Jan 31, 2010

Yay for storage!

Day 31. I am very lucky to have a husband who is both handsome and a wonderful craftsman. I can tell him what I need and he has the vision and skills to make it happen. Phase one of my studio revamp was to create an organized storage space for my props. I gave him a brief summary of what I wanted and in a day's time he built me this wonderful wall of storage.

Jan 30, 2010

Taking a breather

Day 30.  Today we went to a friend's birthday party.  There were a bunch of kids there and my three were a bit overwhelmed with all the noise and excitement.  We stepped out for just a second to take a breather and I couldn't resist getting a photo of them against this wonderful black background.  I know I say this all the time, but they really do love their little sissy.

Jan 29, 2010

Under construction

Day 29. I am so excited! Mike and I have been spending some time making much needed changes to my home studio. I have been wanting a better way to store my props and hang backdrops, etc. It will be a little while before we get it all done, but keep and eye out for updated photos along the way.

Jan 26, 2010

My girls

Day 26.  Lorelei has always been very fond of her little sister.  She couldn't wait for Ember to come into the world and has snuggled her constantly since the day she was released from the hospital.  The instant Ember wakes up, Lorelei races to her side.  She brings Ember snacks, diapers, toys, or anything else she thinks Ember needs.  I thought it would be fun to post one picture of when Ember came home from the hospital and one of now - nearly one year later.  So, here they are.  My two beautiful girls.

Jan 25, 2010

Time out

Day 25.  I have been told many times by my mom that Lorelei is the spitting image of me when I was a little girl.  I love that.  She is beautiful, independent, smart, sweet, head strong, always singing, tests life's limits, and is so full of life.  Who wouldn't want to be that?  Of course, some of those qualities can land you in trouble.

Jan 24, 2010

Daddy's arms

Day 24.  I remember when Ember was a new baby and I was the only one she wanted.  That has stayed the same for the most part.  Except for when it comes to sleeping.  Mike is the one she wants to put her down for naps or bedtime.  She will push and squirm and fight me until I hand her over to her daddy.  The minute he takes her, she melts away.   She is literally usually asleep within minutes.  He has the magic touch.

Jan 23, 2010

Thank goodness for electronics

Day 23.  My weekend mornings are a bit more restful now that the children are getting older.  Tyler is great about letting me get some extra zzz's on Saturday mornings.  He is fairly self-sufficient.   He can turn on the TV, DVD player, or the PS3 for video games or movies.  He can even get himself (and his little sis) an easy breakfast.  My room is right off the family room so I can keep an ear out for them, but still get to "sleep in".  This is how I find them a lot when I get out of bed.

Jan 22, 2010

You must be this tall...

Day 22.  Ember is growing every day.  It is hard to believe that she started out at a mere four and a half pounds.  She is now the size of an average 7 or 8 month old (I am guessing based on comparisons to my other two little peanuts).  Her one year birthday is in just 2 weeks and she is finally big enough to see over the edge of the seat in the infant swings at the park. That is why this picture makes me giggle.

Jan 21, 2010

The firehouse

Day 21.  We went to the firehouse with our playgroup.  We were given a tour of their living quarters, got to see their different rescue vehicles, and were given a demonstration on what a firefighter would look and sound like during an emergency.  Lorelei enjoyed climbing around in the firetruck, getting to "drive", and even held the firefighter's hand for a BRIEF second when he was all suited up.  I think it was a great outing. I hope that the girls will never have to encounter the firemen in a real emergency, but if they do I hope today's adventure will at least keep them from being too scared.  The fireman said that children will often run and hide from the guys in full suit.  Call your local department.  I know they would love to show you around, too.

Jan 20, 2010


Day 20.  Today's picture was actually taken yesterday, but because Tyler came home with such a fantastic surprise, I decided to postpone it until today. 
I love watching children play at the park.  They have so much energy and so much joy.  No stresses of the world weighing on their shoulders.  Just the here and now.  Oh, to be that carefree again. 

