It was about 6 months into Maevey’s life when Robin and I started to think about what to do for her first birthday- we wanted it to be special as it would be her first birthday and that is a big milestone. Since we’re photographers we wanted to have several scenes set up for us to capture her eating a cake for the first time and dressed up with milestone-related props.
We looked for ideas on the internet for cake smash scenes, styles of cake, outfits, etc. and saved several ideas. I believe that it was around Christmas time that I found paper backdrops from B&H Photo that would be perfect for several themes we decided upon- one was a light purple background and the other an off-white paper. A few days later the paper arrived and I quickly opened the 140 yard roll of paper and to my excitement they were exactly how they were pictured and I started to further piece together the scenes in my mind based off of some simple, yet creative layouts I found online for her cake smash session. Around the same time Robin and I went to Jo-Anne Fabrics to purchase fabric needed to create a string on pennants; we found a couple of styles of fabric that we both liked and matched the colors to be used in her outfit and cake. Robin then learned how to sew them together with mom after she cut them to shape. As the months passed I continued to search for a small, white cardboard box with a top that fits over the top of the box but all we could find online and in stores were gift boxes with a cover attached on one side and I did not like how that looked. I was about to give up until one day in April I found a brown cardboard box in Hobby Lobby that was perfect- I took it home and painted it white, wrapped a lacey ribbon around it and was ready to go. Around the same time Robin ordered a custom-made lacey romper for Maevey on Etsy.
Maevey’s birthday was on a Sunday this year, so the Friday before I ordered 300 photos of her that we took over the year to put in the album for people to look at during the party and for us as well. On my way home from work I completely forgot to pick up the balloons for her birthday so later that evening we went into town to get the balloons from Party City. While there I started to think of some other things we should have and went to Hobby Lobby, Jo-Anns and Burlington Coat Factory. We ended up buying additional black velvet cloth for a new scene that I had found and wanted to try with her as well as a nappy white blanket for another setting.
We got home at around 10PM, put Maevey to bed and started to work on dating the photos we ordered and placed them in order; that process took a little over an hour. After that we set up some of the scenes so that we’d be ready to go in the morning to shoot. As much as we were both looking forward to Maevey’s birthday, we both were saddened as the year went by so fast and she has changed so much- we really enjoyed all of the times we’ve had with Maevey.
I have not had much time to write as I’ve been busy with Maevey and enjoying as much time as I can with her. I really look forward to spending time with her- even though she is just an infant she is a very interesting person. Every week I start to see her personality grow and I look forward to seeing what type of child, teenager and woman she will grow into.
During my 16-day paternity leave, Maevey gave me a “gassy” smile- it was the first time I got a glimpse at her smile. During the first week of my time off Robin and I took many “newborn” photos of Maevey with different props we purchased over the prior months. During the 1st 7 days, newborns sleep most of the day and when they are sleeping, you can position them in just about any position you want as long as the room temperature is very warm.
Over the course of the past three months, I never knew how much I would enjoy just holding her and watching her different expressions as she reacts to different things in her environment. When she was two months old, she was very observant and would watch everything that I would do and then try to mimic it whether it was trying to chew imaginary food, talk or make faces.
Just last week I was holding her on my legs at an angle so that she was facing me; I wanted to play Nintendo Wii U so I had to hold the controller up above her body and below my eyesight. Apparently Maevey did not take kindly to the controller blocking her view of my face so she would lay her foot on the controller and gently kick it and if I didn’t look at her she’d kick it harder and at that point I would look at her and she’d smile at me. The prior morning I was holding Maevey on my chest; during that time, I was looking up the weather on my phone and suddenly she took her finger and swiped the screen as if she wanted to take control.
Ever since Maevey was born, she had a very strong neck- should could hold her head up when we would burp her and as time went on she started get gain more strength in her neck and back. Now, when she’s upset or hungry she will straighten right out like a board and scream until she gets food- with that strength she can also sit up straight with some guidance.
Maevey is now 4 months old and she starting to be chattier, more interested physical items such as toys that have detail- she really enjoys looking over all of the parts and pieces. We want to go to Toys R Us and find her a nice chew toy with different pieces that will serve as an exploratory tool and something that will help her gums as she is showing signs of teething.
Since my last post, "She's Pregnant", we have made many changes to the baby's room and purchased other items for her and for photography of her and other babies. We also received many gifts from friends, family and our Church that we are very grateful for. Early on in the pregnancy we purchased a Crib by Graco from Burlington Coat Factory, it can turn into a toddler bed and then into a regular bed.
A few days before Christmas, we found out that we are having a girl. I had prayed for a girl so we are very happy with the news. When I saw on the monitor that she was a girl, my heart skipped with joy and my mind ran with fear- I’ve been told that is typical of fathers that have daughter(s). We really enjoyed seeing her features develop as well, she has changed a lot since Robin's last ultra sound appointment. The baby no longer looks like an alien, but a very small baby with budding fingers and toes and many tiny organs. Her facial features are also developing, something that was not possible to see when my mother was pregnant with me.
Robin has been keeping a journal of her pregnancy and has been noting different changes, one of them is being able to feel the baby's movement. I had not been able to detect her movements due to her small size, but on the 22nd week of pregnancy I was able to feel her kick or jab several times- what a feeling both physically and emotionally that is! Over the next few weeks as she continued to develop I felt more and more kicks, jabs and hiccups. On several occasions I would feel 3-4 kicks in succession, as I traced my palm over Robin's stomach- never ceasing to be amazed by that sensation, especially when the kicks gained in strength. Eventually we could feel her moving her body which felt like butt cheeks moving under the surface of her skin.
Every now and then when I make my way through the brightly lit paths of Hannaford's produce section I noticed the odd fruit and think to myself, "I wonder what that tastes like?" Six years ago I wrote an entry about the African Horned Melon, an externally orange, spiky rhine that is actually pretty sharp- internally it resembles that of a cucumber but bright green. As the years past, I continued to look at the other various exotic fruits and wonder what they too tasted like.
After playing a game on my Windows 8 tablet-laptop tactfully named "Fruit Ninja", my curiosity peaked and I had to know what these fruits tasted like- maybe it was a subliminal message or maybe it was the color graphical representations of the fruit- all I know is that the game invokes a desire to eat fruit. This is probably an un-intentional side effect of playing the game on the developers part but if it's not it's very ingenious.