First Haircut

There is something about giving a baby a haircut that suddenly makes them look older.  With both boys I dreaded cutting their hair in an attempt to keep the baby look for as long as I could.  Jacob was 15 months old when he got his first real haircut, I finally gave in after people started mistaking him for a girl!  Since he was born, Dylan has had little trims around the front and his ears to keep it out of his face, but not a real haircut.  He has more hair than Jacob did at this age and it is darker.  It was getting long in the back and it was starting to do the side flip thing.  So I gave in and decided it was time to cut his hair.  A few days later my mom came to visit, after breakfast one morning we took Dylan’s highchair outside and armed with a spray bottle, comb, scissors, things to keep Dylan distracted and of course me with the camera. Dylan got his first haircut.

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Not to be left out of the fun, Jacob wanted to help, so he decided he would be in charge of the spray bottle.

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And by helping in his mind, means spraying and saturating anything and everything with water, including grandma.

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Then he moved onto Dylan’s feet.

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Grandma had her work cut out for her trying to cut a squirmy baby’s hair who was getting his feet tickled by all the sprays from the water bottle.

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Slowly Dylan started looking a little less babyish and more little boyish.

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Thank you grandma for doing a great job!

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The Blue Park

One thing that I really do miss about our old neighborhood is all the parks.  We lived within walking distance of several playgrounds and lots of big grassy fields/soccer fields/baseball fields, etc…Our walks to the park and letting Jacob run around with a ball on the fields, was such a big part of our daily life.  There was one playground that was Jacob’s favorite, I actually did a post on it.  We called it the Blue Park since the ground was a blue padded/squishy rubber, and most of the equipment was blue.  We spent a lot of time there.  On our last day when we moved out of our condo, we stopped at the Blue Park to let Jacob play one last time, before heading to the new house.  Every once in a while when I say we are going to the park, Jacob asks if we are going to the Blue Park, and still talks about it often.

In March, Jacob had a dentist appointment, and his dentist office is in our old neighborhood.  When we were finished with the appointment, I told Jacob I had a surprise for him, and I started driving towards the Blue Park.  When we got closer and closer, I could see on Jacob’s face that he recognized the neighborhood and from his excitement I knew that he knew where we were going.

It tugs on my heartstrings to see how much he has grown since we were here last (almost a year ago).

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He can tackle things with ease now that were a little too difficult for him before.

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And it was fun seeing him show Dylan around his favorite park.

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And it is fun to see Dylan doing the things that Jacob did when he was a baby.

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Dylan really liked the swings at this park

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Jacob did swing for a little bit

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But he would much rather climb

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Such a big boy now!

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It is these moments, that I am SO thankful for this blog, these pictures and memories. When I start to feel overwhelmed with how far behind I am, or the pictures and stories that never made it on here, I remember the trips down memory lane when I look back on an old post and the happiness/sense of accomplishment I feel when I get a new post done. It also shows me how much I have grown as a mother.  When I read back on the first post I did about this park and I came to this sentence, “This particular day was a Saturday morning, there is no way I could take pictures and chase Jacob around the park by myself, so we had daddy with us.” I had to laugh.  Now that I am used to the juggling act that two kids entails, bringing my camera along at the park (by myself) didn’t seem like a big deal.  At times, it was a bit challenging and I always had to make sure Dylan was in a safe place when I was focusing on Jacob, but it is possible.  To me, remembering old memories and creating new ones is more precious than anything, and I am so blessed to have my little family to do that with.

SpiderMan

One day Jacob found his SpiderMan costume in a pile of things that I was getting ready to put away in the attic.  He asked me to help him put it on and despite the fact that it was too small for him, he wore it all day long.  Then the next day when it came time to get dressed, he requested his SpiderMan costume again, and the next day and the next…and so it began.

He did everything in his costume. He ate his meals as SpiderMan, ran around the house and outside as SpiderMan, played his drums as SpiderMan

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He wore it on our evening walks on the golf course

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SpiderMan practices good dental hygiene

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Jacob basically was living his life as SpiderMan.

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A really fun time was when we went to the grocery store.  I wish I had someone to videotape that experience.  EVERYONE was smiling and commenting on and high fiving Jacob, it made for a fun shopping experience.

This went on for quite some time and the costume was getting a bit beat up. I started telling him it was dirty and I had to wash it every time he asked to put it on (I know the experienced parents reading this know exactly what happened to it)…But the hat part was fine, so he continued to wear it.

