Thursday, 5 March 2015

Through My Child's Eyes

Hello
Welcome to week two of "Through my child's eyes", a link up thought up by my eldest son Alfie when he started to show an interest in photography. He wanted me to put his photos on my blog and also he wanted to see if other children like to take photos too. The Linky will run from Thursday to Wednesday so plenty of time to link up your posts. Last week we had a great entry from Fee over at Notjustanothermum.com with a photo her son took of a colourful rocket he had built.  




The linky
  • Please add my badge to your posts 
  • Link up your children's photos, with or without words is fine
  • It will run from Thursday 12am till Wednesday
  • Can be old or new and as many as you like
  • When you add your link, please make sure they lead to your posts and not your blog's homepage. It may be difficult for me to find. 
  • Share your link up on twitter using #throughmychildeyes and tag me @gemma_stevens so I know to retweet and comment on your post. 
  • Try and comment on other posts in the link up. 
  • Feel free to link your Instagram photos too
  • Enjoy working together



Alfie's entry for this week



Alfie took this gorgeous landscape photo on the top deck of a bus we were on without me knowing he had hold of my camera. I was surprised when I looked through my memory card to find such a lovely shot. The road is narrow along the coast so he must have took the opportunity when the bus was waiting for cars to pass from the opposite direction. This is Whitsand bay on the Rame coast, the best place to come in the summer. 

Now it's your turn. 
I look forward to seeing the photos your children have taken recently or if your child is too young to hold a camera, be creative and maybe take a photo from their eye levels, from their prams for example. Please help me make #throughmychildseyes a success by sharing the link up across your social media and by adding my badge to your posts. 


Through my child's eyes





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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

To my boys, life lessons I want you to know...


Dear Alfie and Thomas,

You will be seven and eight this year, time has gone by so quickly. We have experienced so much together and you are so wise already. You have learnt that life isn't always fair, that sharing is important but not easy, and you hate that bedtime comes too early but you love that mummy will let you stay up on a Friday night to watch movies. There are plenty more lessons you have yet to learn to satisfy those inquisitive minds of yours. Mummy will be the big 3.0 this year, she is not looking forward to it. In those 30 years, I have seen and experienced so much and had my fair share of lessons too. Some learnt through hard work but there has been some that have come through failure and bad luck. 

Since becoming a mummy to two handsome boys, I have learnt that I definitely cannot force you to be something you are not. You are your own person, have your own special personalities and your own dreams. You have taught me so many life lessons in your short years: love, patience and unselfishness are in my top three. Even though I want to respect that you have to be you and you need to choose your own path in life, I can still guide you and teach you things that will help you get over the hurdles of life.  I admit that I am no expert and there are still lessons I need to learn myself but I do know the important ones that will help you lead a happy life. 

1. Do not compare yourself with others

It is easy to compare your life with that of people around you. I was guilty of this and I have now deleted Facebook as it was making me feel jealous. Facebook is fake and people will over exaggerate their lives, making people think that everything is perfect when in fact it is not. Do not base your value by comparing how much better or worse your situation is to others around you. This will not make you happy. Also live your life without caring what others think of you. Being unafraid of not being liked is the best way to be liked. 

2. Take risks

Risks are a part of life. The prime minister didn't win the election by hiding, afraid that people wouldn't like him. He took a risk, got out there and he won. There are good and bad risks though. Bad ones involve those that may cause you harm, speeding in your new car or walking across a busy road without using the proper crossings for example. Do not be afraid of those risks that could result in failure such as embarrassment, rejection, or loss of pride. If the risk you take could lead to greatness, then do it. This also applies to love too. Some girls may reject you/break your heart but you will never find the girl of your dreams if you let rejection affect you. Most relationships are only started because someone took a risk. 

3. No matter what you become, you matter

Whether you become a rock star, politician, doctor, shelf stacker or a stay at home dad, you are important in this world. You can affect peoples lives, change the world or assist someone who will through both small and large ways. 

4. Love your body

Don't read magazines and think that you are ugly because you don't look like the models. They are airbrushed. They all have the same flaws as we do. Take care of your body, do not eat unhealthy foods, do not get a face tattoo, exercise regularly, visit the dentist and the doctors often. Tell yourself you are handsome. I will always tell you, even if it embarrasses you. More importantly, you may come across people in this world that will pick on your flaws, please do not listen to them. Stay true to yourself, you are unique and special. 

5. Be friends with people who love you

You will learn who your true friends are. They will be there when times are good and bad. Friends will make you feel good and will never put you down. If a friend doesn't make you happy, let them go. People will come and go in your life, true friends will stick around even if you are miles apart. 

