Recovery Mode + A Crash Course in Kids ~ Chicago Children’s Photographer

As most of you know, James and I spent the last 3 days and 3 nights at my sister’s house in Madison taking care of their kiddos while she and her husband had a little getaway to our place in Chicago. Leading up to the #lifeswapweekend (as we named it on Instagram, if you care to scroll through the pics) I made to sure to get ample sleep because I knew it would be hard to come by when watching 4, 6, and 8-year-olds.


I don’t think I fully understood how hard it would be to come by. (I know… I know… all you parents out there are laughing your smug little heads off!)

I also don’t think I fully grasped how BAD I am at going to bed early when I know I should! (It probably doesn’t help that our normal bedtime is around 12-1am.)




The kids were in bed by 8pm each night … and yet… James and I were up until midnight or later (thanks one night to the exciting Wisconsin Badger win, sending them to the Final Four)!! I think for me it was the fact that James and I barely conversed all day other than managing the kids, so by the time they were in bed we were like, “Oh – hi there! I forgot you were here!!!” haha! And so we wanted to hang out and have some solo time together while we could! (Also, we have family & friends in Madison who we made a point to hang out with at home once the kiddos were in bed, so that factored in there.)

Anyway, the point being – I don’t remember waking up so early when I was a kid!! Maybe I did and I just don’t remember? (Mom, did I?! If so… WHYYYY?!) The kids were up around 6:15/6:30am every morning even after being totally exhausted from activity allll day the day before! What kind of energy drink are they on and can someone sign me up?! I thought it was only babies and toddlers with the crazy schedule, but apparently I was wrong. haha.




Aside from the sleep deprivation, we really had an amazing time with the kids and cherished the quality time we got with them that we normally don’t get all that often!! Here are a few lessons we learned in our crash course in kids…

1) Fresh air is everyone’s best friend. Whenever possible we got ourselves outside for some physical activity and fresh air! It made us feel way better, them feel way better, and all the noise isn’t so noticeable in open air! 😉 Thank goodness the weather cooperated this weekend!




2) We make a good team. It was really reaffirming that James and I managed the kids well together. We made decisions together and did our best not to contradict each other. Also – one day in we realized it made more sense for one of us to wake up early and let the other sleep a bit longer so at least one of us was well rested enough to make it through the whole day. Then the one who got to sleep late took a shift in the afternoon so the other could take a nap to catch up. Brilliant idea. 😉




3) Reasoning with kids doesn’t (usually) work. At least not for us! I tried to explain every decision I made to the kids (because they questioned almost every decision I made) and it just resulted in more questions and more attempts for the kids to try bargain their way to a more favorable result for them. Sometimes you just have to say “Because I said so…” (much to my 5-year-old self’s dismay) haha

4) There’s nothing like the love of a kid. My heart melts every time I spend time with these kiddos and we seriously had the best time just getting to see their little personalities growing and converse with them for more than just a few hours at a time. I didn’t even pick up my real camera all weekend because I was enjoying our time so much I just wanted to be in the moment and not documenting it (other than with an occasional phone pic). Also, I should have kept a quote board of things these goofs said this weekend… so. funny.




5) Eww. Poop and pee are highly present things in children’s lives and I’m not going to lie… I won’t exactly miss this part of the weekend. haha. Enough said.

6) Chloe is so sweet with kids. We already knew this because of how she acts around the school kids outside & how she has acted around our niece and nephews in the past, but it was really cool to see her interacting with the kids for more than just a day. At one point I walked in our niece’s room to find Chloe laying on the bed, the kids around her, all of them with stuffed animals in their hands (including Chloe with one in her mouth)… the kids running circles around Chloe and singing a song, while she sat patiently watching them. It was pretty adorable.

7) We should all play more. The simplicity of running around, swinging on swings, climbing a jungle gym, laughing at goofy things, and generally just acting like a kid is pretty much the best. I felt way less stressed and just really happy this weekend, which was awesome. If only we could all translate that more into our daily lives!




Basically, it was one entertaining and exhausting weekend!! We are happy to be home but SO happy we had this time with the kids. Now excuse me while I tackle my crazy inbox & to-do list, and attempt to catch up on some much-needed sleep at some point this week! 😉




Happy Monday folks! Get out there and do like a kid would and enjoy this beautiful weather we are FINALLY having!! YAY SPRING (for a day)!

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!