Monday, March 29, 2010

Hellooo Empty Wallet...

I really REALLy like matching brother sister outfits. The only problem? It is hard to match an older boy with a younger girl without making the boy look to babyish. I match when I can and then I take pictures to remember how cute they are!

HOWEVER...I have very recently discovered how very very easy it is going to be to match a baby sister with a big sister. I mean everything comes in matching or I'll just have to search a little bit harder to find things to coordinate with big brother. Fun!!!

Also we may have a name. Again it is not set in stone but we both really like Ann Elizabeth. Ann is my middle name and my Mom's middle name and Elizabeth is my cousin's name...and we just like both of those names together. We would probably call her "Annie" for short when she is little also. I like the idea of calling her Ann Elizabeth but Daddy says it's too long. Noah does not like this name and Lilly doesn't care if we call her anything at all... so we'll see. Thought on the name? Be honest!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sooner or Later...

Yes sooner or later I knew this would happen. I knew that I would get a comment from someone about the food allergy precautions that have to be taken for Noah that would make me want to either
b)punch them in the mouth
c)both a and b

And so it happened and the answer is c. I was minding my own business in the Family Dollar of all places and I turn the corner with my little basket and get in line to pay for my stuff when I cannot help but overhear two women having a loud conversation just a couple of feet away from me as they bewail and complain the inconvenience of not being able to send chocolate and nut candy to school for the upcoming Easter festivities. The are really giving it down the road and one of them said, "People just go crazy over the peanut thing, people are crazy, it's just ridiculous." REALLY!?!

I'm sorry lady that it inconveniences you to have to make such events at school non-life threatening for my six year old who is just beginning to understand that 98% of the goodies and treats stocking the Easter candy aisle he will not be able to enjoy.

I seriously thought for a few minutes about getting out of the checkout line and marching over to them and informing them that I was the CRAZY woman who apparently made their life so hard and that they were welcome to accompany me next time I had to inject my son with epinephrine shots and then accompany us to the emergency room while he panicked and cried and was very very very sick. But I didn't. I'm sure the look on my face gave away my emotions and I knew if I tried to say anything at all I would just tear up and cry so I held my tongue. I also know that they had no idea that anyone was around whom this might offend and I know that they were speaking out of ignorance. So I let it go...I guess.

Instead I"m choosing to focus on all of the wonderful, fantastic, loving, people that the Good Lord has chosen to bring into my life that are 100% supportive and protective of Noah and his needs.
His teacher (Ms. Lesley) and his principal (Mr. Tyree) have been saving graces in my book and have went above and beyond the call of duty to keep him safe and to keep him included in everything a normal Kindergartner gets to do. My friends who have never once failed to make birthday parties safe and fun and he's never ever told me he felt left out at all!!!

So I know this post has been a downer but I've had that sort of day, and sometimes I just need to vent!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where to Start?

There is so much to catch up on it makes me tired to think of where to start. So I'll start with the most important I suppose!

Dad was released from the hospital after having a PIC line inserted in his arm for permanent IV access. He goes back to the hospital every day to get his IV antibiotics. He will do this for another week. He meets again with a kidney specialist and an infection specialist next week to see what the status of all his tests are then. He is feeling some better, but is still weak. He is very glad that they decided he didn't have to remain the entire two weeks in the hospital! I'm still praying that all of this stuff resolved when the meds are finished.

I did end up testing positive for strep as did Travis. We finished our meds and I was relieved when the stomach virus hit poor Lilly full force. We were up all night earlier in the week and the poor little thing threw up probably 30 times in one night. It's been five days and she is still having some stomach issues but I'm hoping that runs it's course soon.

Travis left work Friday with the stomach bug having hit him. He was sick AGAIN all day Friday and still doesn't feel well today.

So I have spent the majority of my week washing sick laundry and lysoling things....

