The Red Chair – January 22nd 2009

This funky red chair was once a prop for a big Nike event. I inherited from a friend/vendor who does a lot of work for the company. He had about 20 of these chairs in various colours (red, blue, grey) in his studio and offered me a couple. And who am I to say no to a couple of funky red chairs? They’re very cool and retro and now have a place in our study, although I may move at least one of them to our upstairs landing when we eventually move the paint supplies back to the basement. (Painting, sigh!)

I also though they would make a good photo prop but apparent wriggly 8 month olds aren’t very eager to just sit in a red chair while their photo is taken. Kei questioned my parenting choice when I sat him there and then tried to back up to take a photo. Fair enough too. Our hardwood floors are unforgiving.

Instead Thomas sat with Samuel and tried to hold him in position while I proceeded to take a number of blurry photos. This is the best of the bunch.

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NATURAL LIGHT – JANUARY 21ST 2009

One of the things I love most about our new upstairs renovation is the abundance of natural light. The boy’s rooms get full sun in the morning and, on the rare occasion when I open their blinds (seriously – why bother when Samuel naps every couple of hours), I just adore the light that streams in. In fact Samuel’s room is probably my favourite room in the whole house.

I am a little worried about the accompanying heat come summer, but with our double glazed windows and insulation I am hoping that sleeping upstairs will no longer be the equivalent of stepping into a sauna.

THE BOTTLE – JANUARY 18TH 2009

Samuel was born with a very big appetite. From the moment he was born he latched on and nursing him was a breeze – well apart from the initial agonizing pain but I’ve been told is apparently normal and just one of the many things we live through to earn our stripes as a mother.

Thomas was another story. It took three months for him to finally get it but I was able to supplement by pumping. We rarely had to give him formula. In fact I found a full can of expired formula in the cupboard last year that had never been opened.

Now the tables have turned and I feel Samuel’s appetite is more than I can handle. He has at least 2 or 3 bottles of formula each day and doesn’t seem satisfied when I nurse him. The worst part? When he gets frustrated by not getting enough milk, he bites. Right now he only has his bottom teeth but the top ones are on the way and I don’t even want to think about what that means.

So I now need to decide… do I continue trying to nurse when I can and make the effort to pump a measly 4 ounces a day? Or do I come to terms with the fact that I have given him a good 8 months of breast milk and call it a day.

I feel very emotional about this decision. I had a 12 month goal in mind and to not reach that makes me feel like I am failing myself and my baby. Not that I even think Samuel will mind very much. He loves the bottle – it means he can still look around while enjoying his meal. Maybe I just need to let go of the ideal.

And let’s face it, we could do without the added cost of formula.

So I have a big decision to make. Once I stop there’s really no turning back.

Off to pump now while I think about it.

LEARNING – JANUARY 17TH 2009

I attended a two day photography class on the weekend and my head is ready to explode with the information I absorbed in just 16 hours. It felt good to get back to the basics and learn about just what my camera can do (turning down the flash – brilliant).

The downside is that now I am back to square one. I CAN’T use auto mode anymore. I have to move forward. Which means a lot of very bad photos while I learn to take good ones. The photo above was one of my first photos with my new knowledge of the reduced strength flash.

And that thing he’s carrying? That was Kei and Thomas’ project while I was at my course. Kei wanted a helmet and I imagined I would return home to some sort of knight’s helmet or a firefighter’s helmet. Instead I was greeted by Ned – Ned Kelly, that is.

Very impressive work. Kei is now officially in charge of all art projects.

More Than A Hobby?

Over the past twelve months I have come to love my camera. I enjoy the creativity involved in capturing the daily adventures of our lives through the camera lens.

I think I take decent photos. Candid potraits of my children and my husband and my friends and nature and, of course, my children. My style has become one of capturing the moment rather than poses.

I am under no illusion that I am a brilliant photographer. I am in awe of photographers like Jay Reilly and Tara Whitney who are so incredibly talented that they can create a career out of their art. But, I think I take a decent picture.

So I have decided to take my photography to the next level. I am going to start slowly and begin offering candid photo sessions to friends. I thought it might be fun to hang out with a family for a couple of hours – at the park or some other relaxed setting – and just take a series of photos. I would charge a small fee and promise 20 digital shots that they can then go ahead and print in any way they wish.

I need to start with friends because, frankly, I’m nervous. My photos up until now have be reliant on having two little models in close proximity who I can just shoot any time I see a moment. This venture would mean creating an environment – and relying on the weather… and my photography skills. That’s why I’m starting with friends. I need people who are willing to forgive if for some reason it doesn’t work out.

Here are the steps I’m taking:

  1. Think of a business name – I think we have one but I’m letting it grow on me.
  2. Learn more about my camera – I began with a two day intensive photography course last weekend and now I am in practice mode.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice – until Aperture and Shutter Speed and ISO are a second language.
  4. Wait until the weather gets better and set up a few sessions. I have a couple of friends who have already expressed interest so now I need to follow through.
  5. Overcome my nerves and concerns about not being good enough.

So there you have it. Of course I need to make time for all of this as well, but Kei is very supportive. In fact he has grander designs for our little business but we need to start small.

Now it’s in writing and I would look pretty silly if I didn’t at least try to make this happen…Right?

Wish me luck