Day in the Life of our Family

Welcome to the March 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Day in the Life

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 given us a special glimpse into their everyday.

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1st March 2015

In this blog post you’ll find twelve photos taken every hour from 8am to 7pm on Sunday 1st March 2015. I include a blurb underneath to further illustrate the photos. It is a ‘typical’ day in the life of our family, as far as any day is typical!

1
8am  Morning bath time

Every morning, Ewan and Tessa have a shower, which becomes a bath as we keep the plug in. They’ll happily play for long periods in the bath, fascinated with the very simple pleasures of splashing and water play. I’m usually dashing around getting ready for the day ahead whilst they’re happily occupied, or if I can, I’m doing my morning yoga stretches. Ewan is looking a bit peeky in this photo, as he was up with a fever in the night and was not himself today. That is why there are fewer photos of him than usual in this blog post and why it appears we only have a daughter!

2
9am Tessa writing a sick note

Tessa saw Ewan writing a ‘sick note’ in his medical vet toy kit and insisted on doing the same. Whatever Ewan is doing, she wants to emulate him, so here she is mark making with daddy’s help.

10am. Playing with playdough
10am Playing with playdough

Today we should have been at Ewan’s martial arts class, but Ewan wasn’t well enough to go. We usually take Ewan twice a week to Marsden Martial Arts and stay there, watching him doing martial arts and keeping an eye on Tessa, who likes to run around in the studio or breastfeed.

Instead, we had a rather relaxed morning at home, which is unusual for us, but was actually enjoyable and beneficial. We spend a lot of time out on day trips and at playgroup or forest school, so it is quite rare for us to spend a whole morning indoors at home. Ewan asked if he could play with the playdough, which of course sparked Tessa to ask to do the same. Here they are happily playing the the playdough Ewan was given as a present from his pre-school at Christmas. I find playdough is very simple and tactile, yet offers endless scope for the imagination with young children.

4
11am Poorly Ewan resting on the sofa

Ewan asked to lie down and relax after eating only a little breakfast, which is most unlike him, poor thing. Here he is looking a little feverish and tired.

Midday. Tessa asleep in her car seat
Midday. Tessa asleep in her car seat

On our way to Hardwick Hall for the afternoon Tessa fell asleep. Hardwick Hall is a National Trust property in Derbyshire close to our home. It is a great place to bring children and dogs, so we are frequent visitors. We are National Trust members, using our membership a lot to visit National Trust properties and grounds with the children. We spend a lot of time driving, although ideally we would like to drive less.  As Ewan was ill today, he also fell asleep and was lifted into his pre-school sling on arrival at Hardwick Hall.

1pm. Lunch at the cafe
1pm. Lunch at the cafe

Having lunch at Hardwick Hall cafe with our friends Matt and Carol. Matt is Rich’s work colleague and good friend, Carol is Matt’s wife and also a good friend of ours. They recommended us to the dog breeder’s where we bought our yellow Labrador Hector from. Their own yellow Labroador, Benson, is Hector’s second cousin and he was from the same breeders. He nine months older than Hector and a little wilder than our placid dog, in the nicest possible sense! We meet up with Matt and Carol every few months in order to catch up and for our dogs to have a play-date. Our dogs love having a run around together, generally causing a little havoc and a lot of amusement! Many times I have found it hard to distinguish one dog from the other as they race enthusiastically around.

We tend to eat outside with Hector as we don’t like to leave him tied up outside alone, so here we are braving the cold of early March in the UK. We often pack a picnic, but today we treated ourselves to lunch out with our friends.

7
2pm Family portrait

All the family at Hardwick Old Hall, owned by English Heritage. Ewan is in his pre-preschool sling, Tessa is in her toddler Wombat sling. It is fairly typical on a day out for Tessa to be carried a lot of the time and Ewan a little, so our slings come in very handy. In fact, they are an invaluable part of our daily existence;  I wouldn’t go anywhere with children without them.

