Finger painting turned photo session!

Elise & I decided it was time to have more finger painting fun with our “edible finger paint.”  Check out my finger painting madness post to get details on how to make the paint.  I was in the mood to take some photos, and my husband was around to help contain the mess, so I thought why not turn a fun activity into a few adorable photos??

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I think I may somehow incorporate a few of these into her art space in her new playroom if I ever get on the ball and get it going!

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Rewind to St. Patrick’s Day 2012!

Last year Elise was still an itty bitty baby for St. Patrick’s Day. At 2 months old, she was still as squishy as can be. How I miss those days!

This was her “holiday picture” which I am still to this day in love with because of this huge string of drool.  I may have on mommy goggles, but I refuse to clone it out.  That is the cutest drool I’ve ever laid eyes on! 

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On actual St. Patrick’s day, we were headed to a baby shower, but little miss was dressed to impress.

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(I can’t believe how much my hair has grown in just a year!)

My super crafty mother made her adorable leg warmers out of an adult pair of socks.  I made her headband and bow out of elastic and yoyos.  Her super cute onesie came from The Polka Dot Closet on Etsy.  I ordered several personalized onesies from her when Elise was little and they are great quality.  I highly recommend her stuff!!

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Elise’s Grammie is super talented when it comes to sewing and she is making her an outfit for St. Patrick’s day this year.  I can’t wait to see!  I’m hoping for some pretty weather so we can do a few outdoor photos.  This momma is tired of being cooped up in the house!

A lovely session with Kylie!

I haven’t posted anything photography related lately, so I thought I would take a step back from crafting and share a few favorites from the adorable Kylie’s photo session last week.  This little girl is too cute and full of spunk!  I swear I would adopt her.  She would make the perfect big sister for Elise!!  Take a look at them cuddling it up after her session was over on Valentine’s Day!

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Elise vs The Hood

We actually had warm temps yesterday, so Elise got to enjoy the great outdoors for the day.  (Her favorite thing!)  After dinner she insisted that we would go back outside for more playing.  The sun was long gone behind rain clouds, and the wind was chilly, so I made her wear a sweater.  Clearly, that was unacceptable in toddlerland!

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How is it possible for one little girl to be so stinking cute?!?!

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She cracks me up.  I can’t wait until spring when she can spend her days outside adventuring and toddling in the grass!

Watch Me Grow!

 

Over the past 12 months, I have taken a photo of Elise each month to document her growth.  I found these adorable stickers on Etsy, and knew that they would be perfect to create these special memories.

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Look at my sweet baby freshly home from the hospital in her newborn onesie that was way too big.  I had made her this hairbow, and I also used it in her 12 month picture, to show the difference in size.  It looks so big on her tiny little head here.  I miss that squishy little baby!

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By two months, her little personality was starting to come out and shine.  She was so smiley in this set of pictures.  It warms my heart.

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During our 3 month photos, I captured what will probably always be my favorite photo of Elise.  How can this not melt you into a puddle of baby cuteness??  She just looks so angelic with her little arms folded.  I’m so thankful I was able to capture that moment.

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By 6 months, she was so over this sitting on the bouncer to take photos business.  The bouncer was a genius idea when she was little and couldn’t hold herself up.  But new mom over here didn’t realize that once she got a little bigger, she would NOT want to sit in the thing.  If I had it do over now, I would have had her sitting in the corner of a chair or the couch instead.  From 5 months on it was such a battle to get at least one picture in the bouncer.  She was so over that tiny baby business.  Here’s little miss giving her mommy a little smirk.

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By 7 months, she was so over the bouncer that I was lucky to get one shot just for growth comparison.  However at 7 months, she realized that this thing I was putting on her was a sticker, and that just had to be ripped off!

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Of course she had to taste it too.  How cute is that?

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As the time passed on, she quickly learned how to manage her way out of the bouncer torture 😉 but it made for awfully cute pictures!

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By 8 months, she could crawl away.  I’m so glad I have these photos to document milestones.  She was sitting up independently shortly before the above 7 month photos, crawling a little before her 8 month photos, and pulling up at 9 months.

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However at any age, she has always been a big fan of her toes.  I can understand why though.  They are preciously kissable!

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By 10 months, it was an act of congress to get a photo of her in this chair.  She was a baby on the move, and there would be no holding her down!  Here is my poor husband trying to help me get a photo as she’s making her escape!

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But also by 10 months, she was obsessed with figuring out this huge black box that is often attached to mommy’s face.  While she crawled out of the bouncer and up me to figure out the camera, I was able to snap another favorite photo!  Look at those eyes!

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For our 12 month photos, she was SO OVER IT.

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…and her diva self came out.  But I was happy, because I got at least one with her sitting in the bouncer.

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So I let her toddle away to play.  Because my big 1 year old is a toddling mess of energy, laughter, and endless fun.

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At 12 months old, she loves to pet the kitty, calling “Here kitty kitty” and motioning for the kitty with her hand, eating EVERYTHING, feeding herself, climbing into the refrigerator, throwing things and adorably say “uh oh” (because how can she get in trouble when she’s so cute), and still yet, cuddle with mommy.

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She took her first steps at 11 months old, started taking good independent steps a few days before and at her birthday party, and by today, she is on the move and ready to run.

