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  • Writer's pictureLisa Wain

All is not as it appears.

Hey guys! It's been a little bit since my last post, but life continues, so here I am ready to tell you about some more of the simple joys and utter failures in our day-to-day lives.

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only three weeks from today? Yes, only three weeks! This fact has really taken me by surprise. I gotta be honest, ever since coming home from our six week adventure in Florida I've been feeling behind in basically everything. Can you imagine my shock that life did not take a pause during our six week hiatus? Seriously, though. We've been home five weeks now and I'm still feeling the affects of being away for six weeks. Not at all complaining, but it's been crazy. Matt's company's Florida branch has actually already contacted him asking him to come back again. He wisely told them no as we are only three weeks away from Thanksgiving, four weeks away from our actual Disney World vacation, and less than seven weeks away from Christmas! Crazy times ahead here at Wain Manor!

Since Thanksgiving is only three weeks away that means it's time for the absolute WORST task, in my opinion, there is in being a mom. It's not the diaper changes or the diaper genie refill. It's not the lack of quiet time. It's not even the lack of sleep. No, those are all a walk in the park compared to Picture Day. Picture Day is the worst! I hate taking the kids for pictures. Hate it! No matter what, I get myself so nervous and worked up. I literally spend hours trying to find the perfect outfits that match but aren't too matchy-matchy. I spend the week or two ahead of Picture Day chasing the kids around trying to make sure not "if", but WHEN these wonderful darlings of mine hurt themselves that there is not lasting marks on the face, but only on areas that can be covered by clothing or props.

"Please, if you're gonna hurt yourselves, hurt areas that can be covered with clothing, kids. No face shots, please! Mommy can't cover the black eye you got from jumping down the entire flight of stairs with a headband, Vivian."

My poor kids. They're definitely going to need therapy. So. Much. Therapy. They may grow up to need therapy thanks to their OCD, perfectionist, Met fan mother and their wonderful, darling father whose ONLY crime is being a Yankee fan, but they are also going to have some great childhood pictures to go with that expensive therapy! It may kill me, but they'll have them!

I'm sure you guys think I'm exaggerating, but I assure you I am not. Let's take a look at these pictures below from 2018's Christmas pictures as an example.

See anything wrong in the above picture? No? How about this next one of Vivian specifically?

No, to the natural, untrained eye you see wonderful Christmas pictures of two angelic kids. You find yourself kind of wanting to be all snuggled up in that bed, drinking hot chocolate, reading Christmas stories. I assure you, you don't. First off, because that's actually just a really smelly candle so I wouldn't advise trying to drink it and secondly, because my children are present and I'm wanting to have nice Christmas pictures so obviously, the last place you want to be is anywhere near us. #murphyslaw

I'll spare you the weeks of agony leading up to this photoshoot and just fill you in with what went down just in the hour leading up to this shoot.

Our photoshoot was scheduled for 1:30pm on Saturday. I much prefer a first thing in the morning shoot, since there are far less opportunities for chaos and calamity to strike in those short hours before, but that was the earliest time slot available. My mom was supposed to accompany me that day to help me keep my sanity but for whatever reason she couldn't make it. Nonetheless, I woke up that day feeling optimistic. It was a Saturday and Matt was home, but much to my irritation he was not interested in coming along to help since I would otherwise be alone. Reality is, he has learned by now to stay clear away from me on important days like this, days that I put far too much pressure on to be perfect. He instead decided to risk his life and let me know that he was "busy" with a new video game, on this his "only real day off". How nice, huh? I remember those days. Let's see, Benjamin is five years old, so my last "real day off" was... hmmmm... oh, about 6 years ago, but yeah babe. You just relax today. Just sit back and play some video games. Do you want me to stop on the way home with our two little terrorists in tow to get you something to eat? Better yet, how about I cook you a full dinner to honor this special day for you, your "only real day off" since... LAST. SATURDAY. It's fine though.

You know, "fine", right? The "womanese" for "I'm too annoyed to talk about it so I'll just stuff it down until three days from now when you leave a sock on the floor and I erupt like the volcano of irrational emotions that I am."

Seriously, though, it's fine. I won't remember this moment a year from now when I have a new blog and all the opportunity in the world to broadcast this faux pas of yours. I digress.

