This week had serious ups and downs. We were away on holiday on the Isle of Wight, and one of the highlights was our visit to Blackgang Chine – an amazing theme park with ‘villages’ for fairies (120), cowboys, and more and an absolutely brilliant dinosaur enclosure. After a fabulous day, the next evening saw me in hospital when my gall bladder suddenly started playing up. While I was waiting for admission I was given ‘gas and air’ and kept thinking I was going to be really cross in the morning when there was no baby after all that Entonox! (121).
We’re still doing the #50things challenge with the National Trust and we’ve been growing butterflies! When we came home from the Isle of Wight all our caterpillars had formed chrysalis, so that’s an exciting development. (123) I dragged my sorry self out of bed to take the girls to see Frozen on Bank Holiday Monday. They absolutely loved it and a week and a half later are still singing the songs! (125)
We paid another visit to Hobbledown Farm, although it was a much more low-key day than last time, since I have no energy at all! (126) And finally, for the first time since we’ve been back, I made my way into the garden to see how my plant babies are doing. I’m pleased to say they survived the week without me, and were ready for some thinning out – here’s my first harvest of baby leaves: I made sure to eat every last tasty morsel. (127)
We’ve had a crazy busy few weeks, but it’s been fun. I’ve been looking after a friend’s children, my Ameli has been on holiday from preschool and we’ve just had a lot of fun, and not a whole lot of time to write or blog.
96/365 – Garden Fun
I’ve been working hard on getting the garden de-swamped and looking more like a child-friendly place again. I turned an old cot into a chalk board and water wall. The kids love it.
97/365 - Rainbow Ribbons
I bought really cheap rainbow ribbons and again, the girls just love it. Cheap and entertaining. Love it.
98/365 – Thermie Curry
I have never been a fan of curries, until I started making my own. My favourite is chicken and coconut milk. Yum yum yum. We had friends come over for lunch, so this was it. And I do love how quick and easy it is in the Thermomix!
99/365- Spring Cake
I love the Disney Cakes and Sweets magazines. They come out with some brilliant things, and the Easter special was this beautiful chocolate mould. It’s just gorgeous. I wanted to make Aviya’s birthday cake with it, but it didn’t arrive in time, so alas – I had to arrange another party just to make this gorgeous cake.
100/365 – Spring Party
We had a fabulous spring party with friends. It was just brilliant. I had the opportunity to use all those little things I keep for ‘one day’. The beautiful tea pot I bought years ago. Things like that. It was great to see them all in use.
101/365 – Mud Bath
Seriously. Children and mud. What gives? We have a mud kitchen in the garden. Do you think they get muddy? No. No, they wait till we’re out and about, wearing tights. Then they look all cute and sweet, and excited. And before you know it, bam. Covered in mud. (I love it, really)
102/365 – Garden Play
More garden play. I have invested a lot of time in the garden so this makes me really, really happy!
103/365 – Fancy Dress
Childhood – and having fun – sees no difference in gender. I love how children don’t see gender stereotypes unless we impose them.
104/365 – Pond Dipping
The Basingstoke Canal Centre has an amazing pond for going pond dipping in. It’s full of all sorts of wild life and is simply brilliant for the children. They love it!
105/365 – Neptune
Ameli was invited to an ‘enchanted ocean’ party, so she went as Neptune. She looked fab!
108/365 – Kew Gardens, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Kew Gardens had an event for the celebration of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s 50th anniversary. We had a day out, and a lot of fun planned, but we added some value by printing out Golden Tickets for the kids.
Week 14, and the sun has finally returned to these British Isles. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that. Now we just need the sun to warm up a little.
Day 89: Injury Prone. Aviya is so injury prone at the moment. Every time I turn my head she’s bashed her face on something, fallen off something else, or tripped over her own feet. It’s frustrating! Poor child.
Day 90: A Year Ago. This pictures was taken a year ago today. Our final supper in Perth. We left the next morning. Feels like a lifetime ago.
Day 91: Why We Bother With Toys? I bought the girls a teepee. So they spent the afternoon playing with the box! Typical.
Day 92: Of Beans And Children. I find growing things as fascinating as children. You can give them the same soil, the same light, the same water, but some with grow quickly and some slowly, each at their own pace. Isn’t that something?
Day 93: Starbucks. My happy place, this particular Starbucks. My mom and I used to go there while we were waiting, waiting, waiting for Aviya to join Earthside.
Day 95: Little Explorers. We went to the Natural History Museum where they had little explorer packs for the children. They weren’t perfect for this age group, but they looked cute anyway.
There’s definitely a hint of spring in the air, with lots of flowers everywhere.
