Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cute Conversation

Anslie: "This is him's seat." (referring to the Bumbo)
Kevin: "Who is 'him'?"
Anslie: "Zachary."
Kevin: "And what do we call Zachary for short?"
Anslie: "Short little man."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch That Wasn't

We took the kids to the pumpkin patch last night to pick out pumpkins to carve for the upcoming Halloween holiday. We went to the first patch we remembered, the one by our mall...and they didn't sell ANY pumpkins. Or, if they did, they didn't have many. This pumpkin patch seemed to have more of a focus on carnival games and rides than anything else. I'm sure Anslie would have had fun, but our goal was to come home with pumpkins.

We went down the street to another pumpkin patch. This location did have pumpkins, but still not the mounds of pumpkins that patches had when I was a kid. Pumpkin patches are so strange these days! Don't get me wrong; I appreciate the emphasis on making the pumpking-picking experience fun for all ages, but the whole point is to find a PUMPKIN. TO CARVE. FOR HALLOWEEN. Patch #2 had lots of rides, bounce houses, carnival games, treats, mazes, and a petting zoo. Strewn around all of these things were pumpkins for sale. Where were the rows and rows of pumpkins to search through, the perfect one just waiting to be discovered?

Anslie spent most of the night in the petting zoo, which is where all of our pictures come from. When we finally got around to trying to find pumpkins to take home, we realized how wrong we were for going to a pumpkin patch for it! Does this sound like an oxymoron to anyone else?! The cheapest carving pumpkin they sold was $7.00. At is was small. Like, so small you would be hard-pressed trying to carve it at all. Lame. So we let Anslie pick out a little gourd for 99 cents and got frozen yogurt instead.

Now we are off to Target or Walmart to find a much more reasonably priced pumpkin to carve!
Yes, what looks like is about to happen in this next picture almost did!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Z at 4 months

It's incredible how much faster time moves when you have another child! In some ways I feel like I have been able to enjoy having a baby more this time around just because there isn't as much to learn. I have done this all before with my first so I'm not in shock. My body and mind have healed more quickly and my patience has grown.

At the same time, there is twice as much work to do and half as much time to do it in. It's sad that some of the things I got to do with my first baby, my second baby is robbed of. Like timely updates on what my new little one is up to.

With Anslie, I had an essay written every month about every single detail of her growth and development... with pictures to go along with it. Not so much with Zachary. That doesn't mean I don't love him as much. Quite the contrary. It just takes a little more effort to share the joy of mothering him with the rest of the world.

I can't promise that I will be as faithful as I was with Anslie about getting monthly updates of Zac on the blog. But I will promise that I will try my hardest to make sure that everyone who cares about him has as much access to him as I can give.
Zachary is a joy! A true cherub in every sense. He is sweet, happy, easy to please, and a pleasure to be around. Of course he has his moments, but those are easy to get past. He still eats well and on most nights only wakes once or twice to nurse.

I feel like my little man is turning into just that...a little man already. At 4 months of age, Zac has already cut his first tooth and is working on a second! Incredible and very sad for me. I love toothless baby grins! :( He is also rolling over, mostly from back to tummy, but he goes the other way sometimes too. Zachary likes to be upright as much as he can so he can explore the world around him. And if propped up in the right way, he can even sit up by himself, balancing his upper body on his hands. He has great neck control and his coordination for grabbing things and bringing them to his mouth is really improving.

Zac is a BIG boy, measuring in the 95th percentile in all of his measurements. (He has a checkup on Friday so I will know those numbers then.) And as such, I feel like it won't be long before he will want to start eating solids. That's another sad thing for me. I want my baby to stay small for as long as he can and it's become bittersweet for me to watch him grow and move on to the next phase in his development. Everything was so new a exciting with Anslie that sometimes it seemed like it took forever for something to happen. With Zac, I just can't get a handle on time. And it seems like he is developing so much more quickly!

This little one is also a giggler. He is happy pretty much all the time (unless he is hungry, tired, or sick) and is always ready with a smile or laugh. I love it! The best feeling in the world is his sweet little hands on my face while he gives me sloppy baby kisses on the cheek and coos and giggles in my ear. That memory will melt my heart forever.

Words just can't express how much I love my son. He is my joy. He is my baby. I am proud to be his mommy.


