Monday, August 31, 2009

Tummy Tuesday

One of the first rules of writing is write about what you know. If there is one thing that in the last 13 years I have become somewhat of an expert on it is the blissful state of pregnancy. I know a lot of new moms who are anxious, excited and generally crapping their pants about not only becoming a mother but having their body taken over for the next nine months. Over the next few Tuesdays I will take you through the wondrous process of pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. This is all the things that I wish someone would have told me before I got pregnant.

The first doctor's appointment

Congratulations! You have officially discovere that you are pregnant. With technology we can now find out within days that indeed your are with child! Your mind is buzzing. You find people talk to you and your mind is off somewhere calculating dates, thinking of baby names, and every time you think of that little creature growing inside of you a secret smile comes to your face. You may already be experiencing morning sickness, bloating, and the sense of smell of a drug sniffing airport dog. I got caught by my next door neighbor the second time I was pregnant because of this interesting early side effect of pregnancy. I opened the door to her house and walked in to the most amazing smell from the kitchen. I exclaimed, "that smells so amazing!" She replied,"How many months are you?" I have always been a lousy secret keeper but she saw through me instantly and I told her I would have to go home and break the news to my mom since I hadn't told her yet! On the other hand things that smell yucky are also amplified a million times. With my last pregnancy everything smelled like armpits, butt and dog pee which only aggravated my weak stomach.

If this is your first pregnancy you will probably run to the doctor the day after you pee on the stick. It seems a bit less urgent with subsequent pregnancies as you realize no matter how soon you go you are still going to be pregnant for the next nine months. Going to the doctor that first time when you are pregnant is a bit overwhelming and is a lot like going on a first date. You think to yourself as you are I wear the socks or take them off? Do I shave or don't I shave? You may think this may be a good place to drag your husband but trust me he has done his part and won't be any good to you now at least until your first craving for ice cream and burgers at midnight. Prepare yourself for some poking and proding including a breast exam, pelvic exam and being weighed and measured. Only a few of those things usually happen on a first date but all of them happen on your first doctor's exam. If this is not your first pregnancy I would suggest taking your other child to a sitter for this appointment. We walked into my first appointment and Carson asked the doctor, "are you and my mom going to make a baby?" I found it is hard to explain to a two year old why I was peeing in a cup and is he allowed to do that when you get home, (at least he was able to pass me toilet paper under the door because there wasn't any in the stall), why I was taking your pants off in public when you have told him over and over and over to leave his pants on, why on earth I was on that table and what is that guy doing to me with that popsicle stick!

My advice is to enjoy every stage of pregnancy. I have been guilty of announcing to the world two minutes after I was pregnant but there is something wonderful about you and your partner sharing in that knowledge that your entire lives are going to change in unexpected and wonderful ways over the next few months and for the rest of your lives. It is fun to have that secret just between the two of you. When I found out I was pregnant with Ellie, Pat and I kept it to ourselves for quite a long time and when we finally did tell our families my brother didn't have much to say other than, "you know you can do that just for fun."

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Elizabeth Stone

School Daze!

The first day of school at our house. We all get up together and take the kids to school and do the traditional first day picture. This year there were no tears because oddly enough we were the first people at the school! The doors were even still locked. When Levi starts at the comp we will probably have to be there by 5am to avoid embarrassment.

Kelsey is so proud of his watch he got for his birthday and it also proves we were inside by 8:03.
We probably would have been there even earlier but I did my hair for the special occassion....Why do I bother? It still looks a little like I had a rat sleep in it. I really need to learn how to do my hair!

With over half the kid population of our house gone and Ellie asleep I was actually able to spend some time with Carson making cookies! He gets to crack the eggs with the older kids aren't around. Can you guess if he is happy?

This is the waiting for the bus dance. Oh yeah oh yeah.

I don't know maybe he just had to pee.
So excited!!

Hey Kelsey, what time is it?

Time to put your shirt on right side out.

Before you look at these pictures I want you to know these images were not staged or retouched. This is not a re-enactment. This is actually how my almost 13 year old eats cookies. We told him he can't go on a date until he can eat without getting food on himself so I think we will be safe for a few years!

This is Levi's daily planner. He just randomly writes notes on himself.

Hey Levi I am right with you!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lunch Date.

Daphne is the mildest most wonderful dog with our kids. When Ellie was smaller she could find her anywhere in the house we had laid her down for a sleep and she would snuggle up right beside her. She is very protective of Ellie when other dogs are around. Daphne also likes to hang out under Ellie's highchair and what for her to toss her something from the tray. Well it is only right if Daphne shares her food with Ellie too....Right?

It was only a matter of time since Ellie stated crawling that she was going to find the dog food at the back door and help herself.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Last Day of Summer Holidays!

My mom always told me, "The good lord knew what he was doing when he made you pregnant for nine months." By the time the nine months is over you are so tired and miserable you just want is to be over. I would say the same thing is true for summer holidays. Today is the last day of our kid's summer holidays and it also happens to be Kelsey's sixth birthday. I decided last night that I was going to spend the day enjoying every minute of the last day before school (wrong), I wasn't going to yell (wrong), I wasn't going to do any work (wrong), and I was going to be just a ball of sunshine.

While I was giving the baby a tub a magazine phoned to ask about wedding images. Ellie was eating soap and crying. While I was chatting with a client and getting Ellie dressed upstairs, the other kids were downstairs making chocolate milk while digging through their previously neatly organized school supplies eating chocolate cake for breakfast. I guess it does have cereal and peanut butter so that counts right? (This was Pat's creation from last night when I was at ladies night golfing. Last week it was rice pudding. ) And who is the one who made the mess on the cupboard? Not me, or me and it sure wasn't me. There was a lot of finger pointing but the chocolate on the face gave it away.

So Carson you have no idea who could have made that chocolate mess?

Pat's own recipe for heart attack cake......

After an awesome play date with friends we headed out to do errands when I yet again took myself out of the running for mother of the year. Now before I tell you this story I know you are going to ask yourself why on earth would anyone tell a story like this? Well over the last few weeks I have had a number of moms in person or through email tell me that my stories make them smile. Somehow my incompetence and misery is funier from the outside looking in or lets people know well at least that didn't happen to me. So I can't believe I am going to tell you this but here is Pentamom confession number 286. I had errands to run and there is an age old debate. Do you drag four kids in and out of the vehicle to drop something off or do you run in and out?

Well I had four kids in the van the oldest being almost eight, the airconditioning running, the dvd playing a movie, everyone buckled in and the doors locked as I have the extra set of keys. Should be a no brainer to run in and hand an envelope across a desk right?
Well I finished my last delivery and yeah we are off to the park. I drive to the park and unload three kids when to my absolute horror one of them is missing! I look across to the park....did he slip past me? I look in his seat... I look back to the park... I look in the way back of the vehicle. Now picture yourself being one of the mothers across in the park as I start yelling at the top of my lungs to my kids crossing the street....."Do you know where Carson is? " Olivia nonchalantly calls back to me, "Oh yeah I forgot to tell you he got out at the Credit Union downtown." Got out downtown. There are three rows of seats in the vehicle and I hadn't even realized he was gone.
Then like the lady from the Ikea comercials who yells isanely for her husband to "start the car" I scream like a wild woman at my kids "Get in the car, get in the car" I was so near a heart attack I couldn't even breathe. My hands shook as I called the Credit Union and I said, "is this Mike you have to help me I think Carson is somewhere in the Credit Union."
Now you have to understand that my husband and I are two completely opposite people he is the pot and I am the lid. We couldn't get more different but we compliment eachother perfectly. He is pretty used to the crazy after 10 years of being together but I try not to take the crazy on the road and I especially try to keep the crazy out of his work. Well the phone rang and it was Pat. "May I please speak to Carson?" I breathed a sigh of relief. "Who has him" I asked. He had gone into the Credit Union and went up the elevator to the second floor to get his brother a balloon for his birthday. There he was with Pat's boss. Chalk one up for the crazy wife. They were all great and I had to go downstairs and call off the search for the two foot redhead with no shoes!!
We resumed the birthday with supper celeberations at the modern family resteraunt. It was awesome and as you can see I have a very limited wardrobe and I have worn the same shirt in the last three posts I have appeared in.
The first piece of pizza landed on the phone.
Move it along stranger danger.
Ohh Ellie I can't believe you fell for the "try this lemon" trick.
I ended the night with the playschool meeting where after having kids in playschool for six years I was the one mom who showed up with no checkbook. The teacher talked about how the kids and parents go through a hard time saying goodbye and there will be tears when you drop them off for the first time. I know Carson and I will say "see ya later!" and we will both be smilin!
That's all from the circus house for today. Just tucked kids in and double checked school supplies and get ready for the annual first day of school picture in front of the school with all my kids. Let's see if I can make it three for three years making Levi cry because his mom is embarassing with the camera and all the babies!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ahhh Rats

This summer one of my indulgences was to sit peacefully in the morning sun on the deck of the cabin and drink coffee and read a book. Yes a book with no pictures. I like to think that I look at the challenges in my world of five kids, a job, and a busy life in the way that Erma Bombeck does and the book I read was , "If life is like a bowl of cherries, then why am I in the pits?" I found it ironic that the first story I read in Erma's book was about Rats. I found the original published story from Wednesday 19, 1976 in the Eugene Oregon Newspaper I think it rings as true today as it did back when I was four!

You'll look a long time before you find a more decadent group than research rats or mice.

Throughout the years these furry swingers have been plied with booze, pot, cigarettes, birth control pills, too much sun, cyclamates, caffeine, raucous music at ear-splitting decibels, late hours and a steady diet of snack food.

All this should leave people with some unanswered questions.

First how come there are still more rats and mice than people?

Secondly, how come you never see an iron-starved, dull listless mouse drag around the house? They sprint from one place to another like Edith Bunker.

Third, did you ever see a mouse with a salad in one hand and a calorie counter in the other? Yet did you ever see a fat mouse?

Have you ever yelled at a rat and had him say, "huh?"

These unanswered questions really bother me because every time I turn around a new research study is taking away something that has made my life infinitely more pleasant in the past but in the future is going to make me sick.

The latest of these is Red Dye No 1, a man-made color additive found in lipstick and rouge. According to researches, controlled tests on hundreds of rats and mice brought a ban on the dye by the Food and Drug Administration.

Mayva and I discussed it over coffee. "Be hones, Mayva, have you ever seen mouse drop dead with lipstick on his teeth?"

"Actually, the mice under my sink have always been what my Avon lady would describe as 'understated.'"

"Why do I have the feeling we are in a rat race and the rats are having all the fun? I mean you only go around once in this life, Mayva and you ought to be able to do it with gusto."

"Did I tell you about the research rat who had everything tested on him from artificial sweeteners to bread preservatives to foot fungus viruses to the brutal subway experiment and survived them all? A researcher figured he was something of a super rat and took him home as a pet for the kids. Within three months, this indestructible rat was dead!"

"What happened?" I asked?

"Drove in the car one day with the family's teenage son and had a heart attack."

I shook my head. " I'm for research Mayva, but that's cruel.

So there you have it. The solution to Swift Current's rat problem....bring them all to my house. I am not sure they would be able to survive. Or at least they would be out of everyone elses hair. Levi could be all rebellious and keep one as a pet to gross out girls, his grandma, and most of all me (this would ensure that I stayed out of his room for good) Then maybe he could quit calling me the "mean buzz kill mom" for not letting me bring home the wiener dog he fell in love with on his summer holiday.

Olivia could dress them up in bows and dresses and they act out scenes from Hanna Montana. Kelsey and Carson could do probably a million things with a rat just give them a chance. And last my sweet little Ellie I can picture it now like all the reports of a rat in bed with someone, I would open the nursery door in the morning and there would be Ellie petting a rat saying , "Nice Kitty , Nice Kitty!"

I do hope we find a way to get the rats out of Swift Current but let me tell you if they are still around come April 1st I am going to have some fun with rubber rats around my house for April Fools Day. I guess we gotta laugh about it!!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Well it has been 15 months since I bought my video camera. I have lost and found the cord to charge the camera at least three times, lost the camera a couple of times, lost my mind a couple of times but I have finally figured out how to upload the videos to my computer and now onto the net! Pentamom in HD could be scary!

Now we can forever look back on the good times...Here is Ellie's first tub.

And remember the days that weren't so good. This was one day in January when I was stuck in the house, Pat was out of town, it was 40 below and everyone was crying, the house was a mess, and there was a pile of laundry to do so instead of crying in a corner with a bottle of baha rosa I decided to video tape what a struggle being a mom at home can be. Here's to all of us who live through it.

Now to just figure out my blackberry, universal remote, digital picture frame, wireless internet................

Friday, August 21, 2009

Last full week of summer holidays

In an attempt to enjoy the last few days of summer holidays I took the kids golfing yesterday which is one of their favorite things to do. Kelsey always begs to do 18!

Ellie is almost asleep......

The golf is really only part of it. I think it is really all about the treats. The highlight is the snack shack on 6!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Location, Location, Location

Part of the fun of being a photographer is finding fabulous locations and doing a beautiful image, somtimes it is finding an ugly or suprising setting and doing something even more amazing. I am glad my clients trust me because I have asked people to pose in some pretty strange places and they don't know what it will look like in the end but they indulge me anyway.

I was out for a walk at the lake and spotted this area. As soon as I saw the flowers I was thinking about the shot I wanted to do with Ellie. When I showed the final image to people at the lake they asked, " Where did you find that field of flowers"

It seems when I get an idea in my head and decide to do it now there is no other time and it is going to get done even if it may not be logical. It poured for two days so even pushing the stroller in was a chore and then where I wanted to sit her was a mud pit so I just laid a blanket down.

Pat was so happy I wore his shoes.