I’m a bit late joining in with the fab Me and Mine linky this month. In fact I wasn’t planning on joining up at all as the only shot I have of us as a family this month is one on our bikes, which isn’t the best.
But then today, after a slightly odd morning with ratty kiddies who are coming down with colds (and therefore slightly ratty parents too) we decided to get out and get some fresh air on a little autumnal walk. We found the most conkers I’ve ever seen in my life and had a good old nature hunt in general.
Then during a little game of family hide and seek we managed to grab a few very happy family selfies.
We had a lovely walk and as always a bit of fresh air did us all the world of good. So this is us, at the beginning of October, enjoying autumn.
It’s hard to believe but our little lady is almost a 2 year old. She is growing up so fast lately and while I normally just do an update every 2 months, she has already changed so much in the last month that I want to record it all, as I can see her being very different again by the time she turns 2 next month.
The most important thing I want to record is her speech. As with last month she is chattering away constantly and she obviously means what she says (even if we haven’t a clue) but there are more and more recogniseable words and they are so adorable. She says ball, shoe, chick, chair, share, book, hat and “it’s too hot” in addition to “I wan dat” and “It’s all wet.” She also makes some amazing animal sounds, for a long time she has done a great lions roar (and a fab pirate’s arrrr, thanks to her pirate loving big brother) but she now makes fab noises for sheep, cows and pigs too. She even mooed at a van that had a picture of a cow on the other day haha. She also loves numbers, and though the only recognisable one is 2 she loves to imitate counting, pointing at things and saying ah, two, bar, jee, da. She’s also very cute with hide and seek and she loves joining in with that. She doesn’t really even cover her eyes properly but loves counting then looking for people haha.
Much as I haven’t been in a rush for her to start talking (as I know she won’t stop when she’s started) I will be glad to say goodbye to the grunts and whines to indicate what she does or doesn’t want!
She has shot up recently too and I think I was in denial about how much until I put her in a pair of leggings that only reached her mid calf haha. Definitely growing up. We’ve had some interesting time with clothes in the last month though. Largely due to the heatwave we had she spent a lot of time running round in the back garden naked and enjoying the paddling pool… Which has led to a slight aversion to clothes. She just doesn’t want to get dressed at all some days, and spends ages trying to pull them off. Thankfully she hasn’t mastered that skill yet as it definitely isn’t warm enough for nudity anymore!
She also has a serious aversion to shoes at the moment. I’ve had her feet measured about 3 times in the last month and keep checking her toenails to see if there’s a problem as she just keeps moaning about them and wanting them off! With her boots and wellies she can get them off herself and no matter how many times I’ve put them back on they have come off again so she has spent a lot of time running around our local area in socks I’m afraid. With her actual shoes she is less good at getting them off herself so thankfully I can get her to keep them on.
One thing she doesn’t have an aversion too is a good hat though. For my little lady shoes may be optional but oh a hat is essential haha. She rarely leaves the house without a hat on or a hood up, regardless of how weather appropriate her choice is hehe. She does look cute in a hat though so she gets away with it!
Another repercussion from all the nudity was that she started weeing a lot in the paddling pool. As our girl has never liked being in a wet nappy and now walls around holding her crotch and moaning if she has done a wee, we thought we would try and introduce the potty. She basically sat on it for a bit then got up and wandered into the paddling pool to do a wee. She does the same in the bath now. We have a special seat for the loo and she likes to sit on it before bathtime at night. But she just sits on it then gets off and does a wee in the bath haha. So we are trying to pick her up when she starts weeing and put her on the seat as at the moment she clearly has more association with weeing while standing in water than she does with sitting on a potty or a loo. She’s still so little though so I am not in a huge rush. I know many girls are potty trained by around 2 but Monkey wasn’t until he was about 3 1/2 so while we will encourage her I’m not going to push her if she isn’t ready.
