Oh, the Things that You’ll Learn

by Lauren Kay Weber

 

(c) Mirielle Sanford 2013

(c) Mirielle Sanford 2013

As a new mother, things that I’m learning:

  • I don’t have to constantly be holding my baby to be loving my baby.
  • When Josh gets home from work, most days I feel like I did nothing all day while he was out being productive.  I need to give myself permission to think of caring for a child 16 hours a day as a job.
  • I need, more than ever before in my life (and perhaps, really, for the first time) some real, unadulterated quiet in my day to feel like I’m whole.
  • Take the baby outside if he’s being fussy.  Works every time.
  • Being pregnant comes with the perk of people letting you have right of way – in the grocery store, walking across campus, in public restrooms.  Baby perk:  you make friends everywhere you go.
  • I know that this sounds obvious, but there are little temptations everywhere to do what’s in your best interest over your baby’s.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you give in to that temptation; sometimes it really does.

Asher’s First Month

by Lauren Kay Weber

Month-1-Graphic

Having Asher in our lives this past month has been surreal.  Bringing him home from the birth center and realizing that, oh hey, he’s ours for reals has weirdly been the most head-shaking-eyes-wide-open experience ever.  Of course, I knew that once he was ours, that we would be tasked with, you know, raising him… but there has been something pretty surreal in the process of adjusting to just how different our lives became in what has seemed like an instant.  It’s a good thing, no a great thing, but weird nonetheless.

I can’t believe that it’s already been a whole month.  Look at how this little boy has grown!  To commemorate, I thought that I’d share some of Asher’s (and our) firsts, as well as some highlights, this past month.

Newborn Photo

(c) Weber Photography 2013

  • Our little boy is certainly living up to his name.  Asher in Hebrew means happy.  While we have definitely had some fussy moments, for the most part, Asher’s worst is lots of babies’ bests.  Plus, he has THE cutest cry in the whole wide world.
  • We’ve dealt with some disappointments – namely, my inability to nurse… and everyone else not getting how hard that is for meus – but I’ve definitely found that it has brought Josh and I closer.  And!  It very neatly showed us right off the bat that parenthood is filled with curveballs.
  • Our hearts are growing six sizes every day.  Sometimes all that rapid growth can cause growing pains on the heart.  This past month has been such a mix of emotions:  utterly joyful, totally overwhelming, deepest of lows, highest of highs.  This parenthood thing really heightens the best of one’s self and draws out the things that were hidden inside and were unknown before being thrust into this refiner’s fire.
  • Josh and I have never been closer.  The number one most amazing payoff of our natural birth (more on that in a later post) is hands-down the fact that it enabled Asher’s birth to be a one-on-one bonding experience for Josh and I.  I couldn’t be more grateful for the ways that our hearts were melded through that process.  And, holy cow, every day that bond deepens as we learn together how not to screw up this perfect child.
  • Developmentally, Asher is amazing.  His strength is off the charts; he’s super muscular; the kid can hold his head up for, literally (and I’m not misusing that word here), hours at a time.  He’s very alert and loves to spend all the time that he is awake between naps staring at things:  the paintings above our couch, our faces, the computer as I type/edit photos… heck, even the blank wall.  I hope that his interest in the paintings mean that he’s the next generation’s Van Gogh.
  • He’s just now starting to get the hang of smiling intentionally, and, boy, does it melt this girl’s heart.
  • Nicknames we have for Asher:  little man, little mister, little boy (those are all mine).  Josh likes to call him “buddy” and “big man.”  I think it’s funny to note the difference in how we talk to him and even how we play with him.
  • I officially have nearly 1,000 photos (with the DSLR) and hundreds shared between our iPhones.  Oh, and the videos!  We’re officially obsessed.

Picture Perfect Sunday

by Lauren Kay Weber

Newborn Bath Time

(c) Weber Photography 2013

Newborn Bath Time

(c) Weber Photography 2013

 

Pin to Post: Birth Announcements

by Lauren Kay Weber

Pin To Post: Decorated Onesies

As a designer/party planner/creative thinker, sometimes I have multiple personality disorder.  I discovered this fact when I started using Pinterest.  As I peruse its pixeled pages, I find myself thinking Ooh!  I like that!  I’ll do that! and then, two pins later, No!  This is better!  I’ll do this!  And, then, when it comes to implementation, I end up indecisively waffling between the choices, not knowing which to implement.  In the worst case scenario, my outcomes are more pieced-together Frankenstein than they are cohesive and stream-lined.  In the best case scenarios, I implement as many ideas as possible and, in the end, which is my favorite becomes clear.

Enter the baby announcement.  These days, a baby announcement doesn’t take the form of much more than “Hey, guys!  Our baby was born!” on Facebook.  I like to shoot a bit more old school than that, so I decided that I’d look for some Pinspiration and design them before Asher even arrived so all that I would have to do after he’s born is pop in the picture and a few details and then be done.  Then, the classic aforementioned problem reared its ugly head:  too many choices, not enough decision-making.

With that in mind, I have several “Pin to Post”s to share with you today.  In the end, I decided to create several announcements for different uses:  on Facebook, via email, in print and mailed to loved ones.

Check out what I was able to make below.  If you are interested in having me help design birth announcements for you, let me know via email.

Pin to Post:  Redesigned Birth Announcement

The original pin can be found here. For a larger version of my redesign, click here.

Pin to Post:  Awwww/Waaaa Birth Notice

Click here for the original pin on Pinterest.

Pin to Post:  Welcome to the World Birth Announcement

The original pin can be found here.

Lullabies for a New Generation

by Lauren Kay Weber

I grew up listening to music from the likes of Tom Petty, Jimmy Buffet and Johnny Cash.  And, frankly, I’ve always been kind of creeped out by the nursery rhymes/lullabies featuring babies plummeting to their deaths and child abuse.  So, I leapt for joy when I found the Sleepytime Tunes renditions of my old favorites.  Basically, they’ve “lullabied” many 90’s (and other eras!) favorites, like…

Lullabies for a New Generation

Lullabies for a New Generation

Lullabies for a New Generation

Lullabies for a New Generation

Lullabies for a New Generation

And more!  Just look up Lullaby Players in Spotify… you’ll even find some Beyonce, Oasis and Bob Marley.  To all the new moms out there – or just those of you looking for a nice way to relax at the end of the day – take a listen.  I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

Yawnfest 2013

by Lauren Kay Weber

Newborn Photos

(c) Weber Photography 2013

Newborn Photos

(c) Weber Photography 2013

Newborn Photo

(c) Weber Photography 2013

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cake

by Lauren Kay Weber

I’ve done a lot of what my father would call “putzing around” lately.  I’ve healed really quickly from the childbirth.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve been taking it so easy has helped me heal quickly.  I’ve really only left the house for little excursions that are significant and that are either medically necessary or make me feel like my life isn’t quite so disparate from my previous non-babied life.  One of those normalizing excursions was going to my favorite farmer’s market in Provo this past Thursday.

The farmer’s markets here in Utah are finally, finally filling up with produce instead of crafts. I really love Utah in August for just this reason. Josh, Asher and I strolled through the market, trying to find the vendors who had the best deals on our lusted-after favorites:  beets, zucchini, tomatoes, plums. And for the second week in a row, we were able to score massive zucchinis – literally the size of my child – for 75 cents apiece. 

What. 

So, my in-laws are notorious for having super sweet tooths. Like, eat toffee as an appetizer for fudge kind of a sweet tooth. No judgment here. But still, that’s not exactly how we roll chez Weber.  Sure, Josh has some ice cream in the freezer, but it’s really rare that an ice cream dessert turns into warm-brownie-with-ice-cream-and-hot-fudge these days.  

Hence, triple chocolate zucchini cake. 

Triple Chocolate Cake with Easy, Easy, Easy Ganache

Zucchini is definitely the star of the dish in that it composes about half the batter and it keeps this cake so moist, even days later. 

Triple Chocolate Cake with Easy, Easy, Easy Ganache

And the triple chocolate?  What’s that about?  How about a Dutch process cocoa batter, dotted with Hershey’s Special Dark  chocolate chunks (chopped up by yours truly for perfectly over-sized chunks) and then topped with the easiest, dark chocolate-iest ganache you ever will see?  Oh yeah, I went there. 

The result is a slightly dense, but also incredibly fluffy cake flecked with melts chocolate hot spots and a not-too-sweet take on chocolate cake. 

Triple Chocolate Cake with Easy, Easy, Easy Ganache

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Easy Ganache
cake recipe adapted from zucchini bread recipe found here

CAKE

2 eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Morena sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed to remove some but not all of the water
1 1/2 cups hand chopped dark chocolate bits

GANACHE

1 tub of Duncan Hines frosting starter
2 cups unsweetened baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ round cake pan dusted with granulated sugar to ensure easy release of the cake.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (if available), beat eggs, syrup, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Incorporate salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and flour. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chunks.  Your batter should go from slightly thick and pasty to a much wetter batter that pours easily.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 65 minutes, until the surface, when press lightly, springs back. 
Cool completely before pouring the ganache over the surface.

For the ganache, scoop the entire contents of the frosting starter into a sauce pan. Turn the burner on medium low. Stir in milk and vanilla extract. As that mixture heats up and smooths out, slowly whisk in cocoa powder. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over the cake. The final consistency of the ganache should somewhere between a liquid and a solid.

Getting Back on My Feet

by Lauren Kay Weber

Alright.  After having little Asher, I’ve been slowly adding things to my day and I finally feel on top of the house/the baby/the marriage/life enough to justify redevoting time and energy to this here blog.  I have lots in store for you… thoughts on motherhood, Asher’s birth story, a new recipe (Josh is currently enjoying the prototype), updates to the baby hammock DIY, oodles of new projects in the Pin to Post series, and more.  Oh, and I’m sure that there will be lots of pictures of the baby man… because I’m that mom.

Until tomorrow, I’ll leave you with this, a funny outtake from this week’s photoshoot with our little mister.

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

Bath Time

by Lauren Kay Weber

So, until I regain my brain capacity, this blog is going to consist mainly of pictures.  Of this little one and the wonderful man that helped me make him.

Newborn's First Bath

(c) Weber Photography 2013

Newborn's First Bath

(c) Weber Photography 2013

 

Newborn's First Bath

(c) Weber Photography 2013

Eye Candy At Its Finest

by Lauren Kay Weber

You guys.  I have a big problem.  You see, I have a baby.  And I have a camera.  This has resulted in nearly a thousand images in Asher’s 9 days in this world.  It’s gonna take a major intervention to get me to stop.

Until then, here are a few of my favorites.

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013

(c) Weber Photography 2013