Christmas Countdown

Yes. I dared to say the C word. 

I cannot wait for Christmas this year. I mentioned Christmas to Amelia this morning and she said ‘presents?’and raised both eyebrows at me to emphasise the importance of the question. 

Apparently she has her priorities set for Christmas already. (Puzzles are her new favourite toy so she is very hopeful that Father Christmas leaves her some new ones.)

I’m surprisingly organised this year. I thought it would be less stressful if I started shopping early. I’ve already finished off buying all the gifts for the little ones in the family/friend group and I’ve actually wrapped them this morning. (The bags were overflowing and I couldn’t handle the disorder of it.)

I’m very lucky to work for a company that are closing for 2 weeks over Christmas. Completely unexpected, given that I would have been working Christmas Day if I had stayed in my previous job. 

I’m trying to plan days out and activities to do with Amelia throughout December. Christmas markets. Baking. Going to see Santa. Looking at all the Christmas lights. Costa Christmas drinks are always lovely and little lady likes coffee almost as much as I do so no doubt we will do a few Costa trips. 

She’s been given quite a few Christmas jumpers and T-shirt’s by family and friends so her wardrobe is all set for the festive period. She really likes dinosaurs on her clothes at the moment so if anyone sees a dinosaur themed Christmas jumper then send me the link. Amelia will be very appreciative! 

Just to scare you all a bit there is 108 days til December 25th.

(And no, before anyone asks. My tree is not up. The photo is one from a previous Christmas.)

Life’s Got in the Way

Tattoo Forearm Black and Grey

Time has just run away with me.

I was posting at least once a week. But now I’m lucky to post once a month.

Life’s got in the way.

Isn’t that the excuse that people are so quick to give?

The reason why they haven’t checked up on a friend.

The reason why they haven’t sent off the form they’ve had sitting around for the last few weeks.

The reason they haven’t finished decorating that last wall in the hallway.

The list goes on.

But the reality of it is that those things are all life.

And how long does it really take to type out a quick text?

To scribble a few words on a bit of paper?

To slop a bit more paint on the wall?

There are so many things we put off that would take only a few minutes out of the day.

We are all so caught up in life that we forget to live in the now.

I read so many articles and social media posts about employees living for the weekends. 2 out of the 7 days in a week.

When really we should be enjoying right now.

And no I don’t mean love every second of your job. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t have a single complaint about their job, then of course there are going to be bad days.

But equally enjoy the good bits. The conversation you have over the coffee machine in the kitchen. The smile you get from a colleague. The sandwich with your favourite filling. The drive home when a song you really like comes on the radio. Appreciate all those silly little things.

Life is too short to spend Monday to Friday wishing for Saturday and Sunday, don’t you think?

 

The river under the bridge through Canterbury Kent high street

2 Years Old

Birthday Cake 2nd Birthday Princess Baby Girl

2 Year Update

Amelia’s birthday was the beginning of last month. It seems like she’s gone from this tiny little thing that blinks up at me to a mini person over night.

She asks questions and has things she wants to do. She sings nursery rhymes – twinkle twinkle is one of her favourites – and if you ask her what she wants for dinner she’ll answer you. Today she made her own sandwich, buttering the bread and gently placing the filling in between the slices. (I can’t take the credit for that one – she learned that with her daddy.)

She had her two year review and got 60/60 for every section. She’s doing so well both at home and nursery. She’s the sweetest child and always says please and thank you. She says sorry whenever she thinks she’s done something wrong – even to inanimate objects when she walks into them.

She’s so tall – already in age 3-4 clothes. She helps herself to snacks, even getting ice lollies out of the freezer.

Getting photos of her sitting still now is virtually impossible but Rob took a cute one of her taking our drinks this morning when we went out of breakfast so here it is:

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5 Things That Would Shock 10 Year Old Me

Tattoo Forearm Black and Grey

5 Things That Would Shock 10 Year Old Me

1- You won’t always be scared of needles. In fact by the time you’re 21 you’ll have spent nearly 30 hours being tattooed. (You’ll also have more than your ears pierced, despite mum having to take you to Claire’s accessories repeatedly just to get your ear lobes done because you were too scared.) 

2- You’ll not only finish school, you’ll get through college and uni too (Even if you’ve never revised a day in your life, despite your year 8 maths teacher insisting you should.)

3- You’ll end up having the cutest little girl. (She turns 2 the same year you turn 23 which is insane.)

4 – You’ll seriously regret cutting all your hair off into a bob. (And spend years growing it back only to consider cutting it all off again. Not happening no matter how much it gets in the way and gets used  as a chew toy by Amelia.) 

5 – You’ll actually choose to wear skirts. (Yes, your preference for trousers and tracksuit bottoms goes out the window. Not surprising once you see the brown trousers that are part of the secondary school uniform. Anything is better than those.)

