Looking at these photos just really highlights for me what a difference a year makes. This time last year I was sharing the first photos of this little trio; Dylan and Everly were giddy about having a baby sister, and Quinny still had that newborn puffiness about her, and was wrapped up snug and teeny in a swaddle. In truth, Dylan and Everly are still pretty giddy about having a baby sister, but just look at how far they've all come.
Dylan totally knocks it out of the park when it comes to being the big brother. He loves both his little sisters so dearly, but so differently too. With Everly its a best friend thing; he seeks her out to share things with, they cause chaos, noise, and copious laughter in equal measures. With Ashlyn he is so protective and proud; he still tells anyone he meets that she is his baby sister, and no one cheers her achievements quite as much as he does. The girls are so lucky to have him in their corner.
Everly manages to flit between the roles of younger sibling and older sibling with such balance and grace. She challenges Dylan by pushing his buttons and his boundaries, in fact no one can annoy him quite like she can, but at the same time she totally idolises him and just wants to be like him. With Quinn though, she's the ultimate mini mummy; trying to include her sister in all games and absolutely smothering her with kisses and cuddles at every opportunity.
And Ashlyn... well she certainly loves being on the receiving end of everyone's love and attention, most of the time anyway. Although it's funny to see as her personality comes out more and more, how effectively she manages to make her feelings known even though she doesn't speak yet. Cuddles that last a bit too long are met with a screech, and siblings that come too close or take things away are at serious risk of a whack round the head. But she'll follow them from room to room just watching as they play, and I can tell she's desperate for the day that she can join in a little more - as are they.
The way her face lights up for them, and they for her, it still doesn't fail to make my heart swell.
It all just makes me really excited to see what the coming months and years will bring. The dynamics seem to change slightly with each passing month as Quinny becomes more and more communicative, and more and more interested in play. I feel like the moment when she starts to walk (which seems to be looming on the horizon) will be quite the turning point too. And for now, she has two very keen and willing walking helpers... how they'll feel when she starts chasing them remains to be seen.
I have to say it's been fascinating over the past year to watch the bonds between them change. To begin with it was very much 'the big two and then the baby', but over twelve months I've watched the three of become a unit of their own. A team that is united in noisy bath times, in giggling tickle parties before bed, and in bouncing on sofas when they shouldn't.
And of course I've seen their individual relationships change too. Dylan and Everly have been brought closer by having a younger sister; it makes them 'the big ones together'. It has been adorable to watch Dylan totally melt over Quinn, as I did worry he would be left out of bonding somehow by being at school and being that bit older. Those worries really were needless; my biggest and littlest adore one another, and seem to be so alike in a lot of ways. And of course I've watched my girls forge a totally new relationship; sisters. I feel like going forward this one will be the one to give me the most headaches, as both girls appear to be pretty strong willed but are so different. But I also know their relationship will give me (and them) a lot of joy too, and I love to think of the things they will share as sisters as they go through life.