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Entries in moms group (3)


Toddlers take over!

This week has been a good week for us at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Our membership cards arrived on Monday and we've been every day! Even Liam has taken to saying "Botanic Gardens! Botanic Gardens!" as we get ready to leave...

I'm glad we got the membership, but having said that, entry is free on Tuesdays, and we've been able to get our original mom's group together a few times this year at the Cherry Esplanade - the perfect location for the kids to run around in relatively safety, only occasionally needing to be chased and herded/coaxed back to the general vicinity of the group.

I know I sound like a broken record, but wow it's amazing to see how these little guys have grown. I've known most of these babies since they were a few weeks old, and it's so fun to see their little personalities emerge and develop. I try not to go too crazy with the camera but this week I couldn't help but take an individual portrait of each kid. Claire, now living in Chicago, was sorely missed, as usual, but I've included her portrait here from earlier this summer as she was definitely present in spirit.

Of course I rarely get to appear in photos myself so I was delighted when my friend Jane Marie took these photos of Liam and I. I love that I'm holding the camera but not behind it - I always make sure I interact face to face even while I have the camera out. Thanks for sharing these, Jane Marie!

Want to throw a portrait party for your mom's group or a gathering of friends? Get in touch - the organizer earns free portraits!

nyc baby, child and family photographer & architect alethea cheng fitzpatrick is based in brooklyn. she specializes in baby photography as interior design & interior design for babies. view her portfolio of babies, children or families or send her an e-mail here!


How do you say goodbye?

How do you say goodbye to a smile like that?!

This week we had to try as we saw Claire and her mom and dad for the last time before they set off for new adventures in the mid-west. I grabbed the tail end of a goodbye party on Saturday, and yesterday a few from our mom's group got together at the Botanic Gardens for one last hurrah.

It's hard to even write this.

It's hard to describe the bond that forms between a group of mothers who meet with weeks old babies in arms, in slings, and in desperately rocked car seats and strollers, sharing joys and triumphs, fears and anxieties, stories and information, tips and tricks. It's hard to describe how attached I feel to all the babies that I've seen grow up alongside my kiddo since almost the beginning, many of whom I've photographed. Yesterday, as we reminisced about our early get togethers, we watched and chased them as they crawled, walked and ran around with abandon, giving each other hugs and kisses, exchanging sippy cups and snacks and balls.

How far they've come. How far we've come.

See you later Claire. You're an amazing little girl and we're going to miss you and your mom and dad more than you will ever know.

nyc baby, child and family photographer alethea cheng fitzpatrick is based in brooklyn and specializes in contemporary, natural light portraiture. view her portfolio of babieschildren or families or send her an e-mail here!


The one piece of advice every new parent needs

Everyone always has lots of advice for new parents - particularly before the baby is born I've found! I'm no exception. I think it's because we learn so much, especially the first time, but most people only get to apply that knowledge a handful of times, so we're desperate to pass that hard-earned knowledge on.

However, if I were to distill everything I've learned and read and experienced and talked to others about into one single piece of advice for new parents it would be...


Or a dads group. Or a parents group. Or a "May Babies" group or playgroup or a support group or a discussion group or whatever it is called, but do it! Find a group for new parents with babies born around the time yours was and try it out. And if you don't like it, try another group. At least try it.

Seriously, my moms group has been the Best Thing Ever. A lot of people don't have such a thing, and I really don't know how they manage. I guess it's not for everyone, but for me, especially in the first few months, it was so incredibly helpful to meet and hang out with other mothers who were going through the same kinds of things I was. Yes, advice from more experienced parents is really helpful, but getting together with people who are "in the trenches" like you are gives a different kind of comfort. And then it becomes so fun to see all the babies grow and change!

Probably I was lucky to find a really great group. We stopped getting together quite as regularly once people started going back to work, often part time but on different schedules. However, there's a core group of us who still get together when we can, with whoever is around, and I still love it. Nowadays it's not so much for support and more for fun, but we still exchange information and share experiences and it continues to be something I'm really glad I have.

One of the reasons I liked the idea of Baby Basics NYC was because they provide the same kind of community and support that I was able to get for myself from my moms group and other events and resources that don't cost much, but if you're struggling to afford diapers, you certainly aren't going to spend your money on. The people who most need that support are not those who can afford it. And of course, no one should have to worry about being able to afford enough diapers.

If you haven't already, please make a donation to this organization, whether or not you enter the giveaway. And if you are planning on entering the giveaway, don't forget, tomorrow is the last day that you can!

nyc baby, child and family photographer alethea cheng fitzpatrick is based in brooklyn and specializes in contemporary, natural light portraiture. view her portfolio of babieschildren or families or send her an e-mail here!