Cake Smash Photoshoot!

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This was by far my most challenging shoot yet..   In preparation, I finally bought a real  backdrop stand, and (just to prove that they are the ultimate pack rats and really DO have everything) my parents actually had a roll of savage white background paper which saved me from having to order any!

I went to three different grocery stores to find a cake I deemed acceptable, most were too white, too pink, too cutesy – this one is far from perfect but I thought it came pretty close to a prototypical birthday cake.  And finally, in a moment of completely unrealistic optimism, I got him the “I’m one” birthday hat at party city thinking that maybe – JUST MAYBE he’d let me put it on his head and keep it there long enough to snap a picture. But you know Jasper..  after a few scary bouts of him pulling on the chin string so hard I was afraid when he let go it would snap back and really hurt him we ditched the hat!

mommy, did you actually think I'd WEAR this hat?

But the most challenging thing about the shoot was that Jasper wanted NOTHING to do with the cake!

Apparently his disdain for food extends even to the dessert variety. (If I can’t get him to eat sugar what hope can I have for real food??) We tried to entice him by letting him taste just the icing, but still no dice.  As a result, these pictures are a bit less cake smash than cake in the foreground Jasper in the background but hey –  I’ll take what I can get!

I’d like to get an 8×10 printed (like today) and display it at his party on Saturday but I can’t decide on my favorite.. can you take a look at the set on flickr and let me know which one you think I should order?  (They are numbered sequentially 1-11). Initially I thought between #2 and #3, but then I realized my true favorite is #6 but I had rejected it because my inner editor was upset at having chopped his foot out of the frame (I had no where to back up or move to the left!):

Thanks!

Oh, and one more thing I need your help with.. I am going to be a guest on the New Moms New Babies podcast!

I’m going to be talking about parenting in the age of facebook, twitter, blogging etc.  I’m set to talk with them tonight and in preparation I made a list of the things that I NEVER would have learned about parenting if it weren’t for the internet.  But I thought it would be fun to include some things from you guys!

What is the most useful piece of parenting information you ever learned on the internet and where did you learn it?? (I’ts ok, I don’t expect you to say here ;)  Or if you can’t think of any one thing, just let me know what your favorite internet source for parenting advice/information/tips is.

I’d be much obliged :)

Have a great start to your week..

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kiran says:

#2 is really great…

Christine says:

I like the pic titled “Tell us how you really feel”

Keri says:

I love the cake smash photos, Ariana! They are beautiful!! And, congrats on being chosen to speak on the podcast– how cool!

ZOMG. I adore this blog. I am adding it to my blog roll right now. I will check in on those PS tutorials you and I talked about today. I may be messaging you again one day for help if I can’t figure it out on my own! :)

Sherean says:

Oh Ariana, don’t make me choose! (And to think, I actually choose photos for ads and websites all the time, but all your shots are cute so this is impossible.)

I say screw the foot issue and go with your gut and #6. I also like how he’s playing with the hat in #5. My husband likes #8 (cuz it’s more of an action shot).

We’re no help, are we?

I suspect I’m too late to weigh in on parenting in the age of the Internet. But I’m here – like many others – because I’ve learned so much from you. Your stories of Jasper’s reflux – before my son developed it – were always in the back of my mind. So when Hunter was diagnosed, I went back and re-read your posts and emailed you for advice (which you very helpfully provided).

Beyond the specific advice and tips I’ve picked up here and at other mommy blogs, I’ve also just picked up a general sense of camaraderie, kinship . . . I don’t belong to any mommy groups in town and most of my friends’ kids are older so it’s nice to share stories online with other moms with infants.

Good luck tonight!

Susan says:

I love #7, where he is touching the candle. And with a little frosting moustache – so adorable.

I agree with others about BabyCenter. I love their weekly emails and appreciate the (mostly) unbiased information. I also have had great success with groups on yahoo – my PPD group has been a lifeline.

Jessica says:

I love the pictures!

I think one of the most useful things I learned from the internet (The Bump boards, I think) is that you can wash all the parts of your Dr. Brown’s bottles in the dishwasher if you put them in a lingerie washing bag. I wish I had something more profound, but this saves me ridiculous amounts of time, so I’m gonna go with it.

kari says:

ariana – there is just SO much to address in this blog entry!
1) i can NOT choose just one pic… they are all SO adorable… maybe a collection of a few of them for the party? Great job!
2) Congrats on the backdrop stand – I bet you will get soo much use out of that purchase!
3) gotta love packrat parents
4) WOOT for being a guest on the podcast!!
re: the question – i can not pinpoint just one thing.. ok maybe that sunlight is natures oxyclean and bleaches out breastmilk stains!!! (you know where i got that one from!!)
there are SO many invaluable online resources .. I learned a lot through the nest/bump boards… babycenter.com (man did i LOVE those weekly pregnancy updates and am still loving the baby week by week emails. and all kidding aside – your blog has been priceless – not only your thoughtful writing and insight.. the fact that jasper and liam are bday twins makes it an absolute daily MUST READ :)

These are just darling Ariana. Wish I had the room for a backdrop like that. It really does make for great shots.

Your Jasper is too funny, not liking cake — the nerve!

Personally, my favorite is #2 by the way.

Kimberly says:

How exciting! I will have to remember to go listen. Funny that there is an Infant Massage podcast given by the director of Infant Massage USA, Linda Storm… that’s the Infant Massage association I am affiliated with, and trained by!

As for the photos… they truly are ALL adorable, but there’s something about #11 that I adore. I love the hat, his expression, looking off-camera as if to say, “get me outta here!” I love it!

HamiHarri says:

I like #3 or #10!

ariana says:

Thanks all, and thanks for the ideas for tonight..

Ava, I couldn’t agree with you more about hearing it from multiple people rather than just one.. it does help to get a sort of general consensus just sometimes. And yeah, what in the WORLD would we do without the internet for medical issues? There’s no way in hell we’d know how to raise our babies from a medical standpoint from the 5 minutes we spend at the pedi’s office every few months..

Shane, this is exactly what I’ve been thinking about.. in years past when people lived more tribally we would have the experiences of our parents/cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents to guide us. But now, even if their experience would be relevant to us (which often it isn’t these days) when you are geographically dispersed from your family the internet is a logical and very helpful place find that supportive community.

And you are definitely the sole male reader (or commenter anyway) and I love how much of a team you and Ava are, it’s something I wish I saw a lot more of!

Shane says:

Reading the blogs of people (like YOU) that have a child at the roughly same stage that share similar views on parenting is very helpful. We know we aren’t alone and sometimes that’s enough to help keep our sanity.

In this day of the extended family being far away for many new parents, we are quite possibly the first generation to raise a family without having the knowledge passed down directly from our parents/family. Sometimes that great because we can make quantum leaps (hopefully improvements) in changes to parenting approaches. But it also creates a lot of stress in an already busy household. So having sources of information and support groups, makes life easier and helps us become more educated parents. I don’t necessarily want to do what my parents did, so posts from Becoming Mom help. And if the posts from our blog, Gametes In Love, help others in the same stage or in earlier stages, then we can all elevate the level of parenting.

And I bet there aren’t many Male readers of your blog — I one want to be a more involved father both to share the load and the stress. I hope G grows up to appreciate that involvement and that it shapes his view of ‘family’.

Sarah says:

Adorable photos!

I’ve really found the internet most useful for baby recipes (thanks for the quinoa recipe, btw) and as a casual medical reference. It’s also scary sometimes, though; there are so many horror stories out there, but if you learn where to look and what to steer clear of, the internet can be invaluable.

Marcia says:

#2 is my favorite and then #3! They are all so stinkin cute though!

Stacy says:

I love number 6 but they all look great! I wish you were in the seattle area to come do these for me next month!

Pamela Levis says:

I am in love with #2. I had a friend do something similar with a photo on display for the first birthday…she framed it with one of the large mats and all the guests wrote their wishes on the mat (like you see sometimes at weddings)

Jen says:

I love #2!!!! SOOOOOOO adorable :) Great pics!

AmandaG says:

I love Amalah’s Pregnancy Calendar http://www.alphamom.com/pregnancy-calendar/. Found it helpful and funny.

I use the boards on Baby Center a lot.

There’s so much good that comes from being able to post a question or whatever, and get quick instant feedback, however I think the downside is the criticism. Before the internet age, you used to only get criticized by your mom, now strangers feel like they can make hurtful comments.

I like pics #3 and #4. But use #6 if that’s the one you want. It’s adorable.
Love pic

jbhat says:

On the pics: They are adorable. I could never pick just one, especially since they are all so different. Maybe you could do one of those 3 photo frame things.

Congrats from me too on the NMNB guesting. That’s so cool.

I think I would echo Ava’s thoughts about the accessibility of the internet in general…for information, for supplies, for community, etc.

Skoorb says:

I actually really like #11 Happy Birthday Jasper!
and the most useful thing I learned from the internet was extended rear facing!

Ava says:

I like “cakesmash-1”, personally. Good framing, cake is perfectly set and you’ve got some good icing on the cheek :)

Congrats also on the NMNB guest-spot. Looking forward to that episode and I listen to their podcasts a bunch.

For me, the presence of the internet has made me a less anxious parent. Mostly because I know what to expect of different stages of my child’s development. Sure I can read a ton of books, but honestly I don’t have the time. A blog post here, a Nest question there, and I feel much more prepared. Also hearing the experiences of MANY moms (vs. a single author) is very valuable to me. I mean, how hard will I have to look for a book on a low-weight gaining baby and supply issues? Seriously!
Our pediatrician should be thanking community sites like TheNest. I don’t have to call him every other week with “Is this normal? What do you do w/ XXXX?” questions :)

A says:

Wowza!!! Congrats on your podcast – sooo awesome!!! You’ll rock it!

ALL of the photos are just perfect! I like #6 best because of his expression – foot or no foot!

Hmm… I think the most useful parenting stuff I’ve ever learned is something that I’ve YET to learn! I have a feeling parenting older kids is a whole new challenging set of worms that’ll make parenting babies a piece of… birthday cake!

Heather says:

P.S. The cake photoshoot is adorable, and all the photos look great to me!

Heather says:

Well, thanks to Mommy SOS, I now know how to deal with a temper tantrum! And, although I don’t look at too many mom blogs, I have learned a lot about fun things to do with babies in the area (Westchester, NY) and lots of ideas about toys and crafts and decorating ideas.

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