On to happier, non sick related things....we had an ultrasound on Monday and the tech informed us that we are expecting another baby GIRL! We are very shocked because we both thought this baby was a boy but we are very excited. Dr. Gass says that everything on the ultrasound looks exactly like it should and we are thrilled! The tech on Monday wouldn't give us a for sure answer that the baby was a girl because of the way she was laying. Soo...we made an appointment with the lady at Precious View to confirm. She saw the baby from several different angles and said that she felt 99.9 percent certain this baby is a girl. She also said that her cord was between her legs and there was a teensy chance it could be hiding something but from every other angle she felt confident it is a girl... I do have to have another ultrasound in April because there were a couple of other pictures from the ultrasound that they couldn't get because of baby's position so I guess we'll have a third opinion! After the ultrasound at Precious view i got to keep a dvd of the ultrasound and at one point you can see the baby was very sweet! She also kept putting her little hands up by her face and eyes.

I am sure some other things happened this week but at the moment I am failing to recall what any of them are....

Oh yeah and we are gearing up for the UK game...see Lil's excitement. She's saying "Go Big Blue!"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quick Update

For those of you who know, Dad was hospitilized yesterday with fluid surrounding his heart and his lung and a serious infection. We found out today that it is an infection in the sac surrounding his heart. He will be in the hospital for 2 weeks on very strong IV antibiotics.

Needless to say, I am very worried and but I am having faith that God will see us through this. I also am asking my friends to please remember him and mom in prayer.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and I will try to update as I can.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Yep I tredged my sick self to the doctor this morning and after they gouged a rather large cotton swab down my throat it was confirmed that I do indeed have strep.

I got very little sleep last night because my dratted ear is hurting as bad as my throat. However, I took a mega dose of antibiotic today and am willing myself to be better by tomorrow. I am going to drink a half gallon of acai juice and green tea and see if I can't resemble a person tomorrow.

I apologize to all my poor clients I have had to reschedule but I promise you will thank me to keep your kiddos from getting this, it's no fun.

Travis is still looking like death warmed over... I suppose he'll be on the mend soon enough! Send some healthy thoughts are way and I'm pretty sure if the sun would pop out and the weather would warm up I would feel immensely better.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just Great

The kids just got well from strep and ear infection. My dad had severe strep last week and was very nearly hospitalized and is still not well. Travis had to go to the doctor today and has strep and a very high fever. Lilly has now had diarrhea today and guess what else?

My throat is killing me and I've got chills. Fantastic....there is no time for mommy to be sick.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Well I am on a kick to get some things done in this house before baby #3 arrives and on the list included curtains.

I got REALLY industrious not too long ago and made valances to go on my french doors and they actually turned out better than I expected. So...I researched how much the fabric and lining would cost me to make the bedroom curtains and I found some that were actually the same print and a little less expensive than buying all the stuff to make them (and they were lined too). I would have some lovely photographs to show you but I bought the wrong rods (they weren't heavy enough) so I'll try to get the correct rods sometime before this wild week is over and maybe I"ll manage a picture or two.

That's about as exciting as it gets around here today. I've had busy studio sessions all weekend and this evening and the rest of the week...but I'm trying to accomplish as much as possible while I still feel good.

On a baby 3# is moving around...alot!!! I can't wait for Monday to get another peek at him/or her. Just for fun, leave me a comment and tell me your boy/girl vote. On the name front...we actually have a few for boys and girls that we can both civilly agree to. (OK Noah doesn't agree to them but moving right along...)

Lilly's temper tantrums have actually g0tten a little better. I really think the sinus infection and all the meds she was having to take were contributing to them. She has been in a much better humor the last few days. She's still into everything but at least we're having not so many meltdowns.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Counting down...

The official ultrasound date is one week from Monday. I will be approaching 22 weeks when I have my ultrasound. We are in count down mode. This thing is halfway over at the latest. If this baby make's his/her appearance like Lilly did it has been halfway over for a while.

