Sunday, November 29, 2009

Required photos and holiday cards

I'm not sure if it's just us, but as new parents there is a lot of pressure for us to take certain pictures of our beautiful baby girl. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE taking pictures of her. To date we seem to be averaging about 10-15 new pictures a day, and on top of that we've got a pretty big video clip collection as well. But, it seems that the world is bound and determined to call us lacking parents if we don't spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to have her picture taken by a professional at very specific monthly intervals. One of our friends looked at us like we'd just poisoned her sandwich and said "You're not going to get three month pictures taken?!?!...[long pause] Uhm, okay." HELLO! Three month pictures? We take DAILY pictures!!! Up to now there has essentially been no point in time where Riley's life hasn't been photographically chronicled!!

Well, after not much discussion John and I have decided not to be good parents. And by not good, I mean we're not going to hire some stranger to take posed pictures of our child in one of her many wonderful dresses or outfits. Why? You ask. First, this might hurt so brace yourself: We really don't like the vast majority of posed photos that we've seen. Read that carefully folks, we don't like the photos - it's NOT that your child isn't adorable and cute. Very often the poses look forced, and the back grounds are either over done, or just so plain it looks like a school shot. Oh, and don't even get me started on all the "artistic" black and white posed photos that people send out. Again, not necessarily bad, just not our thing. Secondly, we're lucky enough to have a couple of very talented photographer friends who visit frequently and take - in our opinion - truly interesting, beautiful pictures that (most importantly) also capture her little personality. Call me crazy, but I'd rather get a picture of someone that makes me smile (or dare I say laugh) in the mail than one of a little baby / young child whose been manipulated into some sort of crazy pose. [Note: as I write this I'm envisioning our names being removed from several peoples mailing lists as a result. Don't do it, I'm not talking about you!!] To me it's sort of like people who get painted portraits of themselves made - it's either going to be the coolest thing in the world, or...well.. not - and mostly it's not. John isn't hardly as passionate about this as I am, but luckily he's so picky with stylistic features that we'd most likely never be able to find someone who could do the pictures to his liking (unless perhaps Tom Ford happens to do that sort of thing as a second job).

You might be wondering what brings this rant on at this particular time. Well, we're working on our holiday card (and yes I mean holiday, not Christmas! There are lots of religious and spiritual events going on between now and the end of the year and we wish anyone who celebrates any, or all, of them well). As you might have guessed by now our card will not include any posed shots of our family (certainly nothing like my profile photo of us). It's going to be a single shot of Riley. Something simple, but not boring. Something cute, but not cutesy. Perhaps a little bit of a modern spin. Probably a post card, not a standard fold out card. We think people will like it - but if they don't hopefully they are like us and in the end just thrilled to see yet another picture of an adorable child (even if the photo isn't so hot).

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Here's some a news clip you might be interested in:
The UK National Academy for Parenting Practioners says lesbians make the best parents. Read about it at the Scottish Daily Express

Friday, November 27, 2009

DA (Droolers Anonymous)

It's official. We've had the intervention and Riley has been enrolled in the local Droolers Anonymous program. LOL! As mentioned previously Riley is the perfect child. She hasn't had any projectile vomiting, or colic, and rarely even spits up... but over the last few weeks she's developed a nack for drooling. In fact, if drooling we're a sport I'm quite confident that she'd be in the olympics. So we're adding this relatively new trait to her list of accomplishments we're very proud of. Basically, she drools about 80% of her waking hours. So, she's really dedicated to ensuring she get's it right. I've seriously considered replacing her clothes with wetsuits. I had no idea that there was even that much fluid in her body (that wasn't devoted to something else)! We'll be playing, and then I'll realize that the entire front of her shirt isn't just wet, but absolutely soaking. So, for the time being, she now travels with a full assortment of bibs to try and hold back the approaching floods. So far, so good... no one has drowned yet, and the water damage is minimal.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

And so it begins... life with the perfect baby.

Many of you have followed our story via our adoption blog and after the arrival of our daughter (Riley) we took a little time off from blogging. In all honesty, being new parents we just didn't have the time, energy, or even the want to login and write about our lives. Alas, the blogging bug has finally returned and here I am to continue the chronicles of our lives (now with a beautiful baby girl) on the internet.

Riley is now twelve weeks old, and boy has it been an exciting ride. I should start out by saying that John and I are lucky.. very, very lucky. Not just lucky to have been chosen by an amazing birthmother with an amazing, supportive family. Not just lucky that Riley was born in perfect health. Very, very lucky because Riley is the perfect baby. I know, I know. Right now you're thinking "Oh, how cute. The doting dads think their baby girl is prefect." I understand that thought process, I'd think that two if I weren't the father of the worlds most perfect child. Let's go down the high level list of her perfection. As I already mentioned she's in perfect health, so that's clearly the most important thing - BUT beyond that she's literally text book on schedule or ahead of every physical and mental milestone. She enjoys tummy time, and has the strongest neck around (as she has had since the day she was born). If you hold her up, she can easily support herself with her legs and keep her head in an upright position. She reaches for things that are placed within her general path of sight, and if you oblige will have long conversations with you (in baby talk responses to your words). She is stunningly beautiful. Her smile could easily stop all war and violence in the world. I've sent several pictures to the Obama administration and although I haven't received a response, I'm basically giving her credit for the recent economic advances the US has made with China. She is in the 90th percentile for her height and weight - so she's essentially perfectly proportioned. The list goes on.. I mean on and on and on and on... :)

The second best part of her perfection is her demeanor and sleeping habits. She is a happy baby and although she has some of the most powerful lungs of any creature on the planet she only cries to signal that she needs food, a diaper change, or attention. Otherwise, she just smiles and coos. She can keep herself amused if need be, and - wait for it - she SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT! Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, she's been sleeping through the night since she was about four weeks old. Every night we put her to sleep at about nine in the evening, and she wakes up promptly at six am, has a bottle and then goes back to bed until nine am. Totally amazing. She sleeps so well, and people are so surprised that I actually asked the doctor if she was okay. (Being a new parent one of the ways that I determine how things are with my little one is through the reactions of our many other parent friends. Even if I see something as good, if other parents are really surprised I do some follow up.)

So - I'll spare you the rest, as I'm sure by now you realize that she is truly perfection. Of course, she does come with millions of diaper changes, but that's a small price to pay for perfection.