18 For 2018

Happy New Year!

My goodness life with 4 little people is busy

As a mummy of five

I am busy not only with my 4 living children

But also finding ways to remember and honour

Matilda Mae

Our baby in the sky

tilda at leeds

This year will be the fifth anniversary of Tilda’s death

She would have been six in May

This May Edie will turn one

In the summer the twins will be 8!


How can that be?

And beautiful Bea will be four


If we were a family at school

Then Bea would be starting this September

But she has already proudly told everyone who will listen

That her mummy will be her teacher

Bea will not be going to school


2018 is a big year it seems

A year to live for Tilda

A year to really really try to live

And not just exist

A year when I hope that somehow

I will remember how to be happy

It has been 5 years!

Here are 18 things I am focusing on for 2018

Thank you Plutonium Sox for tagging me

And giving me a chance to formulate and share my thoughts

A very special happy 2018 to you x

1. Find Me

In 2008 we started fertility investigations

In 2009 IVF and ICSI

This year will mark 10 years of parenting

Of love and loss

Four unsuccessful cycles of IVF / ICSI

One incredibly intense successful cycle at The ARGC

Premature twins

One miracle baby

Who died aged 9 months

Two miscarriages

Two beautiful rainbows

It has been the rockiest of roads

And the signs on my mental and physical health

Are clear for all to see

This year


Is a year to rediscover me

To find ME

And start to look after me

Heal me

It is time to do things for me

To be me

And to not feel guilty

For needing me

The road to recovery has begun

January and February sees me undergoing

An intense series of dental appointments

To deep clean my teeth

And stabilise my gum disease

In an attempt to slow down my bone loss

I am also starting to see an osteopath this week

To try to treat my back pain

My lower back is in constant pain

And I struggle with discomfort in my whole back

I am also off to the GP for a well woman check

And to make sure my smear tests are up to date

I am also going to ask them to look at my stomach

I have diastasis recti

But David and I wonder if it might be something more than that

As my stomach is hard in places

At 8 months post partum I still look 8 months pregnant

I am also working with One Fit Mama

To try to increase my physical activity

In a safe way

Following gentle routines at home

That are designed with core recovery in mind

My teeth, tummy and back are the things I need to fix

I also need to get my eyes tested

And I need to find a counsellor

To talk to and to help me cope better

With life as a mummy with PTSD and anxiety

There is a mountain to climb

2018 is the year to start my ascent

If I can find me and fix me

Then everything else becomes so much easier

For everyone in my life

better me

2. Peak at Easter

For the last few years my sister and her family have come to us for Easter

This year we are planning to go to them

They live in The Peak District

And so it is the perfect opportunity

To go up there from Kent and explore

Our children are all similar ages

So it will be nice to have some extended cousin play time

I am looking forward to our long weekend away

And to seeing some new places with our little ones


3. Enjoy All The Fun of The Farm

Every year for Matilda Mae’s birthday we go to Cornwall

Ordinarily we stay at Coombe Mill Farm

The very special place where we took Tilda’s ashes

And set them sail down the river

Over the sea to the sky

This year with Edie being the exact age Tilda would have been

On her planned first trip to the farm

We have decided to holiday somewhere new

Still in Cornwall

This year we have booked a two week stay

At Bosinver Farm near St Austell

We have booked two cottages

A larger one for the first week

When Granny and Grandad will join us

And a smaller for the second week

When it will be just us

We will celebrate both Tilda and Edie’s birthdays

During our stay at Bosinver

I have been slowly falling in love with the farm

Through their social media for a while now

I love the bright rainbow colours of their cottage interiors

I love the eco ethos of the farm

Esther is very excited about being able to ride ponies

Daddy is drawn by the swimming pool

Bea squealed with delight on the discovery of The Gruffalo Trail

And William has been wooed by the woodland adventure potential

And possible places to ride his bike

I am looking forward to exploring the cottages

To soaking up two weeks of slow days with my family

Revisiting the Cornish places that have become so special to us

And finding new places too

I am already counting the sleeps til May

And I know that the planning for beyond Tilda’s anniversary

Is what will get me through the next few weeks

birthday lunch

4. Plan a Rainbow Party

A large bulk of my planning for this year

Will be focused on Edie’s first birthday

She will have a farm themed family tea on her actual birthday

And a week or so later we will have her party

A rainbow party for our family and friends

And I am already busy planning

And collating ideas here

rainbows and robins

5. Make the Most of the Magic

Since September

Esther and William have been obsessed with Harry Potter

We are currently reading The Prisoner of Azkaban

And LOVING it!

