Wednesday, December 30, 2009


blogging here today...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The last few days...

So christmas has come and gone yet the aftermath is still Knowing my family..the aftermath will still be present until the first or second week in Thank you everyone for the wonderful gifts... to GiGi and GreatGrandma these are the boots im purchasing with my christmas cash..thank you!!!!! I've always wanted a pair of cowgirl boots!

I attempted to get a shot of Max today where he was making somewhat of a normal face.. this was an attempt.. I am working on him. We are also working on putting some fat on this boy... any ideas??????

Got this of Loodledoodle in the bathtub caption. "Get that camera out of my face or I will sooo hit you with this dolphin!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a family photo!!!

We had a visit the other day from my mother, brother and sister in law the other day for a small christmas dinner and to spend some time for the holidays.. it was a blast and so nice to see them. My sister in law brought stuff to do ginger bread houses and Max did a ginger bread train. So much fun!! Santa is going to get a ginger bread house this year.. Lucky santa!!

My parents and grandmother are coming out Christmas morning to have breakfast and open presents with the kids. Im really excited about this possibly being a new tradition.. we have really played up the santa clause deal this year and the kids are just old enough where its getting to be a lot of fun.

Lucy was very pleased with herself if you can't tell.. thought she was sneaking candy..but we all knew what she was

I know... holy cow! Its the 5 of us together!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Its a wrap...

I'm feeling like work is starting to level out a bit as the holidays approach. I've meet so many wonderful families over the last 4 months... and I could have never guessed that a photography business could have bloomed the way it did in such a short amount of time. I am slowly learning how to balance life with a growing illness has forced me to control the levels of stress in my life. There are few things that will cause a flair up.. and stress level is a major factor in staying healthy. Its amazing how God works... and the unique ways he forces his hand so that you make necessary changes. Otherwise I just might have run myself right into the ground.

These are just a few photos from Halloween this year.. I haven't the chance to edit until recently.
Max is still doing wonderful and continues to make excellent progress in school. His immediate relationships have improved drastically and the stress level in the house has dropped. Now that he is in control of himself we can work on reward systems. (before recently this would have never worked... he hadn't the impulse control to care about the consequences). I have started a marble jar for him. Each day that he does well and shows intention to do well..he gets marbles for his jar. When he does things to intentionally defy the rules...he gets marbles taken out of his jar. After the goal is met.. he will get to go and play games at a local arcade for 2 hours. This was his choice and is very excited about doing well.

Monday, December 14, 2009

total bday journey with Crohns treatment week 5

Ok.. so is this not totally katy ro? Who created this diva? She had a blast at a classmates princess party at the mall... where each little girl was treated like a princess. She got her hair done..nails and make up done...drank lemonade out of china tea cups and at cupcakes on there little thones. It was sooooo stinkin cute. I just remember being this girly... where'd she get it from??
So this is my 5th week since being diagnosed with Crohns disease. Since i've not been blogging much I'll update you. Lab results, biopsies and colonoscopy confirmed that I have the auto immune disease called crohns. Its a disease where my over active immune system attacks my digestive tract...causing serious inflammation, bleeding, ulcers and degeneration. The disease can also attack other areas.. in my case it is also attacking my joints in the form of swelling, pain and bruising...and my the form of plaque psoriasis. I know those who have followed me for the last year know that i've been doing my best to change my lifestyle...IE: exercise, eating habits...unknowing what what ailing me. There isn't a cure for this disease... the goal is to achieve remission thru treatments.. and keep a lifestyle that prevents flareups. The first treatment regimen for me has been highdose steriods. I have a love hate relationship with
prednisone... although I haven't had abdominal pain or problems since week 3 (praise the lord).. the side effects are not pretty. Some side effects I have been experiencing are ... mood swings, extreme night sweats, increased appetite, swelling of my face and feet, sleeplessness, palpitations, hot flashes...did I mention mood swings...dry skin...mood swings... and most recently i've noticed the skin on my feet is so paper thin that i have tear and stretch marks on the tops of them... freaky!! Anyway.. this is supposed to be my last week on the roids... I started 10mg of prednisone yesterday.. and Im disappointed that i've started to feel pain and swelling in my joints again. I've also started an oral medication called Lialda..which is supposed to take over the steroids.. but I don't think this is going to work since im feeling the flair up again.
The next step for me if the Liada doesn't control this.. remecade (IV infusions) or Humara (weekly self injections)... people.. I can't even put a contact in my eye without wincing. Anyone have experience with this please speak up.. I'd love to hear your feedback.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

birthday party..

Sat at the table like a big kid...

playing with the parachute....
Playing Duck Duck Goose...

