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Living Arrows 49/52


Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows - First Shoes

Ever since Pip took his first steps his walking has come on in occasionally literal leaps and bounds.  He can stand up all by himself pushing off the floor, and we’re just at that watershed moment where he’s walking and crawling about the same amount, especially now he’s worked out how to carry things and walk too.  He totters across the room to throw himself into my arms, or to use me as a step to reach up and grab my phone if it’s anywhere within climbing distance, waddles down the hallway after his sisters and usually wants nothing more than to be out of the sling and exploring if ever I stop walking while wearing him.

So when we took Elma for new shoes this week because she’d grown out of everything but her wellies, we thought it might be time to get Pip measured for his very first pair too.

I’ve still got the girls’ first pairs of shoes tucked away; Kitty’s little purple 3 1/2s with a flower on the toe, and Elma’s pink butterflies in a teeny tiny size 3.  Pip, well we measured and measured again, and checked the other foot, and well, Pip for his very first pair of shoes is a size 4 1/2.  Half of the first shoes on display don’t come larger than a 4!

But the very nice assistant went away and had a furret in the stockroom and came back with two pairs of lovely soft little shoes in just the right size, of which one pair were a clear favourite.  Dark inky blue (perfect for covering up mud and spaghetti stains) with the cutest little aeroplanes buzzing along one on each side.Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows - First Shoes

Initially Pip was very unsure about them; he only wanted to walk holding my fingers and he did that adorable little Thunderbird puppet walk, picking his knees up really high as if he thought we’d put lead weights around his ankles.  Shoes must feel so strange the first time you wear them, especially if your genetic predisposition is to wear shoes as little as humanely possible (that would be me!) but within a couple of minutes he was wandering around and trying to bring sparkly pink offerings off the shelves to his sisters so I think they’re a hit.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows - First Shoes

And when we got home and went outside in the very end of the daylight to take some pictures to record the momentous occasion I looked at my son, sat on a tree stump in jeans, a shirt and a comfy stripy hoodie, with his little shoe shod feet dangling below and not for the first time, wondered where my baby has gone.

Because much as I hate to admit it, another milestone has come and gone and this little boy is all gorgeous adorable toddler.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows - First Shoes


Baby Family Milestones Motherhood Pip Working Mum

Best foot forward


Space for the Butterflies - Best Foot Forward

The problem with being a very tall baby who can reach everything you want, climb to anything supposedly out of reach and crawl at light speed, is that there’s very little motivation to want to consider this walking lark as an alternative means of transport.

Pip has been cruising the furniture for a while now, getting better and better at standing, and quite happy to wander around holding one or both of our hands, but he’d yet to take a step by himself.

Space for the Butterflies - Best Foot Forward

We were all sat on the floor on Sunday afternoon, the girls cuddled up for a story, Pip trying to take the book off us despite our many efforts to distract him by building towers for him to knock down and H and I happy in the sort of Sunday afternoon warmth that comes from being just our family at home.  The little man’s efforts to run off with the book meant he was standing quite a bit, flailing at something that he just couldn’t understand seemed to be disappearing out of reach and then turning to give me his stink eye face, and while he was so steady we thought we might see what he could do with a little bribery and corruption.

And so H held out one of the girls’ Halloween sweets in a nice shiny silver wrapper, and, surrounded by his adoring audience, Pip let go of my hand, took one, two quick little steps forward and threw himself into H’s arms.

Proud just doesn’t cover it.

Space for the Butterflies - Best Foot Forward

And I thought that would be it for a little while, that while we’d reached the ‘walking when encouraged with shiny things’ milestone, we might have to wait a little while longer for the moment when he walked just all by himself.  But no, not our boy.  I got home last night and after we’d had supper he was cruising the furniture so I sat on the floor and called his name with my arms stretched out for a cuddle, expecting him to drop and crawl, but he just turned, and with a couple of steps, threw himself at me.  So of course we all started to play.  He walked to Kitty and to H, no more than three or four steps each time but so very proud of himself, and then when I wasn’t really paying attention to him, and H and I were trying to swaddle a succession of dollies for their very insistent mamas, he suddenly let go of the arm chair, turned and step step plonk into my lap.

At fourteen months and six days, our Pip Squeak walked.

And I’m so happy, mostly because it’s a wonderful milestone and the gateway to him getting up to all sorts of exploring and mischief, but also because I didn’t miss it.  It’s been one of my biggest fears in going back to work that I would miss something important, and I’m sure the day will come when I do, but not yet, and not this.

