Friday, April 1, 2011

Dear Scarlet,

My dear, sweet baby girl... I cannot believe my journey of pregnancy with you is more than half over. I'm sure because I've been so insanely busy that the time has flown faster than it does for other mommies, but it still seems extra fast to me.

One of my FAVORITE bosses (Karyn Coward!) told me when she was pregnant that one of her favorite things about it was that it her time with her babies that was all HERS! No one else knew her baby like she did during that time and she loved that. It was like a private party for two. I feel the same way with you. I love that I feel EVERY movement, even if others - even daddy - cannot. I know when you're awake, I know when you're sleeping, and I don't have to share you with anyone. I don't ever feel like I'm alone. I always have a little someone tagging along with me.

I knew in my bones that I was pregnant with you before I could even take a test that would say so. I told your daddy and your grandma, but then I thought about it more and decided that there was no way I could KNOW so certainly so soon and I kind of talked myself out it because I didn't want to be disappointed when I tested and it was negative. But the day I did, even though it was a faint +POSITIVE+, it was +Positive+! Then I got SO sick for what felt like SO long and thought - just once - "I'm never doing this again..."

The faint, BUT +PoSiTiVe+ testS! :D

What I looked like the day I KNEW you were there!

The day you popped! It was Super-bowl Sunday and it was like - the day before, I wasn't showing and then I woke up and I was! :D Such a fun feeling!

The picture that we took (a billion times to get right! lol) for daddy for Vamlumtimes (I'll explain when you're older... lol) Day!

But here we are, 6 weeks later and I know that you are my little girl and I'm at the best part of pregnancy where I'm NOT sick, I'm NOT uncomfortable (Yet...) and I feel so energized and full of, well, Life! I can't believe how much I love you already. I see you on the ultrasound machines and I'm just bursting with pride for my little baby. I feel you kick me and I can't believe that we, me and daddy, made you. You have part of each of us and our families and I can't wait to see what you look like, sound like, act like... You already do little things that make me think, "Oh, she's stubborn like her daddy." Or "Ah! She's a night-owl like mommy!"

Having fun with daddy, painting your room!

Your first flowers from Daddy that he left on table for us to find after work this morning. He loves us very, very much!

There are times that you kick me and it's like you're saying, "Hey! Mommy! I'm here!" The other night at work, I'm not entirely sure what you were doing, but it felt like you were grasping your little fists in my uterus like you were tickling me and it literally made me giggle because it was such a funny feeling. Last night you must have needed to stretch like I do when I'm waking up because I had the most bizzare, pushing feeling up under my diaphragm.. It was like you couldn't get comfy or you were waking up and needed a really good stretch because I'd lean back and stretch myself out as much and I could and you'd relax a little, and then I'd lean back over my desk and you'd do it again. I love feeling all of this!

Much as I'm loving all this time with you, I still cannot wait until you get here and I get to hold you in my arms and see your face, hold your hands, and see your daddy look at you for the first time. I'm scared my heart might burst, but I look forward to discovering a new love that only mothers before me know and have.

I love you, sweet Scarlet, with all my heart and soul, and I cannot wait to meet you, baby.

All my Love Always
~ Mommy ~

The Nursery!!

So last weekend we finished getting the office completely cleaned out so we could make room in our tiny condo for little Scarlet!

The week before, we went to Lowes and picked out some paint swatches. The two colors Max picked were perfection. "Umm... Duh. Of course they are!" He says. :) So I come home from my CRAZY graveyard shift after breakfast with Dara (we needed to decompress after that shift... lol) and I slept for a couple hours. We go get the paint, come home and get it on the walls, and it's even better than I thought it would be! The paint we got is the truest to paint swatch I've ever used! There was no need to go a shade lighter to make sure it didn't turn out too dark or anything like that. So then I get the idea for picture that I want to put up in Scarlet's room above her crib... When I do my maternity pictures in a couple more months I had the idea to have a picture of just my tummy with mine and Max's hands on it done in black and white. Then when she's born I want to have a picture of her with just me and one of her with just Max done. Then I want to hang all three in her room together. Cute right? :)

So that makes me think of a fun way to do the tummy picture and I tell Max to paint his hand yellow and my hand pink and we'll each put our "hands" on her! He took the picture and it's so cute! I can't wait to get it printed and up on the wall!

On Sunday we finished the painting and got all her stuff that we've been collecting since December out and put in it's place in there. Well sort of. I got her hung clothes in the closet and all her stuffed animals on her mantle. And oh lord, this baby has quite a few stuffed animals... LOL

When Max was a kid he didn't have a favorite teddy bear, he had a Funt (and elephant). So this baby is going to be what we call a "Funt Baby". Max and I want her to love funts like he did. So I lined them all up on her mantle and they almost go wall to wall!! :D So if you see a cute funt thing, let me know so I can add it to her collection. :)


Our families both want this baby to be a reader like her daddy so we're collecting books now! A couple of our faves so far. Where the Wild Things Are from Grandma and I'll Love You Forever from Granny. :) We take turns reading to her now, maybe she'll recognize them when she gets here...


The few things that we've gotten for her so far.

This is Scarlet's, but I got it for my birthday from Granny. Because of the whole funt thing with Max. I LOVE it! :D

Mommy's Dream Birth Plan

This one will only be really funny to all my L&D friends, so this is for you girls! LOL

Today on my home from work I was talking to my mom, as usual. She talks me home from work EVERY day. (I know, she's the best mama ever!) She asks me, "So when do you think you'll deliver?" And I was like, "Huh?!? You know the answer to this question..." So she asked what the latest is I could go if I had to be induced and I explained that if I didn't have the baby before 41 weeks gestation (August 1st) that Dr. Macy would schedule me for an indicated induction due to Post-Dates (being overdue by more than 7 days). And then she said, "So you can't be sure whether you'll deliver in July or August huh? Because gramma JeanAnn is wanting to at least stitch a month onto the blanket she's making you..." Yep, don't know... I wish I could say! :) So then she precedes to ask me how I THINK it will go. Oh here it is ya'll, the funny part - My DREAM Birth Plan, seriously LOL girls, right?! :D

Ahem... Mommy's Dream Birth Plan:

I go to my 37 week appointment. Dr. Macy checks me and reports that I'm 2+ cm dilated and that I'm 60% effaced!! Woohoo for a primipara (first time mom)!

The following week I go to my 38 week appointment and find out that I'm not 3+ cm dilated and 80% effaced! WOW! This baby could come ANY time.

I go home and start to contract irregularly throughout the day. Max comes home from work that day and we have dinner and start really timing my contractions because they are becoming more painful and more regular. When it gets to be about time for bed my contractions are about every 5 minutes apart. I decide to get in the tub and see if they slow down. They don't, so I take a shower and get ready to go into the hospital.

We call ahead to give the girls a heads up and see how nuts it is at work. ;) We get to the hospital at about 11:30 at night and to my surprise I'm dilated to almost 7 cm and completely effaced!! So I get my epidural (because I'm not crazy and doing this unmedicated!! lol)

At 12:30, Scarlet's heart rate starts to have some variables (normal when someone is complete) and I start to feel some pressure. The nurse comes in and checks me and my water breaks and she tells us I'm completely dilated and effaced and I'm a +1 station!

They call Dr. Macy and decide to have me rest and descend for an hour and she'll come in and deliver me! So in an hour they come in and I'm a +2 station and ready for delivery. We start pushing and Dr. Macy gets there and I push for a grand-total of 30 minutes and I don't tear and Scarlet Eleanore weighs 7 lbs 15 oz! :D


We'll see how this really goes...

It's a gIrL!!

So just as we thought, we are having a Scarlet Eleanor, not a Cooper James! It was quite the "thing" deciding whether or not to find out. My WHOLE family thought that I was spoiling one of life's greatest surprises by finding out, and I had to agree with them. However Max's entire family thought I was being a party pooper by not finding out. It was time to put our heads together and find a happy compromise. :)

So I told Max that I could be happy finding out as long as we did it in a very fun, exciting way. He wasn't sure about it but I explained to him that finding out was sacrificing a big part of this experience for me and so he agreed to do something fun and special and NOT spoil it like he does Christmas and birthday presents! :)

The day of the ultrasound (February 24th, I know, I'm a bad mom for not blogging before now... I gotta work on that.) we told the tech that we wanted to find out but we didn't want her to tell us there in the office. We wanted her to tell us when she was getting close to seeing "it" or lack there of on the screen and we'd look away, she'd take the picture, print GIRL or BOY on it with the little arrow and put it in a sealed envelope for us. Then we took the sealed envelope to build-a-bear and we picked out a girl and a boy outfit (that cost the same so Max couldn't cheat!) and then after we put the heart in and stuffed it, THEY would take it to the back and dress it appropriately and seal it up in the box. Then we could open with our family and everyone would know at the same time! The girls at the clinic thought it was the cutest idea ever, and the girls at the build-a-bear had so much fun with it and helped me make sure there was NO way Max could cheat and find out before anyone else. It. Was. Torture. ;)

So then we headed down to my mom's because she was hosting the party for us! She didn't care about peeking early until I put the box in the middle of the living room table and then she kept asking if we were going to cheat and look before the rest of the family came. LOL I couldn't believe that it was even torturing her!

