Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Peas in a Pod - A book review

This charming children's book brings the important message of being an individual to life. Told through the quintuplet characters, Pippa, Pia, Poppy, Polly and Peg, it demonstrates how we learn to think for ourselves, express ourselves, and ultimately be ourselves.

TITLE: Peas in a pod
Suitable for: ages 3-7
AUTHOR: Tania McCartney
ISBN: 978-1-921966-71-2
Published by: EK Books
Release date: 29/6/15
Price: £7.95

When I gave birth to a second daughter, I was amazed how different she looked to my first. Even then I imagined the girls would be clones of each other personality wise. How wrong was I? They've grown to be chalk and cheese. Thankfully - life is never dull! Peas in a pod is a book which sums that individuality up brilliantly, reinforcing the message that we are all unique and it is okay to be different.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Expressing PND... a poem

So it's almost two years ago since my PND kicked in... 

...I was writing about Esme's pregnancy, and her subsequent birth and special care on this blog, when the unprocessed grief hit me. Along with baby number two, who was 12 months old when I began LIFE AS IT IS, and a year later ended up on Omeprazole for ulceration due to silent reflux. I can remember saying to my mum that I felt I had post natal depression. Her reply was frightfully British: Not to be ridiculous. You aren't getting any sleep. You have a baby screaming at you all the time. A three-year-old throwing non-stop tantrums. You are exhausted. (Oh yes, and I was doing it all by myself at the time as well as working). Grrr. That British attitude to grin and bear it, has a lot to answer for. If only I'd gone to the doctor at that point, but no I struggled on. Eventually, time helped. That and this very blog. Where I typed through the bleakness until I resolved it myself and found calm. (Now, like all of us bringing up little ones, I just have the usual motherhood stuff to deal with). Anyway... if this is you reading this, don't not go to the doctor, post natal depression can be sorted far more easily than by typing your life down into black and white for you (and the world) to understand! The good news is, it is almost a year ago since I worked through it and came out the other side ;-) So what to say about it? Now that I can? How to express PND? Here goes...

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Part creative, part cathartic, LIFE AS IT IS & Post Natal Depression

If you've read a lot of my blog, you'll know by now - almost three years in - that for me, writing is part creative, part cathartic. Blogging, albeit cheaper than counselling, has most definitely been therapeutic, but also allowed me a creative freedom I don't get with work. Writing and meeting deadlines for others is a great day job, but blogging for me, is more.

Writing down my thoughts has helped me no end. By writing about them I've worked through lots. One such thing being Esme's pregnancy and her difficult start in life - a process which only when I wrote about it - after her sister was born - led to Post Natal Depression (PND). Not a lot of people know that. But then that is the tragedy of something like PND. Often viewed as failing, many suffer in silence. People fear the consequences of reporting it as a problem. (58% of new mothers with PND, according to the NHS UK website chose not to seek medical help). We know it is widely common, and yet it remains a difficult illness to admit to suffering from. That maybe so, but that needs to change. I want to share my experience. What I went through. 

25/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

As Simon waves on Arsenal, his three girls reflect on what an amazing Daddy he is.

FRAMED - Dad & Grandpa - all round good egg

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Sometimes you speak to someone...

...totally out of the blue.
For the first time.
And you get them.
And they get you.
You realise quite quickly that you are on the same page.
Although worlds apart.
(In more than one sense).
You are actually neighbours.
Actually united.
It's a funny thing, destiny.
Intended collisions.
Sometimes, they'll hit you hard.
With power.
Right between the eyes.
To inspire you.
Encourage you.
Lead you.
And love you.
So that you can love too.
If it talks to you.
It talks sense.

LEGO Mixels Series 4 - A review

New from Lego...

When Lego recently asked Life As It Is to trial their Mixels series 4, the GraceFaith girls (and their cousins) were only to happy to help... 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Non-negotiable musings of a 3YO - how to deal with defiance

Sofia is precariously balanced on a chair.

When asked to get down she refuses point blank.

We both know the drill.

I begin to count to three.

On arriving at two, Fia decides that standing on a chair, plus winding mummy up, is potentially a risk worth the taking.

For the first time ever, she asks, "Mummy, what will happen if you get to three?"

"You will lose your bedtime story darling."

And not for the first time, I fight to keep a straight face.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Go-Carts, Catapults & Midnight Feasts - A book review

101 Vintage Pastimes for modern kids

Go-Carts, Catapults & Midnight Feasts 101 Vintage Pastimes for Modern Kids
Author: Catherine Cox 
Published: June 2015 
Available from: thehistorypress.co.uk and all good book shops
Priced: £9.99
ISBN: 978-0-7509-6429-6

If you like retro and you have children, then here is a book for you. 

If you would rather your children not resort to digital escapism, then here is a book for you.

If you have forgotten what it was like to be a child and have serious amounts of silly fun, then here is a book for you. Oh hoorah!

Whether it be making a periscope, building a camp, or simply remembering what it is to be young and roll down a hill, then here is a book, that is not actually only for you, but more importantly, for you and your children. A book full of fun ideas that will help nurture your precious relationships.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Summer style - How to do a fishtail plait

My girls have beautiful hair.

It's a shame that all too often, they take on the birds nest look!

Last night, I actually wondered if the inhabitants of the lane suspected murder, as I took to Fia's dread(ed) lock. 

Today, Fia has plaits.

So does Esme.

Plaiting hair is a great way of preventing tangles.

I've often wondered how tricky it might be to do a fishtail plait?

Turns out, it's not difficult at all. 

Want to have a go?

Here's how to create the perfect fishtail plait:

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Going forward... - A poem

Going forward,
...carry optimism.
You will realise your future.
With a little bit of love along the way.
(Alright, a lot of love along the way).
Hope and determination of course.
Grace and Faith carried within.
Go forward.
And realise your future.
That your dreams are coming true.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Eight years of marriage later & on our wedding anniversary...

...I look back at how I met my husband (and how serendipity lent a hand).

I was a prefect at school. Leavers year, age 16 and taking my badge seriously, even if I did mess about in maths - sorry Mrs Mellow.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Candy from a baby

The sun had come out and we were walking to the park, catching up the children while chatting.

Aware that my friend's child had joined the queue for ice cream, I was instantly amused and taken back to the time that Esme had done the same at just three, but had been turned away by an on-the-ball vendor.

When a moment later I spotted Fia at the front of the queue being handed an ice lolly, wholly animated and turning to smile at the crowd, I had to look again. The woman behind her was saying to the ice cream man, "Oh no, she's not with me," at which point he poked his head out and shouted "Oi!"

I didn't have my purse with me - and I concluded this was both good and bad in equal measure. As I handed back the lolly still encased in its wrapper, Fia balled in disbelief. She continued to ball for some time, burying her head in my shoulder, sat on my lap on a park bench. She must have sensed I was trying not to laugh, because five minutes later, she yelled merry hell at me, screaming that it was not funny. That at least seemed to cheer her up.