Ten on Ten: February | Personal Photos

I’m participating in a blog circle with several other woman photographers this year, in which we post ten photos on the tenth of each month. These ten photos are meant to tell the story of a day.

My ten this month were taken on January 31st, Chinese New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

We had another low-key day off, as we’ve only just moved into our new apartment in the last two days. The building(s) in these photos are all our new apartment building — after lounging around in the morning, we took a long walk around the complex and played on two of the playgrounds. We came back for naptime and snacks (Elodie napped with a rock she picked up, which was her little precious for the day), and then took another walk to a nearby park, called HortPark. The park had lots of different and vibrant plants, and then there were some great kids’ play areas, too — I can tell that we will visit there often. We came home, ate dinner, and ended the day with the kids watching Elodie’s favorite movie, Monsters Inc.

Now you can click through to the next blog in the circle,Davina’s blog!

January Letters to My Son | Personal Photos

The 2013 “letters to our children” blog circle is over, but since Ben was only born in April 2013, I wanted to continue through a full year of letters to my son. 

Dear Ben,

Everything has been changing for our family in the last month. We left Houston; you took your first plane ride; we went from cold temperatures to very warm; you spent more time with me and Dad than you have since you were born, as we took a lot of vacation time; we’ve lived out of a suitcase for the entire last month; you’re spending your weekdays with your new nanny in Singapore.

What else could possibly change? Oh, yeah — there’s much more. Practically everything about you, in fact. More teeth, more hair (you need your first trim soon!), you’re getting bigger, you’re tasting more foods, you’re learning new skills. You are changing every day, and your days are usually filled with energy and joy. And whining.

To back up a bit, you experienced your first Christmas. You weren’t too interested in the rituals, but you loved to play with the tissue paper and bags, and you loved spending time as a family. We were terrified that you and your sister would catch the flu from Grandpa, but apart from that, you were free to roam everywhere, and you were surrounded by all of us for days on end.

What have you loved most about our new home? I think that, while you didn’t love to spend time in the stroller at first, you’ve come to really enjoy it when we go out together. You love to pull yourself to sitting straight up in the chair in the front, and snack on whatever we’ll give you in the tray.

Playing at home has been brought to a new level, as you want to stand constantly (not standing up on your own yet though), and there is much banging, shrieking, chewing, and speed-crawling across the room in our small serviced (temporary) apartment. Between you and your sister, there’s no peace in this place!

One week ago, your nanny joined us. We’re so happy that you get along with her; she’s always willing to play with you both, and you love to be held by her. She’s also helping us deal with your ever-growing appetite, by boiling carrots for you, making you rice, and making sure you get some yummy fruits and veggies apart from your jars.


You’re growing up so beautiful. I guess I shouldn’t use that word since you’re a boy, but I love looking at your soft features, and your long eyelashes. I love your goofy, toothy smile (four teeth totally out, 2 that recently cut through), and that giggle. You’re nine months old. You’ve been out in the world for as long as I was pregnant with you, which is kind of a weird thought. We’re starting to feel impatient for you to be able to walk, though I don’t know why, because then you’ll be unstoppable. I have this weird feeling that you might start to say words before you walk, as you seem to be almost there. I’m happy to say that you seem to call for me, “Mama.”

Love, Mom

Ten on Ten: January 2014 | Personal Photos

A new year, a new blog circle! This year I am participating with a group of woman photographers in a project in which we publish ten photos taken within a single day, on the tenth of each month. It’s a kind of “day in the life of” project, which is perfect since I happen to have a sorta interesting life these days that I would love to share with those back in Houston and elsewhere in the US!

For those who don’t know, we moved to Singapore just after Christmas.  Yes, Singapore — 14 hours ahead of Houston, 25 hours of travel away from Houston; the other side of the world. Without further ado, my Ten from January 4th!

All of these photos were taken in our day walking around the Orchard, Clarke Quay, and Chinatown areas of Singapore, ending in Pagoda Street. Notice that the city is gearing up for Chinese New Year, which is at the end of January — 2014 will be the Year of the Horse.

Now you can click through to the next blog in the circle, Pinball Photography’s blog.

December Letters to My Son | Personal Photos

This post is part of an ongoing blog circle with several other woman photographers, writing monthly letters to our children.  Link to the next letter is at the bottom of this post.  It’s been a great way for me to document more intentionally the connection I have with my son, born in April, despite the chaos of our daily lives! This will be the last letter in our blog circle, though I may continue through January, February, and March of 2014 on my own, to make a full year of letters to Ben.

Dear Ben,

“You silly man!”  That’s what Elodie says to you now, as you crawl around our house, because I am always saying it to you as I pick you up and reset you back in a safe spot. Crawling and pulling up all. over. You have entirely too much energy, always getting into things, concentrating and getting frustrated and giggling. You’re eight months old, and such a wild thing.

You’re eating constantly, up to three puree jars/packs each day, plus all of your bottles, and handfuls of easily-dissolved puff snacks. You are just insatiable, in your eating and basically in everything. I dread our incredibly-long flight to our new home, because I have no idea how you will handle being so trapped, forced to sit relatively still in one place for hours and hours on end.


Did I mention that we’re moving? We’re having a hard time telling you and your sister in a way that you’ll understand, especially because there are so many things for you to think about here in Houston. We have Christmas coming up, so all this moving stuff seems like an afterthought — just something to use the fun presents you’ll be getting, and not really an end in itself. But we are moving. Next month will find us half the world away from here, and I am really struggling to picture what our new life could possibly look like. Where will you crawl? (everywhere, that should be the least of my worries). Who will watch you during the day? (a much more substantive worry). How many diapers can we smuggle over in our sea freight shipment? (I hope I can push the limits with this one, rather than buy expensive imported Pampers in Singapore). It’s just a bit too much for me, when all I really want to be doing right now is drinking some cocoa and watching you play sweetly with your sister on the floor.

Love, Mom

Now you can click through to Davina’s letter to her child  here

November Letters to my Son | Personal Photos

This post is part of an ongoing blog circle with several other woman photographers, writing monthly letters to our children.  Link to the next letter is at the bottom of this post.  It’s been a great way for me to document more intentionally the connection I have with my son, born in April, despite the chaos of our daily lives!

Dear Ben,

You have exploded with new skills and personality over the last month.  Seriously — one day, you couldn’t sit up on your own without flopping forwards, mouth to toes; then, suddenly, you were army crawling across our bed.  About 12 seconds later (okay, a few days), you were crawling “for real,” on hands and knees.  And you haven’t stopped!  You crawl all over our house, which has reignited my passion for keeping our hardwood floors clean.  I’ve been vacuuming on a daily basis and I still catch you with dust bunnies being slowly raised to your mouth.  That’s another thing you’re doing lately: putting absolutely everything in your mouth.  Your two baby teeth on bottom are in and you are a drool machine.  You also love to eat, you’re eating two to three meals (fruit and veggie purees) per day.  Oh, and you’ve mastered the sitting up thing, too, even pulling yourself up to sitting.  I’m starting to get a little worried — the last couple of days you’ve been earnestly trying to pull yourself up to stand.  I don’t think it’s physically possible with your wobbly little self just yet, so I’m hoping I have at least another month or two before we’re there.  You’re only seven months old!  Slow down, speed racer!

You got to experience your first Halloween, though all this meant for you was the traditional skeleton pajamas, and getting squeezed into a too-small banana costume at daycare for a few minutes for the party.  We’ve spent lots of time with Nana and Grandpa this month, between Halloween, your first night away from us overnight, your Uncle Robert’s visit, and your baptism this last week.  At your baptism, we were also treated with a visit from your auntie and Grandpa.  You seem to enjoy being around everyone (you especially like your new godfather), but no one compares with Elodie.  You. love. Elodie.  You watch her, you smile at each other, you even almost play together.  That’s not to say you’re never mad at each other, but it is just so wonderful to be your parents when we see you acting sweetly connected.  Earlier this month, she was big into tickling you wildly.  She later moved onto singing for you, and now she likes to jump with you in your jumperoo, and she even tries to read to you sometimes.

Another tradition you may not be aware of, is our annual Christmas card photo-taking torture time.  This tradition began with Elodie’s first Christmas and we are going strong, having completed the third year, and your first.  This is a super fun time in which Mom wrestles with you and E to try to get you to sit still and pose adorably while taking your photo to use in a Christmas card.  It worked out, and you of course behaved very nicely.

Some other random notes from this month, in no particular order:  footie pajamas have been your friend as it’s gotten very cold overnight in our drafty old house; you’ve spit up on our down comforter approximately 12 times now; we said goodbye to Penny this month, as we had to find her a new home before our move (Roger will be next); we think your first word will be “bottle” because you keep saying “buh” happily.  I was away from you for the longest I’ve ever been, a work trip that took me to North Carolina for 5 nights.  You had surgery — ear tubes — last week (and you recovered very quickly, of course).  You still fall asleep in the swing before we transfer you to your crib most nights.  You are still a mama’s boy, and I still love it.

Love, Mom

Thanks for reading!  Now you can click through to the next blog in our circle, Kristy’s letter to her daughter!