Elma Family Kitty Photography Pip Siblings

Siblings 2015: September


Spending three weeks travelling around Europe this summer gave us a concentrated time to be together as a five.  It was one of the things that I think H and I were most looking forward to, a chance to really immerse ourselves in our sense of family.  It was lovely to be that five, and it was very special too to watch our little trio getting ever closer.

Most of the time we were away there either weren’t other children around (Switzerland) or they didn’t really gel with any of them (France) and we travelled with very limited toys, but an ever increasing supply of French supermarket colouring books.  The three of them had to be each other’s entertainment and when you’re camping in a four man tent you have to find a way to get along because there’s no where else to go.  And I think I can safely say that over the course of that trip the girls became even closer friends.  Which means of course that when they were getting along it was the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen, but that they’ve also really really mastered winding each other up, an activity identified by the piercing shrieks of the wounded party (“Mummy! Mummy!!!! She’s put her foot near me!!”) and the giggles (Elma) or hastily repressed smile (Kitty) of the provoker.

Space for the Butterflies - Siblings

And for all that there were times when I really wished we’d installed a little soundproof screen between the front and back seats of the car, I’d so much rather it was this way than that they were politely indifferent to each other.  The girls love each other fiercely, and sometimes a bit too much but it gives me hope that in the future they will settle down a little and simply be very great friends.  Probably just in time for the teenage hormones to hit.

And then there’s Pip, still petted and adored as the baby of the family but now crawling at great speed, pulling up, cruising the furniture and definitely contemplating that all important first step.  He’s climbing the stairs, and the footstool, and the little table that the tv sits on; so desperately wanting to be involved and to be playing with his sisters rather than merely being played with.   And the tentative steps into their becoming a trio that were there last month seem to have only got firmer.  They can and will all three snuggle up together for a story, or sit and build a tower together, and occasionally (just occasionally) Pip even lets his sisters’ Duplo constructions stay constructed for a little while before he tries to crawl all over them.

Space for the Butterflies - Siblings

When I wrote my Siblings post last month we were on the brink of big change.  Change for our family as a whole as H and I switch the going to work and staying at home roles, change for Pip and Elma as they move into a different group at playgroup and start to make friends all over again, and change for my little trio as Kitty took the biggest leap of all and headed to school.  And while I think it will take a little while for the whirlwind to settle so we can see the impact of all this newness, I can see that, as I thought, Pip and Elma are starting to become firmer friends in their own right.  When Kitty’s not around, Elma will still try to make him giggle, or tickle him as she’s seen Kitty do, even if sometimes he looks back at her with a complete “what are you doing!” expression.

Space for the Butterflies - Siblings

But the sweetest thing in seeing Kitty take such a leap forward has been watching Pip and Elma scrabble to keep up, especially Elma.  When they were both at nursery Elma wasn’t aware that Kitty was doing much more than she was, and when they were at home over the summer there wasn’t any gap between them.  But now that’s not true, and yet I think Elma hasn’t quite grasped that.  When Kit comes running out of school with one of her new friends, it’s Elma who goes running up to both of them, who looks forward to seeing Kitty’s friend as much as she does her sister, and one of the funniest sights of the last week has been Kitty and her friend scampering off down the pavement with Elma fleeing after them, desperately trying to keep up and so obviously longing to be included with the ‘big girls’, while Pip wiggles and squirms in the sling, wanting to be down and crawling too.

To their credit, Kitty and her new friend are incredible sweet; they both give Elma cuddles and kisses and hold her hand to cross the road and so far, touch wood, we haven’t had any “she’s my friend not yours”.

Space for the Butterflies - Siblings

Space for the Butterflies - Siblings

It’s going to be really interesting to see how this develops; to see whether Elma continues to think of herself as on an equal footing with Kitty, or whether as her relationship with Pip becomes stronger she claims her place in the middle of the family.

These pictures were taken at our last cricket picnic of the year, and it’s funny to see the little changes since one of our first cricket picnics.  Pip has got so much bigger, and, as you can see, just a little bit faster!

Two little sisters, and their speedy brother too, in September:

Space for the Butterflies - Siblings

Space for the Butterflies - Siblings

Space for the Butterflies - Siblings

This month I’m sending you to Lucy.  Her little boy has just started school, her daughter, pre-school, and these might well be her very last Siblings photos of a duo, so they’re going to be very special pictures.

dear beautiful


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  • The Reading Residence 15/09/2015 at 9:26 am

    Such big changes for you this month. Sounds like you have a wonderful bank of holiday memories, too. My son likes to play with his big sister and her school friends, too, and hates not being included! Beautiful photos x

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 10:56 pm

      Oh that’s so sweet 🙂

  • LauraCYMFT 15/09/2015 at 10:04 am

    These are such beautiful pictures. It sounds like they all have such wonderful relationships one on one and as a threesome.

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 10:57 pm

      Thank you – I think they really do 🙂

  • Jess @ Catch A Single Thought 15/09/2015 at 11:02 am

    Oh it sounds like its all change in your home at the moment, I hope it all settles down and you get into new routines soon! These are lovely photos, I especially love the one at the end when Pip is just still making his way…it sounds like they all have a beautiful relationship and I’m sure a little thing like school won’t get in the way of that!!

