{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #23 – 4 Years On

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #23 – 4 Years On

We’ve just closed the door on the Grandparents (James’ parents) as they go off to their local hotel for the evening after a lovely weekend all enjoying each other’s company.  Nothing particularly planned so we hung out at the park for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon and today we showed them the local woodlands that we always like to walk around.  As I looked around downstairs and checked the doors were locked and turned off the lights, I felt a twinge in my heart as the house felt empty and so quiet (the babies were just being settled in bed by James upstairs).

I walked up the stairs and glanced at the girls bedroom, the door was open and there are a few clothes on the floor as they just got changed to go back to their Mum’s home and I realised why my heart aches.  I miss them.  Desperately I miss them. My home doesn’t feel complete when they’re not here.

It’s so strange because these two little girls who have woven themselves deep into my heart must now have pierced through to the deepest layer.  I wrote recently about how I ‘feel’ again.  I am on anti-depressants just 10mg a day which is a very low dose according to the GP but it seems to work for me.  I am so much more balanced now.  I was worried when I reluctantly agreed to take them that they would make me numb to my emotions.  As my heart is finally healing after years of abuse and hurt, they seem to have done the opposite.  I ‘feel’ so much more.  I am not numb at all, in fact I’m laughing again, really laughing, I am getting goosebumps when I listen to singers I love, I’m crying when I read something moving.  I’m me again, and I’m definitely not numb.

The only problem with this seems to be that what used to feel normal (the girls going home to their Mum’s each week) now feels heart wrenching.  It’s been 4 years since these princesses came into my life and their names are now so deeply engraved on my heart, I’m weeping that they’ve gone home.  Of course this isn’t the sort of situation where they go home to an evil household and we should be fighting for full custody because I love them so much.  No, that is not the case at all.  The girls are deeply loved at both homes and they need their Mum and Kerry (Mum’s wife) in their lives as much as they need us.  This is something that I just need to adjust to as this is our normal life.  This is the way it is as a blended family.  I’m just so sad this evening because 4 years on, I just don’t feel complete without them here.  We are half a family.  We don’t see ourselves as a separate unit when the girls aren’t here, we see ourselves as one big family and we just don’t always get to be together because we share the girls with another happy family.  This has always been the aim as I made the active choice to love and treat the girls as my own all this time, it is now 100% a complete reality.  I would sometimes wonder if this was really true, but tonight has shown me although I did not birth them, I love and see these girls completely as my own.

We’re so fortunate that we have the girls as much as we do.  The girls pretty much have shared parenting.  We have them less at the moment as now James has the car for work and we live so far away, it’s not practical for me to do the school run with two toddlers, (it would be 2 buses and an hour each way Thursdays and Fridays), but as soon as we have a second car we will have the girls Thursday to Sunday again.  When it’s a Bank Holiday we usually get to keep them longer, in the holidays we will have them for 2 weeks straight which will be lovely.  I can’t wait.  We get to share Easter and Christmas and all family special occasions with them, they’re always here, they’re never excluded from any important events.  We’re really lucky that this pretty much shared parenting works so well for us all and that their Mum allows us to have so much time without having to go through messy court cases.  We’ve arrived at a really balanced happy place where whatever we can manage is what we do.

It took a lot of trial and error to arrive where we are.  It has been a long journey of swapping days, seeing how the girls responded, Isis being happy, Shayla being unhappy and vice versa, but we are now where everyone seems truly happy.  I feel so blessed to live this life.  It certainly did not always feel this way.  There have been times that I have felt it is too hard.  Trying to get two parents to agree on some decisions can be difficult for most families, we have moments where all four of us are at luggerheads., there’s no doubting that it is hard.  There are things I could share but they don’t belong on our special place, this blog is for us all and the girls read it regularly when they are at their Mummy’s.  Please if you are a step mum who is struggling though, especially at the beginning of the journey feel free to email me (dontcallmestepmummy@gmail.com) if you need some encouragement, or to know you’re not alone.  There are many support groups out there as well as on facebook.  There are many negative spaces on the internet for stepmum’s but also some supportive ones.

