Kira at Six Months – In Bali!

About a week after Kira turned four  months old, she got on her first plane.  That plane took her on a 12 hour flight destined to Tokyo, which was followed by a 7 hour flight headed to Singapore, followed by a 3 hour flight that landed in Bali.  All told – including the flights, missed connections, delays spent on airport floors, and hours in transit to and from airports – the journey lasted 37 hours.

Traveling that long with a four month old could have been a disaster.  Thankfully, our infant traveller took the whole thing in stride.  Kira didn’t cry once throughout the journey, made friends along the way, garnered us several compliments from fellow passengers, and generally enjoyed the new experience called international travel.  John and I couldn’t have been more thankful for her exceptional performance.

When we had the idea to spend two months in Bali with a small child, even we knew it was a little insane.  But over the last two months Kira has had a myriad of new experiences here that have proven not only is she much more adaptable and resilient than we expected, she seems to downright love this whole travel thing.  Every new experience we expose her to brings more smiles and a seemingly increased sense of adventure.  Seeing how happy and well adjusted she is tells us we did the right thing by bringing her here.

It doesn’t hurt that the Balinese people adore Kira.  Everywhere we go it’s like traveling with a little celebrity.  Men and women of all ages stop what they’re doing to hold her, make goofy faces at her and do anything they can to make her smile.  It seems like everyone in this country loves babies, and Kira just basks in the attention.  A few friends who visited us were a bit surprised that we let waitstaff at restaurants wander off with our kid – often taking her into the kitchen or the back gardens out of our sight – but we love it.  She has a great time being fawned over, the staff enjoys playing with our baby instead of standing around bored, and John and I get to enjoy an adult meal together.  Triple win!  Bringing a baby into a restaurant in Ubud feels more like a blessing than an annoyance, like it sometimes seems to be in the US.  (This US perspective is so ingrained in me that it took a while to get over the idea that the staff only took our daughter off of our hands out of a sense of obligation.  I’m not sure I completely got over that fear, actually.)  The extra bonus is that it has made Kira very comfortable with new people – and taught us a few new faces and sounds to make that bring her joy!

In addition to experiencing all this new travel-related stuff, Kira is also moving along the standard path of baby progression.  She started sitting unsupported the day after she turned five months old.  I wasn’t expecting it to make such a change to see her sitting alone, but the impact it had on me was huge.  It seemed like she went from being a little helpless baby to a capable little girl overnight!

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She has also recently started eating solid foods.  In lieu of making pureed baby food we decided to do baby led weaning, which basically means Kira just eats regular food alongside us.  Its safe to start letting babies feed themselves once they are six months old and can sit up unsupported.  The general wisdom is that once a baby can reach for food and put it to their own mouth successfully they are ready to play around with eating.  We weren’t planning to start with solids until we got back to the US but Kira started reaching for food off of our plates, so we let her start eating.  John wanted her to experience tropical fruit, so her first taste of food was dragon fruit, the spiky pink fruit that looks kind of like a beet inside.  Kira treated it more like an art project than a snack, but that’s all part of the process..

Since the dragon fruit we’ve given her some cooked carrots, a tomato, bread, and cucumber slices.  Just yesterday she intercepted my spoon between yogurt and mouth and fed it to herself.  I guess she is ready to start using flatware.

A huge perk to our tropical location is the backyard swimming pool.  Kira pretty much loved swimming from the first moment we put her into the pool.  She loves kicking her feet, and she does it extra fast if we sing Chariots of Fire while she’s doing it (don’t ask how we even discovered this.)  Her super posh swimsuit and hat came from her Grandma Cindy.

After the pool it’s time for a bath.  I think the red bucket I bought at the grocery store is meant for washing dishes, but it perfectly seats a six month old baby. :)
She used to dislike the bath in Colorado where she easily got cold (demonstrated by the expression on the left), but in Bali she loves the bath because its so warm (see the expression on the right)!Gratuitous bath time photos are my right as a parent.She started making this funny snort face when her Auntie Jen was in town.  Jen couldn’t stop laughing at it, which I think just spurned Kira on to keep making it.  Once Jen left, John and I have tried hard not to react to the face so she won’t go around snorting all the time, but she still likes to do it every now and then.  It is kind of hilarious.  But don’t tell Kira that.Something she loves more than bath time – playing with daddy.  We call him the Director of Roughhousing because he always finds new crazy ways to throw her around and make her giggle in the kind of way only dads can.As a photographer, I know the following series of selfies is not very technically sound.  But as a mama, I love it anyway.
Enough messing around – time to get on those feetie pajamas.You can’t get a good night’s sleep without sampling your toes first.  Didn’t you know that?  Turns out I’ve been doing it wrong for years…Per the usual, I’ll end with our family selfie.  (One of these days we’ll get Kira to look at the lens at the right moment.)  The house we stayed at in Bali would have made a sublime backdrop for a family photo shoot featuring all three of us, but alas I cannot clone myself to both take the photos and be in them.  (Many thanks to John for tolerating my directions to take the photos of me above.  All the rest I did.)  I would have loved to have a true family shoot here, but this will just have to do for now.

We leave tomorrow for a few days in Singapore and then back to the US to restart life in Colorado.  I’m crossing my fingers that Kira will travel even half as well as a six month old as she did as a four month old.  Either way we will be home in Denver next week.  I look forward to all the summertime adventures ahead of us!

 

Meet Clara Evelyn

Little Clara Evelyn has what my husband dubbed “dual citizenship.”  Born 8 weeks early, during the time of this photo shoot she qualified as both a three month old and preemie adjusted age 3 week old.  So while she was the size of a newborn during her newborn shoot, she had technically been in the world for much longer.  That familiarity with the outside world meant Clara wasn’t much interested in curling up to sleep for our photo shoot.  Despite our best efforts to get the sleeping naked baby pose that her mom really wanted, Clara was determined to stay awake for her first time in front of the camera.

