Shout Out: Deena Riley Photography

A few months ago, we met up with Deena Riley to have some quick pictures done at sunset. She met us at The Filter Building at White Rock Lake – the perfect backdrop for this shoot. Deena photographed our sweet baby when she was just 12 days old in our home. We considered a few different options when we were looking for someone to take Olivia’s newborn portraits. Honestly, price was a huge consideration for us. I found packages ranging from $125 to $1500. Working with a tight budget – we wanted a package to include prints + digital negatives and didn’t want to compromise on talent! Overall, we were hugely satisfied with her friendliness and professionalism as well as the amazing quality of her work. She ran a contest earlier in the spring that allowed us to purchase a sunset shoot at an awesome discounted rate! We were thrilled to have the opportunity to take advantage of this package – Below are some of my favorite shots.

* Note: Olivia (at 4 months) was being a little stinker and WOULD NOT smile. Probably confused as to why she wasn’t in the bath at sunset.

Definitely check out Deena’s website next time you’re looking for a family photographer! 

Momma Meg Loves: The Dallas World Aquarium

Daniel and I first visited the aquarium when I came to visit just a few months after we started dating. We’ve since celebrated a few Birthdays and even a Valentine’s day there. Most recently, we celebrated our first Mother’s Day at the Dallas World Aquarium – where Daniel (+ Olivia) gifted me an annual pass.

December 2005 at The Dallas World Aquarium

Mother’s Day 2012

The Dallas World Aquarium Individual Pass $95 + One Non-Designated Guest $80  = $175 allows either our family (Kids under 3 are free!) or I can invite a friend, mom, etc. We decided that it would be best to invest in the extra $80 knowing that Olivia and I would go more often if we could invite friends. Become a Member Here. No matter what, the annual pass is the way to go at the DWA – General Admission tickets for adults are $20.95, Kids 3-12 are $12.95. As fabulous as it is, $20.95 is outrageous to visit the DWA once. Even the Ft. Worth Zoo is cheaper! At an average of 2 visits/month, each trip would cost $7.29.

  • The DWA is open 9:00AM-5:00PM daily. I’ve found that the best time to go (especially during the summer) to avoid the field trip and summer camp crowds is first thing in the morning when they open, or towards the end of the day (after 3:30PM) You can definitely see it all in a few hours, especially if you have a pass and don’t feel pressured to get your 20 bucks worth.
  • It’s VERY difficult to maneuver strollers (and wheelchairs) through the DWA so I usually make sure to have Olivia freshly fed and diapered when we arrive to avoid having to nurse or change her. Highly recommend baby wearing for this adventure + a backpack!
  • The only downside with the DWA pass is that it does NOT include free parking. Parking downtown (in the touristy West End District) can be pricey. Liv and I usually opt to take DART (The West End Station is just a few blocks from the DWA) adding only a few dollars to our visit cost.
  • Also – They sell beer.

Watching the Waterfall at The Dallas World Aquarium

Most Recently, we visited the DWA while Gramma G + Auntie Em were in town. My sister in law, Tricia, her two girls, Rylie (5) and Remie (5 weeks) and my darling granddad joined us. Liv always loves the manatees and the pengiuns. Oh! and the waterfall – she could sit and stare at it all day.

This is Liv’s “I love Manatees” face

At the DWA with Cousin Rylie

Baby Wearing at the DWA

Featured Image From Here

Family P Celebrates the 4th: Fried Chicken NO Fireworks

We have failed miserably for the past 4 years at finding the perfect spot to watch Fireworks. Growing up in hill-y Southern California, we were always able to see Fireworks from the backyard deck. There were are few years that we made the trek to the park or beach, but most of my memories of Fourth of July were at home. Living downtown is great for a lot of things… not Fourth of July. Next year, I think we’ll make more of an effort to be lake-side or better yet… maybe plan a family trip to CALIFORNIA!

My mom “Gramma G” was in town with my youngest sister Emily  for the 4th (and to celebrate my… gulp… 26th birthday!). A whirlwind of a trip, we started with a quickie dinner at Tampopo Japanese Cafe on Greenville (delicious… and cheap! tempura and bento boxes!) before escorting my darling gandaddy and his date to a summer concert at the Dallas Arboretum.


Chihuly Nights Concert @ The Dallas Arboretum

Such a bummer when this holiday falls midweek.. at least for my sweet hardworking husband who has to go straight back to work the next day. We attended my mom’s childhood neighborhood parade first thing in the morning, followed by a wonderful afternoon by the pool. Post-swimming naps and snacks and a wonderful meal at our new favorite place Chicken Scratch (read more here). Great food (Free Range Fried Chicken + traditional southern sides) Good beer selection, and AMAZING outdoor atmosphere… very kid friendly!

Swimming with Gramma G

Swimming on the Fourth of July

Liv Loves Chicken Scratch

@ Chicken Scratch

Full of Fried Chicken our plans to go and see fireworks at Fair Park were quickly abandoned… instead we ate Peach Cobbler (Recipe Here) on the front porch, bathed the baby and called it a night. The rest of  Gramma G/Auntie Em’s trip included a trip to the Dallas World Aquarium, a weekend at Lake Cypress Springs, a birthday celebration and delicious brunch at Oddfellows  in the Bishop Arts District.

Swimming with Cousins @ The Bilbo Lake House

Gramma G @ Oddfellow’s with Liv

And in one short month… WE’RE GOING TO CALIFORNIA!

Olivia: 4 Months

4 Month Check-Up

14.0 Pounds

23.75 Inches 

Size:  “6 month”, Size 1 Diapers

Nicknames: Sneekle Feetzie, Liv, O, Liver Dude, Liv Cakes, Love/Liv Bug, Peanut, OKP

4 months


The Baby Einstein Exersaucer (AKA “The Disc”)

Sophie the Giraffe and Sophie “Chewie”

Standing while holding Mom or Dad’s hands

Listening to her Daddy play guitar or piano

The “Liv, Liv, Liv” Song

The Belly Button Song

“Jump Jump Jump” Jana Alayra Song

“Where’s Spot?”

Going to the Aquarium

Going to the Dallas Arboretum (AKA Arbor-eatzi-mah-bah)

Being Outside

WubbaNub (AKA WerberNerb or WerberNerber)

Morning Snuggles with Mom

“Longtime Sunshine” Song

Bath Time, Baby Massage, Bed Time

The “Climb Mommy” game

Happy Baby Pose

Putting fingers, hands, and feet in her mouth.

4 Months


Being called “Dumbo”

Getting in the Car Seat

Being in the stroller

Not being in mom’s arms

The Sling

4 Months


Babbling, Cooing, Baby talkin’

Rolls over both directions


Consistently sleeping for 5+ hours stretch night.

Occasionally sleeping 8+ hours

Going to Church @ Fellowship White Rock

Daily Routine:

3AM- 5AM: Wake Up, Nurse, Snuggle with Mom in bed

8AM: Nurse

9AM: Nap (30MIN – 1HR)

11AM: Nurse

2PM: Nurse

3PM: Nap (1HR-2HRs)

5PM: Nurse

7PM: Nurse

8PM: Starts Dozin’

8:30PM: Bathtime, Lotion and Massage, “Jammies”

9:00PM Nurse, Songs and Prayers

1AM: Wakeful Babe = gets a paci and usually falls back asleep

Note: I need to get better at taking in-focus iphone pictures.