I’m Totally Off My Game This Week.

Today on my way to pick Scarlet up from school, I was so off my game that I trailed two friends of mine into the school gates without thinking to say hello. One has a newborn and two other kids, and the other just sent her oldest to kindergarten.

I have a feeling they were forgiving. More forgiving than I was of myself.

One of the highlights of the day was when I noticed my friend’s daughter whispering with my daughter up in a playhouse and I saw how alike the two girls are with my friend and me. Whispering something good. And probably something a little wrong too.

(Isn’t that the BEST? A newish friend to whisper good/wrong things with?)

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(This is Scarlet with another friend. This friend also has a mom that I whisper good/wrong things with.)

I’ve been sleep-deprived, shockingly (not), because I’m trying to finish editing a semi-big photo job by this weekend, in which I am traveling four hours one way to New Jersey to shoot a wedding. Enter in all kinds of freak-outs there about traveling 8-10 hours in a car without Cassidy, and about shooting in a church for the first time, and a great source told me that many priests don’t like flash. Which is fine, because I sure as heck don’t like flash either. Enter in the Great Lens Freakout of 2013, helped by the same knowledgable source that my favorite CLOSE portrait lenses might not be the best for a wedding. Note, I said CLOSE. Who wants to exchange vows with me right in their faces?? I guess Cassidy did, but only when I married him. Enter lens rentals.

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(The last time I rented a lens was for Scarlet’s 2nd birthday party. We made a big deal out of it since her 1st birthday party was non-existent.)

I’ve also been nursing a sore throat for two days, and it only responds to massive amounts of water and a healthy dose of children’s ibuprofen. Yes, I live life on the edge there. It’s chewable and orange flavored. I took it for post-birth contractions that felt as horrible as labor, and it worked wonders. Chewable Jr. Ibuprofen may be the strongest drug I take.

Speaking of children’s medicine, Des had his 15-month well checkup today, even though he’s not 15 months yet. It was hard this time, because it was our last appointment with Des’ doctor before the doctor retires. Des sees a different doctor from Scarlet mainly because this doctor was there with a kind smile the day Des was rushed to the NICU, and he’s been reassuring ever since.

He has seen Des grow. He has seen me grow into a calmer mother of two.

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We mostly talked about development – all good. I was surprised to learn that Des is very tall! I suspected so but it was never at that 90th-100th percentile until this time. His doctor made sure to write me a note and tell me over and over how normal and bright Des is. It took me a long time to see it because I was scared. Des is happy and healthy. It’s hard to be too worried about his development when you see his smile. When the nurse walked into the room and Des was cruising from one chair to another and he turned to look at the nurse and yelled a perfect, “Hi!” When we rolled a ball back and forth and he played with shapes.

Did I ever tell you that he carries his favorite lamb blanket, “Lambie”, in his mouth like a cat carrying a kitten, and he maneuvers through the house like that. Crawling, climbing, cruising. With his “kitten” in his mouth.

There were a few times when he was transitioning his nap schedule, in which he fell asleep while playing:

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“Honey, I broke the baby!”

I just want my family to be happy and healthy, and doing what they love. I have no interest in taking away the love and passion, and dreams and wishes, of anyone in this world. If that means we get a cat, (shudder), then we get that cat named Dinah that Scarlet wishes for every night on every star and every birthday candle, and every wishbone.

If I have to step it up, and step it up well, I will do that.

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I had a fabulously inappropriate conversation with Scarlet at bedtime:

Me: “I’m sorry I’m an a-hole sometimes.”

Scarlet: “You’re not an a-hole!”

Me: “Sometimes I get too annoyed.”

Scarlet: “Sometimes you’re mad, but still nice. You’re one of the good guys, Mama.”

It means so much to hear her say that. This girl, who sees through people like glass. She thinks I’m a good guy.

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There have also been wonderful, wonderful emails from old friends with the highest compliments known to mankind (or me) in them. I’ve been so flustered and off my game that I can’t even answer eloquently. If you’re out there, this is my eloquent response. This is where you can find it. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Personal emails are like Christmas, candy and sunshine. So are blog comments. So are blog friends.

I’m totally off my game this week, but only in my messy, frazzled, stressed ways. I’m totally off my game, but I’m also riding this wave of excitement just the same. I won’t be off my game on Saturday at the beautiful church wedding.

I simply won’t allow it. If this is where it has to happen, then this is where it has to happen.

And there’s no turning back from here.

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


I’m Totally Off My Game This Week. — 91 Comments

  1. I've been feeling off my game for weeks! And then I get back on for a bit and its awesome and then I fall back off again. The good news is that I'm learning how to get back on faster.

    You will rock that wedding this weekend.

    And your boy is so sweet. Mine also has those two bottom front teeth that take center stage in every smile. I've never loved toothy baby grins but I love those two teeth.

    • Thanks, Tricia! These are actually old photos (I am the WORST, at least I don’t do this with clients) and he has since gotten a big old top tooth. It’s making his smile look kinda hillbilly, but totally adorable.

  2. I think that conversation about being an a-hole is not inappropriate at all! I've always put it out there with my kids, and let them know I'm human. Now that my oldest is 15 he knows he can talk to me about anything, probably because I've said it first. And if you get a cat you will end up loving it, I promise!

    • haha, thanks! It’s just that she’s four and I said, “a-hole.” I guess it could be worse and I could have said out the whole word.

      I think a cat in inevitable. Gulp. I’ll make the best of it. They make nice photo subjects, right? Yes, I’ll go with that.

  3. Even when you feel "off your game" your post reflects otherwise! This wedding sounds like an amazing opportunity and you will be great, as always, I'm sure. The pic of Scarlet with her friend laughing is fantastic! So much joy there!! As for the ones of Des – OMG, they bring back so many memories! My boys used to totally fall asleep on the floor or in a bouncy thing…oh how I wish they would do that now! One last thought…you are definitely not an a-hole.

    • Thank you! I'm so glad to be validated as not an a-hole from some of my favorite blogging friends. Des fell asleep in his highchair the other day and it was making us all laugh, but then we felt badly and moved him comfortably to a bed.

  4. You already know that last week and early this week, I was completely off my game and you totally reassured me, so you best believe I am here to reassure you. I know you can do it, but you aren't alone. As you know I have been there and probably be there again with you real soon, too. And definitely both my girls starting school has thrown my schedule out of whack again, too. So, yes I know this feeling way too well right now. But like Scarlet said, "You are truly one of the good guys!" And very happy to have you as my friend, too!! 🙂

    • Yes, the first week of school hasn't helped things, has it? So feeling it from you too, my friend. Too much work, not enough money, kid emotions, headaches, fear of fall/winter. Does that about cover it? So glad you're in my life!

  5. I get the same way right before big events. But when I get to that moment, everything tends to fall into place. Luckily I have people around me that remind me of that. I always want everything perfect and to go above and beyond expectations. I guess it's our way of preparing. If only it wasn't so anxiety-ridden!

    I agree with Scarlet. You are one of the good guys. You're going to rock that wedding!

    • Oh, I know. I was such a wreck the month or two before my wedding. Terrible, really. I think it’s more work to do this than it is to wear a white dress and recite some vows, not even from memory! It’s more about what comes after. Marriage in that case. More experience in this case. Growing is hard for me.

  6. This is so crazy that you are saying how frazzled you are. I literally just wrote a post about feeling similar this week. Des and Scarlet are adorable! I was cracking up when I saw the pictures of Des falling asleep playing. It reminds me of my son peeking under the door waiting for me outside the door while Daddy is with him so I can shower. He has fallen asleep on the floor with his face looking under the door in that position! lol

  7. I understand frazzled. It comes and goes, but lately it just seems to come and come and come! I love those pics of Scarlet and her new friend, and love Des falling asleep while playing. My youngest is the only one who ever did that and she was always in that same position….which would kill me since I am so out of shape!! Happy Thursday 🙂

  8. We all fall off our A-game every now and then. You'll bounce right back. 🙂 Love the sleepy time pics. Made me go AWWWWWW (out loud!). And as much as I despise and fear cats, we now have one. He showed up on our doorstep one day and never left. The kids instantly fell in love and I couldn't take that from them.

