Uncategorized

These Shoes Were Made For Walking 

A month ago we went out to get Darcie her first pair of shoes, she’d just began walking and I’d seen the most perfect pair of pink bunny shoes on the Clarks website and was thrilled when they had them in our local branch. 

At first she hated them. She’s always been a barefoot baby. Partly because I couldn’t see the point in shoes and socks until she was walking and she didn’t want to wear them anyway so it made life easier to not even try.

Gradually I convinced her that shoes were fun. Putting on shoes meant we were going on an adventure. These days she will even try to put them on herself and I know that means she wants to go outside. She loves being outdoors and would happily live in a tent at the bottom of the garden of I’d let her. 

There’s something very special about that first pair of shoes. I can be sentimental about the most ridiculous things so there was no doubt that I’ll be keeping these shoes to get out and show her when she is older. I had visions of us getting out these beautiful shoes and showing her how dainty and sweet they were.

What I didn’t count on was the dirt. The mud, the sand, the water. These shoes are not going to be a perfect pretty pair of baby shoes to hold onto. But I will hold onto them. Because they will remind me of the adventures she had in them. Her very first adventures.

Her first visit to the farm when she confidently walked around outside for the first time, where she brushed the goat and shouted ‘duck’ at everything she saw.

Her first proper trip to the beach. When Daddy tried to share his chips with her and she ended up with seagulls advancing on her from all angles. She loved playing in the sand but the sea was too cold so we had to make a hasty retreat to rescue those chilly toes.

Our first trips out without the pram, to go on ‘adventure walks’. Taking a Tupperware pot for her to pick up stones and leaves to carry and take home. Except she couldn’t hold the pot the right way up so ended up clutching a leaf in one hand and the pot in the other.

The countless hours we spend in the garden. When she will happily carry rocks around for ages, transferring them between her sandpit, swing and sand and water table. And every time she hands me a rock it’s as if she’s passing me the most precious thing in the world to her. Somehow the shoes (and her feet) have so far escaped having a rock dropped on them. 

Every water mark and scuff holds a memory, each discolouration on the leather tells a story. About these days that she won’t remember but that are the best times of her life so far.

The shoes tell a story of an explorer who has endless energy and enthusiasm, who stops to look at every flower and to admire every stone, who loves being outdoors and messy in nature.

They might not be pristine, but neither is my daughter. She’s a nature loving, scruffy haired wild child and I’m glad that the shoes tell this story instead.

Breastfeeding · Uncategorized

Yes, I’m Still Breastfeeding

IMG_0025Looking back through this blog I realise that I talk about breastfeeding a lot. I’m not actually as obsessed by breastfeeding as it would seem, but there is no denying that it has been a big part of my life for the last fourteen months so it is only natural that I have a lot of thoughts on the subject. I think it’s easy to assume that because I am still breastfeeding now, that it has been plain sailing. This is not the case, I never thought I would still be breastfeeding at six weeks let alone at nearly fifteen months, but here we are. So how did I accidentally become an ‘extended breastfeeder’? Continue reading “Yes, I’m Still Breastfeeding”

From The Heart · In The Kitchen

Raising A Healthy Child

IMG_2434With childhood obesity on the rise there is a lot of debate and conversation on the topic of how we can raise our children to have a healthy diet and to discourage them over eating. As somebody who always strives for a healthy lifestyle, this is a particularly important subject to me and I feel so strongly about raising Darcie to have healthy food habits and a really positive relationship with food. For me this doesn’t mean banning chocolate from the house, forcing vegetables into her or restricting her portion size, instead it’s about balance, about eating your five a day but also treating yourself to a piece of cake every now and then. Continue reading “Raising A Healthy Child”

Days Out · In The Kitchen

Strawberry Picking at Pickwell Farm

e9254d42-caf5-402e-8a13-b94731874bdaI didn’t ever quite get around to posting my Summer Bucket List Post, but one thing that I’ve had in my mind that I wanted to do with Darcie was to go strawberry picking. I don’t think I’ve ever been specifically to strawberry fields before but I’ve always thought it seemed like a lovely family outing so wanted to make sure we made it happen and maybe it will even become a family tradition. We live quite close to Pickwell Farm where you can go and pick your own strawberries among many other fruits and vegetables so it seemed like too good of an opportunity to miss.  Continue reading “Strawberry Picking at Pickwell Farm”

Uncategorized

Let Them Be Wild

One of my favourite quotes that is quite often written in beautiful calligraphy and hung up on nursery walls is ‘Let them be little, let them be wild’. I don’t want this to be something that I just frame for Darcie and put on the wall, I really want to make this a motto for how we raise our own little wild child. I want to raise Darcie to be free, to run wild, to finish the day with knots in her hair, dirt on her feet and a crazy sparkle in her eyes. I want to encourage her curiosity and I want every day to be an adventure. When I look back at my childhood I think of spending time outdoors, of exploring and of being creative. This is what I want for Darcie, I don’t want her to be glued to the television, finding all of her joy in CBeebies, I want her to be outside whatever the weather. I want us to go strawberry picking in the Summer and splashing in the puddles in the Winter. I want us to go on treasure hunts through the forest and shell collecting on the beach. I want her to feel free, to not be afraid of the world around her but to feel a part of it. Continue reading “Let Them Be Wild”

Uncategorized

Tongue Ties // Our Experience 

I don’t think I’d ever heard of a tongue tie until we were told that Darcie had one. It’s not something I’d thought to research which is why I thought I would share our experience to help any other parents out there who are expecting a baby soon or who have been told their baby has one and are making the decision about whether or not to have it cut. Continue reading “Tongue Ties // Our Experience “

Occasions & Milestones

On Father’s Day

This feels like Dan’s first Father’s Day, we hardly celebrated the day last year as we were still very much in the frazzled newborn haze. I managed to organise a card for him but I think that’s where the festivities began and ended. So this year I want to do it properly, I want him to know how much we appreciate his hard work and commitment to his role as Darcie’s Daddy. So this ones for you Dan, maybe this will be the first of my posts that you read to the end… Continue reading “On Father’s Day”

From The Heart · Occasions & Milestones

On Your First Birthday

My little Darcie May,

One year ago you were one day old, tiny and helpless in my arms. I feel like I’ve blinked and the last year has whizzed by me and you are now a confident, sweet and funny little girl. I’ve savoured every second of being your Mum so far but still it’s like a whirlwind and I can’t quite keep up. Looking back through photos I realise how much you have changed and then I realise that is because you are not a baby anymore. I still call you my baby girl (and I probably will until you are 21 years old!) but you have lost some of that baby look in your face, your features are distinct and we can see the little girl you are becoming. More and more people have started referring to you as a toddler, I wasn’t ready the first time it happened and I didn’t realise they were even referring to you. Surely my baby girl isn’t a toddler already? Continue reading “On Your First Birthday”

Uncategorized

Intrepid Little Explorer 

IMG_4079One of Darcie’s latest tricks is climbing up the stairs. The first time she did it, I blinked and suddenly she was on the first step. It hadn’t occurred to me that she would be interested in the stairs yet so I was totally mentally unprepared for this development and also completely in awe of her and her newfound skill. Watching her do it is amazing and terrifying at the same time. She has totally mastered how to go up but has no idea how to come down. She likes to speed crawl up to the fifth step and then lean back without a care in the world. She knows that we are there to catch her. She has no reason to think she will fall or even any reason to be scared of what would happen if she did.

I love her determined expression as she climbs up, her whole body is only the height of two of the steps and yet she can conquer them in a matter if seconds. It is so beautiful how blissfully unaware she is of any danger, and as a result there is nothing to stop my intrepid little explorer from reaching dizzying heights. Nothing is holding her back, not even me as I hover behind her ready to catch her the moment she gets bored and decides to take up free falling instead.

I think it’s a pretty good metaphor for Motherhood really, and for the type of Mother that I want to be and hope I am already. Aside from totally illegal and immoral behaviour, I never want to be the reason she doesn’t do something or try something, I never want to put my own fears and insecurities onto her. I know she will grow to have them the same as everyone else but I want them to be her own, not mine or anybody else’s. And I want her to always know that when she lets go and needs back up that I will be there, ready to catch her. Of course the practical thing that I want her to do next is learn how to safely shuffle back down the stairs again but I’m sure it won’t be long…!