Inspired by Young House Love’s* photo project with their daughter, I thought it would be neat to also take a weekly photo of our baby. For the first 10 weeks it was fine, especially since she was actually bigger from one week to the next. Now it’s more of a chore. I mean, I’m taking photos of her all the time, but organizing the photos is a different story. I have to upload them and sit by a calendar and check the dates on the camera to even know how many weeks she is in the photos. After 52 weeks I suppose I have to make some fancy collection like a photo book.
This is one of the many things about parenting that I think about way too much — how many photos are enough? I can take 30 photos of her in one pose and it’s great at the time, but then I end up deleting or not uploading a lot of them, and I feel bad making that choice to erase that image of my child forever (although there are dozens of equal photos, basically). When she’s 20 I’m not going to think “I’m so glad I have 4,000 photos of her from the first year of her life,” when most of us have one album’s worth from our entire childhood (with the exception of my associate, who I think only has one baby photo and I have lost it/possibly thrown it away on accident after it was used at our baby shower).
I love looking at photos and videos of the baby, though it was probably stupid of me to edit them right in front of her while she was eating and I had to ignore her for a few seconds every minute to look at an image of her (quality time, everyone!). I definitely stop before I grab the camera and wonder if capturing the moment is more important than enjoying the moment.
It’s said that the subsequent children aren’t photographed as much and I can already tell that will be the case. In fact, that’s a consolation to me that I won’t have to make that effort to take a photo of Baby #2’s every milestone. I will have already learned that having a camera in hand doesn’t always matter. So, to my future babies: I will probably love you as much as Baby #1. All of your baby photos will have your big sister and at least 1 dog in them. Don’t take it personally. We’ll make it up to you some other way.
In other news, my associate had a birthday recently. For the first time since we’ve been together we didn’t make an event of the other’s birthday (like invite friends out/over to do anything). He still got some presents and the Moon Bounce all to himself. He also got a clown cone from Baskin Robbin’s since someone didn’t feel like making a cake because we’ve recently gotten diabetes from the chocolate chip cookie dough-stuffed sugar cookies that I made for Father’s Day. Grown up, no-fuss birthdays are nice. Maybe we’ll just go for group parties for the birthdays that involve Over the Hill/grim reaper decorations. We’re getting there.
*I’m going to let you do the work to find their photo collection. It seems weird for me to link directly to a year of photos of a stranger’s baby.
What is the what:
1) A weekend getaway:
We were in Williamsburg for less than 24 hours while my associate participated in a charity bike ride (he rode 100 miles in one day, huzzah!). It was our first overnight stay with the baby. It was a fun, even if I drove myself nuts thinking about preparing for it. When we visit my parents for a weekend (not saying when in case the Wet Bandits are reading this), I don’t have to pack as much now that I know how things work. We had pool time for the first time, met up with pals & ate some food. It was a nice break from the house where I am in a constant cycle of washing dishes and cleaning cat puke.
Also, I was inspired to create a reality show after getting Toast down for a nap without any of her normal nap supplies (that stuffed animal head/blanket thing that I think people call “loveys” and her pacifier). Just using my sweet sweet voice to sing to her — which I think sounds like Norah Jones to her, but in reality sounds more like the seagull from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” — and letting her gnaw on my watch band, I was able to get her to fall asleep. The premise of the show is to send parents and their infants to exotic locales and they have to lull the babies to sleep using random objects and their wits. I call it “NapQuest.” Alternate titles were “So You Think You Can Sleep?” and “the Biggest Snoozer.”
You actually owe me money after reading that last paragraph.
2) Good stuff on Instant Netflix
There’s so much that I’m not going to bother with quotation marks: Survivors, Downton Abbey, The Ten, Sherlock, Cheers, the Cosby Show, Scrubs, My So-Called Life, Easy A, Archer, and more. Seriously, Netflix, I would pay at least twice as much as I do for you. We aren’t watching as often now, but there’s always something on Netflix. We also have Hulu Plus, which we can watch on both of our TVs. I like it mainly for the Daily Show now that our other stories are off for the summer. The thing about HP, though, is that although we pay a fee for it there are still a lot of commercials and technical issues. Still worth $9 a month, or whatever it is.
3) Cooking with beans
I have gotten better at not bookmarking every recipe I see online, especially now that I see the basic technique in most recipes that I would normally be drawn to. Also, I was reading a parenting magazine (I think it was called “Parents’) that has a cooking column by Mark Bittman, and I wondered if he is getting tired of giving people the same recipe over and over. Probably not, because I’m sure he’s getting paid for it, but let me give you the base: cooked onions and garlic + broth + beans and sometimes pasta. He will throw in vegetables or meat, too. Every recipe in “Kitchen Express” appears like 40 times with different seasonal ingredients, and I almost feel embarrassed that I bought it because I should know all these things by now. If anything it’s just a reminder of what to make with what’s around.
Anyway, I am still drawn to any recipe that involves black beans, corn, and cheese. So this recipe was made for me to make.
My daughter is just minutes away from crawling, sitting up, getting her first tooth, using a cell phone, etc.. Infantry (that’s what it’s called, right?), is so packed with happenings. Right now she’s trying to tear the screen off my laptop. So cute. Anyone who reads this probably already knows Christophile, but she took some beautiful photos of Toast, and she got some that are so perfect that we don’t even have to take photos of her anymore because she’s already been captured at her best. That frees up extra time to tell the baby how stinky her feet are and things like that. It’s very important that children know these things.
5) You can’t stop, won’t stop, don’t stop the Bunk
And, finally, there is the dog.
It has come to my attention, mainly by me, that my esteem for my pets has fallen a bit since becoming a mother. I think that’s normal. I can’t imagine anyone being stoked about caring for three animals when time with the baby is so limited during the week. I just think that I handle the extra work a little less gracefully than other people would. It’s probably not necessary that I e-mail the cats daily with the things I would rather be doing than cleaning up after and feeding them (and one of those things was “I would rather set you both up with your own gmail accounts so that I can e-mail you that I don’t love you as much anymore”). I’m a terrible person. Though, let it be known that most of it is knowing that they deserve better.
Bunk is probably more work than the baby. I’m not the one doing most of the work, but although our child sleeps through the night and then some, the dog is what keeps me from sleeping well. She is ridiculous: whiny, anxious, endlessy energetic, and can climb our six-foot privacy fence that we had built to keep her in the backyard. Though for all of my complaining, I do really like the dog. She’s bonkers, and what frustrates me to tears about her are the same stories that make me laugh when I’m telling them to other people. I’m glad we have her. I think the baby loves her as much or more than she loves her parents. And although I fought it at first, I really don’t care if she licks food off the baby when she’s done eating. It’s also fun knowing that we’re raising her best friend right now. Also, I babysat for my friend’s toddler at our not yet childproofed-house the other day and Bunk was the best company for it. She was the Claudia to my Mary Anne. Well, the Mallory, probably. I don’t remember which of the BSC gang was super-energetic and hated squirrels.
So here’s to the dog. I’m sorry I yell at you so much, but 80% of the time you deserve it.
That’s it for this month.