28 November 2010

Scenic B&W

This week's I Heart Faces challenge was "scenic b&w."  Because of the holiday and traveling, I didn't have time to go out and take a new picture, so I just pulled one from my archives: a picture of me when we went camping at the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  Hands down, one of the most beautiful and breath-taking places I've ever been..and I've been blessed enough to travel to several amazing places!

I look pretty rough, but please note the fact we were tent camping! 

23 November 2010


With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I've been thinking a lot this week about the different things that I am thankful for.  Jesse and I were talking at the beginning of the week how I seem more "frustrated, stressed and grumpy" recently because I am still trying to adjust to a baby, dog and keeping a house clean and all of us fed.  Apparently I'm not handling it as well as I thought I was ;) Regardless, it got me thinking about how blessed I am, and how much I really have to be thankful for.

Because I'm thankful for so much and have so many blessings in my life, I'm going to skip the everyday ones and share some of the more recent ones I've realized.
I'm thankful for:
- Lily being such a good baby..even when yesterday she spit up on both of us and had a massively explosive diaper before 9am, and then peed on me later in the day..
- the fact Lily is now sleeping about 8 hours at a stretch in the night..and then letting me sleep for another two hours before actually getting up for the day.
- a warm, comfortable house that is almost completely unpacked
- the ability to spend holidays with family and to drive to see them and not have to fly
- being able to work out and run again!
- oh, and for working at/being a member of the Y where there is babysitting so I can work out and know someone is taking care of Lily.  And then take a shower that lasts longer than 5 minutes!!
- coffee.  Seriously.  Thank you, God, for coffee.  
- Jesse still having a job!
- being able to get things done during the day..even when my to-do list takes all week because Lily doesn't nap during the day, I feel so accomplished when I get it done.
- when Zeke cooperates..and isn't being a pain.  I am so thankful and grateful for these moments..
- the kennel that takes care of Dog so we don't have to worry about him while we're gone (and get a break!)

The list could seriously go on.  And on and on.  But you get the idea.

I'm really looking forward to heading to Zanesville tomorrow for Thanksgiving with Jesse's side of the family.  I'm sure I'll have pictures from that to post at some point.  I guess I should think about packing..oh, and we got family pictures taken over the weekend, so if you're not on Facebook, I'll post some of them at some point so you can see :)

21 November 2010


This week, the I Heart Faces challenge was Paper.  I had some absolutely brilliant ideas (one of which involved building a huge paper boat out of cardboard and newsprint and sitting Lily in it..), but they would have taken much more time and creative ability than I had available this week!  So instead, I captured Jesse and Zeke bonding one evening.  Simple, but I like it..and I think my favorite part is Zeke resting his head on Jesse's lap.

16 November 2010

still learning..

I have recently learned a few things about Lily.  Not necessarily babies in general, but mine specifically.  I know all babies are different, so I tried to keep an open mind about what kinds of things Lily would and would not like, and what will pacify her and not rely on my previous experiences with children.  Just because it worked for one baby and one family doesn't mean I will be so fortunate!  So, through lots of trial and error, I think we're getting there.

Ok, first thing I've learned: she hates getting the hiccups.  And she gets them often.  Very.  Often.  I thought that I got the hiccups a lot (and had them during my entire labor..that was neat), but she gets them far more frequently.  And sometimes they seem kind of violent and definitely upset her then.  I hate it when they wake her up from a nap.

Speaking of naps, thing two I've learned: she doesn't like to nap but for short catnaps.  Not a problem since she's pretty's not like she's fighting sleep, and she still sleeps like a champ at night.  She's just not interested in them, which means I have a hard time getting things done.  And because of this, I realized this week I need to change my plan of attack.  I need some activity mats and an exer-saucer so I can keep her busy while I try and be productive.  She will sleep if I carry her around in a front pack- which works for a good chunk of the time, but there is only so much you can do with a little baby strapped to your chest.  I'm getting pretty creative with this though, so maybe I'll be able to do more as time goes on.  Jesse and I may need to just break down this weekend and go get her an exer-saucer..or something that I can sit her in to keep her happy while I make dinner and fold laundry.

Third thing: she loves her daddy.  Whenever I pass her to Jesse in the evenings so I can go clean something up, she falls asleep.  I don't know how he does it..he just has a magic and soothing touch.

I guess that's all I've learned about her recently.  Now for the things that she has learned!
1) she has discovered her tongue.  She keeps licking her lips and just flicking her tongue in and out of her mouth like a snake.  I told her she wasn't one, of course, but she keeps doing it.  And she also now enjoys licking her fist when she's not trying to stuff her whole fist in her mouth.  

2) she rolled over!  Some might argue that it doesn't count because she rolled from her stomach to her back (probably the easier of the two ways), but she did it 5 times one morning, so I'm counting it.  Once would have been written off as a fluke, but I'm keeping it.  

Jesse's letting me count it too, even though he said it looked more like a flop.  I don't care, she rolled or "flopped" 5 times, I say she did it on purpose.  

That's it I guess!

14 November 2010


This week's I Heart Faces challenge was "Silhouette."

I really enjoyed this one because a) I learned how to take this type of picture in the first place, b) it got Jesse, Lily and me out on a lovely fall evening to take said pictures, and c) I learned how to properly spell "silhouette," which I am officially glad I don't have to spell every day.  I'm discovering I like to pretend I'm an artsy photographer, and even though my pictures aren't anywhere close to the caliber of the other photographers, I fortunately don't care and am having fun anyway!

