Posted in Family and Parenting

92/365

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Springtime! Springy springy Springtime!

We went to the Arboretum in Nottingham today, to check out the lovely springtime flowers, watch some squirrels nibbling pine cones and, most importantly, feed the ducks!

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This tree near the lake was growing in a crazy, contorted way, it reminded me of something from Lord of the Rings.

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Aeryn was so excited to feed the ducks! We made sure we had proper bird seed rather than bread, as bread actually is quite bad for ducks, it turns out! Luckily, they enjoyed what we had available.

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And so did the pigeons, who were very opportunistic! Aeryn actually didn’t mind who ate the seeds, though. I think it may bother her more if she were older, but right now she just liked feeding the animals.

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One rather brave lady came and fed from my hand! Little things like that don’t stop being magical when you’re an adult. Aeryn really wanted to try, but wasn’t quite prepared to keep her hand near the duck when she moved in such a jerky fashion to peck, so instead held my wrist to help me.

I remember being exactly the same. At Longleat, you can feed the deer from your car, and even as a 10 year old I found it pretty terrifying! I’m sure in time she’ll give it a try. Maybe even this summer, if we feed them often enough to get use to it!

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She quite enjoyed just taking it all in, too. Which was lovely, until I desperately needed to leave to find a bathroom (thanks, pregnancy!) and she Just. Wouldn’t. Walk. She stubbornly stood and refused to move if I didn’t carry her, which I’m really struggling to do with bump.

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It took a good half hour of intense talks and minor tantrumming to get her to ride on my trolley to the nearest bathroom (which is not in the park, they don’t have ANY! – So frustrating!), but in the end, she relented and let me sling her on my back.

I took photos for evidence, because it’s so infrequent now. So infrequent, I actually wrapped her pretty badly, she’s quite low down! Luckily, it wasn’t a long trip.

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She was in my friend’s mei tai, which I’ve borrowed until baby comes, because it’s quicker to get her up and down than my woven and I can move the waistband and tie tibetan (across my chest, off the bump) once she’s up, unlike our buckle carrier. It was SO comfortable to wear her, even tied this badly! I’m seriously considering trading in my woven for one, it was that good.

I’m really hoping she lets me try again so we can get it right, but as you can see in the last picture, she slumped down a fair bit by the time we got home and it was rubbing her neck, so she wanted out. Though she did tell me she enjoyed it later on, so there is hope for her yet!

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Also, shout out to my new dress, which made me feel all pretty and springtime-y today! Frugi organic cotton clothing. It was in the sale, because man it was expensive new (it was still pretty pricey in the sale!!) but I love it, I can breastfeed in it, it fits my bump with ease and it made me feel great despite my best attempts at looking frumpy this pregnancy! It was my Mother’s Day present to myself, and I don’t regret it.

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

91/364

Today was a doodley sort of day. Aeryn asked for a mummy with a baby in a sling. I think I managed it, she was pleased. She made sure I made the baby happy.

She’s pretty obsessed with the idea of slings, but can I get her to go in one?! We’ve borrowed a mei tai from a friend now to attempt more back carries without a tonne of fabric in my bag every day, but she won’t even try. She’s so stubborn with it! 

Annoyingly, every time she does go up, she loves it. And if I let her go on my front, she’d be up 24/7! But sadly it’s just too painful for her to sit on my bump for more than 5 minute maximum now. 

She was an excellent “helper” while I was sewing today, too. Though, using an overlocker (serger) with a toddler on your lap is, well, pretty much as difficult as it sounds! 

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

90/365

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Today, Aeryn helped product test some harems I made!

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I have a little WAHM business called Arrietty, that mostly sells jersey knit children’s clothes. It’s named after one of the Borrowers, those tiny people that live in your house and “borrow” things in the story, as I’m making stuff for little folk!

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Aeryn had a great time romping about at the park, helping me out!

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Plus it’s so awesome seeing spring in full bloom now, there were ladybirds everywhere and daffodils springing up all over the place!

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She found this big stick and we talked about how the wind was so strong it fell from its tree. I think she was pretty amazed that something as seemingly solid as a tree could break. She was pretty proud lugging it around, anyway!

