{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #6 – An Ordinary Birthday

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #6 – An Ordinary Birthday

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Yesterday I turned 32. Not a special big birthday, no plans to celebrate in any specific way. Just wanting to have a day with my little family. If you’ve been following my blog for long you will know that birthday’s aren’t usually great for me. Last year I was horrendously unwell with a gastro bug that nearly resulted in me hospitalised a week later, yes, it went on that long.

The year before was my 30th and James took me away for a lovely boutique getaway in the Lakes. Looking back it was so special, but in the moment I couldn’t enjoy it fully, as my sister was extremely unwell in hospital. Turning 30 was supposed to be a joyous occasion for me, I was pleased with where I was in my life, with James, the girls and Judah. Little did I know Eden was right around the corner. However knowing my sister was unwell, completely overshadowed it.

The year before I was crying in the registry office because they informed me we couldn’t mention God at our wedding if we held it in the civil building we’d booked.  So we had to replan our wedding with just over a month to go.  The year before that was my first one as an abandoned wife before I met James, and the year before was mentioned in my ‘Life as a Domestice Violence Survivor‘ post.  Birthdays aren’t usually great for me.  Not that it’s always about that, I don’t want to be all woe is me, but I’ve come to view them as just another day (we all do as we get older really).

I spent the morning a bit lazier than usual, slow to get out of bed, the children presented me with loom band gifts they’d made.  A necklace, a bracelet, a headband… of course I had to wear them right away.  Then when I brought myself downstairs Isis and James had made breakfast for us all, croissants and bacon.  Lovely, they’d set the chair with balloons around it, and some cards on my placemat.

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I then went off for a bubble bath, and a nap. Amazing, I felt so guilty for not being out and about enjoying the sunshine, but I’d had an awful headache from the day before. I took advantage of the fact that today they would let me go and rest…so that’s what I did. After a lovely nap, Daddy had fed the children the soup and tiger bread I’d planned and we got ready to go out and enjoy a woodland walk. I did the girls hair, Shayla had a bow braided tie back and Isis had Katniss Everdeen’s reaping braid from ‘Catching Fire’.

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Finally we were out and about and enjoying a little walk in the Woodlands near our home.  Here are some snaps from then, it was cute how they were determined to take the scooters whatever the terrain…

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We took some pics that are strong contenders for the ‘Me & Mine’ portrait project that we take part in at the end of the month. So, I won’t post those just yet… James cooked a lovely spaghetti bolognese for us all when we arrived back home and the girls and I prepared for a pamper time. We had face masks, nail varnish, hair products all at the ready, and Isis chose a movie to watch. See if you recognise it when you watch the video clip, feel free to comment your guesses below…

All in all, I had a really lovely, calm day just relaxing and doing things that I love, including taking pictures, and receiving lots of lovely messages on all forms of social media. Very grateful for those in my life right now, and for the realisation that, we have our health, we have each other, and I wouldn’t trade our little family for anything.
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Hope you enjoy the video of our day…

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{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #5 – Looking Back

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #5 – Looking Back

This week I have mostly been feeling nostalgic.  Sometimes I forget what an absolute whirlwind James’ and my relationship has been.  Also, just how quickly these beautiful little girls that God brought into my life have changed whilst I’ve not been looking.  We have been so busy getting married, having babies, moving houses that sometimes I forget what I’ve witnessed.

Shayla-Rae was just under 4 months older than Eden is now when I met James.  This little baby/toddler became a little girl right under my eyes, and I somehow forgot to soak it all in.  I think blogging has really helped me to savour the moments.  To get my head around the milestones, and know that we will have documented the babies lives and I will be able to look back and remember.  Yet, pre-blogging, or before I started blogging with this purpose (my old blog was more anonymous and more therapeutic) two precious children were gifted into my care, for varied amounts of days a week.  These photos are all stolen from my facebook page and mostly taken with first generation iphone so bear with me:

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Shayla and I (Shay aged about 20 months)

Now I’m not saying that I haven’t seen Isis grow and change I definitely have.  For as long as I have known Isis though she has been a school child.  She was in reception class when I met James, so I have seen her grow into a beautiful, kind, helpful girl.  Especially as the babies kept coming, she is so wonderfully maternal, and very helpful.  I don’t tell her enough how much I appreciate her.

