Wednesday, October 31, 2007

the girl who is exhausted

Whew! Halloween sure can be tiring...for parents. The kids ran on a sugar high and anticipation of more candy all day long. Give a kid a chance to dress up and beg for candy and there is no stopping them!

I only went in for a half day today and got out shortly after lunch to pick up Zacky from school. After the briefest of naps (I earned it!) We went to the sitter's to pick the rest of the crew up. She was just starting the "party" for the kids so we hung out for an hour or so so the boys could enjoy themselves. After that, photo shoot in the backyard and then off to the school for "Gross Out Night."

Now I remember the Halloween Carnival at my elementary school and I must say, while I admire the premise, this PC thing is just destroying fun for the kids. Back in my day (OMG, did I just say that?!!) the school was transformed. Classrooms became haunted houses, cafeterias were divided into booths filled with games and treats, there was always a cake walk and a raffle and a costume contest. But, nooo, Halloween is a terrible pagan holiday and some people might be offended by it and we certainly wouldn't want to pretend we endorsed Satan of all things so the Halloween Carnival begat the Fall Festival begat Gross Out Night.

Gross Out Night was held in conjunction with the science fair for the fourth and fifth graders. Yep, a scientific Halloween. They really tried to appeal to the kids and give them a place to go, but filling the cafeteria with educational explanations for bodily functions got really old after about ten minutes. Yes, there was fake snot and farts and scabs and ear wax and yes, even edible fake vomit. But it just wasn't the same.

Ah, how I long for the "good ol' days."

I can't remember at what point I was allowed to go out Trick or Treating on my own (or with big sister) but I do remember going up and down the street, knocking on doors and ringing on doorbells. My parents would turn out the porch light and hide in the back of the house (spoilsports) being the dark, empty house on the block while my sister and I trolled the streets for candy, usually in homemade costumes. Either that, or we'd be dropped off at a local elementary school to experience those delights, back when such a thing was still delightful. Nowadays, just doesn't seem as magical. I hope the kids have good memories of these times, but I hesitate to think of what it will be like for their kids if these experiences are compared with their children's and the latter comes out lacking.

Anyway, back to the fun part. We did attend Gross Out Night and the boys seemed like they had a reasonable amount of fun. However, with barely enough candy to line the bottom of their buckets, we decided to hit the houses on the way home. Much better. With four kids, (yes, Eli tagged along, and while I did not hold up "his" pail at every door, more often than not, people slipped something into the bucket while admiring him. Something about babies in Pumpkin Hats.) the candy haul was more respectable.

Eli was more or less a pumpkin. My Mom sent him a Halloween sleeper, "My First Halloween" bib and a pumpkin hat. He was cute enough and I was over trying to find a costume to fit him. He passed out with all the noise and heat of the cafeteria and didn't stir for all of the banging on doors and shouts of "TRICK OR TREAT!" Which made him all the more adorable.

Zack was a Ninja--but refused to wear most of his costume. The gauntlets broke trying to remove them from the packaging, the sash was lost and the scarf for over his mouth was uncomfortable. The hood was pretty much a no go too, but he popped it off and on sporadically. Now I was surprised when he announced in the costume aisle that he wanted to be a ninja. No ninja movies out lately, no ninja cartoons (that I am aware of) and he'd never shown an interest in Ninjas before. But I figured it out when he approached me with a three foot long six inch wide hard plastic sword with the title "Ninja Sword." He wanted the accessories, he didn't care about the actual costume. Looking into my Mommy crystal ball, I saw a broken tv, an eye put out and an infant brother becoming "collateral damage." The sword was nixed, the costume approved, and a much, much smaller (and more aesthetically pleasing) foam sword was purchased instead.

Ian was a Cowboy. He originally picked out a pirate costume, but then Matthew (who had originally picked out Thomas the Tank Engine) decided he wanted to be a pirate too. Fine. I'll get two different pirate costumes. But at checkout, I discovered that Matthew's pirate costume was missing pieces so back into the fray we went. I could only find another costume like Ian's that was complete and in Matthew's size, so we were going to do that. But Mr. Ian didn't want to match his brother. Originally, he said he wanted to be Buzz Lightyear. My sister sent me one of my nephew's old costumes, and Ian is in love with Buzz, so he claimed it and wears it constantly. (The other day it was footy pajamas, Buzz Lightyear costume and a Batman go to sleep) Once he saw his brothers were getting new costumes, he wanted one too. But I had pretty much planned on that happening. Anyway, back to the great costume debate. I couldn't convince Ian to forget about the pirate and go as Buzz or pick another costume (other than the Wednesday Addams one he fell in love with--don't tell Aramis) so I asked him if he'd like to be Woody from Toy Story. Of course they didn't have a Woody costume, but they had a generic Cowboy and Thank Goodness he fell for it. I must say though, he made a fine looking Cowboy. It totally suited him!

