Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Before my son was born I got a dSLR camera for a great price. I am kicking myself for not learning how to use it before my son was born and waiting until he was almost 3 months old. But thanks to a few great groups and a few great books I've learned a lot. After looking through my old pictures I'm kicking myself for not getting one sooner! My point and shoot camera rarely took pictures in focus, they were too dark or too light... all kinds of things were wrong. I'm pretty sure that I have improved though.

This picture was from the first few learning days learning how to meter, and how ISO/SS/apeture worked.

This is a week later

and another week

and another week

and this week

I practice a lot on my younger two when the older two are in school. When they're not in school they still don't want to pose for me. I thought I had a few years before that started lol. I still have a long way to go but I hope I've improved at least a little bit. My sister is going to have a baby any day now and I've talked her into letting me torture the baby with a camera...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Today was one of those rare days that I wish I was married

I work in a pharmacy and on the weekdays there are one of three shifts I can get: 9-6, 10-7, or 12-9. When I get of at 9 I'm rarely in bed before midnight and the rest of the nights it is usually 11:30 to midnight that I'm in bed.

This week for some reason my son has been wanting to be awake and playing from midnight to 2am. Last night he was asleep at midnight showing no signs of waking up. Just as I'm getting ready to get in bed so I can work at 9 this morning my youngest daughter who will be 4 in a few months decides she wants to "help" with the baby by waking him up and playing with him. Not 5 minutes after she wakes him up she's asleep. Normally I don't have a problem getting my daughter to sleep but this week has been weird for her too. I wish I could put her in a room and close the door but for now she shares a room (and a bed) with me so I really can't do that.

So then my son was up until after 1am playing (he also shares a room with me but he has his own crib at the foot of my bed). Finally he went back to sleep and as I'm getting into bed my daughter starts crying and screaming. She was asleep while she was doing this and it took me forever to wake her up. When I finally did she told me that she had a bad dream. I rubbed her back and she calmed down and went back to sleep. Again, I'm just getting my head on the pillow and my son wakes up again wanting to eat.

I feed him and he goes right back to sleep and back in his crib. I decide I'm thirsty and get a drink and again getting back in bed. I'm at least able to close my eyes this time and my daughter starts screaming again. It takes a while to wake her up, she says she had a bad dream again, I calm her down again. I look at the clock and it is after 3. I close my eyes and calculate how many hours of sleep I'm going to get. I decide to bump the alarm back 10 minutes for a little extra sleep.

I feel myself drifting away and I get smacked in the face and my daughter starts screaming again. This time she won't calm down, she's wide awake and she won't tell me what is wrong. She throws herself off the bed, starts running around screaming, throwing herself down and for some odd reason hitting herself on the forehead. No matter what I say or do she won't stop and I'm exhausted. This goes on until after 4 when she finally tells me she's thirsty. We get her a drink and get back in bed. She's awake and doesn't want to go back to sleep so I turn on the tv hoping that something boring will put her to sleep. The only thing on at 430 am is the news reruns and infomercials so it really wasn't hard to find something boring. She's finally asleep around 5.

At 5:15 my son wakes up hungry again. I hadn't even slept but I was almost there. So I feed him and he wants to play. He laughs and wiggles and giggles and screams and smiles. But only if he's right next to me, if I move he cries. I wish he would do this during the day, for some reason he only does it after midnight. Finally at 7 he was showing signs of being tired and was asleep at 7:15 when I put him back in his crib. I was so tired I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow because I don't remember getting in bed. My alarm went off at 7:45 and I got up and ready for work.

Today was hell at work and I fought every single minute not to fall asleep standing up. It has been a long time since I've wished that I was married (I'd rather be remarried than share custody of my kids and I've always said I'll never get married again) because I would have really appreciated more than 30 minutes of sleep.

It is almost midnight now and my older two girls (who luckily slept through everything last night) and my son is asleep and my daughter is being a little chatterbox. She has a lot to talk about, when I got home from work I took her to the doctor because she has an ear infection. That is why she was screaming last night. If I had put it together I would have figured that out earlier. But it really wouldn't have done any good cause I wasn't about to take all my kids into the ER at 4 am.

I'm looking forward to this weekend, I'm doing my first photo shoot for people who aren't related to me. They're my friends so I consider them family but still, it is a step up for me. It should be fun.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I don't know why but for some reason I have been terrified that my son is going to die from SIDS. After I had my girls it was always at the back of my mind but I didn't sit up night after night holding them to make sure they're still breathing like I have done with my son.

My son was born in June and I have been an active part of babycenter.com since I found out I was pregnant with him. In August one of the June mothers lost her son to SIDS and then last month another mother lost her baby, possibly to SIDS. After I heard about the first one I kept having nightmares. In my nightmares Death appeared as a butterfly and sprinkled purple polk-a-dots all over the people when they died. Death was after me and for whatever reason I was in a pickup with all of my kids trying to outrun it but it got in anyway. Instead of killing me, it sprinkled my son with purple polk-a-dots and he died instead. The dream was so real that when I woke up I had to think for just a second to remember where I was. I hate those kind of dreams, even if they're good dreams. I looked over at my son and had a hallucination. I thought I saw him covered in purple polk-a-dots. The feeling of complete despair and utter horror came over me. I can still remember it today. For those split few seconds I thought he was dead I wanted to be dead too. I picked him up and when he woke up the relief that washed over me was so overwhelming that I started crying. I've had that nightmare several times since then.

For a few weeks after that I didn't sleep hardly at all. I stayed up and held my son making sure that he was breathing. I seriously fought sleep and only fell asleep when my body simply could not take it anymore. And I only slept long enough so I could be awake again. I went for quite a long time with about 2 hours of sleep each night. I made myself sick.

During those nights I would research SIDS on the internet. I looked up statistics to see how at risk my son is for SIDS. 50 out of 100,000 babies die of SIDS. In reality that number is quite low but still 50 babies too many. Males die more than females. Black babies are highest at risk. My son is half black but I didn't find any statistics for biracial/multiracial babies. I breast feed, I don't smoke, I don't let people smoke around him. Babies who have mothers who have their first child before the age of 20 are at higher risk (even if they are not the baby who was born before the mother was 20). At 20 I had two kids so that is another strike. Most babies die between 2-4 months. He's less than 2 weeks away from 4 months old.

I finally bought an Angel Care monitor online for half the price they are out of the stores. That thing is awesome. It has low beeps for movement that is detected, after 15 seconds of no movement it gives of a loud beep and after 20 seconds the alarm goes of. It is so sensitive that it detected the ceiling fan as movement. I did a whole bunch of tests to see what would and wouldn't effect it and now I have it set up so that I am happy with it.

My son is a silent choker. From day one, he's spit up a lot. When we were still in the hospital he started choking but didn't make any sound. The nurse was checking on him at the time and rushed him out to the nursery. He turned blue but they got him breathing again. They took him for a few hours and had him under an oxygen hood to make sure that he was okay. There have been several times since then that he has choked and I just happened to be looking at him when he was doing it or I would not have known and would not have been able to help him.

Last night my Angel Care Monitor was more than worth its weight in gold. I'm a very light sleeper so when the beep at 15 seconds of no movement went off I woke up. I heard some gurgling noise, not very loud and they would not have woke me up. I was wide awake and went to the crib and picked my son up. He was choking and if he hadn't stopped breathing and moving for those 15 seconds to set off the beep I wouldn't have known. If I hadn't had the monitor, I wouldn't have known. I flipped him head down and sucked the junk out of his throat and he started breathing again. Then he spit up a whole bunch. I highly recommend this monitor to anyone who has infants.

When I was pregnant with my oldest my ex husband's sister lost her daughter to SIDS. That was 8 years ago and I still think about it. I haven't talked to my ex sister in law in over 7 years but I still think about her. My heart goes out to everyone who has ever lost a child. One of my daughter's friends lost his brother to SIDS a few years back. I didn't know the family very well but it was still so horrible to think about.

My grandma lost her son when he was only a few days old. It wasn't SIDS, it was because of a heart defect. My son looks a lot like he did. He was such a cute little boy and what makes it even worse, it is a condition that would have been detected on an ultrasound today and fixed at birth. I thank God for all the medical advances we have because it has saved lives of many children and prevented many deaths.

I love how little my son is, and since he is my last I don't want him to grow up too fast... But I think I'll sleep a lot better when he's old enough to roll around so I don't have to worry about him choking.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I got some very disturbing news yesterday. For personal reasons I can't go into the details but I can say that it has caused me a lot of stress. I stayed up until 3am because I was doing research and because the stress kept me up. I'm not sure which was the leading factor for my insomnia, but I paid for it today. I didn't get up until after 8 and the kids were late for school. Not by much, but this was the first tardy for them this year. I'm proud of them though, since they were late almost every day last year.

I was a zombie at work. Luckily I wasn't in charge of actually filling prescriptions, just taking them. Also lucky for me the pharmacists are pretty good about catching the mistakes I do make. It is funny though, I didn't make very many mistakes today, or at least wasn't aware of many. On the days that I do concentrate I make way more. Perhaps I over think things too much, I have a tendency to do that. I need to learn to just follow my gut. Like with my pictures. My best shots haven't been planned. I just want to play around with my camera settings and see what else I can learn and end up getting a great natural shot.

My heart is torn in two separate ways. On one hand I want to believe that people change. I want to believe like Anne Frank did, that there is a little bit of good in everyone. But actions speak louder than words. Years have gone by with little or no change so why should now be any different? I know there are ulterior motives in place, and what should be the obvious motive is nonexistent. Working with the public has proved me wrong time and time again about what I thought about the human race. The majority of people lie on a daily basis, and usually over something that is small, something that doesn't matter in the big picture. Maybe they've been doing it their whole life so they can't tell the difference between the truth and a lie.

In all reality I AM hoping for a change. I've been hoping for a change for the past seven years. Eight if you count the time I was pregnant. The fact of the matter is that I haven't seen it. There were a few times that it was close, but the change just didn't come. I wish someone could tell me what to do. I want what is best for my kids but I worry if my own personal feelings don't get in the way of my decision. I ask my kids how they feel but in reality is the opinion of a 6 and 7 year old the best to be taking? I'm not saying their feelings are not important or I don't care, but I remember when I was that age and I hated some of the things my parents did but it turned out to be some of the best things for me. I just don't want them hurt anymore.

Sometimes I feel like I've failed my kids. I want what is best for them, but studies have shown that what is best for them is a mom AND a dad, and because of poor choices on both sides I can only give them one. I could point fingers and blame everything on either one of my exes but the truth of the matter is that I had a choice in it all too. I mad bad choices at to who should be the father of my children. I think they deserve better than what I can give them but I know for a fact that no one can love my kids as much as I do. Everything I do revolves around them. When I'm at work I think about them, I go to work so I can provide them what they need. I would love to go back to school, my dream is to be a cardiologist but at this point I don't have the means to make my dream come true. Perhaps I never will and that is okay because that just means I gave up my dreams to be with my kids. I would do it again in a heartbeat. But I'm afraid that I'll never find anyone good enough to be their dad who is willing to take on 4 kids. A lot of guys don't even want to take care of their own kids much less someone elses kids.

It is times like these that it would be nice to have someone tell me to stop worrying and that they will make everything okay for me. Just to have someone to share the stress, someone to be in charge of things for even an hour so I can let it all go. Hell even a hug would be a great improvement!

But until then I will stay strong. I always have before. It is true that you don't know how strong you can be until strong is your only option. I've surprised myself before, I'm sure I can do it again. It isn't like stress is something new to me, I just try not to let it get to me.