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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.

Me & Mine in July

Another month passes in the blink of an eye and today the twins turn nine months old.  Three quarters of a year.  It’s such a brief space of time and yet it feels like we’ve always had them here with us.

This month Lysander’s little mouth suddenly erupted with teeth and Balthazar is not terribly far behind – we think that we might be able to spot one emerging.  My mother-in-law taught Lysander to clap and I missed it because I was at Bubble London.  Later that day, I also missed my mother teaching him to say ‘MamamamaMA’ which we think might have been his first attempt at ‘mummy’.  Balthazar steadfastedly refused to clap for a whole three weeks and then decided that it was jolly good fun after all and now he does it whenever he wants attention, which is most of the time.  It is adorable.

We didn’t go away this month but we made time for plenty of fun.  We splashed in the river, and the twins finally met a dear friend who had travelled to London from Greece.  We had a photoshoot with a professional photographer, the results from which I’m LONGING to show you, and surprised my in-laws by turning up on their doorstep for a sleepover.

I went to my first children’s fashion trade show and met lots of interesting people.  It was fascinating to see the upcoming collections from some of my favourite brands and to discuss how I, through my work as a blogger, could help to promote them.  Several interesting opportunities have arisen off the back of those meetings, one of which you’ll hear more about next week.  Kirsty got the shock of her life earlier this month when she was asked to fetch something from the fridge and found a new babywearing wrap in there but she’s been practicing lots of new carries and is super happy.

You may notice that poor old Josephine is looking a bit sorry for herself.  She had a dodgy hair cut a few weeks ago when someone – ahem – decided to take the clippers to her rather than book her in to see a reputable, qualified groomer.  A week or so later her ‘boyfriend’ at the park, who is twice her size, pounced on her for no apparent reason, outcome: three stitches under general anaesthetic or an ugly scar.  We opted for the ugly scar due to her age and so her face is going to be a bit lopsided from now on.

So that’s our news from July!  How are all of you?

+ - 5 comments

July 31, 2015 - 9:08 am

Carie - oh poor Josephine! I’m glad the rest of you have had a much much better month, filled with all sorts of happy adventures- and I can’t believe how big the boys are getting, clever little babies that they are!

July 31, 2015 - 1:19 pm

LauraCYMFT - These are lovely photos. Love the light in them. Just gorgeous.

July 31, 2015 - 8:43 pm

Katy (What Katy Said) - Oh Josephine!!! Poor thing!!! Lovely photos as always hun, just love the light!! Also, the boys have the most amazing eyelashes, always mean to say!! #meandmine xx

July 31, 2015 - 8:51 pm

Julia @ Rainbeaubelle - What gorgeous shots of you all! Sounds like a lovely month, and your little one’s clapping sounds like lots of fun. It is so special when they learn a new skill isn’t it. Can’t wait to hear about your new blogging opps, exciting! x #meandmine

July 31, 2015 - 9:02 pm

jenny - These are truly beautiful and I always love your little captures each month with your two adorable cuties that always also make me broody. Glad you are having a lovely time. Children fashion trade show sounds ace. Lucky you. We have been so busy in America this summer but home in the UK soon. I hear the weather is bad but glad you caught some sun and nice weather here. #meandmine

Enjoying the Moment

There’s this thing that I do: I spend every period of the twins’ little lives mourning how big they are now, how much they’ve grown.  And I forget how small they still are, how they still fit in our arms, how they still have gummy grins and baby babble and cankles.  I forget.  I look at their photos and all that I feel is sadness for the tiny babies that we will never know again, but those tiny babies aren’t dead, they’re right in front of me grinning and waving their arms and ready for a game.  They’re not lost, not really – they’re just grown.  And they’re still so little really, there’s still some babyhood left to enjoy and a whole expanse of childhood stretching out in front of us.

