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Hello and welcome to the Life Iz blog. Since I just recently discovered what a blog actually is and how it all works, we are going to learn together! It will be something like this: a fun place to see some of our favorite images from our most recent sessions and get ideas for your own; a place to share our favorite finds for mommies, daddies and children; a place where you can get to know me and the Life Iz staff; and a place to share what I've learned during my first years as a parent because maybe it will be helpful for all of you, or maybe it will just make you laugh and remember... and be easier on yourself. Love, Liz

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Wong Family

A sneak peek from the really fun session with the adorable Wong family - I really enjoyed working with them and can't wait to show them all of their photos! In the meantime, here are just a few...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Hedrick Family

Talk about a perfectly beachy bunch! This gorgeous family partook in our super-fun Sprout event.

Friday, August 22, 2008


This is something I learned that I would like to share with other new mommies. I know this sounds a bit scary and that’s not my goal, to scare anyone into buying something expensive. It’s just that in this case, I feel it’s my responsibility to share this:

I just bought a very pricey ($400) crib mattress (made in England) for my little guy Eli and this was tough since I know you can get the DELUX mattresses at Baby’s R Us for about $90 dollars. I also found a mattress made in the US that the manufacturers claimed to be “organic” and was about half the price of the one I got. My father, a physician who has been studying toxicology for over 30 years gave me a good enough reason to buy the one from Europe. Please read below. I know some of it may be hard to follow as it gets pretty technical, but you’ll get the point of it.

FYI: Here’s what I bought after a mommy group member suggested it and it was approved by my dad:


You can get them from several stores in the US. I got Eli’s from The Juvenile Shop

In the 1990s there was nothing but praise for the fact that most states made it mandatory that many common electronic appliances in the home be treated with flame retardants to slow any electrical fire that might occur from malfunction or overheating. This requirement was further extended to include other items for which the use of fire retardants made sense, such as bedding (including mattresses for beds and cribs) and children’s sleepwear.

Unfortunately, as we learned more about some of the chemicals used as flame retardants, we recognized that one group, the polybrominated diphenyl esters (PBDEs) were potent neurotoxins (toxic to the brain and nervous tissue), were capable of slowing or even arresting development of young animals, and were toxic to the liver in multiple species. What was more frightening was the fact that nearly every adult tested had these PBDEs in their blood, and in nursing mothers, the concentration in breast milk was higher than in the blood.

PBDEs are concentrated in fat, and are part of a group of chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These POPs break down very slowly, if at all, and persist in the environment for decades (like DDT).

Many states have banned the use of the 4, 5, and 8 bromine containing PBDE, but continue to allow the use of the deca-BDE (containing 10 bromine atoms). The argument has been that this larger molecule is more “stable” than the smaller, more toxic PBDEs. Unfortunately, recent research shows that this “deca” BDE breaks down into the 5 and 4 bromine containing PBDE over time, either through the action of common bacteria or in the body itself via the action of the liver (the organ responsible for trying to get rid of this toxin in the blood). These facts were brought out to a “blue ribbon” committee that advises the EPA, and the leading researcher involved in this work was “dismissed” from this committee by the FDA at the request of other members of the committee who were appointees of the chemical industry. So much for fair mindedness.

Given this situation, and the “digging in” by the chemical manufacturers, there is not likely to be a US ban on the deca product any time soon. Best advice: Buy bedding for your child that is PBDE free. These are usually made in Europe, where PBDEs are not used. You should also look for sleepwear not made with chemical flame retardants, or at least, no PBDEs. Yes, there are other, non-toxic flame retardants out there. Check the internet or the Environmental Working Group’s website for more information.

Dr. Stewart Lonky MD, author of Invisible Killers

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eli Update!

Here's a recent photo of our favorite baby, Eli. Liz insists "he's just thinking real hard" but I think he is busy doing something else...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Lewis Family

Meet Baby Dylan - he is cute as a button and so fun to photograph! This family was a part of our Sprout Event this summer, and just a pleasure to work with. How can you not love that smile!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Anna and her parents were so much fun- and adventurous too! Darling little Anna "posed" on an antique bench, with Grandma, with Mom and Dad, with the beloved family dog, and in a sweet pink basket...


Ladies and gentlemen - meet Benjamin! How squeeze-ably adorable is this little fellow?

Eli's Birth

I told you there you would be more photos from Eli’s first day of life and here they are finally!

My son, Elijah Wolf Schneggenburger, was born into a room filled with laughter and tears of joy, surrounded by loved ones on May 30th 2008 at 10:20am. It was quite a party! By my side was my loving husband Marty, my strong, supportive mom, and my voice of encouragement (and DJ), my sister, Danielle. Dr. Dad was brave enough to stay in the room and watch his grandson be born. Friends, Fanny, Becky and Shayna huddled together and witnessed everything with excitement, awe, and a touch of fear.

Oh yes, and I can’t forget my wonderful birth photographer and friend Stephanie, who was there to capture these beautiful images…I only wish someone had taken a photo of her too!

Maybe this is why Eli already loves a good party with lots of smiling faces around him and good tunes playing in the background.

Other than being my birth doula, my sister also was a great birthroom DJ, playing tunes from her iPhone to keep things light and happy.
She even played “Push It” by Salt n’ Pepa. You can’t take birthing babies too seriously when you hear that. I was a few weeks past my due date so friends were anxious.

Good family friend and Doctor, Randy Harris, took good care of me and E.

Moments after he was delivered, Eli already has a lot to say.

Eli was very alert, with his eyes wide open to take it all in. He is still this way. I often find myself saying to him, “You don’t have to take the whole world in by today. You’ve got time little man.”