Monday, 31 December 2012

BIRTHDAY UPDATE

So here, here and here are some posts on A&D's birthday that I have just got round to finishing and publishing. 
 
Enjoy!

xx

Monday, 10 December 2012

LETTER FROM SANTA



This afternoon, after nursery, the children heard sleigh bells and couldn't see anything out of the window so I sent them to the front door where they found a letter had been hand delivered through the letterbox  which read as follows;
 
"Hello children it is Father Christmas here.  Do you remember that one of my trainee secret elves, Elsie, came to visit you a couple of times last year just before Christmas?  Well I am sure you will be pleased to hear that Elsie managed to graduate to a fully qualified Elf just in time for this Christmas, but sadly this means that she will not have time to pay you any visits before Christmas as she is busy with her Elf duties.  She sends her love to you though and says that she will miss seeing A and D this year and is sad that she will not be getting to meet Teeny.

Elsie’s little brother Ernie is still in training as a secret Elf though so I am sending him to stay with you very soon and it will be his job to keep a close eye on the three of you until Christmas.  Your mommy has let me know that A and D have been playing up a little bit at home lately, although she tells me that you have been very good at nursery so I am sure that you realise now how silly playing up for your mommy and daddy is and that you will behave really well while Ernie is visiting to show him just how good children behave.  You may not be able to see Ernie, but he will explore the whole of your house and make a note of your behaviour and then report back to me everyday. He will then come back to The North Pole with me on Christmas Eve.

You should probably know that Ernie can be a little troublesome and has been known to play tricks on the families that he stays with so keep your eyes peeled for any mischief he might cause and please let me know about it."

Obviously A&D are extremely excited by our impending arrival and have phoned Daddy to tell him and to ask him to bring a box home so that they can make Ernie a nice comfy bed this evening.
 
I can't wait to see what Ernie gets up to while he is with us.  I hope he doesn't wreck too much havoc as I have enough to do between now and Christmas without cleaning up after somebody else.

Ernie if you are reading this please play nice!

PLAYING CATCH UP AGAIN!!!

Well my laptop profile has corrupted taking with it what feels like my whole life hence another long absence from my blog.  I have set up a new profile on it, but don't have access to any of my recent photos or videos or anything else for that matter as I hadn't backed them up since Teeny arrived (slap my hands!).  I am assured by a very lovely IT literate friend of mine that everything will still be on here so there is no long term damage done (fingers crossed) it all just needs to be accessed by him and copied across to my new profile (as I am a complete technophobe and would have no idea how or where to start doing that).
 
My laptop/internet always goes haywire at the most inopportune of times and this one being A&D's fourth birthday last week which I now need to find time to blog about before Christmas is upon me (can you hear the panic in my voice?).  I have too many blog posts backed up in my head that I just don't seem to be about to get down on virtual paper.  Seriously there just aren't enough hours in the day.
 
Argh!!!!!!!!!!  Help!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

REFLECTING ON OUR FOURTH YEAR

 
So the tiddlers are now four. How on earth do I have two four year olds?  More to the point how did I survive the last four years because to be honest some days I have no idea.
 
When I was pregnant with them I assumed that once twins were past their baby stage it would be no more challenging than having two singletons, but some days I look back and think give me two babies any day even with the endless feeds and the sleepless nights.
 
Every new stage that we reach I am having to do twice over with two completely different individuals even though I have no clue how to do it. I don't get the opportunity to try it out with one and master it with the next; instead we all bumble along together and there are lots of mistakes and tears along the way (usually mine!). If I am honest I have to admit that I have found this last year the most challenging so far with them and it has very little to do with Teeny; in fact I can hand on heart say that I don't think it would have been any easier without him.  The challenge lies in the fact that they have more opinions, ideas and desires of their own than they have ever had before and I have no idea how to balance their expectations with my own.
 
This year I have lost my temper and shouted more than I should, cried more than I should, beat myself up more than I should and failed more than I should allow myself to, but despite all of that I am still here.  I still have a wonderful husband and we love those two little people more than anybody else ever would.  They, along with their little brother, are my world they are the reason why, when all I want to do is hide under the covers, I get out of bed and face the day.  My family are my reason for being and they make me who I am.  Granted I am no domestic goddess and a far from a perfect parent; we live in what I label organised chaos and most some of the time I don't get it right with the children, but they challenge me and I try my hardest to learn from them and to do better next time. 
 
After all nobody is perfect. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

FOUR YEARS OLD (2)

 
LIKES:
 
Everything that Daddy likes!!  Seriously Son it surprises me that, despite the fact that on a day to day basis you seem to be surrounded by women and are a sensitive little soul, one of your favourite things is just being one of the boys.  There isn't much you love more than chilling with the boys and the camaraderie that comes with it; whether it's rough and tumble or motorbike talk with Daddy, trying to play computer or getting the tools out with your big cousins, feeding the birds or checking out the shed with Grandad Bobby or an activity at nursery with your (male) teacher you are most at ease and at your happiest when you are to quote you "with the boys doing boy things."  Even when you play with your sister your favourite things to do together are to play with the trains, the Hot Wheels or ride your bikes!  Although on occasion you have been known to wear the odd clippy cloppy shoe and push the hoover or pushchair around with some of your girlfriends.
 
DISLIKES:
 
Hurting yourself which, given that you are your father's son, doesn't bode well as he has had more trips to A&E that your nan has had hot dinners.  You could almost win an Oscar for your acting skills following a slight fall or bump, although you haven't perfected the fake cry yet as I am afraid there are still no tears!  I am pretty sure that with you a trip to A&E is inevitable and it is probably a case of when and not if.  Your other big dislike is playing baby or pupil or whatever other submissive role your sister has in store for you on any given day, but you have not quite learnt to stand up to her yet without resorting to whining at her or smacking her depending on what mood takes you.  Like I said before though you are a very sensitive and caring soul and as dominating as your sister can be sometimes you still love her and your little brother dearly and it really upsets you to see them poorly or hurt or sad in anyway.  As much as you hate hurting yourself I'm pretty sure you would walk on hot coals for them if you could.


FOUR YEARS OLD (1)

 
 
 LIKES:
 
Jewellery, handbags, dresses, lip gloss, nail varnish, clippy cloppy shoes as you label them and anything else remotely feminine that you can lay your hands on; I can't even begin to imagine where that comes from because, as much as I like to get my glad rags on for a night out, I am not what you would label a girly girl so that is definitely nature and not nurture!  What else...?  Being outdoors; you are rarely more happy than when you are running about in the garden, the park or the playground at nursery school and poor weather doesn't phase you.
Your other big things are singing, dancing and generally performing.  You have recently developed a real love of music and are happy to listen (and wiggle) to most of what I play, but your current favourites are (thankfully) anything by Kimbra, Hottest Girl in The World (JLS) which I don't mind, but the rest are far too cheesy for me and include Live While We're Young (One Direction), Candy (Robbie Williams), Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepson) and We are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift).  Yuk! ;-)  I think it is because you hear them on TV alot; you definitely know exactly what you like.
 
DISLIKES:
 
Not getting your own way.  You are a strong willed and impulsive young lady and not a force to be reckoned with; a leader and not a follower.  Oh my darling as much as I love you there are days where I find you such a challenge.  My poor mother must have said the same about me though!  There aren't many other things that I can think of that you don't like.  You're pretty adventurous and fairly happy to try most things as long as it is on your terms.  People had better not mess with either of your brothers though; there is no way you can stand for that.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

FREEBIE

I just wanted to share these pictures of Teeny enjoying a new toy kindly donated to him by his BFF
 
He had so much fun playing in this today and it brought me so much joy to watch him.
 

That smile never fails to melt my heart.

Monday, 19 November 2012

JUST BECAUSE...

...I love this photograph. 
 
(Even if he does have a face covered in food!!)

My baby boy - 6.5 months

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

ONE (OF MANY) REASONS I DON'T DO FACEBOOK

Check out this blog post from The Feminist Breeder. 
 
In short Gina posted an amusing breastfeeding photograph (with no nipple exposure) that was liked by 1,500+ people, but one highly intelligent woman (do you sense the sarcasm in my voice?) reported it because apparently children who breastfeed grow up to be sex offenders and she didn't want her son to see it.  (Yes I am serious she really did say that.)
 
So Facebook in their infinite wisdom (more sarcasm in the voice there) removed the photo and suspended Gina's account. That is what I call spineless!!
 
Seriously what is wrong with people?
 
I can't write anymore on this subject at this moment in time without using a long line of expletives so I will leave you with a lovely breastfeeding photo of my own.
 
Teeny @ 4 months old
Photograph by the lovely Karen Pooler
Any thoughts people??

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

SIX MONTHS OLD

So my beautiful baby boy turned six months last Monday.  SIX MONTHS...seriously where did that go?  I had wanted to blog a series of posts about him, including this one, last week, but he (along with his brother and sister) was poorly with a nasty cough and cold which typically left me without any time for blogging!
 

LIKES:
 
Most things really; you are a very smiley and content baby, but you particularly love booby, finger food, being worn in your Moby, your big brother and sister, new faces, old faces, in fact any faces really especially the ones that smile or talk to you.  What else?  Secret night time snuggles with either Mommy or Daddy you're not fussed which  (sshh like I said it is a secret) and  Mommy's terrible singing; you don't mind what I sing, but you do love Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Dingle Dangle Scarecrow.

DISLIKES:
 
This is quite a difficult one because you are very easily pleased at this age.  The only things that spring to mind are being strapped in your carseat, being in your pushchair, being ignored, being cold and having your nappy put back on because you would much rather have a nakey bum.
 
I love you to the moon and back my little cheeky (ba)nana xxx

Sunday, 28 October 2012

A SPECIAL PLACE

My poor little lovelies have all been full of coughs and colds this weekend, but despite them all feeling quite poorly they have been lovely and I have had very few complaints from any of them.  It is most unlike A to have a daytime nap, but she seems to have been hit the worst and so this afternoon she took one in the same place that I like to be when I am poorly - cuddled up with her Daddy - and as much as he hates it when his babies are poorly I think he was secretly quite pleased.


"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  MAYA ANGELOU

MMM CUCUMBER


Friday, 26 October 2012

EID MUBARAK


A & D are lucky to attend a nursery where the class is very culturally diverse and before they broke up from nursery for half term they made Eid cards.  When  I picked them up that day and they told me what they had been doing I asked them what they had learned about Eid.  A told me that it is a celebration and that they have to take their shoes off and wash their toes!  (Oh the things that children remember!)  She also asked me if we would be celebrating Eid.  I explained that we would not because Eid is celebrated by Muslims and we are not muslim, but that we could go and take the cards to our next door neighbours as they would be celebrating Eid and that if they had any questions about Eid they could ask their little friend next door or her mommy who I am sure would be more than happy to answer them.
 
So this afternoon they very proudly trotted off next door with Daddy to take their cards and I was very proud of them for being so happy and excited to celebrate people's differences. 

So following my children's lead can I wish all of those celebrating today Eid Mubarak.
 
"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." ANGELA SCHWINDT

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD


So here is Teeny during his first family meal and there's not a spoon or pureed vegetable in sight.  BLW rocks and I already have two children that are proof of that!!

To be continued.........

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A LITTLE TREASURE

I'm always the one behind the camera in our little family so there aren't a huge number photos of me with my little ones; I am getting better at rectifying this, but it is a slow process so I was so happy to see this photograph of Teeny and I that my mom took last Friday at my nephew's 18th birthday celebrations.
 

I don't know if you can see, but I am rubbing my chin on Teeny's head. I love to inhale him and feel his fluffy hair and soft skin on my face. I made the mistake with my older two of stressing so much when they were tiny that I remember very little about them being babies and I am determined not to make that mistake again because it is one of my biggest regrets and it breaks my heart.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

YOUNG LOVE

 
 
Dear Teeny and Grace.
 
I hope you two always love each other as much as you do here; that you always look out for each other and have each other to turn to in difficult times.  You are truly blessed to be in each other's lives.
 
Love always
 
Mommy/ Auntie Rach xx

Thursday, 11 October 2012

WEARING IN WOOLACOMBE

I just wanted to squeeze in another babywearing post before International Babywearing Week is out.
 
We recently went to Woolacombe for five days without a pushchair .  (Oh how I wish I could live there.)  I should admit here that beforehand I was more than a little apprehensive about the prospect of not having a pushchair.  I am not sure why I was so nervous about it given that we rarely use it and that Teeny is less than impressed with said pushchair anyway.
 
Here are the results......

  
Needless to say it was a complete success and the pushchair won't be coming next year, but my beloved Moby might be replaced by a pretty woven wrap if I can manage to narrow down what I should be buying by then!
 
Anybody have any thoughts on what my new purchase should be?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

WOMAN OF THE WEEK

My wonderful friend Jade has blogged about me here and I want to say a huge thank you.   I feel so honoured to be labelled Woman of The Week by such a fantastic woman. 
 
I have never thought of myself as special or out of the ordinary; like millions of other people I just get on with things.  I do what I do and that is it.  I try so hard not to be materialistic, but I quite often end up feeling like I haven't succeeded because I have a tiny and very unfinished house; I don't have lots of qualifications or a high flying job and more often than not find myself counting the pennies. 
 
However when I read her post I couldn't believe that she was writing about me.  It focuses on my passions; my fantastic friends and family, wonderful husband and precious children as well as my volunteer work as a Peer Supporter and my desire to empower women during their pregnancies and beyond . 
 
This beautifully written post, a skill I never knew Jade had despite knowing her for more than ten years, was a real reality check for me; it has helped me to put lots of things into perspective and I will always be eternally grateful to Jade for facilitating that.

ABSENCE

You may have noticed a long absence on my part and I feel the need to explain.
 
Firstly we were away in lovely Woolacombe and I don't like to be very contactable when we are away.  I take my phone, but only for emergencies.  Then, on our return home, with lots of jobs to catch up on and blog posts to write, I found that we were without internet and this lasted for a whole three weeks.  I tell you I felt like I had lost a limb!
 
Anyway we are now back in the land of the living and I have so many things to update on, but I am making no promises I am afraid.  You'll just have to keep your eyes peeled.

Monday, 8 October 2012

MINI BABYWEARER

After seeing this post on My Name is Beth I was reminded that it is International Babywearing Week this week so it provided me with the perfect opportunity to post this picture of A wearing her baby, Bella.
 

The photograph was taken about a month ago during a walk to my sister in law's.  I was wearing Teeny so A promptly asked if she could wear her baby.  Cue me running around the house trying to find something to use as a wrap for her and in the end I plumped for one of my husband's scarves.  Needless to say she loves it and he won't be getting that scarf back in a hurry!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

MY EQUAL

 
 "He is my most beloved friend and my bitterest rival, my confidant and my betrayer, my sustainer and my dependent, and scariest of all, my equal." GREGG LEVOY

Friday, 31 August 2012

UPDATING WITH GRATITUDE

So here is a little update on "Three Things to be Thankful For".  Enjoy these little snippets of our life.
 
Tuesday 21 August 2012

1.  I found out today that my shoulder MRI was absolutely clear which obviously doesn't narrow down the cause of the arm pain, but I was a little bit frightened that it would turn up something nasty so it is a huge relief.  It also means the doctor can refer me for physio now which will hopefully get me back that final bit of movement I am missing and improve the bedtime ache.

2.  When I was pregnant with Teeny I occasionally used to get A&D to curl up on the sofa with me for an hour and sometimes we would nod off.  We obviously don't have the opportunity much for that now, but today A asked me if we could lie down on the sofa for a cuddle.  It made me so happy that even though I couldn't run around with them when I was heavily pregnant she still enjoyed that special time we spent together enough to ask to do it today.

3.  I had a visit from my lovely friend Jade this evening and it was just really lovely to have a good old natter with her.  I am so blessed that she is my friend and am especially looking forward to the Sunday lunch she is cooking for us this weekend!!

Wednesday 22 August 2012

1.  I am struggling with A&D's behaviour a little at the moment as they have become quite challenging again over the last week.  I am pretty sure it is because they are missing preschool, but that doesn't make it any easier.  Anyway today they have had their moments, but were much better behaved than they have been and you have no idea how grateful I am for that.  It makes me feel so awful when they are not the polite, lovely children I know they can be.

2.  I am so thankful for the lovely friends that A&D made at pre-school.  We had a play date with one of them today and my two had a lovely few hours at their house.  Whenever we go there we are always made to feel so welcome and it is lovely for me too to have some lovely adult company in the form of their friend's mommy, Kate.  Even though the children are going to different nurseries I really hope we manage stay in touch and that our children stay friends as they grow older.  I really can picture the girls together in ten years time as teenagers.  What a frightening prospect.

3.  I don't seem to have seen my lovely nephew for a little while, but today, after a hard day at work, my sweetheart of a sister in law helped me dye my hair (I couldn't do it myself because of not having a full range of movement in my arm) and on arrival at her house, without any prompting from me, I was greeted with a great big hug from my nephew.  I felt very blessed, although D will be gutted that he missed out.

Thursday 23 August 2012

1.  Teeny has started having the occasional sneaky night time/early morning feed again.  I think it is because he has started going to bed a little earlier so is doing a longer stretch now.  The funny thing is though he will go back to sleep once I put him in his cot, but while I am holding him he tries his hardest to play with me and gives me such cheeky and beautiful smiles that I almost don't want to put him back to bed!

2.  Teeny had to have his 16 week injections today and A&D came with us too.  Last time he had them the nurse was very softly spoken and gentle and they didn't upset him too much so A&D were ok with him having them.  This time we saw a different nurse; she was a bit more abrupt and Teeny really cried at his first jab which made A so cross that she started shaking my chair and saying "No Mommy" as the nurse tried to give him his next one.  It broke my heart that he was so upset and that she was so upset for him.  Needless to say Teeny was smothered with kisses and cuddles by A&D once the ordeal was over.

3.  I have the best of both worlds when I am not on maternity leave in that I work evenings and so get to spend lots of time with my children during the day (although I do miss my lovely husband).  However I do really miss reading bedtime stories and having bedtime cuddles with A&D so being on maternity leave is extra special in that I am able to spend lots of time bonding with Teeny, but I also get to do the bedtime things that I really miss when I am at work.  I also love going in to give them a sneaky kiss and cuddle once they have nodded off.

Friday 24 August 2012

1.  I have talked before about the lovely friends that A&D made at pre-school.  Today we had another play date with one of them.  I struggle on Friday's because my other half goes to work early so I was so thankful that we had been invited out.  The weather stayed dry and they have a beautiful garden so of course the children spent 90% of  their time in the garden and had a ball especially as there is a secret garden too which can't be seen from the house.  How exciting for three (almost) four year olds!!  I had a good old natter with Olivia's mommy which always makes me feel better and the morning ran away from us.  Before we knew it it was time for us to go home, much to the children's disgust!

2.  My husband finishes work early on Friday's and it is always lovely to go home and already have him there waiting to give me a great big cuddle. 
 
3.  Following on from the above.  Despite Friday mornings being difficult for me I am so grateful for the extra time we get to spend together as a family on these afternoons as a result of the early mornings.  Where possible, provided that life doesn't take over, we try to do something fun and make this time extra special especially as the children get older because I am noticing that A&D are starting to miss Daddy more and more when he is at work.

Saturday 25 August 2012

1.  I am thankful for my husband everyday, but today is our 6th wedding anniversary so I am even more thankful for him today.  He is a wonderful husband and father to our children.  Of course we have our moments like every couple, but I love him more every single day.  I know this doesn't sound very romantic, but we are like a well oiled machine.  We are a team and we work well together.  The children and I are his world and he and the children are mine.  I daren't even think what I would do without him.

2.  This might be slightly materialistic, but I am so thankful for the lovely anniversary flowers I found when I got up this morning.  I know my husband loves me, but he is not the most romantic of men so surprise flowers are extra special.  I would be happy with a little bunch from the supermarket, but these were actually a beautiful bouquet from the florist loaded with lilies and roses which are two of my favourite flowers.  How lucky am I?

3.  We did lots of nice things as a family today; out for breakfast in the morning and then to a birthday party in the afternoon.  It is not really about what we did though  I am just thankful for being able to spend that time with my family; you know just hanging out with them and not thinking about housework or DIY or what to cook for tea.
 
Sunday 26 August 2012

1.  I was so grateful today to be able to spend some lovely intimate time with Allan and Teeny having some beautiful photographs taken by Allan's sister.  She also photographed my bump for me as well as Teeny's home birth and we are going to slide show them all together for Teeny's Naming Ceremony.  Allan and I are conscious of wanting to involve A&D as much as we can with Teeny and we love to do that because they idolise him and he they, but it was just so very special to have this short special time together as a couple with him today to record and treasure his babyhood (if that is even a real word).  Probably more so because we feel like we missed out on that a little with A&D because of the mayhem that is having multiples especially as your first and if this were not a post about being thankful and happy I would say that this makes me a little sad.
 
2.  A wonderful friend; one of the most talented, committed and generous individuals I know and to top it off a great cook.  Jade's Sunday roast.  Nom nom nom.  Need I say more?  A&D can take or leave Sunday Lunch (which surprises me given my love for them), but the fact that they virtually cleared their plates is testament to how delicious it was.  I was so happy not to have to cook  today and to still get to eat a delicious home cooked meal with the most wonderful people!
 
3.  Finally I have to talk about how well behaved my children were at their Auntie Jade's house today.  I have mentioned earlier on that they have become quite challenging over the summer break and I have been at the end of my tether at times, but I was extremely proud of them today.  They were so well mannered and polite and respectful that you would have thought that butter couldn't melt and it made for a very pleasant afternoon.  So thank you so much guys for making me smile so much that it was impossible to hide.  Love you.
 
Monday 27 August 2012

1.  I caught up with some of my oldest work friends this morning.  I am the only one out of that circle with children and I sometimes find it hard to fit into their plans and worry that they just think I am being awkward, but I make the effort to join them when I can and they too make the effort to accommodate my children where it is possible and/or appropriate.  We had a good old catch up today and I am always thankful to be able to spend quality time with these people as they have been part of my life for a very long time and will be for a very long time to come I hope.
 
2.  Another play date and another lovely afternoon.  Today's play date was with a little girl who started pre-school on the same day as A&D and her mommy, Jo was the first person I spoke to at pre-school.  The weather held out and so the children got to play both inside and out and I am so happy that they got to have lots of fun with yet another lovely friend.  What made this play date extra special was that, as it was a Bank Holiday, Daddy got to join in the fun too and I think it was good for his soul to get involved with the children's social lives and it made me happy to have him there.
 
3.  We finished this lovely day by having a Chinese takeaway with my sister in law, but what made me happiest while we were there was the beaming smiles on A&D's faces and the excitement in their voices when their big cousin arrived home.  I have written before about how much they love Will and this love just seems to grow and grow; it is so beautiful to watch.
 
Tuesday 28 August

1. A was ever so upset today when D didn't want to play outside with her. It made me so thankful that I have twins because, as difficult as it can be for me sometimes, they are so lucky to have each other.  It must be much less scary doing new things if you always have a partner in crime;

2. There are lots of mommies who I know online, but never get to meet in person. However today I was blessed to meet one of those mommies along with her her brand new baby girl.  I really should try harder to meet my online friends.

3. Today is one year since I posted my first post on my blog. Yay I have been blogging (somewhat sporadically) for a whole year.

Wednesday 29 August

1. Wednesday is Booby Club. I feel so privileged to be able to help and support other women through their breastfeeding journey.  I hope I make as much of a difference to them as they do to me.

2. I had a lovely evening out with my sister in law and my friend; we went to see the wonderfully talented Kimbra, but that's a whole other post!

3. A&D were quite put out that they weren't coming to see Kimbra with me tonight, but I did manage to acquire a poster advertising the gig for them to put in their room.  You should have seen their faces!
 
Oh dear!  Writing this has just made me realise that I really haven't been taking enough photographs lately so I really must take steps to rectify that situation and get my mojo back as it seems to have wandered away from me slightly.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN

Hi guys, I haven't forgotten about "Three Things to be Thankful For".  I have notes from each day of my three and will publish soon, but have been falling asleep of an evening before I can even manage to turn the laptop on.  Must be left over fatigue from the glandular fever and poorly arm which I am happy to report feels a million times better!  Yay!
 
Be back soon.  Probably not tonight though as, much to my daughter's disgust because she is not allowed to join me, I am going to see Kimbra.  (Thanks to Georgia of Documenting Delight for the introduction!)
 
Lots of love.
 
xx

Monday, 20 August 2012

FRIENDS OLD AND NEW

Today when the rain that wasn't forecast finally stopped we headed for a postponed play date in the park.  There are five months between my twins and my friend Marie's oldest daughter so they have been friends virtually since the day she was born.  The girls are both very girly; they share a love of all things pretty and were clearly pleased to see each other today.  However what I also noticed today was how protective D was of his friend; when she fell over he came to tell us; when he went off to play he took her with him and when she wasn't near him playing he wanted to know where she was.  He is like this with A (when they are not bickering), but I am used to that as she is his sister after all and,  aside from a few days just after their first birthday when A was in hospital with pneumonia, he has never spent a night away from her.  Nevertheless to see him like it with his little friend was so heartwarming.  He is such a sweet and sensitive soul and so very caring and I am so thankful for his kindhearted nature.

Speaking of friendships, not only did I watch old friendships develop today, but I also watched new ones forming.  What is it about children that allows them to form friendships so quickly and easily?  They have no preconceived notion or judgements about what the other child is like and I wish so much that I could wrap up that innocence so that they could take it on life's journey with them.  When we first got to the park I saw a little girl, slightly older than A I would imagine, keeping a close eye on her and they always seemed to be in close proximity to each other.  Well, within twenty minutes of our arrival they were running around together holding hands and having full blown conversations.  Oh how I wish I could hear what they were talking about at such a tender age.  I am so in awe of my daughter's ability to form new friendships with such ease.   I love that, whilst at this age children do notice differences between themselves and their peers, it seems to have little or no impact on their opinion of that person or their desire to get to know them.  Sometimes we can learn such big lessons from ones so little and I am so grateful for the lesson my daughter taught me today.

Finally, I must just add that was very thankful today to meet baby Noah and catch up with his mommy too.  Noah is Marie's new nephew and, at five weeks old, is just delicious.  I felt so privileged to get to meet him so soon.  Mr & Mrs L, you make such beautiful babies.  Enjoy every scrumptious minute of him!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

HAPPINESS IN PICTURES

D, Teeny, A
Nom Nom Nom
Finally...a picture of our family of five
Fresh Air + Exercise = Happy Children + Happy Mommy


Thursday, 16 August 2012

GRANDAD AND TEENY'S FIRST CUDDLES

My father in law loves my children a lot and I have absolutely no doubts about that, but he just does not "do" babies.  They are too small and floppy so in their early days he will talk to them and ask about them and comment on their changes, but it is common knowledge in the family that he won't  hold them so don't even bother asking.  I was a little concerned about this when A&D were little, but I needn't have been as it has had no adverse affect on his relationship with them and they adore him!

Anyway, today I decided to test the water with Teeny; to my surprise and without any degree of persuasion on my part my father in law took him from me.  I cannot tell you how gutted I was that I didn't have the camera with me though as Teeny stayed in those arms for a good while and was staring at his grandad so intently that it made my heart melt.  What made it all the more special was that my husband had popped into his parents' on his lunch to see us all so he got to see it for himself too!

So without a doubt special cuddles are one of the things that I was most thankful for today. 

Whilst at Nanny and Grandad's today I was amazed at my children's imagination.  The conversation went something like this:-

A: Mommy, Nanny; a buzzy bee.

D: A buzzy bee, a buzzy bee.

Mommy and Nanny head outside to see the buzzy bee.

NANNY:  Do you know what he is doing?  He is  taking all of the pollen out of the flower to take back to the hive to make honey.

ME:  As long as you leave him alone he will leave you alone baby.

Mommy and Nanny head back inside the house.

D:  There is bee hive Mommy!

ME:  Is there?  (knowing all too well that there isn't)

D:  Yes Mommy look.

So off I headed back outside where D was pointing to some pretty tree bark that my in laws have flowers planted in which sounds random, but looks lovely.  Anyway, although it doesn't obviously look like a bee hive you could see from the texture and the colour and size where he had got the idea from.

It always makes me happy to see and hear where my children's imaginations take them.

Talking of playing in the garden; it is something that my kids just cannot get enough of so this evening A, D and I were having races in the garden whilst Daddy and Teeny did the medal ceremonies using the medals A&D got from pre-school.  I even sang God Save the Queen for them.  Ha ha! 

We all laughed so hard it hurt (and D cried a bit because he didn't win every race). 

Oh what fun and a great thing to have as one of my three things that I am thankful for today! xxx

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

IT'S A TOUGH ONE

Well we have had one of those "I don't want to listen to or take on board anything Mommy is going to say today" days.  I feel like a broken record and simply exhausted, although it was probably not helped by the fact that I was up in the night with the dreaded arm because I had tried to not take any painkillers before bed.  I won't be making that mistake again tonight.

Given the above this post will be a short one because the negatives have masked the positives today so I have had to dig deep to really find those positives, but amongst a day of mayhem there have been a few lovely moments that have made me smile.

1.  When I got out of the shower this morning I could hear A&D pottering about in their room so I tried unsuccessfully to creep in and snap a (very poor) photograph of whatever they were up to and this is what I found.


They looked too cute for words sat on A's bed together reading Things I Love About Playtime.  It was one of those moments that I will hold in my heart for years to come.

(As an aside we really love the "Things I Love About..." books.  They are really hard to get hold of here for some reason, but we have got a total six different ones on two separate occasions for £2 each in Aldi of all places.  What an absolute steal!  If you see them I really recommend you buy them.)

2.  After poking my head around A&D's door I went into my own room to find this beautiful sight.  I know he is mine so clearly I am biased, but how can this face not make you smile and feel thankful?



3.  Once the children were all in bed and I was laid on my bed feeling sad about the day my wonderful husband brought me up a coffee, lay next to me and just cuddled me for half an hour.  He knew exactly what I needed without me having to say a word.



Tuesday, 14 August 2012

APPARENTLY MY CHILDREN HAVE A NEW SISTER......

Ha ha!  No I am not pregnant. 

Today we went to Christy's for a play date. I have blogged about her lovely little family before here and here  There are just a couple of weeks in age between A&D and Christy's daughter and they all play so lovely together; it is an absolute delight to watch them. 

The girls were just the cutest today though and were running around the garden playing sisters and pretending that they were going to be late for their exercise class (Christy goes to an exercise class on Tuesdays evenings so I am assuming that game stemmed from).  They act so grown up and I have to pinch myself sometimes to remind myself that A is only three (going on thirteen!).

A is very unlikely to ever have a sister so it means even more to me now than it did before I had Teeny that she has a few really lovely girlfriends and some older female cousins to indulge in her girliness (is that even a real word?) with because, as much as I try, girliness is not a trait she gets from me!

So today's happiness/thankful list really stems from our play date today.

1.  Seeing A&D playing so nicely with their friends made me so happy.

2.  I am so thankful for the fact that my children have been able to form such good relationships with their peers and so subsequently are blessed to have some really lovely friends.

3.  Christy told me today that her daughter had asked if  I was coming to their house with A&D today and when she told her I was she said something along the lines of "yay I love Rachel".  Well I love you too sweetie!.

Thanks for your hospitality guys.  Looking forward to seeing you again really soon.  xxx

Monday, 13 August 2012

A QUICK LIST OF GRATITUDE

I can barely keep my eyes open so just a quick list of thankfulness today.

1.  More sleep and less drugs.  Ok so I am slightly duplicating the sleep thing, but last night was even better than last time I posted about my sleep status.  I took two painkillers for my arm before bed last night and woke briefly during the night, but didn't require painkillers just repositioned myself, fed Teeny very briefly and then went back to sleep until this morning.  I feel much more positive now that i am not pumped full of drugs and am getting more sleep and I am very thankful for that.

2.  A clear chest x-ray.  Well I am assuming it was clear because the doctors surgery ring if results show anything and I haven't had a phone call despite the x-rays being back so as they say "no news is good news" in this case

3.  Half an hour to sit down with my lovely husband this evening for coffee, biscuits and a chat. I love him so much, but time together on our own is so precious and I really felt blessed that we managed that little bit of time for ourselves today without feeling guilty.

Right I am off now.  Night night.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

THANKFUL FOR MY BABIES

Today has been the kind of day where I could have just skipped a project like this, but I am so conscious of not wanting to do that so I took some time once the children were in bed to try to think about all of the things (I don't mean material things here) that I have been blessed with and of course there were three very obvious ones:-

1. A*

2. D*

3. Teeny*

There was a time when we were going through our fertility treatment in 2007/2008 that I couldn't imagine being lucky enough to have one child and now I have three under the age of 4, yes that's right THREE.  Some days More often  than not it is such a challenge and I worry so much that I might not be doing a good enough job.  Mostly though, even on the tough days, I am in awe of the little people we have created and the inspiring individuals that they are becoming; sometimes I am so proud of them I feel like I might burst at any moment. 

So today I am truly thankful for my children, the journey they are taking me on and the gift of motherhood.

A,D and Teeny I love you to the moon and back xxx
* I would like to just clarify for my kids when they are old enough to read this and start arguing about who is my favourite that I love you all the same and the above list is in order of age and not preference. Ha ha!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

THREE S'S (SLEEP, SUNSHINE & SISTER)

Just a quickie today as we have had a wonderfully busy day at Victoria Park in Stafford followed by a barbecue at home.  I am happy tired and looking forward to cuddling up to my hubby on the sofa for more Olympic fever.

So what am I thankful for today?

1.  I had the best night's sleep I have had in weeks last night.  I did have to take two lots of painkillers during it, but I managed to get back to sleep super quick and wasn't awake for hours like I have been of late.  This might seem like a daft thing to be thankful for, but it made for such a nice day today because I wasn't exhausted.

2.  The sunshine today meant that I could spend a lovely day out with my beautiful family which, after not being able to do much with the children over the last few weeks, was really good for my soul.

3.  A's love for her brothers makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.  She is without a doubt the boss and she and D do bicker, but in spite of that she absolutely adores both of her brothers and is very protective of them.  It was so heart warming to watch her guiding D into the water today and reassuring him; she really boosted his confidence.



Friday, 10 August 2012

THREE THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR

I have been feeling a bit very sorry for myself lately.  Not without cause as I have had glandular fever followed by some terrible pain (read worse than childbirth) in my right arm (I am right handed) which nobody can figure out the root of.  (I should really add here that, aside from an awful out of hours doctor who couldn't care less, the doctors have been fab and arranged for me to have a chest x-ray and shoulder MRI super quick).  We tried Amitriptyline for nerve pain, but that didn't touch it and so I am having to take Co-codamol just to take the edge off which doesn't seem to have bothered Teeny at all, but as I am breastfeeding and not one to take much medicine it makes me nervous.    It also makes me feel terribly drowsy which is not good with three children and the drowsiness combined with the pain makes driving near on impossible; ironically though the drowsiness doesn't mask the pain to the extent that I can actually sleep at night!  Subsequently I haven't been able to do all of the things I had planned to do with the children or in the house/garden over the summer break hence the big pile of self pity.

So anyway inspired by this post by Georgia of Gregarious Peach (go check out her blog if you haven't already: she is such an inspiration!) I have decided that for the next month I am going to try to list three things from each day that I am thankful for or that make me happy.  Seeing Georgia's post reminded me that when I was going through a bout of depression a few years ago and using some NLP techniques and hypnotherapy I briefly tried a "happiness journal" and it worked well, but like a lot of things I didn't persevere with it.  I hope that having a blog already set up might make it easier to do because, at least if I don't have much time but have thought about it throughout the day, I can just log in and quickly jot down the list or attach a photograph.  I occasionally toy with trying to post a photograph per day;  the problem is that I am very self critical and a bit of a depressive (although that seems to have been pretty much under control over the last 4-5 years), but if I missed a day or the photographs weren't up to scratch it would be something else to add to my list of "fails" so I think I need to feel stronger before I try that and  stick to the "Three Things to be Thankful For" post for now and see how I feel at the end of the month.

So here is today's list. 

1.  My wonderful husband who, despite having to go to work each day, has spent countless nights awake over the last few weeks reassuring me, rubbing my arm and just generally being lovely to me while I have been feeling so rubbish.

2.  Christy P is a lovely, selfless "mommy friend" of mine who, despite having her own two, took A&D for me on Tuesday so that I could catch up on some sleep.  I really struggle to loose the reins when it comes to my children, but I was desperate for two things; one being sleep and the other being for A&D to have a really fun day without a grumpy mommy.  My children love to play with Christy's children and I trust her completely so I handed those reins over and of course they had an absolute ball.  I feel so incredibly touched by her kindness.

3.  A&D laughing together.  They came out into the garden with me today whilst I was putting out the washing and to be honest I can't even remember what lets pretend game their imaginations had inspired them to play because I was so busy revelling in the fact that they were laughing so hard together.

So those are my three for today and you know what?  I feel better already.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

THE BEAUTY OF BOOBIES

So I LOVE LOVE LOVE breastfeeding and today, being the last day of World Breastfeeding Week 2012, I want to squeeze in a post about it.  I had wanted to do a whole series, but have been poorly with one thing and another and have not been feeling up to it.  I just couldn't let this week pass though without at least one post.

If you are a follower of my blog you will know from this post that I am a Peer Supporter for my local PCT and also that before I had A&D I wasn't remotely bothered about breastfeeding.  To be honest the thought of it grossed me out a bit.  Oh how times change though!

I ended up feeding A&D for 15 months.  I am not sure if you would call it self weaning, but basically they just weren't interested anymore.  I had been offering breast to them in the morning before breakfast and they had been taking it, but they hadn't initiated feeds themselves for a good while and one morning it was like they tag teamed me.  They ate some of their cereal before I offered them their feed and then neither of them were remotely interested in their breastfeed which broke my heart.  Obviously I rang my husband and cried about it and it was then that I decided that I wasn't going to offer because I couldn't deal with the upset of constant rejection, but I wasn't going to refuse either.  Well it breaks my heart to say that I wasn't given the opportunity to refuse them because neither of them ever sought booby again!  What upsets me more is that apart from a couple of photographs that my mother in law took when A&D were 4 days old I don't have any other photographs of me feeding them.  At the time I was mortified that she had those photos, but now I am so so thankful for it.


One of the things that I looked forward to most when I was pregnant with Teeny was to breastfeed him.  I missed it so much when A&D stopped and my body ached when I saw other mommies feeding their brand new teeny weeny babies.  I had also learned a lot in the intervening period through my peer support training about how to position and attach a baby and about the reasons behind why babies do some of the things they do when they are feeding.  I also felt more relaxed than I did with A&D, not just because I had done it before because after all Teeny was going to be a different baby with his own issues, but  because I knew where to go and who to ask if I did have any struggles.

A bit of me feels guilty for writing this, but when it comes to feeding (and most other things) Teeny has, on the whole, been a bit of a dream baby.  I am not bragging it is just a simple fact.  I did after all have my fair share of very long endless sleepless nights first time round so if you are struggling with a newborn you have my sympathy and I really do feel your pain.  I know everybody will have their own opinion on home births, but I am convinced that aside from being my second pregnancy/third baby, which obviously makes it easier, his calmness really has something to do with him being born at home into a calm and peaceful environment and into the place that he was to stay as opposed to being moved from a the bright lights of a delivery suite to the hustle and bustle of a post natal ward and then to the home where he was to stay.

Anyway I went off on a bit of a tangent then so back to the feeding.  We did have a feeding frenzy on Teeny's second night and I literally didn't sleep all night, but I felt much calmer about it.  The first time around I panicked that something was wrong and that I didn't have enough milk, but this time I knew that he was just stimulating my body to produce what he needed and a bad night for me was a really good night for him.  Instead of stressing with my husband I remember quite calmly saying to him that I was going downstairs so that he could sleep because at some point Teeny would go to sleep, probably with the dawn chorus, but at least then if he had slept he could get up with A&D and take them to pre-school and I could go to sleep with Teeny so that's what we did and it was fine.  This feeding frenzy did, however, bring to light the fact that I obviously hadn't had him positioned exactly right because I found that by morning I was very sore.  As I said before though I felt empowered by the fact that I knew where to go for help so I asked the infant feeding midwife who I work with to have a look at his positioning because I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong and it turned out that he just needed his bottom tucking in slightly so that his nose wasn't buried in my breast as much and that was pretty much it.  What a very different story to my struggles and trials and tribulations first time around!  Yes he has had his growth spurts and likes to cluster feed during the early evening and on occasions during the day, but to be honest because I know that it is all normal it doesn't really bother me and I just roll with it and because it is my second experience of breastfeeding I am pretty much happy to feed anywhere and everywhere (including walking through The Fort Shopping Park) so those growth spurts and cluster feeds do not really restrict me.

It hasn't been an easy ride, especially with A&D, but I feel so blessed to have been able to breastfeed my three children.  Words cannot describe what a beautiful experience it is for me and how much I will cherish those special moments with my children for years to come.  I am utterly dreading the day that Teeny weans as that will be the day that my own breastfeeding experience ends.  In fact I am welling up just thinking about it.  I do thankfully have some lovely photographs of his first feeds and I intend to take lots more as we go through our breastfeeding journey together.  I just really hope that journey is a long one...



Friday, 27 July 2012

MAMA SAYS A LADY AINT WHAT SHE WEARS BUT WHAT SHE KNOWS

I have PCOS and I worry a lot about whether A will inherit it from me and what to do if she does.  I have never coped well with it's effect on my appearance and I never want A (or either of my boys) to feel that low about themselves.  I want them to feel comfortable in their own skin and never feel the need to conform, but how do you empower when you don't feel empowered?  How do you teach them to feel comfortable in their skin without teaching them how to conform?  We all know that we should lead by example, but I am not a great example of somebody who doesn't feel the need to conform. 

So yesterday we were pottering in the garden listening to some music and I try to be quite selective about what I put on when little ears are around because they like to sing along and pick up the words very quickly.  So anyway I found a track on my MP3 from way back when and in today's (well I say today, but the song is about 12 years old) celebrity driven society it is a breath of fresh air.  India Arie has, quite by accident, provided me with an anthem for teaching my daughter how to be comfortable in her own skin.  She rocks!

So go on my baby girl.  Be a queen!



Wednesday, 25 July 2012

FUN IN THE SUN...

 ...okay so it's the shade really given that Teeny was in there with them.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

I JUST WANT TO PRESS PAUSE

So yesterday A&D finished pre-school and will be going to the school nursery in September ready for school the following year.  It only seems like five minutes ago that I was writing this post yet here we are; they have done a whole school year, grown and developed in an indescribable way and made some lovely friends in the process.  However despite all this I feel a little bit sad and I just want to press the pause button; their life is passing by far too quickly.  A had got to the stage where she was running into pre-school and most mornings forgetting to even kiss me and in typical boy fashion D will let me kiss him and then wipe it off!  It was not so long ago that I could cuddle up with them for hours if I wanted to and now 10 minutes is my lot!  Oh how I wish I could go back to when they were tiny and enjoy them as babies instead of stressing so much about everything and feeling like I had something to prove.

A&D's pre-school presentation after their
olympic themed leavers party
Then there is Teeny's too.  I cannot believe that he will be 13 weeks old tomorrow.  Where did that go?  I have already had to force myself to take the wedge out of Teeny's car seat last week because he was so squashed up in it, but I was am so desperate to keep him small I hadn't been able to take it out.  I feel so sad that already he needs me less.  I know most people yearn for their baby to sleep  through the night and I am pretty sure I did with A&D (it was a very difference experience with them though), but I feel a little sad that, apart from the odd occasion, Teeny does not need to nurse during the night anymore.  It was our one time to have a sneaky little cuddle; for me to smell him and be in awe of the lovely little life before me without anybody to disturb us and now that is over far too quickly  Where has my teeny tiny squidgy baby gone?

Not So Squidgy
Maybe I am feeling it more because I know Teeny is very likely to be my last baby.  I don't think I will ever be one of those women who says they never want another baby, but at some point reality has to kick in.  I am not very materialistic, but I do not want us to struggle financially as they grow up and we are really not that well off now so as much as I would love to have more I think we would really struggle if we did.  I also want to have a new career vocation once they are all at school; I feel very blessed that we have a situation that works for us in that we both work and get to spend a great amount of time with our children, but the job that I will go back to after my maternity leave is the means to an end for us, you know a stopgap and not something I want to do for the rest of my life.  I want to do something meaningful that I am passionate about and for my children to see that passion in me.  I never want them to think that they have to settle.

I peruse so many "mommy blogs" which are beautiful and filled with love and endless hours of mommies doing so many wonderful things with their children and I really yearn for that kind of lifestyle because I don't want to have regrets about what I missed out on when my children were growing up, but I have no idea how to make that a reality.  I am by no means any kind of super housewife and I certainly don't live in a show home (if only), but a lot of the time life just takes over and I am desperate to relax and make more special time with the wonderful children I have and cherish them in every way possible.

I just want to press pause to keep them still and small and just hold them and never let them go, but even if it were possible it would be selfish.  I know that what I actually have to do is nurture them and encourage their independence so that when it is time their wings will open and they won't be afraid to fly.

I'm off now for a little cry...

"The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence."  DENIS WAITLEY

Sunday, 15 July 2012

FIGHTING A LOSING BATTLE - ROUND 1

Ok so I have mentioned before that I have an infinite number of partially written posts that I am desperate to finish and publish (in chronological order for the sake of the children when they come to read it when  they are older and for my sake when I look back), but despite my desire to I am really struggling to find the time to blog at all lately.

Anyway here are a couple of posts I have finally managed to remove from my "draft" list.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

TREASURES FROM INDIA

The most special treasure we received from India today was in the form of a vist from my lovely sister in law, Karen, who has just got back from a five week business trip there.

I have to say that I have missed her a lot.  It isn't as if I see her every day or anything like that, but we do see each other regularly and I think that the knowledge that she wasn't a five minute drive away was enough to make me miss her.  That trip also meant that we were not able to celebrate each other's birthdays together which made me miss her even more; oh that and the fact that she photographed Teeny's birth for me and he was only four weeks when she left and he is now nine weeks was a bit emotional for me too.

Karen brought with her some treasures for my tiddlers.  These were in the form of 24 lovely purple and gold sparkley and jangley bangles for A (I know there are 24 because madam made a point of sitting and counting them).  These are perfect for her as she is VERY into her jewellery at the moment; this is definitely nature not nurture because I have to say that unless I am going out I am not really a very girly girl whereas from an early age my daughter has been like a magpie when it comes to sparkly things.  In fact one of her first words was pretty.

D received a little green elephant statue which he loved and took straight to put on the window ledge in his room.  D you see loves anything and everything green and Karen knows this so this was a very well thought out gift for him.

Teeny, however, got something extra special; not because he is more special to her than A&D I might add, but because this is his welcome to the world present from her.  He was so lucky  to receive two beautiful bangles that I absolutely love.  They are gorgeous and unique, but the thing that makes me love them the most is because he hasn't had any other keepsake type gifts so this makes them an extra special gift from an extra special person.

Treasures