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Isis aged 5

This baby – toddler – child stage that passes so quickly.  The one I am almost fighting to stay in with Judah and Eden, I was there for that with Shayla, I just didn’t think to get my head around it, or document it.  Of course, I have, there are so many photos of them all over my facebook and in frames around our home.  I didn’t just become a Mamarazzi when I birthed children, it was as soon as these precious princesses were gifted into my life.  It dawned on me this week, that next year 2016 Judah will start school.  It hit me so hard, one of those lightbulb moments…. argh… I’m going to have to share my baby…. I’m preparing him to be able to pave his way in the world….. I didn’t like this revelation.  I can’t believe that this time has passed so quickly before my eyes for Shayla, and I’m watching it all flash before me again with Judah and Eden.

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Judah just a little bit younger than Eden is now

These precious girls taught me how to be Mum, before my own babies came along.  They taught me how to be selfless, to take them on excursions when they were going stir crazy, even if I was unwell.  They showed me how to teach, instruct, pass on my skills, to bake with, to create with, to wash, dress and style another person so that they felt and looked beautiful before focusing on myself.

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the month I moved in with James, Shayla was 22 months old and Isis was 5
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baking with Isis aged 5
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Isis weaving aged 6

These little girls were the ones I would go without for, the ones I would rather spend my money on.  Dance lessons, pretty dresses would soon overtake the social nights out demand for my finances.

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Shay in her first ballet uniform aged 2
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Shay enjoying hama beads aged 3

These precious princesses showed me how easily they could take another person into their hearts and love them unconditionally when their little brother came along.  They have never made their siblings that they only get to see half the week feel as though they were an outsider.  They have lovingly embraced them and accepted them as one of them.  Family.  When people would throw around words like half-brother or half-sister, they understood the technicality, but the words were meaningless to them as these were their siblings.

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Shay aged 2 with baby Judah

I have planned every birthday party for the last 4 years and I have loved every minute of being in their lives.  Whether people like the term or not, we are a blended family.  No-one would know that the girls are not mine unless they spoke to us.  We never pretend that we’re a first family, but we naturally look like one to all those on the outside who are none the wiser.

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Isis at Shayla’s 4th bday party
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Isis aged 7 and Shayla aged 3

These girls changed my world.  I will always love them.  I will never forget how they changed me, and I thank them for helping me learn how to raise children.  Judah and Eden will be forever grateful to them too, as they had a Mummy who was better prepared than if Daddy had never had little princesses already.

Thank you princesses for paving the way, for accepting me as Mummy and reminding me to treasure every minute with the babies.  It will not be long til they are following in your footsteps and wowing their teachers at school.  I want to soak in every moment.  Daddy and I are so proud of the little women that you have become and know that you only blossom more beautifully with time.  We pray we learn to water the seeds of love, kindness, patience, gentleness, self-control, peace, joy and goodness in your lives.  You bring us delight every day, when you are not with us, just the thought of you puts a smile on our faces.
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{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #4 – Building Dens

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #4 – Building Dens

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This week we were able to have Daddy at home with us one day.  I had some upsetting news the day before and was a little in shock so he had arranged to be off and work Saturday instead.  This meant that although the weather was crummy we could have some fun playing with the babies.  In the afternoon we decided as the weather hadn’t perked up to build a den to hang out with the babies in.

This is definitely more Daddy’s forte than mine, although, I could do it, I just struggle getting down on the ground physically with my hips sometimes so it’s easier if James can do it.  I am good at structural planning though.  I could foresee that Daddy’s first attempt with lots of pegs, sheets and a washing maiden was a disaster waiting to happen.  The babies may have been able to fit under, but my dodgy hips and I were not going to have fun.  Also, the babies were able to knock it down too easily.  After many attempts at his grand marquee, he listened to reason and we went with a simple sheets over the tops of dining chairs.  A much taller den, and more structurally sound.  We were all able to get inside and read some stories together.

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I loved how much fun Judah had just chilling inside our tent-like den.  We led down and I made up some stories for him.  His memory is phenomenal, the next day he was telling the girls about our den and retelling them what I had made up the day before.  I hadn’t even remembered the stories, but he did.  It just shows how much they absorb and take in when you step into their world, and just enjoy playing and being with them.

