Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm back (again)

Ok.  Now I have a few more seconds to type out something.

The girls.

Elizabeth is doing well.  She's 4 months old - crazy.  I like Elizabeth.  I like babies.  I even like newborns.  But?  I love it when they get a little older.  People say that these early days/weeks/months just fly by.  And, they're right.  They really do.  And I do my best to soak up the things that I'll miss about this age.  But I do look forward to her being able to sit up on her own and play and explore.  I don't mourn her getting older yet - I'm happy for it.  Now, when she gets to be about 6-8 months old - I'll probably wish for time to stop again.  But for now, Im happy to see her grow.

She's rolled over from back to tummy a few times.  She grabs things well.  She smiles all the time - she giggles and laughs and it's just infectious.  She's getting better about her head control and can sit in her bumbo for extended periods of time now. She only cries when she's tired/hungry.

We're working on her sleep.  About a week ago, we started letting her "cry it out" at night and I stopped nursing her overnight.  We started giving her a bottle instead of nursing before she goes to bed just so I KNOW she had enough.  The first night, she cried for a little over two hours. The next night, it was 40 mins.  The next 2-3 nights, it was about an hour off and on.  I don't really know because I got a cold and was kinda out of it.  Yesterday she slept from 8pm-6am.  Last night she woke up around midnight but then slept the rest of the, we're getting there.

She's small, well skinny.  We took her for her 4 month check up on Monday.  At 2 months old, she weighed 11 lbs.  At 4 months old, she weight 11.14.  This puts her in the 3% for weight, but she's tall.  She's in the 94% for height.  Or, as Kyle put it - she's like the Heidi Klum of babies!

Abby had the same issue, being underweight - but otherwise happy and healthy. We'll take E back in a few weeks for a weight check to see how she's doing.  I *think* she's done better lately and I feel like she may be gaining more / getting more/ eating more the past couple of weeks.  But, we'll get her checked again and see what her progress is.  I'd like to keep nursing as long as I can, but of course, if I can't produce what E needs - then we'll deal with it.  With me going back to work next week...I'm not super optomistic about my supply improving.  I'm hoping to hold steady, but would not be surprised if it it did with Abs.  My unspoken goal was to make it 6 months breastfeeding.  We'll see.

E spends her days sleeping, eating, smiling, and loving her big sister.  She's a really good baby.  Oh, and one more tidbit to document - she always has her skinny little ankles crossed.  It's the funniest thing.  Such a little lady.

As for Abby?  She's crazy.  She's so much fun.  She's constantly talking - and I know that's old news, but she's really upped her vocab and sentence structure and phrases again in the past few weeks.  Her imagination is awesome.  She makes up stories and songs and asks really good questions and makes really good observations about things all the time.  I'll write more later about specific stuff and phrases - nothing comes to mind at this exact second.

I can't believe she's almost 3.  And then again?  I can.

She's so smart.  I mean, I'm her mom - so yeah - she's a genius and all that.  But, really just objectively, she's done so well learning her numbers and letters and such.  Her newest skill is lowercase letters.  She gets nearly all of them right...sometimes she gets b and d mixed up as well as l and i  But for the most part, she does very well with them.  Our next goal will be counting past 20.  And, I'm not, like, pushing her with this stuff.  I don't really care if she can count to 30 or spell her name by kindergarten or whatever - but she loves learning, so I figure I might as well work on stuff here and there.  A few days ago she told me she made a K and an A and an L and an O on her magna-doodle.  And, she had.  I'm 90% sure they were happy accidents that she then recognized as letters - but still.  Well, except the O...circles are pretty easy.

Ok.  There's an update on the wee ones.  I'm off to go play with them now. :)

I'm back!

Anybody out there?

Sorry I've been gone so long.  There were a few days that I was just simply too busy/tired/distracted to blog.  But then we got some of the wind and rain from Irene and we lost our cable and internet.  And blogging is a little difficult without access to the interwebs, y'know.

Anyway.  I'm back.  I have a lot to blog about - but not really sure where to start or how long I have to write before somebody (elizabeth) needs me for something.

Let's work backwards.

Yesterday Kyle's younger sister moved in with us!  Yay!  She packed her bags and hopped a plane to Boston.  She'll be watching the girls for us while I go back to work (next week! Eek!).  We're super excited to have her around and I'm hoping she'll not only have a lot of fun with the girls, but that she'll really enjoy this new city and have a great overall experience.  Plus, the selfish side of me is happy to have a little family around.  Although - I know those in AR already miss her too. ;)

....well, that didn't last long. E is fussing.  I'll be back.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


The other night, Abby wanted to read a little color book before bed.  On every page, she would tell me what the color was and what the picture (usually an animal) was.  So, she would say "it's a purple zebra" or "it's an orange cat" etc etc.  She likes to tell me the letters in the words too.  So, she'll say "It's a red dog, I see a R E and D"  You get the idea.

We were trying to set the mood for bedtime, so the lights were low.

We get to the last page, which is a yellow something or another, I don't remember. But, because the yellow is a lighter shade, it was a little hard to read in the low lights.

Abby immediately sat up straight and started talking

"Oh no!  It's too dark!  We can't see it.  I know!  I just need to get my flashlight.  I need to get my flashlight so I can see the page because the lights are dark and we just can't see it and I just need to read the color so I just need to get my flashlight.  I will get my flashlight, it's in the bed, I just need to get it right now.  I just need to get it so I can read the page in the book and see the color because I can't see the colors right now because the lights are a little bit dark so I just need to get my flashlight and so I can just see the page now with my flashlight. Yeah.  I can get my flashlight mom!  Then I can just get it, and I can see the color.  We can't read it yet, we have to get the flashlight so we can see it better and we can read it when I get my flashlight, ok mom? ok? ok mom?  mom?  mama? ok mama?  MOM?  I need to get my flashlight so I can see the color, I just need to read the last page but the lights are dark and I just need to get my  flashli-."

...and that's where I interrupted her.  I'd just been staring at her - listening to her explain her actions over and over.  I was mesmerized.  When did she start explaining everything like that?  She seriously rambled and repeated herself for a good two minutes or so before I snapped out of my trance and helped her find her flashlight.  At which point, she cheerfully said "Oh goody!  Now I can see it! Yep.  It's yellow. Y-e-i-i-o-w, yellow"

Friday, August 19, 2011

lil' chef

So, I've been studying.  About photography.  There's a LOT to learn, but I can honestly say I've learned more this past week than ever before.  That *may* be because I'm actually, like I said, studying.

Anyway.  I was working on some technical stuff this afternoon...or, trying to.  I thought it would be more fun with a baby.  I mean, that *is* why we have kids, right?  For photo shoots?

So here are a few from the batch I liked. ;)

This last one, I think, is exactly what E is going to look like as a 90 year old lady - yelling at some young hooligans to get out of her kitchen!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

just us

The girls and I spent some time playing with the computer camera this morning.  Lots of silliness, lots of giggles, lots and lots of blurry pictures. 

But, I think these pictures sum up this point of our summer (life?) nicely.  And when I look back on them in x many years - I'll remember what it was like. 

Abby in a t-shirt and diaper, hair unbrushed, empty oatmeal bowl left at her desk.
Elizabeth - wide eyed and along for the ride - wearing Kyle's favorite Nike onsies.
Me - hair back, no makeup, in a shirt I've probably worn for more than 1 day in a row

all of us happy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

more time

I could use some.  If you have free minutes to spare, feel free to put them into my account.

I have a lot to recap.  I don't particularly like writing re-cap posts.  I'd much rather blog about things as they happen.  That allows me to be more detailed and talk about things other than "this happened then this and this"  I like blogging about my thoughts, ideas, emotions, in addition to the day to day things.  But, I'm still juggling things and trying to find a routine (just when school is about to start).  I want to blog every day.  At least every other day.  I'm happiest when I can do that.  But lately, if I get one post a week, that's good.  And that doesn't make me happy.

But then, at night, when I have time to sit down for the first time all day and actually type things out?  I don't.  I find myself unwinding by reading other blogs, catching up on facebook and my boards...if, that is, I don't immediately crash.  By the time I've caught up on those things, my eyes are drooping and the last thing I want to do is blog.  Which isn't a good excuse, but I'm just tired at the end of the day.

I actually think going back to work in a few weeks will allow me to be more productive in a lot of areas.  Blogging on my lunch break was a good routine last year, so maybe I can keep that up.  We'll see.


