Sunday, May 31, 2009

Life With An Almost Two Year Old

Hope will be two in July. Being the overachiever that she is (she IS Monk's child, after all) she has decided to get a jump on her two year old behavior early.

There's this...


...and 2 seconds later, there's this...


I'm telling you, this one could have given Sally Field a run for her money in the movie, Sybil. Can we say multiple personalities, everyone?

Apparently, it is a crime to take a picture of your almost two year old while she eats. Or at least in her book it is.

Some other observations of these particular pictures would be:

1. Yes, she is eating a Totino's Pizza Roll. Yes, it's unhealthy. It was also easier to pick it up while I was at Target as opposed to coming home and trying to make homemade dough, adding my own toppings and baking for 12 - 15 minutes. Thank-you Mr. Totino. You understand a tired momma's plight. And you're cheap to boot.

2. That is not a booger or pizza roll under Hope's nose. It is, in fact, a scab from where she fell down the other day. If you will notice, there is also a small bruise on her cheek as well. That would be from where she fell down the other day, too. A different day. She falls down every day so frankly they all seem to blur together now. Our days consist of fall down....cry.....fall down....cry....fall down....cry. You get the picture. That is unless, she decides to cry over me taking pictures of her eating her pizza rolls.

3. Did you notice her new haircut? Her significantly shorter haircut? That would because I took her to Pro-Cuts (or as I'm convinced...Pro-HACKS!) and the lady there completely wrecked her hair. I'm talking one side was about and inch shorter than the other side! People keep asking me why I left with it like that and the short answer is simply this: I don't speak Vietnamese and I feel it's safe to say that I wasn't going to communicate our particular issue effectively when a language barrier was involved! That and I wanted to beat her about the head.

In my desperation I called Marinell (the Hair Genius) and while she doesn't usually do children's hair, she made an exception for me. I'm convinced it's because she loves me. Anyway, she took the Hack Job and turned it into a really cute little pixie bob. When a particular little girl is not quite so emotional, I hope to take a better picture to show y'all. Which pretty much means...never.

And Charlotte? Well, she just pretty much sits there and smiles and coos while Hope throws herself on the ground and screams.

Somewhere in the back of her little 6 month old brain though, I bet she's taking notes.

I'm sure of it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's New?

Well, around here....this is what's new...


...and this is what we've been doing with it..

....throwing in a little of this good stuff (and yes, the stems and all can go in!! Can anyone say extra F-I-B-E-R!!)..


...and a little of this stuff (L to R: Coconut milk, Kefir, wheat germ and flax seed meal)...

DSC_0069 it off with some ice...


and give it a whirl.


Creamy, smooth, yummy and healthy. And a little pretty too, I think!


But the best part is the response I get when I make them...


...good to the last drop.

Oh wait. That's someone else's phrase, isn't it? Okay, okay, I got one...

...good to the last slurp!

More to come on the VitaMix and what else I've made in this new love in my life!

Let me just say wouldn't believe the stuff I've put in that blender and the kids don't even have a clue! ::insert evil laugh here::

Also, I love it SO much that I'm seriously thinking about taking it on vacation with us next week. ::insert mental help here:: Seriously.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Dresses

So Granny (my mom) sent the four little girls new dresses that she had made for them. They all wore them to church today. Me, being the good daughter that I am, had planned on taking pictures so I could send them to her.

So she can, you know, prove that she has the cutest granddaughters ever. Like anyone else had a chance. As if.


In the hubbub of the morning, pictures didn't happen and by the time we got home from church, the two bigger girls had shed their dresses for something more comfy. Dang. Since I was down to the two smaller ones, I knew that I had to move fast lest someone spit up, have a blow out or get into the butter and ruin my chances for any pictures at all.

Yes. Hope eats the butter. Straight from the dish. All the time.

So we went out onto the front porch and this is what followed...

We tried really hard for a good one together, but you see how that worked for us!

new dresses_0105

So...we split'em up.

Charlie finally came to life...

new dresses_0119

And this one was definitely a keeper had it not been for Madgirl's orange toes in the background. And the lovely stream of snot running down Charlotte's nose. Orange toes and snotty noses aside, I just love a gingham dress on a baby girl!

new dresses_0127

Charlotte wants Granny to know that her dresses arent' just for wearing...they're delicious as well! And just so you know...after we finished taking pictures I most certainly did NOT use that dress to wipe her nose. No, I did not.

new dresses_0128

I thought Charlie's pictures turned out pretty stinkin' cute. Even if they were a little snotty.

And Hope's? Well, you just need to see for yourself.

We should have known with this first shot that things were going to get interesting. You can see the deviousness brewing behind her eyes!

new dresses_0108

I said, "look at Momma's camera Hope!" and this is what I got...

new dresses_0110

If you can look past the tongue, her dress really is quite cute.

Smarmy kid.

Then we tried to distract her. I said, "Hope, show Momma your nose!". And this is what I got..

new dresses_0113

...a proud parenting moment, I assure you.

So you think Granny should show that one to the little old ladies at her Baptist church in Tennessee?? They might need to hold a prayer meeting right then and there. Sing a chorus or two of Just As I Am or something.

This would be why my mom has coined the phrase, "the wild one" when referring to Hope. ::sigh::

Then about 2 minutes after that last picture was taken, Hope jumped off the porch, tripped over her sandal and did a face plant on the cement. Road rash all along the right side of her forehead and just below her eye, plus a slightly bloody nose.

Yep. The Wild One. I need to go pray now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me Monday

So, in the spirit of the Not Me Monday segment of MckMama's blog, I am choosing to completely and totally reveal my most embarrassing, idiotic moments of the last week for all of blogdom to see.

Well. All two of you at least.

And here we go...

I was called at 4:20 am this last Saturday morning by my good friend and midwife, Ann. She informed me that she had a momma who was very much in hard labor (closing in on transition) and her birth photographer was very ill and could I please come and shoot the birth for them.

I most certainly did NOT in my groggy stupor tell her to check the momma and please call me back!!! Oh no, not me!! It's not like she's been a midwife for 20+ years and I've shot .... oh... TWO births! I certainly would NOT tell the midwife what to do! Not me!

While driving around the corner to my sister's house yesterday, I most certainly wasn't eating fried chicken while driving. First of all, that would be dangerous to drive and eat greasy, fried chicken. Secondly, it would make me a hick. And I am definitely NOT a hick.

And while driving I did NOT almost hit a mailbox when a piece of the aforementioned fried chicken fell into my nursing bra and I swerved Phil the Suburban when I went digging for it! NOT ME! That would be so tacky! And dangerous!

AND I most definitely did NOT EAT that piece of fried chicken after successfully retrieving it either!

Then after throwing the chicken bone out the window, 6 year old Liv informed me I was littering. I explained to her that the chicken bone was biodegradable and that while I wouldn't normally do it - it was not littering. She then loudly asked, "you mean SQUIRRELS eat chicken bones?!?!?!?". I most certainly did NOT, in any uncertain terms, tell her "Yes" because I just didn't want to get into it with her! That right there would be bad parenting y'all and that is SO Not Me!

And amazingly enough, since I sleep in my nursing bra and hit the floor running this morning without showering, I most definitely did NOT find yet one other tiny piece of fried chicken in my nursing bra earlier today!! Not Me! That would be so totally gross and I would never admit that! Ever!

I also didn't laugh hysterically after finding it! That would just be sick and demented and that is NOT ME!

(Just so you know...I didn't eat that piece. I was already full from dinner.)

Go check out what everyone else is NOT doing this week at MckMama's blog - it makes you feel a whole lot better about yourself!

Of course, it's pretty safe to say that most of you haven't eaten fried chicken out of your bra lately, so maybe it's not necessary to go any further than here... Just sayin'.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Still Here...Barely

It's been one of those weeks, y'all.

I'm tired, overwhelmed and extremely behind on almost everything. I'm not complaining, just trying to adjust to the new normal. Which around here is never normal, so maybe it's just the new...weird.

I would, however, like to tell you one story though before I go back into my catatonic state...

I went to take some maternity pictures this last Tuesday night at the local Botanic Gardens in Fort Worth. I chose this beautiful spot by a pond and sat my little Pregnant Momma down on a rock. It was perfect; sunny day, shimmering water, good lighting (I think), etc...


I step back from the momma and I hear some rustling. I happen to look down and directly behind the rock where I have just sat the very Pregnant Momma and about 2 feet from my foot there lies ...