Needless to say, I was on my own today. Thankfully, the kids decided to act like the little angels they appear to be in these pictures that morning. I should have known right then the impending doom that must lie ahead of me. They played oh so nicely right by my side wherever I went not leaving me a millimeter of space to myself while they thoughtfully took special care to be sure to leave Matt the entire living room to peacefully enjoy his (weekly) "me day" playing video games all by himself. Such angels.

Finally, it was lunch time, so I of course made them their lunch while Matt angelically snored on the couch. Poor guy was so exhausted from sleeping in that he just needed a nice, quiet nap. For lunch I was careful to pick out chicken noodle soup and water so there would be absolutely no evidence of the fact that my kids eat food in the pictures. You know, we can't have them with a blue tongue or something absolutely terrible like that in their pictures. Yeah, I know I overthink things to a crazy level. That's why we're all here, folks!

Finally, it was time to head out. Normally, I'm headed to a portrait studio about forty minutes away and I don't want the kids' outfits to get wrinkled on the drive so I bring their outfits and change them once we arrive...usually thirty minutes early since I'm insane and plan for every possible (and impossible) "what if" moment. This time it was only a fifteen minute ride and their outfits are Christmas pajamas so no worry about wrinkled clothes or changing them once we arrived. So much easier!! I was so excited to load them up into their car seats in those pajamas, thrilled that I wouldn't have to change their outfits with my shaky hands all by myself. Seriously. I get myself so worked up my hands visibly shake. I can't help it. I try to relax, but I suffer from anxiety so by now I have just learned to roll with it.

Off we go. I'm driving and literally so excited that nothing has gone wrong that I'm even joining in with the kids in singing Christmas carols on the drive. I'm actually having a blast on the drive but the poor kids probably thought Mommy had finally snapped.

Alas, my joyous moment had come to an end. At about three minutes away from the photography studio, Vivian announces that she's going to throw up. Poor Vivian has suffered since she was a baby with motion sickness. Prior to this though she had gone on quite a streak of not getting sick. I had thought those days were behind us so I hadn't been giving her her motion sickness medication for weeks. So I panic. I open the windows and start instructing her to take deep breaths like mommy. Miraculously, it worked! She didn't get sick. I was so relieved since I didn't even have her trusty throw up bucket in the car.

We pull into the photographer's parking lot and I realize that I'm super early since I planned for literally all roads leading to my destination to be closed and for the kids and I to be left to hike to our final destination. (*eye-roll*) Since we're so early I just had us stay in the car. I texted my mom that I made it there with no issue so far and do a bit of Facebooking, I'm sure. Probably posting about how much I hate taking the kids for pictures but celebrating that for the first time ever, nothing went wrong. After about ten minutes of sitting in the car gloating about how perfect this day has gone (Matt really missed out) I hear the words that bring me back to "mom reality" real quick.

"I'm gonna throw up!"

Yup. My girl threw up 10 minutes after our drive finished. She threw up everywhere. I quickly threw her coat over her hoping to salvage this (pre-pade, nonrefundable) photo shoot somehow, since I didn't have her throw up bucket with us and of course, for the first time ever, no change of clothes. I got out of the car and ran around to her side even though I was already completely defeated. I'm there running around the car already trying to figure out how to tell Matt how much money we just wasted since this was the last day of the photographer's Christmas mini-sessions and where to take them for Christmas pictures. I was crushed, and defeated. I open the car door and the smell of vomit was intense. Before even looking at the damage I text my mom and Matt, "VIVIAN THREW UP!". My mom, being a mom herself, texted back with all the right things... "What can I do? Can I bring you spare outfits? Can you reschedule? It's okay, we'll take them elsewhere next week." Matt, on the other hand, literally buckled himself to the electric chair with responses like, "Didn't you give her the medication? I told you not to feed them before you left. How much did this cost us?" *EYE-ROLL*

So I lift the coat off of a now totally happy Vivian and notice that the pajamas' pattern totally hides any stains. After I take a closer look, I then realize how clutch my overthinking was with only feeding her clear liquids. There were no stains! Now any normal person would have taken their poor, vomit covered child home to get a bath and clean clothes, then just reschedule a photo shoot at JCPenny's or something. If you haven't realized by now, there's nothing normal about me or my mom style.

