Thursday, November 5, 2009

Progression of a smile

My sweet baby is officially big. After weeks and weeks of discussion, I was finally able to convince Caden to let me pull his teeth. During my daily wiggle check, I noticed that the front top tooth had cut through his gums, so I decided it was time to get down to business.

After an appropriate amount of fussing and fear, he let me pull the small tooth to his right. It came right out. Then, I decided to pull the next loose tooth… the center on to the left. When I pulled that tooth, his cute baby smile disappeared into a snaggletooth look with his right center tooth dangling in the middle. I lost it immediately, my sweet baby was gone and in his place was this big kid with a silly smile.

He too was traumatized by his transformation, so we took a break, did some art (see the self portrait he drew), ate dinner and took the family out for some frozen yogurt to help celebrate his bravery.

At bedtime, I noticed that his center tooth had fallen half out of his mouth and was turning around backwards. I turned in a little further in his mouth and there was a pop…. Followed by Caden saying in his future Daddy voice “what have you doooonnneee?” It was hilarious. The third tooth was out. The transformation was complete. My baby boy is big boy now with a silly smile to prove it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wiggle Watch continues into fall...

If you can believe it Caden still hasn’t lost his tooth. However, now we can add two more teeth to the wiggle watch as of this week both top middle teeth are loose as is the next one to his left. My poor baby will soon be without three top teeth.

At this point, I want him to keep the teeth as his Kindergarten school portraits are on Wednesday. He took a baby gate to the eye on Sunday, so I’ll already have that gash to remember…so I would like to maintain his baby smile for a few days longer. Wish me luck; he has P.E. and a soccer game tomorrow.

On Friday night, we finally got a cold front. It was in the high fifties that evening, so Dave bundled up the boys and took them outside to play before we watched our rented movie of the night, “Transformers”. I took a moment to capture the boys playing together in this wonderful fall weather. Hope you enjoy the updated pics…

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wiggle Watch 2009

We’re on wiggle watch over here at the Schmidts. Caden’s third tooth is loose. It’s the top right tooth. It’s getting really wiggly, so Dave and I have asked him a few times if he would like us to pull it. However, Caden has such a negative reaction to this question; we have just left it alone…for now.

To understand why, you might want to know how Caden lost his first two teeth. The first was so loose that it wasn’t even really “attached” to his mouth. It’s was literally hanging by a thread. He would move the connected tooth 90 degrees in either direction…but still wouldn’t let us pull it.

I was so concerned that he would swallow his first loose tooth in his sleep that I convinced him to bite into an apple. He did and it popped right off. He was so relieved…so was I.

The second tooth was easy. It was loose. Caden was in the backyard playing with William. Next thing you know William kicked Caden in the face and out came the tooth. Little brothers can be awesome problem solvers.

Tooth number three is proving to be more like tooth number one. I imagine that it’s going to be in there, hanging by a thread. Can’t wait to see the story behind tooth number three….

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Playing in the rain...

Today Austin received some much needed rain.

This week, my sweet baby Nathan has been waking up from his afternoon naps and crying inconsolably. He’s been putting all of his new found energy into a full-fledged toddler tantrum. This afternoon, Dave’s was in his office on a conference call and all Nathan wanted to do was lay down by his office door and scream for his Daddy. Already exhausted by trying to console him, I did the only thing I could think of to distract him…I opened the front door hoping that the sound of rain would sooth him.

Instantly, he stopped crying and just listened to the rain. We stood there for a while when I asked, half kidding “Do you want to play in the rain?” He seemed to understood and started wiggling his way to the ground.

Now, Nathan hates showers, so I wasn’t sure he would particularly like the rain. He walked out from underneath the porch and put his hands out and looked up while doing the “it’s raining” squint. He looked back for reassurance then did his signature giggle. He was sold. This was awesome.

