Category Archives: Photography

V-Day & Caleb’s Dictionary

Hmmmm, interesting math?

I know most of you know this already, but since I never formally announced the news on here, we are expecting baby #2! We used the above photo taken by my dear friend, Hannah Bunker, to announce to our families at my birthday dinner back in October. Everyone loved the photo so much that NO ONE paid attention to the overall big picture “Zach + Barbie + Caleb = 4”. Thankfully, we had Caleb wearing his new Big Brother shirt I had made under his button down. He did a Superman style reveal and then everyone understood!

October 11, 2011 - Definitely positive!

Both Zach and I were SO excited to find out another baby was on the way, especially so soon after miscarrying. Definitely helped to ease the blow of that loss. I was really happy to have very positive tests show up quickly without having to squint, turn, and reexamine to see a second line, or as we web momma’s call it, a BFP (BigFatPositive). After having a ‘laptop’ ultrasound at about 6/7wks my due date was determined to be June 22, 2012 and it hasn’t changed since! Caleb will be just shy of 2 when the baby arrives. 2 Under 2 for a month until the Terrible Twos start! Thankfully (?) Caleb has already started that in a way with little tantrums and being overly stubborn here and there. I’m glad it’s not like a light switch thus far. I don’t think I could handle a sudden change to Terror Child with a tiny baby to care for too!

January 19, 2012 - It's a Girl!

We had our ‘Big Ultrasound’ on January 19 and it very clearly and easily showed that our baby is a GIRL! We are both very, very excited. We had prayed and hoped for a girl next for several months before we even thought about actually attempting another. I have to admit that watching my friend’s daughter, Mikayla, a few times cemented that for us. She is so cuddly and sweet that Zach fell in love with the idea of having a Daddy’s Girl around. And really, what man doesn’t when there is an adorable little girl clinging to your neck making you want to call in sick to work?!

Little baby foot - all 5 phalanges

At this point you are probably wondering why on earth I have titled the post ‘V-Day’ and haven’t mentioned a thing about Valentines Day. Well, while our Valentines and 2nd Anniversary were both amazing, I’m talking about a different kind of V-Day that doesn’t necessarily happen in February. Today I am 25 weeks into my pregnancy. In the world of crazy online moms we call today V-Day because it is the time when a baby is first viable outside of the safety net of it’s mother’s womb. Clearly, this would be very early and with the help of many medical technologies, but it is another milestone we preggos like to celebrate. Viability Day! Granted, earlier delivered babies can and have survived before 25 weeks, but at 25 weeks there is a decent decrease in the chance of life changing delays and handicaps such as blindness, deafness, and mental abilities. Due to the fact that I miscarried right before this pregnancy, and that it was my second miscarriage, I’ve been a pretty paranoid momma this entire time. Each ultrasound that shows a healthy baby and each belly measurement that puts me ‘on track’ for my due date is like a major sigh of relief. I seriously considered buying a home doppler to listen to her heartbeat any time I wanted because I was THAT nervous. Was, I still AM nervous. It is a daily battle to give it up to the Lord that He has his hand on me and our daughter and that she will be born full-term without complications. It’s like an extra mantra I add in to my prayers about delivery.


Now for a Caleb update! WOO! He is 19 months and going strong of course. He is finally ON all three growth curves, though still very low percentile for weight. Fine by me but it does cause a problem keeping his pants up when he isn’t wearing a cloth diaper. The kid has no bum and his waist is about a 6 month clothing size. He is too tall of course, needing a 12 month at least in length. Obviously this is a dilemma. Baby belts don’t really exist so much in the retail world. Between myself and my MacGyver husband we decided a dog collar that buckles for a small ankle-biter dog just might work. After an $8 trip to Petsmart we have discovered this works great! Just a blank nylon collar is working wonders as a belt. They have leather too for those dressy occasions! Caleb has become much more cuddly as of late which we are eating up. He has a very sweet personality, wanting to make sure those around him are ok or happy. One morning at breakfast I asked him to ‘bump it’ with me as he likes to do. He refused several times. I made a very sad face and put my head down as if crying. When I looked up again he was looking at me, fist out ready to bump, and his classic “hmm?” It was possibly the sweetest thing he has done to date.

TCU Game December 3, 2012

"I love Horned Frog football!"

Back in December we took a short trip to DFW to go to the final TCU game of the regular season. We were lucky enough to stay and visit with my brother and his family. I LOVE having them closer than DC! It felt weird being at the game without Dad, but I think we have started a new family tradition. Caleb LOVED the experience. He started shouting when we entered the stadium and bouncing in our arms. It was awesome to see him so excited about a new experience, especially one so close to my heart. We tailgated with some former coworkers of my Dad’s, the people who were part of the reason I even ended up going to TCU. When we were inside watching the game Caleb enjoyed watching the game intently and especially the crowd’s reactions and cheers. Made me pretty darn happy that my little guy is a cheering Horned Frog! I am hoping we can attend a game for the 2012 season, TCUs first in the Big XII conference. Not only will the stadium be fully redone, but we’ll have new and better rivals to face! It will be interesting with a tiny baby, but I did happen to buy a ringsling in a lovely shade of purple that should be perfect for the occasion.

Caleb has quite a few words these days. Some come and go and others he says constantly. It is frustrating that we KNOW he can say milk, but any drink is ‘jus’, but I know the word will reappear at some point along with plenty of others who go on vacation from his daily use. I thought I’d include an abridged dictionary of Caleb’s version of words. It is funny how other kid’s words seem strange to you when they mispronounce them, but your own kid’s words just become second nature.
“Boppy” – monkey; his best friend who gets frequent baths in the washing machine. All monkeys are Boppy.

“Dut” – truck; my brother and SIL got Caleb four CAT trucks for Christmas and he adores them!

“Batpat” – backpack; we have a bag from the hospital actually that was full of formula. I used to store my pump in there on the go. Caleb has adopted it as his own

“Beeeeeee” – sheep; He loves the stuffed sheep in his room, but mostly Timmy of Timmy Time. He’s also started ‘baa-ing’ along when he sees a sheep. Adorable.

“Hone” – phone; I have no clue how he knows there is an ‘h’ in phone but he is choosing the make the p silent instead. He carries around his ‘hone’ and tells us to ‘call’ someone. He also carries on short phone conversations

“Hoosh” – shoes; he LOVES his shoes, but mostly everyone elses. Caleb loves to take your shoes, sometimes off your feet, and try to walk in them. He recently pulled a pump off the shelf at Naturalizer and placed his Converse sneakered foot right in to give it a test run.

Hopefully I will be able to post a BIT more often. Shouldn’t be hard as I haven’t set the bar too high here. Aim low, I always say. Ok, not really but I’m trying to not be too hard on myself. It’s been a tough pregnancy so far and blogging wasn’t topping my list of priorities as much as attempting to eat enough calories to make it to tomorrow. Until next time….


1 Comment

Filed under Baby, Caleb, Family, Photography, Pregnancy

Why yes, we are still alive!

First, many apologies for my accidental hiatus. It was not my intention to disappear for nearly 3 months leaving everyone hanging. As you might have noticed I have done some work and given the blog a much needed facelift! It is still a work in progress but overall I’m happy with the big changes. I enjoyed making my custom header so much that I was actually a bit sad when I was finished. I foresee that I could waste spend many hours creating these types of graphic designs. The possibilities are endless and just too fun! In that regard, I would like to give a shout out to the awesome freebies which made my custom header possible: Pugly Pixel for the great papers and medallions, and in general for guiding me to other great things like the pencils, polaroid frame, etc. The Graphics Fairy for the fantastic vintage sheet music, and to Persnickety Prints for the background paper. Thanks to Pugly Pixel (oh and Hannah B for tipping me off about Pugly) I now have an obsession with what I will call digital photo graphics design. By that I mean that the objects used are all photos of actual objects pieced together in a scrapbooky type of way that gives it a real-life look and artsy fartsy feel. You should see the Photoshop file for my header…it is insane!

Now that THAT is out of the way, here is the skinny, in bullet form, of what’s happenin’ lately with us:

  • Early December: Mom, Caleb and I took a short trip to visit Great-Grandma Miller. TOO FUN!
  • Mid-December: Zach had surgery on his ear for a cholesteotoma (he will post on this soon!) AND my gorgeous niece, Samantha Joelle was born…same day as the surgery!
  • Caleb’s First Christmas: way too many gifts but so abundantly blessed by our families! (Mmmm, new TV/bluray/AppleTV)
  • Mid-January: JJB show at Houston House of Blues and Caleb’s first big concert!; also, the big move to a larger place complete with washer/dryer!

That is the big stuff that went on since I last blogged and I plan to go into more detail about those things soon but to do it all at once would be one HUGE post!

Along with the new look and feel of The Artsy Family I have some other big plans for the blog! The first being my very first giveaway! E’vrybody say, “YEUH!” I also want to start posting every other day or so and doing super spiffy things like featuring some swell ladies who are MOMpreneurs, craft ideas, recipes, and photo tips. I might delve into fashion some (it was my major after all!) but given the current state of fashion and the overabundance of 1980s throwbacks I’m not certain I would be too fair to the topic. We shall see. At any rate, just a preview of some of the great things to come here at the Artsy Family!


Filed under Baby, Jud Johnson Band, Music, Photography

Birth Story, Part Five

My contractions were getting much more painful and intense and were also coming right on top of one another. This was the exact reason I wanted to avoid pitocin. I knew it would give me transition-like contractions before I was to that point of labor, making it much more difficult to labor without an epidural. I kept trying to move to different positions to help the pain which was also radiating in my back. By this time I was on monitors constantly due to the pitocin. This severely limited the way in which I could move around and find better positions. Through each contraction my mom, Zach, and Megan would count and I would breathe while moaning in low tones. I often rocked back and forth and kept my eyes closed. At all times someone was putting pressure on my low back and at least one hand was being held, often both. I am so grateful for the incredible support given to me by my labor coaches! A few times I reached a breaking point and went a little hysterical with the contraction, screaming some, crying, and saying how I couldn’t do it, couldn’t take another one. These episodes would only last a few seconds and I was somehow able to regain my composure and moan-breathe through the rest of the contraction.

Some of the tough ones

I started to feel an increase in pressure along with the hard contractions. At that time I don’t believe I had dilated any more from 6cm. Possibly I had made it to 7cm, but it was a slow road still. The pressure made me want to move around more to alleviate some of it, but this did little to help. I began to get to a point where each contraction also came with an urge to push that I could not ignore. I did all I could to keep my body from pushing, but my body kept trying to push anyway. I’m convinced if I had passed out my body would have delivered the baby without me! My friend, Liz, came in for a few minutes and I swear her being there, even that short time, helped tremendously! She is a labor and delivery nurse at my hospital and she was finally able to drop in and check on me. I then had four coaches to get me through those terrible contractions. Liz helped me to slow down my breathing and that alone made a big difference in how I was able to cope with the pain. In her short visit she was more helpful and encouraging than J____, my nurse, had been since 7am!


I had gone to the bathroom several times throughout labor, but likely not nearly enough. Since the pressure and pushing urges of labor are also close by to another function of the body I really felt a bathroom excursion was necessary. My thinking was if I can get rid of one of my pushing urges, maybe I can better deal with and ward off the labor urges since I knew I was not dilated enough to actually push. J____ was not happy with the idea of my going to the bathroom but I went in there anyway. Zach stayed with me and I think eventually my mom and Megan came to help me get back to the bed. It took several contractions to get me to the bathroom. I labored there for quite a few more, mostly out of fear of moving, plus the position of sitting helped a lot. It then took several more contractions to get me back to bed. The entire time I had immense pressure and very strong urges to push. I know that a couple of my hysterical moments came during these contractions because I was doing all I could to tell my body NOT to push, but it kept trying anyway. I wanted to push so badly and I honestly hated anyone who told me I was not allowed. After my return from the bathroom J____ checked me again and I was at 9cm! My best guess is that this was just before 5pm. I was officially in transition! I was very happy to have progressed so much but also scared to death that  contractions might actually worsen during my transition to 10cm. In reality, I think they were about the same as they had been just before that only the urge to push was even more difficult to control or ignore. I think I was in transition for 15 minutes, if that. Since I was begging to push, J____ checked me again and barely had to do anything before she realized I was fully dilated to 10cm. I literally said, “Praise the Lord!” and asked if I could push…NOW. J____ called Dr. C to get permission to push. Why on earth that was required I don’t entirely know, but I was not thrilled with the wait, even though it was probably 2 minutes….

I believe I was in transition here...Mom was amazing!

Final installment of the story is JUST around the corner!


Filed under Baby, Caleb, Labor, Photography

Family Trip…and another on the horizon!

"Hi great-gramma...I wuv you!"


I can’t believe I’ve let 3 weeks or so go since I’ve posted! Bad, bad Barbie. I keep thinking of posting and then something happens or I’m busy when I think of it and then, poof!, the thought is gone when I have the time to sit down. Here is where the only benefit of insomnia kicks in. I get so bored that I actually do the things I should’ve done in the first place! Not a great system I realize, but I must start somewhere.

A few weekends ago we took Caleb on his first trip to Dallas to meet my mom’s side of the family. We are sort of the loners here in Houston with the exception of one aunt and one cousin, whom sadly we don’t see often. Darn our busy lives! My grandma is 91 (no from the pictures you will not believe that is her age!) and doesn’t travel anymore. Despite the horrid drive that we both hate, we were glad to get away for a weekend of no responsibilities, some tasty food and showing off the little monster. Caleb did fairly well in the car, only getting upset right as we pulled into Buc-ee’s for a pit stop and feeding session. Thank goodness! Got in some quality time with my cousin and her husband, scarfed down custard at Wild About Harry’s, visited the same Dunkin 3 times, ate Marco’s pizza once, and visited with the fam at the family compound aka Grandma’s house. Grandma was simply giddy to see and love on Caleb. After all, I was the last baby she’d had the opportunity to hold! Caleb simply adores his great-grandma and the feeling is mutual! You can tell she raised 5 kids and watched many grandkids by the way she handled his fussing and even crying with ease and grace. I certainly hope someday I’ll be that good with my own son! Grandma is an old pro! Unfortunately my Aunt Linda was out of town, so that means she must visit Houston now. Fine with us since Linda visits are always a good time! We have a great video Zach put together of Caleb meeting the Miller clan and as soon as I can figure out how to post it, or a link to it that all can see, I certainly will! For now though you must be contented with pictures. After all, as this blog’s subtitle states, I am a photographer, not videographer so really videos are pure gravy.

Caleb, lounging at the hotel

Caleb runs on Dunkin…and that is rain on the bag, not grease!

Great-gma lovin’

Grrrr-eat Aunt Carol, loving on the boy

My cousin Jenny and her hubs Bill…who LOVED Caleb. Seriously kept the kid for some 20 minutes!

The JJB has fans of ALL ages!

Stay tuned for photos of our attempt at a pumpkin patch shoot! I think I got a few good ones, which really is all I need. Somehow I didn’t realize how hard/awkward it would be to photograph an infant in a pumpkin patch when he can’t sit up on his own….

Leave a comment

Filed under Baby, Caleb, Jud Johnson Band, Photography