Queer, Pregnant, and Parenting! November, December, and January 2013!!! - Page 16 - Mothering Forums
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Queer Parenting > Queer, Pregnant, and Parenting! November, December, and January 2013!!!
seraf's Avatar seraf 11:52 AM 01-02-2013
Isa, my kids were older when they weaned, and I felt like Shay was barely nursing at all right after his birthday but when I pump I realized how much milk I still make, so he must just be more efficient. I think you just figure out when she nurses and slowly replace nursing sessions with meals. Like just food at lunch. Then just food at lunch and dinner. On and on. I think the last nursing of the day is hardest to cut out, but you can move it earlier until its close to dinner and gone. Shay eats a ton and still nurses 24 ounces a day, so you will probably need to give her more cow milk or toddler formula.

Max, the Mai tie is sewn fabric! We recently aquired an Ergo but I mostly just use tie slings because they're so versital and cheap. I can't think of a structured carrier that puts baby in a position that can't be achieved with simple cloth but I don't know lots about the structured carriers.

Pokey, it's cool that you and CaNanny are so close. Baby shopping is super fun. We have a full and twin side by side. When Soren slept over my head, we slept sideways across the beds. When he moved down onto the bed, I started sleeping facing him instead of Shay since Shay was so much bigger and Soren's voice so quiet.

Here's a silly (and totally unsafe, don't try this at home!) picture of the boys sharing an umbrella stroller. Shay broke out with pox a few hours later, so he felt tired and crummy.

seraf's Avatar seraf 11:55 AM 01-02-2013
Cross post, Carmen, good luck at the ultrasound!
cananny's Avatar cananny 01:23 PM 01-02-2013

Hello from the boredom of "bed rest" I am thankful I am only on modified and can still get up to shower.. i can even run an errand a day.. ( that about all I can handle before I am 100 percent wiped out) 


Isa.. thank you.. I feel DP and I are more prepared than most .. but we have also not been sleep deprived except for the 2 short term foster babies.. So I wonder how we will function with a lot less sleep... and im sorry you and DP were sick.. I finally am better after a 2.5 week horrible cold and deep chest infection/ear infection and thrush.. Now.. no one is allowed within 50 feet of me if they are even a tiny bit sick.. it took me too long to recover..  also yay for thinking of # 2..will you do IVF again? 


Max.. Yes It does seem really hard to find a legit job.. I think the key is knowing someone and getting in that way.. Finances are our biggest worry.. I actually went and applied for some help for now because finances are really tight..It is just so exp to live here in the bay as you know. .. Its weird I never planned on not working so this is all new to me. I am feeling pretty good.. tired for sure.. the babies are much more active now and think 4-5 am are great times to be awake :) Its hard to eat much at one sitting so im having to eat more often and much smaller amounts.. that is good practice anyways!


Pokey.. YAY I am so glad you got the breast pump from E..  how fun that you guys went baby shopping...and wow 16 weeks.. time is going by for you guys too... soon you will know the sex of that little bean.. Im calling girl :) We will have to get together in the next week or so.. I have lots of free time right now LOL


Carmen.. FX for an amazing U/S and let us know how it goes please!!



AFM... i spend to much time playing games and surfing the web. ..I have started reading a book.. one that ISA sent me :)  I will prob finish it in a day or two ( I am a really fast reader) 

And the nursery is done... we got the last piece ( the boys blankets that we had made) it all looks sooooo cute.. I love going in there and envisioning 3 babies.. Speaking of.. we have 7.5weeks to go until my c section!!!!!!

outdoorsy's Avatar outdoorsy 03:37 PM 01-02-2013

Carmen - Good luck on the u/s! I was nervous too!


AFM - 15 weeks. On my second attempt at the NT scan, they still couldn't get the baby in the right position, so now I'm definitely having the DNA test. But it's not for a couple of weeks yet.

maxK's Avatar maxK 07:22 PM 01-02-2013
PokeyAC- Did you have any preferences for strollers when you went to look?

