Snips and Snails

I’m destined to be surrounded by boys. Old boys, young boys, baby boys. I came to this conclusion when my daughter-in-law gave birth to her second son. I’m not sure how I’m feeling right now. This is the first grandchild to be born.

We were introduced to CJ just two years ago when he was three years old. We hadn’t had any small children around for a long time so it took some getting used to. He loved Thomas the Tank Engine, so we were off to a great start. Both Michael and Andrew loved Thomas when they were little boys and we still had their trains. Between brushing up on the names of all those trains, to learning the names of all the cars in the Disney movie, Cars, and watching our dog Ari learn how to interact with a person who was closer to her size than she was used to, we gained a grandson without even realizing it. Andrew, 17 at the time, was displaced as baby of the family. (He got over it when little CJ looked at him like he hung the moon and called him “Uncle”.)

When we found out that Jasmine was expecting a baby, I think we might have hoped for a girl, just a tiny bit, but I know that no one was disappointed when we found out we would have another boy joining our ranks. We are familiar with boys.

I love CJ with all of my heart and anyone who sees us together thinks we ‘ve been together his entire life. But I did miss those first 3 years and it was never more obvious than when I walked into the Special Care Nursery and saw my son, Michael, standing next to a red-faced, outraged, caterwauling bundle of energy- Baby B. I was not prepared for the emotion that came over me when I saw that tiny little hand clutching my son’s finger and when I looked at him, I saw that he looked just like my son did when he was born. I cried. I was overcome. I couldn’t believe it. This was the little being who had been kicking his mommy’s butt from the inside for months now.

Baby B’s hair was darker and silkier and he had these tiny straight dark eye brows but the eyes and nose were Michael all over again. I wonder if the baby will look like CJ or more like Michael or some mixture of both. Will he pick up some of the same mannerisms that CJ picked up from Michael or will he be the complete opposite?

While CJ snuck into my heart, Baby B grabbed it with both tiny fists and hasn’t let go. CJ is all the things a new big brother usually is- a mixture of excited, loving, confused and slightly put out. I cannot wait to see who this new baby will be. Or what he will look like. For only six days old, he is incredibly curious and quite active. Not to mention the cutest baby ever!

This has been quite a week. Just as a three year old shook up the family dynamics just two years ago, I’m sure we are in for quite the experience with his little brother. I still have not found the words to describe how I’m feeling. I had hoped that by writing it would free up what’s bottled up inside me but no such luck. Just like babies come in their own time, so will my words. Until then, I will have to settle for looking at him and blinking back tears while I try to figure out what color eyes he has!



Photography 101: Glass

“Incorporate a form of glass into your image to add a layer of complexity.”


glass2These pictures were taken one morning this past summer through our kitchen window. Originally I was taking a picture of Ari, my dog. I actually used that shot for an earlier assignment- Warmth . At the time, my eye was caught by the sight of CJ’s abandoned construction site mixed up with Fourth of July decorations.


Photography 101: Edge

“Today is all about straight edges, and tweaking your image to ensure your lines are perfectly positioned.”


Nothing represents “edge” more to me than this picture of Niagara Falls that I took when Andy and I were nearby for one of his college auditions this past January. Combined with the bitter cold and icy snow pelting us in the face, this was definitely a memorable experience!