Not Me Monday


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. 

My first official “Not Me” Monday post!  So here goes . . .

Last week was Thanksgiving break from school.  So, that means that me and the 4 J’s were all together . . . . ALL week!   I did NOT sit in the car while the older 3 J’s played at the park with their cousins.  What kind of a mother would do that?  I’m the type of mom who cherishes each moment and loves to play out in the cold at the park with my children.  So sitting in the car with the heat on and watching them play is something I would NEVER do!

After a hectic trip to a store with all 4 J’s in tow, I did NOT back the van into the (empty) double stroller because I forgot to load it in the car after I got all the kids buckled.  I’m not that close to insanity!  And if I did back into the stroller (which I didn’t), it most definitely would NOT have been the second time that I would have done such a thing.  Because I learn from my mistakes!

And I did NOT get up at 3 am on Black Friday and stand in line in the freezing cold to shop!  I mean I love a good deal, but really, what kind of crazy person would do that after only getting 1 hr of sleep the night before?  And I would NEVER be willing to push someone out of the way to make sure that I got my 4 items that I went for, NOT me!

Feel free to share what you did NOT do this past week!  Happy Monday!

Photo of the Week!

Well, this week it’s going to be photo(s) of the week.  This was back in the winter of 2006.  My sweet J2 was being very quiet (red flag!) and I tip toed around the corner to find this . . .

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She was quietly trying to “clean up” the mess she made while trying to feed Ebony. 

Then she started to explain . . .

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But, when she realized I was laughing, she gave up explaining! 

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Poor Ebony was pacing around the kitchen trying to figure out what to do with her food all over the floor!  Notice the handful of dogfood in J2′s hand!  I think she would have stuffed it in her pocket if she could have.  My beautiful girl!

Maternity Photos

Here is my very first maternity photo session!  I was soooo happy to be able to take photos for my SIL and BIL, and their long awaited blessing, Brayden!  It was a fun session and I can’t wait until I can find my next pregnant lady to do pics of!  If you know of anyone who is pregnant and wants a good deal on maternity photos, send her my way!

Doesn’t she look beautiful?  So happy . . .

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I have to give credit where credit is due, this was Rodney’s idea!  And I just happened to have a stethoscope laying around, imagine that!

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This is one of my favorites, it may show up in a contest or something . . .  :)

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I also love this one . . .

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She looks so peaceful here, doesn’t she?

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This is also one of my favorites!  Little Brayden was playing with Daddy!

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The miracle of life!  It’s so beautiful, no wonder I had so much fun capturing it!

And I CAN’T WAIT to do Brayden’s newborn pictures!!!!

Sleeping Beauty

Last night Nate went to check on the kids and he found this . . .

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He came to get me and told me to grab the camera!

I went and just HAD to snap several pics!!  Keep in mind that she has been asleep for about 2 1/2 hrs when he found her like this!

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You can tell that she had a very fun, but exhausting weekend!

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After we were done giggling and taking pics we took the book down, and I couldn’t resist one last pic of my Sleeping Beauty.

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I love that girl!

Pajama Day was a success!

Yes, I admit it.  We spent the entire day in our pajamas.  Does that make me a bad mom?  No, actually to my kids it made me an awesome mom!  My kids love pajama day, and we have several during the year, most of them revolving around the holidays. 


Speaking of the holidays. . . .


THIS boy . . .

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LOVES Christmas!  And he loves decorating for it about as much as his mama does. 


So we started with this. . .

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and did some of this . . .

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And after some lunch and a little rest, we did some more . . .


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We had a few of these. . .

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But we ended with this . . .


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whew . . . what a day!  But it was fun!  Now all I have left is the big tree in the family room and we will be ready to enjoy the Christmas season!

Thankful Thursday!!

I am going to start a “Thankful Thursday”  post each Thursday.  This will be my place, in the midst of the chaos, to stop and remember what I am thankful for.  Feel free to add what you are thankful for in the comment section!

I am thankful for my husband, Nate.  We have been married for just over 9 years and they have been wonderful years.  Don’t get me wrong!  We have had our share of ups and downs, but there is no one that I would have rather shared those things with than him.  Nate works very hard with very little  complaining so that he can provide for our family, and so that I can stay home with our 4 J’s.   He is a quiet man, with a great sense of humor!  He “allows” me to think that I am in control most of the time, but we both know in the end who has the final word! (ME) 

But, seriously, I know that Nate would give his very life for me or the kids.  There is a huge amount of security for a women in that statement.   And, that is what we wives need, security.  I have to know that he is going to come home to me every day, and be glad to see me.  And I know that.  I need to know that I can trust him with the lives of our children, and I know that I can.  I have to know that when decisions are made regarding our finances, that he takes his families well being into account when making that decision, and he does.  I need to know that if something happens to me that he will take care of me, and I do. 

When I became sick three years ago during my pregnancy with J3 I had to trust Nate with decisions regarding my life and the life of our child.  I was in surgery and need another emergency procedure done and the doctor had to go to Nate to get consent.  I joked about it later, saying, “You better be careful who you marry! They may just hold your life in their hand one day!”  But, I wouldn’t trust anyone other than Nate to make those decisions.  I know he loves me, and would never do anything to hurt me.  How many people in our life can we say that about? 

Poor Nate even had to get over his squeamishness (is that a word?) about dealing with blood and gross stuff to take care of me!  Because our insurance wouldn’t cover home health visits, Nate had to learn to do (almost) sterile bandage changes for my nephrostomy tube.  I felt so bad for him, having to look at a tube sticking out of his wife’s back, and on top of that the tube was attached to a bag of urine!  During those very trying 12 wks, Nate became Mr. Mom, the maid, my nurse, and my personal “therapist” while I talked endlessly about my fears for J3.  Nate never complained.  He did it all, and he did it well, for me.  And I love him so much for that!

A couple of funny statements that Nate makes are “I didn’t sign on for this. . . “, or “That all changed under the arbor. . .”!  (My grandfather built and arbor that we were married under)  We laugh about it, but I’ve never thought that he would change things, even if he could.  Knowing that he is in this, for better or worse, THAT gives me security.  Security in our relationship.  Security in who I am, as his wife.  And that gives me peace.

Thank you Nate for 9 awesome years.  You are far better than anything I could have ever hoped for.  You were worth the wait.

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This is one of my favorite recent pics of Nate.

What are you thankful for today?

Photo of the week!

I am going  to start a “photo of the week” post where each week I will dig back through my thousands and thousands (not joking here) of photos and find an “interesting” pic to post!  So, today marks the beginning of a brand new tradition.  Today I am going back to Dec of 2005!

Drumroll please. . . .

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uh, yea, there really are no words.  That would be J1 and J2, with a look that says “well, mommy is taking pictures, we couldn’t be in that much trouble!”  Amazing what a couple of kids can accomplish in a few moments of mommy being on the phone!

Enjoy your laugh!

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of my “Thankful Thursday” posts.  Be ready to comment with what you are thankful for!

Sweet Baby Cousin!

So, about 6 wks ago I did a photo session for my sweet cousin, baby M.  Let’s just say we are not sure who had more fun, her in the tutu, or Mom and Grandma watching her in the tutu!  Either way, it was a fun session and she did great!  I can only hope that any baby I have for a future session is as sweet and cooperative.  Thanks Erin for letting me photograph your beautiful baby girl!

Here are a few from the session:

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m 10 watermark

m 9 watermark

m 8 watermark

m 5 watermark

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Isn’t she a doll?!?!?

J4 is ONE!!!

Ok, so actually he is 14 months now, but I am just getting going on the blog and have a little catching up to do!  My little man turned one on Sept 14th.  His first year has been an amazing roller coaster ride!  He was born at 36 wks and spent his first 9 days in the NICU.  We brought him home with an apnea monitor and our life felt controlled at times by the alarms.  He had at least one “real” apnea alarm every day.  It became exhausting and emotionally draining feeling like I was just “waiting” for him to stop breathing.  Ask any mom what one of her biggest fears is and she will most likely tell you her fear is that her baby would stop breathing during the night.  Well, for 12 weeks I had to put my baby to bed every night KNOWING that he would stop breathing.  Guess that would explain my obsession with his monitor and how before bed I would check the plug in the outlet, check to make sure the belt was tight enough on his chest, and lay in bed and watch the blinking lights on the monitor. 

At 7 wks J4 got a cold and as a result he stopped breathing over 30 times in a 24 hr period.  He was admitted to the PICU at Scottish Rite and we spent the next week at the hospital.  He recovered fully and by 12 wks of age he just stopped having the apnea, literally overnight!  He continued to wear the apnea monitor until he was 8 mos old.  His pediatrician was awesome and she told me, “We will keep him on the monitor as long as you want to, you will know when it is time to take him off.”  And I did, mother’s instinct I guess. 

Then we got to move on to his eye problems!  At 7 months old he was diagnosed with farsightedness, well above what would be considered acceptable for a baby his age.  Apparently some level of farsightedness is normal in young children, I didn’t know this.  He was followed by his PO (pediatric opthamologist) and when there was no “natural correction” of his vision by age 11 months he was prescribed glasses.  Convincing a 1 yr old that he needs to wear glasses is a daily battle.  Our hope is that we will be able to prevent his precious eyes from crossing due to the farsightedness.  At our last appt the PO  warned me not to be surprised or upset (yea, right) over the next few months when I see his eyes cross.  He said that most likely his eyes will cross some, but should be straight when his glasses are on.  In fact, he told me not to even call him unless his eyes were still crossing with the glasses on.  Heartbreaking.  J4 would be the 5th generation in our family with strabismus, at least as far back as we can count.  But, it could be worse, this is correctable and he is a strong little man! 

 Now at 14 mos, J4 is showing some signs that he may start walking soon!  His biggest motivation is keeping up with the older three!  He is a joy to his dad and I, even at 2,3 and4 am when he wakes up crying for his paci!  We could never imagine our family without our precious blond haired, blue eyed, glasses wearing, fit throwing, jabber talking little man!

It has become tradition for Nana Sue to write a poem to be included on each of the grand children’s 1st birthday invitations.  Here is J4′s poem:

There is one little guy, Justin Timothy by name, whose tale must really be told.
The events still amaze us, astonish and astound us, as they continue to daily unfold.

If you start at his birth, write it all down, and go all the way through today
There are not enough books or lines in a poem to portray

The joys and the fears that have gripped at our hearts
And sent our emotions clear off of the charts!!

He looked so small in those hospital beds even under the greatest of care
We felt so helpless we could only bow down and appeal to our God in prayer.

His life, Dear God, is what we ask; Your breath is what he needs.
Just let us take him home even with the wires, the monitor and the leads.

A myriad of issues with eating and such, and sometimes he would forget to breathe.
We were extremely happy when, later in the year, he actually remembered to teethe!

So it’s been a whole year, and those first few months have almost faded away.
Now, if his Mommy is not fast enough, he will bang a spoon on his highchair tray.

You see — he’s here and intending to stay.  Did we think he wouldn’t recover?
“Excuse me,” he says. “There’s no time to lose.  I’ve got a whole world to discover.”

Now put on his glasses — he may wear them or not.  He’s calling the shots nowadays.
And he’ll do whatever a fourth child must do to get his attention and praise.

Like grabbing Daddy’s head with his two hands and pulling him face to face
Then Dad’s heart will melt and Justin will giggle while granting this slobbery embrace.

So smash your cake little just and fair one.  That’s one dessert you really rate.
And then continue to amaze and impress us with every exploit small and great.

For as it is written, the just shall live by faith.  And our little Justin will do no less.
Go forth, little guy, and take your place — our lives and your family to bless.

We love you little man!

I will have a second post with the pictures from J4′s one year photo session(s) :)