Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eden Nicole

A bit ago I posted a blog with pictures of the twins. I distinctly remember saying I would need to do a blog about Eden. So, here it is!
I don't have any really good pictures of my baby belly with Eden. I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to make sure that I had some. I see a lot of studios doing "maternity" shots these days and really wish that I had done that in the last trimester of both pregnancies, but... you can't turn back time and as much as I LOVE being pregnant,(yes, I really did say LOVE in big capitol letters) I don't think Mike is ready for another baby and truthfully, I don't think I am either. Three is good. (Not that I would be devastated by another pregnancy. I would love that baby just as much as the other three.) Here is about the best picture I have of the "Eden" belly. This is about 5 weeks before Eden was born.
On February 6, 2001 I went to the OB's office for my weekly check and while I was there mom and I asked her how big she thought the baby would be, she measured my belly and asked me what size shoe I wear. I know this seems like a totally irrelevant question, but I want all you mommies to think about this one. I told her I wear between a 7 and 7 1/2 and she told me the baby would be within a pound of that, plus or minus. She then sent me to the hospital (which is just across the street from her office) and had them monitor me. That was around 11 am on the 6th. They started me on pitocin at about 5:30 p.m. and I told Dr. Borden that I would see her later. She was going to be able to get some sleep after the baby was born. She just gave me that "you're going to be disappointed, but I hope you're right" look and told me that if I delivered before noon on Wednesday that she would be there to deliver the baby. (During the ultrasound, I only had one with Eden, she sat with her legs crossed the whole time and when we started recording, she decided to take a nap so we didn't know the sex for sure until she was born. I did have the feeling that it was a girl from about 20 weeks on though) They called Dr. Borden around 11:30 p.m. and Eden was born at 12:03 a.m. at 21 1/2 inches long and 8 lbs, 3 oz. (Remember what I said about my shoe size? Weird huh?) She was so beautiful from the very beginning. Perfect complexion, all ten fingers and toes and a great set of pipes for letting us know that she was hungry. I nursed her almost immediately and she latched right on, so it was a huge disappointment the next day when I couldn't get her to do it for anything. Thank God for lactation consultants. She came right in, grabbed Eden's little head and my breast and popped it right in, from that point on we had very little trouble getting the job done! I love this picture of us. It's our first family picture and Michael was in awe of that tiny bundle, he refused to look away from her for this picture, even when my mom begged. I love it even if I do look like a swollen whale!

Eden Nicole. I guess I should go on and mention that Eden's name did not come from the bible even if it seems like it. When I was a teen, mom loved her soaps and Days of Our Lives was her favorite. I developed a love for Santa Barbara. It didn't run for very long, but I remember it well and the most beautiful people on that show were Eden and Cruz Castille. That is where Eden's name came from and I told my two best friends in high school, "When I have my kids, my little girl's name will be Eden Nicole and my little boys name will be Tyler" I didn't have a middle name picked out yet. As everyone who knows me knows, I got both and a little surprise with the boys which turned out to be called Jacob.
This was her first Derby hat!

Eden had colic for about 6 weeks, however, we discovered that if we got her to sleep before 9:30 she slept right through the "colic hours". Every night for 4 weeks she would cry incessantly for 3 hours from Midnight to 3 a.m. Nothing helped, not rocking, walking, bouncing, swinging, not white noise, NOTHING would soothe her. I know now that her having colic was preparing me for life with twin boys. After the colic stage, she was the best baby. Always smiling and giggling and loved to play. The only complaint would be that she wanted to be constantly entertained, and really, what kind of complaint is that? I miss those days where I was her entire world and her happiness in life revolved around me and her daddy, and boy does her daddy adore her!

This is Christmas of 02 which makes her almost 3. Look how curly her hair is. It was so cute! Her hair has a few small curls left at her temple and the base of her neck when it's humid and about to rain, but that's all that's left of all this curl.
This is one of my favorite pictures of me and Eden together.

Before we washed her hair and after we washed it. It was so long and you couldn't even tell.

I just like this one. She looks so sweet. Her pillow is in our bed because, until the "twin belly" got to big to manage while laying down, Eden slept between us. That was a huge transition for all of us, but I couldn't handle that bony little butt floppin' over in the middle of the night and hitting my belly. It hurt like crazy!
All decked out in Tinkerbell. Waiting for daddy to get home so we can trick or treat.

Christmas the year before the twins came. Look how beautiful her hair is. It's still shiny and think and pretty, but I miss the curls and so does she.

Her fourth birthday, the last before her whole world changed. She was the center of our universe. We revolved around her and I'm sorry to say that once the twins came, she couldn't be that center anymore and it was a hard adjustment for her and for us. I spent a lot of time feeling so guilty. I remember having her come in and sit next to me, just so that I could see her and spend a little time with her. The twins still require a huge amount of my attention because they both have to be watched constantly but I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel and I do try to take time to just have a Eden and Mom day when we can carve out the time. It's been a while and we are definitely due, but the boys are getting older and they are playing better and getting into things less often so it's becoming easier to divide my time more equally between all three kids. We're not completely there yet, but I'm hoping that once the boys start pre-school in the fall, we will be ready to handle a more even balance.

I took this last picture of Eden today. She's still the prettiest little girl I know, and I know that I am biased because I'm her mom, but we still have perfect strangers come up to us all the time to tell us how pretty she is. I couldn't agree more!

To my beautiful baby girl. I love you so much. I wouldn't trade you for the world, you are sweet and sassy and sometimes a pain in the butt but I love you and I love who you are and the young lady you are becoming. You are a great big sister and I know that your brothers are a huge pain in your behind, but they love you and everyday I see you becoming the best big sister two little boys could have! :o* (kisses)

Editor's note: I noticed this morning that soon, my little girl won't be a little girl for much longer. The shirt she had on was a little to tight and mom's notice things. :o)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm not dead!

The title is a nod to Monty Python movies and I felt it appropriate for someone who used to blog every night and hasn't since last Thursday. I've been a little busy and I haven't felt all that great either.
I'm better now and ready to start blogging again.
Mom is much better now. She up and around and feeling good enough to watch my boys again, which is a really great thing. I appreciate that my mother in law is willing to help out at a moments notice, but when the kids are with her, they tend to get away with more than they do when they are with my mom. They railroad the MIL and get away with it because they use those cute little puppy dog eyes and those super cute smiles.

He was being a complete little turd in this picture and look at that smile. I know at least two of you are going, "Ahhh, he's so cute." Yes, he's cute, but it's so that I don't kill him! LOL

And then we have Tyler, who is double trouble, because he has the golden brown eyes perfect for giving puppy dog eyes and the sweet little smile. Thankfully, he is the more well behaved of the two. They have flopped on me several times since they were babies as to who was the easier of the two and who was more laid back. I have a feeling that the personalities are pretty much here to stay at this point. It's probably a good thing, because, for as sweet as Tyler can be, he has a filthy temper and can be down right hateful at times. Luckily he seems to be pretty sweet natured most of the time, because when he's being mean, he's really REALLY mean.

We took the kiddos to the zoo on Saturday. We were going to go with Louise when she was in town, but didn't get to make it because of the nasty weather that was forecast. I'm glad that they went on Thursday and were able to enjoy the nice weather, our outing to the Huber Orchard and a planned visit to the waterfront park was cut short by a nasty storm on Friday. So of course, because we didn't go to the zoo, my kids don't see it as, "we did something fun, we shouldn't beg to go somewhere else too" they have been asking to go ever since and we finally made it over there. Admission to the zoo is astronomical! $11.95 per adult and $8.95 for kids 3 and over. It was going to be $50 to take them in. Instead of paying $50, we paid $75 and go a membership to the zoo. $25. more to go back as many times as we want for the next 365 days starting on Saturday! It was a no brainer!

For the first time since they opened the exhibit, we were able to take the boys into the Lorikeet landing and let them feed the birds some nectar. We took the train down, and right back up after the lorikeets, the big hills in the zoo. I was able to completely avoid them! Yeah me!!!

Here I am feeding the lorikeets. The boys wouldn't hold the nectar cups because they were a little afraid of the birds actually landing on them. They did however, want to pet the pretty little birdies and of course, the trainer had to keep telling them, "Don't touch them, I don't want them to bite you, they don't know that you are nice and don't want to hurt them. They don't like to be petted."
OK, whether you call these guys Zaboo from Zaboombafu or King Julian from Madagascar, these little guys are pretty cute. They had all been taking a nap and the two in the back were just finishing up a big yawn. The one in front was sitting there like that and I just kept waiting for him to do something obscene that I would have to cover eyes up over. Thankfully, it didn't happen and they decided it was time to get up and play.

The newest zoo baby. I don't know if you can zoom in on this picture or not, but if you can, you can see the lioness' in the background sunning on the rock.