That's right! I just brushed off the chunks (sorry. hope you weren't eating) and blotted those pajamas as clean as I could get them with water. I was not about to lose that money or worse yet, go through the Picture Day stress all over again. So I left her vomit-covered coat behind in the car knowing that the other moms would totally be judging me that I my child wasn't wearing a coat (If those broads only knew! That's the least of the things they should be judging me on at this point) and we headed to the studio.

I thought I was slick. I did it. I was still going to get those pictures scott-free. Nope. Thank you little, adorable Olivia. Olivia was this little princess that was clearly the first and only grandchild in her family. I knew this because as I walked into the tiny, extremely warm photography studio I noticed what seemed like her entire extended family there watching her take her pictures. There they all were. Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, maybe even their neighbor was there. I can't be sure but there were a ton of people crammed into that little studio all making those ridiculous faces, motions, and sounds you make trying to get your toddler to cooperate. They were all really well dressed and totally normal.

Then there's us. I come barreling in with my two kids, all flustered. The photographer stops to great us and change lenses. She still has a few more shots to get of Olivia. Sweet, innocent Olivia. So we step into the small studio and I practically shove my kids onto the couch that's right next to where Olivia is sitting taking her pictures. Her entire family is on the other end of the studio with the photographer. I sit my kids down and start taking off their shoes while our longtime photographer quickly small talks with me before getting back to wonderful Olivia. I tell our photographer that I'm a bit flustered since Vivian threw up in the car. She of course shows the appropriate concern and then moves on when she sees a smiling Vivian sitting there coupled with my motion sickness explanation. She doesn't quite realize in her busyness that I'm trying to politely tell her, " daughter's covered in puke".

So we sit and wait. At this point I'm thinking we're good, my photographer doesn't realize that my daughter is covered in throw up and I have successfully avoided total embarrassment from my "mom fail". Enter Olivia, sweet, sweet Olivia. You see, by now the front door has been closed for a bit and all fresh air is gone. Now all that's left is old, recycled, overheated air. Vivian's aroma starts to appear and Olivia is it's first casualty. So Olivia says "smelly" and her parents start to ask her what she was saying. So again, she says "smelly". I'm now dying 1,000 deaths. They look at each other and her kind of perplexed and then she says "throw up". So my photographer says, "Throw up? Oh, how cute. Yeah that candle is smelly isn't it?" My photographer then explains to her parents that the candle really stinks. They all laugh, while I die.

What?! How do you not get what's going on here people? I'm thankful, but come on.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting there in utter shock and embarrassment. I'm giving death stares to precious Olivia to keep it to herself while praying that they don't put it all together or that Vivian, in true form, doesn't out herself. Thankfully, that moment was just as Olivia's session time had ended. I moved Vivian to the farthest corner of the room that I could while the family took ten years to leave so that they hopefully wouldn't smell it.

Once they were gone I tried again, more freely this time, to explain to our photographer specifically about Vivian's wardrobe situation before she invited her onto her BED prop and finally she understood the gravity of the situation, but she assured me it'd be fine. (she's a mom, she gets it. Love her.) So there they are, vomit-covered, pajama pictures. You wouldn't know it, but I do. I relive this day every time I look at these adorable pictures. I still cringe at the one where the photographer has Vivian lay on the bed, belly down, knowing the pajama situation though. I realized later that she probably changed the blanket after we left so that makes me feel a little better, but still.

So this weekend is 2019's Christmas pictures day at Wain Manor. As of now I still don't even know what the kids are wearing and it's two days away. I've had some thoughts, but I'm leaving it until tomorrow to figure it out. I just can't this year. I don't have it in me. I'm so behind in everything and have so many other things to put my energy in that I just don't care. Well, let's be clear. I care. I REALLY care. I mean, I have a backup JCPenny studio reservation booked for next week just in case, so I do care, I am just too tired and busy to worry. Maybe though, just maybe, last year's experience broke me. Who knows but in a few weeks hopefully I'll be posting the cutest, perfect, vomit-free photos with no cringe-worthy blog post to go with it.

Until then!

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