Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The past few weeks have been difficult on the momma front. With battling Reagan's ear infections, sleep issues, eating issues, and all around princess attitude in combination with Luke's increased craziness due to being trapped in the house courtesy of his sister and the wicked heat and/or humidity outside, I have been frazzled and cranky. I was beginning to wonder if staying home with my babies was the best idea and then today happened and my life was drastically put into perspective.

A friend of a friend is hanging on to dear life right now from severe complications of child birth. It was a condition that no one could have prevented or known was even there. My heart hurts for her family: a husband who must be torn between his brand new baby girl at one hospital and his wife who is fighting for her life at another hospital across town, her toddler son who is so very close to Luke in age, and their precious baby girl who might not ever get to know her mother.

I am one lucky person to have been able to conceive, carry, and give birth to two healthy children. I've had the opportunity to snuggle them when they were hours old. I've been able to nurse them, feed them, nourish them. I've been able to watch them grow and change. I've been able to comfort them during hard times and celebrate the joys of childhood. I've experienced their milestones and been there to love them every second of every day.

Whatever tough times are to come, and I know they will come, I'll reflect back on today and realize how good I've got things. I just hope and pray that this mother gets the same chances that I've had.

Monday, July 26, 2010

babywise...or not

When Luke was a baby, people would ask Keith and I how we were able to get him to sleep through the night at such a young age. Our reply was simple: Babywise. We read the book, loved the idea of having a baby sleep through the night, and faithfully employed the suggested techniques. The whole system worked like a champ. Luke had to CIO (Cry It Out) maybe a handful of times, if that. He really only cried if something was wrong or if he was going through a growth spurt and was actually hungry. He responded beautifully to a schedule (still does) and was really a champion sleeper from the beginning.

With Reagan, I feel Babydumb. The girl will scream and cry for as long as you let her. Instead of calming down, her screaming escalates into an even more high-pitched sadness. Its almost like she's playing a wicked game of chicken; let's see who will blink first, and go figure, I always cave first. Its so hard to hear your baby be so completely upset and honestly, the incessant crying makes my chest ache. Literally.

This past week she slept for seven hours straight two nights in a row. It was nearly miraculous. I thought that maybe we'd finally figured out a manageable system/routine that would work for all of us, but it just wasn't meant to be. She reverted right back to where we were at previously, so we're trying something new tonight.

Reagan is sleeping in her own crib tonight, not in the pack and play at the foot of our bed. Yes, our sweet girl is six months old and still sleeps in our room. In my defense, her room is on the opposite side of the house from us and it's really just nicer to not have to trudge across the house at 2am to figure out why she's woken up this time. I've surrounded her with some of her favorite toys to keep her occupied should she decide to wake up early and she's also learned how to navigate around in her crib and turn on her various crib toys that have light and music.

All I'm really looking for at this point is some kind of routine. I thrive off planning and scheduling and I really just need to know what to expect at this point. The only thing I can expect at this point is dreading going to sleep each night because I never know what I'm in for. We've figured out our daytime routine in the past week or so and it seems to be working really well. If I could just get some consistency out of her night time sleep, I would be a much happier momma. I'm not even asking for a solid 9-12 hours of sleep from her. If she could just have the same sleep schedule each night, no matter what it is, I'd take it.

I love my daughter, but sometimes I think I've been blessed with her so I can see how much more flexible I need to be. I'd like to think though, that maybe she was blessed with me as her momma so she can see the beauty and light in a plan. Sounds like this game of chicken might be a life long game; I just hope I'm not always the one to cave first.

Friday, July 23, 2010

stud muffin

My Luke is a handsome fella, as much as he's tried to deny it lately. I mean, how can you not melt for this face?

Now if only he'd cooperate this much when I'm trying to take a picture of him with his sister... It's like they plot to make every shot look crazy.

pictures please!

After I was surprised with my *new*fabulous*wonderful* camera, Keith also signed me up for an online photography workshop so that I could learn how to better use the manual settings on the camera. I was okay with the idea, but no super over-the-moon excited about it. That class has actually been as valuable to me as the actual camera. I've learned what my camera can actually do and how to adjust the settings to get a good shot. Each week we have an assignment and after we post our homework on the message board, each picture is critiqued and we're given helpful hints as to what we can do to improve our photography skills.

