Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pumpkins in December

For months I've been dreaming of catching up on the blog. Bringing out my camera here and there to take more pictures, only to add them to the disastrous four-car-pile-up that is my iphoto storage. Pictures I'm glad I took, yet just can't find a second to go through. 

When I made the transition from "hobby" to "jobby" a year ago and began to take pictures for other people,  I didn't realize that it would rearrange my lifestyle the way it did.  While I still make time for my #1 job and true loves - being a mommy and wife - and find time for friends and family about the same as I always have - the time I spend on photography for me has greatly diminished. It's hard to justify spending the time on your personal photos when other families are anxiously awaiting the pictures they paid for. And family  blogging? Forget about it. There's a long list of must-do things in front of that little treat. And while this new endeavor has been fun and fulfilling and a much needed blessing in so many ways, I do find myself missing those days when I could just sit out in the yard or lay on my living room floor and take pictures of the little subject who turned my eye and my heart to photography in the first place. 

Now he's got preschool, and I've got editing. We both love our new chapters and are thankful for the opportunities, but it doesn't mean I don't still have that deep desire to pick up my camera and capture our own lives, journal our own memories, the way I've always loved to do. 

After all, they grow so fast. 

So last week I made some time and went through 3 months of holidays and every-days, adding my personal edits to a few favorites and leaving the rest how the camera originally saw it, doing my best to organize what could easily have been about 5 blog posts. lol. And as I looked back on all the pictures of pumpkins and Jet (pre-most-recent-haircut) I stopped and thought "does anybody really care about all this stuff? 

Do people really wanna see old pictures of Jet playing in the leaves with Christmas just over a week away? And Halloween? Isn't there some sort of law that you aren't allowed to post pics from 2 holiday's ago?

(Jet apparently thinks I've broken some sort of  law...)

Is this quite simply a waste of time...

(Jet's Trick-or-Treat Entourage)

 I mean really, I start actin crazy when I see pumpkins out in yards past Thanksgiving.  And I'd be lying if I said I haven't fantasized about cleansing my neighborhood (or maybe the world) of all the old pumpkins left to rot on porches and driveways long past their holiday-expiration-date. (Come on folks! How much work is it to throw out your old pumpkins!? You think your fairy godmother is gonna come make a nice coach out of it for you?? I don't think so!)  Ok. So maybe no one else notices that stuff. Or maybe you're guilty of it and laughing to yourself  (in which not funny.) 
But it's thoughts like that that make me think, maybe I should just move on.
Pick up again after Christmas. 
Keep moving forward. 
Keep things relevant.

But then my thoughts go to the events of this past Friday. When the world of parents, teachers and students everywhere was turned upside down. When the innocent lives of precious children were so tragically taken. When countless families received the horrifying news that their loved ones weren't coming home from school. When mommies and daddies and brothers and sisters lived out a nightmare no one could have predicted. When 20 babies were lost, and countless other babies lost all that was familiar...their sense of safety...their innocence. When I cried all day for those children who didn't survive, and cried again for those children who did. When I cried for my child, prayed for his future, hugged him closer and kissed him more frequently (which if you know how much I kiss those sweet cheeks, it would seem almost impossible.)

 It was in that day and the days to follow, that I was reminded life is too short, too precious, and too beautiful not to cherish it. Not to give thanks for it. Not to remember all the big and small moments we spend with our families and never let them go. 

Even if means going through 3 months of pictures. 
Even if it means putting work on hold so you can spend time doing something you love for your family.
Even if it means you're never quite caught up on laundry or dishes or clearing away the clutter. 

You can do it. 

You should do it. 

I should do it.
Because it does matter. We should care. And it is relevant.

Even if it means pumpkins in December.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

School Daze

As you know, the little guy started preschool a few weeks ago.

After I got over the oh-my-goodness-my-baby-is-growing-up shock of it all, I was really looking forward to what this could mean for him. Being with other kids, having new structure to his day, access to OT and Speech while in a classroom environment - I was very hopeful this would be a new blessing in his life. 

Yes - it's a special needs preschool program. And I had mixed feelings - is he too young? Should I try to get him in a "regular" preschool with "typical" kids? Should he go 2, 3, 4, 5 days a week? Should he go some days here and some days at another school to get both environments? But after meeting for his IEP and talking to the teachers, therapists etc - I was confident this would be a great first school experience for my little man. It's very Italy with just enough Holland to make me feel at home. (if you know what I mean.) ;)

And I'm happy to report it is going FABULOUS! He goes 5 days a week. 4.5 hours a day. It's the real deal folks. But he's doing fabulous. Just a rock star as always. It's part of a larger elementary school so it's biiiig. But he's not in the least intimidated. (go figure.) I am a combination of relieved and excited and thankful and emotional over the whole thing but he LOVES it. 

And so do I.

I love that he picked out his own backpack and it only cost $5. 

I love that when we pull up to school he yells "big boys!" at the big kids walking into school.

I love that his OT recommended not packing him a lunch  and letting him buy a school lunch to hopefully expand his texture/food tolerance. After getting over my disappointment of not making pb&j sandwiches cut with a heart cookie cutter -(which btw would have absolutely have gone un-eaten) and writing sweet notes (which he could not have read or probably cared to read) I've seen it as such a blessing! As hoped, he's trying new foods he'd sooner starve than eat at home. Whatever floats your boat little man. You wanna eat oranges and tater tots at school and come home and turn your nose up at anything but goldfish crackers? Go for it. I know your secret. I'll get you one day. 

I love that we can breakfast with Daddy in the morning as we are all getting up for school at the same time. :) 

I love dropping him off in the morning and watching the teachers at carpool melt at his cute little curls and tiny voice saying "goo-morning." If you haven't heard are missing out as it's one of the cutest.things.ever.

I love that along with saying and recognizing his ABC's, colors, shapes, and counting to 20, he now knows 
- days of the week (and a few songs to demonstrate if you want it in musical form)
- months of the year
-how to spell his name
-how to predict the weather (ok maybe not predict...but he can certainly state the current conditions...which is pretty what the weatherman does anyway right?)
- and that he's a boy. (lol. Seriously - I hear him talking to himself "Jet...are you a girl or a boy?...BOY!" Who knew that would be such a revelation? :))  

I'm a proud momma.

I love that he begged to ride the bus.
For a week.
He was quite insistent (if you can imagine...)

Talk about Mr. Independence.

So I let him.
And like any decent helicopter mom,  I drove up to the school on the day he was supposed to ride the bus home so I could make sure he still wanted to.
Of course he did. cool okay?

So I followed the bus home in the rain like a complete crazy person.

(proof of craziness brought to you by instagram)

And I had to park in my neighbors driveway and run across the yard ( the rain) because the bus was parked in front of my house blocking the driveway.
I love that I got the "you're one of thoooose moms" looks from the driver.
And Jet got off the bus smiling.
And every day...he still gets off the bus smiling.

He loves it.
I love him.
It's a wonderful thing.

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