Iris turned 18 months old at the beginning of this month and as fast as the other months have gone, I can definitely say the last six months have gone by the quickest. Probably because I've been chasing this FAST little busy bee around 24/7! But I also think it's because this stage has been our favorite by far. We have been LOVING this stage how many words she's saying and sentences she's stringing together lately. Every day she soaks up so much information, it's amazing! It makes things so much easier once they can tell you what they want/need.
Iris has around 100 words and 25+ sentences so far (I'm working on a post about 10 things to do with your child to improve their speech and increase their vocabulary right now since I've had so many inquiries!). She's almost 3 feet tall and growing like a weed right now! And, she got her first molars this past month and is working on her canines right now so we can be DONE with teething for awhile. Thank goodness!
We're always so proud of our kind, bright, friendly (she will stop and chase you down if you don't say hi back in the grocery store, haha!), strong, and confident baby girl. I also love that she calls all other kids "BABY!" right now, no matter their age. She's always pointing out five-year-old and older kids at the store and saying, "baby". I try to explain that in this scenario, she's the baby!
Iris is also Miss Independent these days and wants to run free even in the grocery stores, which is why I'm currently considering a Instacart Express subscription because as much as I love to grocery shop, it is insane right now. Anyone else have a kiddo that refuses to sit in the cart?
She also loves to "hap" (help) with anything and everything. This can slow daily routines down, but we love letting her help when we can. She lights up when we do! One of her very favorite things right now is sitting on the counter while we cook and bake so she can be in on the action. We have another foodie in the house!
We started Toddler School (aka Tot School, as others call it) for fun a few weeks ago to get a bit more structure in our days and keep me accountable with coming up with new activities. I had no idea it was something we were both craving and needed in our days! Iris has a blast with the activities and can already name a few colors we've studied; and I am back in my preschool teacher element, lesson planning and creating educational activities.
It also has my wheels spinning with so many things I'd love to share with other toddler moms out there, so I've created a separate newsletter for Toddler School tips and tricks, if you sign up you'll get a few of my top tips for starting Tot School (I swear it's so easy you guys). I won't spam either, I promise to only send out a few helpful emails along the way. And, because I feel like I have more to share than I have time to type, would anyone be interested in a live chat type deal where you can ask questions and I can share a bit about what we've been doing so far? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email!
We taught Iris to "throw shade"...best or worst decision ever? We can't stop cracking up about it.
Ok, I know some of you are just here for a few tips on how-to capture better Easter photos! If so, you've finally made it. Also, if it IS all you came for can you let me know if you'd like more photography tips geared towards mamas? I have something in mind, but want to make sure the want/need is there, so let me know if that's you!
For the mamas (and dads!) who want to take some beautiful Easter (or monthly) photos of your baby and/or toddler (who doesn't?), I wanted to share a a few quick and easy tips with you!
1. Let them play!
You will get much better photos of your child if you let them run, play, and have fun than if you try to make them sit and pose. Promise. This is what I've always done with my portrait clients and it really brings out each child's personality and helps you create candid photos you will love!
2. Get on their level.
While you're letting them run in the grass or play inside, before you start snapping away, make sure to get down on your knees or even lay on your stomach to get eye to eye with them and get their precious faces head-on. This will help you capture the sweet sparkle in their eyes as they are giggling away.
3. Choose your timing wisely.
This tip is three-fold. Make sure to choose the best time for your toddler, you don't want to do photos right before nap or bedtime and risk an epic meltdown. But you also want to make sure to choose the time of day that's going to give you gorgeous lighting. About 2 hours before sunset is my FAVORITE! If you're in the mountains, like we are now, this can be even earlier because you'll loose lighting faster than those in the wide open spaces. And last, don't do Easter photos on Easter. You'll want to start now so if it doesn't go as planned, no biggie, you can try again tomorrow! And once you get the perfect pictures, you'll still have time to print and share for Easter day.
4. Know your camera!
This is probably obvious, but you don't want to be learning how to use your camera when you're trying to get important photos like monthly pics or Easter photos. Know your camera ahead of time and you can snap them quickly and still have fun with it! My biggest tip with camera settings and photographing toddlers is to make sure to have a very high shutter speed, when you can. If the last sentence has you confused or you want more tips like this, let me know and enter your email here, you'll be the first to know once more tips are posted!