Sunday, October 21, 2012

When the Anesthesia Starts to Wear Off...

This was probably the longest summer of my life. Suffice it to say, I didn't go much of anywhere or do much of anything since my last blog post. I hid away from the dreaded Arizona heat, just about everyone in it, and survived. There's something to be said for surviving, right?

As I mentioned previously, my due date for our little girl, Kylie Marie Smith, was September 18th, but we were scheduled for a repeat C-Section on September 13th. I was feeling pretty darn miserable during the last leg of my pregnancy and we finally found out why; I somehow ended up with preeclampsia. The last 3 weeks or so of my pregnancy my blood pressure sky rocketed out of nowhere. I have never had blood pressure problems, pregnant or not. My doctor didn't think it was preeclampsia at first as that is apparently more common for a first pregnancy so we had a bunch of tests run. After being forced to go back into the doctor more times than I would like to remember, on Tuesday, August 28th I went in to get my blood pressure checked AGAIN. Finding it was still high, I was told the doctor "wanted to see me." I felt like a kid being sent to the principal's office; it sounded ominous. So I waited and waited...and waited for the doc (I didn't have an appointment with her) and when she finally came in, she told me that I did, indeed, have preeclampsia and that we were going to have to deliver the baby either the following day or at least before the weekend, depending on how bad it was. I had to go to the hospital to get another test run on Wednesday, the 29th and they were to get the results back that day. In the meantime, I was not allowed to have anything to eat or drink (not even ice chips- give a girl a break!) that entire day on the off chance I would be going in for surgery...

The waiting game began; by 3:00 p.m. I was cranky, hungry (or perhaps those should go the other way around as I'm sure the hunger contributed to my foul mood), and anxious to know what was happening. Nick and I frantically tried to get last minute details pulled together (you know, like finding someone to watch Tyler earlier than expected) as we waited. Finally, I called the doctor since I hadn't heard from them; she told me she definitely wanted to deliver the baby that night as the results of the test were not as good as she had hoped...we went in for surgery that night, but it wasn't that easy. Apparently, EVERY room in the labor and delivery section of the hospital was in use (9 months previous must have been a busy time! ;) so we had to be bumped to the next day. But did they let us go right home and let me eat?! NO. They made me stick around (in spite of my attempts to escape) to monitor me for a while and run more follow up tests. Depending on the results, I was either going to have to stay there and have surgery at 5:00 a.m. or I could go home, eat and come back at the more reasonable hour of 10:00 a.m. to have surgery at 11:00...Finally, we were allowed to go home; we were very much ready and excited to leave by that time. We didn't get home until around 11p.m.

August 30th proved to be the lucky day; they didn't kick us out that time. We had great staff- a BYU graduate was the anesthesiologist (I guess Nick and family knew him, but I can't remember his name). We had a very amusing surgical assistant who delighted in giving me crap the whole time. He came in beforehand to meet me because he "had to meet the woman who wrote 'cut the baby out of my belly:)'" in the paperwork where I was supposed to describe what was going to be happening in surgery. Well, it's true, isn't it? We bonded over that. As we were prepping for surgery, he asked me how tall I was and when I told him I was 5'3" he became very adamant that there was no way I was that tall- during the ensuing debate, I told him he was a punk. This, before he was going to be operating on me, hahaha. Probably not my best move. He had me laughing as they were starting and I had to apologize as it probably wasn't appropriate to be laughing while they were cutting me open. He laughed and said, "it's okay, the incision is just a little crooked." It definitely took some of the pre-surgery/middle surgery jitters away.
About to go into surgery

At least until I started to feel things I wasn't intended to...When they were testing to see if I was properly numb, I answered their questions and told them how/where I felt things. They didn't ask about my feet. I don't think I ever lost the ability to move them entirely. I was a little worried about it, but didn't want to make a fuss. So they cut in. About mid-way, or perhaps a little before, things started to get a tad uncomfortable. Apparently, I was scrunching up my feet/face due to the pain because the assisting nurse noticed (I guess I wasn't supposed to be able to move my feet after all) and, surprised that my feet were moving, asked if I was okay. I told her I was a bit uncomfortable (a slight understatement!) so the anesthesiologist gave me something in my IV to "take the edge off"....and take away the nausea resulting from the pain. I suppose it must have helped a little, but since the pain was progressively getting worse, I was just trying to keep breathing and survive so I didn't pick up on it helping all that much...

Let me just say, it freaking HURTS to feel them operating, then pushing a baby out of your stomach, cleaning things out (or whatever it was they were doing- it felt like they were scrubbing my innards out with some VERY uncomfortable tools), and stitching you up when your anesthesia is no longer much help. The anesthesiologist said my body must metabolize medicine very quickly- if only my body metabolized food so quickly!!!

Finally, I heard Kylie cry. All is well that ends well, right? She was 6 lbs 11 ounces and 18.25 inches long; tiny compared to Ty's 8 lbs 4.8 ounces and 22.25 inches long, but I guess she is a girl and was 3 weeks early. I was forced to stay in the hospital from Thursday until Sunday (ugh!), not counting our Wednesday night jaunt. Can I just say I hate hospitals? However, the endless wake up calls in the middle of the night were still less exhausting than taking care of two under 18 months!
Holding Kylie for the first time...Still in excruciating pain.

In the recovery room; our new addition:)
This explains our family rather perfectly- Tyler always on the move.
Since then we have been trying to adjust as a family of four; we like to say "we have become that family." The one with multiple kids! So weird. It has been a bit of a struggle (especially since Nick went back to work) trying to keep up with a very active/high maintenance 1 year old and a newborn. But we have lasted 7 whole weeks so that's got to say something...Tyler was a bit upset with mom and dad (especially mom! WOW!) at first, but always seemed to love his little sister. Hugs and kisses are a regular event; he is always worried about her when she cries- he will run to the door of the room she is in and look up at me like, "mom, let's go help her!" He knows to rub her hair, pat her back, give her pacifier to her (with my help-it gets interesting when he tries to do it before I catch him and help- let's just say he missed and got her eye one of the times;), and give her hugs and kisses (and the inevitable "dadadadada" that always comes just before the hug- I really wish I knew what he was saying to her!) to help her feel better. It is so cute- it could break my heart with adorability!
Finally I have my little girl! These photos were taken by Marriott Photography 

See what I mean about the kisses? So sweet!
Luckily, Tyler seems to be doing better toward mom and dad...for the most part. Now all we need to do is survive the long nights and perhaps even longer days. I miss the days when I felt well rested! Oh, and my anemia post-delivery probably wasn't helping. I should find out soon if my iron levels are better *fingers crossed*...Fun times!

In other news- Nick is super busy at work. He has a TON of projects that are keeping him busy. Job security I guess, right? He obviously does a great job in his field for his bosses to give him so much work. We are grateful he has such a great job and a boss he respects and enjoys working with.

Tyler is up to his usual antics. This post is already long enough that I won't try to recall them here. But he is a regular crack up. He can be the sweetest kid sometimes and quite the challenge at others; he's at that age. I am doing my best to be consistent with what I am trying to teach him and not give in when he is stubborn and does not want to listen. It becomes quite the battle of wills. I am proud to say, I think I usually win. Usually. I think he is learning and for the most part does quite well. We have our days where we are both in tears by the time poor Nick gets home, however, haha.

As for me? I am surviving one minute at a time! It is exhausting work, but I wouldn't change it for the world (in spite of what Nick may think on those days he comes home to a household full of tears;). I finally ventured forth to Target ALONE with both kids in tow the other day and went to lunch with an old friend and her new baby. I am a brave woman, indeed! It is getting tough taking just Tyler out, depending on his mood, so braving both at the same time? Yeah, THAT'S right. :D

I have finally felt up to taking pictures again and Nick surprised me by insisting I get the new lens I have been wanting for a while. I anticipated saving up for this puppy for some time! I have been having a blast taking pictures with it, especially with it cooling down outside and me not being encumbered by a growth in my belly! (Now she is just in the Baby Bjorn! ;) I am focusing on my kiddos right now, but plan to start doing portraits (official ones anyway- I will be snapping some here and there along the way) in November and have a few families lined up already. I am excited! This is something I am passionate about and I don't think I will ever tire of it, even if my husband and kids do get sick of me pulling out my SLR, point and shoot or my iPhone camera, depending on what I have on hand at the moment. Too bad they are stuck with me!

Here are a few pictures I have been playing around with, using my new 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens and trying out some new techniques I have been reading about (you really have a lot of reading time when you are up for hours at night feeding a newborn- if you aren't half asleep yourself, that is).

These first three were taken using VERY little lighting; this type of shooting is known as "low key" lighting photos. I just think Nick looks so handsome here! I'm pretty sure this was one of the ones he was being a goofball in. I have to try hard to get him to be "normal" for pictures, haha.

I miss my skating days!
I can't wait to get this boy playing baseball...He already has a little plastic t-ball set that we play with sometimes.
Slightly more window lighting was used in this one. I love the look of fascination on his face.
I will try to regale any readers with some of Tyler's recent escapades next time. Until then!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vacation and Latest News

As I mentioned in a previous post, Nick and I were able to get "away" for a three-day weekend while my family watched over Ty. We stayed at the Smith's guest house while they were away in Israel/Jordan. We greatly appreciated both my family for watching our little handful and to Barry and Julia for so graciously letting us invade their guesthouse/pool. 

Most of the weekend we lounged in the pool reading, talking, or just relaxing, doing nothing. Can I say how absolutely marvelous that was? I can't remember the last time I was so relaxed. Nick had to leave for a bit on Saturday to do some stuff for his ward calling so I was actually able to have some alone time...a thing which rarely happens. While I loved my time with Nick, I also thoroughly enjoyed some quiet ME time since it is such a precious commodity. We also went out to dinner and saw a movie (Men In Black III- in case you are wondering, don't bother. We weren't impressed.) I was going to take some pictures of the weekend to commemorate the occasion, but I was too busy relaxing;) Needless to say, it was great to unwind from the havoc of parenthood and Nick and I were able to chat for hours in the pool just like the first night we met. It was spectacular. 

This last week, we went to Island Park, Idaho to visit Nick's grandparents, the Powells. Nick's Aunt Jan and some of her family were there as well and his Aunt Liz came the night before we left. We enjoyed the wonderful company, the comfortable/beautiful cabin, and the gorgeous scenery everywhere we looked. Nick and I wished we lived just a few hours away so we could go more often because it is just so peaceful (minus a tumultuous one-year-old) and beautiful, with great summer weather. We were not excited to return to the 110 + degree heat. 

While we were there, we were able to go to Yellowstone National Park two of the seven days we were there since it is so close to the Powells' cabin. The first day was a little rough with Tyler and a bit stressful, but we still enjoyed our time there. We especially enjoyed the second day we went in spite of it being rainy. It just adds to the adventure, right? And it cooled things down even more which certainly helped me be able to breathe a little easier. That was one down side to the trip- with the elevation and my lungs being compressed by little Kylie, I had times when I couldn't breathe very well, even when we weren't hiking...Which we did do as well. Here are a few pictures I was able to take while we were there. I rarely get a chance to take pictures of inanimate objects (which, frankly, are my favorite to shoot) so I had a blast taking these: 

Tyler was able to get to know his third (???) cousin who is five and they got along very well. Ara (spelling?) was so good with Ty and she could actually keep up with him, running all over the place! 
Tyler also enjoyed the dogs that were up there and followed them around everywhere. I'm not entirely sure how they felt about him, however:)

Here are a few other pictures from our trip:
Tyler was playing with me at the river and this lady came along with her canoe. He was very enthralled by it so she let him sit in it as she moved it back and forth.
Then Ty got his very own chair and he felt so grown up and cool.
It is very hard to have a small kid eat healthy on the road so Ty got his very own fries. At first I was handing them to him one by one and finally I got sick of it so I just handed him the whole thing. He was very pleased with the new situation. Note his foot which is always going up all casually.
This shows Nick and Tyler's daddy-son relationship rather well. They have so much fun together.

They are both total goofballs. This picture makes me laugh. This one and the one above are both self portraits.
Me testing out my relatively new 100 mm lens. It is taking some adjustment:)

Another self portrait. It's getting more difficult with the more people we add:)

Numerous times throughout our trip Tyler insisted on pushing his stroller. Kind of defeated the purpose, but it was very cute. He always has to be so grown up.

I just plain like this pic.

Apparently, I slacked in my duties and this is the ONLY picture I got of Nick's grandparents...Here, Nick was giving the Powells a computer tutorial. They were being so cute all huddled together I had to get a picture.

Chilling at the river.
In other news, Tyler is...well, he's a handful as I mentioned previously. That boy can make me laugh so hard and then two seconds later make me want to pull my hair out. He is starting to go through a bit of a temper tantrum stage and this is a whole new ball game for me; a lesson in patience like no other. We are working on it. I had to put both him AND me in time out by about 5:30 yesterday evening. Today has gone better, however. 

A few funny notes about Tyler: months ago, when I was teaching Tyler how to give kisses, I initially gave him a kiss on the cheek, said "kiss" and then gave him my cheek and asked for a kiss. He picked up on it and I figured he would remember what a kiss was so eventually I just started pointing at my cheek and asking for a kiss. He started just poking my cheek with his index finger (just like I did when asking for a kiss). Apparently, he started thinking that was a kiss. This has gone on for a while because just the other day, I asked for a kiss and offered my cheek (no pointing, mind you) and he dutifully poked my cheek with his finger. Nick and I were laughing pretty hard. 

Tyler currently has a fascination with tummies, probably stemming from my ever-growing one. He always wants to lift up my shirt and inspect my belly and I try to explain as best I can that there is a baby in there. It gets a little awkward when we are in a public place like church or my doctor's office when he tries to life up my shirt. He inspects his belly/belly button and his dad's as well- and probably anyone who will let him, but he is definitely the most fascinated by mine, hahahaha. 

Ty is learning so much and growing so fast:
He is becoming more adventurous with his eating (much to mine and Nick's relief!) and is eating grown up food more and more. He also prefers to eat with the real silverware that mommy and daddy use (would you expect anything different from this kid?) and will any chance he can get...

The other day, I asked him to close his eyes (I think we were going to say a prayer- he's had the folding arms down pat for a while and started doing it on his own [and often reminds us to pray by folding them at meal times and bedtime] so I decided to try and work on closing his eyes next)- anyways, when I asked him to close his eyes, he put both his hands over his eyes. I'm not entirely sure why, my guess is he thought he needed to manually close them with his hands:) 

Tonight, he and I were playing in his room and I started to do the five piggies on his toes and he started putting his hands together carefully, focusing really hard on what he was doing. I took a chance, and started doing "The Intsy Bintsy Spider" song with the hand movements and, sure enough, he got a HUGE grin on his face and started watching with rapt attention. I hadn't even done that in DAYS and never thought he paid that much attention when I did, but apparently he does like it and was in the mood to hear it...

Tyler is fully weaned off his bottle/formula, and we have been working on his pacifier. Unfortunately, that work took a major hit over our vacation (you gotta do what you gotta do, right?), but we are getting back on track. I had him only using it at night pre-vacation, and tonight I put him to bed without it (a risky move, I grant you) and he did just fine. Perhaps, I will try not giving it to him at all tomorrow. I'm hoping to have this done well in advance of Kylie being born so he doesn't have to try and adjust to a no-pacifier life after adding such a new element to his world. Wish me luck!

Unfortunately, Tyler is paying very close attention to those around him, particularly me and Nick, and we are having to be very careful about the things we say and do. The other night at dinner, Nick made some teasing remark to me (weird, right?;) and I jokingly hit him on the arm because...well, he deserved it. Immediately after I did that, Ty started grunting aggressively and tried to hit his dad. Um. OOPS. I was laughing so hard (as was Nick), we both had to turn away so he wouldn't see (although, I'm not sure how successful we were) and I had to apologize to Nick and tell him I shouldn't have hit him because that isn't nice. That was the moment we realized how much he is paying attention to us. Man, am I going to have to work on my road rage!!!