Jesse and I had a disagreement about which one I should submit.  We have a very scientific way of how we determine who "gets" to be right and make the final decision (only on the small, insignificant matters): who got to choose last time?  And yes, this is how we named the baby: I chose the dog's name, so that meant he got to name Lily.  Because he chose this one, I get to choose next time :)

I learned some lessons on this challenge, the biggest being backdrop.  The view was fine to the naked eye, but the tree line kind of turned out to be a bummer in the actual picture.  Unfortunately, where we live, it's hard to find a hill where you can watch the sun setting without trees or random buildings in it.  I like it anyway, but it's something to keep in mind and work on for the next time!

10 November 2010

a walk in the park

Jesse, Lily and I went for a walk tonight at the local park to enjoy the fresh air and practice our picture taking skills.  And also to stretch out Jesse's leg muscle that he pulled in fencing class.  It was a nice day for sure, and I feel kind of bummed that we missed the really nice fall days and now, they are getting colder.  I mean, we had a few where it seemed to be perfect fall weather, but I had just had a baby and didn't want to go anywhere or do anything or we were moving.  Bad timing.

So anyway, pictures!

Lily and I are still trying to recover a schedule and routine from the weekend.  She barely napped yesterday- only catnaps- and was further thrown off by Daylight Savings.  Where before, she was waking up at 6a, she now wakes at 7a.  Which, I realize I shouldn't be complaining about, but it throws my morning off by not waking up as early.  Personally, I believe babies should sleep the same whether they're being held or are put down somewhere.  I mean, it makes sense: if I want to be able to cuddle my baby to sleep for a few hours, she should be ok with that as well as when I want to put her down so I can get some things done.  Apparently it does not work like this though.  Gr.  If I wrote the rules of life..

But, fortunately for me, she took a good nap this afternoon, and I was able to go grocery shopping and get some other errands done this morning.  Success and life points awarded to me.  We're getting the hang of this..oh, and one last life point to dish out to myself: I got to park in the "Stork Parking" at Wal-Mart today for the second time!  I used it once when I fell into the "expectant mother" category, and now as a "new mother," I can still park there!  But I did almost go yell at a lady who pulled into one of these parking spaces who was neither expecting (assuming..don't park there unless we can tell you're pregnant!) or a new mother.  Seriously..

09 November 2010

I Heart Faces Challenge

One of my family's friends is a photographer, and she posted on her blog about a fun website called I Heart Faces.  It's a fun photography website, with lots of tutorials and fun helps for the professional and amateur/just likes to take pictures photographer.  This website posts a challenge each week, and I keep thinking I want to enter and pretend to be a good photographer.  This week's challenge was "Orange," and I decided to go for it since I had the perfect picture in mind with my favorite little model..

Depending on what the challenge of the week is, I may try and enter a picture from time to time..But I felt this was a good starting point.  Next week is "Silhouettes," so we'll see what this week holds and if I take a worthy picture..

08 November 2010

..and they lived happily ever after.

Jesse, Lily and I went on our first roadtrip as a family this past weekend and we all survived!  Success!  And considering the absolute mess I was Friday before we left, I did (I think..) a good job packing for a newborn, but not packing her entire wardrobe.  In fact, everything I took for her (including diapers and wipes) fit into one duffle bag, so I see this as a win and am hereby awarding myself a point.

It was definitely an adventure, though.  Jesse and I had to be in Toledo (6 hours away) by 6p on Friday for the rehearsal for Nikki and Rick's wedding (which I was in).  No problem..except we couldn't leave until 11:30a because Jesse had to work at least a few hours..leaving us only with a small, 30 minute window of time for bathroom/changing diaper stops, feedings (both for Lily and us!) and traffic.  Fortunately, Lily does really well with a bottle now, so I was able to feed her while we drove, and we made it to Toledo in plenty of time!  Another success.

Saturday morning, most of my family got up really early for a family breakfast with Mama and Poppy before Jesse and I had to leave for the wedding.  It was great to see them and spend some time together, but sadly it wasn't long enough.  It was long enough for me to get to see Lily meet her great-grandparents :) All of Team Pagano was in town this weekend, so while Jesse and I were at the wedding, Lily stayed in Findlay to be held and loved on by aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Leaving Lily and being away from her all day was really hard, but I didn't cry!  I came close a few times, especially when a lady sat down in front of me at the reception with her 8 week old baby and was cuddling with her.  I almost asked if I could borrow her baby for a minute, but settled for just being awkward and talking to her.  The wedding was beautiful, and in my opinion, went off without a hitch.  I had never been apart of a Catholic wedding..or been to one for that I learned a lot and had no idea what was going on for most of it, but I followed the vows, exchange of the rings and the "and now for the first time ever, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Brennan!!"

I love hanging out with Jesse's side of the family, so it was great to see them and get to talk to most of them at least a little bit.  And in some of our cases, sing and dance very badly at the reception.  Sister Erin was in the wedding with me, so we got in some wonderful sister bonding time, even though we completely failed at getting any picture of the two of us :( we both got our hair and make up done at a salon place, and even though I felt I had entirely too much make up on, it was fun to be pampered a little!