Tag Archives: Los Angeles Family Photographer

Rory and Quinn: 4 Months

“Little boys should never have to go to sleep because every morning they wake up one day older”.  That’s not an exact quote but it’s definitely an exact paraphrase of something someone said.  And it’s true.  In fact, it’s usually one of my final thoughts before placing each of you into your crib.  I look at you now, today, and realize that you’re much bigger than the day I first met you.  You’ve both grown and changed and…..”matured” isn’t the right word but I’ll use it anyway.  Your faces are filling out and your limbs are getting stronger.  You both smile more and more and you laugh constantly.

This month you’ve both taken a serious notice of one another – uh-oh, it’s 12:54am at the time of this writing and I’m suddenly hearing little noises percolating from the bedroom…….it’s Rory, up for his midnight feeding.  Hello there, little buddy.  When you were born you used to grunt while you slept and while you ate. Now, about three days ago you started to “talk” during any time you weren’t sleeping or eating..  Actually, I suppose it isn’t very fair that I put quotes around that word.  If tonality says anything at all, you both have a mouthful to say to anyone that will listen.  You screech, mumble, warble and sing, sometimes to me, sometimes to your mom, sometimes to your sibling and sometimes to yourself.  I walked into the bedroom a few afternoons ago after getting out of the shower and found you, Rory, lying in your crib on your side, humming like an infant mogwai.

For reference of what a mogwai is, please google search the term, “mogwai”.  Sidenote: Quinn, you sort of resemble a mogwai.  Trust me, it’s okay and is a heck of a lot better than resembling a golem.

I love listening to the two of you make sounds.  Rory, your noises are more like songs and coos while Quinn’s, yours are more in the vein of laughs and screeches.  If you are upset you put your fists down at your side and go, “eeeeEEEEEE!!!!”  When you do this I shake you a little and you laugh, haha.

We also recently purchased you each your very own Johnny / Jenny Jump Up.  We plop you down in this swing that hangs from the door frame and watch you bounce…truth be told there’s not a HUGE amount of jumping that’s happening…..YET…..but I’m sure it will begin shortly.  Currently you both mostly just hang there and stare at one another, swinging around and gently pushing yourselves in one direction or the next.

I’m really enjoying watching you grow but, as usual, it holds a side of bitterness to it.  You’re both rolling over, making noises and beginning to grab things with your hands – you’re turning into toddlers!!  Today we gave you both your first taste of mushy rice cereal and you LOVED IT!…..just kidding.  Quinn, you began to lap it up like a dog but I’m not totally certain you a.) enjoyed it or b.) knew what you were doing.  Rory, you just started to cry.  Perhaps you’d enjoy it more if we splashed a little soy sauce on it?

I’ve started working nights and this last week with the two of you has been fanTASTIC!!  I am so happy to be blessed with additional time to spend with my kidlets during the day.  Working the standard 9-5, I missed you so and was feeling cheated out of a more time-dynamic relationship.  Now the flood gates are open and we get to spend nearly the entire day together before I go to work at 6:30.  It’s GREAT!!

That said, I do enjoy the weekends when I stay up late all alone, trying to remain on my night schedule, when I hear one of your mews from the back room and I rescue you from the dark, bring you into the light and feeding your hungry bellies.  It’s phenomenal having you both around but it’s also nice to get some one on one time as well.  I truly cherish our time together and am always more and more excited to see the people you are becoming.  Will you hate onions?  Will you like rock ‘n’ roll?  What will your favorite color be?  You’re here in our arms but there are so many unanswered questions.  Don’t worry, though, we’ll discover it all together.

3 Months

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3 Months

Rory and Quinn.

Looking at our monthly photos amazes me.  It’s incredible to see how you’ve grown so much in just the last 30 days.  Where you were once so easily carried around with one arm you are suddenly requiring the constant assistance of two.  Watching you grow and change has been an amazing treat but it also saddens me in a strange way.  Part of me looks forward to the days when you will crawl and walk and talk but another part of me just wants you to stay as you are – as our cooing babies.  You are wonderful little people and everyday I find myself loving you more and more.

