Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Snow, Utah, Snow

Here are some pictures of "The Kids" straight out of the camera, enjoying yesterday's storm.

 This is Duvick's 7th winter - his favorite time of year.

His water-proof coat keeps him toasty on 18-degree days.

 Baby crawling in the snow.

This baby loves her daddy.

Standing on her own with Duvick's frozen pumpkin.
This baby will be walking by Christmas, I'm pretty sure of it!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Things I'm loving lately

Baby Kisses

Gillian is actually initiating kisses herself these days, and it melts my heart every time. It's more of a bite than a kiss, and sometimes it hurts like the dickens, but i just let her chomp down because it is the sweetest thing ever.

Daily Walks with the Bean
And I am over the moon if Mr. McBrayer and Duvi-boy get to join us as well. This only happens once in awhile, but when it does, the feel-good lasts for days.

This baby gate that Doons built. It's amazing.
Gives me such peace of mind to know that my child is not going to fall down the stairs or drown in the dog's bowl.

Learning to use my awesome camera.

These skinny cords from Old Navy. The perfect fall color.

(yes, the laundry detergent). Makes my baby smell every yummier than she does in her birthday suit!

Cinnamon morning Java
When cold dark mornings creep into my life, I like to toss a little ground cinnamon onto the top of my coffee grounds. It just feels better.

This face

This friendship.

I got to sing during the Thanksgiving Feast today at the Salt Lake Rescue Mission, which was such an honor. And I'm still singing on Sunday at my church a few weeks a month. Singing has always been a deep and meaningful ministry in my life. I am grateful that although I stopped professional voice training and education in college, i can still sing and not only be blessed by singing but bless others as well.

Playing around with Perspective

Brings new meaning to the term "Beer Goggles" doesn't it?

Click It Up A Notch

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baby loves Books


Poor snotty nose.

She can even turn the pages on her own.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Editing Photos

So with the 52 photo project, you are supposed to not only take but edit your photos. I have no clue how to edit photos. I guess that would have to do with a few things.

1) I don't know what makes a great photo besides my own preference. I am sure that there is a system to assessing the greatness of a photograph. I just don't know it.
2) How do you edit a photograph in the first place? Is there some kind of technology that I need that I don't have?
3) I have always been anti-editing photos. I thought that the natural beauty should show through without any alteration. If you're a good photographer, you will capture your subject in their natural state exactly as beautiful as they are in that moment, right?

Well today I used my out-of-the-box super simple iphoto software to edit these beauties. I did minimal editing. Like I couldn't edit an area or change anything. All I had the capability to do (as far as I could tell) was change saturation, contrast, etc... So here are a few:

All I really did was change the "temperature" of these photos. The idea of the pictures in the first place was to enjoy the beautiful autumn day and capture the golden leaves with the auburn-haired precious baby. Most of my pictures, however, came out pretty blue-ish gray and just really cold. 

I think the first one is probably too saturated-looking. Any tips on free editing software or resources on learning how to edit photos would be great.

Click It Up A Notch

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cheesin' for the Camera

This baby loves the camera.

I will try to take a picture of her in her natural state. Once she sees my face behind the camera, she comes after me with such excitement.

A natural shot mid-cry."A birdie is going to perch on your lip", i tell her!

Here she is 1/2 a second later, coming after my camera, all sadness forgotten.

And again....

I should just enjoy her love for the camera. Some day she probably will refuse to smile for my pictures. Getting some candid pictures may require me to employ tricky tactics. 

But she is pretty freakin' cute with her eager smile and full attention at the camera. I really cherish every shot of this babe.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

First snow

Yesterday we woke to snow, snow, snow and sunshine!

I couldn't keep us inside. It was just too beautiful. So I bundled the baby and headed into the snow.

Hopefully this is only the beginning of snowy mornings with this beauty.

Click It Up A Notch

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dual Camera Comparison

Sometimes I like to take the same picture with both my DSLR and my iphone. Usually it is so that I can text message the adorable picture of our daughter to my husband in that instant. It is interesting to compare them both.

DSLR photo
I am learning how to focus on an object in the foreground that is not in the center of the picture. I know it is probably basic to you photography buffs out there, but it is new and exciting for me and makes for a lot of fun when composing my shots.

iphone photo

iphone selfie
the thing i really like about my iphone photos is that I can do selfies. I've tried with the DSLR and it's nearly impossible without using the timer and tripod, which i should probably learn to use. but it is not easy or convenient during an afternoon hike.

P.S. Baby is 9 months.

Click It Up A Notch

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Photography Photo Project

For Christmas last year I compiled all of my Christmas monies + some of my own investment and bought myself a nicer camera. My motivation was my humongous baby belly and the nesting instinct that was terrorizing my sanity.

