My Spontaneous Illinois Trip with Charlie - June 2016

Spontaneity is not my strong suit.  I like routines.  But, about a month and a half ago I decided to through that out the window...for just a week and I am so happy I did.  Booked my tickets on a Thursday night and was off with Charlie in an airplane to Illinois by Saturday morning.  We flew all day and by dinner time we were sitting on my grandparents door step to surprise them.  It was the PERFECT surprise trip.  

It was just Charlie and I so we really got a lot of time with my grandparents (and mom and brothers who were out there visiting as well).  Catching fireflies, riding tractors, popsicles on the front porch and seeing "old" grandma and grandpa...Charlie talks about it often, and I hope it is something that he ALWAYS remembers! :)

 

 

Noah is ONE!!!!

Oh Noah!  I cannot believe my little baby is ONE ALREADY!  Time flew by super speed.  

Noah just took his first steps a week ago.  It looks so weird to see him WALKING.  He gets a kick out of it too.  For some reason it cracks him up when he is walking.  He practically runs when he gets close to his finish line too.  Silly boy.

He has been "talking" non-stop lately in his "low" baby voice.  Just mumbling a bunch of sounds.  He just has a lot to say I guess.

We have been very hesitant to feed Noah anything different than what he usually has because he chokes SO easily, but lately he has been good.  Eating chicken nuggets, fruit loops (his fav), avocados, rice...He loves ANYTHING that is not baby food.  

I think he is JUUUST about to drop his morning nap (nooooo :( that is how we get ourselves ready in the morning) but I knew this day had to come sometime anyways!

He is cutting another tooth or two, but doesn't seem to be bothering him AS bad as his top teeth did.  

He is SUCH a little smiley boy.  Just say his name and instant simple.  Look at him, instant smile.  Do anything, he will just smile at you.

He is in LOVE with this doll we have.  We bought it for Charlie when Noah was first born so Charlie could hold a baby too...we named him Eddie.  But Noah loves Eddie.  Every time he sees him he gives the doll a HUGE kiss.  I think he thinks it is real.

Here are more photos from this month <3

Noah is 5 Months!

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A little late to post but ohhhh well! :)  He's our little chubby dude.  Smiles at anyone who talks to him.  Loves to eat.  Loves his baths.  And loves Charlie.  In fact, Charlie is the only one that can make him laugh really hard.  <3

The other day I looked at Jake and said, "Wow I cannot believe we have two kids now!"  Haha, it took a little to sink in I guess.  But Noah just has his own little personality now and it just feels more "normal" or "real".  He is so easy going though.  He kinda just rolls with anything we are doing.

We sleep trained him this month.  We hit a point earlier this month where we were waking up EVERY 2 HOURS OR LESS.  It was horrible...  We knew something needed to change.  SO we moved his crib out of our bedroom.  The cry-it-out method worked with Charlie really well, so we tried that again with Noah.  He is a tough cookie lol.  We realized that he isn't quite the same as Charlie and liked the reassurance of us going in every 5 mins or so to say "Goodnight" or pat his bum while he is crying...Charlie hated that.  We are on a pretty good routine now.  Some nights are hard here and there, but he usually sleeps for about 11 hours.  Praise the Lord!

This Month's Milestones: - His cues are so much easier to pick up on now...when he is tired, hungry or just bored. - Totally okay with car rides now. - Loves his rice cereal and apples. - Master at rolling over to his back, but not yet from back to tummy. - Okay with longer periods of playing in bouncer. - ALLLLMOST sitting up!

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Past month posts:

1 Month 2 Months 3 Months 4 Months

A Month of Charlie - December 2015

Charlie will be 3 this year!!!  So crazy!!!  Just a few months away.  He is amazing at telling stories and talking!  I clogged the kitchen sink the other day and he explained to me what the pipes do, and then told the plumber, "Mommy broke sink!"  Thanks Charlie!!!  This month we have worked hard on obedience, potty training, and getting him to eat more.  All three are going well. Obedience - We have been rewarding him here and there for good behavior with a little piece of chocolate.  We don't do it every time because he would just expect it, but when he doesn't expect it we give him a chocolate and say why.  He has been responding really well to it and we have had a lot less "terrible two moments".  If he does breakdown though we usually let him try to figure it out on his own, by telling him to go sit down in his timeout room and he usually comes out a different little boy.

Potty Training - I was so scared to potty train him.  We have been trying for well over 6 months now.  I was worried it would never happen and then this month it just clicked.  We still have a accident here and there, but he is not as embarrassed about telling us when he has to go....YAY!  Diaper days for Charlie are almost done!

Eating More - Ugh.  Still hard but we are getting there.  He is SUCH a picky eater and I have no idea why.  We fed him EVERYTHING when he was younger.  Somewhere between then a now he only likes chicken nuggets...  and he will not try anything new.  We have gotten him to eat some healthier options like yogurt, apples, or "cookies" yogurt covered pretzels (instead of cookies), apple sauce...A lot better than just nuggets and fries.

Charlie loved Christmas this year.  Just overwhelmed by everything!!!  He got a Ford F-150 (just like daddy) Power Wheels and it is just the funniest thing to see him riding it.  He turns the radio on and just drives!!!

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He was kissing his truck in this picture lol

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Lately, he has become SUCH a good little photographer. Jake's old camera has now become his camera.  It is real with a full battery and memory card. The photos he takes are hilarious.  I am thinking about putting together a blog post JUST of Charlie's photos!!! :)

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And my favorite!!!! <3 Such handsome dudes I am surrounded by!

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Our First Family Shoot

Being a photographer it is just so rare to get a family photo...with you in it.  I was tired of doing self-timer because trying to tell a two year old to look at a camera no one is behind is a little confusing...  I just wanted to BE the client for once.  So that we were.  It wasn't hard to figure out what photographer we wanted since I had been blog stalking this one local photographer, Love Bethany Photography and I LOVED her work and her style of shooting.

Come day of the session and I was nervous...like really nervous.  It was so weird being on the other side of the camera.  It was my kids I had to make sure behaved now.  AH!  Scary!  Bethany was so kind with busy-boy Charlie, our outfits all stayed in tact for the car ride there, AND Noah was happy.  We survived and the photos are amazing!  Thank you Bethany!

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Photos by: Love Bethany Photography

 

Chatbooks - The Greatest Invention Ever!

While trying to pass the time and not fall asleep nursing Noah the other night, I stumbled upon the company Chatbooks.  Chatbooks is an app that organizes all your Instagram photos into little albums and then prints them out in the cutest 6x6 books.  It was the simplest thing to do.  All I needed to do was login on Instagram through their site and all my photos and captions were there.  They nicely put them into albums of 60 photos.  I could not believe that I had 6 books already filled up.  I went through and corrected some typos I had in my Instagram photo captions, but after that all I did was order them.   I was never so excited to get something in the mail. Chatbooks_0360

The best part is they automatically send me my new book when it gets full and hits 60 photos.  I am just about done with Volume 7 ;)  It is so neat that my Instagram in printed form...it is now on my coffee table in something tangible.   I think I have flipped through these little guys like 100 times since getting them in the mail yesterday.  Especially when you have kids, it is so fun to look back at my photos I posted a year ago and watching Charlie grow through each post.

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At only $8 a book it was really a no brainer.  I even have my grandparents on a subscription since they don't have access to Instagram or a computer.  Every time I receive my new book, they get the same copy as well.

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It makes me want to Instagram more life events and things I want to remember since I am not just posting on Instagram now, I am making an album too! :)

If you want to try them out here is a coupon code for a free book: L2GHC2EX

www.chatbooks.com

 

 

 

 

A Month of Charlie - August 2015

This month Charlie really grew up!  He took on the took the role of big brother very seriously.  Before Noah, he relied on mom and dad to do a lot for him, but now he steps up and cares care of a lot more on his own.  His behavior has improved as well.  I am no longer as scared to go out to dinner with him.  Before I was afraid if he would even make it though until we got our food.  Thank goodness that has gotten better because we love eating out in this family!  We have been watching movies together as well.  He can actually sit through a whole movie now.  I never thought that I would say that about Charlie.  It's so great to be to be able to sit down next to him and cuddle...although he does talk throughout the entire movie about what is going on... :) He is speaking pretty well now.  Saying sentences and everyday learning a new word.  He LOVES colors and counting.  However, everything is either orange or the number 2.

This month has been a very "life changing" month for him adding a new little one to the family but he is just taking it SO well.  He has become EXTRA loving.  Always saying "Hi Bay-Bay" to Noah, holding his hand in the car, kissing him, trying to play with him...and ALWAYS asking where Noah is.  He loves his brother so very much!

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#RealLife

About a year ago I did a post on how Instagram can make people's lives look so "perfect".  I posted these happy and smiling photos of me, Charlie and Jake playing in the backyard, but the reality was...That was the hardest week we had in a long time.  It is so easy to compare your life to another's on Social Media just because you think it may look "perfect", but really...we have no idea. Juggling life with a newborn and a two year old has been tough.  It is so rewarding and feels so complete, but as Jake said the other day at lunch to me "Being a parent is seriously the hardest job on the planet."  It sure is.  But there is nothing that makes us happier on this planet.

