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Saying farewell to the Fall & Winter – Sort of!

Here it is, March 30th and technically spring, but it snowed. Yes SNOWED this morning!  Not sure why I’m shocked honestly, this has been the loooooooongest snowiest winter ever.  But I’m not just here to talk about winter, I’ve still got to tackle fall as well because it’s been so long since I last posted. Shamefully long. Jasper is almost done with Kindergarten, and Sasha & Willow are 2 and half.  In three short months they will be moving up to the preschool room at daycare! I can’t even believe it.  This whole year has gotten away from me. Every time I think of something I want to post about I think – wait, I can’t post that because I didn’t post yet about such and such that happened before it. Case in point, I never posted about Jasper’s 6th birthday, so I didnt’ want to then post about his first day at Kindergarten. It’s a vicious cycle so I decided today I’m going to do a catch up post so that I can commit to memory some of the highlights of this fall and Winter.

The thing is that I don’t want to forget this year in particular for the girls because two is tough yes, but also MAGICAL.  Partly because I just love the toddler stage SO much – the cute way they say things, their chubby checks and round necks and diaper butts.  But also because this whole year has been a series of firsts for them.  Yes, their birthday party was technically their second birthday party, but it was the first one where they got really excited about the cake, and their party hats, and their presents!

Ditto with Christmas, and their first time playing in the snow. Pure magic.

But let me back up a bit to where the gaps in the story started forming.. right around this guys sixth birthday:


It was the culmination of our family vacation week and one of my favorite days of all time. Close on the heels of that it was time to send our first baby off to school for the first time:




The girls came to see him off:


And then I headed back home to nervously wait for him to come home on the bus…

And then he came RUNNING off the bus, happy as a clam. Jasper totally had this school thing down! And I’m happy to report that he’s really thrived this year.  The most exciting development being that he is now reading!

And thus began our fall, which Sasha & Willow were so enchanted with.. from their first time visiting a pumpkin patch to their first time getting dressed up for Halloween:


And somewhere during this time the girls started taking ballet lessons. Which really, is the cutest darn thing ever. I mean they are a total DISASTER in class, they don’t listen or do anything they are supposed to, but I don’t even care because they love the idea of it, and playing dress up, and I figure the actual following direction part will come eventually right?






And somewhere in the past few months Sasha FINALLY grew enough hair for the two cutest little pigtails ever:

And the other amazing thing that happened is that the girls started playing together. Like really playing.. and watching their bond grow makes my heart explode with happiness every single day:


You can see by the clutter around them that keeping up with two active toddlers and their big brother generally gets the best of me every single day.  I can’t possibly keep up with the mess.  And when big brother gets in on the action which he regularly does to play “space ship” “camping” or “train” (which b it’s even more chaos:


But there is a lot of love and a good deal of exhaustion and patience and somehow everything finds it’s way back to it’s place somehow.

And now that spring is in the air, I am just now finally able to look back at this winter and appreciate the fun:


And the beauty!




One of the bright spots of the long winter was Valentine’s Day.  One of the ONLY annual traditions that I’ve actually stuck with is doing a Valentine’s day themed shoot with Jasper. In the past I’ve used the images to create a custom valentine’s day card for his classmates. This year my travel schedule and Jeff’s were so busy that I didn’t manage to shoot early enough for the cards, but I did instead do the shoot ON valentine’s day with Jasper and his girlfriend Eleanor.   I almost didn’t pull it together but I’m SO glad I did because these two are just the cutest together and I’m so happy I got to document this first puppy love!



(You can see the complete session on my photography website here:

In another huge milestone Jeff and I took Jasper to Disney/Universal for a whirlwind 3 day trip WITHOUT the twins!   It was so incredibly special to focus just on Jasper for three days, he’s such an amazing big brother and has never once been jealous of all the attention the girls get. In fact, he wanted the girls to come with us on the trip and was devastated when we told him they were staying home. We didn’t have the best weather, but we DID have the best little Harry Potter impersonator at the whole Universal studios!  Seriously, I stopped counting how many people asked to take a picture with him, he was quite the rockstar!






Eating Burty Bot’s Everyday Flavoured Beans!




We spent our last day at the Magic Kingdom and I was freezing, so didn’t take too many images. But the ONE image I wanted to recreate was this one from our last trip to Disney when Jasper was only 2!


Too bad I couldn’t recreate some of those blue skies and warm temperatures!



But we did make some amazing memories and I’m already looking forward to a few years from now when we will attempt this trip WITH the girls in tow.  I can only imagine how excited they will be to meet Cinderella and Snow white who they so strongly identify with since dressing up like them for Halloween!

So, that, in a very long nutshell brings us pretty much up to date with what’s been going on in in our neck of the woods this Fall/Winter.  I can look back now with a bit of fondness, but I am very VERY much looking forward to getting outdoors again this spring!


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Happy 2nd Birthday Sasha & Willow!

My dear, sweet baby girls.  I can’t believe today you turn two!  I cried several times yesterday realizing that it was your last day as one.  Even though you’ve been “toddling” for almost a whole year now, one is still a baby in  my mind, whereas two sets you firmly into toddlerhood.  While it’s a positive joy to watch you learn and grow, you are just so incredibly perfect as you are right in this very moment that you’ll have to forgive me for wishing I could freeze time.


Willow, you are just so sweet and cuddly – and you give the best kisses!  You LOVE singing your ABCs (which you call ‘baby sees’) and watching “Bicky Mouse” with your big brother.  You are such a unique combination of delicate and stubborn – quiet and reserved and you have a very singluar sense of humor.  Your stubborn tenacity I hope will serve you well in the future, it has already helped you master delicate and difficult tasks like putting on and buckling your own shoes!


Your deep sometimes husky voice is so unexpected, I think someday you will be the alto to Sasha’s soparano – I can’t wait until we can start singing harmonies!  I swear you were a dancer in a former life. You are so graceful and flexible and you sometimes randomly do an arabesque or walk around the house on your toes.  You are picky about food, but LOVE your milk. You also love your bunny, playing with your purse and wearing Jasper’s superhero cape.  You are so beautiful that sometimes it takes my breath away – and your cheeks are so soft I could kiss them all day.


My little Sasha Star. You are a born entertainer and you keep us all in stitches most of the time!  Having you around sometimes feels like having another adult – you don’t miss a THING and you talk just like a grown up – it’s truly amazing.  You love to test limits and push boundaries and have lately even mastered the art of emotional manipulation! Your latest thing is when you do something you KNOW is wrong you say “I’m a baby!” because that’s the excuse you’ve heard me give your brother on so many occasions when you were doing something you shouldn’t do.   You also will run and hug me after doing something wrong – just to make sure I’m not holding a grudge :)  There’s never a dull moment when you are around!


You love nursery rhymes and songs, playing with big brother’s batman caves and figures and reading books.   You LOVE the water, both the swimming pool and taking a bath – you would stay in for hours if you could!  You have your Daddy’s sense of order, needing to put everything in it’s place (a draw slightly ajar drives you crazy!) and you are a great help at clean up time. You are also mommy’s wonderful little helper, often fetching me things I ask for or finding toys or missing snack cups for your sister where mommy has failed (“I found it mommy!!!”)

You also have such a heightened sense of concern for others, you always ask if I’m OK, even when I’ve only coughed or sneezed!

Our family has changed so much since bringing you both home from the hospital almost two years ago.  Yes, life is crazy and hectic – I can’t remember to pay the bills on time, the house is a mess, – and the list could go on but I can’t even for one second imagine our lives without you. You completed our crazy family, well, actually made it into what it is now and I can honestly say that through it all,  I always remember to be grateful for the privilege of being your mother, though I may sometimes feel woefully inadequate to the task.

My hands are too full (literally) with both of you to document our lives photographically as much as I was able to with your brother – and for that I have much regret.

But on the annual occasion that I marshal the resources necessary to do a real photoshoot with you I try to make the most out of it knowing just how rare it is.  I may not be able to stop the marching of time, but I can on occasion, freeze it in a picture.. and for that skill I am so grateful. Because someday, when I look back on these images I want to remember as much as I possibly can about the impossibly beautiful and perfect little beings that you are at this very moment.  My sweet, sweet baby girls!



(Readers click here for more and for bigger, better versions of the images!)





















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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:



















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!


You particularly loved cuddling up with her under blankies….





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




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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!”


whole class








Hugs from Ms. Jessica


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


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



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


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!


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:


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..




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!


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


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



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


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!!!



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Happy 17 months Sasha & Willow!


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.


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.


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!


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.



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