Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Its the most wonderful time of the year

Handcrafting Christmas stockings & scarves for my adorable daughters and eating a homemade jam scone and drinking tea :)


The festive period really is in full swing now isn't it? I am a complete Christmas lover. I love the decorating of the tree, the excitement, the Christmas fetes, driving past looking at others light displays and this year is extra special. I am in awe of the fact that this year we have our little girls getting more involved and understanding more brings such a feeling of sheer happiness. Especially our big girl. I honestly can't believe that she is THREE already! and our youngest is 18months & baby number three is due in less than 7 weeks! amazing!


The eve of December 1st we got our tree ready all together, inspected every little decoration that was put up in with the lights, beads and tinsel. Then we sat down together & did a little countdown - which led to us hearing that Yve's could count backwards from 5! so all snuggled watching the lights twinkle, it suddenly hit me - this will be our last Christmas as a family of four, and just how fast the girls are growing really is emotional! I look at them both and can't put into words how lucky I feel. I remember their births as if they were both yesterday in great detail, and yet all that time has past? they've done so much and learned an incredible amount in their short little lives. I couldn't be any prouder. Watching their little bond blossom is especially heart melting, listening in on their conversations which include a big mixture of imagination and real life aspects - can be very funny too!

Back to Christmas time... (sorry, I can ramble about those little souls forever)

I am also in the process of making their stockings. Personalising them mainly, as their names are very unique & you will never find them in a shop! More than anything I like the idea of them knowing that their Mama made them in years to come and to be honest handmade things are my favourite!
Check out my page One Happiness Design.





I will post a picture of their stockings once they're completed!
Until then, enjoy your Christmas preparations, don't spend too much, the best gifts are the ones which are handmade, or bargains. give a child a cardboard box & spoon V an over-priced branded toy - you see what I mean. Enjoy the simple things about the gear up to Christmas, the little family get togethers, christmas markets, snuggling on the sofa watching Christmas movies, baking, making! the list is endless!
Enjoy
x

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Thursday, 8 August 2013

A moment of calm...after the storm

I'm just experiencing a moment of calm in my back garden as my two little girls play in the sandpit. Five minutes ago my 2 1/2 year old just had a complete meltdown and started throwing food everywhere, then got all angry when I took the food away. It all seems a bit hectic someways. Mostly the days (like today) when I decide to have a day indoors, play with the girls, catch up on housework and hope that it'll all be peaceful! Also another factor is that I am currently 15+4 weeks pregnant with our third child. And two days ago, I was struck down with a 24hour bug. Really not pleasant, so I'm still trying to recover from not eating and a sore back from retching! 

99% of the time we have a complete blast, I love being with them, watching them explore and learn and blossom into the wonderful little girls that they are becoming. Its just the small minority of days when I feel like I'm failing in every single way possible. Resulting in a tearful me. When in actual fact, I think I need to remember that we are all human, we can only do our best, and that also - toddlers can be challenging! I need to remember that I am not super mum, just like nobody else can be no matter how much they try! Every single day is a learning curve, which is what I Love, even though there are the days, like today that feel like they're getting the best of me. 


I also trying to remind myself daily that I do matter as well. I also need my time. One day at a time I guess! 



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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Strawberry picking - July 2013

Fresh air, sunshine and fresh produce.

This day was a good day, despite Yve's saying how tired her legs were from walking up & down the vines. Had a little sob, then she was fine, we snacked on the strawberries while going round, try before you buy right? Halle especially. with her new found talent of walking, there was not stopping her!
We went with our friends, the girls have known each other since birth so it was a lovely day to spend time together. Theres something so therapeutic about strawberry picking I think, walking, taking it all in and the bonus is that its all fresh, no rubbish.

Yve's was fascinated with the beans, and how they grew inside, ready for you to 'pop them out'. She had a taste, then showed Halle. It's such a magical sight watching as your children learn something new, watching through their eyes into their worlds. 

Here's our day in photos.























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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Afternoon in the garden, complete bliss!

We had a lovely afternoon in the back garden the other day, the sun was shining, the skies were blue, both girls were in the mood for some exploring (as always!) So we got some rice sensory tubs, water & bubbles and they had a blast! This time last year little H wasn't even born, so its breathtaking to watch them learn & grow together.

H is at that stage where everything she picks up she believes is edible! So we had a few pebbles in the mouth but she got used to spitting them out when mama said "ta!"

I love letting them play in the garden, Y-M has always been very out-doorsy.

I loved watching Y-M with the sensory play as she was sorting into colours, pouring, mixing and just really concentrating on what she was doing. using motor skills very well! H loved the water and consumed a fair amount using a spoon!

Here are some images of the girls playing & exploring!























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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sunshine this morning

Beautiful sunshine this morning! I'm in the process of making a couple of newborn pixies hats, whilst entertaining my two sweethearts. We're off to the park this afternoon, and I'll hopefully get some shots on the big camera ( iPhone is handy but lurve my big cam!)

I've been blog reading this week too and the ones that I think are soooo good are:

- The Imagination Tree - things to do with your children, activities, crafts etc.

- lulastic and the hippy shake - gentle parenting & thrift ideas.

Check them out!

A bit of a 'blah' post today ( I currently have my two year old choosing about ten books for me to read her so that's my cue!...)

Baby is also taking a nap as she was sick lat night :(

X
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Monday, 25 March 2013

Manic Monday

I have three posts coming this week from my breastfeeding course (days 4,5,6.) So keep a look out!

Its been manic this weekend entertaining the girls. We took a trip to a local farm with Grampy Butch (in the freezing cold!) I love the cold, but little pebbles's hands were chilly & she had a pink nose bless her. Both girls enjoyed themselves though, having a browse at the noisy books, and I enjoyed 'ooohing' over the beautiful potential props!

I have been doing my best at fitting time into my photography at any free moment (usually when the girls are tucked up in bed) This week I have been venturing into some design (like my new logo above!) and also for my friends new jewellery business. (L.J.Jewellery). Im still very new to the design work, and photography for that matter but all new things learned are programming into my brain! 

I have been doing a lot of reading online, different blogs (Elizabeth Halford is amazing!) and speaking to some UK photog's too who have been so kind to be sharing pearls of wisdom. I think its so nice that there are actually some joyful people within the industry (along with the percentage who tend to take themselves a little too seriously and adopt a spiteful attitude towards others - not fun!) but, back to the friendly ones - you're ace!

Back to home-life.. My washing pile isn't too insane, and the dishes aren't resembling a mountain (yet!) - bonus! i'm sure it will be a different story by tomorrow afternoon!

My girls are developing so well, and a little too fast for my liking! Little YM is 2 but sounds, talks, and acts like a 5 year old. she's very forward - full of beans, and loves her books! Little H is 10 months and is almost crawling, she likes to do the bum-shuffle, and tries to follow big sis around! - She is also at that age where ANYTHING is edible in her eyes (Which is why I should have popeye arms from the amount of times I sweep  each day!)

I've also started my next knitting project, Its hopefully going to be a newborn hat! 

I'm going to wrap this up now, but keep your eyes peeled for my follow-up posts from my breastfeeding course! It was a delight to attend it! 

G'night all x






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Friday, 8 March 2013

Breastfeeding peer support group - Day three

Breastfeeding in practise, positioning & attachment, Expressing & storing milk.

Today we went through these elements of the course. We also worked in pairs to show our knowledge of offering help to women by talking them through positioning instead of using a 'Hands-on' approach.

I remember when I fed my daughter for the very first time, and I was still overwhelmed by the labour that I kind of just popped her on. (It was also encouraged to help my uterus contract faster.) I soon began to realise that it wasn't going to be an easy road, the pain was UNREAL. excruciating. Of course it takes a while for your breasts to get use to it, but i'm talking 9-10 weeks of solid razor sharp pain. My daughter & I were passing thrush back and fourth to one another, mastitis kicked in, and I also was sporting a whopping great open wound from a bad latch that would bleed every time i fed her. It really upset me, It was taking the joy of feeding from me & my new baby. I had such amazing support from my local Baby Cafe, and my cousin who is a BFPSC. I just remember her saying to me, "It will get better hun, I promise. Ah, I just can't wait until you have that day when you realise it is the most amazing thing in the world, and pain-free." - this is what kept me going, that along with knowing that I wanted to give my baby the best nutrition.

And so after 9-10 weeks - I got there, and it was one of the best feelings I've ever felt. to know that I could start to enjoy it & live it as it should be. (Not dreading every single feed, biting into my dressing gown, kicking the radiator, tears streaming down my face in pain!)

I went on to feed her until she self weaned onto cows milk at 13months (I also think that my milk had changed taste as I was then 3 months pregnant with baby No.2!) and i will be forever proud and grateful that I persevered. I am now currently feeding my 2nd daughter (aged 9.5months) and other than a week of soreness, and some thrush - its a dream once again.)

So learning all of these facts, and listening to other's experiences has been very heart-warming.

It was really great to learn about the details of expressing & storing milk, as this has been something I have often been a bit unsure of whilst breastfeeding my daughters.

Collected in a sterile container: 
room temperature - up to 6 hours.
In the main part of the fridge - Up to 5 days - after which it can be frozen.
Ice box of a fridge - 2 weeks.
Three star freezer - up to 6 months.

We also went through the notes about things you DON'T need to do because you're breastfeeding!

heres one:

You dont need to give an exclusively breastfed baby any other fluid - I've often had people questioning me on this one, Of course there's nothing wrong with it, but breast milk has two kinds of milk where the foremilk is less fatty and more hydrating, where as it is also the food source in the hind milk.

I am really looking forward to next weeks class as we will be discussing common breastfeeding problems. At least I have some experience here! The main reason I wanted to do this course was to help others, especially if they have difficulty like i did.

:-)









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I honestly can't believe this day has come.


A really sad thing happened this week. Our family dog Albie had to be put down & laid to rest due to rapid ill-health over the last few days. He reached an amazing 16.5 years of age and he was the most loyal companion any family could ask for. I am so heartbroken that I will never get to stroke his little felt ears, or stroke his little face ever again. I'm so proud of him that he lived to see my two girls. My eldest (2) loved him so much & has now been told that he's gone near the moon and in the stars up above where he is watching over her. So each night she says "goodnight Alb".

