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In a desperate attempt to post more things about ME and MY life, I’m going to try and do regular Instagram collages. Let’s be real here, I don’t take my big camera everywhere with me. And when I do bring it out, my 15 month old son just wants to press the buttons on the back, so it’s not usually a very successful photo opportunity. The camera on my iPhone is much handier, more accessible, and likely to be used for the daily shots. I apologize in advance for the excessive amount of photos of my children. But I think they are really cute and their daily antics make me laugh.
Here’s a snippet of the last few weeks of my life on Instagram. I’m always joking that my Instagram life is so much cooler than my real life. But the truth is, it’s my real life. My daughter dresses up in pillowcases and bathing suits. My hubby buys grapes which are excessively large. My kids use bedsheets as rides. My son empties my purse (an makes hilarious faces). And the sunsets are beautiful.

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I have recently been pretty busy, and unable to blog. This is the reason why. My second child, a son, was born on August 3, 2011 via scheduled c-section. My daughter’s birth just over 5 years ago was long and difficult and ended in emergency c-section, so this time we scheduled one to make it a bit easier on us all. He was born at a healthy 8lbs 2oz and we have been spending the last few weeks adjusting to his arrival. My daughter Jayla is overjoyed and madly in love with her little brother. She is adjusting to her new role as big sister amazingly, I am so proud of her. I am still recovering although everything is going perfectly, and I will be ready to start shooting again in a couple weeks.

Here are a few photos I have taken of our son, Nash Kristopher.

Nash and Jayla on his first day home, at 2 days old:

Nash at 4 days:

Jayla and Nash at 4 days old:

Here Nash is 9 days old. No I didn’t command him to smile, it was one of those practice smiles in his sleep that I just happened to catch!

at 2.5 weeks:

Eating sister’s face, at 3.5 weeks:

at 1 month, playing:

at 1 month:

That leaves us where we are! Nash is now 1 month old, and still not sleeping very well at night, haha! He is trying to test how well I can function on as little sleep as possible. I have to say though it’s way easier the second time around!

I’m looking forward to shooting again, and getting back to work, though I have done my fair share of work, from the moment he was born I was returning emails, scheduling meetings, etc. A mommy never stops, especially a mommy that is a business owner!

Thanks for having a look at my photos of my new pride and joy!

I thought I would write a blog post including some recent images I shot of my beautiful 5 year old daughter. We did these all in about 10 minutes in my home, just because we were bored! I was keeping these images for personal use but recently, I wanted to share them because I want to show the world just what a precious and amazing girl I have blessing my life.

A couple weeks ago, Jayla got sick with a little virus. Just a bit of cold-like symptoms, and a fever for about 5 days. I had taken her to the doctor and she was prescribed some antibiotics to fight a slight ear infection she had. The poor girl was not feeling well over the entire week of spring break. I thought she was back to normal and ready to return to school and so on Monday she went. But then on Tuesday morning she woke up with very swollen lips. She looked like Angelina Jolie! It happened simply overnight. Upon closer inspection I discovered several bubbling blisters inside her lips. I was baffled. These were not “sores” like cold sores. They looked like the kind of blisters you get on your feet after wearing some killer heels for an entire night. I took her to the walk-in clinic who inspected her, swabbed the blisters, and sent us home. The doctor suspected this might be either related to Herpes Simplex or a reaction to the Amox that she had been taking for 4 days. She advised we stop the drug immediately and come back if there was any change. Over the next couple days the blisters burst and her lips did not reduce in swelling. She also developed another fever and her lips began cracking, bleeding, etc and looking very painful. On Thursday she woke up with spots on her arms and legs that looked just like Chicken Pox. But there were none on her tummy, chest or back. I took her back to the doctor immediately, and by this time her lips were making it hard for her to eat and drink. The doctor looked at her and sent us home, saying it was a virus that had to run it’s course. I kept expecting her to wake up with better looking mouth, I thought for sure some healing would begin soon, but on Friday she woke and they were even worse. She could not eat or drink, as she could barely open her mouth. That night I took her into Children’s Hospital Emergency. The doctor there came in after we were there for about 1 hour, and immediately said “I know what this is. I will be right back with the rest of my team”. The “team” came in, three doctors, and they told me that Jayla was suffering from a very rare reaction called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. The spots she had developed really pointed them to this diagnosis. We were admitted immediately and put up in a room.

