Thursday 31 July 2014

Me and Mine - July

Last July was swelteringly hot, the evenings were sweaty and it felt like summer was going on forever.  I remember watching it out the hospital window, consoling myself with the strong rays I was protecting my children's skin from.  We missed a whole month of sunshine, of being outdoors and this July we have tried to make up for it.

Our days have been spent outdoors as much as possible, with plenty of mornings at the beach, picnics at lunch time and afternoons in the park.  We have spent lazy evenings eating fish and chips out of paper cones watching the children build sandcastles on a deserted beach and if we need some quiet, we have driven motorbikes round the garden, enjoyed bbq's and played with the sandpit.

One evening we met a local photographer down at the local beach, and she took some lovely photos of our little family, capturing us now.  My not so little toddler who is excited and ready for new adventures.  My slightly crazy 17 month old, who would spend all day in the sea and loves to roar, and the bloke and I, enjoying the best side of the place where we grew up, and where we are bringing up our family.

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Friday 25 July 2014

Archie at 17 Months

Suddenly Archie looks so big, I don't know if it is the fact he is walking so much more, the clothes he wears or the fact that I have been thinking of him as a baby until I was forced to face the toddler he has become.  

Archie is a boy who knows what he wants, is determined to get it, and will let you know how displeased he is if anything stands in the way.  No obstacle is too big, no mountain too high that he won't attempt to go over, under or through it in the pursuit of something he probably isn't allowed.  If I tactfully block his way, I am met with a mini meltdown, and I catch a glimpse of the terrible twos which we seem to have skipped with Dylan but are inevitable with this little dude.  He is by no means bad, but he is testing the waters.

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Monday 21 July 2014

Beach Times

We love the beach (you may have guessed this already), and we have our beach bags ready to go with all our essentials, all summer.  I can grab the bags, hang them on the buggy and just go which is perfect when you have two toddlers in tow!

 We have been sent some lovely bits which have found a permanent place in our beach bags, the first of which is a pair of personalised towels for the boys from Stuck on you.
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Wednesday 16 July 2014

Summer Sandpit Fun

My boys love each other in a way that only siblings will understand.  They cuddle, and copy, and wrestle and fight.  They tell tales on one another, and then make up, and they are happiest when the other is around.  We were recently send a lovely large sandpit from Plum, and it has made afternoons in the garden so much more peaceful. I see a friendship between them, and maybe it is the fresh air, the variety of toys or the simplicity of sand in a pit.  Whatever it is, they can play for hours both side by side and together, without even noticing if I am around or not.  The sand captures their imagination in a way that a toy in the house rarely does and I am looking forward to plenty more fun in the garden this summer.

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Monday 14 July 2014

This Little Boy of Mine

Next month, my little boy turns three.  It will have been three years since he arrived in this world, long, pink and screaming.  In three years he has grown so much, come so far, yet he is still but a baby in the scale of things.  He has so much still to learn and he is desperate to take it all in.  

In only two short weeks, he will attend his first session at nursery.  We spent lots of time researching different options in our area, visiting the nurserys and choosing the one we thought would best suit our little boy.  Dylan will join the preschool unit in a local nursery and spend 15 hours of his week with 26 other children who, just like him, will start school next year.

Many of his friends already attend and I have heard only good things.  We looked round and Dylan fitted right in, getting stuck in with puzzles, chatting to the staff and not wanting to go home at the end of our visit.  He is sociable, friendly and confident and I have no worries that he won't slot in.  We have daily questions about when he can start, he is desperate to follow his friends through the blue gates and when we do the nursery run to pick up a friend's son once a week, he loudly tells anyone who will listen that this will soon be his nursery too.

He is ready, well and truly ready.  He wants more, he wants different and he wants to be with other people his size.  I, however, am a little nervous.  For three years, he has been with me.  I have left him with family and carefully selected friends.  I have chosen every child that he plays with, am aware of every game he knows, every word he can say, and when he cries, I am there to dry the tears.  

Nursery will mean other people get to see my little boy, have a say in how he thinks, what he learns and how he plays.  They will witness a side of him that I never will. and I am sad that this period of his childhood is about to end.  He will be starting in slowly, doing two 9-12 morning sessions per week over the summer holiday to make childcare arrangements easier, and then taking his 15 hour free quota from September.

