Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Family Photos, One Moment In Time

Growing up my family didn't get professional (or even non-professional) photos very often, partly (I think) from monetary reasons and partly because of my mom's battle with her weight and feelings of self-worth. As we are once again approaching the anniversary of her death, I am saddened by how few photos we have of the family. Looking back, I don't remember my mom being overweight, what I do remember is a great laugh, a lap that was soft and warm, always willing to read a book or give a hug, and a mom willing to go outside with us to help us with whatever sport we were currently playing (and goodness knows she had her hands full trying to turn this girly-girl into an aggressive sports player).

Luckily I am blessed with a great friend who does a fabulous job taking photos (the great Erika Snow has done all of James's photos and several of Colby and I), who values the importance of photos, and isn't afraid to push me a bit when it comes to family photos. Do I want pictures of James to capture that moment in time?! Yes, I am great about making sure they happen. Photos of myself?? Not so much.

My baby is now over one and those 30 pounds that I was supposed to lose right after he was born have stubbornly stuck around. (Can you still call it baby weight when your child is no longer considered a baby?!) But as a thought about (and stressed about) getting these latest family photos taken I realized a couple of things, first, no matter my weight I would always find something about myself that was less than perfect and, in my mind, ruining the photos (which the mean voice in my head is a whole 'nother discussion).

Second, that I have an amazing husband who hates getting his photo taken even more than I do but he is willing to do it, without complaining I might add, because I wanted it done. Not only did he show up in the appropriate outfit, he listened to me stress and obsess over the color palate of the outfits and have a freak out the day of regarding the clothing I had already chosen.

Third, and most important, that regardless of what I think about it this photo captures a picture of what our little family looks like at this exact moment. Our family will never look like this again, other children may come, James will get older, and never again will we look like we do right now. So I am going to ignore how round my face looks and my dress size and appreciate the great setting, the way my family looks at this exact moment, and, let's be completely honest, nobody is really looking at me when they can see that cute little boy in the front.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

James is One!

I can't believe how fast time flies (and that it has been a year since I last posted on this blog). One of the best pieces of advice I received while pregnant--and I received it from several people--was to take time to enjoy each stage of James' growth because it passes so quickly. Boy were they correct! We love having him as a part of our family, with all the joy, noise, frustrations, mess, and giggles he brings with him.

This little monkey has been anxious to get out and see things from the very beginning (3 weeks early) and that hasn't changed. He loves people, he LOVES going to the grocery store and being fawned over by the older people there so I try to time our visits to coincide with as many of the older generation as possible. James is constantly on the go! He doesn't like to sit still but crawls laps around our kitchen island.

He loves food and will eat just about anything offered to him (and anything off the ground). About two weeks ago he decided that he is a big boy and now won't eat anything that he thinks is baby food. It is really annoying and I have to get creative with how I present some food to him. For instance, I tried to do homemade burritos the other day but the tortillas were too tough for his six little teeth to handle so I put the burrito stuffing in a bowl, not thinking that I chose the blue bowl that his baby food is put into, and when he saw I was still eating the tortilla-clad burrito he refused to eat what was in the bowl. I ended up pretending I was scooping out the inside of my burrito to get him to eat it. He is much too smart for his own good (or his Mama's efforts).

He loves Smokey Joe (yes, my 19 year-old cat is still alive) but Smokey Joe does not love him. James loves to chase Jojo around the house (Jojo is never fond of this) and likes to pat Jojo with either his hands or whatever toy happens to be in his hands. Poor Jojo! To give Jojo some peace we have modified (i.e. cut a hole) in a baby gate so he has one room he can go into that James cannot. We had to do this partly because James kept eating the cat food and partly because Jojo doesn't move as well as he used to and can't always jump up on furniture to get out of James's reach. :(

James loves swimming and anything to do with water. He will put his face under water or splash himself over and over again. Needless to say bath time is frequently a wet experience for everyone involved.

James LOVES his daddy, he will choose Colby over me every time. I try not to be too jealous and I have to admit that sometimes it is nice that he prefers his dad and I get a bit of a break. :)
Not only does James never stop moving, he never stops making noise. He loves to talk, sing (I hope it is singing), making little boy noises, pounding things, clapping his hands (you get the picture), if it makes a noise he wants to do it and he wants to do it loudly. You will notice in this photo he has a rock in his hand, the first thing he did when we stood him up next to the crate was to grab a rock and start pounding on the crate. When I took the rock away he calmly reached down, picked up another rock, and continued to pound. Erika Snow Photography took these fabulous photos. James did a pretty good job, much better than his six month photos but he did finally reach the "I'm done" point.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Time Flies!

    I can't believe how fast our little boy is growing up! Everyone always warns you that they grow up so fast but I didn't think it went this quickly. The above photo was taken at six days old (isn't he cute?! Of course, I am a little biased). When James was born he was three weeks early, weighed 7 lbs 8 oz and was 20 inches long. (Thank goodness he was early because full term he would have been huge!)

   James spent six days in the NICU because he couldn't regulate his blood sugar levels and the last day because he was jaundiced, so he spent the last day working on his tan under the lights. The blood sugar problem the doctors figure was because he was born so early but they don't anticipate any long term issues and he is just fine now.
       At his one month check up James has gained a full pound, weighing 8 lbs 8 oz (putting him in the 22 percentile range) and his height is 21 3/4 inches (59 percentile). At one month he knows Mom and Dad, and tracks both of them. He is raising his head some, loves playing on his toy mat, falls asleep when placed in his carrier but really sleeps on every car ride.

   Hanging on the wall in my house growing up was a hanging that my mother toll painted, I'm sure most have heard it before but it always struck me and I have reminded myself of it several times as I started to feel guilty while holding my baby, looking at the dishes that needed washing or the laundry that needed to be folded and taken care of.  So I have refused to allow myself to feel guilty and just recite this poem when my mind starts down that path:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow for babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow. So batten down cobwebs and dust go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep. 
 Colby and I are both so grateful to have this little soul in our life!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The New Addition to the Family

RJ decided to surprise by coming three weeks early. My water broke early on Friday and we were excited thinking we were going to get a Friday the 13th baby. But he surprised us again and wasn't born until 5:01 Saturday morning (I have to admit this surprise was not as fun for me...). For the most part every thing went well with the delivery. But about four hours after delivery, they nurses checked his blood sugar and it was dangerously low so he was rushed to the NICU. He has been in the NICU since then but he is doing well, he is eating well, he is responsive, super adorable (of course I might be biased) and we cautiously hoping he will be coming home on Thursday. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pinterest and Too Much Time On My Hands or the Quest to Finish the @#$% Quiet Book


     For those of you not aware, I have been taking a break from working until after the little munchkin gets here (partly because it took so long for the Bar results to come in and by the time they did I was already 5 months prego but for a few other reasons). This means that for the first time since I was 12 I have not had at least a part time job, this has been interesting experience for me since I am essentially a stay-at-home mom with no kids. So what do you do with your time, you ask? Well, thanks to the wonder that is Pinterest I get delusions of grandeur and forget the reality that is my skill set. I found this great quiet book idea at Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows and thought, I can totally do that!

    I totally forgot that 1) I really don't like sitting at a sewing machine for hours at a time and 2) I really have no sewing skills, no really, it is one of the few crafts I have been unable to master. But me being me, once I start a project I am dang well going to finish it!

    So, three weeks later...I am not even kidding this thing took that long between all the small pieces to cut out, double sew and hand sew on it took me that long to finish it. All I have to say is that RJ better LOVE this book and hopefully (fingers crossed) he doesn't destroy it within three months of actually using it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jillian and Joe are Married!

I can't believe my baby sister is married! Luckily I like Joe a lot or else I wouldn't have been okay with it! I don't have the photos from the actual wedding yet, just the bridal photos we took earlier so we could display them at the wedding reception. We had an AMAZING photographer and I HIGHLY recommend him, he was easy to work with, got us the photos back super fast and he did an incredible job! His website is PhotoSynthetix , he is new to the wedding photog business but don't let that stop you from hiring him.
Jill decided (and I was totally jealous because I wanted to wear it when I got married but it didn't fit me) to get married in the same 1940s dress that our grandmother, Fae and our mother, Julie, were married in. Because she decided to wear the original dress we decided to go completely vintage on the theme for the wedding and thanks to the amazing efforts of Kay (and everyone else who helped) it was fabulous!
Instead of going with the traditional flowers, Kay made this amazing bouquet using some old costume jewelry (some was Grandma McArthur's, some was mom's and some was mine from my beauty pageant days), fake pearls, and some new jewelry that looks old.

Those of you who know Jill well know that she loves wearing her Converses so when we started talking shoes she had her heart set on ordering a custom pair from Converse. I argued against it but obviously I lost and Jill got her custom shoes with her wedding date on them.
She looked amazing and so much like Mom! I can't believe she is old enough to get married, I swear just yesterday she was 8. Like I said, once I get the photos from the actual day I will post them.

Colby and I are Expecting!

If you aren't friends with me on facebook (or haven't seen me in a little while) you might not be aware that Colby and I are expecting our first child in October. RJ will be joining our family in the next couple of months and we can't wait for him to get here! (Yes, we have a thumb sucker!)