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?
The dreaded week has come and gone. These are truly sad and sore times.
9. To See You Again. We went to the undertakers to view my moms body. My dad wanted to be sure it was her in the coffin. I wanted to have a chance to cry without a room full of people. We opted against embalming and two weeks had already passed, so we weren’t sure what to expect. She looked so thin, but healthy. Her hair was soft and brushed. She looked lovely. In life she often abstained and followed certain habits because she wanted to be a beautiful corpse. She sure got her wish.
10. Funeral day. Informal, no priest or stranger leading the ceremony, just me. Leading the family in words, in song, in placing lilies on the coffin. A lot of tears. And after, lunch with every person she knew in the country there.
11. Driving day, all the way to Wales at the foothills of Snowdonia. And a big thank you to everyone who has supported me over the last few weeks.
12. Bittersweet. Knowing she was meant to be on this holiday with us, was bittersweet. Knowing how much she would have loved the mountains, equally so.
13. Bed Hogs. A king size bed, and there’s still no room for me. Sigh.
14. Garden Decor. Some weird garden decor in the town of Machynlleth. Certainly a talking point!
15. Mountains, Gandalf! Mountains! I could take a picture of this mountain every single morning and it would never look the same two days in a row. If I lived there, I’d totally do that. With a timer to go off every day at the same time. It was an exquisite view.
Could it be another week all about food and home life? Oh, and muddy puddles too.
Day 292 – Cooking Class
I feel bad sometimes, because Ameli had so many classes and activities that we did together from when she was four weeks old. Is it because of all the rhyme time stuff we used to do left leg over right leg, crossing the midline and so on that Ameli was crawling by four months? Is that why she was walking at 8 and Aviya only at 10? Was it the sing alongs and rhyme time that made Ameli speak in full sentences by 18 months, but Aviya only has some words? I don’t know, but whatever it was, I had fun at this impromptu drop in cookery session, and Avi seemed to love it too.
Day 293 – Dinner
My hubby made us one of my favourite styles of dinner – a build your own sandwich with a variety of different fillings, toppings and options. Isn’t he sweet!
Day 294 – Mushroom Foraging
A local friend of ours is a bit of a mushroom foraging fundi. We went together one day and she showed us some of the local varieties we can eat. Truth be told I’m not at all confident enough to go on my own, but I’d love to, for sure.
Day 295 – Bliss Balls For Beginners
Remember last week I told you about my new book? Well, I finally finished it! I’m rubbish with self-promotion though, so feel free to share it for me. I’d be most grateful!
Day 296 – When It Rains, Jump In Puddles
We had such plans for today, but sickness, the weather, who knows what else meant and our plans didn’t go to plan. Instead we hid out at Mamaventurer Yasmin’s house, and then went to a local stretch of forest for a walk. The kids found a few puddles and that took care of a good hour at least!
Day 297 – Cupcakes
How come in the books things look so perfect, huh? But when it comes down to it, with two children trying to lick the bowl and simultaneously needing the toilet or wanting to read a story, the picture on the right is a much closer version of my reality.
The weather has very quickly turned Autumnal, and after yesterday’s swimming in Eastrop Park in the near-rain, the girls needed an at home day cuddled under blankets. How many days till summer?
Day 255 – Stickygram
I’ve just discovered Stickygram. It’s awesome! Instagram images turned into magnets. They’re gorgeous!
Day 256 – Roald Dahl Day
It’s Roald Dahl Day on the 13th of September, so we made BFG ears, watched the movie and started reading the book. In fact we did loads of Roald Dahl Dayactivities.
Day 257 – Sisters
These are the moments that fill my heart with so much love and joy. For these moments, I could keep having children over and over and over again.
Day 258 – Blessingway
A beautiful friend had an early Blessingway since they are moving house when she’s 30-something weeks pregnant. Here we are with our red thread, getting her belly painted.
259 – Play Space
It’s crazy, we’ve lived where we do for over two years, and just recently I found this corner, hidden away. A perfect playspace for running around. Love it.
Day 260 – Blackberries
Picking blackberries is just such a lovely way to spend a day. I picked so many with the girls and our friends, I came home and made blackberry pies, raw blackberry crumble, and the best blackberry jam I’ve ever tasted, if I may say so myself. They were fabulous.
We’re making the most of summer, as far as we can. We know it won’t be around for too long, so now’s the time, really! Also, this is my 1000’s post on Diary of a First Child. Somehow, that feels like a milestone! Yay me 🙂
We don’t have a water tap in our back yard, so I put the hose through the kitchen window into the communal garden. The older folks around our square all came out to say how much fun it looked. They were all very sweet.
200 –An I Need A Drink Day
I don’t drink much at all these days. Maybe once a month, usually at events, but at the end of this particular day, I needed to add a shot of chocolate liqueur into my iced coffee. Everyone has days like that, right?
