13 June 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Elliot!

I cannot believe it. 

My little baby boy, my firstborn, is three years old today.

How have three years managed to fly by this quickly? I still feel like I just finished school the other year but it was actually close to 10 years ago - WHAAAAT?! I still feel like it wasn't that long ago I was in labour with Elliot and now all of a sudden it's three years in the past! Zooooom!

1:06am, 13th of June, 2008.

That little baby (well, 4020g/9lb 13oz anyway...) tipped my life upside-down. But I'm glad he did, because it's waaaaaay better now. I'm the first to admit that I found life with a new baby really tough.

Really tough.

We had major breastfeeding issues that didn't help either. It took me a good few months, maybe even the entire first year to get my head around what life was like now that Elliot was in it. And I'm not afraid to share that with you. I think it's so important to be honest, to let other mothers know that it isn't easy and you shouldn't expect to be perfect - not straight away anyway.  ;) Just kidding.

Anyway, back to our precious boy. Elliot was a super easy baby. A good sleeper, great eater, not fussy, pretty easy-going. Just what I needed! He's still most of those things - provided you feed him what he likes! - and a lot more besides. 

We certainly have our moments. At the moment we're dealing with anger and roughness, but we keep praying and learning and teaching and know that this too shall pass. Elliot is a real delight. He still manages to melt my heart on at least a weekly basis, sometimes daily. He's a real sweetheart and feel so blessed that the Lord gave him to us to look after and enjoy.

Enough talking, on to the photos!

Here he is, just seconds after he was born.
A bit blue - don't worry, he's pinked up since.
(PS: Those are my midwife's hands, not Hayden's...)

Here he is on his Birth-Day, after a sleep and a bit of a tidy up for us both.

Some close-ups of the beautiful sleeping boy at one day old and two days old.

 People mostly comment on Elliot's wonderful white blonde hair, but we think his most striking features are his eyes.

LOVE these two pictures - and the boy in them!

Self-taken family portrait (please ignore the washing pile behind us...).
Elliot is about 9 months old here I think.

Another family portrait - this one with the help of the camera's timer - and you can't see it but Rosie's here too - in my belly! This was taken not too long before we left Morrinsville, so our super-cute (but tired -looking!) boy must be nearly or about 18 months old.

And here he is on the day he became a Big Brother! Meeting Rosie for the first time - he wasn't that fussed! :)  Came to look at her and give Mummy a cuddle then ran off to play. That's okay, he was still pretty little.

He's a pretty good big brother. We can tell he has the makings of a wonderful protective, helpfully guiding, caring, sharing and loving older brother. Sure, he still hits her a lot (another thing we're working on and praying about!) and they get in each other's way, but I can't wait to see their relationship when, Lord willing, they are grown.

Nothing - and I mean nothing - makes me more proud or heart-melt-y than seeing Elliot and his little sister playing happily together. It really is the sweetest thing. I always loved to watch Elliot play happily when he was our only child, but I never knew how much more depth it adds to family life - and Elliot's character - to see your children interacting together. It's amazing.

Here they are doing drawings for their Auntie Sarah in London. You can tell they were enjoying themselves! (Nice "cheese" face, Rosie!)

Elliot LOVES to help. Loves it. He's still at that great age where you can give them lots of jobs/chores to do because they are just so keen to be helping Mummy and Papa! Elliot loves to help us turn the dishwasher on - little does he know we're just training him up for the day he can fully load it up himself so that dishes can become his job! :)

 Here he is 'helping' Papa build our new deck in the summer of 2010.

His favourite dinner is pasta. Thankfully he's now learnt to use a spoon slightly better so it doesn't end up smeared up all over his face anymore!

He loves his tummy! Anyone who's  spent any amount of time with Elliot will know that he's a thumb-sucker, and you can guarantee that when his thumb is in his mouth, his other hand will be playing with his belly button! Here he is about to give his friend Alana a 'tummy hug'.

Elliot loves his Papa. I love to see the two of them playing together.
I love the father-and-son-ness of it all. :)

And here is our big boy on his first day of kindy! How surreal that day was! Elliot took to kindy like a fish to water - loves it. His speech has really developed and we see his creative skills coming along really well. And it's great for him to interact with other little people. I still do a little double take every time I pick him up from kindy thinking, "Wow, that's my little boy in there. He's so big now! He's just gorgeous!" There's always something about observing your children when they don't know you're there that is infinitely more fascinating...

So, that's our boy. Our big three year old.

I'll make sure I get a good picture of him sometime today to keep for his official 3rd birthday picture. I'm really looking forward to spending the day together. We have some nice plans and I hope he has a cool day. He's so special and we want to make a bit of a deal of him tomorrow. I'll post another post soon with how we've spent his birthday-day!

So, my precious son, your Papa and I love you so much. You are so big now and growing up so nicely - but I hope you know you'll always be my baby! Every day with you, while very challenging, is an enormous joy and delight. We pray that you would grow in to a strong man of God who has a heart that loves Him above all others and always seeks to do His will.

Happy birthday Elliot. We love you!

And I had to leave you with this photo - Elliot wearing one of Hayden's t-shirts, Rosie is a couple of months old. When I was flicking through photos for this post, their expressions made me laugh out loud! Can you say, "Awkward!" Love it!

07 June 2011

An arty morning at home

Today we had a really lovely morning!

I decided to get my butt into gear and drag the easel out on to the deck for Elliot to do some painting. Yay! Elliot was very keen. So I pulled it outside, covered one side in newspaper (so he didn't paint on the easel itself!), taped up some plain paper to paint on, got Elliot dressed in old clothes with one of Hayden's old shirts over top - so cute! - and am just getting the paint ready when BAM! It starts raining.

 Oh man! So the easel comes inside to a plastic mat spread out in the kitchen and our artist gets to painting! I nobly kept Rosie away from his masterpiece by reading her favourite book to her: Bob the Builder. (Note to self: find some girly books because you want a girly-girl!)

After the painted artwork is finished and left to dry, we moved over to the table for some drawing.

Rosie loves to draw too, so I set her up with some paper (sellotaped to the table so it stayed still!) and crayons.

I wanted Elliot to have some practice (practise? I always forget which is the right spelling to use...) cutting with scissors, so I drew him some shapes and he coloured them in and then got to work cutting them out.

 Ta da! Coloured-in shapes all cut out (with a little guidance from Mummy!).

I think he's been getting used to having photos taken doing cool stuff at kindy because usually when the camera comes out and I tell him to smile he does his awesome 'Cheese!' face, but now he just has an awkward-looking half smile, as you see here. Funny huh?

And I haven't taken a photo of it, but the next thing we did was to tape all his shapes to pieces of string and tie them to a coat hanger to make a mobile! We have hung it up in our central archway so that when Papa comes home today it's the first thing he'll see!

And, after all that hard work painting and drawing and cutting, we had to sit down for some morning tea together!

Little sweeties.

After this, I really enjoyed watching them play with their toys - they were being so sweet to each other (which is a change from the screaming and hitting it has been lately!). I had one of those moments where you are so filled with love as you watch your beautiful children that you almost want to bawl your eyes out! It was lovely. No really, I mean it.

They are very trying at times (as I'm sure any mother of 2 or more will tell you!), but I am so thankful for these moments this morning that reminded me of how much I do love my precious babies and how the hard work of raising children is very hard, but so much more worth my effort than anything else I'll ever do! Praise God for His guidance!