Going to keep this month short since we’re traveling to Minnesota tomorrow and I know if I don’t post this today, I never will!
This month he:
- Is rolling all the time! He rolls all over his crib, and since he hates being on his back, when you lay him down to change his diaper, he rolls to his tummy as quick as he can.
- He’s not crawling yet, but he does roll back to tummy, tummy to back in order to make small movements towards toys when they are out of reach.
- At the beginning of the month he was only really enjoying fruits (banana, peach, apple), but a week or so later he developed a taste for just about anything we gave him. One day avocado was making him gag, and the next – he loved it!
- His naps have shortened back to 45 minutes, but occasionally it’s a bit longer. Since he takes such short naps, he’s still taking 3 and sometimes even 4 naps per day. Sometimes it’s still a stretch to get him to stay awake past 6pm, which means he’s usually very cranky while we’re eating dinner. We brought the swing out of retirement to make dinner time a little easier.
- Such a snuggler. When it’s time for a nap, he and I go rock for a minute in his room before I lay him down. I think these are my favorite times of the day. After a particularly difficult day with Ephram last week, I let him sleep in my arms. Made the day SO much better.
- Still not sleeping through the night, which is probably mostly my fault. He doesn’t *need* to eat at night, but it’s so much easier to just feed him and have us all go back to sleep instead of listening to crying. So, he still is up 1 or 2, sometimes 3 times a night… After our road trip, we may have to work on this a bit though.
- Ephram was my bottle baby, so I was super excited for Alwyn to be my bf’ed baby. I never would have guessed though that at 7 months, he would hate bottles. We’re working on it, and I think as he discovers his ability to hold the bottle on his own, it will help. Or maybe we’ll just move to a sippy cup soon.
- Everyone’s first comment when they see him: “Look at those eyes!”
Alwyn’s Monthly Updates: Month 1, Month 2, Month 3, Month 4, Month 5, Month 6
Wow, this week flew by for me! How about you?
Okay, before I get to the photos below, I suppose I should announce a winner for the Giveaway! First, let me say a HUGE thank you to so many of you who commented (here and over on FB) and shared my re-opening announcement. I am super excited to get back into capturing sweet and silly moments between families, creating art for your home, and fully appreciated the support!
& the winner is: Lindsey Valencia! Lindsey, check your inbox! Can’t wait to chat!
1. Wow, I’m still kind of in shock watching the relationship between Ephram and Alwyn develop. How did I not realize just how much I’d love hearing brothers laugh together?
2. We had a zoo trip this week. SO fun. Ephram was in love with the maps, which is probably a good indicator he could use a few to play with at home.
3. Seriously, is there a better age than 6 months old? I mean, sure he’s not sleeping through the night, but that smile, the giggles? THE. BEST.
4. Goodness, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. We’ve been spending several evenings sitting in the backyard lately.
5. This kid cracks me up (when he’s not driving me crazy). I’m not even sure what he’s doing here – mid-hike at Brazos Bend last weekend while trying on his daddy’s sunglasses.
6. We’re growing peaches!
7. Thursday was Ephram’s yearly heart check up. His heart looks great, but the check up was a bit traumatic for him. I’m glad that he was back to smiling and goofing off by Thursday evening.
8. The family that weeds together, stays together. Right? ;)
9. So we only debated over buying a brand new stroller for Alwyn since before he was born. And after six months of re-using Ephram’s, we finally broke down and bought one. Alwyn apparently loves it too since he took his first ever nap during a walk yesterday.
Quick Note: Just 3 more days before the Giveaway ends! Hop on over here to learn more!
Did you know you can have a photo session at your home? Often we think of pretty outdoor settings when we think of family photos, but there are actually several advantages to staying at home! And with the Texas summer heat approaching, I wanted to take some time to talk about why home sessions can be great.
First of all, when you’re a mom, leaving the house always takes longer than expected. Getting everyone dressed, with shoes on, and gathering everything else you need to get out the door can oftentimes bring on tears or even tantrums from little ones. Why not have me come to you instead? Kids are often much more comfortable in their own settings anyways.
Now I know you are thinking your home is not pretty enough to be used for a photo session. But the most important factor in a location for me is actually light! If you have windows in your home, you have good light. However, the time of day may be a key factor in getting the best light. You don’t want harsh or bright sunlight shining directly into your home, but you don’t want it all dark either. The best way I can describe nice, indirect light is when your home is filled with light but you don’t see harsh shadows on the floor. So when planning a photo session at your home, pay attention to what the light looks like at different times of the day, so you know what time will be best for you session to take place.
Less is more. Yes, I’m sure you’ll worry about how clean your house will have to be for a photo session. When it comes to photos, typically I will move distracting objects so they won’t be in the image. But this doesn’t mean your house needs to be spotless. I may just ask you to move a bit of clutter to the side, so it doesn’t take the focus off of the kids. I know how many toys kids have, I am not going to judge! ;)
Lastly, it’s much easier to grab a few shots outside when we can jump right back in to cool off!
// Here’s just a few favorites from a lovely at-home session
Today is officially the day I’m back in the business of capturing your adorable family with my camera. I’ve been slowly getting things ready to relaunch since my move to Texas, in the middle of moving twice and growing our family by one, but today it’s officially official! And to celebrate, a giveaway for a free photo session!
There are two ways to enter the giveaway:
1 – Sign up for the Newsletter to receive tips, info and other fun and random bits!
2 – Go to the Facebook page and click that “Like” button
You can do one or the other, or both! BUT, after you’ve done one or the other, you must leave a comment and let me know. One Comment = One Entry, so make sure to comment twice if you do both! On Friday I’ll announce the winner for the giveaway from those who have left comments.
Fine Print: The session must be booked by May 31st. The session must take place within 25 miles of Sugar Land, TX. Prints and products are not included in the giveaway. For more information about photo sessions with Donya Luana Photography, get the scoop here!
After you enter, don’t forget to spread the love to your friends and family so they can have a chance at winning the giveaway as well!
1. Alwyn is growing too fast! This ‘night owl’ Gap onesie was a favorite when Ephram was little and I forgot that it runs a little small. So even though it’s labeled 6-12 months, it’s nearly too small already.
2. This. boy. loves. food.
3. So much talk about Easter Egg hunts. We did two with friends and of course one when the Easter Bunny came. He still talks about them all.
4. Snuggles on the patio with daddy.
5. Ephram posing in the chair while I tested the light for Alwyn’s monthly photo.
6. Tres Leche cake made by my amazing husband for Easter/my birthday.
7. Love those eyes so ridiculously much. He’s been so interested in my water bottle, I figured I’d give him his own to practice with.
8. Oh, hey! I got an iMac last weekend! (best. birthday. present. ever.) They’ve finally lured me in, even though I said I never would switch from Windows. This article explains my thoughts exactly.
9. Seriously, when did Ephram get so old?
PS. If you’re local and interested in a photo shoot in the near future, you just might want to come back here on Monday. ;)
And just like that, he’s been in our life for half a year. This seems utterly impossible. Has it really been 6 months since I’ve slept all night long? Heh.
But in all honesty, this boy is such a joy. His smiles are contagious and his sweetness is addictive.
This month he:
- Learned to sit up. My mom visited at the beginning of the month and had him sitting for short periods of time. Within just a few days, he was sitting for several minutes. I still leave the boppy behind him whenever I walk away because he falls occasionally.
- Recently has developed a desire for Ephram’s toys over his own. He’s sick of the baby toys already. I figured this would happen eventually (that brother is just too cool), but at 6 months?!
- I swear a switch flipped and now he wants to nap all the time. The baby who was previously giving me three or four short 35-45 minute naps every day was replaced with one who takes 1-2 hour naps four times a day!
- He’s still waking quite often at night, and he screams until I feed him, so I do… Right now he’s only nursing once or twice (usually twice) a night, and then coos himself back to sleep. I wish he’d sleep through the night, but it’s definitely better than it used to be.
- He’s eating solids. As he approached the 6 month mark I really started getting serious about giving him solids once or twice a day and he loves it. He wants spoonful after spoonful, especially if it’s squash. And this is in addition to nursing every 2-3 hours. He’s hungry boy.
- Unsure of how much he weighs. His check up is next week. (edit: He weighed 18 lbs at his check up!)
- Performed his first back to tummy roll. Twice! But both times were in his crib so I’ve not yet seen it with my own eyes. When he’s awake, he prefers to be sitting, but he gets close to rolling sometimes!
- Moves around in his crib a ton thanks to this move. He pushes with his feet, arches his back, and scoots northward.
- He is a super social boy. Loves smiling at people and giggling. He even had a flirt session with a slightly older baby girl at MOPS one day. Seriously one of the cutest things I’ve ever witnessed.
- His favorite person continues to be Ephram. He loves watching him play and gives the biggest smiles ever when he sees him. Ephram has finally started to interact with Alwyn too. Mostly by giving him blankets, which Alwyn finds hilarious.
- Took his first bath in a regular bath, while sitting in the bumbo. Can you believe I have been bathing him in our bathroom sink since he was born? We gave away Ephram’s baby bath when we moved and I was too stubborn to go buy another.
I really wish I wouldn’t have started this series in Ephram’s room. The lighting is only good on very sunny days and at a certain time each day – which is why the lighting is so off and diverse in those first three shots. Oh well, guess that’s what happens when you’re sleep deprived from a newborn! Maybe I’ll get crazy and switch to the master bedroom for the next three months just to change it up (a green background).
I’ll be honest, I don’t think I even knew what a bluebonnet was before moving to Texas. But wow, they sure are beautiful!
I hesitated to take the boys out for photos because neither napped well (or at all), but I knew we just needed to go try at least.
Ephram loooooved the flowers. He may have a wee bit of daddy’s genes in him. ;)
As expected, Alwyn was not very into it. But I still love these shots Beau snapped below.
“Why?! Why can’t we just go home and snuggle?”
At least Ephram was a little more cooperative! He was very interested in the “wiver” that was near the flowers. It’s actually a pond. He has such an imagination. At one point he told me there was a scary monster in that river. :)
Well, it’s not hard to see why people flock to photograph these gorgeous flowers every Spring!
Do you have a favorite bluebonnet patch?
Okay, I’m feeling rather guilty that I seem to only be blogging Alwyn updates. I swear I think about blogging about a billion times each month and then I just never get the time. I had no idea how much more work two kids would be. I love them to pieces, but man… It’s been a rough month. We had finally figured out how to get Alwyn to wake up less at night and he was napping slightly better. Three weeks later we went out for a playdate and have been sick ever since. Coughs, runny noses, fevers. Needing to be rocked to sleep. Nursing constantly. This has been our normal for over two weeks now. Needless to say, my free time has been severely limited.
But this little stinker bug is growing like crazy, smiling and watching us most of the day.
This month he:
- Went through sleep training (per our pediatrician’s suggestion). Only took about a day or so to get him down to only one or two wake ups each night. Huge improvement. Aaaand, it lasted all of three weeks before he got sick and woke up an hour after bedtime with a stuffy nose. I just couldn’t force him to cry through that. So his nighttime sleep has been pretty horrible again, but it’s slowly getting better as he gets better.
- Most nights he goes to bed around 6pm and wakes up around 6am for the day.
- Napping was never great, even after sleep training, but got even worse with his cold. But at least it gave me an excuse to rock him to sleep for a few naps when Ephram was napping and I got to start watching Mad Men on Netflix!
- Started eating baby food occasionally. More just for fun and practice. And once he caught the cold he wasn’t too interested so we stopped.
- Despite being sick part of the month, he’s still a super happy boy most of the day. Even when he’s tired and cranky, it isn’t impossible to make him laugh. Sometimes he’ll start smiling while crying because we’re trying to cheer him up.
- Became a snuggler this month. I think this was partly because we stopped swaddling when we did the sleep training.
- Loves, loves, LOVES his brother. He loves seeing Ephram. Ephram still isn’t too interested in him, but each day he likes him slightly more.
- Grabs for everything. Reaches for his brother, blankets, my water bottle, anything. And it all goes in the mouth.
- Watches TV! Ephram did not care much for tv until he was almost 2 years old, so this is very different. And it’s not just Ephram’s shows that he likes, he’ll watch anything.
- Still hasn’t rolled over since the two times he did it in January. But is getting closer and closer to sitting up. (actually just in the last week he’s gotten pretty good, but I’m a week late in posting this ;) )
- Laughs at Ephram when he’s whining. I love this.
- Has such a cute little giggle.
No big smiles for his five month photos. He was pretty tired and under the weather this day though, so that’s probably why.
“Are you done yet, mom?”
This sweet boy is growing like a weed! Month four was still full of sleepless nights, but just in the last week we did some sleep training and he’s finally sleeping through the night with just one wake up to eat! Keeping my fingers crossed that this continues through the next month.
This month he:
- Weighs 16 lbs and is nearly 26″ tall. This is almost exactly the same as Ephram’s 4 month stats.
- Watches his brother like a hawk and stays fairly entertained on the floor watching Ephram play.
- Rolled from tummy to back twice one day but hasn’t done it since. Coincidentally, or not so, we had our 8 month old neighbor girl over that same day. I think Alwyn was just showing off. ;)
- Has started grabbing at his toys – picking them up and bringing them to his mouth all the time.
- Likes to be turned outward in the moby now. So much to see!
- Usually went to sleep at 6pm and woke up for the day around 6am, waking up 3-6 times per night…ugh.
- Took 4-5 naps each day around 40 minutes each. Sometimes longer, but usually not.
- We weaned him from sleeping soley in the swing – since it wasn’t helping his sleep much anymore.
- Still super happy most of the time. As long as he’s fed and not incredibly tired (which happens somewhat often when you don’t sleep well really ever), he’s a smiley little boy.
- Loves the exersaucer.
- Loves to stand with our help.
- Smiles, talks, sings, coos. Such a good baby (especially now that he sleeps!) Month 5 will be the best yet!
Ordinary moments. Every day tasks.
Playing on the driveway. Washing the car.
Sometimes life seems busy and complicated and full of toddler tantrums and sleepless nights. & then I look back on photos like these and breathe a sigh of relief, remembering that there’s a lot of good, clean fun between the stresses of parenthood.
Location: Sugar Land, TX
What: Sugar Land Family Photographer, Sugar Land Family Portraits
Sugar Land Family Photographer, Donya Luana