Letters to My Children – September 2017

Dear Ariya,

You had your first day of school!  You’re in Ms Jeanne’s class for pre-K at Sonshine.  And you’re learning so much!  It’s amazing how much your brain can absorb.  And you are EXHAUSTED after pickup pretty much every day.  In the car ride home, you don’t want to talk much, you just want to listen to your podcast (Wow in the World, of course) or kidzbop. I think you miss your old friends from the 3s class, and you miss Ms Lisa.  And you’re sad because your class is so much smaller and you don’t get to see your girl friends.  But you’re in luck, because your friends Mikaela and Emi are in ballet with you!  Yes, you started up ballet again with Ms Abby and you’re having a blast.  You can’t wait to go to ballet every week.  If you had it your way, you’d be in ballet every day.  You can’t wait to find out what your recital piece will be.  You’re hoping it’s Moana, but I don’t know.  I’m sure whatever Ms Abby thinks of, it will be great!

You’re also taking swim lessons at Kids First Swim School.  You made so much progress over the summer that I wanted to keep that party going.  Plus we’re going to Mexico for a family reunion in December, and I wanted to make sure you kept practicing your swimming skills as we got closer to the date.  I know you can’t wait to see your aunties,uncles, and cousins.  You haven’t seen them since you were two, so we’re definitely due for another visit!

Soccer Shots is happening again.  You’re definitely getting better at going after the ball. But I don’t know if you LOVE soccer.  I do know that you LOVE seeing your friend Asher, and hopefully seeing his sister Marni.  We may take a breather on soccer, because I know you don’t love soccer as much as you love ballet.  You’re such a girly girl, always twirling and spinning.

We got to visit with Shilika auntie and Raj uncle and their daughter Medha in Pittsburgh.  And you had so much fun!  There was the zoo, the science center, the children’s museum.  So much to do.  We definitely have to go back.

 

Oh Asha,

oh you.  You are a firecracker.  You think it’s funny when you grab my glasses.  You love to say “Oh noooooooo”. You don’t like to go to bed when Ariya goes to bed.  You’re my night owl.  I read you book after book after book, and you’re still not ready to go to sleep.  And it’s driving us crazy.  Because we really just want you to GO THE F*$%^&^^ TO SLEEP.  Sorry, I didn’t mean to curse.  But really Asha, I need you to get your sleep habits back on track with the rest of the family.  Pretty please?

On the upside, you LOVE your sister so much.  So much that you cry and scream bloody murder every time we drop Ariya off at pre-school.  We get to do some fun stuff while Ariya’s in school.  We have Mommy and me swim class, which you LOVE. You were so mad that I wouldn’t let you go, you were so used to swimming on your own with a puddle jumper.  But you’re enjoying it more and more,  And you get so upset when it ends.

We also have music class with Ms. Karen at SCAA.  Ariya used to take music class with her and you love it just as much as she did.  It’s so cute seeing you do your baa baas with the microphone.  And to see you get up for each instrument and put everything back after you’re done.  I think you’re favorite part of class is the scarves.  You play peekaboo like it’s your job.  And you laugh laugh laugh. I love it.

In Pittsburgh, I think your favorite part was the children’s museum.  There was a whole floor full of water displays.  And you were in HEAVEN.  Kids were running around in bathingsuits, I had no idea how serious it was.  You were soaked.  And loving it.

So let’s see.  Right now you say Bye bye and you wave.  You say Mommy but you scream it to get my attention.  You say Daddy just like Ariya says daddy when he walks in the room, so full of excitement and happiness.  You blow kisses.  You’ve been saying your name for a while now.  And you’re starting to say Ariya a lot more.  And you say pee anytime any of us has to go to the bathroom or when we change your diaper.  That’s pretty much your vocabulary.

It’s been a pretty great month.

All images taken on film.

 

 

Advertisements

Letters to My Children – July and August 2017

Dear Ariya,

I feel like this summer went by so quickly! We filled the days with swimming, playing and more swimming.  Like, a lot of swimming….We took advantage of this pool membership and tried to go as often as we could, and there usually was a babysitter there to help me out.  You love your babysitter Savannah.  And she was a lifeguard too, so she was able to help you swim when you weren’t having your lessons.

In July, we took a trip to Cape Charles, VA.  We stopped off at Nani and Nanu’s house to visit for a little bit, which was nice.  It’s always good to play with your mom’s old toys and hang out.  But we drove a few more hours down to the beach and got to check out the house that we’d be staying at.  Grandma and your cousins and aunties and uncles were coming too! Even Uncle Eric was there!  How exciting!!  The beach was fun, the water was shallow and warm, and I did not have to worry about any waves crashing down on you and your sister.  The only thing that creeped you out were the snails.  There were MILLIONS of them, just buried in the sand.  And the ocean seemed so far away, we had to walk OVER these snails just to get to the water.  Yeah, it was creepy.  But we had a great time.  We went to the aquarium one day when the weather was kind of gloomy.  And we went to the library another day, they had the most fun little corner full of toys and books for kids like you.  You had a great time with the cousins, even though there was a lot of fighting and yelling to share over all of the toys.  But we definitely made some memories and I was there to take photos of pretty much everything.

As soon as we got back home, you had music camp with your friend Asher at SCAA.  We love learning with Ms Karen, and you had so much fun!  This year’s theme was traveling the world, learning about other cultures and singing lots of songs.

And the NEXT week, we did camp at Sonshine, your preschool.  The theme for the week was STEM.  It was pretty cool, the experiments you did.  One thing that was funny was that every day I dropped you off, Asha cried and cried for you.  She missed you so much.  I don’t know how she’ll handle you going back to school!

You also got a big girl bike to ride.  It still has the training wheels on but you’re having fun.  You’re very cautious, and try to ride slow.  It stinks that we’re on a hill, we do have to be careful when you ride around our house.  We may need to take your bike to the park one of these days, so you can practice some more.

August was a great month too.  We got to visit my family in New York.  And THEY had a pool too!  You met a TON of your older cousins on my side of the family.  I bet you didn’t realize how many uncles you had.  And you got to see Mala ben again.  I think you were just in awe of having an older sister cousin. And we were there just in time for Rakshabandhan.  I was able to tie rakhis  to all of my brother cousins (missing Niraj bhai and Akash) that were there, and you were able to tie rakhis to your brother cousins too!  Hopefully we’ll be able to make this a yearly tradition and see everyone next year! Well, we know we’ll definitely see them next year, because we have an Indian wedding to go to!  Rushabh uncle is getting married to Nithi auntie and you get to wear your beautiful indian dresses!  I know you’re excited about that!

I think you’re finally getting the handle of this swimming thing. You even jumped off the diving board and swam to the side in the deep end on your last swim lesson at the pool!  It was so amazing, and you acted like it was no big deal.  You are such a rockstar!  You keep asking about when school will start, when you’ll be in the 4s class, and when you can start ballet. Soon, sweetie.  Right now, let’s enjoy this time together and soak up the last of the summer.

Right now you love giving hugs and you’re such a big helper and such a sweet big sister.  Asha is so lucky to have you, even if it seems like a pain, always fighting over a toy or stuffed animal.  Thank you for being so patient with her.  I know she’s going through phase where you can’t reason with her, she wants what she wants.  But you’re doing a great job of working through your emotions and hers.  You’re getting so big.  I can’t believe that I have a 4 year old.  Where did the time go?

Dear Asha,

You have become SUCH a water baby!  You love splashing in the water and kicking your legs.  We play humpty dumpty you jump off the side of the pool to get wet.  I will definitely have to enroll you in some Mommy and me swim classes when Ariya is back in school.  I know you’ll love that.

You had such a great time at the beach with your cousins.  The sand, the sun.  Oh man, did you love putting the sand in your mouth :-/  I think you even tried to PUT A SNAIL IN YOUR MOUTH.  Yeah, I was not too happy about that.  You were very independent in the shallow water.  You’d just do your own thing, you hated me hovering.

While Ariya was in camp, you were a mess.  I thought we could have some fun times, just you and me, but you were not having it.  So we went to the gym a lot.  And played at home.  I wonder how this year with Ariya in school will be for you? I do have some fun things planned, like music class with Ms Karen at SCAA, and the mommy and me swim class at Kids First. Should be good times.

Your personality is so big Asha.  We joke that you’re such a terror.  I don’t know if it’s a 2nd child syndrome, or what.  But you definitely let your wishes known.  You’re finally saying Mommy (but you say it the way Ariya screams it when she’s downstairs and I’m upstairs, like MOMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY.  When you say it, I have a mini heart attack because I think something’s wrong. Nope, it’s just you repeating what you hear), and you wave and say Bye bye, and when daddy comes home from work  in the morning, you say Hiiiiiiiiii.  It’s the cutest thing.  I gotta get you on video starting to talk.  you’re definitely making a LOT of sounds and it’s the cutest thing ever.  But when you’re not happy, you let it be known.  Scratching, pinching, hair pulling.  Poor Ariya gets most of it.  We love you and wouldn’t have it any other way. But, maybe if you could just grow out of this phase soon, that would be awesome. K?

*all photos shot on film

 

April 2017 – Film Project

April was the month of trying new things.  I attended the first ever FILM SCHOOL hosted by the Find Lab and Jonathan Canlas in Utah (to find out more, email jon@thefindlab.com)  It was a pretty great experience, trying new things, talking film with people that are passionate about shooting film.  Got to try strobes and different setups..  We did some night shooting and panning.   It was pretty amazing.  We took a tour of the lab and got to work with the scanning techs to see what goes behind the scenes with our film, which was very enlightening.  But I honestly think one of the best parts was eating Callie Canlas’ food!  I brought way too many cameras and lenses, but I mostly shot with the Pentax 645nii and Contax G1. I tried shooting with the Rolleiflex 2.8E, but I’m horrible with manual focusing so those photos were not awesome (unless there was a happy accident).  Here are a few from the workshop.

Contax G1, Portra 400

Pentax 645nii, Portra 400 and strobes

 

Rolleiflex 2.8e and HP5

Pentax 645nii and Portra 400, +3

Pentax 645nii and Portra 400

After I came home, I felt so passionate, energized about film photography.  I ended up buying some strobes, a soft box, some honeycombs.  And they sat.  It was just so intimidating.  In the meantime, I went with what I know.  I practiced manual focus with this new lens that I acquired, the Leica Summicron fitted on the Pentax 645nii.

Pentax 645nii, Portra 160 rated at 320 + 1

And then I experimented with the Contax G1 and TLA flash.

The strobes didn’t sit long.

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

 

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!

Project 365 Film edition – May 2016

So, as I’ve said in past blog posts about film, I’m obsessed.  like OBSESSED!  I’ve shot a TON of film.  Picking the best 30 or 31 for each month is no problem.  I probably have enough for the rest of the summer, and it’s barely started.  I’ve shared a ton on instagram, so if you feel like checking me out there, the link is here.

Recently, I submitted a few photos to the Analog story.  I wanted to share my story, why I shoot film.  Best decision I ever made, committing to shooting film.  Unfortunately, my husband is starting to wonder what all is involved (cost of film, cost of development, etc).  But then he loves the prints that come back.  So I’d say it’s well worth it.

Here are a few of my favorites from this month. Some Portra 160, Portra 160NC, Portra 400, Lomo 800, Fuji 400h.  Shot with Nikon f100, Pentax 6×7 and Mamiya 645AF.

122_050116 124_050316

126_050516 128_050716

133_051216 134_051316

136_051516 137_051616 139_051816 140_051916

145_052416 151_053016 152_053116

Project 365 Film edition – March 2016

I’m so in love with film.  So in love.  I’m learning a ton, and I still have a LONG way to go.  But shooting film just fits with my lifestyle right now.  one thing I’m starting to hate is the time I spend on my laptop.  When it was just Ariya, I had plenty of time to sit down after her bed time and just hang out on the laptop, upload pictures, edit, etc.  Now, with a baby…forget about it.  Asha only naps for 30 minutes at a time in her crib.  She can be high maintenance at night.  And honestly, I’m just tired. At night,  I just want to sit down, watch my favorite tv show, hang out with the hubs actually have a conversation.  So the only time I want to spend on the laptop is if I’m typing up a blog post.  Like right now.  Right now, my husband and I are catching up on the OJ mini series.  Ariya is in bed, Asha is swaddled and in his arms.  And I”m catching up on blogging.

So, a few days late, but here are a few pictures from March on film.

Mamiya 645 and Portra 160

61_030116 62_030216 63_030316 64_030416 65_030516

Mamiya 645 and Kodak 400vc (Had I known how awesome this film was, I would have treated this differently.  But now I’m on the hunt for more VC. If you have any, send some my way)

66_030616 67_030716 68_030816 69_030916 70_031016 71_031116

Nikon f100 and fuji 800.  This was old expired film that my mom gave me.  I didn’t know how to rate expired film, or if I should tell the lab to push it.  Had I known, I would have done things differently.  But now I know, and have some more expired film that I plan to experiment with.

72_031216

Mamiya C330 and fuji 400h

73_031316 74_031416 75_031516 76_031616

Mamiya 645 and Portra 800

77_031716 78_031816 79_031916 80_032016 81_032116 82_032216 83_032316 84_032416 85_032516

Nikon f100 and Portra 400 rated at 200

86_032616 87_032716 88_032816 89_032916 90_033016

That’s it for March!  I’ve got plenty more for April.  This 365 project is going much better than my digital version, that’s for sure.  But, I refuse to give up!

Project 365 Film edition – February 2016

I survived the 2nd month of this film 365.  I tried 2 different things this month.  I tried pushing film and I tried using the lensbaby sweet 35 on my Nikon f100.  I’m not sure if I was successful, but at least I tried 🙂  I still don’t know what I’m doing (I don’t know if I ever will), but I’m having fun trying! And for the record, I’m having a hard time taking a photo every day.  so my rule for this project is to get at least a decent photo for each day of the month.  I may get a few decent photos on one day, nothing on the next day, maybe a few more dent photos in one day, etc.  The only way I can keep this project going.

Tri-X 400 +2 on Nikon f100, using the lensbaby sweet 35

32_020116 33_020216 34_020316 35_020416 36_020516 37_020616 38_020716 39_020816 40_020916 41_021016 42_021116 43_021216 44_021316 45_021416

Tri-X 400 on Pentax 6×7 with 105mm lens

46_021516 47_021616 48_021716 49_021816

Portra 400 on Mamiya 645 and 80mm lens50_021916 51_022016 52_022116 53_022216 54_022316 55_022416 56_022516 57_022616

Portra 160 on Mamiya 645 and 80mm lens58_022716 59_022816 60_022916