Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
i did not get these photos done right when Colin turned 2, so the shoot was juggled in during some time i had alone with the 2 babies. if i was only gonna have one boy, i'm sure glad it was this one. he is fun, sweet, and so happy. right now he is totally into Superman, but he wasn't that excited to rip off his dress shirt to reveal his secret identity. but he loved posing with his doggy, and his favorite "daddy bear". all in all we had some fun.
it is so much fun being your mom. you are sweet, rambunctious, curious, rowdy, and just so much fun. your sisters adore you almost as much as dad and I do. you are a great big brother, and love giving kisses to your sweet baby Zoe. Dad is so excited that he has a buddy to play football with, catch, and golf. and you are my favorite snuggle buddy. thank you for being such a fun loving and happy son!
Thursday, July 18, 2013
knowing i was having a girl, i had some ideas of the type of newborn photos i wanted to take with her. of course, i knew i should attempt this within the first few days of life when she was extra sleepy and easy to pose. of course what i didn't know is all the crying this girl had in store.
after days and days of trying to get some pretty shots, i got few serene ones and many screamers.
(even though it's a billion degrees outside, and i have my arsenal of warmers, and even tried one set up outside in the heat, she did not like to be down to her diaper.)
my mom bought this gown on a trip to Italy when i was a little girl. i think my sister got a chance to wear it, then she gave it to me and i have taken all the girls' portraits in it. it has the most beautifully delicate lace and embroidery details, that perfectly compliment the delicate details of a newborn babe.
this is the photo we eventually chose for her announcement. not exactly what i was hoping to capture, but definitely beautiful.
little Zoe did not make this momma's job very easy. it was the toughest newborn photography session i've ever done. thank goodness my sweet friend offered to take some when Zoe was one month old (wherein she still cried the whole time).
Thursday, July 11, 2013
bringing Zoe home was both wonderful and terrible all wrapped into one. i would love to sugar coat it as much as possible, and gush about our new baby girl, but it was hard. she was our hardest baby by a landslide. the crying was constant, the sleeping was nil.
since i am an experienced newborn photographer, i knew i needed to act fact to capture the images of my new complete family that i was looking for. so, less than one week from bringing her home, i gathered my children in my bedroom for these shots. Zoe screamed nearly the entire time. but i will cherish these images for a lifetime. (if i were to have another baby, i would for sure hire someone to photograph her for me. but who am i kidding, i did it 3 times and didn't learn my lesson.)
these two were too cute for words.
there were some limited times when the Zoe took a moment to catch her breathe, the screaming would subside and i would grab my shot, praying that the other 4 were cooperating.
these two. they are such cute sisters. the 3 older girls are in such a state of change these days, with Avery growing up and coming into to share their room, the dynamics of their relationships are always changing. it's beautiful to see their friendships grow and develop.
Avery never got a non-screaming moment.
thankfully my mom and dad were here to help with logistics. they keep these guys occupied with trips to the mall, the pool, and Uncle Jack's house! clearly, the kids love it!
the money shot! it was a hard day, i couldn't possibly see how i got anything. but this shot (and current blog header) is worth it all!
oh, and moments like these.
we love our new sister! here's to life with 5 kids!
Monday, July 8, 2013
i'll have to check, but i'm pretty sure that for each of the other 4 kids I stood proudly for a picture on our way to the hospital. you'd think that with 3 trips for number 5 that we would have had the time to snap a quick shot. but, that wasn't the case. i think between the panic of labor (we have both been terrified of having the baby at home), and the annoying-ness of being sent home twice, i just wasn't in the mood.
it all started on Anna's birthday, July 1st. she really wanted this sister to be born on her actual birthday, but it didn't seem immenant. but then contraction started and didnn't let up all through dinner and bedtime. they weren't very strong, so i went to bed. at 3am they became consitent and stronger, so i woke up and timed them. once they were 2 minutes apart, we headed out the the hospital. i was shocked to be having a due date baby. (ha, said fate) once i was hooked up to the monitors, everything slowed way down. an hour later we were headed home. not exactly what you're hoping for when you go in to deliver your 5th baby. i'm not sure why i felt so defeated, but i did. Jason and i headed to the mall to walk laps with the over 70 crowd and things picked back up, but stopped once we hit the car. i knew we weren't going back to the hospital that day.
fast forward (no wait, more like slow forward) to July 3rd. deja vu all over again. went to bed with mild contractions, woke up at 3 with strong painful ones. got to the hospital at 6am, only to be sent on our way by 8. (thank goodness my parents were here for all the kid juggling!) i think i may have shed a tear, and if you know me, that means i was seriously disappointed! Jason took me out for a little pick-me-up breakfast at the Coffee Shop. i ate away my sorrows, and we headed home to celebrate the 4th with our kiddos. i napped and swam, ate and played, and complained quite a bit about the endless contractions. i was not wanting to get sent home again, so very reluctant to go back to the hospital. finally, after seeing me grimace in the pool with the kids Jason appoached me like this, "how about we just go in to check on the baby? maybe it's not going to be today, but let's just see how things are going." it seemed reasonable, so i agreed.
on the way there i was a little teary again. after nearly 48 hours of labor, i was ready to abandon my plan of natural childbirth and go for an epidural and induction, just get the show on the road!!! we checked in (for the 3rd time) and went back, again, to triage. no sooner did they get me hooked up to the monitors and check me out, did they unhook me and start wheeling me to delivery. (6cm, -1 station) the nurse was asking if i wanted an epidural. bewildered, i looked at Jason, "so for 9 months, she's been saying no, but for the last 10 minutes she's been saying yes." i was tired, frustrated and confused. the nurse just said, "well, you'll do great either way, but you need to decide fast!" the decision was no, and away we went. i realized that i was less stressed, panicked, and in less pain once i knew this was happening. the zero progress over the past 2 days had worn me down, but now that we were a go, i had my resolve back.
35 short minutes later, at 6:41pm, this little sweetie was placed in my arms:
everyone gasped when she was born. "have your other babies been big?" yes, yes they have. but this "little" girl broke even an extended family record, weighing in at a whopping 10lbs 7oz!! they checked 3 times to be sure. they kept saying 10/7, and i asked "9 pounds 10, or 7?" the doctor laughed, "no 10 pounds, 7." what the what? i could have sworn she felt smaller than Colin!
the girls were so excited to meet their newest sister. Colin was super excited to see me, and the feeling was mutual.
many people theorized that since we finally chose to find out what we were having, that naming her would be easy. i submit that it was at least as difficult, if not more. i mean how do you name 4 daughters??? almost every night at dinner, i would poll the family on name ideas. we made a list. it was something similar to: Aurora, Jasmine, Ariel, Giselle, etc. Jason and i like Sarah. and then i told the story of the first name Jason and i ever liked together.
13 years ago when we were dating, but marriage was imminent. Jason caught me doodling my would be signature in my school notebook. (yes, i did this in Law School, i am such a girl.) and remember, we had discussed marriage, so it wasn't utterly humiliating. this lead to a discussion of names we liked. Jason liked non, I had always loved Zoe and Olivia. when we put the two names together with Earl, we noticed that a child with this moniker would have initial that spelled her name. we thought that was cute, and both assumed our first daughter would have this name. fast forward 5 years to when our first daughter was actually born, and we both decided she just wasn't a Zoe. i felt a little bewildered, but confident that she was Anna. 2 more daughters born, neither was Zoe. i kind of thought i just didn't like the name anymore. Colin would most likely been Daphne, if he were a girl, so that made the list. but when she was born, one of the first things i thought was, she looks like Zoe. Jason and i both agreed that she did NOT look like a Sarah. so when the girls came and all proclaimed, "Mom, she looks like a Zoe." we felt she had claimed the name. welcome, Zoe Olivia Earl. 13 years in the making.
after our initial cuddle time, and once everyone had snuggled the new baby, Colin decided it was, "Colu's turn."
i know my day nurse thought my room was too crazy, she practically said as much. but i loved the beautiful chaos of my family.
our first whole family portrait.
we came home the morning of the 6th, and started settling into our new routine. the kids are wonderful with Zoe, and the only problems we've had are arguments over who has held her longer. i now set a timer so everyone can be sure it's even. one girl even remarked, "mom, you got to hold her the most, it's not fair, i even heard you up with her in the middle of the night." i gladly offered to wake the girls for middle of the night feedings, but they declined.
welcome Zoe, we're happy you joined our family!