Coming of Age: The Safety Net of Secure Attachment

Welcome to the September 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Safe

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and tips about protecting our families. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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A short while ago I happened upon an article that is profoundly direct, honest and also upsetting, but necessary. That article was (*TRIGGER WARNING*) The Myth of the Teenage Temptress: Or Why A Young Girl Can Not Consent to Sex With An Adult Man, and straight away I knew what I wanted/needed to contribute to the topic of ‘staying safe’.

Thinking back and collecting my thoughts for this have not been easy as writing about other subjects, but I always knew that at some point I would need to carefully (and kindly) evaluate my own not-so-distant past in order to help my children with what (as grandmothers seem so fond of reminding us) is their not-so-distant future. Albeit that they are only nearly 1 and 4 years old.

For the most part – cuts, scrapes and even broken bones will heal much faster and leave far less lasting impact than the consequences of many teenagers and young adults’ ‘risky behavior’.
Once we’ve passed the years where our children’s safety can largely be ensured with a correctly fitting this or a locked or restricted that, when our children’s safety and well-being become less and less directly in our hands, then how do we protect our precious babies? Are we helpless against the sea of cultural dangers and terrifying waves of various hormones?

The answer of course is no, we are not helpless. We have the opportunity right from birth to lay down the best foundations their long-term safety. From being open and informative about sexual and drug issues with our youngsters, to modeling empathy and teaching children about consent and respect for their own and others’ personal boundaries (see this great article for more on this!).
Nearly all parents realize that this kind of preparation is important, but it seems to me that perhaps the most valuable and effective measure for safe-guarding our ‘young-adults-to-be’ often get’s overlooked.

First of all (without getting into great detail) let me share a little of my own background so that you may understand why this topic is so close my heart.
My mother, who had left my father at the age of four, became a foster-carer when I was just six years old. She trained for a new scheme that the social services had going at the time called TPS – Teenage Placement Scheme. What that seemingly ambiguous term really meant was that TPS carers would take only teenagers and generally the ‘tougher’ cases that the other ‘mainstream’ carers were not keen, or trained to take on.

I was an only child (though I had half siblings too distant to see regularly) and was keen to have the company.
My first ‘foster sister’ was a lovely gentle girl with Downs Syndrome who stayed for several months, followed by a 14/15 year old girl with kidney disease who exasperated her parents with her ‘normal-teen-antics’.. I adored her.
It seemed like they were easing us in however, for after those initial two placements the girls who came arrived from increasingly more unsettling backgrounds and were more and more troubled.

Over the years I lived periodically with dozens of girls who came from situations of serious neglect to extensive sexual abuse. The vast majority of them were very promiscuous and frequently put themselves in ‘high-risk’ situations.
Many of those girls, flirted heavily and even pursued older guys, and so most did enter sexual relationships with young men well over the age of consent while they were still under (16 here in the UK).

It may partly have been that this early promiscuity had become almost normalized for me that it didn’t concern me much when my peers at school were also having sexual relationships with much older boys (over the legal age) and as my hormones ran wild and I myself began to crave the attention, more and more, of of the opposite sex, I found it was much easier to hook the advances of guys several years older than the admiration’s of my peers.

Let me clarify. Myself and my friends and even some of the placements I lived with did not come from abusive backgrounds (as far as I know) and yet we all invited the sexual attentions of older guys – encouraged further by the false promise of real love and affection…which of course was devastating when we were disappointed by the truth. Also of course, as we were emotionally unready for such situations and so unable to make sound judgements, this led frequently to possibly traumatic situations all of which only compounded feelings of self-loathing and loneliness leading to yet more desperation for validation and risky behavior.

My point in sharing all this is that there is a common underlying factor between kids engaging in ‘risky behavior’, such as underage sex, who come from abusive situations and those doing it who seem to come from apparently ‘good’ homes.
That is…  LONELINESS (and generally accompanying low-self esteem)

You see you can feed them, clothe them, teach them, praise them and even love them but if you don’t have time for them, are fighting against them often or your relationship is generally so strained that for some reason that they do not feel a deep enough connection with you, then they are open to trouble, seriously.

