I saw this video a while ago, but figured I should put it up on here. It’s a story of how Nathan Oldfield dealt with an unimaginable loss. I’d rather not reduce the film to words, because anything I have to say will cheapen the whole project. At the very least, it has some great surfing and nice music.
I need another hobby like I need a stick in the eye, but I’ve been meaning to get my hands dirty and shape a surfboard. I have plenty of friends who shape, and have the equipment and knowledge to get me going. I’ve just never had the time. Well now that I really don’t have time, what better time than now.
As a father, my life revolves around keeping Olive alive. That sounds so brutal, but in a way it’s true. When I’m not with her, I’m at work in order to put a roof over her head and keep her fed. So I feel the time I take for myself is necessary to keep me sane so I can continue to work. As selfish as it sounds, I think personal hobby’s are helpful. If I go a couple weeks without surfing or riding my bike, I get pretty grumpy.
So, in short, I’m gonna shape a board. The plan is to get one board under my belt, then I’ll shape something for Olive. Stay tuned…
The first 6 months of Olive’s life are insanity. Schedules are non-existent, and you find time to breathe in between diapers, spit ups, baths and naps. But now that she’s almost 10 months old, we’re developing a routine. Jenn is still breast feeding, so she gets up in the night to feed. Olive is still getting up once or twice at night, so it’s pretty exhausting. But Jenn deals with it like a champ. So because of this, I get up with her at 5:30am for the day. Jenn can usually grab an extra hour of sleep, while I chill with Olive.
Olive gets all pumped for the morning routine. We get up, and she helps me open all the shutters. Then we turn on the espresso machine. By then she’s pretty awake, and I can change her diaper without too much fuss. Then we go to the tv room and turn on our DJ booth and farm animal board. Then we eat breakfast. Pretty exciting stuff.
Jenn spends all day with Olive while I’m at work, so by the time I get home, I’m back on duty. I feed her dinner (real food), then give her a bath. She loves having her hair and teeth brushed. Then it’s bed time.
Jenn goes to kickboxing on Saturday morning, so I grab Olive and take her down to the beach. We blab in the car, and listen to loud music. She gets a kick out of Crass and the new Kid Congo. I’ll drop her off with my mom for an hour, so Olive gets some Gramma Rosie time while I get in the water. Then we head home in time for mommy.
Work has been crazy lately, so once Olive’s in bed, I’m completely spent. But I’m just now starting to get back in the swing of blogging. I added some new work to my Photo Blog. Hopefully I’ll start shooting some more personal work too.
Every day is different with Olive. Just when we think she’s in a good place, and her sleep is working out, she flips a switch. I’d say the best way to describe parenthood is that it constantly changes. A couple months ago she started sleeping decently, then her teeth came in. Then she got a cold, which threw everything out of wack. Now 4 teeth are in, but she’s way too excited about the day to get a full nights sleep.
We (mostly Jenn) have been getting up every night around 1am to feed her. Olive will scream the worst scream ever, so we go in and check on her. Last week we tried just going in and consoling her for a minute, checking her diaper, then putting her down without feeding. Hoping to ween her off the midnight feeding. It worked, but she’d cry herself to sleep after about an hour. It was brutal.
We also noticed she was more irritable and grumpy throughout the day. Just not in a good mood. So we’re gonna go back to the 1 feeding at night, and hope she goes back to her happy little self. I can’t speak for Jenn, but I’ll lose 15 minutes of sleep if it means she’s in a better mood through the day.
Quick post. Sometimes if I can get Olive back to sleep at around 5:45am, I’ll run out to surf before work. I picked up a GoPro video camera, and brought it out with me one morning. It was a terrible, cold, windy, stormy morning and nobody was out. I shouldn’t have been out. But I made a little edit. I plan on making more, hopefully with better waves. But never with better music. Enjoy
We’ve come to the conclusion that Olive is an active baby. She’s hyper. She’s crazy. She needs constant attention, and must be moving at all times. When she’s on my lap, she wants to jump. When she’s sitting down, she starts jolting to stand up. She’s had enough of this baby business, and wants to start walking around and talking. It’s not a bad thing, because she’s still very happy. But trying to eat with her is no simple task.
I’ve also come to the realization that Olive changes daily. The last couple weeks have been draining. We finally quit the swaddle, and put up with 1 or 2 sleepless nights. She would sleep for about an hour, then startle herself. Then, out of the blue, she slept from 8:30pm till 5:00am. Then went back down till about 9:00am! A FULL NIGHTS SLEEP. Jenn and I both felt like new people. The trend didn’t stick, but she’s definitely getting the hang of sleeping without the swaddle. Also, that day she slept in, I was supposed to meet up with old friends to surf at 6:30am. Didn’t get to the beach until 9:30. Thanks Olive!
Since that day of sleep, she’s had good nights and bad nights. Never terrible, but she definitely doesn’t have this sleep thing down. I’ll rock her to sleep, put her down, and she’ll wiggle on her side. Sometimes she’ll wiggle too far and end up on her stomach, which she doesn’t like. So as soon as she gets the side or stomach thing comfortable, I think we’ll be in good shape.
