Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Upon Us

It's just that time of year. That wonderful crazy sometimes overwhelming time of year. An acting teacher I had in college said something once which I never forgot. He said, "You do the things that are important to you." Meaning there's really no such thing as I Don't Have Time or I Just Couldn't; there's only I Chose To Make Time for Something Else. So I won't say I haven't had time to blog, I'll just say I have not been making time for the computer. I have been making time for Luciana (who has her first tooth poking through! And she's celebrating by waking up every hour from 1-5am), for a little holiday shopping and cooking, for "Dexter" once a week, though never on Sunday nights and I haven't watched the season finale yet so don't tell me what happens, and for, gulp, getting ready to go back to work for a couple of months. I'm doing a play in January/February for which I'm really excited; I'll tell you all about it as well as my process in deciding I could do it, which was, I think, the hardest decision I've just about ever made.

But for now I want to wish you a truly beautiful holiday full of all the stuff a good holiday should be full of. A year ago we weren't even telling anyone other than family and closest friends about Luciana, who was a mysterious embryo--what a year it's been!

I also want to give you a super-easy and very delicious salad which you can bring to any and all holiday potlucks or family dinners. It's so delicious, in fact, and I have so much faith in you being able to tell that when you read it that there is no picture. I am obsessed with fennel, by the way, and this has only intensified my current addiction.

Fennel Salad
in theory 4 servings, but more like 2 in our house
lightly adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

2 fennel bulbs
2T lemon juice
grated zest of 1/4 lemon
1 t white wine or champagne vinegar
salt and pepper
1 t chopped fennel tops

any or all of these optional add-ins:
parmesan cheese curls
1 1/2 T chopped green olives
2T chopped Italian parsely
celery and/or radishes

Trim tops and root ends from fennel bulbs; save a few feathery leaves for garnish; pull off and get rid of any discolored or dried outer leaves.

Make dressing by stirring together lemon juice, zest, vinegar, salt and pepper then whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Use a mandoline or a very very very sharp knife to shave or thinly slice fennel crosswise. Toss with dressing, adjust seasoning, and garnish with the fennel tops.

Add any or all of those add-ins up there. I'm a big fan of the parmesan/parsley combo myself.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Sky and I went to a wedding of a dear friend last weekend. Luciana came with us to the ceremony as that part was at 2 in the afternoon, and she got to wear her first party dress, which was courtesy of a wonderful friend in the fashion world of New York.

It ended up being a really powerful experience for us--being at a wedding reminded us of...US. Of why we're together and what we believe in as a couple and how being in love is such a phenomenal thing. In some ways we're close than ever, but since Luciana has been born there have been certain areas that have gone on the back burner. Make that the burner in the neglected storage closet in the abandoned garage.

Since that day we've promised each other to connect for 5 minutes (minimum) in the morning and 5 minutes at night in a way that's just for us. Not talking about scheduling or even how much we love the baby. Just being us. So many people told us to make sure we keep the romance alive, and we never thought for a second we'd need to work at it. But here we are, low on sleep, high on obsession with our daughter, and both of us juggling a lot. It's easy to put off the daily maintenance of intimacy. Someone said to me, and at the time I thought "yeah yeah I know" but here I am living it: that intimacy needs maintenance and work just like an in-shape body needs maintenance and work, just like a beautiful garden needs maintenance and work, just like a concert pianist's scales need maintenance and work. It feels really good and really right to be giving our attention to us again. I know we'll only have a happier family for it.

us not long after we were engaged. I still have that puffy jacket...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What She Is.....

Somewhere in Luciana's first weeks of life I started talking to her about her Little Body and Big Soul. I think it first came out when I was comforting her---it struck me, and still strikes me daily--- how much feeling and spirit is in her currently 14-lb, 26-inch physical body. Every day it seemed we'd talk about this, and I thought it would make a really cute t-shirt. I also know I am amazingly incredibly inept when it comes to the visual arts: my stick figures don't pass the third grade level. While I can probably write in paint better than create images in paint, I accept my limitations, which I think is a strength, and I did want a shirt that looked like someone older than her made it. So knowing that I had a) a lack of talent in the paint department b)no fabric paint or plain onesie on hand c)no desire to make a trip to the craft store for said supplies, I went to land of all things delightful and handmade: Etsy, where I found Little Dewdrops. I felt when I looked at her other shirts that she'd get why I wanted one that said this for my daughter. I pitched her my design, she said Yes, and Luciana's first custom shirt was born. I also had one made for one of my favorite 3-yr-olds.

I think she knows I'm talking about her.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Thanksgiving and Four Months

Hope you all have had a beautiful couple of weeks!

We spent Thanksgiving in Taos with my dad, stepmom, grandmother, 2 sisters, and brother-in-law. 'Twas a merry crew.

Luciana's adventures included meeting her great-grandmother (who doesn't want pics of herself online), seeing her first snow

wearing her first mittens (thanks, Karianne!)

and helping Mama catch up on sleep

The altitude affected my little hummingbird, and let's just say the sleeping that happened was not really happening at night. Luckily we were there to completely relax, so sleep or no sleep it was wonderful. And the most profound Thanksgiving ever: I've never been given a gift as marvelous as my girl.

Speaking of sleep, that is one of so many changes happening as Luciana turns FOUR MONTHS. She's following the pattern of her forbearers, and suddenly resisting napping, waking up more at night, and generally so thrilled with the world that she tries to see in all directions at once--she's never fit her Owl nickname more. I suppose she's taking the giant Cognitive Leap they take at this age. There's a wonderful quote by another mom: "every two weeks they give me a different baby". We're going through that. It's not easy, because suddenly I have nothing figured out, but I get to remind myself that she's not the first baby to go through this and I'm not the first mama to feel baffled, amazed, and proud all at once.

She rolled over a couple of weeks ago, but hasn't done it for about ten days. Her efforts, however, are astonishing and getting more and more animated. I think she spent a total of about 3 hours today trying to do it. Her attempts even included grasping a pillow and pulling on it for leverage. She's already an engineer. I have a feeling that when she does it next she'll have mastered it--those first times she couldn't quite figure out what happened.

Her narration has grown from what I interpreted as sentences and short paragraphs to full on novellas. Once she starts, the girl does not stop talking. And the tone she uses as she's telling me she doesn't want to nap is distinctly different from the one used to describe the colors in her favorite painting hanging in the living room which is totally different from the one she uses when I'm doing dishes and she wants me to play with her in the swing. I wish I used as much of my range as she does when she speaks--switching easily from guttural mutterings to operatic squeals. We spend a lot of time just looking at each other, and when she gets still and those big eyes stare back at me I'm speechless at the openness, the peace and the love I see in those pools of blue. She's becoming.....a person. Her person. It's astonishing. It's crazy. It's gorgeous. I say thank you every day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pear Bread

My first solid food was a Harry and David pear. It was Christmas, I was 5 months old, and apparently I just went for it. It was another month before my mom officially started me on rice cereal, et al, but it seems I've had a thing for pears since the get go. They always say Holidays to me, since growing up my great-aunt Jennie would send us a box of Harry and Davids. It was a special occasion just to eat one---my dad would watch them like a chicken watches her eggs for the moment they were perfectly ripe. When one was ready, we'd unwrap it from its gold foil or white tissue and there would be a moment of silence when we ate it. I can't eat a pear now without a flash of Thanksgiving and Christmas as a little girl flashing into my head. One could have worse associations.

This week I somehow found myself with several pears almost past the point of ripeness. Don't know how it happened--I guess I overbought. I needed a recipe that wasn't fussy, as I'd be making it on an afternoon it was just Luciana and me. I headed over to Punchfork, typed in Pears, and found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen (whose pumpkin pudding that's up right now is heading to the top of my recipe queue). What I liked about it: I had all the ingredients on hand. It's easy. It gets better after a few days. Very important when one needs a reason not to eat a whole loaf on day 1. She wrote that day 1 was actually not the bread's best day. It was day 2, day 3, day 4 where it really shone. And I have to say she's right. I made it Sunday, it's now Wednesday, and today it's the best it's been. The top is moister, the crumb more dense, the flavors more integrated. If it makes it til tomorrow I can't wait to see what it does. I should also tell you that I made this with Luciana strapped into her carrier, facing out, and she loved it. Her first cake!

If a pear needs to be eaten in any form other than it's raw natural one, this isn't a bad place for it to go. 2 more things working in its favor: kids love it--at least my friends Kate and Kenny's 17-month-old son did, and you can make it gluten-free. I'm not, as I've said, strictly GF, but I go that direction when I can. I went there with this, and I will again. K, enough chatter. Here's what to do

Pear Bread, or Luciana Tries Baking and Likes It
from Smitten Kitchen

3 c all-purpose flour or gluten free flour mix (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 T ground cinnamon (it's very cinnamony--yum)
1 c chopped walnuts (optional--I didn't use them)
3/4 c butter, very soft, or 3/4 c vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c sugar
2-4 ripe pears
2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour 2 9x5 loaf pans or a 10-in tube pan.

Combine flour, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon in large bowl; mix well with a fork. If using nuts, scoop out 1/4 c flour mixture and combine it in a small bowl with the nuts, coating nuts with flour.

Peel and core pears, and grate them. (if you, like me, end up with a few big bits of pear as you grate, use them too--they make for yummy extra pear-y bites). Should make about 2c grated.
*avoid grating the pears in advance so they don't turn brown!

In medium bowl, combine butter or oil, eggs, sugar, grated pear, nuts if using, and vanilla; stir to mix everything well. (I actually melted the butter a little so it would mix better. You could use an electric mixer too). Scrape the pear mixture into the flour mixture and stir just til flour disappears and batter is evenly moistened.

(Pause while I have a bite of pear bread right now)

Quickly scrape the batter into prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or til bread is "handsomely browned" (love that), firm on top, and a wooden skewer comes out clean. (Good time to put baby down for a nap and clean up the kitchen)

Cool bread in pan on wire rack or folded kitchen towel for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto plate or wire rack to cool completely, top side up. Serve as is, sprinkled with confectioners sugar, or drizzle with a glaze made from whisking 3T buttermilk, dash of vanilla and 2 c confectioners sugar together (I bet that's good).

Happy start to the Holidays!

Friday, November 11, 2011

New Age

Quickly, my friends:

Today, 11.11.11 marks the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Moving away from a self-centered age (Piscean) and into one focussed on community and elevating the experience of being human. Much more about coming from the heart. It's been a long time coming.

I'm actually going to take time this morning to meditate, which means GET OFF MY COMPUTER NOW, but it really is a magical day, and if you want more exposure to some of the thinking around it, Golden Bridge is broadcasting one of their workshops today from 10:30-1:30 PST. I'll be tuning in to the parts that I can, Luciana's naps determining.

Love to you all, and hope you have your Hair soundtrack out today. If you've never listened to Hair you have no idea what I mean, but there's a thematically appropriate song in there. If you want something to rock to in the car:)


Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 Months

Luciana turned 3 months last Saturday. I'm more smitten than ever.

And it's true what They say about the transition that happens at 3 months. She's been an incredibly alert baby since she came out, and she's only becoming more so. The transitions they talked about, though, didn't include the challenge that happened last night, which is that in her attempts to roll over, her fixation on rolling over--she tries to practice even when sitting in her swing---kept her, and therefore me, up all night.

I've felt so lucky to have a baby that sleeps well. Last night she was a different creature: at first up every hour and a half, and then by 3am it was every 45 minutes. Nothing was wrong, she'd fall right back asleep after cuddling or eating for a few minutes, but finally at about 4:30 I saw what was happening: she was trying to roll and getting frustrated and stuck in her swaddle blanket. Then she'd bust out of the swaddle and freak herself out with all her limbs going everywhere. I brought her into bed then (she sleeps in a co-sleeper which I love and totally recommend), kept her pretty much unswaddled next to me, she rolled onto her side and we both slept til 645. I actually woke up a couple times in there because I was so shocked she was actually sleeping in this new way. Like a big girl.

I wasn't the best sport about the waking up in the night. Yesterday was one of those can't-see-6-inches-in-front-of-my-face-I'm-so-tired days. I went to bed at 9 and was so counting on those hours til 1230 or 1 when she would wake up for the first time. There was, according to Sky, some stomping around the house (I had to get water), and dramatic throwing of the light switch when I went to the bathroom. I can be a real brat when tired. Then this morning, though, when Luciana was all smiles and so happy to play by herself for the 20 minutes I needed to help Sky get out of the house, make tea, wipe off the counter, what They say is also true: the babies are worth every second of discomfort we feel as parents.

As she wakes up more, responds to more stimuli (she loves flying on our knees, she loves singing, she loves grabbing everything but mostly things attached to a human like fingers and hair), a whole new set of feelings come up around Being Enough. Am I fun enough? interesting enough? smart enough? creative enough? for this burgeoning brain? Will she associate me with housecleaning rather than playtime? Does she think I come and go because sometimes I play with her and sometimes I let her be? Does she love her grandma more? Am I modeling ungraceful eating habits because lunch happens when I'm on the floor with her if it happens at all? All of this is totally heightened on the tired days, which even if you have the best sleeper in the universe, as a new parent, they're going to happen.

So what I say to myself this morning, and to any new parents or parents to be if you want to hear, is YES we're enough and none of that stuff above matters when it happens now and then. Not in the long term. I have to remember to think big-picture. "It's not what they eat in a day, it's what they eat in a week" one of my best friends said to me before I had Luciana. And that goes for everything. If I have a day or two or three where I don't feel inspired at playtime; if I have to eat all my meals on the floor for 2 weeks; if I have a morning where I actually do have to work and it's a little less focussed on her, it's really OK. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but I find that even if I know something I sometimes have to hear it over and over and over again on the days my mind wants to attack me. Not a day goes by that Luciana doesn't get cuddled, kissed, sung to, introduced to something new, even if it's a leaf on a different plant on our block. Not a day goes by that she doesn't hear that I love her, daddy loves her, her grandma loves her, and God (because we do talk about that) loves her. The woman who leads my mom group (I told you I'd keep referencing it) reminded me that it's not our job to give our babies a stress-free life; it's our job to help them deal with and respond to stress in a healthy way. So that little fussy cry when I've been working 5 minutes too much for her is OK. She's going to get a huge hug and see that she's OK when I stop working to be with her, and the next day I don't have to work at all.

Just now, before I wrote this, I put her down for a nap. Based on last night I didn't completely swaddle her: left one arm out as I've read this is the way to start transitioning them out of a swaddle. At first it failed. I left the room, she started to cry; I went back in and she was flailing about. So I pulled the exercise ball (I don't know how parents survived without these) up to the co-sleeper and I held her hand. Put my other hand on her chest and rocked her a little. She startled herself a couple of times when the free arm moved in space, but I found if I let her keep hold of my finger with her fingers and held her hand with my palm, she didn't wake herself up. I've been trying to get back into my meditation practice which I find incredibly challenging to make the time for, so I took advantage of being still and silent with her. I rested my head on the bar of the co-sleeper, closed my eyes, and let my mind open and rest for a few minutes. Then I gently released her hand, rested her arm up in an angle by her ear like you see babies do in pictures (grown-ups learn from pictures too!) and she's still out.

Progress. One day at a time.

Monday, October 31, 2011

My little Yowl

Luciana was going to be an owl for Halloween.

Instead she is a Yowl.

The card said Happy Owleen. I was all set to pose her in a tree for you.

I probably don't need to say that didn't happen.

Oh, babies. They're just not show ponies.

Happy Hallowen!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Moulin Roty toy company

Here's what it looks like these days:

Luciana naps for 25-45 minutes at a time a few times a day. During said naps, mama either 1)gets a little exercise and /or takes a shower and/or throws some laundry in 2) frets that the house is a mess and tries to clean then remembers that it doesn't really matter 3) returns some emails 4) does a few minutes of meditating 5) handles anything unusual on the horizon that day, ie reading scripts, organizing holiday stuff, cooking for a party 6) tries to blog. Thank you for being patient with me on the short entries that come when they come!

You can see from the subject matter of recent posts that I am baby-shopping-happy.

I discovered Moulin Roty toys when shopping at Eggy recently. I came home with Luciana's first Christmas present

and a wooden train whistle for my nephew Dash. I'm almost overwhelmed by their incredible site, which practically brings tears to my eyes with how much soul the toys have. This one, from the Zazous collection, reminded me of the Velveteen Rabbit (tell me you know too grew up with that book!). I can see Luciana carrying it in its floppy yumminess for years. I could post I think 50 images from the Moulin collections. I'll put a few up, and I invite you to go get lost in the site. Check out their "fun" page where they put up winners of their photo competition--so sweet. The animals you'll soon meet have names like Perlette the Frog, Amedee the Duck, Felicie the Hen. I've been looking for some sweet puppets for Luciana and I think I've found them

Look at these mobiles!!

And below is just a sampling of what you'll find there: musical instruments; wooden toys like this push bus--they also have trolleys, wagons, money banks, wooden rings and rattles ; baby slippers; and more beloved furry creatures. For those of you decorating a nursery this is almost a one-stop shop.

There's even a tricycle

If you search for an online retailer on their site you'll be directed to shops in the UK, but Amazon has some as well as Alex and Alexa, you can order from their actual site, though that international shipping might be a bear, and if you live in the LA area it's just another excuse to get to Eggy on 3rd.

Joyeaux shopping!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tane Organics

Am I way behind all hip mamas in that I am just now finding out about Tane Organics? I saw some of their stuff when I was in one of my most favorite baby stores and I am head-over-heels. Want to wrap Luciana up in everything they make. And who are the babies on their site?

Hello beautiful beings!

I would love this quartz-colored kimono onesie anyway, but when you showcase it with her?This heart is melting.

I've never seen a henley onesie, and now I'm pretty sure Luciana would be in one 3 days a week.

This sweet dress is what I saw in Eggy and almost fell over. I know this picture is sooooo tiny but trust me: pair it with some leggings? I'd probably try to borrow it.

And of course (because they're so awesome) they have blankets, toys, and the best booties I've just about ever seen.

I approve of the vintage teddy bear, btw.

And because on top of being beautiful, soft, completely organic, and named for the Japanese word for "seed", Tane couldn't stop there. They're also charitable, and the proceeds from every single sale of this globe rattle goes to an organization which funds education in rural areas around the world. It's their I am the World campaign, which of course is the perfect name.

I think my Christmas list will be at least 3/4 Tane organics. I don't ask for things for me anymore.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reading Material

I've read some incredible articles lately on parenting and want to share two of them with you. I don't think you need to be a parent to find these very very worth your time.

This first one, from the Atlantic monthly, was given to me by the leader of the moms' group I'm in, which is so wonderful. You'll be hearing more about it for sure. Basically this article talks about how as parents these days we can try so hard to tune into our kids and in doing so give them everything they want and need---and indeed believe that this is helping them to find what truly matters to them and makes them happy----but in fact can leave them feeling empty and lost and that something is wrong if they aren't happy all the time. It's a nice counterpart to some other wonderful material that's out there.

This next one might make you cry. For a couple of days. I know the writer from her days in LA; she lives and teaches in Santa Fe now. Her little boy was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease after his birth--her prenatal tests were negative. It's a heartbreaking yet inspiring look at the power and preciousness of just loving your baby. I'd go get the tissues now if I were you.

Notes from a Dragon Mom

It's beautiful and fascinating to have a whole new realm of reading be top of my interest list. I'd love to know your favorites in this area! Because Luciana and I aren't doing crafts yet, I confess my Marthas from this month and last are sitting there unread. I do plan to get to them this weekend. I'd like to.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White......

It's early to start thinking of winter, especially when here in SoCal we're having another Indian summer and it's almost 90 degrees on the westside. Growing up in South Carolina and now living in LA I can't say I'm a pro at winter. Real winter. I love to romanticize it, imagine myself in muffs and long wool coats in crunchy snow making my way to my chalet where I'll cook stew, serve rich red wine to a table full of friends, and sleep with 4 dogs under a big fur throw. Faux fur of course. No animals have been harmed in the production of this daydream.

In truth I get cold when it's 60 degrees out and don't know how to make a proper snowball.

The Heath seasonal collection, however, might serve as well as a vacation in the Alps, and if I use that as a gauge, is totally affordable....I love the etching, like branches in snow, and the warmth of the interiors.

It's not too early to start dreaming about winter, after all.

bowl of roasted squash and farro, anyone?

surely a neighbor has some bushes with red berries for this......

But for now I'm going to get a popsicle.

Monday, October 10, 2011

10 Weeks

Halfway between 2 and 3 months. And at 3 months she's not a newborn anymore!

She is now....

reaching for things, especially her green sock monkey Max.

squealing for the fun of it. Sometimes 8 in a row.

talking in paragraphs in her own language. It's astonishing.

rolling onto her side. I catch her thinking about it-her face gets a serious expression--she's really pondering--- and then she does it.

It's crazy. A week or two weeks ago she wasn't doing those things. I'm telling you, I don't need to go the movies anymore (like I could). I just watch her.

It's already going so fast, my darling girl. Every minute of sleep I don't get because you'd like me to be awake is worth it to be with you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Smock Paper

I think I've been admiring Smock Paper for a while. But not until this weekend, when I picked up a box of Thank You cards at Kellygreen did I realize it.

(those are the ones I got--how lovely?!)

Now I think I might only buy theirs. Smock is the first bamboo print shop in the US, meaning all this letterpressed beauty is totally eco. Not only is the paper bamboo and the ink vegetable based, the print shop is 100% wind-powered. I am IN LOVE.

Not only can one find adorable occasion cards

but you can design your wedding invite or any other special day--I loved the invite to this event I found on their blog-- they do gorgeous custom work which you can and might want to peruse.

I adore how much color there is and the sometimes vintage, sometimes almost a little kitschy, sometimes completely elegant design. The founder and designer, it turns out, founded Snow & Graham, of which I am a fan. But this has the eco-edge. I'm a devotee in one day. And said founder/designer draws inspiration from, among many other glorious sources, the photos of Julia Margaret Cameron. Deep sigh.

I want their entire page of gift wrap, but with the holidays coming up (did I just say that?) I might not be able to resist some mistletoe

And suddenly I need a new inbox on my desk

Someone take me out of the room. Now. This is getting out of control.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Parenting Lessons at 2 Months

Coco (which we sometimes call Luciana) is 2 months tomorrow

Parenting lessons of the week:

I completely and totally understand how parents stare at their child and say "YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD". There is no way to me Luciana could be more beautiful, more perfect, more adorable, more lovable. And I know every parent is saying the same thing about their baby, and all of us are right.

photo here

Now I know that you always give your child the seat by the window, even if you yourself would love to look out of it. And that this isn't a decision--it's just what happens. My mom said something to me once and I never forgot it--now that I have a baby I know exactly what she means. She said that your child is the person you lie down in front of a train for without thinking. You might do it for someone else---your spouse for instance, or a sibling you're really close to--but you'd think about it before you did it. That's true for me, anyway. With your baby you don't think. It would happen without consideration if that's what needed to happen. It's the craziest feeling. It's just WHAT IS. Involuntary and absolutely willing surrender to her well-being. For me this is wild, unknown, magnificent, and in its own way freeing. I think about someone other than myself all day. So yes, the window, and everything else.

photo here

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Holgasnake

Carmen and I were thrown together as college roommates our freshman year. What a happy twist of fate that was: we've been best friends ever since. Remember my frolic in the poppies? That's Carm, who's also an insanely gifted and wildly creative artist and photographer. She came over last week and we had Luciana photo day. Carm's digital and film photos are gorgeous, and she's actually in the process of building a dark room so in the future I'll be showcasing some of her prints for sure. But she took one of my favorite pics of Luciana so far on her Holga:

Carm brought over that wagon, which her mom pushed her around in as a babe, along with the blocks which we're pretty sure are from the 50s--her mom played with them--and the bear is Boris, who lives in Luciana's nursery. How adorable is this picture??? I love the corners of black, like you're peeking through a keyhole, and how Luciana's happiness is made more so by the fact that you can kind of see her legs kicking in glee. This one might be a framer. I'm pretty sure it is.

Other Holga beauties Carmen's taken:

I love this vintage car slipping like a ghost through the trees

This one hangs in our house: me and Sky at our engagement party, which was a Pink Panther theme

and that's from our rehearsal dinner, which was at an old school Mexican restaurant

and this otherworldly one is downright mystical--the trees almost look like feathers

For more of Carmen's work and for her contact info, visit her website and her flickr stream, where she's known as the Holgasnake. And yes, she'll photograph your baby, wedding, or hike through the woods.