Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
Monday, December 22, 2008
So what is the perfect push prize? It really depends on the mom but it does not have to be expensive. Keep your diamonds. After the birth of our first daughter I just wanted food. Hubby brought me dinner to the hospital. It was steamed crab. He cracked it and fed it to me by hand. Then he sliced open large strawberries and sandwiched them together with marshmallow cream. Despite the pain medication and the hospital ambience it was worth a million candlelit dinners in swank restraunts. It is still in my top five of most romantic moments of all time.
But here is the thing... let's not call it a push prize because that belittles the whole process. Besides what about the other mother's like me who had cesareans. Am I ineligible for a push prize just because my internal slip and slide malfunctioned? Then there are the adopted children that find their way into their mother's arms via adoption. I think they are just as deserving of a "push" prize. And then again maybe push prize is fitting. As mothers we all push, pull and fight for our right to be mothers regardless of how we accomplish it. "Push" prizes are the celebration of the quest. I think it is also a great start and tradition for first time mothers. Mothers have a tendency to give and self sacrifice with total disregard for themselves. By accepting push prizes we start motherhood with the realization that it is okay to occasionally reward yourself and indulge in a world outside of diaper cream and booties. This post was inspired by "Not Me Monday". Just click on the link below to join in...
Friday, December 19, 2008
YOU POKE HER WITH A STICK!! She isn't sleeping folks she is playing dead. This photo was taken right after a massive dual that I won. TWO POINTS FOR MOM!! Rest assured she got me back in round two with a semi-fatal wound to the thigh. My motto...All is fair in love, war and photography.
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Nothing else I have ever done in my life has been as humbling and empowering as my pregnancies and I miss it.
So, How do you get over the pregnancy pangs? I haven't yet. I still miss them but I still sneak in and photograph my daughters sleeping. My oldest is five and to see her curled in sleep makes the ultrasound feel like a second a go. Those moments fill my heart, if not my womb and that is enough.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation gently provides a helping hand and a healing heart. For families overcome by grief and pain, the idea of photographing their baby may not immediately occur to them. Offering gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives.
Here is the link for more information, a look at a ton of fabulous prizes & to purchase tickets:
Friday, December 12, 2008
The results are in, cardboard is still NOT waterproof. Thank you for including our Christmas package in your shipping experiment. The entire box and contents were thoroughly soaked. I am very impressed. I am so honored that after operating since 1907 you chose our Christmas gifts to prove once and for all that cardboard is not waterproof. It appears that when set in standing water the cardboard will actually absorb the puddle. It was also so kind of the UPS carrier to hold the pieces of wet box together just to make it to my door in as few pieces as possible. Your training schedule must be very vigorous because he was able to drop the wet box on my step, ring the bell and bound back in the truck before I could even open the door and thank him for such a wet delivery.
In all fairness I have to give a shout out to ToysRus for being so accommodating and understanding. I am thrilled that I get to wait approximately eight days for UPS to pick the package back up. It would be so boring leaving the house and enjoying the tropical climate. My children would much rather wait around here for eight days. I would like to add an extra special thank you for the refund that we will be arriving sometime after the pick-up. The baby loves cold hard cash and hates toys and books anyway. Your lightning speed and customer service truly is astounding. Thank you both for being a part of our holiday season festivities.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO ENTER
(I will be describing all editing procedures available at www.photobucket.com because it is free & fairly popular)
Most digital cameras have a high enough resolution that you can crop in fairly close even if the photograph was not originally a close up. You don't always have to crop your subject in the center. Try cropping so that your child is on the far left or far right of the frame. This works great for Christmas cards and business cards. Or crop the photo so only part of your child's face is included, as shown on the Christmas card.
BLAH DULL PHOTO
If you increase the contrast your photograph will take on a more bold and artistic look. Just slide the contrast bar up. This will sometimes make the colors too bold for your taste. For a more subtle effect slightly decrease the color saturation after you increase the contrast. Don't be afraid to play around. Messing with the brighten, saturation and contrast bars produce the most interesting and effective results.
CLUTTERED, MESSY BACKGROUND
Cropping is the easiest solution.
increase the contrast.
if the photo background is already brighter than the subject then bump up the contrast and the subject will jump out and the background will fade away
If the background is darker than the subject increase the saturation and slightly decrease the brightness for a similar effect.
BUSY/ CLASHING PHOTO
crop and use the grayscale or sepia feature to tone down everything from busy backgrounds to clashing outfits
The soften effect, under effects, in photo shop editing, will mask the blur in most images. It can make things like out of focus subjects and solar flares look intentional. It is also a very magical touch for newborn portraits and fairy princesses.
REMOVING UNWANTED ELEMENTS
A vignette works great at hiding unwanted elements around the pictures edges. It is under decorate, frames and then matte/vignette. Stick with black or white for a more classic look.
This also adds a nice dramatic touch to a plain photograph.
Monday, December 8, 2008
The featured print by artist, Nicole Sharp, did NOT remind me of myself. When I read the description,
"Just call me Betty f@#%ing Crocker..".
I did NOT laugh so hard I nearly peed my pants. Please remember I am above that. Besides not having control of my bladder would make blogging dangerous. I would have to avoid funny posts altogether or risk electrocution. I am NOT so addicted to blogs like Secrets in the Sauce and Idabel Oklahoma that I am actually willing to risk electrocution.
Join in on not me Monday by clicking here..
You can find Nicole on Etsy at
The great news is she says, "I love to do trades - just convo me. The worst I ever say is no (and I usually don't say that), and even then I say it nicely. I am interested in jewelry, home goods, zines, felt objects, little girl's clothes, toys, art, and just about everything else. I hope to hear from you!". I love that!! Her work is fun and gorgeous. I hope you visit her shop because it was so hard for me to choose just two. Or just blog on over and tell her how amazing she is..
Saturday, December 6, 2008
A. A newlywed
B. Living in Denial
C. Married to a Saint
(If you are one of the few that answered C please don't rub it in. Husband's lives across the globe may depend on it and the last thing you want is hundreds of new widows chasing after your man.)
To learn more and post your own letter click here…
I retain the right to tease, exaggerate and embellish my own husband's testosterone induced bad behavior. My husband is not perfect but he is perfect for me. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea and think I'm still on the market. So for all you guys who have been searching for a leaking mommy with two kids, dry skin and a lack of will power to shave, I am NOT your girl. Please don't be too disappointed. There are many other sleep deprived, oatmeal crusted moms that would love to meet you. No I will NOT introduce you. You will just have to borrow your niece and hit up playgroup like all the other single guys.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Here is to the back roads, dead-ends and collisions that qualify motherhood for an extreme sport!!
10. Share Baby Jesus or I'll throw him in the trash!!
9. No, Santa is not allergic to peanut butter.
8. Can you lift me up? I can't reach the spaghetti on the ceiling.
7. Yes, I can see she ate the crayons!! NOW will you flush the toilet?
6. No. Not until you finish your Cheetos.
5. I have an unopened tube of nipple cream. It's yours, just say the word.
4. Don't put Barbie's foot in my belly button.
3. Don't toilet paper the cat.
2. Well, I was feeling fancy so I shaved PAST the knee today!!!
1. I ADORE being a sleep deprived, never potty alone, stay at home mom!!
I will keep this list so that when my daughter's have children of there own I can reference it, hold my tongue and remind myself that making mistakes and taking wrong turns can be the most precious part of motherhood.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Photo Tip: Create your own present tags and greeting cards with Photobucket's free Scrapbook feature!! The best part is that you can upload the final design to Vista Print and take advantage of their free specials on calenders, cards and more.
My favorite blog so far on my very first Merry SITSmas tour.. Fresh Mommy. I dig the name and her entire blog is gorgeous!!
Mothers are expected to be selfless, tireless and full of unending love and devotion. Some of us give until there is just nothing left to give. It happens to the best, brightest and most intelligent mothers. Even high profile mothers from Sylvia Plath to Brooke Shields have crumbled under the weight of it all. Depression is timeless and mothers are not exempt. Depression can appear and extend long past Postpartum. Hugs, Jen
"I don't think a woman in the whole history of my family had ever done that before, had ever sat down in the middle of the road like that and said, in the middle of her life, "I cannot walk another step further-somebody has to help me." It wouldn't have served those women to have stopped walking. Nobody would have, or could have helped them. The only thing that would've happened was they and their families would have starved. I couldn't stop thinking about those women."
I can't stop thinking about these women either. Women are stumbling, pausing, stopping and sometimes there is still nobody to help.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I also did not just send hubby for boxed cake mix for our daughter's very first Birthday even though I made our first daughter's carrot cake from scratch naturally sweetened with apple juice and cream cheese icing. Nope..IT WAS NOT ME!!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
(choose the color that contrasts the most with your baby's skin tone)
Shoot without a flash
use your portrait setting (the icon usually with people on it)
macro setting ON (typically a flower icon)
use your zoom or get close, fill the frame and focus on just her lips or toes
choose the right angle (capture those long lashes by shooting from the side and slightly above)
Try, try and try again, with digital you can take hundreds at no extra cost
you can also edit with photobucket for free..fade the background out by sliding the contrast bar & adjusting the brightness (start first with black and white copies so you don't also have to adjust the color saturation)
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Emily has been designing and selling her work worldwide for over 15 years. She is entirely self taught and her artistic talents extends to a wide range of creations from clothing to toys and everything between.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I try to remind hubby that the milk on his cereal is expressed from a cow's breast. This is an ongoing debate we have. He tries to distance his milk from the nipple with words like udders and pasteurization. So I have offered to have my milk pasteurized . Then will I be cleaner than a cow? Worthy of consumption? He shelves the Wheaties and reaches for an orange.
** I have a wonderful supportive husband who despite his fear of breast milk nurtured me and cared for me during the recovery of my emergency cesarean, uterine infection and mastitis. We manage to live happily in a constant state of debate by always being half serious and 100% in-love
To top it off his talent he also has a great sense of humor that really comes through in his other work. I enjoyed learning about Paul's inspiration and life as much as I enjoyed looking at his art. He exudes a certain confidence and unapologetic honesty that I struggle to embrace as a mother. I am often offering explanations for why my daughter is mismatched, my dishes are undone and why my laundry takes a back seat to Jenga marathons. Maybe one day I will learn to say, "This is just the mom I am and that is enough".
If you would like to learn more about Paul Richmond and his work please visit..
Monday, November 24, 2008
This self reflection and account of my daughter's birth was triggered and inspired by Sarah Kiser's painting, Some Enchanted Eating, pictured above.
My first daughter was born by emergency c-section, rushed, agitated but healthy in appearance. Once she was tucked in the nursery and my morphine high was wearing off we learned her heart rate was 240 and rising. They had her in the regular nursery hooked to a heart monitor awaiting transport to their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was crying with an intensity that increased the beat of her already too fast heart. I tried to nurse her but my tasteful ballet pink robe was getting in the way, the sash tangling in all the cords and wires. Fed up and without hesitation I stripped down to the waist . I vaguely remember over a dozen shocked faces and the nurses rushing to plant themselves between me and an audience of scowling faces. They were expecting clean, shining and post birth perfect babies. Instead they got me, breastfeeding behind glass like a gorilla in a zoo.
I was haggard, graceless, lit by fluorescent light and terrified but I will always remember that moment with the perfect indirect light glow, slightly out of focus with soft edges. There was only my daughter pressed against me and the sound of her heart beeping a little slower with each dry suckle. It was the exact moment I lost my last shred of modesty and learned my body was magic.
"I hope that through my paintings I can make it clear that breastfeeding is natural, wonderful, beautiful and completely normal and beyond that, it is a magical experience for both the mother and baby"
Sarah Kiser http://www.sarahkiser.net/
The featured painting is available in a dainty 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" print, perfect for displaying in a series or tucking in your diaper bag. I wish I had had it then to gaze at it when I needed to be reminded that I am enchanting, natural and full of magic.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I think there is a void in all art forms that needs to filled with mother as a verb not a noun. Often the subject is dismissed as being too sentimental, insignificant or controversial yet every person is a mother or has one.
Friday, November 21, 2008
There are many gifts you can custom create yourself and you don't have to be Martha Stewart to pull it off. For children I suggest giving the gift of messes. My daughter's personal favorites are bath slime and finger foam. Here is the recipe card. Your child and tub will both get a good clean scrub while your child plays. Another bonus is that if you have the camera ready while she messes you will also score a one of a kind gift grandparents are sure to treasure.
Strapped for time and want a unique gift out of your creative league? Handmade and custom created items don't have to break the bank. Often you can commission a designer or artisan for a custom item equivalent to or less than department store prices. Etsy has a unique feature called Alchemy where you can post a request and artisans will fight for the honor of making your dreams come true.
Please feel free to print the recipe on card stock and attach it to a gift bucket or craft box full of the necessary supplies. Just click on the recipe card to enlarge it.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I may be in Hawaii but my heart is still in Oklahoma. This blog always reminds me of home, http://todayinidabeloklahoma.blogspot.com . Whether you are from Hawaii or Italy you have got to blog on over and see what you're missing. Be prepared this blog serves up a heavy dose of sarcasm Oklahoma style. It also might be the last shred of documented proof that smart rednecks do exist.
Why in the world would I miss Oklahoma when I have paradise?
Well Lake Wister doesn't trump the ocean but Hawaii has SPAM on the McDonald's breakfast menu? SPAM?! For breakfast!! Every Sooner worth her salt knows a girl needs bacon, eggs, fried potatoes and biscuits all smothered in gravy to maintain a girlish figure. My Grandpa Roscoe swore bacon grease gravy induced early puberty and yes my grandfather really was named Roscoe and I have a real live Uncle Bubba.
Happy Holidays from Hawaii and a special thank you to the women of Idabel for reminding me of home.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
If you are on my Christmas list odds are you will be scoring one of these adorable cupcake bath bombs. These delicious looking treats look good enough to eat. I am sending these to all my family and friends with LUSH addictions. Everyone on my list will be getting handmade items from good enough to eat bath products to real edible homemade blondies and chocolate treats all from Etsy. Don't you wish you were on my list?? Here is the link...