So, my parents came to visit.  It was really good to see them and to let them meet Elizabeth and bask in the little person Abby has become.  We kept things pretty low key.  We went into the city once to take Abs to the Children's Museum.  But, mostly, we hung out at or close to home.  It was nice.  Abby enjoyed the extra attention of course and it was nice to be able to run a few errands without the girls in tow.  I love living where we do, but I miss my family a lot too.  It was really great that they were able to make the trip.

Thanks mom and dad for that.

Elizabeth is still doing the baby thing.  She's almost rolling over, but not quite there yet.  Like, 96% there.  She drools a lot, chews on her fingers a lot, and smiles a lot.  She's not sleeping through the night yet, but she's getting better.  Some nights she still wakes up twice, but more often she's only waking once.   She goes down around 6:30 and, on a good night, will sleep until 3 or 4.  She often wakes up again around 5 because it starts getting light, but she'll go back to sleep.

I'm 400% confident that she would be sleeping through the night if I could get her on a regular nap schedule.  She naps well, and she naps several times a day, but the times differ.  It is clear that she sleeps better at night when I am able to keep her on a 9am, 1pm, 4pm nap schedule.

She's not very big yet.  I mean, I think she's growing some - I just bought size 2 diapers, so that has to say something.  But she's not one of these squishy chunky fat babies.  She's very lean.  Abby was too, but Abby was underweight.  We have a doc appointment at the end of the month, so we'll get an official weigh in then.  I mean, other than being kinda lean, she's very happy and otherwise seemingly healthy, so I'm not worried about her.  I just want to make sure she's growing some.

In other news.  I did my first wedding photography last week.  It was a low key, backyard wedding.  Perfect for my first gig.  I had a really great time and I think I even managed to get a few shots I liked.  I also did a baptism shoot for a family I've worked with before, and that was fun.  Now - I just need time to process and sort through all these photos.  I should be doing that now probably...but I'm blogging.  Which is fine.

I'm so happy that I'm getting opportunities to take pictures.  It's crazy to me that it's taken me this long to realize how much I love this.  Over the weekend, I took my dad to the camera store I go to and I ended up getting a new lens, which I'm happy to have.  Photography is an expensive hobby for sure, but if I'm able to make a little money on the side to support it? I think that's a win.

Yesterday I joined an online group of photographers.  From amateurs to professionals.  It's a great resource and there is just SO much good information.  I spent a lot of time last night looking at pictures taken by others last night.  When I see a picture I like, I get all these emotions at once.  Somtimes I look a t a picture and think "I could do that"  And sometimes I get completely inspired and my heart starts beating faster with all the ideas I want to try, and sometimes I get discouraged because I'm just starting on this path and the amount of stuff to learn is so overwhelming.  But, then I just remind myself that I'm not doing this for anyone else, really. I'm doing it because I like it.  And, as long as I like it, it doesn't matter if I'm as good as so-and-so.  Or if I ever do this professionally or not.  At the minimum, I imagine I'll always have pictures of my kids.  Ok.  end ramble.

My house is a mess.  I clean it every day. It's still a mess.

I've had things I want to take to the post office for weeks and months.  Why is it SO hard for me to mail things?

On Monday, Abby hugged me and said "you're my best friend ever, mom!"  It was sweet.

I've had to wake Abby up from naps the past two days.  The first day, I got in bed with her, and when she opened her eyes she instantly said "Oh! Mommy's here!  I'll watch it with mommy now!"  when I asked "watch what?" she said "my dream"  she then told me she was dreaming about an Octopus.  Yesterday when I woke her up she said she was dreaming about tractors.  I love that she can tell me.

I've been brainstorming ideas for her birthday party.  Yeah, I know.  It's almost 4 months away.  But, I love me a themed party.  Her's, if it goes off like it I hope it will, is gonna be cute.

aaaaaaand, with that, the baby is awake.  I'll post pictures from mom and dad's visit soon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

the sweet life

We're here, but we've been busy.  Busy filling our days with things wonderful and sweet...

like meeting your granddaughter for the first time

family meals outside

Granny hugs

playing with daddy

spending time with your sister (want to or not..)

and spending as much time barefoot and in the dirt as possible.

We're having a great time with my parents in town.  It's their 40th anniversary in a few minutes.  Wow.  40.  That's pretty awesome.  *love*

We spent the day in the city and I'm beyond exhausted.

