Tag Archives: Happy Birthday

14 already?!

I really don’t know how we got to this day as it doesn’t seem like a year since we celebrated her becoming a teenager and certainly not 14 years since we welcomed her into our lives. 14 years filled with love and laughter, tears and tantrums, moments of great pride and times when we’ve wondered if we were getting the whole parenting thing even vaguely right. Today we have a beautiful, sensitive, generous and kind-hearted young lady as an invaluable part of our family, even if we could do without the slamming doors, stomping feet and looks of pure disdain that do radiate from her almost weekly without fail.

Happy 14th birthday Floss – you are our whole world. Love you always xxx



Happy 11th!

Somehow it doesn’t seem real that another year has passed and we’re marking a certain young gentleman’s 11th birthday. When my challenging pregnancy resulted in a premature birth, I had no idea that this Japanese proverb would become the very mantra of our lives as a family of 4. Today we’re celebrating 11 years filled with love, laughter and the continued determination by our youngest to get back up each and every time life knocks him down.

Happy 11th birthday M, may your day be filled with everything you want and so much more!


In the blink of an eye

Despite the numerous hospital visits over the last few weeks – think local hospital…GOSH…local eye hospital…Moorfields…local hospital….local eye hospital….local hospital – this December has been everything I’ve longed for it to be and so much more. For the first December night in a long time, it’s fast approaching midnight Friday and my evening of work is only just beginning. In the last couple of hours, I’ve knocked up a batch of img_12811M-friendly apple and pear cupcakes, a batch of G-friendly vanilla cupcakes and I’m currently struggling with the chocolate brownie sponges that are refusing to be moved from the cake tins. There’s 2 lots of icing to sort out, decorations to be finalised and they all need to be applied to the cakes themselves, but I’m delighted to find myself spending this winter evening like this.

Not only have we broken the December 3rd curse of an admission to hospital, but we’ve also beaten the steady stream of bad luck that has engulfed G’s birthdays for the last couple of years and are getting to spend the day itself at home with our most favourite young lady. Well, I say at home, but of course, the path of G’s birthday never did run quite that smooth, but it’s as close to being at home for the evening as we could wish. It’ll be a day of “work as usual” for us all and our evening plans are dominated by M’s school’s carol service, but we’re all together and that’s something that hasn’t been possible since 2013. All that being said, it does appear that we have created a new December tradition when it comes to G’s birthday and it’s a good thing img_12861that my sense of humour is very much in tact. It was with a wry smile that G and I summoned a black cab to take us to GOSH on Sunday from the train station, not for a visit to a hospital-bound younger brother, but  this time for the final YPF meeting of the year. I’m not sure that Christmas would be Christmas for me without the opportunity to wander the length of Oxford Street on the hunt for last-minute gifts and small stocking stuffers!

img_12881It feels even more special this year as my baby girl, my precious first-born, hits the start of her teen years and all the emotions that those have to bring. In the proverbial blink of an eye, my December 2003 baby is turning 13 and in front of me stands a beautiful young lady, with a little more attitude and grumpiness than I would have chosen, but with a kind heart, generous spirit and the most loyal friendship on offer that you could ask for. She is growing up fast and we are quickly losing sight of the easy-going, chatty toddler that she was as an opinionated, independence-seeking, moody teenager appears in her place. She can slam doors with the best of them and her stomping feet can make it feel as if the kitchen ceiling is about to come down at any moment – and indeed it pretty much has done. These days she brooks no nonsense from her little brother and yet she will defend him to the hilt when it comes to it and is there to comfort and hug even when he doesn’t want it. She’s looking to make sense of a world that often doesn’t and is trying to understand how to interpret the nuances when it would be so much easier if everything was clearer defined in black and white. She can be the much-needed splash of colour in a reality that is all too often dark and depressing and yet will quietly fade into the background when everything gets too intense and too much. She is an incredible blessing to all our lives and we are all so grateful to be celebrating a life that is so much better for the 13 years she’s been an integral part of it.

Happy 13th darling G, we love you so very, very much xxx

Double digits

And, just like that, the last member of our family has left the years of single digits behind him and has joined the ranks of those celebrating double digit birthdays. As well as celebrating the first decade of M’s life, we’re also marking 10 years of astounding challenges, amazing courage and unbelievable joy. Happy 10th little bean xxx



“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

To my darling daughter,

To my darling daughter on the eve of your 12th birthday:

This wasn’t quite what I had planned.

Today I was supposed to be baking up a storm in the kitchen, IMG_0063[1]making some special cupcakes to celebrate your 12th birthday tomorrow, cakes to make up for you having to celebrate your last birthday at GOSH with M and without a cake. The ingredients are bought and hiding at the back of the cupboard, so maybe I’ll have the chance to bake them for you for Christmas because instead I’m over 100 miles and 3 hours travel time away from you.

Today we were supposed to be enjoying time together as a family as well as with your beloved Godfather, Uncle A and his family; instead you and Daddy are at home with them all, whilst M and I while away our hours within the confines of GOSH on our own.

Tomorrow M and I had planned to serenade you awake with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” before watching you open your presents and cards and sharing the excitement of each new gift with you; 20151018_133210instead we’ll be watching via FaceTime to see what goodies you’ve received with our fingers crossed that our cards have arrived from London in time.

Tomorrow was going to be a busy day: first to watch you both in our church Nativity, then head off for a special birthday riding lesson before a late lunch at Wagamama to celebrate your big day; instead you’ll be doing those things with Daddy, Uncle A and the rest of the gang, whilst M and I share a quiet day and hope to be able to get to the Carols by Candlelight service at the church around the corner from GOSH.

However, it doesn’t really matter what was planned or what’s going to happen. The most important thing is that even though we’re all these miles apart for your special day, M and I will be thinking of you and celebrating with you and loving you as always. I’m so sorry that we can’t be there with you this year, that we can’t spend your birthday in the way that we all wanted to, but I’m glad that Daddy, Gu and Uncle A are all there to help you enjoy it as much as possible. The last 10 days have been hard, especially knowing that we wouldn’t be home in time and I hope that next year will be very different. In the meantime, know that Mummy loves you very much; that, as I tell you so many times, you will always be my baby, no matter how old you get; and be warned that, when I see you next, I’ll be wrapping my arms tight around you and hugging you close for an awfully long time. B128

Happy 12th Birthday Floss xxx

Fitting in a birthday celebration when we can…

Today’s a special day. It hasn’t quite turned out as planned, but then again, things quite often don’t in our household. Presents have been bought and wrapped and cards have been written, but the birthday boy wasn’t at home this morning to open them. I thought we might enjoy a family meal together at home tonight, but Mike has been away on business, so we’ll be lucky if we just about manage a strategically ordered takeaway before 9pm instead. I was even hoping to bake a cake, but work commitments have left me running around a little like a headless chicken this week and unless things improve drastically before that 9pm takeaway deadline, I really don’t think that will happen.

Mike & his hero Dave Gorman - last year's birthday pressie. Wonder what this year will bring?

Mike & funny man, Dave Gorman – last year’s birthday pressie. Wonder what this year will bring?

So instead, let me take the “easy” way out and instead wish Mike an amazingly happy birthday! It might not have been the birthday celebrations we’d have chosen, but I hope your day is a good one and G, M and I can’t wait to see you tonight for a mini celebration before bedtime.  We love you lots.


A Decade of Parenting

By the time this week is over, Mike and I will have completed our first decade of parenting.  I hadn’t really thought of it in those terms until G came home from school a couple of months back and announced proudly that she would be turning a decade old this year.  Now that I have realised the truth in her statement, it seems like an amazing feat and, oh my goodness, hasn’t that time just flown by?

