Like doing a big poo

Making a wish. Day 168/366.

After a 24 hour labour my son was pushed into the world without me uttering one swear word, just repeats of GET OUT, GET OUT during those last few minutes. He was a biggun at 9lb 6oz, or 4.25kg and I was glad he finally made it without having to be cut out. I didn’t think it funny when the doctor was stitching my third degree tears up down there when she said that I might have to have a caesarean next time due to the tearing this time. Creating another baby was the last thing on my mind at this stage.

He was lifted onto my stomach and did a big poo right then. Normally someone pooing on me would be really gross, but this didn’t worry me in the least. And someone else quickly wiped it up like they did for mine while I was pushing him out. I remember visiting a friend in hospital years ago after she had her first baby and her saying that pushing out a baby was like doing a big poo. She was right.

I tell him the story of how he pooed on me just after he was born, and he thinks it’s hilarious.

I also tell him that the first night he was home he cried nearly all night. I imitate his baby cries, WAH, WAH, WAH, WAH. And he also thinks that’s funny.

I didn’t think it was funny at the time. I just wanted to sleep. I like my sleep and it was frustrating that he was a sleep during the day and party at night baby for the first few days until his birth jet lag went away.

I was reminded of all of this by this post.

Mummyblogging – perhaps not my direction

Taking shelter from the rain. Day 173/366.

Wordless Wednesday? As if. This blog started off being about the words, and now it’s about the photos and the words.

I have marvellous ideas during the day while I’m at work about fabulous blog posts I want to write and I even quickly jot those ideas down (hallo mega amounts of draft posts). Then I get home and do the parenting thing and by the time I’ve had dinner, washed up, and told my son a million times that, yes, he does have to have a shower today, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of my computer and write of those blog posts.

I’ve been thinking lots about this mummyblogger thing as it explodes in Australia and for some reason is a ‘thing’. I think it only is a ‘thing’ because people are using their talents to earn some money. How dare they?

I look at it from the sidelines and wish that I had more time, more creativity, and more inclination to get more involved.

But I work nearly full-time and if there are any bloggers out there who work full-time, and parent full-time on your own, while making blogging work for them part-time then I’m all ears about how you do that.

I’d much rather do what I love and pay someone to do the housework and gardening but the housework and the gardening, oh, and being a fabulous mum, take up a lot of my time out of work hours. So is ‘mummyblogging’ just for those mums who don’t work full-time outside of the home? I’d like to know.

But I’m probably out of the so-called ‘mummyblogging’ zone because my son is now 11 and I write less about him than I used to. I guess I’m a bit directionless here. Am I a photoblogger now? I don’t know!

In the big scheme of things it’s okay because I’ve got my health and I’m bloody thankful for that.

When you want to act like a kid

Hip hip hooray. Day 178/366.

He turned 11 two weeks ago. I’m getting around to mentioning it now.

Remember how he was going through a really good stage? I knew that writing about it would tempt fate because he went through the crappy, shitty stage but we’ve come through the other side and he’s back to being good again. I picked him up from vacation care today and beamed when they told me that he’d been excellent and he got to lead an activity. He really enjoyed that and he’s a natural at it.

Three weeks ago he was being sent out because he wasn’t listening, he was answering back and being a general pain in the ass.

So the in the lead-up to his birthday we weren’t getting along at all well and I was THIS close to cancelling the birthday shenanigans.

But I didn’t. I organised a dinner for some of his/our friends. I even organised a cake (see picture above). It was a pretty good night and behaviour was forgotten about for a little while.

I also organised him to have two friends for a sleepover a few days later. I made lasagna and garlic bread. I baked my fabulous banana cake. I took them to see the Three Stooges even though it’s not the type of movie I would have normally gone to see. I cooked pancakes for breakfast and I even manually squeezed orange juice for them. None of them like freshly squeezed orange juice as it turns out and preferred the bought apple juice instead. Weirdos.

I did all of this with good grace and it was a success. But I really felt like punishing him by not doing any of it. Luckily the adult in me kicked in and I didn’t.

Geez woman, what do you do all day?

Against a brick wall. Day 175/366.

It’s 9.02pm as I sit down to write this. Where did the time go today? I’m glad you asked….

7am – alarm goes off and drag myself out of bed.

7.02am – turn on hot water in shower only it’s not hot. I kind of knew the gas pilot light had gone out but when I was told last night that it had possibly gone out I was in bed and couldn’t be bothered getting back up. I go out to light it but can’t.

I try and take off the cover to the gas hot water but can’t undo the knobs.

I storm back into the house, let aforementioned person know that the bloody pilot light did go out, and  I get a box of matches and a wrench before going back outside.

The wrench doesn’t work. I storm back into the house, slamming doors and cursing as I go because that will make it better and hoping the person that told me when I was in bed that it might have gone out hears me. I get another implement and finally get the knobs undone.

I light the pilot light with a match.

I try to put the cover back on and curse and swear some more as it’s always hard to put back on.

7.10am – I finally have a shower, dry my hair, get dressed, put on some makeup.

7.30am – I have breakfast while getting lunch ready.

7.45am – The person who didn’t tell me about the pilot light takes my son to school while I replace my ug boots for shoes and do the last few things I need to do.

7.55am – I get a lift into work.

8.20am – I start work.

12.30pm -  I have a quick lunch then pop into the supermarket to buy some goodies for my son to take to a friend’s place tomorrow.

1.10pm – I get back to work.

4.40pm – I get an offer of a lift home from work.

5pm – I get into the car.

5.10pm – We’ve barely gone 200m. That’s how long it takes to get from Gawler Place to King William Street.

5.35pm – I get home and I go and pick up my son from vacation care.

5.45pm – We get home and I bark orders at him while preparing for pilates. He’s learned to write down tasks when I do this, so he does that.

5.56pm – I get to pilates a little bit early.

7pm – I get home and make arrangements for tomorrow night’s outing.

7.10pm – I cut up potatoes he peeled while I was out, cook them, and heat up other leftovers from last night.

7.35pm – We eat dinner while watching the rest of Masterchef (I knew the Blue team were toast).

8.3pm – I wash the dishes and sweep and wash the floor in the back room that is a mud pit after 2-3 days of dirty dog paws trekking through it.

9.02pm – I sit down to write this.

9.13pm – I finish writing this.

Editing photos on the iPhone with Snapseed

I’ve recently acquired an iPhone photo app called Snapseed. It’s brilliant, and is currently my favourite iPhone photo app besides Hipstamatic.

Below I’ll show three photos I took using the iPhone in camera app, and what I did with them using Snapseed. The options I wrote down aren’t anywhere near exact, or step-by-step because I can’t remember exactly what I did.

Using the app is very intuitive and there’s loads of different things you can do that seem to go beyond with other apps like Camera+ and Instagram do. For example within the filters it has there are a huge amount of options and you can spend ages playing around fine tuning your photo and this is why there’s no step-by-step because it’s a matter of trial and error. While editing these photos a second time which you’ll see below, I still kept finding options I didn’t know were there.

It’s a bit more pricey than other photo apps I’ve bought but I managed to snaffle it for free and I knew it was for free by adding to my wishlist on AppShopper.

Below is the out of camera shot of a thirteen year old’s birthday cake.

Below is the altered shot. I mainly changed the brightness, contrast and saturation, and added a border. These are all things I could have done in Photoshop, but I find I do a lot of my editing of photos while going to and from work on the bus now.

Thirteen candles. Day 155/366.

Below is an experiment using the grunge filter.

Below was a shot of the last leaves of autumn when I was out for my early morning walk/run and it had been raining.

Below is the edited photo which I cropped so the focus was the actual leaves. I changed the colour a bit too – they’re a bit more earthy.

Last gasp of autumn. Day 156/366.

Re-edited in Snapseed using the vintage and grunge filters (more vintage than grunge I think).

It was a bit of a dreary day when I took the photo below and I wanted to give it some pizazz.

This is the after Snapseed edit of the above photo. I’ve played with the saturation to make the sky a bit more interesting.

Birds on a wire. Day 161/366.

Re-edited using Center focus and Grunge filters – quite a different feel to the photo.

I find now that I have this app, I’m using the camera app more and editing them using Snapseed rather than shooting in Hipstamatic nearly all the time which I’ve been in the habit of doing.

A photography exhibition – some tips

Hanging the photos

My photo exhibition opening now happened just over a week ago and I think I’ve recovered from its preparation and the opening. (Read how my exhibition came about in the first place).

I finally got all the work ready. This is what I did, and I don’t recommend you do the same if you ever have your own exhibition.

I wanted to do it on a fairly tight budget because I know that to get anything professionally framed costs a lot of money. So I started collecting frames about seven months ago. I bought some from op-shops, I bought some new ones and I was given some.

This was great but then I had to work out what sizes to print everything, that is after I chose what I wanted to show. Don’t forget I had 365 photos to choose from. I asked for friends’ opinions then didn’t really take their choices into account because I hadn’t documented what they liked. I’ll remember, I had said. No I didn’t.

I measured the frames very carefully and numbered them and wrote down the measurements, except for the A4 frames you can see in the photo above.

However, I also needed to have mattes cut and because hardly any of my frames were a standard size I had to get the measurements for those right too.

Thank goodness for Photoshop and the rulers within Photoshop. For each print (apart from the A4 frames that already had mattes) I created a Photoshop file, put the photo in as one layer, created a ‘matte’ with another layer with pretty even proportions which then gave me the measurements of the photo size and the matte size (remembering you need the outside and the inside measurement). I was then able to get the photos printed and I gave precise matte proportions to the matte cutter. I was cutting things a bit fine time-wise then so when they said two weeks I did a silent freakout and realised that it still gave me two weeks to put them all in frames and a little bit of time incase anything went wrong.

If I ever do this again, I would buy frames and mattes of standard sizes so any suggestions of good places to do this are welcome.

I got my photos printed at Atkins. They were very helpful with some questions I had and their online ordering software is pretty intuitive.

In the meantime I got the bits and pieces necessary to put hooks and wire on the backs of the frames that didn’t already have them (not too many thank goodness), some acid-free tape and some other tape for some of the backs of the frames.

The Photoshop mockups for the sizes worked a treat except for one which was 1-2mm too big on the inside edge. I just got a larger print done which solved that problem.

I mounted all the prints and got some help from The Surfer getting hooks and wire on the backs of the frames and they were all done.

And there ends the bit that I would not recommend you do. The rest worked for me.

In the meantime I organised invites, got some help with a press release which I sent to a few places of which one online publication ran with, and invited just about everyone I could think of. I also printed out the list of work and prices, and a little card for each one with the name and the price.

As I’d been able to prepare the work without spending too much money, I was able to keep prices down for the pieces I’m exhibiting. I’m glad I did as nothing’s sold yet. But it was never my aim to make a lot of money from this. It was more a personal challenge for me just to have an exhibition.

All that was left was to hang the work. This was done the evening before the exhibition.

I’m so glad I got The Surfer to help me with this too because otherwise it would have taken a lot longer than it did. I had a rough idea of what order I wanted to hang things and that worked out fairly well and I had the right amount too I think – 23 photos in all.

The exhibition itself went really well. People turned up and filled up the space. I saw people walking around looking at the photos. Lots of people commented to me on their favourites. And one friend turned up that I used to live with in London whom I haven’t seen for ages.

I would have liked to be able to supply some free booze for the punters but because of the type of venue it is I wasn’t allowed to organise wine sponsorship and I didn’t have the budget to have a bar tab.

JJ came along and I made sure he had a belly full of food, and luckily there were some other kids there to help keep him occupied. He was great. At one stage I noticed him sitting down with a couple of other kids that he knows just chatting. Actually all the kids there were really good.

A couple of repeated comments from some people I invited to the exhibition:

  • I didn’t know you were a photographer! (this happened as I was inviting people).
  • Are all 365 photos here? (even though I had written that I was showing a selection of the photos on the invite).

I was exhausted at the end of it, but happy.

Oh, and I also put the photos up on Redbubble so if people want to buy a print that way, they can. (There are a couple of extra ones thrown in.) I don’t know how this will work but it didn’t take too long to do so I thought it might be a nice added extra.

If you’ve any questions for me please ask in the comments. Or if you’ve had an exhibition yourself I’d love to hear your story.