Monthly Melfie

Another new month, how is it June already? Half way through the year! Blimey, time really does fly.

Conscious that Harley starts school in a few months, we are trying to make the most of family days out where we can.

Last month, I shared my experiences of being a stepmummy and my Melfies were with my stepsons. This month’s Melfies come from a whole host of different times with Lola and Harley.

I took this one a while ago of Harley and I messing around, it was only when I looked back at the photo on my phone, that I noticed Lola is perfectly positioned for a photo bomb!

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A sunny Melfie with Lola down the beach:

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Gorgeous squishy bedtime cuddles with Harley:

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And a family Melfie when we were at Legoland

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We are looking forward to seeing what June has in store. Have a lovely month.

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Californian Mum in London

Is it different with 2?

I make no disguises for the fact that I enjoyed waiting for and hearing about the arrival of the 4th in line to the throne. Kate and William are a brilliant representation of our modern day Royal Family.

As they stood on the steps, outside the hospital, humbly  showing off their new little Princess to the swarms of media and well wishers, I couldn’t help but think about how their lives will change now that they have 2 young children.

… How all of our lives as parents, change when we have another child.

Do we do things differently with our second child? Are the milestones just as special with a second child?

I have a 4 year old and a 15 month old, who, without question, are my entire world. But there is no doubt that things are completely different with 2. There’s no doubt, that you do things ever so slightly different, with your second!

A Poem for my Number 2

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A second child to carry and name

Would I love you just the same?

For 40 weeks, my biggest fear

Was how I’d cope when you’re finally here?

Would things be just as special with 2?

Would I bond as much with you?

Now you’re here, my fears are gone

I couldn’t have been so completely wrong.

My love has grown, doubled in size,

My heart overflows when I look in your eyes.

However….

I hate to admit that your Baby Book

Doesn’t get that much of a look.

Your toys are not all shiny new,

Second hand clothes, occasionally blue!

I’m far more lenient with your food

The age guidelines, I tend to allude.

Just as CBeebies has faded away

It’s back to haunt me everyday.

Baby-proof the locks and stair gate,

The High Chair is back and the plastic plate.

We mastered the potty, each number and letter

I wonder if you will master it better?

You don’t get my undivided attention

In and out of the car, too busy to mention.

When you wake in the night and we put back your cover,

We do it quickly so you don’t wake your brother.

But I can’t remember life before,

Your cuddles and smiles and toys on the floor,

Your curly hair and tiny feet,

Having you here, makes our lives complete.

So having 2, proves definitely

That Love can grow. Infinitely.

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Mindful Monday ~ Wk 24

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When my children are older, more than anything, I want them to look back on their childhood with the happiest of memories.

I want them to remember the time we spent together as a family.

I want them to remember the days out; the trips to the park; the bike rides; the walks in the forest; days at the beach.

The free things.

The simple things.

I want them to remember, simply the time they spent with Mummy and Daddy.

I love this quote by Abigail Van Buren and I think it works brilliantly on a photo of Lola and daddy, going off for a walk.

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‘If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money’

Time is worth more to a child than any gift.

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Monthly Melfie ~ As a Step Mum

This month, my Melfie photo is with my youngest stepson, Connor.

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When I got married, I didn’t just marry Luke, I married his entire situation and you know what, being a stepmum, is one of the hardest jobs in the world.

I remember when Luke first introduced me to his boys, I found myself trying to impress them more than their dad!

Never wanting to be their mummy, or their best friend but trying to find a happy medium whilst achieving acceptance, is more nerve wracking than any job interview.

Bringing up children is hard.

Bringing up children that aren’t your own, is even harder.

Being a stepparent, doesn’t come from a relationship of established love or nurturing. You have to almost play catch up to know what they like or don’t like. To know all about them. To know what makes them tick, or not, as the case may be.

When I was first chosen to read the bedtime story over daddy, I did an inner fist pump to the sky.

When I get asked to play with them; be the one to do their homework with; the one whose hand they choose to hold, it means more than their sweet little faces will ever know.

When Luke and I wanted to have children of our own, it was paramount to me that we created a blended family. Not a family of ‘them and us’.

The boys were so excited to have a new little brother. They adored him.

And you can imagine, when Lola was born, well, she was one over-protected little sister, that’s for sure.

