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Larkin's First Birthday Portraits | St. Louis Baby Photographer

Monday, September 25, 2017

Dear Larkin Clementine, 

Your smile alone can light up anyone's day. The way you move with determination and persistence, the delight you take in each member of your family, including the kitty... Your laugh, your greeny-gray-brown eyes, your curly light brown hair... Every speck of you: you are pure joy. Thank you for choosing our family. We are forever changed by you. Here's to your next year-- may it be even more magical than your first. 

Love, 
Mama






























*

And because it's overdue, and will complete Larkin's year of milestone reports, here is Larkin right now:

1. Larkin is not yet walking. She cruises with utter one-handed confidence, and is a beast when it comes to climbing up and down from medium obstacles. Luckily she isn't attempting the crazy stuff yet-- dining room chairs and tables (looking at you, Bree and Knox!!), kitchen drawers, top of the piano, etc. but she is really comfortable with stairs (still under total observation) and the couch, etc. 

2. And as of today, she is beginning to try to stand without holding onto things, and she went from sitting to standing without using help, so I feel like just today she has turned a corner towards walking. 

3. She loves to help play the piano, and she sometimes seems like she is singing. In fact, one of her "words" is "la la la", very exaggerated with the tongue and everything. 

4. She LOVES listening to music and she will sit and dance with her hands in the air. She still responds to the "Trolls" soundtrack faster than anything else. 

5. She LOVES soft stuffed animals. So her one birthday gift from us was a soft plush monster than makes noise when you poke his belly. She was so charmed by it! And a few of her aunties/friends gave her other soft stuffies at her birthday party, and she absolutely loves to pull them out of the bin and hug them. It's so sweet! Today at church, she pulled an unused disposable diaper out of my bag and she hugged THAT, so I guess she's not discerning... just as long as it's soft and squishy. Haha!

6. After a small period of time a few weeks ago where she was working on breaking her top two teeth through and therefore waking at least once a night, she is back to sleeping all night for the most part. She's adopted her bottle as a soother when she sleeps, so we've worked it out where we sneak the milk bottle away and replace it with a bottle of water to keep her little teeth healthy. 

7. Which means yes-- she has her two top teeth now, and they're about halfway in. That's four teeth total, so I know we're overdue for more teeth soon. 

8. Her hair is long enough for a top-of-the-head ponytail, or for a bow-on-a-barrette. The headband era is done for now--- she pulls them off too readily (go peek again at the bubble bath photos and you'll see one where she's beginning to tug her headband off). SADNESS! 

9. She LOVES to open cupboards and pull things out. She's especially fascinated with a dish scrubber and a sponge I keep under the sink. I mean, she can mess with those two things for a long time before moving over to the cupboard with the water bottles in it. I'm constantly putting all those things back. 

10. She is probably en route to one nap. Some days she sleeps in til 8:30, so on those days I just keep her up til after I take Quinn to preschool at 12:30, and then nap her from 12:45-3:45. On the days she wakes with the rest of us at 7, I try a morning nap for her at 9:30 and a second nap for her around 2:30, and sometimes it works, and sometimes she sleeps great for the first one and jabbers the whole time for her second one. *shrug* I am just having to remain flexible every day when it comes to napping. 

11. She LOVES playgrounds. Slides are her favorite, and she loves to go down on her tummy, feet first, arms outstretched toward the top. She grins so wide when she slides! She loves the swing, too, and climbing the structures' stairs and scaring me to death every time she goes to one of those long-drop openings. Come on moms, you KNOW what I mean. SCARY! She thinks she can get down from them like she does a short step. Only it's a 10 foot drop, so.... 

12. She is SO chatty, and it's the cutest thing EVER. I can't even describe it, but she just chatters and "talks" and it sounds so cheerful and mellow and conversational. It's my favorite! 

*

Thank you, friends, for indulging me over a WHOLE year, where the majority of my blog posts have been Larkin-centric. I hope, as she gets more independent and I find more pockets of time, to blog more and more... and there's a good chance that I'll have more variety in topics. But for now, you're stuck enjoying Larkin Larkin Larkin. ♥ And that's not really a bad thing.

September Morning Freeblurt....

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday morning and Larkin woke when the rest of the kids did, but then she fell back asleep and here we are. Noah and Lucy are at school and I was going to take Larkin and Quinn for a morning walk, but Larkin falling back asleep killed that mojo... so then my mind got to spinning about the Blurb book sale deadline tonight, and how I have two more books to finish in time for that, so I came to my desktop computer to hammer out some work, despite my typical rule of not doing my photography business work during the day... And Quinn, sweet boy, is getting some extra screentime, sitting in the comfy chair behind me, so I can get this work done, all while I keep one eye on the baby monitor.

And I think Larkin may end up like Lucy and I-- loving to sleep, wishing mornings started later. She has rolled over a couple of times, but she is definitely NOT ready to wake. And let's not go down that rabbit hole-- the one about her napping and how its shifting and how these morning sleep-ins just confuse the issue further, but are so nice when they happen.... Nope. Not gonna go into that now. Maybe when I post about her one-year milestones and stats.

So I'm here, waiting for the first of the two books to upload to the Blurb website (yay, me!) so I can get going on the second book, and I am letting myself start to think about all kind of randomness and I'm working myself into unnecessary knots of light anxiety when I think about how next month I will be flying out to Utah to meet my baby sister's baby, and I will take those newborn photos... but I don't have all my gear out there, so I need to round up some things to make it work out. And it will work out-- I have friends there who can help me gather what I need... But sitting here one month before, I'm letting it make my stomach hurt. And then I think about how I intended to take a morning walk with my two little ones at least three times this week and here it is Friday and I have only managed a half-walk on Monday (Tuesday?) when I parked a half-block from the post office so we could take a longer stroll to get there and back to the car. And part of it is Larkin and this sleep thing, but part of it is MY MIND HAS IDEAS but my physical self is so undisciplined and unable to do what my mind wishes. Not just with getting the right shoes on and stepping out the door here, but with any awesome new habits I want to begin. I am weak and selfish and lazy and weary and I hate that. I hate that I can have all the intentions in the world-- make lists, get excited-- and then when the dailiness happens, I can look at the list and...... just decide "not today." How lame. So then I get fresh knots from the self-flagellation and disappointment...

All while I wait for book one to upload and Quinn gets more time on the iPad than he should, and I should probably go wake Larkin up and just get this day started for real... because when it starts TOO slow (oh how I actually love the slowness, but...) then all I want to do is stay in pajamas and take naps and read books and just.... not do anything else. And some of that is lovely and good, sometimes. But good things can also be bad, and in this case, I think I know me enough to know that I need to start most days with vigor and intention and action, so that things actually get done. And that has not happened today.

And there are many things that could/should get done: not just a good healthy walk... But laundry to do. A couple of bags of MISCELLANEOUS that need to be sorted and put away. Things I am ready to be done with that need to be photographed and posted on the Buy/Sell/trade board. Two items that need to be hemmed, otherwise I will have wasted money buying them. Sitting with Quinn and encouraging some art or some STEM fun. Taking Quinn and Larkin somewhere wild for them to get dirty and curious. Maybe toilets to scrub (I miss you Julia!!!! *sob*)... Oh, I have to take some photos of the non-working MG car in the garage for my father-in-law. (don't forget that today, Em.) I need to call the school to ask if it's too late to place an order for the school photos they just took on Monday but that I forgot to send in any kind of order for. I should run by Aldi for a few groceries. Oh, and these Blurb books. gotta keep pushing to finish them by this evening, because this sale is a good one. Oh and I forgot to eat breakfast. (thanks, tummy, for finally waking up and reminding me!)

And so. Here I am. 9:10 am. In a bit of a spiral, mentally. But Larkin just rolled over again, so maybe I'll take this as my cue to pause the Blurb'ing, end this blog blurt, and go get myself dressed and ready before I go get the baby and gently pry Quinn away from his game, and decide which of the above to get going on next.

Happy weekend to whoever finds this and reads it. I confess I assume this kind of blurt is mostly annoying to everyone else (it's just good for my own soul), so I don't necessarily go out and announce that I've written it. So. Ha.

Also, P.S. the photo is not from today, but it kind of fits my mood, and if baby was with me, that's what we'd be doing. So.Thanks to you if you read this whole thing and still like me. The end.

Happy First Birthday, Baby Girl!

When Larkin First Arrived | St. Louis Newborn Photographer

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

{six days old}







{eight days old}







{twelve days old}







{fourteen days old}


{sixteen days old}



{twenty-one days old}



{thirty-three days old}



Tomorrow, my tiny last baby will turn one year old. Tomorrow. Do you understand the gravity of this? Somehow, despite all my pleading attempts to hold onto time and try to pull it hard to slow it down, it persisted, and here we are. One year ago tonight, I was finishing up my packing and preparations, getting ready to check in to the hospital in the morning for an induction so I could have her before the end of August. (Check out her full birth story HERE.) One year ago, I had no idea what her specific brand of magic would look like-- feel like. I knew she would be amazing-- that's the incredible joy of having multiple children: you learn early on how incredibly unique and quirky and hard and wonderful each of them are... so completely individual. So incredibly cool to "meet" the newest one and begin to see them become their own self.

And now she is almost one. And she has all of us enchanted. She makes us laugh, and she laughs at us. She is incredibly curious and clever and charming and chatty. She is set on being a full-fledged TODDLER (despite not yet walking, she is crazy-mobile and opinionated already) even before she officially turns one.

She is marvelous, and even as I feel the ache of time passing too quickly, I am so grateful to get to celebrate her like crazy tomorrow and the rest of this week. I am so grateful to be her mama.

And in honor of her birthday, I finally pushed to finish editing the last few newborn photos I took of her in her first weeks (with gratitude to my friend Erin for helping me with the outdoor and mama/baby shots!) and I finally have them all here, blogged... shared. It is gratifying to see them all in one place, and I am so grateful that I've been able to chronicle her life in photographs I cherish. 

I have grand plans for her next round of photos-- just wait til you see her curls and her toofers!-- but tonight, I want to sit in my memories of her as a brand-new baby, my own sweet new Larkin Clementine. Thanks for coming down memory lane with me. ♥








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