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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.

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.

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

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MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

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Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

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Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

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Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

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Lansinoh milk storage bags

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Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

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Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

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Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

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Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

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Mini golf set

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We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

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