Letters to My Children – May and June 2017

Dear Ariya,

May was a great month. We went to the fair during Apple Blossom, and saw some fire trucks.  It was your last month of pre-school in the 3s class at Sonshine Learning Center.  It seemed like you had a field trip or a birthday party every few days.  You even had your FIRST ballet recital on stage, as Tinkerbell.  You had so much fun you didn’t want it to end!  It was a hard concept for you to understand, “summer vacation”.  That you weren’t going back to school, that you won’t see your teachers or most of your friends.  I had to explain all the fun things that we were going to do, all the fun things we had planned.  Like to trip to see Daddy’s friends in Port Angeles, Washington.  Or the beach trip that we have planned with your cousins in July.  Or the swim lessons and soccer lessons that you were taking with your best friend Asher.  It took a little while, but by the time we were on the “jet plane” on our way to Seattle, you were ready to start the summer!

You had a great time in Seattle and Port Angeles.  We got to hang out with Niki didi and meet her new husband Nikhil.  We went to the Pacific Science Center and rode to the top of the Space Needle.  And the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market was pretty awesome.  Then we borrowed Niki didi’s car to meet Daddy’s friends Cindy and Mike in Port Angeles.  It was so much fun!  We explored new places, got to check out beaches and tide pools, mountains and lakes.

June was even better!  You got to spend some quality time with Grandma and your cousins.  It was Asha’s first time away from us and you were the best big sister, helping make her feel comfortable.  You had such a blast, for the next few days afterwards, you talked about how much fun you had at Grandma’s, and how you wish you could go back and see your cousins, and how you wish you could do it again.  Lucky for you, we’ll be seeing Grandma and your cousins and aunties/uncles at the beach in July!

You also started playing soccer with your friends Asher and Ishanvi.  And while you love the games and the dribbling of the ball, I don’t think you’re much of a fan of the sport.  You kind of hang out by the goal net while everyone else chases the ball. Swimming is definitely more your thing.  You’re getting a little more comfortable putting your face in the water.  You’re kicking and gliding and having a ball.  I know you can’t wait to go to the beach and show everyone your moves.

 

Dear Asha,

Your daddy and I were so nervous for you and our plane trip to Seattle.  But you surprised me!  Out of the 5 hour plane ride, I think you napped for 3 in the ergo carrier.  Thank goodness for that!  Sleeping in a strange place in the pack and play, that’s another story.  It wasn’t….bad…but it wasn’t great.  Our strategy was to keep you busy, make sure you got your naps in (thank goodness for the ergo), and kept you up later than your usual bedtime.  It worked for the most part.  You had so much fun seeing all the new sights, meeting our friends, exploring everything.  It was a pretty fun trip, even if you spent a lot of it on our backs napping.

June has been just another month.  We’ve spent more time running around for Ariya’s events, playing at the park when you really want to play soccer with her.  Playing at the pool while she takes her lessons (you don’t really complain, but you hit a wall when it’s nap time).

You’re doing some cute things lately.  You said your first word at Grandma’s house.  We were looking at the mirror, and I pointed at you and said, “Can you say “Asha”?”  And you DID.  You said Asha!  I pointed at Ariya, and asked if you could say her name. AND YOU DID.  You’ve been saying “Dada” for forever.  And when I pointed at me and asked you to say “Mama”, guess what you said……..”DADA”.  And now it’s a big joke to everyone.  We all laugh, and I’m convinced that you know what you’re doing.  That’s ok.  I’m patient.  I can wait for you to say MAMA.

You also started doing the funniest thing.  Every time you have a poopy diaper, I ask if you have a stinky butt”.  You pinch your nose and say “peeeuuuuuu”.  So adorable.  You let it be known when you’re upset.  You scream when Ariya tries to take something that you’re playing with.  You bring me your shoes all the time when you want to go outside and play.  Sometimes first thing in the morning.  You love animals so so much.  So much that we can’t get to the pet store to buy dog food because I’m busy chasing you down after you see a dog that you want to say hello to.  No Asha, not all dogs are friendly.  But you do love our dogs.  You pet them, you’re so gentle with them.  And you pat Ariya and me all the time, on our arms and legs.  So sweet, when you want to be 🙂  There’s this song that I sing to Ariya to signal that it’s time to go to bed. “Now it’s time to say good night, say good night say good night, now it’s time to say goodnight, we had lots of fun”.  Every time I try to sing the song to you, you know what it means, and you SCREAM.  Do you not like my singing?  I won’t take offense.  I say this all the time.  But I really need for time to stop, or slow down.  You two are growing way too fast and it hurts my heart to know that I’m missing it, or that I’ll forget it.  Which is why you’re probably used to seeing me with a camera to my face.  I don’t want to forget a thing.

