Letters To My Children | July 2018

Letters To My Children | July 2018

Letters To My Children | July 2018 | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

monday , july 16, 2018

dear babies,

it seems like time is getting shorter and shorter between these letters, as the days go faster and faster.  last night i spent some time walking down memory lane, looking at baby pictures.  it seems like i just became a new mom and it’s hard to believe it’s already almost been two and a half years of motherhood.  there has been so much beautiful change in our life in the past couple of years and it’s all because of the both of you.  i love that you will never know life without the one another.  every memory you will have with include your sister and daddy and i are so thrilled at how beautiful your relationship is.  we wanted to give you each the gift of a sibling, and you are cherishing that gift each and every day.  i can’t wait to see you two together in the years to come.  you make sisterhood look so easy.

to my oldest:

you are mama’s helper!  my goodness, do you love to help!  whether it is handing me clean things from the dishwasher to put away, taking the bib off of your sister after she is done eating, helping to wash her face or running towards a fallen toy and rescuing it for your little sister, you are the best helper a mama could ever dream of.  at only 2 years and 3 months, you are my right hand during the day!  and because we have such a strict schedule, you always know what happens next during the day and are ready to tackle the next activity.

daddy and i insist that you have experienced a vocabulary explosion within the past couple of months.  you are learning at least 2-3 words each day and you love to look around the room and name everything you know.  you can say your name and age now, and you love to count…we are now working on getting those numbers in the right order.  you like saying every other number with mama, so when mama starts at 1, you will say 2, i will say 3, you will say 4, i will say 5, you will say 6, i will say 7, you will say 8…  you are very good at your even numbers!  you also love the letter E, but we aren’t sure why.  you point it out every time you see it and exclaim, “E!” whether you see it in your name or you see it on the Target sign when we are walking up.

we love being outside with you and your sister, this summer!  you got a new tricycle and you are getting better and better at it each time we play.  you really love your bubble machine and we are going through a ton of bubbles this summer!  you love to stand right in front of the bubble machine when it is on and the bubbles surround you.  we have learned to only use the bubble machine on bath day because you are coated in sticky soap after your bubble fun.  grandma jokes that you don’t need any soap during your bath because you are already covered in it!   just add water!

one of your favorite things to do with mama is the drawing game.  you have a really fun new magna doodle and you love handing it to mama and saying, “mama, color!”  what you mean is, you want me to draw pictures and have you tell me what they are.  mama has gotten really good at drawing a lot of things and you have flattered me when guessing my drawings correctly!  especially car!  mama has a hard time drawing car, but you get it every time!  your favorite things that mama draws are bear, butterfly, circle, triangle, diamond, heart, star, moon, tree, cloud, house, door, windows, people (and all their body parts), happy, sun, flower, car, train, oval, coffee, two, and bee.  we have been known to spend most of your sister’s nap time drawing together.

we have taken up bird watching at our house!  mama originally bought a really pretty ceramic birdhouse, but the birds didn’t like it too much.  after a couple days of watching, daddy saw us looking at our empty birdhouse from the window and said, “i’ll be right back.”  he went to the local wild bird store and said, “i’ve got some girls that want to see birds, load me up!”  and the lady at the store found him the perfect feeder and seed to do the trick.  daddy came up and surprised us with some fancy new bird things and we have been watching the birds ever since!  we have seen red birds, blue birds, and yellow birds so far and daddy thinks we need to make a print out of all the birds to put next to the window so we can identify them.  we are taking our bird watching seriously around here.

you are starting to learn how to dress yourself now and can get your shirt on over your head properly, but need a little help finding the holes to put your arms through.  you can name all the clothes and after you a dress you say, “shoes!” and “bow!”  you know that you are never fully dressed without a bow.  when mama puts a pony tail in your hair, you like to hold the little pony tail elastic in your hands while i fix your hair and say, “circle!”  you are so so smart!

in addition to learning shapes and numbers and weather and everything else, we have introduced responsibility and helpfulness.  which, you have taken to effortlessly.  you help mama open the window shades in the morning, you take your plate and cup to the sink after done eating, and you take such pride in doing such helpful things.  the other day, i watched you finish a cup of milk and then get up and walk your cup to the kitchen sink, without being asked to!  you now know that after you are finished, you help by cleaning up after yourself.  mama and daddy are so impressed!