It had to have been about 1 1/2 inches around and at least 5 feet long! {{{shiver}}} There he sat, all coiled up, flicking his little tongue out at me. My first instinct was to run screaming like a mad woman, yelling, "Snake! Snake! Run for you lives!!". However, I managed to refrain from completely losing my composure. And my bladder.

Aren't you proud?

I quickly stepped forward, looked Pregnant Momma directly in the eye, put out my hand and very calmly said, "you need to take my hand and stand up, NOW". Pregnant Momma didn't bat and eye and did exactly as she was told. I do believe she knew by my firm tone and possibly the petrified look on my face that something was seriously wrong.

Once safely on the sidewalk, we both shuddered profusely...ahem...some of us more than others (ME! ME! ME!) Quite honestly, it was one of those situations where I wanted to turn in circles while shuddering and wiping off imaginary creep crawlies from all over my body. And more than likely yelling, "EWWWWWWWW!!!!".

But I wasn't scared.

Needless to say, I don't remember much about the pictures after that point. I had become rather obsessed with looking everywhere I stepped! Unfortunately, I had also become less concerned with ISO's and apertures and more concerned with, you know...BIG, FAT BLACK SNAKES! So much for reckless inhibition.

Have I mentioned I'm terrified of snakes?

Then, in hindsight I was really mad that I didn't take a picture of the BIG, FAT BLACK SNAKE to post on here. I wanted to freak y'all out. Cause I like that whole "shock value" sorta thing.

Anyway, that's pretty much been the whole week around here. I hope everyone else's week has been awesome and has had no BIG, FAT BLACK SNAKES! Or bladder control issues. That's always good.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day To Me

Well. This pretty much sums things up, I'd say.


A decent picture with the girls was not meant to be. ::sigh::

However, there are perks to being a mother of 6.


I got a pretty good haul, don't y'all think?? Um, the spa gift certificate? There were two of them. Can anyone else hear that massage calling my name??

Hope all you momma's had a wonderful day!

Go take a look here for something new!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Miracle of a Curse

I was up all night last night. And when I say "all" night, I do mean ALL night.

(I haven't pulled an all nighter like that one since college. Me and my friend A. decided to toilet paper our entire girl's dorm while staying up all night studying for finals. When everyone walked out the next morning it looked like a glorious winter wonderland! Except not. We also received work detail for using the school's toilet paper! Ha! Oh, the joys of attending a small Baptist college...::sigh::)


I had the privilege of photographing another birth last night. And just so you know, in my book it is always a privilege to photograph life. It is an absolute gift to be able to witness and capture a little one's first breath in this world. To be able to share in and photograph one of life's greatest joys as husband and wife is truly an amazing experience.

I was called to the birth center at 9:30 last night. Little did I know when I arrived at 10:30 pm that a baby wouldn't be born until 6:09 the this
morning and I wouldn't be heading home for almost 12 hours. It was a long night to say the least. Definitely different from photographing my first birth which was 4 1/2 hours from the time I arrived until the time I left.

As usual, Charlotte was an awesome baby! She slept through the whole thing, waking up only once to nurse around 4 am and then sleeping until 7 am ~ after all the excitement was over!

It was a hard birth to witness in some regards. Mama got stuck between 6 and 7 cm for many hours. She was exhausted from having been laboring for 24 hours and she was a first time mama to boot. Her energy and strength were waning in the wee hours of the morning and it was hard, at times, to listen to her cry out, "how much longer?". I could empathize. Those last hours feel like days and the option to just "go to the hospital" starts looking better and better all the time. This is where good coaching and encouragement from husbands and midwives is essential. And if I had to make an educated estimate, I would guess about 97% of the time ~ mama's make it to the end.

But as I watched, sometimes painfully, and listened to this mama's pleas last night and this morning, I was reminded of something. A stark realization that Monk and I had both come upon after the birth of Hope. It was a realization that would change both of us and humble us to our knees. Last night I was quickly taken back to that moment at the birth center when Monk and I, through tears, had both discovered the same thing.

We had just experienced Genesis 3:16

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.

Because of Man's sin, there were going to be certain, lasting repercussions. A curse for the serpent, "the dust you shall eat" the rest of his days, a curse upon the ground for Adam that he would have to work by the sweat of his brow, etc... And pain in childbirth was what was brought upon woman.

