Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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Wheelchair Chronicles: When Lightning Strikes --- Twice.

Wheelchair Chronicles: When Lightning Strikes --- Twice.

This is a blog that I am following about a very dear friend who has ALS and breast cancer though she is not defined by these things. I would define her as a sister, friend, wife, daughter, aunt, upstanding member of Clays Mill congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, and role-model.

Eat your vegetables

Well, I have been networking with other stay at home moms who are running a business from home and taking care of their children as well. Through this networking I have met some wonderful women who deal with childbirth education- which naturally is very conducive to my line of work- photography. BTW the newborn and maternity division of AA Imaging is growing by leaps and bounds. I am so thrilled! What could be better for me? I feel so connected to these new clients of mine. It is so true what they say, "You will not be able to relate to being a mother until you are one yourself" but I digress...

Anyhow, I have begun talking with Katie Kaufman who runs Conception Forward , and also with Lauren Metelski who runs Birth is Fun! here in Lexington, Ky. This is going to be a great way for us to help one another with our respective businesses in finding clients for one another. More on this later...

I was speaking with Lauren the other day and she said she has to cook vegetables into her muffins so that her daughter E. would get the nutrition she often rejects in more visible forms. I instantly felt a twinge wondering if I was getting enough nutrition in my little one's body. She too rejects green vegetables and I never thought to try cooking them into breads! Well, being extra extra busy lately- I decided not to try breads right now but I remembered this recipe I recently saw on Rachael Ray's 30 min meals. It had stuck in my mind because it was loaded with vegetables.
I even had most of the ingredients at home so I decided to make it for lunch today. I kept talking about it to Penelope stressing the Pasta part of the cooking process. She let me know she would prefer ice cream for lunch and I told her we could have some after lunch. She agreed.

Well, once I put her plate of "pasta" with zucchini, baby eggplant, spinach, garlic, onions, and italian cheeses she immediately protested. She then ran off to MY room and closed the door. I was so looking forward to it myself that I did not follow her. Instead, I calmly enjoyed my meal and then went to find her. She was in my bed with the covers pulled up to her scowling face. She said, "Can I have some milk?"

I did not want her to fill up on that so I told her she could after she had her lunch. She came off the bed and said, "But I don't want that pasta!" I brought her to the table and tried to figure out how I could win this battle.

Me: Would you help me make it taste better?
P: (eyes brightening, nods her head to say yes)
Me: I think we should put more cheese on it to make it better
P: Yea more cheese

I bring the container of cheese & her abandoned plate close to her.

Me: Help me put some cheese on it.

She pinches some cheese between her dimpled fingers and spreads it over the pasta

Me: How bout some more?

She repeats the cheese application

Then I allowed her to put a tiny pinch of salt on it.

After warming it up again, she reluctantly eats a tiny piece of pasta.

I knew where this was going. She was going to try and avoid all of the vegetables.
Me: You know vegetable are really good for you. They help you grow strong. Jehovah gave us vegetables so we can grow strong and play a long time. If you don't eat them you will not grow.

She gives me her sad eyes and looks down.
Me: "Look at me Penelope. I will show you how vegetables help you. See how you grow?" I pushed my fingers up through my other hand as if they were a plant growing tall. I push the fingers, hand, and arm all the way up toward the ceiling. "See how I grow?"

She seemed to understand. She ate a bite of zucchini and looked at me. After much praise, she put her fork down and did her best to "grow" her hand just as I had. It was adorable. She seemed to be "growing" her had very slowly as if to demonstrate how gradually growing occurs. I am delighted. Her least favorite was the eggplant but she would eat it when I told her to close her eyes. After every bite of vegetable she would "grow" a little more. I of course had to ooh and aah over every growth spurt she was having. After she ate all of her food, we had a bit of ice cream as promised.

If you have any creative ways of feeding your babies, please share them!

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Maternity at Baby Belly Spa

I have really been enjoying my time with expectant and new mothers from the Baby Belly Spa in Hamburg Pavillion of Lexington, Ky.

This baby has already arrived, but oh what a beautiful bump he was! I get to see him tomorrow and I can hardly wait.

If you are considering maternity portraits, don't hesitate! You will not regret it, and don't worry I am very compliant with your privacy wishes. Some women do not at all want to show skin, others feel totally liberated and beautiful to show it all. This is for you, so you call the shots! I just capture them.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Love them as they are....

I had to take Penelope to the dentist today. She is not even three yet!!! She had fallen on her face really hard a few days ago hitting her front teeth. When one front tooth started turning grey yesterday, I knew she needed to be seen. So I took her in this morning. She was excited until we walked into the examining room. She became very quiet and started to whimper and cling to me. I sat in the examining chair with her on my lap. She did better until they tried to xray her mouth. She was terrified! When the xray camera swung around to her face she was trembling and crying. I felt so sorry for her. But this is not really what I want to talk about today. The dentist told me she was going to have a grey tooth until it falls out naturally. Then she should be fine when her permanent ones come in.

Dentist: If the gray tooth bothers you, Penelope can have a root canal to make it white again. It is a baby root canal that cleans out the gray from inside and then the empty tooth is covered with a white veneer

Me: This would be purely cosmetic?

Dentist: Yes, it is not medically needed. It is only an option if it bothers you...

Of course, we will not be subjecting her to that especially since we know these are baby teeth.

Anyhow, this whole thing brought back to my mind a disturbing encounter I had with an overly image conscious mother when I was working in a children's portrait studio. She was beautiful- the mother. She had two daughters, very young toddlers. The youngest of the two was gorgeous, the eldest was just as lovely to me although she had some teeth problems. As I was setting up the appointment, the mom kept talking about her daughters teeth. They were crooked and protruded so much that her lips could not close over them when she closed her mouth completely.

Mom: It is just a shame... Is there anything you can do to Photoshop her teeth? Can you put a straight one there where this one is? Also will you whiten them?

Me: Well we will do a lot of touching up here for our clients, but I don't know that we could put another set of teeth in place of hers...

Mom: You know we tried to have braces put on her, but the dentist said she is too young. I can't wait until we can. She really would look a lot better if her teeth were fixed. It will not be much longer until we can take care of it.

Me: (No response)

Mom: Could you try to do something? I have gone to (I will not name them) and they had no problem lighting her and correcting the flaws. I mean I usually go to them because they are the best in town... I am the kind of person who has paid thousands for portraits because I really value that sort of thing. I really want to have it look very artsy...It's just such a shame...

Me: (acknowledge her words with something generic)

.....and so on and so on and so on...this went on for an hour IN FRONT OF HER TWO GIRLS!

After the shoot she left me wondering how on earth I would be able to please her. My employer said I needed to call her and tell her we could not alter her appearance so much that she was not recognizable. I knew that, but I didn't really want to tell her that. We decided to say, "I really don't think you will be happy with changing her portraits that way. Something will not feel right and we truly believe it will be disturbing to you in the end."

After another visit from both mom and dad, we all finally agreed to clone her lips so that her lips are closed over the teeth. It did not feel right at all to do so! Her daughter was going to see that portrait and know that mommy had changed it to look different from what it really was. What message was that sending about being ok with yourself? It is bad enough when things like that come from people who are not related to you, but when it comes from your own mom?

What really bothered me the most was when dad was looking at the proofs and said, "Look at......(younger daughter) she is just a natural... No dark discolorations under her eyes, her hair is thick and smooth, her teeth are perfect...

Eldest girl had bluish skin under her eyes which is actually very common in small children as the skin is so delicate there that you can often see through it. She also had hair that was a bit wild and whimsical.

When the mother came to pick them up she hated the portraits and refused to purchase them. She said she had gotten some cheap ones done somewhere else.

Well, I guess I am writing about this because I will not be giving my baby a root canal just because the "gray color was bothersome to me". She is still beautiful to me!!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Your pants are backwards.

I am sitting at the computer trying desperately to catch up on some work.
Little Penelope is jumping around me like a jumping jelly bean begging to see green eggs and ham on youtube, or for me to play with her.
She asks me in the sweetest voice she can muster while tilting her head to the side....
Those huge almond eyes are irresistible.
Hoping to distract her, I tell her to go put her pants on. She obediently runs down the hallway to her bedroom. Exactly one minute later, she returns and plops on the carpet at my feet. "I did it!" She proclaims. I pull my eyes from the monitor to look down at her and see that her pants are on backwards. The front pockets are at her rear end. I smile at her and say, "You sure did baby."


Monday, March 22, 2010

Newborn & Maternity Photographer in Lexington ky

This was a serendipitously shot portrait of the family dog while the newborn was being comforted. I think I will start marketing pet photography. The parents were absolutely thrilled!

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