me and mine {december}


Daddy is loving
* christmas morning at home with the kids.
* seeing family at the farm in Wales.
* booking our holiday.
* riding the big wheel at Winter Wonderland.
* cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery.

Mummy is loving
* visits to London to see all the christmas lights.
* dreaming about our holiday in the spring.
* seeing the beautiful boy in his preschool nativity.
* the good hair days she's had due to her new hairdryer and wand (thanks Mum and Dad).
* the sheer magic of christmas morning with little ones.

The beautiful boy is loving
* his new pirate ship and green stripy socks.
* singing songs from the nativity.
* watching Father Christmas fly through the sky on Christmas Eve.
* chocolate coins.
* going to the farm.

The beautiful girl is loving
* eating chocolate for breakfast (well, it is December!)
* her newly refurbished dolls house.
* watching Minnie's Winter Bow Show.
* singing and dancing to 'Shake It Off' by Taylor Swift.
* unwrapping presents.


31

him and her {week fifty-two}


he has adored everything that Christmas has to offer,
is chuffed to bits with the green stripy socks he kept asking for,
and has been an absolute star throughout.


she would have happily stopped after opening her first present,
is a little too used to chocolate being permanently on offer,
and sings a cracking rendition of 'jingle bells'.
0

{little christmas moments} nativity


Nativity is one of those little things which is a real milestone of childhood Christmases. I remember being in them as a child, and planning them as a teacher, and it has always been a major Christmas highlight for me. There is something about small children proudly performing their parts, acting out the Christmas story and singing all those well known festive songs that just never fails to get me in the mood for Christmas (and to bring a big lump to my throat with the sheer cuteness of it all.)

8

him and her {week fifty-one}


he was the very best king number one that ever there was in his preschool nativity,
is repeatedly asking for green stripy socks for Christmas,
and makes sure we read every single kiss when we show him christmas cards.


she says "merry christmas" every time she sees a christmas tree or a father christmas,
constantly asks for "moreteasers" which seems a pretty good name for Maltesers really,
and is obsessed with watching Minnie's Winter Bow Show.
2

{little christmas moments} emotional mummy


Christmas is an exciting time of year; packed full of festive adventures and anticipation as the big day draws near. I have always loved Christmas time, and never more so than now I have my own children to enjoy it with. I say it every year, but for me, having children just sets the magic of Christmas on fire; heightening every experience and making it so special.

5

him and her {week fifty}


he has been one poorly little man with a high temperature
and none of his usual energy and enthusiasm for everything,
but is kindly sharing the advent calendar chocolates that he doesn't want with his sister,
and has been giving everybody the loveliest cuddles.


she has been one poorly little lady with a horrible cold
and the saddest little face you ever did see,
but is still finding the energy to give her brother some big 'get well soon' hugs,
and is enjoying getting to watch wall-to-wall Disney on the television.
2

collecting memories


We all lead busy lives, and that's no different in our family. Rich works hard so that we can afford to have me stay at home to look after the children, and I obviously work pretty hard doing just that. The children are always busy, thats kids for you I guess. During the weeks we can end up feeling a bit fragmented I guess, as we are rarely all together. But the absolutely bread and butter of our family, the thing we love most, and that really makes us tick is making memories together.

We make a real effort to get out and have adventures together, each week when we can manage it. Sometimes a trip to the country park, sometimes a couple of days away, maybe a day at a theme park, or a trip to the seaside, but we make sure that we make that time to enjoy each other's company. 

We've been lucky to go on some fantastic holidays and little breaks away this year, all over the beautiful British Isles, and we have enjoyed ever single adventure so very much. That travelling bug really gets in your blood I think, and I was lucky enough to travel a lot when I was child. I so want my children to have that experience too; to learn to swim in a swimming pool in the sunshine, to try new activities that they'd never do at home, to experiment with flavours and taste new foods, to have the excitement of packing your case and then waiting at the airport for your flight, to get little stamps in their passports. I can't wait for the day that we get to take our children out of this country that we call home and show them some other places in this big wide world of theirs. 

We are always thinking about the next place we would like to visit; a bit of glamping is on my agenda and taking the kids to Disney (and by kids I also mean me). Rich wants to go to Italy and back to visit New York again. We're also both dreaming of snowy trips to Lapland at Christmas time, and days spent in the sunshine dipping our toes in the see. And the children....? The main thing that they want to do is go on an aeroplane, because thats a big exciting new experience they haven't had yet.

