Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A Letter to Freddie on his Second Birthday

Dear Frog,

I wanted to write you a little letter on the day you turn two whole years old. I hope one day you might read this and know just how loved you are.

I still can't believe you are two.  Daddy and I have just been watching some videos from your first birthday,  you look so tiny!  Over the last 12 months you have turned from a baby to a boy, You are now walking and running and learning new things everyday.  You are the happiest, brightest little button.  You are stubborn and know your own mind too which I love.  But you can also be shy and unsure and need encouraging, but once you get your confidence there is no stopping you. I have no doubt you will do amazing things with your life my boy.

 We are in centre parks at the moment with Daddy, Grandad, Ninny, Uncle Adam, Auntie Emma, Auntie Donna and 'Beban'.  You are so excited to be on holiday and are in your absolute element spending all day exploring the great outdoors.  You particularly love the singing reindeer and have learnt all their names.  Today you are off to football camp then we are going to the pancake house for lunch which I know you will love as you have a bit of a sweet tooth like your Daddy.

You are the luckiest little boy on earth to have the most incredible family who just adore you.  So many grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and Cousins who all love the bones of you, who not only spoiled you rotten for your birthday with the kindest, most thoughtful gifts, but are most importantly always there for you, and always will be.  You really are so, so loved, by so, so many. Your love of life and happy smile is contagious.  You really are a joy to be around.

The last two years have been a rollercoaster, we have been through a lot together and although life isn't easy at the moment but your happy little face gets us all through, and your smile always makes grandad feel better.

The three of us really are the three musketeers, We spend all our time together and even though daddy has to go to work lots, you love your special 'boy time' and cuddles with daddy in bed in the mornings.  You still sleep with us at some point most nights which we love, you love to nestle into our backs and you love to stroke mummy's skin or daddy arm while you dream.  We have so much fun don't we? Playing at home, going to the park, running through the woods, visiting our friends and family and snuggling up to watch disney films.  Not only are you my son, but you are my best friend too.

When you were in my tummy I always wondered what you would look like, but now you are here, growing every day, it seems obvious what you would have looked like.  You may only be two years old but I feel like I have known you forever, you look so familiar like I might have seen you in my dreams in years gone by.  I suppose you are part of me, we are the same you and me.

Daddy and I often lie in bed, with you asleep between us and daddy always says to me "how did we get this lucky".  And he is right. I feel blessed every day to have you in our lives. You make us so unbelievably happy and proud, every time you do something cute or learn something new, or say new phrase my heart swells like it could burst out of my chest.

I remember when they placed you on my chest, seconds after you were born, I was overwhelmed with love for you, I loved you so so much it hurt.  I didn't think I could love you any more than I did right then, but you give me new reasons to love you every day.

Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for making daddy a daddy and me a mummy.  It isn't always easy, we are all learning so much along the way.

Happy Birthday my darling.  I hope you always know how much Daddy and I love you.  You may be two but you always be my 8lb 6 ounce chubby faced baby boy.

All my love,  forever and always.

Mummy xxxxxxx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Wedding Series - The Bridesmaids

I know, I know it has been like three months since the wedding, but I have had lots of posts written and ready to complete my wedding series, that I didn't want to post until we had our wedding pictures back! Our photographer did not disappoint, his photos are better than I could have imagined so it is worth the wait I promise.

I had 4 beautiful bridesmaids, My sister, my friend Lauren who I have known since secondary school,  and Amy and Jade who are the finances of two of mine and Chris's friends and who have turned out to be two of my favourite girls of all time.  I really think I had the best bridesmaid tribe, they absolutely excelled at the Hen Do's, and treated me like a princess, I honestly could to be more grateful the love and friendship they showed me over those crazy months.

The Gifts...

As soon as we arrived at Salomons the girls couldn't wait to give me their gifts, and I was absolutely blown away. I sobbed... and sobbed... and sobbed.. and sobbed some more.  Not only did they buy me a beautiful bracelet engraved with mine and Chris' name, but Jade made some beautiful personalised bridesmaid glasses and then they gave me an incredible book, with all the memories from my hen do, not only was it filled with all the photos but they had got messages from everyone who came to my Hens, the first one was from my my mum.  I read it and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed... you get the picture, there was a lot of sobbing going on.  My girls done good and I am still overwhelmed by all they did for me, so girls if you're reading this, I bloody love you.