Space for the Butterflies - Best Foot Forward

We were both there for the girls’ first steps and first independent walk and I don’t think I’d realised how much it mattered to me to be there for Pip until I was and the joy flooded in with relief.  I don’t know whether H ever had that fear when he was working or whether the knowledge that you will miss milestones is as ingrained as the default setting that suggests that stay at home parents are Mums, but it did make me wonder whether babies, being so very clever, make sure that they’ve got their biggest possible audience before showing off their latest skills? What do you think? Did your babies hit the big milestones with everyone there to tell them how clever they were too?

Pictures from the weekend because while Pip Squeak might be walking a little bit, it’s going to be a while before I get it on camera!!

Baby Baby Knitting Finished Handmade Handmade for Baby Knitting Photography

A very special baby surprise {handmade}


Space for the Butterflies - Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket

It’s no secret that I think babies should be welcomed with knitwear; soft cosy little bits and pieces to keep out the chill and to welcome them to the world wrapped in the well wishes of the friends who love them before they ever met them. But sometimes I get to knit for babies that are extra special. Babies whose parents’ road to parenthood has been paved with bumps and rocks and giant chasms that threatened to steal their joy and their hope.

It is a privilege to knit for those babies, to knit and have faith in the happiness that is coming, to put into every stitch the courage their parents showed, the love which surrounds their entire family, and all the good wishes I can muster for the future.  There is nothing I’d rather make, for all the technical whiz trickery in the world.

And at the end of September with the arrival of a dear friend’s little one rapidly approaching, I knit my favourite sort of knitting.  It was finished the evening before he was welcomed to the world, but I wasn’t going to spoil the surprise until I’d handed it over.Space for the Butterflies - Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket

Because of course, it was a Baby Surprise Jacket. From experience with my three I know it’s a really practical baby knit but the baby’s mama had her needles busy with a magnum opus of her own and wasn’t going to get to knit one, so it seemed the perfect choice.

The yarn is Cascade 220 Paints in Tropical Seas so it can be bunged in the washing machine when necessary, and in my button stash I found just enough of my favourite yellow fish buttons to do it up.

Space for the Butterflies - Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket

Earlier this week I got the chance to meet the young man and congratulate his very proud mama on making such a beautiful little person.  He is so small (by which we mean perfectly newborn baby sized), with teeny tiny hands, silky soft hair, and those dark newborn eyes that looked up at me with a frowning curiosity.

I am really pleased with how his jacket came out, and in time it will fit him (right now it looks like it might drown him) But the truth is that nothing I could ever make is as wonderful as seeing him safe and snug and here, and my friend blooming in motherhood.

Space for the Butterflies - Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday, Frontier Dreams for Keep Crafting On and Make Do & Push for Funky Kid Friday

Baby Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Milestones Photography Pip

Living Arrows 2015: 42/52


Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure

With Elma looking increasingly like the Dulux puppy, this week was, once again, haircut week.  It’s amazing how fast that little girl’s fringe can grow, especially given that we initially cut her hair because it was growing so very very slowly.  But Elma, adorable though she looks with a fresh new haircut, is not the reason for this post.  No, this week we hit another of Pip’s milestones, a milestone that has arrived much much earlier than it did for his sisters.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

It’s true, my baby has had his first haircut.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

We could have left him with his cute little ruff of curls and the wispy bits over his ears that made him look like a tiny old man, but his hair kept getting caught in the buttons on the neck of his jumpers, H is having enough fun getting Kitty’s ponytail done for school so the solution I used for the girls (bunches) is probably out, and memories of Kitty’s first haircut, sat perched on my knee in the waiting area of the salon because she flat out refused to step any further, made it seem like a very good idea that he have his first haircut before he’s old enough to think too much about it.  My sister sent her son with my brother-in-law every time the latter got a haircut just to get him used to the concept and I think she may have been on to something.  It worked with the adorable nephew and so far so good with out little man.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

I didn’t get to take him, but he sat on H’s knee and was apparently quite chilled through the whole thing.  Well right up until the hairdryer.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

And now my beautiful baby is a beautiful little boy.  It’s somehow managed to make him look both all grown up and really teeny tiny at the same time and I’m not quite sure how.  I do miss his curl at the nape of his neck just a little bit, it was so perfectly blond and very very soft, one tiny bit of much newer baby hair, but on the other hand, he’s starting to grow the most awesome quiff.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows