Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some Worries

I am currently almost 29 weeks pregnant.  While I'm getting really excited (last night, I was sitting on the couch, late, all alone, giddy out of my mind almost thinking about how I can't wait to find out if Bo is a boy or a girl and what his/her name really is) about it all, suddenly, I'm also filled with worries again.

Now, I've been worried slightly about random little things the entire time.  Where, in this two bedroom place, will we keep Bo's clothing?  I decided in a small dresser in Jake's closet (Spencer and I already share his).

We'll let Bo sleep in a bassinette in our room until we find a new place.  So, I'm not worried about that as much.

You get the hint. Just little things, mostly dealing with space issues.  But, I've resigned to knowing we'll figure it out and we won't be here forever anyway.

But, last night, as I was getting really excited about the arrival, who will tell me "It's a boy/girl!" when Bo arrives (I hope Jake, actually gets to announce it), and what we will then call the baby (we do have names chosen already, and if you'd like to know them, feel free to ask), I was thinking about how we have been trying to get Spencer to say either of the names.

He almost always replies "no way."  I laugh, of course, because I think it's pretty funny.  I thought maybe that'd be a nice interesting nickname for his little brother/sister.

But then, I began thinking about Spencer, and how he will handle it all.

Tomorrow, he turns nineteen months old.

We haven't really done anything to prepare him for the arrival of the new baby.  I haven't really known how or what to do, so I have just done... nothing.  Other than try to get him to say the names we've chosen, I guess.  And occasionally tell him it hurts when he jumps, bounces off, leans into, sits on, etc... my belly.

I've never said why.  Never "that will hurt the baby."  I figured that wouldn't make any sense to him at all.  I figured telling him that I had a baby in my tummy wouldn't make any sense at all, let alone that when he hurts me it would (probably not, but you never know) hurt the baby.  He doesn't understand that it's uncomfortable or painful to me anyway (even if I pretend to cry, or groan, grunt, or actually cry), and it hasn't changed a thing, other than to keep me from sitting in the living room when he's really rambunctious.

He will be about 21.5 months old when his brother or sister arrives.  While I think he's a pretty smart little guy, I just... figured he wouldn't understand me trying to prepare him or explain to him anyway, so I haven't.

Now, clearly, I'm worried about it.

I'm worried about how he will react.  Not necessarily that he'll jump on the baby or hurt the baby in any way, but that he just won't know what to do anymore.  He's been home alone with me (the majority of the time) since February, after being in daycare the majority of his short life.  He plays at parks and at friend's houses, and he's definitely been around other babies at those places, as well as the church nursery, but I know that's not the same as having a new baby in his house ALL THE TIME.

That's very, very different.

I worry about whether he will feel neglected.  I don't believe I will neglect him.  I honestly, still, can't imagine loving the next child as much as I love him.

Yes, that sounds bad.  Hopefully you can understand what I mean, though, and not think that I won't love my next child as much, because I have been assured that I will, despite the fact that I can't imagine it.

Heck, I didn't imagine I would love Spencer as much as I do. I mean, I knew I would love him more than I could imagine, but to keep falling more deeply in love with him, after some really random things sometimes (like watching him stand completely still for 15 minutes or so as he watches hot air balloons launch), it overwhelms me.

I worry that he will feel like he's been replaced.  Or not good enough.  Will he question that later in life?

Neither Jake nor I feel that we are.  We never want him to think that.  In fact, we love him so much that is why we wanted another child.  For us AND for him.  To have a friend.  A companion, a live in playmate, a brother or sister to love, protect, and enjoy with us.

It makes sense to me.

But, I don't know how a toddler mind works.

I feel like I've digressed.

Basically, all I mean to say is that I'm a little worried about how Spencer will react to the big change coming up, and how, if there is any way, to really prepare him for that.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

back behind the lens

A couple of weeks ago, much to my despair, our ol' faithful Canon 30D DSLR camera went beserk.  Possessed, if you will, by... old age, possibly.  We'd had it for almost six years.  While taking photos of Jake and Spencer blowing bubbles at the park, it put itself in "continuous shooting mode" and the shutter acquired a mind of it's own, taking "picture" after "picture," even with the lens off, the battery out, the card out, and off, from time to time.  (I say "picture" because it wasn't really recording any of the snaps it took.)  So strange.

I had resigned to the fact that I'd be a sad little cell-phone photographer indefinitely, hoping for at least a cheap point-and-shoot camera by the time baby Bo arrives in August.

Well, let me tell you what, my amazing, fantastic, super-sweet, thoughtful husband made my sadness disappear when last last week/early this week (I think on Saturday evening), he used his performance points from his (now former) job and ordered us a brand new Canon T2i DSLR camera and 32GB memory card to go with it.

This camera, though a "Rebel" model (so not "professional" like the D series is, sort of) is amazing. It's capable of an excessive 18 megapixel photo and video.  I tuned the settings down to a much more 'reasonable' medium-size image, which is still the same size as the large image from our old camera.  I haven't tried video yet.

Well, anyway, it arrived on Wednesday, surprise!  It was supposed to come on Thursday. The memory card didn't arrive until Thursday, but, fortunately, I found an old SDHC card we had (I have no idea what for), cleared that off, and was able to sneak in a photo or two on Wednesday night, just to see how it worked, before SJ went to bed.  The photo of his legs and diaper is the first one that I took and shared.  I was impressed.  The only light source was our not-so-fantastic floor lamp, and at a 3200  ISO speed, it wasn't overly grainy or full of noise.  Yay!

The next day, as I mentioned, the memory card arrived, and so I got to go on a little date with our new family friend.

It'd been a really long time since I went on a little photographic rendezvous to just take pictures for the fun of it.  I haven't been taking much more than photos of Spencer for about 18 months now, to be honest.  Not that I haven't wanted to, but because it's hard to do that with a newborn/infant/toddler around.  Especially if I want to haul around the backpack full of equipment as I usually do, and a tripod (which I never seem to remember the mount for anyway so it's always basically pointless, just like this time).  But, needing to get acquainted with the Rebel was a good reason to get out and about.  The only places I could think to go were my two favorite parks, of course.

The purpose in my little trip was mainly to learn the updated/new interface of the Canon DSLR, and I think I have it down pretty well, using manual settings and all.  I took my time figuring that out, and then attempted some HDR shots, without a functional tripod, as I mentioned.  Let me tell you what, that's hard!  To hold completely still for three separate frames is hard enough, but adding the breeze into nature shots... makes it a challenge.  I feel like I did pretty well for doing it for the first time since SJ was born though.  The flower above is one of the macro HDR shots I did.

When I came home, SJ was still napping (to my surprise, it'd been almost three hours), so I took out the macro lens adapter again, and I took a few snapshots of items around the house, to see how it did in midday lighting.  I was impressed again.  The "car lot" photo is one of the macro shots I did there.  I took photos of a garland and more toy cars, too, just for fun. Perhaps I'll someday use them to decorate in Spencer's room or something.  You just never know.

When he finally woke up, I attempted the macro lens on a wiggly little toddler in low-lighting, and it did quite well, I think.  The photo of Spencer'e eye here is one from that attempt.  My favorite part about this photo, to be quite honest, is not his adorable nature (though that's a huge plus), but the fact that you can very clearly see what the preview on his "Blue's Clues" movie was for by way of pupil reflection.  Candid awesomness!

I had a ton of fun getting out and about, and in and around the house, playing with the camera.  Ever since I can remember, I have loved to take photos.  I had my first 110 film camera in elementary school, and even then, I would try macro photos (though I had no idea what that was at the time, terminologically speaking), and would be very sad when they'd turn out blurry (because I had no idea you needed different lenses for that).   Then, I was given a Kodak Advantix for a birthday somewhere around 1998, and took a million photos of my youngest sister growing up.  During camp, one summer, I think 2005, I rewarded myself for hard work by buying a Canon SLR Film camera (I forget which kind), and really started to get into a photography hobby.  Then, came mine and my husband's Canon A20 point-and-shoot, which had a macro setting on it, and I explored further.  We acquired the Canon 30D in 2006, and I went crazy developing my "view" and sense of style, so to speak.  And since then, I've loved photography.

Sadly, of course, when SJ was born, it took a back-seat to being mommy, and my photos were basically all of my precious child.  While photography will still be a hobby that comes after being a mom and a wife, as I told Jake, I think I need(ed) to get back into it.  I need something besides being a SAHM and wife to add interest to my day.  I have many hobbies, mostly creative ones, but this one, for now, will be the best one for me to get back into whole heartedly, because it takes up much less space than say, book binding, in our small apartment with two small children (come August).  It'll be compatible with our lives for now.  Hopefully, someday, I can get into others again as well.

So, in summary, we got a new camera, because my husband is awesome and it made me very happy, relieved, and not sad about losing the old one.  I have learned to use it, pretty well for starters anyway. And, I'm diving back into my artistic photography hobby, not just photos of my family and friends, again.  It feels amazing.

If you'd like to check out my photography works (old and new, mostly older, but I still love them), feel free to "like" my new page on Facebook, specifically to showcase those works.