“…out like a lion!”

I thought my parents were joking when they asked yesterday if we had any snow. Apparently they knew something I didn’t. We woke up to about 4 inches of the white powder this morning and it’s still coming down! What the hell?! I was just getting used to the idea of spring being here. Whomever said “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” was obviously confused.

By the way, I appreciate all of you who took time to leave your thoughts and comments on my last post. It was definitely good food for thought. My mom reminded me yesterday that motherhood is a full-time job and I agree, but I still want something more. I do think that many moms need balance in their lives to feel happy and fulfilled and the last issue of the AP Journal was full of great information on this subject.

However, Ninotchka pointed out that Julian is still just a baby and that’s a very good point. Perhaps I’m trying to jump back into things too soon. My motivation for getting back into photography now rather than in 6 months is that the weather is (er *was*) getting nice again which is a plus for someone who uses natural (sun) light, rather than studio lights.

Anyway, I have lots to think about as I try to find a way to balance it all so that everyone is happy. Is that possible? Time will tell.

Can I do it all?

I’ve got a lot rattling around in my head these days, but very little time to sit down and blog about it. Mostly, I’m questioning my place in the world right now. Am I overextending myself? Am I trying to do too much? Am I just plain crazy??

I love taking pictures for other people, but is now the right time in my life to be pursuing it? The post-processing work especially takes up a lot of my time. And I can only work once the kids are asleep for the night, which means I stay up late and am then I feel like I’m not getting enough sleep.

Also, after reading on The Lactivist that the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Denver is nearly out of breast milk, I really want to start donating. But is it realistic for me to commit to that? I feel very fortunate to have a plentiful supply and would like to be able to share some of the “love” with other babies who really need it. I am currently going through the screening process. I told them I only have a manual pump and they said they loan out electric pumps to moms who don’t have one and want to donate! So that’s great news and incentive for me to pursue this, but will I have the time to pump every day? One of the requirements in collecting your milk is that you have a shower or a bath every day. LOL There are many days that I skip a shower because I just don’t have time. So now I would realistically have to find time to shower every day and find time to pump. Hmmm.

Parenting two children takes up a LOT of time and energy. It’s rewarding beyond belief to be a mom, but I feel like I need something more. I don’t want to give up everything that is important to me, because I feel like I need to have things that I enjoy doing and make me feel good about myself, other than being a mother. Not that being a mother doesn’t make me feel good about myself, but I have other interests besides raising two amazing kids. 😉 Does that make sense?

I need balance. I need more hours in the day. I need a way to better manage my time.

I’m up for any thoughts on how I can do this – perhaps how you all manage your time – or if you think I’m crazy for thinking I can do it all. Thanks for “listening.” 🙂

BSM – 3/26/07

Just one to share today. It’s not “technically” my best shot this week, but I like it for the emotion. Ava is always making Julian smile and this is just one example I happened to catch with my camera. 🙂 (That’s Ava’s head on the right side of the pic.)

3/22/07 Julian smiling at Ava

Who else has been taking pics this past week? Visit Tracey over at Picture This to find out!


For the record, I can’t believe it’s already Monday again! This weekend seemed to fly by. Jody and I both got a lot done around the house and with the car (oil change and new tires) though. I didn’t end up participating in “Shutdown Day.” I had too much to prepare for my photoshoot and needed to use my computer.

It’s amazing how much we rely on computers these days – from email to checking the forecast to looking up phone numbers, etc. It’s nice to have so much information right at your fingertips. However, I’m all for a self-imposed shutdown day every now and then. I think it’s good to take a break. 🙂

As for the photoshoot, it went pretty well, despite my initial concerns over the super bright sun. It eventually set enough to get some good shots, but then it seemed it was setting too fast and I had to snap pictures like a mad woman so that I didn’t run out of light. Nothing like a setting sun to keep ya on your toes. I love the look and feel of natural light, but it’s times like those that I really wish I had a studio set up. Someday…


I almost forgot – a big CONGRATULATIONS to fellow blogger Liesl on the homebirth of her second son Kieran on March 23! Enjoy your babymoon, Liesl. 🙂

Shutdown day – March 24, 2007

Jody just shared this with me…

Shut down day – March 24, 2007 – http://www.shutdownday.org/

“It is obvious that people would find life extremely difficult without computers, maybe even impossible. If they disappeared for just one day, would we be able to cope?
Be a part of one of the biggest global experiments ever to take place on the internet. The idea behind the experiment is to find out how many people can go without a computer for one whole day, and what will happen if we all participate!
Shutdown your computer on this day and find out! Can you survive for 24 hours without your computer?”

What an interesting (and scary, at least to me) experiment. Anyone going to do it? Jody and I will probably give it a go. It’s a great way to insure we spend a full day of family togetherness, and that’s gotta be good, right? Though going without my computer for a whole day may very well kill me. 😉 We’ll see what happens! *Gulp!* Guess I’ll report back on Sunday to tell ya how we did.

Edited at 3:30 p.m. to add: I’m having serious 2nd thoughts already. Not sure it’s going to happen.

