Family, Personal

May 2020 | Family Documentary Photography | Oak Park, IL

Baby lying next to multi-colored blocks that read "one month"
Hi, I'm Kristen!
I'm an award-winning senior portrait and family photographer based out of Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area. I love sunshine, cacti, chocolate chips, and a great cup of tea - but most of all I love photographing joyful clients. :)
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Classy and comfortable senior portraits!
Relaxed and easy family portraits. and stunning artwork

Baby lying next to multi-colored blocks that read "one month"

Welcome to my May 2020 family documentary journal entry as I attempt to blog each month of the first year of my daughter’s life as a baby book of sorts. Back in May we were still feeling all kinds of weird about shelter-in-place and coronavirus – it had not yet become quite as mundane as it is now at the tail-end of August. Enjoy this month’s family documentary photography! I hope my daughter appreciates it in years to come.

Toddler looking at a playground closed off with warning tape due to the COVID-19 pandemic

“Portrait of a Sad Toddler during the Pandemic” (2020), iPhone.

Spring bulbs blooming in Scoville Park, Oak Park, IL

The park district does such an amazing job with the plantings around town. I have never lived anywhere where there was enough money in the town budget for seasonal plantings, but let me tell you, the property taxes around here are definitely high enough to pay for it. Loved their scilla “river”!

one-month old baby watching her brother read

I may have purchased this onesie a very long time ago in hopes there’d be a little person to wear it in the future. It makes me sappy and teary when I look at this! Love watching her watch big brother reading!

Baby lying next to multi-colored blocks that read "one month"

In the early days of the pandemic, Amazon delayed shipment of many items deemed “non-essential” in order to prioritize their deliveries. Shockingly, “baby is __ months old” blocks did not make the “essential” list, and so we improvised with these cool handmade blocks my parents made about thirty years ago! I love the family tie of using the handmade blocks. Also, I’m glad to be doing family documentary photography to showcase her first year, but can we talk about how hard it is to remember to take the cute “month with blocks or sticker” photo? With my first child without fail I’d get to bathtime and be like, “Oops. Quick! Write “11 months” on a post-it note and stick it to his tummy!” I’m trying to be more on top of it this time!

Toddler making banana bread and posing next to a 2-storey lilac tree

My son and I made lots of banana bread this month! I highly encourage you to give King Arthur Baking’s banana bread recipe a try – I’ve tried many banana bread recipes and this is my favorite! I know it links to a whole-wheat version, and that’s good, but we used white flour because that’s what we had on hand during the days when you couldn’t find toilet paper, yeast, or flour at the grocery store.

In the second image we just discovered that the dead-looking “tree” is actually a two-storey lilac bush!! They don’t grow anywhere near that big out on the west coast, so we were pretty excited!

Lawn covered with violets

Another new-to-us: violets! In the lawns! Definitely not a west-coast thing, but boy do I love it!

Smiling, swaddled baby

Somebody started smiling this month and it was FABULOUS.

White lilac blooms and father and son at Cheney Mansion in Oak Park, IL

Aforementioned lilac blooms, plus a trip to the Cheney Mansion to admire the spring flowers!

Baby sleeping on their tummy instead of doing tummy time

This girl had the wussiest neck muscles because we’d put her down to do tummy time and she’d just decide to go to sleep.

Baby sleeping in a father's arms

As you can see, sleeping was a popular hobby.

Toast with jam and a cocktail

Pandemic cuisine! The first is handmade no-knead bread, toasted with butter in a skillet and served with mixed-berry jam. Holy yum, Batman! The second is our extremely classy pandemic cocktail: riesling mixed with Crystal Light raspberry lemonade. It was…not awful.

Collage of a smiling, swaddled baby Mother holding a sleeping baby Mothers Day Zoom Tea Party

Mother’s Day Zoom Tea Party where everyone had to wear silly hats, or in our case, any hat we could find. Gotta find something novel to do every so often! My son had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into the shape of a heart because if you can’t be Extra during a tea party, when can you?

Man and son having a tea party Woman hugging two small children on a front porch

My mother’s day present: a photo of me and the kids taken with the fancy camera.

Laptop with faces from a birthday zoom meeting

Birthday zoom call for the family matriarch!

baby with a dragon wubbanub pacifier and wearing a sweatshirt with ears Toddler playing in the dirt with excavator and dump truck toys Toddler playing in the dirt with excavator and dump truck toys

This little dude was so excited that it warmed up enough to play outside in the dirt!

Collage: man wearing a baby in a carrier with a rainbow blanket wrapped around, wearing a cloth mask

COVID-19 walks around town, complete with baby carrier and blanket to keep her warm, and then my son’s heart picture (with some help from mom) to share with the graduating students from his school.

Smiling one month old baby Tiled "STOP" sign from an alley, cropped to read "OP" for Oak Park

Oak Park has tiled “STOP” letters at the end of each alley. I liked the “OP” for Oak Park! We went on many walks, and my son worked on learning to ride a bike!

Tea rack and spice rack

Meanwhile my husband finished making a tea rack for our extremely fancy tea, and also a new spice rack! If you didn’t already know, we are BIG tea drinkers in this house, and fancy tea from Whittard of Chelsea is our pandemic indulgence.

Family dining outdoors on a very small table

Fancy al fresco dining.

small baby fist Baby turning to look behind her

Baby smiling widely Chubby baby feet Pink peonies and woman with two small children taking a selfie

The front porch swing is getting a workout with the new baby, and we loved checking out these gorgeous peonies at the First United Church of Oak Park.

Pink peonies in front of the First United Church of Oak Park

I hope you enjoyed this month’s family documentary photography “baby book blog!” See you next month!

Kristen Hazelton is an Oak Park, IL (Chicago, IL metro area) and Livermore, CA (San Francisco East Bay Area) senior, family, and engagement photographer. She occasionally photographs in San Diego, CA, Tucson, AZ, and Seattle, WA. You can inquire about your own photoshoot here!

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