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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #14 The End Of A Journey...

on Sunday, 06 April 2014.

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I became a Mummy thirty-nine (ish) months ago.  And for almost twenty-four of those months I have shared a very special journey with my two little girls.  That journey is breastfeeding.  

I had no idea whether I wanted to breastfeed before Mads came along, but after doing NCT classes I decided that I may as well give it a go.  Those first few days were horrendous and I had bottles of formula sitting there waiting for me to use, but after a short stay in hospital and a scare from Mads, I became determined to breastfeed my newborn baby.  I think I was exhausted, scared and some how thought in my head that breastfeeding would help protect her from germs and illness.  (You can read about all that here)  Luckily after a couple of weeks it got easier and I ended up feeding Mads for 11 months before stopping.

This time around with LL it hurt like hell again for the first week, but I had the benefit of hindsight on my side and I knew it would get easier.  So I perservered and I have really enjoyed my breastfeeding journey with her.  It got to 12 months and I told everyone, including myself, that I was going to stop, but here we are at nearly 14 months and I am still feeding her a morning and evening feed.  

The thing is, I deep down don't know if I am ready to stop, I am still clinging on to the fact that she is most likely our last baby and that I will never share this bond again.  It isn't hurting us continuing, she only feeds for about five minutes and then it's over.  But I have to stop at some point, and so this weekend is the time. I am in Bath for a hen do and I have decided that I will feed her before I leave and then as she is with Mr E for a couple of days it will be a perfect time to stop.  I will come back after two nights away and then we will just have to try and distract her from the idea when I am home.  

It has been the most wonderful journey with my babies.  Those early days, when it was just us against the world in the middle of the night snuggled close together.  The way they both used to play with my hair, and gently stroke my skin.  Those snatched moments of eye contact and the way they used to stare up at me with such love in their eyes.  The times they would fall asleep on me and I would sit for ages just marvelling at how I managed to have a part in creating these amazing little people.  It's a bittersweet memory of those newborn days, a constant reminder about just how quickly the time goes and how each and every moment is so fleeting.

I recently wrote an article for The Motherhood about breastfeeding and how I really don't have an opinion on how other people choose to feed their babies.  If I hadn't been able to breastfeed or hadn't wanted to then I know I would be sat here writing the same thing about weaning my babies off a bottle.  It's more just the fact that it is the end of an era, and it's about letting go of that last little bit of babyhood.  Of milk being the thing they need to grow and thrive the most.  

That said, breastfeeding has been a huge part of my life as a Mummy and I asked Mr E to take a photo of my little LL and I sharing what potentially was our second to last feed together.  It's a grainy iPhone image but it is hugely sentimental for me.  

It's been a very ordinary moment for the last 13 and a half months.  But it's been an extraordinary story I will never ever forget.  

My little ladies are growing up so damn quickly.  And it is oh so bittersweet.

 

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The One Where I Totally Fail At Being Kate Moss...

on Thursday, 03 April 2014.

For someone who adores her camera and documenting every single memory I can, there is one thing I absolutely HATE with a passion.  Photographs of me.  Don't get me wrong, I like natural shots with my babies, and I love the odd 'selfie' on my iPhone but ask me to pose for a photo and I end up looking incredibly uncomfortable.  

However as a Mum I don't get to treat myself as much as I used to.  Before children my money used to go on exciting things such as holidays, bags and clothes.  Nowadays I have much less and it goes on mortgage payments, bills and clothes for them.  Therefore when Florence and Fred got in touch to see if I would like to try some of their range I thought I would put aside my serious 'being in front of the camera' anxiety and channel my inner Kate Moss.  If you want a laugh keep scrolling down.

I must admit I don't buy a huge amount of clothes from Tesco for myself.  I have the odd thing from there, and my girls probably have over half their range every season, (it washes so well for the price!) but it's not somewhere where I would particularly shop for things for me.  However I was so impressed with the amount of things they had on their website and I had a great time picking out some bits and pieces from their collection.

Aside from being uncomfortable and tense in these photos, I also don't have the luxury of Mario Testino photographing me, instead I had a slightly grumpy husband who had just got home from work and wasn't impressed with my modelling.  But here is what I purchased...

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Awkward pose and expression aside I love this spotty pinky jumper.  I teamed it with my own shirt and jeans, and it is something I know that I will wear a lot.

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Kate Moss so wouldn't leave the coathanger plastic thingy out.  Rookie mistake.  

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Nervous laughter and Kate Moss would definitely have had one of her assistants pull those unsightly weeds up.  But I do love this flowery dress, I have a fair few family things coming up so will wear this when I want to be smart casual with tights and boots.  Note to self- remember to straighten hair properly next time.

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A solution!  Grab a baby to pose with- that will make it easier.  I really like this white chiffon top, it doesn't cling to my tummy and is smarter than just a t-shirt.  Love the pumps as well, I have a thing for neon.

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Love them- perfect for Spring.

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Love my Russian Doll necklace.

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The smallest model was starting to get fed up by this point, and was a little embarrassed about standing outside our house posing for all the neighbours to see.  But I do love this neon striped top, it's perfect for wearing on my endless exciting and glamorous trips to soft play.  Basic but pretty.

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Did you know that F&F also do gym stuff?  Nope I didn't either.  I am happy in this one as I am about to run away from the camera, love this neon orange vestt!

I also got two beautiful little sets of dungarees for the girls (can't beat kids in dungarees in my opinion!) but they are shorts for summer and are a little big at the moment so they will fit in time for our holiday.  I am really pleased with the outfits that I selected and it was so lovely to be able to treat myself to some things for me.  Definitely worth ten minutes worth of awkward photo taking.  I am pretty sure Kate Moss won't be concerned about me taking any work off her soon!

Thank you so much Florence and Fred.

 

NB.  I was gifted £100 to spend online at F&F as part of their #ffontrendmum campaign.  All thoughts, opinions and horrendously awkward poses are entirely my own.

 

An Impromptu Day Trip To The Seaside...

on Tuesday, 01 April 2014.

With no plans for Mothers Day bar dinner at my Mums in the evening, we decided earlier in the week that we would have a day out somewhere on the Sunday.  However after waking up ridiculously early on Saturday and seeing the sun was shining we concluded that we should change the plans and go somewhere then instead.  

We decided that as the weather was reasonably nice we would head to the coast for our first seaside trip of the year.  The nearest one to us is Hunstanton, which although isn't the most pretty of seaside towns, is fine for a day trip.  It's got ice cream, a beach, fish & chips and arcade machines- really what else do you need?  

We had a really lovely family day out.  In the morning when we arrived we went for a walk before having massive ice creams that were a very naughty treat but totally worth it.  Mads loved having £3 to play on the 2p slot machines in the arcade, although she was most indignant that she didn't win anything.  We then had a picnic in the sunshine, with myself and Mr E having traditional fish and chips because quite frankly eating anything else for lunch at the seaside is against the law.  The girls had ham sandwiches although LL had a couple of chips too.   Mads is a little strange in that she doesn't like chips, she certainly doesn't take after her Mummy.

In the afternoon we went down to the beach and the tide was out so far that we couldn't go paddling, but we did plenty of serious sandcastle building and rolling about in the sand.  LL hadn't felt sand before and was absolutely fascinated by it, crawling around non stop for ages.  It was a delight to watch her as she loved being able to roam free and crawl about.  She did eat a few mouthfuls of sand when we took our eyes off her for a few seconds, but didn't seem too fazed by it!

We then headed back to the car for the journey home with windswept hair, very full tummies, and sand absolutely everywhere with two little girls sleeping soundly in the car seats from an overload of sea air. 

All in all a perfectly lovely Spring day and hopefully the first of many as the weather gets a little warmer.

 

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

on Monday, 31 March 2014.

March has been a pretty good month in the life of our little family.

We started the month off with my 30th birthday something which I was dreading and looking forward to in equal measure.  I ended up being so spoiled by lovely husband and family, and we had our first night away just the two of us in three years.  It was amazing.

The rest of the month has gone so quickly, we have been busy most weekends seeing friends or having trips out, or just generally enjoying the mundanity of day to day life together.  Mads now does swimming lessons at half eight on a Saturday morning which is a rush to get ready every week but once we have done it, it does mean we are up and ready for the day ahead early.  On our quiet weekends Mr E and I have been taking it in turns going out for a run as we are both still in the throws of our fitness kicks.   

While I love being busy at the weekends, I do relish the quiet times.  As I write this it's Sunday afternoon, Mr E is on a bike ride, the girls are in bed, and I am sat on the sofa relaxing with a diet coke and a pack of chocolate buttons.  I had a very long overdue house tidy as well, I don't know what it is but there's something so satisfying about relaxing in a freshly cleaned house.  Or is that just me?

For our March 'Me and Mine' photos we woke up last weekend and the sun was shining but we didn't really know where to go.  Neither of us felt like making an effort this month, some months we are up for trying new things or new potential locations, but this month we just weren't feeling it. We decided to drive over to the little village I grew up and went to school in as it is where I am doing my first half marathon and I wanted to check out the route. (Plus LL needed a morning snooze and the car is guaranteed to make her zzzz!)

It's the most beautiful little place and is where my Mum's beauty salon is so we stopped in to say hi to her.  We ended up getting quite late for lunch and so we decided to give photos a miss but as we were driving out of the village I noticed all the daffodils had sprouted by the old castle wall.  We pulled over, laughing hysterically because there was a netball match going on at my old school and they were all staring at us strangely making funny faces at the camera stuck on a tripod.  Mr E is rather used to the humiliation now.  

I am actually really pleased with these photos.  We haven't really got any of us smiling and all looking at the camera, but the story behind them is what means the most.  As anyone with small children will  know, it isn't always the most plain sailling trying to get them to cooperate and look at the camera, especially when it's mounted on a tripod with no one behind it.  I do genuinely love capturing a family portrait each month, but sometimes I do feel like it's not the most enjoyable for Mr E and the girls, he loves the finished results but it's certainly driven by my intense desire to document our lives.  It can get stressful on occasions, and sometimes you see a happy family photo (of which we are) but the situation leading up to it wasn't exactly stress free.  

But these photos were just a happy Saturday morning with my little family.  We snapped four photos in a couple of minutes, laughed as we did it, and then went home to relax.  Simple, easy and how it should be.  It's not about a picture perfect moment with us all in matching outfits smiling at the camera. (Although we do match pretty well unintentionally!)  Unfortunately sometimes we are all victims of making life look like something out of a magazine on our blogs, instagram and other social media but it's not about always about that.

 At the end of the day it's just about the memories... 

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(I had a remote but it broke and I haven't bothered buying another one because I find that by setting the self timer then running back, it makes the girls look in the direction of the camera.  Sometimes I don't make it back in time. Like in this one- Mr E says I look like I am crouching to do a poo!  I'm not I promise.)

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...And this particular Saturday was just a simple ordinary day with not much to talk about.  But these photos captured a day where I can honestly say there is no where else I would have rather been.

A happy ordinary Spring day with the people I love most.

 

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 This month I am sending you to have a look at Charlotte's lovely blog to see what she is getting up with her little family.  Be sure to go and have a look.  

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