Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Busy Being Fabulous

Ok so I am going to try to get a post out today if it kills me! I have been so busy - blogging has just been so far down the list I haven't even had a chance to think about it. And things are only going to get worse as we head into August.

It's so funny because with my business, I have always been completely dead in the summer. Usually between mid June and September I can pretty much count on not having anything to do. This year though, mercy! I am so busy with sessions and extra things - it is WONDERFUL!! I praise God for these small favors, because it is truly a blessing.

So in all that business I have to remind myself that it is good, and try to not get too bogged down in the stress of it all. I am thrilled to have had the past few weeks go as they have, and I look forward to the next month and a half of constant going. I just hope I can figure out how to balance it all. Some days though I kinda feel like my little guy here in this picture.

Of course, he was just upset because he had climbed in the chair and wanted me to get him out. And being the good mommy I am I ignored his cries and pulled out my camera instead....well just look at that hair?!? How could I not take a picture of that?!?

Anyway, I hope to get back to a regular bloggy schedule soon. But for now things may be a little sparse. I can't believe I've missed 2 Friday Company Girl Coffee chats already. Mercy. I'll try not to let that happen again.

So here is a song by Trisha Yearwood that I absolutely adore. I was reunited with it this week when preparing for the latest episode of Musing Mommies, and I can't get it out of my head. Unfortunately YouTube didn't have a video of Trisha singing it that I could embed in my blog, so I snagged this one of some Elvis tribute instead. Oh well, at least you can watch a little of classic King while listening to a beautiful country song. Enjoy!

I just love, love that song. The words feel like they came straight from my head...

Hang in there, I'll be posting more regularly soon. I've still got lots of catching up to do!

Until,
D :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Horror

I never thought I would see the day.

I'd read the stories.

I'd envisioned the madness.

I cringed at the thought.

I sympathized with the victims.

I had the nightmares.

But it was not near as gruesome in my head as it was in real life.

No one ever thinks it will happen to them.

And then one day, you look over at your sweet babe.

.
.
.
.
And realize he is smearing his own poo all over your beloved wood floor.

Oooooh yeah.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

So I can't just end a post with that. I'll give you an idea of a normal conversation with Kiddo.

~on the way to meet Hubby and the inlaws for lunch...

(while passing Hubby's office) read this as fast as you can for the full effect...

"Is that Daddy's office?"
-yes
"Did he go to work?"
-yes
"Did he drive the CRV?"
-yes
"Does he have a motorcycle too?"
-yes
"Does it get better gas mileage than the van?"
-yes
"Does it have a big engine?"
-yes
"Does it take him on big adventures?"
-yes
"Does it drive really fast?"
-yes
"I had Lucky Charms for BREAKFAST!!"
???

Okie dokie! lol!

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hero

If you've read my blog for any amount of time at all, you are probably aware of Kiddo's love for superheros. Just about every day he dons some sort of costume, completes the look with a cape and mask, and pretty often adds gloves and boots to the ensemble. He fights criminals, rescues those in trouble and runs around flying and fighting and being "super". Sometimes it's pretty cute, sometimes exhausting, but most of the time now it's so common I don't even really notice it. A couple of times we have been on our way out the door when I realize that he is dressed all in red with surprisingly large muscles! (and no, so far we have not actually made it out the door that way - thank goodness!)

And as far as I know Port has no interest or understanding of this kind of play; big brother is just being his silly, normal self. Occasionally Port will bring me a pair of sunglasses (I guess they remind him of Kiddo's mask) and have me put them on his head (a million times) so he can run off grinning and rip them off his face seconds later.

But for some reason the other day, when Kiddo raided the receiving blanket drawer for a fresh polka dotted cape, Port eyed me curiously as I tied the blanket around Kiddo's neck. The next thing I knew, he had vanished somewhere in the back of the house. I called him, and he came down the hallway with not only a huge grin on his face, but a little receiving blanket from the drawer. He handed it to me and then turned his back to me, in the same way Kiddo had just minutes before. Taking his cue, I tied the blanket around his neck and gave him a cape.

video

Obviously, he liked it! :-)

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Message

Dinnertime Conversation:

~at the dinner table...

Kiddo: "Mommy, who's Sunday school class do you teach?"
Me: "I don't teach Sunday school Baby."
Kiddo: "Why not?"
Me: "Well, I don't know. Should I? Is God trying to tell me something?"
Kiddo: [losing his train of thought] to Hubby: "I got to play on the computer today!"
Me: "Kiddo, is God trying to tell me something?"
Kiddo: "yes"
Me: "What is He trying to tell me?"

Kiddo: "He says you need to finish your dinner Mommy. "

Until,
D :)

Exposed

Little Port woke in the wee hours Sunday morning, leaving me feeling like warmed over road kill by 9am. This early rising thing is really starting to get to me. Add on top of that cramps and general yuck from my monthly visitor (yes, I am talking about *that* on here. sorry) and I was not up to facing the world.

But, it was Sunday after all and we got dressed and loaded up the clan for church. Not feeling up to anything else, I decided to dress casual - jeans and a "dressier" type t-shirt. Normally I try to avoid jeans, wearing casual slacks or at the very least dark wash, but I just couldn't muster up the energy for anything other than comfortable. Our church is not particular about a dress code; we see everything from "Sunday Best" to "Beach Bum" on any particular Sunday, so it's not like I would stand out.

But I do always feel self conscious when I dress down for church. It reminds me of being back in college, getting disapproving looks from the church elders when they saw the casual attire I wore under my choir robe at church. Back then though, it was more a statement of rebellion and just being, well, practical. I mean, I had to wear the robe the whole service, it covered everything, why bother with dressing up? Yet inevitably every week someone would catch a look at me after service, decked out in my ripped jeans and my favorite poncho (lol my favorite poncho - who says that?!?) and I would get "the look". After being there for a few years it didn't bother me anymore. But sometimes the feelings come back now and then.

I've heard the arguments - elders and traditional types that think that being casual in church shows some sort of disrespect. And I've heard theories that it takes away from the seriousness of the message and keeps the attendee from really concentrating on what is going on. For a while I believed it, to some extent; much in the same way I believed just about anything someone "older" (and therefore wiser) told me until I figured out my own truth. So every Sunday while I was being practical and rebellious there was always that underlying element of guilt and shame too. And eventually as I matured and my income allowed me to, I started dressing a little bit better for church.

Now, I am by no means a dress and hose kind of girl - it has to be a particularly special occasion to get something like that out of me (or a direct order). But I do try to look "nice" or "presentable" in case it becomes necessary. I have found that people show more respect and appreciation for someone who looks like they take things seriously; walking the walk and such. But it is still a struggle to wrap my head around it when there isn't enough time for the coffee to kick in and there are too many hooligans nipping at my ankles while I am trying to get ready. I find myself far too often to be a cranky hot mess as we run out the door - barking orders at everyone that even looks in my direction.

But on days like this past Sunday when I physically don't feel up to it, it is nice to know I won't be shunned by showing up to church in a pair of jeans.

We dropped the kids off in their classrooms; the teacher had to peel Port off of me so I could go. Thankfully he calmed down relatively quickly this time, and after a couple of sneaky peeks in his room I was confident that he would be ok for the rest of the service. So we sat in the sanctuary - something we haven't been able to do but a handful of times since Port was born, and it was then that I realized what "dressing down" now does to me.

Even though I know I was not the only one, I felt so exposed. I felt like everyone was watching me, my every move and judging my attentiveness to the sermon. Of course, this was sooooo not the case - I doubt in a church that large anyone even noticed we were there. But my casualness only magnified things. It made me pay more attention to what was being said. I felt like anyone who got up on the stage was talking directly to me - that the entire message was written for my benefit. Our lead pastor was out for the day and so one of the youth ministers delivered the sermon. He spoke of trying to be more like God and, in general, being nicer. It sounds trivial and obvious to write it out like that - of course we should be nice. duh. But for some reason it struck me.

Of course, we all struggle with things - one of mine lately has been my attitude with the people I love. I think I have mentioned here about praying to be "softer" to Kiddo. His big 4 year old attitude more often than not makes me fuss at him from the moment he gets out of bed till the time he returns at night. And it makes me weary - I don't want to be the constantly yelling parent. I don't want to fuss at him continually. So I've been asking God to make me softer - it's the only word I can think of that sums it all up. Make me less abrasive, less likely to yell, more patient, more kind, more fun. It is soooo easy to snap when the baby is screaming and demanding all day, and very often poor Kiddo gets no good attention (only negative) from me because of it.

And of course, Hubby gets the bad end of the stick often too. I am annoyed by the littlest of things and react unpleasantly. I am trying, trying to be better about this. I have good days and bad. I bite my tongue and hold my breath a lot now.

But the pastor asked us to name one person to be nicer to - not just to vow to be nicer in general. And I realized that I have been holding on to some anger, resentment and hurt and it has been festering and taking over my feelings about a couple of people in my life. And so I am going to try to be nicer to them. It is important. It is vital that I do this. Because if I don't I will regret it later. And even as I write this I can't help but rationalize my feelings in my head (well they did this and they said that - I deserve to be angry). I may think I deserve to be angry, but what good does it do? They deserve to be forgiven.

So I don't really know the purpose of this post; just relaying the thoughts in my head. Maybe it will inspire someone reading to be nicer to someone in their lives too. I know for me it will be a slow process; peeling back all the layers of separation and distance - breaking down the walls I have built. I am sure I will put back some of the bricks from time to time, all in the name of protecting myself and what I may feel is a threat to my family, but I do intend to try. Only the grace of God can help me through this though. I can't do it on my own.

Until,
D :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Picture Me Rollin


Good Evening Company Girls and Beloved Regulars (and my Newbies too! Hi!)!

So it is Friday again, please come in, pull up a chair and relax. I will put a pot of decaf on since it is late.

I am really late getting to this post this week because I just got back from Houston a couple of hours ago. I was there for a couple of days to do a photo shoot - a maternity/family combo that was so much fun! The momma is pregnant with twin girls! I am very excited because she has also hired me to do a newborn session for her when the twins arrive. yeeeee!!!

So in the past week I have had a family session, a wedding and the maternity shoot. Next week is a newborn and hopefully my senior rep session. I am waiting for the word to come and possibly shoot a birth session as well. I LOVE being this busy with my photography biz. Lord knows we need it!

I swear the drive to Houston the other day was by far one of the most memorable. Of course, there was a full moon that day so I shouldn't be surprised, but man, people on the road were downright nutty! One woman in a Lexus SUV seemed to get irritated every time I passed her on the freeway. I was using my cruise control so I was maintaining a constant speed, but she kept speeding up and slowing down. When she'd slow, I would pass. She would then stomp on the gas and aggressively pass me and get in front of me. Then she would slow and I would pass her again. This went on for miles and when I passed her for the last time I finally got a good look at her - she was reading a magazine while she drove. It was spread out over the steering wheel and she was flipping the pages....while driving between 65 and 75 miles per hour!!

As soon as I got rid of her then I managed to get behind a guy driving about 60 in a 55 zone on a long, curvy two lane road. I watched as he drove completely off the road into the ditch 6 times and into the on coming traffic lane 4 times. He drove for about 2 miles with two wheels on the road and two in the ditch. He weaved from side to side the entire time, and at every red light he would stop in the middle of the intersection. Every time someone turned in front of him I thought for sure he would rear end them. He scared me to death. When the road finally opened up to 4 lanes I floored it to pass him. Looking in the car I see a little old man; the top of his head barely level with the top of the steering wheel. His mouth was wide open and his knuckles were white. I don't know how he managed to not kill somebody or himself, but strangely his car didn't have a scratch on it.

We managed to make it there safe and sound. On Thursday I was able to meet up with one of my best girl friends and share some time at Sonic. I never get to see her so it was a welcome treat. The photo session was at sunset that night (fabulous!! and so much fun!) and then this morning I met up with another friend and her daughter at a Chick-fil-a. After a wild goose chase trying to find the place (you would think I would know where I was going, considering I grew up in the area, but sadly, no) we were surprised to find out today was cow day. The restaurant was all decked out in cow balloons and fun stuff, and if you wore a cow costume you could get your meal for free (darn! I left my udders at home!). The kids had fun playing together. Even little Port enjoyed his chicken and biscuit breakfast (or should I say my chicken and biscuit breakfast) and play time in the kids play area.

After our breakfast playdate I delivered Kiddo back to Grammy and Happy for an official sleep over and Port and I headed back home. G&H will bring Kiddo back to us tomorrow - I am sure he will be terribly upset that he won't get to stay longer.
[this is the attitude I get when I ask him to model for me so I can test my equipment. *sigh*]

I did manage to get a good photo of G&H and the boys. Grammy wanted it for her Facebook page. lol!
Well, I should go enjoy the quiet evening and head to bed. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Until,
D :)

PS. For all of you new readers (HI!), I just wanted to let you know that I also co-host a podcast called Musing Mommies. We record a new show every week, talk about all things mom related and we have a ton of fun. Please stop over at our site and give us a listen. I would love to know what you think! Thanks!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sleep All Day

My little baby; sweet, sweet baby! He is a bright shining light in my world! But if he doesn't put the kibosh on waking up at 4am, I am going to loose it!
Two mornings in a row now he has risen at 4:15 and not gone back to sleep. He is cutting his eye-teeth and I think they are seriously bothering him. He has not been happy at all for the past 3 or 4 days. The only time we have gotten a decent amount of time out of him where he was relatively fuss free was last night when we were over at Kim's house for dinner. He was happy pretty much the entire time we were there.

Today I took him in for his 15 month well check (seriously, is a 15 month check necessary?? We were just there 3 months ago and we have to go again at 18 months. *sigh* This is wrecking our budget!). I KNEW he was growing! He weighs 29.7 pounds now! And I think she said he was about 32 inches. Overall he is in the 95th% - 3 months ago he was in the 75-90th% range. Mercy. Hopefully now that he is practically running he will slim down some. He and Kiddo like to "race" in circles around the living room and kitchen area. It is pretty much their nightly ritual.

