January 5, 2015

Breathing Room

When I was counting all the reasons why the timing of Alexis’ birth was just about perfect, I forgot one little detail: I’m obsessed with photography. I not only wanted to get a ton of newborn photos, and family photos (which almost didn’t happen at all), and Alexis’ monthly photos, but also formal Christmas photos of both the girls, all in about a four week time stretch while learning out how to function as a family of four and celebrating the holidays. I took nearly 6,400 photos all totaled, including of both girls and inanimate objects like ornaments on the trees. Needless to say, I was putting a ton of undue pressure on myself. Now that it’s January I no longer feel the pressure to take specific kinds of photos. (Although I’d still love a non holiday themed family photo if I can arrange it. And some more of just the girls.)

I decided early on that the best way to save my sanity was to not try and duplicate my favorite photos between the girls. I have less time to play momtographer as a mother of two. Often my time with the camera is split between the girls on the weekends. Nicole has always enjoyed her time in front of the camera, and I didn’t want her to feel replaced by the baby so I always offer to take photos of her as well. So far the responses are about a 3/1 split between yes/no. Since I’m a mom of 2, there’s less time to be had behind the camera anyway. It would be impossible to duplicate Nicki’s baby book with Alexis. There were times when the book felt like an impossible project as just a mother of one! Getting those photos in the later months took a team effort between Domingo and I. Blocks are very enticing for a mobile baby.

I also have more skill this time around. I’ve been practicing with my camera, and off again on again in auto mode for the past two years. The first photos I took of Alexis are far superior to the first ones I took of Nicole. When I look at some of the early photos of Nicole I can’t help but think of all the ways I would have taken them differently. If I were to take the same style of photo with Alexis as Nicole, it would invite the comparison between photo quality. I already beat myself up enough when I make photography mistakes, no need to keep reminding myself of the previous ones.

So I strive for similar, but unique.

alexisblocks
This one is pretty easy to duplicate when home alone on maternity leave.

Speaking of help, I’m sure I would not have been able to take so many photos (or kept my sanity in tact) without it this past month. Between my parents visit, and Domingo taking most of the month of December off, I had a tremendous amount of help. I was able to get some sleep, and spend quality time with both girls, and even enjoy the holiday! Yet in just a few short weeks our home still started looking like a total disaster. I have no idea how other parents manage it.

My goal for the coming month: get the house back in order

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