A bubbling sense of independence; and baby chicks!

Oh, hey. Hello.

It’s been awhile. Finding time to sit and write seems next to impossible these days. Life is constantly pushing forward, it’s like that moment right after you trip where you do the awkward running forward thing trying to keep your feet under your body so you don’t actually fall and eat it into the concrete; just trying to keep my feet under me.

Amelia continues to grow and learn new stuff every second too.

The good news is that while the whining remains, the fits subsided pretty quick. Teaching my child manners remains a constant battle; not that she is rude, she just seems to forget key phrases like “Can I please have…” over “I want…”

Overall, simple kid things.

However.

Her independence level is growing rapidly. Teeth brushing, drink getting (at least water from the fridge [which absolutely MUST have ice in it, every time]), dressing herself in the mornings… it all comes with a simple phrase and the same basic interaction:


*standing there watching her struggle a little*
Are you sure you don’t want just a little bit of help?

“No thanks, I can do it.”

Alright.


She is pretty great.

As a fun side note, I’m having to really start watching what I say, as the following random interaction happened a couple weeks ago:


“(out of nowhere one evening) Dad?”

Yes, Ameel’s?(a nickname for her I picked up from a friend of mine)

“Did you know we can’t say f**k?”

(as I pick my jaw up off the floor and pop my eyeballs back into my skull) WHAT?!

“F**k. We can’t say it. It’s a bad word.”

Uh. Stop saying that word. No, you can’t say it.

“I know. It’s a bad word, so we can’t say it.”

Ok. Well, don’t say it again, ok?

“Ok.”


 

Well. Hey man, after five years in the Navy and growing up around parents who weren’t exactly filtered in their choice of words…. it’s a bad habit, ok?! Anyways. I chuckled, as always, at the interaction.

Our biggest new development was a decision to jump on the backyard chicken train. We are the proud new owners of five adorable little baby chicks. I love them. And… they love me.

(It’s the audio that matters in the video, as the video itself is kinda dark, but you get the idea)

We’ve got (left to right/ top to bottom) Zoey, Gingie, Frightful, Princess FeatherBottom and Edna.

  

 

My current favorite is Princess FeatherBottom, who loves to perch, or as I like to call it: “Ready herself for the hunt…”

img_20160523_191608.jpg
The hashtags on Instagram look something like this: #trainingmyfalcon to #hunt . . . It’ll take some time.

Amelia loves them though.

Like. A lot.

We got a bag of dehydrated meal worms, or as the chicks know it: crack. They love it. We bought it about a week ago, and they already know to run up to the edge of the kiddie pool (their current indoor living situation) and wait for a handful. I have been making sure they only get it by hand, so they see us as a positive.

She feeds them a handful or five in the evenings, says good night to them before bed and “bye” in the mornings when she leaves for daycare.

20160425_175956.jpg
Not too long after we got them, Amelia feeding a little baby some food…

It’s totes adorbs to the max.

Anywho, chickens are pretty awesome and you’ll get to enjoy the process of me building a coop soon enough I’m sure. I’ve changed my mind how I want to do it at least 5 times already. Luckily I have another three months before they need a real outdoor living structure.

Slowly but surely, I hope to get back into the act of posting more regularly; finding time to write has been cumbersome, I need to make a more honest effort at it though. Welp, until next time:

Stay close, more coming soon///

Advertisements

Bump Photos, Baby Movements and Moments to Remember . . .

Baby bump photos.

Let me explain to you how much nagging it takes to get a photographer to take his own baby bump photos. My mother, who does have a very valid point, has been pestering for me to take baby bump photos since the moment she found out that we were, in fact, having a baby.

“Is she showing yet? Get the baby bump photos. Oh I am so excited, have you done the photos yet? You NEED to do the photos, Matthew, time is going to fly by and you are going to miss it and you’ll never be able to get it back… It’s going to be too late really soon…”

Every. Single. Phone call.

She had a very valid point indeed though. My little girl isn’t even born and I am already almost missing moments. How is this happening? Two days ago we found out we were pregnant, now she’s 23 weeks along…

So, I took time out to get my baby bump photos.

