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A Letter for My Baby

Illustrator Samantha Hahn shares a page from her own baby’s memory journal.

A Letter for My Baby

In this digital age of parenting, there is nothing more precious than putting pen to paper. Or in the case of uber-talented illustrator Samantha Hahn, paintbrush to paper. Her latest project, focused on motherhood, is combination of both: her paintbrush in A Mother is a Story, a collection of heartfelt, hand-lettered quotes and illustrations about about the mom experience, and your pen in Stories for My Child: A Mother’s Memory Journal, a beautiful pregnancy and baby journal.

Inspired by her own pregnancy with her second baby Vivian (she also has a 6-year-old son Henry), Samantha’s carefully curated quotes resonate with a mother new or old. And the companion journal is the kind of keepsake you’ll be thankful you invested in so many years from now. It even has an envelope to enclose a letter for your little one to take with them when they fly the coop -- a million years from now, new mama, we promise.

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With Mother’s Day around the corner, we asked this Brooklyn mama of two (Henry, 6, and Vivian, 18 months) to put fill out a page in her own journal. Here’s her sweet message to her own quickly growing babe.

 

To Vivian at 18 months.

Dear Vivi,

You amaze and delight me every day. You now call yourself “Wibi” and do the funniest dancing I’ve ever seen. You are feisty, strong-willed and affectionate. You go down the slide with aplomb and call the swings “wheeee.” Your very first full sentence was “where’s the doggie?” I love picking you up from daycare and walking home together. You insist on walking. We look at the birds and dogs and now at the blossoming trees and even the “moon” if it’s visible in the blue sky. You have such a sense of wonder.

It’s a privilege to be your mother. Truthfully, I’m struggling with how quickly you are growing up. You’re my little baby girl and I remember swaddling you and nursing you in the depths of night. Now you wake at 5AM and I take you out of your crib for an hour long cuddle that fills my heart with the greatest joy. When I smell you and feel the softness of your skin and the warmth of your body I bottle it against the days I both dread and feverishly work toward, when you need me in your heart but are strong enough to stand apart.

Buy A Mother is a Story and Stories for My Child: A Mother’s Memory Journal here.

Photo of Samantha and family (on homepage) by Nick Steever.

Styled journal photo by Randi Brookman.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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