ASD

In a whirl of emotions, I’m trying to write out the information I just received. It’s not any one particular emotion and the over all feeling is that I have had a weight lifted- so this is a good post 🙂 I promise. 
We have been waiting for this day for over 3 years…a step toward more information and understanding for our Ruby. Today, Ruby was officially diagnosed with ASD.

I know some of you aren’t surprised. If you’ve spent time around us (especially in the early years), you might have been subjected to the mess we were. And if you didn’t, then it’s probably because I cancelled plans with you because we were such a mess. From struggling to have play dates to just getting out in the yard so the other kids could play, every outting presented unique challenges and sensory upsets. But there is still a level of shock for many, including us. While ASD is a spectrum disorder, Ruby doesn’t follow a lot of the “rules”. Her history of sensory issues, emotional outbursts, and delayed social emotional abilities is what brought us to this moment. But on the outside, Ruby is very typical; she makes decent eye contact, has age-appropriate speech, plays with her toys, and can be very affectionate.
As it was explained to us, girls (specifically) like Ruby who are on the spectrum are not typically diagnosed until they are older, when they are beginning to have trouble developing more complex relationships and are presented with a higher demand for social interactions.

Understanding that ASD presents differently in everyone and that Ruby’s brain is wired differently brings so much peace for me at the moment. We have been given direction and we are entering a new chapter. 

I’m not sure that listing all the reasons for her diagnosis or the specifics of her diagnosis does much, if not to validate it further. I’ve always known (even before she was born) that Ruby would come to us with her own unique Rubyness. I just knew. And part of me was afraid but today I just feel that it’s nice to finally know.

Do you know someone in your life that has ASD? Would it help you to know more about why we looked into testing and what specifically had us concerned when it came to Ruby’s development? 

Strawberry Farm

My instagram feed is pretty varied- I follow friends and companies from all over the world. Last weekend, it gave me the push to take the kids out for some fun spring activities. Now that the kids are older, it’s so much easier. But seeing that some areas are still getting snow kind of keeps it in perspective for a mama. So, with that being said, we loaded up in search of spring activities.
Things are pretty spread out in Texas, and we live North enough of Houston to still see some farm lands (or not have to drive very far to get to them). We found a locally grown farm and saw that strawberries were in season. I was a little skeptical that the kids would actually get it or understand or even enjoy it. Sure, the weather was nice and it was fun to get out and run around, but the goal was to leave with strawberries.
Ruby got it really quickly. Along with Allison, they sought out the best and more red and ripe strawberries on the row. Wyatt was a wild man. He would pick a few but was much more interested in the farm animals and running away from me.
Eli was a mix. He always is. He wanted to do what Wyatt was doing, but was also interested in the strawberries. He would gingerly reach out and pluck one from the vine. Always careful to get only the red ones. It was so sweet. All of their personalities are so different and seeing them out there learning and exploring made my heart soar.
In total we gathered enough fresh fruit to make a strawberry cheesecake from scratch. So after everyone had worn down from running and playing and picking fruit, we were on our way home to bake.
I’m not historically a good baker…like actually, I am awful. But cheesecake isn’t really baking and I wound up being successful. 🙂 So I would say this family outing was basically perfect. We plan to go back when more fruit is in season. If you are local, check out http://www.atkinsonfarm.com and if you are looking for a fun, unique and laid back photography experience, consider booking a session there!

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Ashley offers on-location, natural light photography in the Houston and surrounding areas: The Woodlands, Spring, Magnolia, Conroe. She is available for Family, Child, New Life and Maternity Sessions.
Book your session today! Session Pricing and Information.

E-mail: info@ashleynewmanphoto.com
Phone Number: 832-771-7211

Family Easter

Happy Wednesday everyone!
I feel like very suddenly I have an influx of personal posts. But don’t get too excited, these are *nothing* fancy (for real….don’t judge me). I brought my camera out, but didn’t do anything artistic or inspiring to these images. They are just some simple shots of my family from easter.

We started the morning with an egg hunt. I have to admit that this was the most fun doing easter I have had in the four years since we became parents. I got their baskets loaded down (thanks to family and friends), we had tons of candy (which is huge considering we never did candy in the past!) and hid all the eggs the night before (so thankful the critters didn’t take off with them haha). When the kids woke up that morning, they were so thrilled to see what they had been brought! They don’t understand the idea of the easter bunny yet, but I am ok with that. We just want them to have fun and know they are loved.

After a family breakfast, we went to my mom’s house for a visit in the morning. The kids are getting old enough now to remember the way to familiar places. Grandparents houses are no exception. They get excited when they realize we are just around the corner from their homes. It’s super sweet to watch.
We hung around, had a great meal and just spent time together.

Being the rebels that we are, we skipped naps and hopped in the car to go to the next stop. My husband’s family is huge, so the celebration was just as big. We wound up doing an outdoor spring celebration. Once the kids recovered from their sugar crash and lack of nap, we spent the remainder of the day chasing them all over the property and letting them play with their cousins.

The ride home was bliss- quiet and calm. We all came home and crashed hard.
It was a great day to celebrate family and an even better day to just grab some memories without the pressure of being “photographer”. 😉
So again, don’t judge, but enjoy! This is my family in all our craziness!

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Ashley offers on-location, natural light photography in the Houston and surrounding areas: The Woodlands, Spring, Magnolia, Conroe. She is available for Family, Child, New Life and Maternity Sessions.
E-mail: info@ashleynewmanphoto.com
Phone Number: 832-771-7211