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Articles tagged with: Milestones

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #28 'A First Bike'

on Sunday, 03 August 2014.

When I think back to my childhood of course there are many different snippets and memories that flash into my mind.  Some are permanently there, and others suddenly come flooding back on hearing an old song, seeing a place I used to go, or by looking at the well thumbed old fashioned photo albums piled up in our garage.

I think when we become parents we automatically want to give our children little portions of our childhood.  Likewise, with the not so good bits, we want to leave them behind.  There are childhood memories for all of us from which we want to protect our children from- whether that's bullying, divorce, struggles at school or broken hearts. There are bits we want to make better.  Learn from our parent's mistakes, because we all have them even if they are small, and try and give our children the very best that we can.  

Becoming a Mum has certainly given me the chance to relive the best bits of my childhood.  Christmas has become even more special, an opportunity to reminisce in the excitment and make it even more magical for my two little ladies.  And Summer?  Well Summer to me is the peak of my childhood nostalgia.  So many of my memories feature those few months of warm weather- holidays in Cornwall and learning to surf, picnics and days out, and weeks of no school and constant fun times with my friends.

One huge memory of those Summertimes is being on my bike.  I still vividly remember my Dad teaching me to ride my bike without stabilisers, I can still feel his hands on my back as he gently pushed me to have the confidence to pedal off.  I remember family bike rides, riding round our local reservoir in the sunshine.  I remember one time laughing so hard with my Dad while riding around that I fell off my bike into the middle of a cornfield.  Those memories are so vivid, it was like they were yesterday.  And as I got older, I remember constantly riding round our village with my friends, prank calling boys we liked from our local phone box, and dumping our bikes outside the village shop to go and get penny sweets.  So many of my summer nostaglic memories feature me riding about, in that brief period of time when you feel like you don't have a care in the world.

Earlier this week we bought Mads her very first bike.  It was kind of on a whim, we went in to Halfords to look at buying family bikes for ourselves and a trailer for the girls, (more about that soon!) but Mads was riding round the shop and doing so well that the next day we went and bought her one as a surprise.  It's a little blue 'Pom Pom' bike with a pink bell, ribbons on the handlebars and a little seat on the back for her treasured friend 'Pongo'.  It's perfect for Mads and I don't think I have ever seen her smile as wide as when we gave it to her.  

Nowadays so much of our lives revolve around technology and screens, and I really hope that this little bike will be the start of lots of fun outdoors as a family and for my big girl.  I hope that she and her little bike have many good times together.  It's may just a bike, but it has a lot more meaning than that to me.  It's hopefully the start of a childhood of adventure and fun.

I am determined to help play a part in making that happen.

 

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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #23 'First Shoes'

on Sunday, 08 June 2014.

It's funny what makes you emotional as a parent.  As I sit writing this, the girls are in bed having their afternoon nap.  I was trying to locate one of my old posts- this one about when we bought Mads first shoes.  It was only just over two years ago but it feels like an eternity has passed.  I am sat here on the sofa and for a brief second I felt like bursting into tears.

Motherhood is so bittersweet, there's that saying 'The days are long but the years are short' and that couldn't be more apt.  Sometimes I find myself staring at the clock, willing it to be seven so I can put the girls to bed and just have a bit of time to myself.  Sometimes I realise it's only nine thirty in the morning but it feels like it should be lunchtime.  But then I look back at a photo of my now three year old in her first tiny shoes and I realise that I hardly remember the way she was then.  

Of course, I have those memories stored in my head, hundreds of photos capturing those moments I don't ever want to forget, this blog with it's stories and snippets of our family life, but it all gets a bit hazier with time.

To me, them growing up so quickly brings such a strange mixture of emotions to the surface.  I feel like we are constantly saying goodbye to things- goodbye to them sleeping in our room, goodbye to their first year, goodbye to breastfeeding.  With each new milestone- first smiles, first steps, first day's at nursery, there is a stark reminder that we won't get these moments back.  That we won't get to feel those amazing feelings again.

Occasionally I will notice things I didn't notice before, like how Mads can suddenly pronounce biscuit correctly instead of saying 'bicit', or how she no longer needs me to fast forward the bit on Shrek that makes her get scared.  Or how LL's hair now reaches the bottom of her neck, or that she no longer cries if she doesn't get her milk right.this.second after she wakes up in the morning.  Just little things, signifying that our girls are changing, growing and leaving different stages behind.

Last Tuesday we went with my Mum and Grandma to get LL's first pair of shoes.  While not walking unaided yet, she is getting more confident every day and therefore we thought it was time.  Great Grandma bought Mads first shoes so it was only right that she do the same for LL.   And watching my smallest daughter holding hands with my Mum and walking round the shoe shop, giggling and laughing because she was just so damn proud of herself, made me feel a strange mixture of happiness and sadness. 

Happiness as I get to witness her on a new journey.  Those first steps are such an incredible time, bringing with them a whole new world of discovery and adventure.  Yet a twinge of sadness because she's walking straight out of babyhood and becoming a little person, just like her big sister before her.  While I relish these milestones and new experiences, it's so bittersweet that we have to say goodbye to the previous ones. 

She's still not entirely ready to let go of our hands yet and start walking on her own.  She is so nearly there, but she just needs the reassurance that someone is there for her, steadying her in case she is about to take a tumble.

And I guess that's the thing about motherhood.  It's about letting them go, just that little bit more with each milestone we pass on this crazy journey together.

 But it's about letting them know that we will always be there to catch them if they fall.

LLs first shoes

 

 

My 30th Birthday Weekend...

on Tuesday, 11 March 2014.

