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

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Boys Pact - It Has Already Started

they are clearly plotting a hostile take over
I figured one day Luke and the boys would have secrets and looks and handshakes that they shared that I would not be privy to...I didn't think it would happen so soon. Lately it has been obvious to me that I am outnumbered. The testosterone level in our home is ever rising. The penis swag is overt and I am not invited to their party...unless it needs catering. Jackson will toss my bra at me and tell me to put on my boobs. We were all going for a walk after dinner and Jackson starts telling me to stay home. I asked him why I couldn't go for the walk, he carefully..."you have to stay home and clean the kitchen." I mentally scratched Luke's eyes out! Then I made a mental note for when Jackson is in middle school to embarrass him to no end.
So since they are already teaming up I decided I would go to a conference for only one day. And since Luke uses every other weekend to be "on call" (I really do not believe that he goes to the hospital. I think he goes to the gym, gets a quiet breakfast and then spreads some goat blood on his scrubs) I thought I could go to a one day conference. I rarely leave Luke alone to tend to both boys, but it was a local conference on a topic that I enjoy...and I need CMEs. Luke says it will be fine and that I should not worry. I ask him if he wants me to have the nanny come for half a day..."No, its just one day and 2 boys"...famous last words.
In the morning, I get up early to get ready. The weird thing is I have to wear real clothes, business casual. I wear scrubs everyday, why can't I just wear scrubs to a medical conference. But I put on a skirt and heels and I brushed my hair! I came out of the bathroom to find 2 little boys in our room. Luke was already looking skittish. I tell myself privately that they will be ok...they are my little princes. We all head downstairs, by this time Jackson is barking his morning orders. "I want some juice. I am going to wake up my movie Cars. I want a candy bar. Dad, Dadda I want some juice!" Blake is screaming, its clearly time for a feeding.
I gather my things and kiss everyone bye...Luke says, "You better hurry." As I go into the garage hearing the scream, laugh, cries I think to myself...hahahahahaha....I am "On Call".  I make it to the conference, I send several texts to check in, but no response...someone has been tied up. Then I receive a photo...

I'm pretty sure this breakfast contains only carbohydrates and fat...where is the fruit?
Luke and Jackson went to breakfast, so nice. Where the hell is Blake?!! No response.
I finally get a text that says he is surviving....who, who is surviving? Where is the baby?
I eventually arrive home. I find 2 little boys in their tshirts and diapers. Jackson says, "2 boys, no pants!" The house is clean. The boys have napped. No one has been to the emergency room. Maybe they don't need me as much as I think they do. I guess Luke really can handle all of this. I ask Jackson how his day was, "really good." Blake and Jackson are sharing toys. WTF is happening in this house?
Finally someone gives it up...My mother-in-law babysat Blake all day! I knew it...they need me. But the boy bond is strong and I see that these Evans Boys are gonna stick together.

Peak - My Evans Boys...the good times have only just begun
Here they are - waiting on their next meal provided by their obligatory woman

Pit - A friend gave me a Nerd Rope...have you ever had one of these things? I'm pretty sure I'm addicted
I saw patients in the hospital like this!

Have a wonderful week...encourage your husbands to have private bonds with your kids...then you can go out and drink wine with your friends! - Sharron