What's Going Down

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Now, if you don't mind, the Tooth Fairy has some work to do. Good Night!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


While I could drag these pictures out for a couple of weeks, I won't.

Here's what we've got going on here lately:
Miles thinks he's SO smart. Those are my glasses. He says, "I'm mommy! I'm pretty!" If I try to argue that, in fact, I am the mommy, there are furious looks.

Here's a fun shot of Matt/Miles. Matt's head gets rounder and rounder every year. He maintains it's hair. I think it must be something else. Can't think of what, though.
Lucas with the new blanket I bought/made him. I love it. My mom will not.
We had a fabulous Memorial Weekend. We were spoiled from Matt's work with free babysitting on Friday night. We went out for dinner (took Lucas with us) and to Target. That's our staple date, apparently. All roads lead to Target.

On Saturday we did nothing I can recall during the day and then attended a Corn Boil at our church. Delicious! We entertained some great friends (Hi, Alecia! Gary!) afterwards. Attended church on Sunday (of course!) during which I fell asleep while feeding Lucas in the Mother's Lounge. Oops!

On Monday morning we headed back to the church for the Annual Breakfast. Again, any meal I don't have to prepare is fabulous by me! Had some other friends (and their kids) over for a BBQ Lunch. Had a picnic dinner from Subway at the park ($5 Footlong! ... stupid song!).
So these pictures are from Subway/Park. This cool tiled wall was outside Subway.
Almost a graduated Kindergartener!
Matt shot this of me... nursing Lucas at the park. Thank you Matt!
And the kids being silly. Pretty standard.

Oh yeah, and this kid, who was just sitting in his carseat, smiling his heart out.
Which I later came to realize was because he was leaving me a lovely mess in his diaper/pants.

And finally, a couple shots from the sweet spot in my kitchen during the sweet light of sunset. I wish I could bottle up the personality of Miles and send it out to each of you. He's just that fun.

A lovely couple of shots of the girls, who were being friendly and loving for a change:
Cuz I'm feeling guilty that Anna doesn't have any pictures of her by herself:

And check out the cheese on this one!
And lastly, no seriously, this is the last one... what we're sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for over here:
Sorry for inundating you with 83 kajillion pictures. I hope you're over it soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

And here we go...

Hi everyone. Just a warning that if you read past this note that you are about to read about a childbirth. There will be words about body parts. So, you may want to skip this post.

So, here we go. Wednesday evening (April 2nd) I was feeling just plain tired of being pregnant. So much so that I wrote a letter to my unborn child. As I was only 38.5 weeks pregnant, I assumed it was an effort in futility. None of my other children have been born until I was at least 39weeks and some-odd days along. So, as a last-ditch effort, we decided to do that thing that married people do sometimes. We'd heard it could help. It certainly helped get us into this situation.

At any rate, we had a late start at our efforts (I feel so dirty) and therefore didn't "wrap things up" until about 12:30am. I immediately noticed some bloody show. Good sign. I told Matt and he ignored me. He went to bed. I was super excited, however. By the time Matt was asleep, I was already having some wimpy contractions. I stayed up and read a book. The contractions weren't really getting harder, but I did notice that they were fairly consistent. I also noticed that they didn't really hurt that much like I remembered contractions hurt. Mostly it just felt like a backache. Whatever. Keep reading my book.

Around 1:30am I got bored of reading and decided to waste some time at the computer. Fortunately, both Amber and Becky were online and were kind enough to chat with me. I really wasn't 100% sure if it was labor or not, because while the contractions were mildly annoying, they didn't really hurt all that much. Finally, I decided to time them. They were coming between 3 and 5 minutes apart. But they didn't hurt! Well, they didn't HURT! I guess I just kept thinking that I needed to wait to go to the hospital until they HURT!! If you know Miles's birth story, then you know that would probably be a bad move (1.5 hour labor, barely born at the hospital).

Around 2:30am, I figured I should probably tell Matt. Make him get up. I went upstairs and made an effort at getting him up. He rolled over and mumbled. He wasn't real pleased. I still wasn't in a great deal of pain, but I was worried about how fast labor was going to progress. I figured I was fine for a while longer. I went back downstairs and tried to play some Websudoku.

When I realized that it was taking me WAY too long to finish a board due to my need to stop and concentrate through my contractions, I figured it might really be time to start getting ready to go. And unlike last time, I already had my hospital bag packed. Phew! So, around 3:30am, I finally went up and woke Matt up. I told him I was calling our wonderful friend to come over and stay at our house with the kids. After I called, I calmly and rationally gathered my bags. I managed to get Matt out of bed. We left for the hospital around 3:45am. The hospital is about 2 miles away. We arrived at the hospital around 3:50am. Yes, I know. Very eventful.