I've got a busy day tomorrow, too- I'm taking pictures at my first baptism and my first wedding (exciting!).  Time to get some shut eye...wish me luck!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I don't really know how or why, but Abby has developed a southern twang.  I guess you'd have to blame me, 'cause Kyle prides himself on not having much of an accent.  Still.  There's no reason Abby's accent should be SO strong.  I have to think that part of it is from me, but that part of it is just her being a little lazy in her speech sometimes.

The hardest for her right now is the "O" sound.  Instead of saying "Down" she says "Dow-un"

The other night at dinner, Abby says: "May I get dow-un pwease?"

I giggled and Kyle shot me this look and said "don't encourage her"

But, of course, I had.  I can't help it.  I think it's cute.
The rest of the conversation went like this:

Kyle: "Abby, say dOWn"
Abby: "Dow-un"
Kyle: "dOWn"
Abby: "Dow-un?"
Kyle: "Say OW"
Abby: ""OW"
Kyle: "Good, now say dOWn"
Abby: "dow-Un"
Kyle:  (sigh) "Ok.  Abby.  What animal says "Mooo?"
Abby: "A Cow-uh"

we died laughing.  Me and Abby.  Kyle just put his head on the table and gave up.

later y'all.

Monday, August 8, 2011

night mind

These are things I think about at night as I fail try to fall asleep.

- I never expected Abby's tomato plants to actually survive.  What do I do with them now?  Aren't they supposed to have a stake to climb? Or String?  I don't have a stake to put in there, but I could put a chopstick by it - would that work?  Or do I just let the plant grow until it gets heavy and falls over?  I don't really care if they make tomatoes, but I'd like them to get big enough for me to smell them because tomato vine smell is like my catnip.
- I can't find my phone, how can I not find it?  I had it in the car, and then I came inside.  It should be in one of those places.  I hope it's not on the ground outside.  I looked, but I didn't see it.  If it is - then it's done because it rained pretty hard last night.  What did we do before cell phones?  I don't particularly want to revisit that era.  Maybe Abby will know where it is.
-I can't believe how lucky I am to be taking pictures.  I got some good ones I think at today's shoot.  I wonder how many I'll end up keeping.  There's that one I really like - I need to crop it, but I think it'll come out really well.  I hope she likes them.  Sometimes I'm too critical of the pictures and I have to muzzle myself to keep from apologizing to clients about how I wish xy or z had come out differently.  I love taking pictures.  I need to decide what lens I want next.  I kinda want to go macro, but a nice zoom might be more practical.  I'm going to join the local camera club next month, I think that will help me learn more.
- I need to take more pictures of E.  I'm going to do soon as I get the house organized.
- I need to rebox all of the old/future baby clothes, clean out our closets and storage spaces and repack them with newly organized bins.  Then, we'll have more space for Brittany when she comes.  I'm so glad we got rid of so much stuff at the yard sale.  I can't believe how much stuff we had, but we hadn't really purged since we moved to Boston.  Feels good.
- I need to get ready for Brittany to move in.  We're so lucky she's going to nanny for us.  It'll be a lot of fun I think.  I hope we don't drive her crazy.
- My parents are visiting this week.  That'll be crazy fun.  But, I need to clean.  Or at least, tidy.  I hate having white carpets. hate.  I really hate having white carpets with a two year old.  Maybe I should just buy a steam cleaner instead of constantly renting a Rug Doctor.  ....Or is the Rug Doctor better?  Maybe cleaning with it twice a year is better than a monthly run with a small one?  I don't know. I just know I hate our living room carpet right now.
- I have some good photo prop ideas - but they involve project-type time.  I don't have that.
- I still need to paint Abby's doll house.  I got it over a month ago and I've only painted one wall.  It's just sitting in the kitchen and I need to take care of it so I can move it upstairs to her room, and then move her kitchen stuff to her play nook, and then I'll put the stuff in the play nook....somewhere.
- I wonder if we'll ever buy a home up here.  It's hard to find one that we like and can afford.  To find a place we like in the area we like, we really need half a million bucks.  Which is crazy, and we don't have that.  So, I wonder what we'll compromise on - location? space? Or maybe we'll just rent for the next few years while Kyle finishes school.  We'll see.
- I'm glad Abby seemed to understand that she couldn't get out of bed until there was a 6 on her clock.  But, I should have been more specific in that it needed to be the first number...not the later two.
- E is growing - she's long and lean.  She's not chubby like a lot of babies and I hope that means she's gaining weight ok still.  I don't worry about her because Abby was teeny tiny (yet healthy) for the longest time...but still.  Everyone tells me she's long.  I don't really know.  I just want her to be healthy.
- Abby sings the phonic songs from her Leap Frog ABC magnets.  She started making up her own words today...which I think, pretty much means she's a genius.  She started singing "C says 'cah', C says 'cah', every letter makes a sound, C says 'cah' " and then she added "and cup!"  Her next verse was "birds say 'tweet'"  and then "E says 'e-train'" and "A says Abby"  She's so smart.  I'm really proud of her.  And I always will be, I imagine.
- I need to put that thing in the mail in the morning.

