Henry’s Back-To-School Haircut

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I did a bad bad thing.

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I figured I could handle it, it’s just a little trim.

I was wrong.

14 Month Pictures

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And just like that, seemingly overnight, my little baby is kind of looking like a big toddler.

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A boy. A kid.

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He loves sitting, laughing, eating beans and corn chips, has two bottom teeth and is getting two top teeth as we speak.

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He’s a happy, calm, and curious baby. I suppose he’s not always happy, but in comparison to his brother who NEVER seems to be happy, Copley is a tiny ball of sunshine.

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He looks at everything, he watches everything. He laughs a lot. He yells at us when he is displeased (usually when he wants a cup of water or some more beans) and does a happy dance when I get out a wrap to wear him when I get home from work.

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He is still nursing, but infrequently and I’m aware every time that it may be our last time… or we may hang on like this for another year. There is just no way to tell.

I normally aim for consistency when editing a set of photos, so I apologize that today’s edits are all over the map. I’m taking a processing course right now and there are just too many fun things to try!

If you don’t already follow us on Facebook, head over to check out an outtake from this little photo shoot! It had me rolling!

365 Fridays Week 32

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On Fridays I’m linking up for a 365 hosted by Sarah @ Nurse Loves Farmer, Mindi @ Simply Stavish, and Stephanie @ Behind the Camera & Dreaming.

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Cop is so into the swings! It is so amazing watching his world open up little by little. He works hard, so much harder than Henry ever had to, and we share his joy when that hard work pays off.

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Chickens man, they are so funny.

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Josh built the girls a nice long tractor so they could run around.

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I didn’t really even see what was happening here, I was just clicking and hoping to capture some cuteness. When I pulled these pictures into my camera my heart just exploded with awesome adorableness.

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I’m getting my fill of flowers, stocking up while I still can, fall is coming, and winter on its heels. I have no idea what kind of pictures I’ll shoot when miserable grey winter hits here this year. Maybe I’ll build a studio…

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This is our friends old gal Scarlet, I must say, I could take pictures of animals all day forever.

Our Backyard Paradise

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We spend loads of time in our backyard, it’s our paradise. We work in the garden, step out the back gate to the park, play with the dogs, lounge in the hammock, or sit around the fire pit.

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Our paradise was lost for a few weeks this summer when our neighors tore down the fence between our yards. I’m stil grumbling about it, but it doesn’t do to dwell.

$2200 later our privacy- and paradise- is restored.

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And we’re back outside.

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321 Carry- One Month Old

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Last month when we launched 321 Carry the community response exceeded our expectations. I was floored by the response- we met our first fundraising goal in the first week alone!

I was prepared for 321 Carry to be a lot of work; it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park preparing our application and incorporating and doing to leg work to get set up. I learned so very much during that process, but nothing compared to what I’ve learned during our first operating month.

There are so many people eager to wear their babies who for financial or practical reasons thought it wasn’t possible, we are so honored to be able to make it happen for them. Right now we have a waiting list, and the more applicants we process the better we get at doing so.

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I’m exceptionally grateful for the 321 Carry Board of Directors and their work, and additionally grateful to Babywearing International chapters North Central Illinois and South Chicagoland for contributing information and materials for our welcome packets and piloting our first special needs wearing clinic in cooperation with GiGi’s Playhouse Oak Forrest.

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We sent out our first round of carriers this weekend, and will be sending out round 2 soon. Thank you so much for your continued support in our mission to get carriers into the hands of caregivers of special needs children. It’s an honor.

Momtographer Problems

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Momtographer. I hate that term. But let’s be honest, I’m not a photographer, I am learning, and I love it, but it’s a hobby; I’m getting better at it, but there is so much to know I think I could learn for the rest of my life.

However, these guys are getting heartily sick of it.

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Josh is a good sport, and super supportive. He’s assumed the position over and over without complaint.

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Henry on the other hand flat out refuses to let me take his picture most days. When I do get my gear out he’s taken to grabbing it and running away.

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Cop’s a good sport… but he’s one. So he really doesn’t have much free will to exercise just yet.

3 Years of Breastfeeding

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I’ve been thinking about World Breastfeeding Week and I find myself reflecting more than speaking.

Copley is our last baby. Unless something major changes, we are done. This is a decision we’ve come to very recently, so it’s a little raw right now and I’m still working on it. So when I’m thinking about what to say about World Breastfeeding Week all I can think is that this is our LAST World Breastfeeding week.

