Category Archives: Improvements

The Purchase

We’ve had a crazy couple weeks.  There is all the normal life and business stuff going on, plus we had a twist thrown at us.  The Purchase!  It is something we have been planning to do for quite a while.  However, we weren’t planning on things happening so fast!!!

Today we signed a contract to buy our very first brand new construction home!!!!  Oh my.  It is sooooo exciting plus a whole truckload of other emotions all at once.

It all started a little over a year ago  few years ago.  My mom mentioned she was going to be retiring soon.  She mentioned she would probably spend time with both Tawni {my little sister} and us each year and need a bedroom at both of our places.  I think over time she realized that she would have a lot more comfort if she picked one of us to establish her primary residence with.  Her and Tawni have been living together for most of Tawni’s life, and we really really wanted her to come live with us.  I miss my mom a lot moving away from my home state.

Fast forward to within this last year and we firmed up plans for her to come live with us when she retires.  Our house is quite small so it definitely wouldn’t work long term.  We explored quite a few timelines of making the moves for all of us.  Our latest consensus was to wait until her official retirement to all find somewhere to live and move together.    Her retirement date is 12/31/13.   We’ve been casually looking at new home construction in our tiny take home car area for Guy’s work.  We also have some very not normal needs so finding a plan to work for us was really hard.  Looking at resale homes would probably not find us anything that would work in 5 years of looking.

I, being the inquisitive sort of planner, talked to our amazing real estate agents waaaay ahead of schedule to appraise them of our upcoming plans and get a feel for their thoughts.  We also found a community and plan that we all really liked.

Two weeks ago our agents informed me during an unrelated conversation we really should consider moving on it NOW.  ASAP.   Guy also saw a couple articles about how the new home construction in our area is projected to raise significantly over the next 12 months.

Uh oh…  So we regrouped.

That led us to today when we signed a contract for our very own brand new construction home!!!  So exciting.

Now we just need to sell ours.  Oh and my poor mom is having heart issues and need to get an ablation done next week along with new medication to treat her issues.  I feel so bad for her to be worried about signing contracts out of state and getting her home listed.

So I’ll be praying for my mama, getting our house ready to list soon, taking care of my little kiddos and working my tail off during the busy season.  :-) I have faith it is all going to work out better then ok and we’ll make it through with smiles continually on our faces.

Our Update

Ahhhh, last night was the best nights sleep I’ve had in a few weeks.  I only woke up three times to wee and Madison was the only one who woke up last night to wee too.  Fortunately, Guy took her and I already had to go so it wasn’t an extra wake up.  They also played quietly in their room {evidenced by their toys being out and about} after they woke up letting me sleep in until 8:00 am exactly.  Generally they wake up anywhere from 6:30-7:45, but I don’t know what time they got up this morning since they were so quiet.


The kids each got a basket full of eggs with candy {after the hunt} and two stuffed animals each from a church that puts on a great Easter event for the police and fire departments of Garner each year.  We really appreciate their support in putting on such a fun event for us all.


We are still expecting baby boy White who’s due date is rapidly approaching in 6 days.  Monday would be a great day to have him so he will share his birthday with the twins.  Nope, it’s not about the party since it will always be close enough to have a group party.  It’s about sharing something special with his brother and sister.  Blake and Madison will always be a set, the twins, a pair built in from the start.  These two are super close.  Even when they are upset with each other they are about 2 feet from each other.  With a birthday on the same day as the twins he will automatically have something special with them, and we would present it to all of them as something special to help them grow up thinking it is a cool thing.  So no comments please from the peanut gallery to my kids, if it should happen, as they are growing up about it being a ‘bummer’ they ‘have’ to share a birthday!  I love ya family and friends, but sometimes presentation and attitude make or break things in life for us.



Melia

My sister in law, Melia, could use some prayers.  Her poor body has not been nice to her since having her last child.  It’s been a failing of body parts one after another and lots of kidney stones.  She just found out she has to have a hysterectomy this next week and it is very enlarged so she will have to have a 4 inch incision.


The new computer location for a few months.  The wires are now hidden by a dark garbage can which I needed handy anyway.