What ultimately drives girls into the careless or even predatory arms of older men? Loneliness – the need for intimacy.

What ultimately drives youngsters to join in with the risky behavior of friends, such as drug taking?
Loneliness – the need for bond and connection.

Deep unbroken connections and attachments to family is the most powerful safe-guard of all. This is why I believe so strongly in gentle/attachment parenting.

I only hope my own children, mindfully kept wrapped in the golden blanket of my love, never feel so disconnected or so lonely. May they always keep themselves safe.

Were you a lonely teen/young adult? Did need for deep connection ever lead you into un-safe situations?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon September 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Stranger Danger — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her approach to the topic of “strangers” and why she prefers to avoid that word, instead opting to help her 4-year-old understand what sorts of contact with adults is appropriate and whom to seek help from should she ever need it.
  • We are the FDA — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger makes the case that when it comes to food and drugs, parents are necessarily both their kids’ best proponent of healthy eating and defense against unsafe products.
  • You Can’t Baby Proof Mother Nature — Nicole Lauren at Mama Mermaid shares how she tackles the challenges of safety when teaching her toddler about the outdoors.
  • Bike Safety With Kids — Christy at Eco Journey In the Burbs shares her tips for safe cycling with children in a guest post at Natural Parents Network.
  • Spidey Sense — Maud at Awfully Chipper used a playground visit gone awry to teach her children about trusting their instincts.
  • Watersustainablemum explains how she has used her love of canoeing to enable her children to be confident around water
  • Safety without baby proofing — Hannabert at Hannahandhorn talks about teaching safety rather than babyproofing.
  • Coming of Age: The Safety Net of Secure AttatchmentGentle Mama Moon reflects on her own experiences of entering young adulthood and in particular the risks that many young women/girls take as turbulent hormones coincide with insecurities and for some, loneliness — a deep longing for connection.
  • Mistakes You Might Be Makings With Car Seats — Car seats are complex, and Brittany at The Pistachio Project shares ways we might be using them improperly.
  • Could your child strangle on your window blinds? — One U.S. child a month strangles to death on a window blind cord — and it’s not always the obvious cords that are the danger. Lauren at Hobo Mama sends a strong message to get rid of corded blinds, and take steps to keep your children safe.
  • Tips to Help Parents Quit Smoking (and Stay Quit) — Creating a safe, smoke-free home not only gives children a healthier childhood, it also helps them make healthier choices later in life, too. Dionna at Code Name: Mama (an ex-smoker herself) offers tips to parents struggling to quit smoking, and she’ll be happy to be a source of support for anyone who needs it.
  • Gradually Expanding Range — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook explains how she is increasing the area in which her child can walk alone, a little bit at a time.
  • Safety Sense and Self Confidence — Do you hover? Are you overprotective? Erica at ChildOrganics discusses trusting your child’s safety sense and how this helps your child develop self-confidence.
  • Staying Safe With Food Allergies and Intolerances — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is sharing how she taught her son about staying safe when it came to his food allergies.
  • Don’t Touch That Baby!Crunchy Con Mom offers her 3 best tips for preventing unwanted touching of your baby.
  • Playground Wrangling: Handling Two Toddlers Heading in Opposite Directions — Megan at the Boho Mama shares her experience with keeping two busy toddlers safe on the playground (AKA, the Zone of Death) while also keeping her sanity.
  • Letting Go of “No” and Taking Chances — Mommy at Playing for Peace tries to accept the bumps, bruises and tears that come from letting her active and curious one-year-old explore the world and take chances.
  • Preventing Choking in Babies and Toddlers with Older Siblings — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now gives tips on preventing choking in babies and toddlers along with Montessori-inspired tips for preventing choking in babies and toddlers who have older siblings working with small objects.
  • Keeping Our Children Safe: A Community and National Priority — September has many days and weeks dedicated to issues of safety; however, none stir the emotions as does Patriot Day which honors those slain the terrorist attacks. Along with honoring the victims, safety officals want parents to be ready in the event of another disaster whether caused by terrorists or nature. Here are their top tips from Mary at Mary-andering Creatively.
  • A Complete Family: Merging Pets and Offspring — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the ground rules that she laid out for herself, her big brown dog, and later her baby to ensure a happy, safe, and complete family.
  • Be Brave — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about helping her kids learn to be brave so that they can stay safe, even when she’s not around.
  • Catchy PhrasingMomma Jorje just shares one quick tip for helping kids learn about safety. She assures there are examples provided.
  • Know Your Kid — Alisha at Cinnamon&Sassfras refutes the idea that children are unpredictable.
  • Surprising car seat myths — Choosing a car seat is a big, important decision with lots of variables. But there are some ways to simplify it and make sure you have made the safest choice for your family. Megan at Mama Seeds shares how, plus some surprising myths that changed her approach to car seats completely!
  • I Never Tell My Kids To Be Careful — Kim is Raising Babes, Naturally, by staying present and avoiding the phrase “be careful!”

Tales of an E.C Mama…

This evening I was sat in bed next my sleeping daughter, doing some reading of bits and bobs online, and I became aware of this very odd smell. It was very strong but not especially unpleasant – kind of like when one of your neighbours is cooking something that smells decidedly NOT delicious but you can’t quite figure out why or what they are actually cooking.
I began to worry that I’d left something on the hobs on..like an empty pan just heating and heating with not quite enough foodstuff stuck to it to cause an actual burning smell. I went downstairs to check…nope nothing burning/smelting. I returned back upstairs and the smell returned a short while later.. this was starting to get weird!

Then suddenly as I was settling down to get comfortable again I remembered that the ‘top-hat’ potty up on the side near the bed still had a little wee in it that I’d forgotten to empty as soon as she fell asleep and as I picked it up it hit me (not the wee thankfully!) but the sudden recolletion that I gave Dawncub a couple of asparagus spears at dinnertime.
..and THAT explained a lot!

Bare-Faced Breast-Feeding! (A little bit Wordy Wednesday)

So I noticed a call out for a Wordless Wednesday post on Breastfeeding Around the World at Nursing Freedom and it piqued my interest enough to make the time (I was going to play a game of scrabble with Papamoon) to post again after this long period of blogging dormancy.. hopefully it’s the beginning of much more to come!

I’ve never been shy of breast feeding a young baby in public.
Over nine months and I start feeling a bit more self-conscious, but not to the point where it would ever stop me. I do find myself however doing a kind of ninja reflex upon my child’s departure from the boob, to try to keep my nipple out view as their head no longer serves as a modesty cover… which is absurd really as I think that the over-sexualisation of female nipples is continued only by perpetuating this silly taboo in such a way.. but hey, I’m not going to beat myself up about it too much.

I’ve breast fed in some interesting places. These days I even make a point of being visible when I feed in order to try to contribute to the normalization of nursing in public. I consciously put myself out of my comfort zone sometimes in the hopes that it might make one more person feel more confident about nursing publicly (I say ‘person’, rather than ‘mother’, because how comfortable fathers feel about NIP can have a huge impact on how his partner will feel about doing it). So I routinely sit in the most visible spot, in a busy place, across form a group of teenagers in the park, in a coffee shop window seat, etc and I nurse my hungry baby with all the gusto of a domestic Boadicea!