So our family came and the SECOND everyone was there we sat down and opened the box. For a split second I still had just a TINY bit of doubt that it was a girl, but as soon as I saw the extra little bows that the girls at Build-a-Bear added (at no charge, so sweet!) I knew and I was so excited! I pulled her out and showed everyone and my mom ran across the room to give me a huge hug! We had my sis, my best friend Brittany, and Max's sis on speaker phone on 3 different cells so they could hear at the same time as everyone else.

It was so perfect! I'm so happy we did it this way. It was so fun for everyone to find out together and to have a big party for her now. :) I think we'll do the same thing for our next baby and then on #3 (Yes, Honey, we are having 3!) I'll get my birth-day surprise! :)

FINALLY tearing into the box!

I saw the sweet little bows that the girls @ Build-a-Bear added for free for us to dress her up a little more.

And there SHE is! It's a girl!

Look Baby, we get a little girl!! :D

Then Grandma swooped in for the first hug! I think she was the MOST excited!

Proud daddy and his GIRLS!

Talking to my sis and Brittany

Auntie Tracie on speaker phone, SOBBING, because she was so happy!

Max telling his sis OFF speaker phone, she and the kids were so excited!!

And there she is, Scarlet's first bear!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

WOW! Pregnancy...

So I've started my last semester of nursing and boy I cannot wait until it's over!!! Not as hard material as last semester but so much to do! The list is just never ending... On to the good stuff, well, mostly good ;), the pregnancy!

So I was really hoping I'd have a pregnancy like my mom. Very uneventful, NEVER sick, just easy. Sure don't! I felt really good until I hit 8 weeks... That's when the morning sickness started and it has not stopped... So then I got Zofran to help with it. GREAT! Takes away the nausea, oh but wait... gives me a headache and oh yeah... CONSTIPATION!!!! :( (I do use this blog as a personal journal of sorts, so if this is TMI, too bad for you, skip to next paragraph) :) I have never been constipated in my life and oh Lord I'll never make the mistake of letting it happen EVER again. I wanted to die right then, I kinda thought I might because I didn't think I'd get the crap out of me so I was sure I'd just explode on the inside... Obviously, I didn't. I got over it and have been on a stool softener, DAILY, ever since. And so we solved THAT problem.

I also had some back pain that was so different from any back pain I've ever had. Dr. Macy told me I was one of the lucky ones that developed this early bone/ligament/whatever pain that would go away at 18 weeks (if I was lucky) but probably at 20 and then come back at about 34 weeks. Yay. Well, I got really lucky and have been good about baby-ing my back ever since and have kept that pain in check and have been good. Phew! Problem solved, for now. :)

So back to the never ending morning sickness... Dr. Macy gave me a prescription for a compound drug called Pyridox and it has been glorious!!! It has a sedative effect so I have to make sure I have at least 8 hrs to sleep if I want to take the full dose and when I can take even a 1/2 dose, I'm feeling pretty good in the morning. I haven't taken it for a couple days due to the fact that I haven't been able to have 8 straight hours of sleep in the last few days. I wondered if maybe since I'm now in my second trimester if the morning sickness was over. WRONG!!! Oh it came back with a vengeance. So, I have surrendered to the fact that I just must be one of those women who have morning sickness the whole pregnancy and will thank my lucky stars for every day that I can get 8 straight hours of sleep and take my magic Pyridox.

And on to "Placenta Brain" as I like to call the lack of mental functioning during pregnancy. Wow did I have it this last week. I hate to admit it, but I totally forgot Max's birthday. Not like, "Phew, that was close, I ALMOST forgot"... No. I completely forgot. And the worst part is that just the NIGHT BEFORE, I thought, "Ok, list of things to do tomorrow: Get up, get ready, get Max's bday card (we just take cash and go shopping together for our bdays, so no present to worry about, simple right?!), go to PCMC orientation, come home, make dinner." Oh no, not what I did. Max said goodbye in the morning before he left and I was awake, NO happy birthday from me (although I was kinda comatose, so even he didn't think anything of it). Calls me a little late to make sure I'm up, NO happy birthday honey from me. Nope. I'm in the car with my mom 3 hrs later, she tells me she texted him today and put his card in the mail the day before. LIGHT BULB! Or what I actually said was "SHIT!!! Damnit!! Ah man, my own MOTHER remembers my husband's birthday, but do you think me, his crappy wife can?! UGH!!!!" Oh I've never felt so bad.... :( And the part that makes it even worse is he's so ok with it. "It's ok baby, you're so busy with 72 of work and school and you're pregnant and sick, it's ok!" Am I the luckiest woman on earth or what???

