P52 | Self Portraits of Motherhood


I spent last year documenting a day of our life, every single day for the entire year. It was a lot of work and not something I felt comfortable doing again for 2018, so I decided to work on a different type of project for this year.

I have always loved taking self portraits, many of the images you see of AJ and I were taken this way. I decided to make it a full project this year, having us both get in the frame at least once a week. Continuing on with the concept of “A Day In Our Life,” these all are during tasks that we do daily, weekly, or quite often.



Bathtime, which has been quite the task lately because AJ would rather throw things in the bathtub than get in. Bath bombs kind of save us because he likes the colors that the water changes into when he throws them in.



I think a child’s room will forever be messy, no matter how many times you pick it up, there is always another adventure awaiting to be made up and torn down. Occasionally, I get to help, mostly I am made to hide out in the fortress of stuffed animals only allowed to observe and rebuild.




Mornings usually include hunting through the fridge asking AJ what he wants. Normally, you will go through everything at least once and he will tell you no, then he will tell you what he wants even though it is always the first thing you asked him. Mornings, are definitely not our strong suit.



Evenings being silly and hanging out as we wait for Daddy to get home from work. I love these moments, where AJ gives me mooties, he give me hugs and cuddles up with me, and for one moment it is all about mom. Then, dad comes home and it is like we weren’t just best buddies lol.



How our typical weekends end up: Antonio catching up on some Call of Duty gaming, AJ wanting to pick out his own outfits.. which lately have entailed wearing his swimming floaty, and then me chugging down my coffee every second I can.




When we build our Lego towers.. we try to see how tall we can make it before it falls down. This happened to be about 10 seconds before it fell. AJ hasn’t gotten his foundation skills down just yet, but he still has a few years before he gets his architecture degree.



Winter in Michigan means that I bundle AJ up in 50 blankets over his car seat. I am so ready for warm weather, as I seriously am not cut out for the cold at all. AJ is starting to feel the same way, he prefers pools and playing in the hose over snow and negative weather.



When you are a mom and you attempt to eat dinner, or any meal I should add, in peace. Yeah, that doesn’t exist at all lol. AJ decided to sit on my back as I was attempting to eat the veggie fajitas I made everyone for dinner this week.



Michigan’s weather has finally taken a turn for the better. A week of nice weather is the perfect way to turn any bad days around. We decided to venture out to Aunt Renee’s house and take advantage of her trampoline.. it’s the one plus to having a sister close by that is an inner child herself. AJ always has fun there!



Sometimes, all you need to get through the day is some snuggles in the morning. If anyone knows me, they know that I am not a morning person at all. AJ has been randomly getting up early lately, and I don’t think there is enough coffee for me to manage.



I can always count on my little helper to assist me picking out my outfit for the day, occasionally helping me put makeup on. Well, he doesn’t help with that but he thinks he does. Who knows, maybe I will let him put setting powder on one day because he sure likes that brush lol.



When someone wants to take a nap after hanging out with his friends all day while mom was at work, he tells me to leave the room.. even though it is mine.




After constant weeks full of running around, it is nice to just be able to take a nap and relax. It’s a rare occurrence in our home, but when it does happen we all take complete advantage of it.



AJ loves his chocolate milk, which is great for him, but when you can’t stomach the smell of it, it makes it a tad infuriating to constantly make it, especially late at night. But at least he likes to help you when you do decide to drag yourself out of the comfort of your blanket lol.




After trying for what feels like forever, even though it is really only a couple of weeks, someone finally has the concept of going on the potty. Even if that means waking us up all night to go, at least he is doing it right? Although, I will be ecstatic when I can finally have a full nights sleep once again.



When it has been so cold outside that there is snow on the ground in the middle of April, we hang out in bed and pick out books to read, along with watching cartoons. AJ is obsessed with Gecko off of PJ Masks and his little plush toy goes everywhere with him around the house.



When your child is not amused about your lack of enthusiasm about the show he selected. We are down to repeating PJ Masks, Super Wings, Masha and the Bear, Boss Baby, Tayo, or Trolls constantly. I am looking forward for the day when Netflix graces us with something new he finds fascinating. So far, no luck.



For someone who loves watching other people brush their teeth, he sure hates getting his done. Every once in a while he is good with opening his mouth when asked to brush, but most of the time he hides his face or blocks his mouth with his hands or a toy. Oh the joys of mom life.



He always ditches me on the car ride home from picking him up after work. I guess hanging out with his grandpa all day tuckered him out. I always crack up because he just comes walking in talking to everyone in the store he sees before he figures out I’m in the office. It’s the cutest thing ever.



AJ always loves to look out the window and people watch those in the neighborhood. He is so nosey about things! I have to tell him to get out of the window constantly so he doesn’t break the blinds haha!



AJ wanted to help me put together pieces for my new desk this week. I have been slowly doing some late spring cleaning and decluttering our house and getting rid of everything in sight it feels like. But, I love getting new furniture afterwards, and he loves helping out to build it.



I always, like constantly forget about my coffee in the microwave. Sometimes it sits there all day before I even remember to grab it, and by then I just give up and go without. When I do remember it, I get sidetracked and end up forgetting it again.



For some reason we always pick places to live that doesn’t have a dishwasher and I hate, like loathe, doing dishes. The sink just grosses me out so I try to put them off in hopes that Antonio will do them instead. After so long, I get sick of looking at them, more so though that he gets annoyed with me so I sulk and do them. Today though, AJ decided to help me scrub bowls and plates, so I just had to rinse and double check his work. He actually did pretty well, though I think he just wanted a reason to play with the water.



Sometimes on the days when I either have AJ with me or I pick him up after I get out of work, we do something fun together. Sometimes, it’s walking around a park and playing, other times we go on coffee dates. I always love spending time with him because he keeps growing too fast for me.



AJ loves his Lightning McQueen shoes, besides when he gets to playing too fast and they slip off because they are a tad too big still. But have no fear, mommy is here to help him fix them so he can get back to his everyday terrorizing of the house and yard.



I can’t believe we are already halfway through the year! It doesn’t seem like time has flown by as fast as it has. Mornings in our household include lots of cuddles and goofing around as we attempt to get up for the day. None of us are early risers, well maybe Dad is, but Mom and AJ certainly are not.



This was the first year that AJ actually was interested in playing with sparklers. Though, he kept trying to blow them out thinking they were like candles! At least now our Fourth of July holidays will seem semi normal from here on out, maybe next year he will let us try some fireworks. 



I am one of those people that has multiple jobs, probably because I do not handle not always being busy very well. If I am not working in the Marketing Department for one of our local companies, or running my business, I can be found in this office. The one benefit of this is that AJ can come to work with me, though I am not sure how much work I get done when he is actually trying to help. Today, he was using the grabber to pick up all the papers. Which took him an extra 30 minutes than it would just to pick them up like a normal person, but nope. That was no fun!



The one benefit to having a boy is that he takes a great interest in my family’s business. Mowers, tractors, and anything with wheels fascinate him. Which is probably how I ended up having to purchase one of every single toy we carried at the shop, including this mower. He loves it and the first thing he did was lift up the bottom check it’s fake blades before choking it to start. Yes, he really knows how they work already.



AJ has a serious obsession with Ryan's ToysReview for kids on Youtube, like it is crazy how much he wants to watch it. When we get home for the day that is his number one show to watch to wind down while I make dinner. Most of the time he makes me watch it with him, which only delays our evening plans, but it makes him happy so it’s worth it.



Mornings aren't always easy for us, even on vacation.. Okay, well a work vacation, but it was still relaxing. AJ came with me to North Carolina for a wedding I was photographing, and after a long car ride, he didn't want to get out of bed to grab some coffee with mom. He did change his mind as soon as he was told he could pick out some snacks and go to the beach though.



The fair was in town this week, and of course we had to go for some elephant ears and lemonade. Fun fact, elephant ears are non-existent in the south. I learned it the hard way while living in North Carolina that their elephant ears are funnel cakes. So every year that we get a chance to get them in Michigan before we move I take every opportunity to get one.



AJ loves coloring. It is one of those things that I love watching him do because he just loves mixing colors and showing me his work as he completes it. Naturally, I have to color with him, but who can pass that up?



Our fridge must see some very interesting sights as we figure out what we want out of it daily. AJ tends to take the most time deciding and then always grabs the same things: Capri Sun and Danimals Yogurt. But it always takes forever for him to decide on that for some reason haha.



If anyone ever wondered why it takes me so long to get around to go somewhere, here is why. If AJ is up when I am getting around, I typically have to juggle doing what I need to do on top of letting him play with everything I need to use. He’s not the best sharer either.. If you can’t tell.



Dinner is hard, actually dinner is easy, deciding what to make for dinner is hard I should say. I think we spend more time in the aisle contemplating what to make then we actually do making anything. AJ only eats chicken nuggets, and I am a vegan, so we are never on the same page when it is just the two of us these evenings.



AJ loves taking all of the blankets off of every bed and couch in our house and putting them in a pile on the floor. He loves making big beds for everyone to lay in and cuddle. Since it has been feeling extremely fall this week, we turned on the fireplace as well as we watched T.V.



Since I am spending a lot of this week out of town, AJ wanted to help me finish the dishes I have been putting off. I’m not sure of anyone that actually enjoys doing dishes though in my defense.



AJ loves snapchat and taking selfies with his iPad. He hates all other types of photos though, so I guess I should take what I can get... Typical photographer’s child syndrome here! 



We got a new mattress this week, and of course we had to try it out for the evening. It gets a thumbs up from both AJ and I, Antonio will most likely complain that it is too soft when he gets home. lol



AJ loves helping me with laundry when I eventually get around to doing it. If you know me personally, you know that I hate doing laundry. But in my defense, I have a closet the size of a small clothing store so I could probably go an entire year before I would even have to do a load. Is that bad?



Nights trying to get the Goobmeister down to sleep at a decent time is tiresome. To be honest, I fall asleep before he does most of the time. He will usually just cuddle with me and then let me sleep and wake me up only if he can’t reach what he wants in the fridge. I guess I can’t complain about that, I am horrible when I don’t get enough sleep.



This is how we hold up when it is raining out. I work on catching up on editing during a crazy busy season and AJ watches weird shows on Youtube. Does anyone else’s child watch other kids playing with toys? Most of the time they are not even in English. So hopefully he becomes fluent in whatever language he is watching.



For the first time in what seems like forever, it wasn’t 20 degrees out when we try to go trick or treating. We dressed up as the Paw Patrol clan this year, mainly because I really wanted to take the dogs out with us so they wouldn’t be cooped up in the house the whole evening.



It’s been a long time coming, but we finally took a vacation. Of course that meant getting out of the cold and gloomy weather that Michigan has been having lately and heading south to Florida. We mainly came down to check out the area we planned to move to and get our housing all planned out, but we couldn’t not have some beach days in the process. AJ loves the water and the only way we could get him out was to bribe him with food.



When you return to the land of snow, that means it is time to put up the Christmas tree. Since we are moving so soon after the holidays, we decided this year to put the tree up earlier to enjoy it longer. AJ didn’t mind at all, especially since he loved helping put ornaments on and string the lights



My family is all meat eaters, and I am vegan. So, holidays I always have to make my own dishes since I don’t eat a lot of what everyone else does. My favorite for Thanksgiving? Pumpkin Cheesecake. AJ helped me mix everything together before letting it set overnight. It truly was delicious!



AJ loves working out when we do.. or he might just like playing with the weights. His favorite is currently shoulder presses and butterflies, he got over his squat phase



The current trend in our house is blanket forts. AJ takes all of the pillows and blankets from every room in the house and we hide under them from the pups. It typically starts with him throwing them on top of me yelling “hide” and then jumps in. So far, he has not landed on my face... yet. 



It is weird that we are down to the last couple weeks of taking this walk together into the shop a few days a week. I have been lucky to have had a position where I can bring AJ with me a few times to save with childcare.



When I was growing up, we always got together as a family and made Christmas cookies at my grandma’s house. We had to do it at least one more time as a family before we move out of state again. AJ loved putting sprinkles on the cookies, frosting.. not so much.



We had to end this year’s project together. It is rare that Antonio and I get days off together lately, so it was nice having two for Christmas so we can spend them with our families and just relax and enjoy ourselves. It was fun this year because AJ loved opening his presents, and everyone else’s as well. 

Now, to pack everything away as we prepare to leave the house we made a home for the past almost 4 years. Cheers to new beginnings that I can’t wait to document next year.