Souther California Photographer-54Souther California Photographer-338I wish you could see the very scene that surrounds me at this very moment — it’s the scene that in hindsight is responsible for much of my exhaustion as of late, my inability to get anything done, and the end of whatever alone time Willy and I once had. I’m referring to this high-energy child of mine that is currently running circles around me, chasing Jimmie – who is terrified – with a water gun… simultaneously making a mess of the house I just spent the last day cleaning.
I’m referring to the fact Hooper is no longer napping.
Sure, I’ve mentioned it before… but when I mentioned it before I didn’t quite understand the full ramifications. I didn’t directly correlate the unanswered emails, the unwashed dishes, the unfinished blog posts, not to mention the sanity that comes with even just 30 minutes of peace and quiet.
We had a good run, I know. I realize he will soon be 5 and that we are just now giving up those solid couple of hours of afternoon delight. No pun intended. Or maybe there was, you be the judge. All I know is that at this moment I have a confiscated leaking water gun on my lap that’s making it look like I’ve pissed my pants, a dog at my feet hoping to find some safe haven, and a wide awake 4-year-old that desperately wants to wake his sleeping brother and is determined to occupy me with 10 silly demands until that time comes. And then that time will come and soon enough they’ll be fighting.
It baffles me that my blog has survived having my first child, then my second child, and even my 13-level-spinal-fusion, only to go dark – or darkish (there was a time I used to write everyday)- when one of said children has stopped napping.
Such is life. In any event, I’m having to figure out new systems for getting shit done. I’ve yet to solve the catastrophes of my inbox. But shit, I have yet to solve how to stop a 4-year-old from squirting a water gun at an overly anxious dog. First things first. And so, the emails pile.

Slow down

338A1283-73I caught myself as the words “you’ll understand when you’re older” rolled off my tongue. It was like I was sitting in the backseat and my mom was driving, only I was driving and Hooper was sitting in the backseat. What I’m trying to say is that the damn tables have turned.
We were on the way to preschool when Hooper asked me why Van doesn’t go to preschool yet. I explained that Van is still too young, to which he responded by puffing his proverbial feathers and declaring, “ya, I’m a big kid, Mama”. Only it was followed by, “but why you not want me to grow too fast, Mama?”.
I guess he’s caught on to my nagging insistence that he slow down. I’ve pleaded with him, a couple of times, during our many cuddle sessions – praise the Lord he still loves to cuddle – to not grow up so fast.
I couldn’t explain it to him, so the words “you’ll understand when you’re older” simply had to suffice. But really, Hooper, slow down.

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Style de Hooper



























T-shirt: flea market find
Overalls: from Etsy seller MsTips
Boots: uggs, a lovely gift from the grandparents 🙂
…And the cutest squatter ever, you ask?














Wishing everyone a Happy Superbowl Sunday 🙂



Confessions Of…

Nearly all of the puree concoctions I make are for breakfast. This one was for lunch. I make just a single serving because the tofu texture changes when refrigerated over night. Here’s what I included:










Organic Tofu










One Kiwi




















He ate it all. Here’s proof:
























