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies." ~ Nadine Stair

Jan 19, 2010

A star ribbon

Day nineteen.  I couldn't be prouder.  Look at what Tyler had pinned to his shirt when he got off the school bus today.  I had him tell me all about it on the walk back from the bus stop and he giggled like crazy when he told me they mispronounced his last name on the announcements. 

Jan 18, 2010

Finding the balance

Day eighteen.  Finding the balance between mother lion and mother bird is often a struggle for me.  I don't know whether to protect them with every ounce of my being or push them out of the nest and let them find their wings.
Today's post is short and sweet.  A toast to all you other moms out there who are also trying to find the balance. 

Jan 17, 2010

You've got a friend in me

Day seventeen.  I am so glad that we have multiple children.  Three was what was in the cards for us, but I honestly wouldn't have minded having more.  We always joke and say if it were up to me, we would be like the Duggar family.  Not really.  I don't think I could ever handle a family quite that big.  But, I wouldn't have minded needing to have a little bit bigger breakfast table. 
My sister and I have a fairly large age gap (7 years), so much of my childhood I was basically an only child.  By the time I was old enough to play, she was busy hanging out with her high school friends and trying to keep me out of her room.  We are closer now.  Now that we are older and have children of our own.  The age gap has closed as the years have passed. 
But, the youthful relationship between me and my sister is the main reason I wanted to have my children no further than 3 years apart in age.  I wanted to make sure they weren't too far beyond each other in maturity and life stages.  I never wanted an "only child".  I absolutely love watching them play together.  There is always a friend just around the corner waiting to play.  Tyler and Lorelei play best together for now, but it won't be long and Ember will be right in the mix.  My biggest hope for my children is that their friendship is the one constant throughout their lives. 

Jan 16, 2010

Lazy weekend mornings

Day sixteen.  Weekends at our house are typically pretty relaxing.  The mornings are the best part.  Everyone is slow moving.  No one is rushing out the door for work or school.  We all stay in our pajamas until noon, have breakfast together, and watch cartoons.  This morning the kids were all snuggling on the couch watching cartoons.  Or they were until I grabbed my camera.  Ember has become fascinated with that big black box that is always attached to my face.  Lately, practically every time I try to get a picture of her she comes racing towards me to get a closer look. 

Jan 15, 2010

Walk with me

Day fifteen.  Today Ember reminded me once again that she is growing up.  She pulled up on her little walker toy and just took off across the room like she had been doing it all the time.  When did she learn to do that?  I grabbed my camera and laid down on the floor framing my shot just to get her cute little chubby legs taking some of their first steps.  The shot didn't come out quite like I expected.  She turned around and reached out her hand to me right as I snapped the photo.  I love the way it looks like she is inviting me to come along. 

Jan 14, 2010


Day fourteen.  It is January of 2010.  To me that means that in a short three months Lorelei will be four.  I have really loved her 3 year old stage.  She has become more strong-headed.  I mean, independent.  She has started losing her toddler self and is beginning to become the most beautiful, smart little girl.

Okay, enough of that sappy stuff.  The REAL reason I am sad that she is nearing four is because I will see far less of the "three".  I don't know where she learned how to show three fingers.  I have never seen anyone do it like she does, so I can't figure out where she picked it up.  She signs it so naturally and does it the same with both hands.  I love seeing strangers faces when they ask how old she is.  If you see her sometime soon, be sure to ask her age.  It will be sure to put a confused smile on your face, too. 

I am using this image as an entry in the photo of the week contest at http://iheartfaces.blogspot.com/. Be sure to head over there and enter your own photos. Anyone can enter!

Jan 13, 2010

Puppy dog eyes

Day thirteen.  As I have mentioned before, Ember is in the process of getting her first teeth.  Tonight while nursing, she decided to do the thing all three of my children have attempted at least once during their infancy; to bite down.  I think Ember has been taking notes when watching her big sister, Miss Drama.  All I said was "no".  I did not raise my voice.  I did not pull away.  All I did was look at her and in a stern voice said "no".  Instantly, her bottom lip pouted out and the big crocodile tears started flowing.  After snuggling her a bit and calming her down, this is how she looked up at me.  Now tell me. Could you say "no" to those big blue eyes?

