Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sun, sea, sand

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I love the sea. I love the beach, and everything it represents. Traditions from my own childhood being passed on to my girls. Memories of my childhood intertwining with making memories with and for the girls. Family time, fun. To me, that is what it’s all about.

Today we went to mablethorpe. It’s a place I used to go with my parents for daytrips each summer. And now we go at least once a year – it’s about an hour away so too far to go all the time but close enough that it makes a great day out.

Today were a couple of firsts.
– The first time Amelia played properly in the sea – jumping waves, running in, sitting down in the water. Loving the water and the waves,
– The first donkey ride. Amelia had her first ride on ‘mickey’ the donkey. She was really concentrating during the ride, and said she loved it afterwards.
– Rosie’s first paddle in the sea.

It wasn’t a perfect day – parking was terrible as it was so busy so we parked in a one hour slot for lots longer and moved the car later. And I had a strop (quite a big one!) as at 2pm we realised that we needed dinner – we had to walk Into ‘town’ to a cash machine, and queue for food. I don’t know why this was such a huge deal, but I felt a bit guilty at being a neglectful mum mostly. We also fed us all chips, even Rosie. And I forgot baby wipes – an essential I’m usually never ever without. But other than the above, it was a really great day.

The memory that will stay with me always is playing in the sea with Amelia. I had time with just my older girl while Craig stayed with Rosie on the beach – she soaked her clothes but I didn’t even stop her as she was having so much fun (and I had spares!) just seeing her having fun without any fear was lovely – she kept saying to me that she was having so much fun and she loved going deeper into the sea (my dress also got really wet!).

I have attached quite a few photos – I know there are quite a few, but there are so many that I love!

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Black and white photography linky

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To join in with the black and white linky again this week I have used another photo from a while ago, but which I used in colour not black and white. When I was looking through it’s the photo that jumped out to me that I wanted to use. I love using the macro setting on my camera – I always find that it takes the most effective photos.

Hope you enjoy! To join in go http://www.podcastdove.com/2014/07/27/blackandwhitephotographyprojectweek3/
Xx

Our favourite daytrip..

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This week we went on our yearly trip to Sundown Adventure I’m Retford. I used to go as a child with my parents and I have really good memories of exploring the houses and of the swings and play parks. For me it is special to let my own girls build their own memories at the same place.

In my mind it is special. A theme park for under 10s, it has all a child needs – fairy tale houses, a castle, parks, a huge sandpit, a huge indoor play area and a few ‘rides’ which are suitable for the whole family. Plus plenty of green space, friendly helpful staff and a relatively cheap entrance price.

We had a fantastic day. I won’t be boring and list every single thing we did throughout the day, but here were my highlights:

1. Not getting lost on the way there! We didn’t use a sat nav (it’s broke) so I was worried but it turns out that Craig’s sense of direction is really good – miles better than mine!

2. The singing bear at the beginning. This was Amelia’s favourite thing last year and they both loved him this year too and stood bobbing along dancing to him.

3. The water rapids. Amelia was unsure last year but laughed all the way round this year. Rosie wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all but seemed to quite like it too.

4. The tractor ride. We haven’t been on this before and I thought it was a nice ride with lots to look at.

5. The fairy houses. I always love these, and I think that they are great for kids.

6. Crash landings (indoor soft play). We went in as it was nice and cool inside, we hadn’t been before. It was great, I could have spent all day in there – best soft play I’ve been to. We especially loved the ball pool bit – Rosie enjoyed being ‘thrown’ into the balls. And I got dragged all over exploring with Amelia

7. Toy town. I love all the exploring kids can do, discovering bits and bobs.

8. The sand pit. Amelia made a couple of little friends (how do kids do this so easily)! and played happily for half an hour or so at the end of the day.

9. I managed to make sure nobody got sunburnt on a very hot day.

10. Our picnic was nice and we found a nice cool area to eat it.

11. There were no wasps – the past couple of years there have been wasps around which spoilt things a bit. This year though we saw traps around and the bins aren’t open bins (plus we went earlier in the year than we usually do) and we didn’t see any wasps.

12. Rosie was a little star – toddled around, enjoyed the day and didn’t cry.

When we got home Amelia got a bit worried about pirates:
‘Mum, when the pirates crashed the boat where did they go to live?’
‘Umm, I’m not sure Amelia.’
‘They’re not still there though, are they? Did they turn into the pretend pirates or move?’
‘Umm…I think they moved. The ones there are just pretend.’
‘Yes. But when they moved they turned good didn’t they. The boat crashing tricked them and now they only kill monsters, right?’
‘Yes they only kill monsters, and give us treasure sometimes.’

Anyway, we had a brilliant day and we all loved it. We will be back every year for a good few years yet, and I know that I will miss going when the girls get too old.

I’ve added some photos from our day below:

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To my little ones,

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Another week has flown past. Where does time go. Everytime I blink you have both grown a little bit more, and your babyhood is another step behind you, with only my memories of your baby smell, newborn cuddles and dependence on me.

This week has been a funny one. Waiting for Daddy to be off with us this week, plans for the summer holidays. Saying goodbye to nursery in a few days. It feels like lots is coming and so we have been on pause a little.

Amelia, you slept out this week. Friday at nana Sally’s, and Saturday at auntie Sarah’s. You love sleeping out, you have so much fun and enjoy being spoilt. We are so lucky that we have such a fantastic family – you have aunties that couldn’t love you any more, and nana’s and grandad’s that would do literally anything for you because they love you so much.

We went to Hubbards Hills on Sunday. We went with lots of your second cousins. Amelia, you were a cheeky monkey. You are so different to me – so outgoing, a leader and never afraid to say what you think. I hope that you never change – I don’t pretend to understand how you came to be who you are, but I love your spirit – I know that sometimes I try to mould you, try to calm you down a little bit, but that’s because Im afraid for you sometimes. I’m afraid that your ‘leadership’ could become something mean. You never are, you don’t understand how to be nasty, but it worry for you.

You were being bossy with your uncle Shaun. He said he was going to eat you, and it was funny. You really Thought that he might eat you – you half liked the joke, half were scared about the thought. Shaun said it’s the first time he’s seen you wrong footed lol. You had everyone laughing – using your ‘no laugh’ powers, and telling Shaun that he can’t eat you because you’re a kind helpful kid. And that you will buy him an ice cream if he doesn’t eat you.

And Rosie, you were my little star. As good as gold all day – walking around everyone, looking for food and you never cried. Not once all day. You are as good as gold, my beautiful girl. You babbled, you toddled around and you enchanted everyone. You have an obsession with keys – you love them – I don’t know what it is but you just do. And climbing – this week at nana Rosie’s you climber onto her toy box and stood like it was a stage. We did laugh at you.

One thing that made me laugh this week was when you said how does our car know when we are coming.’ That did make me giggle. And you still love your magical powers – grandad pete showed you some new ones which you were impressed with.

Thank you girls for making me complete,
Love you always,
Mummy.

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Black and white photography linky

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The photo I’ve chosen to link up is a black and white photograph that I love. I love close up photos of paths anyway, and this one has the Humber Bridge in the background. It’s a photo that is a couple of months old now, but when I saw this new linky it’s the first photo I thought of that I wanted to link up.

The linky is to link up one (or more) black and white photographs each week. They can be new or old, as long as they are black and white. If you would like to join in go to http://www.podcastdove.com/2014/07/20/blackandwhitephotographyprojectweek2/

Xxx

Pushchair puzzlement…

If there’s one thing I don’t understand in parenting circles, it’s the obsession with having the latest or numerous pushchairs / prams. I’ll admit that I don’t follow fashion in anything most things but to have more than one (or at a push, two) pushchairs is something I don’t understand.

There’s a ‘quote’ on Instagram at the moment about the definition of a ‘pramaholic.’ Lots of people have laughed, joined in the conversation and said it describes them. Well, here’s my list of why NOT to be a ‘pramaholic.’:

1. Cost. How do people afford to spend huge amounts of money on pushchairs? I bought one pram and one pushchair for my oldest daughter. I used the pram again for my younger girl, and just bought a new pushchair as the other broke. My pram was second hand. My pushchairs were ‘cheap’ (less than £100). I have an okay job, but I never have enough spare cash to buy things that are not needed.

