Tag Archives: Holidays

Sisters vs. Photo Card Outtakes

Unlike last year’s more planned out shoot, this year’s was more spur of the moment –  the kids are tearing apart the living room, let’s go outside to save our sanity – type of shoot. We took far less than last year (109 vs 376) but I think it turned out alright. That’s not to say they all turned out perfect. Here are some of the shots that didn’t make the card cut:

Sisters vs. Thanksgiving

A few more quick scenes from our Thanksgiving in D.C. Other than mile markers and turnpike exits, what I’ll remember most is the sheer delight Cecilia took in learning that there was another holiday that involved copious presents. She is now quite interested in a dual faith upbringing!

Ally vs Months 9, 10, 11

Dear Ally-

I once either read, or heard, a story about a man attempting to read every edition of the New York Times cover-to-cover. In 2004, he was reading about an unknown governor from Arkansas launching a presidential bid. I just tried to Google it and couldn’t find anything so perhaps it’s apocryphal, but that feeling of slowly slipping inexorably, almost unwittingly, into the past is real. Just ask any forty year-old their favorite band.

It’s also how I’ve felt writing these posts lately. You turned one this week and I’m still attempting to recollect what happened in September. Let’s make a deal. You can go on unchaperoned dates when you’re twenty-five and I’ll try to live and write more in the moment, get those memories out while they are still hot and crispy. Deal? Ok, good.Let’s fast forward three months and catch up with our lives.

Previously in the life of Allison Eileen:

all_septA mostly quiet month for everyone. You had your nine-month check-up and everything was deemed in working order and you hadn’t lost any fingers and toes so you were given back to us for three more months.

We spent Labor Day with one last trip to the Cape and you delighted in tormenting three dogs instead of just one. You also discovered the glorious taste of Brewster sand. Handfuls and handfuls of it. Nothing like sediment to scrub the colon and test the integrity of those promises on diaper boxes.


ally_octYou took your first trip to Honey Pot Hill and had a grand time gnawing a meandering track around a single apple for almost two hours. Best money we spent all month. You staunchly did not like your first taste of applesauce. If I had to rank things you don’t like, I’d put being strapped into your car seat, number one, sitting genteelly on someone’s lap number two, and crock pot applesauce number three. Your mother is taking the last one personally.

I could probably put your Halloween costume fourth, at least the top portion. You always find great indignity in wearing hats, so having a costume that included a honey pot lid as a key ingredient was going to be a stretch. Sure, enough, it didn’t last long. If your Pop Pop was in charge of pictures, he’d still be trying to focus and get a clean shot.


ally_novIt was feast or famine in November. The month began with the return of the day care plague! Another round of extreme dieting for everyone by not being able to keep anything down for two days.You do seem to be more susceptible to these stomach bugs than your sister and since you can’t yet talk, we are totally laying all the blame for these on you.

On a more positive note, you started exploring joining the rest of us by walking on two feet this month. You are not quite there yet, but definitely before Christmas. This doesn’t bode well for the lower half of the Christmas tree.

The last part of the month was spent cruising down the Mid-Atlantic corridor to visit your cousins for Thanksgivingukkah. (You passed on the applesauce). Despite my extreme reservations about traffic and spending 16 hours in a confined space with you and your sister, things went off without a hitch. No Benadryl or bourbon was needed. Let’s channel those thoughts for our big trip in February.



The Art of the Egg

There is a famous childhood story (it’s like catnip for my parents around this time of year) about me dying Easter eggs at my grandparents and ending up covered in purple dye. Cecilia is far too deliberate for that to happen, but she does like a good egg dying session. Look how far she’s come in two years, from Tupperware to glitter eggs.

If you’re feeling a little down, I dare you to watch the 0:50 second mark and not smile. Go ahead, try.

Happy Easter, everyone. If you see us on the turnpike feel free to wave!

Larger HD version here


Getting any sort of formal photo of a toddler isn’t easy. Add in a dog and some only passable familiarity with off camera lighting and you have the recipe for a long afternoon. Or three. It took multiple shoots, multiple days and multiple treats (for both Lola and Cece), but after a couple hundred shots we managed to get three photos for the holiday card. We have a long blooper reel. Here are a couple of my favorites. I argued long and hard for some of these to get the official endorsement, but Chelle insisted we try to remain classy. Good thing she had no veto power on the potty seat post!

Evolutionary Road

I fully expect that in a century or two any ex-patriot Donohues still living in New England will develop a genetic mutation that allows us to experience driving the northeast corridor in some sort of fugue state. Just steer the car onto 95, bliss out and wake up at your destination. Last week’s Thanksgiving drive was a top five nightmare with the car smoking and spitting transmission fluid all over Connecticut. It’s a testament to how bleak it appeared that we count a four hour delay as very, very lucky. I’m pretty sure the sight of Cece marching around the mechanic’s bay and Lola’s confusion in going up and down on the garage lift helped our cause by charming the grease off the workers.

Despite that very rocky start and the pending ulcer inducing search for a new car, Ce’s second Thanksgiving (or Happy Gobble Gobble as she termed it) was a good time. She was  able to reconnect with her long lost soul mate Ghibli, shoot some hoops with cousin Nathan down in DC and visit both great-grandparents back in Philly. Not to mention swiping a whole package of free oil change coupons from Southland Auto.