Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Monday, 29 July 2019

SWOS 2019: Week 1 - Frozen Fever

It is that time of year again! 

Six weeks of summer! 

I know lots of people think I'm absolutely crazy with all my summer themes but we really do love it! Each week is new and exciting with a bank of ideas to pull from.  Would you be surprised to know I've already got ideas buzzing around for next years themes too?! Haha!  

So a little bit like a diary entry, my little space is going to be where I record the 2019 instalment of our SWOS! 

What I've already loved this year is that Xander took this first week down a completely new turn with his own ideas and I blew it up and went with it! 

But one week over already! Argh! 


Monday we were still celebrating Lucas's birthday so our Week 1 theme didn't start until Tuesday. It was quite an ironic week for Frozen Fever to be honest, because it was the hottest week of the year so  far - blistering temperatures in some parts of the country and a toasty 28-30 degrees here for us!  But the benefits of Frozen week was lots of ice and water play to cool us down! 


Tuesday started with watching Frozen Fever, just in time as it happens because just as the credits rolled our TV was collect and taken away for repair!   The boys listened to Vivaldi Winter and used Lego to create frozen winter style castles for their Anna and Elsa mini-figs.  Later on the in the day we melted Elsa's style frozen hands that I had pre-filled with sparkly treasures, glitter and frozen the night before.

Xander estimated how long he thought they would take to melt; first guess was 10 minutes, second guess was 28 minutes and his final guess was 60 minutes. It took 55 minutes of playing with the icy hands for them to melt completely so his third estimation was pretty spot on!  Then he finished by pouring the icy cold water all over his head! Haha! And we enjoyed a lovely water fight to cool down to finish our day.

The first of our two only big boy Wednesday's this year because next Wednesday is Lucas's last day at baby nursery before he starts big boy nursery in September at school.   Our friends joined us for a day of Ice Skating fun - because where else could we go for a Big Boy day out on Frozen week. 

We were all a bit apprehensive about it and we didn't really know how it was going to go! I was fully expecting it to either go one of two ways and desperately hoping that no-one was going to break any bones! Luckily for us, other than a few moments here and there when the younger boys needed a little rest, the kids totally embraced it, got their confidence and had a blast on the ice!

The day was a success and Xander and Zac even had a little go at starting to skate and stand up on the ice without holding on to anything.    We finished off our day trip with a play on the sand at Cardiff Bay Beach and some ice-cream before going home. 

A messy play tuff spot kind of day!  Shaving foam, sparkles and paint ice-cubes. It was delightful and totally deserves a before and after picture of the messy the boys created; look at those marks and patterns. Well I say boys, Lucas gave the tray a cursory poke with his hand and nudge with foot but otherwise shouted at me to get it off him everytime too much shaving foam was on his body! Haha!

Xander got stuck right in - he was covered head to toe by the time he had finished and Zachy got himself right in there too.  I love that although Xander is almost eight and on the verge of starting junior school he still gets so much joy out of sensory messy foundation play!   

Today we discovered the stories of The Snow Queen and The Snowman and the boys got create in the tuff spot. A little less messy this time but instead using playdough and other bits and pieces to create their own playdough interpretations of Olaf the snowman, the snow queen and Elsa.  

And this is where things got really interesting! Haha! Earlier on in the week I had printed the boys some colouring sheets of their choice to do with winter, frozen life, cold countries etc. Zac chose Elsa pictures, or course. But Xander took us down a festive route because to him Winter meant Christmas. So even though celebrating Christmas in July had not been one of my original Frozen Fever week intentions, we embraced it and celebrated Christmas in July.

Our friends came over to join us and we had BBQ (Aussie style Christmas?!), with Christmas music, the boys wore Christmas clothes, they played with instant messy play snow, the mini Christmas tree was put up in the garden and I even made crackers the night before for the occasion including a mini gift, party hat and Christmas joke inside for the boys. Oh and we watched the Grinch too! 

Finished with a quiet day to end the week and a family film night watching Small Foot.  Of course over the week we have also watched lots of other winter / snow themed films including the big one of course; Frozen! 

A week where the home days have outweighed the out and about days but we've got good use out of the tuff spot. We loved it!   Exciting times ahead for Week 2 including a very exciting overnight stay number one and another overnight stay (adults only) number two! Frozen Fever finished and Knights and Castles beginning! 

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Boy Three is THREE!

Look at me being all prompt with an update! Which is totally going against my current track record of at least six weeks post age-milestone! Haha! 

It is now a week since our Little Lucas turned THREE! 

