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Me and Mine: A Family Portrait Project 2014- October.

on Friday, 31 October 2014.

Yet again I type the inevitable words that I type every month 'Wow hasn't this month gone fast.'  But just like all the months before it, October seems to have gone past in a complete blur and now we are heading into November with the realisation that the end of 2014 is fast approaching.  That thought quite frankly scares me.  I'm not ready to say that 2015 is the year my baby turns two.  Or that my big girl is going to be going to school 'this year.'  Time slow down a little bit please.

Whereas in September we had our family photos taken right at the start of the month, this month we have done our usual trick of leaving it till the last minute.  It's been a busy month- bathroom renovations, weekends away, new kittens and bits and bobs contributing to some hectic times, as well as Mr E working a fair bit in the evenings due to a freelance contract. 

So when we set off out to take our photos this past weekend, none of us were feeling very inspired.  In fact it seemed like a bit of a chore to be honest, when normally I do enjoy going out on an adventure to take them.  We headed into our local town as we needed to go and buy some bits from the supermarket, and on driving through I spotted one of the local parks had a pretty spot with some fallen leaves.  We decided to set the tripod up there and take a few snaps, before continuing on with our quiet and chilled out weekend.

Except our usual set the tripod up and take a few snaps didn't exactly work well on this occasion.  It seemed it wasn't just myself and Mr E who weren't particularly feeling inspired, in fact LL really wasn't up to capturing any family photos that particular afternoon.  Every time I set up the self timer and ran back into shot (note to self- maybe after doing this for almost two years now you one day will buy another remote.) she kept running off and having a small strop when I tried to hold her in place.

I could have salvaged one semi decent photo from the bunch I am sure, maybe even two, and no one would have been any the wiser.  But this blog, it's our memories and our memories of our October family portrait are of a grumpy youngest daughter (who was as happy as Larry once we put the camera away and she could run free to her hearts content) who just was having a little bit of diva moment.

It's our real life.  And it's a very happy life to be living.  

(Unless you are a 19 month old toddler whose parents insist on holding you when you just want to run in the mud and get your pretty shoes dirty.  In which case real life sucks.)

a family photo october 14 f

It started off with promise...

a family photo october 14 b

Then it all started kicking off.  There was tantrums and strange faces a plenty.

a family photo october 14 c

Mads engaging in a massive eye roll over the fuss her little sister was making.

a family photo october 14 e

Before deciding to partake in the grumpiness herself.  Albeit bemused grumpiness.

a family photo october 14 a

LL decided to just not bother to join us in this particular shot.  I love this one of us three but I am not looking at the camera as I am keeping an eye on LL legging it off across the park in search of someone to take her away from her embarrassing family.

a family photo october 14 d

I think both Mads and Mr E's faces in this quite clearly say it all.  Time to pack up and go home. ;)

 

******

This month I am sending you to have a look at my lovely friend Lucy's gorgeous blog.  She is a very busy lady who has just moved into her forever home so perhaps that may be featuring in her Me and Mine photos this month.

 

(Check out all my previous family photos here.)

 

 

My Little Bits Of Life #4

on Wednesday, 29 October 2014.

It's been a while since I shared some little snippets of our life as captured by my iPhone.  Life has been so busy and hectic but as usual my phone camera has come along for the ride, I must admit to being really lazy with my big camera and not taking it out as much as I should, I therefore love the fact that I always have my phone on me.

I am still obsessed with instagram as ever.  It's the first form of social media I will look at in the morning, but I have to limit myself and not look too much or I would never get anything done.  I love getting a glimpse into other peoples lives through their photos and I follow some truly gorgeous accounts.  

Anyway here is some of our adventures and ordinary life through the eyes of my iPhone...

instagram-snippets-oct-14

 

1.  It was Mr E's birthday a few weeks ago and I set myself a challenge of making him a chocolate fudge cake as a surprise.  Bizarrely considering I am pretty usless in the kitchen, it tasted absolutely delicious and we finished it in one evening when we had a little party for him at my Mum's house- all my family were shocked to say the least!

2.  I love these little Hunter wellies of Mads- they are her spare pair that live at Grandma's house but I think I may need to steal them and take them back to ours.  Love the yellow!

3.  If you follow me on instagram you will know I have a relatively new obsession with taking photos of my girls outfits against our scabby garage door. (exotic location- not!) I know I will love looking back in years to come at what we used to dress them in.  This particularly day we had a 'cat theme' as we had just got our kittens!

4.  My Mum and I went shopping a few weeks ago and we couldn't resist buying these Matching PJ's from Jools Oliver's Little Bird collection at Mothercare- we are their biggest fans and the print on these PJ's are just adorable.

5.  I bought this stripy jumper the other day and I absolutely love it, love the heart detailing on the sleeve.  I really am enjoying wearing Autumn clothes this year.

