Today was the day when parents everywhere found themselves frantically checking their emails, just waiting for the confirmation of that much sought after school place. Luckily, we got our first choice for Lucas. We were quietly confident, we are well in the catchment and the school has just gone up a class size so it isn’t over-subscribed but still I nervously checked in the morning and let out a sigh of relief when I saw the school we wanted confirmed.
Lucas’ current pre-school is part of this school so I am especially glad he has got a place there. Come September, as far as he is concerned, there will be minimal change. He will have the same uniform, be in a class with many of his friends, we’ll be walking the same way each day, he will spot his old teacher and he’ll already know the Headteacher and the school layout. I love the school, it feels very much like how I think a Primary School should be; it doesn’t feel pressured and set on constant academic achievement. There is a lovely community and lots of events, the children I’ve come across seem happy and the teachers very supportive. So much green space surrounds it with woodlands and play areas. We have been very fortunate that the only school within reasonable walking distance is one that we would have chosen anyway.
For the last eight months (how has it already been that long?!) it has been Lucas’ school and he has incredibly happy there, I have never had a day when he hasn’t run into class with a smile on his face. He has made friends and children call his name when we walk to the school doors, they hold hands, play tag and show off their new clothes, or new bags. I’ve made friends too, just from talking outside over the months I have become good friends with a lovely Mum and we meet up in the holidays. There have been moments I’ve been worried that it has been too much for him, he will start in Reception just a few days after turning four, but on the whole it has been so positive.
For My Captured Moment this week I have chosen a photo I took of him after the very first settling in session we had there. We visited for an hour and I stayed with him, he insisted on wearing his trilby and took it all in his stride. I was so nervous, I remember the walk there like it was yesterday and I remember taking this photo as he ran outside after the hour, so full of energy and excited. It was the start of something new and he has changed in so many ways since that day. I was so proud of him that afternoon and I am just as proud now. It has been the most incredible experience to see him become a part of this new little world. I can’t help but feel a little emotional when I think of him standing at the school gates next year, ready for full time education – a whole new beginning for my very first little boy.
I try to keep my blog a place for all the happy memories, all the moments I want to remember for the right reasons and a place to share the many things that make me smile. Today my husband went back to work after a lovely week off of family time so although we are all a little sad not to have him at home anymore this seems like the perfect time to remind myself of all the things that make me happy.
I have been tagged by three lovely ladies who have fantastic blogs; Lisa from Into The Glade, Kerri-Ann From Life As Our Little Family and Jess from Mummy of Boy Girl Twins for the 50 things that make me happy. If I think to much about it I’ll be here all day so in no particular order, here we go:
2. Converse trainers
3. Hearing my boys giggle together
5. Buying new summer clothes
6. Chai Tea
7. The first cup of tea of the day
8. Red Wine
9. Being with old friends that make you laugh so much you cry
10. Film Nights
12. Mix CD’s made for road trips
13. Cake – any really I can’t pick a favourite!
14. Red Wine
15. Beginning a new book…a real book!
17. Colouring In
18. Long, hot bubble baths
19. LUSH bubble bars
20. Harry Potter
21. The amazing friends I’ve made though blogging
22. Taking photos
24. People watching
26. My husband and that he is very much my best friend
27. Pick n Mix
28. Reading bedtime stories to my boys
29. Bobble Hats
30. BB Cream
33. Gigs and keeping the tickets
34. Game of Thrones
35. Jon Snow
38. Board Games
39. Family days out, especially when they involve ice cream
41. Girly TV – Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, pretty much anything I know my husband will roll his eyes at.
42. An early night
43. The Cinema
44. Being a Mummy
45. Enchiladas cooked by the husband
46. Cooking and Baking, when I have the time
48. Having three boys – all entirely different and equally beautiful
49. Stationery shops
Took me a little longer that I thought and I’m sure I could continue! If you would like to make your list I’d love to see it, Katie from Life On Vista Street, Vicki from Let’s Talk Beauty , Nisbah from Five Adventurers and Tas from Not My Year Off.
