Saturday, June 15, 2013

the slump

Continuing into early February, here's a week that felt like a bit of a slump. After taking pictures every day for a couple years in a row, I've definitely noticed the occasional period of "meh." Actually, since Evan was born and my priorities have shifted, it seems like there have been a lot more days when I've taken a mediocre picture and decided it was good enough.

I started week 6 with a walk to Noe Valley. Heading past Phoenix Books, I noticed C is for Cooking in the sale rack. Nothing else really caught my eye while I was out, so that became the picture for the day.

35/365 c is for cooking

Tuesday felt like a good time to take pictures of Evan again. He was wearing the Mongabay onesie that Rhett and Alyson had given to him, which I believe was on my to-photograph list before he outgrew it. My first thought when I look at this shot now? Evan didn't have much hair back then...

36/365 love

I remember that Wednesday being kind of chilly and windy. In the late afternoon, I bundled up Evan, put him in the Baby Bjorn, and walked to Martha & Bros. for some coffee. I read some of the book I was working my way through on my phone (Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton) and drank my coffee while Evan took a short nap. I wasn't terribly enthused with the picture I took of the coffee, but again, I decided that it wasn't worth the effort to find another subject.

37/365 latte afternoon

I got the idea for Thursday's picture during Evan's second nap that day. For a while there, I spent a lot of time putting his pacifier back in his mouth at naptime, often in an effort to get him to go back to sleep after he inevitably woke up about 40 minutes in. This time when I went in to do just that, I found the pacifier just waiting to be knocked through the crib bars and onto the floor. Of course, I put it back in his mouth as planned, but I recreated the scene for the picture once Evan was done napping.

38/365 pacifier in peril

On Friday, I was actually inspired by my picture from exactly one year before. (It was right around the time I got pregnant with Evan.) But this time, instead of ready-made elderflower soda for my picture, I had elderflower syrup from Ikea—purchased around the time of our anniversary last year—that I mixed with soda water. I even got to use one of the paper straws that I bought last fall. FYI, elderflower syrup is also good mixed into cava or prosecco.

39/365 saft fl├Ąder

The next day, Steve went to the Saturday farmers market at the Ferry Building so that he could get the ingredients for our Valentine's Day dinner. One of the desserts we were considering called for lavender, so he picked up some dried stuff at the market. I took pictures of it when he got home, but it was actually a shot that I took of the lavender outside of The French Tulip in Noe Valley later in the day that made it into the project.

40/365 lavender

And finally, Sunday's picture was of the wings and pita bread with pepperoni sauce that we had for lunch. I hadn't taken pictures when Steve made this the week before—on Superbowl Sunday—so it was good that he made it again. The wings with pepperoni sauce was a Mike Isabella recipe, and it went so well with the pita that Steve had made as an experiment that he decided to make the pita bread again. It was a good way to use some of the extra pepperoni sauce as a dip, and it rounded out the meal a bit.

41/365 wings & pepperoni sauce

Thursday, May 23, 2013

done with january

Let's finally finish up January, shall we?

Evan was really starting to grow out of his 0-3 month clothes by the end of the month, so I made an effort to take pictures of some of my favorite outfits of his before retiring them. First picture of the week: his "daddy's little buddy" onesie. We've been calling him "buddy" pretty much from the beginning, which made this onesie especially fitting. It was part of a set of three onesies that we got from Danielle and Brian at our baby shower. I did get a shot of Steve with Evan wearing this the next Saturday, but I decided not to use it for the picture of the day, since the onesie had already appeared once that week.

28/365 daddy's little buddy

On Tuesday, I decided to take Evan and drive to DayOne to do a little shopping. I'm pretty sure this was the last time we used Evan's car seat until we went to the Presidio with Steve's parents... three months later. No wonder I was surprised by how much bigger he was every time I put him in the car seat. I use the baby carrier for walking so much that we rarely need to put him in the car seat.

Anyway, we went to Laurel Heights that day in January, and the most interesting thing I found to photograph was a cabbage flower in a planter. The colors really didn't match the rest of the month's pictures very well, but I liked the details in the leaves. (Also, it was my only choice for the day.)

29/365 cabbage flower

Wednesday's picture was of Evan watching me while I folded laundry in his room. We got a lot of use out of that bouncy seat. It was a good way to keep him contained and happy while I got things done around the house.

30/365 i always feel like somebody's watching me

Thursday was January 31, so I figured it was a good time to finally use the January calendar page for a picture. I had ordered this year's calendar from Irene Suchocki on Etsy, after thoroughly searching for a photo calendar that I liked. (She happened to be one of the people I had followed on Flickr long ago.) Unfortunately, I ordered the calendar after Christmas, and it didn't make it in time for the first of the month/year.

31/365 (the end of) january

So I took two calendar pictures in a row. For Friday's, I took a walk down Valencia in search of an appropriate background. (The footstool in the nursery was my backdrop for the January picture.) I also had lunch at Mission Cheese that day, but I found a table in one of the parklets on my way back to coordinate with the February calendar page.

32/365 february

I had a haircut on Saturday, which meant that I was downtown with no baby in tow for once. He was at home with Steve, napping, so I took the opportunity to go to the mall. I think I bought a Valentine's card, and I probably ran an errand or something. While I was there, I remembered that I had previously thought about taking a picture of the topiaries at La Boulange, so I did that too.

33/365 mall topiaries

Superbowl Sunday was next, although we didn't really do much for it. Steve made wings for lunch, Evan laughed out loud for the first time, we took a walk to get some coffee in the late afternoon, and we checked the score of the game once or twice. The picture of the day was from the coffee outing: Evan in his bear jacket, in the Baby Bjorn.

34/365 hiding out

And here's the mosaic for January:

Monday, April 29, 2013

january: week 4

I've been busy lately. The other day, in the midst of the busyness, I remembered that I have a blog. And that blog is terribly behind—over 3 months behind, in fact.

The fourth weekly installment of 2013 begins with a picture from the early days of Evan playing with his hands. Now, at 6 months old, he's pretty comfortable picking up toys, turning them over, passing them from hand to hand, and getting them into his mouth. He also has a lot more hair.

21/365 hands for the win

That Tuesday's picture was taken outside of the crepe restaurant on Valencia, during a late-afternoon walk. If I remember correctly, it was somewhat chilly that day, so there was no one sitting in the parklet across from the restaurant.

22/365 beer list

For Wednesday's picture, I shot the flowers in Evan's room. They were part of a bunch that Carmen had put out when we came home from the hospital with Evan, and apparently this kind dries quite well. The rest of the flowers are long gone, but these are still doing their part to add a pop of color to the top of Evan's shelves. 

23/365 puff balls

Evan and I took a walk down Valencia once again on Thursday, with him in the stroller this time. We went to Craftsman & Wolves, where I got a croissant and some drinking chocolate with violet marshmallows. I had ordered the drinking chocolate back when they first opened, but they seem to have acquired more specialized servingware for it since then.

24/365 drinking chocolate

I guess I was less ambitious again on Friday, because my picture of the day was of the bunting above Evan's crib. He seemed to like it quite a bit back then, though. He would look at it and coo or gurgle when I put him in his crib for naps.

25/365 something to look at

It was time for another Evan picture on Saturday, which ended up being a tummy time shot. He was still working on holding himself up for longer periods of time then. He rolls out of it consistently now, but these sessions used to end one of two ways: with him spitting up or with him rubbing his face into the floor and whining. If we were especially unlucky, he'd spit up and then rub his face into the floor before I could turn him over. I had to clean off his face and suction spit-up out of his nose once or twice...

26/365 daily workout

Last is a food picture for Sunday. These have obviously gotten less frequent in the last year, as feeding the baby has been a little higher priority than feeding ourselves new and fun recipes. Hopefully, we'll get back into the habit a little more soon, now that spring and summer produce are coming up.

But back to the picture below. Steve made Black Spaghetti with Clams, Pancetta and Red Chili from Mike Isabella's Crazy Good Italian. It was a homemade squid ink pasta that went well with the ham, the clams, and the white wine sauce. It was good both times that we made it—half of the pasta went in the freezer for the second go-round—but it was the kind of meal that didn't stick with me for very long. I was hungry again an hour or two later.

27/365 black spaghetti

Friday, April 12, 2013

the baby at three months

The third week of 2013 started with a picture of some home decor in the window of the Aldea store on Valencia. It's one of those shops that always has interesting things, even if they're not always quite the right style for my house. Their stuff makes good pictures, though, so I always check the window displays when I walk by.

14/365 aldea

Continuing with Tuesday, we have another in the series of pictures of Evan's toys. I had the Fisher Price version of this stacking toy as a kid, but we got a wooden one for Evan. I think old school wooden toys are just more charming, especially when the colors are clean and bright. This toy actually has a red ball that goes on top, but I decided I liked the picture better without it.

15/365 stacked

Wednesday's shot was a bouncy seat portrait of the darling boy, who had just recently found his hands. As you may recall, he had been using them to pull up his bib (and lick it) since around the first of the year, but Tuesday was when they were suddenly in his mouth all the time.

His cradle cap was also pretty bad around then, making his scalp really scaly and flaky. I tried treating it with olive oil, brushing it, and picking off the loose flakes; however, I stopped doing that when I noticed that I was taking his hair along with the flakes. (Eek.) He was shedding his first crop of hair anyway, but it got kind of extra sparse on the sides for a while... oops. Thankfully, it looks much better now. He still has more hair in the middle than on the sides, but the subtle faux hawk it grew into is pretty cute.

16/365 hands: found

For Thursday, I took a picture of Evan's Dr. Seuss collection—plus a couple of non-Seuss books. We had gotten Dr. Seuss's ABC and Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? before Christmas, and I found myself reading those to Evan quite a bit. Clearly, I needed a few more options that were similar. So I bought Fox in Socks, Hand Hand Fingers Thumb, and The Berenstains' B Book. I remembered all of those, aside from Fox in Socks, from when I was a kid. I was especially happy to find a decent used copy of the B Book on Amazon, because it was out of print. Evan seems to like that one too.

17/365 evan's growing library

Evan's three-month birthday was on Friday, so I didn't have to think of something else to shoot. I just had to put him in a white onesie and plunk him in the chair. For the first time, I was actually able to get a smile or two out of him while I was taking pictures. But it was still challenging, and in the end, I wasn't really happy enough with any of the smiley ones to use them. 

18/365 three months

Steve and I took Evan on his first BART ride on Saturday, to the Ferry Building for the farmers market. But we didn't have very good luck finding the ingredients we had in mind at the farmers market, and I wasn't very inspired to take pictures outside. I tend to forget how much less exciting it is in the winter, when all of my favorite summer produce isn't available. Therefore, like our purchases that day, my pictures were all from inside the Ferry Building. The shot below was of some cinnamon rolls on display at Mariposa Baking Company. I didn't get any, although they were tempting.

19/365 ferry building sweets

The final picture, from Sunday, was another flower shot from another walk to Noe Valley. I still find it surprising that I can spot something new to shoot when I've taken that same walk dozens of times. Flower pictures aren't exactly thrilling, but they do the job.

20/365 little flowers

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

the second week

And now, the second week of 2013:

Monday's subject was some baby socks, and I opted to shoot them with the baby attached. Evan was wearing his striped outfit from Thanksgiving, which was getting a little tight at size 0-3 mo. On a whim, I decided to put the matching socks on him, even though those were 6-12 mo. (He was about 2 1/2 months old at the time.) They ended up fitting surprisingly well, although there was certainly some extra room in the toes. Unlike most of the other socks he had been wearing, these stayed on his feet and I didn't have to constantly stretch them back over his heels. They still fit well now, which is good, because he's just getting big enough to start wearing the 6-12 mo. matching hoodie.

7/365 besocked

We have more baby for Tuesday's picture of the day. I took him out in his stroller (with the car seat) to Noe Valley, got some frozen yogurt, and stopped by Whole Foods. The shot below was taken while I was eating my fro-yo outside the shop.

8/365 out and about with baby bear

The next day was rather gloomy and gray. Evan was also taking long naps, so it felt like a good day to stay home and drink some tea. This was White Ambrosia from Tea Forte. It's pretty much my favorite, although I think I prefer my usual loose tea system to the single serving pyramids, cute as they are. I was out of practice at making single servings in tea cups, and I ended up making that first cup too strong.

9/365 a good day for tea

I think this was also around the time that I got the official word from the nutritionist's office that the results from my post-gestational diabetes glucose test had been normal. To celebrate, I thought a nice sugary donut would be just the thing. So I went to Dynamo for the first time in since last spring and got a vanilla bean donut. It was probably a slow afternoon, because the guy told me to pick another one for free... I chose Lemon Thyme and split it with Steve for breakfast the next morning.

10/365 dynamo

For Friday's picture, I took a portrait of one of Evan's toys. It was the beginning of a series, kind of inspired by the baby animal prints that are in his room. I liked the minimalist style of those pictures, and it seemed a good way to document some of his early toys—at least the ones that will stand by themselves on his dresser. Evan got this frog for Christmas from Bruce and Bonnie, but he's only developed the grabbing skills necessary to hold it in the last month or two. 

11/365 portrait of a frog

Saturday's shot comes from another walk to Noe Valley and back. Steve and I have ended up walking there with Evan almost every weekend, whether it's to get coffee at Bernie's or dinner ingredients at Whole Foods. That day, I took a picture of a flowering maple on the walk back.

12/365 flowering maple

And then, we went to Walgreens on Sunday. (Very exciting.) If I remember correctly, this was the first time we faced Evan out in the Baby Bjorn, which is why I took a picture of Steve wearing him.

13/365 this season's hottest accessory

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

back on the horse-wagon

Hey, remember when it was January? Me too. In fact, we're going to see just how much I remember about when it was January, because it's time to start catching up with blogs for the current year, now that I've finished 2012.

First thing's first: I decided to do another 365 project. Or rather, I decided to continue... If you're keeping track, this is my fourth year of daily pictures. I did 2009, 2011, and 2012, so I guess maybe it's a 1096 project now (2011-2013). Really, it's gotten to be a habit, although it certainly still takes some effort to find something to shoot every day. Anyway, I'll attempt to catch up on the blog posts, but I'm organizing them slightly differently. The last two years' weekly posts have just started on whichever day of the week the year began. But I think that's awkward for 2013—beginning on a Tuesday—so I'm going to make each post Monday through Sunday instead, after this first week, of course.

So... January 1. Since Evan's birth in mid-October, he had been sleeping in the pack & play next to our bed. He would take naps in his crib in the nursery, but we put him in our room when we went to bed after his last feeding of the day. It worked out well, because he was nice and close when he woke up to eat in the middle of the night. Then shortly after Christmas, he started sleeping through the night—from around 11:30 or midnight until 6 or 7am, when we would all get up for the day. That was the kind of predictability for which I had been waiting; it just happened to also match the deadline that I had had in my head for moving him to his room altogether. We waited until the end of the year and then packed up the pack & play on January 1. But before taking it down, I took a picture of our room as it had been since Evan came home from the hospital.

1/365 beginning/end

Wednesday's picture ended up being the Evan picture for the week, showing off his newest trick: grabbing his bib. He hadn't entirely "found" his hands yet, but he was starting to pull up his bib and lick it frequently. Over two months later, he still pulls his bib up. The difference now is that he tries to stuff it all in his mouth and seems to get frustrated when it stays attached around his neck or covers his face.

2/365 bib grabber

Evan's galaxy mat was the subject for Thursday's picture. He was still enjoying watching it move and play music, and his favorite things on it seemed to be the monkey and the yellow cow. Only one of those came with the mat... We put the cow on after he got it for Christmas, since we weren't using his car seat or stroller often enough to make it worth attaching there.

3/365 cow in space

For Friday, I took pictures of my afternoon snack: a brownie and some milk on one of the Heath Ceramics plates that Steve got me for Christmas. The brownie was part of my stash in the freezer, leftover from a Christmas party we attended. (I had made them, so I knew they were worth saving.)

4/365 circle gets the square

On Saturday, I took yet another picture in the nursery. This time it was the shelves. We had gotten more stuffed animals and books for Christmas, so the cubbies had been rearranged a little.

5/365 growing collections

Finally, Sunday was the day of the Downton Abbey season 3 premiere. I didn't seek out photo subjects with that in mind, but it was convenient that the stuff we passed in the windows of Ambiance in Noe Valley felt appropriately period.

6/365 downton day

Well, that's the first week of 2012. Only about 12 more to go to catch up...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

end of the line

At long last, it's the final post for 2012. Took me long enough... It turns out, it's more difficult to catch up on blogging than it is to catch up with posting pictures. The blog just never quite recovered after Evan was born, since I have to be in the right mood to write these things. Add to that a baby who likes to stir and/or wake up 40 minutes after the start of every nap lately, like clockwork, as well as my truly impressive ability to fall asleep on the couch after about 9:30pm, and you have a pretty accurate idea of why it's taken me this long. In any case, this entry finishes the project for last year. I've kept going with the Project 365 pictures since then—and will probably continue trying to catch up with the blog posts for those two-plus months—but for now, we'll call this progress.

So. Sunday, December 23rd. This was the day when I put Evan on his galaxy playmat, and he actually enjoyed it. I had tried it here and there before, turning on the music and seeing if he would like watching the toys moving over his head, but he had been too little to care. Now, he suddenly appreciated it; he smiled and talked to it. I think it was the first time he had done any cooing that wasn't directed at a person. In terms of the picture, I wish I had taken the burp cloth out from under his head or switched it out for a plain white one. It's a little busy. But at least I caught some cute facial expressions.

