Wonder why I’m forever calling my son “crazy” or my little “wild card”? Wonder why I have an abundance of gray hairs? Well, you’re about to witness the reason.
I asked Big T to sit down so I could asked him some questions. I showed him last year’s birthday interview to refresh his memory of the process, and I incentivized his participation with a bribe of an extra birthday gift.
The result? Well, for one, an extremely frustrated mom.
He wouldn’t sit still and answer my questions. I asked the same thing over and over because he insisted on being difficult. A week went by and I left the video alone before I finally sat down to edit it. Expecting to be utterly disappointed with the result.
But as I pulled up his interview, I couldn’t stop laughing. Yes, he was all over the place. And yes, he was being so silly, and difficult and just… HIMSELF. Why should I expect him to be sit still serious when that’s absolutely not him?
I told my husband about my revelation and he told me something I’ll never forget.
“The point isn’t to get perfect answers, it’s to capture his personality. And you did that.”
I’ve always had a bit of an impulsive streak inside me. I can’t help but jump head first into new things, look back and ask questions later.
Exactly two weeks ago I decided to start a vlog. A video blog for those of you who don’t know. I felt like I needed a pickmeup. Something new and exciting to try. A new challenge to commence. I knew if I set a goal to do one once or twice a week I’d procrastinate and quickly fall off. I had to go big or go home. So I decided to start a DAILY vlog for the month of March.
What I’m loving about it so far is the rawness and spontaneity. I never really know what is going to come out of my mouth, or my kids’ mouth, and it’s capturing a lot of the REAL here and now. I take photos and write about our days here on my blog, but some of the day-to-day things have been feeling too boring to document.
The silly random thoughts and moments that no longer make the cut on my blog seems to be finding a place in the vlog. I am enjoying that.
So I don’t know if you enjoy watching vlogs (I’ll admit, it takes a special person I think, because I can’t always sit through 15 minutes of someone else’s life) but if you do, check ours out. We’re doing daily videos through March then I’ll reevaluate what I’m going to do after that. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not sure how they’ll come into play here on my blog, maybe I’ll share a couple favorites once a week, or maybe I’ll keep it completely separate. Let me know if you have an opinion.
Ok, so when I started this thing, it was just in time for me to go support my best bloggy friend at the We All Grow Latina Bloggers conference. Vanessa from De Su Mama is an incredible mother, photographer, writer and friend. She was honored as a Storyteller at this fabulous conference. She presented a powerful story on stage about her journey to discovering, and falling in love with the country her family immigrated from.
Keep checking back on her blog for her story which should be up soon! I was so incredibly proud of her.
Vanessa knows I’m a huge Disney fan and she was so thoughtful to invite me to experience this with her. While there we also got to have a special Disney Princess experience, go to an early screening of the new Beauty and the Beast (my review is here) and tour the Walt Disney Studios lot. We even bumped into Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company! I have two or three vlogs about the conference, I’ll share a couple below.
Vanessa and I, and parts of our family have been on about a half a dozen little adventures together with another coming up this summer. She listens to and supports my impulsiveness and talks me of the ledge when I’ve gone too far. She’s an amazing woman and I’m so lucky to call her my friend.
I don’t know how many nights I’ve looked at the clock and asked that question this year.
Then, it never fails, I open up my folder of pictures from the past year, or scroll through the videos on my phone and I’m overcome with so much guilt, remorse, and longing for those moments back.
The days are long but the years are short.
In the world of parenting, there are no truer words.
Today is the last day of the year. The last day of an amazing year with these two kids who are my world.
This year we’ve traveled together, learned new skills, and really began to see both of their personalities flourish.
I’m so excited for this year ahead. For the chance to try again. To soak it all in a little more. A chance to enjoy the long days, and maybe make the years a little less short.
Last year I made a video wrapping up 2014 and I treasure it so much. I’m trying to keep it up and do one each year. The past few weeks have been busy and fun with traveling and family visits so I was finally able to sit down and start working on it last night. Here’s a look back at 2015 in under four minutes.
Instead of doing my usual editing in Final Cut, I decided to take the easy way out and to throw a bunch of video clips and pictures into Animoto and let the program do all the work.
I did this a few years ago to make a Father’s Day video moved my husband to tears. That was a first I witnessed.
Anyway, I recommend this program is perfect for people who know little to nothing about video editing, or just want a an easy way to make a video fast. Just pick a song, upload your files, choose the background you want, and rearrange the order. It’s a lot like making a photo book. For me, the hardest part is finding just the right song, but there are many to choose from.
I’d love to challenge you to make a video of your year. Take an hour to unload those pictures and videos off your phone and turn them into something beautiful. Make a lasting legacy for your family.
You can try Animoto for free for two weeks (I used the free version when I made the video for my husband). If you love it and decide to upgrade, use my code: “babymaking20” to get 20% off.
Thank you for taking a look back at 2015 with me, and for tagging along on our journey. I hope along the way you’ve been inspired to make beautiful memories with your family.
Happy New Year my friends!
*A big thanks to Animoto for their awesome program and providing a code to share with my readers. This story was sponsored by Animoto, and as usual, all opinions are my own.
When your kid grabs his crotch and says “go potty, eeew!” right as he’s peeing, you’d think that’s a sign that it’s time to potty train right?
Progress is up and down (ok I haven’t really been trying very hard) but I’m trying to take it at his own pace. Big T seems to be a bit scared of the toilet right now. But despite my previous disgust for them, he happens to love his portable potty chair.
