How Unprofessional!

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve already heard about my experience with the photographer I booked for my maternity photoshoot. If you don’t follow me then let me fill you in. I booked the photographer in December. He was the same photographer we used with my first pregnancy. I loved the way the photos came out, so we decided to work with him again. Our original date was January 1st, we thought it would be the perfect day since my husband was off and the beach would probably be empty due to all of the partying most people were doing the night before. I obviously wasn’t worried about a hang over and we were told that we should be there around 3 to get the best lighting. So we had enough time to hang out, get ready, and then head over to the beach. Another reason why we chose this date was because the photographer said he was booked up until March for the weekends. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it that late in my pregnancy. I wanted to make sure I could walk without any help.  So we were happy with that date. 


I received a text from the photographer a few days before our session, he explained to me that the weather would be less than ideal to get some beautiful photos on the first. He said we had two options; (1) would be to reschedule, or (2) shoot at an earlier time. So me being the person that I am, I just said let’s do it earlier. I wanted to get it done, one less thing for us to worry about since it’s getting closer and closer to my due date. Plus my husband was off on a week day, so I wanted to take advantage of the circumstances. Then all of a sudden he stops texting. I had asked him for directions and asked if 11 am was early enough to get the best lighting. I was trying to be accommodating to both my husband and the photographer. It was New Year’s Eve, I didn’t want to cut anyone’s celebration short because we had to change the time of the photoshoot. But he didn’t respond. 


So again, I text him on the 31st. He finally responded with the directions and time. He said 10 am would be a good time. I asked my husband if that was too early and he said yes, that anything after 11 would be good. I asked about 12, the photographer said that he wanted to make sure we were getting what we paid for. That the golden hour look wouldn’t be possible that late. So I’m worried about how the photos will come out and was going back and forth on what we should do.  I’m a problem solver when it comes to things that I want. But, unfortunately, my efforts didn’t pay off this time. I was prepared to reschedule for another date, sometime in March. If I really wanted these photos, then I had to suck it up and get over being tired.  I knew the wobbling would be real and my achy bones would make the day uncomfortable, but it’s what I was willing to do to get these photos. And then, I was surprised to see that he could fit us in on the 19th of January. I was so excited, it was on a Saturday, still early enough for me to have fun on the shoot. No one’s plans were ruined and the husband wouldn’t have to take time off work. Or so we thought, sometimes my husband is schedule to work on Saturdays we just don’t know which ones until the week of. So I quickly agreed to book that date. At that point it was set. We were going to have our photoshoot on January 19th at the beach.  We just didn’t have a set time. That was the end of our communication until the week of our shoot.


I text him asking what time we should arrive so we weren’t late. I wanted to plan out our day and make sure my husband and I were on the same page of how things were going to go that day. But he didn’t respond. I waited a day to text him again about the time, still no answer. So now I’m freaking out. It’s the day before still nothing. I don’t hear from him until the day of our shoot, and it wasn’t good news. He told me that he had to cancel due to him having to work, that he started a new job and couldn’t request that time off. The thing that bothers me is that he waited until the day of our photoshoot to tell me that he had to cancel. I understand things come up, family, work, things that we can’t afford to miss. Which is why it was so frustrating for us having to hear the day of that we had to reschedule. My husband had to switch his schedule around to get this Saturday off.  Had we of known he was going to cancel a few days in advance, my husband would’ve been able to keep his original schedule and potentially taken a day off during the week. That really screwed us up. But even with how annoyed we both were, we still wanted to work with him.  We were jumping through hoops to book this photographer. I was going to change the location, making it a shorter commute.  My husband was prepared to take time off during the week. I really felt as though we were doing more than enough to accommodate him. Which isn’t our job, right? And the only reason why I was going through all of this trouble to book him was because I really did love our photos he did with my first pregnancy. I expected him to be cooperative. But if he was, then there would be no need to write this post. His unprofessionalism did not end there.  Instead, he ignored me and til this day I have not heard from him.  I was asking normal questions.  I asked when he was available during the week, what time would we have to be at the location so my husband could get off in time to make it there before the sun goes down. But he never replied.  And at that point all of our communication ended. I wasn’t going to beg him to take our photos, I didn’t want to put any more effort into booking this photographer than we already had. Disappointed, frustrated, I even felt disrespected. There was a lot of preparation that went into planning this photoshoot. I made Emerald a crown, I had gotten my nails done, I asked my brother to join us so he could help with watching Emerald when it came to taking the photos of just my husband and I. 

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All of these things that we had done in preparation for this shoot would now have to be done a second time at a later date with a different photographer. A complete waste of time and money. After reaching out to other photographers, we decided to take our maternity photos ourselves. I have the equipment, the only concern I had is the lack of experience. I’ve never done a photoshoot at the beach before and I’m afraid of the sun. I know that sounds odd, but normally I take my photos indoors, so the lighting is a little more controlled, and a lot more flattering since we have other objects the light can bounce off of and soften the light if it’s too harsh. I didn’t want to make the trip to the beach and come home with over exposed photos that we couldn’t use. I asked my husband if he really thought I could pull this off, and he reassured me that I could.  Plus, I told myself on New Years that I would try new things. This was a way for me to get out of my comfort zone and an opportunity to work on my skills. The only way I’m going to get better is if I get out there and actually start taking photos. So we packed up the car, with both of my brothers, one to make sure we were in focus and the other to watch our baby. It was an experience I definitely learned from, I now know we have to go later in the day. Make sure it’s not freezing, or windy. And the most important thing is forget about your surroundings, forget about who is watching and just have fun. I know that’s what holds me back 99% of the time.  However, I wasn’t going to let my insecurities get in the way of taking these photos. 

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Since this was the first time I took photos at the beach, they didn’t come out as I envisioned, which I expected. They weren’t horrible, but you could tell we were freezing and in a rush. It was windy, and that made it difficult to keep my hair out of my face.  The humidity caused my hair to frizz so all of those baby hairs made an appearance in every single photo. There was only a few photos that I felt were salvageable.  I didn’t get the golden hour look that is so popular or even that glamorous sun kissed softness. Instead the photos were a little over exposed and the contrast was high. But for my first try and having my two inexperienced brothers, control the camera they could’ve been worse. I asked my followers on Instagram if I should delete these and go ahead with booking a professional, but most said they were beautiful. That we didn’t need to hire a professional since these came out great. I was surprised that everyone had nothing but nice things to say about our photos, which made me that much more confident in trying again. This time, I’ll probably skip the extra little details that I had the first time. I might make Emerald another crown, but that’s it. I hope this weather clears up soon, or else we might have to settle with the photos we have.  Not that there’s anything wrong with these, I just wish I had more of Emerald and more of all three of us. Time is running out, so wish us luck!

Love, Mama.



Christmas Is Here, Let's Spread Some Cheer!

I’m back! 


Finally. I caught a cold that just won’t go away. But I refuse to let it get in the way of my holiday spirit! And now that we are in December, it’s time to get back to business. The shopping, rushing to meet deadlines, and planning all of the fun activities with my munchkin. I’m really excited for December. November was kind of slow which was different. But don’t get me wrong I love November and Thanksgiving, especially the delicious food. And I do appreciate the little break in between holidays, but I am ready for of the fun things coming this month. 


So for starters, I have a few photoshoots in the works for my munchkin. It’s a way for me to practice on doing some holiday photos. Testing the waters, so to speak, for when I finally have the courage to pursue a photography career. I’ve already started collecting some things for her photos and I’m curious to see how they’ll turn out. Three shoots in all.  So thats going to be fun and interesting. I was planning on doing another DIY photoshoot post just so I can show you guys all of the equipment I’m using this time, since there will be a few changes to my setup. But if her photos are a fail, then I won’t have to worry about writing one since I won’t be sharing. 


We are also planning a day trip to Disneyland this weekend before we’re blocked, and a day trip to Big Bear. She’s been obsessed with Frozen, so she’s been asking us to build a snowman just like Olaf. And every time we’re about to leave the house she asks if we’re going to the snow. I don’t know why, but she does. So I want to fulfill her little dream of going to the snow this year. And I’ll make sure we build her snowman, carrot nose and all. Anything I can do to make this holiday season as magical as I can for her. After all, that is my job. 

