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A Week In Our Lives...

on Tuesday, 17 February 2015.

As a family there is nothing more we love than having adventures.  I tweeted the other day that my eighty year old Grandparents were off to Thailand for a month, and lots of people commented saying wow and good on them.  It's nothing new, they often head off to far flung places and have done a few times a year since I was small.  But I think that's just it, I have grown up in a family where travelling and experiencing new things is just something we love to do, and I definitely get my passion for travel from my Grandparents.  There's that word 'wanderlust' which is classed as a desire to wander or travel and explore the world and I think I have always had that.  

That being said though, I am still always so happy to return home.  While I do love to go away, I love to be at home even more.  I thrive on routine and structure, so do my girls, and I love just going about our ordinary life.  I get stressed and on edge if we are too busy, I definitely like being at home and just experiencing the simplest moments.  I know that my girls will remember the holidays and the weekends away, but I also know that the things they will remember the most are the smallest and most ordinary of moments.  Just being together as a family.  An adventure doesn't have to be in a far flung place or away from home- we have mini adventures on a day to day basis.  When you are four and two, a carpet picnic on the living room floor, or a trip to the garden centre to look at the rabbits, is just as much of an adventure as going away.

Last week we decided we would film our ordinary lives.  It actually ended up being slightly more hectic than an average week.  Monday I was in London for meetings with my fellow Space In Your Case ladies (spot the cameo from Alison!), Tuesday was a all day session at nursery for the girls and a day of work for me, (with a sneaky drink on my 'lunch break') Wednesday was LL's birthday, Thursday was a seven hour round trip up to Manchester for an all day meeting (plus a sneaky and delicious meal of tapas and chats with Charlotte), Friday was a quiet day with the girls and Saturday was a special trip out for LL's birthday.  We wanted to document it all the same so in years to come we can look back and look at what a week in our day to day life looked like.  Plus we wanted to show how much we use our Subaru XV on a daily basis too.

I only ever really film our days out or trips away, so this is a slightly different kind of video for me, and is a lot longer than my usual ones.  But I know that one day we will look back and smile on what a random week in our lives looked like....

 

 

{The Ordinary Moments 15} #7 'A 2nd Birthday'

on Sunday, 15 February 2015.

This past week has been a little hectic.  I have had a few meetings for work, including a seven hour round trip up to Manchester, a day in London for my best friend from Uni's baby shower, and just general day to day life being that little bit busier than normal.  On top of this, on Wednesday it was a very special day indeed.  Our beautiful baby girl turned two.  We didn't have much planned for the actual day, it was pretty low key but sentimental all the same and I of course felt a little emotional that we were well and truly leaving the baby years behind us.

She woke up and opened her pressies- we didn't go crazy being that Christmas has only just happened and we still haven't played properly with some of the toys they received then.  She had a couple of Peppa Pig tacky bits to open, which were most definitely the best things ever, and a big Bullseye Toy Story character as both her and Mads love to play with them and are collecting the set.  Then it was time to head out for the day, but not before donning her '2' top and a bright pink tutu.  If you can't wear a pink tutu on your second birthday then quite frankly when can you?

We then headed to her first ever taster session at a baby ballet class.  It took her ten minutes to warm up, she clung to me for the first part, but then after a while she absolutely loved it and danced around happily, so we will definitely go back and our close friends go so that's another nice thing about it.  We tried them for a term with Mads just after LL was born, but she wasn't particularly fussed by them.  LL however loves to dance and wiggle so I think she will really enjoy it.  After that we headed out for our first slice of cake of the day while I got the car cleaned- it's non stop glamour here even on your birthday!  Then it was time to head to the girl's favourite restaurant Pizza Express, which is the only place I can guarantee they will eat every single thing on their plates.  We were joined by Grandma which was lovely as well.

We headed home for a nap, after all any party girl needs to get a bit of beauty sleep, before waiting for Mr E to get home from work.  We then headed over to Grandma's yet again for a mini birthday party, where there were a few other members of the family there to celebrate with us.  We had a yummy dinner before it was time to sing Happy Birthday and tuck in to a piece of Peppa Pig birthday cake.  LL absolutely loved her cake and as usual I got tears in my eyes watching her little face as she saw it for the first time.  It was a lovely, low key birthday for our littlest lady.

For someone who loves to take lots of photos, especially of celebrations, I wasn't really feeling it on Wednesday- a combination of for the most part in being with them on my own and not wanting to lug the camera out with me, yet also a little bit due to tiredness and general 'meh'-ness after a hectic week.  However I did manage to capture a few happy moments and I did take a couple of snippets of video which I will get round to editing soon no doubt.  

We are so proud of our baby girl, she's growing up so fast and it's oh so bittersweet.  I love the little person she is becoming and I am excited for the adventures that I know we will have in the future, but I can't help but feel a little sadness over the first two years of her life being over.  It all seems to have whizzed by in a blur, all those days merging into one, but one thing is for sure- she has completed our family and stolen all our hearts a million times over...

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My Sisters in February 2015.....

on Sunday, 15 February 2015.

I can't quite fathom how we are in the middle of February already.  It's been a busy month for us so far- we have had a trip to Norfolk, LL's birthday and also just general day to day life.  Both Mr E and I have been really busy with work- while this is of course much welcomed, it also gets on top of me sometimes and as a result other things, like taking photos or keeping on top of the washing has taken a little bit of a back seat.

However because Daddy was working on LL's birthday last Wednesday, we promised them we would go on an extra special treat at the weekend.  When you are two and the weather is pretty terrible, there isn't much you can particularly do.  But then we realised that the Peppa Pig film was out and for a Peppa obsessed LL this couldn't have been more perfect.  So we planned a special day for her- we went out early on Saturday to the film, had Pic n Mix, (this nearly blew their minds as they had never chosen things from there before) and then went out to Pizza Hut afterwards. (Again the ice cream factory was a big hit funnily enough!)  

LL was so sweet in the film, it was her first proper cinema experience, bar coming with us when she was about three months old and spending the time attached to my boob so she wouldn't cry!  It was also probably only Mads third time as well, as we went through a stage where she was terrified of the cinema.  However both of them loved it, LL was so cute sat in her little chair clutching on to her bag of sweets and she did all the dancing and actually shook with excitement when Peppa came on the screen.  It couldn't have been a more perfect birthday treat out for my littlest lady.

After lunch I realised I had taken no photos so we quickly went behind the cinema to take a few photos of them both for the 'Siblings' project this month.  They were undoubtedly wired on sugar from too much ice cream and sweets, and were both being ridiculously silly.  And it turns out that I actually love these photos a lot- they aren't particularly exciting as the light was so grey and the location was a bit grim, but they capture my girls perfectly.  Mr E and I tried to wrestle that Peppa Pig drawing board off LL so she wasn't holding them in the photos but everytime we did she proceeded to do her 'meltdown screech' so we decided it wasn't worth it!   Plus I guess it sums her up in February perfectly, she carries it around everywhere!

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All was going swimmingly and we were having a lovely time until Mads decided to swing LL a little too hard by her arm, causing LL to do a rather comical (bad Mummy) face plant flat on her face.  She was covered in mud from head to toe, it was even all over her face.  Luckily after a few minutes tears we realised she wasn't hurt, but that put an end to that.  And that completely also sums up my girls- they play so nicely for a certain amount of time, before it inevitably turns to fighting or tears over something.  

I guess that's siblings for you...

 

*****

This month I am sending you over to Kerri-Ann who takes the most stunning almost magical photos of her girls.  Be sure to go and have a look there and link up too as I am still having trouble with my linky tools- it's most strange!  We are looking forward to the other Siblings too!

 

My Baby Girl is Two!

on Wednesday, 11 February 2015.

Dearest LL,

I remember so vividly when I found out I was pregnant with you.  Of course, I knew I was going to love you unconditionally, but I couldn't quite honestly imagine loving someone as much as I did your sister. I couldn't imagine you fitting into our lives- we had our own little family of three and I couldn't picture what it would be like.  What you would be like.  But when I held you for that first time on the 11th February 2013, when Daddy put you on my chest while the Doctors were stitching me up- I just knew.  I knew all my worries were for nothing.  I knew from that very instant that there was a space that fitted you just perfectly.

And now it's the 11th February 2015 and my littlest girl is two years old.  In many ways it feels like you should be bigger- there is no way in the world I can now imagine life without you in it, yet at the same time two seems so big.  When did you stop being a baby?  Why did time go so fast?  It feels like we blinked and missed it somehow.  I can't quite pinpoint when you went from being a baby to a toddler, but now when I look at you, in photos especially, I see a little girl.  You have become so tall, you've lost your baby features, and you've turned into a little person.  

