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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008!

2008 was amazing!

* Daria arrived
* Arianna thrived and learned so much
* I left my job
* Hubby got a new job
* We paid off lots of debt
* We saw family we don't see often (hubby's family came to visit after dd was born)

I can't wait to see what 2009 has in store for us!

This is my favorite part of 2008!

Happy New Year everyone!

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The case for more kids...

Before Arianna came along and before I was skydiving I always told myself I wanted to be 'done' with kids by 30 - that way they were out of the house (hopefully) by the time I was 50/55 and I'd have freedom and still be young enough to enjoy life.

This year I'm 30. I'm not 'done' with kids - but hubby says he is. I'm working on him...

A few weeks back I went to one of my great aunt's 80th birthday parties and enjoyed seeing family you only see at weddings and funerals. After the party was over my dad, his 3 sisters and brother and the multitude of cousins (seriously there are like 30 of them) were all going out to eat. I was a little bummed I couldn't go on account of Daria but even more bummed that when I get to be my dad's age I won't have that opportunity.

I have one brother who now lives in CA. I'm not close with any of my cousins. My husband is an only child. His mother lives in CA and his father is remarried living in WA. My children won't have a large family with which to spend holidays and create special memories around those times.

This makes me really sad. On my dad's side there are 16 cousins - sadly I'm not close with any of them. There are 5 kids in my dad's generation. My mother has 3 kids in hers although we don't talk to her family. The thought of stopping now with 2 kids distresses me.

In a way its foolish to try to recreate what I miss from my childhood in my children's but isn't that a great opportunity to do so?

When Arianna decided to come as early as she did I was a little sad in that we probably wouldn't have more kids if we'd have similar results. When I was pregnant with Daria I told myself that if I couldn't carry to 34 weeks we wouldn't try again. We made it to 36 weeks but would have made it longer if they didn't remove my cerclage when they did. So now that I've had a successful pregnancy I want more... as many as 2 more. I've joked about having lots of kids and hubby has joked about not risking a 3rd for a boy and end up with 3 girls. I know I can get #3 out of him in a little more than 2 years but how about #4?

So much for being done at 30! Maybe I'll push to 35 now...

My new 'day'

Its pretty strange not working anymore. I no longer end my day with the dread of another day at the office. Now I end my day with the dread of another day at home... just kidding!

I love being home with my girls - seriously. It's much harder than I thought it would be, but I'm really really enjoying it. I love working on all sorts of things with Arianna and I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to nurse Daria whenever she wants. If I pull out the breastpump its only to pump a bottle for hubby to feed to her on the nights when he gets up with her. I love the ease of a nursing baby - its wonderful!

Our days are so different than pre-Daria. I actually joined several mom's groups in my area and 2 or 3 days a week we have a playgroup with other kids. Unfortunately most of the groups are younger kids, but its kids non the less. I'm trying to find a group with kids Arianna's age but it hasn't been easy. Daria will have lots of friends through these groups though!

I get to make nutritious meals for my family and get to work on school type stuff with Arianna (which is going very well - within the next few weeks I'll have video of Arianna reading her first book!!!!) and I get to eliminate alot of the 'household stress' that inundated me when I was working. Of course, not all of it gets done but I do have opportunities.

This winter will be tough - Arianna needs more interaction with children and this is the first winter we're able to do something about it. Previously we were on house lockdown due to illness so its new to us. I actually had to go buy snowpants! I didn't realize that there's a season for that sort of stuff, and its passed. I ended up going to a ski shop to get them and I still can't find boots ANYWHERE!

I'm really enjoying being home with my girls and I know I'll enjoy it even more as the days go by and Daria is more independent. We're closer to that though - not only is she sleeping in her own room but has slept through the night, in its entirety, twice! Woo HOO for Mommy!!

The toughest job you'll ever love

Tonight I had the opportunity to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" with my mother. It's a really fabulous movie and I can see why its up for so many awards. I enjoyed it thoroughly and cried earnestly on the ride home (even though its not a sad movie).

What struck me was the mood the movie left you with. At the end he summarized all the people he'd met in his life and the type of impact they had on him and how that impact shaped his life. It was really quite profound when you really thought of it.

I cried because I realized the type of impact I have on my girls - be that good or bad and how I want to experience all that with them... and I won't be able to, nor will I be the only one to impact their life. This made me sad, unjustifiably or not.

I cried hard on my ride home. I'm sure many of you know the story behind the movie but its about a man who ages reversely. He was born old and dies young - as a baby. I was quick to get home to see Daria because the scene in which the main character died was about the same age Daria is now. I so wanted to get home to see her smiling face and give her kisses. The thought of her leaving me had me in tears.

Then I thought that at some point in my childrens life I will be leaving them. Duh. We all die, I've known that since I was Arianna's age. But until you have children and someone who depends on you for everything I don't believe you understand the impact your life and death can have on people. I used to jump out of airplanes. I lived for the thrill of almost dying and then saving myself with a few strips of nylon over my head. It's really exhilerating. But that thrill quickly disapates when you realize the selfishness behind that risk - especially when someone else in this world is depending on you.

At some point in my girls life I will leave them and I can only hope that when that time comes I have prepared them for everything they need to be happy/healthy/productive women. Even then I'm incredibly sad at the thought of causing them pain or robbing them of my impact in their life. I know I can have a positive impact and I want to ensure that I'm here to give that to them and just the thought of dying and leaving them without a mother makes me cry. But when you come right down to it you really don't know when your time is up... and that uncertainty is hard to accept. I guess I never really thought about that until I had children of my own and now I'm sad/mad that I don't have complete control over that decision.

What a hefty responsibility, this parenting 'thing'! What an unbelievable weight to bear and one that you can't fully understand or appreciate until you have a child of your own. They aren't kidding when they say its the toughest job you'll ever love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This is GENIUS!

Loop 2 Loop belt buckles

Arianna is tiny - no denying that. She easily wore her sisters size 2 diapers in a 'potty training emergency' last month. Even elastic waist sized 18 month pants fall down. 12 month pants fit her pretty well but the bottoms hit just below her knees... its frustrating! She's definitely "Ms. NoButtAtAll".

Trying to find belts for a toddler is impossible, and comfortable ones? Forget it.

These belt buckles look AMAZING - I'm hoping to pick up one to try.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I just want to kick myself...

Today I ordered $175 worth of photography prints from the lab. These include the fabulous pictures you see below. Problem is that when I edited them they weren't edited using the colorscape for my newly calibrated computer monitor. So the color will be ALL WRONG (such as the Arianna picture below, its way too blue). What's even worse is that this includes our 'christmas card' picture that goes out with our newsletter every year. And in the newsletter I mention how I'm looking to build a portfolio for a possible photography business and hey, look at the great pictures I took in the studio I rented... but what they see will be a very poor representation of my work/talent... all because I didn't set up my color in photoshop. Lovely.

I'm so mad at myself because I can't tell you how much work I've been putting into my photography these last few months and getting into the studio (now 3 seperate sessions) has really popped my work up to another level and I finally feel like my hard work is paying off... and I feel I can finally show people... and now this.

So anyway - I've put off doing this for a few months because I wasn't sure I was ready for the criticism, but I think I'm ready now. So... introducing... one of the first shoots of my photography business. I'll be spending most of 2009 'portfolio building' (aka. practicing on willing participants). My focus will be child and family portraits, everything from maternity to HS Seniors and more.

The only way I can get better is to get feedback from people. I want to know if this is something you like or something you would purchase if this was your own family (instead of mine LOL). If I don't know what people want, I don't know what style to shoot.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Such a toddler

I'm not going to look...I'm not going to look...I'm not going to look...I'm not going to look...I'm not going to look...I'm not going to look...

I used Arianna as my 'model' as I calibrated the studio lights for our christmas picture photo session... She was less than enthused.

Results soon!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I let her down

I'm a hypocrite.

Last week I brought Misty, my beautiful cat, to the animal rescue league. I had snapped. She's a beautiful cat and very affectionate, but she has a bad habit. She urinates on blankets, clothes, fabric when she feels her litter box isn't perfect. We just bought new litter boxes and she hated them. Last Wednesday afternoon I'm working with Daria on some tummy time and Misty pees on the blanket right in front of her face. I didn't hesitate to throw her into a cat carrier and drive 40 min. to the rescue league. She was obviously distraught in the carrier and confused when we got there.

I cried the entire time. This is not me - I rescue cats, I don't send them away to live in a cage and possibly get put to sleep. Misty is a lovely cat, so affectionate and loveable. But I want to be able to open my bedroom door again. I want to be able to put Arianna to bed and ensure that her blankets don't smell like cat pee. I don't want Daria to be crawling in cat pee. I know I did the right thing but its very hard.

I had tried for a few weeks to find a rescue that would take her but everyone was full. I even put an ad in the local paper. Of course someone called about her two days after I brought her to the rescue league. The rescue league even gave me a number to call to check up on her but I can't call for some reason. I hope she's ok but I know there's a good possibility she isn't. A cat that urinates inappropriately isn't a prime adoption candidate and she's probably freaking out in a tiny cage - can't say I blame her. I just wan to believe in my heart/head that she's doing ok there and will be adopted soon.

But for some reason I can't stop thinking in the back of my mind how I could have avoided this and could have ensured her safety better. I feel like I failed her and that makes me so sad. I really did love so much about my Misty kitty and even typing this has me in tears again. I just can't put up with my house smelling like cat pee so often.

Worst part is that TiSan our male cat obviously misses her alot - he spent a few days moaning around the house and he's much more aggresive about his needs for attention now. I feel sad for him too, he had fun with Misty.

Last week my camera club chose this picture of Misty to send to a regional competition... it was very bittersweet news for me.

I know I'll look back at this situation and know I did the correct thing but right now it hurts. Bad.

Monday, December 01, 2008

We're back!

Lots of pictures to share but no time to type up a full synopsis - so pictures will have to 'hold you over' until then! :)