Sunday, March 29, 2009

IHeartFaces- Week 12

I recently found a photography blog that I'm really enjoying! Every week they do photo contests, and I decided that I may as well jump right in and enter a photo! This weekend I had my very first photo shoot with twin baby boys (okay, so I'm not a real photographer, but I can pretend, can't I?). The boys were great, and I managed to capture a few very fun images of the boys together! But more on that later...

Over at IHeartFaces, the theme for this week is Kids- Pouting. So, I thought I'd enter an image I captured of one of the twins, Armin. He was definitely having a pouty moment- he's even wringing his hands as though frustrated that he's not getting his way! If you look closely, you can see me reflected in his eyes. I'm telling myself that I'm not the reason he was sad, even though I'm sure that I would have a strong emotion about having a stranger with a huge camera in my face just snapping away, rather than handing me that bottle that I was whining for!

Be sure to head on over to to check out all of the beautiful face entries this week!

(click to enlarge)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pray For Stellan

Prayers for Stellan

Please please please take some time and pray for Stellan. When he was still in utero, Stellan had SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) which means his heart rate was skyrocketing. It was 375 at one point, and normal is around 150. His momma was put on heart meds to help her baby, but they were told that there was really not much hope that he would make it, as his conditions were "incompatible with life." Word got out, and masses of people prayed and it worked. Stellan was born a healthy, well, full-term baby... with dimples! He is truly a miracle.

Sunday, Stellan had a bad cold and was really not acting like himself, so they took him into the hospital. The doctors gave him a nebulizer to treat his symptoms, which he had used successfully back in December when he was hospitalized with RSV, but this time it sent his heart back into SVT. He's been primarily in SVT since Sunday, and the doctors are not able to figure out how to help him. Occasionally his heartbeat turns some irregular patterns, as though it's trying to convert back to a normal pace and rhythm, but he's only had a few short reprieves from SVT. Once this reprieve really wasn't a reprieve at all, as he went into V-Tach, which is an extremely deadly heart rhythm. He's back into V-Tach right now. Please please please be praying for him.

I Gots Da Skillz, Sort Of...

So I've been working on this photography thing, and I have been having such a great time! I'm pretty much addicted to my camera, and I've been learning so much. Unfortunately, my adorable and photogenic son has no interest in posing for me, so I've been pretty limited as to what kind of shots I can get since I'm constantly chasing after him and pleading with him to look into the camera. As a result, I don't really have the chance to practice studio photography very much. Fortunately though, Ang is very willing to let me borrow her adorable and photogenic son, and he, being an infant and still pretty much limited to the positions in which his mother sets him, is more than willing to pose for me! But really, there isn't really any way to take a bad picture of such an adorable subject, so I don't know how much these photos comment on my skills as a photographer, rather than Ang and Brian's ability to make gorgeous kiddos!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So, All I Had To Do Was Buy You A Wii?

When Dave and I sold our condo and bought this house, we knew that it needed a lot of work. A LOT of work. We moved all of our stuff into the garage, taking care to arrange our dressers in such a way that we could still get to our clothes, and Dave and I spent the first few weeks in our new home sleeping on an air-mattress in the den. When we got the two side rooms fixed up we brought in our bed and our clothes, and we lived in what is now Jack's room while Dave worked on fixing up the rest of the house. He had a lot on his to-do list, which included so much more than merely tearing down a wall, rebuilding that wall, building another wall (with a closet and a door), taking up the carpets to refinish the original wood floors, tiling both bathrooms, replacing the vanities in both bathrooms, and trying to figure out what in the heck to do with the odd fireplace in the middle of the living room.

What can I say about that fireplace? It was made out of brick (as most fireplaces are), which at some point had been painted with the thickest coat of white paint known to man. The hearth was still red brick, though, and it was flush with the carpet. The opening to the fireplace, though, was 6 inches above it. And, the opening goes around the corner.

Ugly, huh?

You can't really tear down brick, so the only solution is to cover it up. So, at my suggestion, Dave dry-walled over the brick. Then, again at my suggestion, he built up the hearth to be (almost) level with the opening, and tiled it! It looked great! Then I suggested that he add a mantle and he refused. I insisted that it would be a great addition, but still he refused. I told him that I would really like to have a mantle so that I could hang our children's Christmas stockings from it, but, yet again, he refused. I decided that it really wasn't that big of a deal, and I'd rather he moved on to the next item on his to-do list, so I dropped it.

Fast-forward to February of this year. We have been living here for almost 3 1/2 years, have most of the major fix-its done, have an almost-2 year old, and have hung our stockings from the top of the computer desk for the past 2 Christmases (we never bothered with stockings before having Jack).

