Our Easter Holidays 2017

The Easter holidays are over and I honestly can’t believe how quickly they have flown by. We’ve had lots of ups and down but mainly ups, thankfully, and lots of fun as a family while Monkey was being off school, so I thought I’d share a little run down of our adventures over the past couple of weeks rather than trying to write separate posts about what we got up and what is going on.

I’m going to start with the negative first as there has been a bit of a shadow cast over the last couple of weeks that I’ve hinted at but not really talked about. Deep breath, here we go. My amazing aunt was, very sadly, and shockingly diagnosed with cancer just before the start of the holidays. My aunt, who is the fittest 70 yr old I can imagine, who treks all over the world. She came back from a trip to Sri Lanka in February and got a cough. The cough got worse so she saw the Dr, they did an x ray and referred her to a chest specialist. It got worse and they got her in for a scan. The scan revealed an aggressive tumour in her lungs, another on her spine and cancer in her liver and kidneys. This all happened incredibly, incredibly fast and it was hard to catch our breath. They started radiotherapy, then she lost the use of her legs and was admitted to hospital. The speed this has happened has been mind-blowing and there’s obviously been a lot of sadness and coming to terms with things. We don’t know what the future holds exactly but we so know that she probably won’t be with us into her nineties as we had hoped previously.

I’m not going to go into it more than that, and it may sound like I’m being cold and matter of fact but that’s the way I have to handle it. My aunt is an amazing lady and she is positive and upbeat and we have to be the same on her behalf. And I have to live my life. Below the surface I am obviously incredibly sad but I can’t let that overwhelm me as I have the kids to focus on and to think about. We’ve explained to monkey that she’s poorly and the Doctors are trying to help and that they may not be able to. And that is how it stands at the moment. I’m sure you can imagine that this has dominated the last few weeks for us so I couldn’t talk about our Easter hols without mentioning it. Well I suppose I could, but I didn’t want to.

Moving on to the lovely things we have been up to during the holidays. It got off to a brilliant start with some tree climbing for our Monkey, a lovely family bike ride and some gruffalo spotting while enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. Sadly that Sunday night our Little Miss had croup. It was nowhere near as bad as she has had previously, she didn’t have the wheeze (that they call stridor) just the horrible bark like cough. She even slept ok, while hubs and I were awake and worrying for half the night! So we had a quiet day on the Monday as her cough thankfully became more normal. Hubs took Monkey to work with him which he loved.

On the Tuesday, hubs had some time off work so he came on a bike ride to our local country park with us which was really lovely. The kids had a whale of a time in the sand and water play area there and we had lunch together in the café. That evening my stepdad popped over for tea that evening as my mum was down in London with my aunt.easter 1

That night I drove down to London to see my aunt and my mum. Hubs and the kids had lots of fun together the next day with another cycle ride and café trip :)easter 2

I was feeling pretty drained on the Thursday after the trip to London but we had previously arranged for a day out, going on a bear hunt, at our local country park. The kids loved it, though Madam did have a major tantrum (as she wanted to go to feed the ducks while we were on the trail s couldn’t) which I struggled to deal with with everything that was going on, though thankfully I had a very good friend there who supported me through it. She did get over it and once I explained that the bear was just a man in a suit, she liked him, and she loved the journey back on the little train, so all ended very happily.bear hunt

On Good Friday we did a couple of errands, one of which was looking at bikes for Monkey’s birthday next month. We were planning on just looking but there was a fantastic one, which was on offer over the holidays, and because only the display model was left available we get an even better price for it, so we couldn’t resist. It’s bigger than we thought we would get, with 20″ wheels, but Monkey is so tall and the smaller ones just felt like he would grow out of them so fast. It is much bigger and heavier than his previous bike and while he is fine when he is riding it, he did start off with lots of wobbles when he was standing up, starting or stopping bless him. My older brother came over that afternoon so Monkey loved showing him his new bike and we all went out to help and encourage him. We also did a bit of easter baking on the friday, with easter nests and some Creme egg brownies, yum!easter 4

The Saturday of the Easter weekend was a beautiful day and with rain forecast on Easter Sunday we did our little easter hunt then instead. Monkey loves a good map so I made a little map for the kids to follow. We tend to just give the little eggs, and this year we gave them some little troll toys too (they aodre trolls atm). They get so much choc from all their relatives so they don’t need much from us! That afternoon my little brother and his fiance came over too.easter 5

Sunday was a roast dinner for lunch at my mums which was lovely and another little easter egg hunt there. Monday we had Hubs’ family over, including his aunt and uncle from Yorkshire for a lovely bbq. I didn’t take many photos but that afternoon we went back to hubs’ brother’s house and the kids loved playing their cats and tortoise including giving the tortoise a bath!easter 6

Tuesday was a quiet day for the kids and I as hubs took my parents down to London to visit my aunt in the hospital. This kids and I pottered at home and went on a bike ride to play on the play area. We also had a bit of a princess party which you may have seen! The kids were so good and it was nice to have bathtime fun with them as that is normally hubs’ time with them.easter 7

Wednesday we visited one of our favourite farms with friends and had such a lovely day. Just so full of fun and probably the fullest day I’ve ever spent at the farm so there was a tired Mummy and children that night!easter 8

Thursday was nice and chilled and we saw hubs’ parents for a play in the morning and just had a little play on another local play area in the afternoon. My phone also broke on Thursday which was just a pain, then when I took it into be repaired I was persuaded to upgrade as I only had 1 month left on the contract instead. So apologies for the pants pictures at the play park here, they were taken on a temporary phone.easter 9

Friday was at the park with friends in the morning, testing out my new phone. (more to come on that in a separate post) and we had a fab time with friends we hadn’t seen in a while. That afternoon was at My mum’s house for the afternoon for some snuggles and hot wheels fun.easter10

So there we have it, 2 weeks went by in a flash! As mentioned there were definitely ups and downs but on the whole it was really lovel, My house is a tip though so I’m ready for monkey to be back at school, no matter how much fun we had!!

Fun in the sun at Fineshade Woods with the Gruffalo Spotter App

Wasn’t the weather last weekend just stunning? A bit of sunshine can work wonders and I think almost all of us were out there in some form to make the most of us weren’t we? We had already arranged to meet friends at Fineshade Woods, which is a forestry commission forest near to where we live, and were quite pleased to be able to go there in the sunshine as we’ve only ever been on rainy or cold days before!

The biggest difference was obviously how busy it was, still we were there early enough that we managed to park and met our friends. First up was a little play on the fab play area near the visitors centre.PhotoGrid_1491833272213

Then we headed off onto their newest trail, the Gruffalo trail! They had a Gruffalo trail here previously which ended with a sculpture, but I knew this one was all about the latest app, the Gruffalo Spotter, so I had downloaded it prior to arrival. We headed off down the trail and could immediately see the difference a sunny Sunday made, as it was busy! The kids loved spotting all the signs along the way even though we sometimes had to wait a bit to get close to some of them.PhotoGrid_1491833054674

The app itself is based on an augmented reality. You scan some of the signs and then the characters from the book come to life on your device. It’s kinda cool… But I’m not that convinced I have to admit. On a bright sunny day it was tricky to see the screen… And we only had phones rather than a tablet which I guess may be better.PhotoGrid_1491832908962

But for small children, I don’t think they really got why things were on my screen but weren’t really there. Trying to get them to pose for photos was tricky too as they were standing next to a sign and didn’t really get why. Monkey grasped it a bit but LM didn’t have a clue what was going on really! It didn’t help that it was a busy day as sometimes we had to wait to get to one of the signs, which the little ones really didn’t see the point of!

Then, the worst bit for us was that the final one, with the Gruffalo… Just didn’t work. I tried a few times and restarted the app but just nothing. I don’t think we were the only ones either so it was a shame. By that point the kids were pretty hungry anyway we easily distracted them and headed to the cafe.

I don’t think the app and the downsides detracted from our enjoyment of the trail… But actually I don’t think they enhanced it either. We all loved running around and playing in the woods and looking out for clues. The images we saw and pics we took gave us a bit of a giggle but I just think that actually for my kids at least, that they would have liked something tangible they could see, more than something on a screen. It also meant I was behind my screen a lot trying to get it to work, rather than being present and joining in the fun with them.

Like I say, we had a really lovely day. Catching up with great friends and having a fun outdoor adventure in lovely woods on a gorgeous day. I’m just not sure I’d bother with the app next time!PhotoGrid_1491833176426

Have you tried the Gruffalo Spotter app? What did you think? Am I being overly negative about it or did you think the same?

 

Social Awkwardness and the School Run

So Monkey started school last week and there are big changes in store for him and for all of us. He did so well and is loving school. I am getting used to the school run but I have never looked forward to the whole playground mums thing. The social etiquette, the cliques and just figuring out how to navigate it all makes me very nervous.

I’m not the most socially confident person. I wouldn’t call it shyness really, more a social awkwardness. In certain situations I can hide it. I can make small talk, I can strike up a bit of a conversation with another parent at play area or baby group. I can be polite and friendly. But in a bigger group I find that much much harder. And taking it beyond politeness and small talk and I really falter. It’s one of the reasons I don’t feel I’ve connected with many bloggers and why you won’t find me at a blogging event. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m terrified I will say something stupid. That people will sort of “see through me” and put simply, won’t like me. So in general I keep people at a certain distance.

I’ve always been a little like this but it has gotten worse over recent years, in part due to the disintegration of my friendship with the girls I at one time considered my closest friends. The breakdown of any relationship can leave scars and this one definitely did. I’m not going to go into all the why’s and wherefores. I know I wasn’t blameless but I also know it wasn’t entirely my fault. It was a disintegration that happened over the course of a few stressful years, in the run up to my wedding, immediately after it, all throughout my difficult pregnancy with Monkey and through those hard first months with him.

Whenever we arranged to meet up I would be anxious in the days beforehand and generally have a sleepless night the night before, imagining all that could go wrong, what I would say that would provoke that response. The meet up itself would never be quite as bad as I feared but there would be barbs and thinly veiled insults that I would then relive for days wondering what I could have said or done differently. Wishing I had the guts to give as good as I got. These were my closest friends. Nuts eh? It just wasn’t healthy and eventually I walked away.

The trouble is that they were so ready and willing to see the worst in me. To believe the worst. It made me question myself, to question if I really was this awful person they seemed to believe me to be. These were some of my oldest friends, surely they knew me better than that? Or was I really, actually like that?

Thankfully they weren’t my only friends and I grew much closer to some of my other friends who had kids around the same time. Friends who couldn’t understand what was going on and who dubbed the others my “frenemies.” Friends who thankfully like me the way I am and don’t make me second guess myself all the time.

It’s all about 4 years ago now and I have moved on, I’m no longer terrified of running into them or seeing them somewhere. But it has affected me a lot. I struggle to let anyone in and am constantly worried about saying the wrong thing to a friend and the same thing happening again. One of my newest close mummy friends went a bit funny with me recently and I over analysed everything and thought I had ruined another friendship. Faced with those feelings I do one of 2 things, I try and over compensate for what I think I have done wrong… Or I back off completely to try and maintain a bit of pride and sort of not show I care. It turned out my friend’s dad was ill and she was very worried about him. I of course supported her and kicked myself for assuming the worst and assuming it was about me. But that’s what I do.

During those few days (which were also in the run up to Monkey starting school) I had a dream where I was talking about it to my brothers and they laughed in my face and said “yeah but that’s what you’re like isn’t it? You always say the wrong thing!” and it was horrible. I felt so rubbish and I don’t think they do actually think that about me but subconsciously I clearly do. It’s so annoying and self-defeating and self-centred to always make things about me and to assume it is always my fault and I try really hard to break the cycle but it isn’t easy.

I was supposed to meet up with a very lovely blogger recently and we couldn’t make it unfortunately due to various reasons and I have to admit that much as I wanted to meet up and get to know her, part of me was relieved. I was so worried she wouldn’t like me or that I would say something stupid and we wouldn’t get on.

The school run means challenges like this daily and I guess just reminds me of my anxieties. There are 60 kids in Monkey’s intake and though they are split into 2 classes, they are all sharing the same huge foundation stage area. So that’s 60 sets of parents I will see twice a day, every school day, for the next year, and beyond. As I said I can do the smile and small talk (even though doing so makes me feel horribly uncomfortable)… But not beyond that. I know some of the mums of Monkey’s preschool friends, but not many. Even there I struggled to have the confidence to talk to any of the groups of mums who already knew each other and it’s even worse now. There are so many opportunities for me to make a complete idiot of myself!

Ive umm-ed and ah-ed about whether to actually post this post as it feels quite self indulgent and wasnt really the post I intended to write when I started out. I don’t think I had realised how my apprehension of the school run and the social etiquette of the playground had  brought back all my feelings of inadequacy to the extent that it has. Maybe I needed to write this as some sort of cathartic experience and then move on. I was chatting to a lovely mum when I dropped Monkey off earlier and nthing terrible happened… I don’t have to be best friends with these people immediately, if ever so the lesson to me is to stop wrrying so much!

Does the school run make you nervous? Are you a social butterfly of the playground?

Focussing on Happy #3 “Support”

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 :)PhotoGrid_1466665407944

Enjoying Father’s Day morning at a local country park with Hubs’ parents, enjoying a rare bit of sunshine and warmth and having a lovely time together before saying goodbye to Hubs the next morning.PhotoGrid_1466665635723

Seeing how much LM loved the huge puddles when the rain returned on Monday, though I was less impressed at how many times I had to change both our clothes that day!PhotoGrid_1466666154171

Having a lovely sunny playdate with some friends round on Tuesday – chilling with friends in the sunshine is how a summer playdate should be, right?PhotoGrid_1466668778451

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.

Having Uncle Mark and Aunty Fran round to help with bath and bedtime Tuesday night. The kids are so close to them and have so much fun with them it is wonderful.PhotoGrid_1466668472615

Strawberry picking with my Mum on Wednesday, more to come on that tomorrow!

Popping round to see the Grandparents Wednesday afternoon then both my Mum and Uncle Paul popping in to help with the kiddies while I sorted tea and got some jobs done.20160622_173741

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.PhotoGrid_1466687901684

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?

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What Katy Said

Saturday

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

Traffic Problems & Toddler Tantrums but a Terrific day

On Bank Holiday Monday we met up with our very good friends Chris and Sarah (from Run, Jump, Scrap) and their gorgeous Gremlin. We chose to head back to the wonderful National Trust Stowe to see what it was like there in Spring and on the whole it was such a wonderful day. It was';t without it’s challenges though as was bookended by some pretty bad traffic and well with 3 under 4s there is bound to be 1 or 2 tantrums during the day isn’t there?

The day started off well and of a couple of different routes, we chose to go via Milton Keynes, as we thought it was the fastest option. Unbeknownst to us at the time however there was a marathon on and loads of road closures. We were making good progress and then, suddenly, boom. Road Closed. No warning, no diversion, not even a reason why. Just got to a roundabout and the A421 was closed. We followed a couple of cars down a different road that seemed to lead to an alternaye route but all roads leading from there were closed too. We ended up down a dead end and waited our turn to do a u-turn. Then a parked car suddenly reversed, crashed into the side of our car – and drove off! We just sat there in shock and disbelief but gathered our wits enough to note down their number plate and take pictures of where we were and what happened.

We carried on and with thanks to google maps on my phone managed to navigate our way out of MK and on to Stowe where we tried to put it behind us for a few hours! We were lucky that despite forecasts for grey clouds we had a lot of sunshine and it was really really mild. The kids had a lovely time exploring and we had a lovely picnic.stowe 1

Monkey and Gremlin also had lots of giggles with bubbles and hiding under a picnic blanket together bless them haha.stowe 3

There was a lot of tree climbing going on which was lovely but also tricky when the kids are so little and there was one or tantrums at this point haha. All good fun though!stowe 2

We then came to a fantastic monument up a hill which the kids adored rolling down, climbing up, running down etc. We spent quite a bit of time here and enjoyed the sunshine and scenery.stowe 4

There was one brilliant moment where Gremlin was trying to roll down the hill but not really pointing in the right direction. Her Daddy tried to help only to be firmly told “no Daddy I can do it” and I have to admit when she hadn’t moved a few minutes later I did think to myself “Hmm are you sure about that??” hehe bless her.20160502_123331

We were having so much fun that I decided to try and get a group shot of us all using the selfie stick and capturing a frame from a video. As you will see in this unedited video, it did not go too well haha.

Three uncooperative kiddies with four desperately encouraging parents! haha love it all the same as just makes me giggle, especially the Gremlin’s face!20160502145349

I also loved trying to get a photo of all 3 of the kiddies smiling sat together on a bench… completely impossible hahastowe 5

a compilation of the best 3 shots however, is gorgeous!PhotoGrid_1462203422602

We had seen on the map that there was a cafe on the far side of the gardens so headed there. It was in one of the monuments which was so cool so we ordered and waited. Never fun keepung the kids entertained in those situations and the order seemed to be taking forever. So with stress levels rising we eventually asked what was going on, only to be told that there had been a power cut and they couldn’t fulfill our orders. Why they couldnt have told us that I have no idea! It didnt really make sense as hot drinks seemed to still be going out to other people so we didnt really get what was going on so eventually just got a refund. Thankfully we all had a few supplies left from the picnic to placate the kids and we started the walk back across to the entrance.

On that walk back it actually started too rain so maybe it all worked out for the best anyway. We eventually got back to the entrance, by which time LM had fallen asleep in the pushchair, and decided to make our way home. Thankfully LM transferred to the car easily and slept for another hour at least as the traffic on the journey home was terrible! A journey that should take a bit over an hour took over two so we were shattered and grumpy by the time we got home!

Still, none of that detracted from the fun we had with our friends. The police and insurers are on the case about the driver who hit us so hopefully we won’t lose out as a result of that either. In the meantime we look forward to catching up with Chris, Sarah and Gremlin again very soon!

And then the fun began...Mummascribbles
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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

I get by, with a little help from my friends

My word of the week this week, is friends, because I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful friends have in my life and honestly don’t know how I would cope without them!

Last Friday night my closest Mummy friends and I got together for a much needed catch up and meal out. We all worked together pre-children and since having our little munchkins we have gotten so close. We share the ups and the downs and though we really are all quite different, we support each other and are 100% there for each other. As one of my friends put it the other night, we are so lucky we found each other. It had been far too long since our last catch up without children and I hope we don’t leave it so long next time. We got things off our chests, shared the highs and lows of life lately and gave each other a good talking to where needed. Love my girls and I felt so happy and chilled afterwards.

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I’ve also had some lovely time with some newer mummy friends this week and play dates with their little ones. Since Monkey started our local preschool I have gotten to know a few of the local mums. I am a bit of an introvert so find the playground mums thing really awkward but there are a couple of mums I really get on with. One in particular introduced me to someone as the first mummy friend she had met who she would have been friends with pre-children, which I was really touched by. She and I really click which is lovely as her eldest will be in Monkey’s class at primary school, so I think we have many years of friendship ahead of us! Some of the other mummies I chat to on the playgroup run are equally lovely and sometimes just those few mins chatting at the beginning and end of the day, sharing trials and tribulations really can make so much difference to how I feel at the end of the day.

Screenshot_20160420-205641I have also felt incredibly grateful for the friendship and support I get online as a result of my blog and social media this week. Parenting can be so hard, and after sharing a particularly low morning on Instagram and Facebook, the support and encouragement I got from cyber friends was incredible. Many are women I have never met but thanks to the internet we are able to reach out and support each other through this motherhood journey, and I am so grateful for that.

My blog has connected me to so many wonderful people, and as I can be a bit introverted as I mentioned above, I don’t always make the most of this. I shy away from blog conferences and meeting fellow bloggers purely out of shyness and a lack of confidence in myself. But this week I have finally arranged to meet up with a blogger I have admired for some time. I am nervous but we get on so well in typing that I hope we will get on as well in person!

My blog has also reconnected me with people I have lost touch with over the years. A lovely lady I met travelling 9 years ago got in touch this week and told me how much my blog helps her through her motherhood journey, and well wow, what an awesome thing. Helping anyone with my ramblings is amazing and reconnecting with a friend from my past is always lovely. There are other lovely blogging mummies that I worked with in a previous life, and I’ve mentioned before how Sarah from Run, Jump, Scrap and I have become much closer through blogging. Our husbands have been friends since childhood so it really is great when we all get together. We have arranged to meet next weekend and I am so looking forward to that!  The friendship side was just something I really never expected when I started writing my little blog but it is a fantastic bonus.

The final reason that my word of the week this week is friends, is because Saturday is my birthday, and we are having a bbq in the afternoon (fingers crossed for kind weather!) with lots of family and friends over. Once again I am so grateful for having so many lovely people in my life who are coming to celebrate with me, please cross your fingers for good weather for me, otherwise we may have a slightly crowded house!

How has your week been?

The Reading ResidenceAnd then the fun began...Mummascribbles

Little Miss’s first trip to the zoo!

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.

It was a beautiful day and LM loved running about everywhere and was so excited by seeing all the animals… Though I am pretty sure she wanted to cuddle the wallabies and lemurs!PhotoGrid_1460378460427

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.PhotoGrid_1460378777738

We had a lovely picnic lunch then both kiddies enjoyed a play on the fab playpark.PhotoGrid_1460378996569

We had another good wander after lunch to see some more animals and met this fabulous owl. He really took me by surprise when I turned and saw these beautiful eyes staring at me.PhotoGrid_1460380509192

We had such a wonderful day enjoying the sun and having fun as a family and with our friends.PhotoGrid_1460379559365

Do your little ones like the zoo?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Best of Worst

Monkey Says – age 3 3/4

Our little boy seems to get cuter all the time. And the things he says these days? Oh he makes me chuckle, and sometimes makes me melt. He also makes me cross though, no doubt about that!

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So what little gems has he been coming out with lately?Well for a start he is now copying a lot of the things we say, and hearing a 3 year old come out with some adult phrases really is so cute. For example

What in the world!?” and “What on earth?” when he doesn’t understand something or sees something new. Then there is also “It’s the biggest I ever seen” and “I never seen it!” meaning he has never seen anything like it before. So cute!

Less cute is when he copies our stern voice and tells us off.  “Don’t do that to me” and “Ok I said” which really riles us up. Especially when he is steadfastly ignoring us and after repeating a request (for example, Please eat your porridge) he responds very loudly with “Ok!” ooh makes us grumpy! And then when he says “Ok just calm down guys” it either makes me chuckle or really winds me up as generally I am perfectly calm and wish he would just do what I am asking him to!

I have to admit I loved it when I was pulling a daft face and he put on his stern voice and pointed at me and said “Stop doing that face ever again. You mustn’t do that again ok?” haha bless him. Not sure pulling a funny face warranted the voice and commands usually reserved for him hitting or pushing his sister though!

The way he copies the things Daddy and I say to LM is interesting too. He is forever telling her off for throwing her food on the floor or for standing on the sofa which is very sweet but sadly she ignores him even more than she ignores us. Yes she really is a madam at the moment. I love it when he copies us by calling her a “cheeky madam” though. He really hates sharing with his sister at the moment and I did think it was very cute when he held up a toy in front of her and said “Father Christmas got me this so it’s mine, ok?

20160127_104051 (3)Monkey may be stroppy at times but he is such a softy and is so loving. Daddy normally does bathtime but I was having a bath with him & LM the other day and melted when he came out with “You’re very pretty aren’t you. I’m married to you aren’t I?” and he frequently tells us “I just love you so much” and he does include his little sister in this too frequently combining that statement with a huge hug that often knocks her over haha

The questions have really stepped up lately, though not in the way I would have thought. He is constantly seeking confirmation about things he has said at the moment. “I’m all snuggled aren’t I? That box is annoying isn’t it? I need another blanket don’t I?”  I think this is again something we do with him. When we are talking to him we sometimes ask questions at the end of a sentence to encourage a response and I think this is his version of this. I have to admit that it is frustrating sometimes though constantly having to respond to everything he says!

His imagination is really showing at the moment and coming out in the form of some cracking comments.

“That was a big poo poo. It’s like a creature or something!”

“I’ve got to go and look after LM”

When something was broken and I said it couldn’t be fixed “It’s ok, the elves will come and fix it, won’t they?” Errrrm

monkeysaurus rexHe gives his toys characters a lot of times and actually inanimate objects too and they after often missing their mummy or daddy, daft little cutie! He loves dressing up at the moment too and adores pretending to be Andy from Andy’s Wild Adventures… and dressing up as a dinosaur. But he does want to make sure that he is a “friendly dinosaur” and whenever we talk about any animals, tigers, lions, crocodiles, sharks etc… they must be “friendly” ones.

He is interacting more and more with friends now at playgroup and often comes home telling me so and so is his best friend – and it changes quite a lot! Harvey, Jack, Michael, Preston haha. He has also played so so nicely with some of my friends little boys recently which has been amazing for me as he has someone else to play with! He still needs a lot of interaction the rest of the time. I loved it though when he was playing with a friend the other day and he suddenly says “Mummy, LM isn’t bad, is she?” Of course I said no and he turns to his friend and says “see, LM’s not bad.” Bless him defending his little sister!

playing with friends

One thing that he has picked up from friends that I am not keen on is the concept that some things are for girls to play and with and some things are for boys to play with. That’s just noth something I agree with and both kids play with dolls, cars, whatever and the only things LM can’t play with at the moment are those that pose a choking risk. So when he says “this isn’t for girls, it’s just for boys isn’t it?” m response is with a fairly firm no and telling him that both boys and girls can do the same things and play with all the same toys. We will see how that concept progresses over time I guess!

Another of Monkey’s favourite sentences at the moment is “Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.” or “Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t” usually after we have explained something to him or talked about something. Sometimes it is very accurate but sometimes it isn’t remotely relevant to what we have been talking about haha. Clearly copies that from me though!

Phew I could probably go on forever as he does come out with such cute little comments, but I will leave it there till next time!