Two months with Delilah

So how’s life with our third baby so far? Ask me again tomorrow. It probably depends on the day. Delilah turned eight weeks earlier this week and it never stops amazing me how much happens in such a short time with babies. I’m not even just talking about the stuff you expect with a new baby, like the high-speed growth or the suddenly meaningful smiles. Sure, she’s breaking out of her 0-3 month clothes and we’re enjoying more awake time. She’s moved well out of sleepy fetus mode and is now looking like her rather than every other newborn (actually,…

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Mini adventures in Dyrham Park and the South West Outdoor Festival

On the way to a workshop in Bath recently, a friend who was giving me a lift asked whether we’d taken the girls to Dyrham Park, a nearby National Trust property. Her children now grown, she fondly remembered the days they’d spent there when they were little. When we recently made the most of a last snatch of summer by heading to Dyrham Park for the day, this was very much on my mind. These little outdoor adventures with the children, these are our memories. With lots of wide open space, the girls found the perfect spot to fly their…

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What I learned from our first year of home education

Talitha would be starting Year 1 today if she were in school. This is significant to her because she has friends in school and because it gets mentioned in her church group. We don’t follow the national curriculum so it doesn’t mean much to me other than we’ve talked about it because it matters to her. I am, however, keenly aware of her age. She turned five in June which means that we are now legally home educating. This doesn’t particularly change anything that we’re doing but it’s another big step, you know? Yes, we’re really doing this. As we…

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Hoo Haa! Festival and easing in to life with three

My mum left two days ago to go back to Trinidad and Tobago after a few weeks of staying with us. Between Laurence’s paternity leave and her stay, I’ve only had a handful of days on my own with three children. I’d probably done solo bedtime just three, maybe four times in those six weeks and I’d certainly fallen well out of the habit of taking Ophelia to the toilet! It’s been a real blessing not least because Laurence has started a new job which is taking him away for one full night and two bedtimes/wakeups a week. In a…

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Making and using an umbilical cord tie

One of the birth choices I made this time that I really rate was to make and use an umbilical cord tie. Up until the week before Delilah was born I’d intended to just go ahead with the standard hospital clamp that the midwives provide. As the due date approached, I started to remember why I didn’t like them. With Talitha I felt like it got in the way. It seemed a hard, ugly object between us. I knew I didn’t want to do another umbilical cord burning like we had with Ophelia. It took too long (which is kind…

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The Children’s Garden by Matthew Appleby

A while ago, I was sent The Children’s Garden a book filled with inspiration for things to make and do with children the garden. It’s written by Matthew Appleby, a former primary school teacher and author of The Allotment Planner. An aesthetically pleasing hardback, full of beautiful and helpfully instructive images, it’s a real pleasure to own and lovely book for the kids to flick through to see if anything appeals if they’re at a loose end. The book presents 52 family projects, themed and ordered by season, ranging from dead-easy, (nighttime snail watch with a torch, anyone?) to reasonably…

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Eight reasons we’re looking forward to The Good Life Experience

Laurence was the first to spot The Good Life Experience. “If there’s any festival I want to go to, it’s that,” he mused, “but we probably can’t this year because of the baby.” I looked at the calendar. The 16th-18th September would make Delilah almost nine weeks when we went. Could we really do a festival with a baby that young? Then again, Talitha was six weeks when we took her to a festival. We just didn’t camp. The most stressful part of that experience was that I wasn’t used to breastfeeding in public – not an issue now. We…

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