52 Project

37/52 – The two of you

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: Love. (Sometimes a bit reluctant.)

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Isis: Total adoration.


36/52- Away

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: Lazy days away from home.

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Isis: Hanging out helping me hang my show.


35/52 -Monkeys

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: “Two mummies, two daddies…” Captain Crosseyed. I have no idea how you figured that one out. Silly monkey.

***

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Isis: Attack of the roasted pumpkin. You’re crazy about food, so much so that mealtimes are some of my least favourite. You scream in anger and impatience as soon as you figure out some form of cooking or food preparation is under way, which is usually immediately. Even with your little belly full of milk you’ll still howl until you get what you want and it keeps coming in a steady stream. No time for breaks or breathing. Must. Stuff. Pie. Hole. Constantly. Whatever takes too long or doesn’t tickle your immediate fancy gets swiftly tossed on the floor.


34/52 – Pause

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: A pause. A pause between demolition and rebuilding. Much like this year has been for us.

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Isis: Staying close. Holding on. Our Continuum.

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My darling children, you are my heart, my love, my light.

xx Mama


33/52 – Together

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: You really do adore her. You’re her number one hero. Guaranteed to make her smile.

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Isis: There is nothing you love more than to be a part of what he does.


32/52 – Favourites

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: A stolen moment of quiet.

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Isis: Our little Bright Eyes. You are just so beautiful it takes my breath away.

These are definitely two of my favourite portraits so far.


31/52 – Happiness in little things

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: While shopping for new clothes: “I want a Batman.” “We’re not getting any new toys right now.” “No, I want a Batman shirt. That one, with a cape.” Who can argue with a boy wanting to be a superhero with a cape? I surely can’t. Go be a hero, little man!

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31_52_Isis_webIsis: You love showers. While your brother loved his baths you definitely prefer showers with me. I fall crazy in love with your excitement. As soon as you’re undressed and understand it’s time to shower your little legs start kicking and you flex every muscle in your little body in anticipation. Afterwards I wrap you in a towel by the window and you watch the wind in the trees with a smile on your face. Happiness is so easily found in the little things.


30/52 – Family

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: A visit from grandparents is a treat for us all. Every morning you’d wake up at the crack of dawn (like you usually do) and grandma would be the first thing on your mind. You’d get up, run in to where she was sleeping and crawl into bed for a cuddle. She took you swimming, to the zoo, read you books and smothered you in the kind of love only grandmas can. And it was so good! This time grandma brought one of your cousins to your great joy. You were so enthralled by her, always wanting to do what she did and be where she was.

***

30_52_Isis_webIsis: Weekends are easily my favourite. It’s the time when pappa usually has some time to spend with us and with you. He misses so much of everything that goes on with you, it all happens so fast and usually while he’s at work. I adore listening to the two of you chatting on the sofa, catching up and getting some much needed one on one.


29/52 -Little Lights

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: Reading in the bright afternoon light. You have no idea how much I love seeing you like this. So peaceful, so lost in inner worlds that are yours and yours alone. I know those places. Feed them and they will take care of you. 

***

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Isis: You shine so bright. On dark days I look at you and wonder how something so bright could grow where something so dark lives. Perhaps you came here to guide me, to tell me that even when all feels lost I have already won because I have you, my sweet children, to pull me back in and show me the way of the light. 


28/52- Remember this

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: The day before I took this picture I came across a drawing you’d done while tidying. For the first time it was clear to me what you’d drawn without any explanation, there was no mistaking it for anything other than a car. The day after I asked you if you wanted to draw some pictures with me, curious to see this new skill in action. First I drew a dinosaur for you which you helped me colour in and then I asked you to draw something. You sat in silence while putting carefully calculated lines on the paper. “Is that a T-Rex?” I asked. “Yes, mummy, it’s the skeleton!” And there it was, a fossil of a T-rex clear as day. I asked if you could draw a face and you did. Suddenly you’d mastered the translation of images to paper. It blew me away. 

***

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Isis: I want to hold on to all those little things about you that I know I’ll forget too soon. The way you kick your legs in excitement, how your body goes all stiff and rigid in anticipation of something funny and the way you fold your hands across your chest when you smile. Or how you rub your legs together when I take your socks off and that cheeky look you get when you go to grab my glasses. The way your face lights up at the sight of my hair as if it holds magical powers, the way you rub your face into my shoulder when you start to get tired and how you turn your head towards me when I rock you to get even closer. How you eagerly open and close your mouth when you know there’s food about to be served or how you burrow your face into my breast as if it will force milk out faster. I want to remember it all. 


27/52 – Attitude

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: You are full of attitude, for better and for worse. You’re getting more aware of your own image and some days you are near impossible to take a photo of. And I have to learn to respect that, respect that you are ultimately in control of whether you let me photograph you or not. One of these days the tables will likely turn and I’ll be the one pulling faces or running away. (But since you’ve already broken two cameras I say we wait another few months before we try giving you number 3.) 

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Isis: Forever exploring and figuring out exactly how you fit into this world. Some days you are quiet as a mouse, others you let the world (or me at least) know that this volcano harbours violent eruptions too. 

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After a few weeks without a laptop (YIKES!) and even longer living in a house full of sick people I am finally getting back to posting these. Bare with me while I still try to wrap up June… (yep, you read right. June.)


26/52 – Imagine

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: “Look! I’m Lightning McQueen!” I could see it as soon as you said it. The red face, the windows making up the eyes. You have boundless imagination and vision. Watching you lose yourself in those worlds for ages thrills me. I don’t know where your life will take you or what you’ll want to do with it but I sincerely hope you hold on to your creativity and to that fire. 

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Isis: So much determination for such a little girl. Already strong-willed and wanting to do more than your body allows. Some days I wish you would slow down and just snuggle in. I know I will miss this time so much once it is passed. I’ve loved you forever but it still seems like you just arrived yesterday. 

Just let me slow down and take you in. 


25/52- Darlings and babies 

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: “Are you ok, my darling? What did you say, my darling?” Oh how sweet you can be, your words echoing ours. So gentle with such a big heart. Until you’re not. “You’re a baby!” is your first and so far only insult with an occasional added “you’re not my best friend!” Then as the day grows long and you grow tired you turn to me in bed and say quietly “You like me.” And I say “Yes, I most certainly do. You’re my favourite boy in the whole world and I love you no matter what.” You fall asleep and when you wake up in the morning you roll over to me and say confidently “You like me! You’re my best friend. And daddy’s my best friend and Isis is my best friend.” There’s not a thing in the world that will ever change that, my love. Not a thing. 

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Isis: That little hand waving in the sun. Your happy feet kicking around making the chair bounce as you wait for someone to smile at. How you make my heart burst with joy. 


24/52- Night and day

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: Your imagination knows no boundaries. (I make no excuse for the messy bathroom!) 

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Isis: Sweetest perfection. 


23/52 – Little lights

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: There’s something in your eyes. An ache of sorts or perhaps it’s a distance, a thousand thoughts caught in a glimpse. 3 is hard.  Everything is changing. Your world is expanding so rapidly I can only imagine how confusing it feels. You lash out, your screams are cries for help but it’s so hard to get past the stream of punches and toys flying in my direction to get to you. You’re a storm, a wildfire. My little wildling. And then just as sudden you turn around and become the most gentle soul baring your big, tender thoughts as we end our day embracing in the dark. I love this photo for capturing all of it. The beauty of you both, the long distance gaze, your favourite toys (that day) and the protective pose. As much as we struggle to find our balance my love for you only grows. I only wish you knew how the two of you are the absolute light of my life. 

***

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Isis: You remind me so much of your brother when he was a baby.  So happy, so easy-going and so breathtakingly beautiful. You share the same fascination and love of my long hair as he did. As soon as I let it down your face lights up in a smile and when I let it brush across your hands you let out the most delightful laugh. 


22/52 – Skills, discoveries and independence

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: There are so many skills that seem so easy when you already master them. But they take coordination and focus to learn. And you’re all about mastering new things these days, claiming bits of independence. What used to be “I can’t do it” is now more than often “I can do it myself”. 

 At least now when you start freaking out over a snotty nose we can talk you through how to make it better. (And boy, do you hate being snotty.) 

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Isis: Your body is one big discovery these days. The look of pure surprise on your face whenever you see your hands always makes me laugh.  Surprise quickly turns to fascination and focus. You’re trying to gain control over these alien limbs that so often fling about causing you to startle, making basic connections between touch and texture, cause and effect.  Watching you learn never gets old. Seeing your joy when you master something never seizes to thrill me. Where did that squishy newborn go that was just here? 


21/52 – Best friends

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: “You’re my best friend, daddy!” Sometimes I get to be your best friend again too but for the most part it’s Team Daddy. And you know what? That’s ok. I love watching the two of you cook up a mess storm in the kitchen or listening to you chatter and read stories at bedtime. Team Daddy is pretty great. And besides, I’ll always be your best friend even when you don’t want me to be. 

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Isis: My goodness how much you love him. You laugh and smile every time he talks to you. You are his biggest fan. But his big hugs? They still make you feel uneasy. 


20/52 – Light and shadow

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: They seem so distant now those last days of autumn heat. You were playing outside late one afternoon while we waited for pappa to come home. Isis was sleeping on my chest and I think we both enjoyed the pause it gave us to just be you and me. 

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Isis: The faces of babies… So funny, so precious. Yes, my love, the world can be both scary and shocking. 

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So far behind. So hard to keep up these days. Life has thrown us a curveball and this one hit us right in the face. Once we get back on our feet I’ll share the story. Until then send us kind thoughts and kiss your little ones a few times extra before they go to sleep.


