Friday, May 28, 2010

Hot Topic: Nursing In Public

Better Homes & Gardens made news this week when a blogger affiliated with BHG posted an article titled "The 10 commandments of dining with children". Number 4 on the list was "Thou Shalt Not Breastfeed At the Table", and encouraged momma to take it to the bathroom if they needed to nurse during the course of the meal.

BHG was flooded with complaints, and initially removed Number 4 from the list (reducing it to the 9 commandments of dining with children, which kind of loses its literary affect!), and has since removed the article altogether.

Anyway, this article got me wondering--how do YOU feel about breastfeeding in public? Are you all for it, or does it make you uncomfortable? Does it make a difference whether the momma uses a nursing cover or blanket?

Please weigh in, but try to be courteous towards other points of view!

Friday Funny

Yesterday I went to get an allergy shot, and I had a pretty funny interaction with a little girl who was about 4 or 5 in the waiting room. I had to share...

Little Girl: Hi! You have a baby!
Me: Yep, her name is Elizabeth. What's yours?
Little Girl: That's a pretty name. My name is Jenna. I have a friend named Izzie, and her little brother has Sophie the Giraffe too.
Me: Oh really? That's pretty cool.
Jenna: Yeah, I know! He likes it a lot. And so does Elizabeth! Izzie goes to church with me at the pretty building that I like a lot.

{Jenna and Elizabeth make faces at each other and laugh at each other for about 3 minutes}

Jenna: Where are you going after this?
Me: We are going to the mall.
Jenna: REALLY?! So are we! Hang on a second.

{Jenna scribbles something on a piece of paper}

Jenna: Here's our phone number. You can call us when you get to the mall so we can go shopping together!(Note: the funny thing here was that I could tell it was their home phone number, not a cell phone) 
Me: Oh Jenna, you did so good writing these numbers, I think you should keep this and show your mom.
Jenna: {Sighs} She already knows that I can write my numbers! 
Me:  Well, I am not sure if your mom would want you to give me your phone number.
Jenna: {Sighs again} Well, we will be at the playground at the mall in twenty minutes. You can just meet us there, okay?
Me: I don't know if we are going to that part of the mall, but I'll tell you what, if we see you at the mall, we'll wave and say hi, okay?
Jenna: Will you wave anytime you see me, not just today?
Me: Sure.
Jenna: Oh good! See you in twenty minutes with your daughter Elizabeth and her Sophie the Giraffe. You can call us if you get lost.

Afterwards, I called Justin and told him that someone had just given me their number for the first time in years. He was a little perturbed, until I told him it was a 4 year old girl!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Burning Question of the Day: Movies

Today's BQOTD:  

What was the last good movie that you saw, 
either in theaters or at home?

Honestly, I'm not sure. We saw Avatar in the theaters (in 3D) before Lizzy was born. I did enjoy that one as much as a 9 months pregnant lady sitting through a 3 hour movie could. 

I really want to see Valentine's Day, but it isn't available in Redbox yet, and I'm not sure that I want to buy it without having seen it first.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Running Shoes/ Shin Splints

So, I don't think I've really mentioned that I've been running pretty consistently. And it usually feels pretty good, until the end. And then, my feet start falling asleep, and my shins start KILLING me. I am wondering if I need new running shoes...I'm trying to remember when I bought the pair that I have, and I'm pretty sure it was when I was home over J term my freshman year of college...which would put me at Winter 2005. Wow. I didn't realize it had been that long! Does anybody know if old running shoes can cause shin splints or the feet falling asleep thing?

I just have such a hard time shelling out the money for new athletic shoes--it seems like they are all so expensive! I have been lusting over these Nike Shox, but I just can't bring myself to buy them. And they're online only...I wish that they had them in-store for me to try on! Plus, I'm not sure how much more running I'll be able to do until I replace these puppies.

Anyone have recommendations for a good moderately priced running shoe?

Things I Like A Lot: Throwback

Have you guys tried Pepsi Throwback? It's Pepsi, but made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. J and I saw it while we were out shopping on Saturday, and picked up a case. Granted, using real sugar is probably only marginally better than high fructose corn syrup, but I actually like the taste better. It isn't quite as sweet, and doesn't taste as syrupy to me.

