Sunday 31 August 2014

Me and Mine - August

Considering all the family events we have had this month, we should have managed a family photo, but the reality is that August has been manic and this was a last minute family selfie this afternoon on my phone.  August has seen Dylan turn 3, Archie celebrate his half birthday, my 27th Birthday and the announcement that we are pregnant with our third baby.  We have enjoyed time off together, day trips out and plenty of fun.  August has been an exciting and exhausting month.

Daddy is loving folk week, having some money in the bank, the start of the football season and Archie turning into a little chatterbox.

Mummy is loving showing off her expanding bump, going for walks with the children without a buggy, Salt and vinegar chipsticks and watching Bones.

Dylan is loving summer club at the nursery, a day out at the zoo with his Aunty NatNat, reading everywhere we go and wearing his wellies.

Archie is loving being out of the buggy more, shouting at people, talking all the time and books.
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Friday 29 August 2014

The Babybeau Ellie

Rather than diminishing over the last three years, my love for changing bags appears to have grown and with another little person on the way, they are going to be a part of my life for the forseeable future.  We have been reviewing the Babybeau Ellie and I have had nothing but compliments about this luxury leather bag.

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Thursday 28 August 2014

Instant Ink

I love taking photos, especially of my family.  My phone and camera are full of captured memories, and sadly that is where they normally stay.  The photos on my walls are all at least six months old, dating back to the last time I got round to ordering some prints and those wonderful images that I have immortalised are left on a memory card.

Thanks to the lovely folk over at HP instant ink, that is no more.  They sent me a printer, which is pretty brilliant in itself (I think my last printer died midway through my dissertation and that was just a few years ago!) and a year's subscription to Instant Ink- a new service that allows forgetful people like myself to have ink cartridges delivered to their door rather than having to put it on the shopping list. 

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Tuesday 26 August 2014

Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3

"We are all a little weird, and life is a little weird and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love"

I found someone to share mutual weirdness with, and then we made our two little things.

Next year will see the arrival of Thing 3

Thing 3 is due early March 2015

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Sunday 24 August 2014

My Little Family in July

This year, I have been busy capturing our life as a family of four.  I have been taking part in the Me and Mine project, which sees us taking a family portrait every month, to record the little changes and get everyone in the frame.  I have loved taking part, and in an effort to really capture the essence of our family, we turned to a photographer last month to capture those candid shots when we are just being us.

I shared a few in the July Me and Mine post, but I wanted to share some more, just because.  My family means everything to me, and I am so proud to show them off.  (I apologise for the photo overload)

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Saturday 23 August 2014

Archie at 18 Months

A year and a half has passed since my littlest one entered the world and it is amazing how far the little dude has come.  From a helpless newborn to a walking talking toddler in what feels like the blink of an eye.  Archie has the cheekiest personality, and every single day he shows a little more.

From the smile that screws up his nose, to the way he tells you off right back if you say no to him, this boy is challenging and cute in equal measure.  He pushes every imaginable boundary, but does so with a smile on his face and a bounce in his step. When we take him to the park, he no longer heads for the slide, but straight for the borders, where he searches for everything he shouldn't and brings me his finds.  Half empty cans of cider, cigarette butts and apple cores amongst other things.  He sees himself as either a litter picker or treasure hunter, I am not sure which.

18 months, 18 month development, gorgeous blonde baby

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Monday 18 August 2014

Play Day

I knew that the place I grew up would be the same place that I bring up my own babies.  I wanted to travel, to see the world, to experience different cities, but I had always known that when it came to starting a family, this place is home.

My family live here, and everywhere I look, I have memories of growing up.  There are so many beaches on our doorstep, so many parks, schools and small communities.  Sure it has its issues, there are bad parts of town as there always are, and it does boast an incredibly high teenage pregnancy rate, but this was my home, and this is my children's home.

Bringing them up here, we have spent a lot of time at the Children's Centres, from antenatal classes, breastfeeding support groups and the health visitor to messy rock'n'roll toddler groups and courses.  The Children's Centre organises a 'Play Day' every summer for the community, a completely free event for families, and this year's theme was healthy.

All children received free water and fruit, there was bouncy castles and characters to meet, information about local services and healthy start incentives and the chance to make a smoothie on a pedal bike.  The mobile farm was there, letting the children get close to the sheep and pigs and there were displays from local groups like Judo and majorettes. The weather was sadly not what was hoped for in early August, but it was only the parents stood under umbrellas, whilst the children ran free, reminding us that being outdoors whatever the weather is completely healthy.