Family update (with pics)

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my kids (hasn’t it?), so I thought I’d take this opportunity to do a little update on the whole fam.

Ava is 2 3/4 years old now. She’s sweet and funny, creative, fiercely independent, and potty-learned (and has been for about 3 months) except wears a diaper to bed. She’s into 4T clothes (she’s always been ahead in that regard), though some 3T still fit. She values family a great deal and pretends just about anything you can think of is a family – from measuring spoons and measuring cups to hangers. There is always a mommy, a daddy, a big sister and a baby. Sometimes she wants an Aunt Carrie too. She has a great imagination and often talks for her dolls or spoons or whatever she’s playing with. She’s also very artistic and can draw people with faces, hair and feet. She can also write her first name, but it still needs some work. She loves to finger paint and paint her hands. Her favorite movies these days are “Annie” – she can sing most of the songs and does quite often, “A Bug’s Life,” and “Finding Nemo.” She watched “Lilo and Stitch” for the first time the other day with daddy and crawled into his lap crying during the part where they were going to take Lilo away. I swear, that girl has such a strong sense of empathy. She loves chocolate (she’s her mother’s daughter), but eats quite well for a toddler. She’ll eat anything we eat provided it’s not too spicy. She’s experienced way more foods as a 2-year-old than I did even into my 20s! She is very strong-willed (again, her mother’s daughter) and definitely likes to test her boundaries. Her favorite thing to say when we tell her she can’t do something is, “But maybe next time I can.” Now that the weather is warming up, she’s been spending a fair amount of time outside playing. Today she rode a Big Wheel for the first time. (It was Aunt Carrie’s Christmas gift that was assembled today.) The weather was great for a ride in the park. She did quite well for her first time, though steering was a bit tricky. When she went off the sidewalk onto the grass she exclaimed, “Crash!” This happened quite a few times. Good thing Aunt Carrie was there to help her out so I could snap some pics (with wiggly Julian in the Moby).
Ava’s first ride on her big wheel

Speaking of wiggly Julian, he’ll be 4 months old tomorrow (March 23). My, how time flies! He’s around 17-18 lbs. now and wears mostly 9 month clothes, though he has some 12 month clothes that fit him too. He’s a long, chubby baby. Julian is so much fun these days. He smiles a lot and laughs hysterically when Jody or I fly him over our heads or when Ava squishes on his tummy. It’s hard for me to tell her to be gentle and stop squishing her brother when he so clearly enjoys it. He holds objects and likes to suck on them or his fists. He drools non-stop and is always wearing a bib. He also sucks his thumb from time to time. He loves to grab Ava’s hair by the fist-full. He “talks” a lot and makes some crazy noises. He hasn’t rolled over again since that first time when I was able to snap some pics, but he seems quite strong and has great head control. We had been trying to get him to take a bottle of expressed milk a while back, but laid off that for a while since Jody was out of town for the past few weeks. However, we might start on that again soon, as it would come in very handy for him to take a bottle since I’m working hard at getting back into photography. I took the kids out into the yard today to try to get some good pics of them together, but Ava wasn’t into it (the sun was in her eyes). Julian, however, hammed it up for me and this is one of my favorites.
Julian - 4 months

Jody is doing well. He attended a work (Google) conference last week in San Francisco and had a good time (who wouldn’t?), but he’s happy he doesn’t have to travel again anytime soon, and so am I. He also recently got a nice bonus from work and we were able to pay down some debt. Not the most fun thing to do with a bonus, but it feels good to know we’re decreasing what we owe. Jody finally got some use out of a sling we had custom-made for him (a woman from my AP group makes them). He tried it when Julian was little, but couldn’t get it to work just right. Anyway, the other day Ava wanted to swing in the backyard, Julian wanted to be held and I was busy making dinner. So I said, “Why don’t you try out that sling again?” It worked! Real men wear babies. I need to put that on a t-shirt! (I snapped some pics out of our bedroom window.)
Jody and the kids

I just got over a bout with a stomach bug that seriously kicked my butt for about 12 hours. My stomach was so crampy and hurt so bad, I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. Thankfully, Jody was able to stay home and take care of the kids while I recuperated and tried to catch up on some sleep. It sucks that mom’s “day off” usually happens only when I’m sick, but I can’t complain too much. Jody helps out around the house and is a good daddy. And I seriously don’t know what I would’ve done if he hadn’t been able to take the day off. I was in a world of hurt. I am doing much better now though.

I have another photoshoot scheduled for this weekend. It’s a family of four with two girls – ages 3 1/2 and 7-ish months. It will be outside at their home and should be a lot of fun. I have several ideas for things that I’d like to try and I’m really looking forward to it. Also, I’m happy to say that my newborn session from a few weeks ago yielded my biggest order yet! I was pretty stoked. I feel like I’m making progress both with my photography skills and with my sales. I’m starting to offer custom slide shows set to music and interlaced with meaningful quotes and sayings to my clients too and I’m hoping that people will enjoy them.

We’re hoping to work on fixing up some things on our house in the very near future so that we can start thinking about selling it and finding a house that suits our family a bit better.

