Friday, May 1, 2015

You Can Only Climb One Mountain At A Time

Will has been doing quite well during his Blackhawk training, and I couldn't be more proud. Yes, I always say that, but it's still always going to be true. This segment of Flight School is the last thing standing between us and getting back to a somewhat normal life, and although I'm not in a rush to move with a new baby, I am ready for our next adventure. I guess I've got the itch to move again, which is strange coming from a person that never ever ever planned on moving out of Florida. Remind me I said this when I complain about packing and pulling my hair out.

Anywhosit, today is his first Blackhawk Check Ride, and I want to wish him luck. By the way, a check ride is basically an oral test that you take while simultaneously flying an aircraft, which sounds terrible to me. I know he knows his stuff and all of his instructors are always pleased with his progression, so I just hope for good weather, a good aircraft, and good vibes. While most of the other guys are mentally checking out because all they have to do is pass right now, Will is pushing himself more than ever and that's why I'm so proud I married him.

While he's off flying helicopters, he says my 'job' these days is planning for the baby. Technically I should be cleaning the house and whatnot too, but eh...a little dust never hurt anyone. Plus, this baby planning is kind of intense. I know it will all work out, but the planner side of me is agonizing over every decision. Some may not see these as hard decisions, but they have been in the forefront of my mind for months. I've even asked you all for help on these decisions and now some have finally been made!

#1 Chose a Maternity/Newborn Photographer.
I've never actually paid a photographer to do pictures for us. Most of them we do ourselves with my tripod and remote, and back in Colorado there were a few photographers that offered to do it for free. I think photographers are wonderful and well worth the money, but I just couldn't see paying 'investing' for just the two of us when I could do it myself. {Sidenote: Most people should NOT do their own photos, and please book my lovely photographer friends so that they don't get mad at me for saying that...} However, when it comes to something as important as maternity and newborn photos we agreed we will shell out the big bucks for something we will treasure forever. Here's how I decided, and it's important to consider these things when you are considering ANY photographer for ANY event.

Style You could be the most beautiful person in the world, but if the photographer you pick has a different style than you are looking for, you will probably hate your pictures. It could even be as simple as they get a little overzealous with Photoshop, but if there's something that you don't like about their portfolio, then don't book them. I like more natural photographers, and I LOVE Backlit and Sunset photography, so I chose a photographer in that style.
Experience Unless a photographer shoots you for experience and free, they better have a portfolio. Also, you want them to have experience with the type of photos you need. You wouldn't book someone without wedding experience for a wedding, and this applies across the board. I wanted to work with one photographer for both maternity and newborn, so they needed experience with both, and more importantly, I wanted them to have a portfolio that featured both to ensure that they had the experience they touted. 
Location You may want indoor, outdoor, or a specific location, and if you book someone that can't or won't accommodate, you will be sorely disappointed. Since I'm from the beach and we are within driving distance, I immediately set my heart on beach maternity pics, but finding a photographer that would travel and have experience with the beach proved difficult. Just don't give up, because it is possible, and she's not even charging me a travel fee.
Bang for your buck Just because a photographer has high prices, doesn't mean they are worth your money, and vice versa...just because a photographer is 'reasonable' aka cheap, doesn't mean they are worth your money or time. Find someone that fits the above criteria and offers you a decent amount of time, outfits, edited photos, rights to your photos, etc. Besides the fact that I wanted the same photographer so that we were more comfortable, I also found that most photographers offer a package for more than one session. The ones around here were still charging a pretty penny considering they didn't offer many edited photos, some wouldn't travel, and most seemed restrictive on outfits and time, but then I went to a Baby Expo Saturday and found one that fit ALL my criteria including DOUBLE the edited photos that anyone else was offering, she was flexible, and dependable.

