Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chinese Thursday

The fifth day of the week isn't just an ordinary day in our house, it's Chinese Thursday. Or, more recently, Hibachi Thursday. 

For at least two-and-a-half years now, we know what's for dinner on Thursday nights and that our good friends (and Ryan's co-workers) Matthew and Emmy are coming over on their dinner break. This past year, others have joined us as well, like Yvette and Sarah. And sometimes others drop in too. Of course, Clara got in on the tradition in early 2010, and Luke became a regular later that year. 

The numbers have grown (yet the table has shrunk) and the food changed from Chinese to Hibachi Express, but you can always count on Thursday night (except when there's breaking news of course - they're all TV news people!).

Tonight, we said goodbye to one of our founding members, Matthew, who is moving to Florida. He's been a great friend to our family - he was there when we called to say we were definitely going to adopt Clara, and was Clara's official photographer for her first year - and he will be missed.

The Chinese/Hibachi Thursday crew was much bigger than normal tonight since everyone wanted to be there for Matthew's last night (it was also literally his last night in Richmond), so that means an ungodly amount of yum-yum sauce...

This is just half of the crowd...

And the rest had to eat outside. Good thing it was a beautiful night!

Lukie was very confused Daddy wasn't eating near him...

But he made a new friend in Gene...

Clara loves Matthew and is definitely going to miss him...

I'm sure she's going to be saying, "Matthew's here! Matthew's here!" as everyone pulls up outside for many Thursdays to come.

Matthew gifted us his infamous Black Friday free gift World Market monkey ornament, since Clara sadly broke ours this Christmas. We're just lucky it survived this photo...

Gene, trying desperately to keep Clara from the cupcakes...

But Emmy, wanting Clara to love her best, gives her what she wanted...

Poor, sweet Sarah puts up with Clara yanking on all of her jewelry...

Matthew and his parents, who were on hand for his final Chinese Thursday/last night in Richmond...

Ryan with Matthew and Emmy...

Yes, Luke and Matthew are both rangas...

We will miss you, Matthew! You are a wonderful person and an awesome friend and Chinese/Hibachi Thursday will never be the same without you. We'd keep a chair empty in your honor except, as you know, we always have just enough chairs.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our boy

We have a full-fledged real live boy who lives with us now. His name is Luke and I'm not sure where he came from, because yesterday we had a baby.

He grew up overnight. His pants are all too short and his shoes are all too small.

And he's talking like crazy. And not just repeating words, but actually communicating, and sometimes even in sentences. He can say almost anything he wants it seems. Yesterday he asked Ryan to read him a book called "Hug" by saying, "" What? Weren't you just born?

We thought he'd be the silent younger brother of a very outgoing big sister. Not exactly.

He's also the sweetest boy ever. Everyone comments on that. He's just so good-natured and lovable. You just want to eat him up. Until you watch him steal toys from his sister, that is. She might argue that he's more like a silent assassin, smiling while he secretly torments her. 

Otherwise, he is a complete sweetheart.

And she loves him anyway.

He may be a big boy but he's not a year-and-a-half just yet.

He's got a couple months to go, so he's still a baby. 

At least that's what I'm telling myself for now ;)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sweet family shots

This blog hasn't been much about our life with Clara and Luke this week, has it? That'll change after tonight because we're heading home tomorrow. I'm sad to leave, but very excited to get home to Ryan.

So that means one last photo post of my nephew. This time I captured shots of the new family of three. Well, four if you count Toby the dog.

I had a great time helping my sister and her husband with their sweet new baby this week, and I loved photographing his first days home. They're probably going to be glad to get me and my camera out of their hair after today!

Here they are... all very photographic. No wonder Henry's so adorable!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Photo shoot

I knew photographing babies was hard, but I discovered today that it's really, really hard. Between patiently rocking sweet naked Henry to sleep, hoping he didn't pee and poop (he did, both), to arranging his little body in ways a half-asleep eight-day old baby doesn't want to lay - it takes a lot of extremely slow movements and quick decision-making.

But I love every minute of it.

Henry was my guinea pig today, as I hope to photograph more newborns in the future. It's best to start with your sister's baby, because she trusts you and because I wasn't shy about moving and bending her teeny boy.

It was meant to be just another quick shoot, but I'm happy with the results so I don't think I'll torture my nephew any longer. That doesn't mean I'm done, of course. I have big plans for a photo shoot with the new family tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Baby giraffes

Are you sick of baby pictures yet?*

Today I brought Clara and Luke with me to my sister's house for the morning. They were a little crazy - they like to break through baby gates, fight over the two iPads I supplied them with, and wreak havoc on their cousin's nursery - but we made it through fairly unscathed.

And when I realized baby Henry had not one but two giraffe hats (one of which was Luke's size) and we had not one but two baby boys in our midst, I had to get the shot.

These very impromptu photos aren't as good as they could have been with some planning (we just sort of plopped poor teeny Henry down on the couch next to his grabby cousin), but they're cute nonetheless.

So here is my big (and very white) baby with his newest buddy Henry...

No Henrys were injured in the taking of these photos. Actually, it's a great way to wake a sleepy baby up to eat!

*That was a rhetorical question.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Practice shoot

I cannot wait to do an extensive photo shoot with little Henry (well, as extensive as a week-old baby will let you be). I have props, hats, diaper covers, blankets, you name it. I even did a practice shoot with Clara's dolls (the pictures had my sister and father dying of laughter. I just might post some here at a later date).

Since they just arrived home last night, and today was spent at the doctor's office (he was not re-admitted! Yay!), I haven't been able to do it yet. But when his mama was getting ready for the trip to the pediatrician today, I took the ten minutes I had with Henry to do a mini-photo shoot.

Don't get me wrong - even during a mini-photo shoot I move furniture. And I dressed him in his adorable little hat we found on Etsy. He helped me a lot, because he couldn't have cared less. Now I'm even more excited for the real thing!