Natural Nursery with homemade Texas flair

As a wedding photographer, one of the things I get to do is follow couples as they start their families.  It’s always exciting to hear that the couple has a new little person in their life.  Part of a newborn … Continue reading

Pins of the Week: Sweaters

as seen on Pinterest (thislittlenine)

as seen on Pinterest (thislittlenine)

Even though it’s 100 degrees here in Texas,  I’ve been obsessed with finding new fall fashions…particularly sweaters. It could be wishful thinking. In the retail world it’s already October, and I’m excited by what’s new and creative in sweater choices. It’s so hard to find good designs when the cold weather is actually here.

I believe dinos are the sharks of the fall. I’ve been seeing foxes everywhere, and I love the elbow pad trend. I narrowed down my favorite sweater pins here. Happy Inspiration!

(Pins can be found on our Boys Wear, Girls Wear, Robot and Dino boards)

What I’m Reading Now: The Honest Life

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One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to use my library card more. I also up the ante by trying to read one book a week. To date, I’ve averaged about one book a month, which is better than I had been doing. Last year, I read three books total. It was my first year as a mom so finishing a magazine was a treat.

For my first ‘What I’m Reading…’ post, I chose to read Jessica Alba’s “The Honest Life”. I’m not a “green” team person by any means, but I want things that are clean and safe for my baby’s body. I started questioning things when I was nesting. Now that he eats table food and tries to lick everything he touches, it’s even more important to know what’s going in his mouth.

I don’t want to be the one who taints his body.

Watching my mom struggle with cancer this past year has me questioning more the every day chemicals and toxins we come in contact with. Are we killing our bodies and am i hurting my little guy by trying to disinfect for him?

The eco-products are safe for the environment but are the disinfecting chemicals safe for my toddler. Up to this point, I’ve been using baby wipes on his high chair, but am I leaving germs as his food choices start to grow.

In the book’s introduction, Alba states:

I eat (organic) meat.
I don’t have time to wash cloth diapers.
I have a total black thumb-if I had to grow our food, we’d starve.

That statement reeled me in. I’m not trying to be a super mom (Gwyneth). I just want to be a good mom.

If you’ve read the book, let me know what you think of it. Thanks for joining me in the conversation.

Social Media and a Parent’s Death

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Last month, I experienced the most heart-breaking moment of my life…my mom died. I was with her from her last conversation to her last breath.

A post on Bluebird Kisses prompted me to finally post about it, since the topic of social media and death has started a debate on ‘sharing’ too much.

The man behind the controversy is Scott Simon, a NPR radio personality, who started tweeting from his mother’s hospital bedside. His tweets shared intimate moments of cradling his mother, holding her hand, her heart rate dropping and when she died. Just reading the few comments below you can see the tug of war between support and criticism.

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During my mother’s last days, I wrestled with using the word “death” in a tweet or status update. I was feeling so many emotions that I felt were insensitive to share. I didn’t want to invite sympathy or distraction, so i stayed away from posting. That being said, I appreciated Simon’s posts.

Simon gave a voice to the experience that I didn’t want to share. I didn’t want to break people’s hearts by telling my story, especially those who have not lost a parent. Simon made me feel connected and calm, because I knew he shared my pain.

In the days following my mother’s death, my family found comfort in memorial Facebook posts friends and family put in their status updates. My mother didn’t want a funeral, and she chose to be cremated, so in a way, online posts served the purpose of a funeral and obituary. It never even occurred to us to place an obit in her hometown newspaper.

We filtered through family photos, and posted them onto her Facebook page for people to download as keepsakes. Having her life in pictures helped me grieve and relatives were grateful to have photos with her tagged to their profile.

In the next few months, we’ll have to cancel her email and Facebook account, but for now, it’s nice to see her face online everyday. It’s like a bit of her is still here. It’s not insulting or disgraceful to share if sharing helps you cope.

So I say, Simon, handle your grief for you, and let others have their opinions for themselves. Something about being able to share this experience makes it real. I’m glad that Simon’s sharing prompted me to post.

The Start of Summer!

Photo by Number 9 Photography

Photo by Number 9 Photography

Today’s the summer solstice, and for those of us without school children, it’s the start of summer. Parents with older kids will probably argue that summer started once school let out. Whenever your summer started, enjoy the longest day of the year. Antonio and I are confined to the house. It seems that we caught a cold together…his first and my first in a long time.

So I’ll leave you with a pic of what we’d rather be doing. This is from Antonio’s first pool experience last month. The pool was a 1st birthday gift from his aunt. Here’s to more pool days in our future. In Texas, pool days last through early Fall. Happy Summer!

 

Mother’s Day: What I Really Want

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I’ve been a mother for exactly one year. Last year, I had this new baby and this new title…Mom. This year, I’ve had 12 months to figure out what that title means. It means becoming a cook, a housekeeper, a teacher, a playmate, a coach, a cuddler, a tickler, a sanitation worker, an encourager and so on.

With my days full, the best part of my day is the moment my little roommate is sound asleep, because I know that it’s time for me to do what ever I want. I can take a long shower, catch up on my Netflix, start a good book, chat with my husband, waste time on Facebook or fall asleep playing on my iPad. The point is that I can do whatever I want, and what’s more of a Mother’s Day gift than the gift of time. Time to do what I want to do, not what I have to do.

When Sunday comes, I still want to get up, put on a nice dress and go out for a Mother’s Day lunch with my family. After all, they are the reason I’m this new person now. It’s just nice to know that my husband will be on diaper duty, feeding duty, bathing duty and bed time…if only for the day. I’ll just take the play-time on Sunday.

Here’s a cheer to all the ladies who take on the job of motherhood. I wish someone would have told me sooner that raising a little person is just as rewarding as any work merit can ever be. 🙂

How will you be spending your holiday?

Co-sleeping…It happens to the rest of us too!

From the start, I swore up and down that we would not sleep with a baby in the bed. Nothing against co-sleeping…besides that it’s hippie-dippie, for breast-feeders only and 10yr-olds that can’t handle the dark.

At least that’s what I thought until I ran across this funny book from How To Be a Dad. I saw the cover and laughed out loud, because I realized that was an illustration of us about three times a week.

Just the other day, my husband pointed out that we only sleep miles a part when our son sleeps sideways in between us. I know that’s the definition of co-sleeping, but it’s not how we started out.

First we started with putting him to sleep in the crib. Then we moved, and he got his own room. Now, our 1yr old has taken to waking up at 3am screaming to get out of the crib. Sleep deprivation led us to drag him to our bed in the middle of the night. It’s the only way for us all to go back to sleep sometimes. This doesn’t happen every night, so I would call us “part-time co-sleepers”.

Here’s our current co-sleeping position. Hopefully, he’s not in our bed forever, but I’m in no rush to push him out either.

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Shop Spot: Little Sidekick

Here in Austin, TX, we are known for our musicians, but do you know about musicians who also sew? That’s how the Etsy shop, Little Sidekick, happened. Shop owner, Christina Marrs, started making animals from spare fabric while on maternity leave with her third son. Since she officially stopped touring with her very popular band, the Asylum Street Spankers in 2011, she has reinvented herself as a full-time maker and designer.

The giraffe was the first item that caught my eye, and then I started digging through her shop. The animals are unique for their clean designs with a plush backing. My little guy loves to cuddle with anything soft, so this is a great crib find. All items are handmade, so why not have a wood memory game?

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