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Doesn’t matter where we were going, or what we were doing, there was always a little part of SpiderMan with us.  From reading the news with daddy on Saturday morning

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to going to the dentist to get his teeth cleaned (told you SpiderMan has good dental hygiene!)

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And my absolute favorite thing was when I asked him what SpiderMan says, he would make the hand motions like SpiderMan does when he shoots the webs from his hands and say “I love you!” since it is also like the sign for I love you.

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Makes my heart melt!

Ranch Style Photos

In February we were back at the Broken Branch Ranch. And every once in a while we do a little photo shoot to try and get some cute pictures of the boys around the ranch and with Grandma and Grandpa. The main focus this time was on Dylan, mainly because a certain 3 year old is not too keen on sitting still and smiling for the camera. We also were trying to recreate something similar to our favorite “cowboy” picture of Jacob when he was 8 months old.  Since Dylan is a little older than Jacob was, it was harder to keep him still, but I think we got some good ones. There’s not a whole lot of story to tell here, just heavy on the picture side…

First we loaded up the props in the wagon.

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Then while we were waiting for the guys to bring the bales of hay I started snapping away at Grandma and Dylan

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Then Dylan was ready for his close up

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When Grandma and Grandpa joined in, Dylan could not take his eyes off Grandpa.  He loves Grandpa’s deep laugh and in every single picture I took he is smiling at him.

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Then we tried to get one with both boys and we ended up with more outtakes.  But they are still fun pictures to have, that show the general craziness of two boys.

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This is what we get if we ask Jacob to smile or laugh for the camera (and again Dylan was focused on Grandpa laughing)

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This would have been a good one if Dylan had been smiling, but I think he was over it at this point.

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Dylan was tired of sitting and being held, so we let him stand up and play on the bales of hay

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and he was sampling the goods

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Then we went for a ride in the wagon

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Which led us to the horses

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And that is usually where you can find this guy hard at work

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I love some of the facial expressions I get, he takes his jobs seriously! I can just hear his voice in his head saying “Don’t mess with me mama, I’m busy!”

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Once his legs get a little longer he will be tearing all over the ranch in this thing, he knows exactly how to drive it, but he can’t quite reach.

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After my dad saddled up Thunder the two of them went for a a little ride

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When they were finished, Jake goes right to the bin with the horse treats to fill up his pockets with treats to give the horses.

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Mission accomplished!

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Wish he was this passionate about doing chores at home!

Splish Splash

Both my boys have been big fans of bathtime.  What’s not to love about popping bubbles, playing with toys and splashing water, everywhere! And mom loves the clean bodies afterwards.  One of my favorite things about our new kitchen is our farmhouse sink.  It is so amazing for many reasons, but one is it makes the perfect baby bath!  It is just the right size and it saves my back from having to bend over the bathtub.

It is kind of hard to believe Dylan was ever this small!

(1 month old)

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Jacob likes to pull his stepstool over and “help” me give him a bath.

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When Dylan found his feet he spent all his time in the bath kicking his legs, grabbing his feet and flashing that smile that melts my heart.

(5 mos old)

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Then he was no longer happy laying down, so he started sitting up in the bath and discovered all the things within his reach from this new perspective.

(7 mos old)

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As much as I love using the farmhouse sink, I think those days are numbered…because now he knows how to work the level for the faucet and grabs the hose any chance he can get, which results in water getting sprayed all over the place.

(9 mos old)

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And gets his hands full of bubbles and starts clapping which sends bubbles and water on the kitchen floor, window, cabinets and anything else close by.

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But he thinks it is all quite fun!

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And the best part of getting a bath is the nice lotion massage afterwards, fresh diaper and warm pajamas.

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Good night!

Practice

Life with two kids is kind of crazy…so my passion for photography has been on the back burner for quite a while.  Yes, I am still taking pictures, obviously.  But I haven’t really been happy with the quality of them since I am just capturing the moment and really don’t have much time to adjust settings/lighting/angle/focal point/etc…to really get that professional quality photo look.  There have been so many times that I’ve looked at the pictures and said, “Eh, these didn’t come out good, I’m not going to post them.” That is the perfectionist in me.  But then I shift into mom mode and really remember what this blog is truly about.  Sharing stories of our lives and capturing those fun moments of our kids growing up, it really doesn’t matter if the quality of the photos are to my ideal liking, what matters is the memory that is being recorded.  So I’ve decided to not worry so much about it and if the pictures are not that great, oh well.  Besides to tell you the truth, alot of the pictures on here lately are taken with my iPhone.

