Friday, January 23, 2015

3/52 Light

A dinner guest brought us some lovely flowers and Zoe snuggled in a perfect spot on the couch...

50mm ISO 1200 f1.8  1/125sec

50mm  ISO 500 f3.2 1/640s

Friday, January 16, 2015

2/52 Storytelling

I'm of the belief that all pictures tell a story, but some just melt my heart!

Nikon D80,  50mm , manual, ISO 1250 f1.8

Monday, January 12, 2015

The End of an Era...

OK, that may be a little dramatic. But the truth is, I've been pregnant or nursing for over 4 years.

When I say it out loud it initially strikes me as a long time, but I only have two kids and women with more would tally up those years quickly. For 6 of those months I was pregnant AND breastfeeding.

But, Aleko abruptly stopped nursing in November. It took me over two weeks to even be convinced he was really finished. I'd offer more than he usually nursed just in case I could, I don't know, trick him.

Natural weaning is supposed to be between 18-24+ months. It's supposed to be gradual.

On matters like this, I always go back and forth. He did just wake up one morning and stop nursing, so that's not gradual. But he was only nursing before nap and bedtime for months and was totally happy to go down without me when I wasn't there, so that's gradual.

He was very irritable in the weeks following. He so clearly wanted to be close to me. Would crawl into my lap whining and burying his head into me, but not that close...

If I offered to to nurse him - He'd cry. Or bite me. Or run away from me. Or smile and laugh at me.

The truth is I was completely unprepared and scared of weaning. There is quite a dramatic hormonal shift after weaning and I haven't been at that baseline since September 2011. What will it bring for my MS?

For the past 4 years, I've played the role of self-sacrificer well. "I can't have that medication because I'm nursing" has been my mantra. It's ok if I'm not well-rested because my babies need me. I can't wear those clothes because I can't nurse in them. It has been comfortable for me to defer things I used to do or enjoy in order to do what I thought was best for my kids.

But it has also been a way to distance myself from people. An easy way to disengage. Oh, I need to take a break from this loud party to nurse. It was guaranteed quiet time. An excuse to "selflessly" dismiss myself when I needed a moment. A re-charge.

I've put off a lot of things...Treatments for medical issues. Buying any new clothes. Addressing nagging aches and pains. Planning career moves. Paying attention to any of my needs.

Being myself seems daunting at this point. I thought I'd have more time to slowly move in that direction.  Physically sustaining another person's life through pregnancy and then simultaneously makes you more and less complete. It's a complicated relationship. You have to give up a little bit of yourself to raise young children. They just need so much from you.

Of course, I've been through this weaning journey before.

Zoe was a whole year older. She could talk to me about what upset her. I could tell her soothing words and they mattered. I worried so much that Aleko was too young to express his needs. That I wouldn't know how to comfort him. We found our way though.  Besides some extreme crankiness the first few weeks, he was fine.

He was happy with a hug after a fall, a song before bedtime, a kiss before nap. He was ready.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

1/52 Fresh

P52 is back!

Last year was a train wreck in regards to my photography. The first half of the year I didn't feel well enough to do it. The second half of the year I had a new crawler/walker who would split his face open running down the driveway if I wasn't holding his hand.

Here is the image Yannos voted for...

Freshly Popped! 

But this is the image that speaks to me...

There is nothing like eating fresh snow. 

I'm antsy for a new camera. My D80 picks up a lot of noise around 600 ISO. Now, I don't mind some noise, but during the low-light of winter, it's a bit out of control.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 Rewind - Halloween edition

First up...Halloween

You'd think my Halloween obsession disappeared based on the lack of Halloween spirit up in here. It didn't. I was just off enjoying it.

I desperately tried to convince Zoe that Aleko should be the Big Bad Wolf and we would be the 3 Little Pigs. She was not having it. She did not want to be a pig, but she was more than happy to tell her grandparents they should be!

They are such good sports. So we combined two fairy tales with Aleko being the center of it all.

There was only one problem. The cute wolf hat I ordered from Etsy 6 weeks before Halloween was being held hostage in a South African mail strike. Finally, the weekend before Halloween, I gave up hope and whipped up a wolf costume for him. I really wish I could say it was hard, but I did it during one nap with a grey sweat suit we already owned that barely fit him and some pieces of felt.

I used this link for inspiration, but since I was putting everything on a hood instead of making my own mask, it wasn't nearly as involved.

I hot glued the face and hand sewed the ears and paws at the ends of his sleeves and pants. I wasn't planning on making paws, but the clothes were too small for him, so it all worked out.

I hand sewed the tummy panel too. Although it was cute, it made it a pain to get on and off!

Zoe's costume was an old dress of mine and a store-bought cape (thanks Gymboree).

As for Yannos and I.

Yannos had specifically said he did not want to have facial hair this Halloween because of the past few years requiring it. So, we made him grandma. I got to be a man...AGAIN.

Goodwill never lets us down.

Despite popular opinion...Yannos was not wearing a silver turban. I even had a hairy chest.

All in all a great Halloween! Zoe even participated in a scream contest at the annual party we attend.
It was amazing.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello! Long time no see.

For anyone paying attention, I haven't been around since October. In the past I have needed to take breaks because I wasn't feeling great. The good news is, I'm feeling fine and I've been missing for quite the opposite reason. I've actually been working more than I have been able to since Zoe was born. It's still not a ton, but it feels good. Obviously, it takes away a lot of my free time.

I started this blog for a few different reasons, but a big one was since I had to be sitting and resting so much, the blog was a great way for me to do something more interesting with my down time.

I'm never a big fan when bloggers spend a lot of time lamenting how they don't keep up. Do it because you like it or don't do it. Taking a break wasn't a planned decision. It was just something that dropped off my list as my plate became more full. I also became frustrated with how Facebook holds updates ransom and it seemed most people weren't even seeing new posts.

The thing is, I have a lot to share and I like doing it here. So, I'll be doing a little re-capping this week (Halloween, the Anna dress fiasco, and weaning) and talking about some new things (healing my diastasis reci, P52, and my existential crisis).

Happy 2015! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

That Just Got Weird

Zoe ran up to a picture of an American flag on a box and declared, "THAT'S GOD BLESS AMERICA!"

Which of course led to me and Yannos singing a rousing rendition of the song.

Which OF COURSE led to Zoe's own special version...

It started off strong.

Ok. We're skipping a few words here.


Ok, not the words, but it at least makes sense.

Ummm. No. What?