Friday, 13 December 2013

Dear Ella (aged 6)

Dear Ella,

Six years old. How do these years keep getting away from me?!  Last year I said that you didn’t look that different compared to the year before. This year you have changed. Your features are sharpening as the baby roundness to your face slowly disappears. Your hair has finally grown beyond your shoulders. The long awaited event finally happened a fortnight ago, you lost your first tooth. I was so excited for you when I first saw that gap as you bounded out of school to share the good news. But then my eyes pricked with happy/sad tears as I saw that big tooth coming through. Your ADULT teeth that you will have the rest of your life. It seems just yesterday I spotted those white dots coming through for the first time.

Not only have your looks changed, you have changed so much. Not your personality, but your abilities. Your two favourite birthday presents this year were a lined notebook and a plain notebook. This speaks volumes about your newly found passions in life. This time last year you had just brought home your first reading book. Just a year later you can can read almost anything. You are one stage away from becoming the ultimate ‘Free Reader’, so you tell me. You love reading so much it’s a battle to allow me to read you a bedtime story! You love writing too. You are a super speller and have just started writing in sentences. Tonight you have been writing a ‘story plan’ and then have gone on to write the first part of your fully planned story. Wow.

You also love arts and crafts. Drawing, painting, making and creating. I often ask what you want you want to do when you come home from school. ‘I want to do something crafty!’, is your most popular answer. Being a Mummy who is rather useless but absolutely loves all things crafty, this makes me very happy! Especially as your brother is just as enthusiastic as you.

Your brother. Your relationship has changed a lot over the last year. You are still great buddies. Over the last year his speech has come on in leaps and bounds which has meant you can have so much more fun together. You can go off in imaginary worlds, sing, chat, laugh……and also shout and scream at each other! The good times outweigh the bad luckily.

You have some lovely friends at school and despite there being only a few girls you all seem to manage to make it work. You seem to know everyone in the school, including the year 6s and the staff too. How lucky you are to go to such a wonderful, personal little school. You love your family so much. On saying goodbye to everyone after your family birthday party, you gave them all a huge hug and told them you loved them. You tell me everyday. What a lucky Mummy I am.

I was so very proud of you on your birthday. You took your time to read, admire and comment on each and every birthday card. You were genuinely grateful and enthusiastic about every single present you received no matter how big or small. You let Theo ‘help’ you to open all of you presents. What a little star you are.

You started swimming lessons when you started school and had lessons for two terms. You enjoyed your lessons but weren’t really moving forward. We went to Lake Garda in the Summer and you were like a little fish. You LOVED the water and were desperate to swim. You started lessons again this September. In just three months you have come on so much. You are almost there.

Ella, you are so positive and enthusiastic about everything in life.  I hope you never lose this trait, it’s pretty much one of the best you can have.

Until next year  my beautiful big girl,

Love you millions  and squillions,

Mummy xxxxxxx

Monday, 8 July 2013

Dear Big Boy (aged three)

Dear Big Boy,

Well you are now, aren’t you? Today you turn three years old.  The last few months have been all about the Big Boy bed, the Big Boy pants and the ‘now you’re a Big Boy, you can do this!’ talks.

Every year is a milestone in childhood, but turning three seems a big one. So many toys are not suitable for under 36 months. You start to pay to get into attractions like the zoo. You get a preschool place. Suddenly, in the eyes of the big, wide world you are a presence, you count; you are a boy and no longer a baby.

I won’t lie, I am struggling a bit with this. Just this morning we were sitting in bed and I was gazing at your pudgy, little feet. My eyes then moved up to your squidgy legs and up again to your perfectly rotund tummy. As my eyes settled on your big, blue eyes framed with those lovely, long lashes I was reminded of how I still find you so adorably cute and baby like. Even though you are now three. I wonder if it’s because being the youngest, will always be my baby and therefore I will always see the baby in you.

