Tag Archives: family

Huff Family Baby #2 Gender Reveal

For my sister’s second child, we did two photoshoots for the big reveal day; one if it was a girl and one if it was a boy. Spoiler Alert: It’s a boy!

 

(Click through the slideshow below!)

 

 

 

 

Diagnosis

Gideon turns two next month and still speaks very little. Of the few words he’s said (hello, thank you, dad and deon (for his name), duck, etc…), he’s rarely said them again or on command. It’s not to say the boy doesn’t make noise, he walks around mumbling something to himself almost all the time, but he doesn’t talk. He’s not communicating his needs or desires or engaging in playful dialogue with his peers. And for all these reasons my sister has been increasingly worried that he may be autistic.

But I’d worked with autistic kids before and none of them, even the mildest of cases acted anything like Gideon. Gideon’s a ball full of happy giggles, totally okay with broken routines, amicable around strangers, and it’s not like he’s a mute. Is his attention span a little difficult to hold? Yes, but what toddler’s isn’t. Is he behind in speech development? Sure, but this is also something that boys in particular are often behind in. None of his behavior indicated autism to me.

Yesterday Gideon was tested for autism at Kennedy Krieger (one of the best institutes in the country for this test) and met all the criteria to be diagnosed with it. While they did say it’s too early to diagnose the severity of it (they can’t know this until ages 4-5), he is still classified as autistic.

My sister’s whole world crashed down around her over the news. In her 28 years here on earth, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her cry so much – it’s just not in her nature. My sister is strong to the point of coming off cold. She has a skin so thick she seems unbreakable in situations that would destroy a regular person. She kept saying things like: “What if I never hear my son say I love you?” “What if he’s aware of everything around him, but trapped in his own mind his whole life?” “I don’t want him to have to struggle; I want him to have a normal life.” and “This just isn’t fair.”

To see her fall apart so horribly unhinges my heart. I hate that I don’t know how to comfort her right now because I know all the positive, proactive things to say and do – I worked with kids with autism, I know what needs to happen next to correct any learning disabilities early on – but right now the pain is too fresh and these aren’t the things my sister wants to hear. Her fear for not just Gideon’s future, but the baby in her belly’s too now has completely consumed her.

As sad as it makes me that Gideon’s been labeled autistic, I am optimistic. I know that my family will do everything we need to do to educate him every day. I’m confident that after some actual one-on-one time, targeted to his weaknesses, that we will see improvements in his communication abilities. I feel like with work, he may completely test out when he’s tested again at 4 or 5 years old. And I know my sister will get to this positive place one day, but right now her worst fears for her child have come true. She can’t see past that at the moment.

When I was in college, working with special needs kids, I used to tell my mom that I thought I had such patience with them because God was preparing me for having my own special needs kid one day. Since there doesn’t seem to be a child in my future, I’m starting to think God prepared me for helping my nephew and I’ll gladly step up to the plate to teach my sister and nephew everything I know. I want her to have hope, to believe this won’t ruin his quality of life. And I, too, want Gideon to believe he’s just like every other kid one day. I just know that worrying about the ‘what if’s’ years down the road doesn’t help him today.

If you’re the praying type some supportive prayers for my sister’s family would be appreciated. Happy, positive thoughts are also welcome for those that don’t pray. My sister needs all the strength she can get to move onto the next stage in this diagnosis.
 

ANNOUNCEMENT!

I've had this secret for a few weeks now, but I can finally reveal it!

MY SISTER IS PREGNANT AGAIN!!!

I'm so crazy excited, you have no idea. I love being an aunt and can't wait to have another niece or nephew to love on and photograph the way I have Gideon. Here's the best of the photos I shot today for their announcement.

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Rachel's Announcement

I'm not sure Gideon's all that thrilled about being a big brother. 😉

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Christmas Day 2012: In Pictures

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Christmas Day 2012, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Christmas Morning at Mom and Dad’s

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Christmas Day Evening 2012, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Christmas with the Harris’s

Christmas Eve 2012: In Pictures

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Christmas Eve Morning 2012, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Presents and breakfast with the Huff's

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Christmas Eve 2012, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Christmas Eve dinner in Baltimore City

Life Updates and Whatnot

Life has been a lil sour for me lately and I feel the need to vent a bit about it now.

Monday night my hot water heater broke. It flooded my apartment. It was not a pleasant thing to wake up to. Our carpets were drenched and our closets were full of water and now damaged goods. A maintenance man came right away to turn off the water and run the shop-vac twice. This is what it looked like after the first attempts to clean it up.

Flood

They left around 1:30am and told us to remove everything from the kitchen for their return in the morning. And so we did, filling my living room with all of the dishes, drawers, etc.. from the kitchen. We took a 2 hour nap between the preparation for their return and their actual return and then my apartment was in full repair mode. A lady showed up with a different shop-vac, one that also shampooed the carpet. She ran it three times and it was still wet. She left a giant turbo fan aimed at it and left.

Meanwhile, the maintenance crew started gutting my kitchen. Turns out the counters and cabinets that house the hot water heater were built around the thing so in order to remove and replace it, everything had to come out. My house was a disaster. Once it was all replaced and my kitchen was back in order I had to deep clean the entire place. Despite my efforts, the hallway carpet is still partially damp and my house has that musty mildew smell. It doesn’t appear that the apartment complex intends to do anything about it so it looks like I’ll be shampooing my own carpets this weekend. I just hope mold doesn’t become

  -AND-  

My dad is very ill. And we don’t know why yet.

It started the week before last, when he got some freak eye infection after fish splattered in his eye. His eye swelled up so big it was like there was a golf ball trapped inside his eyelid and he couldn’t see at all. Apparently it’s so serious some people go blind from it. So they put him on two really strong antibiotics and sent him on his way. But in the middle of the night he was rushed to the hospital because he couldn’t breathe. Turns out he was having an adverse reaction to one of the antibiotics so they took him off of them, pumped him full of steroids and sent him home again on something new. Within a few days his eye started fading back to its normal self.

But then, this past Sunday, he was in such excruciating pain he thought he was having a heart attack and had to leave church in the middle of service. While he wasn’t having a heart attack (thank God), his liver was severely inflamed and he could hardly move. Thus began a series of tests. Blood tests, pulmonary tests, cat scans, tests-tests-tests. So far all we know is that the blood work indicates one of the four following things: heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, or a bleeding ulcer. None of which are good things.

My dad is only 51. He seems way too young to be facing these complications already. And I have to admit I’m scared for him, because three of those four possibilities can take your life, at any time. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to lose my dad so early in life. I don’t want to.

So in conclusion, trouble came knocking at my door when my heart has already been weary. If you’re the praying type, please say some prayers for my dad. Some hopeful thoughts would work too, though. Thanks in advance.

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Photography

Something's been on my mind a lot lately, in regards to my photography efforts. See, I study it lots. I practice it a lot, too. But the more and more I read, the more I see a trend in these beautiful pictures not just being beautiful because they were shot perfectly, but because they've been edited in photoshop or some other photo editing program. And, honestly, this bothers me. 

I rarely ever edit my photos. I might invert the photo to black and white, or add a blur effect in Instagram when I upload it there, but my photos are almost always raw and I prefer them that way. I don't even have photoshop or some sort of editing software to tamper with an image if I wanted to. 

And I think that's what makes a good photographer. Not the editing software they play with after the shoot, but the raw photos they capture in the purest forms of their camera's ability. I mean, back in the day, these editing software's didn't even exist and yet we found photos by great photographers magnificent. 

Am I alone in the theory that a good photographer doesn't need software to enhance their ability?

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Also, as a bonus, and because it's what spawned this post, today I did a photoshoot with my nephew, Gideon, for his 1st Birthday Party Invitations. Can you guys believe it's already been a year? I can't! 


Click the Photos for MORE!

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Dangerously Delicious

Pies, that is… More about that in a minute, but first…

I spent the day in Baltimore with my sister, mom and grandmother who is visiting from Florida for the week. We ate lunch at my uncles Cuban restaurant in the Inner Harbor Little Havana which is right on the water and free because we’re family. No worries, we left a hefty tip. Lunch was great, we had these lobster stuffed sandwiches on Texas toast style bread that was grilled in a garlic butter and then I had a burger (not your average burger) with sweet potato fries. It was beautiful out today and we got a surprise visit from one of my other uncles for a little bit. Plus they played two Arctic Monkeys songs through the outdoor speakers and I was stoked. No one ever knows who I’m talking about when I bring them up, but my uncle must if two songs could be played in the short time I was there. He just moved up on the coolness factor 😉

I finally got to see my sisters house which, aside from being in the city (which I’m not a fan of), is really awesome. I could so see myself living in a place like this if it didn’t have to be located in a crowded downtown district. Here’s some pictures of its awesomeness.


Mom in the living room


Nanny & Rae in between spaces


The Kitchen


Their Bedroom


The Bathrooms

Then we had desert at this place called, Dangerously Delicious Pies which is appropriately named so. The pies are like 28.00 bucks, but completely worth it and unlike any pies you’ve ever had before. Even Bobby Flay came to Baltimore just to have the pie we had today, which is called “The Baltimore Bomb” and consists of Baltimore’s well known Berger cookies. Oh my, delicious!! I should have taken a picture of the actual pie we ate, but we were ravenous for it and I didn’t think about it until after the fact. The pic shown is from their site. They make sweet pies and savory pies and you can even order them from anywhere in the US.

Lastly, we walked through the Cross Street Market, which sells anything and everything from fresh seafood and meats to flowers. Everything is fresh from that day and lined on both sides with a variety of vendors. Mom bought me flowers 😉

Overall it was a great day and really fun spending time with my sister since we aren’t exactly as close as I’d like to be. I’m sleepy now though and it’s only 9pm. Being outside all day in the sun can be tiring, and eating all of that food too.

Peace – Sarah

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P.S. Thanks everyone for all the positive remarks to my snippet last night. It’s amazing what a boost of confidence it was and how much it just wants to make me hurry up and finish the rest of it. Many many thanks!

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