Sunday, November 18, 2012

Family Picture Time - Let the Hostage Negotiations Begin

photographic evidence that we went out without kids!
Anyone who knows me, knows of my love of pictures. I love photographs of anything. Most of all I love looking at pictures of my kids and husband. The pictures take me right to that moment and I smile at expressions forever captured...these pictures I speak of are the ones that I take with my phone. You know the ones around the house and in a store. But family pictures...professional ones are a real gem...I love to see other people's family photos, everyone looks so effortlessly put together. No one looks like they want to scratch their siblings eyes out...So naturally I would like to have these pictures of my family. So begins family photos with the inmates. This is a real production that you almost have to see to believe. And yet I ignorantly sign us up again and again to do it. Planning is key to great pictures (hahahaha!). You see if you schedule the picture time correctly your kids will have taken a long restful nap and be playful, happy, photogenic angels.
I'm sure this works for some families but for us it goes like this...I get out the calendar for 3 weeks in a row and try to get Luke to commit to a date that will work with his schedule. He generally pretends to forget the date, despite it being on the calendar and when I remind him he feigns annoyance. He says, "what are we getting pictures for anyways? Do I have to be in them?" No, Luke I'll be having my stand in husband come for the family photos...I don't think anyone who visits our house will notice. He historically hates picture day, but loves looking at the pictures and showing them off more than I.
Next, I contact the photographer...We found THE BEST photographer (Jamilah) right after we had Jackson, and have been using her ever since. Her work is impeccable and she is incredibly sweet. And most importantly, after all of our sessions, she still returns my phone calls and agrees to take our pictures again and again...This time she said we would be her evening session...this is code for, "I'll meet you after I go to happy hour!" This isn't her first rodeo with the Evans' clan. She tells me, "Get your outfits together." This is because she know that I am typeA to the max. There will be outfit changes and props - I bring an entire trunk of junk. What she doesn't realize is that I have to plan for the spit up change and the occasional oops I pooped my pants change.
Planning the outfits - Its me and the boys, so I guess pink is out. I spend days looking online, in our closets and in stores to get some coordinated clothing. I have down to a science, 3 outfits for each of us. I get the boys coordinated shirts and fancy jeans. Luke gets some nice, well fitting shirts. I pull out my finest yoga pants. By the time I figure out what I am to wear, I'm outta wine steam.
Picture day - I plan meal times and nap times to be at our finest and perkiest for the photo session. Jackson decides that a nap is not on his agenda. So I lay with him and of course I fall asleep which means my time to get ready went from 30 minutes to 2. I get up, sneak out of his bed and start putting out everyones clothes and packing my bag of tricks. I get Luke to feed the baby and then I dress him. I wake Jackson from his nap (waking any child, especially mine is like breaking one of the 10 commandments in my house) because he refused to fall asleep at a normal time, now I must wake him. He is a complete potato head. I dress that rag doll and get him some snacks for the car. He tells me he will not wear the shoes that I put on him...HERE hostage take over begins. I immediately tell him that if he will wear these shoes then I will give him colored gold fish to eat on the drive. Offer accepted, shoes stay on. Well at least until we get into the car where he promptly removes them..."I gotta get these guys off." Great!
During this entire escapade, Luke is asking me what time we are supposed to be there and what he is supposed to wear. I have reminded him of each of these things for 2 days now, but today its all new information. I show him his shirt choices and tell him to wear which ever jeans he wants. He does not seem happy with my choices. He'll get over it, I may have to start bribing him as well.
I quickly dress and attempt to brush the mop of hair that I have. And throw my make up in a bag, I'll finish that in the car. As we get into the car I realize that I haven't eaten anything all day, too busy running around making sure everyone is ready. I would pull out some of Jackson's snacks but that would likely get him fired up. So instead I'll have an appetite squelching stick of gum, you know a 10 calorie snack!
We are off...The whole way there Jackson wants to know where we are going, what's the photographers name again, how many pictures we will be taking, etc. He is excited, he loves posing for pictures. Blake screams until we are about 5 minutes from arrival, at which time he falls asleep. Perfect. Now he's not happy to be awakened and Jackson again does not want to wear those shoes. I promise gummy spidermen if he will just wear the shoes. We arrive, say our greetings, Jamilah seems sober, and I'm starting wish I wasn't.
Now come the actual have about 6.5 minutes to keep Jackson's attention. After that he's ready to go and since he can't go he will resort to human torture. He looks the other way, lays on Blake, sticks his tongue out. And I begin to promise bags of gummy spidermen for cooperation. It works, but only briefly. So we decide to change venues, and I quickly do an outfit change on the boys without anyone noticing. I couldn't find an empty bathroom for myself so I just changed my shirt right in this park where there were many other families...whatever! Jackson tells me that he doesn't want to be in anymore pictures. So I say we will just do pictures with Blake, he says ok...out comes another bag of gummy spidermen, my bluff didn't work so I must pay up for performance.
How she ever got a photo this great, I'll never know. She's just that good...because the photo should have looked something like me mid-yell, Jackson looking the other way with a  smirk on his face while he puts his foot on Blake's head. Luke looking hungry and Blake spitting up.
Next year, I vow to stress less. I will be getting photos of just me. I'll wear yoga pants, a t-shirt, wear yesterdays make up all while holding a glass of wine.

Peak - a great photo to add to our walls

Pit - I negotiated with a small terrorist and he won. By the end of the photo session, I had promised him 14 bags of gummy spidermen, the keys to my car and a soda!

Have a great week and try to get some great family photos...I have the number to a fabulous photographer - Sharron

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