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{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.

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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.)

So It's Autumn...

on Tuesday, 21 October 2014.

Autumn is officially here and has been for a couple of weeks, but due to being busy, under the weather and a little bit lazy we haven't really had time to truly appreciate the changing of the season until yesterday.

 I have written about Autumn before, this time last year, but I do love the anticipation it brings.  While I typically am a Summer girl through and through, there is something strangely comforting about Autumn.  There is definitely an element of nesting- we spent last weekend doing odd jobs around the house that we have been meaning to do for ages, giving it a spring clean and generally getting ready for the hibernation period.  We have been getting into our pj's at 1pm after coming home from going out for the morning and it already feels like we are getting that little bit cosier.

Our home for the first time in five years actually feels much more 'homely'.  This year we have spent a fair bit of time and money doing it up and as such our living room, bedroom and bathroom all feel ready for the cosiness of the winter months ahead.  There is nothing I like more than lighting some candles and snuggling down on the sofa with a blanket.  Although not completely finished, I feel such satisfaction in spending time in our little home and creating memories there. 

I thought our pace of life would slow down after our hectic Summer, but it seems to be just as busy.  We have stuff planned for a fair few weekends in November already, mixed in with the odd lazy one too, and December is always busy for us with our wedding anniversary, Mads birthday and of course Christmas.  I am relishing making adventures with my little family and am so thankful for these times.

But as always it's the simple, everyday moments and routines that we all really thrive on.  And I think that's exactly what Autumn brings- just a sense of contentment and gratitude at being here, being us and living our ordinary happy life.  

Like going on Autumn walks together...

I hadn't taken any photos with my 'big camera' for a couple of weeks- partly due to being busy, partly due to being poorly and also being a little lazy too, it's probably the longset I haven't got it out in a while.  So yesterday I dusted it off and took it out on an early morning walk.  I didn't think the photos would be anything special but I just wanted to snap some of my girls as I hadn't for a while.  It turns out I love these photos so much.  They wind each other up a lot at the moment (and often me as well!) but it is a sign of how close they are, they can be arguing over a toy one minute and then cuddling the next.  Their bond is so real and so special and I am so proud of the little people they are becoming.

My happy, innocent little three year old and one year old.

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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #39 'This Is Motherhood.'

on Sunday, 19 October 2014.

On Friday afternoon I got the girls up from their nap and within minutes they were both screaming.  Not just crying, or having a tantrum, but really really screaming, which in itself is pretty rare for both of them.  LL eventually calmed down, but poor Mads carried on sobbing, while clutching her ear in pain.  I tried to reason with her, to cuddle her, to comfort her, but nothing was working.  After realising she wasn't going to settle, I rang the emergency doctor and headed down there to get them to check her out.

I rang my Mum in slight despair at the noise and stress of the situation, and on hearing Mads and LL crying in the background, she came to my rescue.  She sat with Mads on her lap, holding her tight, doing her Grandma duties, while I cuddled LL.  She came in while the doctor checked them over, and after diagnosing both with bad coughs, high temperatures, and poor Mads with a severe ear infection, she took me to Sainsbury's and bought us 'essential medical supplies' such as antibiotics, ice cream, ice lollies, diet coke and sweets.  

She then came back to my house which I had left in a hurry and in a complete state and she cleaned up around me while I cuddled my poorly ladies close on the sofa.  She got on her hands and knees and scrubbed a rather disgusting cat poo off my carpet (thanks Walter!), she changed the litter tray, she hoovered and she helped me sort out the girls.  She pottered around for an hour or so, before giving me a cuddle and leaving us to it, as Mr E was out for the evening.

As I lay in our bed a little later on, my arms tightly round Mads who was whimpering and crying in her sleep, while playing with my ear as she so often does for comfort, I thought back to my Mum.  Those simple gestures, those things she does for me day in and day out, that show us just how much she cares.  How she comes up to my house and grabs a load of my washing, takes it back and irons it just to help me out.  How earlier in the week when we were all feeling under the weather she told us to come up to hers.  She helped the girls paint while I sat back, had a break and ate beans on toast.  How easily it is ingrained in her to take care of us, even now.  How these things are so small that sometimes I don't even notice them, but that when I take a second to think about it, I realise just how much she does.  

This is motherhood.

It's not always plain sailing.  It's not always about picture perfect photos, happy days out and ticking off milestones.  It's about having that instinct in you to know when your children need you, whatever age they are.   It's about the simple things, the ordinary moments and the little gestures.  And as soon as you take that little person in your arms the moment they are born, you learn what it is like to love someone unconditionally.  Through the amazing times, the rough times, the ordinary times and the day to day times.  

We have had a fair few moments like that this week.  Moments where I have felt this raw emotion that comes with being a mother.  Like when I was cuddling in bed with Mads, letting her play with my ear pretty much all night long even though it actually hurts a little sometimes and meant I couldn't sleep.  Or realising a poorly LL had fallen asleep on me and not moving for an hour because I was relishing that feeling of having her so close to me.  It's these moments, that technically are supposed to be tough, that are genuinely the sweetest.  To feel that satisfaction and utter love that comes with being the one my babies need.  That I am the one that makes it all better.

Sometimes I think about how fast the time is going and it almost takes my breath away.  It makes me feel so sad to think that one day my girls might not need me, or that I might not be their whole world.  The thought of it makes me get tears in my eyes and I will the days, months and years to not pass so quickly.  But then I think about my own Mum.  About how she would drop anything to look after us.  All the simple, little things she does to help us.  About how at thirty years old, I still need her.  And I know that she is there.  She always was.

I hope one day my girls will look back and remember not only the big holidays, fun days out, or exciting times.  I hope they will remember the ordinary and the not so good ones too.  How I held back their hair as they were sick, how I cuddled them close and held them as they cried.  How I would do anything for them and about how I loved them unconditionally.

Because that is motherhood.

 

asleepLLoct14

 

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