Tag: photographers

November Chat with a Mum: Kriss of Wild About Here

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year.  It’s almost as if time crept up behind us so fast and went boo in the night, just like the way little T and her friends did last night as they went trick or treating around our little village.

It’s the 1st of November and I’m happy to share our last 2015 Chat with a Mum with you lovely folks,  and as they say, I’ve saved the best for last.  Kriss’, the lovely woman, mother, wife, photographer and former journalist, is the writer behind the beautiful blog “Wild About Here”.  She’s one of the few bloggers I really, really admire and probably aspire to be like.  Let her words and photographs speak for itself:

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex)

I’m a mum and a mom of twins Luce and Theo, photographer and blogger. They actually do call me both Mummy and Mommy, not just because we’re dual nationals, but after two years living in the Hamptons in New York State. They’ll be celebrating their 8th birthday this month.

Now our home is in a rural valley in Sussex surrounded by woods. It’s like being in the middle of a nature reserve! It’s ideal for me too as Wild About Here focuses on learning about nature, photography, outdoors adventures, books and slow seasonal living. It used to be called Over There to Here when we lived in the Hamptons.

Basically I went from war zones to play zones after having Luce and Theo. Previously I was head of the Middle East and Asia as well as global news planning editor (all at the same time!) for AP television news. My years as a journalist involved escapades such as driving around with gun men in Somalia, having coffee with a head of Hezbollah in Beirut after a night out dancing, spending a day on a blockbuster film set or interviewing a huge variety of people from A list celebrities, people in the street to heads of state. I thought you might like to know Dean that I had an exclusive one on one interview with former President Cory Aquino! (Cory Aquino was the first female President in the whole of Asia.  She became our leader from 1986-1992, after winning over President Marcos which ended his long-cruel dictatorship.) 

What were your children’s birth stories like?

My belly was so huge with twins that I started scaring people in the supermarket by the time I was six months pregnant! My twins were born a month early because I was showing signs of pre-eclampsia.

The London hospital theatre was like a party room as there were about a dozen present for the caesarean birth as the twins were officially considered premature: my obstetrician, the anaesthetist and his assistant, two neonatal doctors, two teams of midwives and my husband. It took over an hour and eight attempts before the spinal jabs worked. Unbelievably I was very calm despite this! I only started crying, that is with happiness, when Luce and Theo were delivered. They were beautiful and perfect and healthy and weighed almost 6 pounds each. If they were almost 12 pounds in total (5.3 kg) a month early, just imagine if they had made full term!

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

The beautiful feeling of unconditional love.

The nightmare of packing so much stuff for two babies whether just to go on a shopping trip or a weekend away.

How do you manage your “me” time?

Is there such a thing as ‘me’ time? Maybe when they go off to university… On their first day at nursery I cried. Now I smile when a school term begins.

Actually I focus on my photography, seasonal projects, blogging and social media during the day. I’m lucky as my husband and I enjoy working or reading in the sitting room together in the evenings. We do also try to make sure we have some fun nights out as well!

Do you have any favorite anecdote of your little ones?

Of course, life with little ones is filled with amusing anecdotes. Recently they announced that they planned to marry each other so they didn’t have to worry about asking someone else. I had to diplomatically explain that wouldn’t be a good idea!

What is it about motherhood you absolutely love about?

I regularly go on long walks with just Luce and Theo. One moment they’re making a racket and climbing trees, then the next moment they’ve quietly sidled up to me and I feel them each reaching for my hand as we continue our walk. Oh these moments are pure joy for me as a mother!

On the one hand, if there were anything about motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

How stressful mornings are leaving in time for school!

What’s a typical day like for you and your little ones?

The mornings begin peacefully with a big sit down breakfast then the chaos begins. After I’ve dropped them off at school, I’m off somewhere taking photographs or working at my desk at home. I keep one afternoon free after school, otherwise I’m a chauffeur taking them to some activity such as Beavers, karate, riding, ballet and so on. During school nights Luce and Theo are not allowed to watch television. As a result their imagination goes wild and without prompting they make up ‘stories’ to play together or devise some incredible craft or building project. I have to admit it’s impossible to ever get them to go to sleep early.

Best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood/parenthood?

Ask your mother for advice when you need it.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one,
what would it be?

Don’t get so stressed in the mornings. But also don’t worry – you’re not the only parent freaking out about getting your kids to school on time!

How do you manage your time, blogging/work wise and time with your
little ones and other activities as well?

It’s a moveable feast. I have to adapt to the time available. I’m currently working on a time consuming photography commission so I don’t have as much time to spend on my blog.

Thank you so much Kriss!

If you haven’t discovered her blog yet, you’re certainly missing out on something.

Click here if you’ve missed out on last month’s chat with a dad.

And there’s also plenty of time to catch up with the other chats as well.

November Chat with a Mum: Tracie of Life in the Wylde West

Three Reasons why I love Tracie’s Blog Life in the Whylde West, and why you should too.

1. Her photographs are poetry, so if you’re into poetry or photography, or just like looking at lovely photos, then you’ll love her blog too.  They don’t only tell a story, but also stirs feelings inside of you.  I want to be the kind of photographer she is.

2.  She’s a wonderful mother.  One I really admire and if you’re a mother, you’ll most probably relate with her posts too.

3. Her blog-posts are honest.  If she’s having a bad day, she’ll tell you and when she’s happy, you’ll know it too, you’ll feel it in her posts, in her words and in her photographs.

Here at Chats with Mums and Dads I often wonder if I should stop with the Q&A. It’s almost two years now, but reading Tracie’s answers, reminds me why I even started with it.  I started the “chats” because I wanted to hear their stories, the mums and dads.  I wanted to know what it’s like for them, their birth stories, the ups and lows of parenthood.  I love reading all their stories – because they all inspire me.

Read below you’ll know what I mean:

Tell us something about yourself and your children (age & sex)

I have been married 21 years and 19 years of those 21 have been spent being a mama to two boys and then a little girl. Austin is 19, Dylan is 16 and Abbie is 12.

What were your children’s birth stories like?

Well first of all, I’m not very patient so with my first baby boy I took my brother’s famous really oily salad dressing for dinner 10 days before Austin was due. That night my water broke, labor began and we headed to the hospital early in the morning. I swore I would do it all natural and I held out as long as I could and finally said “give me that epidural! NOW!!” and then everything was relatively okay, I delivered shortly after and still could feel everything on my right side.

My second delivery was similar, only I “thought I was having a girl because my intuition told me so” HE also arrived early by a week with the same salad dressing, water broke but this time right when I walked into the hospital room I said “give me that epidural now!” I felt no pain whatsoever with this child and it was relatively quick and very painless. (STILL TO THIS DAY HE IS THE SAME AS HIS DELIVERY)

Then the littlest and only girl came along. The salad dressing didn’t work with her, I tried twice. (stubborn little girl) Then when she was a few days past her due date, I said “that’s it!! I drank the Castro oil straight” terrible idea. I drank the oil, went for a walk and while I was walking my water broke. I barely made it to the delivery room and there was no time at all for anything and she came out fast, hard and bloody. I think the castor oil was a very bad idea. So thanks to my little girl, I got to experience child-birth without out drugs at least once.

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

I sort of already knew this, I was told but I didn’t quite believe it. They grow up really, really fast. Like lightning speed.

How do you manage your “me-time”?

I take bathes where I lock the door and read my magazines. I went away last spring to our local mountains and spent a weekend with a group of close friends (all women no children or husbands) and most recently I flew all by myself to Portland Oregon to meet up with kindred souls who also love to photograph anything and everything that makes our hearts sing. It was the first time I had met any of them in real live person. I can’t begin to describe in words how therapeutic and necessary it was to just BE with them. I felt like I grew up a little. I had to rent my own car, find my way around and fly solo. It was good for me.

Do you have any favorite anecdote of your kids?

Austin once said when he saw a rainbow “mama, God is the best artist of all!” It made me smile.

Abbie once said she wanted to marry her daddy when she was 4. Smart girl, he is a catch. She will have a challenge when it’s her turn to find love, the comparisons will be tough.

Dylan said when he was 4 he wanted to marry a man because he didn’t want any children. It’s funny how the little ones think. I wish I could be in their head sometimes.

What is it about Motherhood you absolutely love about?

That those little people (kind of big now) need me. They really do. Even my 19-year-old man-child will come to me when he is sick, when he is sad or when he just needs a hug. It feels so good to be needed.

If there is anything about Motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

The growing up fast part. Although my oldest will reach out to me still, he is so independent and I can tell is pulling away as each day goes by. I know its normal stuff but it’s still not easy. So I cherish the time spent knowing they will all grow up and go away…hopefully not very far though.

What’s a typical day like for you and your family?

I’m a part-time working mama. Which is pretty awesome. I can get up and get them off to school, head to work, work half a day and then be off work in time to pick them each up from school. It feels at times like a lot of just taking and picking up not to mention any outside activities they are involved in. I somehow fit in housework, walks, and making meals and finding that bit of time for me to be creative, take pictures, blog and things like that. Time management is everything.

Best advice you’ve ever received about Motherhood?

It was from my own mother after I had my first baby. She said “the housework will always be there the children will not. Take that time with your kids, it goes quickly.” This came from someone who ironed her sheets, and cleaned until it was bedtime. It meant so much because it was so different than what she did. It was like she realized and she didn’t want me to make the same mistake.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

That each stage has its challenges and not all challenges are equal but they are equally as important.

How do you manage your time or blogging between work and your family?

It’s not easy. I recently took to writing lists. It helps me get things done. I find time before I leave the house for the day (sometimes I write a quick blog) or as I wait to pick up a kid from school…via my cell phone, or every once in a great while very late at night and sometimes I take the weekends to gather my pictures and thoughts and will write a hand full of posts to go live as the week progresses. It’s the one thing that I really, really look forward to, writing and sharing images via my blog. It’s my outlet for sure. And since I’m often in a rush, my grammar can be wacky or my spelling not quite right but I don’t’ care about that. To me it’s more about getting out my thoughts. It’s truly therapy.

Thank you so much Tracie!

 If you liked what you’ve read in this month’s feature, there’s more of that in her blog.

 Go over and be inspired!

And if you’ve missed last month’s chit-chat with a dad, click here to read.

Have a lovely weekend folks!