Tag Archives: Letters to My Children

October Letters to my Son | Personal Photos

This post is part of an ongoing blog circle with several other woman photographers, writing monthly letters to our children.  Link to the next letter is at the bottom of this post.  It’s been a great way for me to document more intentionally the connection I have with my son, born in April, despite the chaos of our daily lives!

Dear Benjamin,

Six months old.  Where to start — you are a wild thing lately.  You want to play, constantly, and we love it, but it’s also a little exhausting.  You are still loving your jumping toy, and we still need the swing to calm you down for the night, but this month your interaction with these toys has grown — in the jumperoo, you turn around and play with each toy, moving everything that you can move, shaking everything you can shake; in the swing, you can reach up and grab the animals hanging from your mobile, that you only stared at in the past.

Your milestones this month leave me feeling just a little sad to be “losing” your babyhood, but I cheer myself up thinking of all the fun things to come.  This month we said goodbye to nursing (almost completely, and at the end of October we will really be finished).  You’ve also started eating real solid foods, purees, and the ladies at your daycare couldn’t be happier, since you are such a hungry man and they always have trouble satisfying you.  You’ve eaten bananas, apples, pears, prunes, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans… you even tried a little avocado (not a fan of that one).

I hope you continue to enjoy eating, because you need to play catch-up a bit with your weight — due to your ear infections (after September’s double ear infections, you managed to have another set of double infections a couple of weeks later), you had a puny appetite and at your six month checkup you were lagging behind on your development curve when it came to weight.  For height (or length, as it’s still measured by), you are still in the top 90th percentile.  This continues to amuse me a great deal.

The last 5 weeks have been doctor-filled, between your ear infections, six month checkup, and visit to the ENT.  I mentioned in my last letter to you that I would be taking you to the ENT if you continued to have problems, and I made good on that — but we won’t make a decision about the tubes until next month.  One more chance for you to get all this fluid out, bub, and then it’s time for us to take action.  Elodie can tell you, it isn’t too scary the first time, and better to do it when you’re little than when you get a bit older (and have to wait longer in the morning before the surgery without food or water).  Maybe it won’t come to that… but I’m thinking we’ll be seeing more of our doctor in the next 5 weeks, too.

You aren’t quite sitting up yet on your own, but you are very close to crawling already.  This weekend you started doing this little wind-up thing when you are on the floor, in which you get up on your hands and knees and just rock yourself forward & back.  It’s pretty cute, but I’m trying to savor these weeks in which you are still a pretty stationary guy.  Would you believe me if I tried to convince you that mobility is overrated?  Even though you are still quite a ways away from pulling up, we still felt it prudent to lower your crib mattress, which feels like a milestone in its own way.

I love everything about you, Ben.  Your smiles are getting even more coy and playful, and your cries are becoming “vocalizations” now.  I love your tiny grip, the way you search for food, and the way you watch your sister when she sings for you.  I love how you are in the process of figuring out this whole eating thing, from eating from the spoon, to holding your own bottle (or letting Elodie try to help feed you).  Most of all, I love how, even with the stress of the workday and our routine, you always know the right gurgle or face to make me laugh.

Love, Mom

Thanks for reading!  Now you can click through to the next blog in our circle, and read Carrie’s letter to one of her children!

September Letters to my Son | Personal Photos

This post is part of an ongoing blog circle with several other woman photographers, writing monthly letters to our children.  Link to the next letter is at the bottom of this post.  It’s been a great way for me to document more intentionally the connection I have with my son, born in April, despite the chaos of our daily lives!

Dear Benjamin,

We have giggles.  Your giggle is completely hilarious, it almost sounds as though you are screaming or crying, but it’s just because you don’t understand how to modulate your joy just yet.  Why do you giggle?  You like to laugh at big noises, which is one of the first really stereotypical boy things that you’ve done, personality-wise.  You laugh at daddy bouncing the tennis ball for the dogs, you laugh at the dogs running on the hardwood floor, you laugh at trucks going by, you laugh at Elodie jumping.  You smile at everyone, and you give these wet kisses with your mouth fully open as anyone approaches, including Elodie, but most of the time, I am the one sticking my kissy lips in yours as we snuggle.  This may be why you and I have had colds this month.

You have officially been sick for the first time.  Your first congestion may have been last month, I don’t really recall, but either way this has been the month of colds for us.  Your sleeping has returned to being totally erratic, at least while sick (which you are no longer thanks to antibiotics).  You had your first doctor sick visit, where we learned that yes, you had double ear infections, with ruptures on both sides.  Just pitiful.  Things have finally gotten under control, but we’ll be watching your recovery and if another ear infection happens in the next month, well, I will be beating down the door of the ENT.  Yessir, I won’t make the same mistake I made with Elodie and just prolong the infections by running through every antibiotic on offer before considering tubes.  But, I suppose there is a chance you won’t be hit as hard as she was, and maybe the fact that it took you over a month in daycare to need a sick visit should give me hope.

Back to the fun stuff: this month, your favorite toy has been your own toes. You grab them and pull them up to your mouth constantly, basically any time I lay you down on your back, and sometimes when you are sitting on my lap.  It fills me with joy to watch you go after those tiny toes.  So much gusto!

After toes, you are really digging your jumper, which we assembled in our living room.  Our living space has been shrinking lately, as we’ve added the jumper, and some of Elodie’s new toys, as permanent residents on our floor.  We put away your bouncer chair, though, with your friend Piggy.  It’s so strange to put things away this time, I guess because we don’t know anything about what life will look like when we may consider bringing them out again.  When we put old toys away after E was through with them, we had you in the back of our minds already; this time, there is a great unknown in between you and whatever comes next.  I’ve been feeling very unmoored lately, with all of this change going on.  You and your sister are keeping me grounded, though.

Speaking of your sister.  Your interactions with her are just killing me with cuteness.  Though I won’t lie, right now it is mostly her cuteness; but you do your part by responding to her “I love you, baby!” with smiles and even sometimes that little giggle.  You’ve become so affectionate and curious, grabbing onto our hands and arms, and (unfortunately) the hair of anyone who is near your fingers.  E has gotten caught in your crosshairs and she has not enjoyed it.

This month has brought a lot of change to our lives, and there’s no end in sight.  Your auntie and soon-to-be godmother is moving 5,000 miles from Houston, and of course our own little family is preparing for our big adventure starting at the end of the year.  You’re growing and changing so quickly, it’s crazy to think simultaneously about how soon that is, and about how different you will be by then.  At Christmas, will you be crawling?  I can’t even think about that right now.  Please just stay my squirmy little man a little bit longer.  ‘Kay? (as Elodie would say).

Love, Mom

Now you can click through to the next blog in our circle, and read Kristy’s letter to her daughter Makenna.

August Letters to My Son | Personal Photos

This post is part of an ongoing blog circle with several other woman photographers, writing monthly letters to our children.  Link to the next letter is at the bottom of this post.  It’s been a great way for me to document more intentionally the connection I have with my son, born in April, despite the chaos of our daily lives!

Dear Benjamin,

I love you.  This last month has been wild and stressful and full — and I feel like the last couple of weeks in particular have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to slow down, breathe, and just tell you that I love you.

Baby boy 3 month old photos

I started back at my full-time job on August 1, hitting the ground running with 9-hour workdays, and obviously that has been a huge change for both of us.  You, of course, are faring slightly better than I am in the transition.  You’re the happy-go-luckiest boy, so laidback and happy, that you love daycare and have taken to the bottle like a champ.  Mama?  Not so easy — between work, pumping, the photography business, chores, and everything else that fills every nook and cranny of my time — I am realizing at the end of the day how very lucky I am, to have had the four months home with you that I did.  I won’t say that I want to go back to those times, because I love working.  But I do miss you, and our peaceful times at home when you just want to look around the room and be held.

You went to your four-month pediatric appointment last week, and we found out that you are in the 95th percentile in length, and around 50th percentile in weight and head size.  So as much as we keep going back and forth about who you look most like (still cycling between Brad and me), now it seems that my dad may have some influence on you, too.  You’re healthy and sweet, but I don’t have a lot more to share on your developmental milestones.  I think we do have some second child laziness going on here, because I just haven’t been watching you with milestones in mind, and I’m approaching things in a very when-you-get-there-you-get-there kind of way.  I guess you’re not rolling, though you do roll from tummy to back fairly well.  You’re reaching for things with some sense of purpose, and pulling them to your face (especially blankets and your froggy pacifier).  Brad tried to get you to hold your own bottle, but you aren’t quite there yet.  You laugh some, smile a lot, and your cries have gotten a little more controlled than they used to be.  You’re still mostly a good sleeper, though it seems that on the days we’re most stressed, you tend to want to eat until the wee hours.

Some highlights of the last month were getting to meet some baby boy friends and spending time visiting suburbia (you’ve now visited League City and Katy, in addition to Sugar Land and Humble — travelin’ man); you’ve been watched by babysitters a few weekday evenings, allowing your dad and me to have a few dates; you’ve tried a little cereal, about which I am skeptical but following the wisdom of your doctor and daycare; you’ve been to the Galleria with me as I went to rebuild my work wardrobe.  Elodie visits you during the day at daycare, and calls you “Elodie’s baby,” and gives you many kisses.  A funny story from this month is from this past weekend — our power went out, so we spent the night out at Nana and Grandpa’s for the first time since you’ve been born.  We ran into a snag since we only have one portable crib set up, and you ended up sleeping… in a dresser drawer pulled out on the floor next to our bed!  It was very old-timey and hilarious (except that it was not the greatest night of sleep of your life or ours).

Thank you for enduring all of the stress with us, and I will try to slow down a little for the next few months.

Love, Mom

Now you can click through to the next blog in our circle, and read Kelly’s letter to her little one.

July Letters to My Son | Personal Photos

This post is part of an ongoing blog circle with several other woman photographers, writing monthly letters to our children.  Link to the next letter is at the bottom of this post.  It’s been a great way for me to document more intentionally the connection I have with my son, born in April, despite the chaos of our daily lives!

3 months old

Dear Benjamin,

Well, we survived the move.  This month we completed our move into our tiny new home, with your own bedroom, and sold our old house.  The house we brought you and your sister home to from the hospital, the house where your dad and I became a family.  It’s been an emotional month for me, and a frustrating one, with endless unpacking and circular cleaning that never seems to end.  Have you grown this month?  Have I noticed it with the whirlwind of activity around here, and the other scares in our family that haven’t quite been resolved yet?

Of course you have grown.  In size, probably (you fit snugly into your 3-6 month clothes), and definitely in personality.  Your hair has grown, and your little Alfalfa sprout in back is the first thing anyone notices about you.  Nana wants me to trim it right off!  Which of course I won’t do.  You are still, like all babies, cycling between gurgly and adorable smiles, and the-world-is-ending screams.  Something new you’ve started is chirping — when you’re supremely happy, you sit there and squawk to yourself several times in a row, thrilled each time.  It’s jarring but hilarious.  You reach for toys and pull them to your face.  You love Piggy, on your bouncer, and your love of mobiles has not diminished.  Everything you grab goes to your mouth now, except for pacifiers, which you bumble around with and which ultimately land on your chest, rejected.

Baby's eye view

You’re sleeping through the night, and I mean all the way through the night: about 8 or 9 pm until 6:30 am most nights.  It’s divine, except on the once-a-week occasions when you do stay up later or wake up at 3 am, because Dad and I have apparently lost our ability to deal with that in any capacity.  I’m worried that I’m still not giving you the tummy time that I should — if I do, you don’t nap, and then you don’t sleep at night — but at least you’re spending more time in the (soft) bouncer and less in the (hard) swing during the day.  Elodie has started to play with you a little more… energetically, which of course I do not like — she is constantly giving you little smacks on the chest or grabbing your arm.  She also lays down next to you in your jungle gym and gently shows you the toys that are hanging, and that is something your dad and I love to watch.  You pay such close attention when she is looking at you or talking near you.  I can already see that she will be your first real teacher in life, and I’m so glad that Elodie already names you when we ask her about her friends (“Lily, Michael, Baby, Nina, Mommy, Daddy” is a typical response to this question).

3 month old on bed

3 months old boy - black & white

It’s been a month full of family visits, between Pop-pop and your uncle’s trip down, and spending more quality time out in Sugar Land with Nana and Grandpa.  You’re surrounded by love and attention, even if that attention is a little strained with your sister taking up so much herself.  You don’t let us forget about you, and I am completely cherishing the time I get to spend alone with you each weekday.  Holding your tiny body close to me as you nurse, or look around the room, or squeal with delight, or cry until you’re properly bounced and walked around, is the best and warmest feeling I could have.  You are like my little boyfriend (I will continue to think of that advice from my cousin for as long as you are small), and I hope you stay that way for at least a little while longer.  I return to work in two weeks, and I’m not sure my heart is prepared to give up that time together just yet — but I will get there, and you will love your new world, just as we saw Elodie did.

Love, Mom

To read all of the letters to our children, click here to visit Kristy’s blog, and continue through until you end up back here.

June Letters to our Children | Personal Photos

This is part of a monthly blog circle with 15 other talented women & photographers, in which we write letters to our children.

Dear Benjamin,

Your third month of life has been the best and worst of times — thankfully the fun and adorable times outnumber the rip-our-hair-out screaming jags, but you are keeping us guessing with your timing of said fits.  Sleeping through the night occasionally, you lack consistency; nap times during the day are all or nothing; even the schedule of your, ahem, diapers is all over the map.  I suppose that, put nicely, you march to the beat of your own drum.

Your 2-month checkup went well, and you are above average for size (65-75% on all measures).  The only hiccup in your development so far is that you favor your right side, and your head is flattening there.  This has resulted in your dad and I constantly turning you the other way, it’s an ongoing battle but I’m confident things will work out.  You’re growing so fast — we had to retire some of the 0-3 month items that run a little small, and we’ve added some 3-6 month pajamas to your rotation.  We’re using the last box of size 1 diapers now, and soon you will graduate to 2.  Looks-wise, you are really resembling your dad in just about every way now, though Nana insists that you have my forehead (of all things).  You and El are obviously related, and I love that.

You stare at mobiles like no other baby I’ve seen — joyfully!  We’re trying to work more tummy time into your day, which you do not love. You aren’t really rolling over yet, but every now and then you’ll roll yourself from tummy to back.  You love all of us very much, and you give the greatest smiles to me, your dad, and to Elodie.  We’re in the middle of a stressful move, but you are of course blissfully unaware of all of that.  I’m not sure how much you’ll like having hardwood floors rather than carpet, but we’ll see how you do (and hopefully get some good rugs to cushion us).

It’s flying by so quickly this time around, with you.  I hope that even though our days speed by, and that even though I’m very busy lately, you have some sense of how much I love you.

Love, Mom

Please click through to Kristy’s blog to read her letter to her daughter; click through all of the posts until you end up here again to complete the circle!