I'm trying not to panic at how little planning I have done....I mean I have looked at some pictures online but that is it... does help to know that I since I stay at home I won't have to line up child care and I have totes of newborn clothes for both genders. I plan to breastfeed again hopefully if all goes well. Does any of this count as planning and being prepared?

I also realize that when babies are born things do not always go as planned, so I suppose I am jumping the gun anyway!

So I will blissfully await the arrival of this little bundle of joy and try to convince myself I am prepared and ready....and I suppose after we find out what it is on the 22nd I will commence on my most favorite part of readying one's self for a new! Oh yeah and arguing with my delightful husband as to what name we are going to pick...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shooting Your Kids 101 Part II

The fun continues. This is really short because I am taking a small break from editing piles of studio sessions and my eyes are crossing. So here goes....

You will read this and think that I am crazy and this couldn't possibly make that much of a difference in your photos but trust me IT DOES. When you are shooting photos of your kids (or dogs or husband etc) get down on their level. Seriously if your toddler is in the floor get on the floor. If they're sitting in a chair, squat down until you're eye level with them. If they're climbed up on the kitchen counter top, for heaven sake put down the camera and move along....haha just had to make sure you were paying attention! For those of you who have had studio sessions with me know that 99.9 percent of the time if I am shooting a baby or toddler I am sitting on the ground and have been known to lay flat on the ground on my stomach in order to get the shot I wanted. Trust me, try this trick and you will be happy.

Why you ask? Ummm I suppose the answer is it puts your photos in proper perspective and they look more natural. When you see a photo shot down on someone it automatically makes their head look bigger and they look smaller as you go down. If you see a photo shot upward at someone (like you are standing or sitting below them) their feet/bottom half look big and the rest of their body gets smaller as you go up. FYI unless you are going for an artistic goal this is the worst possible angle to shoot someone from.

The second part of this lesson is to shoot shoot shoot and then shoot some more. Gone are the days when we had to purchase film to put into our cameras and then pay to develop every shot on the roll. We are in the wonderful age of digital media and huge memory cards are getting cheaper and cheaper so take advantage. When I am in the studio on average I shoot between 150 to 200 shots of one subject. I then narrow down to about 50 good ones and then take in on down to around 30 or 40 great ones. Guess what, your chances are a lot higher of getting a great shot of your baby with the perfect expression if you shoot more shots. You can delete the not so great ones and you'll be left with some great shots of what you were trying to capture. Trust me, your photo quality will go up 100 percent just by shooting more to get the ones you really want. Case in point, I have a photo of Noah Thomas when he was 3 years old hanging in my studio above the mantel. I LOVE this photo. I love the expession on his little face, his eyes, the way his hands are folded, everything. That day I shot 100 shots of him and I got ONE. Yep one...the other ones he's crying or pouting or laying down or picking his nose or you get the picture. But who cares about all the crappy shots, because I got ONE that I will treasure forever.

So let's review

from lesson one

Get the kiddos distracted and don't make them smile and pose

Get close then get closer

From today's lesson

Get down on their level

Overshoot your subject and you'll get better results.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

At the Clinique Counter...

First of all I was very excited at the great feedback from the Photography lesson post so don't worry. I'm working on material for the next one which will continue from the first one. I do plan to get a little more technical as it goes along but I want to stay very very basic at first. So stay tuned.

Secondly I just have a funny little story about our girls day out today. Me and Lil had to do a little grocery shopping but I needed to make a little run to the Clinique counter at Dillard's first. Also it was Clinique bonus time which is all the better. I have a friend from high school who works there and she is so sweet and her name is Candi. Lilly had never met Candi, but today she ran up to her at Dillard's and hugged her like they were long lost soul mates. Interestingly enough Lilly only knows the word "candy" in one context and it is not names. So while I was trying to figure out what I needed, Lilly heard me say Candi and that's all it took. She was determined to figure out which little tube or box held candy...for her. I finally got my purchases made and she proudly carried the bag out of the store rambling about candy the whole way to the car. I then proceeded to have to WRENCH the bag out of the child's hand to get her in the car seat because she was so convinced that it had candy in it....hmmm there is no reasoning with a two year old who thinks her candy is being stolen from her...

