Jack

little poncho gnome

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Just wanted to pop in here super quick with some adorable photos I just took of Jack.  I haven't busted out my big camera for a while, mostly because my main lens is on the fritz, but I have all my gear ready to go for a photoshoot that I'm leaving for in mere moments so when I got this little poncho in the mail from my mom, I had to put it on him and snag some shots. My mom got it at a craft fair in Seward AK so unless I can find an etsy shop or something where the maker sells them, I can't help any of ya with finding one of these adorable little things! Also: scroll down for some epic Dusty derp face.

 

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Nine Months

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On Jack's 9 month "birthday" we are down here in Joshua Tree California!  I had to capture desert vibes for his 9 month shoot, since we are in the desert, so we popped out to the front yard this morning and sat in the dirt next to a couple of little agaves.  We're down here visiting Jacks' other grandparents (Dan's parents) for the week before we hit the ground running with our big move back to Tacoma!

These days Jack is very cute and chatty, he likes to repeat noises, very loudly says "mamamamamama" when he's hungry, and he's standing on his own, if only for brief moments.  I'm sure walking will come along in the next couple months so I'm just enjoying these last weeks/months of not worrying about him falling on his face while trying to walk. 

I'm so looking forward to establishing more of a routine with this kiddo (and honestly, with myself too!).  Not having a home of our own and traveling all the time doesn't do much for creating a solid routine and schedule and I know we'd both benefit greatly from one.  I for one am looking forward to fall, to having our own place again, and to having a more stable lifestyle!

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Eight Months

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Eight months old, this little one is.  It's so weird to think of him as a little newborn lump.  I remember being excited when he kinda sorta touched a page of the book I was reading him.  Now he has such a grip I can barely wrench that book out of his little paws.  Everyone who meets him says he's the happiest baby they've ever seen and his smile is the greatest and best thing ever.  I have a feeling he's going to be a funny, opinionated kid who makes friends with everyone he meets.  He's almost never snuggly because he is constantly moving, but lately he's been more clingy than usual when he's tired, so I've been letting him nap and sleep on and next to me.  Today he was curled up next to me on the couch and it was so precious I could hardly stand it.  

I'm trying to figure out the balance of mom-hood and independent-adult-hood.  For some reason, it doesn't seem like men have quite this crisis.  Perhaps it's because our culture tells them from childhood that they are the breadwinners and will work all day to support the family, and then they'll come home and spend time with the family then, and on the weekends.  I don't really feel like 100% stay at home mom life is what I'm designed for, but I also don't want to miss out on Jack's childhood and the moments I can never get back while I'm pursuing a dream outside of motherhood.  I don't know what that balance looks like but I'm pretty sure it's messy as hell.  

Mother's Day Session

I met up with my girl AlisaMarie at Anchorage's Mann Leiser Greenhouses a few weeks before Mother's Day to do a fun little shoot with my little man.  AlisaMarie also did our first family session back when Jack was only a couple months old. In our year living back in Alaska I didn't go out much and make a ton of friends, but AlisaMarie was one person I connected with and while I'm excited to head back to Tacoma, I'm also super bummed I couldn't pack her and her boys up and smuggle them down too.  If you're in Anchorage and need some photos hit up Sons and Daughters Photography, she'll do you right.

Motherhood is a strange and contradictory experience. One moment I'm laughing with Jack, the next I'm screaming with rage, the next I'm snuggled beside him, the next I'm bogged down with despair, and so on. I don't find fulfillment through motherhood, necessarily. I've sometimes wondered if I could "just" be a mom, If I didn't need to bring in an income, but I can't yet tell if I would go batshit crazy without having my own businesses and pursuits.  I know some women who thrive as mothers and find themselves in motherhood, but I feel more like the opposite-- that I've lost some of myself.  Some days it feels more like I've lost my mind, especially on days when I'm alone all 24 hours with Jack, with no other human interaction.  

But I'm learning, slowly, what I need to do to make motherhood work for me.  What systems I need in place so that I don't lose my mind, what things I need to weave into my life to hold on to my independent personhood, and most importantly when I need to ask (or beg) for help or reprieve.  It's a damn messy ordeal, sometimes I'm ashamed at how horribly I've coped with the change, but I also try to remember how much change and transition has happened (and continues to happen) over the past year and give myself grace.  

Tiered Dress : c/o Modcloth (a few years ago) | Flower Crowns : Mojave Moon | sheer dress : brought by AlisaMarie

Seven Months

Time is flying these days.  What with moving, and flying back and forth from Anchorage, and shooting weddings almost every weekend, it's been quite the month.  In the blink of an eye, Jack is one month older again!  This month has been wild in terms of his advancement and skills.  It's almost like he's changing on a weekly or even daily basis right now!  He's started pulling himself up to standing on literally everything, he's now crawling up on his hands and knees instead of his old army crawl, and he's getting better and better at sitting down from a stand instead of falling down, which was tres stressful.  He also got two bottom front teeth and saw his very first movie in theaters!  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, good choice, bud.  

We are still living the transitionary life, staying with my parents in the basement of their new house in Oregon while we figure out how/when we can get back to living in Tacoma.  It's been really hard emotionally and logistically but I feel like there's going to be a light at the end of the tunnel here soon.  For now, our next exciting thing is seeing Dan again!  He left Anchorage today and is driving down the AlCan this week!  Hopefully, he'll be here sometime next week!