6.  My big girl and I went on a date day to London for a screening of Frozen put on by The White Company, we made a day out of it and met up with one of my closest friends for lunch, and she came with us too.  I love spending time with Mads, we laughed all day long.

7.  I adore this photo of one of our usual garage snaps- I think it's the fact Mads is posing so much that makes it so funny.  She is obsessed with this top from Zara saying 'Still Living With My Parents'- I love it too actually.

8.  I am really lucky in that both my girls still nap but Mads normally has a shorter one than LL, so when she gets up she knows it's 'quiet time' and we snuggle until her sister wakes up.  Since we got the kittens they have taken to coming on our laps too- it's really rather sweet.

9.  I had been after a pair of Brogues for ages, so I couldn't resist when I found these in Primark of all places.  And only £12.  Bargain.

10.  Yet another Little Bird outfit, I bought this dress for LL months ago but she is only just wearing it now.  I love the colour and I could gobble her up when she wears it.  Just so cute.

10.  I do try and dress the girls in similar colours or styles if we go out for the day- I love these little grey jumpers they are wearing.  I wish they did LL's cloud jumper in my size and I am loving their winter boots!

12.  Likewise sometimes Mummy gets in on the action and dresses in a similar colour too. (Daddy doesn't and also wants to disown us when we do this!) ;) I am loving mustard this season, yellow is my favourite colour by far

13.  I am still in shock over winning a Mad Blog Award and my category 'Best Baby Blog' was sponsored by Mothercare.  A few days ago they sent me my prize- a whooping £500 worth of vouchers.  And as an extra gesture they had seen from my instagram how we are Little Bird's biggest fans, so they sent me a couple of outfits for the girls as a surprise.  Such a sweet thing to do and I was over the moon to receive the package in the post.  That's Christmas presents sorted, plus outfits for the next year! 

 

If you are on instagram do come and say hello, I'm @mummydaddyme - it's my favourite form of social media by far.

 

PS. Mothercare haven't asked us to write about them, I was just over the moon with the fact they had obviously seen what big Little Bird fans we are that I wanted to mention them and say thanks for sending the girls an outfit, and of course for my wonderful prize.  All other clothes and outfits have been bought with my hard earned pennies. (or maybe Mr E's- ssssh don't tell him!)

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #40 Halloween Cupcakes.

on Sunday, 26 October 2014.

 I have said many a time before that while I love to go and have adventures with my little family, we all seem to thrive more on the quieter side of life.  Our life is so busy and so hectic, at the moment we are both so busy with work, and all the demands that having two young children and two new kittens brings.  We wouldn't change it but we both have been feeling pretty exhausted recently.

This weekend we literally had nothing planned the whole weekend, not even a 'just having to nip here' or 'just this little job' to do.  Even our normal quiet weekend routine of going to do the food shop was off the cards as I went with LL the previous day.  To say we were looking forward to a quiet one is an understatement.

Of course next Friday is Halloween.  We don't usually go to town on Halloween, in fact we don't really like trick or treaters, but we usually dress the girls up and go to a party organised by one of our friends.  However we are away for it next week so we decided that this weekend we would do a spot of baking, of the spooky variety!  I have mentioned before that I am not the best in the kitchen, but I thought it would be a fun activity to do together.

halloween cupcakes

It's quite a blurry photo as it was a gloomy day and this was taken on my phone, but I just love this photo of my girls 'helping' to decorate the cakes.  It's the first time that LL has actually participated in the event, and she loved being up on the chair like her sister.  And loved licking the bowl even more! It sounds a little silly, but this photo sums up what I thought about having two children, those simple, everyday moments that I remember having when I was little.  I can clearly remember helping my Grandma bake and they are such fond memories.

halloween cupcakes 1

halloween cupcakes 3

halloween cupcakes 2

Here are our finished creations.  We aren't going to be becoming a food blog any time soon but we had a lot of fun making our little cakes.  When I see the girls enjoying such ordinary activities, it makes me realise that we should do them more often.  After we had finished decorating, we brought our picnic blanket in from the garage and had an 'indoor picnic'.  This is something we do quite regularly but for some reason they love doing it.  

It's really lovely to see the magic and happiness in their faces doing the most simple things.  And it is exactly why I started my Ordinary Moments project.  To treasure and remember the day to day things that I would otherwise forget. 

 

You Are Nearly Four...And An Apology.

on Thursday, 23 October 2014.

Dearest Mads,

I need to start off this letter to you firstly by saying how sorry I am.  From when you were in my tummy I started writing you letters, telling you what we got up to that month and what you had learnt and experienced.  I wanted you to read them all when you were older and get a glimpse of what your early years were like.  I started writing them on this blog, but Daddy used to print them out on nice paper so you could keep them too.

Then a few months ago I started getting a little lazy.  Factor in a busy Summer where life got very hectic and I didn't have time/forgot to write your letters.  I do feel a little sad that I haven't kept up with them but at the same time we have got my blog posts, our photos and videos to fill in the gaps. I have decided from now to just write them every now and again rather than monthly, but know that every word is just as heartfelt as before.

40 months 

So what to say about my biggest girl?  The first thing is just how much of a big girl you are now.  I don't know when it happened but somehow my little toddler turned into a proper young girl.  You have grown so tall, all your baby fat has gone (bar your little tummy!) and you are all lanky limbs.  You also have the grace of an elephant, we definitely won't be enrolling in ballet any time soon- you are such a clumsy little thing who climbs, jumps and crawls all over us.  

You are such a feisty lady, with strong opinions who isn't afraid to make herself heard but likewise you are shy and cling to Mummy until you have warmed to a person or a situation.  You have things that you have really love and things you really dislike.  For example you love 'boy clothes' at the moment- you very much have your own sense of style and you like anything that is dark colours, or shirts, trousers and leggings.  Every morning you help me decide what to dress you in and off you go into your bedroom and shut the door and get yourself dressed, coming to show me yourself in your outfit with the biggest smile of pride on your face.  If you don't like something Mummy has picked out we will have such a fight trying to get you to wear it, so we often let you choose for an easy life.

Your obsession with 'little bits and bobs' doesn't show any sign of waning.  You are like a little magpie, but you just want anything cheap and what Mummy would class as rubbish.  Things out of Kinder Eggs or any type of egg for that matter, toys out of party bags, and crappy pocket money toys you get at the garden centre are your favourite and you will hoard them under your pillow or by the side of your bed and put them in little bags.  You still love to watch all these weird videos on You Tube of eggs being unwrapped or plastic toys being played with and I think that is where a lot of it comes from.

40 months a

You still love Toy Story and anything related to it, and Pongo the toy dog is still your favourite thing to cuddle.  You wouldn't go to sleep without him, but you aren't fully attached to him like LL is to her sheep, who she carries around with her everywhere she goes.  Speaking of your little sister, you are still one in a million to her, caring for her and loving her completely, but as you both grow and your bond develops, you definitely wind each other up.  Lately you have been not letting her have things you are playing with occasionally just to wind her up, and whereas before she wouldn't care, now has her own mind as well and will throw a paddy.  This normally causes tears and strops all round. 

On the whole you are a very good girl, very affectionate and loving, and a little comedian who loves to make people laugh.  You pull funny faces and tell us funny stories, although at the moment toilet humour seems to be your thing- you love to talk about poo, bottoms and bits- we can only think you have picked it up at nursery!  Our biggest arguements revolve around food, we battle with you on a daily basis and it is at an all time low- your diet at the moment consists of a few bites of pasta, curry or chilli before messing around and causing dinner time to be a stress, even things other children would consider 'treats' like pizza are not on your menu anymore.  If it's green, fresh and healthy you won't touch it, yet you eat everything you are given at nursery.

Another thing guaranteed to make us clash is hair wash time.  You cry and throw a fit, especially when it comes to brushing it.  We leave your beautiful curls without brushing them for an easy life and then when we do brush them after a couple of days it is even worse, to be fair I can understand it probably does hurt, but it's a constant battle trying to brush it!  But you love to splash in the bath and over the summer became a real water baby, loving to go swimming and gaining such confidence in the water.

40 months c

Your sleep is still amazing and you are still napping at nearly four, although your naps have got a little shorter on some days.  If you do have a short nap of around an hour, you just get up and cuddle with me on the sofa and watch the television, you know while LL is still asleep that it is quiet time so I do relish those moments with you when we snuggle together quietly.

You now go to nursery three long mornings a week, one day extra than your sister as we want you to get ready for school next September.  You love nursery, and are now in the 'Lions' room- the preschool room where you are thriving.  You are a well liked member of your group and they have never had to tell you off, saying you are as good as gold.  Speaking of the S word, I cannot believe that in eleven months we will be saying goodbye to this chapter of your life.  The thought of it makes me want to burst into tears, I am not ready for this next stage.

I know you will grow and thrive at school, but I am going to savour every single minute of this year, of having you with us and of being a team of three in the week.  As much as you drive me mad, I adore being with you, love our days together and I am not quite ready to accept that I have to let you go a little bit.  You are sweet, pure and full of love, with such an innocent mind and I know that come September a little of that will leave you.  The other day you said to me 'How does Father Christmas know what toys you want?' to which I said 'Because he listens' and you replied 'Is he a little bit near the shops?'  I find it hard to believe that you will all too soon be off on that journey and I will have to accept it.

So until then I am trying not to rush ahead, I am living in the here and now and relishing all those hugs and cuddles, and our little routine with you.  

I am so very proud of you my beautiful girl.  Stay little please.  You are growing up far too fast.

I love you, always and forever,

But as always, you already knew that.

Mummy xxx

40 months b

 (You can read my other letters to my littles here.)

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