Second story about candy today. We had a trying night at prayer meeting. Lilly was in rare form and she was climbing all over the seat and bouncing around and well just generally making mayhem. She manages to dig in the crack of the seat cushion on the bench and wedge out a smartie that had been there since who knows how long. Before I can pry it from her fingers, all the while I'm telling her it's old and dirty, she tells me "No it not!!!" and she eats it. Yep she eats it, it was probably covered in e coli or something but too late now.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shooting Your Children 101

Don't get excited here people...I'm talking about shooting as in shooting in capturing their darling little faces on film...only it's not film anymore. I have decided for your reading pleasure and my writing pleasure (I only like to write about stuff I like anyway...I know it's a little selfish) I am going to post a few series about how to get some really great photos of your kids. Yep without a fancy camera, studio lights or a gazillion props. All you need is a cute kid, a cute husband, a cute dog, or borrow your neighbors kid. (Just perhaps don't say it's because Jessica taught you how to shoot them...)

We are starting at the beginning. I mean the beginning...forget about shutter speed and f-stop and ISO (if you know what any of that stuff is anyway). We're going to the bare bones basics of shooting great kid photos.

Um...stop trying to make your kid pose and smile and look at you. By nature children do not sit still and smile and say cheese and it's weird to try and make them do that for a photo. Alright I know you want a few photos before they grow up of them smiling and looking but for now we are going to focus on letting them do something that is natural to them. Let them look at a book, or a small toy, or a dandelion. Anything to get their attention where they will sit in one spot for a moment. A great great photo op is to get them interested in looking at something outside of a window. The window keeps their attention and the natural light from a window cannot be beat when it comes to photographs. This technique not only works for busy toddlers but also for those school aged kiddos who are famous for the awful fake forced smile. Let them be themselves and catch their natural expressions.

When they are busy with whatever it is they are looking at/playing with/ you can snap some photos while they are engrossed in whatever they're doing. Then whistle or say their name or click your tongue or whatever until they glance up at you. Then shoot several photos of that soft look in their eyes when they're a teensy bit distracted. Trust me, it's worth it. Then if they want to continue to look at you, sing a little song or rhyme, or whatever and if they smile great, if not, you probably just got some fantastic shots anyway.

The second really basic thing I'm going to talk about is really really basic but it never fails to improve someone's photography skills. There is a saying in photography that if your photos are not good enough you're not close enough. I think this rule applies for most subjects but especially for babies/toddlers/kids/pets. In comparison to the background they are small things. So instead of zooming in with your camera actually walk closer to your subject. When you think you're close enough zoom in a little more and you probably have it. The best thing is to eliminate some of the background and anything else that is going to distract your from your focal point . Some of my very favorite photos that I've shot have actually cut off the top of the child's head but it is a perfect viewpoint to capture facial expressions and those eyes.

So I think that's enough for today but I'll think of more to add later. And if this bored you to death please leave me with a commment begging me to go back to talking about something...anything else.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sick update

Yep...they're sick. We made it into the office this morning and Noah has strep and an ear infection and Lilly has a sinus infection, and eczema flareup and asthma flareup. Fun times...then I trudge to CVS with two sick children and they claim that there has been no prescriptions called in for Parsley. I call the pediatricians office back and assure me that they were and that they will double check. So I have to wait some more and finally give up and call Travis to pick up the meds on his way home.

Now I am home attempting to get them both to nap. Noah is on the couch with a cartoon and Lilly is jumping like a monkey in her crib....did I mention decongestants hype her up a teensy bit?

BTW did anyone notice that there is snow forecasted for in the morning? Surely this is wrong because it is now March and I think we should see some sunshine....I feel sure it would dry up all the snot that's at my house. (Sorry for the gross visual picture)