Now I expected that after all the fuss and bother of the pirate costume debate, that Matthew would stay true to form and change his mind on his costume as we were checking out, or better yet, on Halloween. I expected crying and a meltdown, simply because he rolls like that. But no, he was happy with the Pirate costume, it fit his little body perfectly and it also suited him. He was the cutest pirate out there!

So this year's festivities are over and done. The candy has been hidden away, to be sorted through when I recover from the night.. And the kiddos crashed and actually went to sleep when they were sent to bed.

All in all, exhausting, but worth it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

the girl who went to the pumpkin patch

So we took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch and, as usual, I love the pictures. This is my yearly tradition and the boys are very good at humoring me. We did actually pick out a pumpkin in addition to taking pictures, and picked up two gourds as well. I plan on seeing how clever I can get with these.

Also, as usual to my experience, taking pictures of slumpy babies doesn't go so well, so Eli only got a couple of shots. You really don't want to test the patience of a sleepy infant because as soon as he really wakes up, he's likely to be hungry. So eyes closed but still cute.

It kept threatening to rain so I tried to be super quick. I still managed some fabulous shots. Family members, put in your requests now!

Friday, October 26, 2007

the girl who has some stories to share

We've been having trouble with bedtime.


It's a never ending cycle of tucking in and kiss! hug! and where is Geckie and Bunny and Puppy and I want my piwhow that's not my piwhow and potty! potty! I need to go potty! and Mommy, I thwirsty and kiss! hug! and laughs and giggles as wrestling ensues amongst the million stuffed animals and then there's the musical beds and I don't want so and so to sleep with me I want to sleep with so and so and go to bed! Go. To. Bed! and



Inevitably someone's butt gets red an hour (or two) later and once the histrionics die down they finally fall out.

So tonight, after a blah never quite rained but always looked like it was about to day where both Daddy and I had our patience tested at work and at home, I sat them down before bedtime and gave them The Speech.

"Ok Boys. 1, 2, 3, eyes on me. Are you paying attention?


This is how its going to work tonight.

I am going to tuck you in. I am going to give you kisses and hugs and tell you I love you. And then you are going to

There will be no extra trips out of bed for any reason.

So go to the bathroom now. Grab your lovies now. Decide which blanket you want to sleep with now. Decide which bed you are going to sleep in now.

Once you are in bed, tucked in and kissed goodnight

No giggling, no playing, no wrestling, no traveling from bed to bed. Do you understand?


Because the alternative is I just spank you now and get it over with. Are we clear?


Now you have two minutes to get everything you need to go to sleep.


And probably because the boys had been nothing but trouble all day and might have sensed Mommy and Daddy were OVER IT they actually sort of did what I asked.

When I was tucking in Matthew I laid down in bed next to him to stroke his cheeks and scratch his back like he likes (I love it when he says in his little almost four year old voice, "Aww, that feeld GOOOOD!) he says to me, "Mommy, I have two piwhows. You sleep with me. Come on Mommy. Come onnnn!"

The expression on his face as he was trying to coax me into sleeping with him was adorable and the tone in his voice was too cute. So grown up and persuasive.

So I tucked the other two in and cuddled up next to Matthew, intending to just lay down with him until he fell out.

He then proceeds to tell me a story. I think it started off with him telling me about being woken up this morning by the garbage truck, but it went on to describe "fwying punkins" and the sun going up and down and the moon coming out and (slightly disturbing) the garbage truck killing him and him climbing a ladder (complete with sound effects and hand gestures) to the sun. He must have liked his own sound effects because he repeated them a few times and then started listing everyone he knew climbing a ladder (wadder) to the sun too. He ended it with an earnest, "And you too, Mommy!" and then just dropped his hands as if to say, "The end."

