~ Happy Halloween - Love, The Manno Kids ~

~ Sick little baby = Crazy little momma ~

Motherly instinct is amazing. It's raw and primal to it's core. I've never considered myself to be very tough, but if ever faced with a 6ft tall man who wanted to hurt one of my children? I could whoop him with one arm tied behind my back.

Yes, Motherly instinct is amazing. But it also makes us do really stupid stuff sometimes. I get alot of comments and e-mails saying I make mother-hood look easy, so in the interest of full disclosure let me show you an example of why I, like every other mother in America, sometimes lose my damn mind.

First of all this story involves Libby Lu, remember her? She's getting big huh :)

Last Thursday I took all 3 kids to the doctor for their flu shots. I should get some sort of medal for that feat alone. It was Libby Lu's first time because of her age. Everything seemed to go fine and I didn't notice anything different that evening.

The next morning, Friday, my husband was off work. He came in our room at 8:30 and said "Ever gonna get up sleepy head?" - I looked at the clock and it said 8:30 and I instantly asked

"Where's Libby Lu?" -
"She is still sleeping" he says...
"She never sleeps past 7:30 go get her right now and make sure she is okay" I replied.

That girl wakes up everyday at 7:30 like clockwork and I was already concerned that she wasn't up.

My husband walks her in and puts her in bed with me. She is laying on my chest and I can feel her little heart beating a mile a minute. We took her heart rate and it was in the 170's at a resting rate. I started sitting her up and looking her over and she was just so sleepy. She could barely keep her eyes open, she just wanted to go back to bed. We tried setting her down with her toys, dancing around like goofs, doing anything to get to her crack a smile...we got nothing...just zombie baby with eyes half open and a droopy head.

So all four of us (me, hubby, Libby Lu and Luci) headed immediately to the pediatrician. They took her vitals and everything seemed to be normal but they were also alarmed at how lethargic she was. So they sent us to the medical building next door for 3 panels of bloodwork.

With Rockys extensive medical history I know one thing. Drawing blood from babies is not fun, or easy. Shots are one thing, those are quick. But trying to find their teeny tiny veins sucks. It sucks for the nurse, it sucks for the baby, and it sucks for the moms who watch their babies scream in pain, so I was already sick to my stomach with dread.

We arrive and in comes the nurse. She was your standard large and in charge no nonsense, mid-western black lady. Friendly and talkative as can be with her weave piled high and bright pink lipstick. As soon as she walks in she says "Whooo weee, it's been a heck of a day and it's only 10 o' clock, we are short staffed so mom and dad you are gonna have to help me hold her down" - Awesome.

So Jimmy is in the medical chair with Libby Lu is some sort of WWE wrestling hold. I am in front of her keeping her little arm straight and the nurse lady is digging around in her arm for a vein. No such luck, we have to pull out and go to the next arm.

At this point Libby Lu isn't just pissed, she is devastated, and tired, and weak.
The look on her little face was haunting, she was looking to me for help and I could read her mind it said

"Mom, please take me home, please take me home, please take me home"

At that moment the nurse hit the jackpot and found a vein. I'm watching the little tubes fill up over and over, 1, 2, 3 - and the nurse was done.

This is the part where I sort of lose my mind. The nurse pulls the needle out of Libby Lu's arm and at that exact moment, without saying a word, I swing up the long arm of the medical chair and violently rip the baby out of my husbands arm and haul ass down the hall. I just started running. I don't remember exactly what I was thinking, I just wanted to get my baby out of there.

I can hear my husband and the lady yelling at me down the hallway. "Mam.....MAM Get back here with that baby" and "Kelly she needs her clothes on it's cold out" I didn't know or care what else they were yelling about because at this point I realized I had taken a wrong turn and was at a dead end, I was lost in this stupid building and couldn't get out.

So I had to run back by the room where my my husband is now standing in the hallway with his arms outstretched like a net to catch me, he does and he and the nurse both start yelling at me that the baby is still bleeding....

Ooooh so that's what they were yelling about. I look down and her blood
was running down her arm onto my shirt. I stopped for a split second for the nurse to put the bandaid on her arm.

The nurse was pretty aggravated with me at this point. She had already told us she was having a bad day then she has my crazy ass doing the 50 yard dash with a naked crying baby up and down her hallways and waiting room where now frightened old people were waiting for their turn.

I continued my massive sprint and finally found my way out of the building and to the car. By the time my husband signed the paperwork, packed up our stuff, and our other kid and met me at the car I was standing in the cold holding a naked crying baby, I was crying with her.

My husband is probably the most calm and laid back person you will ever meet. So we get in the car and in a very calm and concerned voice he turns his head and says...

Husband: "Kelly...."
Me: "What"
Husband : "What the hell was that"
Me: I don't know...I just wanted to grab my baby and run...so I did...it was instinct.
Huband : Okay...well that's fine...but you know you looked like a crazy women trying to steal a baby right?
Me: Yeah, kind of, I don't care take me home.

And so he did. Throughout the day she got a little better. The lab results came back with elevated liver enzymes that need to be watched. So the Doctor thinks it was a bad reaction to the flu shot, or maybe just some kind of virus.

Today she seems to be doing fine. She has completely recovered. But this little scare has me seriously looking into Dr. Sears delayed vaccination schedules - anyone who has experience with this I would love to hear from you, the good the bad and the ugly the more information the better.
So there you have it. Motherly instinct at it's finest folks. Oh and the best part? The Doctor wants to repeat the bloodwork this week to re-check those liver enzymes... I think I should find a new lab they probably have my photo hanging up in there by now.

~ Congratulations Chad and Lauren ~

Chad and Lauren were married on a picture perfect day in October, no detail was overlooked by Lauren who planned a gorgeous event!

Let's talk for a minute about Lauren...I know she's stunning right? But that's not the part I am talking about :) In February 2009 Chad had big romantic plans to propose to Lauren on Valentines Day. Those plans were scrapped when Lauren had a horrifying stroke that left her paralyzed and in the hospital for weeks, followed by months of rigorous rehabilitation But Chad kept his plan to propose, and did so from her hospital bedside. Throughout the reception we heard various speeches, toasts, and conversations about Lauren and her strength and her new husband who was there to push her every step of the way. The stories were magical and gorgeous.
As if we all didn't already know how special she was a little beauty of nature wanted to remind us. While shooting in the middle of downtown St Louis a huge Monarch Butterfly drifted out of the sky and made a beeline for Lauren. It landed on her bouquet and opened and closed its delicate wings a few times and then floated away, into the sky. As if it was just dropping by to reassure her that this is her time to shine.

Lauren and Chad rocked a serious "St. Louis Cardinals" theme at their reception everything from their table numbers, to place cards, and favors. It was adorable.
Laurens Dad was so sweet and charming. His speech was delightful. I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home with me :)
Lauren and Chad, thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer, you are gorgeous in the inside and out. I can't wait for you to see all the photos! Thank you so much to Jen Peterson for second shooting with me!

~ Rowan is 6 months old ~

So this particular photo shoot served 2 purposes. Number #1 - These lovely parents (in the middle) raised 3 boys in a house most parents could only dream of. It's gorgeous, and the land is stunning. They are going to sell the place now that the kids are all grown, so they wanted some family photos it front of it. (Plus their daughter-in-law Chelsie and Grandson Rowan)

Back in the woods was a treehouse that Dad built with his own 2 hands. I overheard some crazy story about one of the boys getting shot with a BB and telling mom he slipped and hit his head on the stop sign :)
And purpose # 2 of this shoot was - Rowan is 6 months old YAY~! He has gotten to be such a big boy since I shot him as a newborn. He is such a doll, I was laughing at all his funny faces while editing.

~ Thank you October, you've made up for last year ~

Some of you may not remember this. But last year October stunk! It blew the big one! Rain, rain and more rain and lots of crazy cold sideways wind. I think I cursed that month everyday last year, appointments had to be moved, cancelled and postponed like crazy. But I would like to say that October and I have made up, because this year it's raising the roof with this insanely awesome weather!

So a BIG thank you to Mother Nature for her role in the family photos of these 2 cute families :) And of course a bigger thank you so all the families who picked me to capture their little ones this year.

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