Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tulle Be, Or Not Tulle Be?

I'm not a girly-girl. Never have been. I'm not a big fan of ruffles, frilly undergarments, beauty pageants, or pink lip gloss. So I guess it's no surprise that my daughter would be the same. At the tender age of 19 months, Calliope already has a definite tomboy streak. Some might even say that her behavior at times is downright unladylike. Though I would prefer that she leave her pants on and refrain from using her breakfast as hair gel, and though sometimes I find that her stubborness borders on outright insubordination, I have to say that I love that my daughter is such a rough and tumble little girl.

Even so, part of me wonders what Calliope would look like with a poufy princess dress on. With her big round eyes, chubby cheeks and pigtails, she'd probably be pretty cute! So on a recent afternoon, I took her to the mall to find out. I found the biggest, poufiest, glittery-ist, most tulle-filled princess dress in the store and put it on her. Unfortunately, it didn't go over well.

Guess I forgot who I was dealing with here. :(

I realize that it's been almost two months since my last post. Yes, I feel really guilty about neglecting my blog. No, I haven't been spending all my free time torturing my daughter with tulle. I've actually been insanely busy!

For one thing, our dear friends the Ilardis came to town. As you can see, Benjamin was over the moon to see his love Kayla again.

On the days that Benjamin was in school, Calliope and Kayla had a chance to bond. I think Calliope really liked having a big sister to pal around with. And Kayla seemed to love having a little sis to take care of, too. Ahem, Marco and Sheila, I think your daughter may be trying to tell you something!

During their stay, we squeezed in a visit to Disneyland - and Calliope squeezed into a pair off too-small shorts.

My parents took a vacation and paid us a visit, too, though I'm afraid that with the amount of running around they did with the kids, it wasn't very relaxing.

The summer's been filled with birthday parties galore. It seemed that we had one almost every weekend these past six weeks. It's crazy how many kids had birthdays in September and August. Hmmm... Looks like the holidays were a popular time for getting frisky! ;)

Summer didn't seem heat up until after July, so we've been spending a lot of time at the pool...

...and at the beach.

You may notice that in all of these pics, Benjamin's mohawk is MIA. That's because he's decided that he wants hair "like Daddy's." What better way to get him Daddy's haircut than by taking him to Daddy's hairstylist, Chika Furumiya! Though Chika doesn't usually cut the hair of anyone under four feet tall, she agreed to make an exception for Benjamin. We had to improvise ways to keep him covered up while she was working on him, but the end result was well worth it. Look at that smile on the Boo's face! It says, "I'm so handsome that I'll never let you save money by cutting my hair at home again, SUCKAS!"

Though Chika didn't cut Calliope's hair, she did give her some uber-trendy feather hair extensions. They looked absolutely adorable - until Calliope ripped them out three days later. I guess hair extensions and tomboys don't mix.

To get some of that tomboy energy out (and to give her poor mother a break), Calliope is now in Mother's Day Out two days a week. One of those days she goes together with her brother. It's funny to watch them clinging to one another at drop-off, especially since by the time pick-up rolls around, they're pretending not to know one another. I suppose this is a preview of what high school will be like.

So as you can see, it's been a busy summer. But it's not just the days at the beach, trips to the pool, birthday parties, long days with the kids, commitments to the Playa Vista Moms Group/preschool/elementary school fundraising committee/Mandarin playgroup, or out-of-town visitors that have kept me busy. It's WORK.

I have been shooting up a storm these past few months. And though my eyeballs are dried out from editing, though I'm in a constant state of panic about keeping up with my clients and orders, and though some days my right hand feels like it's going to fall off if it has to click the shutter one more time, I am LOVING it. I get excited before every shoot, and as soon as it wraps, I can't wait to get home to look at the pictures.

Especially the ones of the kids! Photographing young children is exhausting, but no matter how worn out I am after a session with them, I always find myself sitting there with a dopey grin as I'm going through their pictures. Their enthusiasm and pure joie de vivre is contagious even through a photograph.

Which brings me back to my own two children.

I see them growing up, and I can't help but feel a pang. It's all happening too fast. Just four years ago, it was just me and Vince living alone in our home. Now we're a family of four. And wasn't it just the other day that I had two BABIES? Now one of them is making his own hairstyling decisions and the other is giving me attitude about what clothes she wants to wear. I love seeing them grow, but is it so wrong of me to want them to grow up just a little more slowly? I asked my mom if she remembered what it was like when my brother and I were this young.

She said that she remembered it all as if it were just yesterday.