Travels, Halloween and Baby K

02 Nov 09

I know. I totally should have written this up a million years ago. I can only plead a mixture of 'crazy busy' with Ava and work and X Factor stealing my attention away (go Stacey!)! I'll try and catch up as best I can.....News with Ava is she has turned two (we had a BBQ in the garden to celebrate and yay, it didn't rain!) and almost overnight, has turned into a teenager! She has now discovered the power of the word 'no' 'mine', and 'I want'! Anyway, mad times to say the least. She is still sleeping in my bed, which is sooo lovely although poor Gray gets kicked in the head a few times throughout the night as she moves about alot in her sleep but her dreams are incredibly cute ('mama, I saw mermaid, Nemo and gorilla feeding the ducks'.....) and she can sing everything from Abba and Lady Gaga to Dvorzak!! I am so mad about her its unreal. She's just incredible. Gray, Ava and myself actually managed to grab a holiday in Bahrain which was unexpected and brilliant. Was nice to not have to do any laundry or dishes and just relax with my family. Avas swimming is coming on brilliantly. In a years time, I swear she'll be better than me! Its been a busy time for travel. Before Bahrain I was in America scooting across 8 or 9 states for Children in Need with John Barrowman. It was tough but really great fun. He's a lovely person and a one man karaoke machine! There isn't a song this guy doesn't know! As we were trying to re-create the travels of Phileas Fogg in 80 Days Around The World, we found ourselves taking a million modes of transport (Harleys, an electric car, 18 wheel trucks, you name it) including a hot air balloon. Having never been in one before, I don't know why I didn't ask the question before actually floating up into the air, but it had never occurred to me to ask how you actually stop the thing and get down. Turns out you have very little if any control and we took the quickest option namely by crashing into a tree. Not very glamourous but definitely effective! Our show is on BBC1 on the 10th Nov so I hope you enjoy it. Have just finished filming the Marks and Spencer's Christmas ad. I don't want to blow the line up or anything but it is very exciting. In fact one of my all time heros is in it so it's made my Christmas already! Without giving away the storyline of the ad, what I can tell you is filming it, I discovered I'm even more unfit than I anticipated and I got a few hefty bruises through the duration (my own clumsy fault) but it is amazing and I'm so happy to have been a part of it all. BTW, huge thanks to all the lovely ladies that came down to the M&S tour stores where I was modelling the new Indigo range and dressing competition winners. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves layering up the clothes, swapping fashion tips and generally have a girls day out! I even learnt to drive a VW camper van (it was our tour bus). I can't understand how the hippy generation did it. The clutch was almost up by the ceiling but it was the ultimate van. In true M&S fashion, the glove compartment and all the cupboards in the back were well stocked with Percy Pigs and chocolate cornflakes cakes which are my all time fav. Halloween was a blast. Had a party at my house. Dressed up as a witch (well, it was easy as I had a black dress already and Gray thought it hilarious to insist I surely must have a broomstick too, so just bought a hat). Ava came as a 'fairy princess witch' and Gray, well he refused to dress up (boo) as he was extremely engrossed with his fireworks display! My guests were so surprised to come to a humble children's halloween party only to get a supernova outdoor light and fireworks show. He even set up a bonfire for us to toast marshmallows.... Evening ended early for Ava the ultimate party girl who ate too many of said marshmallows. I kept taking them off her as I never usually let her near junk food but the other kids gave them to her throughout the night and she threw up in the kitchen poor thing. At 8 on the dot, everyone retired to my new giant sofa (can seat 17 we happily discovered) for an evening of X Factor. Absolutely loving it this year. The new range for BabyK autumn/winter 09 launched last week and its been sooo incredible. First bit of good news is BabyK won its first award for best baby wear on the high street.... hurray! and secondly, its been our most successful season so far and the feedback has been the best thing of all. I saw a little girl at the park the other day in my raspberry pink tweed coat and she looked so adorable, I had to run over and catch up with her mama. At first I think I made the poor lady jump as I cooed and fussed about her daughter but she saw the funny side. It's wonderful that so many parents (and more importantly, the babies) love it. Finally, I want to send my heartfelt condolences and thoughts to Stephen Gately's family and friends. As some of you know, Keith is my brother in law and Gray and the boys grew up together in Dublin. I have seen how hard his parting has hit them all but also how they are looking after one another and living each day with love and strength in his honour. He was a remarkable, funny, kind and generous man. RIP dear Steo. Love always Leenie x