Keep in mind that at this point, I'm still not sure that I'm in labor. I'm terrified that they're gonna send me home. Still not having horrific contractions. Just a lot of aching back. I'm fairly certain that the nice people in the Emergency Room thought that I couldn't possibly have been in labor, because I was so calm and polite. Laughing, making jokes, etc. They sent me on up to Labor & Delivery, but I'm sure they thought I'd be going home.

They showed me to a room and checked me. 4am. 3cm. WHAT?! Only 3 centimeters?! I was sure this was going to be my longest labor yet. How rude! So, I laid there for the 20 requisite minutes while they monitored the baby. As soon as that was over, it was time to get up. They told me they'd be back to check on me at 6am. I was not about to have my labor stall out from laying on the bed! So, Matt and I took a lap around the Delivery wing. My contractions were still coming every 2-4 or so minutes. So, we'd walk about 30 steps and stop for me to have a contraction. We got back to our room and Matt begged for mercy. He was exhausted. I was merciful. I told him to go lay down and I'd walk by myself.

So, from 4:45a until about 5:45a, I took some nice slow laps. Pausing to concentrate and breathe. I think this is a good place to point out that I am NOT CRUNCHY. I don't hypnobirth, cloth diaper, co-sleep, etc. But I had already decided that it wasn't worth my time to get an epidural considering that I likely wouldn't be in labor that long. So, during this time of walking and contractions, I was doing a lot of very CRUNCHY visualizing. Imagining my cervix opening and just breathing into my contractions. Letting them do their job, instead of fighting them like I'm guessing I had before. Around 5:45a, I returned to my room, because these contractions were really starting to hurt. I had Matt get up and give me a blessing. It was really so very special.

I went to the bathroom to pee and noticed quite a bit more bright red blood. It was then that I knew we were having a baby. For the next 5-10 contractions (15 minutes), I squatted my the side of my bed. I was still having a ton of pain in my back (um, hello! BACK LABOR!) and so I had Matt put counter pressure on my sacrum. That helped so much. I called the nurses desk and asked them to have someone come in NOW to check me. I continued squatting and moaning quietly through my contractions. More visualizations. Finally around 6:15a, someone came and got me hooked back up to the monitors. I can't even express how much more painful the contractions were once I got in that bed. Another hour of that and I'd have been begging for an epidural. Finally, someone came and checked me. Ta da! 7 cms. The nurse said, "Oh, I bet you'll be wanting something for the pain." To which I totally surprised myself and said, "Um, no, I think I'm good!"

All of a sudden, everyone was in a whirl. You see, I hadn't even been admitted yet. No IV. Nothing. They were shoving paperwork at Matt and asking me questions about previous deliveries and who knows what else. They moved us to a delivery room and fortunately, my midwife was already at the hospital delivering another patient. Yay! It was decided that because I was going to go natural, I didn't need an IV. Music to my ears! I hate needles!!! They got me set up in the delivery room, broke my water and checked me again. 9+ cms. Just a tiny cervical lip. We waited through about three contractions (I say waited. THEY waited. I huffed and puffed and probably screamed a little). But in between contractions, it was the most amazing calm. I felt awesome. I was SO happy. I was laughing and chatting with the nurses and they commented that they'd never seen a woman so relaxed and happy while at 9 centimeters. I really was. We were about to finally meet our baby! I got a little choked up... and then I had another contraction!

When the cervical lip was gone, I was ready to start pushing... and boy was I ready! Get that kid out of me! Here is where I admit to vulgarity. I believe I pushed through 2 contractions before his head came out (turning while he came out... stinking posterior baby!). And I will say that the pain of the contractions is NOTHING to the pain of the kid actually coming out... it hurts. ALOT. Here's the thing though, my brain remembers that it hurt alot, but my body can't. Just 7 weeks later. How is that possible? Anyway, one nice push for his head, one nice push for his body and VOILA! Baby! No tearing, no episiotomy. I couldn't have been more thrilled. 6:43am - Just about 4 hours of what I consider to be labor (I count from 2:30a.)

Lucas latched on right away and nursed for a good hour. Finally, they took him to the nursery to give him a bath.

I absolutely loved my birth experience this time. I felt like I was the one in control. I loved that I was able to walk around and enjoy my contractions that way. I loved that I used visualization and positive self-talk. I LOVED squatting by my bed during those contractions. It felt SO good. I was so pleased that I didn't have to have an IV, or any interventions. I've been eternally lucky with all 4 of my children with no episiotomy or tearing. My recovery was excellent. Now. Onto the neverending joy of a lifetime of Kegels.

I've posted this before, but I'm doing it again because it fits.
Welcome Lucas! We love you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quick! Like a Bunny!

I have updated my website to reflect my new pricing. My schedule for shoots is officially open. I definitely keep my number of sessions limited so that photography isn't a detriment to my family, so if you're hoping for a session this summer, contact me soon! Yay!

If you have any questions about the way my new packages work, please email me. I would love to have the opportunity to field any questions.


For the first person who contacts me through my website (uses the contact form) for a session... 50% off. Yes, that's right. Mention that you saw it on my blog!

Ready! Set! Go!

(Also! Keep your eyes peeled. Contest coming soon.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Welcome to the Comedy that is my life!

So we're in a drought here in FL. I honestly can't remember the last time it rained. Our grass is all but dead, despite watering. So, as you can tell, rain is welcomed with open arms.

Today, I step outside to go get Abbie (walk to pick her up. . . you see where this is going, no?) from school and am met by a blast of humidity and heat. Yick. Also, some slightly ominous looking clouds... but I figured I had about 1/2 hour before rain. It's about a fifteen minute walk to the school, 15 minute walk home... I should be safe.

Well, apparently my ability to estimate the speed at which the clouds were moving was just plain bad. We were about 5 minutes from the school when I noticed a single drop of rain on my arm... within 10 seconds we're in a full-on deluge. I figured that at this point, there's no turning back... I couldn't get home in time to not get soaked. So, forge on...

We stood there in the rain until I was soaked through my underwear. Anna was soaked. Miles was mildly protected by the canopy in the stroller. Only Lucas, protected by the larger canopy of the double stroller and also by a blanket, was spared. The best part was that there were a ton of parents waiting in their cars to pick up their children. I'm sure they were thinking I was a total moron, because I was just standing there grinning ridiculously.

Thank you for the rain!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Here he is.

Yesterday, I promised new pictures of the squirt. Here are a couple.

A couple of notes:
He's a terrific baby.
Very alert, very curious about what's going on.
Needs to see the world around him.
When he's awake, he's SO AWAKE.
Doesn't seem to mind his sisters (especially Anna, who feels the need to smother him with her love.)
Loves Miles.
Smiles only for mom!
Sleeps from 8p-4a eats and goes back to sleep till about 7am.
Spits up more than I would like.
Naps best when swaddled.
Best nurser yet.
Hates the swing, bouncy seat, anyplace that isn't my arms.
Loves to have his back patted.
Doesn't really "get" Dad. Can't figure out who this guy who shows up on weekends is.

Love the pouty face!
Totally has a male-patterned-baldness thing going on.
Has already had his first taste of Ring Pop (courtesy of Anna).
No problems with pooping, even though my diaper budget is wishing he was a once a weeker.
Still sporting the slate gray/brown eyes.
Cutest Kid EVER.

P.S. Birth Story coming soon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yes. Already.

It's been 6 weeks since Lucas was born! Can you believe that?! I realized that I never posted a birth story, and I'm not sure you all really want to hear it... let me know if you're still interested in the comments.

At any rate, 6 weeks! Holy cow that went fast... and also slow. My recovery was SO QUICK that the Saturday after he was born (on a Thursday) we attended a Church Breakfast Thing. And it has been an agonizingly long 6 weeks looking at my gross, flabby body every day. So, I'm overjoyed to be back to the gym.

I went yesterday and did the "Core-Flex" class, which is described as "a training program for men and women, designed to regain, maintain and/or increase flexibility. This class incorporates some Pilates core-method of exercises." It was alot of stretching and hardly made me sweat. Probably good for a first time back class. However, I was barely sore this morning (and we all know that being sore is the sign of a good workout, right?).

However, this morning I went and did the Beginning Yoga class. I swear I was gonna smack that lady around if she made me do one more Downward Facing Dog! It wasn't actually my muscles that were hurting... it was my joints. Ankles, wrists, knees, elbows... gah! I feel SO OLD. I'm hoping that my muscles will start picking up the slack. And yes, I'm very sore... I'll be lucky to get out of bed without help tomorrow.

My goal, besides the weight loss, is that I'd like to run a 5k (I can't believe I'm saying that, I HATE RUNNING) before my birthday. Has anyone done the Couch to 5k program? Yes, that's me, couch level.

Oh, and pictures of Lucas coming tomorrow, okay?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not really a client.

But my first shoot back, nonetheless. This is my best friend (who is sadly without blog, hint hint), Melinda's daughter. She's now 6 months old and the roundest kid you've ever seen. My kids NEVER get this kinda chub.
But I'll be darned if all those rolls don't look fabulous on her.

Monday, May 12, 2008

In short.

It's been unusually dry here lately and our lawn was dying... so we bought a sprinkler head. Saturday was a scorching 96. Yeah. That's hot. See, that's the problem with Florida summers... it's just so stinking hot you can't barely stand going outside. And for the record... it was AFTER the recommended 4pm when these were taken.

