Spring Wanderlust

I’ve logged three newborn sessions in the last three weeks in my humble studio.  I’ve logged even more hours doing the behind the scenes work of these sessions. (After the kids go to bed editing, anyone?)

But I can hardly be found behind the keys of this keyboard during the day.  The reason is simple.

Our family’s wanderlust has come out of winter hibernation.

The temperatures rise to just 65 here in South Carolina and we are out the door and rolling in the backyard, riding on the bike trails, and roaming in the nearest wilderness we can find.

I am so grateful to have a profession that allows us to wander freely on the weekend.

You hear me tell stories about these crazy three (my reasons why!) as I capture your tiny ones. You may have even heard them stomping around like elephants with the babysitter during your session in the home studio.

Here they are in all their wild wanderlust joy.

Thank you for making this possible.

Sedryn at 20 months

Sedryn: mud baby

Toddlerhood with a boy is different than the girls.

When the girls were about 2 we tried to teach them how to play chase.  They just ran toward us and snuggled. Sedryn was born to play chase.  He only started walking just days shy of 16 months and the first thing he did was ‘run’ from his sisters who were clapping and cheering him on.

Sedryn’s version of smelling a flower (or ‘bower’ as he calls it) is to stuff his whole nose in the flower and blow his nose as hard as he can.

Sedryn brings me plucked clover flowers and captured stink bugs with equal amounts of over the top enthusiasm.

Sedryn helped me disassemble his crib by using his own Allen wrench and pulling all the little screws out of the crib.

Sedryn doesn’t mind when his sisters dump a whole bucket of mud right on top of his head.

Yet, while Sedryn is full of boyish personality, he’s also a very sensitive soul. He cries when he’s disciplined.  He has a slower rate of disobedience than the girls.  He stops to look at you when you call his name.  He almost bursts into tears as I scream “NO!” when he pulls three tomato plants clear out of the ground after seeing his sisters accidentally pull out two bean plants while picking beans.

Strangest of all: Sedryn has been sleeping in a big boy bed for about two weeks now and has only gotten out of his bed 2-3 times first thing in the morning. That was NOT the case with his sisters :-p

But the thing I love most about Sedryn is his heart for service.  He’s been handing me the silverware out of the dishwasher and saying “ank oo!” for four months now.  He’s even started stacking and bringing me plates now that he’s stronger.  He clears the table and puts dishes into the sink without being asked.  He collects my cell phone wherever I leave it and brings it to me.  He wants to help and he finds a way to do it.

Service is a gift that I hope God keeps growing in you, Sedryn, because it’s truly beautiful to watch.

Five Minute Friday: Opportunity

Sedryn’s lying on my chest, wheezing hard, in the dark exam room. What started as what I thought was croup, was ending in what I clearly knew was bronchialitis. That evil RSV virus that inflames airways and makes my babies feel like their drowning in their own lungs.


All three of them have faced this battle.  The girls spent many nights curled up in our beds and signing please at the sight of the nebulizer. Sedryn summons the energy to fight the nebulizer for a bit, but then collapses in a lifeless heap back on my chest.


In the morning, he wakes feeling a little better. He drinks his milk and curls in next to me. I ask him if he wants his back rubbed.  He says “Yah,” with the slightest hint of mischief in his voice. I rub that back and each time I think he’s fallen back asleep and stop rubbing, he wiggles his body to tell me to keep it up. Sweet little stinker.

I only have this opportunity once. Only one moment right now where I can lay him next to me and rub. The same moments already passed with his sweet sisters two years ago (and hopefully they will not need visits with Mr. Nebulizer ever again).

This moment is ordinary. Nothing special. Nothing tragic. Just normal day in and day out mothering. But it’s my only opportunity to live this moment fully. To live all there.

Sedryn, he sleeps 6+ hours each day while sick. The girls ask to do their reading homework. They surprise me with what they’ve retained since my last feeble attempt to read with them. One opportunity to hear them read the words “am” and “me” for the first time. One opportunity to see that excitement.

I don’t want to miss these opportunities.

 Five Minute Friday

14 Months

14 Month Sedryn

Sedryn boy, you are amazing.  I can’t even process how ridiculously fun and adorable you are.  I’ll try, but only because it’s the only way to permanently keep you little.

You’re still not walking.  You can stand for a good 30 seconds, and take a few steps if the mood strikes, but overall you have no desire to walk.  You spend most of your day taking things apart or putting things in small cavities.  I think I have 5 crayons in my window sliding area that will take me over 15 minutes to get out.  Good things it’s winter and I don’t need the windows open.  Your fine motor skills are pretty through the roof because of all this practice.  You seem to prefer your left hand, so I’m wondering if I have a little engineer-brained strangely creative kiddo on my hands.

You might not walk, but you sure do climb… everything.  It’s amazing what you’ll climb.  Today I caught you up on daddy’s computer chair.  There was nothing near the chair so I was astounded.  Later, I watched you try to do it again.  You grasp the spindle on the back of the chair and the front of the seat and use your abs and arms to haul yourself right up.  I’m not sure I have the physical strength for all that! Your look of mischievousness joy just melts my heart when you accomplish a climbing feat.

The other thing that’s curious is your vocabulary.  I’m not sure if this is a second child thing (as in the girls speak to you all day long or momma is better at understanding toddler speak), but I’m floored by what you already say.  Sometimes we have entire conversations!  Today you pointed at pictures on the wall and told me “Der Dadi!!!” (there’s daddy).

Here’s a list (as best as I can compile) of your current vocabulary:

  • All done
  • Socks (gocks)
  • Clock (gock)
  • Up (bup!)
  • Daddy
  • Momma
  • More
  • Car (gar)
  • Sister (ter with a point)
  • No (nuh)
  • Uh oh
  • Cup
  • There (der)
  • Kitty (ditty)
  • Dog (gog)
  • Ball
  • Throw (doe!)
  • Mouth (mow)
  • bird (bud)
  • duck

I’m sure there’s more than I’m forgetting.  Your understood vocabulary is crazy too.  I asked you for a Kiss and Snuggle today and you were all over it in seconds.  Big drooly open mouth kisses right on the mouth and head butting snuggles.  My favorite.

I’m still wishing I could freeze you sweet boy…. But you appear to get more fun each month.

Name that Pirate

This pirate came ashore to restock his ship one day.  He met a lumberjack and coveted his shirt.
“Arg,  I want that shirt.”
“No,” said the lumber jack and used the butt of his axe to take out the coveting pirate’s eye.

“Arg,” said the pirate. “I said, I want that shirt.”
“No,” said the lumber jack and cut the stealing hand off the pirate right clean off.

“Arg,” said the pirate, “I said, I want that shirt.”
“No,” said the lumber jack and cut the the stalking leg right off the pirate.

“Arg,” said the pirate.  “I said, I want that shirt.”
And so he took it.

I won’t tell you what became of the lumberjack.  It’s a sad story.

I had blast making this pirate doll action figure for Sedryn.

I’ve been calling him Rudy… but both Bronwyn and Derek told me that’s a terrible name for a pirate. Would you help me give him a name?  Give me some suggestions in the comments please!