For the first time that I can remember, the male lion was out and about in their "pride" and this was taken on the tail end of a big yawn. I guess all the animals were just waking up from nap time when we got there. Here are a few more picture of him that I just love. They are such beautiful and majestic creatures.

I LOVE this shot. I think this is why they call a lion's territory a "Pride"! It's a shame he's a predator, because I really just wanted to climb in there and pet him.
Well, that's all for now. I have more pictures from the trip that I want to post but they will have to wait. Michael is waiting for me so that we can watch American Idol. I want to see if Kris can out sing Adam for the third week in a row! ;o)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My vehicle

My sister in law has been driving a Toyota 4 Runner for a long time. Mike and I have borrowed it on several occasions and I really loved it from the very beginning. I've wanted one since the first time that we took it.
Now, I have a Toyota Sequoia. I LOVE THIS CAR!!! It's a 4 Runner, monster sized! Of course, I have three little monsters I have to haul around in it. It's also nice for times when we want to go out with friends, it seats 8 comfortably! Did I mention I love this car???

Since we bought it, we have discovered a few minor problems, but nothing that I can't live with. For instance, the speedometer says that I am only going 40 when I'm in fact moving 10 miles an hour faster, this is true at all speeds. When I'm going 5 miles an hour, (like this happens anytime other than pulling out of the drive) it doesn't even register that I am moving.

Just last week. I discovered that the drivers side mirror was broken. How could I miss something like a broken mirror you ask? Well. I took it to the car wash on Saturday and Sunday, after it was sunny and warm, I found the mirror broken on the ground, the mirror that was covering the broken mirror. Guess how I fixed this problem. I found a web site that sells pre-cut mirrors, the perfect size, and I did the same exact thing. Here are a few before and after shots.

Not conducive to the "mirror picture method" that Louise came up with. Props to Louise, because, I got this really cute picture of Tyler I'll be sharing in just a sec.

Here's one of me in the newly repaired mirror. My reflection through the open door.

Here's that really cute picture of Tyler. This was the look on his face when he first saw daddy when Mike got back from Bowling Green and the Diesel Drag Races.

And after he found out I was taking pics of him in the mirror.

Stealing from Louise's book again. Here is a picture for today. This is from the rose bush on the corner of my house. We have several folks that drive by our house, just to see if this rose bush is blooming. I gave it to my mother in law for Mother's day a long time ago and it's still blooming like crazy every year.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I know it's late

I know it's late, and I'm tired but I wanted to let everyone know that mom is doing good. She's home and she's still sore and not feeling great but she's doing OK.
I just got home from work. I went back in around 9 so that I could do some catching up. I was way behind and being in that position is a little scary for me. I don't like not knowing if there is something coming up that I'm about to miss and I try really hard to keep up so that things don't fall through the cracks and cause the dreaded call from the Courthouse. I'm so excited to finally have some company in the office and I'm really looking forward to having a receptionist to handle the calls, calendaring appointments and answering the door when clients come in. I think this is going to be so helpful. I will be able to concentrate on work and if I'm to busy I'll be able to have them sent to my voice mail so that I can return calls when I'm not right in the middle of a project. So happy about that new addition too! :o) Thanks Mickey!
Soon, I'll get completely caught up and I won't be in a mad rush to get things done and I'll be able to get back to posting pictures in my blog and enjoying the fact that spring has officially sprung and it's been beautiful weather, even if we do have to pay two days of rain for every time we get a pretty one. I'm so over the "occasional storms"!
By the time I publish this blog it will be Thursday, so happy Thursday to everyone and weekend, here we come, thank goodness!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Family Update

Because I know that my family follows this blog, I'm am posting here about my mom.

Mom watches my twins for me while I'm at work and yesterday afternoon she took them to the White Castle to get them some lunch, she had two hamburgers and a handful of fries. A few weeks ago she had to have a scan done for a routine check up and they told her that she had gall stones. Boy did she ever.
At 4:30 yesterday she called me at work to tell me that she was going to the ER because she was doubled over in pain. She had several doses of "high octane" pain meds and nothing was helping to relieve the pain. They decided to admit her to the hospital at 10 last night. It was near 12 am before they got her to a room. The did a scan on her this morning and decided to remove her gall bladder.
Around 2:15 this afternoon they took her to surgery to determine whether they could do surgery with the scope or if they needed to actually cut her open and remove it because it was "shredded". Luckily they were able to remove it with the scope and she should be coming home tomorrow around lunch time.
I just wanted to let everyone know that she came through like a champ and when I left the hospital at 8 she was sitting up in the bed and eating a few graham crackers. She should be up and around by the weekend.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Family Fun

I'm so excited I got to spend some time with my cousin who's in from Tennessee and her kiddos. Louise, they were all so well behaved and they are absolutly adorable!

I'm pretty impressed with myself too! I actually kept the twins straight all day! I loved it when Natalie came over and started checking my pockets for tokens to ride the tractors. That was so cute!

I can't believe they only had three of these tractors, but they actually did pretty good taking turns. We only had one major meltdown and it was pretty short lived.

He's not real good at sharing, but then again, my boys aren't much on sharing either.

I think the kids really liked feeding the goats. Poor May May was the only one who had a goose mishap. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from that area.

Sweet little Conner, thinking about kissing the goat, since that's what his mommy suggested. Then he decided to just pet his ear.
Natalie and Conner getting corn to feed the animals. I think they are feeding the deer in this one.
Tyler petting the baby goat. This one was just his size and stood at the fence and let him pet him for a long time.
Jacob, just like his daddy, always in a hurry to get somewhere. Isn't he precious? Looks just like his daddy!

I love this picture of Regan, she was watching the other kids on the tractors and when I said her name, she turned to me and smiled right before I shot this picture. She knows when there is a camera on her! I also noticed that she is a big helper! She rode with Conner, because he couldn't quite reach the pedal to make it go and she was happy to let him steer while she pushed the button. Such a big girl!
Sweet little Madyson, I don't think she felt very good, but she was so good. I took her to the pedal cars and helped her and Regan go around the track once. The pedal cars are a little to big for the smaller kids, but her and Regan had so much fun, and she didn't even get upset when Regan started saying "I'm winning!" Mady was so sweet, she was happy for her sister.
Eden, the oldest on the trip today, she did so good with the younger kids, here she is waiting patiently for her turn. I know that I am biased because she's mine, but I still think that she is so beautiful. Sometimes, I forget just how pretty she is, and I love days like today, because they bring out the little bit of natural curl left in her hair. Couldn't you just drown in those deep brown eyes?

Here's Louise helping Dalton over the little tractor bridge. This was before the meltdown, when he was still being really good.

And little Mady who was just content to sit in the stroller. I think she actually fell asleep in it not to long after this picture.

Aren't these some of the most precious kids you've ever seen!?! We "Smith" girls sure do make pretty babies! This includes yours Amy, you just weren't here for me to take pictures of them too! I hope you can make it up, or I can make it down there soon and I'll get pictures of your kiddos too! Louise, I have a ton more pictures that turned out so good. I'll send them to you if you want. Just let me know. Here's the last one I want to post. I love the look on Conner's face. Michael took this picture and the look on his face is just so precious!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No particular reason was the original title to this post.

After writing this post, I now need to change the title to:
Fair Warning! If you are at all an emotional person, you might need a Kleenex. The end of this blog got a little more mushy than I originally intended. I saw this picture again and the thoughts and feelings just started pouring out and I had to tell them.
So, I'm sitting here tonight trying to decide what I should blog about and I've looked back on the previous posts and discovered a few things.

1. That Amy posted some really great pictures of Aunt Sally's yard. I do love the color palette with the bird bath and the flowers. It's absolutely stunning! Also, I love lady bugs. They are the prettiest little bugs. That bright, shiny red shell and the black spots. I don't care so much for the little beetles that look like lady bugs but aren't though. I'm pretty sure those little boogers bite! Anyway, Amy, I was telling you about focusing on something big and then removing the big thing and taking the shot to get a focused lady bug. Here's the shot I took last year, when we first got the big camera. I really love this picture and remember thinking it was a professional grade shot when I took it. Even though it at this point I know it could be even more focused.

Here are a few more shots that were taken shortly after we bought the camera. I loved the color of these clover. I had no idea that clover came in red. I thought they were either white or purple, and the locust shell is just so cool. I can't wrap my head around how they manage to emerge from this shell and it remain intact. If you look close you can see the tiny hairs stuck in the shell.

and 2. That I posted about Hidden Hill Nursery the other day and only posted a few pictures and didn't really go into a lot of detail about the place.

I can't begin to tell you how many acres it is. A land surveyor I'm not. But, it is a rather large property in Utica that is just a truly great spot. As I said before, Bob Hill was a Courier Journal columnist, so basically he's a local celebrity, and he has opened his home, at least the outdoor areas of it, to the public. I could honestly go up to this place every weekend and just relax under the shade trees and listen to this small, man made pond.

It's such a peaceful spot and listening to the water trickle is just so soothing. I could use a little soothing place of my own right now. Of course, the boys are already asleep and Eden is getting ready for bed and will be asleep with in just a few min. of her head hitting the pillow. She hasn't always been so quick to fall asleep, but she has always been a good sleeper. I wish I could say the same for my boys. Almost 4 years without a full nights sleep and some days I wonder if I'll make it to the next. They are a blessing and I love them all. I just wish they would learn to sleep better and stay in their beds.

For Louise, I think that the tree you posted not to long ago, that you want to plant in the back yard once you get clearance, was a pink dogwood. I could be mistaken, but, I am posting a picture of this dogwood because I thought it was so pretty. The petals of the flowers are doubled in the blooms.

I stood under this tree forever with the camera pointed into the sun, trying so hard to get the perfect shot. It never came, but it was a valiant effort! ;o)

The picture above was taken on the grounds of the church that we shot the wedding at. I've started experimenting with reflection shots. Again, I send a shout out to Louise, I was inspired by your April Showers submission to the photo contest.

This little bird is perched on the corner of a large grave stone outside the church, I thought that it was precious.

The story behind this picture is this. When we arrived at the church/cemetery to take some test shots of the area so that we could prepare for the wedding the next day, I got out of my car and was instantly drawn by the beauty of these two brilliant red roses and the stark contrast between their color and the cool gray of the grave stone. We all went into the church, walked the grounds, I took the picture above, several in the church, but continued to be drawn back to this stone. It was just off the access road where the "chapel parking" was marked. The more I walked the grounds, the more I wanted to go back. The name Lenz is not significant to my family that I am aware of. However, once I went back and took this, and a few other pictures of this grave, I finally took note of the inscription on the stone. Mr. and Mr. Lenz were married in 1940 and both of them passed, within just a few months of each other, in 1998. I am emotional looking at this picture and telling you the story behind it. The reason for this emotion is that I truly believe that Michael and I share the love that it requires to be married to one another for 58 years and it is my sincere hope, that should we both make it to our 60's, 70's, or 80's like this couple, that if he goes before me, that I follow shortly, because, I just can't see my life without him and, to me, the fact that this couple died so closely together, says that they shared a deep and profound love that is very rare in these times when divorce is such an easy thing to do. I know that occasionally, Michael makes it in here to read some of my blogs. I hope that he sees this one and knows that he is the love of my life, and I know that we have had our ups and downs and that more are sure to be just around the corner, but I can't see my life without him and really don't care to.

I love you baby!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Long weekend with little accomplished.

This weekend was a good one. We were pretty busy, but did nothing that needed to be done at the house. Go figure. Saturday, when it was actually kinda nice out, instead of planting my flowers and putting down the weed blocking material and mulch, we went to Hidden Hill nursery. It is a beautiful spot in Utica, Indiana owned by Courier Journal columnist, Bob Hill. I don't know if he still does the column or not. I don't think so. Anyway, it's just an indescribably beautiful place and you can get some really spectacular pictures up there because it is a truly magnificent spot!
This is just one of the hundreds of Iris' planted on the grounds up there. So pretty. Look at the droplets of water! Here is a picture of one of the ENORMOUS hostas. The water droplets on this leaf look like diamonds shining in the sun!
And check out this beautiful old door that opens up to a small stretch of heaven on earth.

We also went with my sister-in-law, Glenda, and shot a Sunday wedding. It was my first time shooting a wedding and man is it way more stressful that I ever thought it could be. To top off the fact that it was stressful, we had "the best friend" who did the brides hair and makeup, there with her camera and we (the hired photographer) had to wait our turn each time to take a picture because "the one" was in the way. How very frustrating! If it had been me that was actually hired to take the pictures little Ms. Thing would have gotten an earful! Glenda is way nicer than I am! Anyway, it was a beautiful little church in Kentucky and we got some really cool shots. I can't wait to see the ones Glenda took. Here are a few that Michael and I took and at the very end, a macro that Michael shot of the bible that is literally padlocked shut on one of the podiums at the church.

I have a picture like this one of mine and Michael's rings and it's one of my favorites.

And last, but far from the least, (we shot over 200 pics) here is a macro I shot of the cake. I think it looks delicious!