Dave: I'm going to build a mantle.
Me: What? Yay! I thought you said a mantle would look stupid?
Dave: It will look stupid.
Me: Um, so why do you want to build a mantle? Because you know it would make your wife happy?
Dave: No.
Me: Because you're tired of hanging the stockings from the computer desk? That looks more stupid than a mantle would, you know.
Dave: No.
Me: Then I give up, why do you want to build a mantle?
Dave: We need a place to put the Wii that we got for Christmas.

So Dave spend the day building a mantle for our fireplace. It's not exactly what I had in mind, but he did a good job for never having build a mantle before! It's a little higher than I had imagined, too, but hey, it's better than no mantle at all! I like it :D Now all we need is a glass enclosure and we're done with the fireplace!

Oh yeah, and we need to do something with Jack's artwork, too! You know, something besides taking a picture of it.

(BTW, that's a soft bumper around the edge of the fireplace. Jack is a klutz. And I was watching ER, in case you're curious.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Is That A Booger On My Ear?

Tonight after dinner, Jack and I were sitting on the couch watching some movies of him on my computer (he loves to watch movies of himself), when I decided that my ear itched and I should scratch it. So I reached up and scratched, and I felt something like a scab. So I grabbed it and looked at it... yeah, it was a booger. A big, reddish-blackish-yellowish booger. EW EW EW!!!! Then I realized that it was dried, so it must have been there all day! The only thing that I can think is that at some point in the day, Jack must have sneezed on me! Either that or it was already loose when he smashed his face up to my cheek to give me a kiss, like he does a million times a day (love that kid!), and it got transferred upon contact. Either way, my kid put a booger on my face! Niiiice, thanks Jack!

Perhaps a better name for this post would be You Know You're A Mom When... Hmmm, You Know You're A Mom When... you walk around all day with your kid's boogers on the side of your face and you don't even notice. Or, You Know You're A Mom When... you're hardly phased by realizing that you didn't even notice that you were wearing a huge booger on the side of your face. Maybe, You Know You're A Mom When... you realize that at some point during a long, busy day, any one of the friends you spent the day with may have noticed the huge booger on the side of your face and not thought to say anything to you about it. Although, perhaps that last one would be, You Know Your Friends Are Moms When... Um, I'm hoping they didn't notice ;)

So yeah, we had a long, busy day today! Ang and Austin came over and the two of them plus Jack and I met up with some Stork friends from Northern CA- Erin, her husband Craig, her son Zach, and her brother and sister- at the LA Zoo! We had a really fun day! All the kids were really good, and we all enjoyed seeing all the animals. We were really bummed that some of the exhibits were closed (no gorillas?!?!?!), but, with My-Dad-the-Coupon-King's discount tickets, we still got our money's worth. And even if we hadn't, it was so nice seeing Erin and her family that it would have been worth it anyway!

Ang, Austin, Matt (stealing Jack's hat), Jack, Me, Cecelia, Zach, Erin (Craig is taking the picture)

I Love Zach's amazing eyes!

And Austin's eyes, too! He has mirrors for eyes!

A Meerkat

The boys! Austin (almost 6 months), Jack (almost 2 yrs), Zach (almost 9 months)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back To (Our Version Of) Real Life

If you have a toddler and you want to go on a big family vacation, say to somewhere like Hawaii, bring your mother! Seriously, we were blessed so many times on our trip, but one of our biggest blessings was that my mom was able to come with us as our grand-nanny! Jack adores her, I adore her, and I'm pretty sure Dave does to, though it's not his style to use the word 'adore' to describe his feelings about pretty much anything. But anyway, having my mom there really made for a perfect vacation! Dave and I were able to have our special family vacation, while still being able to snorkel and not be limited by Jack's early bedtime. And I'm pretty sure spending 24 hours a day for 6 days with Jack Jack is my mom's idea of heaven ;)

So, the rest of our trip... hmmm... where did I leave off? Oh yes...

As you can see from the picture I posted, we did make it to the Dole Pineapple Plantation on Tuesday! Our day started with waking up to see the sky getting darker and darker and the wind blasting like nobody's business. A few minutes later, it started pouring down rain, monsoon style! Crazy! 15 minutes later, Dave walked in looking like he had jumped in the pool fully clothed! We laughed so hard. He had gone running, and was about 1.5 miles away from the hotel when the monsoon started! I seriously don't think he could have been any more wet! Anyway, an hour or so later the rain had calmed down, and we decided that even though the wind was crazy, we should stick to our plan to go to the pineapple place, so we went. After all, we were on the Northernmost point of the island, and the plantation was likely much more protected from the vicious winds. We ended up having a great time at the pineapple place!!! Jack absolutely adored riding the train and started crying when the ride was over. Then we took a tour of the gardens, but Jack was slow and we lost our tour guide, so we just walked through the gardens and I got some fun shots of Dave and Jack playing. Then we went to the Pineapple Maze! Dave and I were really looking forward to this. Let me tell you, I am the woman that you want with you if you ever happen to find yourself in a Pineapple Maze! I have Iron Boogers (okay, you're only going to get that if you were a fan of Tim Allen's show, Home Improvement, but it means my nose is a compass: I have a great sense of direction!), and I can lead us in and out in a jiffy!

