Life with three.

“We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey. Appreciation is a wonderful feeling, don’t overlook it.” ~author unknown

It’s been close to seven weeks and the realization that I now have three children has officially set in. Perhaps it’s in part since Jason and I have resumed work and are once again transitioning into a new sense of normalcy as we both learn to juggle the kids and work. I wouldn’t say it’s any harder…we have just learned to manage our time and priorities a little differently. This little guy has definitely become an important part of our family…and he leaves us all smiling that he’s now here.

Me + Chance

So it finally hit me…I now have three kids. I’m really not stressing about that thought…just about trying to take a photo of ALL three. This evening I took the kids out to the park…yes, Hope and Jaylen deserved a bit of fun out for a change after being trapped in the house so long with baby boy. Afterwards I coerced them into allowing me to take a few photos. Their minds were more on playing and running around so I could already sense it was going to be a challenge. Attempt number one…Chance yawns. Then cries on and off after this photo.

candid moments with the kids...

Attempt number two…Chance is finally asleep and Jaylen who is totally obsessed with touching Chance these days (…he’s infatuated with his toes, ears, & hair…) decides he wants to fiddle with Chance’s toes. Something tells me my mother will find this hysterical because apparently I’ve been told I use to do nearly the same thing when I was a kid. It’s good to know he picked up this cute (yet frustrating for a photographer and sometimes for a baby) habit from his Momma.

candid moments with the kids...

Then finally just one photo of the three. That’s ALL they gave me and insisted on stopping. So yes, no more time to take a few different shots from different angles or zooming in. Just 3 quick split second shots that are a true testament of my life now with three kids. I’m sure I could have tortured them more…but hey, unlike the other families I take photos for who I usually only have an hour or two with – I have my entire life with these amazing kids and they need not worry…there’ll be many more photos of all three. Something tells me they’ll be better…but I’m quite happy with these photos because they’re quite real and memorable of the moments this evening.

candid moments with the kids...

As the realization of having 3 kids hit me this past week I recall laughing as things happened here at home. I thought it was worth humoring and updating those of you who continue to read my blog.

  • The “F” word is super popular in my home these days. Yes, I know…doesn’t sound good at all. But you can blame Chance for the “F” words increase in popularity. I’ve had three children now and have been around hundreds of other babies but I swear this baby boy can fart better than any baby I’ve ever encountered. Yes, he’d make any man proud. Of course the kids think it’s hilarious — many times during the day they can be heard in laughter saying “Chance farted”.
  • Jaylen has been potty trained for a couple months now and continues to do super. He gets really excited these days and doesn’t even bother to tell us half the time before he goes. He cracks me up because every time he flushes he has to say “bye bye pee” or “bye bye poop”. Hey, whatever works so he’s 100% potty trained.
  • We’ve gathered that Chance at times makes noises like a lamb, horse, and now he growls like a bear sometimes too. All of which are almost always made in his sleep. So yes, even though he’s thankfully going longer than every 2-3 hours to be fed, he makes so many noises that it’s tough to ignore the cute noises in our sleep.
  • Hope continues to be an awesome big sister. She rushes home from school to hold him. She loves to carry him around the house…it’s almost like Chance has become her own little baby doll. Or as she told me, it’s almost like she’s a little Momma to Chance. I can’t complain because she’s been a huge help. For a while she would feed him, until she got spit up on. She’s not quite brave enough to change his diapers but I can tell she secretly wants to help with that she’s just scared she might get peed on.
  • Because I’m nursing it seems that breastfeeding is a topic that the kids aren’t ashamed or embarrassed to talk about…or should I say joke about. Anytime I’m nursing Chance Jaylen almost always says “Chance eat boo-dees…hahahaha”. Yes, “boo-dees” is his way of saying “boobies” and apparently they’re funny for him to talk about. Every time they joke we have to remind them that they were once fed the same way.
  • Now that Hope’s in the 3rd grade she has started to take FCAT’s this week. Yeah, the not so fun standardized test that so many third graders are scared to take. She’s a smart kid so it’s sad to know she was up the night before the first testing day crying because she was so nervous.

