Happy 22 months Sasha & Willow!

It’s been three months since your last “birthday” post which means I have a LOT of images to post from the last three months!  You have grown up so much this summer, speaking in complete sentences, suddenly I have two little people to converse with, by entertained by and do the bidding of every day!  Hearing you talk is just the cutest sweetest thing, and also such a relief that you can ask for exactly what you want instead of us trying to guess.

Not only do you talk, but you love to sing! Currently your favorite is Let it Go from frozen, but you also love Itsy Bitsy Little Spider, Twinkle Twinkle, Row Row Row your Boat and Rockabye baby (which you like to sing to dolls and animals by rocking them.   You also have conversations together when you think no one else is watching, and you’ll play little games like “Peekaboo” “This little Piggy,” crawling around like crabs on the floor, or your absolute favorite which is Ring Around the Rosy!

Other things you love are sitting in Daddy’s lap while he plays guitar, swimming (particularly Sasha who is my little fishy!) reading books, going to school and ANYTHING that has to do with dress up and/or accessories. These include putting on whatever shoes you might find available regardless of gender or size, capes (you run around the couch in circles saying “Super girl!”) sunglasses and hairbows.

I’ll let your breathtaking cuteness speak for itself:

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Something else incredibly special happened in June, you got to meet your Auntie Roxy and Uncle Adam for the very first time!  Of course you were both completely smitten, Sasha you in particular – which doesn’t surprise me because you remind me of her in so many ways!

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You particularly loved cuddling up with her under blankies….

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Having Aunty Roxy visit made that whole week completely magical, we all can’t wait to see her again!

Xoxo,

Mommy.

 

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Preschool Graduation

Last week my little guy graduated Preschool!  It was such an emotional day for everyone involved, the kids, the parents and the staff of the daycare center that really is like our second family.   The only thing that kept me from melting into a puddle of tears is that my girls are still at the center, so on top of saying goodbye to Jasper’s dearest friends I didn’t also have to mourn the loss of our relationship with the center and it’s staff altogether.

But it was still of course a tearful goodbye, I’ve had the privilege of knowing many of Jasper’s classmates since they were just infants together!  And how do you thank his teachers enough, teachers who I truly feel have raised him as much as we have…

He learned SO many things at school, not just how to read and write (though that is pretty amazing!) but life skills and lessons.  Respect, listening, cleaning up, right down to more practical things like how to zipper, they pretty much potty trained him-  and countless other things I can’t even think of.

But the greatest gift his teachers gave us as a family was the knowledge that he was surrounded during the day by people who loved him.  I can’t imagine it’s every daycare center that you are friends with the staff on facebook and the teachers text you cute pictures of your kids regularly?

It was with that same love that the director and staff put together such a special graduation ceremony, complete with a surprise yearbook full of pictures of each graduate throughout their years at the center for each child to take home!

I was lucky that my parents and sister came a long to help out with the twins so I could shoot some pictures:

graduation board

Each child wrote what he wanted to be when he grew up…

what I want to be

you've got a friend in me 2

singing “You’ve got a friend in me!”

getting his diploma

Getting his “diploma!”

hugs

whole class

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Hugs from Ms. Jessica

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Ms Sonia, who’s been with him for his whole preschool experience!

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All three teachers…

It was such a special day, the perfect ending to the incredible 5 and a half year experience that has shaped so much of who Jasper is and laid the foundation of who he will become.  Saying thank you doesn’t seem quite adequate, but I just have to trust that the staff knows how grateful we are for the care they have taken of our amazing boy!

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She Really is a Superhero

 

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I just had to commemorate two firsts today, the first time Sasha spontaneously said “I love you Mommy!” to me,  what an amazing feeling!

She’s already extremely precocious verbally (well, many things actually) but the last two days there’s been even more of an advance.  Yesterday she started saying things like “I want it” and “I like it” when talking about something.  And then, this morning she went over to the window to look out to the pool and told me that she wanted to swim. When I told her no pool today she said “Please??”

I know it doesn’t SOUND like much, but what is was is that we had a conversation.  In other words previously she may have just cried when I told her no, or repeated herself more loudly or emphatically (or with tears!) but today it was a plea, an answer to my no.   I know it’s just the first of a billion more pleaaaaaaseee momeeeees to come, but it was so surprising coming from this tiny toddler.

I often think of that Shakespeare quote:  “Though she be but little she is fierce” when I think of Sasha. That or a superhero, which she fittingly donned the costume of yesterday after her brother had discarded it on the floor.  Did the fact that it’s a size 4T deter her? Not one bit!

Shine on my little Sasha Star!

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Happy Father’s Day!

A day late, but I couldn’t not wish Jeff, my dad and all the wonderful Dads I know a happy Father’s Day!

We had a wonderful day, FINALLY getting to go for the first swim in our pool which has been nothing but trouble since we first tried to open (and failed)  Memorial Day weekend. But finally after a ridiculous amount of work on Jeff’s part and a small fortune paid to run a new gas line, the pool is open!

After a lovely meal with my parents I had chance to look through the Father’s Day gifts Jasper and the girls had made him at Daycare -they always make me weepy.  There is just something about those craft projects that just sort of capture the pure joy of parenting those little beings.  But this year, there was one project that had me in tears, but not the weepy kind:

I have type it out just in case you can’t read it. Jasper’s answers in bold:
My Dad is a Superhero because: Because he’s strong!

My SuperDad’s Suphero power is: That’s his power.. he’s strong (I already said that dumbass! Ok, Jasper didn’t say dubmass, but that’s how it read in my head!)

He’s as strong as: Maybe a heavy rock

He’s as fast as: Well, my dad’s not that fast actually.

This kills me because anyone who knows Jeff well knows that he doesn’t rush for ANYONE OR ANYTHING!

I think I first realized this about him when we were living in Alphabet city which was pretty far from the nearest subway station. In the winter we would sometimes take the 14D bus and if it was cold you would definitely want to make that bus rather than stand outside FREEZING your ass off waiting for the next one.  So I was definitely not above jogging to catch a bus that was about to leave, but Jeff?  He’d just let it go. I think he’d pretty much let anything happen rather than break into a jog.

In fact the only time I think I’ve ever seen him move with lightning speed was when Jasper ran onto an elevator as it’s doors were about to close – he leapt into immediate action and was almost unrecognizable to me as he darted onto the elevator to rescue Jasper (knocking me over in the process!)   Of course it this makes perfect sense to this former astrologer that a Taurus would behave this way,  but it’s still amusing that 5 year old Jasper picked up on this quirk of Jeff’s personality!

In other news, you may or may not have seen this image of Jeff and Jasper on the cover of the Canon father’s day circular last Sunday:

Here’s a iphone shot of the cover itself:

I was of course incredibly honored that they chose my image. But also it made me nostalgic for the days when I could tote my camera around anywhere, ready to catch moments such as these…

Fast forward to now with the twins and I’m on duty as baby chaser at all times. The few times I’ve been brave enough to bring my camera anywhere it’s been a monumental waste of effort and worrying about it’s well being when I go running off after one of the girls just adds to the chaos.

Which limits my ability to document life with our three to stolen snapshots at home where all of these were taken… sometimes it’s low on my list of priorities, but I’m glad I occasionally make a point to capture the incredible bond my husband has with our children, whether it’s with my “real” camera or just my iPhone!

 

And I can’t not include one of my favorite images of Jeff and Jasper of all time..

Can you see a theme emerging? Yes, he loves to play guitar for them.  Lately the girls like to climb right up onto his lap while he’s playing and “play” with him. So cute!

So Happy Father’s Day to the player of soundtracks, kisser of boo boos, pretend fight master, plumber, gardner, fence mender, chef,  strong as a bolder superdad – you are the glue that keeps this family together and we love you so much!

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Getting Ready to Say Goodbye to Pre-K

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Dear Jasper, it’s been a long time (too long) since I devoted a post all to you, but I wanted to write about what happened in the car yesterday.

We were driving home from Daycare and I asked you how you felt about pre-k “graduation” day being only a few weeks away. You asked how many days it was, and when I told you, it was like flipping a switch and you suddenly understood, truly understood what all the recent events have been leading up to. The practicing for graduation, the kindergarten orientation, the kindergarten screening. It’s all been leading up to the unavoidable fact that you are leaving the daycare center that has been your second home for 5.5 years.

I almost wonder if because you’ve watched two other groups of friends graduate and move on if you didn’t somehow miss the fact that you would be one of them this year. Whatever the reasons, once it sunk it, you collapsed into a fit of tears in your carseat. It broke my heart to see you so sad, and to not even be able to hug or comfort you from behind the wheel. So I tried to minimize the damage, assuring you that you would make NEW friends, and that we would still see your old friends on weekends for playdates, that you would still be able to visit the center when we pick up your sisters. But you were not assuaged, and so I asked you what you would miss. You said tearfully your friends, your teachers, your school. And I again told you we would still see your friends, but you cried that you wanted to see them EVERY day.

And though my heart broke for you in that moment, I was also so proud of you, for the depth of your feelings at such a young age, for the depth of the friendships you’ve forged and the maturity it takes to recognize that something so precious must be cherished.

I have a lot more to say about the 5+ wonderful years you’ve spent at daycare, but I’ll save them for graduation. Until then, I know that you will make the most of every day you have left with the friends and “family” you’ve made these past 5 years.

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As seen in the Canon Mother’s Day Circular May 4th!

Such a huge honor to have had one of my images of Jasper used in Canon’s mother’s day circular yesterday May 4th!  I just love how y0ung and squishy he looks here – and of course any image with Bear melts me!

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Ironically, Rockland county is probably the only place that I couldn’t find the actual circular-  it seemed to be missing from the edition of the NYtimes that is sold here!  My sister saw it in LA, and a few friends found it in the Washnigton post so I will eventually procure my own hard copy.  I imagine Jasper will get a kick out if it someday! So with Sasha on the BRU logo and a book cover, Jasper a poster boy for Canon I just need to get Willow published somewhere! :)

 

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Happy 19 months Sasha & Willow!

Dear baby girls, so much has changed in the last few months. After the longest most depressing winter ever, spring is finally in the air (thank GOD!) and you both LOVE to go”ousside” and play on the deck in your toy house:

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You even got to go to big brother’s first soccer practice of the season…it was a bit hard for you to understand why you couldn’t run around picking up anyone’s soccer ball mid-game, but we still had a blast..

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All tired out from all that running around!

Willow your hair is long enough that you can now wear the world’s tinyest and cutest pony tail!

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It changes your whole face!  Somehow you even look like you have these cute side swept audrey hepburnesque bangs:

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Even though the warmer weather is here, you still love to put on hats..

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and any other accessories actually, including big brother’s shoes!

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Speaking of big brother… how much you both love him! Even though for some strange reason you refuse to let him hug you. But Sasha you will cry if he leaves the room, or if you see him out on the playground at daycare but can’t get to him because you are in separate sections of the yard.

And speaking of daycare, you both just transitioned to the toddler room (sniff!) I can’t believe how fast it went by. It seems that you are adjusting quite well to your new environment despite the huge change.  So many new friends, activities and toys explore… your new teacher Carol has already remarked on how sweet it is that Sasha you will bring toys and food or anything to Willow to make her feel better when she is crying. When you aren’t torturing her by hitting her on the head with the nearest object, or sitting on top of her you really ARE very sweet to her:

Yesterday we were reading books together, both of you on mommy’s lap and Sasha you just reached around Willow’s back to hug her close and put your head down on her shoulder. It was the sweetest thing ever.

It’s so much fun now that you are both so verbal (regularly putting together 2-3 word sentences) so that you can make your wants known but also so you can express your love for eachother as Sasha you regularly do by saying “Yaya kiss!” or “Jasper kiss” when you want to kiss your siblings.  Strangely you say kiss almost exactly how you say cheese (Chissss), so it sometimes takes me a minute to realize what you are asking for, and then my heart melts into a great big puddle.

Love you girls so much!!!

xoxo,

Mommy

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Happy 17 months Sasha & Willow!

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Dear girls, somehow another two months has flown by and you just turned 17 months, which means you are just a month shy of 1.5 years.  Something happened in the last two months and we’ve turned the corner into the most delicious era of babyhood.  Perhaps because both of you finally cut all four of those evil molars and (perhaps not coincidentally) started finally sleeping through the whole night.. or maybe because this is just that sweet spot before the terrible twos but after language has been adequately developed for you to make your wants known. Whatever the reason I am just SOAKING you both in.

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Our days are filled with cuddles, books (LOTS OF BOOKS!) stuffed animals, hats, new words (more on that later) food and two days a week school which you LOVE and anticipate greatly!  In fact every time I put your hats and sweaters on you both say “school!” and get so excited!

You both have so many words you pretty much say everything and anything that you hear you just add it right to your vocabulary! If I had to guess I’d say you both know at least 100 words.  Most you say correctly (the unremarkable ones) and others you have persistent wrong pronunciations that no one has the heart to correct. Like “Yaku” for crackers or “yaks” for socks or “yets” for dress.

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Sasha you have recently even started stringing words together to form rudimentary sentences like “Sasha go.”

I love how even though you both can say each others’ names you still refer to each other as Yaya (Sasha) and Yayu (Willow)… someday I expect we will all watch the Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood and I will remind you of your old names for each other!

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I love how your bond is already so strong as I am reminded of every morning when Sasha you wake up first and then I hear you call to Willow (Yayuuuu…”) at first quietly, and then increasingly more insistent and louder until you wake her up and I hear you both giggling together.

Speaking of giggling, there is a lot of it going on during your first bath together:

Oh how sweet you both are, I just want to freeze this moment in time so badly. Even Jasper gets upset that you are growing up so fast! In fact, next month you start your transition out of the infant room and into the toddler room at “school” (daycare).    Life with you two and your brother is so crazy, and wonderful, and hectic, and amazing, and exhausting.  But not a day goes by when I don’t wonder how we ever lived without the joy you bring to our lives.

xoxo,

Mommy.

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Happy 15 Months Sasha & Willow!

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I am a week late for this AND I skipped two months. AND I never posted the girls 1 year photoshoot & cakesmash photos. So I’ll use those here because I haven’t taken any “real” images since (except for Christmas day and I haven’t even had a chance to pull those of my memory card yet!)

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Saha, somewhere in the past few months you became the “easy one!” Being the firecracker that you are, that’s not to say you don’t screech in displeasure when it suits you – but most of the time you toddle around and play independently, perfectly content to explore on your own.

Your level of verbal comprehension is astounding to me. In fact, you’ve become my little helper as I can issue you a request such as “Sasha, go and get mommy Willow’s boots” and you will run off, find exactly what I’ve asked for and give them to me!

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You have so many words, I’d guess maybe 25-30? I think I will list them here in case we ever wonder what words you said when. At 15 months your regular vocabulary includes:
Eat (you say it like Eattttch and touch your finger to your mouth & nose like the baby sign for it)
Hat (one of your favorites!)
Bah (breastmilk)
Botch (Pacifier, from the word “bottle”)
Boot
Dressed
Dance
Duck (you love the windup duck toy Santa brought you!)
Doll
Bow (Jasper’s Bear)
Down
Up
Back (as in put it back)
No
Yeah
Mama
Dada
Popop
Yaya (your word for Willow)
Mo’ (more)
Do’ (Door)
Bye
Hi
Nigh Nigh (going night night, ie. to bed)

It’s SO much fun communicating with both of you girls!

