The other day, I was looking through old photographs of the children on my blog, and I came across our day-in-the-life photographed by Antonina Mamzenko back in January of this year. I was instantaneously transported back to that period in our lives where the girls were still breastfeeding and so small, and our sons were not half so verbal as they are now – a time when they laughed less but giggled more, and though we were almost painfully happy, we were still finding our feet as a family with four children. Those memories are so precious to me. I would recommend that everyone have a session with Antonina, that they gift themselves the documentation of a day in their lives. That said, a full day with a talented photographer isn’t inexpensive, so I wanted to try to document my own DITL – the last recorded full day before my boys turn three. Our ordinary beautiful day. If you’re still here after scrolling through alllll of these images, I’d love to send you to the friends whom I challenged to document their own DITLs. Zoe, who has four small children including the red-haired twins of dreams. Kaye, my kid fashion twin. Prepare to swoon over her stunning website, which she designed herself. And Kirsty, whose photography has been wowing me this year and who has the most adorable baby boy, Harrison. Does a day in your life look anything like ours?
Whilst the boys were enjoying their very first sleepover with my mum, sister and future brother-in-law, Kirsty and I spent some quality time with our little daughters. They are so different when their brothers are not around; it is as though they expand to fill the space that is left behind. My confident, chatty Polly is positively bolshy, and quiet Embla becomes a different baby altogether when our attention is focused solely on them. My sister and brother-in-law collected the boys at noon, so we had a luxuriously long afternoon to spend with the smallest two humans in the family. And we had such a lovely time that I thought that I should record it, as well as document what the girls are like at fourteen months old. After they awoke from their nap, we let them splash in the bath for as long as they liked. They rarely get to enjoy a bath without having to share with their bigger brothers, and they were over the moon to be able to cavort in the water like little acrobats with two mummies to play with and no Balthazar and Lysander stealing most of the space and cramping their style! After they dried off, we let them rampage about our bed for a little while whilst I snapped the photos for our recent Pampers collaboration (my favourite new photos of the girls!), following which we dressed them in their coordinating bunny onesies, popped them in to their carriers and hopped –… View Post
Families are made in so many different ways these days. Kirsty has felt like ‘my family’ ever since we met, almost. She burst into my world like a sunbeam and suddenly, everything made sense. We were quite complete even as a duo and never tire of each other’s company; even had we never had children at all, we would have been family. Me and her, her and me. When I was younger, I wanted children in part to cement us, to make it so that we would be irrevocably tied to each other by something stronger than vows. Of course, I wanted to be a mother for all of the usual reasons too, but I have always wanted to be a mother with Kirsty, to share everything with her. I used to daydream about all of this; the everyday ordinary perfection of nursing our baby in the middle of the night, of taking my children on adventures: trips to see the lambs in spring, splashing and paddling in the sea in summer, autumn leaf fights on drizzly dog walks, visits to see Santa and the magic of Christmas eve. Our road to motherhood was a comparatively easy one, which I’ve spoken about before on my YouTube channel. After the egg retrieval, I remember sitting on my bed and wondering groggily what my eggs were doing now; whether any of them had fertilised, whether any of them would divide. And then in the week following, anxiously awaiting the phone call each… View Post
I promised myself that this year would be our year. I promised myself that I would search within the mother I am now to find the adventurer I was; the woman who condensed all of her life into a tiny suitcase, picked up a sleeping bag in Covent Garden, and disappeared over the Channel with a stranger she had found on a facebook page – drove through the wind and the rain and the snow to the warmer climes of a Greek island, and then stayed put for months until she herself was ready to return. I promised myself that I would wrap my fingers around that woman’s ankles and that I would drag her, breech and screaming, into her new life as a mother and that I would make her be our guide – because I have little boys now who are ravenous for the world, and little girls who are learning to run and already love to taste the leaves on the ground and to bury themselves in the fronds of fern in the woods. I want these children of mine to have the very best bits of my childhood; the taste of salt on their skin and the hardness on the soles of ones feet that come from spending all day playing outside. I want them to know staying up past midnight because they can’t bring themselves to put down their book, and waking up before sunrise because the day is simply too thrilling to waste any more… View Post
On Saturday, my sons enjoyed their very first sleepover. We have always been a little wary about them sleeping away from home, to the point where Kirsty actually missed their little sisters’ birth as I was rushed into hospital and she was still at home with the boys, but my little sister suggested that they might enjoy a night at my mum’s house, sleeping with my sister in her bed. I almost declined, but I looked at their little faces, so shining and eager for independence and adventure, and I knew that they were ready. Over the next few weeks, the plan evolved from an overnight stay with a film to a day out and then an overnight stay, and by the time that my sister and their Uncle Cee picked them up they were so excited that they were practically bouncing off of the walls when we tried to wriggle their shoes on. They shot out of the door without so much as a backward glance, hurling themselves into Auntie Paige and Uncle Cee’s arms for a quick cuddle squirming down and disappearing through the gate, chattering all the while. Paige and Cee hurried after them, and then they were gone. It wasn’t my adventure with them, but I wanted to document the milestone as it happened. It’s something that, a year ago, I would have said that we wouldn’t let them do until they were school-aged or so, but yet again my little boys have surprised me by… View Post