Friday, January 30, 2009



real hide-and-go-seek. she finds a corner, a wall, an object to burrow against...burying her face into her pudgy little hands and squinting her long-lashed eyes while she waits for me to hide. and then a smile and her eager skip to come find me. she gets it.

(and i just love this picture because i was hiding behind a tree and i watched her scan the yard for me and sport this sweet little smile right when she spotted me)

a rainy day...which banished us--in the good kind of way--to the indoors where we shared a day with friends. and coffee. and perfectly toasted sesame bagels smeared with butter and cream cheese. choosing just one wouldn't be fair. oh, but we did manage to escape during a break in the sprinkles for some puddle-splashing pictures.

posting this picture right after i stood on a soapbox today and gave a speech on why i hate suckers. photo company slips in a little lolli with every order. and we've been getting daily ups deliveries. and i forget every time that it's in there...until she finds it. and it's a pretty big ordeal after we've managed to pry it from her deathly grip. and today, as the ups man walked up the driveway with the box...she ran and said "num-num." and i couldn't help myself. and i can't not start a sentence with "and."

my proof. see...she really does hold a pencil just right. and draws. tediously. my mom saved the crib sheet of my brother who drew an entire train track on it..perfect little perpendicular lines that repeated themselves across the cotton--when he was two. and then he said "choo choo." and now he's an artist. hmmm....just wonderin'.

short blood-red nails. love 'em...and tonight i actually had a little chunk of time to polish my nails and let them dry without the paint being embedded with cracker crumbs.

(p.s. random thought: would the most fun job ever not be a nail polish color namer?)

weekend plans...two big parties. oh, joy. pics to come.

...and speaking of pics...

i do so love her. ...and her little jammied body is snuggled under my covers right now...covers that are begging for me to join her.

...enjoying the every-day-is-grand things. ~k

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

booty shakin'

i know presley's pics are adorable, but i had to slip this in...

i can't stop watching this.

during popcorn & movie night with daddy, she went into this mezmorized state watching the oompa loompa dance from charlie & the chocolate factory. and then she danced. oh, but there's more. a few seconds later, she just completely lost herself in oompa loompa land. like, crazy moves.

my favorite video of her yet.

click here to see. it.

i will make your day. twenty bucks if you can watch it without smiling. entirely not possible.

some chubbins

the chubs on this lover just had me at "hello."
i just love chubby babies.
and sweet little presley was no exception.
heaven, i tell you.

...and her mama makes the most beautiful flip-flops.

oh, be still my heart.

i'll take two, please. with extra chubbins.

...enjoying the sometimes-rolls-on-thighs-are-adorable things. ~k

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


our girl is funny, funny, funny.
case in point:
she shuts herself in her closet. like completely dark...and pulls both doors shut until they "click." and she's not scared. she buries herself into layers of hanging clothes and yells for me to come find her. ...and i open the door to find a pair of legs just hanging out under all these clothes...and then a little hand...and a sliver of a smile...and a beaming little face...and then she's all "RAAAAARRRR!" ...and i guess i just thought they didn't do that kind of cute stuff until they were four or five. so, i'm pleasantly surprised.

she is dripping personality these days. there's not enough paper towel in the world to sop it up.

...and these posts just seem to keep coming back to this great big part of my life right now. she's the cream that rises to the top these days and despite all the tangents that make me happy, i would throw them all away if i had to.

and my favorites these past days:

~she finally learned to bend her arms all upturned and cock her head to the side and make this cute little "i don't know" noise when you ask her something. it's the i-don't-know face, and it's always been one of my favorite baby things. looked forward to it since day one.

~she "gets" time-out. just a little here and there, but if it's bad enough--a fit, a blood-curdling scream--we quietly and calmly tell her she needs to go sit in her chair and pull herself together. and she immediately quits fitting/screaming and smiles like "oh, i know this...i have a job to do"...and runs to her chair and sits. quietly. and smiles. and the fit's over. and it doesn't really make any sense at all, but it works. distraction. and she likes it and i like it and...we'll just see how it goes.

~she puts toys away. really good. and she knows where everything goes in her kitchen...and puts it right back. and i can give her anything--clothes, diapers, toys, books--and ask her to please put them away, and i watch, in awe, as she takes them right to their spot.

