Last week, I had the privilege of photographing Everybody Plays, an advertising campaign for Infantino and Step 2 Toys, for the third consecutive year. But I am not a product photographer by trade; I am a lifestyle photographer by heart. For both of these companies, the latter is fortunately what’s important to them. More specifically, these companies are dedicated to implementing marketing which embraces children of all abilities—the mission behind Everybody Plays.
Midwest born and raised, preacher’s kid, escapee of fundamentalism but lover of God and good, Kelle Hampton is today a wife, mother to three and step-mother to two. Residing in Naples, Florida with a bit of her heart still in Michigan, she is a writer, photographer, speaker and celebrant of life’s large little things. Her heartfelt blog post relating to the birth of her daughter Nella and her surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome led to the writing of Bloom, a New York Times best-selling memoir.
Kelle has contributed to Parents, Parenting, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Good Housekeeping and NPR’s All Things Considered. She shares photography and weekly journals about life and motherhood on her blog Enjoying the Small Things
Choosing a baby doll for your child can be difficult as, let’s face it, not all dolls are created equal. Whether you’re looking for a unique softie style or a classic quality baby doll, we’ve narrowed down the choices. Here are 12 adorable dolls your little one is sure to love.
What are you grateful for? Author and photographer Hailey Bartholomew asked herself this question every day for an entire year to help combat a bout of depression she was experiencing. The exercise not only brought her a clearer sense of purpose and contentment but extended into a shared gratitude project that inspired friends and readers alike. The end result? The book 365 Gratefuls, published earlier this year. To celebrate World Gratitude Day, I interviewed Hailey and was, like I expected, inspired. I hope you are too.
Seven years ago, when I discovered my first child would be a girl, I felt in some way that I was extra equipped to raise her because, after all, I’m a girl. My past experiences specifically related to being female at least provided me a rough road map to the gender issues she might face—things like body image pressure, friend drama, female sexuality, etc. I’m well aware of what my girls are up against, and I rely on that attentiveness to navigate me through parenting them—ultimately, nurturing them to be confident and happy individuals.
Move over “Princess” and “Ladies Man” baby shirts! These hip tiny tees promote strength, confidence, kindness and leadership. Teach them young!
Accepting a special needs diagnosis for a baby can be a vulnerable time for parents. How can you help? Here are 17 ways you can show your support.
Last week my daughter started first grade. Our new morning routine challenged us that first day, but we managed to get in the car with a few extra minutes to spare, even after a round of first day photos. On the way there, we talked about what new friends she’d meet and how much she’d learn this year until I realized this was one of those days that called for some grandparent celebration. I called my mom in New York and put her on speaker phone, giving her a brief update before she took the cue and ran with it, using her most exuberant grandma voice to offer encouragement and celebrate my daughter’s milestone.
Designing a nursery on a tight budget? Before you buy new, consider checking your local thrift shop or eBay for budget-friendly used goods. Here’s a list of common thrift shop finds that will add character and warmth to your baby room.
Planning a woodland nursery or looking to find some unique forest-themed products for your baby? From hedgehogs and toadstools to foxes and deer, here are 11 charming woodland finds to help your baby rock the forest friend trend.
At my son’s one month check-up earlier this year, I posted a picture of him all chubby and happy to Instagram with the title “One month check-up. Boy’s growin’.” Knowing I was nursing him, a few commenters who also breastfed left congratulatory sentiments like “Good job, Mama! Doesn’t it feel good to sustain life?” or “Nursing here too! Exhausting and overwhelming but so worth it—an amazing privilege!”
And it is amazing. I can’t say I looked at my son that day—all 10 pounds, 3 ounces—and didn’t think it was pretty cool that I passed on every one of those pounds to him. Maybe proud isn’t the word, but I was at least fascinated by the way my body had nourished him not only for the nine months I carried him but for the four weeks that followed.
The nursing comments on that photo continued, most of them well-meaning. But together, after a while, it might have felt like a nursing club secret handshake to any bottle-feeding mama looking on. One of those moms finally spoke up and left a comment that she felt nursing moms flaunted this sort of “we’re superior for what we do” feeling and that she was sick of it—that moms who chose formula deserved some praise, too. After all, it’s all hard work—raising babies, responding to feeding cries, helping them grow. And she had a point.