However, occasionally, if the moment is right, I do find myself getting my camera out to practice my photography. During this particular moment I was getting Dylan ready for a nap, and of course Jake decided he was hungry at the same time.  So I made him some food and got him set up with the iPad while I put Dylan down.  After I came out of Dylan’s room I stood talking to Jake for a few minutes and I had one of those moments where I thought, Whoa where did my little baby go! I have this silly little boy living in my house now!

I also noticed how great the lighting was so I decided to get my camera out.  Nothing fancy about these pictures, just a little boy eating his lunch.

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This little boy challenges me on a daily (no make that an hourly) basis.  I often tell Justin that I think he has “inherited” my hearing problems since he doesn’t listen to me.  He tests my limits and often makes me question my parenting ability.

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But truly, he really is a good little boy, and is just going through his threenager phase.  I think he is pretty darn handsome and I love his independent, silly, rambunctious personality.  And this is what I get for asking him to smile with a mouth full of food!

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I love you my sweet boy!

The Tree

Picking out our Christmas Tree was the easiest experience this year.  When we got to the lot, Justin took Jake in to start looking around while I got Dylan out of the car and bundled up.  On my way in I saw a neighbor and stopped to say hi and chat for a few minutes and when I turned around I saw Justin and Jake standing by our tree.  When I walked up to them, Justin said “This is it.”  I briefly looked around and agreed that he had picked out the best one. We hadn’t even been there for 10 minutes and we were done.  After paying for the tree and getting it loaded up ontop of the car, we decided to stick around for a bit and let Jacob play.

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I came really close to getting a Charlie Brown tree after Jake kept carrying this one around with him.

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Dylan getting his first grasp of a Christmas tree branch

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They had Santa’s sleigh there to use for photo ops, but Jake is not really cooperative in that department these days, so this is the best we got.

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Back out on the lot Jake was heading for the BIG trees

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One of the men working there restocking the trees heard me calling Jake’s name (as Jake was ignoring me as usual), so when he walked by he said “Hey Jake!” that stopped him in his tracks.  Then he asked Jake if he wanted to help him with the tree he was carrying.

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Of course Jake jumped at the chance to get his hands dirty!  The man talked to him the entire way to where he was setting up the tree, and thanked him with a high five when they were done.

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We practically had to carry Jake out of there to keep him from running after the man to help him over and over and over again.  Maybe we should have asked if they were hiring.

I never thought our family would really get into the Elf on the Shelf. But this year, this little guy, who Jake named Red, joined our family.

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After the boys went to bed, Justin and I put lights on the tree and wrapped a bunch of Christmas books and put them under the tree.  The next morning with Red perched on top of the tree, Jacob was excited to see that Red had put lights on the tree and brought books from Santa.  So now every night before bed Jacob gets to choose a book from under the tree to unwrap and read.

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I put our fragile/glass/breakable ornaments at the top of the tree and bought a big box of shatterproof ornaments that we could put everywhere else.  So Jacob “helped” me decorate the tree.

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Which resulted in a low patch of the tree that was beautifully crammed with ornaments.

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The next day, my mom was in town, so the two of us spread out the crammed ornaments and finished decorating the tree.

One night I sat Dylan down in front of the tree and told Jake to show him the ornaments.  Jake took his job seriously.

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Then Dylan decided to liven things up a bit and pick on his brother by pulling his shirt, over and over and over again.

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Okay now, back to the ornaments.

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It’s going to be a FUN Christmas this year!

Summer fun

More catching up here…

I’ve learned that with a two year old, it is better to get out of the house for a few hours rather than try to keep him happy and entertained at home all day long (it is good for mom to get out too!)  Even though it was a really hot and humid summer, it didn’t stop us from going outside and taking advantage of all the fun things there are to do in this wonderful city we live in. So when my mom came to visit in August, we took her to some of our favorite spots.  First up was Lake Poway to feed the ducks.

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Even thought it was miserably humid and we were drenched in sweat, it is so worth it to see the pure joy and excitement in Jacob’s face as he turns around and races back to us to get more bread.

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Then after a quick “thank you grandma” he runs back to throw the bread into the water.

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Trains have been a big thing in our house lately and Jacob is always asking to go ride the train, more specifically Thomas the Train.  And is always on the lookout when we are driving for train tracks and train crossings.  So we made a special trip to Old Poway Park to “ride the train”.  While daddy and Jacob were buying tickets and standing in line to board the train we were playing around with this blue eyed boy.

