To think that I am a mother to an 8 year old is a bit of a scary concept. I know we all say this with each child, on each of their birthdays, but 8 just feels so big – I have an 8 year old – it really doesn’t feel like I have been a mother that long! Last weekend was Ethan’s 8th Birthday, and aside from being weirded out by that fact, we had a wonderful couple of days together (and with friends and family), celebrating him and his choice to be Baptised.

Being members of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, turning 8 is a big deal! It is the age we believe that children are more accountable and therefore able to understand their choices (and consequences of them).Therefore it is the right time, if the child chooses, to get baptised, and then confirmed (which follows), to help them to make good choices. Ethan loves going to church every week (most of the time) and enjoys learning about Jesus – he believes in him with his childlike faith, and to act on this faith, and with a desire to want to live a christian life, he made the decision to be baptised on his 8th birthday this last Sunday.

Ethan was baptised by his dad and by immersion too. This is a symbol of lying down the old and being born again a new person – washed clean! They wear all white as a symbol of purity, and he wore the same trousers his dad had on his baptism day almost 30 years ago! We were joined by friends from church, most of our family and some of his friends from school. We had a service where we sung his favourite songs, a couple of prayers and heard little talks about Faith in Jesus Christ and why we need to be baptised, as well as one (by me!) about the holy spirit and his confirmation (also by his daddy and assisted by his uncles!). His grandma sang and then his aunties and I sung a song too. Before it ended Ethan too got up and said a few words about why he chose to get baptised (because Jesus is his friend and he wants him on his side!) and then we had a good old buffet and socialised with all of our friends and family, sang happy birthday and ate some cake! It was great!

The whole thing was also rather surreal. It was so spiritual, joyful and just wonderful to be able to see my first child be baptised and take his first steps on a path that both Nathan and I see as being important. We spoke a lot about it that night together and how well it had gone and how lovely it felt too. Seeing one of my kids be baptised is such a big milestone in a parents life (as well as theirs), there suddenly feels way more pressure to help them make good choices and teach them the importance of doing so and I felt both overwhelmed at the concept of this, as well as intense gratitude for this ordinary, and yet very special moment for our biggest boy. I am grateful for Ethan as our son – he is such a good boy and a very deep thinker. I know he thought a lot about this choice and understood the reasons why!

Ethan’s 8th birthday was a lot of fun and very special too – I think we will be talking about it for a while yet! From Saturday, where we had fun at the fair – going on rides and playing “hook-a-duck”, and then Sunday too which was so special with friends and family. He got his mini jukebox that he was so desperate for (the only thing he asked us for), and thoroughly loved his birthday weekend. We had pancakes on Sunday, McDonalds on Saturday, and mini discos ever since.

At 8 years old I want to remember how he has taken to kissing me good night with big puckered lips. I want to remember how he has a gang of friends that call him “Smithy” and who have made our shed their “little lads club house”. I want to remember how they play out every day together and how he has such passion for music, lighting and gardening. I want to remember how much he loves to get his hair done and gel it, style it, and have top knots! I want to remember how he loves to speak in church, how he keeps a cluttered bedroom no matter how much I declutter it. I want to remember how every bedtime I go upstairs to see him sat in his PJs completely engrossed in a lego project, and I want to remember how sensitive and thoughtful he is too. How helpful he can be and how much he enjoys playing with his sisters.

Happy 8th Birthday Ethan – you made us parents and make us laugh, nutty and proud (most days!).

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The weather is suddenly cooler, the house quieter, and everything is pretty much back in order as we have swiftly found ourselves in September and a new school year! There were no tears, no stressing, no worries – just excitement, enthusiasm and crisp new uniforms, as they eagerly made their way up the village green yesterday to embark on years 2 & 3 of their school life.

This year is a little different to previous years, as we have our first male teacher (Ethan is rather excited) and it’s also the year they wanted to try pack ups (except for on a Friday which is the best because it’s “Fish Friday”!)! I am excited to see what work Ethan does now he is Key stage 2, and how different it is having a male influence on a daily basis. I am also pretty sure that in a week or 2 I will be pinning ideas like mad over in pinterest in desperation to be more inventive than the egg or cheese sandwich option accompanied by crisps, fruit, veggie sticks and a baby belle that they skipped off with yesterday in their new lunch boxes.

But for now we are most definitely winning at life and excited for this term.

I will of course miss my little buddies – how could I not? But the timing is right. We have had a wonderful Summer with no regrets and plenty of love and fun, but somehow we woke up yesterday and felt rich in the back to school vibe and looked forward to what learning and knowledge will be coming there way over the coming weeks. We quickly and naturally fell back into the routine and were, much to our amazement, early!

I still often flit between wanting to homeschool them and keeping them in school – I love the idea of having them home and learning together in a less formal way. I like the idea of discovering together and allowing the world to teach us, but for now things feel right and they are settled and happy!

As always I asked them what they want to be when they grow up – I love how it changes year on year, and how funny it always is! This Year Ethan wants to be a DJ and a rockstar. And Megan? Well she wants to work at Mcdonalds of course… I am hopeful that that is whilst she trains to be a vet or Trapeze artist like she has previously expressed interest in, and not just because she loves chicken nuggets! Either way, these 2 little nutters are excited to learn, be with their friends, and start new clubs.

Years 2 & 3 already? Sheesh! Let’s do this!!

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There is something special about being in a capital city… being in such a famous place that is filled with so many people, so many stories and spectacular sights. There is something special about taking your own kids to all of the places you have loved from being a kid and sharing in their excitement as well as holding your own, over all of the famous sights of our beloved London!

For a few weeks now Ethan and I have been excited about our approaching trip to London which took place on Saturday. We had plans to go on a date (just the 2 of us for just the day) and see a few sights, go to the theatre, ride the underground and eat sushi. I love that because we live in Yorkshire, going to London always feels like such an adventure for us, and whilst parent/child dates are becoming an ordinary for us – this one was certainly more extra ordinary!

I really love London these days. We used to live a short tube ride away as a kid, and I have fond memories of being on daddy daughter dates with my Dad there! I also remember in my early 20’s I spent a lot of time visiting my now sister in law at Uni in London and it was always a lot of fun. But as I have had my kids and entered my 30’s, I haven’t had that many opportunities to visit, and at times (with current affairs) I have also felt more than a little anxious to go!

However, since blogging more seriously over the last couple of years I have had many opportunities and reasons to go, and each time I have grown more in love with it again and found myself feeling way more comfortable there. I love that no matter how many times we visit, and no matter what the weather, London never fails to impress and excite me, and being in the capital feels so special!

Seeing London through the eyes of kids is something else though, and the moments spent there with Ethan this weekend were wonderful. It felt so much lighter and less rushed than it usually is. We wandered along those city streets avoiding puddles and laughed as we ran for the tube and through each barrier. We stood in awe at the London eye and the river Thames (because its “such an amazing river”). And we snuggled and sat mesmerized together at the theatre, before enjoying the lights of Leicester square in the evening (and a quick trip to Zara!!).

We didn’t see everything, but we saw enough. He got to see the River, Big Ben, the London Eye, and the main focus – We got to have a wonderful afternoon at the National theatre seeing Pinocchio. And then to tip it all off, we scoffed sushi and noodles on the train as we headed back north in the evening which is something we both share a love for, but that the rest of our little family turn their noses up to!

I really loved my date in London with Ethan. I loved how exciting things felt that I have seen so many times before, and I loved the moments we shared in the capital on our adventure together. I feel we bonded in a way that was much needed between us, and as we headed back to Kingscross station for our train home we made plans to return again very soon to see where the Great fire broke out (his latest interest) and to visit the pigeons and fountains of Trafalgar square.

Parent and child dates provide so many ordinary and special moments together and this is a special little date we will both treasure for a long time.

The main purpose of our visit was to see Pinocchio – if you would like a sneaky preview then you can catch it here. My review should be live in the next day or so if you want to pop back and have a read! It was a spectacular and magical show and we haven’t stopped talking about it!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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Yesterday Ethan’s wish came true when I took him to the barbers to have his hair cut just like his new style Icon “Bugsy Malone”! As he walked into church today with his suit and bow tie on, the ladies of all ages commented on how absolutely adorable he looked, and in his coy little way he gave a cheeky grin! He loves his new do, we all do, and whilst it reminds me of the 90’s, it has certainly given him an air of confidence!

Ethan has always been one to take great interest in his hair. From being quite little I would gel it, and whether it was that or just his personality he became very particular about how he wanted it cut! In Summer it has always been shaved (because he has a big sweaty head!), and in the winter he tend to keep it neat, but longer! It was just his ordinary.

From quite early on, when we entered the barbers and they would ask “Mum what we doing today?”, I would point to Ethan and he would explain to them exactly what he envisioned. They laughed and commented how cute it was, but I knew to him it was something important he want to be involved in and feel in control of.

Up until a few weeks ago, he was growing his hair out long enough to be a “Rock Star”! It came from seeing a picture of Bon Jovi, combined with the fact that last Summer his youngest of uncles had his hair long enough for a top knot/Cool head band. Ethan found both of these fascinating and has spoken a lot about having “even longer than normal” hair. I love his hair short but I also don’t want to be controlling over such personal things, and so in half a hope that it was a passing interest – I agreed it was fine and he has been working on growing it out/never washing it!

Fast forward to the Christmas Holidays and lazy movie days at home. We all became just a little bit obsessed with my old time favourite “Bugsy Malone!”. It was on most days, and on the days we did venture out we would be quoting it to each other and be found doing a couple of dance moves and singing the songs between giggles, as we waited for the train or walked to our destination. The kids loved it, and I loved that they did! And even now we sing as we go to school or I will catch Megs shouting a not so insulting insult from it to Ethan!

Then a few days ago Ethan came to me with his Gel and asked if I would style his hair like Bugsy – “I want to look like Bugsy Malone Mummy!”. I laughed a little but helped him to, and his face beamed for the rest of the night. It was so funny and cute and I assumed it was just a moment of make believe play! As he went to bed however, and when he awoke the next day, he suggested that maybe we could go get his hair cut more like Bugsy! Apparently he’s so cool and nice that Ethan desires to look just like that!

And so yesterday we did. I googled a picture and showed it to the lady and she smiled as she cut the style! As always he sat so still and serious, watching like a hawk at what was being created. I caught the odd grin as he saw his dream become a reality and then as he left the Barbers he excitedly exclaimed – “I wanted to look like Bugsy Malone and now I do!!”. He was so happy! At least until Megan suggested he looked nothing like him!!

Apparently he just needs a hat now, and he will be living the dream.

I can’t believe this year Ethan will be 8…sometimes we really butt heads on things, but I have loved the last couple of days of seeing him looking older, smarter and more confident. I have loved the excitement and harmony between us, and the ordinary moments of childhood where they become obsessed with things and want to be like someone or look like someone they so admire. For Ethan right now that interest is a fictional, straight laced 20’s gangsta kid, that all the ladies like, and that’s totally fine – It’s a lot of fun and very cute he is into something not so mainstream.

The Ordinary moments of hair cuts, style icons and being a 7.5 year old boy – How handsome you are my darling!

The Ordinary Moments
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