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 10:57 pm

      I think if we can get through to the end of the month we might just make it!!

  • Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) 15/09/2015 at 11:27 am

    Such a beautiful post and photos Carie, and so interesting to read about the changes that moving up at nursery and with Kitty starting school have brought to your little trio. Pip is really growing up so fast and it is lovely to see them really starting to come together as a trio. I had to chuckle at Elma being excited about seeing Kitty’s new friend too – Sophie is very much the same with Jessica’s friend E at preschool and wants to join in too! I’m with you on wanting to have a soundproof wall in between the front and the back at times but as you say, better that than silent indifference! 🙂

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 10:59 pm

      Thank you – it still feels like early days but so far so good!

  • Alina 15/09/2015 at 1:15 pm

    I notice that traveling often bring families closer. I guess when you are in foreign surroundings, you really feel how strongly you need these special people and how dear they are to you. It’s like looking at familiar things with the fresh eyes!

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 11:00 pm

      Oh definitely, it was a sort of us vs the rest of the world and it made us even more close knit, I wouldn’t swap it for the world!

  • Hannah | MakeDo&Push 15/09/2015 at 2:47 pm

    So so gorgeous!! Elma looks so grown up now – love her bob 🙂 xx

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 11:01 pm

      She’s got so big over the summer, she’s all little girl now – where did the last two and a bit years go!

  • Mammasaurus 15/09/2015 at 3:52 pm

    Elma seems to have grown so much since last month, maybe it’s seeing him sitting on his own at the picnic. Glad to hear that the changes are settling nicely x

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 11:02 pm

      I think all three really shot up while we were away but Pip seems bigger every time I look around!

  • Donna 15/09/2015 at 9:31 pm

    Pip just wants to be in the same space as the girls, doing the same things as them. The photos are gorgeous and I can’t wait until he can run around with them too! x

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 11:02 pm

      Doesn’t he just – just wait until he can walk!

  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 16/09/2015 at 12:23 am

    Haha! We get the giggles and hastily repressed smiles too… Why do they delight in provoking each other so much??! Gorgeous pictures! I always like seeing your siblings photos because you’re basically us in a year! Two girls and a boy is just the best combo! 😉

  • Isabella @ Fairies & Pirates 16/09/2015 at 9:19 am

    Lovely photos, and I was really touched by how you have described your trio’s dynamic this month. A lot has resonated with me, as my little (big) girl has also just started school, and Alex is at the very same stage as Pip, crawling, climbing everywhere, contemplating that first step and wanting to be actively involved in everything! Such lovely memories to have from your holiday, too. It sounds like it was a great opportunity for their bond to grow even stronger as there were not many other children around. It looks like they are a brilliant team already! x

  • Seychellesmama 16/09/2015 at 9:57 am

    Hello!!! I’ve not stopped off at your blog for a little while and oh my gosh pip and the girls are changing so fast!!
    Ive always thought that the relationship between your girls looks so strong and it sounds like it’s stronger than ever! Pip is getting so big he’s gorgeous and the girls sound like wonderful big sisters to him!! Xx

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 16/09/2015 at 10:07 pm

    It’s bad enough with two little people rabbiting on in the back of the car, I can’t imagine what it’s like with three of them! It sounds like you made such a summer of memories with your three lovely little ones Carie. I can imagine it brought you all closer! x

  • London Accountants Lady 17/09/2015 at 3:54 pm

    These photos are so sweet, they all look like they’re having fun at the picnic!

  • Sara | mumturnedmom 17/09/2015 at 4:26 pm

    I love reading about their relationship, and there have been big changes for you this month. I can relate, as the dynamic has shifted in our house with the wee girl starting at preschool. Lovely photos, Pip is getting so big 🙂

  • Katy (What Katy Said) 19/09/2015 at 10:25 am

    Gorgeous post hun. Was so lovely meeting you last night. xxx

  • sally 27/09/2015 at 12:34 am

    Life would be boring without changes thrown in to deal with! I have a feeling that your 3 will have their ups and downs as they grow but a graph of their relationships would always have an upward trajectory over any length of time.

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:06 pm

      Which is very reassuring to hear from a mama who’s walked the path ahead of me – I really hope that’s the case 🙂

  • lucy at dear beautiful 29/09/2015 at 3:47 pm

    I so love reading your Siblings posts Carie… I feel like I get a little glimpse into the future. And I so hope that my beautiful girly will get to have a close but different bond with the siblings either side of her, just as Elma is beginning to. And I so look forward to a time when they will become a proper trio, as yours are becoming.
    It sounds like your holiday really forged the relationship within your family, and I honestly think that’s why holidays are so important; a time to be together and share experiences without all the distractions of normal life. x

    • Carie 29/09/2015 at 10:04 pm

      Oh definitely, I think our holiday was what we needed, even more than just spending the summer together, to forge a really tight foundation that means that we can turn life on its head, go in all sorts of directions and still have our foundation to come home to – at least I hope so!