I had a session this afternoon with the Holland family. Travis ,Amy and their 3 amazing kids, Tyler, Brayden and Regan (the last two are twins) It was HOT, humid and the mosquitos were eating us alive even with “deep woods off” spray on us. But those kids made me laugh so hard I barely noticed any of the challenge we had.
WHERE’S THE OWNERS MANUAL?
Having children always comes with its challenges some more unique than others. This family is dealing with those challenges in a most amazing way.
I remember the concerns everyone had when the twins were born. Concerns that often accompany babies that are born a little early. Then add an another sibling to the mix (3 great kids to love and care for now) Wow, can you imagine how overwhelming it may have been at times? I know with my one and only child (who is now grown) how difficult it was. There were so many times I wished I had been given a manual on how to be a good parent over the years. And I only had ONE.
As I watch the dynamics between each member of the family I couldn’t help but think ” what a blessing it has been to be a part of this sweet family as their photographer and friend. ” Today, I watched these little twins literally run circles around everyone and laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes – after all I remember when we wondered if they’d every run at all. Totally a priceless experience for me.
STOP TOUCHING ME!
In the midst of all the mosquito slapping, sweat wiping, tears, chaos and chasing, the true story of this family was right there in front of my very eyes. There was so much love there. Life is not perfect. Life is not always. It does not always present itself in a neat little package all tied up perfectly with a bow around it. Nope. Sometimes you get life in “living color full of action”.
THE BIG REVEAL
I haven’t had a chance to look at the images yet but I already know that if we can’t find one perfect Image in the batch that’s okay because they are all perfect because they are “real”. The reflection do real life filled with real love!
Take a minute, 30 seconds, okay even 10 seconds to look at the blessings in your life. They are there. Disguised as challenges but filled with love!
Boys always touch my heart
I have always been just a little partial to photographing little boys – probably because I have one myself. Just the other day I ran across a simply image of my son when he was 4 years old on a white seamless background with pumpkins all around him. I looked at it and said “my goodness that’s one cute kid!” Yeah, I’m definately a little partial.
Even so, when I get a cutie like this little guy in front of my camera it is a sheer pleasure. No only did we do this classic and handsome image of him but we also did some pictures of him in his baseball uniform – and let me tell you – he was in rare form in that uniform
Since I have been on my own personal quest to eat right and be healthy it occurred to me that many of my new mommies are dealing with some of the same issues but for different reasons. So here’s a few tips to help you I hope.
With your amazing — and exhausting — new 24-hour job (feed baby, change baby, burp baby, rock baby, and repeat), you barely have time to change your clothes, shower, or think about anything that’s not baby-related. It’s natural to be completely focused on your new little bundle, and completely unfocused on your own needs — like your diet after delivery. The problem with forgetting to eat, though, is that skipping meals deprives you of energy. And as you’ve certainly figured out by now, parenting takes lots of energy — even more energy if you’re fueling a milk-making factory and need a solid breastfeeding diet.. Here’s how to get the best nutrition after pregnancy when eating’s the last thing on your mind (or your to-do list):
Postpartum Diet Trick 1: Snack when your baby snacks.
Your little one is eating every two to four hours now — and so should you. Sneak in small bites of fruit, yogurt, low-fat cheese, or whole-grain bread or muffins whenever you prepare to feed your baby — or, if you’ve mastered the one-handed feed already, while you’re feeding your baby (talk about multitasking!). Stash healthy snacks within arm’s reach (almonds and raisins next to your favorite nursing chair, a banana and a bag of crackers in your stroller bag) so your diet after delivery keeps you satisfied.
Postpartum Diet Trick 2: Just say yes!
When friends ask if there’s anything they can do to help, suggest they pick up a roast chicken, a tray of lasagna, prewashed bags of salad greens, a giant carton of fruit salad, a platter of veggies and dip, or a dozen whole-wheat bagels (melt a slice of cheese on top of one of those babies, and you have yourself a healthy mini-meal staple for your diet after delivery). Try to keep your kitchen stocked with easy-to-prepare foods you like, so that thinking about what to eat takes no thought at all.
Postpartum Diet Trick 3: Befriend your freezer.
If you cooked in quantity while you were pregnant, now’s the time to defrost those homemade goodies and enjoy them. If you never actually got around to following through on your make-ahead plans, stock up on frozen dinners and snacks (look for healthy ones — your store should carry plenty) for your diet after delivery. More nutrition after pregnancy shortcuts: Frozen vegetables are as nutritious as fresh, and a lot faster to prepare, and frozen fruit makes a quick smoothie when blended with yogurt.
Postpartum Diet Trick 4: Dial up a delivery.
Nobody deserves deliveries as much as someone who’s just made one (a significant one). Tap into every delivery option available to you — groceries (sure, you won’t get to squeeze the peaches, but at least you’ll end up with some), delis, restaurants of every kind from sushi, now that you can, to pizza. (In fact, getting good nutrition after pregnancy should be a breeze compared to your taboo-ridden pregnancy diet!) Consider ordering ahead a few meals, so that you’ll have something to reheat tomorrow (or tonight, when that midnight feeding leaves you starving).
