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  • Welcome to GOBLIN CHILD

    Hi, I'm Amber. I'm a blogger, photographer and one of two mums to the Goblin Twins. This space is where I document the growth of my babies, share what they've been wearing and write about the joys and frustrations of being a LGBT parent.

    I'm based in London, England.

    Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

My Ultimate Bucket List

My good friend Amy Treasure recently compiled her ULTIMATE bucket list.  She challenged me to do the same.  I love a good daydream so this was right up my street.

1. Change my surname to match that of the twins
2. Get back into sculpting and make every last door knob in this house
3. Have another baby.
4. Become a grandma
5. Be a gestational surrogate for another family
6. Get married!  Can you believe that we just haven’t got round to this yet?!
7. Publish a novel…
8. … and a photobook
9. Be a mum to a daughter
10. Train a service dog
11. Move to ‘my’ Greek island and finish raising our children there, in a little house by the sea
12. Go to medical school and become an obstetrician
13. Constantly improve my photography
14. Have a home birth
15. Own another horse (chestnut arab, please) and ride daily
16. Master the sewing machine and make my own clothes
17. Buy a house.  Not even necessarily in London.
18. Breastfeed a child at least to a year
19. Have savings, actual savings, that don’t get splurged on IVF
20. Photograph a birth
21. Run a 10k
22. Wear a dress every day for a year.  Just because.
23. Attend a blogging conference
24. Take the children to Hamley’s in London and let them go wild with my debit card
25. Attend a brand launch party!
26. Visit the Scilly Isles
27. Publish my first article for the Huffington Post
28. Raise the twins – and any subsequent children – to become good humans
29. Be the mother-in-law that everybody wants, one day
30. Convert back to veganism and take the family with me!  (At present, we’re vegetarian.)
31. Learn to DRIVE. Living in London this hasn’t been necessary but it does make getting OUT of London tricky
32. Become an apiarist.  That’s a bee-keeper.  Sod my allergy to bee stings… they won’t get me if I’m nice to them, right?!
33. KEEP CHICKENS OMG.
34. Have my own olive grove and harvest enough olives for the whole family to enjoy year-round
35. Launch my own line of children’s clothing
36. Own and breed seahorses.  Nerd.  But how cool would this be?!
37. Get my hair to grow to bum-length before it turns completely grey
38. Learn Latin…
39. … and Ancient Greek
40. Throw a Pinterest-worthy first birthday party for the twins
41. Carve and paint my own rocking horse
42. Swim beneath a waterfall
43. Explore Iceland.  The country, not the shop.
44. See my beautiful Josephine-dog peacefully to the end of her life, when the time comes
45. Own a different pair of glasses for every outfit
46. Watch the twins compete in the Shetland Grand National at Olympia…
47. … and win, obviously
48. Win a blogging award!
49. Once I have an actual, owned home, dedicate a whole spare room to being our family library
50. Be happy.  If not every day, then most days.

Do you have an ultimate bucket list?  Share ideas and inspiration here, or feel free to take the idea back to your own blogs.

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Photography Post: Ten Minutes with the Twins

+ - 3 comments

June 26, 2015 - 5:44 pm

Jodie - they are beginning to look so different now aren’t they. Beautiful boys.

June 28, 2015 - 9:51 am

Clare @ Maybush Studio - scroll, scroll, scroll… “10 minutes with the twins?” Oooh yes please! ;-)

June 28, 2015 - 9:58 pm

Carrie - Your beautiful boys in black and white perfection.
10 minutes of smiles and tears.
Balthazar’s grizzle face is the cutest ever.
Lysander seems to be such a happy, curious baby.

Living Arrows – 25/52

I wasn’t a happy child.

In fact, it took be a long time to learn to be happy, to teach myself that I could be happy.

I remember sitting in a therapist’s office as a teenager and informing her that I didn’t even want to be happy, that it was a transient emotion, that it was wild and uncontrollable and I didn’t want it.  Poor Linda never knew what to do with me. 

So far, you appear to be ridiculously happy babies.  Don’t get me wrong, you have your moments, but people often ask us whether you are ‘like this all of the time’ and for the most part, yes, you are. You smile almost constantly and laugh often.  You delight in the world and are eager to share in it.  And when you are dissatisfied you rally against the injustice with piercing wails until circumstances are different.   You are seven months old and you know that life should be a pleasurance experience.  Seven months.

As a parent I am acutely aware of my own responsibility not to irrevocably break you, or at least not to mess you up more than the average parent inevitably messes up their children.  Sometimes it can’t be helped.  Things happen.  Children are damaged by things that their parents cannot predict or prevent.  Sometimes they damage themselves.

But oh, I want for you to be happy children.  To have your childhood.  To grow up to know your own worth and the value of others, of friendship, of letting people in.  To be a country, not an island.  To reach adulthood unscathed and with the skills to navigate grown-up life.  To be happy adults, capable parents, pensioners who look back on their life with a sense of achievement and satisfaction.

That is not to say that I don’t want you to experience any other emotion.  A little bit of fear and disappointment and anger is good for you; you need to learn to cope in an imperfect world and better that you learn in childhood when your support system is at its strongest.  I know that.  I do want that for you.  But oh – not too much.  Not so much that it crushes you.  And I hope that we will be there to pick you up and dust you off and kiss your scraped knees when you fall.

And I hope that the falls are always that type of fall, that they are never from a height or an awkward angle.  I hope that you learn to land well, to roll rather than snap your ankles, to laugh as you stand up.

And I hope that you are never sat in a therapist’s office rejecting happiness.  Because this is the best feeling in the world.

My Two Mums and Goblin Child have made it to the finals in the Mad Blog Awards!  We would love it if you would vote for us to win in the Best Baby (Goblin Child), Best Family Fun (My Two Mums) and Best Photography (Goblin Child) categories. 

+ - 6 comments

June 25, 2015 - 8:41 pm

Donna - I am sure your boys will always be happy. They are so smiley, so bright and beautiful – how can they ever be anything but?! x

June 25, 2015 - 10:25 pm

Bex @ The Mummy Adventure - This is so beautiful Amber and those gorgeous boys have two lovely mums to show them what happiness looks like. x

June 25, 2015 - 11:02 pm

Tanita - This is beautiful. As parents that is all we ever want for our children. I hate to think of mine ever been unhappy although I understand that is part of figuring out this life. But happiness is so important and I hope they too are always always happy like they are now. As are your two boys xxx

June 26, 2015 - 4:09 am

aNoviceMum - “You delight in the world and are eager to share in it. And when you are dissatisfied you rally against the injustice with piercing wails until circumstances are different.” – my 1st favourite quote.

What hopes expressed for your twins; and how you captured their love of life! I saw, ‘amen’ to all you expressed. May they always embrace happiness; learn to land well, roll instead of snap, and stand with laughter. :-) #LivingArrows

June 26, 2015 - 3:38 pm

Sian - They look very happy I’d say. And as I said on twitter – I love their outfits!
#LivingArrows

June 28, 2015 - 10:03 pm

C - What stunning words.
Your boys are so loved. With parents like you and Kirsty, who will nourish them and keep them safe in your healthy, happy home, what more could they need? You bathe them in light. They will know happiness.

Father’s Day for Two-Mum Families

On Sunday was our first Father’s Day as parents.

My twitter feed throughout the day was full of messages of gratitude to the fathers of their children, full of pictures of happy children dangling monkey-like from around their father’s necks.  And – it made me think.

Because my children won’t have that.  They won’t get to make a sticky, ugly card for their father at school or to choose him a tie or a fun gadget from the kitchen.

And as a parent you want your children to have everything that their friends do.  But we’ve chosen for our twins and subsequent children not to have this, not to participate in the ritual that is Father’s Day.

Now that the twins are here, I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I checked to see what my fellow two-mum families were doing for Father’s Day.  I loved this post by Clara about her wife Kirsty’s Mama’s Day.  It sounds as though they have hit upon a solution that works really well for their family and it sounds as though they didn’t even had to compromise.

Would a similar solution work for us?  We had planned to use Father’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate our sperm donor and the modern thinking that made our family possible but, well, I’m not sure that the twins can celebrate that at school.  Imagine the card: glittery sperm penetrating a tissue-paper egg, anyone?  ‘Thank You For Inseminating My Mother’? *NB: Technically I wasn’t inseminated, but the idea of this message made me chuckle too much not to share it.

Kirsty and I like sharing Mother’s Day.  Neither of us want to celebrate something else and we don’t particularly want a day to ourselves.  We’re mothers.  We didn’t want somebody else’s day.  We don’t want to rename another day.  We don’t want a random day in the year chosen by us, either.

We want to share.  We want to celebrate Mother’s Day together, to celebrate the mother that birthed them and the mother that does such an incredible job of staying home with them.

I suppose that it comes down to who the day is really for.  Is it for the parent as a reward for the hard work that they put in to the raising of a child?  Is it a celebration of the parent-child bond?

And if it’s just for the parent, does it matter if the child misses an opportunity to make a ‘thank you’ card at nursery, or stand up in assembly and talk about who he loves?

I don’t know.  I’m really glad that we have a few years to figure this out.

Are you a same-sex couple or a single parent by choice?  What do you do about Father’s Day/Mother’s Day?

My Two Mums and Goblin Child have made it to the finals in the Mad Blog Awards!  We would love it if you would vote for us to win in the Best Baby (Goblin Child), Best Family Fun (My Two Mums) and Best Photography (Goblin Child) categories. 

+ - 5 comments

June 24, 2015 - 10:08 pm

Carie - for what it’s worth my Dad thinks Fathers Day is a dreaded Americanism and has never wanted to celebrate it. He’s in the minority but it shows it’s not as ubiquitous as Mother’s Day so you might get away with skipping it – though the glittery sperm card sounds amazing!

June 24, 2015 - 10:25 pm

Donna - I have two Dads in my life – my biological father and then my step dad who has been there since I was 18 months old. I didn’t meat bio dad until I was 17 and he has never been a dad to me. My step dad gave me away at our wedding but he has been distant in recent years and so really now I don’t feel like I have much of a Dad at all. On the flip side, I haven’t seen my mum in 7+ years. I find both Fathers Day and Mothers Day difficult to say the least. I think your boys, with two Mums that love and care for them and chose to bring them into the world, surrounded by that love, won’t even blink an eye at the fact they don’t celebrate Fathers Day – it will probably be more common that we realise by that point x

June 25, 2015 - 1:42 pm

Kara - I think this post hits the nail on the head for me as the comment above.
It is a day to be celebrated but I am not sure I need that day, I personally having 2 sets of parents find it nothing but a stressful day for me as it is about competition for my real parents, where in fact I want to celebrate more my step parents, as they choose to be in my life and are awesome.

I say do whatever makes you happy, thats how life should be, I have decided after our Mothers/Fathers day always seem to be ruined to pick a day as family day, to celebrate our love for our little family xx

June 25, 2015 - 3:00 pm

Jenny @ The Brick Castle - I’m not in a same sex couple, so alas I don’t have any fabulous tried and tested resolution, but I used to work in a nursery and one of the children had 2 Mums. One would have her Mother’s day the night before and Mother’s Day morning, and the other from lunchtime Mother’s Day until the next day.
I actually think it was more just an excuse for flouncing around in pyjamas for hours, eating many chocolates, two nice evening meals IN A ROW and frankly just spoiling themselves entirely for the whole weekend. I was so jealous…..

June 25, 2015 - 3:03 pm

Jenny @ The Brick Castle - The whole point in mentioning working in the nursery was so I could say they usually have something else lined up because lots of children do not have a Dad present for a multitude of reasons. And the only bad news is they have the same amount of time, but have to make two Mother’s Day cards. I completely forgot all that because I was imagining a weekend of flouncing around in my pyjamas eating chocolates and being spoilt!

Britmums Live

In the run up to Britmums Live friends who knew that it was my first blogging conference wondered whether I might be nervous.  I felt a little sheepish as I admitted that no, I felt nothing but excitement at the thought of rushing headlong into a crowd filled with friends who had until now lived inside my laptop.  I couldn’t wait to dive face-first into the community of people who have never been anything but kind and supportive toward me.

What can I say?  I am definitely not an introvert.

The other question directed toward me was, of course, whether I planned to bring the twins.  I wasn’t brave enough to bring both (plus, I needed a free hand for the pastries and the wine!) but Baby Lysander did accompany me on the first day.  Initially I was a little concerned as to whether he would find the conference to be too overwhelming (he is by far my more sociable twin – hence bringing him – but even sociable babies have their limits!) but after an initial ten minutes of bewilderment he was DELIGHTED to be surrounded by so many women, most of whom were eager to respond to his smiles and to cuddle him when he lunged out of my arms toward them.  I am reasonably sure that he thought it was his own personal party, hosted in honor of him!

My attendance at Britmums Live was sponsored by Little Tikes; if you have a child or ever was a child you will be familiar with this company’s products even if you don’t know them by name.  Hands up if you ever rode in a Little Tikes play car, hung out in their sand pit or bounced on one of their teensy-tiny see-saws.  (I did, I did and I did.)  They also sponsored one of my blogging besties, The Mummy Adventure, so we simply had to get a picture of the Little Tikes’ Bloggers’ Babies hanging out at the conference together.  Cute much?

Lysander ADORED baby Finn (pictured) and tried his very best to coax him into play, babbling and grinning and waving his fat little arms at him.  He was just a touch too little, alas, but next time they meet I’m sure that they will be the best of friends!  Lysander certainly has good taste in babies; I borrowed Finn for a cuddle on the Saturday and my ovaries haven’t felt right since!

Quite a few of us brought babies to the conference this year and they were seen as a bit of a highlight by the baby-free.  If you’re reading this and wondering whether to bring a babe in arms to Britmums Live 2016 I would say go for it; so long as you’re sensible about removing a screeching little one from the speeches, nobody is going to resent the presence of your child even if he or she is a little noisy.  A baby that doesn’t mind strangers will be absolutely fine at the conference (alas, one of mine loathes attention from strangers and so I left him at home!).

The only downsides to bringing Baby Lysander for me was that a) I couldn’t take advantage of the free wine and b) in order to get him home by a semi-reasonable hour I had to leave the conference at half past seven, thus missing the Brilliance in Blogging Award ceremony.  It was worth it to share the day with him though and I returned home feeling so proud of my little chap.

I had decided that day two would be baby-free and consequently Kirsty had arranged to take the twins to visit my in-laws.  After our success the previous day I was a little sad to return to Britmums without a baby but I knew that their Nanny J and the rest of our family from Kirsty’s side were looking forward to spending time with them, so I made up my mind to embrace the mummy time.

I had fallen in love with the atmosphere at Britmums Live and didn’t want to miss a thing and so I woke myself up at a horrifying 05.30 in the morning in order to arrive in Moorgate for the planned breakfast at 08.30.  The little custard-filled pastries made it well worth it and I proceeded to stuff my face with five of them, washed down with a couple of mugs of coffee.  Yet another thing that you simply cannot fault about Britmums Live is the food: the pasties were just incredible, lunch was a treat – the veggie pasta could have been ordered from a restaurant, it was so good – and the pudding was divine.  Oink.

But of course, nothing was so wonderful as finally being able to put voices to the text that has made me think, smile, laugh or cry over the last year.  To finally give the hugs that I have wanted to give for so long.  To catch up with old friends in person and to make some entirely new friends too.  For me, that was the highlight: not the talks (although the talks were excellent) and not the brands (although I exclaimed in delight over the goodie bags) but the people, the connections, how the atmosphere seemed to crackle, so full were it of our emotions.

My friends.  My community.  My people.

And nothing was more us than the keynotes, where some people had me howling with laughter and, others made me openly weep at their beautiful, emotionally raw speeches.

I shan’t name drop all of the friends I met and hugged and laughed with and connected to, because I’m bound to miss somebody out and hurt feelings – scatterbrain – but if you were there, if you contributed to the positive atmosphere, if you shared your wisdom or your humour or your pain or your fears, thank you, my friend.  I’m pleased and proud to know you.  I can’t wait to see you again.

And a great big THANK YOU to Little Tikes for sending me along!

My Two Mums and Goblin Child have made it to the finals in the Mad Blog Awards!  We would love it if you would vote for us to win in the Best Baby (Goblin Child), Best Family Fun (My Two Mums) and Best Photography (Goblin Child) categories. 

+ - 16 comments

June 22, 2015 - 8:44 pm

Claire Jones-Hughes - Such gorgeous photos! That must be what BritMums like from the little one’s perspective. I always wondered. :-)

June 22, 2015 - 11:01 pm

Donna - It was so lovely to meet you and hopefully I’ll get to meet Kirsty at some point too! Such a lovely post and a great round up of the weekend x

June 22, 2015 - 11:15 pm

Bex @ The Mummy Adventure - I am so glad we got to meet and Lysander was an absolute darling. Finn will be crawling around with him in no time! I am glad you had such a great time and can’t wait for next year now!

June 23, 2015 - 8:54 am

Clare @ Maybush Studio - Yay! It was awesome wasn’t it? So lovely to meet you too. :-)

June 23, 2015 - 9:05 am

Kate Holmes - I think you get the best of it by bringing your baby one day and then not the next to free you up a bit. Loved seeing you again and sharing the keynotes bit. Great post.

June 23, 2015 - 10:21 am

Lauren | Belle du Brighton - It was so lovely to meet you and little Lysander! I had such a great time chatting to you (and everyone else!) Even tho babies are people magnets I’m quite looking forward to going again next year sans baby!

June 23, 2015 - 12:04 pm

C - It’s so lovely to see a photo of Lysander interacting with another child. Personality development in children is fascinating… How one twin can be sociable while the other is not.
What a wonderful occasion BritMums must have been. And being sponsored by Little Tikes. Whaaaat. You are boss.
Your community of bloggers sounds incredible.

June 23, 2015 - 1:41 pm

Pippa Ainsworth - It was so lovely to meet you on the Saturday, thanks so much for coming to sit with us! I only wish I’d had the chance to meet Lysander on Friday too!

June 23, 2015 - 3:05 pm

Leigh - Headspace Perspective - It was so lovely to meet you, Amber! Sorry we didn’t get more time to chat, but see you again at the MADS. I love that both you and Lysander enjoyed yourselves – so sweet he lavished all the attention xxx

June 23, 2015 - 6:05 pm

23weeksocks - It was so wonderful to finally meet you and little Lysander is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for meeting me and walking into BritMums Live with me, it made a nerve wracking day that little bit easier and I also got to have plenty of baby snuggles which partly made up for missing my own little boy.

All the best for the MADS and I really hope that you do walk away with an award (or three) because you really deserve it. I’m sad that I won’t be there to cheer you on but maybe next year.

Much Love

June 23, 2015 - 7:19 pm

Stephs Two Girls - Love your photos! You’ve inspired me to do a better job than just iphone selfies next time :) glad you enjoyed it!

June 23, 2015 - 9:42 pm

Michelle Twin Mum - Your lysander is dviine, funny how twins are so different. Mine are chalk and cheese too. Glad you had a great first Britmums Live. Mich x

June 24, 2015 - 8:12 am

Debs @ Super Busy Mum - Those photos! *dazzled* you have such an amazing talent for capturing those moments. I’m envious! haha! It was so so lovely to meet you over the Britmums weekend!!! ^_^

June 25, 2015 - 2:54 pm

Jenny @ The Brick Castle - It was nice to meet you, even though we didn’t get a chance to speak. So typical of these sort of events! I did get enough chance to become insanely jealous of the length of your hair – just gorgeous!
Lovely write up and photo’s – and the food this year was awesome! I didn’t even manage to get a veggie lunch last year, so I ended up with a Tesco sandwich. THey’ve definitely sorted that this year :)
Like Pippa, it’s a shame I didn’t meet Lysander, but I think you probably managed to get the best of both worlds :)

June 26, 2015 - 1:42 pm

Nell@PigeonPairandMe.com - What beautiful pictures and words. I was sorry to have missed you. Next year, for sure!

June 26, 2015 - 9:23 pm

Colette B - I’m still so gutted that I didn’t realise it was you when you were sat opposite me – I’d done that ridiculous “She looks familiar” thing and only realised it was you when I saw a picture on Instagram later on. I will see you in September for the Mads! x