mummy-daddy-me-header

To My Littlest Lady At 21 Months...

on Wednesday, 26 November 2014.

To my dearest LL, 

I need to start this letter by apologising to you as I haven't written to you in a fair few months.  With your big sister I was much more organised and wrote to her monthly until she was nearly 39 months, but the last few months have just been so busy and I have fallen out of the habit of writing to you both.  I actually feel really guilty as you are growing and achieving your milestones at such a fast pace and I wish I had documented them a little more.

Still we have all our words, photos and videos from this blog to show you when you are older.  From now on like with your sister I am just going to write to you from time to time when I have a spare moment rather than monthly like I used to.  

Since I last wrote to you, way back when you were 15 months you have grown and changed beyond comprehension.  Gone is our little baby, in her place is a fully fledged toddler.  You all of a sudden have changed so much, both visually and developmentally and I can't believe just how quickly the time is going.  You finally started walking just a couple of weeks after my last letter and now you run and toddle along non stop.  Walking has made you and your sister even closer, whenever we go out you both generally cause me a headache by running riot together- you both look adorable running around together and it has made your age gap seem even smaller.

You are finally starting to talk.  I spent many a moment worrying about you as Mads was stringing sentences together well before she was your age, but I have finally come to the realisation that you are so different.  You are really becoming more vocal by the day- currently your main words are Mama, Dada, Peppa, Ball, Baa, More and No.  You just starting saying No this week and although we probably shouldn't be teaching you to say it, the way you say it is so funny and it makes us laugh as you always look cross when you say it and you shake your head viciously.  You also say your own version of 'All Gone' and through your arms up in the air in the most bemused fashion.  Your little voice is so quiet and I love the stage that's about to come, as you start to learn new words and new ways of expressing yourself.  

I am pretty lucky in that both of my girls are incredibly affectionate but you are one of the most cuddly little people I know.  You are happiest when you are on my knee snuggling and you always like to have Mummy close by you, yet you are also quite happy going off and playing independently too.  You constantly want to give us all kisses and cuddles, there is nothing cuter than watching your little lip stick out and you say 'mwaaaahh' as you give us a smooch.  We all adore having cuddles from you, your big sister included, as you just are so sweet when you are being affectionate.  

You are a lot quieter and more laid back than your sister was and you don't seem to have as many tantrums as she did at your age, you are quite happy to just go with the flow and sometimes we forget you are there, not in the literal sense but just because you are so easy to be around- I guess a bit of that is inevitable as the second child.  However when you do get in a strop, everyone beware, as you are loud, noisy and can let out THE highest pitched shriek.  More often than not tantrums happen when Mads has something you want, you haven't quite grasped the concept of sharing just yet.  You certainly have a temper on you every once in a while and can fling yourself on the floor in some Oscar worthy performances.  You are also pretty grumpy first thing in the morning and after your nap, you definitely need a bit of time to wake up and get with it.  But for the most part you are happy and smiley, and we don't get many tantrums from you, although it could be that they aren't quite so shocking the second time around.  

We are blessed to have another little sleeper in the family, you are still in a pattern of going down for a nap around 1.30pm and sleeping till around 4pm, then going to bed at 7 and sleeping through.  We are talking about putting you and Mads into the same room in the New Year so that Daddy and I can have our study back, plus we think it will be really fun for you to share a room with your sister, but we are waiting until you are a bit bigger as we want you to be as good at going in a big girl bed as your sister was.  Whether that will happen remains to be seen, but you love your cot and so there's no point rushing you out of it until you are ready.  Talking of sleep, your favourite friends are still your three sheep, with your ultimate favourite being 'Baa' who we got out of a big Kinder Egg at Easter.  You can't sleep without him and if we put you down and he isn't there, you will look around for him and grumble until we go and find him.  You are incredibly attached to soft toys and squeal with delight when you give us them to cuddle, unlike your big sister who has her favourite 'Pongo' but isn't hugely attached to him.  You also love Gruffalo and 'Spidy' (a cuddle spider Grandma got you for Halloween)

