An ordinary moment for the majority of children, comes the day when they can stand up tall! Oh the joy when they learn to stand. That moment when they’re not quite ready to take those first steps, but the wobbles are diminishing and they are gaining their confidence. They stand there so amazed at what they can do and its just so cute!

It seems like a lifetime ago that my kids were learning to stand, learning to walk, and learning to hold their own and stand tall. I forgot the excitement it brings, the sheer joy and relief that they can do it, and just generally how great/useful it is to pop them down on their feet.

Last week was a tough one, but on Tuesday it was made a little brighter when Alice suddenly stood up grinning at us. I couldn’t believe it! She was 13 months a couple of weeks ago (the age both her living siblings were walking by) and out of sheer anticipation I have wondered when the day will come that she takes those first steps. I practice occasionally with her, and the kids walk her around daily to get a feel for it, but up until now she finds it more fun to drop down on her bum and start laughing than toddle along. We stand her up, she drops down and it has become a great little game – for her!

On Tuesday however it was different, she was steady, she was determined and she stood up tall in her room with the biggest smile. I tried not to be too over excited whilst I grabbed the camera, but when Ethan and Megs got wind of it, we all just went a little nuts clapping and cheering!

Since that ordinary moment of standing up tall on her own, day by day she has gained her confidence to stand a little more, for a little longer. I am so excited to have witnessed this ordinary little moment and milestone in Alice’s life and to feel the joy of seeing another of my kids standing up!

The Ordinary Moments
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One of my favourite Ordinary moments of this week was on Friday when I got to hang out with 3 little pirates! Of course it helped that it was almost the weekend, but with glorious sunshine and sea views, it was bound to be a great day.

Every time we visit Bridlington on a sunny day we love to go on the pirate ship. It’s a cute little ride on a relatively old boat, kitted out pirate style! It takes you out of the harbour and around the north side for about 10 minutes or so for a little adventure, and is just enough to get a taste of the sea (and only a couple of £s each). We have been doing it for years and its a lot of fun!

We also get nagged by the kids to play pirate golf whilst there, and we pretty much never do! I usually fob them off to say it’s something to keep for school holidays as we’re often busy with other things too. But earlier this year I did gain mummy points when I added it to our Summer bucket list .

Now summer is here and the days are our own, I thought a pirate day would be a really fun idea! I thought of combining all of our loves at the seaside into one day and having the ultimate pirate-y adventure. I knew the kids would love it, but at the same time I underestimated just how much.

We met their cousin and played pirate golf, bought pirate flags, rode on the pirate ship and climbed on the harbour wall! We looked out to sea and they ventured through the fun house! All 3 of them were great little pirates & had gorgeous smiles and squeals of laughter all afternoon.

It was so great to see them having a day filled with moments of fun, imagination and little adventures! I love it so much when moments unfurl to be equally good (or greater) than you have imagined and create lovely ordinary moments that remind you what an adventure life is.

The Ordinary Moments
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I really thought I had another week before I would be publishing this post, and then yesterday I was reminded that in actual fact little Alice is 11 months old today – oh how my heart broke a little!

This milestone has crept up on me and I don’t think I am actually ready for the next 4 weeks, and subsequently the countdown to her turning 1. I suddenly feel at that stage where you look at your baby and realise they soon will no longer be a baby, but instead a toddler. I can’t believe how fast it has gone and especially with these last few days of sunny weather, it seems 2 minutes ago that it was July 2016 and we were having her. I am genuinely sad to be saying goodbye to having a “baby baby” and my baby becoming a tot.

These last few weeks Alice has really amazed me with her development and has made a lot of progress. On Saturday after lots of whining, she realised she did in fact love the beach and spent ages splashing with the kids and stomping in water with Grandma. It was such a beautiful day, and she was absolutely shattered after a day in the sun and playing on the beach with family, and I am so glad she finally chilled out!!!

This last week or so we have also witnessed her victory on several occasions of conquering the stairs, followed by signing “food”, “more” and “Mummy” on a regular basis, and now clapping of hands too. She is a speedy confident crawler and is constantly pulling up on things and taking the odd steps towards cruising around the furniture too. She is slowly getting better with Nathan and I leaving the room, when previously she would be almost sick with screaming and tears. But mostly it is a lot of whimpering and crying when either of us are out of sight, and we roll our eyes a little at her neediness (Sorry Alice).

I am trying to adapt to her more needy nature and snuggly personality, which for a while now has been at times wearing. I realise that breastfeeding and wearing her so much in her first 9 months have created a great bond and attachment, but I struggle with the fact she screams her head off and becomes distressed if she’s not next to Nathan or I. Grandma’s, Aunts and others have the same effect and its only ever us she wants, which of course makes it impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her right there next to you!

The other day she spent a good 20 minutes nestled down on my chest and cuddling, and it was lovely and really nice, it was also a moment I realised in that she is different to the others, and I shouldn’t try to change or fight that. Whilst she plays silly with them, she obviously needs more closeness and feels safer and more content snuggled (or at the very least close) with Mum and Dad! I do love that she loves us so much, and over her short life with us it has been most healing to have her gentle, loving personality in my life, but on the flip side it gets rather wearing too to not be able to just get on with things! I hope we can build her up to being okay left a little while with family at least for things like dates or even just a walk!

So yes – just 4 more weeks and our little rainbow will be a whole year old. It’s the first time we haven’t talked about another baby in the next few months and the first time I have really felt the sadness of losing these baby days with age. Usually I am excited for the next stage and looking forward to them getting bigger and finding independence, whilst developing their little personalities and loves in the world around them…and whilst I do look forward to all of this with Alice it almost opens that wound a little more that I don’t have a baby anymore. It feels very weird to let that go of that and allow her to grow up in to the toddler stage. She has papered over the cracks for so long that its hard to think of life without me having my little baby and instead one of chasing around a quickly growing tot called Alice!

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As we headed down the M62 on Saturday Morning I witnessed a rare occasion between my oldest 2 of love, friendship and harmony. It began with a sweet little voice saying “Let me help you Megan”, and was far from the usual battles, screeches, crying and fist fights we experience on journeys any longer than 10 minutes!

“Let me help you with your reading, your sums and your writing” he said, and she agreed! They giggled, praised and even had brief moments of silence whilst they concentrated on the “tricky” words and sums and it was one of those moments where family life just feels wonderful and the universe is in harmony. It’s a moment you look at and wonder why everyday isn’t this lovely? And why are these moment feel so brief and rare? It was an ordinary moment, something easily overlooked but one that made us smile to see them being the best of friends! It was an ordinary moment you imagine when you dream of your family and soon realise it is very rarely this normal!

Theses two go through phases (as most siblings do) of either being little nutters and the best of friends, or winding each other up and fighting – there is rarely a middle ground and both extremes send me mad! Then there is the fact that Ethan is a school year older than Megan, and Megan being at the younger end of hers, obviously isn’t anywhere near Ethan’s level of understanding and ability. Ethan knows this and has a tendency to pick on her, laugh at her and shout the words out before she has a chance to decode them in her reading book. It makes me sad and snappy, whilst he finds it hilarious, and whilst she gets mad and upset. It so annoying and revenge is always just around the corner from Megs!

I laughed when the school suggested I get him to help bring her on at home with her reading, writing and numbers, because I knew what a mean big brother he could be to her and I thought it would be counterproductive and end in tears…but Saturday proved to be quite the opposite, and even more amazing was that it came from Ethan as a desire to help his little sister, and Megan was so chuffed with what she was doing!

Our Saturday was far from the action packed day we had originally planned due to a family emergency, but it was a day of great importance/necessity and family time all the same. Whilst I can’t wait for a 7 seater again (for longer journeys especially), to give them a little more space (because the scraps they have are painful to listen to). Looking over my shoulder and seeing their cute little smiles, and being a witness to the love and bond between them in that moment was just beautiful.

It so often seems that its all about the he said, she said, and it drives us mad! I forget how good these too get a long the majority of the time and it is always a lovely and heart warming moment in life to be reminded of that and see your kids getting along. It is a beautiful moment to see them helping one another, laughing together and praising each other. It’s lovely as a parent to hear the sweet and mighty words of “Let me help you”…

The Ordinary Moments
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