Friday, December 31, 2010

but first: Christmas

Before I get strung to the whipping post by my father, I should probably do some Christmas posting.

 Aaron and I have been contemplating the most sane way to handle the holidays for the last 5 years. Since my parents live a good 8 hours away, it can be hard to plan out how to split the time. My husband also comes from 2 VERY festive families who have grand events on either Christmas Eve, Day, or the day after. This also makes it hard to plan around. Sometimes this doesn't work out in our favor and we are left having to choose where to go or end up traveling to multiple places on Christmas. Lucky for me, I am an only child so my parents are extremely flexible in their plans. I also was blessed/cursed with parents who aren't as festive as the average duck. They may enjoy decorating a Christmas tree or hanging some lights on the roof but a "good dinner" can be home smoked cornish game hens and not a grand carved turkey with all the stuffings. A good family Christmas can also be a day out at the desert with relatives. It doesn't have to be snow ball fights and gift opening or singing Christmas songs around the fireplace. Sometimes this frustrates me but sometimes this works in my favor because that means that Christmas can also be "Christmas" a week before actual Christmas Day.

This year worked out GREAT! To be honest, I milked the "I'm about to pop" card a little more than was probably neccesary. Aaron and I decided that a tradition that we wanted to implement for our children is the feeling of waking up at home Christmas morning. I can't wait to have 2 screaming girls running down the stairs or sliding down the banisters to get to their gifts stacked under the tree or stuffed in their stockings. This year made for the most layed back and relaxing Christmas I've had in a while.

My parents came up a few days before hand and got to spend some quality time with Emily.

First off: The ginger bread house tradition.

*If you want to get teary eyed go look at december of last year (maybe Jan. because I'm usually behind)*

 Making her own creation
 Eating the candies

 Emily sneaking a lick of frosting

The final product

Next up: Making cookie dough

This was a favorite of mine with my grandma (except she let me mix in the eggs with my hands instead of a mixer) Culinary Master Aaron was not down for that. So instead Emily used the hand mixer- which I'm pretty sure she enjoyed just as much.

 Chef Aaron making sure Santa doesn't get any egg shells.

After putting the cookie dough in the fridge we set off for Chili's for a delicious Christmas Eve dinner. We came back home and made our cookies for Santa.

 Showing grandma "how it's done"
 Rolling out the dough
 Cutting out candy canes

 One of the things that I love about Aaron's family is that they have a tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. That gift, although not a surprise, is always Christmas jammies. We decided this was a good tradition to steal. So here is Emily's Christmas jammies. After unwrapping all of the presents under the tree once (thankfully when Aaron wasn't home and before I had put any of hers out) I all but had to fence off the tree to keep her from getting to the gifts. So to be able to get one BEFORE Christmas made her night.
 In her jammies. With her cookies for Santa
A teary husband, who wanted a picture with his daughter who was entirely too grown up.

Well today was a bust. I will post "Christmas" tomorrow. For now, enjoy all up to then!

P.S. Notice the extreme need for a flash....and Christmas was only a few more hours away.

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Crazy Day!

I think Emily is fighting a cold. bleh. She is being pretty mellow and slept until 1030, which is either going to give her enough energy to be a TERROR or enough to make it through the day without being too crabby. I guess you learn by doing so we will see how this goes.

IF everything works out then my goal for today, THE LAST DAY OF THE YEAR!, is to organize/clean out my computer and dump (in an organized and filed away by date manner) all of my pictures from this previous year. As I do this I am going to blog about the pictures I find. For example: I have a folder just sitting on my desktop called "Halloween". My goal is to edit these, trash the bad, and file into my "Emily year 4" folder. THEN, post a short blog about what I remember from Halloween. Sound like fun?!

I bet I get half way through the year.

Wish me luck!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas the night before Christmas...

The Van Patten Version:

Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring
except for maybe that stupid mouse. . .

