Friday, 31 March 2017

The six of us - March 2017

It seems just like yesterday that we were sitting in these daffodils for our February 2016 family portraits as a family of five, waiting for our Spring baby arrival. Its funny as I look back on them though as we were living our life as a family of five, its what we knew to be, yet change was imminent, wonderful and magical change. I look at all the photos from the precious stage of the last few months and weeks of being a family of five yet I  think our little Didi was just destined to join our gang. We didn't know she was a little girl, but over the past 11 months we've seen the littlest sister settle into our family just perfectly. So for this months photos we thought it would be lovely to re-visit the daffodils with her included - almost one year on, just look at the change. I often get asked on a daily basis "hands full?" and in that moment of getting everyone out of the car on the school run single handed it may seem so, yes times can be a challenge, yes we are outnumbered, yes we could do with extra hands etc so yes, hand full but our hearts could explode even more so.

This month, Yves has been so proud of her skipping skills and you'll usually find her getting creative writing stories, running around the garden or her head in a book. Halle has been enjoying learning her from her phonics mat in the playroom, showcasing her dancing as ever, and amazingly knowing words to so many songs on on the radio, she's also been to her very first school disco with her big sister which was "really cool". Phoenix has been enjoying his morning at nursery one morning a week, amazed me by counting to 20 and is absolutely LOVING Justin Timberlakes 'Sunshine in my pocket' song and has the best facial expressions to go with the moves too! Didi has evolved into a climber, onto chairs, the craft table, lego table etc, she is such a happy little thing but is still not sleeping too well, she's recently overcome an eczema infection which covered her back, and also cut four top teeth but with all that going on she has been on good form! Its really sweet how she notices her siblings going off to play too, she will be right after them, super speedy - especially if they're in the garden. 

Watching them together still amazes me, and I just feel so lucky i'm their Mama. They were so sweet on Mothers Day, they didn't give me much of a lie in but they were just too excited to give me their handmade cards, a cake, a 'Mum' mug (filled with a morning cup of tea) chocolate flowers and helped Daddy make me an omelette for breakfast (which they then stood there and watched me eat and asked if everything was ok, if I needed them, so funny). It was a nice day with my little tribe, definitely one to remember. As school takes up a big chunk of our time now, we have been trying our best to really make the most of the weekends, this doesn't always go plain sailing as tiredness kicks in after a long week and with my major sleep deprivation it doesn't always mix. but we do welcome the slower pace with open arms, not having a place to be at a certain time and to just plod, have time at home, in the garden and try our best to connect. Friday evenings are usually a relaxed pace, then Saturday evening we let the littles have a treat by staying up for family movie night or to watch a family show (or just something funny!). Each month I find myself writing it, but I just can't believe we have four little ones, four that are growing too fast for our liking, and as much as we love to watch them develop, grow into their own, we equally miss the previous years, I'm terrible for being quite emotional about it actually, almost like a mourning of their baby years. 

Bittersweet is probably the best way to put it, I'm so incredibly proud of them all, and for our family and so thankful to have this life with them right now. Something I'm sometimes feeling lack of is balance, trying to get a balance with everything and sometimes I put too much pressure on myself and end up really burning myself out. I think its natural for the scales to take a shift sometimes, part of our learning and moving forward as a family I guess, I'm just trying to learn new ways with all the change. Change can be good, but when watching your little ones grow, grow, grow - it can definitely pang your heart right?
Next month, we're going to be having two whole weeks off school for Easter half term, hopefully a getaway somewhere in the U.K, and also its our littlest members FIRST birthday (cue all the tears!).

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Celebrating Good eggs

Its not everyday that I get contacted asking to work with a chocolate company (cue eyes popping out of my head). So when Betty's got in touch I was instantly interested in talking about their Easter campaign celebrating 'Good eggs'. This Easter Betty's are selling some amazing products, delicately designed easter eggs/sets for grown ups, adorable easter gifts for children, some amazing hampers which feature some of their chutneys, tea room blends, keepsake tins or gift bags, delicious selection of cakes and so much more. Something that looks really appealing is the luxury hamper which is filled to the brim with goodies presented in a lovely willow picnic basket. Theres so much more to see across the website or maybe pop into your local tearoom to find out more. I'm so sad that theres not one near us but now i've heard of them, and tasted the fine quality of chocolate I am definitely going to be ordering some unique gifts in the future.
Easter is an extra special one this year, as its the same weekend that our littlest lady turns ONE. That weekend I will probably be an emotional mess but no doubt devouring lots of yummy chocolate to help the bittersweet feelings of her first year being done with. I have been sent some delicious looking chocolate goodies from Betty's and it is safe to say that it all looks too pretty to eat, but needs must for chocolate lovers like myself. One thing we love to do over the Easter half term is to get creative, whether thats in the kitchen, playroom or garden and Betty's have designed these beautiful Easter card printables for you to download for free and get colouring in then sending to your family, friends, the 'good eggs' in yourlife. My littles have decided they want to send one to their Great-Nanny Pat who lives in Devon, some for their teachers for the end of term, and we may even display one on the shelf over the Easter period. Things like this are fuss-free, the children enjoy to unleash their colouring skills as do I in all honesty! The girls really enjoyed doing the cards and loved the mini eggs!
So, check out the wonderful printables in time for Easter, who will you be sending yours to?

Moments to remember - Post nap snuggles.

Don't you just love them?

When your baby has had a snooze and wakes up all warm, rosey cheeked, happy to see you, big bambi eyes and wanting for hugs and kisses. Such a lovely moment I love daily, obviously sometimes they wake up cranky as hell but for the most part, babies just love their snuggles, as do I. It does go onto toddler hood but sometimes fizzles out when they go on nap strike like some of my little ones have done!
With all four of our littles it's just something I love so much. The feeling of them waking to need that snuggle just as much as I love to give them. Its amazing really how they have no idea how much one of their snuggles means so much to us parents, it really does mean the world. Sometimes at the weekend, when time is a little more relaxed and no school runs are needed, I love to enjoy this time even more so, no rushing, & really soak it all up, cherish it as this won't last forever as much as I'd love it to. Taking in the simple things like the smell of hair, the softness of skin, the warmth of the hugs, the snuggles full of content, post nap feeds and gazes up at me. These little moments I want to remember, I've felt them with all four of my littles, and cherishing them all the more this time around as Didi is more than likely our last baby.Not only that, when snuggling my little baby it brings back the memories from doing the same with my three other littles too. This definitely makes me so emotional on a regular basis as they really are growing so fast. Didi's almost one and its been the fastest year yet, that also means its almost a year that we've been on this feeding journey together, one which is very much rolled in with the post-nap snuggles, I just can't believe how much she has grown and developed in those 11 months in comparison to feeding that small little chunk after a sleep. For now though, I'm going to keep snuggling my little love as it really does mean the world to me, and more.
Moments to remember.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Our Friday's

Our Fridays.

Since the older girls started school, Phoenix, √Člodie & I have had a little routine and especially our Fridays in particular. It's a day when Phoenix wakes up, he knows after lots of school runs throughout the week and now Nursery on Thursdays that the morning after means only one thing! "GRAMPYS HOUSE TODAY!" Yay! We drop the girls off, me still feeling that ache when saying goodbye but off we go to Grampys house.
My Dad always says, "I'm not sure why he loves it here, it's only small and a mess". Thing is with kids, they see past all of these things us adults notice, to them any place has potential to be fun, to explore and play. Grampy has been building up a great collection of toys over the years since we had our littles (his first Grandchildren) and even saved some old figures from his own childhood. Since last year though the toy collection has been added to with sooooo many ninja turtles and dinosaurs - which they all love but it's something he will remember and look forward to each Friday. Usually Grampy has set them all up for him to unleash his imagination with and he will sit there for quite a while doing his American accent (why do all kids do this? I did too!) and fusing teams together to conquer the baddies.