I suppose that since I can’t control time nor the human growth element (yet…) I should just embrace your amazing process and run with it.  Just promise me that you’ll never be too cool to give me hi-fives.

Earlier this month your mom and I decided to embark on a well deserved vacation up to San Francisco to visit some good friends of ours.  Were we expecting the trip to be different than what we were used to, traveling alone or with dogs?  Yes.  Was it different?  DEFINITELY.  Was it more difficult?  Sometimes.  Was it more fun?  Sometimes!  There’s something strangely exhilarating about changing a babies diaper in the front seat of your car in a light drizzle at a gas station in a town you’ve never been to.  There’s something romantic about waking up at 3am in a strange hotel and watching Mtv with your family.  There’s something illuminating about buying beer then realizing that you don’t have a bottle opener and getting on YouTube to find a “How-To-Open-A-Beer-With-Your-Keys” video.

Rory, you fuss less and less as the days go on and Quinn, your eyes get bigger and bigger.  Rory, you’ve begun to thrash your arms and legs around, swiping at little objects and slapping me in the face while I sleep.  Quinn, you’ve begun to roll over, mostly onto your side and ALMOST onto your stomach.  Rory, you don’t even try to roll; you prefer laying face down and, from one deranged mouth-breather to another, that’s okay with me.  Quinn, you laughed for the first time when your mom was giving you a bath a few weeks ago.  The sound of your coos makes us smile; you’re becoming quite a noisy baby and will “talk” with us if we ask you questions.  Your big gummy smile cracks me up.  Rory, you drool…a LOT.  Honestly, I’m not even so fearful of you smothering yourself in your blankets as I am of you drowning while you sleep.  We put bibs on you in the middle of the day just so you don’t get your shirts soppy wet.  Quinn, you’ve begun waking up at 6:30am pretty consistently.  You are not hungry.  You are not wet.  You just want to play.  You cry until someone sits you up, at which point you look at us, smile, laugh and then start to coo.  I don’t even care that it’s 6:30.  Rory, you sleep all night….you actually sleep all night and most of the day.  The other day you slept 10 1/2 hours.  You are a true professional and you take your rest very seriously.

Everyday I leave to go to work and everyday I think about you all day long.  It’s tough to be away from you for such stretches…..maybe I should tape a picture of myself to the ceiling above your crib?  Maybe I should get you a live webcam?  When I come home and pick you up, it is clear that you recognize me and laugh.  You both do it and those two moments are the absolute highlight of my day.  We’ve got more family coming to town soon – Your Aunt Theresa, who you haven’t met yet and your Grandma June is coming back for her second visit and I think they’ll both be pleasantly surprised at how big you’ve gotten and at how much Rory drools.

TWO MONTHS

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Birth

Okie, dokie, artichokie, like an old man driving on a Sunday afternoon, this post has been slow in coming.  I’ve LITERALLY sat down roughly 20 times to jot down my thoughts and keep getting distracted by different things (as a new mother, I think you know what I mean…….yeah, facebook).  Se la vi.

Two things I promised myself I wouldn’t do in this post:  1.)  I will NOT be giving you the nitty gritty details about my birth story.  I will NOT tell you about delivering a placenta via c-section or about trying to poop after said operation.  I will NOT tell you about staples in my abdomen or having a catheter.  The second thing I refuse to do on this blog is 2.) Make lists.

Going into the hospital we didn’t really know what to expect.  Not only were we not privy to the sexes of our children but we had no idea how the process was going to shake down.  To help my fellow woman and pregnant post-op men avoid the shallow but perilous pitfalls that I stumbled into, I’ve created a list…and I’m calling it, “THREE THINGS I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN AHEAD OF TIME”.  You, fellow reader, are currently “ahead of time”.  You, friend of friends, can apply these rules to your future experience.

1. THE NOOB

Let’s say you need an epideral.  Would you come over to my house and ask me to do it for you?  No.  Why?  Because I’m not a doctor or professional anathesiologist.  I lack the training and knowledge.  When you go to a hospital, you hope that these people will be assigned to you.  Not so.  You should SPECIFICALLY ask to have all students, residents, nurses in training, etc. excused from the room OR, at the very least, ask to have the syringe removed from their desperate and shakey hands.  They can watch, but they mustn’t touch.  After receiving the lovely epidural twice, the “professional” (ie professional student) decided he couldn’t quite find the magic spot and handed the NEEDLE back over to the REAL DOCTOR.  Why, why, WHY, was there a nubian sticking objects into me without my knowledge??  This rule can be applied to IV placement.  If you’re not good at IVs, you shouldn’t give them.  If you have to “fish around” you should maybe consider a job at the wharfs.  My body is not your ocean.  I am not your class activity.  You do not pay me tuition.  Goodbye.

2. THE BOOB

Lactation consultants must die; they should literally drown in a vat of warm breast milk.  If they come uninvited into your room like a pack of grace hungry Jehovah Witnesses, simply wave around some garlic and crucifixes as if trying to ward off a vampire – they’re about the same sort of soulless monsters.  They grab at your boobs and nipples without permission like a football playing rapist.  They bring you machines and new ideas they want to try out.  “Try tickling the babies’ cheek.  Try tickling his foot.  Try cranking her elbow.  Try hanging him upside down and swatting at him with a bamboo shoot.  Nothing?  Hmm, maybe tomorrow….”  At one point a 200 year old woman who we dubbed Mother Earth entered the scene and tried explaining to us what we should be listening for; how we would know if the baby was eating vs. just suckling.  She says, “If the baby is eating, it will sound like this -” and she began to make suckle-suckle-gulp-gulp-suckle-suckle noises that sounded like someone trying out for the World’s Sloppiest Soup Eating competition.  “If the baby is merely suckling at your teet, it will sound like this -” now imagine an angry guinea pig trying to drink from his hanging bottle but the guinea pig has no teeth and the bottle is made from wet meat.  John, in classic John fashion, straight facedly asks, “Could I hear the first sound once again?  How did it go?”  Suckle-suckle-gulp-gulp-suckle-suckle.  I try not to laugh and John rests back in his chair, folding his arms.  He says, “I see”.

3.  THE NOOD*

Have you ever had that dream where you’re standing completely naked in front of a group of strangers?  They’re all poking you and prodding you and you feel sort of insecure but for some reason you can’t get out of their gaze?  Well, the fine folks at Kaiser Permenente can make that dream a reality.  You will be wheeled unceremoniously into a frigid cold room.  Your “clothes” (paper robe with twist tie) will be ripped off in one swift motion and you will be left standing there with nothing but your contact lenses to hide behind.  It’s not that bad if you come from a stripper background but for me, it was a little uncomfortable.  I’m so modest, you know, I wear chastity belts to my gyno appointments.  Anyway, prepare to run the gauntlet in your birthday suit.

*I know I didn’t spell that right (nude) but I really, really wanted it to look like the other two headings.

NOW, without further ado, allow me to take you on a visual journey of our trip into the ‘hood (parenthood).

Above, the view from our room; the top floor of a parking structure.  While this may seem trite, it’s certainly a better view than the room below us had; a brick wall.

Our anniversary is March, 26.  0326.  It’s not QUITE right but it’s still sort of cool.  Did anyone watch LOST?

This is where the doctor’s wash their hands before cutting people open and after making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

One last family photo while we’re still just an “us”.  The doctor’s asked “What are you having?” and we said, “We don’t know!”

And then there was Quinn!  I can’t even explain how amazing it was to hear the doctor call out that we had a little girl.  We had a girl……a sweet little footie pajama wearing girl of our very own.  The doctor’s asked, “What is her name?” and we said, “We don’t know!”  As you can tell by the giant cubist painting, Quinn is just as modest as I am.

This face is going to be my undoing EVERY TIME.

Quinn was followed quickly by our little man, Rory.  One look at him and I knew we had ourselves a little mini-John.

Getting to hold my babies’ for the very first time!  HEAVEN.  There were so many times in the last couple years that I feared this moment may never happen for me – such an incredible moment of God’s faithfulnes and blessings.

Later on in the recovery room Quinn and I had a discussion about the day’s events – clearly her face is saying she’s not so sure about this place.

We were disappointed to learn that they no longer do the standard hospital mugshot baby photos so we decided to do them ourselves.  Below are John and I’s circa the 80’s.  It’s crazy how much Rory looks like John!

And thus concludes our greatest journey right on the coattails of an even greater one.  Please be sure to come back for regular updates and adventures; thank you for playing and do come again.

John and Jade.

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37/38 weeks

Alright babies, listen up!  We’ve got you surrounded!  We have several doctors, nurses and other medical personnel out here with their appropriate utensils and tools, built for cutting, pulling and yanking.  This is your final warning.  You have exactly 24 hours to come out with your hands up or we will come in to get you.  I cannot sugar coat this anymore.  GET OUT.  GET OUT.  YOU ARE NOT WELCOME ANY LONGER.  Like a bad friend or rude family member, you have overstayed your welcome.  Now, please allow us to state that we are seriously impressed with your commitment to the uterus but it’s time to move on and go our separate ways.

Earlier this week we took you in for your final ultrasound with both Grandma-mas in tow.  They’re both from “Back When” so neither of them have ever seen an ultrasound performed before…I know it’s hard to believe, but when your grandparents were children, there was no such thing as electricity or cars and fire had just been invented so stoves weren’t even in the question.  Regardless, all four of us were, as always, exceptionally excited to see your contorted, fuzzy, black and white bodies twitching and punching in there like tiny little boxers having isolated seizures.

Guesstimated weight for you two chunky fatsos are now as follows; Baby A, hailing from the left side of the womb is weighing in at a hefty 6lbs 14 oz while Baby B, visiting us from the right side of the womb, stands in at a beefy 6 lbs 6 oz.  Both excellent!  Both solid little cinder blocks.  Sturdy individuals.

I can’t help but wonder if either of you will tip the scales towards the 7 pound mark by Thursday.  Probably.  When I asked John what he thought he reached out and shook my belly, speaking softly into it, asking, “Oh, Magic 8 Ball, will the babies bypass the 7 pound mark?”  He then stared at my belly button and simply said, “Ask again later”.

Very funny…

Actually, on Thursday (the day you will be unceremoniously ripped from my womb) we will be 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  Now, you’re probably not a science buff (yet) but that’s just over FULL TERM for a SINGLE BABY!  Never in a million years would I have dreamt that we’d make it this far.  There is no doubt in my mind that you two should be totally cooked and ready to hit the ground running (almost literally).  If you were noodles you’d be extremely soggy right about now.  Your dad likes to joke that you’ll probably be born with driver’s licenses and mustaches.  -)     (cyclops winky emoticon)

The dreaded PUPPPS has come back with a horrible vengeance in the last couple of days and I have been itching like nobody’s business.  It’s awful.  Seriously, I look like I went rolling nude through a patch of poison oak.  Thankfully, other than that little treat and my swollen hands and feet that look like stuffed party weiners, we’re actually doing pretty well.  You’re both moving like crazy and seem to like it when we “pet” you through the belly.  Mee-YOW.

Your dad and I were lying in bed last night talking about how crazy it is that you are FINALLY going to be here in just two more days!  That’s nuts!  We’re going to be parents of TWO children in just two days.  This completely blows my mind and I am honestly having a hard time trying to really soak in what that means.  I think it must be something that you can’t fully understand until you’re already knee deep in it.  The main thought that keeps rolling through my mind on constant loop is, “This time next week…..this time next week…..”

The entire pregnancy has been an incredible experience every step of the way (albeit, not always an exactly easy/pleasant one) and we both feel so blessed to be starting this new journey with you two.  I can’t wait to show you how incredible this place can be.  I promise that we will try our hardest to not screw you up beyond repair but I cannot make any guarantees.  Just brace yourself for good cooking (me) and bad jokes (dad) and you’ll be ready for just about anything!

See you in two days!  We’ll be the ones smiling stupidly and saying, “Whoa” on repeat.

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35 weeks

Let me preface this post with a disclaimer.

The above photo is NOT my idea.  I have seen this concept shot 500 different times by 500 different photographers.  The PC term for this in the photo world is to say that I was “inspired” but here at The Letter B Photography we like to call a spade a spade………we totally ripped someone else’s awesome idea off.  I’ve never used this idea for a client shoot: because I have a hard time taking “inspiration” that far but I always knew that when we finally decided to flood the world with our own spawn that this photo would be happening.  I love it and bravo to whoever you are Mr. Original Photographer for coming up with this.  It’s awesome and so are you……….probably!

Ok.  Back to business.

35 weeks!  Whoop, whoop!  That means that we are a measly 7 days away from a full term twin pregnancy.  I feel almost as accomplished and proud for making it this far as I did the day I correctly answered Prague for the capital of Czech Republic in an oral pop quiz 5th grade Geography class.

Twin A, you have dropped really low this week (anatomically speaking) and have made walking and sitting quite the adventure.  I think the pregnancy waddle is now a permanent part of our ever expanding vocabulary.  This combined with all those fun Braxton Hick’s contractions makes me hope that maybe we’re not too far off after all.  And on a side note let me just say, if these are practice contractions, I am so happy that I will not be able to share in the joyful experience of the real thing.  Yikes!  Anyways………we need you to stay in for about one and a half more weeks and then we are going to be asking you to kindly get out.  I’ve already Googled the 29 Ways to Start Labor Naturally………….and I’m not scared to use them.  Well, other then the castor oil trick……..I think we’ll be passing on that one.

This week we finally got to have the Good Doctor back.  Praise Jesus!  It’s funny how much I appreciate this icy woman after suffering through two horrific appointments with Dr. Evil.  I could have literally kissed her when she offered me some antibiotics for our blasted cold!  I am excited to hopefully be over that hot mess – it was starting to be a real downer.  She said you still look great and have wonderful little heartbeats.  But despite my fervent requests to have the c-section scheduled by the end of the year she sadly would not accommodate and set the BIG day for January 5th.  I have to be honest…….I REALLY hope that this symbiotic relationship does not last that long…and I also hope that we can just go into labor like everyone else in the world gets to everyday.  For some reason, having a scheduled c-section makes me feel like a lot of the fun/magic is taken out of it.  Almost like going to the dentist or getting your driver’s license renewed.  Your dad is driving me nuts lately because he refuses to join me in my many impending parenthood freak outs and just keeps mumbling “Que sera, sera” in a very mocking voice.  This makes me want to choke him even though I know he’s fundamentally right.

Speaking of Mr. Dad.  This time of year and your impending birth brings up a lot of really bittersweet emotions for us.  Just two years ago this week we were in the middle of probably the bleakest and most hopeless periods of our lives (so far and hopefully ever).  The below photo was taken as we were being discharged from the hospital after chemotherapy round 3 and your dad was in pretty tough shape.  Don’t let his cheery smile fool you, he was like death warmed over.

It’s amazing to me how much life can change in such a short amount of time.  Two years ago we were in the middle of medical hell and thought that children would never even be an option for us and now we’re healthy and happy and hopefully days way from meeting you two wonderful little people.  I feel as though our lives really couldn’t get any better than they are right now.

What’s that saying about cups running over………

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32 weeks

Here ye!  Here ye!  Let it be know that the occupants of my womb have received their official notice of eviction.  You heard it!  You fellas got 30 days to pack your bags, make like a fetus and head out………..or, in your case, butt out.

