Siblings 2015 {May}

Siblings 2015 {May}

Wow it’s May already and time for our Siblings post, this year is flying by.  This Friday afternoon James had finished his job all ready to start at a new place on Monday, so he was able to leave work early.  With the way it works at the moment, and us only having one car (it means I don’t have the car to do the school runs) we’ve had to drop the girls days down and we’re only picking them up at around 6:30pm on a Friday.  I used to collect them at 3:10 on a Thursday from school so this has made a big difference to our time together.  The weekends fly by now.  So when James finished early we contacted the girls mum and were privileged to take them on a walk before the sun was setting and we all enjoyed dinner together.

I can’t wait for the Summer Holidays as we’ll be able to collect them earlier in the week again for lots more family fun.  Judah and Eden are at such a wonderful age now.  They play amazingly together, but it never feels as though we’re complete when Isis and Shayla aren’t with us.  I’m really looking forward to all those Summer days together as the blended family that we are.  We’ll be getting a second car, hopefully before September too so then we should be able to carry on with the days as they should be.  The girls miss that extra time with us and they tell us often.  They’re not awkward about it or complain though, they know that if we could we would have them all the time.  They like the arrangement as it was, as they get to see their Mummy and Kerry as much as they see us and neither set of parents is really particularly missing in their lives.

Now Eden is well and truly walking, it is so great to see them all play together.  They’re so happy and content in each others company.  They barely need any interaction from us, they just want feeding, cleaning and putting to bed at an appropriate time so they have the energy to do it all again the next day.  James and I are just enjoying just soaking in their joy when they’re all together and playing.  Isis is always just singing, Shayla is becoming more assertive as she can dictate to Judah and Eden the way Isis has dictated to her all these years.  It’s only ever about what songs to sing and what games to play, and they happily follow.  She’s not a mean boss.
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So, these photos were taken on our outing Friday and you can read all about our Ordinary Moments walking in the woodlands if you click here.

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dear beautiful

Siblings 2015 {March} – Mother’s Day Special (Daddy Edition)

Siblings 2015 {March} – Mother’s Day Special (Daddy Edition)

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Last weekend I wasn’t feeling my best, we all got ready and were about to head out to capture our Siblings photos, as it was our last chance to do this before the girls went back to their Mum’s.  I started to feel extremely dizzy and almost passed out.  I had to lie down on the sofa and drink lots of fluid, I think I had forgotten to drink enough.  Either way, I was gutted as going out for a walk in the woods to take photos was not really the best idea at that moment.  My amazing husband stepped up and said, I will take them and I’ll get some photos for the Siblings post.

Bless him, this really touched my heart.  I was in a bad mood from feeling unwell and didn’t really allow him to see how much this meant at the time.  I also was frustrated looking through the photos as there were many things that I would have tweaked i.e. pulling down Eden’s dress so you could see she was in fact dressed properly.  Making sure Eden didn’t look like she was being dragged around, making sure Eden at least looked as though she was safely being carried, of course she was safe as Daddy was right there, but these little touches, and the removal of her pacifier would’ve been tweaks I’d have carried out.  Despite my whinging, I guess from frustration that I hadn’t been able to be involved, my wonderful husband had taken the time to capture these for me, and they had been creative.

So enjoy our Mother’s Day Siblings Special…. the Daddy Edition.

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Thank you Daddy for taking the time to do this for me, it was an awesome Mother’s Day present. You made sure that we had a March Siblings photo shoot and we could keep building our memories. I love you and I’m sorry if I’m a whinge bag when I’m unwell. You truly are the greatest husband ever.

dear beautiful

Siblings 2015 {February}

Siblings 2015 {February}

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I am finding it more and more difficult to choose between pictures for the Siblings project.  I’m always torn between, one of their faces looking a bit more precious in a picture, and it’s hard to find one where they are all at their most radiant, if I was a whizz with photoshop I would have the ULTIMATE siblings photo, but I am not, and so, our photos are all natural and captures of those milliseconds where the intonation of their faces change moment to moment.

If you read ‘Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist’ post this week,  you will see that we snook off to the beach after the children finished school on Friday, as Judah wanted to build sandcastles… it was freezing and of course I didn’t remember to take a bucket and spade, but once they were there they just wanted to run around and play.  I decided it would be a great time to get the camera out and take some photos for this Siblings project as we had the girls with us.  So much nicer now the evenings are staying lighter longer to be able to do anything outdoors after school has finished.

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Eden loved sitting on these little steps, each step was just a bit longer than her ankle to knee so as she was sitting it was the perfect height for her.  She almost looks as though she’s standing (she practically is, but with some support).  She liked being able to sit and pose herself.  It was quite sweet, like she understood what we always were doing with the camera and now she could be a part of it and pose all on her own.  It’s funny when babies become so independent.  Judah is now at a stage where he doesn’t let us know if he’s going to the toilet, he just takes himself off, flushes the chain – this is something his older sisters could learn from him, washes his hands assisted by his little step, it’s very sweet how much he wants to do everything “by my own”.

Shayla and Isis are both doing so well at school.  Shayla has transitioned into school life so easily and she loves it.  Her teachers love her and every day I pick her up she presents me with something she’s made, baked or painted.   She stereotypically can never remember what she’s done with her day if you ask her, the answer is always “I don’t know” but she always remembers what she had for lunch.  Isis has come on leaps and bounds since we stopped all the interaction with the schools ‘play therapist’ and also since moving up a school year.  She’s doing fantastic.  There was an incident this week with a child who was picking on her, but a quick visit into the school from ‘other Mummy’ and the teachers being aware and keeping them away from each other soon resolved that.  I’d had a heads up from their Mum and when I followed up with the Head Thursday at pick up, everything had been smoothed out, so long may that continue.

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We’re so proud of our beautiful children and I often think about how blessed we are that they are all good sleepers, usually happy, easy going children.  Some people like to believe it’s a product of good parenting and instilling discipline.  I do believe part of that is true, but also, I’m aware that you can have all the routine in the world and some children really struggle with sleeping.  I don’t ever want to take that for granted.  I see others struggling and my heart goes out to them, but I don’t think I can relate with that issue.  Sure, I definitely knew sleep deprivation (real, I’m seeing imaginary people, sleep deprivation) once I’d had Judah and his 5 day labour, but after that, it wasn’t easy, but certainly easier than most have it.  I believe that God knows where my limit is and the way I struggle to juggle the four of them and the washing/ messes they produce.  This was apparently all I could cope with, so He left it there *chuckles*.

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Remembering to be grateful is helping me with my postnatal depression.  There’s a lot in our lives going on at the moment that I don’t always write about because this isn’t the best platform for it.  I know though that whatever issues we’re struggling with, we have so much to be thankful for.  We all have our health, it may not be very exciting but there’s always food in the cupboards and we live somewhere with radiators, running water and lots of space.
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Our little people and their carefree play, their interactions with each other and joy usually expressed on their face reminds me that there is much in our lives to be thankful for.  I’m so excited for all that is coming up in our futures and how I get to be a part of helping these little people to grow and develop in their giftings, confidence and individuality.  Being a Mum really is the best job in the world.

dear beautiful

Siblings 2015 {January}

Siblings 2015 {January}

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I’m not sure if the ‘Siblings’ project is being continued in 2015 by the usual contributors, however, we love the idea behind this inspired by Lucy at Dear Beautiful so we will be continuing to take snaps of our little ones throughout the year posting on the 10th of each month.  We decided to go to the woodland across from our home and had quite an adventure as it was a lot more muddy than usual.  The bugaboo managed, but Daddy (my husband James) ended up falling down an embankment.  If you’ve read my post about ‘My Life with a Dyspraxic‘ you will see that isn’t unusual for us and we continued along our merry way albeit with a very muddy Daddy.

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I love watching our littlies interact.  These photos of course were quite posed as opposed to photos of them just playing but I love seeing them laugh together, laugh at Daddy usually, poor Eden getting squished under Shayla’s arm as Shayla strikes her usual modelesque pose.  They’re just such funny characters and have us in hysterics often.

Seeing Judah enjoy every muddle puddle and squishing through all the dirt on the tracks.  Shayla posing at each possible point she sees the camera out, I swear she belongs on Britains Next Top Model.  Isis helping hold Judah’s hands as we walk down the steep parts of the path, she is such an amazing big sister.  I know that sometimes she’s tired of it and I’m sure she loves the peace when she’s at the ‘other mummy’s’ and there are less siblings around.  I also know that she misses them too and lovingly browses through my instagram everytime she arrives on a Thursday night to see the pictures of her brother and sister that she’s missed out on that week.  Eden is just so sweet and really coming into her own, she doesn’t walk yet.  I say doesn’t as opposed to can’t because we’ve seen that she is capable with balancing and standing, she shows us snippets.  She did walk a few steps nearly 3 months back, she just genuinely doesn’t seem interested in walking.  She may be lazy or just enjoy being carried about as she’s still so small.

