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31/07/2015

Elma Family Kitty Me and Mine Photography Pip

Me and Mine 2015: July

31/07/2015

After my last couple of Me and Mine pictures turned out to be pictures that I liked rather than truly truly loved and wanted to put on the wall, I’ve been reading around and around and around trying to pick up tips and tricks to improve my photography, and the big thing that kept coming through was that for a family of five, I need to plan.  The vast majority of my pictures are candid, or sort of semi-candid, we rarely go out on a specific photo shoot, I just take the camera with me almost every time I leave the house, the remote trigger lives in my handbag and the buggy makes a great impromptu tripod.  If we see somewhere pretty we can stop and take a picture and the most planned we get is the increase in the number of trips to pretty places towards the end of the month.

But for this month I decided that we were going to have an actual proper photo shoot.  We were going to go up to the windmill in the late afternoon sunshine and it was going to be glowing and lovely and everyone would be smiley and happy because it’s such a happy place to be.

Well this is England, and July, and when I finally glimpsed a teeny tiny gap in the cloud and the merest hint of blue sky, it was all systems go; children into car, camera and tripod and iPhone and finally H who I’m almost certain would rather have stayed at home to watch The Ashes, and off we went.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

I’m claiming that that little bit of slightly brighter sky that you can see just behind us is the sunshine that I promised them.  They don’t look entirely convinced do they.

But the advantage of the windmill on an ‘it’s almost about to rain’ afternoon is that everyone else has far more sense and it’s deserted.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

The one man and his dog who were there had headed home but the time we made it up the hill so I thought we’d try a few long range shots to get the windmill in too, and while you may not be able to see it, these are the photos in which everyone has the biggest smiles.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

Because my remote trigger doesn’t cover the 20 something metres between the wall and the camera, so the only way to do it was to press the timer, and run.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

For the record, H, Kitty and I all managed the sprint by ourselves, but carrying a baby Pip and trying to run without jiggling him is …. more of an effort!

By this point the clouds were darkening and I was steadfastly ignoring anything that might have been a spit of rain, and after a ration of mini oreo cookies to all but the smallest member of the family, I tried for the illusive, all five looking at the camera shot.

But my sweet little Pip had other ideas.  Poor boy, he’d been carried up the hill in the sling, sprinted across the grass and passed from pillar to post while we ran back and forth to the camera and he wanted out and down and time and space to wriggle and show off his latest trick

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

 

He’s so determined to keep up with everyone else, and if that means hanging onto the wall so he can stand up, then the wall it is.  And while I know you can’t see his smile, I promise it’s there and broader than ever.

And then, as the first drops seriously started to fall, and mere moments before we all hightailed it into the bottom of the windmill to wait for the squall to pass.  Kitty’s telling me that it’s awfully windy, Elma is waving and Pip’s expression is utter confusion, but we’re all looking at the camera – it’s a wonder the heavens didn’t open and a heavenly chorus appear (or maybe they did and angels travel by raindrops).

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

So here we are, my little family, in July.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

Next month’s challenge; encouraging small people to smile at a black box on a stick.

And now of course for the best part: the outtakes.

I’ve only got one, taken just after the last family shot.  The girls are sprinting for cover, H has walked forward to pick the camera up and Pip and I are following and it’s all very much as your would expect, except for Pip’s expression.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

 

He does not look impressed with the camera; that’s a pure “you are not allowed to steal my Mama” look, usually reserved for sisters!

dear beautiful

Elma Family Kitty Pip Sponsored Post

First Aid for Little Ones from the British Red Cross

31/07/2015

If we had a family yearbook in the style of all cheesy American High School films, the award for “Most Likely to be in A&E with Mama” would have to go to this little lady.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

It’s true, Kitty may have had a few visits to the out of hours doctor when what was a small sniffle at the beginning of the day ramped up to a full blown chest infection over the course of a day at nursery, but it’s Elma who specialises in the bumps and bruises.  She’s remarkably good at climbing anything and everything, but give her a nice flat surface to run over and somehow she’ll go tumbling.  She is also absolutely adamant that there is nothing Kitty can do that she can’t do and nowhere Kitty can go that she can’t follow.

Kit’s four and the size of an eight year old. Elma … isn’t.

She’s my complete lack of spatial awareness combined with H’s no fear attitude.

And sometimes she’s just unlucky, like the time she slipped climbing out of Kitty’s bed and somehow managed to cut a chunk out of her lip on the corner of a toy box.  Cue lots of blood, and a trip to A&E with a screaming baby in the back of the car and several hours sat on the floor while she dozed in my lap

Which has made it pretty handy that H has, over the years, built up a considerable body of experience of minor injuries and how best to treat them.  He’s great with an ice pack for bumped knees, cleaning the gravel out of grazes, and making sure that when a certain young lady (a one year old Kitty) suddenly decided to lean forward and head butt the table in the Leicester Square Bella Pasta it didn’t turn into a big egg on her forehead by application of the appropriate pressure and the ice out of my glass of water.

I’m not sure that he’s ever studied for a first aid certificate, he’s just spent a lot of time on the hockey pitch, and the cricket pitch, and the five aside football pitch, and, well we’ve yet to find a sport he doesn’t like.

My first aid certificate expired a while ago and I know I’d like to update it again some day soon.  I can remember being in the third trimester of my pregnancy with Kitty and starting to feel a little in awe of the responsibility of looking after whoever this little baby was going to be, but it turns out that if Elma’s anything to go by, the baby stage is the easy bit when it comes to needing to know first aid.

The British Red Cross runs some great first aid courses, and to fill in any gaps in my knowledge until I get on one, I’ve been playing with their free app with a little help from some friends.

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This is a new app specifically focussing on babies and children, and it’s a great resource for when you want to consult Dr Google, but know that you really really shouldn’t because nothing good ever comes of it.

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The Prepare section is full of common sense advice for going out and about, with some great suggestions for impromptu first aid and a checklist for your first aid box and the Learn section has let me brush up on some of the bits that I’m a bit rusty on, and then for a bit of fun there’s a little quiz at the end.

And if one of your little ones is on medication there’s even a section for keeping track of what they’re taking, when and how.

There’s also an Emergency button in the middle – which I haven’t dared press yet.  Long many there continue to be a complete absence of emergencies around here.

First aid isn’t rocket science, but I think it is something that I want to be second nature to me.  I want the mental muscle memory to be there so that if something does happen to one of the children, I don’t worry about what to do, I just do it.

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So if you too are feeling a little rusty and want to brush up your first aid, you could take a course with the BRC, and in the meantime, click here to get your free baby and child first aid app.

Post sponsored by the British Red Cross. If you are interested in collaborating on a post, please take a look at my Work With Me page