While we were visiting my in laws in Kansas I had the great opportunity to do some maternity photos for my sister in law, Edith and her husband. I love my sister in law. I can always count on some good laughs when we are around. Her laugh is contagious. Seriously! And she is also incredibly sweet and thoughtful and organized! I wish that we lived closer and could see each other more often, I think that we would be great friends. But, since we don't live close, I can just look forward to the fun times that we get to spend with each other while visiting. Oh and her husband, Aaron is a hoot. Really, he too is great fun to be around.
Here are a few of my favorites......
Thanks Edith and Aaron for letting me photograph you! I promise to send you a CD THIS WEEK!! Cross my heart! Can't wait to meet my little niece!
So last week Nolan was off on a business trip to Seattle. He got to stay at a fancy hotel. He got wined and dined every night. He go out with coworkers on the company dime. As for me, well, I think that I got the better part of the deal because I got to spend the week with this little girl.
Georgia's 4 year old picture, taken by moi, 2011
I mean really, who would want to spend the week in a swanky town like Seattle when you could be in Indianapolis with that sweet little girl? Well, while it would have been nice to get away for a week, it was pretty awesome to spend quality time with my best girl.
Nolan left on Monday morning, very early. Once Georgie and I woke up and groomed ourselves, we went shopping with my friend Sarah and her sweet little boy James, you may have seen his photos in a previous post, Sweet Baby James. He's really cute and sweet and Georgia loves to hang out with him and make him laugh. We had lunch together and then headed home.
For dinner Monday night we met up with my dad (who was also without a spouse this week since my mama was livin' it up in Florida with her sisters....no one asked me to go on this girls trip...hmmm). He was able to take all of his girls (me, my nieces and Georgia) to a five star dining establishment....Steak n Shake. It's a big hit with the kids, even if I feel like my stomach might explode after eating there. And it was fun to have a date with my dad and nieces.
Steak n Shake ALWAYS reminds me of late nights during college....running to Steak n Shake and sitting there for hours with friends over a milk shake and french fries.
Tuesday, Georgia had school. So after I dropped her off, I was able to have a little bit of time to myself. YEA RIGHT! I had yet another ultrasound to go to. I go for an ultrasound every other week. While I love seeing my babies, I do get annoyed that I have to go so frequently. It's really not a lot of fun driving 20 minutes and sitting for another 20 minutes to see someone at the OB office. But having the relief of knowing that both babies are doing well and have little beating hearts and that no early labor has started is worth it.
While at the appointment, it was confirmed that both babies are girls. There was a tiny bit of doubt with Baby A because at my last two ultrasound appointments, she had her feet crossed right in front of her girl parts. But this time she decided to stop being so modest.
After I picked up Georgia from school and we ran home for a quick lunch, we went to an afternoon showing of the movie Chimpanzee. Georgia has been waiting to see this movie for months. It's a Disney Nature movie about a young chimp, named Oscar, and his mother. He gets separated from his mother and has to find another chimp to adopt him. It's really an amazing story. I knew going into the movie that I was going to cry, and yes the tears began to flow when little Oscar is searching for his mother and he can't find her. It was incredibly sad. It was also so amazing watching how alike we are to chimps.
This is sweet little Oscar. Look at that face....ugh, tugs at my heart every time!
After the movie and a nap, we went out for pizza. YUM. That was mostly because I had been on the go since 7am and there were some dishes that needed to be done. I didn't feel like washing dishes, cooking dinner and then washing dishes again and cleaning up the kitchen. It might be a bit lazy, but I don't really care. When we got back home I gave Georgia a manicure. She loves to have her nails painted. She soaked up all the attention that I was giving her and I soaked up all the quality time that I got to spend with my kiddo.
Wednesday was our day at home. We spent the day tiding up the house and just hanging out. We did have to go to Target for a couple of things, but we relaxed for most of the day. It was much needed low key day for this mommy.
Thursday, Georgia's last day of school for the week. It was hat day, so she picked out a green safari hat to wear. She was very excited to show that off to her classmates. After school we had some lunch and hung out at home. Later in the afternoon we went grocery shopping. You see, on Thursday nights my entire family gets together at my parent's house for dinner. My brother and his family, my family, my nephew and his wife and my mom and dad all share dinner together and catch up and find out whats been happening that week. It's nice to see everyone and be together one night a week. Well, since my mother was gone, remember, she's the one who was in Florida for the week, I said that I would cook dinner. So after shopping I headed over to my parent's house and prepared a meal for us all. Thankfully the others cleaned up afterwards! Yea! I love cooking, but I hate cleaning.
After Georgia went to bed, I tried to stay up and wait for Nolan to come home. He was supposed to get in late that night. Well, he got in sometime after 1am. Needless to say, I feel asleep on the couch, woke up and went to bed. He did wake me up to let me know that he arrived home safe and sound.
Friday, Nolan had to go to work, and even though I was home with Georgia all day, it wasn't the same. I knew that he would be home that evening and our family would be together again. And while, I had a great time with my girl, it did make for a very looooong week for this mama. I have to give a hand to my single parent friends out there. It's hard. Kids push your buttons, they run circles around you with all of their energy, you feed them, you bath them, you clean the house....you do everything and sometimes it just doesn't seem like it's enough or that you're doing the right things.
Having this week away from Nolan also made me so thankful for him. While we ate dinner out every night and went to movies and went shopping and did manicures, I wouldn't trade any of that for time at home with him. He's an awesome dad and a fantastic husband. I picked a winner!!! And I'm glad that I get to share this time with him. We get to watch our girls grow up and become young ladies and know that we had a hand in guiding them towards the women that they will be, and that my friends, is great.
This weeks topic for Together On Tuesdays is "What if you could have the job of your dreams?"
I've had so many dream jobs in my head over the past several years. It's always changing and evolving into something new as my interests change. It is a little hard for me to pick one so I'm going to tell you about a couple of things that I've thought about over the past several years.
If you would have asked me this when I was 18 there would have been no doubt that I would want to be a Broadway actor, specifically for musical theater. I've pretty much been in love with singing my entire life. I'm pretty sure that I drove my parents nuts growing up. If the radio was on the car, I was the little girl in the back seat singing her heart out about topics that I had no clue about.
That love for singing drew me to audition for choir in high school (for some reason, I didn't audition in Jr High, WEIRD). Because of high school choir, I was introduced to voice lessons. I would meet with my vocal coach once a week. I did that for my last 3 years in high school. She helped me get confident enough to audition for my first musical, A Chorus Line and I got a part in the chorus.
From that point on, I became obsessed with musicals. Here is a list of shows that I have been cast in......
A Chorus Line
The Wizard of Oz
Will Roger's Follies
Fiddler on the Roof
The Wizard of Oz (again)
This is in addition to all of the concerts and other performances that I've done (way too many to count).
But as I got older, it got harder to give up my free time to do theater. I wanted to spend more time with my friends. I got tired of all of the politics in theater. It seemed like you had be best buddies with the director in order to get a good part. I knew that I wanted to have a family someday, I started thinking about the time it would take away from that. It was at that point that I decided that, while it was something that I really really loved, it wasn't something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It's not like I was brave enough to head out to NYC and try to make it BIG. And while community theater is great, it's just not something that I was willing to invest the time into.
Something else that I thought I wanted to do was become a nurse. While living in Goshen I worked at Oaklawn Mental Health Facility. I found it very interesting to see how the mind works and to help people work out their problems. Then I moved back to Indy for a couple of years before Nolan and I got married and I worked at a nursing home. This was hands down the hardest job that I've ever had. It was brutal, back breaking work. And not only was it physically demanding, it was also mentally exhausting. While that was not my dream job, I did learn that I liked caring for others. I liked making them feel better. I liked bringing a smile to their faces when they learned that I was going to be their aide for the day. When I got married, I moved to Atlanta Georgia with Nolan so I had to leave my job. I was ready to leave, but I did miss some of my patients.
After Nolan and I got married and he finished school at Georgia Tech, I went back to school with the plan to get my nursing degree. I was working full time and doing a couple of classes here and there. Nolan got a promotion at work and I was able to find a job working part time. This gave me the extra time to invest in school. I was able to work three days a week and spend more time on my studies. I needed the extra time, most of the classes that I was taking were math or science related and those subjects just do not come naturally to me and competition was stiff! But soon I found out I was pregnant. I couldn't work part time, be a mom and go to nursing school. So, I quit. I hate feeling like a quitter. It seemed at that point I was never going to have a big girl job. It seemed that I was always going to be just doing something to earn a little bit of extra money. It was a little bit depressing, but I also knew that I was giving this up to do something greater, be a mom.
And now, I've finally gone for a job where I really want to succeed. I love taking pictures. It started as a hobby when Georgia was born. We decided to invest in a good camera instead of taking her to be photographed every few months. And I started playing around with the camera. Soon I began investing more time in photographing Georgia. It became more like real photo shoots. Friends and family started asking when I was going to do this full time. Photographing my own kid is one thing, photographing someone else's kid or family is another. Some friends let me practice on their kids. I was able to learn a lot about my skills and build my portfolio.
I became pregnant with my second child and was due in January 2012. Nolan and I decided that while I was on maternity leave from work we would get a website together and get serious about a photography business for me. That way I would be ready to go for spring and summer photo sessions. In October, our baby died 26 weeks into the pregnancy. I took some time off from my part time job to process everything that was going on. It was then that I decided that I did not want to go back to my job. I started to feel like life was too short and that I needed to go for this photography business if I really wanted it. So this spring I opened Purple Peaches Photography. Its something that I love doing and the best part is that I get to spend plenty of time with my family. And it's a job where I just genuinely going to work. I like the interaction with my clients and coming up with a photo session that is going to be perfect for them. I love editing the photographs. I love the reaction that I get from my clients and their family and friends when I post their photos on Facebook. And really, getting paid is secondary. I don't want to charge an arm and leg for photos. I want to make a little extra for my family so that all of the burden isn't on Nolan, but I don't feel the need to get rich on this. I just love it.
So we will see how it goes, I've got a lot of sessions booked for this spring and it seems like my dream job might just work out for me. It took a long time to find it. For me my dream job had to combine something that I really love but also leave plenty of time for my real dream job, being Nolan's wife and Georgia's mom.
I decided that I would join some of my other blogger friends in their effort to blog more. It's an effort to blog more, but it's also blogging about subjects that we are interested in and itallows us to delve into topics that we might not normally think about. So, this is my first week! Yea!
This weeks Together on Tuesday topic is "What do you do to be healthy?"
Usually, this is a pretty easy subject for me. I usually exercise regularly. I usually eat lots of fresh veggies, fruits and lean meats. I try to cut out as many processed foods as I can. I also believe that everything in moderation is the way to go. If I want some chips, I'm going to buy them and eat some of them. If I don't get what I am craving, I might try to eat everything else in the house to satisfy that craving.
Right now, things are a little bit different for me. Since I am pregnant with twin girls, I'm on a 3700 calorie diet. Yea, you read correctly. 3700 calories is a lot of food. It's way more than I normally eat in a day. The theory is, by the time I am 28 weeks pregnant with these little ladies, my stomach will be so smashed, that I will not be able to eat as much. Therefore, I will be living off of what is stored on my body rather than what I'm eating. This has been tested, other women have done this program and most of the time, the results found the babies to be larger than babies born to mothers who didn't gain all of this weight at the beginning of their pregnancy.
So, I'm trying it. It's was the nutritionist that my OB sent me to recommends. I feel like I have to eat like football player or an Olympic swimmer. Seems like I remember people making a big deal about all the food Micheal Phelps eats during the last summer Olympic games and that's how I feel. And it's hard to consume that many calories when you are also trying to eat veggies, fruits, beans, and lean proteins. And really as much as I try, there is no way that I consume that many calories in one day. My tummy is already squished enough that I don't really want to eat much of anything. I do what I can. I try to drink milk more often. Either I have it with my snacks or with meals. I eat more avocados, nuts and full fat dairy. And I eat ice cream and peanut butter cups these days too. I've also been adding a high calorie, high protein shake every now and then.
Even with these additions to my regular diet, I consistently weigh 4lbs less than the lowest weight they want me to be at. No one is making a big deal about it. I don't think that it's terrible. I think that my babies are going to be just fine. Pregnancy is the only time in my life that I've had trouble gaining weight. Any other time I would be packing on those pounds by just looking at all the food that I'm eating these days.
Exercise is something that I don't get much of these days. I take a walk every now and then. I lift some light weights sometimes. I'm just really tired all the time. I don't sleep well at night (getting up 5 times a night to pee doesn't equal a good nights sleep in my book) so after doing house work, taking care of a 4 year old and making dinner I am just too tired to go for a walk. I take lots of breaks during the day. Since the babies are squishing my tummy, they are also squishing my lungs so I get out breath easily. And right now I can walk for about 30 minutes and then my leg goes numb. It's just the way the babies are sitting on a nerve. It stinks. There really isn't much to do for it other than rest. Boo. So most of the time exercise is limited for me.
I am waiting for the days when I can get back to regular exercise. After the babies are born, I'm hoping to be able to take lots of family walks and I want to get back into running. A few years ago, I completed the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. I'm not sure if I will have the time to train for that any time soon, but it would be nice to be able to do a 5k every now and then. I'm ready to be able to do all the things that I could do before. So, we'll see how long it takes to get back into shape after having twins. And how long it takes me to want to get back into shape after having twins!
Friday April 6 I completed 20 weeks of pregnancy. Yea! For most people people that is about half way.....since I will most likely be going into labor a little bit early, I'm more than half way. Yea again! So while I'm celebrating and counting down the weeks until I meet these little ladies, I'm also approaching 26 1/2 weeks....fast. 26 1/2 weeks will be a major milestone for me. At 26 1/2 weeks I found out that my daughter died while still in the womb. At 26 1/2 weeks, things happened that weren't supposed to happen. I delivered a dead baby. I had to plan a memorial service for my sweet baby girl. I had to decide if she was going to be buried or cremated. I had to find strength deep inside myself that I never EVER knew was there. I had to pick up the pieces of my broken life and find the courage to go on. I had to think about if I wanted to be pregnant again. So many things that I never thought about before. So many things that I never expected to think about.
As I know all too well, anything can happen at any time in pregnancy. That being said, I feel good. I feel these babies moving around SO MUCH MORE than Violet ever did. I don't know if that was a clue that she wasn't developing correctly or if that is just who she was.....almost meek and shy. Violet and I had a routine, every evening around 8 or 9 I would lie down on the couch to rest, watch TV, or check out Facebook. That was when she would start wiggling around. And there were a few times that she would kick me pretty hard, but only once did she let her Daddy feel her kick. At least he had that one time. I do remember being a little bit concerned that I wasn't feeling those super strong kicks. I remember talking to friends who were pregnant who said that their babies were moving around all the time. She just didn't do that and that's ok. But back to these little gals, they are just dancing up a storm in there and while it can be a little bit annoying, it's pretty much awesome.
Yesterday, we went for our 20 week appointment at the OB's office. We always have an ultrasound done first. So, again I'm out in the waiting room for at least 10 minutes past my appointment time. And my bladder is so full because I have been asked to drink 24 oz of water prior to my ultrasound. I guess it helps make a clearer image. Those of you who have done this with one baby, think about what it's like to drink that much water with two babies pushing on your bladder. Not cool.
Anyway, a different tech took us back. It wasn't the usual gal that I know. It wasn't the usual gal who told me back in October that my baby didn't have a heartbeat. As soon as the tech put the warm goo on my tummy, I could feel both babes start to do their wiggle. We were again able to see both babies and hear their strong heartbeats. And I know that a smile spread across my face as we watched them dance. It was confirmed that Baby B is in fact a girl, but Baby A still had her legs crossed covering up so we could not get any confirmation about her gender. What a problem child! I suppose she is just bashful.
So now the babies are half baked. We are down to less than 20 weeks left in this pregnancy....I guess it's time to start making some decisions about these babies. They need names and car seats and a stroller and cribs and a finished bedroom. I guess really, all we NEED are names and car seats.....the rest we can wing! And those of you who know me well are laughing at that...you know that I will want everything done long before these two arrive.
As I entered 19 weeks of pregnancy, we made an 11 1/2 hour trip to Newton, Kansas. Trust me folks, this isn't a fun trip even if you're not prego! And bless Nolan's little heart.....here he is driving a pregnant woman, a 4 year old and a dog for over 11 hours. The man deserves an award. If it wasn't me needing to stop to pee, it was Georgia needing to pee. If it wasn't one of us needing to pee, we needed to eat. Really, other than Nolan, Herbie (our 6 year old Australian Shepherd mix) was the best passenger. He never complained about how long the trip took. He always waited for the next stop to pee. His only issue was barking at anyone who got near our Subaru. Gotta love a dog that will guard your stuff!
First of all, there isn't much to look at as we leave Indy. There are fields, some trees and every once in awhile you might see a small herd of cows. Nothing too thrilling besides the large cross in Effingham, IL.
I've always wanted to drive down and take a look at what this cross is all about, but we never take the time.
You can see this cross in the distance as you are driving. Georgia could not see it until it was right outside her window. In fact, she almost missed it. Made a mental note to get her eyes checked when we get home!
But then after a few hours we arrive in St Louis! Yea! Georgia LOVES the "silver rainbow" or others may know it as The Arch. But when we travel to Newton, we avoid downtown St Louis and therefore we don't see the arch. Georgia actually even pointed this out to us as we were driving along. We hear from the back seat, "I thought you guys said we were in St Louis. I didn't see the arch?" So then we had to explain the whole scenario to her and she gave us a confused look and let us know how disappointed she was not to see the silver rainbow.
After St Louis, the trip gets really bad. Missouri is not great traveling country. It's boring. There is nothing out there. It's just about as boring as the stretch of road between Indiana and Illinois. But then Kansas City comes and we see Kauffman Stadium where the Kansas City Royals play baseball. Seeing the large crown always brings a little bit of excitement because we are almost there. Now when I say we are almost there, I mean we have a few hours to go!
And then at last we enter Kansas. Oh Kansas how we've longed to feel your sunshine on our faces, your breeze in our hair and to gaze upon your ever flat land! Call me crazy, but I do enjoy looking out on the prairie as we drive rather than corn fields. It makes me recall one of my all time favorite shows Little House on the Prairie and what little Laura Ingalls must have been thinking as she rode in her covered wagon.
Oh little Half Pint!
And then after traveling the 2 lane hi-way and having several bugs smack our windshield, we get to the Lichti House. Where there is a warm meal, comfy chairs and warm hearts to greet us. We are so glad to be spending the week here visiting and making memories!
"I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams." Jonas Salk
Don't you love it when you have one of those dreams that you don't want to wake up from? Well, I rarely have those anymore. I have dreams that I wake up from in a panic and can't get back to sleep for a long time. Sometimes I wake Nolan up to talk about it and sometimes I need to get up and get a drink and settle myself down. It usually makes for a terrible nights sleep and it takes me a long time to forget about it.
Instead of having fantastic dreams where I'm having the time of my life, I dream about dead babies, or Georgia dying or about having another stillbirth. That's what my dream was about last night, that both my babies died and I had to deliver two more dead babies.
I'm not really sure why I even had that dream. I think about Violet every day, but it's not like I think about the horrific stuff every day. I usually think about the good times, which is nice that I don't dwell on the bad. So, last nights dream caught me off guard. The only reasons that I can come up with is that we've started to seriously think about names, baby showers, and purchasing items for the babies. It seems more real. Not that it didn't seem real before, but it just feels like it's really going to work out this time.
I'm also approaching 20 weeks into this pregnancy. That is closer to the time when Violet died. I knew that getting to 27 weeks would make me feel a little bit better about this pregnancy, but I also knew that the weeks approaching would stress me out a little bit. I know that things don't always go as planned. I know that bad things still happen a fetus after 20 weeks. I also know that it's just something that I'm going to have to live through.
And I don't always think that my babies are going to die. Most of the time, I enjoy being pregnant. Most of the time I think about what our lives will be like when the twins are born. I think about the changes we will make, the fun we will have and the turn that our journey will take at that point. It's just sometimes, I worry. Sometimes I think about what if. And sometimes, my mind takes me there even when I don't want it to. But I have hope that one day I will not dream such terrible dreams, but they will be happy again. They will make me not want to wake up. I long for that day, but until then, I suppose I must endure the nightmares.
As many of you know, I have started my own photography business. Purple Peaches Photography is not only a business, but it is also a way for me to use my creativity and to provide great photos for family and friends. If you haven't checked out my website here it is...... http://www.purplepeachesphotography.com/
I had my first photo shoot of the spring recently. At the end of March, I took some photos of James. He is the sweet little baby boy of my good friend Sarah and her husband Ben. These photos not only marked his 7 months of life but Easter as well.
He was such a cooperative little model. He did whatever I asked of him without much complaining. We had a great time playing with Easter eggs and bunnies. He even got to wear Daddy's tie and pretend to be a little bit grown up for a while.
We were able to take the photos in Irvington, which is small neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis. We were able to find a nice green space to show off all the signs of spring!