Daily Archives

30/09/2014

Baby Elma Family Kitty Me and Mine Photography Pip

Me and Mine – a family portrait for September

30/09/2014

If August was the month that made us a family of five, September has been the month where we found our feet, our rhythm, our pattern of the new everyday ordinary.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

There are still things we’re trying to work out (mostly bedtime which is a challenge all by itself especially if H has to be out), but for the most part it feels like we’re finding our way.  I’m getting the hang of loading up the car with three, or getting out the door even vaguely sort of on time, or distracting and entertaining two little girls while feeding their brother. I can assemble and disassemble our double buggy in record quick time and even managed to take Kitty to the church bathroom while wearing Pip in the sling and carrying Elma half on my hip and half slid around to my back (I’m awarding myself a Mummy gold star for that particular feat) while H manages to combine impersonating a climbing frame with singing lullabies to his son, and catching Elma by the ankle as she attempts to dive headfirst off the sofa/bed/anywhere not the floor yet again.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

There are moments when it feels like a small daughter is trying very hard to push all of our buttons and failing to grasp the most basic of concepts required to keep her safe; and then there are the moments when we’re all sat at supper just enjoying listening to Kitty tell us about her day; or when we glance over and see our girls sat under the dinner table heads together, one gold, one brown, playing make-believe or plotting world domination; or when Kitty brought me a daisy from the garden “as well done for having baby [Pip] Mummy!”

For every moment when we feel stretched by the demands of three, there are a hundred moments when we know in our hearts that our family would never have felt right without Pip.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

A year ago I was heading back to work, settling Elma into nursery with Kitty, trying to remember where I’d left my heels, my handbag and all the other accoutrements that go with the commuter lifestyle, trying not to let my heart break as I left not one but two babies in the loving care of their awesome nursery, trying not to be overwhelmed with Mummy guilt, trying not to spend every night sobbing into my supper at the knowledge that I’d have to get up the next day and do it all again.

It’s amazing the difference a year makes. In H and my children I have everything I could ever have wanted, and more.  I am so happy and so lucky to get to spend this next year at home with them all, and I think it’s the memories of last September that creep in in the quiet moments of the night that make me so very very determined to treasure every moment of this coming year.

We took our photos in the garden again; and you can already see the change that even a month can bring; the seasons are on the turn and the first few fallen leaves are drifting across the lawn; scattered thinly like the tail ends of confetti that gather around the church porch in the days and weeks after a summer wedding.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It’s in Pip though that the change is most obvious; no longer the little four day old, so very very new and curled up and tiny, but out beautiful baby boy, all round cheeks and curiosity waking up from his nap.  And if his parents and even perhaps his sisters are a little more sleep deprived than last month, that’s a small price to pay.  The one constant is how much this boy of ours is loved, adored, cuddled and frequently bestowed with the gentlest of kisses.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I am so unbelievably blessed to call this family my own, to be part of “just the five of us”.

My little family, in September

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And just because you know I love the outtakes, I have to share a photo I didn’t take – I left Kitty with the remote trigger while I went to round up the rest of the family, and only later discovered this self portrait on the camera – goodness only knows what the camera had done to upset her!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

 

dear beautiful

 

Books Family Kitty Reading what we're reading

Extra Yarn {what we’re reading}

30/09/2014

According to the inscription on the fly leaf, Extra Yarn belongs to Kitty, given to her for Christmas 2013 by one of our oldest friends, who also happens to be her godfather. I know Kitty unwrapped it, I know Kitty turns the pages as we read and very definitely claims it as her own, but I also suspect that her god-daddy and his lovely other half knew exactly who might be reading this one when they bought it.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I mean it’s every knitter’s dream isn’t it, a magical box that never quite runs out of yarn however many jumpers and bobble hats and tree cosies Annabelle knits. Well that and the fact that within the space of a book she’s knit enough jumpers to clothe the whole town and cosies to cover anything that will stand still long enough to be measured; clearly this is a young lady with a technique I need to study and the kind of knitting time I can only dream of!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It’s a lovely lovely collaboration between Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (who wrote and illustrated the darkly hilarious I Want My Hat Back amongst others).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I think part of the charm is that the narration manages to make what is clearly a very extraordinary situation seem so very natural and normal.  I think part of the magic of childhood is your willingness to suspend disbelief and entertain ideas that your rational adult brain tells you are clearly impossible.  Yes, the laws of physics will tell you that a small box cannot contain enough yarn to cloak every surface in a small town; but imagination is where you can make anything happen, so why shouldn’t it?  And if you’re going to allow a never ending source of yarn, why shouldn’t an archduke come to try to steal it away (does anywhere even have archduke’s anymore? the only one I can bring to mind was the one that shot an ostrich – but I digress!).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And with the simple magical storytelling come Jon Klassen’s illustrations.  And as its Annabelle that brings colour to her town in the middle of a deep winter when everything is black as soot or white as snow, everything is a charcoal version of sepia, stark and grey and unrelenting, apart from the knitting.  Giant stitches that drift across every colour of the rainbow (hmm, that may be how she’s knitting so quickly) making the world a much cheerier place.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I love that all the people have pink cheeks and noses from the snowy winter, and how they all look so much happier once they’re wearing their new jumpers.

And Kitty loves the in joke, when all of her favourite friends turn up again, though this is clearly before the hat incident as the bear isn’t wearing a hat – and the rabbit is still with us!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

We’ve come across a few books that include knitting or crafting, and I’m generally predisposed to like them, but they’ve never been as popular as this is with all of us.  This is the book that I want to reach for on a grey winter’s afternoon, with all of my babies snuggled up next to me under a blanket as slowly outside flakes begin to fall and the world turns soft and white.

I’ve got the babies, I’ve got the book, I’ve even got the blanket (hand knitted of course), now all I need is the snow!

 

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little or not so little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!