The other day at home he was "getting all the baddies" in my clean washing which needed all bashing down of course - much to my frustration at clean washing spread out all across the room that I had just tidied, I had to giggle though and see it from his view that the washing was in fact a magical pile of mountains for the supposed baddies. So you can imagine when he takes this imagination everywhere he goes!
Its the little things I want to remember like how Phoenix will love to have his "butter toast", brioche and snacks while watching an episode of Ninja turtles or a DVD if Didi naps. The way he will stomp around hunting for Dinosaurs as he shouts "I'm going on a prehistoric adventure Mummy!"..."hat - check, backpack - check, gizmo - check, now I can't find the tumbleweed". It's hilarious but so adorable, the innocence of childhood is incredible right? We should have this mindset for a lot longer I reckon!

√Člodie is well and truly on the move now so I have to have eyes in the back of my head, and Hoover up behind her trail of food. She is standing and moving along furniture now along with fast crawling, makes for my cleaning to be very slow paced.

It's just a day that I know I'll miss when my boy starts school September 2018. Now I know it seems a long way away but it's really not when I reflect back at how 2016 came and went so rapidly. I want to cherish these ordinary days with these two, we use to do a similar thing before the girls started school but as it's only the two of them it's just a bit more relaxed for a few hours. Not only that, the girls look forward to us picking them up as Friday afternoons we go back to Grampys for them to have a bite to eat. If it's family assembly, Phoenix will wait at Grampys while I go with Didi to get them and they look forward to having a little play with the figures & their little lego town collection that's growing week by week!
I'm hoping we will keep our Fridays when Phoenix starts his funded hours at nursery in a few weeks, its something he really looks forward to, as do I.

It really is the little things that matter most.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A whole year has gone by in a flash, and we now have another member to our gang. Four little siblings keeping each other company and to share life with. When I look back at our photos this time last year, the last month which we would have three little ones, the last lot of sibling photos I would take before we added our final member. Looking back at them also makes me gobsmacked at how much they've grown and changed all round.

 Yvie-Mae is sprouting out of her clothes, Halle's hair is now half way down her back and Phoenix is a walking talking dinosaur encyclopedia (backpack, hat and gizmo included). He seems so tiny in these photos next to his big sisters, and little did he know at this point that he would soon be a big brother to another sister, one that he could guide and protect just like they do to him. I remember watching my three this time last year, wondering how the arrival of their new sibling would be for them, and I feel so lucky to have watched them welcome her with gigantic open arms and to be so happy having her here. I still can't believe I have grown, birthed and am raising four little ones, I feel so unbelievably blessed to have them that no words could ever describe it. I am trying to embrace the changes, the growth, the life we're living and building together, but that feeling of wanting time to slow down a little bit or to re-live little moments again and again never will fade I don't think. 

Yes some days can be SO hard work, especially when extremely sleep deprived as I have been for months now (years *cough*!) but when I look at how the time does fly it makes me wonder how fast the next six years will go by, so i'm going to try everyday to make the most of it - rollercoaster days and all.

So much change in one year, and its true what they say (no matter how cheesy or cliche it sounds) that the days can feel long sometimes but goodness me the years are so short.Scuffed knees for two big girls, one muddy bottom, tights pulled up to the under arms for one baby, and double muddy booty for a little lad, successful trip to the park i'd say!
I thought I would share a photo of each of them too this month.
Stomping around, climbing, bouncing and excited to know that they could stay up that little bit later as it was a Saturday evening, watching something together as a family and taking time to just, be. It did go a little pear shaped towards the end (as if anything is always plain sailing in parenthood!) and little Phoenix was so worn out from the play, he was super moody and tired that he just needed his bed. The best part about it though was that only my cuddles would soothe him in that moment, for the first time in a long time, my little lad fell asleep in my arms before I laid him into his bed. Sometimes it's nice to just take it all in no matter how hard work it can be sometimes, bedtimes especially, but my little boy transported me back to when he was tiny once more and it was so lovely.
I love this little outtake.
So this time next month our littlest member will be turning ONE, how that is coming around so fast is so scary. My little Phoenix will be starting more hours at nursery, and both my bigger girls will be looking forward towards Easter half term.

So i’m happy to be joining the lovely ladies Lucy, Kerri-Anne, Katie, Carie, Amber and Donna so make sure you check out their posts and do pop by some of the ones linked up below! If you’re sharing via Instagram, be sure to use the hashtag #siblingsproject so we can all have a look at your wonderful images and share the love.
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