Friday, 16 May 2014

Ella's Blessing Weekend

 Last weekend, our little Ella got blessed and most of our family were able to come up for this very special occasion! Of course, in typical Scotland style it was pouring with rain on the Saturday morning when everyone arrived...and it continued to rain all day long! For about an hour in the afternoon, the rain held off just long enough for us to go on a nice woodland walk - and even the sun made a quick appearance!

 We were loving the bluebells!

 and we had to grab a family shot, whilst there was an additional pair of hands to take the photo!

It was also my Dad's birthday that same day, so we celebrated with a coconut and lime curd cake -

because in his opinion cake is better than a present - I wonder who I take after!

and we all headed out for a big family meal at Nando's in the evening.  Again Dad's sweet tooth came out as he ate his frozen yoghurt before his meal had even arrived!

The rest of the night we spent adding a few last minute touches to our bakes for the next day!

 Ella woke up full of beans, ready for her big day! We tried to take a few shots of her in her pretty dress before we left the house - but she had other things in mind! Like eating everything in sight - her dress...

 and even her fists! but I guess this is just a way to document that on her blessing day she was in full on teething mode!

 For a few seconds she folded her arms like a reverent little baby! and we managed a few smiles too!

 Isn't her dress so cute? My uni friends Tash and Lucy posted it to her as a prezzie when she was a newborn and I knew as soon as I saw it that it would be her blessing dress! Her little pink cardigan was knitted by a colleague of By's.

 Here was our little family shot before leaving for church! 

The blessing ceremony itself was really lovely, in our church the baby blessing gets performed by the father so Byron was able to bless Ella.  It was such a special moment seeing him up there bestowing all kinds of lovely words to Ella.  God has entrusted us with this baby girl, she is a beloved child of his and he wants her to return to live with him again one day and so it is down to Byron and I as her earthly parents to raise her in obedience to keeping the commandments of God and walking in righteousness.  Having her blessed into our church is just the first step in her journey but one that will ensure that she grows up to know God and to follow in Jesus' footsteps and example.

Just a few weeks before the blessing I found a picture from my own blessing day...

and my mom also gave me one from her blessing day!

 I want to get all three of them framed together, three generations sharing one special moment!

Of course no special moments happen in the Jones family without accompanying baked goods! so we whipped up this very pink and girly dessert table for after! My sister Mara made that lovely bunting that said Ella's Blessing on it...

and she also made this E, and these cute little flowers from dyed coffee filters - she's so clever!

 I made these brownie bites...


oreo truffles...

 magic bars...and some treats called fifteens which weren't photographed - they are a traditional Northern Irish treat of condensed milk, marshmallows and coconut - mine had maltesers in too! and we also made some marshmallow pops for the kids table!

 Mara brought the gourmet popcorn, one little boy came up to me and asked where the popcorn was, I pointed to the little pink dishes, and he said 'no, the normal popcorn, I don't like coconut popcorn'!! Too bad for him, because it was yummy!

 My mom made this lemon polenta cake, to give a bit of a break from all the chocolatey treats on the table! and she also made some super cute mini scones with jam and clotted cream!

and she did this beautiful pink arrangment for the table!

 The rocky road was provided by Mel, and Mara brought a whole tray of rocky road fudge brownies too!

 She also made these mini chocolate cupcakes, and the little pink toppers were handmade using a mould of all sweeties and cupcakes...


they were super cute!

Shloer and pink lemonade was accompanied by stripey straws...

because everything is made better with stripey straws! especially ones in pink buckets, which my dad sprayed especially for the occasion - thanks Dad!

 Here are the proud great grandparents! all the way from South Africa, we waited until May to do the blessing so that they would be able to attend :)

A nice family shot outside the chapel!

and a sister shot...

 Ellis and Ella having a moment!

 All the Jones girls!

 and this is where we tried to recreate the pose from my blessing picture 28 years ago!

Uncle Arne getting broody for a girl! and look at cute little Ellis' special tartan tie for the event! He had a waistcoat and everything but that didn't make it past the beginning of church!

We took a few more pictures of the special girl in her special dress!

 She loved clutching it all day long!

and seemed pretty happy about how the day had gone! We are so blessed to get to be her mommy and daddy!

Ella was truly spoilt with so many goodies and so much love - she definitely has a huge family who love her very much! We were so grateful to everyone who was able to make the effort to come! It was a weekend that will not be forgotten!

Friday, 9 May 2014

A 3 Month Old Update!

I am fully aware that I sound like a broken down record, but 3 months?! How did that fly around so fast?