Food has been interesting lately. With some absolutely mahoosive meltdowns at the table and the complete refusal of some foods. After eating a cheaper brand of beans at my aunts which were apparently not to her liking, madam now refuses all beans and any meal with them in. Which is such a shame as I used them to encourage her to eat other meals too (not always very successfully mind you but at least she would eat the beans) but not any more. Sometimes it was totally unspecific, she would barely look at the food and the screaming would start. So even food she actually really likes was being refused just for the sake of it almost. Oh and the screaming and the writhing to get down from the table. Such hard work. Other times so will dissect the food that again I know she likes. Pulling it apart or mashing it all up. I try and ignore as long as she is eating something but it is so hard. This last week has been a bit better so I’m hoping the upward trend will continue. I am also comforted by the fact that Monkey was very similar at her age but as at least grown out of it now and with the right encouragement he eats pretty well. So I am hanging on to the hope that this is just a phase that LM will grow out of!
The good news related to food is that she has been doing really well with the move to cutlery. She still eats with her fingers most of the time but when she does use cutlery she is doing so well with it. She’s really got the knack of scooping her brother’s her brother’s leftover porridge out of his bowl and eating our poached egg and toast from Mummy and Daddy’s fork!
Another big change recently was that we moved her from a cot to a big girl bed. It was something I was really nervous about, but with her brother moving from his toddler bed to a big bed it made sense to do it now. So we made the change and prepared for the worst. Which basically meant hubs was to deal with it while I sat down with a wine glass. We read her story and put her to bed and waited for the inevitable patter of tiny feet getting out of bed again. But they never came. She kicked the wall a bit and wriggled about and went to sleep. For the whole night! I couldn’t believe it! She was still in her bed the next morning and waited for us to come get her before she got out.
I’ve been waiting for the bubble to burst ever since, but it hasn’t. She’s been such a good girl and she just loves that bed and was clearly ready for the move. She fell out a couple of times the next day bless her but even got herself back in the last time. The other issue was that she has discovered the socket next to her bed where the monitor is plugged in so she has turned that off a couple of times. We’ve covered it over though and so far no more problems thankfully. She loves her bed, yay!
Now that her brother has started school it is nice I can concentrate on this little lady a bit more and do things just for her rather than trying to accommodate them both at the same time. I’ve started taking her to a gymnastics group which so far she loves and it’s just lovely seeing her play. Her fine motor skills are really growing and this week she has mastered hanging monkeys from the tree on the monkey games she loves. She was so proud of herself with that!
She’s such a girly girl and given that I’m not I have no idea where she gets it. She loves dolls and playing with people and houses and things. She also massively loves pink and if you sit her down with crayons she will get all the pink ones out and lines them up or just holds on to them which is lovely. She is getting into actually drawing though and is doing really well with holding pens and pencils. She also loves bracelets and bangles and anything sparkly too which is very cute. On the flip side though she absolutely loves climbing and is obsessed with balls, particularly kicking balls at the moment. She’s incredibly active and is constantly wanting to get outside to run, scoot (albeit a bit slowly still) , climb, and she has even wanted to sit on her brother’s bike a lot lately,cheeky madam! She loves books and constantly wants a story to be read to her and as she likes people toys she also loves all her brother’s lego and the little people in particular.
She’s also a massive show off and loves attention. Whenever any family comes round she gets hugely excited and goes into serious show off mode, being ultra cute and running around like a loon. She’s already learning to love the school run too for the attention she gets from other mums in the playground while we wait to pick her up. She adores all Monkey’s friends too and desperately wants their attention to… Which they usually give her haha. Her extremely loud greeting hasn’t changed either and she does it to anyone she is happy too see or wants attention from now. Loud girl! (See this post to hear for yourself!)
On the whole I think she is doing so so well and while she drives me potty at times with the toddler tantrums and whinyness I do generally adore her and I can’t quite believe my baby girl is going to be 2 soon!
Well, it’s official, we are now well into September and Autumn has well and truly arrived. There’s lots I love about autumn but if I’m honest there are some things I don’t love about it too.
What I love
Every outing can turn into a nature trail
Monkey is constantly on the hunt for acorns at the moment and I have had to explain it is still a bit early for conkers. In addition to the usual sticks that come home with us even after the shortest walk, we now have leaves and acorns and all sorts of other bits entering the house on a daily basis. Hubs is less than impressed by this haha.
We have already been blackberry picking 5 times locally and once when visiting Auntie mags. We’ve had 3 blackberry crumbles already and a freezer filled with blackberries. Always great fun foraging with the kiddies and yummy free food afterwards, win win!
Crisp air and sunny skies
I’ve always loved a fresh autumn day and though we aren’t quite there yet this year I am looking forward to those crisp mornings.
Kicking up leaves
Always one of the best autumn activities and I am looking forward to kicking the leaves with both kiddies this year, especially LM as she is older and I think will appreciate it more this year.
What I don’t love
Big horrible spiders
Yes at this time of year the big beasties find their way inside. We’ve actually been really lucky since moving in here and haven’t had many… But already 2 this year so our luck ha changed. I’m less terrified of them than I used to be and really try and put a brave face on for the kids, but in truth they still scare the bejeesus out of me and make me feel quite nauseous. Eurgh definitely not something I like about this time of year.
Getting darker in the day
We often get out in the late afternoon with the kids and have lovely evening walks in the summer so I’m not looking forward to the darker evenings. Especially not in winter when it is dark around 4pm! Just not the same being outside in the dark. Also, since becoming a runner this will really test me, not so nice running through the local woods in the dark is it? So I guess I will be pounding pavements with street lighting instead through the winter!
With colder weather inevitably come germs too. One of my friends’ little boy has already come down with croup this year and I so hope neither of ours get it again this year! Absolutely terrifying when your little one is struggling to breathe in the early hours and just hope we are luckier this year! Even without croup though we are bound to get a heck of a lot of germs, especially with Monkey starting school. The coughing through the night and covering everyone with menthol rub and just generally feeling rubbish while trying to parent a poorly and ratty child. Yeah not looking forward to that aspect of the next few months.
We’ve had a really wonderful summer this year, so full of smiles. While there are definitely downsides to the colder months so far we are having a fun autumn (it helps that the weather has still been really good, on the whole) and will no doubt have tonnes of fun over the rest of autumn and winter. I just hope we aren’t too unlucky with all the germs this year!
What do you love and loathe about autumn? What’s your favourite time of year?
With the recent start of the new GBBO series, baking season is in full swing. We love baking in our house and it’s great to be inspired watching the brilliant bakers… Even if that isn’t so great for our waistlines! The kids love baking too, especially Monkey, so it is often a family affair in our house. Which is why I was super excited to receive this gorgeous new bowl from House of Fraser recently and couldn’t wait to try it out.
The design is gorgeous, with a real country kitchen feel. Apparently Hubs’ Nana had a similar one growing up, and I’m sure mine did too actually so it conjures up lots of memories of yummy smells and delicious food. I’m sure I saw a very similar one in the Bake Off tent recently too!
The kids and I put it to the test with a simple biscuit recipe from the Queen of Bake Off herself, Mary Berry. As LM is mainly in a play and explore mode she had her own little bowl of ingredients to, erm, have fun with, while Monkey and I got on with the serious baking in our gorgeous new bowl.
The bowl was perfect and once the dough was ready I rolled it out and the kids helped make some biscuits in the shape of stars and, um, stormtroopers. Haha, probably not quite the shape Mary Berry had in mind when creating this recipe!
Once they had baked it was time to decorate with simple water icing and sprinkles. I was pleasantly surprised how LM did with the sprinkles actually and some actually made their way into the biscuits! By this point Monkey was far more interested in eating the ingredients than helping any more!
I love baking with the kids but it can seriously stress me out at times too trying to actually end up with something edible by the end haha. Hence keeping it simple with the recipe, but don’t be fooled by the seemingly perfect serene images, I was definitely irritable by the end. The clean up too, argh!
One of my favourite things about our new bowl though is that it can be washed in the dishwasher! Hooray! That is such a must for me these days. Even though Monkey had basically licked it clean it went in the dishwasher with all the other bits meaning I could give the kitchen itself a good clean up without leaving the kids to their own devices for too long.
Thanks House of Fraser, our new bowl is the perfect addition to our kitchen!
Disclosure: we received this bowl foc in exchange for this review, however all thoughts, opinions and images are my own.
Another couple of months have passed so it is time for another update on our little lady. She seems to have changed and grown so much lately as she really moves from being our baby to being a real little girl.
Where do I even start? Well I guess her speech is one of the biggest developments. She’s still not properly talking but she is jabbering on almost constantly these days and there are definitely more recognise able words amongst all the babble. “wandat” for I want that “ishweh” for it’s wet and lots of mama and dada. She likes counting and copies our tone for saying “one, two etc, even if the words aren’t right yet. There’s loads though and I’m sure in the swing earlier she said some form of “I want to get down” and was jabbering on about her boots too. Because it’s hard to describe written down, and I’ve wanted to record her jabbering for posterity, here is a little video of random clips of her chatting.
We don’t always understand her though which can lead to a heck of a lot of frustration and some serious tantrums. She is still so bossy and likes her own way a lot which also leads to tantrums when we say no. I wrote previously about some of the challenges of this age so won’t go on about that too much here. We have used the naughty spot for the first time recently though and it seemed to work quite well.
Another way she has so obviously grown up lately is the little routines she has developed. After playing the sand outside, for example, she will lead me into the house with her hands out in front of her, through into the downstairs loo and steps on the step so she can wash her hands. Another example is making sure stair gates are shut behind us when we enter/leave the living room etc. Very sweet. She’s also getting so lovely and following instructions and lives giving people things or “helping” with something. She will lay herself down when ready for a nappy change and another of her little routines is climbing into her brother’s chair once he has vacated after breakfast and hoovering up any porridge he left behind, even when that really isn’t very much!
Speaking of climbing she can now climb onto chairs pretty easily and in fact loves climbing on things, and I’ve even found her sat in her buggy having climbed in by herself. We really had to watch her on a recent holiday as she was climbing on all sorts of dangerous things! I loved it recently at soft play though when she climbed all the way up by herself to follow her brother and friends. She is doing so well and is so brave. I was of course keeping a very close eye on her!
She’s also getting good at showing how much she loves friends and family now. She will willingly and voluntarily give her relatives lovely big cuddles and often kisses which of course everyone loves.
She’s really good at waving hello and goodbye and screams with happiness when she sees someone she loves, especially her daddy! You may want to turn the volume down for this clip taken from my instagram feed haha.
This is LM’s current happy noise. Be warned, it is loud. As a friend recently put it “she certainly has a voice” good job she is cute with it haha #littlefierceones #curiouslittleexplorers #outsideandhappy #theirwonderfulworld #worldoflittles #toddlersofinstagram #reallifeparenting #realitiesofparenting #thatsdarling #flashesofdelight #totsphoto #gorgeousgirl #candid_childhood #cherisheverymoment #childhoodunplugged #our_everyday_moments #simplepleasures #simplychildren #mblogger #myhappycapture #happiness #countrykids #lovelifeoutside #sunnyday #summer #ootd #fairy #fairygirl #fairytutu #feisty
So what else is she up to? Well she’s learned to ride her brother’s scooter, and we have bought her her own one… But she only ever rides it very briefly and isn’t interested beyond that. I still think she’s done phenomenally well though as Monkey only really got to grips riding his this year! She loves dressing up and often brings me a dress, a hat or her favourite dragon costume to put on her.
She has a lovely little imagination already. She loves playing with people and putting them in cars, feeding them or putting them into bed. She’s also learnt the cutest little habit of closing her eyes and pretending to be asleep. Makes me melt as it is so adorable!
I’m obviously biased and even though she drives me crazy I just think she is such a gorgeous little girl. She’s so cheeky and funny and doesn’t take herself seriously at all, pulling the funniest little faces. She’s a little gymnast and throws herself around and she loves to learn too. She loves having a good splash around outside, playing with her granny’s dolls and playing with her brother.
This age certainly has it’s challenges but it is also amazing to watch her grow and change so much all the time. Our little girl.
I love the relationship between my little two. It’s everything a sibling relationship should be, in my mind. They have so much fun playing together, they mess with each other, wind each other up, drive each other crazy and love each other fiercely.
The big change this month though is how protective our Monkey has gotten over his little sister. Such a good big brother but I do wish he would worry less sometimes, as that’s our job. She’s at an age where she falls over a lot and seems to have constantly grazed knees, this doesn’t bother her for more than a few seconds each time, but he hates seeing her get hurt and constantly tries to prevent it. “don’t run! Mummy stop her running. Mummy you have to carry her so she doesn’t fall over!” He’s also her little defender “Mummy, you took that away from LM and that’s not fair!” Never mind the fact that she just whacked me with it or threw it!
LM is talking a bit more now (I will write a separate post about this) and Monkey loves it. He can’t wait for her talk and gets so excited and proud of her when she says something. He has also started initiating little conversations with her.
Monkey: “Ooh look LM I’ve got longer legs than you”
Me: “Yes you do have longer legs than LM”
Monkey: “Excuse me, I was talking to LM”
They have so much fun together and I adore hearing the giggles as they play, and looking to see what they are up to and seeing their grins. But it also makes me chuckle when they wind each other up as actually for the most part they both find it funny when they do it to each other. But of course Monkey can annoy her by going too far, and vice versa.
Still, all part of the sibling fun eh? We are actually very fortunate with how well they get on though,and they sre cute with each other far far more than anything else. We shall see how that changes as they grow and when she can answer him back haha.
Wow hasn’t it been a hot one this week? My social media feeds have been full of sunny scenes; blue skies, paddling pools, ice creams and lots of smiles. There has also been plenty of moaning about the heat which amuses me given that a week ago many of us were moaning about our lack of summer. But hey, we’re British and moaning about the weather is just what we do. Plus it has been seriously hot!
So what else to do than to try and find ways of keeping cool. Fans in bedrooms, ice on temples, ice lollies, oh and of course playing with water in the garden. I love our garden, we’ve put in a tonne of effort to get to this point and now it just such a lovely place to be. I also really love our gazebo as it provides us with some much needed shade on these hot hot days. Because pictures speak louder than words, instead of rambling on, I will show you how much fun we’ve been having outside this week.
So at the end of a summers day this is what my garden should like. Covered in abandoned toys, with sand and water everywhere. Miscellaneous items of clothing and towels strewn across chairs to dry and just general detritus left about. Evidence of a lot of fun had outside, and evidence that I have enjoyed it as much as my kids have rather than constantly cleaning up after them.
Are you enjoying our little heatwave?
So our little lady is 20 months old. How do I describe her? She is feisty, demanding, bossy, caring, fun, loving, cheeky, and seriously cute as well as infuriating haha. She is also learning so so much all of the time and it is wonderful to watch her growing from a baby into a little girl.
She really has made a sudden leap in the last couple of months, and though we still don’t have many words, her communication has really stepped up. She pays so much attention when we talk to her and understands so much of what we say, often following directions. Her babbling is almost constant and she makes some seriously lovely noises.
She also does have more noises approximating words, sentences and phrases. “i wan dat” is one, though it often comes out as i-on-da with arms thrust at whatever it is she wants haha. I’m also sure that one day when I asked where her ball was she said something resembling “oer dare” and then “igetit” but it is difficult to be sure. We aren’t worried by the lack of actual words. Her brother didn’t speak at all beyond babbling until he was 2, and now he never shuts up haha. And like I say she understands so much and communicates her needs very well. In fact she is so so bossy. And because she is pretty darn adorable she gets her own way from people a lot… Hmm.
The downside to the lack of words is the frustration that we don’t understand her. And frustration when we don’t do what she wants. Ooh she does get frustrated and very much makes her feelings known. Screaming her head off and holding her breath til she is blue in the face. Lying on the floor screaming, sitting on the floor screaming. Oh the tantrums are really really starting, especially when I don’t give in to her bossyness, and we never had it as bad with Monkey. It is so embarrassing at times but I also try not to worry too much.
She can also be the loveliest loveliest girl. She always wants to be helpful and always brings us all our shoes when we want to go out (and when we don’t want to…), she loves washing her big brother in the bath and is so proud of herself when we ask her to give someone something and she does it. She loves feeding her dolls and toys and us haha and is always trying to give people food and drink! She strokes pictures of animals and says aaah and adores her teddies and cuddly things. She loved seeing our friends’ Guinea pig recently and gave them some carrot to eat! She also hates when people are upset and if we can hear a child crying she will get really concerned and say “oh no!” she really hates when her brother is upset too. She loves a good cuddle too and there’s nothing I like more than having her snuggle on my lap.