Last weekend I turned thirty, a milestone which to be honest I wasn't particularly looking forward to. I was quite happy in my twenties and as it loomed ever closer I felt a little disheartened about the thought of leaving them behind.

In fact, I had one of the most lovely weekends that I have had in a very long time.  Mr E and I haven't really 'done' birthdays since the girls came along, not properly anyway.  But he went all out for my 30th, and I was spoilt and treated all weekend.  I know that I am very lucky to have my husband and all that he does for us the majority of the time, but he really did make my birthday so special and I am so thankful to him for that.

He had planned the whole weekend.  On Thursday night we went over to my Dads for dinner which was a nice pre birthday celebration.  On Friday, my actual birthday we went to meet some family and friends for lunch in the pretty little village I went to school.  Then Friday night I went out for dinner with my Mum's side of the family.  Saturday we went off shopping for the day while my Mum had the girls and I got to spend my birthday money.  It was great to buy a few clothes as I was in desperate need for some wardrobe updating.  Saturday night we had a double date with Lucy and her hubby which as always was great fun.

On Sunday we dropped the girls off at my Dads and headed off to Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire for our first night away since we became parents.  We have been away as a family, or separately but never together without the girls so it was a real treat.  We spent a relaxing day before having some dinner and drinks in the evening.  We stayed in a lovely boutique style hotel called The White Hart in Nettlebed which I would thoroughly recommend.  After a mini lie in, we headed back to our girls on Monday lunchtime and were treated to the best cuddles.

Here is our weekend in a mixture of big camera and iPhone photos...

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Yippee- pressies!

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I was in total shock when I opened my presents, Mr E had completely and utterly treated me.  I got lots of lovely bits, and from the girls I got an iPod shuffle which he had engraved with 'To Mummy Happy 30th, Love Mads and LL.'

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He got me a gorgeous set of stacking rings and a new watch which I was blown away with, and he thoughtfully got it engraved with a lovely message.  Serious brownie points.

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Our little family at lunch.

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This girl was in her element with all the attention.

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On Saturday afternoon after we got back from shopping we took these girls to the park to let off some steam.

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Enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

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Enjoying the river in Henley on our first night away.

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Relaxing.  We couldn't have asked for nicer weather.

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Standard.

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We stopped off at this beautiful little village called Hambleden for a walk in the sunshine.

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Our room for the night was gorgeous, we took advantage of TV watching in the bath. ;) 

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Selfies.

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We sat in a pub for ages reading magazines, one of those silly things you miss when you don't do it anymore.

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Selfies by the river and pink fizz.

All in all it was the most amazing weekend and I feel sad that it's over.  I couldn't have asked for anything better for turning thirty and I feel so lucky to have my husband, girls, family and friends who made me feel so special.

Now it's back to reality with a bang and lots of washing, work and cleaning to catch up on.  

But with lots of happy memories.

 

Milestones.

on Wednesday, 02 October 2013.

In the last couple of weeks this baby girl has discovered a new skill.

Sitting up. 

Having been a bit wobbly for a while, now she is sturdy there is no stopping her.  She is desperate to sit all the time, and loves looking at the world from her new different angle.  Weirdly, it seems to have made her grow up more- she has gone from very much a baby to a little person overnight.

She is desperate to be on the move, and can go from a sitting up position to lying on her tummy.  Once flat, she can drag herself over to things that catch her eye. (mainly remote controls, her sister's tiny toy parts that she blatently can't have, and Mummy's iPhone.)  She's pretty slow at the moment but it won't be long before she is crawling.

I love seeing her discover and explore.  I know that each stage to come is going to be amazing but I can't help but feel sad that she is a hurry to do it all so quickly.  She got her front two teeth a couple of months before her sister, and is already on par with her or quicker at doing things.  The last couple of days she has started babbling and has started saying things that sound suspiciously like 'Ma Ma.'

Who knows what is going to happen in the future, but at the moment we are pretty sure our family is complete.  This potentially is the last time I will breastfeed a baby, snuggle one in my arms, cuddle them in our bed, and watch them tick off all these amazing milestones.

This past seven month's have been the quickest of my life, and I cannot believe that she is now nearer to one than she is to being that tiny newborn I first held in my arms on the 11th February 2013. She is growing so fast, and I wish I could slow down time.  I am trying to savour it but each day and week seems to pass quickly by in a whirl of routine, nap times, play dates and days out.  There's that expression 'The days are long but the years are short.'  It is so apt.  

Life is a checklist of milestones, each one waiting to be ticked off the list, like an invisible pen to paper in my head, ready for the next one to take it's place.  First words, first steps, first day at school, first sleepover, first boyfriends.  Further afield to the first time their hearts get broken, first jobs, marriages and even babies of their own.  All whizzing by far too quickly.  So bittersweet.  Every day my little ladies seem to grow that little bit more grown up.  

Last night we randomly found an old video of Mads which I actually blogged about here.  I remember feeling so proud of her speech, and how grown up she was.  I look back at that video and think how small she was.  She is a little girl now, on the cusp of being a proper little girl, yet at the same time still needing a two and a half hour nap in the afternoon.  She amazes me every day with what she does.

So I will continue to treasure these mini milestones.  The way they make me feel.  The proudness I feel at watching them achieve and learn.  I will continue to capture every moment, in words, in photos and in my head.  Ready to relive them when I get a moment to reflect and reminise.

They may be growing far too quickly but they will always be my babies.

They are the best milestones of my life so far.

 

(A mini photoshoot with the littlest one- Any excuse!)

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'Yep got this sitting up business sorted.'

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'Stop taking my photo, I have humoured you enough now.'

 

 

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