Family: Me with my sister-in-laws and sister
LAST Saturday my sister-in-law had her baby shower.
Her little boy is due in a couple of weeks, so her family and friends all gathered at Canvey’s Estuary Heights for a spot of afternoon tea, games and (in my case anyway!) prosecco.
It was lovely. Though these showers are an American tradition, that we’ve only recently really adopted this side of the pond, it’s a very sweet way to spend an afternoon. Three years ago, I really enjoyed mine.
But it got me thinking. We spend so much time preparing for the birth, for bringing the baby home, making sure we have all the material stuff sorted (from little vests to rocking chairs.)
But what about the bit when the baby is actually here. Postpartum. Those is-it-day-is-it-night-who-am-I-why-does-everything-hurt weeks (months. Can I say years?!)
Giggles: At the last family wedding
LATER this summer, Sonny Jim will be flying to the south of France to attend a family wedding.
My second cousin once removed (or is it third cousin?!) is getting married and while I HATE flying and am dreading the 4am taxi with toddler in tow, I really wanted us to go.
This cousin was one of my best playmates when I was little. There’s just six weeks between us, and a mere couple of years between us and her older sister, and almost all of my favourite childhood memories feature them in some way or another.
We didn’t live especially close (me on Canvey, them in Goodmayes) but every school holiday we could be found at each other’s houses.
I can’t imagine anyone will have missed the fact that tomorrow is Father’s Day.
Hardware stores must do their best business in the first weeks of June and sales of bacon probably go up as fry ups are prepared.
But too often the role of daddy is seen as secondary to mummy, surplus to requirements in many ways when it comes to parenting. And admittedly, some dads ARE rubbish. Those mamas, single-handedly doing both the job of mum and dad, are nothing short of heroes in my book.
Yet there are a lot of good uns. And the most important thing they ever do, is just be there. Whether it’s a snatched kiss before bedtime, a cuddle on the couch, or push on the swing, those moments are like tiny beads on the necklace of a child’s life. A tiny, tangible bit of love that helps build them a brighter world. Continue reading
Look, let’s be frank. It’s the day before Easter Sunday. The chances of me actually making any of these are slim (read non-existent.) I am mostly planning to pour myself a nice glass of wine just as soon as the toddler has gone to bed.
These Dr. Oetker recipes look super lovely. And I’d love to be someone who just whips up a treat like this. So if you are, and you happen to need some sweet last minute Easter inspiration, here you go!
Easter Bunny Cupcakes
Prep 1hr 30 mins
Cook time 35 mins
Serves 12 Continue reading
Summers as they were: Me (complete with a broken arm) with my little brothers and sister
MOTHERHOOD definitely does something funny to your brain.
When I was little our family holiday was always a week, spent in a caravan, somewhere along England’s south coast (apart from the one year we ventured to Wales, stayed in a chalet and it rained the entire time.)
They were lovely holidays – fun-filled and drama free – but I grew to hate the caravans. The fact the beds were so small that if you rolled over you rolled out. That unless it was baking hot (in which case you couldn’t get cool) then you were always a bit chilly – and everything just seemed, well, a bit damp. Continue reading
My heart: I love you, Sonny Jim
My sweet boy,
I’m writing this a couple of weeks before your first birthday. You’re having a little nap in your cot. Your daddy is on your Uncle Sam’s stag weekend. I have a horrid cold, which I imagine you will pick up any day now. There are a million things I should be doing, but I’m writing you this letter to open on your 18th birthday.
We’ve asked all your family and our friends to write you a letter for your first birthday – we’re going to keep them in a box. Your daddy and I figured it would be a fun thing to open in 17 years time. Well, I hope it’s fun. And interesting. And a little window in 2034 into a world long past.
I can’t imagine you at 18, my little Sonny Jim. Right now, you’ve just mastered crawling. You have one tooth (that you won’t show anyone) and the *best* giggle. You’ve just started saying mama – and you say it a lot. To everything. And everyone. And every time it makes my heart do a little squeeze (even if it’s at 3am. We need to work on your sleeping. I bet you sleep past 5.30am now though!) Continue reading
From Cook: Tiger Prawns in a sweet chilli sauce with pan-fried garlic, sauteed red peppers and mangetout
I finished work five weeks before my due date and was super organised.
Figuring there wouldn’t exactly be much time for getting creative in the kitchen with a newborn, I spent days cooking up meals with plenty extra to freeze. (In fact, the night before my waters broke I was obsessively making Ferrero Rocher bites – I *might* have gone a little mad by this point!)
The last of this frozen food (kindly added to by my family in those first sleep-deprived-is-it-night-who-am-I days) was eaten this week.
And though Sonny Jim is sleeping much better these days, there just isn’t the time for cooking a lot of the dishes I used to.
Which is why Cook is now one of my new favourite things. Continue reading