Hills & Holes, Barnack, Lincolnshire

A little to the north of where we live is a little known nature reserve, and a place that I love, called Hills & Holes. It is the site where limestone was quarried to build Peterborough cathedral, and quite simply this left the area with lots of hills, and lots of holes!

I know it sounds a bit odd but honestly I love it there. I have so many awesome memories of running up and down all the hills and in and out of the woods there as a kid.  Hubs did the same with his family too so it is a place we have always said we wanted to take the kids, and finally it feels like LM is old enough to start to enjoy it, so with some rare sunshine forecast on Saturday morning, we headed over.PhotoGrid_1484575491854

Monkey could not get his head round what we meant when we said we were going to Hills & Holes, and he was even more confused when we pulled up in one of the few laybys that class as parking on the edge of the village and walked through a little gate. But as soon as we got in and he saw the hills, well he was about as happy as a 4yr old gets at the prospect of an adventure!PhotoGrid_1484574948014

It’s difficult to see in the pictures just how hilly and undulating it is… but I’m sure you get the idea! PhotoGrid_1484575419728

I was so proud of LM as she did so well walking up and down some of the seriously huge hills holding Daddy’s hand…  Though her little legs definitely got tired after a while and she needed a carry the rest of the way.

At some times of the year there are sheep in some areas of the reserve. We wandered over to say hello and they were all staring at us and being quite friendly. But then when we carried on walking they started following us, which unnerved LM a bit bless her. We were a little perplexed and turned back to see the ram push his way to the front of the sheep and start stomping his feet at us! We weren’t really sure what to do at that point other than calmly but swiftly carry on our way.  They all followed us, with the ram leading them, though thankfully at quite a distance, for some way until we went through a gate into another section of the reserve. I have to admit that I’ve walked through herds of sheep a number of times but have never been confronted by a ram before. What should you do in that situation?PhotoGrid_1484575642847

Anyway, after that little bit of excitement, as LM was needing to be carried we were getting a bit tired (carrying a toddler up and down hills soon becomes hard work!) so headed home. We had a lovely time though. I’m so glad the kids are old enough to start to enjoy it now and look forward to going back many more times over the years for some fresh air and a run around!

Things you need to know about Hills & Holes.

Hills & Holes is on the edge of the village of Barnack, just to the south of Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Parking is in a few laybys on the road between the reserve and the village itself.

Dog’s are welcome but there are signs up when sheep are in the reserve to let you know they need a lead.

It is not remotely buggy friendly or even accessible so if a little one isn’t big enough to walk themselves then they will need to be carried!

No toilets or refreshments etc. of any kind.

If you live nearby have you ever been to Hills & Holes?

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Monkey and Mouse

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Siblings January 2017

Here we are at the middle of January and time once again to catch up with my lovely pair of siblings. After spending so much time together over the holiday period together they seem closer than ever. I’ve loved all the family time and watching my two play. We are well and truly back to normality now though so it’s actually lovely to look back at some piccies from our relaxed time off together.20170112_111450

Of course they have their moments and squabble in the way only siblings can really. LM is a bossy little thing but our Monkey doesn’t like to be bossed so she doesn’t always get her own way with him. For the most part he does play along though, he is very tolerant but I also thin he just loves having her to play with.

Some of my fave examples of sibling fun from the last month are:

Having fun at a John Lewis cafe when we visited the sales.photogrid_1484133222193

Having a floor picnic (and lots of snuggles) in their Den when we got home.photogrid_1484133444707

Some very cute moments on Christmas Day itselfphotogrid_1484133772799

Some lovely moments out and aboutphotogrid_1484135504333

And, all of these other times too!photogrid_1484136124159

Finally, in the smattering of snow we got yesterday I got a very lovely one of themIMG_20170113_084940_763

The outtakes for this are hilarious as at one point Monkey clearly got some snow in his face that he wasn’t all too happy about haha.PhotoGrid_1484299838207

I know there’s tonnes of pics here but all the time they’ve spent together have given me a lot of photo ops. Plus, to be honest the only thing that really keeps me blogging these days, is the desire for a record of my kiddies as they grow, and witnessing the development of their relationship is all part of that. Monkey is 4yrs, 8mths and LM is 2yrs 3mths.

Chatty Children, January 2017

I do love trying to keep a record of the funny things the kids say, and the way their speech and use of language develops. Every stage seems to be so fleeting in this respect and sometimes they move on without you realising it. It’s hard to remember a Monkey who didn’t chatter away constantly but I know there was a time when he barely said any words, and a time when he mispronounced words (like serbatry instead of conservatory and nockynurs instead of binoculars). It’s hard to imagine those times though, so I love being able to record them on my blog, mainly for me to look back on, but I hope they also entertain anyone who reads them! (I actually just indulged in looking back at when Monkey was a little older than LM is now and ooh did I chuckle at the things he said!)

I haven’t done one of these for a while but here is what my kiddies have been saying over the last month or so. Monkey first.

Monkey Says

Monkey is learning more and more about the world and just growing up so much in front of our eyes since he started school in September. He is 4yrs 7mths old.

First up, a real cracker and definitely a case of the things I say being parroted back to me. I was having one of those days where I was irritable and snappy. I kept snapping at him but I did apologise and tell him I was tired. The next time I snapped at him he said, quite calmly

“You are so tired today… But please don’t be grumpy with me”

I had to concede that he was right as it is something I have said to him many many times haha. Wise little man! He is such a sweety and loves to tell us how much he loves us.

“I love you all the way to Saturn and back.”

“I love you all the way up to the aliens”

“I love you down to the ground”

“I love you more than I love LM” (to daddy)

Daddy’s latest toy is an Amazon Echo Dot in the kitchen. “Alexa” does things like play the radio set timers and generally answer’s questions. Monkey loves her.

“Alexa’s so kind”

He comes out with some fab little pearls of wisdom.

“It’s a really exciting life”

“Felix and I will be best friends, even when we die”

About LM’s tantrums

“She thinks it’s the end of the world. It really isn’t.” Think I may have said something along the lines of that once or twice myself…

Again with the kindness, when Daddy told him that if he didn’t finish his dinner soon then he would eat his chocolate treat for pudding instead.

“I know daddy, we can share it!” ha, still have to eat your dinner Monkey!

Finally here are a few pure 4yr old comments.

“I was dreaming about reading a newspaper all about big fat tummies.” I should explain here that Monkey has a thing about shoving teddies up his jumper and having a “big fat tummy” I think it started when I was pregnant with LM, lately he seems to associate it with Father Christmas…

“This milk is making me have a cold tummy”

“my tummy is full up” (usually when he would prefer to be eating pudding) “my tummy is tired” (when be doesn’t want to eat any more dinner… Usually after mouthful 1).

I loved it when he chose his outfit the other day and wore all yellow. Proclaiming “it’s a bit foggy outside so I can be the sun.” :)img_20170107_133424_248

“When I get bigger I can be the Daddy and LM can be the mummy”
We explained that that wasn’t the way of it as they are brother and sister and explained about falling in love with someone…
“When mark and fran get married I’m going to be so happy and I’ll fall in love with LM”

Yep. Safe to say he didn’t get it. But there is hope yet that we can avoid incest.

“Get off goat” Don’t call your sister a goat!

Little Miss Says

I have to admit LM’s speech hasn’t developed as much as I thought it might have since the last update I wrote. Much of what she says is still just the first syllable of words, although then she will come out with basically a full sentence, and take me completely by surprise. It is coming, just very much in her own time. She is 2yrs 2mths old.

20161218_084517Some of the more recent words, are “yeah” which we love as at least get an afirmative response sometimes, rather than just all the “no”s. “Me” is another new one and she says that quite a bit at the moment when she is feeling demanding. One of her favourite games is running across the living room and she likes her brother to stand at the door with her so they can go together. He doesn’t always want to though which results in a lot of her shouting “me,  cujjer (brother), me!” over and over while pointing frantically between him and the patch of floor next to her.

Another favourite game is hide and seek and she loves running around shouting “care-dju-go? ” (where’d you go) and then “Dowdoo!” (found you).

She is a little herald and if someone comes to the door she will run round the house shouting at everyone to let them know “mama, daddy, gab a day de la do door a mama” or something to that effect that haha :)

She loves a good “Ni Ni”  picnic especially with her favourite person “Daddy.” From the moment she wakes up in the morning and calls her first word, all I hear all day is “Daddy?” even when he’s out or at work. If she can’t find him, it’s “Daddy? Care-dju-go?” and if he is there but not doing as she pleases, it is “Daddy, Now!” with the pointing again! Yep, “Now”  is another recent word. She is so demanding and can be frequently heard shouting “mo moi” (more milk, obviously) or “oer” (egg, no idea why) at breakfast especially.

It’s a funny time as she is saying a lot and so wants to be understand. We obviously understand a lot of it, even if we don’t understand why she calls some things by random words. My friend Susie, is “cha,” no idea why. Paw patrol is “dah dah de la” possibly because of the music? It is obviously harder for other relatives and friends to get what she is saying sometimes and we really don’t always understand either.

There are things that are easier to understand though “Go ho”  for go home. “Wana ge dow”  for I want to get down. “Teddy”  is one of my faves and she loves to shout “bear” in a bit of a northern accent randomly when she wants to watch “going on a bear hunt.” She also randomly correctly named a “giraffe” the other day and sometimes when you think she is jabbering a random load of syllables  you suddenly realise that actually you understood she said she wanted you to kick the ball to her!

I’ve done a little video of some of the things she says as it is seriously cute and I know it won’t stay this way for long. With Monkey I worried about his slow speech then he suddenly took off and there was no stopping him, so I really am not worried about LM and just want to enjoy this stage.

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My Petit Canard

No New year’s resolutions here, I am who I am!

Happy New Year! It’s January 1st, traditionally the day for making promises to ourselves to be better somehow over the year ahead and beyond. Not for me this year though.

For nearly the whole of 2016 I have been trying to change myself. I often feel like I would be happier if I were somehow different. If I was thinner, if I ate more healthily, if I was a better mum, if I tried harder. I reached a point recently where I just had to say stop. I need to stop trying so hard to be more than I am.

I am who I am.

I have decided that I need to be happy with who and what I am rather than constantly trying to be something else. Something I’m not. I have hopelessly unattainable goals and all they do is make me feel rubbish about myself. They are not making me happier as they are always out of reach.

Take my weight, as an example. I’m not humungous or obese. I am larger than I would like to be and larger than I have been in the past. But I am in my 30s and after 2 children my body is not the same as it used to be. I know many will say that having kids isn’t an excuse, and I would say the same if after 2 years of trying I wasn’t in exactly the same position. I have taken up running, changed my diet and in many ways I am healthier than I have been in a long time. I never thought I would be able to run for over half an hour without dying, but I can now. My weight however has not changed. The shelf I have over my c section scar is still there. My thighs rub and I have cellulite. Even running 3 times a week did not change any of that.

This may be because I like my food but I have struggled to diet and count points mainly because I find full time parenting pretty exhausting at times. LM and I are constantly on the go, I cycle over to the nearby country park, go for walks, run round at her gymnastic group, not to mention walking the school run twice a day. So sometimes I eat to keep me going and stop me being such a mardy mum (I can get seriously hangry which isn’t fair on the kids). Whatever the ‘excuse’ even with added exercise my body has not changed. It has really gotten me down at times but honestly, why? What is so wrong with me and my body right now?

I’ve always been impressed by women who are proud of their stretch marks and bodies after birth but I’ve never been one of them. After Monkey I lost the weight fairly easily so honestly I assumed the same would happen 2nd time round. It hasn’t. The things that worked first time have not worked after baby no. 2. Clearly my body is hanging on to the excess weight this time for some reason. Again, I’m not humongous, so what does it matter if I am carrying a bit of extra weight? We are all different, some women are naturally slim and lose the baby weight more easily than others. Does that necessarily make them somehow better than me?photogrid_1483194414665

I have been trying to convince myself that I am OK as I am. My husband likes the way I look and isn’t disgusted by my wobbly bits (far from it in fact as he loves me the way I am and genuinely prefers curvier women) so why should I be? Then I happened upon an article about Ashley Graham, a “plus size” model being on the cover of vogue. Now she is gorgeous and probably slimmer than I am (though definitely with bigger boobs) and for once seeing a picture of her strutting down the catwalk made me feel that maybe it was ok to be my size. That someone my size can be beautiful. That not only slim women are beautiful.

There’s always a lot of debate about the sizes of models and I often find they end up in an either/or solution. Larger models promote obesity, smaller ones promote eating disorders. I don’t think it is that simple and actually believe that as there are variety of shapes and sizes of people in everyday life, that there should be a variety of shapes and sizes when it comes to models. In general, clothes aren’t one size fits all, so why do the models all have to be the same size? It’s the same with actresses. Why are all the women in films so skinny… Unless they are the funny fat girl? It’s not real life but it’s easy to get sucked into believing that it is.

I’ve slightly digressed from my point and that is that I am fed up of believing the lies I see all around me that say I am not good enough the way that I am. I’m not about to stop running as I do enjoy it (though a couple of chesty coughs have slowed me down a bit lately) and I won’t ever let myself get obese because I hated being slowed down by the extra weight I carried when I was pregnant. But it is nice to feel I can stop trying so hard to be something that is unattainable for me at the moment. To feel that maybe I’m ok as I am.

My weight isn’t the only thing I’ve been trying to control either. After a friendship group broke down a few years ago I have worried a lot about not being a good enough friend to people. I’ve made a fantastic new friend recently but I have almost sabotaged it a few times because I’ve been worried about what they thought of me, to the point where I was almost pushing them away. This has to stop. I can’t let a negative experience with a few women ruin or prevent future friendships. I am who I am. Some people will get me and like me for who I am, flaws and all, while others won’t. I have to learn to be ok with that as no matter how I try I will never be perfect. I can’t change that. I can’t change me. I have so many wonderful friends who are there for me for better or for worse, and I am there for them in the same way. I don’t expect them to be perfect so I need to stop expecting that of myself.

I’ve also been trying to be some kind of perfect mother, which again, isn’t possible.. I always want to try my best but I also have to remember that I’m human. I get tired and snappy some days and some days I am lazy and the kids watch more TV than I would like. I try really hard the rest of the time though, we do all sorts of activities and get out and about a lot. I need to stop focusing on what I don’t do, and look at what I do do. To stop criticising myself and instead be proud of the way I am raising my kids and of the good job I’m doing. Because I’m not the perfect mother, but I am their mother. I am who I am and I’m doing the best that I can.

Perfect mum? No way!  But I do ok

Perfect mum? No way! But I do ok

I’m trying really hard to apply this to every aspect of my life. I may not be the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect sister, perfect daughter, perfect daughter-in law, perfect friend, perfect blogger or the perfect anything, but then none of those things exist. All I can be is me. I will always try to be good to those around me. To be kind and considerate and just generally do my best as that is who I am. But I’m human and I will always have off days, grumpy days and sometimes I will say or do something stupid, and I’m not going to berate myself for that. I’m not going to keep fixating on all the things I’m not and never will be, but instead I am going to try and be happy and proud of all the things that I am. A good wife, mother, friend etc.

I am who I am and I am going to be happy with that.

Are you making any resolutions for new years?

 

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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My Petit Canard

Me and Mine December 2016

So here we are, the last days in December and the last Me and Mine Project of the year. I find myself to be a bit of a rubbish blogger these days, but I try and at least keep going with this and the Siblings Project linky, both run by Lucy at Dear Beautiful, as I do find them to be a lovely record of our family over the year.

This month I had high hopes of some family shots over Christmas. We did snap a few but they weren’t quite the polished and posed pictures I hoped for, largely down to an uncooperative LM…. And partly because I couldn’t find my tripod haha. So despite my efforts we once again have selfies with the 4 of us in instead, taken at various times over Christmas.

The best, I think, are these that Hubs snapped on his new phone while we were all sat snuggling and watching TV on Christmas Eve in what we call ‘the new room’ as it used to be the garage. It’s not really new anymore but I have a feeling it will be ‘the new room’ for many years to come. Anyway I love the soft light of these pics, even if we struggled to get us all smiling at the same time! I particularly love LM trying to copy her brother’s thumbs up by putting her finger up instead…then she looked at it so confused bless her, such a toddler thing to do isn’t it?photogrid_1483099944667

We also have the obligatory shots on our bed on Christmas morning, blurry in the terrible light, sleepy and with a semi-naked hubs but full of excitement on Christmas morning. photogrid_1483100122004

Finally, my attempt at some nice posed ones when we were all dressed and smart on boxing day morning… Which LM was really not in the mood for, as I’m sure you can tell. photogrid_1483100226473

So there you have it, that was us in December. And because another year has passed (in the blink of an eye it seems), here is the last year’s worth of family shots, to show how much we (or at least the kids) have grown and changed over the past 12 months.me-and-mine-2016

I did a similar collage last year too, if you fancy a look.

Happy New Year all!

The Me and Mine Project

Highlights of Christmas 2016

Phew, so, here we are, the day after boxing day and the big day already over for another year. Rather than write a really long post I thought I would write something short and sweet, mainly as a way for me to remember the highs (and a few lows) of Christmas 2016.

Monkey’s excitement about putting things out on Christmas Eve

Reading “Twas the night before Christmas” to both kids on Christmas eve, even if LM wasn’t that interested this year.photogrid_1482844208336

Hearing LM shout ‘wow’ and ‘ho ho ho’ when she saw her stocking on Christmas morning.

Monkey’s excitement at finally getting a new magnet in his stocking (he got one last year but broke it and all he has wanted this year from the big man, was a replacement magnet. Bless him!

Excitement that ‘he’s been!’photogrid_1482844417356
Seeing hubs’ family on Christmas day and watching the kids open all their pressies

Seeing how happy hubs was with his pressies

Opening my pressies :)photogrid_1482844614368

The team effort between hubs and I cooking the dinner meaning all went smoothly and was delicious.photogrid_1482849416336

LM trying out her new balance bike

Being able to sit and relax and read a little of my book ‘Harry Potter and the cursed child’, that I got for Christmas, while lego building was happening and LM was napping.

Hubs and Monkey playing the daft laser gun game I got for them.

My parents and Aunt joining us for Christmas Evening and Monkey handcuffing everyone with the police toys we bought him, saying they were his favourite presents :).photogrid_1482849101599

Playing silly games once the kids had gone to bed (and I actually won for once!)

A relaxed boxing day morning before heading to my brother’s house.

Seeing how lovely my brother’s house is and how much they’ve done since they moved in 2 weeks ago!

The lovely spread they put on.

Watching LM be very gentle with ‘tiny cat’

LM’s excitement at the party balloon that whizzed around the room.photogrid_1482849678598

Playing balloon animals… The fun of this lasted hours! Making ever more complicated animals (when the balloons didn’t pop half way through) and chasing LM with them.

Hearing LM’s giggles as she played with her great Auntie.photogrid_1482850377188

All snuggling up watching the Gruffalo on boxing day afternoon.

Going to bed at 8pm on boxing day to catch up on sleep!

A few lows
(Because obviously no day is perfect with 2 little ones, even Christmas day!)

Being woken up in the night on Christmas eve by a terrified Monkey, who thought he heard someone outside his room (the trouble with telling them someone comes into the house in the middle of the night?) then being unable to get back to sleep myself, even hours after he had.

Getting up at 6am with the kiddies

Feeling hugely stuffed after the Christmas dinner

LM having a major meltdown when we tried to take her out to play on her new balance bike.

LM having a huge meltdown on boxing day too leaving us feeling stressed and like we should take her home, though thankfully it was averted by a bag of skips.

And we’re done for another year? Well sort of. Now it’s time to see a few friends and enjoy some family time while hubs has some time off work.

How was your Christmas? Hope you had a lovely one?

Siblings December 2016

My little pair of siblings. Honestly I feel so lucky as we have the cutest little pair of partners in crime. They have so much fun together and you can honestly see how much they love each other. Our Little Miss is so cheeky and adores messing with her big brother, and thankfully her big brother is an incredibly tolerant Monkey. He finds her hilarious and loves to play along and to give her a big tickle.

There have been so many examples of them having fun together so as always I have put together some collages of the pair of them over the last month. There is lots of messing but also some seasonal fun, meeting Father Christmas, dressing in cute outfits, and one of them sat in a bookcase when we helped my little brother and his fiancee move house. All good memories :)photogrid_1481723538026photogrid_1480770914765 photogrid_1481722939060

As an example of her messing, I adore this little clip of Little Miss getting one over on her big brother. She is the cheekiest of the pair by far!


A really cute development is that now LM is talking more. She calls him her bujjer (instead of brother) and does like to boss him about a bit. He doesn’t always want to do as she wants to but bless him he is so good with her and does often play along. Like when she plays the “I’m stuck under the sofa and need my brother to pull me out”game (she adores that one) or the “my brother has to stand exactly where I tell him and race me to mummy” game. Very cute, and she does try to say his name now although she mispronounces it very cutely I can’t put it on here. They play together a lot now and their little rock band was a fun, if noisy, afternoon activity haha.photogrid_1481723356146

My little lovelies in December :)

As it is December I have also decided to do a little round up of some of my favourite shots from the whole year to see how much they have grown, so here it is! Jan-December, a year in the life of Monkey and Little Miss. I love the siblings project for reminding and encouraging me to capture this pair and their relationship, so thank you for hosting Lucy & co.siblings-2016

Christmas Wishes

As a slight aside, you may have seen I’ve been a bit quiet on here lately, and that is mainly because there is just a lot on going on at the moment, as I am sure there is for you too. So, as life must come first I will probably be pretty quiet now until after the big day.  In case I don’t manage to publish anything else before then, I would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. I hope Father Christmas brings you all you could wish for and you have a happy day with the ones you love

xxxxxx

The Me and Mine Project

Super simple chocolate fudge recipe

I wasn’t sure what on earth to get for Monkey’s Teacher and Teaching Assistants for Christmas this year. It’s our first foray into presents for teachers and to be honest I didn’t want to spend too much money or time on them, but I still wanted to give them something nice. Having seen lots of seemingly simple recipes around for homemade fudge, I decided to give it ago. I’ve typed it up below as mine are a bit of a variation on some others I saw, and ooh they are scrummy.photogrid_1481736987541

I made two, a white chocolate and cranberry fudge and a minty white chocolate fudge. The first part of the recipe is identical then you add flavours later.

Chocolate Fudge ingredients

397g Tin of Condensed Milk
550g White chocolate, broken into small pieces
40g Icing Sugar (sieved)
For the minty version
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Handful milk chocolate chips (to sprinkle on top)
For the cranberry version
1/2 cup of dried cranberries

Method

Line a baking tray (deep ones work best) with greaseproof paper.

Melt the chocolate and condensed milk. I did this on the hob in a Pyrex dish over boiling water, but you can do it in a microwave, if you do it in 10-20s bursts. With both methods stir well throughout.

Once melted take off the hob and add the sieved icing sugar. Mix well (you can use an electric mixer).

Add other ingredients of your choosing (peppermint extract, or cranberries, or nuts etc) and again stir well.

Pour the mixture into your lined tray and spread evenly. For the minty version this is where I added chocolate chips and gently pressed them in for the topping.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours at least.

Take out and cut as desired. Our tray was quite long which meant the fudge wasn’t very deep but I got at least 30 bite sized chunks from each, though it would depend on the size of baking tray you use and how big you cut them up!

So easy and so tasty!

photogrid_1481736987541

Feeling Christmassy, 2016

My word of the week this week is Christmassy (I know that’s not really a real word but it’s still going to be my word this week) as there’s only a couple of weeks to go until the big day and things are definitely starting to feel festive around here.

We weren’t planning on having our tree up until this weekend, but with a free afternoon last Sunday and a busy weekend ahead this week, well long story short, we found ourselves in a garden centre buying a tree last weekend. It was a very exciting visit as we also saw the big man himself. If you follow my Instagram you may know that we have a slightly suspicious Monkey when it comes to the big man and he has asked a couple of times “are you sure he is really real?” to which our answer is obviously a wholehearted “yes!” photogrid_1481285716518

He seems to be believing again so this year will be fine but I do wonder how many years we have of him believing to come, as he is such a thinker and things clearly aren’t quite adding up in his head!

When we got home it was time to get the decs out and get the tree up. The kids loved looking at the decorations and finding the santander hats, and Monkey was so helpful with the tree which was adorable! Madam didn’t cause too much mischief with the tree either thank goodness :) photogrid_1481286435436

We’ve also got down the playmobil Christmas scene that Monkey was given as a present last year. Both kids have adored playing with that and there has been some very Christmassy play going on as you would imagine. photogrid_1481286111070

The main event though, that has really made me feel Christmassy is that this morning was Monkey’s school Nativity! He has been singing the songs for weeks and I think I know the whole thing off by heart as well! We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the performance itself though this snap I got at the beginning makes me chuckle. If I stood at the right angle then this was my view, through a sea of heads haha and most of the time it wasn’t even this good. 20161209_123308

He said his line brilliantly though and clearly enjoyed singing all the songs and doing the actions, I properly welled up at one point, soppy mummy but I was so proud of him! We got some pictures of him afterwards looking so happy and so proud of himself.
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Tomorrow I am off to York to meet a friend and hopefully get the last bits of Christmas Shopping done so that should be nice!

Are you feeling Christmassy yet or is it still a bit early for you?

Getting outside in the Winter months

It’s really turned a lot colder here lately and winter is well on the way. My little toddler can be inclined to laziness and would probably be happy sat in front of the telly all day long (I say sat but she rarely actually sits still, she climbs and fidgets and wriggles and goes and potters and comes back again) but she likes the tv on and she likes to be inside. While that is all well and good some of the time, I don’t like that much TV time for her, and it does both of us good to get out and about.

Fresh air is good for her and there is so much to see and explore outside of these four walls… Plus I go a bit stir crazy indoors. A change of scene and some fresh air really refreshes me and makes me a better mummy the rest of the time, so I definitely need to get outside, whether madam likes it or not.

It can be tricky to persuade her though, especially now it is cold and wintry out, and the more she says no the harder it is to motivate myself when it is cold too, but still, it is necessary. So I have a few tricks to tempt madam out the door even on the cold days.

Bubbles

I’m yet to meet a child who doesn’t like bubbles and they are used regularly in our house to get us outside. A wand is my preferred tool as it is easy to get big bubbles, but I will use whatever we have. photogrid_1480488042325

Both kids enjoy a good chase of some bubbles and I must admit I think they are so pretty… I may have 1 or 2 (thousand) pictures of them!

A ball

Simple choice but again it works, both my kids like a good chase of a ball and giving it a good kick about. We have had some lovely sibling moments out with a ball too. (and some less lovely moments in truth, they are siblings after all!)

My bike

Thankfully LM loves a ride on the back of my bike and even seeing her little helmet will get her racing to get her shoes on. We are lucky to live very close to a country park with gorgeous views and lovely play parks. The other day LM didn’t want to get down and play, but she loved seeing the ducks on the lakes, shouting “choo choo” near the train tracks and neighing at a horse in a field, and I got a bit of exercise too.photogrid_1480487652791

Friends

One thing LM is, is sociable, and our girl loves seeing our friends and family. One sure way to get her out the door is the promise of seeing some of those. We have some very good friends who live close by. Their eldest is at school with Monkey and their youngest is a little older than LM. Add the promise of meeting them for a bike ride and well LM is literally running for the door (seriously she did this yesterday, I have never seen her move so fast as when I suggested we get on my bike and go out with them ha). The kids have a lot of fun together and LM adores their Mummy the most of all I think haha.photogrid_1480515042662

Food

I don’t use this too much but there have been a couple of times recently where I have persuaded LM outside with the promise of a treat. Bribery I know but sometimes the end justifies the means and we ended up having a lovely time in the garden, away from the tv, all thanks to half a mini twix bite (I may have eaten the other half haha) !photogrid_1480487761201

Winter can absolutely be a time for snuggling up in the warn with a hot soup of a warm drink… But it’s even more fun to snuggle inside when you’ve had lots of fun outside first. You can see a few more simple ideas for playing outside in the Winter here.

Do you like getting outside in the Winter? What are your top tips for getting the kids outside?

My word of the week, is “outside”

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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