22 September 2013

Place Your Bets. And Maternity Pics.

First things First.

And just because the due date is September 30th ("30 days have September, April, June, and November"...for all you calendar flunkies out there) and I have gone over my due date everytime...

So let me just pause right now and proclaim from the World Wide Web that my husband rocks my face off. Or rather, he rocks it ON and helped me make 38 weeks 5 days pregnant look like it's a pretty awesome place to be.

He shot these and edited them today. His whole Saturday loving on me in the form of taking photos and editing them.  He even made lunch, let me nap, and washed dishes after dinner and is now (at mid-night) picking up my parents from the airport! Sexy, y'all. Fo reals.

When he was finished with these, I was surprised by how little had changed between what he shot and the editing... which I hear indicates that he's actually understanding photography and getting things right with the click of the shutter, not the click of the Lightroom editing tools (though he's getting good at those too!)

So, can I just say that I realize y'all don't need to see me 100 times in the same outfit with various and slight accessory changes? I do. Really. But I have never had a "maternity photo session" with any pregnancy other than the standard belly profile pic and Anthony has never done this "formal" of a photo shoot.  So the amount of pics here is a result of those two things...but what I post here is mostly just me impressed with my man and his skills!

I originally thought it might be fun to take pics down by the water in our city. Boat masts make nice backdrops and such. The Sultan lives right on the water and there's plenty of charm.  Friday, we had just a few minutes after taking the boys to school to go try it out as Anthony wanted to see how things looked a bit before the "actual shoot" Saturday morning. We liked how they turned out but realized we wanted the pics to be in a "real place" that we often go to and that represents where we live now, waiting for this sweet baby. The Marina is fine and all, but we don't hang out there...or sail...or know anyone who does.

but, here's the "sample" shots...

Not bad. Especially Birdie patting her "baby" belly too. We just decided that we wanted it to be more "real" of our time here.  So we changed the location to downtown.  In the old, cute, colonial, slightly grungy-but-changing-slowly-into-hipstery section of our city.  Despite the Chinese writing you see in the pics, its actually a great blend of the 3 dominant cultures in Malaysia... Malay, Chinese, and Indian.  We go there to get banana bread from the Hiap Joo Bakery and eat some of the best Banana Leaf (Indian food eaten on a banana leaf) in our city.  Which means the shop owners may say the next time we're there, "Hey! I saw you taking photos here of your wife!"

Things don't always go as planned. And that's not always a bad thing.

We had hoped to do these while the boys were in school so we wouldn't have to worry with keeping 3 small children off the busy streets. (Oh, and my hubs also managed to make it look like we had the place to ourselves despite the busy Saturday morning all around us. Lots of traffic and people.) But schedules being what they are, Saturday morning was all there was so i1, i2, and i3 were all there too.

Did it feel like a circus? Yes.
Did Isaac complain about carrying my bag? Yes.
Did Immanuelle feel compelled to stand by my legs every 2 minutes? Yes.
Did the boys asks for snacks constantly from the moment we arrived? Yes.

But did we get some shots of my other Sweets we wouldn't have otherwise? Yes. Absolutely!
We love our crew of little people. They really are so much fun. Heartstopping when they step off the curb into the streets despite your constant warnings...but when they're not doing that, total fun.

Naturally when small children and their Daddy are out and about together and those small children are begging to be fed, a stop into a bakery is a must. The Hiap Joo only makes banana bread at certain times of day...this was not the time...so we went to the Salahuddin Bakery instead.  I grabbed the camera, hoped the last setting Anthony had it on would work ok, prayed something would be in focus and caught these moments...
My hubs telling the boys they need to choose the cream-filled pastries while Schmirdle-Bird twirled in the shop. Then Uncle loading up the pastries for the boys.

Pastries in the bag- as opposed to directly into their tummies- made for an notable increase in begging for snacks. So we loaded up and called it a day feeling optimistic that something of what we had shot would work out like we hoped. (also gray shirts show sweat...and there's only so long I could fend off the sweat lines!)

But to keep it real, here are a couple of extras because neat, clean, make-up faced, traffic-free, accessorized, non-sweaty baby bellies aren't REALLY how we roll around here all the time. Hard to believe, I know.

This pregnancy and my first pregnancy with Isaac my body has carried the baby nearly identically. (possible indication of gender?!?!?! Thinking 'bout changing your vote??) Friends and strangers alike tell me regularly, "From behind you don't even look pregnant." So in the spirit of things Anthony got me to throw out the vibe and record this unique aspect of pregnancies 1 and 3.  No wonder I have a ton of lower back pain...ALL the weight is in my belly and in the front!

And then there was this moment.
The dialogue.
Isaac: "Mama. Why are those guys sleeping over there on the ground?"
Me: "Well, buddy, I'm not sure exactly, but that's where they ended up sleeping this morning."

And in a flash of childhood innocence and trust, they took that as a good enough answer and dropped the subject. I told y'all this was "downtown." Also told you Anthony did a good job of making it look like we had the place to ourselves. Wasn't joking!

And lastly. Though, Anthony and I spent over an hour laughing at maternity poses on Pinterest the other night and I determined to smile and convey what a happy time pregnancy has been for me, we did manage a couple of "serious face" poses.  Wasn't easy though!  I'm glad most of you don't read Chinese...as you don't really need to know the name of the Dry Cleaner shop or what time it opens... kidding. It's not a dry cleaner shop. Or is it??? (just pretend the calligraphy says something like "Elegance" "Natural" "Beauty" not "Foo See Yap. 1 day service. 9am-7pm")

Thanks for enduring so much gray tank top and white pants, y'all. Really. You are MORE than welcome to leave a comment and tell my hubs what a fantastic job he did on these.

And while you're at it, take a stab at i4's time and date of birth, weight, length, hair color, eye color, straight-or-curly hair, whatever you feel like guessing at! Even his/her name if you're feelin' really lucky!

No names leaked here, but this Mama's guess is...

Gender: Boy
Date: September 27
Time: 9:35pm
Weight: 3.6kgs (or about 8lbs)
Length: 19 inches
Hair: Dark and Curly
Eyes: Green

I am perfectly fine with all of that being wrong and completely off! We are excited to meet this little one and get to know all the little details. We are so very very thankful to God for a healthy pregnancy and are praying for a smooth uncomplicated delivery.

Thanks again Love for documenting this season of our lives so beautifully!
(especially since this is the LAST time I will ever be pregnant!)


  1. Girl...Oct 1...dark hair :-) that's my guess! :-) Great pics!!!!

  2. So I think my votes tied up the score. Here's what I'm feeling: boy (because I think Birdie would make the cutest 'only sister protected by all her brothers' kind of girl), born in October, born at 7: 40 p.m., weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz., 21 inches, light and curly hair, green eyes.

    Next, Anthony's got some mad skillz. I'm impressed. And I'd love some tutorials because I have to do some major color/exposure editing for 8 out of every 10 pictures. Lame.

    And finally, you work that grey tank top-white pants combo girl! Too bad we don't live closer so I can raid your closet and pinjam all your cute accessories.

    Your welcome for the longest comment in blogger history,

    1. I hear him say a lot, "Its better to be underexposed than over" and something about white-balance...which has nothing to do with me wearing a tank-top in public for the first time ever (the black one the day before I just took off the cardigan I was wearing...but the gray was out-n-out hoochie!) and the white balance had nothing to do with my white pants making me look fat. The rest you'll have to ask him about.

      I'm chatty. I like comments. Bring it.

  3. You look great, mama! Love love love your hair...wish I could pull off a short cut...maybe one day I'll try. And goodness, that baby bird's hair is THE COOLEST. I have total hair envy...apparently not just of you, of your sweet girl too! Can't wait to hear the news of i4's arrival!

  4. You look great! Some of us, ya know, like to gain a little weight while we grow a human being. You should try it. ; ) And your husband IS a fabulous photographer!

  5. I adore every single one of the pictures he takes. I want his camera. (ok, his skills, but I'll pretend it's something I could do if I just had that camera!) ... so... what kind of camera is it?

    Also...I love name guessing. Ian or Iris?

    These were definitely frameworthy, all of them!

    1. If you click on the "products we love" tab up top, Anthony wrote out what camera and lenses we have. I plan to learn at some point, but mostly I still stick to the point n shoot and let him be all awesome with the skillz.

  6. Your husband did a fabulous job capturing your beauty! I agree it looks like your carrying a boy.I'm sure Immanulle would love to have a sister.The kids are so cute,hope y'all have a great time with your Mom and Dad and i4 makes his appearance while they're there.

  7. I think a girl, because I'm symmetrical that way; Sept. 26th, but I'll appreciate any day in Sept. so I won't have to exchange the i4 birthstone bead on Sharon's 2013 Mother's Day gift, (even though another pink one would be pretty); 11:23am, because you were a late-morning baby(a characteristic that you've preferred since); 7 lbs 12 oz; dark hair, but not enough to tell it's curly; blue eyes, because every girl needs to have her own "something". We're going to love on the uniqueness of this grand-baby just like the first! Sweet times ahead!!

  8. I voted girl!! But then after looking through all the pics I'm gonna change my vote to boy!!
    Sweet sister friend, you are gorgeous! And your husband does have some mad skillz, but its hard to make you look bad!!! :)
    I'm guessing Oct. 2nd, because we all know due dates are fake. 5:34 pm, because laboring DURING the day is so much better! and a baby boy that weighs just under 8 lbs with curly dark hair. Green eyes!
    And you did a great job in the bakery shop too! great shots!

  9. Ok, I never ever looked like that at the end of a pregnancy....absolutely beautiful and absolutely a basket ball which "they" say makes it a boy. So I say boy, Sept. 27 (for obvious reasons) and 7 1/2 pounds :-)

  10. Okay... so much to comment on here. :-) OH my word your husband is great with a camera... though his subject was pretty amazing too! Seriously, your photos are GORGEOUS. Wow. My favorites are the ones in front of the red wall and the "serious poses." So pretty.

    That little girl's hair is unbelievable. Adorably so.

    The expressions on your kiddos faces in the "man sleeping" photo are priceless. Especially when contrasted with you looking at the camera and smiling. :-)

    i4 can't get here soon enough in my opinion, though I'm admittedly a bit envious of this end of pregnancy / delivery time.... though not the recovery from labor / sleepless, nonstop feeding time. Another girl would be oh-so-fun, but your just-like-Isaac basketball belly caused me to vote "boy." I'm guessing he'll arrive Oct 1 at 10:58 am weighing 3.3 kg and be 49.5 cm (19.5 inches) with dark, curly hair and blue eyes.