Thursday, April 16, 2015

{14/52}

It's time for the fourteenth installment of the portrait project - a photo of my children, each week, every week, for a year.



anders // My little adventurer. You place a high value on experiencing things with others, constantly asking for us to watch you play, pretend, or perform, that is, when we aren't actually engaged in an activity with you. To be honest, it's exhausting. But it also means that you are extremely cooperative when I want to take your picture, and for that, I am grateful!



aksel // Your language is still very limited, but 'outside' is one request you verbalize daily. The weather was absolutely perfect on the day we celebrated your second birthday, and I'm so happy we were able to venture out to Lake Waco. I must have yelled your name twenty times trying to get you to look up at the camera for this picture, but sometimes it seems that nothing can break your focus. I can't wait to see if this characteristic remains as you get older.



august // Your facial features are beginning to become more and more distinguished. The reward of seeing your big, bright eyes and new smiles is worth every silly face, awkward gesture, and goofy noise required to evoke the response.

{13/52}

What's that you say? Where is Week 12? Well, friends, Week 12 was a total bust. I can't remember what happened, and my camera certainly isn't going to help. It seems I didn't take a single picture. I'm going to give myself a little grace and move on, because the point of this project is to capture the essence of our everyday life, and I can think of nothing more appropriate to convey our every days than imperfection. Lord, Jesus, help us. The cat's out of the bag.



anders // We both learned a valuable lesson this week. You learned not to write on your skin. Or your duvet. Or anything other than paper, without permission. And I learned that I need to be more explicit when giving instructions. 




aksel // Too many of our days are hurried and busy when Anders is at Mother's Day Out, with me trying to accomplish my agenda and run errands in the company of two, rather than three, sidekicks. But this particular day was wonderfully slow, and we were able to enjoy a few activities catered especially to you. I loved watching your concentration as your piled cheerios onto spaghetti noodles. That is...before you realized you could simply eat the cereal. The activity devolved at that point, but you seemed to enjoy it just the same.



august // Hearing your chuckles while you dream is simply magic. I know it's just a matter of time before you're laughing up a storm with your big brothers.

Friday, March 27, 2015

{11/52}

The portrait project continues - a photo of my children, each week, every week, for a year. This week I've been lazy, so all pictures were shot with a phone. It's not my preference, but it will have to do...


anders // This has been the greyest month I can remember. I finally bought you boys rain coats because the bleak, wet weather was keeping us inside. On Saturday morning, we found a new creek to explore. Thank goodness Far and Farmor were there because the heavy rains had raised the water and there's no way I could have kept up with you three boys on my own. But you were so fun to watch, in your element and so excited!


aksel // You are a professional pouter. Oftentimes when you are disappointed, instead of throwing the usual toddler tantrum, you hang your head low, pout your lips, and close your eyes. You do this in the most dramatic way possible, so as to communicate that we, your parents, have truly ruined your good time. In this picture, you are making sure Far knows that you are heartbroken he won't allow you to ride Rody on the coffee table. (Side note: You have also started attempting to ride him on the couch. Why are you trying to give mommy a heart attack?!)


august // I just love when babies fold their little hands. The other day, Anders noticed your cousin Esther doing it on FaceTime and commented that she was praying. These days I'm doing my best to memorize your tiny little fingers and your tiny little toes because I know too soon I'm going to blink and you'll be racing and wrestling with your big brothers. 

{10/52}

Time to play a little catch up around here. 


anders // You have always enjoyed being outdoors, and recently we've made a concerted effort to begin ushering your interest into true learning. We catch bugs, read nature picture books, take walks, and discuss our findings as we go. Here, you are pictured giving me your best impression of an owl. 


aksel // Let it be known that you are not a tag-along on our expeditions, but an excited participant. I practically had to drag you from this creek bed after almost an hour of pebble throwing.  I nervously watched you bend down over and over at this slight incline to gather small stones and finally suggested you just lie on your belly, despite the muddy mess I knew would follow. I'm confident we will visit this spot frequently this summer, though next time I'll be sure you are wearing water shoes!


august // My sweet little tummy sleeper (Don't freak out, people. I don't actually put him to bed on his stomach. He just happily passes out pretty quickly after we start tummy time exercises!). Aksel used to do this too. But not Anders. No way. That kid made sure from the beginning to never fall asleep unprompted ;)


And I have to include this extra little gem from a sunny afternoon spent in the front yard. It's one of the first pictures of the three boys together, and I just love it!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

{9/52}

Well, I still haven't gotten around to writing about Anders' birthday. I'm sure you are all wildly surprised at my lack of blogging consistency (gives side eye for sarcastic effect).

Last week we were hit with a huge snowstorm! Huge! As in more than a couple of inches. Snow! As in that cold, powdery stuff that falls from the sky in flakes as opposed to the sleet/freezing rain/wintry mix that freezes our lawns and cracks underfoot to which we are so accustomed. Storm! As in wind and precipitation for several consecutive hours. Perhaps you easterners feel I'm overstating things a bit, but this kind of thing only happens every 10 years or so around here, so just let me relish the moment. Mkay? 

Our area is not very well-equipped to remove snow or ice from roadways, so Andreas ended up working from home for a couple of days. He took a short break at one point to help me bundle up the kids and enjoy some family fun. 


anders // You had such fun discovering small snow drifts, learning to make and throw snowballs with Far, and creating your first snow angel. It was magical to watch you run through untouched snow, leaving a fresh trail of tracks behind you. I did, however, feel bad that you also ran through our neighbor's lawn and ruined their pristine view. Oops. 


aksel // After spending way too long cooped inside, I thought you would be so relieved to finally get out and run around. Well, apparently our town is not the only party ill-equipped to deal with snow. Without waterproof gloves, you spent most of the time staring at your hands with great concern and begging us to remove the frozen snow. Though I wouldn't go so far as to say you disliked the experience, you certainly seemed to enjoy hot chocolate and marshmallows afterward much more. 


august // My little buddy. You were a good sport and endured the frigid cold and blinding sunlight like a champ, snug in Far's arms. When we went inside to peel off all our wet clothes, he set you down and you fell asleep right there on the wood floor. And props to my wise sister, Hannah, who bought us this seemingly impractical teddy suit when we had Anders. It has actually been an awesome wardrobe addition and we've used it at least once with every kiddo. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

{8/52}

Anders turned 4 years old this week, which honestly seems pretty unbelievable. How can he already be 4?! I hope to have a separate birthday post up soon, but for now, here are this week's portraits. 


anders // In lieu of a party this year (I just wasn't up to the challenge of coordinating an event for 20 energetic 4 year-olds with a 3 week-old in tow. Next year, buddy!), Far and I thought it would be fun to celebrate your birthday with a special father and son camping trip. We all considered this upcoming adventure when selecting your gifts. Here you are pictured with your new fishing rod and magnifying glass, primed and ready for discovery. I can't wait until the weather warms up a bit and you are able to put them to good use!


aksel // We recently pulled out the bassinet attachment for the stroller, and you've decided it's pretty entertaining. Some days you will randomly wander over and climb in, twisting and rolling around happily, despite the fact that you barely fit! 


august // I know newborns don't consciously smile, but I caught what sure looks to be the beginnings of a grin as your oldest brother attempted to amuse you under the play gym. Both Anders and Aksel took a while to smile, and they made us work hard to elicit such reactions. I often joke that they inherited your Far's hard-to-impress sense of humor. The reality is that they find each other far more hilarious than they find Far or me, and I can't help but assume you will agree. But the thought of you three brothers laughing together warms my heart (and helps soothe my damaged ego ;))

Friday, February 27, 2015

{7/52}

It's week 7 of the portrait project, a portrait of each of my kids, once a week, every week, in 2015. 



anders // This picture captures you well, Cars tattoo and loads of imagination. We made playdough this week, using this recipe, with lavender, stress away, and orange essential oils. You enjoy any activity these days that allows you to rifle through my kitchen cabinets, carefully selecting tools and rediscovering forgotten items from the depths of kitchen drawers. Perhaps that adds a bit of insight as to why you were 'drinking' your playdough ball with a windy straw that had melted in the dishwasher...



aksel // This day you surprised (and impressed!) me with your concentration and fine motor skills, carefully stringing beads onto a pipe cleaner. Don't get me wrong. I helped you quite a bit, but you did manage to get a few beads on there all by yourself! You taught me quite a lesson as you tried something new, over and over, with little success, and did not get frustrated or defeated. 



august // This week Far gave you your first bath, and you looked totally relaxed! We've had varied success with baby baths (Anders basically scream-cried through his entire first bath. Okay, okay, I did too.), but I think the baby-tub-on-the-kitchen-counter method may be a winner for us all!