19 August 2014

Lemonade Stand Mini Sessions

Happy Tuesday, friends! Many of you know that aside from teaching, I am also a photographer on the side. A few weeks ago I shot Lemonade Stand Mini Sessions and I absolutely LOVED how they turned out! My husband and father-in-law built me the wooden stand. I actually used it last November as a Hot Cocoa Stand for my Christmas Mini Sessions.

Everything worked out perfectly, and the little ones had a great time! This was in the midst of Jonah's three weeks of sickness, but I even got a few shots of our little guy. He really liked the lemonade :)

What else could I use this stand for? I was thinking of maybe a "Pumpkins for Sale" or "Christmas Trees for Sale" theme for next year. The possibilities are endless - I just need a little inspiration :)

I'm a tad biased, but isn't our little guy just the cutest? He is getting so big! I wish time would slow down. It's crazy how fast time flies! Have a great day, everyone! Before you go, feel free to check out my photography website and my photography Facebook page :)

14 August 2014

A Little Life Update

Well, hello there! Just when I feel like I’m juggling my many hats – one falls off. It has been a pretty intense three weeks around these parts. For starters, I have been insanely busy with photo sessions! Senior Season is in full swing, which has given me many hours behind the camera these past few weeks. There was even a stretch of nearly two weeks where I had a photo session every single day. Feel free to check out my work on Facebook or visit my photography website!

More important than anything else, the past three weeks have been focused on our little love bug, Jonah. He has been so incredibly sick, and it just breaks my heart. The whole thing started three weeks ago when Kevin got a cold sore. Naturally, he gave it to me a few days later, and then in turn, we passed it on to Jonah. I had absolutely NO idea what the Herpes virus could do to a toddler who had been exposed to it for the first time. Basically, the virus manifested in him for the first time and it can have some really awful symptoms. Jonah had a fever for nine consecutive days. NINE! We were rotating Tylenol and Motrin around the clock, and our poor little guy just couldn’t shake the virus. After almost a week of the fever, the cold sores started appearing. He had 4 on his bottom lip where his lip met the skin on his face, but what’s worse is that he had 15-20 cold sores in his mouth on his gums. Our poor little guy was in SO much pain. He wouldn’t eat anything because the sores hurt him so badly. He drank just enough to keep hydrated, but nothing more. His poor little gums were completely swollen and red, and bled at the gentlest touch. Brushing his teeth was a nightmare, but necessary because the smell was awful and the perfect breeding ground for a bacterial infection. I was in tears almost every day for our poor sweet baby! Finally after days 11 and 12 of sickness, the fever broke and the cold sores began to heal. We had about 5 days of our normal, happy, smiley baby back, and then? Boom. Hand Foot Mouth Disease. This past Monday the fever started again, and by Tuesday morning the open sores showed their ugly faces and our little guy is in the midst of battling yet another virus. I’m sure you can see why we’ll all be glad when sickness leaves us alone for long while! Thankfully Jonah is acting completely normal today. We’re just left with the sores to heal.

School is starting one week from tomorrow. Ummm…what? Don’t ask me where Summer went, because I have absolutely no idea. I went into school today to work on my classroom and I made a pretty big dent! I have almost everything up and ready to go. I think I just need a few more hours to organize and I’ll be ready for next week!

Baby Boy # 2 is doing great! He’s kicking and moving all over the place. It’s hard to believe I will be 30 weeks this coming Sunday. Which reminds me…I’m pretty far behind on my pregnancy updates, so I’m going to tack them on to the end of this post :) I’m looking forward to trying to get back into the blogging world. Thanks for being so patient with me during my long hiatuses! :)

How far Along: Today I am 29 weeks 4 days! We’re officially in the 3rd Trimester and I can’t believe it :)

Size of Baby: I know that it varies, but according to one of my favorite websites, The Bump, our little jelly bean is the size of an acorn squash...or about 15.2 - 16.7 inches long and anywhere from 2.5 - 3.5 pounds!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I’m down 8 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight!

Maternity Clothes: Yeppers – all of the time! I just bought a few more tops and another Maxi skirt. I need a few more things to get me through the beginning of the school year and I should be set!

Gender: It's a BOY! See our reveal photo here! We are 100% set on a first name, but still not sure about a middle name. Help a girl out :)

Belly Button In/Out: My belly button never popped out with Jonah, but it did completely flatten out. We are already flattened out with this little man!

Stretch Marks: A few new ones, but I’m okay with it!

Labor Signs: Thankfully, no...and we hope it stays that way for at least another 10 weeks!

Movement: Yes, yes, yes! This little peanut is a mover and a shaker. I swear at times my whole stomach just shakes. I wish I could see what he is doing in there! :)

Sleep: Sleep is getting painful simply because my hips are taking the blunt of the pressure from baby. He has a tendency to sit very low inside of me, which means I have to sleep with a pillow between my knees to help with the pain. It’s okay though, because every ache and pain is worth it!

Cravings/Aversions: Ice cream. I want ALL the ice cream ALL the time, which is a problem due to my Gestational Diabetes. I have a spoonful here and a spoonful there, but I can’t wait to have a milkshake!

Symptoms: Definite cramping and lots of pressure down below. Baby Boy seems to be sitting VERY low and directly on top of my bladder ;)

Feeling: I feel great aside from the cramping and the constant pressure.

Best Moment this Week: Jonah pulls up my shirt and says “Bee Bee”. He actually has started calling his own belly “Bee Bee” and I can’t help it – it’s adorable. I can’t wait for him to meet his little brother! Oh, and I also felt him hiccup for the first time this week! It’s happened twice over the past two days. Love, love, love baby hiccups!

What I Miss: Nothing. I am soaking up every single minute of this pregnancy! :)

What I'm Looking Forward To: I don’t want to wish time away, but I really cannot wait to see this little boy!

Milestones: We’re officially in the 3rd Trimester and almost less than 10 weeks away from meeting baby!

Baby Milestones: Baby boy is growing and fattening up in preparation of delivery!

Next Appointment: Monday, August 18th. I will be 30 weeks 1 day. This is just a routine appointment. In September I will start twice weekly NSTs due to being considered High Risk from Gestational Diabetes.

Here is my latest bump photo!


For comparison’s sake, here is Jonah’s 29 week post.

I’ll check in again soon!

19 July 2014

10 Things I Love About Being Pregnant

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. About being pregnant. I wish I were better with words so that I could convey how utterly and sincerely thankful I am to have been given the opportunity to grow a human life inside of me. First, with our sweet Jonah Alexander. Then, for a second time with our precious angel baby. I was not pregnant for long, but I was still pregnant and I still yearn to hold our angel. And now? A third time with yet another miracle that, God willing, we will be holding in our arms in just 14 short weeks. I tear up when I sit down and think how truly miraculous it is to bring a child into this world.

I absolutely love being pregnant; adore it, even. Mind you, my pregnancy with Jonah was smooth as could be. I gained a total of 5 pounds, and came out of the hospital 20 pounds lighter than when I became pregnant with him. I never experienced morning sickness, my blood pressure ROCKED...I felt AWESOME! With Jonah, I was still scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees at 37 weeks pregnant. (This time, I've invested in a Swiffer Wet Jet.) I wish breastfeeding would have worked out a bit longer, but goodness. I could never complain! So far, this pregnancy is nearly identical to Jonah's. Of course, this could always change, but having another pregnancy go so smoothly and wonderfully makes me really think about how much I love being pregnant! Over the past few days, I've sketched out a list in my head. (Who doesn't love a list?) What's on this list? Things I love about being pregnant. You know, aside from the obvious things...like the miracle of growing a life inside of you :)

1. Peeing on things.
And by things, I mean pregnancy tests, of course. After two years of stark white pregnancy tests and so many tears...I'm fairly certain my heart stopped for a brief moment the first time I saw two pink lines fill the test window. I suppose it could be said that I have an obsession with peeing on things those first few weeks of pregnancy. With each pregnancy, we have spent upwards of $100 on pregnancy tests. Yes, I know...it's insane. But, it was the only thing I could do to keep my sanity. I would take a test every morning and every evening, date the tests, and compare the darkness of the lines. It's just a comfort thing for me. The cycle of my miscarriage, my lines never got darker. They stayed the same for about 4 days, and then all of a sudden started to get lighter. So yes, I obsess over line darkness. For me, it meant that my HCG was increasing, because my betas would confirm that. It's a security net, and in those first weeks where a positive pregnancy test can be scary, peeing on things kept me just a little bit more sane :)

2. Feeling beautiful and comfortable in my skin.
I have never felt more beautiful in my life than I do when I am pregnant. I promise I am not a vain person. I actually really struggle with my self image and put myself down a lot. I don't actually think I'm beautiful, I just feel beautiful. When I'm pregnant, I don't need to suck in my stomach. I can embrace my bulging belly...because there is a baby inside of me. My skin becomes flawless, most days (and it's important I stress the word most) are good hair days, my nails are beautiful (thank you Pre-Natal Vitamins) and I feel like I'm really glowing, like so many pregnant women before me :)

3. The kicks.
This one is another obvious one, but every single kick, jab, and movement remind me that there is a life inside me...a beating heart. I adore having two heartbeats for 9 months, and I adore knowing that for 9 months I am never alone.

4. The foot rubs.
Unfortunately for me, my husband isn't exactly a foot person. However, when I am pregnant, I can always convince him to rub my feet :) I can convince him while I'm not pregnant, as well, but it's so much easier when I remind him that I am carrying our baby, and my feet are aching :)

5. The baby bump.
I suppose I sort of touched on this already, but I adore my baby bump. I can clearly remember sitting in the hospital hours after Jonah had been born, staring at my flat belly (because clearly I'm weird and my stomach literally went back to being flat in a matter or hours) missing my bump!

6. The way my arm hair disappears.
Okay, laugh if you want, I'll wait :) In all seriousness, though, when I am pregnant, the normally very dark hair on my arms lightens so much that it is much less visible. This is unheard of (and welcomed) by this dark haired Italian :)

7. The pedicures.
Remember my husband? The foot-hater? Well, he paints my toes for me when I'm pregnant and can't reach. If that's not love, I don't know what is ;)

8. Spending money.
Okay, this one isn't just something I love while pregnant - let's face it. Hah! But, I do love buying baby gear and things we will need for when the baby comes. If I'm out and about and see an adorable outfit for the baby, I buy it :) When I see a good deal on baby gear, we jump on it! I love buying anything and everything baby!

9. The attention.
I hope you are reading the description of each of these points, because if you aren't, this one could sound so bratty. I am not a center-of-attention loving person. I'd rather blend into the background, actually. I am talking about the attention of my husband and Jonah. I could be in the kitchen making dinner, and Kevin will come up and grab my belly and talk to the baby. Jonah even notices my belly and gives the baby kisses. It makes my heart melt guys...just melt! I love that even though Jonah is only a toddler, he recognizes that there is a baby in Mommy's belly. Even our puppy acts differently when I'm pregnant! She will come lay on my bump ALL the time. She's totally my shadow when I'm pregnant and rarely leaves my side.

10. Watching Jonah become a big brother.
Technically this hasn't happened yet, but the process has already begun. Aside from seeing our sweet baby boy in just a few short months, I am most looking forward to watching Jonah become a big brother. My heart already swells just thinking about it.

{I was 34 weeks pregnant with Jonah here!}

Of course, let's not act like being pregnant is always sunshine and rainbows. I am absolutely terrified my feet are going to grow a size...again! I went from a size 11 to a size 12 with Jonah. If that happens again, I don't know what I'll do! Do you know how hard it is to find a cute, decent pair of size 12 shoes? Hah! What did (or do) you love about being pregnant? Let's chat in the comments!