Friday, October 30, 2009

For Sale!!

I'm super excited to announce that I have taken a leap and I'm trying to sell some of my photography!

A friend of mine owns a store in town and asked me if I wanted to consign some of my work in her store. The store is called The Kodiak Company (on Marine Way just past the Brewery for those in town!) and has all kinds of Kodiak-related items as well as nautical things and a mish-mash of other stuff.

I currently have 12 pictures down there (unless some have sold... I should check on that), and I'm really hoping this might be the start of something. I don't claim to be the world's best photographer, or even really that good, but I think I've managed to capture some neat shots and I'm ready to learn more about both my camera and some processing techniques.

All the pictures I have down there are 8x10s, but I'm planning to come up with a price list for everything from 4x6s all the way up to poster size so I can do special orders, too. Unfortunately, we're going to be out of town for the BIG bazaar here this fall, otherwise I would've gotten a table and tried my luck there, too.

Anyway, here are the pictures I'm selling. They're cropped a little differently in the 8x10 size, but I think they turned out really well. Oh, and they're mounted on a matte board, which gives them a little heft, but no border. I was REALLY happy with how that worked!

Here they are!

Hopefully I'll be able to post sooner or later that I've sold my first one. If not, all our family members should definitely pick out their favorites because those will be your Christmas presents! HA!

Monday, October 19, 2009

As promised!

It's definitely too late for our family and friends on the east coast, but here in Alaska it's still "tomorrow night" (as per my last post), so I'm getting pictures and video up!

That first picture is from last Thursday, the day before Michaela turned 3 months old! As I said in last night's quick update, she's no longer considered a newborn now. She's officially an infant. And, in the interest of full disclosure... I had no idea there was a difference/dividing line. I learned that just last week!

Moving onto the Baptism. Yesterday, October 18th (the Feast of St. Luke), Michaela was Baptized into the Episcopal church. Her godparents are Ryan and Heather, who, of course, couldn't make the trip up for the service. So the whole congregation pretty much acted in their behalf. She did really well through the entire service, except when I put her hat on her. Her hat (which I didn't get any pictures of on her head) was the hat I wore at my Baptism. It was then turned back into a handkerchief, which I carried at my wedding. I then turned it back into a hat for her, and will now safely tuck it away until she gets married (a long, long time from now if she knows how to keep her daddy happy). So the hat stayed on her head for about 2 seconds and she immediately stopped crying as soon as it came back off again. We figured quiet baby was more important than cute hat, so there ya go. Now onto the rest of the pictures...

Being Baptized with holy water. No crying at all, which surprised me because she doesn't really like the water getting on her face during bathtime.

In this one, you'll note that Jason is sort of laughing. She grabbed onto Fr. Paul's finger and wouldn't let go. This wouldn't have been a problem, but he was trying to reach for the chrism. She eventually let go (after he shook her hand off!) and was sealed with the oil.

Shortly after the actual Baptism part of the service, she fell asleep. This does not look comfortable to me, but she seemed quite happy to stay that way for a while. She looks like she's a lot more sideways than she is, but that's a lot of dress around her!

Finally awake, we tried to get a few more pictures. Isn't her dress gorgeous? She looked so pretty... too bad it made her sweat like crazy! I'm looking forward to doing a portrait session and getting some good pictures of her in this gown, as well as the one I wore at my Baptism. We might even be able to keep the hat on her for more than 2 seconds to get some pictures of that, too!

And, here's all three of us. This would be an awesome picture, but Jason has a little bit of a goofy look on his face. By the time we took it, everyone was starting to filter out of coffee hour, and Michaela was more than ready to get that dress off! So we didn't try for another one. It might not be perfect, but it's a good memory of the day.

And for the final picture, this is also one from last Thursday. This is my girl, sleeping while propped up on a boppy, but on the floor. We figured out that she REALLY likes this little bear blanket that Maryanne (Mimi) gave her before she was even born. It's silky on one side, and very soft fleecy kind of material on the other. With a pacifier in her mouth and Bear in her hands, she'll work the fleecy side in her fingers, and slide it around so the silky side is rubbed all over her head until she falls asleep. It cracks us up, but it's a way for her to self-soothe, so we like it!

