My Beautiful Isabella.

I am dying to do a “For Reals” Photoshoot with my little niece Isabella, but I was able to snap these on Saturday during one of the boy’s Baseball games.  Doesn’t she look like Eli?!  They are both 4 (well, tomorrow Eli will be 4) and they play awesome together.  We’ve really gotten spend a lot of time with her over the last year and enjoy every second.

On being me.

I am a flip flop wearing, camera toting, baby carrying, bleeding heart…

…and that’s where I stop, what else describes me?   This madness all started because of THIS new site I joined at pintrest.  It pretty much rocks and I found it a couple weeks ago when I was obsessing over one of my current favorite photographers.  Tara Whitney. I started pinning things to my boards and while I was doing so, I realized how conflicted I am. I did the big No, No and started comparing my board to the other boards.  I only have just begun but, I noticed something.  My board didn’t look like everyone-else’s.  All of the other boards seem so cohesive, so together.  They all had things that make sense, things, that GO together.  While I was pinning a photo of a VW Bus (this WILL be my next car) to my board, I looked over at my Super Glam bathroom.  SO NOT VW, SO NOT HIPPIE, SO NOT most of the things I love, but, it is totally fabulous and I created it.  Weird, right?

Ruben and I were laughing today about how I am such an oxymoron.  On one side of me there is this hippie (which comes from my Mom), and on the other side there is this, as he called it, Stepford wife side (which comes from my Grandmother).  When he met me, I would have NEVER left the house without makeup but as I sit here and type this I am barefoot, in jeans without my hair blown out and without a stitch of makeup (the hippie side).  So that is my paradox…

We never see ourselves as others do, we always compare even though we shouldn’t.  Since I am forever a creative, I am thinking about me as such.  Creatively, what would sum me up? I know it’s a weird thing to ask but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

Photo by Rebecca Dever.  My other favorite photographer and obsession, she took this of Ruby and I during her 1st birthday shoot.  It is my favorite, it is a moment.  It is the way I’ll always remember Ruby as  baby.

melissa - March 20, 2011 - 10:19 pm

I can totally relate.

Playing Horse.

Did you know that playing “Horse” meant playing Chess?  Neither did I until yesterday! Lucas kept asking me to play him in Horse.  I’ve been outfront many a times and had overheard the neighborhood kids playing “Horse”…but it was with a basketball! Since I don’t play sports (balls and I do not get along well), I kept saying no and telling him to go find his brothers to play outside.

He disappeared for a moment and then returned with a Chess set. “Pleeeeaaassee Mom, play Horse with me.” I smiled and chuckled. “You mean Chess? Of course I’ll play, but do yo know how to play?” “Yep,” he said proudly and began to set the board up. Surprisingly, he did a pretty good job (not sure where he learned it, but I suspect he may have been watching Tommy play at school with his friends). As we were getting ready to start, both Eli and Ruby began screaming. I looked over and saw that Ruby had absconded with Eli’s Lego men that he had set up as audience members for the chess match. Off to the races to catch Screaming Ruby around turn #1 (btw, this type of activity along with going up and down the stairs, which my days are full of, I consider my exercise …who needs a treadmill or stairmaster?!).

Once the the audience was back in place and I had Ruby redirected to destroy (…I mean, play with) something else, Lucas provided me a review of sorts of the “players and their moves”. First, there were the Frawns, who could only move forward one space and diagonal to kill, EXCEPT on their first turn they could move across the ENTIRE board. Then, there were the Fishhhha, who could move diagonal on ANY color. Next up, the Castle who could ONLY move to kill the King. Then followed, the Queen who we had to “protect ’cause she was the most important one just like in our house.” Finally, and without surprise, the Horse, for which the game is named, which could move wherever and however he wanted. I giggled.

I asked him if I could explain the game to him with its rules and proper names. After doing so, he looked at me and point blank said, “I like my rules better, but I’ll play your way.” We started to play and he was a very good sport. Although I went easy on him, he got my Queen! (I’m sticking to my story that I was distracted by Ruby and Eli!) I really enjoyed playing with Lucas. It is so cool to be able to do things with the older boys that I personally enjoy and get a chance to connect with them on a fun-level.

How do I get them to smile?

I’ve gotten a few questions about how I get kids to smile when I shoot them.  The answer to that is, whatever it takes.  Sometimes it’s talking about bugs, sometimes it’s jumping around like a crazy person, making silly faces or in the case of my own kids it’s, well…

…talking about poop.  Guaranteed laughter.  These were taken pre poop talk and post poop talk. Mission accomplished, happy boy on swing with blue tongue that matches (from the Fun-Dip he ate earlier).  Messy and dirty from school, just the way I want to remember him.

Superheroes and Big Brothers are the same.

I will never know what it feels like to have a brother or a sister. Until I had my own kids, I was really OK with that. Although I will never truly know that sort of love, it’s a blessing to see it through my kids.

It is magical.

I love to watch them, to just sit back and see how they interact with each other, even when they fight (which is usually the case). It’s gotten even more special since we’ve had Ruby. The boys love her so much despite the fact that she scratches them, hits them, screams at them and pretty much is awful to them.  They love on her like nothing I’ve ever seen.  In the mornings they fight over who gets to get her out of the crib, at bedtime they fight over who gets to rock her and sing to her, they pick her up and carry her anywhere she wants to “go”.  It’s really, really bad, but just so very sweet.  Although she is not yet 2 until June, she actually does reciprocate the love when one of the boys hurts himself. She is the first (even before me) to run over and say “ok” and give them a hug and kiss. They have even started calling for her when they get hurt or when they get put in Time Out.

So, the other day at Lucas’ practice, Tommy practically begged me to take Ruby to the playground. I agreed and decided we’d swing for a while.  Ruby completely dug it and, of course and to no surprise, Eli and Tommy ditched me to play soccer with a friend. Ruby and I just swung quietly and enjoyed our time together.

Quietly being the KEY word.

AND THEN, Tommy came to the rescue to swing his sister…and laughter and giggles filled the airwaves. True, unadulterated magic.

The boys watch cartoons and always pretend to be superheroes. Little do they know. They are Ruby’s superheroes…for now and always.

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