“Thank you mommy for helping Bibi take a bath,” Kathleen (Bibi) flashed her cute little smile, hugged, and kissed her mommy, Sarah. No words can describe how cute she is! She wrapped and tugged mommy’s hands with her small fingers, which were a little wrinkly from playing with bath water. Mom Sarah wondered where would Kathleen take her; reading books, staring at the fishies, asking mom to cook together, building legos, squeezing playdoh, drawing, or other things? She grows up so smart and so fast! We’ll never know what Kathleen does next. “We can’t turn back time,” shared Sarah, “As her development phase changes, her hobbies, her favorite things, her look, and the way she talks change too. It would never be the same anymore. In the future, I will miss every moment of it.” That’s why Sarah took Kathleen to play in this photoshoot session. As soon as Kathleen came inside the studio, her adorable eyes saw a huge Snoopy (or “upi” as Kathleen called it), which we prepared for her because she loves Snoopy so much. She was super excited! She couldn’t stop talking and asking questions in her own cute, friendly way. She’s so smart. No wonder she grows up so fast! Mom Sarah said, “I’m amazed! You both (the photographer and the stylist) made Kathleen have so much fun that she forgot her nap time.” Aawww. Hearing this really made my day. At the end of the photoshoot, Sarah inspired me to cherish every moment with my family. Everything will change. Even as I write this, everything changes. The change is so subtle that we don’t feel anything. But, when we look back from a year ahead, we would really feel the change. Love, Ave Photo courtesy of mom Sarah and baby Kathleen
“Every moment with my baby is my favorite. She never fails to make me smile and laugh,” said mom Louise. She spends all her time with her baby Gwen; she plays with her, she eats with her, she sleeps with her.
“With Gwen, time flies faster. She grows up so fast. I can’t believe it. One day she’s only my baby. Another day, she’s already a pretty girl, walking around the house.” Currently, Gwen can’t sit still, she’s eager to walk. Soon, she’s start running and blowing her first birthday candle!
That’s why Louise was excited to arrange baby Gwen’s this photoshoot session. She never want to miss every step of her baby’s growth. She desires to treasure every bit of it. In the future, she wants to look back at the pictures with Gwen. She told us that she wanted future Gwen to see what she looked like when she was a little baby.
Treasuring memories is always one of the most exciting thing in life, especially when it comes to your baby’s memories. I am so happy to be a part in capturing Gwen’s baby pictures. She’s so cute!
Happy first birthday, Gwen sweetie! May you grow up smarter, prettier, and closer with mommy.
Courtesy of mom Louise
Props by Dream Flavours
Every mother hopes to spend a lot of time with her children, so mom can bond and teach them her values. However, life in Jakarta demands mothers to depend on nannies. In my recent Japanese photoshoot, I see something different with the way Grace raises her children, Eri and Emi. I have met a lot of children, but hers are more independent while still having a tight bond with mom and dad.
Grace told me a couple stories. If you live in Japan, you have to do everything by yourself. For instance: kids are taught to eat by themselves. Then, they are told to put everything by its order. They are reminded: these behaviors will help to keep the peace, not disturbing other people. That’s why when we go to Japan, we rarely see children running, screaming, or making messes. We see calm children everywhere.
Also, being physically close is important. Moms take her baby everywhere. No matter where the mother goes, whether it’s the supermarket blocks away or the kitchen at the house’s next room, the baby comes with her. Moreover, in most households, the family sleeps together, the child between mom and dad, until shortly after preschool.
Interesting. Raising kids the Japanese way takes more effort. However, it would be priceless to watch the kids grow independent and close to us. Being independent, the children would have a big sense of responsibility, and, when they’re a bit older, they’ll be able to make their own decision.
Photo courtesy of dad Takayuki & mom Grace
I always feel amazed when I watch my children at play. I’ve been invited to my girl’s tea party with Mr. Giraffe and Mrs. Bear, and watched my two boys chase each other around pretending to be ferocious dinosaurs. Let me tell you something, honestly, I don’t really have that time and energy that I can devote 100% with my kids before I get busy, tired, bored, or annoyed. I can conveniently blame that on the load of work I have, but I really can’t. It’s time management (which I happen to suck at!) However, when I allow myself to just be with my children and to be sucked into their world at play, I get a lot more than I can ever give them.
What you can see in this world through a child’s eyes is so amazing! Each child has his/her own perspective of the world that they live. I learned so much just to be able to look at the world in magic and wonder, appreciate the little things way better than I used to, and see the world in a different way in just a second. Just by playing with my children, I learn to keep my dreams right in front of me at all times. I am reminded of how great it feels to be passionate about something and to tap into our imaginations again. In fact, when the time is right, playing with them is one of my favorite stress-relief for an overworked mom like me.
I know that I have to expand my level of tolerance for the amount of time I can play with my kids, because by joining and accepting them in their make believe world, I can enhance their self-esteem and their strengthen their trust in me. It’s a great opportunity to help me get to know and understand the uniqueness of each child. Whenever I saw how they build their self-esteem when they discovered they could be anything just by pretending, whenever I saw how their personalities bloom and their interests grow, I burst with pride and joy. I used to think that I need to set about an hour to do this with them, but actually, even five minutes can do wonders for them. Kids are truly amazing, aren’t they?
The Chinese New Year celebration, to many, is synonymous with red packets, a table full of good food, and overeating. I’ve got to admit that I belong in that group too. However, this year, before the commotion of the festivities began, I took a moment to think about why we do what we do on Chinese New Year? Why do we dress up in nice clothes and go visit families and have reunion dinners with abundance on the table?
The New Year is a time for thanksgiving. We give thanks for, not only the big blessings we got to experience, but the small blessings too. Whether it’s the additional amount of red packets we’re able to give out because of a promotion or a financial stability we’ve received or maybe for an extra red packet for a new family member.
This has been a tradition in my family since I can remember. I have been doing this since I was a child. My mother has been doing the same, and her mother before her has done it also. Even as the years go by and the world changes, we try to keep these traditions alive by handing it down through the generations. It’s a good reminder of what is truly important in life: it’s not the matter of what we have in life, but whom we have beside us on this journey.
As you catch up with your family and friends today, I pray that you’ll remember the meaning of this tradition and that you’ll find gratitude in the company… and the red packets too!
Wishing you a very Happy Lunar New Year.
Quickly, quietly to the upstairs bath
I retreat to prepare
Open the shiny package
In there lies my future, my hope
Will I be, will you be?
The sample is produced
Now it is time to wait
Minutes seem like hours
I listen to my breath
Not daring to consider what might be
So much power in that little plastic stick
After an eternity, steal a furtive glance
Dare to check the future
What might be
Swallow hard, manage a smile
Soon it will happen
My belly will fill with baby
Happiness will fill our home
Blink back tears
Like magic, a thin line appears.
Wipe the tears, blink twice
A new life has begun
The past nine months of sleepless nights had driven me insane,
But the sight of something so beautiful made me forget all the pain,
I feel like God for a moment to have created a life,
Out of my own flesh and blood, was made my darling child.
I promise to be the best parent to you my dear,
For losing you is the only thing now that I ever fear.