Sunday, 18 November 2012

one toddler and one (not so) teeny tiny baby

well, here he is... baby number two... fergus.

i cant believe how much i love him already - although i should have already been aware of this from baby number one... poppy.  oh how i loved her from the moment i saw her!

he is so like her but yet so different... they look the same when i look back at photos of poppy but he is very much a boy and with finer features. he is so laid back... so far. and she was so cross all the time!

poppy has really taken to the wee guy (as she calls him) and is loving helping out with bath time and nappy changes.  i feel privileged to have such an amazing and caring little girl as poppy - to see how she has adapted to his arrival and how she is coping so well, makes me so proud!  she has her moments of course, and the toilet training has gone to pot (so to speak!) but that was all expected and anticipated well in advance. we are working through it together - with the help of some stickers and a potty train! ha! the reward chart... one thing i thought i would never do. needs must.

so how did fergus arrive into this world... quickly! i am all emotional about how amazing the birth was after having such a tough time of it first time round.  poppy took days to come, i only managed to stay in the pool for a few hours and ended up being induced, having my waters broken and getting an epidural... this time it was over in only five hours (from the first contraction) he was born in the water using a bit of gas and air and homeopathy. he did get stuck a bit as he was a whopping 9lbs 9oz... but the water made it all so bearable and relaxed. there was a moment, just before i started pushing, where i thought i couldnt do it, that i wanted to go to labour ward and get any drugs going. but i did it and am overwhelmed and proud of myself and of fergus...and of sam, my husband, who helped me though it.

so, now the adventure begins.  mamma of two.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

cotton wool, one knitted square and some thread.

ahhhh, i just had to share this amazingly simple and gorgeous crafty find of mine...

oh so lovely!

and here is one of the little critters, hanging out for some snack -

i decided to make these late one night as i have a huge - and i mean huge - stash of knitted squares.  you see, i have been patch working them together to make a cosy blanket for number two arriving in a few months. so wandering what to do with all these extra squares, i immediately took to google.

adding my own take on the little fellas, i added some lavender to the stuffing - my trademark scent... i am sure i use more lavender than is really necessary!
i think these would make a lovely new baby gift - must remember to post about my home made lavender baby powder that was last years new baby gift!

during my internet trawlings i found so many lovely crafty creations that my next project has to be some amigurumi... but first i have to learn to crochet!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

for poppy


here you are, almost two and half years old... there is a little baby almost ready to come and meet you.  you are so excited to meet him and between constantly asking if the baby is coming out today and telling anyone who will listen that there is a baby in mummy's tummy, you insist that you will share your teddies and give the baby cuddles when he cries.

you are so caring and loving, you kiss my tummy and give the baby hugs.  you tell me that the baby is laughing and happy.

last month when we were on holiday you were convinced that you too had a baby in your tummy, a baby dog, a black dog that you said 'i don't know how it got there, but it's not ideal!'  i laughed so much at that - as did the lady in the toilet cubicle next to us... you have such an amazing character already and i can not wait for you and your new little brother or sister to meet and play together.

i know that it will be hard for you at first... mummy will be distracted and tired but daddy and i will be right there for you for as long as you need to settle into our new family life.

we will still go to playgroups and walks with lily and we will still snuggle up and read books together.  you will still be so important to us and we will always love you very much.

i think you will be a great big sister.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

easy peasy bread

well, my little munchkin and i decided to make a loaf of bread this morning and i came across this super duper recipe that was so easy and quick that we had it proving within the hour! so not as much time killed as i had hoped but good messy fun all the same!

this is it, served up with poppys soup (also home made!) for lunch.

so here it is... i will also outline it on here to make it even easier -

mix 500g strong white flour in a bowl with 2 tsp of salt and 7gs of fast acting yeast in a sachet. then make a well and add 3 tbsp olive oil and 300ml water and combine to make the dough... then kneed for as long as your little ones arms can manage - preferably until it is satin smooth!

leave it in a warm place for an hour in a lightly oiled bowl to rise (or overnight in the fridge is good as it makes it taste nicer!)

give it a bit of a knock about then shape it and put it on some baking paper and leave to prove for an hour to rise again.

cross the top with a sharp knife and bake for 25-30 mins in a preheated oven at 220C...

voila! delicious!

this is one that is going to appear on the breakfast table a lot in future! 

Sunday, 26 August 2012

caravans and seagulls

well, we are just back from a family holiday to a very well known family holiday caravan park... sounds a bit like heaven!! ahhhh, eight adults, six kids and two caravans... who could ask for more!?!?

it was actually a very lovely holiday, if not a bit cramped in places! plenty to keep our little bear entertained - from doting cousins to a massive soft play and swimming pool... and it was sunny!  unfortunately, it meant a very tired girl and often a bit of a grumpy one too (and that was just me!) but i would do it again... i think. well, i would do it again but not while pregnant - that i definitely do not recommend!

we mostly ate in the vans, which was a bit of a logistical nightmare but not half as bad as trying to get 16 meals ordered by 5pm on the dot with out one of our little people wandering off somewhere... or one of the older ones sneaking off to the slots with a pocket full of 2penny pieces.

the pool was the best bit, and the soft play - both of which were free! the joys of having an under 5! we did spend a a few pounds on some rides and a swan pedalo (which is essential for any caravaning holiday, i think)

after an entire week of extreme playing and constant attention from numerous adults and older children, poppy is taking sometime winding down now we are home - i am a slave to her pretend play and book demands. for now at least, until she bores of me and wanders off into her own play world again...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

weddings and two year olds

we took a wee mini break to the west coast for a friends wedding a few weeks ago... as guests! i clarify this as being photographers we don't often get to be guests at weddings.

anyway, it was poppy's second wedding (she attended her auntie weezees wedding when she was 6 weeks old) and - as opposed to last time - she definitely seemed to enjoy herself... but boy was it hard work! ...missed the vows, the speeches and most of our meal - in fact i am pretty sure we held up the main course being served as they waited for us to return to the table to actually eat our starters.

as a 'fun' gift we gave the couple a photo booth set up with a box of props for their guests to go wild and let their hair down... always, always results in some pretty hilarious shots! and we even got a fun family shot of our own. did i mention it was fun?

poppy actually stayed up until the first dance - although we did get a lot of 'oh, she's done so well!'s and 'awww, she looks sooooo tired's!

well, needless to say we survived it ...and those wellies she insisted on wearing turned out to be the perfect choice as it rained the entire time.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

i love being a mum.

yes, sometimes it feels like it's the hardest job in the world but it is also the most rewarding and satisfying job i have ever done... it's not even a job, in fact.  it's my life now.

today as i sit in the sun listening to my 26 month old daughter sing the entire alphabet perfectly as she dances around the garden i am filled with the most amount of pride and love and happiness... i am overwhelmed by it sometimes.

i made this.

and i am in the process of growing another! and what will this new person be like?

taking care of my daughter at home has never felt to me like a chore or something i have to do, i do get the odd off day where i wish i could just go and do what i wanted to do for once... by myself!  but more often than not i feel privileged to be a part of this little girls life, to help her become a person and to help her learn about who she is and about growing up...  i feel very under qualified a lot of the time, but she never fails to show me otherwise with her sense of humour, her intelligence and understanding and her ability to show so much love and care for everything around her.  she is an absolute amazement to me.  every day.

i feel anxious about having a second child, nervous about the chaos that will surely envelop us - even more so than now!  i feel worried that i wont be able to give them each the time and love they deserve.  but i also am filled with excitement and wonder at the challenges ahead, the joy that poppy brings me each day is about to be doubled.

and how can that not be a good thing?

Monday, 2 July 2012

calm down!

yesterday i went along to a toddler calm workshop and it was fantastic!  now, i cant complain about poppy at all, we don't get tantrums, we don't have fussy eating, she naps well and she sleeps all night.  however, during her waking hours, she is wild.  she talks continually, skips from toy to toy, game to game and she can't sit still for more than five minutes at a time.

so, i cleverly thought i could teach myself some skills to help her wind down a bit in the evenings and help her to fall asleep calmly - instead of the incessant chatter and giggling with her rabbit that goes on in there for at least half an hour to an hour some nights!

i will keep you all posted on that though...

Friday, 29 June 2012

crafty little things

i have been a busy sewing bee again lately... making a new blanket for the little baby in my tummy, out of knitted squares - should be interesting to see how that pans out! its a bit 'different'.  and cross stitching some name plaques for some of poppys little pals -

it is definitely something i love doing and giving, although a lot more practice is needed as my crosses are not as perfect as i would like... but is that not the point of handmade? the fact that you can tell it's hand made? i'll just keep telling myself that, i think! ...i have a few orders waiting too, so they can't be all that bad!?!

so apart from that, i have to get back into poppys 'book' - so far we have photos and keepsakes from birth to about 6 months!! she is now 2 ... so a fair bit of work to do on that! oops!

and a slide-show of images for my mothers 70th ...which was last year ...but better late than never, right?  i make every intention to do these lovely things, but find time just isn't with me on this!

on top of all this we are in the midst of our busiest time at the studio and are pulling late nighters all over the place. i am tired. i fell asleep in front of one of channel 5s afternoon movies yesterday and woke to hear poppy singing away in her cot - who knows how long she'd been awake for! i guess if she'd been up a while i would have known about it... after all she doesn't normally 'beat about the bush' for anything!

Monday, 18 June 2012

travel tears

it has been over two years and we have tried all the tricks in the book to help poppy travel 'better'.  she was a car snoozer when she was really small so we thought - as we tend to travel about a lot - we were set! but it was not to be... as soon as she stopped the long newborn naps and entered into baby-dom, we hit problems.

big problems.

travelling quickly became a real bug bear of hers. she would moan and cry and whinge for the majority of any journey with the odd exception when she would snack or nap. our first family holiday to tiree will always be remembered by one baby einstein cd on repeat and a whole lot of screaming.

now two years on, we have finally and reluctantly, admitted defeat... we bought... wait for it... an in car dvd player. gasp.  now i would always have been a big childless judger in the past. lazy parenting - yup. spoilt child - yup. but it's really not the case, let me tell you. or not so in this case at least - this case is for the sake of pure safety. driving along a quiet road with a screaming, moaning, whining child is hard enough... add in a whining dog and some manoeuvres and you are asking for an accident! so we did it, and although it has not been needed quite as much as we had originally thought - it has changed car travel for us completely!

so that is why we loved 'going places'!! ahhhh, now i remember.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

we have baby number two on the way and at almost the half way mark i am starting to think about how our lives are about to change.  ok, so you have one child, what difference will another make? well, A LOT! two little people to get ready in the morning, two little people to coax along on our morning walk with the dog, two little people to convince to go to bed... TWO.

when i got pregnant i think i had clearly forgotten what having a newborn was like... lack of sleep, continual feeds and nappy changes... watching poppy playing and seeing the amazing little person that she has become, always reminds me that it is all worth it... totally and completely.

and was it all that bad? or did i just feel so overwhelmed by this new life that everything seemed so hard? maybe this time around (safe in the knowledge that the two hourly feeds will turn into three hourly and four hourly... and that the night waking does end) i can enjoy it more, make the most of each day and cherish it. maybe this time around i wont be so hung up on 'doing it right'.

or maybe i will, after all, i am a mother now... will we ever feel that what we do for our children is enough?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

spots, spots and more spots.

we are on our way out of the spotty itchy hell that is chicken pox... it took just over a week but we are finally able to get out and about and do stuff again! now, as anyone who reads my blog will know - i like to get out and about! so for the last ten days we have been walking the dog, planting in the garden, baking and nipping to tescos in hats and scarves to disguise the pox!

i was getting very close to staring out of the window and rocking... but i survived it! and most important of all - poppy survived it.

she has amazed me this week with her bravery and her patience. don't get me wrong - it wasn't all sweetness and light in quarantine... it got a bit hairy at points - i think we saw more tantrums in two days than i have seen in her little life time!?! but, with only one sleepless night and one nap-less day we made it to scabs-ville.
and we have pretty much nailed the old potty training too - wont speak too soon on that though as i am pretty sure i am about to destroy it all with my out and about day of fun planned for tomorrow...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

mummy badges of honor

children have a sixth sense when spotting mummys, a friend recently told me that, one day, when she went to pick up her little boy from nursery, a group of his friends came running over to her saying 'a mummy, a mummy!'

we must give off some sort of stench... perhaps dried milk/weetabix/yogurt that has been smeared, dropped or thrown at us throughout the day. perhaps its our trouser's worn knees or the dark circles around our eyes. it could even be that we still rock gently from foot to foot while waiting in a queue or standing at the bus stop.  whatever it is, we are pretty easy to spot...

one of my worst moments as a new mum was this -
i had finally managed to get out of the house - keys, change bag, nappies, wipes, pram, 2 wk old baby... check.  i arrived at my very first mother and baby group and although i felt like i was back at my first day of school, i ventured over to join in.  i had a lovely afternoon chatting with all the other new mums (who had all felt the same on their first day out) and showing off my brand new baby girl... i felt great walking home, i mean from day one i had been out and about - mainly as i have to walk the dog every morning but this was like a real achievement.  when i got in i glanced in the mirror... one eye had full makeup and the other, not a bit! and i had a delightful chocolate moustache from my decaf mocha.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

birthday girl

well, poppy turned two last week and to celebrate we had a few friends over to play... 20 to be exact! yikes!
I made a delicious carrot cake with pink sprinkles and some blueberry muffins, rocky road (for the grown ups!) star shaped sandwiches and other snacks and tasty treats. a stressful day or two to organise but well worth it to see her playing with her buddies... albeit primarily playing side by side with them instead of 'together'.

lots of food was eaten, plenty of toys unwrapped and tea drunk (again... the grown ups!)

needless to say it was a lot of fun and poppy treated us to a two hour nap that afternoon to recover!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

sun, sand and surf!

well, it was awfully quiet over here for a while there... that's because we just went on a wee last minute holiday to the sun! a week of winter sun, deserted beaches, five course meals, huge luxurious apartment and one happy toddler... don't hate me! it was perfect but it is all down to poppy! any time we have ever tried to go somewhere poppy has determined whether or not it was enjoyable! seriously, i never wanted to be a family that was ruled by the baby ...we are. poppy is not a big traveller, more than twenty minutes in the car and she becomes some sort of baby banshee. she moans. she whines. she shouts. when we arrive she tends not to settle very easily and everyone looses precious sleep! i am not exaggerating here, i promise! she is great in so many other ways (all other ways actually, but I'm biased!!) but she is no traveller!
this week proved us so wrong... she sat for four hours on the plane and read books, stuck stickers and sang songs, she played happily all day with one little pull along dog toy on the balcony, beach and pool side, she ate all her dinner, she slept all night. bliss.

and who do we owe this perfect holiday to??? these lovely people!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

tears and more tears

poppy lasted all of twenty minutes at the creche today before i was called to come and get her.  she was in tears and became inconsolable the minute she saw me.
it is so unlike her, she is usually quite the socialite that barely gives mum a second glance in play situations... she is really more a daddy's girl anyway so i am very used to getting the cold shoulder.  (whenever it is just the two of us, she treats me like i am the only person in the world that matters and i know she loves me!)
but even upon seeing her daddy today she clung to me like a limpet and would not leave my side. 
now she wasn't cross with me as she forgave me almost instantly but i feel sad that i broke her trust a little today...

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

bed time stories and making memories

almost two years ago, i found this lovely ferm cot mobile for my brand new baby and bought it immediately! she still loves it to this day so was worth every penny! the mobile came with it's own little story which is so lovely i thought i would share it here...
once upon at time, there was a little bird that lived in a bird cage.  everyday, the little bird would look out the birdcage and see a huge tree that grew bigger and bigger.  the little bird wanted nothing more than to fly up to the very top of the tree, because the bird was sure that from way up there he would be able to see the whole world.  
next to the tree was a little house and in that house lived a little boy.  one day, the little boy was climbing the tree, when all of a sudden he heard the little bird tweeting from the bird cage.  the little boy waved at the bird and said 'hi little nice bird - i really wish that you could see the amazing view from up here.  i can see the whole world.  
when the boy climbed down the tree he noticed that there was a little key hanging from underneath the bird cage.  the boy took the key and unlocked the door to the bird cage.  as soon as the door opened, the little bird flew out of the cage and straight to the top of the tree.  and just as the little bird had imagined, it could see the whole world from up there.  now the little bird had everything it wanted and it lived happily ever after.

it has long been chewed and destroyed but it remains in my head from night after night when i would read the story to my new born baby staring up at me.

i love those little memories we have... usually both very sleepy after a long feed and staring at each other in the light of the moon, streaming in through our bedroom window.  all very distant now however, as she seems to never stop for a moment. talking and singing, counting and laughing... a non stop little whirlwind of happiness.  making plenty of new memories now.  my not so little girl.

there was another amazing cot mobile that i came across, one so beautiful i still think about it to this very day... like a guilty secret or a 'bit on the side'... maybe for number two? i heart all things klt so will blog more about their fabulous prints at another time... keep your peepers peeled...

Saturday, 25 February 2012

cloth nappies and teething necklaces

during our daily trips out and about i see so many different parenting styles and i often find myself thinking about how i have chosen to parent poppy.

when poppy was born i had an idea of what parenting entailed - through books, my own parents and friends and also my own experience in childcare.  i have to say that the way i do things now is entirely different.  now i am far from a lax mummy who lets their child run wild but i do wholly embrace the playful parenting style where you make everything as fun as possible and thus eliminate the majority of battles, tantrums and huffs. i often fall short, but i do try.

i used a sling alot and i breast fed for over a year, i baby led weaned and i use herbal and homoeopathic remedies where possible.  i have always cooked her meals and rarely let her eat junk food, sweets, juice or crisps. i don't cajole or use force instead i give her options.

i like the idea of attachment parenting but i also believe that children should be allowed to develop their own sense of security early on and not rely solely on their mothers.  on the opposite side i see parents shouting at their children on a daily basis, children lying in their prams with a bottle of milk propped against the buggy bar.  i see children treated with such disrespect and impatience that it makes me feel sad.  but who am i to judge. they may have had a bad day - i sure have plenty of those ...i just don't take them out on an innocent child.

i have a mixed view on things, i certainly don't do things by the book - i do what i think feels right at the time, it may not always be right but it is me being the very best mother that i can be. i cant do any more than that.

i have often been told that i am 'snobby' because i use cloth nappies and i don't use baby food jars, i get funny looks when they catch a glimpse of poppy's amber teething necklace.  people will always form opinions no matter how much we try to conform - so i say, don't.

Friday, 17 February 2012

yummy snack

i thought i would share with you one of my absolute favourite things i like to do as a mummy... bake for my little girl!

she was baby led weaned and so i started with finger food straight away and these banana biscuits were life savers... and still are!

take one very ripe banana and mash it with some fine oats and a bit of milk if you need to make it softer, add a handful of raisins (optional) and mix together.  let it all soak in together till it makes a bit of a thick gloop. then form it into round biscuits, or use cookie cutters, and bake in the oven for 8-10mins at 180ish... yum.

healthy. tasty. wholesome.

don't be fooled - these will not be tasty enough for grannies, aunties, friends or older kids... so make some rocky road... also incredibly easy!

melt some good quality chocolate and mix with bashed up biscuit like digestive then stir in some raisins (we go through a lot of raisins in our household!) and marshmallows - you can also add maltesers and cherries too. then put into a shallow baking dish and leave to set.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

toddlers and teepees

i am always trying to find things in that are a bit different to decorate my house and lately i have been accessorising poppys bed room and turning it into more of a big girls room...

she spends a lot of time in there playing so i like to make it as relaxed and fun an environment as possible! i found this lovely teepee online (here) and i just had to buy it! she loves playing in it and so do her friends. it is also a good place for her to sit and read her books if she wants a bit of 'me' time!  earlier today i realised that all had gone quiet for longer than usual so i tip toed through to see what she was up to - expecting to find her filling her nappy somewhere, she was sitting in her teepee with Pink Rabbit singing wind the bobbin up and making him do all the actions... such sweet unforgettable moments.

i am also looking to find a tin tea set for her to play with - but yet to find one that is in good condition! love rummaging through charity shops though so can't complain!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

delay tactics and singing

i mentioned earlier this week that i liked to keep busy and it occurred to me that it may be easier just to stay in once in a while...  now while i do have quiet days, we never have an entire day where we do not leave the house - and if we do it is because one or all of us are ill!  we have to go out to walk the dog at least, it's only fair! the poor delegated dog - once ruler of the roost, now poked and prodded by a toddler and left to fend for herself! that is not entirely true actually... she still remains a pretty pampered pooch - even by her standards!

so i got to thinking...

perhaps i overcompensate poppys lack of nursery placement with such an assortment of social occasions... or perhaps i am merely keeping my feisty little girl entertained... a little girl who has been high demand since the moment she arrived!
she was brought back to me the night she was born, by the nurse who had offered to give me a break to sleep.  she was so desperate to see what was going on that she was sitting very confidently by herself by the time she was five months and has pretty much gurgled, babbled and now chats through her every waking moment... she is probably the most entertaining, hilarious, character i have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

today, i stayed in - my husband happily took the dog to the studio and we had a 'duvet' day! and it was fun!

both a little stir crazy by tea time - but we made it! fingers crossed she sleeps through now as i fear (judging by the delay tactics and the singing at bed time) that i may have an under-tired little girl on my hands...

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

coffee shops and babygroups

apparently, i am busy girl! there are always plenty of rolling eyes whenever i mention the latest outing, group or class that poppy and i are going to!  today was no exception and it was orchestrated to perfection... a rarity let me tell you!
so we had creche in the morning followed by a quick lunch then a stroll up to town for nap time.  we even managed to look in a few shops before her playgroup, then it was home for tea! a fairly jam packed day even by my standards!

feeling very maternal and house-wifey this evening i managed to finish a cross stitch name plate that i decided to make for her bedroom door - all this smug-ness will inevitably result in a rubbish day tomorrow!?

Friday, 27 January 2012

a letter to my bear

dear poppy,
today you are 22 months old.  i wanted to write you this letter for you to look back on and remember the amazing little girl that you are.   you are becoming the funniest and kindest little person, i could ever have imagined. you are singing songs with me and doing all the actions, you are signing and speaking so well that we are able to have conversations and talk about our day together.  yesterday i bought you your first pants... you were so happy to have them that you wouldn't let go so that the cashier could scan them! then when we got home, you put them on all by yourself, one after the other.  i was so proud as you said 'thank you mummy' and toddled off to play wearing seven pairs of pants! your dad and i laughed at how clever and sweet you are.

you told your daddy as he left for work 'bye bye daddy, see you in the morning!' and you say 'night night bugs bed bite' at bed time.  you make me so happy and proud everyday.

thank you

lots of love and cuddles

mum xxx

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

red cheeks and gondolas

we have just been on a lovely little jaunt up to the mountains! it was very cold but also very beautiful... i found a pretty little play park for poppy and me... and the dog of course! but our cheeks went white

 it was pretty chilly up there! the gondola ride was the best bit and we even managed to get a bit of skiing in one morning thanks to a willing babysitting/dog walking auntie and uncle!

i love that feeling you get on the way back down when you have been completely blown about by a strong wind... i think it might be 'refreshed' but it feels more like 'cleared out'!

back into the thick of it again now... home and back to working through the nap and late into the evening. so many little things that i keep forgetting to do. why is that? i cant possibly still have baby brain, surely? maybe it has developed into toddler brain.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

hello this is my first post so i thought i would introduce myself... i am a stay at home, self employed mum to poppy and our hairy dog, lily.  we dont do much really; we play, we walk and we chat.  we rarely stay in.  in the evening, i work.
when i got pregnant and found out we were having a girl, i was over the moon.  i am not into girly things and when i started to shop (which i did almost straight away!) i got worried.  i realised that i was going to have to work hard to find things that were not all pink, frilly and covered in disney... so i went online.
i also like to craft! no that's not true... i love to craft! cross stitch, decopatch, knitting, card making, cushion covers... i will try my hand at anything.
so, this is my blog... it will be a bit about me, lots about poppy, a wee bit about lily, crafting and photography but most of all it will be about my daily finds, inspiration and just lovely things!