me and mine {december}

Daddy is loving
* seeing the kids' faces of wonder on the 25th.
* mini eggs back in the shops (which he also said in December 2013).
* eating Christmas dinner.
* new slippers.
* party with the extended family.

Mummy is loving
* celebrating our first Christmas as a five.
* her new rings.
* having lots of lovely family time over the holidays.
* practically everything in Next's new season of children's clothes.
* getting to be proud mama watching the big kids in their nativities.

The beautiful boy is loving
* absolutely everything about Christmas.
* being a narrator in the school nativity.
* watching videos about the solar system on YouTube.
* his new globe and atlas books.
* drawing pictures of his family.

The beautiful girl is loving
* that she finally got the Sylvanian Families otters for Christmas.
* dressing up clothes.
* her angel dress for the preschool nativity.
* eating popcorn and chocolate for breakfast.
* singing "Hello" by Adele.

The beautiful little lady is watching
* sleeping in her peanut swaddle.
* her Lamaze flower garden.
* sleeping in her snuzpod.
* practising her big beaming grins.
* just generally sleeping!


{the baby diaries} month one

After sharing vlogs for each month of pregnancy, I was keen to share similar updates about our new little lady as she grows. This first one is a very late being posted... because, well, Christmas build up has kind of got in the way of blogging/vlogging time. But I videoed it a few weeks back and still wanted to share it. I'm talking about the early days with three, what she's like and the fourth trimester approach. I'll be back with her two month update soon, so let me know if you have any questions you want me to ask about her or about life with three.


siblings {december}

One of the loveliest things about having three children is that overnight we doubled the siblings that our children have. Instead of just one person to grow up with, share history with, drive crazy, push to the limit and love unconditionally; they now have two.

It also means that there are so many more sibling relationships to watch and love. There is the big brother and big sister twosome, my original pair of siblings; so often mistaken for twins, completely thick as thieves and the very best of friends. Then there is big brother and little sister; he is so terribly protective of her, so gentle and careful with her, and in turn she stares at him adoringly and gives him some of her best smiles. Then there is big sis and "little sissy" as she keeps calling her, my girls; who I'm sure will be quite a force to be reckoned with in time, at the moment their relationship is a muddle of copious cuddles and generally finding the other one fascinating. 

And then of course there is the three of them together; my three little loves; a little gang. The three of them together means a lot of smiling and a lot of laughter, a fair amount of us reminding them to calm down and to quiet down and to be gentle, and a hefty amount of me feeling like I need to pinch myself.


you are two months old {dear beautiful little lady}

dear beautiful little lady

As I sit writing you this letter you are sitting in your chair by my side. The change in you this past month has been remarkable, and totally magical, with your personality coming out more and more. While I write this I can see out of the corner of my eye that you are staring at me intently, willing me to look your way, and as soon as I do your little face lights up in the biggest smile.


a little place to call their own

My older two are absolutely at the roleplaying age. Practically all of their play revolves around them pretending to be something or someone else, and a lot of the time that means acting out things they see. Of course with a new baby in the house, good old 'mummies and daddies' gets played a lot, and I always find it hilarious to watch them pretending to be me and their daddy... nothing makes you quite so aware of your own quirks as when a child is play acting at being you! Apparently Daddy shouts quite a lot, and Mummy is always holding the baby!


a bear and a wolf

I know we aren't the only family for whom a big part of Christmas is some snazzy new pjs. There is something about the cold days and long nights that start in what should be the afternoon that just cries out for some cosy, comfy sleepwear.


him and her and her {week fifty}

he made us so proud in his school nativity,
speaking all his narrator words clearly and loudly,
and singing every word of the songs with actions too.

she is a little obsessed with Peppa Pig,
and on more than one day this week
has insisted that she is Peppa and we all had to play along.

she had her eight week jabs
and really suffered with them the poor little mite,
but still managed to practise lots of smiles for everyone.

smiles, snowflakes and the true meaning of christmas {little loves}

This little love of mine is such a little star. She seems to have a little more personality with each passing day lately. And she's a real little sparkler this one. God I do adore her.


how we've helped our baby sleep

We are very lucky and have three children who all seem to value sleep as much as their parents. But our latest a little addition really is the most amazing sleeper. She self settles at nap times and often at bedtimes too, and ever since she was born has only woken us once at night. It's an absolute dream to have a newborn who loves sleep so much; because I definitely think that the grind of caring for three children would be a LOT harder if I was super tired. But the reality is that I'm getting as much sleep as I would normally, and that I actually feel better rested now than I did in the later stages of my pregnancy.

Now I think a large factor in our well rested state is luck. We have got extremely lucky with our littlest one, and she just happens to be pretty chilled out and a fan of sleep. She was a pretty chilled bump too, with definite awake and asleep routines, and it seems like she's carrying on with that in the outside world too. I think it's probably just her nature... although ask me again when we've passed the point of the four month sleep regression, because it could all still go wrong.

But that said, I do think that as third time parents we maybe know a thing or two now about what helped our previous children sleep well. And it would be fair to say that we've thrown anything and everything that worked on the older two at our third baby; so you could argue that we've given her - and us - the best chance possible at a good nights sleep.


him and her and her {week forty-nine}

he is a cheeky monkey who likes eating icing straight from the tube,
is absolutely giddy about December being here,
and it giving us daily countdowns to Christmas.

she seems so grown up lately,
and has the cutest little group of preschool friends,
who love a mother's meeting at the door before the day starts.

she is smiling, smiling, smiling,
and looks like it might turn into a laugh any day now,
but still trying to hide it from mummy's camera.


me and mine {november}

Daddy is loving
* watching things on Amazon video.
* visiting Vienna for work.
* playing Call of Duty.
* a nice day out as a five in London.
* eating Christmas chocolates.

Mummy is loving
* a lovely day in London seeing The Snowman.
* planning baby blankets to make for friends.
* seeing how many friends the beautiful boy has made at school. 
* how much the beautiful girl loves her dance classes.
* that our little lady loves sleep so much.

The beautiful boy is loving
* anything and everything to do with shapes.
* holding onto the buggy when we walk to school.
* his special afternoons with Mummy at school.
* reading everything in sight.
* eating "Mister Choc" bars.

The beautiful girl is loving
* watching Frozen Fever on a loop.
* helping with her baby sister's nappy changes.
* singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas".
* pizza.
* jam on toast.

The beautiful little lady is loving
* sleep.
* milk.
* cuddles.
* smiling at people.
* bath time with her big bro and sis.


him and her and her {week forty-eight}

he is totally obsessed with learning about shapes,
seems so grown up and sensible on the walk to school,
and then turns into a total crazy, live wire when he gets home in the afternoon.

she likes to remind us daily that she wants the otter Sylvanian family for Christmas,
is going to be an angel in the preschool nativity,
and is loving practising the songs and ending with a little bow.

she has been trying out the whole 'sleeping through thing',
is every inch the dancer's baby
and simply loves being rocked and jiggled.

him and her and her {week forty-seven}

he is such a social butterfly who seems to know everyone at school by name,
has been given the role of narrator in the school nativity,
for which he is keenly practising his lines.

she has had a cold but hasn't let it keep her down,
with a great big smile and friendly face for everyone,
and so many little friends at preschool that it makes us so proud.

she is just the most chilled and contented little baby,
even though she has managed to catch her first cold,
it doesn't seem to stop her calm and happy nature.

scarves, watches and growing up so fast {little loves}

This is my littlest love, the littlest sister... only she's not so little anymore. I got seriously emotional this week about the fact that I've already had to pack away the newborn and 1 month size clothes, because she's growing so damn quickly. And amongst the clothes that went away was that 'little sister big dreams' sleepsuit, which she came home from hospital in a few short weeks ago. Back then then sleeves were rolled up and her little legs got lost inside it, but since then she's filled it out well and truly. Slow down a bit time, I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to the newborn days just yet. 


you are one month old {dear beautiful little lady}

dear beautiful little lady,

You've clicked into our family like a piece of the puzzle that we didn't know was even missing. I say it all the time that you are so loved... I'm quite frankly obsessed with you; cuddling you and breathing. In your intoxicating baby smell is just about my favourite way to spend time. Your daddy is so so protective of you and I just know that you are going to have him wrapped around your little finger like no one else. And your older brother and sister simply adore you; they have embraced you into the gang right from the start and they love to be near you, to hold you, and to lie either side of you on the bed whenever we change you. Changing time always descends into them giggling like total nutters and you looking from one to the other like they are the best, funniest and most insane things you've ever seen. We all feel so lucky to think that in the not too distant future there will be three gorgeous crazy little giggles at changing time, and I know they cannot wait to have you interacting with them more. 


siblings {november}

Okay, time for all those "where did the last month go" feelings... this has to have been the fastest month yet. Because it feels like the littlest addition to this line up is still so new, but the calendar insists on telling me that she's been a part of our sibling gang for a whole month already.

It's been a month of learning, adapting, compromising, and a whole lot of love. We are still finding our way with three, but it's completely, totally, 100% worth the full hands. 

The bond between them fascinates me, how it's something they don't need to work at or grow... the bond is just there. You can see it in the way they look at each other; you just know they adore one another. And you can see it in the way they are with each other; no holds barred. They love each other fiercely and they aren't afraid with one another, to hug and grab and kiss and poke... the littlest one included. 

Of course my eldest two are still the close pair of sidekicks they've always been. But it's a beautiful thing watching then in new relationships with their baby sister too. The little man is already being that stereotypical big brother with her, and he's far more protective and gentle with her than with the older of his sisters, he's so proud of her and will tell anyone that listens about his new sister. Watching my biggest girl become a big sister has been amazing; she wants to involve her baby in everything, to hold her constantly, she sings to her all the time, talks her through every nappy change and is desperate to push the buggy and sit next to her on every car journey. 


him and her and her {week forty-six}

he has such an incredible desire to learn,
even though he's been poorly he's still desperate to go to school,
and keen to tell us all the things he knows.

she loves her girly morning with mummy and little sis,
when she gets to play mini mummy for a bit,
and then go back to being the baby when her sister falls asleep.

she is now officially one month old,
is completely out of newborn size clothes now
and is starting to smile.

a new ordinary

I think this photograph might just be my new favourite, it makes me smile from ear to ear. From the way that my biggest two are looking at their baby sister with cheeky but oh-so-adoring smiles, to the way that she looks really unimpressed that I am a. taking her photo, and b. leaving her with her two crazy older siblings. It's far from the perfect, pinterest moment of life with three children, but it is real and thats kind of perfect too. And it makes me want to pinch myself that those three little faces are my little ones.

Since our littlest lady arrived I seem to be constantly struck with "pinch me" moments...

... that I get to snuggle a little newborn of my own making again.

... that I get to find out all about her; what she likes and doesn't, who she'll be.

... that I get to watch my beautiful girl relishing her role as a big sister.

... that I get to watch my beautiful boy taking such good care of his new baby sister.

... that I get to see my husband going all soft and soppy over his baby girl.

... that I get to wash teeny sleep suits. And I get to change tiny nappies. And do night feeds. Yes, I'm even pleased to be doing those things!

But far and away the best bit is seeing my brood together (and I think they are officially 'a brood' now there are three of them.) Three gorgeous little people that we made. Three gorgeous little people that we get to spend our days protecting, teaching and loving. Three gorgeous little people... our three gorgeous little people. 

I'm constantly pinching myself that five is our new four, three is our new two, that this is our new ordinary. Because it all feels so incredibly extraordinary. I feel so lucky, so happy, so full of love... and I get to live this.


him and her and her {week forty-five}

he had a glowing report from his school parents evening,
is really enjoying practising writing little notes,
and loves telling us all about his school friends in other year groups.

she is such a little social butterfly,
who seems to know every single child at dancing and preschool by name,
and is currently obsessed with dressing up and being a fairy.

she has been loving having baths with her big brother and sister,
is starting to outgrow some of her smallest sleepsuits,
and is still sleeping amazingly (and we're still worried about tempting fate when we say that.)

babies, poppies and birth stories {little loves}

This week has been a kind of manic one. After a very chilled out half term, just being together as a five with Rich was off work and the big two off of school and preschool... this week has been back to the real world with a big fat bang.

Rich has not only been back to work, but working really long days, leaving me suddenly thrown in very much at the deep end in looking after three children. But do you know what? I swam. We all lived to tell the tale. Everyone was where they needed to be, when they needed to be there, with everything they needed. People ate when they were hungry. I showered and did my hair and makeup every single day. We have clean clothes on our backs (and mountains of clean laundry all over the house too... I found time to clean it, just not that final step of putting it away but we're getting there.) It's been a pretty manic week too I have to say, between all the usual commitments we've also had a work trip to London for me, an evening at school, an afternoon parent's session at school, and we're off to register that littlest lady later today. So I get a medal, right? Might not be totally doing the stepford wife bit just yet, but I'm feeling pretty proud.

And check out those two littlest loves of mine. They are so stinking' cute... although I do wish my bigger love was at school less and at home more to get involved in all the cuddles. And the biggest one too for that matter. Thank goodness for weekends full of family time.


three weeks with three

It seemed like all the people with three children that I spoke to while I was pregnant fell into two camps; those who told me the third one was a total breeze who slotted right in, and those who told me the third one turned their lives upside down and that it felt like a really big change. And honestly, I was more than a little apprehensive about the possibility of our boat being rocked too much... life as a four had always been pretty easy, and were we biting off more than we could chew, especially considering that our older two aren't exactly old themselves at only 3 and 4 years old. I was intrigued to see which of the two camps we would fall into; would it all go smoothly, or be utterly crazy. I know which one I was crossing my fingers for!


me and mine {october}

Daddy is loving
* our newest little baby being here.
* a lovely last day out as a foursome.
* celebrating his birthday.
* seeing how gentle the bigger two are with the baby.
* The Walking Dead being back on television.

Mummy is loving
* being a family of five.
* how proud the beautiful boy is of his newest sister.
* autumn adventures in the woods.
* what an adorable little mini mummy the beautiful girl is.
* that newborn smell.

The beautiful boy is loving
* trips to the park after school. 
* his new baby sister.
* going to football training with Daddy.
* practising writing in cursive like he does at school. 
* half term holidays to chill out at home.

The beautiful girl is loving
* being a big sister.
* showing us all she's learning at dance class.
* playing with play dough.
* watching Frozen and singing along.
* apricot yoghurts.

The beautiful little lady is loving
* milk.
* cuddles.
* having warm feet.
* watching her big brother and sister.
* sleep.


him and her and her {week forty-four}

he has adored having a restful week off to school,
to play lots of fun games with his bigger little sis,
and to get to bond with his littler little sis.

she is enjoying lots of family time over half term,
loves helping to lay the table and make food,
and wishes that babies didn't sleep so much.

she is still a total pro at sleeping,
only waking up Mummy and Daddy once in the night,
and is putting on lots of weight and growing fast.


When I was still pregnant I was so intrigued to see how our beautiful girl would take to her baby sister when she arrived. It seemed like the changes would be bigger for her than for our beautiful boy, who was already a big brother and was simply gaining another little sister to look out for. By contrast, for our biggest girl her place in the order of things was about to change dramatically; she would go from being the baby of the family to being an older sibling. But she was also about to gain something very different too... a sister. And the sister thing has always kind of fascinated me.


capturing the end of an era

We love an adventure. We've had a year packed full of them so far. So when Channel Mum asked us to "capture autumn" and showcase the Panasonic HC-W570 video camera while we were at it, an Autumn adventure in the woods seemed like the perfect thing to do. 

So we donned our wellies, layered up, hopped in the car and we headed to one of our favourite places; Thorndon Park. Home to the Gruffalo trail which the kids adore, and a nice easy going walk for a heavily pregnant mama, plus we know from previous years' visits that it is totally beautiful in the autumn. 

Little did we know that this would turn out to be our final adventure as a four. Because a couple of days later our newest addition made her arrival. And it's strange how weird it already seems to watch footage of us as a four, to see footage of myself pregnant... because that feels like another lifetime now. And I guess it is another lifetime ago really; a certain little lady's lifetime. 

But it makes me very glad that we unknowingly captured that very last 'adventure for four' on video. We had such a fun day out together, meeting the characters from our favourite books, kicking the fallen leaves, and generally enjoying some time together. 


him and her and her {week forty-three}

he has been counting down the days to his half term holiday,
can't wait to enjoy some family time (especially with his new sister)
and has changed from the world's slowest eater to the world's fastest, seemingly overnight.

she is such a total mini-mummy,
who wants to smother her baby sis with attention and cuddles the entire time, 
and has graduated from babyballet with her final certificate (which she's very proud of.)

she is just, quite simply, the baby jackpot,
a chilled, content little thing who loves watching us all,
nearly as much as she loves milk and sleep.

a birth story

I will write her birth story. Any one expecting a lengthy multiple part story like I did for our beautiful boy's birth story and again for our beautiful girl will possibly be disappointed. Because this littlest lady of ours didn't hang around making her entrance.

But there is a version of the story that I want to share...

I said to Rich when we first got pregnant with our little Flump, that I really wanted to commit to memory every second of this pregnancy. I know all to well how hazy the memories can get with time, and while I remember how I felt at the birth of my babies, the intensity of those emotions feel as fresh as if it was yesterday, but the details grow a little blurred as the years pass by.

I talked about wanting a birth photographer, or at least teaching Rich to use my camera properly so that he could capture some more photos in the hospital. In all honesty though, he isn't the biggest fan of taking photos, but over the past year he has grown more confident using my camera to video. So I had simply said to him to capture bits and pieces of what happened as and when it seemed like a good moment; not with any particular intentions of making a little video out of it, but just so that we had it for the future. No pressure, just whatever he fancied doing. I didn't want him to be detached from the moment, but at the same time I know that at the previous two births he felt a bit lost at times and didn't know what to do with himself and I thought capturing it might give him a sense of purpose.

When I uploaded what was on the camera I cried.

Because he more than did me proud.

As he worried about whether he'd got it all in focus enough for me, I just felt speechless at the snapshots of time that he had caught that I didn't know about. The moments and emotions that are captured so that I won't ever forget them. Simple shots of me and my baby girl. And some of the earliest daddy and daughter moments that I grabbed too. All the details of how rapidly our beautiful little newborn changed in the hours from when she was very first born to the time we took her home. Those precious moments when she met her older siblings (and her fluffy siblings too).

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to thank him enough for the memories, or for the beautiful family we've made together.


him and her and her {week forty-two}

he is just about the proudest big brother that any baby could ever have,
loves whispering to his baby sister that he loves her,
has decided that he loves going to football training with daddy on saturday,
and suddenly loves writing little notes.

she has taken to big sistering just as brilliantly as we knew she would,
is desperate to hold her baby at every possible opportunity,
has started talking about some of her little friends from preschool,
and loves reenacting her dance classes for us all.

she is just the perfect fit,
the most deliciously chilled little baby,
who seems happiest when surrounded by her older siblings' noise,
and smells exactly like heaven.
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