Thursday, September 25, 2014

Being a Boy Mom

Last month I wrote a guest post for Elizabeth's Boy Mom Series over on her blog Chasin' Mason. I loved the opportunity to get to write about being a boy mom and, so that I have it in my archives, I thought I'd go ahead and post it here as well...

Hi! I'm Amy and I blog over at The Story of Us. Thank you so much Elizabeth, for asking me to join in on the Boy Mom series! Being a boy mom is better than I ever thought possible and I love talking about my sweet, sensitive and very rambunctious little boy who is full of energy and who truly is "all boy".

First, I'll share a little bit about myself. I've been blogging for around seven years now and I enjoy it very much. When I started blogging I basically just posted about scrapbooking and crafts that I had made, but as we started trying to have our first baby, it morphed into more of a lifestyle blog, which is what it is today. I usually post about my kids, our day to day life, photography and crafting. I work full time for the Federal Courts in St. Louis, MO and I also have a small side photography business called Storybook Photography. Photography is something I enjoy very much and I have loved learning so much from other bloggers.

My most important job though, is that I am a mom. A mom to 2 beautiful children that are my world. In 2011 we had our first child, a boy, named Jackson. He has been such a blessing and I have enjoyed these almost 3 years with him more than I ever thought possible. Then, in April of this year, we welcomed our sweet baby Avery into the world and she has completed our family so perfectly. 

My husband and I always talked about how we wanted two kids... a boy first and then a girl. I knew I wanted a boy, but I really felt like I was more suited to be a girl mom. I grew up with just one sister, so I didn't have the boy interaction I would have had, had I had a brother. I was just used to girls and knew what girls liked. I thought maybe girls just might be easier for me. So when we found out we were having a boy back in May of 2011, I was very happy, but a little part of me thought I'd be better with girls.

I definitely did not expect to love being a boy mom this much. Boys are just so much fun!

I expected the rough and tumble but I didn't expect for boys to be so sweet and sensitive.

I expected the boy toys like cars, boats, trains and trucks, but what I didn't expect is that I would enjoy the things that he enjoys just because they make him so happy.

I expected the bumps, bruises and scrapes but what I didn't expect is how much each tear he shed would effect me and that I would feel his hurt so strongly.

I expected the high energy of a boy and how I would probably love naptime, (and don't get me wrong, I do love naptime) but what I didn't expect is that sometimes when I'm laying in bed at night, I miss him even though he's just in the next room sleeping.

I never expected to love finding cars in my purse, spending a Saturday at the train museum, searching every Walmart, Target and Walgreens in the area to find the whole set of Disney Cars Die-Cast cars, playing catch in the back yard or catching lightening bugs as the sun goes down. I can't tell you how blessed I feel that I get to experience all of this and so much more. Having a boy is so much better than I ever thought possible and I love each and every minute of it.
(Quote found on Pinterest)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I just bought the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens and had gotten it in the mail last Wednesday evening, so I was playing around with it and got this sweet picture of Avery playing on her play-mat. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jackson Lately

 Jackson is only a month away from being 3!! Where in the world has the time gone. He is SO much fun right now. I just love all the funny things he says and does and I love experiencing new things with him that he's never seen or done before. :-)

He is now fully potty-trained (except we still put a pull up on him at night)! I can't tell you how happy I am about that. It actually went much easier than I thought. We had tried while I was on maternity leave with Avery, and though he knew when he needed to go and knew what to do, he just didn't want to do it. He did not want to go on the potty, so we took that as a sign that he just wasn't quite ready. However, back on July 27th, I asked him if he wanted to wear underwear when he got out of the bath that night and he said yes and he's been doing well ever since with only a couple of accidents. :-) Going number 2 took a little longer for him to get comfortable with, but I think we can say without any doubt that he is officially potty trained!!!

Funny things he's said lately:
Magic House: "Monster House"
Octopus: "Papapus"
Medicine: "Mecidine"
Toys: "Koys"
1, 2, 3 Jump: "One, Two, Free Gump"

"My Big Strong" which means he's a big boy. I had him and Avery in my arms one night and said, "awe, my two babies" and Jackson says, "my not a baby, my big strong." Ha!

He's also started saying, "my had it first" which he's apparently heard from an older cousin or another kid at school. Ugh.

One night last week while I was giving him and Avery a bath, He said "I love you" for the first time on his own. He's said it back to us if we've said it to him, but he was playing in the bath that night and looked up from playing and said "Mommy, I love you" all on his own. And then my heart exploded!! Boy do I love hearing those 3 little words come out of his mouth. ♥

He is now obsessed with band-aids. If he gets any little boo boo, it has to have a kiss and a band-aid! We might need to buy a few more boxes of them so we have plenty on hand. Ha. I've told him he only needs a band-aid if it's bleeding, but he doesn't agree. Ha.

When we're in the car, he often asks where we're going and for example, if we're headed home he asks "where is it"? So no answer is good enough until we give him play by play directions. "Well we will make a left up here and then go a ways and make a right, then another left and then we'll be home." It cracks me up that that is the answer he's looking for. I will say, he does have a pretty good sense of direction and knows the exit off the highway to several places that we frequent. He also has told family/friends in the car with us where his doctor's office is and where his school is if we've passed them along the way. :-)

He still loves playing with cars, trucks, trains and pretty much anything with wheels. He has also started to like playing with dinosaurs and action figures. We heard him the other day playing with his cars. He was making the cars say hi to one another and have a conversation together. It was the cutest thing ever. His new favorite show is Peppa Pig and he has started to like Jake and the Neverland Pirates more lately. He also likes Ninja Turtles now and Sheriff Callie a lot as well.

There is a commercial on Disney Jr. that shows a little girl going to Disney World. It shows Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom and now Jackson constantly says he wants to go to the Castle! I literally can't wait to take him there as it's one of the happiest places on earth and I love it so much. So we are thinking that while we're in Phoenix in late Jan., we may take a little drive to Disneyland so he can see the castle. I really hope we can make it happen because he will be so excited! He usually asks at least once a day if we can go to the castle. Ha. :-)

He's wearing size 4T clothes and size 9 shoes. He's growing like a weed!

I think that just about catches you up with what Jackson's been up to lately. He's getting so big and growing up so much. He's such a sweet boy and we adore him to pieces!! ♥

Monday, September 22, 2014

Storybook Photography Family Session - The Stanfields

A couple weeks ago, my sweet friend Holly asked if I could take some family pictures for them. Of course, I was delighted she asked so we took a few by a corn field near their home. It was the perfect setting for Fall Family Portraits!

Here are a few of my favorites.

This may seriously be one of my favorite photos that I've ever taken. I just love it. I feel like every mom should have pictures taken of her with her children.  ♥

 I had so much fun and I look forward to more Fall Family photos coming up in the next few months. :-)

To see more of my work, like my facbook page here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Favorite Photo Friday

For this weeks edition of Favorite Photo Friday, I have an iphone picture that I took Wednesday night at my MIL's house. We typically go to her house on Wednesday nights for dinner. Jake was holding Avery and she was telling him all about her day. It was so cute how she was reaching out to touch his face, (a new thing she's been doing) so I hurried to snap a picture. :-)

Daddy's Girl! ♥♥

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Fun Fall Day at the Park

This past Sunday was a gorgeous day outside. Though it's technically still Summer, the temperature this past week has better reflected Fall. The high on Sunday was in the 70's and it was a perfect day for the park! 

While it's football season, my sister, brother-in-law and my 2 nephews usually come over to our house after church so that the guys can watch football together... Go Chiefs! So while the guys watched football in the "man-cave" my sister and I took the kids to the park just down the street from us and of course I took along my camera. :-) I wanted to get a cute picture of Avery in the outfit she was wearing because I LOVE it and we also wanted to try and get a good picture of all 4 grand-kids for our parents. Thankfully we succeeded at both! :-)

 Avery hamming it up for the camera. :-)

The boys swinging at the park.

Little Miss Cutie!

My princess and I. My little "prince" didn't want to get in a picture with me. :-(

My sister with her boys.

The boys playing in the sand. 

A cute picture of all 4 kiddos. :-) This is so rare because Jackson is a nightmare to try to get posed pictures of. We succeeded though with bribery! Ha. Whatever works right?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Pregnancy Shutterfly Books

After having Jackson, I made a little 8x8 book using to record all my weekly bump-date pictures in so that we would have a fun way to look back on my pregnancy.

So I knew when I got pregnant with Avery, I wanted to do the same. So I got started on hers while I was still pregnant and just updated it weekly with my new picture. :-) 

I love these books. They are so nice to have to look back on. So I thought I'd share my books here with you in case you'd like to look at them. :-)

                                  Jackson's Book

Avery's Book

Friday, September 12, 2014

Favorite Photo Friday

I've got a super cute one for you today!!

She got to try baby food for the first time last night (carrots - 09/11/2014) and she absolutely LOVED them!! I literally couldn't feed her fast enough!

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Avery's Fourth Month

My Sweet Avery,
As of Thursday, August 28th, you are 4 months old. Where did the time go baby girl?

(Read about her first month, second month and third month.)

At your 4 month check up this past Monday (Sept. 8th) you weighed 16 lbs. 4 ozs (90th %) and were 26 1/4 inches long (95th %). You've doubled your birth weight and have grown 6 inches since birth! You are such a chunk and you have rolls for days and I absolutely love it!

Maw Maw took you to your 4 month check up while I was at work. You had to get 2 shots at this appointment, the first of which you didn't cry at all, but the second you did. :-( A funny thing that happened at this appointment was, the Dr. asked Maw Maw if you could roll over yet and Maw Maw said no, but that you were close. So just to prove Maw Maw wrong, you rolled over from your belly to your back right on the examination table! Ha. Crazy girl!

You are wearing all 6 month clothes and sleepers now and we had to move you up to a size 3 diapers!
You are eating around 6-7 ounce bottles every 4 hours or so now and we still have to warm them up some for you. We tried some rice cereal for the first time last Thursday (Sept. 4th). You were a little unsure about it at first, but you ended up eating the whole bowl and have eaten it at least once just about every day since then. Your pediatrician said you can now try baby food, so we may get some carrots this weekend and give them a try. :-)

 (Giving the highchair a try for the first time.)

You are still sleeping great at night. You usually go to sleep at around 9 p.m. in your Rock n' Play in our room and will often wake up once to take a bottle between 1 and 2 and then you normally go back to sleep until around 7 or 8. There are some nights when we get lucky and you sleep all night long and don't wake up until 9 the next morning!! You love to have your blankie over your face to fall asleep and the binkie is still hit or miss. You never keep it in your mouth for long, so I'm not sure if you will be a binkie baby or not. You certainly don't seem to be a this point. You usually take a short nap in the morning and then a longer nap in the afternoon, followed by an occasional short nap in the early evening.

You have gotten very "talkative" lately and you have laughed out loud several times this month. You are particularly ticklish right under your chin and you have laughed out loud at Jackson running around a time or two as well. You think he's pretty funny and I'd have to agree! :-) You've said Momma a few times when you've been upset (not on purpose of course, but that's what it sounds like you're saying). ;-) You are still teething I believe, but you haven't gotten any teeth in yet. You are constantly chewing on your hands and slobbering a lot. You've found your hands for sure and often look at them in amazement. Ha. 

You got to go to your first fancy party this past month and you had so much fun and were such a good girl. You loved all the lights on the dance floor and you would get so excited and kick your feet like you wanted to dance. :-)

(Avery, Mommy and Daddy at Pastor Allan and Christi's Fire and Ice themed 40th Anniversary Party at the Crowne Plaza in Clayton.)

Some things you love right now are: chewing on your hands, your blankie, your play-mat, being the center of attention, being outside, grabbing your feet and bathtime.
Some things you don't like are: your carseat and being in the car, not having anyone talking to you, having a dirty diaper, loud noises or voices and tummy time.

Pretty Girl, you are so sweet and I feel so blessed and grateful that I get to be your mommy! I love you so much! You are such a blessing to our family, we all just adore you sweet girl!

xoxo - Mommy

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

(Jackson at the Science Center this past Saturday. He was surprised and excited as the ball came down through these tubes.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Storybook Photography: A Sweet Family Session

I have been super busy with my Storybook Photography business and I couldn't be more thrilled. I love photography and getting to take photos for people. They are memories for them that will last a lifetime and I am so grateful to be a part of that.

James and Jamie are close friends of ours, so I was super excited when Jamie asked me if I would take some family pictures for them now that their little baby Jack has been added to their family. Their sweet boys, Sam and Jack, are just too cute and we had so much fun taking these photos. We met up in old town St. Charles, which is so pretty down by the riverfront. Here are a few of my favorites from their session.

Friday, September 5, 2014