She runs just about everywhere and has the cutest bouncy run. As much energy must go into bouncing up and down as moving forward but she looks so adorable when she runs off. She is seriously fast when she wants to be though!
She is intrigued by everything in the world and routinely stops to explore a blade of grass, leaves and was so excited to watch and follow a bumble bee a few days ago, giggling away everytime it flew from one flower to another. In general she just loves being outdoors and if you follow my instagram feed you will know how much she loves puddles and bubbles and climbing.
She adores being in the bath and is such a water baby. She loves playing and splashing about with her brother but also adores lying down and having a swim. Sometimes in a bubbly bath we can only see her head which is a bit bizarre but she seriously adores it and it’s just lovely seeing her happy in there.
She is learning so much all the time and getting more dextrous. We have been working on fine motor controls and generally having a lot more involved play she loves sorting things and just exploring in general. Her latest loves are painting, and play doh! She would play playdoh all day long if she had her way. Thank goodness she also enjoys watching peppa pig and paw patrol as that usually distracts her when I am at the end of my play doh tether haha.
She still loves her food and though she can be fussy at times with new things on the whole she is great. Favourites include curries, especially with chickpeas in, baked beans, tortelloni in tomato sauce, my homemade soups and strawberries!
She loves books and stories and is constantly bringing books for me to read her, or sitting flicking through pages and lifting flaps on her own. She is getting interested in some more grown up books too and currently loves “What the ladybird heard” and enjoyed her brother’s current favourite “the pirate who lived next door. ”
She is a complete and utter loon at times. She loves spinning around and throwing herself on the floor. It baffles me but is another sign of how full of fun she is. She so loves to laugh and to make others laugh too. We adore our girl so much and it is a privilege to be her mummy, even if she does drive me crazy at times. She is cute as a button and I love, love, love watching her grow and learn.
I’ve been joining in with Jocelyn’s word of the week linky for a long time and I love using it as a way to sum up my week, though sometimes I struggle to choose one word that fits the whole week as a lot can happen in a week! Sometimes it is easy to focus on the negatives and for example this week I nearly chose overwhelmed or struggling or hectic… But when I look back at pictures from the week what I actually see is smiles and happiness. That doesn’t mean I haven’t felt overwhelmed at times but it pays to remember that the whole week hasn’t been negative.
I’ve seen many other bloggers joining in with the Happy Days linky and sharing what has made them happy that week and have loved the idea of that too so I decided I want to join in. From now on I will be combining the two. I will still pick a word that best sums up the week but I will also try and focus on the positives and what has made me happy.
So while I have still been struggling with the extra things that need doing while hubs is recovering from his op and have felt overwhelmed at times, to the point where my blog has had to go on the backburner… Overall it has been a happy week and my word of the week is “break” here is why.
Saturday I had a much needed break catching up with some friends in London for a birthday. Lots of fun and laughter, mooching round Camden which I haven’t done in years, drinking shots at 5pm and a very tipsy and bizarre first experience at mecca bingo! Very amusing and definitely a break from normality. Massive thanks to my little bro and sister in law for helping hubs with bath and bedtime so that I was able to go as I really needed it.
In another break from normality we abandoned the meal plan that evening (I didn’t fancy cooking a casserole in the heat) and instead invited some friends over for a little bbq which was really really lovely and so much fun.
Monday being the end of half term means Monkey being back at pre-school… Which as much as I love being with him… Means I also get a bit of a break from him and a bit of peace when LM naps in the afternoon, which I so need.
I’ve run out of “break” analogies now so here is a few other things that have made me happy this week.
Hubs getting better and able to move more and more. We have been on some lovely short walks round the block with the kids or just with LM, helping him exercise. He has started driving short journeys again and can help me a bit more. He even did some hoovering!
I’ve also had a bit of a break from blogging this week which means I have managed to get quite a few things done instead. I’ve planted a load of plants and sunflowers my stepdad and father in law kindly gave us, defrosted and cleaned out a freezer and deep cleaned the bathroom. So the house may still look tip but it hasn’t been a terrible week. Plus I feel a bit rejuvenated about blogging again which usually happens after a little break. How has your week been?