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Articles tagged with: Mads

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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M is for Mads... (And Mango!)

on Monday, 08 September 2014.

One of my favourite brands is Innocent- not firstly for the fact that I am a little bit obsessed with their Innocent Veg Pots (Yum!) but also because I have always had a secret yearning to work at Fruit Towers- it looks like the best place to work ever.  When Innocent got in touch to see if we wanted to be one of twenty six bloggers spelling out the alphabet for their Alphabet Challenge, we said yes of course.  We would happily sell our souls in exchange for some free vouchers.  (That bit might not be entirely true)  

We got given the letter M so of course M is for my Mads.  And Mango.

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Little over a year ago I wrote this post.  In it I wrote down all my feelings about Mads potentially starting preschool, about how it was the end of an era and how about we should treasure all these precious moments together.  I read it back today and almost cried, I look at those photos of her running around in her little pink tutu clutching some balloons and she just looks so young.  I remember that day like it was yesterday, yet so much has changed.  She has grown at least a foot taller, those little ringlet curls have got looser and are now almost down to her bottom, and she has changed so much in the face.  Gone are the not quite a baby/not yet a girl features, instead now she is a little girl through and through.  This Summer has seen the arrival of a splattering of freckles, sun kisses as we call them, over her little button nose.  

I'm feeling very nostalgic at the moment, and a little sentimental too.  Seeing proud parents post photos of their children all over social media, smiling in their slightly too big, ironed and crisp new school uniform, I am well aware that next year that will be us.  It's something that every parent goes through, we have known it was coming even from when she was tiny, when the very idea of school seemed like a far off dream.  But slowly we are ticking those milestones of the list- she's been at nursery/preschool almost a year now, she can write her name, she no longer needs her little musical doggy to send her off to sleep at night.  Tick, Tick, Tick, another day passing, another milestone achieved.  

She drives me mad on a daily basis, she takes about fifteen minutes to get into her car seat especially when I am in a rush, and she can throw one hell of a wobbler if she doesn't get her own way on occasions.  But for the most part, we are best friends.  She is completely innocent, still sucks her fingers and plays with ears when she is tired and still believes we are the centre of the world.  While she realises there are bad people in the world, or that bad things can happen, she doesn't truly grasp that concept quite yet.  She lives in a world of rainbows, fairies and Toy Story characters that come to life.  And I am not ready to leave that world behind.

Growing up hurts sometimes, it hurts us parents who watch them leaving those precious days behind- those tiny, wailing newborn days, those days where you feel like you will never get off the sofa without a child attached to your breast, those terrible twos where they won't eat anything but fromage frais, and those funny days where they learn word after word and pronounce them wrong.  But that's life.  We change.  We grow.  We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, let alone a year from now.

So I had to dedicate my letter in the Innocent Alphabet to Mads.  My precious little girl, who over the next year is going to change and grow more than ever.  Who one day won't think her Mummy is the centre of her universe.  Who a year from now I will have to let go of just a tiny little bit, as she learns to become the person she is meant to be through the help of her hopefully special and memorable school days.   We will enjoy the next year together, the lazy days, the days where we don't have to rush around for the school run, and the days where it's just the three of us.  We will bake cakes, see friends, go to the playground and make smoothies.

M is for Mads.  And Mango.

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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #33 'A New Ordinary Friday'

on Sunday, 07 September 2014.

I have spoken many times before about how I am a creature of habit and how we have our little 'during the week' routine down to a tee.  Most afternoons are taken up with nap times, so it's only really mornings we need to fill.  On a Monday we see my Mum, Tuesday and Thursday morning the girls go to nursery while I work, Wednesday we go to see one of my closest friends and her children and then for the last couple of years Friday's have been taken up with seeing the friends I made via my NCT class way back when I was pregnant with Mads.

For a long time I had guilt about putting my girls into nursery.  When it was just Mads, she went to our wonderful family friends while I worked three days a week but I was in a really fortunate position after having LL that I was able to hand my notice in and work freelance.  However because I work from home sometimes I felt guilty about the fact they were at nursery, but at same time I couldn't work while they were in the house.  Nowadays, I feel we have the balance just right for us, they have time to learn and grow without me, I get some time to myself, and I also work in the evenings when they are asleep.  I don't feel guilty anymore for enjoying the time I get away from them, as I think it makes me a better Mummy when we are together.

However as of last Friday our routine changed again.  For a while now we have been considering putting Mads into nursery an extra session, partly because we feel that it will help her be more ready for school next year (the jump from two long mornings to five full days seeming quite a lot) and partly because we felt LL would thrive on having some one on one time with Mummy.  While I know every child is different, Mads was talking non stop at LL's age whereas LL still hardly says a word, and we just felt that it would be nice to dedicate some time just to her as it is something she has never had.   

Mads first extra session has coincided with her moving up into the big 'pre school room' so the change has made her a little unsettled, while she is all smiles when I pick her up, when I drop her off she is a little clingy as she misses her keyworker in her old room.  This of course has set off the guilt all over again- I feel guilty that technically she doesn't have to be there, that she is not there because I am working, but because I am enjoying time with LL.   When I dropped her off last Friday I genuinely felt a little strange and emotional.  A lot of it is because I am aware just how quickly she is growing up, how this time next year it will be me posting proud photos of her in her school uniform and waving her off on her first day.  I feel like we are almost on 'borrowed time' before school gets her and our life changes dramatically, and this week I have felt a real sense of treasuring these moments even more than usual.  Coupled with the fact that she was a little bit teary about going, meant that I felt really bad as I drove off and I wondered whether to turn round to go and get her and take her with us out to lunch to meet our friends. 

But then I went home and snuggled on the sofa with my little LL.  It was almost like I saw her in a different light.  We spent an hour or so at home where we played with almost every single toy in the toy box, her never leaving my side and glueing her little bottom to my lap.  She giggled and smiled non stop and was visibly so excited to have my one on one attention.  We then went out to lunch where my friends commented how happy she was.  And I realised that we both need this time together, I enjoyed every single second of it and I know that she did too.  She made me smile all morning and I loved watching her.  We went to pick Mads up and she was happy and excited, telling me all about her day in the 'Lions' room and how was thrilled that she got to do Gymnastics on a Friday from now on because a man comes from outside to teach them.  I know now we have made the right decision to change our Friday routine.  

Because looking at this little face and the smile that didn't leave it all morning, I am looking forward to giving her the one on one attention that she quite rightly deserves.  And I am looking forward to the cuddles when I pick Mads up even more...

 

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My Sisters In August.

on Sunday, 10 August 2014.

We are well in the throws of Summer now and we are really enjoying (almost) every minute.  I don't remember a time the weather was so nice, and I am loving the long days in the sunshine.  Mads and LL seem to thrive on being outside and active, and I could happily stay in the sun all day.  We have been enjoying picnics, playground trips, and days in the garden with friends- so much less stressful than our Winter pasttime of soft play. I have been organised again this month and have a few photos of my sister's all ready to share. 

Last weekend we went to South West Wales on our first camping adventure.  It was a lot of fun and Mads and LL relished the quality time with us.  We have been switching off a lot this Summer- away from TV screens, phones and constant checking of social media, and it's been very welcome indeed.

 On one of the day's in Wales we went to a local beach.  We had already had a busy day at a theme park and lunch at Pizza Express (my fussy children would lick their plates clean at Pizza Express so we go there a lot!) but didn't feel it was right to go to the coast and not go to the beach, so we made our way over there late in the afternoon.  I am so glad we did because it was so quiet and peaceful.  We built sandcastles, ate our pretty sandy sandwiches on a picnic blanket, and enjoyed feeling the sun on our shoulders.  We also found some sand dunes and the girl's had lots of fun sliding down them on their bottoms, they were giggling in delight.  

I love these photos, firstly because they are a memory of a pretty special weekend, but also because my little ladies just look really happy, and at the end of the day isn't that ultimately what any parent wants for their children?  They make us laugh every single day with their antics, and are the best of friends yet also fight like cat and dog.  Their relationship is really beginning to shine through and they are fast becoming a real double act, egging each other on all.the.time.  We went to buy a bathroom suite the other day and they were running up and down the showroom being so mischevious together.    I look at these photos and my heart aches a little bit with pride and love for my two lovely daughter's. 

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Check out my sister's in...

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

 

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This month I am sending you over to have a look at Chloe's lovely blog.  She has just won a trip of a lifetime to California which I did a little jump of joy for when I heard because I was really rooting for her and totally deserved it with her video she made.  Go and have a look at her gorgeous boys.  

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