Three, mind! His babyhood totally hurtling away from us and just weeks off him starting in the Nursery class at the boys school. The littlest is going into uniform.  I don't feel very prepared for this next stage at all and to be honest I'm kind of burying my head in the sand about it for a few more weeks too; even though I should be organising what uniform he (and they all) need for the next year! 

We're almost at the complete closure of a chapter of our lives; the baby chapter.  For now I'm going to say we're at part-closure, just to soften the blow!  We can probably edge it out another 12 months, right, what with him only being part-time school?!  But after that. All three boys will be school aged children which feels quite frightening indeed! 

This Little one is just flying. Six months of achieving all kinds of milestones; no-more dummy, into a big boy bed, no-more day nappies (and to be honest he is dry at night too now so he doesn't even really need those anymore either!), becoming more and more articulate by the day with his complete sentences, exploding vocabulary and increasingly good grammatical use of language. 

It is fair, I suppose, when he shouts at us - 'I NOT a BABY, I a BIG BOY!' 

My BABY Lucas. I cannot believe you are three!   I know you completely disagree with me that you are a baby, but Mummy is going to cling onto that for just a little bit longer. Our baby one.  

At three you are 94.5cm tall which meant Mummy got her wish of you still being little enough to get into Peppa Pig World for free for our big summer adventure at the start of July! But somehow you feel so tall now.  You rarely look out of place in the thick of it with your brothers now, keeping up with them playing big boy games, playing rough and tumble or imaginary character games alongside them.  They still call you their baby, of course, but all of a sudden you are well and truly part of their games too, which must mean that they get that you are growing up!  You continue to idolise your brothers, especially Xander who has the most patience and time for you and utterly spoils you, giving in to your endless toddler demands. 

As well as demands (which have increased recently because I'm pretty sure you've decided you are going to be a Threenager and not so much a terrible two), you still have all your toddler cuteness. Until recently everything has been 'My' instead of 'I' which has been totally adorable, its quite emotional that you've started to correct yourself in the run up to three. Cuteness in making sure you are called by your proper title; full name introductions of course whenever someone asks you your name its Lucas Elias Morgan. Telling us off every time we get your name wrong because I'm often guilty of calling you Zac; "My NOT Zachy, my Luc". 

These last six months have been amazing. Full of Mummy and you adventures that I have enjoyed so very very much. You have too... trampolining, the garden centre, a train ride, the farm (more than once!), Cardiff, the cinema, the aquarium,  swimming, Gruffalo Woods, the seaside, Peppa Pig World, the zoo and more I'm sure I've forgotten to list. 

I'm so sad that this year is coming to an end and that in September I have to give you part-time to school. Yes, we'll squeeze in another two days before you start mid-week on that first week, and I'm sure we'll go on a short afternoon adventures from time to time... (might've booked Dear Zoo at the theatre for the end of September today, haha!)  But I also know that it won't quite be the same because afternoons will mean more clock-watching for the next school run and you will inevitably be tired in the afternoons after a busy morning in school.  Ah you are growing up! 

So much growing up. Six months of many milestones; you gave up your Dee-dee (not long after your half birthday infact), you stopped having your bedtime bottle in April, you moved into you Big Boy bed in May and potty-trained in June. And each step of the way you've been a superstar.   Potty training was especially impressive; I mean I had worked myself up to it, considering what a disaster Xander had been and hard-work Zac had still felt. And we played about for ten days at the start of June while Mummy felt unwell... and then we started properly... and in three days, yes three days (!) you were done! We've only had two accidents since. Your overnight pull-up is dry each morning too, so before long I'm sure we'll feel more brave to give those up as well.   You've absolutely blown me away with it all to be honest! 

Lots of growing up but still seeming so small in many ways too. The way you've got into the habit of sneaking into my bed and snuggling up so close to me and under my chin in the early morning, the way you still curl up on your tummy and tuck your arms underneath you to go to sleep, the way you are Mama's boy!  You are still so possessive over your Mama and continue to tell Xander, Zac or Daddy off if they are anywhere near me with a "My MUMMY" protest.   But I love being your Mummy. I love, that for now, I am still number one in your life.   Your Mummy, my baby. 

At three your favourite colour is orange, you love to play in the garden and be outside, you love playing with a ball, doing puzzles and playing with train tracks and little vehicles.  You have such a good kick and throw and seem pretty good at direction too, back and forth it goes; you are in your element when your Daddy plays kick the ball with you! 

You've become more and more aware of superheroes and they're pretty much some of your favourite things now too. Your favourites being Hulk and Iron Man. You've done some gorgeous Hulk Smash impressions over recent months, you pull the best Hulk face but we do sometimes need to remind you to play with gentle hands.   So it goes without saying that you enjoy watching Lego Avengers on the TV (some big brother influence right there!), along with still Peppa Pig, Hey Duggee and Little Baby Bum.  

You've even got favourite songs now; not all of which I should be proud of considering one of the ones you sing along to in the car is 'Sweet But Psycho' haha, but we've also listened to Never Smile At A Crocodile on endless repeat, Shotgun and We Will Rock You.   You can be quite insistent what you want to listen to when we are in the car and sing along beautifully from the back seat too! 

Visiting Disneyland Paris is definitely right up there of happy memories since your half birthday too. You had a blast; meeting Donald Duck, seeing the superheroes and Hulk, the rides, the fireworks. Still three months later you frequently mention Disneyland and that you went to Disneyland. The biggest adventure of this year of all! 

I'm still pretty flabbergasted you are three now. It is just so big! We've already had your settling in session at Nursery and in less than six weeks you'll go to school each morning just like your brothers. In a little uniform! Ahhh! You're going to love it, I know. You couldn't have been more excited to be allowed to play with the diggers you are ushered past each morning when we drop Xander to class. You seemed so at home already on just that visit. I'm sure you're going to thrive. But once again change is coming. Next week is your last week at Acorns Nursery where you've been for more than two years, and I've been dropping my babies off for almost seven. Then September, you'll start school nursery and our childminder friend is going to start looking after you too!  More adventures for you my boy. 

Your birthday has been extended and amazing, celebrating with an early birthday trip to the Wild Place zoo, a trip to the Lego shop with Daddy, your tea party, your day trip party to Mountain Ranch for the Gruffalo hunt, your first feature length film at the cinema watching Toy Story 4 and then completed with a day trip to Chessington World of Adventures for more Gruffalo / Julia Donaldson themed fun!  The Gruffalo ride you insisted on going on twice and would've gone on a third time if we hadn't run out of time! To say I was exhausted after all of that plus the end of the school year madness was an understatement; but I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

So much celebration for our youngest boy. Our Little. 

Now I better put on my big girl pants and get ready for you doing even more grown up boy things! Ahhhh its time for your Nursery year at school! I really do wish time would slow down, just a bit!  But first let us thoroughly enjoy this six weeks of summer and another two sneaky adventures to plan too. 

You are so completely perfect and 
complete this family so perfectly.   

You're adored by us all baby Luc.  Loved endlessly and always.

Mummy and Daddy (and your brothers) xXx 

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Middle And Five And Half

Yet another long overdue entry. 

Zac's half birthday was actually a month and a half ago already yet once again the weeks have just flown by before I've found a moment to sit and take stock. 

Unfortunately for Zac his half birthday falls on top of report writing time, and then assessment and evidence gather time, and then in amongst all of that is of course Belle's birthday. Such an intense time of year. And here we are, mid-July, while I still feel like I'm chasing my tail to close the academic year and another birthday with Luc turning three in a week almost upon us. 

Will there ever be enough hours in the day again?! 

So tonight I've switched off from work and anything else I could also be doing and I'm going to take the time to reflect on my wonderful five and half year old Zachary. Because the years are short and I've no idea where they go. 

My Zachary. Five and a half already. 

Recently I've been having so much 'middle' child guilt. Worrying that we're so busy with all of the older child firsts that are inevitable vs. the youngest child's last firsts and slightly more demanding needs -  that somehow you just coast along in the middle.  I work so hard to treat you all equally, to shower you all in equal attention, but still I worry that you don't always feature as much. 

So tonight you're featuring! 

My beautiful boy.  Your birthday seems so long ago yet only a few days ago all at the same time. Six months (ok, if I'm honest at this stage, seven and a half months) packed full of growing up, adventures, change. 

You changing. Definitely growing. 

Still my Small, but maybe no quite so. I was surprised to measure you recently to discover you were now 106cm tall. You've grown 3.5cm since your birthday - 1.5cm of that between April to now. Catching up to your big brother at a similar age (he was 107.5cm at five and half). You've definitely been having a growth spurt.  But still so tiny really. Of slight build and petite. At five and a half you still wear many 3-4 clothes, especially tops. And for what you need 4-5 in for length poor Nana has to take in at the waist!  We're almost at the stage now where you and Lucas could share a wardrobe of tops - infact there are some 3-4 now going in to his wardrobe as there are still half in yours!  I wonder if there will be a time when he'll overtake you? 

Back in January we took you for your first eye test and we were very surprised to find out that you needed glasses. Well I say surprised, I kind of always expected one of you boys at least to need glasses - what with me being short-sighted. But what surprised me that the reason you needed glass was not because of distance vision, but because you have astigmatism in both eyes. Rugby ball shaped eyes. We don't know yet if you'll always need glasses but we're due back at the optician soon to see how you're doing. Glasses really really suite you - exceptionally cute and my little mini me. So much so you look quite strange now when you are not wearing them!

My little boy who says the funniest things. Nuggets of insisting on calling your old swimming teacher Crisp instead of Chris, laughing at Bampi on Christmas day when he asked you what your address is; replying that you didn't have a dress, your wore a t-shirt. Laughing with your great-Uncle when he pretended that he couldn't count to ten and you tried to teach him how. 

We've since moved you swimming lessons. Four months ago now, but you still tell me you miss Crisp sometimes. We thought you were ready for the structure of 'grown up' lessons in the same centre as Xander. You're into your 3rd term of Wave 1 now. My lovely boy, you take so long to settle into new situations. You are dealing with the disappointment of not achieving your medal quite yet and we're working really hard on all your Self-Believing Sam and Persevering Poppy. We know you can do it Zac, and each week now you tell me that you have had a go at swimming without a belt. Your new teacher, Sian, says you are so nearly there. I bet you'll have that Wave 1 medal before you know it. 

You are still my little wild one. Excitable and silly and loud. What a lovely infectious sense of humour you have. I love how you giggle just because you are running or jumping around. A love of pulling big wide-eyed faces at the moment and the most engaging beaming smile when you are lost in a moment you are enjoying. My Small boy who just radiates joy. 

You can still be a little bit Jekyll and Hyde sometimes. Your strong "flight" response is still there,  my sensitive one, sudden anxiety or other intense emotions bring you so quick to tears in lots of situations. Your grumpiness can still be as extreme as your happiness.  But, you've so visibly matured this year at school! Learning to navigate your own emotions in the mix of the emotions of others.  

Your end of Reception year report was glowing. "A pleasant and happy boy... coping with change and has grown in confidence throughout the year... caring and considerate to others... inquisitive and enjoys a challenge... always tries his best..."

This year at school I think one of your favourite things have been learning to read. Each week you have been so excited to bring home your next reading book and so eager to sit with me and read it through. Reading seems to be coming so easily to you. At the moment you are on Level 3, and I think soon ready for Level 4. You are already getting so independent at figuring words out for yourself and so increasingly fluent. The last few books home from school you have read cover to cover with no support at all. 

I'm just so proud of you Zachy!  I was so anxious and worried about your move into Reception,  were you really ready for the demands on school... but you have flourished at every step of the way. 

If I especially think of the difference in sports day in Nursery and sports day this year. Oh my. You participated, you enjoyed yourself, You even won a race. Ok there was a wobble towards the end, but a world away from the anxious little boy who sobbed through Nursery sports day and found the whole experience so painful. 

This year, all of Reception, you have shone my boy!

At five and a half your still favourite things are Disney Princesses, castles, drawing and Lego.  So of course you spend much of your time combining them all, building castles with Lego for your Lego Disney Princess to live in. Or drawing castles and princess. Or  just drawing. Your beautiful detailed drawings are just wonderful and your writing is so neat and careful. You've made it your mission to collect every Lego Princess set and I know you currently have your eyes on the Cinderella castle set, Jasmine's castle set and Ariels boat!  Ironically, in amongst this you decided pink is no longer your favourite colour but instead you favour red! 

I adore, that even though you are getting older now, and even though you can be so sensitive to others reactions, that you still are oblivious to gender stereotyping. You love what you love whether it be superheroes or princesses and that is one of my very favourite things about you. You are just so uninfluenced and you. 

So of course you had the time of your life at Disneyland at Easter! The beaming joy on your face as you met some of the princesses was something gorgeous. Your utter delight with your five minutes with Rapunzal after we queued for an hour and twenty minutes moved me to a tear. You totally and utterly believed they were the real thing, that Rapunzal was the real Rapunzal and it absolutely made your day!    I think these will always be some of my favourite memories with you. 

Ah Zachy. You are so keen to be six now. So desperate for your Mummy, Daddy and Zachy only trip to London that will mean. I have so many special plans for this next birthday, but my boy I'm not ready for you to be so grown up! It is unbelievable to me that you are about to go in to Year 1! Each year seems to go by faster and each birthday seems to be closer to the last. 

Now we have six weeks of summer to look forward to, more adventures and I expect much more growing up change on the way to November. Only four and half months until another update is due. 

We love you so completely and endlessly.

Our middle sized boy. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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