And finally, a little video. I was trying to get video of her lifting up her head (she's gotten good at it), but instead she just spent the time on her tummy telling me exactly how much she enjoys being like that (or not).

Things are going well here in general. Michaela is definitely getting to the age where she's so much fun. She interacts a little (blowing raspberries back at us when we do it), smiles a ton, and she's started to giggle a little, too. She keeps us laughing and amazed at how much she's learning and changing every day! SO much fun! We can't wait to make our trip to the east coast next month so everyone can meet her!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quick update... more to come tomorrow

Because I KNOW my mom's going to check the blog first thing in the morning to look for Baptism picture, this is just a quick note to say there's nothing to look at yet!

Time got away from me today, and I'm in the process of uploading a bunch of pictures to Shutterfly, so the computer is running a little slower than normal, and I don't want to try to upload pictures here as well. I'll get some pictures and recent video up tomorrow. I promise.

In the meantime, in recent Michaela news....

She had her second round of shots last Monday, which resulted in a VERY cranky night. Fortunately for him, Jason had duty. Unfortunately for me, Jason had duty. It was a long night, followed by a late start the next morning. Thank goodness I'm my own boss and could go in a little late on Tuesday - both of us needed the sleep. I'm NOT looking forward to going through the same thing every month for the next few months. We're following the Dr. Sears vaccination schedule (basically, no more than 2 at once, and some are delayed a few years), so rather than getting shots every two months, she gets 2 every month. I now know the trick of giving Tylenol prior to the visit and again 4 hours later, so hopefully that will help manage the crankiness a little better next time.

Michaela is no longer a newborn... at 3 months old on Friday, she's officially an infant now! I just can not believe that she's already three months old!!! In some ways it feels like she's been here forever since we just can't imagine life without her now. But then it seems like just yesterday that made her way into the world. At her appointment on Monday, I popped her on the scale really quick to see how much she's weighing these days and she was up to 12lbs, 9oz. In three months, she's gained 3lbs, 11oz! She still seems so skinny to me, but she's definitely a loooong baby. I didn't get to measure her at the appointment, so we'll have to wait til her 4 month well-baby in November. But she's outgrowing all her 3 month clothes and is moving into the 3-6 month range!

Finally, in other big news, Michaela was Baptized today! I'll share pictures and give the details tomorrow, but I can tell you that it was a very joyous day, and I just found myself being amazed by how much love I have in my heart for my little girl, and how happy I was to watch her be "marked as Christ's own forever." I got to help pick the hymns for the service today, and I found myself too emotional to sing during at least two of them... I didn't want to "waste" the chance to sing the songs I love so much, but it was hard to keep the happy tears at bay.

I'll tell ya, no one can explain the frustrations, fears and exhaustion of being a new parent. But no one can explain the joys and LOVE either. I'm constantly amazed by this transformation from person to parent.... and it's something you have to live to understand.

That's it for tonight. I promise to have Baptism pictures up by tomorrow night, along with at least one recent video. My pictures are all uploaded to Shutterfly now, but it's after 10pm and I need to get to bed, so it'll have to wait!

Monday, October 5, 2009

What I learned on my weekend in Anchorage

I (we) learned a lot of things on my (our) weekend in Anchorage this past weekend. It can all be summed up pretty simply in four small words...

A baby changes everything. (Go ahead, laugh now....)

Because 11 weeks of having this little person in our life didn't quite get that message across yet, our trip to Anchorage this weekend for a little getaway definitely hammered it home! I hadn't left the island since April (waaaaayyyyy too long for me), so we took advantage of a recent sale on airfare, and headed over for some different food and some retail therapy. WOW was it a different experience from our past weekend trips over there!

