Sunday, January 10, 2010

An old post, but I have to share!

There is a reason we don't get professional pictures taken of our family very often. That reason was brought clearly back to the forefront of my mind this weekend as I prepared and executed this massive undertaking. I'm just grateful I didn't execute any of my children.

Makayla is a fussy baby at night, which basically means I have been confined to the house in the evenings for the better part of three months. Finally, Friday evening, the day before pictures, I told Mike that I would need to leave her in his care for a few hours so I could get coordinating outfits together. After deciding on a color scheme of cream, tan, grey and pink- based on one sweater that my 16 year old wanted to wear- I pulled together what we had and went out to find what we were lacking. Which was a lot. After racing through Target, Kohl's and Old Navy and purchasing nearly everything that they had in these colors, I went home to let the kids decide what to wear. Amazingly, I had forgotten tights for both little girls, and two cream colored shirts to wear under jumpers. We also discovered that as is customarily announced on Sunday morning but gratefully was caught early this week : two kids had outgrown their Sunday shoes.

I went to bed at about midnight after throwing in necessary laundry that needed to be done before our 11 am appointment. I was up at 6:30 am, showered and ready by 7. Nursed Makayla and woke up our very sick 3 yr old to give her another dose of antibiotics, praying they would kick in by the time we were taking pictures. Woke everyone else up at 8 to eat breakfast and get them headed for the showers. I took Autumn, 16, with me to Target at 9 to get the last needed items. We were home by 9:30, where I found my 14 and 12 and 5 year old boys still in pajamas, and Julia, my 3 yr old girl still asleep. Mike has been dealing with fussy Makayla all morning and had not noticed the lack of obedience of the boys. I threaten my 14 and 12 year olds with myriads of punishments if they are not showered and ready in 15 minutes, and proceed to put Hunter in the bath while I wake the sleeping dragon Julia. It is not pretty. She has not slept well. Getting her into a bath is a master class in negotiation skills. I should apply for a job at the UN. I pull Hunter out and put Julia in. Thankfully, I had the foresight to not get dressed in the outfit I am wearing for pictures yet, because by the time we are done with baths I am drenched. Julia ,however, is happy now. Until I start brushing our her hair, which brings on more shrieking, wailing and gnashing of teeth. She becomes reasonable when I show her the new clothes, shoes and headband she will be wearing. She is immediately the beautifully composed princess. I breathe a sigh of relief and move on to Hunter, who's newly purchased Sunday shoes still do not fit. Children should not be able to skip shoe sizes like that. His black Lightning Mcqueen shoes will have to work. It is now 10:45. Our appt is at 11, and it is 15 minutes away. Perfect....except for the fact that I AM NOT DRESSED YET! Mike loads the kids in the car while I throw on my outfit. Earrings.....where is the other earring? I am losing my mind. I throw a brush in my purse in hopes that I can do something with my hair on the way. Thank goodness I put on make-up at 6:30 this morning- I just hope it is still there. I also now remember that I forgot to put on mascara. Great, my kids eyelashes are crazy long so mine will now look even shorter in comparison. Can you photoshop eyelashes?

During the ride to the hotel where we were having the pictures taken, I find out that Sean has tried to make Julia happy by giving her a Jolly Rancher. When I begin to freak out at the thought of her adorable cream sweater being drizzled with Jolly Rancher drippings, he assures me that it is okay because she didn't like it and spit it out...thankfully missing the aforementioned cream sweater completely. Crisis averted! If I can keep them clean for ten more minutes it will be a miracle.

I have no number to contact Maddie, our photographer, so I call a mutual friend who gives me her cell number. Maddie is so kind in helping calm me down and lets me know that we can still make this work even if we are late. She is just great at what she does. We show up and she gets awesome shots of each individual child, boys with mom, boys with dad, girls with dad, girls with mom, family shots, baby shots....and everyone cooperates and looks great. Even Julia is happily running around. One would look at us and never guess the chaos that had ensued less than an hour earlier in my home to prepare for this event. And I guess that's the point right? To capture us at our best. Which I hope we accomplished. And we don't need to accomplish it again for a very long time.