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Here you'll find info to help you prepare for your shoot, some personal ramblings and the lovely folks who I have met along the way... 

8 months!

How on earth did we get to 8 months so quickly? Where did my tiny newborn Lia go?

The last few months have been swept up in a mad whirlwind of trying to keep up with the everyday. I honestly had no idea just how non-stop it is to be a parent, how the weeks and months whizz by in a blink.

So where are we now?

8 months old, baby, lifestyle portrait, family photo

Speech. Give her half a chance and she’s practicing all the different sounds that she can make. Mostly she sounds like a baby dinosaur. I’ve finally learnt that when she’s getting tired, she gets louder and is trying to disguise the fact. My sister is an audiologist, and she’s very proud of her sweet niece’s speech development. I’m amazed at how much Lia changes from week to week – this week’s sound is ‘da da da’.

Movement. Her current preferred mode of getting from A to B is rolling around the room in the direction of whatever she’s after. Often that’s the cat or the label on one of her toys. She can do a hilarious commando crawl if she’s extra eager, as well as scoot along with her feet while on her back. Baby proofing is in full force now folks!

8 months old, baby, lifestyle portrait, family photo

Food. We’ve been doing a combination of traditional weaning alongside baby led weaning. Traditional weaning means I give her a spoon that she can play with, while she whacks the other spoon that I am holding full on delicious puree all over me and the room. She MUCH prefers baby led weaning where she can pick and choose whatever finger food she would like to eat, smear it on her face and only then throw it on the floor. Some food does miraculously make it into her mouth during this process. Mike and I keep reminding ourselves that before Lia turns 1, weaning is about discovering new tastes and textures rather than nutrition. It is very entertaining to watch if you aren’t the one in a battle of wills with her.

Sleep. Ah, the favourite question: is she sleeping through the night? The optimistic answer is yes. Unless she’s got a cold, in a developmental leap, hasn’t napped enough, is teething, is out of her usual routine or perhaps needs a cuddle because it’s chilly. So the actual answer is sometimes. We sleep enough. Mostly. Talk to me next month / year / when she turns 12. Come to think of it, I’m going to go take a nap right now.

8 months old, baby, lifestyle portrait, family photo

On being a Mama. Nothing could have prepared me for any of this. The long nights. The non stop worry. The hilarity found in unexpected moments. The not really ever knowing if you are doing the right thing.The wonder that we made her from scratch. The expectation that you have all the answers (I’m not sure I have any of them). The overwhelming love that you experience for this tiny person.  The pride that you feel when someone has kind words.

On taking her photo. Ha! I’ve discovered that capturing our little daughter’s photo is far more challenging than I thought it would be. I have managed to grab a few goodies, but these are not even a fraction of what I would like to shoot. Besides the fact that I need to consciously have my camera to hand, when I do pick it up, my hands are, well, rather full most days. I am already planning our next (outsourced!) family portrait session for this summer. Quite frankly, I don’t want to be stuck behind the camera when it comes to my own family. I want to be fully immersed in the moment of us-ness, even if that means being the one in the firing line of her spoon.

8 months old, baby, lifestyle portrait, family photo

Over the last 8 months I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve learnt that books don’t have all (or any) of the answers when it comes to your exact kid. I’m learning to embrace the organised chaos of family life. I’m learning to ask for support when I need it. I’m learning to laugh at myself more. Most importantly I’m learning who my daughter is, and how I can help her navigate this world.

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