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     Today was Family Portrait Day / Let's Fight The Entire Way To Get Our Lovely Family Portrait Taken Day. Maybe it's just our family, but it seems the only thing that we all agree on is that each of us will have a unified melt down whenever we have to actually get ready and get out the door for an event. Church? Let the screams begin! Holidays? Someone's throwing a tantrum. Family Portrait Day? Little sisters end up with pinch marks from big brothers (along with the previously mentioned screams and tantrums). For starters, Cameron didn't have a single shirt that wasn't stained with mud, spaghetti, or jelly. Taylor insisted on trying to convince the family that an all-pink family portrait was the way to go. And I couldn't find anything that didn't make me look like a Christmas ham. That's why I was beyond grateful when I finally settled on a color theme and my husband didn't complain about the fact that he was asked/forced to wear a cream-colored, cable-knit sweater with a plaid shirt underneath (5 years ago, I would've been banished from his presence for asking such a clothing favor!). Surprisingly enough, we were ON TIME for our photo sitting. This occurrence is nothing short of miraculous and needs to be noted, preferably with fireworks and a bronzed statue of the bite marks.
     In order to keep the children occupied on our trip, we had them practice saying words that they struggle with....
     "Taylor, say Ravioli."
     "Ra-vi-o-li, Taylor."
     "Closer. Cam, say Car Seat."
     "Saw Seat."
     "C... C... Car seat."
     "C... C... Caw seat."
     "Taylor, say Interrupted."
     "Seriously, Taylor? Are you even listening?"
     But once we got into the studio, after fighting through the thousands of people there for holiday photos (WHY didn't I think about that before scheduling family photos RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS??), the kids did marvelously. Isaac slept through the entire first half of the shoot, so we have a floppy-headed baby being supported by massive jowls in our group pictures. Then, Taylor sat for her school photos (since Head Start doesn't do these pictures and we needed a matching 8x10 to hang next to Cameron's beaming photo in our living room).... and my little Diva ate that camera up! She posed, tilted, and grinned her way through the shoot, pausing to sneeze directly on the camera lady (but in her defense, she was told to keep her arms crossed on her shoulders, so she thought that meant that she couldn't cover her mouth with her hands). First time she tries to be obedient and it results in an undeserving camera gal getting a brand new cold!
     Lastly, we had infant shots taken of little Bug. He finally woke up when we stripped him down to his diaper and a Santa hat (....which sounds awfully inappropriate, but he looked super adorable!). So, with wide eyes, pouty lips, and pinchable cheeks, I decided that my baby looks like a shorter, paler version of Gary Coleman (in a Santa hat). Even now, as I look at the prints, I feel the uncontrollable urge to ad captions like, "What you talkin' about Willis?" to each shot. Ah, but he didn't cry, so I'll take the chubby scowl any day! Isaac did get quite the talking to after I took him to the bathroom directly following his photo shoot to change his diaper, where he decided to smile and giggle his head off on the changing table. It was almost as if he was intentionally holding it in until there was no possible way to capture his cuteness on camera. (The little stinkpot.) Overall, though, I'd say it was a successful outing. JC Penny is still standing, we spent under $200 (dear Lord....), and no one cried, puked, or tantrumed during the shoot (although Taylor and Cameron both completely toppled over during a sibling shot... which actually made my day, but I didn't tell them so!). And on top of that, we received $50 off our next Family Portrait Day.... that is, if we can work up the energy to do this again next year!    

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