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Thursday
Apr242014

Kid Life 365 {Week Twelve} 

 

Ninety // Obviously this kid too tired to eat dinner, but nap? Go to bed? Sleep through the night. No dice.

Ninety-one // "Helping" her brother to "sleep." 

Ninety-two // Hugo fell asleep as I was prepping for a diaper change, so I went with it. 

Ninety-three // I continue to marvel and rejoice at the fact that most nights it takes no more than ten minutes to get this kid off to milky dreams.

Ninety-four // We've got new across-the-hall neighbours. They've become insta-built-in-best-friends with Stella and Baby Hugo. There's been a lot of role play, dressing up games, and all sorts of generalized adorable toddler chicanery going on in these parts. Including superhero costumes at dinner. Which, while not strictly appropriate for restaurant, is kind of the greatest. And, let's be honest, Bob the Builder has never looked this good, no? 

Ninety-five // Wiped out after a full Saturday of playing, which was capped off with an evening swim.

Ninety-six // Quiet train building with Papi. 

Wednesday
Apr232014

Kid Life 365 {Week Eleven}

 

Eighty-four // This dual nap was a rare success and deserved documentation. If I recall, I dozed along side them making it a triple nap and basically parenting nirvana.

Eighty-five // Hugo M. Bear sometimes sits in his chair on the table which is super illegal, but also kind of convienent for dinner eating purposes. 

Eighty-six // THESE TWO!!!! GAH! I AM SO INCAPABLE OF EVEN...

Eighty-seven // So here's a little tidbit for you, I imagined cooking dinner with two small humans to be really a suboptimal experience. Turns out, it's just fine. Also, we cook dinner in our bathers because, duh, tropics.

Eighty-eight // Hugo M. Bear is enjoying some pool-side lounge time after a four-hour long Satruday buffet brunch with his first baby friend who is four weeks older than him. He gorged himself on the milk bar, obviously.

Eighty-nine // Again with that illegal baby chair / table combo. But he coos at chandelier, so, worth it?

 

Sunday
Apr202014

16/52

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

Stella: Was sick this week. Again. But that didn't stop her from swiping my glasses, silly bunny.

Hugo: Continues to be the apple of his sister's eye. And, okay, of his mother's too. 

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A few favourites from last week include this beautiful girl; sweet little Lucy who keeps popping in my favourites; Maya, who is the perfect combination of sweet and cheeky; and Conner in the most lovely evening light.  

Thanks to Jodi for hosting this weekly linkup. 

Friday
Apr182014

What's Your Mum Talent? 

We went to playgroup at my friend's house this week, Stella, Hugo and I. When we arrived, the children scattered, while the mums sat around the dining room table, admiring the Easter cookies decorated in muted shades and trimmed with the most delicate icing. The room was dressed in its Easter finest; seasonal pillows, an Easter tree; a bowl of hand painted eggs. It was lovely, a cultural beacon offering up remembrances of springs long ago when snow melted, crocuses pushed through the dirt, and families came round. 

I thought, then, of my own house: no freshly baked cookies; seasonal ornaments still packed away in the storage room upstairs; no pastel springtime craft; no bonnets, no baskets, no cotton ball bunnies.

In my imagination, however, I had crafted and baked and educated my children about the cultural and religious significance of the holiday. In my imagination there were hot cross buns, hand dyed eggs, and Easter dresses. 

But in reality, it’s Good Friday, and I have done exactly none of the above. Instead of searching Pinterest for preschooler craft ideas, I’ve been passing my days at once incredibly busy, and unbelievably idle, running around Jakarta and lazing on the beanbag chair with my three-year-old.

And this year, for once, I’m glad of that. 

It’s not my lot in life to be a maker of cotton ball crafts, a baker of seasonal treats, or a festooner of mantels. Nor am I the kind of mum who always has a change of clothes, a pack of wet wipes, and a well-balanced snack at the ready. Instead, you’ll find old receipts and loose change from three countries ago rattling around the bottom of my diaper bag (whether or not I actually have a diaper in there is questionable). I won’t be on time for playgroup, I have no idea when my daughter’s school breaks for Easter Holiday, and don’t ask me which vaccines she’s had, because damned if I know. I’m not crafty, bakerly, or particularly organised. That’s just not where my skills, interests or, frankly, talents lie. 

Instead, I hop on a train in a developing country, dragging along my pre-schooler and my one-month-old baby. I traverse unworkable sidewalks with a kid under each arm. I hail taxis, take public busses, and occasionally, hop on the back of a three-wheeled tuk-tuk. I travel down the coast of China with only my one-year-old as company. I fly across the oceans alone with my girl more times than I can count on two hands. I’ve backpacked with my two-year-old, missed a train and instead caught a bus of questionable road worthiness on the side of the road in the back of beyond Central Java, with minimal fret or upset. I’m a mum who’s not afraid to open the front door and get right out into our wild and wonderful world, with my kids along for the ride. 

I've started to think that every mum has a set of skills and talents that that shape her children’s childhoods. Some mums create magical holidays; some are expert memory keepers; some make artful pictures of their children; some create birthday treasures out of thin air; some are unbelievable crafters; some make beautifully healthful family meals; some create engaging educational activities. And me? My mum talent getting out there, traveling, seeing, and doing together with my kids.

So this Easter, we don’t have decorated eggs or actually any easter eggs to speak of now that I think of it. But I’m not going to feel fault for that. I am not going to wish pastel garlands or spring wreaths. Instead, I’ll organise a haphazard easter egg hunt (random Indonesian candies instead of eggs, okay!)  and hold close those memories of taking Hugo on his first train jouney at eight weeks old. And that’s just the way it is, and, actually, the way I like it. 

 

Now how ‘bout you? What’s your mum talent? And how are you embracing it?

Tuesday
Apr152014

Kid Life 365 {Week Ten}

 

Seventy-six // He fell asleep by himself. In his crib. Which continues to blow my mind, and warrant photographic evidence. (Also, ummmm, I forgot to take pictures until they were asleep because I had my wisdom teeth out, so full disclosure.)

Seventy-seven // Entranced by the magical glow of the iPad while on holiday in Bandung. 

Seventy-eight // Enjoying a pastel at the floating markets in Lembang. This girl packed away two of these things!

Seventy-nine // Posing on the top of Tangkuban Perahu. You can hardly ask this girl to stand before some significant tourist attraction and smile for the camera without a flash of the peace sign. It's basically her Asian birthright. 

Eighty // Nanny cuddles on a train ride back from Bandung.

Eighty-two // Nanny left today. 

Eighty-three // Papi bought her nail polish and I painted her nails. 

+++

This collection is a little bit "The Stella Show", isn't it? It's funny, though because I remember this week being particularly challenging. Defiance driven by a riptide of difficult emotions coloured this tenth week of the year. But still, even amidst the perplexities of raising a three-year-old, my camera always turns to her, seeking the loveliness that is always there. 

Saturday
Apr122014

Two Months

I might just be the only person on the face of this blogosphere who sees fit to write a novel-length treatise on the achievements (yes! achievements!) of her infant, but there you have it. Brevity is not my forte. Nor is timeliness. Here’s Hugo M. Bear’s Two Month Update coming at you, twelve fifteen days late! 

 

Hugo Two Months

 

Growing :: Two months and eleven fifteen days (though these pictures were taken a few days before he turned two months because I really am the best at organisation and being on time.)

Just before he turned two months old, this baby bear was clocking in at 6 kg, or 13.2 lbs. Which puts him at more than six KG now. Accuracy! People keep commenting on how big Hugo is, but I don’t see it; Stella was bigger at this age, I’m pretty sure. A little googling around tells me that baby boy is on the big side of average, but by no means gigantic. He does have gigantic feet however, so.

 

Learning :: Hands! Legs! Laughter? Possibly maybe rolling over, though I’m not convinced.

Hugo’s discovered hands. HAAAAAANDS! They’re great for licking. Particularly that index knuckle. Yes.  Also, I swear that he’s trying to use his meaty baby fists to guide his soother into his mouth, or bat it away, whichever the situation requires.

He’s started bearing little weight on his legs, and loves nothing better than doing some squats, and receiving cheers from his over-enthusiastic mother. 

Annnnnd, laughing? Sort of? A few uncoordinated chortles may or may not have bubbled forth. And OF COURSE he’s saved them expressly for his sister. 

Also speaking of laughter…can we talk about sleep laughter for a second? Because OMG my favourite. That is all. 

Okay, so twice now, Hugo has been seen to roll over from his back to his tummy. Both times were on my bed, and I *think* assisted by a slight depression in the mattress caused by my not insignificant mass beside him. I’m not ready to declare this official Rolling Achievement Unlocked, because mah baybeeeee etc, and also movement, not ready for that, but, uuuummmmm, yeah. 

 

Mastering :: Smiles, Coos, General Adorableness

Oh, attachment promoting behaviours, you really are the best! Those gummy smiles, the ooooohhhhs and aaaaagahhhs and aaaaagooos that are coming out of this kid’s mouth and warming my heart. 

 

Eating :: Milk. In an unremarkable and totally typical baby way. 

 

Sleeping :: Like a two month old! 

Which is to say, he’s dropped his first feeding! Which is to say there’s hope! Which is to say, infinitely better than a certain other baby used to! He goes down to bed by seven without fail, and then wakes at 11 to eat, and every two hours thereafter. 

He naps ever two hours during the day, for about 45 minutes or an hour. Longer, if he’s koala-ed to me. 

The only wrench in the works is the occasional case of super sonic burps and rocket farts. They really have a way of interfering with a good night’s rest.

 

Enjoying :: Siblings

So, I knew going into this parent-of-two deal, that one of the things I’d love the most is seeing my kids develop their own little world, apart from me. And, guys, it really like, really, the greatest. Stella loves this boy. She’s doing her best to engage in playtime with him, and while his interactions are limited to the occasional gummy smile and gentle coo, she’s quite happy to set up imaginary school scenes and teach her brother the alphabet, and serve him invisible snacks. He’s a pretty compliant student, let me assure you.

 

Loving :: The Big Kids

Now that he’s getting a bit more robust and more aware of his surroundings, he’s keen to dress up as Spiderman and join in with the big kids, (Stella and the boys from across the hall) tearing down the hallway and generally running riot all over our building. 

Other favourites of note include bottom pats while seated in his bouncy chair; his soother; anything with high-contrast lines; cuddles; sleeping in his Ergo carrier; sleeping on me; being a koala; and…television (!!!!) (I left Hugo in his chair while I did the dishes and wondered why he was so agreeable to being abandoned for so long, only to discover that his sister had ever so generously set up the iPad for him to watch, our moratorium on screen time for babies, notwithstanding.) 

 

Loathing :: 

The BCG vaccine. Which, I’m pretty sure he hated even more than Hep B. Holy moly. Being tired. Rocket farts. Supersonic burps. These are about the only thing worth crying over, if you’re Hugo M. Bear.

 

 Inspired by Jordan and her accounts of the lovely Baby Berlin

Saturday
Apr122014

15/52

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

 

Stella: Loves making her brother smile. 

Hugo: Loves smiling at his sister. 

 

Can you tell I'm just beyond entranced by this developing relationship?

Speaking of sibs, here are some of my favourits from last week: A new one! Oh, newborns. I can't believe I'm already nostalgic for Hugo's newborn days. And here's some sibs in the snow. It's weird to see snow from this tropical vantage point. And a big one entertaining a little one. I love this sort of thing. 

Linking up with Jodi