I am totally smitten with our little town of Alameda, CA. It really is this little gem of a place and I still can’t believe we live here. The best part? The families I’ve met here. There are SO many families and it was the perfect place for our little clan to land. This family is definitely one of my favorites! I’ve wanted to do a Park Street shoot since we moved here and this was well worth the wait. What’s even better? I walked to this shoot from my house….and I walk with my family to this street at least once a week.
I’m a little behind on blogging. I’ll be catching up in the next couple weeks so check back frequently for new fun sessions from the end of 2017! My favorite Alameda family is back in this Christmas themed shoot. You can see one of my favorite shoots of all time in their gorgeous kitchen here. By the way the rest of their house is as cute as their kitchen! For this shoot we spent most of the time in front of the fire place and ended with a bubble bath in their claw-footed bathtub.
Another successful Allex boy birthday party is in the books. This time we were celebrating Sawyer’s 1st birthday. Here’s a look back to Sebastian’s 1st party. I’m so glad a couple weeks ago (after talking myself out of it), I decided to go ahead and throw my special boy a big bash because you only turn 1 once! Another benefit of living in California? Park party in December! We all threw on our best flannel (which for most of us is our only flannel) and invited a bunch of awesome friends we’ve met since moving. It ended up being a touch chilly but the beef stew and hot chocolate really hit the spot!
This is my second attempt ever at making a decorating a cake (1st cake I made here). It turned out pretty well but like my sister said, you can’t go wrong making a stump!
I’m really excited to share these family photos with you. I’m so happy I met Kate when she was having Ben try out a soccer class this past spring. Ben may have not been interested in soccer, but our sweet boys hit it off and we’ve all been friends since. We definitely look a little crazy (a feel a little crazy) toting 4 boys around town, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I was more nervous photographing my friends then new clients but you can’t go wrong with this gorgeous family. Kate, you did a great job dressing your clan! I’m so happy with how this fall shoot turned out! You four are all so beautiful and I’m obsessed with Benny’s smile!!
Disclaimer: Like the past several months I’m pretty late getting this post up…I had all the words written on time but finally got around to taking the picture today. Also this is the biggest smile I’ve gotten out of him in 11 months of these pictures. Guess I should have had big brother helping all along!
There is only one month left until Sawyer’s first birthday! I finally just started planning his party. I thought of the perfect theme for our little Sawyer and I’m really excited about it! I am also planning on doing a couple 1 year photo shoots for him. I’m thinking a giant blue balloon at a park would be fun. Hopefully I can get it all together in time! These next couple months are going to be busy with his birthday, traveling home and Christmas! On a sadder note, we lost our sweet dog Oliver this month. He was my baby before I had my actual babies and I am sad that Sawyer won’t have memories of him. We had Oliver for over 9 years and it just doesn’t seem right that he is no longer here.
Stats: We’ll get his new stats next month at his 1 year check! I assure you he is bigger then ever, this boy can eat!
Likes: He loves playing with balls. He’ll throw or hit them, then chase after them and throw them again. He loves following his big brother around. He loves being outside. He’s getting so much fun to play with and hasn’t been quite as fussy lately, thank goodness! I think this may be my favorite age for Sawyer so far. He’s just so much happier and so much fun!
Dislikes: He doesn’t like an empty highchair tray…he’ll yell at you until you get him more food.
Nicknames: Lately we have been calling him our little puppy. He will put a toy in his mouth and then crawl around with it. It’s so cute and looks just like a little puppy especially when it’s one of his little balls.
Firsts: Sawyer celebrated his first Halloween! Sebastian wanted to be Batman so naturally, his little sidekick was destined to be Robin. I made their costumes and was so excited to put them on…they ended up wearing them four different times! Trick or treating was (crazy) but fun in our awesome town.
Milestones: He’s taken a couple steps once or twice and seems pretty stable on his feet. He can sometimes stand for several seconds at a time. Walking is definitely not far off!
Sleep: I don’t think we’ll ever sleep again. If it’s not Sawyer up in the middle of the night, it’s Sebastian or both of them. We maybe get one night a week where neither of them wake up. It’s actually been Sebastian more then Sawyer recently. I think moving Sebastian into our room so many times when trying to sleep train Sawyer messed him up.
Sebastian’s reactions to Sawyer: Sebastian and Sawyer are now starting to go longer spurts of playing together. Like 10-20 minutes or so at a time. It’s so much fun to watch and listen to and I can’t wait for this to get even better. There however is a little bit of “I had that first” and “no Sawyer, that’s mine” happening, but that is to be expected.
A look back:
So Thanksgiving is next week and I’m just now finally getting around to posting Halloween pictures. This stay at home mom to two under 4 and working photographer (in the busy season) is no joke! I’m getting clients their pictures back within a week of taking them, but that’s about all I’ve been able to handle. I’ll have a lot of blog posts to catch up on soon! Anyway, I didn’t want a holiday to get by without blogging it…if for nothing else other then the fact that I love using my blog to look back. This was Sawyer’s first Halloween and I was pretty darn excited about their costumes.
Sebastian wanted to be Batman…this is the first year he has chosen his costume. Since Sawyer doesn’t have an opinion about it yet, he got to be his sidekick, Robin.
I was Catmom. I didn’t get it together to get a costume for Matt. I was pretty proud of the costumes I did have though…I bought Sebastian’s and my mask and his batman shirt, made his and Sawyer’s cape and Sawyer’s shirt.
I did a little mini session for a bunch of local moms and grabbed a few of my boys in my little setup.
The cutest little Batman and Robin ever!
Here’s a look back to last years Halloween when Sawyer was still in my belly.
So much has been going on lately I figured I should do a little update post!
Photography- My business has really picked up and I’ve been basically booked solid all fall. I have absolutely loved meeting so many new families, and taking so many great photos. I’m so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world! I’m a little behind with posting some of them to the blog, but plan to catch up as soon as I can! I’m trying to soak it all in now, because I’m sure things will die down a lot in the off season come January.
Sebastian- He has been loving preschool and has made so many friends. When he first started there, he was the only boy and a even though a couple have enrolled since, I’m pretty sure he has claimed his spot as the ladies man. I keep getting the “Oh, your Sebastian’s mom…my daughter talks about him allll the time” and I’m all like and who is your kid? He’s also excelling in soccer, I love watching him play every week with his little bestie. He’s picking up on number sense and his letters at an alarming rate for a 3 year old. He can count objects and recognizes numbers up to at least 30…even though we’ve barely worked on it. He knows most of his letters and we just started working on learning to spell his (long) name. His behavior has also gotten way better…not as much screaming and getting mad at little things. Maybe that’s because we are in his last few months of being 3 or maybe our behavior interventions have been working. I’m just hoping this continues to get better!
Sawyer- My sweet baby Sawyer. Well, he is better then ever. The fussiness has gone WAY down. He doesn’t always insist on me holding him, he’ll play by himself and with his brother. He has the best laugh and cutest giant front two teeth with a big gap in the middle. I’m behind (like always) on his 11 month blog post but will hopefully get that up soon. I’ve started planning his first birthday party and can’t wait!
Me- Well despite some set backs…a stolen bike, a dog dying, losing my iPhone, having tooth pain and a tooth extraction/implant coming up, and the daily grind of being a stay-at-home mom…I’ve been doing really well. I couldn’t love my life more. I feel like I’m pretty much in the best shape of my life and after gaining 38 pounds with my 9 pound 7 ounce baby, I have lost all the pregnancy weight + 9 pounds. If you saw me you probably wouldn’t be able to tell though because all my clothes are so baggy. It’s been the ultimate mom diet. I walk around town daily either pushing a stroller or carrying a (heavy) baby, I eat really healthy because I refuse to have unhealthy food in the house with my snack crazed 3 year old. I also end up sharing a lot of my food with two littles… I’ve also been inconsistently going to the gym, but need to make it a priority because that’s the only me time I can get (besides my daily shower).
Matt-He’s doing well too. He’s enjoying his job and is gone from about 8:30am-6:15pm. He only has a 12 minute commute which in the bay area is practically unheard of. He continues to work hard to support our little family and I have no doubt that his job success will continue now that we live in the Bay Area.
The dogs- My sweet, sweet puppy Oliver died a few weeks ago. We rescued him from the shelter 9 and a half years ago and he was the best little sidekick to our black lab Jake. He was my baby before I had my babies and was the cuddliest dog. He definitely had his quirks…he wasn’t very nice to other dogs, was afraid of the vacuum and sweeper, sometimes growled at our kids and was over dramatic…but he was ours. He left this world quickly and painlessly by my side laying on the rug in the boys room. My heart still hurts to think of him and how Jake hasn’t been quite the same without him. Since moving to the city in January, the dogs haven’t adjusted as well as the rest of us and we are doing our best to now keep Jake happy by petting him often and taking him on as many walks as possible.
Alameda- Our little island has proven to be the perfect place for us to live. It’s so kid friendly and puts on a lot of great events. There’s never a shortage of things to do or friends to hang out with. Halloween was awesome and I can’t wait to see Christmas in Alameda!
I haven’t been posting as much on social media as I used to. I’m not totally sure why…but I do post more on Instagram then I do Facebook nowadays.
You can follow along here https://www.instagram.com/rachaelallex/
You can also follow along on my business page here: https://www.instagram.com/silverleafphotos/
I love living in a ‘big’ city and Alameda is such a little gem. (I put big in quotations because not everyone around here considers Alameda a big city…especially when we have San Francisco across the bay). It’s the perfect place for families to live. There are plenty of parks, the beach and cute little shops, restaurants and toys stores. I met Alissa and her sweet kiddos at one of the many little parks and enjoyed watching her 3 kids run around. Alissa told me that they’ve done pictures at all of the usual spots around town and I knew I wanted to give them something different. I suggested the old Army base (which has the coolest old buildings) for more of a rustic shoot. These three kids had a ton of energy and I enjoyed chasing after them!
I’m am starting to become a big fan of sunrise shoots. Unfortunately they will probably end once the time change happens and sunrise comes at 6:30am. Meeting this sweet family at my favorite place on Alameda Island first thing in the morning was such a great way to start off my day! Little Evie was so adorable in her lace dress and matching boots (I seriously live vicariously through my clients that have girls!!)
It’s a good thing that Sawyer is almost one because I’m getting later and later with getting his monthly picture taken (and it’s getting harder and harder)! I had this post written on time but I am about 3 weeks late with the picture.
Just two more months until Sawyer is 1. I better start planning his birthday party soon! Oh sweet, fussy Sawyer. He can definitely be described as sweet and sour. He has the sweetest little face, smile and laugh, but still can be so fussy. There is still so much crying. I’m definitely holding out for an easy toddlerhood since being a baby seemed to be so tough on him. We love him so much and it’s been such a joy watching him grow and learn.
Stats: See his 9 month post
Likes: He loves playing with balls and playing ‘catch’. He loves rocking on the elephant Grandma CC made our for family when Sebastian was 10 months old. The gigantic smile he gets on his face when rocking back and forth is the cutest. Sebastian loves climbing on the back and rocking with him.
Dislikes: Playing independently for more then a few minutes. Now that he is crawling, he follows me everywhere and just wants to be picked up.
Nicknames: I put nicknames as one of these categories every month because Sebastian had all kinds of them, but we don’t really seem to give Sawyer many. I guess we still call him Booty a lot. Not sure where that came from or why. I guess it’s a term of endearment.
Firsts: First solo mommy Sawyer day. Daddy took Sebastian to an Indy car race and Sawyer and I hung out by ourselves all day.
Milestones: He is crawling like crazy…my favorite is when he gets really excited about something and crawls so fast towards it, that it almost looks like his body is vibrating. He’s pulling up on everything and cruising. He can stand holding onto things with one hand and his chunky legs look so steady. I’m sure we’ll have a walker by Christmas. He finally started saying mama this month but that is so far his only word…but it is definitely my favorite. I’m pretty happy they both said mama first. His top teeth have also come through as you can kind of see in this picture. They seem big and have a big gap in the middle and they are just the cutest!
Sleep: Well he is night weaned and mostly has good nights. His naps have been pretty consistent one from about 9:30-11:30 and another around 2:00-4:00. He’s been waking up around 7:00 or 7:30 which is earlier then his brother, so I enjoy having some extra one-on-one time with him. He goes to bed earlier then Sebastian, around 8:00 so it’s nice getting one-on-one time with Sebastian then.
Sebastian’s reactions to Sawyer: I have been getting these awesome little spurts of them playing together and it’s just so great. They will chase each other around crawling and playing. So far it only lasts for a couple minutes at a time but I know it will get longer and longer. This is why we had Sawyer…to give Sebastian a playmate! Sebastian continues to be the sweetest big brother but loves being in Sawyers space…like right on top of him.
This month I am watching one of Sawyer’s little playmate a few mornings a week. It’s pretty stinking cute to see these two little babies crawling around and pulling up on things together.
A look back: