28/52

28/52

When I’m taking pictures I almost exclusively use my 35mm lens. That’s my #2 photography tip (#1 is to bring jelly beans to get kids to sit and smile). The 35mm fixed lens takes great photos, even if you’re like me and don’t know what you’re doing. This week I broke out my zoom lens and took these at 18mm.

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27/52

Happy 4th of July weekend from the Kriegers! Yesterday I tried to explain why we celebrate Independence Day to the kids and was baffled by the number of concepts I had to introduce. War, taxes, sovereignty, the existence of our country and also other countries. Two minutes into it I gave up because my kids already understand hotdogs and hamburgers

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A party fit for a mermaid

A party fit for a mermaid

Every year as my kids’ birthdays approach, I swear I’m not going to do it. Then, after the birthdays, I swear I’m never going to do it again. The parties, I mean. They’re just too much work. The cleaning, the food, all that prep. And then there’s the small matter that Mary Virginia asked me

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26/52

26/52

It’s week 26 — we’re halfway through the year! I can barely recognize these kids from week one because they’ve changed so much! Ok so maybe I can. They haven’t changed THAT much. But two out of three have gotten haircuts (sorry Thomas) so I suppose some things have changed. A portrait of my youngest children, once a week, every

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25/52

Happy Father’s Day! My gift to Tom was letting him wake up with the kids (again) while I slept in (again). And now that I put it that way, I guess every day is Father’s Day around here. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / Sweet big boy hands

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24/52

This week I did something I usually try to avoid. I quickly took pictures on Sunday, the “deadline” for the weekly photos. What it lacks in spontaneity and variety it makes up in children still in their church clothes. A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. The three of them

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Caught dirt-handed

They way Thomas is standing, it looks like I caught him in the act of something naughty. What I caught him doing was standing. I was taking photos of his fancy three-year old sister in the front yard and I turned around and he was showing off his new trick. Thomas has been pulling up since mid-February, but he just

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23/52

Friends keep asking me if we’re swimming yet. The answer? A resounding yes. Yes, we’re swimming twice a day, every day. I’ve only been in the pool once. Not because of this, but because we’re in the middle of the coldest, cloudiest, rainiest late-spring/early-summer I can remember. It’s so cold that every time I go in

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22/52

We moved over the weekend and WOW. Moving is a lot of work. And I am not good at work. I am really really good at watching reality television. Thankfully the kids are doing great with all the transitions, and they’re already used to living in wall-to-wall clutter and chaos. A portrait of my children, once

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Yummi Pouch cloth snack bags

Moms pack a lot of snacks. A LOT of snacks. In fact, my grocery list usually includes “snacks I can pack.” When we’re out, keeping the kids’ well-fed is second only to making sure they’re buckled in their carseats. Cereal? Packable. Crackers? Packable. Muffins? Packable, not durable. Popsicles? Not packable, sorry Mary Virginia. I pack

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21/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016 David / I’ve been really hesitant to sign my kids up for activities. The schedules and commitments at such a young age make me nervous. A friend of ours coaches a soccer program in the spring, and we decided to take David. It’s perfect for

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20/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016 David / David and Brigham, hanging on the couch like bros. I used to write about David and Brigham’s relationship a lot, back when David loved to lay on Brigham and Brigham used to beg me to put him in the Witness Protection Program.

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Due date

Due date

Today was Thomas’s due date, which means at this time last year I was eating an entire bag of Cheetos every day and coming to terms with the fact that I was going to be pregnant for the rest of my life. I signed up to be pregnant for 40 weeks. Forty weeks and one day means I’ll probably

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For little girls with curly hair

For little girls with curly hair

When I took Mary Virginia to get her hair cut a few weeks ago, she sidled up to me and asked, “Mommy? Can you ask him to make my hair yellow and flat?” YELLOW AND FLAT?? Of course, two-year old daughter! That’s what I was going to ask for anyway! But we have to hurry because we don’t

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19/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2016. David / Our blackberries and strawberries are blooming in the backyard. For the past three summers, David has checked the blossoms daily to see if berries are ready to eat. He asked me if he could take off the petals to speed the

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18/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. Three kids in a tub. Tom took the older two camping this weekend. When they got home, they were tired, excited, and so dirty. As soon as they walked in the door I started drawing a bubble bath. Thomas was so, so happy

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The kindergarten decision

Last fall I took the kids to get new shoes before school. I went to a particular store in Richmond, one that has a reputation for how well they measure and fit shoes for children. Because of this reputation, I consciously ignore their high prices and the 47 other shoe stores I pass while driving

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11/52

One thing I’ve liked about this project is that it allows me to record little bits of information I wouldn’t write about otherwise. Every photo, every week, is a vignette — in photos and words — of my children. My intent wasn’t to do that. My intent was to include a photo and a brief sentence; just

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Number recognition ball game

A few weeks ago I was filling out a preschool application for Mary Virginia. The application asked lots of questions to help the teachers get to know her, including some of her social and academic skills. One question asked which numbers she could recognize, and I wasn’t sure how to answer. Then I thought about

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10/52

Spring won’t officially be here for a couple of weeks, but is sure feels like spring. And all this sunshine does a world of good. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. All three of them / On the first warm day of the season, I re-introduced our children’s third parent: the water table. Thirty seconds in and

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9/52

Have you ever noticed that my horizontal photos are just a bit squished? It’s because the theme and framework on my blog is just a few pixels too small. It irritates me, but not enough to fix it. (It’s been like that for two years!) Until I fix it, if you click on my photos,

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And on and on and so it goes

