A bit of a break

My word of the week this week is break. You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on here this week and that is because life at home is currently very hectic, so I have taken a bit of a break from blogging. There is still tonnes I would like to write about but I just haven’t the time or energy for it at the moment with everything that is going on.

Our garage conversion and building work is going really well and when this is published, in theory the new room/old garage should be finished and ready for furniture to go in. As I write the plumbers are plumbing in the radiators and the carpets should go down in a few hours. This is a huge relief as the last couple of weeks have been hard work.

The first stage of the building work was all outdoors and so other than being noisy didn’t really interfere with our day to day life much. Since cutting the doorway between the new room and the lounge it has been a very different story. The dust has driven us mad. Not fun at the best of times it is definitely less than ideal with a 10 month old crawling everywhere and getting in to everything!

So we have been covering furniture with quilts and sheets (meaning lots more laundry to do, as if we don’t produce enough laundry already) and I have lost count of the amount of times I have swept the floor and steamed and been on my hands and knees trying to clean up the dust…

Dust

It has also still been noisy and smelly (paint) and there has been people in and out a lot. Our builders are a really good bunch and they love the kids but having strangers in your house all the time is just a bit weird and parenting with an audience really isn’t fun! Plus the conversations I have had to listen to/be involved in (generally moaning about their wives and women in general, fun, and occasionally sharing how little sex they have, way tmi for me!) is just a bit weird.

So the kids and I have been playing upstairs a lot to keep put of their way. Plus of course lots of trips out in between the rain (or even when raining).

Going for a walk in the pouring rain ay 9am on bank holiday Monday while the builders fitted the door tp the new room

Going for a walk in the pouring rain at 9am on bank holiday Monday while the builders fitted the door to the new room

LM has actually coped really well with it all so far, basking in the adoration of the builders and giving them the biggest smiles, but the strain is starting to show with Monkey. He still wants to be a builder and is ok with them but he doesn’t like them being in his domain I don’t think. If I have to pop out of the room to deal with LM he doesn’t like being on his own with the builders so wants to follow me everywhere or stands and cries. Honestly this morning I was settling LM to sleep while the builder was cutting bricks outside (SO noisy) and she was trying but obviously struggling through the noise. I got her to sleep and came back down to find Monkey (who I had convinced to stay downstairs for a few mins) hiding with tears in his eyes. Pfff. Poor thing but I am at a loss what to do sometimes, I can’t be with him every second of the day.

We also haven’t had a front door for a couple of weeks now so have been traipsing round the back all of the time. Meaning the buggy, shoes coats, etc have all been living in the lounge along with the dust and the builders… just not ideal, any of it really and I have to say that being able to actually use our new front door for the first time was very very exciting!!

front door

One of the purposes of the new room will be toy storage, which is also making us think about storage throughout the house. It is also going to be Hubs office so a lot of the office stuff and files will come down from upstairs and go in there. So my word of the week was nearly sorting as we have been using any spare time (?) to go through cupboards. We have been throwing away lots of old stuff and have sorted some things for charity shops too. I have started to ditch some toys (charity shop again) and have more boxes to go through yet. (I swear toys multiply of their own accord, they are taking over our house!!).

So yeah not a lot of time for blogging really (I wrote most of this on my phone while watching bake off and the rest in 5 min bursts as today has been chaos).

At one point today we had the builder, 2 plumbers, an electrician, and a carpet fitter here at the same time. t worked well and lots got done but it was chaos!

At one point today we had the builder, 2 plumbers, an electrician, and a carpet fitter here at the same time. it worked well and lots got done but it was chaos!

But a break probably is no bad thing. I have been feeling slightly disillusioned with blogging for a while, possibly because life is busy and I am exhausted, but all of the commenting and linkies and sharing, let alone writing, has been feeling like a chore.

But I do love writing and that is why I blog really, as well as to create a record for the kids to look back on. So it won’t be too long a break I am sure… just a break until we return to something resembling normality I think!! I was going to add I some shots of how it is all looking now but it has taken me so long to write this post that I can’t be bothered so will save them for another post.

How has your week been? Slightly less chaotic I hope?

The Reading Residence

Me and Mine August 2015

For this months me and mine I am using some more of the gorgeous shots from our family photoshoot, taken by the wonderful Chris at Distant Cloud Photography.

