Saturday, August 30, 2008

Adieu, Adieu, Adieu

Gunnar bid farewell to someone (not really a someone more a something, but the something has become so personified that it really is a someone) very special a few weeks ago.
He decided it was best to put Bobby away, indefinitely. He actually told me it was time for Bobby to go on a "vacation" that he was getting "sick" and "dying". After bathtime, where Bobby acted as a hand towel (he has been reduced to that in size), I was drying Gunnar off and choosing his clothes in his room. Gunnar started the dialgue and I just went with it.
"Mom, Bobby's dying."
"Oh, no son, I am so sorry to hear that. What can we do for him? Are you feeling ok?"
"He needs a vacation."
"That sounds like a good idea. Where shall we send him."
"To that box." He pointed above his head to a storage box in his closet.
"Would you like to say goodbye before we send him on his trip?"
"Yes. I love you Bobby." He gave him a kiss. "Mom, hug and kiss Bobby." I selected a non-poisoned section and gave Bobby a small bonvoyage kiss. "Mom, hug him." I embraced the tattered rag taking in one last whiff of dirt, urine, and ketsup.
"Are you ready?"
Then without a struggle we sent Bobby on his vacation. Is anyone else tearing up besides me?
I know Bobby was special to Gunnar, very special to him, but he has been a part of my life for the past three years too. I mean I have had to remember where he was left, the last time he was washed, if he was brought into the store of left in the car... (Bobby literally went everywhere with us. In fact I have girlfriends who use Bobby as a case study in what not to do with a blanket. When their children ask to bring their blankets into the store or to Disneyland or wherever they immediatly think of Bobby and then resoundingly tell their child, "NO, your blanket stays in the car.) Needless to say, he was special to me too. It felt a little sad to let him go.
Bobby has served many purposes. When a napkin was unavailable Bobby jumped in to wipe away the mess. When a spill occured Bobby was there to towel it up or mop it away. When Gunnar needed a wingman on a date with Ky-Ky, Bobby was present. When we were playing Peter Pan, Bobby was willing to take on any role we were lacking (he was usually cast as Michael. I always played Wendy, Jaren was John, and Gunnar of course had the leading role; that left the youngest Darling to Bobby.) When Gunnar needed a blanket (or a small shawl in his latter days) to protect him from the cold, Bobby supplied the needed warmth.
Bobby has been Gunnar's best friend and confidant for three years. We will miss him terribly.
Moments after our conversation Gunnar willingly welcomed a replacement.
(Previously, he had wanted nothing to with the "new one". He had to make the decision to send the old Bobby off on "vacation" by himself).
Welcome to the family Bobby Jr.
We already love you too.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Without Further Ado...

Come on in. The baby's room is done.
This is what I have been waiting on. The focal point of the room. I LOVE IT!! It needed to be reupholstered after Gunnar; he did a number on it with his acid reflux situation. Hopefully Larkin will be less acidic. ;)
My muse was cupcakes. I love them too. Ever since my visit to NYC's Magnolia Bakery with Larkin's middle name namesake, Olivia, I have had an infatuation with the sweet little cake. I thought it would be a delicious way to decorate a room. I think it turned out pretty yummy.
Her bedding isn't super descriptive, pink and white stripes and polka dots. If I did anything too frilly I think it would have taken away from the rest of room. I actually like the simplicity of her bedding.
A friend of mine has a sticker making company (If anyone is interested let me know and I will get you her information. She made the cupcake sticker (below), the Sweet Dreams, and the L. I really like those little touches. Thanks, Joy.)
All the furniture was Gunnar's. Pretty cool how it has been transformed into something feminine.
What could be more feminine than her first 20 pairs of shoes. That really is a Larkin trait, wouldn't you say Mom and Kor? ;) Sorry, J; she will love them as much as I do. The Nordstrom shoe department will be our mecca.
Even though the room is
this soon-to-be big brother enjoys hanging in there. We all do. There is something about the color pink.
He has no idea what is about to happen to his world...:)
Our house has really taken shape during the summer. The baby's room, Gunnar's room, and our room are completely furnished and almost decorated. Oh, and the backyard almost has sprinklers. I hope it has sod...before Sept. 17th. It takes time, money, and a decisive mind, but I am starting to feel much more settled. Not everything will be finished before Larkin comes but that is ok; we will keep working until we are perfectly comfortable in this home.
p.s. Jaren, thank you for everything you are doing. All the finish carpentry work and painting you have done takes my breath away everytime I walk into a different room. When I look at the maze of sprinklers from our window I am in awe of your abilities to take on projects and complete them with complete professional skill. I appreciate you and all you do for us, our family, and our home; thanks for working so hard and for being my favorite phone call of the day. Now can I have a built in? ;) I love you!! K
Hope the tour was delicious- Kam

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Favorite Thing...Right Now

KNJ.....JNT.....GNJ.....AND SOON.....LNO
I love monograms and initials!!!!
My sister recently gifted me a necklace with the letter K on one side and the Eiffel Tower on the other. I love it!! I have decided I am enamored anything that is personalized with initials.
My kids' rooms' decorations include their first initial.
In fact when I get stumped with decorating my first instinct is, how could I include an initial or a monogram?
I want to personalize everything right now: my stationary, my sheets, my sweaters (when I get back to my normal weight I am going to treat myself to one of these and have my monogram stitched on it), I even consider personalizing my underwear. ;)
I love initials so much I would tatoo Jaren's across my backside; there is enough surface area these days to use a large, block font. ;)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tea Time

