Archive for August, 2011

{i heart faces}–white

Last minute entry from a recent maternity shoot I did.  I tell my clients if you hear me squeal you know it’s a good shot.  I’m pretty sure I heard dogs barking from the high pitch squeal I gave after this one. 

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{i heart faces}–pets

My furbaby Sam as an itty bitty puppy…hard to believe she was that little.  You can see why I couldn’t say no on that random trip to PetSmart.  😉

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We all have our own parenting styles.  Strict.  Laid-back.  By-the-book.  By-the-seat-of-your-pants.  Me…I tend to fall in the latter.  Andy and I…we’re new at this…and hey, Charley has no clue we’re first timers so if we make a mistake here an there…she won’t know the difference. 

Lately Charley and I have been battling naps.  I laugh at the days of when I bragged to other mamas on how I could just put Charley down, and she’d go to sleep.  Sure…when you have no ablitity to move around and can stay put where you’re laid down…it’s probably easy to fall asleep.  Those were the days.

Now…sister can roll, scoot, army crawl, and wiggle all around her crib. 

I find myself watching her video monitor…cracking up like it’s an Adam Sandler movie.  I’ll call my mom…

“Okay…now she’s moved all the way to the top corner of her crib, pulled down her bedding, and now has one of her arms hanging out…I’ve gotta get my camera…I’ll call you right back.” 

“You realize the more you go up there and take pictures…she’s not going to go to sleep.”

Apparently that’s also my parenting style.

I’m a ‘fly by the seat of your pants…but grab your camera so you don’t miss anything’ kind of mama. 

Even if it means reenacting events just to get that shot…and almost scarring your daughter from hating the ocean. 

More on the beach trip later…but for the record, sister loves the beach.  🙂

Today I caught a glimpse of what it’s going to be like to actually parent Charley.  Right now…and for the past 5 months…parenting has been providing.  I feed her, clothe her, bathe her, make sure she’s safe and loved.  However…today I had to whip out the true mama in me. 

As I said earlier…Charley hasn’t been into her naps.  She is too busy.  I nurse her.  She falls asleep.  I put her in her crib…gently…so so gently…as if she wouldn’t notice she was no longer on my warm chest and now on a cold matress.  And then…within a second she’s popped up…wide awake.  After watching her on the video monitor for a good bit I finally went upstairs and had a little chat with her.  I told her how I knew she wanted to play, but that she needed to nap…all I was asking for was one hour…that she’d feel better after she woke up.  She looked up at me with her big almond eyes…soaking it in like a sponge. I fast-forward 4 years…Charley has decided to crayon her walls with color…and I’m giving her a similar talk…and she’s soaking it in with those same almond eyes.  I can see 4 year old Charley now.

Hopefully 4 year old Charley will actually do what she’s told because after an hour and half in her crib…mostly just rolling around and babbling…it was 5:30 and pretty pointless for an afternoon nap. 

Obviously she knew I meant business…


Charley is changing.  Her face is getting longer, she’s getting to be mobile…I can really picture her as something other than a baby.  It’s all happening so fast, and it kinda scares me.  I think of how she was 2 months ago…and where she is now.  It blows my mind. 
I cherish these fleeting moments.  Despite the battle of wills regarding naps…I still cherish them.  Eventually Charley will be back to her old napping self, and I can say, “Remember when Charley would just roll around in her crib, and grin at the video monitor?”…and we’ll all laugh at how silly she was.  I’ll tell these stories to Charley when I’m tucking her in at night.  “Once upon a time there was a little baby named Charley who decided she was too busy to nap.  All she wanted to do was play in her crib and make her mama laugh and want to pull her hair out at the same time…but Charley knew her mama loved her so much, and she loved her right back.  So Charley finally decided to go to sleep and dreamed of caterpillers eating donuts and salami and turning into beautiful butterflies…
…and they all lived happily ever after.”
How’s that for style? 

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Oh Charley…

…you have brought so much spunk to my life…and I love you for it.

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Beach grab bag…

Greetings from Litchfield!

No time for words.  Andy just gave me an early Christmas present and surprised me by showing up at the beach.


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Charley has discovered Sam…and all she wants to do is pet her. 

This is why we have a dog…the friendship that Sam will have with Charley and our future children. 

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When I got pregnant with Charley I fell in love.  I didn’t even know if she was a she…although my mama gut had already kicked in…I knew I was carrying a girl.  It’s hard to comprehend…loving something that you only know as two pink lines on a stick you just peed on…but it’s undeniable.  A mother’s love is something you just don’t mess with.  As the months in my pregnancy rolled on and my belly grew…so did my heart.  With each month I fell more in love with my little lady. 

And when she was born…

I was pretty sure my heart would explode with love.

But it didn’t…it just kept growing.

As I type this…Charley is entertaining herself in her jumper…talking the sweetest little baby sounds…which I know will soon be followed with sounds of boredom and frustration that say, “Get me outta here, mama!”.  My little clingy girl has now become more independent.  I dreamed of the day when I could put her down and not have her immediately cry…and now it seems like it’s my turn to be clingy.  After so many minutes my Charley timer goes off.  I need to hold her.  Now.  About a month ago I was okay with her crying herself to sleep…not meltdown crying…but fussing.  Nowadays I can’t stand it.  It makes my heart ache, and I don’t make it three minutes before I swoop her up in my arms and proceed to nurse her to sleep.  Mama intincts change…what was once the ‘right’ thing to do may not sit well later on…and that’s okay.  The important thing is to listen to your inner mommy…I promise it won’t let you down.

Life has been…a little crazy these past few weeks.  Mama’s been using her college degree lately doing landscape design work, and I gotta say, it feels good.  I had become a little burnt out and had forgotten how good it feels to get my creative juices flowing and design.  Between that, photoshoots, and what has seemed like constant travelling…blogging had to be put on the back burner. 

But like my Charley timer…my blog timer has been screaming in my ear. 

I feel like in the past month Charley has changed into a completely different baby as far as her physical appearance.  Let’s have a look, shall we?

Month and a half ago

And now

First of all…who would have thought that Andy and I would make a blue-eyed baby?  I would have bet money on brown or hazel…and while everyone I talk to tells me her blue eyes are staying put…I still half expect to wake up one morning and find them darker.  And that hair…seriously?  I know babies lose their newborn hair, but I’ve never experienced it first hand as the mama.  It fell out in clumps and was extremely awkward during that month and a half…but now the sweetest little white/blonde fuzz has grown in.  Charley is now on a completely different cuteness scale.

I am so smitten

This past weekend was great.  My parents have become quite the campers…from May to October their calendars are sprinkled with trips to Elkmont, TN.  They ride bikes, hike, cook over an open fire…enjoying/sharing each other’s company with mother nature. 

I’ve wanted to take Charley camping all Summer…but with her diva tendencies we figured day trips were about all she could handle.  So on Sunday me, Charley, and Moremama drove up to Elkmont and met my parents for grilled hotdogs by the creek. 

I dig mother nature…and hotdogs.

I'm a sucker for moss

It was wonderful up there.  The ridiculous Carolina heat and humidity was replaced by a cooler mountain breeze…still hot, but cool enough to have Charley enjoy being outside.  Charley jeeped while we ate and even took a little nap during our walk around the campsites.

Sister is serious business with her toys


Cabin my mom used to stay at as a child...bittersweet

I’m not a big fan of posed pictures.  They seem just that.  Posed.  I love the relaxed feel of a candid…it’s not awkward…nobody there to ‘say cheese’.  Not to mention…I’m awful at posed pictures.  I never know how to stand, what to do with my hands (in my best Ricky Bobby voice)…seriously I’ve never got it.

I’ve tried the, ‘hand on hip so your arms look skinnier’. 

Why do I feel the need to lean my head in? 

Still trying the hand on hip…but now I’ve added a wardrobe malfunction.

Still a powerful picture...4 generations

Generally I do better when everyone puts their arms around each other…no messing up that.

Posed or not…I am so in love with my family. 

Speaking of which…Andy returned home yesterday from an out of town job.  Not only have I been clingy with Charley, but I also have with him.  I’m used to him going out of town for jobs, and I always miss him…but sometimes I miss him.  Our home feels incomplete while he’s away and immediately whole again once he returns.   

It seems we’re all clingy these days.

Alright…blogging fix achieved.  Now to move on to the million things that need to be done before Charley sees the beach for the first time.  My lens can’t wait to capture it. 

Happy Sunday.

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