Anyway, when we finished there, we went back to the hotel and went for a walk around the grounds in the crazy wind! Jack thought the wind was hilarious, and when we took him on the sand he about died when he saw the ocean so close! He adores water and had a lot of fun playing in the sand and trying to sneak past me to get in the water! After our walk Dave and I left Jack and mom back at the hotel and we drove to Haleiwa to eat dinner. The next day we woke up to an absolutely beautiful sky and perfectly warm weather! Dave and I grabbed our snorkel gear and ran off to the snorkel cove next to the hotel, and mom and Jack came down a little bit later and played on the beach until we finished.

Then when we were done playing, we went back to the room, showered, and made our way to the Polynesian Cultural Center for another adventure! We ate when we first got there, and then Jack pooped. A lot. While mom and I went to change him, Dave took off to the gift shop to find some new shorts for him (kid hasn't done that in a looooong time, I didn't have a change of clothes for him!). He didn't have any luck finding any shorts, so we (cringe) let Jack run around in his shirt and diaper while we sought out another gift shop. Unfortunately, the gift shop that carried kids clothes was closed that day! Fortunately, though, the lady that worked at the main gift shop took pity on us and ran over to the one that was closed so that we could get exactly what we needed! She brought over a few outfits that she had found in 4T, and then said "I think you should get the blue one because of his beautiful blue eyes!" So, Jack spent the rest of the day in a cute, blue, Aloha outfit! We had a great time learning about the Polynesian Culture and all the differences between the cultures of each group of Islands. Dave and my mom even got to take a 'learn to play the Ukulele' class, and Dave bought a really nice Ukulele (which is pronounced, ooo-koo-LAY-lay, by the way), which he had been talking about getting since before we even took off from LAX! The weather was great and totally cooperated with us that day... we had a fun time at the Luau, ate yummy yummy food, and had great entertainment! The second we left the Luau the heavens opened and it started pouring, so that made us even more grateful for the nice weather we had had that day!

The next day, Dave and I made our way down to the South side of the island to the Wildlife Reserve at Hanouma Bay for some snorkling! There were a million people! We had a nice time, despite the crowd, but I was really disappointed that I hadn't realized that it would have been a great place to take Jack Jack! But mom and Jack had a great time at the hotel while we were gone. They swam in the hotel's pool... the one with the waterfall! Jack Jack loves water and I can only imagine how much fun they had together! Anyway, we spent the rest of the day at Pearl Harbor, where we had another poop adventure, the details of which I will spare you. Jack was so good when we went to the Arizona Memorial. He loved riding on the boat, and he whispered while we were on the Arizona, just like the man had asked of us out of respect for the losses our country suffered. That night we had dinner at the hotel and went to bed a bit early. We were all pooped! By this time we could tell that Jack was definitely done with vacation, and we were anxious to get him home and back on schedule. He was still really good, but he seemed really restless and not his usual self. So the next morning we packed up and headed to the airport!

Honolulu airport is definitely the worst airport we've ever been to! Worse than LAX, worse than JFK, just bad bad bad. But, we made it on our plane, we had our prayers answered when the lady that was supposed to sit next to mom and Jack Jack (the largest 'lap baby' on any airplane ever, I'm sure) decided to give her seat to Jack! Plus, a ver nice man across the aisle decided to buy Jack an entertainment set that the airlines offered! Jack was good on the flight... we had a lot of things to entertain him, Jack and I got a lot of exercise walking up and down the aisles, and I was able to finish my book! Jack was thrilled to see grandpa when we got to LAX, and he went to bed very smoothly when we got home! I was amazed, but the next day he made it clear that he was ready to settle back into his routine when he took an almost unprecedented 3 hour nap after not having napped for the last 6 days! I'm so proud of that kid!

Anyway, so we're back! Back to work for Dave (he's on a 96 right now), back to play for Jack Jack, and back to slowly checking off items from my longer-than-it's-ever-been To Do List! We had a great vacation, but we are so glad to be back!

For more vacation photos, click on the photo below:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Few Videos

On the train at the Dole Pineapple place... Jack was enthralled

On a walk last night around our hotel... the weather is crazy!!!

A Few Pictures

Getting ready to hike Diamondhead

Soaking wet after hiking Manoa Falls

Jack and Dave playing in the trees

Dave studying the map to the Pineapple Maze

My keyboard is crunching... I think I accidently got some of the North Shore under the keys! Oops!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hawaii, Baby! Yeah!!!

Greetings, or, should I say, Aloha from Hawaii!!! That's right, the Reeves family has finally made it to Hawaii! Dave worked his last probationary shift on Thursday, and to celebrate making it through this rough year, we decided to finally take the trip we've been talking about ever since we got married. And since we couldn't even think of leaving Jack Jack at home and were definitely not comfortable leaving him with a strange babysitter when we wanted to do an activity that he couldn't join in on, we decided to bring my mom along as our grand-nanny! Best idea, ever!!! Jack adores his grandma and "where's grandma?" is probably the phrase heard most often from his lips (though Dave assures me that "where's momma?" is right up there, too!)

So, our trip so far... Jack was sooooo good on the plane! I had an arsenal of new toys to occupy him on the plane ride. I even took them out of their packaging and wrapped each item individually so that he could enjoy all of his presents (he loves opening presents!). I totally went overboard with that but was still worried that I hadn't brought enough! Turns out I only used 3 of them on the way out here! My mom had a few for him too and he did great playing with her on the plane. His face was plastered to the window from the moment we got on the plane until about an hour later. The kid sure loves his airplanes! He has been talking about airplanes nonstop since we first got to the airport! Aiplanes and rain, of course.

Yes, our trip has been very rainy so far. The plane landed in the rain, we drove from Honolulu to our resort at Turtle Bay on the North Shore in the rain, and yesterday we had a great time hiking in the rain! Dave insisted that this morning the weather guy said that it was supposed to be sunny until this evening, when it was supposed to rain again, but we woke up to a monsoon! It is awesome, though. Yesterday we threw Jack in the backpack and set out to hike Diamondhead (I was very proud of Dave for carrying that extra 40 lbs on his back, and many of the people who passed us commented on it, as well! Dave shrugged it all off, though. Apparently it was cake compared to the training he does with this firefighter gear!). As it turns out, the southernmost tip of the island, where Diamondhead is, has only been getting light sprinkles on and off. So, it was bright and sunny when we hiked up Diamondhead! Amazingly gorgeous view! Then we met my cousin, Kevin, who lives on the island, for lunch, and afterwards we hiked to Manoa Falls. I was so amazed at the vast difference between those two hikes! Diamondhead was super congested with people, and the landscape was dry and open and the trees were scarce near the trail so the sun was shining on us the whole time. At Manoa Falls, however, it was like a jungle- there weren't a lot of people, the trees were amazing and the brush was thick. The trail was so wet and muddy and slick! We knew it was sprinkling the whole way up, but the trees shielded us pretty well and we were able to concentrate on our footing. As soon as we got to the falls, however, that changed! It started raining a little bit harder (okay, it was a lot harder, but the trees were still shielding us pretty well), and then, when we were about halfway down, it got really loud and started pouring down rain!!! The trees couldn't do much to shield us anymore! Jack laughed so hard the entire way down, though. He loved it! Every time Dave slipped, catching himself before they both fell, Jack would crack up! Then when it started pouring down rain he started laughing even harder! Dave grabbed a huge leaf to use as a rain shield for Jack, and that made Jack laugh even harder! He kept yelling "It's raining! Aaaaahhhhh!!! I get wet!" and laughing so hard! We were loving having the complete jungle experience!

Our plans for today were to go to the Pineapple factory, go snorkling, and then go to a luau! We're still planning on going to the Pineapple factory even in this weather, but we'll see the luau works out. I'd still do it in the rain, but I don't know if they'll cancel it or not. Maybe tomorrow.

By the way, Jack is sleeping really well in the hotel room. He's been going to bed really late, but he LOVES sharing the bed with grandma. He didn't take a nap yesterday, but since he really doesn't nap anywhere other than his crib I didn't expect him to. He has been sooooooo good so far! I'm so proud of him!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Big Thank You To... Umm...

Jack's birthday is coming up (please hold while I take a moment to freak out about my baby turning 2!) and I have been trying to get a lot of the planning taken care of before we leave for Hawaii this Saturday, and that involved ordering a lot of things online. Yes, I order a lot of things online. I hate shopping, and I love having packages delivered, so e-shopping is the perfect solution! Plus, you can find anything online, right? Getting a package delivered is like Christmas for me! Whenever I see that a package has been delivered, I jokingly think to myself "Ooooh maybe someone bought me a present!" Most times, though, I totally know what is in the package, but it's really fun to open the box and see what exactly came and if it's exactly what I expected or not!

Since we've been spending a lot of money lately on our Hawaii trip and Jack's birthday-and I knew that everything I had ordered had already shown up- when I came home last night so see a huge package on my doorstep my first thought wasn't my usual "Oooh yay, a present!" so much as a "Oh no, what did I order now?" I was absolutely thrilled to discover that the package contained the thing I have been wanting sooooo badly for the last few months!!! It was a photography backdrop stand with a carrying case and 2 muslin backdrops! But, I was also a little bit nervous because... um... I didn't order it! Really! I mean, I had been wanting to order it, or win it on eBay, but I had decided that right now wasn't a good time to spend that money. At first I thought that maybe I did order it late at night in my sleep deprived state, since I pretty much stalk the ones on eBay and I open up my link in Amazon every few days just to make sure it's still there (obsessive? who, me?). But I immediately looked at both sites and there was no order history on either site! I also looked at my credit card statement and there is no history of a purchase there, and I even checked the family credit card to see if I ordered on the wrong card (you know, if I was tired enough to forget I ordered it, I was definitely tired enough to put it on the wrong card!). Nope, not there, either! I called Dave, and he said he didn't order it, either... then I called my mom and she said "Well, you know I would have told you if I had ordered it because I would have wanted the credit!", so it wasn't her! Come to think of it though, Ang didn't answer when I asked if it was her... hmm...

I'm sooo confused! Over the last few months I have told anyone who would listen that I really really wanted this (I even put the link to my wishlist on the bottom of my blog so anyone could have seen it) maybe everyone pooled their money to get me to shut up? Ha ha ha!!! Or maybe someone besides my husband or my parents loves me? Yeah, I'm going with that theory.

So, if you are the sweet, sweet person who bought me item #1 on my wishlist, THANK YOU SO MUCH! And please take credit so that I can thank you properly! (and if you didn't do it but you know who did there's something sweet in it for you if you spill the beans!wink.gif)

(But even if I did order it in my sleep and I do have to pay for it, I'm KEEPING it!!! Hee hee!!!)

Monday, March 2, 2009

It Really Wasn't Me

The author of one of the blogs I read faithfully does this thing called Not Me Monday. It’s a way of admitting things we’d rather not admit to by pretending that it wasn’t us. I've enjoyed reading it, so thought I’d share a little, too. So, welcome to Not Me Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. Keep reading to find out what I have not been doing this week

I did NOT take my cell phone out of my back pocket and set it in the grass in order to get a better camera angle while doing an engagement shoot for DD and Chris yesterday, and I was NOT to distracted by trying to think of creative shots with not-to-distracting backgrounds to remember to put it back into my pocket when I was done.

And since I didn’t do those things, I most certainly did NOT not realize my cell phone was missing until the officer from the Redondo Beach Police Department called every number in my phone labeled “My Husband” “mom” or “dad” until he finally got a hold of me at my parent’s house.

And when I answered the phone and heard a cell phone was lost, I certainly did NOT have any thoughts of “Oh no, that couldn’t be me, I NEVER lose MY stuff! It must have been my brother or sister!” and of course it did NOT neglect to occur to me that I was just in Redondo Beach, at that very spot, earlier that morning until I passed the call off to my dad.

And when I went to pick up my phone only to find that the officer who had it was out patrolling the area, I absolutely most certainly did NOT dial 911 from the pay phone to get a hold of dispatch, since it was free, rather than take another 15 minutes to walk back to my car in the blazing sun to get change to call the non-emergency dispatch number.

On another topic of things that did not happen this week, I certainly did NOT let my son sit on the couch while I went into the other room, despite knowing full well he was in a wiggly-non-careful mood and I had, only 15 minutes earlier, rescued him from falling off the couch and landing on his head by grabbing his leg at the last second. I did NOT think to myself that I should go tell him to get off the couch only seconds before hearing him cry out “Oh NO!” and then hearing the thud of him falling off the couch and yes, onto his head.

I did NOT continue to video my son when he got himself trapped by trying to take off his jacket rather than go and help him get his arms unstuck. I most certainly came to my son’s rescue immediately and did NOT continue filming because it was just so cute. And he certainly did NOT fall flat on his face with his arms trapped behind him because his mother forgot what a klutz he was and continued filming even though it should have been obvious to her that he was headed for disaster.

And he did NOT do the exact same thing again, sans video camera, only 15 minutes later.