 I know that we have achieved that blended family that I so desperately wanted when I hear Ethan and Connor call Harley and Lola their brother and sister. The words ‘step’ or ‘half’ don’t appear anywhere in their repertoire. And that makes me so happy.

I almost want to give ourselves a pat on the back.

I was lucky. Their approval of what I represented and their acceptance of me was evident from the beginning.

But it’s a tough role.

Still, years later.

When schools give 2 tickets to an assembly or a presentation. The ticket is not for you.

Sometimes, just sometimes, you need to keep quiet.

Take a step back.

Don’t compare, yourself.

Never show favouritism. I am always mindful of this.

As I said, we are very lucky. We are, very much, a unit. A family with 4 children.

Here are a few of my favourite pics of me and the boys:

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I’m immensely proud of my little family. All very different, yet so similar.

I’m a Mummy and a Step mummy, blimey, pass me that glass of wine!

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Californian Mum in London
The Dad Network

My Sunday Photo ~My King of the World

Often, the best pictures are the on-the-spot captures; the ones where you suddenly see something and you know that as soon as you look back at the photo, it’s going to be a beauty.

I take most of my photos on my iPhone and this one, simply had to be My Sunday Photo for this week.

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My King of the Word.

My King of Everything.

Taken at Badbury Rings. It’s one of Harley’s favourite places. And I love his love affair with the outdoors.

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OneDad3Girls

Dear Harley ~ as you start school

My gorgeous boy, 

We have just found out that you have been offered a place at our favoured school.

School.

How are you already old enough to go to school? My precious little bundle of love that was always content from the minute we brought you home from hospital? My beautiful boy. My Harley.

These 4 years have been the best of my life. I burst with pride knowing that you are mine.

You are truly beautiful inside and out.

Grandma always says how polite you are. You are so well mannered. You even thank me every day for the food I make you. I have never asked you to do that.

You enjoy the simple things. Being outside. I struggle to keep up with you. But I always will be, right by your side.

I remember the first time you said those words, totally unprompted, “I love you, Mummy.”

I cried.

My heart couldn’t have felt more full.

And now, I feel like ‘our’ time is running out. These early years are just not long enough. By any stretch.

I don’t doubt for a minute that you are ready for school. You are excited. I know that. I know that you are looking forward to riding your scooter to school. I know how excited you are to do P.E and how you want us to go and buy your little green uniform, right now!

I don’t doubt for a minute that you will grow up even more between now and September. And then you will be 5. You will be one of the eldest so I hope you will look out for your younger peers.

You won’t know anybody to start with. This was a decision that Mummy and Daddy thought long and hard about. Whether to separate you from your preschool friends? We don’t doubt that your happy, sunny nature will allow you to make new friends very easily. We are sure your social group will grow and you will have lots of friends.

I often find my mind drifting to the future. Kissing you goodbye as I see your little legs running off to find your friends in the playground. Waiting at the school gate, watching you walk towards me with your rosy cheeks, shirt untucked and grass stains on your trousers. You carrying your little lunchbox and book bag.

So my advice and hopes for when you start school:

Always be kind ~ show your friends and even those that aren’t, the caring side that we see everyday with your brothers and sister.

Share your belongings and your time ~ like when all you want to do is play with your Lego and you put your half built spaceship to one side so that you can play ‘Row, row, row your boat’ with Lola.

Be brave ~ don’t be afraid to try new things. It’s ok to fail and make mistakes. This will only make you learn better.

Be bold ~ use your voice; speak out; ask for help; join in and take part.

Never say you’re bored ~ only boring people say they are bored. Look forward to playtime if you need to. But enjoy each day.

Just do your best ~ it will always be enough.

Dream big ~ just like I do, for you. You can achieve anything.  And I know that you will.

I love you, Harley. I’m beyond proud of you.

Love Mummy

xxx

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Everything Mummy

Easter Sun Fun ~ Pt.2

The second week of our Easter holidays has nearly come to an end and it’s been bloomin lovely.

It feels like we have had a real break as we haven’t been thinking about going back to work and we haven’t been doing school work. Bliss.

We’ve just enjoyed being a family, for 2 whole weeks.

This second week saw us enjoying even more of this beautiful Spring weather.

We Luke did a bit of gardening. He took up some of the patio slabs which used to be in an ‘L’ shape and laid down new turf. He put down new edging on the patio. Now we have a bit more grass on this side of the garden but I’m pretty sure it will be football ridden soon! We’ve moved our conservatory furniture into the garden too, so it’s nice to have an adult space amongst the outdoor toys.

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We went to the beach, as always. My lovely friend, Lyn was competing in the Bournemouth Bay 5k run and it was lovely to go along and show my support, from the sideline. Will it be me next year? Hmm… Maybe!

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The boys went to Rock Reef and did some indoor climbing. It’s always nice to find an activity that they all enjoy with their 7 year age gap and this is definitely one of them. Ethan was so chuffed that he did the wall in his quickest time yet.

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Whilst the boys were climbing, Lola and I enjoyed some girlie time on the sand. I think she’s going to be a beach baby like her Mummy.

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One of the days, Luke and I even managed a few hours alone, to enjoy a beer garden. Heaven.

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We also found a wonderful park and outdoor cycle track that is completely free. Needless to say, Harley was in his element. And such gorgeous surroundings too. Can you spot him?

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I can’t believe the week’s not over yet. We’ve had so much fun. Tomorrow it’s Marwell Zoo and on Monday we are off to Legoland.

Phew, I’m exhausted but my heart is full.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter break.

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Peli’s Play Pouch – Bathroom tidier 

We love bathtimes in our house. Toys, water, bubbles and splashing, it’s one of my favourite times of the day.

However, one of my parenting pet peeves is stepping over or on the toys the next morning, that have been left in the bath.

We used to have a plastic bucket next to the bath that all of the toys went in after Bathtime. Although it kept things tidy, it wasn’t particularly lovely to look at and where the horrible, yucky water would collect at the bottom of the bucket, it would stick to the toys and make them all slimy.

We were thrilled to come across the Playful Pouch by BabyThingz a fun and easy way to store all those bath toys:

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* It is easy to attach to the side of the bath. There are no fiddly clips or clasps; it simply slots over the side of the bath

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* It saves on clutter and looks neat and tidy on the side of the bath

* It can be fitted so that the net is either in or out of the bath

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* The netting pouch, allows the toys to drip dry without be stored in that horrible slimy water

* The pelican’s beak opens fully so that toys can easily be put into or taken out of the pouch

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* It’s extremely child friendly. Young children can open and close the pelican’s beak and remove toys easily for themselves

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We fill the pelican’s beak with the toys, when it is in the bath. We find it works best this way so that the water can drip away, into the bath. When the toys are dry or when we want to use the bath ourselves, we simply turn the pouch so that it faces out of the bath. It’s extremely easy to move around.

And the best bit… the kids love feeding Peli with their toys so I’m left with a nice and tidy bath when they’ve finished splashing around!

The Peli’s Pouch retails at £15.95 and can be ordered here.

Disclaimer: We were kindly sent the Peli Pouch for the purpose of review however all words and opinions are very much my own.

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A Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt

Now that I’m a blogger, I often do things or visit places, that immediately make me want to blog about them, if I think my readers will be interested.

I simply had to share the egg hunt that my sister set up for us last weekend.

A glow in the dark egg hunt, no less.

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It was pretty spectacular and the kids adored it.

All you need are some plastic eggs, glow sticks, baskets and treats.

You need to make sure that you time it right as it takes a little while to prepare the eggs and of course, it needs to be dark!

Simply snap and shake a glow stick to get it glowing and twist it or wrap it around itself so that it fits inside the plastic egg. Depending on the size of the plastic eggs that you have, you could always keep the glow stick together with an elastic band.

Then place a treat inside the egg. We used small chocolate treats and marshmallows.

Make sure that the glow sticks colour coordinate with the colour of the egg.

We also had matching coloured plastic baskets so each child knew which coloured eggs they were hunting for. If you have any glow sticks left over, we threaded them through the holes in the baskets so that the baskets glowed up too.

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It was a gorgeous sight in the garden, to see the coloured eggs, glowing brightly, hidden among the plants, in the bushes, in the rockery and there was even a large bonus egg, hidden in the playhouse that they were all trying to find!

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and afterwards, the kids enjoyed wearing the glow sticks

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and we even had some sparklers

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and the grown ups enjoyed toasting marshmallows on the fire pit

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Such a brilliant idea and a lovely twist on the traditional Easter egg hunt.

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