Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ava's not so excited by Christmas...yet

Although Ava was too excited to sleep when we first arrived for Christmas breakfast at the in-laws', fatigue finally got the better of her, just as we started opening presents. I suspect next year with her will be completely different. And yes, she does look like a present under the tree, which is how we viewed her this year. Merry Christmas!
Ava sleeps next to tree

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy 3 month birthday

Today marks the end of Ava's third month out and about on the planet. As every parent will tell you, the time has flown by and dragged on at the same time. It's flying when you look down and realize the kidlet has outgrown yet another article of clothing that they fit just yesterday.
Yet time creeps at 2 or 3 or 4 a.m. when the baby is crying or mewling or howling or screaming in staccato bursts and you've cycled through your repertoire of gentle bounces, rapid back pats, shooshing, humming, and rocking, to finally settle on holding her close and just swaying in a way that makes it hard to tell which of you is holding on more for dear life.

At those moments, when an afternoon of smiling wonder and gurgling amazement seems so far away, or when the baby's blown out her diaper all the way up her back and she's wearing that outfit that she hates to have pulled over her head, I am so thankful that J. and I are in this together.
I also remind myself that this too shall pass, probably in an hour or less, and I will again find myself in bare feet beside her bassinet or inches from her in bed, staring intently at her sleeping face in the dimness and straining over the sound of her dad's snores to make out the tiny puffs of breath that prove she is indeed sleeping peacefully.As she giggles in her sleep (what are you laughing at and what does a 3 month old consider comedic?), I think back to all the giggles and smiles of the past three months. The very first smile in the delivery room, the smiles when I blow raspberries at you, and the ones that sprang forth inexplicably a couple weeks ago every time your dad said "PVC piping" as we talked about a drainage project. Budding hydro-engineer or just a fine sense of the absurd? Time will tell. She is such a gift and I can't wait to see what else she shares with us next month.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Passport? I can’t even sit up unassisted

So world travelers that we’ve been, J. and I want to get Ava a passport so we can be ready to travel abroad when the need arises. In the olden days, before the year 2004 or so, passports required extensive scheduling to get forms from some government office or other, then traveling across town to some other outlet for the specially-sized pictures, plus the return trip to turn in the whole shebang, then the interminable wait for processing. Who can live like that?! It’s like Little House on the Prairie or something.

Since I sold my butter churn years ago, I went online to try to get as much of the process out of the way as possible from the comfort of my computer. As the picture below shows, I was back online with three day old baby in tow soon after she came home. Actually, although I couldn't feel my legs due to the epidural, I could feel my arms, so I e-mailed people from the delivery room. What? I'm a multi-tasker.
Anywho, it turns out the government has been taking note of this “internet” thing and has automated or technology-enabled a lot of formerly tedious processes, like applying for a passport on the website http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

What’s even better is that onerous photo part has a work around now too. There’s a site called http://www.epassportphoto.com/ that will let you use your own digital camera to take a passport picture, upload it, and crop it onscreen using their site and its handy guides to make sure it fits the federal requirements. Then they’ll either mail it to you, or you can download it to your computer and print it in as little as an hour at your local photo-finisher of choice. Mine is Walgreen’s: great selection of photo gifts, easy software, competitive pricing, and you can have pictures delivered or uploaded to any Walgreen’s in the country! Great for sending to widely dispersed family members who clamor for copies of holiday pictures.

The only challenge is getting an appropriate passport picture with a baby. They don’t exactly follow directions to sit up, look this way, no, the other way, etc. Plus, our little one seems to be a bit of a ham and will “gimme a big smile!” if asked or sometimes just whenever the camera comes out. It’s great, except that passport photos are supposed to have “a natural expression.” So we got pictures like this… and this….
And this…before we finally got the money shot. I love technology.