Twelve Months of Quinn Evelyn

      And just like that our little baby is a big ONE year old girl. Cue the tears. (There were so many emotional tears today!) It truly has been the fastest year of my life. So much change, so much growth and so much love. I cannot help but feel so proud. Not only of Quinn, and how happy and social this little girl is, but how Matt and I have worked so well together as a team. When all my attention had to be on Quinn all his was on looking after me and for that, I am so grateful. Parenthood has exceeded our expectations and we feel so lucky to call Quinn ours.

      This first birthday milestone is one I’m not ready for. I am in denial and my heart aches a little that Quinn is now this little independent being. Needing me less and less. It has been a common emotion throughout this year. I felt it at each stage. When Quinn rolled for the first time, when she had her first taste of solids and when she took her first steps. I love love love to watch her grow and learn but I also want to freeze time because I so desperately don’t want to miss a second. I would stare at her for hours as a Newborn and take a million photos so it would be etched in my brain and I wouldn’t forget, however when I look back, I can hardly believe she was that little. I’m sure that’s why they say motherhood is tough, it’s a constant mixed bag of emotions and I’m only at year one! Does it get any easier?

      Much like last month, January flew by. I love the feeling a new year brings. I find myself reflecting on the year that’s been and how I’d like to go about the new year. I love to write goals and if Quinn has taught me anything, its a lot can happen within 12 months. This year, I really enjoyed getting out and going for walks with Quinnie, but I never felt the urgency to do more than that. I loved the slow gentle pace of life. However, I now have the desire to feel fit and enjoy some quality “me” time so I decided to join back at the gym. It feels good to use my muscles again and clears my busy mind because we all know #mumbrain is a real thing!

      Quinn’s sleeping this month has been amazing. It’s like as soon as she turned 11 months, boom, she is sleeping through the night! Mostly a good 11 hours from around 7.30pm – 6.30am. I don’t know if it’s from all the walking she is doing that is wearing her out physically or from her love of food keeping that belly of hers full, but we of course are absolutely loving it. She is still on 2 naps through the day however we have noticed now that the longer she sleeps in the morning the harder it is to get her down for the afternoon nap. So, some days, we give her a very short morning nap in order to get a longer lunchtime nap or, if she can push through, we just do the one nap. I’m not that eager to give up that morning nap just yet but I know it wont be far away!

      It is quite incredible how much they understand at this age. Although Quinn cannot talk she can communicate so clearly and seems to understand exactly what we say. With her strong pointing abilities, she is easily able to let us know when she needs a drink of water from her sippy cup or when we say, “would you like some blueberries” she is very quick to point in their direction with a very happy “mmm”. She knows to wave goodbye and blow kisses goodnight. It is a good reminder for Matt and I that she watches and observes all we do and say. She is like a little sponge taking it all in!

      Quinn is seriously obsessed with pointing right now. She will point and shout “da” at just about any moving object, especially animals. At one point we thought she learnt how to say “dog” because whenever she saw a dog she would get so excited, point, and shout “da, da da” but turns out she does that to any animal. Dogs were just the beginning. Her finger pointing is so intense and serious with her big wide eyes and the straightest little finger you could ever see its quite impressive really. A couple of nights on our holiday we had Quinn sleep in our bed, on one particular morning Matt abruptly woke up to Quinn shouting “DAD” with her face and little finger pointing right up to his nose. Haha it gave him a hell of a fright. She makes us laugh. Like quite literally I don’t think there has been a day in these whole 12 months she hasn’t made us smile or laugh.

      It was so nice to have a little Summer holiday in the Coromandel this January. Usually with wedding season I would be too busy to take time off however we decided to schedule some family time because they are only so small once and it was a nice way to celebrate both our birthdays and 2nd wedding anniversary. We stayed in two really cool places. One was Hahei Bed and Breakfast, which is actually owned by Matts aunty and uncle and the other a glamping retreat on a farm nestled in the native bush. Both were so dreamy and relaxing, we had a blast and we cannot wait to be back. Quinn swam nearly everyday either in the pool or the sea and was so good at travelling in the car and endlessly eating out. I love how she is so resilient, and we can take her anywhere!

      When I look back over this past year, I am amazed at all I have achieved. I was able to photograph 10 weddings and many beautiful newborn babies, all while exclusively breast feeding, which itself is a full time job! I also managed to write these blogs, this one, the last from this series, but somehow it feels like it’s only just beginning. This second year of Quinns life is going to bring even more fun into our world and I am excited to see where it takes us. I can’t wait for her to say more words and for her hair to grow even longer and her sassy attitude to become more fierce. What a journey it has been!

      Happy first Birthday Quinnielicious, we love you beyond words and more than you’ll ever know!