I had the worst consumer experience with the website that I ordered my camera through and didn't even receive it until Gillian was a month old (February!). But now I have it and I love it and I am not awesome at using it yet. But I am trying to be intentional about teaching myself to use it better. Usually I just snap 50 photos and hope that on one of them I had the buttons aligned correctly to produce a decent photo.

I think that doing a photo project would be a great way to be committed to learning how to use my camera. Hopefully you can enjoy this journey along with me. I do not see myself being committed enough to do a daily photo, but a weekly photo would be fine!

Here's my first photo that I took a few days ago. I am sure I will have more photos of my baby in the leaves.

I am excited. If anyone else would like to join me, please do!

Click It Up A Notch

Monday, September 16, 2013

loved from the start

These last 8 months that I have been doting over my daughter, I have often thought of the other babies in the world...

In the moments that I am with my baby, I am kissing her, singing to her, tickling her, and absolutely adoring every little bit of her. And when she cries, I rush to soothe her. And when she is hungry, I feed her. And when she has a dirty diaper, I change and clean her so she is fresh and comfortable. And I keep her warm, and take her places, and keep her close to me.

And I know that there are children left in soiled diapers, on the brink of starvation. Children who lay screaming with no one to hear their cries or hold and comfort them. There are children that are not kissed and sung to, and held and hugged and loved. And it breaks my heart.

I wish all children were loved as much as my Gillian is loved.

Every child deserves to be adored, to be the middle of somebody's world. That is the best start that you could hope for, for every person to be loved from the start.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Baby Ringworm

Yes, you read that correctly.

My baby got Ringworm. From what? We really don't know. We assume that it is from her little blow-up swimming pool. Although we changed the water almost daily, we never scrubbed down the sides of it during the 2 or 3 weeks we used it. But that's just a guess. I told her pediatrician that she wasn't wrestling with any highschool boys - "where could she have possibly gotten it!?" She told me that she could have gotten it anywhere and that it is pretty common.

Common? I have read all sorts of rare and awful things that your baby could get whilst reading articles online and chapters in my baby books. Never had any mentioned Ringworm.

By the way, be rest assured that Ringworm IS NOT A WORM. It is a fungal rash.

This rash started on her left shoulder and just looked like a little flakey skin, so I didn't worry about it. Within 3 days, her back looked like this! I text messaged the above picture to my pediatrician. He thought that she just had some eczema, and told me to treat it with hydrocortisone cream and a moisturizer. Since we were leaving town, I made an appointment to see a pediatrician the next day to be sure. She thought it looked like Ringworm. 

So we conducted a little experiment, and I treated the right part of her back for eczema and the left part of her back for ringworm. The next day, we noticed a considerable improvement on the left side. By day 3, the rash was nearly gone and the right side looked the same, so we are sure it was ringworm. I treated her whole back for ringworm for another week and it cleared up easily. The rash never bothered the baby at all.

How strange.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just a little video

So, 8 of the last 10 blog posts I've written haven't been published. They remain as "drafts" in my composition folder.

Either I'm insecure (which could be the case), or I never have the time to actually finish a blog post (which is certainly the case some of the time).

So this one, I am keeping brief and determined to post. One of my buddies has been posting videos of his little guy recently and they are just SOOOO much more fun than pictures. So I thought I would post a video of the Bean today for you to enjoy.

She loves to see her "reflection" via the camera on my phone. So here she is talking to herself before her morning nap last week.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Each moment is it's own

Yesterday my daughter discovered that she could roll over from her back to her front. It terrified me. I heard what sounded like her muffled cries after I had laid her down to sleep and when I ran into her room, there she was, laying on her belly and crying into her crib sheet.

I know it's a little late for her to finally be rolling from her back to her belly. We weren't stressed because we knew that she could probably do it, but that she just lacked the incentive.

Starting today our life is different. I tried to lay her on our bed for her nap (when i lay her in her crib, she fusses. Sometimes our bed fools her into a happier nap), and she completed 3 complete body rolls almost off the edge.

So starting today, we can't leave her unsupervised on the bed anymore. Which isn't that big of a deal except that is where we place her whenever we are with friends so she can nap. Now we'll have to tow around the pack-n-play. Which is why we bought it in the first place, I guess.

Whenever the Bean lays down to sleep, she simply rolls over onto her left side and sucks her left thumb and journeys off to slumber-land. Now that she has the roll down, she is having a hard time rolling onto her side and instead rolls completely over. She is roused from almost-sleep and is seriously pissed off. Replay this over and over and over  for over and hour and that is where we are at this very moment.

And I am sitting in the chair in her room watching her because she keeps getting herself stuck on her tummy against the edge of her crib (she can't roll back onto her back in both directions, just one) and I don't want her to suffocate or something. So I pick her up and lay her back on her back. But I try to fight it. I know she has to learn for herself so that I don't have to sit beside her crib every time I lay her here. But I hate seeing her struggle. And she REALLY needs to get some sleep.

Right now she is screaming in hysterics. This is really rare for my kid. the Bean just doesn't cry much at all, and if she is "crying", it is just a fussiness, not a scream-and-bellow cry.

It is amazing how quickly my child learns and grows. Where yesterday was an ordinary day, today has it's new challenges. When she got her first tooth 2 weeks ago, i told her, "from now on, you will have teeth." As with this change, "from now on, you will have control over where you want to go and you will never stay where I place you." As a mom, nothing is predictable. Each day is new. Each moment is it's own.

P.S., now an hour and a half after I laid her down, she sleeps.

(with her left thumb in her mouth)

First time sleeping on her tummy.
And I've walked into her room 5 times in the last 10 minutes to make sure she is still breathing. She is.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Precious baby enjoyed swinging for the first time while visiting family. 

And in her joy was ours. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

These teary eyes can get whatever they want from me.

Luckly, Baby doesn't know this yet.

And by the time she does, maybe I'll conquer their pull. 

I doubt it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Having a working-mom's heart in a Stay-at-home-mom's world

It's been two weeks since my last day at work.

I don't miss it. I don't.

I had a generous 11 weeks of maternity leave after Gillian was born and then I was back at work for 14 weeks, the last 3 of which were part-time.

I did not like being away from my baby.

The best thing about working full-time was that it gave my husband a chance to be a stay-at-home full-time dad. This is not something that he ever wanted. But he was soooo good at it. Every day he and Gillian came to see me for lunch and I got to feed her in the front seat of our car while Landon listened to me talk about my day. See, he is not only an amazing dad, but the best husband I could hope for. So Gillian wasn't suffering for one second once I returned to work. She took to the bottle easily, and I was able to pump twice a day while working, which was important to me. So my child has never had anything touch her lips except for breast milk.

I was so blessed to see Landon taking over the roll of primary care-giver in Gillian's life, even though I wished so badly that it was me. He taught her to roll over, and had her on a nap/feeding schedule. Every evening when I would get home, he would place her into my arms and she would be all mine until her bedtime, which was 2-3 hours later.

I lived for those 2-3 hours all day long. While I was working, Landon sent me pictures of Gillian playing with her toys, and video of her being her cute self and I looked at them over and over. This sounds desperate and pathetic, certainly, but that was exactly what I was. At 2 months old, I hated leaving my baby. Sitting in the hall closet with a "do not disturb" sign outside of the door twice a day while I saved my child's life source in plastic bottles felt so against nature, so contrary to everything I felt within me. I ached for her.

I remember her 4 month appointment, her pediatrician directed several questions at me: "what is her nap schedule like?", "how much is she eating?", etc... and I had no clue what the answers were. I just differed them to my husband. and I left with a weight of guilt and a broken heart.

These last 2 weeks have been heaven. I got to see her roll over for the first time. I am experiencing several "firsts" and I have felt like I have gotten to know her so much more! Although, there have been times that I have found myself looking forward to her next nap - I can't believe that. I remember the not-so-long-ago life I lived where I wanted her present with me always. So I decided to do my best to apply my perspective as a working mom to my new stay-at-home lifestyle:

1. Be fully present as much as possible, not distracted.
2. Every moment is a bonding moment.
3. Every moment is a teaching moment.
4. Every moment is a chance to love her.
5. Savor every second

With a baby as precious as this one, it's not difficult at all to follow this creed.
my Sweet Pea, playing and laughing with puke on her face.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Is there food on my face?

I am a momma. I can't help but document my little girl's life. And she is growing so much and experiencing so many new things. At this stage of her infant life, it seems that every week brings new "firsts", and I snap and scribble and post and share each one as I rejoice in my mommy heart that my girl is thriving and exploring and learning.

Yesterday was the Bean's first time trying "solid" foods.

We decided to start slowly, with a little rice cereal mixed with breast milk.

I think this precious reaction has more to do with the texture than the taste. Because, honestly, it probably tasted mostly like breast milk (but i don't actually know because I didn't try it).

Still thinking about it....
(P.S. we decided that this super expensive bib was totally worth for how functional it was.)

Realizing that it tastes vaguely familiar, and all of the sudden, she becomes ravenously hungry. Landon couldn't get the food in her mouth fast enough. 

Even tried to eat the bib.

She became unhappy by the time they were in the bottom of the bowl.

From all of the reading I have done, I did not expect Gillie to eat anything at all the first few days. I was so amazed at the way my girl scarfed her meal. She continues to uphold her reputation as an "easy" baby.