Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rainy Day Model

The weather has been... well, weird. I know, almost everyone across the nation has been experiencing some strange weather lately, us included. Our weather has been unseasonably cool this year, though we do have some hot days coming soon.  We have experienced a lot of rain and some very damaging hail, as well as some incredible lightning.

A couple days ago it started to rain, and continued to rain and rain and rain. The poor Ladybug just wanted to go outside and play, but the weather was not cooperating. After playing a couple games in the morning, I started to think about what would be fun for my eldest, who happens to be 5 going on 15, and then it hit me. I looked at the Bug during lunch and asked, "What would you think about playing with makeup, and even putting makeup on mommy when the Butterfly goes to bed for her nap?" As you can imagine, she squealed with excitement and could not wait to get her little sister to bed.

I knew that I was setting myself up for a fun time with the Bug, and she definitely delivered. The Ladybug started by carefully placed blush on my cheeks... several times in several different shades. She then moved on to my eyes and again started layering several different shades, all in hopes of complimenting my blue eyes. She was so gentle in her application, much to my surprise. I sat ever-so-still for her throughout the entire application. Watching her concentrate so deeply was mesmerizing and made me smile inside the entire time.

After finishing my eyes she hesitantly asked, "Do you want me to put on the liner?" She was terrified to even try for fear of poking my eye and hurting me in the process. I eagerly told her that it was OK, I didn't need her to apply any liner this time.

With my makeup now finished, I asked her if she wanted to now do her own face. She again squealed and eagerly said, "Yes!" I watched her as she very delicately applied her own makeup this time. Surprisingly, she did not apply too much. I think I had it in my mind (probably after seeing too many episodes of American's Funniest Home Videos) that when a young child "plays" with makeup, they tend to apply it much like a clown would. However, the Ladybug seems to already have the knack for subtlety, which astonished me.

Following her makeup application, I offered to take some "model" photos of the Bug, who was very excited to be my muse (by the way, I did not take any photos of myself... just trust me, she did a great job!). The following photos are from that afternoon of fun and laughter with my little Ladybug!

She started by looking rather girly, her hair pulled back with a clip on top of her head.

We then decided to let her hair down, and that was when all of the Ladybug's sass started to shine through.

Don't you just love the "painted" finger nails?

This is my favorite photo from the set. I just love her laugh!

Practicing her kissy lips.

My beautiful kissy-lipped girl. Seriously, she really is 5 going on 15!

We enjoyed such a wonderful time together, what a great day. Oh, by the way, the night ended up providing us with a beautiful electric light display. Quite a day!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Holy Cow!

Has it really been over a month since I last posted on the blog?!?!? Apparently so. So much has happened in that time that has kept me really busy and away from the blogosphere.

The house is now officially ours and we couldn't be happier. We were waiting for the basement to be finished to finally sign the papers, and it is now done and the kids are loving it! They finally have a huge play area where they can play with all of their toys (and thus keep their rooms cleaner without all of the clutter!). The basement was finished just in time for some visitors to come and stay. We loved the visit, and they loved the fact that they could have the entire basement for their family.

The girls are doing great! Nana F. came to visit in early May to watch the Ladybug perform at her first ballet recital.

We surprised the Bug with Nana's visit. She squealed with joy when she saw her Nana, and was so excited to spend some quality time with her (Nana F. lives in Florida, a couple thousand miles away so we only get to see her once or twice a year). What the Ladybug didn't know was that there was an even bigger surprise still to come. Two days before Nana's departure, we told the Bug that she was going to go back to Florida with Nana for a three week visit. She squealed with excitement so loudly, I swear that people two states over must have heard her.

While they were gone, I finished up school for the year, the hubby spent time preparing for his summer class he would be teaching, and the Butterfly continued... getting into trouble! Actually, I jest. The time alone with the Butterfly, just the three of us was such an unexpected blessing. I could have never imagined how special (and needed) that time together really would be for all of us. However, when I actually analyzed the situation, it made perfect sense.

Before we brought the Ladybug home in 2006, she was raised by a foster mother who doted on her day and night. This amazing lady gave so much love to our baby girl. And, because she only had one older son, the Ladybug was treated like an only child, receiving all of the love and attention. The Ladybug then came to us and this one-on-one attention continued for the next few years.

In contrast, the Butterfly was raised in an orphanage with several other babies and children. This meant that although she did receive great care, she was never doted on by any of the caregivers. Each caregiver took care of a few children, and thus her time was shared with several children. Then, when we brought the Butterfly home last year, she was again forced to share special caregiver-bonding time with another child. Thus, she was never given the opportunity to be the "only child."

With the Ladybug gone in Florida, the Butterfly was finally given the chance to be the only child, and boy did she flourish during this time. I was truly amazed at how much this child blossomed without having to compete with her sister all the time. She really mellowed out (less frustration), and started giggling and laughing so much more. What is truly amazing is that this new attitude and positive transformation has pretty much continued even now that the Ladybug is home. I am so happy that we had the opportunity to dote on the Butterfly for three whole weeks. The bonding that occurred made such a difference in strengthening our relationships.

Nana and the Bug had an amazing time together during those three weeks away. When they returned, we visited some wonderful touristy sites in the area and enjoyed a great time together. We only wish that Nana lived closer so that the girls could see her more often. Now that summer is here, we are settling in, enjoying our new house, and getting to know the neighborhood. The girls spend a lot of time outdoors at the play park, riding bikes, playing with new friends, or playing with bubbles. The photos below are of the girls over the last few days. Enjoy!