Cherry Blossom Festival!

I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival the other day to get some photography practice in. Also, it seems like since we’ve been in DC, we miss all of the annual events (like the White House Easter Egg Roll thing–we only have one more year to hit it–luckily it’ll be with a different Pres…). Anyway, this year I made it. Hazel and I took the train down, and here are some of the shots.

Here is a view from across the Tidal Pool:
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This was a tree that I actually took while I was crossing the street. (There was a long walk sign!)
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The Jefferson Monument (I’ll bet Oliver would have a blast on those stairs…)
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I wanted to be able to get a feel for how busy the Cherry Blossoms look:
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As well as how delicate they are individually:
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And on the day that I went down to the city, it was incredibly cloudy and foggy. I took a snapshot of a plane that I could hardly see with the naked eye, and that didn’t show up on camera at all. I had to really play with the tones in order to find the plane at all. I think it turned out kind of cool–old-timey looking:
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And, because spring has not quite sprung yet:
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Finger Painting!

A few weeks ago, I managed to snap some photos while Oliver was finger painting. I find that painting is best done in the high chair or in the bathtub–the bathtub is nice because when you’re done, he’s immediately in the right spot to get cleaned up!

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To A Mouse

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley (Robert Burns)

I did everything right, for once.  It’s Cherry Blossom time here in the DC area, and I wanted to photograph it.  I was there a few days ago, scoping the place out, and wanted to go again sans Oliver to concentrate on getting some good photos.

Last night I charged my camera battery.  I unloaded all photos that were on my memory card.  I packed my camera bag.  I got a diaper bag ready so that I’d be prepared with Hazel.  I checked the weather forecast. Conner and I planned out dropping Oliver off in the morning.

This morning we woke up on time.  Conner took Oliver to his nanny’s while I pumped some milk, ate breakfast, and got ready to go.  I checked the weather online again.  It was forecast to be overcast–which was what I wanted.  I think that foliage really pops with the gray background.  Plus, if it’s overcast the sun doesn’t give me migraines.  I looked out the window, and it wasn’t raining.

I strapped Hazel on, gathered all the stuff I’d need, and Conner and I went outside to go catch the train.

Heavy drizzle.  Too heavy to soldier on and pretend that my daughter wouldn’t get soaking wet in her moby wrap in the 45* weather.

Now I’m back inside, blogging about the photos that I didn’t get.  I guess tomorrow’s another day!

He’s growing up

We got Oliver a toddler bed a couple of months before Hazel was born–probably around the beginning of January. We set it up in his room. We had a special day where he got to choose out Thomas sheets and a new blanket (Thomas, of course). We asked him occasionally if he wanted to sleep there, and he always said no and went to sleep happily in his crib.

For the last couple of days, we’ve been doing his bedtime routine next to the toddler bed. The night before last, he said that he wanted to sleep in the toddler bed, and as soon as we turned out the lights he asked to go back to his crib. No biggie–we’re in no rush.

Last night he asked to sleep in his toddler bed. We assumed that after a bit he’d want to switch back. He went right to sleep. He woke up a few hours later because he had somehow leaked out of his diaper–don’t ask me how, but his sheets and pajamas were wet, and his diaper was dry.  Conner changed him, and we figured he’d then want to go to sleep in the crib. I was sitting next to the toddler bed, and he came rushing at me. I thought he wanted a hug. Nope–he pushed me out of the way to crawl back into his bed, he yanked the covers over his head, and went straight back to sleep and slept until this morning.

My little boy is growing up! I’m terribly proud and wanting to cry all at the same time.

It’s Not Fair

I’ve been thinking for a couple of days about the concept of fairness, specifically with regards to relationships.  Admittedly, I’ll often get upset at Conner because I perceive something as being “unfair”.  But what does that mean?  If I think something isn’t fair, what am I actually expecting?

A hypothetical example of a situation which might upset me due to its unfairness:

Let’s say Conner, who’s in law school right now, spent the day at school, during his breaks between classes hung out with his friends, and then went out with his buddies for a drink, and then, coming home after the kids are in bed, spends the evening studying and expects me to cook dinner.  Let’s say that I spent the day dealing with whiny, sick kids who refused to eat everything I gave to them, had more dirty diapers than would seem possible.  And for good measure, let’s pretend that it’s a rainy day, so we couldn’t even go outside to play.

I can imagine me getting upset, and thinking that it wasn’t fair.

But does that really make sense?  No matter what happened, there would be no way of making our lives fair and even because we’re not the same person.  We don’t have the same goals, dreams, fears, irritations, responsibilities, life experiences.  There’s no way to make it fair.  I think that I could say that in the hypothetical I posed that Conner was being inconsiderate of me and my feelings.  That’s something that is concrete and able to be fixed.  But to say that the situation isn’t fair–what would make it fair?  Since we aren’t both doing the same things, there would be no way of making it equal.

Perhaps one would say that fair isn’t about having the same things, but of equally shared responsibilities.  But that also doesn’t really pan out in practice.  So for every diaper Conner changes (because he does the bulk of them), I should change one?   For every dish that he washes (because that’s another of his chores), I should wash one?

What about for every hour he spends with friends–should I have the same?  Maybe in theory… but in practice we probably have different needs when it comes to sociability.  What if I happen to need more (or less) time with friends in order to feel fulfilled?

So, fair isn’t really a goal to strive for, I think.  And fair isn’t a good tactic to use in an argument.  In a relationship, we should not strive for things to be fair.  Instead, I think maybe we should strive for both parties to be fulfilled and satisfied, taking into account our different needs.

Why I Had a Second Child

I didn’t know this until yesterday–so it’s more a retrospective reason.

I was trying to put something together for dinner (an asparagus, spinach, and portobello mushroom risotto that wound up being delicious!), and Oliver was puttering around playing with his Thomas trains. Hazel was in her bouncy seat, and started to cry. I couldn’t get to her right away, and was trying to wash my hands of the raw onions. I peek around the corner, and see Oliver standing in front of Hazel, holding the activity bar of her bouncy seat, which has stuffed animals hanging from it. He then starts pointing to each of the animals, telling her that one of them is a zebra, one of them is an alligator, and one of them is an elephant. And he keeps stopping and giving her big smiles.

I melted and wish I could have videoed it.

But that’s why I had my second baby. Watching Oliver turn into a caring, sweet boy who loves and takes care of his sister is beautiful.