nibbles, plup and starfishing.

Addie calls nipples ‘nibbles’ and if anyone ever corrects her I will choke you. She also calls pulp ‘plup’ please don’t correct her on this one either.

Vivi has started pushing her hair out of her face and it’s pretty much the most adorable thing she does at the moment (because it never, ever works.) She’s also picking up on more words, but only Cody and I speak her language. Our current favorite is they way she says ‘bunny’ it’s not even a word so much as a sound that a robot baby would make if it were trying to say ‘bunny.’ I keep trying to get it on video but no dice just yet.

Over at Toddler Times:

Vivi got her first salon blowout. Because that’s obviously what babies need.

She likes to sit in puddles, fully dressed, in the middle of parking lots.

Cody’s a good dad. Like, super good.

When Vivi and Addie play in the rain (which later turns to a puddle sitting obsession.)

Have you seen the Disney Toddler clothes at Target? WHOO. These are not cheesy character clothes AT ALL. (Why don’t they come in my size?)

A history of Vivi’s fairly epic baby hair.

Also, this photo:

Apparently even happy babies aren't immune to gloomy weather.

How’s your week going? It’s pretty gloomy around these parts.

he said: addie and a cell phone.

Cody and I both wrote posts about our views on Addie getting her first phone, we didn’t discuss it first, we just wrote. You can find my post here.

cell phone glow.

I don’t know how many times Addie has asked me while we’re at the store if we can run back to the toy section so she can look at the Monster High texting toy.  With each request my heart hardens a bit more and more to the idea of my daughter having a cellphone.

Call me a traditionalist or extremist, but I see these 10-year-old kids walking the halls of the mall with their friends while their heads are buried in their cellphones anxiously and aggressively typing out text messages and it drives me nuts.  When I was their age I used to walk 6 miles to school uphill both ways with six feet of snow covering the walkway at all times of the year.

Okay, so not one bit of that was true other than the fact that I did walk the 6 miles home from school whenever I forgot to make my bed in the morning and my mom refused to pick me up after football practice because of it.  Anyway, the point is that kids in my day didn’t have cellphones and here I am, alive with a family and career.  Cellphones?  Shmelphones.

[Read more…]

she said: kids and cell phones

Cody and I both wrote posts about our views on Addie getting her first phone, we didn’t discuss it first, we just wrote. You can find his post here.

cody's phone is her new favorite toy.

My dad had a smart phone four years before I even had a smart phone. It wasn’t until January of this year that Cody and I finally decided that I was busy enough with work and the girls to justify investing in one. Cody just got his first smart phone two weeks ago.

You could say we were a little behind the times, especially considering the average age for a child’s first phone is 12.1 and of the children who do have phones, 34% of them have smart phones.

We just never saw the need, all we ever did was call or text each other. I was either at home or out with friends and Cody was either at work or at home with me. It just wasn’t an expense we could justify until recently.

[Read more…]

carpe disney

I think I’ve mentioned before that I cry when good things happen.

When bad things happen I just get kind of quiet and internally miserable.

I spent the last few days in San Diego California with the very lovely Leah, there was supposed to be a group of us gathered together at her home for the weekend talking about our hopes, dreams, fears and favorite ice cream flavors. But life happened and one by one the other participants dropped off.

Except for me and my non refundable, non transferrable flight.

“I’m coming no matter what.” was my reply.

The two of us talked about our hopes, dreams, fears, kids, parents, and we even touched lightly on ice cream flavors (yes Leah, peanut butter DOES want to be in ice cream.) We wandered through the most abundant farmer’s market I’ve ever been to, we bought fresh eggs, ate heirloom tomatoes so flavorful I actually ate them by the mouthful (and I’ve never liked tomatoes in my life.) We tried something called lemon quark that has pretty much changed my life in whatever way a cheese can change your life.

As fate would have it, Disney had one of their cruise ships at port in San Diego and through Babble I was able to get onboard for a tour and a lovely lunch. Hello magic on the ocean, you lookin’ fine. (I cried three times on the boat, maybe once more because they made us get off.) Later that night we ate crab out of buckets while watching the sunset over the Pacific.

I am so happy right now.  #DisneyWonder

Our secret lunch buddy. #DisneyWonder #HiddenMickey

Oh sunset. You're so much better over a beach.

It was not a terrible way to spend a Friday at all.

Saturday morning we were going to poke around Old Town San Diego, eat some food and enjoy each other’s company when a line from an email I had received late the night before popped into my head.

“Be sure to let us know if you’re ever headed to Disneyland!”

The night before I brushed it off, I live in Indiana, we won’t be headed to Disneyland anytime soon. *sad trombone* You see, I had emailed the Disney employee (Hi Chris! Walk and talk! Walk and talk!) to thank him for hosting me on the ship that day. I was feeling especially grateful to be there since all the other lovely ladies on the tour were local to the area and had far more opportunity to interact with Disney than I have ever had. He wrote me back and told me about his wife’s birthday at Disneyland and how much fun he had being back onboard the ship as well, he closed with “Let us know if you’re ever headed to Disneyland!”

“Leah? Would you want to go to Disneyland today?”

“Uh. Sure?”
Through several somewhat confusing (on my part due to the excitement of OMGYAYDISNEYLAND! being a possibility) interactions, I got in contact with Chris and said “We’re headed to Disneyland! YAY!” We were going regardless of what Chris replied with, but bless his Long Island heart he replied with “There’s three park hopper passes waiting for you at Guest Relations.”

I'm am beyond happy right now. BEYOND.


Leah and her adorable husband Joe agreed that I had the excitement of a 10 year old in a 30 year old body which is probably totally true although I would argue 7 year old because have you met Addie?

There was some guilt that my husband and two small children were back home in Indiana while I was on Splash Mountain and winking at Goofy, but I told myself it was research, RESEARCH! Oh you guys, it was so much fun. The ambient noise of Disneyland is one of the most soothing noises in existence and the smell on Main Street? The one that smells like popcorn, candy, dreams and wishes? It’s easily my most favorite smell in the world. I cried, naturally, but I kept my sunglasses on to mask my joy lest I make anyone else uncomfortable with my enthusiasm.
After only 15 minutes even Leah, who I could tell was wildly skeptical about spending a day at Disneyland on a total whim, admitted to feeling things.

Shireen once said that if she has a raincloud over her head, I have a rainbow throwing out sprinkles with a unicorn leaping over it (or something to that effect) and it’s kind of completely true. Say what you want about Disney, Disneyland, Disneyworld and Disney cruises, but y’all? This world needs that kind of magic. This world needs streets that smell of cotton candy and caramel apples. This world needs princesses, giant dog costumes and happy smiling faces at every turn. This world needs fireworks every night and a place where responsible adults can walk around in ridiculous hats with ears and be considered completely normal.

Disney is where that stuff happens.

Perhaps if you’re a curmudgeon you’ve never noticed that no matter how grouchy people are after waiting in line for an hour for a four minute ride, they always come off windblown with happiness. We went on three rides Saturday, each with an hour long line. We maybe spent 15 minutes total on the actual rides but came out inexplicably happy from all three and those three hours we spent in line are just remembered as time we spent hanging out together as friends.

In the words of Addie,  "Best. Day. Ever." Thank you @leah7peah and @artlung for playing along.

Thank you Leah for inviting me to your home, thank you Cody for letting me go, thank you Babble for passing my name along to Disney Cruise Lines, thank you Disney Cruise Lines for letting me tour your ship, thank you Chris for hosting us, planting the Disneyland idea and providing us with passes, thank you everyone else for canceling so I could spend the day with my friends at Disneyland, thank you Disneyland for being that place for me, and thank you to Joe for driving and taking such good care of both your lovely wife and me while I was in your home. (Also, a big thanks to Leah and Joe for just rolling with this Indiana girl’s crazy idea of “I KNOW! LET’S GO TO DISNEYLAND!”)

Still happy.

catty matchy rawr.

