Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 2

So I have kind of started this project and ran with it. And I love it. I felt like today went even better than yesterday. It can be challenging. Even though she is very still, I chose rather dim lighting and to manually focus everything with my (rather cheap) fixed 50.

I haven't decided exactly what I am wanting to do with these photographs. I know I want to make a collection of them. I haven't decided if it is a goal to show them or make a show of some sort. I also haven't decided if I should post each day, at random, or save them all for once. But they make me so happy looking at them, I figured you would want to see them today too.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

While She Sleeps

I have decided to start a photography project. For a couple of months now I have been trying to decide what it is I need to do artistically to pick up and get going once again. I think for me personally the photography I love doing the most is social documentary with a fine art feel. For this to happen, and to capture it the way I'd like, I really need something to focus in on. I decided yesterday that it would be Blanche while she is sleeping.

To me as a mother, there is nothing more beautiful than seeing my child asleep. It doesn't matter what has been happening all morning, or what the house looks like. When Blanche has nursed to sleep there is a peace that surrounds the entire room. Today during lunch Blanche took a huge spoonful of sour cream (thinking it was yogurt) and then threw up on my plate. She cried and continued to as I tried to clean it up, change her diaper, and then get her ready for nap. There were dirty cloth diapers sitting on the bathroom counter that needed to be rinsed. The kitchen floor and Blanche's highchair were still covered in black beans. My breakfast dish is still right here beside me on the desk. Laundry is piled high on the couch…but all of these things are forgotten when Blanche and I must take a moment, take a breath, and lay down to nurse. In my moment of rest I remember how everything will get done. Blanche drifts quickly to sleep and gives in to just how tired she really is.

Today was my first "nap time photo session". Blanche doesn't always sleep a long time, so it felt weird wasting away the minutes of my freedom taking pictures of her sleeping. But that is exactly what I needed to do. Because before I know it there will not be any sleeping baby in my bed. But the laundry and dishes will still need to be done.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DIY Mud Kitchen

Sometimes kids should get dirty. Really muddy and dirty. Blanche strongly believes in this philosophy. As soon as she could move she was getting dirty. There are pictures of her covered from head to toe in avocado at seven months old, literally trying to eat dirt and grass when she learned to crawl at eight months, and covered in finger paint at fifteen months. So its only fitting that this spring she should be given a mud kitchen.

I was thinking back to last spring and summer and how she would pull up on Andrew's pots and dig in the dirt. We tried endlessly to keep her out of his plants. So this year I thought we should just give her a whole area of her own. Andrew, being the awesome dad that he is, immediately started remembering to save old buckets and camping pots and pans for her kitchen. I also happened to find a huge box marked "free" outside a local thrift store that had whisks and pans. All of the sudden we had everything we needed for Blanche to go to town on making mud pies.

Last Saturday, Blanche woke us up early and Andrew said, "Well, lets seize the day." We all got up (ate donuts… mmm) and Andrew soon went to work outside. Blanche and I played at the park while he took pallet boards apart and then nailed them back together in a kitchen like fashion. In only a couple of hours Andrew made a little sink and work counter and shelves with hooks to hang pots on. We talked about maybe adding some paint, but as you can see no one seemed to care if it was painted.

Saturday afternoon it started to rain just as Andrew was finished, and then continued to for the next couple of days. So yesterday when we went outside there was a new mud kitchen with a huge bucket of mud ready to be played with. The neighbor kids joined in as well. I love the last picture because everyone is just going crazy. Andrew hosed everything down when we took the kids in for baths. I now have visions of warm summer mornings when Blanche will be able to come out in her diaper and play in the mud before it gets too hot. And then maybe she can go from the mud to being hosed off along with the kitchen.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Long Spring Walk

The reason I love my husband is that there are sometimes when I first see him after a long day without him and I all of the sudden feel like I can breathe deeper than I have been able to all day. I wonder if Blanche gets this feeling too. Today I pushed Blanche in the stroller to pick up Andrew from the cafe. He had an iced latte in hand and a smile on his face.

Andrew said we should go on a long walk. It felt so good to all of us to be out in the sun. Blanche just walked around and explored for at least thirty minutes. This was the walk my body needed to remember that spring is on its way.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When the Sun Pours In

Saturday was a long day. Andrew was working an extra shift due to low staffing and being sick. He had worked multiple shifts that weren't his, and Blanche could feel that things were not normal. That and she still had that cold, plus getting her two year old molars. A hard time for everyone. I think I started feeling pretty sorry for myself after awhile. A sad and restless sort of sorry. I felt trapped inside. When Andrew got home he sensed my weariness and told me to take some time to myself. All that led to was me trying to make art, but I was really not in the right mood. So I came back downstairs and sat in my favorite vintage green chair. All of the sudden it seemed the sun had broke though the clouds for the first time in two weeks. I felt the sun on my face, and looked over to my sweet little Blanche watching her show. I had been sitting there so quietly she hadn't noticed my presence. She walked up to me sweetly and wanted up on my lap and then to nurse. I was soaking in the moment when Andrew came around the corner and saw the same thing I had felt.

"This is beautiful!" he exclaimed. And grabbed my camera. I love when he grabs the camera. Andrew hadn't taken any nursing pictures since Blanche was probably only a few months old. I love how sweet and little she still looks. Seeing these pictures reminds me why I'm not in a hurry to wean Blanche. I don't want to loose these moments. Sometimes I try so hard to make something beautiful, but then when I stop and open my eyes, it really is all around me.

I feel like this winter I've really been thinking a lot about who I am and what I do each day, and what that means. I think its easy to get caught up in the every day and to loose yourself in so many of the mommy-moments. Maybe thats more of what I meant when saying in my last post that I get bored with the mom club. Its not that I get bored of the moms… I mean they keep me sane. I think I just think we all can get so wrapped up in talking about how many minutes each baby slept for a nap, or who's drinking what type of milk. I know I do these things too. And especially the first time and new moms tend to gravitate their conversations towards these types of things. But I just want to hear more about people dreams. About their passions. And maybe that is raising a baby. But I'm sure it deals with more than just a nap time. I guess I am just longing to get down to the heart of things. For us moms to talk about who we are as a person. Maybe thats what I like in other artists, they really tend to focus on figuring that out.

The sun was even warmer yesterday, and by the evening my cheeks had pink on them. I felt warmed and rested. Even though this Arkansas weather is back to just above freezing again, I think my mind knows its almost spring. This morning I thought Andrew had slept in because the sun had started pouring in our bedroom, but he said no it was only 6:30, the sun is just starting to come up sooner. Then I started thinking in my half asleep mind about daylight savings, and how soon we would "spring" forward, and I drifted happily back asleep cuddled up next to Andrew and Blanche.