Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Tyler!

I can't believe my little guy turned one last week already - where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday when we were bringing him home from the hospital. Over the past year he has brought such joy into our lives. His laughs, his kisses and all of the random expressions he makes just warms our hearts. But nothing compares to his smiles and expressions he makes when he is around our daughter, Emily. He adores her and you can tell the feeling is mutual when you see how she interacts with Tyler. She goes out of her way to bring toys to him, give him hug and kisses and help him practice walking. We love you, Tyler!

Some of the milestones Ty accomplished over the past year:
First smile – 6 Weeks
Rolling Belly to Back – 3 Months
Rolling Both Ways – 4 Months
First Food: Cereal – 4 Months
1st Tooth (bottom right) – 6 Months
Sitting – 6 Months
2nd Tooth (bottom left) – 7 Months
Crawling – 7 Months
Pulling Himself Up – 7 Months
First Word: Mama – 8 Months
3rd & 4th Teeth (front teeth) – 9 Months
5th & 6th Teeth (upper later incisors) – 10 Months
First Steps – 11 Months

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Theme Thursday: Favorite Holiday Memories

I've had so many wonderful Christmas memories over the years. I just love this time of year! But out of all of them, I'd have to say that last year was one of the most memorable because Tyler was born just before Christmas, on the 22nd. I ended up having a C-section in the late afternoon so they were pretty set on only releasing me from the hospital on Christmas day sometime after lunch. I was determined to get home before Christmas so I started walking around my room and sat up in th chair a couple hours after surgery. I even would make trips out into the hall to get som ice (mostly to show them I was doing well). After much hesitation, the doctor finally agreed that I could go home the morning of Christmas Eve. He was probably just sick of me asking all of the time. After all, Emily had been geared up for Christmas and Santa for months. I had to make it home to share that with her and see the look on her face Christmas morning when she saw all of the presents under the tree.

As soon as I got settled in my room after the C-Section, we called my mom to tell her the news. Emily, who was 3 at the time, was spending the night up with my mom. My mom told her that she had a new baby brother and I heard her start to cry. I was afraid of that happening since for the past nine months Emily had been ademate that she was going to have a little sister. I would say, "But Emily, we could be having a little boy baby." She'd get a bit huffy and say, "No. It's a girl." Then I would ask her why she thought it was definitely a girl and she would say, "Because I want a baby sister...so we match." We actually only picked out Tyler's name on the way to the hospital. I had been hearing Emily talk about having a girl so often that I think Stu and I were also convinced that it was going to be a girl. Well anyway, Emily came to visit her baby brother the next day and you could see her eyes light up from the moment she saw him. She just kept staring at him and would let out little giggles, saying "He's so tiny!" You can tell from the pictures below how much she loves her new baby brother, Tyler.

Go visit
The Land of K. A. for more togetherness shots

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...Almost

Here are a couple pics of Tyler blowing kisses and hanging out in front of the tree.

See more pics over at Wordless Wednesday here and here

Monday, December 15, 2008

Best Shot Monday: Christmas Tree

For this week's Best Shot Monday, I decided to share a couple of pictures I took of some Christmas trees. I really enjoyed Momology's bokeh shots the other day so I decided to take my camera out and take a couple of shots myself.

The first picture is of our Christmas tree. It's alright, but I don't think I like the bokeh effect on the white lights as much as colored lights. The remaining pics I shot over the weekend of my parent's Christmas tree while I was visiting. The first ones I was going for the bokeh effect again, but the last one was my favorite. After my hectic morning this past Friday, I decided to put the kids to bed that night and unwind by messing around with my camera settings, taking a couple of Christmas tree shots and playing in Photoshop to design our 2008 Christmas card.

For more Best Shot Monday pics, visit Mother May I

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Card 2008...Finally!

Boy, I am really running behind this year! I managed to take a photo of the kids a couple weeks ago and only got around to making the card this weekend. I started browsing Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc. to try to find the photo card I liked best. Then I thought about how much I liked Stacy's card and got to thinking that I should make my own template. I have a collection of backgrounds, fonts, you name it that I've collected over the years to make different projects. Anyway, here is the final product for this year's Christmas card. I have also saved a blank template in .psd format so you can add your own picture and text. Anyone who is interested, just email me at stushellyreeve@gmail.com and I'll email you the file. I'm all about sharing. Also, feel free to give me any constructive feedback. This was my first digital card template. I'm used to the more manual crafting methods like cutting, pasting, stitching, stamping or chalking when I make my cards or scrapbook pages. I haven't forged into the world of digital scrapbooking too much.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What a morning...and the day isn't over yet!

Oh my - what a morning I've had! Where should I start? I usually wake up around 5:30am, mostly so I can wake my husband up so he can get ready and be out the door by 6:20am. He rarely ever hears the alarm. Then I usually grab a quick shower so I can be ready when Ty and Em wake up.

Well, let's just say that's not how it started today. Our alarm clock this morning was Tyler's little cries coming from the next room. I looked at the clock, said a few choice words, kicked Stu out of bed and went over to Tyler's room. He was kneeling with his face pressed against the rails looking up at me with sad eyes, as if in baby jail.

I got Tyler changed and dressed in less than a minute and was off to wake up Emily. She of course picked this morning to take her good old time and didn't want to get out of bed. I hurried her along, asking her to brush her teeth, start getting dressed, etc. so I could grab a quick shower. Slow as molasses, she did manage to get her favorite tights on by the time I was finished...but that was it. The tights are another story. She wants to wear skirts and her crazy stripey, flowery, or polka dot tights every day, regardless of the freezing weather. I don't know where this little 4 year-old of mine developed such a strong opinion about what she wears over the past year. She says, "But mommy, it's fashion." Oh my - what am I in for?

Anyway, so Emily was distraught because she couldn't find a skirt so I had to stop throwing the lunches together and run downstairs to get a skirt out of the dryer for her. I threw the skirt on her bed and asked her to finish getting dressed so I could do her hair and tie her shoes after packing the lunches. In the meantime, I went to check on Tyler and saw a brown wet patch on the back of his shirt that had obviously seeped up from his diaper. He was now looking at me with a smile on his face. What else could slow down the process of getting out of the front door?

Emily put on her coat while I was changing Tyler for the second time and was heading to the car when I was packing up to leave. We got Tyler settled at daycare and Emily took off her coat in his classroom. I looked over at her and stopped in my tracks. She wasn't wearing a skirt! She was wearing her shirt and her favorite tights, of course, but had forgotten to put on the skirt. The whole time I saw her before we left she had her pink winter coat on so I didn't notice! Luckily no one saw but me, so I told her to quickly put on her coat. We found a spare set of clothing in her classroom that I had put there "just in case" ages ago, but she didn't want anything to do with the spare jeans. She kept insisting that they weren't her jeans. I showed her the bag with "Emily R." written on it and said, "See? This is your name. Your clothing, Em." She proceeded, "That doesn't spell my name. I am E-M-I-L-Y; not R too." Oh, she was testing my patience. Then she had a fit, saying that they were "Baby Jeans" because they were a little short and had an elastic waist - not the cool sparkly button jeans she has now. And plus, she wanted her skirt, not jeans!! After much discussion, and a little bribery, I managed to calm her down. By the time I left daycare she was smiling again and said, "Wait until we tell Daddy you forgot my skirt." Always my fault! I guess I better get used to it. Well, that was my morning and what a morning it was! Hopefully the rest of my day will go better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Emily showing some concern when Tyler kept trying to eat the leaves

See more expressions over at Wordless Wednesday here and here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Best Shot Monday

Tyler was a few days shy of 9 months in this picture and he just loved looking at himself in the mirror. He would push his face up against the mirror like he was trying to see the person who was inside. He would also sit on the very edge and play peek-a-boo with himself and give a little laugh. It was so adorable to watch.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Theme Thursday: Togetherness

As soon as I saw the theme of "togetherness" this week, I thought of this picture. Before Tyler was born last December, Emily was the only child and was by herself in almost all of the pictures that I took of her. I am really enjoying seeing the interaction between the two of them and being able to capture that. I still make sure to take plenty of pictures of him solo as well so he doesn't develop the "2nd child syndrome" and complain later on that I never took any pictures of "just him." Haha

In this picture, Emily was showing Tyler how to decorate the tree. They had such a fun time together. Emily was busy putting all of the little hooks on her Spongebob, Carebear and Dora ornament sets and taking Tyler's hand so he could help her put them on the tree. She did get a little frustrated though when Tyler kept taking off all of the ornaments they had just hung and would put them in his mouth. She would say, "No, Tyler. You don't eat ornaments." I was busy snapping away, hoping to salvage a couple shots for the annual Christmas card.

