I Photoshop my baby

I’ll be the first to admit it….Boo isn’t always, shall we say….photo ready? Before he was eating solids he always seemed to have crap on his face. Dry skin. Eye gunk. Milk (I had a pretty heavy let-down for awhile there).

Now I’m regularly discovering food on his face from his last meal that somehow escaped the facecloth. He has this annoying habit of jabbing himself in the face with his fingernails, causing little cuts and scabs. And since he’s taken to sticking his fingers up his nose during meals…well, he’s often got food up there (among the odd bat in the cave).

And as cute as all of this “real life” can be….sometimes I just want a nice picture of my little boy so that I can print it up, make a photo book, or a calendar. You know, without the dry skin, or eye gunk, or pasta sauce.

So I photoshop him.

I Photoshop my Baby

I don’t go completely crazy, but I get rid of all the crap on his face. I sharpen up the photo. I lighten it. I tweak the contrast. I warm it up or cool it down. I adjust the colouring if Boo is looking too red or too jaundiced…or maybe I make those big blue eyes pop a little more.

Do I photoshop all of my photos? If they’re being printed or used on my blog…absolutely. I always do a minimum adjustment to better the brightness or contrast of all my “published” photos. Do I correct all of my photos? No. I tend to be rather selective in that respect (I’ll leave the food on his face, but will absolutely photoshop out the snot…it’s just gross). And it always depends on what the photo is destined for.

No matter what I do, though, I always always always keep a copy of the original so that, one day in the distant future, I don’t look back exclusively upon those Photoshopped versions and forget what a mess my kid was!

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My Christmas Wish List

So I’ve got a good chunk of my Christmas shopping done. I’m not finished, but I think I can kind of sort of see the finish line. Maybe. I’ve got a few more things to pick up for Boo Boo, and one or two additional items for family. I don’t know what those items are yet. That’s the tricky part.

In an effort to make things less tricky for those shopping for me (!), I actually have a Christmas list this year. It’s not a huge list….not all items on it are particularly practical to buy as a gift…but it’s a list all the same. Here it is, in case you’re curious, or are looking for ideas for your own lists:

XmasWishList

Blog Life | A Beautiful Mess
This is an online course about…you guessed it! Blogging. I’ve been following A Beautiful Mess for a few years now…long before sisters Elsie and Emma turned it into a million dollar business. They could probably teach me a few tricks. (Bonus: I qualify for a discount due to a past course subscription…so I’ll probably be buying this for myself).

Fillmore in Redwood Ash | Warby Parker
I’ve mentioned these glasses previously – so at least I’m consistent. I love that they’re practically tortoise shell, but with a little kick of red. Obviously, since I’m blind, I’d kinda like them with my prescription…extra thin lenses, too, so I don’t look like I have coke bottles on my face (do people still get that reference? please tell me yes…otherwise I feel so so old).

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling | Amazon.ca
Though I’d seen her in The Office, I only really discovered Mindy Kaling recently when I started watching The Mindy Project on Netflix. It’s awesome. Laugh out loud funny. So cute. I kinda fell in love with her, and could use a little Mindy humour while I wait for the next season.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler | Amazon.ca
I love Amy Poehler. I think she’s smart, funny, and extremely talented. I desperately want to read this book.

iPhone 6 | Apple
So my iPhone 4 is feeling….dated. It’s slow. Apps optimized for much faster phones run slowly. The camera is somewhat lacking (it’s why I’ve basically stopped using it – the crummy quality of the pictures it takes depresses me). I need an upgrade. The only thing that’s been holding me back is the “new” minimum monthly spend all of the phone companies now have in order to get it and other “Plus” devices. I’ll eventually just suck it up and do it. But until I do…it’s on my list.

Mammoth Evo Clogs | Crocs
I feel bad about this entry on my list. I got a new pair of slippers last year from my in-laws. Slippers I’d picked out. And they fit great and were comfortable. Until the wooly insides got compressed. Suddenly they were a little too big…and the heels? They never really broke in or got malleable, and consequently rip my ankles up. Not great. So I’ve been eyeing the Crocs my husband was gifted last year…when he first received them, he confided to me that he “despised Crocs, and would never ever wear them because they looked ridiculous”….except they happened to be really comfortable, and he wears them all of the time. So yeah. I’d like to give ‘em a shot.

Handwriting Name Rings | Silver Promo
The author of one of my favourite blogs wears a series of name rings instead of her wedding band. Each ring has the name of one of her children, and her husband. As soon as I saw it, I fell in love with the idea and started plotting how and when I could get my own set (to wear on my right hand, though…I love my engagement and wedding rings too much to supplant them). SPOILER ALERT: I’m totally getting these rings.

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Lately No. 8

I’m always getting bored of singing the same songs to Boo over and over again. Since it’s started snowing, though, I’ve allowed myself to dip into my Christmas songs repertoire. Unfortunately, my Christmas songs repertoire isn’t very large. At least not anymore – I can’t remember the lyrics to most songs. Except for Jingle Bells. I know those ones…all of them (including the Fanny Bright references, thanks to Barbra Streisand).

So yeah…I’ve been singing Jingle Bells to Boo. A lot. And ringing bells at the same time, which he likes. So much so, that he’s really starting to get into it:

Seeing that smile and excitement has suddenly infused me with the holiday spirit. I want to sing Christmas songs. I want to somehow decorate for Christmas in such a way that Boo won’t destroy my decorations. I want to drink hot chocolate by a fire. I want to curl up under a blanket and read Christmas stories to Boo, or watch Christmas movies with (or, let’s be honest, without) him. I want to throw him in a pile of snow just to see his reaction (okay, maybe not actually throw him…).

