Tuesday, October 28, 2014

pretty pictures: everyday life

When my bestie Kristina visited back in September, she took lots and lots of pretty pictures. Having a photographer as a BFF is pretty handy- I highly recommend it! (And if you live in the Jacksonville area, I highly recommend that you use Kristina for your next photo shoot!) In addition to a posed-and-coordinated typical photo session, she also took a lot of 'real' pictures of us- while we played on the floor, changed diapers, snuggled in bed, and gave Millie baths. I finally have all of the pictures back and they are AWESOME! Also, they make me cry, because Millie was SO TINY and ITTY!!!! And now she's BIGGG!!!! But oh well. She's still adorable and now she even smiles, so I guess there are benefits to all stages of babyhood.

Today I'll share a few (ha) of my favorite 'everyday life' pictures. Somehow the way Kristina takes pictures makes our normal activities look a lot prettier and more romantic than the way I take pictures...I dunno, must be the difference between people who know what they're doing and using a nice camera to do it and people who can barely operate their iPhone cameras. Who knows.

Yeah...I've been meaning to put something on the wall over our bed for a couple of years now...ha

Our beautiful Lola even got her picture made! She just loves hanging out in the nursery (or The Room Formerly Known As Lola's Room, as she thinks of it)

My parents showed up about 15 minutes before Kristina left town, so they got a little piece of the action!

Do you think they love their grandbaby??
Surprisingly, this is only a tiny curated fraction of the pictures- you are so welcome!! I'm just so thankful to have all of these pretty photos to help us remember our first weeks of life as a family. 

And there aren't watermarks (which I'm thankful for!), but again- all photos are copyright Kristina Boothe Photography. You can also find her (and more pretty pictures) on Facebook and Instagram (@kristinaboothphotography). 

Monday, October 27, 2014

the unicorn

Millie has reached the stage in her development where everything she does merits taking a picture, and every picture accurately displays her unprecedented cuteness. This has put me into a stage where I find myself needing to change the photo on my phone's lock screen ten times a day. I mean, that's the perfect spot for the best picture to be displayed, right? But she takes a lot of best pictures now, and like...that's a lot of phone-screen-changing. What a dilemma.

My parents came and visited "us" this weekend. Quotation marks for obvious reasons- you know who they really came to see. Hint: she looks really cute in a pumpkin dress.

We had a fabulous and relaxing weekend- my mom even treated me to a pedicure, proving that maybe perhaps it wasn't just Millie they wanted to hang out with. While bumming around town we happened upon a pumpkin photo booth thingy at Trader Joe's. Obviously we had to take some family pictures.

And even though she isn't smiling-- THAT FACE. Gah. I die. 

She definitely doesn't understand the concept of smiling for a picture yet, so most of the time our family pictures look more like the one above. So when I catch one where her face looks a little more expressive...it's just the best. NEW PHONE SCREEN.

I dressed her in a new (gifted!) outfit for church yesterday. I normally try to use the pale pink in moderation, but yesterday I just went all out and embraced it. I call this outfit Cotton Candy Explosion- and it is the greatest thing ever, clearly. Just like real cotton candy!

And I had to pick the picture above (the one with me) even though it chopped her adorable cheetah shoes off because LOOK AT THAT ALMOST-SMILE!! Getting a picture with her smiling is like finding a unicorn...rare, elusive, magical...


Because last night was our church's annual Costume Bowling, and guess what sweet Millie dressed up as?


And yes, she will be wearing this costume on a daily basis for probably the rest of her life. Good thing it's size 18 months; it won't be too small for quite some time.

I pretty much just die of happiness every time I see her in it. Don't worry, we've been making her wear that hat with the unicorn horn around the house for weeks already. Because it's warm, obviously. And FREAKING ADORABLE.

She has another costume as well (not the clown one, don't worry! Although I am definitely going to put her in that one for pictures!), so I guess I'll just be alternating her costumes throughout the week. She isn't going trick-or-treating (unless I hear of any houses handing out formula...), but we'll have candy here for the kids that stop by, and she'll obviously need to be dressed up to help give it out. And in case you're worried that I won the lottery or lost a copy of my budget or something- nope, I happened to get both costumes at a local consignment sale last month for $3 each!!!!! WOOOO! So that was pretty exciting. And also explains why she's wearing size 18 months- beggars can't be choosers, ha.

After wowing our friends with her adorable unicorniness all night, we came home, put on some happy pumpkin jammies, and then she did it. Gave us a true unicorn picture- happy smile and all!


So as you can see, keeping up with all of my phone screen changes is practically a full-time job now. Unfortunately, I have to return to my real full-time job on Thursday...a fact that has me crying my eyes out at present. Nooooooooooooooo. So anyways, that's that. I'm going to try to enjoy my last few days of maternity leave while also dedicating myself to playing the lottery a lot in hopes that I can strike it big before I have to go back to work. You can help by NOT playing, thus lowering the odds that anyone but me will win. Thanks!

Friday, October 24, 2014

almost twins

One of my favorite things about parenthood so far is when people proclaim that Millie "looks just like you!!!" 

On the one hand, I feel like that's just one of those things you're supposed to say to people toting around babies. It's not something that I normally say to folks, because I happen to think that most babies look alike (and cute, of course) and that very few babies actually resemble adults. Sometimes I think that babies look like their older siblings. But I'm terrible at gazing at an infant and seeing Mom's eyebrows and Grandma Mildred's nose. So I will normally stick with a safe "aww, he's adorable!" and call it a day. 

But sometimes strangers will instantly declare that Millie and I are basically twins, and that always makes me laugh. Are they saying it because it's just something to say? Or do they really think we look alike? And if it's option B, then should I either blow their minds or embarrass them by informing them that there's no genetic reason that we would resemble one another, or just smile and agree? For the record, I pretty much always go with the nod-and-smile-and-thanks. Because Millie is undeniably gorgeous, so by saying we look alike...well, they're basically calling me a supermodel. Basically.

But sometimes it's not strangers that say this- often times it's folks that know us, know her, and know our story. And so with them it's not just a toss-out phrase...it's spoken (or written) with a certain measure of awe and how cool is that?-ish-ness. And I completely concur. How cool is that?? I certainly did not expect to parent a child that resembles me. I long ago gave up that hope and expectation for family resemblance. We wanted to be parents, period- we finally came to a place where we didn't feel a deep need to share genes with our kids. And so I fully anticipated that our family would have more of a 'melting pot' look- even up until the day Camilla was born. Her birth parents look nothing like us. Millie is multiracial- I certainly thought that would be a little more apparent to the naked eye. And maybe someday it will be- she's still tiny (although growing less tiny by the day, SOB). Her features will certainly mature and change and maybe one day we will look a little more melting pot-ish. But for now, oddly enough- I guess we really do look kind of alike! Or as alike as babies and adults can, I suppose. It's easier for me to see it when I look at my own baby pictures. 

Behold: the Almost Twins!

I don't know. I sort of see it, but then I also think that any two random white babies with dark hair and dark eyes might look equally alike. ;) 

At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter. It's fun, it's trivia, it's intriguing, but it doesn't really matter. Love has nothing to do with looking alike physically. It does have a lot to do with dressing alike, though, which is why Matt and I have always enjoyed coordinating our outfits- a practice we now include Millie in, of course! And I love when people notice and exclaim "Oh wow!!! You both are wearing moccasins!!!!"...like they just grew off the end of our feet like that? Uhhh...yes, it was definitely part of my plan. ;)

And while I was busy digging through old photo albums, I did come across something pretty hilarious.

Check out that sweet diaper cover! Ha!! No wonder everyone in my parents' generation stares at me with shock and disgust when I mention that we choose to cloth diaper our child. If this is what you're imagining...well, yeah. I don't blame you. I'm glad that CDing has come a long way since then!!

