10 on Tuesday and 2 mini session openings!

1.  I am thinking about opening up 2 last minute mini session spots for this coming weekend with guaranteed Christmas delivery.  Any interest?  Email me at lstradtner@mac.com for details!

2.  My kids are so addicted to these right now.  Especially Teagan.  Obsessed.

3.  This morning I stopped at my desk to pick something up and noticed there was still solid ice in my favorite cup that had been sitting from the night before.  First, I thought to myself, wow, this cup really IS awesome.  Second, I thought to myself, I wonder what time I actually went to bed….  Third, I thought to myself, I wonder if Ty did this to be sweet, he IS always bring me water refills.  Turns out the third one is the charm.  Love that kid.

4.  Duder’s new favorite activity is swiping the water bottle we use to tame Taryn’s hair each morning and tormenting people with it.  It drives me nuts and I’m constantly getting squirts to the leg, back, face, whatever is within his range.  Getting it away from him is always a battle that involves running and wrangling a toddler who insists on screaming “NO IT MIIIIIIIIIINE”.  I started putting it out of his reach but he’d just grab the step stool in the kitchen and move it to where he needed it to be to get it.  It was driving me (and the dog) nuts.  This week, I finally gave in, I handed it to him and we headed outside so he could squirt whatever he wanted till his little heart was content.  He was thrilled.

$0.99 water bottle = hours of entertainment.  Unfortunately, I too, fell into the category of “whatever he wanted”.  Stinker.  (Update on duder here)

5.  Taryn has her first crush.  And he is not in kindergarten.  MUCH to her daddy’s dismay.  Dismay isn’t a strong enough word for what he’s going through.  Anxiety ridden ought to begin to cover it.

6.  Add her first crush to the fact that she asked for a “green ipod” for Christmas and my husband is not in a very good place right now.  His little girl is growing up quick and he’s soooooo not ready.

7.  I absolutely LOVE this.  And this blog is also one of my new favorite places to check out.

8.  Bob has been very busy trying to keep up with all the goings on around here and all 3 kids.  First though, he had a little bit of ‘splaining to do about that whole ‘borrowed rocket thing’….

9.  Then the next night, just before bed, Jase and I got a good giggle at the expense of my friend Jodie and her elf.  We laughed it up, then went to bed.  Ironically enough, forgetting to move our elf because we were too busy laughing at Jod for not moving hers.  Karma right?!  So, Bob hung out on the TV for 2 days.  The kids were concerned, but not being nearly as creative as Jod, we just blew it off and said Bob likes to watch TV a lot.

10.  The next morning they found Bob had gotten into the cereal.  Thankfully, he was picking up after himself with the dustbuster.  We’ve been working with the little kids and picking up their own messes so it was super nice of Bob to be such a great example 😉

2010-11-30T21:41:31-05:00November 30th, 2010|Austin Photographer, Elf on a Shelf, My Family|

10…back to school edition

Man it has been awhile since I posted a 10 on Tuesday.  It’s not Tuesday, but I’m awake and have half of my wits about me so here we go….

1.  Kindergarten & 7th grade:

Could they be any taller?!?!  Time flies.  Be sure you click that link, it’s worth it just for the laugh.  It gets me every.single.year.

2.  As the first week of school is about to come to a close, I have more stories and one liners from Taryn than I can wrap my mind around.  Her first day went really well.  She was really nervous, but also very excited that morning.  All 5 of us actually managed to get up and out on time, which is a slight miracle given that the elementary school starts very early compared to the middle and high school.  They stagger start/end times here which I absolutely love (it enables little ones to get home before the high schoolers who drive are out on the roads plus it ensures that the middle school kids, for the most part, are not latch key and get home around the time most parents do).  I was super nervous leaving her that morning because all the other girls in the class were already paired up and she was sitting at a table by herself and kept putting her head down.  She was pretty quiet but we had to leave to bring Ty.  Her teacher is so wonderful with the kids and was very reassuring with Taryn, I knew she was in good hands.  When I picked her up we had a bit of taryn-esque drama (see #2) but once we got home she said she had a great day and made not one, but TWO new friends in her class!  Yay!!  And whew!!!  She must have had a good time because this was the view (a la iphone) as I pulled in to our driveway, HA!

3.  The first day did include little issue.  I pulled up to carpool at the designated time and waited my turn in line.  When it got to be my turn they called over the walkie talkies for Taryn to come out of the building (they have it down to a science).  Well there are around 6 stations and you pull up as things move along.  They called again, no Taryn.  By the time I pulled up to the 4th spot I started to get worried….did a 5th grader run her over rushing down the hall?  Was she scared and hiding in her classroom?  Did she get lost going to the carpool line?  Did the automatic flushing toilet that she is scared to death of get the best of her?  Or the most likely option, did she revolt at our refusal to let her ride the bus and just get on one anyway?  Cause you know, 5 years olds think all the buses are the same and they all to to their house.  I started to panic.  I rolled down my window and asked the duty teacher standing at the station if I needed to park and go in and get her since she wasn’t answering to her name.  She said no, that it was the first day and she was likely talking to a friend in line and not listening and then asked what she’s wearing.  I tell her, blond hair, purple shirt, purple backpack and jeans.  Station 5…..Panic…..Station 6……Panic……duty teacher comes over and tells me they can’t find her.  Sit tight and let’s see if she answers the page and turns up.  Right then I hear her name over the loud speaker.  I start to pull out to park my car.  Just then someone says they found her over the walkie talkie….whew….thank God!!  I twist my neck to turn all the way around to see her coming out the door looking very ticked off sporting her signature scowl.  My heart sank and I feared she’d had a really bad day.  I was determined to stay positive, greeted her with a big “Hi T!!  How was your day?!?”  She plopped down in her seat, crossed her arms and scowled even more.  She said “I didn’t get to finish my snack…humph!”  Her teacher was the one who walked her out thankfully and she filled me in.  Taryn had been in carpool line with the other kids, she asked to go to the bathroom and another duty teacher took her.  When she came out of the bathroom the other teacher was standing there talking to someone and Taryn gave her the slip.  She proceeded to sneak into the YMCA on-sight aftercare program “because they had snacks!”.  Apparently, she slipped in, took a seat and was promptly served goldfish.  I don’t even know what to say to that except at least it didn’t rival Ty’s first day of Kindergarten.  When her daddy asked her why she did that she said “because I was hungry!”.

4.

oh.be.still.my.heart.   Many, many more from this little session with her coming….someday….

5.  The first day also included the fire alarm going off at school, but the report from her teacher was that she did ok with it.  Nervous but ok and it didn’t last long as someone got curious and pulled it on accident.  But on the second day, once again in carpool, inching up for it to be our turn, when the fire alarm went off again, I started to panic when I heard directions come over the school loud speaker for everyone to evacuate the building immediately.  And then I smelled smoke.  I talked to a duty teacher who said she saw Taryn heading to the front of the school with a group of kids and teachers and that she was very upset.  She is deathly afraid of loud noises and I’m now so very glad we talked to her about firedrills ahead of time and that we warned her teacher they would likely be an issue for her.  Her teacher was nearby when it went off and looked for Taryn right away and gathered her up.  By the time I got to her she was still really upset, I parked and gave her a bunch of love and hugs before she was ok enough to drive home.  By bedtime she’d sworn off school thanks to the 2:2 fire drill ratio they had going on.  For the record, the school was not on fire, there was a fire nearby and one of the staff smelled it and pulled the alarm since they didn’t know where it was coming from.  Better safe than sorry!  Thankfully Wednesday we got her through the front door of the school and there were no fire drills all day long!  Needless to say, I skipped the carpool line and opted to park and go in and get her!  By Thursday she was much more confident in school and learning how things work.  She braved the monkey bars or “welllllll, at least half of them” as she says.  She has continued talking about her new friends, how she tried to trade her sandwich at lunch but the other person didn’t like salad in their sandwich (it was carrots) and she loved music class.  She is dealing well with the automatic potty thanks to a tip from an ingenious teacher to put a yellow sticky note on the wall and each time she goes she just grabs it and puts it over the sensor on the potty.  That way it only goes off when she is ready to bolt out of there.  Talk about smart!  And she even walked from the nurses office all the way to the lunch room by herself with confidence.  Thursday morning she insisted we could drop her off and she would know where to go and what to do, citing her room number and everything.  Jase still walked her in this morning but I think by next week she’ll be good to go.  Big kid!

6.  I’ll be honest, our new schedule is kicking my butt.  My issue is that we have to get up at the crack of dawn to get everyone up and out.  Ty has football practice every single morning so he’s putting a 2 hour workout in before he ever opens a book.  He has to be there early and so does Taryn.  That wouldn’t be a super big deal except I have to get my work in while the kids are sleeping and generally work from around the time Jason gets home to anywhere between 1 am and 3 am.  Especially since I’m still so behind.  Getting up at 5 am doesn’t exactly mix with that and I’m struggling with it.  I used to sleep in with the little kids and let Ty and Jase do their thing and get out each morning but with Taryn getting up early Teagan is also waking up (she needs a mute button!) and that means I need to get up to help out too.  I’m just not sure how to adjust our schedule and make it all work for us, still get everyone’s needs met and get my work in.  Balance eludes me again!

