Last weekend we were headed to the Peak District to celebrate my aunt’s 70th. As it is a fair old distance for the kids in the car we decided to do our usual and break the journey at a National Trust place along the way. We chose Sudbury Hall because I heard it had a great play area and also because we thought that the kids may enjoy the museum of childhood if the weather turned sour.
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.
My parents are both from South West London and when I was growing up we spent a lot of time there visiting my grandparents and aunt and uncle. As such it holds a special place in my heart and there are lots of memories based there. My lovely Auntie Maggie still lives there and as we hadn’t been down for about a year we decided to take a few days down there.
We met Maggie at National Trust Claremont Gardens. Somewhere I had apparently been as a child though I don’t remember. (My memory for specifics is pretty awful!) It was a stunning place to explore and we had a lovely lovely day.
Then it was back to Maggie’s and after the kids’ tea we took a walk over to the common. Cannon Hill Common is somewhere that will always hold a lot of memories. My grandparents lived on one side and my aunt and uncle on the other. We often walked between the two, went to see the ducks on the lake and to play on the play park. It was really nice to share it with hubs and the kids and we had such a nice evening walk. The kids particularly loved having a good climb on some fallen tree trunks as the sun went down.
The next morning we decided to visit Deen City Farm which wasn’t too far away. A lovely little farm which is free to enter and has numerous lovely animals to see including pigs, chickens, cows, goats and even an Alpaca! You can cuddle some Guinea pigs, bunnies or ferrets for a couple of pound and there is a nice play area too. Unfortunately we had a pair of incredibly cranky kids that morning so we didn’t stay too long, but it was lovely!
We decided to have a slightly chilled afternoon and our Little Madam really needed a nap (having gone about 3 days without one) so hung out at Maggie’s for a while. We did some drawing and tries to teach the kids to play boules in the garden.
Monkey had a snuggle on the sofa with daddy while LM thankfully had a nap which she really needed. On our trip to the common the previous day we had seen lots of blackberries and had promised Monkey we would return to do some picking, so when LM had woken up a bit we headed back to the common. We got a fab haul and Monkey and LM had such a lovely sibling moment together, walking through the woods holding hands.
We aimed for the play park on the common and were pleasantly surprised to find the paddling pools there filled, both with water and with children! We were totally unprepared but it was so hot there was no keeping LM out of there, and Monkey soon followed. Honestly it was the happiest I had seen the kids in days being able to cool off in the water, even fully clothed haha.
That evening we had a bit of a disaster. While showering the kids (as Maggie doesn’t have a bath) Hubs unfortunately managed to pull a bit of the shower off the wall, sending water everywhere. He got it back together and we thought that was the end of it until water began pouring through the ceiling! Nightmare! After a bit of panic initially we had a glass or 2 of wine and had dinner and waited for a plumber to come out. He helped put our minds at ease that it was back together properly and there would be no more leaks. Turns out there was a screw missing which is why it came off so easily so it wasn’t entirely hubs fault!
The next morning I went for a lovely run across the common while the kids had some scrumpy boiled eggs for breakfast. Then it was back to the common for a visit to the play area before packing up and heading home after lunch.
We had such a lovely few days, albeit with some difficult moments with some cranky children. But that’s normal really, especially when we were so busy and it was so hot and sunny! I thought Maggie would be glad of the peace once we left but apparently it is very quiet without us. We will just have to go again soon won’t we!
I love my little family. We have had such a lovely summer and I just feel so lucky sometimes to be the mummy of my two gorgeous kiddies and partner of my wonderful hubby. Of course, life isn’t perfect (as perfect doesn’t exist) but it is pretty close. The kids drive me bonkers pretty frequently and hubs and I bicker about the usual day to day stuff and wind each other up, but in general life is good.
The kids are growing up so much and I know people say it doesn’t get easier, that the challenges are just different as they grow, and I get that, I do. But personally, I find the challenges of a toddler and a preschooler (almost at school, eek) easier to manage than the challenges of a baby and a toddler. I just do.
I feel incredibly lucky when our kids are just playing happily together and we are all having a lovely time together. It’s everything I’ve ever hoped for really.
Ok, going to stop the soppiness now and get to our Me and Mine shot for this month. Taken by our friend Chris, the lovely hubby of the equally lovely Sarah at Run, Jump, Scrap. We had a lovely day at their gorgeous Gremlin’s birthday party and Chris snapped this gorgeous shot of our little family. LM isn’t smiling which is a shame but that’s toddlers for you and it doesn’t detract from how lovely the piccy is. Thanks Chris!
My word of the week this week was nearly solo, as Hubs has been in Canada since Monday (lucky devil) and I have been solo parenting for my longest stretch ever. But I haven’t really been solo – because I have so many wonderful friends and family around who have supported me and helped me out that I really haven’t had to do it alone. So my word this week is support.
So here is what made me happy over the last week.
Having a lovely Afternoon Tea with my hubs as a treat at a posh hotel. It was my birthday present from my parents and we thought it was a good plan to use it before he went away. With all that has been going on lately we have been really snappy with each other so it was nice to reconnect and have some fun together people watching and eating yummy food
Having an impromptu walk round our local country park with some good friends and heading back to their house for tea. All the kids get on so so well so it was lovely.
Strawberry picking with my Mum on Wednesday, more to come on that tomorrow!
Having loads of bathy time fun with my gorgeous kiddies. Bathtime is often Hubs domain as I have been with them all day and he then gets to have fun with them…but it was lovely to enjoy that time (even though I will willingly give it back next week as that is normally a bit of a rest time for me!!)
Visiting our local country park with friends on Thursday as Monkey’s pre-school was closed to be used as a polling station. It was yet another wet and miserable day but we had a lot of fun nonethless.
