Saturday, August 29, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 26 - NO!

I think I've finally fixed the comments! I thought people just weren't wanting to leave comments for me anymore.... It turns out this cool blog template I'm using doesn't support comments embedded on the main page so I switched it back to a full page view when you select comments below any post. Comments are always appreciated!!!

These photos were all shot on our front porch a few weeks ago right after breakfast (yes, I'm still weeks behind in our personal photo editing!). Sometimes I let them play just on the porch and sometimes they get to get off as well. Our porch is definitely big enough to give them plenty of room to move around. One of Blake's favorite things to do is take the cushions off our furniture. Without the cushions they can get on and off much easier. Fast forward to now and we have almost kicked the cushion removing habit.

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So what was all the drama about? I said they could not get off the porch. They tried and tried and tried. Each time I would say no when Blake would promptly burst into a noisy wailing tearful mess.

Friday, August 28, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 25 - Help - What are these bites from?

Does anyone know what kind of thing gave Madison and I these awful bites? I know we got them while sitting on the bottom step of our front porch since her and I sat there yesterday evening for a while. I noticed both of us had red welts like any mosquito bite and about as itchy. The one on my calf really started bothering me while trying to go to sleep. Today both of us now have these larger red welts with dime sized orangy white dimpled skin in the middle. It is still irritated when fabric or something else touches it and kinda throbs, but the throbbing is barely noticeable. We showed it to the pharmacist who said to go to the doctor if it continues to get worse. There weren't any helpful bite photos online. Any ideas?
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These next shots are all from our trip to Georgia in July. We went to the pool where we all had a great time once the babies got used to the water. Blake enjoyed all of the adventurous things while Madison liked lounging and cuddling the most. Though surprisingly she sat on the side and threw the tennis ball a few times. I think the shot of Blake and Gracie through the splash from Blake's tennis ball throw is way cool! My dad and Guy even took over the camera for a while so I could have some fun, get shots and even be in a few.
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The kids eating their banana and raisin snack were so funny. Blake had almost an entire banana shoved into his mouth in the first few shots. He also tried to get in great big handfuls of raisins so Madison had to do the same to make sure she was getting her fair share. Check out how slim she is looking. Though really she's as solid as a tree trunk. Even though Blake is big he still feels like a feather weight to me.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Infertility & Adoption - What to say to a friend dealing with these issues

What to you say to a friend dealing with infertility?

Well, this is a huge topic most of us who have dealt with could write novels about. The easiest thing to say is, "I'm sorry." Then zip it. Really. That's it. Nothing more is needed nor in most cases wanted. This advice is for those fertile mertyls out there.

My friend send me a link to this blog with a post talking about this subject and a call out for links to blog posts talking about this topic. I love to talk about infertility, because too many of us keep it all bottled inside.

We really DO NOT want to hear about the one friend you know someone who knows someone who is related to said someone got pregnant on their own after years of trying, adopting a child or having a baby by artificial reproductive technologies (ART). Those are the far and few between. They are the ones people talk about. People don't talk about the 95% left who still don't have a baby, gave up years ago for emotional and/or financial reasons, adopted the one baby, had the one baby by ART or are still plugging away at getting the one live baby. Stories of hope are great, but they aren't that helpful.

Don't get me wrong. Most of us are very appreciative of your concern for us. It's just that the journey of infertility is truly like an old wooden roller coaster with super highs and lows jostling you then entire trip. I broke my tailbone on one of those stinkin roller coasters about 6 years ago and it still hurts making this the perfect metaphor for me! With all the ups and downs it is really hard to gauge what comments will be hurtful and which will be OK at any given time. The same comment can be taken either way depending on the receivers spot on the ride.

My spot is a great one right now. I have two beautiful babies whom I used to call my little drug babies until Guy, the cop, kept complaining because it sounds bad. Those drugs were and are awesome for helping them get here to us.

My spot may not be so great soon. We are gearing up to try again in December. I really thought it would be all fine and dandy with no drama. Well, dang it, I'm already having drama about my doctors appointment next week to see what we need to do before then. Most Reproductive Endocrinologists want to do ALL the tests over again if you have been more then a year since your last tests. Not fun and they can be pricy. The last few nights I've been dreaming about being pregnant and dramatic situations around pregnancy.

Over the last few weeks I've mentioned to several people we are about to try again. Yeah, no one cares. I'm pretty sure this is the typcial reaction from people when someone already has kids. But we aren't typical. We can't expect to be announcing happy news in 3-6 months. We also have to deal with the drama of doctors appointments, laying out the dough, prepping for a cycle and all the drugs.

The other blog also brought up adoption. I'm glad she did. Most of us with fertility issues have thought long and hard about adoption. Both my husband and I would love to adopt especially because we both have adopted siblings we adore! But that is often harder or just as hard as fertility treatments. Domestic private (both open and closed) adoption is a lot of work by the adoptive parents, quite expensive (like IVF expensive) and there is no guarentee because the birth mom/family has to find you and pick you. Domestic adoption through foster care is very time consuming, economical, often heart breaking as you say goodby to one or more kids you've taken in that were available for adoption and very rarely can you get an infant especially one not adidcted or handicapped. International adoption is more of a guarentee with it's long long waits, high expenses (20-35 thousand) & stacks of paperwork though most contries are much less available and more restrictive about allowing United States adoptions. Oh, and the most obnoxious thing about modern adoption. You have to prove over and over again to many people YOU are worthy to get a child. Talk about fear of rejection and hurt when so many can just get pregnant who are clearly unworthy, but they get to keep their baby. Unfortunately there are many less babies available for adoption then there are people who want to adopt. Abortion is definitely a contributing factor.

Speaking of abortion. I called Planned Parenthood (I didn't know what they were really all about then) for some advice and leads on adopting figuring they were counceling women of their options to place a child for adoption, abort & offering birth control. The lady rudely let me know they do not help with adoptions in any way. Wow!

Not only is primary infertility a major issue in this country so is secondary infertility. So many couples have one or more children and then hit a fertility roadblock. We should not be limited to being completely greatful for the one or more child we have. Only we and our Heavenly Father can determine when our family is complete. It is OK to want more children. Not only is it OK, we should be able and supported for trying to complete our family with necessary fertility treatments and/or adoptions. I feel just as bad for those suffering from secondary infertility. They must feel like all of a sudden a wall is in front of them blocking the goal they saw only yesterday.

What to you say to a friend dealing with infertility? - I'm sorry. As many times as she needs to hear it over the span of your relationship. If you have some fabulous knowledge of fertility help feel free to share it. There may be just the tid bit of information they need to get pregnant. If you hear of any bith mom wanting to place her child for adoption make sure to blog about it and send an email to all of your friends. Someone may just know the adoptive parents for the child. Definitely give me a shout out as I know a few people actively looking to adopt right now.

There is definitely hope, love, support, luck, connections & knowledge out there. Love is the way to share and help. Love is always an appreciated emotion. Love doesn't mean pity or even empathy. Love is just love. To all my friends and family. I LOVE YOU!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 24 - haircuts smaercuts

This picture share is all about drama. We took them in to the KIDS hair salon while in GA a few weeks ago. Guy was tired of my procrastinating cutting Blake's hair & I wasn't quite sure what I would do with Madison's.
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These kids will be getting mommy haircuts until I'm up to this drama again. And it was expensive! $30 to whack at their hair for about 8 minutes.

My sweet babies! They are so interesting to watch grow & develop. I know it will all pass quickly in the grand scheme of things so I try and keep that in mind. Who knows if they will want a cuddle or kiss tomorrow so I'd better take them now. Who knows if they will eat a particular food tomorrow so I try not to get upset if they don't eat something. Who knows if they will be doing that cute thing tomorrow so I'd better watch today. There are so many fleeting expressions, actions and moments. Even the tough days are going to be gone soon. Sure there will be more good and bad to come, but it will be different.

Though I can very clearly rejoice the first year is over!!!! Today we went for a walk. They hopped up running to the door calling out 'Bu Bye' repeatedly as soon I let them know we were leaving. They both walked out the door on their own leaving me to grab everything we needed in my hands so there were no return trips to get something. They kept on their glasses and hats almost the whole time & they are starting to tell me what they want, need and see. Life is pretty stinkin good.

I have some cool photos up on the photo blog as well as some shots of some great products. I can design big albums & the new accordion albums from past sessions as well as your upcoming sessions.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 22 - Stone Mountain Park

When we went to Atlanta a few weeks ago all of us trekked out to Stone Mountain Park. It was definitely a Hotlanta evening keeping us all nice and swampy feeling.

Our first stop in the park was the old plantation home. It was pretty stinky (as in smelly) of old stuff, but I always love seeing it. They had a really pretty little garden right by the house too. Blake & Madison are getting really good about keeping their sunglasses on. Blake went to all of us at one point or another. Gracie and Madison were pretty much inseparable.
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We ended up eating dinner at the park. I thought it was funny when the waitress threw our rolls at us from a platform above us. I don't think it was a common practice in the restaurant so she must have just thought we were cool. Oh yeah, we are pretty stinkin cool.
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The passifiers are officially gone! Today at church I had a moment of panic when my friends kiddos tossed his/her binkie (a few occasions) on the ground. Both kids were concerned about giving them back to the kids and not using them!!! Love it. I still can't believe how easy it was to get rid of them. There is actually a lot LESS drama in our house without them. No more 'where is it' or 'don't you dare take it from me' to deal with.

I forgot to adjust the aperature when taking this photo of Gracie and I to make us both in focus. It's great she is the one in focus! The photo of Guy and Blake is odd looking to me. Blake's shirt looks kind of like it could belong to Guy with Blake behind him instead of on his shoulder. Maybe it's just me.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 22

I just haven't had that blogging feeling lately. Mostly it's just been me busy editing the wedding and designing the album. A little of it may be the bad news we received about my grandma. Another part of it is the lack of personal photo editing lately. This morning I looked at my unprocessed photos to find they haven't been processed since the 27th of July. The better part of my day has been spent processing all of our personal photos. Tomorrow or the next day I'll put together a bunch of storyboards to share with you over the next week.

We also started another big project today. While editing the wedding the last week I let the kids use their binkies more then just for sleeping. Bad choice. Blake quickly turned into a binkie wanting little devil. It irritated me so much I decided to take them away from them both cold turkey starting today since Guy would be off for four days. This morning when getting them out of bed Blake wouldn't even look at me in want of finding his lost binkie. He didn't get it and hasn't had it since. He has definitely been short tempered today to say the least. It took him about an hour and a half to get to sleep at nap time with a lot of crying. Madison was annoyed with Blake not letting her sleep, but hasn't really been upset about the loss of her binkie. Tonight Blake was not happy about going to sleep without his binkie & fussed quite a bit. After about 5 minutes of hollering he calmed down a bit until madison lost her balance and hit her head. I went in to cuddle two kids who did not want to be cuddled. They played for a few minutes then I left. Thirty minutes later they were alseep with only normal playing noises. Hopefully the nap was the only real drama we have to go through. Probably not, but they better be over them in the next three days!

My friend had a good idea if the cold turkey doesn't work. She said she puts a hole in their passy so it is not so fun. Then the kiddo makes the hole larger as they try to use it making it unusable. Her kids and many of her friends kids have done very well with this method.

This photo cracks me up. Cute little teary eyed Madison with a mischievous Blake in the background. I really ought to remember to put bibs on my kids more often when they eat. Her shirt is a wreck! And it was the first time she wore said brand new shirt.
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strange... pure strange

Here is an oldie but goodie shot of Madison checking out Moose last year. Just look at that bald head.
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So today I had a very weird prompting to get me to church. It has been hard lately with the twins food, activity level and tiredness. Last night I was waiting for an upload to finish before going to bed. It took until about 12:30 am which only gave me about 7 hours of sleep when all was said and done. My alarm went off at 7:30 am. I quickly turned it off and laid back down for some lazy prayer time. I am suddenly jolted awake by my fire alarm! It went off throughout the house. As soon as my brain realized what it was & I was very alertly upright it stopped. It was 8:10 am. In order to get to church on time it is best to leave at 8:30 or earlier. My thought is the fire alarm was to get me out of bed & to church. The kids were playing happily in their cribs as they normally do (very contentedly for about 30-60 minutes every morning before hollering for me to get them). As I quickly went about getting us all out the door for church I was also busy sniffing every part of the house. No smoke. Nothing.

I did take my camera bag, computer, backup drive and card reader to church with me just on the off chance the house burnt down while we were at church... What was the weirdest prompting you have received in your life?

Friday, August 14, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 21 - More stinkin bad news... Ughhhh

Recently my grandmother was encouraged to get some tests because of a persistent cough. The doctor mentioned he thought she may have Parkinson's like Guy's dad was diagnosed with earlier this year. We were all upset by this possible diagnosis. My other fear was throat cancer from 50 years of living with a chain smoker. They ruled out cancer right away. The test earlier this week showed she did not have Parkinson's. I think we were all breathing easier despite the test she then had scheduled for today. My mom sent an email this afternoon. She was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig disease. Well, that is worse then any of the things we had been afraid of. The prognosis is so grim. A typical case only has a 3-5 year life once the symptoms start. My mom pasted what she found out on the web today from some site.

This sentence really made me a bit mad. It was following a statement about how devistating such news brings to the person diagnosed and their family typically requiring time to grieve and mourn. "Be hopeful. Some people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis live much longer than the three to five years typically associated with this condition. Some live 10 years or more. Keeping hope alive is vital for people with ALS." What?!?!? We are supposed to be happy she may (if we are really lucky) get to keep her for 10 more years. My whole family thought she would outlive us all up until this year when my mom has noticed quite a few things that worried her. It doesn't matter to me she is 89 years old. Up until this year she moved around and acted like someone in their 60's. People were always shocked when they learned her age.

Here is a photo of Madison and I. She really is a serious child much of the time. But I always get a smile when I go into their room to get them out of their cribs. She also smiles for me when she is busy playing then sees me looking at her. She loves the knowledge that I am there for her and watching what she is doing. Blake, though, is the one that can get her to smile anytime and no matter what mood she is in as long as he doesn't touch her. He invades her space, often painfully, so many times every day she can't stand to have him touch her about 50% of the time. On the other side of this she always has to have him within sight. ALWAYS. The other night we had Blake in our room with us, because he was having a rough night with leg cramps again. We all fell asleep only to have Madison wake Guy up screaming. He went in to calm her down. She refused. Then he thought to come get Blake to put him in his crib. As soon as Blake was back in his crib next to hers she calmed down going right back to sleep. Guy thought it was hilariously cute the next morning.
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My birthday was great. Thanks again to everyone who so nicely wished me to have a happy day! Happy Birthday again to all my birthday twins Eric, Tyler & Elaine! You guys all have a sweet birthday.

