Thursday, January 26, 2012

Our Christmas picture.

Image 3

This was the picture I used for our Christmas cards this year. I was SO very happy with how it turned out!

As you might guess, getting Vivian to cooperate for a picture is quite a feat. First of all, I cannot let her have any inkling that we are going to take a picture or she will take off her clothes and climb under her bed. Secondly, getting her to wear anything other than a Dumbo, 101 Dalmatians or Curious George t-shirt and her beloved strawberry pants is a Herculean task in and of itself.

For this picture I picked Vivian up from school, and I instructed Will and Dots to clean out everything from Vivian's drawers except for a white 101 Dalmatians t-shirt and some black velveteen pants.

When Vivian and I walked in our house, I pointed out that what she was wearing was no longer clean. Vivian cannot stand the thought of her clothes being dirty, so she immediately headed upstairs to change (I have worked really hard to teach her not to begin changing her clothes until she is in her own room - again no easy task!). Vivian opened her drawer, looked at me questioningly and asked, "What happened to my clothes?" I told her they were all dirty and were being washed. That seemed to satisfy Vivian as she promptly changed into the only things left in her drawer.

I then suggested that we take Tucker for a walk. Vivian liked that idea, so we found Tucker's leash and walked with him and Dots and Will outside. It was chilly that day, and as we walked down our block, Vivian agreed to put on the sweater I had brought only because nothing else was available.

When we arrived at a park near our house (a favorite destination of Vivian's on walks), lo and behold, someone was there with a camera! I convinced Vivian that we should ask these nice people to take a picture of Tucker. Vivian was amenable to this idea and sat right down next to Tucker. She even pulled on Tucker's lips and told him to smile!

Vivian was very cooperative as the photographer snapped off pictures "of Tucker." I thought we were really pushing our luck, though, when the photographer wanted to move the kids to a second spot in the park. Vivian initially balked, but Will and Dots convinced her that Tucker needed her help for his picture and she agreed to move.

For this set, Vivian insisted that Tucker sit right in her lap and she didn't want any part of Will or Dots touching him (I was very afraid Tucker would run off, but fortunately he didn't!). It was in this second location that we got the picture above. I truly think it is one of the best pictures ever taken of Vivian.

To the uninformed observer, these pictures look natural and easy. But now you know the real story!

Christmas 2011b
Notice Vivian's shoes. I had brought some dark shoes for her to wear in the picture, but she was cooperating so unexpectedly well that I dared not rock the boat by asking her to change them. The photographer kindly darkened Vivian's shoes in the picture we used for our card

21 comments:

Mona said...

It may have been a challenge, but the results are beautiful! You have a lovely family. xx

Laura Kurz said...

I thought the picture was so sweet when I saw it at mom's, even sweeter now that I know the whole story! Dots looks beautiful too.

Jan M said...

A wonderful portrait, and love the story behind it!

Maggie said...

Great story and sweet picture!

DawnW said...

Beautiful picture Eloise!! I'm so glad that you're "back" here on your blog! We've missed you!! Looking forward to a post about your Valentine's lunch next month!!! You share the BEST recipes!!

Mom on the Run said...

Beautiful picture....and a great story. Very crafty, Mom!

Les Hon said...

Such a wonderful picture! And, my goodness, what an effort behind it! It definitely was worth it!

psm260 said...

Thanks so much for sharing the "background" of this picture. SO funny and heartwarming!

Kate said...

That is truly the best story ever! I just love checking in on your family and that sweet Vivian. Thank you for sharing. I am so tickled, I feel certain I will be sharing that with Mr. M tonight as we (of so romantically!) sit on the sofa watching mindless tv....

It is a beautiful beautiful photo of your children...and Tucker too!!

Sarah Brooke said...

I don't have any children but I hope when I do I can be as wonderful and patient as you are!

Ellen Kerr said...

You are a genius! And... The pictures are awesome.

AnnieMac said...

The picture turned out just lovely. Your hard work and effort orchestrating it all certainly paid off. Glad to see you posting again.
Andrea

The 5 Bickies said...

This picture is a real treasure. I love the behind the scenes story. You are really clever and certainly know your daughter.

Tami said...

It's a great picture, with a good Mom making it all happen! Love the photo and the story.

JMW said...

What a beautiful photo of you kids! And great background story. You have such a lovely family. Have a great weekend!

JoAnn said...

What a story and what an effort---you are my hero — Superwoman!

Love, JOANN

melissabinmo said...

Beautiful picture!

Jane said...

(in my best Yoda voice) Devious, you are! But the results were terrific. The photo of all of them on the bench is gorgeous as well. I'm happy that YOU are so pleased with how well they turned out - you should be!

Ally said...

Fabulous pic! Your hard work paid off!

Lynne said...

How clever of you! the photos are beautiful.

3 Peanuts said...

Eloise.....I love the story behind the photos too. How clever of you all and I know you will cherish this photo forever. They are beautiful photos!!!