I spent months trawling the internet for the perfect gift for my girls, there were lots of typical bridesmaid gifts, which were all lovely but I really wanted something extra special and something that they could use and keep and not just get forgotten in a draw.  I eventually found and fell in love with these gorgeous leather bags for them, in deep navy, and gold trim.  They also came engraved with their initials, and were just so simple and stunning and the girls loved them.  I knew they would be able to use them on the day which was lovely too, and I have seen them all using their bags lots which is lovely, kinda wish I had one too haha!

The dresses...

I picked out their dresses over a year before the wedding, possibly before I even had a venue, but I saw them on Asos and in the sale and fell in love!  The girls all looked incredible in them.  In the gorgeous sunshine and against the blue suits they looked stunning.  So many people have commented what a gorgeous alternative they were to normal bridesmaid dresses,  I just loved them. such a shame Oasis have discontinued them! They wore there hair up with some gyp tucked in and all wore white/pale pink heeled candles with natural make up.  I was so emotional when I saw them all ready, they looked beautiful.

I was so nervous before the ceremony and they really kept me together, I think we all hugged like a million times. They all cried so much through the ceremony, all I could hear while we were saying our vows was them sniffing, was so funny, all the guests have commented on the bridesmaids crying.  it really was so emotional. We all had so much fun together, sleepover the night before all crammed on two air beds,  getting the cake in the morning, the excitement of getting ready was definitely one of my favourite bits of the whole day! we were like squealing school girls.  We nearly knocked our selves out peaking at the boys arriving then when they looked up we bundled onto the floor smacking our heads together, it was so funny.

I couldn't have wished for better bridesmaids, or friends.  although that being said, you know how your bridesmaids are supposed to help you pee? did mine? well they attempted too but they were bloody useless and they ended up in a heap on the toilet floor, hysterically laughing at me, and I almost definitely did get wee on me hahaha.  even just thinking about it has me crying with laughter.  these stories are the best stories, weddings aren't about the fancy flowers or the lovely decor, its about the little moments.  the moment your pregnant bridesmaid is rolling on the toilet floor laughing at your.

Love you girls.

Freddie at Two Years Old

I haven't posted in a while,  life has been pretty shit as those close to us will know, I have a back log of posts that I have written that I hope to share once I start feeling a bit more positive.  However, a week today our little human turns 2, so I couldn't not write an update on our gorgeous little man.  I will probably write a soppy post on his birthday, so here is just a nice little summery of what Freddie William is up to at almost 2 years old.

Freddie has turned into a real little boy over the last few weeks, but there are still glimpses of my baby there.  It isn't always easy but I am trying so hard to cherish every moment with him,  I adore how fiercely independent he is becoming but it makes me realise we are well and truly out of the baby phase now.  He is still super cuddly though and is becoming more of a mummy boy, although he still worships his daddy.  he loves his family so much as loves to list his "famawy" which is super cute.  he loves all his extended aunties and uncles too, and talks about them all the time.  So proud of what a loving little boy he has become.

Freddie is now 11kg - Finally! He is back up to the 25th centile, still so diddy bless him but you can tell he is now starting to fill out a bit.  Clothes are still a bit of a nightmare, he is still in some 9-12, some 12-18 and some 18-24. Drives me crazy! He is so diddy around his waist but does have quite long legs.  Today his shoes suddenly seem to be a bit tighter - I can't complain though, he has been the same size shoes since September 2015! so his shoe collection is pretty impressive!

He eats fairly well.  We are still in the 'beige' phase,  So I am having to be creative with his food.  We had a breakthrough and he will now eat sweetcorn and peas but still nothing 'wet'.  He does love his fruit, and is getting more and more adventurous at trying new things. He always has porridge with honey or Weetabix for breakfast and loves cheese sandwiches.  His eating does get me down a little bit but I try not to let it, I know its a phase and definitely more behavioural than 'fussy'. The consultant he saw recently to see if he has the same nut allergy as me (he doesn't woohoo) said he looked very healthy and I shouldn't worry.  I do give him vitamins and he still drinks plenty of milk.  I do not believe in the 'he will eat it if he is hungry' approach so I am just serving things I know he likes with one new thing a day.  Amazing how incredible he was at weaning, cold pureed broccoli was his favourite, followed by Jamaican curried pork and yet here we 2 years down the line with a toddler saying cucumber is yucky.

I want to do a separate post on sleeping, but he is now finally sleeping at least 8 hours every night and sometimes as long as 13 hours and probably 5 nights out of 7 he wakes once.  He goes down really happily at 7, He asks to go to bed and asks us to leave "bye mama shut door".  When/if he wakes he comes in with us, we don't mind we just want sleep and have never seen an issue with it, co-sleeping is something we hugely support (keep eyes peeled for another post).  Just a few months ago he was still waking several times every night so I am pretty happy with how things are currently.  Luckily he isn't an early riser either, usually wanting to get up for breakfast between 8 and 9.  He also has a 2 hour nap if we are at home, but just grabs zzz' in the car if we are out.

His talking is my favourite thing, it would be easier to write the things he can't say!  He blows me away with his speech, he is talking to us in 3 word sentences and will attempt to copy any word he hears (including bollocks... oops) he has started saying "luff ooo" which is my favourite, and he loves to tell people his whole name.  His pronunciation has come on a lot in the last few weeks too.  He can count to 8, and from 5 to 1 backwards too.  He has gotten so good at following instructions, which is also flipping useful when I want him to get me something, I won't have long before he doesn't think it is fun, so I am making the most of it haha! One of the funniest things he does is shout for me calling me 'Madge' which is Mr P's nickname for me, or he will wake me up by stroking my face and whispering babe in my hear, which i find hysterical. He says please and thank you and pardon me which is so funny, and if you don't say pardon me he gives you a very stern look.  He also says 'your welcome' if you say thank you too him, he is like a little old man!

Freddie Loves...

  • Disney films - his current favourite is Jungle Book and he is obsessed with the Elephant scene, he spends ages every day marching up and down shouting "elephants marching singing" and always exclaims "baby elephant".  As we get towards tea time he loves to snuggle under a blanket on the sofa and watch his favourite films, He will watch a whole film too, so I make the most of it!
  • He still loves playing cars, trains, buses, airports and farms.  He is getting really into his imaginative play now and talks for them, and gives his animals "Mulk" and "ninner".
  • He asks to the park every day, he is never happier when he is running outdoors, we spend the majority of our time outdoors, roaming fields, woods and parks.  So when we are home I don't feel guilty about indulging in some sofa sitting and disney film watching.
  • He loves painting and learning how to do new things, he can be so wild but also a thinker like his dad, he is very capable with his hands, and enjoys making things, gluing things and generally getting crafty. 
  • He is dinosaur mad at the moment too which is super cute, he has started playing little made up dinosaur games inspired by 'Andy's dinosaur adventures' and he says things like uh oh mummy a t-rex... and pretends to run with dinosaurs. I have been really impressed with his imagination, he makes up little scenarios with his people and makes them talk to each other, its so flipping cute.
  • He absolutely LOVES to sing, which he gets from me.  and honestly it just makes my heart swell with so much pride, he sings let it go and knows most of the words now but is usually too eager and ahead of the music haha.  he really goes for it when we are in the car and can be herd belting out his fave songs over the sound of the radio.  It makes me so excited to see where his interests and talents lie as he gets older. 

Don't get me wrong he can be super hard work, of course, like any toddler, he trashes the house, he won't pose nicely for photos much anymore and would rather mush his food into the floor than eat it, which drives me crackers but we still feel so blessed.  We have entered the terrible 2 tantrums but I am coping quite well actually, I just really don't let it bother me, people stare in Asda when he was lying on the floor screaming over wanting to buy chocolate at the till (seriously why do supermarkets do that!!!) but let them stare, I really don't care, I know I am a good mum, I know he is just being two, and i'll never see them again anyway haha.  Although he can throw a killer tantrum 95% of the time he is my happy little frog, he doesn't winge or whine, which I find a blessing but when he goes he goes, but it stops as quick as it starts and we move on.  The Last year has gone so quickly,we have experienced so much together, explored new places, been on so many exciting family adventures, and we have all changed so much, we have grown together, and grown as a family.

I can't believe this time two years ago I was preparing for his imminent arrival.  What a wonderful whirlwind it has been.  

Monday, 10 October 2016

It's 2am. Leave me alone.

Go away. Why do you keep bothering me. It's 2am. Piss off.

Please not tonight. I'm tired and need my sleep, imagining all my deepest fears is a real inconvenience right now. Backwards, forwards, sideways, I have thought about them all ways a million times over. 5 years ago, ten years from now.  Give me a break. 

Walking to the park with my gorgeous little boy, sun is shining, life is good and suddenly there you are. In my way. I didn't see you coming and now I can't get past you. I can't get round you. Get out of my way. And with another step towards me, your suffocating presence turns me on my heel and home we go. 

I'm doing the food shop, trying to concentrate but there you are in my mind, wrapping yourself around me so I can't  breathe. Speaking into my ear, your voice is so loud it is deafening. I can't think, I don't know how to shop, your presence makes me forget everything. A supermarket seems like the scariest of places all of a sudden and I need to leave, now. 

Sitting in a bar, surrounded by friends but you've put me in your bubble. I can see them laughing, joking, having fun. I can see myself too, going through the motions. But I'm not really there, I'm trapped here with you. They sound so far away from where we are. A blur of laughter and smiles.  On our way home you will have me convinced they hate me. They are ridiculing me as they drive away. That's got to be true. Why would anybody like me. I don't even know who me is because of you. 

My wonderful husband to be makes a suggestion for an exciting place to go, and an exciting thing to do. I answer "yes sounds great" but by the time my words have left my lips you have already whispered a hundred reasons why I won't go. And you're right, I won't go. I will be too scared and too afraid and again you will have your way. 

Stop being ridiculous they will say. There is nothing to worry about they will repeat over and over again hoping to make it all better. I know they are right, but you are so powerful. Your ability to control my mind is terrifying. "No one will believe you" you will have me convinced, "they will think your attention seeking".  I can't take much more of this. 

I'm pretty good at keeping away from you, ducking and diving to avoid you but then you appear and knock the breath right out of my lungs. Sometimes, so hard it physically hurts. Even on a good day,  I will always be running, never completely free. I have so much to be joyful for, please let me feel happiness without fear. 

Sometimes I feel so sad. Sometimes I am so trapped by you and I wonder if you will ever let me go. I need to stand up to you, but you drain my energy. I am so tired of silently fighting with you.

Go away. Why do you keep bothering me. It's 4am. Piss off. Anxiety. 

*Note - I wrote this on 14th April 2015, and am posting it on 10th October 2016, on World Mental Health Awareness Day. I have almost posted this a few times but have never been brave enough before now.  I have come such a long way since I wrote this, I have built strategies to cope, and if you follow my Instagram you will see I've been pretty brave this summer, doing things I wouldn't have done previously, and I'm pretty proud of that. One day at a time.*

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Wedding Series - DIY Wedding Post Box

One of the things I loved when planning our wedding was the gorgeous white post boxes, you know the ones that look like real post boxes but are white with gold details - love them! but they can cost up to £100 to hire and my sensible mind knew it was silly to spend that on something people would just put a card on.

So I started scrolling pinterest for ideas, I saw the other favourites, the bird cage or old suitcase but I wasn't keen.  Then I came across something that gave me inspiration but it would require a fair amount of DIY, it was either going to work or be a disaster but I decided to give it a go.

I went to hobby craft and both a hard card post box flat pack type thing, which was only £9.99 and it was surprisingly large.  I bought two wooden letters in our initials and then got some faux flowers and ivy leaf garlands from the range which were super cheap.  the packs of 8 roses were £1 both the large white and smaller pink, and the ivy garland was also £1 for 2.  absolute bargain! I got some paint for the letters from B&Q and a glue gun from a little shop called Tiger that was only £5! Luckily my mum pointed out I would need strong glue as the letters would be quite heavy against the box.

So here is how I did this super simple post box!

  1. Firstly I painted the letters in a gorgeous coral colour and left them to dry.  
  2. Once they were dry I glued the letters to the box, I had to hold them firmly for a good ten minutes but they stuck so well! 
  3. Then I stood the box back up and popped the lid on, I got the ivy garland and draped it 'decoratively' round the top of the box and glued it into place.
  4. The Roses had wire stems so I then wrapped them on the ivy garland until I felt it looked just right.

And voila - I am still chuft to bits with how it looked and SO many people commented on it.  Overall including the cost of the glue gun, paint, box, letters, and flowers, my DIY post box cost around £35!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Autumn bucket list

Autumn is my favourite season by far.  I love the warm haze of summer and the long nights don't get me wrong, but I get to a point where I am totally over it - and I have reached that point.  I am so ready for chunky knit and crunchy leaves.  Autumn also brings me a whole new list of things I want to do, Freddie couldn't walk last autumn which makes this year even more exciting with more possibilities, so hear is my autumn bucket list!

1.  Get Organised - this may seem a funny one, but winter brings us Freddie's second birthday and of course Christmas, I am usually so disorganised and this year that has to be different, being disorganised usually ends in spending (wasting) more money.  Even if I do not start buying yet, I want to have a full amazon wish list ready to go, a written list of what I will buy, what I will make and what I want to do/acheive over the birthday/xmas period so I am in control and don't end up super stressed and running out of time of all the things I really want to do.  We are also planning to redecorate and have a bloody good clear out, so Autumn will see this happen too, the house is in chaos after a crazy summer and its time to get sorted!

2.  Halloween - Halloween was great last year and it will be even better this year now Freddie is able to do so much more.  I might have a little halloween party, and we will definitely be painting pumpkins, and getting a super cute fancy dress costume!

3.  Go pumpkin picking - We went last year and I would like to go again this year, it would be great    to recreate some of the photos we took to see how much Freddie has grown.  This is definitely one of the things I am most excited about!

4. Baking - I love baking but I tend to always bake the same thing, I would like to find a couple of new autumnal recipes. I would like to make banana loaf, I know its super simple but I haven't made it before but I know Freddie loves it when I buy him a slice from the swimming pool, so I really want to bake him some.  I would also love to give making my own bread ago, I have bought some yeast so watch this space!

5. Country Walks - We will definitely be heading to Knole park this autumn, it is my absolute favourite place to go when the leaves start to turn golden.  We had our engagement photoshoot there on the 1st October last year so again would be lovely to go back and recreate some of the shot, I would love to make it a little tradition.  Ash down forest is also on my bucket list for the new season, I loved it there as a child, playing pooh sticks, looking for Eeyore's house and I cannot wait to take Fred whatever the weather.  Freddie adores being outside and I don't want this to change just because it might not be sunny.

6. Buy new wellies - My wellies are pink with blue spots, I have had them since I was about 17 and I loved them, but now I hate them so I think its time to invest in some I have had my eye on in Joules, I want Mr P and I to have matching ones, I am sure they will feature on my instagram soon!

7.  Crafts - I  still have the lovely autumn pictures we made last year stuck on the kitchen door, I can't believe the leaves are still up!  This year I have been pinning some great looking crafts including Apple and potato printing.  We will also make a start on our DIY christmas cards I think.

8.  Nature walk - I will definitely be taking Freddie out to do a nature walk.  I am going to try to do him a list using pictures of things to find like conkers, brown leaves, yellow leaves, pine cones and acorns - I am really excited about doing this, Freddie responds really well to structured activities like this, can't wait to see what he makes of it all.  A great thing to do in any weather and a great sensory activity too.

9.  Build a fort and have dinner inside -  Freddie loves having a 'picnic' tea, where we all sit on the floor and eat tea together, he also loves when I make a fort to play in so we will definitely make some family time to do both together.  Our picnic tea's are one of my favourite things to do, it's such good bonding time, no phones, no enforcing of sitting nicely or distractions, just the three of us, giggling and eating pizza.  No doubt it will also turn into a disney movie night with Freddie's favourite cinnamon popcorn.

10  Farmers market -  We have a local farmers market, 5 minutes from us and I always forget its on! But I have put in my calendar and I am looking forward to browsing the stalls of local produce and hopefully pick up some yummy chutneys, and other things to put in the xmas hampers I am making for grandparents etc.

11.  Go to Harvest at our church - We haven't been to the All Ages Family Service at our church for ages so feeling a tad guilty! We will definitely be taking Freddie to Harvest Festival, one of the best times to go and we will be making a box of harvest goodies to donate too. Cauliflowers fluffy, cabbages green, strawberries sweeter than ever I've seen... need I say anymore?

12.  Last but not least I would love a nice autumnal scented candle and a nice new blanket.  The reason I love Autumn is the cosy days and evenings snuggled up together. Not many people know but I have an obsession with blankets, I have quite a collection, and in my opinion you cannot have enough! I would like something in some wintery colours and a nice scented candle to make the house smell like autumn. I will definitely also be adding a scarf to my huuugee collection, scarves are my favourite thing about the colder weather, how sad is that!
I love writing these bucket lists, really gives me a focus for the next few months.  Small achievable things that make me feel like we have achieved lots of special moments.  What is on your Autumn bucket list?

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Wedding Series: Personal Promises

Chris and I decided to write our own personal promises for our ceremony.  It really meant a lot to us. They were read after the legal vows and before we exchanged rings.

I wasn't sure I wanted to share them on here, they were so personal and so emotional.  both of us could barely speak for tears.  So many of our guests however have told us how beautiful they thought the vows were and that they would love to have a copy to read, so here they are for all to see.  It has been so emotional to read them again.  I can't wait to see the photos our photographer captured of us reading our vows.

Chris' Vows to me -

Today I have loved you for 2243 days.
I look back at us with the biggest smile when I think about how far we have come together.
From shy beginnings where neither of us were brave enough to tell each other how we felt, to excitement, romance, wonderful memories and unbelievable happiness that you continue to bring me every single day. 

we now have our own home that we worked our socks off for, we now have the most amazing son who fascinates me more and more each day.  now I can finally stand here with the biggest smile because today we are getting married.

Some may say we have done things the non traditional way, but I say we have done them perfectly.  

None of this would have been possible had I not been lucky enough to find you. 

Most men would never admit to dreaming about the women they would marry, but I did dream, and my dream was you. 

I promise that you can always count on me to make you smile and to make you laugh, or to hold your hand when if you are scared and you will never have to struggle in life with me by your side.  

I promise that as long as I am alive that you will never be alone, you will never question if you are beautiful, you will never wonder if you are loved and you will always know that you are worthy. 

I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us now together as husband and wife. "

My vows to Chris -

"Chris, I never imagined all those years ago that our friendship would turn into something so much more.

In these six years I have fallen in love with you again and again,
Countless times, without reservation.  In you I have found everything a girl ever dreams of, we have shared so much over the years and I am a better women and mother because I have you.  
I still can't believe that today, I get to marry my best friend. 

I promise to always be by your side. 
To be your biggest supporter,
To challenge you and make you laugh,
And to share with you the beautiful moments in life.

it doesn't matter what struggles we face together, or how much time has passed, 
I know that we will always be a team. 
That we will always find strength in one another
And that we will continue to grow side by side.

I beleive in every truth of what we are,
and I will love you always.
To the moon, round the stars and back again."

I could never have imagined how emotional saying those words would be.  I was blown away by the beautiful words Chris wrote, his promises truly took my breath away.  It was by far my favourite part f our day.  while we were speaking it was like time stood still. After we exchanged our rings and were officially man and wife, we had arranged for my sister to bring us a selfie stick and we took a 'first kiss as man and wife' selfie, which I haven't shared before!