Today was most relaxing... I took the kids to a classmates birthday party. 4 year olds are so stinkin cute. Lucy got in on the action too.. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Hi Katy!"

Ok so its a little frigid this morning. Normally on M-W-F we walk to Katy's school with is just a few blocks away.. today the air was so chilly it stung the tips of my nose and ears the second I walked out the door. Yep.. no thanks.. I'll drive my warm car the two blocks to school.

Katy is the little social butterfly in her class.. its halarious to see her greet each and everyone of her friends everyday. She loves people and loves to learn ...I have a feeling that this little girl will do very well making a happy life for herself. She has been my big helper in the kitchen recently... I am trying to convince her that doing dishes is fun... so far so good.. we'll see how long it lasts.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Spending the last few days recovering a bit... slowly getting the editing done from this weekend. Im really getting excited for christmas.. for the kids sake. Its fun to see them talk about it ... makes me remember what christmas meant to me as a kid. Were going to keep it simple this year... Andy and I are decorating the house... Katy will help me make cookies...and we are having family over for breakfast christmas morning...usually christmas is spent other places...which is fun also but I think its time to set some of our own family traditions. Now off to edit photos :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Quick summary of this weekends shoot off...pheuf!

Of course I have to show the babies... they are my fav!! This is just a glimpse into this weekends 6 photoshoots. Red seems to be the theme :) Saturday morning was a bit challenging because of the weather... infact there will have to be a re-shoot.. but as the snow slowed down saturday afternoon it became kind of romantic and fun. So now that this weekend is out of the way.. im going to hybernate for 2 weeks.. :) good night everyone!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas wishes...

Last year the kids did a "video to santa" and Max asked if he could do that again this year.. so here they are :)

more on ADHD before and after...

BEFORE (1 week before adhd treatment)

AFTER (1 day after adhd treatment) Its snowing like crazy outside right now... and this mornings photo session didn't workout despite trying ... it was just coming down too hard. So I'm sitting here sipping on my coffee beaming at how proud my son son has come with his behavior in less than a week. Its been an amazing transformation to see him go from (see his before picture above) frustrated, un-organized, too hyper and impulsive to even focus on drawing a picture..(the above he also tore the corner and crumbled it up he was so annoyed with himself) after) discovering a new talent in drawing and writing... he has been drawing non-stop since he discovered he could only a few days ago... Andy helped with the spelling of these words but this is HIS handwriting. People, Max couldn't consistently draw in the lines or hold a pencil correctly less than a week ago!!!

I couldn't be happier for him!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

and so it begins...

Two down...4 more to go. Kids are so much fun!!!!

Wacky Weekends

Untitled-1, originally uploaded by RGonzalezPHOTOGRAPHY.

Mornings are pretty early for me right now.. still adjusting to getting up at 6am everymorning to get Max ready and off to school. The plus side to this is the little bit of quiet lull time between when Max leaves for school and when the girls get up. Coffee, email, SHOWER.... did I mention ...SHOWER?? This morning I got Katy up with me and we made homemade gingerbread cookies for her preschool class. The house smells devine....much like its occupated by a mother who normally does these kinds of things.. LOL!! (IE: baking at 6am in the morning) .. no seriously I've really enjoyed spending that one on one time with Katy. She has really started to become my big helper.

This weekend is a full one... two photoshoots each day this weekend.. including a trip to NJ (for photos)...its a long day in the car (10 hours) but I will be nice to change the scenery a bit. AND I get to meet a blogging friend Danielle and her sweet family on the way home!!

Day 3 on Max's new meds... doing better with the side effects. No belly pain and yesterday he ate more than he did the first day. Still positive words back from his teacher.. and he is still very excited to return to school. Slightly agitated around 4-6.. not half as bad as he was the first day.

off to get Katy dressed.. hugs everyone!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Max and ADHD

Wow its been a long time since I paid my own blog a visit! We've been pretty busy at the gonzadino house of craziness. Since I've blogged last we've moved to a new home in Winchester city, Max changed schools, I've been diagnosed with Crohns Disease and my photog. business is booming!

I've previously mentioned struggles with my 5 year old son Max. God bless him he was cursed with the family's ADHD predisposition. For years I've been struggling to help him with diet changes, positive discipline methods... routine stability... and sometimes just plain ignoring the behavior. I didn't realize how much he struggled with this until family intervened and I could see him in a social setting with his other peers. It was then pretty obvious that no amount of preservative and dye removal from his diet..vitamin B... or encouragement was going to help this child who clearly has a chemical imbalance. I've struggled with the idea of giving my child an adhd medication. Knowing that doing so would pretty much be a school age commitment.. as I too was on ADHD meds for most of my young life. (but as a child with a diagnosed adhd chemical imbalance.. meds were the right answer for me and I believe I survived the rigors of school, home and social aspects of life because of the meds that were prescribed for my childhood adhd)

I agree that many children are thrown onto the medications because it seems like the simplest and easiest answer to handling an overactive or unruly child. When many times the best course of action should have, routine, environment or parenting changes. I can honestly say that i've done my best over the last 36 months in all aspects and attempts and improving Max's quality of life outside of medicinal changes. With that said....