~about twenty times throughout the day she randomly stops what she's doing, runs like heck to me and holds her arms up. and i say "awwww....does da baby need some luvins?" and she smiles. and i pick her up, kiss/nuzzle/whisper/love the bejesus out of her...and then she shimmies back down and runs to play. and it leaves me numb for about a minute every time. just paralyzed with love. wheelchair, anyone?

...just needed to spew some love tonight. there. all better.

Monday, January 26, 2009

not a birth story.

i'm feeling completely criminal for posting on top of my birth story. 'cuz i could have left that up forever...because i think it's my favorite post the history of mankind. and just very, very dear to me. i still can't believe it's taken me this long to write it. and since i wrote it, i find myself rereading it...and still crying...and then going back and adding more and the little purple crown that someone put on her head in the warming bed. or the craving for a bottle of coke i had seconds after she came out...and the way i savagely sucked it down in three seconds flat when i finally got my hands on it...and reached for a basin straight after. or how she sounded like a baby pterodactyl with her little newbie screeches when katie welcomed her with her first bath in the tub next to me. or reaching for the phone minutes after she was born to call our family...and hoping she'd give a little cry so they could hear her, and--what i really want to say is this: if you haven't taken the time to write your birth matter how old your babies are, or how long you've waited. just do it. for them.

i suppose i'm going to have to move away from this birth story thing eventually...

so...some little sumthin's we've been doin' round here:

my friend leah and her family raised $7200 for the american cancer society last year, and they're trying to beat their goal this year. her boy adrey is a cutie...but i haven't edited his pics yet! so, in the meantime, here's her sweet little nieces...helpin' them with some advertising.

...and then gracie & ellie today: peace & love, baby.

...and another one of my beloved sister & her girls from last week...

...and, finally, tisha...i won't let you down. a post without lainey is just no post at all, is it?

...from our walk last my dad's place down here...this beautiful boardwalk trails into this serengeti-looking field and then ends at a tiki hut hangin' right over the gulf. beautiful. and while we were on our walk, this little old man and this little old lady were ridin' their bikes in opposite directions...we were smack in the middle and, to avoid hitting us, they both swerved their bikes and like majorly crashed into each other...we're talking, tangled handlebars and loud bang/crash noises. no one was hurt...promise...which is why i can guiltlessly tell you i (waited until they pedaled out of view and then) bent over and laughed 'til i cried.

oh, and see that last bottom-right picture? yup. she skips. skips, i tell you. she doesn't talk much, but she skips...and holds a pencil like we do. that's right. tightly gripped above her ring finger and perfectly held into place with her middle and thumb. and yesterday, she drew an "n." not kidding. in fact, this picture proves, she not only drew an "n" but, if you look closely, a "y" and a "c" as well. swear, this was all her. hello? the girl quite obviously wants to go to new york.

so we might not be verbal until five, but her her fine motor skills are on fire. i'm thinkin' artist. or maybe writer. a little right-brained mini-me, perhaps. which would suit my fancy just fine. (though i would love an analytical little thinker just as much).

...enjoying the birth-stories-still-trump-every-post things.

oh...and lastly...singalong junk is such a great song. i'm just sayin'.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

twenty one months later: {a birth story}

i wrote my birth story last night. i have been meaning to attach words to the unearthly beautiful experience for quite some time now and, with a little prompting (thank you, nici), i finally sat down and did it. this is an account for a friend, so the second person narrative refers to sweet nici who happens to have stolen my heart with her own birth story.

it's not her birthday nor any special occasion but, needed to be done and last night seemed a proper night to do it.

this song played during her birth, and i never listen to it because it's too special and i never want the crazy effect it has on my heart to wear off. so, i save it for her birthday...and when i really want to go back to that day. but, i'll let it slip in just this once.

with no further response on the invitation to tell the story of one's birth, 21 months later:

Lainey's asleep, Brett's watching a movie, and I am in my corner with the computer, a beer, and the looming greatness of putting something beautiful into words. I've put it into pictures...and pieced it together with music, but words? hard to do.

The day after my wedding, someone told me to go buy a journal and write everything I could possibly remember that day so that I didn't forget...because she promised me, if I didn't, that I would indeed forget. Best advice. Before we left for our honeymoon, I bought a red-velvet covered blank book and I did nothing else on our five-hour flight but scribble, scribble, scribble. Every thought. Every sound. Every sight. Every scent. Every emotion. And I'm so glad I did...because I never want to forget that beautiful day, and without my little written memories, so much of it would be lost.

I wish I would have done the same with Lainey's birth. But we were just completely bombed with having to go back to the hospital so soon...and when we finally got home, I was so emotionally drained, I couldn't do it. And I've told myself so many times since that I really needed to go and write while I could remember...

And it is until now...that you, my friend, have held me accountable.
And my account now, 21 months after, is probably a bit different than what it would have been if I would have set to the task sooner...but nevertheless...I will tell you what I will remember. And being asked to tell one's birth story is, to me such a beautiful invitation. Nothing I'd rather talk about. ...but words are hard to find.

may be the beer...may be Eva Cassidy in the background...may be the raw emotion of wanting to be pregnant again...or the sheer beauty in these memories, but regardless...tears are already spilling. and it feels good.

I loved being pregnant. Every single moment. Was sick as a dog for 20 weeks and lost seven pounds my first three months but would do it again a trillion times over. I loved knowing, no matter where I was...that I wasn't alone...that it was me & someone else. I couldn't wait until my tummy got huge and round and what I wouldn't do....oh, for the love of all things holy, what i wouldn't do to feel her kick again. i loved being pregnant. i loved it, loved it, loved it. and the night before i knew i was going to have her...i cried because, despite the fact i was just sick with excitement to meet her, hold her, love her...i knew she wouldn't be a part of me physically anymore. that is the most beautiful thing that could ever happen to a human. ever. thank you, eve. i'm glad she ate that apple, you know? i'm so glad she ate it.

so...anyway. in the middle of all this pregnancy thing, i had the most wonderful, beautiful doctor ever. she's just good and kind and i never had to see anyone else but her...and i never worried about anything because i had no reason to. funny...since i've had lainey, many of my friends have been pregnant and they'll ask me, "did you have the triple marker test? were you nervous about the blood test at twenty weeks? did you...blah, blah, blah" and I seriously can't remember ever ever being nervous or scared or anxious. i just knew she was fine...and my doctor was a huge part of that. which is why i was induced because, she was leaving on vacation on a saturday for two weeks and the monday before she left, my ultrasound showed me ready to go...and i couldn't bear the fact of one of her colleagues--someone i had never met--being part of the most amazing event in my life. so, we decided together to choose my date.

i went in on a thursday night and when i close my eyes...i remember everything. i wore a dress and heels and the nurse who delivered lainey--who has become one of my closest friends since--still teases me about the way she went back to the nurses desk after she called my name and rolled her eyes and told them to check out the girl who wore a dress to deliver her baby.

i was assigned to room 10. and three months ago, i went up to the hospital again with my friend katie, who delivered lainey, to see everyone again...and they told 10's open...why don't you go in there for old time's sake. ...and i did. and i stood in that dark room and shook. just cried and cried.

the story is long---beautiful, but long--and i will spare you every fact, the only way i can do this is gunna be hang on, sistah....

i remember the look on brett's face and my fear of him being less excited because it wasn't his first baby being completely dissapated when i saw big, teary eyes and little-boy anticipation. this was, after all...his first girl.
i remember walking into the room and seeing the warming bed and being hit hard with the realization that this was the bed my baby--inside my body--would be lying in. and there was a folded receiving blanket and a little stretchy cotton hat lying there...and i remember saying out loud, "holy crap. that very hat is going to be on my baby's head." it was just so...real. and happening.

i remember, in the middle of a contraction, brett bringing me a little hospital bracelet he found that said, "Hampton, Baby" and crying when I saw it...and staring at the handwritten name--my baby's name--while I writhed in pain.

i remember having my friends in the room and laughing and watching t.v. and thinking "this is so a party." i remember getting stadol and saying, as katie pushed it into my i.v., "will i feel this right away" and her answering, "yes" and then i said, "but i don't...." and then i smiled and melted.

i remember the stadol making me loopy and me telling everyone in the room that if they shaved off my eyebrows "make sure you save them for the kids to play with." okay, i don't remember saying that, but everyone else does, and they remind me weekly.

i remember feeling very, very in love with brett and feeling very blessed to have someone so loving. i remember loving the laid-back atmosphere and friends in the room and laughing and dozing while i listened to laughing and being surprised at how comfortable and normal this all was...and being very, very aware that through all of this laughter and talking and crying...there was this little background music of a little heartbeat.

i remember crying hard when they came in to check me...and pushing them away...and twisting in my bed, clawing the walls with them reaching up my throat. and one of the nurses saying something about my cervix being very "upturned" and that's why it hurt so bad and wanting to say "whatever, bitch" back...but i didn't.

i remember thinking i was dilated to ten when they told me i was one and a half. i remember getting the epidural and everyone laughing at me because they said i looked sultry and marilyn monroe-ish while i moaned through a contraction while they were shooting my back up with a needle.

i remember having to lie on my left side because "she doesn't like when you lie on your right"...and smiling that they talked about her as if she was already here....and had a personality...with likes and dislikes. i loved that she didn't like my right side.

i remember knowing it wouldn't happen for awhile and kelly staying with me so brett could go home and get some sleep. ...and sleeping in a dark room knowing i wasn't alone.

i remember brett arriving back early in the morning while i was still sleeping.

i remember wanting to hold her so bad. just wanting to hold her. and crying with the disappointment that it was still a ways away.

i remember telling brett i wanted katie back after she had to leave because her shift ended.

i remember, eleven and a half hours later when i was eight centimeters, katie returning...and brett saying, "katie's'll have her now."

i remember katie telling me ten minutes later that i was a ten.

i remember crying hard. because this was really going to happen.

...oh, tears.

it was beautiful. perfect. kate bush's "this woman's work" played loud throughout the room. and i felt amazing. and i smiled and laughed and pushed. and right before she came out, my doctor looked at everyone and...i'll never forget...said, "don't take the baby...she wants to hold her" because i made it clear a couple days before i wanted her straight in my long as she was breathing...and i didn't want anyone taking her away from me.

and i saw her come out of me. a little human body came out of me. and she was pink and perfect and crying, and dr. jody handed her right to me. 6 pounds, eight ounces of pure joy. heaven. placed in my arms...and her eyes were open and she was crying and i pulled her pink body to my face and kissed it over and over...let my tears wash her face.

i remember saying, "happy birthday, happy birthday, i love you" over and over. and sobbing. just sobbing with joy. and i remember brett's face so close to mine i could feel the heat from it. and i forgot everyone else in the room existed...and it was the three of us. crying and smiling and laughing and kissing.

and, i swear, it seemed like it lasted an hour. she had big pink lips that pouted out like they were plumped with restylane. and they were friggin' beautiful. i remember thinking i must be dreaming because certainly, the happiness i felt was not humanly possible.

they let me hold her for so long and katie later told me that never, ever happens.

we drank her in...what seemed like forever, but it wasn't even an hour before all of our friends...seventeen to be exact, piled in the birthing room with us to welcome her. and i watched my friends hold her and just couldn't believe this was my baby in their arms. everyone told me before that i wouldn't want to give her up to anyone...but i was completely fine...overjoyed, in fact, watching these people i love hold her and love her too. someone snuck a bottle of champagne in and we poured it in dixie cups. and i remember, just an hour after she was born, my legs still numb, everyone holding their dixie cups up (oh...tears)...and hearing the chorus of voices say, "To Lainey Love" they tapped their little paper cups and i held this swaddling thing..our my arms.

it. was. beautiful.

i remember it was 11:45 at night when the last friends left and it was just me and brett and lainey. and being transferred to the wheelchair to be taken to a new, nicer room upstairs. and being handed my swaddling baby to hold in the chair while they wheeled me up. and just thinking that i had never, ever been more proud. i remember the quiet of the room with the three of us...and we whispered and snuggled in bed together. and about 1:00, i told brett to go home and get some sleep...because i knew he loves his bed and because i knew we would be fine, just us girls. and when he left, i remember thinking my heart would burst. just sitting there, holding her, looking at her knowing i got to be alone with her for the next several hours.

i don't know what else to say. it's just untouchable ground. pure, raw emotion.

...and it's a choppy ending...but it hasn't ended. it keeps going. for 21 months, i've felt that feeling. maybe not as new or raw, but there are days where it just hits me like...holy crap. she was in my body. squished up in my body swipin' her knee across my stomach, and she's out. she's right there, and she's mine. and i love her so very much.

...enjoying the it-was-time-to-get-it-out things. ~k

Thursday, January 22, 2009

love works for every post title.
but this one especially...

some "love" from a few valentine shoots.

she's hilarious, she's kind, she's animated, she's fun...but most of all...she's a love of a mommy.

meet donna and her babies...she's surprisin' her man with these ones...

and i just suggested they kiss their mama for this shot, and they happily obliged...just tackled her and mauled her with love.

and then sweet little alan and samantha took turns lovin' the lense...

and a cute one of my niece, savannah from last week:

if you're in the naples area...valentine special: $100 mini shoot includes 15 minute sitting, a CD with 5-6 edited images and 25 premium pearlized 2-sided custom designed 5x7 valentines with envelopes.
e-mail me:

love, love and more of it your way...

oh, and p.s. the comments on the last post? seriously. thank you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

could you tell me the way to flow, please?

so, i lied. while the beach temporarily rejuvinated my creative lull last week, it was just that...temporary. like a quick buzz off a few good beers. followed by a very un-creative hangover. i know i made it look alluring with all that sister fun and delicious dinners...but it was just a high. and it crashed. i am officially proclaiming that my inspiration truck has broken down in the ebb region of the great town of ebb & flow. i got it running for a short time, but it putt out after a few miles. i've knocked on mechanics doors, begging them to get me to flow. because i've been there...and i like it. but no one's open. i'm stuck in ebb. ...and it sucks.

so, i went for help. my sister has these crazy good book recommendations because she is a good striver and better-er and and she will write a book someday. so, she gave me some urging...from natalie goldberg's old friends from far away: the practice of writing a memoir... (yes, it's training wheels, but with a little practice and a good push, i firmly believe i will be ridin' this bike myself in a few days. and i will ride it straight into the sunset).

"often in the middle of a timed writing practice, you feel muddled. you're not really saying anything. so try this: don't ever wait to finish your sentence. right in the middle, put a dash...then write 'what i really want to say is this'...drop to a deeper level and keep going..."

so, with that said....

I'm not going to "muddle" anymore and this may be completely random, but --what i really want to say is this:

~i have a very good husband, and this blog has been so much about her & i...and i've just been thinking that i need to write more about who is he and how much i love him. because he's very, very good. and i love him very, very much. and anyone who reads this deserves to know a little about the gem i found. he is ever so lovely. so, good things to come on the man i love.

~i need to clean my bedroom again. random, yes...but if feels good to purge. seriously. my closet is a pit.

~there is a my honor next week. for my thirtieth, actually. and, it could be a celebration of our neighbor's cat's neutering ceremony for all i care, but i am very excited because there will be a great slew of people i love in one room. and i will bask in their greatness.

~i miss my sister.

~we've been trying to have another baby for ten months and it hasn't happened. i want to hold this baby...really bad.

~i think the most beautiful phrase in the history of mankind is: "let go."

~i love "imaginary vacations." with the crap economy, "vacation" is not in the near, we take imaginary ones. and we get all excited talking about them...where we're going and what we'll do...and it doesn't matter if we'll go or not. our imaginary journeys there are quite delicious. and, in the meantime...there's camping, and we're planning a nice adventure--lainey's first one--in february.

~i have a little girl. not a baby...not a toddler...but a little girl. and i love her so.

oh, i'm on a roll...

five smells you can remember...ready, go:

~the body shop's coconut & lime bodywash. my first "love." from australia.
~my grandma & grandpa's old living room. coffee & laundry, an eclectic mix of furniture from their mission trips around the grandma's perfume. together, it equaled this magical scent of beautiful nostalgia.
~brett's cologne on our first date. woodwater, an italian cologne you can't even find anymore. there's an empty bottle in our closet that i can, if i inhale hard enough...remember every little detail about our dinner at the japanese steak house up the road. sigh.
~burt's bees buttermilk baby lotion. what i put on her the first ten days in the hospital. and what magically takes me back to that newborn in my arms the second i smell it.
~my mom: estee lauder's pleasures.

and what's a post without some pictures...

today's afternoon light and welcome cold gave us a quick opportunity to bask in its splendor...

p.s.: i freakin' love hats.

the evolution of her trademark "scrunchy face" we so love...

if i could put into words what i'm feeling about the new person in our house...this new girl who is completely different from the old girl...i would. ...but i can't. she is just completely evolving into new loveliness. fits and attitude included, but that's the beauty. like pinnochio becoming a real boy. she's real...and i can see the person she's gunna be. gepetto likey. no...gepetto love.

...enjoying the lovely-regardless-of-the-measure-of-inspiration things.

oh, wait. inspire me. if you shall leave a comment...leave it with the answer to natalie's goldberg's question. a smell you can remember...keep it clean, folks.

love. ~k