Monday, August 31, 2009

Photography Nightmare

We've been needing to get pictures taken for a while now. I hadn't gotten Allie's birthday pictures made and I wanted some of the boys also along with a new family picture. I looked around online because I wanted to try something different this time rather than going to a simple studio.

I found someone online and asked for her package details along with some samples of her work. I got several and looked through them while talking to her back and forth for a couple of weeks before I actually made an appointment. When I initially received the details for the various packages that she offered I picked the largest one available. It was to come with a cd compiled with all the images from our shoot,several enlargements that we chose and double prints of all pictures taken. We scheduled to meet one Saturday a couple of weeks ago a botanical garden about 45 minutes from our house.

We arrived and from the word go David and I both shared the look with each other feeling as though she didn't know what she was doing. She was very unfamiliar with the area though she'd apparently been there before. My children were placed on the ground in a circle form to get a head shot of them looking up at the sky right in the middle of a full on sun exposure. I had to say something in order to try and move them as they couldn't open their eyes unless they were to be blinded. I noticed very quickly that she had only one or two ideas in her head for a family of six that wanted several different shots done. I asked repeatedly if she had any ideas and over the entire span of an hour and a half she had 3...that's right 3! I created almost every single shot...placed everyone where they needed to be...spoke up about ideas...etc. Aggravating was the understatement of the year. I paid her before we left the gardens that day because she stated that she had apparently been taken advantage of and wasn't able to take deposits anymore so I gave her the full amount. I understood that things like that happened and could totally understand her policy so I didn't argue the point. However when we got in the car David and I both looked at each other...he said "You know you just did that entire shoot with the exception of the clicking the camera"

We got home that night and had a sneak peak on her blog...this was what was waiting for me.

I immediately wrote her and told her that I didn't like the editing that she did with it. Good picture....yes but just didn't like what she did with it. I understand that many many people like these editing jobs with one color popping out of the picture at them....I however do not like it. I pointed out that Allie's eyes are blue enough without needing a lot of editing done to them and that both David and I wanted our photos to be as natural as possible. Color photos with a few black and whites but none of the crazy editing stuff. She understood and said she would enjoy doing those since she did so many black and whites with the pop of color lately. She said that she would have a few more on her blog the next day.

This was one that wasn't extremely edited that was on her blog before all the nonsense.

The next day I woke up to an email from her stating that because of the expense to her she was having to change her package details and that we would need to choose 40 of the pictures we would like for double prints. I wrote her back telling her that I was sorry she was having that issue but because those were the conditions that we agreed upon that was what I expected. I also told her that she should make sure she made the new details clear on further contracts. Mind you...I checked and double checked about the prints that we were supposed to get. She turned around and said that she copied and pasted the old price list and messed up....Hello if you copied and pasted then when someone double and triple checked with you wouldn't you say ..."sorry but that was my old price list...I didn't catch it the first time but here are my new packages" No that was not the case...I was assured multiple times that I would get what was stated in the details to begin with.

We went back and forth for several days...David called her and talked to her and she finally agreed to give us what we were promised initially. She posted the pictures that she stated she took however when I looked at them I knew there were more. There was only a total of 75 pictures and only 3 in total of our entire family. There were several pictures I knew were taken that weren't even on there. I finally got so irritated I told her to simply upload everything that she had taken at the shoot and print out the existing ones and we'd call it quits. She refused to give us what we were promised first and continued to say that she couldn't afford it.

As she continued to load pictures I checked on day and she was right at 200. I knew she wasn't done yet and I realized that we were only getting 1/3 of what we paid for. I was pissed and so aggravated that someone would do such a thing. I will admit I said a few nasty things about her business etiquette and that she wouldn't make it very far in the business if this is how she handled her affairs. Looking back at some of the pictures I've seen I can't even understand how she got through an entire shoot on her she created them when she came to our shoot with no ideas at all.

So two weeks later and a full refund behind us...I still get pissed that we had to go through assured I won't make the mistake again!!!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

Friday Photo Flashback is a meme that Alicia over at More Than Words started so we could all share our pictures from the past. There is nothing I like more than sitting down with a box of old photos so this is perfect for me.

With school having just started it's had me thinking about how quickly time flies by and our little ones grow older. When you're in the thick of it sometimes it seems as though the days drag on and you're so incredibly ready for it to be a certain day at a certain time but when you look back you realize how fast everything really passed you by. I am trying to remember the little things to our days now so years later I will be able to look back and think about the details.

This is Jacob when he had just turned 3. It's amazing to me looking back on this picture and how little he was that he actually started kindergarten 8 days ago. It is kinda odd looking at this picture also because it's as though I'm looking at Caleb right now...they are almost identical!

This picture just makes me feel old :) This is Lucas' first day of kindergarten...what came over me that I let him wear a Star Wars shirt on his very first day I'll never know. When I was looking for this picture my jaw fell to the ground when I saw his shirt...what's up with that?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

School Days

My little five year old is growing up right before my eyes. I was afraid of this as soon as he headed off to school...I'm beginning to think homeschooling might not be such a bad idea. Seriously though Jacob is loving school...he has a hard time getting up in the mornings and will utter "I wish we didn't have school today" but as soon as he's up he's ready to go and excited. Every single day he gets in the car after school is over he tells me what he did and first thing on his list is that he went down the firepole on the playground. The first two or three days he would come and say "I made two friends today" and tell me their names. Tuesday he came home and said that he had a didn't take long. He said her name was Marissa then Emily..then he didn't know :) So he went back yesterday and came home sure her name was Madison! I've let him out of my grasp for 6 short days and he's already got a girlfriend...I'm scared of what's next.

Lucas is enjoying school again this year...he soaks everything up like a sponge when he's there. I've heard that homework is horrible in third grade but so far so good around our house. Of course I've also heard this is the year for projects and such to start so we may just be in the beginning where they gradually get them used to it again. We may have a shocker coming pretty soon. He's heading to a birthday party this weekend so he's back in his element.

It's amazing how different the house is with only two around here during the day. 99% of the time Caleb and Allie get along so well I'm shocked. They're constantly playing together and I'm amazed at how close they are. I just love to watch him interact with's very apparent how much he adores her! Of course once 3 pm comes it's chaos once again until the next day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


These could be two of my most favorite photos of all times!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Clean Teeth

Last week before school started Jacob and Lucas both had dentist appointments that had to be taken care of. Jacob had not been to the dentist before and Lucas had not been in a while. I've had problems trying to find dental insurance and finally got everything taken care of so we could get back in the swing of things.

It was an interesting day to say the least. I had all four kids with me at the dentist office and we had meet the teacher night directly after at school for both boys. I knew shortly after we got to the dentist that I had way too much faith in my abilities to take care of all of them at the dentist office.

Lucas and Jacob both had to have several xrays done and Lucas went first so Jacob could see what they were going to do. They both did great jobs and then went in for their cleanings. I was nervous about how Jacob would react to the cleaning since he'd never had it done before..when I was a kid I used to think that was the worst part!!!!!! Neither one of them complained a single time.

Jacob passed with flying colors and had no said he had a tad bit of crowding on the bottom but that his teeth was perfectly lined and we would watch the bottom for a while.

Lucas did awesome with his exam but had three cavities. For some reason all of his cavities were bunched together and the dentist thought that might be because his teeth are so crowded right now. We are most definitely looking at braces in the future for Lucas on both top and bottom...that's something I'm definitely not looking forward to. We're looking at a consultation at his next cleaning visit in six months...and braces probably around 11 yrs old...I'm not overly excited to see the price tag on those babies! I've also found that insurance is great for xrays and cleanings but when it comes to fillings unless you get a mouthful of silver for kids they don't like to pay crap....3 fillings and 3 sealants will put you out abo0ut $600 these days. We'll have to go back in a couple of weeks to be broke(I mean have those done) :) and I won't be taking all 4 back with me for that "laughing gas" experience.

The waiting room...they loved this!

Caleb looks like he's not happy but really he was having fun. He was looking at the tv when I took this picture so he looks very serious.

My little girl who thinks she's big! She's even walking now...geez...more on that coming later.

Jacob in the xray chair. He got all of them done with the very first try...his hygenist told him he did better than most 10 year olds that came through there :)

Lucas getting his teeth cleaned.

Jacob got to sport the Hollywood glasses because the light kept bothering his eyes...he thought he was incredibly cool!

Friday, August 21, 2009


I used to think it was hard to blog in the summer..that was until summer was over and school started back and now I can't find time in the day to go to the bathroom much less blog. I used to get up early and blog in the morning while the kids were still in bed..they'd sleep until 930 or so and then we'd start our day. Now I'm still getting up before them but I have to wake them up at 7 so I don't get any blogging or reading done before then. When I put Allie and Caleb down for a nap at lunchtime she only sleeps for 30 long minutes before I have to hold her so not much catch up time there either. Only leaves me with nights to catch up with everyone.

I'll admit that Allie seems to be on a much better schedule though..during the summer it was late to bed and late sleeper in the mornings..she'd get up several times a night and almost nightly end up in the middle of our bed. Caleb was going to bed late and sleeping until almost 10 most mornings then when it was naptime at 1 he wasn't anywhere near ready to sleep again so more days than not he'd lay in his room and play. Now everyone goes to bed at 8 and up by 715 in the mornings. Allie is sleeping much better at night and going down much easier for naps(although not long ones) and bedtime. Caleb is actually taking daily naps again and sleeping better at night. The schedule although hectic seems to be working for them..guess I'll have to figure out a way for it to work for me too.

I figured I would use tonight to catch up alittle. I've won a couple of giveaways in the last couple of months that I haven't posted about yet and Allie got an amazing surprise in the mail a couple of weeks ago that I just have to share with all of you.
I won this giveaway from Heather over at Adventures of Aidanpod. When I opened my mailbox on the day it arrived I was greeted with the best smelling mailbox in all of SC I believe. I got the amazing hand soap from Bath and Body Works(who doesn't like those)..and a few other of her favorite things. Along with all the surprises I also got this beautiful handmade card with a picture of the capital building that was taken by Heather herself. Love that personal touch..Thanks Heather!

About a month ago I won Alicia's giveaway over at Three B's and Me. I just love this girl...she actually only lives about an hour away from me..we've talked about getting together but I just haven't gotten my butt in gear yet and done anything about it. She has become one of my dearest blogging friends since I've started and I'm so thankful for her. I received a pot holder/notepad/wall hanging and magnet along with an amazing card with a sweet message and $10 in it(who doesn't like $$$):) Thanks so much Alicia!!!!!

I have been so lucky to meet some amazing people since I started blogging and Colleen is one of them. I found Colleen at Ramblings of a Crazy Mom through Mimi and I am so thankful for her...she is a busy mom to numerous children like me(although she has me beat by 1 and I'll let her keep that title :) and honestly most days I think we could be living the same life with our crazy kids. She has her own etsy store and makes AMAZING hats and bows! Seriously if you have a little one(girl or boy) or know someone that does and could use a special little gift then you have to go to her etsy shop and check out her stuff!!!! It is awesome!!!!! She sent Allie a couple of hats along with a headband and a gorgeous flower clip. The first day that I tried them on Allie was during the week that she was broken out with roseola for the SECOND time but I couldn't resist the hats so we went ahead and did it. Colleen I hope you like the pics...I'll get some more soon without her broken out from head to toe in a rash :) Thanks so much for always being such a great friend!

Here's her roseola...she was in the light and it was so bright I really couldn't get it to show well but she was horribly broken out for almost a week...much worse than the first time.

I am absolutely in love with this hat!!!! I love the colors and how it looks on her!!!! I am so thankful Colleen!

This is one of my very favorites also...Colleens little girl Abby had one just like it and I commented how much I liked it so Colleen put one in Allie's sweet! I love it!

See the flower? Isn't it gorgeous? LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

I hope to sit down and catch up soon since I haven't touched my computer all day..we have baseball tomorrow and then we're having pictures done tomorrow afternoon so I've been busy trying to get things ready for that. The first week of school is officially behind us and though many tears have been shed we've all made it through. I'll have lots more to update on later on but for now I've done enough rambling.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Allie's A Waterbug

I figured since I shared last week all of the boys and their experiences with the pool then I would show you some of Allie too because after all what's a post without Allie :) She absolutely ADORES the water. She's always loved bathtime...she could just play and play for hours and it's no difference when she's in the pool. It's almost scary because she has absolutely no fear of the water. As soon as we get in she tries to leap out of whoevers arms she is in trying to swim away. You have to be on top of things to have her in the water.

She loves to try and put her face in the water....I could click pictures of her all's addicting!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not so Wordless Wednesday

This is the first week I haven't done a Wordless Wednesday since I started blogging I believe. Honestly today just isn't wordless...I'm full of them....sad words,lonely words,angry words,scared words,nervous words....I'm alot of things today but wordless is not one of them.

I've been dreading today since Oct 10,2003. It's too quiet in our house. It hit me last night when I was making his lunch that everything was about to change and it would never be the same again. I'm just sad today...I wanna lay in my bed with the blinds pulled curled up in a ball and just cry. I don't want to talk..I don't want to see anyone..I don't want to do anything...I just want to wallow in my misery alone.

Jacob,on the other hand, has been excited about school. He's only shown alittle hesitation a couple of times and I quickly mentioned something fun that was going to happen to make him happy again. That's been the most difficult thing for me...keeping a brave face for him. Never once have I let him see my anxiety or see me cry about it...I didn't want him to be scared about going just because I was having a hard time letting go alittle. Last night as we got ready for bed he was adorable...he went to bed right away and laid down watching tv. I went in and turned it off and he looked completely shocked...he's so used to watching tv when he goes to lay down at night that he couldn't understand why he wasn't able to watch it last night. That was the hardest part for him last night. When I was making his lunch last night the tears could stay in no longer. He's at a wonderful school and I know that. We've had nothing but wonderful experiences there while Lucas has been there and we've never gotten a sour apple for a teacher. I don't have reason to be worried but I am. I fear more than anything that he's going to become a number and I don't want that to happen. I'm going to ensure that it doesn't! This morning when I woke up him up the first words out of his mouth as he leaned towards me for a hug were "I'm gonna miss you today Mommy" Talk about hitting a brick wall...I almost lost it! We got ready and he was excited...never showed any anxiety at all.

When we got to school we took Lucas to his room first which we were quickly informed was "babyish" Geez...he's only in 3rd grade..didn't realize we were to that stage yet. He didn't get away with walking himself yet though..I wasn't giving up that easily. It warmed my heart when he didn't hesitate giving his dad and I both kisses in front of his friends before we left..guess it's not so babyish after all :)

When we got to Jacob's room he got quiet and alittle nervous. We showed him where his seat was and he sat down to color while they waited for everyone to arrive. I felt so bad for him as I watched him sit there..he looked so uncomfortable and heart felt like it was ripping out of my chest. We both told him bye and gave him kisses...he never cried or got upset thank goodness because I swear if he had gotten upset I think I would have fallen to pieces. He was so strong and so good and I'm so proud of him. I pray that when I pick him up today he's had a great day and is excited to go back...I don't think I could handle it if he was upset.

Here's Lucas..."Mr. I'm not a baby so you don't need to walk me to class" big 3rd grader. Lord...I can't believe he's in the 3rd grade. He's very excited for school this year..he was selected for Challenge classes this year and he's really looking forward to those. So proud of this boy!!!!!

Wow! I miss this face during the day...I miss it all right now...going to take some getting used to with him not being here all day everyday. So proud of him though...he did excellent this morning!!!!

This picture scares me and makes me smile all at the same time. Lucas is so ready and so confidant as he's heading back to school and then there's Jacob walking up to that huge school. Ugh!!!! Just can't get my heart out of my stomach right now. Love this picture though...two school boys.

Here's Jacob as I was walking out the door...I looked back and was almost thankful he didn't look back. I was happy he was working on something!!

Okay I'm ready to go pick them up now! 3 hours down.....3.5 hours to go.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I HEART Faces-Bubbles

I HEART Faces is a photography website that holds weekly contests for beginners and professional photographers. This weeks theme is bubbles. Searching for a bubble photo took me back to the beginning of the summer when I took the kids outside with a great big bottle of them and let them run free. I have seen some outstanding entries this week and while mine is not the most creative out there I just had to pick it. I love how clear the picture is and how the freckles on Lucas' face are so defined. Head over to their website and check out all the other entries. You'll not be disappointed!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Swimming with Lucas

Lucas also took lessons when the other two boys did. Lucas absolutely loves the water and honestly I believe he could spend all day in it. When summer started he didn't think he needed swimming lessons...he told me he had already taken them and knew how to swim so he didn't need to go back. I,of course explained to him that there was alot more to swimming that he didn't know and he was going to ensure that he improved his skills and became the best that he could be! He quickly realized that there was much more to learn!!!! His class was mainly to focus on learning some more strokes and to polish their independent swimming skills. They also learned the beginning stages of a dive and boat safety like the other classes did. I believe Lucas' favorite part was learning to dive....he was disappointed when he found out they weren't going to learn to stand up and dive but only to do it from a kneeling position. He passed the class with flying colors and his teacher recommended he come back soon rather than waiting until next summer to further refine his strokes. After that he would be able to start possibly looking into swim teams which I believe is something he would be interested in next summer.

Here he is learning to dive. First they started them out sitting down and then progressed to kneeling on one knee. His teacher told him that they would learn to stand and dive in the next class. I believe that's what he's looking forward to the most. All the years that I have swam that is one thing I could never get the hang of no matter how many times I tried. I think it looks so cool yet I'd end up doing a belly flop to this day :)

Here is their boat safety. I liked watching him eyeing his teacher before he got flipped. So adorable!!!!!