Toy wise, you haven't got any firm favourites at the moment, you seem to be like your sister in that you like to 'collect' bits and bobs.  We didn't think you knew of Peppa Pig and thought we had escaped that fate this time round, but all of a sudden you have started to become fascinated with her- Daddy put the theme tune on You Tube the other day while you were sat on our bed and we thought you were going to self combust in excitement- you started shaking, shouting and giggling saying 'Peppa' over and over, it was incredibly sweet to see you so excited.  Grandma bought you two little Peppa characters from the supermarket the other day and you carry them round with you wherever you go.  You also have started playing with pretend mobile phones, you like to say hello and then pass it over for me to talk to the person on the other end.  Real mobile phones are also your forte and we still can't believe you knew how to swipe and unlock an iPhone and open an app before you could even talk! 

Speaking of your mini Peppa, you snuck it in to nursery the other day in your pocket, my little lady smuggling in the contraband toys.  You are such a character and are a well loved member of nursery, going two long mornings a week while Mummy works.  You have struck up some really special relationships with some of the staff and Mummy is so proud of you for the way you are while you are there.  You recently moved to a new building and are now in a new group- you are a Bumblebee, as such you are back settling in with new staff members, but so far you are going with the flow and making new friends.

I couldn't finish this letter without mentioning your hair.  After taking a while to grow it is now full of curls just like your big sister.  It's amazing, a whole head of ringlets and Mummy just adores it.  I know that those curls won't stay forever, Mads is slowly starting to lose the tightness of hers, so I am enjoying them while they are here.  You have a serious case of bed head in the mornings but I just love them and when we wash your hair and it goes straight it is past your shoulders!

You really do hold such a special place in our hearts my beautiful little lady.  Daddy and I often talk about just how easy you are, how smiley and how excited you are just to be in our company.  You are the baby of our family and although you have technically left your baby days firmly behind you now, we still see you as so little.  We are all fiercly protective of you and you brighten up even the most mundane of days with your happy smile and giggle.  Your a Mummy's girl through and through, but you love all your family so much and that is clear to see by the way you are with us.  We are so proud of you and the little lady you are becoming. 

 

Mummy couldn't love you anymore if she tried.

Thank you for being mine,

Love Mummy. xx

21monthsLL

21monthsLLa

21monthsLLb

21monthsLLc

 

(You can find all the rest of my letters to my littles here)

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #44 ' Rambling, Reflecting and Feeling Thankful.

on Sunday, 23 November 2014.

I don't know what it is about this time of year.  While I love December and the anticipation of Christmas more than any other month, I find that I become very reflective and almost a little sombre around this time each year.  I find that my mood is very up and down- one minute I can be really excited and festive, the next minute I can feel a little down in the dumps.  But more than that I think this time of year makes me more anxious and as silly as it sounds, a little more fearful.  

I worry about things more. I think some of it is inevitable- the dark nights, grey days and horrible weather aren't the most welcome of visitors, and they can dampen any mood.  It can be absolutely ridiculous or far fetched things such as going into Central London in case there is a terrorist attack, or worrying about Mads and LL going in the car without me when it's raining or bad weather.  In my mind I know I am being a bit dramatic and OTT but it's almost like at Christmas- the time where picture smiling images of family and happy times are absolutely everywhere you look- I am fearful that something may burst our own little bubble of happiness.  

I am very much a wear my heart on my sleeve type of person and I am a natural born worrier.   I constantly tell everyone in my family that I love them and I say to Mr E about five times a day 'Aren't we lucky?' or 'We are so lucky to have our girls.'  And that's the thing, I genuinely mean it.  I think becoming a mother has made me realise just how fragile life can be for some and how thankful I am for my family.  While I have always worried about the what if's and have always been quite anxious on occasions, having Mads and LL has made me a lot worse.

But while it has made me more fearful of those unspeakable what if's, it's also made me a lot more positive.  I would go as far as to say becoming a parent has made me a better person.  It's made me incredibly grateful to be able to have those mundane, not very exciting parts of life that before I was a mother I wouldn't have given a second thought to.  I've always had a very close family, but it's made me appreciate them even more if that's possible.  