So that’s about all that’s going on in our world. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Just thinkin’

I was recently awarded the “Thinking Blogger Award” from Liesl of “Come, Mommy” on Sunday and then again from Eva of “Antropologa” on Monday. Thank you, Liesl and Eva! I am so honored that you have given the award to me and am glad to learn that I have inspired you (and hopefully others) to think. 🙂

I had not heard of the award before Liesl mentioned it, but a quick Google search turned up this post that seems to be the place where it all got started on Feb. 11. The “Thinking Blogger Award” is a meme-based award bestowed upon fellow bloggers who make you think. The participation rules can be found here.

My mission, should I choose to accept it (and I do!), is to pass the award on to five other bloggers who make me think. This was not an easy task for me since pretty much all of the blogs I read are “thinking” blogs. However, I decided to stick with the rules and only choose five blogs, even though I could’ve included many, many more.

Each of these ladies, through their wonderful blogs, have inspired me to think about a wide range of topics – from breastfeeding and lactivism to veganism and environmentalism to self-awareness, spirituality, motivation, and the power of being a woman. They are all very deserving of the Thinking Blogger Award.

Leigh of Mere Mortal Mama
Jennifer of The Lactivist
Christina of Dharma Mom
Amy of A Little Peek Inside
Kleo of Pisces Place

Thank you to all of the bloggers and commenters (without blogs) who inspire me to think and give my brain a workout on a daily basis. You all rock! 🙂

BSM – 3/19/07

Time for another round of Best Shot Monday.

This week I’m featuring several pics of my kids in my new prop – a giant tea cup. I’m usually not a big fan of props, but after reading about and seeing the tea cups on ILP I thought it was particularly cute, especially for babies.

So here ya go – My Kids in a Cup! 🙂

Julian – 3 3/4 months old
p3178768bw.jpg p3178768.jpg p3178770bw.jpg

p3178796.jpg p3178813bw.jpg p3178813.jpg

Ava – 2 3/4 years old
p3178821bw.jpg p3178821.jpg p3178842bw.jpg p3178842.jpg

For anyone who’s wondering, the tea cups are available at (*gasp*) Walmart. I know, I know. (*hanging my head in shame*)

Visit Tracey over at Picture This to see everyone else’s best shots for this week.

Edited to add: A commenter asked that I share my lighting and backdrop setup, so here ya go. Lighting is natural – coming in from a sliding glass door to the left of my subjects (my right). Backdrop is a black piece of fleece. Subject is about 3 feet (they are supposed to be even more, but I don’t have that much room to work with) away from the backdrop. Hope that helps. 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Hooray! Jody gets back from San Francisco today! He’s been gone AGAIN for four days this past week. This week was harder than last. I’m sure it’s because it was two weeks in a row of having him gone. Ava seems to miss him a lot more this week too and had a couple of really rough nights, though thankfully she slept well last night and is actually still snoozing. She needs the Zzzzzzs. Anyway, I’m happy to say he shouldn’t have to travel again for a few months.

We hooked up with some friends yesterday at a cafe and the kids got to play while we listened to live music and had lunch. Then we let the kids play outside in the grass for a while. Ava found a nice pile of fresh top soil and proceeded to cover herself in it. Good times. 😉 It was a beautiful day – sunny and near 70 degrees.

Today is supposed to be gorgeous as well and we have plans to go to a St. Patty’s day bonfire tonight at some new friends’ house. It sounds like a really good time. They eat, drink, play instruments, sing songs and tell stories around the fire. I don’t know how late we will stay since Ava has been going to bed earlier these days (plus I’m scared of all the drunks on the roads), but I think if we bring her pjs and put her in them before driving home, we’ll be OK.

We’ve been watching a lot of YouTube around here lately. Ava loves watching old Muppet and Sesame Street skits. Here’s one we recently stumbled upon…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Muppets – the Swedish chef, Animal and Beaker. 🙂 Have fun and be safe.

Ina May speaks about childbirth, etc.

OMG, OMG, OMG! I just found out Ina May Gaskin will be having a talk here LOCALLY in May. I just sent an email to get more information. I am SOOOOO there! 🙂

“Ina May will spend the evening talking with parents and public about childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting.

Who is Ina May Gaskin?

Author – Well known for the seminal work, Spiritual Midwifery, her new book, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, is now available. It inspires women to take back the fear of childbirth by regaining confidence in their bodies and assuring them – your body still works!
Activist – Ina May transformed her observation of increasing maternal mortality in the U.S. into The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, a national effort to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes during the past twenty years and to draw public attention to the unchanging maternal death rate in this country.
Innovator – Ina May developed the Gaskin Maneuver. The first obstetrical maneuver to be named after a midwife, it embodies the essence of midwifery by using simple body movements to facilitate a difficult birth. Recently selected as a Visiting Fellow at Morse College of Yale University, Ina May continues to delight listeners by
infusing her sharp command of birth research and statistics with a touch of the wry humor that punctuates her writing.”

I think I’ve turned into a birth junkie. 😉 I’m so excited about this opportunity!