You may remember Clara’s parents, Leslie and Peter, from their wedding I photographed a few years ago.  Unfortunately, Peter was unavailable for this photo shoot, but I nabbed many photos of Clara with her beautiful mama.

Look at those little lips!  So sweet.
Clara only wanted to sleep in her mama’s arms.  Can you blame her?
I just love the nursery Leslie and Peter put together.  Very classic.
076Despite our best efforts to photograph her in little outfits or in the buff, Clara was only interested in being photographed in her favorite crocheted blankets.  So long as we can see her sweet little face and a peek at her tiny little feet that’s just fine with me.Looking very pensive…Alas, we did want just a couple sleeping baby photos.  Perhaps a nice swaddle will do the trick…And a little time beneath the mobile…Ah, sweet sleep.
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Welcome to the world Clara Evelyn!

Kira at Three Months

Can you believe it has been three months since Kira’s newborn shoot?  The time seems to have flown by, but she has made huge changes in the last three months.  She’s gone from being a smushy little newborn to a smiling, giggling, active little girl.

I didn’t buy many clothes for Kira before she was born since we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl.  What I did buy, however, was mostly blue and green simply because I like those colors.  So for the first few months of her life, I was accused of dressing Kira like a boy.  Not for this photo shoot!  We went all girly for this one with a pink hat and lacy shirt.  With a little help from people like Lindsey (who bought her this cute hat) and a lot of help from her enthusiastic Auntie Jen (who bought the super cute lace top among many other awesome outfits) Kira’s wardrobe is slowly starting to balance out from all gender neutral to more girl appropriate.

While she usually treats us to plenty of smiles and happy faces, sometimes she is nonplussed with my photo efforts.  Below is her duck face, which I totally love.  It’s just a little bit pouty and sassy.
She is acing tummy time these days.  It used to be a bit of a struggle, but now I get some smiles when she’s on her tummy, especially if she has a mirror to look at :)
More happy tummy time…So happy she could drool…and she does…a lot…The snow outside was just perfect for a couple of winter photos, so we put on her little fleece bear outfit.  John and I call it her Tanuki suit because we both played too much Nintendo as children.  Unfortunately, I think this was the last time she’ll be able to fit into the Tanuki suit.  Her little legs are so long she doesn’t fit in most of her clothes anymore – time for the six month size!
There’s that duck face again…
Outside we go for our first snow photos!  Notice how short those fleece pants look?  They used to be long on her…sigh.  Good thing we were only out there for a few minutes so she didn’t have time to get cold.And, of course, a snowy selfie.My parents got Kira a new play gym for Christmas, and she loves it.  She hasn’t quite sorted out that she can use her hands to bat at the hanging toys, but she likes to kick the pillars and watch them dance.  My family had a lot of fun watching her play with it on Christmas day.
Kick kick!  Right now she also loves looking at herself in the mirror, giggling at the sheep wall art in her nursery, and reading the book Eight Silly Monkeys.  I love watching her little face when we read to her – she looks at all the pictures and has such a good time.  I expect it will only get more fun as her attention span grows.
Since she turned three months just the day after Christmas, I also included my two favorite iPhone images from the holiday.  Somehow she managed to wear that Christmas onesie all day without spitting up all over it, and she loved her little elf hat.Kira has changed so much in the last three months, and I know more big changes are on the way.  There is so much to look forward to.  More photos soon!

Jenny Whaley - January 26, 2015 - 3:22 am

Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful pictures of Kira. I love reading your posts as well as the great pictures you have. Hope you are having (had?) a great time in Bali I believe it was. Cant wait to see the pics from the latest trip.

Charles - January 15, 2015 - 8:32 pm

Wonderful photos (no surprise there!) – thanks for sharing :) Great to see the whole family looking so happy, she’s a lucky girl. Take care, love from us both down here in NZ.

Matt + Lindsey + Alex

Matt and Lindsey are our neighbors, and their little boy Alex is just over a year old.  The four of us ventured over to our neighborhood park for some family photos before Christmas.  While I wouldn’t have minded a fun snowy shoot, it was nice to have a mild December day to play outside.

Everyone loves a flying baby – especially in that gorgeous evening light!

Alex has some serious eyelashes.No, really.  I’ve never seen such lashes!Look at those smiles!  Such a happy kiddo.Alex loves to ride on Matt’s back while he does pushups.  Right now that’s an extra 22lbs for Matt to be pushing up!  That’s a pretty good exercise routine :)I love both of these images.  So true to what life with a one year old is like.Time to play on the playground!  He’s just big enough to start using the swings and the slide.I think Alex is about 10 minutes away from walking…he is definitely getting close!Thanks for letting me document your family, Matt and Lindsey.  It was so fun to play with you in the park!

Hannah + Gordon – Engaged!

Hannah and Gordon plan to tie the knot next year in Vermont, but they wanted to do an engagement shoot that represented Colorado.  Few things feel more like Colorado than Red Rocks at sunset.  Even in December, Red Rocks is a gorgeous place to shoot with wonderful light.Their pup, Rubin, joined us for some photos, too. Rubin was dying to run free in the fields.  Thankfully, a friend of Hannah’s accompanied us for the shoot and could help burn off some of his energy between shots!I love all the wildlife at Red Rocks.  Such great textures to play with.Jay Peak is their wedding venue in Vermont.  This blanket was perfect for their Save the Dates!
A quick outfit change as the night set in – and the temperature dropped dramatically.  I don’t know how Hannah wasn’t freezing in this dress, but she pulled it off!

Congrats on your engagement, Gordon and Hannah!  I hope the wedding in Vermont is spectacular.