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If you are breastfeeding? That’s hard, and I think you are doing a great job. If you are formula feeding, that’s hard too and I think you are doing a great job. I don’t count myself in the formula shaming category, however, I am pro-breastfeeding- but my choices are not a condemnation of your choices or circumstances. That’s a narrative I wish we’d let go.

The narrative I’d like to focus on just applies to breastfeeding. You have rights, what you are doing is not sexual, perverse, shameful, or embarrassing. It’s normal, it’s healthy, it’s economical- feeding our babies is what our boobs are for, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.

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I’ve nursed 2 babies for 3 years now, and in that time I’ve received not one single negative comment or judgment. I’ve never been asked to nurse my son in a bathroom, or in my car, or cover up. I’ve received loads of encouragement though, and lots of support.

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My son’s have grown big and healthy on milk that I made without even trying and I think it’s a pretty damn amazing bit of engineering that our bodies are designed to make that happen. They’ve been fed, comforted, and soothed in my arms. I too, have been comforted and soothed by nursing them- after a long day at work, the oxytocin released when a baby nurses calms me and grounds me and connects me with my child. What I’ve gotten from our breastfeeding relationships has been far greater than what I’ve put in- and the effort was considerable, make no bones about it.

I would not change a thing, and I would not wish one day of it away.

365 Fridays Week 31

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On Fridays I’m linking up for a 365 hosted by Sarah @ Nurse Loves Farmer, Mindi @ Simply Stavish, and Stephanie @ Behind the Camera & Dreaming.

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It’s so nice to be home and back in my routine after so much traveling last month.

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Self Portrait

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Colorful Copley sleeping.

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This kid- after 13 months of pictures of Copley laying on the ground I’d just about exhausted every ounce of my already limited creativity. Now that he sits (HE SITS!) it’s a whole new world.

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Chasing that pretty light and bokeh.

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A farewell phot shoot for our gal guy Oatmeal.

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Copley sitting, again.  My husband is a great sport, I get home from work and he’s fried from spending all day with two kids. I pull into the driveway and he’s ready to relax… and I grab him and the kids, load everyone into “Mommy’s silver car” and drag them out on hikes. I bet he’s looking forward to winter!

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Bzzz…

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Henry doesn’t sit for pictures. He’s not into it. Unless I’m trying to take pictures of someone or something else.  I’ll take what I can get.

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Henry, monster.

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We have this neglected flower garden in our front yard. Periodically I remember it and go on a weeding spurt, but for the most part it’s left to its own devices. We really never water it, the flowers are all perennials- it is very low maintenance by design. So it’s always a surprise when the flowers bloom big and bright and beautiful.

Cockerels!

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When we decided to get chickens, a friend of mine, a veteran chicken owner, told me “If you want to end up with 3 chickens, get 6 chicks.”

 That sounds harsh, but the reality of raising chickens is that sometimes things happen. In our case, cockerels happened. Cockerels are young roosters, and they are prohibited in our village. With many chicken breeds it’s not possible to sex the chickens as chicks, so you have to wait and see. We were surprised when not one but two of our girls turned out to be boys.

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We’ve suspected that Spicy, the black chicken, was a roo for a while, ever since he developed those beautiful orange feathers.  So I wasn’t too surprised when, on  Saturday morning, drifting in and out of sleep I heard “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!” My eyes popped open and I ran out to the back yard where I was surprised to find that Spicy wasn’t crowing, but Oatmeal. Apparently my beautiful naked neck mille d’uccle is at the top of the pecking order in Eisenbergia.

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I’m clearly a novice to this whole chicken thing, because now that we know it’s impossible not to see it. He struts around, puffing out his chest and flapping his wings, he stares me down, surrounded by his pullets, and instead of running for freedom when we let him out of the run, he tries to get back in to his flock.

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Fortunately it wasn’t too hard to find them new homes, we have a friend who lives on a lot of private land outside of town who is really excited to add them to his flock. No chicken soup for them!

Golden Hour

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Last night the light out the back window was captivating.
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I’ve been waiting what feels like a very long time for Cop to be ready to sit for me- I’ve absolutely exhausted the different ways I can take pictures of him on the ground, and just like that he’s sitting. Not sitting and then toppling over, but sitting and playing and smiling and clapping. Soon enough he’ll be able to get up himself  and I’ll be irrelevant, but for now, he’s content to have me set him upright and take picture after picture of him.

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Henry is a little tougher. He is a whirling dervish. A tornado. My own little Hurricane Henry. He doesn’t sit still for pictures, I just have to get set up and do my best to keep up with him.

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Last night I turned taking pictures into a game, and after a few minutes found my camera set aside and we were just playing. It was a beautiful night.

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