{He out smarted the death traps. I decided to give him Christmas with his rapidly growing family in my walls and squish his head after the holidays are over, but I swear. . . if there are nibble marks in my gingerbread house in the morning I'm going to be TICKED!}

The stockings were hung by the electric fire place with care,
In hopes that fat Santa soon would be there.

{This is the first year that she really understands Santa. It's kind of funny because she's right on the brink of a break through (that she's going to have a whole year to forget about) and just not getting it at all. Either way, she does understand that it's something to be super excited about and that makes me and Aaron actually feel like PARENTS}

With Claire in my ribs and Emily nestled in her bed,
I'm sure there is nothing but thoughts of truckloads of candy dancing in around in her head.

{Good news!! God was gracious to me and allowed Claire to "drop" a little. This means that she's out of my lungs and I can sleep in my bed again! YAY! BUT it also means that Claire has learned to stretch her legs out...resulting in the occational left {leg} hook to the rib cage = not so fun!}

Alright I'm done...

My plan here was to rewrite the whole poem and insert my own fun into it, but honestly- I'm tired!!! This parenting thing takes alot out of you! So, I'm going to end my 'creativity' here.

I'm also going to only upload one picture. (I'm sure my dad is having a cow at the moment) I sat down and sifted through over 400 pictures + the 200 I took today that are just sitting in a folder on my desktop called "uneditted". Yep...for the first time ever I am falling severely behind on picture taking. Right in time for Claire to enter into the mix and for it to get worse. order for me to be forced to upload more pictures of Emily...I'm not going to tell you about all of the amazing things she got to do today on her first Christmas Eve that she will remember/last as an only child. Instead I'm going to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and leave you with Emily and her 'presents' for Santa. Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

not so 'bah hum bug'

I had a dr. appointment today. I don't get the pleasure of seeing the same dr. every single time I go in, so more often than not I leave with only the knowledge that I was seen by a licensed professional who has obviously done his or her time as a dr. AND doesn't want to loose that license. Honestly...that's good enough for me.

Today, however, I had the honor of being seen by my OB/GYN that I had for Emily. I love her. She's so kind and takes her time with you. This also means that more often than not she is EXTREMELY late. Tardiness aside, she really is awesome. During my appointment, I learned a few very important things (that I kind of already knew)

 1) Contrary to what my chauvinistic last dr. I had seen said, I am perfectly riding the weight gain scale. As of today I have gained 25 pounds. Wait...SAY WHAT?! I know. Scary right. But here's the break down:

Baby: 6-8 lb.
Placenta:1-2 lbs.
Uterus:1-2 lbs.
Amniotic fluid: 2-3 lbs.
This last one made me giggle because I always joke about it, but I guess it's actually legit!

As for me:
I produce 3-4 more pounds of blood!
My body should HEALTHILY have a fat storage of 8-10 pounds (in my THIGHS!)
I my fluids increase 3-4 lb.

Therefore at birth I can have gained 25-35 lbs. and be considered "healthy". That's insane to me!
With only 6 more weeks to go I can easily gain a pound a week for my little bean. (Just another excuse to eat as much fudge as I want at Christmas!!!)

2) As the dr. is massaging my belly and trying to get a mental picture of what position Baby Claire is in, she casually asks me, "So...exactly how big was your first baby? because....{long pause} you don't have a whole lot of room left in there" HA! to all of you who think I'm being a big baby. I am not the big baby here. Claire is! Which isn't really comforting either.

A little history: Emily was predicted by the very same dr. to be a big baby. They were not going to let me go more than 7 days over my due date without being induced because they were concerned for her bigness and my, well, narrowness. Precious Emily was born 6 days over due at a healthy and average 6lb 14oz. HOWEVER, she was nearly 21 inches long. Turns out baby bean Emily just had some seriously long legs rolled up in there.

After telling the dr. this today she smiles and says "congrats, it looks like you might have yourself another long legged girl" GREAT! Just what I need...when is there ever a good ending for a mom of a blonde haired, blue eyed, long legged girl? That's right, NEVER.

and 3) I have this one spot...right below my ribs where there is some appendage that rubs and rubs, all day long and bruises my insides. By the end of the day it hurts so bad that the only thing I can do is lay down on my side to relieve the pressure. I figured now would be the time to ask about it. "Oh it's probably a knee. perfectly normal" she says as she pulls up my shirt to feel again. "Oh!...actually, it feels like it's her bottom."

