And the summer days draw to a close…

9 09 2009

Growing up, I remember getting excited that summer was coming. The days in San Gabriel were getting longer, the Santa Ana winds meant the hot days felt hotter, and the heat of afternoon recess made me drowsy. Didn’t help that school didn’t have A/C. Which usually wasn’t a problem until those last couple weeks before the year ended. I remember looking forward to days in the pool, pretending to be the little mermaid with my cousins, and then laying on the sidewalk to dry off, which never took that long. I remember going to Lacey Park, playing with My Little Ponies, and going to Hotel Del Coronado. I remember waking up to the delicious smell of the sprinklers creating steam on the sidewalk and watching Under the Umbrella Tree (did anyone else watch that show??) with Cocoa Puffs in the mornings. I loved reading as many books as I could every day, keeping a tally, and then when the new school year started we did something for the amount of books we read… too bad I don’t remember what? Anyway. I loved summers. Most days. The only disadvantage to going to private school meant that your friends didn’t really live nearby. And the cousins couldn’t always come over. Summers were full of lazy days and seemingly endless possibilities. And then by the time September drew near, I was so excited to buy new school supplies and meet my teacher. (Yes, I am a self-proclaimed dork. I love buying new notebooks, pencils, pencil boxes, stickies, pens, etc…)

Now, I can’t believe the summer is already over! I guess that’s what responsibility does. I hope my kids will enjoy their summers as much as I did. This year, well, Cana was born in June, so it was a busy one, but I think it was still a fun one for Vaden Elliot. He started walking, talking, and eating “cookies” (his new favorite word for anything that looks good. Especially animal crackers.)  He loved going to the pool, the park, playing with his auntie, tios and tias, he loves his new room (since we moved in May), and he got to make some new friends.


He got his first haircut of many already.



One of my high school buddies –Daniel, his wife, Ashley, and their son, Jacob were in town from AZ, and we not only enjoyed dinner together, but our boys (10 days apart or so) sure did play!



Right before I sold this car, the gang joined Vaden for some loving.


Vaden liked the sand…not entirely thrilled with the water. I think his most fave thing was running away from it!






And then he melted down.


A big thank you to the Byrds who cared for the babies while we shot Emily & Andy’s Wedding!


We love the new Joyner Park!







27 07 2009

I have been meaning to upload this post for a while now… but as you can imagine, the life I lead is more than a little busy. I wanted to show the proof that Cana doesn’t like photo shoots. The second time I tried to get naked sleeping newborn shots, I got her all set up and she turned her head round just as I clicked the shutter. Then I got about 8 pictures before Cana started pooping. And then while cleaning her up, she started projectile pooping. While cleaning up the poop all over the wall, changing table, and trashcan, she started peeing. In fact, she peed three times in the course of 8 minutes. So I got her cleaned up and tried again to take her picture, but she would not cooperate. I tried to swaddle her and she writhed her arms free. Screaming. To eat. So I called it a day. And I haven’t really tried to take her picture since. It’s been three weeks. I know I need to try again. She is not pooping 10 times a day anymore, so maybe it will work out next time. She really is a spitfire though. And we love her to pieces.


IMG_7044xThe one above and the one below are the two cute ones I got.






A visit from some cousins.

26 07 2009

So last week we had cousins in town. Lauren and I grew up like sisters til she moved to Florida, and that’s where she currently lives with her hubby Ben and their one year old (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) daughter, Allison. Vaden loves Allison. He got so excited every time she came over and spoke to her in his little language while showing her around to all his toys. And he liked to kiss her. And she kisses back. Here are a few shots of the kids from the week. Just for fun.






Babies Babies Babies

27 06 2009

I love my babies. I don’t sleep much, I can’t do everything I want to do right now, but I love my babies and I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. I took a few pics in the last few days… still working on getting THE shot for the birth announcement, but little Cana decides that she doesn’t want to make it easy for me, so I will keep working for it. (This baby sleeps all day EXCEPT when I want to take sleeping pics of her in Vaden’s room. Then she stays awake for 2 HOURS!) It’s ok.








This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. (Jn 2:11)

17 06 2009

I had a feeling the time was near…and so I tried to take it easy until Thursday—that was my goal. Vaden had a fever the previous weekend, which broke on Tuesday, but on Wednesday he broke out in a classic Roseola rash. The pediatrician advised I leave him in someone else’s care in case I had the baby, so as to prevent the new baby from exposure, so he stayed at my mom’s house. It was so hard to leave my boy, my buddy, but he had a blast at Mimi’s. He lived it up with the big kids and played so hard he went back to two naps a day. God sustained my mom in amazing ways- she had all 5 of her littles and my Vaden all by herself. My dad, my brother, and my sister, Ellie, were out of town. I laid around her house on Wednesday and Thursday, since nobody wanted me to be by myself if I went into labor.
When Randy got home on Thursday, I told him I needed to get out—I was antsy. We went to the mall, walked around, bought Randy some new clothes, and grabbed me a smoothie. About 2:45 am my contractions woke me up, again. (They’d been waking me up for the previous two nights as well, but after two hours they’d die down.) This time they were a little closer together and kept coming, but I took a warm bath and they slowed again. I slept for about an hour and a half, which was nice, but still felt the contractions in my sleep. They were moderate in strength and still inconsistent in timing, but we went ahead and got everything together anyway. I had my weekly appointment at 10:15, and we thought we’d see how far along I was and then spend the day in Raleigh, walking, etc. in hopes of making it to the hospital by Friday night.
My contractions were really mild to moderate, I could talk through them, and being that I had been through childbirth before, I could say that on a scale of 1 to 10 of discomfort, these were at a 2 to 3. So you could say we were shocked when the doctor said I was already 5 cm! They sent us over to the hospital and I got excited as I now KNEW the baby was coming!! (And I hoped on the same day that I was admitted this time!!)
Contractions were still coming, but really still mild to moderate and they varied from 3 minutes to 5 to 10 minutes apart. By 2 pm, they were finally strengthening. At 2:30 the doctor checked me and I was still at 5 cm. I decided to wait an hour, get checked again, and see if the contractions would continue to strengthen. If not, they would break my water. I really like the Ob practice I go to, and I had been praying that the right doctor and nurse would be on call for this birth. I was so excited to find out that the most pro-natural doc was on call, and she had done natural childbirth herself.
Well, an hour passed, I was only 5.5 cm now, but baby was at +1 station, and my contractions had slowed again, so the doctor broke my water. The nurse, Anne,  was wonderful the entire time and got all the delivery materials into the room, knowing that after breaking my water the game was on, being it was my second baby. Seeing everything getting prepped was motivating for me!
I remember after they broke my water with Vaden’s birth, I experienced immediate pain and the contractions were rolling. This time after they broke my water, the first hour or so was still tolerable. Then came the shift and the contractions were a 6 or 7 on a scale of 10.  Anne checked me and I was at 7.5/8 cm and experiencing transition. This is the part I hate. My mom arrived just as I was going into transition and though I could hear her, I was focused on relaxing. Praying really worked wonders on relaxing me. Twenty minutes later, I was at ten, and calling for the doctor to come because I had to push!! I don’t think I pushed even twenty minutes when Cana Naomi finally exited the womb! She came with a strong set of lungs, screaming and screaming. She weighed 7 lbs 7 oz just like her brother! Though she was 20 inches long, a little shorter than Vaden. The doctor said if I would have gone 40 weeks, she’d have been 9 lbs! Glad I only went 37 this time!
People have asked how long my labor was, and this time it’s difficult to say… because I was having mild to moderate and inconsistent contractions off and on all morning. I was at the hospital for 7.5 hours before having her, but I think the action was really going for about 4 hours. My recovery is so much better this time.
How wonderful to be able to breathe again! Cana likes to sleep during the day and be awake all night, and is nursing and pooping like a champ.
Vaden seems to like her- he gets so excited when he sees her, gives her kisses and cuddles and gives a surprised face every time he hears her whine.
I don’t look forward to Randy going back to work… but I am reminded by my baby’s name that God sustains even when I think I can’t handle another minute. This was the overlying theme of this pregnancy. I cried when I found out I was pregnant—I had just had a baby and gotten back into my normal clothes and I was not looking forward to nausea and all the other discomforts of pregnancy. But this pregnancy was way easier than the first with minimal morning sickness (compared to the first). I was able to nurse Vaden til I was four months along or so, which is better than nothing. God’s grace also got me through a grueling semester with a 4.0. I can’t even detail all the ways that God provided for and sustained us through this time. So many things going on in our lives and God proved himself faithful. So that’s why we named her Cana Naomi. Cana is where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine—blessing the wedding party beyond what they needed by giving them the best tasting wine of all, even though he could have let them run out of wine altogether (John 2:1-11).  In the book of Ruth, we learn of Naomi, her mother-in-law, who despaired because nothing seemed to be going right for her, but because of God’s grace, through Ruth, Naomi was provided for and considered blessed. Naomi means “pleasant.”

IMG_6468This is before anything was too uncomfortable.







Baby Cana is Coming!!

17 06 2009

Good thing we took these when we did! I don’t even know if this was a full week before Cana came!









The Bailey Family!

28 05 2009

You may remember last fall I had the pleasure of taking pictures of Baby Grace. So when her mom contacted me to shoot the whole family I was thrilled! I didn’t think it was possible for Grace to get any cuter, but I was wrong. The Baileys are a wonderful family and oh-so-patient waiting to see these!! Check out their slideshow here.