Monday, February 27, 2012

Meet me Monday....

1. What's your favorite way to spend down time (alone or with a significant other)?

Wait what? What is this your speack of?  I'm not really sure what this "down time" thing is?  2 very very busy almost 4 month old babies and no sleep,  a part time job, a home, bills, big families, down time here.

I am looking forward to nighly habits. It's gonna be a walk in the evening after dinner, take our bath, read a few book's, brush toother pegs, pray, goodnight hugs, loves and kisses kind of habits..

However...every so often, we do have some downtime, if I'm alone, I like to cruise the Internet, read blogs, Twitter, etc. With the hubs? Talk, watch a movie, snuggle, dream and talk about the future kind of time.
We had a fun date night. Dinner. We haven't been out to a movie in so long, because we realized, we can't really catch up with each other in a movie theater, so we talked and laughed the other night over dinner and over buying toliet cleaner at Target. :)

We need another date night soon, it makes this crazy mommy feel a little less crazy.....A little.

2. Are you the kind of person that wants things more as soon as you know you can't have it?

The only reason why that would be a yes is if it was something I had to wait for. I hate to wait hate to wait...did I say that? Did you miss that....hate to wait. Wait for anything.

Waiting is so hard for me the not knowing an answer is the worst.... I really do stress out for the unknown, my head is hard to get to stop over thinking things, I care way to much what others think and I over think every little thing that I have no control of. Hate it. One day I hope I am care free. Now I sit and worry about the boys. My mom said this is what being a mommy feels like. Oh how I love my boys and love the fact that God has graced me with letting me be their mommy. What a great gift I have been given.

3. If you were given $1000 to spend on yourself, what would you buy?

my first reaction would be for me to go and buy the new swing set at Costco for the boys to play with. No they wont be able to use it right now but over time they would be able to swing and play and grow....

SO that really wouldn't be just for me so after then for me I would buy .......

The Nikon D40 camera..I just love this camera and it is my goal to buy this and take a zillion pictures of my beautiful baby boys.

4. Do you ever go out to eat by yourself?

UGH. I HATE eating out by myself. HATE it. Now that I have my i-phone I don't mind it so terribly much, but I still don't prefer it.

I'd much rather eat in my car than have people looking at me in pity because surely I'm so unlikable that no one can bear to even eat with me. If you make me, I will...but it's certainly not something I choose to do!

5. What company would you want to do a blog review for?

I would love to do a blog review on Disney, disney vacations maybe visit all the parks and cruise ships that they own! Now that would be a wonderful review. I think that it would be Ah-May-ZING! I would be able to write the best travel reviews of my life through this company. Also it would be amazing to work for them full time doing anything..........It truly is the best and happiest place on earth.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Feature Friday.................

I LOVE WOMEN IN BUSINESS!!!! LOVE the idea! Love the fact that women do so much for our community, in fact most business owners in our community are women! So each week I will feature another women in Business! This is a great way for you to meet some new creative., wonderful ladies to help support. I will add her beautiful photos once my lap top gets back up and running!  

I did a interview with the next lady I am doing the feature with almost two years ago and we couldn't get over the change. Look back on some of my older posts and you should be able to check and see the difference in her answers then and now. Elaine is a person that is full of love and life! She grew up in Bremerton and stayed true to her roots in this area by starting her own photography business and is raising her two beautiful children here as well. I am blessed to call her a friend here is her new out look on her business. I can not wait to see where she is in another two years! 

1. How long have you lived in the area?
I have lived in Bremerton my entire life... so about 33 years.

2. How much family history do you have in the area? 
My parents are the only ones left in the area. Both of my brothers have moved away and started families, but I have no plans of ever leaving!

3.What is your favorite thing about the area?
I love that you can get in the car and drive 1-2 hours in any direction and be somewhere totally cool. I love the trees, the water, the mountain views, its beautiful and makes great portrait scenery.

4. What would you change if you could about the area?
 I wish there werent so many 'banks' on every corner. And not a real big fan of the nudie coffee stands. (maybe i'm just jealous, lol)

5. What made you start your own business? 
I started a business in 2001 making scrapbooks for others (Scrappin It For You). I have always loved photography, and my husband was really the one who encouraged me to pursue photography.

6. Where would you like to see your business be in 5 years?
In 5 years I would like to be able to support my family as a photographer. To be able to wake up everyday and make a choice to do what I love and support my family would be my dream. While i'm in dream land, I also want to open up my own shop, that is a photographers paradise. There are no camera stores left anymore and I want to change that.

7. What is the hardest part of having your own business?
The hardest part about owning my own business is deciding on pricing. I want to be 
affordable and yet at the same time be compensated for my time and costs. Its a hard compromise. And I struggle with it everytime I look at my price sheet.

8. Where would you like our town to be in over the next five years?
I would like our town to be more supportive of small businesses opening in the area. I think it would be nice for the cities to give tax breaks to small businesses opening up so they can have a chance to survive before taking a piece of their pie.