September marks Hubs and I being together for 5 years (we had our first date on 08.09.10) and wow how things have changed in those 5 years! Things are really chaotic here at the moment with all the building work so I nearly didn’t write a me and mine post at all but as it is nearly our 5 year anniversary I thought I should make the effort.

So here is our little family as we are right now. I think these shots capture the chaos that life with 2 kids is generally!

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dear beautiful

#MaternityMondays week 35

Hello lovelies and welcome to week 35 of #MaternityMondays! I can’t believe we are on week 35, where is this year going? Nearly September already1 Thanks so much to you all for continuing to link up every week, and welcome to our lovely new linkers! I love our little community, celebrating the joys (and sharing the challenges) of pregnancy, life with babies and motherhood in general and lovely to see it grow too!

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Playparks

When I looked at photos taken over the last week, my word of the week was obvious, playparks. We seem to have spent a lot of time at various playparks this week and it is lovely to look back at so many pictures of smiling children. It is also nice to have a happy word of the week agan last week after feeling everything was so relentless last week.

Last friday we met up with my best Mummy friends and all 8 of our children and it was so so much fun. We had a great time together and the kids had a great time together too. The weather is lovely and warm but not too hot and it was an afternoon full of smiles.

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Saturday I had some time off with a good friend of mine in Cambridge which I so so needed and enjoyed so that was a day without playparks.

Sunday our little loonies needed to get out of the house by 9am so we headed to a nearby playpark as a family to get out of the house and let the kids burn off some steam! We had a lovely time all together and was much nicer to see the kids smiles rather than getting wound up with them bouncing off the walls at home.

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Monkey loved going down the slide with Daddy & LM and tried just aboout every seating combination possible!

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Monday I did visit a playpark on my morning walk with my neighbour (again around 9am) but didn’t take any photos.

Tuesday I met up with one of my Mmmy friends again at our local country park for some fun at not 1, but 2 different playparks! Yet more photos of smily happy kids having fun playing together, and mucking about ‘saving’ each other on the field too!

playpark 2

We have needed tog et out of the house quite a lot this week as the builders are back and our new room (which was the garage) is nearly finished, and the utility and new garage are taking shape too! I will share a post more about that another day but oh the dust and the noise this week! We had a few days off from Playpark visits though as the rain set in on Tuesday afternoon and it was very, very wet… Lots of splashing in puddles instead :)

splashing in puddles

Then this morning with the sun out again (albeit a bit chillier) it was time for another 9am playpark visit!

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How has your week been?

The Reading ResidenceCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Life Unexpected

Fun with a cardboard box

It never fails to amaze me that with kids, most of the time, simple things are the best. Last week I got a new toy – a lovely big food processor. This meant Monkey als got a new toy – a lovely big cardboard box. He had so much fun in there and just made me laugh so many times throughout the day.

To start with it was a den – I love his cheeky face poking out

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Then I laughed out loud to see his feet poking out the top when it was a bed

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It was a bus for a while

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Then he had so much fun making it a den again this time with just a blanket over the top and playing peepo.20150819_175559

Especially when the box then fell over with him inside!20150819_175659

Then LM had to get in on the action – she wasn’t quite as sure about being covered with the blanket

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Then it became a climbing frame (it was getting a bit squished by this point)

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And finall a great hiding place (can you see his fingers on the top? The only clue I had to where he was lol!)

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Kids and cardboard boxes eh?

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

Little Miss at 10 months

LM 10 mths oldOur little lady is 10 months old and boy is her development just whizzing now. She seems to master a new skill every couple of days at the most and is growing up in front of our eyes with her little personality blossoming too.

As always I just think she is so gorge!

So, what is she up to? Well in my last post about her I said how she was starting to crawl, and well now she is seriously crawling! Although she would still prefer to try and walk she will crawl to get where she wants to go. Monkey wasn’t a crawler at all so I do love having a crawly baby – though I do feel like I need to have eyes in the back of my head as she can really go some distance.

