Oct 30, 2013

Welcome To The Tween Years, My Son

Last year was the end of the birthday parties for Landon.  There's something about a child going from a single digit to double digits that changed for me.  The transition doesn't affect Landon at all, but for me it's different.  Having a child that is a decade old makes me feel ancient.  He's not exactly little anymore, but he's not yet a teen.  Just thinking about puberty coming soon (oh, joy) and creeping up on the teen years, is terrifying.  But, he seems to be adjusting way better than I am.  My itty bitty baby boy, my first-born, is gone in the physical sense, but he will always be my baby.  Always.  They say that the teen years are hell.  I know I was a difficult teen.  Aaron said he was a raging mess, with all of his glorious testosterone and outrageous temper growing up.  When he told me this, I knew I was in trouble.  And then let's not forget how we think we have this insane amount of confidence that we know it all and we rule the world as teens.  I sure hope that Landon slides smoothly into the transition and then back out again. I also can only hope that we've done our jobs as parents and he makes the right decisions in life.  What scares me the most being a parent is not the choices we've made together in raising him, it's the outside influences who make the biggest impact that make me cringe.  Even being in the tween stage, I can see little glimpses into our future.  He shows us attitude from time to time and says things like, "this is lame".  My first thought is, great, and so it begins.

Landon is a wonderful kid.  He's so incredibly smart and wise beyond his years.  The other day I looked at him in the kitchen and thought, wow, how did this happen so fast?  He's inching closer to my height (and able to wear my shoes), and the way he talks to us is surprisingly mature.  We forget how young he still is.  He's definitely a tween, but quickly moving into the teen lane and it's sad.  One of the many positives of having an older child is he is helpful and useful.  He will do the dishes, fold the laundry, clean (if asked or told), watch his brother for a moment if needed, and so on.  Now, some have stated how lucky we are in the "built-in babysitter" department.  Let me assure you that boys are a ton different than girls when it comes to babysitting.  Girls, by nature, are nurturers (hence the mommy/baby pretend play growing up).  Boys?  Nope.  This nurturing business does not come naturally to them...at all.  They are more rowdy and preoccupied with video games and things of that nature.  They scoff and roll their eyes at baby dolls.  So, we'll probably have to continue to find sitters for both of them until there is a little more confidence on our end in place.  Who knows, we/he may be the exception!  Boys.  *sigh*

I dressed Landon up in his normal every day kind of attire, only a little better.  Though he is getting older, he still has to be bribed in order to get the smiles or cooperation I need from him.  Looking at these pictures I was shocked that they turned out so well.  It made me think about his senior pictures (did I just type that?).  It was very similar to what I would have done with a male senior on a shoot.  To be honest, it was hard not to think about his senior pictures while doing this.  He's a handsome fella, that's for sure.  The girls are crazy about him at school.  We will walk down the hallway and sure enough there's a little flock of girls batting their eyes saying, "Hiiiiii, Landon."  He's a stud.  I think when he was in kindergarten he had about seven girlfriends.  Doesn't take him long to connect with other kids, especially girls.  This scares me to death.  He's very likeable and a class clown.  His teachers adore him (past and present).  When they see him in the hallway, they are giving him the biggest bear hugs.  As parents you sometimes get nervous that your child will be the most hated/annoying student in class.  Knowing it's the opposite and watching them interact puts my worried parent mind at ease.

Happy 10th Birthday to a terrific kid!  You are an amazing person inside and out.  We are so incredibly proud of you, and look forward to watching you grow and succeed even more!

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We hope you have an amazing "decade old" day, big boy.

Oct 26, 2013

Halloween Photo Shoot 2013: The Mailman and The Recon Commando

Since it's been a little cool here, and I'm trying very hard to keep my boys in good health for as long as possible, I thought it might be best to try something inside this year.  The boys love it when I break out my goodies.  Not sure what it is about a background stand and some backdrops, but it really gets them excited.  I just wonder how long this excitement will last.  At any rate, the kids had fun posing, playing together, and making silly faces.

Liam is going as a Mailman this year.  I've always made the comment that we thought it was cool that Liam's name is "mail" spelled backwards - our little special delivery and a gift from God.  He looks so flippin' cute.  But I think Liam could put on a garbage bag and still rock it.  Landon decided to go as something "tough" and "cool" as he likes to call it.  His costume is a Recon Commando.  I'm really digging the realistic looking helmet and goggles.  Landon is at the age where he likes to pick his costumes, which in all honesty, makes me happy.  Less stress and decision-making for me.  Liam is still not into anything in particular so I get to "play" in that department while he's still small.

One thing I have a problem with when choosing costumes is the weather and how cold it could be.  Sure, you can layer to make your kids warm, but this part always stinks.  I think one year Landon mentioned wanting to go as Diego (many moons ago when he went through a Diego obsession stage).  If you look at the costume it's short-sleeved with shorts.  Yikes!  That one in particular would be ridiculous to layer because it would take away from the costume itself.  Also, jackets/coats seem to do this as well.  I've tried to purchase costumes that are warmer (or can be layered), but sometimes the price doesn't agree with me.  I refuse to spend $40-$60 on a costume that they will only wear once or twice, only to turn around and damage it or outgrow it.  I find that to be a real waste of money.  Halloween is fun, but it can be a real pain, too! 

You will have to excuse my kids' messy just-rolled-out-of-bed hairdos.  They, literally, just rolled out of bed before these were taken. Not too bad for just waking up, if I do say so myself.

Here are my munchkins hammin' it up for the camera.

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Liam decided he didn't want to wear his costume anymore.  It was probably a good thing because I was afraid he might get it dirty or extremely wrinkled.  You know how it goes.  I also think that Liam was confused about what he wanted to be for Halloween.  Mailman or Exhibitionist?  He is his father's son. *sigh*

Talk about a ham bone!  My my, looks like I am in deep with this one.  In reality, he was showing off his big boy pants that he has attempted to wear for the 15,789,347th time.  We'll pretend it's a new idea, mmmkay?