37 - Camp - 3am.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yesterday after probably a year of "shall we/shan't we" we finally got up the courage to go camping.

No big deal to most and it never used to be to us. The last time we camped was at Glastonbury 2007. Pre-children and pre having a worry or care in the world.

Last night I lay in the tent (more on the tent in a future post) listening to every cough or shuffle, wondering if my daughter was too cold or if my son would wake up screaming from a night terror and wake the whole site. Wondering if by some freak of nature they'd both wind up with hypothermia over night and I'd wake up to critically ill (or worse) children in the morning. Over kill on the drama for most but when it comes to my children and keeping them alive I'm a bit tetchy (if you've been reading this blog for a while you'll get why). Fast forward past a lot of tossing and turning and not sleeping to about half three when we heard Dominic and the inevitable "I need a wee". We checked in to the kids "room" to get him out to see Eve totally out of the sleeping bag curled up tiny as could be, I was horrified. While Alan (my husband) took the boy out for the necessary I sorted a dithering Eve back in to her sleeping bag. After Dominic got back in we settled them both back in and zipped the compartment up to let them sleep and got back in to our own sleeping bags. On my part now even more worried about the baby (who is two now and no longer really a baby), when I suddenly hear Eve shout excitedly... "I'm two!" Since her birthday she's been fascinated by this info. Another excited shout "I'M TWO!" - cue Dominic giggling. "I'm like a FISH!" - no idea why this came to her but at this point all of us were giggling. A couple more "I'm two"s and "I'm a fish"s and Dominic got out of his sleeping bag, went over to Eve and gave her a kiss goodnight and got back in to his own bag almost as to say "there-there dear". Touched by this and still giggling to the point of crying now somehow things didn't seem like quite such a worry.

Now we are planning our next trip. Learning from the first and honing our experience. Planning adventures and looking forward to the next lot of 3am giggles. Learning how to be the family we always dreamed we would be.

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Do any of you have any tips on camping with small ones to share? Would love to hear about them...

36.2 - Birthday / Stationery

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Greenhead Park Birthday Party - Bell Tent
The tent seems to hover as if by magic.
Greenhead Park Birthday Party - Paddling pool

The day itself was a blur of tiny figures streaking across the park, and enjoying the sunshine between making sure everyone was fed/watered and not wandering off from the party when they shouldn't be - 16 kids with their own agenda, in a park, joyfully we managed not to lose a single one!

The children had a great time, we had many total strangers ask where we had gotten the tent from (it was hired from Kirklees Council but we are so smitten we will be investing in our own 4m version) and most people in attendance said what a great time was had. We were also hugely lucky with the weather as the sun doesn't seem to have really broken through since let alone been paddling pool weather! I'm going to point out with the photos above that we are in the paddling pool and not the pond in the top picture - eew.

All in all we feel lucky to have such a great local park (Greenhead Park, HD1) and couldn't thank either warden we dealt with enough for being so good to us in planning and helping us set up on the day.

36.1 - Birthday / Stationery

Alfies Studio - Party Invitations
I wanted to capture a feel of cowboys and indians meets teddy bears picnic for a boyish rather than babyish aesthetic.
Alfies Studio - Party Invitations
As well as invites I created Thank You's, colouring cards, badges and bingo cards that had activities to do in the park that had to be done before getting a party bag, they seemed to be a hit and made sure everyone got involved. 
I've been meaning to open the doors on how the birthday invites for Dominic and Evelyn's joint party went for a couple of weeks now but seem to have been flat out doing rather than sharing. More about that on the weekend/next week when I round up the latest work I've been doing.

You may or may not have noticed that I've given this post a .1 in the title. I felt that I wanted to share the party stationery and the day itself but couldn't quite get right with putting them both in the same post for some reason. Party snaps to follow in 36.2 - Birthday / Stationery.

Off the shelf versions of these invites and more are available now at the shop.

35 - Party Bags

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Party Bags from Alfies Studio
Party Bags from Alfies Studio

Party bags are often filled with items that never seem to last the car ride home or are sugar loaded and set us up for a nightmare time of getting the kids to go to sleep, I figured it was about time there was a stylish and easy to buy alternative that contains toys that will last and a healthy but fun treat. I've been working on this for a while now and can hand on heart say it has been THE most fun thing on my desk for a while.

I have enjoyed the deliveries of toys that turn up and make average days feel like Christmas. I've enjoyed road testing things with the children and "working" with them to see what will be popular for the target age range and mostly I've loved having the kiddos involved with work. It's usually something that is kept completely separate (sticky fingers on freshly printed wedding invites or birth announcements would not be good) but I've actually really enjoyed blending work + kiddos together and getting them involved in the design and curation process and distilling down a list of over 50 toys (that I wanted if I'm honest) to a manageable and marketable number. Today I put the first batch of party bags out in to the world (my smalls are not so small any more at 4 and almost 2 and today was their joint birthday celebration). I'm still trying to come up with a catchy product name, and keep falling back in to loot or bounty bags - clearly I'm in a pirate kinda place right now - all contributions of the name variety will be joyfully accepted and considered.

I'm adding the listing to the shop soon so if you are interested you can pop on over and take a look.

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