Moments from Today





Sometimes I wonder and worry about my days and the way my time is spent. It’s an odd kind of worry. I am happy being a stay at home mum, and being the primary caregiver for my children. But it’s also hard in lots of ways and sometimes all of those bits that are difficult gang up on me and make me feel a bit rubbish. A bit like I’m doing this on my own, all the time, and I worry about things like managing their sleep, making good decisions, making sure TTB eats enough vegetables, and that I’m providing them with a good childhood. Doing enough with them.

I’ve started to transition Tiny Tin Girl into what is now their bedroom. It means I’ve been sleeping on there on an airbed as well and what with the light, early mornings, the very loud dawn chorus, TTB’s cough and TTG’s light early-morning sleeping (she’s started waking every hour after about 3am which I think may be the start of the 4 month sleep regression), I’m not getting a lot of sleep. The lack of sleep of course impacts how I’m feeling! I think sometimes I just want someone to say things like “yep, you’re doing the right thing at the moment and you’re not going to ruin anybody’s ability to sleep for the next three years” which of course would be a lovely thing to know but not possible without a crystal ball. So I’ll just keep going, one day at a time, and make decisions about things as they arise, as best I can.

When I stop to think about everything that happens during the day, it’s mostly made up of really rather darling moments with both of my children. Most days involve a tantrum of some kind over something that to me is pointless and frustrating but to TTB is the end of the actual world. Happily though, the past two days have been lovely and he’s been very even tempered. I’d like to share some of these moments with you. I know I’ve called this post “Moments from Today” but there’s a few things from yesterday as well. But you probably wouldn’t know that if I hadn’t told you so don’t worry!

  • TTB waking up to the dawn chorus, very suddenly (and VERY early) saying “Oh! Birds! I want breakfast!” before squeezing into the airbed next to me.
  • Laying TTG onto the changing mat and her sheer delight at seeing my face. She laid there kicking and kicking and going “hoooooooo! coooooooo!” and singing at me. Her little cupid’s bow mouth all sweet and smiley.
  • TTB FINALLY allowing me to dress him in shorts and after protesting a lot refusing to take them off.
  • TTB FINALLY allowing me to have his feet measured and consenting to wear summer sandals, and not wanting to take them off.
  • TTG discovering she has hands and twiddling them together every opportunity she can.
  • Sitting to feed TTG and her holding onto my boob with her left hand and running her right hand up and down my arm, very gently and slowly but deliberately, with her palm held flat and her fingers out wide. I remember the feel of that soft, soft, milky white baby skin against my arm from when her brother used to do the same thing.
  • TTB seeing a parked Lotus Elise on the way home from playgroup and asking me if we can stop and look at it. Asking me lots of “What’s that/What’re those?” questions: Headlights, indicators, fog lights, radiator grill, “Lotus” badge, alloys, brake.
  • TTB making us wait to watch a van reverse up the hill and park.
  • Dressing TTG in a little dress and seeing her kick her legs experimentally in it and grabbing the fabric.
  • Later, TTG carefully picking up one end of the ribbon bow and regarding it with pursed lips and crossed eyes before letting go.
  • Sitting her in her bouncy chair in the yard and TTB declaring that she was a present (anything with a bow on it is a present apparently) and then saying “TTG is wearing a beautiful dress! Got a beautiful bow!” I just about melted.
  • TTB very slowly but surely eating an entire plate of lunch and being so proud to finish it all. TTG was asleep in the sling so we just had a really lovely leisurely lunch.
  • TTG waking up so I left the washing up and played with her instead.
  • Filling a bucket of water in the yard for TTB, who got into it fully dressed.
  • TTB very carefully watering our sunflower seedling (a new one that he has not yet killed – I have high hopes!)
  • Putting some bubble bath in the bucket and making loads of bubbles
  • TTB scooping out enough water so that he can then tip the bucket over and saying “Ooouf!BIG water! Covered in bubbles!”
  • TTB finding a snail and watching it curiously and intently for ages, without touching it, giving me comments like “The snail’s tucked back in now! oh, eyes out again!” and I was so proud that he just wanted to watch and not touch. It climbed onto his duck and he gave it a ride. He was reluctant to come in for dinner so we gave the snail some cucumber, which it ignored. He checked on it after dinner and it had moved about two metres!
  • Undressing TTB for a nappy change and discovering that new shorts + bucket of water = very blue legs. He looks like a Smurf! Note: always pre-wash dark coloured clothing.
  • Uploading some photos I’d taken yesterday and TTB wanting to sit on my lap and look through them all with me.
  • TTB finding a 6-18m grobag (that’s a baby sleeping bag) and insisting that I dress him in it. Hilarity ensued as it did indeed fit him, he was delighted, and wore it for over half an hour, shuffling around the lounge like a bizarre (but very happy) tombliboo and occasionally “falling” over and saying “Oh no! I had a big crash!”
  • Sitting upstairs on the armchair with one child on each knee and reading a book to them both. That felt amazing.
  • TTB likes to look in the back of the books and tell me which of the other titles we have, which are at grandma’s house, which are at playgroup and which are at friend’s houses. Today he pointed at “Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book” and said “That one at Salts Mill! We went there on the train! With mummy.”
  • TTG being so excited for her bath, laying on the mat and kicking and cooing and smiling and being really excited. I love doing her bathtime, she’s so happy in the water and kicks and splashes and is just, well, happy! She kicked so hard tonight she made waves!
  • Feeding TTG on the sofa before taking her up to bed. It’s so calm and snuggly. I gave her a little softie blankety toy thing to fiddle with as she fed in the hope she’ll begin to associate that with going to sleep. Seeing her sweet little fingers playing with the edge of it as she fed. Then she stopped, let go of me, and turned to me and gave me a brilliant smile. Then she began to feed again and gradually fell asleep. A little later I carried her upstairs and she woke up, looked around and then snuggled back into my neck again with a satisfied “hmmmmmhhhh” and started to fall asleep again. I laid her in the cot and she closed her eyes. I rubbed her back until she was asleep, and then stepped back. Both my children, asleep, in their shared room. What a wonderful sight.

