Archive for May, 2013

Miami in May

Friday, May 31st, 2013 by Jen

We were supposed to go to Miami to see Jordi’s family right in the beginning of April but Celia was too sick to travel that weekend so we rescheduled for a month later with just a bit of time to see everyone. It was a little crazy with Tere and Gilbert returning from Europe just a few hours before we arrived and then Javi was leaving two days later for vacation to Brazil. But it was the only time we could fit it in and see everyone before the baby arrives!

We didn’t have a big schedule, a birthday party for Josie and Gilbert on Sunday, and hanging out and enjoying the good weather. Playing catch with Tio Javi

We went to the pool, the playground and the beach. Lots of time hanging around in the backyard and doing art projects while Celia napped. We went to south point beach in Miami Beach for the first time and it was gorgeous and very warm for swimming. Celia learned that she really does not like sunblock, she’s going to have to work on getting over that one for this summer up here in Boston. I spent a lot of time practicing with the different kinds of light while the girls playing and visited.

Josie backlit in mini-ears

Abuela and the girls in the swing

The backyard view

Tia Vani and Josie

And of course we got to meet the third great-grandchild on Jordi’s maternal grandmother’s side, Benjamin!

Sonya, Carlos and Benjamin

Ezzy lit by iPad

Saturday, May 25th, 2013 by Jen


This little munchkin…

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 by Jen

Seems to have decided that she wants to be toilet trained. She wore underwear all day except for nap and rocked it. We won’t be holding our breath that it sticks, but we’ll go with it for now!

Celia petting Mio

Josie age at 5

Monday, May 20th, 2013 by Jen

Josie is a joyful 5 year old, full of ideas, plans and thoughts about her house, life and day. She is a big planner like her parents. Her teachers regularly comment on it. She’s always thinking ahead to what she wants to do next, what might be coming up and the next meal. She revels in the anticipation of fun future things to come and also does a bit of stressing about things that she’s less sure about. We finally just had her birthday party and she decided a lot of those plans, from the theme (rainbows) to the food (chocolate dipped strawberries were requested) and the guests (friends from the neighborhood plus all the girls from school).

She adores playing with her friends and going to school. She gets along well with all the kids although she’s playing with the girls mostly as is typical for this age. She loves to do the daily projects and her special days. I just got to go to her last special day for the year (5 total) and help out the class and see how they’re all doing. They were a cuddly bunch of kids and I enjoyed the morning thoroughly. Josie said her favorite part of the day was the movement songs, she has picked up on a loophole in their rules. Apparently ‘take me out to the ballgame’ is considered a very short movement song, so that if you pick it first, you get to choose a second song as well. The only time Josie doesn’t want to go to school is if she’d rather be hanging out with me and Celia instead and do what we’re doing. She’d prefer it if we didn’t ever do anything fun on the mornings she’s in school.

We’ve just had two visits to the elementary school she will be attending in the fall as well. Josie was excited to see the friends she already knows at those events and hang out with them. She didn’t have too much else to say about the school, except that she got spit on by a frog (in a puppet show).

Josie continues her gymnastics lessons every week and she’s always improving. She’s gotten considerably braver on the balance beam and will try out the steps without insisting on holding onto her teacher, including going sideways and backwards. Her handstands and cartwheels are still a work in progress, but she will nail them with great form at each practice a few times. She really enjoys them although she still asks about ballet class from time to time.

Most of her friends right now are from school. Sadly we’ll have to leave the majority of them behind going to elementary school but she’ll still get to hang out with Bronwyn and Sophie who are some of our closest family friends right now. We’ll see who’s in her class next year during the summer, but hopefully we’ll enjoy making some closer friends with people who live conveniently close by for easy playdates.

Josie’s default quiet activity at home now is often art. She got a ton of supplies for her birthday and enjoys everything from sticker mosaics, to painting, drawing and stamping. She likes to copy projects they’ve done at school, or even ones she seems on the wall at other places we visit, like Hardy elementary. She’ll often add onto the basic ideas given to her and make them her own. Right now she’s on a flower drawing kick. They all have smiles and two green leaves on a stem.

Every afternoon I continue to work with Josie on reading and school skills. Right now we’re working through reading a clock, reading books/words in general and basic arithmetic. She can read an amazing number of words right now, and even the whole book of ‘Go Dog Go’. Currently we’ve just gone over the soft ‘C’ and ‘G’ sounds after finishing up the long vowel sounds. She’s starting to read in the world around her but isn’t showing anything at school apparently yet. She likes to do mazes, puzzles and she’s shown interest in my sudoku puzzles too so I’m trying to explain those.

All in all Josie has been a great kid and big sister. While she’s often parroting my instructions to her sister as if she’s the one in charge, she is just trying to steer her straight and help things work out. She’s willing to pitch in often and does her chores with some obligatory griping. I generally try to have her help out twice a day with something, she’s often stuffing the cloth diapers, emptying the dishwasher, picking up toys, feeding the cats, bagging up the recycling or scooping the cat litter. I continue to be amazed at how fast she’s growing, how much she’s learning and how she’s maturing. Thankfully she still loves to hold my hand at night before falling asleep and also while walking down the street.

  • Size/weight: 6, 45.75″ tall, 43.5 lbs
  • Favorite foods: cheese, pasta, dessert
  • Favorite toy: art supplies
  • Favorite book: Buddha at Bedtime
  • Favorite activity: playing with her friends, pretend games
  • Sleeping: bedtime ~8; gets up about 6:30
  • New skill: gymnastics tricks like cartwheels, handstands have gotten quite strong
  • Teeth: holding steady with all 20
  • Literacy: reading most short words, understanding long and short vowels


Josie at Magnolia

Looking down Josie on the chair Jumping Josie


Using a cat as a reflector

Sunday, May 19th, 2013 by Jen

Celia on George

It’s been a hard day

Monday, May 13th, 2013 by Jen

This was tantrum number 5 or so today? Kids still haven’t recovered from traveling and illnesses yet. I’m still sick too. At least she did this one in some good light!

Celia on the floor

Happy Mothers Day to our two moms

Sunday, May 12th, 2013 by Jen

Plus all the other moms out there 🙂

Celia, Jen, Simba, Jordi, Josie, Tere and Gilbert


Magnolias at Magnolia Park

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 by Jen

Celia jumping


45 degree light

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 by Jen

I signed myself up for a class on using natural light indoors, and so I’ll be practicing using light differently for the next few weeks (and beyond probably). Here’s my attempt at 45 degree light, in which the light should be approximately 45 degrees off from the subjects face, creating shadows with a fair amount of spill though onto the far side.

Josie in 45 degree light