7.  After 3 years of procrastination I finally decided to cash in a bunch of my credit card points for my business account.  They have been racking up for awhile and it was time.  We decided on this running bike for Teagan, and several other things.  I’m still trying to pick out the best juicer for our family too.  Suggestions?  The only thing to arrive so far is the bike and Teagan is thrilled with it!  He can’t pedal a trike, big wheel or other toddler bike, his left side is slower/weaker than the right and his core is very weak so we hope this will be a great option for him.  He had a hard time maneuvering it tonight and can’t balance, but he’s still excited to have a bike.

8.  Last week I also used a few points to order these Goodbyn Lunch Boxes for the big kids lunches.  I’ve been interested in bento for a few years and decided it is finally time.  We’ve sworn off school lunches this year in our goal to eat organic, healthy food.  I can’t wait to get our new lunch boxes.  There are so many positives, they help ensure you offer a variety of foods and healthy, appropriate portions, they reduce waste, are made out of the most benign of all plastics on the market, and are lead, BPA and phthalate-free.  Not only that, you can run them through the dishwasher (even with the stickers!) and even freeze them.  But the aspect that is the most important to me, it puts all of their food in front of them at the same time.  I have no doubt my kids go to the fruit I pack for them first, fill up on that and the veggies and stuff I want them to eat is last and picked at.  With a bento style box, everything is right there and open from the moment they take the lid off.  They may still reach for the fruit first, but at least they don’t have to go digging for the veggies at the end.  No, I don’t work for the company, I’m just an extra big goob who gets excited about lunch boxes and reducing waste in our environment.  I wish I had time to make a cool bento for the kids every day, but at this point I don’t.  It’s all I can do to grab something frozen from the freezer (thank you food fairies!) and get it on the table each night.  For now, lunch consists of leftovers, fruits and veggies, bottled water, organic snacks from Whole Foods, etc.  But someday when I DO have the time, I’ll be visiting these websites for inspiration and ideas:

Another Lunch | Easy Lunch Boxes | Super Healthy Kids | Bento Bloggy | Bento Box Lunch

And here is a cool spreadsheet of bento lunchbox ideas.  This is useful even it it’s packed in a regular old brown paper bag 😉  And I’m pretty sure I need these Lunch Box Notes too.  Does anyone have any healthy lunch websites or resources you want to share?

9.  What is a food fairy you ask?  There is an amazing group of moms, friends and clients that have banded together to keep us fed over the last few months while Teagan has been sick.  Either Becky or Emily collects the food and delivers it to us around once a week.  This is no small task given Ty eats like an army in his own right!  We are truly so appreciate of all their help and donations, I’m not sure how we would have gotten through the last few months without them.  Tending to Teagan’s needs and care and medications is extremely time consuming and just having one less thing to worry about in getting dinner on the table is HUGE.  Ty has dubbed Emily and Becky our “food fairies”.  Ty is so baffled by the fact that people bring food to us….I think it is his little mini version of heaven!

10.  And last but certainly not least….Kylie.  Oh, sweet Kylie.  She never thought she’d love anyone more than Jason.  That is until Taryn came along.  They have such a close bond.  For years when Kylie is feeling like she’s lacking something (puh-lease, she wants for nothing 😉 ) or wanting Jason’s attention, she’ll go find one of his shoes and put it on her bed.  Especially if he is out of town or something.  She doesn’t chew them, she just lays next to it and looks sorrowful.  It’s pretty much how she communicates a need.  By Tuesday, I think it’s clear she’s sending us a message that we weren’t the only ones missing Taryn….

shoe

She’s never done it with T’s shoes before.  I immediately teared up and rushed over to love on her.  I miss her too Kylie.  Bunches.  Taryn was thrilled to see this when she got home.  Every day she now runs through the door and checks Kylie’s bed.  She looks heartbroken if one of her shoes isn’t there, lays on the floor, pets the dog and says “why didn’t you miss me today girl?”  They cuddle and get all caught up on their day.  And I just want to melt.

2010-08-26T21:13:13-05:00August 26th, 2010|Austin Photographer, My Family, Uncategorized|

my girl and her dog | austin photographer

I’ve been meaning to do this forever, and finally got around to it.  Not easy.  At all.  T and I worked hard for these, and I’m so glad I captured my girl with her dog.  It’s been awhile.

all ya gotta do is say “sit pretty”

I think this pretty much sums it all up.  They are buds.  They watch out for each other.  They drive each other crazy at times, just as most best friends do.   But there is a lot of love….

and it’s totally mutual….

(((ewwwwww)))

love is kind of gross sometimes.

2009-06-08T22:41:34-05:00June 8th, 2009|Austin Photographer, My Family|

thank you | austin photographer

I thought several times about posting here today and just felt blah about it.  I hate that.  This is my place.  To document my life, my children, my work.  I don’t ever want to feel blah about that.  I am thankful for all the comments and support, I honestly didn’t have any idea how it would all go down putting it all out there.  So thank you.  Hopefully it will send a message, but overall, it makes me sad that I feel more protective and have the urge to pull in the reins some.  Yet here I am.  This blog is mine.  And if I want to post, I will.  If people don’t play nice, I’ll password protect it if necessary.  As for protecting the images here and on my blog, yes, I do know how.  Jase is a computer programmer and actually did an awesome tutorial for photographers on a private forum I’m on teaching how to protect your images online and right click disable.  Honestly, I’ve been lazy with it and didn’t implement it into my own workflow.  I need to read the tutorial again, but quite honestly, it wouldn’t have stopped most of the thieves in the incidents posted below.

In the meantime, I could really use a smile.  So here ya go, our ‘other’ baby….

Her signature head tilt.  Love her.  So much.  I loved her the moment I met her.  Most people do.  She and Jase were a package deal and I can still remember in those early days as we were becoming friends how when I would knock on his door, she’d come running and thrust her head under my hand and look up at me just waiting for me to love on her.  She’s suuuuuuuper camera shy.  I am not a pet photographer but Taryn and I set out to get some shots of her last weekend.  It took way too many treats, but we did it.  And I’m so glad, because even though she still acts like a puppy, she’s getting older, and I know she won’t be around forever.  I’ll share more of her soon, but I have a backlog of sessions to proof first.  And Taryn wants me to tell you, this is HER DOG.  Not Daddy’s dog, HER DOG.  Kylie loves Taryn right back, even though she is single handedly responsible for almost all of those grey little hairs.  Better you than me Kylie.

2009-06-02T22:02:37-05:00June 2nd, 2009|Austin Photographer, My Family|

published | austin commercial photographer

Check it out!  Little T and Kylie ((our dog)) are in the greeting card aisle!!!

I was commissioned by a card company last year and I am so excited to partner with them in the future as well.  They purchased two images for their most recent release and I just got the box of samples in the mail yesterday!!!!  So, if you are in the US, Canada, Australia or Ireland and you see my cuties in the greeting card aisle….give a wink and a smile for me!!

While I am out of the park thrilled about this, Little T is not.  When I showed her the cards it just brought back traumatic memories of the whole lollipop incident.  Alllllll she could talk about all day long was how Kylie stole her lolli.  Uh, yeah, TWO YEARS AGO KID, time to let it go!  LOL!!

2009-03-22T19:57:21-05:00January 25th, 2009|Announcements, Client Work, My Family|

10 on Tuesday

1. wow, it seems like i haven’t been sharing very much personal stuff here lately. been busy. working a lot. every spare moment i’ve been at my computer proofing. fun, but busy. lots going on at home too, so i’m not sure where to start really.

2. teagan is up on all fours, crawling, exploring every nook and cranny of the house. laughing hysterically at the mere site of his sister. playing with the door stops constantly, boooooooing.  cracks me up.

3. i miss my mom like crazy. our october visit got canceled, so it will be a full six month span between our last visit and our next visit. so hard.  i never thought i’d go 6 months without seeing my mom.

4. kylie is back in the house! wa-hoo! we’ve missed her like crazy and i’m so glad the stink finally wore off of her…no more skunk smell. taryn is the most thrilled of everyone, except kylie. if you are a dog lover, you can imagine how hard it was to have her outside for over a month and not participating in the family.

5. ty and i made homemade chili yesterday. at dinner i went to give taryn some sour cream and she pipes up with “a lil dabby do ya”.

6.  this made me giggle…oh what a wild and crazy ride this little one takes us on

7.  we’re having nursing problems.  again.  plugged ducts, mastitis over the last few weeks.  and now he’s on a nursing strike.  stinker.  why is something so natural, so difficult?  i’m just gonna wait him out, i think i am way more stubborn than he is.  ((insert my husband snorting here at the mention of me being stubborn)).

8.  i always go in and check on each of the kids before heading to bed myself.  it’s usually pretty late and i like to make sure they have their covers on.  i start at the end of the hall and work my way back, tiptoeing into each room.  but that has changed….here recently, every time i go in to check on ty, he bolts up, bent at the waist and busts out a big eyed karate chop stance.  nice huh?  he scares the bajeebies out of me every time, even though i know it’s coming.  crazy kid.  at 11, if he’s uncovered, he can figure it out, cause he’s gonna give me a heart attack if i keep going in there.

9.  i have a secret.

10. i am not pregnant.  just sayin.

2008-10-14T13:31:51-05:00October 14th, 2008|My Family, Uncategorized|