Amy Schilling Photography Blog

January 31, 2011



Ok, you got me. She really has two eyes. After playing outside for a bit, she just had to get in the jogging stroller to play with the steering wheel and toys positioned on the front. And then three seconds later she wanted out.


Instead of getting her out we went for a stroll down the street and back. I've been trying to get in as much outside time as possible since the forecast for the week is looking more conducive to inside play. What with the thunderstorms, freezing temperatures, and possible snow and all. And yet, today it was 70 degrees and I didn't even take a jacket to the park this morning!


So playing outside, whiling away an hour before starting dinner, wearing Avery out for a peaceful bedtime. She was mid "Moooommmmaa!" in the trio below. I would run to one end of the sidewalk and wait for her to come get me. I doubt I'll ever tire of hearing her call for me. I love to hear her call me at night or after a nap, it's one of the sweetest things - to be called Momma.


January 30, 2011

love her and her smile

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I did a little mini session with my niece last week. It's been a long time since she's sat...or stood...or front of my camera. She is so silly these days! She kept wanting to take a picture with Avery so in the last five minutes I sat them side by side.

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Avery doesn't so much love the hugs. She's staring off at my sister who was asking them to smile, but Avery's eyes most definitely say, "I don't think so." Since she was a tiny baby she's been super serious when people talk to her or try to get her to do something. The crazier you act the more she stares at you like you're, well, CRAZY. Avery laughs and smiles on her own time and don't you forget it!

January 28, 2011

i heart her


She hearts her pacifier. Only when she spies it lying around somewhere, she can go whole days without putting one in her mouth. I bought some heart fabric recently to make Avery something to wear in February. I ironed it and laid it out on the floor and she stomped all over it so I picked it up and she cried. Then I put it back on the floor and she let me take a couple of pictures. She looks a little wary though, my girl is so silly!

Today was another beautiful day so after story time we went to the park where she was able to run around. We encountered our first bully of the non-cousin variety. Not that any of her cousins are bullies, it's just that she's smaller so sometimes she gets things taken away...or she gets poked (playfully). Anyway, while Avery was playing with the hands on this giant clock and tick-tocking back and forth, a boy of about three came up and pulled her hand down and started moving the clock hands fast and told Avery no. Then after like ten seconds he walked away, but not before tapping her on the shoulder and telling her "No no no!"

I felt a strong urge to reprimand him which I suppressed because I didn't think it was my place to do so. Maybe his mom thinks it's perfectly acceptable behavior to shove kids and take away their toys, not that I could ask because she was nowhere near her child! Avery's told people "no" before and while cute, I always try to explain sharing, etc. They're toddlers, it happens. I just expect parents to be on hand so my girl doesn't get pushed around by three year old bullies wearing baseball caps and sunglasses. He was a shady character all right, he had some nerve pushing on my baby! And really Avery wasn't hurt, she was just kind of taken aback and stood there for a minute like, "What just happened? He's gone now? Tick-tock tick-tock, back to the clock." I can't help but feel protective, she's still a tiny baby, right? Right?!

January 27, 2011

that's some crazy hair


Avery woke up with wild hair this morning. I put her hair in pigtails for the first time last night. They lasted for about 40 seconds. She looked cute though! Ah well, I'll try again another day. I think I kind of prefer the unruly mess for now - hair & baby. She's so rotten she's shortened her thank you to "tata" instead of "tan to" and it immediately follows please. Like she knows you're going to do whatever she wants so she'll go ahead and throw in a lazy thank you. So ridiculous, it makes us laugh every time...and pretty much do what she wants.


January 26, 2011

a small hole + new kicks


I got Avery some new shoes last week, only I got them at Ross so I paid half the price. AWESOME. She really likes them and sometimes wants to wear them first thing in the morning. The only bad thing is that they're still two sizes too big which can impede her mobility. It's best to wear them and then sit down. With a zebra in your mouth.


She seriously had this zebra all throughout the day. After we walked the dogs, I put up their leashes and turned around to see Avery with the zebra. While I ironed, she stood in a clothes basket with the zebra. After her bath, she rode her pony with the zebra. Silly girl!


And now for a lot of words about a little hole. Yesterday while Avery napped a man knocked on the door and informed me he was from our energy company and that they needed to dig a small hole in our backyard. He said small, and motioned with his hands right in front of him and said they would clean it up. Of course my dogs were going CRAZY so I said I would be sure to keep them inside. We're fortunate enough to have some kind of central neighborhood boxes located in our backyard so we've had some digging before and haven't always been informed beforehand, so it was nice of him to come. There are about six houses currently being constructed behind us so this is not unusual.

About 45 minutes later, Avery woke up and we peeked out the blinds to see if they were finished so we could let the dogs out. What I saw was a whole section of fencing removed, some type of bulldozing/digging machine, and a man's head just above the ground. Seriously?! Mr. Energy Representative and I have differing views on small holes because I think when a man can stand neck high in the ground, that hole isn't so small! I'm not even kidding. I tried to take a picture with my iPhone but the sun was glaring too brightly and it didn't turn out. I totally would've opened the door and taken a picture but I didn't want them to think I was crazy. Like, maybe I was getting evidence if they messed up the fence or our yard or something. I called Deran to tell him about the destruction of our backyard and I just wish I'd gotten a picture!! I really do. Or maybe even gotten the man standing on my porch telling me they needed to dig a "small" hole, with the arm motions. WHATEVER.

So Avery & I took the dogs for a walk, which she loved and the dogs tolerated. She had Harper because Harper is a very reluctant leash walker so Avery wouldn't get jerked around. It was pretty chilly so we didn't stay out too long and once we were settled back in the house I peeked out the back blinds and true to his word, they cleaned up. It's like there was never a man's head resting on my lawn.

Today is another nice day and we're sans Zebra so I think we're going to bundle up and head outside!

January 25, 2011

this is not uncommon


Often times when we're coloring she climbs atop the table and I'm left to color on a chair or even the floor. Eventually she'll make her way to my sheet and depending on how much I've done, I either let her color with me or frantically redirect her to her own paper. That's right, sometimes I'm a selfish coloring mother because I want my dancing Zoe picture to be perfect! Avery doesn't mind as long as she's coloring. And honestly, whatever she does will always looks perfect to me. Whether that's scribbles on top of my beautiful in-the-lines art or globs of paint on paper - she can basically do no wrong.

That's actually a doll pacifier and you should see how tiny the nub is that fits in her mouth. I think she can only be clenching her teeth to keep it in, because it's certainly not big enough to actually suck on. Could she look like she cares any less to have her picture taken?! I like that look, I really do.


January 24, 2011

avery and the awesome, amazing, not bad, very good day

Yesterday was really nice. In the sun it wasn't too cold and the sky was a beautiful blue so we headed outside to play a little. It was a nice change since we've been experiencing some rain and very cold temperatures. She had wild hair and a mix-matched outfit and she looked totally adorable!


We were playing peekaboo around the side of her house. I'd peek in a window and then she would peek out the door. She laughs all the time but when I have the camera out sometimes I really have to work for smiles. I'm so glad I caught this smile because I was mid boo and about to move back to the window.


Avery definitely enjoyed spending time outdoors yesterday, but I'm happy say that today's rain hasn't taken all our fun away. We've had a very busy morning that included Elmo's World, breakfast, sticker art, painting, sorting colors, building blocks, dancing & singing, coloring, lunch, puzzles, nursery rhymes, and more...all before a nap. Now it's nap time and I'm blogging before I start cleaning. After nap we'll read some books and play until Deran gets home.

January 21, 2011

vincent van avery

Avery & I are in the midst of a little art project that we plan to give to Deran and expect to see hanging proudly in his office. This week the weather has been mostly dreary & Avery had a runny nose so we've spent most of the week indoors. Seriously, yesterday was the first time in a week I put on pants without an elastic waist!


Anyway, while Avery was painting a few days ago with her left hand, I took her right finger and dipped it in paint to make a finger print heart. I'd seen a Valentine's craft that had something similar so I thought I'd test it out for a future project. After that she kept wanting me to help her paint with her right hand while she continued finger painting with her left. It was cute (like everything else she does!) and it gave me an idea. Why not create some fine art with Avery?!

I chose Starry Night for a number of reasons. I think the style of the painting easily lends itself to a finger painted replica. Yeah, I typed that. I'm comparing Vincent van Gogh's masterpiece to my toddler's finger painted works of art. Another reason is that Deran has been a fan of his work for many years and has several prints, one of the firsts being Starry Night. And yet another reason I chose Starry Night is because I like it. I like it a lot. And I think it'll be great because I can guide Avery through parts of it and then let her go to town with the stars and whatnot.


Last night was a test run. I printed out the image so we'd have something to look at, then got down to work. I made two major mistakes. First, we started with blue paper. I thought it would be a little easier because we'd have some background color before we started, but of course that means the yellows turned green and that just wouldn't do. The second mistake was bringing in the foam brush, because once Avery had that brush in her hand she wasn't putting it down. So she just painted for a little while instead. And that's okay, I know now I have a little more prep work to do before we get down to business.


By the end of painting she'd covered her pacifier, nose, right hand, a cookie monster coloring sheet, and the blue construction paper with paint. I'm surprisingly relaxed when it comes to paints or "baits" as Avery would say. It's all washable so it's all good! The plan is to have it finished by Sunday so next week we can go visit him for lunch and see our beautiful masterpiece!

January 20, 2011


Yesterday was my 400th post. That's kind of a lot. It's not 1000, but still, 400. FOUR HUNDRED. That's about how much I'm going to weigh if I continue to consume sloppy joes by the twos. That's right, I ate TWO.

It's kind of sad to say that Manwich is my weakness. Some people may cave for chocolate, cakes, cookies, or chips even! But no, not me. I see a can of sodium-laden flavored tomato sauce and I'm all over it. Well, after it's been mixed into a pound of ground beef.


I used to not even like sloppy joes. I had a bad taste experience in elementary school, plus I really don't like the way small bits of packaged onion and vegetables look in sauces. But on a shopping trip last month Deran suggested Manwich and I was all, "Sure, why not. Seems like a quick meal." Since then I've bought four more cans. And then I gained 82 pounds. The end.

The can says it has seven servings but I think we've only had leftovers once. It's just crazy because if we were eating hamburgers I would never go back for seconds...or thirds...but Manwich?! It's just incredibly tasty. I just like vegetables and there's a full serving!

Of course Avery doesn't really eat it. No surprise there, she's still a light eater. While I put away groceries and set out the ingredients for dinner Avery had a snack of banana, mini blueberry muffin (that she helped make on Tuesday!), kiwi, and mini marshmallows. I think she drank her water. The food was all smashed into her shirt and the tray. What she didn't feed to the pugs anyway. It's kind of hard to eat with a pacifier in your mouth. Yeah, she's been glued to pacifiers the last two days. She's never really taken one, but she saw one with the bottles on the counter (no longer used either) and she had to have it. One of them is actually a teether and she's cutting a few teeth so whatevs, I let her have it. I'm pretty sure it'll be a short phase. And as I've said before, her "peassssse" is really hard to resist.


January 19, 2011

a taste of technology

I have many apps on my phone that were purchased or downloaded with Avery in mind. This is one of the first toddler apps we bought. Its icon is a red apple and Avery always wants to play the "bapple" when we're in the car or out and about. She's gotten really good at swiping her finger across the screen to change cards. She's so good that sometimes she doesn't let the lady finish stating what the object is before she's on to the next one! She slows down for animals because she likes to hear the accompanying animal sound.

Cut to Monday when we were playing and I got out the shapes & colors flashcards. She was climbing on one of her chairs and turned around to watch as I started naming shapes & colors. She took her tiny index finger and started swiping the cards for me to move to the next one. She's so funny!

Technology's obviously changed a lot over the last 29 years of my life, I wonder how different it will be for Avery. Like, will she be telling her grandkids about those crazy things called books?! Made out of paper! I actually like using Deran's Kindle, but sometimes I need to feel the book in my hands - to turn the page instead of touching a button. I love technology, I really do, but I also love getting away from it. And I know I'm all blogging so it seems a little hypocritical, but oh well! :)

This picture has nothing to do with my silly girl and her flashcards, it's just cute. She was in the middle of hiding. She's big on hiding things now and then holds up her hands like, "Where did it go?" and then I call for the lost object and ask where it is and two seconds later she pulls it from its hiding spot. Last night it was her fork under her plate. This morning it was a book under the rug. And sometimes, it's just Avery behind her hands.


January 15, 2011

color pallette


Now it's just time to get busy and get things done in the playroom! I did look into purchasing curtains but after looking at Target, I realized I could make them for half the price and since I'm trying to stick to a budget, I'm going to make them. I really want to paint the current storage bench but Deran thinks it will be a pain. No doubt I'll be grumpy before I'm done painting, but it's a lot cheaper than buying something else!

January 14, 2011

my tiny little baby

When I was preparing for this session, Avery decided to test out some props. Because she likes to climb.


It was a flat plate/basket inside of a basket stuffed with blankets and topped with a shaggy rug. Totally stable. Or not. Mostly safe though. I think. She sure looked cute!


She kept telling me she was going "Night," and would lay her head down. Ah, if putting her to bed was really that easy! Oh well, her cuteness conquers all.

January 13, 2011

more of her

As promised earlier this month, I'm back with more pictures of this sweet girl.

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And of course we had to get big brother in on the action too!

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The girl already has an awesome wardrobe, but this pettiskirt may be my favorite piece. I'm seriously thinking of picking one up for Avery...TOMORROW! And that poof?! Oh my goodness, she's cute!

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Baby K was so good and looks so peaceful all snuggled up. I'm so glad the chaos going on around her had zero effect! Avery was on the loose during this session, but was thankfully occupied by big brother most of the time.

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Thanks so much for letting me share a few hours with you guys A, and especially with your sweet baby girl.

January 12, 2011

she likes to live on the edge

Seriously. It started out innocently (and safely) enough. Avery got this awesome chair for Christmas from Grandpa and DeDe. She loves it and we move it often from the playroom to the living room and back again. Well lately she's been Climber McClimberson so a few chair rules have been put in place, like it has to be against something so she can't turn it over. Anyway, when in the playroom it resides against the wall under the window.


Today we were busy playing and I'm so glad I'd left my camera in there because she was of course being totally cute. Oscar was sitting on the top of the chair to look out the window and that right there is a violation of the chair rules. No pugs allowed, it's a nice chair and we don't want to pug it up. But, I digress. So Avery climbed up in the chair to get close to Oscar. She was being so sweet trying to give him hugs.

But just being at eye level with him wasn't good enough. She needed to be up there with him.


And this is when I started getting a little nervous. Not too nervous to stop taking pictures, but there were lots of be carefuls uttered between snaps.



She has no fear. And why should she, she has some pretty strong hands that tend to catch her when she falls. I really was nervous to step away and take the picture because letting her walk on windowsills is a very unsafe activity. I made her sit down right after.

And I'm glad I did because I think it's my new favorite picture. I love her expression and Oscar's too. I asked if she could pet Oscar but it was more like a few thwaps.


Oh Oscar, don't you know sometimes it hurts to be loved so much by this silly girl?


She really is so funny, I love it when she cracks herself up. And for every time she's sweet to the pugs there's a finger-shaking no thrown their way. Oscar is such a good boy, he endures all the love!

January 11, 2011

christmas is officially over

I know it's January 11th, but today is the day Christmas has finally disappeared in our house. I boxed up the remaining decorations and doodads today and they're safely stored away in the attic until next year. It's crazy how in the weeks leading up to Christmas those decorations made me feel so warm inside and happy. And in the few weeks after Christmas I didn't think they could be put away fast enough!

Now it's on to Valentine's Day! Not that we're skipping January, we'll just be doing some crafts to decorate for February and all of the pink and red it entails. I have a photo project in mind that I'm keeping my eyes open for now.

Several things going on this week, lots of cleaning and organizing. I want the playroom finished by next weekend. I've got so many art projects in mind! Plus, I think I'm going to sew the curtains. Maybe. I know it won't be hard, I just get lazy and let's be honest, buying things is so much easier. Oh but I do love the look of handmade and the sense of pride I'll feel when I finish! If I finish.

No new pictures today, but here's a flashback from last January 11th. I'm happy to say that my dining room table is no longer covered in laundry. Other random junk, maybe, but no laundry.


January 10, 2011

no bows

Avery wakes up with some crazy bedhead every day. Her hair is getting longer and she's getting some curls in the back, I can't wait for the day I can put her hair in pigtails!! Until then, I'll settle for bows.

Below is a picture of us on Christmas morning. I'm happy to say that even though we didn't have matching pajamas (one year, just wait and see!) we all three wore Christmas themed pajamas. Nothing really to do with bows, but you can see her hair is getting longer.


So Avery usually starts out the day with a bow, if we're leaving the house anyway. However, she often pulls them out. Like, almost always actually. And I don't really care. I think she looks cute without a bow too. My sister has been instilling the practice of bow wearing in Avery for several months but she still removes them. A mom at storytime once told me to put the little rubber bands in her hair. But honestly, I just don't care. I mean, it's just a bow. But pigtails?! When the time comes she'll leave those in. Or else. Hopefully.

Last night she was looking through old pictures of herself and she had a bow in her hair. She disappeared into her room for a minute and came back with a bow. She held it to her head and said, "Bow," over and over until I put it in. It was pretty cute. Because even though she doesn't always love to wear a bow, she really likes to pull them out of her drawer.


January 8, 2011

scene stealer

The reason I went was because of her - eleven days of newborn perfection.

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I mean sure, I did intend to get a few pictures of big brother too, but somehow when I settled in to go through my images I just kept seeing his sweet face.

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I asked him to lay across the table so I could test the light. I'd say it was pretty perfect, or maybe it's just him. While his adorable little sister got a bite to eat, I stepped outside for a few pictures with the most handsome five year old I know.

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And two minutes later he asked if his cousin (and partner in crime!) could take some pictures with him. These two separately are pretty darn cute, but together?! Adorable overload! And also a little mischievous. :)

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Miss E, so full of spunk and so fun to photograph. Her momma and I were just discussing the wardrobe for her upcoming session and honestly, I.Can't.Wait. She will be adorable!!

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He made me laugh because we heard sirens in the distance and he asked if I could give him two or three or sixty seconds to watch for the emergency vehicle to pass. And then he said maybe I could just watch him watching for it. It never passed by but I didn't mind, he was pretty cute to watch.

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But wait! It was all about baby sister K, wasn't it? Yeah, it mostly was.

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More to share of this sweet girl soon!

January 7, 2011

dear daddy deran


I've had a cold this week and while I think I'm finally on the mend, it sure would be nice to have him home. Those two week Christmas breaks are such a tease, then it's back to the grind! Ah well.

Five random (and a couple gross) Avery happenings this week:

1) She found a piece of a pug's toenail. I found it in her mouth.

2) When I let her help blow bubbles she tasted the end of the wand and promptly threw up the contents of her stomach. While I went to get a towel, Harper began licking it up.

3) She got the canadian bacon package out of the trash then nearly went into convulsions when the dogs started fighting over it.

4) She once had an itchy spot on her arm that I put Cortizone 10 on so now she's always pointing and telling me she needs "Meh!" (medicine). While I went to the bathroom a couple of days ago, she turned the shampoo bottle over and rubbed it on her arm. Then hours later Deran asked me why the rug was wet...dripping shampoo bottle.

5) She got tripped up yesterday and fell down, somehow on her legs. SEVEN traumatic x-rays later, it's a sprain. She's still cute with a limp but we're praying for a speedy recovery and complete healing!
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