Nikon f100, Portra 160 rated at 320 and pushed +1

Nikon f100, Portra 400NC rated at 200 and pushed +1

Pentax 645nii, Portra 400

Pentax 645nii, Portra 160 rated at 320 +1

 

March 2017 – Film Project

I don’t know what happened to my “one film stock, one film camera, one lens” project.  This month, I was all over the place.  I wanted to compare the film stocks Lomo 800 to Fuji Superia 800.  I also wanted to test out a new (to me) point and shoot camera, the Fuji Klasse s.  I finally got my Rolleiflex 2.8E back from a CLA with Harry Fleenor, and wanted to test it out. I wanted to try some funky light leaked processed film that I found out about through Instagram, Psychedelic Blues, I think?  They process Kodak Gold film to create these funky light leaks. And THEN, I tried some black and white, and played with the TLA 200 flash with my Contax G2.  And because the workshop with the Find Lab and Jonathan Canlas was coming up in April, I thought I’d try shooting film with my video light.  Anyway, so yeah, it was a fun month in terms of scans, but as usual, ALL over the place.  One thing I discovered is that I do NOT like Cinestill.  The roll that I shot was water damaged, and it was not pretty.  Enjoy!

Nikon f100 and Fuji Superia 800

Nikon f100 and Portra 400

Pentax 645nii and Portra 400 +3

Pentax 645nii and Portra 400 +3  with video light

Pentax 67ii and Portra 400 +1

Nikon f100 and HP5

Contax t2 and Lomography 800

Nikon f100 and Kodak 400 treated by Psychedelic Blues

Contax G1 and Japan Camera Hunter with TLA 200 Flash

without flash

Fuji Klasse S and Fuji Superia 800

Contax N1 and Fuji 200

Nikon f100 and Delta 3200

Nikon f100 and Delta 3200 with Video light

 

February 2017 – Film Project

I had enough of black and white film to go with my gloomy feelings of winter in January.  February, I wanted COLOR.  And I wanted to use my Pentax 67ii.  Ever since I got it, I’ve had the hardest time loading the film.  It’s just something that comes with practice I get.  We did get a chance to get away to Snowshoe, and I should have brought my Pentax 67ii, but I still get a little self conscious shooting with it in public.  It’s just so big, at 5 lbs.  Wouldn’t have mattered, because Ariya was sick the whole weekend and we basically stayed in the hotel room the whole time :-/  As for color, I tried to stick to keep it within the same family.  Portra 400NC, Portra 160NC and because I was so excited to try some slide film, I tried a roll of E100SW.

Pentax 67ii and E100SW.  Those COLORS.

Pentax 67ii and Portra 160NC

Nikon f100 and Portra 400NC

One Second of Every Day – January 2017

It’s interesting that with each new year, I keep thinking up new projects to work on.  My friend Francesca of Francesca Russell Photography created this amazing body of work, the beauty of every second, a video showing one second of every day for the whole year.  And it was just beautiful to watch.  I had been doing monthly videos for 2016, my goal was to do a year’s worth of videos ever since I took the Every Day Films Workshop last October.  So far, I’ve done October through July and am currently working on August.  I love doing these videos.  Don’t get me wrong, I love photography, but it’s amazing to see my daughters hit these milestones in action.  The way my daughter Ariya says COOL instead of SCHOOL, or seeing Asha crawl for the first time.  It’s pretty amazing. Which is probably while video will always be one of my main projects.  If you want to see all of my videos, you can check out my vimeo account here.

As for my 2017 project.  I’ve joined a pretty great group that helps for accountability.  After watching my video, feel free to follow the circle with Jennifer Stamps Photography here.

