Monday, 28 April 2014

Our Easter bank holiday in Seaton, Devon.

Throughout the preparations and our actual getaway, I was keeping a diary (updates for my post) so here it is, It may be all past/present mumbo jumbo and completely not the best grammar, but hey ho!
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Plant pot painting with kiddo's.

One afternoon when we had nothing planned, the weather wasn't that great so we decided to get out the acrylic paints, brushes, ceramic plant pots Grampy got for us & put on our messy tops we made at Splat playgroup. 


My girls love to paint, draw, glue, anything thats fun & messy!


Its also therapeutic for me! & watching them use their skills is wonderful.


This little activity resulted in some calm peaceful time with my girls & lovely plant pots to brighten up our garden for Spring! We're going to put some lovely Marigolds in these pots, and we've gone and got more pots to personalise!


*I'd advise wearing your messy clothes as Acrylic isn't the easiest to remove from nice clothes! 


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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Afternoons in the garden

These afternoons are my absolute favourite, watching the girls explore, run wild & free.
In search of treasure, pretty flowers, wriggly worms, or washing the stone animals in the water table
We recently got this water play table in preparation for water weather but they have been playing in it lots already & even using it as a sensory tub with coloured rice! It really is a great buy, very sturdy & a great height for various ages. We usually get out the sandpit too but it needs a bit of a refresh with new sand before use!

This was their brilliant idea for hiding from Daddy when he gets in from work

 best hiding place. ever!

drying the animals off after their bath


 That hair.

 Washing her cat

 Dogs in need of some cleaning

 I like this cat, It doesn't poop in my garden.

 She's growing up so fast

 Conversations with a three year old are awesome!

 Wishy washy

 I love the concentration on her face

 This girl is a thinker

 Its such a beautiful thing to watch when they're playing so nicely together

 Really too cool for school

 Wild things

 This girl has no fear what. so. ever.

 taking it in turns

 They love being outdoors!

 Halle's cold feet tickling her back!

 Her beauty...swoon

 This is one of my favourite photos of these two. it sums up their cheekiness a goodun'. This is them hiding from Daddy on this glorious sunny afternoon (They waited there for about 15 minutes!) 
To me it also symbolises how close they are, they may look different, have different personalities at times, but they sure are two peas in a pod & I hope they remain close forever. A sisters bond is something special.

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Friday, 25 April 2014

Yvie-Mae - 3 years 6 months

To my beautiful Yvie-Mae,

I honestly can't believe how fast you're growing up. you're no longer a little baby, or even a toddler. you are a very intelligent, funny, charming, and loving little girl. My sweet & innocent daughter who has a gigantic heart. You love to help others (even though little sister doesn't always want help with things, when she has a bit of a moody moment & pulls your hair over a toy - you have not once ever hit her back, or returned the hair pulling.) I think she would sometimes like to be left to try things on her own, using her own skills, but you being your kind, helpful self just want to guide her the way all the time which is beautiful all the same. 

You're very much Miss Independent, always have been in your short 3.5years of life. I see it even more now when you go to pre-school each morning for a couple of hours. You grab your name tag, say goodbye & "I love you" to us three and off you go. Happy as can be, just eager to get on with learning or making something. Your teachers have told me that you're coming out of your shell a lot more, a very bright & head strong little girl.

You love being outdoors. You would spend your life at the park eating chocolate if you could! (wouldn't we all!) You love getting messy in the garden running wild & free looking for worms or treasure hunting bare foot, And even scouting out and telling me if the next door neighbours cats have pooped in our flower bed! - pesky cats.

You really enjoy your weekly trip to swimming each Friday when Daddy is home from work, You and Halle are such confident swimmers its amazing to watch! You also go to Auntie Kei's dance class once a week which you are also getting more confident at. You keep asking to try gymnastics, and ballet too, all in good time my sweet girl..

You are forever asking Mummy to do baking, making. We enjoy cake making, and your favourite bit is licking the spoon or all the mixture out of the bowl leaving it all smeared across your beautiful face! Then you want to go straight on to the next activity in your brain. then the next, and so on. 

Mummy is trying to incorporate "quiet time" once you're home from school and when we've had lunch. You rarely have a nap, but the two little ones still enjoy theirs so we try to do something quiet for you as I feel everyone needs a bit of down time - including me! Sometimes you don't like the idea. other times you love to snuggle or sometimes it seems you just can't wait for them to be awake with you again - then they wake up! I sometimes feel guilty for not giving you enough of my undivided time. I try my very best, but I also want to show you that everyone needs a bit of rest now and then, especially you. You're always telling us how you have "a great idea!!", or when being asked to do something its "In a minute", "Okay Mum" - since when did you start introducing the "MUM"?!

You're developing an interest in all things pretty as well. You love dresses that twirl, and shoes that sparkle. Very sweet to see your interests shining through. 

I'm so proud of you Yvie-Mae. In everything you say or do (even though you drive me insane sometimes!) You have taught me so much about life even though you've even been in my life for 3 years & 2 days shy of 6 months. I can't even imagine my life without you in it, Your beauty astounds me, your infectious laugh, your amazingly beautiful blue eyes, flowing golden hair, witty sense of humour, and a heart so full of love. Theres not enough words in the universe to describe my pride & love for you my sweet girl.

All my love, 
Mummy. x







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Little Phoenix, 12 weeks 2 days.

 12 weeks 2 days ago, you graced us with your presence. You are a happy little boy with the cheesiest gummy grin, beautiful big blue eyes that sparkle when your stare, cute rolls on your chubby thighs from guzzling mamas milk. You have specific preferences of how to be held (you love being upright so you can have a look at what's going on!) you love to blow raspberries and chatter to Daddy, you are a snuggle bear when tired, and love nothing more than feeding then going off to Dozeyland.

Your big sisters are captivated by you, they love to watch each new thing that you do, tickle you & hug you lots. You love the comfort from the sound of the washing machine or tumble dryer, You stare & giggle at mummy with those big eyes covered by your curly eyelashes whilst enjoying baby massage time.

I can't get over how perfectly soft your skin is, your kissable button nose and those early hour snuggles are the best part of the night feeds (no matter how tired i feel). You get lots of comfort from gripping onto someones finger tightly, otherwise you love holding your yellow jellycat duck that Grampy Butch got you all the way from Memphis.

You had your very first trip to the seaside over the Easter bank holiday weekend, You were such a good boy & seemed to enjoy yourself taking in all the fresh air & meeting Great-Nana Pat once again.

Bath time is becoming even more enjoyable, as you now like to kick and splash, and try to laugh at the musical duck toy! Your sleep isn't so bad either - You'll go to sleep around 8:30/9 - 12/1am feed, then feed at about 5am... then your sisters wake us up at 6am when Daddy goes to work! yawn!

You're growing so fast my boy & I just want time to stand still. You're slowly losing your newborn side & turning into a bouncing baby bundle of joy. Your personality is starting to take shape now introducing a very charming, cheeky chappy.  You are simply adorable.

Mama x



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Sunday afternoon bliss

A Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, we stopped by this lovely local rapeseed field on the way to the kids grandparents house. It was a great opportunity to get some lovely natural images of the girls exploring & hiding amongst the "colourful jungle".

They were a bit skeptical at first but once they saw the fun chasing after us, they thought it was funny. Phoenix isn't in any as he was fast asleep in Dozeyland :) We then visited their Grannies, then went to their Aunt & Uncles house for a bonfire. 

Here are some of the images we captured! (Thank you Ty for getting a few snaps with me in front of the camera too!)
















*Not sure why, but Blogger keeps completely changing the colour format of my images! :(

All images taken by myself or my partner using my 50 1.4mm lens 







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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Always remember

Up & down days...

Lately I am forever competing against myself, constantly wanting to get everything done. which usually results in very little getting done at all where I've ended up stressing out over the smallest thing.

The tough days are triggered by tiredness - I mean in my opinion, tiredness is almost always a recipe for disaster when you have two adventurous little girls, and a 12 week old baby who just loves and wants you all the time. Tiredness pulls the wool over your eyes (ironic huh?) and makes you think that the children *know* you're tired, had very little sleep and are plotting all day to make your day hard - as if! 

They're just little people with big imaginations and a huge bag of energy ready for each day at 6am. They don't know how you're feeling, that all you want to do is sleep until summer, they just want you to get their breakfast ready, and entertain them or set up play opportunities for them. On a good day, we do this, the bad days I find myself very impatient - with them and myself for not completing my never ending to-do list, and I then end up tearing myself apart for feeling that way. 

I want to be the fun mum, who does all these things all the time. But tiredness gets in the way sometimes and when it does it's sometimes hard to focus on all the good days.

But in actual fact this is the remedy that's needed. Because when I feel rubbish, baby wanting all the cuddles in the world at one time, waking up from a nap that you've just got him to go down for only 20mins ago, both girls wanting my attention in different areas, the washing pile is falling over, the mess on the floor is  shocking and the sound of CBeebies makes me want to chop my ears off. I just close my eyes, and think -

These years are short, baby curls and rolls will not be visible for long, the sound of my baby cooing and looking up at me ever so lovingly makes my heart want to burst each time, the look in my three year olds eyes when she's achieved a puzzle or asking for my help when colouring is a blessing, when little H wants me to watch  The Gruffalo with her, or do drawing around her hand - I smile and enjoy the extra cuddle and draw around that little hand remembering that they will not be this small forever, the smell of my babies soft skin, the girls infectious laughing, watching them kiss, cuddle and exchange "I love you's" - these are the things to remember.


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Monday, 14 April 2014

The look of love - breastfeeding

I wasn't always convinced that I'd breastfeed my children. lack of knowledge, lack of confidence and just inexperienced I guess. 

In the mid-stages of my first pregnancy was when I was understanding more about it all. The benefits, the apparent bond between mother & baby, the fact that it seemed more convenient, etc. I attended local breastfeeding groups with my amazing family member, who also happened to be a breastfeeding peer support worker. Listening to her knowledge and experience gave me hope. Hope that no matter what came my way I could overcome it. Together with my baby.

So when I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, I had an instance feeling rush through me. The feeling to nourish my newborn who needed me to comfort her in her first few hours of life. Her labour was fast, so it all seemed like a blur at the beginning - as the night went on, I latched her with help from my sister in law and she gulped away like she was a pro. Survival instinct had started in its truest form. The next few feeds I hadn't had the correct support from staff and ended up latching her poorly resulting in her chomping down so hard that it made a wound. I thought the 'breastfeeding your own baby' part would be a doddle - how wrong was I! This wound then remained open over the duration of the demand feeds for around 6-8 weeks. The pain was unbearable at times, each feed I would bite into my dressing gown, or squeeze my partners arm so hard and question why I was doing this? Why was I putting myself through this physical and emotional pain? I kept questioning my decision over and over. 

At the same time, I developed the dreaded mastitis, which left me feeling absolutely awful. The pain left me feeling sore, upset and defeated. Why was this happening to me when all I was doing was trying my best. And trying something I so deeply wanted to do and believed in?

Throughout this, I continued to feed as little and often as my sweet baby wanted and needed, I believe this was the biggest healer for myself. My reason for persevering was the simple fact of how I saw all the other benefits to my baby and I. Our bond was special. (I don't doubt in anyway that people who choose to bottle feed don't feel the same bond, it just my personal experience and views :-) )

I continued to attend my local baby cafe, and sought after advice from that amazing family member. And the words I still remember now is her saying "Natalie, I know you feel rubbish now sweety, but I just know when you get THERE, the golden and blissful part - you'll love it." And these are the words that got me through. I went through ten weeks of pain. mind numbing, soul crushing pain to get to the blissful feeding. And I feel very proud in doing so. I could've thrown in the towel so many times but chose not to. the feeling I felt once the pain gradually left me was amazing. I felt so proud. I was then able to enjoy feeding my baby. (Not dreading each feed, as I knew I was facing that agonising needle sharp pain each time.)

I fell in love with feeding her. The bond is so special, and I loved the way my girl fed so peacefully, was so content and happy. I loved how she would look up at me as if she was thanking me for nourishing her in our special way. I went on to feed her until she was 13months. 

I fed my second daughter to 15months, and I am currently feeding my little boy at 10 weeks. Three completely different breastfeeding journeys - (yet to be typed from draft - to publish!) but ultimately, all of this is the reason I breastfeed, believe in the greatness of breastfeeding and will forever support it. 

(My heart goes out to anyone who has tried and not had such an easy journey. It is soul crushing when you feel you're failing your baby. Just try to remember that there are so many options out there for help and support, research into it and you'll come across some amazing info. which ever way you choose to nourish your little bundle is your choice, happy baby and happy mummy is the best thing.)

It's the reason I decided to take part and train in the breastfeeding peer support programme last summer. To help others try and find that blissful stage. You deserve it. I believe that it is the most natural act a mother can offer her sweet child. That loving gaze from baby to mama is one of the best feelings I've ever, and will ever experience in my life. It's priceless, effortless, and pure.

I thank my babies for giving me this beautiful opportunity and to share it with them.








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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A much needed walk to the park

The past few weeks have been a little up & down for everyone. The girl's behaviour seems very temperamental sometimes. lack of daytime naps, waking too early, teething, and adjusting to life with a new sibling i guess (Phoenix is 10 weeks old today) but 10 weeks isn't much for small minds. They have adapted very well but I think as well as me, it gets on top of them somedays, especially when I am feeling tired, snappy and not wanting to be doing all the crafts under the sun - but how are a 3.5yr old and 22mth old meant to understand that?

Something I have been trying with Y-M is that when the younger two nap, she can either nap, or have a little 'quiet time' with me, or simply with a book as she chooses not to nap 99% of the time. sometimes this doesn't work and she will still want to be baking making or face painting all minutes of the day. Its hard trying to get her to understand that we all need a little rest now & then. Even Mummy.

We introduced the book called "Five minutes peace" By Jill Murphy. A nice way to put it to her that everyone deserves a small amount of down time!

Anyways, the past two days we've not left the house. They've been playing nicely, and in the garden too but lack of the outdoorsy park adventures are visible. So we took a nice stroll to the park ten minutes away, the sun is shining, birds are singing, fresh air & chit chat. Phoenix enjoyed the stroll & a good lunchtime feed while we watched the girls running wild & free.
I think we all needed it to be fair.


 
My dapper chap

My snap happy girls in their ADORABLE new t-shirts

This girl is all about the swings - only if super high.


First stroll in the Mountain Buggy Duet


"vroom vroom"!


Spot the Loon!


A spot of balancing - I love how H tries to be like big sis :)


Y-M has this obsession with taking her shoes and socks off as she insist you go a lot faster down the slide, Of course. Silly Mum. 


I love her gaze here, And a beautiful sun flare if I say so myself.


Here's a super selfie of my sweet three & I! Nice morning at the park in the sunshine & blue skies!


P trying his best not to eye up big sister food


Oh and I just had to throw in a picture of my new bargain bag, you can't beat crochet detail and for a great price of £12!
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