19/52- Golden light

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

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Anakin: I remember this afternoon so well. The gardener had been here to mow the lawn and you were so excited by it. We’d been out and once we got back you ran inside to get your lawn mower and spent ages pretending to mow the lawn just like you’d seen him do. You came across a big stick and called it your “english mower”. “This is my english mower, mum. You can have it!” The sun was slowly going down and you were bathed in the most amazing autumn light.  

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Isis: So curious and full of wonder. You want to be part of it all. I keep trying to tell you nothing much happens while you sleep but you clearly don’t believe me. 


18/52 – Near and far

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year. 

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Anakin: Look at you growing up so fast. Always so busy, so full of energy and big, bold emotions crashing over you like waves. Suddenly you know all these things that take me by surprise. 3,5 is tricky, isn’t it? So big yet so small. Most days I feel like you’re a few steps away from me and its hard for me too, but we always come back together before you go to sleep. You’ll probably never know how much I love it when you come crawling under the covers at night and put your little hand around my waist. 

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Isis: He loves you, he loves you not. He loves you… My sweet girl, how we’re all completely entranced by you. Your big smiles, your bright eyes. Your sweet, loud voice. You are so in awe of him. The force of his hugs can be overwhelming taking you by surprise. He’s got his own nickname for you that none of us know what means or where it comes from, “Kuntie”. He does the Kuntie dance, the Kuntie song. Perhaps we’ll never get it but you’re his Kuntie. 

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I’ve somehow managed to fall behind again with my posting. Two kids, deadlines, a messy house and illness all around will do that, I suppose. We’ll get there eventually.


17/52 – Nerds

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year. 

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Anakin: Making goofy faces in the bath. You make me laugh in the best of ways. Don’t ever stop dressing up and having fun. 

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Isis: Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself when some dear friends gave you a Princess Leia beanie. I promise, your parents are nerds in the best of ways. 


16/52 – Forever

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year. 

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Anakin: She used to be your little lifeguard when you were a baby. In more or less every photo we have of you taking a bath Hedda is right there, watching over you and making sure you were ok. If you cried she would come running with a meow and sniff your head. And then you got old enough to start flinging your limbs everywhere and hit her by accident once and that was it. She wouldn’t let you near her again and she kept her distance. Until now. The last couple of weeks she’s finally let you touch her. I can see how weary she is but perhaps she senses your sadness and confusion. Perhaps she needs it as much as you do. And the other night I found her sleeping next to you in bed on my pillow. It was the first time she’s chosen to sleep with you and the first time she’s given up a chance to sleep on my lap after you’ve gone to bed.

It will get better, my love. It won’t feel this way forever. 

*** 

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Isis: My little ray of sunshine, you practically beam of joy. Every day now I wait to hear that sweet laugh I know is in there.  It’s like we’ve known each other a lifetime yet I can’t look at you enough. The soft curves of your face, your little head which still fits in the palm of my hand. And those little legs full of  happy rolls kicking with excitement. I could spend days skin to skin with you doing nothing but hold and nourish you with my body. I was your first home. I will always be your home and your anchor. And you will always be the beat of my heart. 


15/52 – Pause

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year. 

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Anakin: I wonder where you go and what you think of when I see you drift away. Do you go on adventures? Are you riding dragons or digging for treasure? Are you captain of your own ship sailing the high seas? Or are you overcome with feelings that weigh heavy on your heart? 

I often think you look so sad when you sit there staring into space, in a place where I can’t quite reach you. It makes me want to wrap you in my arms and do everything I can to put a smile back on your face. But maybe you’re not sad at all, maybe you’re soaring high on the back of an eagle or diving deep with turtles. Or maybe you just need to stop and feel.  So I let you be and I quietly watch and wait, hoping that if you need my arms you’ll let me know somehow. 

***

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Isis: You’re just as alert as your brother was. Taking it all in. Your gaze finds mine and your body becomes busy as you babble away, telling me stories about your day and your new discoveries. I ask you questions and pause for your answers, you squeal in delight and your sounds are music to my ears. As long as you are rested you are all smiles. But just like your brother you struggle with your daytime sleeps and your exhausted wails are heartbreaking. I do the only thing I know will work, I wrap you tight and walk you down, holding you as close as I can. And as you find sleep next to my heart I find peace in your closeness. I will carry you for as long as I can. 


14/52- Sharing

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year. 

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Anakin: Sharing one of your favourite stories under the blanket with aunty Leah. You are always excited to see people and even more so these days. You’ve grown louder and more animated as if you feel you need to be to take the attention off your baby sister. It is nice to see you have some quiet time, to see you calm and assured that you are indeed just as important as you’ve always been. How could you not be? If only you knew how amazing we think you are, even on our bad days. 

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Isis: Your first meeting with aunty Leah. You gave her some sweet smiles before falling asleep on her chest. There is something so comforting about seeing you at such ease with the people we love.