Today you turned three. We had one of those magical days that are made all the more special by not doing much of anything at all, by taking the day at a three-year-old’s pace. We walked to the bakery for breakfast and you demanded the smiley-faced shortbread biscuits that you always request, albeit usually at a more civilised hour. You know the sort – with the iced-on smile and the Smarties for eyes? I would have given you anything and we tried to persuade you toward something spectacular, but it was your birthday and you wanted the faces. The rest of the day was taken up with playing with your new toys – you particularly liked a singing recycling van – and with a trip to your favourite park on the bus. You love being chased, rough-housed and tickled and I always have so much fun playing with you. I am so proud of your confidence, of the way that you will climb anything like little monkeys and chat to anybody. You are so sweet and funny, so innocently loveable, that I am a little disbelieving that you came from me. You came into my life and you changed it. We were twenty-four and still finding our feet, so sure of everything, and you took everything that I thought I knew about myself and about motherhood and you made it into so much more. It took me some time to find the path through the woods of mothering you, but now… View Post
Sometimes, the cosy stay-indoors days are the best. Some days, it’s ok to just say no, I’ve done enough for this week, to pull a duvet day, to pull the curtains and to lock the door and boil the kettle for hot chocolate. Today was one of those days for us. We had grand plans for today. There is a place just far enough from here to feel like an adventure, a woodland of sorts that I visited when I was small and was so magical that I thought for years that I had dreamt it. I’ve never been back since, but when I heard that this place was hosting a Halloween party for little ones, I couldn’t resist buying tickets. Anyway – as you’ve probably guessed, we didn’t go. It wasn’t the day and that’s ok; we’ll visit another time. We decided to have some fun in the house instead. And isn’t it so LOVELY when the bends in the road lead to patches of unexpected beauty in strange meadows. Mothering these four is my favourite thing.
You may recall that when I accidentally dressed Kirsty and Josephine-dog in matchy sweaters for a local art festival, she refused to stand near the dog for almost the entire day. So you can imagine how it went down when I told her that Bonnie Mob, one of my favourite childrenswear brands, were sending us identical jumpers to wear for a photoshoot to help promote their collaboration with Selfish Mother. This limited edition collaboration is raising money for refugee families in Europe via Refugee Support, a charity that aims to ‘put dignity first and act quickly to improve refugees’ health, wellbeing and opportunities. And by spending locally, we also support local communities’. She couldn’t argue with that now, could she? Admittedly, we did both get the giggles walking down the street together dressed like this. How could we not? By the time that we reached the woods, we had tears streaming down our faces as we were laughing so hard. These jumpers are so soft and they fit beautifully; the material sits just right and isn’t clingy at all. It comes in two colourways, this striking grey and coral and a gorgeous black and gold. I adore the motif on the front. It’s become one of my favourite lightweight jumpers for this season, but Kirsty is right – we probably won’t wear them again at the same time! And you wouldn’t believe what Bonnie Mob sent for Balthazar, Lysander, Embla and Olympia… You can shop the whole tiger collection… View Post
It’s been a bit of a funny old weekend for us. We were due to take a review trip to the coast, but Storm Brian cancelled all of the trains in that direction and we had to turn around at Waterloo Station and lug our suitcase, pram and four children back home. We were so disappointed, especially the boys, who have been bemoaning the broken trains and the ‘stone castles’ that they were going to make ever since. Thanks, Brian. We found ourselves with an unexpected, completely clear weekend at home. I’m not a stay-at-home sort of person, particularly now that we have children; I find that they are so much easier to manage outside of the house, and bonus, our home stays tidy! So even as we travelled back, I found myself on my iPhone, googling ways to keep them entertained this weekend. Of course, we didn’t get back home until gone midday and then they wanted to eat the picnic that we had bought for the train and watch the little DVD player that we had bought to keep them entertained on the long journey, so we didn’t manage to get out of the house until quite a bit later. I had dropped Josephine-dog to my mother-in-law’s house after work the day before, in preparation for our going away, so we didn’t have to worry about finding somewhere to go that is dog-friendly. With that in mind, I suggested that we take a bus ride to Well Hall… View Post
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?