Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Insta update

As I was without a working camera most of last year, I relied on my trusty iphone 4. I hooked myself up to instagram and have had some fun with their filter options. I thought from now on, I may do a regular update on the blog of things I post, as these often reflect the small moments of life I want to treasure. 

Seth at the station when we were waiting for Nathan 11/12/15

'Seth unbeknown to him doing his Elvis impression!'

Seth showing his opinion on the concept of staying in his own bed all night!
#raspberriestothatidea #greeneyedboy #softparents

Joseph to Ben as they sat waiting for their swimming lesson to start:
'Ah this is the life isn't it Ben?'
Ben: 'Yup this is the life'
#lovemyboys #simplethings 

The boy needs a haircut. He hates hair gel but when I told him he looked as cool as Marty McFly he was seriously chuffed!! (Ben was miffed - he wanted to look like Marty but hasn't the fringe. Biff is no fashion idol!)
#oldfilmsarethebest #lovemyboys

Yesterday I took Ben to a party and came home with Leonardo! Behind my smile of greeting, I confess was anxiety over Leo smearing his face on my sofa!
#getthebabywipesready #hewearsitsowell #turtletime

When you plan to, then buy Hyacinths, then love how they look on your table, does that make you old? If so I am old! 
#hopeforspring #hyacinthssmellnicetoo #gettingold

Pants ate my boy!
#hepreferspantstohats #pantseathimdaily #lovemyboys

My bro likes to read, I like to read.
#peasinapod #boyslovetheirbooks #brothers 

Buddies! Nothing gets Mum more brownie points than inviting friends and family over for tea. 


How old does Olivia have to be before she can babysit? this girl has mega mothering skills already! 

Daddy my Daddy!

This is why I blog. These moments I never want to forget. Back in December, Seth and I went to collect Nathan from the train station at the end of his journey home from Atlanta. The train was delayed, we'd walked up and down the platforms a few times. I had him in my arms as the train pulled in. The passengers dismounted and as it is so oft in the films; Nathan was on the furthest carriage away; last person to get off. As he saw Nathan get off the train, he squirmed to be released from my arms and ran as fast as his little legs would carry him, arms outstretched : 'Daddy, Daddy!' I teared up! It was like that famous beautiful scene from The Railway Children! Except our Daddy had only been gone for 11 days to a work convention and not a war but to us 11 days too long.

#lifeisgood #criedlikeidoatfilms

Monday, 26 January 2015

52 Project 4/52

We enjoyed a dusting of snow on Tuesday. The boys were really excited and Seth was keen to get out in the garden and explore. He is such a character and new words are coming all the time. He has his first impression mastered - Lord Voldemort!!! ' Harry.......Harry' [in a hushed whisper]. He loves riding his new bike to and from school. He has both hands on the handle bars and a determined look in his eye (I'm sure) and makes appropriate racing noises. The boy is obsessed with cars. I have to collect the ones from the floor...oh and the ones from the windowsill behind the closed curtains and put them in his cot before naptime, one side for him and one side for the cars, the monster truck at the bottom of the bed like a giant teddy! Then when he awakes, normally he immediately says 'car!' and I need to take them all out when he gets up, the same again at bedtime. He is a boy of routine.

Ben bumped his head with a dramatic fall on the way home from school. He is quite prone to a dramatic tumble ever now and then. He was really excited for Nathan and I as we were going on a date this weekend. 'you're going on a DATE!' especially as the cavalry came to baby sit. Tonight he wanted all the details about what we ate on our DATE. When I said I'd had Christmas pudding he said 'but what was it's name?' 'Christmas pudding' ' yes but what was it's name?' 'Christmas pudding!'etc. He was a bit upset at swimming this week. he doesn't seem to like putting his ears in the water which makes it awkward when it comes to back crawl. I wonder if it has something to do with the glue ear he used to have. Musa the sheep came to watch him and he still cried/fake wailed! In Musa's diary he wrote - Musa watched me swim. This is the first sentence he has written without help - big smile. 

