Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Backyard sledding

This is our version of sledding, the Florida version...and Asher was being initiated....his very first time!

Dallas and Boston racing down the hill.
Dallas mid air crash
Here is Asher after having begged to go down.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pregnancy dreams

If you have ever been pregnant you know that dreams during pregnancy are odd, to say the least. They are vivid and I usually dream a lot more than usual. They say it has something to do with the big life change that is getting ready to take place. They usually always involve strange people from my life as well.

My latest dream...or that robbers break into our house in the middle of the night and Sean is at work late (he's been having to work very late with a new system they have put in at work.) I usually wake up in a panic. What will I do if robbers do break in? Do I grab the kids? Run to the neighbors? Hide in closet? Attach them with my stun gun? It also probably has something to do with all the break ins that have been happening not only in my neighborhood but many others around, even the gated ones with a guard.

At least I have the dog....hopefully she would attack them and not try and get love from them!

Balancing it all

As I was trying to edit a few photos from an engagement shoot Boston walked over to me and said, "Mom you're not a photographer. You're just a mom."

How do I take that. At first I thought it was so funny. But then it started to bother me a little bit. He doesn't want me spending time editing. I spend most of my day with him, especially since I'm schooling him. I don't usually edit during the day, usually once the kids go to bed, but with the boom in my business the last few months and a wedding and engagement shoot close together I'm a little behind. So as the boys were playing I decided to take a moment and play catch up. Oh well. I got two pictures done and quit to go play with the boys.

My Masterlife devotions this week are discussing Christ centered goals. I don't ever want to get that out of whack. I always want Christ to be first. And my biggest mission field as a mom is my children. I need to win their hearts for Christ.
I also know God has blessed me with a talent in photography. There's no other way to explain that. I am reminded everyday that it's only through him that I am talented in taking photographs. I acknowledge that and thank Him especially for the business he has been so greatly blessing my family with.

I guess finding the balance, wearing my Armor of God and going to battle against the evil forces that keep trying to wreck my day, my attitude and my faith and trusting God that I will get it all done through Him is the only way to look at it.

One step at a time. He will give me grace and as long as I keep looking up that's what's most important.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Girl pregnancy vs Boy pregnancy

I know for some people there is no difference but for me this pregnancy has been night and day different from my boy pregnancies. Some of the things that are different:
Boys: hardly ever sick
Girl: still having morning sickness!

Boys: not many differences in mood
Girl: very hormonal with pregnancy mood swings

Boys: smooth skin
Girl: my face broke out a lot the first trimester

Boys: craved sweet things
Girl: crave salty things

There are a lot of other differences that I can't think of right now (pregnancy brain Ha!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fame: remembering where I came from and where I am

Tonight Sean and I went to see Fame. I really enjoyed it. Lots of talent showcased. And it sure did make miss my old theatre UCF days. So glad to have such fond memories from college and to have gotten to experience what I did and spend so much time with so many talented people whom I still call friends. And as my tap shoes lay in the closet collecting dust and monologue books and scripts are packed away in boxes in the attic I wouldn't change the path God has me on for anything. I can still sing in the car, dance around the house with my kids and my husband would say I'm always performing. Oh how blessed I am to have gotten to experience what all I have and to be where I am right now in my life. God is good!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Swine Flu vaccination

I had made the decision a while back that neither I nor the kids would be getting the swine flu or regular flu vaccination even though we are all considered high risk because of their age and my pregnancy. I don't feel comfortable with it and especially with the unknown effects of the swine flu vaccine. I would rather experience the flu itself than risk any long term effects on my children. Here's a video of an interview with a doctor on foxnews that confirmed all my fears. Stay healthy this season everyone!!

Restless Leg Syndrome

Not sure if anyone reading this has ever experienced Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) but let me tell you its not fun. I usually get it when I'm pregnant (this was actually a clue to me last pregnancy that I was pregnant...the RLS started up.) My secret to making it go away at night is to put a bar of soap in the bed. I know it sounds crazy but it's always seemed to work....that is...until last night. I got it in my legs, my arms and my hands. I was going crazy. I finally just got up and walked around the house in the middle of the night and ended up sleeping on the couch. It was horrible! I'm just praying this isn't a sign of what's to come the rest of the pregnancy.

Out with the little and in the the big

The boys spent the night at my parents house last night and Sean had to work today so I decided this morning it was finally time for me to pack up all my regular clothes and unpack the boxes of maternity. After my maternity clothing craziness (I went to wear the regular jeans I have been wearing and although they fit last week when I put them on they didn't fit at all!) So I was rummaging through all the boxes trying to find my maternity jeans.

What an undertaking it was to switch out but glad to have it done....and fun to have an all new wardrobe. Now I'll just slowly grow myself into most of them.....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Theatre UCF Reunion

This evening some of us met up for a UCF Reunion. Unfortunately because of the economy a lot of people who had planned on flying in weren't able to make it. But we had fun none the less. First we met on campus at Wackadoos and our old professor Mark was able to join us before heading back to the theatre because a show he directed is currently playing.

(Below: Jason Moyer, Tim and Alina Williams, Mark Brotherton, Mindy Anders, Me and Dr Rinaldi)

Then we headed over to Froggers for dinner and such. This is were we would always go after opening night of any show. Lots of memories here.

(Mindy, me and Cindy Elavsky)

Me and my honey....who I met in the theatre department while he was there for 1 year before he decided one of us needed to get an education that would make us some money.....very smart babe!!
Me and Mindy
Cindy and I
Notice Tim peeking through
Dr Rinaldi and I. He actually helped direct a show I was in in high school (Fiddler on the Roof) and then later became my professor and director at UCF. He directed me at UCF in "A Shot in the Dark."
What a fun night catching up with old friends....look forward to doing it again soon!


During recess today the boys found a new way to play on the swing where two go together. They sure had a blast, and I love watching their creativity to find new things to do and especially when they play so great together!

Gotta love their faces in this picture!

Dallas will on occasion just lay down in the grass and enjoy soaking up the sun. Maybe he's low on Vitamin D or something, but he really really loves it!

Pregnancy and a girl nursery

I am halfway through the pregnancy (turned 21 weeks on Wednesday) and the thought of another 19 weeks seems like a lifetime! I am oh so anxious to meet my little girl. On top of that the pains of the pregnancy are defiantly greater than any of the other three. It's amazing how uncomfortable I already am. I feel huge and really can't imagine that my belly can get any bigger. Maybe it's the fact that I feel like I'm carring her a little higher, although if you look at my belly it looks pretty low I think. But even with all the pains (ligament, sciatic, restless leg, sickness, tiredness, etc) I'm so happy to be pregnant!!

I have been eyeing this particular baby girl bedding for sometime and when we found out it was a girl I saw that it was on sale and so I bought it. Yesterday in the mail I got the sheets (still waiting on the bed skirt and bumper.) So here's a little sneak peak at what the room will look like. I'll make the curtains myself and some other personal touches but the colors will be this color pink and green. So excited! Now I just need to move Asher out of the crib and the nursery and into the room with Dallas and to the bottom bunk!

For all my homeschool friends....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homeschool supplement recommendations

Some really cool books I've found to supplement our homeschooling I thought I would share with you.

The first is called Addition adventures and Boston really enjoys this. It makes doing addition problems fun. They solve the problems and it tells them how many squares to draw their line and what direction (which also helps with learning North, South, East and West) Try it out for some extra fun in math!!! The next one is a Kumon book of mazes. They are all mazes inside things that go. For example, today Dallas did one that was a submarine. And the pages are so colorful and fun!
The next is another Kumon book (I absolutely LOVE Kumon books!) It's really very basic but for Dallas it works really well for helping his fine motor skills. Asher even enjoys it. (Asher is 2 and Dallas is 4) It starts out very, very basic (drawing a line straight down) and then gets more advanced (like a roller coaster) Again....very colorful and fun and exciting pictures. Can't go wrong with anything Kumon!

Junk Food

At the library yesterday I picked up this book, "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food." What a great book, especially with us adjusting our diet to eliminate processed food and anything with anything artificial in it. It went right along with how I feel and what I've been trying to tell the kids. And it made perfect since to the boys and was even a little science lesson for them. I would recommend it to anyone, especially my homeschool friends for a little illustration about how your body works and what junk food does to it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It's 10am and we are already done with school today. Wow. And to think I woke up this morning stressed about all the things that need to get done today and frustrated that I needed to go and do school. So we started school a little bit early today and now we are all done with the whole day ahead of us!

I was reflecting on how if the boys were in school we would of had to rush every morning to get everyone dressed and fed, with teeth brushed and shoes on. Jump in the car and make the long trek over to Oakland Ave Charter School (a good 15-20 minute drive) leaving at 7:50am. Then drive over to Dallas school and wait in the parking lot to drop him off at 9am and drive home. Then back to Dallas school at 12 and Boston at 3. Craziness. Now we enjoy each other each morning, have a nice warm home cooked breakfast and don't have to rush to get ready.

So although I woke up with a stinky attitude not excited about homeschooling today God gave me some perspective....and now I'm much more appreciative that I have the opportunity to do it!

First girl diaper bag

So a few days before I found out I was having a girl I was at a children's consignment shop and saw this amazing diaper bag. I stood there not sure what to do. Do I buy it? It was priced at $20 and very obvious it had never been used. I hadn't heard of this brand but it looked like a designer bag. So after mulling over it I decided to buy it. I figured even if I wasn't having a girl I'd go ahead give it to someone else or use it as my bag.

But yah!!! Now I will get to use it as a diaper bag. The inside is lined with the darker pink colors in the changing pad above. I looked online when I got home and found that these diaper bags sell for $300-$500 so I really hit the jackpot. I'm sure it won't be the only diaper bag this sweet little girl will have but it sure will be her designer one!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gluten Free chocolate chip cookies

Today we tried Bob's Red Mill chocolate chip cookie mix. Dallas actually ate the dough and seemed to like it, but once the cookies were baked no one wanted any. That is except for Asher. They have a very grainy texture and a yucky aftertaste. So if you are looking to make these my recommendation is....DON'T.

I'll keep you posted on our adventure in finding new foods for the family....preferably with no artificial anything and trying out some gluten free.

Secret Letter

I got an anonymous letter in the mail on Saturday....typed and everything. I have absolutely NO idea who it is from but it was one of the sweetest things I have ever received. And the fact that the person made such an attempt to make it anonymous is for some reason even more touching.

It was yet another little God Wink!!

In case you can't read it: "Cricket, You are amazing! Thank you so much for all you are investing in your children. Be blessed today! Enjoy your "gifts" from the Lord and try not to be so hard on yourself!"

It was like a letter from God, encouraging me in every aspect I needed it. Seriously, I don't think it could have been better written for me. I will put it on the fridge and look at it daily to remind myself how blessed I am, that I'm doing a good job, to enjoy my children no matter what is going on and to not be so hard on myself.

So to whoever sent this....THANK YOU (with tears in my eyes). Thank you for being you....and thank you for letting God speak to me through you!

Pink Pancakes

For lunch today I made some high protein pancakes called Pink Pancakes (we topped them with some powdered sugar I put in a shaker and some maple syrup). They are whole wheat pancakes with grated apple, pureed beets and ricotta cheese. Of course my main reason in changing the diet is for Dallas but I know that it will also benefit the other boys as well. Feeding Dallas is very difficult because he keeps getting pickier and pickier about his food. Although after having chatted with my girlfriend Jackie I'm realizing that Dallas is probably self limiting himself to the foods he should most likely be avoiding. So if I eliminate these foods then he will probably be more open to other foods.

So today I tried the pink pancakes today for lunch and they were a hit with Dallas. He ate them all up quickly. And he even asked for a banana afterward....and he NEVER does that!!!! Funny thing is that Boston and Asher (who aren't picky) hated them! (I too thought they were really gross.) But hey....Dallas liked them!

It was almost like a little God wink. I needed that encouragement because today I was feeling very overwhelmed with the changing of the diet in the house and baking everything homemade on top of everything else on my plate. That's what's happened all the other times I've tried to take this on (tried several times since last fall.) And I know that being overwhelmed and having anxiety is not from God but only from I must be on the right track with this diet. With God's help (since He only gives you what He knows you can handle and the power of the Holy Spirit to get it done) I know I can do it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dallas the tender hearted

Dallas has such a big heart and observes more than I imagine. Just this morning he noticed my pearl bracelet I was wearing and commented, "Mom that is a beautiful bracelet." What 4 year old says things like that. It melts my heart. And he always notices pretty girls. Whenever he is around a pretty girl he is like a magnet to them. He's right there smiling and talking to them, wanting to show them a new toy or something. When we were headed somewhere last week he asked me, "Mommy, will there be pretty girls there with sweet hair?" Cracks me up. I remember one time when we were at an ice cream shop at the mountain house and this pretty young girl with long, brown, curly hair was behind the counter he couldn't take his eyes off her. He would just look up with the BIGGEST smile on his face. LOL At least he's liking the girls....just a little too early for mommy!

Back to homemade

In an attempt to get our diet in the house back nutritionally on target I went shopping today. I've really slacked and started buying prepacked things like waffles, chicken nuggets, etc because of the pregnancy. But I can see that it is really effecting Dallas mood and I even think Boston's mood and ability to focus. I'm thinking about ordering the cookbook about Kids diet for kids with ADHD. My kids aren't diagnosed ADHD but how can it hurt right? I was planning on doing a lot of batch cooking today but after getting all the groceries away Sydney had different plans for me to SIT DOWN. (Pain that is.) So the goal is to get at least the waffles, pancakes, bread, granola bars, fruit strips and muffins done and ready to freeze and use for the next few weeks. I've got some great recipes I've used before and some new ones lines up and I'm really excited about it! Sean's also requesting the Cabbage Soup so that's on the list as well.

So here's to a healthier, more homemade household....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The best feeling in the world

This week I have really begun to feel the baby move. Not during the day, but when the day is done and I sit down or lay down in bed....ahhhh....the sweet little bumps of my little girl moving around.

It's like a sweet little whisper telling me, "Hello....I'm in here." And I love that!

It's the reassurance that everything is going fine in my little womb.

It's the happy thougthts of her that are the sweet endings to my day!

Thank you Lord for answered prayers and for yet another little blessing in my life!!!

Xio and Denny's Engagement shoot

Today I shot Xio and Denny's engagement shoot. What a blast we had! We headed to Downtown Orlando and we got some super cool shots all over. I'm really looking forward to shooting their wedding in November. It will be so much fun with this super cool couple! Here's a sneak peak at one pic from the shoot.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"It's a HELICOPTER!!!!"

"LOOK MOM! It's a HELICOPTER!" (or a plane) Asher is obsessed with them. He can hear them from miles away and will say, "Do you hear that? It's a plane. Where is it?" (as he looks to the skys.) It's just so cute. None of the other boys were so into them like him and it's just precious.

"Look mom! Do you SEE it!??!?"

"There it is....right there. Hi Helicopter"
"Where did it go? Bye Helicopter"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Dallas had a quick scan MRI today as a follow up to the more detailed one he had back at the end of last year. It's just to make sure that the ventricles are still the same size and haven't gotten bigger. Thank goodness it all went very well, no waits, awesome Valet service and awesome nurses to help me out since I was there alone with all three boys. And thank goodness for private pediatric waiting rooms with toys and climbing things galore. Florida Hospital rocks!

Pains of Pregnancy

I know my doctor said that with each pregnancy the pains would increase and that has defiantly rung true through all of them, but it seems as though the curve spiked with this pregnancy. Last weekend and this past one I had two bouts of Braxton Hicks contractions. Very strong ones. Surprised me a little since I was only 18 and 19 weeks.

Then for the past two days, for 48 hours straight, I have had the most intense pain in my lower right side. It felt as though the baby's head was jammed into my ligament. I could literally feel her head. I did everything to get her to move but she wouldn't budge. I had ligament pain with each of the boys and last time with Asher they prescribed me pain medication for it but I only took it once after it made me completely loopy afterward. But this pain was nothing compared to that. At one point I had tears running down my face. I thought to myself, "Why are you crying in didn't even cry during the 13 hours of labor on pitocin without epidural." But then again....I wasn't chasing three kids around, cleaning a house and trying to do school when I was in labor. But thank goodness I woke up this morning and God answered my prayers, or he knew that one more day of this pain might just put me in the crazy house. So at least I just woke up with the feeling of needing to throw up....I'll take that! And I wore this shirt in honor of my day.

Hopefully that won't be a recurring situation!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Asher during school

Trying to homeschool with a 2 year old can sometimes present difficult situations and lots of interruptions. But it seems like after several weeks we are finally getting the hang of it. I've found lots of things to keep him occupied during the 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours of school.

Here he is coloring....his absolute FAVORITE thing to do. Whether it's coloring at the table, coloring on the easel or coloring on my walls and floor! He's my little artist. (He did not color the head in this pic though)
I got the lightbrite for Dallas to work on and after Dallas was done Asher found it very amusing and spend a long length of time putting the lights in just the right places.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Presents for my girl

I had to share a few birthday presents from two sweet girlfriends.

My childhood best friend, Amy, sent me a wonderful package in the mail. In it was a box with socks that look like ballerina shoes. I remember commenting on her little girls socks just like this a few years ago. I can't wait for Sydney to wear them! And the little bloomers with an angel on them are just adorable!!

Then my girlfriend Tina gave me the cutest little doll!!! I just love that she has brown hair. And I can't wait to listen to the cd about mommys and their little girls!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy 32nd birthday to me!

Today was such a great birthday. I started the day out by having some of my cookie cake for breakfast....yum! Then the boys and I went to EPCOT. I normally would not venture to a Disney park alone with all three of my kids (and one in belly-tow) but since we have seasonal passes Disney gives me a gift card to spend in the park on my birthday for the cost of a regular price admission. So I had to go! Everything was going very smoothly. We road the ride in the big ball and then Nemo and see all the fish and then as we were walking it started to pour rain on us. We ran into the Imagination place and the boys played Playstation 3 game Wall-E. We were there for a while when I realized we really needed to get home for lunch. So I decided to just make a run for it. So with Asher in the stroller and a boy on each side we walked the LONG way to the car in the rain and cold wind. But it was pretty fun. Boston really enjoyed every single puddle along the way....and why not...we were already soaked to the bone. It was just something laugh about and have fun with. Oh well! We got to the car and all the boys stripped to their underwear and mommy rolled up her pants and shirt and drove home. The warm car felt very nice!

When we got home daddy had just gotten home from Vegas. Yah!! I changed clothes and headed off to the mall to look for a new maternity shirt.

Then for dinner Sean and I headed out to Taverna Opa with some good friends of our to celebrate. What a wonderful dinner with great company! It was one of the best, most entertaining places I have eaten at before!

One half of the table

Other half Belly Dancer pulling Sean up to dance
My and my love

Dancing all around

Belly dancer with fire!

They throw napkins everywhere (they used to throw plates as a tradition in old Greek restaurants but I guess that's too much of a liablity now a days) Enjoying a great variety of greek food

They pulled up up on the chair to sing Happy Birthday to me. (although they usually have you stand on the table...but the pregnant lady was not about to do that).

Blowing out the candles while Sean watches out for me and his baby girl

It really was one of the best birthdays every!!!! And of course I'm still relishing on my early birthday present....A BABY GIRL!!!