Awesome! because guess what? Claire's pointy little bottom is going to start getting spankings!

Really though. What is happening is that by the end of the day: my little Claire is tired of being in the fetal position (Emily was the same way...I couldn't swaddle her to save my life...she always got out of it and sprawled out) and is stretching her long ol legs out and putting pressure on both sides of my belly!

Want a mental picture? I will share mine with you. Remember when you were a kid and you used to walk up the door way? you know...put your back on one side and stretch your legs out to the other, then put so much pressure on the frame that you were able to defy gravity and actually scale the frame to the ceiling? Yep...that's exactly what she is doing TO MY INSIDES!

Okay, enough baby talk...

On a completely different note. I finally braved the craziness and went out Christmas shopping! I'm almost done. 3 more gifts. This is the first year that I actually feel like a parent doing Christmas shopping for a spoiled only child. Now I have to figure out where to hide all the presents. I'm feeling just a little less "Bah Hum Bug"
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Picture!

I FINALLY uploaded a new family picture for you all on my header. I'm getting the little things done.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Twas two weeks before Christmas...

Twas two weeks before Christmas...oops, I think we are down to a week and 2 days. Lets try this again.

Twas a week and 2 days before Christmas 
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring not even a ...

What was that sound?

Oh I give up!

I sleep on the couch now. No, it's not because my husband can't stand my big pregnant butt hogging the entire bed. And it's not because I'm about as crazy as a bat and I get put in the dog house for losing my temper. It is because this precious (insert both truth and sarcasm at that word) child is trying to kill me.

I know.
I know!
I'm pregnant.
"I got myself into this mess"...with a little help.
and "it's totally worth the wait".
I know.

I have a little over 6 weeks left and I have to tell you: I AM MISERABLE! Claire is only comfortable when she is bouncing on my diaphram. Oh no, I don't get to experience the pleasures of my baby happily bouncing on my bladder and maybe tinkling a little in the grocery store line ( sorry men, but if you're a woman and you've had kids, you are laughing at this because you know it's true ) I instead have the wind sucked/knocked/kick/jabbed/or punched out of me on a regular basis. To make it even better, if I even attempt to lay flat on my back, I physically can not inhale oxygen. Which leads me to my 2 previous statements:

1) Claire is trying to kill me. and...
2) It explains why I'm sleeping in an upright, inclined position on the couch. Which should also explain why I'm currently cheesing mouse traps as I type so that I can take pleasure in destroying the mouse who was running around in my stove keeping me up all night last night!!!!

I'm not sure how every other woman in existence has been able to do anything for Christmas with a baby close at hand. Actually, I was told ALOT of women go in to labor right now, trying to get everything done in order to prepare for the holidays before babies arrival. But what about the women like me? The ones who have little time but more than enough to know that they aren't going to have to spend Christmas IN the hospital, but are just done with life in general? (again, sorry men. women who have had kids: I know you remember that final month and a half of swollen ankles, water retention, heart burn, and mood swings....or maybe you don't, because I might not have opted to do this again had I remembered P.S. I think Aaron agrees!)

I'm tired and exhausted and the walk from the bedroom...I mean COUCH to the bathroom in the middle of the night is enough to get me winded and ready to sleep again. Now I have to do Christmas shopping? WHICH, by the way, HAS BARELY BEGAN!

Alright, I'm done complaining. Writing about my problems is just freaking me out more.

Bottom line:

-I have a healthy (although killer) jumping pineapple (that's how big she is now)
-Emily is healthy as an ox and eating me out of house and home.
-I have a husband who is as happy as he can be with an often crazy wife and knowledge that more estrogen is about to become the norm for him.
-We all have a roof over our heads
and food on the table.

Wait...scratch that last one. I need to go grocery shopping.

