Austin Family and Children Photographer | Magan's Lens » Austin Family and Children Photographer, Magan Blasig

The fall is undoubtedly my busiest time of year. I’ve been scampering all over Austin for one session or another, feeling challenged and excited by each new day. I realize I’ve been pretty lax at posting my work so I thought I’d share a few recent photographs of what I’ve been up to lately. I’ve met and reunited with some good, good people and I’ve been so rejuvenated creatively. I’m having a fantastic fall season and I definitely hope to share more than just a photo or two of the amazing families/kids I’ve been spending time with on Magan’s Lens. Hold me to that, okay?

Magans Lens Baileys Senior Session Magans Lens: Fall FrenzyMagans Lens Family Photography Johnson Family Magans Lens: Fall Frenzy

IMG 5765 Magans Lens: Fall Frenzy

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Magans Lens Karmyn Papavasiliou Maternity Session Magans Lens: Fall Frenzy

Just a reminder, if you’re short on time or want just a few photos for Christmas cards this year, I’m holding Mini Sessions on November 1st. Email me for additional info or to book your session!

Fall Mini Session Announcement Magans Lens: Fall Frenzy

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Things Everett Liked/Did in Month Five:

  • Woke up during the night for at least an hour. Played happily, practiced push-ups, tried to sit-up, and crawled, for a little while, then began crying. (*Please note that this was something she enjoyed doing, but wasn’t as exciting for me because hearing her cry during the night is never fun. I did get a What to Expect email and her doctor confirmed they really do practice these things in the middle of the night. Her doctor said when sleep patterns change, they’re close to hitting another milestone. Interesting factoid I’d never heard before!)
  • She began pushing herself up into the crawling position, but couldn’t do more than rock her body back and forth.
  • Loved being IN her jumperoo/bouncer, but didn’t know how to bounce on her own. Everett interacted with the toys and played, though. She still had a difficult time reaching the floor.
  • Everett sat up well and for extended periods of times when I put her in the sitting position but wasn’t able to sit upright on her own yet.
  • She rolled everywhere, from one end of the living room to another. We had to keep an eye on her because she was no longer a stationary baby.
  • She shook her head from side to side when she was sleepy, and rubbed her little eyes when she was tired, too.
  • Everett loved interacting with toys and stuffing them in her mouth. She particularly enjoyed playing with measuring spoons while I was cooking. Also liked a ball from target that has finger grips, and a rattle from Sherry’s wedding. She would bang all of them and sometimes hit her head.
  • She enjoyed being in the stroller on our walks and loved spending time outside.
  • She began “talking” a lot more. We went through a few days of screeching (it was referred to a dinosaur-like sound) in the evenings. The sound hurt my ears, and thankfully it was short-lived!
  • Everett began giggling more and loved interacting socially with other people.
  • She spent a lot of time planking and pushing herself up with her arms.

Things Everett Disliked/Was Uncertain of in Month Five:

  • We definitely began going through separation anxiety this month. She learned that when I leave the room I’ve left her as opposed to just disappearing. She liked to be able to see where we were at all times.
  • She began eating less and sleeping less. We switched her schedule around to keep her up a bit later in the evening, and lost one nap to try to eliminate wakefulness at night. (We were advised by Gwen, the nurse practitioner at her doctor’s office. We were told this is normal behavior as their growth slows down around 6 months.)
  • We tried sweet potatoes with her, but she didn’t know what to do so we prolonged solids.
  • She continued to be very distracted while eating; she didn’t focus well and needed to be in a quiet, boring space.
  • She didn’t want to lie flat on her back if she could be on her tummy or standing instead.

Her Eating Schedule:

She ate five times a day: 7:30am, 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, and bedtime. She would wake by 7:30am and go to bed by 8:30pm. We eliminated her last nap of the day and moved to her taking a nap about an hour after waking in the morning. She would then wake up, eat again, play, and then go down for another nap. I admit this was a difficult transition period for me because as we eliminated one nap, I felt a little out-of-balance with her nursing routine. We eventually got the hang of things, but each time we go through a big change, it takes time for both of us to adjust.

 

Personal Notes:

  • As excited as I am for Everett to begin doing new things, this also feels really difficult. I was so excited to see her on the cusp of crawling, but I also knew it would be a game-changer and a piece of her baby-ness would be gone. Her dependency on me would slowly be drifting away.
  • We were in the middle of trying to sell our house during this time. It’s amazing how many baby things get cast aside when you have to pick them up and declutter when you have a house showing. I got so tired of lugging things baaaack and forth, baaaack and forth. I’m so thankful for all the things we do have for her, but it really hit home for me how much I do appreciate having all of those things neatly tucked away. I feel like I struggle with wanting to have a neat and tidy house and wanting to allow her to have the freedom to play and explore…which means that toys will be strung throughout the house. I get worn out from trying to have this picture-perfect place all the time.
  • I’m really thankful for our doctor’s office and their candidness when I have questions. Being able to make an appointment for her lack of consistent sleep is such a huge blessing. With our foster daughter and her medicaid insurance, it was extremely difficult to schedule a normal well-check appointment within the appropriate timeframe. It really irks me that there is such a difference in these medical worlds. I am so desperate for the knowledge they have to share with me because though it seems like the most obvious thing in the world when I go in sometimes, I need that reassurance that we’re on the right track.
  • I’m so glad I took so many photographs this month of Everett in the master bedroom of this house. I loved being able to put her on the bed, grab my camera, know there would be a pretty background and good light, and just snap away.

Magans Lens Baby Photography Month 5 Everett 01 Everett: Month 5Magans Lens Baby Photography Month 5 Everett 02 Everett: Month 5Magans Lens Baby Photography Month 5 Everett 03 Everett: Month 5Magans Lens Baby Photography Month 5 Everett 04 Everett: Month 5Magans Lens Baby Photography Month 5 Everett 05 Everett: Month 5

Magans Lens Baby Photography Month 5 Everett 07 Everett: Month 5

These three frames were shot within seconds of one another. Whoa, buddy!

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Things Everett Liked/Did in Month Four:

  • She learned how to roll from back to belly while in her crib. She loved practicing in her crib when waking up or trying to go to sleep. (This began happening at the beginning of her fourth month.)
  • Without her swaddle, she became a side sleeper when she found a comfortable position. Otherwise, she still enjoyed her back, arms spread wide, and a foot or two in the air. She became a tummy sleeper by the end of the month.
  • She was very easy-going and go-with-the-flow.
  • She loved being on her activity mat and swatting at the birds and grasping objects.
  • She would arch her back and lift her head to try to sit up on her own (unsuccessfully).
  • Everett began grabbing her toes and holding on to them at the beginning of month.
  • By the end of the month, she could roll all ways, and often rolled around in her crib to keep herself awake or play when she woke up.
  • Giggled best for her daddy.
  • Would occasionally lay her head on my shoulder and put her arms around me like she was giving me a hug.
  • She began holding her nighttime bottle. I am still breastfeeding, but he feeds her a pumped bottle in the evenings.
  • Began touching our faces with both hands and pulling our faces to be near hers.
  • She loved sucking on her lips when she didn’t have a pacifier (you can see this in the photos below!) and she continued to become even more expressive. Those eyebrows!

Things Everett Disliked/Was Uncertain of in Month Four:

  • She didn’t enjoy extended periods of laying down because she wanted to sit or stand up to see what was going on.
  • The only time she enjoyed laying down is was when she was on her activity mat. Otherwise, she wanted to be up, seeing and observing.

Her Eating Schedule:

She ate five times a day: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and bedtime. She would wake at 7am and go to bed by 7:30pm. She would usually take three naps about an hour-ish after waking up each time, but stay up after her 4pm feeding until bedtime. (Sometimes she’d take a catnap then too.)

Personal Notes:

  • Hallelujah, ditching the swaddle was amazing! We had several goooooood weeks of sleep again and she handled the transition so well. However, sometime near the end of her fourth month, Everett started waking up again around 5ish and deserpately wanting her pacifier. She also began trying to push herself up into the crawling position. I referred to it as her practicing in the safety of her crib in the middle of the night. No wonder kids wake up and all of a sudden can do something! THEY PRACTICE AT NIGHT!
  • This summer has been busy with the selling/buying house process. It seems like this fourth month went by in such a blur because we were constantly in and out of our home for showings. (We’ve never lived so tidily in our lives!) This also made me realize how few baby gadgets and gizmos are actually necessary to function. Everett is entranced by the smallest little thing. We had the majority of her baby things in the garage while we showed our house because we didn’t want it to appear cluttered. Well, of course I got tired of walking back and forth to the garage for her activity mat or her swing. I stopped using them. And you know what? WE SURVIVED!
  • The biggest challenge was that Dustyn went to Romania for ten days so it was just baby girl and me. I assumed that since we’d gone through this with our 13-month old foster daughter (that’s how old she was at the time of his trip), that this would be a piece of cake because Everett’s schedule is so set and routine. Plus she wasn’t mobile so no running after her just yet. Boy was I wrong. I was exhausted. She had some sleep issues. She would ditch her pacifier. She wouldn’t go down well. Never getting much of a break made me realize how much I look forward to Dustyn’s return home from work. It allows me to stop being so baby-focused and think about making dinner or getting work done. Or just… being still for a while. We also had our foster daughter the weekend he was gone and my mom came to help me with both girls. I didn’t want to give up a weekend of seeing her and potentially throwing everything off kilter. That weekend was…exhausting. I love every single moment with both girls, but BOY OH BOY. I think I sat still for a good half hour after Everett went to bed the night H went home and just soaked in the silence.icon smile Everett: Month Four
  • She completely lost all of the hair on her head. Even her little soul patch on the back of her head disappeared.
  • Everett had her first swim in my parent’s swimming pool this month. She loves water so, so much.

Four Month Stats:

Weight: 13 lbs. 9 oz. (38th percentile)
Height: 24″ long (32nd percentile)
Head Circumference: 15.9 in. (46th percentile)

2014 06 02 09.58.08 Everett: Month Four Everetts Fourth Month 01 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 02 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 03 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 04 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 05 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 06 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 07 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 08 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 09 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 10 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 11 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 12 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 13 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 14 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 15 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 16 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 17 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 18 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 19 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 20 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 21 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 22 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 23 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 24 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 25 Everett: Month FourEveretts Fourth Month 26 Everett: Month Four

  • September 5, 2014 - 4:11 pm

    Katie - Oh My Goodness…some of these pictures of her are my FAVORITE!! She is so stinking adorable with the tongue out and her silly expressions…I love herrr!

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For almost a week, I’ve had something on my mind after hearing a few remarks made by a couple with older children. Their conversation has been floating through my mind and I just need to get this out there. Here’s how part of the conversation went:

I was sitting with my back to the line at Chipotle, Everett sitting to my side and Dustyn sitting across from me, and we were enjoying a quick lunch out. The couple leans up against the half wall behind me, peers over, and sees our calm baby girl. The wife, in a very bitter tone says, “Those were the days when things were easy. Think anyone is going to tell them things are going to get more difficult?” (Come on, did she really expect me not to hear what she was saying?) The husband replied with something sarcastic and snarky, much like, “If they only knew what they’ll be going through when their baby is our kids’ age.” What’s really stood out to me, though, was the woman’s remark.

Written out, it doesn’t seem that her comment was very offensive, but I suppose I just haven’t been able to stop thinking about it because no one takes on parenthood and thinks it will be easy. No one expects a baby that sleeps through the night from the get-go. No one knows exactly what to expect when sleep schedules change or when your baby is fussy for no apparent reason. In fact, if I go back a little farther, the whole process of getting pregnant wasn’t easy. (I know it’s easier for some than others, but that just wasn’t all what I personally expected.)

And I guess that’s my point: each stage of life is completely different for everyone. And my second point: nothing can be taken at face value; things may have seemed calm with Everett on the outside, but man, we were out and about for a reason. I needed a break and some fresh air.

I would say our first three to four months felt relatively simple for us. No major complications. But the day that woman made the remark, I’d probably woken up a few times that night. Everett probably had at least an hour long stretch where she wasn’t sleeping, but was instead playing in her crib or crying, while I sat there not knowing why we were going through such a drastic sleeping change and how to get her back on schedule. I am in a mommy group on Facebook and the first few weeks of parenthood were pure hell for some. Roles have reversed. My good sleeper is now practicing her push-up and crawling form in the middle of the night in her crib.

It exhausts me to think about how often things are compared. How there’s this mindset for some that just have to do it better / suffer more / be first / always be right / have things worse than you. I wish instead we could cheer one another on and say, “Hey — you know what? You’re doing a great job.” Or, “Today might be hard, but it’ll get better.” Don’t trump what difficulties I’m suffering through with yours. Don’t one up my child’s triumphs with your baby’s successes.

Parenting is BIG and SCARY and it really does take a village.

There’s a huge, huge difference between having a conversation with a friend who needs advice and wants to know what’s worked for you and being made to feel like you’re doing something wrong when you’re simply just trying to get something off your chest. There are a million ways to do things. Probably more. Not one of them is perfect or fool-proof because no child is predictable or formulaic. And throughout this whole parenting journey, there will be highs and lows. Those lows frighten and scare me; I have no idea what lies ahead and God help me when we reach the teenage years.

But hopefully I’ll have some people on my side who are saying, “You’re doin’ good, Momma. You’re doin’ good.”

IMG 0237 The Controversy of Comparison

Because every post deserves a photo, here’s my sweet little lady. <3

  • July 17, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    Christine - You’re doing a great job, mama!! You are wonderful with E!! And I completely agree with your entire post! It’s very hard not to compare yourself or your children and when that happens usually defending yourself or your methods is quick to follow and then it seems to go downhill from there! Let’s just all get along and raise our kids the best we can! =D

  • July 17, 2014 - 8:43 pm

    Amanda - Magan, you’re doing such a great job! No matter how frustrating or tiring it gets, at the end of the day Everett is happy, healthy and very much loved! Any one of us will tell you that. We all love you and we love E! You’re not wrong about how it feels to be compared or have your baby compared, it’s awful, and it hurts and makes me angry. And it’s not easy. Cash was a breeze for a while, now he’s angry and over-tired a lot of the time because he won’t sleep. It has me at the end of my rope. But I know that someday, no matter how far off that day is, it will get better.

  • July 17, 2014 - 9:53 pm

    Kimberly - You’re doing fabulously. And I love your truth here. How much better the world would be if we all were kind. Or even encouraged strangers more often. This line of thinking in regards to comparisons also carries over to single life. Smh. It’s like people think there’s something wrong or feel compulsive pity for single folk. It’s one more thing I have to stay true to myself with and strive to not be offended by. My new line of thinking is, “Does it bother me when I’m by myself? Then it shouldn’t bother when others are around.” It’s a hard process for us highly sensitive folk, but we’ll get there. :)

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Everett Third Month 01 Everett: Month Three

Things Everett Liked/Did in Month Three:

  • Airplane. She loves being lifted over our heads and raised in the air. She holds her body tight and rigid and looks down at you with big, wide eyes and a bright smile
  • She began blowing bubbles and started making the “baaaa” sound as she would try to blow bubbles. Up until this point, her sounds have been very aaaahhh sounding with the occasional times it sounds like she’s saying a “maaaa” sound. I don’t associate that “maa” sound with her trying to say “mama,” but moreso figuring out the different consonants she can say.
  • Everett loves being outside and often falls asleep when we’re on walks. She’s unsure of the wind and blinks rapidly when we’re walking on a windy day, sometimes getting fussy so I have to put the umbrella down farther to block the wind.
  • She began to like touching and grasping objects. When nursing, she loves to hold onto my shirt or hold onto a blanket when she’s in the carseat. I learned the blanket trick would help her feel calmer in the car so I typically always have an Aden + Anais muslin blanket on hand for her. Later in her third month, she really began to enjoy pulling toys up to her mouth, particularly a little elephant we have. She squawks at him (best way to describe the sound, I swear) and likes to gum the teething parts.
  • At the end of three months (three or four days before she turned 4 months), she began giggling while we were shopping in Sears. Dustyn was talking to a salesperson and I was hiding and making silly sounds. She just released the best giggles. I was thankfully able to get a video of those first little sounds. My hands have never moved so fast trying to whip out my phone.icon smile Everett: Month Three
  • She drools constantly, blows bubbles, and babbles often — has a raspy sounding voice.
  • She loves watching and smiling at other children, especially H.
  • She discovered her tongue. Her hands are constantly near her mouth, little fingers covered in drool. I took her to the doctor because I thought she had a cold and I was told everything she was experiencing was “teething.” My mom says I got my teeth really early, but so far, none for Everett. Maybe she’ll just be one of those babies that experiences the symptoms for a looooong time before one pops through.

Things Everett Disliked/Was Uncertain of in Month Three:

  • Her swaddle. I ordered the next size up in her swaddles. I tried swaddling her with one arm out, alternating the arm each time so she’d get used to a little bit of freedom. This method worked well for a few friends of mine, but Everett was really bothered by it. She would still jerk that one little arm and wake herself up. I would go back to swaddling both arms thinking she just wasn’t ready. At an appointment she had a few days before she turned four months old, our nurse practitioner, Gwen, recommended that we quit the swaddles cold turkey and stop replacing her pacifier when she dropped it at night. (This was another source of wakefulness during naps and nighttime as she put two-and-two together that she didn’t have it if she woke up.) So we did. We stopped swaddling her and for two days, things were a little bit rough, but it was a much, much easier transition that I’d build it up to be in my head. I was expecting it to take AGES for her to adapt, but she really has enjoyed the freedom. (Gwen said if they’re breaking out of the swaddles, they’re wanting to work on their motor skills development so it’s time to say adios. So glad we did!)
  • She didn’t mind being held by other people, but seemed to like to know where we are when she’s with someone else. This is definitely more of an uncertainty, not a dislike. She also really likes facing outward when she’s being held so she can observe and see other people; I find that a lot of people tend to want to snuggle her close to their bodies and she’s just a baby who likes to see the world. Once that adjustment is made, things are pretty a-okay.
  • Still not the biggest fan of tummy time. She became a pro at rolling from her stomach to her back, but cannot go the opposite way (back to belly). You’ll see in the photographs how agitated she gets when she’s on her belly too long. Silly girl!

Her Eating Schedule:

  • She continued eating every three to four hours. I tried being a little more relaxed about it as opposed to having a written schedule. I spent a few weeks during the third month not eye-balling the clock and letting her take long naps if that’s what she wanted to do. I noticed that her nap times were great – super long – but there were days she would only get in four feedings instead of five and those nights she seemed a little more restless and she would wake up earlier than normal, 5:45 instead of 6:45 or 7:00. At the end of the month, I returned to a more written routine with nursing her around 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm for her to be in bed by 7:30pm. I mostly just made sure her days were consistent; my alarm clock was set for 7am so if she wasn’t up by then, that’s when I’d wake her to begin our day. Her bed time is nearly 7:30pm every day unless something comes up. She’s like clockwork – she begins to get fussy if we’re pushing her too late in the evenings because she’s ready for bed. However, if she’s napping and she wakes up at 10:15 and not exactly 10:00, I let her sleep. Her first and last feedings are the two I’m most rigid about.

Personal Notes:

  • Many people have described her as “very happy and calm.” She’s very go-with-the-flow and happy and smily 90% of the time. Unless she’s hungry or we’re pushing nap time, she doesn’t have a care in the world.
  • She still cannot wear shoes (her feet are too small).
  • She mostly wore size 0-3 month clothing, but because the weather is undeniably warmer, I took out and let her start wearing 3-6 month outfits. Some of the straps on the tops fall off her shoulders and I’m using smaller bottoms left over from other outfits, but it’s been really fun getting to see her in bright, summery colors. (I wish my wardrobe could be replaced as frequently as a child’s is.)
  • It was an incredible joy to celebrate Memorial Day WITH our baby girl this year; last year we found out on May 27th, after spending the day celebrating with our friends.
  • Mother’s Day was a little bit bittersweet. For someone who has been a foster mom, how do I categorize this day when that little girl isn’t with us (all the time), yet I’m spending it with my first biological child? I just had to think of it as my “First Mother’s Day with Everett.” It was amazing, however, that we got to spend that whole weekend with H. We went swimming, took her to see cows on my parent’s property, and let her feed fish. That little girl absolutely LOVES the outdoors and I love being able to let her have the freedom to roam and explore. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, and H’s mom was so sweet to think of me and give me a really sweet Mother’s Day gift.
  • I’m terrible at remembering to put Everett’s amber teething necklace on her every day. Terrible. I tend to leave it next to her little bath or take it off in her bedroom when we’re preparing for her bath and…well, I’m just not consistent. She’s a huge drooler when she doesn’t wear it so you’d think I would learn, but this is just something I need to get better at doing. I do believe it helps.
  • Seeing her in the crib without her swaddle makes me feel…sad. It’s a sign of a milestone we’ve hit and something that’s in the past. She likes the freedom and the option to move. While we were swaddling her, as it got warmer, we were only putting her in a onesie inside the swaddle. I felt like I had all of these adorable pajamas we weren’t getting much use out of because I didn’t want her to be too warm. Well, they’re for sure getting used now. Inevitably every morning she spits up on the pajamas she’s wearing during her very first feeding of the day. It’s like she knows if she does that, she gets to temporarily be a naked baby.icon wink Everett: Month Three
  • We saw both the appearance of a pretty significant bald spot on the back of her head (from sleeping on her back in her swaddle and somehow still managing to scoot all over her crib) and the disappearance of her hair this month. It’s still absurd she had as much hair as she did when she was born; I do love her round little fuzzy head very much now though!
  • Where we are with our foster daughter, H: her biological mom has continued to let us see her every other week. There’s only been one exception so far and that’s because I was photographing back to back weddings the weekend we were supposed to see her. We took H to dinner and spent the early evening with her before returning her home. She still refers to us as Momma (or Mommy) and Daddy. We try to incorporate our names so that she’s aware of who we are; we’ve never been certain if her family knows that’s what she calls us. Now that she’s back home, we’re a little uncertain what exactly is best for her. She’s so incredibly happy when she gets to see us. Every single time I am just so incredibly thankful for that little bit of extra time I get to spend with her and see the little girl she’s becoming.

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