Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wanna Laugh? Try Taking Family Photos with 5 Kiddos

Okay...  So yesterday was the highly anticipated family pictures for our annual Christmas cards.  Yeah.  I still haven't recovered.  :P

You know how there's those days when your children just seem to be looking for trouble?  I don't know if they wake up on the wrong side of the bed or what, but from the time their little feet hit floor, they're gunning for it.  Yesterday was one of those days.

It started out with Noah and Ian refusing haircuts.  That much wasn't really a big deal because the hubs had cut their hair like 2 weeks ago, but this is a Marine Corps family and if hair even touches the ears its considered long.  Wanting to not start the day out on the wrong foot, I didn't push the issue with them, but made Greyson go with his dad to go to a professional barber.  Then, I found a zit.  A big one.  On my cheek.  That no amount of concealer was ever going to cover up.  (What is it with mid-life acne??? I have more zits now than I ever had in high school!  I think its payback for those of us blessed with flawless skin during our teenage years.)  Thank God for photoshop!

So then I agonized with how to do my hair...  Up?  Down?  Half-up?  I chose half-up.  Should have gone with down.  :P

However, what I should have really been worried about was the state of mind of my kids.  Noah and the little man in particular were  "just not with it" to put it politely.  Picking on each other, attitude, crying...  Of all days!

Noah didn't want to wear the sweater that two days early he had deemed  "cool", nor the fedora.  The little man didn't want me to fix his hair.  The diva is bouncing around asking every 5 minutes (literally) if it was time to get dressed yet.  And Ian didn't want to do anything with his hair either - this from the boy that spends 20 minutes getting his bangs "just right".  The hubs had tried to squeeze a tree job in after the haircuts and I had no clue where he was.  Greyson was over at the in-law's where the hubs had dropped him and I still had to go get him.  And its 2 hours before the shoot.

I'd like to say things got better, but they didn't.  Five minutes till when I was supposed to be there, Noah was still refusing to wear his sweater.  The little man was trying to hide and get the "sticky stuff" out of his hair.  I think Greyson, Ian, and Eva were reading the signs that Mt. Momma was gonna blow and were doing everything they could to help.  And I was standing there with my hair not done, in underclothes and pantyhose, still not dressed because I'd been chasing everyone around and getting them ready.  And where's the hubs?  No clue.  I hadn't heard from him.  I only knew I was supposed to meet him there and he'd be ready.  Oh my life!

Somehow we make it there at the appointed time.  No hubs.  5 minutes... No hubs.  I call.  No answer.  Get a text.  "I'm leaving J'ville."  WT...  He pulls into the drive 2 seconds later.  The photographer is laughing, but I'm not liking his sense of humor.  At all.  {Insert evil wife glare here.}  Thankfully, he was fresh shaven and his outfit looked fantastic.  Thank you, dear!

The trouble starts with pictures on the railroad tracks.  The little man, after 5 shots is having none of it.  NONE.  We decide to leave him out and do a picture of the three older boys.  Then one of the diva and the hubs.  Then we manage to coax him in again.  Is he smiling?  Not a clue.  ARGH.

We leave there after 20 or so shots and head to a farm for a different background.  We get about 4 pictures off when the boys start goofing off throwing their hats at each other, the diva is twirling around watching the sparkles in her skirt, and the little man is pouting, refusing to do anymore.  Oh.  My.  God.  REALLY?!

The boys start reading the sparks that are shooting out of my eyes at them and get subdued real fast.  I speak to the diva and she starts paying attention (after like the 100th time).  But the little man?  Not having anything to do with it.  Nothing.  He wants to run and play.  He wants to pick berries.  He wants to climb on the roof of a low-lying shed.  He does NOT want to stand in line with the rest of us for the very pose that I wanted in the first place.  He does NOT want to stand next to Noah...  Or Greyson...  Or Ian...  Or ANYONE!  I manage to coax him in front of me from a few shots, but he's pouting.  And then he starts crying.  And we're done.

I don't know that we got a single good shot.  I will be thrilled if there is one.  Ahhhh...  The 3's.  If you haven't had children yet or you have infants, I am telling you that the 3's are by far worse than the 2's.  Hands-down.

The photographer assures me that with photoshop we can work wonders, but I'm not convinced.  We've done some cutting and pasting before and you can tell when you look close enough.

I know there will be one day when I will look back and laugh.  Today though, I'm still not happy.  Not as upset as I was yesterday, but disappointed.  I think the older ones knew that I was highly irate by the time we got back in the car.  When I'm extremely mad, I get quiet.  Really, really quiet.  And the little man?  Well, he was asleep before we were a quarter of the way home.  Aaaahhhh...  So that explains a lot.  He's still at the age where he can take or leave a nap.  Sometimes he needs one.  Sometimes he doesn't.  I guess he needed one yesterday.  Of all days.

I cannot wait until the day my children are old enough to have children of their own and they call me and complain about their son or their daughter has acted terribly in public and embarrassed them.  And then I can just laugh and tell them all about yesterday.  I have heard some stories about me from my mother, so I guess its all in a day's work of being a parent.  Or the ultimate payback.  :P

The only good thing to come out of getting our pictures done was that I got one of those wooden chairs painted that I picked up from our local thrift a couple of years  weeks ago.  That was my idea for our prop.  I left the pressboard seat with the huge nails in to keep it "funky" and just painted over it.  Because I was short on time, I used a dry brush technique and I chose "Peacock Blue" from BH&G.  That was our "pop" color yesterday or I probably never would have picked it.  And you know what?  I love it!  I'm going to do the other chair in the same color.  And hopefully, if we get one single picture out of the whole deal, they'll be put with a small table beneath where I hang it.

{Stay tuned tomorrow for pics of the chair.}

I've got to wait a week to see the proofs, so we'll see.  I'm not going to think about it. Or worry about it.  It's done now.  And the margarita (beeline for the bar, peeps) and steaks the hubs took me out for afterward, did a lot to soothe me.  As did when he leaned in to whisper in my ear on our way out of the restaurant, "Did I tell you that you looked really good tonight?"  And that makes it all worth it.  ;)


~ Tami @ Curb Alert! said...

So understand where you're coming from as we have four kiddos of our own! I have to beg, plead and bribe them all to agree to at least "pretend" like they are having a good time in the pics.

Laura Ann said...

OK Laura I am SOOO laughing my butt of reading this whole thing. It totally sounds like a photo shoot with us and the boys. Every time I decide to be Mom Photographer things go really ugly because the boys act up and I don't handle it well. I could either never be a child photographer OR just never do my own alone, HA. But the best part of this post for me was the end when you and Scott went out to dinner and he whispered in your ear. First, it sounds like our tough Scott has found his softer side after many years with you, and two he totally just made that photo shoot worth it ;-) Can't wait to see the pictures!

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