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!

We are almost a month into our third national lockdown, it's the first full moon of the year and we had a bit of a rocky start to our day.  I'm not sure what time it was maybe 5:30 and Nixie you were adamant on not letting any of us sleep, you usually make it into our room at some point in the night.  You were kicking the bed and when we would ask you to stop you just continued. Daddy ended up getting up and going into your room and squeezing into your bed and the whole time Forrest you were attached to my boob and my shoulder had a sharp shooting pain in it from laying on my side for so long… you stayed attached for a couple of hours, it's seems to be your thing at the moment every morning in the early hours.  You and I ended up getting up just before 7 and amazingly Nixie stayed in bed and somehow didn't wake up from your cries from being angry at me for making you come downstairs.  It's always a tricky time getting you downstairs without waking everyone up,  you love to jump on everyone and give them your morning hugs and kisses. But soon you were your happy self again. I am feeling a cold coming on so I am upping my vitamin c,  so far I haven't had a cold all season,  I've been close but always manage to stop it from developing by taking extra vitamin C and our homemade elderberry tincture. 

You Nixie didn't sleep that long though you came down around 7:30 just as we were playing with our new wooden stones Forrest got from Nanny for his B-Day.  You joined us for a bit then the two of you went into your little play corner you set up and played veterinarian which is a new thing you guys have been doing these past few days,  it's so sweet.  You were fixing your unicorns shoes and bandaging her wounds and Forrest you look on and copy what your sister is doing. 

I went into the kitchen to make a banana and berry porridge for breakfast.  It's sp cute because whenever you guys are sat at the kitchen table you Forrest just need to be so incredibly close to Nixie, you need to be completely wedged into her side. Just before 8 I called daddy from the kitchen to wake him up so that you Nixie and I could go upstairs and do your reading unlocked. We've just started this program in Dec and you absolutely love it! You can't wait to do it and will sometimes do it in the evenings too and it's amazing how quickly everything is clicking in place for you all of a sudden!  You can read so much now,  even 12 letter words!  It's such an incredible thing for me and daddy to see. It seems like everything you guys do makes us emotional these days. 

We finished just in time before daddy needed the office to start work.  I went downstairs to Forrest who wanted a snuggle and some boob and you had gone into your room to do a little bit of maths. When you came down I decided it was time to brush your hair, it always takes so much time,  your hair easily turns into little bird nests. Forrest you asked for music to be turned on and waited patiently for me to finish so you could dance with Nixie. You have the cutest hand and arm movements that you do that I just love.  Both of you had so much fun, and I love your energy,  Nixie you were trying to teach Forrest how to do cartwheels and seeing you Forrest try was the sweetest thing!

Afterwards we did a little bit of art,  for the past couple of days you've been wanting to learn about deer so we've been researching which species of deer live in the New Forest and discovering a little bit about each one. You've begun yet another book, this one is all about nature and the New Forest. So today's art was deer themed. Forrest you had fun just painting a picture with red paint but you also had fun painting muaddib! He was not happy about it and I tried to get it off the best I could but I wasn't very successful. 

As soon as we finished you asked if you could watch an episode of You vs. Wild with Bear Grylls.  You love every episode you've watched and you told me it's your favourite show and that he's your favourite man! It's an interactive series so you get to make decisions and choose how the story unfolds. This episode was about surviving in the winter and in snow. You always say to me that we need to go wherever he is and I always say I can't wait!  Forrest you ended up falling asleep in my arms while having boob.  

I carried you up to bed and once I got my nipple back I just watched you sleep for a few minutes.  It never gets old.  I can't believe you are my little two year old now.  I love you so much and love all that you bring to our family. You are just so incredibly special in every way. While I had been putting you to bed Nixie had gone to her room to do a bit of her Kahn academy.

As soon as you woke up we headed to Holland woods. We were on a mission to choose a deciduous tree that we can study throughout the year.  We have been loosely following exploring with nature curriculum  and were meant to choose one back in the autumn which we did as well but we chose an evergreen, we wanted to also have a deciduous tree to follow through the seasons.  We crossed Balmer Lawn and during the winter it is especially water logged. Luckily you both had waders on but they didn't manage to keep you dry Forrest because you kept falling and staying laid down on your belly so some water got into the top of your waders but you were having the time of your life, I can still hear your squeals of laughter! 

 It's here where we always find our tadpoles so I had said to you Nixie to keep your eyes out for them but not actually expecting to find any quite so early but lo and behold you found some!  You were so excited! Forrest you were absolutely amazed by this strange blob like substance in the water and kept wanting to feel it. You Nixie wanted to bring some home but I didn't have anything to put them in so I said we would have to wait until after daddy was finished with work so he could bring a container. 

We continued on our way into the forest and straight away you Forrest saw this giant fallen down branch and went to sit on it pointing for me to bounce you in it which sadly wasn't possible.  You were very disappointed.  We continued to search for our tree and not too much time passed before we found her, a beautiful oak with bendy branches and a big burr big enough for you both to sit on her. For some reason I didn't pack any extra clothes for you guys and Forrest your shirts were wet. So we took off Nixie's fleece and put it on you because she was warm enough without it. We had peanut butter and jam sandwiches and it all felt so nice just being out together in the forest. 

After we ate,  you Nixie did a sketch of our tree,  who you named Skye (both of our chosen trees are named after your middle names),measured her,  and we estimated she was around 200 years old, and did a bark rubbing, and learned about the different kind of branches and that she had alternating branches. 

After a while we continued on our way this time you were excited to go on a winter twig hunt.  I had found some sheets with winter twig ID which we laminated and Forrest you especially loved carrying it. Everytime you Nixie would see a new tree you would run and inspect it to see what kind of tree or shrub it was. As we walked I had such a feeling of gratitude, of loving where we live,  of being able to have these experiences together and to be surrounded by wildlife at the same time and to be able to just enjoy it all to ourselves.  

The sun was beginning to set and we were losing light.  We played in puddles which you Forrest couldn't get enough of and you kept just walking through them all on your knees, you had the biggest grin on your face and I couldn't stop giggling every time I looked at you.  Daddy was coming to get us after he finished work,  I didn't know what time it was because my phone died so I would ask any passers by. We found a tennis ball and the two of you had so much fun playing with it throwing it back and forth between the two of you. We continued to make our way towards the entrance of Hollands wood campsite and we came upon a tree which you thought was the perfect place to make a fire so the two of you collected fire wood and put it into a pile then you pretended to light it by hitting two stones together and then we had really yummy imaginary marshmallows.  

When we started walking again,  it was really getting dark now and all the horses were coming into the woods from Balmers Lawn and most of the time we couldn't really see them,  we could only hear their hooves.  It was pretty magical. Daddy arrived around 17:25 and came with torches and a container to collect the frogspawn in.  As we made our way back over the lawn in pitch blackness I really don't think we would find it and thought we'd have to come back but by some magic Nixie blurted out "I found it!!  It's here! " I really couldn't believe it, now that was the perfect ending to a pretty perfect day out. 

When we got home we got out our fish tank and put the frogspawn into their new home. After that it was time for your (Forrest) most favourite thing to do with daddy which is make hummus. You love tasting it! And you excitedly wait for it to be finished every time. I surprised you Nixie with a new book by Bear Grylls and it made you so happy and you couldn't wait to go to bed to read it.  Both of you had a bath and it was so sweet because Forrest you kept trying to wash Nixie and Nixie you kept washing Forrest.  Afterwards I put you Forrest to bed and you fell asleep pretty quickly and then I put you Nixie into bed and we read your new book which you absolutely loved. You were asleep by 21:30.

It was a long day and I felt exhausted.  But it was the good kind of exhausted, the kind that leaves you feeling content. 

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