It's that time again for ARTEFACT MOTHERHOOD - a project shared with other international female artists who are documenting our journeys as mothers and creating memories for our children through our photographs and words. Have a read through mine and then go check out the next amazing artist in our blog circle!

I woke up this morning because you Forrest were wriggling around while attached to my boob. I really didn't want to wake up,  but the slight fear of you possibly injuring me was just enough motivation for me to crawl out of bed with you. Unfortunately this also meant that Nixie and daddy also had to wake up because today was a special day.  It was Samhain which marks the summer's end and the welcoming of the dark half of the year and also a time to honour all those who have passed. It was also The Hunter’s moon and since it’s the second full moon of this month it is also a Blue Moon. But our biggest reason for celebrating is that it was also your 650th day with us and Nixie's 2000th day with us and we decided to throw you both a little surprise birthday party. 

We had stayed up late the previous night to decorate the lounge so we had to make sure that we all made it downstairs together so we could see both of your reactions. The look on your faces when you made it to our lounge was priceless!  You were both awestruck,  stunned and confused. Forrest,  you were a bit frightened by the giant spider on the ceiling,  you definitely thought it was real. We told you both we were celebrating your 2000th and 650th day in this planet and it just happened to fall on Samhain.  This made you,  Nixie,  slightly concerned because you turned to us and asked,  "but will I still be 5 tomorrow?" we reassured you that you would.

We even had some birthday presents for both of you which you,  Nixie just couldn't believe! You both opened up your first present and in it was a Harry Potter costume for you, Forrest and a Hermione costume for you Nixie.  Since this was all very last minute (we had just come up with this idea a few days earlier) the best costumes we could get were the very cheap ones but you guys loved them so it didn't matter. 

Nixie you also got your Dino Dana field guide and I I couldn't believe it but you could name and share facts about almost every single dinosaur in it! Sometimes I feel a bit anxious when you seem to be wanting to watch so much Dino Dana but you have now taken away any concern because you are getting so much out of it! You also got a how to draw dinosaurs book, and a smart game.  Forrest you got a car ramp and some really cool learn your letters and numbers cards. 

We had a very relaxed morning with banana pancakes for breakfast. I did get a bit down after Kevin read that we may be going into another national lockdown next week. But whatever happens,  it'll all be OK. It was a very gloomy, grey and wet day with 60mph winds so we spent the first part of the day at home. I had wanted to go out first thing but the three of you voted against me. 

The both of you had so much fun playing with the skulls and spiders and all of the various decorations.  Who knew that a little trip to poundland buying a basket full of quite tacky things could result in literally hours and hours of fun!  

We even got both of you to believe that the big spiders that were on top of the curtains were real and when I got them down ever so carefully, the two of you both stood wide eyed in suspense watching, while I tried to make sure I wouldn't get bitten in the process. Oh your little faces were just the absolute best. You, Nixie, our little logical one kept saying you knew it wasn't real but I'm telling you now we did get you to doubt it! 

I love hanging out with you guys, you both make me appreciate the little moments throughout our days.  You make me want to remember them all. One of them is how you, Forrest will not let Nixie poo in peace. You won't take no for an answer and when I tried to take you away you got so angry with me and wriggled out of my arms and rushed back to the bathroom and grabbed the handle and closed the door all the while giving me such a look. 

I also love the random things I get to learn about because of you both. Today we learned about a new spider that was thought to be extinct called the great fox spider which we all thought was beautiful and discovered that it lives close to us in Dorset. 

Oh something that has changed with you Forrest is your need to be naked most of of our days. You have started to take your nappy off so you can go to the toilet and so your wees and you haven't weed anywhere else for a good couple of weeks now. You are even becoming aware of your poos too but I think it'll still be a while until your ready to do those on the toilet. 

At one point you, Nixie, and daddy went upstairs to play your new squirrel smart game while I hung out downstairs with Forrest.  You were getting a bit frustrated that Forrest wouldn't play with his toy in the way you wanted him to and you went upstairs in anger.  But shortly after you were happy again and daddy joined you.  I felt I was missing out actually, it was my idea to get that game for you because I know how much you like solving puzzles and these games have become our thing to play when Forrest has his nap and I wanted to be the first person to play it with you but of course I was happy with just hearing your giggles and enthusiasm while playing with daddy. 

You have been having some big feelings today and I know it must feel hard when we're telling you no a lot because of Forrest and it's something we don't want him to do.  It must feel unfair and I'm so sorry if I've helped make it harder for you at times. I know you can't really understand our reasons sometimes. 

Forrest you fell asleep naked in my arms having boob and once I had put a nappy on you and put you into bed I finally had a chance to play the game with you.  I'm so impressed how good you are at these games,  and how quickly you pick it up, you really do love mind challenges, you've even started playing soduku. We ended up playing this game throughout the day and if I helped you in any way to solve it you would excitedly give me a big kiss but just at the end of it you'd stick your tongue out which you thought was the most hilarious thing ever which turned into a game for the rest of the day. 

Our day was pretty much a day of snacking, eating finger foods (we discovered you,  Nixie,  love nori) and having a ridiculous amount of treats. Afterall it was Samhain and both your B-Day celebrations.

We also played Light & Dark wizards which involved each of us having a skull and whoever was the Dark wizard would have to try to knock down the Light wizard.  You made me laugh because whenever you would say "Dark wizard" you covered your mouth and whispered the words. You came up with a great way for the Light wizard to defeat the Dark wizard which was by it's pet spider who would shoot out "spider cobweb poo" out of its eyes.  I was impressed. 

We were interrupted in our game by Forrest who had woken up. I had heard him when he walked to the baby gate upstairs. But when I went up to get you, Forrest, you were not happy about it and crossed your arms in your angry way and stomped into Nixie's room and grabbed her clock. For what reason I don't know but then you went into the bathroom and grabbed the toothpaste , you really love to brush your teeth. 

Just as you woke up the sun made an appearance  and we all went for such a lovely walk along the seawall. There were puddles to jump in,  trees to climb, wildflowers to pick and beautiful scenes to take in. The sea air along with the strong winds was exactly what I needed. 

Nixie,  you guided us to this little spot next to the sailing lake where you found a tree you liked.  Even you Forrest had found the perfect little spot to sit.  I loved watching you,  you were so still and content,  your eyes had become transfixed on something in the water and you wouldn't look away,  you kept pointing to something but I want sure what.  I just love seeing what catches your attention,  it really feels like such an honour to be able to witness these moments. 

Before heading home we went to Otters because I wanted to buy a mushroom growing kit but I hadn't anticipated we would spend over 40min exploring the garden centre! 

Forrest, because of Covid, we haven't really been to any shops,  other than a grocery store and sometimes the odd visit to WHSmith for last minute art supplies. This was the first time we had been in a shop where I could see where you gravitated towards and it actually made me a bit emotional. You were in awe of all of the mini houses and villages and you loved seeing all of the lights and lit up decorations,  you even kissed a polar bear on its nose. One thing you really loved though was the giant train set.  It was hard to get you away from it.

When we got home we played a game of pass the parcel which you,  Nixie were so excited about. It is one of your favourite games ever. 

Afterwards it was more finger foods along with B-Day cake.  The rest of the evening was spent playing and Forrest you wanted to be pulled in the toboggan that Nixie made for you but she calls it a "barnagon" which I think is probably one of my new favourite words. 

Before we headed up for bed you Nixie and I went upstairs for a little moon meditation.  It had been a while and I had missed it.  I love how it's something you want to do with me.  We always start facing each other and holding hands but then inevitably you end up in my lap.  But you stay still and I love just feeling our breath synchronising. They are short meditations,  less than 10 minutes but they really are 10 minutes of pure goodness. 

It was my turn to put you both to bed and after I had gotten you, Forrest to sleep I went in to you,  Nixie.  We are reading the castle of tangled magic and we are both loving it,  I get excited when it's my turn to read to you so we can find out what happens next!  You and daddy are still reading Harry Potter, you're more than halfway through the fourth book. 

You have also gone through some very big shifts and tonight marked the 9th day of you putting yourself to sleep! It's incredible really how it just happened.  You had mentioned that you were going to about a week before you actually managed to, it came completely from you.  You seem so incredibly grown up at times and sometimes it takes my breath away and makes me ever so much more aware of the passing of time. 

Go next to the wonderful artist  Jo Haycock  in our Artefact Motherhood Project to read her post in our blog circle.