Babies

Meet Clayton - Waukesha Lifestyle Newborn Session

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Since having Lacey last year, I get so excited to meet a newborn baby! They are so tiny compared to my 12 month old and seeing them makes me really appreciate how much my baby girl has grown. I had the pleasure of photographing Rachel and Michael’s adorable itty bitty, 9-day-old Clayton this past weekend. Our wonderful childbirth instructor, Rowenna of Kinderhaven Birth & Family Services, connected us this past fall and I was so happy that they reached out to me! We had a wonderful time during their maternity session and I was happily waiting for their baby’s arrival when January rolled around:)

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, Clayton was born in the afternoon at Authentic Birth Center! I was so excited to meet him :) I gave Rachel a huge hug when I saw her and walked into the bedroom as Clayton was sleeping peacefully on Michael’s chest. Their faces glowed as they held their little boy and as they watched one another holding the tiny human they created together.

Clayton was so alert while I was taking pictures, I was surprised by how many times he looked straight at the camera. He was the perfect little model. I even got a photo of both him and his mama looking at the camera, I can’t even do that with my daughter now most of the time! I am going to love watching this little cutie grow :) I’m excited for playdates to come!

Congratulations Rachel and Michael! You are clearly amazing parents to your beautiful son already :)


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Lacey's 9th Month

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Lacey has slowed down getting bigger physically (she has been wearing 18-month-old Gerber onsies for 3 months now), but developmentally, she grew up so fast this month! Every day she makes big progress in her motor skills and recently just started crawling military style very clumsily, which is adorable! The only thing that slowed her down was having her first serious fever which led to being diagnosed with her first ear infection this month. She is finishing up her last couple days of antibiotics though and is feeling pretty much back to her old self and is ready to move! At the doctor’s office this month, she weighed 24 lb 2 oz (>99th percentile) and measured 29.5 inches in height (98th percentile). She is officially half my height! We must be an interesting sight together haha! She hasn’t made any huge leaps in her speech development, but her doctor and I just think that is because she is making such fast gains in gross and fine motor skills.

Things I want to remember about this month: 

  • Her first 2 teeth came through her gums! We finally understand what teething is... She was miserable for a couple nights right before the bottom front incisors “erupted”, so we gave her some Tylenol which seemed to help ease her pain.

  • She is a pro at turning in circles when on her belly. She can do it really fast now.

  • Earlier this month, she would sometimes push herself backward very short distances when on her tummy. She started pushing with her arms and rounding her back from her tummy to get on hands and knees with less and less effort every time and then she will rock by shifting her weight forward and back. It is really cute.

  • She started crawling forward for the first time a couple days ago! It is kind of like a military style crawl, but it is super clumsy and effortful right now. She really pushes almost entirely with her right leg which makes her to veer to the left, but she corrects her path by rolling over haha. She also will pull forward on the ground with her arms sometimes like she is swimming.

  • When she is sitting up and wants to move forward, she will bounce and pull with her heels to scoot forward.

  • Just a couple of times, I have watched her transition from sitting up to leaning forward to end up on her belly.

  • She does well with holding her balance to stand when she is holding onto something, but she is not able to lower herself down in a controlled way (or at all really and I just have to lower her down myself when she starts crying because she wants to be done).

  • She has been trying a lot more foods! We are still going with baby led weaning approach and are giving her healthy food that we are also eating at meal time, but modified into finger sized pieces.

  • She can do a pincer grasp with her index finger and thumb now to pick up small things like a cheerio.

  • She has been making a funny under-bite looking face ever since her bottom 2 teeth came in.

  • As far as sleep goes, she has been doing really well since we transitioned her to her own floor bed in her room. I sleep next to her for parts of the night now, but she is napping and sleeping longer stretches at night by herself. I’m going to transition to just sleeping in the room with her, but not next to her. She is still nursing a couple times a night.

  • Throwing up used to be such a common thing when she was a newborn, but now we know something is wrong when she vomits. She started throwing up a lot when she was sick and when we started giving her antibiotics for her ear infection.

  • She doesn’t scratch her face anymore. A couple months ago or so, I used to see a new scratch on her face as soon as the one before healed. I realized that it has been a while since I saw one.

Her likes and dislikes:

  • She loves to move! She always seems to have a huge smile on her face when she rocks on hands and knees or bounces when she is sitting.

  • She likes to be a part of mealtime with Brian and me. She has shown a lot more interest in solid food this month.

  • She seemed to really like green pepper and would suck on it after scraping the soft inner part with her two little teeth. She still likes banana.

  • We gave her a big piece of an oven baked pork chop and it looked like she really enjoyed gnawing on it, it was sort of like a delicious chew toy for her.

  • She hates getting things forced into her mouth, which we have been really trying to limit doing. Unfortunately we have been needing to pin her down to give her antibiotics through an oral syringe :(

  • She loves to be carried around in my new Tula carrier for her. I had to get another carrier because she outgrew the other’s weight limits… I should have just splurged on the great quality one from the beginning! Although this one probably would be too big for her.

  • She doesn’t like to be away from Brian and me. In the past, we have been able to drop her off at the nursery at church, but last Sunday she was very sad to be away from us, so we held her and listened to the message through the speakers instead.

  • She loves the drawstrings on my shorts or sweatpants.

  • She still loves water bottles. Some of her other favorite toys are her wooden animal teething toys, wooden puzzle, baby-safe mirror on the floor, and big Lego-like blocks.

  • She loves books, especially one with photographs of people’s faces. Starting a book has calmed her down after having just been crying. One time I was napping with her on the floor and woke up to see her lying on her back and looking at the pages of a book that she held open above her :) 

  • She thinks Brian’s feet are hilarious.

  • She loves to bang toys together, especially if it makes an interesting sound.

  • I’m not sure if how she feels about the taste of kale, but she likes to rip it into small pieces.


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Meet Rowan - Madison Home Birth Fresh 48 Session

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Baby Rowan made his grand entrance into the world like a firecracker and has given us all quite the story to tell for years! To give you a little background before I dive into the details of his birth, I met his mom, Amanda, when we were physical therapy students together at UW Madison. We hadn’t seen each other for a while after graduating, and we both started families of our own. When I announced that I was going to start photographing births, she asked me to photograph her planned home birth and I was so excited! Since then, we all reunited this summer and we had the pleasure of meeting her incredibly sweet little boy, Finn, who was so kind to Lacey as they hung out together :)

Fast forward to last night. I think the best way to paint the picture of how Rowan was born is to give a timeline of events and my text/call log with Amanda and her husband Jason:

11:58pm on 9/26 - Amanda group texts me to let me know that she has been having mild and inconsistent contractions (she didn’t even need to breathe through them or stop what she was doing) since 6pm, but she is not sure if she is really in labor yet.

12:13am on 9/27 - I text Amanda back encouraging her to get some sleep and call me if she progresses.

1:07am on 9/27 - Jason calls me to let me know that Amanda’s contractions have gotten stronger and that I should come now because her midwife is also on the way.

1:19am on 9/27 - Rowan is born!

1:27am on 9/27 - I’m about to leave my apartment when Jason calls again to tell me in the calmest voice, “Yea, so, the baby came already…”

I later learned that Rowan came so fast that their midwife didn’t even make it to deliver him and his dad had to catch him in their bathroom! Not only did Jason have to catch Rowan, but he had to catch Rowan on the fly because he had been clearing space in the other room when Amanda started to crown and urgently pleaded for him to help her! He literally had seconds and would have missed Rowan had he been a moment slower! Amanda even delivered her placenta before her midwife arrived, it all happened in a whirlwind!

I was so honored to see them a few hours later that day to listen to their incredible story and to meet their precious little cutie! Mom and Baby looked so bright, high-spirited, and healthy, I was amazed. He was so alert and adorable (which you will see in the photos). We talked about how it was a good thing that they had planned a home birth because that was what Rowan was planning all along apparently! I was so happy to see how this family is able to enjoy their first moments with their new addition in the comfort of their home.

Congratulations to this wonderful family!

Finn is adjusting to life as an older brother. With all eyes on little Rowan after I arrived, he made an entrance into the room with a paper towel roll voice amplifier! As the oldest in my own family, I know the feeling Finn! Otherwise I can already tell he is going to be such a sweet brother. Amanda told me he tried sharing a graham cracker and bottle of cows milk with Rowan, so cute!

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Milwaukee Home Fresh 48 Session - Fox Themed Nursery

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Lochlan turned 1 month today, so I thought I would post his and his family’s Fresh 48/Just Born session from the day after he was born and came home a month ago (to see his birth story, click here!). What made this session extra special was capturing the moment his big sister met him and seeing this family of 4 all together for the first time :) Alexis was already such a sweetie to her little brother, gesturing to ask to hold him, booping him on the nose, trying to tickle him, and hugging him. Their matching “Big Sister” and “Little Brother” outfits were so stinkin cute and he has the most adorable fox-themed nursery! He was in a pretty good mood throughout the time I spent with them and he even smiled at the camera while in his crib!


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Lacey's 8th Month

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Lacey has developed so fast in a lot of ways. We have been changing her on a changing pad on the floor because she is so squirmy and rolly. These days it is alarming to think that we ever changed her on the changing table and even more shocking that we actually stepped out of the room to wash our hands while she was still lying on it! I also realized that we rarely have to use a burp cloth because she only spits up once in a while every few days and it is so nice compared to the days when she would spit up after almost every meal. I am enjoying this phase so much, she is so much fun and we are getting to know her personality more and more because she can express herself in a lot more ways.

Things I want to remember about this month:

  • She is able to hold her balance when standing if she is holding something. The first time I saw her do this was when I was trying to lower her to sit down in the pack n’ play; while I was putting her in, she grabbed the rail and stood instead of sat.

  • When we hold her hands while she is sitting and we pull her forward, she is strong enough to pull up into standing.

  • She hasn’t crawled forward yet, but she is very good at pivoting when she is on her belly.  She can also push backward when on her tummy mostly using pure arm strength and she can scoot forward little by little when she is sitting.

  • She is very good at holding her balance when sitting up and is very good at knowing her limits about what she can reach and what she can’t.

  • We started introducing solid foods to her this month. We are trying baby led weaning and so far I think she is doing pretty well. Her gag reflex is getting less common and we can tell that she is learning how to move solids in her mouth.

  • She makes the cutest faces including a fish face, scrunchy smile, and “ooooh” face.

  • She said “dada” for the first time on Brian’s birthday! It was the best gift he could have ever asked for :)

  • Her Uncle Johnny lived with us for a month and she became so comfortable with him.  I loved that my brother got to see what she acts like when she is herself.

 

Her likes and dislikes:

  •  She hates when people feed her without her initiating it. She definitely prefers to have control over what goes in her mouth. This has been a game changer for us with bottle or sippy cup feeding, which use to be so frustrating for everyone. Once we started waiting until she either tilted her chin up with her mouth open or she pulled the bottle/cup to her mouth, things were so much better! There was so much less fussing and she would eat so much faster.

  • She makes faces at most solid foods that we have introduced, but she seems to like them after the 2nd time we give them to her, like hummus, avocado, sweet potato, and green beans. She was very hesitant to try broccoli, but we have only tried it once so far.

  • Her favorite word is dada! She says it all the time. She shouts it and even whispers it. She seems really excited about this new sound that she can make.

  • She laughs a lot when she is sitting on something like a bed or trampoline and someone jiggles it around her.

  • She loves her and my reflection in the mirror. She always has a big smile when I walk over to stand in front of the bathroom mirror and when we get to the last page of “Peek a who” which ends with a mirror on the last page.

  • She loves books so much! She really enjoys turning the pages and is often trying to turn them way too fast for us to keep up reading. I have been reading the ABC book by Dr. Seuss a lot because I think it makes sure that I am saying all the different vowels and consonant sounds to her repeatedly.

She is not a fan of the crib. We’re trying a new thing out this month and have been having a lot better sleep because of it. It’s called, a floor bed! I might post more about it soon!

This was the first month that she has been able to support her self and hold her balance on her own when holding onto something stable with her hands.

I love these goofballs!

There were a lot of family visits this month <3

VBAC at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital - Milwaukee Birth Photography

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Rachel's birth to Lochlan struck a personal cord with me. Let me give you some background.

In the first few weeks after Lacey was brought into the world through my c-section, I felt sad, and I felt guilty for feeling sad. Having an unexpected and unwanted c-section can be isolating. During those early postpartum days, the only person I felt that could truly understand me was my husband since he had been there by my side during our entire stay at the hospital. I felt that way until I discovered an organization called ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). My husband and I had confided in our birth instructor and friend who was one of the few people that validated our feelings. She mentioned that ICAN offered support groups for mothers, especially c-section moms, who had experienced a traumatic birth. After reaching out to another friend who's first birth story was similar to mine and having another person that I respect recommend ICAN, my husband and I decided to go to a meeting.

It was in that small group circle at my first ICAN meeting that I met Rachel. Five of us sat in a circle and introduced ourselves before telling our birth stories. As I listened, I was relieved that I wasn't alone in the feelings I was going through. Rachel's story struck me especially because I related to hers so much. We both had been striving for a natural birth, we both pushed for over 2 hours, and we both had baby girls over 9 pounds by c-section. Her story also stood out to me because she seemed at a place of peace in her healing journey and sounded hopeful for the future. At that meeting, Rachel shared that she was pregnant with her 2nd baby and that she was going to go for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). Attempting a VBAC is a surprisingly polarizing topic in the birth world. I am disappointed in how many providers discourage all women from having VBACs because even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that, "VBAC is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery, including some women who have had two previous cesareans." Rachel was brave in making an evidence-based decision to swim against the current and societal norms that ignorantly proclaim, "Once a c-section, always a c-section".

Rachel had an incredible team of people supporting her. Her OB is not just VBAC tolerant, but a VBAC advocate. Her doula, Amy, knew exactly what to say to keep the experience peaceful and encouraging. Her friends stepped in to provide childcare for their little girl in the middle of the night. Don't even get me started on her husband, Nate, who was there for Rachel at every single step. They have such an incredible relationship that you will be able to see a little glimpse of in these photos. 

I know that every birth is special and important in its own way and the same would ring true for their boy no matter how he was born, but I was rooting for Rachel to get her VBAC so hard. I was rooting for a leader who's example I was ready to follow. I was rooting for her to be able to meet her baby boy in a way that she could be fully present with all of her senses. I have heard several VBAC birth stories on podcasts which usually bring me to the verge of tears, but witnessing Rachel achieve hers was on a totally new emotional level for me. Seeing the joy on her and her husband's faces when she got to pull in little Lochlan to her chest for their first snuggle was something I will never forget.

I am so proud of my friend. She has encouraged and inspired me in such deep ways. I feel so honored that they welcomed me into this sacred space. I could write paragraphs on what happened that day or about how precious Lochlan is, but I think these images will do a better job than my writing can. :)  For any fans of emotional photo montages, watching the video right below is one you don't want to miss. If you'd rather just keep scrolling for photos, that works too ;)


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Lacey's 7th month

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Lacey is at such a fun age! We love how interactive she is with us and those around her. She has learned a lot of new motor skills and sounds when babbling, but still isn't able to move from point A to point B, so we don't have to worry about her getting into places or to things she shouldn't be near quite yet. She is getting more attached to me and really doesn't like to be alone in a room for more than a few seconds when she is awake. Sleeping during the night and getting her to nap during the day has been the biggest challenge still. She has seemed uncomfortable the past couple of weeks at night and we think it might be teething, but she hasn't had any pop up yet. The only place she naps well is at home because we have blackout curtains or in her carseat when we are on the highway, so being out of the house for the day with her is difficult. Unfortunately, we are finding strategies like rocking, cuddling, singing, walking in a stroller, and massaging less and less effective at lulling her to sleep. I photographed 2 weddings during the month of July and had to be away from her a full day while Brian took care of her, but she has been bottle feeding like a champ now so it made me feel much more at peace to get text updates from him after each successful meal from the bottle  :) 

Things to remember about this month:

  • She started clapping! It is so adorable and she seems to do it either when she is excited, like when someone enters the room, or occasionally when she is mad, like getting her diaper changed.

  • She doesn't seem particularly interested in solid food this month. It's not like she stares at food as it goes from our plate to our mouths or anything like that.

  • She thumps her tummy like a little gorilla and it's really cute because it makes a hollow-ish sound.

  • She rarely falls over when she is sitting up unsupported on a firm surface. She is really good at keeping her balance even when really reaching for toys.

  • She is a pro at rolling now, although it is always the same direction both from tummy to back and back to tummy.

  • She isn't crawling yet, but can slowly pivot when on her tummy in a circle.

  • She doesn't really notice animals. She has been around ducks, cats, and dogs and doesn't follow them with her gaze or have any reaction really.

  • She is currently indifferent to bubbles, big or small.

Her likes and dislikes:

  • She loves books and reading time :) Up until this month, she really didn't seem interested. But now when we read to her, she gets excited, more vocal, and even tries to flip the page (and is successful sometimes if we turn it half way for her). We are sticking to board books right now because she is really aggressive with grabbing them and likes to chew them.

  • She thinks puppets are hilarious! She got a finger puppet board book of a cow from our friend and immediately started cracking up when I wiggled it around. She smiled so much at a hand puppet too.

  • She does not like sweet potato. We mashed up some cooked sweet potato and put it in front of her on the highchair to eat. After mushing it around with her hands and making a mess, she finally got some in her mouth and looked disgusted and confused. She gagged a little too, it is a lot different than milk.

  • She likes avocado :) We tried again with mashed avocado for her 2nd meal. She also made a huge mess with it, but this time when she finally got some into her mouth, she seemed to be interested and started sucking her fingers.

  • She loves being around other babies and toddlers. She was much more interactive with her cousin who is 4 months older than her when they came to visit compared to the past. She smiles whenever a small child comes up to greet her.

  • She still loves her feet and has been chewing her big toe on her right foot at times.

  • She is fascinated by water bottles.

I have to be quicker and quicker with these each month!

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Lacey's 6th month

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Lacey has become mobile this past month! We are both excited and nervous about it. We have to be even more careful to avoid any dangerous situations like her rolling off a raised surface, but it has been fun witnessing her reach different milestones. She is wearing 18 month Gerber onsies still and size 3 disposable diapers are getting pretty tight on her. She has her "6 month" pediatric appointment next week, so we will see what her official measurements are then!

I'm sure her pediatrician will give us tips on starting solid foods at that appointment, but I'm in no rush. She has been such a pro at breast and bottle feeding, so I have been really enjoying feeding her milk and I will be sad to start weaning her. I think back to a couple months ago and remember that her refusing to feed from a bottle was a major stressor in my and Brian's life, so I am really grateful that bottle feeding isn't a problem anymore. I was able to be away from her for the first wedding of my 2018 photography season, and it was such a relief to get texts from Brian throughout the day telling me each time she finished a bottle of stored breast milk. I missed her so much, but it relieves me to know that she was ok with me away from home for a good amount of time. The next challenge we face is getting her to nap without me around.

She is still nursing throughout the night every 2-4 hours... On the plus side, this has prevented my period from coming back, but I am still pretty exhausted and definitely looking forward to the day she sleeps >6 hours without needing to be fed.

Things to remember about this month:

  • She is rolling! At the beginning of June, I would notice that she had changed positions from being on her back to being on her stomach without actually witnessing the roll. Now I watch her roll all the time from her back to her stomach, almost always towards her left though. We still don't think she has rolled from stomach to back yet.

  • She can sit without support really well and keep her balance on her own, but she still needs close supervision because she will tip backwards once in a while.

  • Her arms are getting strong. She has mastered a press-up when on her tummy and is able to lift even her belly a little off the floor when she straightens her arms.

  • She reaches for things now. We have been extra vigilant to make sure there are no choking hazards in her vicinity.

  • She can pivot at least 360 degrees when on her tummy, very slowly though.

  • Lacey is getting pretty ticklish especially at her armpits and thighs. Sometimes at her neck or feet too!

  • She has gotten the hang of saying "muh" and often says "muh-m!" which sounds a lot like mama :) She mostly says that when she is upset for some reason, ha! We have heard her say "buh" and even "la" one time.

  • Lacey went to her first wedding this month and was such a good girl!

  • She went to the pool for the first time this month, but she didn't seem entertained at all.

  • We're pretty sure she is teething because she chews whatever she can get her mouth on including straps, her fingers or our fingers, cloth or hard toys, etc.

Her likes and dislikes:

  • Brian makes her laugh more than anyone, including me who is with her all day long! She laughs when he jumps or moves his head around and says "Hi!" when he looks at her.

  • She is fascinated by glasses or bottles of water. I think she likes the sparkle :) She stares at them and then reaches out to grab them, sometimes making me spill all over myself.

  • Lacey enjoys songs with hand gestures, like when I sing Itsy Bitsy Spider.

  • She is always trying to touch tags and likes to crinkle them.

  • We got her a drum as a half birthday present for her and she loves it! She loves banging things with her hands, and the drum is her favorite thing to slap. Sometimes she is even able to hit it with her drum stick, which is super cute!

  • She likes being around other kids and will stare at them.

  • She hates when we lay her on the changing table for some reason. Besides being hungry or tired, that makes her cry the hardest.

  • We have been having her try a door jumper. She seems to be entertained by jumping in it, but doesn't smile lol.

  • She loves to grab things, especially our faces.

Look at how much she has grown!

Month by month baby photos

She loves her daddy and he loves her! Sometimes he can't help but rub her chubby cheeks like Ash massages Pikachu's! haha

She's getting so strong and coordinated! 

We took Lacey to her first wedding, she loved being around family!

I love my little chunky monkey!

It was her first 4th of July! Unfortunately we didn't watch the fireworks because it had just rained a lot outside and we didn't want to risk her getting bitten by mosquitos.

Lacey's 5th month

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Since my last post, Lacey had her "4 month" appointment and she was already 19 pounds 8 ounces! Our pediatrician is amazed with her growth. She has outgrown her 6-9 month Gerber onsies. Lacey is getting more and more adorable each month and we are loving this stage as she gets more of a personality! There have been so many firsts for her, it's been hard to keep track, I feel like I'm writing something down constantly in my baby journal. The biggest challenges are that she is really distracted when nursing which makes it pretty difficult to not draw attention to myself when in public and she is still waking up 2-3 times to feed during the night. I think it's because she has been only able to focus on feeding in a dark room at night, so she is still relying a lot on nighttime feedings. 

Firsts and things to remember: 

  • She is pretty close to independent with sitting with her Boppy Pillow. She can sit completely unsupported for 10-20 seconds at a time before she tips over to the sides or backwards. She reached upward to grab a toy when she was supported by the Bobby Pillow one time.
  • She is laughing a lot more often! Sometimes on cue when we tickle her tummy or armpits.
  • When she babbles, we hear her making a lot more different consonant sounds including "muh", "guh", and "bah". Just this week she said "la"for the first time and it was so cute watching her move her little tongue.
  • She is noticing other babies more and smiles at them now :)
  • She has rolled twice, but is far from being a pro at it. The first time it took nearly 15 minutes to completely go from her back to stomach. I didn't see the 2nd time, but it hasn't happened again since.
  • She met a lot of Brian's family at a get together a couple weeks ago. She was not shy and enjoyed everyone's company, which I was glad for. Seeing her next to her 2nd cousins who are so cute and little was so sweet!
  • She is getting more endurance with supporting all of her weight when we balance her, but only when her knees and hips are all the way straight.
  • Her hand-eye coordination keeps getting better and better. She is staring at her hand all the time while she opens and closes it. We just started to notice a little pincer grip action.
  • She always wants to jump! She can really get going when she is being held and her feet are resting on someone's lap.

Her likes and dislikes:

  • This past month, she suddenly started grabbing and holding her feet all the time which is super adorable. She is pretty obsessed with feet these days including ours. She also does this really cute thing where she claps them together.
  • Crinkle toys are fascinating to her finally! We had a few of them and had always tried to get her attention with them, but now she loves to grab them.
  • She is starting to like splashing in the bathtub with her feet and can get us pretty wet.
  • New sounds are very entertaining to her (as long as they don't scare her) and she will sometimes giggle when she hears one.
  • She loves her grandparents, aunts, and uncles :) She always seems to be smiling when she's around them.
  • She hates waking up in a dark room all alone.
  • If she's sick, getting her boogers out with a Nose Frida really makes her mad.
  • She is just beginning to get a hang of her door jumper and enjoys when she gets going in it.

 

Here are my highlights from the month:

Thanks for stopping by!

Meet Baby Gabe - Just Born/Fresh 48 Session

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Maria and I connected through a wonderful support group for moms that have had a c-section called ICAN. I got to talk to her about Fresh 48 photography when she was about 37 weeks along with baby Gabe in her belly. Having the next baby after a c-section can be scary for a lot of women, and let me tell you, Maria had a lot of courage. She told me she was going to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), which is no easy feat! There is a lot of negativity in society surrounding VBAC, but being a labor and delivery nurse herself, Maria knew the pros and cons very well.

As her estimated delivery date on 6/4/18 came and went, Maria gathered support and good vibes from her community. One day before her scheduled induction, I got a text in the morning saying she was in labor and at the hospital. Both her and I were relieved that little Gabe got to choose the day he would enter the world. About 9 hours later, they let me know that their son had arrived and she had her VBAC after all! I drove to the hospital shortly after that so that I could capture the moment that her adorable daughter got to meet her little brother. It was such an honor that their family welcomed me during this special time. I felt so inspired be in the presence of this strong woman and her amazingly supportive family. I am so happy for them all and I am so glad that Maria had the healing birth that she deserved.

Without further ado, here are the images from my time in the hospital with them:

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Maria's dad was so proud of her <3

His big sister sang him a very special song that she has been singing to him since he was in the womb. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed, she loves her brother so much already.

Thankfully all his grandparents were ready to record this special moment for them so he can watch it with his sister one day :)

I love the way that grandparents look at their grandchildren.

Welcome to the world baby Gabe, you are so loved by so many people.