Breaking the silence


I feel trapped. Like a butterfly in a cocoon, a lion in a cage. 
I know deep down that I want desperately to write everything in my head. But I’m fearful.

Fearful that I can’t dedicate the time any more to make this good. Worried that people in my “real life” will find out and think of me differently – will I be labelled as an oversharer? What is the point in a blog? Who do I think I am posting my life online? Who even cares about my life anyway? 

Recently I’ve ignored the tiny space on the internet that I lovingly created and crafted on maternity leave back in 2011 – and got quite good at (I was shortlisted for an award you know!) In truth, I’ve found it exceptionally hard since going back to work to carry on. 

My days are, quite simply, full.  It’s only during times like these few days between Christmas and New Year where I can pull my head up and review the past year. Only I’ve got very little to go on as there’s just tumbleweed blowing about on here. 

I’m in awe of other more established bloggers, many of whom have started and excelled in the time I’ve been blithering about over here. How do they do it? 

For one thing, I genuinely struggle to find the time, but also I’m deep down worried about people judging what I do and my decisions and pigeonholing me into the stereotype of a bragging blogger Mum. 
It has also been harder since Elliot started at school, we’re now in a new community of school mums and I don’t want to come across as an  oversharer, or be consided to be bragging about my life and my children. 

I also worry about what the boys will think when they’re older. Will they understand that I captured all of this for them? Will they forgive the absence of memories captured here from the past couple of years? Alexander turned 3 and Elliot was 6 (6!) this month. They’re growing up fast and I’m not capturing it at all, apart from some grainy photos on my phone. 

All I know is that I just want to write about my family. So what do I do? Carry on writing here? Create a new, anonymous, space, or give up and write it all in a private blog or a good old fashioned diary?? 

Who knows? I’m hoping 2017 will have the answer. 2015 and 2016 have largely been absent from this little blog of mine and it’s time for that to change. 

The only one who can make that change is me. Time to be a bit braver me thinks! 

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When it all gets too much

imageSometimes in life things get so busy and hectic that something has got to give. Something has to be abandoned by the wayside while you try to get everything back in order, and all your plates spinning again.

In the past 10 months for me, that abandoned thing has been this space. My record of life online, for my children to look back on. I’ve done terrible job this year and not kept a single note of anything we’ve done. The boys will think that Elliot’s first year of school has passed in a blur with no evidence to show that it ever happened. And so much HAS happened.

I’m almost ashamed to start again. Or more  rightly, I’m ashamed that I’ll end up stopping again.

But it I guess that’s the point. I want my boys to look at this record of their lives and see reality. And the reality is that we’ve had a super busy few months. I’ll have to summarise it all somehow but for now it feels good to just write.

The hardest step is the first. And now that’s done.

 

Siblings {September}

September has been a month of adjustments in our household. Elliot started school so has adjusted to school routines and is doing such a superstar job of settling in. I am so proud of him.

 
Alexander is having to adjust to not having Elliot around wherever he goes – they used to play in the garden at nursery whenever they could even though they were in different rooms, so that’s been a change for him. He seems so excited to see Elliot when they are finally reunited each day, it’s very cute.    

And the grown ups around here have had changes in working patterns to get used to along with the logistical getting everyone to where they need to be each day, with filled in forms for one thing or another, and packed lunches when required. We’re definitely not used to it all yet by any means, but we’re getting there. Slowly. 

So a huge change for everyone. In an effort to counter all that, we’ve been trying to spend some time just the four of us, to make sure we are not rushing from one place to the next without stopping to check everyone is ok and happy. We’re also intent on making the most of our National Trust membership which was a gift from my parents for Christmas last year. 

This weekend we had a beautiful sunny day exploring Snowshill Manor, and I managed to get some lovely pictures of my growing-up-too-fast boys. 

To say they love each other is a complete understatement. They literally are each other’s favourite person. Elliot loves nothing more than teaching Alexander new words and games to play, and regularly tells me how much he loves having “a baby brother and a cat” (those two things are clearly linked in his mind even though the cat was around way before I even met my husband let alone had any children…poor cat didn’t know what had hit her when her whole life turned upside down in a matter of 2 years. Bless her!) 

 

They are growing more and more alike in terms of looks and we get a lot of “ooh they could be twins, 3 years apart” comments, which is lovely. (Apparently we only make one form of human, which is an interesting aside…) 

In other ways they are quite different. Elliot continues to be the thinker and more introverted than Alexander, who is developing a more dare-devil approach to life, or is that just part of being nearly 2? Maybe I blocked that out the first time!?

We’re loving spending time with these two people and I am constantly amazed and delighted by them and the fact I get to be their mum. I’m a lucky mummy indeed.

  

Check out the other lovely posts from this month over with Dear Beautiful:

dear beautiful

Siblings {August}

I think I’ve been putting off writing this month’s Siblings post. It’s the last one before Elliot starts school and I think the fact that they won’t be in the same place as each other every day is going to slightly change the relationship these two have carved out over the past 20 months.  Or maybe it will change nothing at all and I’m just being anxious for no reason. I hope that’s the case.

  

In all honesty, Elliot is Alexander’s favourite person. He regularly looks for him and enjoys finding toys that are his and telling me proudly “Lellot!” – it belongs to Elliot. He loves anything and everything that Elliot does, and likes to follow him about (whilst also doing a lot of adventurous discovering himself, being a lot braver, or maybe risk averse, than his elder counterpart!) 


Elliot is still loving his role as big brother and often recently I’ve seen him take Alexander’s hand and walk with him. 

Alexander is taking a while to actually properly learn his own name. The boys do look alike and at the moment if you ask Alex who he’s looking at in a mirror, he’ll be quite adamant that it’s “Lellot”! 

  

The boys are pretty keen on snacks, and iPhones. Please don’t judge! It’s hard to get them sitting in one place long enough to take one photo let alone a few to choose from!

  

 

Maybe next month we’ll have Elliot in his school uniform. I’ve just finished labelling it all 🙂

Check out the other lovely posts from this month over with Dear Beautiful:

dear beautiful

Hedgehog rolls

We recently had some friends over to play, and as it was the day after the “bread” round of The Great British Bake Off, I thought it would be fun to make some little rolls with the kids and then eat them for lunch! 

 

To make 6 small rolls you’ll need:

  • 12oz Strong Bread Flour – we used Wholemeal
  • 1 1/2tsp Quick Yeast (about half a Allinson packet)
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 220ml of hand hot water (from the tap is fine!) 
  • Raisins for eyes

To make your little hedgehogs, start by putting the dry ingredients into a bowl, then give them a good mix to combine them. 

Next, add the oil and then the water. Start to mix together, as it becomes sticky get your hands in the bowl and start to knead the dough.

If the mixture is still sticky add some more flour and if it’s dry, sprinkle on a little more water.

Once the dough is combined turn out onto a lightly flour-dusted surface and knead the dough for 5-10 mins. The kids LOVED this part! 

Mould them into 4-6 hedgehog shapes and use scissors to snip into the dough to make spikes. We used raisins for eyes too.

Put the rolls on a floured baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for about an hour to rise. (We used the oven on lowest setting as we don’t have an airing cupboard!)

Next, heat up your oven to 200 degrees centigrade and cook the rolls for 25 minutes.  The rolls will feel firm and if you tap the bottom of them, they’ll sound hollow.

Ours lasted one mealtime! 

Enjoy x