I think next month we’ll buy his first pair of training pants. Once we got Lil’ J a pair, she potty trained in a jiffy. All we had to do was tell her Cinderella would be sad if she peed on her and she made it a point to make it to the potty.
Big T on the other hand, I doubt will care who is on the front of his underpants. Is it a boy thing? A personality thing? It was so easy with my daughter and I already feel behind with my son. He’s already messier (his hands have been in the toilet more than anything else), and it seems like it could be quite the disaster.
Then again, he just turned two in April. There’s no real need to rush. Especially if it’ll hinder progress more than help.
This was a BIG day for Lil’ J. This little girl is my cautious one. After she got scared on the Peter Pan ride at Disney World right out the gate we changed most of our plans to avoid any semi-thrilling rides.
Our little family went to Sea World and Aquatica in San Antonio, and like I suspected, she didn’t want to go down the water slides with her brother. She preferred the low key merry-go-rounds and shows. They were safe. Predictable. It’s not easy to overcome fears.
I’ve always noticed she’s had a huge imagination. And I think her heightened sense of awareness makes her extra cautious. Though she claims she’s only afraid of volcanos, and singing volcanos, I happen to keep track of things she’s really afraid of.
She hates being alone, in the dark, and rides. When her little brother saw this kid roller coaster (thinking it was a choo choo) he pulled us to it, asking to go on.
He needed to be 38 inches to meet the height requirement and I just knew he was going to fall short, then cry as we’d drag him away. But thanks to his Crocs and afro he had a couple extra inches and was barely able to make it. Lil’ J said she wanted to ride too.
I thought for sure she’d want to turn around or change her mind before we got going, or that she’d cry halfway through. I’ve been through this before. It was bound to happen. But I didn’t push her. I just encouraged her as long as that’s what she wanted to do.
I sat next to her and my husband sat next to our son. On the way up Lil’ J started to panic a little and I braced myself for the water works. But once we started going back down she started giggling. After the first lap around the short track she even put her hands up. My heart swelled with pride, and over all of the screaming around us I yelled and told her her how proud I was.
She faced her fears and knocked them out of the park.
We went on at least 6 more times.
When we stepped off the ride and I saw the image of her reaction on the TV screens above and I knew I had to buy it, no matter the cost. Ok… Well, I probably had a limit, but I was happy to spend $15 on the cheesy park picture because it captured this big moment for me. The moment my little girl finally let go of her fears, and found joy in a new adventure.
I left my camera at home (I rarely do this) and just captured a few moments with my phone and watched the rest through my own eyes instead of behind a lens. Don’t get me wrong. I missed my camera and some cute moments. I couldn’t have frozen a single moment in one frame that would have topped this video.
We still have other fears to work on. Like sleeping in her room alone. But this was a big step, and it’s definitely making the “best of 2015” cut under “conquered fears.”
What’s your child afraid of? Has s/he ever overcome it?
A few weeks ago my son could hardly sit still for a book. I wrote about it being National Read Aloud Month and realized I could be doing better myself. That night I started pulling books from his shelves and reading a few to him each evening. At first he could sit for one, then he’d ask for his bottle and chill through the rest. Now he keeps handing me things to read and yelling “MORE BOOK!”
He has a favorite, I have to read it every night. We read it last right before he goes to sleep. Sometimes I even catch him “reading” it to himself during the day. I never want to forget his cute little voice and excitement as we read this book together.
I pulled out my phone the other night to record this little moment. I did it twice, once with the rear camera facing the book, then again with the frontal camera facing us.
A little video recording/editing tip: Recording something that’s going to repeat multiple times and getting multiple angles gives your story more dimension, and makes you feel like you’re there in the action when you watch your video back later. It also makes editing easier because you have more video to choose from.
I know if I was a good blogger I would have posted this days ago. But starting on our anniversary getaway, I finally took time time off from all work, which even included a little break from my precious blog. My husband did the same and we had more fun than I can even describe.
I think it’s a sign I need to take it a little easier this next year, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.
Every year my husband and I debate what presents get wrapped and what stays out in the open. I’m a fan of wrapping and he’s a fan of leaving big items out. He definitely outsmarted me this year because their reactions were absolutely priceless. I always have my camera ready to get their first look. I didn’t take as many pictures as I had hoped, but the video more than makes up for it for me. Nothing like remembering those moments as they were.
It seems that no matter what is going on in the world, I can look at my children and get lost in their innocence. Oh how I wish they could stay like this forever.
I love the spirit of Christmas, the enchanting lights, our family traditions, warm coco, and more lessons on Christ. We’re only a week into December and we’ve already been enjoying the season. Here’s a special look at what we’ve been up to:
Lil’ J was in her first parade, and danced at a Christmas Festival. We’ve seen/ talked to Santa about five times already, started reading Christmas stories and stories about Christmas. We’ve watched Rudolph movies and danced with Rudolph toys, and there’s still a lot of time lefts for crafting, baking, service and caroling.
Now that my youngest sister is close by, I feel like the Christmas spirit is magnified times 5. The light in her eyes helps that in my kids shine brighter.
Take out your camera or phone this season and capture a few seconds of your favorite merry moments. String them together in a video over Christmas music and you’ve got yourself a beautiful keepsake.
What holiday traditions are you taking part in this year? How do you save your merry moments?
Chat with me tonight at 8pm CST on Twitter. We’ll be discussing how you make merry memories this season. RSVP to be entered to win $500. Also, tomorrow Hallmark is having a sale for 20% off on Rudolph merchandise as a part of the 12 Gifts-A-Giving celebration.
*This post is written as a part of a partnership with Hallmark. All opinions expressed are my own.
I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.