Jan 12, 2010

Toes that cute

Day twelve. Today the girls and I  headed out to Target to pick up a few things to help organize the stacks of papers littering my desk.  When we were in the checkout, the lady behind us said (while looking at Ember) "I haven't seen toes that cute since my children were little."  Of course, I have to agree.
I absolutely detest adult feet. Honestly, they gross me out. I will only photograph them alongside little feet.  However, I cannot get enough of baby feet.  I will never understand my love of baby feet. I seriously LOVE baby feet. A chunky little foot with tiny little sausage toes attached. The way they turn inward when they start to crawl.  I love to photograph them.  I hate to cover them with shoes.  To me, they are simply irresistible.

Jan 11, 2010


Day eleven.   Ever since Lorelei has been able to talk, her favorite color has been pink.  She will tell you everyday.  More than once.  Even if you aren't asking her or have heard it enough to know not to ask she will still announce spontaneously "My favorite color is pink!".  She incorporates pink into every aspect of her life that she possibly can.  Pink pajamas, pink bedding, pink toothpaste, a pink bowl and spoon to eat her breakfast, a pink outfit with a pink hair bow...well, you get the idea.  Her newest request for pink accessories is nail polish.  At least once a week, she will bring me a bottle of nail polish and ask to be painted.  Sometimes I can get away with just polishing her fingernails, but mostly she wants the total mani-pedi treatment.  She is only 3.  I dread her teen years, but I am loving every sparkling pink moment of her preschool years.

Jan 10, 2010

A small fish in a big pond

Day ten.  Ember is 11 months old and has finally outgrown her blue plastic infant tub.  Well, technically, she hasn't outgrown it.  I really just grew tired of having to surround the counters in the kitchen with towels every time she took a bath to help mop up the puddles of water within the splash zone.
Last night I announced at bath time that Ember and Lorelei would be bathing in the downstairs tub together.  Both girls seemed equally excited about having a bath time buddy.  While Lorelei undressed, I stuck Ember in the tub and couldn't help but giggle.  The overwhelming size difference wasn't hard to miss.  Ember however seemed very pleased with the new tub.  It should be a while before she can splash water over the sides of that tub.

Jan 9, 2010

Making amends

Day 9.  We were very fortunate to be able to surprise the children with a playground in our backyard this Chirstmas.  They have already logged many hours playing out there together.  Tyler and Lorelei normally play very well together, but this morning was a different story.  They were driving me crazy arguing over ever little thing.  The cold has kept us inside the past few days and I think they just had loads of pent up energy.  I sent the two of them upstairs to get layered up and then sent them outside to play.  After I got the baby situated with a snack, I went over to the window to peek and make sure Ty and Lorelei got everything sorted out between the two of them. I guess they did because the view was spectacular.

A good night's sleep

Day 8.  At my house a good night's sleep is hard to come by.  For me it is anyway.  My night is frequently interrupted by little ones up for a night time bathroom break or a bad dream, the baby crying or wanting to nurse, or my husband's snoring.  I am a light sleeper, so all of these things make it to where I have not had a single uninterrupted night of sleep in the past 6 or 7 years.  No wonder I have turned to coffee to help me through the day. 

Ember is in the process of finally getting her first tooth, so she has not slept well for the past couple of days.  Last night, she was able to get a good night's sleep. I know this because when she woke me up (we co-sleep, so she is my alarm clock on the weekends) I saw the two unmistakable signs of a well rested child.  Crazy hair and a big old smile. 

Thankfully, I never have a good night's sleep so you won't have to see a photo of a well rested mommy.

