Mummy & Daddy take the night off!

On Friday morning hubby and I left the house at about 8.15am and headed off to Hereford for a wedding. Monkey? Monkey stayed at home, in the care of his Nanny & Pops! This was quite a big deal for us. Before we had Monkey and when he was a tiny baby we had grand ideas about leaving him with the grandparents fairly regularly so he would get used to it from a young age and it wouldn’t be a big deal.

In reality things didn’t quite work out as we planned (when does it ever, with babies?). Colic didn’t help matters and I always found leaving him behind difficult when breastfeeding – having to express extra milk before the event, trying to ensure he would drink out of bottles, having to find somewhere quiet to express your engorged boobs while at an event (trying not to get any on your fancy outfit) to relieve the pain. Not simple or stress free, in my personal opinion. We did manage a couple of days like this but didn’t actually have any events or plans far away, requiring an overnight stay, when he was very little so always came home for the night.

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A Fab Weekend with Friends

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Annabel & I in 2008

Last weekend some very good friends of ours came to visit from Newcastle. Annabel and I worked together for just a few months nearly 10 years ago and somehow, wonderfully the friendship has lasted. There have been times when we haven’t seen each other for a long time, or have barely spoken, but when we get together it is always as if no time has passed. There has been girls nights out in Manchester and catch ups in London.

What’s really great though is that our lives have gone in pretty similar directions now. While I am settled with Hubby and Monkey, she also has a lovely husband and an 18 month old Doodle who is lovely. If anything mummyhood and the challenges it brings has brought us even closer together, although we have never lived so far apart before!

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Family Fun at the Burghley Film Festival 2014

Not too far away from us is the very grand Burghley House, a beautiful Elizabethan house in amazing grounds. Every year they hold an outdoor film festival and last year we went for the first time. During the day they show family films and then have an evening session with more adult films. After loving it last year we decided well in advance that we wanted to go again this year, and invited some of our family to come along too!

This year we went to see ‘Epic’ which is a film I hadn’t seen before, but in all honesty, with a toddler and other kiddies in the family we only really get to see snippets of the film, as the day is more about running around and having fun!
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An ‘Okay’ week

Our word of the week this week is “okay.” Not because it necessarily sums up our week, though it has been an ok week (you can read some of what we have been up to here), but because it is Monkey’s favourite word at the moment. It basically replaces yes.

The funniest thing about it is that he says it with the voice of a bored teenager, like “okaaaaay” if you insist mum, if I have to, if you really want to. Even though I know what he means is Yes! Yes! Yes!

A few examples

Shall we go on the swing? “Okaaaay” while running off clapping his hands

Him: “Chocat” Me: You’d like some chocolate? Him: “okaaay” Me: Sorry but no.

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Our lovely Holiday, 2014

Last week we had a very lovely family holiday. We didn’t go anywhere glamorous or exotic but we still had a wonderful time. We stayed in some lovely self-catering accommodation in Corton, a small village in between Lowestoft, Suffolk, and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. It was a lovely place, and I shall write more about it in a separate post.

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Having Fun with Nanny

After Tumble Tots on Tuesday, Monkey and I popped round to my mums for lunch s she had a fairly quiet day. Nothing too exciting you would think but the simplest of things made for the happiest of occasions.

My mum had got some toys and bits out for Monkey to play with so for a while we were building blocks, then they disappeared (and I enjoyed a rest) and it turned out Monkey had led Nanny upstairs on the hunt for more toys! He found his fave – which is just a little pull back VW Campervan. So simple but he LOVES it.

After lunch we had the best fun whizzing the car backwards and forwards down the hallway. I left my phone at home (and felt lost without it) but thankfully managed to catch a few shots on my mum’s tablet.

I love seeing them have so much fun together!

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Lots of mimicking going on (from both of them!) :)

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Then Monkey decided Nanny’s legs made a great tunnel, he went back and forth numerous times, even though he doesn’t really fit and nearly knocked her over! Poor Nanny!

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I love this shot of the pair of them following the car into the dining room!

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Monkey loves his nanny!

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He was very spoilt as Nanny had made chocolate chip muffins for us as a treat – they were Yummy and Monkey loved his!

