Thursday, 2 July 2015

Magic moments


It's so easy to get totally sucked into the 'routine' of every day life, that you don't stop to 'smell the roses'. The past couple of weeks particularly I've been beating myself up about how bad I feel I'm doing things as a parent. I question myself on a daily basis. I've been pretty bad at updating the blog of late, so it's been really lovely browsing through all the last few months photos and seeing all the special moments that we've had.  There really have been days of laughter, good-tears and happy memories.

Aniah loosing her first tooth.


 And seeing her face light up when she realised what the tooth fairy had left her.


Getting her hair cut after 2 years without a cut.



Seeing her in her first class assembly, she was so excited about being a mermaid -



Adopting a pet snail and taking it to bed!
Learning to recognise and order numbers to 20...



Bennie continues to be delightful in every way. He takes life in his stride and loves exploring the world around hin. 
I sometimes look at his chunky little legs and tummy before bed time then pick him up again just to give him a squeezy cuddle. They are just so cute at this age

I heard him go quiet one day, when I went to check I discovered he was falt out on the floor!



 Zak is just the most loving, but cheeky wind up merchant brother you could ever wish for.
One day he created his name out of blocks!

Then on anther occasion, he managed to get himself stuck inside a wash basket


This was the day we did a puzzle, got to the end and realised there was 1 piece missing...


 Freshly cut grass in the garden - no better smell!


The rare occasion they sit nicely while I pack my shopping...


Tents in the garden - need I say more?!




Bennie's and Joey's Birthday Party

 Doing some catching up...

May

Bennie has a little cousin Joey who is just 3 weeks younger than him. So this year, my sister and I decided to throw a little joint birthday party for the little monkeys. We rested on a rainbow theme as there were plenty of 1 year old activities we could think of that had colour involved.

A few days before, Zak and Bennie 'helped' to decorate the party bags...



We managed to use our local chapel for the party where there was plenty of space for all the hyper children to run around.



There was painting, bouncy castles, a ball pit and toys to keep them all occupied...




Here are our attempts at rainbow cakes -


At this age they are totally oblivious to what is really happening... but they seemed to have enjoyed themselves nevertheless!


 



Inside the cakes...


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Diary of a sleep deprived mother

I am starting a video diary on you tube. It's called 'Diary of a sleep deprived Mother'.

This morning, after spending most of the night awake it dawned on me that my blogging is taking a back seat because I quite often find excuses such as not enough time, too tired etc etc.

My new venture is to do more of a video diary, in line with blogging to try and capture some of the realities of parenthood.

Here is a link to the first video diary -






Wednesday, 27 May 2015

nature is a great teacher

 "We should not think of a child's experience in nature as an extracurricular activity, it should be thought of as vital to children's health and development."Richard Louv (Author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder)

Growing up in West Wales (see THIS and THIS post for a more visual idea), I am no stranger to nature. The saying 'being at one with nature' was very much a description of me as a child. Since getting married and moving to more built up towns, my need for exploring nature has never left me. Each place we have lived, I have tried to find a place which gave me that same freedom to walk and explore unspoilt countryside. I have been lucky enough to find little pockets not too far away from our house each time we have moved. This love of nature is something I am desperate to instil into our children. I hope that they can derive the same pleasure from discovering nature the way I was able to as a child.

Today has been a very satisfying day. I my soul feels thoroughly nourished. After running out of time yesterday, I had promised the kids that today we would visit the old park and footpaths we used to live next to at our old house. I was determined not to break that promise this morning, setting off at 9am with a backpack of supplies and the boot of the car rammed with bikes and wellies.

On the way we picked up Mamgu who'd decided she'd love to come along for a bit of fresh air and time with the kiddies. After arriving at the park, I was delighted to see it was totally empty and the sun was shining. The early start had paid off!

I watched proudly as they zoomed up and down the BMX track confidently on their bikes, totally amazed at how grown up they now seemed. 
video

We played on the hills and in the park for a good little while, where both Aniah and Zak's imaginations made us chuckle (we had to drive to an 'animal shop' where they sold toys and mermaids).

Then we took to the woods to begin our exploration and nature hunt. I'd given the children a sheet each with various pictures of things they could try and find while we were out (something we did over a year ago  ).

It was brilliant watching them discover new plants, talking about what they could spot, what they recognised.








Nature is a parents best resource... there is no preparation involved, no clean up afterwards. You literally just let children 'be'. I could quite happily have stayed out there in the woods all day if it wasn't for the fact that the snacks I'd packed weren't enough to keep the hunger pangs away.









Moments like these make my heart sing. It's a bit like music for some people. It really speaks to their soul. Nature is something that 'speaks' to mine. I could visibly see the multiple aspects of learning that was happening throughout our little adventure. 'Why kids need Nature' is a really great article which has some really interesting nuggets of information.







Along our the journey there were several forks in the pathways. It was great fun letting the children choose which path we should take next.





I was a little sad to have to take the kids home, but after Aniah's grass cut (didn't know it could be so sharp!!) and Zak's more frequent requests for food I knew it was time. 

Once Zak's belly had been satisfied, the afternoon evolved into an equally pleasant experience. Aniah's snail (carefully transported from our woodland walk)got given a royal treatment and overloaded with healthy veg to eat.



We then had a closer look at some of the plants we had collected along the way and had a go at identifying some of their names using the trusty internet (I really must invest in some decent nature books)/ 


Sadly the buttercup lost all its petals as Aniah decided the snail - now named Lexi, MUST have them for her bed. 

We then made some nettle tea...


 With a good squeeze of honey, Zak thought his tea was yummy and even asked for more!!



I couldn't resist giving the kids a home-made tent in the garden and  reminiscing of days gone by where I used to make Indian tents with my brothers and sisters.

video

We had a moment where we thought Lexi had made a break for it, but thankfully found her in a box Aniah had been playing in.

She's now safely tucked up in bed next to her new friend. Sadly tomorrow I think I will have to break the news to Aniah that we can't keep her forever.