   As a one-man photo band, I have learned that when prepping to do stationery formal portraits, I am my own best lighting model. Thanks, timer function.

   It’s also important to have a qualified lighting technician to help. In this case, Fletch, one of our two labradoodles, would have to suffice…

So, after getting the light set up (yes, for you photo nerds out there… ONE light. Keep it simple… It looks just fine!) and figuring out how the reflector would need to be placed to fill the camera right side of her face in (ah, alright photo nerds, one light AND a reflector. . . you got me…) and waking Marie up from her evening before bed nap, we took us some baby bump photos. Good thing we did it when we did, in the last few days she has blown up! Her belly is getting bigger literally every day. It’s amazing to watch happen.

   In the final dog photo, we thought it only fair to Dexter to let him be in the photo. He has pretty much become Marie’s dog. Side note, labradoodles… really great dogs.

    Aside from posting my glamour shots and photos of my lovely ladies, however, I wanted to talk within my blog which is supposed to be all about documenting stuff and whatnot, about these moments.

   Moments are what make up our lives. They are the only things that can and do create a memory. You don’t have memories about every meal, trip to the grocery store or casual outing to the local Wal-mart.You have memories about events and happenings throughout your life. Good or bad, a moment is what writes your path through life. Already, before my daughter is even born into this world, we are experiencing these moments. Watching Marie’s belly grow and knowing that my little girl is in there getting bigger by the day gets me all choky and teary. It’s also made me download every song I could find relating to fathers and daughters. It’s my drive to work playlist now…

These photos are the first set of photos saying “Here is my daughter; better get ready world, ‘cause it’s about to be on.”

For the first time since this pregnancy began I got the chance last night while laying next to Marie to really feel her movement. Before now, there has been the occasional ‘I think that was a kick’ or ‘Yeah, I kinda felt something I think…’ Marie was already passed out asleep, and as I laid down and assumed the hand on the belly and ‘goodnight talk’ I give to my little girl, I felt her kick. Then again, and again and again again again. I laid there in the dark feeling her do somersaults and perfecting her cartwheels already. Elbow dropping mommy’s spine. . . . nice, kiddo.

That little section of time, however, will live in my mind for the rest of my life. I laid there talking to my little girl, feeling her practicing for the 2028 gymnastic uneven bar Olympics’ team, getting to really FEEL my daughter’s life for the first time.

It’s the start of a rapid path that has no brakes. The further you get, I would imagine the steeper the path seems and the faster it flies by. But for now I’ll do what I can to enjoy every kick and movement, every random pregnancy craving that takes me to Wal-Mart at ten at night, and every moment that will help to create the memories that will soon be my daughter’s first years of life. Much, much more coming. . . stay close.

-30-

Sweet Emotions, Like an Onion in My Pocket . . .

So.

   Gonna be a DAD. It keeps hitting me at random times. And when it hits me I am forced to swallow the pit I get in my throat and try not to get all teary. I’m a man. The only time I cry is when I’m dicing jalapenos and onions with karate chops for a delicious dip. (That’s not even true, I have an AMAZING chopper/cutter/dicer thingie-ma-doo that I LOVE. Seriously guys, this thing rocks, but anyways, back to the point)

   I have never had an experience where just the thought of it gets my eyes all watery. I am so overwhelmed with love and excitement for this kid already. But it can come at the, not best, of times.

   I am a wedding photographer. Well, I am an anything people photographer, but I was shooting a wedding this weekend and it hit me again, while shooting the parent/children dances. The mother/daughter, mother/son and in particular, the father/daughter. I watched as both of them in every dance are overcome with emotion and love for the other.  It didn’t help that they had songs like “Butterfly Kisses” playing and all I could think about was holding my kid for the first time. My eyes were getting all watery, my chin was wobbling like an elephant on a tight rope. It was a sudden madhouse of emotion in my head. The people watching hopefully didn’t notice  ME…. “I think the photographer is a little unstable. He started crying during the dances . . . . . a little odd, that one. . . .”