On Mondays we spend the morning with my Mum, they are my favourite day of the week as I love spending time with my Mum, we all adore her.  This week we went over to see my Grandma as it was her birthday.  I snapped a few photos of my girls and her on my iPhone, not thinking anything of it at all.  However when I looked at them a few days later, they actually made me get tears in my eyes

Being able to have the ability to take photos, to make videos, to record memories, is such an amazing thing.  To be able to freeze these moments, to replay them and to look at them is such a great privilege.  

But the even greater privilege?  To be able to experience them. 

GrandmaMadsLLNov14

A Wet and Windy Trip To Scarborough...

on Tuesday, 18 November 2014.

When LL was just a few months old, we went on our first family holiday to Scarborough in North Yorkshire.  I randomly found via google a gorgeous cottage just outside of the little seaside town at a place called Humble Bee Farm.  We booked and paid for it before LL was born and when we eventually did visit we had a great time-  I have such fond memories of our first little break away as a family of four.  Humble Bee Farm is a working farm with lots of animals to see, it's perfect for little ones- you can even collect an egg for breakfast each morning from the hens which we did the first time we were there.  It's home to three amazing cottages, some pretty cool wigwams which our friend's have stayed in before, and also camping pitches too.  We really loved our adventure there back in May 2013.

Therefore a few weeks ago I was really excited to receive an email asking if we would like to go back to stay at Humble Bee Farm for a couple of nights.  We jumped at the chance to go back there but sadly due to Mr E having to work he wasn't able to come with us.  Still we got my second favourite big person in the form of my little sister Anna, who kindly said she would come along.  We were all really looking forward to our sisterly break.

We set off on Wednesday morning and didn't arrive in Scarborough until late afternoon as we unfortunately had car trouble- my car decided to break down on the side of the A1 in the pouring rain which was quite a scary experience.  Luckily a knight in shining armour (in the form of the RAC man) came to our rescue, and although the car wasn't completely better, he said it was ok to go on our merry way as long as we took it slow.  

Our cottage 'Merry Dale' was as gorgeous as I remembered- cosy, warm and inviting with a rather fabulous hot tub in the garden.  The girls were so excited to be there with their Auntie Anna and Mummy and after a dinner out at ASK, we all settled down in front of the fire for the evening.  We didn't actually end up doing all that much during our stay, it was just so wet and windy, so we spent a lot of time snuggling in the cottage and taking advantage of the 'bubbly swimming pool.'  In actual fact it was just what I needed- just to chill out for a bit and not rush around.

As usual, I thought because we didn't do that much, I hadn't taken that many photos but it turns out I still have a fair few that I love.

Here is our trip to Scarborough in photos and a little video...

 

a trip to scarborough

As soon as they woke up on our first morning they were straight in the hot tub- they loved splashing around- such a great idea for families as a little extra bonus to your stay at the cottage.

a trip to scarborough2

There is nothing better than watching them giggle.

a trip to scarborough3

They absolutely loved the bubbles.

a trip to scarborough1

Funnily enough when we were here last time I got a photo of Mads in the hot tub that is one of my favourites of her ever, and this one is also now one of my all time favourites too- I think it's the fact she is completely happy and natural.  

a trip to scarborough4

She was telling the duck off for splashing.

a trip to scarborough5

LL is growing up so quickly all of a sudden- she still isn't talking much but is now saying about ten words.  I am willing time to slow down a little.

a trip to scarborough7

Even though it was really cold we had to go out and visit these amazing rainbow beach huts again.

a trip to scarborough8

I love this one of my girlies- I think I may get it framed for somewhere, although we are running out of space on our walls!

a trip to scarborough9

Also looking rather grown up- and very, very cheeky!

a trip to scarborough10

They had so much fun running up and down, playing games and being silly.  

a trip to scarborough12

They are really playing with each other a lot at the moment, it's very sweet to see.

a trip to scarborough13

 We went down on to the beach for a bit as quite frankly you can't go to the seaside without going and having a little paddle in the water.

a trip to scarborough14

She always has a look of mischief on her face.

a trip to scarborough15

It got so cold so quickly, our hands and fingers went so numb.  Why is the seaside in Winter always so cold?

a trip to scarborough16

Writing their names in the sand.

a trip to scarborough19

We had to go and warm up in a little tea room- and of course cake was compulsory too.

a trip to scarborough20

We went back and had a snuggly afternoon back at our cottage- we got these cute little gingerbread snowmen to decorate as a little rainy day activity to do while away.

a trip to scarborough21

Our creations.

a trip to scarborough22

It was such a treat having the hot tub in the evenings when the girls were in bed- that really is the beauty of a cottage and the fact you don't have to hide out in the bathroom or go to bed at 8.30pm like you so often have to do in hotels.  One night we shared a bottle of bubbles in the bubbles. ;) 

a trip to scarborough23

One great thing about Humble Bee Farm is how child friendly it is- they had a big box full of toys and books to keep them amused. 

a trip to scarborough24

My children are like little magpies and are attracted to anything sparkly and bright- they love going to the 2p slot machines when we go to the seaside and to be fair I love it too, it reminds me of being little.

a trip to scarborough25

Having fun even though it was pouring down outside.

 

Here is a little video of our adventures in Scarborough...

 

 

NB: We were invited back to stay at Humble Bee Farm free of charge for two nights after paying full price for a seven night stay the previous year.  Thanks so much to Humble Bee for inviting us- we loved our stay and will definitely be back again in the future.  Check out their website as they have some amazing winter rates if you fancy a little break away., especially in their wigwams.

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #43 'Four Sisters'....

on Sunday, 16 November 2014.

"A sister is a little bit of a childhood that can never be lost."- Marion C Garretty

 

This week we went on a very short break to Scarborough with my little sister Anna and of course with my girls.  Unfortunately Mr E had to stay behind because he is the middle of a big freelance contract and is working hard in the evenings, this was part of the reason we went away, to get out the house and let him concentrate for a little bit.

So the four of us headed off to Scarborough in North Yorkshire for a wet and windy couple of days (more photos coming soon!) together.  While we were there we chatted a lot and reminisced about our childhood together.  There are ten years between myself and Anna, but we are still great friends. However we argue like cat and dog, she has an ability to wind me up like no other person can.  Within a second though, we are giggling like it never happened.  A couple of times on our trip away we laughed about the fact that we would never act like that with our friends, the way we snap and argue and then revert back to being fine again within a minute.  It's really special to be able to share snippets of our childhood that only we know, traits about our parents that only we get and to have that history together that only we can understand.

The same can be said for my girls.  They also have this same pattern emerging as their relationship grows and strengthens.  They bicker, argue and get stroppy with each other, which is amazing really considering LL can still only say about six words.  But just like with myself and my sister, within a second all is forgiven and they are cuddling, kissing and running around together.

I really notice at the moment just how much LL copies Mads.  She idolises her big sister and will follow her around everywhere, running after her, giving Mads her stuffed toys to cuddle and literally squealing in delight when she cuddles them and then gives them back to her.  They are becoming quite the double act, and while we were away Anna and I smiled to ourself on several occasions about just how cute they are together.

This photo was taken when we went on a little walk to see the beach huts and we were playing a game- they had to both run to the colour beach hut we said and the winner was the person who touched the beach hut first.  Of course LL doesn't know colours yet, so Mads always won, but it was really sweet to see LL tottering quickly behind her sister and a couple of times Mads let her win just to see her smile.  I love this phone snap because it completely sums up them at this present moment in time.

happy girls

I really hope that my girls will grow up with an unbreakable bond, and I hope that they will always look out for each other and be the best of friends.  There may be ten years between myself and Anna, and she may drive me insane, but I will always be there to look after her and I love her completely.  Mads and LL are even closer in age so I hope that they will be even closer.

I of course would have been thrilled had we found out we were having a boy when I was pregnant with LL, but I really love that I have given Mads the gift of a sister, just like my Mum gave me the gift of mine.  

 

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