Monthly Archives

May 2014

Elma Family Kitty Me and Mine Photography

Me and Mine – a family portrait for May

31/05/2014

Being always the optimist, and apparently somewhat forgetful about the vagaries of the English summer I didn’t take our Me and Mine pictures this month when it would have been sensible, back in the days of wall to wall blue skies, endless sunshine and whole days spent outside. Instead of course I waited until the last possible day on which any let up in the rain was even vaguely forecast and rounded the family up for a trip to the park, all the while steadily ignoring the ominously black clouds building in the background.

Because much as I love the pictures that I have of us all at home, I wanted these to be special pictures, because this, for us, is a special Me and Mine. Twelve months ago I realised that despite the gazillion photos I take each month, I actually didn’t have that many with all four of us in, and that that needed to change. So last June I committed us to a family portrait each month, for at least a year, and here we are, 11 sets of photos all neatly stacked up in the virtual archives, and today makes 12.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And so we came back to where it first began; our favourite park, full of shady trees and pretty spots and enough space that you can set up a tripod and take pictures without feeling particularly self conscious, or people intentionally or unintentionally photo bombing your shot and having to be photoshopped into trees! (Also to note that my spacial awareness has clearly improved because I set up this shot with a shrubbery behind us not a path – yay, evidence of actual learning!).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

They are I think some of my favourites of the whole year. They’re still imperfectly perfect; I can either have everyone looking at the camera or everyone smiling, but not both; but I think they capture the fun we had, the giggles of the girls, the way they both just adore their Daddy, and the relaxed happiness I feel when we’re all together.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And as always with us, perhaps it’s the out takes that have the most personality!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen some of the behind the scenes footage as small girls ran off to check each picture, or just careened around for the fun of it, and this just about sums up out photo shoots in a nutshell!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It’s a bit of a change from last year!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I can’t really find words to say how happy I am that I decided to jump on board with this project. I love having these little markers of our family life, of the changing of the seasons, and the gradual changes in our girls (and more recently in me), and I know that we will always treasure them, just as I know that I’m not going to be stopping any time soon. Family pictures have become a habit long ago, and a very good habit it is too!

And so at the risk of crashing everyone’s computer with far too many pictures, here we have my little family, in June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April and May!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

 

 

dear beautiful
Family Kitty {this moment}

{this moment}

30/05/2014

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo (well two today) capturing a moment from the week. A simple, pharm special, salve extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

Baby Elma Family Kitty Milestones Motherhood Pregnancy

28 Weeks of a Little Bump and Me

29/05/2014

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

28 weeks – welcome to the Third Trimester! This my friends is the point at which the realisation that we might actually be having a baby really starts to kick in. We’ve got the pram doubling kit out of the box and actually tried to work out how to fit it to the pram (please note the key use of the word ‘tried’); we’ve moved the cross trainer out of the corner of the lounge (where admittedly it had started to impersonate a rather athletic looking clothes horse) so that we can fully extend the dinner table, and even more worryingly we’ve voluntarily spent actual bank holiday weekend time in car garages wondering whether it is ever going to be possible to leave the house in one car again (answer: probably not – Kitty sobbed when strapped into the back of one option!)

So how are we?

Well ‘Little Bump’ is quite clearly starting to be ironic. We’re huge! Little Bump should apparently weigh about a kilogram this week, and is starting to put on some of that gorgeous chubby plumpness, ready to meet the outside world (note to baby: not yet you’re not sweetheart).

We’ve also definitely hit one of my favourite developmental milestones in that he or she can now hear sounds. Which is lovely if it’s me singing to Elma, or reading stories, Daddy saying goodbye to the bump as he heads off to works, or the big sisters having a little chat, and probably less good if it’s just variations on “Elma! Sit down please!” as a certain young explorer makes a bid to climb onto the dinner table again, or “play gently with your sister!” (self explanatory!).

According to the internets we could get Little Bump wriggling by shining a light on the bump, but frankly this child does not need any encouragement to start practicing his or her dance moves. The kicks are still coming from all over the place so I don’t think Little Bump has settled down into one particular position; sometimes it feels like my bladder’s being tickled (and yes that does have the consequence you would expect) and other times I can feel a little point of hardness that must be a heel or and elbow tracking across the top of the bump, and then there’s those sudden whole belly thumps that can only be hiccups.

H and Kitty have both had plenty of chances to feel a kick (Elma is completely uninterested), and Kitty watched my tummy for a few minutes over the weekend, captivated by the crazy jumps and wiggles going on. She’s taken to asking me whether it’s summer yet which as it’s cold and wet and rainy today is easily answered with “no, not yet” but also makes me think we might need to have a bit more of a chat about what “at the end of the summer” actually means in terms of when this brother or sister might arrive.

And as for me, I’m mostly tired but fine. I’ve had a few afternoons of nausea which makes me really hope that the morning sickness is not about to come back and haunt me, but I think I just got overtired.

I’m getting used to just how much space the bump takes up too; I’m not great at squeezing past anyone anymore, baby bumps are surprisingly solid, and the things on the floor have now become a really really long way away. It’s definitely a perk to having older children that they will fetch things for you, though I think I might have to rope H in to repainting my toes, I’m not quite sure I’m ready to trust Kitty with the nail polish (by about five years)!

Perhaps I should treat myself to a pedicure – after all, I’m on the final leg now; just 12-14 weeks to go!

Family Kitty

Kittyisms – May 2014

28/05/2014

Oh Mummy your glasses are all wet!
Yes love we’ve been out in the rain, and they got rained on.
Don’t worry Mummy, I’ll dry them for you in a minute!

 

In a dark dark town there was a dark dark street
In the dark dark street there was a dark dark house
In the dark dark house there was a dark dark room
In the dark dark room there was a dark dark cupboard
And in the dark dark cupboard, three skeletons lived!

And they went to the library, and then they came home and made cupcakes with me and you and Daddy and [Elma]!

(not going to be bothered by spooky stories then are you lovely?)

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

On seeing Princess Ginger in her sister’s grasp:
That’s mine [Elma]. Don’t eat her, she’s not food!

 

On careful examination of my baby bump (and long since non-existent belly button) one morning:
Mummy, you have a peeky button!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

On arrival at Sainsburys:
Mummy, who built this?
I don’t know sweetheart.
I think it was Bob the Builder!

 

I spy with my little eye something that begins with drawers!
Is it drawers?
Yes!
I spy with my little eye something that begins with blank
Is it blankie?
Yes!
I spy with my little eye something that begins with D
Is is ssssssssssssssnake?
No
Is it blankie?
No
Is it ssssssssnake?
Daddy?!
Yes!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

While relating her day to her Auntie:
And then Daddy come home and we had a sandwich and then he wandered off again!

(Ed note – he’d gone to cricket, not just pottered out through the front door!)

 

To Olivia, aged 10: “Hello, I haven’t met you before! My name’s [Kitty]! Come and play in my secret garden dolly house!”
Bemused response: “My name’s Olivia. I haven’t met you before either”

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

 

On being in the car:

I told Daddy to go fast and when I told Daddy to go fast Grandma said “stop I don’t like it!”

 

Getting to grips with speed restrictions:
When there are houses we have to go slow but when there are no houses we can go fast!

Books Family Kitty Reading what we're reading

My Big Shouting Day {what we’re reading}

27/05/2014

As I’m writing this Elma is sat on Grandma’s knee reading poems about Angelfish and X-ray fish, poking the pictures and saying something that sounds remarkably like “fisheee”, while Kitty is curled up with her Auntie and I think Winnie under the Sea, having already worked through Oh No George, Princess Kitty and the Mysterious Noise and goodness knows how many other stories.  H and I both love to read to the girls, but every now and then when you find you know all the favourites back to front and upside down, it’s really lovely to just sit and listen to someone else read!

But back to what should probably more accurately be called ‘what else we’re reading’, with pictures ably assisted by Teddy, as nothing as mundane as Mama with a camera is going to tear Kitty and Elma away from their Grandma and Auntie!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Big Shouting Day!

This week’s choice is the only one of the 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlist that we don’t own.  And it’s the one that won.

I’ve been stalking it at the library and in the bookshop for a little while, just to see what it was that could possibly be better than either The Worst Princess or Stuck both of which I still rate as some of the best books we own, and so it came to pass that on a rainy Friday afternoon, when we’d decamped to the library in the hope that a change of scene, and a bit of space to run around might lift everyone’s mood, get rid of the fidgets and break what seemed to be an inevitable cycle of whinging, I spotted it, sat innocuously in the middle of the picture book box.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Big Shouting Day!

It’s a very funny book, there’s no doubt about it, but more than that it’s exactly the book I needed to find on Friday. Let’s just say I could instantly relate to Bella’s Mummy, who appears to have either super human reserves of patience, or possibly a secret chocolate stash (I vote for the latter!).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Big Shouting Day!

And the genius behind it, and the reason I suspect that it won is not that it will elicit wry chuckles from every parent everywhere, but that Kitty also found it very identifiable.  To Kitty it makes absolutely perfect sense that when you’re just out of sorts ballet will feel itchy, or you can’t walk because you have a hurting foot that has only just started to hurt but means that you need to lie down on the pavement right now and not move at all.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Big Shouting Day!

The sweetness is that at the very end, when Bella’s all tucked up in bed with Mummy, she knows she’s had a shouty day, and decides that tomorrow will be a much more cheerful day – and it is!

It’s not a miracle cure book, I mean I’m not going to claim that Kitty magically became less grumpy or me less stressed just for sitting and reading it; but I think it’s got to help all of us to know that we’re not alone, that shouty days happen, but that it’s possible just to pick yourself up and know that tomorrow is another day.   Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - My Big Shouting Day!

 

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

If you haven’t seen Vickie‘s post from last week you really have to go and check it out; her little girl is just so incredibly cute reading Toddle Waddle; and Claire has been reviewing just the cutest story about making  picture for Daddy; all gloop, glitter, and unintentionally beautiful!  And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your 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!