Keeping Up With the Jameses

Adventures in Modern Day Motherhood

No Pain, No Gain September 10, 2009

Filed under: large familes — mommyoffive @ 9:56 pm
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First of all, I apologize for the lack of posts lately.  I’ve been too. busy. to. breathe.  Seriously.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t share the sheer cuteness of my offspring with the world.  (No, I don’t really think that.  Well, I do think they’re cute, but I’m probably a bit biased.  Not fishing for compliments, either.  I mean it.  You really don’t have to compliment them in the “comments” box.  It won’t hurt my feelings at all.  Or maybe it will.  You be the judge.)  (On another side note – have you seen the “Unnecessary Quotations” blog?  It’s hi.lar.i.ous!)  (I was reminded of it when I put quotations around comments.  See, it looks weird without quotes.)  (Now I need to find an unnecessary parenthesis blog.)

Anyway, I thought I’d take you on a little behind the scenes tour to share the joy that is a family photo shoot.

6:45 pm.  Picture appointment time is in 45 minutes.  Daniel is reffing soccer (I’m still not sure if reffing is really a word.  See how I avoided using quotations because now I’m paranoid?), Emma has just finished up a game (she plays goalie – thankfully there was no blood this time), Joshua’s game has just started (15 minutes late), and Sarah is calling from her tennis match, begging me to let her skip pictures this year because there is no way she can possibly make it home in time to look decent.  I tell her she’ll look fine.  She sighs and hangs up.  I call Todd and tell him to come straight to the soccer field from work, so that I can race home to make my non-soccer-and-tennis-playing children look presentable.

7:10 pm.  I have changed Jakob and Bitsy into clean clothes, and am frantically working on Emma’s hair.  The poor child has inherited my schizophrenic straight/wavy always tangled hair.  She’ll probably need therapy when she’s older.  Sarah arrives home and begins changing her clothes, flat ironing her hair, and applying make up all at once.  She may just be setting a world record for fastest picture-getting-ready time.  I look at Jakob and notice that his fingernails are painted blue.  I throw fingernail polish remover into the car and away we go.

7:25 pm.  We arrive at the picture location.  Early.  I’m not sure how that happened.  Audra, my photographer/friend, has a great eye for picking out picture locations.  This one happens to be totally run-down shed right in the middle of town.  I’ve driven past it many times in the past, and not once did I think, “That would be a great place for taking pictures.”  In fact, I probably thought, “Why doesn’t someone tear that dump down?”  How wrong was I?

7:30 pm.  Audra arrives.  And then has to argue with her teenager, who is also having a meltdown.  I’m glad I’m not the only one.  Emma has just finished scrubbing the fingernail polish off of the Jakester, and we are ready!

7:35 pm.  Em is up first.  She settles right into her pose, smiles at the camera, Audra snaps away, and she is finished!

Emma 2009

7:36 pm.  Sarah’s turn.  She is sunburned, her eyes are bloodshot, and there are glasses marks on her nose.  She is not happy.  She is also known as The Blinker by anyone who has ever attempted to take her picture.  Her eyelashes are fluttering like a butterfly on a Mountain Dew high while Audra attempts to get at least one picture with her eyes open.  And she does!

Sarah 2009

7:40 pm.  Jakester is next.  Just in case you can’t see the picture clearly, he has a scar in his forehead, a scratch on his nose, a burn on his hand, a missing front tooth, various bruises, and bug bites everywhere, including behind his left ear, which is bright red and swollen.  Again I say, you try to keep the kid alive.  It isn’t easy.  To add insult to injury, Audra has him take his shoes off, and we discover that he has also painted his toenails.  Oops.  In a stunning turn of events, he is very well behaved for his picture.

Jakob 2009

7:42 pm.  The Adorable One’s time has come.  Since she hasn’t quite perfected the fine art of sitting up yet (give her a break – she’s only 3 months old), Sarah has to hold onto her arm until Audra is ready with the camera, then Sarah lets go and Audra snaps pictures as fast as she can until Bitsy falls over.  Elisabeth is not pleased by this.  There will be no smiles from her tonight.  And also, she is hungry.  It has been almost a full hour since her last meal.  Fortunately, not even her foul mood can touch her cuteness.

Elisabeth 2009

7:43 pm.  Todd arrives with Daniel and Josh.  Josh’s hair isn’t combed.  Todd says he didn’t have time.  Seriously?  He’s getting his picture taken but there was no time to comb his hair?  Bad Todd!  Daniel is freaking out because he’s supposed to be teaching a Computer Science merit badge class and he is LATE!  I tell him he should have scheduled his time better.  He glares at me.

7:45 pm.  Daniel’s turn.  He CAN.  NOT.  SMILE.  Again, inherited from me.  He’ll probably need therapy, too.

Daniel 2009

7:47 pm.  We’re on the home stretch.  At this point, the light is fading fast.  Audra sits Josh down in front of the shed and shoots.  No time for posing.  He also can not smile.  We’ll have to practice this at home.

Joshua 2009

7:49 pm.  Group shot!  Audra instructs all of the kids to take off their shoes, and they look at her like she is out of her mind.  “But the grass will hurt our feet!” they say.  “Suck it up!” I say.  They do, but they aren’t happy about it.  Sarah claims it is the most painful picture ever.  And Jakob has had enough of the whole “well behaved” thing.

TheKids 2009

Audra shoots, and Daniel jumps up and races to the truck with Todd and the boys in hot pursuit.  With the stress of the photo shoot behind us, the girls and I stay to chat with Audra.  We have a lot to catch up on.

8:45 pm.  We return home, happy in the knowledge that we won’t have to take school pictures again for a whole year.

Now do you understand the sacrifices we’ve made for the sake of current pictures?

But you really don’t need to tell me how cute they are.  Nope, I won’t be devastated at all.  Not even a little bit.  I can totally handle the rejection.

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5 Responses to “No Pain, No Gain”

  1. janae Says:

    I cannot believe all your kids are looking at the camera in group picture. I really cannot believe it. How on earth did you manage that one?! Even the little one!

    ps. your kids really are adorable!

  2. Jessica Says:

    So can I just say, your kids are adorable!

  3. ker Says:

    They’re adorable, and can I just say…SARAH, no one but YOU can see the bloodshot eyes, sunburned face and glasses marks on your nose! Gotta love teenagers, we have one too!

  4. Mindy Says:

    wow. that’s all I can say. That many good pictures in that short of time. amazing. And sorry, I can’t keep it in – you make beautiful children. LOVE the last picture (especially the bare feet).

  5. Amy Says:

    Totally cute. I sympathize–I only have the 2 kids myself but I have not attempted family pics for a couple years now. Just can’t bring myself to do it.


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