First Father’s Day

Sunday was W’s first father’s day! Since we are on a tight budget, I decided that it would be fun to make him a present that documented this moment in time. I posed X (and several other babies) with letters that spelled “DAD” and then customized a photo frame with X’s footprints stamped on it. While X didn’t exactly behave for the shoot (see comical pictures below), W loved them.

I’m not going to get on a soapbox and preach about the importance of dads. I think we all know how vital they are to a child. Yes, they’re underrated. Yes, people still applaud them for doing basic parenting. Yes, yes, yes. So let’s just be grateful for these fantastic men in our kid’s lives. W hasn’t been to the gym in months because he wants to spend every second he’s not work with me and X. He gets up in the night to give X a bottle without complaint. He wears his baby. He is present for his baby. He works tirelessly to create a life for us. Those are all “normal” things but they add up to create an exemplary dad.

I didn’t have  dad in my life for a long time, though I was blessed with several men who stepped up when my mom was single. When she remarried, I gained a father at the age of 11. Having lived on both ends of the spectrum, I have a deep and abiding appreciation for men that are truly dads. Thank you fathers, soon-to-be fathers, wanna-be-fathers, step-in-fathers. Your investments in today’s kids will follow them their entire lives.

 

Family Photos at the Gardens

It was such a pleasure to meet this sweet family today at the local botanical gardens. They’re new to our town and we found  out that Samantha actually went to the same high school that W did…in Maryland! What a small world!!

We lucked out with this session, barely beating the rain that’s so common this time of year. Their son charmed us with his big curls and blue eyes and it appears that he had the same effect on the local dragonfly population. In several pictures, he was surrounded by them!

 

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A very faerie babywearing

“Love’s stories written in love’s richest books.
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.”
-William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This babywearing session wasn’t originally intended to have a fairytale-like feel to it, but as soon as I saw Victoria with the flowers in her hair, I couldn’t get the imagery out of my head. For some reason, I kept going back to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and seeing her as Titania, the fairy queen (though the one she loves is the adorable bundle firmly attached to her). Enjoy!

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“So we grew together like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
but yet a union in partition, two lovely berries molded on one stem.”
-William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mirror 6 Month Photos

As of today, my baby is six months old! It brings a lot of emotions; sadness, joy, relief that I’ve kept this tiny human alive thus far…X can now say “mama”, “dada”, and makes a brave attempt at “I love you” (it comes out more like, “ah wah oo”). He has his first tooth. He can sit unassisted. He even pulled up to standing the other day which stressed me out to no end.

All these milestones mark an ending of the baby phase and the beginning of childhood, with the promise of someday adulthood. Ok, I know I’m reaching a bit with that one, but as a mom, it’s hard to NOT look so far ahead. “Enjoy it, it goes so fast” seems to be the mantra on repeat. However, I read an article the other day and really liked the quote that went something like this, “Growing up isn’t a tragedy; it’s the point”.

I can see both sides of it. We struggled to get pregnant and did our best to soak up every single happy milestone because the fear that we might lose him always loomed in the back of my mind. Every week, I dragged out a whiteboard with the week number and date on it to take a picture so that I could watch my belly grow. I did it to celebrate and to have evidence that he was here.

Now that same baby has been born (healthily!) and is six months old! That fear of losing him is still there, but now it’s morphing into a fear of losing his bright and bubbly babyhood. As some of you might know, W and I are in the adoption process too. We don’t know how old our daughter will be when we get her, so X might be the only baby baby (you know what I mean) that we get to experience.

I’m trying to find the balance of cherishing this stage while also rejoicing in his milestones and achievements. Sometimes that means putting my camera away and just enjoying his smiles without frantically trying to document them. Sometimes that means crying over his new developments. God has richly blessed us with our surprise miracle baby and I want to soak up each moment without  fear of the future.

Even when he bites the dog.

 

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Babywearing Photography

To say that becoming a mom has changed a lot about me is an understatement. A lot of them are predictable changes; I now have a deep and abiding love of elastic waistbands and appreciation for the mom bun/yoga pants combo. However, up until the end of my pregnancy I had no idea that babywearing was a “thing”. At this point, some of you are nodding sagely while others are left feeling the same way I did (huh?).

Remember how people used to tote around tiny dogs in their purses? This is like that but with the added benefit of close, skin-to-skin bonding with your child. After X and I struggled so hard to nurse (see my previous post, Breastfeeding Photography), babywearing became our special thing. It helped to forge that bond in those rocky first few weeks and is still a huge part of our daily lives (and how I accomplish 99% of tasks).

Recently, an Erizo handwoven wrap called “Mr. X’s Adventure” came to live with us. It was a custom piece designed by another mama for her own Mr. X. Her inspiration for the colorway? A cave diving photo by the late Wes Skiles (see below). When I saw this wrap existed, I had to have one for my Mr. X- it was just too perfect! As some of you know, W and I met due to our love of cave diving and our Mr. X is named for a famous cave diver and conservationist. This piece of functional artwork holds a special place in my heart and keeps my baby close to it as well.

cave diving

 

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