Saturday, July 31, 2010

Picture This, Sears

So after Amber took her 18-month pictures, I swore up and down that I would never go back to Sears for pictures. I can't remember exactly why I did this, but I surely wish I had stuck to my guns...

But it was Audrey's first birthday, and I wanted to get a picture of her with the big number "1" like we had for Amber--and of course, only Sears had the big "1," so Sears it was. I had visions of my two cuties side-by-side in matching frames with matching "1"s in their pictures. Well, that dream sunk like the Titanic yesterday.

Now, I can say honestly that these ladies were much friendlier than the sort they had in there 2 years ago. However, they apparently hadn't photographed many children at this age level. The girls taking the pictures couldn't seem to get her finger to push the button fast enough. She kept muttering "oh, she's so fast," and "she's really active" and things like that. Well no fooling. She's 1. How many 1-year-olds do you know will sit still and pose while you get your act together? By the end, I was ready to push her out the way and do it myself. I realize you have to learn what you're doing, but at some point, I think we needed someone a little more skilled in there.

And then they had two experience "helpers" in there with the newbie. This, plus myself and Jay and Amber made for too many people making too many faces and noises at poor little Audrey. Now, that sweet-natured thing didn't cry, but she had the most confused look on her little face. And Lord knows that kid is a natural smiler--she takes a fabulous picture at home. But with all that shenanigans, she was not having it.

Anyhoo, fast forward about an hour while we waited for them to doctor up the photos and give you all those "enhanced" options. Newsflash, ladies: I'm not paying an extra $15 per sheet for black and white or fuzzy borders.

I had my coupon package, not realizing that the package ain't what it used to be. But I'll get 16 of those great miniprints, which will be fabulous for absolutely nothing. What DO you do with those anyway??

And one particularly perky woman (who was wearing a bow on her head like you'd see on a kindergartener) kept trying to sell me "great deals" like a $299.00 cd of the pictures or a $119.00 photo collage. I mean, really... who buys that stuff?? NOT ME!! But I can tell you what you can do with that bow...

I think the kicker was that every sheet we ordered was $20 apiece. And WHY so much? Because it was Friday. Seriously. They'd be $10 apiece if it was Mon-Thurs. And we didn't even GET the stupid "1" pictures because they were so horrible!! ARGH!!!

And so went my last Sears Portrait Studio experience. And I really mean it this time!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I-scream for moments like these

Remember the old little ditty "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!"

Well, generally, shopping trips with the girls pretty much entail the first half of that--we're all screaming by the end. Oh, heck... someone's screaming from the moment we get into the hot car. May not be the same party the whole trip, but it seems like someone's always fussing...

Anyway, today's little excursion was to Sam's, which is great because they have that little cafe thingy. I'm not above using a little bribe to make my shopping trip less painful. I call that 97-cent ice cream in a cup money well spent to preserve my sanity.

So we get through the store with both girls sitting in the front of the basket (which was so cute just in itself) so we get the promised ice cream in a cup. Amber's licking it as fast as she can, while little Audrey just looks at her with sad eyes. I get a spoon to give her a taste saying "Amber, can Audrey have a little taste please?" And before I could dip the spoon, Amber was holding her ice cream out for Audrey to have a taste. Oh, if only I had a camera ready to shoot at that moment!! Here was my "big girl" holding out her prized ice cream while little sister took a baby bite off the side. It's this kind of moment I hope I never forget--the kind I'll remember fondly when these two are teenagers who are at each other's throats one day in the distant future!

These little moments where the girls get along so well and Amber shares so willingly with her sister are what carry me through the oh-so-many moments of fighting, shoving, and whining... if only we could have them more frequently!

Just the beginning...

As time marches on, I find myself frequently feeling that infamous "mommy guilt" over not recording my children's little moments... I get so caught up in the "now" and think "Oh, I'll remember that," only to discover months later that I have NO CLUE when something happened. For instance, when dusting off the baby book the other day, I realized I hadn't written down when Audrey first started waving "bye bye." (Critical life-shattering development, I know). I couldn't even make a ballpark guess. Was it two months ago when Jay and I went on our trip and she waved as we left? Or was it five months ago? Not that it's a big deal... but that's just a sample of what I feel I've neglected to write down and now can't remember. Not to mention the sweet little day-to-day joys (and terrors) that I'd like to look back on to remember and hopefully, laugh about. Now, I've been notorious about not keeping up with journaling, but I have come to accept that I am just not a pen-and-paper kind of a girl. My mind is overflowing with ideas, and my time is limited, so making chicken scratch on a piece of paper is annoyingly slow for me.

And the strange this is---I often think of my life in terms of a journal post... Something will happen and I'll imagine how I would describe it in my own words at my keyboard. I actually hear it in my head like I was reading it out of a book, and yet, that step gets lost somehow. I solemnly swear from here on out to try to record the ups and downs of everyday life with 2 silly little girls. And I hope not to forget about this a week from now. Well, at least that's the plan....