I remember someone telling me that raising a kid is “the best second full time job you’ll ever have”. And he’s absolutely right. Every minute I’m home, I’m attending to Olive. I wake up, hang out with Olive while Jenn wolfs down breakfast, cram some food in my face and sometimes pull a shot of espresso, then head to work. At work I’m working, pretty much non-stop. Then when I get home it’s right back to it with Olive. Jenn has been with her all day, so she’s happy to hand her off to me and make some dinner. Sometimes I bathe her, and I always put her to sleep (which is no small task). So without the random dawn patrol surf, or sunset bike ride my day is jam packed. My days of fucking around on Digg or Fark are over.
But I couldn’t be happier. Olive started hopping around in her Johnnie Jump Up the other day. She is very antsy, and started pushing her legs up against my lap if I’m sitting. So we put her in the Jump Up at Jenns parents house. She swung around a little, but got the hang of bouncing pretty quickly. She’s gonna be quite the little pogo’er.
This morning we got an extra hour of sleep though, which was gold. Jenns mom Kathy is staying with us for a couple days, and when Olive was up at 6:30, Kathy volunteered to take her. Kathy stayed with us the first couple weeks after Olive was born. To help Jenn, cook and clean up. At first I was against the idea of having help. I wanted to be like the cavemen and do it all on our own. Jenn said “no way, I need help”. And every person I talked to said pretty much the same thing. Which was “if you can have help, take it”. After the first day I was singing a different tune. So to this day we take all the help we can get, from both sides of the family.
Yesterday was a rainy day. Rainy days used to be perfect for grilled cheese sammich’s, chocolate shakes and movies on the couch. But Olive had other plans. She’s been on an early morning schedule, so I got up around 6:30am to entertain. I plopped her on her little blanket and played with her and a noise making ball. Even when I’m half asleep, it’s pretty fun to watch her sit up on her own and figure out her balance. I still put Jenn’s Boppy around her waist in case gravity gets the best of her. It’s also funny to watch her whack at things. Usually she whacks at our dog, Sierra.
must touch puppy
Saturday was also a day Jenn planned on going out to LA for an art show with a friend. That left me alone with Olive for about 6 hours. Since I work all day during the week, Jenn is the one who can hang with Olive all day long by herself. It might not seem like such a big deal, but it is. Olive requires constant attention, except during her hour naps every 3 hours. So when she’s awake I’m constantly keeping her happy. I’ve perfected the “hold baby in one hand and pee with the other” move, and she’ll eat from a bottle, but it’s still not the same as having momma around. At about hour 6, she had enough. I was boring, my music was stupid, and I don’t have the magic boobies. Luckily, that’s right about when Jenn came home.
I promise to start uploading more pictures. And I’m gonna try to update the blog more regularly too.
I’ve never really had a problem getting up early. I grew up surfing and fishing bright and early, so I can function. When I was retouching in LA, I had to be there at 8am. So I got accustomed to getting up really early. It’s scary to think about how many mornings I drove 35 miles on auto pilot. Sometimes I’d take the train, but that got too expensive.
Since I moved back to southern California, I got bit by the surfing bug again. So if Olive is asleep at 6am and the waves are decent, I’ll get out in the water before work. I even got a new board shaped by my old friend Alrik Yuill.
Getting to sleep is another story. Olive won’t sleep without the swaddle. We wrap her up like a little burrito, and bounce her on the ball until she gives in. Sometimes it can take 5 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes. I used to sing and shush to her, but lately I’ve just bounced her on my knee until she burps, then put her in the swaddle and bounce a little more.
She works in waves though. One week she’ll sleep from 8pm till 6pm, then she’ll get into a cycle of waking up at midnight and 5am. And there’s nothing more frustrating than rocking a stubborn Olive back to sleep at 4am.
Here’s a video of her giggling, which makes it all worth while.
Actually, growing up isn’t so bad. I worked freelance for years, having the freedom to take days off when I felt like it. But, there’s no stability in that. With Jenn not working, and Olive getting bigger by the day, I needed something stable. When I first moved back to California, I picked up some work retouching at a large clothing company in LA. The work was plentiful, the pay was good, but the commute killed me. And they wouldn’t entertain the idea of fulltime employment. So I started looking elsewhere. I started picking up days shooting in the Ecomm studio at another big clothing company, but this time in Orange County. Much closer, much cooler, and much more fun. A couple months of freelancing turned into a full time job.
This month it will have been 3 months since I’ve been a full time employee, and I get health benefits now. I haven’t had health insurance in about 5 years. So it’s nice to know I’m moving in a more responsible direction.
The weird part is I’m working mostly in a studio. A lot of my work is environmental, so it’s kinda fun to mess around with still life. I still get the occasional outside lifestyle or fashion shoot, but for the most part it’s gray/white seamless and strobes.