trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “pictures”

Say Cheese!!

Back in the day when I was a newbie mom,  I always made sure that the boys had professional pictures taken. When the twins were babies, I did the obligatory photos at 3, 6, and 12 months old.

I would spend hours planning the “perfect” outfits making sure everything down to their socks matched. The day of the photos I would give myself a heart attack worrying how the boys would, or more likely would not, behave.

It was always a disaster with someone (usually me) leaving in tears.

The years went on, more kids arrived and soon anytime I had to think about professional pictures was long gone! Besides, I had an iPhone so if there was anything I was NOT lacking in, it was photos of my kids – ask anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram.

Life went on.

Then this past fall I had an idea. The boys are older, they sorta listen and I have no pictures of them all together looking “happy” let’s take them to have pictures taken!!!!!! (no I was not drinking when this idea popped into my head).

I booked the appointment for a Sunday in October and tried to block it out of my head – not a hard thing to do with 4 crazy boys, school, soccer and work. My mom and the husband thought I was totally insane.

Why would you do this to yourself? You know that you will be disappointed when no one listens? Well if you are going to do it…just prepare yourself for the worst.

Those were just a few of the little pick-me-ups that were offered in the days leading up to picture day.

Before I knew it, it was the day before the pictures and I had NOTHING ready. In my mind I assumed it would rain and the pictures would be canceled since we had planned to take them outside at a college campus.

Well what is the saying about assuming???

Yeah, here is was Saturday night and the weather forecast for Sunday was going to be warm and sunny – YIKES!

Off to the mall I went to try to find 4 perfect “look at what I just threw together don’t my sons look amazing like they just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren print-ad” outfits.

Needless to say I struck out at every store I went to. Why can you NEVER find something when you really need it?????

Somehow I was able to buy a white button-down for L and a pair of jeans for J. On the ride home from the mall I crossed my fingers and said a silent prayer that the twins had something decent (and clean) to wear in their closet.

Sunday morning I woke up, saw the sun and listened to the boys downstairs screaming and fighting over nothing. I

Immediately began to panic OMG….am I out of my fn mind taking these kids out in public to have their pictures taken????!!!!!!

I went downstairs to make coffee and the husband was checking his phone. Ya ready for today? he asked with a huge smirk.  Good luck he said laced with sarcasm as the twins started crying because the 3yo was yelling at them and chasing them with a pirate sword.

All morning I prepped bribed and threatened the boys. What? Don’t judge.

Hey, I had a lot riding on this and I didn’t want M crying about his hair or J screaming he wanted to go home to ruin the experience AND I deserved at least 1 nice picture of my boys all together god dammit!

The car ride was good, I played some Kidz Bop cd and kept the kids talking and happy. We pulled up to the college and saw Mr. D waiting for us. I took a deep breath before opening the van doors and letting the monsters out.

Mr. D made the boys line up and handed gave them “the rules” for the day. Everything they listened they would get a blue marble. At the end of the day, each boys could turn in his marbles for a prize bag AND candy!

Never have I seen the boys smile so big for a total stranger as they followed him (walking single file) down the path on campus.

It’s going to be fine, stop worrying he told me as he posed them on the steps of a building.

Here is a small sampling of what the boys said that day (please picture it said in a whiney/annoying voice):

L stop touching me! Mom, L is sitting too close to me! Ewwww J’s leg is touching mine and I don’t like it! Mom..there are people looking at us.  Mommy…can I have a lollipop? NO I WANT A RED LOLLIPOP this is blue!! Hey look over there…it’s a huge pile of leaves!!!!! I don’t want to smile. I am tired, can we go home? Mom, can I play with your phone? Why does J get to play with your phone and I can’t. Why do you hate me? My mouth hurts, I can’t smile anymore. Can I go play in the leaves? Mom? Mom? Mommy?? Can we play in the leaves? Hey J I bet you can’t catch me!!!!!

At the end of the photo shoot, I was completely drained. A few hours trying to get 4 boys to smile, stay clean and look happy will do that to a grown woman.

Mr. D has assured me that we had at least 1 great shot – and that wrangling 4 kids was WAY harder than he had anticipated (lol).

On the car ride home as the boys played with their prize bags – that contained containers of slime that made fart-like noises when they squished it with their fingers – and congratulated myself on surviving.

A couple of days later the proofs arrived in my in-box. I was a nervous wreck opening the attachment. I had no idea how the pictures had come out and if the boys even managed to smile for one.

The minute I saw the pictures my eyes welled up with tears…the pictures were beautiful!! OMG how my babies have grown up.

Mr. D made me a special mosaic picture which I attached below, it’s my favorite! (his work is absolutely AMAZING!).

Thanks for reading 🙂

ps – Thank you Mr. D!!

Me and The Boys

Me and The Boys


Mommy will give you candy??

BK (before kids) I had dreams of what my family would look like. Me and the husband would have 2 kids (boy/girl). The boy would be blond with blue eyes and the girl would have dark, curly hair. They would be THE most adorable children on the planet and ALWAYS be impeccably dressed.

I swore to NEVER allow my child to dress in mismatched outfits, have a dirty face or hands or wear ratty t-shirts with pictures on them. As if!!

I remember glaring at other moms in the mall and shaking my head in disgust at the way they let their children dress in public. To paraphrase Taylor Swift that would never, ever, ever, ever be me!

When the twins were born (my firsts) I would carefully pick out matching outfits for them daily. They never repeated an outfit (even if we were sitting in the house) and if, God forbid, they spilled ANYTHING on themselves, that item was quickly removed, stain-treated and replaced with an equally cute one.

I would spend money like it grew on trees in Baby Gap, Gymboree, Lord & Taylor etc. scrounging the racks for that “perfect” onsie. I took the twins for professional pictures every 3 months (duh, that is what a good mom does) and would plan their outfits for weeks right down to the socks.

J came along 2 years later and I still tried to continue with my obsessive behavior. I remember leaving for the hospital (J was a c-section) and picking out a week’s worth of outfits for the twins to wear while I was gone. After all, I wanted them to look their best when they came to visit my in the hospital.

Once J came home and I was dealing with 3 boys I became a little lax. The twins were starting to become interested in things like Toy Story, Cars and trucks and wanted to wear shirts with those pictures. I grimaced but decided to pick my battles. I was running on no sleep so what did it matter if M wore a shirt with Buzz Lightyear to Target??

By the time L came along (18 months later) I could care less what the kids wore as long as they were dressed. It became easier to let the twins pick out their own clothes rather than fight with them and their wardrobes started consisting of shirts with either Monster Trucks, superheros or race cars.

Gone were the jeans and matching buttown downs. Now I am lucky if they even match a shirt to their track pants and try arguing with a 6yo that his “favorite” Star Wars Lego shirt is too small to wear out in public.

Anyway, today is picture day at my youngest’s pre-k. L hasn’t had professional photos done since he was 3 months old so this is a big deal for me.

After getting the picture form, I ran to the mall to find him the “perfect” picture outfit (on sale of course). I patted myself on the back, as I admired the outfit on the hanger. Damn, he will look SO cute, I thought to myself.

This morning I carefully ironed the shirt and pirate pants (khakis with pirate skulls on them) and button down (I only iron kids’ clothes for photo ops and holidays) and called screamed for him to come upstairs to get dressed.

No Mommy, I watching tv…you come here and dress me was the response I received. I yelled 2 more times before conceding (a mom has got to pick her battles when she is running late for work) and bringing the outfit to the living room.

Look L, look at the handsome pirate pants and shirt Mommy got you I said a little too excitedly. Those my pirate pants? Argh Matey L replied.

I quickly put the pants and button down on him and told me he looked VERY handsome. One more thing and then you can go play, I said as I attempted to pull the coordinating, v-neck sweater over his head. Which resulted in the following exchange.

NO!! I NO WANT DIS SHIRT…I WEAR DIS SHIRT! L yelled pulling at his button-down. 

L, honey, come on, you HAVE to wear the sweater Mommy got you. You will look so handsome.


L please, it’s getting late and Mommy has to go to work I pleaded trying to pry his right arm through the sweater hole.


I became desperate,  I should have been halfway to work and instead I was on the living room floor pleading with an almost 3yo.

L if you wear the sweater….Mommy will give you a cookie.

NO, I no want cookie.

Crap, cookies always work, now what. I could hear the voices of  Hot Mrs. Jeter (she has asked to be referred to as “hot” from now on) and my Mom and the husband telling me to “let it go”. “The button-down looks fine, who cares?”  “Don’t drive yourself nuts over a sweater.”

They are right, I thought as I looked at L half-dressed running away from me. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if he is wearing a pull over and a shirt??

Hell yes it matters! and I used the last card in my deck…L do you want candy? If you wear the sweater Mommy will give you candy???

Candy? He said in his sweetest voice. Yes, candy. Just put on the sweater.

Ok Mommy.

And that my friends is how I got L dressed for his school pictures.

No, I am not 100% proud of my behavior. I did, after all, allow myself to be manipulated by a toddler. However, the bribe actually worked and helped me get my way.

I am sure in 20 years I will look back (or rather he will) and ask what the hell I was thinking dressing him like that. Heck, I don’t even know if L will smile for the photographer today (although he better since it’s $45) but at least I know he looked cute when he left the house.

Holy Crafts!

I was diligently indexing at work today when someone stoped by my cube to ask if I had any tabs (numbers 26-50 specifically). Hmmmm, let me check, I say and open the bottom drawer of the file cabinet.

BAM! Artwork from 3 kids comes spilling out of the drawer all over the floor much to my embarrassment.  Oops, forgot I put that stuff there I explain as my co-worker smiles. Don’t worry about it, I have that stuff home he says.

So it’s not just me with the endless projects, drawings, connect-the-dots and various other holiday/season themed crafts taking over my space???

When the twins started pre-k last year I thought it was great when they could come home with a picture or craft.  I would hang it up on the fridge and show the husband and relatives when they came over.

Two weeks into pre-k my fridge was covered and I was out of magnets. Ok, no problem, I will just take the “good” creations to work and display them in my cube. I started off slowly with 1 picture per child but by spring my cube looked like a pre-k  art room.

The husband suggested keeping a storage box with the kids’ names on it for the “special” artwork. However, when the school year was over the box was jammed packed and we knew we had a problem. What the heck was I supposed to do with all this stuff?  Will my sons actually care that mommy saved all the stuff they made when they were 4, 5 and 6? Better yet, will their wives (or significant others)  want the boxes of stuff they made when they were 4, 5 and 6?? 

I am stumped on this one so I am asking you, what is your retention policy for kids’ artwork? Do you keep everything or only the special pieces? Do you throw stuff away? Do you scan the artwork and then create calendars for family at Christmas ? (no lie I met a mom who does this).  I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions. Now if you will excuse me, I have some shamrocks to hang up

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