My favorite photos of this series are the ones of Maya and Rocco in our bed. They make me melt! To see Maya really come into her big sister role, is heartwarming and deliciously sweet. There’s been minimal episodes of jealousy; instead, she’s enveloped her baby brother in a bubble of love, hugs, and picnic tea parties, that is beautiful to watch. She constantly wants to hold him, kiss him, carry him (until she says he’s just too heavy), and she loves to sing (only original songs written by Maya and the occasional twinkle, twinkle) and talk to him while he’s hanging out in the crib and he’s just mesmerized by her voice. The moment she speaks or comes into the room, he just stares at her and nothing else matters. He smiles and follows her every move around the room. I only hope this sweet connection continues as they grow older! I hope he’s ready for a bossy sister that’s going to have her way with him. He’ll know early on what an independent and confident girl looks like!
Consider this my official introduction of Rocco Sebastian Buccio, the newest member of the Buccio posse and one of the most beautiful and loved babies you will ever meet! He’s a looker! And I’m not just saying that because I’m his proud momma!
And to properly give him his ‘Circle-of-Life’ moment in the spotlight, I teamed up with photographers extraordinaire, Tutti Bambini Photography (https://www.tutti-bambini.com/capturing-your-life-moments-tutti-bambini-photography/), to capture our growing family during a laid back photo session in our apartment. When Maya was born, I wanted your typical all-frills newborn photo shoot with tutus, and headbands, and Pinterest inspired backdrops and poses. After all, she was my first and I was so excited to have some girlish fun! This time around though, I wanted the complete opposite. I opted to shelf the pomp and circumstance, and focus on a more lifestyle-approach. I wanted it to be casual, family-focused, and ‘easy like Sunday morning.’ Literally. There would be no tutus, little to no photoshopping, and no Spielberg-like sets. There’s a happy chaos that exists in our lives at the moment (and in our cozy apartment), and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Maybe the one not-so-casual element of this shoot was my hair and makeup! Ha! First off, during Maya’s newborn session, I was in the throws of baby blues, which meant I was sporting a nice set of puffy eyes from all the tears. I made maybe one or two appearances during the shoot because I was a mess. So because I was in much better spirits and my hormones were somewhat stable after Rocco’s birth, I really wanted to be a part of these memories so I indulged in making myself all pretty and I’m unapologetic for it!
At Tutti Bambini, they’re all about family and they’re all about giving their clients the experience they envision. I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with a slew of photographers that are talented and inspiring, but more importantly, they listen. Without that open dialogue and communication, there can’t exist a beautiful and well-meaning execution of the photographic dream you hope to bring to life. This is my second time working with the Tutti Bambini photography team and it’s always such a pleasure to team up with a wonderful group of women that not only listen, but they empower, they make you feel comfortable, and they are there to help you every step of the way. I have collaborated with the brand for different opportunities and what I love most about them is that they’re consistent in the attention and service they provide. CEO and owner, Lourdes, and her fabulous team of experts, are always on hand to walk you through any need- whether its purchasing your first car seat or setting up your baby’s first birthday- there’s a genuine attitude of creating happy memories for you and your family.
When I approached Melissa at Tutti Bambini Photography about what I wanted for my family session, she was very much on board! We talked about shooting a few photos at our apartment and then taking a walk to the park across the street to capture a few images outside. And because we live in Miami and the weather is temperamental, we had to nix the park session due to rain! We did reconvene a few weeks later at their studio to finish the session in their outside space.
These pictures were taken a few days after coming home from the hospital, needless to say, our house was in a period of transition! Coco was fresh off an Achilles surgery, rolling around in a knee scooter and a walking boot, Maya hadn’t taken a nap (because of course, why would she take a nap on the day I really needed her to?!), and as for me, I was trying to juggle a few new motherhood balls amidst a tsunami of exhaustion. Two kids is a whole other world!
Melissa came equipped with a bag of tricks- including this device called the Shusher, which basically puts a sleep spell on your baby (http://www.babyshusher.com). OMG that thing is a miracle worker! Maybe I’d been living under a rock but I had never heard of it and I think it’s genius (seriously, why couldn’t I think of inventing that?!) It’s also available at Tutti Bambini. To say I had a happy and cooperative baby during the shoot, was the understatement of the century! Too bad the shusher didn’t work for Maya! But Cinderella on Netflix did. Once she saw a few minutes of the Lily James feature, she was back to being her bubbly and energetic self.
Note to self: Never plan photo shoots if you’re child hasn’t napped, missed her nap, or won’t go down for a nap. The only thing you’ll get is a nightmare.
Here’s a little something you can’t see (or maybe you can) from our second series of photos- we were running on fumes! I could have probably fallen asleep standing up, and probably did. It goes to show you, no matter how beautiful or perfect a photo session might look, there’s always a little thing called ‘reality’ lurking in the wings! So next time you’re browsing photos from someone’s mess-free photo shoot or holiday card, remember there’s probably baby spit-up on the back of that mom’s dress, and the adorably photogenic little boy probably just recovered from a massive tantrum! And that’s okay, because it happens and that’s all part of the adventures of parenting. So if for one afternoon, you want to live and capture your family in an idyllic snapshot, why not?! You’re entitled to pretend that spit up is only a figment of your imagination!
I purposely set up the session in the afternoon so that Maya could nap at school, only to find out when I picked her up early, that she stayed up during nap time. Surprise, surprise! Coco’s ankle was swollen and made it difficult to walk leading to some angst and frustration. The only unfazed member of the family was Rocco! At least one of us was well-rested. But as they say, the show must go on! We kicked it into overdrive (for 30 minutes), and brought on our fierce ‘we’re not tired’ photo game for a few more shots. And no matter how tired, how exhausted, how overwhelming and wonderful that initial adjustment has been in becoming a family of four, it has by far been the most gratifying and fulfilling experience of my life. It’s been worth the lack of sleep.
Side note, how ridiculously cute are Rocco’s fox slip on shoes?! I’m so looking forward to playing dress up with my handsome sidekick!
Momma and poppa are smitten with this little angel. When I found out we were having a boy, I was happy. But I wasn’t jumping for joy the way I was when I found out I was having a girl. I didn’t know the first thing about boys, and neither did Coco. I was afraid I would be clueless. I knew that I would love this kid-hard; I just didn’t know how. Would we connect? Would I parent him the same way I do Maya? Would he love me the way Maya loved me? Would we share an indescribable mother and son bond? All those questions popped into my head while I was pregnant and now that he’s here, I can’t even begin to put into words the intensely overpowering love that I feel for this kid. It is mind blowing. Maya and Rocco have taken ownership of my heart.
Rocco has turned me to mush. Not that I wasn’t mush with Maya, the girl would smile at me (still does) and I would fall apart, but he has made me a blubbering momma! When he cries, I get teary-eyed. When he looks at me, I get teary-eyed. I can’t explain it, but with Rocco, it’s a different type of gaga. I feel an immense responsibility towards him. I want to love him like no one will and I want to teach him to be a kind, respectful and nurturing man, and I know that starts with me. I want his future wife to write me a thank you card everyday for raising such a loving man, because there aren’t many (except for Coco) that exist in the world. That’s my hope for my little boy.
Because I lost my mom at such a young age, I’m so conscious of teaching Maya how to be an independent, self-sufficient, determined and strong young lady. I push her because I know what she’s capable of and I want her to be able to take care of herself when she’s all grown up. I’m not easily whittled to tears when she scrapes her knee or comes home upset from school on that rare occasion. I’m there to comfort her, to hold her, to tell her it’s okay to be sad or hurt, and then I help her build herself back up and I give her a push of encouragement. I want her to know and experience just how wonderful, how strong, how empathetic, and more importantly, how independent she is. And that’s my hope for my little girl.
Life has a way of throwing you curve balls and putting forth teachable moments in your path. I’m blessed to have a partner and a husband who walks that path with me, and who respects and loves me and our family until the end of the world. We have two happy and healthy children that we love more than our hearts could comprehend. This is the definition of having a rich life. Because whether you’re navigating happy waters or challenging ones, there’s nothing else that matters most than those that are by your side.
To book your session with Tutti Bambini Photography, visit https://www.tutti-bambini.com/capturing-your-life-moments-tutti-bambini-photography/ or call (305) 669-1400. Follow them on Instagram at @Tuttibambiniphotography
Kat (Rocco and Maya’s mom)