept pinching ourselves. Tina was absolutely stunning, inside and out:
Around 6:45, we were taken over to the castle and had an hour to take photos. It was fun having the castle to ourselves. There are so many photos from the shoot, but I posted this on my facebook page because I had to pay a little tribute to the Walt Statue and the Disney gods. Heh heh.After the shoot, we were exhausted! Little T, Big T, and Grandma K sat by the pool while I packed things up and got ready to go home.
Little T had a giddy screaming match at the pool with another little boy. He was excited to meet someone who loves and appreciates the art of screaming. When it was finally time to drive home, I made it almost all the way there, but at the last turn to our house when I stopped at a stop sign, I closed my eyes for a second and fell asleep. Grandma K gave me a nudge and I was able to make it the rest of the way home. Of course, instead of going to sleep I wanted to see my photos from the shoot, so I attempted to look through them but fell asleep at the computer instead.
Around 6:00PM, we got ready to go and meet some friends at Disneyland again to see the Mad Tea Party. Little T read his favorite book on the tram. I just bought it from Amazon, it’s about *dun dun dun* basketball.
The first thing we did was go on the Little Mermaid with one of my best friend’s Jackie and her significant other (and Big T’s bro-mance partner), Randy:
Then we stopped by the new Ghirardelli Shop. An ice cream shop that doesn’t carry any soy ice cream. *grumbles*
Next stop was the Mad Tea Party. I wished I could have stayed longer, but I was exhausted and my foot was aching from the sprain. We stayed about 30 minutes before calling it a night. I did manage to grab some fun photos though:
All in all, a great day. And according to my body bugg, a busy one.
- I burned 2943 calories
- Walked 18229 steps
- Was active for 4 hours and 57 minutes
I think that calls for a soy milkshake.
I was in need of a mini break, so we took an overnight trip to the Highland Springs Resort in Cherry Valley. It’s kind of a cool place. The whole resort is surrounded by lavender fields and it smells amazing and relaxing. The resort itself was established in the late 1800′s. It’s pretty run down now, but it’s easy to walk by the old tennis courts and pool area and imagine what it was like in it’s prime. It’s a really neat place to wander around, I’ve never been anywhere like it.
But our favorite thing was the lavender fields and the large olive trees. We had a nice dinner at their restaurant and then wandered around as the sun set.
Little T liked watching the dust go in the air. He was so dirty after this walk, but much fun was had! He’s such a little boy. :p
And here’s Little T and Big T the next morning playing hide and go seek. He’s such a ham.
Right after this picture he ran into the bathroom and locked himself inside and we had to call security to get him out. I was totally panicked about it, but when we got the door open, he looked at me and said “geez mom, I was just brushing my teeth”. I told him not to put hand soap on my toothbrush next time.
*side note: Sometimes I forget we’re a multi-cultural family, but I was reminded when the security guys opened the door and were surprised to see Little T in there, lol.
We had a great time! We went hiking the next morning and then drove home, making a lunch stop at the Loving Hut and the Last Drop Cafe on the way, because you can’t end a good trip without a vegan banana chocolate chip cookie. That’s the law.