The Biggest Little Personality | A Berkeley Family Documentary Photo Session

Meet the Patch Family; Dave, Stephanie, 9 month old William, and golden retriever, Chloe:

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The star of this session was William, of course, and (as you'll see) he was immeasurably adorable. At nine months old, his personality is really beginning to develop, and it was so fun to see the different elements of his shine through. This cutie took so much pride in picking himself up, cruising along the couch, and feeding himself like a big boy (maybe with a little help from dad at times). Needless to say, this was a fun one!

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Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.
— Unknown
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Spring Has SPRUNG!

Had a blast running around with some awesome families (lots of growing families in the bunch too!) at the UC Botanical Garden for this year's spring mini-sessions! You guys gotta see these cutie patooties!

Quick reminder first. If any mommas with babies under 12 months are looking for fun activities tomorrow, join me, along with the 510families crew over at Studio Grow and celebrate the launch of Allyson Downey's new book, Here's the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood. There will be some light breakfast, goody bags, a raffle, pictures by yours truly... and of course fun for the kids at Studio Grow too ;)

And, don't forget (okay, a couple quick reminders), May's Capturing Childhood workshop is coming up! Check out all the info >here<. Scholarships available to those in need!

Now back to a glimpse at these beautiful families enjoying spring!!! WARNING: cuteness overload!!!

 

 

For My Daughters: La Clase De Música

Just a funny little story about daddy, love bugs.

This week, because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, dad was able to join us at your beloved clase de música on Monday. I think he was able to see how enraptured you two are by the songs, dancing, singing, playing instruments. It made me think of a sweet story that I thought you girls would like too.

Daddy had just gotten home from a show in the city and was especially impressed at how the 8-piece ensemble (metal band at that) was able to stay in sync so well with with one another. He was so impressed, in fact, he stayed to chat with the band and when he asked, somewhat rhetorically, "how the hell do make music like that?!" the man guffawed, and said, "the only thing you need to make music are two ears... (then placing his hand on his chest) and a heart."

Poor daddy had to learn the hard way that you turn into drama-mama when your shoes get taken off in music class.

Poor daddy had to learn the hard way that you turn into drama-mama when your shoes get taken off in music class.

Vee, you NEVER have been more excited to be in music class. You were showing off your moves to daddy from the moment you walked (more like sashayed) through the door.

Vee, you NEVER have been more excited to be in music class. You were showing off your moves to daddy from the moment you walked (more like sashayed) through the door.

You twirl the ENTIRE 45 minutes in class, Ru. As you can see I'm always quite amused by it :)

You twirl the ENTIRE 45 minutes in class, Ru. As you can see I'm always quite amused by it :)

Dancing with scarves is your very favorite thing to do in music class. Vee, you love getting goofy with them too. Silly billy!

Dancing with scarves is your very favorite thing to do in music class. Vee, you love getting goofy with them too. Silly billy!

Then of course you love to jam at home.

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Hoarding the recorders (I won't tell sissy!)

Hoarding the recorders (I won't tell sissy!)

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Sis was serenading you, Vee. hehe

Sis was serenading you, Vee. hehe

I love you my little musicians,

Mom

Welcome To This Vibrant World - Part Two | An Oakland Newborn + Family Lifestyle Photography Session

Who can forget this amazing family?

If you need a refresher, check out part one of their family photo session collection riiiiiiight here.

What a pleasure it was to not only meet this local East Bay family but to get to hang out with them TWICE in a matter of just a few weeks, I mean, how lucky am I?! For this second newborn and family session I had the privilege of meeting Sean, Milo and Liam's loving grandfather. When I say loving I mean completely, utterly, undeniably smitten grandfather. Take a look:

I think Milo's sweet smile says it all! This is one deeply loved grandfather. And, of course, any child with that capacity for love, must have an amazingly loving family to demonstrate it right back:

And, what could be more important than self-love? Liam knows what I'm talking about:

Documenting this family is a sheer joy. I can't wait for the next time!

Featured on Life + Lens Blog | "Father's Day Inspiration."

The Warrior's took home the NBA Championship last night. I was woken up by a kiss from my amazing (and amazingly happy) husband. The girls were in great moods all morning and went down easily for nap. I flipped a perfect omelet and actually had my tea while still hot. How could this day get any sweeter, you might ask? How about getting FEATURED on Life + Lens Blog's "Father's Day Inspiration" post!

Two features in two weeks!? (okay, one day over two weeks but "two features in 15 days!" just didn't sound right). What an honor!

On Memorial Day, Joe, Ruby, Vera, and I walked up to the UC Berkeley campus, as it is a quick twenty minute walk down the street. On the way we stopped to grab sandwiches and when we got to the campus, laid out a blanket to have a low-key picnic on the grass. The girls had other plans! The moment they got out of their stroller, they were on the GO. Daddy, to the rescue, found a nook (California Hall) to read the girls a book in. But, that was short lived. I think the stairs were far too tempting. Then, as per usual, Ruby wasn't too happy about being put back in the stroller, so daddy caved and let her play some more. What a softie.

I'd have to say what made this day especially memorable was, as we were strolling through campus preparing to exit, we heard "The Star Spangled Banner" resounding from the bells of the Sather Tower. It was a lovely reminder of why we were able to spend the lovely day with one another.

Some more photos from Memorial Day:


For My Daughters: Twinheritance

Hi boo boos,

We had some friends over last night to watch the Warriors game. You two have really made progress in your reaction to daddy -- well, pretty much everyone in this case -- hootin' and hollerin' at the top of their lungs when something exciting happens in a game. In fact, you even joined in; flailing your arms up in the air and shouting "yeah! yeah!" when you noticed the commotion. Vera, you have always been especially sensitive to abrupt noises. I'll never forget, when you were just a few months old daddy had a little cough and you would WAIL each time he cleared his throat. It made for some long nights, but was certainly adorable. So NOW, your growing ability to pause and determine the type of reaction you have to those loud noises, it just makes me so proud of you.

 
Here you are, Vavvy, strutting your stuff at Hazel's school carnival last month

Here you are, Vavvy, strutting your stuff at Hazel's school carnival last month

 
Daddy asked you to pick out your own outfit on Saturday, Ru. You got SOOO excited and, when you did your fashion show for me, holding your plush doggie "Door" tight in your arms, you giggled with delight! Then daddy and I did too!

Daddy asked you to pick out your own outfit on Saturday, Ru. You got SOOO excited and, when you did your fashion show for me, holding your plush doggie "Door" tight in your arms, you giggled with delight! Then daddy and I did too!

Girls, I've had something on my mind lately that I want to share with you. Two days ago, on June 6th, you turned 21-months-old. I think for any other mom in the world they might say, "Today you girls are 21 month old! Only 3 more months until your 2nd birthday!" Something of that nature. But, for me, you girls turning 21-months old immediately made me think of one thing. My mom. Your Grandma Melody. 

I'm very sure, by the time you read this, you will have been told approximately 1,000,000,000 times that it is "sooooooo amazing" that you are twins that have a mommy that is a twin and uncles that are twins. Well, at the risk of sounding redundant, I will tell you that it truly is amazing, love bugs. In fact, back when mommy was just a few months old, your uncles, auntie, and I were photographed by the local newspaper in Fresno and your grandma and grandfather were interviewed for a little article about just how unusual it is to have two sets of twins! Kind of cool, huh?

This article says "19 months," but I think your grandma may have been too tired to do the math. Oh well!

This article says "19 months," but I think your grandma may have been too tired to do the math. Oh well!

Aside from the sheer amazing-ness of you girls being twins, I often times ponder (and probably even more often am asked by strangers to ponder), "How in the world was your grandma able to manage so many children at once and (on days when your Great grandpa couldn't help) on her own?!" As, shortly after this, your grandfather was no longer in the picture. Then, sadly, my next thought is "I'm not sure she did manage."

Eight days old. Eight. Days. That is how old your siblings would be today if mommy (and daddy) had a second set of twins at exactly the same interval as your grandma Melody did. I've been thinking a lot about how it would be to incorporate two newborns into our family. Even with the wonderful support system our family has, it would be a struggle. A struggle financially? Sure. A struggle physically? YOU BET! A mental struggle? Let's just say, I am sure I would probably be too stressed for my own good. Period.

You were so fascinated by your cousins' slinky, Vee. You knew you were being silly and just kept on doing it. I love that about you!

You were so fascinated by your cousins' slinky, Vee. You knew you were being silly and just kept on doing it. I love that about you!

Ru, you want to be a big girl so bad! I think these girls were jealous of your sweet shoes ;)

Ru, you want to be a big girl so bad! I think these girls were jealous of your sweet shoes ;)

I think I may be subconsciously skirting the main reason I want to share this with you. So, I want to be frank. When I said that I am not sure your grandma was able to manage all four of us at once, what I am saying is that she allowed that stress to get the better of her.

Your grandma Melody had Bipolar Disorder.

Simply put, when she was up, she was up -- extremely energetic, creative, impulsive. It was during these "up" episodes that she would go on her vision quests, of sorts; once vanishing for a couple weeks, returning home to tell us she had been seeking out her biological family, spouting off tales of her adventures; never alluding to her real goal of trying to find understanding and acceptance of her own childhood struggles.

And, when she was down, she was down -- erratically violent and abusive, recklessly self-medicating, and deeply depressed. It was during this time that I would find myself pacing outside her room, told "LEAVE ME ALONE!" in my 8-year-old effort to comfort her as she loudly wept behind her locked bedroom door. My heart still breaks for her in recalling those low moments.

Because she is no longer living, the only way to recollect those very dynamic moods is through the hindsight of memory. Unfortunately, however, in an effort to protect both you girls as well as myself from the pain of my past, it's difficult for me to ruminate on your grandma's mental condition. So, for these thoughts to cross my mind, upon you girls reaching 21-month-old, I wanted to be open and honest about them with you.

I guess the big thing I want you to know is that you don't ever have to be ashamed of your feelings. Right now in your life you are both unabashedly honest about how you are feeling and what is on your mind. It is an admirable quality to be freely expressive of your emotions. Even if it is not the most positive of emotions sometimes.

One of your very favorite books is "Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You" by Nancy Tillman. Whenever we get to the page that reads, "So hold your head high and don't be afraid to march to the front of your own parade..." I repeat it emphatically, as the thought that you would choose to be anything other than YOU in an effort please others would be depriving the world of the unique marvel of Ruby Joan and the unparallelled wonder of Vera Kathleen. So, I'll reiterate it again:

 

 

Hold your head high

and don't be afraid

to march to the front

of your own parade.

If you're still my small babe

or you're all the way grown,

my promise to you

is you're never alone.

Promise promise.

Being chased by daddy on the UC Berkeley campus. You are so beautiful Ruby!

Being chased by daddy on the UC Berkeley campus. You are so beautiful Ruby!

I love this expression, Vee. You were NOT happy when we first arrived at Hazel's carnival (you CANNOT deal with no nap), so we left and decided to try going again after you girls had eaten and calmed down a bit. I'm so glad we did. You were roaming all over that elementary school lawn like you owned the place. Love that sass!

I love this expression, Vee. You were NOT happy when we first arrived at Hazel's carnival (you CANNOT deal with no nap), so we left and decided to try going again after you girls had eaten and calmed down a bit. I'm so glad we did. You were roaming all over that elementary school lawn like you owned the place. Love that sass!

At Illum's 2nd birthday party, you girls wore your new swimsuits that your cousin gave to you. Ru, you were most excited to swim...

At Illum's 2nd birthday party, you girls wore your new swimsuits that your cousin gave to you. Ru, you were most excited to swim...

and Vee, I think you were most excited to show off your new suit :)

and Vee, I think you were most excited to show off your new suit :)

I love you so much boo boos,

Mom

 

 

 

Featured on Fearless & Framed | "Turn Bring Your Kids to Work Day into a Documentary Photo Shoot."

So honored to have been featured on the fantabulous Fearless & Framed blog today! I'm especially proud of the fact that it was a post originally written For My Daughters. Link to the feature can be found by clicking on this photo:


21/52: Clouds or Sky


Little tongue in cheek this week.

This is Skyler, otherwise known as "Sky." Sky has been a friend of my girls since they were all under four months old; *meeting* each other when I attended a local “new mom" group in January of 2014. Now, my girls almost 21 months and Sky just over 18 months, I have the privilege of witnessing not only the blossoming of their friendship but also that of each individual child's personality.


This past week we met up for a play date with a few of these moms group buddies (for what felt like the first time in waaaay too long) at a local park. It was almost surreal to see how so many of the teensy weensy babies I met nearly a year and a half ago are full on toddlers!

For My Daughters: Mommy's Special Day

Hi lovebugs,

Some say that when you pass away, scenes from your life flash before your eyes. If this is true, I like to imagine this as presenting in animated vignettes; spliced together from all of the significant, powerful, or inspirational moments of my life. It also might involve Joe Cocker's version of "With A Little Help From My Friends."

Yesterday was one of those days for me.

It was Mother's Day, and you two made it an unforgettable day, indeed. Now, I know *officially* it was my second Mother's Day, but I consider it my third, as when I had you two growing inside me, our strengthening bond was growing as well. I must say, though, with you two now being increasingly able to interact with the world around you, days like yesterday come to feel much more unpredictable; spontaneous; sublime. 

For eight of the nine or so months I was pregnant with you girls, we lived in Daly City, just south of where mommy was going to grad school, and north of where daddy was working. During the latter part of that time I would get wiped out pretty easily. On the weekends, feeling exhausted from the demands school, teaching and pregnancy had taken on my body during the week, I'd beg your daddy to take me to the beach. To me, there is nothing more centering than the ocean; its humbling expansiveness; its fresh, restorative breeze; its unhurried, lapping tempo helping to re-sync amidst the fast-paced rhythm of daily life.

As you can tell, I really liked to go to this beach.

Vee, you showed me where that sound of crashing waves was coming from ;)

Vee, you showed me where that sound of crashing waves was coming from ;)

Ru, tactile one you are, immediately dug your hands into the freezing, wet sand. I was sure you'd begin to cry.

Ru, tactile one you are, immediately dug your hands into the freezing, wet sand. I was sure you'd begin to cry.

But I was mistaken.

But I was mistaken.

It became a regular routine. On Sundays, daddy and I would drive down to Pacifica, only about 10 minutes from where we lived, have crepes (and I'd have about a gallon of fresh orange juice) at The High Tide, and afterward, stroll down to the beach. It became a really nice ritual.

When we moved out here to Berkeley in August of 2013 and, shortly thereafter, when welcomed you beautiful girls into the world, that ritual quickly became a thing of the past; and, truthfully, the last thing we considered trying to fit into our new-twin-parent schedule.

That is, until yesterday. As a special Mother's Day excursion, your daddy and I brought you two to our special spot. We had breakfast at the High Tide and you two could not get enough of the beach (really though, Ru I think you brought back as much as you possible could with you!).

There was a really nice woman sitting behind you, Ru, gushing over you two. I decided ask her take our photo. Vee, you were too busy with you banana pancakes to look up; I think that amused you, Ru :)

There was a really nice woman sitting behind you, Ru, gushing over you two. I decided ask her take our photo. Vee, you were too busy with you banana pancakes to look up; I think that amused you, Ru :)

Vee, you've been SUPER into drinking your water out of a straw lately. You have a new technique where you bite down on the straw then purse your lips in and out while drinking.

Vee, you've been SUPER into drinking your water out of a straw lately. You have a new technique where you bite down on the straw then purse your lips in and out while drinking.

In action.

In action.

"Hey! What are you lookin' at me for?!"

"Hey! What are you lookin' at me for?!"

Ru, you were content singing songs with your precious daddy!

Ru, you were content singing songs with your precious daddy!

My sweet Ruby ♥

My sweet Ruby ♥

It was, by far, the best, most exhilarating time I had ever had at that beach. I look forward to many more.

Thank you for such a special day baby girls (and daddy).

I love you,

Mom




18/52: Silhouette


Yesterday I had the pleasure of doing a family photo session with a lovely family here in the East Bay. You’ll be seeing much more of them in the weeks ahead. When I arrived at their home, this man opened the door, greeted me with a welcome smile, and alerted to his wife -- nursing their precious 12-day-old son, photographed here as well -- “honey, the photographer’s here!”


What a beautiful life.

For My Daughters: Tuesday Tomfoolery

Hey boo boos,

You two have grown increasingly more sweet with one another over the past few months (thank. GOODNESS!). Now, unlike a few months ago, when daddy or I ask either of you to "give a [insert toy/snack/pacifier/musical instrument/book here] to your sissy" you actually DO! I'm afraid with your *terrible twos* rapidly approaching, that magnanimous attitude may change a bit, so I'm going to relish in it for now.

On Tuesday, you were being particularly silly and sweet. Quite a lovely combination of traits for me to witness. I decided it would be the day I would open up your Minnie Mouse instrument set you got as a gift for your first birthday. It said it was for ages 3+ so, being the worrywart you know I can be at times, I held off for a long time to open it up for you girls. Only thing is, it had a transparent case. You poor things had to stare at the maracas, whistle, castanets, A RECORDER; all without the ability to actually PLAY with them. So, when I finally pried open that case, you two were hysterically giddy...

You were very inventive, Ru, utilizing the recorder as a drumstick. Much better grip. Vee, you weren't so taken with the innovation.

You were very inventive, Ru, utilizing the recorder as a drumstick. Much better grip. Vee, you weren't so taken with the innovation.

for about five minutes.

During those minutes, though, we sung and played "If You're Happy and You Know It..." because that's how mommy gets you girls to do silly commands like, "touch your nose, dance around," or, of course my favorite, "give sissy kisses!"

Moments before a sissy smooch!

Moments before a sissy smooch!

You were battling a bit, Ru, with the whistle. I showed you how to play it several times. But, you just couldn't quite get it. After you got frustrated and threw it on the couch, sis took her opportunity to snatch it. Didn't look like you minded.

There's a grin on that cutie face. Nice snatch, Vee!

There's a grin on that cutie face. Nice snatch, Vee!

 
"I don't need no stickin' whistle!"

"I don't need no stickin' whistle!"

 

After a while I thought I'd try "If you're happy and you know it, pretend you're sleepy" 'cause you've been so silly with fake snoring lately; especially you, Vee. Instead, you girls did the SWEETEST thing. You laid your heads really gently on the couch and just looked right at mommy. I kept the camera down so my eyes weren't blocked by it (and hoping it wouldn't be a distraction). I could cry even right now just looking at the sweet expressions on your faces here:

The moment was short-lived.

You started up with the shenanigans once again.

When daddy walked in the door, he grabbed the camera, thinking the light looked cool on my face, and took these photos of me. I figure you might think they're silly.

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I love you,

Mom

15/52: Balance


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Dear Lovebugs,

The moment your daddy and I discovered that we were going to have you both (at once!), we were thrilled and, believe it or not, relieved. As you know, your Auntie Michele and I are twins, and your Uncle Marshall and Uncle Marco are, too. So, we weren’t as surprised as others in the same circumstance may have been. But, that didn’t mean our jaws didn’t drop when the midwife, quite taken aback herself, asked me to “count the heartbeats” on the ultrasound monitor. It gives me goosebumps, even now, just thinking about that moment.

The several weeks leading up to that first ultrasound, I had experienced horrendous morning sickness; feeling extremely queasy all day; displeasing scents within what seemed like a mile of me setting me into fits of dry-heaving, resorting to shamelessly lying down on any stable surface as an attempt to calm the perpetual spinning in my head. You can ask your dad to tell you the stories about just how bad it got. At points in those first weeks of your gestation, I certainly asked myself, “How the hell do women do this more than once?!” No fun, to say the least. Yet, at that moment, when we discovered that all of that morning sickness was due to the fact that there were two of you -- and, more specifically two robust, life-giving placentas -- within me, I learned to embrace the discomfort, knowing that with every twinge of nausea was a sign of your further, healthy growth. In the cheesy, infamous words of John Mellencamp, it hurt so good. Bad, I know.

On the day you were born, once FINALLY in our arms, a new type of feeling overwhelmed me; fear. Not fear of being a good mother to you two. Not fear of being able to feed you two. More so, I feared that I would be able to strike the right balance when it came to dividing myself between the two of you. What if you both needed me -- to nurse, to wipe your tears, to stroke your head, to kiss your boo boos, to read your favorite story, to dance cheek to cheek, to go down the slide with -- at the same time, and, I simply couldn’t attend to those needs without hurting one of you by tending to your sister first?

I will say, in the last 19.5 months, some days it has been very difficult. But, really not as many as I had feared. You see, one thing I had taken for granted is the times that you two would, indeed, not need me whatsoever! For instance, a couple days ago, Vera, you were playing with one of your toy boxes and ended up dumping it out and climbing inside of it. I grabbed you one too, Ru, as you were giggling uncontrollably at your sis sitting in there. Needless to say, you two were blissfully unaware of mommy’s presence.

I love you silly girls,

Mom

For My Daughters: Your First Snow Day Revisited

Captured January 2, 2015 | 7:20PM - 7:29PM

Dear Ruby and Vera,

Here you are, frozen, in awe at your first ever sight of snow. (Bad pun intended. Sorry girls.)

We were celebrating the holidays (Christmas, New Year's, and daddy's birthday) at your grandparents' home in New Jersey. This evening in particular, we'd been playing in the basement, going through the normal routine before bedtime -- well, normal for being on vacation -- of reading books, playing with some toys, being all-around goofy. I had come upstairs from the basement to perhaps grab your sleep sacks or pacifiers (I don't recollect exactly now), glancing peripherally through the sliding-glass door in the kitchen, I immediately shot my head up after recognizing that flickering movement, filling with giddiness for you both, but admittedly in awe myself. The snow was coming down hard yet I still felt the need to sprint downstairs and beckon everyone up, as if in mere seconds it would cease, and the snow would evaporate back into the atmosphere, without you two getting your first chance to see the buckets of tiny, frozen, white droplets fluttering like feathers down from the gray, dome-like sky, seemingly out of nowhere.

But, you DID have the chance, and you found it as magical as I'd hoped. If only for a few seconds.

Ru, you uttered, "woooooow" while placing your hand up against the cool window pane and gazing out. And my sweet Vee, you did what my sweet Vee does...

You waited for your chance to be alone and, once more, tip-toed up to the glass, this time situating yourself square in the center, and stared in babbling, sing-songy contemplation at the beauty before you.

I hope you always see the world with such wonder, love bugs.

I love you,

Mom

7/52: Dramatic Light


From the moment my daughters could reach up and grab at my face, they have tried to pull off my glasses (and, many times, have succeeded). The other day, with a particularly hectic day transpiring, I became especially flustered at their fervent efforts to rip off my spectacles. I hate feeling frustrated with the girls and, even more so, when I realize that their actions are directly related to their curiosity of the world around them; something I will strive to never quell.

So, while popping another load in the wash I had a moment of *mom-spiration*. If the girls had their own pair of glasses, they could explore that fascination without, ya know, making me pretty much blind.

They loved the idea.

Thoughts on Dr. King and Photojournalism

Joe and I went to a Warrior’s game on Monday. He had the day off, as it was Martin Luther King Jr Day. In remembrance of Dr. King’s birthday there were several beautiful tributes scattered throughout the ball game. Joe and I chatted a bit about how truly incredible it is that one person had such magnetism, to say the very least, to unify a once staunchly polarized society; most impressively surrounding an issue that many believed to be a foundational, even defining aspect of that 1960’s society.

I got to thinking about how King was not only charismatic in his speeches, his profound writings, but also quite strategic in his use of sociological dramaturgy to aid in creating resonance and eventually activism for the Civil Rights Movement. I believe the images documenting communities protesting en mass, illustrating youth objected to ghastly violence at the hands of those who were supposedly there to protect and serve, or depicting peaceful students being viciously tormented for sitting at a lunch counter; all of these images paved the way for what I believe the essence of photojournalistic documentation should be: a means to bring to light a visual representation, that illustrates an otherwise verbal/written explanation or presumption, in which someone may find resonance, invoking and stirring up latent sentiments, deep significance, and overall sense of connectedness to your fellow man or woman.

Here is a (lengthy) paper I wrote several years ago regarding the concept of dramaturgy in two specific campaigns for social justice; one of Dr. King's and the other of César Chávez. If you’re interested, Take a look.

A picture may be worth a thousand words. But, it also may impress upon in the hearts of many who do not need words, only actions, to describe how it affected them.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Take care,

Melissa

2/52: Family


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This is Scarlett.

Not the raggedy-haired, wide-eyed, boogie-nosed little girl. Not the teddy bear. She’s the one with the antenna-like appendages, clutched tightly in the ever-loving grasp of Vera’s left hand. Scarlett is unequivocally a member of this family.

We introduced “loveys” when Ruby and Vera were about 7-months-old and transitioning to their cribs. Generally speaking, a lovey is an inanimate object, usually doll or blankie, used to comfort the child and offer a sense permanence; especially handy when introducing big changes, like them sleeping in an entirely new location! Around the time the girls were born, we had received a gift from their Aunt and Uncle that live in New York. This gift included a set of pajamas -- which they *just* were fitting into at 7 months of age -- with an accompanying doll, assumingly meant to be used as a lovey. So, we gave it a shot. And. It. Worked. At least for Vee. She ritualistically rubs Scarlett’s “feet” all over her face and, just *like that* her eyelids start to droop. Truly it’s miraculous.

Long story short, Vera can’t even contemplate sleeping, be it nap or bedtime, without Scarlett firmly in hand. And, of course we had to pick a lovey that is super tough to duplicate. Though the girls’ Grandmom (“Mum-mum”) did find a nearly identical one, as Scar is getting haggard real quick. Yay for grandparents! Though now Vee thinks it’s amazing that there are TWO Scarletts to snuggle her to sleep. Oops.

1/52: Where You Live


This one is particularly literal. But, I have good reason.

We just returned home to Berkeley after going back East to see my husband’s family for just about two weeks. Unfortunately I brought back a bit of a sinus cold/ headache. So, for the last couple days we’ve stayed cozy in our jammies, said “the hell with it” to taking down holiday decor (scant as they were), flipped through our books, jammed to our music, and basked in this lovely California sun via the light of our living room window.


It’s good to be home!