Leila. Today, you are FIVE!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 16 - 2014

I usually have a little more time to myself while writing my annual birthday letter to you beautiful, but just last week… we welcomed your baby brother into the world.  I keep looking at you, wondering what you’re thinking about this latest installment into our family but you know, if you don’t end up being Daddy’s chief game designer, I’m sure you’d make a great poker player.  When I think of you, the phrase “still waters run deep” springs to mind.  It’s not that you’re not vocal… it’s just that you’re always, always thinking, far more deeply and analytically than any child I’ve known.

For a Mum, this is something that I both cherish and despise.  Shouldn’t you just be living in the moment, shouldn’t I be the one doing all this deep-thinking for you?  The truth is, you love nothing more.  If you’re not applying this analysis to your own thoughts and feelings, you’re asking me and Daddy to quiz you on the Universe.  You want to know where you came from (not like that) and why you’re here.  You want to know all about Earth’s gravity and just how big is the Sun anyway?  But despite your adoration for all things planetary, you know for sure that you never want to be an astronaut.  Far too scary.  Clever girl, we don’t want you to be an astronaut either.

We’ve bought you a telescope for your birthday.  You may only be able to see into next door’s garden with it but all the same, I know you’ll cherish it for the way you’ll feel as though you’ve been given a key to another portal.  Let alone the opportunity to stay up a bit later for some moon-gazing.  You have a glow in the dark solar system hanging from your ceiling and your favourite planet, despite its rugged and inhospitable surface is Mercury.  I think that Venus, with its poisonous clouds, makes you feel a little in awe of just how incredible it is up there.

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This is the year in which you started infant school, and after the tribulations of starting nursery, both Daddy and I were terrified.  Not about how you’d fit into an academic environment and the stresses of a work-load, but fearful of how you’d socialise with your friends.  Let’s face it… you still struggle to mount a climbing frame with any kind of grace at all, the monkey-bars don’t even stand a chance.  This makes you a little sad.  I know that for once, you’d love to be able to catch your best friend Issy whilst playing tag… but just like your Mum before you, we simply weren’t built for speed my love.  Unlike your Mum, however, just recently… we’ve noticed that you seem to have been blessed with a generous side-order of humour… comical timing and a quick wit that endears you to both adults and children alike.  This is something that, if we’re honest, has caught us by surprise… our little girl is a funny one!  Please stay self-confident enough to know that the things you have to say are worth the smile of others.

School is going really well, you’re almost up to box 6 for reading.  You love a bit of maths (though hate being wrong) and we often catch you belting out school assembly songs about all the different year groups and classes.  You’re not top of the class but slightly better than average and you know what?  That’s a very comfortable place to be in life.  One of my favourite things about your school life is the way you come home with a newly-learned word that simply must be slotted into our every conversation… “Hey Mum, let’s collaborate!”

Just recently, you’ve developed the kind of sass that makes me both roar with laughter and hold my head in my hands as I catch glimpses of the future teenager you’ll become.  From your street-dancing (single person grinding) in Asda to your desperate desire to have the last word, you’re finding your own way.  For now, I can hold my own but I know that a time will come when I need to allow you the occasional victory if I don’t want you to experience too many of those teenage feelings of resentment.  Give me a few more years of reminding you who the Mummy is though, eh?

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When you see us looking at houses to buy, you worry that we’re going to move too far away for you to have your weekly sleepover at Nanny and Pop’s house.  We do our very best to reassure you that this will never happen and it’s true.  Our initial desire to roam further afield in the quest for a more affordable home has been quelled by the simple knowledge that such a move would break your heart.  So important are your Nanny and Pop to you, we understand and realise that they’re more like second-parents than grandparents.  You are so very lucky to be so very loved.

Hot on Nanny and Pop’s heels is your infatuation for your cousins.  If you’re not making cards and notes for Mummy and Daddy, you’re inventing ways to express your adoration for the cousins you get to see frequently: Mildred, Ava, Eli, and Ola.  From simple scraps of paper to sophisticated Cool Cardz, from Post-It Notes to hand-crafted greeting’s cards… our flat is awash with your arty creations.  Only around 10% of these find their way to their intended targets once life has gotten in the way… but still, they keep coming.  “I love you!”, “Thanks for being my friend!”.  They love you too stinky-bum.

Your brother is wakimg up and so I must find a way to close this letter to you.  I just want to thank you for being so bloody brilliant, so genuinely reasonable, and so infinitely enchanting.

Leila Jean (beauty queen), Happy 5th Birthday big girl.  We love you to Pluto and back.

xxxxx

Previous “Birthday” Letters: Four, Three, Two, Four Months


Something a little bit different…

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 31 - 2014

…I’m so pleased with how these party invitations turned out, I had to share!

Mostly because my poor husband is absolutely sick of giving me constant “they look great!” validation, so I’m turning to you instead.  Of course, you can tell me they look terrible if you want, it’s ok… I can totally handle criticism, that’s if… you can handle a DDOS attack.

JUST KIDDING.

Anyway, this is kind of a big deal, Leila has been waiting for a proper “friends” birthday party since she turned 3 and I told her that in her first year of BIG school, she could invite the whole class if she wanted but until then, she had to make do with family-only birthdays.  So she has.  Not that she minded the family parties at all, but you know… when you’re that age, nothing in life is more important than your PARTY, right?  She also knows that she doesn’t get another “big” party until she turns 10… so, she’s keen to make the most of it!

Anyway, as fate would have it… my due-date for baby number two coincides with her 5th Birthday.  Which means that I’ll be 38-and-a-half-weeks pregnant on the day of her party.  The party with 35-children coming.  Speshul award for me please!

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The invitations are going in to school today to be given out just before home-time.  I don’t know about you but I hate the idea of giving out invitations during school-time if there’s only a select few kids being invited.  I’m of the opinion that if the whole class isn’t invited, the invitation “thing” should be done out of school completely.  The thought of leaving a few 4 or 5 year olds disappointed while others get invited makes my heart do a sob.

Because she’s having a Disco Party, we made VIP DISCO PASSES.  If you’re not wearing your lanyard, you’re not getting in! (or something like that).

Each lanyard has a glowstick and a candy watch attached.  To be honest, I really wanted to attach candy-dummies to the lanyards but I was a bit worried the parents might think I’d be playing Happy Hardcore and handing out Speed and Ecstasy during the interval.  I also considered a whistle… but then came to my senses, because that wouldn’t be at all annoying for Mum and Dad on the way home, right?

I bought most of the components for the invites from eBay.  The lanyards, I think, are mobile-phone ones from Hong Kong… the “VIP card” holders I bought separately and the glow-sticks were bought in a bulk pack of 50.  The candy watches came from Amazon.  All in all, to make 35 invitations, it came to just over £18.  Not including printer ink/card or the blood, sweat, and tears.

I was pleasantly surprised because I always embark on these projects and then start lying to my husband when I realise just how much it’s gonna cost to DIY it!  I also have some leftover glow-sticks/watches to put in goody bags.

Between the almost-5-year-old and the almost-33-year-old, you can guess who had more fun making these invitations can’t you? *blush*

Leila turns 4…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 20 - 2013

In what has become a bit of a blog tradition, please excuse me as I take a moment again this year to pen a letter to Leila in honour of her birthday.  Sorry for the self-indulgence, it’s long and not terribly interesting.

Where did the last 12 months go bub-a-lubs?  It seems like only yesterday we were Thomas-the-Tanking it up for your third birthday and here we are now, tidying the remnants of your Alice in Wonderland extraordinaire!  So much has happened this past year as you’ve taken some serious steps towards becoming a proper kid, no longer a sproglet but a bonafide little girl with the sass to back it up.  As I sit here trying to recall the moments and peculiarities that have made this past year such a joy to share with you, I’m overtaken by the realisation at just how much you’ve had to adapt in this time.

In 2012, we moved from Nanny and Pop’s house to our new flat… a monumental occasion that you would have done absolutely anything to reverse.  “Do you like your new flat?” we’d ask, ever more hopeful each time…

“No”.  Would come the reply.  “Can we go back to Pop’s now?”

Each Thursday night, when I take you for your sleepover with Nanny and Pop, it’s a grand reunion with more melodrama than a night at the TV Soap Awards.  “But I’ll miss you Mummy!” you say with all the sincerity of a politician.  Sometimes, you even phone me an hour later just to remind me that you’re still missing me.  “Would you like me to come and pick you up?” I offer.  “Oh no! I’mokMum, seeyoutomorrow!” you say faster than Usain Bolt on speed.  *Click* goes the phone.  You big spoofer.

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As if that weren’t change enough… last September, you started pre-school and things didn’t run smoothly.  Your usual, cheerful little self turned upside down and inside out as you struggled to cope with such a huge watershed in your life.  Not used to the company of so many other children, you rejected the noise and clamor of the environment you’d been thrust into… that is, until you actually stepped through the door.  And so this continued for months, dismayed by the thought of returning to nursery while at home… but not wanting to leave it whilst there.  Apparently, this is pretty common for children who haven’t been brought up with other children around them.  Knowing this didn’t help ease the transition at the time though.

But now, as you turn four… you’re desperate not to have to leave pre-school this Summer.  You know that “big” school is around the corner and I can see the cogs turning as you think about what this means for your future.  The thought of leaving your beloved “teacher” Susan behind at nursery is too much to contemplate, even though you seem to be the only child there who likes the rather prickly, older lady (and I can’t help but love you even more for that).  I’ve heard that you and her sing show-tunes together while you do all the jobs that the other kids don’t have the patience for.  Susan tells me that you are a methodical child who completes her tasks with care and precision, I secretly think that this may be code for OCD but either way, you’re definitely your father’s daughter when it comes to your perfectionist tendencies.  God help me.

Talking about your inherited personality traits… today, I watched you dance around on a makeshift stage that you’d conjured up from a set of paving stones and I wondered where you could have possibly come from.  Unlike both me and your dad, you love nothing more than to perform.  I always roll my eyes and say “trust me to have gotten the jazz-hands kid”, feeling terribly disloyal all the while.  Because you see, it’s not a fair description of your passion for a performance.  You’re a storyteller my little girl, and a good one at that.  You’re actually a bit of a shocking dancer, with the grace of a thousand, heavily sedated elephants but what you lack in finesse, you make up for in your sheer determination to put on a good show.

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But perhaps, out of all the things that have happened this year, the most groundbreaking has been your discovery of The Princess.  You told me yesterday to save a birthday cupcake for your “prince”.  When I asked if you meant Daddy, you couldn’t have looked more horrified (poor Daddy).  I don’t know much about this mystery prince of yours but apparently he has red hair and a kind heart.  He sounds alright to me, just make sure you leave it until your 32nd birthday before introducing him to Dad.  And how could I forget Galahad, your imaginary steed who accompanies us wherever we go, helping you ride safely over kerbstones whilst avoiding the cracks in the pavement.  You don’t know it yet, but you’re going on a pony-trek as your birthday surprise next week.  I can’t even wait to see your face.

Other memorable milestones of your third full year included a trip to Disnleyland Paris (where you met the beautiful Snow White), a Christmas spent with your family from Australia, a bout of chickenpox (and croup), a couple of day-trips to Chessington (you’re a daredevil rollercoaster rider), and a summer holiday in the exotic climes of Liverpool & Manchester where you could barely contain your excitement at the trams, no really.

You still only really like chicken nuggets and IKEA meatballs.  Sometimes tomato soup and always, always cheese.  Like a little mouse, I know your Pop sometimes sneaks you a slice to eat in bed after you’ve brushed your teeth on a Thursday.  Co-conspirators.  I pray you are gifted with many more years to bask in your Grandparent’s adoration for you.  You refuse to get your hair cut.  After watching Tangled, you’re convinced that, like Rapunzel’s, your hair will turn brown if it meets with a pair of scissors and I haven’t got the heart to tell you that your blonde locks are already looking darker than they were six months ago.

You’re still fascinated by people’s earlobes.  You reach up to play with mine at least 10 times a day, a comfort thing I’m sure.  I shall be one of those old ladies with ear lobes that reach their shoulders and I shall blame you for it.

The final thing I want to remind you of in years to come is your solemn promise to never grow too old for a cwtch.  Right now, as I write this after putting you to bed, you love me to the moon and back… although sometimes you only love me “zero” and I have to tickle it out of you until your arms are outstretched in demonstration of how big your love is.  You’ve taken to calling me “Mama” and although it sounds so frightfully middle-class, it melts me every time.  I’m sure you know this.  You’re not daft my girl.

Happy birthday my dearest darling duck, you’re such a plonker and I love you more than “baninna” ice-cream.

A little thank you.

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 25 - 2012

Three years ago today, I started blogging about beauty and although I’ve had some kind of blog since 2001, today marks the longest single stretch yet.  The medium has never been more mainstream or validated than it is today, something which makes me both delighted and horrified in equal measure.  I’ve tried from the very beginning to keep true to what I set out to do, which is absolutely nothing other than use this as a platform to be a bit of a gob-shite about something that interests me and captures my imagination.

Over the past three years I’ve forged some friendships of the like that I’ve never had before and have experienced things that were it not for the blog, I’d never have enjoyed.  I’ve given up my day job to write full-time, it’s scary and I’m very bad at putting myself forward for anything but it beats installing motherboards.

Just as it was three years ago, I’d have approximately nothing without you dodging your work/studies/childcare to have a nosy at what I’ve bought/sampled/discovered or (more recently) cooked!  You tell me in no uncertain terms when what I’m blogging is rubbish/brilliant and I still rub my hands together in maniacal glee when I’ve planted the seed of a lemming in your psyche.  Not so much when you do that to me though bitches, you think I don’t have enough shit?

Ultimately, I just want to say thank you for continuing to have faith in me and what I write, it means more than I can express.

Now, let’s all have some cake this lunchtime ok?  If anyone asks, I’ll shoulder this one.

Birthday Pressies!!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 17 - 2011

Teeny quick update (knew I wouldn’t be able to stay away!)…

I’m having the bestest day thanks to the most thoughtful husband a girl could ever dream of.

Infact, I’m composing this post on my new phone and if it works it’ll hopefully make updating on the go a real possibility! (you poor, poor things).

Anyway, look at my lovely birthday presents!! How lucky am I?

Thank you for all your kind birthday messages, this getting older lark really isn’t that scary after all!

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Eek! I hope this publishes without messing up the blog :/

This weekend I will mostly be…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 15 - 2011

drinking practically illegal amounts of tea

marvelling at how much joy this one brings

doing a bit o’ cooking and baking…

…but resorting to cheese on toast when the going gets tough

reliving my past…

…enjoying the present…

…and welcoming the future as I hit the big 3-0 on Sunday.

Please tell me it’s not gonna smart too much?  I’m a little apprehensive!  Posting may be sporadic over the next few days and if it isn’t… I really do love blogging a bit too much.

Have a great weekend people, I’ll see you on the other side!

RANDOM

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