...and, that occupies my mind for about 2 minutes.  If I were to type everything that ran through my brain for the next 45 - we'd be here all week.  Luckily, sleep came, and the baby only woke once (or twice?) Either way, alls well that ends well.  Have wonderful mondays.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

You Capture - White

I took a lot of photos this week.  Like, tons.  Mostly because I had 3 (!) different photo shoots booked.  That's crazy.  Crazy because people are actually asking me to take pictures now - people I know and people I don't know.  And you know what?  I'm loving it, and I'm having so much fun, and I'm learning Oh so much.  I think I've learned more this past week about taking photos than all year combined.  They say the best way to learn is to just keep taking pictures, and well, that I can do. :)

So, this week's theme was white.  I have a few pics that will work for that....and some that I may bend just a bit.  ;)

I love this little 2 month old pretty in her pretty white dress

This puppy had some very white teeth ;)

 Here's my littlest pretty.
I think the white in this picture is a little more obvious than I'd like...but whatcha gonna do? :) 

This sunshower, or "Monkey's Wedding" as my south african mother in law taught me to say, made for an interesting picture with whites in the light and water.

One of Abby's little friends. 
Um, let's see...her teeth are white!  Ok, I just like this one. Sue me.

ok, last one.  

Now go over to Beth's site and see what everyone else is posting today!

PS: this is a shameless plug.  I've decided to start a second blog dedicated to just photography.  It's a work in progress (as am I!) but here it is should any of you be kind enough to pay me a visit.  Thanks!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

toddler life

I've got to pick up magic erasers today.

Abby colored all over our dining room wall.  Then, we found that she had also colored on the other dining room wall, the kitchen wall, the kitchen island, the floor, and some plates.  I know what you're thinking - where were we during all this? Well,  I was upstairs putting the baby to bed...  I'll let you deduce the rest. ;)

In Kyle's defense, Abby is pretty stealthy, and he has a gimp foot and has been icing it when he can, making him less mobile.   But...yeah.

Yesterday she made a bunch of "sandwiches" out of different colored playdohs.  Then, she put them in sandwich bags and put them all the fridge.  When Kyle got home, she ran to the fridge and got them out for us saying, very proudly, that she had made daddy sandwiches for supper.

While I was putting E down for nap, Abby cleaned several of her books with her magic-spray.  I know that her fears are reducing when she's decided that the magic spray is really a cleaning spray.  I came out of the nursery and she says "mommy, I cleaned all my books, come look!" She proudly showed me all the pages in several books that were "nice and clean" and "oh so smooth!"

I pulled about 8 stickers out of her hair last weekend.

At lunch, I gave her some ranch to dip her veggies in.  She didn't want to dip her veggies, or crackers, or turkey in it.  She wanted to dip her raisins in it.  She insisted it was "so yummy!"  I remain unconvinced.

We watched a cartoon about Aspergers Syndrome and when it was done, she asked for an "Apple Burger" too.

I sometimes sit in her room while she falls asleep at night, or nap time.  It just cuts down on the number of times I have to put her back in bed.  The other night, she sang lullabies and bedtime poems to herself for about 20 mins.  It was sweet.

Abby laid on E's feet the other day and started whining that "E-train is kicking me, mom!"  --> this is me rolling my eyes.

....just a few memories I wanted to jot down before we start this day.  Life with a toddler is good.

Monday, August 1, 2011


my sweet baby