06 June 2016

Eyes of Laughter

Little children, sweet and lovely
Buds from Heaven sent to earth!
Let us love them, teach them, guide them,
Fill their lives with joy and mirth...

Looking up with eyes of laughter,
Holding out their tiny hands;
Bless these little ones, oh, Master!
Precious children of all lands!

[Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Little Children" 1940's]

18 March 2016

Spring Inspired: Gift Ideas For Your Little One

Spring is my season. I couldn't resist putting together this roundup of gift ideas for Easter. We're not doing a traditional Easter basket for Felicity this year because she's too young to appreciate it. However, you can bet she'll don an adorable outfit next weekend, because babies in bonnets and tiny dresses are totally my jam.

Anyway, if you have a little one in your life, here are a few non-traditional gift ideas that celebrate the onset of spring. I like the idea of selecting one or two special items to include in a gift basket in addition to the chocolate bunnies and trinket-filled plastic eggs that accumulate.

From top to bottom, left to right:

Tree blocks for sparking imaginative play;
Pajamas in the springiest of pastel colors;
A bunny for cuddling (we own this and love it);
A pretty robin's egg blue hair bow;
Natural fruit-shaped teethers;
An irresistible bunny ear hat ;
Seeds to plant and water together;
The complete Beatrix Potter collection (hooray for Peter Rabbit!);
A wooden flower plate for making mealtime fun;
A yellow striped romper to show off that delicious soft chub;
Bloomers for the warm days ahead when they just want to be naked;
A gardening tool set for little hands to dig in the dirt with.

14 March 2016

Transitions


One quarter of the way around the sun.

For the first three months of her life, we cocooned up inside our own little world while adjusting to the newness of it all. It was cold. Winter. We stayed warm and found a rhythm.

Now, we're emerging in tandem with the season: she's not a newborn anymore. Her limbs are lengthening, her hair is an inch longer than it was a month ago, and her giant, midnight-blue eyes are constantly locked on mine--studying, searching, connecting.  At times, I can hardly believe she's real. This tiny person; an integral part of our family. Our daughter.

While I mourn the stage we're leaving behind, I welcome what we're about to discover.

Growth. Awakening. Revitalization.

Spring.

"Live in each season as it passes; 
breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, 
and resign yourself to the influences of each."
-Henry David Thoreau

01 March 2016

Cuddle + Kind

I'm admittedly picky about the toys we bring into our home for Felicity. I've talked about this before, but I really don't think kids--especially young ones--need tons and tons of toys. Tiho and I feel strongly about this and try our best to do our research before purchasing something for her. We've just begun to build a curated collection of age-appropriate, high-quality toys that we hope she'll enjoy for the next few years and beyond.

I recently discovered the amazing brand Cuddle + Kind and didn't need to think twice about purchasing one of their signature hand-knit dolls for Felicity. Have you heard of them?

The small, family-run business launched in late 2015: for every doll sold, 10 meals are provided to hungry children in need all over the world. Their ultimate goal is to provide 1 million meals every year through partnerships with both the World Food Program (WFP) and the Children's Hunger Fund. Moreover, the signature dolls are hand-knit in Peru where the artisans are provided with a sustainable, fair-trade income.

Beyond the fact that the dolls are adorable and ethically-made, I wholly support their commitment to help fight childhood hunger. I encourage you to take a closer look at their mission and think more deeply about the toys you bring into your home. We send our children impactful messages every day: shouldn't we aspire to teach them about kindness and philanthropy from the start? Supporting a business like this does just that.

Shop the collection here.

All images © Cuddle + Kind.

19 February 2016

Friyay!

This little nugget had her two-month well check at the pediatrician this morning complete with her first round of shots. She did so great! No tears until *after* it was all over and I placed her down on the table to put her clothing back on. Ha. What a drama queen.

She is 23.2 inches long and weighs just over 11 lbs, which makes her tall and skinny-ish (73% for height and 38% for weight). That's hilarious to me. Could my vertically-challenged genes have produced a basketball player? I suppose time will tell.

The rest of today shall be spent snuggling because I'm back on the clock tomorrow. I have my first photo session of the season (a newborn, hooray!) and while I'm a bit anxious to leave her for the day, I'm equally as excited to dust off the proverbial cobwebs and get my creative juices flowing again. There are five bottles of breastmilk in the freezer, so Tiho is well-stocked for a cozy Saturday with our girl.

Below, a few links I enjoyed this week and thought you might too:

Watch Adele and Ellen prank Jamba Juice employees. I laughed out loud.

Why Kids Need to Learn Philosophy. A really interesting read that I whole-heartedly agree with. (Fun fact: I minored in Philosophy during undergrad).

Some Days I Amaze Myself. So funny and so true.

The New York City Ballet's instagram feed is a work of art. (via Cup of Jo).

Rest in Peace, Harper Lee.

Hallelujah for disposable mesh underwear. I hoarded these after childbirth.

We ordered Felicity this portable mobile, which makes me shudder (plastic! batteries!). I'm trying my best to swallow my snobbiness though, because apparently, babies love it. In the same vein, any recommendations for awesome infant toys? We're beginning to introduce some things as she shows interest & agility: I'd love any suggestions for what your little ones adored during the first year.

And last, a gratuitous glamour shot of my little miss testing out her new crib this week. We're still co-sleeping and plan to continue for several more weeks, but figured we'd get this set up to slowly transition her for naps and general chill time. My big girl!


12 February 2016

High Five!

1). This springy bouquet. Because when the freezing temperatures outside force you to remain inside, a cheery boost from nature is a must.

 2). These stuffed friends. Because I never realized how happy it would make me to watch her clutch their little arms.

 3). This mirror selfie. Because brushed hair + lipstick + a real outfit = necessary documentation.

4). This chubster. Because she (and I) believe the message behind her is very important.

5). These piles. Because I've never enjoyed folding laundry until now. (The company doesn't hurt either).

High five to these five, and, happy weekend to you!

//

+ A few links...

I'm a fan of eloping.
I'm really liking this site for home decor inspiration.
Yay for dads!
Planning to try this chocolate cake recipe over the weekend.
I'm obsessed with kitchen renovations and holy wow, this one is incredible.
What a super cute way to document a child's growth over time.
Love this adorable blanket/playmat.
And last, life with kids is messy.

10 February 2016

A Capsule Layette

In building a wardrobe for Felicity, I'm realizing how much I appreciate well-designed, non-cheesy clothing for little ones. Don't get me wrong, I love color and pattern, but most of the baby clothing available on the mass market translates as...cartoony.

I'm well-aware that this might officially place me in the "crazy mom" category, but I've decided to create somewhat of a capsule collection for her spring/summer wardrobe. I'm choosing pieces that will easily mix and match to make an assortment of cute outfits. So far, Felicity's layette contains items in soft neutrals and patterns such as chambray and classic stripes with fun florals thrown in for a girlie touch. For variety, I figure we can layer sweaters, leggings and onesies, of which we have several.

I'm pretty much dressing her exactly how I dress. Eventually, she'll develop her own style and voice strong opinions on the matter, so for now, I'm having fun!

The above are some pieces I've had my eye on for my little miss. And in case you were wondering, yes, a miniature pair of aviators are essential.

Lace Bodysuit from Sapling Child / Denim Pants from H&M / French Terry Flutter Sleeve Dress from Oshkosh / Striped Tank Jumper from June & January / Floral Dress from Tea Collection / Moto Jacket from Ralph Lauren / Polka Dot Chambray Romper from Carters / The Snuggle is Real T-shirt from Cheerily / Striped Empire Waist Dress from Old Navy / Noelle Bow from Free Babes / Baby Aviators from Amazon

The picture below includes a few pieces already tucked away into her dresser drawers. I can hardly contain my excitement for park picnics this summer!



P.S. While drafting this post, Under the Boardwalk by the Drifters was playing on Pandora:

"Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be."

Sounds about right. :)

08 February 2016

What's In A Name (The Beginning)

Eight weeks. Eight weeks! That's precisely how much time has passed since my baby came into this world. What the what? The old (pre-mom) me is biting my lip, thinking about the items on my to-do list which continuously fail to get checked off each week:

Thank you notes. Soon, I promise!
Dusting the baseboards. Never, probably.
Booking my flight for a conference this spring. This week, hopefully.
Returning client emails. Tomorrow, definitely.
Taxes. Done, thankfully! (Thank you, Tiho).
Drafting her birth story and twenty other post ideas floating around in my head. Eventually, maybe.

Truthfully, the new me hardly cares. Some of it will get done. Some of it won't. My time is no longer completely my own, and that's okay. I do miss writing and sharing here though, and I'd like to get back into that habit on a semi-regular basis. I'm aiming for one delegated nap time per week to draft some thoughts and churn out a post or two.

So, in the spirit of beginning, let's start with a name, and why we chose hers. The rest shall follow...in time, of course.

//

Felicity Claire.  We've had this name picked out for years. I can't remember exactly how we came to land on it, but I vaguely recall a long-ago conversation before marriage where we unanimously agreed that if we were ever blessed with a daughter, we'd call her Felicity.

For me, the meaning is everything. Felicity is of Latin origin and means "happiness."
Claire is a family name (my great-grandmother's). Claire is of French origin and means "bright & clear" or "light."

Together? Happiness + Light. 

I cannot think of a more fitting name for our sweet, joyful, delightful baby girl.


26 January 2016

Welcoming Felicity Claire: Family Photos at Home

Time is fleeting. Albeit cliché, I realize that now more than ever. As a photographer, it's easy to allow the documentation of my own life fall to the wayside because I'm constantly doing it for others. The iPhone is a wonderful tool, and one I am grateful to own: I use it daily to capture photos of my daughter. That being said, I knew I wanted to have professional photographs taken to commemorate her arrival earth-side. I recognize the value in tangibly preserving memories. I never want to forget how she clings to my hair when I wear it down, or the multitude of funny faces she makes in under a single minute, or the way my heart feels like it's beating out of my chest when I'm lying next to my husband with Felicity kicking her tiny legs between us in bed. I try and pull out my "big" camera when I can, but on a day-to-day basis, when I'm otherwise preoccupied with wiping spit-up off the couch and rocking her to sleep, the camera sits collecting dust on the closet shelf. One of my goals this year is to consciously make the effort to bring it out more, because I know I'll want those photos later.

Which brings me to these photos, and how they are everything and more to me. I didn't think twice before booking Nicki Sebastian. I'm a long-time admirer of her work and how she captures human connection in a fun, playful and natural way. My vision for the session was simple: I hoped to retain a handful of images depicting our family at this monumental time in our lives--no fancy props, outfits or posing--just us and our togetherness.

Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled with how these turned out and beyond excited to share a selection of favorites with you. Nicki, thank you, thank you, thank you! You are a true talent and a gem of a human being--a rockstar in my book--and I will treasure these images forever and always.

























[Photos taken on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Our sweet Felicity Claire was three weeks & two days young. 

Copyright: Nicki Sebastian Photography, who just relocated to Los Angeles from Brooklyn. 
Southern Californians: hire her!]