Baby Blogging Elma Family Inspiration Kitty Pause for Thought Uncategorized {the ordinary moments}

The treasured everyday ordinary

18/08/2013

This week two posts have really resonated with the thoughts percolating in the back of my brain.  The first is Rachel Macy Stafford’s article for the Huffington Post from June (discovered via Love Taza), The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’  in which she relates the sea-change brought about to her very busy very scheduled life by the arrival of a daughter who goes at her own pace, and the second is by Katie at Mummy Daddy Me, setting out the inspiration behind this very lovely linky, a celebration of our everyday ordinary.

They are both excellent reads (although if you’ve landed here there’s at least half a chance you’ve already seen the second), and together I think they sum up the reasons why this little corner of the internet exists, at least in its current evolution, when knitting and crafting has taken a little bit of a back seat to the immense pleasure and phenomenally hard work of parenting.

Every now and then I have a little bit of a blog wobble; my inner critic starts to creep around corners, jumping out at me with little stinging barbs, asking me why I’m putting all of this effort in to something so decidedly average, that I’m not saying anything new or different, or what I could possibly hope to achieve; one small voice shouting gently into the abyss.  And every time I wobble, my H takes my focus and brings it back.  To our home, to the two beautiful little girls currently sleeping peacefully all snuggled up in bed that we are so immensely blessed to call our daughters.  I write because I can’t not; but what I write about is them and is for them.

I thought I would have my Mum to talk to about my babies; to discuss those moments when you burst with pride, or laughter, or both, and the flashes of intense and very particular frustration that can only come with mothering through toddlerhood.  As the mother to two girls with a similar age gap I’m certain she would have remembered it all too well.  But I can no longer ask, Dad’s memories of our babyhoods are weighted towards the baby stage not the toddler, and my memories are shards of light on a mostly dark haze.  I remember going to meet my sister in the hospital after she was born, I remember getting knocked over by a wave on the beach one autumn and still recognise the music that was playing in the car as I warmed up in a swaddle of picnic blankets and spare jumpers, and I know from tales Mum used to tell that I asked for “babanas” and “tomatnoes”.  But I don’t know what story I asked for time and again, whether I used to tuck all of my teddies into bed so that there was no room left for me like Kitty does, or whether I was as opportunistic as she is when it comes to adding a sneaky request for chocolate to the end of an otherwise reasonable request.  I would love to know what our everyday looked like back then, to compare it to now.

And so I write.  As insurance against fragile, faulty memories, insurance against the things that are so special and memorable now but which will fade with time.  Our life together is very ordinary, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I think it’s all too easy to forget to be intentional about it, to forget to treasure the tiny lovelinesses or to acknowledge the grind and the moments where you just have to count to ten as a necessary counterpoint to the day.  It’s a point Rachel Macy Stafford makes beautifully, that need to stand back from the hurry, and truly see each moment good and bad.

This record of their everyday ordinary is part of that stopping and slowing down.  It’s a record of the roses and a few thorns (although girls if you’re reading this, please know that there has been some pruning), the little fragments that together make up the mosaic of our days.

With that motivation a Sunday celebration of the Ordinary Moments is a call I couldn’t resist.

I’m trying to really focus on my one on one time with Kitty while Elma naps, rather than just trail her around after me as I hurriedly scrub bits of the house that can’t wait any longer, and it seemed like too long since we’d done any baking together which made it definitely time to make gingerbread men this week and google found me a really great recipe for spelt gingerbread when I realised that my preparations extended only as far as getting a packet of Smarties and not eating them, and not checking whether we had enough plain flour.

20130815-DSC_0014

20130815-DSC_0016

Kitty helped me to measure out each of the ingredients, reaching up on tiptoes to pour them into the food processor, and then covered her ears from the roar of the motor doing all the hard work.

20130815-DSC_0017

Once the dough was ready she had the first go at rolling it out, and did most of the cutting out.

20130815-DSC_0039

She greased the baking sheets and snuck a little lick of the butter paper whenever she thought she could get away with it; sidelong glances followed by peals of laughter as she realised she was rumbled. 20130815-DSC_0022

20130815-DSC_0029

And there was definitely some poltergeist activity around the Gingermen’s buttons as smartie after smartie disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

Elma woke up before we finished and came to join us, sharing her beaming smile between Mama, Kitty and of course, the washing machine. 20130815-DSC_0042

It isn’t the fastest way to produce five gingerbread men, one snail, three butterflies, a ladybird, a frog, a dragonfly, two Fs and an L, but then that was never the point.

 

mummy daddy me

 

You Might Also Like

  • Anna-Marie 18/08/2013 at 10:43 am

    I love baking, and I love baking with Moo even more. She is obsessed with helping me every time the cake mixer comes out!

    • Carie 18/08/2013 at 11:49 am

      It’s so much fun, especially as Kitty gets bigger and can do more and more of the steps by herself.

  • Caroline 18/08/2013 at 4:18 pm

    Really lovely pictures, looks like you had a lot of fun. I can’t help but notice lots of similarities to my own kitchen, same scales, same stokke, same cheeky grin from baking children….

    • Carie 19/08/2013 at 3:34 pm

      It’s such a simple thing isn’t it but somehow the alchemy of baking puts us all in a good mood! And both the stokke and the scales are wonderful – clearly you have excellent taste!!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 18/08/2013 at 8:28 pm

    This post made me cry Carie, truly beautiful. You have summed it up there for me completely. That is why I blog. Beautiful photos too. Baking is fun, I should do it with my Mads more often. Thank you for this. x

    • Carie 19/08/2013 at 3:36 pm

      Oh, I didn’t mean to make you cry – oops! I try to avoid that generally! But thank you for the compliment, and yes do baking – life is always wonderful when cake is involved – and I believe fairy cakes can be used as a vehicle for chocolate buttons …!

  • Amy 18/08/2013 at 8:49 pm

    Am in the process of setting up a blog to capture those moments and just wish I’d done it earlier. Thanks for inspiring me x

    • Carie 19/08/2013 at 3:37 pm

      You’re very welcome, and please do let me know your blog address when it’s ready for visitors.

  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure 18/08/2013 at 8:53 pm

    Beautiful writing and some gorgeous photos. My blog is nothing special to anyone else but for me it is memories, it is our lives and a way to record the big moments, the little ones and everything inbetween x

    • Carie 19/08/2013 at 3:46 pm

      Exactly – I’m utterly rubbish with keeping hard copy baby books up to date, but when I couldn’t remember whether Kitty had teeth before she started crawling I knew I could search back and have a look and lo and behold, there it was. Incidentally your blog is lovely and I really enjoy dipping into tales of your busy life and your gorgeous boys!

  • Downs Side Up 18/08/2013 at 8:53 pm

    Simply wonderful.
    H

    • Carie 19/08/2013 at 3:46 pm

      Thank you so much

  • Mum2BabyInsomniac 19/08/2013 at 8:01 am

    Such beautiful words and photos. I think it’s natural to question why we blog sometimes, I know I have days where I feel like mine is a pile of rubbish! Then when I read back through posts from a couple of years ago and remember things I would have totally forgotten otherwise I have another reason as to why I love it so much. Gorgeous photos and I absolutely LOVE your little girl’s names x

    • Carie 19/08/2013 at 3:50 pm

      That what I love about reading back – you forget the minutiae so quickly in the everyday living! The girls’ names here are their bump names, a little pseudonyming for the internets but their real names are equally unusual and beautiful – at least we think so!

  • Andrea @loveandcake 19/08/2013 at 7:42 pm

    What gorgeous photos!

    • Carie 19/08/2013 at 11:37 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • lucy at dear beautiful 20/08/2013 at 9:50 am

    Wow….. I’m actually rendered a bit speechless. Such beautiful and poignant words.
    I think most of us blog for these reasons, to capture our fragile memories and keep them same for the future. And you put it so eloquently. Thank-you.
    Lovely photos too, looks like you had fun. x

    • Carie 20/08/2013 at 2:11 pm

      Thank you very much – I’m turning quite pink at all these compliments! The baking was so much fun; I love pottering around in the kitchen with the girls

  • rebecca 20/08/2013 at 2:49 pm

    Maybe its these preggo hormones or maybe its the fact that I write for similar reasons my biggest few is forgetting all these teeny moments that mean so much , but your post brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.xx

    • Carie 21/08/2013 at 12:29 am

      It’s one of the reasons why I like linkys like this – they remind me to record what I think of as mundane.

  • TalesofaTwinMum 20/08/2013 at 9:41 pm

    What a beautiful post with gorgeous images. You’ve inspired me to try to take more photos of my kids when we’re baking – I’m usually hovering around trying to stop them from throwing the eggs on the floor and eating the cake mix though! x

    • Carie 21/08/2013 at 12:35 am

      I’ve given up on the cake mix – licky scrapers are just a rite of childhood! I have terrible light in my kitchen for photography but I love taking pictures of Kitty baking because she’s just always so happy!

  • Kellpops 21/08/2013 at 1:00 pm

    Mmmmmm….. gingerbread! I cant wait until S is a little older and we can bake together.

    • Carie 21/08/2013 at 4:49 pm

      They cover you, themselves and anything else within reach in all of the ingredients, and if given half a chance will eat whatever you’re making before it gets anywhere near the oven – and it’s completely wonderful!