The carton says it's for a limited time only...but I really hope they keep it around!

Also, I recently read that Pepsi has also launched Pepsi Natural, which is made with sparkling water, sugar, and kola nut extract. It isn't available around here (only available in Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas and New York)....has anyone tried it?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's Been Awhile...

Lizzy has recently become fascinated with our cat. The cat has realized that Lizzy is fascinated with her, and likes to sit juuussst out of Lizzy's reach to taunt her.

We also now officially have an escape artist on our hands. Baby girl is no longer confined to a blanket that we put her on. I know that one of these days, I'm going to lay Lizzy down in the living room, head to the kitchen to do dishes, and then have Lizzy suddenly appear at my feet.

And you'll have to forgive the crappy cell phone picture, but this one was too funny not to share. I guess Lizzy is making sure that Sophie doesn't escape while she is sleeping!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

I need an attitude adjustment after a terrible softball game last night. I have tried to go into this league just to have fun (because I can be really competitive when it comes to sports I've actually played), but after losing by over 20 points last night, I was in a really bad mood.  Especially when they chose to keep playing even after the game had been called due to our losing by so much. I know that was the good decision to make, but on a night where almost no one seemed to be clicking (other than Justin who hit two home runs!), it was PAINFUL for me to keep playing. Mostly because it gave myself more reasons to be irritated at myself (I rarely notice errors that other people make during games, but I hold on to the ones that I make for-ev-ah). to combat my mood, I decided to make a list of a few things that I am thankful for today.

1- I've written about my friend Kaitlin a few times on this blog, asking for prayers for her son Jaxon (or as I like to joke, my future son in law), who was in the NICU after being born at 35 weeks. Well, Jaxon is finally home! He was able to go home on Friday, just in time for Kaitlin's birthday on Saturday! God is good. {PS- Kaitlin, your birthday made me feel old. Sometimes I forget that we aren't the same age ;) }

2- Sweet Justin. I've written before about the Bathroom Cleaning Battle in our house. On Friday, I told him that it was really important to me that the bathrooms be cleaned this weekend. He said that he would absolutely clean them, but to be honest, I didn't have very much faith that they would actually get done. But I was so wrong. Justin impressed me so much by cleaning them both AND vacuuming while I took a nap on Sunday. {Can I also just mention that I really didn't have any idea how tired I was until I took a nap?!}

3- A fridge stocked with food, and just enough money to get us by until Justin gets paid on Friday. It's incredible how my staying at home has somehow worked every month.

4- JJ Heller. A few months ago, Renee sang "Your Hands" by JJ Heller at church, and got me hooked. I've been listening to her a lot, because Lizzy really seems to like her and calm down. She has two songs (Lullaby and Keep You Safe) that as a mom, make me melt every time. Seriously mommas, both of those songs are great songs to sing to your little ones in my humble opinion.

5- Smiles from Lizzy. She is at such a fun age right now. All smiles and laughs. She's really starting to be interactive, and it's just so incredible to watch her grow. 

What are you thankful for today? I'd love to hear them in the comments!

Friday, May 21, 2010

These Are Not My Pants

Last night, after band practice was canceled, J and I decided to go visit with Kaitlin's parents, Jon and Bev. We were talking about the usual stuff. 

What should we do for dinner? 
Do you need to take a shower before we go? 
I'm not sure, but I THINK there's a clean pair of your jeans in the dryer. 

And then I went back to burping Lizzy, and didn't think much about it until I saw this: 

It took a minute to register. Where in the world did he get those jeans? Because my husband does not wear tight clothing, unless they're Wranglers. Then it's okay, apparently. I don't get it, but whatever. Anyway, I saw my wonderful adorable husband wearing jeans that were quite tight, and I wracked my brain to figure out what was going on. 

And then it hit me. They're MY jeans. My favorite Gap Long and Lean jeans.

Or they were my jeans. They were my pre-pregnancy jeans. Scratch that, they were my pre-pre-pregnancy jeans. {Also known as the-jeans-I-will-never-fit-into-again}

And then my mind went through a huge mix of emotions in a split second: 

My husband is weird. 
I CANNOT BELIEVE he fits in those! 
It is NOT FAIR that he fits in those and I don't! 
It is NOT FAIR that my husband could eat bacon every meal of the day and still fit in those! 
I want another pair of Gap Long and Lean jeans.
Oh God, I will never be able to wear Long and Lean jeans again!!!

And then just in the nick of time, when my thought process was really starting to deteriorate, my sweet, funny husband did this: 

And I couldn't help but laugh. Hey, at least someone is getting some use out of the jeans, right?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

(A More Real) Love Story

Have you guys ever heard of Anita Renfro? I hadn't until we watched one of her videos at Mom's group yesterday, and she's pretty darn funny. Here's a little snippet that made Justin and I laugh out loud yesterday.

She also has a video of all the things a mother says to her children that is TOO FUNNY!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wedded Wednesday- Overdraft Protection

Note: A friend recently posted this on Facebook, and noted that she got this from It was written by a couple named Justin and Trisha, who have a pretty incredible story about the path their marriage has taken. Anyway, after reading this I really wanted to share it for Wedded Wednesday, because I totally related to this post, and was encouraged by it. I hope some of you will be too.

There are certain rules to every relationship. There are principles that are true even though relationships and people and circumstance may be different. As Trisha and I talk with couples and coach couples in their marriage, there is a principle that all of us know, but very few of us are living with an awareness of: If you make more withdrawals than deposits into your marriage, a relational meltdown is on the horizon.

When we started dating our spouse, the time we set aside for to invest in that relationship was huge. We carved out time to talk, we spent hours on the phone, we spent money we didn’t have to buy flowers, we drove long distances just to see them for a few hours, we went out to dinner three times a week. We’d call in sick to work just to spend the day together. We had a deep desire to see that relationship develop and grow. So when conflict arose in that relationship, it seemed minimal because there had been so much investment that a minor withdrawal was easily reconciled. So many of us got married thinking, ”Man we are the perfect couple. We rarely fight, and when we do we make-up so easily.”

But then…life happens. Careers start, and then careers start dominating our lives. Kids start being born, and then kids start dominating our lives. Schedules get busier. Work gets more demanding. Every night of the week has some game, concert, recital, or home improvement project. Gradually, our time at home consists mostly of watching TV after a long day. The only time we have deep conversations is because there is conflict. The only times we spend together are at school functions, or baseball games, or driving in the car to one more weekend obligation. The only time we go out is to take the kids to the movies.

So we begin to argue more, and fight more and resent more and demand more and have to be right more. We begin to make withdrawals in our relationship daily, while the deposits we make become less and less. One day you wake up and your are miserable in your marriage, because your account is overdrawn.

Here are some symptoms to an overdrawn marriage account:
-You fight about the same things over and over again
-A level 2 issue in your marriage is given a level 10 response
-Rather than thinking the best about your spouse, you are consistently assuming the worst.
-You’re more than willing to give others your best, while giving your spouse your leftovers.

This is a cycle that just feeds on itself. You begin to write relational checks that you can’t cash. So conflict happens more, it is more intense and it is harder to get over.Can I offer some suggestions that will begin to add value back into your marriage relationship?

-write a note to your spouse
-come home from work on time
-get a babysitter and go out to dinner
-spend 30 minutes a day talking to one another (not arguing)
-buy your wife flowers
-tell your husband you’re proud of him

These aren’t rocket science. But I have seen in my own marriage how taking time to do these things, allows us to navigate conflict in a way that makes us stronger instead of tearing us apart.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

12 Weeks to Better Photography- Week Twelve

Aaaaannnnnnd, we're DONE! I hope that these past eleven weeks have taught you guys some useful info about photography...I know that I've learned quite a bit! This last week was mostly just a catch-up week to do any lessons that you missed.

I decided to talk about photography equipment this week. I think I've mentioned before that I have a Canon XS body. The main lens that I uses is a Nifty Fifty (50 mm with f 1.8). I HIGHLY recommend this lens for portraits, and it isn't too expensive! I also use a Lightscoop, which can't really replace a speedlight, but is nice to have nonetheless. In combination, the Lightscoop and Nifty Fifty are the biggest recommendations that I have for newborn photography.

In terms of post processing in Photoshop, I usually don't do a ton. Sometimes I lighten things up a bit, or use PW's Boost action, but I really do try to get things right straight out of the camera. PS- I don't know if y'all know that most custom camera settings to adjust things like contrast and saturation in camera. So, if you find that you're always bumping up the contrast on your photos, or that your camera shoots warm/cold, it might be worth it to adjust your color profile in camera!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Garden Update

So, we finally have almost all of our garden starts in the ground. So far, none of them have died, which I consider a huge success because due to an unfortunate accident (LONG STORY), most of our starts got sunburned. You can see it best in the green beans picture. However, they have new growth that is green, so I'm hopeful that they'll make a full recovery. We shall see.

Overall, we have marigolds (which are a natural pest repellent and companion plant to most all plants), corn, several kinds of lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, banana peppers, jalapenos, sugar snap peas, watermelon, strawberries, raspberry bushes, and canteloupe. Whew!

We also have about 20 square feet left, and I'm trying to decide what to do with it. I will probably do more marigolds in 5 of the square feet, and then basil, dill, chives, oregano, and mint in another 5 (one plant per sq foot). I don't use rosemary or cilantro much, and I'm allergic to lavender, so those are out.  Justin thinks we should do another 5 sq feet (5 plants) of tomatoes...but we already have 10 plants of tomatoes, plus an upside down one. I think we will have PLENTY. I'm kind of thinking of getting more varieties of peppers because I've heard a lot of people only get 1 or 2 peppers per plant. Any recommendations?

Looking like a lady...

I have to get something off my chest. It drove me absolutely nuts.

Yesterday, Lizzy wore a cute little sundress to church. The dress from this post actually. She looked cute as a button. So before church, I was trying to put Lizzy to sleep while gabbing with Justin and my parents. Suddenly, a fellow church-goer (whom I have know for a long time) turned to me, and we had the following conversation:

Church Lady: Meredith, it's so nice to see Elizabeth all dressed up and looking like a girl.
I stare at church lady blankly.
Church Lady: Well you usually have her in all these little gender neutral outfits. It's nice to see her finally looking like a girl.  
My mom's mouth drops open
Me: Actually, she's worn a pink outfit every time we've been to church here.
Church Lady: Well but today she is actually in a dress. She looks very cute and feminine.
Me: Oh.

And then I turned around and went back to talking with my family. It was all I could do not to go on a long diatribe. Because the conversation kind of irritated me. It does just so happen that she has worn pink every Sunday...but even when I don't always dress her in pink (which I don't), it is really not anyone's business.Girls, even little ones, are allowed to wear colors other than pink. And they're allowed to have green car seats (which is something else that I'm often chastised about from both people at church and complete strangers in the grocery store).

It's worth mentioning that nearly every time I've posted a shady or offensive conversation, it has occurred at church, which I think is really sad. Churches are supposed to be places of love and support, not places where we tear each other down. And let's pretend for a moment that I wasn't someone who has attended regularly. Maybe someone that had only attended two, or three times. Do you think that person would ever come back? I know that I wouldn't.
While I was still pregnant, my mom gave me a cartoon from the newspaper. It shows a new mom, struggling with balancing an infant and all of her gear as she's sitting down on a park bench. Next to her, sits a little old lady who is knitting. The little old lady looks over at the mom and says, "Excuse me miss, but do you realize that everything you're doing with that baby is completely wrong?

To be honest, I have found that cartoon to read very true, and not just when it comes to little old ladies. I'm often stopped by strangers to tell me that I really should feed my child because she's hungry (no, actually she's tired), or that putting a car seat in the baby section of a shopping cart is extremely dangerous, or that letting her stand on my legs will make her bow-legged, or that using a pacifier increases the risk of SIDS (actually, just the opposite is true), and all sorts of other things that basically say 'You're a bad mom. You don't know what you're doing.'

I know that I'm not a bad mom, but the thing that bothers me MOST about the situation, is that the mom bashing almost always comes from other people who are moms themselves. Occasionally, I'll get a silly comment from someone that doesn't have kids ("How long is she gonna cry like that?"), but those I'm much more apt to forgive. It is honestly the nasty comments from other moms that get me fired up because they've been there. They KNOW what it can be like. And I'm sure they know that there are very few mommas out there who don't do the best they can for their kids--and that's coming from someone who used to work with kids in foster care. 

Sometimes, I just don't understand. Has our society really lost that little filter that causes us to think before we speak?

Friday, May 14, 2010

BQOTD: $500

So, I have a Burning Question of the Day. It's been awhile, hasn't it? Anyway, today's question is:

If you were given $500 to spend, with the stipulation that it could not be used to pay bills, be put into savings, or used to pay down debt, how would you spend it?

Personally, I'm torn. I love this patio set, but I have a hard time spending that much on patio furniture!

I have a feeling that our computer is going to hit the dust in the next couple of years, so I'd also be tempted to put the $500 toward that.

But really, I think I'd probably enjoy it most if I spent the $500 on a bunch of smaller things. Sometimes, quantity is a good thing--I think I'd feel like I got more out of the deal. So I'd probably allocate the money as follows:

$100- Pair of running shoes for me
$25- Five movies from the $5 bin for Justin
$50- Clothes/Fun stuff for Lizzy
$25- Pair of jeans for Justin
$50- Misc. for me to spend however I want at Target
$50- Strawberry plants for hanging planter
$75- Chi Hair Straightener (I have always wanted one, but they are so expensive! Are they worth it?!)
$75-Date night for J and I
$75- Offering at church

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Yesterday, I asked for prayers for Kaitlin, who is not only a fellow blogger, but one of my best friends in real life. Kait was being induced at 35 weeks yesterday. Jaxon Garrett was born last night weighing 6lbs 4oz and measuring 19.5 inches! However, I know that Jesse, Kait, and Jaxon would still appreciate prayers as Jaxon has been in the NICU since he was born.

He had mucous in his lungs at first, and was on a vent for awhile. He's breathing room air now (great news!), but the doctors are continuing to monitor him for pneumonia and an intestinal blockage. Jaxon hasn't demonstrated symptoms for either, but both can contribute to high levels of amniotic fluid, so the doctors are being cautious.

Kait and Jesse haven't been able to hold Jaxon yet, which I imagine must be agonizingly difficult!

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers! 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


-Lizzy had her 4 month appointment at the doctor yesterday, and she now weighs 12 pounds and is 24 inches long (TWO FEET!!!). Her pedi confirmed my suspicion that if Lizzy is choosing to roll herself onto her belly in the middle of the night, it's okay for her to sleep like that. I lay her down on her back, but within a matter of minutes, she's sleeping on her belly. It makes me nervous, so it was good to hear that that's fine.

The doctor also agreed that she is demonstrating a readiness to begin some solids, and gave us the okay to introduce rice cereal, which we did for the first time last night. I'm not sure that she actually swallowed much of it, but it was a funny experience, and I think she enjoyed it too:
PS- I hope you all enjoy the photos, because I had a heck of a time getting them. I plugged my memory card into the computer and there was NOTHING. So, I had to do a full card recovery, and it was a pain in the butt. But at least I have these precious photos now!

- So, as I mentioned in my letter to Lizzy on Monday, I photographed my first wedding with Kaitlin's dad Jon over the weekend. {I haven't posted pictures on the blog and probably won't} It was a crazy whirlwind experience. We were literally there ALL DAY. It was a ton of fun, but I have a whole new appreciation for wedding photographers and how much they charge. I used to think it was highway robbery, but now I totally understand. It was almost a 12 hour day (plus the rehearsal dinner the day before), and I'm sure Jon has DAYS worth of editing to do.

It also confirmed my suspicions that I simply don't have the equipment to do wedding photography at indoor weddings. I ended up using a lot of Jon's stuff--and there isn't a place nearby that rents lenses or flashes. And while I'd definitely second shoot again in a heartbeat, I'm not sure that I ever want to do wedding photography full time. Still, a GREAT learning experience.

Also, can I just say that if you are not yet married, I highly, highly recommend doing your pictures before the wedding. I know the tradition is for the bride and groom not to see each other before the ceremony, but if you look back at the origin of that custom, it's pretty absurd. And let me tell you, the poor couple whose wedding we photographed on Saturday felt so pulled between pictures, the reception, and family after the ceremony, that we didn't really get the amount of time they anticipated for photos after the ceremony. Which made it difficult to get the shots that were important to them. I'm sure it made for a much more stressful day than it needed to be.

-Speaking of Kaitlin, please keep her in your prayers today. If you read her blog, you know that she went into pre-term labor at 32 weeks, and has been on bed rest ever since. Due to her extremely high levels of amniotic fluid (which increases the risk for a prolapsed cord should her water break on its own), the doctors have decided to induce her today at 35 weeks. I know that Kait is feeling good about this decision, but I also know her well enough to know that part of her will be a little worried until Jaxon is safe in her arms. So please keep her, Jesse, and the medical team in prayer, and pray that everything goes smoothly today!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

12 Weeks to Better Photography- Week Eleven

This week was all about shooting in our own daily environment. The article included an awesome piece about photojournalism, and how sometimes a picture can be a great picture even if it isn't technically perfect--there is a difference between technically perfect and emotionally perfect.

The challenge for this week included three options:

1- Capture a small snippet of your life that usually goes unnoticed.
2- Create a visual record of your day
3- Share your favorite photos, and tell about the emotional connection that you have with it whether or not it's technically perfect.

Can I just say that I FIRMLY believe in this philosophy when it comes to photography--capturing the real moments. The kids in their normal clothes eating ice cream. Or jumping on the bed. Or a couple talking to each other in between the shots that we're taking. It's not about the formal set-up, it's about remembering our lives.

I've done #2 not that long ago with my Morning in the Life post, so I thought that I'd focus on numbers 1 and 3 today. I'll start with a set of photos that I have an emotional connection to--these four pictures are of me, Justin, Jesse, and Kait on this past New Year's Eve. Kait and I were both pregnant (I was HUGELY pregnant, obviously), and I think all of us were exhausted. But as usual, when we all get together, silliness ensued. And even though in most of the shots we're looking every which way, and none of us are smiling at once, these remind me of a photo booth series, and they make me laugh every time....especially the first one of Jess and Justin holding hands!

 Another picture with emotional connection is one that we have hanging up in our house. I tried to take a picture of the picture, so bear with me! The day after our wedding, we received this as a gift from our PLU friends. I can't remember whether this was actually from Sara, Lisa, or Ethan....I always think of all three of you when I think of who it was from. Anyway...

We were moving, so the picture is a little blurry, but I absolutely LOVE that about the shot. I think it captures that moment of us walking out of the church beautifully, and I absolutely treasure this photo.

And on to #1--Capturing a few moments in the day that usually go unnoticed:

Mom's Sanity:

Dad stopped by home for a minute: 

Learning to replace her own pacifier--and she even made sure to secure it on her nose:

Leave a comment if you're participating!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Letter to Lizzy- Four Months

Dear Lizzy,

Today you are officially 4 months old, and what a fun time it is! You are starting to get really expressive and fun--you also like to talk, and are constantly babbling away, especially in the car. You also enjoy screaming (happily) at the top of your lungs, and when you do, you sound a lot like a squeak toy. Sometimes, when you're playing with Sophie the giraffe, I can't tell if it's her or you who is making noise.

You have mastered rolling from your back to your belly, but you haven't been rolling from belly to back very much. I'm not sure if you have forgotten (because you used to do it constantly) or if you just prefer to be on your belly. Either way, you spend a lot of time on your belly taking in the world. Just in the last few days you've also started to pull your knees up to your chest and stick your bottom up in the air. I'm sure one of these days I'm going to catch you sleeping like that.

Speaking of sleeping, you aren't really sleeping through the night anymore, and that has been a bit of an adjustment for me. I'm just not used to getting up every hour anymore! And apparently you've decided that naps are for babies and you aren't a baby anymore--because I'm not getting many of those either. I will lay you down in your crib, but I can usually just hear you playing around. I'm hoping that you're just about to hit a developmental milestone of some sort, and that's what's causing the little to no sleep.

Your coordination has really been improving--you reach for toys that you're interested in, and are great at grabbing them and bringing them to your mouth! Everything goes in your mouth right now, and you're doing lots and lots of chewing. I haven't seen a tooth pop in so far, but I think I can feel one popping through on the top. We'll have to ask the doctor when we go in for your 4 month shots tomorrow.

Over the weekend, you had your first formula bottle--I was photographing a wedding with Kaitlin's dad and hadn't pumped enough to feed you all day. Your dad said that you took it very well (and he did an awesome job staying with you all day), and when I got home, you still latched right on with me. We still plan to stick to breastfeeding as your primary source of food, but it's nice to know that you will take a formula bottle too. I think you just like food in general--you often try to steal food off my plate. Maybe it's about time to start introducing a few solids into the mix!

Overall, you're just a lot of fun baby girl. Sometimes I may be cranky from being tired, but I'm trying hard to still put on a fun face for you, because I know you're not keeping me up all night just for kicks. But I'm not perfect, so there may be times when I have a short fuse and don't have the patience to let you wiggle and squirm during diaper changes. Or to play the "pick up" game with your pacifier over and over again. I hope you know that even during those times when my patience is thin, I love you more than anything. And there is nothing in this world that you could do to make me love you any less.

Forever and for always,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fix It Friday

It's time for another round of Fix It Friday from I Heart Faces!

Here's the picture to be fixed this week:

And here's my first edit:
Workflow: Played with curves a bit, then used Nelly Nero's Light Balancer Action. However, I tweaked that action a LOT, turning off some layers entirely (like the desaturation layer). This edit is BORDERLINE too blown out for me. But, I liked that this edit still looked fairly natural--like something that could have been shot right out of the camera, instead of so post-processed that it looked like a bad shot I was trying to "save". But, y'all know I love my portraits in black and white. So I did a black and white conversion too:

Workflow: I started with the above image, then applied Amy McMaster's Black and White Action. Her B&W is nearly exactly what I used to do by hand--it's nice to have a shortcut! Then, I applied both the espresso and bittersweet tints to that action.



-We have a busy and very exciting weekend. I can't wait to tell you guys what we're up to. Yay!

-Still, I am EXHAUSTED. Lizzy has been getting up every hour on the hour all through the night for the past few days. Half the time she's in pain from teething, and half the time she's making high pitched shrieking noises just because she can and wants to play. My mom says I was notorious for doing the high pitched shrieking when they were out in public with me, so I guess it's payback. This morning, Justin kept saying "Smile Meredith! You haven't smiled lately!" I kind of wanted to punch him in the face. That's right babe, I haven't been my usual smiley self lately because I haven't slept lately. I admit it--I'm grumpy, and I have a short fuse. Here's hoping that I get a nap today. Speaking of naps, forget cards or jewelry for mother's day--all I want is to be able to turn off the baby monitor and take a nap. I've been talking to Justin about doing this for weeks, but it just hasn't happened logistically.

-Hopefully, the garden will go in this weekend. Seriously you guys, we have the biggest garden bed ever. It is 5x 20. Looking at this nifty square foot garden planner online, all our veggies fit into a 4x10 bed. I guess that means that we have plenty of room to let our cucumbers and stuff go nuts.

-If you haven't read Faith's post about kids and eye drops, please do!

-I'm slightly bummed with Adorama Camera. I had never ordered with them before, but I bought a Lightscoop through them last week. I paid extra for 3-5 day shipping, and I received an email last Friday that said it shipped. So, I was surprised to look on the package tracker and see that the slated delivery date is May freaking 15th. That's 10 business days (not counting Saturdays) from the time it shipped. What the heck? Isn't that 7-10 day shipping, not 3-5 day shipping?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Things I Like A Lot: Sophie

By now most of you know that in college, my roommate Lisa dubbed me the "Giraffe" because I am tall and clumsy. Eventually, our group of friends all took on jungle animal personas. Anyway, since becoming a giraffe, I have walked this thin line of enjoying giraffe paraphernalia while also wishing to NOT become "that giraffe lady" who has her entire house decorated in a giraffe theme.

So. When I heard a couple of mommy bloggers talk about this teething toy called "Sophie the Giraffe" made by Vulli, I debated on whether or not to buy it. Because she's cute. She's a giraffe! And her name is Sophie. And she has 465 five star reviews on Amazon. But she was also about $15, and Lizzy hadn't liked any of the teething rings that we'd tried so far, and I just wasn't willing to shell out the money when Lizzy hadn't been teething THAT badly. But then, over the weekend, she really began teething. And as I mentioned, I think I got five hours of sleep total all weekend. And that trend has largely continued. By Tuesday morning, I was willing to spend ANY amount of money to bring Lizzy some relief and me some sleep. So, I picked up some Hyland's teething tablets, and then ordered Sophie the Giraffe from Amazon. Thanks to my dad, we have Amazon Prime, which means free two day shipping. However, much to my surprise (and joy), it arrived today.They must understand the desperation of a mother whose child is in the throes of teething.

Meet Sophie:
I was expecting thick rubber (a la Gumby), but she's very lightweight, and almost like a dog-toy. However, she's better than your average dog toy because she's BPA free, made of 100% natural rubber, and her spots are made of food-grade paint. In other words, she's totally safe for baby to chew on. And chew she does.

Like I said, Sophie is really lightweight, and Lizzy can easily grab and hold her. Lizzy played by herself with Sophie for a good half hour--chewing on her head, neck, ears, etc. and staring at her spots. And when it comes to being a new mom, an occupied and happy teething baby is  


PS- I received no compensation for this post. I just wish I would have bought Sophie sooner, and I hope if any of you are on the fence, this post will encourage you to buy her!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tug Of War

I think Lizzy must be teething. And I think after seeing this video, you'll agree, lol.

12 Weeks to Better Photography- Week Ten

Landscapes. What more is there to say, other than you want a large depth of field?



Honestly, these aren't new shots. They're actually from January 2009, on the very first day we owned a dslr camera. I could ramble on and on about the crappy weather, the lack of sleep Lizzy and I have had recently, etc. etc. All are true, but the fact is that I just didn't get around to taking a new picture this week.

Speaking of landscapes, have you seen all the different landscapes that were submitted for Pioneer Woman's Landscape assignment? Some of them look more like paintings than photographs, don't they? I've seen a couple of people mention that they seem a little over-processed. They are quite processed, but not in the way that you might think--they're a growing form of photography called HDR Photography, or High Dynamic Range Imaging. Basically, you take three versions of exactly the same photo--one normally exposed, one over exposed, and one under exposed. Those three images are then merged into one image, which hopefully results in a greater-than-normal range of color and detail. There's good HDR Photography, and there's bad HDR photography. You can see the range in the Flickr Pool here. It's not really my style, but a lot of people seem to love it, and it's interesting nonetheless.

Monday, May 3, 2010


So, in case you haven't already picked up on this, I have a pretty dry sense of humor. I tend to be sarcastic. So I was thrilled when my college buddy (and fellow jungle animal) Ethan sent us the onesie you see below. I have been waiting and waiting for her to get big enough to wear it. She still isn't, but after being spit up on approximately 100 times this weekend, and getting a total of about 5 hours of sleep, I was a smidge cranky and decided that putting Lizzy in this would cheer me up:

Yes, that's a leg chop. But it's my own kid and not a professional shot, so I'm allowed. Especially when she's making that 'sheesh, not me ma!' face. Don't let her fool ya. She barfs on the best of 'em.
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