Friday, November 23, 2012

April 2012

Sometime in late March, Tom got Abby a set of Dr. Seuss's books to feed her growing love of reading. She was an instant fan. I snapped this picture of her browsing through the new additions to her library on April 1st.

Tom and I were not quite as fond of the books, however. Who knew that Dr. Seuss wrote such strange fare as could be found in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish? (That one was her favorite). Though, long as it was, I didn't mind reading that one so much. It was Fox in Socks that always made me cringe. Not only was I not particularly fond of the relatively non-existent story, it's a bear to read aloud.

So, I was all too happy to see Abby quietly enjoying her books. And it always makes for a good photo op, since she sits nice and still to do it.

I got so excited about my rare opportunity to take my time with framing a shot that I took a moment to play with some settings, too.

Sadly, the Easter Photo Shoot, on the seventh, did not afford me such opportunities. Between the awkward lighting and complete lack of willingness to cooperate, it was a bona fide disaster. This was the best picture that I got.

However, this one...

... was a much more accurate depiction of the whole affair.

That was just the pictures, though. Easter itself was lovely, and we spent the whole weekend at Mima and Granda's, where Abby got a chance to play with infrequently-seen toys and run around in the backyard, meeting the neighbor's pet dogs.

Back home at the apartment, we got back in the non-swing of things, and were immediately thrust back into our never-ending (and losing) battle to get Michael to sleep.

Not only was he waking every hour at night, he was refusing to nap during the day, and I had begun resorting to baby-wearing several times a day to enforce sleepy time. It was hard on me, though, hardly ever having a free moment to myself, because when he was awake, he was still usually on my person, either nursing or seeking soothing from his constant, reflux-related discomfort.

Finally, Tom ordered his own K'Tan (he couldn't use mine since they are size-specific), and took on half of the baby-wearing duties. It was a huge relief, and a huge help to me.

And Tom learned that certain perks came with wearing the baby. It was hard to do much else with a newborn strapped to his front, so Tom used Michael's nap time to work in some gaming time for himself.

We both walked around zombie-like, tired and disheveled, amongst the chaos of a barely-tended to apartment, but it felt like a "win," all the same. For awhile, anyway...

On Sundays, we got a bit more relief, in the form of extra hands and fresh company, when Mima, Granda and Mei Mei made their weekly visit.

One such occasion brought an added bonus for Abby: bubbles!

Michael did have some good moments, though, and began to enjoy increasing amounts of floor time. Abby thrived on these times, as it gave her access to her brother, and opportunities to play and bond with him.

Thus, the sibling loving really began to flourish. It was heart-melting.

April 18th meant it was time for "month" pictures again! Michael was not amused by the prospect, and was not particularly cooperative.

The lighting was weird, anyway, and I didn't know how to work around it, so it was a doomed attempt from the beginning.

No smiles to be found amongst the best of the shots. However, after it was over, the sticker was pulled off, and Michael was seated comfortably in his bouncy chair, he granted me little grin.

If only the picture had been in focus... Ah, well. At least I was able to capture his dimples. For some reason, that's really hard to do, though he flashes them all of the time.

Because wearing pants seemed only to aggravate Michael's tummy troubles, and he had a wealth of onesies but very few sleepers, I invested in some BabyLegs.

Here he is, modeling a new pair as he lounges in Mima's lap during a Sunday visit...

... and relaxes with Granda later that afternoon.

Then, at the very end of the month (the 28th) came a rare bit of excitement. My family and I were invited to my cousin's daughter's Sweet Sixteen celebration. It was a big event, and a chance to get out, dress up, visit with rarely-seen family, and (hopefully) dance a little bit. I was particularly excited on Abby's behalf. She had a beautiful dress and fancy coat hanging in her closet, given to her by her Great-Aunt Irene, that she had not yet had occasion to wear. This was the perfect opportunity.

Sadly, we had to pair her fancy ball-gown with sneakers, as they were the only pair of shoes that she owned.

Once inside, I tried in vain to get a good picture of Abby in her dress, but she was (as usual) not at all interested in standing still.

When I tried to out-maneuver her and jump in with the camera anyway, I just ended up doing things like cutting off the top of her head.

Her main focus seemed to be on the balloons scattered about the place, though she seemed to have a preference for a particular pink one, and had it in-hand almost the entire night.

Except for that time that she grabbed for a silver one, instead...

... and that other time that she chose to model with a black one for a group photo.

Of course, my favorite balloon-free moment was the one in which she acquiesced to dance with me. Michael Jackson's Billie Jean came on, and though the floor was empty (what? how? with Michael Jackson playing?!), I couldn't resist.

Abby ended up bringing that pink balloon home with her, but learned a very sad (and sudden) lesson the next day: balloons are highly pop-able.