You are my little social butterfly – if we go out shopping you will say “Ha-eee” if anyone comes near us and will continue until they stop and acknowledge you, at which point you flash them your 10,000 watt smile!

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Willow, you have gone through such a transformation the past few months..you finally started walking!  In fact, your activity level has gone up so much that you actually LOST weight between your 12 month and 15 month checkup.  (You currently look a lot more svelte than these pictures!)

You have also begun asserting yourself so much more – you are still Sasha’s victim much of the time (she loves to pull your hair and tackle you and use you as a pillow!) but you also fight back now and we all cheer you on!   You will swat away any food that you don’t want and say ‘Nooooo” or lately, you just throw it on the floor much to my dismay!   Now that you are walking so well, you are a bit more prone to play and explore on your own, but sometimes  you still like to simply cling to mommy like a cute little appendage.  I don’t mind the extra snuggles, but it does make it hard to get anything done!

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Your big blue eyes, pixie hair and lately pigtails positively SLAY me. I could just eat you up and smother you in kisses (and frequently do) all day long!

Perhaps the most amazing thing to watch is your developing sense of compassion for each other. You are both HYPERaware of which pacifier or article of clothing belongs to whom, and will bring them to each other as a love offering.  Willow, lately I haven’t been leaving food on your tray because you love throwing it, so Sasha has starting reaching over and putting food on your tray when she notices you have none but she does!  She will also bring you puffs or other items she knows you might like when you are crying… it’s a beautiful thing to watch your bond develop.

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I couldn’t love you both more without positively bursting – and it’s so sweet to see that love echoed for each other.

Love,

Your mommy.

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On Turning 40

me

20 something me.

Yesterday was my 4oth birthday.   I’ve though a lot about that day and how I would feel about marking another decade.  Obviously I’m not particularly thrilled about the milestone, but then again, when I look at where I am in my life and the multitude of blessings, how can I possibly be anything but proud and grateful?

Never in my wildest imagination would my 20 something year old self have thought that  I’d be where I am right now – living in the house of my dreams, doing something creative for a living, with three happy healthy children that I love more than life itself and a wonderful man to share it all with.

Sure, there are things I miss about that younger me..

She could actually shop and have time to try things on because she didn’t have four impatient people to appease.

She had time to go to the gym. Every day and for as long as she wanted to.

She was strong and lean and had no stretch marks, her stomach was beautiful and flat and she could wear whatever she wanted without trying to cover up the aftermath of a twin pregnancy.

She dreamed big and thought she could be a rockstar if she wanted to.. literally a rock star.

She had all the time in the world to devote to writing songs and being deeply creative in a way that only free time and solitude allowed for.

She had many good friends who lived within walking distance (or even in the same apartment!) and had all the time in the world to hang out with them.

But I don’t envy her. How could I? She had yet to even imagine the type of fierce love that three tiny souls would unleash in her.  It’s hard to even comprehend a life before that love.

I would have a few words of advice for her however. I might tell her to cherish her sleep, because it would be in scarce supply.

I would tell her to finish that CD she was working on, that sometimes the perfect can get in the way of the good and it’s better to have something than nothing.

I would tell her to feel beautiful, to eat a piece of cake without guilt or shame.

I would tell her to enjoy her tiny closet of a studio apartment that took only 5 minutes to tidy up!

I would tell her to travel more because there would come a time when doing so would entail 5 times the cost and 20 times the sanity.

I would tell her not to stress so much about what to be or do when she grew up – things have a way of unfolding just as they should.

But most of all I would tell her that she had so much to look forward to.  More wrinkles, under eye bags, sagging and furrows yes,  but also much more love than she could even dream of.

I am 40, and my life is full and happy. What more could anyone ask for?

 

 

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