Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day

This was my husband 5 years ago at his sisters wedding, but a great picture of him in his uniform. I must say, I have always been a sucker for a man in a uniform.

I think this weekend we should all stop and remember why we have a long weekend, the picnics, and parades. Remember those who so unselfishly gave their lives, or a period of time in their lives to serve their country.

Say safe, and remember, don't drink and drive!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I got my Mom back!

It seems like it has been forever since I have been able to go out for the day with my Mother for lunch and shopping! Since she has been working 5 days a week for the past 8 months (up from 3 days previously) it seems like she traded my mother in for a tried lady that never wants to have any fun.

Today was the first day off my mother took in forever. The deli owner's daughter is home from college, and can help reduce my mothers hours slightly.

So I have been raving about Savers, the thrift store forever! We finally made a trip up there!

It was great to be able to spend some time with my mother out...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ben's First Birthday Party!

Yesterday we had Benjamin's First Birthday Party, and it was a complete success! He had a wonderful time, and got all kinds of fun presents we are going to have a great time with this summer. Along with some completely adorable clothes!

Today I am 1!He wanted to play in the grass the whole day. LOL
His favorite present was the wrapping paper. He
just wanted to play with it instead of the actual toys.Camden is such a great big brother. He helped Ben open
all of his presents and even showed him what they do. It was
SOOOOO cute!

My mother made Ben an awesome Monsters Inc. Cake!
A special thanks to Shaws for going out of business so my mother
could by 90% of their cake decorating materials. LOL

Then came the cake... Unlike Camden, he was only interested
in the icing mostly. At Camden's first birthday party there wasn't
a crumb left over!
Yum Yum YumHe really enjoyed in... until I tried to give him a drink...
then he got hysterical.

So then came clean up... and immediately after he was washed up,
and into dry clothes, that was it for the day. He crashed for a good 2 hours.

Overall we had a wonderful day with friends and family, and it was a great first birthday party. I really think that these get togethers actually show how much our close friends and family really care about our children. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Busy Week!

It has been pretty busy the past couple days, especially for me!

Most know my love for photography, and if that isn't clear from this blog alone, I don't know how to make it any more obvious. LOL!

Well I have started working on putting together a portfolio in hopes of working on my own as a freelance photographer. It is a pipe dream at this point, but so far I have had two shoots with people that aren't related to me, and they didn't come out half bad!I wanted to share a couple pictures from the shoots.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ben's Check Up

Today was Benjamin's 12 month well baby visit, and it certainly gave me a scare!

To start off his stats!
Weight : 20 pounds 1 ounce
Height : 30 1/2 inches
Head : BIG! Up into the 85%!!

Unfortunately for us, our Pediatrician suggested that Ben be evaluated by a program called Birth To Three, which screens for developmental delays. The point is to help catch delays early before they turn into actual disabilities.

We think that Ben is just doing things on his own terms. And we assumed that because Camden is the nice big brother and doing a lot of things for him that he just had no desire to do it for himself.

To be proactive we are going to have him screened. We think that he may be slightly behind because of the 6-8 weeks he had the treatment for Tortocollis, but just to be sure, I called and scheduled an appointment.

The concern is that he is not getting himself up into a sitting position on his own, and not getting up onto his hands and knees. (He LOATHS being on his stomach all together)

So, I will keep everyone posted, but it certainly has been an emotional roller coaster of a day for me!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Headshots Are In!

I have been waiting for this since early last week, I am so excited to finally have my head shots! Now the biggest challenge is figuring out which one I want to use... I am leaning towards #4!

What do you think?

Looking for Models

As many know, I am desperately looking to build my photography portfolio.
So, in search for pregnant women, children, families, engaged couples, etc. I am offering free sittings (mostly outdoor as the spring/summer weather is beautiful) to a couple of people to help build this.
I will include a photo disk with the pictures with this, with permission to use them in my portfolio.
If you want to have some pictures done in the Connecticut area, e-mail me at

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy First Birthday Ben!

Well, this time a year ago, I was getting set up for an epidural. I had been awake for 30 hours, my labor wasn’t progressing, and we were all really at a loss. I needed sleep, and everyone, except for my husband really agreed the epidural may be most helpful. I think Will disagreed with it so much because I had told him and basically drilled it into his head for 9 months that I would not be having one this time around, but none of us anticipated a back labor that would span over 26 hours either.

Complication after complication started when I woke up a little before noon. My cervix was starting to swell, and Ben just wouldn’t come down past -1 station. We tried everything to get him to budge, and he wouldn’t move. At this point I think the giant elephant in the room became more and more apparent to everyone. It took me about an hour to come to terms that the only way Benjamin was safely coming into this would was by a second cesarean section, which I worked so hard through my entire pregnancy to avoid.

Benjamin Emil Elwood was born at 1:59 pm via cesarean section weighing in at 7 pounds, and 3 ounces. Smaller than my oldest, even though I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with my pregnancy. The moment I saw him, right after they removed him from the incision in my abdomen, I could see a giant bruise on his forehead. It took the on call OB, and the Resident on staff for the day to get him out. He was JAMMED in there. No way he would have descended anymore than he had. I think that made me feel slightly better than I originally felt with the decision to consent to the second cesarean.

I know looking back at all that happened with his birth, there is nothing that I could have done differently to change the outcome of my birth experience. I think that is what has helped me be more accepting of his birth than my first. Had I not consented and continued to labor, I not only could have hurt myself, but I could have hurt myself. I desperately wanted a VBAC, but I am not a martyr, and I would not do it at the expense of anyone’s safety. Contrary to what some seem to think.

Looking back, there is nothing that I would have changed. Not getting pregnant when Camden was only 8 months old, not choosing the midwives I did, nothing. I loved every moment of my pregnancy with Benjamin, while I may not feel the same about his delivery, I was blessed with such a unique, bright, and beautiful little boy who was always meant to be part of our family.

I certainly do not feel that our family is complete, but for the time being, it certainly is. I think after Ben’s birth, both my husband and I are certainly scared to have anymore children any time soon. The two cesareans have been emotionally trying on both of us, and certainly physically trying on me. It took me nearly 3 weeks to actually feel human after Ben was born, and to remove myself from my dark bedroom and join the rest of the world.

There is so much my little Jo Jo (one of Ben’s many nicknames) has taught me. One being that no matter what we do as parents, sometimes our children have other plans for us. Ben was exclusively breastfed for the first 5 weeks of his life, during that time, we couldn’t figure out why he was so colicy but in reality, it was a reaction to my milk. We tried everything from dietary changed, to a variety of formulas before we finally found something that would work for him. It was the longest 8 weeks of my life. Cap that off with 3 surgeries (for me) starting when Ben was only 5 weeks old… I think that seriously aided to the stress in the house.

He is the light of all of our lives, including his big brother Camden. I thought there would be some jealousy issues in the house between the two children, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Camden has been the most attentive big brother. Loving, teaching, and overall infatuated with his little brother. I really could not have asked for a better big brother.

The process of transitioning from a mother of one, to a mother of two would have made me insane if I didn’t have the help of my husband. The day we brought Ben home from the hospital, our oldest got his first flu of his life. Such timing!

There are some days I am sure I am going to lose my mind before my husband gets home from work, but I somehow manage to keep it together till he walks through the door and the kids clamor to him like they haven’t seen him in a year.

Wow! I just can’t believe that it has been a year already! Where does the time go? It feels like yesterday he was born and I was cradling him in my arms in my hospital bed waiting for one of the nurses to come in and yell at me for co-sleeping!

Benjamin Emil, you have changed my life in so many ways. Given me and understanding of difficult parenting, and children. Taught me the feelings and emotions that go with a medically necessary cesarean section, which has enabled to me help mothers on a whole new level. You are the light of my life and Mommy loves you so much!

Happy first birthday Ben!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tall Ships

Growing up, every Sunday morning in the spring and summer time, my father would bring me to Captains Cove to see the ships, have a donut, and let my Mom sleep in.It became a tradition, so when I had my own children, I wanted to be able to bring them to Captains Cove to learn about the ships just as I had.

Growing up, the HMS Rose was always docked there. Since then someone purchased it, and it is now sailing around the world somewhere.This weekend the HMS Bounty, from the movie Mutiny on the Bounty is docked at Captains Cove, and I brought the kids with my parents down there to check out the "big ship" and Camden loved it!
The dock & The Bounty

The Bounty

Camden & I

My Dad (Grandpa Momo)

Camden the PirateBen enjoying some ice cream

Camden and my mom before dinner.

Overall we had a great time. We saw some people we all knew. A girl I went to high school with, friends of the family. It was a great time!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our Planting Project Update

I have completely forgot to update on our plant project! Last time I posted pictures of our plants, they looked like this :

Well, our plans have REALLY grown since then. We have also planted new things in the backyard, and little planters around the house which are just starting to sprout now. But our first plants in the front pots are growing like crazy...
This is what they look like now :

Between the rain, and our constant care, they are thriving and Camden is so interested in seeing them daily to check out their changes. It is really turning out to be a great project!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, I was at my last midwife appointment before I went into labor with Ben. It seems a little unreal that he is a less than a week away from being an entire year old. I cried on Camden's first birthday, and I am sure I will for Benjamin also.

I was so good at NOT getting my picture taken when I was pregnant that I struggled to find a picture of me towards the end of my pregnancy with Ben.

I went or my normal weekly check up at this point. I was 38 weeks and in and out of prodomal labor for a good 2 weeks at this point. But since Camden wasn't really concerned with joining us, I figured Ben would be the same way. I was fully expecting Benjamin to be born in June.

To my surprised at my visit I was certainly on my way to being fully effaced, and I was teetering on a whopping 2cm dilated. When Kathy G was done she didn't give me a week till my next appointment, although we scheduled one. I knew that I had to make it through the baby fair that was scheduled for Saturday. That is a whole other tale in Benjamin's history for later in the week though.

Sort of bittersweet I guess.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weather & Head Shots

This weather SUCKS!

After the softball game which left me as a momcicle the other night, I refuse to bring the children out for any outdoor activities. It is just too cold. Heck, the other night, if there was precipitation, we could have actually got SNOW in MAY! What the heck?

It is becoming a project to find projects to keep the kids entertained without going outside. Once the weather got nice we were doing outdoor activities daily. Now, not so much.
I have gone through all my fun indoor projects for the kids, I have watched Cars more times than I can even count, and I am just at a loss all over again.

On a lighter note, last night I went to see my best friends father, Robert Taylor Photography to get a couple head shots done for the Lamaze project I am working on. It is going to be launching sometime next week, so when I get the green light, I will write a post about it with the information. But for the time being, it is still in the "super secret" mode.

I can't wait to get the e-mail with the pictures sometime today. I am on the edge of my seat, although I hate, hate, HATE getting my picture taken professionally. It just never looks right to me.
On a lighter note, yesterday my enV Touch was delivered. The FedEx guy waited until 2:57 to deliver the package basically screwing my whole day up because I had to be here to sign for it. Of course they called to say the delivery would be sometime BEFORE 3. UGH!
I am still learning how to use it, but I can say it is a refreshing downgrade from my blackberry. It will also help us to lower our cell phone bill. We both see no reason to be paying nearly $150 a month for our two cell phones when we also have a house phone. It simply was foolish.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Echo Hose Softball 2-0!

Last night was Echo Hose's second softball game. And the team is officially 2-0! They won over Seymour's Fire House in a truly comical game.After the display of these clowns playing last night, I will be sure to be at EVERY game! Some of the moments were simply priceless.I snapped a ton of great pictures which spread like wildfire through facebook once we got home and I uploaded them. It was slightly on the cold side though. I am hoping that it warms up. Seriously we were FROZEN by the time we got home. I had to take a bath to thaw!

Couple of the guys before the game. Jonesy, Andrew, Brennan, CJ, Steve, and Jr is kind of in the picture...
Will up to bat

Gerry battingKerry Anne and Ben all cuddled up staying warm.

All the guys after the game.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day

Yesterday was Mothers Day. I really don't buy into Hallmark Holidays like this, but I enjoyed spending time with my boys, husband, and my mother. I wrote a blog post on my other blog Momotics yesterday about my mother, and my love for her. I thought I would share it over here too.

BTW, for mothers day I got to sleep in, a Giant Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks (my fav), a cute musical card, and I ordered my new enV touch from Verizon that should be here tomorrow.
I am retiring my blackberry!

I call this post, I Love My Mother!

I think that many of us mothers do not appreciate our own mothers until we become mothers ourselves. Which brings me to my post today. I never think I really appreciated (well on the level I should have) until I really understood how much mothers give up for their own children.

My mother has an amazing story to tell of success as not only a teen mother, but a single mother which started in 1969 with the birth of my oldest brother. When he was 21 months old my sister was born in 1971. Shortly after my mother left her then husband, and started a rough journey as a single mother. Which she remained until the early 1980’s when she met my father. After sleepless nights, working three jobs at one time, and no help from her own mother like one would expect this day in age in her situation. She eventually after all the hard work and struggling owned her own successful bar/restaurant in Lordship directly on the water at what is now called “The Sea Wall” which was called Pop’s. Also where she met my father who had just returned from living for almost a decade in California, and returned home to where he grew up.

My father was a brave man, single mother, with two teens. Most guys today would not even think twice and run the other way. They fell in love, and I was born in June of 1985, followed by their wedding in August of 1985. We were all one big family. As I was growing up my mother became a stay at home mother for the first time in her life. She was able to stay at home with me and always be included in the school functions, and whatever else I decided to sign myself up for as I got older.

In 1996 my mother became a Grandmother for the first time to Dylan, who she has always called her “boyfriend” and he continues to be a Grandma’s boy. It wasn’t until he was born that I realized how dedicated she is not only to her own children, but to her grandchildren also. Dylan was followed by Eli, Theo, and then came Camden in 2007. Followed by Jacob in early 2008.

When I became pregnant with my first child, my mother went from being my mother, to my best friend. We went to lunch together weekly, which was always followed by some kind of baby shopping, OB/GYN appointment, ultrasound, registry, baby shower planning, or whatever other baby planning event needed to get done that week. She helped me decorate his nursery, pick out his crib, clothes, and all the adorable clothes. She planned and hosted my baby shower, and has been the worlds best Grandmother to my children. We always job with her that Ben is her fault. She had purchased Camden a long sleeve shirt to put under whatever he was wearing for the day, and the shirt said “I’m the Big Brother” well that month Ben was conceived. LOL!

I could not ask for a better example as a mother (as most of our family calls her Martha Stuart) and Grandmother for my children. She is always the first to step up and help out, the first to the rescue when I need her, the first at the hospital when the kids were born, and the first one to offer a helping hand when she sees me up to my eyeballs in laundry, stress, or dishes.

I love you Mom!
Happy Mother Day!