82: Bring On Spring Inspired by our trip to the Moonpig Mother’s Day event a few days earlier, we made a lollipop flower garden so we could give a few special people some flowers.
84: Gift Basket Friends of ours came back from a holiday in Australia, so we dropped a care package on their doorstep so they wouldn’t have to rush out for breakfast, or worse, milk for coffee first thing off a 19-hour flight. I know what it’s like coming ‘home’ from a trip ‘home’ and never really belonging in either place. It’s hard.
We receive the Disney Cakes And Sweets Magazine every month, and this month, the freebie with it was a pan for making these fab Mickey Mouse pancakes. So yum using our regular recipe, and the girls just loved it.
Although it’s two weeks after the fact, we’re having Aviya’s birthday party tomorrow, so I’ve been making flowers for the cake. Unfortunately I didn’t think to actually flour the shot glasses, so most of them broke taking them off. Lesson learned. I was quite happy with them to that point though!
87: Messy Play Party At some point I’ll get round to blogging Aviya’s messy play party. Suffice to say it was super fun though.
Another thing I have to get round to blogging, is our trip to the Farnham Firestation as part of our Emergency Services PlayLearning week. Doesn’t she look pleased with herself though?
Well, Aviya had the first medical treatment for my children, and I didn’t particularly cope with it! I was a stress ball and a half. And on the way home I dropped and shattered my phone so I had to get that fixed, which took a few days. My husband and Ameli also went to visit his parents for the weekend, so Aviya and I lay low as she recovered.
76: Surgery Day – Aviya had to have surgery to have her first four teeth removed, compliments of the Hyperemesis Gravidarum I suffered from in pregnancy.
She was a champion, honestly, but having your two year old – this was on her second birthday – pass out in your arms as you’re ushered out a room while they perform the surgery was not one of my happiest moments in life. Most definitely not. But she handled it well, mercifully.
77: Gentle Recovery – We spent three days at home, not going anywhere or doing anything. She was groggy, a bit miserable and a little out of sorts for most of it. And yet perfectly sweet and lovely for other bits of it.
I’m glad we just laid low, and cuddled up a lot.
80: Spring Flowers – We’re ‘back’ and settled into more of our usual routines again. Today we made flowers and lollipop butterflies for a care package.
81: Moonpig Event - I wasn’t really sure about taking Aviya out for this event today, but in the end we had a lovely time, so I’m glad we did. The Moonpig people gave the girls an umbrella each and these have been their pride and joy ever since!
Oh, and did she look cute carrying that baby in the sling!
Mamatography Week 10 for us was all about World Book Week. The kids loved it, and it was great fun for all of us.
62: Play – We were invited to a play and I was so nervous about going with the girls, but really wanted to give it a shot anyway. We sat near the exit so my husband could duck out with the girls when they got too fidgety, but they were amazing. Seriously, Ameli watched almost all of it, and Aviya played on the Kindle for the whole thing. Even the cast came afterwards to tell us how awesome the girls were. They were fantastic. I miss going to plays and theatre so very much, so this was a most encouraging outing for us. Oh, and if you have a chance to see In Praise of Elephants, go for it. It’s brilliant.
63:Paint By Numbers – I can’t believe my baby is old enough to do paint by numbers pictures. Madness. She was doing it so well too.
65:I Can Read With My Eyes Shut – Our book of the day, and the accompanying craft from Activities To Celebrate Dr Seuss
66: Activities Box – Most weeks I’ll put together a kit for the week. I’ll spend this week putting together things for next week, following our pre-determined PlayLearning Theme. It’s helpful in getting things done and looking calm and collected at the same time.
67:World Book Day Games – We had a World Book Day Party with friends, and here the kids are playing a game as Dr Seuss’ Sneetches, some with stars, some without.
68:Charlie and Lola Came For Tea – when Ameli got home from preschool, Charlie and Lola were at the table waiting for her. She was so excited, it was sweet.
With Aviya having dental surgery last week, I totally ran out of time for all the blogging I ‘need’ to do. So here you have two weeks of Mamatography in one. Aren’t you lucky!
69: Waiting To Grow: We made honey cookies from a Winnie the Pooh book, and planted flowers as instructed in the story too. Ameli was relatively disappointed that she managed to make it through the cookies and no plants had shown up yet. A week later and they still haven’t. Poor girl. A valuable lesson in patience, I’m sure.
70:In Yo Face! Or something less street. I took Aviya to the hospital in London for her pre-surgery assessment, and someone walking behind me commented on how uncomfortable Avi looked ‘tied up like that’. Well, I asked her loudly if she was comfortable, and snapped a photo of her response. I think we’re okay, random stranger. But thanks.
