Saturday, 14 January 2017

Our Must-Have Baby Books

I was such a bookworm as a child. Whilst most kids were being told off for watching cartoons before school I was being told off for still being in a towel from the shower when it was time to leave because I wanted to read one more chapter. My love for books is something I've always been excited to pass on to my children. 

Reading with children from an early age is important for both their development in terms of language and reading skills and their imagination. We perhaps took it a bit too far and started reading to both our babies before they were even born! I've mentioned before that Haydn reading to my Aneurin bump is one of my most treasured memories and we made sure we carried that on with Lily. And from just days old her daddy has read her a story every night. At nearly five months old it's a solid part of her bedtime routine and is becoming one of her favourite activities during the day too. Whereas the combination of the inflection in our voices and the bright pictures used to just catch her attention enough to listen and look intently, she's recently started squealing and reaching out to touch the pages. It's lovely to see and I can't wait to see what sort of relationship she has with reading as she gets older. 

Despite not being five months old yet, Lily already has quite the book collection. We tend to stick to the same ones at bed time, usually ones with repetition and rhyming because they seem to calm her. So much so in fact that Haydn has started to recite 'We're Going On A Bear Hunt' word for word when she's grumbling and it almost always makes her stop! 

Here are our favourite baby (and children's) books to read with Lily. A lot of them are ones we loved as children with a few new classics thrown in for good measure.

Can't You Sleep Little Bear?

Spot's First Walk
(This is a special one because it was given to me on my first Christmas in 1987!)

I'd love to hear what your favourite books are to read with your children and if there are any you think we need to add to our collection! 

Mrs D x

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

2016: The Year of Rebuilding

2016, a year that brought so much tragedy and difficulty to the world as a whole. A year in which my heart was already broken, broke even more but eventually filled with more love than I could have imagined. Whilst the world lost icons and celebrities, my family lost some of our very beloved own. I've continued to grieve for Aneurin in new and more complex ways and I fought my way through an impossibly anxious pregnancy. I've also sadly witnessed countless families join our community of baby loss and forced to learn how to walk this path.

But amongst the darkness, there has been light. Precious babies have arrived safely, friends have been made, souls have met and most importantly, people have survived. We've put one foot infront of the other and that deserves to be celebrated because life is bloody difficult at the best of times, let alone when things are falling apart on a global scale.  

Last year I desperately didn't want that clock to tick over to 00:00. I wanted Aneurin to be 'this year' not 'last year' and now again, I am struggling with the fact that he won't even be 'last year'. I feel like the more time that passes, the less I am allowed to grieve. I know though, that time means nothing. Aneurin is as present in our family as ever and a new year can't change that. 

It goes without saying (but I'm going to anyway) that Lilian is the greatest part of this year. I will never be able to say this year was awful because it gave me her. This bright eyed, inquisitive, cheeky little girl has swept us completely off our feet. Even when it's 3am, her eyes have pinged open for the 9th time and I'm so exhausted I can feel tears prick at my eyes before they're even open, when I see her in the dark grinning that open mouthed smile that makes her ears twitch and her nose crinkle, my heart feels like it might burst with love. I can't believe there was a time when she didn't exist, it feels like she's always been here somehow just waiting for us. Waiting to come and breathe life back into us. 

Once again I'm torn between not wanting time to pass and feeling hopeful for what it might bring. I'm still so apprehensive about the future, so afraid of looking forward in case more pain lies ahead but maybe that's okay. Maybe I don't need to wonder what 2017 is going to bring. Just sitting in this moment, focusing on what is infront of me is more than enough and right now, the world doesn't look so bad. 

Wishing you all hope, light and peace for the coming year. 

Mrs D x
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