Esther and William are totally immersed in the wizarding world

They think their Daddy might be a wizard

And I often over hear them talking about what they will do if they get their letter

Esther is sometimes tearful so torn is she between accepting the offer to Hogwarts

And staying at home with us

She is making lists of all the things that she needs to do before going to Hogwarts

And is determined to read as much as possible to be like Hermione

They are totally entranced and it is such a privilege to read the books with them

And experience Harry Potter through their eyes and their imaginations

It is … magical

And definitely one of my parenting highlights

2017 will always be the year of Harry Potter

(And Edie Mae)

This year as our Hogwarts journey continues

I am hoping to take Esther and William to

The History of Magic Exhibition at The British Library

Via Platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross

And to

The Harry Potter Tour

At Warner Brothers Studios

I know that both experiences will blow their minds

And be days they will remember for all of their lives

6. Balance Bea

Bea is still struggling to adjust to not being the baby anymore

She loves Edie dearly but needs a lot of guidance of how to be with her

My relationship with Bea has really suffered with the arrival of Edie

And this year as Edie becomes less dependent on me

I need to redress the balance

I miss my Bea

And I think a lot of Bea’s troubles stem from her missing me

Missing being the baby

I am reducing Bea’s preschool time to three mornings

And increasing her activities that we do together

She will be taking more classes with the dance teacher she adores

And starting Fun Train music and Spanish classes

These are all things that we can do together

And I hope they will help


I am also making an effort to set up sensory play for Bea

I made a Frozen themed invitation to play this week

And Bea has loved it and spent hours playing with it

I need to do more things like this for Bea

Just as I used to do for Esther and William

I am looking forward to creating and sharing our

Play and learning activities

I am going to try and cook more with Bea too

Which leads nicely on to …

7. Wean Edie and Win Over My Fussy Eaters

We started weaning Edie when she turned six months

She was showing all the signs of being ready

Until now though

At 8 months

She has not really been interested in food

She will nibble on a toast crust

Suck an apple

Push blueberries around her high chair

Take the tip of a spoonful of cereal

We have had no luck with purees

Pouches or jars

Apart from a random pouch of peach

She devoured a few days ago

My plan is to start meal planning for us as a family

And to cook food for all of us that is suitable for Edie

Then she will just have little bits of what we have

I am going to cook dishes from scratch

And get the older children involved in preparing

Cooking and serving meals

I am hoping that this way we will all eat more healthily

And be more ready to try new things

I love weaning

And I am determined to enjoy this last weaning phase

And use it as a way of making more of our family meal times

Watch this space for our meal plans and for the recipes and ideas that we try

I am not a natural in the kitchen

So if you are not either please do join me for the ride!

edie edie goose

8. Live for Tilda

At the start of 2016 I said this is the year

At the start of 2017 I said this has to be the year

And now at the dawn of 2018

I am saying this must be the year

It is time to Live For Tilda

To make her the reason we are happy

The reason that we grab life with both hands

She has to be the positive

I feel like I have to choose to live

Before it is too late

The last few years I have been living a half life

Riddled with guilt and depression and anxiety

I want to seize the day

See the world

Make every moment count

And give my living children the childhood they deserve

Fill their minds with memories that will see them through any dark times that may lay ahead

This year must be the year

This is the time to live

To live for Tilda

2018-01-06 15.30.44-2

9. Write For Me

I have become increasingly frustrated with my blog

I feel very detached from it

And I am unsure what to do with it

Sometimes I feel like I am blogging for the sake of it

When what I want to be doing

Is writing for me

The biggest problem that I have is lack of time

I have no time to write all the things I am longing to write

I had planned so many posts about Edie’s baby days

I think I have written two in 8 months

I had planned to share our home education journey

I have not had time to write a fraction of it down

Matilda Mae is hardly mentioned and yet I am grieving still

And my mental health is still on my mind

I seem to have lost my way with blogging

Got bogged down with stats and money

And comparison has indeed been the thief of my joy

I have lost my belief in myself as an author

I need to just write again

I want to write for me

I want this blog to be a record of our family life

Warts and all

That we can all look back on in years to come

I would also like it to help other parents

Who tread a similar path

Whether that be IVF, premature birth, parenting twins

Babyloss, parenting after loss

Choosing to home educate

I hope that someone one day will find my blog useful



One day x

10. Hone Our Home Ed

This year will be our two year Home Education anniversary

I think truthfully we are still finding our feet

Yet to settle into a rhythm that works for us all

To be honest I think with the number of children we have

And the age gaps that we have

Getting the balance right is always going to be a struggle

But a struggle I am happy to have

Esther and William are making excellent progress

They are very different in ability and learning style

But they are progressing at their own stage

In their own way

And they are happy

They no longer talk about going to school

Unless you count the daily debate about whether or not

They should accept their Hogwarts letter when it comes!!

2017-12-29 09.22.10-2

I have decided that in 2018 I am going to be proud of our life choice

And I am going to make the most of not being confined by the school system

In terms of what we learn

And where and when we go

This year I want us to learn together through travel and experiences

And after lots of inspiration from Bookings For You

And lots of discussion with William

I think that Iceland and Italy

Are top of our travel wishlist

I am hoping that Jo @BookingsForYou

Has what it takes to help me convince David

That a week in the Italian Lakes is a good idea for our family

Is a possibility for our large home educating family

Me and William are ready and waiting to pack our bags!

11. Find Faith

This is the year that I want to return to church

William is really interested in The Bible

We have read various children’s versions of the testaments

And now William is keen to attend church

We went to a few services throughout advent

Including the crib service at our local church

2017-12-24 11.03.05-2

We decided then that we would attend the monthly family service

Which we started today

We were very disappointed to find that we were the only family there

And the service was not at all accessible for little people

I have so many ideas for making church accessible for children

I have children who are keen to be part of the church community

This year we are going to find a way to bring those two things together

12. Plan and Host a Matilda Mae Carol Service

In 2014 I hosted a remembrance service in Tilda’s name

Matilda Mae Remembers

This year I would like to host a Matilda Mae Carol Service

A chance for families to come together and sing

A chance to light a candle for someone no longer with us

A chance to remember at Christmas

I imagine well known carols

Readings from The Lion Storyteller Bible

Children acting out the Nativity story

Musical performances from young musicians

Milk and cookies

Hot choc and mince pies

To be shared after the service

I am hoping that our village church

Will be open to the idea

It is something I have wanted to do for so long

And as is becoming my mantra for 2018

This year is going to be the year

2017-12-17 18.14.51-1

13. See More Shows

Before Edie was born

I had started taking Esther and William to the theatre regularly

Now that Edie is becoming less dependent on me

For food and sleep

I can start planning trips out again

We have a huge wishlist of shows we hope to see in 2018

And I have started trying to make my children’s dreams come true

Top of the list is Matilda

Which I am planning to take Esther and William to see for their 8th birthday

In July

I also want to take Bea to the theatre and to the ballet

As she LOVED The Snowman when we went at the end of last year

snowman 2017

14. Swim

I love swimming

I have always loved swimming

And I want my children to share that passion

David also loves swimming

So I think it must be in their genes

This year we need to make time for swimming

We are looking forward to two week of unlimited swimming

During our stay at Bosinver

But we also need to swim more at home

And wouldn’t it be wonderful to swim in the sea

And a thermal pool, lake or lagoon

15. Share our play

One of my passions as a parent

And as a teacher

Is play

Baby Play

Preschool Play

Learning Through Play

This year I am going to be taking our play very seriously

And sharing my passion for play on this blog

It is something that I have done regularly

Throughout the last 7 years of parenting and blogging

But I want to build more of a community around play

I am going to be focusing on six hashtags

Across my social media








I am also hoping to bring back

Messy Play for Matilda Mae


Tales From The Tuff Spot

To do this successfully I need to carve out some blogging time each week

So once I can negotiate the regular time I will relaunch the series

Do you think that you would join in?


16. Get Organised

Before I was a parent

I had a vision of the kind of mother I would be

It was very different to the mess of a mum I am

I thought I would be so organised

Punctual with smart children

Bags and boxes for everything

A place for everything

And everything in it’s place

I am currently SOOOOO far from that

But this year is going to be the year

That I get a little more organised

Enough so that we can get out of the house

Without falling out!!

How do families with lots of children do that?

Send me ALL the ideas!

17. Rest

I am not sure that I know how to rest

I am not sure that I know how to be calm

It is something that I really need to learn

To be still

To find peace

To relax

To rest

18. Be The Best Me I Can Be

I will be 42 this year

I am aware that I am ageing

I am aware that time is ticking

And I need to start doing all the things

That I write on lists like this



The year to start doing

The year to start living

The year to truly be the best me I can be

Time to find me

And through me

Make a difference to my friends and family

My gorgeous little family who need me

Who I adore

This is all for you

All I ever do is always for you

I love you

Together let us take 2018

And make it count!


Thank you again for tagging me Plutonium Sox

2017-12-10 08.34.50-1

Happy New Year to All

And I am tagging YOU (yes you!) if you would like to join in

4 thoughts on “18 For 2018

  1. Lovely post Jennie, some fabulous goals for 2018. I do hope it is a wonderful year for you all. Also re. your relationship with Bea – I often feel the same way about Libby, her sister coming along definitely altered our relationship and it’s difficult to get back to normal with them no longer being the baby of the house.

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