I am crazy happy with our lives and this afternoon as we were all walking through the woods I watched the children holding hands with James walking ahead of me as I talked to my in laws and said ‘Don’t you just feel like you need to pinch yourself?’.  It really does feel like a dream.  When I remember where I was 5 years ago and where I am now, I thank God for blessing me with such an amazing husband and wonderful family.

* This post is dedicated to all the blended families out there beginning their journey.  Keep going it does get easier and I know for us, even still, the best is yet to come.

blended family, siblings, dont call me step mummy, mummy blogger, step mum, four children, beautiful field, the ordinary moments

The_Ordinary_Moments.PNG

{Me & Mine} 2015 – May

{Me & Mine} 2015 – May

Me and Mine May, Family photo project, Family portrait, Don't Call Me Step Mummy, parent blogger, vlogger, blended family, summertime

Daddy is loving

* His new job by the sea

* Being able to take cheeky lunch breaks with us

* stashing sweets in the car (seriously it’s like a tuck shop)

* all our YouTube challenges

* Mummy being able to move and being happy

Mummy is loving

* Being able to move YAY!!!  Feels like it’s been forever but wuhoo!

* Vlogging, having lots of fun editing

* Sneaking off to the cinema with Isis

* Beach fun and summer days approaching

* Stealing our girls extra with all the Bank Holidays and Half Terms

Isis is loving

* Making YouTube videos with Mummy

* watching Pitch Perfect 2

* listening to Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack

* putting on lots of make-up and pretending she’s Taylor Swift

* doing Shayla’s hair

Shayla-Rae is loving

* School, she just excels there

* her new phone at other Mummy’s

* playing in the sunshine

* days spent at the park

* smashing whipped cream into Mummy’s face

Judah is loving

* wearing his new hats

* going out lots on his scooter

* walks in the woodlands searching for the Gruffalo

* Minions as always (can’t wait to see his face on his birthday next month)

* Picking beautiful flowers for Mummy

Eden is loving

* singing ‘Peanut Butter Jelly Time’

* wearing headbands again – YAY!

* her pacifier (really need to figure out how to get rid of this now)

* mimicking everything we say

* telling us she loves us

Me and Mine May, Family photo project, Family portrait, Don't Call Me Step Mummy, parent blogger, vlogger, blended family, summertime

I can’t believe we missed the last couple of months.  I take so many photos but always forget to make sure to take some with me in them.  I’m getting better at that recently.  It’s getting harder to photograph us as a family without Eden running off so these were the best ones that we could grab.  We may need to think more creatively next month.  I’m really happy at the moment, and just loving spending time with all our children.  I cannot wait for the Summer Holidays.  I love when we can see the girls longer.  With not having a car to do the school run and dropping a day in the term times, it just doesn’t feel long enough.  In the Summer we will be able to see them more and I can’t wait for our 2 weeks with them all to ourselves.

We have been having so much fun making videos for YouTube, it’s become a real thing that we can do as a family.  We can create ideas together, the children like watching me edit (James can’t abide it, he doesn’t know how I have the patience).  They enjoy watching the videos back and it’s lovely to see it helping them grow in confidence.  Isis has made a radical turn around with her self-esteem.  Just before Christmas she hated how she looked, she would never say that she was pretty.  Now she sees herself on camera and tells me ‘I’m gorgeous, I look really pretty there’.  I love the difference.  I hope no-one ever takes it away from her, the world can try so hard to bring us down at times.  I pray that as my self-worth improves it helps them to keep theirs.

Me and Mine May, Family photo project, Family portrait, Don't Call Me Step Mummy, parent blogger, vlogger, blended family, summertime

dear beautiful

Our 9 Year Old Has a Boyfriend (and I’m happy about it)

Our 9 Year Old Has a Boyfriend (and I’m happy about it)

Last weekend when James went to pick up our beautiful girls, nine year old Isis Mae announced in the car to him that she has a boyfriend.  When he arrived home to mine and the babies happy faces (we love when the girls arrive) he seemed traumatised. ‘Tell Mummy what you’ve just told me’ he stuttered.  This usually means something good or bad.  James looked like he’d seen a ghost but Isis was smiling away, as was Shayla-Rae.  ‘Isis has got a boyfriend’ proclaimed Shayla.  Isis didn’t look embarrassed at all, she was really proud and happy.

I mirrored her smile (I didn’t want her to feel awkward, I figured Daddy had that covered) and asked ‘What’s his name?’, ‘What’s he like?’, ‘Is he nice to you?’.  She was beaming (let’s call him ‘T’ for the purpose of this blog), what poured out of her mouth next was so sweet.

‘He’s really funny’

‘He makes me laugh’

‘He makes me happy’

‘He reminds me of Daddy’

‘He makes me feel really special’

‘He’s nice to me’

‘He makes me want to go school’

‘He doesn’t look like Daddy but he reminds me of Daddy so it doesn’t matter what he looks like’

I glanced over at James who was still shell shocked by the fact she had a boyfriend, and asked him ‘Well, Daddy what more could you want?’

After making some poor decisions in my past when it came to choosing a partner.  I was once again reminded of one of the greatest choices I made in life, choosing James.  My husband is lovely to me, he is happy, kind, never speaks to me harshly, there’s never any name calling, he is kind, funny, generous and would move heaven and earth if I needed him to.  I remembered how I felt when I held my little man in my arms for the first time on my bed the day I brought him home from hospital and I cried.  I cried because I knew I was raising a man with the greatest role model that I could’ve found.  I knew that one day this precious bundle would love and make someone else feel as valued as I felt in that moment.

I know that James has been dreading this day, but we talked about it and I reminded him that the best thing we can do to assure her safety and security as she rapidly is becoming an adolescent, is to make her feel loved, supported, confident in her choices, and keep being the best role models that we can be.

I may come across over the top sometimes, but if you knew my history I guess you could understand why.  We go out of our way to affirm to our children that everything that happens to their physical bodies is their choice (obviously within reason, they’re not out trying to get piercings just yet).  If we ask for a kiss and they say no, that’s ok, we may say ‘you meanie’ but there’s no fake tears until they give in, even with the babies.  We want them to know it’s ok to say NO.  Now hear me out, we don’t want them to go through life feeling fearful because of experiences I have had.  This isn’t about putting my past onto them, but it is about us empowering them to be secure in their personal rights as they grow older.

You cannot protect your children from everything, no matter how much you want to, but I hope that we can impart wisdom, love, security and self-assurance to help them make the best choices for themselves.

Now, James and I haven’t met ‘T’ but from the way that Isis describes him, I think she has chosen wisely for her first real boyfriend.  She is missing him over half-term, I have said that if they’re still together when it gets to the Summer holidays I will speak to T’s parents about trying to meet up at a local park or something for an afternoon so they can all play together (and maybe do some reconnaissance *winks*).

We’re proud of you Isis Mae, may you always choose boyfriends that remind you of your Daddy.  We love you far too much to let you settle for anything less. xxx

ordinary moments, sun, sea, sinking sand, beautiful children, seaside, cute babies, toddlers,  dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family, parent vlogger

Let's Talk Mommy

A Very Windy Picnic

A Very Windy Picnic

A couple of weeks ago we bought a new picnic basket and blanket (one that was big enough for all of us to sit on).  We have been waiting for the weather to brighten up ever since.  The children were so excited to enjoy a picnic together that the first sign of a sunny afternoon and we had packed up the car to go enjoy a picnic on the beach near Nana’s house in Lytham.
//
The weather was very windy last week (as I’m sure most of you experienced) and at the beach with nothing to shelter you it did take the edge off the warmth.  The children didn’t mind this, as they were wrapped up and running around playing.  Nana & Grandad weren’t so sure but were brilliant coming along anyway to enjoy the children’s first picnic on the beach of the year.

We had raided the local Booths of all things chocolatey, made some yummy ham and cheese sandwiches (the children’s favourites) took some cherry tomatoes and diluted some cordial.  The beach is literally 5 minutes walk (10 with teeny legs) from my parents house as they live just off the road that runs parallel to the promenade and I’m so looking forward to this Summer with James only working down the road.  We intend to go with Daddy to work every sunny day and go hang out with Nana by the beach before Judah starts pre-school in September.

It was great down at the beach, because it was windy, there was no-one else sitting there.  A few dog walkers, runners, cyclists going past but we pretty much had the run of the place to ourselves.  We enjoyed our picnic and then the children had fun running around and playing.  Eden was in a ridiculously chatty mood.  I’ve never heard her talk so much.  She must have just felt extremely happy.  It was lovely, she had us all chuckling as her chatter didn’t stop.

I feel very grateful to have such by DeleteAd” href=”#29741380″> beauty so local and accessible, especially with us not having a second car yet.  It means that yeah, our Bucket List adventures may have come to a halt for a while (not that we can’t get around with public transport, it’s just not as easy with two toddlers), but we can spend a Summer by the sea.

windy picnic, seaside, beach, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, parent blogger, big family

windy picnic,toddler with chocolate, toddler picnic, toddler life, seaside, beach, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, parent blogger, big familywindy picnic, seaside, beach, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, parent blogger, big family, toddler with chocolate, toddler picnic, toddler life,windy picnic, seaside, beach, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, parent blogger, big family, toddler with chocolate, toddler picnic, toddler life,

windy picnic, seaside, beach, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, parent blogger, big family, toddler with chocolate, toddler picnic, toddler life, playing on the beach
not my finest photography as I was still sat on the picnic blanket as they played

great outdoors bucketlist, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family, beating post natal depression,

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #11 – Pillow Talk

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #11 – Pillow Talk

the ordinary moments, pillow talk, step daughters, mummy blog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy

This weeks photos are all taken on my iPhone as we were just hanging out in Daddy and my bedroom.  We decided we would sneak some girl time together.  We do this every once in a while but not as often as I’d like.  Normally James and I are so tired we send the children off to bed at bedtime every evening and enjoy some peace from the madness.  My sister arrived back from Australia this week and she couldn’t cope more than 20 minutes hanging out in our living room with the children all being crazy and making noise as they normally do in the day.  It’s funny what becomes our beautiful ordinary, mine is toys splayed everywhere, books being shoved in my face and Judah petitioning me for the iPad, and then crying when he’s told no.  What is it about technology and toddlers, it’s like crack to them.  Anyway, last night I decided to keep the girls up and enjoy some pillow talk in our room.

Isis is being so cuddly lately, I feel genuine love from her often these days.  It used to just feel like she loved me because I was constantly running her around to everywhere she needed to be, but as life has become calmer, she often comes and snuggles in to me, just for cuddles.  The last time I remember her doing this so affectionately was on our wedding day 3 years ago.  This epitomises her being happy to me.  I am so delighted at this, we have been on quite a journey with our eldest over the last 4 years as we worked out the kinks and found a ‘balance’ with contact between the two homes that allowed her to feel secure.  We must’ve had 5 months of calm without acting up at school now too.  This is amazing if you knew any of her story with school.  She has given me permission to blog about it if I’d like now that she’s out of the thick of it.  I didn’t feel it fair to write about her struggles whilst she was going through them as she reads this blog avidly.  After all, I blog for them.

We sat chatting about what they want to be when they grow up, here are their current options:

Isis

– a dance teacher

– a singer that goes out on gigs

Shayla-Rae

– a ballerina

– a dance teacher

– a princess

– a teenager

We were laughing about how Shayla wants to be a teenager, I explained that she would get her wish for sure with that one.  We chatted about how they need new pyjamas.  Shayla is so random, we’ll be chatting about normal things and then you hear the end of her sentence ….’wee in a pot’.  She’s hilarious, she is definitely her father’s daughter.  The vivid things she comes up with remind me so much of James.  If you’ve ever read any of his guest posts on our blog you’ll understand what I mean.