Today I decided to put Chance in another panda hat just to take a few candid photos. He was wide awake and alert. He’s been holding his head and upper body so well lately and I wanted to try to get at least a photo of him from his chest up with the hat on. As I noticed his strength I decided to try to trick him into sitting. I know he’s got many months before he really sits well but babies can often sit for a couple seconds before the tip over if they have enough support. So Hope and I tried today for the first time. I let her take the photos as I held onto him.

Sitting for a split second...

The end results were all a bit too blurry, even with the blur this one was worth sharing..because he did sit here for about 3 seconds before he tipped over and I caught him. Not bad for nearly 7 weeks old, eh. Something tells me we’ll try this again soon.:)

Sitting for a split second...

Life with three has definitely caused time to speed past me even faster. It’s a little shocking that it’s been nearly seven weeks since I had him and now I’ve begun to focus on the many other commitments. Somehow I’ll undoubtedly find balance. The added time at home was good but I joked today while on campus that returning to work may actually be a bit of a break…of course it also makes coming back home that much more rewarding.

While on campus today just about everyone I crossed paths with made it a point to say something like…”you look great”. I’m beginning to think that’s something everyone is required to say after someone has a baby. Of course a few others made it a point to mention I’ve lost weight and ask if I was exercising or on a diet. I suppose pregnancy this time around has been a great weight loss program for me. Since having Chance I’ve now lost 25 pounds and am just over 15 pounds beneath the weight before I had him. How that happens baffles me because I know so many women say they have so many issues losing the weight after having a child especially after having a few children. Thankfully thus far that’s not the case for me. I can’t say I’m on a diet and I definitely haven’t begun working out because physically I’m still recovering from the c-section. I’d love to say I’m 100%, but I’m not. I’m able to do a lot more physically but it still hurts moving in some of the simplest ways which I’m sure is due to the muscles (or lack there of) healing. Of course I am nursing and pumping and am confident that’s a huge reason why I have lost so much and could possibly continue to lose weight. I bet if I weighed all that milk in the freezer (over half of it is full of milk) that it’d probably weigh close to what I’ve lost.:)Now if I could just recover enough physically to work out again I might actually feel like I’ve lost that much weight.

Me + Chance

Since before Chance was born I knew I wanted to take some photos of Jason holding Chance. Yes, Jason typically despises my camera…though secretly I know he appreciates me taking so many photos even if my camera annoys him sometimes. I really dreamed of the photos of Chance being itty bitty and brand spankin’ new in his hands but when we were in the hospital so long I realized the little guy wasn’t quite the curly newborn I envisioned and instead I plotted out all the newborn photos you’ve seen to date. Then this weekend I photographed another newborn…I’m so close to finishing the photos to share…but in doing the photos I realized Chance wasn’t really that much bigger than a newborn. I suppose he is pretty tiny…he just isn’t too curly like most newborns. So I told Jason he had to cooperate for a few photos. Thankfully Chance only took a few minutes to pose and remained sleeping long enough to get the perfect photo of our little guy. Yes, this guy is definitely a gift from above and this photo certainly helps us remember that.

Chance is a gift from above.

Just this week Chance has seemed to get a bit more clingy and seems to prefer to be held by me a bit more often than with others. It definitely is an uplifting feeling for a mother, but also an exhausting feeling at times, especially when you have lots to do! That was the case earlier this evening…so Chance sat right beside me and we got some things done together.

someone is getting clingy...

Yes, life with three is definitely full of so many moments that I’ve found so memorable…so much so that it’s tough to imagine life now without three kids. As a photographer all too often I hope to capture, and perhaps create moments that end up being memories that others will never forget, and I suppose what I’m beginning to learn more and more every day is that along with that the more important thing to do is appreciate all the moments as they are happening…every one might not be picture perfect…but in my books they’re still perfect memories for me to appreciate.

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April 15, 2011 - 1:50 am

Richard Auger - Beautiful photos Amanda! I haven’t been on your blog for a while, I’ve been missing alot of good posts. Looks like you got your hands full between photography and three kids :)

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