17/52 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016





A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 9 months)

We've just been in the bush for our annual family holiday. I love being there with you - watching you play make believe games in the dirt, bundling up for early morning drives armed with rusks and jackets, spotting the hippo every time we crossed the main road bridge, renaming impala pea-hogs, spending all day with your cousins, sleeping under mozzi nets, braaing sausages around the fire at night after running around the camp with glow sticks, looking for owls with Bear. The slower rhythm,  the last rays of hot weather, the carefree barefoot days, magical sunsets. I always wish we could stay longer. 

16/52 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016


A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 8 months)

Birthdays, more specifically birthday cakes and teh surrounding ritual of blowing out candles and singing happy birthday, are one of your favourite things. You often play "birthday" and we have to sing to the fairies or whichever family member you selected to celebrated. Most of your baths are taken up with making cakes (from soap and sponges) and then singing happy birthday. You have two English versions of the song, an Afrikaans version, and a Zulu version, so these games can take up quite some time. You often call me to be included in the celebration and we all have to stand and sing around whatever object is the "cake" in that game.

Francie Sugar's first birthday party was this week. And I think the cake ritual was your favourite part. In fact, you thought it was as much your celebration as it was the birthday girl's. It is so special to see you and your cousins all growing up and attending each other's parties, blurring the lines between between party guest and birthday girl. Cutting cakes for each other and singing at the top of your lungs. 

15/52 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016


A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 8 months)

We celebrated Kimmy's 60th birthday with a high tea at 54 on Bath with all her girls. You both loved it, feeling all grown up sipping on herbal tea concoctions and nipping delightful tarts with purple flowers on top. There were four generations celebrating my mother - your great granny, your gran, your mama and my sisters, and you and your cousins. The significance of time, and how fast it goes was really highlighted on this occasion as we watch a slideshow of photographs of Kimmy's life, looking down the line at all these moments and women who are part of you in some way. It brings back memories of my childhood adventures and carefree days. It's mind blowing for me to contemplate that I have memories of my mother at my age, and how that doesn't seem so long ago. It makes me think about my parents being parents to children your age, and how my mom was a mom at that age. And of my grandparents being grandparents and now my gran being a great gran. And then her mother and all the generations before them in all these different phases of life from child to mother to grandmother. Witnessing the passing of time and the continual circle of life so clearly fills we with a type of fearful wonder, and yet grounds me to the present.

Happy birthday to our Kimmy, our rock and believer in our dreams.

14/52 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016


A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 8 months)

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melody Beattie

13/52 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 8 months)

Making "kos" with papa is one of your favourite things to do. You help him mix or chop or taste. He teaches you about herbs and spices, which you learn in Afrikaans (Florence, you told me the other day you can taste the "knoffel" in your chicken dish). Your latest discovery is "koljander" (coriander) and you both ask for it in random dishes. He tells you about when to stir the bolognese, while popping capers in your mouth, or how to tell when a piece of pasta is ready. I overhear him asking you to repeat names of cheese pronounced in Italian accents. I love watching these little scenes from the sidelines. It makes my heart burst and my mouth water ;)

12/52 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 7 months), annual Easter party in Kimmy & Bear's garden

It is the first year you've really been aware of Easter. You were so excited to find out about this special time in the year, and although you prefer Jesus to stay a baby (you really like the Christmas story), the fact that chocolates were involved means that Easter is now highly rated by you. I love how these events and occasions gain a new meaning when we're celebrating with you. It give gravitas to simple actions, like painting eggs and hiding chocolates, and putting effort into small things which light up your faces but previously would not have been done. I love that about being a parent, how your children really make you slow down, be present,  and focus on what's really important. 

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


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