Friday, November 4, 2016

Birthday Girls + Balloons

When the weather is nice that jackets aren't needed, you grab the chance you have to get outside and snap a few birthday pictures, even if it's just after noon and thus the lighting isn't optimal. When the girls are in a good mood, you do what you can! ;)
 My goal has been to take pictures of Hadassah with the number of balloons corresponding to her age. I still haven't found a local place that sells helium balloons though, so we've had to be creative when in China. ;) I don't think I'll ever be able to match the amazingness of that first birthday photo, though. And taking it seems like it was just yesterday...

And now she's three. How in the world do I have a THREE year old? Some days I still feel like that young adult teaching ballet to almost a hundred different girls. Yet much as I loved "my girls" there has been something so amazing to being there every single day for this girl, watching her grow.

 She's a handful sometimes. But such a heart-full! She's inquisitive, curious, excited, tender, caring, creative, extremely expressive (in good and bad ways!), loving, very verbal, strong, full of energy, and more. She loves to twirl and dance and dress up, yet loves nothing more than playing in the mud. Best of all we are seeing her live up to her middle name, with the sweet, trusting faith of a child. We love our Hadassah Faith!

 And what fun to have TWO girls to celebrate this year, with birthdays just a year apart! These shirts a friend gave them for their birthdays are my new favorite things for them to wear! :)

 She'll be one on November 5th. It seems like it can't already be a year since she was born in Alabama, and yet here she is: walking, talking some, acting, dancing, laughing, and doing her best to try and do everything big sister does!

 Speaking of big sister, no one can get Ellie to smile like Hadassah does. I wasn't getting much success with this picture until I enlisted Hadassah's help. Ellie completely lights up when she sees Hadassah!

 I have to steady Ellie so she doesn't fall over and sometimes rescue her before the air is squeezed out of her (since their heights put Hadassah arms right around Ellie's neck!) but seeing Dassah's spontaneous hugs make my heart so full of joy! It's been a wonderful yet challenging year, with ups and downs on how Hadassah adjusted to not being the only child and getting most of the attention of the house. ;) There were times I wondered if I'd ever be able to leave them alone together. I saw aggression come out that I never knew Hadassah would be capable of. But, though there are still moments, now there is mostly just a lot of love. A lot of smiles when they see each other. Laughing across the table. Leaning in to snuggle the other. Playing together mostly sweetly more and more often. Wanting each other to experience what they are. I am so grateful for the friend for life they have in each other.

 Eliana Grace... what an amazing thing it is to have two children, to see their similarities and differences. Ellie is full of life, of expression, cute, cuddly, busy, sweet, with a playfulness that just begs to be snuggled. She wants to climb to the height of whatever she can, get whatever looks interesting, and eat whatever someone else has. ;) She's got a lot to keep up with! She loves animals, wanting to pet whatever she sees. She loves to pretend to feed us, and is starting to "feed" her stuffed animals too, complete with enthusiastic "mm-mms!" I am so excited to watch her personality continue to grow in the year ahead!

 Which based on her expressions, it will be a ton of fun! This is her one-eyed squinty face, when she knows she's done something funny, or decides she doesn't want whatever you're giving her. She'll do this face and turn up her nose. ;)

 She's getting to be such a big girl, and yet still so baby. We love her so!

 And the reality of having two to train and them feeding off each other is definitely there now. Screams, squeals, grabbing, pushing away and more are showing up much earlier in our second child. ;) But what a privilege to be the one to teach her how to respond with grace. I have to remind myself of that sometimes - but it truly is, to be able to mother these two.

 I didn't push the photo shoot on too long, since they had after-lunch wiggles to get out before naps. Dassah climbed, as she almost always does these days...

 And Ellie befriend a sweet Nainai (Grandma). Though she is definitely a mommy's girl and doesn't want anyone else holding her, Ellie seems to really enjoy smiling at people and is starting to warm up even more. We think she may be quite a people person, especially once she realizes there is fun life outside of mommy being right there! ;)

And she loves to walk and play too. Though she's only now turning one, she's so steady in walking, and wants to take on the world, such as this exercise equipment that doubles as a playground for children. She's steady and strong - now I just have to trust her to let her go. ;)

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!! So hard to believe that they're growing up so fast! Seems like just yesterday that you and Ryan were getting married, Anna!!! I so love reading your blog and stories! Keep it up! ^_^