Buying Stuff - We have been eye-balling the things that will suit an infant then there are things you can take off and change as they get bigger. I would also like a car seat like that too where it can change as the baby gets older. Does anyone have recommendations for strollers or car seats?
esenbee2's Avatar esenbee2 07:51 PM 01-02-2013
max -I have been looking into the buybuybaby Graco Size4Me, which is different than the babiesrus Graco MySize? It seems like a good one that can go from rear facing infant seat to front facing with harness. It is reasonably priced too. But I haven't made up my mind.
wishin'&hopin''s Avatar wishin'&hopin' 07:52 PM 01-02-2013

MaxK--we babywore pretty much exclusively with a sling and a moby so we didn't need a stroller for a little baby.  We have used one of the maclaren umbrella strollers (the volo) which is for babies 6 months and older fairly often.  It's been a sturdy thing and we still use it on occasion and I would recommend it.  As for carseats, I've been pretty happy with the Graco MyRide65 and we have used it since birth (DS will be three in April).  However, as we anticipate the next little, it's obvious that there is NO way we can fit another carseat next to it in our car (it's really wide) and I think we will be replacing it with a Diono R120 for DS1 and either another Diono or a Combi Coccoro for DS2 (so, if you plan on more kiddos, puzzling together carseats is something to consider).

cananny's Avatar cananny 07:55 PM 01-02-2013
Max I love love love the diono/sunshine kids radian carseats... They hold 5 lbs to 120 lbs ( some are 100 lbs) it is one of the more exp seats but I prefer over britax ... It is super sturdy and it's narrow so it takes up much less space !!! I've had them in my car for nanny kids the last five years and have gotten many others to love them just as much!!! We will buy them for the boys once out of infant carseats!!!

Strollers... I like maclaren they fold up nice and are pretty lightweight but if you walk a ton a bob jogger or city mini are the better choices for long walks especially in sf smile.gif

I've been doing this stuff for so many years now... I'm glad I don't have to spend hours some parents have to researching the best options!
mrsandmrs's Avatar mrsandmrs 08:08 PM 01-02-2013

cananny - maybe you should post the books you're reading and we can chat you up about them to keep you entertained. or you could start a "book club, hosted by cananny" post! 


carmen - good luck on your ultrasound! 


people sure love those radian carseats. ive never used one, but i cant believe how passionate their owners are! they must be great. 

esenbee2's Avatar esenbee2 08:11 PM 01-02-2013
Or the Graco All-in-One. I'm a Graco mama and haven't looked into many others
cordelia15's Avatar cordelia15 05:34 AM 01-03-2013

Hi All. . been out of the loop for a while but just finished reading everyone one's updates. . no time to get back to everyone right now just wanted to say hi. . . few quick ones 


seraf. . since you are friends with noreves off of here, if she is ever interested in a support group of sorts, I have a friend and a friend of a friend who have started groups to support parents who lost kids at birth or shortly before and would be happy to send a reference if that was at all helpful, I thought of it before but didn't feel like it was an appropriate gesture at the time as it was right after.  I know everyone deals with things differently and it might be more annoying than helpful but wanted to put it out there, they are not queer women in general and I don't really know what they have to offer but was thinking of her


easttowest. . I actually had such disapointment when I found out DS #1 was a boy, I think I have posted this here before so forgive if it's redundant, and now of course I can not IMAGINE him not being the wonderful little boy that he is .. . so def don't feel bad about your feelings, I think it's normal!  I had a strong feeling when he was a boy the whole time and when they confirmed it at the 20 week anat scan I was almost sad. . . 

seraf's Avatar seraf 09:24 AM 01-03-2013

Cordelia, I'm not close with Nos.  I mean I adore her and all, but I don't know her well or anything.  I just posted that I would send it on so she didn't get it from several of us and so it didn't get missed, you know? I don't know where they are with regard to support groups.


Max, we're boring.  We had to buy 4 seats so we bought the cosco scenesera to go birth to 40 pounds so we didn't have to buy 6 or 8 seats in the first year.

maxK's Avatar maxK 10:35 AM 01-03-2013
Car seats- I have heard from friends that have infants to get a seat that can be removed from a base in case baby is sleeping you don't have to get her out of it. Do any of you find this to be true? Or do you the convertible is the way to go? Thanks!

Day 5 on Domperidone I am starting to produce a few more drops of milk than normal.
cordelia15's Avatar cordelia15 10:47 AM 01-03-2013

seraf. .oh, that makes sense, sorry for the assumption/misinterpretation


max. . we loved having the one that came out of the base but we used the snap and go a lot in the beginning so made sure to have one that fit in there and personally just liked having the infant car seats.  We got the Graco 35 and were able to use it for over a year and a half but DS is not tall so that made it easier.  I think it is just a personal thing. . and that's great about the milk!  

esenbee2's Avatar esenbee2 11:09 AM 01-03-2013

max -I had an infant seat for DD and she never stayed asleep long enough to make any difference.  Whether it was on the way to a store, a family member's, or back home, if she feel asleep in the car, she always woke up from the bustling of getting in the door or a few minutes after being inside, sat down and not feeling that movement of the car.  Of course another baby could be totally different!  Plus, they recommend not letting babies sleep in car seats because the position constricts their airways.

carmen358's Avatar carmen358 11:11 AM 01-03-2013
Well, "ginger" is doing great! Totally looks like a gingerbread person smile.gif Measuring 9w4d (I'm 9w1d) and 179 heart rate. I can exhale a bit more. My DP had today off so she was able to come too - it feels more real for her too.
seraf's Avatar seraf 11:17 AM 01-03-2013
Carmen, I'm so happy Ginger is doing well!

