Baby Lily is picture perfect for her daddy
LITTLE Lily Moss is waiting to greet her daddy with a huge smile – when he returns home from Afghanistan next month.
Dad Paul Moss has not seen his daughter since March after being deployed to Helmand Province on a seven-month tour.
The 26-year-old is a soldier in the Grenadier Guards and due to return home in October.
Now Lily and mum Katie cannot wait to see Paul again.
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Katie said: "When I fell pregnant we knew that Paul would have to go to Afghanistan shortly after, it's just how it fell.
"The last time he saw Lily she was only four months old and now she's 11 months so she has changed a lot since he last saw her."
The 27-year-old, of Kidsgrove, added: "She has developed a little personality now so I can't wait until he meets her again.
"I send him photographs and parcels but it's not the same as having him here. We all miss him and I make sure his family see Lily as much as they can."
And in preparation for his return, Katie entered Lily into The Sentinel's Baby and Toddler of the Year 2012 competition on Saturday morning.
Katie added: "Because Paul isn't here at the moment, I try to catch all of the important moments on camera so he isn't missing out.
"So I thought I would enter Lily into the competition to make sure he had some nice photographs of her as a memento, because it can be hard for him when he is away."
Mums and dads continued to enter their babies into this year's competition with photo sessions taking place at Freeport Talke over the weekend.
Mother-of-four Donna Jones, aged 43, of Brown Edge, who entered her one-year-old son Joel into the contest, said: "I have taken part before with my little girl Chloe, who is now seven, but it is the first time for Joel.
"I really like the photographs."
Thirty-four-year-old Emma Bowditch entered her only child Amelya Hunt, who is eight months old, into the contest.
Emma, of Norton, said: "Amelya is a really happy baby and she loves having her photograph taken.
"She has been in front of the camera since she was about a day old because I am always taking pictures."
Proud parents Rob and Abi Bradley, of Uttoxeter, watched as their baby girl Freya, who is four months old, smiled for the camera.
Rob said: "She was all right at first. We got some lovely shots, but then when she turned onto her front she started to cry.
"I think she was frustrated because she couldn't wriggle around."
Parents still have a number of chances to enter their youngsters into the competition, which this year is offering a total £3,000 in prize money.
The four categories are divided up into 0-to-nine months, 10-to-18 months, 19-to-36 months and three-to-five years.
The winner of each category will receive £500, with the overall winner taking an extra £1,000.
Photo sessions are taking place at the Roebuck Centre, in Newcastle, throughout the week.
And extra sessions will be held at Norton Children's Centre, in St Nicholas Avenue tomorrow and at Kingsland Children's Centre, in Werrington Road, Bucknall, on Wednesday.