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Santa Baby | Photographing My Kids

When you already have themed outfits from the first kiddo, you must subject the second kiddo as well!

Just like my first kiddo, itty bitty was not having it when it was time for the elf shoot. Maybe it’s the location, or time of day, or something, but that shoot went down hill VERY fast and I just gave up. The Santa suit went MUCH better…just like the first time around. Probably because it was out in the open with loved ones around to watch!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I know I did!

 

 

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Making Time for Myself as a Mom | Photoshoot Fun!

Mom’s have this great ability to take care of others. We often are running around wiping noses, making dinner, doing chores, running errands, and generally just going all the time. During all of this hustle and bustle its easy to lose ourselves, or forget to work in time to “feed” ourselves. Everyone has something, or multiple things that bring them joy and peace. For some it’s reading, or sports, or simply being outdoors. Whatever it is, we all try to make time for it in our lives to stay mentally healthy and happy.

My personal joy is art. Specifically photography.

Photography has always been my art outlet of choice. I have loved all things creative since I was very young, but photography is more my strength. (You don’t want to see me draw!) Art is like therapy to me. It makes me happy to create images, and it also allows me to dream up ways to express feelings and thoughts through images. Sometimes my photography is “deep” in meaning, and sometimes I’m just being goofy and having fun capturing those that I love.

No of course my faith, family, and friends all bring me great joy, but my photography is my form of self-care. Some people like to get spa treatments, some people want nights out on the town, or vacations. I want to create, so I do. As much as I can. I have learned from experience how depressed I can get when I let photography take a FAR back seat to everything else in life. I don’t like the person I become to those I love when that happens, so I take a lot of photos.

When I had my first kiddo I had an instant live in model. And he was super cute! (Still is!) Creating a baby book for him was my creative/photography outlet. My husband rolls his eyes at my giant baby books (and I even restrain myself a tad), but it’s my outlet and joy. Motherhood has also brought on a desire to document our family. Not in a vain way, but in a memory type of way. Life can be amazing, rough, long, and short all at once. I love being able to look back at photos that tell our family story. I love the idea of making that now so that my kids can have it later. I would LOVE to have more images of my parents or my family. I want to make sure my kids have that. That desire has also caused me to make sure I get in FRONT of the camera more…and capture my family more as well, even if I know they aren’t huge fans of being in photos. I know what it’s like to lose family and wish I had more photos and reminders of our time together. I want my kids to see how much their family has always loved them and spent time with them!

For these reasons and more I take lots of photos of my kids. I create themed photoshoots for them that makes my husband question my sanity, and I’ve recently started photographing my sister-in-law…because why haven’t I been taking advantage of a model that I already enjoy hanging out with?!?!

So just know, I will probably start sharing those sessions more on here. I might share some behind the scenes details as well. My mother was always curious how I got such great shots of the boys until she was present for a session and saw just how badly they can go. You just run with it and usually there’s still some great captures!

For now, here’s some of the ones from Little Man’s first year. I’ve gotten better with time, because kids are not my strength, but I’m learning and growing the more I try.

 

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From a Family of Three to a Family of Four | The Birth of Itty Bitty

At 40 weeks and 5 days, our second baby boy decided to make his appearance! It was the day before my scheduled non-stress test and possible membrane sweep. I prayed all weekend to avoid that appointment, and everything fell into place!

My mother came down that day at the urging of her hubby (thanks Mike!) due to my appointment the following day. Of course at the time I didn’t know that she already had a flight scheduled. I had sent her and my sister a text that morning saying I was cramping, but who knows if it would turn into anything. (I had had a few different days of cramping that turned into nothing, so I was trying not to get my hopes up!)

My mother showed up at my door just before 3. I hadn’t even known at that point if she was really coming. I called the midwife just before 5 to see if I should come in. I hated the idea of waiting to “bother” then after hours, since I wasn’t convince, yet again, that it was true labor. I was convinced my cramping wasn’t regular enough. The midwife said it was up to me, but that she was there with another mama, so she’d be there if I came or not.

We got there around 5:30 ish. She checked me and I was at 7 cm. It was go time! Little Itty Bitty was born at 7:58 PM, and my mom was able to be there! I was so glad!

We left the birth center around 11:30 and were home in bed by midnight! It was amazing to sleep in my own bed!

We are still relearning having a newborn. There are things that make it harder and things that make it easier with already having one kiddo. We are navigating our new family dynamic. Little Man seems to adore his new brother, he simply doesn’t yet understand how delicate he is. It’s all a learning process.
Welcome to the family Itty Bitty!

 

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Pregnant with Baby #2!

Baby Hanks #2 is on it’s way!!

We always said we wanted at least two kids, so when Little Man turned one, the discussions began. Hubby wanted to start trying immediately, but I was more hesitant to have two under two for some reason. I just wanted a bit more space between the two. Just like with our first pregnancy, I worked out the “perfect timeframe” for when to conceive and therefore when to deliver. ? I’m crazy like that.

Ultimately we started trying a month or so before I had originally planned. Hubby was concerned that it might take a while like it did the first time. It only took three months the first time for us and that was because he was traveling so much. We have been very blessed in the fertility department. For that we are both truly grateful! I warned him that we could get pregnant on the first go, but we moved forward with the plan.

I got pregnant on the first go.

What happened next is kind of funny to me. I had what I perceived to be implantation cramping, so I had a strong suspicion VERY early. I tried to wait to test, but only made it about a week. I got a faint positive on my favorite test…the 88 cent ones. I knew it was positive, but I wanted a big fat positive. I waited until the day of my missed period and finally got one.

Next I had to figure out how to tell Hubby. He had mentioned he was more interested in how I would announce it to him than to family. I waivered back and forth on ideas. I didn’t want to really spend much on it. Eventually I chose a “big brother” shirt for Little Man. I had to wait to receive it. Then it arrived the day before we left to visit family. Hubby had mentioned his desire to not tell people until I was 12 weeks, so I knew I had to wait until we got back home. He was about to spend a few days with his buddies and I knew he wouldn’t be able to keep it in!

I kept silent all week. I tried my best to not let anything slip. My family kept trying to get me to drink and get in the hot tub. ? I was starting to think this whole waiting thing was going to be super rough! (We had spilled the beans at 4 weeks for the first pregnancy.)

Finally we arrived home that following weekend. Little Man had been a tyrant on the 8 hour drive, so as we were getting dressed for bedtime, I told Hubby that Little Man deserved a special shirt for his crazy day. I somehow got it on him while he was sitting on Hubby’s lap without him seeing it until it was fully on! He figured it out immediately of course and was excited and in disbelief as well! A new adventure was beginning!

Fast forward about 7 weeks of 24/7 nausea, and we had our first prenatal appointment. We heard the strong heartbeat and got to see a glimpse of the little peanut moving around on the tiny handheld sonogram machine the midwife has. It was awesome.

With Halloween the next week, I knew we should “announce” with pumpkins! I also knew my sister would “require” me to formally announce on Facebook. She’s very firm about that, ? so the pumpkin carving announcement made it’s debut!

Here’s to a healthy, happy pregnancy, and hopefully making it to at least 37 weeks this time! Try not to get annoyed by my pregnancy update posts!