Category Archives: Lists

Nolte homecoming 7.29.14

 

 

 

When I was contacted to do this homecoming for an Air force spouse, I was honored and horribly nervous to shoot it. It was all the conditions that makes me sweat. It was at midnight, no lighting, and I was stuck with my fancy flash that I STILL can’t seem to get the hang of. I need help haha. Other than my own nervousness, I couldn’t even begin to grasp the nervousness that Chelsea felt. It was their first deployment and their first homecoming! It made my heart so happy to capture this moment for them. I’ve been lucky enough that my husband (who is a Marine) hasn’t deployed in his military career, but has been gone for long, extended period of time, so I can only imagine the happiness of seeing your spouse after 6 months of continuous separation. Lord knows there is nothing worse than the leaving… but nothing greater than the return! Welcome Home Airman!

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Tough mudder 06.01.13

Tough mudder 06.01.13

I don’t usually post shoots out of order but I wanted to share this one since it’s meaningful to me. The husband, baby, and I recently went back to PA for a family visit but mainly so Vince could attend the Tough Mudder event with his friends in honor of the fallen Marine/ police officer, Brad Fox. This photo represents the whole day. Everyone did an awesome job and managed to get through everything together. I was happy to capture some of these moments for them.

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Guest Post: Dulcis Bellatrix 10.23.12

I love a good hearty, honest rant/list. Here’s one from a fellow blogger, mother, and friend. As parents, we all know we have some “bad mommy” moments. Lord knows that I use TV like a tool. My kid seems to be functioning ok, so far haha We’ll see how he does in the future.. oh boy.

I’ve mentioned her blog before on here, but here it is again!

http://www.brittanystanley.com/mommy/archives/4120

I’m a Bad Mother

October 23, 2012

Since he was born, I’ve done my best to make radical transformations in my life to become the mother that Joell needs me to be, and I’ve worked hard to be diligent by him. There are many things that I could you could say I’ve been doing “right” in my short tenure as a mom- I’ve never turned on the TV for Joell (not once), he has never had a piece of junkfood (except for the taste of frosting I let him try on his first birthday, but otherwise he has never had so much as a single cookie), I baby-wore, I co-slept, I buy organic, cook vegetarian breakfast-lunch-dinner, I take him to the park or some other children’s venue nearly every day, we read books sing songs do crafts and explore nature. I kiss my child every single day and tell him I love him. He is never at a loss for hugs, and I make sure that he has a healthy, balanced, and structured life routine, punctuated by many unique trips and experiences.

In some ways I am the tiger-mother and in others, a Dr. Sears disciple. But in some other ways still, I really am just a bad mother.

How you ask? Oh, let me count the ways:

1. I play on my cell phone while my son plays at the park.

Every so often I’ll look up after having been totally distracted for many minutes and Joell will be nowhere in sight. So I frantically powerwalk all around the playground looking for him, trying my best not to look obvious to the other parents that I’m panicking and clearly a negligent mother. This is also horrible because he could obviously fall and hurt himself while I am not paying attention, but seriously, I’m not always in the mood to pretend like I care about filling up buckets with sand and subsequently pouring them out.

2. I curse and play totally age-inappropriate music (aka. rap and death metal)

I can’t help it, I have the mouth of a sailor. I’ve literally been cursing on a regular basis since probably elementary school, and there simply is no use in trying to stop me now. I just can’t do it. And even though at the house I play kids music every morning for Joell, I usually pepper in some WuTang Clan or Slayer. And no, it’s not censored. That’s like drinking a Diet Coke when all you want is the real thing- what’s the point? I know.. I gotta tone it down. But do I really have to?

3. I occasionally let him play unsupervised around my room while I sleep in.

I figure, “what the hell, isn’t that was doors and socket protectors are for? He’ll be fine for a half-hour.” I’ve never had an incident, although I usually wake up to all my clothes being pulled out of their drawers and hand lotion smeared all over the place. I guess you could call it ‘Instant Karma’.

4. I sometimes just jam him in his car-seat

Though I never (ever) spank, or even yell at him, sometimes I just give up and jam Joell into his car-seat when he’s trying to resist me. I have spent countless minutes trying to gently coax and persuade my 18month old to electively sit into his car-seat and let me buckle him up. I bribe him with books and my iPhone, and talk sweetly. I let him take his time and warm him up to sitting. But he still runs away from me, arches his back, and wiggles his way out of the seat in refusal to get in. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like dealing with it, so I pick him up and just jam him in. I feel bad because otherwise I am very serious about respecting his bodily integrity, but the whole car-seat fiasco just gets ridiculous. I’m never mean about it, I still talk him through it sweetly like, “Alrighty, in you go! Let’s get this little arm in here (jam), then the next one (double jam)…etc. etc.” Granted, he’s not always annoying like this about getting into the car, but many many times he is.

5. I let him eat food off the floor.

Pretty sure this one requires no further explanation.

6. I have contemplated getting fake boobs

On a few occasions, I have secretly look into getting fake tits (well, I told Joe, who just kinda laughed at me). Nice perky expensive fake boobs that would serve no other purpose than my own vain pleasure. I feel like it’s the most anti-”good” mother thing to want. It’s purely selfish (well, I guess hubby benefits a little in this case too), and there is no real familial gain that comes from plastic surgery. Plus, elective plastic surgery really does send terrible message to children, especially little girls (thank god I don’t have one of those). I’m pretty sure that if I ever got them I would be excommunicated from the Church of Natural Parenting, and banished to Never-Never Land to serve at the foot of one of the evil stepsisters from Cinderella. Would fake boobs interfere with my current breastfeeding relationship? Check. Do I care? Sometimes not at all. Looks like I may not be La Leche League material after all.

7. Sometimes I love my baby more than I love my man

I guess this falls more under the “Bad Girlfriend” category, but sometimes I feel like I might hyperextend my retina from all the eye-rolling I do at Joe. I mean seriously? He is terrible at putting on diapers. And he always is afraid of getting his hands poopy, so he does this really pussy-footed half-assed wipe job on Joell’s little tush, and it just annoys the crap out of me. He is also the world’s worst clothing folder, and did I mention that he somehow weasels his way out of ever cleaning the bunny cage? Joe can cook two things: pasta and pizza (ok, so he does make a mean homemade pizza, but still.)

There are days when Joell and I are just two peas in a pod, days where he totally gets all my jokes and can’t seem to give me enough hugs and kisses, and I feel the same. These are the days where we play and get lost in our own world- where he makes me laugh uncontrollably. Joell and I get into a groove and it feels like it’s just me and him with a world of endless possibilities, creativity and fun sitting right at our fingertips. And frankly? Sometimes Joe is just like the annoying third wheel who keeps giving me (under the breath) crap about not knowing how to file my taxes or handle the actual task of paying my own credit card bills. As he says, I get an ‘F’ in Life Administration Skills. To which I say, “touche”.

8. Sometimes I love my man more than I love my baby

Joe and I love to daydream about things that we want to do and accomplish together, and ways that we are going to embrace the entire world and everything that it has to offer. We stare at the ceiling holding each other at night while we make halfway-serious plans about moving to Chile and starting our own farm (that would double as a birthing center, of course). We imagine getting lost in foreign cities, getting freaky under the the star-studded sky of some edge-of-the world paradise, we imagine… and then the baby whines. Ugh, you’re still here? Poof, back to reality.

Sometimes when Joe and I are holding hands, talking and hanging out and getting lost in our own world as a couple, I look back at the toddler- poopy-pants, tantrumy, sticky-handed, grabby little toddler- and I want to put my hands down Joe’s pants and just whisper seductively in his ear, “how ’bout we lose the kid and get out of here, just the two of us”. But alas… neither of us can afford to get arrested for negligence anytime soon. But seriously.

9. Sometimes I love myself more than I love either of them.

Yes, there are some days where I “La-La-La Can’t Heeeear You!” to both Joe and Joell. I let them figure it out for themselves and withhold my mommy-superpowers from helping anyone out. There are times when I literally go on mommy strike- I just smile and ignore! Oh it’s a beautiful thing not to care or listen for a few blissful moments. I take a bath, I do my makeup, talk on the phone, and let the world fall apart around me as Joe single-handedly tries to figure out how handle all things toddler.

Sometimes it gets even deeper than that- days when I feel really dark and I’m like, “what if I just escaped? I could find my way to the city and be free! No more diapers! No more 10pm bedtime/7am wakeup on Saturdays! No more budgeting or checkbook balancing! I could be reckless and immature and no one would be there to hold me accountable- I could do whatever the fuck I want and answer to no one- imagine the life of adventure and utterly shameless mindless self-indulgence! I want that, yes sir, that’s what I want.”

There really are days when I want a break from all the noise, and the pressure, and the demands, and everyone needing me and pulling me in every direction at once. Sometimes I think it might be nice to run away.

As I write this, it makes me think of the times when I was a little kid and would be mad at my entire family. One time I was so mad that I decided to run away and never come back. So I packed a little backpack (contents included my blanky, a journal, juice box, a pack of cards, and some pens- you know, practical survival tools) and I “ran away” to my double col-de-sac neighborhood. I spent a few hours walking around, hiding in shrubs, and trespassing through people’s yards. At first it was fun, and I felt all rogue and thrilled to be on my own, emancipated from parents and a family. But it started to get late, and I started to feel cold. Walking around was getting tiring, and I was feeling hungry and a little scared. I started to wonder what my family was doing without me, and I wondered if they missed me. I missed them and wanted to just hold my mommy and be safe and happy. What dawned on me that day was an incredibly important lesson that holds true to this day- I’m not shit without my family.

I wasn’t shit without my family then, and I’m not shit without my family now. I need them and want them more than anything on this planet- and even though they are incredibly hard work and require serious self-sacrifice, they are my only key to happiness. Without them, all the freedom in the world would mean nothing to me. In the core of my heart, I love being a mom, even if sometimes I’m a totally shitty one.

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Because everyone needs a little Bruce Wayne in their life.

So when we first moved into our house, I was in a tizzy about how I could finally decorate in any manner that I wished. (minus the painting…) So the first thing that I really wanted to decorate was actually Loo’s room. At first, I started to decorate it space themed for lack of other inspiration but half way through, I was super inspired by BATMAN THEMED ROOM!!!!!!! So I scrapped the space theme, which you will still see some space stuff in his room, and started getting on the ball with Batman. It definitely helped that Vince was away for a few months during this time and this current project kept me busy. What I really wanted for his room was to not make it kind of corny with obvious horrible batman printed stuff splattered everywhere, not make it an overly dark adult themed room since he is a baby after all., and pay some homage to not only the classically known batman but to old school batman as well as new school! So what I’ve done is handcraft a lot of the stuff in his room to make it obviously a batman themed room, but kept it also a light, child room. There’s still some more things that need to be done to fully finish his room, like some more pictures to put in the frames. I’ve scouted some cute/cool photos on etsy that people have created but that’s going to have to be slowly acquired over time.

The room as you enter through the door

View of Loo’s bed and the frame gallery

The couch with hand crafted pillow and an imperfect cover but I don’t own a sewing machine (yet) to make my own.

The shelves

Still need to paint this piggy bank

I created this sign with a wooden sign and letters from Michael’s and Martha Stewart’s all purpose paint and crackle effects. Love this stuff

Shelving details. I bought the V’s from Michaels, the batman signal light off of amazon, batman figure from Barnes and noble and pinned on some black masks on the ugly dolls 🙂

The lamp was an old lamp from my parents’ house that I repainted with Martha Stewart’s all purpose paint. The shade I created from a cheap, plain shade from target that I mod podged together (good ole elmers with water) with comic pages that I got from a local comic book store.

The blue frame was actually a scratched up old brown frame that I also painted with Martha Stewart’s paint. (notice a theme here?)

This rocking horse was given to me since someone was throwing it away, had it refurbished by a friend who put green hair as its mane. I figured, green hair.. JOKER! So I painted it’s face 🙂

The nightlight lampshade was an ugly dragonfly thing so I ripped it off, glued some gray felt to it. I then traced and cut out the batman symbol in yellow and black felt and hotglue gunned it to that and wallah!  (the electrical outlet was bought here http://www.etsy.com/shop/OliveJuice01)

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ComicCrusader

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SmittensDesigns

Created with black electrical tape… didn’t finish since I ran out of it haha

Painted the top one of gotham city and the bottom was a fun craft that Loo and I painted together.

Took an ugly old pillow and used black and yellow felt to cover it. Had to hand sew it since I don’t own a sewing machine…

Some photos that I wish had turned out but didn’t.

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15 reasons why being pregnant sucks

Nothing irks me more than people telling me, “oh I wish I were pregnant” or “I loved being pregnant!”. The straight truth is that being pregnant SUCKS and I’m saying this having one of the best pregnancies one could ask for! They should let me talk to teens and I swear I could prevent so many future teen pregnancies *sigh*

In no particular order, reasons why being pregnant sucks:

1. Bigger boobs

– Yeah, everyone thinks, “oh hey, I WISH I had bigger boobs”.. Well you’re WRONG. Just so we’re clear, even though your boobs get much much bigger, don’t forget they’re also SITTING ON a gigantor stomach. Yeah attractive. Not to mention that I totally had to waste money on buying bigger bras. Fun fact: I hate buying socks, bras and underwear.

– Side comment: NIPPLES

As you get further along in your pregnancy, your nipples start to leak. It is not awesome. Not to mention they get much bigger and darker, oooo attractive. So getting bigger boobies is definitely NOT a plus in my eyes. I miss my A cups.

2.  Back pain

Sitting on any surface that’s hard sucks. Getting up from sitting sucks. Sitting down and then having to get back up sucks. Having to carry 30 more pounds than my body’s used to sucks. Everything sucks.

3. Waddling

– While it does help knowing that Vince finds it horribly cute, nothing is more embarrassing than waddling. You don’t intend to waddle, you just DO. Probably why your baby loves being rocked as an infant is because while you’re pregnant you rock like the freaking Titanic on stormy seas. God help you if you need to get anywhere fast.  

4. Heart burn

– I’ve never had heart burn before being pregnant. I have heartburn at least once a day now. It sucks. You could be having a perfectly non acidic, non spicy, normal, good for you meal and the next thing you know, you’re burping up straight acid and your heart is on fire.

5. Being kicked in the (…)

– I hate when people are like, “oh you can feel him/her move, it’s magical…” barf. It was magical for all of 2 min of him first moving and then it started to suck. Now that my stomach’s bigger than a swallowed basketball, other than the feeling of relief that the kid is still alive in there, feeling him move sucks. You get kicked/punched/headbutted in the ribs, sides, and VAGINA. Yes, VAGINA. If you’ve ever fallen on a bicycle as a child and banged your crotch into the metal pole, then you know what it feels like to get kicked in the vagina from the inside. Ugh, getting kicked in the ribs isn’t magical either. It really does hurt.

6. Weight gain

As a female, all your life you’ve been told to maintain a good weight and not eat like a whale. Then you get pregnant and everyone is telling you to go ahead and eat! LIES. Did you know that you’re really only supposed to gain like 20-30 pounds during your pregnancy? Even really only gaining weight in my belly, I want to almost go bulimic and puke out all the food I ate during the day after seeing how much weight I’ve gained. It’s cute now while you’re pregnant…but I’m SOOOOO excited to be just as heavy AFTER I pop this kid out. I hate working out.

7. Peeing

– I used to be able to go only approx. 5 times a day. Now god forbid I go less than 5 times an hour. I think pregnant people are a plague on the environment with the amount of toilet paper I’ve gone through. Let me also share that your bladder control while pregnant goes DOWN THE DRAIN. No lie. It doesn’t help that there’s a child pressing on your bladder at ALL TIMES. It also doesn’t help that you HAVE TO DRINK a lot of fluids if you want to keep swelling down. Driving to maryland this thanksgiving was painful… OH and if you’re one of those people who require a full night’s uninterrupted sleep like I do, then forget it. You’ll be getting up a million times during the night to go pee.

8. Being touched

– Now I’m not going to lie, looking much younger than I am has helped many a stranger from touching me, though I do get a lot of glares. However, there is always that one person that takes touching too far. Not naming names of course I definitely was NOT pleased to have had my belly shaken just so that they could feel him move. Yeah ok, it’s still part of my body and it does NOT feel good to have your basketball belly jostled. I was not pleased at all.

9. Being tired..all. the. time

– It’s only 11.29pm and I’m exhausted. I am naturally a sleepy person, but being pregnant is horrible for my alertness. I am tired all the time. It doesn’t matter if I get a full night’s sleep because I’ll be tired again an hour later. I love the comments about how the baby is going to take away my sleep too. I know this already thanks and it doesn’t make me feel any better.

10. Clothes

I love clothes. I think what has made me the most sad about being pregnant is the fact that I can’t wear the things I could’ve worn when I wasn’t pregnant or the fact that I’m huge and awkward shaped, so dressing this body is really hard. Forget buying maternity clothes too unless you happen to have lots of money.

11. Sickness

– I have to say that I’m extremely lucky that I have not experienced any real form of morning/afternoon/night sickness. Though many pregnant women do and because of this I put it in my list.

12. Swelling

– I have also not experienced any swelling! I like to think this is due to my hard work of drinking plenty of fluids and moving around. However, many pregnant women experience this as well and I can only imagine how much this sucks.

13. Emotional Roller coaster

– Lately, my emotions have been much more stable, thank goodness. However early on in my pregnancy, I was a wreck. Planning the wedding didn’t help, as well as all the other crap I was doing at the time. My internship, getting ready for school, etc. The worst part is that you don’t know why you’re cranky/weepy/upset either. So while the rational part in your brain is telling you to calm down, the other part takes over and you’re just a weepy, pregnant wreck. It sucks. 

14. Contractions

– I have only lately just begun to feel these braxton hicks contractions. They are uncomfortable and I can’t wait for the real deal…. not.  

15. Giving birth

– I have not yet given birth, obviously, however I just want to comment on the fact that people are always telling me that giving birth is worth it. Ok, that’s fine but I think people forget that babies really are stressful things as well as they GROW UP. Growing up children are horrible by the way, no matter how much you love them. I hate gushing people.Also, just so we’re clear, going through a lot of pain and the potential snipping of the area between your vagina and your anus, is just plain awful. Even if there is a baby at the end.

That’s the end of my rant.

(I wrote this a month -nov 28, 2010- before I gave birth to my son)

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