Babies these days

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Joy

Its hard to believe that I have been in the “new” studio space for seven months already and have seen two seasons come and go. Welcome to summer! It really has turned out to be everything I could wish for. Full of light, joy and sweetness. The sessions I have held there really show these qualities. I realize it has been a while since I shared a more comprehensive view of what sessions are like these days. As a photographer my style is always evolving and in a new space, double so. Thus I am now starting a “these days” series to give you a fuller view of ¬†what one session can entail.

This lovely family contacted me to capture the one year milestone for their sweet baby. They wanted to really capture her personality, joyful spirit and themselves together. I love this age and we jumped right in with a game of throwing balloons off the bed. Something that all one years olds excel at. ūüôā After a while we moved into the studio room for some sweet moments playing with momma and papa and more fun and games. We tired her out for sure but all in the name of good fun.

Happy birthday baby girl. You have the most beautiful smile. ♥

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Giggles
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The sweetest smile
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Play
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Peekaboo
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Kiss!
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Spirit
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Float
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These wonderful days
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Wonder
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Duo
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Whee!
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The star
Sweet baby blog
And laugh and laugh
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First look: First days at home

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Something new

When this family first contacted me, they wanted something special. Being a photographer herself, Christina had the newborn basics covered, but of course often found herself on the business end of the camera instead of in front. Sound familiar? After some discussion, we decided to have a relaxed at home session which documented the experience of meeting and bringing home her second son. Nothing posed or using props, just life as it is.

Only five days after birth, on a bright June afternoon, we had a chance to capture some of these special moment of being home, now as a family of four. I so enjoyed being a part of this beautiful relaxed family. I hope you do to!

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Big brother
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Curly toes
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Comfort
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Storyteller
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Rest
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Mirror me
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Mosaic
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Closer
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Little lashes
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At home
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Mother’s helper
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Some quiet time
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Perfect
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US
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Happy days

 

Brussels Family Resources: Brussels Childbirth Trust (BCT)

A world of good
A world of good

Although it seems like the obvious thing to do, somehow I have not managed to write about the BCT as a family resource¬†yet. Why not? Somehow it just seems so ubiquitous that it would be akin to writing, “its cold in the winter” or “hey, the chocolate is good here!” The BCT is a non-profit, volunteer run family network that has been operating in Brussels since 1979. For expats finding their way in Brussels, whether pregnant or already with little ones, it is one of the most important resources out there¬†for support, friendship, activities and fun events.

I first found my way to the BCT through their “Pregnancy in Brussels” night. In addition to getting the lay of the land, I also made two fast friends who are still some of my closest today (hi Claire and Heather!). Next up was the BCT Nearly New Sale where I managed to stock up on many gently used baby essentials. But by far, the biggest impact on me was the community that has grown out of this wonderful group.

Let’s face it, after all the excitement of being pregnant, giving birth and getting settled at home wears off, many a mom finds herself going a tad stir crazy. In these moments, it is essential to get out and make some connections or risk tipping the scale from stir crazy to all out nuts. Local BCT groups run everything from walking groups, coffee afternoons to cooking and art classes for the little ones. ¬†There are fun get-togethers at the BCT playhouse, Imagine, out in Wezembeek-Oppem. The list goes on and on.

I definitively recommend checking out the BCT. There is a membership fee of 50 EUR a year which is well worth it for the wealth of resources. Also a huge personal thanks from me to all of the moms and dads who volunteer their time, energy and resources to make this a truly irreplaceable Brussels family resource. Thank you for all you do!

First look: Iconic Brussels session with Tori and Beckett

On an adventure
On an adventure

Brussels is a crossroads. People are coming and going all the time whether on short or long-term assignments. The fact of people turnover is unavoidable! For many, Brussels is an experience, an adventure and especially so if you bring or start your family here. Here are the parks we played in, this is the house we lived in, these are the streets we walked each day. No matter where you came from or where you go, Brussels touches you forever.

So not surprising that many people contact me to immortalize their Brussels experience during a photo session in an iconic Brussels location. When Tori reached out recently, we kicked around a few ideas but ultimately settled on Place Royale which has a truly gorgeous view over Brussels. Also up for celebration was Beckett’s big #4 birthday. Cheers!

We beat the tourists with a 9 am start and had a fantastic time running (literally) all over the surrounding park, stairs and fountain. Beckett was a blast and absolutely one of the sweetest boys I have ever worked it. We made a jolly trio indeed. ūüôā Great location, great weather and great subjects. Enjoy!

Happy birthday boy
Happy birthday boy
In good company
In good company
Hide and seek
Hide and seek
Up and up
Up and up
Your reflection
Your reflection
From the heart
From the heart
Running
Running
At the crossroads
At the crossroads

First look: Jumpin’ Jack

Hooray for sunshine!
Hooray for sunshine!

What a week! Bababoo started school on Monday and I think she likes it. Come on, they have a pet rabbit! Excited to get to spend some one on one time with my little Babatwo who, let’s face it, is not so little any more. 10 months old on Friday, crawling and talking up a storm including a rather unusual first word, color.¬†

It has been a busy time in the studio as people reach out for back to school and last summer hurrah in the park pictures. Last week I had the chance to meet a lovely American-British family, in for their first photo session with 3,5 month old Jack. Such a sweet boy and with the most amazing eye lashes. Why do little boys always have the longest lashes?! 

Please enjoy these sweet pictures and the late summer bump of sunshine. Cheers! 

Those lashes
Those lashes
In mother's arms
In mother’s arms
Man to man
Man to man

 

Together
Together

Things to do with a baby or toddler in Brussels: Sip, shop and play at Haricot Magique

Stroller Cafe. Fabulous idea!
Stroller Cafe. Fabulous idea!

Somehow when I started maternity leave I envisioned myself frequenting cafes, sipping coffee and chatting with a friend while our little ones snoozed nearby. Much to my surprise, there is somewhat a lack of chic and yummy momma cafes. In Brussels? Really?! Strange! A while back I heard about Haricot Magique (Magic Bean) but it took me until now to make my way to Schaerbeek to check it out.

What a lovely place. Just as I imagined only better! It is as though they made a check list of all the ingredients that go into a great momming lunch and made it happen. You need a nice, fun place for kids to play while you sup? Check. Fresh healthy food (baby and adult) and free trade coffee? Sure. A bright bathroom with changing table, potty and real towels? Check, check, check. We had such a nice time here! I also learned that they have lots of fun sounding workshops, book readings, etc. We will be sure to check one soon. Maybe Introduction to Music on Saturday!

If you are in the vicinity of Parc Josephat, stop in! You won’t regret it. Cheers.

Where: Avenue Louis Bertrand 22, 1030 Bruxelles

When: Monday – Saturday, 9:30 – 18:00

Be welcome
Be welcome
Future birthday presents
Future birthday presents
Something for everyone
Something for everyone

 

Les Poussette
Les Poussette

First look: Vanessa’s almost newborn session

Curve
Curve

I think it is clear by now that I really like babies, no? In many a newborn session, I get to roll them into cuddly little balls and put them in sweet baskets, blankets, momma or pappa’s arms. In the first 10 days, it is truly amazing what a baby will very happy do and sleep through as we work to get that perfect picture for an birth announcement or official debut to the world.

Lately I have been noticing an interesting trend of waiting until the 8 – 10 week mark when the little ones are a little more expressive and aware of the world. A chance to capture a slice of their growing personalities. Such was the case with little Vanessa who I first met during a planning session in the studio and then just one week later, in her idyllic home outside of Wavre. It was so lovely to capture this beautiful family in their home setting and to have nearly three hours with little Vanessa and her cheeks. Those cheeks!

Here to share with you today some of the highlights. Enjoy!

Where we belong
Where we belong
These cheeks!
These cheeks!
Hanging out
Hanging out
Family
Family
Image
The butterfly
Protector
Protector

Things to do with a toddler or kid in Brussels: Choo Choo on the steam engine at Parc du Bempt

All aboard!
All aboard!

Holy blazes, spring is back on! One of our favorite things about Brussels is how many fun things are going on all the time. There are always a number of festivals, kid events, races, etc. This weekend we hit the Festival du Pain (bread) in the Schuman roundabout. It was delicious!

Now we turn to a summer activity that is more of a perennial than a flash in the pan. Thanks to the tip from Brussels Life, we decided to check out the little steam engines in Parc du Bempt. It is a bit of a long haul to Forest but fairly convenient if you take Tram 82 almost straight there. It is just past the Abbaye de Forest, which is also worth a visit. Parc du Bempt is a lovely green space with some ponds, area to play and some play structures but the real highlight is definitely the steam engines.

Three choo choos run along a super cute track for about a five minute ride. If your little one is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine, this is for you, big time. Buy a ticket for 2 EUR and jump on. Tickets are technically for 3 year olds and up but Bababoo is on the tall side and her parents have a flexible sense of truth so away we went.

Zoe had a blast and we took the¬†edge off with some ice cream from the garage. Beer and wine also on offer if you are so inclined. ūüôā

Hope you check it out!

Where:  Parc du Bempt. If you need a GPS try Chaussée de Neerstalle 323B, 1190 Forest

When: Every weekend from 26 April to 5 October 2014 from 2pm until 6pm (only Sundays during July, August and September)

How much:¬†From 1‚ā¨

Ready to roll
Ready to roll
Sidelined...for now
Sidelined…for now
That was a blast!
Running!

Things to do with a toddler or kid in Brussels: Check out the Natural History Museum

Teeth
Teeth

Let’s face it, the gorgeous weather couldn’t last forever! This week is forecasted to be rainy, grey and dreary. That rules out parks so we turned our gaze inside to see what kinds of adventures we could find.

I have walked by the Brussels Natural History Museum aka The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences many a time on the way to Place Boniface. While the big dinosaur mural was appealing, I was not sure if bababoo was quite ready to enjoy it. Now that she is a couple of months past two and a¬†firm¬†animal lover, the time seemed right to check it out. Also somehow the word¬†dinosaur¬†made it into her vocabulary recently. Helloo Peppa Pig…anyhow!

Very accessible by bus, driving (there are two parking lots) or walking of course, the museum is immediately welcoming. Truly it is gorgeous, bright, well laid out and clearly the product of a lot of imaginative science-minded people. Pressed for time, we went straight for the baby animals exhibition. Who can resist baby animals? Once you get past the fact that they are stuffed, you can really appreciate the care that went into the displays and interactive sections. There are videos, games, and activities. You can try to crawl through a maze with a turtle shell balancing little eggs, build a nest out of Styrofoam noodles and try to locate you spirit animal mother by following her scent. So cool! We could have spent much longer but lunch and nap time beckoned.

Walking out we past the halls for dinosaurs (one of the best collections in Europe), mammals, biodiversity and more. I want to go back!   Definitely a recommend for the 2ish+ set.

Where: Rue Vautier 29 Р1000 Brussels

When:

Tuesday – Friday 9.30 – 17.00
Saturday and Sunday 10.00 – 18.00
School holidays (Tuesday – Sunday)
10.00 – 18.00
Closed on Mondays, 1 Jan, 1 May and 25 Dec

How much: The cost for adults is 7.50 EUR and for kids under five it is free.

Interact
Interact
A maze
A maze
Wings
Wings