Tag Archives: motherhood

11 Months

Matty is 11 months old today. He officially turned 10 months on the 7th. It has been an eventful month. He has had highs and lows. The most exciting high would have to be his FIRST STEPS! He took 3 solo steps on Monday June 4. Out of nowhere, he just let go of one couch and walked to the next! He took a a little fall towards the end of last week, which has made him a bit nervous, so he’s been cautiously sticking to 1-3 steps at a time. I am perfectly, perfectly happy with that! LOL. Once Evie took her first steps, it was about two weeks until she was walking more than crawling, and about a month that she was a full-time confident walker on all terrains. My guess is that Babeh will reach that milestone late into next month. He is so much more cautious than his big sister!

The scary low, would be when he was unresponsive during a fever, and we had to call 911. He had strep throat, an ear infection and a virus that caused a full body rash. Towards the end of the fever period, it was suspected that he had Scarlet Fever. Babeh was sick; it was a really rough week. One that really challenged me as a mother. It took five days for the fever to finally break. When we had our happy boy back, I swear I did a jig.

He is talking quite a bit these days. He says: ball, hi, mama, dada and dog. He has started pointing to things while saying “dat,” he wants to know what everything is! He started a really fun trick this past week- I ask him, “where’s mommy’s nose?’ and he points to my nose! Tee-hee! Oh the little things. He is generally a very happy, and social little man. I’m very proud of him.

I can’t believe that in one month, he will be a whole year old. I don’t know where the time goes.

And the monthly compare shot! Evie (ON LEFT) was 30 inches tall and 21 pounds, 3 ounces. Matty (ON RIGHT) is 31 inches tall, 23 pounds, 13 ounces. He’s slowing down… actually he lost a bit of weight at the beginning of last month, so it was good to see the scale go up!

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Pampered Pickle Post

I can across this poem of statistics below a few weeks ago and it really got me to thinking about how lucky most of us really are.

“If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won’t survive the week.

If you have a non-dirt floor in the place you live,
you belong to the upper half of the world’s most prosperous people.

If you have
a window,
a door,
and more than one room,
you belong to the upper 20 percent of the world’s richest people.

Regardless of where you live,
if you have a pair of shoes,
a change of underwear,
and can choose from two or more foods to eat,
you belong to the top 10 percent of the world’s most wealthy.

If you have never experienced
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people
around the world.

If you attend a church meeting
without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare,
especially in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile
on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not.

If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God’s healing touch.

If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.”

Although sometimes I might feel that my life is not worth living because I can not go out and buy that pair of Tom Ford Sunglasses that I *need* it’s really not that bad (hey, I am nothing if not a bit dramatic sometimes!). I am so blessed in so many ways, and so is my daughter. I have decided to devout Mondays to a Pampered Pickle Post where Everly and I share our favourite things in our pampered world; because let’s face it, we really are pampered!

For the first ever Pampered Pickle Post I would like to talk a little bit about a certain Melissa and Doug house that I bought Everly about a month ago. She loves THIS HOUSE. When she started her obsession with keys I knew I had to find something that would quench her thirst but was also safe for her to play with. I had no idea what I was even looking for, and then I found this gem! It has keys and doors and even- BUTTONS (another current obsession). She will play with this house for a good 5 – 10 minutes solid, and for those of you with 18 month olds you know that this is an eternity for this age group to keep their attention on one thing! She can now open door number 1 all by herself! For those of you with a toddler on the constant quest for keys and buttons- this is your toy!

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Good Bye Old Friend

The end of an era has dawned; my daughter is no longer nursing. When she was born and I started breastfeeding I said that I was going to do it for one year and then she was cut off (yes, “cut off” were my exact words). After my 10 months of vomit filled pregnancy, I wanted my body back to myself and dreamed about the day that I could eat what I wanted and drink what I wanted… Well, one year came and went, my priorities changed and we were still a nursing team. I learned all about the World Health Organization’s 2 year recommendation and that the world average of nursing cessation was 4.2 years old… so I decided at 2 years we would start the weaning process. I felt good about our choice to continue, and I say our choice because it was one that we both made. Everly had already decreased feedings at her own pace since she turned one year, it wasn’t something that I pushed or discouraged. On her own she went down to 2 feedings/day (nap and bedtime) and I was happy to continue with this routine. It didn’t bother me that some people thought it was weird that I was still nursing her. I thought it was weird that they thought it was weird… ah our lovely Western Culture and its sexualization of the breasts.

And then I started experiencing severe digestive health issues. Suddenly I had doctors encouraging me to take different medications that were not healthy to take while nursing. I had a tough choice- her or me; for the past 2 months, I have chosen her. After some soul searching and talking to other experienced moms, I realized it wasn’t such a black and white situation; there was pretty shade of gray area. By taking these pills that may help to stabilize my digestive health I am better able to be there for her all the time. I won’t have to keep a stash of toys in the bathroom just in case we have to hang out in there for extended periods of time and we won’t have to remain at home when we would rather be at the park or the pool or playgroup.

I took the opportunity to stop nursing while I was away in Las Vegas at my cousin’s wedding last week. I thought it would be the perfect time. I would be away from her so she wouldn’t expect it anyway, and this time away I was told would dry up my supply. Okay, plan in place. My last nursing session with her was the Saturday night before I left. I was sitting with her in the rocking chair and feeding her as she drifted off to sleep. I could not help but cry, and I can’t help but get misty eyed about it now as I write. I just thought in my head, remember this moment. Everly warm and snuggly in my arms, the smell of her freshly bathed skin, still wet curls at the nape of her neck, the gentle suckling of her cheeks and pursed lips, her pink sleep sack and her baby in her arms. I put her down in her crib, by now she was in a deep sleep and I told her I loved her and that I would see her in a few days. I probably checked on her 4 times that night, just to watch her sleep before I left.

Las Vegas was great. No pain from milk supply, the sun was out and the deck chairs were welcoming! News from home told me that Everly was taking my absence like a champ; I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad about that one, lol! I was still feeling sad about stopping, and I was missing her, but all in all I knew that I was doing the right thing. Each day I check to see if the milk was drying up as I was told it would. I pictured this desert wasteland that my boobs would become inside, maybe it would nastify them even more? But each day there was still milk- wth? I shrugged it off as weird and went about my sun bathing and shopping.

I got home from Las Vegas late at night. I had to sneak a peek at my sleeping girl. I breathed in the smell of her room, the smell of my daughter everywhere; ahhhh, home. She looked so peaceful and I have to admit that it took all my might to keep myself from scooping her up and holding her! The next day when nap time came, I rocked her and put her down, no issues at all… same for bedtime. The days since have been the same, she has only asked once or twice and has been easily distracted by Goodnight Moon both times. It was hard to say no and I felt guilty, but I did it. We did it. And I think now it’s safe to say that she is officially weaned (despite the fact that I still have milk; gross, when will this stuff dry up? Am I that much of a milk machine?).

I didn’t expect it to be this hard. And I didn’t expect to miss nursing this much. I thought that I would beam with freedom from the mountain tops and drink Bellini’s and eat onions like a fiend. I guess it doesn’t help that I now know I am allergic to onions and can’t eat them anyway and I am not supposed to drink either;  that bit is a little anticlimactic isn’t it. But nursing was good to me and I would like to thank breastfeeding for the following:

1)      Helping my body fit into a size 4. Yes, size 4. The recent removal of sugar and high fat foods among other things has also helped with this, but Nursing can be credited with 40 pounds worth of the 60 pounds that I have lost. Wow, just typing that makes me all the more thankful again. Boobs you are great!

2)      Taking multi-tasking to a whole new level. I could nurse, Photoshop, talk on the phone and have a snack all at the same time. I remember setting up a nursing station early on- water, lip balm, phones (home and cell), remote and oh, the baby (ha). By the end I could walk around and nurse at the same time (ta-da!).

3)      Making my life easier. I saw what moms who bottle fed had to go through. The formula making, the boiling water, washing and boiling bottles, filling bottles, heating bottles, it seemed like an endless amount of work. Time and time again, all I had to do was lift up or pull down my shirt and whip out a boob, affix to E’s mouth and we were ready to rock and roll. This convenience was especially nice in the middle of the night when I just had to roll to my side and she was beside me.

4)      Newfound respect for my body and mother nature. Before I became a mother, I thought about my body in terms of looks and valued it that way. Now I am better able to value it for function. I grew a baby and then fed that baby. I know women do it all the time, but still, it’s pretty freaking amazing.

5)      My attachment to my daughter. Now this one is tricky. I am not saying that mothers who don’t breastfeed their babies won’t attach as well, because it’s just not true, they will. All I am saying is that personally, nursing Everly really helped me to attach to her and I am pretty confident that it helped her to attach with me. We had a bit of a traumatic birth. Things didn’t go as planned and I was in shock after she was born. I didn’t get that glowy moment where she was put on my chest and B cut the cord and all that. So it wasn’t until we were snuggled together and we were trying to get her to latch that I realized I had a baby. I know that sounds really stupid but it’s true. It dawned on me, I am responsible for this precious little bug! She looked up at me through those long lashes of hers and she likely thought something of the same.