This week we have reorganized the office to put the computer into the living room, one of the desks in the garage, and moved the other pieces around to make room for the queen bed in preparation for company.  The kids know that grandma {my mom} is going to be the first person to visit after the baby is born.  We mentioned to them that someone else may need to sleep in there first when we go to the hospital, but they are focused on grandma.  In fact, we realized later that Madison really thought she would be here that night or yesterday morning.  She kept talking about the room and grandma even coloring her a picture.  The first thing she said as she came into my room yesterday morning clutching her bear and Barney is, “Where is my grandma?  Is she here yet?”  Nope, baby she will not be here for a couple more weeks.


Madison with grandma just about to be cleaned up from getting into my moms bingo daubers.


During the entire month of March either the kids or I felt like this image of Madison!


We were so sick.  It sucked.  I didn’t accomplish pretty much anything that month.  The great side of it?  When we got better we all felt GREAT!  For the heavily pregnant lady my abilities and energy are awesome compared to how I thought the end of pregnancy would feel.  Shooting the wedding the first day of April was just a great day and not a hard day.  There was even a daycare shoot, Busy Bees, where I photographed 23 kids under 5 with 6 of them under a year old last Friday.  It was three hours of body contortion and winning over the little ones.  Last night I put on my Facebook status how I gave the kids a horsey ride into their bedroom last night.  Two kids 36-40 pounds each and the baby weight of about 35 pounds I’ve gained all weighing on my midsection as I crawled on all fours into their bedroom.  It took a while and must have looked hilarious.   Guy did not get an image of it since he was already in their room relaxing on the floor waiting for us to begin the singing and prayers of our night time routine.




We went to the doctor for an asthma specific appointment for Blakey.  They don’t really do any specific testing for it until he is 4-5 years old.  She gave us a cool inhaler tool for the rescue inhaler and explained a little more to us then we previously knew about asthma.  From all she said about the two causes and ways it manifests itself, I think he only has reactive airways and not the airways blocked by mucus.  My mom has asthma too.  I was telling her about our appointment and what my thoughts were and she told me that she has reactive airways and not the other.  Ahhh, I sure hope if he doesn’t grow out of the childhood asthma {my main hope!} that his will only be reactive airways too.  They asked us to keep up on using the preventative nebulizer medicine daily until June and to use his inhaler before he goes out to play or gets roudy in an effort to prevent the barkie cough and restricted breathing.  This way we are proactive instead of reactive.  They feel it has more to do with helping them grow out of childhood asthma when it is treated this way.  We’ll do our best.  The kid shows all kinds of signs of being a natural athlete which makes me happy!  I love sports and playing them so sharing that love with Blake will be a pleasure.




Madison has picked up a second dirty habit in addition to the nose picking and eating.  It is nail biting.  Really?!?!?  Come on.  How is my little princess diva in training who is soooooo girly also the bearer of such nasty habits?  OK, so the nose picking doesn’t bother me that much as there is a study out there that kids who eat their boogers get sick less frequently then kids who do not.  lol  Isn’t there a study to back you on anything?  Now, the nail biting really bothers me.  She doesn’t have the prettiest nail shape and nail biting completely ruins nail beds.  It eventually moves the ‘quick’ back so the white part of the nail starts way to early.  She is also getting a lot of hang nails from it too.  We’re working with her on asking her to stop anytime we see it and talking to her about why it isn’t a good thing to do.  The next step is all the nasty crap that tastes bad to help her stop if the rational stuff doesn’t work.





We gave the kids their big present early!  It’s a playset for the backyard.  Oh, talk about love.  Blake even prayed for the delivery man the night he brought the big box to our house.  It took Guy a total of 7 hours over two evenings and a Saturday morning to get it put together {the power tool set we got 3 months ago has gotten a ton of use of late!}.   He put the different components together in the garage.  Luckily our neighbors were leaving to run out just as he needed 5 minutes of help taking the large piece to the backyard so he helped him carry the big fort piece to the backyard.  We all love it.  I went down the slide the first afternoon it was up and killed myself.  The slide has two large humps in it which are not nice to the old tailbone.  So far they already have spend hours and hours on there.  Blake can almost do the monkey bars by himself!  Madison is doing great at swinging on her own and keeping it going.  She volunteers to help Blake learn how to do it too.  I love listening to them instruct each other when one can do something the other can’t.





















Speaking of my tailbone…  I’ve definitely decided to get the surgery.  There are just too many years left to live and have to deal with or work around daily booty pain.  I have no idea how painful or how easy/bad the recovery will be.  It will require an incision starting just above my anus vertically along the spinal line approximately 3 inches long.  He will have to break off, saw off or whatever to get the tailbone {coccyx} removed.  It sounds traumatic to my body to me.  I do need to ask which of the 5-6 methods he will be using to remove it will be for my mental preparation and all that.   Some of the research I’ve done indicates short recoveries with 2-3 weeks of being unable to sit and high pain.  Some of the research says people still can’t sit even with a donut cushion for 6  months or more.  I’m thinking I’ll be on the shorter side of that as long as the doctor does a good job, having a positive attitude about it and my last surgery for my gall bladder removal went great!  The c/s wasn’t fun with pain for a good 2-3 weeks, but I did manage to photograph a wedding 8 days after having the surgery.

 

The kids first taste of birthday goodness. Blake & I had about 2-3 bites each with Maddy and Guy polishing off the rest of both treats.



The baby seeming to camp out in my uterus which is stressing me out a bit about getting this surgery scheduled.  I know there is nothing I can do about it so I need to just let it all happen as it’s going to happen.  If he isn’t born vaginally by Wednesday then I won’t be able to schedule the surgery for right when my mom gets here so I have help during recovery.  She will be here May 4-14th {due to her work schedule only time she could schedule}.  With Guys schedule at the school he can’t take off until school is out, but the insurance year ends before that.  We can’t afford the surgery unless it is done this insurance year.  My sister in law Michele will be coming out for five days the end of May to help out so there is a few days covered if this baby does show up late rather then by Wednesday.  The ladies at church are also awesome and will help out, but I’d just really like the main recovery to be when my mom is here.  She was my rock when I recovered from the tonsillectomy that almost killed me years ago.  Oh, I can’t be induced to go into labor since I’m trying for a VBAC {vaginal birth after a c/s}.  Electing for a c/s means a longer recovery before I could have another surgery missing when my mom is here anyway.  Oh, stinky timing issues.  lol


Some unexpected images at our impromptu picnic one day.


I look a bit dumb, but Maddie looks cute and I like how she put her hand on my belly.


We have a lot two of fun events planned for the next couple days.  Tonight we are going to the rodeo!  Tomorrow {it got moved to Sunday afternoon due to weather} morning we are going to the Eggstravaganza at the park!  Tomorrow {It’s next Saturday!} night we scored tickets to the circus!!!  With all that fun stuff I really want to do this baby is sure to come now.  Regardless of what we end up doing it will be a great weekend!  {Guy called to correct me on our schedule of events after this was published… }

Enjoy some random images from the last month and a half.


Blake watching TV with all his friends.


Maddie snuggling up to my arm on the porch while we were watching daddy come home.


Blake resting on the bench at the Chick Fil A playground.


Going down the slide with friends.

 


Randomly holding hands while out shopping.


I love watching kids sleep!


A nice day one Sunday afternoon.


At the doctors.  I think I’m going to skip their next well check up appointment as unnecessary!  We are also off schedule needing to delay most appointments or insurance will not cover them by at least a month so this will get us back on track for the normal appointments.  There aren’t any shots scheduled for the three year check up.



The doctor who warmed the kids up to him the fastest!  He had them both happy and giggling despite feeling so sick.


Random hugs.


They love to help carry the mail and newspaper for us.


Maddie girl!


The girl taking forever to eat as usual.


Even though she doesn’t look good here it is still a cute moment.


Helping take the trash to the curb.


Learning about shadows.


I’m going to miss the dining area being empty.  I think the kids will miss it even more.


They love the bouncy balls and the bean bag.


Our new chore chart.  It’s not filled in so we can change up the list as they grow and mature.


Chick Fil A did a free breakfast item per person every Tuesday in March.  We made it there twice!


Playing in the dining area.


They are finally big enough to ride these tricycles I thought would be the right size for them two Christmas’s ago!


Love this shot.


We went out for a bike ride one day.  Wish we had started doing it regularly, but we haven’t.


At the park with friends.


Madison loved playing with the leaf and Blake enjoyed throwing the football.  This week he started learning to throw it correctly {using a bigger ball with two hands since he can’t palm it} and more then half the time gets a spiral going.


They used the grass to fish for ants.


