OK, lesson learned: reminiscing about how things were and comparing them to how things are doesn't make life any better/easier/happier/worse off/ different. Those memories are there, this is our experience now. Live in the goddamn moment, lady.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I'm obviously feeling better this evening because I cleaned out my fridge and then went on to clean out some files on my computer. Turns out that I'm an image hoarder and I am filling up our ginormous amount of memory because I have a hard time self-editing. Ask Cara, I gave her like 90 images from our 2 hour shoot. Totally unprecedented. But she understands, there were so many cute ones. Anytangentway, as I was going through the backlog of images, I found this little series that Dave took on our back porch. Shows how old it is because that porch has been totally torn down and rebuilt, so let's just pretend it was a "rustic" backdrop. All of these newborn/early days photos of Sylvia got me reminiscing. I look so unsteady, nervous, unsure of how to hold her, young, in love with my new baby, happy, tired. Life came to a total halt when she was born, everything changed for me, nothing ever returned to the "before." I see all these pictures of us and I feel like Easton is getting ripped off. Don't get me wrong, he's a happy, spoiled kid. But he gets some divided attention, and Sylvia gets nowhere near the attention she once got. I'm feeling spread so thin lately, especially as I'm recovering from the death illness I previously mentioned. But even before I got sick, when life is at it's most "normal," I constantly feel like I'm dragging the kids along, or they're dragging me. It's hard to slow down, to take our time and be laid back. It's hard for me to live in the present, to enjoy how life is right now, to breath. I've always been this way, but I remember having more time when Sylvia first arrived. I remember days seemed endless, time stood still, nothing moved. But actually, now that I write that down, I don't think I was happy about that either.
So oh my god peoples, I've had the sickness that was going to take my life for the past few days. Today is the first day I can eat, stand up without resembling an 80 year old, and not pop pain killers every 4 hours. Turns out I've had a severe case of strep throat which symptoms equate to: death, more death, and a bit of dying. Not only was my throat so swollen that I could barely talk, but every muscle was so sore, my back hurt so bad I took 3 scalding hot baths yesterday, I ached flu-like bad throughout my entire body, I couldn't turn my head/neck (still can barely do this), and had an incredibly sensitive stomach. So sensitive that I'd take 4 spoonfuls of soup and then promptly throw it up. I started taking antibiotics on Monday, thinking I was coming down with just a wicked sore throat. Oh if only that were the case. I was actually considering a trip to the ER last night because my pupils weren't dilating and to Dr. Google that equals DEATH. But after several swigs of Nyquil and a strong painkiller, I awoke alive and feeling better. Lucky me, Dave has the whole week off, so he was able to take the kids out of the house all day yesterday. Unlucky me, it's been the most beautiful St. Louis summer weather yet to be seen for months. Ugh.
When I went to my doctor yesterday, I found out I've managed to get back to my pre-Easton weight. I was so on my deathbed that I looked at those magical numbers and said out loud, "Wow, I should be excited about that my it won't matter what I weigh when I'm dead." The nurse just chuckled, probably wondering why she got the drama queen patient today. Plus it doesn't really matter what you weigh when you're so weak you can't even pick up your kids, or lift your head to take a pill. I swear people, this was plague-like strep. The doctor even told me that a really severe strain is going around. SEVERE! Maybe she was just trying to make me feel justified for all the drama. That's as much as I can type, fingers are getting weak, must take a nap at 11:00am.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Sylvia has always had an imagination that borders on the make-believe. She talks of things that have never happened in this life, tells wild stories of "when this happened to me," and gives stuffed toys names of people she has met on playgrounds. A friend once told me that Sylvia could be channeling a former life. And that gave me the willies for days. I think she simply intermingles thoughts and images that she experiences in books, on her shows, in movies, and through real experiences. Lately, she has had a focus on one primary character: Mary. Mary is her older sister, she has long blond hair, and she doesn't like to play with Easton (all these details were revealed to me on the way home from camp today). Mary is her favorite sister, her best friend, her conversation buddy when I'm in the front seat and boring her with details of the "real" world. When she first brought up Mary, I was very forthright and honest, stating that she doesn't have a sister, and that this friend is make-believe. She bought it for a while, but then I started to let it be. What does an imaginary friend really hurt? If Sylvia wants to talk to Mary about Easton, camp, or about the time we left her on a plane while the 3 of us jumped out of an airplane with parachutes, then let her talk. Yeah, like that really happened Sylvia. I try to brush it off, but it's hard when I'm such a realist. I like to give honest, straight answers to her. I don't water down topics such as death, body parts, finances, whatever she asks. But there are some things that kids want to believe, and who am I to be the destroyer of those dreams? If Sylvia wants to know if a fairy lives in the hole in a tree, I say "I think so" instead of "of course not." If she asks if rainbows can be slid down, I tell her "maybe" instead of "jeez, that's just plain silly." If Mary is her constant companion to bully up against Easton, well, as long as no one is getting hurt, who cares? Plus it makes for hilarious stories in the car. Her and Mary, they are quite the pair!!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