And that’s all I can think of for now. But I am sure there is more! Breastfeeding I tip my hat to you, it’s been a good run friend.

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Dreams

I have begun photographing grade 12 students of the 2011 graduating class and my 10 Year high school reunion is on Saturday. I think it goes without saying that this is a natural moment in time for me to stop and think about where I have come, what I have done, and what I still want to do. I have been planning both the photo sessions and reunion since May, so it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming, but it still is a bit of a shock… does that make sense? Probably not, but then not much does these days!

I had fun in high school. I genuinely enjoyed myself. I had a great group of girlfriends and we were always up to something fun. I had a boyfriend whom I loved with all my heart (and still do- don’t tell my husband, wink-wink). I enjoyed learning and I had teachers who enjoyed teaching. I found one of my life passions: photography. I was given the gifts of guidance and time to be able to practice and learn as much as I could. My high school movie would not be the sad one with an emo soundtrack and I know that I am lucky to be able to say that. Not everyone comes out of high school happy. I think we all know what a negative high school experience can do to someone thanks to Jerry and Maury.

I looked through my yearbook a few days ago. I was searching for tidbits to share with the guests, things we voted each other, things that were popular and that sort. I started reading some of the write ups that we grade 12 students did. I read mine and actually remembered my “mmm’s” (most memorable moments) and giggled at my youth and predictability. My heart instantly warmed and my eyes pricked with tears when I read the last line… what I wanted to be when I grew up. Do you know what I wrote? I wrote that I wanted to be a photographer and a good mommy. I kid you not. So you can probably guess why I had the reaction that I did; I have become what I wanted to.

This realization is heady yet humbling. I am proud of myself for accomplishing what I wanted to when I was 17, along with a few bonus items to boot; my formal education, marriage, travel, my career in Infant Development. But I also know that this is not the end of those dreams. Up to this point I have been able to gather the pieces of my life that I want, now I need to work on keeping these dreams alive and well; growing them and making them stronger. I have opted into all of these experiences willingly. Sure you could say that I “drunk the koolaid” by choosing the traditional time line of school, career, marriage, child. But I drank that koolaid willingly. I wanted the koolaid. Some people would say that’s because I am socialized to think that’s what I want, to those people I say sure, fine. All I know is that I am happy with the life I have, the life that I have made for myself.

So bring on this 10 year milestone and here’s to another 10 that are just as event filled and character building!

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Sons and Mother

Friday afternoon we got lucky with the weather. It rained all morning and the wind was blowing. The shoot Nicola and I had planned was waterfront- outdoors, open to the elements. At 1:00 she sent me a message “should we reschedule” I sent her one back “no way, they weather will cooperate” and it did. For my second trick I will turn water to wine… no just kidding.

Nicola and her boys Andre and Olivier were too cute for words. Their smiles shone as bright as the sun eventually did and I was able to get some amazing west coast family shots. They are originally from BC themselves, yet currently reside in Quebec so mom wanted some beautiful coastline to show off to friends and family back home. I don’t think it would have mattered where we did their photos though, the 3 of them are so beautiful they are all you see!

Was great to see you again Nicola, see you for our playdate soon 🙂

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Olivier est Très Mignon! {Victoria, BC Newborn Photography}

Every baby that I meet is 100% an individual and Olivier was no exception. With a name like Olivier Jean-Claude Eli, you expect big things. There’s a lot of hype that goes with a strong name like that and little Olivier lived up to the hype let me tell you! Usually the newborns that I photograph stay fast asleep, and are putty in my hands to lovingly place into adorable props and poses. On occasion I have met a feisty babe who, not for a lack of trying on everyone’s part, will not fall asleep; Olivier was one of the latter. Now what made Olivier unique from all my other bright-eyed and bushy-tailed newborns was that he behaved as though he was asleep. He still let us pose him on props and in cute little poses and he stayed there, contentedly! I was blown away. I don’t know how many times I said to his mom- I just can’t believe it! It’s rare that I get pictures such as his, where baby is wide awake and peaceful. This little bug must know how good he has it. Mom named him well; a distinguised name to match his old soul. Congrats Kim and little Olivier- you are a family now 🙂

Yes there are 3 birth announcements! Mom paid extra so that she could cover all her bases. She comes from a very loyal Habs family and wanted something special to send to family back home in Montreal!

