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

What’s even better is that onerous photo part has a work around now too. There’s a site called 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.