I watched him play in the rain, jump in the puddles and throw muddy landscaping rocks. He was getting soaked, but didn’t care. I watched him thinking… I should get him now before he gets too messy…too wet. Then it occurred to me that he was already too messy so I should double the fun and invite William to get in on the action.

William is my cautious one. He pointed out that Nathan was “berry, berry” wet before asking permission to join in. William showed Nathan the best way to puddle jump and how to maximize fun in the rain. I decided to bring them in when Nathan stepped on a rock and needed a Mommy hug. I figured, I could “fix it” better if he wasn’t getting me soaked too.

I love simple little moments like this. As a photographer I usually want to photograph these moments. However, that can sometimes ruin what is natural and lovely about it. So today I took a mental photograph and decided to jot this down so that hopefully I can look back at this and remember that sometimes difficult moments can be solved just by opening a door.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This Labor Day weekend, we spent our time celebrating with old friends, meeting new friends and catching up with dear friends. After such a whirlwind weekend of fun, I have been reflecting today on the friendships I’ve had over the many sections of my life.

I have my childhood friends from when I lived in Colorado and Oklahoma, my teenage friends from my years spent in Dallas, my college friends, my post college friends, my work friends, my mommy friends, my kids activities and preschool/elementary school friends, my neighborhood friends, my photography friends… the list goes on and on. I tend to think of them in groups or categories. They all relate to some important time in my life.

I find that there is never enough time to see my friends… not in the way I really want to. I long for those days in my youth when I spent all day hanging out with my friends, going out, doing absolutely nothing or doing absolutely everything, either way, loving every minute of it. Instead, today I have to settle for catching up with friends on Facebook, by email, the occasional play date or the even more rare night out.

Now my days are filled with the dearest of friends. They just happen to be really ‘short’ friends. I love watching my children make new friends or spend time with their good buddies. I often think about how these friendships will affect their lives over the years and which of these budding relationships will turn out to be lifelong friends.

So friends, if you are reading this… know today I was thinking about you. Let’s get together soon… I know it’s been way too long.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to Preschool

Today William and Nathan started back to school. It took me most of the evening yesterday preparing extra forms, gathering extra changes of clothes to be labeled in ziploc bags, and labeling other assortments of items "needed" for the first day of school. I felt confident that I was ready for the morning when I went to bed last night.

My day started a little off as I woke up not to my alarm but instead to Caden's voice at the top of my stairs. I quickly attempted to focus on the tiny clock on my cable box across the room and discovered I had slept through my 6:20 iphone alarm.  It was 6:45. Thank goodness, Caden is an early riser or we would have been in big trouble this morning. I made up for the lost time by not turning on his morning cartoons to speed up the eating and dressing process. Fortunately, he made it off to the school bus on time.

As soon as I walked back in the door from the bus stop, I hear Nathan. He must hear the door close, because he is always up when I come through the door. In the next two hours, I get the three of us dressed and feed and outside for "back to school" photos. We arrive at school on time. I need a stroller, not for Nathan, but for the bundles of items I am handing off to their teachers. We take William to class first.  I put  his lunch box in his cubby and he heads right into the classroom and starts and activity. No problem.

I'm dreading dropping off Nathan so I'm stopping to talk to anyone I see....walking slowly and hugging and kissing him every step of the way.

I have imagined that I will hear the sound of cats screaming when I open the door to the toddlers room, but I am pleasantly surprised to find only one child crying and he is beginning to get bored with his fit. Nathan grabs on to me tighter as he is now on to I sit down on the floor and talk to his teachers as I wait for him to warm up to the room. It takes less than five minutes and he is off my lap and gathering his favorite toy...balls. Just in time as now it's time to go to the gym for playtime. I help him walk out the door. I'm looking for the rolling crib that they used last year to transport the babies from room to room and realize that he's outgrown the rolling crib. He'll be walking this year. My heart sinks. He gives me a mad face and a little cry as they pick him up and walk him to the gym, but he doesn't get half way down the hall before getting distracted and is off to play.

Today, was a busy day.... I run home. Check email and begin to look over our remodel plans when Dave says, :shouldn't you be going". I was having lunch with Caden at school today so I needed to get to the Chick Fil A to pick up his lunch. I arrive at school, sign in, head to the cafeteria and wait in the doorway.   Soon, here comes the Kindergarteners. Caden sees me and leads me over to his table and soon his classmates join us. He is lucky enough to have his two good buddies in his class.  The four of us get to talking and three of us are getting really silly. Soon, I notice that Caden is starting to nuzzle into me while eating his lunch. Poor guy is exhausted. However, I think this is really sweet as he's not embarrassed or overly excited to have me there. The thirty minutes pass quickly and then like clockwork, they are gone, out the door and onto other activities. Dave was on cafeteria duty today so we stopped by Caden's classroom for a quick peek before leaving. He is at his center table arranging tiny dinosaurs in color patterns. His teacher sees us and invites us in. Caden waves but stays at his table and continues working on his task. We love that he is not distracted by us. This is the benefit of Davey working from home.

The highlights of today were 1) when I picked up Nathan from school. I love watching the boys in their classrooms when they don't know I'm there.  When Nathan spotted me, he lit up, ran to me giggling and gave me a big hug. Melted my heart and made my day. The second highlight was at dinner when I asked William how his first day went. He said "preschool was dumb" but he made a new friend. Should be an interesting year....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Comfort and Joy...table manners

My sweet baby boy has adopted a lovey this week.  He likes to carry it everywhere and loves on it all day long.  I wish you could hear his giggle when he discovers his lovey in the hallway or wherever he may have dropped it last.  The sound is pure joy. 
Nathan is 16 months now and can be very challenging.  If you've run into me running errands lately, you'll agree.  This wonderful little boy is full of energy and does not like to be restrained.  He especially dislikes his high chair.  The three or four times I put him in his high chair each day, I have to mentally prepare myself for a physical fight...much like the wrestle I do to get him into his post bath pj's.   It's like he's personally insulted that I would choose to feed him.  I'd say on average, he'll eat 1/3 of his food off the tray, toss another 1/3 on the ground and refuse the remaining food.  He had developed an amazing ability to scream at such an unbelievable pitch that my ears want to close in on themselves.  All the while, he attempts to get out of the seatbelt by turning halfway around in his chair.  I'll admit after a few minutes of this, I cannot hear myself think.  So I'll bargin with him for a while to try to get him to eat another bite, but reluctantly I'll let him down for no other reason but to stop the screaming.  Then this little child of mine will immediately bend down and eat the food off the floor.  I have come to learn that he'd rather graze than eat in his highchair... but this is just unsafe and a battle I'm not ready to loose...especially on spaghetti night.

Time Time Time...

Oh, how quickly time gets away from us.  With Caden starting Kindergarten, I am becoming increasingly aware that I have so little time to nurture and raise my little ones.  This past week I have felt this extreme need to be with my children... really just be present with them.  I want to sit next to them, hear what they have to say, play games or cars or whatever it is that they want to do, give them mommy's full attention instead of saying "in a minute or let mommy do this first".   All the while, I have this constant voice in my head saying "you need to do this or have you taken care of that"... but I'm trying to tune that out and enjoy my children instead of trying to organize their home and lives. 
I think sometimes I can get wrapped up in the details of preparing for a day and getting us through it that I forget to "schedule" the time to get on the ground and play with them... do what they want me to do instead of what I want them to do.  These past 12 days, I have been doing my best to do just that... schedule time to "be" with my children and give them my undivided, individual attention...which is a challenge in itself with three young boys. 
So far, it's been great... sure the house is a little messy, boxes still need to be unpacked, I'm somewhat behind on the laundry... but all of that will be taken care of eventually.  These guys won't wait and someday sooner than I'd like, they'll all three be riding that big yellow bus.