We did it!  We survived Elliot’s first year on planet Earth.  More importantly, HE survived it!  It’s hard to find the sum of all the wonderful, trying and super sappy emotional moments that made this year what it was, but here’s my honest take on the whole parenthood club. (disclaimer:  I’ve only been a parent for 366 days, so I still have a LOT to learn)

newborn Elliot

1.  No matter how much you plan and prepare, you’re still not ready…not even remotely for what that tiny bundle of joy brings to your life.  One day I mentioned to Nick “it’s hard to imagine the life we had before E ” and his response was “No, it’s not, it was CLEAN”…so very, very true.

2.  There’s something to be grateful for at every stage (or at least you better think of that way so you don’t completely lose your mind while sleep deprived)  For example, newborns sleep and snuggle all the time, but when they cry, you have no freaking clue what’s making them upset.  By the time they reach 6 months old, you have a pretty good idea what’s wrong when they cry, but they’re mobile and that’s a whole other can of worms…just practice gratitude and remember that these moments are so fleeting…so very very fleeting…moving onto number 3 because I feel the sappy coming on…

3.  Breastfeeding is an art.  I’ve never been so frustrated in all my life.  If cows and giraffes and every other mammal on the planet just latches naturally, what the heck is wrong with humans?!?!  It took us a good 6 weeks to get the hang of things, was totally worth it in the end, but it was NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING like what I thought it would be.

4. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t…and now that you’re a parent, you’ll probably feel this way for your ENTIRE LIFE.  Everything you read on vaccination, peanut butter, and solid foods is conflicting.  I half-way blame the internet for all the information / misinformation / mass confusion that surrounds these decisions.  Things must have been WAY easier for previous generations.

5.  Safety = $$$ BIG $$$  I’m willing to bet my parents rarely had me buckled in the backseat, in fact I was probably in the front seat, front facing, without any type of restraint.  (Do school buses have seat belts yet?)  Granted we’ve come a long way in the 30 something years since I was born, but I had no idea how fast I could drop coin on safety features.  Extra cushion for side-impact, count us in!

6.  You have a whole new appreciation for your parents.  Cliche, I know, but here’s when it clicked for me…

B Jellie Preview

While, making jellyfish out of paper lanterns for his first birthday, I snapped this expression of “awe.”  I sent the photo to my dear mother-in-law and her response was “feels great when you get it right.”  How many times did my parents think they were getting it “right” and I told them they had it all “wrong?”  Gotta wrap this post up before the waterworks turn on…

First Birthday Smash Cake

Sweet boy, where did the time go?

 

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Elliot’s First Portrait

October 23, 2013

Just a quick gesture sketch of the sleeping babe…of course he had to move before I could finish his little fingers or tidy up his features.  Elliot's first portrait

The first of many I suspect.

Meet the New Boss

September 4, 2013

Elliot James took over FLYoung Studio on August 4th, 2013.  Weighing in at just 7lbs 14 ounces, and “standing” a mere 20.5 inches tall, he has effectively taken charge of day-to-day production.  Things have slowed a bit during this transitional time (on behalf of the new boss-man, we apologize)  Frankly, he makes a habit of  sleeping on the job and taking multiple lunch breaks throughout the day, while making us work the graveyard shift.

The Boss Man

All that aside, we think he’s pretty cute and inspiring, so we’ll let him keep his post for now.  Oh and in case you missed it, he was awake long enough to commission a photo session with Diana Daley.