...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


a child's point of view

Around 3 this afternoon, Ava decided she should be "awake" and not nap anymore. "Go back to bed Ava..." I say seriously. I hear her race back to her room, fling herself on her mattress, and cry into her pillow. 30 seconds later - silence. And I make a bet with myself that I'll see her at least 2 more times. 5 minutes later - we hear the floor boards creaking. Ava. Slowly inching towards the office door. I am amazed at her patience to walk ever so slowly...

I look up from my monitor and wait to see her curly hair.

"Mommy. I have to take a picture."

There she was, holding her camera - still in its bright yellow case with the strap around her shoulder like a purse. She said it so matter-of-factly, that I considered her request for a split second. Aaron rushed her back to her bedroom - and we just finished the second round.

An hour and a half later - Ava woke up from her very delayed siesta. This time however, she confidently and politely pulls the door shut behind her, silently announcing to us that her nap is over. She struts into the office and greets me with a warm smile. And I can't help but notice, the chunky orange camera weighing her hands down.

"I'm going to take a picture of you Mommy."

And at that - I pull away from my computer desk and give her a big cheesy smile - closeup.

"It's not working," she says frowning and snapping with the camera still pointed at me. And sure enough - it wasn't. Her camera was full!

Did this toy digital camera made just-for-kids really work and store pictures? We had to see it to believe it. Aaron and I were both anxious to download and see where photography 101 has taken Ava since we presented it to her as a gift 6 months ago for her 2nd birthday... It felt like I found an old 110 roll at the bottom of a shoebox and was about to uncover moments of the past. Remember 110s with cameras we slid in and out?!

After a quick download - we were able re-live stories and memories made at different points in our lives... all from Ava's view.

Ava in her floral corduroy dress, walking outside our front door with her camera in her hand, and me yelling behind her - "hold the camera up Ava!"... Aaron pretending she caught him by surprise or peeking at her after crashing on the floor and losing from a wrestling match... Noah in the middle of exploring - only to look up and see the toy he'd rather have is in her hands...

Lots of the photos were too dark or too white to make out. And of the few we could, actually turned out to be a gallery of wonderful moments of us posing for Ava and not a camera we all thought - didn't really take pictures...

Photography is yet another beautiful process and art we can do together - as a family. Whether we're having dinner or walking in the park - all are moments captured from a child's view we can only dream of having yet again...

Here's what we did:
1. We bought her VTECH's Kidizoom Camera - mainly because it's big, chunky and orange! It comes complete with a carrying case, USB cable, and a built-in memory card so curious fingers don't wander. Age recommendation is 3+ but I would recommend starting as soon as possible. These days we are constantly shoving a digital camera in our kids' faces - so they are already adept to the routine. Give them the same chance.

2. One of the neat features of the camera is its ability to help children point and shoot. With one setting, you can view a "crown" on the display screen and show your child how the "crown" should be placed above the person's head to help them center their photos... There are also games installed as well - but I'd refrain from showing this feature - after all, the point is to have them engage with their environment - not a display screen.

3. Yes - it takes videos too! The memory capacity is at around 9MB - Ava ended up with more than 300 shots and 4 videos.

4. We make a decent effort to tow her camera every time we leave the house. For me, it's easy to carry my hand-held digital in my purse and pull out as needed. For them, it's another responsibility. Teach them to care for their gift by keeping it in its case when not in use and to have fun with it when it is... We keep hers hanging by door to help her remember. And when they try to reach for yours to play with, remind them they have their very own... it doesn't work all the time - which is why we bought extra warranty coverages for all our cameras. Nonetheless, it makes Ava feel independently proud to have her very own... And her mom even more so.

Happy snapping!


  1. Ava quand's nap story simply melts my heart. I must confess lil sis that when I spent my Sunday Evening with you - I was at awe and oh so inspired mother to mother- Your desire for her happiness as you swoosed mosquitoes away from the sand box, your delicate patience as you read her library books, and your firm stand as you sent her to bed helped me realize the kind of mother I want to be for Humzah. Who ever said you cant learn from your lil sis?

  2. I totally agree with Wagma, you are such an inspiration to moms, moms-to-be and moms-maybe-someday. Ava and Noah are so creative and imaginative because you and Aaron have given them the freedom and encouragement to do so. I loved walking around your home the other night and seeing all of their "creative footprints" everywhere, so beautiful! I love how you set up stations in every room to give them the chance to express themselves creatively when the urge strikes, such an inspiration!

    Much love,

  3. Wow girls - you just made a mom cry - and my kids aren't even awake yet. Thank you so much for your powerful words of encouragement and love.

    I have to admit - it's not like this 100% of the time. And that I do find myself asking the question, "am I gonna make it today?" But we do. And we enjoy every other moment because of it. You know, those "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world but here with you..." kind of moments. And instantly I am comforted.

    Thank goodness time is so forgiving - because really... I've learned so much over time. And lots and lots of trial and error ;)

    "Transitions" is my new favorite word.

    I love you both for sharing what inspires you with me - here on this blog. And making this - what it is... thank you.

  4. Zarlacht:
    This post, but also these comments, helped me sooth my heart on these strange and agitated days. I am restless, who knows why. And Zoe is too. She is in a middle of a change, I know that because it happened before (some strange days where she is unquiet and feels uncomfortable with herself, like always having to cry, shout and demand all the time). But I didn't find the spirit to take the time to notice this, to remember this can be a changing or transition time for her. Growing up, oh my! Parenting, oh my!


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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