Though I've started doing more lifestyle photos of my girls, I think I'll always have a special place in my heart for cheesy themed photo shoots. After doing Jane's and Norah's birthday parties back to back, I was more than happy to take a little break from party planning. But now that it has been 6+ months, I've been excited for another one, especially since we are doing a mermaid party! I wanted to make some little mermaid skirts for the girls, but I had never worked with performance fabric before so it was really a process of trial and error (and help from Facebook friends😉) before getting them together. It was so fun though and now I want to make something else! I wanted a beach little headband to top it off, but was feeling the time crunch of getting photos done so I could send invites within a reasonable time frame.
So on Friday evening, I scouted out a pretty pond, rushed home to make dinner and simultaneously hot glue the headbands together so we could take pictures before it was too late and past bedtime. Ryan was sick, which meant I would be taking pictures by myself...at a pond...past bedtime...yeah, it crossed my mind that it was a bad idea, but I really didn't want to go early morning before the light was too harsh, and I really wanted to get it done soon. So I hyped it all up with Norah and Lucy and had them practice their "Ariel smiles".
"Lucy, when I say, 'show me your sweet Ariel smile,' what are you going to do?"
I thought we were set and they would be perfect angels.
We pulled up to the pond, which was completely deserted just 2 hours earlier, to a crowd of 20+ people getting ready for an extended family photo shoot. But they were off to the side of where I wanted to take pictures, so I tried to get everything out and rush over before anyone snagged it.
But I had a trunk full of stuff, and a stroller, and a camera, and 3 toddler to strap in the stroller. So when 2 trucks screeched to a stop right behind me, and 4 shirtless, cigarette-in-one-hand-fishing-pole-in-the-other men sauntered out directly toward the rocks I intended to use, I wasn't exactly in the right position to go shoo them away. So I mumbled under my breath and really considered going to my less than ideal back up spot or come back in the morning. But I figured I went to all this trouble already and there just had to be another spot that would do.
By this time the large family group was starting to migrate in the same direction I planned to go .5 seconds earlier, so I zoomed over and started speed walking in front of them to have first dibs on whatever spot I liked best. Haha so classy, I know.
I found a little sandy, beachy spot and started getting Lucy dressed into her skirt. And in case you are wondering, all that prep talk about smiling sweetly like Ariel? Yeah, she didn't care one bit. Normally I can trick them into at least looking my way, but she turned on her selective hearing and didn't even flinch when I tried all volume levels of calling her name. She kept yelling and groaning at me and saying things like, "you're bothering me! Leave me alone! I hate you!"
Since I was trying to get them home for bed time, I was feeling the pressure of getting everything quickly, which is why I was adamant about her cooperating.
So I stripped her back down to her regular clothes and belted her in the stroller and shoved on back to the car, so mad that it didn't go the way I envisioned and sad I didn't have time or patience to get all 3 together. Then, as we trekked back to the van, I saw that the men had left to another spot to fish and the rocks were open again...so I barreled over there before someone else could steal it again, and got all three girls dressed. By this time, you better believe I was a sweaty, scary mess. Norah even had little beads of sweat on the tip of her nose, it was so hot.
A few days prior to this, when I had finished Jane's skirt, I tried it on her and she did NOT want anything to do with it. She just cried whenever I pulled it out. But by golly, I hadn't gone to all that trouble of learning to sew it for her not to wear it after all. So I was nervous that she would throw another fit when I pulled it out, but she was so calm and actually hadn't made a peep the entire time. She didn't even bat her eyelashes when I slipped it on her. Phew. even when she completely face planted it while trying to walk in her skirt, she went right back to playing.
I was exhausted and it was already past their bed time by 30 minutes, so I brought up the possibility of chocolate chips, and that seemed to work a little. I had them jump around and hold hands, and they were happy to do it, but ended up popping a couple seams in their skirts. So I guess it's a good thing we did a test run so I could fix it before the actual party.
I said it was time to go, and was putting my camera back in it's bag, when Lucy tried to take Norah for a stroller ride, straight toward the pond. I jumped up and caught it right before plummeting into the rocks, and possible into the water.
My skin was melting off by now, so we plowed back to the car and I stripped them all down, too tired to put their regular clothes back on for the car ride home.
They each got a single chocolate chip and a quick bath, then I plopped in bed and vowed to never do something like this again...until I saw the pictures. I was really surprised that I loved so many! These ones are my favorites, but I have whole file full of others. :)