9. What is your favorite thing to do in our town? 
 Every year without fail, we go to the Kitsap County Fair.

10. What is your favorite Store in town?
My favorite store is Romy's, and Ish.

11. Do you give to any local charities you work with?
I support alot of military. I am a member of Operation Love Reunited and offer to do homecomings, and other portrait sessions with military. I also do alot of fundraisers for different organizations trying to raise money.

12.What is your business motto? 
My business motto is "I'm not your average photographer". And really, I'm not. I do so much MORE than just photographer. I am creative. I love to design. I love to create. I cant help myself. A majority of my business has been word of mouth. I like it that way. It makes me feel like I am doing a good job.

13.tell me anything you would love to share about your business. 
I have yet to find a type of photography that I dont enjoy! I look forward to working with all kinds of people on all different kinds of projects!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The small look at living at the NICU.

A popular question, with which I still have a hard time dealing with, was, “how are you doing?” I don’t think I’ve ever honestly answered that question to any one other than "Hubs" 

When we got the call that Chrystal was in labor it was all in slow motion. When I saw my two beautiful babies at their start of their 28th week, alive and at the moment I thought that my dreams had all become true. Little did I know that this would be the first few minutes of a nightmare I wouldn't be able to be awaken from for a very long time. What I saw at that time were my two beautiful baby boys! What we were looking at was translucent skin, tubes and wires all over their tiny bodies, seeing them so small not even able to let out a cry. At the time of one of my son's delivery he wasn't breathing and this lasted for minutes. I texted pictures of the babies to my best friends, and close family. With big smiles! I didn't realize how bad this was. I look at the pic's now and truly see I was in Shock and wearing rose colored glasses. 

Taking off those glasses for the first time, realizing that there is no way to describe what it feels like to have an early baby. No new mommy to be or woman ever contemplates the “what if” of preterm labor and birth, or complications. No one tells you of the details of what it would really be like to be in this situation. 

There is a time that you end up with this feeling of fear. Fearful that they won’t be okay…or that something is wrong with one of them, or God forbid something was wrong with Chrystal. Fearful that even a c-section birth would be too stressful on either boy.  Fearful that though the neonatologist said that babies born at that gestational age, that they had a 90 percent survival rate…that maybe one or both wouldn’t survive. They were worried about them because they were both so very small…would they be too small to survive? Would they be underdeveloped? Fearful that Chrystal would think she did something wrong to make this happen. Fearful that she thinks it’s her fault. Fearful she’d think I (we) hated her. Not that we loved her at that moment more then anything ( well besides those two beautiful babies that she just brought into this world.) 

When the time came later that night that we were told that we could now finally go see them. This feeling of being over the moon that you can FINALLY see your tiny babies. On the other side a little like you don’t want to see them because it’s going to be so scary to see them so helpless, There is nothing anyone can say to you when you have to look through the plexi-glass of an incubator to see your baby, or ask permission of a NURSE to touch YOUR baby…or the feeling when you first hold them…the feeling of relief that their okay and they have made it this far, but the feeling that it’s your fault. The only thing I was able to mutter out of my mouth was, “Hi, baby boy, I’m your mommy…I’m so so sorry.” All I could say for a few weeks in the NICU were I am so sorry.....sorry your here and not home, that you don't get to be in the same bed as your twin. it meant not holding them. Holding them would have stimulated them, It made it so they would both burn precious calories that they so needed to have to grow…to regulate their own temperature, to make blood, fat and everything else that they needed. It meant out of all the minutes in a day…at the beginning we held each of them 20.  Each of our babies learned to love us by us doing care…taking temperatures, changing diapers,.taking care of their umbilical cord's. That I can hold each of them by hand hugging them, the only way to touch them is to put your hand on the soles of their feet, and to cup their head. Stroking a preemie like you would a  term baby baby is too much stimulation, and isn’t ok for them, Nurse Amiee told me that this would be what we feel like with a big fever and someone touching us.

The only thing we could do was to pull up a chair and sit. Sit there and stare at them. Being there for us to feel better, all the while thinking that us being there made them feel better. To talk to each other, talk to the amazing  nurses…talk to them through their incubator/ isolette. so that they learned who we were from or voices. This was especially important to "Hub's" and I because they didn't grown in my tummy. So they didn't know our voices as much as they did their Auntie & Uncle and their two cousins. My thought through the first few weeks is that they didn't know who this stranger was talking to them, maybe they wanted or needed their oven's voice to comfort them and not mine. F & B learned affection, love, and security through these things I know that now, and it makes me realize that it was enough to help them strive. 

The sleepless nights thinking of how they were doing…the eagerness to be next to them even though we couldn’t hold them much, truly there are no words for it. We turned our world upside down and moved down to this amazing place that is called the Tree house where you can live until your babies are sent home. We stayed here for almost 65 nights, it wasn't home but it was better then driving the almost two hour drive one way to go home. 

The first time you see your baby turn blue because they are so small and early that they haven’t learned to self regulate is the worst heart wrenching feeling. The good news is,  that the bigger they get, the less often it tends to happen, and the more used to them you become. It gets to the point that spells don’t phase you, and how to stimulate them to breathe again is second nature. The beeps and alarms of the NICU become normal, and you can tell what each one means by it differing tone. The higher pitched and faster it is, the worse the reason. Being in the NICU was the worlds largest rollercoaster ride I have ever been on in my life, in trapping my family and close friends on this ride with us, times when things go great and then it starts to go backwards before you know it your four steps back. They would go off the Cpap then back on, transfusions, PICC lines out and back in, feeding tubes out and back in, Oxygen on and back off, with one baby when he came home he came on that and a monitor for his heart after a while it went off for now. 

I sat one morning looking in at one of my babies while the other one was in the room next to us and the only thing I could do was break down and cry.... The nurses held me as I cried these nurse's & the girls at the front desk became my best friends and family, my rocks. I would have never made it though all of this without them. 

So many times during the stretch of being in the NICU was spent crying, it was the only thing to do. Curl up and cry. I spent a great amount of time alone, Hubs had to work and I didn't feel like being social at the Treehouse, sometimes all I could do was to Just cry. Just let it all out. I had to stay calm to try to keep the people around me protected, not wanting to let anyone else carry this feeling. There were many,  many tears built up. They still a few months later come though from time to time. 

On their one month birthday they were doing well enough to be taken upstairs to the ICN, the next step to going home.... I was pushing it because in my mind going upstairs we can go HOME! Well then I realized the most of my nurse friends would no longer be with me by my side. 

Check back next week for the rest of the story.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday......

Cute idea!
This was found on pinetrest!!! Love this picture and will need to find time to take a picture like this of the four of us. 

Tempt my Tummy tuesday

Well Tuesday is fun because Monday nights I make the meal I plan to share with you all. My memory card was deleted and I am told not to use it for a while so your going to get pictures that I get from photobucket or google search for a little while. The card is full of the babies pictures. I can only hope that they can be recovered like many people have told me. It truly has made me feel so sick to know I deleted their pictures of their first four months. 

With that being said here is what I tried to make yesterday. You all know how much I loved quick crock pot recipes and now with the babies and all the time I don't have I find the time to do one big meal plan on Sundays to set us up for the week with my lovely crock pot!  I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Beef Bourguignon

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 5 pounds beef chuck, cubed up 
  • EVOO. 
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced ( I used cream of mushrooms and that seemed to work great! 
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced ( I have mine frozen so just pop it out of the ice tray! )
  • 6 teaspoon minced garlic ( Again done in ice tray in freezer) 
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cups white wine ( 3 buck chuck from Trader joes works great) 
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth ( I use trader joes) 
  1. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge beef in flour.
  2. In a skillet placed on stovetop set to medium-high heat, heat oil and sear beef on all sides.
  3. Add meat and remaining ingredients to Crock-Pot® slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 4-6 hours 
Serves: 6-8 Size: 6-7 quarts 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Meet me Monday...

1. What do you do when you are really upset to calm yourself down?
I start to cry.  Although I have to say and admit that I'm not really sure that it calms me down. I also get mad and real bitch at times. My husband is amazing and I do not know what makes him put up with me and love me the way he does. 

2. Did you go all out for V-day or is it just another day?

Baby_Feet.jpg image by ohiogrl288

Typically, it's just another day. This year, we did what most new parents do, made dinner and tried to talk in between diapers and warming up milk. It was extra special today because we had two amazing little babies to hold and love. I do look forward to next year when we can start many new traditions.... I do see alot of fun things in our little family.

3. Are you more or less productive when Hubs is away?
50s Housewife
Oh so much more, I turn and burn when the babies nap, I have a clear list of when to do what for my chores around the house, I try to keep my house up to the way it needs to be in order of what I expect from me. It's funny I have a few best friends and one that isn't a part of my family tree, she came over the other day and said she was so happy to see my house look like that of one that belongs to a mommy! So now when he is away at work I try really hard to keep it up but now I don't keep it as clean as I use to because I would rather play with my babies or catch up on a few emails or take a nap with them. I never thought that quote of "cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow." now I truly do. 

4. What is your favorite time of day and why?
Gosh...that's a hard one. 
But, I suppose, my favorite time of day is 3:00 when my husband comes home from work and I go back to sleep for a nap, sometimes I sleep till 4 sometimes till 7. It is kind of like working a graveyard when I let the hubs sleep and take the night shifts when he is working. I also love when all three of them are in bed and I can watch my shows, catch up on my blog and drink a nice cold diet coke. :) 

5. What is your go to karaoke song?

80s.jpg image by shavondominique
Soooooooo, my go to karaoke song is usually like a virgin, or pour some sugar on me! I also love anything by good old Niel D....

If I've had Pineapple juice and coconut rum,  I can sometimes convince myself that I sound good enough to belt out any handful of country artists or 90's top 100...but that requires a blood alcohol level that leaves me unable to drive a car or operate heavy machinery and I wind up with a queasy tummy and a pounding headache in the morning along with a ton of bruise's I discover in the shower the next day. Thank God I don't drink but once a year or two.