201 – Polka Dot Party
Another birthday party for us, and the theme was ‘polka dots’. The girls met the theme, all right!
202 – Fresh
We were busy making dinner when I decided to add some fresh herbs. We went to the garden to pick some. I love that Ameli knows and loves herbs. Not bad for a 3 year old.
203 – Make Up
Oh dear. Someone found my make up bag and got into it. When I asked if I could clean her up she said, “but I like my face just the way it is!”
We have been so incredibly busy lately. It’s been good, but, man alive. My children don’t strive for the same peaceful existence I do.
Day 150 – Fancy dress, a walk in the park and asparagus picking
The girls were up with the sparrow-farts this morning, so we had a play with our fancy dress goodies.
We met up with an old friend – Ameli’s first non-family childcare provider, actually, – who is a fully fledged, and absolutely lovely child minder these days.
We walked around a new, man-made nature reserve.
And had a swing on one we found there.
Then some friends were going to pirate puppet show at a pick your own farm near us, so we decided to join them, and ended up asparagus picking. We were all pretty shattered and ready for a good night’s sleep by the end of that day!
Day 151 – Growth
There’s been growth! Our weather is so beyond bad at the moment that nothing’s growing. I’ve had to move all the plants and the seedlings indooors to get any signs of life from them, and finally we have a sign of life. Yay.
Day 152 – A quiet day
The problem with a quiet day is that I have to find a million ways to keep the children occupied at home. Today we did some very simple origami, which Ameli loved. Actually this book was pretty good for beginners. It comes with papers and everything. I’m not sure where it’s from even – I’ve had it in my bookshelf for years. I knew we had busy days ahead, so was grateful for a low key one.
153 – Mothers, Friends
A beautiful day with my mother’s circle, we spent the morning in quiet meditation, and sisterhood.
After that we went to a friend’s house for her son’s second birthday. It was one of the rare beautiful afternoons of this year so far, so we sat outside, had a barbecue and had fun. We were supposed to go to a second party in the evening, but by the time we were ready to go, the children were more than ready for bed.
The girls certainly loved it…
154- Naming Ceremony
We went to the naming ceremony of a lovely little girl and spent the afternoon surrounded by people we’ve known and loved these last two years. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I have a strong disconnect from most of them at the moment, and I am finding it draining and hurtful, but at the same time… I can’t cope with the drama of trying to forge connections again. I’m hoping in time it will heal itself, but in the meantime, well. We’re just trucking on.
One of the daughters of one of the older mothers is a really good facepainter/bump artist and she treated the girls and boys and some of the mamas to some art.
My insecurities aside, the children had a great time, and one of Ameli’s best friends, P, had a lot of fun with them. I wish I could be more childlike and just have fun with everyone.
Day 155- Breastmilk
I miss the days where I donated breast milk, actually, I am blessed with such a huge supply. This was a six minute expressing job!
Day 156 – Science Club
One of the homeschool groups local to us has a weekly science meet. It’s really for older children, but I took the girls along for the ‘sound’ session and it was brilliant. The ex-science teacher was fantastic and he really engaged the children. I don’t know how much they really ‘learned’ as such, but they certainly ‘got’ the experiments, and loved them!
After a few weeks of sickness and trying to get back into the swing of things, we’ve been slowly trying to reconnect with people. I mentioned this last week. I don’t really know whats going on with me, but I feel such a disconnect from everything and everyone. It’s been a real work in progress. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been really investing in my garden, trying hard to put down roots, and using my vegetables to channel that desire.
135/365 – Observing The Wild
It’s actually not as wild as it looks. The weather has been atrocious of late, so we went with some friends to an indoor play area. Towards the end of our time, the sun came out, so we went to the ‘farm’ section. The children enjoyed looking at all the farm animals, and we loved just watching them discover and explore, and how engaged they get with nature. It’s wonderful.
136/365 – Love That Face
I can’t even remember what we were doing here – dancing maybe – but do I love that face? You bet I do. I think she needs another haircut though!
137/365 – Happy Ever After
About 9 or so years again, Martin and I house shared with a few other people. One of our house mates, N was dating E at the time, and they got married today. We thought we’d go, attend the ceremony, stick around to for niceties and then head off, because, well, weddings aren’t particularly child friendly, most of the time, especially if the couple don’t have any children of their own yet. We did not expect to have a fantastic day, and drag our children off the dance floor at almost 10pm! Even Aviya was in there dancing like a mad woman. The children were so incredibly welcomed, from giant garden toys to activity packs at the tables, that we were comfortable and had an amazing time.
