Friday, December 31, 2010

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year!!!

I will most likely spend my countdown cuddled in bed with a cozy baby... hopefully warm and asleep... but maybe I'll give her a little tickle around midnight to wish her her first New Year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hazel Winter is here!

Beautiful, sweet Hazel Winter has been born!!

She was due on Christmas and came a week early, in time to let her parents recover and adjust, and to meet her older sister, Lennon, before Santa comes.

Hazel's Down Syndrome was a big surprise. First I was sad... and mad... because it wasn't what any of us expected, and I was scared. And then I met her. And, oh boy, is there nothing to cry about!

This girl is already a joy. She sleeps easily (which I certainly can't say about my own baby, oh well), eats readily, opens her eyes to look around shifty-shifty style and then snoozes some more. She has big chipmunk cheeks and teensy monkey feet. She does the usual newborn stuff in the usual newborn way. She looks like her parents and her sister and herself. She is wonderful!

She is also incredibly lucky - Jessie is one of the best moms I know. She and Ian are still adjusting their ideas of who Hazel is and will be, but when I took these photos on the 3rd day of HW's life, Jessie was already doing great. Loving her baby, enjoying the newborn period, embracing her new daughter physically and mentally.

Hazel is blessedly healthy so far! She is going to be one of the most doted on kids I know, and her big sister is already so proud of her and so ready to kiss her cheeks forever. She looks a little different than some babies, and will probably develop in different ways than most kids. But I'm reminded that even "normal" babies are never who you expect. I couldn't even know who I was pregnant with until I met Symphony, and I continue to find out who she truly is every day. I think every parent has expectations for their baby, and all of those expectations are wrong.

Each baby isn't who we expect, and yet each one also exceeds all of those expectations, and Hazel is no exception.

I'm not sure I'm saying it all right, but I know: Hazel is so lucky. Jessie is so lucky. And I am so lucky to have met her and photographed her so early!

This is a great opportunity for all of us. Jessie said in "I think Hazel is going to teach us a lot about patience and love." Yes! I'm signed up, and I can't wait (ummm, patience?). I'm so glad Symphony gets to be automatic fakey-cousins with this new baby girl!

And if you haven't read Kelle Hampton (a great photographer with a DS baby, too)'s beautiful writing about birthing a surprise Down's Syndrome baby, check it out on her blog here.

Merry Christmas!! I know I'm gushing but I just know this girl is something special.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Desiree and Ben, private estate, Sonoma

When some of your longest-known, most bestest friends get married, make their invitations a combination of the Star Wars Rebel Alliance insignia and a Bikini Kill 7" logo, and ask you to be in the wedding, which involves wearing whatever you want, standing up with them or not, holding your 5 week old baby or not... you do it!! And happily so.

Unfortunately, that leaves us with no photos of the ceremony. Or bridal party. Or most of anything. But I did get a few shots of the beautiful bride, the rad decorations, the cute couple, and my new family. Love you Dez and Ben! You owe me a sticker. Or R2D2 boutonniere.

What does Mr. Johnny Cash have in that little sling on his chest??


Lena with great hair:

Right after the ceremony, right before Symphony puked all over me. Like a lady, she didn't get a drop on herself though (and I had a backup dress)!

Sharpie rings = awesome:

Cute happy kids even more so!

That's my girl!

That's my other girl (little bundle)!



Cute pregnant sister in law:

A friend of the couple's made the beautiful cakes you see above. Amazingly, a little boy, about 6 or so, came up to Devon and I as we were admiring the cakes, reached into his pocket, brought out a handful of change and said "I'd like to buy one of those cakes." We tried to explain that they weren't for sale, didn't belong to us, and would be available freely soon, and he responded persuasively with "some of this is Canadian money". Which, sadly, probably WAS worth more than American money! Too cute.

The best part of all! The lovely couple. These outfits are so the fanciest versions of them, you don't even know. When I heard Ben was going to be dressed as Han Solo, I didn't really get how fantastic that would be until I saw him. NICE!

And my little crew:

Love you guys... and it only took me 7 months to post this! Sigh.