About Me

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Currently, I'm a stay-at-home mum to an inquisitive and often rambunctious three year old girl and her sunny little brother. In a former life, I was a lawyer. I know which I prefer. On the odd occasion that I get some downtime, I knit, crochet, read, sew, sing badly, dance even more so, enjoy a glass of wine and watch bad TV, sometimes in varying combinations of the foregoing and not necessarily in that order of preference.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The ordinary moments can be the most magical

A blogger whom I love (and happened to meet randomly at a knitting convention shortly before we both had our first babies) has been joining in this linky from Mummy Daddy Me.  She has been posting the most adorable photos and stories and I have been enjoying looking at all the different little everyday ordinary things that inspire her and the others who've been linking up.  Capturing those little moments can be so difficult and yet they are the true sweet spots in a tough day, the moments that remind you why you do all this and why you had kids and they are also the moments that fade away before you even realise it.  I totally get why this linky is popular. 

I think having my second baby has made me realise how quickly the memories fade.  The number of times I find myself thinking "Baby Bird never did X" and yet I know she probably did. It is probably the secret if why people are able to have more than one kid - some of the memories need to be dulled in order for you to voluntarily endure them again - but it is a shame when you realise all these happy little moments have disappeared from your grasp.

I hadn't felt brave enough to share my own moments, fearing that the quality of my pictures really isn't up to it.  But then this happened yesterday:

And I realised that the quality of the picture is neither here nor there.  This moment is special and it is worth sharing.  This is the moment that I found my two children playing together, by themselves, of their own volition for the first time and it is a magical moment for any mother and also for any siblings. It needs to be captured and, even if my photo is a snap taken on my iPhone rather than one of the gorgeous shots the rest of the wonderful photographers who are involved in this project are taking, I hope no-one will mind me including it. Because this is why I had children; to have moments like this,

Monday, 9 September 2013

Because life is short

I have been finding life hard recently. Unspeakably, overwhelmingly hard.  I had tried to blog about this on a number of occasions. I have written literally hundreds of blogposts in my head while breastfeeding  the sweet and perfect baby boy who was responsible for the initial silence at the beginning of February and who, through no fault of his own, is partially responsible for how hard I am finding everything right now.  But for a variety of reasons, none have made it out of my head and onto a screen.

Partly it is because I cannot decide what I want this blog to be - a place to unload and organise my thoughts, a happy place to record the good things and remind me to be hopeful, a place to mark my children's milestones, a place just for crafting and similar activities, away from all the complicated stuff. Partly it is because life seems to be on quicksand at the moment and by the time I find a moment to write, the posts i have been mentally composing no longer seem relevant and I'm not sure what to say instead. Partly it is because I feel conflicted about pretty much everything and am simply not sure at any given moment what I think or feel and what I want to share.

Then tonight I came across a blog that changed everything.  It is a beautiful and heartbreaking blog; a blog that taps into my worst fears and yet a blog that is, despite all the bare and unconcealed heartache, full of joy, hope and courage.  It has reminded me that life is short, sometimes cruelly so, and therefore we need to grab every moment that we can.  We need to squirrel them away and treasure them, in case it turns out there are no more.  It has reminded me that, no matter how hard I am finding it, there are moments of great joy and happiness in each and every day and I don't want to forget those.  It has also made me realise that even the hard bits might be worth recording and treasuring and it has given me a much-needed reality check.  That is not to say that my problems don't count or that I should brush my feelings under the carpet, just that it has reminded me that, no matter how dark things appear to be right now, I am exceptionally lucky and I want to keep hold of that feeling.

And so, finally on the eve of him turning seven months, I present my lovely smiley bundle of joy, as he was the day he was born

and as he is today.  My Mr Man.

And, because she remains at the centre of my universe, even though I don't know how to ensure she understands that her place in my heart is unchanged, my Baby Bird, as she was the day she first met her brother

and as she is now (well, not right now; right now she is poorly and feeling understandably sorry for herself and looking quite peaky so this is her a few days ago).

Both had undergone such changes in the last seven months and already I can feel the memories fading.  I hope to go back and fill in some of the blanks over the coming days and weeks and to make sure that I capture what is happening right now, before I forget.  

Because you never know when it may turn out to be all you have.  

Monday, 28 January 2013

A Portrait of My Child, Once a week, every week in 2013: 3/52 and 4/52

Gosh, where does the time go.  I have half a dozen half-written blog posts but nothing to show you.  I'm also a little behind with the lovely portrait project but as that is the st easily fixed, I thought I'd tackle that first.

So, 3/52 - there was really only one story in our household in the third week of the year: SNOW!  Such a comparative rarity in London and the first time Babybird has really been old enough to find it exciting.  She loved playing out.  In fact the only way to get her back in was to pull out the paints (her current favourite indoor activity).

4/52 was one of those magical moments when your child surprises you by playing a new game with no apparent prompting from you.  She suddenly appeared while I was tidying the kitchen after breakfast and announced "Look Mummy, I'm a princess!".  How can your heart not melt?

Oh, and there will be more on the crazy nightdress as soon as I sort out my pictures.

Monday, 14 January 2013

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"

My very lovely friend Julia, who lives by the motto that you find the time to do what is important to you and who seems to cram an awe-inspiring amount of stuff into her life posted about this rather lovely project: you share one picture of your child(ren) every week for a year.  She heard about it here and it all seems to have originated here.  I couldn't help but want to give it a go too.  I know - I'm a shameless copycat but it's just too good an idea to pass up.

I take a lot of pictures and like Julia, most of mine are phone-based snapshots rather than the beautifully crafted photos on Che & Fidel or the many other gorgeous sites I have been hopping to ever since Julia posted her links last night.  Still, they very much capture my daughter's daily life and I love to share them with family and friends who don't get a chance to be as involved in her lift as they would like.  We did consciously take at least one picture of Babybird every week for her first year and I suspect if I actually looked through all of last year's pictures that there is barely a week completely unaccounted for.  So, if I set aside perfectionist ideas about what sort of pictures I will take, this challenge seems eminently doable and, more importantly rather fun.

I'm also hoping as the year progresses that it will, in fact, give me a chance to practice and improve my photography (I do have a very nice camera that I would like to get to know much better).  That would be a lovely bonus.  Even if it doesn't, I think the memory-store that the snaps will create will be more than enough reward.

I'm a little bit behind as we are already two weeks in, but as luck would have it, I've already taken quite a few pictures this year and I quickly located a couple that capture Babybird completely as I see her.

So, 1/52:

A little bit of a cheat, truth be told, as she actually took this herself with my iPhone.  However it says everything about what a cheeky little monkey she is and I love this picture, for all its a little blurry.

And 2/52:

Painting is her current obsession.  Thankfully a combination of birthday and Christmas presents have made it a pretty quick, easy and surprisingly mess-free obsession to indulge.  I love the look of concentration on her face - so serious.

I wonder what this week will hold.

One year on.

Well, blogging turned out to be not quite as easy as I hoped.  Despite good intentions and numerous half-composed posts that rumble round in my head and get me very enthusiastic about the whole endeavour, getting them out of my head and into a computer still proves to be a stumbling block.

Oh well, no point crying over spilt milk or unwritten blog posts.  Neither are messily important in the grand scheme of things and I'm trying really hard to accept that I fit in what I have the time and energy for but, with so many competing interests, I'm never going to have time for everything so I shouldn't beat myself up about what falls by the wayside from time to time.

Blogging stalled completely in May as I had a really busy month, planning and running the Spring Fair for the parents network that I chair.  It was worth all the effort though as we had over 1000 people attend and ended up raising £1300 for a very worthy local charity, as well as signing up loads of new members to the group.  Lots of late nights caught up with me though and I was pretty sick at the end of the month.

Then in June we discovered that I wasn't sick at all but pregnant and June and July slipped away in a fog of morning sickness and exhaustion punctuated by a couple of scary "maybe we're losing the baby" moments.  Thankfully, all turned out to be well and I'm currently stretching my arms round my ever-growing baby bump to type this and wondering how it can really only be 5 weeks until my due date.

August was all about Summer Fun, both organising events for the parents' network and heading off for a week in the sun at the end of the month (a very lazy holiday in that we didn't actually leave our hotel other than to wander along the beach at the end of the street or to pop to the supermarket so I have absolutely no view of the wonders or otherwise of Menorca - all I know is that the sun shone every day and our daughter loved the pool).  The rest of the year then passed by in a blur but definitely featured a 2nd birthday party (how can she be 2 already), a Hallowe'en party, a hastily put together but largely successful Christmas Fair, a big round of Christmas parties for the parents' network and, of course, our own very lovely family Christmas.

And now, here we are, already two weeks in to 2013.  We are no more than 6 weeks away from meeting our newest addition to the family and possibly quite a bit less.  Nothing is organised, and who knows if it will be by the time he or she arrives.  I have a very full and happy life, one that I would love to tell you about, and hope to throughout the year, but if I do disappear again, know it is because we're so busy living it, I can't always fit in the time to write about it the way that I want to.