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Wednesday 13 August 2014

Win a Picnic Hamper with Davpack

My children have a playroom full of toys, a garden full of ride-ons, buckets and spades and enough brightly coloured plastic to see us through for years.  Give them a cardboard box though, and the dun lasts longer, the giggles are louder and their little imaginations just blow you away.

Davpack, the packing company sent us some cardboard boxes, and I decided that what the garden didn't have, was a train.  With the aid of some cardboard boxes, some scissors and some felt tips, I made the boys their very own choo choo, and they loved it.

I have teamed up with Davpack to give you a chance to win this gorgeous picnic hamper from Not on the High Street, perfect for the end of the summer, and making the most of those sunny days.  Entry is via the simple rafflecopter form below.

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Tuesday 5 August 2014

An Alphabet Third Birthday Party

When I asked my two year old what kind of birthday party he wanted, I wasn't expecting the answer he gave.  I suggested Lego, pirates, Mickey Mouse and other favourites.  He looked at me, thought for a few seconds and then announced that he would like a letters party - an alphabet theme.

In the past year he has gone from being able to recognise and read individual letters to reading whole words and he has loved the whole process.  He has always been a lover of books and I hope that this continues as he learns to read and understand whole stories.  As a party theme though?  It is a bit odd!

As we were throwing a picnic in the park party, I decided not to go overboard on the theme, but just use a few small touches.

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Monday 4 August 2014

Summer Shoes

Picture the scene : It is twenty four degrees, the sun is shining and there isn't a cloud in the sky.  We have a pleasant morning planned with a walk down to the beach.  Our buckets and spades are hanging from a bag on the handlebar, and there are towels in the underneath basket of the pushchair.  I dress Archie in a light romper, and pop on his sandals.

Dylan walks down from his room, his fashion choices in hand - a long sleeved T-shirt, thick lined jeans and socks, and as he reaches the bottom step he reaches for his rocket covered wellies.  'This is what I am going to wear today Mummy'.

The boy knows what he wants, and whilst 90% of the time he still lets me choose his clothes, there are days that he is determined to make his own choices and show his individuality to the world.  Strangely, this usually involves winter coats and wellington boots, I have even been known to remove a thick bobble hat from his head, much to his dismay - this boy is ready for winter!

Realistically, these fashion choices are not appropriate.  The wellies and jeans combo means his legs get sweaty, and we end up bringing half the beach home with us.  As he made it clear that he wasn't impressed with sandals, we took Dylan shoe shopping, and for the first time let him have complete control over our purchase.

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Friday 1 August 2014

Nun Night Two Year Old

To my gorgeous boy,

Just as I wrote you a letter before you turned one, and before you turned two, I find myself here knowing that when we wake up, you will be three.  In the past year you have left the toddler days behind and you are excited and eager for something more.  Preschool beckons along with an independence from me that I am still reluctant to give.

As I put you to bed each night, and we sit on your dark blue bean bag and read a bed time story, I am already seeing changes.  The days where you sat cuddled in, listening intently to every line on every page have gone.  Now you pick the same stories every night, because you know them.  You can think of new questions to ask, new 'whys', and you can ask to read more words yourself.  You still have the same love for stories as ever, but you want to be a part of them now, not just a listener.

When you were potty training earlier this year, I used to tell you stories.  Between the two of us we made up a whole series of books, about Dylan, his friend Oscar and the huge castle that they lived in.  The first one was all mine, a way to make you sit still, but after that you wouldn't just listen.  You would interrupt to add bits in, or change the details and eventually it would be you telling me a story.

You love adventure, and find it everywhere, from the obstacle course at the park to underneath a blanket huddled with your brother.  You seek friends wherever you go and are such a sociable boy.  If we go to the park without your friends, you find an older child who will have a conversation with you, and play games with you.  I know how ready you are for preschool and I know that you are going to love the new backpack and lunch box that Mummy and Daddy have got you for your birthday. 

As a two year old you were cheeky, curious, chatty and cautious.  You are not yet riding a bike, scooting round or climbing to the top of the playground, but you are confident and I have no doubts that you will get there soon enough.  You are a (mostly) loving big brother, always checking on Archie, and sharing with him so well.  You don't always get along, but hearing the two of you in fits of giggles together is priceless, and I remember that the best gift we have given you is your mini sidekick. Archie brings out a different side of you too, as your personalities are so different, you become more daring, more silly and more cheeky around him.

turning three, two year old, 35 month old, toddler on the beach

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