we finally convinced you to try a popsicle, after weeks of trying.  mama told you it was a watermelon in order to get you to try it (slight fib), but once you realized it wasn’t, you also realized that it was really yummy!  you still prefer ice cream, and daddy has taken us on a lot of ice cream dates so far this summer.  you like to share vanilla peanut butter with mama and we like to sit outside and each it before it melts!

every morning, you exclaim, “mama!” when i walk in to get you up and it makes me smile!  you also spend your day saying, “bless you!” to anyone who coughs or sneezes, including yourself.  everything about you is pure sweet and smart and you are turning into more of a little girl each day.  i told you last night that you have to give mama a kiss every 15 minutes so i can savor you all day long.  and when i say, “mama kiss!” you run to me, with your lips all puckered up!  i just love you so so so so so so so much!

to my littlest:

happy half birthday, happy girl!  oh my goodness, you are half way to 1!  yesterday we went on a family ice cream date to celebrate your half birthday and, even though you technically didn’t get any ice cream, you were all smiles while we were celebrating with you!  you are completely adored and we can’t get enough of you.  your sister thinks you are the sweetest little thing and she loves to help you in any way that she can.  remember that, as you grow.  your sister will always be there for you, especially to help.  mama still calls her sisters regularly to talk and share advice with one another and having a sister is the best.  i am so happy you girls get to experience sisterhood.

even though you love to chew on everything and want to bring everything to your mouth, you still don’t have any teeth!  we are so surprised!  any day now we are going to see, or mama is going to feel, a little tooth!  for now we are savoring your sweet little gummy smile.

you sure love to eat!  you really love oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and sweet potato/squash purees.  you also eat peas, avocado and rice cereal.  you have become really eager about food in the last couple of weeks and really open your mouth when you see the spoon coming.  you are so happy all the time that you are trying to master smiling and eating, without losing your food!  mama will put a spoonful of food in your mouth and then you will smile at your sister and, half of your food ends up on your chin!  the same with breastfeeding!  you are so darn happy all the time, but haven’t figured out how to manage smiling and feeding at the same time.  mama has to look elsewhere when you feed because, if we lock eyes, you will start smiling away and plop!…the boob slips out.

you are sleeping pretty good, these days!  you wake up at least once a night for a feed, but are quick to fall back asleep once i lay you in your crib again.  ironically, on the weekends you skip your midnight snack and sleep through the night.  but on the weekdays, you really like a 2:00am feed.  you must know that we are going to have lots of adventures with daddy on the weekend, so you are catching up on your rest.

you really love books!  just like your sister!  you really enjoy reading with mama before bedtime and your favorite is “peek a who!?”  your sister loves reading books to you too and you are always trying to grab them while she is turning the pages.  every once in awhile, you will get the corner of the book in your mouth and you both start laughing.  honestly, seeing you both have so much fun already is the sweetest sight.

you have your doctor check up on friday and we can’t wait to see how much you have grown!  while we have a scale at home, your pediatrician told mama to stop weighing you between check ups because it was making me too worried.  he told me that it was time to put the scale in the attic for if/when another baby comes, but that you were perfectly on track with your weight and there was no reason to monitor it between appointments.  i listened and haven’t weighted you in about 6 weeks so we are so excited to get you on the scale this week!  you are right on track for all of your milestones!  you are practically crawling and we are sure you will be crawling before we know it.  you are so so strong and tummy time is your favorite.  your sister loves to surround you will your favorite toys on your play mat so you can have fun.

this summer is proving to be a lot of fun with the two of you!  between stories, birds, drawing, tummy time, bicycle riding, bubble fun and lots of picture taking, we are making the most out of each and every day.  i love everything about our days together and, as you are both getting older and older, we are really finding some fun activities that we enjoy during our daytime together.

we can’t wait for the adventures that are still to come and we love you more and more each day.

love, mama

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Ballcaps, Tummy Time & Teething, Oh My | A Glimpse At Our Everyday

it seems like our everyday is constantly changing.  while our daily schedule is the same, day in and day out, the girls are growing so quickly that no two days are the same anymore.  our littlest is becoming more and more independent each day and our oldest is becoming chattier by the minute, picking up at least 3 new words a day.  it’s endless diaper changing, endless noise, endless tidying up and endless go, go, go.  but i wouldn’t trade these days for anything.  nothing could replace how beautiful and memorable each day is with these two peanuts.  these two peanuts who are completely and utterly in love with one another.

when one does tummy time, so does the other.  when one gets milk, so does the other.  when one looks at books, the other one tries to eat them.  they are peas in a pod.  they are milk and cookies.  the are peanut butter and jelly.  they are lucy and ethel.

and even though there are days when i am outnumbered and it’s beautifully chaotic, these girls have a way of humbling me and telling me that i am doing a good job.  whether the littlest gives me a big smile or the oldest runs up behind me and gives me a big hug, it’s as though God is showing me that i’ve got everything i need in these beautiful children.  and sometimes us mamas need that reminder, especially when there is applesauce on the wall or the littlest wants to wake up before the sun wakes up.  their little smiles remind us that it’s just applesauce and that extra hour in the morning holding the littlest in the rocking chair is a gift from God.

all of this is a reminder that babies don’t keep.  they grow so quickly.  and these truly are the days, days that are fleeting.  we only get 18 summers with our kids and i am going to make each one count.  so this summer finds our everyday full of ballcaps, tummy time and teething.  it finds our everyday full of dance parties in the kitchen, being bubble machine addicts outside, and drippy popsicles in diapers on the front step.  it finds our everyday full of kissing baby cheeks, savoring their baby smell, and watching birdies at the window.  and while our everyday looks different each day as these babies insist on growing, each day is a pure gift.

need help photographing your everyday with your family?  be sure to check out my ebook The Everyday Photograph: The Art of Seeing Beauty in Ordinary Moments, where i walk you through it!

and if you have a little one like me, check out The First Twelve: A Guide To Photographing Your Baby’s First Year, where i show you how to document each and every moment.

Ballcaps, Tummy Time & Teething, Oh My | A Glimpse At Our Everyday

Ballcaps, Tummy Time & Teething, Oh My | A Glimpse At Our Everyday | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

this post contains some affiliate links, which means i get a commission for items purchased through the link.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog so i can continue inspiring you with our everyday.

all of the images within this post were taken with my DSLR and go to lens for photographing my girls

Source List

wooden activity gym | purchased on etsy

dangle toys on activity gym (car seat toys) | similar idea here

velvet hair boys | courtesy of cammi and co

to see more of our everyday, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.  thanks for stopping by my blog, i hope i inspired you in some way today!

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Our Fourth of July | Why Staying Home Can Be So Good

every year, my husband takes the week of the fourth of july off and we just stay home.  nothing fancy, no big plans.  just a simple staycation.  in the days before kids, we would take day trips to our favorite local wineries and make pitchers of sangria and bowls of guacamole and watch food network.  but with two babies now, our winery days are on hold and we are loving the days of sidewalk chalk, bubbles and ice cream dates.  and while we love going on trips and having an agenda of activities, we are also homebodies and love, love, love a good staycation.  staying home can be so good.  it’s a way to refresh, relax and just be.  and to be honest, we mix our slow family fun with a little to do list of things we need to catch up around the house.  because, while staying home can be so good, it feels even better to get things done.  and i’ve been begging my husband to allow me to go crazy organizing the garage…

need help photographing your everyday with your family?  be sure to check out my ebook The Everyday Photograph: The Art of Seeing Beauty in Ordinary Moments, where i walk you through it!

this post contains some affiliate links, which means i get a commission for items purchased through the link.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog so i can continue inspiring you with our everyday.