Here are a couple other random pictures of Ty. I usually try to capture them on my phone and text them to family members so if these are redundant to any of you, I apologize. 
This meal Tyler ate all by himself. Macaroni and Cheese and squash. He spoon fed himself. You can see some of the repercussions of the event.

Tyler woke up from his nap before I finished working out so I gave him a snack in his play pen while I finished. A while later I looked over and discovered he had a big chip on his shoulder. Literally. It amused me.
Today, "Tyler" and I finally put together Kylie's crib. Now I just need to remember to buy a mattress or the poor girl is going to be sleeping on the springs! Oh, how much more organized I was before Tyler was born. SIGH. Her room is not anywhere near complete. I finally got most of the bunk beds that we had in there before out to the garage (spare pieces still remaining, awaiting room in said garage), and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff moved out as well. That and the crib being put together is about as far as I have come. 
Here, Tyler is helping me with the crib.

The final product: 
It would have been done at least 3x faster if Tyler wasn't helping his mommy, haha.
I am 30+ weeks now and can't wait to be done. I am totally waddling like a pregnant woman this time around and I've discovered, at least for me, it is because of the extreme lower back pain. I can hardly walk it hurts so bad and I know carrying a 22 lbs toddler around is not helping. Insomnia is setting in, but I have to keep reminding myself how much LESS sleep I will be getting once Kylie is born (we are going with Kylie at the moment). Other than that, this pregnancy is going pretty well. 2 months and 2 days to go!!!

That's about all for the M&N Smith household. Until next time.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oh Yeah. I Have a Blog.

Who has time for blogs anymore? Or Facebook? Or emails? Or phone calls even? (Heck, who wants to talk on the phone?) Not I. Frankly, most of the time, I don't even remember I have a blog. And if I do, it is one of those random, I actually-have-a-moment-to-breathe moments, but not actually enough time to do anything about it. Or, if I do have the time, I am too utterly exhausted to bother. And maybe on occasion too lazy to bother; yes, I will admit that. As I sat down to at least pull up my blog tonight (a huge feat in and of itself), I took a gander at my last blog and I proudly told Nick, "Hey! I made it through Christmas. That's pretty good." And then I realized it was already June. Hmmmmm. Okay, maybe a 5+-month gap isn't so good after all. We won't talk about that. 

I don't even really remember what I updated in my last blog and, yes, I am too lazy to look back through it before starting this one, so if there is overlap...Well, my sympathies. But that is a hazard of reading my forever-backed-up blog. (Nick just asked, "What are you typing so furiously over there?" Hahahaha. Can you tell I don't get on my computer much these days? At least I still CAN type "furiously," right?) 

So, yeah. About my life. Let's see. Oh yes. For any of you who are living in the dark ages and are not privy to Facebook news (no offense to anyone who sees this and is NOT on Facebook- as stated above, I rarely am these days myself), I am, once again, PREGNANT. Ugh. I swore I was never having kids again after how hard my pregnancy was with Tyler. Then, when Ty was four months old, Nick said he could handle more kids. I'm pretty sure I glared at him, punched him in the arm, and/or exclaimed we weren't even TALKING about more kids for AT LEAST a year. I may not have really punched him, but it wouldn't surprise me if I did, hee hee. 

A few more months went by and, no, I have not had the so-called "veil" pass over my eyes, making me forget all the horrors of pregnancy and childbirth, which I hear so many mothers talk about. But, I did realize I wanted more kids IN SPITE of these horrors. Nick and I wanted our kids close in age, plus I kind of have a "let's just get it done" attitude (always have) and I figured I'd get my pregnancies out of the way as soon as possible. So, here I am; six months pregnant, and dying to have my old, non-pregnant body back again and have my little one in my arms already. Several times in retrospect, I have thought to myself, "Holy crap, what the heck am I doing?! I just went through this!" But, mostly I am excited and this pregnancy has been so much easier than my last so I am lucky in that respect. 

However, getting pregnant did put a damper on the 10K race I was training for (I got up to about 3 miles, running like 5 days a week and then it started getting harder and harder- I was so frustrated, but when I found out I was preggo, light dawned as to WHY running was getting harder rather than easier). Morning sickness and just pregnancy in general can do that to you. But I already have a race in mind for January so I can kick my butt back in to high running gear post-pregnancy.

I suppose I should give more information about what we are having and when. We are having a little baby girl (99.9% certain:) and I am VERY excited about that. I can start my own girls' club and hopefully not feel quite so left out of the Nick/Ty boys' club they've had since May 8, 2011. My due date is September 18th (about 6 months down!!! Wooohoooo!), but since I had to have a c-section with Ty, we will be going that route again and we are trying to schedule this c-section for September 12th- anything after and NOT including September 11th.  As of now, we are thinking of naming her Khloe Lynn, but that is not necessarily the final choice; we have just been lazy about bartering for other names, I think. We have a hard time agreeing on these things and when we both actually liked Khloe...well, you can see why we have been sticking with it.  Khloe is healthy and very strong- she is kicking and moving around ALL the time- even the doctor was very impressed by her movement at my last appointment. It's no wonder I have a hard time falling asleep! I am just trying to work out as much as I can, eat healthy, and get my house rearranged/organized before baby Khloe is born. An interesting task with a little whipper snapper in tow. Yes, I really just said "whipper snapper."
Little baby Khloe with a smile on her face already. Aren't these ultrasound pictures always kind of creepy?
Speaking of Tyler, he just turned a year old on May 8th. (They don't lie when they say kids grow up too fast! I have a toddler now. Um. I have a TODDLER. I have to keep telling myself that. I am still getting used to the fact that I am married and have a BABY. I guess I better get with the program. I met Nick three years ago and, had someone told me that within that span of time, I would be married, have one child and another one on the way, I would have laughed and/or made a mockery of them mercilessly for even suggesting it.) Ty is a lot of fun, however, and he loves to laugh and goof off. He is so interested in EVERYTHING; I can't possibly keep up with him! If he sits down for a two-minute stretch, I wonder what is wrong. He is running all over the place, checking everything out and, of course, getting into as much trouble as he can possibly get away with. He started really walking consistently a little over a month ago, although he was walking sporadically long before that. He has already started eating with a fork/spoon and is getting pretty good at it. Aside from the several turned over fork/spoonfuls that end up all down his face/bare chest (I gave up on bibs long ago as he learned how to take them off and hates wearing them. They are for babies, after all.). But all in all, I am quite impressed with his dexterity. He has been eating a little better than is his norm, and I think it is because I have been letting him attempt to feed himself with his own utensils.
Birthday morning.
Checking out some of his new toys with his cousin, Reagan.
Going for a spin.
Tyler still loves music and the outdoors as much as he has since day one. I try to take him outside as much as I can in this blasted heat, and he usually ends up playing with water (another favorite) in one form or another (wading pools, hoses, splash pads, regular pools) to keep cool. We recently inherited my mom's piano and he loves to play "masterpieces" on it regularly. My sister, Emma, plays the guitar and the other day she allowed him to "play" as well. He was so enthralled with it as he played he whipped his head from side to side jamming out to his music with a delighted smile and laugh as he did so. It was about the cutest thing I have ever seen! He also loves to dance to music- even theme music to TV shows or things like that. He has recently started clapping to music as he dances (his mommy's influence, hahaha). 

I hate to admit it, but Tyler has inherited one of his mommy's....well, one of her weaknesses. That is, he gets frustrated very easily when he can't do something right/perfect virtually immediately. It's so obviously my trait that I can't even pretend to Nick or anyone else that he didn't get it from me. (*sheepish kick*) He will be pushing something around (a chair, tub of toys- anything he can get his hands on, really) and run into something and get stuck and scream in annoyance and frustration. Earlier today, he was wandering around carrying two Legos around, struggling to put them together properly and couldn't. He started crying and laying his head on the couch next to his dad trying to get his help because he just couldn't get it. Then he would try again and have the same problems and screech some more. It is kind of amusing, yet also a little disturbing (and frustrating at times!) to see that he may be as bad a perfectionist as I am. (But that means I had to get it from somewhere too, right? Right?!) In spite of his frustrations with himself, Tyler is actually an early achiever with just about everything and is ahead of the game according to his doctor. Now I just have to get him to believe that. 

Nick and I are doing quite well. We try to take the time to still go out on dates together, although that has obviously become more challenging since having a kid. We will see what happens when number two is here! Admittedly, we are often so exhausted that we just want to curl up and watch a movie, but we do make an effort to go out to dinner, the movie, etc. etc. We also had the opportunity to go to a Coyotes playoff game with some seriously amazing seats, courtesy of some vendors Nick works with at American Express. If there is anything better than seats mid-rink like ten rows back at a playoff game, it's getting those tickets for free:) Our favorite thing. We also recently went to the symphony which I personally love to do, even if I seem to have an allergy attack every time I go. (Can one be allergic to a symphony? I am seriously beginning to wonder.) We have also made it a tradition to go out to lunch as a family every Friday so it is nice to be able to actually see my man during the work week. I think we all look forward to those lunches:)

Nick and I are planning a long weekend for just the two of us and Nick's parents have been kind enough to agree to let us stay in their guesthouse while they are out of town. My mother has offered to watch Tyler for us for three days as well. Hmmmmmm. A beautiful guesthouse and a private pool? Woooohooooooo! That is better than any hotel we would go to and since we just want to have some time where we do absolutely nothing and have silence for a change before the madness of two kids begins, that is going to be an absolutely amazing thing. Lounging in the pool, reading, and maybe even just staring at the wall doing absolutely nothing other than enjoying the peace. Ahhhhhhh. Can you tell I am looking forward to it?

Our family went up to Snowflake over Easter weekend to celebrate my sister's birthday as well as Easter and then we made another trip up at the beginning of May to celebrate my dad's birthday. We took him out fishing, which he loves to do. Basically, just Nick and my dad fished (Tyler "helping" Nick for a short time) while the girls relaxed, chatted, read, took pictures and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. Us girls used to fish as kids (since that was many a family vacation growing up- I'm pretty sure my dad MIGHT have had a say in the matter;), but then the concept of touching the worms, slimy fish, etc. etc. sunk in and we decided we'd much rather enjoy sitting at the sidelines. 
The boys and their catches.

Tyler "helping" his daddy fish.

Don't ask. I have had to mellow out about safety A LOT. I do put my foot down still when needed.
In other news, I recently took a photography seminar, courtesy of a gift certificate from Nick for Christmas this last year. Unfortunately, I had been too sick with morning sickness (and Tyler and I kept getting colds, flues, etc.) to go until May 19th. I enjoyed it thoroughly once I did get to go, however. I learned some new things as well as refreshed on a few things I already knew; it was nice to know that I actually do know quite a bit about photography thus far, although I still have many things I can improve upon/learn. I was helping some of the people around me understand what the instructor was saying so that was encouraging. It is also always nice to be around people who are passionate about the same things you are. 

Since it is like a gazillion degrees outside and the heat is so exacerbated for a pregnant woman, I am going to take it easy on the photo shoots this summer. But I already have three shoots planned for post-baby, once it has cooled down a bit. And that is not including newborn pics I hope to take of Khloe (assuming I am up to it.) Hopefully I will have the time/energy to do all of them, but I'm pretty sure it will give me something to look forward to and get my mind out of mommy mode for a while. 

Here are a few highlights from my most recent shoot. I have learned a TON from the shoots I have been doing. I am definitely able to look back through at my pictures and see HOW I could have shot them better. I also recently got some photo editing software that allows me to make better edits as I go along. I am enjoying the process. 

That's the Nick & Melissa Smith family update in a nutshell. Until another 6 months...give or take. 

PS- It only took me like 2 weeks from the writing of this post to add pictures and post it.