Last fall we were struggling to get in the flow of the preschool schedule. It’s a lot — getting all three kids and myself fed, dressed, and out the door with all their bickering and necessary bags. Plus, Thomas was still very new, and I was spending much of the night awake with him. The year

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8/52

8/52

Just when I thought this was becoming an easy habit, I completely forgot to take photos this week. Thankfully we had an unseasonably warm Saturday, and playing in the front yard feels special enough for photos. There’s a link-up below for anyone interested, even if you aren’t specifically participating in the 52 project. But if

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7/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. I hadn’t intended on a theme for this week. Actually, yes I had. I intended to take Valentine’s-themed photos. Then I dressed Mary Virginia in the most adorable Valentine’s Day outfit, and a different theme emerged. These are all taken from above, which

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Each day is Valentine’s Day

Recently in the afternoons, while my younger two nap, I’ve been listening to the most popular TED talks of 2015. TED talks are so great, they’re relatively brief but pack in so much new information and perspectives that challenge you to think in new ways. Since I started this new habit, when Tom comes home from

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6/52

I call these photos “The Crib Series.” I didn’t intend on a theme, it just happened. I first snapped Mary Virginia’s flip, then a few days later I spied Thomas looking over the rail. So I looked at David and said, “Show me whatcha got, kid.” David / I asked David to see if he

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Semantics

On our way to preschool we drive on a number of roads, several that are two-lane, most that have a 35 mph speed limit. None of that matters to David, who thinks our Toyota Sienna is racing in the Daytona 500. David: Mommy! Go faster! We’re losing! Can you pass that guy!? Can you race

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5/52

It’s only week five and I’m already breaking my own rules for this project. I’d planned to not re-post images. The 52 project images should be new; ones that I haven’t already used for a different post. I already used these photos for another post, but I’m posting them anyway. Because I am a person who

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And now something you haven’t yet seen on the Internet: pictures of my kids in the snow

If you’ve read this website for three or four minutes you might already know that winter is not my favorite season. I’ve been known to shiver uncontrollably as soon as the temperatures dip below 70 degrees. When we started hearing about Snowstorm Jonas I just ignored it because that’s my favorite way to deal with problems. I act

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4/52

It’s week four and snow is falling outside at impossible rates. I’m trying to distract myself from the worry that we’ll lose power by writing this post. (It’s not working.) David / The hum of the nebulizer has become commonplace in the past week or so. David’s actually gotten pretty good at it. If you’re looking for a non-screen toy

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3/52

This is just week three and I can already tell I’m taking more pictures. We had a stressful week and I still had several photos to choose from. It’s not too late to join in; link up with your own 52 project, or other captures from the week. David / Recently the kids’ door broke and we’re in

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2/52

A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016 David / Mommy, is this a smile? Yes, it is. Do you want to take a picture of it? Yes, I do. (Phew! That was easy!) Mary Virginia / Tom has been taking the kids swimming at a nearby gym. When he told

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1/52

These photos are the first in a weekly photo project. You can read more here, but this is the gist: A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. Join me? I included a link-up at the bottom of this post and I’ll continue doing so if there’s interest. Happy 2016 🙂

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A 2016 photo project

For the past few years I’ve been following along with a photo project at Practising Simplicity. She’s a mom, writer, and photographer living in Australia. She’s either a professional photographer or just a really, really good photographer, and takes an “unportrait” of her kids every week. The goal is to capture them just as they

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On family dynamics and age gaps

Recently I wrote age order posts about each of my children (David, Mary Virginia, Thomas) because, when I have time to think, I think a lot about my kids — about who they are and what they need as individuals, and about how they fit into and shape our family. Our kids are pretty close in

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Big-brother, dream-killer

Mary Virginia: Look Mommy! I’m twirling! I look like Cinderella! David: No, Mary. You look like Mary in a dress. Mary Virginia: Mommy, can I wear that alligator shirt? David: Uh, Mary, it’s not an alligator. It’s a dragon. Mommy: David, Mary Virginia is pretending. If she wants to pretend this is an alligator costume she can,

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Thanksgiving 2015

I don’t know why, but I always feel cliche saying I’m thankful for family on Thanksgiving. Because that’s what everyone says. I’d like to be more original. Profound. But what else is there? I’m thankful for high-speed wi-fi? For drive-thrus? That I’m raising three children after dishwashers were invented? Ok, those are valid. But what is more profound

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A very happy Halloween

For some reason I’m lazy and unprepared when it comes to every aspect of my life except  the holidays. We have a “Happy Halloween” banner in our dining room, pipe-cleaner spiders lurking around the house, and I ordered Mary Virginia’s dress on September 1 because I could not wait another day. Technically, I made David’s

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Nothing but skin and bones, this one

This is Thomas’s Halloween costume. I’ve been putting it on him as Halloween approaches for two reasons: 1) Glow-in-the-dark skeleton clothes are completely seasonally appropriate, and this skeleton costume doubles as pajamas! 2)  I’m worried he’ll grow out of it by October 31. After every wash I cross my fingers and hold my breath as I

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Semantics

A few weeks ago I saw one of my neighbors, who doesn’t have kids, walk out her door, get in her car, and drive away. I watched her, completely amazed. Even more amazing, I thought, was the possibility that the idea had struck her just moments before, “Oh, I think I’ll make a quick trip to Starbucks!”

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4s and 2s

4s and 2s

David is going to preschool three days a week this year, and Mary Virginia is going two days. So on Monday, we spent all morning rushing around, fumbling through our new preschool routine, and also explaining to Mary Virginia over and over and over that David was going to school today, but she was going

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