Sunday, March 21, 2010


Gavin and Miriel have added quite a few babies to their group of friends recently! I had a fun time photographing two of them, Ella and Charlie, who were both born in January. These were the first newborns I have photographed, and the first time using a 2-light setup (Charlie's photos only) so it was definitely a learning experience! Both babies are about 2 1/2 months old now, but these photos are from when they were about 2 weeks old.

Ella belongs to our dear friends Jason and Amy. They have a special place in my heart for lots of reasons, but most recently because much of their experience with Ella so far is similar to our experience with Gavin when he was a baby. It is a difficult time for them but they are persevering and doing an amazing job loving their beautiful baby girl, no matter the circumstances. My favorite thing right now about Ella is her adorable cooing! Those little happy noises just get my heart.

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Charlie belongs to David and Amber. We have known David for a while but have only known Amber since they moved to Portland last summer. It has been fun to watch David as a father, and I have really enjoyed Amber's friendship through our pregnancies and now as we both have newborns. I really love Charlie's forehead wrinkles and how much he looks like his dad!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Spring!

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Yesterday Saturday was a beautiful, warm day in Portland. (I originally started this post on Saturday night, then finished most of it on Sunday and now am finally posting it on Monday. The life of a mom, I tell you - nothing ever gets finished in one sitting). Despite the fact that there are a million things we could have been doing at home, several of which desperately need to be done, we decided to take advantage of the weather and go on a walk. We walked to the MAX station, rode the train downtown, went to Finnegan's toy store and got Gavin a 48-piece puzzle (because he has mastered all the 24-piece puzzles we have for him) and had an early dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. It was so nice to be outside! It did take us a good 1.5 hours or so to get out of the house, but that's faster than the 4 hours it took me a few days ago (without Chad) to leave for a dentist appointment. (No, I don't have pictures. I didn't take the camera because we were carrying enough to clothe, diaper and feed an army already.)

Speaking of getting out of the house, that's something I feel like we don't do much of these days. I've chickened out of taking both Gavin and Miriel to the grocery store multiple times now, mainly because just the thought of getting everyone to a point where we can walk out the door is overwhelming, not to mention how to manage them when we finally get to the store (especially if it's Trader Joe's, where the carts are small and, although they will hold the carseat, they won't hold anything else). And the time, too - at least 1.5 hours, if we don't try to shower. If I want to be clean, probably more like 2.5 hours. Or 4+ if Miriel is fussy, needs many diaper and clothing changes, and everything ends up taking so long that we then have to make and eat lunch, like a few days ago. I totally agree with my friend Kate (who also has two little ones), who says it's the logistics that get you with two. The getting-out-of-the-house thing is especially confounding when Miriel cries or wakes up within 3 minutes of me putting her down (I would say that this happens nearly all the time, except that it hasn't been happening consistently for the past 2 days, for which I am incredibly grateful. Edit - we're back to Miriel needing to be held most of the time again). Thankfully it's still March and often rainy, so I don't feel compelled to leave too much, and Gavin is pretty happy playing inside or in the back yard most of the time, too. And I am ever so thankful that Chad is home a lot and lets me go to the grocery store by myself. (Another edit - I went to the grocery store today and took Gavin. It's amazing how easy it felt to take just him - and not be hugely pregnant - now that I could be taking two!)

(About that 48-piece puzzle - after doing it the first time with Chad, Gavin did it mostly by himself the second time, with a few hints here and there from me. And today (yes, Monday) I did very little helping and he finished the whole thing. I guess we'll be back at the store for another one soon... maybe 80 pieces next time?)

By the way, I did in fact take that photo of Miriel I said I would take. I even took some of Gavin, too. (And then the next day I took some more, because I wasn't satisfied with the first ones.) Here's proof:

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And the next day's photos...

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sometimes I don't write because it's been so long that I feel guilty and obligated to catch up on everything from the last post until the current. Yes, that's ridiculous, but it happens. Just like I feel guilty that I haven't taken a single photograph of Miriel (who is currently 4 1/2 weeks old) since she turned 1 week old and therefore feel like I need to take lots of photos of her when I finally do get out the camera, and good ones, so I don't end up getting out the camera at all since it's a big task. Well, today I am writing in this blog, at least a few sentences about each of my wonderful children, and tomorrow (when she is awake) I will take at least one photograph of Miriel and not obsess about it being a spectacular one.

Miriel continues to be overall a mellow and happy baby, and we are so thankful. She's the cutest to me when she's awake and alert, looking around and making faces. I love to see her smiles, even though they're not predictable and I cannot manage to elicit one no matter how hard I try (yes, I know it's really too early for that anyway). She loves to cuddle and be held. In the last few days she has gotten baby acne (or possibly a rash). When we weighed her at my in-laws on Thursday, she was 9 pounds 3 ounces - almost 3 pounds more than when she came home from the hospital 4 weeks before. The last week or so she has been a little more fussy and less happy to be put down, anywhere or any time, so I have been getting considerably less done. (But it's hard to get "considerably less" done that what I had been doing, since that was very little to start with - which, by the way, I am not feeling guilty about.) As far as I have read, though, this is normal and she'll start getting less fussy and develop more of a sleeping pattern in a couple more weeks. (Miriel so far has pretty much followed the general pattern of what is "normal" in the baby books, very much unlike her brother.)

Gavin's most recent development is his imagination, which has completely taken off in the last month. He has been coming up with all kinds of amazing comlex things lately and never fails to give us a good laugh. One of his favorites right now is to look for lions and tigers and wolves in the bushes (any bushes, anywhere) with a stick (and yes, he came up with this all by himself). What he really wants is for one of us to look with him and then say "roar" loudly and grab his shoulders, scaring him a little, and then he giggles and wants to do it all over, again and again. He has tons of energy and fills our days with life. Along with his exploding imagination he has also started to become afraid of things in his room at night, which has been interesting to help him deal with (and we haven't quite figured it out yet). Learning how to discipline him as he gets older is always a challenge for us but so far (at least recently) it feels like a good one, keeping us on our toes and helping us to grow and learn as parents.

Several people have asked how it's going getting adjusted to having two children, and I really have felt so far that it is a much easier experience for us than having the first one was. Emotionally, I am not wrung out by an always-fussing baby whom I can't figure out what's wrong with or how to console. Instead I have a happy and fun toddler keeping my mind occupied and a cuddly baby to snuggle with. Not that Gavin doesn't ever throw fits and Miriel doesn't ever cry or have gas or just get uncomfortable and fussy, definitely to the contrary! But it's not all day every day. And I have perspective. We made it through the always-fussing never-happy baby to get to the energetic smiling toddler. Nothing lasts forever, and when Miriel gets gassy and irritated or I get 5 hours of sleep divided up into 3 segments because Miriel wanted to eat 3 times during the night and Gavin was up twice, I know because of experience that we can get through it, the gassiness will pass and every night won't be like that. And I also know that, for this newborn stage, two weeks from now things will likely be quite different from how they are at the moment. Miriel will probably be sleeping for longer stretches at night, at least sometimes, and her digestive tract will be more developed. I think this time around I am getting the opportunity to enjoy having a newborn, being present in and thankful for the moment. Not that I always do, but I often do, and that is such a blessing.