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Sunday
May252014

21/52

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

Stella: Watching the chaos below on car-free Sunday with messy hair straight from bed.

Hugo: Tiny toes poking out from under the blanket while he naps on my bed.

It's the little details that I'm focusing on this week, how Stella's hair is always gorgeous tussled mess in the mornings after spending all night twirling it into knots. How Hugo falls into an immediate and deep sleep, the moment he spits out his soother. How Stella is growing bigger and bigger, and has just stopped saying "It's Car Free Everyday!" and now just says "Car Free Day." How Hugo is growing bigger too, and doesn't shout after his sneezes any more. Little things like this are worth remembering. 

Linking up with Jodi

 

Wednesday
May212014

Everything and Nothing


I used to steal moments of time, curled up in bed with my laptop while Stella was at school. I used to find pockets of time tucked away between the children’s bedtime and mine. I used to come to my computer in the quiet of the evening or the softness of the late morning, and write. 

 

Now these moments are spent doing everything and nothing. I’m tickling toes, wiping tears, and changing diapers. I’m cleaning out the pantry, in an endless campaign to keep the weevils at bay. I’m running to this embassy or that office, filling out paperwork, determining the correct person to whom I must make the right payment. There’s school drop-off, playgroup, groceries, and in between “Hi we’re here to fix that drain, mend that shelf, and pest control is here too, and oh, you had plans? Well we’re here and we must do it now now now!”

 

And now I’m shouting at my kid, now cuddling on the bed, now praying that nap time will run five more minutes, so I can just finish this one last thing. Then I’m spinning in the kitchen wondering exactly what I’ll make for dinner, and yes, sweetheart, I’ll play ‘estaurant-‘estaurant with you in just a sec, I just need to put these dishes away, and cook the veggies, oh wait, and change that diaper, and answer this text, and just sec just sec just sec, until bedtime. 

 

There are days that are placid, and I uncover a hidden handful of minutes, but then I’m in the living room holding on to the baby with my every and my all, for fear that letting go of him will let everything around me tumble to pieces.

 

I haven’t been finding those moments to write, or put away the laundry, or finally dig my desk out from the piles of paper that gather there before the light has gone too grey, and dinner is on our faces, and bedtime lurks just around the corner.  

 

I want to find my way back here, and tend to these words on my screen, these pictures in my archives. I want to carve out a few moments of ‘estaurant-‘estaurant (yes, I’ll have a cup of tea and an imaginary nasi goreng,). I want to return to giving high fives to my internet friends. I want to practice my craft, and write down my days, and remember what life was like the Spring after Hugo was born, when the light cast golden stains on our walls each day at 4:38 pm and when life was so full of everything and nothing, and amidst the chaos, I’m standing in the living room holding the baby as the day’s last sun spills into our tiny home.

 

Sunday
May182014

20/52

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

Stella: This week she's been all about the pool. Her confidence is growing, and she can finally really get her facewet, and can leap* off the edge into her Papi's arms.

Hugo: Mostly I see him like this: the top of his head as he faces out on my lap, examining the world around him. I always feel like he looks strange when I see him in someone else's arms, it's such an unfamiliar sight.

*When I say "leap" I mean more sit on the edge and sort of jump tentatively, as long as Papi isn't too far away. This child is nothing if not sensible and totally cautious.

 

+++

Technically, this isn't from last week, but two weeks ago, still, one of my favourite bloggers, Ronnie, is joining in with the 52 project. She's a real source of inspiration, and an expert at memory keeping. I encourage you to go have a look. 

Joining up with Jodi.

Thursday
May152014

Kid Life 365 {Week Fourteen}

::One hundred and four:: These two! 

::One hundred and five:: She's singing selamat ulang tahun to her brother, which is Indonesian for Happy Birthday. Pretty sure she's mid "tahun" here. My goodness, this kid!!!

::One Hundred and six:: Oh look at that, I forgot to take pictures during the day, snoozing babes it is. Though I don't think it's really a bad thing, because tiny arms flung above a gigantic head? There's nothing better.

::One hundred and seven:: Hugo M. Bear's first ride in the big-kid stroller. Though was swiftly dethroned by his sister who was feeling pretty poorly so we'll forgive her.

::One hundred and eight:: Poor Stella was pretty sick, she missed a great Good Friday celebration with her favourite people. She was so sick she couldn't even muster the energy to play, so we watched iPad in the hallway as a tonic for cabin fever.

::One hundred and nine:: Hugo M. Bear looks skeptical of our lazy Saturday screen media binge.

::One hundred and ten:: Easter egg hunting on the lawn. Pro tip: if you live in a tropical paradise, freeze your Easter eggs pre-hunt and they'll stand up to that blazing sun. Australians taught me this, because, well, duh.

Tuesday
May132014

Overwhelming. Beautiful.

I was dragging my big kid around the grocery store on my back. My 15 KG weeks-away-from-four-years-old big kid in the Ergo carrier. She was screaming at the top of her lungs “I WANT BREAD!!!!!” because I wouldn’t buy white bread for the sandwiches that we don’t even eat. 

