Letters to Our Children

Letters to Our Children | November

Your baba told you that that is a "river stirrer."

Your baba told you that that is a "river stirrer."

Dear Children: 

I am typing this blog lying in bed because someone is having major bouts of separation anxiety. You (Max) just woke not long ago sobbing and screaming devastatingly "mama mama maaaamaaaaasaaaaa." That was one thing I dreaded knowing that you are using more and more words...it's kind of heartbreaking. Not wanting to have that happen again but not wanting to miss my deadline, I decided to be techy and download the blog app. See kids, always be a solution seeker!

Alright guys. This week's sole focus is to recover from jetlag after returning from Taiwan and Hong Kong Saturday evening. We are all waking at 2 or 3 am and you and M are completely overtired by dinner time. The trip to Taipei, Hualien, and Hong Kong was worth it though! Esp when you guys met my grandma - I will be forever grateful that we got to spend this time with her. Though I am not going to lie that it stressed me out A LOT that you guys rode in cars and buses and vans without car seats and seat belts. 

E - you said that Hong Kong is your favorite because of juice. Juice means this juice booth about two blocks from our airbnb that makes fresh juice. I was surprised at your willingness to learn and speak some Chinese, especially strangers. Your dad and I were also so proud at how much more willing you were to engage others and were really surprised that you seemed to be less shy in Asia. You would pay for things yourself..going up to cashiers and saying "xie xie" in Taiwan or "hm goy" in Hong Kong. You told me that you want to go to Chinese school, so I definitely want to make that happen! Notable memory from this trip: you got your hand stuck in between two glass sliding doors at a bakery in Taipei. You stuck your hand in and then got caught when M triggered the automatic doors. The rescue was quite dramatic and the bakery lady wasn't too thrilled. 

M - You were a handful. It was rough battling separation anxiety and losing your mind because we won't let you do everything that you want to do...like roaming the crazy busy streets of Asia or stomping around on the subway and MTRs. I can't blame you though...age wise, it is rough traveling as a 1.5 year old. You threw so many tantrums that I lost count. But I won't forget the tantrums you threw face down in very dirty public spaces and then picked up a mild case of impetigo. We have photographs to remind you once you are older. 

Can't wait to get our film scans back on this vacation and to relive our travel adventures with you two.

Mama is too jet lagged and tired to write more right now..GOOD NIGHT.




Ready for memories like this with your family? Contact me to book a session near Ventura, CA!

Po Chi Fung is a Ventura County Lifestyle Family and Newborn Photographer, also serving Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and other surrounding areas. She captures real-life moments with a documentary approach on film to tell your family's story. 

Letters to our Children | September // Ventura Family Photographer

Hello my children,

I am enjoying this change of season and really, the change of pace! We are finally home for some weekends before we take our long vacation in Asia, yippeeeeee! We had the best time in Vermont for your Aunt Ruth's wedding, spending most of our time paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. It was SO SO great to spend that time with you and being present and not rushing every second of the day. That weekend really made your baba and I think about the life we want. Gosh peeps, this summer was a great one..and now we get to look forward to the cool, breezy weather, sweaters, Halloween, and pumpkin chocolate muffins :)

Alright, since I always start with Evie, out of fairness, I'll start with Max this time.

My dearest Max - Oh little babe, you're not so little anymore! You're running, doing naughty things and even instigating couch jumping with your sister. You love to say "cheers" and cheer us with your cup, chicken drumsticks, blueberries, and anything else in your hand. You are so sweet, you give the warmest hugs, and you have the best giggles. You are friendly and social..and oh my gosh, I think an extrovert! You're not afraid to run into a group of new friends and just start playing. I love that about you.  You're also testing boundaries and I'm also starting to have to show you where these boundaries are. Your baba laughs at me every time I try to enforce rules with you because he knows how badly I want to cave. I'm going to admit that if he wasn't watching, I might have bend a few of them for you but it wouldn't be fair to your big sister, so I am trying my best. Currently, you are practicing using your spoon rather obsessively and I am happy to report that you're doing a pretty good job. You love to dance and clap to music, and you love to be rowdy! You love Evie and you want to do all the things that she can do.  While we were at the lake, we realized you were crying in the water not because you were cold or wanted to get out, but because you wanted to jump into the water from the boat like Evie was doing! Also, the way you stare at her when she's practicing on her balance bike is a mixture of envy and desire.