I have been getting inquiries lately in regards to the lovely knit props that I use in photo sessions… where do I get them, well, I am lucky enough to have an auntie who loves me and loves to knit. She keeps me in props and I take her out for dinner 🙂 I am sure that my dinners do not come close to the time and love that she puts into making these for me, so I am pretty lucky that she loves me aren’t I! Thanks Auntie. I am so lucky to have you!

Many of these images were created using extensive post production work in Photoshop. Please do not attempt to recreate these poses at home.

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Hannah and her Sister {Victoria, BC Baby Photography}

The only thing better than photographing newborn babies, is getting to continue to photograph them as they grow up! I first met Hannah when she was a freshie. What I remembered most about her from our newborn session was her big blue eyes and her super baby strength at that early age. Upon seeing her again at 6 months old, I was not surprised to see that these same two memorable traits had remained. She still has those amazing swimming pool eyes, and the strong little bean sat unsupported for a good stretch of time- pretty awesome feat for a 6 month old 🙂 This day was sweaty hot as well, I believe it was day 3 of our now famous heatwave. We sought out the shady spots and even let Hannah have a little air out session in her diaper on some cool, squishy green grass (as you will see below!). Miss Hannah is one of my Watch Me Grow babies and I can not wait to do just that!

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Brown Eyed Boy {Victoria, BC Famly Photography}

On Saturday it was sweltering. I woke up sticky and cover less. My only solace… I was heading out to Sooke for a family session; there is always a cool ocean breeze in Sooke and the family that I was photographing was going to do wonders for my portfolio. Not that I am complaining or anything, but it seems only the genetically gifted contact me for portrait sessions. Mom and dad turned up the heat with their enviable hotness (despite the stickiness) and little man Gabe cranked up the cute to make it all bearable. We hung out on a dock along the Pacific Ocean and a boardwalk winding through the tall Westcoast trees… shade and a cool breeze ahhhh. Little Gabe did so well, I think dipping his little toes into the ocean gave him a cool down advantage to all of us! When our shoot was nearly over and we were tackling the last bit of forested boardwalk, mom stopped and said, “It’s so hot my eyelids are sweaty!” We all laughed and I said Les, that’s going to be a direct quote on the blog! Les, Brandon and Gabe, it was a pleasure as always! Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Gabe demonstrates his hunger for the literary arts!

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Sunshine Sophia {Victoria, BC Newborn Photography}

Sophia welcome to the world and welcome to Vancouver Island! She made the trip here with her mommy to visit Auntie Serena, who is a friend of mine. Auntie Serena planned for lttle Sophia’s pictures far in advance, I think it might have been around the time that she found out her sister was expecting in fact! I was very excited at the prospect as I knew that this baby girl was going to be stunning if her mama was any indication (scroll down, you’ll see what I mean). If I were going to sum up our shoot in one word it would be sticky! It was a hot, hot day here in Victoria and we needed to keep the room that way to help little S stay cozy in her state of undress. Auntie Serena, mommy and I were all sweating or “schvitzing” as Serena would say and using our shirts as fans! Sophia made it bareable with her cuteness though, all 3 of us fawning over her as a loving stylist/photographer team. Now I always say how much I love it when my clients feed me (lol) and this shoot was no exception! Serena had some of my favourite cookies on hand and some yummy fresh cherries- a cute baby, yummy snacks, good company and a sunny day… can life get any better? I think not! I hope you love these ladies 🙂

Yes there are two birth announcements! LOL! A girl’s gotta have choices!

* Please note that many of these images were created with the use of extensive post production editing in Photoshop 5; please do not attempt at home *

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Daddy’s Little Hunter {Victoria, BC Newborn Photography}

Where do I begin with baby Wyatt? He was wooing me through the lens from the tips of his perfect little toes to the pucker of his scrumptious pouted lips, it’s safe to say that I feel in love! At 6 weeks old I was a little worried that it was going to be a tricky session, but Wyatt, like his namesake, conquered the West, the west coast photoshoot that is). It helped that it was nearly 30 degrees and it helped that we were outdoors on his parents deck which offered a slight breeze along with the most yummy lighting conditions. But I think what helped the most was his mommy and daddy, two of the most chill people I have ever met. To describe John and Sarah as laid back is like describing their son as merely “cute” common adjectives just don’t work! Wyatt has found an amazing family to call his own, and to his family he has been the most welcome blessing. He will grow up strong, thoughtful, funny like his parents and protected always by his big sister Ashlyn.

Can you guess which photos daddy helped to set up? Thanks for the help JB, I hope you like the end result!

Many of these images were created through extensive post production work in Photoshop, please do not attempt at home!

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