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I love the family time that we get together, I treasure the privilege that it is just to live in a country where it is so accessible to have a DSLR, a laptop, the internet, and this beautiful ability to be able to keep so many wonderful memories in this way.  I am so looking forward to this year and watching them grow and change as we record each month, especially Eden, as she develops in height and ability.  She is definitely set to keep us on our toes, and make us wish we indeed had eyes in the back of our head.

dear beautiful

Siblings in December

Siblings in December

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This month I will be taking some pictures of the children all looking beautiful in front of the tree in their Christmas outfits that we picked out for them…. hold out for that blog post… but I wanted our Sibling post to capture the natural part of our Christmas.  The above photo was taken after they’d finished decorating the tree, early in the morning whilst in the middle of breakfast and before hair had even been brushed.

The Christmas tree delivery man had turned up later than expected the night before and with it being a school day the next day we just couldn’t keep them up to decorate the tree… so, we promised them we would get up early.  This in itself is a huge thing at the moment.   The hubby and I have not adjusted well to two babies/toddlers and him starting a full-time job again.  We love our sleep, and the babies who have always been great sleepers have now decided they don’t need as much as they used to.  When it needs to though the Mother instinct kicks in, when my alarm went off, instead of rolling over and trying to get some more snooze I was straight up and preparing everything ready for them waking to decorate the tree.

It was nice to all be able to do it together before the hubby set off for work.  They had really enjoyed choosing the tree the night before

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hmm… decisions, decisions
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happy in the Winter Wonderland
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This one

Taking the children to choose the tree was so lovely, I had never done it before.  This was our first Christmas in this house so I sought advice from a friend in the area about where to go, and I was very pleasantly surprised.  I had previously always gone to the Morrisons carpark near where we used to live, and usually on my own with my brother as I couldn’t fit a tree in our car, or before that didn’t have a car.  This time, James was at work and we had been without a tree for long enough.  The girls had been crazy busy with various things, after school clubs, ballet exams, I had been singing at a few Charity events so we finally were all together (minus Daddy unfortunately) and had time to go and choose a tree.  I didn’t want to put up the tree without the girls with us…. part of the joys of being in a blended family… we have to time family memories around the days that we have them.

This Thursday worked perfectly so we had a tree and the next morning decorated it.  Loved it, loved the whole experience.  Loved watching them dance around and choose the one they wanted, (of course I was able to make sure it had good needle retention, a lovely smell, great shape, but to be honest we were spoilt for choice and the children made the final choice and I was happy with it) loved watching them help each other decorate.  Even Eden was involved passing baubles out of the decoration box to her siblings and they were hanging them on the tree.  Some of my favourite quotes included Judah saying ‘it’s nice having Christmas’ whilst hanging his baubles.

I love my little family so much and am so grateful for the little things at Christmas.  The little luxuries like having a tree and decorations and it always reminds me how fortunate we are to live in this country, have a roof over our head, have running water, and religious freedom to celebrate Christmas.

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trying to get a pic of them all sitting proved difficult haha

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dear beautiful

Siblings in November

Siblings in November

image

We have been so behind with our posts recently as there has been a lot of sickness in our home but we seem to be finally out of the woods.  It is my baby girls 1st birthday soon, I can’t believe it.  She is still so tiny, but her little character for sure is that of a one year old.  It is so lovely when they become independent and don’t want to cling to you all the time.  She plays happily with her brother and he now refers to her as his ‘best friend’ which seriously warms my stony heart *chuckles*.

Because I am massively behind with all things blogging, I didn’t take the time to get a suitable photograph of them all together this month.  I am such a creature of habit and have issues with perfectionism that a lot of my blogging hasn’t happened because I didn’t feel like blogging and I felt so unwell  I didn’t want to write a miserable post, or a post that was lacking in order or consistency.  Disappointed in myself for not having ‘proper’ photos for my siblings post I have waited until now to post them.  The reality is though, that this is our life and a memory site of our journey, these unfortunate past couple of months are a part of that journey.  I chatted to the girls last night about how I want to be a better Mummy and have a nicer home for them, but it is hard when we all get ill to keep on top of everything as there are just so many of us.  It can get exhausting.  We have seriously scaled back a lot of the things that we do and kept in the important things, such as their dancing, all things school obviously, and attending church on a Sunday.  I still teach the singing club at their school on a Thursday but other than that things have pulled back so that James and I can get our health in order and slowly build back in other things so that they can continue consistently and not be stopping and starting due to ill health.

The only pics I managed to grab of them all together this month was when I took them to Burger King one evening as we’d been stuck in traffic for so long on the way home from school I decided I wasn’t cooking.  Also, I think it was the day we found out Shayla was on the ‘gifted and talented’ register so we went to celebrate.

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as you can see not my finest photography

The rest of these photos are some candid shots I managed to catch over the week.  I love the ones of Isis and Shayla in their tap uniforms.  They’re so cute together.

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Judah and Eden are always up to no good together, I love capturing photos of them just playing together and getting up to mischief.  He loves having her as his partner in crime and I just adore spending time with them and watching all the little adventures they get up to.  They are so excited to see each other when they wake in the mornings.  If Judah wakes first (usually) then it is difficult for us to get him to wait for her to wake.  He always wants to go in her room and wake her, but we make him wait (when we can).  The happiness on both their faces is worth the wait.image  image
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Hoping to capture some ‘proper’ photos for December but we’ll see…. needing to let go of my perfectionism and just capture real life sometimes.

dear beautiful

Siblings in October

Siblings in October

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Last Sunday, I had been cooped up in the house for most of the week as we had all been unwell with this sickness bug that has been doing the rounds.  This week has been the same unfortunately as I am particularly hindered at ‘the monthly’ time and waiting until I’ve finished breastfeeding Eden before I can start to take medication prescribed for me and the baby decided she had missed out last week and wanted to join in.  Eden was horrendously unwell Wednesday and Thursday but thankfully seems to be on the mend now.  We managed to steal a lovely walk before the weather changed in and around the woodlands opposite our house.

Trying to get them all to look at the camera is quite difficult as you can see, but we took some time and enjoyed the sun and fresh crisp air.

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We had tried to grab some earlier with a more floral background but it was just impossible to get them all to look.  Shayla-Rae ‘the princess‘ is always ready to pose and is more often than not always presenting a beaming smile.

This month –

Isis is enjoying :

rehearsing for her dance exams coming up

prawn cocktail crisps on her sandwiches

doing homework?

carrying around her baby sister

Shayla-Rae is enjoying :

copying Isis as she rehearses for her dance exams

phonetics and is becoming an awesome reader

school, she loves it and was so ready

pasta, pasta and more pasta

Judah is enjoying :

Fantastic Mr Fox

minion sweeties (Haribo)

bread and ‘nanas (bananas)

pretending to be anything that ‘roars’

Eden is enjoying :

trying to stand up in the middle of any space

cruising around the furniture

Ella’s kitchen nibbles (any flavour)

her Fisher Price Walker
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Siblings in September

Siblings in September

18 days of summer 5
our minions

It has been such a lovely month having time with the children all together.  20 days we had them all together for in the end, and it was amazing.  They really bonded so well, Judah has struggled a bit since but it won’t be long until the girls are back again.  There still were not many times that I was able to get the camera out and try and capture them all together though.

Eden is now crawling every chance that she gets, she wriggles off in the hopes for food she can scavenge usually.  Judah will never really look at the camera, but the girls bless them, the girls are always ready to pose.  So, we just need to spend more time making sure that we take Eden out of the pram and try to capture moments where all four of them can be in front of the camera.  I’m sure taking part in this project will feel easier when they’re all that little bit older and I can tell them where to stand (and stay) if they want to get some chocolate *chuckles.*

So this picture above, the first one I took of the four of them at the start of our 18 Days (that turned into 20) of Summer remains my favourite for the Siblings shoot this month.  I love how all of their clothes kind of match, even though it was completely unplanned.  I had just collected the girls from their Mums so they were wearing the clothes they had gone back in the Sunday before.  I love how they are all relaxed and giggling happy.  It marks the start of a beautiful season for us all.
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I look forward to many more beautiful photos of our precious minions as this monthly Siblings project unfolds.

dear beautiful

Siblings in August

Siblings in August

My beautiful children decided to set up this pose themselves, I then placed ‘the baby’ at the front which was then a HUGE distraction and I couldn’t capture them all looking, but they were having a lovely time enjoying the fact that Eden had joined in with their clever creation.

I am just adoring their interactions now.  Eden is at an age where when the girls arrive (I go and collect them in the car on Friday’s at the moment) she is excited and says ‘hiya’ a word she loves to use whenever people walk in the room.  Judah gives me the car keys at random points throughout the week and tells me to ‘go get Icy, Shayla.’  Considering we don’t get to have the girls all week, I just love this ‘normal’ of ours that we’ve found.  They miss each other enough that it’s cute but there are no distressing tears, and I hope through the years we can keep the blend just right that this remains the case.  Shayla asks Judah if he needs a wee, and empties out his potty when he is successful.  Isis makes up shows for them to perform in, and Judah is now old enough to participate.  I just love how much they all love each other and play together so well.

Sure we have the odd whinge when someone has something they want, or accidental hurting of each other when play has got too rough, but this is the exception rather than the rule and I would worry if it wasn’t happening.  I am excited to see how the interactions change as Shayla starts school and Eden starts walking and being able to follow them around.

I had to choose this as my pic for August, they were so proud of themselves although I would’ve liked to have set it up better with a beautiful background, or no mess on the carpet etc. at least have them all dressed, as it is, this one is designed by my little Siblings for the Siblings post.
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our minions
dear beautiful