Jake and I are in the middle of a massive launch of a super awesome program meant to make the business lives of photographers and other creatives a piece of cake, called DUBSADO.  We are creating it because we are the business owners who seriously don't have time to do "busy office work" all day.  We need as much free time as possible to brainstorm about making our businesses better and most importantly being with family.  But in building this program, it has been a true test of patience.  It is so easy to get "lost" in the Instagram posts of other creatives who seem to have all day of uninterrupted work, great coffee breaks at the local coffee shop, and office spaces that are so clean and perfect that it is no wonder their creative juices are flowing.  Again, I have to stop and tell myself that I have NO IDEA.  We all have struggles.  We are all human.  But it is those hard things that make us and our businesses even stronger.  Heck, Jake and I would not have even come up with the idea of this program if things were easy for us... since this program is meant to make the business lives of creatives easier :)

I can post the typical mock up desk photo of my current "perfect" work station right now with the muffin and tea in the corner that I sip on while I work...

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...but what you don't see is what is behind me.  The sleeping newborn who finally went down after waking up every hour last night.  The two year old who took out just about every toy he can find and threw them everywhere.  The husband next to me who is frantically trying to get emails answered before that two year old remembers he wants to go swimming.  But that is all perfect to me because I have a precious little boy who just loves to sleep (during the day).  A two year old that has such an excitement for life that is just contagious.  And a husband that would do anything and everything for his family.  I would say that is pretty much perfect.

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A Month with Charlie - May 2015

Since Charlie is now 2 there is really no reason in counting the months anymore, but I didn't want to stop the blog posts I do of him every month.  I look forward to doing these and even more excited to look back on them.  It makes me remember who he was at that time.  Sometimes it gives me the encouragement that I need knowing that the rough times do pass and the good times just keep living on.  So I am continuing my posts about him, but just as A Month with Charlie. This has been an extremely hard month.  Business wise we have had to pull MANY all nighters which left us so tired and sick.  Thank goodness during that week we had to do so, Charlie was a master sleeper through the night with no nightmares or anything...BUT he would wake up a 6am.  Jake and I are still trying to recover from the lack of sleep.

This month: - He is loving being an early riser.  Some mornings it is 6am and others it is a beautiful 8 am. - He has been testing his limits and a little more temperamental, but I know that is just his "terrible twos" - We have really been implementing time out, but take it more of a "cool off" time to give him a few minutes to reset from the mood he is in. - We are still trying to get him to be potty trained.  He loves his little race car potty but still doesn't run to it when he has to go. - He will say "yes" to anything even if he has no idea what we are asking. - He has been using his words so much more now. - The month of May has been full of sicknesses and sleepless nights.   I don't know why we all just keep getting sick over and over again.  Thank goodness we take our vitamins, it probably would be worse! - Everything has been "mommy. mommy, mommy" lately.  It feels so great to be needed and loved so much, but it makes it so very hard when you are 7.5 months pregnant and can't hold a 25 pound toddler!

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Life at this Moment

It has been a little quiet on my blog lately just because I cannot seem to find the time to sit down, write and put together a post.  I wish it were possible to blog while driving or in the shower because that is where I finally get a chance to quiet my mind and think of good posts! Things have been so busy.  We had server issues with some of our websites which caused some late nights when then caused us all to get this nasty flu that is going around...  Jake got it, then Charlie, and now I have it.  Oy!  Just another something to add to the craziness.  But yesterday when all I wanted to do was just finish some laundry and get caught up on a few things around the house, all Charlie wanted to do was water the plants.  I had to be somewhere in 30 mins, had SO much to do, but Charlie insisted it all wait.  He took me outside, had me fill up his watering can, and just blabbed away in his baby talk to me.  It was the best part of my day.

I know at this moment in life, it is not possible to take a 3 day vacation, unplug from working, and take a break from it all.  That is how it is running your own business...there is ALWAYS work to be done.  It is never just a 9 to 5 job.   But I have learned these past few hard weeks that even though I can't take that vacation I wish we could have, we can give ourselves mini "vacations".  Just going outside to water the plants with Charlie really calmed my busy head.  I am striving to take more of those mini breaks as a family.  Put the phone down, don't look at emails, and enjoy! :)

Here's to more mini-vacations!

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