But in many ways, you are still a baby.  Of course, you are my baby, and I probably mollycoddle you more than I do your big sister.  But you haven't been in as much of a hurry to grow up.  It took you a little longer to walk, a little more time to become independent, and even now you are still not talking much.  A lot of it is no doubt 'second child syndrome'- you have a big sister to do the talking for you.  You are saying a few things- 'Mummy', 'Daddy', 'Juice', 'Hello', 'Buzz', and 'Biscuit' for example.  You have just started saying a couple of words together, mainly 'Hello Peppa' or 'Oh it's Peppa', but compared to Mads who was talking in sentences by your age, you still have a way to go.  We don't mind though, because while you don't communicate with words, you communicate with affection and love.

You are one of the most affectionate little people I know- in fact both my girls are.  You both love to cuddle non stop, kiss and generally just be near me, Daddy and Mads.  In the evenings we have a little game where we all cuddle in bed and we ask you to give us kisses.  It's the cutest thing ever, you pucker up your little lips and in turn kiss me, Daddy and your big sister over and over again.  You love to snuggle up to Mummy, you lie on my chest and I stroke your hair, but every so often you look up at me and give me a beaming smile.  I want to soak in those moments and store them in some small part of my mind to make sure I never forget them.  We have such a bond you and me, while Mads adores her Mummy, she is a Daddy's girl.  You are mine though.  I look in your eyes and I can tell how much you love me.  You cuddle into me and say 'Mummmmy' quietly under your breath and you follow me around everywhere.  It's hard to explain, because while I love you both exactly the same, in a way, it's in different ways, and even I can't pinpoint exactly what I mean.  But my love for you is that of my baby, and I am fiercely proud and protective of you.

You aren't all sweetness and cuddles though, you have a fiery and explosive temper and you most certainly know your own mind.  The last couple of weeks have seen the arrival of tantrums- you will lie on the floor and screech if you don't get your own way, and your face contorts into a scary looking sight.  I would say you are more stroppy than your sister was, although she had her fair share of tantrums too. You are very strong willed and feisty when you want to be and at the moment you aren't particularly good at sharing.  Mads is very patient with you and often shares her toys with you, taking in turns to let you play with things, but you aren't quite so willing to reciprocate the favour!  You have your moments, moments where you are ever so good at sharing, but you are definitely going through a cheeky phase when it comes to that sort of thing.  

Speaking of your big sister, the relationship that the two of you have together is without a doubt the best thing about being a Mummy.  I look at two of you together and I think that my heart might burst with pride.  Ever since that first day she came to visit you in the hospital, her little feet running down the corridor shouting 'Baby', Mads has been such a great big sister to you.  And you know that, I can tell you do.  You look at her with such love in your eyes and such awe.  I can tell that in a weird way, she is your hero, and you want to be like her- you follow her everywhere, giggle at her constantly, and always want to hold her hand and cuddle her.  Now you are a little bigger, you play together really nicely and I often hear you playing funny games together.  Your favourite thing to do at the moment is have 'sleepovers'- you go into Mads room and shut the door and I can hear you both chattering away and giggling together as you snuggle under the covers.  Of course you fight like cat and dog, especially when it comes to sharing, but 90% of the time you are just so sweet together.  It's the little things that I love to witness, the moments that come so naturally that if you blink you might miss them.  Things like the way that if you are at a party or soft play and you look a bit unsure, Mads will put her arm round you and guide you, or the way you cuddle on the bed in the evening together.  I am so proud of you both. 

Today is your birthday and we have a quiet day planned- nothing out of the ordinary or particularly special, but we will spoil you with love and affection.  You haven't many presents to open, you have a big Bullseye horse coming from us because you love to play Toy Story with your sister, and a couple of ridiculously cheap, tacky Peppa Pig bits because I know that it will make you smile more than anything of any value or sentiment.  And at the end of the day it's all about the smiles and seeing the pure unconditional happiness.  You are Peppa Pig mad and we still aren't quite sure why as we never really used to watch it with you.  Our morning will be spent at your new dance class- you are going to Baby Ballet for the first time, and then we are meeting Grandma for lunch.  Then in the evening it's back over to Grandma's for a little family party.  We will blow out your candles on your Peppa Pig cake and no doubt Mummy will get ridiculously emotional as she always does- firstly for the fact I can't quite fathom how you are now two and secondly for the fact that I am just so ridiculously proud of you.  

 

Happy Birthday my beautiful baby girl.  

 

Mummy couldn't love you anymore if I tried.  Thank you for being mine.

xxx

 

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(Check out the rest of my 'Letters to My Littles' posts here.)

 

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