We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo...

Well, believe it or not, I'm finally going to write a blog post! It's been a long time coming, I know, and I'm sorry. We made it back to Maine Thursday night, and Friday was my day to prepare for the wedding I was photographing on Saturday. The day went quite smoothly and it was a beautiful setting with many lovely details to photograph. I'll be sure to post highlights here and there as I edit the hundreds of pictures Hayley and I took.
First, though, I thought I'd better post a few pictures from our trip to Ohio. As I looked through all of the images I had taken, I realized I didn't really bring my camera out very often on this trip. Obviously I was having too much time relaxing to think about photo ops. I did bring it along when we visited the Cleveland Zoo, so you'll get plenty of animal shots!Nora found a friend in this little gibbon pretty quickly.
This is Jenny and Toby's new cat.
(They like big animals.)
No, but seriously, I don't remember what kind of cat this is.
This might be one of the saddest pictures I've taken. This poor orangutan was slumped over in the corner of the room, looking very depressed. Or drugged. Or both.
Nora shows Grandma the cool animals.
I had to ask Shane what these were (ring-tailed lemurs from Madagascar, by the way). I waited and waited (for over a whole minute!) but they never all looked at me at the same time. I'll never have the patience to be a real nature photographer.
It was pretty cold outside, but in the greenhouse it was humid and hot. I would have loved to have stayed longer to check out all the tropical species, but Nora was sweating big time in her snowsuit (as were we all) so we headed back outside to the cooler weather.
We found a cool little playground near the exhibits and Nora and Ashleigh had to try out one of the slides. You can't really tell, but Nora was cracking up.
Nearby, a Siberian tiger prowled, just waiting to pounce if we threatened it's young. Or not.
It was very cool to see giraffes so close, but we all felt bad that their winter housing was really just a giant warehouse with only a couple of windows and chain link fencing. It was very drab and pretty depressing.
Towards the end of our tour we found the bears, including this handsome (pretty?) polar bear. Is it true that their fur is clear and not really white? Did I make that up?
Finally, two of my very favorite people. Nora was so great all through the day, especially given that she didn't take a nap. On the way home around 4pm she did crash, but during the day she was great and very interested in all of the animals. The pictures here don't even begin to include all we saw; there were tons of other animals I didn't even mention. Thanks, Jenny, for treating us, and thanks to the whole family for having us for a visit!


The Long Journey Home

Eventually a great post will make it's way to this site. We've just spent a wonderful few days with the Ohio portion of the family and are on our way home. We had the greatest intentions of driving through the night as we did Saturday night. It had worked out perfectly the first time, and we were sure she would sleep right through the night. Unfortunately, after a few hours of her waking and crying every twenty minutes or so, we decided to find a place to crash. So, here were are in Farmington, New York, not quite halfway home, but happy to not be driving through the night. Once home, I'll be sure to update the blog and let everyone know the fun we've had with our family. See you soon!


Oh thank goodness-

We're finally functioning at a semi-normal level! After four long days of sickness all around, a day of recovery, and another sick night, Nora finally seems to be feeling significantly better. She and Shane had a pretty awful weekend extending through Monday. Yesterday Nora seemed much better and I brought her into town while I had class. Unfortunately, I think I may have overwhelmed her a bit, because last night she threw up again. By six am this morning she was up and starving, so I think she's feeling better.
This past Saturday, while Shane and Nora were sick at home, I took Tara and Wylie on a little trip to celebrate Tara's birthday. First we drove to Brunswick to check out the new gluten-free bakery we had heard about.
There were plenty of packaged products and frozen goods, but the really exciting part was the bakery case. If you're gluten-free, you know you rarely, if ever, can go into a bakery in Maine and choose from a variety of fresh baked goods. Tara and I sampled three things, including a raspberry coconut muffin, a bagel, and a chocolate-peanut butter treat.
After checking out the bakery, we went to a thrift store we had noticed on the way through town It's called Estilo, and is fantastic! This dress hanging outside was what caught our eye, and things just got better inside.
Tara actually purchased one of these dresses among other things, and I found pants, shirts and a coat for only $34! I love a good deal!
After leaving the store, we realized we were running a bit late, so we headed right to lunch in Newcastle, at the Publick House. It was affordable, delicious, and fun to go out together without two other kids running around and throwing things.
It was also nice just to spend time with little Wylie. He doesn't get a ton of one on one time when he has his brother and cousin always hanging around! Of course, when he gets a little older, I don't think Tara will mind of just the two of us go out sometime!
Back at home Nora was content to lay around and watch Snoopy (aka A Charlie Brown Christmas), which is an obvious sign to me that she's sick. That girl never just lays around.
She's up and around again and even though I'm sure she'll take an extra nap today, I'm just happy she's interested in playing again!



Well, she's still sick. I thought yesterday that she was getting better, but last night was more of the same. When she got up this morning we went into the Emergency Room, thinking they would want to hook her up to an IV in case of dehydration, but they were so busy that they said it would be a long wait, and maybe I should also call her pediatrician. (Duh! I was thinking since it's Sunday that wouldn't work, but there is an answering service.)
I called her doctor and she said that since she has finally nursed and not thrown up since then (about four hours ago) I should give her some Tylenol and bring her home for a few hours. If things don't improve, we're headed back to the ER this afternoon. (Fingers crossed we don't!)
In other fun news, Shane came home last night and almost immediately went into the bathroom, where he spent the rest of the night and most of today. Poor guy hates throwing up, so the last twelve hours have been his own personal nightmare.
Well, that's our weekend! I did get to sneak away yesterday for a fun birthday trip with Tara, and I'll be sure to post all about our day later.
When no one is throwing up.


Fun times! (And not so fun times)

Yesterday before Nora and I left for class we had a bit of fun playing around the living room. Nora has a new water bottle but when it's full of a cold drink her little hands freeze, so I pull one of her socks over it. Works like a charm!
I had started some whole milk yogurt the day before and yesterday morning it was ready for sampling. Nora wasn't a huge fan until we drizzled some honey and vanilla into it.
Later, after breakfast, a dance party ensued. There wasn't actually any music playing, but Nora has a new song that she likes to sing and dance to. It goes something like this:
Rock-a-baby! Rock-a-baby!
Unfortunately, last night and this morning were not as fun. Nora woke up around 4 am complaining her 'belly hurt!' Within a few minutes she was throwing up, and since then has thrown up nine or ten times. She's gone through five outfits today; I've gone through three. I'm hoping tonight goes a little smoother and the poor thing recovers soon.
She's in great spirits when not about to throw up, but just can't seem to keep anything down. Throughout the day she's tried water, juice, oranges, and crackers, and all have come up.
Again and again.
Sometimes (usually) she doesn't make it anywhere near the bowl; then we get the opportunity to take a nice photo.
I'm definitely underpaid.


I was a bit surprised when I opened up this blog and realized that I hadn't posted for a week. It seems as if I've been away for a lot longer than that. Things have been steady around here. We have a weekly schedule now that involves two days a week in Bangor for my class and three days a week at the YMCA, where Nora gets to spend an hour with the babysitters while I get to work out. It was a bit of a rocky start for her, and while I'm sure we'll still have bad days, for now she is doing great. This morning she didn't even notice when I left, just headed right over to her favorite toys and started playing. Both babysitters mentioned that they felt like she had taken a 180 degree turn and was a different child. I'm not sure about that but it sure beats the screaming she was doing last week and the week before!
This past weekend we got to visit with Tara and her boys when they came up to Nanny and Grampy's house for a visit. It seems like little by little Kalen and Nora are able to play with each other a bit more. Of course, there's still yelling/biting/grabbing going on between the two of them, but at least in between their fights they're able to hold 'real' conversations and occasionally even play. I'll take any steps forward, even if they're baby steps!
Ah, and here's Wylie. He was my subject this weekend. I came home with numerous pictures of this little guy. I just can't help it; when the light is right and I have a model like this, I can't resist.

And because he's my nephew, and I really can't resist, I have to post this one.
On Sunday, before going to a Super Bowl party with friends, I went to a bridal shower for Kate, a friend from book club. She's getting married in a few weeks (!) and I will be photographing her wedding. I thought the shower might be a good place to test out my new camera and get a few shots for Kate to include in her wedding album.

There are many more, but I'll save those for Kate. I have a lot more to post, including a dance party Nora held here in the living room this morning and a special treat we made last night, but I'll save those for later. For now, a little shot to keep all the grandparents satisfied. Enjoy!