Much cuter! But also, this was probably 6 weeks ago...she was so tiny! The diapers don't look nearly this huge on her now!
Before we go, I have a very important issue that you need to weigh in on. If you've been around here for awhile, you may recall my post from October 2011 called "babies should not be dressed like clowns." It's one of my favorite posts and it contains some of my favorite and creepiest Baby Erika pictures (spoiler: I'm dressed in a clown costume). I later had a follow-up post, "so maybe babies should SOMETIMES wear clown costumes," wherein I shifted my position slightly given some new information. So here we are today- I finally have a baby of my own, and I also have in my possession the very same clown costume I was wearing in those pictures- the one my mother made for HER baby (me!!) back in 1983. Obviously the question is this: should I dress Camilla up in the clown costume? Would this be the creepiest and most disturbing thing ever OR would it be a most incredible opportunity for side-by-side twin clown pictures?? I could go either way here, so feel free to weigh in. It probably doesn't matter, but for the record, the costume will probably be really big on Millie- I was almost a year old when I wore it, and I was huge for my age. So...take that into consideration, if you must.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

the last week

It's my last full week of maternity leave. This is definitely good cause for much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but I'm trying to look on the bright side, savor the time we do have, and blah blah blah all that positivity stuff instead. That hasn't translated to doing very much exciting stuff (unless you count watching 300 episodes of Gilmore Girls exciting, which I do), but I do have a few Cute Baby Pictures I've been rudely hoarding, so at least I can share those.

We kicked off our week with Camilla's "two month" doctor visit...even though she's closer to three months now. Oh well. Details, details. 

Camilla pre-appointment:

 Look at that jolly, happy baby!! 

Camilla post-appointment and post-shots:

Don't worry or call CPS- she was being well-supervised. You can even see my butt indentation on the cushion next to her, so...proof. Proof that I should go to the gym immediately.
Not pictured: lots of inconsolable screaming. For two days.

In conclusion, she did not really like her doctor's appointment. On the plus side, we found out her height (23 in) and weight (13 pounds 9 oz) and the doctor was happy with her health and overall smile-iness. Oh and she also confirmed that her eyelashes are in at least the 99th percentile. But on the other hand, the misery of shots far outweighed all that, so...boo.

While I've enjoyed the extra snuggles and her wanting to be held all the time and nap on my chest all the time (and watch Gilmore Girls all the time, obviously), I have not enjoyed the random screaming bloody murder or the fact that I'm running a sympathy fever (??? is that a thing? I have a fever for no reason, then). I hope that things go back to normal soon.

This did give me a great opportunity to use one of the Big Four Parenting Excuses, though. I've been excited about getting through them all and now I'm halfway there! As a pre-parent, I observed that parents blamed basically any and every negative or out-of-ordinary thing their babies did on one of four things:

1. Growth spurt
2. Teething
3. Shots
4. Time change

So now I've officially played the 'oh, it's a growth spurt' and 'she's screaming in a restaurant because she had SHOTS' cards. I just can't wait to use the other two- shouldn't be long now for the Time Change, but I'm hoping she doesn't start teething for at least another year. I want her to be a toothless baby for a really long time.

On a completely unrelated note, some neighbors down the street put up the best Halloween decorations EVER.

I know it's really hard to see the writing on the gravestones- apparently my nighttime iPhone photography isn't the best. And I keep saying I'm going to go take a picture during the daytime, but Millie had her shots and also I'm running a fever and apparently can't walk five houses down...

Anyway, this is a graveyard of our SEC rival teams (including the ones we aren't playing this year, ha). The gravestones are HILARIOUS. Like in the front left, you can see "Mizzou and A&M: Death by Chubb" (he's our unbelievable running back) and like- that is freaking awesome. Anyway. This makes me think I need to become BFF with these neighbors. In addition to having the best Halloween idea ever, they also have fabulous roses, a front porch swing with gorgeous pillows, and a baby girl who appears to be about 6 months old. My new life goal will be to befriend them. Mark it down.

Speaking of football- I'd like to give at least partial credit for last weekend's win to Millie. Chubb can take the other half of the credit, but I'm guessing he wouldn't look nearly this cute in polka dots.

In case anyone ever implies that you should not layer a red polka-dotted tunic over a black polka-dotted onesie...well, obviously they are wrong. Yet another fashion win for the baby (and game win for the Bulldogs)!!