LM’s 2nd Birthday party and Pumpkin Picking!

Our gorgeous girl turned 2 on Saturday and I think it is safe to say she had a lovely birthday… even though I’m pretty sure she didn’t really get what was going on!

We started off with presents on our bed. The lighting for these shots is terrible and we’re obviously all very sleepy but I love the happiness nonetheless. There were some lovely siblings moments where Monkey helped LM open her presents (and play with them haha) and she was definitely very excited by them. photogrid_1477313258576

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A 4th Birthday Party

This weekend our gorgeous boy turned 4. For ages we had been trying to work out what to do and how to celebrate it. Party or no party? He is only 4 after all. We saw packages at our favourite farm with soft play that seemed like a good deal but also ended up working out very expensive by the time you included all our friends’ children. Then we talked about doing something different. Taking him to cbeebies land or something as a treat instead. He’s so young, will he even remember a party at this age? Then I realised I can remember my 4th birthday party at a local community centre with a few friends and a fab cake my mum made.

My 4th Birthday way back :)

My 4th Birthday way back :)

Also, Monkey started asking for a party and asking for specific friends to come. In the couple of months leading to his birthday we have 6 family birthdays and about 10 friends with birthdays. It is a time with a lot of celebrations and lots of parties and cakes and blowing out candles. How could we deny our little Monkey a party of his own when we go to so many others?

I had to convince hubs slightly as he thought it would be too stressful. We went to a 4yr olds party a couple of years ago where there were lots of party games and any kid who lost was in tears and there was fighting over presents and it was a bit crazy! So we decided only a couple of simple games where everyone is the winner. They are so young after all and plenty of time to learn about being a good loser. Even keeping it really simple there was a lot to organise in the run up to the big day. It was fun but hard work too. We hired our local community centre for couple of hours for £24, bought a bubble machine and a laser light and then got some pirate themed bits and bobs.5_21_2016 7_35_30 PM

The kids were so happy running round chasing balloons and bubbles and having fun together. Thankfully the rain that was forecast held off and they were able to play outside. I had hidden some plastic coins outside and planned to do a treasure hunt.. But forgot and let the kids out to play. Haha oops! But they all enjoyed finding them anyway and were so proud of their treasure. We also bought some modelling balloons and set the parents to work making swords and flowers and anything else they could manage which was funny and well kids love balloons don’t they?5_21_2016 7_38_14 PM

We then did a pass the parcel which was funny as there were sweets in each layer and by the end they were all too busy chomping on sweets to care about playing and they all needed a lot of prompting! We also tried sleeping lions but that didn’t go down as well, some of the younger ones were just too young really.5_21_2016 7_44_23 PM

Food wise I just cooked some cheese pizzas beforehand and had pom bear crisps, popcorn and chopped strawberries and grapes.5_21_2016 7_41_38 PM

I made the cake and to be honest I probably could have bought a better one and it would have been much easier than the faff of making one and icing it etc…. But I remember loving the cakes my mum made us and even if they are rubbish I hope my kids remember the cakes I make in the same way. Monkey loved his cake today and it tasted nice so that’s all that matters really.IMG-20160521-WA0014

Overall the party went really well and everyone seemed to have a really good time. Later on at home we asked Monkey if he enjoyed his party. His response was

“I really really did so so much. ”

That makes it all worthwhile and I am so glad we did it.5_21_2016 7_56_00 PM

And then the fun began...MummascribblesBest of Worst

Monkey is 4!

Hard to believe but I have been a parent for 4 whole years, to this beautiful little boy of mine.

Monkey is 4

This little Monkey is now not so little but he is definitely still a Monkey! He seems more and more grown up all the time and I honestly have to remind myself sometimes that he is still such a little boy really, especially as he is so tall (3’6 1/2″), as it makes it easy to forget he isn’t older. Sometimes with him it feels as if he is two different boys, he can be the sweetest soul imaginable, or can be a defiant and aggravating little terror. I think that is pretty normal though and at least the second boy isn’t around all the time.