Jan 7, 2010

My daily smile guarantee

Day seven. 2009 was a big year for me as far as big life changes. We moved out of state, bought a new house, had a baby (who decided to arrive earlier than scheduled), and my oldest child started school. I never really thought about how much I would miss Tyler when he started school. He has always been home with me. Every day since the day he was born. Now I spend my days wondering what he is doing at school. I look forward to my afternoon walk to the bus stop and the smiling face that has greeted me every day this school year.

Jan 6, 2010

Next Stop: The baby aisle

Day six.  If you don't have multiple children of your own you have no idea what an adventure something as trivial as grocery shopping can become if you try to do it alone with three kids.  I only have two arms and three children.  You can do the math.  It was just too hard to keep things on the shelves and out of the cart.  Needless to say, after I gave birth to my third child I started only going to the grocery store in the evening once my husband was home from work.  I would go alone.  Well that all changed recently.  The new grocer near our house carries carts for the little shopper in training.  I currently have two which makes for a very long grocery train.  Practically everyone in the store stops to watch us pass.

Jan 5, 2010

Packing away the magic

Day five.  I have been trying to take down the Christmas decorations since Sunday evening.  Lorelei's protests and tears have kept me from doing it for the past two days, but today I finally got it accomplished.  I had her help with every element of the taking down, wrapping, and packing.  I told her so many times how big she was and what a great helper she was being.  Not a tear was shed.  Lorelei is so much like me as a little girl.  A little mini-me.  I still feel a weird sort of sadness the day I have to pack up all the decorations.  It almost feels like I pack away the magic in those boxes every year.  But, it will be the holidays again before I know it.  Anticipating the excitement and joy I will see on the faces of my children the day we put it all back up makes it worth putting it out of site for a while.

Jan 4, 2010

A ray of sunshine in the early morn'

Day four. My youngest daughter, Ember, is my ray of sunshine in the early morn'. She is always smiling her perfect toothless grin sitting in her Bumbo seat on the kitchen table as I drink my coffee and feed her cheerios. I can't help but smile every time she does. Ember looks exactly like Lorelei as a baby, but has the disposition of her brother, Tyler. The perfect combination of beauty and personality.

day 1 -3

I was out of town at the beginning of January, so I will have to play catch up to get the pictures posted for the last three days...

Jan 1, 2010
Day one.  Driving into the driveway of my childhood home at Christmas time is so spectacular.  My mom has always gone overboard at Christmas.  Overboard in the best way.  Her house is the brightest on the block and the inside is just as festive.  The first thing the children said was "Look at all the lights!". 

Jan 2, 2010
Day two.  Today we headed out to Papa's house.  My dad is a rancher and is making every effort to give Tyler his taste of Texas country every time we head out to see him.  He has cows, horses, goats, pigs, dogs, cats, and even a donkey.  This visit he brought out the big guns.  Literally.   The guys thought it would be the perfect chance to teach Tyler about gun safety and what to do if he ever sees a friend playing with a gun.  They let him see the power and damage of a 12-gauge shotgun.  And Papa even pulled out my very first BB gun from when I was a little girl to let Tyler try to hit a few targets.  Tyler and Papa on the ranch.

Jan 3, 2010
Day three.  Tyler turned out to be a sharp shooter.  After a little coaching and several reminders about the proper eye to close while aiming, Tyler was able to hit his mark every time.  The high fives were flying.  I think Tyler enjoyed every testosterone filled minute out with the men of the family.

new year brings new challenge

It is 2010 and I have resolved to focus more on me and the things I love doing.  One, I will complete an intense 90-day workout regimen to get me back into pre-three-baby shape.  Two, I will return my primary extracurricular focus to the thing I absolutely love - photography.   I have several photographer friends who have taken on a 365 project and thought that it would be the perfect challenge to inspire me to photograph something wonderful every day.  That is where this new blog comes in to focus (pun intended).  I will be photographing, editing, and posting one image every day for the next 365 days.  It will be anything I see through my lens and most likely will be a ton of pictures of my three little rugrats.  They are afterall my favorite subjects.

Click to follow me on my 356 day journey.  I would love to have you along!
Love, Chryshelle