After many days of Max being singled out at school.. and the obvious and difficult frustrations Max is facing at home we have finally decided to proceed with Medicinal treatments. Max started an ADHD medication called Vyvanse yesterday and before the teacher even had a chance to read my letter to her informing her of the new treatment plan for Max.. I received a phone call from a VERY pleased teacher about how well Max was doing at school yesterday!! She stated that he was calmer, organized, followed directions easily and quickly (in the past its taken us up to 10 times more often than not to get Max to do Simple tasks such as put your shoes on or brush your teeth) Max came home from school a little irritable.. and with a belly ache (poss. side effect of meds) but overall happier about school and excited to return the next day. (never has he wanted to be at school until now).

this morning he woke up quickly and eager to get ready to start his day... in the past it was a battle to get him moving and out of bed. Over all I'm seeing very positive results!!! I am a tad concerned about the immediate side effects:

late afternoon crankiness
stomach upset
NO appetite
tough time going to bed

Hopefully we can work thru these. Anyone else have experiences with a young child being treated with meds for ADHD?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

i've not died...:)

I just wanted to post that im still alive.. im sorry i've not been here in a while... i have been extremely busy. I hope to start posting regularly again soon.. please don't give up on me :) Hugs everyone!!!!! miss you all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

early morning...first day of school.

Well this morning around 4:30 I lay awake in my bed with a restless baby... 5:30 rolls around and I get the call telling me its time to go do the water birth i promised i would do. So tired i lay in bed thinking of how to juggle three children in a home with 6 already and cover this mamas first water birth... and get Max to school on time for his first day. So i decided that i wasn't going to make it happen by laying in bed thinking about it... so I woke the kids up.. got them dressed and we drove over and had what i consider to be a successful photo shoot Lucy was on my back the entire time in the bundleboo and max and katy were mostly occupied by the other children... Katy was more fascinated with watching the birth. What a privilege it was to be there... she was amazing. There are a few more photos posted on my flickr.. you can find that link on the right hand side of my page.. hopefully i will have more updated soon.

Max did get to school on time... so super cute.. he decided that he wanted to be a big boy and ride the bus... his face lit up as he stood in line waiting his turn to get on. Picking him up a few hours later he was beaming and excited about his day. He's really looking forward to going back tomorrow. Yay for max!!!
(o i did get pictures of course of max.. i still need to upload them I will post them when i can)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

wrapping up the summer

I met Max's teacher yesterday... its so odd being in a public school again for the first time since i graduated high school... well... really exploring the school. The walls smell of fresh paint and the teachers have colorful media all over the rooms. Max's classroom has 20 students with a teacher and aide. Mrs. Costello is her name and she is super bubbly and sweet like imagine all kindergarten teachers should be. After some thought I think that this year will be okay for letting him ride on the bus. The bus driver keeps all the smaller students in the front.. .and the afternoon dismissal is all kindergarten students. It will ultimately work out better than trying to juggle drop offs and pick up with both Max and Katy being in school. Next week is Katy's turn to meet her teacher at first Presbyterian weekday school...Katy will be attending class 3 half days a week. Her BFF Hannah will be in her class so excited for her. She also talks constantly about her ballet class coming up.

This upcoming weekend is a REALLY busy one for the r.gonzalez photos... I am full all weekend.. plus really looking forward to baby Saturday at my parents... i get to see my nephew who's been with this mom for the last 6 weeks. Yay!! Hugs everyone!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meeting the teacher

Did I mention that my baby boy starts kindergarten this week?? I know!!! Today we get to meet his teacher... Mrs. Costello. I am so excited for him... I can tell they are so ready to be rid of me. A parent at church mentioned how well my kids did after being left. Perhaps its the genetics working..but my kids never have had separation issues... well maybe a little when Max was small.. but for the most part they like to push me out the door. Grateful and Sad all at the same time.