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We attempted the fountains in town later as we were waiting for Ben to leave work, but she decided they were much too cold today! So, she decided to play hide and seek instead…with herself. Yup. I don’t know how it works, either.

She wouldn’t put her shoes on until the last possible second, either, despite the cold!

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

89/365

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Daddy got to come to the park today!

Ben worked a late shift so spent all morning with us at our weekly home ed park meet, which was combined with a mama group meet up this week so we had a few different faces to play with.

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It was a pretty dreary, windy morning, though it did brighten up a lot after Ben left for work. But oh my, the blossom! It was like snow in the wind, really beautiful.

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It covered whole swathes of the playground. Aeryn is really starting to understand the four separate seasons now, and we talked about what is going to happen next to the trees and why. She’s very excited for the leaves to grow and summer to come because that’s when she knows my “tummy baby” will be born!

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After the sun came out, she decided that the park could only truly be experienced barefoot. She’s probably right, you know. She ran through the grass and the sand and was absolutely filthy by the end of it all, but she had a blast. I hope we get an awful lot more barefoot days now the days are getting warmer! I still love going barefoot myself, but not sure I fancy climbing over some of the pebbled areas she tackled today!

 

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We had a great afternoon at a friend’s house after and got home way past bedtime. She’s now asleep in her daytime clothes, completely content. This is what childhood should be about.

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

88/365 – Create Your Own Pottery! Pt. 1

Today was brilliant!

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Auntie Katherine came down to visit, so we headed out to paint some pottery! It was Aeryn’s first time and my first time for a very long time!

We went to Pot N Kettlea little high street store in Beeston, near Nottingham. I’ve been walking past it for ages meaning to go in and finally had an excuse!

We chose our pieces to paint from a great range of items, from plates and cups to money boxes, Christmas baubles and figurines. Aeryn picked a mug and a star ornament, I chose a mug and Katherine a plate.

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Aeryn had a blast painting her things! We had to ask for different paint for Katherine and I in the end, though, because she couldn’t resist mixing all the colours in her pallet!

The colours look quite dull on the cup until they are glazed, so Aeryn’s very grey looking masterpiece isn’t completely grey in reality! The handy paint spot plaque next to her shows what each colour looks like once fired, so that was a really helpful guide for Kath and I. Aeryn just liked smooshing them together and seeing what happened and letting huge blobs drip all over her work!

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She spent a lot more time on her mug than her star, but still started to get fidgety long before Katherine and I were finished with ours. We bought her a drink (sadly there was a very minimal selection but that was pretty much the only downside of our trip!) and the assistant fetched her some colouring pages to keep her occupied while we finished off our pieces.

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My design ended up WAY off centre somehow, but I still like how it turned out, considering that for half of my painting time I was nursing a napping toddler on my lap and only had one hand to work with!

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I named my blog Raising Rainbows to acknowledge our oldest, miscarried child. Aeryn and her brother are our rainbows; something wonderful that came from one of the darkest, stormiest things that ever happened to our little family. Aeryn could quite literally not exist if we had not miscarried because of the age gap between them, which I find extremely strange.

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But I also think the sentiment applied to life more generally. We’ve faced a lot together in the last few years, from financial trouble to job woes to deaths in our family and friendship circles to just simply stormy days full of tantrums and wobbles and doubt and difficulties. While none of these things have magically disappeared in a rainbow of happiness and fulfillment, we do reach a point of improvement or acceptance or acknowledgement and move a little closer to things getting better. It’s an active, ongoing process. We build that rainbow a little bit at a time, deliberately making changes to help things get better, or just because time helps heal and storms don’t last forever.

It’s something I muse about from time to time. It can be really hard to see the future good that might happen when you’re in the throws of something bad. But, inevitably, things aren’t completely terrible forever.

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

87/365

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Okay, okay, I cheated. This isn’t a photo I took today, it was a few days ago. I left my phone at home today by mistake and had no way to take pictures!

I love this one, though. We just got Aeryn her own umbrella because she is OBSESSED with playing umbrellas. With pinwheels, with sticks, with her arms, with our arms. I blame My Neighbour Totoro, which she has just been enchanted by ever since she first saw it.

She loves that she can put this umbrella up and down by herself and that it fits through doorways while open!

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

86/365

This is the only photo I took today. Aeryn is riding an aeroplane to China to see Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Nick. 

This was today’s only photo because we didnt have a good day. In complete honesty, Aeryn is going through some sort of developmental leap thing right now that I am really struggling with and I know it will only get worse when her brother is born.

Today is the first time I’ve actually sort of regretted being pregnant. I don’t think I’ve left a big enough age gap for her to cope well with it and I am starting to lack the energy/physical ability to deal with her effectively when she’s tantrumming/running off and not listening/wilfully defiant/screaming in my face/etc. 

I feel like I’m turning into the kind of parent I hate. She’s suffering, I’m suffering, Ben is almost never around due to his weird job schedule and I don’t think having a baby will even slightly improve things right now. I just want to reconnect with my daughter and I don’t know how to, I’m in such a hormonal fog I just can’t find what I need to say or do to get us both through each difficult moment.

I’ve finally got her to tolerate being in a sling again occasionally which really helps her,  but she’ll only be front carried which is starting to kill my bump and I can’t continue that when baby arrives, as he’ll be too small for my back.

I’m just a bit lost and sad and frustrated and hormonal today.

I get that I’m very lucky to be pregnant and I do love and want him. I’m just finding stuff hard right now.

Not every day on a daily blog was going to be a good one, I guess. 

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

85/365

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Today was Mother’s Day in the UK. We totally overfilled our time and it was a bit frazzled, to be honest.

It was a long drive back from Bristol with a toddler, who despite sleeping for the last 40 minutes was extremely overstimulated and overtired before we even started our day. Due to a miscommunication, we had wanted to meet Ben’s parents for a quick lunch for Ben to pass on his Mother’s Day gift, but they had already eaten. So we ended up at a park instead.

Once I got over the initial annoyance at the change of plans and missed opportunity for hot food I didn’t cook myself, this seemed okay at the time (although I was exhausted already by the time we got there). But we seriously regretted it later after Aeryn had a complete meltdown when we finally got home.

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It was just too much in one day, really. She’s two and she needs to go home after a long trip to recharge, she’d had a really packed 2 days already before the park trip.

I knew that the tantrum would happened if we stayed out too long. I know my daughter, I know her limits. But for some reason, I didn’t take a stand and insist on what we all needed, which was to go home and rest and eat something decent.

I’ve decided I need to be more assertive in my parenting choices and stop worrying quite so much about upsetting others or letting people down by rescheduling. Which is easy to say after the fact, and difficult to practice at the time.

I also need to recognise when I’m at my own limit, and not feel as bad about prioritising what I need sometimes. It’s great to have a close relationship with extended family, but it can feel really hard to prioritise our little family unit over the wider group. But actually, it should make it easier, because we see them frequently as it is. If it hadn’t have been actual Mother’s Day, maybe we would have just rescheduled. But it felt like we had to fit everything in and in the end we just overdid it all.

I think next year, especially with two children, I will try very hard to build a day more around what I would like to do myself. Not that it isn’t lovely to see friends and family and make the most of our time. But slowing down and spreading out those experiences make me appreciate them a whole, whole lot more.

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xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

84/365

We went to a party today! 

It was Aeryn’s friend Evie’s second birthday! We headed back to Bristol to celebrate with her. She had a lovely time and so did Aeryn for most of the day, though she did get a little overwhelmed at times with so many people there and kids to share toys with. 

She was particularly taken with Evie’s ride on car and her little slide. She was so tired by the end of the day after rushing around the garden all day!

I’m pretty exhausted too, it’s getting harder to be on my feet all day but baby is sat in such a way that sitting down pushes him into my ribs so I can’t breathe. It feels like so long until my due date today! 

xXx

Posted in home education

83/365

Shadows are SO AWESOME!  

Aeryn likes hiding hers inside mine! We talked about what shadows are and how they’re made and why you can’t see hers separately if she’s stands inside mine. 

Learning, learning, all the time!

xXx