Friday, 22 May 2015

Dopplers, Dramas and gorgeous Gucci...Little Loves Week 21

It's been another fab little week... A fairly standard one in many ways - the usual school run, battle of the wills with our two-year-old (post coming soon!), catch-ups with friends... And slowly but surely we are slowing down, starting the retreat into our own little cocoon... Nesting away to await the arrival of our new little bundle.

It feels good to look at an almost blank diary for the next few weeks... I'm slowing down - physically and emotionally - as our baby prepares itself to make its way into the world.

So in this last week of running around before we pull back somewhat, here's what we've been up to...

After much umming and ahhhing about what on earth to read for my "I" author (you can check out my A-Z authors challenge here) someone recommended Eva Ibbotson to me... And I'm SO glad they did. Ibbotson is a children's author (let's admit it... they are always the best) and I was totally sucked into the storyline by page 2. Really, really enjoying this one... And I'm told all her other books are just as fab! Review to follow!

I will admit I was feeling rather sorry for myself after such a fab run of drama with The Muskateers, Poldark and Banished, but I'm glad to say ITVs "Home Fires" on Sunday nights is proving to tick all the boxes of a good, Sunday night, feel-good drama. It follows the story of a village in England at the outbreak of World War II, and as the men began to head off to war in last weeks episode, the drama is really starting to hot up. Love it!

I had my 38 week check with the midwife this week. On Tuesday morning, I was telling this to Heidi when Ava proceeded to burst into tears... "But I want to come with you too Mama!" It dawned on me that this will be one of the last appointments, and possibly her last chance to get a listen in to her baby brother or sister's heartbeat before the impending arrival, so I promised her I would pick her up early from Nursery, and she could come with me.

She was mesmerised, and when that Doppler turned on, she looked at me, eyes bright and said "It sounds like a train, Mama!"

The good news is, baby is head down, well engaged and showing every sign that it will make its own way into the world when its good and ready... After all the dramas surrounding Heidi's acrobatics during labour (she still loves to turn somersaults!), it has been a big relief that this baby seems to be doing exactly as its told! Long may it last!

Loving my Gucci Rush perfume at the moment. This was my scent through my first couple of years of uni, so it always makes me feel 19 again! Funny how smells can take you back so vividly to times gone by (and mad to think that was ten years ago - aaaargh!)

We made a huge deal of Norwegian National Day last Sunday, and had so much fun feasting with our Scandinavian friends! Everything was decorated, we were all dressed in red, white and blue, and I rustled up a Scandinavian Feast of meatballs, peas and new potatoes, followed by Norwegian waffles, and fruit kebabs (provided by my Swedish friend Emelie!) It was so much fun, and we made lots of good memories to boot! You can see more of our festivities here

And lastly...
The lovely Rachel over at The Ordinary Lovely (a blog well worth checking out by the way) sent me this gorgeous turquoise mason jar earlier this week, and it has been brightening up our bathroom ever since! I was so thrilled when I found out I had won the giveaway... I never win giveaways, and she had packaged it up so nicely as well with a lovely little postcard too. Thank you lovely Rachel!

Now, let half term, and the wind-down, commence!

What have your little loves been this week?


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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Pretty Parcels and Homemade Loveliness!

On Monday, we had two very excited little girls as a result of two very exciting little deliveries!

I am so fortunate to have some amazingly creative friends... Friends who have inundated us with gorgeous homemade delights in the past (check out some of the cute little presents Heidi received upon her arrival into the world!) and friends who continue to amaze me with their ability to create the most gorgeous gifts for these girlies of mine.

The first parcel was from my lovely friend Catrin in Austria. I often talk about how my time in Austria was pretty instrumental in getting my creative juices flowing again, and Catrin, and another friend, were totally (and are still) some of my biggest inspirations. Catrin has a gorgeous blog that is totally worth checking out and she's actually blogged about these gorgeous little gifts for my girls right here (if you don't understand German, just go over to check out her gorgeous photographs!)

Catrin made the girls these gorgeous little book bags. Beautiful, sturdy and totally up every little girls' street. The girls have been carrying them around everywhere... and best of all, they have their names on them! What's not to love?!

Then, as if that wasn't enough, later that day, Heidi received a rather belated birthday present from her little friend Noah. Noah's Mama Emelie is one of the most creatively talented people I know and is always overflowing with fabulous ideas! These little felt strawberries are for the girls' little Huette in the garden, and they are utterly gorgeous!

I just love the detail, and Heidi has already had great fun counting them, sorting them and "eating" them!

Seriously, I am in awe of these two fabulous friends of mine! And feel very fortunate to be the recipient of such creative loveliness! Our girls don't know how lucky they are!

And as if that wasn't enough, one more parcel arrived the very next morning...

...but we'll save the contents of that one for another time!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hipp, hipp , hurra for 17.Mai!

Yesterday was Norwegian National Day...

We don't have all out national costumes for the girls yet (maybe one day!), but we went all out in every other sense of the phrase. An opportunity to celebrate all things Norwegian, for the girls to recognise their heritage, and just a good opportunity for a feast!

We decorated the house earlier this week... Our wooden flag bunting came out, everything in red, white and blue! Ava helped me lay the table on the morning, making little flags for her little half-Swedish friends, searching out red, white and blue buttons from my button box, and writing all the place tags. I love the fact that she shares this passion of mine... Making things pretty, caring about the finishing touches, and coming up with ideas for how to make it the perfect setting for a celebration. It makes it so much more fun to have a little partner in crime! Although I did put a stop to her colouring her Norwegian flags pink... I thought that was a little too much creative license!

After a great morning at church, we were joined by our Swedish/Yorkshire friends to celebrate! OK... They may not be Norwegian, but the Scandinavians have got to stick together for occasions like these, right?

We tucked into meatballs, new potatoes in butter and chives, and peas... I think it's fair to say every plate was demolished! (Yes I know... Two-and-a-half weeks from D-day and I am now officially enormous!)

The lovely Emelie came with her own little surprise for us... I had planned Norwegian waffles for pudding, so these Norwegian flag fruit kebabs were the perfect accompaniment! How cute is that?

We had a fabulous afternoon... The children played so beautifully in the garden together ("Three little pigs", rolling around in the tunnel and the duplo seemed to be the highlights), giving us adults space just to catch up, chat and enjoy each others company. I realised afterwards how rare that had felt... The opportunity to really spend time with friends is tough with little ones hanging around, but our four littles just seem to click, and our uninterrupted conversation was accompanied by the soundtrack of children's chatter and infectious toddler giggles.

It made me thankful again for the gift of friendship. We are going through some big changes at the moment... A lot of dear friends are moving on, and that can feel scary and sad. But yesterday afternoon was a reminder of what good friends we still do have here, and to trust God that he always provides. He has a plan and a purpose in everything!

We spent the whole afternoon together, and were shocked to discover how quickly it had flown by! By five o'clock we had two exhausted little ladies... Ready to unwind after a fun-filled day with friends and feasts and general merriment! They were shattered, but happy, and were asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow!

The perfect end to 17. Mai!

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Friday, 15 May 2015

Books, Bumps and Birdsong #LittleLoves Week 20

It's been a lovely little week... The usual nursery runs, friends to visit, sunshine and pottering around... although somehow I'm still feeling tired. I guess it's just that end of pregnancy feeling when suddenly everything just seems like an effort... You can't bend down to reach anything anymore and you long for the night you can just roll over in your sleep without having to wake up and feel its a military operation!

I am grateful, though, that all seems to be running smoothly with this pregnancy, and finding it hard to get my head round the fact that in less than a month, our little bundle will most definitely be well and truly here!


Anyway, here's our little week in a nutshell!

This book has been the favourite for a while now... The girls literally love it... "The Big Book for the Little Mouse" is the story of a little mouse who gets caught up in birthday party frivolities and has to be discovered hiding amongst the mess he's made on every page. The girls love hunting that little mouse down and seeing what mischief he's been up to! It is being read on repeat!

We are on a Disney binge right now... Every evening, while I cook dinner, the girls settle on the sofa for a bit of a DVD. We're loving Anastasia, Mulan, Princess Sofia, 101 name it! The girls don't watch any English television at home, so Disneys in German and Norwegian are on the daily menu... Our collection is ever growing... Favourite Disney recommendations welcome??

The birdsong! This week the sun's been shining and I've noticed them far more and I love it! Nature's constant soundtrack just makes me feel all happy inside!

Anything that fits! Those feet have pretty much completely disappeared now... With only three weeks to go, the wardrobe options were getting rather thin on the ground and I was beginning to despair. But then, this week, I discovered a bag of maternity clothes that a friend had lent me that I'd forgotten about! Phew! Enjoying my newly discovered gear!

Our Norwegian mantel... It's Norwegian Constitution Day on Sunday and we are gearing up to celebrate with Scandinavian friends. Ava has been drawing norwegian flags by the bucketload as a result, and red, white and blue have added a pop of colour to our mantel! I love prettying up the house for special occasions!

And finally...
Hasn't it been a gorgeously sunny week?? And then yesterday hit with a constant downpour, and my mood just plummeted! I felt tired and lethargic and unproductive! Isn't it strange how the weather can have such an impact? Thankfully I had lovely friends to visit in the afternoon which cheered me up, and I thought of this quote and thought how true it is...

So there you are, a little pick me up for the wet and windy days that intersperse the glorious sunshine!

Happy weekend everyone!

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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Siblings {May}

Wow... This month of May is flying by fast, and its hard to believe this is most probably our very last siblings shot with just two little sisters in it (unless this baby comes seriously late!)

It just makes this last photo of these two little girlies all the more precious. At the moment life is stable, calm, they fit into each others lives in a happy little world of princesses and baby-dolls and make believe. In many ways they are chalk and cheese, but they are the very best of friends - each others biggest cheerleaders and advocates.

And they are about to embark on one big adventure!

For Ava, its one she's been on before... But has very little memory of. Those early days when Mama is up to her eyeballs in feeding, nappies and washing... But this big girl of mine is so ready for it. She will be a hands on big sister I am sure... My little helper! 

For Heidi, the change will be different. She is used to sharing her Mama... She always has. But she's my cuddly one. Boisterous and cheeky, but sensitive and shy. She thrives on company and cuddles and so I'm planning to work hard to make sure that company and cuddles are not just what she gets from her Papa, Mama and big sister, but also what she gets from this new little bundle too. She is kind and helpful and I have no doubt she will also be hands on... Though I can imagine I'll sometimes be willing her to be a little more hands off!

Either way, I'm sure the dynamic will shift with our new arrival, but I'm hoping that whatever happens, these little girls of mine will carry on being the very best of friends...

Little sisters in May...

dear beautiful 

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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Getting ready...

The countdown has well and truly begun now...

"How long, Mama?"
"About 3 more weeks..."
"Three more sleeps and then our baby's coming?"

Not quite my precious big girl...

We are all getting ready in different ways. For Dave, its the practical. The trips up and down to the attic to retrieve the newborn clothes, the Moses Basket, the car seat (those last two he's still got to get...)

For me its the emotional preparation. Ths may be my third baby, but it will only be my second labour. It feels very unknown... And it seems probable that it will be a different experience again to the previous two. 

Water birth? Check.
Caesarian Section? Check.

"Why not try an epidural this time?" my Consutant joked... We all laughed. 

At home I am savouring up time with the girls, feeling that bittersweet realisation that life will never quite be the same again. It will be amazing... better... more rich...but not the same. I am soaking in that sweet Heidi-scent as our little girl nuzzles into my neck. as I sing to her at bedtime, cuddling up tight with my big girl as we pour over Milly-Molly-Mandy books every evening.

For Ava, the whole pregnancy has been fascinating. We sat on the sofa this afternoon, her little hands laying gently across my tummy as she giggled as her baby brother or sister wriggled around inside, chatting away in her special little voice that she uses for babies about how much she's looking forward to meeting him/her, about how much she loves it already, about how she's going to be its big sister and always look after it, about how it's nearly, nearly, time for him/her to come out now, but that he or she just needs to wait a little bit longer.

These are the moments that tell me that however manic these next few months will be, with three under four and all at home, we will survive... And hopefully thrive...

Heidi girl is taking it all in her stride... One moment with a very serious face, taking in the whole responsibility of being a "big girl"... She is having to climb the stairs herself, get herself in and out of her cot, and realise that Mama just can't carry her any more... And the next moment, she is hugging that bump like there's no tomorrow. This arrival will be a steep learning curve for her, and already I'm praying for wisdom to help her charter the choppy waters of big sisterhood. I want her to feel secure, cherished and loved, and I'm figuring out how we do that so that she is able to care for this little one with the same affection and gentleness that her big sister has showered upon her.

So gradually we are getting ready... The bag is packed, the girls are scheming their bedroom arrangements to share with the baby too, and the dollies are getting well practice on.

Bring it on!

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Monday, 11 May 2015

The Ordinary Moments - Play...

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning,
But for children, play IS serious learning...
Play is really the work of childhood"
- Fred "Mr." Rogers -

A weekend of sunshine, a garden calling, two little girls happy to be out while Mama and Papa got on with their weekend chores.

 A little Hütte with windows to clean, meals to be cooked and a tea-party courtesy of our lovely nextdoor neighbour who hands them fresh-baked iced cakes over the fence.

These are the ordinary moments of our weekends. The play. The imagination. The freedom. The opportunity to let the girls learn as they explore the world around them, as they reenact the daily life they see in front of them, as they "perform" Disney song after Disney song at the top of their lungs...

Sometimes I feel guilty when we spend Saturdays at home, when Dave and I get on with odd jobs and leave the girls to their own devices. But I'm learning that sometimes that's the best thing we can do for them. Step back. Let them learn to amuse themselves. Let them come up with their own games, use their imaginations, have space to get bored and learn that that's OK. Let them sort out their own disagreements and figure out a way to work together without us intervening.

It's all learning.

And in a world that is obsessed and saturated with constant entertainment and background noise and screens and having every experience life has to offer by the time you're five years old, maybe that's the best kind of learning there is...

Maybe that's exactly the kind of learning they need.

mummy daddy me

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