It is a big move for my little boy, but one which he is ready for, and one which I need to be ready for too.  
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Sunday 13 July 2014

Healthy Toddler Snacks.

I am lucky that both my children are good eaters.  With the exception of sweet potato, they eat nearly everything put in front of them, and they eat an awful lot of it too.  I can only imagine what my food bill will be when they are teenagers!

Both mid morning and post nap, they have a snack, and I love coming up with different healthy and fun things to give them.  Here are a few from this week:

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Tuesday 8 July 2014

An Adventure at Whitstable Beach

whitstable, beach kids, adventures, adventure at whitstable beach

'Would you like to come into my adventure, mummy?'

Sometimes I worry that he hasn't quite got it, but then he makes me hop from cushion to cushion as we jump on the train, or he takes me into the 'jungle', where in reality no plant is higher than our knees and the most exotic animal you will find is a squirrel.  

whitstable beach, adventures in whitstable, toddlers on the beach, brothers

Dylan is nearly three and I can see his imagination growing every day.  He loves to play pretend, making whole scenarios in his head and his favourite place to have these adventures is outdoors.  The park, the beach, the alley down the side of our house - it doesn't really matter when you are two, what matters is who you are with and what you are doing.

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The Houseplant Hotel

I will be the first to admit that plants don't last long in our house.  Not only that, but we make sure they are really, really dead before we finally chuck them out.  I could say something about loving the look of dried flowers, but the reality is that we lead busy lifestyles and the plants often get neglected.  

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Thursday 3 July 2014

Forget the routine

Our lives are mostly ruled by routine.  Our mornings are spent between a variety of playgroups and the odd morning at the beach.  We come home for a picnic lunch on the living room  floor and then nap time for the littlies and a bit of work (or a nap) for me.  Our afternoons are about play dates and trips to the park and dinner is followed by a bath (sometimes), book and bed.  

Every now and again, we break the routine, and these days are the most exciting.  We woke up yesterday with plans for playgroup, but blew them off for a train ride into the city, armed with a bag of stale bread, plenty of sunscreen and a camera.

It took twice as long to get to the train station as we stopped to sniff flowers, entertain Archie and let Dylan walk along every wall he could manage.  A quick train ride into the city and a short walk to the beautiful gardens that run along the river.  We fed the ducks with our slices of bread, taking it in turns to throw chunks in, watching the ducks swim towards us, huddling in anticipation.

When our bread ran out, we went on adventures, through 'the deep, dark woods' (can you guess which book we have been reading recently?) and into 'the jungle'.  Dylan loved exploring the different areas and finding flowers hidden in the bushes.  Archie loved the pine cones - mostly throwing them to be honest.  

They ended up muddy, with leaves in their pockets and smiles on their faces (and they took a lovely long nap together in the double buggy whilst I shopped!).  Our day carried on with babyccinos and gingerbread men in the cafe and a wander round the town before meeting Daddy from work to travel home together.

feeding the ducks, baby in fedora

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Wednesday 2 July 2014


This blog records my life as a mother, our journey as a family and the adventure of childhood.  I love documenting our lives through the ups and downs, special moments and ordinary days.  It has been nearly three years since I became a parent and as my children have grown, we have started to gain little bits of independence from each other.  From the first time they feed themselves, to when they stop needing me to help them sleep, to my return to work and the boys spending whole days without me.

The independence is bittersweet, in that I miss them terribly, I don't want to miss any moments or admit that they are growing up.  On the other hand, I love having more freedom and time to remember my other passions.  Other interests have taken a back seat as I enjoy the fleeting youth of my boys, but sometimes after a long day I just need to walk.

I love to walk.  In the evenings, before the sun has set, when the paths are empty except for a rare dog walker and there is a silence and peace that I don't find in my day.  I watch the tide coming in, the seagulls combing the beach for any left over chips and the sun setting over the coastline.  I think, and day dream and write whole stories in my head.  I notice things that I miss in the day, stop to smell and touch and watch.  I drift off into my own world, without a thought as to where I am walking.

Sometimes I take my camera, and actually photograph things other than my children.  I breathe the fresh sea air and find an energy I thought the day had taken from me.  I take some time for just me - time that I took for granted for so long, but now seems like a luxury.  

And then I come home, desperate to see my babies, to give them a cuddle and a kiss and to tuck their blankets back in.

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