Eden’s room is the walk-in attached to our room, it has been perfect whilst she’s been small, whilst we were chatting there came a ‘Let it Go’ from her room.  Absolutely hilarious, we were all in stitches, she was nicely asleep and then just started singing, and then went back to sleep.  It was such a funny outburst.  She’s always singing at the moment, she is going to be like me.  Always singing, always humming and dancing happily away to herself and the tunes that must be whizzing around in her head.  I love that baby (well, toddler now) she is just full of joy all the time.

the ordinary moments, pillow talk, step daughters, mummy blog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy

Isis and Shayla tried on my engagement ring, it fit Isis’ thumb nicely haha and I’m only a size J and they started to tell me about who they wanted to marry when they grow up.

Shayla-Rae:

– her boyfriend Sean (shh…. don’t tell Daddy)

Isis winds her up by calling him ‘Sean the Sheep’, I ask Isis about boyfriends and she says all the boys at her school suck, none are worthy…. haha.

Isis:

– someone like Daddy

– someone protective

Shayla randomly kisses Isis’ foot, this is normal for our crazy household.  Isis tells her she’s strange.  We started searching for some photos of when I was younger that the girls wanted to see, we didn’t find them, but we did find an annoying toy we thought we had escaped.  It was one of those hamster toys that just moves on it’s own and makes little noises.  They thought it would be funny to put outside Martina’s door (she’s got the third floor to herself), so Shayla snuck up and put it outside her bedroom door.  It made Martina laugh, she text me thanking the girls… haha.  We then all started plotting little pranks we could pull on Martina, just being silly of course, we love Martina, this was not ‘The Sound of Music’ esque where the children want to get rid of the au pair, we were just being silly.

Isis said that we could put some of our lining wallpaper (that they use for drawing) on the wall outside her room with tears in and write (in red she specified) ‘You’re Next!’.  I asked her what crazy things she had been watching as she sounded like she could direct a horror movie with those suggestions.

We watched the slide show of the photos we took of them in their ‘World Book Day’ costumes, we had an ‘ultra hug’ like a group hug but renamed by the girls.  Isis pointed out that Shayla’s knees looked strange in the Gruffalo costume, Shayla misunderstood and thought Isis was insulting her knees in general and then retorted with ‘your knees look like a square’.

We were all having such a lovely time but it was getting later so I decided that it was time for the girls to go to bed.  We just kept chatting and we were all so comfy, they weren’t getting out any time soon, so I then proceeded to throw them out of the bed, of course safely, but they thought it was hilarious being tipped out of the bed.

Isis then proceeded to pretend that they had died and were coming back as Zombie’s to attack us for kicking them out of the bed.

the ordinary moments, pillow talk, step daughters, mummy blog, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy

Thank you to Katie over at ‘Mummy Daddy Me‘ again for this lovely link up.  I always enjoy taking the time to remember the beautiful ordinary that occurs in our week.  Follow the badge below to see the other posts linked up.
//
The_Ordinary_Moments.PNG

{Me & Mine} 2015 – February

{Me & Mine} 2015 – February

me and mine February, family portrait, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, family portrait project

February is the month of my birthday, February is the month of Valentines Day.  This is a month that I look forward to most years.  This year it just snuck up on me.  I think when you stop expecting things to be special it’s more of a surprise when the beautiful moments just happen.  These photos were taken on my birthday.  We had enjoyed a lovely relaxing morning and then gone for a walk locally before settling down for a girlie evening.  I wrote about it here and you’ll be able to see the video of beautifully ordinary day.  I will always love this video as it encapsulated everything that I feel when I look at these photographs and yet, so much more.

