Saturday, May 17, 2014

Toddlerhood

Time goes by really fast, and I still can't believe that my tiny little baby soon will be turning two. As people said, that will be the hardest year as a parent, that is why it is said "terrible two". Even now before two, I have seen him started showing his attitudes towards independency. In positive way it is good that he started telling what he wants. However at the same time it can be difficult, because he still does not know how to control his emotion when his wants can't be met. Apart from that, watching him growing day to day is very interesting. It is amazing to see him learning something new each day, especially to witness how fast he imitates our language and how his imaginations are running wild while he is playing.

As I wrote in my previous post, I promise to myself that I will take pictures more often of his daily life with my DSLR camera. So for the past few weeks, I took out my camera quite often while we are at home, to capture his world. I almost forgot how good it feels to be behind the lens, thinking about the composition, what stories to tell from the picture I took and editing the pictures. And I am so glad that I'm back again doing what I am most passionate about :)

So here are the pictures of him, unposed, taking while he is sleeping, playing and eating.


The photo above is taken in our bedroom and the light is coming from the side from the balcony. I really love how the lighting turns out almost like we are in a studio. Tips for photographing people inside the house, place the subject in front of plain white wall with the window beside them, make them turn their face to the window. What I did with Raphael is I put mattress in front of the wall and told him that we are playing with the shadows on the wall. I set my camera and then I call his name so he looked at me.


I realized I have never had his picture while sleeping, probably because he is not an easy sleeper since baby so I was too afraid that the clicking sounds of camera will wake him up. But this one time, he has been napping for 2 hours and he slept very soundly, that I intrigued to snap pictures of him, which I am totally in love with :)


Have to be honest that the above pictures are him yelling out loud because he wanted to play with me but mommy is too busy taking pictures of him, so he made these goofy face, which made me couldn't stop clicking even more :-D


Can you guess what he is eating? It's cheese and he LOVES it a lot. I am so relieved that he enjoys eating now. Still remembered how it stressed me out that he was so picky with his food and ate very little. Now he asks for food, like every 1 hour?


He is definitely an outdoor boy, being able to running around and playing outside never fails to make him happy. So glad that we live in a city where outdoor places for children are plenty. The only struggle is when it is winter.


Okay, the last picture is here, just because his smile is too cute. LOL.


Cheers,
Indispensable Lady

Monday, May 5, 2014

Kill Two Birds with One Stone

Have you ever think that things that you see everyday is very ordinary, nothing interest you anymore. But once you travel to a new place, you'll see everything is more beautiful, more attractive. In the eyes of a photographer and a writer, I recently feel stuck finding interesting things to write about Copenhagen. On the other side, I want to give the editor an article about Copenhagen, the place where I live now, from the perspective of a local. 

Motivated by the urge, I start to go out more, exploring places in my surroundings, paying attention to details that normally won't catch my eyes. As a result, not only I finally gathered fresh ideas of what I can write for the travel article, at the same time I am exploring creative ways for photographing kids. Obviously, the model is always my own son, Raphael :) But instead of taking pictures of him smiling and posing at the camera, I am also composing the picture in a more 'photographic' way. By far, I love those pictures of him even more than what I usually take, even though sometimes his face is not always look at the camera.

So, as the old man says, "Kill Two Birds with One Stone".

Here are some of my recent pictures, enjoy :)





Cheers,
Indispensable Lady

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Resolution

Raphael and friend's kid are playing on the Seminyak beach at sunset

After having such a long pause for this blog, I come with a new resolution to write again the blog and rebuilding my relationship with my camera. And no, life is not getting less busy recently however this urge suddenly popped out and I couldn't get it out of my head unless I start right away.

I am so inspired lately with Mom*tog blog, which are dedicated for all moms who loves photography. The amazing thing is this was created by a mother who initially just liked to capture her children photos and wanted to share this love of children photography with other mothers, however later on people come and ask her to photograph theirs. How cool is that? I always said I want to be a professional photographer someday, specifically in children photography, however now I nearly never shoot my own son with the professional camera. Sigh.

So after spending hours on her blog, I came up with these resolutions:

  1. Take out my camera as often as I could, bring it with me whenever Raphael and I go to the park or just walking around after I pick him up from daycare.
  2. Capture his daily life with the big camera: when he is playing with lego by himself, when he is sleeping and holding his comforter, when he helps me with house cores, etc.
  3. No longer rely on cell phone for capturing moments of Raphael. Yes, it is easy and more convenient to take photos with cell phone and I am so glad that the quality of pictures from IPhone is really good, yet I know it is not the same result if I shoot using my big camera. 
  4. Be creative but don't shoot as a photographer, but shoot as a mom. It might not have the best angle or the best lighting, but they are the moments of my son's life that I can keep for the rest of my life.
  5. Last, I am gonna start updating this blog again, publishing more pictures that I take, practicing my writing skills and hopefully giving something useful for you, readers :)
Cheers,
Indispensable Lady

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside

As this is my first winter in Copenhagen, I was quite worried whether we will survive the winter or not. Fortunately, we're lucky enough that we were in Indonesia when there was a real bad snow storm and the weather reached minus 15 degrees. Since we were back to Copenhagen on mid December, the weather is pretty good though, even though there were some days where it's snowy and pretty cold outside.

Apart from the freezing nose, I am surprisingly in love with Copenhagen winter. I found the whitey ground, dried trees and cloudy sky are strangely beautiful. Yet, it's still better to watch the view from much warmer place, though :-D Luckily, our apartment has super wide window so even we could enjoy snowfall with a smiling face.

We managed to take some pictures the other day before the snow is gone. Here are the pictures..








The location is behind our apartment in ├śrestads, which is kind of my sanctuary place whenever I need some fresh air and recharge my sanity :-D

Beautiful isn't it? So who's interested in visiting Copenhagen the next winter? I will be pleased to be your tour guide :)

Cheers,
Indispensable Lady

Monday, January 21, 2013

Purpose



Everything has a purpose, clocks tell you the time, trains takes you to places. 
I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. 
Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. 
They always come with the exact amount they need. 
So I figured if the entire world was one big machine... I couldn't be an extra part. 
I had to be here for some reason. 
And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.
-Hugo Cabret-

As much as I enjoy being a mother, somewhere along the way during the past 5 months I lost myself somehow. Just recently it hit me that I don't even know what completes me as a individual. Perhaps I let myself drown too deep into the role of a mother and suddenly my whole life revolves around parenting stuff, even in my spare time.

Therefore I am in a new mission of finding back my purpose of living. Starting by managing time more carefully so that my day won't be stuck with only taking care of Raphael, cleaning the house nor reading the social media. I just realized that even though I am a planner junkie, my life recently goes without any, which somehow makes me feel like I am wasting time by doing nothing as suddenly the months goes by.

Scheduling day to day activities is my priority at the moment, which I've never had before since I became full time housewife. What I have in mind is scheduling days for doing the laundry, cleaning the house and cooking day, in which I would cook more so I could store the food for days when I don't feel like cooking or when Raphael is having a bad day. By doing so, hopefully I would have more of my 'me' time, then afterwards I would start focusing in figuring out what I really want to achieve in life.

Some advice, readers?

Cheers,
Indispensable Lady

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Motherhood: Instinctive vs Learning



I've always thought motherhood is an instinctive thing, yet now I know I was wrong. In fact, there's a lot of things I should learn as a first time mother.

Start from the very first basic thing: breastfeeding. Despite of the sucking reflex that comes naturally since the baby was born, as a mother I have to learn how to position the baby so my nipple won't hurt. I also have to learn to manage the milk supply, whether when it is oversupplied or undersupplied.

Another thing that need learning is how to clean the baby, either it is to clean a dirty diaper or wash the baby in a bath tub. I learned how to put a diaper correctly to minimize dirty clothes, how to hold your baby correctly in a bath tub so he won't drown and how to clean the baby thoroughly only with one hand as the other hand should always hold the baby.

The hardest thing I found in learning as a mother is understanding my baby cries. During the first weeks, the only thing that came in mind when I heard him crying is he must be hungry and instinctively I would offer him the breast. Then when he refused to eat I was confused and didn't know how to calm him down with other way instead of nursing, which stressed the baby even more, because all he wanted was just sleeping but me kept putting my breast in his little mouth. LOL.

There was this one time when my baby cried frantically for long hours during the day and didn't want to settle even though I offered him the breast, sang to him and held him. I was so stressful as I had no idea how to calm him down and I was alone at the house. Then I decided to call the doctor and the doctor told me to come to her place, so I put Raphael down so I could change my clothes as I was still in pyjamas. When I came back to pick him up, he slept so peacefully. Apparently all he was trying to say was: "Put me down! I'm trying to sleep!"

At that time I was wondering how my instinct couldn't understand what my own baby wants. That was the time when I decided, there's a lot that I need to learn if I want to be a good mother. So I started to read parenting books and parenting guidance on the internet. Apparently all the type of baby cries and body language are explained in those books. Even though not all babies are the same, but most of the signs are very similar to what my baby does. When I read it, I really wished I prepared for it long before the labor so I could easily guessed what the cry means.

The parenting books I've read so far are: What to Expect the First Year,  Save our Sleep and Secrets of Baby Whisperer. Quick review for each of them is as follows:

What to Expect the First Year
This book is such a dictionary for babies, since the very first day until your baby turns one year. It  helps me a lot to know whether the development of Raphael is according to his age or not. There are lots of information regarding baby basic care and health issues. However since this book is really thick, I've never read the whole book, I used the index to search for the information needed.

Save our Sleep
I bought this book because it was recommended by one of my friend that follow the baby routine that was mentioned in the book. Since I was so desperate with Raphael's sleeping hours, I decided to read this book, hoping that it will improve Raphael's sleep in quality and quantity. The broad idea suggested by the author is to set a strict schedule for your babies for eating and sleeping and a sleep training for babies where you expect your babies to sleep independently, without any props.
I was totally agree with the idea suggested, however when I implemented it, it wasn't as easy as it said. Firstly because your baby is unique individual, whom has different body clock. Especially because of Raphael is a light sleeper and most of the time he slept only 30-45 minutes during the day. As a result, the strict schedule stressed me out even more instead of helping because I couldn't stick to the schedule if for the first morning sleep Raphael didn't sleep as long as it supposed to according to the schedule.
That is the drawback I found with this book, it just tells you what to do without given any clear explanation what to do when we first implement the schedule as more likely your baby would be off schedule.

Secrets of Baby Whisperer
After frustrated about keeping up with the schedule from the previous book, I started to look for other options in order to improve Raphael's sleep. According to the information I found on the internet, many recommends to read this book, which given gentler approach for sleep training. I borrowed the book from local library and very pleased with the content.
Firstly because the author promotes a brilliant idea on how to appreciate your babies. We tend to treat babies without respect, whereas they are all human too, with unique individualities. Therefore the treatment for every babies are different and we can't generalize them. However the author stressed the importance of having a routine for babies, especially a spirited one like Raphael, so he would know what will come during his day. The general idea is to always have eating, activity and sleeping in the same order, everyday, regardless the clock.

As a conclusion, I found that parenting books are necessary to help us learn as first time mother, since taking care of babies is apparently beyond more than instinctive acts. However, every baby is unique and my baby is not the same with the baby said in the text book. That's why I also need to observe and listen to what his needs. Parenting book should help you in learning stuff that you don't know but don't make it as a bible, in which you neglect what is really important, understanding the one who is in front of you, your lovely baby.

Cheers,
Indispensable Lady

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cookie Monster :)


I thought I won't be able to bake again until couple of months later, fortunately Raphael is getting more settled now that I could try new recipe. I've always been a fan of oatmeal cookies, however my mom's recipe is a crispy oatmeal cookies, while I like the thick, chewy and a big rounded kind of cookies. Thus I searched the internet for the perfect recipe and I found this recipe in Smitten Kitchen's blog, which described the cookie exactly as I wanted. I doubled the recipe because the dough can be stored in a fridge, so I could just bake them in oven for other days :)

So here's the recipe, after slightly modified by me:

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:
230 gr butter, softened with an electric mixer
250 gr dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
190 gr all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
240 gr oats
240 gr raisin

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla sugar until smooth
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and stir into the butter / sugar mixture.
  3. Stir in the oats and raisin with a spatula
  4. Chill in the dough into the fridge
  5. When cool, scoop the dough onto a baking tray which already covered by baking paper, and put them about 5cm apart.
  6. Preheat the oven to 175 celsius, around 10 minutes before you want to bake the cookies. Then bake the cookies for 12 minutes.
When you chill the dough into the fridge, an hour should be enough to make the cookies thicker. However if you don't want to wait the dough can be baked right away, however the cookies result would be less thick. Since I made the dough at night, I chilled it overnight and apparently the day after the dough is too hard to scoop, so I had to leave it for a while in room temperature before scooping them to the baking tray. I used a soup spoon to scoop the dough as I wanted to make a big rounded cookies, which are about 10 cm of diameter.

So here are my cookies! The taste is perfect, thick and chewy, best served with hot tea during rainy days, yummm!

Cheers,
Indispensable Lady