So what do I mean? Well he is such a sweet and caring boy. He can be so so good with his sister and so kind and caring to everyone. On our recent holiday he shared his ice cream with his sister, and was trying to help her put her shoes on and off. We recently overheard him saying to her “it’s a broken one darling” and I can’t help but melt at him calling his sister darling, even when I know he is just copying us really. He tells us he loves us all the time and has recently told his sister and I that “we will be friends forever”. I do hope that is true! He adores all his friends and family and loves being around people.

He drives us crazy frequently, as I will explain later, and one day recently after a particulalry frustrtaing mealtime, hubs and I were bickering about what was best to do about it. We were both so frustrated and tired of the mealtime battles with him and were so grumpy with each other. Monkey, with all the wisdom of an almost 4 year old, came over and said “So we’ve got a problem. We need to stop arguing.” To which hubs and I responded that we were arguing because he refused to eat his dinner again and that that was the problem. He walked away for a think and hubs and I sat seething slightly in silence (noone wants their child to tell them to stop arguing). He then came back in, walked over to Daddy, gave him a cuddle and said “This is how we look after each other. We give each other cuddles.” Then he came over and cuddled up to me. We were still so cross but it was hard not to melt slightly about our little boy trying to console us, even though it was because of him in the first place!!monkey 2

He is so clever and is learning so much all the time at this age. The things he comes out with at times though are hilarious! Some are accurate and some are so randomly timed, for example randomly telling an uncle that we see all the time “We’ve got a new room and it’s got a white carpet and white walls” one day, despite said uncle having been in our “new” room many times since the garage conversion last year haha. Others are funny as they show the way he is trying to make sense of the world around him.

A few examples.

One day in the bath he was pretending he was LM, Daddy was Mummy and vice versa and it was very cute, then he announces  “But I can still speak boy language” haha I wish I spoke boy language my darling.

“There’s another great idea coming on”

“I forgot to tell the hairdresser that I have a hurty knee! Silly me I forgot”

When walking to/from his grandparents’ house and announcing “This is the quickest way” while heading down a route that is most certainly not the quickest way. Sometimes I indulge him and he does concede that it was a long way, other times I don’t have the time and ooh tantrums.

Giving me a science lesson “These are buds and then they will grow like this”

“My pink skin is gone again” (when he has painted his hands.)

“Excuse me, I have some really important news…  This pot is broken”

“Excuse me but you hurt me a bit” (the sofa)

He says “excuse me” a lot actually and it can be very sweet as it sounds so polite!

When we were talking about St George and St George’s Day, I explained that he fought a dragon, and Monkey announced  “He tickled the dragon and made it good.” clearly learned from “how to train your dragon” and one of many examples of how impressionable he is at the moment. He has been enjoying watching Peppa Pig a lot lately and has picked up some great, and some less great phrases from that programme! He loves repeating “That was a stroke of luck” but he also loves saying “why” as a result of an episode where George says “why” all the time, and has also decided that some things are boys things and some things are girls things after an episode where they do something similar. For the most part I actually like Peppa Pig but I have slightly cursed it a few times for the things he has chosen to learn from it!

He’s also really impressionable when it comes to other children. A new family recently moved nearby and their son is a few years older than Monkey. Unfortnately he is also quite badly behaved though and not a great unfluence for Monkey at the age he is at. He is really overexuberant screaming and being crazy which Monkey copies, but also says things about boobies and poo poo and if Monkey doesn’t do what he wants then he says “we’re not friends anymore”, calls Monkey a baby and storms off. Monkey then repeats these things at home and it is difficult, because I know he will learn these things in time anyway, but I am not particularly a believer in the “boys are just boisterous” mentality and he also needs to learn that it isn’t ok to behave like that, in my opinion.

Because as sweet as Monkey can be, remember I said that there is another side to him, ooh well his behaviour can be awful at times. Most of it, I know is just testing his boundaries and to be honest, attention seeking. As much as I know he loves his sister he can get terribly jealous of her. I do feel sorry for him at times as he has this little sister who is cute as a button and who charms everyone she meets. A sister who is very attention seeking and a complete diva of a madam when she doesn’t get what she wants. Plus she is still so young and needs more of our attention at times. So it is no wonder our boy plays up to get our attention too. He always wants whatever she has and can be terrible at times when I know he really just wants our attention.

