Thursday, 28 April 2016

Wedding Series - Our Story

We are getting so close to the big day now, 3 months, 22 days to be exact, so I thought it would be nice to tell you all about how Chris and I became a 'we' before we became a three! Instead of uploading picture perfect posey photos, holiday photos or photos from our professional engagement shoot, I have delved into the depths of my laptop and thought it would be alot more fun to share these! (Dodgy old instagram filter, dodgy eyebrows and dodgy fake tan included)

The first ever picture taken of us, Aged 17 and 18.
I remember vividly the first thing I said to Chris... "wow you're short" - I had started at Chris' School for sixth form in September 2009, and we had to line up in height order and I was only slightly shorter than him so stood next to him. I still can't believe that is the first thing I ever said to him.
My 18th Birthday Party

Over the next 6 months we became friends, really good friends with absolutely no hidden intentions on my part (I cant say the same for Chris haha!), which I think is why we have such a solid friendship. We used to have so much fun with all our friends flying around in his ultra cool  Ford KA! A friendship as strong as ours is the perfect base to a relationship. We still laugh and mess around as much now as we did then.  Chris was the year above me and it wasn't until he had left after his A levels that we became more than friends.

June 2010, Chris and I were texting and he said he was going to the cinema that evening, I asked him who with and he said no one, he was going on his own.  This was his 18 year old boy way of asking me to go with him, hahahaha we always laugh about it now and we saw the most awful, random film which I would love to watch again! There was never any mention that it was more that friends, he never said he liked me or anything, but I could just feel as we sat next to each other there was an awkward tension in the air.

 This bit is SO cringe, but try to remember we were cringe worth 17 & 18 year olds... later that night we were texting and after the weird tension at the cinema I started to have an inkling that Chris might like me, so I asked him "if he liked anyone at the moment" -  He replied "Yes" - I asked him "who"- and he replied "You".  Cue screaming teenage girl lying on the living room rug cringing and laughing with a tummy full of butterflies.  I can remember it like it was yesterday, always brings a smile too my face.

That night I stayed awake all night, listening  to love songs on my ipod so so excited. I had gone from seeing him as a friend to being a crazy excited teenage girl. A boy who could drive fancied me. woah. I got up early and went for a run, I didn't actually go to sleep, it's so weird, I think I knew it would be something special.

 That night we met in the local park and went for a lovely evening stroll, it was very romantic. then we went into town to blockbuster and had a very awkward " I don't mind what film we watch" conversation haha we ended up with some weird new version of Alice in wonderland, seriously so cringe.  We went back to his house and we didn't even watch the film - we talked and talked and talked and talked. It was the most amazing night of my life, all of a sudden we realised it was 3am, we had talked for 7 hours straight! Chris took me home, like the gentleman he is and the rest as they say, was history.

 We have been together ever since, we have barely spent any time apart. and on 12th August 2016. 6 years, 1 month, 21 days after this night, we will say 'I Do', and the man who pretended to go to the cinema on his own to inadvertently ask me on a date, will become my husband and I couldn't think of anyone better to spend the rest of my life with.


Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Last Time

As parents we know our children grow, we want them too.  We look forward to them reaching the next stage, we cant wait for them to sleep through the night, eat solids and take their first steps.  In the excitement of all the new and wonderful things your child is learning we might not realise other things fading into the distance, everyday things becoming memories.

Much to my great sadness, I was unable to breastfeed my baby and we bottle fed solely from 2 weeks old. Those nights snuggled up in his nursery, just us, the world around us quiet, feeding my baby his warm milk, whispering in his ear, smelling his baby smell and brushing his soft hair against my face; there is nothing more beautiful than feeding your baby, holding them close. At the time I am not sure we appreciate those moments for the wonder that they are, desperate for sleep with tired heavy eyes hoping for a good four hours before the next feed.

Freddie took his bottles from me until quite recently I think he was 13 months when he decided he was grown up enough to hold it himself, but he still took his early morning bottles and bed time bottles from us, snuggled into our chests just like our newborn, only now his legs dangled off our lap. I noticed about 6 weeks ago this was happening less and less, he started wanting to do his bottle himself in the morning, and at bedtime so it became random day feeds when he was super sleepy he would let me feed him.

two weeks ago, when he had been poorly, he didn't want his lunch, so I offered him a bottle which he squealed with excitement for, he snuggled up onto my lap, nestled his head into me and let me feed him. About halfway through he looked up at me and stared into my eyes for about 4 minutes, usually he is too busy, wants to drink as quickly as possible and get back to his toys. But he was so cuddly and still in my lap as he drank his milk and I just had this feeling.  I knew he was taking his bottle from me for the last time.  