Oh my dearest Evie - I am pretty sure I have said "gosh, 3 is hard!" 4000 times!!!! I know it is developmental but it is really hard to not react when you are yelling! Thank god I know how cool and wonderful you are.  But anyways, you are growing so fast that I can't believe it sometimes. You are speaking and articulating your thoughts so well. That other day, I heard you saying alphabets out loud and counting in Spanish. You're about to transition into the next classroom and you are so excited. It was so neat to see this renewed excitement for school and you wanting to be a big kid and do big kid things. You're becoming quite the story teller and you make pretty funny jokes. That other day you and I were talking about dinosaurs and I told you they were extinct. You kept saying "why do they stink!?" HAHA. You apparently also really love the word "booty-butt." This morning, you said, "mama, I am sorry I hit your booty-butt." Where did you learn that word, my love?  Also, I love that you ask about what I do. You were thrilled when I showed you my "homework," which was a couple pages of tracked changes on a document. You said that I did a good job, thanks! We are so glad you are ours and we are learning to work with you.  The biggest development since the last month is your skill on the balance bike. YOU ARE SO GOOD, like better than mama on the bike good, which doesn't say much but still! You started showing an interest a few weeks ago and asking to practice every day. You went from falling down a bunch to riding like a pro and doing trips up and down the street. We are so proud of you and I think you love that. But we try to remind you that you need to do things for you, not only to please us or make us proud. I hope you remember that throughout your life.  That other day, a few kids took interest in your bike. We thought you were making friends but instead, you left your bike with them and walked towards us with a giant pouty face.  It worries me that you didn't want to ask for your bike back nicely and you didn't do anything about it..but I also reminded myself that you're little still! I hope that once you're older, you'll know that sharing is great but asking for what is yours or deserve (in a nice way) also isn't a bad thing.  You'll figure it out your way, I know. 

Alright kids, love you guys to the moon and back. 



Po Chi Fung is a Ventura County Newborn and Family and Newborn Photographer, also serving Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and other surrounding areas. She captures real-life moments with a documentary approach on film to tell your family's story. 

Letters to our Children | August


Good job me not missing my deadline!

Dear Kids,

It's been an insanely busy summer! We've been out of town two weekends in a row in August and your baba and I are still trying to recover and get the house in order. It's all worth it though! We visited Addie and spent her 100th birthday with her and the rest of the gang. I wish so much that I could put in a time capsule all the feelings I felt when we visited Addie.  Addie lives in a really neat community for the elderly and when she walked you guys around in her rolling walker, everyone looked and had this glow on their faces. It was pure joy and happiness that I think they felt watching two energetic and hilarious young children running around...likely thinking about their own grandchildren and remembering what it was like to have babies and toddlers during their lifetimes. It made me so happy that you guys brought a smile to their faces and even laughter. I saw an elderly man belly laugh when Max was banging on the window and pulling on the curtain of the dining room that we were in. Addie loves you guys so much and I hope by writing this down that it'll help provide you with some memories of her even after you guys are old. She told everyone she walked by that you guys were her legacy, her inheritance. She's a marvelous lady, I've never met anyone like her. Evie - that is why your middle name is named after her. 

Then we were with your Nonnie, so that we could be there for the dedication of a High school stadium press box that has your grandpa's name across it! He dedicated his life to his community and his spirit lives on brightly in all those who knew him..especially in his jokes. You can ask baba which ones he stole from him!

My peepsy peeps..you've been crazy. Evie, you are getting better and better at negotiating and debating. You and Max have started fighting over toys and my lap space! It's mostly Max getting upset that you're in my lap at all and then tries to push you out of the way. Max, you are starting to say some words like no (while frantically shaking your head), cheers, baba, mama, and agua (your favorite and first real word). You guys stress me out sometimes (ok, a lot) but are also the brightest spots in my day. I wish all day that I had more time with the two of you. Evie, I also know that we need to have more time together. I know that it is unfair sometimes when I am short with you or don't spend enough time with you, especially when Max is ultra grumpy and requires all my time. The guilt eats me up...but I know it'll improve over time!! I love you both so much.  And speaking of love. Your baba and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary!!!  We are all so lucky that he's in our lives. Can you imagine how boring it would be without him?? Who would be your mud monster and who would throw you guys in the lake?

It is hard to imagine how far we've come in just 4 years but I know how lucky we are and how lucky I am to have him support me, listen to me vent about ridiculously stupid things, and be there to make sure I didn't get in trouble. HA. We recently spent some time at the Confluence Resort where we got married and wanted to do some contrast photos to show you how much our family has grown! Alright, enjoy the photos. Love you!


*All wedding photos by Kristi Odom.

Evie stole my move!

Evie stole my move!


*Po Chi Fung is a Washington DC and MD lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Potomac

Letters to our Children | July

Dear Children, you are everything good in this world to me. And in light of all the tragedies that seem to be happening weekly..hell, daily, I've been hiding behind you, your infectious belly giggles, and sinking into your warm embrace even more whenever I need reassurance that this world is going to be okay. It is going to be okay because we love each other and because your dad and I, along with many good people we know, are doing our best to raise our children to be kind and loving, to ALL types of people, and to fight injustice.  The justice league is in your blood, so don't try to deny it, alright? :)

Evie - After our mama-daughter breakfast date to the donut shop and drop off at daycare, I had this inkling that I've never had before. An inkling that you will somehow be my rock..our family's rock.  What I currently see as ridiculous stubbornness and uncrushable relentlessness will transform into the bravest, strongest, and most stable person in our lives one day.  Somehow I just feel that in my gut.  In so many ways, that is already true.  You are also a sensitive soul and oh boy, SO COMPETITIVE. You want to be first in everything, just like your baba!  We are trying to teach you to be a team player and how to be a good winner and loser.  What fun and how lucky we are to have you in our lives, my amazing first born. I was sitting beside you at breakfast today and you asked me to move to the seat across from you because "you couldn't see me!" That made me the happiest human on earth. I can't wait to take you to your first movie at the theater on Saturday and have more fun mama-E time.

Max - In the last few weeks, you finally started eating and loving solids!!! Your baba and I couldn't believe it when you kept asking for food and asking for more cherries after you already ate a ton.  I thought someone switched my baby boy! You are hilarious, sweet, and loving. You and Evie are playing more and more together. There are some fighting over toys but you've actually been a really good sport. And so much giggling between you and your Ga Je.  You look up to her, especially when she is riding her bicycle. You run, you walk a lot, and you even walk down some steps like a big boy, and you've been going on the bike with your baba. He said you even giggled on the bike a few times today, it's a huge deal because you can be so stoic! Your first real word that you keep using is AGUA. Good for you, always hydrate my sweety sweet. 

This is such a fun time in our lives and I imagine that I will be thinking about this summer for the rest of my life.

I love you guys so much.




*Po Chi Fung is a Washington DC and MD lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Potomac

Letters to our Children | June

Dear Children, you guys are hilarious and sometimes a bit insane...

Evie, you crack me up every day. That other day, when your Baba asked you why you didn't nap at school, you replied, "My eyes are dead, they were resting." I must admit that I said WTF out loud, laughed, and then made a mental note that we need to somehow incorporate those words in a song for your future rock n roll band.  You also called your father garbage recently and when we discussed this topic further, you looked me firmly in the eyes are said, "But some people ARE garbage, right Mama?" I'm like, "hmm. absolutely, but not your dad."  Then you went and asked the babysitter if she has boobies...and then whether or not there is milk inside...then you told her her stomach was big.  Oh gosh. 

I am not going to lie, Evie, the 3's have been difficult. There's been more "Stop what you are doing! Don't make me count to 3! It is dangerous! YOU NEED TO LISTEN" more than your dad and I had imagined. It seems to be this continuous test on boundaries throughout the whole day. We are learning to work with you as we go but take it easy on us every once in a while, alright?

Max, you are becoming a riot. It was somewhat shocking that my sweet sweet baby boy transformed into an opinionated and sometimes demanding little toddler.  You are coming into your own and the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. You are stubborn and determined like your dad and I but in different ways than Evie.  You now protest if you don't get what you want or isn't given what you "asked" for.  You still enjoy reading and playing by yourself but you are becoming so much more interactive.  You loved the kitty cat dance party with your dad and your sister that other day. Watching you have a blast with your sister just makes my mama heart burst.

Life is so lively with the two of you. And I love it.




Po Chi Fung is a Ventura County Lifestyle Family and Newborn Photographer, also serving Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and other surrounding areas. She captures real-life moments with a documentary approach on film to tell your family's story. 

Letters to our children | May

Dear children,

Looking at these photographs from your "younger days" taken at the very beginning of my film photography journey and then looking at photographs from the most recent rolls I got developed, I can't help but reminisce. I reminisce about how little the both of you were. Max, you were still a small baby; Evie you still had some baby fat on you..a toddler, not yet a big girl. 

Max, you are running circles around me nowadays, your favorite activity seems to be un-tidying the toys and books the SECOND I tidy and stack. You are even throwing tantrums when you don't get what you want...mostly when I wouldn't let you drink water all throughout dinner. I guess I should have been prepared that you'd start to express your opinions loudly, but I wasn't ready my sweet boy.  You continue to be amazed by your Ga Je and laugh and babble and cheer whenever you know she is coming to hang out with you. 

Evie, you are my sassy, smart, and sweet girl.  Just that other day you asked if you could have a fruit as a snack after school. We said yes you can have fruit - pear, apple, banana. Then you proceeded to verify that pears, apples, and bananas were fruit. Then you asked, "is a juice box a fruit?" After I mumbled some answers, you asked, "can I have a juice box then?"  You are a smartie pants in my book and I think this will serve you well in all aspects of your life.  Though you are relentless and demanding with us, your Baba and I saw a different side of you this weekend at your classmate's birthday party.  We watched you wait your turn patiently and even watched how you did not complain or make a fuss when they forgot to give you a piece of cupcake that you had been so excitedly for.  I wished you spoke up but also know that you are learning how to be "on your own" and how to navigate the world in your own way.  Your Baba and I have so much to learn with regards to learning when we should be helping you navigate things and letting you do it on your own. 

Guys, you are my everything (well..your dad too of course). Someone once told me that having kids give you a chance to learn how to be a better person and I couldn't agree more.  I'm still learning how to take better care of myself and take better care of you guys. I am thankful for everything that we have. But I'm not going to lie that there aren't hard days when I feel completely overspent and stressed and proceed to lose my crap.  There will always be those kind of days I guess regardless of the circumstances we are dealt, but I hope that over time, you will see that even if I lose my shit that I could calm down quickly, compose myself, move on from all the negative emotions, and deal with things I need to deal with. And maybe one day, I'll be able to do all that without losing any control..because that's the kind of example I want to set for you.

I love you both more than I can ever say.




*Po Chi Fung is a Washington DC and MD lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Potomac

Letters to our children | April

Hey ya kids.

What's been going on? We had a blast celebrating Evie's birthday at the beginning of the month with lots of good friends.  Your father had knee surgery about a week ago to correct some knee issues that he's been having for a while. Evie, you've been (most of the time) a good assistant in caring for the patient and being really understanding that he can't give your shoulder rides for the time being.  You ask almost everyday whether or not his knee is fixed, it is quite sweet.  It was somewhat of a rough transition having your dad suddenly be out of commission in helping reign you two little monsters in but in all of this, I am thankful for having quality time to really spend with the two of you together. <3

Evie - you are testing your limits everyday, including limits to our patience.  Some days when I lose my marbles, I raise my voice because I can't handle it. I hope you take my apologies seriously because I am truly sorry.  You are extremely persistent in asking me for treats every day when I pick you up from school. I appreciate you wanting things and happy that you keep trying but that doesn't mean I'll always give in! Oh yeah, yesterday when I was with you in the women's bathroom at a restaurant, you said something super profound.  You said, "mama, this bathroom is really big, isn't it?" I love you honey boo.

Max! You started walking on your sister's birthday...not to be outdone huh, buddy?  You are toddling around the house, with your arms up on your sides and with a wide stance, as if you own the ground you walk on! Your walking style has been described as sumo wrestler and cowboy-like.  You love laughing and being rowdy with your sister and baba. Whenever you guys get rowdy at the dinner table (i.e screaming with joy and egging one another on), I am always part disgusted (1%) and part happy (99%) that you guys are my family.  You are growing up so fast and I am trying very hard to hold on and enjoy every second of it.




*Po Chi Fung is a Washington DC and MD lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Potomac


Letters to our children | March

Alright guys, spring is finally here and we have fun birthday parties coming up. EEK! 

Evie - I just sent you off with 12 vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting and a bag of veggie straws for your little birthday party at preschool.  The excitement on your face was worth all the energy I put into each one.  I can already imagine how wide your smile is going to be when the teacher brings them out and it makes me so so happy.  Your dad just came home and said he offered to stop the car so you could eat a cupcake. But you said no and that these cupcakes are for your friends and teachers. HAHA.  Evie, I'm so excited that we'll be taking you on a 2 on 1 day trip tomorrow, we don't get a whole lot of that dad/mama/Evie time these days, do we?  It seems your second year of life flew by and in some ways it is really bittersweet for me because I missed so much of it caring for Max.  A part of me wishes I had just brought Max along to more of your outings but I think I was also just trying to figure out how to care for a little baby again and keep my sanity.  I'll make it up to you, promise! 

You are looking more and more like a little girl.  Even when I search and search your face for signs of baby, l fail.  And you are definitely talking more and more. We love asking you to tell us stories, so you've been telling us stories about Joe the doggy and all sorts of other wild imagined things.  I'm not much of a storyteller but I will remember for always the night we lied down when you asked me to tell you a story and I told you about us taking Joe to the beach. And how Joe sat on my lap in the front seat with his head out the window, his ears flopping in the wind.  You told me it was a good story.  That might have been the best thing I've accomplished. Love you. 

Max - The long wonder week seems to finally be over! No more intense screaming and crying every time I walk out of your sight!  You and I had a short Max and Mama trip to California last week, all by ourselves.  It was for Mr. Zabel's memorial service. He was my math team coach when I was from 5th-8th grade.  I pray that you and Evie will have teachers and mentors as amazing as he was, that would make us all so lucky.  I think you had a good time with your paw paw, gong gong, and Aunt Ying Ying and you loved all the attention!  You're cruising a lot more, babbling, and eating more solids.  You love watching your ga je, jumping in the crib with her, yanking the mouse off your dad's desk, and chewing your sippy cup.  You are calm and relaxed, enjoy alone time, and can giggle the best giggles in the world when you feel like it.  Your glare and stoic looks are also well practiced by now. 

My babies - there are so many tiring days where your father and I hum and haw at the dining table talking about the injustices of our world...but because of the two of you, there are so many many more moments where I thank the universe that we have your giggles to live off of. Thanks for bringing meaning to our lives.

Love, Mama.



*Po Chi Fung is a Washington DC and MD lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Potomac