Mealtimes are the worst and honestly they can be variable, with him eating really well some days, to taking hours to eat anything other days. With him screaming no and refusing point blank to even try something that I know he likes, or just sitting playing with his fingers and singing instead of eating anything so that we get wound up and he is sat there for over an hour by which time we have lost our rag with him. We try ignoring him but that doesn’t seem to work as how long can you ignore your child for? We try threats but then he just says ok and trots off to bed or wherever and is happy to take the punishment as it means he gets his own way and doesn’t have to eat.

Most of the rest of the time the naughty spot does still work and often even the threat of it, though I hate having to get that far. The arguments we have over everything are just exhausting some days. Arguing about needing the toilet, about wearing a coat about wearing shoes or wellies, about tidying his toys, about having a drink. Honestly that is just so far today and there will certianly be arguments about mealtime, bathtime, bedtime, etc, etc, etc to come today! Again though I have to remind myself that until now, he wasn’t even 4. Sometimes because his sister can be such hard work, I can often expect a lot of our little Monkey. I expect him to be so grown up when really his behavious is perfectly normal for his age.

So, back to good things. and our little Monkey is learning so much all of the time now. He is so good on his scooter (finally) and starting to get to grips with his bicycle too, whough I think we have a way to go with that one yet. He loves drawing and writing and writes his full name (including surname) with ease and has even written some of his friends names. He so wants to be able to write everything, and the same goes for reading. There are lots of words that he can recognise and tries to read many others on signs when we are out and about too. His drawing is brilliant his imaginative play has come on so much.

IMG-20160213-WA0002He adores playing with lego, especially his Daddy’s old Star Wars Lego. In fact he loves anything Star Wars, particularly Darth Vader (though he is a good darth vader apparently) and loves watching the films and playing lego on afternoons when he is at home and LM is asleep. He has also recently discovered Transformers in the form of one of Daddy’s old toys and he adores playing with Optimus Prime.

He loves playing games with us all too and actually one of his favourite toys is a baby dolly, who is his baby and who goes to bed with him at night. Along with his fave comforter Doggy Bear, and Dr Wilber, one of his Daddy’s old teddies who is also now a dr apparently who is the only one who can comfort Monkey when he has a cut or splinter or something. Even if he “says” exactly the same things Mummy or Daddy have been saying…

He is such a character and is so full of fun, and is sometimes a complete little loony. In fact one of his favourite games is “running round like loonies” and “running round like loonies then cuddling” bless him. He has a great sense of humour and loves to laugh, he is also such a good boy on the whole. He is so polite and tries his best (when he wants to) and is growing up so much all the time.MOnkey

Looking back at photos for this post has been interesting actually. I sometimes feel like I neglect him these days because of his sister being around and I also think I don’t give him enough special attention, or enough credit for how well behaved he is. So my promise to my darling boy is that Mummy will try and do better. I love him so much, he changed my world the day he made me a Mummy and I wouldn’t be without him for a second.

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Little Hearts, Big LoveEthans EscapadesNot My Year Off

Preparations are under way

This last week since we came home from our lovely holiday has been all about preparations. Mainly, preparations for a little party as our gorgeous Monkey turns 4 this weekend! I will write a more specific post about our gorgeous boy but for now I can’t believe I have been a mummy for 4 years! This weekend we are celebrating. After a lot of uhhming and ahing about what we should do, we decided on a fairly simple and small party at the local community centre with some of his closest friends. We are having a pirate theme as he loves pirates and we have some really simple activities planned that I hope go well. I have spent a good chunk of this week getting ready for said party. I have party bags and favours and sweets and I need to wrap up a pass the parcel game.WP_20160519_13_47_40_Pro

Even LM has gotten involved in the preparations today by “helping” me bake Monkey’s birthday cake. By this I mean she had a great time getting in a good old mess with flour and sugar while I baked as she isn’t really much of a help at the moment.lM baking

There is still quite a bit to sort even for our “simple, low-key” party so I am glad we didn’t try and plan anything more extravagant. Monkey is so looking forward to his party though, which is why we are doing one, and I really hope he enjoys it and it all goes off without a hitch.