I’ve taken a few photos this week and shared a lot of them in my other posts but I kept back this one of Lucas for Living Arrows because he just looks so grown up, way beyond his three years. Having him off pre-school for a couple of weeks I feel like I’ve seen so many changes in him and I’m spotting the little ways he is maturing. He is always happy in the holidays when he has plenty of family time, he becomes so much more loving and has been giving so many cuddles to his brothers. This week we find out which school he will be starting in September. I’ll feel so much better when I’ve had that email on Thursday, then will start the worry that my first little boy is starting school. Looking at this photo I can see he will be ready.
We are lucky that we live in an area with so many great places to visit, not only that but many of them are completely free so when we are stuck for somewhere to go we can just grab a picnic and visit a park. Sefton Park in Liverpool is somewhere I have wanted to take my boys for the longest time. It is such a massive open space with so much to explore and we spent most of the day there and still didn’t see it all.
I remember my Grandad taking me and my brother there when I was younger and it will always remind me of him, the way he showed us round and told us stories from his childhood. He was always such a fantastic story teller – so much so that you were never sure whether he was pulling your leg or not but mostly I remember that day as it was somewhere that was obviously important to him. I know he didn’t have an easy childhood yet he had a lot of happy memories there. My Grandad has been gone many, many years now but recently the feeling of missing him hits me as if it was only yesterday. Maybe it is because I was 18 when he died, I was so different to the person I am now. Mostly it is because I wish he could know my boys and I wish they could know him. I adored him and my childhood is littered with amazing memories of him. I didn’t intend for this post to be about him but visiting his old stomping ground made me think of him all the more. It’s sad that I forget the little things that made him so special and that sometimes I have to think hard to remind myself of them but the park gave me a chance to talk about him and share some of his stories, I wish I could remember more.
We had a lovely family day in the park and I made a little video to share some of the fun we had. There isn’t much better than letting your children just run free outside and we didn’t even visit the amazing playground they have there. We had a picnic in the sun, ran up and down the big hills, introduced Lucas to daisy chains and watched Boo test out his walking skills on the grass. We wandered round the enormous lake, spotting the ducks and swans and listened to Bear quacking from the pushchair. We raced around the daffodils and hunted out the beautifully restored Palmhouse. On our way out we stopped for ice cream and danced past the busker by the fountain. We forgot about everything other than our own little family for a few hours and it was just bliss.
I don’t think that anything could have prepared me for how difficult parenting is. I had no idea how tired I would be those early months, how my emotions would run riot and how much I would worry over looking after this tiny little person. I couldn’t have known how completely he would change my life, how I would look at everything differently and how he would make me better person. I never imagined that over three years later I would still find it every bit as challenging as I did the first night I brought him home. It is still just as emotional; there are things he does that make me want to scream, moments when I have to take a minute before I can carry on, times when he makes me question everything about myself. Then he can bring tears to my eyes just by the simplest of things, by stroking my cheek, softly telling me he loves me and smiling when I say it in return.
The truth is I have found the last few months with Lucas incredibly difficult, he is strong-willed, determined, stubborn and independent. He wants to do everything on his terms and now he can express himself more and more he has no problem letting us know exactly what the problem is. Sometimes I think he doesn’t even know why he does it but it is just in him to push me on everything, to test the boundaries and to seek control. He is sensitive and takes in so much more than he lets anyone see but he will always stand up for himself and others when he wants to.
It hasn’t been an easy year for him, there is no doubt that having two little brothers has been difficult. There are times when he hasn’t been given the attention he deserves and moments that I wish I could have done things differently. He is trying to find his place in our family and in the wider world. He doesn’t seem to lack confidence yet he seeks it often, he needs a hand to hold and a familiar face. We went through the terrible twos but they have nothing on the threenager! I have never questioned myself more as a parent as I have this last few months. I’ve never felt more like I’m getting it wrong even when I know I am doing the best I can. I wish I could give him more time, more of myself but as much as I try most days I can’t.