It was the most beautiful moment, and I am lucky that I have had 16 months of feeding my baby.  I never understand parents who choose to end the bottles/milk of their choice, I always said I would give Freddie bottles of milk until he was ready and he got there on his own.

That last bottle was such a special moment, my eyes sting with tears everytime I remember it. Bottle feeding is so beautiful too, I dont think enough is put out there to show just how beautiful it can be.

If you are up tonight, feeding your baby, wishing the days away until your baby isnt guzzling milk by the hour, please enjoy, treasure the moment for what it is, a bleary eyed moment of bonding, securing a bond that will last a life time. I would do anything to do one more night feed. Because sooner or later you will feed your baby for the last time. It is so wonderful to see our children grow but I feel sad too. Joy and sadness at the same time, that's the funny thing about parenting.

Thank you Freddie, for making our last feed so very very special. I love you more than you will ever know.

Mummy x 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Freddie's Spring wardrobe

Spring is a hard season to dress for. It is sunny but not warm, but its too warm for your winter jumper and if you decide instead to wear something a bit more summery, it's suddenly arctic weather again.  Saying that I am pretty pleased with Freddie's Spring wardrobe and am loving his cute Spring jackets.  

Personally I have an aversion to babies and toddlers dressed like tiny teenagers, I want Freddie to look like the cute little bubbly he is for as long as possible!  His wardrobe has had a huge injection of colour which I am loving and it really suits him! Fred is coming up 18 months but is still in 12-18 month clothes, although a lot of things are still to big, but I didn't want to buy 9-12 months as they are a bit on the small side! Anyone else find children's clothing sizes a bit of a nightmare? Freddie also has a super skinny waist and long legs which makes things tricky! 

It was pretty hard to pick my fave spring wardrobe items but I think this is a pretty good selection!

Dungarees and short sleeved body suit,  M&S, £18 - yellow stripe long sleeved tee, Baby Gap (out of stock)
 1. I love this Dungarees set, mainly because it is plain denim so I can team with so many different tops, and it is great for my little pipe cleaner because they can't fall down! I love the stripey bodysuit tee too.

2. Freddie's Great Grandma bought him this yellow long sleeve tee in baby gap, I think it was £6.95, he actually has this top in lots of different colours, definitely one of our faves. Unfortunately though it is now out of stock.

ZARA 3. Animal Tee, £6.99 4.Sneakers, £17.99 5.Denim Jacket, £17.99 6. Colour Nation Leggings, £8.99 
Zara is probably my favourite for picking out cool clothes for Fred, not necessary your every day items but perfect to get some cool, different items .My only gripe with Zara is there stock is rubbish! always order online because the shops stock is poor and even online everything seems to always be out of stock!

3. This animal tee is so cool and a must for Freddie, he is animal mad and was shouting 'manimals' at it in the shop so of course it had to come home with us and it brings the colour without being too much. 

4. I think the little shoes are my absolute favourite on the whole page, they will go with everything, all his other shoes are very wintery so is nice to have something a bit lighter.  They are just so cute, maybe not first choice to wear to the park but you can never have enough shoes! 

5. Is there anything cuter than a kid in a denim jacket? Plus, mummy can wear hers and we can match, Because twinning is winning right? 

6. I am a huge fan of Zara leggings, Freddie has owned pretty much every pair they have! So comfy for him to play and run around in, Jeans just are not always comfy for kids especially for soft play etc. I love these white leggings and I think they are pretty popular too, my Instagram feed is full of cute kids wearing them! 

Next 7.Car print shirt, £6 -  8. Green Chinos, £9
 Is there any parent who doesn't love Next? Freddie's wardrobe is like a Next catalogue, anything we don't already own is certainly on our lust list! I cant wait to get some more summer things, in love with some of their shorts!
7. Freddie loves this multi car Tee, and makes broom broom noises when I put it on, which is super cute. Such a lovely tee and goes with everything too. 