Our Fourth of July | Why Staying Home Can Be So Good

Our Fourth of July | Why Staying Home Can Be So Good | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

with the girls being so little, we didn’t plan anything extravagant for the fourth of july.  they are too little for sparklers and are in bed long before its dark enough to enjoy fireworks in the neighborhood.   and lately, we’ve preferred living out days that are less planned.  it allows us to just enjoy our time together, without running here and there.  don’t get me wrong, we love to organize and plan outtings…but when it comes to holidays, we really enjoy life in the slow lane.  we have intentionally done this for the last few holidays and it pairs well with giving us that precious time with our kids without exhausting ourselves with activities.

the only must have for the fourth of july?  dressing the girls in their sweet red rompers and coordinating bows.  other than that, it was a day of learning how to ride a new pink tricycle, having a yummy bbq, going out to ice cream and later that night, praying that the fireworks didn’t wake the babies as we poured some wine and watched a patriotic classical “the american president.”  and oldie, but a goodie.

and at the end of the day, my husband asked if i had a good holiday and it was so nice to talk about what a great day we both had.  and to realize that we both truly enjoy a slower, less planned day with the girls.  it’s always so nice to hear that as a wife too.  i always place a lot of pressure on myself to plan and organize and do and make every moment a memory making moment, but to hear that we both enjoy a simple day is refreshing.  and that memories are made in the simple moments.

that is not to say that we didn’t absolutely tackle a list of to do’s while he was home for a week!  the last of our lawn furniture was assembled, a bird house with food was hung for our toddler (we are still waiting for birds, but the squirrels love it), our new dining table arrived, the girls’ outgrown clothes were organized in bins and placed in the attic, the girls got a new bubble machine from target that is hands down the best $11 we spent all week and we both took days to ourselves.  mixed in throughout the week were a few family coffee dates and a couple more ice cream outings.  or “cold cream,” as our toddler likes to call it.

and that garage?  you could eat dinner off our garage floor.  spotless.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Meeting Our Second Baby Girl | A Hospital Film

when it came to preparing items to take with us to the hospital for the birth of our second baby, the first thing on our list was my DSLR.  yes, i stressed over the perfect going home outfit, made sure the carseat was in the car and packed a well thought out hospital bag…but my camera was the one thing i made sure was ready to go, with bells on.  when that moment finally arrived when my contractions sent us to the hospital, we knew we wanted to document every moment of our baby’s birth.  well, everything but the actual birth.  there are some things that are just meant for you and your partner and all devices were put away once it was time to push.  and even though there were half a dozen hospital nurses in the room with us, it seemed like it was just us two.  while my husband and i love the idea of documenting our lives, we also are intentional about living in the moment with one another and putting our phones down to live life fully.  all that being said, we knew we wanted to create a hospital film for our daughter, documenting her first hours and days.

want to learn how i photograph my babies, from the hospital to their first birthday party?  check out my ebook The First Twelve: A Guide To Photographing Your Baby’s First Year.

this post contains some affiliate links, which means i get a commission for items purchased through the link.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog so i can continue inspiring you with our everyday.

once that saint of a man, also known as the anesthesiologist, gave me my much wanted epidural and i was finally comfortable upon being admitted to the hospital…it was all just about waiting.  if you missed it, i shared our birth story on the blog.  while waiting, my husband and i took turns creating video footage with my DSLR.  i intentionally brought my favorite lens to the hospital, because it is the best choice for creating film and for indoor photography.  i love how our birth video shows both of our perspectives, as he filmed around the room and i filmed my own perspective from the hospital bed.  and, just as we did with our first baby, we were intentional about getting in front of the camera together to speak some sweet words to our baby to be.  if there is one thing i recommend doing, it’s recording a video for your baby.  we have videos of us talking to both of our girls, hours before they were born, and those videos are cherished immensely.

now that i am getting more sleep with our littlest being 5 months old, i was finally able to sit down and edit our hospital footage to create a video.  there were tears shed while editing and watching this footage, as film is so powerful.  pictures are wonderful, yes.  but the movement and sound of film has a way of taking you right back to that moment.  back to that moment of how she felt in my arms after birth.  back to that moment of how small she really was.  back to that moment of what it felt to finally hear my husband tell me, “she’s a girl!”

if you need help taking your own newborn hospital photos like i took mine, check out my 5 hacks for taking your own hospital newborn photos.

Meeting Our Second Baby Girl | A Hospital Film

gear used to create this film : dslr | lens | adobe premiere pro | lightroom for editing

i definitely want to thank my amazing husband for not only helping me take some of this footage, but for encouraging me to do so.  as any new parent remembers, having a baby is exhausting for both parents.  and our hospital stay was tiring and busy.  but my husband was so great about either picking up my camera himself to create some film, or reminding me to do so while i was photographing still shots.  even though he knew we were tired, he also knew how much we wanted the final video and he kept our end goal of a beautiful birth video in mind.

i can’t even tell you how beautifully special this video is for us, our children, and our family.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Letters To My Children | June 2018

Letters To My Children | June 2018

Letters To My Children | June 2018 | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

thursday, june 21, 2018

my babies,

more and more lately, i am enjoying these letters because they help me remember what this particular season of motherhood looks like.  i can’t wait for you to read them one day, as i have written them every month since i was pregnant with big sister!  right now, you are both sleeping soundly as i edit your beautiful sister session from this month and put my love for you into words.  last night, as i was closing my eyes, i said to your daddy, “i just love our girls so much.”  to which he replied, “i know, me too!”  it’s funny to say it, but it is overwhelming how much i love you.  and last night was another late night scrolling through photos of you, while you slept.  it’s as if i miss you the second you go to sleep at night and must relive every moment of your life, through photos.  daddy will say, “are you looking at pictures of the girls, again!?” and laugh as i nod sweetly back and get nostalgic.

to my oldest:

every moment of the day is a learning opportunity for you and you crave learning.  your current favorite thing to do is look around our environment and name everything that you know, while pointing.  yesterday, we sat outside on the ground playing with chalk while daddy washed his truck and you kept looking around saying, “tree!” “truck!” “wash!” “snake!” (wait, snake!?) “color!” “sky!” “sun!” “hot!” “shoes!” “sit!” and so on and so on.  and you do this when we are riding in the car, reading a story or playing in the playroom.  daddy says that you are experiencing a language explosion right now and it’s so true!  you love to talk and it’s simply awesome.  lately, all animals have a -y at the end and their noises are repeated when you talk, and you have adopted this all on your own.  “puppy, woof-woof!” “horsey, neigh-neigh!” “sheepy, ba-ba!”

last week found us at the doctors office because you stuck a noodle up your nose!  you sure know how to make mama panic, and it was a family field trip to see the doctor and get a million stickers from the nurses who just adored every bit of you.  by the time the doctor came, you must have swallowed the noodle down the back of your throat because it was nowhere to be seen.  good golly, girl.  it’s really the only mischievous thing that you do, but i hope this nose phase ends soon.

you are so completely in love with your little sister, it’s so heart warming!  this just in, you are obsessed with hugging her.  and holding hands with her.  and helping her to do everything!  and giving her kisses!  you love to grab her hand and show her how to grab toys or turn the page of a book.  you are such a helper and she loves each and every second that you spend with her.  you are the first one to tell her goodnight and the first one to charge into her room once nap time is over.  you open her door, run over to her crib and happily chant her name.  you are both all smiles when you do that, as you have a little mini reunion from your couple of hours apart.

we are having such a fun summer so far, going out to ice cream with daddy and spending last weekend on the ferris wheel at the pier.  you really enjoyed going high up into the air and waved at everyone when we passed them on the ground, before going up into the air again.  after, we went to dinner together and, as always, you and your sister created “oooohs and awes!” in the restaurant with your cuteness.  we are so proud of you girls and how well behaved you are.  daddy and i love taking you out to eat because it is not only a fun experience but it allows us to practice our manners.  you are so perfect with your “please’s” and “thank you’s.”

we have started a summer curriculum together and we are loving our time together.  once your little sister goes down for her morning nap, we do our calendar, read a story, look at the weather outside and do an activity.  right now we are learning about apples and you are having so much fun having one on one time with mama.  you are learning your shapes and, so far, you know oval, diamond, star, circle and heart!  we just started learning our colors and you know blue and pink.  you have learned to say your name and age and can already count to five!  you have also mastered sorting!  mama keeps trying to give you learning objectives to strive for this summer, but you are quick to learn and master the goals we set for you.  and most importantly, you are having a lot of fun learning which makes us so proud.

we are working our way through our summer bucket list and having so much fun!  we love playing with sidewalk chalk and you love it when mama draws shapes for you to name.  when i draw a smiley face, you say, “happy!”  we just bought popsicles over the weekend so we are going to let you try one of those for the first time after dinner sometime this week.  we think you are ready for your first tricycle so we are going to get you one for this summer!  we are still deciding on the perfect one and can’t wait to surprise you with it!

our days together are just so sweet lately.  we play on the floor a lot so your little sister can roll around and you love to come up to me and give me big hugs and kisses.  it makes me feel like the most special and loved person in the world when you do that.  and then i have to return the love with kissing you only a million times in a row, which you laugh like crazy!  love you so so much, sweet girl.  you truly are the sweetest.

to my littlest:

happy 5 months!  it’s like you are an entirely new baby lately!  so many milestones, where do i start!?  you are an excellent sleeper!  you take two really great naps during the day and sleep long stretches at night before wanting a little feed.  once fed, you fall asleep really good again all on your own.  you have learned how to roll over from your back to your belly and love to sleep on your belly every once in awhile.  you really love to sleep on your side or on your back with your arms up.  daddy laughs because when he checks the baby monitor in the morning before leaving for work, you and your sister are both fast asleep with your arms above your heads.  and then he looks over at mama, asleep in bed, with my arms above my head too.  i guess you girls get it from me!

you are such a great swimmer!  in fact, both you and your sister are both the best in your class.  you have a few more weeks in your swim class before you will graduate to the next level and you are so ready!  it’s so great to see how much you love to swim and love the water.  and you look so darn cute in your swimming suit!

we started feeding you solids around 4 months but you didn’t seem too eager.  we decided to hold off for a few weeks and, when we tried again just before you were 5 months old, you were much more interested!  you quickly became good at swallowing your food instead of spitting it out, as you learned to keep your mouth closed once you got a spoonful of food.  you like to eat rice cereal and avocado.  today, you tried a sweet potato puree for the first time…which you liked!   it was your sister’s absolute favorite puree so we are thinking you are going to love it more and more!

you are now sleeping in your own room!  we have a bedtime routine of pajamas, feeding, books, prayer and bedtime and you are such a great sleeper!  when it comes to books, you love them just like your sister!  you love to look at the pictures with wide eyes and sit patiently while you listen to the story.  you love story time with mama before bedtime and really love it when mama reads stories to you and big sister in the playroom.  you love it when your sister sits next to you for story time and you try to grab her arm and hair, which makes her giggle.  even when it seems like you have quite a handful of her hair, she just laughs and laughs.  it’s so great how much you get along!

when it comes to breastfeeding, you have completely mastered it!  i have both of you girls on such a great schedule that your feedings are naturally timed so that you know mealtimes really well.  we naturally came up with the schedule ourselves, as i learned when you liked to eat and sleep.  you eat really great, when it is your idea!  so i have gotten us on a great schedule, based on your feeding cues.  you have been on this great routine for about month and it’s been really harmonious.  in the middle of the night, when you are ready to eat you will start talking away in your crib.  it is really funny!  i will know you are hungry because i will hear you jabbering away!  then, once you are full you will start humming.  it’s so so funny!  it’s your way of telling me, “thanks mama!  i am all done now and ready to go back to sleep!”

when you aren’t asleep, you are smiling.  your daddy and i are completely convinced that YOU ARE THE HAPPIEST BABY THERE EVER WAS.  seriously.  you smile so wide that we often wonder how it even possible to smile that big.  and you smile all day long.  even all night long.  sometimes, i have to look away during the night feeds because if i look at you, you will want to smile instead of eat!  you are just too happy.  i am so blessed to have you.  your happiness is just so humbling.  whenever i worry about little things that honestly don’t matter, your smiles gently remind me that our family is the most important and that we have so much to smile about.  for that, i am so thankful.

being a mama and loving you both is what i was made to do.  i love our days together and do everything i can to slow down and savor our time together, daily.  thank you both for being the best baby girls and for teaching me too be my best self every day.  i feel like, even though i spend most of my day teaching you both new things and skills, you are equally teaching me things.  like how to slow down and take it all in.  like how to not worry about the little things, but simply enjoy today.  like how our family is where it is at!

love, mama

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Menu