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{The Ordinary Moments 15} #16 'Against The Garage Door'

on Sunday, 19 April 2015.

Around a year ago now I randomly decided to start taking photos of my girls as we left the house each morning.  I don't really know why I started doing it, I just decided to take a photo one day as Mads was wearing a particularly sweet outfit, and she wanted to send a picture to 'show Grandma' who had bought it for her.  The next time we did it, LL joined in on the photo too, and soon I was taking a photo of them on a regular basis.

The location is not exactly glamorous- it's in front of our white, slightly peeling, garage door, but for some reason we have taken a photo in front of it at least a couple of times a week ever since.  My girl's are reasonably good at having their photo taken, especially considering I often have my camera pointed at them, but I find that as soon as my DSLR comes out, if you ask them to look at the camera you inevitably get a silly face or no response at all.  When it comes to my DSLR, it's a lot better to capture them naturally rather than asking them to look.  But bizarrely, they absolutely love taking these iPhone photos in front of our garage door, so for whatever reason it has become a real ordinary moment of ours.

I absolutely love dressing my girls, I am a really big fan of children's fashion and I love finding outfits that match without completely dressing them the same- whether that be colours, styles or other little ways of making them a little coordinated each day.  I know that in years to come I will love looking back at the outfits they used to wear, long after we have given all the old clothes away.

But more than that, I love that by taking a photo of them in the same place each time, I am getting to see how much they are growing and changing.  They are growing at such a drastic rate and I can't quite believe how different they are from even less than a year ago.  I also love capturing funny things they bring out the house with them- they generally always have to bring a toy or some other random little object from home with them when we go out.  Plus of course, I love it when I take a photo of them interacting together or smiling happily.  

It's a strange little tradition to have started, but it's definitely become an every day part of our lives.  Mads and LL leave our front door and straight away walk towards our garage, even when it's a nursery day and we are in a hurry, or I wasn't actually planning on taking a photo of them.  I love that we will have them all to look back on in many years to come. 

against the garage door

We Didn't Get The School We Wanted.

on Thursday, 16 April 2015.

Until you become a parent you don't know the true emotion that comes with truly knowing you would do absolutely anything for another person.  That overwhelming feeling of raw love that meant quite simply life wouldn't ever feel the same again.  Of course, it doesn't come instantly.  When my eldest daugther was born and was placed into my arms on that cold Christmas Eve morning in 2010, yes, I had never felt anything like it.  But that true love, that fierce, protective motherhood instinct- that develops over time.  It happens quickly and you only really notice it unless it has reason to show itself.  It may not even be over anything particularly worth being concerned over, perhaps your only just toddling little girl may get pushed over in soft play, but even that stirs a tiny feeling deep down inside.  Those butterflies, that raw emotion, that protectiveness that comes wtih being a parent.  The one that you can't quite put into words, even if you tried.

As parents we just want the best for our children.  The very best.  We want them to be happy.  We want them to have the best start in life.  Ultimately it's about choices.  Do we breastfeed or bottle feed?  Do we sleep them on their backs because that's what they tell us to, even though they go down happiest on their tummy?  Do we give them 'food from a jar' when all their friends are being baby led weaned organic vegetables?  More often than not it's about guilt.  The guilt is a constant part of being a parent.  Are we doing it right?  Are we being the best we can be?

We all have that dream for our children.  That dream of them doing the things we didn't quite manage to do.  The things that may have made us sad in the past, we don't want them to have that.  Name calling, teasing in the play ground, the bullies at school- we pray that they don't go through a similar fate.  We want them to fly.  To soar.  To be the very best they can be.  We want them to have the opportunities that we didn't, whatever those opportunties may be.  Way in the future, I have a funny vision of sitting round a table somewhere with my girl's, just as I myself do with my own Mum today.  We are chatting over a glass of wine, and there are little grandchildren running around our feet.   Of course, that might not be what they want.  Their dreams may be different, they may pursue a completely different path.  But whatever happens, whatever they want to do, as a parent ALL we want is for them to be happy.

As I write this post it's 1.10am.  A few minutes ago I tiptoed into my girl's bedroom, as I have done almost every evening for four years.  Nothing out of the ordinary, except this time I pause a little bit longer when I kiss my biggest daughter.  She has kicked off her covers and her legs are contorted into a funny shape.  Her arms are thrown over her head and her wild, unruly curls are splayed out across her pillow.  I place my hand on her chest and feel it rise and fall slowly.  As I often do, I marvel about just how much she has grown up, it's hard to fathom her as that tiny baby we bought home from the hospital that day.  I remember being absolutely terrified of putting her in the car, even though we live about five minutes drive from the hospital.  We must have checked the car seat about ten times, and I hobbled my post c-section body into the back of the car, just 'in case'.  I didn't even want to let her out of my sight for that five minute journey and sit in the front.  It felt a strange mixture of emotions- utter joy and sheer fear, taking this little being home to start our lives together.  

That strange mixture of emotions is back again.

Like countless parents up and down the country, I have waited up to check on our primary school application.  Refreshing the screen about a hundred times even though it wasn't yet midnight, that strange feeling of emotions that so often comes on my motherhood journey is there again.  And after one more refresh, at 11.57pm we were told the news.  We didn't get her into our first choice school.  Nor our second.  We got into our third and final school, our catchment school, one that we really only put down because we were told not to waste a choice.   My intial reaction was disappointment, real disappointment.  So I cried.  That feeling in the pit of my stomach knawed away at me, making me feel truly upset.  Because yet again, it comes down to that same old thing- we would do anything for our children.

It was inevitable we we were going to get that school.  Deep down I knew we would, but I was still hoping and crossing my fingers that we would at least get our second.  We are lucky to have an education system in place for our children, I know that.  We are lucky for a lot of things.  This isn't about that.  But walking through that school a few months ago, both myself and my husband didn't think much to it at all.  It's under achieving in all areas according to it's reports, but again I don't know enough about the education system to know what this means.  All I know is walking around there, we just didn't get a 'feel' for it like we did with the others.  There were parts we just weren't keen on at all.  It just didn't feel like the vision I had of my little girl going to school, I couldn't imagine waiting at those school gates for her to come out, in her little school uniform, her hair blowing behind her, and her face all flushed red with excitement as she ran to me at the end of the school day.

But fate has done it's thing and Mads will be going there in September.  It's the next morning now and I am a little embarrased to admit that I have shed a fair few tears.  I know deep down how lucky we are that she even has the opportunity to go to school in the first place, but I can't help but feel a huge amount of disappointment.  I have spent the night tossing and turning, discussing possible solutions with my husband- but deep down realistically I know that I need to resign myself to it now and accept the fact.  I need to start seeing the positives.  

Because that's the thing.  That little girl asleep in the room next to me- she doesn't know all of this.  She doesn't know that her Mummy spent half the night crying.  She just knows that come September she is going to 'big school'.  We drive past the school that she got into every morning and she always points out 'the big boys and girls'.  She doesn't know what the future holds for her, what school entails, what she will do all day.  She just is excited and happy about the possiblity of going.  She's completely innocent, unaware of the bad in the world, and just perfectly happy to give anything a go.  She sees the joy and positives in everything.  

So that's what I need to do.  I need to suck it up and see the world through my little girl's eyes for a change.  To be excited about the next chapter of her journey.  Yes it's not quite the journey we had planned for her, but she will continue to make us proud as she does every single day.  I will stand there with all the other mums, waiting for her to excitedly to run out the doors and tell us what friends she has made.  She will pull artwork from her bag that she has done that day and we will display them on our kitchen wall like they are masterpieces and works of modern art.  We will help her with her writing, her reading and her maths, and do the best we can by her, just as we have done every day since she was born.  We will have life experiences, make memories and raise her the way we are already doing so, outside of those classroom walls.  

We will continue to be the proudest parents alive.

Really, I think I am just feeling a little nostalgic and sentimental right now.  These milestones are passing us by at a rapid rate and it's hard to fathom that it wasn't yesterday that we took her out of that car seat on that first trip back from the hospital.  When school seemed like an eternity away.  I'm not entirely ready for this stage of our lives to be over, and I am not sure I ever will be.  But that's life and we will enjoy this Summer and make it a happy few months of memories.  Although I am a little sad about it all, I'm also incredibly excited too.

