The first Father's Day after Elliott was born I took a series of pictures of the kids holding the letters to spell out DAD, printed the pictures, put them in a frame and gave them to Michael. I've done it every year since.
Last year I saw a cute idea to take a picture with the kid's favorite thing at the time and to make a collage with the pictures and the title, "I love you more than". So, starting in 2014 we added another yearly photo project to our photo to-do list.
These are the pictures we took last year.
And the collage.
This year I asked Elliott what was his favorite thing and, I am not kidding you, he said "downstairs Dillard's at the mall."
So, last Friday morning we went to Hobby Lobby and bought new white t-shirts (you can get a plain white t-shirt there for like $2) and then drove over to the mall for a little photo shoot.
We tried outside first.
And inside next.
With that done we drove home because we needed to eat lunch before Spencer had basketball camp. We were going to take Spencer's favorite thing picture at home but I told him we'd have plenty of time to do it after camp and before Michael got home from work.
With Spencer off at basketball camp I set up the backdrop for Elliott to take the D of the DAD pictures. The first year I took them I had the kids sitting on black towels on the couch. The second year they got too big so I bought a black shower curtain to set up underneath them and behind them. The third year required the black shower curtain and black towels. I've got it down to a science now.
I set up the shower curtain on the black bookshelves like I always do and put hand weights on top to keep it up like I always do.
I took this picture, and then I noticed that there was a gap between the towels and the shower curtain.
I told Elliott to stand up so I could push the towels closer to the bookshelf. I was squatting down with my eyes looking down when Elliott decided he would help by tugging on the shower curtain. This caused the 2 pound hand weight to fall off the 6 foot bookshelf directly onto the back of my head. I could sense it happen and feel it happen before it happened. It's like it happened in slow motion. And as I am writing this I can actually feel it happen again.
The pain, as you might imagine, was quite intense. I told Elliott to go play in his room for a minute and I ran to the kitchen where I put my head down on the island and silently sobbed for a few minutes. There was an immediate huge welt on my head that kept growing by the second.
I rubbed my head to make sure that 1) it wasn't bleeding all over and that 2) I didn't feel any noticeable cracks in my scalp. I'm not sure what I would have done if I did. Then I worked on composing myself. I told Elliott he could come back out of his room. And somehow, miraculously, we finished taking pictures.
That took all of 2 minutes and then I called Michael and told him he needed to come home from work so I could go to Urgent Care. I had called my doctor to see if there was any way I could get in to see him. It was Friday afternoon so the receptionist just laughed at me (not really) and told me I should go to the ER. Not wanting to spend $125 and 10 hours waiting, my compromise was Urgent Care. It is $40 and I had to wait 5 minutes.
The doctor did a very comprehensive neurological evaluation, that I passed with no difficulty, and a physical exam of my head and neck. I felt comfortable not getting an MRI and he felt comfortable not ordering one. Then he made me promise that Michael wouldn't leave me alone for at least 24 hours and that I would go straight to the ER if I had any brain injury symptoms.
Back at home, less than an hour later, we banished Michael to the bedroom and continued with the photo shoot. This time with no injuries.
We also did Spencer's favorite things photo. I had a really hard time with this one because the camera wouldn't flash since it thought the TV screen was bright enough. It was the backdrop though, not the main part of the picture.
No problems getting the flash when taking a picture above the TV.
Playing with the settings.
So, finally, this is what we came up with:
And the 2015 DAD collage:
A trip down memory lane.
Elliott was such a bum in 2013. I could not get him to smile for anything. I'm going to remind him of this until he's about 40.