From the monthly archives: May 2012

Gabe and I spent the day with Yana and David (and Vlad for a little bit after he got home from work). As anticipated, the babies showed far more interest in one another than they ever have before, and the day went fairly smoothly, or about as smoothly as a day with two five month olds can be. It’s always a bit of a challenge to synchronize their naps so they don’t disturb one another, and it’s always a little more difficult to get Gabe to sleep somewhere new. Luckily, we got to borrow David’s extra swing, and we got to try out David’s bouncy chair!

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Gabe was in love! While we have a bouncy chair for him at home, it isn’t particularly interactive, so he gets bored easily. The toys attached to this one made for an entirely new and fun experience.

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We put the babies in matching onesies and set them on the glider, a far easier task now that they’re both close to sitting up on their own. Of course, with three people in the room (me, Yana, and Babushka), it wasn’t so easy to get the two of them to look forward into the camera. Still, we had a good time photographing the cousins together.

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And apart! I just can’t help focusing on those baby blues. David, if you get to keep those, somebody had better warn the girls off.

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Meanwhile, Gabe spent some playing time with Babushka, and his favorite game right now? Grabbing faces.

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Funny thing though, when we put the two of them together at eye level, David was the aggressor (Babushka’s word, not mine) of the two, reaching out and trying to grab at Gabe. I think a few times, David’s fingers actually found their way into (or around) Gabe’s mouth. Funny stuff.

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Then Gabe looks at me, like “Mom, who the heck is this kid?,” and I think…”It’s only gonna get more fun from here, bud.”


 

I’m trying something new at nighttime with Gabe. Until now, whenever he’s woken up at night, I’ve always gone straight to feeding him, which normally takes up about 40 minutes to an hour when all is said and done. I’ve read recently that at this point, he may not always need the extra milk at night, and with the times he’s woken up on his belly and gotten upset, I’ve come to wonder if he’s always necessarily hungry, or perhaps just needs some readjusting and comfort.

So last night, the first time he woke up, I turned him onto his back, gave him his paci, and rubbed his belly until he fell back asleep. He woke up again not long after, maybe about thirty minutes or an hour. In that case, I figured that he did need a feeding, so we had our normal, extended nighttime feeding. He went back to sleep, and the next couple times he woke up, he went right back to sleep after turning back onto his back and getting his paci, and his wake ups were far enough apart that I didn’t think he was waking up out of hunger.

Ultimately, he woke up a couple more times than his usual two, but I did get more sleep, since I wasn’t awake for my average two hours at night. I’m going keep trying this for a while, and see if Gabe really needs all the feedings he’s been waking up for, or if they’ve just been very time consuming techniques for getting him back to sleep. Given how long he takes to nurse at night, it does seem like he’s nursing for comfort rather than sustenance at that point. And while I take his need to comfort nurse very seriously, he can get the general experience out of his paci, and let me get a little bit of rest! Like most of our parenting experiences so far, everything is going by trial and error, and we won’t know until we try if something new might work better for us.

Tomorrow, we’re going to go visit Yana and David and get some updated cousin shots. I’m very curious to see how the boys will react to one another, since they’re both much more aware of their surroundings now than they were the last time they were together. It’s so fun to see Gabe’s reactions to things that are out of the ordinary for him, like the dogs at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, or getting to pet our cats. I’m so looking forward to when Gabe and David can start associating with one another as real friends.


 

Gabe and I had a rather uneventful day of household chores, playing, eating, diapers, the usual. So tonight, instead of chronicling my dish washing methods, let’s go back to almost a year ago, when I spent some time with my friend Susan in Lititz, Pennsylvania. I love looking back on my photos from that trip because, in addition to our photoshoot on my very last day there, I got so much great stuff, and really, a ton of practice.

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Like how to manually focus on a butterfly. We spent an afternoon at the Hershey Botanical Gardens, which had a butterfly house. And silly me, I didn’t want to lug around my camera bag, because hey, it was sweltering hot and I was about eighteen weeks pregnant, and being that my very favorite lens is my 85mm f/1.4 manual focus lens, that’s what I had on my body, and I just carried the camera in my regular handbag.

So when we got to the butterfly house of the botanical gardens, all I had on my camera was a manual focus lens. You can imagine the words that came out of my mouth when I realized my terrible folly. But somehow, whether by patience, anticipation, or dumb luck, it worked.

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Some of the butterflies actually cooperated and stayed still for a few seconds.

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I even managed to get decent pictures of–gasp–more than one butterfly in a single shot!

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Regal little guys. I have no idea what they’re called, but they’re pretty cool. And looking back on it, it was pretty fun, trying to anticipate where a butterfly would land, trying to get the focus and composition right as quickly as possible, trying to catch them before they flew off.

In fact, I challenge any photographer to find a butterfly house and shoot with their auto focus turned off. It’s a pretty spectacular test of what you can get out of your camera, your lens, and your mind.