Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Photography Story


I've had a camera near by since I was 14 years old. As a Christmas gift my Father gave me a Nikon 6006 which back in those days was a really, really nice piece of equipment for such a young girl. That year in school I took Photography 1 and caught the bug and caught it bad. I spent the next 3 years shooting photos for my High School Yearbook, everyday I could be seen with my camera. I used to have lunch alone in the darkroom while processing film and making prints. So, yeah that means I'm talking FILM! My Grandfather was a photographer in the Navy and my Father was a Photographer for the Police Department. He also ran a very successful Wedding Business for years. I had no appreciation for that at the time, but now I know he was working his rear off... Full-time job during the week, Weddings it seemed almost every weekend. He had this HUGE and HEAVY Mamiya 120mm with an equally heavy flash assembly on the top. At 16 I could barely lift it!

In college my camera stayed in the bag and collected dust. I went to a few Yearbook Meetings but for some reason I could never get up enough confidence to accept an assignment. Why? I have no idea. When college came to an end I accepted a Sales Job...I have no idea why...I guess because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. I worked so hard and I worked all the time and I hated it. I can remember the day I fled that place on my lunch break and drove home in a rush to dig out of an old pile of papers the want adds from weeks before where I had found an add for a photographer. I called anyway and made a connection... To make a long story short I got the job and I couldn't believe it. So for the past 10 years I have been a Preschool Portrait Photographer. I've done it all but that is where I spend most of my time. It's fast, it's high volume, it's fun, it takes patients, and a unique skill set of business savvy and personality, not to mention you have to be pretty good with the 2 to 5 year old crowd. I think I've wiped a million noses and been sneezed on countless times! For years moms have asked if I do work on the side and for years I've said no, but now I'm in my 30's and I have no time to waste...I'm taking my future into my own hands and in the nick of time. The high-volume work almost made me lose my love of photography but it's back and stronger than ever!

I started my own business as some of you know and it's starting slow and steady. I'm so excited and so determined. Any mom out there who has a dream or a goal should go for it. Sometimes one adventure starts out pretty ordinarily and leads you down an alternate path that you never even knew was there...

Gotta Read - Best Blog Post I've Read Yet!

Please click on this link! This post MUST be read! It comes from one of the Blogs I'm following, "Crazyville (a mom on the edge)!

http://lettersfromcrazyville.blogspot.com/2009/12/mommy-olympics.html

Monday, December 28, 2009

I don't get it! Things that annoy this mom!

1. Why is it every time I walk into one of the 3 bathrooms in my house the toilet needs flushing? Why? Isn't that the easiest and most conditioned response known to both animals and humans...you know flush it, hide it, cover it up, get rid of it, whatever...I guess I'm lucky since I don't have the typical problem about men not putting the seat down, no thank goodness I can count on one hand the number of times I have sat down on what I believe to be (in a house of men) is the dirtiest part of the commode. Uggg, and it's usually always in the dark, and it's usually always freakin' cold!

2. Why is there STUFF everywhere I turn? Toys, trains, sippy cups, pacifiers, socks, jackets, shoes, food (usually cheerios), mail, my husbands running gear, backpacks, just stuff and more stuff every time I turn around??? The winner today was a completely melted popsicle, stick and all, in a puddle on the family room wood floor...Gross! Keeping up with all this stuff has me feeling like a Zhu Zhu pet on a wheel, yep, we've got those around here somewhere too! That reminds me? How may I ask in the HELL did these things become the hottest selling toy of the holiday season? I don't get it.

3. Laundry. It NEVER ends, not even close. It's constant and unforgiving of even the shortest hiatus. My husband doesn't understand how I have such difficulty keeping his tighty whities stocked. I've tried to explain to him you can only do laundry at the same pace in which you plan to fold and put away. He'll crank out six loads like that and they will all be sitting around in baskets getting wrinkled in no time flat..or should I say wrinkled. Moms know you can't fold and put away wrinkled clothes...or can you? Hmmm.... He's always threatening to do his own laundry...WELL THEN DO IT I SAY! I promise you won't hurt my feelings;)

I ♥ Faces “Hilarious Outtakes” Photo Challenge






My boys are my most favorite subjects to photograph, unfortunately, they are also my most challenging, especially when trying to get a shot of them in the same frame. I always end up sweating and frustrated;) It's always fun to look back and laugh! If you love photos too Check out the I Heart Faces Community at http://www.iheartfaces.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Love, according to Wikipedia

There are many kinds of love. I don't believe that everyone gets to experience all kinds of love throughout their lifetimes. Food for thought...

Love
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Love (disambiguation).
This article is semi-protected indefinitely in response to an ongoing high risk of vandalism.
Part of a series on Love
Emblem-favorites.svg

The stylized heart is a traditional
European icon representing love.
Basic Aspects
Love (scientific views)
Love (cultural views)
Love (virtue)
Human bonding
Historically
Courtly love
Religious love
Types of emotion
Erotic love
Platonic love
Familial love
Romantic love
See also
Unrequited love
Love sickness
Limerence
Interpersonal relationship
Sexuality
Sexual intercourse
Valentine's Day
This box: view • talk • edit

Love is any of a number of emotions related to a sense of strong affection[1] and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my husband"). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.

As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual emotional closeness of familial and platonic love[2] to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love.[3] Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Years Resolutions

2009 in particular has been one of the worst years I can remember. Don't get me wrong I am still lucky by leaps in bounds as far as the health and love of my family. It's just been a long year for lots of personal reasons for me as woman. It's been an emotionally challenging time, a time of confusion, a time of regrets and what if's and questions...Who am I? What did I want to be? Where am I? I don't have a lot of answers and I don't know if I'll ever find what it is I'm looking for.

I guess I have to find my new self...

I have some resolutions...

1. Take Back My Health. Which for me means to exercise more for my body, practice Yoga daily for my mind and my spirit. Drink less and eat healthier food.

2. Organize My Life...my mind, my heart, my house. Clean out the clutter, fix what's broken, file away those things I want to keep, even if I stuff them deep in the drawers of my mind or in the back of a closet.

3. Accept Things I Cannot Change...I have to realize that there are some things I cannot change. I have to accept that my mother and sister, for example, have made it pretty clear that they do not want to be a part of my life. I'll just never understand why it's so difficult to pick up the phone or send an e-mail. I can't keep putting myself out there for people that don't seem to make time for me. I guess I should add "Take a Hint" to my list.

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Christmas Top 10








1. My dad slept over Christmas Eve so he could be here to see the magic that is Christmas morning with the boys.
2. I got to climb in bed and snuggle with my son and my dad at the same time and laugh all together.
3. My step mom is AMAZING!
4. I didn't have to cook dinner!
5. Baked gingerbread cookies and Magic Cookie Bars with Blake.
6. Watched "Christmas Vacation" with my dad and got to hear him laugh that deep belly laugh, that is contagious and makes you laugh too!
7. Shared one of my favorite childhood books with my son!
8. Ate Magic Cookie Bars.
9. Drank Wine Christmas Eve and Mimosa's Christmas Morning!
10. Cade reminded me that one gift is enough. He didn't even open one gift, just played with the Train set that Santa left set-up for him...
Extra 11...No Drama!!!!!!! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Feverish 2 Year Old...NOW?


Yep. That's right. My 2 year old has a fever on Christmas Eve Eve! Sigh. My poor little guy. I rocked him and sang Christmas carols tonight and he fell asleep in my arms. That alone tells me he is not himself.

It's just my luck of coarse. Can I also say that all I want for Christmas is my little guy to feel better and additionally I would appreciate a Drama-Free Christmas. That's right folks, just grin and bear it and I mean it. Fake it for God's Sake if that's what it's going to take.

I plan on having a Merry Christmas and plan on taking anyone down who tries to interfere with said holly jolly holiday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Personal Note - Beware


I guess marriage, a job, and 2 kids officially makes me an adult. When I was in my teens and twenty's I thought by the time I reached my mid 30's life would be easier. I thought I would have it all figured out. On the contrary and especially over this last year I have determined that I know even less than I did then. As a matter of fact there are many days when I don't even know who the hell I am anymore. It seems as though there are more days where I do something wrong then right. I'm trying but it feels like no one sees and no one cares. This is something I struggle with a lot.

I'm a good person. I want my friends and loved ones to be happy and find peace and joy in their lives. I'm everyone's biggest fan. I want people I come in contact with to know that they are important and that they are loved and that I believe in them. So why is it that I always feel as though I come in last place?

This morning a co-worker came to me with a tissue wrapped gift. I consider her more than a co-worker, she is a friend. She gave me this beautiful hand made scarf that she actually made with her own hands. It's beautiful and it's red and she made my whole month by giving it to me. It's the best gift I can remember getting in a long, long while...

Monday, December 21, 2009

To Do...Christmas Countdown


I have so many little things to do before Christmas that I don't know where to start. I suppose getting off this computer would be a good start but it's quiet and so I am enjoying it. Here goes...

1. Clean the house.
2. Do laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away X 5 loads at least!
3. Clean the areas where guests will be sleeping and make sure linens are prepped.
4. Buy more wrapping paper.
5. Wrap presents.
6. Re-fill or not, haven't decided, certain prescriptions.
7. Get Boys H1N1 Booster Shots.
8. Pay my life-insurance bill, you know, in case I get electrocuted by Christmas lights.
9. Clean out the fridge..goodbye left over Chinese...hello holiday favorites like, 7 layer dip and Oatmeal Butterscotch cookie dough.
10. That reminds me, go shopping for previous ingredients from #9.
11. Pick Up toys.
12. Vacuum.
13. Drink wine.
14. Clean all the bathrooms.
15. Go to work, yep I have a full-time job.
16. Shower, wouldn't want to stink up the house I'm trying to clean.
17. Book new clients for my photography business.
18. Pick Up Toys.
19. Potty Train a 2 year old.
20. Lose 20 pounds.
21. Run. Walk. Yoga.
22. Sleep.
23. Pick Up brother-in-law at the airport.
24. Buy gifts for generous neighbors...
25. Win the lottery to pay for Christmas.
26. Pick Up toys.
27. Find a Partridge in a Pear Tree...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Nonchalant Mommy

Raising 2 boys is anything but calm or predictable. They are just over 2 years apart and they love each other. They also love to torment each other and both of them love to have that last word or jab at his brothers expense. In my home there is a lot of running, jumping, falling, crashing, and screetching (man they are good at that). The volume level inside my home on any given day is so loud that if I were paid for being a mom, OSHA would probably have to step in. At least when I go to work it's quiet..well most of the time.

Given all that jumping, falling, etc...usually when my boys take a tumble I don't even budge. Typically, they don't even seem to realize they have been in danger. Once, after a fairly large fall off of one of those big green cable boxes...Blake jumps up and yells, "I'm O.K!" So when one of my boys takes a fall it's usually the other moms and dads that gasp. I just say, "He's O.K." and go on with it...

We had a blizzard this weekend. It snowed for 24 hours. We got about 18+ inches of snow. When I was growing up we didn't go out in the snow until it stopped falling. The boys however couldn't shut up about it so we bundled them up and sent them out into the backyard. When I heard Cade start to cry and scream I admit I just assumed Blake had hit him with a snowball or something. It was absolutely freezing outside so I just stood at the door and coaxed my 2 (almost 3 year old) back towards the kitchen door. I took the most pathetic video of him...yes, I know mother of the year. It wasn't until he tumbled in the door that I realized the reason for his woes...he had lost one of his boots! His little socked foot was bare of it's boot and it was sooooo cold! Ooops...

Rest assured I spent a LOT of snuggle time after that with my little guy. We found the boot and dried it out with a hair dryer since he wanted to go back outside! So for your viewing enjoyment...2 videos. The 2nd is actually accidental and is audio only but still funny (sorry, couldn't get it to post). You can hear my husband over reacting...I think he says "frostbite!!!" I don't think you can get frostbite in 2 minutes but don't quote me on that.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merlot & Snow


9:35PM

It's snowing for real for the first time since before I had kids. A real snow meaning 12 inches or more. I'm excited. I'm also glad I don't have to go anywhere in this weather. I'm done with Christmas shopping and we have plenty of food and toilet paper...oh yeah and plenty of Red Wine. I'm sure the boys will want to be out in it all day. I'll certainly have my camera in hand. Stay warm...more photos to come I'm sure...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Free Time Gone

I was busy before. Working full time, mommy to 2 boys, a wife, long commute, etc. Now that I've started my own business I spend every free evening I have trying to figure out...well everything. I am internet savvy and Social Media savvy;) However, software programs are not my specialty. Tonight my husband brought me home the manual for Aperture 2 which is Apple's Photo Editing Program. The user manual is 700 pages long double sided! I have completely neglected my photoblog so I guess I'll work on that tomorrow night. It's scary to be outside my comfort zone but it's exciting to learn new things. I almost have my watermark all figured out and I can't wait to share it with all of you! Now, my bed is calling me...no more computer today!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Babe in Concert - Proud Mama




My sweet first born son, is rough, tough, smart, funny, genuine, sensitive, sweet, and fast. I take it you've heard of fight or flight? Well, in the case of Blake who is typically the life of the party, he surprisingly DOES NOT LIKE TO BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION. I have a video of every Christmas "Concert" that he has been in since he was 2 years old...FLIGHT is the word! Screaming, covering ears, crying etc. Last year was my particular favorite. As all the happy 3 & 4 Year Olds sang their holiday songs, my son slowly covered his ears...carefully turned around and slowly made his way through the crowd of kids to the rear of the group; at which point he began wondering around the upper Alter while all the other kids sang their hearts out. Did I mention the drum set? I remember thinking, please don't let him find drumsticks back there...eeek! Don't even ask me about last years Preschool Graduation ceremony...

My expectations for this year were, well honestly I didn't have any, but last week out of the blue he announces that he is going to sing this year. I was surprised and excited. I tried to encourage this motivation without making too big a deal out of it either, in case he changed his mind.

The day arrived. I had to go into work as usual. Unfortunately preschools don't really cater to working moms, I mean seriously what are they thinking? Only having school for a half day, planning all events that require participation smack dab in the middle of the work day. I'm kidding of course...but only partially;) Did I mention I work 30 miles from the school, yep. In order to see my baby deliver on his promise to sing I had to drive 120 miles, to and from work twice in one day, woo hoo. It turns out to be kind of a busy day and I'm feeling guilty for just about everything. I rush out of a meeting to find stand still traffic on the beltway...damnit! I have to rush rush rush and drive fast enough to get there but not too fast to get a ticket or I know I'll never make it. I'm clenching the wheel with white knuckles all the while feeling my stress level rise to new heights. I'm thinking that I CAN'T be everything to everybody. I can't be everywhere all the time...therefore someone is always going to be disappointed. I'm late, I'm late, red light, red, light, slow ass pick up truck, get out of my way, Mad Mama coming through. I get there 4 minutes late, which you know these events only last 15 minutes. I practically leap out of the car and go running across the packed parking lot, in high heel boots no less...stupid boots. I reach the door and it's locked, damnit! I have to go around the long way. I enter the sanctuary of the church where the concert is being held just as the kids are lining up...I made it...

I jump down in the front row on the floor, camera in hand...heart pounding. They start to sing, and to my utter joy and amazement so does Blake. It's all I can do not to cry. He sees me and he knows that the huge smile on my face is for him. He told his teacher that his singing was his Christmas present for me. In that moment and all the stressful moments I have as a working mom fade away, it's all worth it for my children.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like Jack Daniels & a Chain Saw!


Yes, this is me Christmas morning 1978. I was flipping through old photos and found this gem. I can't help but wonder if my parents set this up or if a bottle of Jack Daniels was really a treasured and heartfelt gift. It's my favorite...maybe Santa will leave me a big ol' bottle of booze under my tree! Enjoy!

Facebook Privacy

Dear Friends,

In case you haven't seen this and you are on Facebook...

...WARNING! As of today, Facebook will automatically index all your info on Google, which allows everyone on the planet to view it. To change this option, go to Settings --> Privacy Settings --> Search --> then UN-CLICK the box that says 'Allow indexing'. Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and paste onto your status for ...all your friends ASAP...

Hope this helps for those who would like to maintain some privacy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Little Man is a Gentleman...

My Blake is such a gentleman. I must be doing something right. Fresh and clean and dressed from a shower I go to help him get dressed. He says, "I like your hair mommy, I like you shirt, I like your everything!" I smile and it's the first real smile I can remember in a while. He tells me he loves me 20 times a day and I believe him. He says that I am the best mom, well I'm trying...

I love that he wants to snuggle with me in the wee hours of the morning before the alarm goes off.

I love that when I get home from work he screams, "Mama" and runs to the front door with THE BIGGEST smile on his face:)

He also makes me laugh...this morning he asked me to comb and gel his hair before school. He told me, "I have to look good for my girls!" I'm raising a future ladies man for sure.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Banning the Benefit of the Doubt


Yep, I'm banning it. Giving people the benefit of the doubt has seemed to result in the down fall of so many things in my life. You could pretty much do the MOST unforgivable thing to me and I'm such a sucker that I would forgive you.

Here is a story I've been wanting to get off my chest...My parents didn't want me to get married...it became this horribly long arduous process where I lived and breathed just so I could please everyone and hopefully be married in the end in some way or fashion. I am a pleaser. In order to please my future husband and my parents at the same time was excruciating, get married on this date, no that's too soon, what about your sister, blah, blah, blah...I don't even remember what I wanted because it was the least important thing in the whole world. We finally picked a date. I asked my sister to be my maid of honor, she told me to pick one of my friends. Ok, let me set this up for you. She is 5 years younger and was still in collage at the time. I'm thinking well, maybe you don't think you want to be my maid of honor now but sometime down the road you may change your mind...she did it, begrudgingly, and all she had to do was read 2 paragraphs during the ceremony. My friends had to step in because she didn't want to plan a shower or a bachelorette party, she wouldn't even respond to their e-mails. My engagement was one of the most unhappiest times I can remember in my whole life. I've almost never felt so alone. My best friend sent my sister an allegedly scorching e-mail about how selfish she was and basically called her out on her selfish behavior. Seriously, I've never heard of a wedding inconveniencing anyone more than my wedding did to my sister. By some miracle, the wedding day arrives. My mother has never looked more unhappy. I spend the whole day pretending that everything is fine but 8 years later I have realized that I was robbed of the whole wedded bliss experience. It gets worse, so much worse...

We make it to the big day. I'm smiling and I'm terrified and no one seems to care. All I want is to make sure that nothing upsets my mother or my sister. No mom has ever looked more unhappy at the wedding of her daughter then my mother did. She never smiled even once and I swear her eyes were closed in almost all of the pictures. The wedding goes off without a hitch. Afterward, I find myself in my house with my mother. My father, father-in-law, and new husband are down in the family room. My mom is cutting a pie for dessert. I am still wearing my wedding dress. My sister has gone out with friends and isn't even there. I say, "Didn't "she" do a great job with the reading.!" Simply trying to pay her a complement. My mother puts down the serving spoon and says, "You know, you completely cut "her" out of your wedding. I am rendered speechless. Unfortunately, my new husband walks in at that exact moment and he is all too aware of what is going on and what has been going on all along. I couldn't even begin to quote what he said to my mom but she ends up calling him a "shit" and she kicks us out of the house. I'm crying, "Mommy, no, let's talk about this, I'm your daughter." My mother says, "Go be with your husband." I end up standing barefoot in my driveway still wearing my wedding dress, in my fathers arms...I left for my honeymoon the next day and nothing has ever been the same since. My parents have since divorced and I no longer hear from my mother. I was a good daughter, I never went against anything she said, until then...

I was a good daughter. I always forgave, I put others before myself and it never has the desired effect. The person who ends up the least happy is me...and my mother and my sister have no relationship with my 2 little boys.

I no longer give people the benefit of the doubt. I will expect those around me to say what they mean and mean what they say. I deserve to be happy. I am happy to say that I have a fantastic relationship with my dad without which I would be so lost...He is my hero. He is involved with my boys and they call him, Poppy, and they adore him as do I...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Big Day



What a day...I am exhausted. Up early to ride the Train with Santa, kicked it at Tae Kwon Do, trip to Target, a birthday party, and a ride through the Festival of Lights (2 hours of waiting /driving really slow!) Blake actually fell asleep on the way home. It takes a lot to wear out that kid, Cade on the other hand was still wide awake! At least I didn't have time to clean the house, tee hee.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Love of Words

If you have been following this blog then you may recall how I love words. I don't ask for much in life. I don't wear designer clothes, I don't get manicures or color my hair...I spend all the extra cash I get on my sons. I shop for clothes at Target or Old Navy and even then only occasionally. The last purse I bought was $22.00. What I do want out of life is for people to say what they mean and mean what they say. My life experience has taught me that words can create fear, they can hurt, they can laugh and they can love. I've always been one to speak my mind, and I do. I know how to use words to express my feelings. I know how others can hold their words hostage to cause hurt...people like my mother and my sister. I love words and they get me through difficult times. I don't keep diaries anymore but I used to. I have books and books filled with my own words. Words have always gotten me through difficult situations. Words are my rescue, words are my security blanket, words bring me comfort, they make me laugh and they make me cry. Words are why I'm blogging, even if no one is listening...these are my words...these are my feelings...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Proud Mama! TKD!



I am so proud of my big Blake tonight. Ever since Blake was born he has been the kind of kid that does his own thing and goes his own way. He would never be one to jump off a bridge just because his friends were. He marches to the beat of his own drum. I have often told myself that this independence is a precursor to a future leader, at least I hope so. Every activity he has ever been in has involved me staying right on top of him to make sure he is doing what all the other kids are doing. We tried soccer, never again. T-Ball has been ok...Tae Kwon Do...UNBELIEVABLE! He is actually allowed to do all the things everyone else is always telling him not to do. In TKD he gets to run, jump, yell, kick, punch, and so much more. He is completely at attention the entire class and I don't have to give him the evil eye even once! It's completely unreal to me. He is a shining star! He has only been to 4 classes and hasn't even earned a white belt yet but was recognized my the teacher tonight for working so hard! He got a strip of black tape, and it might as well have been a trophy as far as Blake was concerned. I am so proud.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fantastic Santa & Surprise Fender Bender







We skipped preschool today. It's my day off so I kept the boys out of school so we could make our annual trek to our favorite Santa for pictures! I have been going here every year since my son was just a few weeks old. I now have a collection of 6 photos including the SAME Santa! I don't know how long this will last so I just had to share. The photos really speak for themselves. My 2 year old was still not excited about sitting on that famous lap, but I'm realistic and I was prepared for my 2nd Santa drop and run! I get there when they open so I don't have to wait in line! It's so worth it and I can usually get them to take another shot of two if needed since we are the only customers. I wonder how much Santa makes?....

On our way home we got rear-ended by a big box truck while sitting at a red light. It was so loud and it was scary. Even I am surprised at how shook up I was. My back started hurting right away but the boys seemed fine. The driver was very nice and apologetic. The police came to help us sort it all out. Minimal damage, luckily. It got me thinking about the fact that you really don't ever know what's going to happen on any given day, so don't waste a minute...

Enjoy the photos...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

O Christmas Tree & A Power Outage





I had the best time decorating our tree this year, despite a few hiccups. Tree goes into the stand pretty easily with only a few curses and insults uttered between my husband and I. As I'm under the tree trying to make sure it's in the center of the stand and my husband is barking orders at me I jump up and say, "Why are you being such a jerk?" He smiles and says, "Because it's traditional;)". Hahahaha. Ok.

It was snowing outside so no one wants to help with the tree and I'm left alone in the living room with the Christmas music going as I begin my least favorite task of putting the lights on the tree. I get 3/4 of the way done and plug in the last strand...half of which doesn't work...grrr. So in the car and off into a snowing wonderland of slushy roads to Target I go with Blake who has now decided he's had enough of the cold stuff.

Once we arrive to the selection of Christmas lights, Blake walks up to a Target Employee, looks up at the kid and says, "Excuse me, where are your stars?" Anyway, we had to buy a star to top our tree with. Home with our loot I go to finish the job, I plug in the last needed strand and simultaneously, the power goes out. Yeah, the power goes out! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! By now it's getting dark and is just about pitch black in our house.

Dinner out at Pei Wei, yum. By the way, the house was so trashed that I actually worried if we were all killed in a car accident what people would think when they came into our house. Great dinner and a great time killer. About 3 hours later the power came back on. We made it home, power restored, finished the tree, cleaned up the mess, put the boys in bed, and settled in to watch our favorite..."National Lampoons Chritmas Vacation."

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Night Leftovers



I am participating in Friday Night Leftovers courtesy of my favorite blogger, Sippy Cups are Not for Starbucks! Feel free to join in!
  • I'm so excited about my photography business. I just booked two more jobs this week. It just goes to show that you should stick with what you are good at!
  • The Villagers bought some alternative candy to stuff into the Advent Calendar, if they don't drink too much wine and get lazy tonight!
  • Need to make time to get to know all my new blog followers! Wow, I'm so amazed at the connections I've made through the Mom's Bloggers Club! Be patient with me ladies...
  • I've realized that only I can create my own happiness.
  • Cade had his screening with the county and did ok. They have recommended more testing but we have to wait 10 days or so to find out what the next step will be.
  • I love wine, I LOVE wine, I love WINE, I LOVE WINE!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"The Villagers are Coming." ---What the...???

Just after Turkey day passed I dragged out the old Advent Calendar at the pleading of my 5 year old. I wasn't really falling right into the spirit so when he asked me to put candy in it I said, "It's not December yet." A few days later he asked again and so I made up an excuse that Santa's Elves had to do it. Somewhere along the way he started calling them the Villagers. (Wasn't that the really freaky movie by M Night Shyamalam?) Anyway , I went with it, yes the Villagers were coming and I promised that I would call them and remind them. On the night of the 30th I realized that the next day was Dec 1. Ooops, my Advent Calendar was empty...and of course he brought it up again. He made me promise to call them the next day and have them come while he was at school when no one was home. I get a phone call after school while I am at work, "Did the villagers come?" Me: Uh, no uh, they said they could only come when it's dark and you are sleeping." My son: Ugg, ok. I rush out late night for the perfect treats and trinkets so that my baby won't be dishearted by the no-showing Villagers! The next morning, only a day late, he wakes up and finds me dressing for work in the bathroom. First he says, "I dreamed about the beach and you, mommy." OMG, is that the sweetest thing ever? Then he says, "The Villagers came last night, right mommy?" and this time I get to say, "Yes." Oh but wait, there is more!

We make our way to THE Advent Calendar and he is tickled with delight at the sight of the little Candy Cane Hershey Kisses that await him. He unwraps one, takes a bite...then walks right over to the garbage and spits it out. Looks up at me with a look of disgust and says, "The Villagers brought the wrong candy, Mommy."

