So a little while ago I wrote that our baby girl had taken her first steps, and she has been wanting to walk more and more since then but she hadn’t quite had the confidence to really go for it – preferring to hold on to Mummy or Daddy. Suddenly though this week that has completely changed.
In one day she went from doing maybe 7 unaided steps at a time to literally walking around the whole house. I text hubs at work as I knew he wouldn’t believe the difference in the space of 1 day! So now she is everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I turn around and there are literally moments of “where is she?” and run off to find her in the showerroom standing banging on the glass, or in the new utility room trying to eat a receipt.
So childproofing has become uber important again as she really does want to explore every inch of the world now that she can, and at this point in time she currently wants to put EVERYTHING in her mouth. So the floor is being swept multiple times a day to prevent her eating any bits of stickers or dirt that has been walked in, stairgates and doorgates are being shut and I need eyes in the back of my head!! Letting her roam around outside is interesting as she loves it but she makes a beeline for stones and dirt and wants to put them straight in her mouth.
We say no but she is so cheeky that she just finds it funny and gives a big grin and carries on doing it anyway, grrr. So I sound like a broken record, no don’t eat that, no not in your mouth, over and over and over again!
I love seeing her toddle about though it just shows how much she is growing up and becoming less and less of a baby now. Her brother is adoring her newfound skill and is so proud of her for “walking all by herself!” For the first time ever they played together in his playhouse, playing peepo through the windows and they both loved it. Monkey enjoyed it so much that he ran up to her and shouted ” can I give you a cuddle?” and then squeezed her so tightly. Melted my heart I can tell you! They are going to be such lovely playmates for each other and I already love seeing them have fun together.
I remember feeling that walking was such a game changer when Monkey started walking properly, and it is a game changer again now but a new phase that I am so looking forward to – though it certainly brings challenges of his own!
Yep that time of the month again to share some family shots so we can look back at how much we have all changed over the year as the months have gone by.
We had some, er, fun, trying to get family shots of us while we were on holiday – and some shots were far more succesful than others.
We took some on a boat… one where LM was not interested,
and another where she just wanted to grab her brother’s head (one of her favourite pastimes).
Then we tried really hard to get a shot of us in the evenings as the sunsets were gorgeous, but with just our phones, well we weren’t very successful! This one is nice but the lighting is terrible.
This one is just awful, good shot of Monkey but not sure what happened to my arm, it looks about 3 times the size it normally is (I hope) and hubs looks a bit pained!
Then we tried the flash and well neither kid remotely looked at the camera. This snap actually reminds me of the kind of shots you used to get pre-digital photography, with the flash on and nobody looking at the camera, do you know the type I mean?
Ah to be a good photographer eh? Still good for posterity I suppose!
Last week we were on holiday. We had a lovely week in Menorca but it wasn’t without its challenges… life with 2 kids rarely is I think! Here is a little about our holiday, in a nutshell.
So it started off pretty well, Monkey loved the plane journey and was so excited to be flying bless him! LM was less impressed, especially by the delay when we were sat on the runway for ages! She did sleep a bit though thankfully and we survived the journey pretty well.
The hotel was lovely we loved our apartment and it was in a great spot, not too far from the pool but not too close for it to be too noisy in the evening. We opted for a 2 bed apartment which was very spacious and meant that hubs and I would have our space once the kids were in bed, compared with previous holidays where we have been stuck on the balcony or in the bathroom while Monkey was asleep.
The restaurant was nice enough and there was plenty of variety in the buffet. The downside was that the set times were a bit later than the kids normally eat so was a bit challenging keeping them going some days… and the restaurant environment was a little distracting for LM at times so the dvd player and baby jake came to our rescue at most mealtimes. I know there was other people judging us and I probably judged us too but it was worth it to he able to eat without juggling a wailing baby. At least there was lots of other families with small children there which was brilliant as lots of us in the same boat trying to keep babies and toddlers happy.
LM absolutely adored the pool and was desperate to be in there whenever we went near it. Both hubs and I had so much fun with her in there which was lovely.
We also sometimes set up a dinghy with some water and toys so she could have a play in there and she adored that too.
Unfortunately though Monkey was not a fan of the pool. It was very cold as the water was being constantly recirculated and really didn’t ever get warm. As a result, after the first day Monkey point blank refused to go in and if we attempted to coax him in we were met with screams, shouts and full on meltdowns. Joy. Such a shame too as the kids pool was great with slides in and so all the other kids seemed to absolutely love it.. and LM had absolutely no problem with the temperature. We did occasionally persuade him to play by the side of the pool or paddle a little… but it took a LOT of effort!
There was a lovely little beach literally within 5 mins walk and it was gorgeous, really secluded and surrounded by bushes so very peaceful. The only downside was that it is a preservation beach meaning that they are not allowed to remove any of the kelp and seaweed that washes up onto the beach so the beach was covered. Monkey and Daddy still had a fab time building sandcastles and we got LM paddling for a bit… but sadly she didn’t much like the sand so wasn’t happy there for long.
So we had one little one who didn’t like the pool and one who didn’t like the beach. Not exactly a recipe for a relaxing beach/poolside holiday. After a couple of days we realised we needed to do something else as the kids were driving us mad and we were getting snippy with each other.
Our first little outing was a trip to the capital Mahon to visit the market. Monkey had a meltdown to end all meltdowns and we ended up using the naughty spot on a random street corner while I walked a screaming LM up and down in her buggy to get to sleep. Not exactly the best start! We did turn it around though and had a lovely boat trip on the harbour and a nice lunch. I will write more about that in a seperate post though.
The following day was a very chilly day and we planned on going to the little zoo on the island which was really lovely as many of the animals have been rescued and have lovely big enclosures to enjoy. Unfortunately it poured with rain shortly after we arrived meaning we go soaked as we looked round. We still very much enjoyed it though, and because of the rain we practically had the place to ourselves. The kids loved looking at all of the animals and running from shelter to shelter!
In the evenings after dinner we generally wandered around with the kiddies, Monkey made friends with other kiddies and LM loved toddling around. She really is a sociable little thing and kept going up to people meaning I had to have a few slightly awkward conversations, but for the most part people cooed over her and she basked in their attention! One evening after walking around she had a little cry but got over it and we didn’t think much of it. I carried her back to the apartment where I looked down and realised my shorts were covered in blood! She had a nasty nasty cut on her toe and we felt like terrible parents for not even realising. Poor thing.
There was a mini disco at 8.30 every night that I am pretty sure Monkey would have loved as he loved dancing on the stage and dancefloor but LM was too tired to stay up for it and as they were sharing a room it was easier to put them to bed at the same time. So hubs and I took a few drinkies with us up to the apartment and either read our books, compared photos or just had a natter. Quite nice to have a change from tv and blogging that takes up our evenings normally!
The journey home was similar to the first and LM slept a bit on the plane but took a lot of entertaining the rest of the time. Monkey was really good but it was still hard work and by the time we had got our bags and the car and made the long journey home from the airport it was nearly 11pm. A very long day and I think we are still recovering actually!
It was a good holiday but it definitely had quite a few negatives unfortunately. I am not sure we will do the same type of holiday again at least not for a while, and hubs is adamant he doesn’t want to make a plane journey again until LM is around Monkey’s age, as he feels that the stress of the return journey wiped out the benefit of the rest we had gotten that week. I don’t feel that it was quite that bad but we do enjoy our UK holidays too so will stick with those for a while I think!
I have been thinking it was time to write a Monkey update for a while, and this started out being a 3 1/4 update.. but in all the chaos another month has passed and so it is now a 3 1/3 update! So here it goes.
I am going to start by being honest here, the threenager year is definitely the most challenging so far with our Monkey. We’ve actually been really lucky up to this point and we never had the terrible twos.. but he is without doubt a threenager. He can be defiant, stubborn, argumentative, attention seeking, jealous and a general pain in the wotsit a lot of the time lately. “I dont want to” and “I dont like it, I dont like anything” are probably the most frequently used phrases in our house and they drive us mad.
Mealtimes can be a real pain just trying to get him to eat food, even his favourites let alone anything new. He’s always been fussy but this is more defiance than anything and he gets so stubborn. He has regressed a bit and wants us to feed him a lot of the time (which is a bit bizarre as we don’t feed his baby sister, she feeds herself!) and often announces “I don’t like that, it’s rubbish”, or “that’s disgusting” without even trying it… then when he does eat it of course it is yummy.
