Sunday, 9 November 2014

Autumn with Joules

It's always a welcome change to embrace the cooler weather and dress for Autumn in cosy fabrics and layers. Henry and I donned our new Joules outfits and headed out for an autumnal walk amongst the fallen leaves and amber coloured trees. I love how quintessentially British the Joules brand is. Wax jackets, luxurious tweed and their Wellington boots are pretty spectacular too!

I love the 60s vibe of this wool tweed mini skirt. I paired it with a feminine Peter Pan collared blouse, my favourite riding boots and my new coat for an autumnal outfit. The brushed cotton gingham shirt kept Henry warm, and he just looks too cute for words in his little quilted jacket!

*In collaboration with Joules

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Henry's 1 Year Update

The months are passing quickly, and Henry is blossoming more and more each day. I'm sure I'll say this a lot over the years, but 12 months has been my favourite age of his so far. He has become his own little person and it is a delight to witness his quirks and traits come to the forefront. 

noticeable difference over the past few months is that he has become a lot more independent. Whereas once he wanted to be on me or next to me at all times, he now happily plays on his own and explores his environment. It is a joy to watch him in his own little world as he plays with his toy cars, stacks his cups and takes blocks in and out of his rucksack. He also loves to dance now - if he hears a tune that tickles his fancy he will bounce his legs and jiggle his little bottom with a big smile on his face. 

Henry is a very cuddly little boy, much to our delight. He often toddles over to me for a hug, sucking his thumb and resting his head on my shoulder as he plays with my hair. He snuggles anything soft in sight, whether it's a cuddly toy, a cosy blanket or a discarded fluffy sock!

(The birthday boy enjoying his cake!) 

Weight: 20lbs 14oz at his first year checkup.

Health: Two big health milestones occurred just before Henry's first birthday. First - he completely stopped his reflux medication. This was a huge accomplishment for us as he's been on some form of reflux meds since he was just 6 weeks old. We also trialled the milk ladder to reintroduce dairy into Henry's diet, and thankfully he's had no reactions. He can now happily eat cheese, yogurt and all sorts of other delights containing cows milk, so his diet had opened up to a whole new range of possibilities.

Routine: Breakfast at 8.30, lunch at 12.30 and dinner at 4.30, with a morning nap at around 10am and an afternoon nap at 2.30pm (if we're lucky!)

Sleep: Still sleeping through the night, usually from 7pm - 7am. There was a period where I was nervous (terrified) that Henry was attempting to drop to just one nap a day, but thankfully I think it was just a phase! 

Clothes: Henry is in that awkward in-between stage where 9-12 month clothing is too small and 12-18 month clothing is on the big side.

Dislikes: Attempting to change Henry's nappy is a constant battle. He hates lying down so I've had to become somewhat of an expert at the standing-up nappy change as often that's the only way it'll get done without a wrestling match. He's started to have tantrums when he can't have or do what he wants, but they pass quickly. And washing his hair always results in tears, no matter how fun we try to make it!

Likes: Henry is currently obsessed with the songs from Frozen. He brings me my iPhone numerous times each day for me to play them on YouTube, and gets so excited when they start (and equally upset when the songs finish!) It is the only time when he is still, relaxed and quiet, so it's lovely to cuddle up together and enjoy some animated fun.

Milestones: Henry now has six teeth - four top, two bottom. He waves goodnight to us when we put him to bed, which is just heart meltingly cute. Besides mama and dada, he can say 'moo' when he sees a cow in his books and he says 'brum brum' when he's playing his with toy cars. Both very sweet!

He understands and reacts to a lot of things we say, such as 'rest your head,' 'walk to the window,' and 'have you finished?'' He brings me things he wants to play with or read, and takes me to places he wants to show me or explore.

Henry has now mastered walking and it is the sweetest thing to see him toddling around. He's become a lot more confident with his ventures, and walks greater distances each day. I'm sure it won't be long until he's tearing around the house!

(Nap and post-nap pout!)

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Saturday, 1 November 2014

For William and Noah

Two years. How has it been two years since I held my baby boys in my arms?

It has been two years and the journey to the cemetery has become no easier. Going there always brings the familiar sting of tears, along with the sad reality that this is the place where we go to see our sons. A place for parents and grandparents that have lived a long and full life, yes. But it should never be a baby's home.

The place of lost dreams and endings that came before beginnings.

And love. So much love. Shown through tenderly decorated graves - the balloons, the toys, the poems. The carefully selected words and butterflies and windmills chosen by parents who don't get to demonstrate their love through cuddles and kisses and tucking in at bedtime, who will never get to see their babies grow up. It is a sad place, but a peaceful one. A solemn place, but not a lonely one. There are too many babies laid to rest there for it to be lonely. How bittersweet. 

There are so many things I could write, but in the end, all it comes down to is that I want my babies here with me. In my arms. My heart aches for my two little boys. We can fill our lives with new memories and new joy, but that ache remains - I want my babies here in my arms and it can never be, and there is nothing in my heart that can make it right. It is difficult to make peace with that.

Our perfectly healthy little boys, with their beautiful tiny fingers and toes. I remember how sweet and small they were. How we could pick out our own features in their faces. William moved as I held him. He held on for as long as he could. We are so thankful we got to spend time with him whilst he was alive. 

William and Noah would have been two years old today. I don't know what they'd look like, or what their individual personalities would be - whether they would be shy or rambunctious or outgoing. I will never hear the sweet sound of their laughter, or how their faces would light up when they smiled. I will never witness their special twin bond, and the unique relationship that would have blossomed between them. Two lives that never got to live. A lifetime of smiles and giggles and tears and tantrums and cuddles and kisses, and first kisses and first days of school and first loves, all erased in a moment.
They changed our lives forever. If I could, I would go back in time. I would endure the sickness, the uncertainty and the worry all over again. I would go through all the scans and the hospital stays and the invasive medical procedures. I would be given the devastating news, the false hope, then no hope at all, all over again. I would struggle through the labour, knowing all the while that their birth would mean their death. I would do it all, just to feel them move again, just to see their faces again, just to hold them in my arms again. Even just for a moment.

If I could, I would do it all over again, so I could experience that raw, beautiful love that they gave me all over again. I would always choose them.

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Henry's 1st Birthday

A belated post, as Friday 10th October marked the day that we celebrated our darling little Henry's very first birthday. A child turning one is momentous in so many ways. Not only has a baby blossomed into a toddler, it signifies a year of firsts, a year of learning, of tears and triumphs, bonding and discovery. The occasion was especially poignant for Matt and I. Our beautiful rainbow baby, turning one. Our third child, yet our first experience of parenting. It is strange and difficult to comprehend that Henry would not exist if William and Noah had lived. The eve of his birthday held bittersweet emotions. A wave of grief rode in, perhaps naively unexpected. It held elation as we had reached such a significant milestone, yet sadness lingered, reminding us that we never had the chance to celebrate William and Noah, not their first birthday, nor even their birth.

As I wrote in my Being a Mother post, Henry has brought us so much joy. He is the greatest gift to have been bestowed upon us and we feel so blessed to have him in our lives. The morning of his birthday was spent opening presents, playing with balloons and singing along at our usual Rhyme Time in the library, before we all took a trip to the park and followed it up with cake. Henry was a little apprehensive at first, having never tried cake before, but after he tasted a little bit, he delved right in and was in his element grabbing handfuls of icing!

The following days we celebrated with family. Henry was spoiled with the lovely gifts he received and a beautiful rainbow assortment of sweet treats lovingly created by my mum.  A triple layered birthday cake, pastel pavlova, cloud cookies and pink lemonade complete with paper straws were the order of the day, laid out underneath a sky of fluffy pom pomsIt was such a special time, and Henry looked ever so cute in his little knitted crown!

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Etsy Finds - Autumn Accessories

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. With the nights becoming longer and the crisp chill in the air, it's the perfect time for wrapping up in cosy knitwear, enjoying snuggles in front of the fire and indulging in sweet hot chocolate. But before I embrace all the comforts of Autumn, I thought I'd share some of my favourite picks from Etsy.

How incredible is this huge chunky kit blanket?! I could quite happily settle under it and hibernate over the winter. I adore the soft lights for creating a homely ambiance and the espresso cup is ideal for warming your hands as you sip a hot drink. As for the baby moccasins, they are just the cutest things I've ever laid my eyes on. We bought a pair for Henry's first birthday, but I'm tempted to buy more in an array of colours.

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