She makes it outside

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So this weather, the cold, the damp, the chill in your bones, makes you want to hibernate all over again even though you had slowly been convincing yourself that Spring is indeed coming.

The problem with hibernating for me is two-fold. One, I get cabin fever being cooped up inside for too long and two, I have a 2 year old boy. Neither of these things are conducive to staying inside.

Before I had a child I was not what you would describe as ‘outdoorsy’ my leaving the house to avoid cabin fever would constitute going to a coffee shop or somewhere else indoors. This has changed somewhat.

Luckily, Grandpa obligingly has an allotment.

  

  
And said allotment is just through a little gate at the back of his garden. This makes it close enough to civilisation ( a fully working toilet plus warm house) for me to cope.

  
All in ones/puddle suits are also amazing as you can pretty much cover your child in waterproof, wipe clean material that means mud etc don’t cause an issue.

So an adventure outside but close enough to civilisation and without having to worry about dirty clothes. 

  
It was cold, it was damp and I could feel the chill in my bones but it was also fun, exhilarating and something to spark joy.

  
The term ‘outdoorsy’ may be one I’m willing to cultivate as part of who I am. 

  
 

She makes time to listen

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Half term has arrived and with it conjunctivitis for little man. When I arrived home after work yesterday he looked like he had done a few rounds in the boxing ring. Thankfully the eye drops are helping but when you’re 2 years old and constantly touching your face and eyes it is no fun at all.

We had a 5:30am start this morning. Mornings like these I am grateful that we have catch up tv and Bing on series record. It was a morning of television and snuggling and dozing.  

 CBeebies whether you love it or hate it does serve an excellent purpose on days like this especially if you steer what is watched.

  
Little man then perked up after his eye drops and a quiet start to the day. 

 I had a few messages from a friend going through a bit of a rough patch and was able to send love and encouragement. Taking the time to be thoughtful in my responses and make sure they knew I was completely for them all the way.

Another friend visited us and we spoke for a while about a very difficult and heartbreaking situation and took the time to listen and to care and not offer any solution or way forward as sometimes there just isn’t one and it has to be worked through and out in a messy way.

  
We went to spend time with friends we haven’t seen for a long while and were able to reconnect and let them know they are still very much a part of who we are.

Today it has been about making time to listen and to talk. For a while, I had neglected doing that. Living only in my head and not being fully myself or really letting anyone in.

Today was about being open and being confident in who I am, not shying away from the world. 

Today was about letting people know they are loved and important and cared for deeply.

She makes pancakes

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Ok, so I know it isn’t pancake day anymore but it was life group night and pancake day this week so it had to be done.

This week has been trying and challenging. At the beginning of it tonight seemed like a distant dream never to arrive.

Tonight I sat round the table with a small amount of people who have the biggest impact on my life. We made pancakes, we laughed, we talked, we posed those questions we all usually keep in our heads like :

‘Why do we find it so difficult to be real with others?’ 

‘Why is being vulnerable and revealing our true self so hard?’

Why do we constantly pretend we have it all together and only let people know we are struggling when we reach the end of our rope?’

These people are those I am my most real and my most raw with, my warts and all people, my take me as I am people.

These people change my life on a daily basis.

Tonight, there was no where I would rather have been than sat in my kitchen making pancakes.

She makes sacrifices

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This week is taking its toll. I am physically and emotionally spent. Today was a long day, I left work much later than I wanted to after having a few hundred more things added to my to do list for tomorrow. This means a working evening as well.

One of my light reliefs, things that sparks joy, keep me sane at times like this is time with my 2 year old son. He is a gentle reminder of what life is all about.

Tonight, I came home to this… 

 A completely bushed and out for the count toddler. A, couldn’t stay awake any longer, fallen asleep in the chair toddler.

I last saw him, spoke to him, played with him, hugged him before 7am this morning.

I will next speak to him at 6am tomorrow.

This is the sacrifice of the working mother, the moment of pause that keeps me going not available for me today because I am too late. 

She makes time for Sunday baking

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On a Friday little man has dinner at his childminder’s so when we all get home we have some extra time before bedtime. I decided that we should be intentional about having a planned activity that we do together in this time as a way of kick starting the weekend. This led to Friday Night Baking becoming a mini tradition in our house.

Thing with best laid plans and all of that are that you often need to adapt and change depending on the circumstances of the moment.

Little man can be exhausted by the time we get to Friday as he has such a super week full of activities and baking just does not work with a tired 2 year old!

Saturday morning then became baking time instead as 5:30am starts mean it is perfectly plausible to find yourself making cakes or biscuits at 8:30am.

This weekend we didn’t manage Friday or Saturday for baking. This is not a problem, it doesn’t have to become an expectation or a chore to have to do it. The thing is, it is something we all enjoy and for me a measure of a good weekend. The fact that we can carve out some time to work on a project all together and with quick results is something that sparks joy for me. 

Today I made time for Sunday baking – it was one of our moments. 

  
Baking with a 2 year old has its challenges but it is also a great deal of fun.

  
Today we made Rocky Roads. We used Nigella’s recipe which can be found here Nigella’s Rocky Roads as we had no Rich Tea biscuits we used Digestives instead.  

  

 It would be foolish to think we could get through a whole recipe without something being eaten so I keep a bowl with very small amounts of treats nearby to substitute for the mixture we are making at the time

  

I use foil trays as they are lighter and easier for small hands to work with and it also means we can make a number of smaller batches.

As we made these late afternoon they are chilling in the fridge until tomorrow so no late night sugar consumption issue occur.

The more we bake together the more I see the progress little man is making with listening to and following the instructions of a recipe. His fine and gross motor skills are benefiting too. 

  
Do you have any go to recipes that are quick and simple to make? Or any tips on how to teach cooking skills? 

I will be posting more of our baking escapades here weekly so let me know of any recommendations.