picture this

TEAGAN UPDATE:  As of this morning, he is 100% better.  No signs of the tic and he’s back to his normal self.  I’m still in shock and feeling so thankful it was something so easy….because my heart aches knowing how bad it could have been.  Sometimes it is after the fact that it sinks in and your heart hurts, which is crazy, because we are thankful, but the fear of what could have been sinks in after the adrenaline is gone and that is where we are now.  Shocked, grateful for his angel Kelly who lives thousands of miles away, and just amazed at the fast turnaround with the right diet placed before him.  I will come back this week and talk some more about what we have learned and changed because I’ve gotten a ton of emails about it and it is easier to post here than to reply to each one coming from comments/email/facebook,etc.  And can I just say this again…..BLOGGING ROCKS!

Back to our previously scheduled blog post:

Alli brought Taryn & Lily to school one day last week.  When I told Taryn that Alli would be picking her up and taking her to school that day, she leaned in close, got very serious and said “…but will Lily be in the car?”  HA!  Yes!  To which she replied “ok good, then I’ll go”….but the waiting for them to get here part was pure and complete torture.  All 3 minutes of it.

While taking the above shots, my duder, being the comedian of the house, rounded the corner in the hallway and jumped out in front of me with his best signature silly face (mouth wide open, head titled to the side), full on jazz hands and yelled “Momma!!  PICTURE THIS!!!”  HA!  He cracks me up, little stinker.

2010-06-26T18:28:57-05:00June 26th, 2010|My Family|

Jack turns 1

Alternate title:  Holy moly did that go by fast!

One.  I can’t believe it has been almost a year.  I think I’m in denial *almost* as much as his momma.  He’s had an awesome first year and it has been a joy to watch and capture as Lily became a great big sister and two of our dearest friends embraced parenting one of the sweetest little boys ever.  He’s going to be off and running and keeping up with the big kids any day now.  So hard to believe since it feels like this was just the other day.  Alli and I snuck out of the house bright and early this morning (much to both Taryn & Lily’s dismay – they both just *knew* the other one was going and they were missing something cool) to go exploring and take some photos of little man for his birthday.  We found the motherload of cool locations and I can’t wait to go back there and shoot again!

We had high hopes with the smash cake.  I think you can tell, he was NOT all that impressed with the mess, but that surely didn’t stop him from eating it!  HA!

LOL!  His birthday will be here before we know it (which means mine is coming up too – yikes!)….congratulations Mike, Alli & Lily on making it through the first year.  I can’t wait to see all the joy, love and laughter he brings in his 2nd year!  Love you guys!

2010-06-13T13:32:28-05:00June 13th, 2010|Client Work|

10

I’m not exactly sure where to start, it has been a crazy time for us.  This might be a little all over the place, but so am I right now so it fits, and its real and us.  I have to start somewhere, so here I go after one of the longest weekends ever….

1.  Let’s start with something, and someone, who makes me smile.  Every now and then I take a photo of one of my children that shows me who they are and I love it so much that I just want to hoard it and keep it all to myself.  I did that with this one for awhile.  She makes me smile so big.

2.  Yeah, back to that long weekend….Friday was the last day of school, Ty had a half day so that meant he and Taryn needed to be picked up at close to the same time.  That means I’m pretty much in car pool all.day.long.  Poor Teagan was pretty mad about being in the car all day.  We finally got home in time for naps with all 3 in tow.  About an hour into his nap Teagan had the mother of all asthma attacks.  I heard him cough once and I bolted across the house, I just knew.  I can normally see the signs that it is coming, I’ve learned his cues.  But he was asleep and away from me.  I ran to him so fast, I just knew, but by the time I got there he was flopping around on his bed like a fish out of water, wheezing, scared and closed up tight.  Thank God Ty was here with us, he grabbed the nebulizer, I grabbed his meds and we met in the middle.  My poor little man was trying so hard to breath and normally the arbuterol opens him right up, but it took a few minutes.  This was the worst one yet.  After 7 minutes or so he was still wheezing post treatment (but he could breath and was MUCH better), so I called our pedi and brought him in.  He was still wheezing when we arrived 20 minutes later but was thankfully on the tail end of a very bad attack.  To say that Jason and I are fed up with his treatment plan, or lack thereof, is an understatement.  There is no plan, there is no interest in figuring out his triggers from his doctor, they only seem to be willing to put a bandaid on it and give us more steriods.  Don’t get me started about how I’ve been begging for a pulminologist referral for a year.  And an allergist.  I finally got one for the allergist on Friday, but they still refuse to refer us to a pulminologist (our insurance requires written referrals).  We are fed up, we are going on our own as a self pay and we are finding a new pediatrician.  They have let us down in many ways, both with our children and with our health care (we all go to the same office) and it truly is time to move on.  If anyone knows of a great pediatrician in north austin that is good with asthma kids, please send them my way!

