Sigh. My baby is turning three tomorrow.
Three is such a big number. It is not the age of a baby.
It is certainly not the age of a toddler.
She is starting preschool in three months.
What is going on? I feel in awe~ in awe of this precious little being, the spunky chickie who recently decided to forgo a trip to the movies in order to hang in at girls’ night with my friends and I. The silly curly babe who is relatively obsessed with Darla and the Little Rascals, you know the child who has wild plans about Darla, the baby in my belly who will come out wearing a tutu, as her instant best friend? PS~ I am so not pregnant.
Baby Dee acts bigger than her britches, she has a feist and a zest for life that makes me feel inspired.
Every once and awhile though, she snuggles deep into my arms, head on my chest, and she slips into a different mode. Her voice gets squeakier, her words get simpler, her hugs get tighter. ”What did I wear as a baby?” “What did you feed me?” “Where was my hair?” I tell her how teeny tiny she was, how she fit right there on my chest, snuggled in a ball. Now her head fits on my chest and her stinky feet that are attached to long legs dangle down past my hips.
Ava Dee, you are my heart. Happy Birthday, baby girl!
Some background on this shoot~~~ I have a special place for this tree in my heart, named The Pooh Tree, it resides in Peace Valley Park and is rumored to be the home of Winnie the Pooh! I visited many times as a child, and Winnie the Pooh always left coins for my brother, sister, and I to find. I recently brought it up to my dad, saying to him, that I really had no idea it was him hiding the money all those years until I was much much older. He looked at me with a soft smile and a twinkle in his eyes, and said, “It wasn’t me…”
We left ballet yesterday and were on our way to Comcast for a new cable box when I could not get over the beauty of the clouds. They were huge and puffy and the sky was electric blue. Time for a detour. We stopped home for a snack and grabbed her Olivia outfit that has been reserved for her 3rd Birthday Party which is tomorrow. My mind started racing. I needed a field. A really cool-looking field to capture her AND the clouds. I started packing – two Olivia dolls, an Olivia book, another tutu and leggings…and I realized only one place would do, the Pooh Tree.
Never mind that it was 11:45- midday, which equals harsh un-flattering light. Never mind that we had to be 20 minutes away in the opposite direction from our house to grab the cable box. Never mind that Peace Valley Park is another 20 minutes from our house, in the wrong direction. Keeping with the theme of crazy, I grabbed her rocking chair, the one that was her granny’s when she was a child. We hopped in the car and as we drove down our road, my mind was spinning. I should have grabbed the #3 candle. Balloons. I need balloons.
We drove a bit more out of our way to Party City. We grabbed three red balloons and one #3 candle and we were on our way. I realized dang- it’s chilly out. Why is my child in an Olivia t-shirt and capris? Why was I in short-sleeves? Why did I carry our coats inside after ballet? Whoops.
We arrived at Peace Valley Park and got to work. Ava was pumped. I was even more pumped!
I threw on her tutu, and slung my extremely large camera bag over my shoulder. It’s heavy on a good day and yesterday it was filled to the brim with props.
I picked up the heavy wooden rocking chair and we started walking. And walking. And walking. I started to think, “Holy hell, did they do away with the Pooh Tree?” We walked deeper and deeper into the woods. We dodged roots on the ground and low-hanging branches by our heads. We stopped several times so I could switch arms. I tried not to pop the balloons on stray branches….and thankfully finally we made it! There it was! I was drooling by now, and Ava suddenly became terrified of what was in the tree.
I set up like a maniac because I was afraid the bus loads of school children we passed upon arrival would be by any second to explore the Pooh Tree.
All set. The clouds were in position and the lighting was perfect. Warmish and even.
Click click click. Yay yay yay.
All of a sudden, it started raining! We were not done, we I threw my camera bag inside the tree and kept shooting. We ended the session when we found a special surprise in the tree~ coins for Ava from Winnie the Pooh. How special!!!!
I convinced Ava to put her sneakers back on, and quickly broke down our set. I popped the balloons without warning Ava and my poor girl shed many a tear. I bribed her with a milkshake and we were on our way. We tried to walk quickly back to the car, but two-almost-three-year-old legs can only move so fast, especially while frozen after a chilly photo shoot! Ava started to fall asleep on the way to get a milkshake but I held up my end of the bargain, one milkshake for one super model (a rare treat in our family!)! We came home, without the cable box, armed with a memory card filled with precious photos, and baby Dee headed up for her nap leaving me to pour through our images.
I smile every time I look through these. I know I am biased, but I just think she rules!
PS~ Totally forgot to ever take pictures of the pretty fluffy clouds before it turned dark and dreary, whoops!!!