11/52 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 7 months)

Florence Willow
The way you start most sentences with "Mama, you know what..."
You used use the term "yesterday" to refer to any past tense but you've just started saying things like "last week" and "the other day"
You're a creature of habit and thrive on routine and repetition. If you do something once then you insist on doing it again, in the exact same way, following the exact same steps. Like the way you switch off the nursery light at night or the way you go up by yourself in the lift every single time we arrive home. No matter what. 

Anna Clementine
You love the moon and look for it in the sky any chance you get
You've started answering questions with "me" instead of "I" when referring to yourself
The way you still run with you right arm pumping back and forth, propelling you forward as you go faster and faster
And you've started reading to Florence. I over hear wondrous stories being told as you turn the pages together on the edge of the couch

10/52 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 7 months)

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness." 
Mary Oliver

Sunlight floods through our home in these beginning-of-autumn mornings. I open the doors, open the windows, and let time unravel slowly as we open our eyes, lying in bed together, and talk about what we are going to do today. This does not last long. In 10 minutes, sometimes more sometimes less, we'll be up, either with one of you on a hip and the other around a leg as I brush my teeth, or with you running off with bubbles of energy immediately immersing yourselves in some make believe game while I make breakfast. But the start, the slowness, the laziness of two sleepy bodies under my arms, sweet conversations, sometimes a song or a stretch, sometimes disgruntlement and irritation that your twin's leg is touching your own or holding my too much of my hair, before we face the real world, this is time I treasure. 

9/52 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 7 months)

You've entered the magical world of fantasy play and dress up. "Ballareas" (ballerinas), fairies, and mamas and papas (or any combination of Honor, Cheska, Hugs, Guy, Human, mama, papa, Jack, Francie Sugar, sister, Gladys, Cate, and often a random Ali), are the most popular characters you adopt. You play these games in these little worlds you create for yourselves. Anna appoints roles most often, and Florence obliges with what role you've been allocated (often papa, or some other male, but even donkey in the Nativity story). But when Florence is given a chance to choose her role, she usually chooses Honor and springs around with such enthusiasm and excitement ("I'm so cited mama). There are strict rules in these games, a secret code of conduct respected by both parties (F: "Anna, we do it like this", F: "No Florence, like this" , F:"ok Anna.") about where babies sleep, how dolls are fed, what fairies can and cannot do, who goes shopping, what nests are made and with what blankets. I love watching and listening (although I have to be discreet for if you catch me you often snap our  of character). Sometimes I am allocated a role: real mama, often sister, and sometime Cate or order (waiter).  You mix real experience (I need a credit card and ID) with wild imaginations (the fairies live on holiday with Eeyore and Oppipops) which I hope grow and filter throughout your life. 

8/52 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 6 months)

Self styled.

7/52 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 6 months), renovation plans for our new apartment

Three things abut this picture:

1. You are in your preferred state of undress

2. We are talking excitedly and often about our new apartment. When I ask what colour you want your bathroom you both tell me "pink, blue and white.' And the same colour selection for your bedroom. (It is also the colour combination you suggest I request when I go for a pedicure).

3. Florence asked which bedroom Charles will have (Charles is the previous owners' grown up son whom the girls met when we came to look at the house). She thought he was going to be living there with us. 

6/52 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 6 months), in your nursery

You sing "Happy Birthday" a lot in this house. Usually to Anna or "birthday girl" or another on of your imaginary friends, or in fact any lucky family member you've selected. You make cakes out of the strangest objects you find lying around (a scrunched up glasses cleaner cloth, a wooden block, an elastic band), you place equally strange objects on as candles, and then you light the candles, cut the cake and make a wish. Mostly you sing the normal "Happy Birthday" but the other day I overheard you singing "Dreams Come True."

Happy birthday to you
May all your dreams come true
May you always walk in sunshine
Happy birthday to you

I feel so privileged to witness these scenes of role play and make believe, a glimpse into your world where your imagine expands every day and possibilities are endless. 

5/52 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 6 months), on top of Table Mountain

We're in Cape Town for our annual family holiday. I love bringing you two here as you make us completely embrace the this beautiful city. Our days were filled with riding bikes on the Seapoint promenade, hanging out on different beaches, exploring the Company gardens, going up Table Mountain where we followed fairy paths and looked for dassies (dissies), visiting different playgrounds, swimming in the public pools, trying different restaurants, eating dinner on the beach with sand in your toes watching the still-sweltering sun slowly slide down the sky, and dipping in cool waves while gripping tightly onto my hand. You sleep soundly at night, sharing a double bed, little bodies resting up for our busy days, and little minds swirling with new experiences and reference points and conversation snippets, little eyes visiting a dream world of new tastes and smells and sights, all absorbed with wide-eyed wonder. Cheska and Francie Sugar join us for the second week. We hire a van and drive around the city altogether in a cloud of giddiness and exhaustion as we continue our daily adventures. With happy minds and happy hearts, we're already planning our return.
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