Thursday, October 31

Wilf is 11 months

Dear Wilf,

You are swiftly changing from baby to toddler, with your big mop of hair and your expressive noises.
Although you can’t talk, you are really good at communicating with us. You have a noise for ‘Oo, what was that?” for when the phone rings, you have a noise for ‘Oh, look – a dog just came into the room’ and you have a noise for ‘Good morning – I’ve just woken up’.
You have eight teeth.

You are pulling yourself up to standing on anything you can get your hands on. Usually dangerous things, like the slippery side of the bath and the precariously balanced ‘art tower’ containing all your sisters’ art supplies.
Your mission is in life is to get your hands in the dog’s water bowl. When I put you down on the kitchen floor, you crawl full pelt towards it to try to get there before I pick it up.

You love the washing machine and tumble drier, and spend hours watching the clothes going round and round.

You like a bit of impromptu dancing to any sort of rhythm. This morning, you were groovin’ away to the beeps from my alarm clock.
If I ask for a kiss, you put your head towards me with a big open mouth. It’s adorable.
You get really excited about things and let out the most ear-piercing, high-pitched screech repeatedly – especially when we are all sitting down at the table to eat. It hurts our ears.

You are still rubbish at sleeping. We are still very tired.

Love, Mama

Thursday, October 10

38 Things

This year's birthday afternoon tea at Betty's Harlow Carr
It's my annual birthday list - about six weeks late, but that's just the way things roll around here at the moment. A combination of new things, things I didn't quite manage last year due to the arrival of the boy child, and things that I've been meaning to do for bloomin' ages.

1. Make bath bombs
2. Climb Pen-y-Fan
3. Do Race for Life with Gwen
4. Go sea kayaking
5. Project (Finish the) Garden
6. Sell all my baby stuff at a Kidsmarket (sob)
7. Have a monthly solo date with Gwen, then Molly
8. Lose my mum tum
9. Make scones and invite someone for tea
10. Have a bonfire party
11. Watch 10 foreign films
12. Make a book of my 365 instagram project
13. Read 10 prize winning novels
14. Knit scarves for the girls
15. Try the yoga class in the village hall
16. Take Gwen to see Wicked
17. See six plays DONE!
18. Discover 10 new albums
19. Take a creative writing course
20. Make myself a kitsch apron
21. Go to London with Dave
22. Shop local/independent more
23. Go camping
24. Go glamping
25. Work through the Keri Smith book with the girls
26. Declutter the entire house
27. Buy a big, floppy summer hat
28. Leave notes inside library books for the next reader
29. Take a day off work just for me
30. Make tote bags full of goodies for February half term holiday (stealing Gillian's idea)
31. Make a herb garden with the children
32. Make elderflower cordial
33. Do weekly craft and cooking sessions with the children
34. Have a minimalist Christmas DONE!
35. Sponsor a girl through Plan DONE!
36. Overpay £100 each month off our mortgage
37. Make ice cream cupcakes
38. Eat at The Clink

And obvs, finish all the things from 37 things, 36 things and 35 things.

Life is lovely. There is lots to look forward to. 

Sunday, October 6

40/52 Weekly Portraits

At the beach on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Despite this happy photo, Wilf swiftly went off the beach and was in a grump for the rest of the trip.

Molly gets so totally absorbed in her little world of play. 

Gwen looking so, so grown up - yikes!

Joining in with Che and Fidel.

Friday, October 4

September in Pictures

September was a big, big month for us all. Miss Molly started school (she settled straight in and loves it). The next day, I went back to work after 10 whole months off and an amazing summer - ouch. But, do you know what, it was fine. And even though I moan so much about being at a desk, for an office-based job, it the absolute best one I could hope for. In a creative environment, stress-free and involves writing and photography. I'm actually very lucky. And until I decide what I want to be when I grow up, it's great.

Wilf was faced with three days without The Mothership, which was problematic, as until the day I went back to work, he was not really eating solids and was refusing a bottle. But four weeks on, he's scoffing porridge, tomato soup and yoghurt like they're going out of fashion, and guzzles his milk down with gusto. Phew.

Finding our new normal has been fun, with non-work mornings involving a long walk with Wilf napping, Blod scampering about and me pausing on benches with cake and a book.

It's still warm enough to be outside lots, and I've been loving a whole hour every lunchtime to just walk and walk in Bute Park, spotting signs of autumn as the green turns to gold.

And my highlight of the month? A grey Saturday morning with that misty, frizzy hair-type rain when the whole world was covered in sparkly spider webs - hundreds and hundreds of them as far as I could see, on hedges and in long grass, on fences and in trees. All covered in tiny droplets of silver. It was just so magical.

Wednesday, October 2


It's been a funny old few months. After an amazing summer of sunshine and day trips and holidays and eating way too much ice cream, September was all change. Moll started school, I went back to work, and Wilf was mother-less for three days a week. A new kind of crazy has ensued, with weekday evenings spent tidying up, getting clothes ready, making packed lunches, doing washing - and not a lot of time for blogging (or anything else for that matter).

But we're finding our new groove slowly, and October will be all about taking baby steps towards normality again, starting with dusting off my much-neglected camera and doing a bit of photographing, and writing my annual birthday list (even if it is two months late). And, of course, lots of getting out and about and soaking up autumn in all its orangey gorgeousness. Blod especially likes this time of year as they lift the dog beach ban on October 1st. Yay!

Wilf is 10 months

Dear Wilf,

You crawl! After a few weeks of dragging your legs behind you then giving up and sitting down again, you have finally got it. Nowadays, I can put you down in the lounge, and you end up by the back door in no time. Your favourite thing is to crawl out of the room and then peep back at us through the door frame.

You are developing a sense of humour. Your favourite game is to crawl across our bed right to the very edge, while I say "Where are you going?". You go right to the edge and stop dead, turn around and give a big cheeky grin until I grab you to save you from tumbling headfirst onto the floorboards. You think this is all very hilarious, so then you do it all again. And again. And then some more.

You have loads of teeth - six at the last count. They have all been accompanied by weeks of fretting and grumping and dribbling.

You are finally getting the whole food thing - after months of flinging everything overboard. You still love squidging things in your fingers then feeding them to Blod, but stuff is actually being digested these days too. Today, you devoured chunks of bread dipped in pumpkin soup. and you think yoghurt is the best thing ever. You also like eating peas one at a time using your newly-perfected pincer grip.

You copy sounds. Yesterday, I was pointing out a dog to you and you started saying "Duh, duh, duh". When Gwen practices her recorder, you make a 'Ba, ba, ba, ba, baaaaa' noise that copies the rhythm. How very clever.

When you're waiting for food or a toy to be passed to you, you do a very funny thing with your hands that looks as if you are revving up a motorbike.

You dance when you hear music. You like it when I blow on you with a straw. You like being flung up in the air. You have a beautiful guffawing laugh when you're being tickled.

You are a rubbish sleeper. We are all very tired. Good job you're so amazingly cute, funny and delightful.

Lots of love,