Lots of people comment on Ella's vast array of facial expressions! Here are just a few I snapped on her first trip accompanying Daddy to the hairdresser:

He had quite the haircut, and was slightly concerned that for a few days after Ella had forgotten who he was since it was such a change! but she still thinks he's the funnest guy around!

and this month has been all about



and more smiles!


This baby girl is just the happiest, smiliest out there! I am pretty sure that full on giggles will happen very soon...and I couldn't be more excited for that! 

The bumbo has also become a firm favourite around here! This was the first time she tried it out at my parents house...and I'm pretty sure that's a fist pump right there showing her approval!

She always wants to be sitting upright and looking all around, she is so inquisitive and her eyes dart around so fast, she has got such strong little neck muscles and can hold it up so well already!

Another thing she really discovered this month is the T.V! She wasn't that bothered about it before, but now her eyes are drawn to all those colours, and if you're wanting to sing a song or do something fun whilst the T.V is on forget about it - the T.V gets all her attention!

Lazing around watching some shows with her Daddy:

Here she is just chilling on her tummy time pillow catching up on an episode of friends!

and one Sunday afternoon we put on Monsters Inc.  We popped her in her bumbo and she was watching it intently and even laughing at the funny moments! It was obviously complete co-incidence but anyone else watching it would have thought she was actually understanding it! We had to take a lil video clip...

She is still a huge fan of her playmat! oh the fun she has down there!

In the past week, we attached a new character to her playmat - a doll from her Aunt Judi, and it's now overtaken the white tiger as her fave pal! Last Sunday, she even grabbed on to the little hoop hanging down from it for the first time! This was the first time she's ever grabbed a toy before so was a good little milestone for her to reach! and she hasn't stopped holding on to it ever since! She also likes to try and lick her skirt, which isn't so appropriate!

Her other new best friend this month is Winnie the Pooh! which was a gift from Granny Jones. 

We put it beside her when we are changing her, and oh the fun she has chatting away to him! Here's a lil clip Daddy recorded one morning...

and then just 2 nights ago, she cuddled Pooh for the first time as she was getting her nappy changed - it was rather cute!

She is also starting to fill out a bit more, which we are very happy about! For a while she wasn't putting on as much weight each week as the health visitor was hoping for...but there's no denying that some chub is creeping in...

Love those chubby thighs!

and that double chin!

Dribble bibs are also a permanent feature around here these days.  She's starting the teething process, and with that her little fists are continually in her mouth which leaves a huge amount of dribble pouring out! She hasn't quite mastered how to hold a teething ring yet but I think it will only be a matter of time - Sophie giraffe is ready and waiting to help her out!

Things she is still not loving:

Getting dressed! Oh if anyone has any tips on how to get a baby dressed without a huge amount of crying I'm all ears! We used to think she didn't like having vests pulled over her face, so I started pulling them up over her body from the feet up...but even that doesn't stop the crying!

Traffic lights - I have worked out 2 alternate routes from some of our regular trips to minimise the amount of possible traffic light stops! but there's no getting around it, Hamilton is just full of traffic lights and this baby hates you stopping - motion is her middle name.

For some reason in the past week or so there has suddenly been tears at bath time which she used to just love! We're hoping it's a phase! or that we just need to buy her some super fun bath toys to distract her from what's going on!

Other things that happened this month was Daddy having a birthday! so we took a little family outing to Viva Brazil - one of those meat restaurants where they just keep bringing you more and more and more! The South African was loving it!

I stocked up on a lot of the delicious salads and sides and had little room left over for meat! The South African was not impressed that when he asked what my favourite cut of meat I'd eaten had been I said sausage!

Ella slept through most of the outing, despite the loud Brazilian music blaring away!!

She woke up for some cuddles just before we left!

Oh, how I love that sweet little face!

The other exciting event that happened was Ella meeting her great grandparents for the first time! Byron's grandparents came over to visit from South Africa and are here staying with us for a week.  Ella has been loving all the attention, and we've been loving the extended lie ins - thanks Gran and Gramps!

 Lastly, here's a picture of Ella in her bouncer at one week old compared to one taken this week at 3 months old! She doesn't even look like the same baby! Her lips were ruby red when she was newborn, and her skin was still jaundiced so looking a bit yellow.  Her hair was also much darker, and there was more of it! 

She has definitely developed pale skin from the Irish side of our family! but just look at how she fills her bouncer now! 

This month has been such a fun month, seeing her become more interested in the world around her and in her toys.  She is chatting away more and more, and still finding everything we say funny! Her new favourite song is 'This Old Man' and I don't know why she finds it so funny but she does especially when you say 'give the dog a bone'! 

We are just loving every minute of our lives with our sweet baby girl, and we can't wait to see all the new things that month 4 will bring!