Anyway. Sprinkler head. The kids were so darned ecstatic. Pictures, of course.Trying out some different processing techniques here... bear with me. Or let me know what you think... whatever. The haze you see, is actually just water.

That one might be my favorite.
Yeah. That was fun.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Business News!

In the next couple of weeks, I'm hoping to open up my schedule for booking new shoots. I know. You're all jumping for joy. I'll be updating my website to include new pricing/packaging.

Basically, here's the deal, folks. I've got 4 kids. I'm beyond swamped. But I love taking pictures. And I love editing them. And I love my clients. And I've had so many requests for digital files. Taking all of these things into consideration, I've decided to take my business into the "Mostly Sells Digital File Packages" realm. Yes, I'll still offer prints. Especially the Fine Art Gallery Wrap Canvases and LARGE PRINTS that people want to entrust to a professional print lab, rather than your local Wal-Mart (please, if you print your pictures at Wal-Mart, never tell me.)

So, basically, for one flat price, you'll receive your digital files to print as you would like... I'm still working out some details, but get excited, because it's a big deal!

Also!! I'm looking for a couple of 2009 Graduating HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS who would like their senior pictures taken... DEEP DISCOUNT, baby! Contact me for details.

ALSO! I'll be running a contest in the next couple of weeks. The winner will earn a free session with me! So, keep your eyes out for that.

Also! I can't post today without this picture. I'm ordering this for my house... BIG.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Randomness and Incontinuity.

That's about all I'm good for lately.

1. Today is my 8th Wedding Anniversary. Happy us! I really do love him more now than the day we married. He's pretty awesome, as husbands go.

2. Lucas's one month doctor appointment today. Shrimp is 7 lbs. 15ozs. Weight gain is great even though he's only in the 5th percentile for weight... he is, however, in the 75th for height at 22.25 inches. Kid's a freaking bean pole. Are we surprised, really?

3. School is out in one month. From today. I know I should be terrified of an entire summer with no real agenda... but holy cow, I'm looking forward to it. I really loathe that picking up Abbie from school cuts into afternoon naps/errand runs/etc. I'm trying to get the girls in a group music class and dance. Possibly forking out major dough for swimming lessons. So, there'll be something for them to do. I'm also headed back to the gym as often as possible to "work off that flab hanging over the bed" (100 points if you can name that movie reference). So, the kids will be spending quite a few mornings playing at the awesome Kid's Stuff.

4. I have pictures. I'm guessing you would like to see some. Some are old. Some are newer-ish.
Hah! My dad always makes sure to encourage me to take pictures of them when they're not so happy... so that one is for him.
Doesn't that just scream summer? Bubbles and cookie faces?

Hey look! It's me!
I IZ HUNGREZ! FEED ME! Or as Miles would say, "He wants to nurse on your milks."
Let's see... what else do I have?

Pile on dad! This is so classic. Pretty sure this is a required picture for all dads.
No, he wasn't getting into anything. That was his dinner. Yes, you guessed it, spaghetti.
Did I mention he has started giving us honest to goodness smiles when we talk to him? He has. Melt my icy heart.
And finally:
Dude's just chillin' with Mr. Zac Efron.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Ya'll have to head on over to my uber-talented friend Les's blog. She's giving away one of her paintings.

I know which one I've got my eye on!

Good News/Bad News.

The good news is that I no longer look pregnant.

The bad news is that now I just look fat. No, really. I've got an inner tube around my mid-section like nobody's business and my thighs... well, they're just plain scary. Yesterday, I pulled out my old clothes. I don't have a single pair of pants that fit. Not one. My current wardrobe consists of about 7 elastic waist skirts and a pair of capris that I bought last week. I have 3 shirts that don't accentuate the fact that while pregnant I (stupidly) gave myself free-reign to eat as much as I wanted.

Secret Food Confessions (Foods I partook of while pregnant, that I'm now regretting).
At least 2 entire one pound bags of Peanut M&Ms.
Entire batches of chocolate chip cookies.
A whole lot of banana splits.

So, with today being 4 weeks since the kid was born, it's time to buckle down. With that said, starting Monday, I'm giving up sugar. I can't believe I'm typing that. Sugar. How I love thee. How my humongous thighs need thee. It's an addiction and I refuse to be pushed around by it. I know I can't "work out" for another two weeks, but I'll be walking everyday until then (and after too - it's how I get Abbie), and starting May 19th, I'll be at the gym at least 3 times/week.

I'm hoping to lose at least 10 pounds by the time my family reunion rolls around in mid-July. 10 pounds in 10 weeks? Sounds feasible, right? I just know I do NOT want to be "The Fat Sister."

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