Sunday, June 29, 2008

Little Angelique - 5 Weeks

Hello World!

I spent this morning photographing little Angelique - the beautiful daughter of Luci & Brent!

Thank you to Luci and Brent for inviting me back into their home to photograph their newborn girl! I am so pleased to have worked with you both on your maternity shoot, and now Angelique's newborn shoot!

I must say that photography is incredibly rewarding and humbling - I get to see how families grow... literally!

So, I really enjoyed working with Luci and Brent again today - what a relaxed and completely natural couple! I walked into their lives for the second time today and it was as if we had known each other for years!

Angelique is one lucky little Angel!

On a personal note - I am now 8 weeks from my due date... yikes! Malakai is growing and moving around every day & I am growing and waddling around every day... But, after hearing so many stories of babies coming early, too early... I am so grateful that I am still carrying this little boy inside, where he is safe, secure and every need is met by the amazing biology of pregnancy! Darryl and I are ready... now we just have to wait for Malakai to be ready!

Loren Stow Photography
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

M is for mischief...

So! We have finished the baby's room! Woo Hoo!

I was told about an absolutely gorgeous little farm shop (near Avianto) that sells themed decor for baby's rooms (as well as stunning home decor and delicious food!). I went a bit beserk in the shop, but this is only because the theme I choose (by the sea) for the baby's room turned out to be almost impossible to find little things for!

Winnie the Pooh? No problem! Little Scruffy Brown Bears? Wherever you look! Elephants, Lions, Airplanes, Turtles?? Believe it or not... not hard to find! But Seaside, boats, lighthouses, seagulls, fishes, stripes, waves???? Oh no... I must be at least one or two season's behind the trend!

Anyway, I stuck by the theme of 'by the sea' because I think that if our little boy is anything like his dad, he will LOVE the sea! And this little un-assuming farm shop on a deserted country road was filled to the ceiling rafters with seaside stuff for my baby's room! Everywhere I turned I just saw more and more! Needless to say... I had to restrain myself and focus on what I 'really needed' (yes, I did that need that sign that says 'mischief' ok!).
Here I have to make a special note to say 'thank you from the bottom of my heart' to Darryl for putting so much effort into the baby's room! He really went above and beyond... Even the Saturday after his birthday saw him painting the baby's room, hangover and all! Thank you my angel!

M is for mischief... yes... but M is also for Malakai - the name that (of this morning, after to-ing and fro-ing) we (yes, Darryl too...) have decided to name our little boy!

Now, I know we have gone backwards and forwards, up and down, left and right and changed this little boy's name more times than is even remembered! But that is because I always knew his name was Malakai... when I just couldn't find another name... and when Darryl just couldn't find another name either (that he really liked, even Travis was just not right...), it became clear this morning that Malakai is his name. It has to be...

Malakai (also spelt Malachi) dates back to the Old Testament and is of Hebrew origin. It means 'messenger/angel from God'. Kai (his short name) means 'Sea' in Hawaiin and 'Sea Shell' in Japanese (no wonder I couldn't get over the sea-side theme!!).

Anyway! We know we have had mixed reactions to Malakai from all sides, but this is our choice and we cannot not name him Malakai... It is his name.

9 weeks to go my baby boy! I am so pleased that we have created a fun, warm & colourful room for you. Our home is now as ready for your arrival and our hearts are!

Loren Stow Photography
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Darryl Turns 30! (and so does baby stow... in weeks that is...)

Darryl turned 30 this last Friday - happy birthday my angel!

He was completely spoiled for the entire long weekend, starting Friday morning and ending last night... Apart from having three consecutive nights of parties, Darryl also discovered the fine art of sleeping in... and then waking up and lazing about in a warm bed with cups of coffee and slices of strawberry-jam-toast, reading his new book... My angel - all I can say is 'why did it take you so long to realise how nice this is??', AND, 'you have only another 10 weeks before this new little habit becomes impossible'... but at least you enjoyed it and that is all that matters!

As for Baby Stow... he turned 30 weeks on Saturday and is as active as ever! Our visit to the Doctor last week confirmed he was weighing in at 1,5kgs! Based on the last few visits and weights, I estimate that he is picking about 200-250g a week... amazing! He is moving around and kicking all the time, but likes the evenings most... If he isn't keeping me awake, then I am keeping Darryl awake with my Lion-Like-Roaring... I really can't hear myself, but I when Darryl asks me to turn over, I do so quickly because I know that it isn't nice to listen to loud snoaring while you're trying to sleep! Sorry Darryl!

With 10 weeks to go before we meet our little boy, it seems a giant switch has dropped... We are almost finished with his room, just a few finishing touches now... We have almost finished saving what we need to in order to see us through the first four months... We have almost finished our Antenatal classes, preparing us for the realities we face when he decides to come... We have almost bought everything we need for him to come home (cots, prams, car seats, blankets, baths, thermometers, changing mats, mobiles, humidifiers, nappies... even a new tumble dryer!)...

HOWEVER, we have still not agreed on a name for our little boy... that is, until Sunday... It just hit me that this little 'child-with-no-name' inside me deserves a name and so far, over the past 7 months, Darryl and I have come up with countless options, but none that both of us agree on... I am in favour of names are different, unique, and (I think) cool... Darryl likes names that are solid, represent his favourite sportsmen, and are just so very different from anything I would ever think of choosing! I have been slowly trying to chip away at Darryl's resolve, thinking that eventually he would come around to my way of thinking and agree on the names I have in mind... but alas... no such luck... So! I have done some soul-searching... Although I have been convinced that my son must have a name that a) has a profound meaning b) is completely different and c) will set him apart for the rest of his life... perhaps... just perhaps... Darryl's stubbornnes is born from a deeper reasoning... maybe our son will not want some meaningful, different, unique name... maybe he will just want a name... that his dad chose... because he liked it.
So! For now... for the love of my husband... out of respect that this is his child too... from an understanding that my son may not want to carry the name I choose... I am trying on Darryl's name-choice for size: Travis... meaning simply to 'cross a bridge' or reach a 'crossroads'... perhaps a simple name for a little boy with a spiritual meaning for a new mom and dad? I dunno... maybe Darryl and I will both get a little of what we want, along with a precious little boy!

Loren Stow Photography
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lusanda & Ifeanyi - Maternity Shoot

Today I travelled through to Sandton to photograph another maternity shoot! Lusanda and Ifeanyi have approximately 4 weeks to go before their little girl is born!

Wow! I love shooting maternity... I don't know if it's because I am expecting my own child soon... but there is just so much beauty in a pregnant woman, so much expectant energy and a glow that the camera can't miss!

I arrived early and Lusanda and I worked through many ideas, poses and outfits. Each was beautiful, but my favourite was definately the green-brown dress which really complimented her shape and was so feminine!

Thank you Lusanda & Ifeanyi for choosing me to assist you in capturing this special time - I am honoured (as usual) to be part of this time in anyone's life! I hope you will let me know when your little girl is born!

Loren Stow Photography
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Friday, June 6, 2008

Baby Stow - 28.5 Weeks...

Well! Can you believe it? I can hardly believe that for over half a year now, I have been Baby Stow's incubator/mom-to-be. A year is a long time, which in itself suggests that half a year is not exactly a walk in the park either! So, for this long time I gone through so much (and I am not the first and certainly not the last), but for me it's a first ok!?

I have imagined in the beginning how on earth such a tiny little structure of DNA Cells could make me feel as though a train ran over me, and then reversed and did the 'makarena' for good measure... Those first 4 months! Whoooo Wheee! They sucked big time!

Then I started to feel normal again, and of course, 'normal' was like 'fan-friggen-tastic' after having played with the freight-train for 4 months... But now I was wondering when I was going to look pregnant?! I had this is-she-pregnant-fat-or-bloated-thing going at this time. I almost wanted to mouth to the guy at the Sasol Delite Shop 'yes...dude...I am pregnant ok!' None of my pants zipped up anymore, and yet, it looked more like I shouldn't have indulged in that extra piece of KFC... ok yes... I shouldn't have... but still!

Cue 5,5 months! I went away on holiday and overnight (really... that is not a figure of speach here...) I kind of popped out a belly. Cool! I was now looking as pregnant as I felt! Also, I was already feeling little Jnr. kicking and diving and rolling... What an amazing feeling!

And now, a month later, I am sitting with a belly that is steadily growing, a baby that is steadily growing, and a shopping list that is steadily growing... Seriously though - I am having a blast trying to guess what body part it is I am feeling at that particular moment... an arm? leg? elbow?

Having always been someone who talks to myself, sometimes nicely, sometimes not so nicely... It is so cool to now actually have someone who can hear me, who recognises my voice and knows that I am his mom, who thinks that my singing is awesome... How do I know this? Because I say so! (see... I am practicing already... :)

But if there was one thing that I wish I can tell my little boy right now is that he is really and truly one-in-a-million... And if I succeed at being the parent I hope to be, he will never forget this.
So my baby boy! I am so happy to have seen more pictures of you! You are the most beautiful little baby I have ever seen! The scan tells me that you are 1,3kgs and (apparently) have a full head of hair! No surprise - you are your father's son!!

Loren Stow Photography
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Monday, June 2, 2008

Surprise - It's My Babyshower!

This weekend I was super-spoiled!

My mom came up from Durban to spend time with me and meet the little bump! It has been a good three months since I saw my mom, so I am looking decidedly more pregnant now!

There is just something about being close to your mom when you are about to become a mom for the first time... Almost as though all the wisdom your mom has gained from parenthood will somehow rub off onto you...

What I can say is that I am not sure what my mom did while I was growing up, but if I my child can love and respect me as much I love and respect my mom, then I have done a good job!

Just when I thought my weekend couldn't get any better - my sister threw me a surprise babyshower - thank you Leigh, you rock!

She did a fantastic job and I was truly spoiled by my friends and family alike! Little Stow is one lucky baby boy to be surrounded by so much support and love - what an amazing experience. Thank you to all my fantastic friends and family for their generosity and thoughtfulness, Darryl and I are so happy to have you in our lives!

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Loren Stow Photography
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