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We’ve learnt so many things over the last 10 years, most of which are lessons all new parents discover sooner or later.  The most important one for me, I think, is that we have made many mistakes along the way and are likely to continue to make them despite our best efforts not to.  The best I can hope for is that there are no lasting scars being left on either G or M.  Equally inevitable is the fact that we’ve made the majority of those mistakes with G as by the time we got round to dealing with M, we had a better sense of the direction we wanted our parenting skills to take us.

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The last 10 years with G have been an absolute delight, albeit there’s been the odd moment of stress or anxiety or frustration thrown our way.  We’ve watched our baby girl (oh how she hates me calling her that!) grow into a young lady who is beautiful both inside and out.  She is kind-hearted, generous, patient and loving, most of the time, although she has her moments of obstinate refusal, which I prefer to call “knowing her own mind”.  She is keen to please and hates to see her friends upset or disappointed and yet is fast learning to stick to her guns and will no longer pander to the whims of those surrounding her.

She loves him enough to share her blanket!

She loves him enough to share her blanket!

G has become a wonderful big sister to M and whilst tney might squabble and fight at home, she always has his back in the outside world.  Living with M is hard and sometimes the pressures on G are immense.  His constant battle with ill-health means that G often has to take the backseat in our priorities.  As is frequently the case, the healthier siblings of sick children can easily become lost in the chaos that is the illness, appointments and hospital visits and we work hard daily to ensure that G’s individual needs are met and that she feels that she gets the time and attention she deserves.  M might be her annoying little brother, but she worries about him whenever we have to travel to appointments and waits anxiously until we’re back home again.  The bond between my children is irrefutable and one that I hope will continue to grow and strengthen over time. DSC01674

G is bright, articulate, funny and able to achieve so much, although the one thing that continues to hold her back in her lack of self-belief.  Last week, G received her green award for 6 years continual attendance at Stagecoach.  We started her at 4, partly to satisfy my own love for the performing arts and partly in the hope that she would develop and build her confidence through the weekly classes.  G has grown incredibly as a performer during her time there and in the past 12 months has amazed us with a willingness to sing solos as part of two Stagecoach concerts as well as play a clarinet solo at school.  These are things she would have actively shied away from in the past and it’s been a real pleasure to see her become so keen to be involved.  As we read through her end-of-term report together, I was impressed with G’s maturity as she quickly identified that all 4 teachers were saying the same thing – that she needs to develop confidence in her own abilities as she has the potential to go far.  I’m excited to see just how she will tackle this new challenge in the year ahead.

8 years on and she's still our Queen of Hearts

8 years on – she’s still our Queen of Hearts

So, as we head into our second parenting decade, there’s not much more to say.  As may have become quite apparent, we are incredibly proud of G and all she’s acheived and survived so far.  All I can add is:

“Happy 10th birthday Floss – we love you very, very much”

Happy Birthday Daddy!

I’m disappointed that my surprise post to wish Mike a very special birthday whilst M and I were in hospital didn’t quite work out as planned.  I’d forgotten that the vagaries of the blogging system mean that even a scheduled post requires me to log into my account at some point. I’ve decided to post it now, even though it’s a little late, because we didn’t forget it and we wanted to make sure Mike knew we hadn’t!


It isn’t quite the birthday we had planned.  Presents were bought and wrapped, cards chosen and written and I’d searched high and low for a way to make a M-friendly lemon meringue themed cake to mark the occasion.  I was even prepared to put my new meringue recipe into action as the topper.

Well, I can dream that it might have resembled this!

Well, I can dream that it might have resembled this!

However, M’s admission to GOSH for scopes has played havoc with my best made plans and instead, Mike will be celebrating his birthday with G and my Mum, whilst M and I spend another day incarcerated on Kingfisher ward  So, what M and I both want to say is “Happy birthday to a special Daddy!  We love you lots and will see you soon.”

Courtesy of depositphotos.com

Courtesy of depositphotos.com