Michaela did great on the plane, with the exception of a major blow out diaper shortly after this picture was taken. Luckily, it was before take off (and before there were a lot of people seated around us), so she had a quick diaper and wardrobe change while we waited for everyone else to board. So, lesson 1 - change the baby's diaper before getting in the security line. Other lessons we learned were that we needed a bag for her carseat (which we bought while in Anchorage), and that the stroller was completely unnecessary as a gate-checked item. We bought the travel bag for the stroller while in Anchorage as well, and it came back as checked luggage. Much smarter. And, finally, on the trip back, we learned that wearing her through security in the carrier was the easiest way to deal with the whole screening process. So those were lessons two through four.

After the short flight over to Anchorage, we checked into the hotel, and then headed down the street to meet Christina at the Glacier Brewhouse for a yummy dinner and house-brewed beer. Our tired, and somewhat overwhelmed girl made it through dinner ok, though we also learned lesson #5, which is to be ready for her to need to eat at exactly the moment her mom's food arrives to the table. Jason did a great job keeping her occupied while I scarfed down my food and then got myself all covered up so I could feed her. He then enjoyed his food. Oh, that's lesson #6... we'll never eat a meal at the same time again (we kind of knew lessons 5 and 6 from home, though).

Here's Daddy and Michaela enjoying some play time on the floor at her first hotel... and a fancy one at that. She and I had a chat about making sure she gets a good education and makes enough money so that she can always stay at nice hotels like the Hotel Captain Cook. You'll note the crib bars in the background there. That crib was a lovely decoration in the room. I say decoration because she definitely did NOT use it. That brings us to lesson #7: you can have them bring the nice crib to the room, but if it's not hers, she won't sleep in it. On Friday night she slept on Jason's chest on the couch. On Saturday night, she slept in the little cocoon-like nest we made for her in her carseat. That was not my first choice of sleeping location for her on Saturday, but after Friday, we were desperate!!

She may have slept in the crib on Saturday, though, because she was EXHAUSTED after a big day out. We shopped til we dropped and exposed her to a whole new world of sights and sounds. And our girl, who suffers from serious PMS (paranoid of missing something) just would not sleep while we were out. We saw LOTS of babies snoozing happily in their stollers, but our baby just wanted to look around at all the new things! So she did not sleep, but instead did things like enjoying the people watching at the food court of the 5th Avenue Mall! So, the lesson learned there was to break the shopping up into a couple rounds with a quiet nap in between. That's lesson #8.

She also enjoyed all the lights and fun things to look at while we were at Red Robin for dinner Saturday night. For the lessons learned there, I'll send you back to numbers 5 and 6. She was pretty good at Red Robin, though. I think she knows a good thing when she sees it!

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to go to church at St. Mary's. Why would we go to church on a weekend getaway? Well, I'd like to say it's because we're good Episcopalians like that. But really, it's because Ted, who used to be the curate at the church we went to in Massachusetts, recently took over as the Associate Rector at St. Mary's! So, we got the chance to visit with him for a few minutes before and after the service. It was GREAT to see him!! The visit to St. Mary's brings us to lesson #10... when visiting a new church (or pretty much any other gathering place), be sure to scope out a good nursing location in advance of the actual need to feed a soon-to-explode-with-hunger-crankiness baby! I found a nice quiet spot, but we almost had an emergency situation there!

And, finally, we get to the last lesson of the weekend... Lesson #11... even though it's a completely different experience now, we wouldn't trade it for the world, because this little girl has filled a part in our lives that we didn't know was empty. I mean, seriously, what's not to like about this?

So, we had to learn a lot of things the hard way, but we're armed with this information for our next trip off the Rock in November, which will involve a LOT longer travel day, and a whirlwind week+ of meeting friends and family. Of course, by then, she'll change all the rules on us again, but some of it might carry over!

And, finally, because I told Mom I'd get this up, here's a short video of Michaela showing off her new skill... she has figured out that she can make a different noise when she breathes in from what she makes when she breathes out. She's been practicing for a few days now.... and I can't get enough of it!

I hope our lessons can serve to help others as they adjust to new life after the arrival of a baby. And it's ok to laugh at us... we're laughing at ourselves!!!