Sunday, 24 March 2013

12/52




"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Oliver: we went to France this week for a little overnight adventure with the children. They loved it. He was beside himself. This was taken on the Ferry over there in a fleeting moment of calm or tiredness. Or both. 

Lila: looking quite the little petite fille in her breton and denim pinny. She charmed wherever she went, sitting in this bustling French restaurant happily reading her books and staring at the stern old women. But my goodness that frown! 

Joining Jodi as always on a Sunday.

Last week this most excellent portrait made me smile - looks familiar no? 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

11/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Oliver: in the woods again. He played here for hours the other day - big sticks, makeshift tree-houses, room to roam and be free. What more does a boy need?

Lila: my little bath-time beauty. She loves the water this one. Every evening she decides when it's time... "Lila baaap" she calls, until we run the water and in she goes.

Joining Jodi as always on a Sunday.

And last week? I just adore the colours, the peace, the happiness in these two beautiful portraits.   

Oh also, on another note, I've had to turn back on those annoying catchpa thingys - my spam levels have been going through the roof of late and not all were being filtered out. Hopefully I'll be able to take them off once the spam dies down. x

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Spitting in the Sand



One of my earliest memories as a child is of being at playgroup, standing around the sandbox with a little boy. We were happily playing with the sand and various plastic objects when one of us worked out that if you spat into the sand it changed the texture. Instead of being dry it went hard and crumbly. And so we then spent a happy while spitting in the sand, making the dry grains turn into little soggy sand balls.

Then the teacher saw what we were up to, told us off for spitting, made us pack away the sandbox and that was the end of that.

A funny little insignificant memory, until I had my own children. And then I realised that spitting in the sand all those years ago was really just a simple act of two children discovering the world. And a classic case of those two children seeing only innocent wonder in something new, but the adult seeing only mess and naughtiness.

I think I’ve based my parenting style on this little story over the years. As much as I have boundaries and don’t allow my kids to run wild (most of the time!), I’m happy for them to explore, make mess and not always play by the rules.

Like the other day.

After a fairly short-lived painting session, as always, Oliver asked for a sink bath. This involves me running the kitchen sink full of tepid water and bubbles and a nudie Ollie hopping in to clean off, while I clear up the painting paraphernalia.

It happens every time. It’s part of the painting-at-home ritual and he stays in there for hours. Sometimes he just pours water, other times he might do the washing up. He’s always very content.

On this particular day, after wiping paint splatters off the dining table, I returned to the kitchen to find Ollie making some serious potions. There was painty water all over the floor, squirts of hand cream all over the place and the half full bottle of washing up liquid was empty.

I guess I could have told him off for wasting washing up liquid and my nice hand cream, or for making more mess for me to clear up, or for splashing more paint all over the place. But I left him to it. He was so happy, I didn’t have the heart to say anything. And I really didn’t mind. He was in there for an hour and a half. Lila slept, I cooked dinner and chatted to him while he played. 

Last weekend in a similar scenario I found Ollie with his toolbox playing a lovely game in the kitchen that involved tearing off bits of clingfilm and placing them here there and everywhere in a trail over the kitchen tiles. I have no idea what he was doing, but he was engrossed. And again, I left him to it.

Then there are the times I let him leap up from the dining table without waiting for everyone to finish, because he suddenly has a burst of imagination and is desperate to play a game he’s just created.

And as much as I probably should be consistent with table manners and the like, I just can’t bear to squash all this creativity for rules and regulations. Of course I agree that manners are important and rules are necessary, but I don’t want to be that parent who only ever sees things through adult eyes.

So tell me, because I’m really interested to know - are you a stickler for rules or do you let your kids do things like this in the name of fun and exploration? Am I too relaxed?! Is this going to come back and bite me one day?!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

10/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Oliver: my little superhero. He wore this outfit ALL DAY the other day, including to bed that night. 

Lila: caught in a quiet little moment, with the sunlight kissing her head. 

Joining Jodi as always on a err... Tuesday (Whooops!).

And as for my favourite portraits from 9/52, well they would have to be the beautiful portrait of Lamb and a precious moment of sibling love. So many to choose from though, I think the photos just keep getting better and better.   

Thursday, 7 March 2013

In need of some inspiration...

{A SPONSORED POST} 

Unlike many mums out there, I have to confess that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with baking.

I know. Shock horror. A mummy blogger who doesn’t love to bake?!

Actually, it’s not that I don’t like to bake, far from it, I do really enjoy it when it happens. It’s more that it just doesn’t come naturally to me. And as much as I would love to be that mum who can whip up a quick batch of this, that or the other in the 20 spare minutes between school pick-up and swimming lessons, I’m not.

For me, baking is something that I have to plan. And it’s something I tend to do as an activity with Oliver, rather than just for fun. Because let’s face it, at the moment, if I find myself with a spare half hour I’ll most likely be brushing up on my knowledge of cervical dilation, rather than browsing cookery books.

Saying that, we do have a few fool-proof recipes that I tend to rely on for those afternoons where baking seems like a good idea – gingerbread biscuits, banana bread, scones, flapjacks, brownies. We also enjoy making pizza dough, pikelets and cheesy muffins on a fairly regular rotation (actually that’s not a bad repertoire really!).

But regardless, I do often feel like I’m lacking the recipe inspiration to be able to pull-off the quick whip-up-a-batch-of-muffins scenario and consequently, because I don’t know what to bake it all suddenly seems just a bit too hard. Even though it’s not really, is it?

Only yesterday I was feeling the lunchbox boredom as I was packing Ollie’s Forest School lunch bag and so have vowed to myself to find some new recipes for kids to add a little more variety. So easy to get stuck in a rut with these things isn't it?

As a carb-loving family, I’m also keen to learn some decent bread recipes and I’d love to find some new healthier, sugar free recipes for the children’s snack times. They are both eating so much and so often at the moment, even I'm bored making the same old, same old snack plates to keep their appetites at bay. 

So go on, hit me with some kitchen inspiration - what are your top baking recipes of the moment? I know you have them...

*This post is sponsored by Baking Mad - a fantastic online baking resource, filled with every possible recipe you could imagine. It's where you'll find me over the next few days, perusing the kids baking section. As always, all words, opinions and images are my own.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

9/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Oliver: at his happiest doing two of his favourite things: dressing up and being outdoors. 

Lila: she wanted to join in too. 

Joining Jodi as always on a Sunday.

Can you believe today was the only day I picked up my camera all week? Shocker! Although our Sunday morning spent at a local National Trust place with the children and their grandparents was really lovely. Gosh those places are so much fun for kids. Just look at all that happy up there! 

Also apologies for my bloggy silence of late. I have been so, so, so, so busy with all things birthing, baby and business related. With only three weeks to go until my first term of teaching begins, I have been completely focused on marketing my classes, training, learning, practicing. Absorbed in it all. It's been pretty exhausting but I'm getting a real thrill from doing something over and above the daily baby grind. My very own business. I have so many posts written in my head and lots to share with you all so hoping to get back to blogging next week. We shall see. 

Until then... I hope you are all well and have had a lovely weekend, wherever you may be. 

Anna x
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