So, it's a beautiful Wednesday morning, we all slept in until about 8am, the sun is shining, it's our day off together with Noahman, we have just had an amazing breakfast of pancakes and eggs, we are cleaned up and dressed up, Noah would catch his morning nap in the car, and we are all ready to smile big for Noah's 1 year pictures and our first family photo shoot...and that's where the story begins.
We arrive at JC Penney's at 11:20 for our appointment. We are greeted happily, get Noah's outfit all situated and are taken back into the photography area. After the first two poses it is clear that 1) this is not going to end happily and 2) Noah is having nothing to do with this photographer. Tony's head had half been cut out of the first picture and Noah is not looking anywhere near the camera or smiling, which is definitely not his fault, he is an excellent judge of character at such a young age and she was clearly not impressing him with her meager attempts to get his attention. We take a few with just Noah where he is crawling away from the backdrop, picking his nose, and doing anything but smiling for the camera...and the photographer thinks these are great pictures!!! It didn't help that she was holding the camera and so it wasn't focused or ready to snap the picture in an instant, which is a must when taking baby pictures we have discovered during this little adventure so endearingly known as "picture day". So by the time she would get Noah to smile, which was quite a frightening escapade involving a little purple ball and a very obnoxiously sqeaky thing that very closely resembled one of those mute, wirey-haired-looking puppets from Sesame Street, she would completely lose his attention. C'mon, seriously, everyone knows that if you do get a 1 year old to laugh at something, after about 3-5 times, the moment is clearly over, so snap the picture faster before the moment is lost!!!
So, we sit down for a few more family shots and a couple more of Noah, now with the help of a co-worker who is all but jumping out of her skin to try and get Noah to recover from his previously traumatic experience with the Sesame Street character and give her a decent smile...and suddenly, it's over. She's done taking pictures! So, me holding back tears, and Noah having a complete meltdown in Tony's arms, we make our way over to the console to order our favorites...are you kidding me?! She proceeds to put some of them into a composite and whatnot and then tells us we are welcome to take a look and order the poses we would like. I look at her and tell her that we are really not happy with any of the poses and that there aren't even any individual pictures of Noah with him looking at the camera or smiling. She looks at us dumbfounded, tells us we have until tomorrow to order, and we pack up our stuff and leave.
Not wanting to lose this opportunity with us already dressed up and ready to go, we decide to call Baby Faces...closed on Wednesdays, go figure. So, we then decide to try Kiddie Kandids, who can get us in for an appointment in 35 minutes. So we rush to Belden, Noah catches another little snoozer in the car as we try to think of a fast food restaurant at which Noah can eat, and end up at Chick-fil-A where he can have chicken noodle soup and milk...and wouldn't it figure, Chick-fil-A is the most popular lunching spot in Belden Village on a Wednesday afternoon. So we order, Tony inhales his while I attempt to feed Noah, all the while spilling milk all over him because Mommy isn't smart enough to pack an empty sippy in case of an emergency (aka: a terrible photographer that costs us a lunch out that we hadn't budgeted for so that we have to spend more money at another studio we weren't planning on, turning a 1 hour outting into a 6 hour excursion...you know, that kind of an emergency...aren't those common?!) and his only option is to drink out of a Chug bottle because he can't use a straw. Mommy's lunch gets thrown in a bag and into the backseat of the car, drink tossed out, and we are 10 minutes late to Kiddie Kandids.
When we arrive, she asks how we are today to which I answer, "extremely frustrated" to which she replies, "You must be my JC Penney's Girl"...what are the chances, a reputation already and we just arrived. She was a wonderful photographer, took about 8 poses of us and Noah and he smiled like a champ! Mommy was all frazzled by now, surprise, surprise, because on top of the crazinesses of this day, the wind was blowing so her hair wasn't how she wanted it, and during all of Noah's meltdowns he had rubbed his face on Daddy's scruffy cheek and developed a rash!!! In the end, we ordered all of the pictures we were looking for, for about double the price we were going to spend at JC Penney's, and they were ready on the spot and are safely tucked away at our house until the holidays!!!
But that's not all...not wanting to miss out on the good deal that started this whole experience (there's a catch with every great coupon isn't there...new rule in our lives after today: If it seems too good to be true, RUN, run far, far away!!!), there were 3 poses we were pretty happy with from our JC Penney's photo nightmare and so we figured we should take advantage of the coupon since the damage was already done and it was a good deal. So, with Noah catching yet another nap in the car, we headed back to Canton Centre for me to order the remaining photos of the day. I walk up to the studio and the chick that finally was able to intervene and get Noah to smile for a couple shots earlier greets me by first name and says, "Are you actually back to order some photos?!" To which I answer yes and she proceeds to tell me to pick what I would like and leads me to the console. I make my selections and she comes back over to help me checkout. She tells me that as soon as we left the studio this morning she fired the other photographer and we are getting all of these pictures for free!!!!!!! Yikes, fired?! I mean, she definitely wasn't cut out for a career in photography, and I'm not gonna lie, when I arrived the second time and didn't see her, I actually thought to myself, wouldn't it be crazy if they fired her?! But I wasn't really serious...and they did...yikes!!!
So, 6 hours later, we are back home, Noah napped in the crib for a little (and hopefully got at least a couple good REM cycles in for the first time today), inhaled a huge dinner with lots of milk straight out of his favorite sippy, and is now comfy in his jam-jams and rearranging Mommy's cupboards once again...and all is right with the world!
I'm sure this story won't be interesting to most of you, but I needed to get it off my chest...and, whew, do I feel better now...these pictures were worth WAY more than 1,000 words!!! And you probably thought I was going to share the pictures at the end of this too, didn't you?! Sorry, y'all have to wait until Christmas to see them, you will just have to enjoy this story until then...