Go visit The Land of K. A. for more togetherness shots.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Expression

I think by her expression, Emily was sick of me always taking pictures of her....even at only 1 month old! Haha!

See more expressions over at Wordless Wednesday here and here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Reflection

Emily at 6 months old...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Best Shot Monday

I was gathering photos from when Tyler was born up until now to make a digital photo book when I came across this picture. I took this when he was a week and a half old and I can remember like it was yesterday the way he would curl up and snuggle in my arms. He would lay there for long periods of time like that until it was time to eat. Now he is 11 months old and is as squirmy as ever! I try to hold and snuggle with him, but he either tries to climb on me or arches his back way back to pretend he's falling. This makes him "belly laugh" and it is the funniest thing to see.

I can't believe after looking at him in this picture that he is going to be a year next month already. Where has the time gone? He is just growing up so quickly. For the past couple of weeks, he started standing on his own for about 5-10 seconds at a time and then would drop down to a sitting position. Then tonight after his bath, we were playing on the floor and he took his first steps towards me!! Emily was in the room and started screaming at the top of her lungs, "Daddy look! Tyler walked to Mommy!" She was ecstatic to say the least. After giving him much praise, we stood him up and he took like 2 or 3 steps on his own again a few more times. I tried to get my camera to capture him standing, but as if he knew, he refused after that point to even stand on his own and just started rubbing his eyes and played the "tired card." Any other time I would have been happy that he wanted to go to bed so I could get a little down time to myself, but I was trying to capture a picture here, darn it! Oh well, maybe next time...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yummy, But Messy!

A fellow blogger, Momology mentioned a photo contest that 5 Minutes for Mom had posted. The theme is "Fun with Food."

Her photo was adorable and made me think about my own daughter, Emily during her 1st Birthday party. She had her first experience with something that sweet and absolutely loved the Elmo cake I had baked for her. She couldn't get enough - just kept stuffing it in!

She paused for a few seconds (which I caught in the photo below.) You can see by her cake-stuffed cheeks that she'd had enough, but yet it seems by her expression that she is comtemplating about going back for more! What was I thinking - red AND black icing! Even after scrubbing vigorously, her poor little face was stained a reddish hue for a couple of days. This was such a memorable photo of that day for me so I thought I'd share it and enter it in the contest for kicks. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Best Shot Monday

I took the opportunity to post these Halloween pics since I just started the blog yesterday and didn't get to share them. Emily had been set on being Sleeping Beauty for months - it's all she talked about. It turned out that there were a total of 4 sleeping beauty costumes in her class alone (the age of Disney Princess envy)! Much to my relief, she didn't seem to mind, saying "We all match!" It will be many years until prom when she realizes what a nightmare it is for two girls to wear the same dress!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Welcome - At Last!

I must admit - I've been trying to start this blog for ages now and I just never got around to it. I could take the easy way out and just point the finger at my two wonderful kids (Emily, 4 years and Tyler, 10 months) for consuming all of my time. However, that is only partially true so I'll step up and take the blame for the rest.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I talk incessantly - usually never at a loss for words. But for some reason I kept putting off starting this blog, mainly because I wasn't sure how I was going to put down in words what I am thinking,feeling on a regular basis. Then I started reading other blogs and realized that everyone is just as busy as I am and that it's okay if I don't get to post something all the time. With that pressure removed, I decided to start this blog.

In this blog, I hope to talk about some of the joys and idiosyncrasies that occur so you can gain a little glimpse of my life and learn about those people who make it special. I would also like to share stories about my children as they grow up so I will always have a place to look back and reflect. Lastly, photography is a great passion of mine so I will be sure to post tons of photos. I hope you enjoy!

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