10 on 10, 1000 Book Challenge, Life Lately, Raven

10 on 10

Let’s just say that as long as I get this 10 on 10 post done within a day or two of the tenth of the month, it’s a success, okay? Okay.

This last month, I kind of went through a subtle but important change with my picture-a-day goal. Before, I worried a lot more about finding unusual angles or waiting for the perfect light or going for the unusual picture. While I think this is generally a good way to push myself to improve my photography, I started to miss just taking pictures for the fun of taking pictures, of getting swept up in a moment enough to whip out the camera (even if that moment wasn’t exactly what I usually considered “picture-worthy” or even if the lighting was terrible).

So this 10 on 10 includes more pictures that aren’t as deliberate in the lighting or composition or whatever. In fact, some of them might seem downright normal.

And that’s kind of what I love about them.

Welcome to our life this last month:

1 // Raven has more or less mastered the art of using her spoon while eating cereal. We have also mastered the art of knowing when to just throw in the towel and have cereal for dinner and not beat ourselves up too much about it.

2 // Raven’s been into blocks for awhile but is only just starting to regularly stack them herself (instead of just waiting for us to stack them so she can knock them over). I’ve seen her stack as many as six or seven on her own before the stack falls or until she knocks it over herself. The blocks you see in this photo were given to us by somebody in our ward (church congregation) whose sister no longer had any need for them. We’ve been so blessed with generous family members and friends who are so willing to pass down their gently used toys and clothes to us! It’s definitely saved us a lot of money.

3 // She’s officially reached the stage where getting her to sit in your arms and look happy for pictures is a thing of the past, so we often have to trick her with games or objects to get her to go/look where we want for pictures. The top picture shows me luring Raven over to the colored wall of leaves where I wanted to take a picture (see my Instagram for the awesome shot Matt ended up getting), and the bottom picture was taken maybe ten minutes later of Matt using the same tactic in a different spot. We’re so sneaky.

4 // Y’all are just going to need to accept the fact that each 10 on 10 post will almost surely include a picture of Raven reading because books are (and hopefully will forever be) her favorite pastime. I had to chuckle a bit to myself when we were at the library the other day and the librarian challenged us to join the community challenge of reading 1,000 books to your child before kindergarten. At first, the challenge sounded a little daunting (even though we read to Raven a TON), but when she told me that you can count each reading of a book and not just each book itself, I realized we would hit 1,000 in about two or three months. So, to make it an actual challenge, I’ve decided to only count each book once so that we’ve read 1,000 DIFFERENT books by the time she’s hit kindergarten. Wish us luck.

5 // Raven hasn’t had *too* many opportunities to get up to too much mischief yet just because we’re pretty diligent about always keeping an eye on her, but here was one time she managed to get into a fair amount before I noticed. (She was smart–she waited until I was engrossed in ordering Christmas gifts online to surreptitiously open the wipes box and start pulling.) She managed to pull out about half the box before I noticed, and before I allowed myself to get too far in the clean-up process, I made myself take a picture of it, which instantly made the whole thing a lot funnier.

Guess that might be my go-to instant cool-down strategy when stuff like this happens in the future: take a picture of the mischief first and THEN worry about discipline.

6 // Because Raven is naturally so cautious, we’ve really been able to avoid many of the usual cuts, scrapes, and falls typical of her age group. However, one day this last month, she was leaning over the side of the glider chair to reach for (what else?) some books, and fell head first into the bookshelf, poor thing. Her forehead/face looked pretty sorry for a few days, but luckily she perked right up after she’d had a good cry over it.

7 // Next to reading, her current favorite pastime is jumping on the bed. And just in the past couple weeks, she’s actually learned how to “jump” legitimately, which is hilarious to watch because she’ll gear herself up for it first and then jump up and throw her legs underneath her so she lands on her bum, and she just laughs and laughs like it’s the funniest thing in the whole world. We love jumping-on-the-bed time.

***Note to self: I MUST get a video of her doing this soon. Pure joy personified.

8 // I didn’t realize that once you have a kid, you all of a sudden start acquiring free balloons from random places, so it seems that more often than not, we have some random balloon floating around in our apartment. This particular one was given to her as a couple came out of one of the apartments by us with a whole big bunch of balloons (who we were guessing were on their way to a party of some kind). When they saw how excited Raven got as she rounded the corner and saw the balloons, the girl immediately reached right over and untangled one of the balloons from the rest, which made Raven’s whole face light up. Of course, when we went inside for dinner and we tied it to her high chair, she had a hard time deciding which she wanted to do more—eat her food or hold her balloon. These are the tough decisions in life, people.

9 // We also can’t make it through a whole 10 on 10 post without showing some adorable pics of the daddy-daughter cuteness over here, so I had to include these two pics here. For a long time after I started staying home with Raven full-time, I was the clear favorite, but for about the last solid month or so, she’s definitely preferred Matt again. So it goes! He’s pretty amazing, that one. I definitely can’t fault her judgment.

10 // I still don’t dress Raven as girly as some moms dress their daughters (I mean, I actually buy some of her onesies from the baby boys section), but I’m still a total sucker for how sweet she looks in pink and ruffles and puffy sleeves. (Oh, and random note: she equates being put up on the counter with something exciting happening. So if I want her to go from whiny to excited, I put her on the counter. Works like a charm.)

A few more bonus pics:

This one just because I love it.

And this one because, Duh. Kids in snow hats are just too adorable not to share.

Aaaaaand, two little bonus videos:

Raven shows off her latest moves to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
Raven is simultaneously terrified and fascinated by Daddy flying his drone

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