I think any parent will tell you, that having children makes you very aware of how fast time passes. You spend your youth racing from one exciting thing to another, desperate to grow up. Then when you grow up you wish it would all just slow down a bit. I feel so passionate about filling their childhoods full of exciting adventures. Because it means that as we look back on the ever growing collection of memories we have, we can look back with even bigger smiles, knowing that we enjoyed every single second. That we grabbed every second, showed them every opportunity and really enjoyed life to the fullest.

So that is why I can't not throw my name in the hat for a chance to be a Mark Warner Ambassador in 2015. Mark Warner wants to know what our perfect family holiday is... well ours would be anywhere where we can have adventures and good times as long as we're having them together... and our first abroad family holiday would be one hell of an adventure.
11

being 'growed up'


Our little miss has definintely hit that stage where her imagination has come to life, and all she wants to do these days is make believe and play at being mummy to her toys or being 'growed up' by making us all 'cup-a-teas'. Her attention to detail as she role plays is amazing, and watching her play in this new kitchen from Great Little Trading Company is such an absolute pleasure.


0

siblings {december}


Our December hasn't started off in the best style if I'm honest. We are embracing the excitement of the upcoming festivities with as much enthusiasm as we can muster... which isn't as much as I'd like, because so far December has been a sickly one. As I write this I can hear my poorly pair coughing and spluttering in their sleep, and I will shortly pop in to check their temperatures and no doubt re-administer yet another dose of calpol. I love Christmas, but all this Wintery-ness and the associated bugs... well they suck!

Lurgies well and truly scuppered my Siblings photo plans for this month, because taking poorly kids outside in the cold for the soul purpose of getting a photo... well thats just cruel. So we've settled for cosy indoor ones, which actually sums up our month so far pretty well. 


The only nice thing to come out of the illness in our household, has been how adorable the children have been together. Yes, they have both been fractious, and a little quicker to get annoyed that usual, but they have been lovely and caring too. The beautiful boy was struck down first, and as he lay on the sofa feeling sorry for himself, his little sister regularly checked up on him; giving him cuddles and kisses, clearly worried about her quiet little playmate. And in turn as she has become ill herself, her big brother is full of sympathy and even offered her his rabbit to cheer her up.

So my pictures are grainy from the lack of light... that's December for you. But if you look past the grain, you'll see that they are sat sharing a book together in matching hats that they insisted on playing in, and you'll spot that they are holding hands as they look at the Christmas tree together. And those are the memories of Christmas that I want to hold dear, the moments where my two enjoyed something together.



28

him and her {week forty-nine}


he loves telling us the date each morning so that we know which advent calendar door to open,
is repeatedly saying that he wants Father Christmas to bring him green stripy socks,
and squeals with excitement every time he spots a new house with decorations up outside.


she spent an absolute age carefully adding sweets to her gingerbread man,
surprising us all because we thought she'd simply want to eat it all,
and excitedly shouts "look its a christmas tree" every time we come back home.
2

an autumn stroll


I kind of feel like a stuck record for saying it, but family photos really do mean the world to me. There is something so incredibly precious and priceless about capturing a moment in time, especially when that moment includes children, who seem to have this tendency to change and grow so fast.


3

{little christmas moments} advent


Happy December 1st. It's officially the most magical month of the year. And the first day of December brings with it all the fun of advent.


5

me and mine {november}


Daddy is loving
* watching the England win in Glasgow.
* fun trips to feed the ducks.
* going to Preston to visit family.
* finding mini eggs in the shops.
* a fun work's christmas party in Germany.

Mummy is loving
* the countdown to the festive season.
* meeting up with Jenny and family for autumn adventures.
* grey ombre manicures.
* Ben and Jerry's caramel sutra core ice-cream.
* adding a scarf to every outfit.

The beautiful boy is loving
* sticking stickers onto paper.
* dancing.
* christmassy visits to the garden centre.
* that he is 'king number one" in the preschool nativity.
* talking about the autumn.

The beautiful girl is loving
* singing and dancing to the pirate song.
* her new Lulu bunny rabbit toy from Jellycat.
* the fact that her favourite animals (penguins) are everywhere.
* reading books to her toys.
* the John Lewis christmas advert.



25

him and her {week forty-eight}


he seems to get out of bed funny every morning at the moment,
loves pointing our Christmas decorations as he sees them popping up out and about,
and will ask to watch Pingu just because he knows his little sis likes penguins.


she spend most afternoons walking around looking for trouble to get into,
likes leading everybody in little dance lessons at home,
and thinks chocolate is a food group.

0

him and her {week forty-seven}


he has been a bit poorly this week but hasn't let it keep him down,
he is starting to pick up on the beginnings of the pre Christmas excitement,
and is so excited that he gets to be a king in the preschool nativity.


she was an absolute star at her ballet class this week,
although she is desperate to learn to jump but just can't work out how,
and has taken her penguin obsession to whole new levels now that they are everywhere we go.
1

raising a girl


"As I put this little one into her dance uniform she shouted 'Look Mummy, I so pretty now.' 
It made me want to cry
... yes baby, you're pretty, but it's not the dress that's doing that. 
It will never be the dress. 
It's you. You and only you my wonderful little lady. Perfect in every way, inside and out. 
(Sometimes bringing up a girl seems like such a big responsibility...!)"

25

him and her {week forty-six}


he has learned how to gallop and now just wants to gallop everywhere,
thinks that Team Unizoomi should play a part in every day,
and loves his Uncle Matt "the mostest".


she loves eating cheddar cheese,
likes to help choose her own shoes to wear,
and often sneaks off to read a little book to her toys in her bedroom.
2

new friends


There is something so beautiful and precious about the ease with which children make friends. They don't even need to exchange names and they'll happily play together, laugh together, and comment afterwards on what lovely friends they made. Somewhere along the line making friends changes, and it isn't always so easy to make new ones.


7

siblings {november}



It feels like with every month that passes these two become a little closer, a little more like partners in crime. We see glimpses these days of the tussling and shoving and telling tales that is so much a part of being brother and sister. 

They want to do everything together, and with that comes inevitable clashes. The cuddling, wrestling and general rolling around together that starts with giggles and tickles, can often end with someone getting a bit cross, fed up or in tears.

And strange as it may seem, I really like seeing this side of their relationship grow. We're having to learn to step back as parents, and leaving them to negotiate and fight their own battles a little bit more. But that is part of what I wanted my children to have siblings for; to learn those lessons in compromise, trust and loyalty.

Because as much as they can push one another's buttons at times, they are each others fiercest ally and strongest defender. They'll chatter in the car and politely tell us to be quiet if we try to join the conversation, they regularly shout at us if we make the other upset with a telling off, and they run to comfort each other at the first sign tears. 

Their relationship is the push and pull that all the best friendships are made of.



48

him and her {week forty-five}


he likes to give us an estimated time for everything he does,
will continually comment on the fact that it's still autumn,
and wants to share everything... especially our food.


she is just desperate to be miss independent,
loves to pretend she's asleep (and then giggle) as soon as we say goodnight,
and is obsessed with penguins.

5

him and her {week forty-four}


he has been loving a restful half term,
but is desperate to get back to preschool next week,
especially so he can see his friends.


she loves singing and dancing,
especially when she knows we're watching and will give her a little applause,
and has completely learned the powers of her cheeky grin.
9

me and mine {october}


Daddy is loving
* Christmas chocolate being out in the shops.
* the beautiful girl saying "Look at that" in the little way she does.
* going to Legoland.
* playing catch with the beautiful boy.
* watching The Walking Dead.

Mummy is loving
* a family day at Legoland.
* her new leather jacket.
* reading City of Bones.
* a trip out for afternoon tea with the girls.
* handbags instead of changing bags.

The beautiful boy is loving
* watching Team Umizoomi.
* playing hide and seek. 
* talking to us about Autumn and how the leaves are all changing.
* Polly, Progon and Which; the stones he has named in Nanny and Pops' garden.
* chocolate pillows for breakfast.

The beautiful girl is loving
* singing and dancing to Dingle Dangle Scarecrow.
* eating cheese.
* her new dolls house.
* Mummy's old Sylvanian Families toys.
* rabbits.



23

a boy and girl bedroom


My kiddies share a bedroom, and luckily this works really well for us. They are both pretty good sleepers, and they seem to genuinely enjoy sharing their bedroom space.

As they get older, their bedroom is increasingly becoming their haven; a space they run off to together, to giggle and play and hatch plans. And as they get older, it some how seems more important for them to have ownership of their room; for it to be really theirs.

22

special treats


I love surprising this little pair. Nothing quite compares to the looks on their faces when I have genuinely surprised them with something they love. Sometimes I'll build a den at nap time, or I'll set up their toys before I go to bed so that they can get straight on with playing when they get up in the morning, or I might spontaneously suddenly decide at lunchtime that we are going to go to the bakery for sausage rolls instead of the usual sandwiches at home. I don't do it every day, or even every week, but once in a while; and they always love it.

1

cooking up a feast




My children absolutely love roleplaying games together. It's one of the nicest things to come out of having two children, is that as my littlest has got bigger, it has really sparked both of their imaginations when it comes to play. They really do like to play things together, and while some toys and games don't always make that so easy, playing at a play kitchen is one of the best. They will work happily alongside one another for hours cooking me up a feast, doing the washing up and bringing me copious 'cuppa-teas' and pieces of cake while I wait.


6

him and her {week forty-three}


he is obsessed with talking about autumn,
is looking forward to a week off of preschool,
and thinks no meal is complete without a chocolate biscuit.


she is potty training like a pro,
made Mummy and Daddy super proud at certificate week,
and loves pointing at herself in the mirror and laughing.
1

playing house


It has always amazed me,
that despite us always giving the children access to all sorts of different toys,
our son has generally gravitated towards animals and cars,
while our little girl seems desperate to care for everything in sight.
Who knows if it's nature or nurture
(I'm inclined to think it's nature but who knows)
but my little lady is currently obsessed with playing with small characters;
putting them to bed, helping them sit up, giving them lots of cuddles.

9

nobody puts baby in a corner


Right from the word go, I thought about the part birth order would play in shaping my children. There are long running jokes in my family about how my little brother got away with murder, but how I always had to do things the best. I'm very eager to please, whereas my brother is more independent. I have no doubt that your place in the family pecking order shapes your personality, and I was intrigued as to how it would mould my own children.


6

me and you {october}


Our October has been kind of boring,
that kind of boring where you never seem to get a second off,
but you feel like there's been nothing fun to show for it.

The Mr has been away quite a bit with work,
I've been trying my best to be a better housewife
and actually do more stuff around the house.
And so our days have been boring,
normal, quiet, simple.

And we actually really needed this change of pace,
for things to slow down just a touch,
so that we could get back to the simple things we love;
like sharing snacks and watching a film,
or taking to bed to watch Netflix in our jim jams.
Just spending our evenings together.

We reconnect in those moments.
We need those moments,
after busy days at work,
or crazy days with the children,
those moments are what keep us sane.

When we first got together we used to watch movies on Rich's computer all the time,
we'd snuggle on his bed, 
share a Vienetta (yes we'd eat half each, but we were young and our metabolisms were faster back then)
and watch all sort of random films his housemates had downloaded (not entirely legally) off of the web.
They were good times,
and its been nice to get a bit of that back,
even if I do tend to fall asleep a lot earlier these days.

10

him and her {week forty-two}


he can't wait to tell us each day who he was played with at preschool,
is obsessed with telling and hearing stories 'from our heads',
and was a total daredevil on our day at Legoland.


she is cheekier than a cheeky thing,
absolutely loves playing with her dollhouse,
and has a little crush on George from Peppa Pig.
5

chocolate treats


Since I officially became a (pre)school run mum
I've really started to see the appeal of a hot drink when I get home from drop off.
I've never been much of a hot drink fan,
and just tend to have a hot chocolate on very cold wintery days,
and will avoid tea and coffee like the plague.

But there is something so nice about the ritual of walking through the door,
putting on the kettle,
and then sitting down with a warm drink in my slightly quieter house.
I inevitably have to let my beautiful girl have a slurp
... she is a chocoholic after all.
When the drink is drunk I will go about my day,
doing jobs or playing with the little miss,
with a nice warm belly full of something yummy and sweet.

1

my style


I think we all set out on the parenting journey with certain ideas in our heads as to the sort of parent we would like to be. Some of those ideals stand strong and become a steadfast part of our approach as parents, and others fall by the way side. I'm in no doubt that there are right ways to parent and wrong ways to parent... I can do both in the space of a normal day, but on the most part I own it, I take the rough with the smooth, I accept that I'm making this up as I go along most of the time, I learn from my mistakes and I move on.

I kind of thought every single parent on the planet thought like that too.

But apparently not...

13

him and her {week forty-one}


he is loving doing lots of crafts at preschool,
likes telling us to "calm down boys and girls",
and when he grows up he wants to be big and strong.


she loves doing "I am the music man" at BabyBallet,
knocks on the front door and says "keys car" when she wants to go out,
and is still borderline obsessed with ducks.
2
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