I am tolerating you.
Last fall, Ellie brought her very first school pictures home:
As far as I’m concerned, it’s perfect. I have so many photos of the kids being their goofy selves, adding one posed photo to the mix is a nice change of pace. Just look at that face! Only five, and she’s already perfected her politely disinterested smile. Adorable.
What I didn’t realize is that our school does pictures twice per year–once in the fall, and again in the spring. I’m not sure why they do this…maybe it was easier than having a make-up picture day for all the kids who missed the first one. Whatever.
I didn’t pay much attention to the whens and wheres of the second picture day, which became painfully obvious when she brought this home:
The real me. Take it or leave it.
I LOVE IT.
The pink shirt under the red and yellow dress (note the untied bow) with the olive green bracelet and necklace. What you can’t see from my crappy iPhone photo-of-a-photo is the royal purple pants. All on a pretty bright green spring background. The only thing we’re missing is the wild, tangled hair, and I’m sure that’s because the photographer was nice enough to comb it for her.
And the smile! So confident, bright, and vibrant. When I see this picture, all I can think is, “There’s my girl!”
Sure, the first one is cute in a “My mom made me wear this sweater and brush my hair” kinda way, but the second picture is the true Ellie, and the one I want to remember in ten years–my messy, lovely little lady who unapologetically rocks a style all her own.
Yes, it’s a lot of work, and yes, there are many days when I just want to hide under a blanket until they go to sleep… but moments like this make it totally worth it.
Because this is my blog and, well, I just can.
If you have to ask why there are so many more photos of Gwen than Ellie on Flickr these days, then you’re probably not parent to a hyperactive three-year-old. Most photos of Ellie are nothing more than a blur, because she gives me all of half a second to take a photo, stopping only briefly to yell “CHEESE!” before finding something infinitely more interesting than mama and her camera phone.
Gwen, on the other hand, is mostly stationary… at least for the time being. I don’t expect that to last for long, as she’s discovered rolling over allows her to get from point A to point Toy, albeit more slowly than she’d like.
I have a feeling we’ll see a lot more of this behavior in the upcoming years.
Oh, Christmas. You are fast becoming my favorite holiday again. There were a few years where I wasn’t so sure about you and your glitter-filled tripe, but throw two little ones into the mix and suddenly I’m all about Santa.
I think we did better this year about not overloading Ellie with presents. Her big gifts were a penguin backpack, a Duplo zoo set and a box of art supplies. “Santa” tried to think creative & practical. But I think the gift that put the rest to shame was from my brother, aka “Uncle J”, who found the coolest play tent ever. It’s now taking up most of Ellie’s room and serves as a home to her ever-growing collection of stuffed animals:
The rest of the family was spoiled as well. I’m proud to say I got everyone into Fitbit! Tim surprised me with an iPhone, something I’ve always wanted but could never justify given our budget. Now that he’s traveling and I’m walking more, it makes sense to have my own phone (and it means I can more easily torture my Facebook friends with photos of my kids, muwahahahaha!)
We also spent a day with our “surrogate family,” Tim’s family friends who we call Nana and Tom. They sent us home with a ridiculous amount of yummy food and gave Ellie a Little People school bus (among other things), which she hasn’t stopped playing with since:
As far as keeping up with healthy habits over the holiday, I only cheated a little. There were two days during which I missed my 10k steps because I was either tired or too busy with holiday stuff. I also stopped tracking my food, but I don’t feel like I overindulged or ate differently than usual. I’ve been a lot more active thanks to one of my presents, Just Dance 2. All in all, I think I made it through the holidays without overdoing it, so I feel really good about that.