What prompted this realisation?  I blame the ghastly weather, which has driven us to seek new entertainment within the house.  A bath is one of my favourite ways to pass a loose thirty minutes and it seems that the twins have inherited my love of water; they love to practice their splashing, to chew on their bath toys, to flip suddenly onto their fronts and splutter dramatically until they are rescued and righted.  We have a lot of fun.  So they took a bath, just an ordinary moment in their day, and I took my camera, and we captured the experience.

It’s not the first series of photos of the twins taken in this bathtub and I worried that the images would be samey and boring – but then I looked at my old pictures and the difference between my babies then and my babies now took my breath away.

I could go on about it again.  They were so small (and in comparison now they’re so big).  But at the time I thought that they were enormous, giant babies, the least baby-like babies in the world.  It’s funny how the mind works.  I remember looking at those pictures and grieving, actively grieving, my newborns but look at them, how small they were, their funny old-man hairlessness in comparison to the babies that I have playing about my feet now, the babies in the pictures above.

What am I going to do about it?  I’m going to enjoy the moment.  I’m going to take the time now to cherish the children that I have now, the family that we are right now.  Look at my babies, my perfect little babies.  Look how they laugh with us, how they check our expressions to see how they should react, how innocent they are.  I will put them back in that bathtub and as they splash, enjoy the littleness of them; those plump baby cheeks, the ringing of their laugher, the bodies that I can still lift easily from the tub and snuggle close against mine.

My babies.  Still so sweet, still so small.

I am going to enjoy them as they are today.

+ - 3 comments

July 28, 2015 - 8:03 pm

LauraCYMFT - These are gorgeous photos! To me, these two are still teeny tiny but I do have an 8 year old and a 6 year old LOL. But I get what you mean about them seeming big to you now compared with weeks or months ago. Enjoy the moment is a great attitude to take, especially when it comes to our children. I’m sure you have heard it before and are starting to realise this but they grow up so fast.

July 28, 2015 - 11:07 pm

Bex @ The Mummy Adventure - They are still so small, so baby – you wait until they are running around like my crazy monkeys! I know what you mean about enjoying the now though, and in hindsight you always wish you had spent more time enjoying them just as they are.

July 30, 2015 - 3:11 pm

Shivie P - Beautiful babies & stunning photos. You’re very talented.
Babies grow, but it looks like you’re enjoying the journey.

30 Things You May Not Know About Me

1. I detest the taste of lemon in pudding.  Lemon belongs only in soup, when accompanied by lots of greens.
2. My camera is more or less one of my best friends.
3. I’m pathetic about pain so I manage my eyebrows with hair removal cream.
4. I don’t like ice cream.  Because it’s too cold.  Apparently that’s strange.
5. No, cold drinks are fine.  Preferable, actually.
6. I’m planning to be a gestational surrogate once I’ve finished using my womb to produce my own children.
7. Twins do run in my family.  That had no bearing on my producing our twins though – they were conceived via IVF.
8. I loved the whole IVF process.  There’s something very liberating about handing your fertility to the experts, even if it does mean sticking needles in your own stomach fat twice daily.
9. I’d happily be pregnant forever.  Even with twins.
10. I am not in the least bit camera shy.  In fact, one might say that I’m a bit of a narcissist about my picture.  Being photographed is fun!
11. I met the love of my life on the internet before internet dating was a thing.  And we were too young to be internet-dating, anyway.
12. Greece is my second home and I have a whole additional perfectly eccentric family there.
13. I don’t have a favourite colour.  I love ALL colours.
14. I’m a chocolate snob.  I don’t like cheap chocolate at all – it makes me gag.  Except for Nutella.  I could eat my bodyweight in Nutella.
15. My feet blister if shoes so much as look at them.  This is why I more or less only ever put shoes on when somebody whips a camera out.


16. I haven’t cut my hair in years.  It’s starting to wear me.
17. My favourite books and TV shows are where everyone is happy and NOTHING HAPPENS to change that.  So, basically, modern entertainment makes me weep.
18. I have a huge collection of poetry memorised, and I like to recite it in my head whilst I’m walking
19. It has been alleged that I can’t sing.  I vehemently disagree.
20. My childhood included twelve years of elocution lessons and consequently, nobody can work out where my accent is from.
21. In that childhood, I possessed a free-range pet chinchilla called Zoe.  She was superb.
22. I’m a very intense person naturally.
23. Actually, I rather like being small and plump.  I’m cosy.
24. That said, I have an obsession with my collarbone.  I play with the hollow when I’m nervous.
25. I forced my parents to change my name when I was two.  Yes, legally change it.  And they did it.  My birth certificate says Amy, passport says Amber.  It made my security clearance for a previous job overly complicated.
26. I was a ridiculously precocious child.  There was a lot of speculation that I was a genius, and then everybody else just… sort of caught up.
27. I am probably the clumsiest person I know.
28. I once nearly drowned during a school swimming gala because my mum had bought me a new costume.  It was so big that every time I moved my arms to swim, the top gaped open, exposing my (teensy 13-year-old) boobs to every last watching parent.  I was so mortified that I felt that I had no option but to stop splashing and sink slowly under the water, whereupon Mrs Parr, our PE coach, fished me out with an enormous pole.
29. Baby clothes are swiftly becoming my hobby.  I’m going to be lost when there are no more babies.
30. I can’t touch towels.  And if I’m forced to touch one by cruel circumstance I take care not to let my fingernails brush it.  I think my worst nightmare is probably being made to bite one… shudder.

So that is thirty things that you probably didn’t know about me (or did you?!)!  What don’t I know about you?

+ - 12 comments

July 26, 2015 - 11:28 am

Jodie - how do you dry yourself after washing?! Wow elocution lessons… I wish I had some of those.

July 26, 2015 - 12:12 pm

Vickie - Your towel aversion is very interesting. I’m assuming it’s a texture/snagging thing?

I hate wearing anything on my feet, it makes me feel claustrophobic but according to my family that is weird.

July 26, 2015 - 7:57 pm

Carie - I’ve got to ask- how do you dry yourself? I’m with you on the no shoes thing, I’d always rather be barefoot and if not barefoot then sandals! And why were you so determined about the name change at 2? You do seem much more of an Amber than an Amy :)

July 26, 2015 - 8:22 pm

My Two Mums - I have the towel nail/bite things too. I thought it was possibly my OCD, but it could just be a sensory thing. I shuddered when I read your comment about biting one.

July 26, 2015 - 9:46 pm

Bex @ The Mummy Adventure - I knew at least two already – I definitely knew the baby clothes one. Lemon in soup though? Really?

July 27, 2015 - 7:15 am

Tara - What a great list! No one can work out where I’m from either from my accent but that’s from living in different places. I’m sort of sad about that.

July 27, 2015 - 2:31 pm

HonestMum - Just when I thought I couldn’t love you more, now I do! I’ve loved learning so much more about it although having met you, I was well aware of what a wondrous marvel you are!

I love that you have a surrogate family in Greece (remember you telling me that too) and how incredible you want to offer others the chance to have babies too, you are just so caring and smart (no girl, we haven’t caught up) and your genius post made me laugh as I started speaking at 6 months old and there was speculation here too. I was caught discussing politics in the playground aged 5, asking if fellow pupils would be voting for Michael Foot and my parents were called in as it was feared I was being brainwashed at home! …I can’t believe you thought it was better to drown than flash others! Amazing post that had me grinning from ear to ear and thankful you’re my friend! x

July 27, 2015 - 4:17 pm

LauraCYMFT - Oh I love lemon in pudding but I’m a chocolate snob too. I hate cheap chocolate. It just doesn’t taste right at all. I think it is amazing that you want to be a surrogate. What a wonderful thing to do for someone.

July 27, 2015 - 5:09 pm

Natalie Ray - I love this post. Actually love it. You have created a “30 things” post that was genuinely interesting to read (they usually bore me to tears) and rather unusual. I like people who are not the fricking same as everyone else. Not that I didn’t like you before, but I like you more ;)

July 27, 2015 - 6:05 pm

Katie @mummydaddyme - We are so similar in some respects Amber, my camera is also my best friend, I hate any sort of lemon in pudding, I would be pregnant forever and I had a ferret called Rosie growing up. (Like a chinchilla?!) We are not similar in the fact I could eat ice cream for breakfast every day if I could. We so so need to meet soon rather than share compliments and photo related Hewlett with each other over the internet. Hopefully at the Mads if not before! Xxx

July 28, 2015 - 5:43 pm

Amy - Well number 25! That is funny because I begged my parents to change my name to Josephine but they wouldn’t comply, wouldn’t that have been a funny coincidence! You do suit Amber..

You don’t like Ice cream? Weirdo

I’m completely pathetic with pain although I LOVED childbirth and would do it again tomorrow if I could and loved being pregnant.

There is no way on earth you could be as clumsy as me and I’m often found quoting Wordsworth or Shakespeare…

You my girl are marvellous. Mwah! X

July 31, 2015 - 6:38 pm

Jess @ Along Came Cherry - Loved reading this!I am a mid chocolate snob, I mean I hate the cheap cheap stuff but would much prefer a bar of Dairy Milk over Green and Blacks! x

Living Arrows – 29/52

I have wanted the three of you to meet for so long.

Yesterday the stars aligned.  She was in London.  I was able to take a day off of work. 

I had promised her dinosaurs and alpaca in Crystal Palace Park but when the time came, could no longer navigate my way around this place of my childhood.  So we sat on the grass in the shade, and the woman who has shaped so many of my views surrounding motherhood finally met you, the children who made me a mother.

She lives one walk, two trains, a plane, a bus, a ferry and a taxi ride away, so I doubt that you will see much of her as you grow up.  I hope though, that the time that you do spend together will influence you as much as they have influenced me.  I hope that you will drive with her down small, twisty roads in the middle of the night, because someone somewhere has been arrested and his three pit bulls are in his car, and you need to get them to safety before the sun rises and they roast.  I hope that she will remind you to tread over the ants, because they too have tiny little lives.  I hope that the three of you will have one hundred conversations exploring all of the possibilities of the universe, that she will teach you to speak Greek, that through ‘her’ island and her farm you will discover a sense of freedom unavailable to you in London.

She is your auntie.  She is the family that we have chosen, the bonus family.  She bought you a t-shirt that says that she loves you, and made soap that will be gentle on your skin.  She held you and marvelled at how big you are, these babies that have until now existed only in her head and in rushed and infrequent telephone conversations.  She spoke to you in her language and you laughed, showing your pink gums, and spoke to her in yours.

One walk, two trains, a plane, a bus, a ferry and a taxi ride away, your extra family are thinking of you. 

+ - 8 comments

July 24, 2015 - 9:05 pm

C - The kind of family you choose.
What an incredible journey she took to meet your babies.
A gorgeous image.
It’s interesting to see how this woman is holding B. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone except you or K holding the twins; she must be truly very special.

“I hope that the three of you will have one hundred conversations exploring all of the possibilities of the universe…” Such beautiful words.

July 24, 2015 - 9:13 pm

My Two Mums - This is lovely. Love knows no boundaries when it comes to distance.

July 24, 2015 - 9:44 pm

Carie - Oh what a very special auntie – she sounds like an amazing woman and it’s always fun to introduce the people that are really special to you to your children isn’t it :)

July 24, 2015 - 10:16 pm

Donna - It sounds like you had a lovely day and a much longed for time together. She sounds wonderful x

July 25, 2015 - 12:21 pm

Amy - Oh gosh Amber, I feel completely overcome with emotion reading these words as I am sure you were writing them down.

I am so delighted that the twins have finally got the chance to meet someone who is obviously such a special person and huge influence in your life.

Just gorgeous xx

July 26, 2015 - 8:04 am

You Baby Me Mummy - What a gorgeous post my love and lovely picture xx

July 26, 2015 - 9:47 am

Emily Beale - I love the extra moments of love that come when we spend time with our extended family. Beautifully captured! #LivingArrows

July 27, 2015 - 12:27 am

Alex - That’s so beautiful :-)