The most daring place I’ve breastfed was in the back of a large fabric store in the center of Birmingham. It was when my son was about 8 or 9 months old and I was on the hunt for the right material to make my own stretchy wrap carrier, and had been waiting for someone to come and advise me on the materials they stocked. There were only a few members of staff and they had been a long time talking to other customers and in the meantime Mooncub had gotten frantically hungry. I had hoped to hold out until we had left since we were in a very Muslim area and everyone in the shop other than me appeared to be an Asian Muslim. I had no way of feeding without exposing a little of my chest and I wasn’t sure how well that uncovered-ness would be received. Eventually I steeled my self, determined to put my child’s needs before my own worries. I settled down sat cross legged on the floor at the back of the store. He’d just moved onto the other boob when a youngish male member of staff finally came over to talk to me about the fabric for my wrap. He looked a bit bemused more than anything but said nothing. I muttered something about my baby getting so hungry during the looong wait and then moved onto asking the price of a rather vibrant purple jersey fabric –  of which I left the store with enough for three wraps and a satisfied and happy baby!

Here are a selection of photo’s of me publicly feeding Dawncub. Unfortunately I could find any with Mooncub though I know over the 2.5 years he nursed for, there were plenty of occasions, clearly I must have been less inviting of the camera!

Waiting for the Christmas steam train.

Don't worry I wasn't skating holding Dawncub.. This is on our street and  PapaMoon had just brought her out to me for a quick feed.

Don’t worry I wasn’t skating holding Dawncub.. This is on our street and PapaMoon had just brought her out to me for a quick feed.

Dawncub enjoying a real Babychino in the coffee shop window!

Dawncub enjoying a real Babychino in the coffee shop window!

Wordless Wednesday: Introducing….

So I am feeling rather guilty.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything and it suddenly occurred to me that anyone coming by this blog and seeing my last few pre-birth posts may be a little concerned that something untoward could have happened, when actually we are all well and thriving.
It’s merely due to the fact that although I was aware that things would be more intense with the arrival of our second child, I still underestimated just how little time or energy I would have each day after completing the bare minimum of domestic tasks and providing my littles with the attention they deserve (or at least as much as I can give).
Blogging has simply become one activity that I’ve had to let go of for a while.. a sort of unintentional blogging ‘babymoon’ pause.

Having said that I’ve been really itching to announce the arrival of our daughter who will be named here as ‘Dawncub’ for the same reasons surrounding privacy as I mentioned for her brother ‘Mooncub’ – they may thank me one day, or they may not care a jot, but I’d rather play it safe.

So since I can’t get much writing done at the moment, Wordless Wednesday is perhaps just what I need to get this out finally (even if by that time it happens to be Thursday!), So here goes….

Introducing our daughter ‘Dawncub’, who was born at home in the water on September 11th 2012 at 4.09am.

She weighed 6lb12oz at birth and has breast-fed well from the start and doubled in weight since.

She has had wide open curious eyes, right from the beginning and aside from one chesty cold recently she has otherwise been a picture of health – a real bonny baby!

Mooncub adores her!

So she is now over 12 weeks, teething already but still smiling heaps and generally loving life.
Here are a selection of photos from our first few days with our new family member!

Last photo of our family before the birth!

Last photo of our family before the birth!

Mooncub with his new baby sister not much more than an hour after her birth - which he attended!

Mooncub with his new baby sister not much more than an hour after her birth – which he attended!

Dawncub's first bath. It felt great to return to the water with her.

Dawncub’s first bath. It felt great to return to the water with her.

She had smiles for us right from the beginning.

She had smiles for us right from the beginning.

Squidge!

Squidge!

Mooncub in love!

Mooncub in love!

A family snooze - we've sidecar'd a cot to our small double to make more room.

A family snooze – we’ve sidecar’d a cot to our small double to make more room.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these, there are many more to come and SO MUCH to write about when I’m able to get back on it properly.. Our ‘Birth Story’ is soon to come, news of our ‘E.C Journey’ hopefully soon also, my ‘Hospital Story’, how we’ve adjusted to life as a family of four, and so much more.. so do check back!