The pain is still so raw since it happened on Wednesday. And the guilt is tearing my poor Dad apart that he had to make the ultimate sacrifice. But it was the right thing to do, to let him go in peace, and with dignity.

The home is not complete anymore without Alb's there. He may have only been seen as a pet in others eyes but to us he was our friend. I was 6 1/2 when my Dad brought him home in his pocket, I remember confiding in him so many times with my problems or feelings i just couldn't tell anyone else. he was my peace of mind, and my home sweet home.

I hope I could make the heartache ease for my Dad, He feels so lost without him as do we. He was a huge part of my Dad's routine. Walking him, feeding, talking to him, confiding in him, taking him to work, up the fields etc. He even got a phone call from work yesterday for a job at a place called "ALBERT street' - so If thats not a sign from him to say he's ok then I dont know what is. I am a strong believer in things like that.

I just hope in time that he can realise that he's in peace now. we'll never forget you albs. I love you so much.

I really can't believe you're gone x


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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Breastfeeding peer support group - Day two

Safeguarding Children

'Gaining knowledge on our roles & responsibilities in relation to safeguarding children and young people'- OSCB

I found todays session very interesting & also upsetting to hear the statistics on abuse towards children. It saddens me to hear such vile things are happening everyday to such innocent young souls. We discussed our views on this topic, and respectively listened to our mentor when talking us through this valuable information. We spoke about indications of abuse, and the definitions of abuse, and when to act. we spoke about the types of abuse, physical, emotional, sexual etc and who we should seek advice from if we feel the need to do so in order to protect someone.

FACT:
Its absolutely unbelievable that each week ONE child dies from cruelty.

This just isn't acceptable. If in anyway, shape or form I can help towards the prevention from that - I will strive to help. Children are meant to feel safe, Especially within their own home. Not to live in fear and feel like they're worth nothing.

Natalie










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Friday, 22 February 2013

Happy 79th Birthday to my dear Nan

This post today is to celebrate the life of my Nan.

I am so proud to be her grand-daughter, she has been one of the most influential people I have had in my life, she's been like a mother to me. I remember almost every holiday my brother & I went on with my Dad - Nan was there. Anytime Dad needed a well deserved break or night out - Nan was there (with her cheese & brown sauce sandwiches or home-made jam tarts, or butterfly cakes!) 

I think my Nan is an inspirational woman. She had a very tough up bringing in an unhappy home and to see the life she has led, the difficult times she has overcome (Major heart surgery, along with other major operations.) She got a BA Degree in modern history aged 73 at Oxford Brookes University. 

And to top it off, I will always be eternally grateful that my Nan became a Great-Nan to my daughters, they love her so much already! Especially Y-M! She knows what songs Nana Pat sings, the things she says & the way she say them. And what books Nana-Pat bought her!

Thank you for everything you have ever done, and still do for us. I hope one day I will become a strong-willed lady as you have been and still are to me. You never seize to amaze me in all that you do.

Quite simply - I love you Nan. 

Love Natalie. xxx



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Monday, 18 February 2013

Breastfeeding peer support group - Day one

So this afternoon was course number 1/6. I had Halle accompanying me (she was a little angel as usual). I thought I was going to be the only one there with baby in tow, but nearly everyone had their bambino's with them, which was lovely.

We did small introductions about ourselves, which as I was waiting I felt a bit nervous about as public speaking is a bit of a weak spot, but I did well! I school I always hated public speaking as I use to go scarlet red 99.9% of the time! But it went well, and I believe this is because I felt comfortable in there. Talking to friendly ladies, all sharing our experiences and interest in breastfeeding, a very non-judgemental environment.

During the course we had a short break with tea and biscuits - always welcome!

We also went through the pros & cons for mum, baby, and society in groups, it was nice hearing all the viewpoints.

To name a few.....

Mum -
PRO's: bond, health benefits - smaller chance of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis. CON's: lack of independence - due to demand feeding.

Baby -
PRO's: bond, health benefits (smaller chance of ear infections, gastroenteritis.)
CON's: maybe stress if come across feeding issues.

Society -
PRO's: raising awareness, normalising.
CON's: the apparent lack of money spent on formula companies (boohoo...)

So there's a few of many pointers we came across today.

Overall I felt really pleased that I went. I've waited over two years for a course like this since going to the baby cafe when pregnant with my first daughter.

It was lovely to meet new people, and see recognisable faces. I can't wait until next Monday where I will learn even more.

:-)





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Friday, 1 February 2013

Home sweet home, a day at home is what's needed sometimes!

We spent the day at home today, as the rest of the week will be playgroups and play dates for the girls! We baked shortbread, did painting, drawing, and watched a few DVDs too. I finished some knitting that I was attempting to make into a dolls blanket for the girls, I also have started a new knitting adventure with some larger sized needles. Hopefully it will be a newborn prop blanket.. We shall see soon. At least it's practice!

Really looking forward to this breastfeeding course in a few weeks, should be very interesting!

So here is the new project (pink) and the finished cream one...




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