Schooled by My Four Year Old

After every studio shoot, Hannah requests that I take her picture.  It doesn’t matter how late it is, how sick she is, what she is wearing, or how messy her hair is . . .

A few days ago after a bridal shoot, Hannah grabbed this dress from her wardrobe and added a white cardigan to make it “mostly white” so she could also be photographed in a “wedding dress.”  She then copied the bride’s poses, like she always does after everybody’s shoot.

She is such a sass and entirely too observant for her own good (or maybe for my own good).  The other night I was putting her to bed and while she was picking out book for me to read to her, I put a little piece of candy cane in my mouth.

I knew it was a mistake as soon as that hard candy hit my mouth, but what was I to do?  Spit out a perfectly good piece of candy?  No!  Obviously not!

I concealed the mysterious small piece of candy quite well up until I sang Hannah her good night song and gave her a kiss on the check.

Bad move.

Instantly, she sat up and said, “MOMMY!  What is that smell?  It smells good . . .”  Her eyes were wide and searching around the dimly lit room.   For a moment, I thought about denying the smell, acting oblivious and confused, but decided to take the honest route.

“Honey, I’m eating a piece of candy cane.”

“Let me see mommy.  Open your mouth.  Is is it blue?”

WHAT THE HECK?!  Is this child clairvoyant or just keeping major tabs on me?  She then looked at me with her big brown eyes and with a stern voice said, “MOMMY!  Are you eating the candy cane Rosie gave me!?”

OK, honestly, I was caught RED HANDED.  Roles completely reversed, I realized I had behaved like a child, eating a piece of her candy without permission and she was ready to lay down the LAW.

This child can give lectures like a pro, so you never, never, ever want her to give you a lecture.

But . . . there I was, ready for the lecture of a lifetime . . .

“MOMMY!  YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO ASK!  THAT WAS MY CANDY!  ROSIE GAVE IT TO ME (OK, in my defense, she got it like two weeks ago and saw it once.  ONCE!) AND THAT IS NOT NICE!  YOU SHOULD NEVER EAT MY CANDY WITHOUT ASKING!  NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER!  MOMMY!  WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!”

Being reprimanded by my daughter is not on the top of my favorite list, so as I began to apologize, she stopped me.  She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and and started counting, “One, two, three, four, five, six . . .” until she reached ten (something she learned from Fairy Mary on Tinkerbell) and then she said, “OK, I’m calm now.  It’s OK.  I forgive you.  Mommy, all you had to do was ask and I would have given it to you.”

And with that, I was schooled by my four year old.

That’ll teach me to never sneak her candy again and get caught!  🙂

This sassy little thing has been fighting a bad cold (isn’t everyone in Utah?) and last week I took her to the Doctor to get a Strep test done.  I took her to a clinic we don’t visit very often, so as I was half listening to her questions in the car (and trying to answering them), I was actively looking for the clinic.

You see, the problem with national chains, stores, and Insta-care Clinics is they ALL LOOK ALIKE.  That is obviously necessary for brand recognition nationwide, but very problematic for a gypsy like me.  Eventually, EVERY intersection looks the same, and EVERY national chain looks the same.  Just when you think the business you are looking for is on the next corner, you reach the corner and realize the intersection you envisioned belongs in Texas, or Kansas, or New York.  Then you feel like a lost idiot, with a child in the backseat, asking too many questions that require an IQ higher than 120.

When I failed at both finding our destination, and answering important four year old questions, Hannah asked me, “Are you lost mommy?” I told her I was just looking really hard for the Doctor’s office but couldn’t find it.

Brace yourself for this next part because this is the part of Hannah I wish I could bottle up and freeze FOREVER.   She said, “Mommy, did you get distracted because you were thinking about how much you love me?”

“Of course honey.  That is exactly why I can’t find the clinic.”

Oh my.  I want that kind of innocence.  That is 100% self esteem right there folks.  How can I preserve that forever?!

STILL GOT IT!

David and I walk the kids down to a park near our house everyday.  I think we we love it just as much as they do.  😉

This is me sporting my inner Sportacus.