I also need to have eyes in the back of my head as she has now well and truly mastered the pulling herself up on, oh, just about anything she can grab. LM pulling up

Combined with the crawling and we find her in some interesting positions. Including trying desperately to grab my laptop (which she adores bashing)…

20150822_071922I have actually just moved my laptop out of reach here as she was already grabbing the side of the screen when I found her and legged it over. I have previously found her fallen forward onto the toy box having half pulled the laptop off the table. I really should find a new home for it I think!!

Another day, after playing with banging some bowls and tins I nipped off and came back to find her climbing on one of the bowls… cheeky madam.20150818_142108

Then Daddy sent me this shot when I was having some time “off” with a friend. He was helping Monkey use the loo and came back to find the madam in the kitchen playing with hoover and brush… start them cleaning young eh? :)IMG-20150822-WA0001

So she is everywhere getting into everything now, aaargh! Though I do love it when I find she has pottered off somewhere and is investigating a toy box or examining a book or something. We do have to be very careful about what is within reach though!LM pottering

She is so controlled now at not only getting up but also gently lowering herself back down to the floor…. that is unless she wants to practice her latest skill which is standing unaided. She only started that this week but she is getting so so stable now and honestly she is so proud of herself! She can spend ages pulling herself up, standing with no hands, falling on her bottom and repeating, all with a huge grin on her face. So cute :)LM standing

There has been some nasty face-plants though so she had a teeny cut on her lip and a bruise on her forehead poor thing. Feels horrible to not quite catch her in time but I guess she has to learn and she is definitely getting better at falling backwards rather than forwards now!

She now has 7 teeth (love her toothy grin) so we have started the teeth cleaning routine. She hated it at first but after a couple of days she got used to it and is now really good at having her teeth cleaned. We made up a little teeth clean song when Monkey was little which we now sing to both of them which I think does help.

We need to clean her teeth though now as she eats basically what we eat all of the time and I am so pleased to say that at the moment there is very little she doesn’t like, and she adores fruit, unlike her fussy big brother. Her breakfast every morning is strawberries and blueberries and maybe some mini shredded wheats or something similar and she tucks in like mad. Mealtimes are such a messy affair though so I am constantly washing all in one bibs and scrubbing the highchair and floor to get all of the crumbs, rice, bits of fruit, etc. Let me tell you standing barefoot on a half eaten blueberry is not a nice feeling!!

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think her reflux is improving (touch wood, fingers crossed, etc, etc.) We have been giving her ranitidine religously since her last flare up and she has been fine… but as we were running out we thought before getting more from the drs that it was worth seeing how she got on without it for a few days. It has been a few days and so far so good so we will see how she gets on over the next week or so. We do have a little left still if we need it but it would be nice if we don’t need to medicate her really!

Her sleep has been all over the place lately and I think it may just be because of all the development and the fact she just wants to crawl and climb and stand constantly. She is such a fidget pants that I think she really struggles to calm down at nap time. I had about a week of her only napping once a day and was convinced she was dropping a nap… but then we had a terrible terrible night  on Thursday with her screaming constantly, which is very unlike her as she has always slept well at bedtime. It took hubs well over an hour of singing and rocking her to sleep before she would stop fidgeting and waking herself up. Since then she has been a bit more normal with naps, still a bit fussy but she is napping better. So we shall see what happens this week I think!

What else is she up to? She now waves a little and it is so cute though she seems a bit surprised by what her hand is doing! Another little development is that she is really aware of people now. She very much wants Mummy all the time and if someone else is walking her round then she will make a beeline for me. But she also gets upset when other people leave. She balls if we stand and watch Daddy leave in the morning, and when Nanny & Pops took monkey out she did the same! So cute bless her she just wants to be involved with whats going on and clearly doesn’t want to be left behind!

Other firsts this month have been her first ride in the supermarket trolley – which she adores and it does make life easier in the supermarket not having to hold a basket and push a buggy – and her first proper shoes! Now she is standing and walking so much whenever we go anywhere I thought it was time for some proper supportive cruiser shoes rather than just pretty flimsy ones. She has been barefoot most of the summer as she hates wearing shoes and tends to kick them off (we have lots of single shoes now as she manages to kick them off without me noticing and I can never find them again!!) but she is going to have to get used to it and her new ones are at least a little harder to kick off.firsts

She is such a smily, happy little lady in general and is a joy to be around. She adores playing peepo, going on the swing, being tickled and loves watching her brother laugh – just seeing him chuckle is enough to give her the giggles. She melts our hearts every day with her gorgeous smile and the way she beams at us when she is happy. She can of course be hard work but she really is so lovely and I love watching her grow into a little person.

LM 10 mths collage

This year is going very very fast all of a sudden!

MaternityMondaysEthans Escapades

A Family Photoshoot

For Christmas my brother and sister in law bought us a really lovely present – a voucher for a portrait shoot with our wedding Photographer, Chris Boland of Distant Cloud Photography. Hubs used to work with Chris many years ago and knew he was starting out as a photographer so it made sense to contact him for our wedding and we absolutely adored the photographs he took of our big day. We had a shoot with him when Monkey was tiny and so were very excited to have another photo shoot with him now we are a family of four.

We always thought we would aim for the shoot to be in the summer but we didn’t plan on it being this late in the summer. We had to cancel the first date we planned due to all of the illness we have had this year, and we finally rebooked it recently. We nearly had to cancel again the day before when I bashed my face on the car – hitting myself right on the bridge of my nose and giving myself a minor black eye!! Blimmin typical on the day before a photoshoot but thankfully make-up managed to cover it and we kept the booking.

We went to our local country park and thankfully it was a lovely day, nice and sunny but not too too hot. I will be honest though, it really was hard work, Monkey was running riot or not wanting to smile or take off his sunglasses. Times when LM jus wanted to walk or was just fed up of being held in place so got really wriggly. I took a few outtake shots of the “behind the scenes” at the photoshoot.. oh the chaos.

outtakes

But, thankfully Chris is brilliant and managed to get so many amazing shots of us all so it was very very very much worth it. I have popped a few below  (Seriously I don’t know how he does it, I do not look this nice normally!)

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We are planning a photo wall with some of the shots and I can’t wait to put them up as they are just lovely. Really nice to get such great shots of the kids and some nice ones of us with them.

Have you had family photo shoots? Have you found them hard work too?

theordinarymomentsbadgeMama and MoreAnd then the fun began...

MummascribblesBest of Worstbrummymummyof2

Visiting Stonehenge in the rain

On our recent holiday down south we decided as it was only an hour or so from where we were staying in Dorset, that we would like to take the opportunity to visit Stonehenge. We picked a day and booked our tickets in advance for the Sunday and made our plans. It is run by English Heritage but National Trust members get free entry too (woohoo!) so if you are thinking of going it is worth considering membership of one or the other as tickets to Stonehenge are quite expensive in themselves. Sunday turned out to be a really wet and miserable day unfortunately, but we decided to stick with our plans and head over, hoping for a bit of let up.

When we arrived it wasn’t actually raining, though it was freezing! We had taken waterproofs for the rain but thought it should still be quite warm so hadn’t taken jumpers for hubs or I – big mistake as it was so cold, we ended up buying some rather fetching Stonehenge hoodies from the gift shop. (It’s actually quite amusing that most have my hoodies have been bought from a gift shop for the same reason, incl. one in NY and one in San Francisco, clearly I regularly under-estimate how warm I will be!).

We originally planned on heading straight for lunch, and then going out to see Stonehenge itself afterwards, but as it wasn’t raining we decided to make the most of the let up and head straight up there (thank goodness we did). So we had a ride on the bus with the kiddies and got to Stonehenge itself. There is a path part of the way round and then grass to walk around the rest of the site. You can’t get up close to the stones which is a shame but understandable.

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We had great fun taking some silly selfies of us all with Stonehenge in the background (or not, depending how good our aim was!).

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It was very bleak though and Monkey was getting a bit moany so we did have to have a good run around to keep him happy – I think a lot of other people there thought we were bonkers but Monkey was happy so that’s all that matters.

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It’s a shame the weather was so bad as we really didn’t want to stay there long and after one time round we went back to the bus and back to the visitor centre…. where, would you adam and eve it… there had been a power cut. The first one ever apparently. But this affected all lighting, the toilets, the exhibitions and worst of all the cafe!

After a bit of queueing and wondering what we could actually eat we managed to get literally the last 2 cups of tea they could get out of what hot water they had. We had sandwiches as there was no soup or any other hot food as obviously they had no power. Not good on such a cold day but at least we got hot drinks. By the time we had our food the rain had well and truly returned and the bus loads of people returning from Stonehenge were all soaked to the skin and poor things couldn’t even get a hot drink so I was glad we had come back when we had.

After our light lunch we wandered over to the exhibitions… where nothing was working so there wasn’t a huge amount to see.

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Lights off and blank screens, very disappointing!

LM needed some milk so we hung around a bit rather than just leaving and I’m glad we did stay as the power did eventually come back on. If she hadn’t needed a feed I think we may just have come away and we wouldn’t have seen any of it.

With the power working again there is a great display where you stand as if in the middle of the stones and see it through the years and at different seasons. All of the displays and videos were great when they were working too and really interesting.WP_20150726_13_23_56_Pro WP_20150726_13_25_54_Pro

There are some roundhouses to see outside and we did start to go out to see them but it was so wet that we gave up and just got back in the car to drive back to the cottage.

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The joys of british summertime eh? One day gorgeous sunshine, the next absolutely miserable.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallMy Travel MonkeyWe're going on an adventureLife Unexpected

Relentless…

My word of the week this week is relentless. It hasn’t been entirely bad but in truth it has been pretty hard.

LM’s naps are all messed up and she seems to only wnt one nap a day (at nearly 10 mths old) so I have had to get used to having at least 1 child with me at all times. Plus she is now crawling, climbing, pulling up and standing alone constantly. Which means I need eyes in the back of my head and a lot of falling over too. No break for mummy to blog, get jobs done, relax at all – relentless.

We have been busy every evening this week, Monday we had friends round which was lovely, Tuesday I took some old baby bits round to my friend with a 2 mth old and again it was lovely to see her. Weds Hubs had a work night out and then Thurs was meant to be our first eve this week relaxing together – but LM had other ideas. Since she was just a couple of mths old she has always gone to sleep really easily in the evning, even when she has been poorly it hasn’t taken much to get her to sleep. Last night took hours. Nothing worked, she was so tired but so fidgety and uncomfortable. It took hubs over an hour of rocking and singing before she finally got into a deep enough sleep to stop idgeting and sleep in her bed. By which time hubs was exhausted so there weent our evening. No rest in the daytime or the evenings – relentless.

Then there is toilet training, which is going really, really well. But of course there are sometimes accidents. For Monkey these tend to happen after his nap. He doesn’t need to nap every day and on the days he does he wants to wear pants. Which is fine and he can hold it. But sometimes he wakes up really grotty and that’s when the accidents can happen. So this week we have had a weed on sofa :( and a wet bed. Both manageable, but after the wet bed I tried to get him to do a wee on the toilet. He wanted to stand, which was fine, except he then started pooing on the floor!

Add to this the fact that as LM isn’t napping much she was there and wanting to be involved. She is crawling and climbing everywhere at the moment and just wants to be involved, so as I realised he was pooing and tried to sit him on the toilet, she was crawling through my legs headed right towards the poo! aaaargh!! So imagine the scene, trying to be calm as Monkey is a bit egg-shelly after waking up wet, picking LM up and dumping her in the hall (where she immediately starts heading back to the bathroom) trying to pick up the poo and find antibac wipes to clean up before LM gets there. Like I said. Aaaargh.

Today I am meeting my friends and all our kiddies, it is rare these days tha we all get together and it will be lovely but honestly the arranging of the get together does my head in. One person doesn’t want to go here, one person doesn’t want to pay, one person doesn’t want to drive too far (and we all live in completely different areas). Then we have no idea what the weather is going to do so indoor or outdoor and so many indoor places get so busy now it’s the holidays, and again, aaargh!

I know we will have a nice time all together and I just need to learn not to get too involved with the planning of where we are going and just go with the flow once the decision has been made I think.

Thankfully there has been lovely moments too this week, even if they are a bit difficult to catch amongst the relentlessness of it all, so here are a few pics of lovely times with my kiddies this week.

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a 5 min snuggle watching aladdin before LM woke up

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Crafting with Monkey

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Post poo incident cuddles

 

Giggly kddies beng tickled by mummy on the sofa

Giggly kddies beng tickled by mummy on the sofa

How has your week been?

The Reading Residence