Wednesday, 31 July 2013

30/52 - a half birthday, a full one, and a swim


This week, my firstborn racked up five full years of life with us.

Quite a milestone, five!

We had recently been talking about how once she turned five she could start learning to cook more meals independently - and she was very excited about this. Though at one point she looked at me concerned and asked 'Mummy, when I am five, will you still be an adult?' I told her 'Yes'. She looked relieved 'Oh good, so you will still cook some dinners too, I won't have to cook all the dinners?" Ha! If only ;)

So, for her birthday dinner, I of course asked what she would like to have (could have anything - within reason!). Empowered by this idea of her cooking, she requested soft-boiled eggs with toast soldiers - which she wanted to make herself!!!! Making her own birthday dinner (and so basic!) seemed a bit rough, but who was I to argue with such enthusiasm!? So, make it she did - and she was rather pleased with herself too, taking the task very seriously.

Just another of the 1,000,000 reasons why I love this girl. 

Happy birthday, lovely Lily xx


A big week for my big boy too! Now he has hit three years old, he is old enough to go into swimming classes on his own. And with Miles now six months old, I decided to drum up the energy and enthusiasm required to bundle three kids down to the pool and through showers and dank change rooms during winter! (Admittedly one of my least favourite things to do, like, ever!)

My beautiful boy. He was so brave! I could tell he was just a bit nervous and a little surprised to find himself in the class he has been (literally) clambering to get into after watching Lily for so long. How different it was to see him (so rarely) a little quiet and hesitant... but he went along with everything he was asked to do. It was ever so good for him to need to learn to listen to the teacher too ;) 

He is so water confident, it will be good to see him add some skills to that confidence over the coming months. So proud of him just literally jumping in and getting into it, though it is such a new world to him. And such a change from a little girl who cried for a full term when she started classes!

Swim, little fishie!


Pretty much in love with this image of my baby boy.

We sat him up to the dinner table for the first time at six months old on the dot. He just looked around at all the family in surprise and then broke into this huge joyful beaming grin!! It was soooo cute. He was just thrilled to be up and part of the action with the rest of the family! And we love having him there too.

Now we are complete!

Project 52: A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

More highlights from the week that was...

It was a busy milestone week around here - as we were also planning for Lily's 5th birthday party on the Saturday. She chose a Princess Tea Party theme! Yes, she is well and truly a girly-girl and I no longer try and fight it ;) I just make sure she is always aware there are other options out there for girls too, and they are *all* ok. 

We had thought a fair bit about the 'party policy' for our family... having three kids, we are definitely not going to be having parties for every kid every year - and to be honest, even if we just had one kid, they would not be having a party every year anyway ;) We do like to have big parties for all of their 1st birthdays. It is a fun time to celebrate that special first year and we kinda see it as a way to thank everyone who supported us along the way too. Although the one year old doesn't get much out of it (apart from their first sugar hit in the form of cake!), we figure its a nice photographic memory/milestone for them to look back on.

From there on in, birthdays are just little family get-togethers - at the pre-five age kids just don't really get or appreciate much fuss anyway! But we decided that five is such a gorgeous milestone age, when kids are really starting to form their own friendships and are also able to have the fun of anticipation and planning. So, for our family, five will be the age for their next party :) Who knows what age will be next after that (8? 10? or 21?!)... let's see if we survive this stage first, haha!

So, after I rather belatedly decided I had the energy to put a party together, we broke the news to Lily who was THRILLED to say the least :) She has just been soooooo excited through the whole process, it's been gorgeous. I love that this is such a special event for her and that she can be so involved. We decided to go with the old 'one child/guest for every year of age' invitation approach, so the party would actually be enjoyable and not a house of chaos!! It would be small enough for Lily and her guests to really enjoy hanging out with each other, but still enough people to make it 'festive' - so she got to choose five little friends. Along with my parents and a couple of guests' siblings, it turned out to be the perfect amount! It was also another indicator of this school-age-stage transition for me - there were lots of little (and big) friends I was dying to invite to her party but decided I needed to let her choose her own friends. And so she chose a few of her new little school and playgroup friends. Yes, another sign of the transition - the importance of her school friends in her little world now! As tempted as I was to add a few more dear friends, I knew a smaller party would be more enjoyable/less stressful for all, so made myself stick to it :) So annoying being rational, isn't it?!

One of the loveliest things about planning this party was how eager my sweet girl was to help. Rather than just expecting it to be something *I* did for her, she eagerly offered ideas (games etc) and asked to help with every stage. Um, yes, maybe she will be a little planner/organiser just like her mama!? It was fun to have her involved and made the experience even sweeter. Yes, I have a zillion party pics on file but I must blog sequentially (or the world will explode?!) so first, I must document the week lead up, including of course her actual birthday on the Tuesday before... 

Party food prep: spreading the tomato paste on the Pizza Pinwheels 

Mixing up the birthday cupcakes

Their most beloved task: Egg cracking

The other big milestone (yes, it was a big week for our little tribe!) was our darling Miles turning six months old. I may have had a small tear in my eye as we set up the highchair for the 3rd time, and brought him to the dinner table for the first time. Half way through one year. The end of six months of growing and nourishing a little human solely with my own body (wow, we are a pretty amazing creation, huh?!)... and the end of the convenient era of needing nothing but me to feed him wherever and whenever. Plus, the beginning of mess, haha! Thankfully, we do Baby Led Weaning so the actual food prep is minimal and the whole approach is a pleasure and so fun. I may do a post about our experiences with BLW now we are on our third time through! But anyway, here he is in all his cute glory....

I was in serious denial that he was ready for solids and was pretty sure he would
not be interested in eating for a while, however he surprised me by launching right
in! Sometimes he munches on his finger thinking it's avocado ;)

The kids were having conniptions of excitment because they wanted to see him eat and he wasn't picking anything up at first. Although it's not proper BLW, I caved and held up a bit of avocado in my hand so he could grab my hands and try the food. He was happy and the kids were VERY happy :)

I let her try it once but had to put an end to this pretty quick - baby boy needs to eat in his own time and pace, much to the kid's dismay who are so eager to force-feed, haha!

Night Two: He was taking charge of his own food :) 

A surprise visitor to the dinner table.... Peter Rabbit!

Miles joining us at the table meant a reshuffling of the family seating. Daddy now next to Eli and me between Lily and Miles. Everyone was thrilled and it felt pretty special to have all *five* of us up there together :) Excuse the chaos of the dinner table - we had Egyptian soup and everyone likes different accompaniments (lime, yoghurt, cream, sour cream, warm bread, etc!!). Not a great shot but still a great moment that I wanted to capture and remember :)

Actually, it's a bit boring up here sometimes! 


Although we missed a term of swimming, Lily (literally) dove right in and
got back into it with no worries. Am I the only mother who for some reason
finds the idea of their child being able to swim just this incredible thing?! I am
just so amazed by it!

My little athlete.

Mid-dive! I think her friend is pretty impressed, haha ;)


Birthday Dinner: She wanted a Princess Egg :)

Of course, she wanted to decorate her birthday dinner cupcakes too!

Opening gifts. We gave her a musical jewellery box (a much longed for item), a couple of lovely books and we gifted her our old camera as she is always keen to take photos. She was soooo happy, but unfortunately it had been sitting in a drawer for 2 years and we didn't realise it didn't really work now!  Oops... now looking for an alternative.

First joyful glimpse inside...

A very happy little girl, with little brother always poking his head in too :)


  1. Gorgeous Kate! Congratulations on a wonderful (and huge) week for you and your adorable little family and a big, big happy birthday to your sweet girl. What a beautiful little lady she is growing into, and so much like her mama xo

  2. What a cool series of photos Kate, so lovely to see birthdays and half birthdays are a thing in your family. I celebrated half birthdays growing up :)
    My favourite photo is the one of Lily from a distance at the pool. I just love how you are so far away, but there she is doing her thing. So cool.

    1. thanks sally :) well, only the first half-birthday gets celebrated... i run out of energy and memory after that haha ;) thanks - i know, i was so moved by that moment too and loved the shot - just seeing her out there on her own, so strong and athletic... my baby?! :)

  3. Awww...Kate you have such a gift for photography. I love the "candid" moments of the family around the dinner table, and Lily diving into the pool or opening her jewelry box with curious brother right beside her. Such sweet memories to capture!

    1. rachel you are literally TOO kind! i dont have a gift for photography but i have learnt if you just make yourself do it A LOT you are a lot closer to getting some special moments captured, haha :) yes, rather than the perfect poses i do it because its those little moments of family life those little-but-big milestones that i want me and the kids to be able to look back on and help us remember! thanks so much for 'peeking in' too :) xx

  4. Loved reading all your news. Can't believe your littlest is already 6 months old!!! Happy Birthday Lily :-)

  5. You are such complete mothering inspiration to me Kate. So many beautiful pictures this week. I actually adore 'My Little Athlete' though I am not usually a fan of this technique you used it brilliantly. And Lily's smile is just uplifting. It's so plain to see that you are raising wonderful people that will make the world a nicer place to be just by being in it. May blessings rain down on Lily and all of you all the days of your lives.

  6. Wowzers! What a HUGE week for you guys! I just adore the two photos of Lily opening her birthday present. The mouth wide open in amazement is just a delight to look at :) Those swimming shot are great! I love that you took a step back and really git her in "action". I am SO impressed with what she is doing in the pool. Go Lily! And well done to Eli- says a lot about his personality that he just got in there and did it! The BLW photos are so adorable! Miles looks so happy to be a part of the family table. How wonderful that you are all together at meal times now. Love that "Sibling-involvement" BLW photo - so funny!


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