WP_20160519_13_51_39_ProThere have been other preparations also underway this week. A while ago Hubs dislocated his knee, and after an MRI scan and hospital visits we discovered it was due to some torn cartilage which would need an operation to repair. We didn’t know when this would happen but suddenly received a call this week with a cancellation meaning he would have his operation next Thursday! It is good to get it out of the way but we have had to cancel and rearrange a few things and have been getting ready for that really. Reading up on the procedure and what the recovery will mean etc. Hopefully it on’t be too bad as it is pretty minor surgery really, but I am nervous as to how it will go and how much less he will be able to do with the kids for a bit. Only time will tell I guess!

Anyway back to the party prep for me. How has your week been?

The Reading Residence

My Birthday Celebrations

I’m a bit late writing this up because we had a bit of a week last week with poorliness and I just wasn’t in the mood for blogging really. We are all still pretty poorly but I wanted to write again so here we are. Last week was my birthday! I turned 33 and honestly while on the one hand I don’t care, age is just a number and a birthday is just another day, on the other hand I do love birthdays. It is nice to have an excuse to treat someone you love (or be treated) and to celebrate and get together with the people you love most. So I will always celebrate my birthday.

The day before my birthday my stepdad baby-sat LM for me so I could get my hair cut which is always a real treat. My hair actually looks nice as it ha been styled by someone who knows what they are doing haha. That evening hubs and I went out for a meal. A Christmas present from my brother and sister in law was vouchers for Carluccios and the offer of babysitting for the evening. As we hadn’t used it yet we decided to use it for my birthday! PhotoGrid_1462218721835

We had a lovely time, yummy food, prosecco, wine, and really enjoyed ourselves. My sister in law was very surprised to see us home by 10 but let’s face it that is late for us haha! We had a nice catch up with them for a bit and it was a lovely evening.

The next day was my birthday and quite a lot of time was spent preparing for a bbq with lots of family and friends coming over. It was hard work and stressful and hubs did ask at one point of it was worth it. The answer? Yes of course!

We had wondered all week whether the weather would be kind to us, and for the most part it really was. There was one or two showers early on but they didn’t last long and for the rest of the afternoon the sun shone for us. Everyone seemed to have fun and enjoyed the food and it was just a lovely afternoon with nearly all of my favourite people. PhotoGrid_1462219213038PhotoGrid_1462219571416

The house was a tip afterwards and we write all shattered but it was so lovely getting everyone together and I was so glad the weather held out for us.

So that’s me another year older (even though I am sure I stopped aging at 24…that was a good age haha). Do you celebrate birthdays? And do you enjoy hosting get togethers, even with all the work that is involved?

And then the fun began...
Mummascribbles
Best of Worst

Little Miss is 1!

Wowee! Here we are at the end of our Little Miss’ first year of life! In the early days the weeks seemed to last forever but in reality the past year has absolutely flown by. We have all come such a long way in the past year and no-one more so than the little lady herself. From a teeny wee thing who struggled so badly with colic, temporary lactose intolerance and reflux… to our beaming, happy, gorgeous little toddler.Lm is 1

I honestly just adore her 100% and she is such a Mummy’s girl which is lovely but obviously a tad infuriating at times when she does not want me to move from her side. I do feel for Daddy too when she is writhing out of his arms to try and get to me. Thankfully though this isn’t all the time and she is a generally a smily happy girl, she is so sociable, she loves people and is just a quite contented little thing really.20151018_111552 (2)

The last month has seen her take the huge leap from baby to fully fledged toddler as she now walks everywhere and I have to admit I love it. At home she is constantly pottering about finding things to inspect and she loves running and throwing herself onto the beanbag, which is hilarious.

Unfortunately it also means a lot of falling over so she constantly has bruises and scratches on her face from face-planting the floor or a piece of furniture poor thing. I also have to keep a close eye on her as she likes picking things up and putting them in her mouth. At home it isn’t too bad (though she has a penchant for crayons at the moment, joy) but out and about is a nightmare and I am constantly saying no and running when I see a fistful of mud or stones heading to her mouth. Sadly I don’t spot it in time every time, so try to convince myself that a little mud never killed anyone! She also likes to find manky puddles of water, splash her hands in them then put her fingers in her mouth… noooo!20151015_164520

She does understand “no” but rarely obeys and generally gives a huge cheeky grin and shakes her head before carrying on what she was.doing… grrr! There are other times when she does listen but they are few and far between… so I sound like a bit of a stuck record but I know repetition is all I can do at the moment, that and picking her up and moving her away from dangerous things such as radiators or the oven!

In terms of food she is still really good for the most part but there are signs of fussiness showing…. sadly BLW hasn’t completely staved this off… she definitely doesn’t like broccoli anymore and I don’t think she is too keen on potato. But even though her Daddy adores potato I have never been a huge fan of potato so maybe it is hereditary? Who knows, we shall see how this progresses though and we don’t have any of the problems we had with her brother as she scoffs curry and anything with pasta and she adores fruit which is great. She also eats a ridiculous amount – easily an adult portion at mealtimes and WAY more than her big brother eats. I have no idea where she puts it all!20150918_114827

She is also a very different baby to her brother in terms of routine. Whereas he was in a fab routine from 4 months and then was always so much happier in a routine, she is so different. We struggled massively to ever get her to settle in a routine for more than a few days at a time, BUT, and here’s the thing, now she is much more flexible which is actually handy. She now is best when she has one nap in the afternoon. She has a long sleep, is happier and sleeps in later the next morning (till nearly 7am, wahoo!). But on days when we are in the car a lot she sometimes dozes off in the morning then either doesn’t nap in the afternoon or has a shorter sleep. And do you know what? She is still fine. She wakes up earlier the next morning (between 530-6) but is still pretty contended on it so I really can’t complain. Monkey was always a nightmare if you shifted his routine even slightly so it is a nice change and a relief after the struggles of trying to get her to settle in a routine all year!

tumbletotsNow that she is awake more though we are getting out and about a bit more too. I take her to tumbletots on a Monday morning when Monkey is at playgroup, which she loves. She loves the other people most of all I think but also has a lot of fun exploring all of the equipment. Then on a Tuesday my parents take her to rhyme time at the local library while Monkey and I have a Mummy and Monkey morning. Apparently she loves going and is getting more and more confident as the weeks go by, which is lovely. I hope it will also do her good to be away from me for a little while every week too. She adores her Nanny & Pops and is very comfortable being with them and they love having her which is great.

She has always been an incredibly loud baby and she knows how to make her feelings well and truly known. We are very much getting a lot of whining and she makes the Marge Simpson noise when she wants something (you know, closed mouth, mmmmmgrh hehe). We do also have the start of words too which is really lovely. She occasionally makes an almost “tickle tickle” sound – much more joined together and unclear, but she has also been known to accompany this with grabbing Monkey in a tickly way… and obviously we say it a lot to both of them so we think she is trying to copy us. She also definitely says “uh oh” and copies us whenever we say it (and hubs now says it a LOT to make her say it) and whenever she drops something, which is massively adorable!! I feel like I am constantly comparing her to her big brother but I can’t help it as this is another way she is very different to him as he didn’t say his first word until he was 2!LMs 1st year

So there we have it, our gorgeous little lady as she approaches her first birthday! I love the determined happy little person she is growing into and am looking forward to what the next year will bring.

Ethans EscapadesNot My Year OffThe Reading Residence
MaternityMondays

Time to get back on track..

This is my first weight loss update for a while, mainly because my efforts have stalled somewhat. For a while I was doing really well and a few weeks ago I finally hit the 12stone mark! Hooray! Meaning I have lost a stone and a half overall since Christmas, which I am dead chuffed with even though I still have a way to go.

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