That’s why those moments that come along when I have the chance to give Lucas that time are extra special even when we are doing something completely ordinary. Yesterday I took him with me into Liverpool; me and my mum were meeting up with some of the lovely ladies of my family and I thought it would be a good chance to spend some time with him. When we got there a little early I asked him what he’d like to do and he said ‘Go to a cafe’ then told me a little story how he had dreamt about a cafe, when he was asleep. These little things he comes out with always makes me smile. We took him to Central Perk, which I love and managed to get on the orange couch which I loved even more. Lucas stripped out of his jacket and tried to take off his shoes, we had cake and tea (juice for Lucas) and talked, I just love how we can go out now and pass the time by having a conversation. We met up with my Nana, Auntie and cousin for some lunch and he was just perfectly behaved. It was a true joy to be out with him, to talk to him without interruptions, to really see all the changes in him as he suddenly seems really very grown up. We wandered off to the Disney shop for a treat before we came home.
This was something I did a lot as a child, we always met up with family in Liverpool and it always made me feel quite special to be out with the grown ups and to get all the attention. Lucas is just the same, he loves all the cuddles and kisses and he kept making us all hold hands in a big line. This age has been such hard work and yet it has also been the most fun, this day was just a little reminder about how amazing it is when it is good. This was a day when I felt like maybe we are getting it right and we have the most fantastic boy to show for it.
March was going to be the month in which we finally got our outdoor photo, unfortunately it was also the month full of chicken pox and other such things so we did get out outdoor photo…just slightly later in April. We took some in my Mum’s garden last weekend and these are our first outdoor Me & Mine photos for several months; the sun was shining and it was a lovely afternoon. The boys stayed out in the garden afterwards, Lucas running around and the twins wobbling and playing in the stone path.
Like I said, this month has been a busy one. It has really taken its toll on us all and I think we are just about starting to recover from it. I’ve been quiet on the blog as so many nights there have been little ones disturbed or I’ve just gone to bed to try and catch up. Then I get annoyed that we aren’t getting out, not making the most of our family time but I’ve had to let that go because it just wasn’t meant to be. Having said all that sometimes you think you’ve had an awful month and then when you look back there are actually some great moments, like Lucas having a great achievement in his swimming class or the twins starting to take their first steps. We have a couple of lovely days planned over the rest of the Easter holiday, perfect for making some great memories and the rest will be spent doing the quiet things together as that is what we love the most.
I’m always on the look out for skincare products that are specifically designed for children and babies with sensitive skin. I’ve quite often said how difficult it is for me to find products for my boys to use at bath time. All three of them have eczema and sensitive skin so I have always been very careful what I use. Green People very kindly sent me their organic Mum & Baby Rescue Balm and the Baby Wash & Shampoo, both scent free, to try out and I am absolutely thrilled with them.
We are very limited in the products we can use, especially in the bath, and more often than not they are left with just emollients which I can’t help but feel is a but boring for three little ones. The Baby Wash and Shampoo has quite frankly transformed our bath time – I love having a product that does everything; we use it as bubble bath, as a wash on sensitive areas and as shampoo for all three boys. It doesn’t have any scent but it leaves their skin and hair feeling soft and clean. It creates bubbles in the bath which is quite a novelty for them and lovely for washing them with. I like that it is a multi-purpose product; it says on the tube that ‘a little goes a long way’ and that is certainly true, our 150ml tube is still going strong after a month with lots of bath times and hair washes. After all three boys had chicken pox I was especially careful with their skin but this caused absolutely no reactions and has really helped to calm down their bad patches of eczema.
The Mum and Baby Rescue Balm I now take everywhere with us, again it is a great multi-purpose product. As the name suggests it can be used on mum and baby but I’ve been mostly using it on the twins; they get the worst patches of eczema around their neck and on their shoulders and I can just rub some in the soothe them. I like that it is a balm; it soaks in nicely to the skin and leaves it feeling instantly softer. With their eczema creams they just sit on top of the skin and never seem to rub in whereas I really feel as if this is soaking into the dry areas. I use it on my three year old son too and even on my hands when they feel dry. It is always handy in the changing bag now to use if I see any of them scratching. It really seems to calm their eczema, it doesn’t look as red or sore and as soon as I see a flare up again I know the balm will soothe the irritation.
Just browsing the Green People range I have been pleasantly surprised to see so many products that cater for little ones with sensitive skin. All ingredients are clearly shown on each product including the percentage of organic ingredients. I also love that you can buy trial sizes of many of their products, perfect if you need to test it on sensitive skin. Green People is a brand I trust and use myself so I had hoped that it would be fantastic for my children and I wasn’t disappointed. Both these products would be a perfect addition to any little one’s skincare collection. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them, especially if your children have sensitive skin.
