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Please join us in welcoming Mr. Oliver Oak McKennan to this world! He was born at 6:40 on the morning of June 17th. I am totally and completely smitten – more so than I thought possible. I look forward to sharing more soon. With love, Andrea.
When P and I imagine the birth of peppadew, we think excitedly about a lot of things, but discovering the baby’s sex isn’t one of them. Except when we’re discussing names, neither of us really think about the sex. I like this. It’s just a little person in there, free from all the expectations that come with being assigned a sex. P was reading an article about a couple that had a baby and aren’t telling anyone its sex, just to give the little one more of this freedom. We have no such intentions, but it’s an interesting idea.
From The Big Picture’s Afghanistan, March 2011 set.
From Pierre le Hors’ book, Firework Studies.
For most of pregnancy, I’ve felt like I’d never be quite ready for the baby to come out, never quite ready to deal with a baby that I’d have to carry in my arms rather than in my belly. This feeling has changed recently, though. I’m ready! And it feels good! In a week and a half, I’ll be considered full term. Here’s why I think I’m feeling good about baby go time:
I’m tired of being pregnant. Being unable to touch the floor, having aching legs at night, monitoring my blood sugar four times a day – I’m ready to be done with all of these things.
Labor! I’m actually excited about it. I feel excited the way I’ve felt excited about other physical challenges I’ve undertaken, like running races and hiking up big mountains. Bring it!!! Of course, I’m nervous too. Last week, I was in the hospital because I developed an infection. (All is fine now.) The midwife was doing some inspecting that required a speculum, and it really hurt, enough to make me cry. The midwife said it was so painful because the baby is resting in a especially low position. The midwife was wonderfully supportive, but the nurse just looked at me and said, It’s not going to get any easier, honey. It annoys me how that one comment was able to put a real dent in the confidence I’d been feeling about my ability to tolerate labor. Enough about that, though. Overall, I feel very eager to experience this natural and primal process.
I’m excited to take a break from work. I’m also excited to resume work – I have some career changes in mind that I’m eager to pursue. I’ve been feeling stagnant in my work life for a while now, and I plan on taking the birth of this little peppadew as an excuse to stop what I’m doing now, regroup, and start fresh.
The baby is not one of the things I’m excited about. It’s hard to admit this, hard to write it here for you to see. It might be that welcoming a new member into our family is such an unknown experience to me that I can’t even imagine it well enough to get excited about it. Also, when I think excitedly about having new partners in crime in our family, I always imagine them to be older than infants. I’ve never had an affinity towards infants. They’ve always made me a feel nervous, bored, and even a little grossed out. I believe that I’ll feel differently about my own infant; I’m just not used to thinking of them in an delighted way.
I’m so glad to have a partner like P. I can’t imagine dealing with all the fears and anticipation without the partnership of someone that I’m 100 percent sure is going to be an enthusiastic, loving parent. Thank you, Patrick.
The oxalis plant that lives right here on my desk.
I realized this morning that my credit card bill was due today and that I had yet to pay, so I called to make a payment over the phone. The woman I was speaking with asked me if I was having any problems with my payment due date. Instead of simply saying no and that I had just lost track of time this month, I blurted out a big lie: I told her that I had just had a baby. She congratulated me and asked a bunch of questions about how it was going. And the lie just got bigger and bigger. (If a woman from Bank of America ever asks you, tell her that our child is named Cecilia.) As this conversation unfolded, I sat appalled as my mouth went on and on. I was reminded of how I used to lie a lot – all the way through childhood up into some point in college. I’m really glad it’s something I conquered. Relationships with yourself and others tend to reach dead ends if you’re not honest.
Pics from Provence, France. (Via the style files.)
Apparently this is Robert De Niro. I didn’t realize this. I just liked his picture, which I saw on Ffffound!
Such a joyful photo! Via judt.
A bird in a cage in a market in a city called Hong Kong.
Photos by Hannah of Foxtail + Fern. The pictures are from Calke Abbey, an old estate in the UK that is preserved in a state of decline. The estate once belonged to an eccentric family, but it’s now looked after by a preservation society. The society hasn’t restored anything – it’s just protecting the estate’s slow demise. Neat.