The next 5 days were really hard for us. This reaction can be very serious, sometimes resulting in death or blindness. There is no cure for this reaction, you simply have to support the symptoms they have by relieving pain and being sure they are properly nourished and hydrated. Jayla had to have IV fluids, and after being in hospital for two days, we had to insert a GN tube, a feeding tube, because Jayla could not eat or drink by mouth. The GN tube was certainly the most traumatic part of our stay, as putting it in is not fun, and very uncomfortable. Jayla’s mouth continued to get worse and it was very unsightly and painful looking. She didn’t get to see herself in the mirror until about Monday. She was quite shocked by how terrible her mouth looked, I will spare my blog readers the photos. It was definitely shocking, and I missed her cute little pink lips. She had difficulty talking, she could not smile, and most painful of all was that we couldn’t kiss her little mouth. As terrible as it looked, Jayla was very lucky. Her eyes were not affected at all, and the rash on her skin did not progress past a few spots. If you google this particular disease, you might be horrified by the images. Jayla was so lucky that this mostly only affected her lips, and didn’t even go down into her digestive system at all.

On Tuesday, Jayla turned for the better, and began eating and drinking by mouth again. The doctors told us that if she was able to eat, drink and take medications by mouth all day, we could go home on Wednesday. We were elated when we were discharged on Wednesday morning. Jayla had really hit a wall emotionally in the hospital, and she was missing home so badly that I knew that once we were home, she would make leaps and bounds towards recovery. It was now 8 days after the blisters first appeared. Pain management was key and some tylenol every 4 hours helped. Night time was the worst as she began having major mood swings in the night and becoming very angry when she woke up in pain, refusing to take medication.

But, once we were home, Jayla quickly improved. She literally looked better every single day. On Thursday of this week she returned to school, a week after being home from the hospital, and there is no evidence on her lips of how terrible they once looked. Luckily, the lips are naturally extremely regenerative. Now, my baby girl is able to smile, laugh, eat, drink, and give kisses again.

After going through this, I have found a new appreciation for her health. This was something that happened without warning, and we don’t know if it will happen again. We don’t even know what caused it, but we do know what DIDN’T cause it. It was not caused by her medication, it was not caused by Herpes Simplex virus (a common cause) and it was not caused by mycoplasma (I am not even sure what that is). The pediatritian says it was just a freak reaction to whatever virus she came in contact with. For some reason, all the right factors were lined up, and this happened. It is rare, and unlikely to happen again, but that isn’t to say it won’t ever happen again, and if it does, we cannot stop it.

I also found a new love and appreciation for parents who have children with any sort of illness that need to be hospitalized. So many times I wanted to run away from all this pain. I hated seeing my daughter go through this and being unable to do anything but hold her and tell her she will be okay again soon. Some parents aren’t even able to tell their children that. Some parents don’t know when they will leave the hospital with their child, or if they will at all. Some parents have other little ones at home to add to their worry. They are truly the most amazing human beings on this planet.

I commend and thank the doctors and nurses at BC Children’s Hospital. I was blown away by the detailed care Jayla received. Every morning a team of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists entered our room and reviewed Jayla’s case from the very beginning, then discussed the treatment plan for the day, any concerns I had as a parent, and our discharge goals. Jayla had visits from all the specialists to cover every aspect of her care. The Pediatric Dermatologist was who diagnosed Jayla (Erythema Multiforme Major, aka Stevens-Johnson Syndrome) and she also saw a Pediatric Ophthalmologist to be sure her eyes were okay. Parents were cared for as well, I had a cot in Jayla’s room to sleep on, there was a kitchen in her ward that had coffee, a fridge, bread for toast, a microwave, everything. Volunteers came around every day, bringing games and asking if they could relieve me for a few minutes and play with Jayla. If you ever have to take your child to the hospital, take them to BC Children’s. This is my advice to you!

So after that huge long story, and I am surprised if you are still reading, here are some photos of my beautiful little girl. In these photos she is happy and healthy, and I hope that never changes again!

This is me signing off for the next few days, ready to enjoy some time with my family! A couple photos!

My favorite tree decoration is my sparkly pickle. I like non-conventional things!

 

My daughter posing in front of the tree. This was much harder to get than I thought it would be, and it proves that I am much better at taking photos of other people’s kids!!

Enjoy your family this holiday, and be safe on the roads when traveling!! You are precious cargo!

On sunday I went up to Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Park with my family and some friends. We had and awesome time and I thought I’d post a couple of my favorite shots. Okay most of them are of my daughter. But she’s really cute and rarely do I manage to get good shots of her!

Yes I know we better lock her up till she’s 21.

This is my daughter having some quality time with two of her “aunts” Jaime and Alexa. I love this shot. I love the daisy in Jaime’s hair, that Jayla probably put there!

She’s got the sky in her eyes!

She’s such a giggler. She’s always laughing!

The guys, lawn bowling.

I overexposed this one a bit but I just love it. I think it’s a moment!

A typical face!

Don’t worry, Daddy was RIGHT there. Actually you can see his hand on the right haha!

Tired out after a long day. I can’t wait for my next trip up there.

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