I’ve slapped it across all of my social media, and yes its true – I am now mother to a 7 year old! On Saturday Ethan turned 7, and as he went to bed he made another point of telling us that it was the best birthday EVER! I felt so pleased, not just because of all the madness of making it such, but because I had thoroughly enjoyed the day too, and seeing him so joyful and gracious about it really made it all the more special.

It began with presents on our bed (all with a big thumps up and squeals), followed by homemade pancakes with nutella and fruit! As this year isn’t a party year Ethan chose his special day to Williams Den followed by Hull fair, and it was so much fun and a great adventure!

Since the summer Ethan has wanted to return to Williams Den and it’s all he has talked about when planning his birthday! He loves the place and despite giving him several options for a family day out, it has and always was going to “Williams Den”, and he wasn’t disappointed! We met one of his cousins there at 10 and stayed til after 3. The sun was shining and the day was strangely mild (which added to our enjoyment). We played, climbed, built and splashed, and then enjoyed pizza and ice creams in the barn restaurant before more climbing, splashing, swinging and playing!

By mid afternoon we had to prise him away, before heading down to Hull, where we then enjoyed a few rides and snacks at “Hull fair” before dinner and home! On Sunday my family came over and we had cake and Mexican food with everyone, and more presents, and it really made for a great weekend and way to celebrate our new 7 year old!

 

Having a 7 yr old

Having a 7 Year old does make me feel old and is also a stark reminder of how fast time goes. It really is crazy, and we probably all say it every birthday of every child, but how do I have a 7 year old already and where has the time gone?

I find 7 year old boys (by the name of Ethan) incredibly awkward and frustrating. He is very stubborn, lazy, and full of attitude, and has a bit of a hoarding side to him too… but then at the same time he is sensitive and funny, and helpful on his terms! He works hard in things he loves and has a lot of friends and smiles! He is doing well at school and has a funny sense of humour and enjoys a few clubs too.

Ethan is growing so fast and as a result is rather tall and physically strong too.

It seems to me such a long time ago that I was having him, a little 8lb 2 scrawny baby, and in that place as a naive first time mum. It feels like a lifetime ago that I had to have an emergency section and come to terms with the trauma of that, and then plagued with PND! But then I look at him now and wonder “when did you get so big?”! And I wonder where the time has gone and how many opportunities I may have missed but how many adventures we have enjoyed too.

I think of all of our adventures, giggles and cuddles and how now he is 7 these are slowly depleating as he’s “too old”! How he won’t kiss me goodbye at school any more and how I apparently embarrass him and am “a show off” for just chatting to his friends or mums at school (?!). 7 year old’s are funny creatures and its a funny age; it feels so big and yet still is small enough to sneak cuddles, have silly moments and dance offs – providing no one is around! 

At 7 Years old I want to remember how you love playing teachers (and bossing your sisters around in the process!), riding your bike and playing out with your new friends. I want to remember how you are literally obsessed with subway, love going on the train to see your grandmas, and swimming at Bridlington!

I want to remember your new passion for Judo, gardening and how you think Halloween is the mintest thing ever! How you won’t eat too many sweets because “there’s too much sugar” and how you love to dance and have discos and are certain you will be the best DJ ever one day! I want to remember your cheeky little grin when you call me “Mary” in the shops and then pretend it wasn’t you (Joker) and how you pester us like no other once you get a good idea!

Saturday was a really great day together celebrating him and his place in our family as the only boy and first born! Ethan we love you and you make us laugh so much … its a joy to have you in our lives!

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A few weeks ago, and all by chance really, Ethan did a spot of modelling for a university fashion student. It was a really chilled (and interesting) night, and he had a lot of fun doing it. I was impressed at how well he listened and followed her instructions, and then how cool the pics were (to say they were taken in student digs).

The girl doing it was really pro and arty, and had set up a little studio in her lounge – she was just lovely and it was great that she asked to use Ethan. I love the shots she did of our cheeky little boy.

As I say it was all by chance, and came at the request of one of his Aunts! She has just completed her final year of a fashion degree and one of her friends wanted to photograph the pureness of childhood as part of her final project. She, on the off chance, asked if anyone knew of any young boys that would fit the bill, and so auntie suggested our little E.

I was happy to help them out, and with the offer of some free chocolate, so was he!

The whole shoot, from garment to backdrop and props were white and he really did look rather angelic. It was reflective of how man starts off pure and white and through life (and other garments she made) she told the story of change. He looked super cute and afterwards said it was a lot of fun and that he especially enjoyed all of the lights on set (and the bags of chocolate she gave his as a “Thank you”!). The shoot, along with her others, were exhibited last Friday night in Leeds for her project called “The Colour of Man”.

I wanted to share this small moment, and some of the pics to remember the day that little E looked so cute when he did a spot of modelling…

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I wrote recently about how we let our kids choose 2 things to do each term as an extra curricula activity, but both Ethan and Megan have only being doing street dance since Megan decided she wanted to attend Gymnastics elsewhere (yet to be found) and Ethan couldn’t decide on a second activity to pursue! I have suggested anything from football to gymnastics and athletics to karate. I have offered him most sports I could think of in the area as well as musical theatre, and beavers. It has been a “no” to them all!

He initially asked to play football, but after setting up a football taster and not even making it to it, he decided it wasn’t for him, and has since also declined a second offer of beaver scouts too. He has however expressed a keen interest in learning to play the piano.

Whilst I don’t want to be a pushy parent, I do want my kids to be using their time well, and just feel that a couple of classes each week can help with this goal. And so Piano lessons are at the top of list!

I figured initially that this would be an easy thing to get him into and lessons would be easy to access since Mr Smiths family are all very musical. Unfortunately with busy schedules all round, my initial idea to pay an aunt to teach him isn’t possible at this time and so have resorted to outside of the family.

In my hunt for finding piano lessons for the new year, I came across a nifty website “Bidivine” where you can search in your area for anything from a cleaner or plumber to piano lessons. It is super useful in situations like this to get a list of people to access for the things you want.

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How the site works

Once you have selected what it is you are searching for, the site then asks you a series of questions to narrow down the right person for the job. I quite enjoy doing little surveys and found that the questions were very good and applicable, and some questions even surprised at how specific they were.

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After telling them about music experience, age of the person the lessons are for, your goals and type of music you want to learn. It then asks your access to (in this case) a piano. Next it narrows down your availability and how soon you want to start.

The final step is using either email or Facebook you create an account before receiving teachers that match the criteria. For me it was a notification email that they will be in touch by a certain date.

I absolutely loved using it and the idea of it to save time and connect local businesses. I will certainly be trying it again in the future for various jobs and pursuits we have. It was easy to use (and maybe a bit fun too), as well as being quick and specific. As a busy parent it takes out a lot of work and google searches that potentially could lead to dead ends! I like that when I am contacted by the teacher, they will already know exactly what we want, and how hold he is etc without asking lots of questions.

He may or may not be the next Mozart, but it is exciting he is so into the idea of learning music. I am excited to strike whilst the irons hot and get him into music whilst he is young and keen and am really hoping this is something he sticks at, as having music training is such an asset to the family and church. It will also give him many opportunities in school too and I am sure be attractive to the girls when he is older!! Not to mention a confidence builder, talent and hopefully a passion. A little pianist…how exciting!

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Ethan hit a milestone in life this week (and last) when he lost his 2 bottom teeth, and he couldn’t be more excited over it. So much so that he has chosen to hang on to them instead of letting the tooth fairy get her mitts on them! I don’t particularly like toothless pics of kids, but lets face it, they are a cringy essential from childhood.

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I don’t think we ever really made a conscious decision about whether or not we would do the whole tooth fairy thing. I guess with it being an ordinary moment of both our childhoods (and such an exciting and magical thing whilst it lasted), it was a natural response when Ethan started (mid reception year of school), asking when he would lose a tooth that I’d answer with “oooh soon darling and then you can pop it under your pillow for a shiny coin”!

I never imagined that he wouldn’t buy into it!!!

I never imagined he would ponder so much on it that reason would tell him he didn’t need the tooth fairies money, because he has his own and could earn his own (or steal it was one idea he had).

And so we have had no tooth fairy visits, and we’ve had no teeth under the pillow at night in exchange for a coin. Instead he hides them in a little glasses case so she can’t find them. Its odd to me, but something we find funny too. I assumed all kids would go for the dough, but I love that he wants to be different and wants to hang onto his teeth! Well at least until he is an old man he says. He justs want me to assure him that the tooth fairy will stay away from them and know she doesn’t need them.

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I do struggle a lot these days from time to time with parenting Ethan which makes me a bit sad when I see him so peaceful at night or his little cheeky smile after school. I know he likes me, and we do have a great time, but everything in between those moments is all so new for me and I am always looking for new ways to gain balance, show love to him and nip bad behaviour in the bud! It feels like a battle some days, which of course isn’t easy when you have a baby and tiredness in the mix, and some days its like we just scrape by. Some days I am surprised I didn’t completely lose it!

I find life is constantly flowing and bringing with it lots of new parenting challenges in the form of cheek, naughty words, attitude, occasional hitting me, picking on his sister and stubbornness. I at times feel out my depth with him or just simply exhausted because I really don’t know why he changed from sweet to annoying. I am clueless with how to parent him at 6 because I only just got used to parenting him at 5! Just like how I adjusted to parenting a school boy, and then he was suddenly in Year 1. Every step is more like a leap and I am stood wondering how to handle it. At times I even wonder if I know him well enough, because things don’t seem to get through and it saddens me and frustrates me daily. He also screeches in a very annoying manner which simply put – drives me nuts!

I wish on these days that I knew how to handle it all and that I felt more in control. I wish I knew how to get more cooperation and have less shouting going on between us. But then I guess its just an ordinary stage of life, like losing his teeth is at this age. I know its all normal, its just hard too!

I do adore him and his sweetness, as well as his funny behaviour and little quirks (like this whole response to the tooth fairy). And despite the struggle for me in figuring him out with each new stage of life, I know I should be grateful for the goodness inside of him. He helps me with Alice, is a great friend to Megan and sets the table most nights. He likes to be given responsibility and knows what he wants, and his rejection of the tooth fairy and obsession with losing teeth in general is a great lesson to me that he is an individual who is breaking the mould.

He is pretty cool and for now he still happy to be my little buddy. Whilst a challenge, it is also a blessing that he knows his mind and is mostly confident in his choices. He likes things a certain way and is happy, and for that I am pleased. I guess overall I can’t help thinking he is pretty mint, which I am sure all parents think when they look into the faces (even toothless ones) of their kiddies! So whilst annoying and trying some days, he is mine.

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Linking up with Katie @mummydaddyme for #ordinaryMoments

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