Category Archives: parenting

31

It’s my birthday today. I am now 31 years old. I kind of feel that it should bother me a bit, but it doesn’t. All I really feel is lucky; I have a lovely family, lovely friends and a home I feel is my forever home; it still needs endless work, but it’s ours and we will get it done. 

So, I guess that all I want from this year is to stay lucky. To try to rush as little as possible. And to feel comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve been loved today. Amelia woke up at 6.30 because she was excited about it being my birthday. We (they) opened my cards and gifts. Amelia read out her ‘speech’ which she had written: 

       ‘The only star tonight in the dark sky tonight.’ 

This filled a full page when Amelia wrote it. I think her speech means something along the lines of loving me as much as the brightest star. That’s how I’ve interpreted it anyway 🙂 

And we went for a walk around the country park in Cleethorpes. I like getting out most of all; I am just realising how much it matters to me and to the girls. 

We came home, had dinner together. Rosie made us all laugh lots, as always. She called Craig a ‘stupid bum’ which made me smile. Just everything she says I wish I could capture because it’s so lovely in a way I can’t begin to explain. 

This afternoon we had visitors. Zara came with her kids to drop off my presents (a candle burner thing which is really pretty, tea light candles and a drainer for the sink (don’t ask!). She stayed for a while and then my in laws came – we caught up with them, which I always enjoy – they are wonderful. Then they went and Sarah and my Mum came for a while.

Then we had tea (steak for me, pizza for the others), and birthday cake. And spoke to Abi on FaceTime. 

Overall, it’s been a good day, and it’s been a good year. I’ve been spoilt too – this is what I got:

Craig got me a bottle of cava, and £25 amazon voucher.

The girls got me Lindor chocolates and a book which Amelia picked. 

Mum gave me money, but they also paid for us to go for drinks last weekend. 

Sarah and Lydia got me 2 CDs (Lucas graham and 21 pilots) some rasberry ripple bath creme and a book.

Elaine got me a Yankee set and money.

Abi got me a white company ‘white pompermo’ candle. It smells beautiful. 

I’m now in my pajamas listening to my new cd. And thinking about what to buy with all my birthday money! 



Xxx

Holidays…

This time last week we were on holiday in the Lake District. 



We stayed in the white cottage in the photo – Darling How. It was great, as always. Returning to the same place each year is special for me – every year I remember the year before, and i love building memories in the same place each year. Amelia remembered last year too, and knew exactly what she wanted to do with her week. She wanted to build a bridge, play hide and seek in the cottage and go in the hot tub. 

As Easter was earlier this year, the weather wasn’t as sunny as last year. We had a few windy, rainy days, but we still got out and about every day. It got nicer toward the end of the week too.  The girls both had Wellies (so did I!) and they loved jumping in puddles – Amelia was ‘making hot chocolate’ in the puddles, and Rosie just thought she was peppa pig. They walked in the streams, we found lots of frogspawn, and we went to Amelia’s favourite bridge every single day (she didn’t want to explore anywhere else!) and threw stones, made bridges, walked in the stream and just played. 





My favourite things about this year were:

– being at the bridge – watching the girls just play without it having to cost anything or involve anything more than water, stones, sticks and imagination was great. It’s what they need and made it special.

– Fairyland. There’s a walk just outside the cottage which gets you direct to ‘fairly land’ where the fairies live. Amelia got a gift from them (a fairy doll) and she was so happy and excited and I just loved her innocence and belief in magic. She talked about it non stop for the rest of the day:



Playing at being a witch and chasing the girls round the cottage with Rosie shouting ‘try n get me’ and hiding from each other. 

Watching the kids in the hot tub – they both loved it. Although I have to admit that they are fearless and this panicked me a bit! 

– going for a walk in the evening with Lydia -the sun was shining and it was lovely. And I’d had a bit of wine and found a few silly things really, really funny lol. 

– going in the hot tub when the stars were out.

– having time to read my book, and not having to rush to get things done or be anywhere, or to have loads of house tasks to do. 

– spending tIme with my family – my nana was poorly and in hospital until 2 days before we left so having her there was special too, and the holiday wouldn’t have been the same without her there. 

I could go on but I won’t. Amelia said it was the best holiday ever, and Rosie didn’t say anything but I know she had the best time. I loved it, and just wish we could have stayed even longer as it went by so fast! 

I love holidays – making memories without distractions. Now I just have to wait for the next one! 





Xxx

Six…

Amelia was 6 on Tuesday. I kept thinking about it all day – the day 6 whole years ago when she was born. The newness of the experience, the strangeness of it. The pain, that you know is coming but can never prepare for. The amazement of holding my baby in my arms for the first time. The relief at her being healthy. The relief of the pain ending. I said to Craig when we were alone (the first thing I said to him!) that I am never going through it again. I did, of course, but at the time I didn’t even know how I had got through it.

The first 6 days were a bubble. We spent them in the maternity home, and it was like being there protected us from reality. I was desperate to leave, and yet needed the safety and security of having people there to advice, help and reassure. Like the night I spent up with Amelia all night, and the nurse popped in and said I was doing a fantastic job. 

I know it’s all a cliche, but I don’t know how time has moved so fast. 6 years ago I had a tiny baby. Now I have a little girl. A girl who is independent, stubborn, clever. Who talks about the sun being made of gas, and the rings of Saturn being made of ice and rock (she loves planets). A girl who plays barbi’s, but gets ‘nervous’ if we are watching her play – she likes to play them on her own. A girl who will argue forever when she thinks she is right, who takes everything literally. Who got 10/10 today in her spelling test. A girl who is unique, and wonderful.

Amelia said she had the ‘best birthday ever.’ She was at school, so I took a cake in and got her a badge. We had a party tea with family round. They played pass the parcel and musical statues. Her nana boon made a beautiful cake. Amelia loved being at the centre of attention (as always!) and loved her presents. She especially loves her new barbi dolls, she has them with her most of the time. 

It was a busy day. But a day with family, with the people who love Amelia the most, as much as me and Craig do. I love that girl so much. It is so hard to believe that the baby i first held is the little girl of now. It’s almost as though the girl has sneaked up on me without me realising – I want to remember every second and yet still I forget sometimes. I forget moments I treasured at thape time. 

Amelia, i know I tell you every day. But I am so proud of who you are. I love you now and I will forever. I don’t always get things right – in fact, it feels like with you I always get it wrong – you are such a complex little girl at times and I struggle to find the right way to parent you. But I love your confidence, te way you will stand up for what you believe and won’t just go with the crowd. They are qualities that will help you in your future.

I love you sweetheart. Xxx



Rosie’s favourite game…

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At 2.5 Rosie is really developing quickly now. Her language is amazing, she can say sentences and make almost everything that she wants to say known. And she is starting to really imagine, and play for longer.

Her favourite game (one which we play daily) is ‘making dinner.’ This involves using either play food or blocks, and pots / plates / cups or bowls. She makes ‘pasta’ or ‘sausages’ and cups of tea. She mixes, pours from one bowl to another, serves them and then takes them away and it starts again. We were woken up at 6am yesterday with her bringing in a little tray with pretend cake, and she woke us up serving it up to us (repeatedly, for just under an hour!) Sleep is overrated in the mornings anyway. Seriously though, it really occupies her for ages.

It’s role play, and the beginnings of using her imagination. I remember playing similar games with Amelia . Rosie knows that it’s pretend, but at the same time it’s a serious business for her. She really concentrates on whatever she is doing, and she plays is whenever she can.

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Can you see the concentration on her face..

I have to admit that it’s a game I quite like too, if for no other reason than that it occupies Rosie so well. It can also teach them so much; colours, shapes, foods, co-ordination, motor skills and role play. It’s simple, but a really great way to learn about the world she lives in.

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Kids and technology

Technology – it isn’t the most exciting of topics is it. It is something we all just take for granted – we have unlimited internet access, Television 24/7 and mobile phones to contact anyone at any time. It’s something my family have always used often without even thinking twice about it.

My 2.5 year old is a bit of a technology whizz. She can already access Google on my IPad. She knows how to get onto ‘cat’ and she knows what Netflix (Leclix) is for, and how to find her favourite Mother Goose or Peppa Pig programmes on there. She also has a play phone and will often chat to ‘Dadad’ (Granddad) or various other family members on that.

We used to have strict limitations. With my 6 year old I would rarely have TV on in the day, and had strict internet limits. But over time these have relaxed; Having Amelia grow means that we let her use Netflix after School to catch up with her favourite programmes, which gradually increased to weekends too. It’s easy to think of the advantages:

  • They both enjoy using technology
  • It can be educational.
  • They will need to use technology throughout life, so they need to know how.
  • It’s a great way to make sure they are not causing chaos when catching up with housework.

When I really think about it though, for kids, there are no huge advantages to using technology. It is all about us parents; It gives me a chance to do jobs, its tidier than toys and I know where they are (the kids, not the toys!).

Rosie though has started to struggle. She has become a bit obsessed – she constantly wants the IPad or TV on. She has tantrums about me saying no. Her and Amelia argue about who is going to watch what. She was choosing this over playing or anything else.

As a Mum, I feel guilty. I feel that I have relaxed too much and suddenly realised how far things have gone. I should never have used the IPad as a babysitter, or let her go on it rather than play with her. But being a parent is about learning and reflecting. I’ve realised that the current arrangement just isn’t working and so we have done the following:

  1. Kept technology out of sight; Out of sight, out of mind. Not totally, but it makes it a whole lot easier to say no if they can’t get to it.

2. Led by example; It wouldn’t work if I said no to them then got my IPad out to use myself. I impose the same limitations on myself as on them (with the exception of my mobile, which I have within hearing range but have never used much anyway).

3. Don’t have it in bedrooms; Take TV’s or other technology away from where they sleep. I have to admit that this one wasn’t an issue for us – we have never had it in there. But if you do it’s worth considering.

              4. Give them limited access; I wont say that kids need technology. But in a world which is dominated by it, I think they do need some access. To be confident in using IT equipment. And just because in moderation it can be educational and fun. Amelia likes the Cbeebies App, Netflix and Paint. Rosie likes YouTube (yeah, I don’t know why either) and Netflix. They now have clear limits (cartoons for half an hour in the morning, the IPad for half an hour in the evening).

For us, we started last Friday. I expected tantrums from Rosie (who is in the terrible two stage) when I told her that we couldn’t use the IPad. Actually she loved it. We read loads of books, talked about colours, coloured in, played with corn flour goo and pasta and sang songs. I have to admit to it being a long afternoon; I am working on her level not my own, and slowing down to concentrate just on her rather than the housework wasn’t easy. But it was hugely rewarding and I felt like a ‘proper’ Mum to her.

Since then our family time has really improved. Amelia and Rosie are playing together, making obstacle courses, playing pirates or Lego. They aren’t arguing as much. I was worried they would get bored, but I didn’t appreciate how imaginative kids are. They have used their  imagination and found loads to do (including making some housework tasks fun, and having them join in. Ever played ‘Hoover tag?!’

We have laughed a bit more, been more together and just enjoyed each others company more.

I don’t know if this post will get read by anyone other than me in the future, but it is something I feel has made our lives richer in just a few days.

Thanks for reading. xxx

xx

Life lately…

Hello.

It’s been a long time since I last blogged anything. I just stopped wanting to. It started to seem too much like a chore and became something I was making myself do rather than enjoying. So I just stopped for a while. I’ve done other things in between – a bit of reading, playing Sims 4,  watching Jonathan Creek on Netflix (leklix in Rosie speak). 

Now I’m back again – just as suddenly as before I felt that I really wanted to do a post. Because I like having a place to record my family memories, and to capture my life. I feel very lucky to have the kind of life that I do, and I want to have a place to look back and think about how great our family times were, and to smile at my family and the things we have done. 

And how are we? Well, the same as always would be the short answer. Still working, still busy, still stressed at times. But also still laughing, still enjoying life. We have had a brilliant summer and Autumn, and are just starting to ink about Amelia’s 6th birthday in 9 days, and after that Christmas (my favourite time of year). 

So this is my post to let people know that I will be posting again (I know, I know) and I will be back again tomorrow, about a change that we have made in our family that has only been made for a few days but has already made a difference to us all. I’ll end with a couple of photos of my girls I think.

Bye for now xx







Her first (and hopefully last) arm injury..



Last Sunday did not turn out anything like I had expected. I had planned an afternoon of sorting out and playing in the garden with the girls. Instead, when I was hoovering the car Rosie had a fall and hurt her arm. It could have been hurt by Amelia helping her up too possibly, but we don’t know exactly how it happened.

Anyway, usually the girls hurt themselves about 10 times a day. After a couple of minutes of sympathy it’s forgotten. This time was different though. Rosie wasn’t moving her arm, and she wouldn’t let me put her down. She kept holding her arm like it was hurting and didn’t want it moved.

I wasn’t sure what to so to be honest – I don’t like wasting the time of medical services unless I have to. So I got a second and third opinion from my sister and Dad before we agreed that I should go to a and e with Rosie. So me and Craig took Rose to A and  E. 

She was very good to be fair. It was hot, and we were waiting about 1.5 hours before we were called. Rosie just sat on our knee and talked a little to us, and watched people coming and going (so did I – I was playing my own little guess the injury game).

Anyway, once we were called in we saw a lovely nurse. She really was kind. She sent us to get the arm x rayed (which Rosie hated) but we had to go for a 2nd X-ray as they hadn’t got the arm in the right position. She took us a shortcut way as it was a bit of a walk away, and this time they got the right view.

There is nothing broken, but as it was hurting her they decided to put a pot and sling on it. This came from nowhere, as they had been saying there was boing broken, so it was strange. But anyway, Rosie came home the little owner of a pot and sling on her arm.

We went back on Tuesday for a review appointment. They decided at that appointment to put another pot on for 2 weeks – they explained that little bones are fragile and so there may be a small fracture that isn’t picked up by X-ray. So she now has a pink pot. She doesn’t have to wear a sling though, and this one is lighter than the other so I think Rosie mostly doesn’t know she has one on. 

The NHS is struggling at the minute. But every single doctor / nurse we saw were great with Rosie and with us – they took time to explain things, they worked with what Rosie would allow and were gentle and kind to her. I know every experience is different, and I work with hospitals where I hear bad stories / experiences. But I just hope that we never lose the NHS as it’s just such a useful and precious thing to have. 

And Rosie is just fine – still jumping around and generally causing me as much worry as she always does. She’s not in much pain at all other than when she moves it awkwardly and hopefully it will be better very soon. 

Xxx

The first ‘proper’ bike ride…

Amelia is good at a lot of things. She’s bright and learning mostly comes easily to her. However, something that she’s never grasped before is riding a bike. She’s had her current bike for about 2 years now, but we decided not to get her an updated one as she just didn’t know how to use this one. She either couldn’t do the handles, even after being explained how to steer a million times. And she didn’t understand the pedals. And doing both was just too much to ask of her until now. 

Now though, she’s got it, in her own time and in her own way. In the past few weeks she’s been practising in the garden, and finally riding it properly. With stabilisers, granted, but just seeing her on her bike is something I have been very proud of her for. 



We went out on it today. For the first time in a long time. We only went to my nanas – a ten minute walk if I have the kids with me. It took half an hour on their bikes (and was hard work too I must admit!) Amelia’s stabilisers kept getting her stuck, and steering Rosie is hard work. But we got there, and Amelia did great.

She was proud of herself for doing it. She rode her bike all the way to my nanas house, and steered and pedalled it. And because it’s something that hasn’t come easily to her I’m proud of her – for keeping practising, for not giving up, and just for being her. 

Well done little one. Now she’s added a purple bike to her birthday / Christmas list. Better start saving some pennies!

I’m adding this post to the ordinary moments linky run by Mummydaddyme – I haven’t joined in for a while but this is an ordinary moment of the future – one I’ve been waiting a while to get to 🙂 

Xxx

Namesakes…

When I was expecting Rosie, I really struggled with finding a name for her. Nothing seemed to fit, or seemed right. I must have gone through every name in the history of the world. It wasn’t until about a week before she was born that I decided.

Rosie Eloise. 

I chose it because it has meaning. Rosie is my nanas name (well, Rose, but we call her nana Rosie). It’s also my sisters middle name. And Elouise is a tribute to my other sisters middle name.

I chose this because I wanted her name to have meaning. And because my nana (and my sisters, but that’s not for this post!) is such a strong, loving, generous and unique person. She is funny – she has her quirks and once formed her opinions rarely change – once decided, she sets things into stone to remain that way. She’s an inspiration to me, and the centre of the family. 



I’m glad I chose it for my littlest girl. It suits her. She is placid but stubborn, brave but timid, easy going but with a temper when it suits her. She is a girl of opposites, and I see a lot of my nanas personality in hers. She is loving and loved, and quietly sets out to achieve whatever it is that she has set her mind on. Just like nana Rosie. 

My nana has a close bond with both my girls. But she especially loves babies – she dotes on them, and thinks each baby that comes along is the most clever / cute / forward baby there is. She has a close bond to my Rosie, and likes that she is named after her. 



I love my nana Rosie, and am grateful for the memories I have of her when I was growing up, and the memories I have and will create of her with my girls. I’m grateful that she knows and loves them and they know and love her. And I just wanted to capture just one day – an ordinary visit where I just took a few pictures of nana and Rosie together. 



Xxx

My weekend post #4

First of all, my random but lovely tulips – £2 from aldi and they look beautiful (in my homemade pottery vase / popcorn tub):



I’m not good at remembering to blog. But I do love looking back at our ordinary lives and thinking about how much I love family life, the little things and our time together. It flies by, but is so important to capture.

This is weekend was a bit extra special. Craig has Friday and Saturday off work, which is a huge rarity. On Friday he made good progress with our dining room project, bricking above the woodburner and sanding the mantle. It’s getting closer to being a lovely room, but is too far away to get too excited by either. One day I will be able to show it off. This is what it’s like so far:



 We all picked Amelia up together and went for a walk nearby – Amelia was  little grumpy and Rosie had just woken up, but it blew away some cobwebs at least. Then we came home and had pizza. We also watched the muppet Christmas carol for film night – Amelia’s choice, which is a film I love. 

 On Saturday morning I went to town with Amelia where she insisted that she wanted jelly shoes and nothing else for summer. I also treated her to new books – the magic faraway tree and the adventures of the wishing  chair. For after we have finished the famous five book that we are reading at the moment. We also went to the cafe where I treated Amelia to a cake. We also laughed a lot at our reflections on the car – it did what those mirrors can do and made us look really short and fat. 



 In the afternoon I had an afternoon out – it was my friends 30th and we went for afternoon tea as a surprise – it was my first one and I really enjoyed it – the food in some ways  could have been a bit better, but it was a nice afternoon out. Kate, I know you read this, so sorry for the photos – I already know you won’t like them. And thank you for being my friend over the past 13 years – we might not see each other all the time, but when we do I always enjoy our catch ups. 





 Today has been rubbish. I woke up being sick in the night and today has been written off – I haven’t been sick but I’ve felt it all day, – just been laid on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. And haven’t eaten anything except half a round of toast. I’m hoping it clears tomorrow.

what has been great about today has been watching my girls. They are so sweet together – they giggle at each other a lot, and Rosie copies everything Amelia does, so when A jumps so does Rosie, and when A says something Rosie copies it. They have a lovely and  close bond which I always wanted them to have, and it makes me proud.

and I came to bed to find Amelia asleep in my bed like this, which can only ever make me smile. 



 xxx