Those damn Villagers! What were they thinking!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bad Photo


Ok, in case you didn't know, I am a professional photographer. I have been photographing children for 10 years, long before I was married and had children of my own. It's tradition in my house to take the boys pictures myself. I just couldn't stand hanging a photo on the wall that I didn't take, although I do buy their school photos:) This year I wanted to get a nice photo of them together, all moms can relate, pro or not. I have to say I was sweating and there was yelling, and yes crying. I never did get a usable shot but when I was going through the photos tonight and saw this I had to laugh out loud. I did actually get a fantastic shot of my 5 year old...but I just want you all to laugh at the sad pair...I really am a pro, I swear!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Littlest Man


This is my littlest man, Cade. He has a personality all his own. He is headstrong, stubborn, tough, intense, relentless and rambunctious. He is sweet, loving, gentle, and sensitive. He is my baby. He is nothing like my 1st born whom I thought was a tough little boy to raise, Blake was a biter if that says anything. Cade just likes to bite me! I can't put into words how much I love this little boy. He is a major reason for my exhaustion, but I love him. I love that in the morning when I sit at my little kitchen desk reading blogs and Facebook he is sitting in my lap with his big head of curly hair in my way so that I have to peer around him to see the screen. I love to hear him say, "Mommy." Someday I know he'll be grown and won't want anything to do with me but until then...I'll get to take lots of photos like this!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Night Leftovers


I'm participating in Friday Night Leftovers courtesy of Starbucks Are Not For Sippy Cups.

  • I don't really like Turkey that much, it's the Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans and Marshmellows that get the most square footage on my Thanksgiving plate.
  • Wishes my house could stay clean (meaning no toys, bags, jackets, shoes, etc. all over the place) for just one day.
  • Did manage to order my Christmas cards today, using a photo from summer so maybe that's cheating but I think it looks cute.
  • Wishes it was easier to make lasting, meaningful friendships with woman as an adult...it doesn't seem woman like to trust each other very much.
  • Needs to get crackin' on the whole potty training thing with Cade, it's me that's been lazy...see adorable new photo on the left sidebar!
  • Continues to be astonished that even as a 30-something year old I'm still trying to figure out who I am.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Alright so I am really trying to get into the holiday spirit here, hence the new blog design. (Also super impressed with myself for achieving 3 columns) I am really looking forward to our Thanksgiving gathering tomorrow with my dad, his wife, and her huge Italian family. It's always so much fun! Tons of food, lots of booze, and lots of other people who love and want to entertain my children for me! Yeah:) I'm not ready to hear the Christmas tunes yet but I did pick up a new ornament for our tree tonight...and no that does not mean we will be putting up our tree this weekend, at least if I have anything to say about it. My husband suggested getting a fake-pre-lite tree this year. At first I was like, "Noooooooooooooooo!" However, the more I think about it how wonderful would it be to not have to put the lights on this year and how great would it be not to have to crawl under it every night to fill that technically dead frazier fir up with water??? Hmmm, tempting for sure, but where the hell would I keep it?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bah Humbug

I wish I could just skip this Christmas. I have had a sour taste in my mouth about it ever since I noticed the wreaths on the light poles at the local shopping center....I'm sorry but I think it's RIDICULOUS that I have to see Christmas trees while I'm looking for Halloween Costumes. I hate that the commercials for toys and clothes and jewelry and phones, etc, etc, etc just goes on and on and on. Two weeks ago the first Christmas lights went up in my neighborhood and it makes my stomach turn. It just seems like more trouble then it's worth. Except, I have children! So of course I want it to be fun for them and I wouldn't miss the Santa at the mall photo with at least one screaming toddler to save my life, but otherwise I'm hating it. I hate that the gifts get more and more expensive, I hate that toy manufacturers make parents go crazy trying to get hard to find hot toys that they "unfortuaneatly" in short supply. I hate that you have to get up at 5:00am and wait outside in a freezing cold long ass line for the Santa Train tickets...damnit...when do those go on sale this year??? I hate that some people think an I-Pod Touch would be an appropriate gift for a 6 year old and I hate that my husband always hates the gifts I give him and returns them. I have only returned one gift in my whole life. It was an unfortunate K-Mart sweatshirt given to me my aunt, it was hidieous so I had no choice being that I was a snotty tween. Be that as it may I don't really feel like people in general should return gifts. Isn't the fact that someone gave you something you wouldn't have had otherwise kind of the point of gift giving??? I don't think we should be trading up our gifts for something better, it just seems so wrong to me. If you don't like the item then donate it to someone who didn't get anything for Christmas, one gift doesn't entitle you to a better one or one that goes better with your hair color. I don't care if I get anything this year, except well, there was this watch I've had my eye on...

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday Night Leftovers


I'm participating in Friday Night Leftovers courtesy of Starbucks Are Not For Sippy Cups.

  • After peeing in a cup at the Dr.'s office, Blake looks up at me and asks, "Is someone going to drink that?"
  • Cade is almost three and appears to have verbal skills not up to par. I have made him an appointment to be screened by the county. I know it's the best thing to do yet it causes my great anxiety.
  • I am NOT in the Christmas spirit. I don't want to see lights or hear jingle bells. I can only handle one holiday at a time!
  • I've gained 15 pounds and still can't motivate myself to get on the treadmill...hmmmp.
  • Just this minute found a lollipop stuck to the back of my pants, yeah really...
  • I love my laptop and I am enjoying reading all of these great blogs, thanks girls!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dreaded Doctors Office, Mom goes Ape!


Yea, I did it...I went ape sh*t on the receptionist behind the desk today at my ped's office. The word is PISSED! I have a habit of allowing people to walk all over me...I am the nice one that is out to please everyone but myself. I am patient and understanding and I would almost never call you out on any kind of injustice...almost never.

I left work early today so that I could drive all the way home to pick up my sons so that my youngest could get his H1N1 vaccine at 2:15pm. The kicker, I couldn't get two appointments together so I had a 2:15 for an H1N1 Vaccine and a 4:15 for another H1N1 Vaccine and a 5 Year Old Well Check. Ok fine...I'll take what I can get. I'm calm, I'm positive, I arrive a good 10 minutes prior to my appointment because I believe in being polite and being on time. Early is on time, On time is late, and late is unacceptable. The boys do ok at first not stirring up too much trouble early on and actually playing nice with another pair of brothers. It doesn't take long though before they start flicking the lights on and off and opening the door that leads to the exam rooms, open, slam, open, slap...you get the point. It's pointless for me to even try to stop this behavior because my constant threats just make me look like a worse mom who has lost every ounce of control. None of the other kids seem to be pushing the boundries that my boys are, what gives? I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. After 45 minutes of this I finally put my hands on the counter and glare at the receptionist who is probably all to aware why there is a sheet of plexiglass between us. I say, "My apointement was for 2:15, am I going to be called back soon? I had to leave work early for this, if you were running this far behind I would not have minded coming later. These boys are going nuts out here." This poor woman stood up and literally bolted from her desk...oops, I felt bad but vindicated all at the same time...After she left I actually said quite loudly, "It's as if you don't have any respect for peoples time!!!"

Yep, I said it and we got called back 5 minutes later.

If it ended there the story would be pretty good, but it doesn't end there. Remember, I had to go back with my 5 year old at 4:15. We killed time at Wal-Mart. We arrive back at the Ped's office at 4:05 a healthy 10 minutes early. I should know better, we don't get called back until 4:45. We are in the room with the nurse and I mention Dr. K will be in soon and the nurse looks at me and says, "They didn't tell you upfront?" Tell me what? Oh, there is a last minute change and so you'll be seeing seeing Dr. I don't give a "F" what his name is where is my beloved Dr. K! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I hate you people!!!!!!!!! I have no idea what time we finally left but it was dark. Mt big guy got 4 shots and I had to help hold him down and the nurses just kept remarking how strong he was, I felt like saying, "No shit!" My poor guy cried all the way home.

My husband has a jumbo size bottle of Merlot waiting for me when I get home...thanks babe!
I think I'll be looking for a new Ped. My guy is accepting a VP job with the hospital. Good for him, sad for us.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brokenhearted Mommy

I only spent 45 minutes with my children today. I saw them this morning briefly and then after work I was only home for 45 minutes before heading off to the Yoga Studio. The little one had the most sad look on his face. He is attached to me so much so that most of the time I feel like he would get back in if he could. Leaving him is torturous for us both. However, this intense need for me, the Mama, means that when I am home I get tons of "ups" and cuddle time. When I got home today he was waking up from his nap. I enter his room and he looks up at me and immediately wants to be picked up. I'm thinking as I'm carrying him down the stairs with his arms around my neck and his head on my shoulder, how nice this feels. I'm also thinking that it is those moments when I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I should get a whole 3-1/2 hours with them, hmm... still doesn't seem like enough does it? Sigh...

My husband took this video while I was gone...clearly my heart breaks to see this:(

Monday, November 16, 2009

WEBSITE ! ! !

Some of you know that I am a photographer. I have been working as a preschool photographer for a decade, yes really. I have finally decided to start a business of my own concentrating mostly on children's portraits. I am so excited about the launch of my new website, which happened just a few hours ago. I am also proud that I did it all by myself without the help of my incredibly technologically gifted husband who was very impressed when I started talking about DNS Servers and CNames. Anyway, I hope you will take a look at my site.

http://www.brandiblahaphotography.com/

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Partytime


A great day. Blake enjoyed his birthday party and so did I! I loved seeing him play with all of his school friends that I've never met before, it's evidence that they have their own lives outside of us already. I enjoyed every smile I saw on his face which made it all worth it, even the price tag! I still can't believe 5 whole years have passed by already...amazing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hurt Feelings

There isn't much that hurts me worse as a mom then to see my son experience hurt feelings. He spent an evening with this sad look on his face and ended up having an hour long crying jag at bedtime that just about broke my heart. At playtime today with his neighborhood friends he experienced what it was like to never be picked. It was a game of school. The other 2 kids kept sharing the roll of teacher back and forth and never picking Blake to play the teacher roll. My Blake got frustrated at some point and pushed one of the kids and made them cry. Here's the thing...out of all the children I know my son is one of the most physical, most boisterous, most outgoing...but he is also the most sensitive as well. My Blake get's his feelings hurt way to easily and notices the way other kids treat him at an all to early age to be concerned about what others think of you. No one sees this emotionally fragile side of my baby, they just see his reaction of course. All he wants is to be included, to be wanted, to be friends...hmm, isn't that what we all want.