Girly girl.


Love love love their random hugs!


My little natural athlete in his size Eleven {yes 11} shoes.


The welcome sign for the kids at a tumbling trial class.


The kids in the trial class.

 

Our first picnic.  We stopped to grab some food and saw this table under a blooming tree and stopped to eat instead of continuing on home.  Great decision!


Our friend, Riley’s, birthday party.  They love attending parties!


And pinatas!  They are finally getting the concept of picking up the candy for themselves.


A nice hit!


Love the light here as they are playing tea party.


This girl loves the frosting and cake.  Blake is more like me and likes the cake with only a touch of frosting or will just skip it altogether.


Surprisingly, he did eat a little this day though.


Where I hang my backdrops.


My pretty girl in the window light.



They love to play in the cars.  We must have been moving car seats or loading up gear for a photo shoot.


The horrible increasing of gas prices.


The man peering out the car window.


Doing a handstand at another tumbling class we tried.  This is the one we’ll go with.  The girls teaching were awesome by being in control, confident and a bit fearless keeping safety in mind.  The kids love to practice the skills they learned that day.


The twins new bunk beds with stairs on one end and some dresser drawers under the stairs.  This was their first fort!  This bed configuration leaves room to put the babies crib in here too without crowding the room.


They loved the fort so much and even asked to keep it up until daddy got home to show him.


The dining table before Guy refinished it.  He had the yellow pine stain sanded off at this point.


And the table after it was refinished with a dark stain.  Love it!!!

Yummy hot chocolate eon a chilly day.  I’ve had a fair bit this pregnancy.  Madison also loves it.  It’s too much trouble for Blake.  He’d rather just drink water when he is thirsty.


Our friends got some chickens for eggs.  We headed over their after getting our free breakfast at Chick Fil A to play and check out the chickens.


They also had lots of slides and a big trampoline.

3? something weeks pregnant.  Maybe 36 or 37?


Blake only went for eggs with a bluish tone to them.   Then he finally conceded and picked up a yellow one.


Madison took the smarter approach and picked up anything close to her.  Blake got more exercise and she got more eggs.


I just like this.


We had a dog start camping out on our front porch this week.  He didn’t appear to be getting fed and the young dog has some aggressive breed in him so he should be getting consistent care and training to avoid becoming aggressive.  He had a rabies collar but no phone or address on.  We had animal care come get him to make sure he would be properly taken care of.  Obviously the owners stopped.  He is really young still and of good temperament so someone will definitely adopt him if they don’t give him back to the owners.


Taking medicine became a month long event between us all.


The kids love to cuddle with their dad especially now that I’m not comfortable to cuddle with.  This belly so gets in the way.


Met a friend at the park.


They shared some Easter candy.


They also got to run and play!


My little man with his sleeping bear.  He hugs it to him as he sleeps.


A little peek a boo fun!


Cutie!


Our weird crop circles in the yard.  There are quite a few of them in various sizes.

Christmas Eve and now

This last week I was not feeling well.  It wasn’t like I was at deaths door or anything so dramatic, but I WAS snot with a bit of a cough and lack of energy on top.  So it was pretty much a week of non activity for no good reason.  It could have had more activity, but it just didn’t.  Though I am excited to say Christmas was put away, a Phoenix trip was booked {2 sessions still available}, a list of home improvements was created, a little grocery shopping, my 365 project images were organized and edited, the kids were cared for {even if most days were jammy days} and the most exciting thing, for me, was to Freecycle and give a bunch of stuff away!

I’ve talked about Freecycle before and my love for it.  This week the clear out for what will become ‘our’ home began.  Some burgundy painted wood frames purchased 10+ years ago that are still mostly great went to a friend with a decorating palate to match.  Along with those went a couple chenille throw blankets, some throw pillows in various colors and fabrics and a few other odds and ends.  Hopefully, she loves them, but she said she will pass on whatever she doesn’t want.  On the local Yahoo Groups Wake Freecycle we gave away a large kitchen bag of my size 10 shoes, a king bed set in a tan suede fabric, a ton of towels, a crochet throw {pretty but I used rough yarn}, Sketchers work shoes in a hard to find mens 13, and mens work pants.   A few weeks ago, Guy also got rid of all the shirts, sweaters and hoodies he had purchased that did not fit again after the first wash & dry made them too short which filled two kitchen garbage bags.

When Guy and I were talking a couple weeks ago, the topic came up of how we tend to only improve our homes to sell and just live in them without really making them ours.  The last house we had was the most personalized of the four with paint and a few pieces of furniture, but we worked with any existing decorative pieces we had picked up over the years.  The docorative items were mostly from people in our families that were getting rid of stuff or what we received as wedding gifts.  It is time to start making our mark on our home here, and any future home, with items that make us feel most at home and reflect our personality.   One big thing that has changed over the years is the use of candles.  We got a lot of decorative candle pieces over the years, but we lost interest in burning candles at least 3 years ago.  It is time for all of them to go!  A couple of the holders will survive the cute which will be converted into holding something else.

Saturday we went to Home Depot to check out some prices on our project wish list items.  We have great kitchen cabinets and Guy put in a nice bamboo floor in there.  What we don’t have is a great counter top.  There is a good deal going on for granite at Home Depot right now.  They also have a beautiful selection of the little glass tiles to use as a backsplash.  We checked out carpet choices that have a fuller but not shag look to them using variegated colors.  There are so many choices.  With the carpet taken out Guy should also be able to tackle some of the creaky noise spots we still have left before the new carpet is laid.  When we were house hunting all of the houses got nicknames to help us remember them by.  This one was a tie between the mass of creaky floors and being called the Playboy house as the old owner had a basket of them in the bathroom.

My closet has become about 1/2 photography props/supplies and 1/2 Shannon’s wardrobe.  As part of my need for a wardrobe clean up I started using the same closet and drawer system I do with the kids stuff.  Everything washed or new is hung the farthest away or put in the drawer on the right.  When I get dressed I use all of the items closest to me or on the left side of the drawer first {not including out of season stuff even farther back}.  If an item of clothing gets skipped a lot then it goes into the giveaway pile at the bottom of that closet.  Once a good pile is created the items are given away.  It is a great system that feels good for our family.  About 1/2 of my personal stuff in the closet is now gone since I started using this system back in July.  There are obviously a few things, mostly shirts & dresses} that haven’t been tested yet since I am pregnant.

There is still so much to go through and get rid of!  I can’t wait to get to it in the next few weeks as we prepare to make slow decorative changes, some big structural changes {counter top/carpet} and continue to prepare for baby boy White arriving sometime in April.

Here are a few images from our Christmas Eve morning gift opening when Santa visited us early knowing we were going on a trip!

Facebook & more

The other day I called to cancel a service with our cable provider.  Guy wanted to see some Australian Rules football which was only covered occasionally by a premium sports network.  We added the sports package for the season.  When I called to cancel the service the guy tells me he is adding another service on for me that is free.   He then goes onto tell me I’ll be charged for it starting the next month.  I tell him I’m not interested.  He makes a shocked sound and reminds me it is free.  I told him I’d be happy to add the service if it was always free.  To this he replies, “People always want to have everything for free.”  This got me thinking about so many things.

The first thing I thought about was how he was trying to guilt me into trying something we really didn’t need and we would have to remember to cancel before we started getting charged for it anyway.  The second was that I wasn’t asking for a free service and in fact pay a lot of money to have the cable services we utilize each month including the HD cable with DVR service, high speed internet and basic phone.  Packaged together we save the cost of the phone each month over separating these services to other cheaper providers.  Don’t try to make me feel guilty buster.  I don’t.

The third thing I got onto was Facebook.  I love Facebook.  It is a great social networking place that I utilize to keep track of my family and friends.  It is also a wonderful business tool for me.  All the time I see posts from people complaining about Facebook.  Mostly it is about privacy and advertisers getting their information.  The only reason none of us have to pay a fee to belong to this amazing site is because advertisers pay to try and tempt us with their wares.  Are they really getting your very personal information?  Nope.  Why is it that so many people expect to have this service for their own personal enjoyment, image sharing {huge amounts of server memory} and use with absolutely no give from themselves?  I don’t get it.  We should all know that nothing in life is free.  There is always a cost associated with something whether it be emotional, financial or spiritual.  These costs are in all relationships in our lives from family, friends & at church to business, school and with strangers.

This week I really thought about my tailbone pain and our yearly insurance deductibles, copays and coinsurance.  This pregnancy is handled much different then the last.  Our premiums are over $250 higher per month, the pregnancy deductible went from $500 to $2500 and we are now responsible for 20% coinsurance over that.  With these things taken into consideration it makes a lot of sense to get my tailbone fixed before the insurance year is up in July.  I have an appointment with a great Orthopedic who is a spinal specialist on Thursday. It will be interesting to see what they recommend. Will they recommend doing it soon so I can heal before labor and delivery? Or will they recommend doing it soon after? My thoughts on the before is will the tailbone area fully heal and not be susceptible to a new break during the stress of labor? Regardless, I’m very excited to get it fixed. It has been 8 years of adjusting how I sit and looking for cushy seats so I don’t put any direct pressure on the tailbone. It was broken on a roller coaster ride when the lap bar had a several inch gap and wasn’t snug against my thighs. Yes, I could carry around a donut or cushion, but I am apparently too vain or don’t want the extra item to carry around in addition to twins.

Madison and Blake came along with me to a session for my friends kids.  There was no other time to schedule when Guy was available for the kids in time for the Christmas cut off.  I was really impressed at how well they did.  I only had to threaten them with being in trouble twice and Madison got her feelings hurt once when I didn’t give her enough time to adjust to them before hopping into work.   We had a bit of a snafu when we first arrived.  I put Blake & Maddie in the car just after waking them up from a nap to get there in time.  Blake was so relaxed and sleepy he peed in his car seat.  We haven’t been taking any extra clothes for a few months now despite the fact they are only 2 1/2.  I improvised and washed his undies in the sink and tried to get as much wetness out of them as possible before putting them back on.  His pants were way to peed to do the same.  He had on an undershirt, long sleeve shirt and a hoodie.  I took the button up long sleeve shirt and put it on him like a kilt tying the sleeves together at the waist.  He rocked it!

Here he is going off with the girls to the next spot at our location.

And showing off his “kilted” cuteness.

Here they are sitting quietly  while we were doing our thing.  They were looking at Lisa giving instructions to her kids.

Saturday we were in heaven.  I had an awesome shoot with a very interesting and pretty 2011 high school senior, we went to a birthday party, out to eat and to the toy store.  On top of this we had snow!

The birthday party was at a place with a ton of bounce ‘houses’.  Here is one of the birthday girls, Niomi, with Blake and Madison at the bottom of the slide.

Guy at the bottom with the kids.

Love the hair on Angie!  She is mom to both birthday girls.

I had so much fun going on the slide over and over again with the kids.  This pregnancy is so awesome that I can do all these things comfortably.

The stop action in this shot is the bestest!  No Guy didn’t throw the ball at me, but I love that it looks like he did.

It’s so funny to see our Maddie off playing with all the big kids, and then act like the 2 1/2 year old she actually is mentally when she gets a little boo boo.  She is still nursing the popped knuckle joint she got in Miami over Thanksgiving which is the part she seems to hurt most often when playing.  Here she is cuddling with daddy for a minute then back on the road to playville.

I didn’t bring my wide angle lens in with us so here is a partial shot of the kids and parents who attended the party.   The birthday girls are the in the front row closest to the camera in their parents laps.

My kids love cake and ice cream.  I passed as usually since it just doesn’t appeal to me.  Guy partook of the yumminess.

Our first and maybe only snow of the season.  It typically doesn’t snow much around here.  It was more like wet ice once it accumulated anywhere.

Blake about to be hit with a snowball from Guy!  They kept asking him to throw more and more and more.

Maddie getting hit with a nice wet one.  You can see the big wet snowball still clinging to Blake’s pants.

It’s super cold here this week.  Tomorrow is the first time we get to venture outside since everyone has come to us the last couple days.  We are off to their 2 1/2 year doctors visit.  I’m interested to see where Blake is falling on the charts this time.

Great week

We have had a great week.  We were so happy to have Guy not working the crazy hours he was last week.  Guy and I are a bit different about our approach to things coming up.  We both knew the week of WORK {oh, and I mean work…  Try 33 hours of off duty time for him!} was coming.  We both knew he wouldn’t be able to come home most days between work and work.  Guy likes to visualize the time and how good or bad it will be before he even gets there sometimes getting stressed out before the hard times even hit.  I like to just wait until I experience it to find out how good or bad something is.  For me this works well.  I’d much rather just feel the pain at some point when it gets hard, and really the same for joy on the good times, as it comes naturally.  But really, I’d say  we both flip out equally despite our different approaches when the times get soooo hard.

This week was one of do nothing and do the things we had to get done.  If there was a chance to just sit, we did.  The previous week he was working so much I also sat on my bum most of the time trying to recover from the weekend of hard work and save my energy for the kids needs.  It was two consecutive weeks of bum Shannon.  Sometimes we just need to do it.  I also noticed I’m on the computer only about 1/3 of the time I used to be with the move of the computer back into the spare room we turned into an office.  There is still some work to do to it to organize.

The organizing needing to be done keeps getting bigger…  This week we purchased some studio lights!  I’ve been feeling drawn to them for some time now.  We finally built up the photography balance we don’t have to use to support us enough to afford some.  This is going to be soooo cool.  Back to organizing.  Right now I have some photography props not sensitive to heat and cold in the garage.  I have some hanging photography props in my closet along with baskets, blankets, backdrops and the backdrop stand.  Also in our bedroom is a large shelving unit that houses the blankets, wraps, some backdrops, hats, cocoons, bloomers, bows, flowers, umbrellas, paperwork, random props and the packaging materials.  In the kids room are a couple blankets and the beanbag used for newborns.  That brings us into the office…  Here there is a lot of stuff.  There is the computer, some paperwork, loads of negatives and photo albums from my lifetime of shooting {all heat/cold sensitive…  GET those things out of your attics & garages!}, fine art prints ready for sale, more packaging items, my sample products, and general office supplies.  The office also holds our other computers {one stored}, sewing items {machine also in my closet}, random craft items, two desks, a couch, all our books, personal paperwork & other random stuff.

With the addition of the studio lights and backgrounds ordered I really need to get in there to reorganize it all again to make more sense.  Stuff like putting the packaging and paperwork in the office were it belongs, figuring out how to hang the wrinkle prone backgrounds in my closet to keep them from wrinkling by being folded {so much extra time to edit out wrinkles}, and removing more of my clothes to make room for photography and craft stuff.  Thankfully, I am pregnant so that should make it easier to remove more clothes for now.

The kids have taken to singing duets at least twice a day.  They do not want Guy or I to sing with them, though they often want us to listen.  Madison will sing much more then when they do duets, and she loves to be ‘caught’ singing by one of us.  If we suddenly look at her smiling while she is singing we see her whole body light up with joy.  She isn’t our most transparent or emotional child.  We taught them the song, Families Can Be Together Forever, this week.  Guy and I sang it as part of our nightly ritual of singing, reading, praying and into bed.  Madison tried to join in throughout the song and often sang the last part of a word just after us.  Blake appeared to not really be paying attention.  We both thought Madison was the one picking it up faster.  Not so much, Blake sang the song yesterday as he was playing surprising me by knowing most of the words to the first verse {all we sang}.  Tonight both of them did a great job of singing it with me.  It amazes me those two year olds can pick up a song that fast.

Both of the kids love the park.  Any park.  I’ve realized I am much more of a home body then my mother is.  She was always happiest whenever she was/is out and about.  It generally doesn’t matter where as long as it is out.  Most of my childhood weekends were spend at the local malls.  I loved it.  We were always off on some adventure.  Now, I am perfectly content to spend most of my time at home.  Going out can be much more of a hassle then it’s worth.  It also seems whenever we go out so does money.  Most of the time the actual cost to drive anywhere goes through my head at least once.  When you pay $4 in gas just to to a park, more often then not I’m out.  We have a great time at home.  My kids also LOVE to get out just like my mom.  :-) Darn gas prices…  Enjoy some images from a recent outing to the closest park to our house.

Modern merry-go-rounds are pretty interesting.  I like how they work with physics which is interesting to me, and will hopefully be a great teaching tool for my kids later.

It was really crowded this day.  The kids had fun with the other kids while learning to wait and take turns.  I love the concentrating looks on both kids as they navigate the jungle gym.

A quick snap of Maddy in action.

I wonder what he was thinking here.  Maybe nothing as he takes a breather from all the activity and heat.  They were being forced to drink some water by me.  Madison’s expression reminds me of one of my aunts here.  It is the exact same face she makes.