And just like that, Syl is going to a catholic school. We got a call today that a spot opened, and after hours of discussion, we're doing it. We are so sad to turn down our acceptance here, for it is an amazing place. But we would be so strapped financially, a burden the whole family would feel. And it's hard to have 3 members of a family suffer for 1 person. And this place is awesome, just in a more traditional form. And catholic. Sheesh. Sylvia is bright and will succeed anywhere, but this school is less than a mile from our house, is about half the price, and is full of kids from our neighborhood. That is really important. Since this decision was made, a mere few hours ago, I already feel a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. Syl is none the wiser, she's just excited to go to school. I'm hoping we made the right decision for our family, for our daughter, for her future.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
When looking ahead at my calendar, the last few weeks of June were totally open. Besides Sylvia's camp this week, I was planning on long bouts of swimming followed by periods of snacking. Alas, the month is nearly over and I am super booked. I have 3 photo shoots in the next 2 days, a doctor's appointment for a persistent and nagging itch (TMI??), a haircut appt, a baby shower, Pride parades to attend, and god only knows what else. I'm also trying to keep on top of editing photos which is a challenge for me because I can't self-edit. Cara's shoot has been whittles down to 85 images, and that is just a crap-ton of photoshop work. I'm learning quickly that being a working parent simultaneous to a staying home parent is a tough juggling act. But this is what I wanted/needed/requested. Here we go...
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
So I'm actually trying to get a photo blog on a different hosting site, but for now, all future examples of my photoshoots can be seen here. And another site here. It's still in the works, but it'll do for now. I really want my BHE space to be baby-centered, not business savvy.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Mama got a new lens, mama is very happy (and very, very broke). What do you think of Be Lovely Photography? Totally different route, much more user friendly. P.S. the umbrella was their prop, not mine. It's broken and full of spider webs, but what do they care?
Day 6 of weaning Easton and things are better than I had initially believed. We went 3 days total cold turkey weaned. I didn't budge once. But my boobs were so sore and engorged, and Easton was wasted with several strange illnesses. So on Friday, I nursed in the morning and felt totally relieved. So I've been nursing once in the morning upon wake-up, that's it. He doesn't want to let go, he nurses for a good 45 minutes, but it's ok because we're snuggling in bed and Syl is still asleep. I'm happy with this middle ground for now, and I know he'll let go of this eventually. But those 3 days were such a sample of life without a nursing schedule, and it was heavenly!
His symptoms were totally unrelated, and by Saturday I was worried. I mean, I was worried from Wednesday on, but with the co-pay and the no money and the "he's fine, just a cold" concerns, we never took him to the pediatrician. But when he awoke from a terrible afternoon nap on Saturday, he was listless and strange. I had to go to work that night, so we made the decision to take him to Children's Hospital ER. Turns out he caught a g.i. bug (probably at the pool, they're very common in the summer) that was giving him terrible diarrhea, and an inner ear infection in his left ear (making him congested and having a horrible time laying down to sleep). Ugh. 3 days on antibiotics and he's very slowly getting back to his vibrant self. He's still tired, snotty, clingy, and whiny, but what 18 month old isn't? Luckily the bug escaped all of us, or our immune systems are farther advanced than his, because no one else caught any part of his sickness. I will say that being housebound with 2 kids, only 1 being sick, is putting my fuse on a short cycle. But he's on the mends and I see the light.
I have a very busy week with my photography. Tomorrow I'll be doing a newborn shoot and a family with 3 beautiful girls. June got so busy, but July is a clean slate on our calendar. Hopefully then I'll have time to do some website construction and business planning. Because as of now, I can't believe I found the time to write all this.
Oh! Congrats to Hilary and family! Though I haven't heard the exacts, I know they are welcoming their second son to their family this morning. And congrats to the Fricks for welcoming their second daughter! They travelled to Korea as a family of three and met their second daughter in person for the first time yesterday and she is sooooo beautiful! Her blog is password protected, but we're all looking for more readers, right? Email her and she'll give you the pass. Especially if you're interested in adopting, her blog is excellent and full of important information and experience. Yea for expanding families!!!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Our friend, Khadijah, turned 7 years old today. I was there on the moment of her birth (well, it was a c-section, so a few moments after her birth) and I was there (2 of my own kids later) today. She is a sweetie and gave me a few quick minutes in the window. The kids played and got in the kiddie pool for a bit, only to be swooped inside due to the impending thunderstorms that have been plaguing our area!
These 3 really look like they're about to go graffiti a boy's house, don't they?
These 3 really look like they're about to go graffiti a boy's house, don't they?
Then Natalie let me snap a few of her. I'm so in love with these last 2 shots and it reminds me to bring my camera as often as possible. I have much news to post, especially about Easton and a trip to Children's Hospital ER yesterday. He's fine, stomach bug AND inner ear infection. Which all started the day after I decided to wean. Oy.
I'm working on a separate photo blog to post updates on shoots, so this site will be back to the normal posts on boobs, poop, tantrums, and so forth. I've just had such a crazy week that it's slow going.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
A friend of mine is having her second son on Tuesday. She wanted some final photos of their family of 3. Ian is a few months older than Sylvia and they are good buddies. In fact, Ian is rather competitive and won't let Sylvia "win" at anything from running in circles to getting to a door faster. I love it because he really keeps Sylvia's bossiness in check! And look at those eyes, total charmer.
Can't wait to meet baby number 2!!!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
It's been 48 hours since I last nursed Easton. I know it's not recommended to go cold turkey, but I had been chewed in the gnarliest way for the last time. Two days ago I unlatched him, tucked them away, and told him all done. No more neenee. It went bye-bye, for good. The first day he was confused and a bit sad. Yesterday he awoke 2 hours later than usual with a fever of 102. And what helps an 18 month old feel better when sick with a fever (followed by all day diarrhea)? The one thing I took away, the breast. He was soooo upset. Devasted. Big fat hot tears. Sylvia & I went to Circus Flora, then Hartford, made it home after he was in bed (Dave had the day off), then we left for the pool and the playground. It seemed best that I stay away from him as much as possible. Thinking today would be better, he awoke super pissed off at 5:30am. Dave tried for over an hour to calm him down, until I finally came downstairs. The little guy was just so upset. So I tucked him in the stroller and took him for a 7am walk. It did the trick and distracted him enough to calm him down. We've been shoveling food in him to appease the need to have something in his mouth, and I've been covering my cleavage so he'll hopefully forget. Ugh, it's tough.
If 18 months seems sudden to some, fear not! Though Easton is generally a great eater, he's gotten rather lazy about food lately. He knows that no matter what he eats or doesn't eat, he will get to nurse. So he has been choosing to not eat. And just nurse. And this is annoying. At 18 months, he is fully capable of getting all his nutrition from food. And if you've been reading me for a while, he barely ate baby food. He was so into feeding himself, we've been giving him solids for a long time now. The normal process is for the kid to lose interest in the boob and gain interest in eating with everyone else. Not E. He was strictly titly. And I was growing tired of it all. I need to focus on my business, and working, and eventually getting childcare for him on occasion. If he had to be put down with boob-juice, all that would have been difficult.
Besides the side effects of having a super-clingy, super-whiny weaning baby is my poor, poor chest. I am fully engorged, and have been for 2 days. I'm talking 2 full cup sizes, rock hard melons on my chest. And as pretty as they are to look at (perverts), they are incredibly painful to touch. Or bump against something. Or take a shower with. Or dress. Or pick up and hug my kids. They hurt like a S.O.B. I know a gradual wean wouldn't have left me so engorged, but I had to cold-turkey end it. I swear Easton would be one of those 4 year olds hanging off of me if I didn't suddenly and abruptly put a stop to it. And boy am I paying for it.
It's an end of an era for me. Easton will be my last child to nurse, the last time I have to wear annoying nursing tanks, and breast pads, and have leaky boobs, or feel a let-down. This is the last time I will have milk filling my chest to the point of absolute pain. I'm sad and thrilled at the same time. Though it's the final pages in the chapter of actual physical dependency, it's the beginning of independence and freedom, for him and I.
But I can't help wonder if this is what it feels like to have a boob-job?
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Signed up for a domain name today, I am officially on the web. Well, not really. I don't actually have a website. Apparently you can't close your eyes for a minute and as soon as they reopen you will have a beautifully completed website. There is work involved, people. Don't let those fancy websites fool you- it isn't magic like I thought! Damn, if leprechauns came in handy for something, I wish it were web design. Anywho, I'm a complete moron when it comes to computertalk, so Dave will step in and be my Internet Manager (he doesn't quite realize that this is his position) and maybe he will be my magical leprechaun and wow, things just got dirty creepy in my head. Ok then! My company name is Human Portrait Photography. It got less emo and more like "oh, so she won't shoot dogs, right?" but that's ok. I still like it, I think it's kinda funny, and it encapsulates a wide spectrum. Basically, I will be taking portraits of humans. Self-explanatory. No one will be confused as to what I do, which I've heard is a positive. In fact, my tattooist told me that when starting a business and thinking of a name, the name that is most simple and directly to the point can be the most effective. If I decided to call my company "Lampshades on Fire Photography" a potential client would be all like, what the blip does that mean?! Actually, that's a rather humorous name and damn, maybe I should hit up godaddy and claim it. No, friends, that will be my gift to you. Take the name and run with it. Your welcome.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
No business talk here. From the deafening silence after yesterday's post, I get the hint that we shall have no more of that "propel yourself into the world of running your own small business talk." I get it. It's boring fodder. Maybe I'll hit some heartstrings with talk of how our dog is chewing himself to death (he's old as rocks as is), or how Sylvia is finally over a terrible case of bacterial skin infection that target her privates only. Yuck! She refused to potty because it hurt so bad and we kept calling it a diaper rash (offensive to a 4 year old who has been out of diapers for 2 years). Anyway, we luckily took her to the ped. and got some hard-core antibiotics, and phew for that being over. Plus she's actually napping today and that makes me happy. Both kids were crabby at the Children's Garden this morning so I insisted on a nap. Mainly so I could be alone and prepare myself for the afternoon battle: inside-rainy-day-play. Kinda the worst for a hyper lady like myself. Cheers!
Monday, June 7, 2010
Of course the day I actually go to post something Blogger is down for the count. And you know the matters at hand are pressing and of the utmost importance. Like the slimmed down iPhone. Or BP's oil disaster. Or people dying from genocide. Alas, all I want to write about is how upside down crazy life has been. Example 1: Sylvia suddenly gave up her nap. No weaning down to short naps, no notification that my very tiny, very precious alone time after lunch is now totally eliminated. And I know many of you are laughing because your 4 year old hasn't napped since they were like 4 days old. But Sylvia has always been a dream napper. She would go down before Easton and sleep soundly for over 2 hours. And now nothing. She tries quiet time but it lasts like 10 minutes. Actually, it lasts the exact amount of time it takes me to get Easton down, then she's all up in my grill again. Ugh. Today I really needed that rest time. I got up (sans alarm clock) at 6:30 at decided to run over 4 miles. Just cuz. And when I returned all sweaty and gross, I could hear Easton whining for me. From outback. Through brick walls. Sheesh.
Example 2, my photo business is shooting off like a rocket into space (I told you I'm tired, perfect example). I'm acquiring lots of studio lighting, which was kind of a sign as to which avenue to pursue. I think I've found a name, too. I needed something to encompass many avenues of work, but mostly involving portraits (adults and kids and babies alike). As I was dozing off on Sylvia's bed, it came to me: The Human Portrait Project. It's a bit emo, a bit artsy, but directly to the point (plus I like the word human, can you tell?). What do you think? Should I promptly throw the idea out the window and delete this blog entry? Get on some meds? Cut my hair again?
As it stands now, I still need a website (help!) and a few test parties/weddings/events that involve 75-200 people (double help!). I want to disclose what I'm doing, but not yet. I need to nail things down and solidify the "plan" so you people don't go off and steal my idea. Kidding, I really need your help out there. So contact me if any of these categories apply to you. Or just sit back and continue with the making fun of me part. It's ok, I'm used to it.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
So I'm still nursing Easton, the weaning has been going nowhere. Though I will say that if we are able to keep busy and distracted, and I pack loads of snacks and water, he only nurses 3 times a day. If we're rained in the house all day and bored out of our minds, the nursing is non-stop. The amazing news? He is sleeping 11 hours straight (not gay) at night. Huzzah!! It's been a few weeks now, but blog-jinxing is the pits. I'm still not used to sleeping, so I'm only getting 6-7 hours. But it's solid, it's predictable, it's amazing. And it only took 17 months to get there.
I just got a call from one of my freelance jobs that she wants to fly me out to Boston this fall for an event. I got a pit in my stomach and a smile of glee on my face simultaneously. I must have appeared to be sick to onlookers. But I digress. I've never been to Boston, and I'll only be there for 2 days. And I hate flying. And I've never travelled away from my kids. And I cannot wait. I know as soon as I land it'll be fine. But the nerves of anticipation will stress me out all summer long. Just what I need, something to obsess about!