Merry Christmas Baby!

I remember earlier this year when all the newness of being a future Grandmother was settling into my bones. The shock had (mostly) worn off and I could accept and understand this was really happening and going to happen. My eighteen-year old daughter was indeed pregnant and a baby would indeed be here in the Fall. We had sonogram images, thundering fast heartbeats, and it got real very, very real. And in that moment when the reality truly hit home, I realized…..we are going to have BABY at Christmastime. We will have presents for him/her under the tree. A stocking. A little red Christmas outfit. And a whole new little person will be part of our world.

That seemed so unreal to me. A Baby at Christmas. A first Christmas. And you only get one of those…

So of course, she is here and she is the most expressive, adorable child, ever. I have taken photos. Lots and lots of photos.

Oh, to be a cute baby at Christmas. A baby still trying to balance on her long trunk and stubby legs. A baby just on the brink of all the delightful and fun things ahead, and most especially, her second Christmas.

And now, she is not just real in my head, but in my arms as well.

So maybe, I went a little photo crazy…

© Angelia's Photography 2013

It’s okay to go a little photo crazy…

It’s her first Christmas. And you know what? It’s my first Christmas too. My first being Grammy to this sweet little girl.

And the most difficult thing? Putting her down to take a photo. That is soooo hard. So, believe me when I say, this photo shoot was a huge accomplishment for both of us.

Merry Christmas Baby!

And Merry Christmas to all of you that celebrate. I wish you and yours the merriest of Christmas blessings. From our family to yours.

© Angelia's Photography

Freddy Goes For a Ride

Have you met Fred?

He started out as my mom’s dog – my favorite of mom’s twenty dogs. My Oklahoma visits to see them made my trips. Then, mom went into assisted living and could only bring one dog. She picked her favorite little chihuahua and the rest of the dogs went to new homes. Luckily, Fred came to mine. Probably, because I BEGGED my husband with every fiber of my being. It being a super hard sell as we already had a THREE dog rule and only added a third because I convinced him dog number three is a Cat (and since dog three doesn’t bark, it wasn’t a complete fib). But Fred, oh dear little Freddy, he makes four. Four throws off our favorite number – three. And three is such a special number to us for many, many reasons – three tens (our wedding day), three girls (our kids), and our three dogs.

Now, it is four. Funny how different a number sounds. Three sounds like weeeee! But four is so much sterner and harder on the tongue.

But guess what? Averey makes FOUR in girls. So there number three, take that.

The next four is our anniversary date in 2014 – it’s NUMBER FOUR. Four in FOURteen. I like that.

And what I am saying is four is not a bad number. Not a bad number at all. Because number four brought a very unexpected bundle of precious fur to us. Fred changed our number. He changed our lives. Him, with his joie de vivre doggy ways.

I love him more than I should. I favor him, a little, and I adore him – a lot. He gets me. He gets life. He just rolls with it. He is the coolest, happiest little fella I have ever met.

And Fred? He made a big change coming to our house too. His world was the kitchen/dining room. That is where my mom kept him when he lived with her. One room is where he slept and played. She didn’t take him outside, or on walks, or in the car (not the last few years anyway).

And Fred, well, Fred likes to go. He likes to walk, but he LOVES to ride. He is all about paws out the window, head stretched out, and hair whipping in the wind.

So my dear number four – also called buddy, pumpkin pie, stinky boy, fuzzy wuzzy, mister, pumkin lunkin, furry monster, and cute lil’ fella. Here you are in all your doggy glory for all the blog world to see.

This is your ride.


Freddy’s ride.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Start the engine,
give it some care.
As long as it goes,
not a second to spare.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Wind in the willows,
wind in my hair.
A sniff of the world,
and see if I dare.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Heart thumping wild,
mind on the brink.
I am the beast,
who cares what they think.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

Raring to go,
raring to live.
Locked up no more,
I got front dibs.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

A pocket of sunshine,
a wing, and a prayer.
Riding so sweet,
like I’m already there.

© 2013 Angelia's Photography

I am Freddy the Mighty!
Can you hear my roar?
Fearless and flying outside your front door.

**This post inspired by Freddy’s love of car rides and his photo being picked as a feature for Ellenburg Photography’s Project 52.

You go Freddy, you go.

That’s my boy!

My Crazy, Beautiful Birthday

Friday, August 23, 2013 – I turn 42 years old. I have the day off work. It is a FRIDAY! And on top of all that, I am invited to my daughter’s ultrasound with her and her boyfriend. In my life of beautiful things to count, it is one of the best birthday presents I could ask for. And I get to see her. There on the screen, all squishy cheeks with her head down and ready for GO time.

But the little booger is just not ready. Sydney has zero signs of labor. And that is OK by me. I want her here safe, and when it is time. It doesn’t have to be on MY birthday (although that would be so cool and totally trump my last gift).

But no. It’s not time. Or is it?

The ultrasound tech seems to think so. The fluid in Sydney’s amniotic sac has dropped significantly. So much so, she thinks the Doctor might go ahead and induce her labor before the baby runs out of juice….TODAY. On my Birthday! SHUT UP!

And that is exactly what they do. Admit her to the hospital, put her in a delivery bed, and give her the medicine to start the contractions.

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I’m in disbelief. There is NO way this is happening…ON MY BIRTHDAY.

Let me tell ya, I am giddy! Ridiculously! So! THIS is the best birthday present EVER!

The night wears on and the clock hand is nearing midnight. I tell my sweet grand girl it is okay if she is born the next day. No matter what, she is still the best birthday ever. And in my heart, I know this little one wants her own special day and that brings me so much joy.

I post a poll on Facebook to predict the time of birth. Hey, if it’s gonna be a long all-niter then at least I can do something to pass the time. So many of my sweet friends choose before midnight. HA. My prediction? 5:30am

Midnight passes and my birthday ends, but the labor does not and the night goes on. Sydney is given less than a 1/2 teaspoon of pitocin. The previous medicine given at Noon the day before is still working and she doesn’t need the pitocin. This is good. This is more natural (even though it is not). If anyone has been induced before (raising my hand) with pitocin. That stuff is a beast. ::shudder::

As we go into the wee hours of the early morning August 24th. The labor is steady, but not too strong. Sydney tries to stay comfortable. My mind drifts, and my eyes start to close.
© Angelia's Photography

Quiet hours go by until, finally, the nurse begins moving the bed and moving extra people out of the room. Baby is ready. Sydney is ready. And it is time to begin the push phase. Brandon and Sydney allow me to stay as the one additional person that can be in the room (shhhhhtup….best day after my birthday present ever). Not only do I get to see my grand child be born into this world, I also have my camera (of course). Having given birth, I know the moment is fast and fuzzy. Emotions are high, moms are tired. I want them to have photographs to cherish. To re-live that moment again and again. Birth Photography is becoming more popular (although it’s expensive). I studied the ins and outs online. What lenses to use….What settings…..Where to stand. I just prayed I would get it right.

5:30AM – It’s GO time for baby. Let the pushing begin.
© Angelia's Photography

I am a little amazed my time prediction is thissss close.

Sydney had an epidural earlier for the pain. She is given oxygen for the health of both of them. It is so hard to push when you are numb, but she does. It takes a lot of strength and resilience. She gives all she has every contraction. Brandon is at her side coaching her all the way through. It is exhausting. Exhausting to watch. Exhausting to wait. My stomach is in knots because it is sooo hard watching your child struggle and strain. A friend did warn me that I would be torn up by this and I am.

The baby’s head is RIGHT there. The only thing holding her back is her Daddy’s ears (HA! Kidding! But really funny when the doctor actually said that).

At 608am, Averey Elizabeth enters our lives with the most beautiful cry. She sounds just like her Mama and looks just like her Daddy. My heart springs from my chest. So amazing. So beautiful.

I am really glad the camera is in my hand and in front of my face. I am pretty sure it is keeping me grounded. I think I would be a blubbering puddle if I didn’t have a “job” to do.

I follow baby while Brandon pushes her crib to her first bath and we join what I call the Grandpa Brigade – Great Grandpawpaw, Grandpaw, and Poppy (Brandon’s Grandpa, Dad, and my husband Jason). It is completely adorable to watch all these big boys – who waited all day and night at the hospital – melt into a puddle over their tiny new baby girl. Did you see that? She already has them wrapped around her bitty finger. Just. Like. That.
© Angelia's Photography
I melt too. My eyes are googly and misty and OHMYGOSH we have a new baby in the family. Then, I realize I should go check on my baby! My little girl who just gave birth. Ooops my bad!.

I go to Sydney and stay with her while they get her clean and move her to the mom and baby room. The new room is exactly like the delivery room except the bed does not have a piece that comes off at the bottom and it is on the other side of the hall. Although it is not different, it is different. There is something in the air on that side. See, this is the place where babies cry and moms listen. They are held, fed, and loved. But most of all, they get to learn about their new parents, grandparents, family, and friends.

One second we are unpacking in the new room, the next second, they bring in a freshly clean bundle of joy. I swear… I forget to breathe.
© Angelia's Photography
She is so incredibly beautiful. I love every inch of her. And what they say is true. It is an incredible kind of love when you hold your grandchild for the first time. One that can not be described in words or pictures.

And THIS. This little package, wrapped all in pink and tied with a hat bow, is why I had the most crazy, beautiful birthday EVER.

Me (Grammy) with a belated birthday present. Little Stinker.
Me (Grammy) with a belated birthday present. Little Stinker.

How could I not?

“A Grandmother’s Prayer”

Oh Lord, I do not ask for much,
Eternal beauty, or youth, or such.
Just give me a little hand to hold,
And I’ll forget that I’m growing old.

I do not ask for cloudless skies,
A life that’s free from tears and sighs.
Just give me a little face to kiss,
And anxious moments will turn to bliss.

For what is there, really, that means so much
As little hands that reach and touch,
As little eyes that search and see
Only the best in fragile me?

So let me grow more loving and wise
By looking at life through their wide eyes.
For through these little ones, you have given
This grateful grandmother a glimpse of Heaven.
Author: Barbara Burrows

Tales From the Crib

While we are waiting for baby, I thought I would share with you the current nursery room occupants. They are quite the helpers keeping all the places comfy cozy for Baby Averey’s arrival.

It is doubtful they are completely innocent as I am pretty sure I heard the Baby Einstein fish aquarium playing one quiet afternoon. The bubbles and piano notes are hard to miss.

Of course, when I enter the room, not a peep from these players.

They have not only taken up residency in the nursery, but in the pack and play as well.

I hate to tell them their cushy days are numbered, so I guess until then, we will let them live like the babies they want to be.

And I am sure Baby Averey won’t mind sharing when she gets here.

Isn’t it fun?

***No stuffed animals were harmed or put in time out for the making of this post. The dolls and toys may have been placed purposely by two excited young aunties, ages 7 & 9. I believe they were “practicing”.