6.  Choose happiness

Happiness is a choice. Please remember that. They say depression can be genetic so I'm sorry if mummy has passed it on to you. I will work my hardest to ensure you have the happiest childhood that you deserve.  Don't think you can never show or feel emotions though. They say you can only really know happiness if we experience misery. Allow yourself to feel every emotion from grief and heartbreak to joy, love and laughter. Please do not dwell on the negatives, let it go as Elsa would say. 

7. Use your voice

Please do not be afraid to speak out, and let your opinions be heard. Never let anyone tell you your opinions don't matter, they do so believe in yourself. Always speak the truth and tell people your story, sometimes you can really help people this way. 

8. Learn what you can and cannot control 

Do not try to control people. You can guide them though and help them choose the right path. You can't control disasters that may occur in your lifetime such as illness, accidents, and death. It is important you learn to deal with this. What you can control is your actions, how you choose to act, how you react to a positive and negative situation, and your attitude. 

9. You are enough

My favourite Broadway singer, Sierra Boggess, has this saying, "You are enough, you are so enough. It is unbelievable how enough you are". Please repeat this when you feel low. 

10. Don't sit around waiting for something to happen

I was guilty of this and it didn't get me anywhere. I do not want you to make the same mistakes as me. It you want something, you have to work for it. Everyone wishes that things were handed to them on a plate but that isn't real life. Take action, be passionate and have patience. Remember your dreams and never give up on them, no matter how many hurdles are in your way. 


Always know that you are loved, even when you feel lonely.

Love Mummy x
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Monday, 2 March 2015

9/52 : A Saturday photo diary

Hello

On Saturday the boys and I visited Mount Edgcumbe country park which over looks Plymouth on the Cornish side of the Tamar river. This was round two for me as my sister had brought me here the day before which you may have seen in my country kids post. The children were really jealous so I said I would bring them on Saturday for a run around.


As I currently don't drive, we have to take the bus everywhere. The buses here are excellent and we can pretty much go anywhere which is helpful to keep the boys occupied. The bus to Mount Edgcumbe takes a fairly long time but it has amazing views of the countryside and the Rame coast. We spend a lot of time looking out the windows on this journey. 

Our first stop was the Edgcumbe arms pub for a spot of lunch. It was deja vu for me as I was there the same time the day before but the food is amazing here so I was enjoying treating myself. We managed to grab the table by the open fire place which is lovely and cosy, but I still smell the smoke on our clothes now. We ate sandwiches, drunk hot chocolate and chatted about our plans for the summer. 


After lunch we started off our walk with a quick play on the beach. Alfie dug holes and Thomas collected Seaweed.



Below is the formal gardens at Mount Edgcumbe which is breathtaking in the spring but the flowers have not yet bloomed. In the centre is a wishing fountain which has become a little tradtion for us. Every time we visit, we have to throw in a coin and make our wishes. Today the boys wished for their own Bumblebee (the one from transformers), kind of hoping that doesn't come true. 



The boys were mainly excited about feeding the ducks today but that soon changed when they were literally surrounded as soon as they arrived at the pond. The ducks here seem to survive off the tourists as they are the tamest ducks I have ever seen. They will literally stand on your toes, sit on your lap, and take food off your hand. Tom held a piece of bread in his hand a little too long so a duck jumped up and took a nip at his hand. This explains why he isn't in these photos, he was hiding from the mob. I think the ducks are like this because of the seagulls that have started to take over the pond. Whenever we threw bread on the ground, the gulls would attack the ducks. It was horrible to watch, the ducks really have to fight for food. It started getting a bit much, especially as the large geese were getting too close for my liking and Tom wasn't enjoying himself. We decided it was time to carry on walking up to the main house. 

We finished our visit at the stables cafe located behind Mount Edgcumbe house. It is set in the old stable block and I really love that the tables are literally in the blocks and still has the horses sink and feeding trays. The boys enjoyed ice cream, even though it was chilly outside and I had the most amazing chocolate brownie.



Overall, a perfect saturday walk at our favourite country park. 



Living Arrows
snowingindoors
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Saturday, 28 February 2015

My Sunday Photo


This is my first sunday photo featuring myself and not taken by me. My sister snapped this while we were  having a quick rest from exploring Mount Edgcumbe country house in Cornwall. It is my all time favourite place to come for a long walk. I have so many childhood memories here. With me is my sister's amazing cockapoo, Teddy. 

OneDad3Girls
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Photos from my afternoon walk around Mount Edgcumbe, Cornwall

Hello

On Friday, before picking our children up from school, my sister and I decided to go for lunch and a walk around Mount Edgcumbe country park. My beautiful nephew who is eight weeks old came along too but as you can see from the photos, he spent the entire afternoon fast asleep. 

Mount Edgcumbe country park and house is situated on the Rame peninsula overlooking the Plymouth sound. The house is no longer habitated by its previous owner the Earl of Edgcumbe and is now run by both Cornwall council and Plymouth council. Visitors come here to explore the breathtaking grade 1, 865 acre gardens, woodlands and beaches which are free to visit all year round. 


The main reason for our visit today was to grab a spot of pub lunch from the cosy Edgcumbe arms. It is one of the best pubs around our area with its large open fireplace, amazing roast dinners and comfy seating areas with a view out to the river Tamar. It was very chilly today so we loved the fact that the popular table next to the fire was free. We really enjoyed the heat, especially the dog. 




My sister and I went a little crazy with the carvery so we definitely needed to go and explore the gardens to work off our lunch. 



We decided we needed to walk the whole of the country park and also to give my sister's cockapoo, Teddy a good run as he had spent the morning locked in the house. The weather was chilly but beautiful today, the spring sunshine was definitely here. The flowers were blooming and there was lots of people out walking too. 







One of my favourite features of Mount Edgcumbe is the large duck pond located in the centre of the park. The ducks here are very tame and will run towards you hoping for a piece of bread. They seemed hungrier than normal today as when we approached the pond, they all rushed/swam over. We felt very bad that we didn't have any food on us, I think a few of them followed us as we walked past, still hoping for bread. I'm sure they will get plenty of food at the weekend when the children are all here playing with them. 







The house sits at the top of the country park looking over its formal gardens and an impressive view of Plymouth. It was built in 1553 by Sir Richard Edgcumbe but was gutted during World war II in 1941. They restored the house but decided to sell it to the council who now run the estate and gardens for public use. It is a very impressive building and I love walking around the house when it is open to the public in the summer months. 



The photo above was taken from the main entrance of the house. In the distance is the Tamar river and Plymouth. I love where I live as I have a mixture of busy, crazy city life and these beautiful quiet country spots to explore. Overall, we, including sleeping baby, had a lovely day out in the fresh air. If you are ever visiting the area, Mount Edgcumbe is one for your to do list. It is very accessible from Plymouth as there is a regular ferry service in place. 

Gem x


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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Through my child's eyes. day 1

Hello

Welcome to week one of 'Through my child's eyes'! I wanted to start this link up as my children have started to show an interest in photography and have asked me if they could write on my blog and include some of their photos. I think this is a great idea and love that they want to be involved in their mummy's hobby. I wanted to see if other bloggers love to get their children involved with their blog too so I created 'Through my child's eyes' The Linky will run from thursday and will finish on the Wednesday after. Please link up any posts your child has written, pictures they have drawn, any photos they have taken, or anything else you can think of that your children can submit. For my entries, I will only be posting their photos to start with as they are still a little bit young to be writing on here. 






The linky
  • Please add my badge to your posts 
  • Link up your children's photos, with or without words is fine
  • It will run from Thursday 12am till Wednesday
  • Can be old or new and as many as you like
  • When you add your link, please make sure they lead to your posts and not your blog's homepage. It may be difficult for me to find. 
  • Share your link up on twitter using #throughmychildeyes and tag me @gemma_stevens so I know to retweet and comment on your post. 
  • Try and comment on other posts in the link up. 
  • Feel free to link your Instagram photos too
  • Enjoy working together

Alfie's Photo


Alfie chose to photograph his new lego ninjago set he received over the weekend. We had a pyjama day on sunday due to the awful weather so he quite happily sat for four hours building his dragon. He was so proud of himself that he wanted to take a few photos to show his friends at school. 


Now it's your turn. 

I look forward to seeing the photos your children have taken recently or if your child is too young to hold a camera, be creative and maybe take a photo from their eye levels, from their prams for example. Please help me make #throughmychildseyes a success by sharing the link up across your social media and by adding my badge to your posts. 

Through my child's eyes

Thank you so much for stopping by. 

gem x 





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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Why I don't regret having children.


Growing up, I always told myself I wasn't going to get married and have children. Witnessing my parents break up scarred me to the point I didn't believe in love or that I could ever have a happy family. I was quite happy to concentrate on getting a career, my cottage by the sea, a few dogs and a nice car ending with my happy ever after, alone. My dreams started well. I somehow managed to get into the Royal air force, pass out of training and land myself a great job in the beautiful Lincolnshire. I was on top of the world and with so many close friends. I was really enjoying life and experiencing so much that my friends back home would never have the opportunity to witness. However, It was only two years into my first posting that my world changed. I met a guy who was quite persistent and wouldn't take no for an answer. There was numerous times I told him I was not interest in a relationship with him but I was young and weak to the point I gave in too easily. He moved himself in and soon enough I was pregnant with Alfie. I will be honest and say I really wish, knowing what I know now, I didn't give in to him but Alfie is a beautiful gift and I definitely don't regret him. I managed to continue in my role in the air force as they have a pretty decent childcare centre on base but it wasn't long till Tom was born and I had to reconsider if I could carry on in the military. I separated from their dad when Tom was born due to reasons I can't explain on here so I ended up a single mother working full time in the Royal air force. The military expect you to go overseas at a drop of a hat which definitely was impossible for me to do especially as my family couldn't take in my children for 6 months at a time. It would be unfair. Besides, the childcare fees were so expensive that I was literally working to pay them. What was the point? I couldn't afford childcare and I was letting my bosses down at work because I couldn't do what they expected of me with two young children. I handed in my notice and uniform, left all my friends and moved back home to a place where I would have to start my life all over again. Some would say having children ruined my life/career. That isn't how I feel, having children is the greatest gift I have ever received. 



On to my list: Even though I never expected to have children, I have gained so much from having them.  I wanted to write down the reasons why I could never regret bringing my boys into the world. 

1.  Love

You never know true feelings of love until you become a parent. I have been in love with a man which was strong but came after a long friendship. With children, it is instant. You may argue this as some of my friends would who claim to have experienced 'love at first sight'. Maybe it exists, maybe love towards a partner is a completely different type of love to that towards your child. There is something more magical about the love you feel for your children though. That first you hold them time when the midwife throws them onto your chest and they slowly look up and stare into your eyes. From that moment, I vowed to do anything to protect them and to do my best to give them the happy life they deserved. 

2. Growing up fast 

When I had the boys, I changed in many ways. I suddenly had two humans to keep clean, fed and more importantly alive. I could barely manage to look after myself in my single days, relying on my dad to bail me out of many situations. I used to go out every single night without fail, shop every saturday, spend weekends away with friends, and embarrassingly take washing home to dad. Also, I didn't think so then, but I was an extremely selfish person. It's strange when your children are born. I instantly changed into this mature selfless person who managed to cook something other than beans, work a washing machine, and could make bottles one handed while half asleep. Presently, I am learning that my kids are observing my every move. They look up to me so its important I set a good example to them by keeping up with my maturity and setting them on the right path in life. 

3. The joy and happiness they bring into my life

Kids do the strangest things and I never thought I could be so entertained by their silly ways. In my boys case, it's running around the living room laughing at the same joke for an hour. Any other person would be irritated by this but their giggles brings me so much happiness. Also, Thomas and Alfie have begun to show an interest in dancing and singing but they choose the cheesiest of songs, like Meghan Trainor's All about that bass. I could watch them for hours break dancing on the floor and jumping about. I especially find it hilarious when they start dancing to supermarket music. Kids don't care what people think of them which I really admire. My most favourite form of entertainment is not the television, it's not my laptop or my phone, it's watching my children learn, grow and use their imaginations. They are amazing little people and I am so grateful for them. I can never say I am lonely with these two around. 

4. The busy lifestyle 

Having young children is hard. There is rarely a moment that I have time to myself to just sit quietly with my thoughts. I work while they are at school and when we are home there is always washing to be done, toys to be put away, clubs to attend, cooking, homework and so on. Life with two boys is hectic but I love it. I hate being bored and I don't like to be alone with my thoughts so I am so grateful to lead the life I do. I have suffered with depression since I was 13 so I need to keep as busy as possible. If it wasn't for my children, I'm pretty sure the depression would have won. They make me happy and are the best distraction from the negative thoughts I might be experiencing. 

5. Having a mini you. 

Your children look like you, say the same phrases, copy your actions and share your same likes/dislikes. I find the way my boys mimic their father fascinating. When they return from spending time with him, its like they stole his soul or something. I cant quite put my finger on it. They stand like him and repeat his catch phases, probably without noticing what they are doing. The children have my looks but share their fathers personalties so they are a mini me of both of us. I think it is a beautiful thought that when we die, we will still have a piece of ourselves left on earth within our children, our grandchildren and so on. 


In my teen years I was convinced I was never going to be maternal and settle down. I actually avoided most occasions where I would be forced to be around children. I never expected or dreamed I would ever be in the situation I am in now but no one can predict their lives right? I don't regret my children, they are my best friends and my greatest achievement in life. I have never felt so much love for another living creature which I think only a parent could understand. 

Gem x
Mums' Days

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