Max, we only used a snap in carseat with my oldest who screamed like a maniac in it and outgrew it by height at 3 months. I am a big believer in moving sleeping kids around. Lol. Mine learned to stay asleep in self defense.
pokeyac's Avatar pokeyac 11:49 AM 01-03-2013

Carmen--That's great news about Ginger!  So happy for all of you.  Grow, baby, grow!


Re strollers--I don't know how much we will use it as I also think we will be carrying the baby a lot.  A big stroller can get in the way around here as there isn't a lot of space.  We really liked the Uppababy Cruz, but it was about $450.  We also liked the Chicco Cortina KeyFit30.  It moved around well and was easy to push.  It comes with the car seat and base.  I used to see Maclarens all over Oakland, but I haven't seen many at the stores. We will have to think more about whether to get the combo or just a car seat and separate lightweight stroller.  Max--We went to Buy Buy Baby in Pleasant Hill.  Cananny suggested it.  They have a huge selection and you can try things out to see how they work. 

MidwifeStephPDX's Avatar MidwifeStephPDX 11:53 AM 01-03-2013
Carmen, so excited that your ultrasound went well!! Glad "Ginger" had such a strong heartbeat!

Max, I am on Domperidone too, for low milk supply. I'm not sure if it's doing anything, mainly because I can occasionally forget a dose and not notice a difference. I'm upping my dose to the maximum today, so we'll see!
As for the car seat, I planned on getting a convertible seat, but a friend (who is also a car seat installer) recommended I start with an infant seat, and for our car she recommended the Graco Snugride 35. I was very excited about baby wearing and didn't really envision carrying her around in the "bucket", but it has actually worked really well for us. I only carry her in it if she's asleep, and for her it keeps her asleep much better than when I've tried to transition her into a carrier. Yesterday I carried her in the house asleep in the bucket and she slept while I made dinner! Very exciting. We got the Britax B-Ready stroller and love it so far. We got an adapter that lets us click the bucket right into it. We can't leave her in it awake- if she's awake, I always take her out and put her in a carrier, but when she's asleep it's been great!

As for us, things are going pretty great! I absolutely love being a mom. Lucie is 10 weeks old today, and she is a sweet and easy baby. The biggest challenge for me has been my low milk supply. Due to amazing friends and community Lucie is still exclusively on breastmilk, even though I have to supplement her anywhere between 6 and 15 ounces daily. I'm on Domperidone as I mentioned earlier, and have really done everything possible to try and make more milk. I try to focus on my healthy and thriving baby, but honestly I vacillate between feeling ok with how things are and feeling totally heartbroken that I can't feed my baby. Luckily, she loves nursing, because of course I worry that she'll start to prefer the bottle because of my supply. We are toying with the idea of my wife inducing lactation, but I feel mixed about her nursing Lucie. I love having this connection with her and am just not sure I want to share it... I don't know. We're still deciding.

Other than that, the baby crack is strong and I'm ready for another one, lol! Here she is:

On the Oregon Coast for the first time.

In her bear hat (I'm enjoying photo editing and putting words on photos, lol)

Happy girl!
seraf's Avatar seraf 01:27 PM 01-03-2013
Steph, she's Beautiful. How do you know your supply is low?
lisedea's Avatar lisedea 02:37 PM 01-03-2013
Carmen--Hooray! So happy to hear that everything looks good with Ginger!

Midwife--What a cute little baby! I second Seraf's question on low milk supply--breastfeeding seems to be the only thing I am reading about recently so I would be interested to know!

Max--So glad to see that the domperidone seems to be working!

Seraf--So, my cat/dog combo video is going to have to wait a bit because our more compliant kitty was neutered today. Poor little guy...