 

All this was was after she threw herself on the ground next to the tomatoes, pounding the floor tiles with her feet. This was after I put her back in the stroller for the fourth time. After I told her for the eighteenth time, I know you’re upset and angry, but in our family we don’t eat white bread. After I got a staredown from several passers by. After a man in a business suit scowled at us. After I wondered how I was going to manage how I would get everyone home, but we really needed milk, so ugh, soldier on.

 

I picked her up, swung her onto my back, clicked on the Ergo closed, and pressed on. I pushed the stroller, dragged the basket, lugged the diaper bag, and got the groceries. BREAD!!! I WANT BREAD!!!!!

 

And then next to the cookies, I burst out laughing. Because what else was there to do, really? My very big kid, streaming with snot, strapped on my back, hollering at the top of her lungs about bread. Me balancing a basket and a diaper bag, pushing a stroller, while the infant sat, oblivious to the mayhem behind him, contentedly playing with his blanket. 

 

I laughed because this is just real life. You can dress it up in pretty pictures and perfect outfits, but still. Kids lose their shit in the vegetable aisle next to the tomatoes. Parents try to hold it together, sweating through their shirts while they lug around a child, to big really to be luged anywhere. Parents lose it too, collapsing in a fit of anxious giggles, or frustrated tears, watching in as words they thought they’d never say tumble out of their mouths, “Would you just give me five minutes of peace, PLEASE!” after a stream of mummy?! mummy?! mummy?! x infinity for two hours., and my god I just need to hang up this laundry and buy a carton of milk, and when exactly is bedtime?

 

And then thirty minutes later you’re browning butter and making cookies. Tracking down a bed sheet to build a fort, mummy!? mummy?! mummy?! aaaaarrrrrrhhhhhhhh!!! cuddling and then reading a book and then shouting JUST PUT THE TOYS AWAY NOW, PLEASE and then sticking a band-aid on a stubbed toe, wiping away tears, and I know baby, it hurts, I’m here, then brushing teeth and ready for bed.

 

That’s what real life looks like these days. Messy and overwhelming in beauty and frustration, and constant need of something, mummy?! mummy?! mummy!? Can I tewl you someting, mummy?! . 

 

A few weeks ago we did a family photo shoot. My friend Becks came round one morning and captured our real life; messy hair, crying babies, stray coffee cups and all.  I love the pictures she made because they speak of how we really live. They show our kid glued to the iPad, breakfast eaten crosslegged on the floor, the paints on the table, the pompom on the couch, the kid who wasn’t in the mood to pose for pictures, or brush her hair, the half-closed eyes, the faces not quite turned to the camera. It’s the beautiful imprecations, the overwhelming gorgeous real life we live. 

My friend sent them to me this evening, and they came on the right day, after the screaming and the snot and the sore back and the constant movement and ever present need, and the cookies, and books, blanket forts and stubbed toes. I needed that reminder that the overwhelming is beautiful and it's all overwhelmingly beautiful. 

I’m so glad we took these pictures. They’ll stay with me and remind me of this time in life when Hugo was three months old and just had his injections, and Stella wanted to go on a picnic, but only wanted green peas and Easter chocolate, and I still had baby weight to lose, and everything was messy and real and so very perfect anyway. 

 

You can see the whole shoot here. And you probably should, beacuse, yowzers. 

Monday
May122014

10 on 10

I've noticed this Ten on Ten project pop up amongst the blogs I read, and thought this month I'd join in. Because, god knows, I need another photo project. I guess I just really love taking obnoxious pictures of my children? Alright, whatever, here we go. 

::1::

Early morning jumping on my bed. Though, if truth speaks, this can't really be THAT early, because she's dressed. so.

::2::

Putting her brother down for his morning nap. Or perhaps, waking him up. Yeah, that's more like it.

::3::

Folding laundry, putting away diapers.

::4::

Just back from a run. I'm really trying hard to lose the baby weight. 

::5::

I'm also trying hard to be virtuous. See large glass of water and the New Yorker. (Again, truth time, prolly was reading the iPad.)

::6::

Afternoon naps.

::7::

We took a quick trip to the mall for coffee and various other important things. Like frilly skirts.

::8::

See. She talked me into it. I couldn't say no.

::9::

Getting the boy ready for bed.

::10::

A little TV time before the girl heads off to bed. Here she is watching her first Disney movie. Planes. It was a big day.

Linking up with Rebekah for 10 on 10.

 

 

 

Monday
May122014

19/52

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

Stella: Having a built-in baby entertainer makes life infinatly easier.

Hugo: Who said dressing boys was boring? I'm having so much fun with this litle guy.

+++

Some favourits from last week include this depiction of baby- / toddlerhood that is so real life; two little boys blue; this cozy morning scene; and this golden girl, sun halo perfection. 

Linking up with Jodi. 

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