A Letter To Little Squirrel – On Your 4th Birthday

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4 years has gone by in a blink of an eye. It seems like no time since we welcomed you into our world and brought you home to our little West End flat.
A lot has happened in that 4 years… we moved from Glasgow to Lenzie, you have become a big sister, and you have grown into a clever, beautiful and funny little girl.

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Celebrating 1st, 2nd, & 3rd birthdays

You are strong and determined, which most definitely brings its challenges for Mummy & Daddy, (currently struggling with outfit choices on a daily basis) but I really hope you keep these traits as you will go far little one!

You are kind and caring, and you love to look after people. Your most recent favourite game is to play Doctors with your medical kit, and you have the loveliest bedside manner as Dr M. My heart swells with pride when I see you gently cooing over the newest baby arrivals in our circle of friends.

Loving our friend’s new baby

You love to sing and dance, and my heart literally sings with joy when we sing along to our favourite songs from Moana, Trolls and Frozen. Music was a huge part of my life with my Mum, and I look forward to the day when I can sit beside you on a piano stool and play a duet with you like I did with my Mum. Keep singing little one!

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Enjoying a trip to Glasgow to see Moana at the cinema

You love your friends and I love to watch your friendships grow. You have a special bond with Noah, Heather, and Holly, whom you have known since you were all tiny babies and I am very grateful for the special friendships I have formed with their Mums.

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Martha & friends!

You are protective of your little sister.
Just last week we were out in Princes Square in Glasgow. Before I had you, I used to watch all the little ones running round and round in the little sunken area in the basement of Princes Square, and would daydream about watching my own children enjoy this space.  On our most recent trip to Princes Square a little girl ran up to you both and screamed in your faces. My heart swelled with pride when I saw you put your arms around your little sister and watched you usher her away in the most protective and loving way. Of course, as all siblings do, we also have to referree your squabbles with each other. But those moments when you look out for each other make all the tough moments worth it!

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Sisterly love 🙂

You love your family. Your little face lights up when we visit Granny & Grandad McKenzie in Langbank, and Grandpa Møller from Ireland. You don’t get to see Grandpa as much as Granny & Grandad because of distance, but your bond with him is remarkably strong. I am so happy that you have a special bond with each of your Grandparents. I only wish you could have known your Nanny Møller. She was a very special lady who would have loved you very much. I look at you and I see her in your big, deep, long-lashed eyes. She has most definitely gifted these to you!

My darling girl… we love you to the moon and back! Xxx

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A Letter To Littlest Squirrel – On Your 2nd Birthday

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Today you turn two years old! It really seems like no time since all this was happening…

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On the day you were born

The change in you over this last year is hard to believe. You have grown into a little person with a large personality!

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You make us laugh every day. Your smile is infectious. You are mostly a happy little squirrel, but your fuse can be short and your temper is a force to be reckoned with! We couldn’t love you any more though!

You love your bunny and your muzzy (blanket), you love cuddles, you love books, you love pushing your baby doll Violet in her pram, you love Maui and Tamatoa from Moana. And we love you!

Your relationship with your big sister is really blossoming. It is clear to see how much you care for each other, and when you are not winding each other up, you are making each other laugh, dancing with each other, singing together, reading together, hiding together and comforting each other when the other is upset.

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Sisters

My little darling, we are all so lucky to have you in our lives and we love you with all our hearts and are extremely proud of you.

Have a wonderful birthday my darling girl!

Love Mummy xxx

27 Years With Mum

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Ten years ago today I lost my Mum. I could write all day long about how much I miss her, how much I want to hug her, talk to her, phone her… Yes, I am terribly sad about what both my Mum and myself, and the rest of my family, have missed out on over the last ten years without Mum, but I also recognise that I am incredibly lucky to have had her in my life for those 27 years. Some of us lose our Mums much earlier in life, so I have to be grateful for the time I did have with her. With that in mind, I have decided to mark the 10 year anniversary of her passing with some memories of Mum…

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Mum & I at St John’s Point, Co Donegal

My love of food comes from both my parents, but my love of cooking and baking definitely comes from Mum. I have many fond memories from my childhood of standing on a kitchen chair watching Mum whip up a batch of shortbread, wheaten bread, border tartlets, and delectable desserts for entertaining… Mum got me involved in the kitchen from an early age, and for that I am so grateful! Since starting this blog, I have shared many of the recipes that I hold dear to my heart as I consider them Mum’s signature bakes. I hope you all get as much enjoyment from these recipes as I do!

Mum worked hard and she cared passionately for people. She was a Social Worker, and throughout her career she worked with people affected by blindness, deafness, learning difficulties, and dementia. She taught me the importance of fairness and empathy whilst caring for others, and I use these skills in my own career as a health professional. Many of Mum’s old colleagues speak highly of her and I only hope that I am as highly thought of by my patients and colleagues as she was.

My love of music comes from both Mum and Dad. It was through music that my own parents met. My Mum was a church organist in Belfast and my Dad was visiting her church to hear the new pipe organ that she was playing. Their first date was to the cinema to see The Sound Of Music.
Throughout my childhood my Mum was the organist for our own church and was the leader of the junior and senior choir. At the time, I have to be honest, I was not overly impressed at having to don the choir gowns, but of course, now I am hugely grateful to both Mum and Dad for growing that love of a wide variety of music.
One of my happiest memories of Mum was at my eldest brother’s wedding reception. Dexys Midnight Runners Come on Eileen was playing… I have never seen my Mum dance so enthusiastically. Her face was beaming, and every time I hear that song now it brings the biggest smile to my face.

So today Mum, I’ll be thinking of you, missing you, and listening to this…

 

A Woodland Themed 1st Birthday Cake For Littlest Squirrel

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When planning a celebration cake I often turn to Pinterest for inspiration. For the Littlest’s 1st birthday cake I knew I wanted to stick with the squirrel/woodland theme that I followed for her big sister’s 1st birthday cake, but wanted something new and different.

It was through Pinterest that I came across these two cake designs, and I knew immediately that this was the theme that I would follow…

I loved the stronger colours of the cake on the left, but loved the details of the cake on the right.

It had been two years since I had last baked and decorated a celebration cake, so was a little nervous. On top of that I was coming down with flu on the day the cake was to be baked and decorated, but I had been planning this cake for months, so just had to push through and get it done!

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I had already made the little figures to decorate the cake. The trickiest bit was getting the lettering completed. I am a little disappointed that the finish isn’t as clean as I normally aim for, but I was feeling so ill I just had to get it done!

Birthday Cake Collage.jpgAll things considered, the cake turned out well, and I was really pleased with the bake. On my friend Frances’ recommendation I used Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe. Many Thanks to Frances for her advice on this bake. If you love beautiful cakes then take a look at Frances’ blog, her cakes are simply stunning!

As for the Littlest, she seemed to enjoy her first taste of chocolate cake. Now, I just need to decide what sort of cake to create for her big sister’s birthday in March!…

A Letter To Littlest Squirrel On Her 1st Birthday

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Dear Littlest Squirrel

It is hard to believe it has been one year since you arrived in to our world! Like your big sister, you have brought so much sunshine in to our lives.Ciara Birthday CollageYou are my little tiny one, yet you are strong. You are sweet and loving, yet fierce and determined.

You give the best kisses.

You have the cheekiest, widest grin.

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You have enriched all of our lives, more than I ever could have wished for, and we are all completely besotted with you.

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Happy Birthday my little darling. You are so loved!

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Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

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Happy New Year folks!
2015 was good to us… We feel so blessed to have our two Little Squirrels in our lives. We are very lucky and incredibly grateful.
For me 2015, has been all about Littlest Squirrel entering our lives, adapting to life as a Mum of two, and watching both Little Squirrels grow, develop, and bring happiness and contentment to myself and Mr Hungry Squirrel.

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Some of our favourite photos from 2015

Becoming a Mother for the second time has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience. I have enjoyed every minute, feeling much more confident, relaxed, and less anxious as a Mother than I was first time round. I have savoured every moment with Littlest Squirrel and am continuously amazed by how much love we are capable of!
These two girls amaze me every day, and I can’t wait to watch them, and their relationship, change and grow over 2016.
We love you both so much Little Squirrels!

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New Year’s Day 2016 at Hogganfield Loch

Every New Year’s Day Mr Hungry Squirrel and I (weather-permitting) try to get outdoors and go for a walk. I love a fresh, crisp, brisk walk outdoors to start the year off, and blow away any cobwebs from New Year’s Eve (or from early starts with the Little Squirrels). This year we stayed fairly local and took the girls to Hogganfield Loch in Stepps. It was certainly cold and fresh, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Little Squirrel loved feeding the swans and the pirate ship at the playpark. Littlest Squirrel loved her first adventure in our Little Life Child Carrier.

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Fun with Little Squirrels at Hogganfield Loch

During our walk we decided on our New Year’s Resolution for 2016… to take more pictures of us as a family of four. Looking back over our pictures from 2015, we only have one photo of the four of us together, and it’s not even a particularly good one. So, we have set ourselves a challenge to capture at least one family photo every month this year. Here’s our first shot of 2016…

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Our first family photo of 2016

Wishing you all much love, laughter, health, and happiness in 2016!

 

Dear Mum

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It was nine years ago today that we lost you from this world. In ways it feels like only yesterday when I could still pick up the phone for a chat with you, yet so much has happened since then.

I only hope that you can see how happy I am with Mr Hungry Squirrel and our two Little Squirrels in our beautiful home. I wish they could all know you.

I wish you could see how amazing Dad has coped since we lost you. I am so grateful to have him, and although I don’t get the chance to visit home in NI as often as I used to, I am thrilled that Dad is coming to visit us at our new home in Lenzie more regularly.

I miss you as much today as I did nine years ago, yet as time goes on, I realise that you are still with us. More and more I see you in me. Particularly since having the girls. I catch little glimpses of myself in the mirror and I see you. I am talking to my friends and to the girls and I hear you. I am cooking dinner, and keeping a tidy house, while looking after two little ones and I feel what you must have felt as a new Mum.

I would give anything to chat to you on the phone, or to hug you when I return home to NI, and I feel terribly sad and jealous at times when I see my friends with their Mums. Yet, I take huge comfort from the fact that I look like you, I act like you, and I am like you. I love you Mum!

Mum