Skyping with Daddy in our afternoons, which is his morning.
It has been a really really busy week, which has been great as it has flown by and we are looking forward to Daddy being home. I am shattered but as I am sure you can tell from the list above there has been a LOT of happy times here.
How has your week been?
Isn’t it funny how people are often so obsessed by which parent a child most takes after? People have always said that Monkey is a mini-me for his daddy. That he is the spitting image and it is very rare anyone says he looks like me if they know both hubs and I.
Then LM came along and everyone has said she looks like me, yay! Then thre are those who see resemblances to grandparents, aunts, uncles and the likes. I guess it is inevitable really and lovely. But in truth we both struggle to see who they look like, as to us they just look like themselves.
It doesn’t remotely matter of course and this really is just a bit of fun as I thought I would share some pics of us as kiddies to see who you think they look like. Try not to laugh too much at the pics of hubs and I haha.
So does Monkey look like Mummy?
And does LM look like Mummy?
What do you think? To be honest I think this has proven a couple of things.
1) that I take waaaay too many photographs as it took me a seriously long time to find the pictures of the kiddies for this post (I have been planning this post for months!)
2) They both resemble both of us at different times. I think that’s the best way though isn’t it? Nice to see a bit of both of us in each of them :).
Who do your kids look like?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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. ”
My word of the week this week, is Holiday! We have been away with my parents and the kids for a lovely family holiday at the good old British seaside resort of Skeggy :). Well, to be precise we have been staying just outside of Skegness, in Burgh Le Marsh in some beautiful holiday accomodation at Jockhedge. I will write some more detailed posts when I get the chance but here is a quick summing up of what we have been up to over the past week.
We started off with just our little family and, as always on our journeys we try to stop at a National Trust place for a break, and I have been dying to see Tattershall Castle with the kids for ages so we aimed for there. It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun. It’s a fab perfect castle and they put on some fab activities for the kids which were really brilliant.
Sunday was set to be another glorious day weather wise so we headed to the coast, As it was bound to be busy at Skeggy itself we found a quieter beach a little further up the coast, at Anderby Creek. What else can I say but that it was stunning. Absolutely beautiful, and the kids adored it. The tide was going out which meant there was a little creek between the sandy beach and the sea, and LM adored this. There were some very stoney bits of beach too but as the tide went further out the kids adored playing on the wet flat beach and both kids loved splashing – though the sea itself was a little scary for LM!
Sunday night my parents joined us so Monday we all went into Skeggy. We had a very windy trip to the beach in the morning which was great fun but a bit chilly after a while, then we had a good round of Pirate Crazy Golf before hubs and I bought LM back to the cottage for a nap and Nanny & Pops took Monkey to the arcades.
Tuesday was miserable, there was no other word for it, the weather was vile. But we headed to the Aquarium in skegness, which was lovely but LM was teething and under the weather and well it didn’t make for the best morning! thankfully we did have some nice moments though and as ever she loved some puddle splashing.
Wednesday dawned wet again but thankfully dried up mid morning. So after some fun in the arcades we had another round of crazy Pirate golf. While LM slept that afternoon Monkey, Nanny, Pops and I walked to the windmill in Burgh Le Marsh itself, but unfortunately it was closed as we are a bit out of season. Still we had a lovely walk on what turned out to be a glorious afternoon, then had great fun playing out with the kiddies in the evening.
Thursday the weather was beautiful so it was back into skeggy again. We were perhaps a little over eager and got there very early when it was far too chilly,so we had some gorgeous hot drinks and cakes at a fab little cafe before heading to the beach mid morning when it had warmed up a little. It was still pretty windy but there was great fun building sand sculptures and flying a cool pirate kite then going for an ice cream.
On the whole a fabulous but pretty exhausting week! How has yours been?
We are really lucky that there is a little zoo not too far from us, called Hamerton Wildlife Park. We have been there loads in the past with Monkey, but the last time I went was when I was pregnant with LM, and she was yet to go. She loves animals though and getting out so it was time. We arranged to meet some friends there and headed off.
There are so many gorgeous animals there and many of them are rescue animals, which makes it much easier to see them caged. Monkey loved a very er “friendly” vulture and we got to see one of the tigers very close up which was amazing though also a bit sad to see him pacing.
Do your little ones like the zoo?
I really enjoy joining in with me and mine every month primarily because this community really encourages me to get nice shots of us as a family. Getting photos of the four of us can be so tricky as let’s face it kids aren’t always cooperative and having enough arms to take photos while keeping the kids happy isn’t easy.
That said I do feel my photos of our little family aren’t as polished as many other bloggers. We don’t have a tripod to take a photo from a distance and most are done using a selfie stick and taking a frame from a video (which we find generally leads to more likelihood of catching fleeting smiles) or on the front facing camera, neither of which are the highest quality. Add to that that LM is such a wriggly independent thing who does not enjoy being held in position and, well, you don’t get the best photos. Still, at least we have shots of the four of us that will show how much we’ve all grown and changed and that really is the purpose.
This month I have a couple of less than brilliant outdoors shots. My fave family shots are those that are taken outside enjoying the sunshine, and I really hoped for shots like that this month, but those are the hardest for keeping the kids happy and still. So we have this one, which didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped.
My fave shots of us as a family this month though are some completely impromptu, appalling quality selfies. The kids had been climbing all over me on the sofa with a bean bag for some reason, and I just got the camera out which resulted in some fab photos of all of us having a lot of fun.
So they aren’t polished, they certainly aren’t very high quality and they aren’t in a particularly special location. I’ve cut hubs’ head off in one and LM is a blur in another. But I love them because we are happy and in that they reflect us as a family the most out of all of these pictures. Larking around and having fun.