Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I have such fun, goofy girls who shine in the spotlight and melt hearts with their cuteness. You won't believe me when you get our Christmas card this year, though, because today was family picture day, and it. did. not. go. well.

Our friend Randy Goss came once again to do our photos. We love Randy. I worked with him at the newspaper back when I had a career that didn't involve changing diapers, and we were lucky to have him shoot our wedding as well. He did our friends' wedding, and he photographically chronicled my pregnancy when we were expecting Berit. He did our family pictures when Marta was born, and he came today to capture another year of growth for the Doublesteins. He's easy going, thank goodness, because last time he came the kiddos were tough cookies, and again, today, they weren't giving anybody a break. 

Berit had fallen asleep in the car and was finishing a nap when Randy arrived. Marta had recently woken up and was in good spirits, but that wasn't surprising, because she's typically a happy girl. Really. I know when you see the pictures you'll come back to this post and comment, "I don't believe you!" but honestly, she's a smile a second most days.

After Randy had gotten set up, Berit came downstairs and was happy to see "Mr. Goss," who she had been expecting with excitement all day, so that she could "laugh and smile and dance" while he took pictures. Her words. I guess by laugh, smile and dance, she really meant whine, turn around and run away. Anyway, we got the girls dressed in their Christmas dresses: black velvet tiered dresses from Hanna Andersson, with bloomers for M and cute patterned tights for B. Black mary janes all around. Berit's hair was doing a funny unruly thing that rarely happens, and her dress was too big in the neck, so I kept having to jump in to pull it down in the back. Marta immediately took off her socks and shoes that had been so carefully picked out and tucked away for safekeeping for weeks (she refuses to keep either on for any length of time). Her hair bow came off the moment it went on. 

I had set out silver jingle bells for the girls to play with so they didn't get bored, and they ended up: not sharing them and dangling several at a time in front of her face while Randy tried to take her picture (B), and throwing them across the room, repeatedly (M). 

We took as many pictures as we could but Marta simply wouldn't break a smile. I did all sorts of acrobatics, crazy voices and ridiculous faces, but still, whiney and weepy. Berit kept turning her back and creeping away, or mauling her sister to get attention. Hell-o! We've hired a photographer to showcase your every move! Attention granted, please do something cute!

I decided to change the girls into their adorable, old school Christmas sweaters that my mom paid an arm and a leg for so they could be captured in "casual attire" (because we let our children run around willy nilly in expensive Christmas sweaters, right?). Berit was furious that she couldn't wear her mary janes and her barrette was all wrong in her messy hair. Marta's sweater went over her wiggly body even though she continuously demanded to have it removed. I had been plying her with snacks (puffs) to keep her going and as soon as the creamy white sweater was secured on her body she stopped wiggling, looked me in the eye and spit out a liquefied puff -- strawberry flavor -- onto the front of her outfit. Now, I don't have a whole lot of Christmas sweaters just laying around our house (despite what our Christmas card may lead you to believe), so she ended up wearing a random shirt and pants that might look fall-ish, certainly not Christmas-y. 

The second round of shooting went worse. I spent the majority of the time promising Randy that my children were really very sweet and lovely. Hah. I was also the picture of a stage mother, swearing aloud when things went sour, sweating, running up and down the stairs, flinging clothes options around, brushing hair and telling kids to "deal with it." Not a good show of my motherly instincts, but NO ONE ELSE WAS HELPING TO MAKE THE KIDS HAPPY OR DRESSED. That's as much as I'll say about that. But do note it, please. 

Randy wrapped up the shoot as I sat my now happy, silly kids in their chairs for dinner. Of course. Now I'm eager as can be to see what he captured, and I don't think I'll be able to wait until Thanksgiving to get the pictures back. So I can pick one, put it on a Christmas card and send it to you, and try to get you to believe that my children are the picture of Christmas fun, all year round. Please pretend to believe me.

No comments: