Tuesday, October 20, 2009

6-week what?

Ok.. whoever said that babies start to chill out around 6 weeks of age should be locked in a room with a bunch of crying 7-week-olds at 2am. My guess is a man devised this empty promise, so he would therefore be up a creek without lactation and no way to soothe these babies. But are they really hungry, he wonders, maybe something else is wrong.. So he tries to soothe and they scream, and eventually he joins them in a quivering pool of tears, guilt, and despair, thinking their misery is somehow completely his fault. Then we will ask him to reconsider this theory.

(note: no 7-week-old babies were harmed in this scenario. The man with the theory however, was forever changed…)

Seriously though, our baby IS better and IS changing in wonderful and fun ways. He just didn’t really like his second night as a 7-week-old. Mama and Daddy have their suspicions as to why, so we’re going to try some new things and see how it goes.

BUT, he is smiling so much and crying a lot less.. Unless it’s the middle of the night and we just can’t possibly believe that he wants to eat AGAIN, then he has to cry a bit more to really convince us :) He has really great awake and alert times when he stares at everything and takes in his surroundings. He even does these cute little squeaky smiles that are on their way to being laughter. He knows Mama and Daddy’s voices and will look all around until he finds us if he hears us :) He is going down for daytime naps easier and we’ve found he is incredibly responsive to music to keep him calm. Now if we can just get his long nighttime sleeps back, we’ll be ecstatic! (Aaaaaaaaand we won’t mention how he still takes an hour to eat.. EVERY TIME.. Yeah, we won’t mention that..)

As promised though, we have some 6-7 week pictures, one of which will be on his passport for 5 years – too funny! It took us a great many tries to get one where he was looking at the camera and straight ahead. It was a good adventure :)

Here is the one we went with…

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Nice Hefty SackaPotatoes

At 7 weeks of age, Aed is now officially two pounds heavier than he was when he was born. That makes him a hefty 9lbs, 8oz :)

He is just under 23in long, a good 2.5in longer than he was at birth.

And his head is 15.75in around, that’s 1.75in bigger than at birth.

He’s just a-growin’! The health visitors just love seeing his bright eyes and we had all the attention today because we were the only ones at the baby clinic. He has maintained his disproportionate nature, fluctuating between the 75th & 90th percentile for height and head circumference and staying right around 25th for weight. So we have a long, skinny, big-headed baby :)

I will put pictures up tomorrow of our beloved babe.. We have been trying to get a picture for his passport to no avail, so I’ll be posting all of our failed attempts for you to enjoy! Until then..

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Relearning the Patience of Art

I sat down the other day to work on a painting. I’ve been playing with flying creatures and insects a lot in the few chances I’ve had to paint over the last year or two and I decided to do some paintings for Aed’s room of various colored insects. This particular one was going to be of ants. I hunkered down and got started and found I really liked the direction things were heading.

All too quickly though, things went sour. I got impatient and wanted to keep progressing, even though I knew in my gut that if I picked up my brush to make that next move I was digging myself into a pit of disrepair. I wanted to feel the smooth satisfaction of a full paint brush surrendering it’s color to the paper one more time.. and I pushed it too far.

And now I hate it. And I’m disappointed. And I don’t want to keep working on it.

I remember in my first semester of college learning the lesson that art takes time. One of my first classes, a project that was due right around Thanksgiving. At least half the class was not finished with their projects on the day they were due. I was amongst them which was exceedingly uncharacteristic of me and I was genuinely heartbroken at my poor time management. I just hadn’t expected it to take me so long! Our professor was really disappointed in us and frustrated that so few of us had given the project the time it needed.

I remember a little later in college over the course of a semester, acquiring the ability to be patient with my projects. Not just recognizing that I need to give them time, but willingly and happily giving them that time, and loving being able to have that focus. I think this is where things came together for me to be a successful artist. Perhaps the time when I ‘came into my own’ and really began to know in a deeper part of me that I was an artist. That it was as much a part of my make-up as the fact that I am female, or that I have ten toes. I lived in my world of visual stimulation and I knew myself and was comfortable with myself.

Then I graduated. I moved to a different country. I faced challenges that I never anticipated. And I painted. And I thought. I thought a lot. And then I got a day job to go along with my work from home and suddenly my world was computers and clicking and typing and staring into backlit screens for hours and hours and hours every day. It was utterly numbing. It sucked me dry of desire for creativity, of the ability to see and appreciate the world around me in the way I had spent the last four and a half years cultivating. It brought about a lot of tears from the numbness as a yearned to know who I was again. I am organic, I am not electronic. I could not thrive in being who I am when my hands were constantly clicking instead of grasping and working, my eyes burning instead of soaking things in.

And I lost that patience. I lost that confidence in knowing who I was as an artist, as a person. I didn’t want to do things that took time or thought or effort. I wanted to be able to click ‘undo’ when I made a mistake. The world that paid the bills was overpowering and suffocating the world in which I found life and breath and depth.

So now I am learning again. I am learning once again things that I knew and lost in the course of life. It is frustrating and humbling to have to relearn, to feel inadequate as an artist, to feel like the people around me don’t really know who I am. To have to take the time to understand myself in a way that used to come so naturally.

I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to make the time to really engage this world as an artist again, but here I am, back to the basics. I am hopeful. And I am grateful.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Many Faces of The Aedster

Since I have ALREADY gotten complaints that I am not posting enough pictures, I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse of the many.. many.. many faces I see my son make every day.

But first! I wanted to show you how we over-stimulate him :)

I thought it was hilarious because I was actually taking this picture to show how very long he is (almost 2 feet!), and then I looked at the picture and realized this little play area looks more like a torture chamber set up by over zealous parents! In actuality, we just throw all kinds of things in there around his feet. He really only looks at the walls and the books.. and occasionally the mirror :)

As your child grows, you look forward to various milestones.. This is one which I never thought our 5.5 week old would have reached yet! He received his first piece of mail! :) I had to smile when I saw this come through the door..

Not only was it mail for him, but it was a BILL for him! rackin em up already..

Now.. back to the faces..

I call this one 'It's too bright'. It has also gone by the name 'Man my head is heavy'.

This one I love. He is a beautiful, pensive baby boy.

And this one is the sweet face I often get when he's taking a break from his heavy head. :)

Ok, pretend he's looking in a mirror.. Now imagine him saying 'Heeeeeyyy handsome!' Love it!

This one is the 'WHATSGOINGONWHATSGOINGONWHATSGOINGON!?' face. Also known as crazy eyes.

My little angel..

Karaoke night!

A new discovery in the last few days.. his tongue! It is way longer than I thought and he has really started sticking it out :)

Then I started telling him a joke.. Here he is anticipating the punch line..

And this is him cracking up at my awesome delivery!

Kidding! He's not laughing yet of course, he's not THAT much of a genius. But, he is starting to give big grins as he looks around and he is very good at focusing on our faces.. Now if we can just get the grins to be because he is focusing on our faces we'll be in heaven!

This is what happened when I told him what I ate for dinner..

Kidding again! This is his 'I'm so done with this right now.. you better pick me up or you're going to hear about it..' face.

Nice, placid baby, looking out the window, waiting patiently while mama gets ready to feed him..

Fake out! The window is only a momentary distraction from the task at hand. As soon as he remembers what we're doing, heads and hands start flailing, mouths start masticating, and I hear about it if I am too slow!

So there you have it! Just a few of Aed's many endless (endlessly cute!) faces.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

PhotoFest from the 5 week old

Unbelievably, Aed will be 5 weeks old tomorrow. I feel like I'm mothering a new baby every day, but I suppose I should probably get used to that feeling :)

Thought I would let Aed narrate some recent pictures for you...

Here I am roughly two weeks ago sitting with Papaw. I was being a good boy and just making all kinds of faces at him. I have to be a good boy with Papaw, otherwise he hands me to someone else..

I LOVE my hands. I put them everywhere. In my mouth, in my eyes, all over my face, leaving lovely scratches everywhere! I am always squirming as much as possible because I know my mama likes a challenge.

Oh, and this is one of my favorites! I LOVE my face book and love staring at it for as long as I can stand it. As you can see, the squirming carries over into being quite the little Houdini with my swaddle blankets.

This is one of mama's favorite outfits for me, but I don't think it's going to fit much longer! She had a hard time getting a picture (remember, I like to squirm for her) but she felt like this showed a bit of the cuteness.

Mama also really likes it when I sleep. I'm a really good sleeper at night, but sometimes I have a hard time with my naps in the daytime. She found my little hand and my little ear a few days ago and tells me she couldn't resist taking a picture.

This is my little face. Mama loves this face. She keeps saying I'm her little adolescent, but I don't know what she's talking about. I'm sure it will pass..

Here I am in that outfit again (seriously mom, how about some variety) but this time I have the hat! Mama thinks I am just so cute!

Sometimes when I have a hard time with my daytime naps, Daddy likes to cuddle me to help me sleep. I love being cuddled in to Daddy's chest and so far, it has put me to sleep every time!