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"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. 


Kid Life 365 {Week Eighteen}

I'll warn you, week eighteen was not my best effort. I was digging around in Aperture and discovered maybe two days worth of photos taken with my DSLR. The rest is cobbled together with iPhone pictures, and I **MAY** have adjusted the metadata on a couple of photos, but I'll never tell. Whatever. Real life. May is kinda a hard month. Something about the way the planet is turned, and the angle of the sun, I reckon. Anyway! Here we go.

::One hundred and thirty-two::  This doctor's kit is probably one of our top three toy purchase ever ever ever.

::One hundred and thirty-three:: Shenanigans on my bed is basically how we end up passing every afternoon. We're getting so real giggles from Hugo, and to no one's surprise, Stella can elicit the best ones.

::One hundred and thrity-four:: Hugo M. Bear post nap. This little guy loves a good blanket. Preferably pulled over his face, which, you know, safety.

::One hundred and thirty-five:: Bedtime cuddles.

::One hundred and thirty-six:: Stella often begs to eat dinner "at da smawl table". So, sometimes when I'm feeling particularly obliging, or perhaps particularly relaxed care of a glass of wine, I acquiesce. And here, dinner, small table, etch-a-sketch. 

::One hundred and thirty-seven:: I love this photograph. It's not in focus (duh), but the feeling it evokes, I guess? Perfectly imperfect?

::One hundred and thirty-eight:: Um, guess who's full on reaching and grabbing? Good bye quiet dinners. You were nice while you lasted.

Linking up with Em for Weekly Stills, which is a pretty fun thing to do if you want to join. 



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

Stella: I love that little tummy peaking out from under her rashie. Looks like this growing girl needs a swimsuit upgrade.

Hugo: He loves this beanbag chair. Last night I plopped him down here for just a second while I drained a pot of pasta, and I came back to a sleeping baby.


Isn't his little soother (pacifier / dummy / binky) face adorable? I considered posting an other picture with an unfettered face, because a paci-face does not, perhaps, conform to conventional norms of portraiture and image-making. But this is real life, right? With these pictures I take, I try to illustrate the sweet pacific moments of young childhood, but also the messy, the idyllic, the unremarkable, the chaotic, the exuberant and the tedious, because it's all part of the picture, right?

Also real life, I didn't get to comment on many 52 posts last week. It's always on my to-do list, but I always go to bed without it done. I have high hopes for next week, though!

Linking up with Jodi and Living Arrows


Shaking Hands in Indonesia {Friday Faves}

Sometimes, on occasions delightful and uncommon, I sneak away for a few hours and sit in a cafe with my book or my computer. 

Regardless of whether I’m producing words or consuming them, I spend a lot of time looking up, stealing glimpses of life going on around me. I watching people working, catching up, chatting, meditating with a coffee, and discussing million dollar business on a Tuesday morning. I love watching the comings and goings of the advantaged of this vast and diverse city.

One of my favourite things to observe is the way people in Java greet each other. Two people meet, they catch eyes, smile softly, and offer each other a hand to shake. Each then touches his right hand to his chest, welcoming the other’s greeting into his heart.

This greeting, it’s like an acknowledge of the unmistakable beauty in each of us, and it makes my heart swell each time I witness it. It's one of many beautiful gestures of kindness I've witnessed since moving here.


So, now tell me something you love about where you live.


Ten on Ten

I'm becoming more and more wedded to the idea of memory keeping. As Stella grows further away from babyhood it becomes increasingly apparent that those moments which felt so vital and central to my being, those "I'll remember this forever and for always" times that seemed as though seared into my brain, fade with time until I can hardly remember how old she was when she started laughing or how we passed the long afternoons together when she was not yet sitting, and still a little colicky.  

I love the idea of a Ten on Ten, a little visual peak into our day. I love the idea of looking back on these pictures four years from now and remembering the rhythm of our days, what it felt like to spend my time with these two little people on a June day when Stella was newly four years old and Hugo was just four months old. 

Inspired by Ronnie, her love of memory keeping, and and this great project, I'd like to put these pictures together in a book, with stories of our days and months, what our seasons looked like, and how it felt to live here, a young family together in Indonesia. 

And, um, apropos of nothing, I'm realizing how difficult it is, really, to take pictures of an infant when he's either in my arms, or tucked into his crib, and we alreay have a million sleeping Hugo pictures, so, sorry Second Child Syndrom? 

::One:: Brushing teeth, with a late start this the morning. And actually, it was about nine o'clock before I remebered that was ten on ten day.

::Two:: I'm undergoing a major closet re-org. Out with most, in with freshly dry-cleaned duds.

::Three:: A trip to the grocery store where Stella likes to "measure" the fruit "by my own". So, OKAY!

::Four:: I've started mandatory after lunch story time as a time to relax together and ensure we get our reading time in each day. So far it's going well. 

::Five:: An unexpected rain storm put the kibosh on our plans for a pool afternoon.

::Six:: Instead we played in the corridoor with the neighbour boy.

::Seven:: And then the sun came out after all. For a brief moment. It was thunder major time right after this.

::Eight:: Oh hi, Hugo. Sorry you have no photos.

::Nine:: Dinner in the day's last light.

::Ten:: With both kids asleep, it's time for me to eat dinner, do a little computer stuff. 

::BONUS!:: And head to bed too. GOODNIGHT! 

Happy Tenth!

Linking up here