On Friday I told the cashier at GapKids “You know what’s going to happen here? My seven year old is going to wear this dress with these tights and declare that she matches, because EVERYTHING MATCHES!”

The cashier smiled at me and told me she used to be teacher, “I could always which days the kids dressed themselves.

Sure enough, the first thing Addie did was pair her new dress with her new tights as well as her new-ish back to school sweater:

Well,  @natthefatrat did say it was THE neutral for fall 2012.

In case you can’t see her (with all the cat-ouflage) she’s on the left, in head to toe leopard print with purple patent leather shoes (We battled for an hour over how badly she thought she NEEDED! leopard print shoes.)

Last night we went to PetSmart and scared the everloving crap out of a chinchilla, can you just hear his little chinchilla mind freaking the freak out at the thought of a leopard staring him down?

We spent the night showing our kids things they can't have.

She’s so funny, always in her own little world where everything is wonderful and apparently very matchy matchy.

I hope you all get a chance to meet her someday, she’s simply wonderful.


Over at Shutterlovely:

I’ve lost 10 pounds and learned an awful lot.

When is a marriage worth fighting for?

fine, she’s a toddler. pffft.

SO! Big changes around here, I retired from Disney Baby, while it’s an absolutely beautiful site and just the kind of thing I like to be a part of, it was a giant stretch for me to try and go back into baby and pregnancy mode when I am very much in toddler and very NOT pregnant mode. If you are pregnant or have a small tiny baby, be sure to check in on all my friends over there, lovely stuff they’re creating.

portrait of a (sixteen month old) lady

BUT! Since I am living toddler day to day, I’ve now joined Babble’s Toddler Times for 5 times the toddler talking action. Here’s what I’ve laid down over yonder so far:

Even better? Those slideshows EVERYONE hated (me included?) THEY ARE NO LONGER! Well, I mean, there’s still slideshows, but the whole page no longer refreshes with each click! Just the photo changes! AAAHHH! It’s amazing! It’s moving forward! PROGRESS!

Hope you’re well. We’re just dandy around these parts, I found cute boots that fit around my calves! WHOO!




simplicity and our home at the end of the street.

The weather has been positively perfect around these parts lately.

One of the reasons I love the Midwest, endless clouds to the horizon.

At this moment our windows are wide open, a slight breeze is blowing through, the crickets are doing their cricket thing and Cody and I are both tapping out our tales by the glow of an old lamp, three feet apart from each other.

I love being here. I love having a house that is actually a home. Walls that have captured and absorbed so much laughter that you could probably hear it if you pressed your ear against them. Quiet little moments when you realize you have everything you’ve ever wanted or needed and all you had to do was fall in love and learn how to love yourself.

a lovely sunday evening

In my home my arms are never empty, there is always a warm body to hold, some of them bigger than others, a couple of them way more furry than the rest. I am never truly alone here.

I spent so much of my life lonely, even when I was surrounded by people. Now I’m whatever the opposite of lonely is.

Vivi and I take a walk everyday around our circle, we could not be more fortunate to have such a lovely house at the end of a lovely cul-de-sac. I wish every kid could spend part of their lives playing in a cul-de-sac. While the baby phase never lasts long enough, I’m relishing the chubby single finger hand hold phase. Vivi chokes bunny in one arm and holds my index finger with her other hand. We walk, she barks at all the dogs, tweets at all the birds and squats to pick every last dandelion she sees.

Sometimes she’s even wearing pants.

Shadow of a very loved bunny.

Safety first,  pants optional.

Vivi's dandelion picking service: A penny a pop!

Things have been pretty quiet around here, and yet they couldn’t be more marvelous.


Today my camera and I took a ride on a cherry picker high above hundreds of happy beautiful people.

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Photographed color me rad in Indy, I love my job.

I love my job.

Want to run in a Color Me Rad? There’s still a bunch of races left this year.

Want the opportunity to photograph one? Check CraigsList (or equivalent) as the date of your city’s race comes close for a chance to apply, or email your portfolio and equipment list to Flo-Foto.