358/365 ooooooh

Monday was Christmas Eve, and we spent some time hanging out with Dan and Carmen that evening. I ended up just taking a picture of the Christmas tree, which we had all decorated the night before. Most of the ornaments were on the top half this year to keep Elsa from getting them.

And speaking of Elsa, we compared her footprint ornaments from last Christmas (at 6 months old) with Evan's feet (at 2 months old), and Evan's feet were a perfect fit. He will probably be bigger than she is in no time.

359/366 christmas eve

On Christmas morning, we headed back downstairs for presents with Dan, Carmen, and Elsa. A few pictures had to happen first, though. Since it was Christmas, we decided to try to get a picture of Evan and Elsa together—their first, actually. Elsa, at 18 months, was still not to be trusted completely with the baby, but we managed to make it work with Evan in the bouncy seat. We even got Elsa to give Evan a few kisses for the camera. Evan looked a little unsure as she was coming at him, but they both did well with supervision.

During the opening of the Christmas presents, Evan stayed in his bouncy seat and took a short nap. He also spent some time in there while we ate Christmas dinner, cooked by Steve: salad with pears and blue cheese, prime rib, mashed potatoes, and some roasted vegetables. Sadly, there was an incident with the roasted mushrooms seesawing off a tray/counter, and all but a few of them ended up on the floor. The surviving ones were really tasty, so it was especially tragic. That dish (minus the unfortunate end result) is now called "floor mushrooms."

360/366 christmas morning

The next day, I took a picture of a couple of our new stuffed animals. The fox was Evan's Christmas present from Steve and me, pointed out at the store by me and then purchased later by Steve. It felt kind of silly to wrap it and then open it again on Christmas morning, but whatever. At least we ended up getting Evan something for his first Christmas.

The elephant was a gift from Carmen. I had found it online when I was looking at baby stuff while pregnant, but since it didn't fit the woodland theme, I hadn't gotten it. I probably should have gotten it, because I kept thinking about how cute it was. I left it on my Amazon wishlist just in case someone needed a gift idea for me. Then, when I rechecked my wishlist before Christmas, I saw that the elephant was suddenly unavailable. A different website still seemed to have them, but the next time I checked, they were sold out there too. I spent an hour looking around online and came to the conclusion that the only elephants left were in Europe, and Amazon UK wouldn't ship theirs here. I guess it was good that I didn't have the heart to take it off my wishlist, though... Carmen took up the challenge and managed to get one of the British elephants shipped here in time for Christmas! She even had time to wrap it.

361/366 the elephant and the fox

I took a walk with Evan to Noe Valley on Thursday. One of the antique stores still had some ornaments displayed outside for sale, so I took a picture of those for the day.

362/366 old-timey ornaments

That night, a miraculous thing happened: Evan didn't wake up at 4am. He didn't wake up at 5am either. He slept from 11:45pm to about 7:30am. It was the first time that he had skipped an early morning feeding entirely, rather than just waking up at an awkwardly early time when we wouldn't know whether to put him back to bed right away or not. This was the "sleeps through the night" we had been waiting for. I happily stuck the sticker on his calendar and took a picture of it the next day.

363/366 filling in the calendar

On Saturday, I decided to try recreating a picture that I had found of myself at two months sitting in my crib with my various stuffed animals around me. (I scanned that picture and posted it to Flickr too.) I wished I had taken off Evan's bib for the shot, but he probably would have spit up down his front before I was done taking pictures.

364/366 party at evan's crib

Nearing the end now... I took another picture of Evan for day 365, the day before New Year's Eve. I think we had just come back from a walk to get dungeness crabs for the next night's dinner. I had removed most of Elsa's old bear suit, and I thought Evan looked cute with hood still on.

365/366 bear suited down

Last, I had to figure out what to do for day 366—the final shot of the year. The previous two projects had ended with pictures of the "3," "6," and "5," magnets that I bought near the end of the first project. However, I didn't have another "6" to make "366" for this time. Instead, I broke out the chalkboard tags that I had gotten for Christmas from Bruce and Bonnie. I had also ordered some colored chalk from Amazon so I could write numbers on the tags. It was a little tricky to get the picture and avoid Evan knocking the tag off his chest or smearing the chalk, but I got a decent shot. Since 2012 was essentially the Year of the Baby for us, it seemed a fitting end.

366/366 the end (again)

And now for the final mosaic of 2012: