Tuesday, April 26, 2011


If you are one of those people who finds schmaltzy love sentiments sickening I suggest you stop reading now. Then again you probably stopped reading quite awhile ago. I am aware of this. Sometimes we just need to express. To be grateful. I want to acknowledge how very blessed I feel in my life.

My family is more than I could have dreamed. My daughter is happy, healthy and thriving. She is a joy to be around and I love nothing more than watching her grow.

At 12 months old, every day is a new and exciting discovery... she changes and develops quicker than I have the chance to take in, little alone memorialise. She is walking now, she says several words as well as talks to us in her own way. She is so loving and joyous I can hardly remember a time without her.

I feel BLESSED (yes there is that word) to have her in my life. When I think of her, she truly is a blessing to her Dad and I. We are not religious but I do not know how else to describe what she means to our lives. The two of them make every day special.

My husband literally stops me in my tracks on any given day. I am not sure he will ever know how much I appreciate him, and am inspired by him (I can get a little carried away here as I am fairly certain he will not read this.) I do not know a father like him. I love my Dad more than anything but Grant's patience is like I haven't known. He is completely loving, involved, committed and attached. I aspire to be like him with Avalon-- he does a far better job than I as her parent. He is a natural. He works so hard and comes home to spend quality time with us. He is quite simply, 'a good guy'.

I have friends that struggle to get the same support from their partners; friends that struggle to be on the same parenting 'waive length.' I cannot imagine what that is like and one reason why I am thankful everyday. I know I do not tell Grant enough what he means to me.

Avalon and Grant have their 'routine' at night that is solely theirs... They play together, he bathes her and then reads to her. I relish hearing the laughter from upstairs as they spend time together. Our weekends are ours. Last weekend was a perfect example (it was a long weekend too)- we went for a picnic in the park on Friday, we had a BBQ at home on Saturday, brunch at a cafe in Farnham and wandered the farmers market on Easter Sunday and spent the bank holiday Monday at a petting farm with friends; enjoying the sunshine and time together. It was all about the simplest things and it was perfect.

I make no qualms about the fact I have always been a 'glass half empty' kind of girl so it is important for me to take a moment and acknowledge how very lucky I am.

You you are still reading, well done you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not Goodbye... just See ya for now.

This year is going to be full of changes.

With Grant leaving his job and us consequently moving house; it is exciting and scary to not know where we will be living by the end of the year.

To add to that, we have a few friends that are also facing moves this year.

First to go are the Davies.

I really feel very sad at their departure back to Australia. I met Tracy and Marty in our Ante-natal classes in February of 2010. I was shocked to meet fellow Australians living in the same town as I, and on top of that they had been here for 9 years.

They welcomed their son Owen a week after Avalon was born and Tracy has been nothing short of a Godsend over the past 12 months. I have seen her and Owen atleast 3 times a week and in that time have found an amazingly supportive and generous friend and someone that Avalon just loved to be around.

Late last year, they started talking about moving back to Australia for job opportunities, I can't believe the move happened so fast. They flew out of the UK yesterday.

I am not really good with Goodbyes, and Tracy was adamant that this is just a 'See ya for now'... I am forever grateful for all they have done for us over the past year, not to mention looking after Avalon when I was sick and introducing me to more friends through her Mummy connections. I think the sadness over their leaving was compounded by how close Avalon has grown to them- it will now be a long time before I see her shaking excited face when she sees her Aunty Tracy.

Other friends of ours are also in the process of immigrating to Australia, probably there by February next year and another family are moving to Brighton in 2 weeks.

Lots of changes for all and yet is feels so bitter-sweet.

Good luck all... and we will miss you, from wherever we will be.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Milestones & Blogger Curtain Call (?)

I thought it time to post again about some of Avalon's latest doings and developments.

She is such a funny little girl... she laughs loudly and with her her belly, whether from some secret joke her Father and I do not know, something she sees on TV; usually Peppa Pig or Special Agent Oso (Oh yes, we know them all!), just seeing the cat or purely to get a matching belly laugh out of Grant and I.

She says a number of words; Mum, Dad, Bye, Kitty, Duck and Wow- I think that is all? She LOVES to push around her little pink wooden trolley that carries her blocks (thanks for the gift Nina) She powers across the room, down the garden, wherever she can when she is given a free path without obstructions (and watch out obstruction!) She can almost manoeuvre it back around when she hits a wall and likes to collect toys and bits and pieces as she passes for her trolley.

She waves without abandon when entering and exiting a room, usually in unison with 'bye.'

She has her two top teeth; 4 teeth in total now and I am astonished at how cute baby teeth were (are you still with me?) It is so sweet; 2 front top, 2 front bottom.... I think her molars may be next as she is chewing on them like mad and her gums are white and swollen.

Probably the most exciting development is her walking; she has taken a number of steps now unaided... walking between me and her Dad. She has been walking with our help for about 4 months now, she has such string little legs. Her favourite is to walk with each of us on side of her; a hand holding onto her... the 3 amigos. I am sure her walking confidently will not be far off.... then I will need to move like lightening. She is already so fast with her crawling.

She throws a ball like no other. We have a couple that are fairly dense and heavy and yet she still picks them up and throws them to either her Dad or I. I think throwing things may be her party trick-- balls, puzzle pieces, toys, food... you name it. The food throwing can get a little wearing admittedly.

She is really inquisitive of her surroundings. It doesn't matter whether we are in the house or outside she is looking, touching, tasting everything. She loves the wind in her hair and constantly talks to herself which is terribly sweet to listen to.

Her eyelids flutter as she drinks from her sippy cup.... she likes chocolate soy milk way more than she should and she knows when she likes to get our attention as she pulls her hairclip out. This happens constantly and she will put her hand to her head, pause, make eye contact, smile, and wrench! her hair is so long yet I still can't bring myself to get it cut. It is so beautiful and I love her hair so much.

She really knows my parents now and anticipates our Sunday morning skype calls. She starts swaying back and forth with vigour as my Mum sings Row Your Boat to her. I relish seeing the joy she brings to them.

Her favourite foods are heinz chocolate biscotti, broccoli, english muffins, soy chocolate milk, grapes, cherry tomatoes, potato and satsumas. Her favouite toys right now are kitty, Elmer, Peppa and her dolls house.

She is getting so big! Anticipating her no doubt soon to be walking status, we took her to Clarks to get her first pair of shoes today. her big girl shoes *sigh* She got a photo, a certificate and a growth chart... no doubt she will be out of them pretty quick so alot less bare feet.

As I type this she is lying on Grant on the couch. he is stroking her head to sleep. It's moments like these I tell you... I cannot love him or her any more than I already do... and with that, she is in the land of nod.


Now, like most of my blog posts, this should contain a myriad of photos but as you the reader (if you are still here) would know that once you exceed your free uploads you have to start paying the man... I cannot tell you how annoying this is (even though the amount is minimal) My last blog post was cut short from the many photos I had chosen were given a big read X by blogger as I had exceeded my limit...so.... At this point I am still undecided what I shall do. If I stay on with blogger I shall update my last post (it is the perfectionist in me- it must be just so.)

The fee is not a huge amount but am considering taking redpatentmaryjanes to a new platform.

So, blogspotters, you may hear from me again? Or maybe not.... Either way, I have quite a bit on my plate at the moment with work general social plans (those 1st birthday parties!) and Grant's exams so there probably won't be a change too soon. But... WATCH THIS SPACE.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Birds flying high... you know how I feel...

After spending most of the week feeling pretty sick (tummy bug, will spare you the details, but it was awful) I was determined to get out and enjoy the days sunshine today as well as feeling oh so happy that I was feeling better than I had since Monday.

We set out for Box Hill in Surrey. I had only been there once before with Grant when we were a newly loved up couple. He was home from Germany for a short while so I bunked off work for the day from London, caught the train down to see him and he took me to Box Hill. I was (and still am) so smitten with him that I still remember what I wore that day and even what I ate for lunch at the local pub in Mickleham... That folks, is a sign of love.

So on top of enjoying today with Avalon, it was lovely to reminisce with Grant about the day we had spent here so long ago (gaaaah I wish I could still fit into those little shorts)

What a beautiful place. Home to rolling hills and Michael Caine.

After Box Hill we headed to a petting farm called Bocketts. Avalon had a great time too- animals, swings, KIDS (yes, she loves other children.)

We were also blessed enough to witness the birth of 2 lambs--- yep, even this birth junky tears up at the sight of animals having their young.

*Note... It appears that I now have to pay blogger for the honour of uploading any more photos to my blog (I can only assume that was in some fine print I didn't read... watch this space for the completion of this post* pffft

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Butterfly kisses...

Although we had a party on saturday for Avalon's first birthday we decided to wait tunil the Monday to give her our gifts and blow out the candles on (another) cake.

Along with some bits and bobs we had bought her; clothing, an art crayon roll... we wanted to get her 1 big gift from us. Something she would always have from her Mum & Dad...

We decided on a dolls house.

THIS dolls house.

We got this one from eBay and I absolutely love it! Firstly that it is wooden, secondly that it is preloved, thirdly that it is intended for little hands and last but nowhere near least... it was a bargain!

We picked it up a few weeks ago from a beautiful manor house in Reading and being that Avalon has slept with us we kept it hidden from her in the nursury.

Her birthday morning she loved playing with it, and I am sure as her imagination develops she will get much joy out of it as well. Oh yeah, I think it is pretty darn neat too.

Deja vu

I preface this blog with the fact that I absolutely ADORE my life as I have known it for the past 12 months.
I wouldn't change it for the world, and enjoy my Avalon filled days; we play, we walk, we eat together (I eat, she plays with food) We enjoy loooong (and sometimes very short) milky cuddles and we see our friends. But last week we had a 'shake up' to that routine.

Between the hours of 8am and 6pm, Tuesday and Wednesdays, I don my best pressed trousers, high heels (after the Chuck Taylor's), a good slap of makeup and I become 'K D. .....- Office Worker.'

Yeah... ok, that doesn't sound so great...but hear me out.

So last week I started back at work two days a week. It was/is incredibly hard to leave 'A' on a Tuesday mornings but I am hoping as time goes on it will get a little easier- she is in trusted hands and the additional income will help our family.

I won't lie, there is a part of me that relishes the time also, particularly the to and from work commute. It affords me the opportunity to make more time for two things I haven't done as much of in the past 12 months... listen to music and taking some time out to read.

Ok, yes, the music part is pretty easy and we can do that at home, but plug in my iPod and turn the volume up so loud it probably bothers fellow commuters? No... I can't do that at home with 'A'.

I love getting lost in the song; blocking out all else around and... chill....

My music selection is pretty wide and varied but this morning it was early 90's Metallica, a bit of late 80's REM and a touch of angsty Alanis Morisette.

My ideal living situation at present would be close enough that I could walk to work; a good mile or two.
I walked to work everyday for 2 years when I was living in Central London, 40 minutes each way and it was truly my mediation, even now when I listen to Metallica's S&M album I find myself figuratively transported back to Green Park in the Summer.

I relish routine (I know, weird, hey?) and my routine for the 2 days I am at work involves that commute with a coffee firmly in hand; none of this bring your own from home mess (What is the fun in that?) I figure I can treat myself to a barrista's finest...

For these fleeting moments, I am not just Mum... I am the 'me' I was pre-Mummyhood and sometimes that feels grand.


Monday, April 4, 2011

✿ Mother's Day ✿

My first Mothers Day was all that I could have wished for... A lovely breakfast prepared my an  Ergo and Avalon clad, Grant... a walk in Frimley Lodge Park and play on the swings (Avalon not I) Followed by a Mexican feast for lunch... I believe there was a cheeky cocktail in there too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Birthday Girl....

We celebrated Avalon's 1st birthday at Farnham Leisure Centre on Saturday the 2nd April. 
It was a joint birthday party with her friend Owen who will soon be departing these chilly shores for Australia. 
We had soft play and a jumping castle followed by cake and goodies.
Thank you to all her friends who came... we had a blast and appreciate all your love.