Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Photography

"Nicholas must be the most photographed 4 year old ever." I've heard this many times from many people and it makes me smile. Yes, I take a lot of pictures of my beautiful blessing, but probably not for the reasons you may think.

I came from a family of very little means and a camera and film were just not something in the budget prior to the age of two. Because of this, there are all of about 4 or 5 pictures of me prior to turning two. If my grandkids ever want to see what grandma looked like when she learned to walk, had her first solid food, took her first bath, etc., they will just have to use their imaginations because those types of pictures don't exist. I don't want that for my kids. One day, I'd like to show my grandkids what their daddy looked like growing up. I also want my kids to be able to see pictures of events they may not remember without the aid of a picture. Hopefully, the picture will jog a memory for them.

Most importantly, with every picture there is a story. The story is the most important element to me. Sometimes, I have trouble remembering what I ate for dinner last night. There is a good chance that 25-30 years from now, I will forget the funny story that goes with Nic's first bath, or Caleb's first time eating solid foods. The pictures will help me to remember. There is also the reality of the chance that I won't be around or that if I am around, I will have no recollection of these important times due to Alzheimer's or some other illness. That is when the pictures will be even more important. I will need the pictures I have taken to tell the stories that I won't be able to. I see pictures as an opportunity for future generations to learn about their family and get to know them in new and interesting ways. I know I love to look at old pictures of my grandparents and like to know what story goes along with the picture. I want to do that for my children and grandchildren as well. It is so true that a picture is worth a thousand words. I want to make sure my children have millions of words to share about their life growing up, the pictures will help ensure that. This is why for this "Thankful Thursday" I am thankful for photography.

My new favorite photo. We were all snuggling together, just talking and feeding the baby, it was a precious moment and I grabbed my cell phone to take the picture and capture the moment.

My other new favorite pictures capture how much Nic loves his little brother:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Confessions of a Mother on Bed Rest

Bed rest. Separate, these words sound great. The word "bed" conjures up images of warm, cozy comfort. The word "rest" is one that no one could find fault in. It's a way to de-stress and something everyone seems to need more of these days. Used together, however, these words create an oxymoron. At least it does when you are a mother.

Have you ever heard the saying, "There's no rest for the weary?" Well, you'd be hard pressed to find someone more weary than a woman who is a mother, runs a business, a home and is nine months pregnant. With that being said, rest is not possible for this woman, ergo bed rest is contradictory. Bed rest is an oxymoron.

Confession #1 - Anyone who knows me, knows that my son is my life. In my eyes, the sun rises and sets in this little guy and spending time with him is always a joy. Well, almost always. I have been on bed rest for 5 days now. For the last 5 days I have been confined to about a 6' x 6' space. This is not enough space for anyone as enormous as I have become, but even less when you share the space with a very bouncy, active 4 year old and his toys all day, every day. The little guy has been worried about his Mama, so he doesn't like to venture too far from me, which means he and his toys spend most of their days in bed with me. The first day or two, it really wasn't too bad. But after 5 days of children's programs, Leapster games, Connect 4, toy helicopters, cars, jumping up and down right next to me, silly kid songs, coloring and other various 4 year old activities, my brain is fried. I am mentally exhausted. I am use to spending my days in a 4 year old world, but when not on bed rest there are times when he can occupy himself while I get grown up things done. Not now. If I hear one more kid song, I'm going to scream.

Confession #2 - By comparison, bed rest was pretty great the first time around. I was on bed rest for the last 3 weeks of my first pregnancy. I thought that was tough. I didn't have a clue. With my first bed rest experience, I had a little fridge and microwave right beside my bed. I had books, magazines, a TV, pen and paper. I could actually rest. I didn't have to get out of bed at all. After the first week, I was sick of it, but looking back, I should have enjoyed it more. Bed rest when you have a child is TOTALLY different from bed rest when you don't.

Confession #3 - I don't actually stay in bed 24/7. It's not possible. For the most part, I do stay in bed all the time, but I have done a few loads of laundry, helped my hubby take down Christmas decorations, bathed and fed the little guy, along with various other tasks for him. I have also had to sit at my computer downstairs to complete some projects for work that can't be done on my laptop. I do these tasks very quickly and get right back to bed. I may get out of bed for about an hour on a daily basis, but that's it. My hubby is great, but he can not do it all himself. He can not run his business, my business, this house, take care of the little guy, me and the millions of other tasks that pop up everyday. For example, when he is at work during the day, I have to get up and fix lunch for the little guy and I. When the little guy gets his button or zipper caught when trying to use the potty, I have to get up and take care of it, when it's snack time, my 4 year old can not cut up his strawberries for his yogurt himself, when he spills his milk, Mama has to kneel down and clean it up. It is NOT possible for a mother to stay on bed rest. Again, it was so much easier the first time around!

Confession #4 - I feel like a burden. I am not the kind of person who likes to do nothing. I feel best when I'm up doing things for my family, when I'm working, when I'm helping friends or just spending time with friends and family. I can't do any of the things I normally do, so now I have to depend on others to help me do them and I feel so bad for my friends and family. Everyone is so busy these days and I feel like I'm just adding to the heavy weight so many people already carry. I know my friends and family don't feel this way, just as I wouldn't if the shoe were on the other foot. I know they are all happy to help however they can and I can't even begin to tell you how much I love and appreciate them for it. But, I still can't help but have a part of me that feels like a burden.

Confession #5 - I would do it all again, without hesitation. Being a mother is the best thing to ever happen to me. I truly feel God put me on this earth to be a Mom. I love children and raising these two little boys is the most precious gift I could receive and the most important thing I will ever do. It has been a very long and hard road, but I know it is worth it. These nine months are but a moment in time, just the blink of an eye, when compared to the lifetime of love and laughter that will come from my boys. Yes, I would do it all again without a moment's hesitation.

Time to put down the laptop and roll over onto the left side. Wish me luck!