That’s what I want to do to this camera.
Oh, and also take pictures of stuff with it.
Sure, there are better cameras out there. But they cost WAY more. For the price, this camera is exceedingly sufficient.
In staying within my Realistic Realm of Procurement, and yet, still ogling things I cannot possibly afford to buy right now, I present to you the:
Canon PowerShot G9
Just look at it! Gaaaah.
Veronica noticed my shiny, new blog. I just created it Wednesday night, and then passed out b/c I stayed up way too late. Why is it that even when my kid finally sleeps well at night, I waste away good sleeping time on other things?
*smacks self in head*
Recently, I’ve had a few people ask me how I “take such good pictures.”
First of all, let me say I’m very flattered by such questions and comments. Thanks for thinking they look good! (And keep saying to me the nice words and phrases; it makes me feel all warm inside.) I’m really trying to improve my photography skill right now, actually.
[If you want to see some seriously good photography, visit my sister's website. She's a professional, and she rocks all the balls.]
I do try pretty hard to get good shots…
(thinking ‘ohpleasegodletitbegood,’ right before pushing the button, I’ve found, doesn’t really help. shucks)
I’ve been interested in taking photos more and more over the years, probably really starting in earnest back when I was dating Neil (high school/college/grad school), who is a cinematographer. He gave me my first real camera (I had cameras before, but they were serious idiot box cameras), and gave me various tips to take better pictures.
I’ve always had an eye for things of beauty – especially in Nature (in fact, beauty in nature is actually what led me to faith, but that’s another story for a different day). Photography lets me freeze what I see so I can gaze upon it at will.
The digital camera I’m using is a nice one, but professional level by no means. In fact, I’m getting antsy for a new one. I got this one at the end of 2004 (as a birthday gift from John) – it’s a Kodak Easyshare DX7630. It DOES take good quality photos (6.1 megapixels). It has served me well for the last 3 years.
Some things about my camera have begun to annoy me (it’s not as fast as I’d like, the software is gargantuan, the flash is crappy, it doesn’t do great in low-light, the optical zoom is lame, it won’t wipe my butt for me or do the laundry, etc.).
I didn’t used to notice these things. I think that as my technique and skill elevate (slowly, but surely…like, from monkey to preschooler, so far) I’m becoming aware of the little faults in the equipment, and desiring more.
My improvement is what makes me hunger for a nicer digital camera. That requires money. Ho-hum.
I also own a film-loading camera that takes lovely pics, and I’ve been playing with it more lately again. There’s something about a film-loading camera that I can’t put my finger on, which is just missing in a digital.
If I was going to offer just a short blurb about what to do for good pics, it would go something like, “Good camera, natural lighting (sunlight), be aware, study your surroundings, be patient, take lots, keep at it.”
I try not to use Photoshop to make pictures “look good,” rather, I try to take them well (good lighting, framing, etc.). It’s ALWAYS better if the picture just looks good the way you took it, ya dig? I use PS to size them down for uploading, and if I need to create a graphic or something (like the banner on the site).
[Sometimes I just sit around playing with PS effects to learn more, or warping the picture of someone I don't like. Putting bullet holes in someone's temple, grafting a penis to the side of a face, or just enlarging nostrils, for emphasis = my idea of a good time, friends.]
All of that said, I’m not above photoshopping a zit here and there, or brightening up a shot that is a lovely image, but too dark. I actually don’t do it often, but I will do it. If there was a “remove extra fat and bags under eyes” button in PS, you’d be seeing a lot more pics of me. Heh.
So, yeah, I don’t Photoshop the pics to death, but if there’s a great pic of me, and there’s a booger on the side of my face, I’m Photoshopping it.
To make the booger bigger.
Here is a letter I wrote to Braden on February 18, 2006, when he was only 19 days old, inside of me.The baby book I purchased for him while I was pregnant has a space in it for the Mommy, and one for the Daddy, to write a letter to the baby. When I saw that, I decided to fill it in when Braden was one year old. Thinking about that made me decide to write him a letter like that every year on his birthday, save them, and give them all to him one day. (Maybe when he turns 18… or when he has his own baby. Not sure yet.)
