Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project March

This month has been a whirlwind. A wonderful whirlwind of exciting house plans, lots of visits from my sister and a new baby girl in the family! Today, with the house feeling like it is being obliterated one room at a time, rubble down the stairs, a garden that resembles a skip as well as a skip on the drive full to bursting, we fell about laughing. The kitchen is full to the rafters with everything from the utility room which looks like it's been hit by a bomb, you can write your name in the dust on the windows and as we kept bumping into each other carrying washing and moving boxes in slap stick style, we wondered if anyone else has ever felt like they were in such a spin their head might fall off?!

The boys have had a couple of days in a local school holiday club, whilst the worst of the demolition of our bathroom walls went on and the builders are coming in and out of the house carrying great huge panels, and have adored the swimming, crafts and forest school.  I was so proud of Sammy, the club runs for 3-6 year olds with another older children's set of activities for 6-9 year olds which would actually suit him so much better, but he stuck with his slightly nervous little brother and the pair of them have been inseparable for the last week. In fact they've been the nicest and kindest to each other in a good while. They've played endlessly with the table football, been making up shows and stories and just potter around together. We were listening as they discussed which of the kids in Sammy's class Ollie liked the best and he replied "I like Sammy." We can really see a best friendship forming and without tempting fate, another 3 weeks of school holidays, even in the madness of the house, doesn't feel like a daunting prospect. 

I was frantically trying to finish some photography work, Rich had to whizz off to Glastonbury to deliver some tea and we both were rifling through the bags of clothes in the spare room, throwing things from one holdall to another ready to come up to mum's tonight to fly to America in the morning. It's not until you empty all your drawers and wardrobes that you realise just how easy it is to accumulate clothes you will NEVER EVER wear again! 

Natty whipped me into shape over the Easter weekend and in between games and feasts of breakfasts, lunches and dinners she and Andrew worked their socks off to help us move, sort, clear, skip and prepare for the work to the house over the next couple of weeks. We have ambitious plans during school holiday time. We knew it would be hard but it will be so worth it. No more freezing cold draughty winters. We slept on a mattress in the living room which the kids all thought made the best trampoline come the morning and all night could feel the whisper of a breeze coming through the lounge doors. 

It is going to make a huge difference to the whole feel of the house to have windows that close! 

We were all exhausted on Easter Sunday and just spent the day mooching around the garden, watching the children on the swings and listening to the three amigos. Natty couldn't believe how Yasmin never asked for a snack, wasn't hanging off her ankles, was just at home, chasing after her cousins, being part of the big kids gang. Then one of them would see Logan out of the corner of their eyes and race over to smother him in kisses. Sammy repeated "He's the most loveable Logan I am ever going to love" about 15 times and begged me to have another baby so he could have a baby brother too!

Umm no darling was the answer. 

It was magic watching them hunt for the eggs. It's tricky with our boys to stop them shooting ahead, running 8 paces ahead of Yazzy. So instead of hiding treats I did something different this year. I found my stash of plastic fake eggs, divided them equally and wrote each of their initials in washable chalk pen. 

I filled three buckets with surprises, pound shop figures and lots of other non chocolate goodies like half price Littlest Pet Shop pouches (Which I know sounds boring and mean but by 9am they had eaten enough chocolate to sink a ship!) and each time they found a plastic egg marked S,O or Y they ran back to the bucket to claim their lucky dip prize. There was no arguing over who had more eggs in their bags and it made the whole hunt last more than a frantic 10 minutes.

So my Me and Mine has a few extras in it this month. Two small ones who feel like mine! It's easy to say the phrase "I don't know what I'd do without my family" but I honestly don't know how we would have got through the last month without them all. In laws who have the westies at the drop of a hat, for weeks at a time when the house is in chaos and they need to be kept safe (Open doors and gates and our woofers don't mix. I am paranoid about them wandering into the lane.) and who are having the boys for us for 4 days so we can fly to New Jersey and meet baby Juliette. 

Last month I shared this photo and just before I had been in touch with this talented designer Samantha. I have always wanted an illustrated family portrait but never quite found the time to get it sorted. Thank you so much for sending us this beautiful keepsake of our family at this moment in time. I know the boys will look back when they are older and say oh Mum why did we have those haircuts?!!! But I adore them, my dumb and dumber lookalikes with their wildly funny personalities, their sleepy eyes in the morning, their great long bodies draped down our backs when we piggy back them to bed each night. Me and mine xx

Samantha has kindly offered to give away a free portrait for one lucky reader so leave a comment telling us about your family and we will pick a winner at random on the 30th April. Entrees are open until midnight GMT 29th April 2016. 

You can leave a comment on this Instagram photo too if it's easier! 

Join in with us and share a family photo. Capturing and recording our family is the best thing we have religiously done over the last three years, even if some months we get to the very last day and all the Heath boys roll their eyes and say on ho not photo time! 

Pop over and see what Lucy, Katie, Alex, Jenny and Fritha have been up to this month. In the last three years this Me and Mine gang have welcomed new babies, waved big boys and girls off to school and it's a very special project to be part of.