An Apple a Day

One of the fond memories I have from my youth is running off to Tehachapi with my dad to pick apples and watch the trains that seemed like they stretched to eternity chug by from a mountain-top vantage point. I'm sure I gave my dad plenty of attitude as most preteens and teenagers do about doing dorky things like that, but I can honestly say that I really did enjoy it. Even if I wouldn't admit it as a kid.

When my dad told me it was apple-picking season again and my sister invited us out to my home town to watch the pro street gocart racing event, I was excited to be able to spend quality time with family and to share one of the things I loved to do as a kid with my own children.

These are a few snapshots from our adventure. I want to share the fun that we had, as well as some of the funny things that were accidentally caught on camera. Look in the background of some of the images and you will see what I am talking about.
Excited much?
Got our bucket and we're ready to go!

Here's a nice boob shot of Rachelle...
Anslie loved carrying this stick around more than anything else.
Anslie likes to hold sticks, Zac likes to eat them.
Love the large woman with the tie-dye shirt in this one!
The spoils from which I have made:
A dutch apple pie
apple sauce
apple butter
apple bread
apple crepes
After apple picking it was back to Lancaster for us. Nice capture of my dad on this one.
Boney Hawk the skateboarding bulldog
And just me messing around
Fun trip. Funnier pictures! :) Happy Monday!

BP Fair

Still playing catch-up :) We went to a community fair that Kevin's work held back in September with our friends, the Russells. The kids had a ton of fun! Home Depot was there and had a bunch of really cute projects for the kids to work on.

This next picture kills me!!! I die laughing every time I look at it! It totally looks like little Eli is coming after me with a hammer because he's sick of me taking pictures. I'm sure my family can completely sympathize...
Anslie was a bit of a stinker that day (nothing unusual for a toddler her age...) and you can see how happy she was about sitting on the horse. Stink face all the way!

She wasn't too happy about the face paint either...

Or shooting the pepper-ball guns...
But overall we all had a great time. And it didn't cost us a dime, which is right in our price range! Thanks, Kevin's work, for a great Saturday activity that was family and community friendly!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Veggie Garden

We have decided to step outside of our little box and try something new...and that something new is gardening. We (and when I say "we" I really mean "I") planted a little vegetable garden in the planter in our backyard. We planted acorn squash, tomatoes, lettuce, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, green onions, cauliflower, and broccoli. So far so good on keeping everything alive :) It seems like black thumbs run in our family. Hopefully with the help of a timed drip system we can keep our little plants alive and be able to literally taste the fruits of our (and when I say "our" I mean "my") labor! Next up are some citrus trees and aloe vera plants that my stepmom is giving us soon!


Random Slide Show

I am going through my hard drive to make sure I have blogged all of our goings-on and I came across a few random family trips that I don't think I have shared. The first few pictures are from a trip to the Wild Animal Park just a few weeks after Zachary was born. I can't believe how much he has changed! Next there are a couple pictures from a Family Movie Night we had with the kids. It made a HUGE impression on Anslie and she still talks about getting a sheet and pillows and eating popcorn and candy in the living room while watching a movie. Probably because she isn't allowed to have food in the living room normally. But it was a good time just the same. There's a quick picture of a nasty spider that surprised Anslie and I as we were heading out into the garage. It started hopping toward us and shaking it's nasty, hairy legs at us...until I squished it with Kevin's shoe. Finally, a couple snapshots of a trip to the zoo with the kiddos. Fun times!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Go Live!


Just an FYI -- my new photography website will be live within the next couple of days. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Also, my photography blog address has changed! You can now follow me at:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Newsworthy News!

Times are changing and so is my website! I'm getting ready to launch my new and improved website, so keep your eyes open for it!

In honor of this exciting news, I am going to give away a free portrait session! If you win, you can use your session for:

Family Portraits
Engagement Photos
Senior Pictures
Baby Pictures
Bridal Session
Or anything else you want (excluding weddings:)
To enter the drawing, leave a comment on this post on my photography blog: You can enter 1 additional time for becoming a fan of Shillawna Ruffner Photography on Facebook and 1 additional time for emailing this announcement to everyone in your contact list (that's three entries!). Make sure to leave me a comment when you become a fan (or if you already are a fan) and another comment when you have spammed all your friends :) Winners of the free photo session will be announced on Thursday, October 22nd! Locations for your shoot must be within 30 miles of Menifee, CA. Good luck and happy commenting!!!

-More to come on the Christmas Special so stay tuned!