The Truth About Baby Number Two | Quad Cities Wedding and Family Photographer

Welp. I'm baaaaaaaaack! I 100% fell off the blogging train while I was getting through the summer wedding season, then getting pregnant, then the fall wedding AND family season and now I'm.back. I kind of figured what better way to get back to it than by going on and on about how excited I am for BABY NUMBER TWO!!!

Yes this was planned, yes we're going to find out if it's a boy or girl, no we won't tell you the name, yes I'm going to be huge, yes I'm sure it's not twins, no, you may not touch my belly. 

Baby number two will be here around the end of May, before Charlie is even two. Yup. Two under two. We want our kids close in age, we want diapers out of the house sooner, I want to be done having babies asap, we aren't getting any younger- the 'this is a great idea' list goes on and on. But now we are starting to realize how nuts things are going to get. We're hoping that while life may be kinda crazy for a while, it'll pay off in the end. So, we're in it. We're headed for life with two under two and here are my thoughts on that.

-Oh shit. I feel really grateful that I have some really fantastic women in my life who can offer support and advice as I try to navigate motherhood. After talking with a few of them, I've learned a few things about #twoundertwo. Like, life will be hell for approximately 6-8 months. Sleeping even less-living in a haze-no amount of coffee is enough-hell. One friend told me that once you get through that initial shock of life with a toddler and a newborn (which lasts the aforementioned 6-8 months) things start to balance and you find your new normal. It's just easier to find a new normal when you go from 2 to 3 so the shock sticks around a bit longer when you go from 3 to 4. They have been really honest about just how crazy life can be. If you know me, you know I'm into honesty- no matter how ugly it is- so while I'm trembling a little, I appreciate the heads-up. But ya know, they've also told me how great it can be. When your babies are still small enough that you can cuddle with both of them in your lap; when they can grow up together and play and have so many things in common; when you have the moments of looking at your partner and sharing the known 'what the hell is happening right now?!' look. Those are the gems that I'm looking forward to. I'm not afraid of not sleeping and I'm not afraid of a crazy house of littles. On the contrary, I'm actually kind of excited for it <3 So, yeah, we're trying to prepare mentally as much as we can, but when that baby gets here, shit's gonna hit the fan and we'd appreciate all the meals you can muster!

-One. Charlie, my sweet, darling, wonderful little boy is about to have his world rocked. His feelings are my ONLY reservation in having another baby this soon. Just this morning we got him to point at my tummy and say 'baby', but he certainly can't conceptualize the idea of another baby. No matter how many baby dolls we buy for him and how much reading we do, he'll just be sad that things will be so suddenly different. Then he'll be sad and angry because there's another thing taking all of mom and dad's attention. It won't always be like that and our hope is that he and his sibling will be close, but it already hurts my heart a little thinking about how sad he may be in the beginning. Then again, he's pretty easy going and is a mega lover, so I'm hoping he's into giving ALL of the snuggles. 

-Two. As in, baby number two, NOT twins. I already feel like I'm slacking on this baby. With Charlie, Daniel and I read our Pregnancy Day By Day book *every* day. We started doing bump pictures at 10 weeks. On the two occasions (I literally remember when they were) that I forgot my prenatal, I felt extreme guilt. I drank zero caffeine, ate whole foods and was drinking 72oz of water a day. Now? We're already a day late for my 14 week bump shot (and we didn't even start until last week). We read our book once a few weeks ago and since then I think Charlie has taken it somewhere. I HAVE BEEN DRINKING SODA. I don't have a sweet tooth but with this baby I haven't been able to get enough sugar. Donuts, cookies, soda- gimme all of it. There's been coffee. I've forgotten my vitamins more times than I can count and I feel like some days I forget I'm even pregnant. Although it's getting harder to forget since I'm already starting to bloat and look easily 20 weeks. Oh yeah, if you didn't already know, I get HUGE when I'm pregnant. I get huge and I get huge early. And it's already starting at 14 weeks. The biggest thing I came away with from several coffee dates was 'don't forget to take pictures of baby number two'. Their first year will go by even faster than baby number one's and before you know it, you haven't taken a photo in two weeks. I think I need to create an Instagram challenge for myself so I don't forget- anyone have any cute ideas?

-Three. Being a trio is amazing. Just like being a duo was amazing. I mourned the loss of our two-ness when Charlie came along and I'm going to have to mourn the loss of our three-ness when baby two comes. I already cry thinking about it not just being the three of us. I know that I will soon fall in love with our four time, but knowing that I have to say goodbye to Three is hard. Just like Charlie gets all of our attention, we get all of his, and it'll be weird to start sharing that with another little.

-Birth. We met with our doula a couple weeks ago and we both fell in love with her in the first 5 minutes of our meeting. I detailed my birth story, the people involved, how I think the on duty midwife thought my waters were broken when they weren't and I wasn't actually in labor, the bad midwife and nurses that were on duty when I was in labor- all of it. We kind of decided that I had a bad situation stacked on a crappy nurse stacked on crappier situation and that this birth will be different. My doula this time around is actually a bereavement doula and has experience helping women with past traumatic labors (as well as loss) power through. I'm not afraid of birth- I'm kind of excited to give it another go and I'm really thankful that Jess is along on the ride with us! Anyone with past traumatic labors who has positive insight on second births? hmu. By the way, if you want to know why we choose to work with a doula...well...I think I'll save that for another blog post :)

If you've stuck with all my rambling so far, then you deserve to see some cute pictures of my cute little family. These photos are by my girl Maggie of Iron + Lace Photography!

Jenna + Logan

What. A. Group. This bridal party kept me on my toes, that's for sure. Logan and Jenna let me know in advance that their bridal party was going to be a good time and they did not disappoint! What I love about a bridal party like this one is that they are so freaking excited for the bride and groom- they have no choice but to party their butts off!

Speaking of, I am also crazy excited for Jenna and Logan. The way Logan looked at Jenna on their wedding day- it gave me all the goosebumps. I'm just so excited for them and their life together in Colorado!

Congratulations, you two! All my love <3

The Miller Family | Quad Cities Wedding and Family Photographer

Oops. Another family session where after culling through the images, I am left with hundreds (literally, 400 images) that I think are all winners. So, I go through and get pickier and am left with only the excellent images. The images that, if I were on the receiving end, I would want ALL of because they are all so good. The images where the boys are making their most adorable faces, where mom and dad are laughing and telling jokes, where the snuggles are real and the hugs are in the form of bear. And that brings the grand total down to 244.

Like I said, oops.

But the way I see it is like this- why not give as many images as I can? Why not give you three images where it looks like your little boy's smile is all the same? When a momma bear looks at those three images, she will see three different smiles from her little boy. She will see the nuances and quirks in his little smile that only a momma can see. Yeah, I leave the really hard decisions to the client ;)

The Miller's. One of those families where every smile was different, but genuine and worth keeping. I am absolutely head over heals for those little boys and feel so lucky to have been able to get so many wonderful images for them.

Take a look, fall in love with those boys, then email me to set up your time to capture timeless smiles <3

Amanda + Kory | Quad Cities Wedding and Family Photographer

My first elopement- aside from my own, I guess- and boy was it amazing. First of all, it was on my birthday. So, I mean, right away I knew it was going to be a good day. And then it was in Galena- one of my favorite little towns around here- at a little inn. 

Let me just say that I will always travel to any destination to photograph any wedding. I love them so much! A celebration of love in any way is truly special and I always feel so grateful to be able to be a witness. Their wedding was small and intimate and sweet and perfect and it was just wonderful.

I hope you like a little sneak peek at Amanda and Kory's wedding- it really was as sweet as they are!

The Newquist Family | Quad Cities Wedding and Family Photographer

Anytime a new family contacts me for photos I'm pretty much over the moon. Getting to learn what makes them laugh, what makes them happy, where they are ticklish, what their favorite toys and activities are- I just get so excited to meet a new family! AND I absolutely love getting to be around families when all they have to do is love on each other. 

PLUS, it's an easy way to my heart when the family is a new little family of three with a little girl only a few months older than my little guy. Watching her play and toddle around and chat to everyone- I just can't believe my little Charlie will be as old as Claire in a matter of, like, months. 

PLUS, PLUS, I love seeing the way a new baby brings a mom and dad closer together. How much more in love they seem now that they have a mini-them. This little trio- no different. Mom and dad totally crazy for each other and over the moon about their baby girl and their little bitty Claire crazy about them in return. 

As usual, I edited way too many images and what you are seeing here is truly the sneak peek. It's only about a third of their final images! All self control just goes out the window when I see so much adorableness.

I loved spending the evening with them and hope you enjoy their session as much as I did!!