Portrait Project

11/52

angel baby

Eloise: you had just woken from a nap when I took this picture. Your rosy cheeks and shining eyes made me smile a great big smile. You looked just like an angel. You’ve been sick with a head cold this week and it’s been a tough few days, on you,  Daddy (who got sick too) and Mama. I don’t like hearing you cry and not being able to make it all better. I’ve tried my best though with lots of cuddles, nursing, rocking and wearing you in the carrier. Get better my angel. I love you so. 

*joining jodi for the 52 project.

This week I loved the innocence of this portrait. These furry friends. And I think Jodi’s portrait of Che might be my favorite of hers so far (Poet is pretty darn cute as well).

Important Daddy Love

daddy play 1

daddy play 2

daddy play 3

daddy play 4

Over the weekend I captured some great shots of Ellie and her Daddy. It’s so neat to watch their relationship grow. When he wakes up in the morning and comes down stairs (yes, we’re up a heckuva lot earlier than Daddy every day), he says good morning and she gives him a huge grin and waves her arms all over in excitement. She loves when he reads to her and likes sitting with him while he watches football. He sings sweet songs to her and she smiles and laughs at him and I just know how very important this all is to this growing, developing, little girl. An incredibly important relationship is blossoming before my eyes. A relationship that will determine what types of men my daughter will decide to date, a relationship that will determine who she will eventually marry. I’m thinking that the way these two are with each other already, leads me to believe she’ll be just fine. She’s got one heckuva Daddy who is falling more and more in love with his baby girl every day.

(At the end of their little play session the dogs got jealous and made their way in for some daddy love too. I had to add the photo in because it was just too darn cute).

dogs win

Weekending!

My in-laws are in town. They are staying about twenty minutes away from us in a lovely beach house and will be here for two months. They plan on cruising up the coast of California, staying in San Francisco for a while and then heading up to wine country for a bit too. Of course they will also be spending lots of time with their grandbaby too. We had a beautiful, busy, and fast weekend showing them around Ventura, seeing the town they’ll be staying in and enjoying their company along the beach. We also had a visit from my parents and Ellie had her first introduction to Grandpa playing guitar. All in all, it was another lovely weekend. How was yours?

best nana sign

farmers market feb

to market w inlaws

dinner

guitar

exploring the guitar

carpenteria

beach 1

walking on beach

waves were big

baby nap

pelicans

awake!

beer tasting

beer artwork

beer family

*linking up with Amanda for Weekending.

A Sensory Play Mat

In my preschool/ childcare days, I worked with infants for about three years out of the ten plus I was  in early education. I learned a lot about the needs of babies. Sensory exploration is a very large part of being a baby and I wanted to make a special soft, sensory place for the babies in my care to explore and crawl and lay on. I put together a rather shoddy play mat that at the time I thought was a work of genius. It has however, lasted through three years of babies in my care and then moved with me to a toddler room and a preschool room where it stayed for almost five years as a reading corner mat. When I left my job to stay home with my baby, that mat was one of the few things I took with me. I wanted  to give my baby girl a chance to lay and crawl and enjoy my efforts and sure enough she is doing just that. For this sentimental gal, I get pretty happy seeing my own baby playing on a mat that I made and that already has so many memories for me.

sensory mat

mat 2

ellie plays

ellie likes vinyl

ellie explores

I had collected bits and pieces of different types of fabric- sheepskin, flannel, micro-fleece, cotton, velvet , chenille and even vinyl. I sewed them all together to create the top. I took a large piece of thick fleece, sewed front sides together and turned the whole thing inside out and voila! I had myself a sensory mat. Ellie seems to really be enjoying the different textures. She prefers scratching at the vinyl the best. I love how well its held up. I can throw it in the wash on hot and it comes out just as soft and cuddly as ever. I’m tempted to make another. Some of the fabric is worn and loved on this one and I think I could make a much nicer one now. But this little mat will always have a place in my heart and now even more so with new memories of my own baby girl enjoying the sensory exploration, this very important work that babies do.

ellie mat

ellie boo

Just Write: The Barrier to Entrance

The barrier to entrance. A phrase lingering in the air today. It was in reference to not moving that close to one’s parents or in-laws so that they give you that needed space that all of us crave sometimes.  I thought about this phrase and the comment after it, the one about my parents visiting quite often since the baby was born. I thought about how I felt about them visiting so often and I discussed it with my husband and I thought about it some more later on, on my own.

And truth be told, I love them visiting so often.