My child has the BEST imagination! I love it!

Of course, I ended up dozing next to hm, waking up when Aramis came to find me to tell me goodnight at ten o'clock. I contemplated just going to sleep then, but, of course, then Eli was up. So here I am, wide awake and trying to decide between organizing all my new scrap goodies and actually scrapping.

Either way, I should have some fun. But first I have to make sure Eli is settled. So I'm nursing Eli on the couch and I hear pages turning. Feeling thirsty, I call out, "Zack, I know you're up. Go grab me a Coke." (This is why I have kids, you know.) He takes that as permission to come spend some one on one time with me. All of the boys manage to do this trick at least once a week. It's kind of sweet and gives us time with the boys individually.

So he puts on the tivoed High School Musical and we watch and sing along together. And then a commercial comes on for some video game with Drake Bell that teaches you how to play guitar and he comes at me with this:

"I was thinking about learning to play guitar. Because if I learn to play guitar, I'll get a lot of girlfriends. But if I get a lot of girlfriends, I'll probably go CA-RAY-ZY!!! (little giggle here) Right, Mommy? So maybe I don't want a lot of girlfriends. I think just five. Yeah, I think five girlfriends would be ok."

Lord help me, he's only 8.

So, we're at the finale right now ("We're all in this to-ge-ther, WILDCATS!") and he'll be off to bed after Shar-Pay gets her cookies. (Yes, any Mom who has sat through HSM knows what I am talking about.) He's currently singing and dancing along and Eli is happily swinging and cooing along. Soon, I'll have MY time to scrap or organize and my blah day will end on a high note.

And I guarantee that I will wake up in the morning with Matthew at the foot of the couch (my temporary sleeping place until Eli sleeps through the night) and Ian asleep on the loveseat beside me.

The day was blah and I was at my wits end with the kids, but when you have stories like these to tell, it makes it all worth it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

the girl who is a BAD GIRL!!!

Yup, ask anyone (especially my mom, lol!). But now it's official and comes with perks!

Yes, I successfully completed my semester at Bad Girls Academy and graduated Suma cum Laud. Translation: I WON TOP DESIGNER AT THE BAD GIRLS SITE!

Floored, shocked, amazed, how many other adjectives can I come up with? Astounded, excited, ecstatic....bring me a thesaurus, I could go on all day! This contest was so challenging and fun, and had some pretty tough competition too! Layouts like this, and this, and this just blew me away. (if you can't see these, that means you're not a bad girl! Sign up, this gallery is chocked full of eye candy and the kits are simply luscious.)

Wendy Rago--the owner and founder of Bad Girls--has such a talent for putting all of these goodies together (and is pretty sweet besides) so when she asked me to also join the Design Team I was over the moon! SO that means that not only do I get this prize package of goodies (try not to drool on your screens)

but I also will get a nice package every month to play with. There is always something super cool in the kits. October's kit has damask printed packing tape! Just imagine what you could do with that! If you want to see my entry in its entirety, go here.

My mother was super excited, my husband (who is amazingly supportive) was proud and da Jens are excited for me to because I promised to share my prize pack with them! (Ok, they're proud of me too!)

So all of this "Top Designer" stuff has me on a scrappy high--so much inspo everywhere. I found these sites today and could seriously spend all day just clicking link after link after link drooling over all the creativity. Unfortunately, my winning streak does not extend to the lottery. Nope, checked this morning and we still didn't win. A girl can dream, can't she?

In other news:

My friends Holly Golightly and Jim Balent are in town this weekend for their annual Halloween Horror Nights trip. I love this couple! So sweet and approachable! I met them when I worked at the Hard Rock Hotel and have stayed in contact with them ever since. They are truly fun to hang out with and I have the biggest girl crush on Holly. She epitomizes my inner goth girl--the girl I would love to let out and play more often, but being Mommy gets in the way. So I'll live vicariously through her and enjoy it.

And a couple pics of Mr. Ian to liven your day. One of our favorite places to grab a quick dinner is Firehouse Subs. We get something that isn't deep fried and the boys get fireman hats! So everyone wins! My BIL is a firefighter, so my nephew has a multitude of firefighter themed apparel. I recently got a box of hand-me-downs for the boys and now we have more firefighter pj's than you can shake a stick at! (Although I don't know why you'd want to shake a stick at them, I'm just saying we have more than you could) So, of course, I had to take a pic of Mr. Shy being all cute and excited with his firefighter hat and pj's.

Ian is relishing his role as bigger brother (Matthew is the big brother, Ian the bigger, Zack the biggest). He has always been very caring and nurturing and loves to help out. He's adorable with Eli, but quite frankly, just plain bossy to Matthew and worships Zack. It's interesting to see the family dynamic change over the years. Two years ago, Matt and Ian were inseparable, now Matthew is the odd man out and has been usurped by the baby besides. I remind myself of this constantly as he is definitely acting out these days. I guess I've been lucky--I didn't have to deal with the "No!" phase coming from my kid with the older too.

This too will pass.

Next weekend is definitely our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. One of my favorite photo ops of the year! So be prepared to be inundated with pictures next week!

And lastly, my mind is currently racing with ribbon ideas. Why? Because that's the next challenge in Last Scrapper Standing. Yep, I made it through to round three and am super stoked!

I have an idea, but, of course, none of my expansive (and frequently unused) ribbon supply fits my vision. So I'm going to try to sneak over to Michaels this evening and get some cool trim. I'll let you know what I come up with!

Happy Scrappy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

the girl who has an assistant

I am pretty darn lucky.

"Take Your Child to Work Day" is every Friday for me.

You see, I didn't really take a maternity leave. I gave birth on a Wednesday and was back to work the following Monday. And--as my GM loves to point out to people who have attendance issues--I managed to call in 2 hours in advance from the ambulance as they were loading me in.
clearly I haven't lost all my baby weight yet

Why so dedicated? Do I love my job that much?

Well, the truth of the matter is that I am in charge of payroll, and Monday was the day to run payroll. Since Eli came so early, my replacement wasn't trained and if I wanted to get paid, well, I had to do it myself. After that, well, Eli was in the NICU and being able to go to work for a few hours when I felt like it was good for me. It kept me from worrying so much and actually gave me a chance to rest more than I would have at home. I was given the best terms ever. I got to come and go as I pleased for the first three months after the birth, as long as I got payroll done and took care of the "essential" parts of my job.

Completely Awesome!

It gets better.

Once Eli got out of the NICU, I took some time off (about a week and a half) to bond and visit with my parents who drove from Texas. When I went back, it was with Eli in tow. I worked the hours I wanted and was able to take time for the doctor's appointments and such. Heck, I even took time because I just felt like sleeping in! The important parts of my job got done, but I wasn't trapped in the house.

I set up a little cradle in the corner of my office, got myself a baby sling to tote him around in, brought in a little changing station and we were good to go. When he was hungry, I'd just close the door and nurse while one-handed typing. Bliss. Plus he became everyone's favorite little guy. He even has his own nametag. It says "Eli Eleven, Human Resources Assistant."

When I came back "officially" to full time, I started leaving him with the sitter's. That didn't even last a week. Every day it was, "Where's my Baby!" "Where's Eli?" People would tip toe into my office just in case he was in the cradle sleeping. Anyone who walked past my door would always peek to see if they could spy him in his cradle.

And I missed him too.

So that first Friday of full-time, I brought him back in. I needed my Assistant after all! So Fridays are Eli days. I still get asked about him during the week and I just say, "Friday, he'll be in on Friday." Now that he is getting more active and is awake and alert more, he gets fussier, so it really can't last much longer. But I'll enjoy it while I can.


In other news:

This is how I stand in the two scrappy contests I've been participating in.

For the Effer's Last Scrapper Standing, I have officially progressed to Round Three! Yaaay! This was my entry for that:

Pretty Darn personal. The challenge was to scrap 7 random things. Since I scar so easily, it grew into this. It evolved from a previous idea I had where I wanted to do seven totally unrelated random things, but work my journaling into the picture. After failing to find a revolving door in a decent driving distance, (it was relevant, trust me) I decided to just scrap random things about my body and write directly on myself. One of the random things I had thought about is the fact that my second toe is longer than my big toe. However, when looking at my feet, didn't want to take a picture because of the scars I have everywhere. Little nicks and dings, not really aesthetically pleasing. So I decided to just scrap my scars. I really have always wanted porcelain, Nicole Kidman, luminous skin. But I've learned to accept I never will. Its just me.

And now, onto Round Three! I can't wait to see what the challenge is, they've already narrowed the ranks from 250-something to 42, so just getting to Round 3 is a feat I can be proud of.


And in the Bad Girls contest....this was week 5, using the design element of unity. I chose shape and color as elements to create unity. Lots of round and circles here and lots of orange to contrast the blue in Ian's outfit. I love this pic, even though you can't really see Ian's eyes.

I am happy, pleased and otherwise estatic to announce that I made it to the finals! Yes, it's down to just ten ultra talented ladies and I am in that number! I got a personal call from Wendy Rago--the owner of Bad Girls Kits--and she is just such a cool girl to talk to. If the boys hadn't started killing each other in the next room, I'd still be on the phone with her!

The neat thing about the Bad Girl's challenge is that it has been structured like a class. Each round of competition has been a class in design. It's been pretty awesome. I was always the kid at school who did really well with parameters. I have plenty of creativity on my own, but give me a set of rules to follow and some guidelines and I'm off! I've been loving this! I will be so sorry to see it end and can't wait to see who gets chosen as Top Designer.

And, btw, I think I have a new kit obsession. I'm definitely jumping on the waiting list for this club!

Final entries are supposed to be up by eight pm (EST) on Thursday. I'm actually done. I had an idea, I ran with it, and Aramis even allowed me to get some adult time in this weekend by going to a crop. (A definite mood lightener since I've been feeling a little trapped lately. He doesn't have his weekends off anymore and we have no time together as a family. Which means my weekends are filled with all of the kids home with me when I just want to relax and unwind sometimes. I have no time during the week to run errands which means I have to take all four kiddos with me when I go to the grocery store, get an oil change, get a haircut, etc, etc, etc. I've been stressed out by it all) So my page is done, but I don't want to post it yet. I wwant to wait until the due date. I guess its the competitive side of me not wanting the other contestants to see it just in case they haven't completed their own. But I can't resist sharing a little sneaky peek since I love this layout so much. Who cares about the contest when you get inspired to create this kind of art?

Here it is! Shhhhh!

Well, I'm off to get some sleep and dream of scrappy goodness.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

the girl who has a porker

Look at my little Eli-phant. He is just getting bigger and bigger each day! I think it’s his sitter. She just loves feeding him. He’s starting to get more personality too, learning to smile and laugh and coo. He is just one of those babies that you fall completely in love with. And there is something about his head—it begs to be kissed repeatedly. Aramis pointed it out to me that I was kissing his head every few seconds. I believe his exact words were, “Stop it! You’ll give him a bald spot!” Lol! I’ve noticed my sitter does the same thing. I had handed him over to her at the drop-off and we were chatting for a moment. I noticed that she absentmindedly would kiss his head every minute or so, almost like punctuation. And when I picked him up that evening, I thought for a moment he had bumped his head somehow. No, it was just lipstick prints all over his noggin.

My child, the kiss magnet.

In other news, I set a dangerous precedent last month by putting Radio Disney on the car radio when we were going to be driving for a bit. (Draven’s b’day party) Since then, the boys expect it every time they get in the car. How bad is it that I forget to switch it over after dropping them off and end up finding that I am singing along to Hannah Montana? Not to mention that I now have the entire soundtrack to High School Musical 2 memorized?

Someone, please help me!

Monday, October 01, 2007

The girl who has been putting it off

I am a procrastinator by nature.

I swear it's an inherited trait as I distinctly remember my Mother (a retired teacher) always stressing out about the lesson plans she hadn't completed. Now, the benefit of this is that I am a great improvisor and work well under pressure. Give me a six-week deadline and I guarantee you I will be starting (rather than putting the finishing touches on) the project at 11:30 the night before it's due. And I'll probably be missing some vital companent which will force me to get creative to replace it or at least get creative in whatever excuse I use to justify its absence. I also guarantee that the project will probably turn out just fine. Nothing like a deadline to get the ol' creative juices flowing.

Add to that the fact I am also pretty competitive and what do you get? You get someone who was on the varsity speech team in high school and routinely wrote her speeches on the bus on the way to the tournament I signed up for six weeks ago. Or, in my present life, you have someone who hasn't managed to find or inspiration to scrap in the past three months, yet still enters TWO large elimination based scrapping contests.

What the hell was I thinking?

So, the two contests I have entered are the Bad Girls Top Designer and the Effer Dares Last Scrapper Standing, Vol. 2. I entered LSS 1 last year and was so stoked! It really challenged me to produce some awesome layouts and kept me going. I'll admit to being a little burned out when all was said and done, but I made it to the final round and every layout I produced for that contest was picked up for publication. Awesome!

This year I hope the creative juices get flowing again and I make it through all of the rounds again. I doubt I'll win, considering the talent this contest pulls, but I enjoy the creative push. I have so much respect and admiration for the Effers (including a huge scrappy crush on Kristina Contes) that I really push myself to impress them.
Anyway, the first challenge was to use 8 transparent elements on a layout. And this is what I came up with.

I printed the pictures on transparency and then sprayed chrome paint on the back to make them metallic. Trust me, it looks completely awesome IRL. Then I mounted all of my transparent elements on a 12x12 mirror tile, but I spaced them using clear acrylic beads. The effect of the transparent elements reflecting in the mirror came out exactly as I had hoped and is elegant and funky at the same time.


And apprently the Effers did too because I made it through to Round 2 along with about 80 other girls. I don't have exact numbers of entrants, but it looks like they cut the competition down by more than half. So now I'm just waiting for the next challenge.

For the Bad Girls contest, I am up to round four. Entries are due today and, silly me, I actually got mine in a day EARLY! lol!

party animal

This is the Round 3 entry where the contestents were given a lesson in seven elements of design and then asked to choose one to emphasize in their layout. I used the element of line. Notice that all of the horizontal and vertical lines converge on the picture, making it the focal point. Apparently the judges liked my take because it led to this:

so in love

Yes, my early entry for Round 4. This round's assignment was to use white space effectively. Now I LOVE using white space. I think it could be one of my favorite design elements. In this case, my white space isn't truly "white" it's actually a subtley textured background, but I think it adds to the feeling of peaceful serenity of the picture and the banner element continues the lines of my embellishments, helping direct the eye to the picture. I love this layout!

In other news:

Aramis has grown a beard. I think it's part a.) laziness and b.) because he can. Anyway, I am now married to Grizzly Adams' Cuban brother. I kinda like it. I like a simple goatee better, but I can deal with this.
Plus it cuts his prep time for work down to, like, ten minutes. lol!

Zack is doing well in school, despite his best efforts to not do his homework. I swear, he spends more time and effort in thinking of excuses and hiding his Agenda so he can say he "forgot" it then it would take if he just the darn homework in the first place!

Ian is talking non-stop these days. Still can only understand about half of what he's saying, but at least he's vocal. He has switched allegiance from Matthew to Zachary. Now the two of them gang up on Matthew and use him as the universal scapegoat. For the first time, I'm having to tell the boys they are not allowed to say they don't like their brother.
Matthew (and maybe because of being picked on by his bigger brothers) is a little pill. A cute and adorable little pill, but a pill nontheless. Yesterday we had an epic 20 min temper tantrum over leaving his backpack at the sitter's. He ended up getting a fully clothed cold shower and early bedtime with no dinner for that performance. And yet, I still melt when he demands a "hug, kiss!" even after being punished. His new ritual is to give me an imaginary present before I leave for work and admonish me not to open it. Awww! Although I really am curious as to what he thinks he's giving me. Maybe just the fact its a present is enough.
And Eli is getting bigger every day. I know he's over 8 lbs now, but now the exact weight. He is a clingy little guy though. He's happiest when he is *on* someone. And by "someone" I mean, me. And by "on" I mean using my breast as either a pacifier or pillow. He can be dead asleep and you move him to the bed and off his "pillow" and, while he won't wake for the transfer, within five minutes, he's figured out something is missing and is wailing away again. It's nice to be appreciated!

Finally, the weather was GORGEOUS this past weekend. So much so, I even braved taking all four boys to the park. There were TWO birthday parties going on so I had to really watch the boys, but they had fun and it got them out of the house for awhile. (It also gave me an excuse not to do laundry, shh!) Considering the beautiful day, I tried to get a pic of all four boys in the sunshine.
This is the best I could come up with.
And these are all the "other" shots.

Notice at least one, if not two, kiddos are not looking at the camera or looking with a horrible expression in each shot.
And yes, I know Ian needs a haircut. I planned on doing that, but we went to the park instead!