Before Hope was born I had experienced four previous births, all medicated in some form (Madison not so much, but not ALL natural either) at the hospital. I had never really experienced that "pain in childbearing" because I was always numb from the waist down. For me, birth in the hospital was less of a process and more of a procedure. I didn't get Genesis 3:16. I read it, but I didn't get it.

After Hope, I got it. But the great part is that the Bible doesn't stop there. It doesn't just say woman will have pain in childbirth and that's it. That's where John 16:21 comes in. It reads:

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. ESV

And there, my friends, is the miracle. We forget. We suffer through the birthing process with the pain that is at times, unbearable and yet God, in His goodness and grace, gives us a reward. When we hold that sweet babe, we forget. And not only do we forget, we get to have joy. Great joy!

This morning at 6:09 am I saw that. I saw a woman, who at just moments before her baby was born, was experiencing that pain in childbirth. A long, hard labor that at times she didn't think she could endure. And then, the minute that baby girl was finally born and she was given to her mama, the pained expression disappeared from her face and was replaced with a huge smile.

And then her mama said, "Hi, baby girl. Momma loves you so much".


I can't even begin to describe what it's like to see that played out. It's one thing to experience it yourself, but it's a completely different thing to watch someone else experience it. To see those verses come to life. To watch God's faithfulness played out right before your very eyes.

He is faithful, my friends. Yes, He is.

Welcome Baby Liza. May you one day know what your momma went through just to tell you that she loves you.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

iHeart Faces ~ Hats

Since my sweet Charlie turned 5 WHOLE MONTHS OLD this past Sunday, I decided to make her my focus of Hat Theme at iheart faces this week!

I love her so and she has such a kissable head and kissable cheeks and kissable feet, and kissable....well, need I go on? Anyway, she's one of my favorite subjects to photograph these days because:

1. She's not mobile yet so she can't run or turn away or anything! She is completely and totally at my will! MUHAHAHAHA!


2. She doesn't have the vocabulary to complain about me taking pictures AGAIN. She just smiles and drools a lot. Perfect! And even if she screams I can still keep taking's cute.

But today there was no screaming....just cuteness.

Charlie Girl

::Sigh:: I could take pictures of that sweet face all day long....

Go check out more hats and faces ~ you won't be disappointed. As a matter of fact, I think you'll smile. Just like y'all are doing right now!

Really Now..

In light of the current Pork Pandemic the world is experiencing, aka H1N1, Swine Flu, Pig Flu or Soo-ey Sickness (the last one is of my own creation..), I have done lots of my own research in the last week to determine at what level of alarm I should be. If any at all.

I have found lots of information that is somewhat over the top, teetering on the brink of fear mongering. (Okay, not teetering ~ it's completely fear mongering) I have also found other information that could quite possibly be considered flippant, condescending and somewhat offensive in humorless circles.

Where am I?

Well. Considering that over 2,000 children die every day with Malaria, Swine Flu isn't exactly at the top of my Pandemic-O-Meter. I have been convinced that I should be no more alarmed by it than I am during regular flu season. Which pretty much means lots of hand washing, avoiding the obvious germ infested places and pumping me and my children full of extra Vitamin C and Echinacea.

Besides, who wants to hate bacon?

That was my thinking until I stumbled upon something that made me think twice about my Porky Position (and no, I'm not referring to my unnatural affection for Parmesan Garlic Thin Crisps. Although they are definitely doing a spectacular job on my waistline!)

I fear that I may have been a little hasty in my decision to not take this whole Swine thing a little more seriously. I think you will all agree with me after I introduce you to Dr. Alan Hay, Director of the World Influenza Centre and Swine Flu aficionado...

I believe the Swine Flu origins could be traced to this man's eyebrows.
Who knows what disease may be lying dormant beneath his brow hair.

These eyebrows evoke so many questions within me. Such as:

1.Does he feel the need to shampoo them? And does he Lather, Rinse and Repeat?

2.Does his wife really find these an attractive physical quality in him?

3.Do they impede his vision ever.

But none more vexing than this one last question within me....

4.Do you think he and Susan Boyle are long lost brother and sister??

(Watch how you cross them fingers now, Miss Susan... Just sayin'..)