Ashley is a Christian wife and mama, an organised-creative, traveller, coffee drinker, and ponderer. She's a work from home mama - writing and photographing beautiful families with the desire to capture story!
I loved capturing Blair Vargas’s beautiful family and her little baby bump. They were so sweet, and it was adorable watching Hazel take photos and run around. Hazel has the cutest little personality, and I think she will be a great big sister in a couple months!!
Congrats on the upcoming arrival of your little lady!!
I just scrolled back through to find my post about Eleanor on her second birthday, and after reading that, I am realizing just how big this last year has been for Eleanor…for all of us. The two obvious events – getting a new brother and moving to a new country. Although she had been to the US before, up until December, it wasn’t actually her country per say. She was born in Australia, and she spent the majority of her first few years of life there. It’s sort of hard for me to realize that she’s not actually going to remember living there, and she’s already started to forget some of the people she spent every day with, even though we often look through old photos and FaceTime our friends that are still there.
In the last year, Eleanor went from “beginning conversational” talking to “non-stop talker and singer.” Some of the things she says are unbelievable, and we laugh so hard. She expresses herself with her hands sometimes, and it’s so funny to see how she is like Robbie in that way. She has quite an imagination, and she’ll take us on adventures and missions all day. She has picked up a love for singing, and her ability to memorize songs is super impressive. I’m going to give that one to Robbie, too, because it takes me quite a bit of effort to memorize new songs. More recently we went to see the musical Annie at a local theatre, and you bet it’s been on repeat in the car ever since. She’s got most of the soundtrack memorized!
Some of Eleanor’s favorites over this past year have been dancing, more specifically ballet, and she will be doing dancing lessons for the first time later this month. I can’t wait to see this in action! She loves to help out in the kitchen, and when we got back to the States, my Dad had made her a kitchen helper, which is the perfect height for her to help. She loves dresses and having her nails painted, but she’s also not afraid to get messy and play outside. She loves to be outside, and I am so grateful for my parents backyard, which has been so wonderful as it’s warmed up. She loves singing! She loves reading books, and we’ve been to the library many times. She loves play places and playgrounds, although she’s gotten a little apprehensive on some of the bigger parts of a playground more recently. She also loves any sort of arts and crafts, and when she’s gone to summer camp at points through the summer, she’s come home with so many craft projects.
Eleanor – we love you so, so much, and we are so proud of the little lady you are becoming. You are growing in so many ways, figuring out the world around you and relationships, testing boundaries, loving hard and laughing much. We love being your parents so much, and we can’t imagine what this next year will bring! LOVE YOU!!! Happy 3rd Birthday my girl!!!
I am approaching a week overdue for this update, but hey, better late than never. (And I’ve definitely been much later than a week!!) Otis turned 9 months last Sunday, and once again, it snuck up on all of us. He just had his 9-month checkup, and it was mind-blowing when they gave me the follow-up paper that said to return after he’s one. Only a few more months!
Highlights & Milestones
Otis had a big month on the movement front. He went from army crawling and sort of scooting around to fully crawling, and the kid is crazy fast. I forgot just how fast crawling babies get. He is loving his newfound freedom to explore, and boy is he exploring. The other day, he was in the living room playing with toys one second, and all of a sudden, he was gone. We could hear him, though, so we followed his little squeals and yells and found him near the bathroom. He loves his baths, so I suppose that’s where he was heading. It’s a whole different ballgame figuring out what needs to be baby-proofed in my parents house. Not only is it much bigger than our flat in Australia, but there’s also a lot more for Otis to get into. Have I mentioned how easy it is to get into the dog’s food and water bowls?
Otis went to the water park for the first time this month, and it was his first time in swimming gear as well. He wasn’t a fan of the water part, but he definitely liked watching all the kids run around and play. The water was decently cold, and I remember Eleanor not enjoying water at this age. I’m hoping to get them both into some swim lessons soon, though, so they’re a bit more comfortable in the water before our trip to South Carolina in August. I’ve also learned my lesson after two failed attempts at the water park by myself with two kids – bring reinforcements!!
Otis’s top two teeth came in this past month, and he’s already working on more. He has gotten his teeth so much quicker than Eleanor did! His toothy grin is so sweet!
A few highlights were watching the Indy 500 Parade with some friends, as well as both kids’ first time to an Indians game. Otis also tried the swings at the park for the first time and really enjoyed that!
We got Otis a shirt this month that has a lion on the front and says “Little Guy. Big Roar.” It’s so fitting for him right now because he can seriously be SO loud. He is really into shouting, squealing and growling at the moment. I “think” he has said “Mumma” a few times over the last week, but it’s not repeatable at this point. Hopefully he’ll commit to saying that one first, though, because Eleanor said “Dadda” first.
Otis’s favorite game is peek-a-boo or chase around with Eleanor, and he loves the buildup the most. He laughs so hard when he’s getting his diaper changed and Eleanor runs back and forth to him. They’ve also created a little game where Eleanor will run loops inside the house and one of us will be chasing her with Otis “flying” in our arms. They both laugh so hard. It’s quite a workout after awhile!
Otis is a little guy just like his sister was, and he’s riding the bottom line of the charts just like her. He’s actually on formula now after a month and half of transition. It was surprising for all of us considering I breastfed Eleanor until 16-months, but it’s a perfect example of taking each child as a unique individual and doing what’s best for them. No comparison! He’s also sleeping through the night most nights now, which is so wonderful. Overall, he’s hitting a lot of milestones, and there seems to be almost daily highlights with this little cutie!!
Anything outside – backyard, front porch, long walks, parks, zoos, etc.
Peek-a-boo and tag/chase
Gaga and Papaw
Being thrown in the air, flying around chasing big sister, swinging, going down the slide (held of course)
Bathtime and splashing
Having to wait for food or a bottle
If I leave a room too fast
Being in the car too long (especially if he’s hungry)
How Am I Doing?
I’m not sure how/if I can answer this question fully. We had a major setback last week as a family that I’m not going to go into, but I’ll just say it rocked me a lot. Outside of that, which is sort of hard to differentiate but nonetheless, I am doing well. Eleanor and Otis are both doing well, and I feel like we are getting into a bit more of a rhythm at home. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say I am not as well as I was doing a week ago. Again, I don’t want to get into it, but I do know this – we will be ok and we will get past this. God is good. God is with us and for us. We are ok. So I’ll leave it there and finish with a cute photo of Otis working on his downward dog yoga pose. ;)