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Then it was our turn to ride the train with Jacob, and daddy did his best to get a picture 🙂

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On Saturdays they have a nice farmers market, so we wandered around and got some lemonade, sunflowers and looked at all the other goodies.

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Then we walked down to the park to find some shade to drink our lemonade, “cool off” for a bit and wave to the train as it went by

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you can tell by how miserable Jacob looks in that last picture that humidity was killing us so we packed up and went home to the AC and story time with grandma.

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Month Four

This month was a bit of a challenge…he was still his cute smiley self, but nighttime sleep became a bit of a battle. It was more like a series of short naps all night long.  Which was frustrating because he was sleeping so good the previous month and we got spoiled.

For naps I put Dylan down on his side or tummy to sleep and he really likes it and sleeps better.  But at night since I couldn’t keep an eye on him while I was sleeping, I was still putting him down on his back, because of my fear of SIDS.  He got used to sleeping on his side/tummy for naps and came to prefer it, at the end of this month, he started waking up  at night frustrated because he couldn’t roll over onto his tummy yet.  So I bit the bullet and started putting him to sleep on his tummy at night, and he slept great, for a little while…then he started waking up again…

He wasn’t waking up to eat or play, but because he is so strong and is now on his tummy, he really began discovering his mobility.  He was scooting, squirming and wiggling his way around his crib at night and gets himself wedged into a corner and can’t get himself out.  So I have to go in his room and readjust him and move him back to the other end of his crib which buys me a little time (and sleep) before he gets himself stuck again.  I remember this phase with Jacob and I can’t wait until he truly masters rolling around by himself so this phase will be over, and we start getting some sleep again.  Since he is so big, sometimes I think I forget that he is really just a few months old and feel like he should be acting older.  When I get frustrated about his nighttime sleep habits, I often find myself reminding myself that “he is only 4 months old!”

During his awake time he is still our happy little boy.  He is really starting to discover what his hands can do and reaches for things. He started sticking his tongue out all the time and continues to grow like a weed.  By the end of this month he grew out of his 6 month clothes and into 9 month clothes!

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He had his 4 month check up and his pediatrician was very pleased with his progress.  He weighs 18 lbs 2 oz (97th percentile), he’s 27 inches long (89th percentile) and his head circumference is 16.5 inches (52nd percentile).  Overall his pediatrician said he is indeed a big, strong, healthy boy and he is proportioned well with his height and weight.  He got his shots and didn’t flinch with the first one and then cried for about 10 seconds with the second one.

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Here are this month’s weekly photos

Week 14 – so my idea of taking pictures in the morning before daddy leaves for work to get the smiley baby look backfired on me this week, he was tired and just wanted to go back to sleep (hence my previous mention of our lack of sleep).

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Week 15 – then he was back smiling with his tongue sticking out

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Week 16

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Week 17

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Month Three

Dylan really became more vocal and talkative this month.  He is a smiley, giggly baby who sucks air in when he laughs instead of out, it is so cute!  My mom said I did the same thing.

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He is ferociously chewing on his fists, my fingers and anyone’s hands who happen to be nearby.  If you just reach across him to get something he will open his mouth and follow your hand hoping to get something in his mouth.  He’s like a snapping turtle!

He is continuing to grow and gain weight at lightning speed. And unlike his brother did, he really enjoys his tummy time and it amazes me how strong he is.

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One day when Dylan was 11 weeks old, after a trip to the grocery store, I had him on the floor for tummy time while I was putting away the groceries and after a few minutes I looked at him and he was on his back.  So I flipped him over onto his tummy again and stood there and watched him roll over onto his back!  So I flipped him over again and this time I got my phone out to get a video of him.  So the rolling process has begun.

Here are this month’s weekly photos.

Week 9 – Justin’s parents got the boys SUPER little/big brother shirts with capes on the back.  Both boys were going through growth spurts this month so I put these shirts on hoping they could wear them a few times before growing out of them completely.  But it ended up being the first and last time they wore them since they were pretty snug, you can see Dylan’s tummy stretching out the shirt.  I can’t keep up with these boys!

Dylan 9 wks IMG_3086edWeek 10

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Week 12

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Week 13 – I started realizing that when I was taking Jake’s weekly pictures, I had daddy behind me making him laugh so he is smiley in most of his pictures.  I am solo most of the time when I have been taking Dylan’s, so he is usually just chill and it is hard to get him to smile when my face is hiding behind the camera. I decided to start taking the picture before daddy leaves in the morning so he can help me by getting Dylan to smile.  Here’s our happy boy!

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