Friday, July 29, 2011

Sydney's house

We have had this little playhouse since Boston was a toddler. It's been sitting outside since the boys never played with it the last few years. I thought Sydney would enjoy it now since she is so much more mobile. Boy oh boy was she excited!

It's so cute to watch a toy be used by each of my kids. And now a little girl in her own little house!

And of course my water obsessed little girl loved the fact that mommy put water in the sink!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Baby Hudson shoot

I don't normally post pictures from my photo shoots on this blog but I thought I would try and in clude some of them now. If you want to see more of my work you can check it out on my website at or on my facebook fan page with the most recent shoots
I had the pleasure of shooting this family for the second time a couple of weeks ago. I did her maternity shoot and now it was time to meet this precious little boy. I love babies! Here are just a few from the shoot.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boston: the new direction

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of appts for Boston and wrapping my head around the results. I haven't blogged much because I had all that going on, on top of all I talked about in my last post. It's been crazy. But today I realized that I cannot move forward and post anything else until I talk about it.

We have been going through testing for Boston because I was almost positive he had a severe case of ADHD. We tried everything all natural last school year (including gfcf) but nothing helped at all. I was convinced that he would need to go on medication in order to function and get anything done at school. He is a great boy and everyone loves him but the poor child just can't keep focused and keep still for the life of him. Someday he will be able to channel that into something and be uber successful....but until that time I needed to figure out how to help him be able to do the best he can in school.

My pediatrician wanted us to just put him on meds right away. No questions asked. But inside me, my motherly instinct said I needed to dig deeper to be sure that medication was the best route. The only thing I knew to do was to go to Dallas' neurologist because I knew she could get me in with the Neuropsychologist I loved so much that diagnosed Dallas. I also had the teachers and some staff hinting that there were some social issues going on with him. I knew when they mentioned it that it could mean Aspergers (especially with all his stemming- for him stemming is the typical jumping and flapping his arms that a lot of kids with Autistic Spectrum do.) But honestly I really didn't think he had Aspergers because to me Dallas and him are so different.

Making this long, long story shorter: after Neurologist visits, 3 visits with neuropsychologist (including an evaluation that took the whole day) he was diagnosed Aspergers. I was shocked in so many ways but then after it settled in and the psychologist was explaining things all the dots started to connect and I felt like I finally understood him better than ever.

It doesn't change him, it doesn't change his future, it just means that I can understand him better and we can help him to understand the world better.

From a mothers perspective it was the harder diagnosis. It's not like finding out your child has ADHD and you can use medication to help him. This one means your road down parenting isn't the rocky one that most people go on but one that includes a bolder, snow, ice, floods, and a mountain. It's still beautiful but you have to be prepared for anything. Things are always changing and you have to think outside the box. You can't do things like all the other parents do. You will be judged. You will feel like you are failing. But somewhere down the road there will be much reward. And I have to keep moving on knowing that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Messy house, busy days and lots of editing

Wow it's been a very busy last 10 days or so. So much to catch up on. I've had so many shoots lately (and I'm not complaining) but I've been holding lots of balls up in there air. And when there's editing to be done, meals to cook and kids to love on some of the housekeeping goes to the side. All my spare time has been spent editing photos and the mess creeped up on me so I took an hour and while using the FlyLady method of timing myself I got a lot done. I set the timer for 15 minutes in each room and conquer the laundry area, living room, kitchen, Asher room, boys room, Sydney room and my room. Well it took me almost 2 hours doing all those. But it was done and the house looked great....that is until the boys walked back into their rooms. :-)

Don't believe's a few before and afters

It really is amazing what you can do in 15 minutes when you set your mind to it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sydney in the owl nest

I have been dreaming of having my own birds nest prop and thanks to my mom for making me one! I am so in love with it. A few weeks ago Sydney was my test model in it. My original vision was for infants but I now realize it can work with even older kids. And I can't wait to get a birds hat as well!

And here is the sweetest little owl!She loved her toes and fingers in the yarn.
We had to do the shoot inside because the mosquitoes were insane outside.Yes I know I'm so prettyAnd thanks it mom. I'm done. Can I run around with the boys now and stop being so pretty.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sickness hits the Whitman house again

The boys had tutoring Friday morning. We have been blessed to have Boston's assistant teacher from last year be able to tutor the boys for a few weeks to help keep things fresh and new. She is so awesome!

Boston complained about a stomach ache at the end of the session. The space shuttle was going up for the last time and we were rushing to get home to see it. I had wanted badly to drive over to let the kids see it up close and personal like I have so many times but the idea of spending many hours in traffic wasn't appealing. And I was sad that, just like the last launch, there were lots of clouds in the sky so they wouldn't be able to see it go up. But we rushed home to see it on the tv and run outside to see if we could see at least a little bit. No such luck. But they were super excited to witness it on tv like the rest of the country.

Right after the launch Boston got more sick. He was running a fever and a few hours later the throw up started. Poor guy. This 24 hour bug seems to be going around here so much and our poor family keeps getting it and spreading it amongst all of us.

Our sweet cat Memphis crawled up on Boston to comfort him.

On Saturday Boston was doing much better and by the later afternoon he was begging to go to Universal Studios. So we loaded everyone up and headed to the park. But once we were in the park at the fun ball playground I noticed that Sydney was pretty lethargic and warm. I headed back to the stroller when Dallas grabbed me and said he was really hot. So he went with me and then I noticed he felt really warm as well. I popped out the thermometer and sure enough they both had fevers. So we packed up the crew and headed back home.

At least this time they only had the fever and none of the throw up....other than a fun diarrhea mess Sydney left for us in the car seat. Don't you love this post....hope you aren't having a snack while reading this! I think it's time to up the vitamins that I have been lax on giving. It looks like we all need them!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vinyl Chalkboard decorating

I love chalk boards. I have been dreaming of painting my entire fridge with chalkboard paint for a long time. There's a show on the Disney channel called "Good Luck Charlie" that has a chalkboard fridge as well. When you have an old boring fridge you gotta do something to make it better. I got super excited when I saw this idea on Under the Sycamore, which meant I could put off the long process of painting the entire fridge but still have all the fun! I bought my chalkboard contact paper roll here. I looked all over town for chalk board markers and everyone looks at me like I have three eyes. So I'm gonna have to break down and order some online. Until then we will have fun with old fashioned chalk.

I also replaced my white dry erase board for this sleek, fun, flat chalk board from the contact paper. Now it fits in with my Tuscan theme kitchen more than the big white board.

And here's a shot of our kitchen. It's been a slow and long transformation. It used to have green counters and wood cabinets. I LOVE paint. With it you can transform anything for very little cost.

Below you can see the table that sits our big family for meals. There used to be a green table attached to the wall with 4 green chairs. The old owner was obsessed with green. Our carpet is green and the fans used to be green. The last green left is the carpet in the house. One day....

Below is another new addition Sean added a few months ago that I don't know how I lived without! Now I have more space in my cabinets and I'm not having to rummage through a ton of pots to find the right one and then go looking for the matching top. Below it you will notice the Menu I designed for my family. To see more about it go here. I used to have it hanging on the wall but recently put it in a recipe holder instead.

Live well....Laugh often...Love much

I painted the cabinets beige and then went over them with brown to make it a more Tuscan look.

These bar stools go way back. When I was going away to college my mom and I found these at Salvation Army. They were covered with green leather (what is it with green people?). It must have come from a smoking home because the foam smelled awful. I got new foam, covered them, refinished the wood and here they are still being used 15 years later.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Photography website updated

I have been so busy with photoshoots, kids and life that updating my Photography website has been ssssllllooww. But finally I carved out some time to get it done. So for those of you that I have taken pictures of you can go on an Easter egg hunt to find yourself on there. Hope you like the new design!

You can click on the design above or get there by typing in

And thank you to all my sweet clients for calling on me over and over again and for all the referrals. It feels so special to be blessed to take pictures of all your special moments in your lives.

Whitman original lego men

I have been wanting to do this craft ever since I saw it here a few months ago. We ordered our lego ice tray here and when it came in the boys couldn't wait to make their own lego men! I have some serious lego loving boys in my house and what better way to get them excited about doing a craft!I also pulled out our cookie cutters to give us a little variety. I have a lot of cookie cutters my mom saved from when I was a little girl. Some of my favs are Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, cupid Mickey, and Ronald McDonald.

I love this picture for several reasons: Asher's smile, the fact that he is eating instead of helping, and that Boston is pounding the heck out of his dough.

Dallas working with super hero focus to get them just right.

And here they are getting ready to go into the oven.

A few days later we got to paint them!

I love how Asher sticks his tongue out when he concentrating.

Instead of just using paint I also brought out my assortment of paint pens. I liked them better. make sure you spray them with clear acrylic afterward to protect them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More 4th of July pictures

The whole clan!

We always take a whole family picture on 4th of July....this year it was like pulling teeth. least we have a picture (even if my elbow is blocking Boston's face) :-) And you gotta love Sydney's hair blowing up.

Dallas was going to go tubing in the 3 man tub but decided against it at the last minute. He did do it last summer but doesn't really remember.

Sydney enjoyed another day of fun in the sun, sand and water.

Asher swimming his little heart out

Daddy's little girl

Boston with Haley climbing the tree

Lots of fun beach's Asher with Haley and Joy

Suzanne teaching Asher how to play checkers

My cousin Trisha (who was a bridesmaid in my wedding) meeting Sydney for the first time.

Dallas and Guy being silly

Poor little Asher was exhausted from all the activities for the last few days and crashed before dinner with a little tummy ache. And he managed to sleep in the midst of all the crazy noise going on around him and in the room we had the Casey Anthony trail playing on the tv. I had to wake him up for the family photo and fireworks (and if you look at the first picture above you can see how tired he is.)