Love Letter #10: My Daughter

Dear Button,

It took me 30 minutes to leave the house after L arrived to babysit.  You woke up when Patchy barked his greetings.  There’s just something about hearing your baby cry that sends a pulse of adrenaline running through a mother’s veins.  This past month you had several nights during which you cried every hour on the hour.  Your dad was out of town for several days and Patch was no help.  I took you to the doctor to see if you had an ear infection.  She said you were in perfect health and then turned to me to say, “I give you permission to let her cry it out tonight.”  I guess she doubled in Psychology of Mothers.  In short, you survived and are sleeping a lot better at night.  Well, except for last night when you were up from 2am-3am because you were teething.  And the night before that when your dad woke me up at midnight shaking my arm and mumbling, “The baby is crying.”  He had no recollection of doing that the next day.  Apparently, that internal baby alarm in dads works by waking up the mom.  Figures.  

AverySleeping10mo Love Letter #10:  My Daughter

 

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Avery10mo2 Love Letter #10:  My Daughter

 

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I realized I referred to you as my daughter for the first time last week.  Up until that time, I just called you my baby.  There are so many changes that go on in a woman’s heart when she has a child.  It’s wonderful and exhausting, uplifting and frustrating.  You are trying to be everything for this little person and, at the same time, hold on to everything that defined who you were before motherhood.  And then, just like that, you hit your stride.  It’s by no means easy street.  We have good days and bad days, but the former outnumber the latter by far. 

AveryEating10mo Love Letter #10:  My Daughter

 

Avery10mo. Love Letter #10:  My Daughter

We may be “pegaditos” most of the time, but we are very different in looks and personality.  Friends will gently say, “So, she looks a bit like Seth,” to which I will respond – much to their relief – “Oh, she’s her daddy’s girl!”  You inherited my blue eyes and I’m not going to lie that I really did pray for that one feature.  I just wanted a bit of genetic credit!  I was always very reserved as a child and you love making lots of friends.  Few things excite you more than getting together with other babies and little kids.  You start “talking” and waving your arms at them before lunging forward to give them a clumsy hug.    

I took you with me to vote for your first presidential election.  I may have dressed you up special for the occasion.  Feel free to use this photo in your campaign when you run for  public office one day ;) 

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You really are a sweet little girl and I’m already so proud that you are mine to care for, teach, and watch grow. 

I love you.

Mama 

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow…

FridayRainbow 1024x768 Somewhere Over the Rainbow...

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Childrens Photography: KP

I’ve been  neglecting my writing to work on honing my photography skills.  My goal is to (eventually) master exposure.  I enrolled in Nicole’s Classes (Photo101) this month and am also reading Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure.  My November goal is to practice, practice, practice!  Do you have kids and want to get some photos taken?  Call me!

Here are some quick clicks of KP from this past Sunday.  I took it easy on myself and photographed her in the shade.  However, I needed a boost before my much more challenging photo shoot that was scheduled for later that day (More on that later).

What a cutie!

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Happy Halloween!

Such a prima ballerina! Avery has decided that she absolutely cannot stand anything on her head. However, my sister and I were determined to get at least one photo of Avery in her full Halloween costume. I was laughing so hard at all of her angry faces that I’m surprised this photo is even straight.

IMG 6787 Happy Halloween!

C’mon, the hat coordinates with her socks (which barely made it into the photo). Does anyone have any tips on how to convince a baby to keep her hat on? I need more photos!

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5 Ways to Be a Hands-Free Parent

I’m still thinking through that article in the WSJ.  However, I’ve started being more of a Hands-Free Parents by following 5 Golden Rules for Social Media.

1.  Don’t post anything negative.

Having recently earned my M.A. in Communication, I can say with certainty that complaining can be a healthy communicative activity.  However, calling a friend, sibling or parent is a much more productive way to deal with annoyances.  Personally, I feel better about laughing about situations that bug me, so I call like-minded people who will get it.  If it isn’t worth sharing with a friend, it’s not worth injecting it into the world of Facebook or Twitter.

This goes double for complaining about people.  This, my lovies, can go terribly wrong.  Remember when I explained how a friend’s acquaintance on Facebook posted something along the lines of not being able to help the fact that her toddler was kicking the reclined seat in-front of him.  “Reclining your seat is a privilege!,” she declared.  Over 50 comments later, you had everyone debating everything from kids on airplanes, to using car seats, to how rude it is to recline your seat in Economy no matter who is sitting behind you.  Do you really want to spend your afternoon trying to un-ring that bell?

2.  Get rid of all push notifications on your cell phone. 

These include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Email and Apps.  In addition to distracting you from interacting with your children (and people around you), they can be really disruptive when you are using your phone.

3.  Set aside a specific time for personal Email and social media.

After I moved to San Diego for grad school, I had this bad habit of checking my Email every time I turned around.  And then it dawned on me:  I would no longer be getting any emergency requests from a boss I no longer had!  It was freeing.  Now the challenge is treating Email like texting.  However, I’ve found that if I set aside a brief period of time in the morning and evening to Email, I get more emails written and don’t engage in emailversations

My biggest pitfalls is Instagram.  After posting a photo, I often find myself taking the time to scroll through a bunch of photos in my feed.  So, my new resolution is to employ #Latergram and post photos at a time when I’m not busy with Avery.

4.  Stop before you humble brag.

Are you guilty of the humble brag?  Read this article in the WSJ to find out if you fall in with this sect of the Hollywood crowd.  I guess most people don’t have Emmy Awards from which to hang our Christmas stockings, but you get the idea.

5.  Don’t post pictures of food.

Unless you’re a food blogger, it’s a special occasion, it’s part of an interesting story, or it’s made by a world-renowned chef, refrain from posting photos of your breakfast, lunch, dinner and every snack in-between.  Trust me when I say that no one really cares what you eat.

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Last time I had bonuelos y chocolate was when I was in Valencia for Las Fallas.  I was surprised to see them at Michael Mina’s restaurant, American Fish, when I was in Las Vegas for a wedding.  There, a special occasion, story, and a celebrity chef…and I bet you still don’t care.  Food photos are almost always pretty lame.

What about you?  How do you keep Hands-Free?

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