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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