Christmas is coming…(as per Miss Piggy – we’ve also started listening to Christmas music)!

p.s. Did you notice those teeth? There’s still only three of ‘em, but if they aren’t the cutest little teeth you ever did see….

p.p.s. I just discovered that Boo’s xylophone is in fact a glockenspiel. Who knew?

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Mummy Fail: My baby had a flat head

So I had read all of the literature and heard all of the warnings. I knew that I was supposed to alternate the side I put my little one’s head in the crib to encourage him to look in opposite directions (presuming, of course, that he would want to look towards the door and not the wall). I knew not to keep him in his car seat or bouncer for too long. I knew that he had to have ample amounts of tummy time. I knew it all.

And yet.

I hadn’t anticipated that my little man would be born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Presumably, it had been there a while and caused my little man to have a fairly severe torticollis. He looked to the right. All. Of. The. Time. It was, effectively, his “resting” position. Probably the position he’d been in for who knows how long before he’d been born.

Worse still, he had a limited range of motion to the left…meaning that when I put him in the crib with the wall to his right in an effort to encourage him to look left…he just looked at the wall. When I started diapering him left-handed* to encourage him to look at me….he continued to look right at the wall. When I put ALL of his toys to his left? He kinda maybe looked left. For a bit.

So obviously, Boo developed a flat spot.

Boo's flat and bald spot

Like many babies, Boo had himself a pretty impressive bald spot where his head rubbed the most….it was also his flat spot (it’s strange how I so thoroughly dislike seeing pictures of that bald spot…I guess it’s a bit of a sore spot for me – pun intended).

I saw it happening. I talked to his doctor about it…but she wasn’t too concerned. She told me that once he managed to flip over on his own, spent more time on his belly and started sitting, it’d resolve itself.

And then one day my husband remarked offhandedly that the right side of Boo’s forehead was protruding more than the left. Like…a lot more. I freaked. I worried that I was deforming my baby. That I wasn’t doing enough to encourage him to look left and increase his range of motion. Which, of course, was poppycock.

By this time we were already seeing a physiotherapist for Boo Boo’s legs and she’d given me tips and exercises for his neck and flat spot, as well. I was already doing everything I was supposed to do. It just wasn’t having an effect yet, and I got worried. So Boo’s doctor gave us a referral to the plagiocephaly clinic at Ste-Justine’s hospital where he got his head measured (by laser, thank God), and a week or so later a custom helmet which was (again, thank God) covered by Medicare.

Boo getting his head measured

To measure his head, the technicians at Ste-Justine’s sat Boo in a Bumbo, put a tight cap on, and then scanned his head with a handheld laser. He looked so cute…kind of like a little garden gnome!

The helmet is a passive solution – the idea is that the inside of it rested flush against the areas of Boo’s head that were (for lack of a better term) misshapen, and left room elsewhere for his head to “grow into”. To accomplish this, he had to wear the helmet for 23 hours a day. His only break from it was bath time, and when I cleaned it with rubbing alcohol about 2-3 times a day.

At first I worried that the helmet was going to bother him and be uncomfortable. Turns out he barely even noticed it. He successfully wore it all day every day for about 3 months, at which point we transitioned him to wearing it at night only for another month. When we went on vacation at the end of July we dispensed with it altogether.

Boo wearing his helmet at the kitchen table

The helmet was so light that Boo Boo barely even noticed it was on….he went about all his usual activities – like trying to gum the kitchen table…

Boo wearing his helmet at his highchair

….and not being at all impressed with my attempts to get him to eat banana bits.

So I guess the million dollar question is….did it work? Maybe.

Boo got the helmet when he was 6 months old. The months following saw some huge leaps and bounds with regards to his mobility and, consequently, the amount of time he spent lying on his back. By the time he stopped wearing the helmet (just before his 10 months anniversary) the only time he ever spent lying on his back was when he was sleeping….and even then he usually turned to sleep on his side or stomach. So he was already providing his head ample opportunity to round itself out.

Boo Boo talking on the phone

Boo chatting on his Fisher Price phone. You can see the velcro closure on the helmet – which wasn’t meant to tighten anything, but rather allowed us to open the helmet up wider to place it on Boo Boo’s head.

Personally I think the helmet, combined with Boo spending less and less time on his head, worked together to get us to where we are today. Is his head perfectly round, then? No. Is it better than before we got the helmet? Absolutely….it’s a rather nice, slightly asymmetrical head shape (perfect symmetry is creepy, anyway).

* A talent I retain to this day…I’m an ambidextrous diaper changer. Yay me!

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Friday I’m in Love: Whimsical Pink and Grey

It’s been snowing pretty steadily all week…and though there’s not too much accumulation, it is accumulating, leaving a light white frosting on everything. Which has, of course, snapped me out of my “it’s autumn” reverie, and put me into a more wintery and festive frame of mind.

As a result, I’ve dug out my winter gear and have begun thinking a little more seriously about my Christmas shopping, which still needs doing. And by “still needs doing” I mean that all of it still needs to be done…it’s kind of depressing, really. So as a world class procrastinator, I’ve generally been avoiding the subject altogether.

Instead I’ve started dreaming about a slightly whimsical and festive ensemble that I could wear…somewhere…over the holidays. Nothing too fancy (it’s not my thing), but with just a little touch of fun, pretty, and an element of the impractical:

Pink and Grey Ensemble

earrings | bracelet | shrug | necklace | boots

There’s no Christmas-y red or green to be seen anywhere in the above. I think my inspiration might be more along the lines of early pink sunsets cast against (dirty grey?) snow….who says you have to dress like a Christmas tree for the holidays, anyway?

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