Ok...car seats! I am unsure if I wrote anything on here about what we are doing (and much too lazy to look back and see...)--so if I did, go ahead and ignore. Cananny knows a lot about carseats--so all advice I got came from her! We got three diono radians for on the island and three graco snugride 30 (we also seriously considered the keyfit) for off island. We also are not planning on using bases with the snugrides so they fit better in our car. We are not concerned about taking the car seats in and out of the car because, frankly, I have a thing about carrying around babies in carseats all the time. Our plan is to go from carseats to wraps--and back. And yes, even with three...crazy as it may sound. smile.gif Although, really to me...it sounds crazy to try and carry three carseats at once!

D is supposed to start on birth control today. I am so hoping the can induce because as I have been reading more of the Dr Sears breastfeeding book, it makes me realize how much easier it will be to have both of us feeding--plus, it would be great for her to develop the bond as well. Max told me that it takes a few weeks to get the domperidone after ordering it...so now trying to decide whether or not to order before the meeting with the lactation consultant. I wish there was more info on doing this. Other than that, I am sore as hell today...and feeling huge. Ugg. greensad.gif
DesertSunsets's Avatar DesertSunsets 03:53 PM 01-03-2013

Carmen, awesome news about your gingerbread baby!  Seriously, measuring ahead and with a healthy heartbeat, what better could we ask for?  joy.gif


Steph - your Lucie is such a darling!  I love her onesie in the last photo - is that a cloud?  Sheep?  Anyway, she's GORGEOUS.  I know what you mean about the baby crack... ours just turned 4 months on New Year's and the other day I was at a mom and baby group where two moms had brand new little guys and I was like, ohhhh they're SO freaking cute and tiny.  It seems like so long ago that Ever was that tiny.  Funny.  Congratulations again!  


Max - we bought a convertible and a bucket with 2 bases to start.  The bases are installed in both our cars, and we just transfer the bucket back and forth.  It hasn't been an issue.  The infant seat we bought is here: http://www.target.com/p/baby-trend-flex-loc-30-lb-infant-car-seat-grey-mist/-/A-13248524#prodSlot=medium_1_6&term=baby trend car seat and we love everything about it.  I mean everything.  With several foster babies under our belts, we knew what we wanted and what we DIDN'T want in a car seat.  The things I like about the BabyTrend FlexLoc: It has a funky weird triangle-shaped handle, which makes carrying it super versatile.  I like it better and find it easier to carry than any other infant seat I've lugged around.  Plus, we have this cool toy that hangs from one side of the triangle, and I can still carry it using the other 2 sides, if I want.  







The shoulder straps are so insanely easy to adjust!  Instead of having to thread the straps through new slots every time baby goes through a growth spurt, you just turn a knob on the back of the seat and the straps move up automatically.  Easy peasy.  It does have a "puzzle lock" harness, which took a bit of getting used to - but not a TON of getting used to.  It's pretty easy, I think.  




I don't know why this won't upload right side up...







Something else I like is that all the fabric is suede.  It gets so hot here that the shiny fabric can burn, and it was surprisingly hard to find car seats that didn't have fabric that would get really hot.  Don't get me wrong, suede gets hot too but it's not going to burn her.  Also, this seat offered a nice, neutral grey color that was hard to find in other seats.  Everything for girls is so PINK.  Not our style.  We wanted to be able to use this for the next babe too, no matter what sex they are.  

We didn't want to be THOSE parents who never take their kid out of the bucket so we planned on mostly wearing her, which we do, but the seat has proven itself immensely useful.  She'll nap in it at other people's houses, she'll stay asleep in it if we get to a restaurant in the middle of a nap.  It's not for everybody, but we've really found it to fit us well.  We bought a jog stroller a couple years ago while we had foster kids, and it fits most brands of infant carseats - BabyTrend included.  We've only used the jogger with her a scant few times, though (and certainly not for jogging, haha).  Maybe when she's older.  The convertible seat we bought is a Lamaze TrueFit: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11468611&prodFindSrc=search  We've installed it, but never used it.  I like it so far!  Mostly because the headrest part is removable so that while it's rearfacing it can recline better for the little guys.  Like I said though, haven't put the baby in it yet.  Anyway, wow, that was lengthy.  Good luck!  


Afu, we're going to play with some puppies today!  They're 5 week old pit bull (mix?) pups.  A friend of DW's took in a mama dog from animal control - she'd just had a litter of 9 pups and they were getting sick from being in the general population.  5 of the babies died from pneumonia I think, but the 4 left are in good health, it seems.  I love puppies, so I'm excited to go see them.  And get pictures of adorable pups with our adorable kid.  Haha.  


 A friend came over with her 6 month old daughter, and we about died laughing at Ev and Ami together.  E is doing really well, sitting by herself kind of propped up with her arms, but not as good as Ami... 





Evie didn't find it as funny, but I promise it looks worse than it was.  LOL. 





New Year's Eve we took blurry sparkler pictures. 









Welcome to 2013!



MidwifeStephPDX's Avatar MidwifeStephPDX 05:32 PM 01-03-2013
Desert, thanks!! I thought the clothing would get boring once she was here but it's only gotten more fun to dress her. The onesie has clouds and raindrops on it and says "I heart rain" which we thought was a very fitting sentiment for miss Lucie Rain! It's made by a cool local lady, her business is http://www.etsy.com/shop/burdyflyaway

Seraf and Lise, the main indicator of low milk supply was inadequate output. I don't worry about poop frequency too much with breastfed babes, but Lucie had infrequent and concentrated urine (like only 2-3x daily at a week old) and poor weight gain. Before I started supplementing, she was still losing weight and was very sleepy. I have seen three different lactation consultants, and these days I go to a weekly lactation support group where I weigh Lucie and do pre- and post-feed weights to see how much she's transferring. This also helps me figure out if the amount we're supplementing is correct. The good thing is that I don't supplement overnight at all, which makes life a lot easier. Some days I feel hopeful that my milk will catch up to her needs (like today, it's 4:30pm and she's only had 4oz) but other days I feel down like yesterday, she had 15oz...
wishin'&hopin''s Avatar wishin'&hopin' 05:58 PM 01-03-2013

Steph--Lucie's stunningly beautiful!  Sounds like you have a great support network and Lucie is getting all she needs!! Baby crack indeed!!!!  (sorry about the abuse of exclamation points, but it seems warranted given the aching ovaries your kiddo causes!)


Desert--Evie and her buddy are hysterical!  You take such wonderful photos--tips for those of us who aspire to such awesomeness?  (And, be still my heart, between Lucie and Evie I am thinking 3 kids sounds great--and we aren't even sleep deprived from number 2 yet!)


Carmen--yeah!  Go gingerbread baby!


AFM--still cruising along at 21 weeks gestation.  DW is enjoying prenatal yoga and being able to have "pregnant lady" conversations with other women (something she's always been a touch envious/resentful of when it came to being the non-gestational parent the first go around).  I've felt little PB kick a few times now which is fun!  So excited to meet him--it seems to me that the non-gestational roll this go around makes me even more eager for the actual arrival of the baby.  It's also weird b/c I don't think about the baby CONSTANTLY (I remember doing so when pregnant with DS), just too much other stuff going on with DS1 and I don't have the pregnant body to remind me.  We have a babysitter lined up so that we can do a hypnobabies class this go around--I think it will be good for DW, she tends to go into panic mode around the pregnancy really easily and I think it will give her some coping skills she needs for this.  (For example, I had to have a serious conversation with her about her plan to call an ambulance if she needs to go to the hospital in labor during rush hour--I think doing so is overkill since we'd still be within 20 minutes regardless of traffic!)  In other news, DS1 qualified for early intervention for speech (less than 5th percentile for expressive language) and that starts next week...altho' his language seems to be expanding all of a sudden (even tho' his articulation is terrible) and I'm not sure that he would qualify if they were to test him today (stegosaurus and yogurt sound the same when he says them--and neither stegosaurus or yogurt sound like stegosaurus or yogurt--LOL!).  He is also starting preschool which I have mixed feelings about...but it will give him time to be with other kids doing developmentally appropriate stuff whilst I work on the materials I'm prepping for the contract work I'm doing.  We'll see...I'll pull him out if he seems unhappy.  And, conversation from this week "Mama oppy?", "Yes sweetie, I am very happy, I love being with you.  Are you happy?", "Ay Ay oppy", "What makes you happy", "rain a zoo"--yes, he makes me very happy...  

seraf's Avatar seraf 06:56 PM 01-03-2013
Desert, those are darling pictures. I love all her hair, then seeing the picture if her in the hat is just too much, so it must not be just the hair.

Steph, that sounds pretty challenging. I'm glad you're figuring it out. Are you supplementing with bottles or at the breast?

Wishin, I'm glad your son will be getting help. Does he sign? Or is that something y'all are hoping to avoid? You mentioned gestures before. Also, when you talked about how you could think about things besides pregnancy, I remember noticing that with Soren's pregnancy. How I just didn't have him kicking me constantly to remind me of his presence. He sure doesn't let my mind wander anymore. He loves him some everyone in the house and he reaches for whoever he wants to play with. The sibling bond is so stinking sweet.

We are all better and got to leave the house today! Woo hoo! We went to thrift store and the grocery store. We got a (not) fancy (not) new stroller. And I'm doing a green smoothie challenge. I'm not replacing meals like they recommend but just getting more greens in our diet. Shay and Soren like it so far.
DesertSunsets's Avatar DesertSunsets 10:10 PM 01-03-2013

Seraf, those boys are just so handsome.  And might I add, they look fun and friendly!  I want to chase them around your house and toss them in the air.  


Wishin' - glad to hear your son will be getting some help, although it's really awesome and encouraging that his development has taken a jump recently!  Congrats on feeling the baby move around and being more than halfway done! Thank you for your so kind comment about our photos!  If you're really interested in the secrets to our success, see the spoiler below.  thumb.gif


Steph - wow, what an amazing amount of committed work you're doing for your darling girl!  She's one lucky baby.  DW and I were just fawning over all the fantastic clothes on that Etsy site!  DW immediately went, "OH I love the rain one!!!"  





Secrets to our success as amateur baby-tographers (do you REALLY want to know?): (Click to show)


First, we can't accept 100% of the credit for nice pictures because we use a nice Nikon digital SLR camera.  

Secondly, we use a lens that is regarded as THE lens to use for baby and child portraits - it's a NIKKOR 35mm f1.8 lens, which basically means it's got a big aperture to let more light in.  That makes it a fantastic lens for low-light situations.  It also has a very short depth of field, which causes objects in the foreground and background to be out of focus.  The fuzzy effect is desirable because it makes clutter look less clutter-ish and makes the viewer concentrate more on the subject that IS in focus.  The downside is that it is sometimes a struggle to get the object that you WANT in focus to be in focus.  Like faces.  But it's so worth it.  It was a birthday gift for DW and it's one of the best gifts we've ever received.  

For example, the following photos are all of the same subject matter, with the same lighting.  Different lenses, some with flash, some without.  Behold! 


Below: picture from my Android smartphone.  No flash. 



Below: picture from the DSLR, with flash, using the regular 18-55mm lens.



Below: picture using the flash with the preferred 35mm lens.  Note how in this picture, the swing is out of focus, Goodnight Moon is out of focus, and the front edge of the sticky notepads are out of focus.  The baby monitor is the only thing in crisp focus.  Also, the use of the flash causes harsh shadows here. 



Below: picture with no flash, using the regular 18-55mm lens.  Note that the swing is more in focus in this photo, and the clutter in our living room is more apparent.  The baby monitor is not the only thing in focus. 



Below: picture with no flash, using the preferred 35mm lens.  In this photo, there are no harsh shadows caused by a camera-mounted flash.  Due to the lens letting more light in, this photo is more attractively lit.  Also be aware of how the swing in the very background is fuzzy, Goodnight Moon and the sticky notepads are all out of focus.  Only the baby monitor is in focus.  It draws your attention more in this photo because it is the only item with sharp contrast to the things around it.  



So even if you don't have the 35mm lens, you can absolutely still take great photos, but you have to do a better job with lighting and be aware of the composition of your photo - both things would drastically increase the quality of any photo, regardless of lens.  

Lighting: You need a light source.  It should rarely (read: never) be the camera-mounted flash that provides the light in your photos.  We always have our camera set to "NO FLASH".  In an ideal situation, you would have one soft and diffused light source, and another more direct light source, with your subject matter centered between the two.  This would ensure that the whole subject is softly lit while there is a more direct light source to highlight features, like faces or pregnant bellies.  If you only have a direct light source, it creates very drastic contrast and harsh highlights and shadows that bleach features out.  Sometimes, particularly in black and white photography, you want photos that have more contrast.  In color photography though the hard shadows detract from your photos.  

It's better to have amber lighting, which is from any incandescent bulb or color-corrected CFL.  Fluorescent lighting tends to turn its subjects blue, which can have frightening consequences sometimes.  Flashes on cameraphones also typically are from LEDs, and have the same blue effect.  

It isn't difficult to get good lighting just around your home.  Most lamps provide a good, soft light source.  A second lamp with its shade removed makes a great direct light source, or a clip-on light.  Overhead lighting tends to be unflattering.  Side-lighting is preferable.  

Natural light is a fantastic source for photography, though it's best to take photos outside on an overcast day because then the sunlight is diffuse - or sunlight filtered through gauzy curtains works great.  Direct sunlight causes the same harsh shadows as a flash.  

Composition: You need to be deliberate about the subject of your photo and where you place it in the frame.  Your subject should never be smack in the center of your photo.  No, never.  Seriously.  The technique we use is to envision a grid in the viewfinder of your camera.  Divide the horizontal and vertical planes into thirds so that you have a tic-tac-toe grid in your mind's eye.  The subject of your picture should ideally fall on or close to one of the tic-tac-toe grid intersections.  Placing the subject not in the center of the photo allows you to choose the way in which you draw the viewer's eye around your photograph.  You can put a secondary subject higher or lower than the primary subject and move your viewer's eye from top to bottom, or side to side.  If you're going to be mounting 2 or more photos next to one another on your wall, for example, you would want to make sure that they are purposefully "pointed" towards one another instead of away. 

Lastly, in taking photos of babies, kids, animals, short people (lol), it's always best if you're down (or up, for tall people!) on their level.  Taking a picture from adult height down at a sitting dog can be cute, but it skews the proportions of the dog's body.  It is not cute to make your toddler look as if her head is four times the size of her body.  Or maybe you want that, I don't know.  Get down on the floor with the kids, don't be afraid to get in close.  Take a hundred million pictures and you'll get a few that are great.  In the age of digital photography, this is cheaper and better advice than ever before.  Try new perspectives, think outside the box.  You don't have to be a professional photographer with a studio to get some great shots.  A white sheet, or a black sheet, draped over a curtain rod or your sofa goes a LONG way.  

Whew, I wrote you guys a novel!


Well, I'm calling it a night folks.  sleepytime.gif

seraf's Avatar seraf 05:54 AM 01-04-2013
Desert, thanks for the awesome tutorial. All my pictures tend to be taken by phone, it's the clutter that gets me! The boys would love it if you came and chased them around and tossed then up in the Air. They love spending as much time as possible within a couple of feet of the ceiling. I would need to break out a real camera to show you how much. wink1.gif
prettyisa's Avatar prettyisa 08:58 AM 01-04-2013
Wow, this thread is moving so fast again!

Max—she takes bottles just fine at daycare, or whenever I’m not around (and, actually, occasionally when I am around, but busy doing something else) so I’m not too worried on that front. We seem to have a hard time getting her set up to eat real food—I think it’s been so easy just doing milk and food sounds like so much work. She does like to try things, though (even if we only get one spoonful in her before she clams up) so I expect that I’m probably just worrying too much. I can NOT believe that you are only 2 weeks away from your estimated D-Day! Have you got everything set up, or are you waiting until you get to come home?

Pokey—furniture building is so fun! Do you have a theme for your nursery? Car shopping is less fun, but I wish you good luck in finding something perfect for your family!

Carmen—SUCH good news about your little Ginger! smile.gif I’m pretty sure I will have to wean--I’ll have to look at the drugs and see if they’re nursing-safe, but my guess is that they aren’t. If I was still nursing I’m sure I’d have to lie about it, but I guess we might be in a different place by this summer, so maybe we’ll be down to just comfort nursing anyway?

Cananny—yep! IVF it is. They never figured out what was wrong, and I’d just as soon not go through many more TWWs if I don’t have to. Unfortunately we don’t have any frozen embies, so it’ll be the whole process all over again, but at least we know our doctor and the plan, so it’s familiar. I love the dr seuss nursery! It’s so perfect for three little boys!

Outdoorsy—shoot. I’m sorry they couldn’t get a good look for you.

Oh, strollers—we have a cityselect since we’re planning to have another one, but everyone in Chicago seems to use the citi minis (or Bobs, but they are so huge! For one kid, and not much storage space). I really like how ours handles, even though we haven’t used it a whole lot yet. As long as she still fits in her carseat (we have the chicco keyfit 30, which is fine—not amazing but not terrible) we tend to use the snap n go thing that Amanda Hope gave us. I take her out of the car in her carseat and put her in the stroller still attached. It’s great for quick shopping trips in multiple locations where we’ll be in and out of the car a lot, because Edie hates being put into and taken out of her seat. We don’t leave her in her carseat very often otherwise (I think she’s been brought inside sleeping maybe five times so we didn’t wake her up) so it seemed like an ok tradeoff. I also LOVE that when we travel we can leave her in that as a stroller with her gear underneath and gate-check the carseat. Honestly, I like having options—snap n go, real stroller, various carriers. At some point we’ll get an umbrella stoller, too, I’m sure.

Steph—my gosh, she’s gorgeous! I can see why you’re getting broody again! I’m sorry about the milk supply—it’s such an unexpectedly awful feeling to have, isn’t it? It sounds like she’s thriving, though, and that you’re getting her everything she needs, even if not in the way you would like.

Lise—good luck to your DP! I know that KSDoulaMama’s partner induced with their daughter—not sure if she checks in here much anymore, but I’m sure if you PM her she will write back.

Wishin—great news on the early intervention—and on the language explosion! It can only help to work on it, right? (also, how do stegosaurus and yogurt end up in the same sentence and what can I do to make sure that it happens more often?)

Desert—Sold. I’ll be looking at lenses in approximately three seconds. Thanks for the advice!

AFM—still sick—every day a new round of different annoyances. We are REALLY looking forward to the weekend and being able to de-stress a little. Coming home from a trip and heading straight to work is hard, but being sick makes it really suck.
outdoorsy's Avatar outdoorsy 09:04 AM 01-04-2013

Anyone care to give some advice about spousal conflict over preparing the baby's room? We may have the baby in our room initially, but we don't know how long that will last, because our room is really small. The issue is regarding preparing our guest room to be the baby's room. Wifey is placing all kinds of projects ahead of prepping that room -- partially because they could use doing anyway (like rehabbing the half bath my parents will now use when they visit because they'll sleep over the garage now), and, in my opinion, partially so she can procrastinate something that is going to be difficult for her, i.e., moving any of her stuff out of the guest room.


She lived in the house 20 years before I moved in, and is pretty invested in where everything goes. The guestroom has a bed passed down in the family, plus two dressers. One is full of her camping/hiking clothes and gear, and the other has MY regular clothes because she won't move her stuff out of either of the two dressers in our room. She is someone who hates to get rid of stuff. So she wants to build a closet in the basement to house the camping/hiking stuff and anything else that doesn't fit upstairs, and she believes we should at least get started on this ("first things first") before working on the baby's room. In the half bath, we need to make new vanity doors and paint, at a minimum, to make it useable.


This is like one of those puzzles where you have to slide different tiles into place before you can move the one you really need to move to solve the puzzle. Bottom line, when it comes time to move stuff out of the baby's room, she is going to freak out, even if she knows it needs to be done. I would like to get rid one bureau or put it in the basement, but I don't think she will stand for either choice. I know we are going to fight! And believe me, gentle reasoning on these issues does not work (hence why I still don't have my clothes in our room after a decade). Any ideas?

pokeyac's Avatar pokeyac 09:50 AM 01-04-2013

outdoorsy--That's one sneaky baby!  It is nice to see them though, even if they aren't cooperative.  What kind of testing will you be doing?


isa-- I hope y'all feel better soon.  DW worked at a museum that had a big Pixar exhibition a while ago, and they had great prints for sale of sketches they used to plan out the movies.  We bought several and framed them.  However, Pixar does not do baby bedding except for Cars, I believe.  We are not fans of Cars, so we won't be using that.  When we went shopping the other day we saw a really cute set of Classic Pooh that we liked.  It's green and neutral colors.  We also like a lot of stuff with monkeys on it.  We would like to keep the decorations gender neutral and these things would work really well.  


Steph-That Lucie is adorable!  I'm sorry you are having trouble producing more milk, but it sounds like you have great support and help.


wishin'-So glad things are moving along with the new babe and DS's language.  I recently had my first pregnant woman conversation at yoga class too.  It was nice to talk to someone else at the same stage who's excited about joining prenatal yoga and hanging out with the other pregnant ladies.  I'm kind of shy, so I was a little nervous about trying to make new friends, but once I "came out" as a pregnant lady, it was pretty easy.  It's neat how you are getting a chance to see things from the other side this time.


As for cameras, does anyone have any suggestions for a good baby-picture-taking camera that is easy to use?  I do not have the desire to learn how to use an SLR anytime soon, even though I know they will take the best photos.  Babies move fast.  Is there a camera that is faster than the others?


AFM-We had our checkup yesterday.  We got to hear the heartbeat on the doppler for the first time.  Everything sounds good.  The Dr said it was good to wait to do the ultrasound to find out the sex because if you do it too early, it is more likely to tell you the wrong answer.   I got to say a bit of an "I told you so" to DW.  It was nice to have some backup for waiting patiently.  I have reached the limits of my pants, and I have been pretty miserable the last couple days.  Yesterday I tried the belly band, but it kept riding up and forming a sort of tourniquet around my waist.  Not good.  Today I am using a safety pin, and that is much better.  I bought one pair of maternity pants the other day and I will look for more this weekend.  It's been a little tricky finding my size.  If only I could wear yoga pants to work...

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