Now with all this being said, you might think that I am miserable and hate this whole experience. NOT TRUE. Because every time I go to the Dr. and see this little miracle that is 1/2 me and 1/2 Max I just melt. Hearing the heartbeat inside of me makes the whole world right and I'm just completely at ease and at awe with this whole thing. I still cannot believe how lucky we are to have conceived so quickly. None of our friends have had an easy time with conceiving and we decided to try (one time, seriously) and here we are. I know what's going on inside of me. I know what my baby is doing and looks like and what my body is doing but at our last US I was so taken back when I saw my baby. I couldn't believe how much the baby actually looked like a baby! I saw the little hands and feet and every little finger and toe. I could see the nose (which we both think is all Van Voorhis) and lips, and I watched this new life kicking and moving and I just could not believe that this was MY baby. I made this life and before I know it, this baby will be here, outside of me, living and breathing and Max and I will be embarking on this whole new adventure in our lives. We are just so blessed. And despite all the sickness, pain & all the other stuff that it takes my body to sustain this life, I am so grateful that I am experiencing this. WOW! Pregnancy...

Here's a look at the development of our Baby! This is what makes it ALL completely worth it. :)

This was our first US that we had to determine dates because I have an irregular cycle. Doesn't look like much but we got to see the heart beating and you can see where the little TINY leg is! So amazing! Based on my dates I was close to 10 weeks, but based on the baby's measurements, I was pushed back to only 8... darn it! Oh well! Healthy baby = happy mommy & daddy!

This was the first US for the NewMom2B Study that I'm participating in. I was 9 weeks along here. The baby had flipped in my uterus but still didn't look like much. The tech pointed out that they kind of look like gummy bears that this stage. They do!! My sis came with me to this one and we got to hear the heartbeat. It was incredible and I'm so glad she got to come with me for this since she lives out of state and won't get to be back until the baby is born.

And this is the US that changed it all. I know what babies look like at 13 weeks gestation, but until I saw MY baby, I had NO idea. My mom came with me to this one and we saw and heard the heatbeat. We saw the baby kicking and moving, then the baby flipped so we could get the picture we needed for the test we are doing. (Not the best picture of the baby's nose and lips) It was amazing. Max couldn't come because of work, but when I sent the pix on my phone, he vowed to not miss another US, ever! Proud daddy already!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Year-End Post!

It's that time once again... Time for me to wrap it up. I'm such a bad blogger... lol
We've had a VERY busy year. It started with my second semester of nursing school in January and I was swamped until, well, NOW! Before finals were even close to over I was swamped with photography appointments, sometimes up to 3-4 a week! I did a few more weddings this year than I did last year and loved it!

This summer Max got a job with Harmon's and has been loving it ever since! He finally was able to quit working at the lonely, boring post office remote encoding center and is thrilled about it! Just 6 weeks into his new job a couple advancement opportunities presented themselves and Max decided to go for them. And in the end it paid off because he now the Payroll/Benefits person (along with his boss) for the entire Harmon's Company. He works Mon-Fri 8-5 and I couldn't be more proud of him! He loves the work and it keeps him challenged and learning all the time! Not to mention he got an office with a window!! :D

This fall was just as busy for me with my third (and roughest) semester of nursing school and busy photography schedule. But this fall was also very wonderful because we discovered just before Thanksgiving that we're expecting!!! That's right! Max and I are going to be having a baby next year! The baby is due July 26th and we can hardly wait to get out of our condo and into a home where we can start building a nursery! Max is a proud daddy and I'm a very happy (sometimes weepy ;) ) mommy. It's so fun to go to ultrasounds and see our little peanut growing! I'll be sure to keep everyone up to date on the latest with that.

I went to Florida just a week ago to watch my best friend graduate from college and the time has just flown since I've been home. I cannot believe we're through yet another year so quickly... We have been blessed in so many ways this year and are eagerly looking forward to what this next year will bring us! Love to you all!

Max, Callie & Baby Allen

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer Wrap Up ~ Where did Summer go?!

WARNING: Forever long post with lots of pix!

Jeeze! I need to not be such a slacker when it comes to my blog! Sorry! Been SUPER busy this summer! I did 4 weddings from April-July and just booked another one for December! My photography stuff has really taken off this year and I'm so glad! I've had a lot of opportunities to photograph a lot of different people and I've loved every minute of it!

My summer started off (technically) back in April with my finals, just three days after the first wedding of the season! Phew! Before Finals were even over we started remodeling our condo to get it ready to put on the market. We got new doors, new carpet, painted the walls, etc; you name it, we did it! It looks fantastic! We are so pleased with it and if it was big enough, it would be a pleasure to stay here for awhile longer, but we can't! We're selling our condo so we can move in with the parents (yes, again...) so we can save some moneys and get into a new place when I graduate school in the spring!!! The sale is going S-L-O-W... But we kind of knew it would in this market so we're glad we got it up on the market when we did.

After the remodel I was swamped with 2-3 photo shoots a week! I did babies, families, bridals, engagements, etc! I shot at some new places and have added a lot to my portfolio! ( That kept me busy for most of May and June.

At the end of June I went to Seattle to photograph the second wedding of the season, my cousin's. It was SO MUCH FUN! She put us up in this FAB hotel on the 11th floor overlooking the beautiful town of Bellvue! We went out for drinks every night and just played, played, played! It was fun to see my mom's side of the family. We realized all 6 granddaughters hadn't all been together in 10 years!! So we took what used to be the annual granddaughter picture to commemorate the event! :D It was a great vacay with my sis and I'm so glad my cousin asked me to be her photographer! I took a short road-trip back to Spokane to spend not enough time with my dad's family over there before I flew home.

I came home just in time for the annual New Twilight Movie Premier Girls' Night! Eclipse! We had 40 women this time and the movie and dinner were a blast as usual! Love my Twi-hard Girls!

That week ended with a WEEKEND full of weddings! I did my friend, Leslie's beautiful wedding that Friday and wrapped up the week with a 4th of July wedding up at Millcreek. Gorgeous venues, beautiful weddings, LOADS of pictures! :D

July wrapped up with my sister coming home for TEN DAYS!!! We saw each other almost every day, went to a bees game, family bbqs, and then the trip wrapped up with the Mary Chapin Carpenter concert at Red Butte with my mom and Larry. It was great! We had wine and salmon and great bread with oil and vinegar. Ahhh... SO much fun! And then I was completely bummed when she left the next day. Like more bummed than usual. I cried myself to sleep the night she left. I think it's because we've seen so much of each other in the last 4 months and I knew that it would be awhile before I saw her again. It's hard when your only sibling lives so far away. :( But hopefully we will be able to make it up to Washington for Turkey Day!

And of course these loaded all out of order! But here's what I've been up to!

4th of July Wedding
Bride with her dad

4th of July Wedding
They wanted a couple fun pix to show they got married on Independence day!

Leslie's wedding!

Leslie's Wedding!

Leslie's Wedding

Weirdo we picked up at the MCC concert in August. He was nice til it was over and then he and his friend we're just freakin' creeepy!!!

Barefoot Muscato! My FAVE!!!

Me, Mama, and sis @ Theresa's Seattle Wedding in June

Sis and I waiting for the gates to open @ Red Butte for our Concert! It was so blasted hot!!!

One of my absolute favorite pictures I've done this year! (and overall)

One of Leslie's bridal pix from the Capitol Building. It was the first time I shot there and I loved it!

Another Capitol Bridal Picture of Leslie's

All 6 granddaughters on my mom's side!

Theresa's Wedding Cake. Beautifully Simple!

Theresa's flower girl and ring bearer

One of Leslie and Jordan's engagement pix! Love it! They were so fun to shoot!

The couple that is SOOO in love! They are so sweet to each other and love each other SOOO much! Never seen such a doting fiance/husband before!

One of my BFF's little sisters.

Max's best friend's son! LOVE this baby! :D

Sweet little newborn! Loved this shoot!

Another fave from the little newborn shoot I did in April

New paint in the bedroom!

New paint in the kitchen!

New carpet, new paint, new plant... Completely redone living room!

New entertainment center to go along with the new living room!

My April Wedding

My April Wedding Bride

More of her!

And here we are in August! Where did the time go? I'm all caught up with photo editing and just have one more shoot before school starts on Monday. Had orientation (if you could call it that... whatevs) last night and then today I reunited with a dear, long-lost friend (Torry) and tonight I'm going out with one of my best friends, Erin, to ride a mechanical bull at a trashy bar! Woot! Tomorrow I'm supposed to be going boating with Erin and her Fam and then it's getting ready for the real world to hit me hard, in the face, on Monday. I'll try to be a better about updating more often so you don't have to read such a crazy long post about 4 months' worth of things!

Some wedding pictures and some Lake Cabin Trip pictures from this sumemr!