2. Time. Babies and children don’t spend a huge amount of time using prams or pushchairs. My babies were in the pram for 3 months ish, then another 4 months In the pram sit up thingy. They are in pushchairs longer, but not that long in the scheme of things. Why pay huge amounts of money for lots of pushchairs that will only be needed for a small amount of time?

3. Design. In my mind, a pushchair is a method of transportation. If it has wheels, handles, space for a bag and a rain cover I’m pretty sure it will do what it’s designed to do. It might not be ‘the best’ but then, why does it need to be?

4. Pressure. I think that parents put pressure on each other and themselves to have ‘the best.’ If you don’t the implication is that you are not a good enough parent. It’s not true. When they get older your child won’t care what pushchair they had as a baby. They will care about being loved and happy. Not much else matters (well, not until you child becomes a pre-teen and demands brands and clothes and everything their friends have). Enjoy buying cheaply while it doesn’t cause an argument!

That’s it. I wish I had a number 5 though because now my list is uneven!

Is it just me?

Xxx

Book review – Into the darkest corner by Elizabeth Haynes.

This book is one of my favourites. I read it a couple of years ago, and re-read it last week. I wanted to review it since I love it.

The book follows the story of a lady named Catherine in two periods of her life (4 years apart). In the first she is falling in love, has an active social life and is generally happy. In the later time frame she is falling apart, struggling with OCD and afraid of everything. The book is about finding out how she got from one to the other. It’s genre is psychological thriller.

The book is amazing. I find it so clever – the characters draw you in within a couple of pages, and the psychology in the book is brilliant. It highlights how easy it can be for a relationship to get out of control, and how this progresses. I’m trying not to give too much away!

I love the main character (Catherine). Not quite as keen on some of the secondary characters (Stewart, Sylvia). I felt that they are a little less rounded, but then, they feature a lot less in the story so in many ways this is understandable.

I love Elizabeth Haynes – I have read most of her novels and loved them all. This remains my favourite though.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Into-Darkest-Corner-Elizabeth-Haynes/dp/0956251579

Xxx

Out of 5, I would rate this book 5 stars. Purely because it’s a book I can’t forget, and which I loved all the way through. What more can you ask?!
Xxx

To my girls

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I have been looking forward to writing you this letter all week. I couldn’t even tell you why – a chance to record our weekly activities, a chance to write down how much I love you.

These have been my special moments this week:

– Amelia doing amazingly well with writing.
– Amelia writing ‘Amlia (loveheart shape) mam’ with no help from me.
– Having time to read quietly when you both went to nannie and grandads for tea.
– Amelia doing belly laughs when Lydia was telling you that Rosie had told her that she had dreamed of ‘a tree chasing her around, then a duck eating a lollipop while Rosie had a silly hat on.’ On the way home from Sarah’s, you were giggling loads and it was funny.
– Having tea at auntie Sarah’s, and both Amelia and Rosie playing in the tunnel and pottering about.
– Amelia’s powers. Saying ‘slowleria go away’ – I sit next to her, and take the object from behind her back and hide it. The amazement when she thinks she has truly made things disappear is amazing.
– Having a walk around the woods with my friend and her 2 kids. Amelia and her friend ammy are so cute together – they were following a ‘witch’ today. I enjoy watching them together.
– Whispers. Amelia whispers to me about 5 times a day, saying that she loves me and I’m the best mum. Things to that effect. It makes my days brighter.

I’m sorry, these letters are probably boring for everyone else. But for me, these moments are special and are moments I won’t get back. I feel a need to record these little moments in our life for both me and my girls to smile at. They won’t remember, so I want to make sure these things are remembered for them.

I love you girls xxx

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The ordinary moments – writing

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I used to write about teaching my daughter to write quite often. But in the end it became stressful – it felt like I was forcing it rather than teaching her to enjoy it. So I stepped back and left her to lead what we did – and she didn’t choose to write. I had to trust that she would come back to it when she was ready.

And now she is. In the past three weeks she has got interested again. It started with her campaign about people dropping rubbish,which she made posters for. But since she seemed interested, I got her a phonics book for pre schoolers, with writing and activities. And we’ve built it back into the daily routine, in a relaxed way.

This is our current ordinary:
1. Rosie goes for her nap.
2. We get out the writing book (only if Amelia wants to though).
3 we do one page together at the table.
4. We find the stickers for each page when it is finished.
5. After the page, we will either do some colouring or writing in an exercise book.

It’s enjoyable, and a real pleasure to see Amelia taking an interest. She recognises almost all letters now, and now can write a fair few too. It only takes 10-20 minutes at most, but it’s something that we both are really enjoying at the moment. For me, it’s also bittersweet since I am very aware that I lose my afternoons with her in September. It already feels like a loss – I am so very envious of those who are able to homeschool as it is a dream I wish I could pursue but am not brave enough to take the risk.

Today she wrote ‘Amlia (love heart shape) mam.’ All by herself – I had no idea what she was writing. She practised a bit (on every page of an exercise book!) by herself but got there in the end. I was so very proud of her, and it made me smile a lot. I keep looking at this little bit of writing, and it makes me want to cry because it’s just so lovely.

I have joined in with http://www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk – a wonderful linky about remembering the ordinary moments.

Xxx

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To my poppets

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Hello my poppets,
Another week has gone by so fast. Last week I promised that I will try to be a better mum to you this week. I think that I have been – I’ve had a lot of fun with you both, and you have taken away my stresses and troubles with your beautiful smiles and general innocence.

I can’t say that we have done a huge amount this week -we’ve played Lego (we made a building with a random roof) and it was mostly colour co-ordinated until we ran out of the right colour bricks. And we have done lots of colouring, writing letters and playing hide and seek. It’s been a fun week.

Rosie, you have given the best kisses this week. You smack you lips together a few times then give a huge open mouth kiss – it’s new for this week and I love it. Until now you’ve ignored my kiss requests (and I have been requesting them about a hundred times a day!) but now you will give them. To anyone. Yesterday we went to see my work friends for cake, and as we left you did you lip smacking to give them kisses before we left.

You are little miss mischief this week too. Playing a basic hide and seek, peek a boo and giggling lots. You are starting to play with your big sister more now, and you often laugh at her silliness. You are into everything – nothing is safe from your curiousity. Cupboards are opened, washing is pulled off radiators and chairs are climbed onto. You are a monkey, but a very adorable one.

Amelia, I went to parents day this week. We saw your nursery head teacher. She has said about how well you are doing – she has no concerns and feels that you are ready for ‘big school.’ She said you can be shy at times, so I wondered if she had got you mixed up – I don’t think anyone else ever thinks of you as shy! But anyway we cam away feeling proud of you – you are a lovely little girl who I think will do well as you move on to school.

I took you to see a film this week too. How to train your dragon 2 in 3d. We went with Lydia and sarah, and you loved having ‘just the girls’ together. You did however wonder very loudly what daddy must be doing just as the film started. And you found the 3d effects funny at first. It was my first 3d film too and I really liked it. Most of all I liked your giggles, you snuggling up with me for the scarier parts of the film, and you saying ‘it’s a good job you’re here isn’t it’ when you came to sit with me. You also had a snuggle with your auntie Lydia which made me smile – your aunties all love you so much my little one – I know that you will never be without people to turn to for whatever you may need.

You’ve got more confident with writing this week too. You’ve been practising different letters and are starting to hold your pens properly. I bought you a writing book and you like tracing the letters, although I will only let you do a page a day to keep it interesting.

And we baked. You are clever at baking – you know that generally we need flour, you can crack eggs without help (well, sometimes I have to take a bit of egg out of the mixture) but other than that you are good. And you make it fun with your endless chatter and your testing of the mixture at regular intervals.

I love you both so much – my job often means I come home feeling stressed and worried, but smiles, chatter and cuddles from you girls never fails to make me feel so much happier.

Xxx

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The letter says ‘come back’ to her key worker at nursery in case you are interested 🙂