Sitting down to this project just recently, in its first incarnation, I’ve realized what a task I’ve taken upon myself. Wow. A whole year. In ONE letter. Heh.
So. Okay. I’m not going to give up on the yearly letter idea. But I am going to take a lesson from The Great One. My freakin’ awesome friend, Sarah, has already decided to adopt Dooce’s habit of writing a letter to the offspring once a month, and I think I’ll follow suite.
The idea is that it’ll make my yearly letters easier. (Not only is the yearly letter a LONG task, but the Mommy Brain has started to forget some things, even as dear and close to my heart as they are. Don’t want that to happen. Monthly Mommy Brain work-outs are a good thing.)So, there you go. I think I’ll finish writing that One Year letter to Braden. After that, I’ll start monthly ones.
EDIT, July 4, 2008: I’m wondering now if this is considered theft of Dooce‘s original idea? I never intended that. If anything, I hope they pay her homage. I respect and admire her, and I have bowed to her both here, and on my blogroll (she’s on my “Inspired By” section). But after recent internet events, I’m wondering, “Is that enough?”
I certainly do not want to step on her toes. I even e-mailed her back in the day, telling her I was thinking of doing this. Her sheer volume of e-mails may mean that e-mail was lost in the mix, or maybe she was annoyed, but not enough to respond. Or maybe, she’s okay with it? Hell, that “Anonymous” commenter down there might even be her. I did send her a link, afterall.
(Shut up and let me pretend that Dooce visited my blog!)
Anyway, I’m just second-guessing whether I should continue to publish his updates publicly.
Braden woke up late again yesterday. The plan was no nap, so bedtime would be painless and a full night’s healing sleep would be had.
And despite no nap, we had a great time.
And Mommy was feeling triumphant last night. Bedtime was painless, and The Boy slept well.
Every day is new.
Today, I am proud to support Breastfeeding Mothers. I am proud of all the moms who choose to do this for their children, and themselves. I am incredibly happy for those of them who are willing (and ABLE) to stick with it.
You guys ROCK.
I really, really wish I could turn on my web-cam and broadcast a live breastfeeding session with Braden today, as part of The Great Breast Fest.
If I could, I would.
But his little body says, “NO.”
Let me take a few steps back and tell you a LONG (please, bear with me) story that will make this clear.
I have always planned on breastfeeding my children. I planned to do it before I even thought about it. By that, I mean that I don’t think I ever even considered NOT breastfeeding them, if that makes sense. It’s like it wasn’t even an option.
My mother breastfed all 3 of her children (openly, proudly, and happily). Maybe you get saggy boobs; who cares!? I know about the positive benefits for the child, from the wonderful immunity boosts to the great bonding and comfort. Add to that the increased ability to metabolize the Junk in My Trunk, and the fact that IT’S FREE, and breast milk becomes God Juice.
While I was pregnant I read at least 3 books solely about Breastfeeding, as well as many which included sections on the topic. I read magazines, web articles, forums, and various other posts, until I had BF Info pouring outta my ass.
I researched breast-pumps, nursing pads, nipples creams, etc. I bought several nursing bras and tops. Up to and directly after Braden’s birth, I borrowed, bought, and stocked all the things I thought would help in the breastfeeding journey, from pillows to pads to pumps to creams.
I was SO READY.Braden inhaled meconium upon entering our lovely world (8:35pm on 10.16.06) which caused some respiratory distress (look for His Birth Story to be posted here on Oct 14th). I didn’t get to hold him right after he came out. Once he was stable, I got to hold him for a very BRIEF moment, and then he was gone to the nursery for observation and monitoring. I didn’t get to see him again for hours, and I didn’t get to hold him again until 4am. That whole part of my Birth Plan about how “I want to nurse immediately after delivery!!!” flew right into the fan, along with the shit that had hit it moments before.
When we did start nursing later that night, I thought I was doing okay, but, let’s face it… even after all the reading and such, I didn’t REALLY know what the hell I was doing! This was the first non-romantic booby suck I’d ever had!