I also want to throw in a little plug here for the TrayKit. We had a two hour drive to the the wedding venue and we were able to strap the TrayKit onto the back of the driver’s seat, and fill it with crayons, sticker books, activity books, and a few toys. It’s a really handy little backpack that straps to the seat in front, or a tray table on a plane or train. The sides around the fold out tray also fold up or down, to prevent pens or toys falling on the floor all the time – assuming your child isn’t trying to get them to fall on the ground. At our destination, I just zipped it up and took it in with us, so we had some books and activities for during the ceremony, and Ameli was able to carry it on her own, so I didn’t have to look like a pack horse – well, anymore than handbag, nappy bag and camera bag required!
138/365 – Chocolate Chip Cookies
After the incredible day that was yesterday, we had an ‘at home’ day, where the most taxing thing we did was making and eating chocolate chip cookies. Annoyingly, I make things, decide what needs to be tweaked, make them again, and eventually get them right: and then forget to write down the recipe. I intend to, but run out of time and end up forgetting. They’re supposed to go on Keeper of the Kitchen, but alas. I’ll just have to make them again.
I went to visit my friend Em and saw her ‘Grow Your Own’ potato box lying forlornly on the table. We turned it into a fun activity with the little people. It’s always good to spend time with her and her family. Our children are about the same age and they get along like, well… children of their ages!
Some time ago I wrote about my desires for the year ahead. I said I wanted peace, and mindfulness and to be present in my days. I’m struggling with that. I’m working hard on it, don’t get me wrong, but I’m struggling. Mindfulness is hard work.
Day 129/365 – Yum
There hasn’t been a lot going on the last two days, but I’ve been doing some baking and making some healthy versions of favourite recipes. I’ve also been trying to convert recipes to Thermomix recipes. I’ve been having so much fun, I’m actually doing so much baking and cooking I don’t have time to blog it all, but I’m trying! (Check out a Keeper of the Kitchen, please!)
Day 130/365 – Mama Time
I love Starbucks. Man, their coffee is good. I really enjoyed my Friday mornings at Starbucks, but now Aviya walks around it’s… less than relaxing! Someday soon again – then I’ll miss the toddler days of go,go,go!
Day 131/365 – Sitz Bath Herbs
I work most evenings. In fact, I go from mama to work to bed and I don’t get much sleep. A local mama is due to have her baby soon, so I spent this particular evening making her Sitz Bath Herbs. I really enjoyed just having an evening ‘off’, even though I did end up blogging it 😉
132/365 – An Odd Choice
An odd choice of snuggle toy! But she takes it to bed and I have to prise it out her fingers. It’s kind of cute. Like she is.
133/365 – Day Out
Since going to and returning from Australia, things have chnaged in my friendship groups. It’s a bit sad. Actually a lot sad, but a lot of things have changed. On the up side, I’ve become a lot closer to people who were on the fringes of the group I was in previously. I’m really enjoying my deeper friendships, and enjoying getting to know them better with trips out and about.
134/365 – Night Out
One of the benefits of the new friendships? A weekly girls night out. It’s just a cup of coffee with the ladies, but it’s excellent. We actually get to finish conversations without interruptions I’d forgotten what that was like!
I don’t know what’s hit our home, but we’ve become the house of the diseased, quite frankly! It’s been a nightmare, with us all passing runny noses, coughing, physical aches and pains and general death-warmed-up around between us. It started with Aviya, who was fine and playing all Thursday morning, and by Thursday afternoon had a fever and wouldn’t move off of me. By Friday we were all man down. What fun. We did manage to keep to some of our commitments though, fortunately.
Day 121/365 – Foraging
It’s amazing really. Teach a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it? Pretty true. I’ve taken Aviya foraging a hand full of times, and now she can’t see a dandelion without picking it and bringing it to me for lunch! We make dandelion fritters regularly enough, but the season -around here at least – hasn’t produced enough for jam or pesto which is rather sad!
Day 122/365 – Who Am I?
After a fantastic morning of playing outside, Aviya suddenly developed a mean cough and temperature. It was so quick! But never so sick that there’s no time for fancy dress – she’s either a jazz singer, or a (pink) firefighter! I think she’s awesome, and changing and growing so much.
Day 123/365 – Sickness Befalls Us
Oh dear! things have gone downhill around here. Look at that little poorly face.
Day 124/365 – Long Weekend Of Blergh
I know she doesn’t look sick here, but heavens above, how much gunk can come out of a nose that cute? The last bank holiday was Easter and we spent that sick too. Long weekend of blergh!
Day 125/365 – Nana Checks In
I’m so grateful for the technology we have available to us. Here’s Nana doing a tele-diagnosis on Aviya to make sure she doesn’t have anything serious.
Day 126/365 – Land of Kids
I dragged my sick family out to London for the day. It was good, but set our getting better back by at least a week! Land of Kids was good though. We enjoyed it!
Day 127/365 – Little Girl
I’m always so surprised by how she’s grown. I see her every day, yet, some days it just jumps out at me, like I’m seeing her for the first time.