Where Did November Go!?

The baby just fell asleep and I sat down at my computer to continue editing some recent portrait sessions when it occurred to me that I haven't blogged in almost two weeks! What on earth! Last week was SUCH a blur. I can't even describe, but I'll give it a shot.

Oh, and I'll just litter this post with pictures of Willow in her Halloween costume as baby Thor. Why, you say? Because she's adorable and they're the most recent personal photos I've taken haha.

I've had four sessions in the past week, which is fantastic! This is by far my favorite time of year for portraits, so it's great timing. And I've enjoyed shooting a variety of things. I've done senior portraits, family portraits, and even a proposal(!) I can't wait to share those sessions, but of course, my clients are always the first to see their photos, not the blog!

So work has been busy. But, wow, baby. You knew that was coming right? Of course this post is going to morph into something about Willow. What can I say, baby rules my brain these days. More specifically, baby sleep. For the past few weeks, I've been letting her cry in her crib in the hopes that she would eventually learn to put herself to sleep. I have an extremely feisty little baby, which is 90% wonderful, but man, it is rough for sleeping! And after weeks of torturing her and myself with the cry yourself to sleep strategy, I've caved. I couldn't listen to her sad little self anymore and I just didn't feel like she was improving steadily. We'd get a night or a nap here and there that worked out great. She even went to sleep without crying a few times. But more often than not, she would cry for 45 minutes or even longer. It just didn't feel productive. Maybe we'll try again one day, but for now,  I'm just going to do what I can to keep her happy and sleep fueled. 

Too many nights of getting up with baby every two or three hours definitely wears on you. Last week I was dealing with that, editing my many sessions during super short naps, and designing all my wedding clients' albums in the hopes that they could all receive them by Christmas! I use an incredible album company that puts together my albums by hand, so their order deadline is pretty early! I even hired someone to come help clean for a few hours, just so I could catch up on some things. 

This past weekend has been empty on our calendar for weeks, which is great. I always look forward to a peaceful, unplanned weekend. But then Erik wanted to go see Doctor Strange. And since my parents gifted Erik and I movie tickets and a "night out" complete with babysitting ohhh back in July... it seemed like the right time to go on our second date since Willow was born. We also did our own family portraits with our friend Andrea Pesce, who photographed our beautiful newborn photos almost six months ago (that's hard to believe! And oh my goodness, I just went to link to those photos and realized that I never blogged them. I am definitely losing my mind. They were so gorgeous! Here's Andrea's post about it!). And we went in to Carytown for our sister in law's birthday celebration. This was kind of a big deal since Willow and I have not even entered Richmond since she was born haha. Hermits to the max.

But! That recluse lifestyle was completely justified to me all over again. As we drove home from the long lunch, Erik and I were talking about how well Willow had done being out and about for so long. Erik said, maybe we just need to keep her awake longer and she'll sleep better. I was doubtful, but hey, maybe! We got home and I of course went to put Willow straight to bed for a nap since she'd gotten up at 7am that morning and had only napped for 45 minutes before our big outing. Well, baby girl was way too tired to sleep easily. Eventually after almost 40 minutes of soothing, she settled down enough to fall asleep. Naturally, she woke again 45 minutes later and then couldn't take any more naps for the rest of the day. Bedtime took an extra hour longer than normal. And she must have woken up six or seven times last night crying and miserable. 

All this to say, don't ever be fooled when people say "oh she'll sleep good tonight!" after an exhausting day. No no, she will be wired and pissed off that you ignored her sleep needs for so long and she will make you pay haha. At least my poor baby will! 

That's all for now. I've used up all of Willow's mini nap time and must dedicate the rest of my day to getting a better nap out of her and an early bed time. Obsessed? Maybe. But that's allowed when your obsession is this sweet.