This month :-

James is loving :

passing his driving test – wuhoo!

lots of interviews with new job prospects

wearing lots of suits to work as I get more on top of the laundry

the 20p per extra filling on the work cafeteria sandwiches

our new gluten free diet as we are cooking for Martina

Eden is loving :

walking, finally bless her

chatting and humming the theme tune to Fireman Sam

dancing along to any happy sounding music she hears

lots of cuddles, still a very cuddly baby

all food, nothing new there

me and mine February, family portrait, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, family portrait project

Shayla-Rae is loving :

all things school related, it has not grown old at all for her

baking, she’s made many things this month at home and at school

trying new hairstyles from the cutegirlshairstyles youtube channel

spending time with family

ham and cheese sandwiches

Isis is loving:

performing in her first pantomime Peter Pan (she was amazing, and will be writing a blog post for us soon)

the end of all the long rehearsals for Peter Pan

her new scooter that was for Eden but Eden won’t be able to use for a while yet from ‘Bright Surprise

planning her superhero birthday party for next month

always leaving a last morsel on her plate

me and mine February, family portrait, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, family portrait project

Judah is loving :

learning how to use the scooter (he’s really good at it)

Fireman Sam – yep, still

Toy Story 3, I’m so pleased he’s discovered he likes this

Being finally 100% nappy free

playing the minion game on Martina’s phone (and now my iPad)

I am loving :

having our amazing au pair with us now

feeling less stressed and enjoying more time with the children

a slightly cleaner home

that things are on the up in lots of ways

Breaking Down the Riffs – check out Natalie Weiss on youtube

I’m looking forward to what next month will bring and then definitely the month after as James should be earning a much stronger wage.  I am looking to go back out singing so things should really start to shift to a positive direction around then.  Life is a lot less stressful already and I couldn’t ask for anything more.me and mine February, family portrait, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, family portrait project
//

{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:

the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
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.

the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
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.

the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
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.

the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
the month I moved in with James, Shayla was 22 months old and Isis was 5
the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
baking with Isis aged 5
the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
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.

the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
Shay in her first ballet uniform aged 2
the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
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.

the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
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.

the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
Isis at Shayla’s 4th bday party
the ordinary moments, looking back, being step mummy, time goes too quickly, childhood is fleeting, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family
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.
//
The_Ordinary_Moments.PNG

{Me & Mine} 2015 – January

{Me & Mine} 2015 – January

me and mine, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family, family portrait projects, family photo, woodland

Earlier this month we set off out about to the woodland area across from our front door. Having tried and failed miserably to participate in the Me & Mine challenge last year, this year I stopped with the excuses and bought a tripod. No more excuses as to why I can’t be in the family photographs that I so love to take. In fact as much as I am not a fan of being in front of the camera, it was so much fun posing with the children as the self-timered flash kept coming.

I had hoped to get out again at some point for some snowy pictures, but it just didn’t stick around where we live other than at times when Daddy was at work and the girls were at school. As I trekked around a Wintery wonderland yesterday with the babies, I was sad that I didn’t have the rest of the family with me and our trusty tripod.

me and mine, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family, family portrait projects, family photo, woodland

I know this year will be so much more of a success and we look forward to capturing our family pictures. I had such a positive response to our family portrait on my personal facebook page earlier in the month. I know that as the year goes on it will really chronicle us a family and I’m already excited to look back next year at how the children have grown and all the happy memories we’ve captured together.

This month we had fun, we had captured our Siblings photo and if you saw that post earlier in the month you’d remember my husband was covered in mud from falling down the embankment. That didn’t stop us from snapping away to get some shots of us all together.

me and mine, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family, family portrait projects, family photo, woodland
//
I’m so excited for this project, can you tell? I will probably mention it on every post this year. Very grateful to Lucy and the ‘Me & Mine’ team for inspiring me to get in front of the camera sometimes, these are the photos I know I’ll treasure forever and the little ones will be able to see Mummy was part of their memories, not just always the one behind the camera.

dear beautiful

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #3 – Baking

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #3 – Baking

the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger,

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.

the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger,

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

the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger,

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.

the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger,

the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger, the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger, the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger,

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.

the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger, the ordinary moments, baking, Annabel Karmel, decorating cupcakes, baking with children, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog, step parent blogger,

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.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-63492824-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

The_Ordinary_Moments.PNG