Then I ran downstairs as fast as my legs could carry me to upload my photos, have a cup of tea and write this blog post!

Long time, no blog!

Hi there!

Once again it’s been about two weeks since I wrote anything on here. Often I find that the time just slips away amidst doing everything housey and parenty. And by the time it’s bedtime I’m too tired to think of writing things. I tend to plan epic long wordy blog posts when I’m on the train or walking around town but then by the time I come to write them, they don’t make sense or aren’t relevant any more.

Anyway, here’s what we’ve been up to lately:

– We visited my mum over the Bank Holiday weekend, which was just fab. Both children were brilliant and TTB spent the whole time being his Grandma’s little shadow and didn’t want me at all. He baked, read books, pottered around the garden (nearly all his time was spent outside) and went on walks to see the diggers up the road. I love spending time with my mum.

– Went on a canal boat ride

– Carried a screaming TTB a mile home when he refused to walk and each time I tried to put him down he tried to fall asleep on the pavement (while carrying TTG in the sling and wearing a backpack I might add.)

– Read “Hairy Maclary Scattercat” approximately one billion times

– Built Lego, rebuilt lego, picked up lego from the floor/table/bed/chair/bathroom, talked about lego, found missing bits of lego, walked to the shop to get the next lego. (The Daily Mail had free lego with each paper the other week and loathe as I was to buy the Daily Mail it was worth it to get the lego and I just recycled the paper as soon as we got home.) Consensus: TTB LOVES lego but the bits go everywhere. Will not be buying more lego for a while.

– Went to a baby shower for my friend Vic, that was great and it was a lovely day spend catching up with friends, eating tasty cake and sitting in the garden playing games. It turns out I’m brilliant at matching baby animals to their parents! Thank you, Animal Park, you have taught me well.

– Speaking of Animal Park, TTB has been watching one episode of it over and over and over on iPlayer. It makes a change from Abney and Teal! Rather sweetly he wants to know what all of the animals are named and can now name all of the Bactrian Camels in that episode (Babs, Bali, Elvis and Khan in case you wanted to know) and on the closing credits he says “bye bye wolves! bye bye lions! bye bye Bactrian camels” etc for all of the animals that appear on the credits.

– TTG is coming on really well and wants me to help her sit and stand and let her watch what TTB is doing. Brothers are the best entertainment apparently. She’s decided that the best time to be awake is when TTB is at playgroup, hence the lack of blogging. I’ve just tried her on her playmat for the first time, it has a mirror on the top and dangling jingly animals and she’s had a great ten minutes kicking furiously and whacking the animals while gurning and smiling at the mirror. She’s had enough now and is crying in my lap so I’d best go, see to her, and then collect my little monster from playgroup.

Hope to pop in here again soon! x


Edit: Lego is fab! I will be buying more for him just not right now, he’s had loads of play out of these free sets already but won’t put it away and there’s bits all round the house. He needs to be a bit older and better at keeping the bits in one place before I get him more … and I need to go and do a thorough sweep of the house to collect it up before TTG starts to put things in her mouth. 

Me Time

Tiny, perfect new leaf – with my little finger for scale.

Wednesday morning rolled around again and with the memory of the previous Wednesday fresh in my mind, I decided that the best way to spend my time would be to get out for a walk while Tiny Tin Bird was in playgroup. Happily the sun was shining and it was a simply beautiful day. I waved him goodbye (pointless really as he never looks back once he’s gone through the door) and set off along the canal to the park.

With baby girl snuggled up asleep in the sling (I have a beautiful Connecta which my friends gifted to me when she was born and I love it) it’s as though I’m on my own and it’s lovely to walk at my own pace and stop to take photos of things. Don’t get me wrong, I love walking out with TTB and everything but it feels like a real treat to be by myself. I walked along looking up at the trees, appreciating the colour of the fresh green leaves against the blue sky, and how the sunlight shone through the leaves. I know you know how much I love trees!

Instead of continuing straight on along the park path, I slipped left through a small gateway and into the conservation meadow. I think things are late flowering this year as I was expecting it to be full of buttercups like it has been in the past but it was mainly green with a smattering of dandelions. I love that we have a conservation meadow here, it’s so important to provide a habitat for important wildlife like bees and insects, as well as native plants.

The view from the gate back into the park frames the blossom trees perfectly and I couldn’t wait to get over and see them. They’re at the opposite end of the park from the playpark and it’s rare that we make it past the playpark these days! The trees create an avenue along the path – pink blossom, white blossom, and deep pinky red blossom. Just perfect against the blue sky. I think this might be my favourite time of the year and I’m so pleased with myself for just being there to appreciate it. I think that part of the beauty of the blossom is that it’s just so fleeting: for a few days each year these trees are wonderfully fancy and fabulous and you have to catch them just at the right time to see them in all their glory. Then before you know it, the wind and rain trash them all and they become normal looking trees again. But when you see them in full frilly flounce it’s just perfect. I spent some time trying to make panorama photos with my phone which was very pleasing, I hope this one shows up well enough on here. (I think you can click and enlarge that – I think.)

Before I knew it it was time to head back into town and collect Tiny Tin Bird. I made better time on the return journey than I was expecting and I managed to nip home first and hang out a load of washing. Nice to get a housework job done as well but really that morning was all about “me time” and doing something entirely, decadently, just for me. Getting out of the house and being in the open air, taking photos of pretty things was great. And that feeling when I’m standing in the meadow and I can see so far and not see anyone else is just amazing. To get all that just from stepping off the main path in the park is pretty great. Not for the first time, it makes me truly appreciate where I live.

I took TTB down to the park after lunch – he likes to find blossom sprigs on the ground and collect them up. The sky was grey and foreboding instead of blue but I really love this photo I took: