Friday, April 27, 2012

Embrace the Camera - 4.26.12

Three years ago today I met Sam. What a day this was! Exciting, exhausting, heartbreaking and bittersweet. I remember it all clearly. After 48 hours of labor (40 of which were not drug assisted!) and 2 hours of pushing, Samuel arrived. And although the next few days were some of the worst in my life, I would do it all again for my sweet boy!
Today he is healthy, happy and full of energy. He eats any and everything you put in front of him and always has room for dessert. Sam has quite the imagination and it's not out of the ordinary for him to play pretend in his room with some of his favorite animal toys. He still loves cuddling and give great hugs and kisses. Sam enjoys being the boss and is really good at ordering the dogs around. Sammy is extremely well behaved. We are so proud of the person he is and we love to watch him grow and learn every day.

Yesterday, he and I went on a lunch date. During the picture I told him to squeeze me. I guess his is what happens to his face when muscles are being used.

Silly boy.

Happy 3rd birthday, Shmooly!
We love you so much.

To see what this Embrace the Camera thing is all about, click HERE. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bye, bye binkies.

I got this great idea from a friend on Facebook (thank you Lisa!) to take your addicted child's binkies to Build a Bear and sew the pacifiers into the animal.


This allows them to still "sleep" with their binks but forces them to lose the habit. Sam had a great time picking out his new friend and even helped put his binkies inside.

"Bye, green binkie! Bye, big binkie! Bye, little binkie!"

I was VERY impressed with how willing he was to say goodbye to the binks. This kid is about as addicted as you can get to something. We would catch him multiple times a day sneaking into his room to "take drags" of his binkies (since they weren't allowed out of his room.). It was so funny, but so pathetic.

Sam and his new puppy aptly named, Binkie.
I was very concerned with getting rid of the pacifier for my own sake. Sam has been an awesome sleeper, never fighting bed time and even putting himself down for naps. It's been so nice.

But last night went better than expected for his first sleep without a binkie. He played around in his room for about an hour and I had to go in there a couple of times to remind him to stay in bed. But soon he fell quiet. When I checked on him he was passed out with Binkie Puppy and blanket in hand.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Lizards & Ladybugs - Sam's 3rd birthday party

When Sam asked for a "lizard and ladybug" party I knew right away we could pull it off. We decorated the house with bugs and reptiles and invited the Reptile Man to host a show in our living room. I can not tell you how AWESOME this party was. Everything was so perfect for Sam.

Check it out!
Sam, the morning of, helping me decorate. He was very excited for party hats.

Pom poms. A cheap and easy way to decorate.

They were all over the place because I lacked the time to do much else.

Sam's chocolate truffle cake. This is from Simply Desserts and they are the BEST cakes around. I hate cake and I LOVE theirs.

Caprese. A party is not complete without this...

...or lumpia. People expect it when the come to our house :)

Alexander rockin' his hat.

The ladybugs! I made these little containers with dirt and leaves inside for the bugs to live during the party. The kids were instructed to take them home and release them into their gardens.

I should have snatched a video of Mom and I wrangling all these bugs into each container. We were literally covered with lady bugs and finding them on us hours later. It was a tough, but funny chore!

Lots of bug deco.

Audrey and Shane.

THE REPTILE MAN!!! I mean seriously, this guy is the coolest! I remember him coming to my elementary school when I was little, so it was almost like meeting a celebrity! He brought some amazing animals to the party.

Here he is showing off a Gabon Viper. One of my favorites!
My 3 year old holding Sweet Pea, a Blue Tongued Skink. (Don't be surprised if we get one of these for Sam's next pet. We love them!)
A rattlesnake. He bothered her enough that she rattled for us!
Sam and a Colombian Red Tailed Boa. This kid has ZERO fear when it comes to any animal or bug. He wanted to hold them all!
 Court and the boa.
 Bella and the boa.
This is Oscar, an albino python. He was so sweet, and Sam was very concerned with an "owey" he had on his tummy :)
 Family pic with Oscar.
Court and Kelly.

Audrey enjoying the show.

Then The Reptile Man brought out a REAL AMERICAN ALLIGATOR! She was really sweet and she made us all laugh when she fell asleep in his arms.