71: Friends: What’s better than having friends? Friends who bring you food and then cook it too. Yuri (you may know him as @Urbanvox) is a legend.
72: Spring Gardening: I’ve tried for a number of years now to get a decent garden space for the girls, but it seems year after year my budget just gets tighter. It’s amazing how creative you can be with next to nothing, and access to Pinterest.
73: Baking Carrot Cake: We reviewed the book The Carrot Cake Catastrophe, which involved Ameli and baking, something she’s been doing with me since she was two. I miss it, really, and it’s time for me to get Aviya cooking too.
75: Faux Birthday: The picture is tagged as 74, but it’s actually 75. It’s Aviya’s Faux-birthday, since her surgery was scheduled for her birthday, we had a pretend birthday the day before. We’ll have a party in a couple of weeks. I can’t believe mybaby girl is two.
See you again next week for Mamatography, Week 12!
We’ve had a fun week this last week. Our Playlearning theme was Dr. Seuss, which if you’ve ever opened a book, you’ll know is zany and crazy and strange and the children just love it.
55: Cafe Culture. I love coffee. I love coffee shops. I love sitting in them, writing and letting my mind wonder. I used to love going for iced coffees or lattes with my mom, in our adult relationship – there wasn’t much money for cafes when was growing up. It wasn’t really part of our culture. It’s something I hope to do with my girls in years to come. For a treat I sometimes give them foamed milk with chocolate sprinkles on it in espresso cups. They like it.
58: Wanted! I love how creative my friends are. I suppose some people would look at it as one-upmanship between mothers, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as us all doing our best for our children, and I love it. My friend Karen asked for ‘bad’ pictures of our children and at her son’s birthday party, the merry men- it was a Robin Hood party – had to go into the woods and find their wanted posters. It was great fun and so creative.
60: More Dr. Suess. Shrinkels and play rice. Two of especially Aviya’s favourite things.
61: The Lorax. Ameli got home from preschool to find the living room ‘transformed’ into the scene in the Lorax movie where the Once-ler goes down the river in his bed. She was thrilled and totally loved it. That made me very happy.
I am trying really hard to move on with life, and regain some normality.
47: Girls: I don’t paint my nails very often – I just don’t have time for the maintenance anymore – but somehow Ameli still paints her nails with whatever pens and inks she can find. It must be a girl thing.
49: Starbucks: Well, Avi isn’t as sad here as she looks! She was engrossed in the show she was watching on the Kindle while I was trying to do some work. I called her and snapped the pic as she looked up. I didn’t get much work done anyway. Lets just say she’s past the ‘quiet in the coffee shop’ phase!
50: Party Time: We had the worst train journey ever thanks to the flooding around the UK, but eventually made it to a birthday party in London a couple of hours late. The girls had a blast, and coming home wanted to stay in the party spirit. Fortunately no one in London on a Saturday night even noticed.
51: Blessingway: My friend Em doing a beautiful bit of bump art for our friend Karen, as we celebrated her and her pending arrival at her Blessingway. I do love these.
53: Friends: Another coffee another day… it was half term last week, so Ameli got to see some of her school age friends through the course of the week. She enjoyed that. She sure does miss spending time with her friends who started school in September.
This post is part of the Mamatography 2014 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje.
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31: Treasures. I feel like a broken record around here, but this has been a really incredibly hard week. The loss has become real and the longing and missing tantamount. When my dad found the mugs my girls and I had done for him and my mom when she was here for Aviya’s birth, it hit him hard. He sent me a photo and that sent me down in fits of tears. This will get better, right?
32: Memorial. This is the last of the ceremonies for my mom. All her Perth friends and my dad and brother got together for her official memorial. We woke up at 4am our time to watch the live stream. It was emotional. At one point I was sobbing, which made Aviya sob, which made Ameli sob, and Martin sad holding all three his girls with tears in his eyes. Maybe now healing can truly begin.
33: Donuts. Yes, I made them. They were awesome. I have got to do this again, but really, it’s not a habit you want to form.
34: Cupcake. I collapsed in a heap of tears on the floor today. Let’s just say it’s not been a good one, except that I decided I needed to pull myself out of this slump, so Ameli and I went for ‘tea’ at a local cupcake cafe. She loved it. It was rather special.
35: Seedlings. Our theme for this week is growing, and we’ve not done masses towards it, so it seemed a good idea to get some growing going. We planted three types of beans and we’ll keep an eye on them and how they grow. We also made a flower garden for Nana – yesterday actually, but the picture is from today.
36: Growing Together. We had a play day at a friend’s house, and did some painting, seed sowing and other fun things. When we got home, we made an onion planter. It’s all on the windowsill now, hoping for some sunshine.