Since writing the message about my grandma we talked on the phone. She really is amazing. I know this will be so hard for her especially with her lack of religious beliefs. She asked how I am doing first, then completely agreed with me it was a crappy day. She said she will not dwell on it. She feels whatever happens will happen so why worry. The doctor today was very nice to her and asked a lot of questions to the other doctor/staff (not sure who) about ALS. She didn't offer much hope letting her know she could die in two months or live much longer. My mom said she's had some of the symptoms for at least a year. There is no cure. All I know right now is how grateful I am to have her in my life and for our trip scheduled to see the family in October.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 20

It was so much fun hanging out with Melissa and trying out their 'poor man's pool' as she puts it. Hey, it was hot, and the pool was wet! Enough said. I left the kids in their PJ's until we got in the pool. Melissa showed me the adorable nursery which inspired me to take some pre-shoot shots for their upcoming photo shoot. I have a shot of the nursery on the photo blog. Our shoot will be a lot more grungy urban which suits the family well, but I know Melissa wanted some super girly pretty shots of Rylee in here heart of hearts.

The babies had to be coaxed into the chair, but liked it once they sat in it.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 19

Way back in 8th grade my friend, Misty, and I tried a hair a cream hair removal product. It did not work so I've always had a bad opinion about them ever since. The other day in my not so favorite warehouse club,BJ's, I was shopping for razors. Why oh why are they do stinkin expensive? Really, $30 for about 10 razor head changes? I saw a package of Veet a little down the row and decided to try it out for only $10. The package had two pretty good size tubes in it. I'm happy to report it worked rather well. It lasts just a few hours less then shaving does. My hair isn't to thick though so it may not work for everyone.

Blake's hand in Guy's. We've had a few times in recent weeks when we've had (chosen) to give the kids snacks or food in the car. The kids have started to put their hands out to us, and we find looking back to see these little hands with palms up and fingers ready to grip hysterical. Blake holds his up above his head towards the top of the seat. Madison puts hers strait out to the side.
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We went out to play in the yard and to watch the storm approach.
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Blake is loving to make the 'Oooo' noise and mouth shape. What am I saying? He loves to make EVERY noise he can. The boy talks pretty much nonstop unless we are in a public place he isn't comfortable in yet. Madison is very good at playing with us all and playing by herself.
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Tornado? We thought maybe too. But the clouds moved a little more to show it was only a really low dip in the clouds.
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She went to the stairs for a while to do her own thing. We smelled 'her own thing' not long after...
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After changing her diaper the storm arrived. We sat on the porch enjoying the noise and feel of all the rain. It got Guy and the kids pretty wet.
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As they got tired and relaxed onto the porch we knew it was time to go in to bed. It was great to spend more quality time with our kids.
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

30 days of summer - Day 18 - And a winner!

A girl and her new dolly. They ended up making friends by this morning. When I walked in from waking up late (alarm was supposed to go off at 7:15 but I woke at 7:45) Madison wasn't awake yet despite Blake hollering to either wake her up or get me to let him out. She blinked at me a couple of times while I was getting Blake out of his crib. By the time I turned to her she was cuddling her new doll. Way cute.
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The reason we we in a hurry to get out of the house ASAP this morning was to meet up with some friends at a local farm. They allow people to come pick blueberries for free as long as we give them 1/2 of what is picked. I managed to get new diapers on, load up the diaper bag with breakfast, get my camera, load the feeding chairs, load up the pack n play, get dressed & even brush my teeth in less then 20 minutes. It still made us late, but my friend meeting me pulled up at the exact same time! Love it. I still would have rather sat there waiting for her then have the stress of running late. Being timely and early is one of the things I appreciate learning most from Guy. It turns out I realized the diaper bag (with the camera) didn't make it into the car as I was putting them into their feeding chairs next to the bushes! At least I had grabbed some granola for myself on the way out the door & we were picking blueberries so the kids had food to eat as well as their water they had in the car. They were very good for about an hour. Then Blake only wanted to be held tightly by me. Madison was so jealous of him being held she demanded the same. That was it for me picking. Luckily the ladies agreed to go back on Monday for round two. I won't forget the camera or the food this time!

Now for the winner!

I used to generate the random number. It gave me 15.

Maria is the winner!!! You have 48 hours to reply to this post or my email. I'm sure you will absolutely love your new diaper!

The lucky 15th comment:

loki photography July 23, 2009 2:53 PM

I follow your blog! :)


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