Bright and Shiny

Did I ever tell you about Pandora?  She was really bright for a hamster, although she never did learn to flush.

My daughter Bea also showed intellectual promise very early on.

We read to her.

We played dress up.

Lots of  dress up.

Dress up in ones and twos and threes…

Oh, yes, and dress up en masse!


Did I mention dress up?

We told lots and lots of stories from near and far, and soon she was telling stories too.

We saw something of the world, near…

…and far.

She explored the things she loved, like history (and dress up)….

More history (and more dress up!)

Cooking (and dress up)…

Storytelling ( and dress up)…

…and writing…

…and writing…

…and more writing.

If Bea is bright, it’s because she shines from within, with the spark of curiosity, a love of make-believe, and a passion for learning.

Oh, yeah, and for dress up!

Click here for more interpretations of the Weekly Travel Theme.

All words and images copyright 2012 Naomi Baltuck



  1. You might add dress up to your repertoire of activities. You all might have fun with it. 🙂 Fun post.

    1. Oh, believe me, we do, Sabrina. We have a whole room in our house devoted to storing costumes! Bea auditioned and got a place with the Stanford Shakespeare Company last month, doing costumes for their productions, and is in her element.

  2. adinparadise says:

    Fabulous photos for the theme. Thanks for the smiles, Naomi.:)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, ad!

  3. t2van says:

    Love the interpretation of the theme! I’m going to smile the rest of the night…. 🙂 Terri

    1. Hi Terri,
      Thanks so much for your visit. It is always nice to hear from you!

  4. scillagrace says:

    My husband used to quote his mother’s quip about him: “He’s so bright, we call him Son.” Great post!

    1. Funny! Thanks for stopping by, Scilla.

  5. sue says:

    Loved those sweet pics of the years before we met………. 🙂

    1. Hi Sue,
      Oh, it was hard to choose from among all the photos for this one. That kid was born wearing a tutu! I remember realizing before she could even talk, that she was reaching for the sequins and kitty ears!

      Thanks for stopping by–I appreciate your visit and your sweet comments, as always!

  6. pattisj says:

    How cute! What a great family story.

    1. Hi Patti,
      Thank you thank you!

  7. Ruth says:

    I loved this story and the chance to see your daughter as she grew up. But what happened to Pandora?

    1. Hi Ruth,
      Thank you for your visit. Pandora played a huge part in our family history. If you want to know what happened to her, go back to the first photo of her, and click on her name. There is a link that tells her story.

  8. diannegray says:

    What a fabulous choice for the theme. Very clever – I love it! 😉

    1. HI Dianne,
      I have so much fun doing these posts. It is like going back in time and spending a little time with my babies again!

  9. niasunset says:

    what a nice post… I loved the story through the photographs… You are so creative. Thank you dear Naomi, love, nia

    1. Dear Nia,
      We are all peas in the same pod! Thank you for your visit, and for your very kind thoughts. It is always great to hear from you.

  10. I loved, loved, loved this. I saw something of my own “bright” daughter in this post. She too loved playing dress up, telling stories and writing. In fact, although she is a register nurse, she is back in college getting her Master’s in English. She has been writing since she was a small girl and continues to do so.

    1. Dear Darla,
      Your daughter definitely sounds like she has that spark of creativity that lights up every aspect of her life, no matter what she ends up doing! Good for her, for taking charge and following her bliss! It takes courage, and it seems clear to me that you are lending her your moral support in this big move. I wish her all the best in her life, and in her writing, writing, writing!

  11. Beautiful tribute to your daughter, Naomi! Heartwarming and funny. 🙂

  12. rutheh says:

    What a wonderful and fanciful series. I really enjoyed them all, seeing all the fun your daughter had dressing up and it seems to me she is very much like you with a passion for writing and expressing herself. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Dear Ruth,
      Thank you for saying all those really nice things! It is a happy circumstance that both kids love the same things I do–we are never bored!

    1. Thank you Paula! That hardest part of posting this story was not sharing a about thousand pictures of my little girl as a kitty, as an alien princess, as a starship commander, as Molly Pitcher, etc.

      1. I can only imagine. Possibly another post in the near future? When it comes to our “babies”…..there is always so much more. ♥

      2. That’s the truth!

  13. You have a charming, happy, bright, talented daughter. It’s a joy to see her grow into one amazing lady through the images you shared trough the years. Have a great weekend.

    1. Dear Island Traveler,
      Thank you so much! I appreciate your stopping by, and sharing your comments. I have enjoyed watching your little guy grow up over this last year, and I know I will get to see him grow up into a fine young man!

  14. Georgia says:

    Lovely post Naomi!

  15. I did remember the post about Pandora… I always remember people’s pet posts and that picture of the hamster on the potty -priceless 🙂
    I’m sure you’re very proud and obviously did something very right.. Because your Bea is as beautiful as she is bright.

    1. Dear Maggie,
      I sure had good material to work with. I’ve read a poster somewhere that with parenting, the first 40 years are the hardest. I can definitely say the first eighteen years are a blast. Thank you for your very generous words.

  16. footsy2 says:

    Delightful, as always.

    1. Thank you, Footsy! So nice to have you back!

  17. nymuse88 says:

    HAHA! I always love your pictures and so glad you got to capture these moments to treasure and share with us 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your generous comments! It is wonderful to have you to share the pictures and stories with. I always love to hear from you!

  18. Your interpretation fo the different themes are always outstanding and different!!
    Great work Naomi!
    Thanks for your words in my last post of my 365, it’s an honour.
    I’m blogging again, I just posted something and I’m using the same blog as before.
    Hope you are doigng great.

    1. Hi Pablo, thank you for your very generous comments. I am delighted to hear that you are blogging again, Pablo. I hope that my readers will visit your blog. It is one of the best photography blogs!

  19. Grace says:

    “Dress up” should be a weekly challenge theme. I had so much fun looking at the dress up photos of your adorable family. Great take on the theme!

    1. Oh, Grace, that’s a great idea! Think of all the great ideas that would come out of the closet! Thanks so much for checking in.

  20. Madhu says:

    A beautiful interpretation Naomi! Thank you for sharing these precious memories 🙂

    1. Hi Madhu,
      Thank you! It was really a pleasure to go through old photos and relive those happy moments.

  21. Judy says:

    Naomi…..I love these photos! What a beautiful family…and such fun you all have together! Bea is a doll and I’m sure has a bright future! I love to dress- up too. Perhaps that’s why I taught kindergarten all those years…hahaha. I’ll never grow up!

    1. Hi Judy!
      There are some of us who never do outgrow “dress up.” Bea has actually found a place in her grownup life for her love of dress up. She is a costume designer for the Shakespeare Theater at Stanford, and loves it!

      It has been a pleasure getting to know you in the Blogosphere. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts!

      1. Judy says:

        Likewise, Naomi! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you too. I’ve been gone from here too much since early July, but now will have some time to catch up. Er…well maybe after the holidays lol. 😉
        That is awesome about Bea! A perfect “fit” for her, and at Stanford, to boot! Woo hoo!

  22. kathy says:

    Lovely tribute! Bea is indeed a special girl. I can’t wait to see what she does in the world!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      It has been sweet watching her follow her passions and find her place. Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope we can all get together when she is home for the holidays.

  23. Jamie Dedes says:

    Cute! Bea doesn’t mind your posting, eh?

    My son was never interesting in getting into costume, even for Halloween. I guess that’s one of the differences between having a daughter and having a son.

    1. Before I post, I always run the posts by Bea for permission. She thought this was a great post, and didn’t mind a bit.

      As for dressing up, it was second nature. Before she could even talk, Bea was pointing to the tutus at Toys R Us, and trying to wear her big brother’s cowboy boots.

      It hardly surprised me when she auditioned and got a spot as costume designer at the Stanford Shakespeare Theater.

      Thanks for the visit, Jamie.

  24. frizztext says:

    wonderful gallery!
    and now an aphorism out of my updated collection:
    “…sometimes it’s okay to break the rules,
    but let no one break your spirit…”

    ~ Naomi Baltuck (!956 – )

  25. I enjoyed your post. You had a hamster called Pandora and I have called my rescue dog Pandora!

    1. That is a very cool name, and not one that you hear very often! Thanks for the visit.

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