Someday I will put pictures up. I promise. Just don't give up on me.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I don't want to hear about it!!!

Got it?! I'm well aware that there has been no "kayla thoughts" published on here in well over a month. That means I've missed: A trip to my parents, Halloween, another trip to my parents. Thanksgiving and the snow. And thats not including all of the random, day to day Emily nonsense I have to deal with ALSO. I have alot to catch up on, but I'm not doing that tonight. I'm going to be random tonight (because I'm pregnant and I can!)

It all started while I was sitting on my couch tonight. We had all (by "all" I mean me Aaron and Emily) ate dinner and Aaron was teaching Emily some sweet WWF moves on the far side of the couch. Aarons little brother Andrew calls and asks if he can come over and sell some See's Candie for school. I said "sure!"...I wouldn't mind a little chocolate! 2 seconds later, Kaylee calls and asks if I know what the heck the Polygram Theory is. She meant the Pythagorean Theorem, you know.....the notorious formula on how to find the length of the hypotenuse of a triangle that you will NEVER NEED TO KNOW AGAIN, but for whatever reason I remember because it was the only thing that my only spanish speaking Geometry teacher successfully taught me my ENTIRE Sophomore year.... so...she's on her way over so I can teach her. Before both Andrew and Kaylee arrive, Aaron's long time friend (and pretty much cousin) sticks his head in the door (wearing a mustache....who knows why, but aaron nearly screamed like a girl at it) Cody is followed by Aaron's brother Matt and his girlfriend Lauren. Cody needs to know if I can sew some pants up for him because they are too long and too wide. Now, I am NOT a seamstress. I was not blessed with that gene. But recently I have been forcing myself to learn the basics, so I agree to play around and see if I fix them.

After signing away a morgage sized check to See's Candies for Andrew's fundraiser I paused for a second to watch as Matt and Lauren chased Emily up and down the hallway. She is screaming bloody murder and laughing hysterically. Cody is half naked in my rocking chair while I rip the seams out of his pants and try to tutor Kaylee simultaneously.... I had a tiny epiphany:

When Aaron and I first got married we both wanted mass amounts of kids. 5-7 to be exact. After Emily, I was confident that she was going to kill me. We struggled enough financially with just one. What would 5 be like?! so over time we decided that 2 was our number (unless of course God gave us a second girl...which he did. So now 3 is in question) After tonight....I realized that maybe Aaron and I are not meant to birth more than 2 or 3 kids, but our calling somewhere is to do something that has to do with being a parental figure to many many more kids. Don't ask me what that "something" is. I have no idea, but the funny part is that Aaron agreed. He actually went outside to get something out of the car and had a little moment to himself before he walked back inside, where he just listened to all the chaos inside and smiled. I know he felt it too and that proves to me that it's God pointing us both in the direction He wants our lives to go. Do I know where that is now? NOPE! but I know I'm pointed the right way.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Mirror View

The things I do for my PhotoFreak :)

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Aaron's update

Aaron had a post-op check up appointment yesterday afternoon to see how everything was going. The dr. was AMAZED at how well he had healed up. He said Aaron was 95% better than he expected him to be for the size of hernia Aaron had. Apparently it was one of the biggest he's seen in a while. Wonderful... So with the Dr.'s permission Aaron is able to go back to work on Monday with the rule of "if it hurts, don't do it" but anything else is game. Good news for us since we were going to have to live off of a measly disability check until he was able to go back.

God definately answers prayer!

For the record...the "average" hernia healing process takes 6 weeks before you get the "okay" that Aaron did. Sounds just short of a miracle to me.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

What a week!

Oh my... where to begin?! ...and there is only one picture, which I'm going to strategically place at the end so that you read my blog.

I guess I will begin with a week ago:

We found out a few months ago that my poor husband has been living with a hernia for the last...2 years...? I'm sure most of you will shake your heads and some of you will understand, but we have gone without health insurance since after Emily was born and when we found out baby Claire was on her way we figured it was high time to figure something out. LONG story short: We now have health insurance. So Aaron had"bulge". He was pretty sure it was a tumor, but after getting it checked out, we were happy to know that it wasn't. Instead it was a hernia that "had gone entirely too long and needs to be fixed before it causes more damage". Now, I'm not dumb, and I know the common symptoms of a hernia, none of which Aaron really had so I ruled it out pretty early on. Well we should have known. With Aaron being the biggest guy at work, he's the heavy lifter. Apparently that automatically equals a hernia.

So the day finally came around for Aaron to go in. WEDNESDAY. at 6:00 in the morning I took him in to the hospital. He was prepped and ready to go under in an hour and by 7:30 he was under the knife. I got a call from the dr. at 9:00 saying that they were done and Aaron was in recovery. The hernia had been significantly larger than they had thought via ultrasound and that they had to shave/remove portions of his intestines in order to untangle and dislodge them. Apparently he "wouldn't miss them and it wouldn't effect the nature of his healing process". I could be wrong here but I'm pretty sure I would miss my intestines, but I also don't know what I'm talking about. Aaron was out of the hospital by 10:00 that morning. Thank God he slept most of the day!

I don't know how many of you have husbands, but I hear that my feelings are pretty common, so I don't feel bad sharing them. To be perfectly honest, I was TERRIFIED of having Aaron home 24/7!!! Our Saturdays are lovingly referred to as our bickering days. I am a stay at home mom, who rules the roost from 8-5 every single day. To have an intruder on my turf was going to be interesting!

 I have my own ways of doing things:

I clean a certain way (from front of the house to the back) I do the bed sheets first when I do laundry because honestly I want them to be the cleanest. I do Aarons clothes last because they are the ones that are packed full of saw dust and dirt and I don't want that transferring over to mine and Emilys clothes. I then do our white towels with a smidge of bleach (to keep them white and to "clean out" the washer for Aaron's mom) and hang those on the line to crispy dry. I do this EVERY Tuesday and it takes most of my day since I have to trek back and forth from my house to Aaron parents for every load and even in between. That's just the way it is. It's been that way since I've had Emily and became a stay at home mom. So when Aaron decides to make "suggestions" I tend to be a little flustered! I want my husband to come home and say "wow, thank you for doing all of the laundry! You're amazing" (okay that's a little over exageratted) NOT "well why don't you just haul all of it over there in one trip that way you don't have to lug it back and forth every single time" or "why don't you fold it right when it comes out of the dryer?" I have MY way of doing it... if you want it to get done at all then shut it!

I could go through the list of what I'm sure to my loving husband seemed like "helpful suggestions" but to me they were criticism. So needless to say, I was really nervous to find out how taking care of another "big baby" and Emily, AND doing my daily routine was going to turn out.

Guess what: It was amazing. Not because for the first few days my husband was drugged and slept most of the time but because Aaron and I do well together. LOL...I sure hope so if we are married, huh? I don't mean it like that. Before Aaron and I had Emily and right after we were married, we had a 6 month period where we had no tv, no computer, no internet...and we didn't complain. We truely just enjoyed eachothers company. We NEVER fought. Friends and family were amazed at the fact that Aaron was able to find a female version of him. Even though we didn't have alot of the same hobbies, I was willing to watch and I was willing to go. We had no responsibilities. Life was great and we were great together.

Enter TV, internet, a crazy pregnant wife which turns into just a crazy wife and a screaming baby and things get harder. Enter your quarterlife crisis, a job that you don't want to do for the rest of your life, but have to do it because you have mouths to feed. Enter another crazy pregnant wife that you know will eventually turn into just a crazy wife and a screaming baby/ mouth to feed. All jam packed into a one bedroom, one bathroom "house" and you begin to see where lifes responcibilities can eat you alive.