Anyway, I wanted to keep him rear facing in the car for a while longer, but I am pretty sure the rear facing limit for his seat is 30 pounds.So this 4am thing? It has to stop. I am a walking zombie. Kim is going to boot me from Musing Mommies if I can't get my head on right. My husband might disown me if I don't get some energy to clean the house soon. My friends may stop calling... if...if...Dang, it's hard to stay mad at him. Would you look at that face?!?

Until,
D :)

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Heat is On



Happy Friday Company Girls and Other Beloved Readers!

I hope you all are gearing up for a fabulous 4th of July weekend! I can already smell the burgers, dogs and fireworks! We won't be partaking in the festivities this year because I have been hired to shoot a wedding with a wonderful photographer here in town, but I guess making a little $$ and participating in one of the best days in a couple's lives is well worth the trade. ;) Hopefully Hubby will find something fun for he and the boys to do in my absence.

Things are beginning to get busy here. I thought summer time was for rest and relaxation?? Oh well! I had a wonderful family photo session this morning and as mentioned earlier I have a wedding tomorrow night. Then next week I am traveling to Houston to do a maternity session, and the beginning of the week after that I have a newborn session to shoot! whew! I am exhausted just thinking about it - but so excited of course! I also have 2 sets of twins coming in the next couple of months to photograph and several senior sessions as well. I am so thankful that things are looking up because we really need the money. I am blessed to have a profession that I absolutely love and the more I book, the happier I get!

My session this morning was so fun! We met out at a park near downtown - it is a historic property that is home to beautiful ponds, old stone walls and walkways, beautiful greenery, trees and lawns and also a very large number of free roaming peacocks!
The peacocks are beautiful of course! Have you ever heard a peacock though? Uh, well it is quite shocking the first time you hear it - especially if you happen to be less than a couple of feet from one like I was this morning. It's something like the cross between a baby cry, a kid yelling "help" and a very sick cat. Yeah, I think that is pretty accurate.

We got to the park pretty early and the first few minutes were very nice. But then the heat started kicking in. Oh mercy the HEAT! It was so humid I was absolutely, literally soaked through my clothes by the time we were done. I have never sweat so much - I actually weighed a pound less when I got home! Those poor kids - they were soooo good putting up with the heat. I was so very proud of them!

This heat is just unbearable right now. We've had a couple of weeks of 100+ temps every day except for a couple days this week when it rained. I have never been more thankful for the rain. The heat has really made a mess of my garden - I simply can't water enough to keep it going right now. I pulled all of the zucchini and corn this week. (sadness) They just weren't producing and the squash bugs were taking over everything. I was going to leave one plant that had one last zucchini on it, and I noticed a spot where something had bored into the stem. I pushed back the debris and saw what looked like 10-20 baby squash bug larva squirming around. I just yanked the whole plant and tried not to cry.

So I am concentrating my efforts (and my water) on the tomatoes, the beans (which aren't producing either thanks to the heat) the peppers and the new black beans and lima beans. The herbs are doing fine - the basil is I think now my prized plant. I love it's fullness and beauty and ahhh the scent! I swear I could make a perfume from the crushed leaves. I love the smell of my hands after I pick some - heavenly!

The water needed to maintain them though - oiy! I am so scared to see my water bill this month. I have recently implemented a new plan for water conservation though. I have been collecting milk jugs and trying to salvage every little bit of water I can. I collect all the left over water from drinking glasses in the house and save the cooking water from cooking vegetables. In stead of soaking dirty dishes in the sink and then scrubbing and rinsing them under running water before putting them in the dishwasher, I scrub them in the soaking water and put them in the dishwasher from there. And, instead of filling up the sink with water and putting dishes in to soak, I put the dishes in first and fill the sink with the water that runs throughout the day when I wash my hands or rinse something off. If I need to rinse something (like maybe strawberries) I put some water in a small bowl and rinse the item, then put the rinse water in my collection bucket. When I filled up the kiddie pool for the boys last week, all of that water went to my garden as well. I am collecting all I can to reuse and turning off the water anytime I can as well. And when I do turn it on, I don't put it on full blast like I used to. Most things can be done just as well with the water on only half way.

In an effort to combat my gas bill too I am not using as much hot water either. I have cut my showers down by about 5 minutes and opt to shave my legs in the sink with just a little bit of water held by the drain plug.

I don't know how much it's helping, but it has to be making some sort of difference, right? I am collecting anywhere from 2-4 gallons a day just in the kitchen. The other things I am doing have to be conserving some as well. Of course, I am watering the garden every day now so I am sure I am still going to cry when I get my water bill.

Do you have any other ideas on water conservation? I would love to know your thoughts!

Have a wonderful, blessed weekend! And thanks for stopping by!

Until,
D :)
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