Let me say, I have always loved pictures. I love being able to capture a moment, be it happy or not, to remember for always. I love to look back and reminisce about the story behind any given photograph. To me, pictures serve as tangible reminders of memories that could have been forgotten. I love that I get to express myself creatively through my pictures and now, I feel like I might actually be able to take pictures that I'm proud of.

Assignment One: We were asked to practice our shutter speed (how fast your camera records an image-don't I sound fancy?!?). Luke was my (un)willing subject.

Assignment Two: This week was completely in manual. This week was super hard as it was the first we were completely "in control" of our cameras. I picked all the settings!

Assignment Three: Practice shooting with light coming from three different directions: front, side, and back. I was lucky enough that my new nephew was born that same week so I hustled on over to the hospital to take pictures. Isn't he adorable?!?

Assignment Four: We had to start getting creative with the composition of our shots. Andi and Andrew were really nice to pose for me...especially because it was 108 degrees outside when these were taken!

Assignment Five: The culmination. For this week's homework, we were free to basically do what we wanted that demonstrated what we had learned over the course of the class.

I have had an amazing time getting to know my camera and photography style from this class. In case anyone is interested, check out She is fabulous!

six months

Half a year has passed since Reagan was forced to grace us with her presence. I know I say it every month, but I still can't believe that she's that old already. How is time going by this fast? I'm trying to soak up every single minute with her.

Reagan has really become quite a smiley girl, although you'd really not know from the pictures you see. Poor girl has already learned what the black box does once its in her face. Even now that I hardly use the flash since I've learned the manual settings, she is not super cooperative in the picture department. If I catch her smiling, its typically a fluke thing. But trust me, she has an amazingly beautiful smile. Gummy as ever with no teeth to speak of yet, but definitely a stunner.

Anytime she's sitting still (or not), Reagan likes to keep her legs crossed at the ankles. She even attempts to do this while she's in her activity table thingee; she's a girl that makes sure that she sits/stands/lays down properly.

The girl still hasn't figured out sleeping. One day she'll sleep seven hours straight, nurse, and then go right back to sleep. Other nights I'm lucky if she sleeps four hours total. The past two night have been awesome, but I'm not holding my breath. We'll see what the future holds. One night, Reagan refused to sleep so I after hours of trying to calm her, I laid her down on our bed and rubbed her back until she finally crashed. It was a completely stressful situation, but how can you hold a grudge when this is what you see at the end?

Reagan got to experience using a sippy cup for the first time. The first few times were really confusing for her and she didn't quite grasp the concept, but now she's a champ with it. Reagan will now eat oatmeal and barley cereals easily and even gets so excited when I'm making them that she will kick her legs feverishly until I can get the food in her mouth. She's also eating green beans and peas too. She doesn't care for them nearly as much as the cereal, but she'll tolerate them.

I even attempted to make her some homemade green beans, peas, and sweet potatoes. I really enjoyed making them, feeling incredibly productive, but once I actually fed her what I'd made, I realized that I hadn't done such a good job. Back to the drawing board on those...

Reagan is getting much smarter about Luke. She still loves to be around him, but now you can see her visibly brace herself as he runs toward her. Her eyes squint shut and her hands go up to protect her face. Its not that Luke is mean to her in any manner; I think he just loves her too much. He doesn't understand his strength versus hers and she's been really good at putting up with it.

We're half way to her first birthday. Crazy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


1. "Yuke mart." Luke has decided that he no longer agrees with us when we say that he is cute or handsome; instead he insists that "Yuke mart" instead. He is so proud of being smart that he gladly proclaims at every opportunity.

2. I am addicted to all things photography right now. I'm almost done with my six-week class online and I've loved every second of it. I find myself looking at lighting and as I drive places, I find myself scouting locations for future shoots. This whole topic really deserves its own solo post, but I just had to get it out there.

3. Reagan is a roll-y girl. The sweet baby who once hated being placed on her stomach will automatically roll that direction when placed on her back now. This does include when she's swaddled too which has made for some interesting sleep situations.

4. I absolutely love the sound of my kids' laughter. That is seriously music to my ears and I thrive on those moments when I get to hear it. I've even started finding ways to get them to laugh for my own listening pleasure.

5. I'm behind on blogging again. I still need to finish the posts from our vacation (yes, from a month ago), posts about Luke's pool and his previous lack of pool, posts about Reagan's milestones, and many other ones that are percolating in my head.

6. The reason that I'm behind? Reagan has been under the weather. Keith and I are not good judges of what is ailing or messing with our kids. We had thought Reagan was going through a growth spurt due to her middle-of-the-night marathon feedings and more-craptastic-than-normal sleeping capabilities. Turns out poor girl was suffering from double ear infections on top of a wicked cold. We're still fighting the cold aspect of the illness but thankfully with the ear infection part erased, she is back to a typical eating and sleeping routine.

Monday, July 5, 2010


I hate when I get agitated and irritated so soon before I'm supposed to go to sleep. Here I sit now, at 11:10 at night, trying to find something on the computer that will numb my mind into a peaceful sleep. Realistically, not gonna happen. I have only a limited amount of hours I'm allowed to sleep courtesy of Princess and I'm wasting those hours away right now. But my brain keeps going and ticking and thinking and planning and obsessing and I can't make it stop.

Sometimes, I wish that I could be one of those lucky people who doesn't seem to care. You know--that person who just lets life's craziness roll off their back as it never affected them one way or another. I, on the other hand, have stuff fester and mess with me until it explodes. I take things too personally and always read way too much into things or let the drama take over. Right now I think its ready to explode. The other hard part is that as much as I want to let out all of my anger or frustration at the person/people/situation that deserves, poor Keith will probably take on all of my craziness (again) and that will be that. That/those causing my insanity will be none the wiser and the whole cycle will repeat itself again...and again...and again.

Okay. Enough incoherent thoughts for one night. I'm off to find something else to distract me.

sea world: day two

We set out early Monday morning for our second day at Sea World. We knew ahead of time that we were going to go for the morning, take the kids back for naps at the hotel in the afternoon, and then head back in the evening to catch some of the shows we hadn't had a chance to see yet. Keith and I are cheap; anyone who knows two beans about us will readily admit that we like to pinch our pennies. Parking at Sea World cost $12 a day so we were going to make full use of that $12, hence two trips in one day.

Our first goal was to take Luke back to Shark Encounter because he had enjoyed it so much the day before. Yeah right. With the thousands of kids there for field trips and all the tourists there who had been scared off by the race the day before, the line was ridiculously long and there was no way we were going to attempt that. So our first stop? Penguins. I love penguins and I was hoping that some of that would rub off on Luke.

Luke was okay with the penguins, not super thrilled, but it made for some fun pictures. Our next stop was the new Blue Horizons show. It had just opened the past week and it kind of showed. There was missed timing in the music and lots of filler-type movements by the performers. Overall, it was a decent show that just needs some time to work out the kinks. Luke enjoyed it and Reagan slept through it.

Luke's favorite part of the day came next when we found the Sesame Street play land area. Luke loved riding all of the "Elmo rides" even though there was really only one Elmo ride. Keith can't handle spinning rides and I love them so I got to ride that one with Luke and since I have a fear of heights, Keith got to go on the flying ride.
One of the funniest parts of the day happened during our lunch pit stop. We'd found this grassy picnic area the day before so as I stopped there to feed Reagan, Keith fed Luke lunch. After Luke was done, we let him run around and get out some of his boundless energy. We saw him crawl under a table a few minutes later. Two guesses what he was doing. Seems Luke can fins a table to poo under almost anywhere we go.
We were able to watch the killer whale up close while she was swimming around her cage/pool/personal space (not sure exactly what term to use here). A nice Sea World employee was able to get a picture for us with Shamu (aka Corky).
This was the pool/tank/personal space for the dolphins. Luke was having a great time watching them swim around.
We saw Dorie!
This at the final show we went to: the Shamu show. It was pretty chilly at this point, but we all really enjoyed watching such big, beautiful animals perform.
Sea World was a great place to visit. Luke is at the perfect age where he could honestly enjoy the animals and shows and not have to worry about him not being able to go on rides. We're excited to go to Disneyland next year, but for now, this was the best place for us.