In case you think this blog was temporaraly highjacked by Aaron, it wasn't. I have a point here. Aaron is my other half. His worries and troubles are my worries and troubles. Therefore all of this wears on US. Gone are the days of laying on the couch gazing into eachothers eyes (yes, at one point that was the norm for us...gross huh?!) THAT has turned into us TRYING to figure out how to lay on the couch together with my big belly, Emily jumping on us or trying to flush the cat down the toilet, the tv on, the phone ringing, or dinner burning (since the only time aaron is home is right before dinner time, eats and then goes to bed) There is no US time.

Yet somehow over this last week, with Aaron being home ALL day long (even though he wasn't able to do much) and removing he stress of work, having to bring home the bacon and just getting to spend time with his daughter, and maybe a smidge of being waited on hand and husband was a much happier man. Which in turn made me a much happier woman. I really REALLY enjoyed having my husband around!

The good/bad news is that Aaron is now feeling much better, which means it's "high ho, high ho, it's off to work he goes" I mean really, SOMEONES got to do it. He has a dr.'s appointment today just to make sure everything is healing properly. He's supposed to be off for another 4 that will happen. He really has been a trooper through this whole thing and that makes me proud!

On Saturday, Aaron's mom took Emily to a baby shower in Simi Valley, they stayed there over night and went to the LA zoo the next day. I don't have any pictures yet, but hopefully someone got some at some point. One of the downfalls of being the family photographer is that when you're not there, no one gets pictures! I guess it turned out to be a pretty miserable 105 degree day in Southern California and all of the animals were stowed away in their cool caves, so Emily didn't get to see as many animals as she could have. I'm not really sure if seeing a million animals or just getting to see a giraffe would make a difference to her. I think it ALL would make her day! She definatly talked about it for days afterwards!

So, I've been sick. If you've ever been sick and pregnant then you know how miserable I am. Toss in a toddler and a bed ridden husband and I'm surprised I'm still alive!! Normally when I'm sick, I can take a cocktail of medications that I've learned over the years work the best together. This mixture usually makes me a little loopy and sleepy but it gets me through the day without feeling SICK. Well, when you're pregnant it seems that the general rule of thumb is that you cannot take any medicine that works. You can take as much tylonal as you want....doesn't do a thing for me. You can even use nose saline spray! Isn't that just a nicer way of saying you can spray water up your nose? For what purpose? I can take Robitissum DM for cough and congestion. I have been using it religiously! I feel like if I cough any more that I might just cough baby Claire right out! Dont worry...everything I read said that she might get sloshed around a little more but that she is so protected that there is no way all of my hacking could do her any harm. Which is good to know because it's KILLING ME!. I've got a bowling ball strapped to my stomach and lodged into my lungs. I can hardly breath and my stomach muscles hurt like there is no tomorrow. I did, however, find one thing that has helped me tremendously! VICKS vapor rub!!!! It is my new best friend. It is safe to use during pregnancy and if you slather the bottom of your feet in it and put some socks on before bed, it helps reduce that horrible, annoying tickling cough that keeps you up all night. I pretty much take a bath in Vicks before bed.

And lastly, since I've wrote a novel and it's time for a nap for me and Emily:

Now, I could have this all wrong but to my understanding, Emily's uncle matt is dating this really nice girl who's best friend's dad owns  Zoo to You. This place is exactly what it sounds like. It's a conservation zoo, that has raised animals in order to educate people and preserve all different types of wildlife. They travel the country educating kids on how what they can do to help. I think I heard a rumor that a good chunck of the animals from the Pixar movie Over the Hedge are all based off of the animals from this zoo. Pretty cool stuff. Anyway, Matt and his girlfiend organized a little tour for Emily yesterday. She got to go around and see all the animals and pet some of them.

I think her favorite though were the kangaroos. The owners have an inclosed area around their house where they have kangaroos that run around like the common dog. That would just be crazy to me!! Again, one of the downfalls of being the family one else thinks to have a camera. Matt took this picture on his camera phone. I'm definately going back next time so that I can capture everything for Emily to remember.

What kid gets to go to a zoo 2 times in the span of a few says?! Can we say SPOILED? If I'm not careful she's going to be asking for a kangaroo for Christmas!
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Lake {part 2}

First, lets start off with the highlights of my day:

1) Emily got her flu shot. She was a TROOPER. and as I said earlier, she was totally allowed to complain and was treated to some play time at McDonalds with baby Reid.