I try to teach him to always come to mom if he needs help, if he thinks he is being treated unfairly. Tonight as he lay in my arms crying (on the eve of his 5th Birthday Party) I tried to explain that we all have bad days and it's ok to feel sad. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Q-Tip Cutie

So yesterday morning I have to get ready for work with both little ones under foot. As I'm dressing, brushing my teeth, fixing my hair, etc...I have to continuously yell, stop, quit it, turn the lights back on, let me back in the bathroom! Knock, knock, knock...let me back in, I need to finish getting ready. Door open, door slam, yelling, door open, door slam, repeat...Maybe it would be worth it to get up earlier but I'm not sure, I really do need the sleep.

Anyway, to the Q-Tips. Blake see's me using the Q-Tips on my ears and starts asking questions. Naturally, I guide him over to the vanity so I can clean his ears with the Q-Tips. Of course while I'm doing this, in my head I am calculating what a stupid idea it was for me to point out how to stick something in ones ear, especially a 5 year olds ear. So in perfect mommy fashion I warn him of the dangers of the Q-Tip and that only mommy can stick anything in his ears, otherwise he could break his ear and wouldn't be able to hear. He says, "What?" I repeat my warning...he says, "What? I can't hear you?" I look at him and he says, "Ah I'm just kidding, my ears are fine mommy!" He walks out of the bathroom smiling and I'm left there alone laughing incredulously holding a Q-Tip!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sticks & Stones

What was it my mother used to tell me..."Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me?" Really? I'm not so sure that old saying is so true. I happen to love words. I love how they are shaped: round, curvy, straight, sharp...and I love that when you put them together they form words that can make you happy, sad, mad, glad, frustrated, excited, confused, and every other emotion you can think of. Words can show fear, loss, sadness, anxiety. Words can also show, joy, elation, hope, and love...

I love words. I love that however I am feeling I am able to write it down and get it out of my body. My entire life this reputation has followed me that "I" am always the one who speaks up, that "I" don't take crap from anyone, that "I" always tell people how it is...meaning I am tough. I'm not tough, not in the way that people think. I fear confrontation. When confronted with an uncomfortable situation...I avoid...I find myself unable to speak my true feelings. If someone would just hand me a pen however I could write until the sun goes down.

Not everyone loves words...words are all I have to keep me sane. So write when you are sad, write when you are lost, write when you are happy. When you can't speak, write.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mom's New Job

I work full time. For the past 10 years I have worked as a school photographer, specializing in preschool age children. I did this job before I was married and before I had children. A friend asked me recently when I was complaining about not having any skills, what I thought my skills were. I can't list software programs or certificates that I've earned. I do have a BA in International Studies...a lot of good that's done me. It's hard to list my skills on paper but I have the ability to warm up a scared 3 year old and get them to trust me enough to sit in my little chair so I can take their portrait. The children are not afraid of me and they let me wipe their noses and comb their hair and take their lovey's out of their hands so that I can take their portrait so mom and dad will have something to put in the Christmas Card. Just when I was at my lowest point confidence wise, this week something happened...every contact I met this week told me that I was so good with the kids, that I had such a way with the little ones, that this was the easiest picture day they can remember. So that's something, right? I like pushing the shutter...I am pulling together all the confidence I have to start my own business and for real this time. Wish me luck because if I'm successful I can spend more time with my boys. You can check out some of my work: http://bbbphotography.blogspot.com/

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5 Years Old



By the time I post this blog entry my 1st born will be officially 5 years old. I think he had a great day but between work and school I really only got to spend a few hours with him but I think we made the best of it. Wishes made and presents opened. I wish I could say happily ever after except there was one small snafu. The birthday boys little brother was distraught over the fact that he didn't also have a new Garbage Truck to play with. Since he is living the terrible two's and you should understand there is NO reasoning with this age group. I had to run out with a screaming 2 year old to pick up a 2nd and IDENTICAL garbage truck!!!! Peace returned to the house and even though it may appear that I was giving in to the selfish cries of a two year old I am choosing to look at it as a favor to the birthday boy so he could play and enjoy his gift in peace...Happy Birthday Buddy, I love you.

Balloons

I can't wait to get home to my birthday boy! Just picked up a big Spongebob balloon to brighten his evening:). I bet he can't wait to blow out his candles tonight:)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

5th Birthday Eve




5 Years ago tomorrow I gave birth to my first son. It was a long pregnancy but luckily healthy and uncomplicated. We moved into a new home 30 days before he was born. I had to sit on the front porch in a rocking chair and direct the movers on where each item should go. I tipped the scales at almost 200 lbs the week before he was born! Yes, I was huge. I worked up until my due date and then began my maternity leave. 7 days later I still hadn't gone into labor so I was scheduled for an induction. I was in labor for 14 hours and never made much progress. After laboring that long, when the doctor recommended a C-Section I was ready to meet my son. I cried and was fearful but it didn't take long after that. The first thing I heard when they pulled him out were gasps at how big he was, that and how he didn't look anything like me. They held him up over the blue sheet and I was shocked at how big he looked! I was like, "That was inside me?" They shouted out a few minutes later, 9 lbs, 7 oz! Whoa, that explained a lot. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

So tonight on the eve of his 5th Birthday I am baking cupcakes for him while he sleeps. I have to work tomorrow and his dad is out of town but I wanted him to know that it's his very special day. We have a big party scheduled for him in another week with all his friends and classmates and he is so excited about that!

Being a mom had changed my whole life and in so many different ways. I am still me but an entirely different person all at the same time. Being a mom is exciting, challenging, humbling, humiliating, exhausting, full-filling, all the good and all the bad all wrapped up together. I love both my sons and live for them.