Estrella has got a new home. New design, new posts, it’s all go! Pop on over to www.estrellashine.blogspot.com to see the new blog and say hi!
See you there x
Today, as we entered the gates to the park, I went off in one direction to sit on the blanket and the boys another, to play on the equipment. As they walked off together, Max slipped his hand into Finns. This small gesture, completely natural and unprovoked, stirred something in me and it felt as if my heart was going to burst right there.
A relationship between siblings is unique to any other. Stronger than friendship, bound through blood, it is one which lasts a lifetime and holds the key to our past, the strongest link to a shared history.
As they played, I watched on and every now and again they’d lose each other and come to me asking where the other is. Even at such a young age, they are a comfort to each other which brings me peace knowing they will always have a non-parental force in their life, each watching over the other.
As they grow, they will share secrets, games, friends, and what we’ll do our absolute best to be a very happy childhood. As long as they have each other, these boys will be just fine.
This is lots of fun. I was tagged by Charlotte, now it’s my turn…
1. I want a horse so badly
2. My favourite song is ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Dire Straits
3. Until I had children I had never changed a nappy
4. I can play the flute (badly)
5. I lived in Dubai for 2 years when I was 18
6. I have a massive crush on Jon Bon Jovi
7. I can touch my nose with my tongue
8. I’m terrified of earwigs
9. I can’t whistle
10. I wanted to be a vet until I did my work experience at a vet hospital and watched a post-mortem on a dog
11. I never drink a cup of tea straight away, it has to be lukewarm
Now for my questions from Charlotte…
1. What is your favourite book?
The Lovely Bones or The Memory Keepers Daughter. Both read years before the films came out and both tainted by the films
2. Who would you have play you in your life story?
Natalie Portman. I look nothing like her but I adore everything she does
3. Heels or flats?
Flats. Unless I’m out without my (5ft 5) husband when I slip on my highest pair of heels. Then fall over.
4. Describe yourself in six words before becoming a Mama.
Ambitious, materialistic, carefree, sociable, impatient, tidy (3 of these still hold true)
5. Do you have any religious beliefs?
6. If you could be anything, what would you be?
A cat. They sleep all day for crying out loud!
7. What makes you cringe?
Grown-ups talking baby talk. To grown-ups.
8. Do you have a quote you live by?
Follow your dreams. Not a quote so much as a philosophy I live by. Nothing is out of reach.
9. What is your biggest fear?
Losing my children, and flying. Let’s not talk about what the thought of getting on a plane with my children does to me.
10. Your favourite place in the world is?
Wow, that’s hard. Don’t know if it’s my ultimate favourite but Aviemore in Scotland is up there. Although the landscape is stunning, it’s the memories which make it beautiful.
11. What makes your heart flutter?
A spontaneous kiss from someone I love.
1. If you hadn’t given your child(ren) the names you did, what would they have been called?
2. What’s the funniest thing you’ve done whilst drunk?
3. What’s your guilty pleasure?
4. What did you want to be when you were little?
5. What’s your favourite feature about yourself?
6. When was the last time you cried?
7. What were you doing when you were 20?
8. If you won the lottery, what would be your first 3 purchases?
9. What’s the best present you’ve ever received?
10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?
11. What was your best job?
I wrote a post for my work blog a while back on how much pressure there is on Mums to lose weight after having a baby. The post got the most hits of all our articles so I thought I’d share it on here too.
I found it incredibly hard to lose weight after each pregnancy. Both times I lost the initial stone of baby, fluid and whatever the hell else comes out after having a baby (was anyone else terrified when they saw what had come out of their body post-childbirth? Another thing they don’t tell you when you’re pregnant: you will sit, clutching your newborn in what looks like a murder scene).
The rest of whatever I put on clung to my hips, boobs, belly and bum for dear life until I finished breadstfeeding. I lost not an ounce until they were weaned. I think in my mind I was probably thinking ‘an extra 500 calories a day-pass the biscuits’ and taking on more than I needed but hey, I was knackered, I was stressed, I deserved a few biccies, right?
Although I’m now the same weight as before I got pregnant, there’s no doubt that my body has completely changed. My hips are bigger and I wonder if my stomach will ever be flat again (it better be by July, I have a pool party to go to don’cha know?)
I’m still working hard to get to a point where I’m comfortable in my own skin again but I wonder if it’s possible after 2 pregnancies? Anyone out there achieved it post-baby? I’d love to hear from other people in my position. In the meantime, take a peek at the article here.
It’s easy to get caught up in life sometimes and not enjoy quality time with the family. Last year I made a conscious decision to do something each day just for the boys, to give them my full attention and forget the dishes, washing, and domestic humdrum which often takes over.
Like me, Max and Finn love baking. I guess what we enjoy naturally rubs off on our children as that is the thing we’re most inclined to do with them. So once a week, we don our aprons, raid the cupboards and spend an afternoon baking.
I want the boys to grow up with a healthy relationship with food and don’t believe in banning anything. I want them to enjoy chocolate, cake and biscuits but in moderation, limiting them to once or twice a week. If they are going to eat sugary food I want to make sure I know what’s in it and by making it myself I know it’ll contain less nasties and chemicals than shop-bought alternatives.
I’ve decided to start a new feature on the blog, a weekly recipe featuring the cake or bake of our afternoon session. This week we made oat and raisin biscuits, as featured in The second Great British Bake Off book.
You will need:
125g softened unsalted butter
150g light brown muscovado sugar
1 large, free range egg
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
150g porridge oats
Heat the oven to 180 c/350 f/gas 4. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, milk and vanilla esscence until just combined then add to the butter mixture. Stir the flour, oats and raisins into the mixture, mixing well with a wooden spoon.
Dollop heaped teaspoonfuls onto a greased or parchment-lined baking tray. My mix made 28 biscuits. They need to be well spaced as they’ll rise and spread as they cook. I did them in 3 batches.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes to cool in the tin before cooling completely on a wire rack. The recipe states that they last for up to 5 days in an airtight container but they are so good, I very much doubt they’ll last that long.
So 2011 has passed uneventfully. I say this touching wood, there is still 24 hours left for something momentous to happen *cough* lottery win *cough*.
Nope, unlike the past 5 years, we’ve had no pregnancies, births, medical emergencies,new homes, marriages or life-changing work opportunities. To be honest, after the whirlwind that was 2006-10 it’s been nice to sit back, take a breather and enjoy the fruits of our labour (quite literally after giving birth to 2 babies in that time).
I don’t make resolutions. Instead, I begin each year with hopes, aspirations and wishes for the coming 12 months. They don’t always materialise and I sometimes lose sight of my initial new year motivation but I try to stay mindful of what I am aiming for throughout the year.
Here is my wish list for 2012:
1. I hope to find the strength to be more patient with my children. They are 2 and 3 and we certainly have our ups and downs, what parent of pre-school children doesn’t, right? I accept the challenges won’t be any less, um, challenging but I will try to handle them better. I will be more patient, less shouty, spend more quality time with them and above all, let them be kids. I often forget they’re just doing what kids do and as long as they have their boundaries, are safe and respectful, then that’s ok. Oh, and thanks to Charlotte for the book recommendation, it’ll be a Godsend, I’m sure.
2. I will put more time aside for my friends. I’ve let friendships slip over the years and I need to spend time nurturing those friendships to keep important people in my life. I miss my old girl friends, friends from way back who knew me before all this grown up stuff got in the way.
3. 2012 will be a turning point for the business. 2011 was an amazing year, one which saw us take on staff and having an offer accepted to buy the space we rent. I will work hard to build on this, grab new opportunities and make the business work for us, freeing us up to work less-crippling hours and spend more time enjoying the family.
4. I will be healthier. I know, right? Probably the most predictable. This time though, it’s different. Less gym, more activity. I’ll spend more time on my bike, get back into running after my 7-month hiatus and now the boys are older, enjoy longer, more regular walks.
Wow, there’s loads more I should be aiming for but for fear of setting myself up for failure, I’ll concentrate on these four. How about you-do you make resolutions? What are your aims for 2012?
I don’t know if it’s because the kids are becoming more aware of it or it’s simply my inner-child fighting to get out but I am so excited about Christmas this year. Finn is 4 in March and understands the whole Father Christmas thing (there may or may not be* a bit of Santa-related bribery going on) which only adds to my over-enthusiasm for the season.
This week there has been a whole heap of Christmas-ness going on in the house. The tree went up at the weekend. It’s Tree vs Max and, though it’s holding it’s own fairly well, Max is just edging the lead as I frequently find baubles in cupboards, drawers and the dog’s water bowl
The boys and I made snowflakes to go on the window** and considering I’ve not done these for about 25 years, I think they look ok!
Earlier on this year, I started selling handmade cards. Time, work and family commitments meant they had to go on the backburner for a while. I think perhaps I was being a bit over-optimistic thinking I could run a business, look after 2 pre-schoolers (and, you know, sleep and stuff) and still find time to design and make cards so I kept my Etsy page and sold a few designs but didn’t do any Christmas cards or sell at local markets (as was my original plan).
I have, however, made a few designs just for us to give to family and friends. It’s put the fun back into design and has motivated me to re-start the engines and push the cards again. I’m going to build my stock back up and perhaps get out to some markets in the new year.
Anyhow, as I type this the sun is streaming into the living room and I need to get my 2 very restless children out of the house so we’re off to enjoy this sunshine whilst it lasts (snow forecast today-really??)
* There is
** I made snowflakes, they made a mess