    • I think they're very gross, and not that nice. And I don't want boxes of cat poop, hairballs, and scratched furniture (or limbs) in my house. That said, she'll still have her way, I predict.

  9. {Melinda} I think that's one of the things that motherhood has taught me: resilience and perseverence! An off day, an off week … we're going to have them, but we can't let it rob our joy and gratefulness for our blessings. We have to bounce back and not beat ourselves up. 🙂

  10. Tamara, you are going to rock that wedding like it's going outta style. I wish I'd had you at our wedding (our wedding photographer was a total D-bag, and all of our pics are blurry. I digress…). So many things I love about this post. I love your honesty, your ability and willingness to bare your soul with us. I love your beautiful pictures. That mischievous look on Scarlet's face and the pic of Des folded over asleep on the floor are precious and priceless. Good luck this weekend. Have fun and believe in yourself!

    • haha! D-bag! That is almost what I said other than a-hole! Oh man – glad to not be a d-bag photographer. I wish I could go back in time and photograph your wedding. Thank you for the wonderful support. It's seriously helping me feel so much better.

  11. I am totally feeling the same way. I have had a cold this week and have been feeling just a little bit behind where I need to be. I can feel it lifting a bit today – so I am optimistic that I may be swinging back to my "normal" self. Hope the same happens for you! 🙂

  12. Oh, I love that conversation with Scarlet! Sometimes children know just the right thing to say 🙂 We definitely all have our moments (days, sometimes, in my case) where we feel off our game, but then a really good day comes and you forget you were ever off. Good luck with the church wedding, I'll be down in New Jersey this weekend as well!

  13. That is a fantastic bedtime conversation! Pre-K this week is learning about being "bucket fillers" instead of "dippers," Scarlet was just filling your bucket in return. Sometimes Evanaya says "Mommy, mommy, mom, ma, mommy" a zillion times just so when I say "WHAT?!" all angry and annoyed she can say, "I just love you."

  14. Tamara, don't ever doubt yourself! Even though we have never personally met, I feel like I know you so well through your writing and I can tell you are an amazing parent with two incredible children. And, darn you, when I see pictures like these of your kids, I start to get crazy thoughts in my head about wanting a little one of my own.

  15. I am incredibly frazzled, running exactly like a chicken with her head cut off. Not that I would want to see that type of thing but I imagine that is what I look like. I lead this double daytime life of Super Blogger woman/ mandatory career woman then I come home and become Mommy woman. I am SO frazzled and a lot of it *MAY* be my fault but I am not taking any blame. That pic of Des napping…made my entire day. My baby does that too. I think that is why I love Des so much (apart from his adorable-ness) he is only 4 months younger than my youngest. 🙂

  16. You will be awesome at the wedding!!! And, hopefully the drive is a piece of cake for you!

    You have a lot of big things going on but like you said – family is the most important and your girl is helping you with her incredible response!!

    (and I love that you apologized for being an A-hole even though we all know you aren't and could never be!!!)

  17. Hope you have a safe trip to the wedding. The happy couple will have amazing pictures to remember their day.

    I just love Des's smile, it makes me smile. I love the picture of Scarlet and her friend. I imagine Allison has many moments like that with her bestie.

  18. Oh love .. I have been off my game for the past year and a half and all the sudden it seems like the fog is starting to lift. Lots of new things happening and my smiles are coming more frequently. I know how you feel. It's unnerving to think with so much responsibility we could ever be off our game, but it happens to all of us.

    The best part is that we have friendships like we have created that keep us going. To tell our stories to, to cry when needed, to laugh and make our twitter followers squirm every time you, Janine and I start talking about man candy.

    It's a fact of life. It's all a game ..



    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo


  19. If I feel asleep in that head-on-the-floor position, I would never get up again! The bride and groom are lucky to have you – I know you'll capture all of the emotion of the day – you are definitely one of the good guys, Tamara. Your daughter is an astute judge of character.

  20. I'm off my game too. I'm behind on everything, stressed out about everything. Had a mini meltdown the other night. The fog needs to lift soon. If you need anything, you know where to find me, my friend. And by the way, YOU ARE AMAZING!

  21. Oh I know how you feel. I have been feeling very stretched over the past few weeks, which of course makes me more irritable and the kids constantly fighting in my ears doesn't help either! It's so hard to be a mom! New visitor and follower from LOBS!

  22. You are totally one of the good guys. Scarlet know exactly what she's talking about. I also know that you are not going to be off your game on Saturday. You're going to be cool, calm and collected and you're going to take amazing photos as usual. And STOP worrying about Des! He's perfectly normal and he needs to be tall because Madison is going to be tall. 🙂 ((huggs)) from me and Madison.

    • Yes, he is so normal. I am still recovering from his birth after all this time. He's been nothing but amazing. Perfect for your little girl.

      Thank you for your ever-amazing words. I'm trying to stop worrying about photography and Des – both are growing.

  23. Maybe it has to do with changing into fall, the end of summer, the feeling like we have pressure to do all the things we want to do by the end of the year… I'm thinking to myself, "How can I feel like I need a break when i just got back from vacation?" Just trying to remember that these times will pass – so you need to remember that too. You are "one of the good guys." I could just eat her up. It's almost unbelievable what kids can say. I almost think people will think I'm lying when I share some of the good stuff my kids come up with. Scarlet is just so awesome!

  24. The pics of Des falling asleep where he is at are so totally cute I just want to pick him up and snuggle. Which would wake him up. Good thing it's not practical for me to do this since I'm many, many states over.

    People can't be 100% all of the time. It's exhausting. Take the children's ibuprofen and nurse your throat back. Your body says it needs a break. 🙂

  25. haha! That reminds me of the famous "Family Guy" sketch with the baby saying some variation of "Ma" for like 60 seconds and she finally responds with "WHAT?!" And he says, "Hi!" and runs away.

  26. Okay…so many things in this post. Where do I start? 1) Good luck on your photography job! If it's a Catholic church, flash is definitely a no-no. And even then, some priests/parishes might make you stay in the wings or in the back. No up-close lenses there. 2) I hope you feel better…illness seems to be going around these days, and it sucks. 3) So jealous that Des will actually fall asleep while playing! Our kids just become shrieking banshees. 4) Here's hoping you get back in the groove soon. Just know we're all here for you!

    • Is it weird that every time I hear about the flash thing, I'm happy and relieved? I'll still bring my flash unit but I hate that thing. Although this may be challenging with my monster lens. Ah well. Priests have the final say.

      That last thing you said? Just made my whole day feel all right.

  27. ha! Those thoughts aren't so crazy, unless you're dead set against them. But hey, I'm dead set against cats and that's totally going to happen. (shudder)

    Thank you for your kindness. I feel like I know a lot about you too from your posts.

  28. Aw, they'd totally be friends! Although four months is a wide gap at this point and your guy would be off and running way ahead of Des. Frazzled is just a good word today.

  29. Thanks! So nervous but only about lens/lighting and having enough time to get a feel for what I want to do. I know that when all is said and done, I'll do right by them.

  30. Twitter always makes my day. You and Janine always make my day! I'm so glad you're feeling back on. I think we can never really fall too far off our games. Our kids and awesome friends help keep us back on.

  31. Awww, thank you. I hope they feel that way. I seriously can't wait. I'm scared but I'm also excited, like I can't wait to do this. To rock this.

    Can you imagine falling asleep like that??

  32. I pretty much almost forgot about the importance of whispered secrets among friends by the end of this post. And whispered secrets was my point. But then I got distracted by the good guys. And friend, I’ll tell you this RIGHTNOW. You are one of them. So much.

  33. Sore throat for a few days…my diagnosis? Herpes.


    I think that you captured that candid moment between two friends perfectly. Isn't is awesome watching your child make friends? And watching how they interact? Makes me tear up.

    I think that Des flashing a smile at the nurse tells me that he knows how to work it already. Ladies man.

    Love you babe and you got this gig in the bag.

    • Ha! Luckily it went away after two days. Do heroes sore throats last longer than two days?
      Anyway, seeing you here is like Christmas. And now I will do a great job tomorrow because you said so.

  34. Its okay to be off your game…sometimes we need to lose our balance a bit to find our center. I’ve been off and on for a while. Yesterday was totally off but I’m back now – you’ll be too. And that picture of Scarlet and her friend – I love it. I can’t remember the last time I had a moment like that or a friend like that. Oh, the innocence of childhood. Much love!! (Oh, and Des falling asleep while playing – priceless!! Wish I could bend that way)

  35. Sounds like everyone is doing good and you are busy. Good job at his 15 month check up!

    And why are you afraid to get a cat? Just wondering. I love cats!

    • Just never liked them! I generally don’t like hair, hairballs, vomit, litterboxes, scratched furniture, etc. However, I know they’re not all doing that all of the time!

  36. This must be "off my game" season! This post is resonating with so many of us. Perhaps we need to dial back a bit and somehow find a way to chill. I almost dread weekends now because I put off so much stuff to do until then. Then I dread Monday because I know that I haven't done all my weekend stuff and now I'm back at work! How crazy is that? LOL

    I just know your photo shoot today was great. As always, I adore your photos of your babies. They are super photogenic. I honestly felt like doing like Des and just curling over and sleeping in place this afternoon after painting the garage door and fighting with a power tool in order to get a curtain rod up!

    Here's hoping that you're feeling better and that the sore throat is history. Scarlet is right; you're one of the good guys!

    • Thank you so much! The sore throat is two days gone, luckily. Allergies or a small cold or both.

      The photo shoot did go very well. I'm so relieved. I was really nervous!

  37. I'm late but I know your first church wedding was fabulous! I hope they give permission to share on the blog. Your photos are so amazing. I've often wondered what a wedding shoot of yours would be like. We all feel off at times, but from following you…I know that you brought it this weekend! Absolutely, they forgave you….we all recognize being "in a zone", well us multi-tasking women do!

  38. sorry you are frazzled! i hope the wedding went great and the lens worked out 🙂

    those two kids of yours…man. beautiful and so much personality! i love the things scarlet says – can't wait to hear the gems des comes up with!

  39. I’ve been totally off my game this week too. I don’t know what it was but just.so.off. I was doing things but could feel that my heart wasn’t totally in it. I mean, I didn’t even post a picture on Instagram all week!! Anyhow, I hope that the wedding went well and I can’t get enough of pictures of Des. He is the cutest. And that conversation with Scarlett? Oh my heart. I’ve had conversations like that with my kids too. It does mean so much to know that they think we’re one of the good guys.

  40. Love this, and everything you write/shoot. I feel like this all the time. Running on empty, doing too much all the time and I don't know how to slow down and center. I keep thinking about what Ilene said in her recent post about negative beliefs. My negative belief is I don't have enough time. I haven't sorted it out but I'm on my way.

  41. I'm sorry that I'm like a broken record every time I comment on your blog posts, but only you can make me laugh and then have tears well up at the same time! I love how you live life on the edge 🙂 I'm right there with ya, although I take it a step further and take 1 adult Ibuprofen, but God forbid not 2 🙂 And I'm so happy to hear that Des's checkup went well. It's so easy for us mamas to let our minds wander and worry! Love those photos of him folded up napping lol. And I loved loved loved your fabulously inappropriate conversation with Scarlet.

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