   It made me realize that while I would love my child regardless of its gender, ( well, regardless of anything but for the sake of my next statement we’ll go with the simple statement of regardless of gender)  I am incapable of wrapping my head around how much I would love and in a sense fear for having a little girl, and I think it’s one of the reasons I want a boy.

   With a boy, you want them to get out there and experience the world. Fall off the bike, eat the dirt, ask the girl out, “learn to accept rejection, boy, that’s called the harsh reality of life and unless you want to be a pansy your whole life, you better learn to deal with it.”

   Toughen them up for the world. It’s rough out there and you have to get ready for it.

   But, with a little girl, it seems to be such an opposite concept. I’ll want to run next to the bike to keep her safe, put a blanket over the dirt for all her dolls and keeping her clothes clean and dating isn’t an option until she’s 20 and even then they aren’t leaving the house until I’ve gotten the background check on that boy back from the FBI. (It’s ok, they can leave now, I’ll just wear a dark outfit and sit in the back of the theater with a flashlight ready for that hand to creep up in a stretching position. “HANDS OFF, BUD. . . .”)

   I think one of the reasons, maybe subconsciously, that us guys want a little boy is that, at least the way I see it, the fear of that extra emotional need to shield a little girl from the harshness and hurt that is, or can be, life.  That’s a terrifying responsibility that you HAVE to fail at if you want your kid to grow up and function in the world. The only way to call it a success is how you allow it to happen; if you manage to make it to certain ages before certain realities occur.

   Either way, boy or girl though, I can’t help but get a little choked up every time I think about it. I am going to be a Dad. I have looked forward to having kids since I was like 14. It’s an exciting thought. Yeah, there’s the first year where it’s just changing diapers and being up for, well, what I hear is pretty much the entire year. But then you get a little buddy to do stuff with. Someone who thinks you are one of the two coolest people in the whole world.

   See, even now, getting all emotional over it.

   Dammit. I need to carry an onion and cream cheese in my pocket at all times.

Co-worker: “What’s wrong with you?”

Me: “Oh, nothing, these onions get me every time”

Co-worker: “You keep onions in your pocket?”

Me: “Never know when you’ll need to make a good party dip…”

Co-worker (walking away): “So weird. . . . I hope he doesn’t take ME hostage when he loses his mind…”

   Jokes aside. I am still discovering my excitement. I think I am excited, and then I realize, I hadn’t even realized, and that keeps happening over and over.

   But when things around me happen that involve my thinking about it being a girl, I get extra choked up. I have come to the realization that I do want a little girl, even more than I want a boy, BUT . . . I don’t know that I am ready for that extra feeling of responsibility. Boys are hardy. They are more like a test run for parenting a little girl because as a man I can relate more to him, he’ll be his own person I’m sure; but a boy is more like me, and a boy can handle a scratched knee and learn to outwit the kids when they make fun of him at school. A little girl, I’m going to be on the doorstep of those kids’ houses demanding apologies because no one is going to treat my little girl like that.

   Every kid gets put on a pedestal by their parents, boy or girl. But, the boys are more apt to fall off, take the pedestal apart and figure it out. A girl will sit there and proudly be.

   I’m not ready to have a daddy’s girl. Because I am too emotional I think. I’m never going to be able to say no to my little girl, and she’s going to get spoiled rotten and I’ll happily let her wrap me around her finger.  

   They say (you know, they, the all-knowing people we learn from on the internet) that when looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend, life-long kinda parter, we subconsciously look for someone like our opposite gender parent. I will want to spoil my little girl because that’s what her future husband should be compared to when she thinks of how she was treated as a kid and wants to be treated her whole life.

 

   If, by now in the post, you are still here, thanks for listening. This is a rambling post for sure, more meant to be a documenting the process and capturing my feelings in the now, kinda thing. It’s part of this blog’s purpose.

   So, as I continue to realize the concept that I guess is “A Father’s love . . . “ I’m sure I’ll have a few more posts just letting the world, mainly my family and friends, as well as those looking for a new Dad-to-be’s views and opinions, into my brain. I’ll make a “ramblings” category so you’ll know what you’re getting into before you even start the blog ;) Stay tuned!

 

-30-