Everyday Stories | Long Island Family Documentary Photographer

Well, March has arrived. A few little crocus blossoms have sprung up on our front lawn, with the promise of Spring not long behind. It is still a bit grey and gloomy out, with a threat of more snow for next week, but Daylight Savings is this weekend, and I for one am looking very forward to that extra hour of light at the end of the day. 

The kids are enjoying being back at school after the winter break. Logan seems to have fully given up his nap, much to my dismay, so I have been giving into it and taking him out in the afternoons when the weather allows (or attempting a car nap!) while Lila is in school. Lila has been talking more and more about kindergarten, which she is looking very forward to. I am trying to ignore the stomach flips I am having every time I think about her being in school full time. Part of me is excited, and part of me will really, really miss her.

Here's a look at a few stories from our week.


"Goodbye naps"

This week I finally came to terms with the fact that crib naps are over. If I can't get any work done in the afternoons, then we are getting the heck out of the house. I took you down to the duck pond one afternoon to check it out. We've driven by it a zillion times but never stopped. The playground there was a bit out of your league, but you had fun on the swing until I got bored with pushing you and convinced you to go for a walk instead. You stayed a safe distance from the water, which was unsurprising considering you are terrified of the bath, and we wandered around the pond for a while. You were fascinated (as was I) by all the seagulls sitting in a perfect row along the railing. The high school let out at three o'clock and soon the park was overrun with teenagers, so we made our exit. Although I mourn the loss of the blessed nap time, I am grateful for this time to adventure with you. As the second child, its about time you had your one-on-one time with mom.


We had fun celebrating Lucy-with-the brown-hair's birthday (not to be confused with Lucy-with-the-yellow-hair, your other cousin) over the weekend. It's kind of crazy to see the two of you looking so tall and grown. It seems like just yesterday you were both babies. Time sure does fly. You are so lucky to be growing up near your cousins and aunts and uncles. I hope you will look back on these family parties in the years to come with fondness. I know I do with the few I can remember. How lucky you are to be a part of this whacky tribe.


You spent most of the party giving Charlotte the side eye, not really knowing what to make of this little girl, this littler-than-you girl. You are so used to being the "baby" in your day-to-day life that to encounter someone smaller... well, I think it threw you for a loop. And then when Charlotte sat in my lap, and you realized your spot had been usurped.... that didn't sit well at all. So when I peeked through the streamers and saw the two of you together peeking out the front door, not knowing anyone was watching, and you reached over and tenderly touched Charlotte's shoulder as if to reassure or comfort her or let her know it was alright... well, I melted inside. It was the first time I've seen you be the "caretaker", the elder. You are such a love. I hope you always remain as kind and chivalrous as you were in that moment.

"The Magic of Play Doh"

It has been a long winter, and I am not always the best at coming up with projects for you to do indoors. It is lucky for me that you both love to draw, but sometimes that gets old, and you look at me for another idea. We have resorted a lot of movies and TV shows this winter. Too many. I went downstairs on Sunday to search for something, anything for you to do that would not require a screen. 22 degrees was too cold to be venturing outside. I found the Play Doh. It had been a while since we pulled out the Play Doh. I wasn't sure how it would go over, but - oh, it was a miracle - you both played quietly and calmly for at least an hour with it! No fighting, no begging for TV. It was like a little gift from heaven on that frigid Sunday afternoon! Thank you Play Doh gods! 

"Baby of mine"

Will you always have my heart wrapped around your little finger? Will you always manipulate me with your big blue eyes and your plentiful kisses.... I am betting on it. Yep, I am betting on it.

Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family's story in photos or a film, please contact her for a session!