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Another job I have to do is all of the Christmas shopping. Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with shopping? Especially with online shopping. Most of my shopping was done online this year. The stress of putting the success of Christmas morning in the hands of a third party is insane. Wondering if you’ll receive your packages on time, in good condition, and wondering if they’ll fit. Oh, and the overwhelming feeling of fear of not receiving them at all. That can drive any normal person mad. You should see me; waiting by the door as if a stork was coming by with a precious little baby. That’s how serious it is. I have to say though, I am grateful that I was able to take advantage of Black Friday sales, since they were going on for an entire week. I thought that was amazing. I normally don’t shop Black Friday. I’m not that “die-hard” shopper looking for the best sales. Mainly because I don’t like to hold off on buying things until they go on sale. I’m always worried that the items I want will sell out before I get my hands on them, and I’m not big on alternatives. But this year the stores I’ve come to love on Instagram had discount codes they were offering. I saw that as an opportunity to save big on some really popular things I’ve been wanting. Those shops can get pretty expensive and most of the time it’s difficult to justify the price so waiting up until 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving night so I can score big on a Letterfolk board was totally worth it. While I was doing some Christmas shopping I also managed to pick up a few things for the new baby. Swaddle blankets from Little Unicorn, some outfits from Zara, and a baby monitor that was originally $150 but was on sale for $79.99. My husband laughs at me for buying baby stuff, but you have to take advantage of the sales for those types of things while you can. Especially since I’m not having a baby shower. Black Friday week was a success. I got a lot of shopping done and I’ve been receiving packages everyday since. Isn’t that just the best feeling?  

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Of course we need to take our munchkin to see Santa and visit the lights. Then decorate our Christmas tree, and the house. I wanted to make some cute little ornaments out of felt.  Of course, there’s the tedious house stuff; cleaning, laundry, and doctors appointments. Before you know it, Christmas Eve. Lots of things need to be done in such a short amount of time. But I’m excited for all of it. 

Love, Mama.







I Hope This Is The Last Hiccup

What else can go wrong with this pregnancy? Obviously I’m being dramatic when I ask this, since I’m aware of how many complications can occur during pregnancy. But I’m really hoping this is the last hiccup we come across with this baby. So before I get into the issue that has recently came up in this pregnancy, let me give you a back story so it doesn’t seem like my concerns are out of nowhere. 


DISCLAIMER: 

Maybe be graphic for some viewers

May contain strong adult language


I’m just going to jump right into it. We all know that people have sex. That’s how babies are made, except for mine. But we’ve learned this in Health class, am I right? For some, sex is more important than it is for others. It’s definitely important to my husband and I. I can’t really say it’s more important to him than me or vice versa, it really just depends on the time of month for both of us. But for the most part our sex life has been healthy, well it was before Emerald was born.  As you can imagine or relate, finding time to be intimate has been difficult these past two years. But we’ve managed to come up with a schedule that works for both of us. Of course things come up and there are periods where we skip our days, but not often. I make sure of that. We’ve been together for almost 12 years, so I expect there to be dry spells. But  I don’t cope well when we go without being together for too long. I start to freak out, I accuse him of being unfaithful. I start criticizing myself, asking him what am I doing wrong. It’s ugly.  There’s this desire for one another that makes both of you feel adequate, sexy, and sensual. All good things, and once that stops what happens? You don’t feel sexy or desirable. What’s a woman to do but go off the deep end? Looking at it rationally is not possible so I normally throw all common sense out the window and act like an under sexed beast woman.  

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Finally, the reason why I’m making a post about our sex life and posting it on the internet where everyone can read about it, I recently found out I have Placenta Previa. I had it when I was pregnant with Emerald, but it was partial and eventually moved before it was time to deliver her. Which is why I had a natural birth, if it hadn’t moved then I would’ve had to have a C- section. Having Placenta Previa can cause lots of complications during pregnancy. If you don’t know what Placenta Previa is, let me explain. It’s when the placenta attaches itself to my uterus low where it could completely or partially cover the cervix. So delivering the baby vaginally could be out of the question if it doesn’t move as your uterus grows. If the cervix is blocked baby can’t come out.  If it’s partially blocked, there’s a chance baby could be harmed during birth. Dangerous both ways.  But having Partial Placenta Previa, there’s a possibility the placenta will move upward as your uterus grows, which happened in my first pregnancy.


I’ve been experiencing light bleeding since the beginning of my pregnancy. I wasn’t too concerned about it at first, as I was diagnosed with Subchorionic Hematoma, a blood clot above my cervix, which can bleed while it’s resolving itself. But one day the amount and consistency changed. I noticed what looked to be a blood clot after I wiped. I kept seeing light pink as I continued to wipe which wasn’t normal. I normally look after I wipe to see if there’s any bleeding, I want to keep track of the amount, color, and how often I bleed so I am prepared for questions that might be asked when I call the nurse or doctor. Once I saw the clot, I freaked out. I called and made an appointment for the next day with a different doctor since mine happens to be on vacation. As I’m waiting, my anxiety is building. I can’t think of anything else that might be causing the bleeding. The last appointment I went to, the doctor said the hematoma was fairly small. He also said I shouldn’t be bleeding for that much longer.  That theblood I was experience was the last of the hematoma. So that’s what I was hoping to hear from this doctor. Reassurance that everything was finally settling down. Not the case. I asked about the hematoma and she said that it could still be a possibility as to why I’m bleeding. But it wasn’t a firm yes, which lead me to believe there could be another issue. 

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Right away, I’m annoyed because I asked if I had Placenta Previa.  I’m not sure why I asked, now that I think of it, but she told me that I didn’t have it. She does an ultrasound and explains to  me where everything is, pointing out my placenta and cervix. And from the looks of it, my placenta is completely covering my cervix. My heart dropped. I knew it was Previa and I knew it might be worse since it was completely covering my cervix. As I’m leaving I see “Possible Previa” on my after visit summary. So now I’m on pelvic rest. Which means no sex! Sex can potentially cause bleeding and in extreme cases can cause the placenta to rupture. It’s not that serious for me, since I’m only spotting and not bleeding heavily. But I was devastated when the doctor told me no intercourse. What am I suppose to do for the next few months? I freak out If we go without having sex for more than 4 days and now I’ll have to wait months? It’s already been a week and the arguing has started. I’m accusing him of cheating on me more than a dozen times. When he comes home 10 minutes later than his normal time, I picture him going at it in the back seat of his car with a co worker. I know how long he lasts and that’s more than enough time to talk about their feelings, get into it, finish and go get a drink afterwards. I mean 10 minutes is a long time in my mind. Do you see what happens to me when I’m not getting any? If I get like that, I can’t imagine how he feels. 


Thinking about his steamy affairs in the back seat of his car and seeing myself as a huge gorilla in the mirror everyday, my sexiness is at an all time low. Before anyone thinks I’m selfish please understand that this is a mental issue. Going from a normal sex life to an abstinent lifestyle is difficult to say the least. Especially for someone who wants to have sex. Your brain is powerful and can cause permanent damage to your well-being when in an already fragile state (which I am currently in). And I keep reading that at this stage in my pregnancy I will experience an increased libido. What the hell am I suppose to do now? Increased libido but with no way to satisfy my needs due to a medical issue. This pregnancy keeps getting harder and harder. From the horrible nausea to the over whelming sense of hopelessness and now feeling like an unattractive beast that my husband no longer desires. How many more months again? I’m tired of looking at my husband as if he’s a really sexy and delicious banana split with extra nuts. 