Hooper @ 14 months

Growth: We have not been to the doctor since your 12 month appointment, so I do not know your height or weight. In fact, for the first time ever someone asked me what you weighed last and I couldn’t remember. I used to know down to the ounce. I used to worry so much about how much you were getting. Those days have passed and it is nice not to harp on your weight. You’re healthy, that much I know.
You haven’t gotten any more teeth. Your daddy and I are wondering where they’re all hiding. They seemed to all come in at once and now nothing. I do see a tiny one starting to pop through on the bottom right, so maybe that’s a sign there will be more shortly thereafter.
Eating: Feeding you has always and will always be an adventure. You definitely know what you like. Breakfast is never a problem. We have that down to a routine. You always get a puree of different fruits and vegetables and you haven’t waved one off in quite sometime. We always finish with some whole grain cereal, either Flax Seed Flakes or Hearts and O’s. If you haven’t finished your puree, adding a little cereal always does the trick. For lunch you eat Greek yogurt, steamed carrots, sweet potato mixed with broccoli, a tofu mix (sometimes you wave this away or share so lovingly with Sarah), grilled cheese, scrambled eggs with cheese, corn mixed with sour cream, anything mixed with sour cream. For dinner we try to give you some of whatever we’re eating, but that doesn’t always fair well. In fact, lately we’ve been trying to feed you before we eat because as soon as I sit down with my food all you want is my plate and my fork. It’d be one thing if you ate what was on my plate, but all you want to do is play with it. So ya, I’ve been feeding you while papa makes dinner. You like veggie burger patties, spinach cakes, cherries, blueberries, breaded chicken, fish sticks, some pasta, Mediterranean couscous. Your favorite snacks are raisins, apple sauce, string cheese, and any cracker. We’re always trying new things, but you are definitely picky and feeding you is definitely frustrating at times.
You do well with a spoon and fork, but still use your hands as well. Not sure what to do about the bottle… as we still have to hold it for you. Not because you’re not capable, but because when you really want milk, you want us to give it to you and when you’re not interested you just want to carry your bottle around and spill it all over the place. We keep meaning to push the sippy cup, but we haven’t done a good job at being consistent.
Talking and Development: You’re starting to say a lot more these days. Mostly different sounds: go-go, boom, hiss, mooo, nay-nay, nooo, and various pitches of whining. Words you use include: ma-ma, your all time favorite, pa-pa, da-da. More than speaking, you’re understanding. If I ask you to sit down, you sit down. You can point out your hair, ears, nose, belly, and feet. If we say “stomp your feet” or more recently “fancy feet”, you stomp your feet in quick succession. If I tell you to give Sarah a hug, you rest your little head on her side. You follow simple instructions and for the first time I think it’s safe to say you are smarter than Sarah. I wondered when this transition would take place. It has.
Sleeping: You go to bed at about 9pm and wake up around 8am. It’s perfect. I couldn’t ask for more. You take a two hour nap in the morning, usually from 10am to 12pm and another nap in the afternoon around 4pm for another hour or so. You are an absolute perfect sleeper and I love it.
Favorites: You’re in to anything and everything which has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Advantages: we don’t need to bring any toys when we go anywhere. You always find something to entertain yourself with. Disadvantages: nothing is off limits. You’re somewhat into your toys, but you’d much rather carry around a broom or go digging in the recycling bin. You’re also still obsessed with Sarah’s food, partially because you obviously enjoy the taste. You love to organize things and are constantly picking something up, transporting it to somewhere else, then rearranging the pile you’ve accumulated, then transporting it all to a new location. You’re quite industrious.
Upcoming: Still haven’t gotten around to that mommy and me class. Our midwives suggested mommy and me yoga. I’d love to do that, so I’m going to look into that. Other than that, transferring from a bottle to a sippy cup is a must. I’m starting to get embarrassed. Just kidding. Seriously though, it’s time Hooper.

Style de Hooper

Here’s another snazzy look Hooper rocked the other day. See that little curl over his left ear? It’s killing me with cuteness. The outfit isn’t so bad either.




















See that cut on his left hand? He had a run in with the mirror. Oh and that mark on his chin, you ask? Not even sure when or where that happened. This boy… I tell ya…




















Shirt: The Children’s Place
Vintage overalls: From Etsy seller Little Reader Vintage
Shoes: Classic Vans

Confessions Of…










I used to always push avocados on Hooper. He’s always been in the low percentile for weight and avocados are good for packing on the “good” fat. No matter what recipe I tried, he’d have none of it. I was about to let an avocado go to waste the other morning and thought I’d give it another go. It’s been a while since his last avocado rejection episode. Here’s what I included:










One Avocado










Strawberries and blueberries










Yes, in case you are wondering I always include a big bowl of spinach for my little popeye










Hooper waiting patiently










Hooper not waiting patiently










Steamed Carrots











Cherries and Banana (I actually used two bananas)










Butternut Squash

And, as always, the result:


















































Me: “What does the cow say?”
Hooper: “Mooooo”
Just one of many things learned over the weekend in Arizona.


















































































Arizona, Part Three

The first time I went with Willy to Arizona, we had been dating for a few months and all I could concentrate on was the awful smell of cow shit. I wondered how I was going to fall asleep surrounded by what smelled like a giant porta potty.
When we arrived at my in-laws this time around, Willy took a big whiff in, looked to me and asked, “Don’t you just love that smell?”. I felt my nose curl up in disgust until I smelled something lingering beneath that porta potty stench. It’s nostalgia. Which is probably why Willy craves it under his nostrils. It’s not the smell of the cows excrement, it’s the smell of home. Of farm life, of blooming flowers, of hay, of trackers combing the fields, and the endless Arizona sun shining through the glass bringing the warmth that only a familiar home can bring.
Time spent with family is so much richer as a mother. The happiness it brings me to watch Hooper interact with those we love and who had a hand in raising us is simply not tangible.





































































































































































Arizona, Part One

We spent this past weekend in Arizona, visiting Willy’s family. It was a beautiful weekend with warm weather, great company, and even some Goodwill and consignment shop hunting. What more could a girl ask for? Oh ya, the flight wasn’t full going or coming so Hooper was able to have his own seat. Score! He also fell asleep for most of the flight home. Double score! I have loads of pics, but here’s what I captured with my iPhone.

Then & Now, A Vintage Teddy

For Christmas, I unwrapped the most special gift. I’ve been eyeing this teddy bear since I was pregnant with Hooper. It was my moms as a baby and she’s held on to it all these years. Thus, she was reluctant to hand it over. It took a special holiday for this beauty to land in my lap and I’m oh so glad it has. It will either go in Hooper’s new room or in the new nursery. I haven’t decided yet. Thanks mom, I’ll treat er’ good.

Confessions Of…

You guessed it, another post about my adventures with puree. Here’s what I made Hooper the other morning. This mixture lasted for four servings and he loved it. It included: 










Two kiwis










Cherries, Strawberries, Raspberries










Bowl of Spinach










Butternut Squash




















Two Bananas
And, as always, the result:










Here’s Hooper giving me an ovation





























Old Pics for the New Year

Everyone tells you how fast time seems to fly when you get older. The speed seems to pick up somewhere in the mid-twenties and before you know it, you’re thirty and marveling at how fast the last ten years have gone. Childhood doesn’t seem to do us any favors in this category. Doesn’t it seem like childhood moved at snails pace? I remember summer vacations seemingly lasting forever. Now each day rolls into the next and with no distinguishable break, time just keeps on a’ truckin’.
When you have a baby, everyone tells you how fast they grow and change. These same people remind you to enjoy it. To soak it all in. But the truth is, I spent the last year enjoying our family and soaking in all the changes and excitement and well, it just isn’t enough. What they don’t tell is no matter how much you relish in the moment, the moments pass too quickly.
I imagine the sock monster that hides in the dryer and devotes his life to rearranging pairs of cotton booties must also hide behind clocks and play with those little dials when we’re not looking.
Because time moves too fast.
This past year, I’ve watched my baby grow into a boy. He started the year as a googly eyed bobble head and is closing the year out as a bull in a china shop with a mind all his own. See, it’s not only that time goes fast, it’s also that within a short amount of time a lot of change takes place. Imagine learning to roll, sit, crawl, walk, and run all in the same year. Imagine going from breastfeeding to spoon feeding yourself. A child’s development is incredible.
Anyway, here’s some of my favorite Hooper shots from 2011. I better put my running shoes on in 2012 if I have any aspirations of capturing the blur that is to be next year. And trust me, I do have aspirations.
Happy New Year!























































































































































Style de Hooper

I’ve been inspired by James at Bleubird Vintage who does several posts of her and her extra adorable family and what they wore. Willy and I don’t pride ourselves much on our rather mundane and boring style, so I’ve left us out of this post and am directing your attention to Hooper, who is rockin’ this snazzy vintage look today. 1970’s called and is asking that Hooper join them on the court.
Shirt: Health Tex Tennis T, purchased on Ebay
Shorts: From Etsy seller, Little Reader Vintage
Shoes: Classic Converse


My Son, The Stick Carrier

Before we even talk about this latest obsession, can we talk about all the crap on the floor. I swear I keep our house fairly clean. It feels like I am picking up stuff off the floor constantly. There is only one excuse and it’s a very valid one: A 13 month old lives here. And there he is, with part of a baseboard in one hand and a shower curtain rod in the other.
Now, onto this obsession. Note again all those toys on the floor. I see books, a xylophone, records, a tin top, a ball, a wooden car, even a plastic container of pepper by his feet. But that baseboard and shower curtain rod trump everything. And it doesn’t stop there. He’s also into the swiffer, the broom, golf clubs. You get the idea. Anything long and thin. Not sure what to make of all this. What I do know is that he got toys, lots and lots of toys, for Christmas but spent much of the afternoon roaming around with a mop and broom.

Note Sarah in the background, fearful for her safety. She’s not so dumb after all…

But apparently I’m the one in danger.
Is this a typical stage? Does your one year old choose the broom over the book? Or is my little boy a future javelin thrower?

The Highchair Series, The Jolly Edition

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Really mom? Another photo shoot in my highchair? Can I go play?

I guess it’s kinda silly since I have this Santa hat on n’ all…

What’s Sarah doing over there?

Any chance you can crop my nipples out of this one mom?

Oh dear Lord, help me.

Fine. I submit.

Wait a second! Wait just a second!

I have hands. I can take this thing off.

Shoots over.

Confessions of…

Here’s what I made Hooper for breakfast the other morning. I was able to freeze some, so I think this lasted for about 3 or 4 servings. He wasn’t as crazy about this mix as the others, but I think the missing banana is the culprit. Note to self: always include banana. Either way, so long as I add a cheerio with each bite, he’s game. Here’s what I included:

























Hurry up mom, I’m hungry and I’m going to grab at your legs until you feed me, dammit!





































And here’s the result:




























And the clean up, compliments of Sarah: