Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Newborn Photo Props Giveaway!

So I see this as rather fitting since I just did baby T's newborn session 2 days ago! I found on Suna Photography's Blog a super awesome giveaway!!! Them partnered with Darn Fanciful are giving away a $45 gift certificate from Darn Fanciful's Etsy store!!!

I promise you I looked EVERYWHERE for one of these Jester hats for my session and I couldn't find one! All local shopping of course! I should have planned better and shopped online! So I have entered this giveaway at Suna Photography!!


NO newborns in the title does not imply that I am having one! Just in case your mind wandered!!! Newborn photography!!

New born photography...Where to start?! Tricky would be a good start! I did my very first newborn shoot last week and well let's just say that it had less than desirable results. It was just not a good day for the baby, she was 10 days old and I really should have scheduled the shoot for her first week but I was a bit afraid of putting to much stress on the momma.

This newborn is the baby that was in the belly of this momma when I did her shoot about a month ago. So the first night we tried the shoot baby T she was just NOT wanting to sleep! I felt so bad for mom and dad, I think I was there somewhere around 5 hours waiting while they tried feeding, rocking, walking, *everything*....Finally I told them that I was totally fine with shooting on another day. So we decided for Sunday which would put baby T at 13 days old and boy did that have me nervous! Babies are most flexible in their first few days and sleep the most then so close to 2 weeks was pushing it! My SIL and I talked about my shoot before I went for the first one and she gave me some great pointers about keeping the baby warm during the shoot, using a space heater or heating pad and just some other ideas. But I really need to work on my assertiveness when it comes to stuff like that. I kind of feel uncomfortable telling someone else what to do with their baby! So I did the best I could the first night by *encouraging* them to do these things. Of course hind sight is 20/20 because while I am thinking I am being pushy by telling them these things they wouldn't see it that way because they don't know what the heck to do with a baby for a photo shoot! If they did they wouldn't be hiring me, right?!

Results from the *sleepless* shoot!

SO after much thinking I did a lot of research in how to make babies most comfortable to achieve the results I wanted. I emailed mom the night before the shoot and told her that we really needed the house to be about 85-90 degrees and that truly the baby would work best if she was about 90 degrees, keep the baby up ALL morning, and then feed her as much as she'll take before I get there. Then a couple of things I didn't say were that the baby should not be able to smell mom during the shoot because their natural instinct is to want them and for mom and dad to not try and help because if they do their worry about how the baby is acting will actually make it worse. And I would be bringing a space heater...

So mom did perfect for getting their house good and hot! She fed baby T and put her to sleep while I was setting up and then when it was time to start the shoot I got her positioned where I wanted her and almost instantly she started to cry. I immediately thought we were gonna have a replay of the prior shoot. So I kind of *took over* from dad and started rocking baby T and put her closer to the heater (oh and I said a little prayer *smiles*) so sure enough once she got good and warm and dad wandered off she settled right down. Then from there it was pretty much a breeze! I was so HOT and SO excited! I literally had sweat pouring into my eyes and couldn't do a dang thing about it LOL!! I kept the heater on the whole time and I promised mom I was NOT overheating baby T! I think she was just stunned at how well it was going!

You can click on any of the pictures to get a better look!!

So the final results were amazing! I am so very thrilled with how everything turned out and I am pretty proud of myself for getting the job done!!

The end...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Update 5,386,209 on Krissy of Course!

Sooo yeah...Another relapse...SIGHS...Seriously I am just tired! So tired of this not working! Monday evening we pulled her out for her evening treatment and I got her eye-drops in then the Hubby says "uhh she's got granules in her eye"...Yep sure enough there they were 3 very large granules that I could see in her left eye and a couple in her right eye.

So I immediately called my Vet who I now have on speed dial directly to his cell phone! Such great service I tell ya! His words "DAG GONE IT!! You gotta be kidding me"?! Nope Doc I'm not, wish I was but I'm not! So he said shoot her with 5ccs of Dex, flush heavily with saline, put in ointment, and worm her again with the ivermectin. Then he said give her 5ccs of Dex again Tuesday and do the other treatment 2 x day.

So we have been strictly following orders (again) and have managed to be pretty much swelling free so that is good. He thinks this is just residual Habronema and hopefully it will subside. If anything changes she will be going back, but I really don't want to have to do that! I just got my $805.00 bill from the last 12 days she spent there! OH PLEASE OH PLEASE no more!!!

Thanks all for the many prayers!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This is SO Cool!!

About a month ago I stopped by my Momma's house and she said she had a serving bowl that she'd picked up from an estate sale and thought I might like it. So she brings it out and YES I LOVE it!!! Absolutely one of the coolest pieces I have ever seen! Then she told me that this is a vintage piece as it was made in 1952! Then I was even more excited LOL!! So it has proudly been on display in my kitchen!

Tonight we headed to the city to celebrate my twin cousin's 17th Birthday and their Momma, my favorite Auntie text me and said that when I got there she had something to show me. She had been at my Great Aunt and Uncles house helping them pack because they are leaving us and moving to Washington to be near their daughter. They are both elderly and my Uncle is in a wheelchair which is getting to be way to much for my 84 year old Aunt. So while my Auntie was there she found this serving platter and a gravy bowl and thought to herself that it was something I would probably like to have as I would probably never see them again after this weekend (I am a very sentimental type person) so she got them for me and was so excited to show me when I got there! So we go into the house and she runs over to where they are and is like "do you LOVE them"?! I was in shock!!! I couldn't believe what I was looking at!!

Yep that's right they are matching pieces to the bowl my Momma got for me!! I was SO excited I said "OH MY these are the same pattern as the one I just got from my Momma"!!! I think I might have started jumping up and down to LOL!! I absolutely cannot believe how much my mom and her sister think alike! And how much they both know me!! I was beaming from ear to ear and am now on the hunt for more pieces to add to my *new* collection!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

With a Sad, Heavy Heart and Tear FIlled Eyes...

I have had so many friends and loved ones fight different battles with cancer that I am just so sick of losing people to this nasty disease! I think the majority of us has all lost someone to cancer and how I wish that wasn't the case. A very close friend of my family's is fighting a terrible battle with Metastatic Melanoma. I used to work for a cancer center and it was a common thought among those highly educated with the different diseases that Metastatic Melanoma would be one of the worst cancer's to have.

Terry has worked with my mother for probably somewhere around 20 years and is such a superb man. I actually in recent years have secretly (well and not so secretly LOL) hoped he and my mom would date! He is just such a neat guy and pretty much one of the most amazing guys ever! So about a year ago he was diagnosed with Melanoma and he had removed it but for some reason his Dr didn't see it necessary to undergo any further treatment. I wasn't very happy with that answer but he trusted his Dr...Then about 4 months ago he called his Dr's office because he had a mass growing out of his shoulder, their response to him was "it would be best for everyone involved if he would just wait to see the Dr at your re-check appt that is coming up"...I was floored!! I mean seriously I cannot believe they would say something like that to a patient! So he obliged and when he was seen they sent him in for some further testing and was then diagnosed with the Metastatic disease. Terry was very optimistic and very adamant that he was beating this thing, it would not kill him. Then his knees started to hurt within a week of finding out and he was then sent in again and was found to have the metastasies in both knees. The Dr gave Terry the treatment options of going to a specialist hospital in TX or staying local and doing a chemo/radiation combo, when Terry asked him if he would benefit from going to the clinic the Dr told him no he would treat him the same here! WHAT?! NO YOU WON'T!!! I was SO upset, I talked with my mom at length about it and why he should go and she truly tried to convince him to do it but he "trusted his Dr". So he stayed and started the treatments and continued to have intense pain in both knees, at the wedding I shot back in May he was just a couple of weeks into diagnosis and he could barely walk!

This continued over the next few months, I cannot even tell you the number of times I have felt like his level of care was well below standard as far as the Dr's reactions and performance. The combination of chemo drugs that he was on was a standard treatment but there were a couple of other immunotherapy drugs that he should have been on to ward off any new cell growth and he was not put on it. He also needed blood transfusion due to low white counts and the Dr failed to order that as well. Terry continued to work even when he could barely walk, he was in so much pain that the meds weren't even touching it! Finally last week he was told that he needed to go on disability because they were needing to put him on a Morphine and Oxycontin mix to try and control the pain. Still he found no relief, so they ordered a CT scan to "investigate" the pain. Wednesday afternoon he was told they could no longer treat him and he needed to contact Hospice care...The cancer had spread from his knees up into his hips and had literally eaten through his hip bone to the point that it was nearly fractured. Let me just add here that Terry is 6'5 and built pretty solid so that was a huge blow! They also basically said the cancer has spread to multiple areas but didn't name anything specific. I was devastated when I received the call, this man that I want so badly to beat this disease is losing this battle at a rapid speed! I had held out hope and faith from the beginning that he would be spared and he would have a heck of a testimony to share. I wanted so badly for him to be okay, I don't know why but this saddens me to the point that it physically hurts! You all know my dad is no longer with me and somehow I guess I hoped he would fill that hole. Terry is SO great with my kiddo's, he loves to watch DD ride and thinks J is a super young man, so much of how my dad was.

I guess I started losing hope really about a month ago after I got a phone call from my mama saying she had a HUGE secret that I could not share with anyone!!! Big time, like I think she threatened my life LOL! But Terry told her she could share the news with me and ME only! He had been praying that if he was going to die from this battle with cancer that he win some money so he could pay off his debts and not leave his 19 yr old daughter with any financial trouble *insert tears*, well he did it...He played Keno and won $100,000...My momma was so happy for him but she said "I was heartbroken inside when he told me because that means he's going to die"...So after he paid taxes he walked away with $70,000 and paid his debts clean.

Terry had one wish to fulfill this weekend before this disease completely took over and that was to go to a local fair and watch an annual rodeo that DD runs in every year. He has grown up around this town and has never missed one yet. It would be his last time to see her run and he and my momma and their friends had it planned out that they were getting a wheelchair from another friend and they would wheel him up there. Well when Hospice came out on Friday they decided that they would just get him a wheelchair so they left and returned with it and Terry was in the chair with his roommate and roommates wife along with the Hospice RN and he went to adjust his position in the chair and Mike (the roommate) heard a terrible pop then Terry was in TERRIBLE pain so the RN immediately called 911...He broke that hip, the one the cancer killed. WHY?! I don't get why he couldn't have had just one last thing to make him smile....So Terry lies right now in a hospital bed waiting for Monday morning for his Oncologist to decide if he should have surgery and have a pin put in or not. Apparently the Dr told him at his appt last week that if they operated the cancer *could* spread. Which is true but the other choice would be to be bed ridden until he dies, so what is the lesser of two evils?!

My sweet J came up with an idea for DD to paint TT in a heart on her horse for the rodeo Saturday night as a tribute to Terry and we would of course record it and take it to show him. DD was thrilled with this idea but was having a case of nerves Saturday morning and started saying maybe she didn't want to run because Krissy had been off so long and they'd only been practicing for 4 days. I said to her that it was her choice but if she didn't she wouldn't be able to pay that tribute to Terry so she said YES she wanted to do it!

*And yes my artistry skills leave alot to be desired!!

So Saturday night we headed out for the rodeo with awesome friends and family to support her (my momma stayed with Terry) and my Hubby said she was a ball of nerves before her run. See last year at this rodeo was the one where she did the 360 spins off Pete and crashed into barrel 2 with her back and head. BUT she has been back there to a fun show on Krissy and did really well...So anyhow the Hubby says she was grunting and making all sorts of noises trying to get her nerves out LOL! But she came in shining like a star and ran that pattern! It wasn't a perfect run but it was clean and my family and friends were hollering for her, it literally brought tears to my eyes...I was SO very proud of her and she was proud too...I took a picture of her and Krissy before the run and sent it to my momma who showed it to Terry and he just loved it!

So now we wait, wait and see what the Dr will say. And we pray, pray alot...

DD's Tribute run

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

12 Days in Equine Lock Down

A couple of weeks ago I posted about our trip to Gainsville and Krissy having some kind of infection pop up in her eyes. We took her in on Friday August 6th and finally 12 days later we were able to bring her home today. It has been a super stressful time and I am thankful that she is doing better now.

As much as I wish I could say that we know exactly what's been going on with her, I can't. She has baffled all of the Equine specialists at the hospital. The best answer they have come up with is that it was a parasite in her eyes, there is a specific name and of course I cannot think of it now. But basically fly's layed eggs in her eyes and from there an infection formed like something they have never seen. She has had abrasions on both cornea's, bite marks in both eyelids, ulcers in her eyes, and abscesses that had to be drained on her bottom lids. Really truly my girl has gone through Hell! She was kept in a fly free safety zone while at the hospital until a couple of days ago when the Dr started letting her out for a few hours each morning. He had intended on putting her on a daily dewormer but later changed his mind as he felt like she was losing weight and he didn't want to exacerbate that issue.

So she is home now with instructions for daily eyedrops and ointment, but with no stopping date right now. He just doesn't know when it will be safe to take her off of them. We will start with everyday for a week then every other day and see if she can handle that. If not she will have to be re-evaluated for further decisions and of course if any of her symptoms return I am to call Dr ASAP.

Can I just say here that there is no words to describe how much this Dr has done for her. He literally treated Krissy like she was his own special horse. He spent time with her everyday treating her and evaluating her and calling me constantly with updates. Matter of fact when we picked her up today he asked the staff to keep us there until he got back so he could make sure and speak directly to us about everything that has happened and should happen. I am blessed to have such a great Equine Vet available! Oh and his last instructions were to get DD back on her and barrel race away LOL!!

Thank you all for your prayers for Krissy! Please keep her in them as she will need them!!

Just one more note today. I would just like to ask everyone to say a prayer for me. I'm having a really rough time right now and I just can't seem to snap out of it. I was scheduled to have my disc replacement surgery next Wednesday and I received a phone call Monday afternoon that my insurance company has denied the surgery because it's "investigational" whatever that means! I called the insurance company to find out why and was informed that a "medical director" made that decision and NO I can't speak with him as it is against the rules. I was told that he received the request on August 6th and made this decision about my life in a matter of days! What the heck?! How can someone take 3 years of my pain and decide my future?! My family and I carry 2 insurance policy's because we want to be well covered and so far that hasn't benefited us a bit! They are constantly fighting over who pays what and neither pays anything! I'm SO very sick of every kind of insurance company that exists!! So there is my pity party that's not likely to go away anytime soon...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Update on Krissy

Krissy is currently an inpatient at the Equine Hospital about an hour from us. We took her Friday afternoon as the swelling had returned after having 5 days of Dex, eye flushings, and triple antibiotic ointment put in them.

When the Vet examined her on Friday he was checking her eye sockets and was finding little yellow granules way up deep in there. So then they did the stain test on both eyes and both eyes held quite a bit of stain, meaning she has abrasions on both cornea's, which then means she can't have anymore Dex as the steroid won't allow her eyes to heal as quickly as they needed to. So they could not decide still if this was an allergy induced thing or if it is indeed parasites in her eyes.

The decision was made to leave her there as she needed to stay in a fly-free, dust-free environment in order to protect her eyes and hopefully heal. So Saturday afternoon the Hubby talked with the vet and he said that both cornea's were looking better but now the bottom lid was swelling on her right eye...UGHH!!! Also during one of her checks on Saturday morning they found what appears to be little bite marks on the inside of her eyelids. So they are now thinking that it is a parasite in her eyes. SO she was to stay there and continue sterile eye flushes and watching and we should hear more Monday afternoon...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Down-Side of Our Trip to see Fallon

Yesterday I posted about our trip down to Gainsville to Dynasty Equine for DD to get some riding time with Fallon Taylor to iron out her barrel problems! The time there was awesome! We had such a blast watching DD do these things that came so natural after Fallon explained them to her. Nothing like having a Pro Barrel Racer teach your kid!

So we dropped Krissy off at Dynasty Equine late Wednesday night and had DD's lesson on Thursday afternoon. When we got there Thursday Krissy was doing great, she did have a little bit of drainage in her eyes but I kind of felt like it was *normal* for her as she is a pretty sensitive horse. We took our own hay and feed for her but in the stalls they have trofts to hold the hay and in that troft under the hay we put in was remnants of Alfalfa hay, and not just a little....but a LOT! My thought process on this was she came from this ranch so I felt like she should do fine even with the different hay in the bottom of that troft.

So Friday we did not make it back to Dynasty as we spent the whole day at Six Flags with the family (that was the vacation part of our trip LOL)...We were originally scheduled to leave for home on Saturday but our family in TX wanted us to stay and barbecue/swim Saturday night. So the Hubby and I decided that would be great and made arrangements for Krissy to stay another night at Dynasty. DD was already scheduled to ride with Fallon or Haley on Saturday but the original plan was to have her ride one of their horses so we didn't get Krissy all worked and then drive for 6-7 hours. But since we were not leaving that day I decided she could just ride her so when we arrived at Dynasty on Saturday I went to get Krissy out of her stall as DD and the Hubby unloaded her saddle etc.

I walked into the stall and Krissy had her head hanging down so I leaned down to put her halter on and when she turned her head to me I nearly fainted at what I saw! Her eyes were SO swollen she could barely see! They were nearly swelled shut! So I halter her quickly and then *thank God* that she trusts me enough to lead her blind! I take her out and the girls and I are looking at her and basically decided she's had an allergic reaction to the Alfalfa. Fallon also mentioned that it was possible that fly's had gotten up under her eyelids and deposited eggs but either way they needed to be flushed.

Saturday after 2 flushings

So the Hubby and I flushed her eyes for about 45 minutes each 3 different times while DD was off filming video's with Fallon. I was disappointed since I couldn't watch cause she apparently had a full force run on Postman, Fallon's horse! They said it was AWESOME! So anyhoo, we then went and bought benadryl for Krissy as we didn't have any Dex or access too any. The benadryl did seem to calm her for a brief time while we flushed for the 3rd time but I didn't have much faith that it would help her issue.


So Sunday morning we rose bright and early to get there and get Krissy away from whatever was bothering her. When we got there Sunday they were actually worse! I didn't think it was possible but yep it was...Literally they were swollen shut! She looked like she had a few golf balls stuffed under her top eyelids! So we flushed again and gave more benadryl and started our trek back home. Once we were on the road I called one of our Equine specialists and told him what was going on and he said he felt like I was describing a severe allergic reaction and she would definitely need a heavy dose of Dex but if I didn't want to travel that extra hour from home to take her there she would probably be fine to wait until my regular vet was back to work Monday morning (they weren't taking emergency calls as they were on vacation for the weekend). I told him that I would check her when we were a couple of hours from home and then decide. When we finally stopped to check on her the Hubby and I decided that we weren't taking any chances and wanted her seen as soon as we could get there. We were feeling SO very bad for her as she was obviously miserable and we were afraid she would injure her face or eyes trying to scratch as she had already scraped her face scratching a few times.

Getting a good flushing Sunday morning

I called the Dr and he met us there. His response when he saw her was "Holy COW I have never seen a horse with their top eyelids SO swollen"!! He said he was very glad we decided to bring her in because he too was afraid she was going to scratch her cornea or injure herself with it like this. So he aced her first then flushed her eyes out with saline, flushed her tear ducts, checked her cornea's for any scratches with those green dye strips, put triple antibiotic ointment in her eye, and gave her a good dose of Dex!

We talked about her sensitivity to these things and he sold me a bottle of Dex to have on hand for this type of thing in the future. He said had we been able to Dex her Thursday when the drainage started it wouldn't have gotten this bad. My instructions were to flush with saline and put the ointment in her eyes 2 x daily for a few days and give her 5 cc's of Dex Monday for sure and Tuesday if needed.

Monday was a bit eventful since the Hubby was out of town and I had to do all of that by myself...Not so easy to squirt saline into a horses eye while trying to keep her head down, not to mention trying to put the ointment in....Then for her Dex she wasn't really thrilled about the needle going in, which was a bit strange for her because she doesn't typically throw fits, but she kind of did that day! However I probably would have to if I felt as badly as she did!

So Tuesday she was looking much better and the Hubby was home again so doing the routine was a breeze with his help! We got her all fixed up and expect her to look great in the morning!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mini Vacation...Or Horse Lesson?!

After DD's off and on runs this summer the Hubby and I decided we wanted her to go spend some time with the gal who owns the ranch we bought Krissy from. The ranch we bought her from is Dynasty Equine and the gal who owns the ranch is Fallon Taylor who is a multiple time NFR qualifier and champion Barrel Racer. The first time she qualified for the NFR she was just a wee 13 years old and she was ranked 2nd place amongst women who were twice her age! So we decided we would take us a little vacation to TX and take Krissy (DD's horse) with us!

We arrived there late Wednesday night and got Krissy all settled in her stall before we made our last hour trek to the Hubby's sisters house. Thursday afternoon we had our appointment with Fallon and her assistant Haley to see what DD could do to tweak her runs (I guess I should add here that when we bought Krissy Fallon was out of town so she never seen DD ride). As soon as DD mounted Krissy and took off at a trot Fallon turned and looked at us with eyes the size of granny smith apples and said "WHOA I didn't realize she KNEW how to ride, I'm gonna have fun with her and teach her lots"!! Fallon and Haley were both so impressed with DD's seat and just how well she handled herself on the horse, they asked how long she'd been riding and Fallon said if she "could only have 25 riders with DD's skill for lessons her job would be SO much easier" LOL!! *Proud Mommy here*!!

Fallon had DD trot the pattern so she could see where her hang-ups are. First off she noted DD grabbing her reins with both hands to quick after making a turn, so they worked on one hand on the horn and one on the rein. We talked about this issue and have determined that the reason DD is doing this is because of riding Pete, he was such a manual horse she had to use everything to turn him and she's just not tuned to riding barrel trained horses. The first time she pulled out of barrel 3 the way she's "supposed to" the look on her face was CLASSIC!! The power that they pulled was awesome and she was having a blast! Fallon went over a lesson plan with DD to use at home for about 3 weeks and then we will step it up a notch.

So after her lesson she was pretty stoked and talked the girls' ears off! They were so sweet to ask her if she wanted come back again before we went home to ride again, even if it was the day we left. They planned to just throw her on one of their horses and spend some time practicing her next step.

The dirt was really deep around these barrels!

Friday we took the family to Six Flags so we didn't make it up to the stable to see Krissy. We had originally planned on coming home Saturday but the family wanted us to stay and have a barbecue and swim party Saturday night, so we decided to stay until Sunday! So Saturday we went back on the hour drive to see Krissy and have DD ride again. When we arrived I went to pull Krissy out of her stall and was horrified to find her with her eyes swollen shut...I will post on that tomorrow.

I pulled Krissy out and proceeded to flush her eyes out and Fallon asked DD if she wanted to come ride a couple of their horses for a video she was shooting (she makes youtube videos of all of her horses for sale), DD was elated and practically ran out to the arena LOL!! I did not get to see everything that she was doing but Fallon said when they came back in that DD had a better lesson than she could have hoped for and she rode a power-house of a palomino on the barrels and had a blast!

This is a video of Fallon, DD, and Haley riding Postman! He is an AWESOME 5 year old gelding.

This video is also of Fallon, DD, and Haley riding Fred who is a grandson to Freckles Playboy!