Well off to run some errand's... hugs everyone... I need to catch up soon on all of your blogs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

catching up

Its been a pretty productive week... getting the house put back together, catching up on laundry (the story of my life) and getting the kids ready for school next week. Monday we meet with Max's teacher and see his new school. Katy starts school the first week in September and ballet the second week in September. My work schedule is booking up fast also.. so its going to be interesting trying to balance my schedule...definitely no complaints tho!!
Next week I start my CA baby boutique project... is sending me inventory and has asked me to photograph babies and children wearing her clothing line. Very exciting. So September 2-3 I will be doing some rockabilly type urban baby shots in downtown Winchester... let me know if you are interested in signing up to have your baby model..and earn free Genny Sue clothes. .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

busy week..

So, I positively LOVE my job!!! I am finding that my niche is definitely "child photography" we'll see if i can extend that into weddings when October rolls around and i start shooting those events. I get that rush and excitement that i got from being a paramedic... Its a job that allows me to be creative.. genuine. It keeps me sharp and organized...and its an valuable outlet for stress... I can't say enough about it. Anyway, I have a busy next couple of weeks coming up... I'm really excited... so i may not be able to post here everyday... so if you want updates i recommend checking my fan page or my facebook profile..

love you all!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

salad dressing or facial cleanser?

whats the title of this photo??

As a teenager I could have never imaged in a million years putting oil on my face... I wanted it all gone. My face needed to be so squeaky clean and tight feeling that it felt like I was wearing a mud mask. That was the indicator that I've successfully rid myself of all this hateful oil. Little did I know at the time that stripping my skin of this oil was not only not helping my breakout was making it worse. I learned later on that...depriving your skin of its natural surfactant causes it to go into overload producing more to protect itself. I've also learned that oil it itself does not cause breakouts... dirt, bacteria, hormones and other genetic and enviornmental factors...many of which are completely out of our control do.

Anyway, 10 years later I've come full circle... oil is now becoming my friend... as my skin has matured I'm starting to crave a texture on my skin that can't be confused as a beach. And as I've become more environmental and health conscious naturally I look for a safe and healthy alternative to my usual over the counter chemical beauty regimen. I'm starting to take the philosophy that if I cant pronounce it my body probably doesn't need it. To be honest I cant remember where I first heard about using olive oil on my skin...but looking for an alternative to the dryness and texture problem Ive been having I went online and started researching. Now I'm sure you know that skins best friend is water... so there really isn't any better alternative to moisture than drinking the recommended amounts of water everyday. (something by the way i am terrible at remembering to do)... once you get the water in there... you add a surfactant to protect and smooth the skin...keeping the moisture in. Olive Oil is a fantastic it has loads of antioxidants that help rid your skin cells of free radicals that cause environmental skin problems. Vinegar is a natural toner and cleanser..helping to rid your skin of harmful bacteria that hide in pores causing those nasty breakouts (skin infections). Sugar is a really excellent exfoliant removing dead skin cells, promoting circulation and regrowth of fresh new surface cells. I have been using this regimen for about a week now and I can see a dramatic difference in the texture of my skin... now if I can only remember to drink the water everyday and I'll be in good shape.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

awsome couple of area police

daily antics

The last couple of Days have gone by really fast! Andy and I were looking at each other at dinner tonight trying to figure out why the days are suddenly flying by so fast. We had a great couple of days tho... Max woke up yesterday and decided what we were doing. "Mommy, I want to go see the caves!" ... so we packed up the kids and drove to Shenandoah caverns. Totally a touristy thing to do but we had a blast. Everything about the trip was fascinating to Max...and Katy made best friends with the tour guide and had a questions for everything. (she is going to love school!)
Today was mostly errand photoshoot was moved up to later in the month so we spent another day together as a family. We had a few things to do in leesburg ... then headed to Dulles Town center to let the kids go bananas in the play area. It was a great alternative to melting in the heat...bleh... glad the whole summer hasn't been like this. There was a little boy about 2 in the play area that was running around pushing, pulling, slapping and hitting the other children. I had my eye on him and couldn't see a parental intervention at anytime. This went on for about 25 minutes. Finally this little kid tried to forcefully shove an older boy off the playset stairs and I jumped up to stop him. Again no parent around to intervene. I gently grabbed the little boy from running away and asked him where his mommy was. My husband... of course...Cop Andy from the other side of the play area...yelled.. "where is the parent for this child!!!???" And still we had to get her attention... I mean common! Anyway... she scooped up her little boy and marched over to my husband and demanded to know what the problem was. Andy explained that she needed to be watching her son who has been running circles around the play area for the last 30 mins assaulting every child he came in contact with. Of course she defended and denied everything we were telling her. Are we the bad guys now for standing up to this little kid?? I saw at least 10 different children cry because of this and NO ONE was speaking up. What are parents afraid of??????? Okay, I know that this is typical 2s behavior.. but this is why your supposed to be there to parent your child... not give them the freedom of say a 5 year old. Anyway... off my soap box.