Pregnancy To-Do-List…

SOooooOOoooo much to do…

Maybe it’s the coming of the Full Blue Moon tomorrow (Mooncub was born on the first full moon of a blue-moon month!) but I’ve had a real sense of imminence these last few days and have had a strong feeling for most of the pregnancy that I may not get the full 40 weeks to be prepared.. then yesterday two things happened – the birth-pool arrived in the morning (yaaay!) and then I started getting rather frequent, though thankfully not painful tightenings that went on until bedtime… not Ideal at 36 weeks, give me one more week at least dear universe!

Anyhow, in an attempt to alleviate my anxiety about not being quite ready I decided to take a look at my Pre-Birth/Pregnancy To-Do-List, and here it is so far!…

  • Write out Birth Plan and prep Papa Moon
  • Re-arrange bedroom and Side-car a Cot to our bed for more Co-sleeping space
  • De-clutter and re-arrange study/storage/guest room
  • Clear and tidy downstairs ready to be able to quickly set-up as lovely birthing space
  • Buy Birth-Pool
  • Put together Home-Birth Kit Box and also potential Transfer Bag
  • Put together Birthing Playlist of music I might want to listen to while I’m in Labour
  • Write/paint out some affirmations, and gather pictures and soy or beeswax candles for relaxing and inspiring birthing space
  • Put all freshly washed baby clothes and cloth nappies away ready for use…somewhere!
  • Buy decent buggy that works for both newborn and toddler
  • Buy new car seat
  • Have a Mother blessing gathering/Blessingway
  • Contact Local doulas
  • Look into Placenta Encapsulation
  • Deal with mountain of laundry
  • Hire professional carpet cleaner machine and do carpets and rugs ready for a new crawler!
  • Make some pot’s for my plants and little earthenware cups for Steiner School
  • Get my hair cut and coloured

I made sure to take it easier today and there has definitely been less womb activity as a result, but with my mother coming over and taking Mooncub out on his trike to the park,  and the incredible help and energy of my mother-out-law and Ed, we managed to get the spare room totally re-organized!
So that’s one more off the list and it will make it a whole lot easier to deal with the rest of the house now there is more space up there to move stuff to.

With a bit of luck I’ll be able to tick a few more off the list tomorrow, and for anyone who might be interested I’ll then post what went into my Birth-Plan, Birth-Kit & Birth Playlist etc as I get around to them.

Not sure there will be any Doulas in my area available this late in the day and I may have to let a few other things on the list go too, including the Blessingway sadly.. but so long as our home feels welcoming and ready and we’re prepared for B-Day then I’ll be able to relax into labour whenever it begins for real, and that’s what matters most…

Wordless Wednesday: A Day On the Severn Valley Railway

Yesterday (Tuesday) was my father-outlaw’s birthday, and he’d had the wonderful idea to spend it as a family traveling the the Severn Valley Railway line by steam train.

It was Mooncub’s first time on a steam train and although I had apparently taken this journey before, I could not recall it at all, and so it felt like my first time too.

It was such an aesthetically pleasing day – a real feast for the senses, so it was just too easy to take lot’s of beautiful photos – I must have amassed a couple of hundred altogether!
It was really difficult to narrow it down to even this many, but I’m really glad to be able to share them with you ~ Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Meeting up with my mum before climbing aboard.


Getting to have a look at the furnace in the engine room!

Having a quiet moment with Ed’s mum – Mooncub’s NannyC

Ed’s Parents… So many lovely birthday smiles from his dad!

The random chicken we met wandering around the town of Bridgnorth!

Enjoying the view, and some bubbles, from a lovely Bridgnorth churchyard.

The weather held out for us all day – then as an extra treat, a brief thundery downpour followed by this beautiful bold rainbow as we headed home!

Admittedly it is now late Thursday evening.. but hey, that was a lot of narrowing down I had to do! ;0)

A Pregnant Pause… & My 33 Week bUmPDATE!

It’s been a little quiet on my blog for a while now I know.
Though a good few posts have been started, a combination of a busy couple of weeks spent away from home (cat/house sitting for my mum and then a week in London seeing friends and family) and some emotional ups and downs have really dampened my writing mojo.

I hope it won’t be too long before I can get back in the blogging flow and when I do at least there will be plenty to write about!

In the meantime here’s another little bump update…

32 Week Bump

Technically bump photo taken around 32 Weeks as this was several days ago.

As for how the pregnancy is progressing for the most part all is going marvelously!

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how well my back is holding up compared with around this time in my first pregnancy where I could barely move without spasms of agony.
This time I’ve been as active as ever and only really getting a bit uneasy in my movement from infrequent pangs of SPD (pelvic pain), but I even seem to have that more under control this time by taking non-gm Soy Lecithin Granules - which was a piece of advice I read online ages ago and it really has helped a lot!

My back has also improved even more since I saw a Chiropractor in London a couple of weeks ago. The night after the first treatment was the first night in a few weeks that I was able to sleep without waking almost hourly to change positions to ease back ache and cramping in my hips and thighs. The effect it’s had on my ability to rest more deeply has lasted all this time since – which has been worth every bit of the extra expense.

The only downer lately has been my growing anxiety about the fact that my little wombling has been lying side-long (Tranverse Lie), as far as I’ve been able to tell, consistently since my 20 week scan. Not head down or breech at any point which has had me fretting about why that might be – my main concern is that she is stuck for some reason as it often feels like she is trying hard to change position but can’t quite manage it.

It’s played on my mind that she is rapidly running out of space now and that turning will be even harder for her in the coming weeks so aside from having the Chiropractor I saw try the highly commended Webster Technique on me, I have also been doing the daily inversion recommended on the Spinning Babies Website as well as a few handstands in the local swimming baths the other day!

I have an ultrasound scan booked for a ‘placenta check’ in week or so as they were unable to see it clearly a the 20week scan. I am waiting anxiously for this scan because it seems that a ‘low-lying placenta’ can be a real cause of babies getting stuck in less than favorable positions, and a placenta that is too low really wouldn’t be good news anyway so I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it isn’t the issue.

My Iron in my blood samples levels came back marginally low which might explain some of the big ‘slumps’ in energy and mood and headaches I’ve been experiencing. The doctor has prescribed some Iron tablets but as these can be a little hard on the stomach I’ve decided to try a more gentle herbal Iron liquid formula from the wholefood store first and see how that goes.

Mooncub is besotted with his sister already it seems and often comes to snuggle my belly and smother it with sweet little kisses and talk to her about all kinds of random things. She’s very responsive to his voice and I think she will be as delighted to meet him as he will be to finally meet her. I can’t wait! (but of course I will!)

So there’s plenty more to tell but it can wait.. I’m slowing down a little now as is probably a good idea since we’re getting close, and though still feeling strong, I’m also getting heavy and a little waddlesome!

….and I’m really very aware now that these are the last weeks we’ll have with Mooncub alone and it’s kind of sad as it is exciting.
I’m embracing that and want to spend every minute I can relishing the time I have left to interact with my best little buddy undistracted.

Counting Blessings 1 2 3…..

Of course I’d always known of the expression ‘to count your blessings’ but it wasn’t until a conversation with a close university friend who was reminiscing fondly of her grandmother one evening, that I realised that it was something that some people actually did.. or at least used to do on a regular basis.

It occurred to me what a healthy practice it would be to ‘count my blessings’ on at least a weekly or monthly basis even, and yet I forgot about it for quite some time.
Since then (which was some years ago) tough times have come and gone, I have had some very low periods emotionally (sad, bad, and mad!), relationship struggles and also all the ups and downs which come with entering parenthood.. and generally though I try to look on the bright side, actually ‘counting my blessings’ was something I rarely remembered to do.