This is the real Sportacus (Magnus Scheving) who is obviously a lot more flexible and powerful than I am.

This is David demonstrating a back flip to the kids. (Where are the kids you ask?  I don’t know, maybe on the swings?)

Check out Dallin holding on to the pole as he watches his 35 year old dad.

We’re still kids!  Can’t wait to buy our own place so we can put in a ground level tramp.

A Lot Stinky and a Lot Cute

Today as I was editing images, I was enjoying the quietness of the house with both kids down for naps.

Literally, I was sitting in front of my computer, minding my own business, when suddenly . . .

GAH!

Paris (my stinker-dog who earned her name) let out several silent-but-deadly farts.  I’m not just talking one SBD here folks, I’m talking CONTINUOUS.

She can clear a room I tell you!

Since I was editing images from a product shoot last night (can’t wait to share the pics with you after the product is launched!)  I pulled up a picture I took of Paris last night (after the product shoot) and put a caption on the image and emailed it to David who was in the other room.  (We chat online and email from room to room like it’s totally normal.)

I wanted him to know EXACTLY how the downstairs family room smelled:

I looked over at Paris, who was resting on her pillow in bliss and said, “Must you ruin my quiet solitude with your insane farts?!”

EWE.

Let’s move on to something cute now . . .

Hannah is always such a big helper during my shoots.  She will run any errand, sit where I tell her to, and chat to anyone who will listen.  After finishing a product shoot last night, Hannah really, really, REALLY wanted to photograph something.  I told her to hurry and find what she wanted to photograph because she was waaay past bedtime.  She came back with a few select toys and photographed this:

This last image was completely styled and photographed by Hannah.  She even used my remote trigger to ensure no movement on the tripod!

I’m raising the next Ansel Adams.  I’m sure.  🙂

Hannah’s Official Client Session

To see more of this shoot (bigger and better!) visit my photo blog.

Since this is my personal blog and Hannah belongs on the personal blog, I’ve copied and pasted from my photo blog a quick summary of what happened:

I’ve been wanting to put Hannah in a modeling agency for some time now.  She doesn’t mind having her picture taken, she follows direction well from anyone, she loves to perform, and she speaks more articulately than most adults! Plus, as her parent, I think she’s a doll, so of course I think she’ll be a great find for any agency.  Unfortunately, the gypsy lifestyle is not really conducive for anything that requires you to stay in one state (or one country!), so I have not really looked into it until now.

You see, we’re going to be in Utah for a while.  Did I not mention that before?  Well, now I have.  Last week, I took Hannah to an agency, and they liked her.  The lady asked me if I knew of a photographer that could take her pictures to put together her portfolio.

Ahem.  Do I know I know a photographer?  I smiled and said, “Yes, I have connections.”

Turns out, I didn’t really have any pictures of Hannah on hand that would work for a portfolio.

HOW IRRESPONSIBLE OF ME!

OK, enough with the dramatics, but seriously, why is it that my own kids don’t get great sessions?  Oh yeah, because I don’t pay myself to do it!

Note to self:  PAY YOURSELF.  BE YOUR BEST CLIENT.

So, after feeling like the “negligent mother of the year” (I mean, what kind of mother, who is a professional photographer, DOES not take professional pictures of her own kids?!) I made an appointment with Hannah (meaning I cleared my schedule and told her to wear what I told her to and bribed her with a sucker if she would just WEAR what I asked her to!) to shoot her portfolio.

I loved so many of these images (you can tell this is my kid because you cannot critique images logically when it’s your own offspring, you only think emotionally) so I’m double posting them in black and white and color.  You will see a double dose of images matched up in different sets.

This last one is my ALL TIME FAVORITE.  EVER.  Should I get this in a 24×30?  🙂

Be sure to check out the full entry of this shoot in my photo blog!  I’ve posted some tips for photographing kids!

The Greatest Candy in the Whole Wide World, FOUND!

Hannah and I were out for a little “mommy and me” time when lunch crept up on us and before we knew it, I was ready to inhale a couch and Hannah could have scarfed down a love seat.

Being the perfect mother that I am, I drove to the nearest gas station/grocery store I could find.

It happened to be a Walgreens and Hannah asked to eat Starbursts for lunch.  Heck, she could eat 12 packs of Starbursts for all I cared!  We needed food and FAST.

As I quickly surveyed the unfamiliar store, I noticed some starburst-like candy by the register.

Perfect I thought.  We’ll take 290 packs.

And then . . .

I shrieked!

HOLY HANNAH!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

HI-CHEW my friends!  Have you not read my post about HI-CHEW, the greatest candy in the whole wide world?  (Please, read here!)

I must be doing something right for the universe to plant such wonderful candy at my fingertips in the USA of all places.

Seriously people, you have never tasted a party in your mouth until you try this candy.

We bought LOTS of packs.  We needed them!  I believe in a healthy lunch just as much as the next mom, so I was sure to get a variety of fruit flavors so Hannah could have lots of fruit in her lunch.  🙂

David was as equally excited as I was with this gold mine of a find.

The big question is this . . . now that I don’t have to buy 100 pounds of this candy (clearing out every store I can) when I go to Asia, what am I going to buy to put in it’s place?

Honestly, I was telling Hannah about this great candy and how I would bring some back from China in a few months, and now . . .well . . . should I save the luggage space and just visit my local Walgreen’s store on the way home from the airport?

Custom Made Child

There are days that I feel totally and completely inadequate as a mother.  A few weeks ago, I ran into a friend of mine at Thanksgiving Point (we were at the petting zoo) who was there with her four children who are all under the age of FOUR.  Yes, she has a four year old and triplets who are almost two.

She was there, with no assistant, with TRIPLETS.

(Deep breath, deep breath . . .)

The Lord knows better than to send me triplets because I would never dare to leave the house.  EVER.

Yet, there she was, happy, beautiful, and skinny as ever, with her FOUR kids in tow.

I was excited to see her, yet felt totally inadequate in her supermom presence because I brought my niece along to assist me with my TWO children.  I really prefer the odds of one-on-one versus two-on-one.

Last night as I was working on several images for clients, Hannah walked up to me and said, “Mommy, you are the perfect parent for me.”

WHAT?!

I stopped straightaway and looked at her standing there with her arms outstretched.  I squeezed her and thanked her for telling me that and then she said, “This calls for some celery!”

And then I was all, um, where have I done you wrong?  Celery is not a common food of choice for celebrations, but who am I to tell her any different?  She thinks I’m a perfect parent!

More fun things she said last week:

Thank Thee to live on the earth and to live in life.  (Overheard during one of her personal prayers.)

Jesus, why did you make Emme not walk?  I was just wondering.  (Hannah asking very specific questions in her prayers.)

Mom, I really like living on earth.

One of my favorite conversations with her came last night as well when she said, “Mom, can we go to China?  Kai-lan lives there and they use chopsticks!”

I told her it was too far away . . . it’s further than New York (she knows how long that drive is!) and it would just be too long of a trip to take her right now.  I then told her I was planning a trip there in a few months, but I couldn’t take her. With a sad face she looked at me and said, “Oh.”

I thought for a second and said, “Hey princess!  I’ll bring you some chop sticks!” And she was all, “You will?  Oh you are the NICEST mommy EVER!”

In that moment, I realized for the millionth time that this child was custom made for me.  Not only does she think I’m perfect, but she is totally happy with a booby prize of chop sticks!

I love this kid.

Hello. I’m Here. Barely.

Hello internet.

Hello Pam.  Thanks for noticing my absence. 🙂

Honestly, I’ve got nothin’.

I’ve just come away from a  very, very bad week.  The kind that changes your life FOREVER.  (So you know, heavy stuff.)

To top it off, I was extremely busy with photo shoots last week (check my photo blog cause I’ve been posting there) which was great, but a bit stressful given our lovely week.

Sometimes life SUCKS.  BAD.

A few days ago, I photographed the kids of the dentist who fixed Hannah’s teeth.  During casual conversation with him and his wife, I started crying.

HELLO.  PEOPLE.  CRYING ON THE JOB.

