The End

This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.

Thank you for reading.

Dear Emily (Twenty Months)

Dear Emily

My beautiful, affectionate, friendly Emily. You're twenty months today. Twenty months of my life being turned upside down and my heart feeling emotions it could never have imagined.

In six short months, you'll become a big sister. This fills me with excitement, nerves and turmoil. How dare anyone come into our lives and let me have less time with you? And yet, when I mention your little brother or sister to you (a sister, you insist), your face lights up and you lean down to kiss my belly. You understand far more of what is going on than I give you credit for. And seeing that gives me hope: if it's ok with you, then it can be ok with me too We'll do this, altogether, our amazing family of four. We'll have wonderful adventures together and I'll look back and wonder what on earth I was on about when I wrote the beginning of this paragraph.

You understand so much that dropping you off at the childminder has suddenly become a nightmare. Although from what I hear, you stop crying before I have, you cheeky monkey. But if you have your way, you won't let go of me, I wouldn't walk into a different room, I wouldn't even be allowed a toilet break. When you're on the brink of sleep, you wake up, panicked, crying for me. It's tiring but I'm trying my best to be patient about it. After all it's only because you love me so much.

You give the best hugs. And the gentlest kisses. Random kisses, like when you take my hand and kiss my fingers over dinner, just because. Or sometimes you.ll get down on your little knees and kiss my toes. Completely unexpectedly. Completely adorable. And then "thank you Mummy."

Words are no problem to you. This week we've moved on to sentences. Three or four words strung together, making perfect sense. "I like colour" was your very first sentence, as you headed over to your little table to do some colouring.

But as much as I can have entire conversations with you, there are some words that you've created crazy versions of.

Bly (butterfly)
Feckist (breakfast)
Vesen (seven)
Lalloo (flower)
Maimow (rainbow, oh how you love rainbows!)

You'll dance to anything. A funny, one-legged, jumpy dance that you are so very proud of. Everyone who meets you falls for your charm, and everyone gets treated to the jumpy dance.

I could write forever. You surprise me with something new and we discover new little secrets to your personality every day. It's never disappointing.

Keep smiling, my princess.

Mummy x

Restoration House Gardens: A Love Story

A few weeks ago, my friend Joanna and I decided to ditch the soft play and take our little ones somewhere cultural. We visited Restoration House in Rochester, which is a private residence that opens itself to the public between the months of June and September. We didn't dare visit the house itself with the two toddlers, but we did enjoy the beautiful gardens. They're not designed for children but that didn't stop us (or them) from enjoying it. There were fish to watch and pathways to roam.

I took loads of photos that day (all with my phone, also why it's taken me this long to post it) but I couldn't leave out any of the photos I've used here - it's such a dreamy place. Had I known about it B.E. (Before Emily), I just know I'd have been there regularly, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere with a book and some delicious homemade cake from the cafe.



Entry is £7 or £3 for the gardens alone. Open 31st May to 28th September 2012, Thursdays and Fridays 10:00-17:00. See the website for further information (like next year's opening dates seeing as how I've posted about it here so late!):


We had one of the big ones this week. Not so much for Emily as for me, if I'm honest. We've been having some settling in sessions at a child minder for a few weeks now and today was the first day I was to leave her there alone. I was almost sick with worry yesterday and I came very close to backing out last night. Just didn't think I could do it, especially as I don't technically feel I need to.

I say I don't need to because I don't work. But realistically I work far longer hours than I would in most full-time jobs. I work 07:00 - 23:00 (19:00 - 23:00 is when I cram in as many household chores as I possibly can, and only don't count nights too because she usually sleeps through them), and that includes weekends as well. Save for that time when I had to go to hospital with an eye injury and Emily stayed with my sister, I have never "handed" her over to anyone else.

And it was for that exact reason we decided to do it. It would be good for her, to socialize with others, and it would be good for me, to have a few hours off every week (even if just to fit in appointments and other things like that!)

So this morning came and we got dressed and I told her she'd be going to Iveta's (she only goes for three hours) and that she'd be having lots of fun and she seemed to be excited about it. When we got there, she eagerly toddled in, said hi to Iveta and started playing with another little girl who was already there.

Then after a while, I summoned the courage. I went over to Emily and explained that I would be leaving for a short while but would be back and she will have lots of fun playing with her friends in the meantime.

She turned around to me, completely unfazed, waved and said "Bye, Mummy!"

What's an emotion that is a mixture of relief, surprise and pride? I'm not sure a word exists, but if it does, that's what I was, and am.

I spent the next few hours calmly browsing shops on the High Street (I refused to go home and do chores or waste time, this needed to be ME TIME), and then I stopped for a drink and a snack in a tiny cafe that I love but cannot get into with a buggy! Perfect.

When I went back to Iveta's to pick her up, Emily eagerly greeted me (but carried on playing) and Iveta informed me there'd been no tears at all. I am slightly in awe of my little girl's confidence, I am so proud of her and also of myself (I'm obviously doing something right). Emily has been in a terrific mood since we got back, very chatty, saying her new friend's name and trying to tell me about all the things they did this morning. It's obvious that it's already done her a world of good, and any doubts I had have been swept away in a matter of hours.

I feel like I've done something big today, for both of us. I'm so relieved and so very happy.

(The picture is of her on our way back home. Tired, but very pleased with herself!)

[Update: A couple of weeks later, Emily had become very clingy and was waking up several times at night for cuddles and resettling would take up to two hours. Knowing we would be leaving for Malta in a few short months and this was therefore a very temporary thing, we eventually decided to keep Emily home as it just didn't seem worth the upset for such a short time. We will later focus on helping her settle in a place in Malta that she will be able to enjoy for more than a few months.]


I've been tired this week. I've only italicised that but in truth, I could use BOLD CAPS too. That's how tired I've been. No doubt punishment for daring to say to someone that it seemed to be getting better last week. Sure, there are blog posts - they're just stuck in my head. Every time I sit down to write anything, I crash. So I've just not bothered. Instead, I've updated the blog header and here is a quick round up of our week.

We've written some very important post-it notes. Very seriously. 

We've become obsessed with the fluff that hides between our toes. 


We've had sweet, unplanned playdates with neighbourhood friends.

 We were fairies for 4 minutes. "Off! Off!"

 And had colouring sessions with good friends.

 Personally, although I've been a bad blogger, I was apparently a good wife.
Hubby treated me to these beauties yesterday. I have - somehow - managed to save three for tonight.
In reality, I could eat three hundred. They are divine

We've chased friends up and down the slide in unexpected sunshine. 

Which reminds me, will someone please tell Autumn to stop teasing and really get here?!

Have a lovely weekend xx