We try and have tried a whole variety of different techniques. I’m all for mindful parenting and try so hard to be aware of what I say and do to see if this has any effect on his behaviour… but honestly no matter how hard I try I very often get the same response. I try and make sure we get 1 on 1 time, use positive language all of it. But no dice. He is worse when he is tired or hungry but even well fed and rested he can be very stroppy. So I keep having to remind myself (and hubs who all too easily gets drawn into an argument with him) that he is only 3 and just a phase!
Of course there are times he pushes our buttons too far and we shout and get cross. But then he turns our words back on us “just do it then” “no, you do it” shouting and pointing at us. Thank goodness the naughty step, and for the most part even just the threat of the naughty step, works as there are so many times we have to do it. Sit at the table or go on the naughty spot. Get in the bath or go on the naughty spot. Get your pyjamas on or go on the naughty spot. Not as a first threat but when the asking nicely and cajoling have got nowhere out it comes.
He also insists on repeating the same phrase over and over until he has gotten the response so he wants and honestly it drives me completely potty. That is often what leads me to shouting as I just can’t cope with hearing him say “but I neeeeeeed it” (about some toy or chocolate or whatever he wants at that moment) for the umpteenth time in quick succession.
So that is my little moan out of the way, at times when he is not driving me completely crazy or having a major meltdown he is actually very lovely and such a cute little boy. He seems so grown up sometimes that I have to remind myself he is only 3 so does need a bit of leniency.
He is so very loveable and frequently loves telling us how much he loves us. He likes doing things “as a family” and often talks about all of us and gives his baby sister lovely cuddles too. He adores his extended family and whenever we say we are going to see one of his aunts or uncles or to her relatives he announces “Oh I love…. and … and …” and then starts reeling off all his family members. Very sweet. He loves playing with his friends too and frequnrtly gives them cuddles and kisses, and he is getting much more confident at speaking to approaching children he hasn’t met before and sparking up conversation.
He loves jumping, and considering how long it took him to learn to jump he is certainly making up for lost time. He jumps over just about every crack in the pavement and I’ve never seen him so happy as on our friends trampoline a few weeks back!
He is turning into a right little performer, sometimes whipping out from behind the curtains saying “welcome to the show” and then singing a song or telling us about something. I haven’t managed to catch it on camera as he is always very impromptu with it and if I ty and get him to repeat it he is having none of it. Apparently though he got up and sang a song with one of the key workers at playgroup the other week which melted my heart. He also loves performing to his family and saying things that make everyone laugh, and then repeating it over and over and over!
Speaking of playgroup, playgroup/pre-school is going very well. He is getting much better at going without getting upset. We had been working on him running in with a big smile on his face, which he did a couple of weeks ago and then turned back to me so proud of himself shouting “I did it Mummy!” Love him.
Having had so many builders in our house for so long he is so desperate to be a builder with them and wants to help them with all of their jobs. He is also getting amazing at building his duplo and lego and is actually building houses and things now which I love. He has such an imagination, often having little conversations with his toys, or finding a belt and saying it is his superhero belt. He loves dressng up and lots of things are turned into hats, be it a builders hat, postmans hat, or something else!
Buzz lightyear often comes to the rescue of trains and cars falling off the side of some furniture, most cars are Lightning McQueen or other “Cars” cars, and most planes are Dusty Crophopper or Skipper from Planes. Because he is now of an age where he LOVES disney films. Not all, but most. He tends to get an obsession where he wants to watch one over and over and over and then I eventually persuade him to try another one and the obsession to that. Recently it was Aladdin, then Wall-E and then for a changewe started watching some dreamworks films, Madagascar and Madagascar 2. So the current obsession is Madagascar 2 and it does make me chuckle hearing him sing “I like to move it move it” hehe.
So our little man is stubborn, defiant and completely adorable, even while he is irritating. He goes off for a little sulk with his arms folded and then when we laugh he turns and laughs too. He doesn’t generally hold a grudge for long thankfully… though having said that some of his meltdowns have been epic lately! I just have to grit my teeth and bear it when it comes to his tantrums and focus on all the lovely times instead!
Monkey, like many little boys, loves trains and loves taking trips on them. We were lucky recently to win tickets to ride on our nearest steam railway, the Nene Valley Railway, from Monkey’s playgroup fete. The tickets have been on the fridge all summer and he has asked many times when we are going on the train!
Last weekend we decided it was time and thankfully we were blessed with a surprisingly warm and sunny day for it. The railway runs between Wansford and Peterborough, stopping at Ferry Meadows country park and Orton Mere along the way. We chose to get the train from Ferry Meadows into Peterborough. (We have previously ridden the train in the other direction to Wansford but that was on a much wetter day and I never did get round to blogging about it.)
Anyway Monkey loved watcing the train pull into the station, though he really is not a fan of the loud noise! He is always so excited to get on the train and look out the window though. The staff were so friendly and helpful, helping us get the pushchair on, and giving Monkey is own souvenir ticket which looks more authentic.
His Uncle Simon (Hubs’ little brother) came along with us for the ride too and it’s not a particularly long journey but Monkey loved looking out the window and waving to anyone we passed. I’m glad it isn’t a long journey as LM really is not a fan of the noise or movement so she needed a lot of attention the whole way!
When we arrived at Peterborough station it was lunchtime so decided to head to somewhere to eat. We suddenly realised at this point that our favourite restaurant is in fact the nearest, and being attached to a pub/boat it has a lovely beer garden and lunch menu too. So we headed there for some absolutely scrummy thai food. It was lovely and realxed and even better because LM absolutely loved helping herself to my plate of noodles. I have no problem sharing my food with her if it keeps her happy, and it certainly did that! I wish Monkey ate as well as she does.
After lunch we headed to Railworld, which is right by the NVR station and has discounted entry if you have NVR tickets. I will be honest I didn’t know much about what was there but was pleasantly surprised. There is a lovely miniature railway outside which Monkey loved immediately, with Thomas the Tank Engine whizzing round.
You then cross over the river to a nature reserve which has been fantastically done up with lots of railway themed features. I will be honest we had a hot and grumpy toddler on our hands by this point who didn’t like having to leave the miniature railway behind, so we didn’t get to see huge amounts of the reserve and instead rushed to find the promised model railway.
And none of us were disappointed by the fabulous model railway.
There was even another little model railway with more Thomas characters that can be operated with a little button, which of course Monkey loved.
By the time we got out of there it was time to head back to the railway for our journey home, which with 2 tired little ones was ever so slightly challenging with a lot of entertainment required. Thankfully Monkey was entertained for a while by keeping LM entertained and they did have some lovely moments giggling at each other through a pane of glass.
As I write this in many ways I can’t believe that it has nearly been a year and that our little lady is not far off being 1… but in other ways, I just look at her and is she really not 1 yet? She’s almost a fully fledged toddler now and it is hard to equate her with the teeny baby we brought home 11 months ago.
So anyway, what has she been up to?
Well, since her first steps a couple of weeks ago she has been walking. A lot! She can now get herself up to standing without having to pull up on anything (or anyone) which means she can just randomly start toddling about. She wants to walk constantly but she is not confident to walk unaided for more than about 10 steps as I write this… but that is increasing daily so it may well be more by the time I publish. The rest of the time we are walking loosely holding on to one hand – so it gives her the confidence but helps save her from too many nasty falls.
Because of course the downside of all this walking is the number of face plants she has done and the quantity of bumps and bruises. She can be absolutely fine and sturdy then suddenly she goes and while I like to think I have the reflexes of a cat, sometimes I just can’t quite catch her in time. Cue Mummy guilt as she has a mouthful of dirt and a grazed nose when I only looked up for a second to make sure her big brother was stopping at the road. Of course that was the second she got distracted by something and went face forwards. Silly Mummy.
Her little personality is coming through more and more now. I call her a diva a lot as she certainly likes to make sure we know when she isn’t happy about something, and I swear she is the loudest baby on the planet! But for the most part she is a happy little thing really. She is a bit of a Mummy’s girl at the moment though and can definitely be a little shy of strangers or people she doesn’t see quite so often but that’s just the age really isn’t it? Don’t believe this little lady can be a diva, what do these faces tell you??
Speaking of age, so far so good on the food front. By this age her big brother had suddenly turned fussy but so far she is still pretty good and eats practically everything we put in front of her – especially fruit, she adores all fruit so far, except watermelon bizarrely. It’s funny as in comparing her to her big brother, he will happily eat whenever you offer him food, and would probably eat all day… certain types of food at the very least. Whereas she will eat just about anything but only if she is hungry enough, turning her nose up to everything if she isn’t hungry enough. She also has to feed herself 99% of the time!
She had a bit of a funny stage where she was terrifed of the bath, and I literally mean terrified screaming her head off as soon as it was time to go in. It came from nowhere but honestly she was so unhappy. I tried getting in with her, tried different temps but nothing worked. So I decided to try and remind her water is fun with a play session in the garden which, as you can see, she absolutely adored. She crawled herself in and had a whale of a time.
She was still scared though until one day I was in the bathy with Monkey and she was so desperate to come in with us after standing outside watching us. It still took a few goes but eventually she sat on my lap while we had a bathy the 3 of us (I will spare you any photos of that) and since then she has been enjoying bathy time again, having so much fun splashing and playing. So who knows where it came from but at least she is happy in there again now.
Some of her favourite things (Other than walking). She loves books and being read to – her favourites at the moment include “Rainbow Rob” (a firm family fave) and “Whose nose?” She particularly loves it when I roar to her during this one, really gives her the giggles.
She loves dancing. For some time it has been Daddys go-to method for cheering her up when she is whining or being a diva and they have had so many happy times dancing around the living room to the tune of “I know you, I’ve walked with you once upon a dream…” from sleeping beauty. No idea why Daddy chooses that one everytime but maybe they will have a daddy-daughter dance to it at her wedding or something one day :). She also adores dancing by herself now she is on her feet more and I love her little bottom bouncing up and down. here’s a little clip, which isn’t amazing but you get the idea. It’s even better for us as we have a very similar clip of her big brother doing the exact same dance to that music table!!
She also loves being thrown in the air, and, random child that she is, loves being tipped upside down and sometimes it is a job getting her to stay right side up and she tips her head so far back! Funny but gorgeous child that she is
Sleepwise she is so good through the night and varies in the day sometimes she will have one nap, sometimes two. I keep thinking she is dropping the second nap then she will have a day when she sleeps for ages in the morning and afternoon. So again I need to take deep breaths and just go with it. Who needs a routine anyway? (me me me!) She sleeps in the oddest positions too. for example, I have no idea how she is comfy enough to sleep like this?
I could probably keep banging on and remembering more little details but will leave it there for now!
I have been fortunate enough in the past to review some gorgeous children’s clothes from House of Fraser. When they got in touch recently and asked if we would like to reveiw something from their wonderful selection of children’s toys, well I couldnt say no could I?
I really enjoyed browsing checking out the huge variety of toys and games they have to offer but couldn’t resist when I came across this awesome remote control Fireman Sam fire engine. I just knew Monkey would love it, and I wasn’t wrong.
As soon as he saw it he was so so excited and couldn’t wait to try it out. Watching the absolute glee on his face as he chased it round and round the room turning the steering wheel was absolutely priceless. As you can tell I struggled to get a non blurry photo as both he and the fire engine were moving so fast at all times but it was so fun to see him so happy!
I have to admit it is probably the noisiest toy we own, and even on its “mute” mode it has the ability to shout “Great Fires of London” at the touch of a button! But it is worth it to see him so happy. He tells everyone he meets about his new fire engine toy and every time he sees it I swear it is like the first time again”oh wow my fire engine!!” So cute.
It really is such a great fun toy, definitely one to bear in mind for Christmas, and just one of so many available from House of Fraser
There is a lot of big changes going on here at the moment, both at home and on the blog, but one thing I really want to maintain is my monthly updates on our two siblings. I love seeing their relationship grow and change as they themselves grow and change and this is just such a lovely way to record that for the future.
LM adores Monkey and wants to be near him all the time. At the moment one of the way she shows her love (to anyone) is by grabbing faces and heads, so she is constantly trying to grab Monkey’s hair, ears, feet, anything she can get her hand on. In the bath last night she got so excited that they were sharing the bath together that she ran over, grabbed his ears and fell on his head! She thought it was hilarious and he was less than impressed.
Monkey gets so annoyed shouting “get off” and “keep away from me” and I have to explain why he can’t push her away and why he has to be a bit gentle. He’s also playing up quite a bit at the moment in general which I think is jealousy. LM is growing and getting more active and interesting, meaning she is taking more of our attention. She is coming on leaps and bounds and is walking more and more so obviously we are giving her a lot of praise too. As a result we have noticed Monkey seeking attention by being more defiant and pushing our buttons. Which makes life very difficult at times. He is also regressing a little and wants help to eat and dress and put his shoes on and it is difficult to choose between just going with it for an easy(ish) life, or trying to make him do what we know he is capable of doing.
He loves his little sister too though. Just this morning when he came downstairs, I was in the kitchen and LM in the new room. I called out a good morning but he saw his sister, immediately shouted “let’s go see LM” ran into the new room and gave his sister a cuddle. So cute! He loves making her laugh, especially at bathy time and now she is toddling about a bit he keeps saying what a “big girl” she is. He hates when she cries and tells her to be quiet but also at times pulls faces and baby talks to her as he knows it makes her smile.
So I guess it is a pretty normal sibling relationship, driving each other crazy but loving each other fiercely too. Here are some lovely shots of the gorgeous pair plaing together from over the last month.
Hubs and I both love a bit of Downton Abbey, it is just perfect chilled out Sunday evening viewing. Entertaining without having to use up much brain power, just good fun and I always find myself speaking rather eloquently after watching it. We had been working our way back through all of the series (mainly as we are so knackered in the evenings and need something that is easy viewing) this summer. So when I realised we were driving past Highclere Castle (where Downton is filmed) to get to Dorset for our recent (ish) holiday, I got massively excited and knew I wanted to visit.
Then I realised it wasn’t going to be quite so simple. We were travelling down on a Saturday (and Highclere is closed on a Saturday) and though we were coming back mid-week, we discovered the all of the tickets available for sale in advance had long since sold. The website did say that some tickets are available on the day but obviously it is down to luck whether you get them or not. We decided it was worth it and thought at the evry least we would be able to get into the grounds for a picnic to break up our journey even if we couldn’t get in to see the house.
But as luck would have it there were tickets available when we arrived – hurrah!
The castle is magnificent, even from a distance and it was so cool seeing if in real life. (Could I sound much more geeky right now??) Inside is wonderful too though sadly you are not allowed to take any photographs inside the house. There are no pushchairs allowed inside so we carried LM round and both her and Monkey were very good. It was fab seeing all of the rooms we have watched so many times on the show.
It was quite busy and there was a bit of a bottle neck looking round the upstairs rooms, meaning a lot of standing around and queuing, though I think that was just bad timing as there wasn’t as many people behind us as in front! As mentioned both LM and Monkey did really well and a group of older ladies couldn’t stop cooing over the pair of them which was lovely!
After a good look round the house it was time for a picnic before exploring the grounds. It was really quite blustery but warm enough for our picnic and we chose a bench with a gorgeous view of the house and an area that is also frequently seen on the show when they wander the grounds. So a perfect spot for some family selfies :).
After a windy picnic thankfully the sun made an appearance as we set off to explore the grounds, gardens and the secret garden, which we particularly liked.
Monkey very much enjoyed running around the grounds and exploring the lovely wildflower meadow too.
Then it was time for a quck english cream tea pit stop in one of the various refreshment areas – there was a few including the marquee we visited. All of them were heaving at lunchtime but by the time we visited they were much calmer. We had another little run around in the grounds afterwards, including taking some more silly selfies and just having a giggle with the kiddies…
Then it was time to get back in the car and continue our journey home. Our holiday was over! Our visit to Highclere was a very lovely to end a very lovely week though.
Hey lovely #MaternityMondays linkers. A little announcement, I am no longer hosting #MaternityMondays! I have really enjoyed hosting for the past however many months but the time has come for me to leave it behind. You can read more about why here if you would like to but I am scaling back a little on the blogging at the moment.
But, never fear, it is not the end of #MaternityMondays. My lovely co-host Emma over at Farmers Wife and Mummy will be continuing on with the fab linky and I will certainly be joining in from time to time to keep up with you all and what you are up to!
Thank you all so much for your support with #MaternityMondays and I very much hope you all continue to link up with the lovely Emma. So head on over to her to grab her new badge and join in with the linky!