The next day, a Lactation Consultant helped me with Braden’s latch. I had been DREADING the LC. Throughout my pregnancy, I (internally) swore that nobody was going to be all over my boobies telling me what to do with them. Not only am I stubborn, and headstrong (I know how to do everything right the first time, and I don’t need any help, ever. DUH.), but I’m not the type of person who likes to show my body parts to just anyone. I’m generally not into that!
Ha! By that day, I didn’t give half a rat’s ass who saw my knockers. (The day before, countless people saw every uncharted inch of my body, and I didn’t care then, either.)
I WELCOMED the LC to be all over my boobies telling me what to do with them. And she REALLY HELPED. She gave me some tips and showed me some things that made it easier to go about setting up a proper latch, actual demonstration of different “holds,” and cues to look for that would tell me Braden was actually swallowing nourishment.
That night, Braden puked up a bunch of yellow stuff, and I freaked out. (This falls under the category of “OMG, IS HE BREATHING??” and “MY BABY THREW UP, HE’S DYING, I KNOW IT!”
Ah, the wonders of being a first-time parent (read: paranoid, semi-idiot with offspring) during the first week. Heh.The nurse we frantically summoned to our room from the nursery told me that it was normal, and it was yellow because he was getting lots of colostrum; a good sign. I was relieved, as well as proud. That’s right, people, the Mommy Juice was A’flowin.
Later that night, Braden started crying. He was fed. Changed. Swaddled. Rocked. Cuddled. Sung to. Prayed Over. Fed. Changed. Rocked. Cuddled. The crying became an awful, wailing, screaming.
It. Just. Wouldn’t. Stop.
That’s when another part of the Birth Plan – “No bottles or pacifiers are to be given to my son at ANY TIME!” – went right out the window. (No more fan, we’re just chunking things out of the 3rd story window now, thanks.)
John went to the nursery and got a paci. Upon his return, he told me that a nurse in the hallway saw him with it, and remarked, “It will become your Best Friend.” Ohhh, how right she was. (But it’s the only best friend I’ve ever wished had never existed.)
It soothed The Boy. Thus began a long love-affair with Paci-Poo.
We took our amazing, beautiful miracle home, and started the Journey Of Parenthood on Wednesday, October 18th. He was a joy. Sure, he often seemed cranky, irritable, and farty… but we just thought it was because he was taking after me. And when he made that loud, grunting Turd Announcement, we just thought it was funny, and we laughed….
On Friday night, I was changing a diaper, and noticed a tiny speck of blood amidst the mustard. My mind reeled. My stomach lurched and churned. My heart was running a marathon. I called John (he was on The Road with Chris Cagle) to freak out in his ear. We decided that since Braden seemed fine otherwise, we’d wait until his scheduled appointment on Monday.
That was a long weekend.
During Braden’s visit, his pediatrician asked me if I had brought a stool sample. DOH! Didn’t think of that one. She had to stick her finger up his butt to get some poo, which he LOVED. It was tested, and the result was positive for blood.
She looked grim. My heart sank.
That began my dairy exclusion diet. Let me make the point here that I LOVE DAIRY, ESPECIALLY CHEESE. But I was going to do whatever it took to breastfeed. So. No Dairy.
For those 2 weeks, I consumed no dairy, and I struggled with my little boy.
We’d have awesome nursing sessions… and then we’d have the “I love your booby, NO I HATE YOUR BOOBY, IT MAKES ME CRY… wait, I love it, I love it… NO I HATE IT!!!” sessions. His latch made my hoohas burn. My hoohas made him cry.I cried a lot.
Whining moment: I was a new mother. Super educated, and yet, still clueless. EXHAUSTED. Worried. Confused. Scared. Frustrated. Not allowing myself caffeine, alcohol, or dairy. Wondering why my body was being such a piece of shit. Doubting myself as a mother. Feeling like a failure, and mad about it.
At the next Poop Test, I remembered to bring a used diaper. No finger. But still blood.
Dr. Hunter said we should give it more time because it can take awhile for all the remnants of dairy to clear out of our systems.
More trying. More crying. Pumping so Daddy could help feed.
Thanksgiving Day. Rather pleasant… until 10pm.
Non-stop, High-Intensity Screaming Cry from 10pm until 4am.
That’s right, friends. The COLIC had arrived. The crying, every night. The utter helpless, frustrating feeling of complete failure.
Next Poop Test. Blood. AGAIN.
That began the addition of Soy Exclusion.
DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PRODUCTS CONTAIN SOME FORM OF SOY?
No dairy. No Soy.
Mommy so tired.
We tried so hard. I don’t know what words to use to express the anguish of moments when my son would be SO HUNGRY and latch SO EAGERLY and then completely reject my breasts, crying, because he was IN PAIN.
It was almost sad that we actually DID have some really GOOD breastfeeding sessions. (Don’t ask me how or why. I guess sometimes his gut pain wasn’t as bad as at others.)
I knew what it was like when it was right. Why couldn’t it be that way all the time???Next appointment was December 18th.
Dr. Hunter left the room with Braden’s Stool Test Card. We waited.
She came back, looking bummed. Blood. STILL.I think I had to use all of the strength I’ve ever summoned just to stop myself from crumpling onto the floor of the examining room.
She reluctantly suggested that it was time to put him on a special formula for babies with milk protein allergy. She said I should pump every 2-3 hours so that I could still possibly breastfeed if necessary. The tone of her voice and the look on her face didn’t say it would be necessary. She told me that if I couldn’t keep breastfeeding him, I could always try again with the next baby.
The meaning of her words was too heavy, and I started crying. I’m crying now, remembering.
Dr. Hunter was gentle, thoughtful, kind and reassuring, and I got it together. On the outside.
We put Braden on the formula (Enfamil Nutramigen, aka Liquid Gold). Within less than 24 hours, he was a completely different baby. He was happy. He smiled a lot. He cooed. He allowed us to put him in his bouncer and eat together, at the same time, you know, while neither of us was holding a baby???
WE WERE STUNNED. Elated.
Still, I pumped my dirty pillows. I pumped and pumped and hoped and waited and watched and pumped.
I HATED pumping. It HURT. Anyone who thinks that pumping is easy is a dork. One that should be punched in the face.After almost a week, I went to my husband and we had The Talk.
It was time to stop pumping. I stopped adding to my Freezer Full of Breast Milk. I washed the pump and Put It Away.
Again, I cried.
But I also rejoiced, because my son was HAPPY.
It took 2 more visits for us to get a test negative for blood. Do you get the thrust of that? The proteins in my breast milk were ripping up the insides of my son’s intestines so badly that it took him a full month to heal completely.
I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t feel slighted. I do. I have a long list of laments: loss of ability to give my child greater immunity, loss of bonding time, loss of that special feeling (that Words Can’t Describe thing about BF your infant), loss of MONEY, loss of self-worth, loss of ability to burn extra calories, damnit.
But what I gained was priceless. A happy, healthy baby.
Incidentally, I kept the Freezer Full of Breast Milk until I was forced to clean it out when we moved in May. (I cried again, of course.)
Braden is my sweet, amazing, beautiful, funny, crazy, smart, happy-go-lucky, fast, silly, HEALTHY son. I’d do anything for him.
Even NOT breastfeed.
I support Breastfeeding Moms, Pumping Moms, Bottlefeeding Moms. No matter whether you’re putting a boob or a bottle in your infant’s mouth, no matter if there’s breastmilk, goat’s milk, or formula flowing into your child’s stomach, no matter how long you do it, or the choices you make about being ‘discrete,’ I salute you, MOMS.
I’m in Support of Moms (and Dads!) who love, care for, nurture, and comfort their children in healthy ways that are right for their families. Period.
Thanks for reading this. I think I needed to write it.
Okay, first of all…
John: Someone else has suggested I do this. It’s an assignment. You may not use this as an excuse to spout off about Terry Hatcher or Rene Zellweger, or any other old or pasty tarts.
My first ‘Meme’ on Sarcastic Mom!
I’ve been tagged by Dawn, who has been tagged, but is still working on hers….
[You should do this meme: http://toddleddredge.wordpress.com/2007/10/07/that-meme/ I'm tagged for it and won't get it done right away - so I'm tagging you in advance.] -dawn
(there’s my memetag. see, I’m learning the rules!)
“Ten Literary Characters I Would Totally Make Out With”
(If I Were Single and They Were Real, But I’m Not, Single I Mean, I am Real, But I’m Also Happily Married and Want to Stay That Way, So Maybe We Should Forget This….)
- Louis Creed, from Pet Sematary. Okay, see, I read Stephen King near religiously. And even when I read that book YEARSANDYEARS ago, I thought he was delicious. So naïve to evil, so determined, and dedicated to his family in unimaginably hideous, yet cavalier ways. I mean, he went through hell (almost literally) to bring back his son, and his wife, from death. That’s sexy.
- Probably because I was just thinking of him the other day, Ponyboy Curtis, from The Outsiders quickly comes to mind. I read this book, upon the urging of a good friend, when I was in the 8th grade. I felt sinful, sitting on the swing of our front porch in the late afternoon sun, wishing I could just kiss away all his sadness when I came to the part where he read the Frost poem. Gaaaahhhh….
- Captian Ahab from Moby Dick. One word: Obsession.
- I feel pretty trashy already, and this one will just make it WAY worse… but if I’m going to be honest, I have to mention Lestat from the Vampire Series by Anne Rice. I became incredibly obsessed with these books while I was in high school and college (yes, even before the movie). This guy is deliciously evil… and yet, his heart is tortured by his actions and his past… his very being. *sigh* I thought my mind was going to explode when I read Memnoch the Devil. I wanted to `boingyboingy` away all of Lestat’s pains. And then all of his not pains. And then anything in between.
- Schroeder in the Charlie Brown Comic Series (do comics count? Haha) Just to get him away from that damn piano, for once.
- From another high-school read, this one required, let’s go with Mercutio, in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Go ahead, roll your eyes. But look at this guy. There’s the mystery of not having gotten to really know him… and at the same time, just look at what you do know. Fiery, passionate, willing to die for his friend. I’m in. Of course, you’re gonna have to get at him before Tybalt does. Damn you, Tybalt!
- Hopping back over to King again, I’m going to go for the gritty with Roland Deschain of The Dark Tower Series. This character… well, he could bend a car in half with his teeth while juggling flaming bottles of vodka with his penis, standing barefoot on razor blades. I’m convinced of it. You could drive an axe into his back and then pour acid in the wound, and he’d ask what was tickling his back. I’m going with him just for the Umph.
- People seem to overlook Samwise Gamgee of J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I think this pick is based on desire fueled by dreamy admiration. Sam is unfailingly at the side of his companion. He is loyal to a fault, and a steadfast protector. He is strong whenever his friend is weak. Plus, he cooks. It’s a no-brainer.
- Is it entirely wrong to say Arthur “Boo” Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird? I always felt, like, this weird desire to know more about him. He was made out to be this silent, heroic figure of misunderstood innocence. Don’t you want to make him all better? Sexual healing? No? Hm.
- And, since we’re “iffing” it up, anyway… if I were a lesbian, Kay Scarpetta, of the series of books by Patricia Cornwell. Why? Sheesh, have you read any of these? Because she’s intelligent and disarming, has a hot bod, likes wine, and is an all-around badass.
Whew. That was not so easy to do. It proves I have not been reading enough in quite awhile. And that my brain has become somewhat mushy. (What day is it again?)
But I did it.
I’d be more than happy just to make out with my husband, though, if he would JUST COME HOME.
Yesterday and today have been lovely. Really.
On Sunday, Braden kept acting intensely clingy and cranky. You’d have thought someone had convinced him that if he acted as much like he was my ill-tempered, conjoined twin as was humanly possible, he’d win a bale of cotton candy. After several situations in which he melted down in a manner unlike him, I decided he must be having a teething session.
That afternoon, he picked up a toy, walked into the kitchen, and suddenly screamed, crumpling to the floor. He pushed his head into the linoleum and just cried. I was bewildered, and ran to get him. I assumed he was either in the process of sprouting horns, or must have just experienced some gum cutting. I checked his forehead, and saw nothing, so I decided it was the teething, and gave him some Acetaminophen.
At dinner that night, while he was opening wide for some Braden Burgers, I saw the new tooth. His lower, right lateral incisor had finally made an appearance. About time.
At bedtime, I gave him some Ibuprofen. He slept like a rock last night. Slept an hour later in the morning than usual, even. This behavior is a sign of the apocalypse. Or his body is going through a major overhaul. Considering all the talking he’s been doing lately, and the teething, it could be the latter.
Nah… I’m still thinking apocalypse.
Today was EVEN BETTER than yesterday. I thought (IDIOT.IDIOT.IDIOT) that he’d be much better today, since the tooth had broken the surface yesterday, and he’d had a lovely night of sleep.
I’m suspecting that the lower, right lateral incisor is causing him a lot of extra pain coming up, AND he’s also working on a lower, left cuspid. (I had to do some examining to come to this conclusion, which Braden thoroughly enjoyed. I almost had to use the Jaws of Life just to get in there.)
So, today, Braden basically decided that if he wasn’t at least 3 inches inside my butthole at all times, he was going to DIE.
It served me right, anyway, for wanting to do such ridiculous things.
Like pee when my bladder was full, or make myself something to eat.
Activities that actually made him happy were things like yanking on my nose stud, flinging DVDs off the DVD tower, throwing his cup of apple juice across the kitchen, and whacking me in the face with his recorder flute.
I’m not stressed out about it at all.
But, I have decided that I don’t really want to put him in the closet when he’s like this, after all.
I want to go in there. Alone. And sleep.
I like movies.
I used to get mad at movies that were first books. See, more than I like movies, I like books. Books are The Shiz, ya dig? I used to read a book, then watch the movie and groan over how WRONG they got it. Or, I’d see a movie, and then realize there was a book, and get all depressed… see, now if I read the book, I’d have pre-defined ideas about how the people should look and act in my head. That takes away a large amount of the fun.
Books are cool partly because your mind can run away with all the imagery. My mind really likes to do that, so it likes books.
That said, movies also rock very much. I can seriously appreciate a good story line in a movie, and when the actors portray their characters well, it can be breathtaking. I’m also a sucker for a cinematographically beautiful shot.
(And I’m badass for using the word, “cinematographically.”)
Additionally, some killer modern Effects and a slammin’ soundtrack are always a good time.
Along that vein, John and I recently rented a movie called The Hitcher, because Netflix recommended it for us. I’m willing to take movie chances, so I often check out this kind of crap. It sounded interesting. I was totally ready to laugh at what I was sure would be “old looking” and “cheesy” and maybe even “crappy as hell” camera shots and effects, considering that the date on the movie was 1986.
I was a surprised bitch. The movie was rather weird, but actually interesting and entertaining (if you like freakball thriller-type movies, like I do). The time period was definitely noticeable in the quality of the film, but not in a bad way.
And here’s the thing – I was entirely captivated by stunt scenes that were REAL.
You don’t realize how much you have just gotten so incredibly used to seeing computer generated effects in movies until you watch something old. They really had to do stuff like set cars on fire, flip them in chase scenes, and break REAL glass! And it LOOKS DIFFERENT when it’s real.
“Wow, that effect is really great, it looks so real!” can’t compare with, “Holy shit! That car is ACTUALLY on fire, and some stunt dude is driving it – F’in A!”
Upon looking into the film, I also learned that one of the lead actors, Rutger Hauer, actually did a lot of the stunt driving himself. Could he BE any more awesome? No, no he could not. Apparently, he even knocked out a tooth in one of the stunt scenes, where he crashes through a windshield holding a shotgun. Hard core.
Other notable actors in the movie include C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Personally, I enjoyed watching Ponyboy Curtis get all flustered over almost eating a finger, and, here, Single White Female does NOT survive until the end of the movie.
I came away from the viewing with 2 fun, memorable quotes (both spoken by Rutger Hauer’s character, “John Ryder”):
“So, how ya like Shitsville?”
And, the considerably longer, and much creepier:
“Well, he couldn’t walk far. [pause] I cut off his legs. [pause] And his arms. [pause] And his head. [pause] And I’m going to do the same to you.”
But, I digress.
I like movies.
So, from time to time, I’ll be talking about them.