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Forgive this post being 3 months late. Better late than never!

For Ivy’s first birthday party we had brunch for just a handful of close friends. It was perfect.

The night before we were up till the wee hours making pom poms.

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ivy birthday

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I made my mum’s banana loaf and a beautifully light white chocolate gateau.

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How hard is it to find a party dress that isn’t pink?

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This little girl. I love her.

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Not sure how much more I could get on the buggy!

Travel with baby & toddler

After doing a long haul trip to Thailand at Christmas with a 10 month old baby and a nearly 3 year old, I thought I’d pass on a couple of my travel kit essentials. These are items we took with us and couldn’t have done without. If you’re planning a long haul trip with a couple of kids in tow listen up my friends….

1. Silly Bibs silicone bib
This may sound stupid, of course you’re going to take a bib. Or even 2. But trust me when i say I’ve bought hundreds of the bloody things and these really are the best. They are soft so roll up really easily without curling (like the tomee tippee ones), and they hang open. I’ll say it again, ‘they hang open!’ A revelation! I’ve wasted so much money on bibs that hang shut and are totally useless. These really work. Oh and they come in lots of different animal patterns and look cool.

2. Summer infant place mat
A very clever place mat that we use everyday, it has a built in scoop to catch mess at mealtimes. Ivy is at the self feeding stage and this meant that where ever we were, in a hotel restaurant or a beach shack I could put this down in front of her and know it was clean for her to eat from. This also rolls up which is so handy when you’re on the go.

3. Phil & Teds metoo high chair
This was without a doubt the MOST essential kit that we took away with us. So many times we’d go to eat out in Thailand and they just wouldn’t have a high chair. Carrying this little chair meant where ever we went we were covered. It’s so easy to use, you just attach it to the side of the table. I mean I love holding Ivy but let me tell you I’d rather she be sat comfortably next to me in her own chair! Especially at dinner time. We borrowed ours to go away with. You should beg, borrow or steal one! Or failing that just buy one.

4. Maclaren Quest buggy
At home we have a double Phil & Teds buggy to get around, its great but impossible for any kind of serious travelling. We took the plunge and decided Harper would be fine without a seat all the time so bought this Maclaren. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s lightweight, reclines flat, is really easy to manouvere and is super easy to fold up and down.

5. Lascal maxi buggyboard
To give Harper’s little legs a break we also used this buggyboard. Am so pleased we did. Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok is huge! There is always so much walking between gates and passport control etc. and we were travelling way past his bed time. This is essential kit for a toddler.

6. Eastpack rucksack
We did lots of research into backpacks, we wanted one a bit bigger than normal but still able to go on as hand luggage. This is the perfect size. Here’s a really important tip when doing any long haul travel with kids -Take an outfit change for everyone in your hand luggage. Not only to cover you in case your hold baggage gets lost but in case of accidents. Ivy threw up all over my husband with 30 mintutes of getting on the plane, then when we arrived in Bangkok Harper had a little (er, no BIG) accident and he had to be completely changed too.  This rucksack fitted not only outfits for 4 people but swimmers, flip flops, ivy’s sleep bag, night vests, nappies, a spare bottle and milk. And the all important iPad. Another essential when travelling. But am guessing you know that already…

Be still my heart. Our little girl is here.

Ivy was born almost 4 weeks ago on a cold and snowy night. I can’t believe I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough love for her…. In fact the opposite is true. I’m overwhelmed with love. She is gorgeous, and precious and valuable beyond words.

I’m going to treasure every moment with her over these next few months, because I know she won’t stay a baby for long. Soon enough she’ll be running around with her brother, causing no end of trouble and probably bossing him around!

But for now she’s mine. And I love her.

January 2011

January 2012

What a difference a year makes. Harper has just turned 2!

May I never get tired of him asking, ‘Mummy, what you doing?’ and ‘What’s that?’ Or his recent request to do painting every 5 minutes. Or running downstairs to get his toolbox to help Daddy fix things. Or his crazy singing where he starts with Postman Pat, swerves into Music Man and ends up with Wheels on the Bus.

Happy Birthday little man. We love you so much.

We’re expecting a baby girl in a couple of weeks now. Life is about to get even more busy and complicated. YIPPEE!

I made Harper a blanket whilst I was pregnant with him, it pretty much took the whole 9 months! For our girl’s blanket I thought I’d keep it a little more simple and use bigger wool. This is actually bamboo wool from Sirdar.

Our moses basket is up. We’re ready. And waiting.

Look! Our boy is growing up.

Harper is an absolute joy at the moment. His capacity to learn new words and to experience new things knows no bounds. I am amazed and excited by him every day. And I just want to watch him and listen to him, to be attentive and be careful not to smother him, to encourage and love him.

I’ve often wondered what this time would be like, when your baby becomes a boy. And I can honestly say it’s better than I ever hoped it would be.

Our special, precious boy.

Our baby boy is ONE.

I wish I could put into words everything we’ve gone through this last year. It’s been exhausting (firstly!) and trying, full of learning and wonder, thrilling and scary but most of all amazing. And without a doubt definitely worth throwing a party to celebrate that fact that we did it!

Harper got a tractor for Christmas which started us thinking about a farmyard theme… He had 5 friends and we had about 25. I think this is the only year our friends will out number his, or else we’ll need a bigger house! A very special day. One for the memory box for sure.

How can it be that I’ve not made any baby cakes yet for Harper? These are my first batch… sugar free muffins. I think it’s safe to say he loves cake as much as his mum. The recipe is from a really great Baby-Led Weaning cookbook.

This post has been a long time coming… Almost as long as it took us to send these cards out!

Why couldn’t we have just bought off-the-shelf thank you cards when Harper was born? Well, because we have a friend who has a Vandercook letterpress in his garage! I just love the look and feel of letterpress printing so we had to have a go…

Well done Daddy. And thank you Al.

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