Listen up, babies, it’s been a real slice of Heaven havin’ you bouncin’ around, drop kicking my pancreas and uppercutting my lungs but, truth be told, you two are getting chubby, rotund and HEAVY and honestly, you’re starting to make everyday tasks a little less than comfortable now.  Everytime my shoe comes untied I have to tromp through the house searching for your dad, hoping he’ll lend a hand instead of trying to strike a bargain.  “I’ll tie your shoes but I will require you to spoon feed me my dinner”.  ALSO,  I’ve recently developed some sort of horrendous, blotchy, itchiness on my belly called PUPPP, which is not nearly as cute as it sounds…now, I don’t know if this has anything to do with you two and I don’t want to point fingers but this rash didn’t show up until you did so let’s just stick all niceties aside and call a spade a spade, shall we folks?  YOU’VE WREAKED THIS HAVOC UPON ME!!

In other news, I have discovered what I believe to be a stretch mark……right by my belly button…….or rather, the stumpy mound of flesh that is passing for my belly button these days.  A week ago I had a dream.  I HAD A DREAM!!  And that dream was that my body and your bodies could live in piece, as one, with no stretch marks but sadly, you seem to have overstepped our silent treaty and ripped a wrinkly crevice across my abdomen and, like cockroaches and homeless people, where there’s one, there’s more.  Did I cry?  Did I weep?  Did I stand nude in front of my full length mirror and sob in vain, my fist shaking at the heavens, my belly jiggling like a Jell-O mold?  Perhaps.  But the moment to mourn has passed and I’ve been able to accept my grief and move on, finding joy in other things, like oragami and decapage.

Earlier in the week your dad and I packed you and I’s hospital bags and wrote out our Birth Plan.  I feel like it’s kind of a waste of time but just in case……I suppose it can’t hurt.  That said, I question how much the nurses level of animosity goes up when you whip out a page of instructions regarding how to take care of a baby.  If cancer taught us one thing it’s that people in the medical profession do not like to be questioned or second guessed by mere mortals.  They’ve gone to school!  They’ve read books!  They’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy!!  What have we done?  We’ve played Operation once or twice and the game always buzzes us…

We also took our maternity tour at the hospital you’ll be delivered in.  The facility is new and very nice but they don’t have internet.  (The internet is a place you spend all of your free time and most of your day at work).  Some boardroom committee seriously dropped the ball on that one.  Noobs.  As a consolation prize, however, we get an aromatherapy moist towelette every morning to wipe ours hands with and mandatory “tea time” everyday between 2-3.  YAY!  Tea time and moist towlettes!!  It’s just like brunch on the ol’ ranch!  Thanks, Kaiser!  You’re the best.  Who needs Facebook and email and the ability to send pictures to friends and family that live across the country?  Who needs to stay busy over the course of 4 days while I lay there, feeding my sucklings like hungry piglets.  Not I!  Not I!!

The tour guide also told us that the rooms were installed with OnDemand TV.  SCORE!!  If we can’t stream our Netflix at least we can watch anything we want…ON DEMAND!!  What’s that Tour Guide?  Oh, it’s not the real OnDemand?  It’s just a bunch of videos that run on loop for 24 hours a day about circumcision and breast feeding?  No thanks.  If I wanted to watch Faces of Death I would’ve just rented it.

Plus side of all this?  Since we’re having twins we get to have the BIG post partum room.  ALRIGHT!!  Now we can sit around in silence and the clock ticking noise will have a tinny echo! HOORAY!!

Finally, we installed your car seats!  I think this might be the single most frightening dose of reality that we have experienced thus far on this journey with you.  We took a trip to the fire station to have them check out our handy work on the install but sadly they no longer offer that courtesy.  Looks like you’re at the mercy of dear ol’ Mom and Dad’s handy work……….may God be with you.

See you in 30 days!

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