Goodbye Sideburns

I think many parents have great difficulty realizing when their little ones are due for their first haircut. There is something about those first locks of hair which are so fine and so incredibly soft that makes it almost impossible to part with. Over time I have seen babies with some crazy and not so flattering hairdo’s and I’ve always promised myself that I wouldn’t let that happen to my own kids. I should have heeded my own advice and gotten the scissors out sooner for baby Elliot, because as you can see from below this little Blondie was out of control already. But I finally got my act together and with a little help from daddy and a banana candy (a dehydrated banana packed with healthy vitamins and minerals) we said bye bye to the sideburns.

Elliot before and after his mommy snipped his sideburns off.
Elliot before and after his mommy snipped his sideburns off.

My New Favourite Location

Before a photo shoot I always ask my clients about the lighting conditions at their home. When they say “I think there is a fair amount of light here”, I can pretty much count on the fact that I am going to be challenged and that we are going to be quite far from having ample and good lighting conditions. This was also the case with my most recent client – a family of five. It was a nice and charming family living in a nice and charming house situated just north of Copenhagen, but there was no way I was ever going to make any magic happen with my camera at that location.

Thankfully the sun was shining and the kids were all teenagers that could take directions, so I made everyone go to an Open Air Museum just 2 minutes away from their house. The Open Air Museum is one of the largest and oldest in the world and it is spread across 86 acres of land and houses more than 50 farms, mills and houses from the period 1650-1950. The museum tells the story about the rural population of earlier times and tucked away in the back of the museum there is a very simple an old little barn house (or something along those lines… probably a garage like it would have looked in the 1800) which is made from really old wood. This particular spot is officially my new favourite photo shoot location in the world (or in Copenhagen at least). The light is cast ind the most amazing way. It doesn’t matter which way you turn, you are guaranteed great lighting and a great backdrop. I LOVE IT!

So naturally I had to pull my own family out to this spectacular location the other day. Sienna was heavily bribed and she performed like a dream and looked ever so cute frame after frame. Elliot had an agenda of his own and was most certainly not cooperative. Unfortunately that seems to be somewhat of a reoccurring problem with this young man, but at least he hadn’t decorated himself heavily with snot and crusties and other goodies all over his face (for which I was thankful).

Well, enough chit chatting for now. As you can see, I did manage to get a few good ones of the little mr. Ramsey too. After picture taking it was time to sit down in the sun and enjoy some freshly baked brownies.

Sienna and Elliot at the Open Air Museum
Sienna and Elliot at the Open Air Museum
Enjoying some homemade brownies in the unbelievably nice fall weather
Enjoying some homemade brownies in the unbelievably nice fall weather

Happy Birthday, Aunt Angela!

Sienna decorated a very nice balloon with a banana, a chair, a cross, and a Canadian balloon for her aunt Angela’s birthday greeting. Right before we were about to take a picture of the artwork, it blew up. Sienna was too torn up about the ordeal to make a new one, so mommy had to quickly make one featuring a girl saying “Happy Birthday, Aunt Angela”. In case you can’t tell, the girl is holding 4 balloons in one hand and a Danish flag and a Canadian Flag in the other hand. In Denmark it is customary to bring out the flag whenever someone has their birthday. I grew up thinking that this was the custom all over the world until a few years ago when I wanted to congratulate my best friend in the world, Brooke. We were living together in NYC, and I got up early to make her a nice breakfast. I neatly decorated the breakfast plate with little flags, thinking it was the most normal thing in the world right until Brooke said “what the heck is up with the little flags?”. That’s when I realized that birthday flags are only a tradition in Denmark.

The balloon reads "Happy Birthday, Aunt Angela"
The balloon reads "Happy Birthday, Aunt Angela"

Happy Birthday, Mormor!

09.09.09… today must be the coolest day of the entire year to have your birthday and in Copenhagen we are shouting a loud “hip hip hurray” for mormor. Elliot thought she might like to kick her birthday off with a nice little swim and some serious splashing. Sienna was ready with the obligatory birthday balloons and all the nice presents she and Elliot had prepared the day before. Well, I guess it was mostly Sienna that was preparing the gifts. Elliot was unhappy about not getting to eat the beads, but he had a great time pulling the lids off the crayons and he also managed to make a few blue strokes on a piece of paper. Sienna made a heart and a nice panda bear with purple pants and a green sweater from the beads. In addition she coloured the most beautiful Swiper of the century (with a rainbow coloured nose).

As mormor and Sienna ventured off for a small birthday party in Sorø (with David, Solise and Gabriel), Elliot decided to throw his own party on the kitchen floor. Wieners and raisins were on the menu.

elliot swimming 1
Elliot invited mormor for a nice little morning swim on her birthday

elliot swimming 2

Sienna had birthday balloons and presents ready for mormor. Elliot decided to throw his own little party on the kitchen floor, since he wasn't invited along to Gabriel's house
Sienna had birthday balloons and presents ready for mormor. Elliot decided to throw his own little party on the kitchen floor, since he wasn't invited along to Gabriel's house
preparing presents
Sienna and Elliot are busy preparing birthday presents for mormor.

Happy Birthday, Moster!

Moster is one of tree Danish words for “aunt”. It is contracted from the words “mother’s sister”. The father’s sister is called “faster” and if the aunt is married into the family she is called “tante”. I don’t have any explanation for the latter.

Last Sunday we all met up at Vesterbrogade to celebrate moster’s 32nd birthday (which is officially today, september 4th). Moster is a very skillful drawer and she painted a beautiful daddy lion on Sienna’s cast, right next to Sienna’s artistic pink, blue, and yellow mommy lion.

moster 32

Bikers

Denmark is a nation of bikers, in fact 9 out of 10 Danes have a bike and 34% use it as a mean of transportation. Today it was time for baby Elliot to mount the beast for the first time. He just leaned back and enjoyed the ride as he went from mormor’s house to his own house.

little bikers
Top pictures: Elliot and Sienna on their first bike rides. Today Sienna has her own fancy vehicle. She normally wears a helmet, but I made her take it off for picture purposes.

My Precious Little Helper

Today I was unloading the dishwasher and I  quickly had to drop something off in the bedroom. In the meantime my precious little helper decided to assist me in unloading the upper basket, so when I returned he was balancing on the dishwasher door while waving some cups and utensils around. The kid is weighing around 23 pounds these days so thank goodness for good German engineering… and little helpful souls, of course. By the way, he must have brought the coconut. I am pretty sure it wasn’t inside the dishwasher.

littlehelp
My little helper is unloading the upper basket in the dishwasher for me

Ouch!

Sienna loves to jump and has been doing it ever since she was born. Yesterday she jumped a little bit longer than expected and landed on daddy. Unfortunately daddy was a lot harder to land on than the nice soft bed, so after 10 minutes of crying hard we rushed off to the hospital. I think Sienna’s loud yelling got us through the emergency room a bit faster, so only 2 hours later her little arm was wrapped up in a cast. Upon Sienna’s request daddy drew an “s” on the cast, mommy made a fish and a car, and Sienna made a pretty lion in bright yellow, pink, and blue colors.

Sienna and her broken arm
Sienna and her broken arm

A quick trip to Oslo, Norway

We are back from our little trip to Norway. Despite the fact that the kids are still having some serious sleeping issues, we had a very nice time. The sun was shining and we got to see lots of dinosaur bones and funny statues at the park. The new opera house offered a lot of unique backgrounds for photo opportunities. Unfortunately Sienna was allergic to something in the Norwegian air and couldn’t stop sneezing. We got the best day possible and when we arrived back in Copenhagen it was pouring rain.

At the opera house
At the opera house
At the opera house
At the opera house
At the opera house
At the opera house
At the museum looking at the dinosaurs
At the museum looking at the dinosaurs
At the sculpture park (Vigelandsparken)
At the sculpture park (Vigelandsparken)
At the sculpture park (Vigelandsparken)
At the sculpture park (Vigelandsparken) and sailing back through Oslo Fjord to Copenhagen

November 7, 2002

On November 7, 2002 I realized who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I wrote it in an email to a dear friend… “I still think he has a funny shuffly walk and that he dresses like a nerd, but I don’t care anymore”… 645 days later we got married and tomorrow we have our 5 year anniversary. I love him more than ever and I just have to look at our kids to be reminded that we are a match made in heaven. Otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to produce two such perfect children.

We are taking the kids on a little trip to Oslo, Norway to celebrate. Firstly, we are going to the Museum of National History to look at some dinosaurs (like Curious George) and then we are having lunch in a nice park called Vigelandsparken. When I was living in Norway (in 1996) I used to go to this park all the time. It would be minus 25 degrees Celsius and everything was covered in snow. I would sit there for hours listening to Toni Braxton and fantasizing about how my life would be when I hooked up with the man of my dreams. Hence it is a very appropriate place to be celebrating our anniversary.

Hooking up in Montreal (Fall 2002)
Hooking up in Montreal (Fall 2002)
Shawn had to go to Toronto to pick up his hockey gear and invited me along.
Shawn had to go to Toronto to pick up his hockey gear and invited me along.
Montreal 2002
Being country-bred Shawn is a true animal lover and connoisseur. He wisely called that the dog in the picture was behaving a little bit out of control because it was a puppy. It was 7 years old. I also think he would have been more comfortable on the little horse (by the car) rather than the big one he ended up on.

Sienna Horseback Riding

Last Sunday Sienna’s aunt Solise (A.K.A. Louise) had invited Sienna to go horseback riding. We all traveled on a small ferry to a tiny Island called Omø where some of Solise’s friends have a farm with horses. Solise and uncle David and Gabriel brought delicious sandwiches, so we all sat down for a nice picnic before Sienna ventured off on a big horse. The horse was nice and calm, but started off by shuttering to get rid of some flies. This was a little bit intimidating for Sienna, but fortunately uncle David was walking right next to her ready to catch her if anything went wrong. She passed her first riding experience with flying colors and mommy and daddy and baby Elliot were all very proud of her. Thanks to Solise, Uncle David and Gabriel for a very nice day.

On the little ferry
On the little ferry to Omø
Enjoying a nice picnic and getting ready to go horseback riding
Picnic time (from left: David, Simone (Louise's sister), Louise, Sienna and Shawn. Gabriel and Elliot are in their baby carriages in the back. Naomi is behind the camera)
Finding seashells and grasshoppers
Finding seashells and grasshoppers
Sienna horseback riding
Sienna horseback riding

A day at the park

We spend most of Saturday at the park with some good friends. Great weather, great food,  and great company. On the picture the kids are getting ready to head over to the paddling pool. They are situated in an enormous bicycle which is becoming an increasingly popular means of transportation here in Copenhagen. The featured model is the top of the line, though. It costs the same as a smaller car would cost in North America. Unfortunately it doesn’t belong to us.

park
Sienna, Elliot and Oliver getting ready to go to the paddling pool

This little guy must be on a secret mission!?!

I thought Sienna was developing pretty fast when she started walking the day before she turned 10 months. This little guy is out of control, though. He has been standing up in midair without any kind of support for around a month and yesterday – without any encouragement – he decided to take a few steps on his own. Those were his official first steps and that was yesterday. Today he is tiptoeing around all over the place like it is the most normal thing to be doing when you are only 8½ months old. It must be something in his milk!?!

walking
Elliot walking at 8½ months.