In reality 10 year old me would probably be amazed by pretty much everything I’m doing now. My job, my home, my relationship, my daughter. But then at ten years old do we really know what we’re going to do when we grow up?

It seems absolutely crazy to me that we expect kids to know so early what career they want, asking them to pick GCSE subjects that are going to affect what A-levels they take which in turn affects what degrees or jobs they can get. I picked two creatives which I loved doing but they couldn’t be further from what I do for a living now. 

And I bet plenty of people had some pretty interesting job aspirations at age 10. I know plenty of people I went to primary school with who wanted to be famous actresses or football players and completely changed their minds as they grew up. 

Uni/Work/Home Balance is Actually Just Lots of Coffee

I haven’t posted in a while…
It’s felt like I’ve continuously had a thousand things to do but I think as a Mum I will always have a never ending to do list so it’s a pretty poor excuse. A never ending supply of caffeine is needed and I don’t know how people who don’t like coffee survive.

I saw a post this morning on a Facebook page about a student who had to take his baby to class with him because of childcare problems and his professor helped him by wearing the baby in a chest carrier whilst he taught. I’m reasonably certain it was an American news story but the point remains – it was a lovely and very human gesture. It made me think about my own experience as a mother and a student.

I’m currently in third year at uni and I work part time whilst juggling running a household and raising my beautiful toddler – she’s nearly two where has the time gone? – and trying to remember my partner and I are adults (easier said that done when you know the theme songs to every CBeebies cartoon off by heart).

My first year personal tutor was really kind and compassionate, if a little clueless. I was pregnant from the start of first year and he apologised straight away for not knowing what to do because as a young male he had never himself experienced pregnancy or raised a baby and as a tutor had never before had a pregnant student.

But he tried his best. He arranged for me to have an unlimited number of 7 day extensions without requiring evidence and made sure I wouldn’t be chased about my attendance if I couldn’t manage to get to lectures. He filled in all the right risk assessments and offered to find a female member of staff with children when it came to questions like breast feeding and midwife appointments if it made me more comfortable. It didn’t bother me at all talking to him, but it was kind of him to offer (I think in all honesty he felt slightly out of his depth and was thinking a tutor who had had a baby would be more helpful). Amelia’s due date was around the time of my final assessments but she arrived well before that so I even managed to get all the work completed for the final dead lines. Much to my surprise I passed first year.

I went into second year with a baby the size of a newborn – she was 3 months old and around 8lbs when my new class schedule came through – and as I was breast feeding her it wasn’t easy leaving her for long periods of time. (Think loads of pumping to leave a supply of milk and continued pumping while away from her.) I was also recovering from a csection which anyone whose had one will know can take a long time. There is a reason the people who work in the costa near my house know my coffee order without asking.

Second year was not easy. They also changed my personal tutor in second year and I didn’t see this tutor once. In fact until I started third year I wasn’t even certain of my tutors name.

Add to the work/uni/baby balance that I have a rare medical condition and my whole third year experience is really not like most secondary school students would envision.

My dissertation is due in the next few months along with a list of other assignments and group presentations and honestly it’s more luck than design that I’ve managed to hand things in on time and turn up to the right lecture hall.

It’s all worth the effort though when you have this little face waiting for you when you come home.

Ted baker dress and dummy

Halloween and PYO Pumpkins

Enjoying Autumn

You may remember that last year we took a tiny Amelia pumpkin picking. This year we thought we’d give it another go as she’s running around and loves exploring.

And it was certainly worth the trip! Today is the last day for PYO pumpkins at the field we went to I think. (Sandling road, Maidstone 10-4pm if you’re thinking of going.)

Surprisingly there were still hundreds of pumpkins left and amelia ran round the field finding all the diddy ones. She fell over. A lot. But she was laughing and chatting away and we ended up running round for nearly an hour. We did actually come home with three good sized pumpkins – spending a grand total of £5! A very cheap outing.

The little lady completely wore herself out and fell asleep in the car on the way home.
This is Amelia last year and then again yesterday. The difference is incredible and hard to believe. She’s growing up so quickly.

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PYO pumpkins Maidstone Kent. Titchy princess

I am going to try and make some pumpkin cookies today. Last year I made all savoury things; soup, roasted seeds, pasta. If I’m successful I’ll post the recipe. I’m going to make some Halloween cakes as well (think lots of chocolate and Halloween sweets as decorations.)

We ended up with two adorable Halloween costumes for Amelia. To give her a chance to wear both she wore the adorable pumpkin dress to pick pumpkins – you can see it poking out the bottom of her coat – and the other one she will be wearing to go trick or treating. I can’t wait to see her face when she comes home with a bucket of treats.

Toddler Travels to the Park

Autumn walks in the park

Toddler Travels

When did you get so big Amelia Skye? My titchy princess was this tiny little thing in size 0 premie nappies, swamped by tiny baby clothes. Now you’re running around the park shouting ‘1,2,3 go’ and launching yourself down the slide.

When did you start putting your own shoes and hat on? When did you learn to demand ‘juice’ when you’re thirsty? It feels like these 17 months have gone so fast. Gone is the little alien like baby and in its place is this mini lady.

Yes it’s getting cold outside but it’s still quite dry out so we spent the morning enjoying the crisp air at the park with Sammy (the dog) and nanny. Amelia ran round and fell down more times than I could count – the knees of her leggings now have muddy patches. She went up and down the slide enough times I thought she’d be sick and before that spent nearly as long on the swings.

I took easily fifty photos. I’ve included some of the cutest here.

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Amelia Skye 💗

Okay I’ll admit my blog has been mostly forgotten about the past month or two.

Between working full time, finishing second year and looking after my increasingly sassy 14 month old free time is a concept I’ve forgotten the meaning of.

Her vocabulary is coming on leaps and bounds; she now says ‘oh dear’ ‘oh no’ ‘yes’ ‘dog’ ‘dad’ ‘Mum’ ‘Nan’ and various variations of the above. She also shakes her head for no and nods for yes, although the nod uses her entire body. If you have food and she wants it she comes over and says ‘mmmm’. The little lady also runs full pelt into walls and doors, just to make life interesting.

Today is a more or less free day and Amelia has been busy making a mess. Today she has been a titchy tornado, pulling out clothes and tipping out toys at a speed I’ve given up trying to keep up with.

It was good job I had a relaxing bath and coffee to start the day because I’m now past the point of tearing my hair out. It’s like Amelia has hit the terrible twos very early.

But what else are weekends for?

Busy Busy Busy

Amelia and I have been so busy I haven’t had chance to post in a long time. Between work, uni exams and the little lady turning one there’s just been no time to sit down and write.

Our little baby is turning into her own person. She’s got such a caring nature and always shares her food – even if you don’t want her chewed up raisins!
She runs around everywhere scaring the life out of my mum – her Nan- on a regular basis.
It wouldn’t be a post about Amelia if it didn’t involve food. Our princess is ruled by food! I can’t identify her favourite snack because she will eat everything and anything. She loves beans at the moment and picks out the kidney beans and butter beans in her dinners first.
We let her lose at nanny’s with an ice cream the other day. Below is the aftermath!

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The weather has been lovely the last few weeks and Amelia has thoroughly enjoyed spending time outside. She is particularly pale like me so sun cream is a must but seeing her little smiling face as she runs round is worth the tantrum she has when I’m trying to cover her in lotion.

We’ve made more cakes than I can include photos of – Amelia’s favourite pet is stealing a melted chocolate covered spoon and running away. Below is the latest one:

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We’ve gone to soft play, to the park, to the zoo and to lots of places I’ve probably forgotten to mention.

(the featured image is off our comfy area where we spent one Saturday snuggled up with snacks and watching movies – obviously Amelia was more interested in the snack part but we tried)
I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone!
There isn’t really a specific point to this post. More just to say that it’s okay to prioritise different things for a while. And for me enjoying my time with my baby girl has been more important than writing.

Warm Weather Essentials

Warm Weather Essentials

It has been unusually hot this week in the south east. My car has been reading up to 30 degrees and the air conditioning has been a must for every journey.

Warm weather is wonderful for us adults. Most of the population have been out sunbathing, leaving off the sun cream in the hope to tan darker.

Babies skin is far too delicate and fragile for laying out in the midday sun.

Essential number one is sun cream. For Amelia I got a spf 50 one in a spray bottle from boots for £4. It’s for sensitive skin and is really easy to apply. Always read the bottle and don’t rely on the price to be an indicator of how good the sun cream is – a £15 a bottle one could be spf 20.

Essential number two is a sun hat. Amelia’s grown a lot and her little sun hats no longer fit. I found a really cute white one with a strap under her chin for £2.50 in Primark. White clothing helps reflect the sun rays so helps keep your little ones head cool. Amelia looks adorable in hers.

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Essential number three is a refillable bottle. Amelia likes her milk bottles still so we have a pink Tommee Tippee bottle that we use for water. She also has a sippy cup.

Essential number four is a sun parasol for on the pushchair. Amelia has a red one that I got from mothercare for £15. It has a bendy arm that allows you to position it in any direction.

Amelia loves playing outside in the sun. We’ve visited nanny’s a lot so that Amelia can play in the garden and her new swing set, an early birthday present.

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