Lily

Lily
Lily Tessa

Photography

Photography
Photography

Archer

Archer
Archer Leo

Alternative gift guide for one year olds

I don't know about anyone else but I find first birthdays the hardest to buy for. Baby toys are just so damn ugly. Garish and colourful and most of them play annoying little tunes that get stuck in your head for an age. Oh and don't even get me started on the ones that don't have an off switch! The thought of adding to Archer's already over flowing collection is just so not appealing!

It was only after searching around for alternative baby gifts for his first birthday that I realised there IS such a thing as nice baby toys. Ones that will get used but also have the added bonus of being a bit different too
.
I'm a big fan of wooden toys so that seems a good place to start.
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Archer, you're one.


Dear Archer, 

Happy birthday beautiful boy. You're 1 years old today buddy. Just how exactly has that happened? 

On this day last year me and your dad were still in the middle of frantically packing the hospital bag. We didn't have to go in for induction till 1 in the afternoon but of course we still left it all till the last minute. We never learn. I remember dropping your sister off at granny and grandads and holding back the tears as we got back in the car. She had no idea how different everything would be the next time she saw us and nor did we.

It feels like yesterday that I was sat waiting to have my waters broken, wondering about who you were. We didn't know if you were a boy or girl back then and I tried so hard to picture bringing a little sister home to Lily before switching and imagining introducing a blue bundle to our family. My mind kept going back and forth and couldn't really fix on either gender at the time which just made my curiosity even stronger. We discussed how much you'd weigh and whether you'd have hair (I dont know how but I just knew you'd be bald) and how much you might look like Lily. Then my waters were broken and the contractions roared into life and there was no time left to wonder about anything except when I was going to get my bloody epidural. (I never did, but that's a whole other tale!)
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What Lily said - January


"Can babies come to my house and play with me? Only if they are very cute or nice ones. Babies that aren't cute or nice can't come to my house."
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Happy Days - January


I'm sitting at my currently VERY messy kitchen table, writing this post. I'm picking at Lily's cold leftover lunch because I'm starving and haven't had chance to eat whilst wondering which one of my kids has gotten felt tip on the high chair. I've just got Archer to nap after a morning of whinging and constant feeding and dear god I need coffee. But I'm happy. Really happy actually. Because this is all normal stuff. No dramas or tensions. Stressful yes but just normal day to day family life kind of stressful rather than the world is about to cave in kind of stressful and that feels like some what of a blessing right now. 

You'd probably have to know the week I've just had to understand why that means so much to me and it sounds confusing as I'm not ready to talk about it whatsoever but all I need to say, for now, is that I really am spending this weekend appreciating the normality of our day to day routine.
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Weekend Watch - 14.1.17


Jesus I'm so tired I can hardly type. The exhaustion levels are real. This weekend has been all about tag teaming our poorly children. Or rather poorly child. Lily. The other one is just a teething beast, as per!

I've never seen Lily as poorly as she is right now actually. She has gastroenteritis and she isn't keeping anything down. We're on day 3 of it and she's white as a sheet and looking so thin. It really does make you feel like a brand new parent again when your child is sick doesn't it? The anxiety, the how can I help? and what if it's something more serious? circling around your brain like vultures. It's not nice. Especially when it's a vomiting bug. There's not much you can do except stroke hair and hold sick bowls and hope that they know that if you could take their place then you would in a heartbeat.
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Posting happy photographs, it's not being fake!


Look at that face. Butter wouldn't melt. A total angel, right? WRONG. This grinning face of my son that you're looking at was actually because I'd relented and given him the coffee mug he'd so desperately been after (for reasons unbeknown to me might I add). This is directly after downing my coffee so fast it burnt my tongue in order to get rid of it before he succeeded in snatching said mug off me. Meanwhile what you can't see in this picture is Lily on the sofa behind him. With the Ipad and her sick bowl. She's so poorly and I'm running between the two of them, it's relentless. 

& It's got me thinking about the power of photography. And how often they actually don't show the real picture at all.

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Siblings in January


I'm so pleased to be continuing on with The Siblings Project this year as I adored doing it last year, watching my two grow together. It really is a special linky.

This year is going to see some big changes for Lily & Archer. Both together and seperately. Lily will be starting reception in September and Archer is going to have to learn to be without his sister for five days of the week! It will be interesting to say the least. 

Back to this month though and January has seen the two of them slow down a bit after the excitement of christmas.
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Archers 11 Month Update


Lovely boy, how is your first year of life nearly done and dusted? Time's doing that funny thing where it feels like you've been here forever but at the same time it feels like you only just got here. That feeling still baffles me, even the second time around.

We're currently planning your first birthday bash (well I say we, daddy likes to take a back seat on the party planning front and I'm more than happy to let him as I love it) and I've been trawling through Pinterest and deciding on a theme. As we went with a pastel theme for your sister I've decided to stick with the colour theme and go with monochrome for yours. You can't beat a bit of monochrome!
The party will be small as we don't have the same space available to us as we had for Lily's birthday. It irked me at first but I've come round to the idea of a smaller do now. More relaxed and less pressure, hopefully. & lets be honest you wont know any different kid.
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Making peace with the clutter


Lets rewind all the way back to the summer holidays last year. I actually wrote this post back then, and forgot to post it, and here I am 6 months later still feeling the same way about my home. & if that's not depressing I don't know what is!

So I guess the summer hols was the starting point. The point where the house tipped the scales from being slightly on the cluttered side to being genuinely uncomfortable to live in. Or maybe its always been that way and it's just that I happened to notice then? (Friends if your reading this..please tell me, has my house always been this bad!? *insert distressed emoji face here*)

The problem is that we just have too much stuff.
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The Ordinary Moments #1 - Taking time out of being a parent, can it be done?



So I'm joining in with The Ordinary Moments hosted by Katie and Donna for the first time this year. I was meaning to join in 2016 but it was a year of chaos and everything was so hectic all the damn time that I just never got round to it. 
This year I'm hoping things slow down a bit (please god) and I can focus on finding some joy rather than stress in our ordinary moments.
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December through my phone

Oh December. The month that was 90% illness and 10% christmas cheer. This post is late up and I feel like I've talked enough about this month in my last few posts so I wont go into much detail with this one. I'll just spam you with pretty but very over edited phone pictures instead. However if you are wanting to read about our December, although I should warn you it is a lot of just me moaning then feel free to check out this post and this one. I'm glad I've kept this post going as I said back in Summer it's a jolly good way to make use of all the Iphone photos that just sit in my camera roll gathering dust. 

As you'll probably see from the photos December was another month of lots of indoor play. Mainly thanks to the weather and the various bugs me and the kids seem to keep passing back and forth. It was also a month of a lot of mustard yellow clothing. Which I hadn't quite realised till I looked back at this collage...
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2016 from start to finish


My yearly review is a post I did last year and really enjoyed writing. There's something so satisfying about seeing your year laid out into positive moments.
And whilst this year's not been as I was hoping for.. writing this post has reminded me that despite all the tragedy there has been a lot of good moments in 2016 too. Bringing my boy into the world safely is everything I could have asked for and more and so 2016, you've been a horror, but I will always always be greatful to you for that.
& so on to the months..
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Plans for The Childrens First Holiday


I always feel twinges of jealousy when I see snaps of people holiday-ing with their children, looking so carefree and like they're all having the time of their lives. Lily turned 4 this year and she still hasn't been out of the UK and in 2017 I'm determined that she gets that opportunity. This might sound strange to some but I've been pondering on where to take the kids for their first holiday for quite a while now and I keep coming back to the coldest of places. Places like Switzerland and Finland. Don't get me wrong, I love beach holidays - I've been on quite a few in my younger more carefree years (booze cruise in kavos anyone?) but there's something that gives me anxiety about the kids being in hot countries whilst their still so young.
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Boxing Day & the days after


Much like Christmas, Boxing day and the days that followed was spent in a blur of poorly parents and teething baby. It got to a point where we needed to get out though and so we forced ourselves to bundle up against the frost and go on some walks. and I'm so glad we did.
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