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"a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014."

Stella: An outdoor shower after swimming has been a great way to avoid regular battles surrounding hair washing. 

Hugo: He might just be giving up the third nap. 

I can hardly believe that it's been basically a week since I've posted. My goodness, where does time go? (Well, it goes towards playdates and bouncy houses and softplays and udon noodle dates and afternoons at the pool and lady dates with my girl and learning to cook Chinese food and evenings out and Ramadan and cranky children and sleepless nights and making ice cream and bouncing babies and trying to beat the traffic and celebrating the Forth of July and working on little projects. Yes. That is where time goes. 

Linking up with Jodi and Living Arrows



"a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014."

Stella: She's getting really good at swimming under water.

Hugo: He's getting really good at sitting up. Though here, he's more leaning than sitting. But trust me. Okay?


Big, joyful portraits this week. Hearty smiles, pride at accompishments. Rich tones. Lots of energy. That sums up our week pretty well. 

Favourites from last week include this beautiful example of light and shadow creating abstract beauty. 

Linking up with Jodi and Living Arrows.


Swimming in Jakarta {Friday Faves}

This post is a love letter. A love letter to my girl and a love letter to this time in my life, to where we live, and to watching her grow so brave and so big. 

I'll never stop being grateful for that auspicious alignment of the stars that lead us to Jakarta, to spend this time when our children are so young living here.




Kid Life 365 {Week Twenty} 

::One hundred and forty-six:: This kid has the best hair. Hands down. But she will not pose for a picture without shenanigans.

::One hundred and forty-seven:: It was her birthday. She turned four. She likes to wear an princess costume, but she still has dirty feet. Always.

::One hundred and forty-eight:: Wednesdays are playgroup days. Hugo is passed around from my arms to the arms of others whose babies have outgrown their hips. And I look at my boy in someone else's arms, and see just how quickly he's growing.

::One hundred and forty-nine:: I tired to do a mini three month shoot, but alas, I learned the hard way that it is really sub-optimal to photograph a baby when he's missed a nap. Look a those red eyebrows. A tell-tale sign that this bear is over tired.

::One hundred and fifty:: Fairy costumes and cooking on her doll-house which is imagined to be a flight attendant's trolley. AKA every afternoon in our house.

::One hundred and fifity-one:: He's using the big boy stroller. Yeah he is.

::One hundred and fifty-two:: Late afternoon swimming. Stella is getting pretty good at "sinking" (which is swimming under water to those of you not fluent in pre-schoolerish.)

Linking up with Em




"a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014."

Happy and sad portraits this week. When in actuality the emotional tone for the week was somewhat reversed.



Stella: We were running from playdate to playdate to birthday party to playdate. Being busy and engaged with other kids is when she's at her best.

Hugo: Had his four month injections this week, and oh boy was he ever sad. And then he was hit with a cold virus which disturbed his sleep and oh boy was I ever sad.



I found this floral print at the fabric market and though huh, yes, must photograph. I wanted to capture both kids against this backdrop, but poor Hugo was feeling poorly because of his four month injections, and then it was off to the tailor with this cloth to be made into (what I hope will be) the world's most bad-ass jumpsuit. Because jumpsuits are basically onsies for adults and I can really get behind a no-brains dressing. And no, for the record, florals and bad-assery are not mutually exclusive concepts, so jumpsuits 4 lyf.

I really enjoyed these stony beach portraits from last week. Workhouse blog is one of the great ones that I've been so glad to discover via this project.

Thanks, Jodi for hosting. And also a lovely new linkup with Living Arrows.



Kid Life 365 {Week Nineteen} 

Welcome to a iPhone picture-heavy catch up post. Only the best, most quality content on these here screens interwebular. In my defence, though, this is the week that I unlocked a new tropical living achievement level (amoebic dysentery! Huzzah!), so permissible? Question mark?

::One hundred and thirty-nine:: Stella's preschool did a little celebration for the children whose birthdays fall in May. It was pretty cute. Annnnd, they got double the singing and double the cake because one of the parents arrived late due to the famous Jakarta macet (traffic).

::One hundred and forty:: When he wakes up after a sleep, Hugo coos, and scratches at his sheet, or runs his fingers along the bars of his crib.

::One hundred and fourty-one:: He fell asleep on my bed. And you know how this story goes, baby toes, nom nom nom.

::One hundred and forty-two::He fell asleep in my arm. And, uh, gah, heartsplosion.

::One hundred and fourty-three:: This was the view from my sick bed. Stella spent a lot of time tending to me with her doctor's kit, dressed in her doctor's coat.

::One hundred and forty-four:: He also hung out with me while I tried to re-hydrate. Related: Pocari Sweat is a terrible name for a sports drink. 

::One hundred and forty-five:: Hugo M. Bear, the most handsome little resident of Jakarta. Clearly. 


Ondel-Ondel in Jakarta

We were walking home from Playgroup this evening, as the sun was sinking low behind us. Over the cacophony of the busy city street, the bajaj backfiring, and motorcycles gunning their engines, car horns, and street vendors, a rhythmic clanging began to filter into our headspace. We looked up, and there were two ondel-ondel lumbering towards us.


Ondel-ondel are traditional Betawi puppets who are said to protect the neighbourhood from calamities and the wrath evil spirits. They lurch and stumble around the kampung accompanied by musicians and a young man collecting coins and small bills from residents, a modest fee meted out for protection from misfortunes great and tiny. 


As we were walking our conversation tuned to spirits and superstitions, and I asked my friend, do all Indonesians believe in these things supernatural? Or are they just folk traditions of the past that lumber and lurch into modern, rational present? 


Her response was interesting, she said, “I can’t say we don’t believe in these things.”


She went on to tell me stories of ghosts, and spirits, curses and ancestors. She told me of an forebear of hers who was cursed by a neighbour, may you and your descendents never be able to die. And the descendant lived on, unable to die, until her skin rotted away, her body nothing but bone, and her lungs kept on pumping in and out beneath her naked rib cage. She said, trust me. I saw it. With my own eyes, right in front of me. I can’t say that I don’t believe.


Indonesia is a funny place. There are skyscrapers and busy highways, hipsters in horn-rimed glasses eating red velvet cake in a cafe with perfectly mismatched seating and exposed ceilings. There are multi-gazillionaires driving cars that cost more than I’ll likely ever earn in a year. Glittering malls, Western brands, Katy Perry blaring over the speakers in a traditional market with pot-holed streets where pedlars sell wax apples off the back of hand carts. There is all of this and still, you can see ondel-ondel lumbering down the main traffic artery of Jakarta, each and every Sunday, a sign that traditional culture is valued without conflict along side Katy Perry fans and urban hipsters on fixed-gear bicycles.