In the past year I have read and heard more and more about the power of positive (and negative) thought, and from certain experiences I have come to hold a lot of stock in this idea – that the things we focus on are often the things we attract more of (Aka ‘The Law of Attraction’).
Not that this means I think we can always avoid befalling tragedy by tra-la-la-ling our way through life, grinning inanely and refusing to acknowledge that some things do simply suck.. but at the very least we will not only see more bright opportunities by focusing on our positives, but ultimately have more energy to invest in staying in the current of awesomeness when it does find us, and likewise have more for pulling out of the turbulence of the tougher times when they come by too.
,And yes. there does also seem to be the ‘magic’ element too of course.. those times when the universe just seems to hear you, like you and want to play!

By the by, a few months ago I was added by a friend to a Facebook group called Today I’m GRATEFUL for…
It’s a wonderful place..so uplifting. With a few thousand members now, some who post daily and some who post very occasionally. It’s great to have the reminder to focus not only on the positive, but also that it feels good to be around positive people…even if it is over the ether! ..and the support for when things are tough for members is extraordinary and very touching. Members make an effort to keep boosting one another up.
I guess this is similar to what religious communities provide for many, and it’s the one thing I’ve always admired about those with subscribed faith.. the positivity and the community!

So finally after all these years of thinking about it, I’ve decided to actually take on this little routine/practice/experiment.. so every Monday I’m going to try to get around to Counting my Blessings.. if I have time I’ll go for a Top 10 if not it may just be a Top 5 – the amount is not so important as the appreciation.

At first I thought maybe I would do it Sunday and end the week with gladness, but then I thought how much better it would be to begin the week with a positively charged spirit.. so Monday it will be, unless I’m too busy; then it may be another day.

rainbow

One other blessing of a rainy summer!

I’ve been working hard at learning to look on the bright side even when it’s rained nearly non-stop all summer! So here are a few weather relevant blessings this week to get started; my first Top 5…

1.  We were officially given tenancy over our already highly weed-overgrown allotment plot a bit too late to really plant any summer vegetables.. it’s turned out to be a blessing though, as because of the constant wet weather this year the number of slugs has been phenomenal, so it would have been pretty devastating (and disheartening) to plant loads then lose it all to the little ravenous suckers!

2. It’s been a really dry few years here in the UK previously and most of the reservoirs have been low.. leading to hose-pipe bans and worries about continuing water shortages. Hopefully this rather dreary summer will be a blessing in that it’ll hopefully lead to ensuring less worry over water supplies should next summer be a real dry scorcher!

3. I’ve had A LOT of preparing to do ready for the arrival of our new little one in September – most of which was/is domestic stuff that has meant that I’ve needed to spend much time indoors decluttering, sorting and re-organizing… so it’s really a blessing that the weather hasn’t been glorious and left me frustrated that I could not be spending all my time in the garden, or at festivals or at our new allotment!
NB: I think I’ve now done enough on my Pregnancy To-Do-List, to warrant a few non-domestic days soaking in the sun though… so whenever you’re ready please O’great (& numerous) weather deities!

4. Although I’m generally very tolerant of very hot weather (and usually get cold very easily) which possibly has something to do with spending my toddler years in Israel, alas pregnancy does make me highly empathize with how the average Brit feels during a summer heatwave! So it’s another blessing that along with the dampness of this summer we have also had fairly cooler temperatures than usual for this time of year, so I’ve spent barely any time feeling too overheated swollen and uncomfortable so far which is good.

5. My last blessing is that we have at least been graced with a few short intervals of lovely sunny weather.. enough to have spent a few really beautiful days out making bright shining new memories to carry with us… Like; my Birthday recently visiting a friends farm and picking strawberries and raspberries there as well as seeing 12 one-day old piglets! ...also seeing horses race at the local racecourse, going to a steam engine event on castle grounds, watching dragon boats race on the river that runs through our city …and of course we’ve spent a few sunny-but-not-too-hot days chopping the weeds down on the allotment.. all very good times!

If you have some of your own blessings you would like to share then please do so below, I would love to hear them!
If you are a blogger then feel free to put a link to your own ‘Counting Blessings..’ blog post, that would be great too!

Wordless Wednesday: June! (+linky)

Dragon boats, Horses and Steam Engines! It’s the stuff that toddlers dreams are made of, and yet we’ve seen all these wonderful things this month!
I’ve been looking back on some lovely days full of wonder and realising that we’ve really made the most of the few sunny days we’ve had this unseasonable month of June
.

Planting Sunflowers

Because it’s been such a wet summer we haven’t done quite as much in the garden as I’d hoped we would, but we’ve managed to get a few goodies in.. including Mooncub’s ‘Red Giant’ Sunflowers!

Dragon Boats

The first time Mooncub (and I) have ever seen a Dragon boat race!
Mooncub adores Dragons so this was especially exciting for him.
We are lucky to live so near a river and I know we’ll spend lots more lovely summer days by it.

Fire Truck

This was by the stands put up for the Dragon Boat Race. We mainly took this picture so Mooncub could show his bump-buddy the awesome emergency vehicle we’d found!

By the Race Course

Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures of the horses, but this was the tree stump, near the end of the racecourse, where we sat and watched he horses and their jockeys thundering around the far end. We were with Mooncub’s ‘Nanny-C’ and ‘Poppa-D’ which is what he calls Papa Moon’s parents. They live very near to the racecourse so I’m sure we will do this many more times!

The Smiley Happy Train

Mooncub and his Bump-buddy couldn’t wait to get aboard ‘The Smiley Happy Train’.. but then with a name like that, who wouldn’t be eager!

Smiley Happy

Feeling Smiley and Happy on the little train!

Steam Engine Day

A Castle, a big old Steam Engine, the Smiley Happy Train & two young friends having the time of their lives in absolute awe and wonderment!
It’s easy to see why this is my favourite photo from the Steam Engine Day!

Play Tractor

….& and finally.. we think that EVERY play park should have a disused tractor for climbing and playing on!

Well, I fell asleep before completing this, so it’s now officially Thursday, but still better late than never! If you’d like to join in with Wordless Wednesday (despite it being Thursday!) then please use the ‘linky’ button below…

bUmPDATE!! ….week 27

I’m just about to sleep, and as usual, little lady is having an end of the day bump-party!
So while I wait for her to settle, I’ll  just share with you a quick little update because we finally got around to taking a few more belly shots last night!

27weeks

This little bean is a really lively one – even more so than Mooncub was. Unlike him though, she has much much more definite routines and I can predict when she is likely to wake up and how long before she will settle. Mooncub has always been fairly resistant to building a routine.. and that kind of personality has had it’s advantages – he’s always been very flexible with bedtimes and nap-times so we’ve been less tied by them for example. I would, if I’m honest, be grateful for a little more predictability this time around though!

We’ve got a name in mind, something that I thought of a long time ago, but which Papa
Moon was resistant to at first – he now seems really keen on it now though.. & Mooncub likes it too!
We so far only have one other name in mind should the first not seem to fit when she arrives. hmmm… going to have to think of her ‘blog’ name might be also!

Otherwise I am happy to report that at the moment I am a happy healthy pregnant mama and all the Pilates I’ve been doing this time around seems to really have been paying off!
My back is doing great, much better than it was at this point in my pregnancy with Mooncub! I’ve been getting very tired but otherwise feeling strong and my immune system seems to be in top form… it’s got to be down to all my healthy eating!

I’ve been looking at birth-pools online.. not sure what to go for just yet. I’m tempted to get a professional La Bassine Pool for when I’m ready to train as a Doula.. yes I want to become a Gentle Moon Doula.. that would be awesome!
If anyone reading this has had a water birth at home I’d love to hear about it and what pool you might recommend!

That’s about it for this bUmPdate!
(…and it seems that someone is ready to let me sleep now!)