Category Archives: Anja

Amsterdam Playgrounds

The playgrounds in Amsterdam are phenomenal.

Starting with two that are in Artis, the zoo, which in itself is an incredible place.

The little kid playground is creative, playful and colorful. You climb up rungs between the giraffe’s hind legs, enter the butt area, and slide down the neck.

The owl side has back stairs and a spiral inside. I think she liked it.

The bigger kid playground strongly demonstrates the sense of personal responsibility that is assumed in Dutch playgrounds. See that netting that Anja is traversing? It’s a straight drop down into WATER.

The slides and play structures here are HIGH and large.

And certainly made for children older than 4 and a half. No barrier for my kid, she is determined, I must give her that.

The climb up this section was 3 times her height, and only started at her shoulders.

And that was the only way up. Her stance says it all. And it was a long slide down.

On our bakfiets day we discovered a cute little sidewalk playground.

And we also explored all of Vondelpark. Including two amazing playgrounds. This  rope tower and slide blew my mind. I cannot believe Anja did it. Only through sheer determination. It was several stories high, and the ropes inside were all askew, irregular, with wide spaces between. Again, clearly designed for older kids. Anja chanted to herself the entire time, I think partly focus and partly self encouragement. “climb, climb, climb, climb, climb”  Did I mention it was lightly raining? Making everything wet and slightly slippery; I could barely watch. Of course upon accomplishing it once, she had to go up and do it again.

While on the playground subject, I can’t miss this gorgeous climbing structure… I mean tree.

This playground had three mini personal sized trampolines built into the ground.

Another day, this time in Osterpark: a pedal powered merry go round.

A zip line.

A mini size kid swing. Just her height.

And to top it all off… this thing: it spun around, it bounced up and down, it was sort of a teeter toter, sort of a spinning thing… and made for loads of laughter.


The land of bikes

Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities. Everyone is friendly, it’s beautiful, they have a bike priority culture, they are welcoming to kids, there’s a wide variety of food and the playgrounds ROCK. More on that in another post. For now bikes:


And a canal boat ride in the rain. Severely jet-lagged too.

mermaid eyes

mermaid eyes, originally uploaded by thislovelymoment.

Those eyes! The little mermaid dress, and how it doesn’t quite stay on. This is the same girl who was in full hockey gear out on the ice for her first time this morning. I love that she can play in so many ways.

head to head

head to head, originally uploaded by thislovelymoment.

I’m joining a 30 days of gratitude flickr group. May as well get back onto the blogging wagon while I’m at it.

Grateful for the smaller ones in our family, these two.
I am SO glad we got him.
He brings her such joy, and has completely won me over.
And a warm bathing suit day in the end of October? Well that’s something to jump through sprinklers about, i’ll just let her do the jumping for the both of us.

Ready, set, go!

This one doesn’t need much words. Just a snowy day, two cousins, a couple of playful skirts, a window sill and a bed. Hours of entertainment. Much twirling, giggles and flight ensued.

The joy of seeing these two, who live on opposite sides of the country, playing together harmoniously, unaided (finally!) and gleefully is just simply immense.

Love love and more love. Red skirts don’t hurt either.

Golden Girl

This pictures speaks to me. As her mother, who finds her _everything_ beautiful. As a photographer, in love with light. And as a human being, who loves bodies, skin, shapes.

That gorgeous golden winter morning light. Precious after days of shadow, foggy, cold. How it plays across the developing muscles of her back, how it catches the dishevelment of her morning hair, the back of an ear, the curl at the nape of the neck. The space within and without, light and shadow.

She was getting dressed on a chilly morning in a ray of light. I had mere seconds to grab my camera. Three year olds don’t tend to cooperate with breath-taken mama’s.  Delighted that something of the moment lingered on in my image.

Snow in San Jose, CA!

It doesn’t snow where we live. Therefore, when our neighbor across the street arrived home with a truckload of snow, the kids went crazy!

Anja’s first time playing “in” the snow. If you can call this “in.”

We have the best neighbors.

Sledding! Notice the snowball being inserted into Anja’s jacket hood?

Here’s the adorable mischief maker. Searching for a target for that snowball. Like father like son.

Oh those eyes. Stunning.

It was sad to have to pull Anja away from the pile of fun.