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None of us were properly dressed, we were having such a lazy day.  It was lovely just snuggling in with the babies.  It’s funny how when James was trying to build the den they kept wanting to get in, and were breaking it before it was finalised.  Then as soon as we were snuggled inside with them little miss Eden just kept trying to escape.  They’re still both so little, but we did get to spend an hour playing with them before their concentration and excitement started deteriorating.  We managed to lure Eden back in to have a banana snacktime with her brother but it didn’t last beyond the fruit unfortunately.

This wasn’t our typical ‘ordinary moment’ as it was something we haven’t done with the babies before.  It definitely was however a very ordinary moment, reliving my own childhood and watching my children experience the same excitement I would relish when my siblings and I would recreate something similar.

I know as the babies get older this is something we will be doing more frequently and they will soon not be needing our help.  The time passes far too quickly.  Thanks Katie at Mummy Daddy Me for this linky that reminds me every week to not take for granted our beautiful ordinary, and to soak it all in.  To find out more click on the badge below.
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{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #3 – Baking

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #3 – Baking

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We have always loved baking together as a family.  This is something that took a massive back seat (like, locked up in the boot of the car) once Eden was born.  We baked gingerbread gifts for the Grandparents two Christmasses ago when she was a newborn, and we made thank you cookies in the Summer, but baking as part of our everyday had ceased to become the norm.  Now Eden is a bit older and I’m less hormonal, I want to rectify this.  Also, as you may have read on a previous blog post we will soon be having an au pair.  We’re so excited about the lovely Martina coming to be part of our family for a while, and I am eagerly looking forward to the extra pair of hands.

Just to clarify as I haven’t yet posted about our intentions with getting an au pair yet.  Martina will not be looking after the children whilst I swan off in coffee shops etc. I am hoping to build up my hours working from home again.  I’m aiming to go back into singing Saturday evenings and I genuinely just want another pair of hands.  Someone to help play with the children whilst I’m trying to wash up, sort clothes, lesson plan etc.  I know other mothers manage this on their own, but as I have been severely postnatal and failing in my wifely duties, this is a decision we spent a good six months making as a couple.  At the moment if James takes a day off work he doesn’t get paid.  When we all kept being unwell in the lead up to and over the Christmas holidays, we decided to take the plunge and Martina will be arriving the 2nd week of February once she’s completed her driving over in Italy where she lives.  You’ll read a lot more about Martina I’m sure over the next six months.

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Anyway, back to baking.  We had purchased the Annabel Karmel ‘Children’s First COOKBOOK‘ probably before Eden was born but we haven’t done too many of the things in there yet.  Shayla had chosen to make the ‘cupcake farm’ which involved decorating cupcakes as sheep, pigs and dogs.  We had been to buy all the things late last week hoping to make them last Saturday, but it became too late and I didn’t want it to be rushed before bedtime so I told Shayla we would do them on a Sunday afternoon, as Isis had opted for sweets and a movie night instead.  As we’d bought what we needed with the intention of doing it on a Saturday evening, we had bought cupcakes that were ready made to decorate.  They were a bargain at 12 for a £1 from Sainsbury’s.

We then needed :

marshmallows, pink, white normal size, and white mini marshmallows for the sheeps fluffy coat

chocolate buttons for the dogs eyes

smarties or other sweets for the dogs nose and other eye if you wanted to make them as they were in the book

a tube of writing icing to add detail

biscuits for the dogs ears

and of course butter icing to stick everything on with (which we made with butter, icing sugar and a tsp of water)

we added pink food colouring to the butter icing when it came to doing the pigs, so we saved them until last

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Shayla absolutely LOVED doing this, it reminded me of when we would always bake together.  They have already chosen what they want to do next week.  We’re going to do it on Saturday afternoon after a day out together (weather permitting) and of course then they will have a home-made yummy dessert for after their dinner.  Judah loved doing it too, but was also more interested in eating everything than putting them on the cupcakes haha.

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Once we had finished our cupcake farm, little Miss Eden had come to join us after her nap.  They munched two cakes each, we saved two for Isis who was at rehearsal for her performance in Peter Pan coming up soon at Preston Guild Hall.  Eden decided to start pulling everything off the table, she would tug the tablecloth until the sweets were in her reach, clever little monkey.