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Another serious issue is me not being able to have a natural birth. I was grateful to have gone through that experience with Emerald. Now, to think that I might not get the same opportunity to do it with this baby breaks my heart. Right now the best thing I can do is hope my placenta moves upwards as my uterus continues to grow. All I want is a healthy delivery and a healthy baby.  Placenta Previa is jeopardizing both. Which puts enormous amounts of stress on me. How am I suppose to get ready for this baby and take care of my toddler if I’m no longer able to function normally? If I walk for too long my pelvic area aches, followed by light spotting. If I need to do laundry or lift Emerald to change her diaper I instantly feel pressure in that same area and it’s very uncomfortable to move afterwards. Another thing I think about is how hard labor will be for me this time, since I haven’t been exercising as I did with Emerald. Do you see why I can’t relax? 

Love, Mama.





He Or She? What Will Baby Be?

I’d be lying if I said I was stumped about what I was having this time. With Emerald I hoped for a girl but this little one has always been what I thought they were. No doubt in my mind, I was so confident that I started shopping for Little in August. Lucky for me I won’t have to shop for too much stuff. Just kidding.

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It’s a girl!

We are so excited Emerald is going to have a little sister this spring.

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Tips And Tricks; Things I Wish I knew About A DIY Photo Shoot

With everything that was going on with her birthday: me feeling awful, and planning a trip to Disneyland (doesn’t take any planning), I managed to put together her two year old photo shoot. I have no idea how I pulled it off but I did and that’s all that matters. Well, my husband helped so that could be it. At first I was going to skip it this year, but I thought about it and I knew I would regret not doing it for her later on. I thought about taking her to get them done, but I’ve been photographing her since she was born, so I didn’t want to break tradition. I know I’m capable of taking decent photos. Plus, they can get expensive. Not to mention the posing can be a little weird and unnatural. And she’s not very receptive to strangers being in her space. Plus, I know if I did them myself, I would appreciate them more. I love photography and I would be disappointed in myself if I wasn’t hanging up my own work. I know it sounds weird. 


I wanted to keep it simple and quick. She has a mind of her own at this point. I wasn’t sure how she would behave during the shoot so simplicity, I thought, would be best. What I used; Backdrop stand, Savage Seamless Background Paper, clamps to hold paper, tape to keep paper from moving, mylar balloons that spelled out “TWO”, thread to hold balloons, tutu, a birthday crown, and paper confetti. Camera I use is a Canon 6D Mark ii with the 35mm lens. Most of which you can order on Amazon, and you can always use cheaper alternatives. I didn’t always have this equipment. I’ve been slowly replacing it since she was born with the exception of my camera. It’s funny to think I used curtains and PVC pipes for my background when I first started taking her photos and this wrapping paper thing that looked like a wood floor. My equipment isn’t state of the art stuff but it’s been working out just fine, and it’s easier to setup and tear down. 

I spy Mr. Fimbrez a.k.a confetti dropper

I spy Mr. Fimbrez a.k.a confetti dropper

Backdrop stand

Backdrop stand


I wanted soft contrasting colors for the theme of this shoot. I used light blue seamless paper, and I bought her this cute pink tutu that fit perfectly. The vision I had was her twirling like a ballerina while the confetti fell from above with the balloon letters in the background. I wanted this shoot to have more of a “big girl” feel. It was bright and fresh, not too much clutter with props. She does a great job of posing herself so props would’ve gotten in the way and distracted her. Having props was cute when she was smaller since all she could do was lay down or sit there, but now they just take up space in my house. I also wanted to keep her outfit simple. But of course, I made sure she had a crown. What kind of a photo shoot doesn’t involve a birthday crown? I think she’ll wear one for all of her birthday photos. At least until she tells me to stop making her wear them. But if she doesn’t tell me to stop, then I won’t. Even when she’s thirty I’ll still have her wear one.  

You can’t fake this type of excitement.

You can’t fake this type of excitement.


So setup is the most exhausting part. It can be a hassle especially when you’re an unorganized person such as myself. But since I wasn’t doing too much, it wasn’t that bad this time (patting myself on the back). I would definitely recommend using an area that has lots of room with adequate lighting. If you’re adding props, a big space can help prevent bumping into things and give you room to move around easily when you’re shooting. Lighting is really important. I’m still trying to understand lighting. I know natural lighting is best.  Knowing what time of day to shoot is key to optimizing natural light. This has been difficult for me to grasp, I think it may have something to do with the fact that I’d rather have a photo shoot in the morning but I don’t like to get up too early. I use to take photos when the sun was the harshest which then produces over exposed photos (not good). I was tempted to start at ten in the morning but the front of the house is in shade, meaning not a lot of light comes through and I would have to continuously change my settings. That takes time and I could potentially miss out on some really cute shots. I could’ve used my studio lights, but again, I didn’t want to do too much. 

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I am by no means a professional photographer, I’ve learned most of this stuff from watching Youtube videos or reading other photography blogs. It took awhile for me to figure out these hacks, I used the PVC pipes for over a year and I tried using a white sheet as a background once. That was awful, if you don’t have a steamer then be prepared to iron all the wrinkles by hand (me). This is why I’m writing this post. I’m hoping it would help another mama who is trying to take adorable photos of their kiddos. 

Love, Mama.





Things Have Changed This Time Around Part 2

A question I get asked a lot is “ how are you feeling?” and I’m not always sure how I want to answer it. Should I be honest and just let everything spill out or do I pretend everything is wonderful and say I feel great? It’s really hard for me to share my true emotions for the fact that I am lucky to be pregnant. I always think to myself that I shouldn’t complain about being sick or having hormonal outbursts because this is what I asked for when we decided it was time for another baby. But this is my blog and if what I am about to say offends you then I understand if you no longer want to read it. 

I was naive in thinking that this pregnancy would be the same as it was when I was pregnant with Emerald. I know not every pregnancy is the same even for the same mother; I know pregnancies can differ from one to the next. But for some reason I thought they might be similar, you know? I wasn’t too sick with Emerald so I thought maybe I’ll get sick but probably no more than a few times here and there. Small similarities between the two. I went into this thinking it was going to be like my first pregnancy and thought to myself this pregnancy was going to be a breeze. In a sense, I felt calm knowing that I was prepared for it. But this pregnancy has been tough and it’s only been two months. I hear a lot of people say that the first trimester is the worst and I didn’t believe it until now. My first trimester when I was pregnant with Emerald wasn’t memorable. I can’t for the life of me remember how I felt, I can’t remember which symptoms I had, or how severe  they were. I definitely don’t remember being so exhausted when I was pregnant with Emerald.

Belly bloat, not real baby bump.

Belly bloat, not real baby bump.

I’ve been in this is a reoccurring mood where I don’t want to do anything. I’m tired, I’m tired all of the time. It’s hard to get out of bed in the mornings, even when I have a little munchkin pushing on my face saying “wake up mommy.” Hearing her say that in the sweetest little voice kills me. She senses I’m not myself and she’s trying to help me be present in her life. At least that’s how I feel. It hurts me to see her playing in her room while I lay down or if she wants me to play with her and I have to keep telling her no. She’s not use to not having me there to play with her. We use to go on walks and I would dance with her in the mornings, we’d run from room to room playing tag. Now all she sees me do is sleep. It’s affected me so much that I feel as though I’m failing her. I’m always crying and I’m constantly asking myself “did we make the right decision to have another baby?” And sometimes it’s hard for me to be excited about this pregnancy because of how much hurt it’s causing me. The exhaustion is causing me to lose interests in everyday activities, in anything I use to find joy in and I’m not coping well.  I snap at Emerald because she’s not understanding how tired I am and that’s been difficult. The only time I feel calm is when my husband is home and it’s because I don’t have to keep disappointing Emerald, he’s home so he can play with her. It helps me, knowing she’s getting some interaction with someone, instead of just sitting in front of the TV. There’s another culprit as to why I’m always in a bad mood, nausea.

High levels of progesterone. 

High levels of progesterone. 

Around 7 weeks is when nausea really hit. I kept asking when would I feel pregnant because I didn’t have any symptoms right away. I kept watching videos on Youtube about how I should be feeling at 6 weeks, and they kept saying they were having morning sickness. So I immediately thought something was wrong. Maybe it was the first signs that I was going to have a miscarriage, but it showed up. At first it was all day everyday, from the moment I woke up to the time I went to sleep. I haven’t actually thrown up but the constant feeling as if I needed to is intense. It hurt my body. I thought it was the flu but I didn’t have a fever or other symptoms that you would normally get when you’re sick. I just kept feeling achy and nauseous, and because of that I didn’t want to eat which made it worse. The medicine I’ve been taking for almost 10 weeks causes me to bloat. The pain from bloating is awful. It causes my stomach to feel tight and when it’s really tight I feel sick. So on top of feeling tired and sad, my body is hurting as well. I go days without leaving the house, I cry and wish this feeling would just go away. After a almost three weeks of this, the nausea eased up, now only happening later in the afternoon. It comes right after lunch so dinner is a struggle for me, I normally eat fruit or a bowl of ice cream. For some reason milk and fruit help calm my stomach. One thing it doesn’t help are the mood swings.

I’m up and then I’m down, it’s that fast. Right now even the smallest issue is a life ruining catastrophe. I’ve had countless break downs, which has caused issues in my marriage. I have a love hate relationship with my husband right now. I want him home with me but when he’s home I want him gone. It’s the craziest thing. I’m a complete mess right now, and I’m really looking forward to the second trimester. I want to enjoy this pregnancy and I want to be my normal happy self again. I don’t feel connected to this baby which is ironic since the baby is literally connected to me. I have to remember I won’t feel sick forever, there is an end in sight. I just have to be positive and hang on. This ride will be over soon. Because once this pregnancy is over and I have my little baby in my arms, I’ll be wishing I were pregnant again. Isn’t that how it works? 

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This is just a recap of how I’ve been feeling lately. A run down on my symptoms because I won’t be posting weekly videos on how I’m feeling. The weeks are flying by and I can’t keep up, so I’m skipping those this time. To some it may sound as though I’m ungrateful, and I was hesitant to write a post like this but I wanted to be honest. Feeling alone and helpless is hard, especially when you feel all the pressure of being an outstanding mom and glamorous pregnant woman on your shoulders. And I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this and I know I won’t be the last. So I wanted to post this in hopes it will help someone else who is going through it. Infertility affects so many things, and the one thing it’s really good at is encouraging guilt. But I need to remember I shouldn’t feel guilty for not loving every moment of this pregnancy. It’s ok to say I wish the first trimester was over. It’s ok for me to say I’m not happy, and it’s ok for me to talk about all of the negative feelings I’m having at this point. I’m human, regardless of how we conceived. But I am grateful for this pregnancy, I’m relieved that it didn’t take long for us to become pregnant. And I am thankful that everything is going well, I’m going to get through this and in the end it will all be worth it. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and be kind to expectant mothers, you never know what emotional struggles one is going through. And you might be the person to lift up their spirits. 

Love, Mama. 

 

Things Have Changed This Time Around

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am pregnant. I’m 8 weeks and I’ll I be on my way to 9 by the time this post goes live. I’ve been MIA for a few weeks because I couldn’t decide on how I was going to announce this pregnancy, I definitely want to do something cute involving Emerald. I know a few people are anxious to find out if this I.U.I cycle worked, and it’s getting harder to ignore them when they ask me about it. So that’s why I’m coming out with it. You can understand why I haven’t confirmed it.  I’m worried just like any mother that’s in the first trimester. I know doctors recommend waiting until after the first trimester to announce a pregnancy for obvious reasons but since I’ve be open about our infertility journey, I don’t see the point in trying hide it. Regardless of what happens I’ll be sharing the news with all of you anyways so I figured it’s about time I said it out loud.

I’m going to divide this post into two parts, simply because I want to explain in detail whats been going on. I didn’t want to torture you guys by making this post long, since there’s a lot of information. A lot has happened from the last time I posted. 

So let’s get started.

I started testing four days after the I.U.I as I mentioned in a previous post. I wanted to see when the trigger shot was completely out of my system.  I was testing every day, and there was only one day that the line was really faint. But after that the line kept getting darker and at one point it came up faster than the first line on the HPT. So I called my doctor to setup my lab tests and a few days later I went in for blood work. I didn’t wait the full two weeks.  I was three days early when I went in for my blood work so my HCG levels weren’t as high as I thought they’d be. A few days later they had me go in again for another blood test.  They wanted to see my HCG levels increase as they should be at this point. At my first HCG test, my levels were 168 and then two days later it increased to 496. Once I saw the results I knew it was time to schedule a follow up appointment as I did with my first pregnancy. I expected to go in and  speak with my doctor about what was next, but that wasn’t the case. 

There were more tests. 

There were more tests. 

A few things have changed this time around. One is my husband hasn’t been as involved as he was when we were trying to conceive Emerald. I have been going to most of my appointments alone, feeling scared and insecure without him. And I can’t understand why I feel this way, I went into this knowing he wouldn’t be able to leave work for every appointment and I was ok with that, or so I thought. I honestly thought I was stronger, and I thought I could do this alone but I was wrong. But just because I admitted to needing him more than I did initially, it didn’t change the fact he’s still unable to attend important appointments. So knowing I wasn’t going to have that support this time around added to the stress I was already under because of how my doctor appointments were scheduled.

I was released from the infertility clinic once my blood work came back showing I was indeed pregnant. Which surprised me because with Emerald I had two ultrasounds; one at 6 weeks and one at 8 weeks at the infertility clinic. So you can imagine how frustrated I was when I was told there wouldn’t be an ultrasound until I had my first doctors appointment with the regular OB-GYN after 9 weeks (I didn’t ask why, nurses tend to have an attitude when you question their instructions). I wanted to see what was going on in my uterus, I feel as women we have the right to request an ultrasound. It’s stressful enough being pregnant and then to be in the dark for so long, it’s ridiculous.  Why do we (women) have to wait so long to see how our pregnancy is progressing? I understand I’m not a doctor, but is it really necessary for hospitals to give women who are expecting such a hard time when they ask for an ultrasound?  I don’t think it is. I’m stressing out for 8 weeks, and the one thing that can calm my nerves is an ultrasound, so why not just give me an ultrasound? All we want is to see how everything is going.  Is that too much to ask? We’ll see what happens at my first official doctors appointment in a few days.

To be continued...

Two Week Wait

The dreaded two week wait is upon us! My emotions are all over the place. I’m happy and excited for what’s to come.  Then I remind myself that there’s a possibility it didn’t work and I’m back to reality. It’s torture for my body, my well-being, for my husband’s body and his well-being. I know it can’t be easy for him to deal with me at this point, who could really? I’m trying to keep my emotions and my mood swings under control this time. So I try to distract myself from thinking about it. I clean, write, play with the baby, clean some more. It only helps for so long then I catch myself thinking about how I could be pregnant and I start to imagine my baby shower. I think of names if it’s a girl or boy. How we’re going to announce the gender this time. It wasn’t that fun the first time I found out I was pregnant, the infertility treatments kind of killed that for us. I couldn’t stand the two week wait so I started testing 4 days after our I.U.I, and almost everyday until it was time for me to actually test. So for my family and my husband’s it wasn’t a surprise. Revealing the gender is the most important part in my opinion. Finding out if you’re having a boy or girl is so exciting. This time I want to do it big. I’ve been seeing a lot of couples reveal the gender with smoke bombs or something, I love that idea! But I’m not sure if we should have a party or just take our pictures and send them out like that. I’ve seen some really cute parties too. 

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See how excited I can get? But I have to be realistic. I can’t think like that because if it turns out that I’m not pregnant I will be devastated, even though I knew that was a possibility. It’s a fine line between being positive and being overly confident. I’m trying not to stress about it. I started my Endometrin on Monday, July 9th. This helps with implantation.  Its messy and uncomfortable. So that’s been fun. I’m allowed to test on July 22nd and if I’m pregnant then I’ll call my clinic so they can schedule labs, to confirm that I’m indeed pregnant. If I’m not then I’ll have to wait until my next cycle to setup another I.U.I. Crossing my fingers my cycle won’t come for the next 10 months. It’s definitely harder with a toddler. Somedays I want to sleep and just let the day pass but I can’t with Emerald. Her tantrums are difficult to handle because I’m tired and irritable. I feel like I’m not giving her what she needs because emotionally and physically I’m drained. Our play times aren’t as fun because I have a lot on my mind, I can’t focus on being a princess with her right now.  So that’s been tough for both of us. I can tell it’s affecting her, she’e been very clingy, always wants to be in my arms, and throws tantrums when I leave her. That adds to my stress.

I still haven’t decided if I should test early or try to see if I can wait. I only have 11 more days. Oh, who am I kidding I can’t wait. The 11 days feels like 11 years. So I’m going to test tomorrow just to keep myself sane and so my family can tolerate me a little more. I know my doctor wants me to wait for a couple of reasons; One so I don’t get a false positive with the HCG which is the hormone that triggers your body to release a follicle. I should’ve tested the day after the trigger shot to see if it did give me a positive but I didn’t have a test on hand. The second reason is so I don’t get a false negative. If I see a negative they want me to immediately stop Endometrin, so if the HPT says negative I might stop the Endometrin before I actually get a positive HPT. Endometrin is crucial for the follicle to survive. So it’s very important to go the full two weeks before anything happens. I’m not going to make any decisions based on any of these results, it’s an easy fix to the anxiety. I have noticed I do a lot better when my husband is home, so two days out of the week I’m ok. Which explains why I’m testing all week.  

Testing out the trigger shot 4dpiui

Testing out the trigger shot 4dpiui

I have to keep thinking that everything will be ok, even if I’m not pregnant. I start to tell myself if I’m not pregnant this time, it’s ok. There’s a reason why it didn’t happen and next time might be better. Hopefully next week flies by so I can finally be at peace with whatever the outcome is.

Love, Mama.

This Is How Our Babies Are Made

So these last few days have been going super fast. I wanted to post on Tuesday like I normally do, but I had my ultrasound appointment. Then it was the Fourth of July, and I figured I’d wait to post until Saturday because Friday was my I.U.I. I’m going to go over everything in this one post, because I’m already behind, so bare with me. 

The day I started my period, I called the infertility clinic. They wanted to see how everything looked on the third day of my cycle, which went well. I was prescribed 50mg of Clomid. Three times a day for the next five days. July 3rd was my follow up appointment.  Another ultrasound to see how well my body responded to the medication. I was getting nervous because the first time I was on Clomid my body didn’t release any follicles (eggs). So I was a little anxious to see how many I produced this time. The symptoms were much more noticeable than they were the first time. I guess I was emotional because my husband made a comment about how I’d be crazy for the next few days. All I can remember was being sad, my husband tends to exaggerate. I was really emotional the second day, crying about everything and anything. Third day it subsided, but I had hot flashes which didn’t calm down until the last day. This is all normal. It’s what we remember going through the first time we were getting ready for an I.U.I. 

Monday was the fifth day of Clomid. Tuesday was the ultrasound to see how many follicles I had and check the size of them. They do this to determine if they are mature for fertilization. I was pleased to know that my body did what it was suppose to on the first cycle of Clomid. I’m not sure how my husband would feel if I had to be on it for another five days. But all was well. The doctor didn’t say how many I produced but that I had three follicles that were a decent size. So that was a relief. The last time I had two follicles, one was mature but the other wasn’t. And of course I had a meltdown, I kept thinking there was something else wrong with me but then I had follicles the next time. Minor tantrum for no reason. With three follicles that were healthy for fertilization I was given the green light to setup my I.U.I. 

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They scheduled me on July 6th for the I.U.I, and I had to give myself the HCG trigger shot on the Fourth of July at 10 p.m. It was painful for a minute, and tender for a few days. Thursday I stressed about Friday, and wished that the day would just end. Friday morning we woke up and got ready, I felt really sick. Nausea, bloating, and some strong cramps. It was horrible but I managed to put a full face of makeup and I curled my hair. By the time I got done it was after 10 a.m., it was time to head out to the clinic. They wanted me to have a full bladder, but not to the point where I couldn’t hold it. So at 10:30 I drank a bottle of water. On top of nausea and cramps, I had a full bladder, walking was very uncomfortable and the 112 degree weather didn’t help either. We waited about 10 minutes before the doctor came in, he asked if we had any question to which we replied “no”. He began and before my husband could make another inappropriate comment, it was over. They have you lay down for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes you’re allowed to empty your bladder. I would have to say that is one of the most satisfying feelings ever.  I start my Endometrin  (progesterone) on Monday. I can take an HPT (home pregnancy test) on the 22nd of July. 

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I know this is brief, but I wanted to share what has been going on as soon as possible. And since it happened so fast, I thought it’d be a good idea to include all of our appointments in one post. I did upload a new video on our Youtube channel, and I mention that my blog is a better way to keep updated with doctor visits since videos are time consuming. So this post is  current with where we are in our infertility journey. Now that the procure is over, the worst part is about to begin. The two week wait. HCG is the pregnancy hormone and will be in my system for about 10 days from injection. I know if I were to take an HPT, it would most likely give me a false positive. So now we wait.

Love, Mama

 

Photography Is My Passion

As I get more comfortable with writing, I start to see my interests shift. I knew my blog would take a lot of my time; writing posts, taking photographs, and handling all of the maintenance that my website requires. When I say my interests have shift, I really mean my focus. Before I started my blog, I wanted to learn more about photography. Playing with the idea of starting my own photography business. I can’t remember how the idea of starting a blog came about. I was looking into creating a website specifically for photography, but somehow I created a blog instead. Needless to say, my photography business has taken a backseat because of my blog. The good thing about blogging is that photography is half of the recipe in my opinion. You can’t have a blog without photographs. You can, but I’m not sure how well it would do. I’m definitely a visual person. So when I come across a blog without photos, I skip most of it and get to the more important parts. I hate to say that but, realistically I only visit blogs through Pinterest. So photography plays a very important role when blogging.

This is a perfect way to practice. For me anyways. I have to say my photography game has improved significantly, especially on my instagram since starting my blog. I was always asking myself, “why doesn’t my instagram look like this person’s instagram?” “Why can’t I figure it out?” I had the equipment, but my images weren’t in sync on my profile. Meaning when you looked at my instagram, my images didn’t flow with one another, my editing was all over the place and I’d have random photos that didn’t fit into my theme.

Lately I’ve been putting more thought into how I pose.  I pay attention to the detail in the background. I finally understand my rhythm, my style. That’s really what you see on people’s instagram. It’s their theme and a lot of the popular profiles have the over exposed photos, lots of white with pops of earthy tones. I’ve always wanted my profile to look like that. I finally realized that the clean, all white look wasn’t for me. The over exposed look isn’t very flattering for my skin.  Also I’ve found that plain backgrounds don’t do it for me. I love how buildings and cars can add dimension to the photo, instead of it being flat. I feel as though I obsess over my flaws when I’m the main subject in the photo. When I’m not the only subject, but the main subject, I’m more myself and I can hide my awkwardness. The point I'm trying to make, is I like having other objects surrounding me so I don’t hone in on my flaws. Does that make sense? 

Awkward.

Awkward.

Not as bad

Not as bad

Awkward

Awkward

I still have a lot of work to do. I’m still really awkward when my husband photographs me, but at the same time I’m becoming more familiar with my body, and also my camera. I have to direct my husband so learning how to communicate directions clearly is getting easier. Before I would yell at my him, “hold the camera higher, no lower, move over there, no over here.” You can imagine how annoyed he’d get. Plus he’s not comfortable with taking photos in public so that adds to his frustration. I needed to be quicker with adjusting the settings. It really is snap, snap ok that’s it. More often than not, they’re over exposed. And a few times after we were done and we’re leaving that’s when I realize the settings were off and none of the photos were useable. So messing with my settings at a quicker pace with less mistakes is becoming more natural.  I can’t afford not to be fast with my settings. Especially with a shy husband and rambunctious toddler. I've been surprising myself. I never thought I’d understand ISO and aperture as much as I do now. So, I’d say that’s progress. Being vulnerable, putting myself out there has helped me explore my creativity. I can see my confidence is growing and hopefully soon I can get back to starting my own photography business. But until then, I’m going to keep practicing. It's true what they say "Practice makes perfect", well perfect by your standards. Trying to be like someone else can limit your creative abilities, don't put yourself in a creative box. Step out of your comfort zone, and you might be surprised with what you can do. 

Love, Mama. 

 

 

 

Learning My Way Around The Kitchen, Again.

Let me start by saying that I love food. Just like the next person. Steak is by far my favorite food. I also love pastas. Bread and butter is my weakness. Just thinking about food is making my stomach talk.  I’m hungry. I guess it all started with my mother, she’s an exceptional cook. Growing up I can’t really remember eating out too much. Feeding a family of six wasn’t easy so I can’t blame her. Just like any mother, I want to make sure my baby knows what a home cook meal is, just as I did. 

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Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Ready? I’m not that great of a cook. Shocking, I know since I just mentioned how great of a cook my mother is. My siblings and I can agree that we were spoiled in that area. It’s weird though. I was the one making dinner during the week when I lived with her. So I’m not sure where it all went wrong. I’m not a bad cook.  It’s just when I try to cook my mom’s recipes, they rarely come out the same. 

I’ve opted for quick, easy meals, unlike my mom. When she cooks, it takes hours. It’s an entire day process and when it’s done you need a day to recover. I don’t have that kind of time. I remember scrolling through facebook and came across a video that had someone cooking a meal and it was all done within minutes. I know they edited, it but the way they made cooking look easy was brilliant. I started to save the recipes that I knew I would love. Then I jumped on Pinterest and did the same thing. So since then I’ve been collecting recipes. From breakfast to dinner, especially now that I’m a mother. I make sure my baby never misses a meal. What’s perfect about these recipes is that they’re quick and not too messy. 

Lately, it’s been difficult deciding on what we should do for dinner. I ask my husband what he feels like having (he’s a picky eater) and all he says is “That’s fine.” Before I make any suggestions, or when I make a suggestion, that’s all I get. If it were up to me we’d be eating out all week. Unfortunately we can’t afford the wine and dine experience every day, so it’s up to me to come up with meals that are tasty. On top of the never ending debate on dinner, it’s the frequent trips to the market I wish I didn’t have to do. Another thing you might find surprising is i hate the grocery store. Something about spending my valuable time in a cold store isn’t appealing. I try to get out of going to the market any chance I get. Most of the recipes I save usually call for fresh herbs and other things I don’t have on hand.That’s probably the main reason why I haven’t made any of these meals yet.  I’m working on moving past these obstacles. 

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How am I going to do this? Especially with life so crazy. This, writing on my blog about cooking these recipes is how I’m going to do it. Since I considered writing about cooking, I already feel the motivation forcing me to the market. So much so that I’ve already tested out a recipe. Crazy how that works. If my blog isn’t good for readers, it’s definitely helping me in ways I never thought it could. Like working out, being a mother, photography, and now cooking. Who knew? It’s a new week, so it’s time to aim for two recipes that I haven’t made. I can do this. First recipe is Creamy Steak Fettuccine. Here's the link https://pin.it/ppisd6y7npbulu. Try it with me. 

Love, Mama.

 

Should I Continue?

I was looking at the calendar today and realized that it’s been two months since my first post. I know it’s not that big of a milestone, but I want to think of it as I’m staying committed. When I first started this blog I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I didn’t have a clue on how to put it all together. The only thing I knew was i needed a website in order to start a blog. I did a lot of my research on Pinterest, and you all know how crazy Pinterest is.  That right there is another Google. There is so much information, it was overwhelming. It’s like when the doctors tell you not to google that mysterious rash you have on your hand. The same can be said for Pinterest. I probably shouldn’t have searched “How to start a blog” on there.  It took me places I didn’t want to go.

At first I felt like I didn’t have what it takes to start a successful blog. As I continued my research, I found that anyone could start one. It all depends on content. I honestly thought that writing was going to be  a problem for me but it hasn’t been so far. I’m still worried about how long I can keep this up before I start to run out of things to write about. But until then, I will continue posting. Shockingly, writing is the easy part. The difficult part is branding myself. I know I need readers but I’m not sure how to go about gaining them. I’ve tried posting on instagram but it doesn’t seem like its gaining that much traffic. Facebook is another story. I tried to connect my website to my facebook page but was unsuccessful. It kept linking to my personal Facebook profile. Another thing that I have to solve. 

That part is the hardest. I’m writing about my life experiences and I’m not reaching people because I don’t know how to draw them in. Family is all I have reading my posts at this point. I know there are ways to gain viewers and it’s not free. My blog as of right now is a hobby, I’m not trying to make money off of it but I am taking this seriously. If in the future, I decide I want to make my website profitable, I want to make sure that option is available. That’s something I really need to figure out before I start to invest money. As of right now I have a base for whatever it is I plan to do with this. What I’m confused about is, if I don’t put money into it now, will my blog fail?  I made sure not to be cheap with my hosting and website. Is it possible to write a successful blog with little to no money? Is this what all personal bloggers do? Do they throw money at it and hope it goes somewhere? I guess the only way to answer my questions is to keep going, maybe give myself a deadline. If in 6 months traffic hasn’t picked up then I know I have to cut my losses. Hopefully in the next 4 months I can have someone other than my mom comment on a posts saying they enjoyed my blog. 

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I have to say that it is hard work.  Not that I thought it was going to be easy, but there’s always something that I need to work on, like my posts or the website. I’m working on ways to attract attention. Social media is a great platform to advertise any business.  When I look at my instagram profile and I look at others, mine is boring. I want colors and pretty photos of our lunch at a vintage cafe. Or photos of me working out with makeup on and my hair all beautiful. Or an outfit of the day in front of a pink brick wall with a full bouquet of roses and peonies. That’s what catches my eye when I’m scrolling through instagram. I’m not a fan of facebook, and I’m not on there as much as instagram. So I need to work on how my photos look. I want my instagram page to look like it’s out of an Ikea catalog.  

Let’s see where I’m at in 4 months.

Love, Mama.

Going Back to Our Infertility Clinic

It’s that time again. Time to go back to the infertility clinic so we can make another baby. If you’re not familiar with our story check out our youtube channel. It explains our situation in detail, how long we tried before going through our clinic and what method we chose to conceive our miracle baby. videos

This was from our first I.U.I in 2015, it became real once we started treatment. 

This was from our first I.U.I in 2015, it became real once we started treatment. 

It’s surreal, thinking about how hard it’s been for us to have children. Growing up, infertility was never something that was talked about.  If you were to see my family you would understand why. I didn’t realize how many couples are affected by infertility until we went through it. That’s why I started our youtube channel. We were determined to have a baby and I wanted to learn as much as I could about infertility. Once we found out we had male factor infertility, I took to the web. I went on google and youtube to find more information. We had a hard time finding anything on I.U.I’s, so I wanted to share our experience with others that might be going through the same thing. 

Research has shown that one in eight couples will struggle with infertility issues. And almost every one of those couples will feel like they’re alone. But because of social media, it’s easier to find support groups. It’s beautiful to see how a community has formed to help support couples dealing with infertility. I’ve connected with a few women on my journey, all because I wanted to share my story. Some have had their miracles such as myself, and others who are still waiting. But we all have one thing in common: our continued support for one another. Go check out thinkbaby.org for other heartwarming stories about other couples dealing with infertility. They talk about how important it is for you (women and men) to love yourself; something I should’ve been doing during the 6 years we’ve been trying to conceive. It encourages others to open up about their experiences and has countless recommendations on ways to cope. You’re already dealing with so much, why not have that extended support from others who know exactly what you’re feeling. And thinkbaby.org is a perfect way to share your story.  You never know who you might be helping.  

So this is what's been going on... I called a few weeks ago to schedule a consultation with the doctor. Since it’s been three years we have to speak to the doctor about what tests need to be redone in order for them to recommend a plan for us. This is routine, as explained to us anything can change and at the same time nothing can change. 

I.U.I day, January 4, 2016

I.U.I day, January 4, 2016

We had our minds made up this time. We wanted to do I.V.F ( In Vitro Fertilization), it seems like everyone I follow or know of who’s tried I.V.F has had success. We felt like our chances of getting pregnant were higher with I.V.F, and we could possibly get multiples or at least multiple embryos that we could freeze and save for the next time I get baby fever. I guess you could say I’m preparing for the future because I’m not going to be at my fertile age for much longer. I’m getting off track. Now I’m talking about how I’ve been feeling lately since my birthday is looming closer. 

So we go in and explain to the doctor about what our plan is and we want to know when we can start. We were hoping to get pregnant by June. It took approximately six months for us to conceive our munchkin so we didn’t want to waste anytime. He explains to us that even though I.V.F can be successful, it really depends on the situation. I understand that everyone is different, and even though someone has had success with I.V.F doesn’t mean we will but he made it seem like this wasn’t going to work for us. I was confused. The first time we went and talked to the doctor (different doctor for consultation) she made it seem as if I.V.F was our only option, and that we’d be wasting money if we did an I.U.I. Now this doctor is saying I.V.F would be a waste of money. He showed us a chart explaining that I.V.F has low success rates when dealing with male factor infertility. He pulled up statistics from local hospitals, and it was surprising. Almost all of the trials did not end in a pregnancy. He said that it would be worth trying another I.U.I, that miracles can happen. We know all to well of the miracles he speaks of. 

We beat infertility once, and we'll do it again.

We beat infertility once, and we'll do it again.

We walked out of our consultation on an optimistic note. We know what we are up against so it isn’t so stressful. We’re going to give it our best shot and if this doesn’t end with another miracle that’s fine, we are perfectly happy just being Emerald’s mommy and daddy, because we both know she’s going to give us hell.  To be continued… 

 

Love, Mama.

 

 

 

 

 

Meltdowns

Here’s my situation. My cousin had prom this past weekend and her mom asked if I was available to take photos of her in her dress (I’m also doing her graduation photos). I thought this would help me get familiar with my camera and my new lens in a different scene, unlike photographing my daughter at our local park like I normally do. This would be a chance for me to practice.  Like I stated in my previous post, practice is key. I want to take full advantage of every opportunity that is presented to me so I can grow my photography skills. I know this is part of the learning process, but I’m not a patient person.

I have this strong feeling that if I want to be a photographer, then it should come naturally. Leaving no time for me to develop into a decent photographer. I can tell you right now that photography does not come naturally to me. Photography has proven to be very difficult for me to grasp. I’m having such a hard time understanding the settings on my camera.  I feel like being a photographer isn’t what I’m meant to do. Take motherhood for example; I’ve never been a mother, but in my opinion, I would have to say that I’m pretty good at it. There were times I struggled but it didn’t take long for me to smooth out the kinks and get the hang of things. 

Once I’m at the point of frustration I know it’s time to move on. It becomes discouraging and therefore no longer fun for me. It’s frustrating and just when I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of aperture and ISO, I realize I don’t really understand because when it’s actually time to use it, I’m confused again. I can’t figure out the lighting, the sharpness, everything. I lose control of my camera and when I see the photos I took, I’m disappointed. It shouldn’t be this hard for me if it’s what I love to do. That’s when I lose interest.  Not because I don’t like it anymore, but because I’m tired of failing. It’s been like this for everything I loved and tried.

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I’m at the point where I feel like there’s nothing else I can do to improve my photos. I start to google the issues I’m having and there’s never a clear answer. Could be the lightening, could be the camera, could be the lens, could be the settings.  Yet after watching a ton of youtube videos, I’m still lost. Then little by little more doubts creep up and before I know it all of the excitement is gone. I’m angry at myself for even trying, and I take it out on my husband. All I keep thinking is “I suck at everything. Why would I be good at this?  I’m never going to be good anything. Why can’t I be successful like other photographers on Instagram? Why can’t I be like them?  Why is it so hard for me? Why can’t I just get it? I’m so upset with myself. I really dropped the ball with these photos.” Do you remember a time where you did something that you were disappointed you did, and every time you remember that moment you get angry and want to cry? Well I’ve had plenty of those moments, and all I can say is “add this one to the list.” 

I wish I looked this cute throwing a fit.

I wish I looked this cute throwing a fit.

I’m having a bad week, that could be the reason this post is so negative. I’m going to chalk it up to stress. Stress has a way of eating away all of your positivity and it draws out the negativity. Letting it out is helping. As I type this I feel the weight of disappointment being lifted from my shoulders. I need to get back to basics, as my husband would say. I need start taking photos again just for fun. 

Love, Mama.

Potty Time

My sweet Emerald will be 19 months in a few days, and there is one thing I hate to see happen: she’s getting bigger! Although she’s full of sweetness, there is a mean streak in her. Do you recall her outbursts from my Little Happy Trees post? If not, make sure you read that post before you dive right into this post. 

Ok, so you’re back.  Now you’re aware of the outbursts I speak of. Unpleasant and most of the time violent. Since the moment she was born this girl could shit. I mean she shit so many times we were concerned that she wasn’t gaining any weight because right after she ate she dirtied her diaper and it is the same at 19 months. High five to my husband and I for becoming outstanding diaper changers, I don’t give him enough credit because he rarely changes shit diapers. It’s something we both hate doing but know it’s our obligation because at this point in her life she can’t wipe her own ass. So as loving parents we do it for her. 

In the beginning it was pleasant. Not the poop or her peeing all over us, but the singing to her “pee pee girl, pee pee girl, pee and poo poo, pee girl, pee pee girls, pee and poo poo”. She loved that song, she would coo and smile and so cute to watch. It was an easy process, but now, oh my gosh. She’s awful! Kicking and screaming all the way up. We make sure to take her up stairs right away to change her diaper, we always do this, nothing about how we change her has changed. 

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Lately, after she’s done pooping, we ask her if  she’s pooped, she always tells us “no”. She’s lying. We see the face, it’s like a “I’m thinking really hard” face with one eyebrow up, a forced smile and red cheeks. I’m pretty sure I have a picture of her making this face, I’ll  have to find it. It’s not hard to figure out when she shits. Then we say “lets go upstairs munchkin, so we can change your diaper.” The next thing I know is she’s on the other side of the house, this girl is straight up running away from us because she doesn’t want to be changed. When we finally catch her (doesn’t take long she’s a child and we are adults) she’s kicking and screaming as if we are taking her to the doctors. I don’t understand it. Who wants to be in their shit longer than they have to? I start to think about how I feel when I’m hot and my butt isn’t the driest, ok. Come on I know you all know what I’m talking about. Not fun or fresh. Yeah, so it can’t be that she’s comfortable, so we thought maybe it’s because she doesn’t like to be interrupted when she’s playing. So while we change her diaper my husband blows bubbles for her so she’s not missing out on fun time. We would give her toys and other stuff just so she’s not focused on what we are doing but now nothing works. She kicks the entire time, intentionally trying to hurt me. I swear the look she gives me when I’m cleaning her ass is pure anger. Same with my husband, when he changes her and I’m not close, it goes south pretty quick.  I can hear him say “ Shit, shit is everywhere, I can’t believe there’s so much shit.” 

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It’s usually a mess when he changes her, so this is when we wished our munchkin would just hurry up and use the toilet. Every time I have to go to the bathroom, I tell her “mommy goes pee pee in the toilet”, just so she understands what the toilet is for. It’s so cute because when I go and sit down she comes in with me and sits on the floor and wiggles her butt and says “pee pee”. We want to start potty training her, so we bought her a seat that you place on your toilet so she can get use to it. My husband didn’t want to get a little potty because the thought of us cleaning it haunts his dreams. Not really, but he’s grossed out by it. I still think she needs one of those just so it could be her toilet you know? Kids love that, they like their own space to copy the things you do in. She was doing ok for a week. She peed 4 times in one week, but she’s over it. I say lets go sit on Minnie Mouse and she says no. Or I ask her if she needs to pee she tells me no Minnie Mouse. I know its early for us to potty train her, but I don’t like getting beat while there’s shit in my face. It’s a no win for us. Eventually she’ll get it, so we’re just going to keep trying. Crossing my fingers she’ll be potty trained before her 2nd birthday. 

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Love, Mama.

A Family Vacation

Our Easter weekend was filled with love, adventure, and fun! We had a little family vacation this past weekend in San Diego. It was a quick weekend getaway that we needed desperately. My husband and I have so much going on it’s hard to get time together that is just for fun. I mean there is the occasional Disneyland visit but my husband hates Disneyland, little to no fun for him.

This trip wasn’t anywhere near Disneyland so I’m pretty sure my husband was happy about that. I’ve been wanting to take my daughter to Sea World for awhile now, ever since our trip to  the L.A Zoo. My husband and I were surprised to see how interested she was in the animals. She loved the giraffes and the big cats. She kept calling them kitties. So I thought lets take her to Sea World so she can see dolphins and whales and turtles. You should really hear her say turtles, it’s the cutest thing in the world. Ugh. I want to squeeze her when she says it. So cute.

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Needless to say Sea World was disappointing. She didn’t seem as interested in Sea World like she did at the Zoo. Dolphin show no biggie. I risked a good hair day and bomb makeup just so she could really feel the experience. Yes, I’m that mom.  Trample all over me so long as my daughter has the best view possible. She’s lucky, neither were ruined. I walked away with hair and makeup intact. Her attention was towards a whale bubble gun that was sitting on the bench in front of us. Taunting her I should say, leaving a toy in arms reach unaccompanied. You could tell in her face expression she was concocting a plan to snatch the whale gun the only flaw in her plan was that she didn’t consider daddy’s role. He caught her before she was able to carry out her socially unacceptable plan. Never mind the flipping mammals, it was all about that gun.  Thankfully the show was only 20 minutes. We could tell she wasn’t impressed. One of the reasons why we decided to take her to Sea World was because of Sesame Street. She loves Elmo but unfortunately, she crashed before we had the chance to see him. This time I agree with my husband, she probably is too young for Sea World. I have been boycotting Sea World since the documentary Blackfish came out, but I didn’t want my daughter to miss out on something that might influence her down the line, you know? So until she asks to go to Sea World, I don’t think we will be returning.  At least we can say we took her. 

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Sunday morning was finally here! I brought along her Easter basket of course, I couldn’t just leave it at home and have her wait until Sunday night to open it. I was proud of if so I wanted her to all of her goodies on Easter even if we were at the hotel. First let me tell you, I haven’t gotten the hang of keeping her gifts a secret. I get super excited about her having the things we buy her so the surprise never happens. My mom was really good at that. Now that I think of it, I don’t really remember ever knowing what our gifts were until we got to open them. I wish I was more like that. I put her basket together while she was in the same room, see what I mean? I take all of the fun out of it. I suck, I know. She  was still excited about her Demi doll and Vampirina plush. She grabs them both and says “ Oh, bae-by.” Say it out loud cute right? I’m trying to figure out a way to describe her little strut, like a cartoon character that walks heel to toe really close together, like a wise guy. I don’t know if you can picture it and with both babies in hand, it was an adorable sight. A win for mom (dad had nothing to do with her basket). 

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We finally met up with my family and spent the rest of Easter enjoying the weather, music, the food, and each others company. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

Love, Mama.

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An Ugly Location

I did it! I put myself out there and tried something new. You’ve probably heard of the challenge that is going around on social media, the Ugly Location Challenge? Well this Mama took on that challenge and I must say “Nailed it.” I bet one of those fail and nailed photos popped in your head.  

I've always had a passion for photography

I've always had a passion for photography

Anyways,  I’ve never really done anything like this so I was pretty nervous, bubble guts and all. Once I walked into Michael’s, I wanted to turn around and leave but then I remembered it was an hour away from my baby, and I needed to enjoy it. Normally when I do something new or out of my comfort zone, I try to be hidden.  You know, stay towards the back and wait until everyone leaves. I double-check that no one will see me so I’m comfortable.  Then before you know it, I’m right back in my comfort zone. I needed to push myself and get over this fear. I wasn’t going to run away from a challenge, so buried the butterflies and grew some balls. 

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We walk in Michael’s and go straight to the floral department. I try not to pay attention to anyone around me and I  start to play with the flowers. Placing the flowers around my cousins face. Handing them to my sister so she can pretend to smell them, anything that would make the photos look like they were in a real garden. It wasn’t that bad once we got started and it seemed like the people that were interested in what we were doing didn’t linger. That helped relax me and made it easier to have fun. I honestly thought the photos would turn out horrible. A few of the price tags made it into some of the shots but other than that, they turned out pretty good(Can you sense the surprise tone?)  I’ve never worked with models before. Posing my subjects was difficult, I would have to say that was the hardest part for me. My sister and cousin aren’t models so they didn't know how to stand or where to place their hands. It was definitely a learning experience for all of us. It just goes to show you that you don’t need a lot of experience to capture amazing photos, you just have to be willing to do the work, put in the time, and practice. Editing the photos is a whole different story, I'm terrified of photoshop. But I will conquer that in time, that's my next mission. So get out there and challenge yourself, that's the only way you can grow. 

Love, Mama.

First time doing anything like this. 

First time doing anything like this. 

I still have a lot to learn about photography

I still have a lot to learn about photography

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

Easter is just around the corner. This year, Easter falls on April Fools Day which could be fun, if my baby were a little older.  But since my babe is still too little to understand jokes, I’ll have to sit this one out.  If any of you play any tricks on your little ones this year, I would love to hear about it! They might give me ideas for future April Fools day.  

So I’ve been gathering small gifts for Emerald’s Easter basket since the beginning of March.  I like to start early, that way I don’t have to pick from the scraps that are leftover by the early mommies (I’ve done this before, would not recommend this). I’m just about done with all of the goodies I want to surprise my little munchkin with. I know for a fact that I’m way more excited about her basket than she is. That’s how you know you’re a mom. You’re 30 and love to buy toys.  Yup, that’s where I am at in my life. Since this is my second year of being the Easter bunny, it was easy to pick things that she’s interested in right now. She loves books, she can’t read but she understands the pictures. I add in things she needs, like bows for her hair or socks. Last year was difficult because she was only 6 months and at that age she didn’t show any interest in anything in particular other than mommy’s milk. Right now she is in love with Vampirina, so that helped to give me ideas. We went to a few stores. I’m not going to lie, I over did it. I didn’t mean to get her so much stuff, but now that I have it all laid out it’s kind of a lot. Sorry daddy, the Easter bunny didn’t mean to go all out.

I'll be sure to add photos of her basket once it's finished. 

I'll be sure to add photos of her basket once it's finished. 

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Oh well, he’ll get over it.  Moving on. The best part is putting the basket together. I’m all about presentation. I don’t know why, it’s not like she cares. That’s just another sign of motherhood. The basket I picked out for her is a really simple, wire basket. I didn’t want the traditional wooden basket because after Easter we really don’t have anything else we can use it for, it ends up collecting dust in her closet. At least with this basket I can plant some flowers in and leave it outside. I grabbed some plastic eggs and some paper grass. Right now Michael’s is having a sale on all of their seasonal stuff, so if you haven’t picked up a basket yet, head over to Michael's for 50% off their seasonal Easter stuff. They have so much cute stuff.  I wanted to buy it all but I made sure to stick to the list: Eggs, an Easter basket, grass, and art supplies.  And that’s exactly what I walked out with. All I need now are her favorite snacks to finish the basket.  I’m really excited to see her reaction when she gets her Easter basket. Her beautiful big eyes all lit up when she sees Demi and Vampirina. Ugh, I’m getting excited just thinking about. I can’t wait until next weekend! 

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