Me + My Kiddos: They bring me joy

I can’t believe March is almost over. Just a week left. Yikes. April is a busy month for us. Cooper and Shelby both have birthdays, so there’s tons of fun just around the corner. Plus, there is that pesky tax deadline that will be keeping Mike busy (actually, it already is). And I have a huge project I’m working on (one I’m super-duper excited about), which has a firm deadline of April 30th. Busy busy we will be,

March marks my third month of getting out from behind the camera and snapping photos of me and my kiddos. How’s it going? This month I found myself taking more pictures of me with Shelby + Cooper. I’ll be ending the month with more than one photo of me with each of them, which is a huge improvement over years past. I’m getting more comfortable taking these photos and dare I say I’m forming a habit?

IMG_3304March 23: Me + Shelby snuggled on the couch watching “Up.”

Shelby: In a little more than three weeks, my little girl will be nine. Holy. Moly. Cow. Seriously, where has the time gone? March was a tough one. Shelby had a lot of meltdowns. And some of them were really, really bad. But her good days were also really, really good. So we’re trying to focus on those days rather than the cruddy one. Shelby was sick with back to back ear infections and now she has a cold. Poor girl can’t catch a break.

In my attempt to relate and connect with Shelby, I’m always looking for things for us to do together that won’t result in World War III.  For the last couple of months, we’ve been connecting with books … lots and lots of books. We’ve been reading physical books together, but what we really love are audiobooks. Listening to audiobooks is one of our favorite things to do together at the moment. We listen to them in the car on the way to and from school. We listen to them on road trips. We listen to them while we run errands. We also snuggle up on the couch or in bed and listen for hours (we did this just yesterday). It’s our thing. And I love that we have a “thing.”

Right now we’re listening to Okay for Now. It was last month’s pick for NPR’s Backseat Book Club. It’s a smart book, well written and has some pretty serious themes/ideas. Shelby isn’t a fluffy kid. She likes substance. The deeper the book, the better. She likes to listen, imagine the characters in her head and then ask questions about the ideas shared. It’s so fascinating to watch the wheels turn in her head and listen to her share her ideas about the books we’ve been reading. It reminds me how smart she is and how much she needs to be challenged or she gets bored (and into trouble).

Shelby’s still totally into Girl Scouts. As of last week, she has new troop leaders and she’s excited about all the fun activities planned from now until the end of school. She’s counting down the days until she goes to Girl Scout sleep away camp (I’m nervous about this, she is not).

We’re planning her birthday party. She’s decided she wanted to do something different this year. She’s inviting just a couple of girls to go do a fun activity with her and then we’re going out for a semi-fancy lunch (fancy for them). I think this will work better for Shelby’s personality and be less chaotic.

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IMG_3115March 12: Taking silly photos together. We do this a lot.

Cooper:  Coop has changed so much in just the last month. He can communicate on such a higher level. He remembers everything we say and recounts little details of his day. He’s still a picky eater, but he’s starting to broaden his horizons … just a bit. He’s a total character. He says the funniest things and is all about getting a laugh.

He’s my little snuggle bug. He sneaks in bed with me nearly every night and only does this when I’m home.  I should make him go back to his own bed, but I don’t. He won’t want to snuggle his mama much longer, so I’m soaking it in.

He refuses to even try to go No. 2 in the potty. And even the shiny, new toy we bought him as incentive isn’t helping. It’s just gathering dust atop our Fridge. Sigh. I’m sure he’ll let us know when he’s ready. But … I’m more than ready to stop changing poopy diapers, so can he get with the program and just do it?

Cooper’s birthday is nine days away and he’s hyper aware of it. He talks about the presents he wants; the party he’s going to have; and all the things he’ll be able to do once he’s four. Every commercial that features a toy of any kind prompts this response from Cooper, “I want that for my birthday.” It’s kind of funny.

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This photo project is inspired by Aledia’s Challenge. Read about Aledia’s challenge on Emilie Ahern’s blog.  Emilie is carrying on the spirit of Aleida’s personal challenge to take more photos of herself with her kids and started a Flickr group and posts her own photos to Instagram/Twitter (using the hashtag #ALEIDASCHALLENGE).

To see my photos from January, go here. My February pictures can be found here.

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