And come September we will start this new chapter in our lives.  And I know my little girl will soar and grow in whatever environment she is placed in, of that I am confident.  

Because we will continue to support her always.

 

the grove hotel 26

 

My Sisters in April 2015.....

on Wednesday, 15 April 2015.

I had every good intention to get my 'big camera' out and take some shots of my sister's this month, but somehow here we are on the 15th and I left it right till the last minute. Of course I take photos of my girls constantly, but I like to try and take some photos specifically of them each month.  It's been a busy few weeks for us, we have been on a weekend to Bristol, had a lovely long Easter weekend, and been adjusting to a slightly new routine after putting our girl's in the same bedroom.

I was so nervous about putting Mads and LL into a joint bedroom, as well as being nervous about putting LL into a 'big girl bed' for the first time.  Don't get me wrong, it's not gone perfectly, but overall they have adjusted so well to being in a room together. They have been going to sleep a little later, which was inevitable really, but mainly due to the fact that they are up there chattering away. In actual fact it's very sweet listening to them giggling and having a conversation with each other, although a couple of times we have had to go up there and tell them to quieten down. Other than that though, it's going well so far and LL hasn't once tried to get out of her big girl bed- mainly due to us barricading her in with a cushion and a bed guard!

They are already as close as can be, they really do have the most special bond, and it's a truly wonderful thing to watch. They look out for each other, comfort each other if one of them is sad, and constantly want to be snuggled up next to each other. The other day I went to pick them up from nursery, it was a sunny day and so they were all outside in the garden. Obviously they are in different classes so their respective outside play areas are separated by a fence. For a minute I couldn't see either of them, but eventually I found them both hugging each other through the fence- it was the sweetest thing to see. Apparently if they ever bump into each other at nursery or have to go in the same room for whatever reason, then LL cries when she has to leave her big sister. I hope they keep that bond forever.

But at the same time of course they argue. LL is becoming more communicative every day, in fact her speech has exploded over the last week or so, although she doesn't pronounce words properly yet, she really is trying to say as much as she can. With this new found talking, comes more arguing from my two sister's- they bicker like a pair of old hens throughout the day- mainly over the iPad or their Toy Story characters, or any other toy. Mads is really very accomodating and will often 'give in' to LL, she is so sweet with her, but LL is more of a madam and often expects to get her own way- we hope this is just her age! 

Although just iPhone photos from me this month, I do like these photos. Their new bunk bed is still so exciting for them- they love to sit up on the top bunk and read books or play with their toys. LL of course needs lifting up there, but once they are up there they have a great time snuggling together. So I snapped some photos while we were reading a story at bedtime- most of the time we read together on our bed, but occasionally they will ask us to read on their bed.

They are a little blurry but I love how happy my sister's look...

siblings april15 a

siblings april15 b

siblings april15 c

siblings april15 d

siblings april15 e

siblings april15 f

siblings april15 i

siblings april15 h

siblings april15 g

My favourite one!

 

*****
This month I am sending you over to have a look at have a look at Carie's blog- her three little people are guaranteed to make you smile as they do me every month!  

Our New Shared Workspace Makeover...

on Monday, 13 April 2015.

There's been lots of changes in our house recently.  Mr E is now working for himself, in fact we are working together, and that means that he is based at home.  For years I had my laptop and he had his Mac desktop crammed into a corner of our living room against the sofa on a small white metal garden table as we couldn't find a desk small enough.  Obviously when we found out he was going to be working from home we needed this situation to change, as it was completely impractical for him to work in our living room when the girls and I were at home.

We decided to change Mads old room into our new joint workspace, and therefore turn LL's old bedroom into a shared bedroom for the girls.  (You can check out that room makeover here)  This meant that we could create a study from scratch, something which I was really excited about.  I am thrilled with the end result- so far I have been so much more productive working in our new room rather than on our dining table.  It also has done wonders for me switching off and relaxing in the evening, as I leave the laptop in it's new place on my desk, rather than have it downstairs with me on the sofa.

The room is a very small space, in fact a single bed would pretty much take up the entire room, but I am so pleased with how we have set it out.  If feels quite spacious and also we have lots more storage space than we originally had- after all these years I even have a drawer for all my camera bits, whereas before I used to hide them down the side of the sofa.

Here is our shared workspace in photos...

creative workspace 8

We needed a space for both our computers, and rather than look at two separate desks which would take up a lot of room we found this amazing double desk in Ikea- which was absolutely perfect.  It's really narrow, but couldn't be better for what we need it for, plus I love the white gloss.  

creative workspace 25

creative workspace 21

creative workspace 14

Our black and white chairs were ridiculously cheap and also from Ikea.  I love the prints above our computers, the camera one is by Seventy Tree and I have wanted it for ages so Mr E kindly bought it for my birthday, and the other one Mr E made himself.  

creative workspace 7

I love my little ceramic elephant which I bought from Paperchase, he comes with a pen which he holds in his trunk and you can write important messages on him. (they wipe off)  It says on his ear 'elephants never forget'.  Very cute.

creative workspace 18

I love this tiny little bell jar from Paper Marche Shop over on etsy, they are made to order, and you can write your own message on there.  I chose 'Do What You Love' cause cheesily that is exactly what I am doing- there's nothing like a good motivational quote. ;)

creative workspace 20

I really wanted to get a peg board for memos and things, plus I found this one that exactly matched our colour scheme.  I got the inspiration for it from my lovely friend Rachel who also has a few dotted around her house.

creative workspace 24

Amsterdam holds a special place in our heart's after one of our favourite trips there, and I got these little postcards as a gift from my gorgeous friend Keri-Anne who surprised me in the post last week.  The wooden postcard is also a little note in the post from another blogging friend Lucy, what a lovely kind bunch bloggers are!

creative workspace 5

In one corner of the room below the pegboard we have a set of storage shelves, again from Ikea.  (We heart Ikea!) The box shelves are so great for different types of storage.

creative workspace 6

I've wanted to put my David LaChapelle books on display for ages- Mr E has bought them for me over the years as he is my favourite photographer.

creative workspace 3

Little knick knacks.  These two ceramic houses came from Dunelm Mill and I randomly spotted them when I went in to buy some light bulbs.  Glamorous.

creative workspace 26

creative workspace 27

 creative workspace 10

Mr E bought me these Sketch Inc nesting dolls for my birthday- I have been admiring them for ages but never told him.  He knows me and my nesting doll obsession far too well!

creative workspace 16

We have a similar storage shelf on the other corner of the room, but this one is an eight shelf one rather than four.

creative workspace 12

I had to buy this old fashioned egg timer, but Mr E really doesn't like it for some reason.

creative workspace 28

This glass jar came from H and M Home, as did the candles inside. 

creative workspace 13

Can't beat a succulent. 

creative workspace 15

I love this little area the best.  I am obsessed with photo walls (every wall in our house is covered with photos) and all these prints mean something to us.  You can't really see the Enjoy the Little Things print as it's hard to take a photo of it because of the light glare, but it's gorgeous and from my old friend Ben's store Old English Prints.  

creative workspace 23

creative workspace 17

I love the 'It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice' quote- so true!  It's from Bonne Nuit which is a little shop I found over on instagram.  I can't remember where I got the 'Creativity takes Courage' print but I bought it for Mr E as I think it really rings true for the fact he has given up work to start his creative business.  The 'Blogs & Diet Coke' print is one Mr E made for me, and the others are just random little ones I have picked up here and there.

creative workspace 19

The habitat clock is my favourite, I have wanted to get one for years and years but never really had the right space for it, so I treated myself to one with my birthday money.  I love it so much.  I have had the little black and white lomo camera for years, as I have mentioned previously I collect old cameras.

creative workspace 22

I love this little globe that Mr E bought me (he's a pretty good husband actually!) and this print which was given to me ages ago by my friend Katrina when we started our travel site.  I love the fact that there are little details in the room that show off our hobbies and passions- like photography, design and travel.

creative workspace 2

creative workspace 1

Yay for cacti.  Although they are prickly little customers as poor Mads found out the other day!

 

Overall I am really pleased with our new shared office space, I love to go in there, and it's helped wonders in motivating me and also helping me switch off in the evening time.     

 

If you want to see what the room liked before click here.

If you want to see my other interior posts click here.

 

 

 

 

 

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