on being a good mom/mum. or, wine and lovely babies bring perspective.

so today i’ve been a little bit of a witch with a capital b. i blame it a little on myself (hindsight is 20/20, right?) but mostly i blame it on the british.

now, for my british friends out there, i don’t mean you as individuals, i mean you as a country in general, and more specifically whichever governing body decided that british mother’s day would fall on the church’s mothering sunday rather than today (the american, and italian, and apparently the every other country in the world-recognized mother’s day).

i had a lovely british mother’s day in march with my husband and beautiful baby, and i tried today to remember that day. but it’s just so damn hard when all of my american friends are bragging about their lovely lovely mommies and how special/lucky/amazing/vomtastic they all are. and yes, they are all of those things. and so is my mom, of course, who celebrates the day today. it just makes it so hard to be in between the two holidays, feeling like i can only partially celebrate each of them.

so i sat sulking for awhile this afternoon, feeling like a sad, lonely, lost mummy/mommy (seriously! what am i?!) when i realized i was being stupid. i had not one, but TWO days dedicated to me and my new role in our family. i had TWO days to remember how amazing my own mother is, and how amazingly difficult it is to be a mother. i see my own mother in a new way now, and from that perspective, can appreciate what i do for s on a daily basis so much more. so instead of feeling sorry for myself and missing out with playtime with my own wonderful daughter, tonight, i splashed with her in the bath, sang to her on our bed, and read the same stories with her that my mother read to me when i was a little girl. it doesn’t matter if i got any cards or flowers today, or if everyone i know wished me a happy mother’s day. all that matters is that i recognized the special relationship i have with my mother and the little girl that made me a mother, too.

cheesy and cheesier.

cheesy and cheesier.

madre and me.

madre and me.

(this vom fest is brought to you in part by p, whose swift kick up the bum inspired me to get off my bum and stop feeling sorry for myself. thanks for that.)

Advertisements

another family update (and more apologies)

i think sometimes i lose my writing mojo. or my precious baby decides to sleep 12 hours a night and reminds me what 8+ hours of consecutive sleep feel like and i capitalize on that shiz. one or the other. either way, sorry for the hiatus. i’m back now with a vengeance! and here’s a song for you.

that’s fort atlantic with their amazing ‘let your heart hold fast’ from my favorite episode of how i met your mother. yum.

so, what’s new in our lives?

p and i are now the proud owners of a TODDLER. and whoever coined the phrase ‘the terrible TWOS’ is a dirty, dirty liar. that crap starts as soon as your baby realizes that there is a world outside of the buggy. i swore to myself i would never be THAT MOM (ie. my mom …i wasn’t a very good baby) but this product is on the to-buy list at the moment. sometimes you just need a leash.

s is officially a social butterfly. over the past month and a bit we’ve had more than a few houseguests (p’s sister and her family, s’s godparents and their four kids, s’s other godmummy and my best friend, and my sister…not including the house full for her birthday party!) and s has had an amazing time dancing, playing, laughing, eating chocolate, blowing bubbles, dining out, and shopping.

and a few other things, in brief:

s is addicted to chocolate.

p and i saw the dalai lama.

s had not one, but TWO babysitters, and appeared to behave to some extent.

never go to the natural history museum (or any other free london attraction) during the school holidays. especially with a sick baby.

my baby rocks out to bruno mars, psy, and macklemore. i’m a bad mommy.

this summer is going to be epic. plane tickets booked to america, holiday in wales with s’s godparents paid in full, and s and i get to join p on the choir trip to germany AND on another weeklong program in london. i should probably talk to my boss.