Here’s the first video of many.  One Second of Every Day – January 2017

 

Letters to Our Children – January 2017

Dear Ariya,

It’s a new year!  You’re back at school, back to your usual routine.  You’re learning your letters, having fun at school with the many crafts and activities that you do.  It’s been pretty cold at home, but no serious snow just yet.  It just so happened that the one weekend that we went to visit Nani and Nanu, it actually snowed down there!  We weren’t prepared and didn’t bring your snow gear, but your daddy braved the roads to drive to Walmart and get you new snow boots.  And boy did you have fun!  8 inches of snow full of fun!  I’m hoping we get some snow at home though, because our front yard is made for sledding.  But when we’re not hoping for snow, we’re going to Asha’s music class, or your ballet class.  We go to the children’s museum, and have playdates with friends from school. And on the rare day that it’s warm, we go out on the patio so that you can ride your bike.

The other day, you saw some construction workers outside.  The first time you mentioned what you wanted to be when you grow up.  You said “I wish I could be a construction worker so I can dig like that”.

A year ago, you had the hardest time pronouncing your S’s.  Like School was cool, Snack was nack.  Cutest ever.  You’re outgrowing it, and I kind of miss it.  I

It’s been rough for you though.  You’ve been missing your daddy.  It’s tough for you, when he’s at work for long stretches of time, when you don’t get to see him.  He’s gone before you wake up, and he comes home past your bedtime.  But it’s ok, you’re strong.  Your daddy will be off for a few days and will spend all of his time with you.

Dear Asha,

You are walking now!  It’s crazy, you’ve taken more than a few steps, and you get so excited each time you go further than the last.  Well, you’re not full blown walking yet, but you’re so close.  And I’m not ready.  I actually burst into tears.  Where did the time go?  When you did you go from being my little baby to being my little toddler?  You’re babbling up a storm too.  I keep saying mama, dada, but nope, no first words yet.  Just a lot of syllables.  You’re also still waking up at least once in the middle of the night.  I’m trying not to let it get to me.  I’m hoping that you’ll get over it.  I just don’t know how to help you get over it.  Can anyone out there help me out?

You do love your sister, you’re her little shadow.  You’re obsessed with legos, just like her.  You want to play with her play doh everytime she’s playing with it (and promptly puts it in your mouth, bleh). And you love pulling her hair.  For some reason she lets you.  I don’t understand why she lets you, but she does.  Because she loves you so.  She loves flinging you around, holding you, picking you up.  And you love every second of it.  You’re so lucky to have each other.

Portra 400 on Pentax 67ii

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Portra 400NC on Nikon f100

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Fuji 400h on Pentax 67ii

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Film 366 Favorites of 2016

The year has ended and I have survived 2 366 projects.  One was a digital 366, using my Nikon d610 and Fuji x100t.  And the 2nd was a film 366, using a variety of film cameras and film stocks.  I went a little crazy exploring the world of film.  I’ve acquired a ton of film cameras, tons of film stock.  I was all over the place.  I wasn’t able to keep track of my film 366, because I shot SO MUCH FILM.  Here are some of my favorites of 2016.

37016jbmar137001-r2-0001 38170jbmar610003-r2-001 39855aamar629003-r1-013 39855aamar629004-r2-024 39855eegoo629007-r2-051 39855eegoo629007-r2-053 39855eegoo629007-r2-059 42813nnmar801002-r1-010-2 42813nnmar801007-r4-120-2 42813nnmar801007-r4-129-2 000009430011 000009480020 000009480024 000009490016 000009500004 000024840034 000024860026 000024930005 000024960003 000024960016 000060400019 000060400026 000060410001 000060410018 000064300002 000064300003 000068300009 000068310019 000068320019 000078130004 000078130014 000078150006 000097840037 000097850003 000097850017 000097860001 000097860017 000097860019 000097860021 000097860025 286460020019 286460020023 286460020034 312680020003 312680020006 312680020007 312680030029 312680040010 312680040027 314930010005 314930010013 314930010017 320360010008 320360010032 320360020006 320360020033 320360040005 320360050017 320360060003 320360060031 320360070022 342450010005 342450010010 342450010013 342450020001 342450020009 342450040003 342450050005 342450070003 342450070027 342450080033 342450090005 342450090021 370020020005 370020020014 381720010017 381720010027 381720040015 381720040030 399390010007 412850020020 426610010011-2 436610010025-2 436610030005-2 523900010016 523900020015-2 523900040004 523900040009 523900040011-2 523900040016 523900050016 560040060028 es35135goo509002-r1-003 es35135goo509002-r1-022 es35135goo509002-r2-074 es35135goo509002-r4-103 es35135goo509002-r4-104 es35135goo509002-r4-116 es35135goo509002-r6-161 hp33314goo415001-r1-003 hp33314goo415002-r1-005 hp33314goo415002-r1-006 hp33314goo415002-r2-046 hp33314goo415002-r3-061 hp34249goo427002-r1-010 jo33311goo041503-r1-035 sr33315goo041501-r1-004 untitled-71 untitled-92

I’m crazy enough to do my 4th 365, for 2017.  I’ve also decided to slow down with film and focus.  So, I’m doing a digital 365, and I’m doing 1 roll of film a week, and for each month that I shoot film, I’ll be using the same film camera, same lens and same film stock. For January 2017, I’ve started shooting Acros 100 with my Nikon f100 and 35 f/2 lens.  Let’s hope I come out with some decent shots!

Letters to our Children – December

Dear Ariya,

What an exciting month it’s been!  Your daddy had to go to a work conference in Orlando of all places, so you got to experience your first trip to Disney! You were so excited to ride on a “jet plane” to meet your favorite princesses, like Elena (you asked where Gabe and her sister Isabelle was), Rapunzel (who twirled you and talked about her friend/lizard Pascal) and Ariel in her grotto (you were so starstruck meeting Ariel!).  We ate at the Beast’s palace and you wore your Belle dress.  We met all of your favorite characters like Minnie and Mickey, Daisey and Goofey.  You were over the moon.  We took pictures of you with all of them, and you even got their autographs.  I think your favorite ride was Dumbo and Winnie the Pooh.  And you LOVED the Frozen Sing a long at Hollywood Studios.  I mean, you just sang your heart out, and it was amazing to see.

Then we had Christmas!  We baked gingerbread cookies, made reindeer food and read tons of Christmas books.  The tree was decorated, the presents were stacked and you were ready to see what Santa brought you.  Nani and Nanu came to visit, and you had a blast playing with them. Santa must have thought you were a very good girl, because you got a TON of presents.  You are one very lucky girl. We also so Moana that day, and I think Moana might be your new favorite Disney princess.  I have to admit, I can’t get those songs out of my head!

And for New Year’s Eve, your Grandma and Auntie Carmen came to visit!  More presents! But more importantly, more quality time spent with family.  You loved working on the life size puzzle of Doc McStuffins with Grandma.  And that Read Along Princess books was THE best present ever, Thanks Grandma!

Looking forward to what 2017 brings us!

Dear Asha,

You turned one!  We ended up having your birthday part at your Grandma’s after Thanksgiving.  Nani and Nanu came to visit, and Grandma and Auntie Carmen got you a beautiful cake with your face on it, along with a chocolate flavored smash cake.  You went to town on that cake!  Lots of family from your daddy’s side was there, and it was so much fun for you and Ariya playing with them.

You were such a superstar on the plane to Disneyworld.  You pretty much slept in the ergo while Ariya had her fun.  But you did get some play time in the pool, and got to meet some disney characters too.  You won’t remember this trip, but I do have pictures to prove you were there!

Santa must have thought you were really good too, because you got some pretty good presents too!  Lucky girl!  I think Ariya loves playing with your presents more than her own, but it’s good because you two play together so well.  You love following her around, and she loves tackling you to the ground.  You laugh together, even when you make Ariya upset after destroying all her cities and towns made up of blocks and legos.  We call you Asha the destroyer.  (We used to call Ariya the destroyer too).

You are still waking up at least once at night, but it’s ok, I’m hoping you’ll grow out of it eventually.  Crossing fingers!

You’ve got a ton of teeth now.  4 on top and 4 on the bottom.  You love eating eggs for breakfast and you love bananas, strawberries and pears.  Apples are funny, you love to just chew them to get the juice but then you spit the pieces out.  So messy.  And you love spaghetti, although I think you like making the mess more.

Looking forward to what 2017 brings us!

(Taken with the contax g1 and Portra 400vc (expired), rated at 100, with flash and pushed +1 in development, at Disney)

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(Pentax 645nii with Portra 400, rated at 800 and pushed +1 in development, Ariya)ariya-9

(digital, Ariya baking gingerbread cookies)

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(digital, Asha’s official 12 months)

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(contax g1 with flash, fuji super 400, Asha’s 1st birthday)

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(digital, Ariya and Asha, Christmas morning)

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(contax g1 with flash, ferrania 400 (expired) film)asha-3

(digital, Christmas afternoon, with wacky Christmas outfits purchased by Santa (I mean, my husband))

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Letters to our Children – November

It’s been a crazy month as your father and I have worked through our emotions during this year’s presidential election.  I want for both of you to grow up in a world where we take care of each other, no matter what color your skin is, what religion you practice, what gender you are or think you are.  We are all created equal and should be treated so.  I want you both to stand up for yourself, to not be bullies or mean girls, but to be kind and always look out for others.  If you see something wrong happening, do something.  Always voice your opinions, be strong in your beliefs. Be kind, respectful, caring, inspiring, smart and fair.  Take care of this world that we live in, because it’s the only one we have.  Let’s not be wasteful.  Let’s give to the less fortunate.  And always appreciate what we have.  We love you both so much and always want what’s best for you.

 

a few photos on film, assortment of cameras (contax g1, pentax 645nii, pentax 6×7) and film (portray 160, 400 and 800)

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and a few digital photos on the fuji x100t

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Letters to our Children – October

Dear Ariya,

You survived the 10 hour flight to Venice.  You were so excited to get on the “jet plane” because it was one step closer to seeing your cousin Eila and Niraj mama (uncle) and Hyeon mami (auntie).  Once we got on the cruise ship, we saw them, along with Nani and Nanu, and you were so excited!

You were a trooper with the time change.  You slept most of the way through our excursion to Dubrovnik.  you loved running through the halls of the cruise ship.  You liked Athens, because we got to explore the Acropolis and there were a lot of rocks and dirt to play with.  You loved playing with Eila in Santorini, going on the “rocket ship” (cable car to get to the top of Santorini).  The double stroller definitely came in handy in Split as we walked around the historic town.  Of course by the time you were adjusted to the time change, it was time to go back home.

Getting back to our regular routine wasn’t so bad.  You were excited to get back to school and ballet.  We went on your first field trip, to Marker Miller to pick apples and ride the wagon around the orchards.  Your next field trip was to Handley Library, you had so much fun singing songs and dancing.

Halloween is coming up.  You’re so excited to be Princess Elena of Avalor.  We even got a scepter to match the dress. You can’t stop singing and dancing with your Elena accessories.  So much joy and happiness.

What I need to record on video is how you pronounce your S.  School becomes cool, snack becomes nack, snake becomes name.  It’s so so cute.

Venice, Italy.  Accidental (but AWESOME) leak.  Fuji Reala shot on Fuji GA645ZI

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Gelato in Venice, Italy.  Fuji Natura 1600 shot on Nikon f100000056410022

Spending time with Nanu in Santorini, Greece.  Fuji 160s shot on Nikon f100000060410023

Partners in Crime.  Ella and Ariya, Santorini, Greece.  Fuji 160s shot on Nikon f100000060410030

Exploring in Athens, Greece.  Fuji 160s shot on Nikon f100

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Another awesome light leak in Santorini, Greece.  Fuji Reala shot on GA645zi000064290003

Double stroller came in handy in Dubrovnik.  Portra 160vc on GA645zi000064300017

Asleep in Dubrovnik.  Portra 400 shot on Nikon f100000064270030

Gladiators in Split.  Portra 400 shot on Nikon f100

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Scratch pads (melissa & doug is the best!) and double strollers in Split.  Porter 400, shot on Nikon f100

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On the cruise. TriX 400 shot on Nikon f100

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resting on a bench in Split Croatia.  TriX 400 shot on Nikon f100000063410033

Selfies, pictures and film .  Tri X 400 shot on Nikon f100000063410037

Girl loves her apple.  Cruising.  Porter 400 shot on Nikon f100000064270001

Some digital images

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Dear Asha,

You survived the plane trip as well!  I was really hoping that you wouldn’t be screaming/crying/fussing throughout this plane ride (your first!) and you didn’t!  I’m so proud of you, you did awesome!  The time change on the other hand…..well that was rough.  The 4 of us sleeping in the same cabin on the cruise…that was rough.  But you got to meet your uncle and auntie and cousin, and got some really good quality time in with Nani and Nanu.   Family time makes it all worth it.

You were pretty much in the ergo carrier throughout our excursions.  You also started pulling yourself up and standing on this trip like a pro!  You’re growing big and strong, way too fast!  You have your bottom teeth in and now your top 2 teeth are coming in.  You’re still waking up in the middle of the night.  Sometimes once or twice in the middle of the night.  I’m convinced it’s the teething that’s making you so fussy.  But seriously girl, when are you going to start sleeping through the night?!?!

You’re 10 months old and we’re celebrating your first Halloween!  I got you an Elephant costume for Halloween.  I’m not sure how you’ll feel about it, but I guess we’ll find out today, when we go trick or treating.

You love clapping your hands, especially when we’re in the car and you sister sings songs from Frozen (usually “Let It Go”).  You love grabbing for my glasses and pulling my hair.  And you love love love laughing with your sister.  And I love seeing you play with Ariya, and how much you two love each other. I hope that never changes!

Plastic cups are so much fun. Portra 400 on Nikon f100.

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“I feel like partying!” t max 400 on nikon f100

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Another awesome light leak.  Fuji Reala on GA645zi

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Getting some auntie love. Portra 160vc on GA645zi

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Cruising.  Portra 400 on Nikon f100

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Nanu QT . Portra 400 on Nikon f100

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nanu gets a smile. Porter 400 on Nikon f100.

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Some digital images

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**We had to say goodbye to our cat Lucky last week.  It was rough, Lucky was 10 years old and the sweetest most affectionate cat ever.  We all miss him so much.

 

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Letters to our Children – September

Dear Ariya,

It’s been a pretty busy month!  We went to Verdant View Farms as our last vacation of the summer.  Our close friends joined us, and you had so much fun playing with them!  We started off the vacation at Lake Tobias, where we got to see some pretty cool animals!  There was a petting zoo, reptiles, and safari ride.  Ostriches, donkeys, zebras, buffalos, llamas.  It was pretty fun.

Then we made our way to the farm.  It’s a working dairy farm.  We had a chance to milk a cow, feed baby calves, pet the goats, play with the dog Scooby.  We got to ride on Thomas the train  And you had so much at the children’s museum.  It was a fun filled few days, but we had to go back home and get ready for school.

But first, Labor Day Weekend.  It was a great time spent with your grandma, auntie Carmen and Phelix, and auntie Anjuanette, uncle Kashiff, Mekhai and Jayden.  The only person missing was uncle Eric.

You’re now in the 3s class at Sonshine Learning Center.  You are so excited to see your friends and Ms Lisa and Ms Janet.  I’m so happy that you’re love going to school and love learning.

You’re also in ballet this year.  You’ve got a few friends in ballet class as well, and you love practicing to twirl.  Every day you ask if we’re going to ballet, and every day you want to put your leotard and tights on.

And now we’re taking another trip.  I know it feels like we’re taking a lot of trips, but it will slow down, I promise.  We’re going on a “jet plane” to go to the “cruise ship”  to see Nani, Nanu, Niraj mama (uncle), Hyeon mami (auntie) and your cousin Eila!  I’m nervous about this 10 hour flight (more for Asha than for you), but I know we’re all excited for this adventure.

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Dear Asha,

You’re 9 months old now!  And you have 2 bottom teeth coming in.  Its crazy how big you’re growing, and how fast time is flying.  You always follow your sister around.  you laugh with Ariya, you grab for her face, her hands, her hair (which, let’s face it, is the easiest thing to grab).  You’re crawling so fast and you want to stand so bad.  Actually, at 3am the other night, you WERE standing, in your crib.  It was pretty amazing.  I would have taken a picture IF IT WASN’T THREE IN THE MORNING.  I shouldn’t complain, last night you slept through the whole night and even took a 2 hour nap this morning.  I felt like a completely new person, with a full night of rest.  And you were so happy in your crib this morning.  Of course you’re starting a new sleeping habit just in time for us to take this trip. You’re first airplane ride.  It’s happening.  In a few days.  I’m hoping it will be a piece of cake!  You get to meet your Niraj mama, Hyeon mami and cousin Eila for the first time!  How exciting is that!

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