2) Emily being her sweet self around the BRATS that were also playing on the play structure. These girls were maybe 5 or 6 and "the queens" (yes, that is what they refered to themselves as) They "ruled" the play structure...which is kind of off base in my opinion since we were totally there before them :P I'm kidding. Emily played along side them but not really "with" them. They would slide down the slide and run around to the back side of the structure to hide from Emily. I don't know if they thought she was dumb...? There weren't many places to hide and of course, they forgot to tell Emily that they were playing hide and seek. She would stop, look around, peek around the corner at the girls hiding, and run back up the slide laughing. The girls seemed disappointed. They also attempted to lure my daughter out of the gate after Emily had already gotten scolded for trying to crawl through the gate that they had agile-ly jumped to "hide" again. She looked at them and shook her head and ran back up the play place, I tried to scold the little girl with my eyes and show my displeasure. I don't think she had ever been given a look like that so she didn't know what it meant. One of the little brats...I mean precious princesses said, after Emily wouldn't go out, "well fine. she can't be in our club anyway" Girlfriend, if you couldn't figure it out...Emily doesn't care about your stupid "club". Go bully someone else's kid!!

So what's the highlight here? As the little girls mom sat at the next table over chatting away about some gossip on her phone and completely ignored her child and her friend, I came to the realization that I am a pretty darn good mom. When asked "is your little girl always so sweet and independent?" I realized, I have done something right! As Emily tried to play with Reid and help him up the stairs and block the way to that the other little girls couldn't bowl him over like they already had, I saw compassion and "big sister-ness" and realized that I won't ever have a child like that little girl, because I'm good at what I do.

3) Getting family pictures cancelled because it's POURING rain... this isn't really a highlight but you will understand 3 after I tell you 4. Plus, I really like the rain.

4) Emily pooping her pants for maybe the second time ever when we SHOULD have been leaving out the door to go take family pictures.

Where is the highlight? If I would have had to take her adorable brand new outfit off that matched mine and Aarons perfectly, about 3 minutes before we had to bail out the door to go meet Ashley, I would have consequently ruined my own make-up in a crying pregnancy fit of frustration.


THE LAKE...continued

Emily watching dad wakeboard

Aaron eating it, on his wakeboard. I wish I had taken the picture .5 seconds later, it would have been an awesome shot of him landing on his head. What a loving wife I am :) He's actually a GREAT wake boarder, I just felt it necessary to post this picture.

This was the majority of the reason that we went to the lake, besides for Athen's birthday. Aaron's Grandpa Denny purchased this boat in a clunker state and fixed it up for lake trips. If I would have thought of it I would have brought the bubbly to christen it as it went into the water and everyone held their breath to see if it floated. Well it did. And it ran GREAT. We followed it back over to the shore where we were camped just to make sure  everything was great. If you look close, you can see Denny's big grin as he drives his prized possession. It stayed there from the launch area all the way until he stepped off the boat on the campsite shore.

Just a candid shot of my baby girl in all her beauty. Even in the dirt and grime, when we are clearly camping, she is beautiful!

My husbands present for me. We sat on the shore together and watched Emily play in the water and mud for a while before making the trek up the hill to our camp. He made me this. I couldn't really keep it so I took a picture in order to "keep" it forever. I love my husband!

Me and my Love before we go home.

I feel that it is also necessary to document that Emily got her first bee sting ever on this lake trip. Poor girl! She likes to "mash" "bad bugs" well...she mashed the wrong bad bug with her foot and got stung :(
But a good cry, a warm wash in the sink, some sting relief, and a bandaid and she was back running around like a trooper!

Over all? GREAT lake trip.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

As promised

My picture of the cow doing what every kindergartener wishes he could do got second place over at PhotoFreak! So, if you voted, THANK YOU...if you didn't then it doesn't matter because I still wouldn't have gotten second. I don't know enough people in order for me to have beat Ms. Ashley!