8. Absolutely adore these chinos, gorgeous bright colour and perfect for Freddie. only problem is they keep falling down! They do have an adjustable waist though so I need to take them in! Looking forward to teaming them with a plain long sleeve white top and his new white shoes from Zara (above). 

9. White Linen blend shirt, £9, Next - 10. 'My Mummy' is Magic, £7, Next - 11. Fisherman Jacket, £22, M&S
9. Freddie's wardrobe has been lacking smart shirts so this shirt is the perfect addition and will go with all his trousers, not sure how it will wear, being linen but for £9 I thought it was pretty good. 

10. Anyone who knows me knows my nickname is Amie Magic so this Tshirt was a no brainer! And we always need something blue in his wardrobe! 

11. Anyone absolutely love Yellow Macs?! It is still a little big for him but he has worn it a few times because he insists! Fred absolutely loves this and squeals with excitement when he sees it haha! I think it is the bright colour, he also finds the material a great thing to chew! It is shower resistant so perfect for the April showers! Although my mum teamed this coat with his green trousers today, which I fear is maybe a tad too much! 

Are you a fan of colour for your children's wardrobe? 

Oh I just love to dress up my pickle! 

Monday, 4 April 2016

Time to get outside more!

Three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates. This is the headline that has been filling my social media feeds for the last 48 hours, and something that really, really shocked me.
I love taking Freddie on outdoor adventures
Reading further down the article it stated high security prison inmates are required to spend two hours outside every day for the well being of their physical and mental health. To think our children are inside more than prison inmates is really quite concerning. Of course it is claimed the lure of technology is the main culprit, and I guess this is probably true for lots of children, parenting is bloody hard work and sometimes you need to save your sanity and let them play on the damn ipad one more time.

Never happier than when he is running around in the park
Reading this I didn't really think it applied to us, we weren't in that third, we are always out doing, but when I sat down and really thought about how much actual outdoor time Fred gets every day it made me realise that maybe we (because fresh air isn't just good for children!) don't get enough. Lets be realistic though, two hours a day is quite ambitious with a toddler with the attention span of a nat, but as he gets older I am sure it will be easier to be outdoors more. I already find being outdoors is easier than being indoors, the more we are out the cleaner the house is! I really believe that being outdoors is so, so good for our children there is nothing better that the sight of Fred's rosy cheeks from breathing in all that fresh air and watching him discover the world around him. Fred absolutely loves being outdoors and by about 10 every morning is banging on the door wanting out (it's like having a golden retriever sometimes) he loves to splash in puddles, pick up sticks, run around and explore, every outdoor adventure we go on you can see him learning and discovering new things, his mind is like a little sponge and what better to soak up than the great outdoors.

Getting outdoors more as a family is really important to me.
Some days when you've had no sleep and the washing is flowing out of the basket, going out can seem overwhelming but although not often, if  we do spend a whole day indoors I actually notice a huge affect on my mood and Fred's behavior so come rain or shine (and it's about time I got some use out of the all in one rain coat that cost me £32 in Jojo Maman Bebe) I am on a mission to get us all out more.  So as well as the outdoor activities we do during the day, we have added two new ways to get outside more.  Day 2 and it's going well and it adds up to 40 minutes more outside every day and yet it doesn't feel like we are even out that long! We have added a walk before/after breakfast, just a small walk around the block, good excuse to pop to the shops for the bits we will need that day. Freddie doesn't usually want breakfast as soon as he wakes so instead of sitting watching Cbeebies, it's coats and trainers on over his Pjs (I do chuck jeans on as no one wants to see me in my PJs) and out we go. It actually is such a wonderful way to start the day, I am surprised at the mood lift and motivation a brisk early morning walk gives you. Daddy misses his little man so much while he is at work so the next thing we have added is a little evening walk after dinner, before bath and bed. This is such a nice thing for us to do as a family, 20 minutes every day of quality time to talk and not be distracted by the dishes or crap TV. Freddie is loving this too because it means 40 minutes extra every day on his trike which he is obsessed with. It really tires him out before bed too and makes him really hungry and ready for breakfast. After 2 days I can see a real positive difference in us all. Now I know this all sounds idyllic and it wont always work out but I really really want to try and keep it up.

Freddie is loving his evening trips out on his trike!
Playing outside is fundamental in our children's health and development and what is best about the outdoors? It's free!

Has this survey linked with Persil's 'Dirt is Good' campaign get you thinking about getting outdoors a bit more?