3.  Saturday I spent the better part of the day hovering over Teagan who still wasn’t doing very well and I ended up bringing him back in to see our pedi that morning.  There was some confusion over his asthma meds (caused by me but I was wasn’t happy with their answer.  We worked that out, got him a necessary refill and talked more about the long term 2x minimum daily use of the meds he’s on (I’m not thrilled with).  I also started clearing Teagan’s room of anything that could possibly be a trigger, we really need to make some changes in his room, we’ve started and will be making more in the coming weeks.  The upholstered chair is already sold and gone, the carpet is the next to go.  That afternoon, Jase took Taryn and Ty out to the natural caverns in Georgetown.  They had a blast!  I worried about Taryn in a dark cave but I was reassured she did just fine, even when they turned out all the lights in the cave.  She even let me know she didn’t have to hold her daddy’s hand in the dark.  Daddy swears otherwise….so, if you were standing next to a 6 ft tall bald guy who tried to hold your hand in a dark cave in Georgetown, he belongs to me 😉  The best part was that T came home so exasperated and just had to tell me all about it….the cave, the bats, the gem mining and the most very best and special thing at all, “mom you won’t even believe what they had there….a giiiiiift shop!”  Love her.

4.  Sunday was spent me running around like a crazy person getting ready for Ty’s birthday.  I had finished all the shopping for gifts but hadn’t done a single thing for his birthday party, that night.  Slacker (busy) mom!  So Teagan, Taryn and I did some party planning while Jase and Ty went off to the Star Wars Concert that was Ty’s birthday gift.  They had a total blast, it was apparently nerd heaven, but I have a feeling they fit right in based on the iphone pics that landed in my inbox about every 10 minutes 😉  When they got home, the house was decked out in Star Wars party stuff, we opened gifts, had cake and a little party.  Ty dubbed it the best birthday ever!  Photos forthcoming….someday.

5.  Monday was his actual birthday and we decided to go the cheap route and take the kids on the cap metro rail that opened a few months ago.  We thought they’d enjoy the train ride and then we could pick up dinner.  We underestimated the fact that Teagan would hate having to sit in a seat without a carseat or seatbelt.  He refused to sit still and basically threw a massive fit when we wouldn’t let him have free reign.  That was on the way into Austin.  We got off, had a slight layover, got back on, Teagan was exhausted by then and cuddled up on Jason’s lap but Taryn was totally delerious and giddy to the point of loud laughter and weirdness.  It was funny for the first 15 minutes.  At least it was to me.  Let’s just say that by the time we got back to the Leander station Ty was mumbling something about never having children and bolted out to the van before our butts barely left the seats.  We made it up to him with a brownie and ice cream though at dinner and he forgave us (them).

6. Speaking of brownies and ice cream, when we stopped in at Chili’s, we told them it was Ty’s birthday.  I knew Teagan would clap and sing along at the top of his lungs because we’d been practicing (and he did), but I suggested Jase warn Taryn about what was about to happen because she has a fear of the birthday song, especially when it is loud.  I was cracking up on the inside watching them from across the table as he whispered in her ear and her eyes immediately went to the closest escape route to hide under the table.

7.  My mom is a smart, smart lady.  She sent Taryn and Teagan little gifts in Ty’s birthday box and boy it’s a good thing she did because Teagan was none too pleased that he didn’t get to open Ty’s gifts.  It’s so hard to understand at his age….I’m a little worried that birthday season is coming up around here, we have one after another.  Maybe I should hit the dollar shore and get him a handfull of little things to help ease the birthday blues for little dude.

8.  Birthdays are a lot of work and man am I exhausted from our weekend of fun.  Totally worth it all to see Ty so happy.

9.  But there is no rest for the tired.  I have sessions every day this week except for this past Monday all the way until next Tuesday.  And Taryn starts T-ball this week.  And Dr. appointments and Ty needs to go to the dentist and get his physical for football and a much needed girls night out (girls do you still have your taste buds intact after that salsa last night?!  mine are gone, at least the top layer!)…and, and, and….

10.  Ah, I saved the best for last.  Lily’s birthday card she made for Ty….I think I need to frame it.  We all laughed and giggled and laughed some more when it landed on our doorstep.  Covered in marker and pretty pink hello kitty stamps on construction paper, the inside reads:

“Dear Ty, I like you because you are so nice.  I think you are very good.  I hope you get a bike for your birthday . . . . and a castle.  Love, Lily”

Awesome.  And me too Lil, me too!  And I hope he shares!!

2010-06-09T23:08:59-05:00June 9th, 2010|My Family|

some of our favorite people | austin family photographer

I love….that our lives are so intertwined that when I go to look for a photo of one of them, I always have to stop and think about whether it’s mixed in with my family photos or in their “client” folder…..

I love….that my children and theirs are at their happiest when they are together, no matter what they are doing…..

I love…..the little girl giggles and the dress up and the play dates and the long girly telephone calls and the constant scheming to be together.

I love…..that they will grow up and never remember a day that they weren’t friends….

I love…..that we have friends we can count on, no matter what.  A couple like us, that puts their family first, that laughs and loves with their whole hearts…..

I love…..that he’s totally smitten with his momma, and her with him.

I love…..getting to watch him grow up.  From the day his mommy told us she was pregnant, to finding out he’s a boy, to the day of his birth.

I love…..seeing Lil grow from a toddler to a beautiful little girl and amazing big sister.

I love…..that I can call Alli once every 3 weeks or once every 3 hours and it’s always a conversation filled with laughter, a few vents and one of us darting off the phone because someone puked, pooped or destroyed something. And we can always pick up right where we left off…..

I love…..that I have such a wonderful mother as a friend.  Someone to share the triumphs and challenges of motherhood with.  Someone who I bounce everything from asthma to sleep to ear tubes to every other “is this normal or is my kid a freak” question off of and she always listens and relates.

I love…..really, really love chunky little guys with big blue eyes in ties.

I love…..saying the words “man date” in front of the husbands, just to watch them both get all huffy.  Man dates usually consist of guy movies Alli and I wouldn’t see if you paid us, after the kids have long been in bed.  While it’s fun to give them a hard time….I’m so thankful Jase has someone to hang out with (and that I no longer have to go to dumb shoot em up guy movies, whew!).

I love…..and cannot believe that he is (more than) a half of a year old already.

I love…..this.  Big time.

I love….that it was this blog that first connected our families.  Their friendship is the greatest thing blogging has ever given me.  All of us moving from separate states, turning in to neighbors and then dear friends.  Love em!

2010-03-25T19:49:54-05:00March 25th, 2010|Austin Photographer, Client Work, My Family|

tea with t | leander children’s photographer

I’ve been struggling with Taryn for a few weeks now.  Her routine is changing and out of whack.  Whining has been increasingly worse.  Naps are dwindling.  She’s tired.  I’m tired.  One word….demanding.  I feel like there is always a demand, something she needs right this moment but before I can meet that need, she’s demanded something else.  That’s not to say she is impolite, quite the opposite, I say demanding because there is always an urgency, I’m hungry right now, I need that right away, and then I need this and this and this.  I move from one task to the next, with moments inbetween few and far between.  I find myself saying “ok, let me finish this first and then we will get you that ‘insert need here’…..add in a 2 year old who has zero patience for his needs not being met before hers and…..I’m tired.  Teagan is feeling it, so is Ty.  I know Jason is too.  He’s exhausted after an hour of it when he gets home in the afternoons.  To which I usually laugh and say “you’re preaching to the choir dude, I know!

So what do we do?  Encourage patience.  And taking turns.  Independence.  Encourage her to be in the moment she’s in.  And give and work and participate so that she is providing for some of the needs in this house.  Instill a value in doing things for others and the time it takes to give of yourself to do something for another person.  Yesterday, we did just that.  I decided she needed a project.  We planned out a tea party.  We talked about all the details and working for something you enjoy instead of depending on others to provide it for you.  We wrote out her menu, shopped for those items, talked about decor.  We hung up lights and she picked out and arranged the flowers for the table.  We got out the tea party set, washed each piece and then baked cupcakes.  We made cheese sandwiches.  She set out the tea set and the food.  She was active and participated in each and every step with focus.  And it was better.  She needed it.  That’s not to say we never have tea parties, we do, a lot, but she did the work and the planning and she received the rewards of a fun tea party with her best friend (and pesky little brother)….it was good for her.  May it be noted that I insisted she invite her brother.  She duly un-invited him no less than 6 times (that I’m aware of) stating grounds of “boys don’t know anything about being fancy!!“.  He totally crashed it, with style.

Once the table was set….someone was NOT happy about waiting to be served his tea!

I don’t even know what to say about this….except I love this kid….and I’ll go ahead and concede that Taryn may have had a valid point about the boys not being fancy thing.

He was trying to make Lil laugh.  It worked 😉

Any party that ends with nothing on but a tie and cake on your face, is a success in my book!

2010-03-12T14:36:06-05:00March 12th, 2010|Austin Photographer, My Family|

10 on Tuesday | Austin Family Photographer

1.  Our babies came to us easily.  For that we are lucky and blessed.  And, thankfully, ignorant when it comes to infertility.  We were ignorant.  Our friends Lee Ann and Dennis are fighting infertility.  Fighting a long fight, a roller coaster of emotions at every high and low.  I never truly understood….I mean I thought I knew a thing or two about what those who battle infertility go through, but I didn’t.  Not really.  Lee Ann and Dennis are amazing.  And strong.  And open.  I know it must be so difficult to be so open about something so painful, but they do it.  Jason and I have learned a lot from them reading their blog and I know our family, and many others, are praying that they will soon have the baby in their arms they so desperately long for.  I asked Lee Ann if I could post about their story on my blog because they are doing everything they can to raise funds to be able to go through another round of IVF before their meds from the previous round expire.  There are some amazing women in our area that are raising funds through consignment sales and garage sales for them.  Dennis is working extra hours and  Lee Ann is cleaning houses and painting rooms/organizing homes on the weekends.  If you know of anyone in need of these services in the Austin area, drop me a note at lstradtner at mac dot com and I’ll get you in touch with her.  We’re going to have her paint a few rooms in our house and I can’t wait.  I also donated the proceeds of a recent session to their cause.  I would also like to put it out there that they are very open to adoption so if you know of a birth mother looking for two amazing people to parent, please keep them in mind.  I have every faith, that one day, not too long from now, I’ll be linking back to this post having photographed their beautiful new baby….

2.  It is 74 degrees and GORGEOUS today.  Just a few weeks ago, it snowed.  Snow was great but I am SO happy spring is here, things are turning green and the wildflowers are just around the corner….I’m ready!!  If only the hotter than hell summer wasn’t right after spring….I’ll try and forget that is looming and just enjoy the gorgeous weather while it lasts!

3.  Speaking of wildflowers…..I’ve gotten quite a few emails asking if I will be doing Bluebonnet Mini Sessions this year and the answer is YES!  I won’t be scheduling them until bluebonnets show up though as the timing can be a bit unpredictable.  If you want to purchase a bluebonnet mini you can do so at any time, but we won’t set a date/time until they start popping up.  I’ll probably only do 7-10 and they will likely go quick, so contact me soon if you think you might want one!  Bluebonnets will forever remind me of the beginning of the crazy, loud, funny, beautiful friendship of my two favorite girls….

4.  Awhile back we were getting rid of some furniture and sold Teagan’s dresser to Wendi Schoffstall, a photographer in Houston.  At first I was a bit surprised she wanted to come all this way to pick up a used dresser but now I get it….Wendi had a vision and oh my word, I am in LOVE with what she did with it.  Seriously….gorgeous!  Check it out, amazing!

5.  We recently received an invitation to attend the wedding of one of Jason’s dearest friends from high school named Nancy.  When Jase came back from the mailbox and announced we got “Nancy’s wedding invitation today” Taryn dropped what she was doing, threw her arms up, twirled around and exclaimed “We’re going to FANCY NANCY’S wedding?!?!”

6.  With our new “slackerwagon” came two TV screens and a DVD player.  I’m already over the barney and sesame street videos.  Can anyone recommend something educational of the non-annoying variety?  And if you limit TV time for your kids and they watch TV in the car – do you count that against the time you normally give them at home?  I’m just curious what other parents do….I don’t think they need to always have the TV on in the car but it sure does cut down on the bickering, so there are times I love it.  I just need to figure out how to manage it and gain some balance.

7.  Kindergarten registration is just around the corner.  Uhm, what?!  You should have seen how quickly the blood drained from Jason’s face when he heard those words come out of my mouth the other night.  Can’t believe it….

8.  I’m signing Taryn up for dance class tomorrow.  I foresee dance pics in our future….

9.  Teagan’s tongue is doing much better!  He is already back on a normal diet and everything.  Man that kid is tough!

10.  I’m off to photograph the beautiful miss Camy this evening, daughter of the best nanny in the whole entire world!!  Sneak peeks will be posted tonight!

2010-03-09T14:44:08-05:00March 9th, 2010|Austin Photographer, My Family|
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