Last week I was invited for tea.
Tea with a princess that is. Princess Stella Monroe (Isn't that a darling first and middle name??) had me over for a tea party. It was enchanting; she is enchanting.
We discussed the inflation in diaper prices, which Disney princess has the best fashion sense, if an am or pm nap is more stimulating for cognitive development, and which cable channel, sprout or noggin, provides the best pre-school educational viewing. The conversation was as stimulating as the chi.
I wasn't the only friend invited over.
Stella was a perfect hostess. After tea she entertained us with a few tricks. (I actually loved this moment. She was singing a soft made-up tune while walking the length of her crib.)
I loved her ensemble for the party. She was telling me all about where she had purchased it, how the colors reflected her personality, and how she felt perfectly herself in it. ;) (I also loved her sweet expressions in both of these photographs.)
These were the ruffles underneath. ;)
I loved this detail from her room. So stinkin' cute to have in a little girl's room.
The tea was sweet Princess Stella, but not as sweet as you.
The other reason for the tea party was to tickle these toes
and kiss this nose.
Stella has someone else to invite to her parties now: her baby brother, Drake.
There is nothing quite like baby sleep.
I love watching their little breaths and the complete peace that overcomes their little frames. I think that should be a new therapy: watching sleeping babies. It is really quite calming.
I loved this one.
Then...he woke up, and decided he needed his mama. Stella decided she did too. Every mother looking at this photograph is shaking her emphathetic head; the mommy dance is tricky at times.
Once Stella jumped down and Drake had mom to himself he was content.
He was especially happy with his pacifier,
and not so happy without it. This was shot two seconds after it came out of his mouth.
This, four seconds. He is just going to be a pacifier baby, and that is perfectly fine. (If Gunnar would have taken a pacie, I would been totally a-ok with that. He just liked crying instead.)
He is such a love. At the end of our shoot I had to take just a minute and hold him. He is such a sweet, sweet baby. I can tell his parents are loving some "blue" around the house too. ;)
Drake- You won't have to play tea party forever. Eventually it will phase out and Barbies, Dollies, Strawberry Shortcakes, AND dress-ups will phase in.
Stella is pretty fond of her little brother.
Tiffany, Jereme, Stella, and Drake- Thank you for having me in your home. It is lovely; your family is lovely. I appreciated every cup of tea, every baby coo, and every moment we spent chatting about life as a mommy. Tiffany, you are handling this new addition with style, humor, and charism. congratulations. Jereme, you are such a helpful and loving father. It was neat to see you pitch in when Tiffany needed two, three, four extra hands. Stella, you are a slice of the most delicious pink cake and Drake, you are a kiss from Heaven. Thanks again for inviting me to tea; it was so good to meet you- Kamee

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just the Toes...

a sneak from a baby session I had last week. If you think these are cute...wait until you see the his sweet face. More to come. Plus a really great Gunnar story and my latest infatuation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Beauty, a Comedian, and a Turtle: I Can't Wipe The Smile From my Face

I have heard so many women talk about how they, "loved being pregnant" were, "comfortable and content the entire time" felt, "full of life and vibrancy" and looked forward to each stage with, "enthusiasm and vigor". I am not this woman, but I admire and revere the ones who are.

Last week I had the opportunity to shoot (I will never get over this pun) a stunningly beautiful, comfortable, content, full-of-life, vibrancy, enthusiasm, and vigor expectant mother. I enjoyed myself so much during the shoot that I completely forgot my feet were six sizes too big, my ankles completely unrecognizable, and my fingers the size of Vienna sausages. I told you I am not that woman, but she is.

Liz and Ian are expecting their first baby, a baby girl. She is so lucky to be coming to a home so full of laughter and love.

There is nothing like expecting "the first". I remember reading all the books, following all the growth charts, going to all the classes, knowing every step of my un-born's development. It has been different with the second; I know she is coming in 4 weeks, and I know she has a great room. I am not really sure what she has developed; I hope everything. ;)

These two are so prepared for Baby Sophia.

Liz is a talented woman in many arenas. Her gifts are as numerous as her grace. I wasn't surprised when she told me she had made all the baby's bedding; it's lovely and perfectly designed. I think that is so special.

When I was proofing their pictures I felt myself grinning; my smiled stretched across my face. I loved seeing how their love translated to an immortalized photograph. I loved how the pictures reminded me of things we had talked about during our shoot. Ian is incredibly witty. I couldn't get over how quickly he would retort sometimes with something so hysterical. I wish now I could think of something concrete. All I know is that when he was in the room, both Liz and I were in stitches.
Liz is planning on using hypno-birthing as her technique (Another thing I admire, but feel is completely out of my arena.). I am always interested in women who have used it before or who are planning on applying its principles during the birthing process so I peppered Liz with questions connected to the method. Later on Ian said something to the effect that he wished the same people who created the hypno-birthing concept would do something similar for weight loss. It was good stuff; he is good stuff.

May the following put smiles on your faces like they do mine.

(Not so much about the baby, but I loved the moment and the smile on Liz's face.)

I lied when I said this baby is Liz and Ian's first. Their first "born" is Max, a turtle. They got him as a baby and will have him for the next "110 years", according to Ian. He will grow to be the size of a small ottoman someday. Doesn't that make you chuckle too? The thought of a turtle in the backyard? Another great laugh I got from Ian was his commentary on what Max has been enjoying as a snack lately... I will leave it up to your imaginations, but let's just say it started some interesting "potty" talk...

A few belly shots.

Baby Sophia has no hope; she will be prom queen and voted most beautiful for sure. Look at this gene pool...load the shotgun now Ian.

Liz and Ian- Get ready for the greatest change of your life. You are both accomplished individuals, but Sophia will be the start of a whole new level of accomplishment. She is lucky to have such compassionate and jovial parents. You are lucky to be welcoming a piece of Heaven into your home soon. I can't wait to meet her.

I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. I wanted it to stay light so we could keep shooting and laughing. May you enjoy your last few moments as a party of two. Thanks again for the time together- Kamee