Blog a la Cart

Category: Inspiration

13/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Sunny: We’ve been taking many family walks on the weekend to spend time all together and bask in the sunshine and fresh air. Sure, it’s muddy and the dogs get disgusting, but it’s always a highlight regardless. Sunny is desperate to learn how to skip a stone. Regular practice has commenced on our neighbor’s pond while the dogs, particularly Gladdy, swim with glee. (Also? Sunny looks like she could be 13 in this photo. She’s growing so so fast!)
Kaki: Speaking of growing too fast, Courtland had Kindergarten information night last week at the local elementary school. While she’ll be the youngest in her class, she is beyond ready. When she arrived home, she burst through the door with a bag filled with books and declared, “THAT WAS THE MOST FUN EVER!” Oh, she’s ready. (I don’t know if I am – how can she be a Kindergartener!?)
Sander: This isn’t really a portrait of Sander, but it sure is a portrait of the love his family feels for him. (My heart just about explodes witnessing James as a father of three. He was made for this role.)

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here

12/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Sunny: So. Very. Jazzed. Egg hunting is thebombdotcom.
Kaki: James and I were slow to get out of bed on Easter Sunday, given nights with a newborn. Courtland stood impatiently at the top of our stairs, catching glimpses of eggs hidden at the bottom, chanting, “I want to hunt. I want to hunt” until we pulled ourselves from our bedroom and let the egg hunt commence.
Sander: Our littlest bunny on his first Easter. 

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here

Sanderling // Two Weeks

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His second week of life will be remembered for six days of being holed up in my bedroom with a fever and a brewing case of mastitis.

The fever started last Sunday night, and despite a trip to the midwives on Monday, we couldn’t pin down its origin until late Thursday evening when a sore left breast finally broke out in extreme hot, red yuck. The fever kept me horizontal pretty much all week, so we slept and nursed and slept and nursed and sweat and slept and nursed and I pumped and pumped and pumped because the infected breast took a big hit supply-wise and Sander eventually refused to nurse on that side.

Fortunately, fever is now gone, infection is clearing, supply is on the rise, and nursing has resumed on both breasts, so we managed to make it out of the house this weekend for a brief trip to the local coffee shop. One day at a time. Step by step. I am wading my way through each thing being thrown my way and trying to not focus on the future or what comes next to keep my anxiety at bay.

Sander remains a stable, happy, healthy, comforting constant through it all.

The temperature dropped this weekend so we were able to dress him in this cozy bear bunting from my mother, who gifted it to us in the hopes that he’d come home from the hospital in it.

“I want that baby warm and snug!” she’d said.

But it was nearly 70 degrees the day we came home with him, so this weekend, we bundled him up and I held him close, and he indeed was warm and snug as his Momar wished.

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11/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Sunny: We’ve got some expert, willing baby-handlers in our midst. Sunny truly cannot get enough of holding him.
Kaki: While Courtland doesn’t have the hours of longevity of her big sister, she is always so enthusiastic to snuggle and cuddle with her brother, too.
Sander: And he’s done a lot of this. Snoozing. Until about 9pm, when he is then awake until 2-3am. But then he gives us a good 4-5 hour stretch of sleep, so worth it? Maybe? In the grand scheme of life with a newborn, severe sleep deprivation is just part of the equation, so we’re rolling with it.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here

Sunny & Sander

The Double Big Sister doing what she does best, love her family. In this case, her baby brother. She is so unbelievably sweet with Sanderling. This video reminds me of her with newborn Courtland, when she was only 2! She truly delights in baby handling. On Friday, she didn’t have school, so she spent a hour letting Sander nap on her chest.

Oh my heart.

10/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Sunny: “I never want to stop holding him. He smells so good and I just love him so much.” And it’s true, she hasn’t wanted to put him down. She positively adores him. Not that we’re at all surprised.
Kaki: She loves to pick out his outfit for the day. She and Sunny meticulously lay out each piece in his bassinet, and eagerly help dress him when he’s awake. She is adapting so well to her role as Big Sister. While she’s still a busy four-year old, it’s amazing to see her tenderness with her little brother.
Sander: Such a sweet, mellow, snuggly little babe. He reminds me so much of Courtland as a newborn – with all those wrinkles and that grumpy old man face. But his personality is so similar to Sunny’s disposition at this stage. Relaxed, easy to sooth, peaceful. Such a gift given all that’s going on with me. He is such a gift.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here

9/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Sunny: Grateful that my mother’s spirit lives on so strongly in her namesake.
Kaki: She can sense when I’m feeling sad or my mind is elsewhere. She responds by cradling my face in her palms and simply looking into my eyes until I refocus on the moment and her. The wisdom and tenderness of children is astounding.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here

8/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Sunny: On Sunday, she spent hours in her bedroom coordinating a “surprise” for me. On the door, she hung a sign that read “CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT ENTER.” When she was finally finished, she let me inside to behold walls and surfaces covered in pictures and love notes and words all about me and Momar. I didn’t know my heart could possibly feel so full and broken simultaneously.
Kaki: She appeared in my room the other morning while I was still curled up in bed, with just a hint of sunlight streaming into the space and my hair swooped across my forehead, and whispered, “Hi, Mama. You look so much like Momar right now. I think she’s here with us.” Always, baby, always.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here

7/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

A reflection of parenting through grief, and supporting young children through grief. Devastatingly, I feel this will be a theme of this space and this particular project for some time to come. But I want to hold on to these moments with my children and remember their clarity and sensitivity of thought. Their perspective on such loss. I am clinging to memories of my mother on their behalf and nurturing their own. The grief I feel is not just for myself, but more deeply for my children and all that they’ve been cheated of in the loss of their Momar who was the most loving, present, over-the-top grandparental figure in their lives. They have lost so much. And they’ll never fully understand the magnitude of that having never had the chance to know her in all the ways her adult loved ones did. In my darkest moments, I’m furious that it was her and not someone more insignificant in their lives. But when I see through the fog, I remember that she is everywhere. Always. Forever. In each of us. Especially them. And they are ever a reminder of that.

Sunny: On the night of her death, Sunny reflected that Momar was in heaven, which dwelled in her heart. She was thinking of Momar doing her favorite things: “She’s shopping for clothes and dolls for me and Kaki. And speaking French to her students.” I found her crying later that week and she told me that she was missing Momar’s “squishy hugs,” and that no one could hug her better than Momar. “I need a Momar hug now, but she’s gone.” So James piled some down pillows on his chest to semi-emulate my mother’s robust bosom and enveloped Sunny in an immense bear hug. We’ve been simulating “squishy hugs” ever since. They’re not the same. But the act of trying to replicate my mother’s warm, expansive embrace brings a smile to our faces.
Kaki: One night, she overheard me weeping about how my mother will never get to meet this baby. She plodded into the room and said, “But Momar did meet the baby. Because she loved the baby and bought clothes for the baby. And I’m going to tell the baby all about how much Momar loved her. All the time.”

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here

6/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Sunny: Blocks and that floor map are everything right now. I love the way the girls want to learn more about the world thanks to that piece of foam on the floor.
Kaki: Building a shelter for her Tsum Tsum Pluto with support of Hanna Banana and Auntie Kimmy. 

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.