The featured blogger this week is Helen of Three Times the Giggles. Helen was featured on here almost 2 years ago and a lot has changed since then, including a new baby! Let’s catch up with Helen and her family!
Since the last time you were a featured blogger you added a member to your family! How did the boys react to getting a baby sister?
They absolutely adore their sister! From the time we told them they’d be getting a sibling they were pretty excited. Watching them throughout my pregnancy gave me some fun memories too, like when we told the boys it was a girl and Jackson said “but I wanted a brother”! Um, kid you’ve already got two of those! About a week before Lily arrived, I brought the boys to an appointment and the looks on their faces when they heard her heart beating were priceless (and yes, caught on video).
For nearly the first two weeks of Lily’s life Jackson refused to hold her or even get to close, and now he’s the one that’s constantly in her face with another toy, or trying to make her laugh. The other night at dinner he asked if he could pray for her when he blessed his food. He said “Dear God, help Lily’s cold get better, cause I love Lily. Amen.” Yep, heart melting moment.
Be honest, how much easier was this pregnancy?
Oh, so much easier! I wasn’t confined to a couch, I didn’t waddle nearly as early on, my heart burn wasn’t as bad, my hips didn’t start killing me until closer to the end of the pregnancy, and on and on. I’ll say this though, Lily freaked me out a few times because I wasn’t feeling her as much. I had to constantly remind myself that it’s not normal to feel movement 24/7 like I did with the boys!
When I was about 32 weeks we had a scare thinking I was leaking amniotic fluid. I remember driving to the hospital and trying to fight the tears because I so badly wanted my normal pregnancy and normal length hospital stay. Thankfully it turned out to just be a mild infection and not amniotic fluid, and we instead welcomed Lily at 37 weeks, in the middle of a snow storm (of course)!
How did the boys make the adjustment to preschool? Did you keep them in the same class or separate?
The boys absolutely love preschool! Nick and I have decided to keep the boys together until it becomes a problem (either with them not making friends with others kids, or goofing off together too much), and our preschool is supportive of that. The teachers say the boys are fantastic at playing with other kids and playing in different parts of the room or playground on their own. They said they see the boys almost “check-in” with each other throughout the day before they split off to play with other kids again, which is totally fine in their eyes.
What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?
We love to pack a picnic dinner (or grab a pizza) and go to local playgrounds on nice nights. Easy clean-up at home for dinner and an easy bedtime for the boys! We also enjoy the Kansas City Zoo, and exploring other local places like farms, orchards (for apple or blueberry picking) and farmer’s markets. Because Kansas City often has mild winters we get to enjoy a lot of those things throughout the year, but when it’s snowy and cold (like the last couple of years!) we make good use of bounce house places and play places at McDonald’s and Chick Fil A.
What would you do with an extra hour in your day?
I’d probably catch up on the TV shows I never seem to get to watch anymore!
Since you’re a photographer, I have to ask, what’s your best photography tip for us amateurs?
Learn how to harness and use light! Even if you don’t have a camera in your hand, pay attention to the light in the different rooms in your house at different times of day. Notice what happens when the sun is behind someone, versus in front. If you’re taking pictures of a willing child (probably not age 2 or 3!), have them turn their face towards whatever light source you’re using (a window for example). If you can’t get them to move, move yourself! The difference moving just 5 feet to the left or right can be amazing in your picture quality.
If you have a DSLR read some basic tutorials about shutter speed and aperture and their relation to light. I’m totally self-taught and I figured things out by reading a few tutorials and then experimenting with my own camera.
If you have a point and shoot, try turning your flash off and see the difference in your pictures. If you still need the flash for some, but it seems to harsh (for example it’s making faces super white and washed out) try taping something over it to dull it. Seriously! My last point and shoot had a terrible flash and I would tape stuff over it to help diffuse the light – cotton ball, coffee filter, etc.
What question(s) do you have for the other families in the community?
I would love to hear creative ways other parents are trying to instill generosity into their kids. What are ways you teach your kids to give back to those who can’t take care of themselves?
Be sure to leave the answer to Helen’s question in the comment section and then head over to Three Times the Giggles to leave some bloggy love!
If you ever want to be a featured or a guest blogger email me at email@example.com