We have visited the Old Hall many times, which Ewan finds interesting as it is a ruin and therefore ‘very old’. He asks a lot of questions about the building each time we visit. It is also great as dogs are allowed in the ruins, so Hector can plod along with us and climb up to the top of the hall, where we look out at views of Derbyshire stretching almost to our house from that height.

 

3pm Hector and Benson
3pm Hector and Benson

The dogs in the boot of Matt and Carol’s car. We know that Hector would happily go home with Matt and Carol and live there! He was rather reluctant to jump out and into his own pen in the boot of our car, where we left him as we explored new Hardwick Hall. Our meeting with Matt and Carol was unfortunately somewhat curtailed due to the heavy rain and wind.

4pm. Nursing Tessa
4pm. Nursing Tessa

Here I am breastfeeding Tessa whilst reading about Hardwick Hall. Tessa woke up from a nap in the sling and immediately asked for milk; ‘miilt‘ as she says! She often feeds on waking up, as a way to come round and rejoin the land of the living. Having breastfed for almost five years now, I am a confident, you could even say, expert feeder, and feed absolutely anywhere, whenever necessary.

After a quick feed she felt most comfortable back in the sling, from where she delighted the staff volunteers at Hardwick Hall with her smiles and cute words, as we looked round the hall. As always when we baby-wear, we experienced lots of stares and a few comments, which we take in our stride now!

10
5pm Tessa and Mummy cooking tea

Back home busily cooking tea with the help of Tessa, who is often keen to help out in these kitchen. It is always a joy to involve the children in everyday household chores. If Ewan wasn’t asleep on the sofa, he would also be joining in helping to cook.

 

6pm Tessa and Daddy washing-up
6pm Tessa and Daddy washing-up

Like the last photo, Tessa is very keen to help wash-up. She usually gets soaked in the process, but that’s all part of the fun! Here she is delighted to be doing an activity just with Daddy.

7pm Bedtime story-time
7pm Bedtime story-time

Amazingly, this is the first time I have read to Tessa alone at bedtime. It was a novel experience, which we both enjoyed. As a second child, Tessa was revelling in an evening with her parents to herself, as usually she has to compete for attention with Ewan. It was lovely to read just to her, as I could really focus on her developing language skills and give her the time she so often doesn’t receive, as well as choose books more appropriate to her age than Ewan’s. I read to them every night in bed before nursing Tessa and hugging Ewan. Tonight, Ewan slept soundly next to us in our family bed, ill but recovering from his horrid illness.

The end of a happy and quite typical day. Time to tidy up and prepare for the next day, and even time to sit down and relax for awhile with Tessa in a dream feed . I also had time to write my diary and carry out my gratitude practice, where I stop for a moment and thank the Spirit World / Mother Nature / The Buddha for my children, my husband and family, my friends and my life. I am so fortunate to be here and to live such a rich life, both materially and emotionally.

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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:

18 thoughts on “Day in the Life of our Family”

  1. Some really nice shots here! And I love that you took a picture every hour — the overhead view of you in the Hall breastfeeding is a fave of mine. It looks like a fun, family-filled day, even though poor Ewan was sick. And I’m jealous of the UK green winter — sick of snow over here in New England.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for your comments Donna. We’ve had some snow this winter, but nothing like yours in New England, more rain but some lovely bright sunny winter’s days too, like today! My husband took the pic of me breastfeeding, it illustrates how I breastfeed anywhere at any time and how nursing is just part and parcel of our everyday life. It is a nice pic. Thanks.

    1. Thanks. I do try to be mindful in daily life. The carnival post has helped me to be more mindful, as it’s got me thinking about what we do on a daily basis and why. I have commented on your blog too. Love the pics of your many animals.

  2. What a lovely insight into your day, although I’m sorry Ewan wasn’t feeling his best. I feel the same about breastfeeding after doing it for so long, I really can (and have) happily feed anywhere without even thinking about it. I love that you make time for daily gratitude. This is a habit I have tried to instil several times but I must admit I do forget frequently. It really helps to make me feel grounded and positive when I do find the time though.

    1. Thanks Sam. I try to be mindful in daily life and thankful for what we do have. My friend recommended the habit of being thankful at the end of each day. I sometimes forget too, but it’s a good habit to be in, helps me to put life in perspective and feel positive, even if things haven’t always gone my way in the day. Yoga has also helped a lot here too, something else I try to practice in daily life, not just the yoga studio. I also sometimes ask Ewan to tell me what he’s liked about his day, so we do this gratefulness summing up of the day together.

  3. What a lovely day! I have never visited the UK but always wanted to. I love old buildings, and you have so many more and older ones than we do in the US.

    It’s wonderful that you are letting your toddler get involved in the kitchen at an early age. My son enjoyed that very much, and although he became less interested when he was 4 or 5 years old, I think that the early sense of competence has helped him to be sensible when he works in the kitchen now; he rarely has accidents or wastes much food. He prepared several meals on his own when his baby sister was newborn!

    1. Hi Becca, thanks for your comments. My son, who is approaching 5, is less interested in the kitchen than he was at age 2, but Tessa, who is just 2, is very keen to get involved and muck in. It is great that your son has even prepared his own meals, handy with a newborn around; I agree, early competence gives them a head start and helps them feel confident and valued as part of the family, doing jobs just like their parents. It is so easy to just dash around doing household jobs ourselves, without allowing our children to join in too.

  4. Hi Caroline!

    It’s lovely to see some of your pictures and to read about your day. So sorry to hear that Ewan wasn’t well. I hope he’s a lot better now. Thanks for sharing a ‘slice’ of your family life 🙂

    1. Hi Marija, thanks for your comments. Ewan is a lot better now, I really missed his little voice and laughter those few days he was ill, he just wasn’t himself and we all felt it.

  5. I always love seeing what life looks with two little ones in the family, since I’ve only got one. The parallels between our lives are interesting! And it looks like you’ve got your hands full! Glad you’re still able to get out and about even when one of them isn’t feeling well.

    1. Hi Holly,thanks for the comments. We carry our little ones in slings when they’re ill, so we still manage to get out, I guess having two means we have to carry on if one of them is unwell. Life was easier with just one, but not as interesting or hectic, and it’s lovely to see my children growing and interacting together. They are two of a kind and love spending time together, most of the time!!! Thanks again

  6. What a lovely day you had, despite Ewan’s being ill. Toddlers and such big helpers, I’ve found as Baby Boy is one himself. He really loves to help out in the kitchen (or any activity really), as well! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comments. I’ve just looked at your blog post too. I agree toddlers are such great helpers, so fascinated with life and very willing to learn and do what we do, right now that is try to type so better go!!!!!

  7. Love that breastfeeding photo! And I so hear you on a lack of one-on-one time with second children. I’ve been trying lately to take my oldest out on “dates,” because he really craves time with just one parent. But my youngest is getting to be the age where she wants special time, too, so we’re going to have to work that in!

    1. Hi Dionna, thanks for your comments. A lovely way of describing it, ‘date’ time. Tessa loves having the one on one time we do manage to spend together, when Ewan is at playgroup or with his uncle or Grandma. These times are special for both of us, I really enjoy giving a little of the time to Tessa I managed to give so much more of to Ewan when he was her age and an only child.

  8. What a lovely entry! When we’ve visited the UK, I’ve always thought the National Trust memberships sounded like such a great deal. If I had pictures like that from my day, I’d have been tempted to pretend we lived at Hardwick Hall with all the adorable kids & dogs. 😉

    It is really interesting to have one-on-one time with a younger sibling, isn’t it? Sam & I try to carve out some intentional times to be with just one of our kids, and it always feels special. Glad Ewan’s feeling better, though!

    1. Hi Lauren, thanks for your comments. National Trust family membership is ideal for us, we often visit National Trust properties as a family and get a lot out of our time there. There’s a lot of activities for children and the NT make a real effort catering for families. If you ever do get chance, I’d highly recommend visiting one.
      I agree, one on one time is really special, even though it doesn’t happen as often as we’d like.

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