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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend in the Woods

There's nothing I love more than time well spent outdoors.  This past weekend Shawn, Emily, and I got to do just that.  We went up north and had a great day up at "camp", our family's hunting camp.  Besides starting the wood stove and airing everything out we also rode 4 wheelers, went hunting, for long walks, sited in our rifles, and soaked in the unusually warm sun. 

I can't wait until hunting season begins in less than two weeks. 

Meanwhile, here are lots of photos from this weekend.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vaccines Got Her Down

Its been a while since I've posted, but heck... its been a while since I've had my wits about me and my hands free of a sick/feverish baby to be able to type.  The last week has been filled with fevers, doctor visits, long nights, early mornings, and a lovely red rash.  Sounds fun, right?

It all began last Thursday.  Emily was happily eating dinner when she suddenly started crying and just wasn't acting right.  When I picked her up I knew something wasn't right.  She was burning up. When I checked her temperature it was over 102.  

My poor sick muffin.  She spent a lot of time on the couch and cuddling. 

To make a long story and a long weekend short we ended up in a cycle of high fevers, tylenol, motrin, cold baths, a worthless trip to the doctor, and researching Emily's fever with lack of symptoms online.  After a while Shawn and I were both frustrated and wondering what was going on with our baby girl.  She had no other symptoms, just a fever and it was too high to be related to teething.  Then... we knew what it was. 

Her MMR vaccine.  

Sure enough, Shawn researched the side effects of the vaccine and found that a week to a week and a half after the first MMR vaccination a child can develop a significant fever with no other symptoms.  The fever is then followed by a rash.  Right on cue the following day a horrendous rash developed, but her fever also broke.  

Disregard Emily's blinking.  She was happy her fever was gone and the rash didn't seem to bother her at all.
Fortunately the rash abated after three days and she is now back to herself.  No fever, no rash, no more reaction.  And for those who are still wondering the question I have been asked many many times in the last week; "are you going to continue vacinating Emily?".  The answer is yes.  

Emily's reaction is not an adverse reaction or an indication of an allergy.  It is just an indication of a sensitivity, meaning that her immune system is particularly keen and sensitive in its function.  Its a good thing... well not the fever, but that her immune system is that acute.  While I know that vaccinations is probably the second most contested topic among moms next to breast feeding I am not afraid to say I fully support it.  There are exceptions to everything, but I highly advocate for everyone to obtain their vaccinations, if not for themselves, but also for those around them who cannot have the vaccinations (like newborn babies, etc).  Sometimes vaccines aren't totally about providing immunity for yourself, but also providing contact immunity for others.  

Oh, and Emily is fine now.  Back to her normal, energetic, happy self.  Rash free. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ambulation

I was sitting there on the couch.  We were at Shawn's parent's house the night before we planned to head to Maine.  Emily was with her "papa", Shawn's father, just standing  there with his support.  I glanced up and watched as he slowly released his support on her and Emily toddled out across the floor.  Not just one step, or two, but a good half dozen!

She walked!

I nearly cried from surprise and happiness.

Everyone cheered and she laughed when she finally succumbed to her awkward lack of balance and her butt hit the floor.  It was even better that she did it in front of her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and Shawn and I.  What a great moment for all of us to see.

I felt a pang of sadness that my own mother and father, who live far away, didn't get to see it.  They don't get to see a lot of things she does except in small, clustered visits.  So, I got down on the floor with Emily, armed myself with m camera, and tried to coax her to walk again.  I really really wanted to have proof to show my parents.

And guess what..

She did it again!

So, I have a video to share of her first steps!! -- well second, but close enough.


Its amazing to see her accomplish such big milestones and to think that I helped her reach them.  Now, I'm off to pad the corners of everything in my house before she figures out how to run...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

No Summit for Us

I had a bad feeling, that after a week of unseasonably cold weather Shawn and I would have a hard time reaching the summit of Mount Washington on our annual trip up the autoroad.  The tradition that started by accident on our first wedding anniversary we have repeated the previous three years.  Of course I wasn't going to just stop this cool tradition and had high expectations of another great photo at the famous sign at the summit.

But, we never reached the summit. 

The chance you take later into the fall when wanting to drive up the autoroad is that it might just be closed to personal vehicles due to snow and horrendous weather conditions.  That was just the case this past weekend when Shawn and I made the drive over.  

These were the current conditions as we neared the autoroad.

I knew that our chances were slim of reaching the peak.  In all honesty I was hoping they would let us drive up partway and I could take a photo of us somewhere on the road at the very least.  After all, that was what I had to do the first year this whole tradition started and prompted us to return the second year and actually reach the summit.  When we reached the entrance I squealed a little, because I saw another car turn in just in front of us.  Surely it was open!


Instead of embarking on the amazingly scenic, windy, and expensive drive we were greeted by two older people who informed us that the road was "completely closed today" and that maybe, maybe they would have shuttles go part way up later in the day if conditions improved.  

I tried to digest the information I was just given as Shawn turned our car around and parked in a nearby parking lot.  We wouldn't reach the summit.  Nope.  Not this year.  I glared at the white peak that danced in and out of the clouds and tried to fight back my disappointment.  It was a pretty sight, but it I felt like a failure.




Why did we wait so late into the season to make the attempt?  It was practically winter at the peak now.  I was going to have to settle for a lame photo in the parking lot.  That was about as far from my ideal plan as I could get.  

However, Shawn and I grinned and accepted the card we were dealt.  So, here it is, photo #4 for our growing album of our "Annual Anniversary Trip Up Mount Washington".  


So, next year we will make sure and plan the trip a couple of weeks before winter sets in at the summit! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Four Years Ago

The weather was perfect.

My stomach was in knots

.... That may or may not have been due to the tremendous amount of apple pucker ingested the night before

All my closest of friends and family had assembled

And I married the man I love.  


Every time I think about our wedding day I can't help, but to think how perfect it was.  It was traditional yet simple and probably the last time all of our friends were together in the same place at the same time.  The night couldn't have been any better, a perfect way to kick off our marriage. 



Its been a great four years...  from Island Pond to White River.  Through nursing school.  Now we are parents of our wonderful daughter Emily.  We'll be celebrating our anniversary with a weekend in Maine.  We will be making our annual drive up Mount Washington for a photo at the highest point we can reach, too! 

So, raise your glass or whatever is near you in toast to the last four years and to the awesomely bright future! 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Full Blown Fall

It has been a whole week since I posted hasn't it?  Where did the week go?  I seriously didn't think it had been that long, but apparently my perception of time is a bit skewed.  That's okay, because I've been one busy girl, especially with my camera.  

The persistence that I expressed in my last post definitely paid off.  I have gotten some amazing photos over the last week despite the continued clouds and rain.  Even with overcast skies I still seized every moment I could with my camera.  My poor car put on a good thousand miles on hard, bumpy, and not always car-approved roads.  Emily was a trooper and enjoyed many of those miles with me.  In fact, I developed a little routine with her and the car seat and its led to a happy baby on long car rides - how did I get so lucky?!

Besides spending time with my camera I spent the weekend up North in Island Pond.  I swear I miss that town more and more every time I come back and visit.  No place feels more like home.  Who wouldn't love walking into the grocery store you hadn't visited in half a year and seeing three people you know that all want to have a conversation with you?  While it may make shopping take a bit longer I'll take that any day over the anonymity of the supermarkets down here. 

Now I am editing all the photos I took while getting ready for yet another fun filled weekend ahead!  This weekend is Shawn and mine's anniversary.  Its been four whole years since we tied the knot!  His parents have offered to watch Emily for the weekend so we are going to spend the weekend making our annual trip up Mount Washington to take a photo at the peak and then to Maine to shop - mostly at Cabela's.   Hunting season is coming, you know! 

This is clearly the busiest time of year for me... phew.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of photos I have taken over the weekend I wanted to share!  If you haven't already you'll be able to see all my fall photos on my Facebook Fan Page when I post them. 

Darling Hill Road in Lyndon, Vermont.  I have a thing for road shots.

I woke up extra early to see the sunrise over Island Pond.  It was the only sun all weekend!

A sailboat sitting on Lake Willoughby.  I really love this photo....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Not Going as Planned

Peak foliage has come early this year and despite a very dry summer it looks like its going to be a great year!  We've had loads of sunshine for weeks on end and finally the leaves decided they'd pop with color.  Unfortunately they decided to pop with color exactly when the weather decides we need to catch up on three months worth of clouds and rain.  


Its been cloudy and rainy since Friday.  The leaves have been peak since Friday.  I've made THREE trips up to the Northeast Kingdom so far.  Thank goodness I just got an oil change on my poor car.  


Unfortunately each time I've driven anywhere its been cut short by misting and heavy rain.  I may get in a few moments to photograph here and there, but its really dampened things.  The colors aren't as bright when its cloudy and when it rains I can't photograph at all outside of my car or some sort of shelter.  

This year I've prepped more than any and found ideal photo conditions exceedingly hard to come by.  There's not a full sunny day in the forecast for the next week either, but I am hoping that I'll see breaks this weekend when I'll have my next chance to make the big trip up north.  

Did I mention that working Monday through Friday doesn't make my efforts any easier?  Now that its too dark to take photos after around 6pm I am not able to get up north after work before the sunset.  I just have to wait until the weekend and knowing that I might miss the best day of foliage is driving me nuts.  

Does it sound like I'm neurotic about taking photos of the foliage? 

Well, if it does I don't care, because the photos I am getting are great... like this one of a lake in the middle of the Green Mountains.  


Or this one of a mountainside camp in the middle of nowhere in the Northeast Kingdom. 


So, I am getting some nice photos, but I really want a whole lot more.  Just after I took that last photo of the camp it began to pour.  It was also around forty degrees and I didn't have a jacket so I wasn't able to spend a lot of time relishing in the amazing colors.  

But, you see all that green in those photos?  I am hoping that this weekend the greens will be orange and yellow and red.  I am hoping that the existing leaves won't have completely fallen off from the wind and rain over the last week.  I am hoping that I'll see some sort of sunshine when I can finally make it back up to the Northeast Kingdom again.  

And there is good news.  While there is rain forecasted at times this weekend there is some snow forecasted for Saturday night in the mountains!  I may have a chance if the conditions are just right, to get some amazing foliage photos and snow photos at the same time!  Perhaps that will be my reward for my feeble attempt at being patient and waiting for the weekend to arrive.