A little Norfolk Holiday

At the weekend we took our little family on a short little Norfolk holiday. Our last little holiday as a family of 3 before baby arrives! We looked at a variety of places to go but it was all last minute (as we wanted to see how I and my pelvis were faring before we booked anything) and didn’t want to go too far from home as long car journies aren’t great fun in late pregnancy.

We considered going to Butlins as then there would be no cooking involved, but even on offer we thought the food packages were quite pricey and honestly we weren’t convinced about the quality of the accommodation. I don’t mean that to sound snobbish but we wanted to be comfortable. With Hubby being as tall as he is (6’2″) we really need a king size bed, especially now I am the size that I am too! But we also wanted it to be a good bed. We stayed at a Premier Inn when we went to a wedding recently and honestly had such a rubbish nights sleep as the King Size bed there was basically solid as a rock. We wanted this to be a lovely relaxed holiday and so wanted to find somewhere offering comfort.

(I’m sure there would be other benefits to going to Butlins such as the other things included, but with Monkey the age he is I am not sure how much use he would have got out of the other activities on offer, he is generally happy as long as he can have a run around somewhere!)

After a bit of a search we came across Poppyland Holiday Cottages. They have a number of holiday cottages to rent in Norfolk and they had availability at Rectory Cottage in Overstrand, just south of Cromer on the Norfolk coast. We felt that with doing breakfasts ourself and eating out all of the other meals it would still cost around the same as a Butlins trip, and we would hopefully have more spacious and more comfy accommodation.

We were not disappointed!

The cottage was gorgeous and the lovely king size bed was perfect, not too soft, not too firm… just lovely really. I even slept better on that bed than I have at home on our lovely bed recently, it was wonderful.


There was lots of little touches that welcomed us to the cottage including milk in the fridge, a bottle of wine, tea bags, yummy chocolate biscuits and fresh flowers. They were very family friendly too, and, knowing we had a 2 year old with us, they kindly provided a lovely box of toys for Monkey (you may see in some of the pictures that Monkey very quickly aquainted himself with the toys!) and a baby monitor. They also have a travel cot, high chair and stairgates available if you need them. Very reassuring when you have little ones and lovely not to need to pack everything.

Overstrand village was a very sweet little village and we were walking distance from the beach (even for me!) which was lovely – although the tides were not in our favour much this week and generally low tide was in the afternoon during Monkey’s naps. We still managed to get some good beach fun in the evenings though and the weather was very good to us.

We spent some time at Cromer and nearby Sheringham and in general had a lovely relaxed weekend together. Sadly Monkey came down with a cold on the Saturday so we did have some wonderful grumpy meltdowns in restaurants which as a parent always make you feel wonderful. We let him have ice cream for lunch on Saturday as he seemed to have a sore throat and it was the only thing that cheered him up – but oh my you should have seen the judgement and disapproving looks coming from other people in the cafe. We weren’t too concerned and chuckled if anything, but I do wish people would mind their own!

We did lots of holiday things – played on the beach, walked the promenade and went on Cromer Pier. We played with stones on Sheringham beach and ate lots of Ice Cream! We went in the penny arcades where Monkey proved to be hugely skilful at one of the games and won enough tickets to get himself a cool glider aeroplane. He was very pleased with this and we were quite impressed by his skill/fluke! :) We treated ourselves to some lovely meals out, including a yummy fry up breakfast at the local cliff top cafe in Overstrand one morning.

A couple of more detailed posts about specific places to follow, but here are a few of our fave shots of what was a lovely and relaxed few days away, at a gorgeous holiday cottage! It was a lovely little cottage in a great spot and we will definitely look to go back at some point when no.2 is here!


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Super Busy Mum


I love it when traditions get carried down through families, when we do something with Monkey that we remember loving as kids. I love it even more with grandparents carrying things down things that they loved doing as kids. My Mum and Step-dad (Aka Nanny & Pops) were round on Monday after Rhyme Time and we were all playing in the garden (well, I was sat watching mainly).

Pops said he wanted to do aeroplanes with Monkey, and I wasn’t sure what he meant to start with, but it turned out they had done it before on their day out with Monkey.  It is something Pops remembers his Granddad doing with him as a child, and how much he loved it, and he wanted to carry it down and do it with Monkey. Which is just lovely!

Monkey took a tiny bit of encouragement to start with (he is a 2 year old after all, and takes a bit of encouragement with most things at the moment!) but then he absolutely loved it.

It was hilarious, and a tiny bit hair raising to watch, but seeing the glee on Monkey’s face was priceless.

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And of course hearing the “Aaaa-gain” repeated over and over afterwards until Pops gave him another whirl..


The angle of this is weird and I know it looks like Monkey’s leg is at an odd angle but I promise it’s not!

and another…

WP_20140908_13_37_24_ProNanny & Pops then tried to get him to do wheelbarrows, and I have to admit we have tried to show Monkey this before and we failed… and unfortunately they failed too, though he did enjoy it I am pretty sure he didn’t have a clue what was going on!

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Just a lovely bit of fun in the garden :)

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


My word of the week this week is acceptance.

Because, at the moment I am very much having to accept the fact that I am 32 weeks pregnant, I have SPD and I can’t do all of the things I want to do, or that I am used to doing. It’s frsutrating but there is not long left and I have to accept it.

Luckily we have a lovely supportive family to help and make sure Monkey is still entertained. Hubby has started taking Monkey to his Tumbletots class on a Tuesday in his lunch hour, because I just can’t physically manage it anymore! My parents have also started to take Monkey out on a Wednesday so he can get a run around and burn off some energy.

I am just a lot less mobile now as the pain is increasing so it is nice to know he still gets to have a run around, while I can stay home! He is a lot better at playing independently and staying at home more, but the longer we are stuck in the house the harder it is to keep him entertained, and his behaviour gets a bit more destructive and boisterous. Getting him out for even a short walk and a run around makes life so much easier. I am so grateful to my family for doing this as even a walk round the shops or round the block is getting very painful now and feels like a daunting prospect! I’m not sleeping well either and the tiredness is making it a bit harder to be imaginative with playtime ideas!!

I’ve also had to stop my morning walk with my neighbour. For well over a year we have gone for a 9am walk most mornings. It has been so good for us to get us out of the house and have a good old natter. It has been really lovely and I have been desperate to keep it going. The walks were getting more sporadic as I have had to miss days I have been in too much pain and even the days we have managed it, the walks have been getting shorter and shorter (and slower) as even on good days I can’t do much. What started off as a good 40 min walk of a couple of miles has become more like a 20 min slow stroll of maybe 1/2 mile?

For a while I think even that was doing me good but then I realised it wasn’t anymore and that actually I was ending up in quite a bit of pain afterwards, so we have officially put it on hold for a while! Another change I just have to accept.

I am still doing a lot better than I was in my first pregnancy, I am not on crutches yet and I am grateful for that. I am also massively grateful my supportive and helpful hubby, family and friends. It would all be much harder without them! There is not long to go now really and I just have to keep the goal in sight and accept that I can’t do as much as I want to do.

What is your word of the week?

The Reading Residence


An Autumnal Painting Attempt – 27 mths

Well now we are in September I guess it is officially autumn. The mornings are definitely cooler though I have been enjoying the sunny days. With my pregnancy progressing (and the joys of SPD) it is getting harder for me to get out and about with Monkey. We manage but there isn’t quite the amount of walks and time outside that there used to be. Meaning I have to find ways to entertain him at home.

On the whole he is a lot more easier these days but it is nice to try a new activity sometimes so I thought we would try some autumnal painting this week. My attempts to guide Monkey down a crafting route rarely succeed so I usually let him have completely free reign to create what he likes. But he is growing up all of the time and you don;t know how they will get on with something if you don’t try, and as he has been loving colouring in some of my amazing drawings when we draw a road, I thought he may like to do something similar with painting.

So when I was setting up the painting stuff I quickly drew a couple of trees, in the hope that he would like to either fingerprint or paint some leaves onto the trees.