Lucy the Alligator.
 Sam holding Lucy! He's so brave!

 Everyone got to pet her.
 To my Mom's delight, the Reptile Man brought out a Tortoise. The kids got to ride around on "Sponge Bob Scale Pants" and feed him carrots.
 Mom was in heaven :)
 I can not stress enough how awesome The Reptile Man was for a party. Please book him! Everyone had so much fun.

The list of reptiles we got to see and pet are, Blue Tongued Skink, Monkey Lizard, Gila Monster, Rattlesnake, Gabon Viper, American Alligator, Tortoise, Burmese Albino Python, Milk Snake, Rubber snake, Colombian Red Tailed Boa,  and a Spitting Cobra!
You can't beat that for entertainment!

After the reptile show, Sam opened presents and we all ate some cake. Papa got Sam a bubble machine and it was a big hit.
 Meanwhile, my brother Cory played outside with the chickens because they were feeling pretty left out of the fun :)
 A HUGE thank you to all that came and made Sam's birthday as perfect as can be. He got some AWESOME toys (that are currently keeping him very busy!) and he got to be with some of his favorite people! I'm pretty sure he will never forget his 3rd birthday!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Embrace the Camera - 4.19.12

This week's ETC image is brought to you by, C-Sections! Here am I, all scrubbed up, waiting to go into the OR to photograph the birth of Xander Citro. See his birth story HERE.

Labor and delivery pictures are BY FAR my favorite thing to photograph. And if you ask me, it is THE most important time to hire a photographer. Not only because it is such a huge day in your life, but because the memory of it goes blurry within months of having your baby.

I love being in the room, watching the team work take place between the partners, seeing how amazing women and our bodies are and then witnessing a tiny life be brought into this world. I can never keep my composure. It's an emotional time and the pictures are easily stunning.

To see what this Embrace the Camera thing is all about, click HERE.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A 3 year old.

Sam's 3rd birthday is next week. I can't believe it. He's grown up so much, so fast.

We are planning his birthday party for this weekend. When I asked him what kind of party he wanted he said "A lizard and lady bug party."

So, we're doing our best to make those requests come true.
I may be more excited for the party than he is :)

He had his 3 year exam done today and his stats show lots of 3's! Perfect.

3 feet tall.
30 pounds.
3 years old.
Oh, and did I mention he's SUPER STRONG!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The cure for boredom in our house is....


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Embrace the Camera - 4.12.12

Last month I was put in charge of putting together a slide show with images from Jan's life for her funeral. It was an extremely emotionally charged task, but I felt so lucky to be able to have a better glimpse into her life through the pictures that were collected.

About a year before she passed away we all got together for family pictures. NO ONE wanted to do it. It's a pain to get that many people organized and willing, not to mention it was cold and dark.
But we did it! And if we hadn't, we would not have a single family picture. To say I am grateful for these would be an understatement.

I realized how important it is to have pictures of yourself. Not so much for your own documentation, but for your children. So, I am going to start "Embracing the Camera" every week.

I can't say it any better than Emily, a fellow blogger, who I have been following for a little while now for her adoption experience. She started ETC two years ago and I think it's such a great idea. Please check out her link and turn your own camera around!!!

Here we are, straight out of bed, getting ready to go outside and work in the yard. I cringe at posting pictures of myself without make-up but these are for Sam, and I know he doesn't give a darn.

I am so thankful for this goofy boy!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter - 2012

Easter morning started off with Sam hunting for eggs in the house and then playing with the new toys the Easter Bunny had left him in his Easter basket.
After breakfast and showers we headed over to the Evergreen fairgrounds to watch a horse show with Shannon and do a little more egg hunting in the arena.
Auntie Shannon took Sam around and introduced him to all the horses. Sam loved to rub their noses and even fed one of the ponies some hay.

After watching Shannon's horse Decker do a few jumps we drove over to Papa's house and played around outside in the beautiful weather.

When it came time for dinner we cleaned up and went inside to play with Bub and Grandma and eat some great food.
Bub serenaded us on the guitar and we all had a great time being together on Easter Sunday!