I love this boy. I love to see him smile. He's struggling a bit at times with a rollercoaster of emotions. Perfectly happy one minute, distraught the next, perfectly fine one minute, the next; stamping his feet, clenching his fists, gritting his teeth mad. I am not always dealing with it well and he told me I was mean - ouch. I know I need to set a good example of how to deal with these emotions. I am trying to validate his feelings and give him the language to explain rather than him having to lash out in other ways. This Saturday we were supposed to go an a mini date - haircut and then hot choc in a cafe. When we got to town I realised I had forgot my wallet!!! So instead we went and got his glasses replaced for the gazillienth time and scouged 53p from bags and the car and went to Sainsburys to buy sweets!! He was really good about it, no upset which was nice. He even happily shared his sweets with his brothers and on Sunday saw someone upset because their cousin wouldn't share some sweets with them and so Joseph just went up and offered his. I love my boy.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The 52 Project 3/52

What do you mean I've got a noodle on my head? I don't think it's nice that you've pointed that out to me! If you had a noodle on your head I wouldn't tell you! I wouldn't want you to be sad!
Seth has a vast collection of facial expressions, even the grumpy ones are total cuteness.
We have been seeing more of the frustrated, grumpy, annoyed ones these past few weeks. He's growing up and knows exactly what he wants and if he doesn't get it, when he wants it, well you will know about it!!! This week I actually abandoned a basket full of items in Home Sense because he'd well and truly had enough and everyone was going to know about it!! Grandma said he just needs lots of time being spent with him and that I'm good at doing that. I love pep talks by my Grandma.This week Aunty Vera, her last surviving sibling, past away. A sad but glad, or a glad but sad, depending of which angle you look at it, passing, she was 92 and just slipped away peacefully.  It's a reminder that my Grandparents won't always be here on earth for;little pep talks, words of encouragement, random phone calls, banter and I need to enjoy it and make opportunities to enjoy it while I can.

Joseph has been doing amendments, extensions, revamping his castle. He has great ideas and I love to see him concentrate and design using them. 

If you want Ben to look natural in a photo -  ask him to tell you a joke and snap while he's mid flow and smiling because it's a really funny joke - because this week's collection have the word 'poo' in them. 'Bottom' jokes are so last week!! He was on his way to a bowling party and was happy to have his hair spiky. Last week he had a haircut at the Turkish Barbers. It is the way forward with haircuts. The attention to detail is brilliant and the boys are scared stiff so they sit still. Unlike at the female barbers,where the ladies were so sweet and patient with them constantly moving their heads up and down, side to side!! At the Turkish barbers, if you have hairy earlobes they singe them off with a match!!!! Who knew??? Nathan gets that done as part of the service, the boys don't need it. Anyway I digress! Ben had his hair cut and came home with it really, really spikey! That night he had a bath but asked for his hair not to be washed as he wanted to keep the spikes, we obliged.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The 52 project 2/52

So naturally I begin a project which involves taking photos of the boys each week, something which I naturally do, right? Well, in typical fashion, this week my selection of photos to chose from has made the job really easy as I have literally ; one of Ben;  one of Joseph and only a few more of Seth. He obviously has more photos because I spend a lot more time with him and not for any of those other reasons boys (yes teenage/adult versions of Ben and Joseph I hear the wooes are us tales OK!!! You go to school, he stays home, hence more photos!!)

Seth is into spitting and throwing!! The delights of a two year old!! It is really hard not to laugh and to have to put on a serious tone when he does it because it is naughtiness in the cutest way. He sups a drink, stores it, looks at you, then he will sometimes swallow but really all he wants to do is squirt it out and see how far it goes. The same with throwing things. For him there is real joy seeing that something he held can travel so far, so quick. Cheerio breakfasts have been thrown and spat out this week, the walls bear the proof.

This photo, was asked for as he was running around our bed room on Saturday morning. 'Ben I do not have enough photos of your handsome face on my phone.' He obliged,stopped momentarily and posed. This week he has enjoyed making up and telling jokes. It started with 'why does the chicken cross the road' style jokes and then we have migrated into 'what do you call a man with... on his head' You can tell a Ben composed joke because it will almost definitely have the word 'bottom' in it somewhere. He had Uncle Josh and I creased up laughing on Sunday night after they all came over for a birthday tea for Nathan.

This was a sweet moment. Joseph happily shared his Happy meal with Seth. Seth was not interested in the 20 nuggets and fries, Nathan had bought to share but wanted Joseph's fries and drink. Not a grumble passed from Joseph's mouth and believe it or not I felt relaxed eating out for the very first time. We actually looked like a fairly civilised family.... I know I've said it out loud it'll never happen again!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Birthday girl

It was my Birthday and this family of mine pulled out the stops and when I asked them to stop for some photos on our walk at Skipwith Common, there was only a little grumble and it wasn't from a small person! 
Nathan ruined me at Christmas and bought me a much longed for new camera. I am still coming to grips with all the settings but these photos, taken by my Dad of my favourite subjects, I love.

A lie in, breakfast in bed, lazy morning, walk around Skipwith, my parents, my boys, my man, Christmas cake as my birthday cake, curry at The Cumin Lounge is a recipe for a great 36th Birthday.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The 52 Project 1/52

So a brand shiny new year begins!!! I am motivated to get back into regular blogging. I love to look back on the years that I have blogged and see how the boys have changed and be reminded of the things we have done and experienced, especially the small moments. Inspired by my friend's blog I am going to take part in 'The 52 Project' where you take a photo of each child once a week. I think this will be a nice and simple way to get me back in to the blogging mojo!

 Seth turned two!!!! How I hear you ask?? 
We had the family over for hot sandwiches and birthday cake. This is a photo displaying a great talent on his - kissing!! In fact it is probably more aptly described as smooching! He freely gives his kisses when asked and to his favourite people they are offered. I am his most grateful receiver except when the smooch includes a little bite as well! Even then the makeup kiss to say sorry is worth the pain! 
Here he is giving Grandma a kiss - check out his pout!

 Ben is really coming out of his shell and becoming a confident little boy. The new year we went to visit the lovely Anderson's. We let the boys stay up late on New Year's Eve and they brought in the New Year with Istanbul! The boys made gingerbread men. True to form Ben got the messiest - flour ever-ry-where!!! He also asked me to film him as he did a demonstration on how to make gingerbread men. We did a couple of takes until he was satisfied!! 

Joseph had his first attempt at a climbing wall when we went into Edinburgh on New Year's Eve. He gave it a good go but rather enjoyed swinging on the rope strapped to his harness, a bit more than persevering any  further when the grips got further apart!!

Just the two of us

....we can make it it if we try. 

Oh my, there is nothing which replenishes the soul quite like a trip to the Lake District in Autumn, just the two of us. Seriously my eyes felt like they were on overload, trying to take in the colours from every direction. I loved it! England you are magnificent! Fern you are gorgeous in burnt orange. A feast for the eyes!
We drove up after lunch Friday, listening to Kermode and Mayo discuss the merits of Interstellar. The light was fantastic.

 We drove down to Windermere, via Ulswater which quite frankly makes Windermere look like the plain cousin! 

The joy of weekends away, and there are many, but one of my favourite things is the freedom of time; no schedule and we have a kind of 'make it up as you go along' type of attitude. We saw a sign for a Aira Force and decided to check it out. It was beautiful.

Other weekend highlights include - 
Chinese food 
Great tasting breakfasts
Booths ( how nice is Booths??)  
 A winter market at Holker Hall, where I could actually look at bits and admire, though not buy which Nathan does not understand at all! The compassionate side of him makes him feel sorry for the stall sellers and a need to buy something to make them feel better. Gingerbread cheesecake - fab-u-lous with a hot chocolate of course, makes for a great lunch.
 A walk by Windermere; some reflective chats. 
Goal setting which I love and Nathan eye rolls as I'm predictable at using time alone for making him have these deep conversations!! 

 In the evening, after I actually manged to get half decent curls in my hair for the very first time, all by myself, we scored a great deal at a restaurant which has a cinema offer. The food was delish and we got tickets to see Interstellar on its opening weekend. Apparently no one else in Windermere knew!!
Haha! Only 8 of us in the lower floor. There is something special about watching a film in an 'old school cinema' like this one. Love; the Wurlitzer at the front; the springy seats.

and taking random selfies during the interlude, yep the interlude!

On Sunday, we had to do church ourselves. We went to the War memorial in Windermere and paid our 2 minutes of silence in remembrance there. There were at least 100 names on the memorial, which seems a great price of life for such a small town.
 We did our Sunday School lesson - Jeremiah, what a man! So steadfast. What a charge - preach about the coming destruction to wicked Judah. They'll make you pay for telling them these things they do not want to hear. They'll put you in stocks, throw you in a pit where you'll sink in the mire, try and have you killed. At one point you'll cry out that you want to give up, that you wish you'd never been born but you won't give up because you are strong. What a prophet. I felt genuinely moved by his example and obedience in the face of adversity.

We then went and spiritually fed ourselves on another walk. This time by Derwant Water. Totally stunning. We were aiming for the view at Friar's Crag. Nathan returned to the car as we'd forgotten to pay and display. So, I sat on a bench for 15 minutes in silence taking in the view, which was pretty though a slightly blocked by trees. trees. When Nathan finally returned, we discovered that I was a mere 50 metres away from the previously mentioned spectacular view at Friar's Crag!! I chuckled to myself and thought about the spiritual life lessons there are to be learnt from settling for where we are when there are greater blessings when we take the extra steps.

Seriously I felt like we were on the edge of heaven looking at this vista and being with him. 

The weekend away was a blessing. We're blessed to have parents who will have the children for us; blessed to be able to stay over somewhere nice in such a beautiful location so close to home and blessed to just enjoy so much being with each other.