4 years

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Dear Mika,

It feels like there are so many less big milestones and more just like a fine-tuning of your understanding of the world. And it is so delightful to witness and such a pleasure to be your mama.

Pink is your favorite color, but closely followed by all the rest. You can count to about 30 and somehow totally understand your left and right (thanks opa).

Getting messy and dirty is your thing. you need to dig in the dirt or paint with your hands. You have started to really want to dress yourself every morning and we cannot have any part of it. You carefully curate your multi-layered outfits and love to explain all your choices.

You can read simple words like Mama and Papa and Mom and Dad and Bob and Cat and Dog. And it is my favorite when you shout out letters or words you notice as we are driving. Or when you say ‘hey mama, those things make the letter X’. You know how to write all the letters of the alphabet and first thing in the morning you love to work hard at writing various things.

We still read at least 10 books a day and every night you ask me for a story in the dark and so I make up a new story each night about a little mouse called Chewy. I love hearing your questions and ideas and how they evolve to become more and more thoughtful every day.

You will eat most things just a little bit but always says yes to (besides the obvious sweet treats): oats with maple syrup, toast with honey, edamame, tortilla with avocado & yeast, pasta, snap peas and carrots.

You sleep in your bed until 3am and then you crawl into bed with us and it is definitely my favorite thing in the whole world to feel your little arms around me. And the way you say ‘mama? i love you’ can make any day so much better.

And we had thought maybe we would have a party at our house this year but THANK GOODNESS you insisted that your birthday parties must always be at the truck park. We only forgot the piƱata this year, but other than that we got everything right – donuts, cake, chocolate (almond) milk, balloons and friends.

Here’s a video for you to enjoy (over and over and over) until your next birthday and then some more.

Sweet girl, we love you so so much.

(one year ago)

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These two

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No words. Just these two…

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4 months and nearly 4 years

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Tonight I made this for dinner and it was so good that I found myself doing that thing where I’m cleaning up and putting the leftovers away in the fridge and I think ‘oh i’ll just have one more bite’ and before long I’ve basically eaten another entire serving. #breastfeeding (or just #life)

Teo is 4 months old now. His thighs are little bit chubbier – he weighed 11.7 pounds(!!) at his 4 month checkup. His hair is still crazy long and falling out extremely slowly. When he isn’t hungry or tired, he is the smiliest baby I’ve ever met. He smiles with his whole face and sometimes he’ll even laugh. It is so crazy cute. He looks around with these big brown eyes that make you certain he knows it all already.

Mika is nearly 4 years old. And with so much going on right now (sleepless nights! new baby brother! nearly 4!) it’s very hard to pinpoint the source of our roller-coaster weeks, but it’s most likely the mix of everything anyway. The hardest days are when I’ve had less than 3 hours sleep and when Teo is having a rough time day-sleeping too and then M wants (read: demands) me to be her (very proactive) playmate for her make-believe games and then so I sort of half-ass it a bit to make her happy and then I serve her the dinner that I miraculously managed to make and she looks at it and says ‘nooooo i want toast with honey’ and the only way to stop myself throwing her out of the house is to put on my crazy high-pitched mika-mocking voice and say to her ‘noooo i want toast with honey’ until we are both sort of crying and sort of laughing and then i wonder if i am really fucking this/her all up.

But then she puts her little hand under my chin (yes UNDER MY CHIN) and says ‘mama, are you happy?’ and i think YES i am so unbelievably happy. Sure I wish i could sleep more and I wish she would eat more but most of the time i am really truly so stupidly happy. And she says ’cause if you’re sad then I’m sad too’ and i squeeze her and tell her I love her so much and she says ‘mama, is it cause i have a unicorn on my drink bottle?’ Ohh you got me Mika, yes, that is why I love you. Because of your unicorn on your drink bottle. And all the other silly reasons that are impossible to explain. (including how you choose a tutu to play in the dirt)

4 months in and she still loves her baby brother in a way that floors me. Early days still, obviously, but I’ll take it and marvel at it all the same. I wish I could film every little interaction she has with him, because so much of the sweetness is so subtle that it’s hard to explain. Sure she hugs him, gives him his pacifier when he’s crying, reminds us to take him out of the car (true story) and is extra gentle with him. But she also notices little things that he does, talks to him, coos over how cute his tiny clothes are, calls me to ‘come quickly! baby is doing something really cute!’ and will usually sit herself up and sleep with her head on my shoulder while i’m night-nursing.

So we don’t sleep very much. And each day has its challenges. But as stupid and cheesy as it sounds, I generally just feel thankful for it all. I just was speaking with a friend who is in a kinda stressful situation right now but she sounded totally great and she was like ‘yeah, I guess it’s maybe cause I want to be here right now and so I sort of embrace the hardness of it all.’ Which totally feels like where I am right now. Tired, exhausted, brain-dead…but happy. (Or maybe just riding the breast-feeding high, but i’ll take it).

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Family Photographer in Auckland

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So I am very very excited because i will be coming to NZ to photograph the wedding of a super gorgeous couple in January. The tickets were booked pre-Teo’s arrival and now that he is here and I am able to think a little more clearly, I realised that I actually want to extend my stay a wee bit in NZ and make the most out of the NZ summer.

I would love to take some photos for some families while I am back, and as I will be extending my trip I will have a few days available to do so. If you are interested, please get in touch ASAP (book before Jan 5th and get a discount) through my website

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xmas 2014

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We ate lentil loaf and salad and I would have gone to bed feeling great if it hadn’t been for the chocolate and chocolate and chocolate consumed after dinner. All four of us played Catan. Dad and I finished some cryptic crosswords. I went running in my new leggings. We walked to Starbucks on Xmas day. I’d claim this is the first time it’s happened, but actually it has happened once before in 2007 in Vancouver, BC. We walked around the lake. We drank hot cocoa and ate vegan donuts. We drove to Mukilteo and had a real Xmas dinner with friends and their family. My mum and I went to my local yoga studio on Xmas eve and Mika and I slept in on Xmas morning. For brunch Ivan made everyone tofu scramble with beans and hashbrowns. Having my mum and dad here felt like the best xmas present ever.

I took some photos, but definitely not enough. And I have the same song in my head as last year.

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