Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I have been reading for a few weeks about professional (not wanna be's) photographers recognizing the fact they don't snap as many photos of their children because they more or less always want the photos to be 'professional'. I do believe I blogged about noticing that I do this very thing myself - even though I am certainly no professional (not even close!). I found it interesting that obviously I'm not the only who picked up on what I consider - a loss. Every now & then I do snap what I previously called a 'quickie shot' (or QS). Meaning, my camera settings were on auto, w/ flash. Quick. Why I didn't refer to those particular photos as snapshots is beyond me. I dunno.

But for me, I'm going to make a distinct effort to take more snapshots. I do not want to miss any moment(s) with my children. None. And honestly, it is so much faster to take a snapshot in 'the moment' than to take the time to adjust all your manual settings. By the time you do that, good possibility the moment is gone. I want to remember that particular moment - I'm not concerned about quality. I want the memory.

(I also found it interesting that I noticed the snapshot discussion mainly on women photographer's sites, but not as much the mens. Maybe because moms take more photos of their children? :)

For example - the below photo. Snapshot.

It's quite evident here that whatever I happened to be doing at the time, I was taking too long. My Mercedes decided to open the server, rip off part of the phonebook, & patiently keep herself happily occupied reading while I tended to my business. Too frickin' stinkin' cute.

This snapshot I will look back on & smile. And that is what my photography, & life, is all about. ☺

*Aren't you impressed that she doesn't even have the pages upside down? :)


Audi had t-ball tonight. In the rain. And while playing in the rain he announced:

"Aw, man! What are we doin'? The Swine Flu is everywhere! We shouldn't even be out here!"

You tell 'em, Audi! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I need a sedative.

Or maybe I don't. I don't know. I've never had one. What I do know is that I have adrenaline rushing thru my body. Or it could be nerves. Stress. Anxiety.

Today was Mercedes' Endocrinologist appointment. Now that she is one, she goes every 3 months & has labwork at the same time. The dr. visit is fine - it's the labwork that bites. I've blogged before about how much I hate it. And that is a complete understatement.

The last time she had her blood drawn, it was relatively simple (as simple as it can be when poking a one year old). 'Simple' compared to all the other visits where it took poking & prodding over & over again to find her tiny veins, in numerous locations thruout her body.

Today was hell. Pure hell. They couldn't really locate any veins on her arms, so they started with the right arm first. The minute the girls even looked at Mercedes, she began to freak out. They hadn't even stuck her yet. Because Mercedes is so incredibly strong (everyone comments on her strength! And I'm not kidding you - it's unbelievable how strong she is!), it took two lab attendants plus myself to try to hold/secure her. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Mercedes ends up with bruising on her head, face, arms & legs because of the force we had to use. Anyway, they poked & prodded & dug around in her right arm & all through Mercedes' kicking & screaming & downright hysterics, they were successful at finding a vein. Only for the dadgum thing to blow right after hitting it.

So now we have to start all over on the left arm. Mercedes obviously became more tense (as if that was possible) & irate as they began the torturous procedure all over again. It took quite some time to locate a vein, & at one point I looked down & noticed the entire needle was in my Mercedes' arm - as far as it could go (usually they just enter the tip) - with a plastic apparatus stopping the needle at the skin. Mercedes was absolutey out of control. I couldn't hold her, the other 2 girls couldn't hold her, which of course made the attempt even more painful for her because her entire body was flapping around, doing anything she could to get the needle out of her arm & the pain to stop. Finally drop by drop they were able to begin filling the tube. Until it blew again. But they didn't pull the needle out - they just started, once again, poking & prodding trying to hit the vein again. By this time Mercedes was completely hysterical. She's trying to look me in face & flip over onto my chest, so she could lay down for comfort. All the while I'm doing everything in my power to soothe her. Like that was gonna help. She wasn't in distress this time. She was angry. Spitting mad.

Finally I had had enough & I shouted "Ok stop! Just stop!" The girls completely agreed & they immediately removed the needle. At that point I didn't give a crap if they had gotten any blood or not (they did, a tiny bit & they are going to submit it). By this time I was now furious. Not at the lab techs, just this stinkin' procedure itself that we have done for almost 1 1/2 years & still have 1 1/2 years to go!

I got Mercedes calmed down, until they went to put the dressing on her arms for bleeding purposes. Then it started all over again. She was so irate once again, that we decided to heck with it & went to remove the guaze & tape from both arms. She freaked out again & after we removed the tape, I actually sat in the chair for over 5 minutes trying to calm her down. It took quite some time for her to even catch her breath. After a few minutes myself & the two girls agreed we needed a beer. :) The lab tech who actually drew the blood was pretty much dripping with sweat & had to remove her lab coat. Good heavens! I felt bad for all parties involved. It was evident that all of us were disturbed.

There are no words that can possibly describe how horrendous this procedure is. For us it's quite simple - but certainly not for little ones. I am not a mother who can watch her children hurt. (Not many can, I'm sure.) I just can't take it. All the parents who have sick children in the hospital & have to witness procedures such as this be done to their children over & over & over...I don't know how they do it. God Bless them. I can't imagine. Honestly, I would need some sort of medication to stay calm.

Mercedes next Endocrin appointment is for the 1st of August. I've made a decision. We are not going - I'm cancelling! I'll explain.

First of all, for the entire 15 months of her life, the Endocrin has never had to adjust Mercedes' dosage of Levoxyl. Typically, they do (as the children grow and/or not receiving enough medication, etc.). But Mercedes' thryoid level has stayed so perfect (PTL), so consistent, that no adjustments have ever been necessary. Second, I never have missed one day of giving her her medication & I never will. On top of that, I have figured out a way to ensure she gets every drop of her dosage (which can be very tricky & is the reason some medication requires adjusting). Third, the Endocrinologist doesn't do 'anything', anyway. Just the usual dr. stuff & after I hand him $50, he sends us on our way. The most important part is the labwork to check her thyroid level - & because there has never been any changes - I don't anticipate them now. So, after I receive the results from today's test (I will wait on the results before making a final decision, just in case) & if the results are as I predict them to be, we will return in 6 months, not 3. And, the dr. gave me 6 refills of medication, so I'll have plenty to last until then. All that said, should there be an issue with her thyroid level this time, then of course we will make the scheduled visit in Aug. But again, I just don't foresee that happening. I'm just ready to help my Mercedes out all I can & if I can find a way to make her hurt one less time, by all means & without hesitation, I'm doing it.


And because posts stink with no photo, I included one. :) This is the last photo I took of Piper. Here she is playing with Bentley as he flies his Airhog. I miss my Piper.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Park fun.

Sheesh. My photography skills (or lack thereof :) were really put to the test today. Clouds. No clouds. Sun. No sun. Shadows. Shade. Movement. Ack! I was constantly changing my camera settings. I think I pulled it off pretty good though, heh? All photos were taken on manual. No flash, of course. Different f-stops. Talk about complicated. None of these photos were edited. I think I'm bored with editing.

Love the park. We will definitely be spending much more time there. And where we live, we have so many to choose from! One reason we decided not to move. ☺

The sliders:

The stroller:

The climber:

The swingers:

Below is one of many locations I think may be good for a photo shoot. And this is the least pretty of them all. ☺

Fun time. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Plan B.

The FDA approved the Plan B pill be available over the counter to girls 17 years & older. When I was 17, I was a girl. Not a woman. Not that that matters. Any.

There are so many more than obvious issues with this pill itself - but the name alone is disgusting. What a horrible, disrespectful, crude title for a pill that kills/murders a new life that God alone created.

And this little pill doesn't encourage sex? Among young people? Excuse me? WTF? Yeah, right. Who are they kidding? How easy to rid a 'mistake'. First of all, any baby is no mistake. Second of all, not only is this little devil encouraging sex, it's encouraging unsafe sex. There's a quick, easy, accessible way to now rid an unwanted baby, so who cares about STDS? Who cares about HIV? I mean really, who cares about abstinence? There are no morals anymore. There is no self respect. There are no ethics. There is no responsibility. There is no honoring life & all God has created. And all that can now be bought in one little blue box.

I find it so darn disturbing that society encourages none of the above. Society does not encourage morals. Or self respect. Or ethics. Or responsibility. Or honoring life & all God has created. As a matter of fact, seems society is doing everything possible to discourage these things. I suppose they would all originate the 'Plan A'.

And that is exactly why our world, country, society & even community is going to hell in a handbasket. I wonder, exactly, how many girls/ladies/women will look back years from now & tell their breathing children that they more than likely, or possibly, had a sibling. That their mom murdered. Because she was pretty much encouraged to do so. Applauded. Cheered on.

And the name of the new life that was so simply taken? Plan B.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Play ball!

I finally made it to Audi's t-ball game! I think I have missed 3 of them. They are all played in the evening time & it's just been too cold & windy and/or too late to take Mercedes. But tonight was the early game & it was beautiful outside! I was so excited to see him play. I'm sure all the other parents were thinking my Audi didn't have a mom. ;o)

It's still a little disturbing, for lack of a better word, to see him out there with all those 'big' kids. But he's so cute! As I stood there shooting photos through the fence (that was interesting), I could hear the other moms whispering "Oh he's so cute!" "Look how little he is!". Ha!

That's my boy. My teeny tiny uncasted boy. ☺

Hubby commented that Audi actually bats better with a cast on. Heehee. Ah well. :)

Ready! (He's the one in the middle bent down, legs ready for runnin'!)

My ball! No? Yes?

Yes! Get it Audi!

So much fun. Next time maybe I'll remember to take off my 50mm lens & put on a zoom. Yeah. That would have worked much better. ☺

Monday, April 20, 2009

The uncasted Cub.

Last Thursday, Audi's cast came off lickety split! I let dad sit this one out. He stayed home with the girls & I ran Audi to the Orthopedist.

Here we are justa waitin'. Thought I'd test the light which was actually pretty good! I must admit, I think he was the cutest casted kid I've ever seen. ☺

Here's the nurse with the little 'vibrating' saw that split the cast. She did it on the top & the underneath side of the cast. He was a little skeptical...

These were like lobster tongs that split the cast apart after she cut it.

Then she took a pair of scissors, followed along the line(s) that she cut in the cast, & cut the 'sock' that was under the cast. Then she just took her fingers, pried a little, & popped that sucker right off!

He's just a little hesitant to move his arm...

As you can see his arm worked just fine - he was Magnadoodling like a champ while waiting for the dr. to come back in. ☺

The last step was a final x-ray just to confirm the new bone was forming properly. She said it's healing better than most! Yippee! This is the cutest x-ray! Look at his little hand! :) On the left, if you look closely, you can still see the jagged break! I asked the dr. about that & she said that will completely dissipate in about 3 months. You can see the new bone growing on either side of the break. Fascinating! I never knew about all the breakage/bonage stuff. ☺

He's just so darn cute I snapped another before we left. :)

When the cast was removed, there was hardly any odor. We were prepared for the stinkies! ;o) His arm was clean as a whistle, too! Just a teeny bit of dirt around his hand from playing t-ball. His arm hair was still there & he had minimal pain. She said he might need Motrin for quite some time but heck, I think I only gave it to him once. By the end of Thursday, he was moving his arm as if it had never been in a cast. His arm was 'peeling' a little bit, kind of like a sunburn, & she told me to lotion it for 2 weeks. Within 2 days the dryness was gone.

Even though he broke his arm, I think he had it kind of easy, which is great! He's a trooper. Staples first, then a broken arm - I wonder what catastrophe will transpire next?!

(Photos taken on manual, no flash. No editing either - I was just too lazy. :)


I have no idea why I'm photographing my roses. I never have before. But aren't they pretty? They make me smile. Until I poke myself. ☺

Why you should take your camera everywhere you go.

'Cause you never know when there's someone out there who wants to screw with you when you're not in your right frame of mind. ☺

My rose bushes are starting to bloom! So pretty. I have 8 rose bushes in all - 1 yellow & the other 7 pinks. ☺ I shot this with a lens I already had on my camera, but I want to reshoot later today with my 50mm. Love roses. Hate the thorns. ☺

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Now of course I know about genetic makeup. And I was most certain this is probably the case with Mercedes. The bottom line is she is my first 'off the charts' baby. It's new to me. She's heavy. She's big. She has Hypothyroidism. So I had a chat w/ Dr. K today @ Mercedes' 15 month checkup regarding her size. Ha! Just sounds so stupid! ☺

Today's stats:

27 lbs. 7 oz.

The first thing Dr. K said to me is "she's fine - we have no idea of her genetic makeup. We know nothing about her birthfather - we have no clue as to his height/weight/size. You aren't used to a baby this size because your other three have typically been on the other end of the charts." That comment from her was before I even mentioned to her that I thought the very same thing - I am just not used to having a large, heavy baby. I just needed reassuring that there wasn't a possibility of another underlying cause.

She informed me that numerous babies are 'off the charts'. Many of them are above the 95 percentile. This is nothing out of the ordinary - but it is for me. All of Mercedes' stats are above 95%. There's the first clue that there is no problem. She is consistent. She is proportionate. She's perfect. But then we already knew that. :)

I will say, I assumed Mercedes was way over 27 lbs. Honestly? I thought she weighed more like 34 lbs.! I am not kidding you. Yes, she is that heavy. The other day I carried her upstairs & I had to stop on the landing to catch my breath. Heehee. Hubby had her while ago & I heard him say "you are so heavy". I want to make an effort to stop saying that, even though we know it is so innocent, because I would never in my life want to give her some sort of complex.

God made my beautiful girl. Just because she is a bit larger than my others were at her age, I absolutely love her no less. She is so darn adorable & I treasure her. I accept my children just the way they are. There are no conditions. Size, or otherwise. They are unique. They are special. They were perfectly designed by our Creator.

Never in my entire life have I been so blessed. With all four of my children. I love them all so much. Mercedes just currently happens to be 27 lbs. of undeniable beauty. ☺

Sunday, April 12, 2009


We had a great Easter, & I hope you all did too! Well, ours didn't start out great because two little boys were up @ 6:00 a.m. searching for the Easter baskets. New rule - no baskets will be handed out until Easter evening. :) Anyway, because of their shenanigans, we got a little off schedule & had to kick it into high gear to make it to chuch. Photos had to wait.

I do believe we have found a new church home! We left our previous church, over one year ago - we took Mercedes when she was 2 weeks old & heard some inappropriate comments (you might remember that) about us adopting another child. With somewhat hurt feelings, I told hubby it was time to move on, after 7 years. We had left a few times before (briefly), but ultimately returned. Since that time, I hadn't returned to church because we soon discovered Mercedes' thyroid issue, as well as her severe reflux. Hubby & the boys (& Jaguar, periodically) have been visiting a few churches during the lull.

I decided that today was the day for both Mercedes & myself to return. What better day to choose than the day Christ rose? Perfect. I was skeptical leaving Mercedes in the nursery; I prepared the attendants that she may not go for it, blah, blah, blah. I set her down & she never looked back. I stood there stunned. She made it 30 minutes before she realized her siblings weren't in there with her, nor were mom or dad. They came & got me when she began to get upset & she was headed to distress. The two of us then finished the service in the ladies lounge where they have couches & a monitor. ☺

We also happened to run into about five other couples we know from our previous church! That was a sweet surprise. They have all joined the church that we are contemplating joining. In Audi's room, he stated there was some 'hitting' transpiring with the attendants not really paying attention or addressing the issue - we will talk to the attendants next week & see how it goes. If all goes well, then it's probably a go we will transfer our letter.

It's all about the shoes:

Mercedes cracking up at her daddy:

And my favorite - without the munchkin that will not sit still:

This afternoon, after naps, we got everyone dressed again for some photos. I noticed that Jaguar had on some bloomers that matched her dress. Um. I dressed her this a.m. & there were no matching bloomers. Well, isn't that interesting! Come to find out, the bloomers had been attached to the inside of her dress - I didn't know it - & she wore her dress like that, to church! Holy pickles. I noticed when I put her dress on this a.m., one of the sleeves was crooked. I yanked on it tad & it fell into place. Now I know why that sleeve needed a yank - it had some bloomers attached! LOL


This week is a busy week. I'm not particularly fond of busy weeks. Monday we go out to lunch w/ my mom. Tuesday is free (more like, cleaning). Wednesday Mercedes has her 15 month well check up. I will be discussing her 'size' - as I am now quite concerned with how big she is. Now that she is walking & running, she is not slimming any. The dress & sweater she wore today are both a 2T. Granted, they are a little big on her, but not much. I'm guessing she weighs at least 35 lbs. (& to put it into perspective, if you recall, Jaguar didn't even weigh 20 lbs. until she was 18 months old - I know I reference back to that often - but it's all I have to compare Mercedes to). She is so heavy, hubby & I both have a difficult time holding her. Should be an interesting visit with the pediatrician. Thursday, Audi gets his cast off. Yay! Friday I think is clear. We'll need it.

Have a great week!

(All photos taken inside (boo! It was raining outside but the sun appeared later in the afternoon), manual, no flash.)

Friday, April 10, 2009


Just playin' with my camera. You know, when I look back over Bentley's birthday photos - well, they aren't that bad. I need to to learn to just have fun with this photography hobbie & quit stressing. These randoms are pretty cute too. ☺

Was playing with Custom White Balance here.

The Nintendo DS, Bentley & myself are fixing to go 'round & 'round about this video game. Suddenly I am reminded as to why we didn't allow any video games until he was 7. And now Mercedes is getting in on the action! Suffice to say I do believe I am anti-video games!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And now he is 8.

I am so disappointed in Bentley's birthday photos (not to mention a nice shot of hubby in the background in the one above...sheesh). I fiddled around with my camera settings because as you know, I don't like a flash. I do believe that has changed. I'm just going to have to let it go & use a flash at nightime in our home. Unless I want this quality of photos. And I don't. I upped the ISO to accomodate no flash/inadequate lighting & the photos are too grainy. Some people like grainy because they think it adds character to certain photos. Not me. :) Nonetheless, I edited them the best I could & I admit, they're still cute. Or should I say, he's still cute.

Finally, below, his true smile. Which I don't see often because typically he is giving me some crazy face smile & I don't like it. It's just not him. His smile is beautiful, with all his mismatched teeth & all - it's just really tricky to get him to loosen up & smile naturally. And look at the camera. He doesn't like to do that either. ☺

He is such an advanced reader - I bought him some books in the 9 - 12 year age group. He read one of them in one day. LOL I have no idea what to do with him & his books!

Not looking at the camera - see, I tell no lies. ☺

He got 3 Nintendo DS games. One from us & two from my mother-in-law. The two below are from her & I have no idea if they are decent or age appropriate games.

Bents got his report card the other day & again, he made straight A's as he has all year. Two 95's, one 97, & one 100. We are now in the last 9 weeks of the school year (Yay!). I challenged him & told him if he brought those grades up (not the 100, of course) that I would hand him $20. ☺ I don't expect his grades to come, as I'm very content with with his grades, obviously. I just thought I'd give him something to strive for. If he comes home with grades lower than the above, I'll take a $20 out of his savings. Bahahaha! Just kidding! ☺

I am so proud of this boy. He is more than I ever could have dreamed of. He is amazing & so stinkin' smart. He has a huge heart & is so loving, caring & giving. When I think about him -I smile. He's just a wonderful boy.

I hate that he is growing so fast. I say that, but on the other hand, I can't wait to see where God takes this child. I'm curious. And I'm excited, thrilled & blessed to be a part of his journey. ☺
Happy Birthday Bentley! Mom loves you more than you will ever know! ♥