It Takes a Village

Grandma with Jasper after bathtime..

Jeff has been on a business trip for 10 days now, and I can’t believe I even considered NOT moving in with my parents for the two weeks he has been away!

My initial resistance was that it would be such a huge production to move the mountains of gear that one little baby needs from our house to theirs, but in the end the thought of waking up and having no one to keep an eye on Jasper while I pump/eat/shower/get dressed etc. made me come to my senses. And I’m so glad I did!

Staying with grandma and grampa has been wonderful, both for the TWO extra sets of hands and also because it really gives my parents a chance to bond with Jasper by spending time with him every single day. I love seeing how Jasper is fasinated with his grandpa, so much so that he practically turns his head around 360 degrees so he can watch him at all times. Or how he gets excited when he hears the sound of his grandmother’s voice.

It reminds me of the brief time when I was little that we lived with my mom’s parents Jack and Arline (which is where Jasper Jack gets his “Jack”.) I was so close with them and I’m incredibly greatful that Jasper will get to experience that same bond with my parents.

I wish we lived closer to Jeffs family too, but at least we have a great excuse to go down to Florida every so often to visit!

In other news..

Thank you so much for all of your sleep advice! Maybe just the positive vibes you sent our way did something because *please don’t let this jinx it* last night Jasper went down pretty much by himself! We did our usual routine, and after story time he started to get really overtired fussy (which with him means arms flailing) so I had to swaddle him. I lifted him into my arms to get ready to do the bounce/rock dance but he wouldn’t close my eyes. So I laid him on the bed and as soon as I did he turned his head all the way to one side and closed his eyes and went to sleep!!

It was a light sleep, and I thought for sure when he kept turning his head that he was going to wake himself up again a million times, but he only cried one time for his pacifier (in his sleep) and once I inserted it he was back out for the night until he woke up to eat about 4 hours later!

Granted it wasn’t the perfect night.. he was really restless from about 3-6:30 and kept turning his head (no doubt from gas pains) even on his belly and I had to pat his back to keep him from waking up several times. But I’ll take that vs. the 1.5 hours of hell at bedtime any day.

I’m not declaring the 4 month wakeful period over yet though. One night does not a pattern make (or break in this case). So we’ll see!

Now my question for you all:  By popular demand, my next post is going to be photography related.

Do any of you own or have access to photoshop or even photoshop elements? Does anyone have a DSLR or mostly point and shoots? I can write a post about tips for taking good photographs with a point and shoot, but it will be pretty short… but I also don’t want to do a photoshop tutorial if no one has it! I guess in that case I could do a “why you SHOULD have Photoshop” post with before and afters in that case? Let me know what you all would find helpful!

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Rachel says:

One more here for the DSLR and Photoshop tips. I have both and want to know some tricks you use to get the great photos…Photoshop editing especially. Maybe a step by step from the original photo to the layers you add and what you end up with…

Connie says:

I’m a long time lurker and I can’t tell you how much I love your blog. I love reading about your adventures with little Jasper! He is truly adorable! Congratulations on your lovely family!

I have Photoshop CS3 and I would love to read what techniques you use. And since seeing your amazing photos with your DSLR, I’ve been saving up for one, but have no idea how to use it. So any tips on using the camera would be absolutely fantastic!!

Looking forward to your post! :)

S says:

i’ve been lurking for a long time and so enjoy your posts. I”m very excited to read your tutorial on taking great pics. The pics you post are fantastic – worthy of publishing (and Jasper is ready for a career in modeling!)
I’ve got a nice camera just a step below a DSLR – but my pics never turn out as great as yours :)

Bethany says:

I just found your site while researching RMA of NJ. We did our first IUI last month and doing our second this month. If it doesn’t work we’ll be going to IVF in March. I just wanted to say thank you – for sharing all of your experiences! They give me hope! You have a beautiful family!

I also have a Nikon SLR and Photoshop CS3….although don’t really know how to use it. I would love little tips on shooting and editing!

ariana says:

Meggin – wow, good to know! I’ve always wondered what the signs are of an ear infection and asked our pedi. He said that the crying would be at a level we’d never known! I thought maybe that wasn’t necessarily right. Thanks for sharing :)

Meggin says:

My husband is a web developer/ designer and I know he has photoshop. The only problem is that he is soo busy these days with contract work since I am a SAHM now that I would love to learn photoshop. This way I can stop bugging him:) Great picture of Jasper and Grandmom.

I learned something new today that as a first time mom I thought others would find helpful. Kirk has had a stuffy nose since Christmas and it recently developed into a cough. I got concerned that it could have gone into his chest so I took him to the Dr. Turns out he has an ear infection due to the fluid in his sinuses. I was shocked since I thought babies get really fussy, have a fever and tug at their ears when they have an ear infection–Kirk had none of these symptoms! His cold was not going away because of the infection. He is on an antibiotic for 10 days and should be better in 2-3 days.Just thought I would share as an FYI:)

Katie says:

I have an SLR and Photoshop, I even have the 50mm lens but I can’t get pics as good as yours–I would love a tutorial. Thanks!

Jules says:

I have a Nikon D60 and photoshop elements for a Mac. I would LOVE a tutorial! I don’t know how to use it at all.

Mary says:

I have a Nikon D40/x, and I love it. It has been discontinued and replaced with the D60, and it is an improvement, for sure. You get a lot of camera for a relatively low price…I definitely recommend it to anyone who says that they are saving for a DSLR!

I have Photoshop Elements, but I don’t know how to do much with it. I could definitely use some simple instructions. I do know how to straighten out the horizon in a picture…I had to do that with a ton of photos from a whale watch I went on, none of which were straight. However, that is all I have discovered!

Jen says:

Oh My GOSH! You just made my day. I’ve wanted to know your tricks for a long time now, and seeing how I just got a Canon XS and Photoshop CS4, it would come in REALLY handy! I love what you do with the camera!
Thank you thank you!

Farah says:

I would love to read your photo tips. i also have photoshop and elements and a dslr.

Watching the grandparents melts my heart. I am glad you get to have that experience too.

ariana says:

Yay! I’m so happy so many of you have photoshop.. I’ll start preparing my first tutorial now!

Lindsey says:

I have a DSLR and Photoshop Elements. I would love love love tips on how to use both!

kari says:

saving up for the DSLR – have photoshop and don’t know how the hell it works. So – im with the rest of your posse, and looking forward to your workshops!

CONGRATS on the extra shut-eye!

Mandy Rose says:

Jasper might be one of the cutest lil guys I have ever seen. He truly is a doll! We live close to my parents and your right…it is so nice that they have grandparents to spoil them.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a tutorial on photoshop. I have it, but I must admit, I am not using it to it’s best ability…because I DON’T KNOW HOW! Plus, I rarely have the time to just sit and play with it to teach myself. HELP!

Sara says:

As you know, I am the proud mother to a Nikon D60 DSLR and would LOVE YOU FOREVER if you could give a little DLSR and photoshop tutorial. Thank you in advance :)

Tiffany says:

Jasper is getting so big! I would love for you to post about photography because I love looking at your pictures and would like to learn how to do some of the stuff you do!

Does Jasper thrash his head from side to side when he gets restless? My baby is BALD on the back of his head, and I didn’t realize why until we were out of town and he was sleeping in a vinyl playard that really amplified the thrashing noise! Once we stopped swaddling he stopped doing this–I think he just wanted to move his arms and he couldn’t!

TheRightWife says:

I’m saving for a DSLR right now, and I do have Photoshop (CS2). I would love a tutorial on dressing up these photo’s taken with my crappy digital.

I’m glad to hear of some success on the sleeping front. My 2 week old is just entering into the land of crappy sleepy time. I miss him sleeping 23 hours a day, lol.

jenn says:

i have a digital rebel and photoshop – and would love any advice. your pics are always so crisp and beautiful!

I HATE Photoshop, even though I know everyone swears by it. I’m convinced it’s the world’s least user friendly piece of software (and I’m not even scared of computers!). BUT, I always love your photos — so any tips on what and how to shoot, I’ll take!

morgan says:

Oh yes on the photoshop! I do have a basic point and shoot, so all the photoshop help wold be great!

anastasia says:

I have a DSLR and Photoshop, but I must say you work a bit of magic because your pictures are always amazing and mine are ‘good’ at best. Can’t wait to pick up some tips!

curlytoes says:

i would love a tutorial on phototshop! its important for moms like me who want to take nice, memorable photos of our lovely babies. and since they don’t stay still for long, i have lots of blurry photos of my babies… all kinds of tips would be much appreciated!

and could u include some tips on which angles to take babies from? or just how to frame babies so that the photos are more interesting….many thanks!

i love your blog and updates!

jbhat says:

Your mom is so cute. And sure, I’d be into reading about how to take great pictures and how to tweak them too.


Ann says:

I can’t wait for your photography post. I have both a DSLR and Photoshop CS3, but I need all the help I can get! With our first little one on the way, I need to prefect my photography skills…quick! Also, if you wouldn’t mind adding in some tips on how to resize / edit for e-mail and web that would be the best.

I love all of your pictures of Jasper…Beautiful!

Katie says:

I have photoshop but would love it if you did a tutorial. I need a polishing up of my pshop skills!

Plus your photos are fabulous. What camera do you use and do you play around with the setting or just use one? Either way Jasper is adorable and takes very good photos.

mandoo says:

I love that photo of Jasper with your mom! We live far from both sets of parents, but I hope we can squeeze in enough long visits to establish that relationship.

I’d love a photoshop tutorial + the why we should buy photo shop post! We don’t have it and I can’t justify it, mostly because I don’t have the first clue as to what to do with it and it seems totally overwhelming and unlike something I could ever master. So, I use mostly a point and shoot (canon G7), which I love, but my photos are definitely not as crisp and polished as yours!