Disclosure: I was sent some products from Green People but I was under no obligation to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own
We have had a lovely bank holiday weekend, totally relaxed. There were no big plans just lots of days with family and friends, eating plenty of delicious food, hunting out lots of Easter chocolate, chatting and laughing. The boys have been so good; I took this photo on Sunday when we went to my Mum’s house for dinner. They make me laugh so much, this age is just amazing and they fascinate me endlessly. Their smiles are infectious; we got them to chuckle for this photo by pretending to sneeze, the latest little trick that never fails to make them laugh!
I love sitting with the little ones round the table and these two love having everyone’s attention. As long as they have some food in front of them they are generally happy. Family meals always make me think of my own childhood; we would always all gather round the table for occasions, at our house or at my Nana’s. I love the feeling of having everyone you love sat together and it is so special to have my own children be a part of that too.
I’m keeping up with my 2015 reading challenge and have managed to read much more than I usually would. I’m really enjoying making grab a book and get lost in it again. I’ve just finished Gone Girl; it isn’t the type of book I’d usually go for but I enjoyed it. I was totally hooked and finished it in a couple of days, it was one of those that you read a few pages of while you’re stood in the kitchen making a brew. I’d heard a few people say the ending was disappointing and I must admit it wasn’t how I wanted it to end but I understand why it happened that way. I really want to see the film now!
Me and my husband are watching the last series of Game of Thrones again ready for the new series, very excited about it starting up again but also always wondering about who is going to die next! I wasn’t very well last week and was stuck in bed but the silver lining was I did catch up on some of my favourite shows, Nashville and The Good Wife. I also watched Pitch Perfect; I’ve been wanting to watch that for so long and I loved it, I could watch it all over again now. It’s funny though that I thought it would be lovely to spend a day in bed, peaceful and quiet but when it actually happens it is just really boring and I missed my boys.
We went to see Dropkick Murphy’s last week, we’ve seen them several times live and they are always great. My mum got us the tickets for Christmas, complete with her babysitting services so it was lovely to spend the evening out together. I love seeing live music even though I must admit that it is an effort to go out now and I’m sure everyone is getting taller, I couldn’t see a thing the whole way through. I saw more of the gig through people’s phones than I could myself!
Loving chai tea and sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon, it’s so good and satisfies my sweet cravings. I’m loving seeing Boo toddle around the house, he suddenly appears in the kitchen grinning. I’m loving catch ups with old friends and making plans for family days out, loving making lists of the places I want us to visit and finally getting National Trust membership so we can get out more. Loving the thought of summer, looking at all the summer clothes in the shops and planning some cute little outfits for my boys.
I’m on a massive de-cluttering spree around the house, I think being stuck in bed looking at everything has made me a bit frenzied! As soon as I was better I started a clear out, there is so much in our house we don’t use or even remember it is there. I always feel better for sorting through everything but I still find it hard to part with the baby clothes, especially the ones that were Lucas’ too. I keep a few special ones but everything else I try to bag up quickly before I can get too sentimental and end up keeping it. Isn’t it weird that we can get so attached to these things? So many are just cheap slogan t-shirts or little shorts but they remind me of so much. I found a whole load of Lucas’ old things that need washing ready for the twins this summer and it almost makes my heart ache! I can remember him wearing them for playing in the garden or at the park. I can still remember dressing him in them and the feeling of how cute he looked then, it was the first summer he was in proper little toddler clothes and I can shut my eyes and remember everything about him at that age. All of a sudden he seems so much older, so different, and it seems to have happened when I wasn’t looking. It makes me sad and happy all at once.
You know that your son is a true blogger’s child when he stops to pose as soon as he sees a camera. He was happily wandering around the daffodils until he spotted me; when he turns and smiles so beautifully how can I resist? These daffodils have suddenly sprouted up on our school run and although it most certainly doesn’t feel like spring at the moment, they do brighten up our walk.
I’m dreaming of summer days, when we can leave the house without coats and I can put sandals on little feet. Please let the warm weather come along soon!