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Archive for September, 2009

Creative gift giving is a talent… and I love a creative presentation.  My good friend Emily is a natural!  Although I try hard I often fall short of finding that perfect gift.  After attending my share of baby showers I have settled on a gift worth giving.  Although it is not necessarily unique to the person it is uniquely me.  I also must give some credit to Oprah as it is partially inspired by her Favorite Things show.

The past two baby showers I attended Emily’s and Carly’s they were gifted with MY favorite things for baby and mama!  These are all must have’s in my book updated as my most recent favorites!  If you have favorites comment and add them to the list!

Carter’s Long Sleeve white onsies.  I always give the 0-3 months or older because the newborns are too small too quick!  They go with everything and hold up beautifully!!!

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The Ultimate Receiving Blanket.  Made with great patterns and colors.  They are actually large enough to wrap a baby in post 2 months!!!  They wash well and last forever!  Matching burp cloths are available but who passes up the cheap and useful cloth diaper option!

California Baby Products.  Love their shampoo, sunscreen and bubble bath.  Next up we are going to try the conditioner.  Ava is Loving bubble bath these days.  The products are safe and smell great!

Lansinoh Nursing Pads.  A must have for any nursing mom and these were my favorite bag.  You will need more than one box so stock up!

Nursing Tank Top.  I Lived in these and still do!  I have two in every color. LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  You can find expensive versions at more maternity boutiques but the Target version cannot be beat!

Gallop. One of my favorite board books.  The pictures move and Ava loves it more everyday!  They also have two other books out with the same illustration technique.

Heading Home With Your Newborn: Birth to Reality. One of my favorite reference books.  Easy and fun to read.  It was written by two pediatricians but sounds more like two moms.  It is very realistic and you will love it!

Baby Legs.  All different patterns and colors they will keep your baby sylish, warm and easy access for diaper changing!  They are useful from about 2-3 months and up!!!  LOVE them!!!  Plus now that Ava is older they look adorable with her Tutu’s!

Trumpette Socks.  They stay on, they are cute what more can you ask for?!  I love the classic mary jane style but the cowgirls were perfect for my cousin.  There are even adorable styles for the boy in your life.  I just learned that now they have toddler sizes!!! I have to order some for Ava!!!!

Jelly Cat stuffed animals. They are the cutest, softest best ones around.  A must have for every kid.  Ava has a small snuggly, floor pillow, huge friend, soft book and even a baby activity version.  There is no end to the cuteness that is Jelly Cat.  All versions can be found on my favorite toy site oompa!  This horse was the perfect compliment to the cowgirl trumpette socks for my cousins upcoming arrival!

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STOP, Belly Time!

One of the reasons for my summer jaunt to Michigan was to attend my favorite cousins baby shower. For years Carly was my only other girl cousin and we thankfully have stayed close throughout the years. Despite a greater distance than I would like. Carly my be a bit anxious over her ever expanding belly but I could not be happier for her and her husband, Adam! I was also thrilled when she agreed to be my first maternity subject!  It was fun but much harder than I anticipated.  I tried some new processing and tried for a vintage feel on some of the shots, everything is a chance to learn, right?!  I hope I captured some moments for her to remember always!  Congratulations I cannot wait to meet little Alexa.  I just wish I was there to do the newborn shots as well!

The booties were handmade with love from my aunt/ grandma to be!  What a beautiful gift!

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Tessa Moon

My next session in Michigan was my cousins adorable 20 month old, Tessa Moon!  Who so sweetly learned Ava’s name during our visit. I cannot wait to get the girls together again during our November visit, they are getting so stinkin’ cute together!

The shoot was planned but with no naps that day and no set location done more on the fly than a well organized session. We went to a park near my grandma’s house, nothing spectacular but after all Tessa was the star!

Before I share some pics I have to rewind a bit. Just six weeks after I got my camera back in spring I was overly excited to do a shoot for Tessa. I picked the perfect location but made a total rookie mistake! I forgot to charge my battery AHHH!! So frustrating. I was able to shoot for about 5 minutes. It is shocking to compare those pics to where I am now in my photography. Can you say improvement!!!

These are all downloaded from my computer so they never are quite as sharp since the resolution is reduced

Cutie to be sure but look how off I was on color!

Cutie to be sure but look how off I was on color!

Michigan 2009 126

still learning but much better
first shoot

first shoot


recent shoot

Here are three more of my favorites from the recent shoot:


so sweet


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The First Family

No, not the family living in the big white house on Pennsylvania Ave., but my first family photo shoot!  Up until this session I had only shot one child, maybe two at a time.  I was nervous about nailing my focus of four people in a shot and thinking of poses that would inspire natural reactions and moments to capture.  I surely did not take into account a four year old that did not want her picture taken throughout most of the session.  All of those worries aside, they were an adorable family.  Even Miss Evelyn who did not want her picture taken made for a beautiful model and loving big sister to her two month brother, Alex.  I did not get too many shoots of the entire family together but captured some wonderful family moments.  All in all I was very happy with the results. Here are some of my favorites:

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Ava I were in MI for 14 days this summer. What a whirlwind! Our time was completely filled and during these 14 days I was able to complete seven Photography sessions! What great experience and practice!!! Thank you to all my friends and family for sharing their time I cannot wait to share all the pics. Get ready these are my next posts!

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So Ava spoke her first words a while back; mama, dada, cat, dog, lola.  That was were her language acquisition seemed to stall.  She minimally signed of course and used other forms of communication but no new words.  Then about a month back we got “up” Yay!!! A new word at last!  Now I do not want to be, and nor do I think I am one of those moms who needs their child to meet every milestone on time or early.  As a child development graduate I am more than aware how every child develops at different rates in different areas.  But with Ava’s best friend Hope talking at 9 months, yes she is amazing, I was beginning to get a bit concerned.  Would she even be close to her 50 words at her 18 month appointment?

Larry warned me that it was any day.  That once she started talking the flood gates would open.  He was also convinced that it would happen during our trip to MI.  That was where she took her first steps across the room it would figure that other milestones would follow, away from daddy’s adoring eye.  Daddy is always right!  At 16.5 months the floodgates did open!  It is entirely amazing how often new words spring from her mouth in the sweetest voice ever!

Mommy, daddy, cat, dog, Lola, up, down, on, off, in, out, grass, rocks, slide, milk, snacks, more, yes, no, wet, hot, go, bath, paci, meow, moo, ouch, oops, apple, juice, fish, ball, mint, Hope (with the H dropped!) the list goes on and on and everyday something new.  The best part is just how excited and proud she is upon successfully communicating a thought.

My new word story would not be complete however without sharing the most special words gained back east.  Ava quickly took grandpa under her language belt.  It is a mouthful so she has enderingly shorted it to Pa!  Yah, just like the Waltons.  Grammy was Mimi, we are still working on Grammy and she is VERY close.  Finally Uncle Chris; or kiss as she refers to him, fitting for someone who loves her so very much!

Cheers to my little darling I look forward each day to hearing your sweet voice!

Note: Here is a wonderful article on language development if you are interested!  At the very end is a list of language milestones.

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That Mom!

So it happened. Six plane flights into Ava’s traveling experience I was, THAT MOM!

You know, the one with the screaming baby! There is nothing I can say to describe just how horrible that actually is!! I am not sure; overly tired, uncomfortable what ever the reason the trip to MI and back were the WORST. By the end of the return trip to Seattle I was in tears also!  I am absolutly dreading the trip back in November. This next plane flight will also be the last time I will travel with Ava where she does not have her own seat. Although the price tag will be upped I am hopeful that perhaps more room will make the experience better for everyone!

The upside: A kind passenger in the back of the plane was my savior.  With about an hour to go and Ava walking up and down the aisles she offered me a handful of lollipops.  Ava had never had a lollipop before.  Let’s just say ALWAYS carry these in your diaper bag moms!!!!  They are a GREAT mute button.  Two lollipops provided 45 min of peace after hours of tears!!!!  A miracle if you ask me!!!

Great Idea: Someone once shared with me that on their babies first plane trip they prepared small gift bags for the passengers around them.  They were filled with ear plugs, gum and some other tasty treats just as a thank you for understanding.  I thought this was a wonderful idea.  Of course we traveled when Ava was 3 months old and I just could not get that organized.  I learned however that infants for the most part travel well.  So if you like this idea my lesson learned is that NOW is the time for the gift bags!!!!

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