If that barrier to entrance has been broken, I’d rather not mend it, because it’s been a joy having them over. They’re grandparents now. I’ve gotten to see them in this new light and it becomes them. My dad wanting to always hold the baby, my mom cooing into her face and telling me stories of how I was just like her when I was little. They are happy and always smiling when they are here with her. I’m hearing songs sung I haven’t heard since I was a child. I’m excited for the future and what it will hold for them as grandparents. I wonder about the relationships they will build with my daughter and smile thinking of the fun times they will have when she’s older. I see my mother teaching her to sew. I see my father playing the guitar as she sings along.

So, no, there is no barrier to entrance anymore. I want my parents to be around as often as possible, experiencing every little moment that my husband and I get to experience with the baby. I feel their presence in her life is incredibly important and I want them to know, and her to know, of its importance… I am already cherishing these moments that they get to have with each other. It’s funny how seeing your baby with your parents can bring you back to your own childhood. You can catch a glimpse of years long ago. I catch those small glimpses of how they must have been those thirty some years ago with me, when I was a tiny baby, their first. Now here they are seasoned parents turned first time grandparents and I don’t want them to miss anything.The barrier to entrance may have been up when my husband and I were too cool for parents, too young and hip and settling into our own married routine. But it’s different now. We moved closer to be closer. And anyway, that barrier to entrance crumbled six months ago when my mother walked into that hospital room, tears streaming down her face as she got to hold her grand baby for the first time…

gpa and ellie

gma and ellie

Joining Heather for Just Write .

Portrait Project

4/52

4/52

eloise: this week you’re experimenting with sounds. we’ve heard lalala, dada, and mamama and it’s just so fun to hear you’re beautiful voice. 

                           

*loving this che and fidel  52 project. What fun it is to see all these amazing, beautiful photos of other peoples babies and families every week. You must check it out!

52-170px

Just Write: I Read To Her

I read to her every night now. I’m so excited we’ve added that into the night-time routine. An avid reader myself and a lover of children’s literature, I delight in the quiet evenings in the rocking chair, a baby hugged close to my chest, a board book in one hand. Her wide eyes take notice of the pages, the way I turn them. She touches each page and I allow her fingers to linger on the pages, feel the smooth paper, get to know the book in the only way she knows how. I read about the old lady saying ‘hush’, the bears in their chairs, the mittens and those rascal kittens. I’ve read this book a hundred times before to children of all ages. In story times and one on one but always with other people’s children. Now here I am with my own child. I’m at the very beginning with her. I get one chance to impress her with these things called books. I want her to fall in love with them, to know the stories. I want her to love them so much that I fantasize finding her years from now, in her bedroom late at night under the covers, flashlight in hand, finishing a classic like Burnett’s Secret Garden or Rawl’s Where The Red Fern Grows. Maybe she will enjoy the wonderful Edward Eager Half Magic series or go for something vintage like Nancy Drew. I can’t wait to read chapter books aloud to her; Alice In Wonderland, Caddie Woodlawn, The Little Prince, even Harry Potter. And then she’ll push me away and want to read her own books. Reading aloud will be for the babies and she’ll want to retreat to her room and finish the latest book in what ever series will be popular at the time. Books I may know nothing about. She will grow some more and with that growth her reading will wax and wane. She will go through periods where she reads only school books and there will be times when she wants to devour book after book after book of her own choosing.  She will grow some more and she will form a love for certain subjects, a certain type of book. She may like science fiction, romance, thrillers, maybe a little bit of everything? She will connect with books, with the characters and the stories and start discussing this with friends. She may even share with me. She may want to read the same book I’m reading and discuss it with me. Share in the magic that so many stories bring. Steinbeck, Austen, Lamott, Moore. Authors that she will turn to again and again for words of wisdom, stories to inspire and escape into. She will get older and seek out book stores for those books that make her nostalgic for her childhood and reread them. Or maybe she won’t and save the rereading for when she has a daughter to read to. I so hope the magic of books captures her. I want so much to instill this love for the written word.

I sit in this chair and finish my story… ‘Goodnight noises everywhere.’ I close the book. “The End”.  She looks up at me and smiles. I put down the book and get her into bed and smile when I think, I am just at the beginning with books and I am so excited this journey with her has finally begun.

reading magic

* joining Heather for Just Write.

** Yes, I know – this is technically a picture of my mom reading to Ellie, but no one has taken my picture reading to her yet. It’s happening though. Every night we read bedtime stories. Oh what a lovely thing.