Totally not cool.  Did I mention I don’t know these people?  Yep.  Just met the wife 30 seconds before the shoot and I’ve only seen the dentist while he was working on Hannah’s mouth.

What can I say, I’ve been out of sorts.

I have no juice.  I have nothing to write.

I have audibly reminded myself like a trillion times, “It’s not the challenges you receive in life, it’s how you handle them.”  David asked me why I kept saying that (out loud, to myself mind you) and I told him, “BECAUSE I NEED TO HEAR IT.”

In an effort to help, many people try to think of someone else they know who’s situation was worse than yours, and how things turned around and there was this beautiful ending . . .

Well, let me tell you folks . . .  IT DOESN’T HELP.

I’m not interested in comparing crappy situations.  Those heart warming stories (while nice and all) do not make me feel better one iota.  I know people are just trying to help, but seriously . . . JUST.  STOP.  IT.

I just want to be heard by people I know and trust, and then in some weird twisted way, I feel SO MUCH BETTER when people say. “Seriously, that DOES suck.”  What can I say?  I’m a woman who wants to be heard; the “problem solving” conversations are not helping.

Interestingly enough, earlier in the week I came across this video which I bawled throughout:

And you know what?  I have the most important things in place in my life.  I have a wonderful husband, two darling, healthy kidlets, a  supportive family, and I know God has not forgotten about us.

I have no idea what his plans are though.

Probably Should Start Paying Her to Babysit

When I check on Hannah right before I get into bed, I love it when I find her like this:

She is in pure sleeping bliss.

I also love it when she entertains Dallin in the morning while I try to pull myself out of my deep-sleep-coma.

This kid should be earning an allowance!

She brought in a little step so she could dump toys into Dallin’s crib so he would be happy.  Then, she pulled up a chair, and proceeded to “read” a made up princess story while holding her travel size Book of Mormon.  I love how they are feet to feet.  Hannah is one good little mother-hen around here!

A Little Announcement . . .

So, I must announce . . .

THERE IS NO NEWS IN THE LESHER HOUSEHOLD.

It was clear to me after I wrote about feeling legitimately sick (the contagious kind that started with Hannah, then went to Dallin, then David, then to me, then to my mother-in-law) that some of you thought I might be dealing with a stint of morning sickness.

Well, let me tell you, if there is anything that reminded me of how much I hate having the non-contagious flu (morning sickness) it was that sick day.

UGH.  I am so not ready for baby #3.  And honestly, who says there will be a baby #3?  Two is good, right?  We’re a family of four, plus a dog (with plans of getting another Whippet within the year) so we are good.  For now anyway, and maybe forever.  Who knows.  All I know is pregnancy is a killer, and there is NO WAY, I repeat, NO WAY, I can care for two little needy people when I can’t even take care of myself.  Pregnancy equals: trying not to die of massive migraines that last for weeks on end (I literally had a migraine when I was pregnant with Hannah for FOUR WEEKS, and if that doesn’t make you suicidal, then I’m not sure what will!) and trying not to loose more weight in the first four months (by vomiting up everything I put in my mouth) than I will gain the last five months.  Somehow, parenting two little people while I am a beached whale, slowing dying on the floor, doesn’t sound like a plan for success.

So, there you have it.  I’m not pregnant.  Not now, not tomorrow.

Glad we cleared that up.  🙂

Gosh, so much has been happening lately.  I’ve been busy shooting, which has been great, but has left me little to no personal time.  I love it, and I’m working on balancing my life as a wife, mother, student, and working mom.  It’s been a transition to balance my family and my professional life, especially since I’ve been out of the working world for five years.  Luckily for me, I love what I do, and 90% of my work happens after my kids are asleep.

In other news, my niece, Jess, got married a couple weeks ago.  I photographed her wedding, and enlisted the help of my good friend, Luone, to help me since I actually had to be in some of the shots.  See the wedding pics here.  I had a slammed packed couple of weeks with family fun, (lots of family in from out of town) but now things have calmed down a bit and I should be back to regular posting.

Don’t hold me to it though, the pressure might make me pop, and I don’t think I could handle that right now!  🙂