Postpartum Diet Trick 5: Plan ahead.
If you’re boiling an egg for lunch, boil six so they’re ready and waiting for you tomorrow. If it’s salmon salad you crave today, crack open a large can so that you’ll be able to fish for an easy snack the next day. Bake a half-dozen potatoes at once — it’s quick and easy to warm them later (with some pre-shredded Cheddar and leftover broccoli). Ditto brown rice — make a box, and reheat it all week. And if you actually manage to get to the market, linger where the prepared foods hang out (bag a rotisserie chicken, sliced roast turkey, turkey meatloaf, ready-to-eat veggie and fruit salads). And don’t forget to visit the salad bar — heap a few dishes high with your favorites (but keep the dressings on the side so you don’t end up with limp lettuce tomorrow).
Postpartum Diet Trick 6: Drink, drink, drink.
Keep bottles of water in every room of the house, so no matter where you and baby are, you can grab a quick drink. To keep yourself hydrated (dehydration leads to postpartum fatigue something you’ve got plenty of already, thank you), make sure you have a drink every time baby does.
Do you think these tips are helpful? I’d love to know if they worked for you.
Best Baby advice
Before my son was born I remember buying 80 large boxes of
diapers and having them stored in the closet of his room – ready for his arrival. I thought I’d never have to buy another box
of them again. I had no idea whether I had the right ones or
not. In fact, I had no idea there was a
difference in diapers. The only thing I
knew was I did not want to use cloth diapers.
It was at difficult thing, having to figure out was which diaper would
work best for his little bottom.
Not all diapers are created equal. In fact, we found several that were a real disaster
and it didn’t seem to matter how much they cost. It was about the way they were made and fit.
We tried brand names like Pampers, Huggies and Luvs as well
as store brands. The Pampers were too
small, too slim cut for him. The Huggies
gapped at the leg and that was really a mess.
But the Luvs seemed to be the best “fit” for us (no pun intended) and the bonus was that
after we purchased the ten millionth box we got a free “Cookie
Monster” stuffed animal. My baby
boy loved “Cookie!” I still
have that little stuffed animal, even today.
Maybe one day I’ll have a grandchild to share him with.
Which diaper works for you little one?
Caroline is a middle child
Psychologists have a lot to say about the middle child, some good some not so good. But any way you look at it the middle child is often simply “caught in the middle”. Old enough to know better but too young for many things.
Stereotypes about middle children are hardly flattering. They’re often described as confused underachievers, overshadowed by older and younger siblings, and overlooked by their parents. But in The Secret Power of Middle Children Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann argue that many middle-borns have hidden strengths and are agents of change in business, politics and science.
”If you think about it, parents have expectations for their children, and they often have very specific things that they want them to do or don’t want them to do. And so being under the focus of that can be a lot of pressure for kids. So that’s one negative of being, for example, a firstborn. There’s an awful lot of pressure on you from your parents in terms of what you’re going to achieve and what you’re not going to achieve.
“But there’s also a freedom that middle children have by virtue of not having those parental expectations on them. In a certain way they’re free to find out what they really are good at on their own time and in their own way, and then excel at that.”
Salmon: “If you grow up in a family and the firstborn tends to have a certain amount of authority that’s given to them by the parents, and they’re physically larger, they tend to get what they want or get their way through physical force or the authority parents have given them. While for the last-born, as anyone who’s had to deal with a lot of last-borns often knows, they tend to whine to the parents or get very upset if they don’t get their way. And so that’s their particular strategy for working out what needs to be worked out.
“For the middle child, neither of those strategies are available. So they often get very good at negotiating, figuring out what the other person wants and needs, and then managing to get them what they want and what the middle child themselves want at the same time. And, of course, one of the things that middle children often want is peace and calm and quiet and for everybody to get along. And so those traits then serve them well when they leave the family and go on to form their own families, and in the workplace.”
This month we had the privilege to photograph, 7 year old Caroline and she is a middle child 1 of 5 but in the middle just the same. Two older and two younger. Caroline was a pure joy to work with.
One of the special things about what we do is that we often get the opportunity to work with each child individually. Therefore we sometime see a very different side of the child than the parents do during a session.
Caroline was very quiet, gentle, tender and co-operative. She was tickled to be getting the “special treatment”. We know exactly how to work with these children. They want attention but not too much attention. It can be a little uncomfortable for them to get too much attention directed at them too strongly. So during the session we spent time talking to her about what she likes and whether her front teeth were about to come out yet (which was a concern of mom’s and partly why we did the session when we did).
I believe every child has a unique spark within and if we take our time with them, it will be revealed in a most beautiful way.
Thank you Caroline for spending the day with us.
Tell us about your middle child…