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Just good, old fashioned simple fun with his Nanny, we all laughed a lot and it was just lots and lots of fun :)

What simple things do you enjoy with your little ones?

Family Photo Friday @ Thursday's Child, Friday's Thoughts

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A Family Day

Sunday was just a lovely day. We had Hubby’s parents and brothers and sister in law round for a roast dinner. Nothing grand, just a nice roast dinner and get together for a good natter, as all too often time goes by without seeing people, or without all of us getting together. I love family occasions and we love cooking and preparing for it (though not so much the grand house clean that is needed in advance!).

Monkey loves spending time with all his family too, so he had lots of fun with his Aunt and Uncle.

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And his Aunt and Granny

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And his Granddad.

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He’s a bit obsessed with books at the moment, which we do not have a problem with, and it was nice for someone else to be able to read the same stories to him over, and over again, rather than just us hehe :)

We had a yummy yummy roast, though Monkey decided to be a fidget pants and played musical chairs, taking it in turns to sit on everyone’s lap rather than on his chair! Daft apeth!

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I decided that I wanted to try and get a shot of all of us together, as it’s something we hardly ever do. The last time was a year and a half ago! So we set the self timer up and crowded round to get a photo. Keeping Monkey still and getting everyone to have their eyes open at the same time was a bit of a challenge!!

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This was the best shot we got, though Granddad’s eyes are closed. I changed the settings so we wouldn’t get a monkey blur – but then didn’t like the lighting! I’ve had a bit of a play to brighten it up, it’s not perfect, but at least we are all smiling, or in Monkey’s case, still!

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Anyway, it’s a nice record of a lovely family day :)

Family Photo Friday @ Thursday's Child, Friday's Thoughts

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A Family Day at Delapre Abbey, Northampton

Last weekend, with the sun shining, we decided to take a trip to Delapre Abbey in Northampton (I have no idea how to pronounce it?). Northampton is about an hour from us so not too far. I’d never even heard of Delapre Abbey until recently when I have spotted it on a couple of other lovely bloggy sites. It looked like a very pretty and picturesque place for a run around on a sunny day, and it really was.

When we got there it was Monkey’s snack time so we headed to the little tea rooms for some tea, a yummy flapjack and hubby and I shared some delish scones with clotted cream and jam! I haven’t had it in so long so it was a real treat!

With full tummies we went off for an explore. The Abbey itself seems a little worse for wear but there is some repair works being done on it by the look of it. We have borrowed a trike from my lovely neighbour (it was bought for her little boy’s first birthday by his aunty, but he’s not that fussed about it yet so my neighbour very kindly lets us use it quite a lot – which is fab and massively kind of her!) and he loves it, which is great as he is so bored of the buggy.

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We had a good old explore …

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and saw some of the oddest trees I’ve ever seen!

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We climbed some trees and had some fun.

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We watched some squirrels chasing each other up trees,

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explored the ornamental rock gardens,

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and stood on a big tree trunk!

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Monkey played with some sticks (of course)…

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…knocked on some trees (of course)…

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…and we had a good old explore.

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Monkey and Daddy found some acorn cups and when Daddy said they looked like hats, that was it, on Monkey’s head it went. very cute!

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We then headed off towards the lake – through a lot of mud! Monkey and Daddy had great fun with the trike.

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The lake was so still and peaceful, it was just beautiful.

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By now though Monkey was getting a bit hungry so we headed back towards the abbey, and saw some more of the beautiful grounds along the way.

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It was a lovely little family day – and great to explore somewhere new that we haven’t been to before :) I am sure we will go again many times over the years!
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Family Photo Friday – Great Aunty Maggie’s visit

My Auntie Maggie (who lives in South London) popped up for a brief visit on her way to a walking weekend in the Peak District. So this week’s Family Photo Friday is a couple of pics from a little walk we went on today and Monkey’s fun with his Great Aunty Maggie!

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Not sure what they were both so excited about here but I love it.

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Having a little run…… and then falling flat! Thankfully he didn’t hurt himself though and got up and dusted himself down :)

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Family Photo Friday @ Thursday's Child, Friday's Thoughts