A good friend of the group and local homeopath Carey Blanden from Cockermouth is doing a short course for people who would like to be able to treat their families aches and pains at home themselves.
Myself and Clare already use homeopathy to treat our children and our familes and find it works really well for us. Clare knows a lot more than me, I admit to being a bit of a beginner, so will be attending one of the days myself. Looking forward to it!
Here is the flyer. For more information contact Carey on the details below.
We haven’t posted for a while so I thought today was a good day to get started again and get Beautiful Beginnings going again in the new year! Happy new year everyone, I sincerely hope you and all your families had a wonderful time over the festive period and you celebrated it all in your own special way!
End of 2012
So the last bit of 2012 was a very special time for us with a lovely new arrival to the BB gang. Clare gave birth to a beautiful and very peaceful little boy on 21st November and I will leave Clare to write more details about his fantastic home birth at a later date. Clare and the kids are doing great and she is certainly living up to the true earth mother I believe she was born to be. Such a constant inspiration for me!
While Clare was spending time at home welcoming the new arrival into the family I received great support from other families who come to the group to which i was really grateful. It’s really nice that Beautiful Beginnings has built the community Clare and I imagined and that everyone values it enough to support the group when we need them. With their support we finished the year off with a fantastic talk from the slightly eccentric but extremely warm hearted and intelligent Dr Paynter who told us all about his observations and studies about the mother and child bonding relationship. Although he said he wasn’t keen on the term bonding and preferred to call it ‘falling in love’ which I quite liked too. It was great to meet a pediatritian with such a romantic yet very natural view on the mother/ baby relationship and we are looking forward to welcoming him back again this year.
Our Christmas part was a lovely way to end the year and we ate some delicious veggie food and vegan cakes while singing some christmas versions of songs i found such as ‘oohhh the reindeer pokie’, ‘I’m a little christmas tree tall and straight (instead of im a little teapot), twinkle twinkle christmas star and so on. I will definitely be using them again next year!
It’s also worth a mention that a couple of weeks before Christmas a few of us met up outside the group and headed up to Whinlatter ( a local forestry centre) to go on a trail and meet some reindeer! It was fab the man took us on a walk around the woods, explained to the toddlers how the reindeer love to eat the lichen off the trees then took us to meet Eco and Hook, two reindeer who were on holiday from Aviemore! My little boy thought it was great and we then collected some lichen on christmas eve to put out for santas reindeer with his mince pie! He learned something about reindeer at two years old that even his grandparents didn’t know!
Start of 2013
Beautiful Beginnings as last year is having a long break over the Christmas and New Year period but we are planning to start up again at the end of January with some new and fresh ideas for the group. We are thinking more outdoor trips in nature, more arts and crafts for the children and maybe even some specialsed workshops. We also of course have our Cumbria Birth Support group on the last Thursday of each month, so are hoping that will go from strength to strength. We certainly have a wealth of mothers who have had very successful natural births both at home and in hospital and who are willing to support other women who would like to birth the same.
So heres to 2013, lets hope its as successful for our group as the last two have been. I’m looking forward to having fun with all the lovely regular families at the group again and hoping to meet some new families too : )
We are looking forward to an interesting visitor coming to Beautiful Beginnings on Thursday 6th December…
Dr Arthur Paynter was the consultant paediatrician at West Cumberland Hospital for many years and since his retirement from the NHS he is now dedicated to developing understanding and awareness of the importance of early attachment and bonding. He visits schools and charities giving talks on subjects such as bonding, breastfeeding, attachment parenting (including the negative effect of the lack of this type of early care of a person’s emotional and mental state in later life), role of the father, child development and ways of thinking etc. He is a very passionate and inspiring speaker and has a genuine interest in the well-being of children and how their minds work! He also had/has an interest in disability, working closely with parent groups, residential units in Carlisle, and with professionals such as speech therapists and physiotherapists. Originally from Sri Lanka, he is a friendly and approachable character with a great sense of humour!
Dr Paynter is coming along to join in our whole session and talk with parents quite informally about attachment and development in the first few years of life (hopefully observing the natural play of the children at the group and using this as a basis for further discussion).
Anyone is welcome, we hope to see you there for what we think will be an interesting talk!
As we begin to move into Autumn, we have plenty of exciting things going on at Beautiful Beginnings for you and your children to get involved with:
Beautiful Beginnings 1st Birthday Party Thurs 4th Oct
The play group has been up and running for a whole year! What began as a vision for bringing like minded families together has manifested into a lively friendly group where parents and children meet, make friends, play, share and create.
Please come along to our birthday party session on Thursday 4th October 1-3pm.
There will be crafty activities, music and games, please bring along some vegetarian / vegan food, some tasty treats or some fruit to share. We look forward to seeing you there.
Usbourne Books Party Thus 11th Oct
On Thursday 11th October we are excited to welcome Rachel from Usbourne Books to host an exciting book party. Rachel will bring along a range of books for you to have a look through, as well as plenty of special offers and discounts. This is a great opportunity to get some early Christmas presents, as well as collect some beautiful books for your children and friends.
If you are unable to come along on the day, but would like to have a look at what’s on offer pop into the group when you can or speak to Hatti or Clare as you are able to look through the catalogue and pre-order. Books can be paid for on the day or beforehand by cash, cheque or card.
One thing I LOVE about Beautiful Beginnings is the creativity that goes on there each week. Our resident artist at The Settlement, Jane is one of the most creative and fun people I have met and each week comes with new ideas about what we can create from next to nothing, its fab!
In the past few weeks we have been making all sorts of fantastic things such as glove finger puppets, snakes out of old bobbins and shell mobiles. We have even become involved in a local art exhibition called FLOCK where we created pom poms and then made them into sheep! Here are some of the kids counting the sheep we made.
Sometimes though, it’s what the children create organically that is most precious. One of the cutest creations recently was by two little girls Surya and Willow who went into the garden and made some lovely little nests for the birds. Take a look…
We are also excited to announce our Summer Family Garden Party which we are organising alongside The Settlement. It gives us all a chance to put our creativity into overdrive as we are aiming to make all sorts of interesting things to sell for fund raising on the day.
Beautiful Beginnings will be focusing on offering natural parenting support and guidance on the day so we have invited a special speaker, Veronika Robinson from The Mother Magazine which will be fantastic! Veronika will be doing a talk based on her book ‘The Nurtured Family’ which covers ten threads of nurturing to weave into family life, they are practical, and easy to follow. We are really looking forward to having her on the day and hope you can make it for her talk. Please keep checking our website as further details will be announced shortly, and keep Sunday 15th July free!
We haven’t written about BB for a while not because we don’t have anything to write about but because sometimes being full time mummy’s, running home businesses as well as a playgroup doesn’t leave us with much time for anything else! Clare and I are certainly keeping busy although enjoying every minute of it.
The last few weeks at BB have been lovely but equally different every time. One week we had a group of babies from newborn up to my little man being the eldest at 18 months. So lovely to see the babies, some snuggling into their mummies, some starting to crawl about and some pulling themselves up, all at different stages and all enjoying the songs we sing and watching the different activities.
The next week we had a group of toddlers playing in the toy kitchen, scribbling on paper or going on an adventure in the garden while still checking in on mummy now and again before going off to explore their new world once more.
Last week there was such a special moment that will remain with me for a while. Sitting in the garden with a handful of toddlers in the long grass on one of the first sunny days this year. We discovered a ladybird, and then another, and then another! They were all fascinated some seeing one for the first time. These special moments are priceless and so important not to miss. I feel so lucky to share these first moments with them : )
This week I’m on holiday for a few days and will miss BB for the first time. I certainly will miss all my friends there and be wondering what they are up to this Thursday afternoon. Each Thursday is a new little adventure …
The January sessions saw the return of many of our original members, plus some new families, including a couple of mums who had been regulars at my pregnancy yoga classes. It really is great to get to know women through yoga during their pregnancy, then have the pleasure of welcoming them and their beautiful baby into our friendly playgroup where they can get to know other like-minded parents.
There is something so special when getting to know the baby behind the ever-changing bump! Indeed this is something we, as parents have the opportunity to do each and every day with our own children. Both of my girls never cease to amaze me in their constant learning and exploring of the world around them, and it really is a gift to be there alongside them to share their experiences and to get to know them more each day.
A favourite part of Beautiful Beginnings play group is the circle time where all the parents share something about their child which has made them smile. We have all had much to smile about recently including baby’s first smiles, toddler ‘food art’, kind sibling gestures, and little ones going about their serious business of exploring with no concerns about falling head first into their toy box or pouring the contents of the fridge onto the floor! Our little ones also notice the affection we show to our partners and those around us. We heard today how they love to reach out and cuddle mum and dad together, and share kisses when they see us doing so. By showing our affection and love for others, our children are also learning how to show their own feelings, and how to be open and loving to those around us. Carry on hugging!
The art and craft sessions have focused on using recycled materials to make different kinds of balls. These balls are really easy to make, and are loved by children of all ages: PHOTO’S TO COME!
- Screw some newspaper into a small ball and wrap with sellotape
- Tape the end of some wool onto the ball and begin to wind the wool around the ball. Keep changing direction until the whole ball is covered in wool and the whole surface looks neat. Secure the end of the wool.
- Paint the ball in PVA glue and leave to dry.
- You can also use think strips of fabric from old clothes for this!
- Begin as with the simple woollen ball, but make it slightly bigger.
- Cover the newspaper in coloured cellophane by wrapping strips all around as with the wool. Secure the ends.
- Wrap a little wool on top of cellophane for a spiderweb effect.
- Paint the ball in PVA glue and leave to dry.
- Blow up a balloon into a smallish size and tie
- Cut lengths of different coloured wool. Mix PVA glue and water. (its handy to have some towels around for wiping sticky hands)
- Dip the wool into the glue until soggy, then wrap widely around the balloon. Continue with different colours until most of the balloon is covered and you like the effect.
- Leave to dry, then when hard pop the balloon and remove.
- The possibilities with these are endless!
We were blessed with the weather today, and the children of all ages had fun exploring the winter garden, feeling the frozen ground, scratching around on ice and running in the winter sunshine. We are so blessed to be running this playgroup at The Settlement!
Our crafty genius Jane is putting together plans for our very first puppet month! Over the coming weeks, Jane will show us some of the simple and varied ways we can use recycled materials to make beautiful puppets suitable for babies, toddlers and older children. To make this a real success please try to bring along any (or all) of the following things you may find lying around the house:
- Wool or string
- Old tights
- Old colourful socks, not too worn
- Elastic bands
- Plastic bottle tops
Beautiful Beginnings News
- We welcomed Helen to the group, she runs a sling meet in Wigton where parents interested in trying out different slings can go along and see what works best for their baby. Find out more on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Cumbria-Sling-Meet/156555121093579
- Clare’s pregnancy yoga pages are on the website now. To find out more about how yoga can help to release stress and anxiety, strengthen your body and prevent backache, and prepare for gentle birth, talk to Clare or visit www.beautifulbeginnings.org.uk/pregnancyyoga
- Hatti’s successful business creative soul marketing is branching out by beginning to help mums start up their own businesses that will fit around their children. Hatti is keen to use her own skills and experience of being a stay at home mum with a successful home-based business to help other mums do the same. If you are interesetd ask her how she can help you or visit www.creativesoulmarketing.com
- We are planning an exciting summer event to celebrate Beautiful Beginnings and to raise the profile of breastfeeding and natural parenting in West Cumbria. We would love people to contribute ideas and to help out!
For those of you on facebook here are some more good natural parenting/ mum groups.
And of course our Beautiful Beginnings Parent & Child Group