Her vocabulary consists of:  Mom in all versions (momma, mom mom, mommy), Daddy, dada, papaw, Gigi (for Grammie), kitty, cat, addy (my mom’s puppy), tazzy (my mom’s cat), nana (banana), Mickey, hello, hi, bye, uh oh, cookie (although she has yet to let me hear it!), and I think there is more, but I can’t think of them at the moment!

It was a pain in the butt to do this photos every month.  It often involved crying, bribery, and redo’s.  I was often late by a few days, but that is okay.  I LOVE that I did it now and kept up with the commitment.

I got this completely adorable idea from my friend, Susan, at the fabulous Fowler Photography.  Take a look at her work.  She’s great!

From the tiniest little speck, this sweet angel has transformed into the most precious little girl.  It has been an amazing ride watching this little bud bloom into the most beautiful flower.  This was her very first ultrasound picture.

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This is not a pregnancy announcement pic (although it would be a super cute one!), and a few of my friends may have had a heart attack when I posted it without a quote attached!  Oops!

Of course it wouldn’t be Elise unless we added a little bit of drama.  I swear, little miss toddlerhood has developed a diva attitude these days.  She’s one sassy baby and everything is such a huge deal!

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We had to take a little break for a snack before the princess could finish her photo session.  Bananas and a peanut butter sandwich.  Yum!

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Then it was back to the fun!  She thought it would be nice to include her baby doll too.

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This is such a fun stage.  She is the cutest thing toddling around the house and she is so curious about the world around her.  Not to mention she is quite the monkey and I find her climbing on everything!

See more from Megan Kunkel Photography here.

Flashback to Elise’s FIRST Valentines Day!

My how time flies!  Valentines day is coming up quickly, so I thought that I would take a trip down memory lane and look back on Elise’s first Valentines day!

Look at my sweet little tiny baby.  This ADORABLE sock monkey hat that we also used in her newborn pictures came from this etsy shop.

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As her present last year we bought her a play mat.  She loved this thing and spent so much time playing on it.  It seems so small next to her as a toddler!

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I was still pretty much in “new mom chaos” but I did manage to snap a few special photos!

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I definitely didn’t have the energy to make or design a card, so I slapped a photo into a premade one and order them!

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I’m not sure what we will do for Vday pictures yet this year, I need to be brainstorming!!

Cake Smashing is LOTS of fun!

I was SO excited to do Elise’s ONE year cake smash photo session.  The two days before I stayed up making her tutu and hair bow and the pennants in the background.  I do wish I hadn’t used the black ones with the dots, as they photographed darker than I would have liked, but oh well!  I am so in love with these photos.  It is taking every ounce of self control that I have to not wallpaper my house with them!!  Prepare for photo overload!  Also if you make it all the way through my zillion photos, I have a few tips for to have a successful cake smash photo session down at the bottom!

 

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She decided to get her toes involved too!

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Her hair bow was so super cute on her.  But she yanked it off after only a couple of shots.  I decided to pick my battles and not fight her over it.  I would much rather have a happy bowless baby instead of a mad, fabulous bow wearing baby in my photos!

 

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I decided to use a rainbow cake because I wanted lots of color and fun.  It was definitely a hit and brings so much life to the photos!  I think it encouraged Elise to rip it apart to, as she liked seeing the colors!

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SO FULL!

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Daddy then got in on the fun and started throwing cake up in the air over her head.  She thought that was HILARIOUS!

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And then she decided that she was over it!

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These are by far my favorite photos of her.  I may have on mom goggles, but I have a strong need to print every single one of these (and there are lots more than just posted here) HUGE!

As promised above, tips for a successful cake smash:

  • If you are going to do the photos yourself, do not attempt to do these alone.  You will need someone to help keep the baby in the desired area.
  • Do not sit the baby down until you are ready to go and camera is ready to start snapping.  You don’t want to miss special moments while you are busy changing settings.
  • If you are so attached to the baby’s clothing that it can’t be ruined, then don’t use it.  Same goes for you.
  • Bring an extra set of clothes for yourself as well, you will probably get dirty too!
  • Don’t be forceful.  If the baby isn’t interested at first, give him/her time.  If you try to force it, you will probably end up with a melt down.
  • Once they get going, doing be afraid to encourage a little.  If you want a smash to the extent above, you are probably going to have to help a little.  If not, the baby will be so full of icing and tired before it ever gets this far.  Stick a hand in.  Rip a few spots open for them so that they can see the yummy goodness underneath.
  • Have a little one that is completely uninterested?  Try putting a yogurt melt, puff, cheerio, or other favorite snack hidden on the back of the cake to get them to take a taste.
  • Do not use chocolate cake.  When it gets smeared, it is going to look like poop.
  • Don’t go too crazy with props.  You want the baby and the cake to be the focus and too many props can quickly distract from that.
  • Do not plan a session like this (or any session) when your baby is tired or needing a nap.  That is always a recipe for disaster.
  • Don’t feed your baby a huge meal beforehand.  Make sure they aren’t hungry, but not stuffed either.  If they are too full, they won’t be interested and will be over it quickly.  If they are too hungry, they will just be a cranky mess.
  • Overall, just have fun with it.  If they end up being cranky and have a melt down, still capture those pictures.  That is who they are that point.  Twenty years from now you are going to laugh at the memory of them freaking out over a cake.