Next, The LAKE:

(TYPICALLY Labor Day weekend is when everyone calls it quits out at the lake. We went this weekend because it was Athen's Birthday and lucked out by getting to stay at the Youth Center....since Aaron's Aunt Katie's husband Jon is a Ranger out at the lake, we were able to got first dibs when someone else backed out... leaving us with this AMAZING place. Also, since Oct. is usually too cold to be fun, there was NO one on the water. We pretty much had the entire place to ourselves!!)

I never realized how much energy it takes to 1) keep a wondering eye on a 3 year old to make sure she doesn't drowned 24/7 2) incubate a baby somewhere where you don't have the luxury to find a place where you have the perfect temperature, shade, cushioning, and cleanliness. 3) NESTING where there is a nothing but dirt EVERYWHERE! Here's a mental picture for you...I felt like a hen scratching at the ground everytime I swept all the dirt out of my tent. (Yep, I brought a broom) 4) when you have a forgetful mind like this pregnant woman does, it is not easy to find things that really have no specific place to go!!

Okay, I'm done complaining. In spite of how uncomfortable I was most of the time, it really was an awesome trip. We got rained on one night, but besides that the weather was better than we could even imagine! The nights were warm enough that you didn't have to zip up the windows but the days were cool enough that you could actually stay in the tent and not die of heat.

Here is Papa Willy being a bad influence, which of course means he was letting Emily have fun. You would think with having 4 kids of his own that he would have learned by now... NOPE. He taught Emily how to honk the horn (big no no).

 Again, the guilty "am I going to get in trouble if I keep doing it?" face.

What do Ricky Bobby and Emily have in common? "I wanna go fast!"
Papa Willy had showed her where the throttle was and how it worked. He immediatly looks over at me and says "That probably wasn't smart of me..." at the same moment Emily pushed the throttle all the way down and lurched the whole boat in to full speed. She was, of course, having a blast!

That's enough for today. The part I hate most about camping is about to begin: THE CLEAN UP! 
I will post more pictures soon. There are more stories to tell. :)

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Friday, October 1, 2010

My job...

I LOVE my job! There are several reasons:

Lets start off with the obvious. I love photography. So getting the opportunity to take pictures of a bride and groom on the most important day of their lives is so rewarding!

2) Breath taking venues, and AMAZING food. I have yet to go to a wedding (and I've been to almost 20 this year) where I did not say "wow" as I scarfed down my food.

3) People in love. Yes, I love babies, I love kids...most of them, I love animals, seniors, and pregnant women, but my ultimate favorite thing to take pictures of are 2 people who love eachother....and what couple isn't drunk on love or floating on clouds on their wedding day?

4) I love Ashley. yeah yeah yeah, I know I've said it enough. I'm really not sucking up here. I genuinely have an awesome time at weddings because of her. She's witty and creative. I forget to take pictures of other people laughing because I'm laughing so hard. More often than not, i can anticipate her moves. She teaches me as we go and always asks my opinion (something I never knew I would appreciate so much). She praises me when I've done will and very politely corrects me when I've done something wrong. I could NOT ask for better. Most of all she's FUN...

 This is a picture that I sniped of Ashley serenading me via her cameras flash. This is a regular occurrence at weddings, but I'm usually either embarrassed or laughing to hard to take a picture. THIS TIME I was prepared. It is so NOT a flattering picture of her, but it captures her personality perfectly so I'm sharing it. In all fairness, I'm also posting the not so flattering picture of me that she took back:

Keep in mind: We were loopy! Well...we are loopy as it is. Add in some pregnancy hormones and working in the sun on a 106 degree day and you have these 2 pictures. This was also 30 minutes before we left so we had put in an 8 hour day and were just DONE. 

Theres a teeny glimpse at what I do on my Saturday nights. I honestly bet that they are more fun than most peoples!

A side note: I am going to the lake this weekend! With all this heat it's going to turn out being a pretty amazing weekend for "lake weather" and probably the very last until next year. See you all Monday!

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