We then began to mix a box of ‘Minion cupcakes’ we’d bought from Sainsbury’s for Judah.  It was one of these just add water and an egg to the mixture, stir and bake in the oven.  The icing was the same, just add 3 tsp’s of water (once the cupcakes had cooled of course) and then we decorated them with the edible paper faces provided.  Judah was much more into this, it was easier for him, and of course he LOVES minions.

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One of these was also presented to Isis when we collected her from rehearsal.  She told me to thank Judah and give him a cuddle when I returned home, as I was dropping the girls back to ‘the other mummy’s’.  She finishes rehearsals 6pm on Sunday evening.  It’s a long day for her, but it’s just until February half-term.

So, there you have it, we are easing back into baking with the children’s cookbooks, after that I may be tempted to start baking for guests and after dinner treats for my little ones more often.  I always love seeing Jenny from Let’s Talk Mommy’s creations.  I am very tempted to make the recent ‘Berry Streusel Muffin Recipe‘ even though it’s not the sort of thing I would eat, just because they look SO good.  I know the girls especially would love them.  I’ll post our attempts on instagram if we do have a go.

Nice to have Katie from ‘Mummy Daddy Me‘ back on English soil and we are pleased to link up with ‘The Ordinary Moments’ once again.  To find out more click on the badge below.

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{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #2 – Reading

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #2 – Reading

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I’ve realised probably as most families with young children do, and hopefully in this technological age, some older children too, we spend a LOT of time in a week reading.  Stories throughout the day, most mornings start with Judah bringing me a story to read to him in our bed. Judah and Eden bring me several stories to read throughout the day… as I’m typing now early in his bedroom so he can play he says ‘read it Mummy’ passing me the ‘That’s not my Fairy’ book Eden received for Christmas.

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It brings back so many memories of reading these with Shayla as she would just tell me ‘bumpy’, ‘smooth’ etc as we turned each page. Judah likes me to read the stories to him and then he reads it back to me of his own version. He’s now reading ‘where’s that duck?’ to me but he’s confused as we’ve just ready the fairy book so he’s reciting ‘That’s not my duck…. it’s a cow’. I love the way they make up their own creative tales.

Shayla is excelling with her reading at school and compared to the rest of her class is 2 years ahead with reading and comprehension. She has been placed on the ‘gifted and talented’ register and we couldn’t be more proud of her. Although saying, that as parents her gifting doesn’t change how we view or love her, it’s just another part of who she is that we get to love, develop and nurture. Shayla loves reading time. James and I read with her often, myself usually more as I’m obviously the one at home whilst he’s working. In our new routine Shayla and Isis read in the play room the days that they are at ours when the babies bathe in the evening. Isis listens to Shayla read her books and then Shayla independently reads (she reads aloud using phonetics and blending when she’s stuck), I can hear her from the bathroom so can still help with a word even though I can’t necessarily see. Meanwhile Isis sits reading her books relaxing in the playroom. She’s currently working her way through ‘Black Beauty’.

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Isis is also on the ‘Gifted and Talented’ register. In fact I’ve NEVER wanted our blog to be about comparison or bragging, but we do celebrate the fact that both girls have been moved up into blended school years due to their advanced learning. Isis is currently learning alongside Year 5 pupils even though she’s in Year 4, and Shayla-Rae who only started Reception is September has been moved into a Year One class as being able to read and write so well separated her from her class. I guess that’s what happens when you have spent a lot of time in nursery (Shayla attended nursery most days of the week she was at her Mum’s house, as both her and her partner work at a nursery).

I know a lot of people like to teach their children to read at home. This was something we subconsciously shied away from as both James and I had to be taught separately (myself literally on my own desk in the corridor outside the classroom) because we were so advanced. When I was 6 I can remember reading novels such as ‘Briar Rose’ as opposed to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. I loved to read, as did James, who would be sent to the ‘reading corner’ as punishment for being naughty back in his school days. It hardly encouraged good behaviour. He can remember acting up just so he could go sit in the corner and read. Silly teachers. Times seem to have changed though and most schools seem to promote and understand reading to be a joy and not a chore.

We did sit and do phonetics with Shayla-Rae sometimes at home. I remember making her flash cards with pictures on one side, words on the other. Also, buying various versions of a similar idea. She never really seemed interested. She is so easily distracted like her Daddy. However, she very quickly surprised us and surpassed all expectations when she started school and just took an instant love to learning to read. She went from not reading to sounding out and blending in 2 weeks. She was just SO ready to start school. Ready to just absorb EVERYTHING.

I guess the fact that we don’t have a TV license (we just watch dvd’s and more recently James and I joined Netflix, I know, we’re so behind) we end up with babies pushing books in our faces a lot. I’m not saying I deprive them of TV time. I tried to avoid it until Judah turned 2 as studies say it can overstimulate their little minds. I don’t know the science I just try and avoid where possible things that potentially could harm them. I know these studies change constantly and next year they’ll probably be saying stick your newborn infront of CBeebies it’s good for them… who knows. Eden isn’t really interested in the TV yet at 13 months although she will occasionally fight Judah for the iPad. Babies love iPads don’t they? I think it’s because they can touch it and it responds. It’s amazing to think what technology will be available to our grandchildren. Anyway, I’m being side tracked.

This isn’t a post condemning television, (that is a choice we made as when James was a student we simply couldn’t afford it and 3 years later we’ve realised we don’t miss the constant glaring noise from the screen in the corner) this is just a record of what is our beautiful ordinary. If you come and spend time in our home, at some point a child will shove a book in your face and ask you to read it to them, or as soon as we wave you off at the door the older ones will retreat into a nook somewhere to read and James will pull out his kindle.  I just love that we’re a family that LOVES books. James LOVES reading. He’s always reading on his kindle, especially when I’m blogging away. His birthday requests as a child/teenager were always for a book and chocolate. Easily pleased.

I am definitely the one who reads the least, quite simply because I don’t really get the time, and when I do, I choose other things. I do however LOVE reading all the blogs on the various link ups and blog hops that I join in with.

Thank you to Katie at Mummy Daddy Me for instilling The Ordinary Moments into our lives. It certainly makes me think each week about the little things we sometimes forget to take notice of and treasure. Hope you’re having fun in the beautiful Caribbean, the link up is being hosted by the lovely Donna at What the Redhead Said this week so head on over and check out the other posts linked up.
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{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #1 – Being With Family

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #1 – Being With Family

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snuggles with Grandad

I really didn’t want to start the year talking about Christmas, but we haven’t really blogged about it at all, other than things in the lead up and the aftermath.  I don’t want to talk about all the presents that the children received, or about the thank you cards we made to send out as we were blessed and overwhelmed as usual.  The mister and I decided not to exchange gifts as we just couldn’t afford and it is not all about one day anyway… I want to write about the best part of Christmas for me.  Getting a lot of time where no-one (usually) has to do anything except hang out and ‘be’ with family.

When you’re growing up and living in the same house as your parents, you don’t really appreciate this the same, but being able to just ‘hang out’ at my parents house and play games, eat good food, let the children just ‘be’ with their grandparents, auntie’s, uncles, I love it…. it just happens so rarely for us in the year.  Of course we get snippets, but they’re usually whirlwind moments that are squeezed in around birthday parties, celebrations of other kinds, dedications, weddings etc.  I just love this time where my Dad is off work, and has nowhere to be other than at home with his family.

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Auntie Jenny & Eden

It’s hard to get time with my sister now too, she has a new boyfriend and he lives quite a distance away so she’s often not in the same county as us, but when we do get to see her it’s lovely.  The children adore her, and she is amazing with them.  She blessed them with some lovely Christmas gifts… again it was just so nice to have time with her to ourselves.  Also, my brother Jacob (he’s like our little prodigal) was around on Christmas Day, this has been a rare sighting indeed over the last year, and I was so excited to see him for so long, without him needing to dash off, or be in his room, as he no longer lives at my parents, he doesn’t really have one, but he was staying at my parents and could’ve been anti-social if he’d wanted, he didn’t, it was lovely).  He wouldn’t really let me take any photographs….

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Boxing Day : Judah & Uncle Bobby

My other brother who turned 30 this New Years’ Eve however, did let me capture the odd photo (again he’s not really a fan of me with the camera).  I love how much Judah loves being with his Uncle Bobby.  He tells me all the time about the things in the home that are from Uncle Bobby.  He still remembers (6 months later) that his trainers are ‘birthday trainers from Uncle Bobby’ or ‘Bobby Birthday Trainers’ as they mostly get called.  He doesn’t miss a thing, and he loves spending time with his Uncle, also gets excited when he gets to see Sulley, Bob and his lovely girlfriend’s gorgeous black labrador.

My Mum is always slaving away in the kitchen at these family events and again doesn’t really appreciate me getting the camera out once she’s finally got chance to sit down, also, I’d probably get fired from serving duty if I tried to snap some pics in the sacred kitchen.  I wish I had more of her with the children, but I will try and make that my mission this year as we get about with our little adventures.

My other sister is in Australia at the moment singing for P&O Cruises so we got to facetime but that was the extent of our Christmas together.  The children like chatting to Auntie Lauren on facetime.  Judah believes that she’s a pirate because she lives on a boat. It was sweet today as she was dressed as a pirate for work (I don’t ask) and wanted to FaceTime the children there and then, so I got the facebook message and they were able to have a little chat.  The girls were still dressed in their Frozen pyjama’s that she bought them for Christmas too so double bonus.

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FaceTime with a Pirate

Of course, I can’t forget James’ family, my wonderful inlaws who came up for Christmas the weekend before, as they live on the South Coast.  They treated us to dinner with Santa which we blogged about and of which you’ll find lots of wonderful photos if you click here.  They also took us to watch the  ‘Snow White’ pantomime, which hugely impressed me… I uploaded some pictures and videos on my instagram that day.

I have just loved being with all the family over this festive period and am so grateful for everyone in my life.  I know that I inevitably take them for granted at times, but really hope to strive not to do so in the coming year…. we’ll see how I get on…
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The Ordinary Moments #12 – Feeling Safe

The Ordinary Moments #12 – Feeling Safe

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asleep in the car

The pictures this week won’t be the best quality as they’re ones I just snapped with my phone whilst at traffic lights etc driving home the other week.  How lovely is it as a Mum when you can drive home from somewhere (this time happened to be from my Mum’s) knowing that all of your little people feel so safe they just fall asleep even though it’s not particularly late or a long journey (about 35 minutes from my Mum’s), just because they’ve had a full day, they’re happy, content and safe.

This particular day James had gone in to work on a Saturday which is unlike him, so my Mum had the babies whilst I took the girls to their dance classes etc.  When they’d finished dance we went to collect the babies from my Mum’s.  We all had a lovely dinner together that my Mum had made for us and then I was driving them back to see Daddy who would hopefully be home in time for them to see him before bed time.

I remember just feeling so happy and blessed and knowing that I wanted to capture this moment forever.  It’s a bizarre feeling but I don’t think I’ve ever felt so grown up as in that moment of realising how much responsibility was in my hands.  Driving home with my beautiful babies and two gorgeous girlies who have been graciously gifted into my life.  Realising how much I was entrusted with, the little legacies that were all asleep in the car beside and behind me.  So much potential, so much worth, so many little futures all wrapped up in that one car journey.  I just felt very aware and blessed all at the same time.  I don’t want to get morbid but I’m sure you can understand the thoughts going through my head.  What a privilege to have so many little lives feeling so reliant and safe in my hands.

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Shayla and Eden asleep
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Judah and Shayla asleep

They may not be the cutest pictures of our littlies, but I will always remember how much love I felt in that one moment, how blessed, priviliged, and overwhelmed with emotion all at once.

I don’t want to forget these moments, especially at times where I am wanting to tear my hair out.  Especially when we get to the teenage years *chuckles*.  I don’t ever want to take these ordinary moments for granted and am even grateful we get to document them in such a beautiful and permanent way in this day and age.
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The Ordinary Moments #11 – Tales of a Toddler

The Ordinary Moments #11 – Tales of a Toddler

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My little man makes me laugh so much these days.  At nearly 2 and a half his little personality is certainly coming into it’s own.  He is mostly sweet, funny, sensitive, happy but he has his moments as every toddler does where the entire world knows, he is not happy about something.  I just wanted to take the time to write about where he is up to with his likes, dislikes etc. at the moment.  His ordinary moments.

Favourite Programme :

There are many things that Judah likes to watch these days, thank goodness he branched out from Peppa Pig.  He really enjoys Monster Math Squad which is now on Netflix, and on the Hopster app on my ipad.  He absorbs everything, he is like a sponge.  We’ll be out and about and he’ll recognise shapes and tell me, ‘Mummy, that’s a triangle,’ ‘Mummy, that’s a star,’ ‘Mummy there are 3 triangles.’   He has learnt about shapes, colours, he can count to 20, he knows his alphabet.  All from listening to his singing toys and educational children’s cartoons.  I had very strong opinions about television and how much he should watch, I tried to avoid it at all until he was 2 as I’d read about how it can overstimulate them.  With us not having a tv license, and not ever sitting to watch TV ourselves, it wasn’t too difficult to follow through.  He would watch a DVD with the girls though when they were here, and watch things at Nana’s house.  He was very addicted to Peppa Pig not too long ago.

Favourite Movie :

Recently ‘Monsters Inc.’ has become his favourite, but even more recently he experienced what I believe was his first nightmares.  He asked to watch ‘Monsters Inc.’ as usual the day after he’d been up screaming in the night, and then he had decided it was too scary.  We didn’t get past the first 5 minutes.  I think his little imagination has now kicked in and is affecting his dreams.  So, no Monsters Inc. for now, we are trying to watch happier things like ‘My Little Pony’ haha, or ‘Fireman Sam’ but we haven’t got another favourite movie yet.  Well, apart from the dreaded Ice film, but we seem to have escaped watching that one recently *fingers crossed*.

Favourite Colour :

At the moment he LOVES green, he points out EVERYTHING that is green.  When we’re driving in the car…. ‘Mummy, look at the green grass’, ‘Mummy look at that green tree’, ‘Mummy there’s a green light’, ‘Mummy, that lolly (lorry) is green’.  The list goes on.  This does change a lot but the green phase has been going on for a while now.

Favourite Shoes :

His Gruffalo wellies, if he could wear them everywhere he would, however, mean Mommie, doesn’t let him, because as much as they rule, they don’t go with everything, or every occasion.

Favourite Person :

Eden is his BEST FRIEND and he tells us constantly….. They are both so excited when the other wakes up in the morning if they’ve awoke first.  It is so cute how they now play together.  So much easier for me as well.  I love that they can entertain each other, and although they are still at an age where they require constant supervision, I cannot take my eyes off them for a second.  It is so lovely when your baby doesn’t need to constantly be in your arms.  Soon I may be able to start getting things done around the house again *winks*.  I guess it makes sense when they do EVERYTHING together.

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soft play
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colouring
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drinking water
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munching cookies
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more soft play
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breakfast

I love the things that he tells me, I love that when we were putting up the Christmas tree, he says to me ‘it’s nice having Christmas.’  He is so appreciative of the things that he loves.  He tells me ‘it’s getting dark’ when we get in the car.  He tells me that the lights down the middle of my Mum’s little village are ‘very pretty lights Mummy’, he asks me ‘are you ok?’ when he sees that I’m probably not.  He prays for me when I’m unwell, ‘Jesus, please make Mummy better, AMEN!’  This is particularly sweet when I haven’t told him that I’m unwell, he can just see.  He is a very sensitive little soul.  Very caring and thoughtful about everyone.

Most annoying thing he’s not allowed to do :

EVERYTHING haha.  Anything that he’s not allowed to do, he is mesmerised by.  He asks me constantly to hit Eden, he tells me he wants to smack her and doesn’t understand why I say no.  This makes me laugh.  I don’t think he is a nasty little boy, he’s just curious of boundaries.  There are not many things that I say no to, other than the usual, treats etc.  The things he is told mostly no about is ‘no, don’t smack your sister’, ‘don’t scream’, ‘don’t throw that you’ll break it.’  The usual boy things.  Sometimes he decides to ask me ‘Mummy, I want to smack you’ – obviously I tell him, no you’re not allowed, to which he will reply ‘don’t say no!’  There are many conversations we have like this, where he pretty much begs me to hit me or Eden.  He never does because I always say no, but it’s funny logic of his to ask permission.  He must not have grasped why he’s not allowed to do those things, because I know he wouldn’t really want to hurt us.  I find it interesting that he’s so interested in smacking, when it’s something that NEVER happens to him.  We don’t agree with it personally and are fans of the ‘time out’ or no sweets after dinner for bad behaviour and it seems to work for all of the children so far.

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trolley time
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arguing over the remote at Nana’s
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with Uncle Bobby and Jacob (my brothers nephew)
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our handsome little man

Favourite Food :

To be honest, I can’t really choose one.  He likes variety.  He chooses different things to what he’s had recently.  Whereas Shayla would choose tomato pasta everytime.  Judah likes to choose different things.  When I ask him now what’s your favourite food, and give him options he says ‘having lunch next week.’  Hmm…. not going to get anything out of him to guide me so I think we’ll go with, he doesn’t have one…. other than the usual child response ‘chocolate.’

Favourite Music :

We seem to have got away from the dreaded Ice film, but now he likes to listen to ‘Minions’ as he calls it.  The ‘Despicable Me 2’ soundtrack goes on in the car, unfortunately, there’s only about 4 songs on there that are viable to listen to.  So, I get bored much quicker, but it does make him happy and listening to him sing the minion version of ‘YMCA’ is quite amusing.

Anyway, this is Judah’s little ordinary moments.  Can’t wait to see how he changes and adapts, it is constant at this age and I don’t want to miss a minute of it.
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The Ordinary Moments #10 – Being a Dance Mom

The Ordinary Moments #10 – Being a Dance Mom

This week like most weeks has been full of ‘dance’ for various reasons.  Especially this week as Isis missed her coaching class due to Eden being unwell and me not being able to take her.  This is always hard to swallow, financially and because she needs these classes to pass her exams.  I made a point of practicing with her morning and night the days that we’ve had her this week as I don’t want her to fail.  She has worked hard for a few years to get to this point and I don’t want her to fail to progress because the baby was unwell and no-one else would take her.

At the moment the girls do three classes a week each on a Saturday (ballet, tap and jazz/modern).  Isis has two exams coming up so she has coaching classes for tap and jazz/modern on a Tuesday and a Wednesday.  I am also at the dance school on a Monday with Judah for his baby ballet lesson although he has been unwell the last 2 weeks so we were unable to attend.  We’ll be back this week.

Sometimes I feel like I live at the dance school.  Isis has a ballet exam just before Christmas so after half term she will still have a coaching class on a Tuesday.  Also, Shayla is ready to do her pre-primary ballet exam, she missed out this time due to her age but will be entered in the new year.  It just starts to get a bit crazy.  I have no problem with running them around but as we’re a blended family this also encroaches on the time where they are supposed to be with Mum.  Mum doesn’t mind which is great as she knows it’s important that they do their exams.  It’s great for their development, their National Record of Achievement, and once they get up to Grade 3 they start to count as NVQ’s and then UCAS points.

This week I spent Tuesday night watching Isis and taking mental notes as I had a baby on each knee in her tap coaching class.  Wednesday, Eden was far too unwell to take out of the house so I wasn’t able to take Isis and James just wasn’t able to get home in time for me to able to leave the babies with him.  It gets hard when I want Isis to do well, but as much as I can sacrifice my own health at times to make sure the children are where they need to be (I couldn’t tell you how many assemblies, plays, dance classes I’ve been at severely unwell, on crutches, etc.), but I just couldn’t justify dragging the baby out that unwell, not to mention it would be unfair on other people as we all seemed to have this bug for the last 2 weeks.  If I’d taken the baby out she could’ve passed the bug on further which isn’t ideal for anyone.  I always feel guilty, like I’m letting them down when things like this happen, but there just wasn’t anything that I could do.

So, to make up for it, the house has just been full of dancing all week.  They have made me laugh so much.  Isis has mastered practicing in our limited space with many children and toys as obstacles.  Judah and Shayla love running around and mimicking her.  I think all this practice and attending coaching classes will have made it easier for me to take Judah again on Monday as he is VERY used to the dance school and the way lessons work now.

One thing I love about the house being filled with music and dance is, the house is filled with JOY!!  It has been so lovely to have them all enjoying themselves.  Yes, this preparation for an exam for Isis, but it is for something that she loves.  The other children experience that too and even though it has been a hard first week with James starting work and unwell babies this has been something that has brightened our days.  I’m not sure it’s something I would encourage when there aren’t exams to prepare for as we spend enough time dancing and there are other things we can do with our time.  I miss just playing with them at the moment.  It has been great though and they are such a pleasure to be around.  Although Daddy isn’t here, I know that he’s with us in spirit as all these little monkey’s are so much like him (smiles).


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