He was dead excited when he saw the trees and I painted a few dots on to give him an idea of what he could do….


Then he dove straight in and painted all over the paper. Lol, was worth a try but after that I very much sat back and let him create as he wished. Clearly not bothered yet about making a picture that resembles anything and he had fun so that was all that mattered. They are nice autumnal colours too hehe.

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He was very proud of his pictures too as he insisted on showing them to his Aunt & Uncle when they popped round later that day.

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Mini Creations


The freedom to climb… and fall?


Monkey climbing at 15 mths old

Monkey loves climbing. As an early walker he was always desperate to climb from quite a young age, and to be honest, this isn’t something we have discouraged. For a long time it has been one of his favourite things to do at the park and he is so good at it. Going to tumbletots has helped with this too as there is a lot of climbing involved and it has also been a great way of teaching him the safe way to climb up but most importantly the safe way to climb down again.

Little ones don’t have much concept of height or fear and I am sure this causes many a parent to have heart in their mouth moments and leap to the rescue of said little one who decides to step off the top of a climbing frame! Monkey has done that to us so many times, though thankfully now he is learning the safe ways of getting up, and back down again!

I recently read a post on Happiness is here all about using the term “Be Careful” with your kids. It was a really interesting read so I highly recommend it, and I have been thinking a lot about it ever since. How much do you and should you allow your child/ren the freedom to explore? Does saying “be careful” negatively affect your child and the way they play, making them more likely to stumble than if they were let be and able to trust their instincts? I’m not sure.

WP_20140903_13_34_06_ProWe use the term “be careful” all the time, but usually with an explanation. For example yesterday during a mad half hour while Monkey was spinning round the living room like a little loony and I had to step in to stop him bashing his head on the corner of a table he was told “be careful you have to look where your going or you will hurt yourself!” When he gets exctited half way climbing up something and wants to take his hands off to give himself a round of applause  he is told “be caeful, you have to hold on or you will fall off!”

He also gets a lot of positive encouragement and guidance too. I’m a big believer in trying to be use positive reinforcement rather than negatives as I think it just works better all around (even adults respond better to positives and constructive criticism rather than purely negative feedback). So he gets lots of well done, that’s right put your hand their, yep and push up, well done, clever boy, etc. etc. But I do also warn him to be careful. After reading the post I wondered if I say it more for myself, because of my own worries, rather than for his safety. And I wondered if saying it actually made it more likely that he would fall.

As with many things parenting I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Hubby took Monkey out for  a walk Sunday morning and Monkey was absolutely loving climbing up a huge climbing frame. Hubs said he started off really close and was right there to catch him if he slipped but actually realised he didn’t need him there so took a step back. And that was when Monkey lost his footing and fell between the rungs of the ladder. He unfortunately scraped his forehead a little on the way down and Hubs was riddled with guilt that he hadn’t been there to catch him or to stop the fall.


But if the parent is always there to stop the fall and save the day, then will the child ever learn to be careful? Plus I don’t actually think you can be there to stop every hurt. Monkey fell off his blimming dining room chair and split his face open! As much as we don’t want to see our kids hurt, and it is our responsibility to look after them and keep them safe, we also have to try and teach them to be careful too. It’s part of life after all, sometimes you fall, but you just have to dust yourself down and pick yourself up again. After his fall on Sunday, Monkey had a bit of a daddy cuddle, and then was back climbing again, grinning as much as ever. No worse off for the little fall or scrape, though Hubs was beating himself up about it for the rest of the day!

I guess it’s about balance, which I guess is true of most things parenting. I know some people will think we are bonkers to let Monkey climb so high, so young and think we maybe aren’t careful enough. Whereas I also know some people will think we are too overprotective sometimes. I don’t really worry what other people think of us but I just say that to illustrate we all parent in our own way. So for me, I will carry on giving Monkey the freedom to climb and explore, but I will also keep saying “be careful” because I think it helps him learn his boundaries as well as making me feel better!

What do you think? How much do you say ‘be careful’?

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32 weeks pregnant – starting to feel real!

I am 32 weeks pregnant and it is all starting to feel pretty real now. Bump is getting bigger by the day, and I am getting slower!

WP_20140907_14_05_11_ProSlightly random bump shot but this is a shot of my wonky bump when I am lying down. Because baba is very much stuck in the left side of my Bicornuate Uterus, she is now pretty visible from certain angles and no mistaking her position. She is breech. She tries to turn and I get mental kicks sometimes but the best she manages is to lie transverse (across my lower tummy). She seems completely unable to get her head into my pelvis.

There is still time but with her getting bigger by the day it will only get harder and I guess therefore, probably less likely. We have an appointment with the consultant at 35 weeks to check and a decision (and probably C-Section booking) will be made then. I would have liked to try for a VBaC but there is also positives to having a C-Section so what will be will be. If we do have to go down that route then she could be here in a little over 6 weeks…. which really isn’t long!

Monkey's new big boy furniture

Monkey’s new big boy furniture

We had a busy weekend sorting things out in her room. We built Monkey a new big boy chest of drawers which looks lovely in his room, so that the tall boy matching the cot and changing table could go into the baby room for baba to use. We have also built the cot and the nursing chair so it is really looking like a baby room now!

We also bought a lampshade and curtian rail, and the curtains our sister in law gave us are now up. They are gorgeous curtains and it looks lovely in there, I don’t think we would have gone for pink curtains if we were buying them, but they are gorgeous and we are not about to look a gift horse in the mouth! I guess I am just worry in case she turns out to be a he, the ultrasound tech was pretty definite but I won’t fully believe it until she is here I don’t think!


We still need to get the wall stickers up on the wall and there is a lot of things to sort out yet, but we are starting to get somewhere and it really is a bit nerve wracking now it is getting closer. I have started to pack the hospital bag too and that is making it feel really real.

I know people have more than one child all the time and I am sure we will find our way and manage, but I am nervous about how we will get on with a toddler and a baby at the same time. There is C-section recovery to think about, wondering how I will manage with breastfeeding this time round, how I will deal with feeding a baby while also looking after a very active toddler and keeping him entertained! I won’t know the answers to any of these questions until she is here and so I know there is little point worrying… but I guess packing breast pads and teeny nappies things makes me think about the reality of having a newborn again! Eek!!

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Playing with friends – 27 months

Monkey made a really lovely big step last week, and one I am really proud of. All babies and toddlers start off playing pretty independently from other children, sort of sid by side, without interacting with them. Monkey has always been particularly wary of other kids, especially after a knock earlier this year. He has been getting a lot better and there have been signs of improvement over the past few months. For example he stopped launching himself off the side of a climbing frame whenever he saw another child nearby!

Pretty much every week we meet up dor a play date with my friend S and her little girl E, who is almost exactly a year older than Monkey. They get on pretty well for the most part though do bicker and snatch toys from each other at times. E though has been very excited by the development of Monkey’s speech over the past few months, often exclaiming “he can nearly talk as good as I can!!”

There has just been little more signs of interaction between them over the last few weeks and then last week they really actually played together. They were lying on the edge of the ‘baby’ zone in the soft play and after watching E roll of a few times (making Monkey chuckle a lot) they then started counting together and trying to roll off at the same time. Sometimes they managed it, other times they were way out of sync, but they were taking it in turns counting down and really trying to do it together.



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WP_20140903_12_24_36_ProThey looked so cute playing together S and I really had a moment! E is a really sociable little girl and loves playing with other kiddies whereas Monkey has always been much more reserved. We spend so much time together and S was as proud of Monkey as I was. It may seem small but actually a huge step for him and one fo the many signs recently about how much he is growing up and getting more independent from me. Just so lovely :)


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Super Busy Mum

I walk the line..

Monkey is growing up so much at the moment and really acting more like a little boy than a toddler. He is just playing a lot more, and in so many ways, doing things I remember doing as a child. He has quite a neat and tidy streak and likes things to line up in a row and be neat, and also he does something which I remember doing a lot of as a kid – walking the line.

Be it on the edge of a curb, on a wall, on a line on the pavement, Monkey loves walking on the line and staying on the line. There is a little local shopping centre we go to where this is the most evident. Its quite a run down little centre, there is  Wilkos and a QD, and it also happens to be home to the local library where Monkey goes every Monday for rhyme time with Nanny & Pops. They often have a wander round the shops while they are there too and it is quite nearby so a handy place to pop to, so we go wuite a bit.

In the middle of the open sort of courtyard area there is I guess a drain, but it is a thin silver line which Monkey loves to walk along. He has been doing it for ages, and I am not really sure when it started or who he started doing it with but now if we go there he has to walk the line.

He is so cute and gets massively excited, running off shouting “Walk the Line” which sounds more like ” Walk a Yine, Walk  Yine!” He has to go all the way to the end too.

We popped there in the week and I fianlly managed to (remember to) catch it on camera!

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I just love that he gets so much pleasure out of something so simple! He does it all the time when we are out on walks, if there is a line to be walked on, he will find it and walk on it!

Do your kids do that?

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#GetGoodSummer -They think it’s all over, it is now!

So we are at the end of the 10 weeks of #GetGoodSummer! What started off seeming like a long time has actually flown by, especially lately. I can;t believe we are at the end already. So, what have we achieved?

Goal 1 – Clearing out the baby room 

We did well with this one early on and managed to get it cleared out ready for decorating, which was goal no.2


Goal 2 – Decorating the baby room

I haven’t ticked this one off sadly. We have done a lot of the decorating but it sadly isn’t finished yet, as I had hoped it would have been by now. The blind we bought and started to fit, turned out to be bent in the middle so we are currently waiting for a replacement to be sent out. We have got the furtniture out of the loft but haven’t yet managed to build it. We don’t want to put the wall stickers on the wall until we have got the furniture in place as we aren’t 100% sure where we want them to go until then. But we have made great progress and I am sure it will be ready in a couple of weeks time (hopefully!).


Goal 3 – Sorting out the lease on my flat.

This is the big failure really as we are yet to sort it out and it is really irritating me as I know we need to do it and need to have got somewhere by the time baby comes, otherwise it just won’t happen and could end up costing us even more money :(

Goal 4 – Catching up with family and friends 

A very fun goal this one and one that was really easy to fulfill. I didn’t manage to catch up with everyone I had hoped to over the summer, as pregnancy and SPD put a stop to a couple of planned outings, but we still managed to do really well and had some lovely fun with friends :).

Goal 5 – Getting Organised 

There is still more I would like to do with this one but we have done a lot and really does getting organised ever end? As soon as the furniture has been built for the baby room I can start organising the baby clothes and then I will be happy. We got them out of the loft at the weekend and its incredible looking at all of the teeny newborn clothes. Hard to believe Monkey ever fit into any of these gorgeous miniscule little clothes!

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Overall I am pleased with what we have achieved and I think #GetGoodSummer has really helped motivate us to get things done. If it has taken us this long even with the help of #GetGoodSummer I dread to think how little we may have achieved without that added motivation! A big Thank You to Claire at Clarina’s Contemplations for hosting this fab linky over the summer!

How have you got on with all of your goals?

31 weeks and lacking sleep!

Don't I look happy? ;)

Don’t I look happy? ;)

I am 31 weeks pregnant and I’m afraid to say I am not enjoying pregnancy at the moment. Apologies for a slightly moany post, I know how lucky I am to be pregnant and this pregnancy has definitely been easier than my first, but right now, I am not enjoying it.

My pelvis and back have been really painful since the wedding a week and a half ago. Up until then I have been managing the SPD quite well with a combination of weekly aquanatal yoga and fortnightly physio. It has troubled me at times but I have been managing  it, which is about the best you can hope for with SPD. Lately though I have not been managing it so well. I am in pain a lot of time and night-times are by far the worst. Sitting in the car for 6 hours over 2 days to get to the wedding and back definitely did not do me any favours!

Come 9pm every day I am pretty exhausted and head upstairs and do my leg and back stretches before bed. What is unfortunately a nightly occurance at the moment though is that as soon as I am drifting off to sleep my legs start twitching (which I know is due to compression of nerves around my pelvis and spine). Then our little wriggly baba decides to have a party in my uterus and starts kicking and pumelling my pelvis and bladder. She is still very much breech and though I can feel she is trying to turn, I am about 85% certain there isn’t enough room in my Bicornuate Uterus for her to make it all the way round, and therefore we are heading for another C-Section. Hey ho, I am not worrying or getting down about it and we will find out for certain when we see the consultant at 35 wks.

Because of the gymnastics going on in my tummy I usually have to haul myself out of bed and off to the loo at least 3 times before I have even got to sleep. Which just hurts. As with everything in life with SPD you need to keep your legs together at all times. The best way to get in and out of bed with SPD is to sit on the side of the bed with your legs together, and sort of lift your legs (keeping them together)  as you lie down on your side and roll into bed and then position yourself with pillows between your legs etc. (I have a dream-genii pregnancy pillow). Trying to get out of bed the normal way, one leg at a time, is just agony.

I lie back down and then the leg twitching and baby kicking generally resumes. I have thought about getting up and doing something but mentally I am shattered and desperate for sleep. Hubby gave me a massage the other night, bless him, and though this sounds lovely it was actually just agony, the slightest touch of my muscles at the moment is really painful :( . Using tiger balm does help sometimes as it numbs my back enough to stop the leg twitching long enough for me to doze off. It’s difficult to know how safe this is during pregnancy though and there’s so much contrasting info online… I hope it’s ok but I have no idea so do try and manage without it as much as I can. Not sure if I am making it harder for myself though? Maybe I should just slap it on?

This process sometimes lasts a couple of hours before I manage to drift off, and I am often keeping hubby awake too with all my tossing and turning, trying to get comfy, and all the palava of getting in and out of bed to go to the loo.

So I am generally a bit tired, sore and mardy at the mo, and spending a lot of time sitting and lying on heat packs. I have physio this afternoon which on the best of days is a seriously painful 30 mins of her digging her elbows into my back and bum muscles to stop the spasms. I am not exactly looking forward to the pain today but it is a case of no pain no gain and I am just really hoping that it helps take the daily discomfort down a notch or two!

I am struggling with clothes at the moment too as my summer maternity clothes are getting small and uncomfortable. There was a lovely week or so when the weather was cooler and I could wear some of the bigger maternity clothes, but now the sun has come back out again! I am probably about the only person in the country longing for cooler weather, but I am not buying bigger summer wear at this point, and am sweltering in my warmer clothes!

Apologies again for all the moaning, I just needed a bit of a vent. Looking on all the bright sides, hopefully physio this afternoon, and my aquanatal yoga tonight will mean I get a better night’s sleep tonight and feel a bit more cheerful tomorrow. Monkey is being a darling and coping so well with my slow and limited movements, he is just growing up so fast at the moment! Plus if I am right and she is breech, although I won’t get the VBaC I was hoping for, at least we will get a date for the C-Section, and can start counting down the days. It could mean she is here in about 7-8 weeks time. That is exciting and what I am holding on to. I know all of this is worth it to have her here and healthy.

I caught a headline recently about a celeb’s wife who had a stillbirth at 32 weeks’ pregnant and that must just be so devastating. I was then chatting to my lovely midwife yesterday who told me about her stillbirth at 26 weeks (in March this year, bless her, how she copes as a midwife, seeing all us preggos is incredible) and it just doesn’t bear thinking about. Through all my discomfort and moaning I have to remember how lucky I am, and hope beyond hope that nothing goes wrong for the baby as that is the most important thing. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable I am, as long as she gets here safely and healthily. I do feel guilty that Monkey doesn’t have a very active energetic mummy at the moment but it’s only for a short time in the grand scheme of things!

Mother's Always Right