You have changed a lot in the last year, though some of your passions remain. You are still a big fan of stones, particularly throwing them into anything that will make a big splash. Your new love is snails. You have about 20 in your collection, all different colours, sizes and patterns. You don’t like the ones with ‘slugs’ in them though!

Other loves in your life include jigsaws, parks, pirates, bugs, sea creatures, shapes, cake, hot chocolate, your ‘Big Doggy’, digging in the mud and basketball.

You are a very affectionate boy. You love kisses and cuddles and when I kiss you, you demand, ‘I want yots!’ (lots). You regularly say to me ‘Mummy! I yove you so much!’. I will never get bored of hearing those words.

At home you are very chatty and like to laugh, joke and have a giggle. You’re quite different out of the home environment. You don’t feel comfortable when people who don’t know you very well talk to you. You give them a very serious look. We have been going to music group for the past 6 weeks or so and I am so proud that finally you are starting to speak to the leader of the class and join in with the songs. I hope over the next year you begin to feel more confident around people outside your immediate family.

You love numbers and have been able to count and recognise numbers to ten for nearly a year now. You love to count things, spot numbers when we are out and about and look at number books. You can nearly count to twenty, but you miss out 15. Funnily enough, just like your sister used to. You are starting to take an interest in sounds and letters. You love the IPad and can form some of the easier letters on one of the games we have, and numbers too. You even traced your name using a pen last week. You loved it and kept asking me to write more words for you.

You are becoming more and more imaginative. You and your sister like to go on adventures. When you wear a certain shirt, you are apparently called James and your sister suddenly starts talking with an American accent. You guys make me laugh so much. When you eat your pancake in the morning, you tell me how it looks like a wheel. Then you take a bite and say it’s a boat. Then you take a few more bites and it’s a rainbow. The world is an exciting place when you are three.

You were going to start Preschool just after your second birthday. Instead I decided to keep you at home with me full time for another year. We have had a wild time together. You are due to start preschool now in September. I am dreading it and looking forward to it in equal measures. Part of me thinks I want to keep you to myself for another year, but I feel it is time to start letting go a little and let you venture out in the world for a few hours by yourself. I’ve started to notice you will talk to people more when I take a step back so hopefully this is the right time for you.

It’s another year before you start school. Although some of your time will be spent at Preschool, I am going to cherish every day I spend with you. Watching you grow, develop and continue to be excited and amused by the world around you.

Please don’t go too quickly time.

Until next year my beautiful, special Big Boy.

All the love to the moon and back,

Mummy xxxxxxx

Saturday, 5 January 2013

On the 366 photo challenge......

The original inspiration for the 366 photo challenge came from the Day Zero Project website. I had never heard of it before, but thought it was a lovely idea: taking a photograph every day for a year. Strangely after adding it to my personal list, I became aware of more and more bloggers doing the same thing. It was a really nice way to start out the challenge with so many other people doing it and encouraging one another.

I began the challenge by stating the following:

" I'm not a good photographer. My subjects tend to be rather wriggly. There will not be any fancy tricks or interesting angles. But I will try and select pictures that represent our life and document what I hope will be a fun-filled 2012."

I'd love to say that over the year my photography has improved. It hasn't. I fully intended to explore all the different settings on our camera, learn more about shutter speed and composition, perhaps even take a course. I didn't. However, I am so pleased that I took part in this. It got me out of the house when sometimes I simply 'couldn't be bothered'. There are some terrible photographs, but equally there are some lovely ones too. More than that though, the series as a whole and my descriptions really provide a story. A true story: the life of the Simmonds in 2012. A simple, but happy and fun filled (mostly) life. A little piece of history has now been preserved for a lot longer than if these moments and memories were just left in my mind. I know I will look back in years, decades even,  from now and love getting this insight into my life back in 2012.

Here are some of my favourites:

If you are thinking that maybe you would like to do this, then please do it! Pick up that camera and make today Day 1! You won't regret it.