#2 Deciding on a Mattress for the crib.
Okay, so this one was waaaaaaay harder. My grandparents sent us one with the crib, and although it was great...I read so many articles about SIDS and mattresses, that I knew I had to make sure we had the right one. {If you are reading...sorry, Papa!} I asked everyone I knew, read every blog that had reviews, and read through guide after guide before I could even come close to making a decision. I know for a fact that most people don't stress over this as much as I did, but better safe than sorry in my mind. Sweet Kathryn gave me a great suggestion, but while I couldn't find her exact one, it led me to the Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers Ultra Deluxe 2 n 1 Crib and Toddler Mattress. It sounds expensive, but it was super reasonable at less than $140 compared to the $300 Naturepedic I thought about getting. We received it already, and I'm pretty darn pleased. One step closer to having a fully functioning nursery! Too bad she may not sleep in it before we move.

Next On My List: Bassinet Mattress, Diapers/Wipes/Skincare, Sun Dome/Pop up for the beach. Any suggestions you may have are always appreciated, and I love any and all advice. Only two months left, so it's crunch time, people.


P!nky said...

GOOD LUCK WILL! I know you are going to rock it out, dude!!! I hope you get to move up here so you can play and I can spoil CQB! :)

Great tips on photographers, I especially like the one about style. Our lady at our wedding was awesome because she got our style and what I wanted!

Nikki said...

That is the exact mattress we have for #babybigtruck! We -as in all 3 of us- LOVE IT! Mr. Big Truck and I love it because of the 2 different sides which mean more bang for our buck! #babybigtruck loves it and has been sleeping in her crib on this matterss on her belly since we got home from the hospital -yes she has been in her crib from day 1 seriously best decision EVER!-

As for diapers and wipes, we started off with Honest Company and we loved them! #babybigtruck did great with them no reactions no diaper rashes or anything. The she hit size 3 and it because more economical for us to switch her to Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Sensitive wipes. Never had an issue with them. We one time ran out of wipes but happened to have a package of huggies wipes so I used them to change her and girlfriend busted out in a TERRIBLE diaper rash, I am talking blisters and blood. TERRIBLE.

Hope this helps!!

Jenn said...

Sending Will lots of positive vibes and good luck wishes for a successful flight today!!!

Alana Livingston said...

Good luck, Will! That test sounds super stressful, but if anyone can do it, he can!
I have a feeling these decisions will overwhelm me when it's baby time because I over-analyze everything (like you) and will spend HOURS researching. You will have to remind me of your choices when that time comes for sure! haha
I cannot wait to see your maternity pictures!

Jen said...

Wishing Will lots of luck! I'm sure he will do great!

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Those are all such good things to look for in a photographer! I'll be honest, I bought my first DSLR camera because I knew that someday we were going to have kiddos and I wanted to be able to take good quality photos of them. I went ahead and bought the camera early because we were headed to Italy and I wanted awesome photos there. That's actually how my whole photography business started. I put up photos I'd been taking on Facebook (just of our regular life happenings and our Italy trip) and people started asking if they could pay me to take photos of their families. Next thing I knew I had a full blown business. ;) But it all started because I was too cheap to want to pay someone else to take photos of my own kids. ;) So I definitely hear you there! No offense taken. :) I'm glad you found a photographer that you love! I'm excited to see your photos! :)

Amanda said...

I'm getting the itch to move too as we approach the end of Robs wobs training. I think it's fun. Which is weird I know. Lol. Good for you for really thinking through your choices! You only get one first try.

Amanda said...

I'm getting the itch to move too as we approach the end of Robs wobs training. I think it's fun. Which is weird I know. Lol. Good for you for really thinking through your choices! You only get one first try.

Kathryn B said...

Awww thanks for the shout out! I'm glad I could help! I remember how overwhelming everything was when I was first pregnant! It's scary! I would recommend Huggies for diapers and wipes. I LOVED them both for my kiddos. I would recommend highly Dr. Brown bottles for when you're ready for them. They are absolutely amazing.
Great suggestions for finding a photographer. I am looking into getting family pics done this summer seeing as we really have none to speak of.


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