‘no’ is the new ‘yeah’. and i do not like it.

i bought baby crocs and i don’t feel guilty.

some mummy friends and i started a book club and so far we’ve read one whole book! up next? this one! (thanks e for the inspiration!)

that’s all for now, but stay tuned for a post on the party of the year…it was a good one.

sophia loves cake

first birthday prep (or how to plan a frat party with babies)

in less than two months, s will be celebrating her first (and most badass?!) birthday. it’s equal parts exciting and depressing for us to plan. exciting because our baby is almost almost almost officially a toddler and we get to celebrate the wonderful ways she’s changed our lives over the past year. depressing because, as cool as we make this party, she won’t remember it.

so there will be booze.

obviously. because otherwise it’s just a silly afternoon where a bunch of parents wish they’d smuggled in their flasks of whiskey while their respective babies crawl and scream and cry and poop all over each other. just like every other day, really. just kidding. mostly. in all seriousness, i really want this party to be laid back and fun for kids and adults alike. so there will be beer. and tequila. if you know me, you know that one of my mantras in life is this: EVERYTHING is better with tequila. so there will be beer with tequila (desperados, anyone?!), cupcakes with tequila (for the grownups only, no need to call the authorities!), and, since i’m a little old fashioned, tequila with tequila.

**note: i am not an alcoholic. in fact, after approximately two drinks these days i am done for the night. so obviously most of this is a joke and does not affect the parenting of our beautiful child, who i’m sure will enjoy tequila just as much as me when she’s all grown up. and not before then. i’m sure she’ll be as innocent as a flower until her 21st birthday (please just let me live with this delusion for awhile).

and there will be cake.

we’re still ironing out details for this aspect of the party, but i found a fantastic local bakery two little cats that’s happy to provide a smash cake for s’s photo shoot (surprise! oops) as well as cupcakes for the party. i thought two smash cakes might be a bit extravagant (read: paul thought) so we will have to settle for adorable photos of s smashing a cupcake into her face during the party. on the menu for the cupcakes: raspberry and lime flavored with lime green sugar sprinklings and fresh raspberries on top. yum. as for the smash cake, i’m hoping it’s going to look like this fabulous cake above!

there will be decorations.

Source: hapykoi.com via Kaitlin on Pinterest


Source: indulgy.com via Kaitlin on Pinterest



i toyed with the idea of having a very hungry caterpillar theme for this party, but decided instead to go with bright colors and more basic decorations. i especially love the ideas from 100 layer cake!

and there will be presents.

Source: amazon.co.uk via Kaitlin on Pinterest





Source: amazon.co.uk via Kaitlin on Pinterest

since march is fairly close to christmas, and since my house already seems to be a toy factory, we’re planning on keeping gifts pretty minimal this year. what i would love for her to get, however, is a few musical instruments. she shakes and bashes all of her toys already and really enjoys rhyme time and music of all kinds, so i think she will really appreciate a few things like these.

and there will be s.

Source: rstyle.me via Kaitlin on Pinterest

everyone who knows me knows that i love a little bit of baby style. in fact, i’m kind of obsessed with pinning gorgeous dresses/tops/jeans/shoes/anything to my baby d board on pinterest. and i have absolutely no restraint when it comes to baby clothes. we had BETTER have a girl the next time around, otherwise there are going to be many lonely, depressed articles of clothes that haven’t been worn in s’s nursery. so here is my inspiration for baby birthday style. (ok, so it’s more than inspiration. i bought it today but shhhhhh! don’t tell paul! ps. i want EVERYTHING from the beatrix potter range at baby gap right now. check it out here.)

i’ll keep you updated as the plans progress!

ten months

dear sophia,

last saturday you celebrated your ten month – day. we can’t believe how fast you’re growing (i know, i say it every month!) and can barely remember the days when you were our tiny new baby. you’re almost officially a toddler, and i can’t wait for you to start walking and running and skipping around the house. i’m also terrified of your mobility, since you have SO MUCH ENERGY all the time and never ever stop moving, unless daddy is reading to you or you’re ready for bed. God help us all when you take those first steps.

this month has been pretty epic in your little world. you celebrated your first christmas, new year, and epiphany with us. you traveled around the country to see aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, godparents, and friends. you became fast friends with our goddaughter grace and broke her poor little five year old heart when we came back home. you’ve got eight (!!!) teeth, can cruise around the room like a pro, make animal noises (elephant, kitty, and sheep) and perform other party tricks like blowing kisses and playing peek a boo on command. you’ve begun to stand on your own pretty confidently and you like to dance to the hot dog song from mickey mouse clubhouse and gangnam style (sorry to my classical loving friends; girl is a pop fan!). you’re such a happy baby; you laugh and laugh when daddy carries you on his shoulders or spins you around. you are so adaptable and laid back in most new situations, but you love us so much you cry whenever we leave the room. you give us big, open mouthed kisses and love to cuddle your stuffed kitty (dubbed mr. meowgi by daddy…the poor cat!). you can say dada, mama, and baba, which we’re pretty sure means baby. or boobie. hmm. you are our little love, and we love you more every day!

only two more months til your birthday! we can’t wait to see what these next two months, the last official months of babydom, bring for our little family.

we love you!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

naked babies, days (and nights!) out, and milestones.

i’m finding it harder and harder to take time to write posts, but it’s so important that i get it down…partly because it seems like this whole baby brain thing never goes away, and partly because i know you all want to creep on my life more often. don’t lie, i do it too. 😉

so this week we had another normal stay at home mommy and baby week (but this is going to come to an end soon…stay tuned for updates on mommy solo life!). most days we like to get out of the house, and to be honest, s is a much happier baby when we’re going and doing and buying and eating out. which is great for my sanity, and not so great for the wallet. again, i need to become a crafty momma so i can stay at home and still make some money!!! (realistic) suggestions appreciated.

on saturday we took s to her first proper photo shoot! i’ve been kicking myself for not having the adorable newborn baby in a basket photos taken (sorry rachel, they are just so damned cute!) and so we decided christmas was the perfect time for s to make her debut. we went with the fabulous francesca db photography and didn’t regret it. s was a natural hambone and LOVED francesca. if you’re ever in the mood for some babysitting, s would love it! 😉 just kidding, she already has her hands full with two gorgeous twin girls and another baby on the way. the session was lovely and short (30 minutes, which was perfect for s) and consisted of solo shots of s as well as a few family pics (p was like, i don’t want to be in more than one picture that we buy…this is about s! talk about stage daddy.). s enjoyed the attention and ate her way through the plastic wrapping on a candy cane. i see a future as a model, perhaps?! here’s a sneak peek at one of the proofs from the session…we can’t wait to see the rest soon!

last night was guy fawkes night (as you brits will know) and i really really wanted to take s out. i’ve heard that fireworks can be a great sensory experience for babies and was keen for her to see it. cambridge has a fantastic FREE display and bonfire on midsummer common every year, and nearly 25,000 people turn out every year. it’s right over the river from us, so there was really no excuse not to go. i was a bit nervous about how s would react, but i bit the bullet and decided to go. i woke her up after bedtime (which she loved…not), snuggled her up in her teddy bear snowsuit, and popped her in the ergo. she’s at the age now where she doesn’t hate being in it, so it was actually really nice. we stayed across the road, out of the crowd, and watched comfortably from a distance. s LOVED the fireworks and stayed awake for the whole thing. it was freaking cold, though, so we headed home straight afterwards. i highly recommend taking your baby to a fireworks display, if you can get over the noise and the idea that they may or may not freak out. here’s a few shots of the night:

my little ewok…i mean teddy bear.

enjoying the fireworks!

at the moment i’m loving (almost) every moment at home with s. she’s so big now (8 months next week! stay tuned for the 8 month update post) and is finally a ‘proper’ baby. she’s so close to crawling…i’m pretty sure she can go backwards a little bit. we really need to get some gates going and properly babyproof this house. she can also clap, say dada (to both of us), wave, and sit up confidently by herself. i love my little girl! (someone please remind me of this post when i’m complaining about something or other in a few weeks’ time.)

it’s the most wonderful time of the year…for coughs and colds. also, i want to become a crafty(ier) mom.

so apparently colds last FOREVER. at least it feels that way right now. s has been nursing a very light case of the sniffles for the last few weeks and hasn’t really been that bothered about it. until this week. this week the floodgates opened and s’s whole face has been a ball of snot. poor thing. she’s still lovely and happy (most of the time…apparently colds make babies more liable to scream bloody murder when put down for a nap) but sounds like a chainsaw when she sleeps and can’t quite work out how to cough up the rattles in her chest.

she still manages to squeeze in her studies with a cold.

all of this lovely mucus in my life = tired mommy. for all of you lovely mommies out there currently thinking to yourselves, i have this parenting thing licked, easy peasy…you’re WRONG. you’re so massively wrong. i’ve finally decided to listen to all the wizened old mamas in my life who have always told me that as soon as you utter those silly words, your baby will find something else to completely mess up your sleep. i’m resigned to the fact that i will never regularly sleep through the night until my children are teenagers (if i’m not up waiting for them to come home past curfew…there might have been one or two members of my family responsible for doing that to my own mom a few times!) and so four hours in a row should be more than sufficient.

in other news, i’ve decided i need to get a hobby. preferably one that could make me money. now i’m not aspiring to be the next martha stewart, but a few wifey trades would serve me well. so i want to start sewing and doing other crafty things. the good news here is that this trade requires more shopping!!! so i officially want this for christmas (p are you listening?!) so that i can make adorable clothes, accessories, and decorations for s and our home. how freaking adorable are the baby accessories in this article?!?!? (not my baby, obviously.)

but don’t worry, i will still frequent the likes of fantastic shops like iviebaby (beware: once you click that link, you will want to buy everything in the whole entire etsy shop. also: look before you have your baby; there are some awesome ideas for kitting out baby’s room!).

the summer according to pinterest.

i’d been thinking about writing up a sort of summer to-do list, or a bucket list, but hadn’t got the motivation to do it until the fabulous e tells tales suggested a blog link up. now i’m not nearly creative (or energetic, these days) enough to come up with lots of ideas off the cuff, so for this bucket list i will defer to the other lover in my life. yes, i mean pinterest. my sweet evening affairs with this website leave me feeling encouraged, excited and jealous of other people’s lives. but i have actually DIYed my way through a few of the things on my pinboards over the last few months, including making an adorable hand and footprint salt dough keepsake for p for father’s day (like this one here).

now onto this summer:

1. get my hair did.

a few years ago i went crazy and had my hair highlighted completely. i think it was an accident. but i LOVE the full head of highlights look, and want my hair this short again. if i was a millionaire i’d get a brazilian blow dry so it would be kind of straight right after blow drying, but for now i will have to dream. plus, then i’d miss my curls. also, i will allow someone to babysit s so this can happen…i got my hair cut when she was three weeks old, but it consisted of literally handing off the baby to p after he returned from his own appointment, running to the hairdressers, and getting a few inches chopped off. i want an afternoon of styling. maybe with a mani/pedi.

2. organize my life.

this site has about 139847165 ideas for baby/home organization. none of which i accomplished before s was born. now our house isn’t exactly a hoarder’s home, but it could be cleaner. and more organized. so i will do at least one of these things on this list.

3. fly to the states!

Source: youtube.com via Kaitlin on Pinterest

the tips and tricks from mama natural‘s video blog are going to come in handy when p, s and i all hop on a plane in august to see my family. i’m only freaking out about the trip a little, and most moms who’ve traveled with babies and toddlers say that the earlier you fly (in terms of baby’s age), the easier the trip will be. i just know i’m going to have to kill some bitches with kindness, though, as they give me the black look of death for bringing an infant on board an airplane. it’s ok, i will leave nappy bags full of s’s stinkiest poop underneath their seats.

4. (re)learn to knit.

can you get any more adorable than this? i’m sure it’s super easy and would take about five seconds to do. plus, if you know me, you know that flip flops/sandals/any kind of shoe that doesn’t require socks is the best kind of footwear. s isn’t going to be small enough for this to be cute for that long! my grandmother, who’s in her mid 80s and only has partial vision, is the most amazing artist when it comes to knitting and crochet. she’s tried to teach me how to knit half a dozen times (bless her), so one day i’d like to make her proud by actually learning something.

5. get my craft on.

this super cute shag rug will be perfect for the kitchen. it will also solve my problem of having far too many items of clothes. every time we get a charity bag through the letterbox, i fill it up and return it with tons of my junk. it seems to regenerate almost immediately, and makes me a little sad. now is the time to simplify my life ever so slightly and focus on what’s really important rather than getting sucked into the material things of life. (if you’re super duper brave, you could be like my friend awayathomemom and live out of an RV with your family. so cool!) there are approximately a million more craft ideas i have yet to try out on my pinterest boards…check them out.

6. go swimming with s!

luckily this one involves shopping for bathing suits. also, i mostly want to do this because of the photography session. p gets in the bath with s at the moment (TMI? sorry) and keeps saying, can i dunk her? can i dunk her? and so far i’ve said no because i’m scared she’ll drown and we’ll be the idiots that tried to make their own baby swim. so i’m going to let the professionals help! s loves bath time now and i think she will enjoy the pool, too. plus, i need to get back in the water!

7. bake some sexy cakes.

those of you who have already perused my pinterest boards probably have gathered that my bff and i have half-joked about starting up a cupcake business. no, not like two broke girls, i hate that show. more like ace of cakes meets starbucks flavors meets english charm. it’s mostly a pipe dream, but if i ever win the lottery i will quit whatever semi-fulfilling job i have and open a cupcake shop. so to prepare myself i must get back in the kitchen and start baking. plus, p once told me that my gift for having our first child would be a kitchenaid mixer. i’m still waiting! (i’m sure it’s in the post. not.)

8. get picnicking.

after the disaster that was our last picnic-style outing (yes, i am a wussy mama) i am afraid i may instill the same neuroses in my daughter. so you heard it here first, everyone…i vow to spend more time outdoors with my family. i will lather up my baby with bug spray and sun screen (after six months, i think…before then i will keep her under a mosquito net and hide her from every ray of sun possible) and eat smores with my family. this i solemnly swear.

9. have a date night with p (and without s…sorry baby!)

my parents came to visit when s was five weeks old (they live across the ocean in the states) and tried to get us to go out to see the hunger games. i wasn’t ready to leave the baby and hadn’t tried pumping yet, and figured the logistics of organizing feeds around movie times would be too difficult…ok i was terrified of leaving s for more than five minutes. my mom told me that i’d be ready soon. a few weeks after she left, i sent her a text saying, you were right! i want a babysitter now! so p and i are already talking about date night ideas for our trip to the states. three weeks with my parents, grandparents, sisters, and aunt nearby = lots and lots and lots of babysitters! sorry, guys! s is lovely, i promise! and hopefully she’ll go the *&$@ to sleep for you.

10. lose the baby flab.

ok, so i know this photo doesn’t really coincide with the step. but having a positive body image and feeling good about myself includes losing my baby flab. i know that i’m beautiful, but i also want to feel healthy and sexy instead of lazy and glued to the sofa. even though i love me some big bang theory. so this summer i plan to find an evening zumba class, or vow to get up three times a week at six and walk/run (ok so i can’t run…yet. positive thinking!!!) to feel better about myself and to be a positive role model for s.

so that’s the list, for the most part! i’m sure our summer will consist of much more than this (and you’ll all hear about the lot, of course) but i’ll update you as these items get checked off! happy summer! ❤