Potty Training Little Miss

I’m no parenting guru by a long shot and generally have no clue what I’m doing, but one thing I know is that potty training is all about when your child is ready. It’s not because you think it’s time, or because your friend thinks so or because so and so down the street who is 6 months younger is potty trained. Every child is different and the best time to do it is when your child is ready.

With Monkey we tried at 2 1/2 but he was in no way ready. After about 13 accidents the first morning we gave up. At age 3 we tried again and it was instantaneous. He got it and it basically took no work at all.

I’ve had a feeling that LM was ready for a few weeks. She’s been telling me when she’s done poos and even when she’s done a wee and needs a change. She’s also been going for a while with a dry nappy. Then last week we had our first ever wee wee in the potty. So with half term approaching I thought it was a good time to make a start. A time when we don’t have school runs to worry about and could just focus on it properly. The amazing weather really helped too as we were able to spend a the first two days in the garden, with her running around in the nude.

We aren’t using any specific method, or product or gimmicks. We are just heaping on the praise and positivity and helping her learn about her body and learn to recognise the feeling. I personally think having nothing on for the first day or so really helps as they are more aware of their body that way. Seems to be working with LM anyway but again every kid is different!

I’m not going to go into the details of every wee and poo, for her sake, but she has done so well. We’ve obviously had accidents and a couple of puddles inside but there hasn’t been many in the grand scheme of things and less over the few days we have been doing it. She is showing great control and does a wee on the potty when we tell her too, so before bath, before we go out, and that kind of thing, which is really good. We went to the shops yesterday and had no accidents so took that as being very positive for day 3!

With Monkey he basically used the toilet straight away but LM is all about the potty and she’s not translating it to the toilet yet. I don’t know how to do that really but I assume we will figure it out and she will get there so I’m not worried.

We still have a way to go, and no doubt there will be more accidents to come, I am under no illusions about that, but she’s doing so well so far. I’m really proud of this girl of mine, she really is growing up!IMG_20170527_190611_048

Monkey turns 3…

My little Monkey turns 3 this week and I can’t quite believe it.

Monkey is 3

Three years since I became a Mummy! I look at him running around and chatting and singing and lolloping like a teenager and I wonder where he came from. Do you ever feel like that? My friends look at me like I am potty when I say that, but sometimes I find it hard to  reconcile him with the baby that was created inside me.

Don’t worry I am not going to get all deep or profound, I just want to make a little record of everything that makes Monkey Monkey, as he turns three. The good and the bad. As he simultaneously amazes and frustrates me on a daily basis!

A lot has happened in the past year and he really has grown up so much, sometimes he seems so mature… but of course he is still a little tot really. Considering the fact that he was barely speaking at all this time last year, his speech is incredible now and improving all the time. We are suddenly realising that a lot of his babyish pronunciations are being replaced by the correct word. For example “cuityet,” became “biscuityet” and is now “Biscuit.”

He now questions everything ‘What you doing?’ ‘Where’s daddy?’ and my most recent favourite ‘What’s it all about guys?’ to hubs and I – not sure where he picked up that one! Like a sponge he is picking up words and phrases all the time and parroting them back, sometimes in the right context but not always! He is really trying to grasp the concept of time too, and sometimes he gets it right ‘we saw Uncle Simon yesterday’ and other times not ‘I went to play group tomorrow’ or ‘we going to the traypark (playpark) yesterday ‘

His imagination is amazing and just growing all of the time. He held up a piece of bread the other day and announced ‘look it’s a whale’ (and it was very whale shaped) then took a bite and said ‘now it’s a boat!’ In the same way that he saw a whale in his slice of bread, he sees letters everywhere too, in shapes that form in his bath bubbles, in the sand pit and in the lentils we play with. He loves letters but has retained his love of numbers too, randomly counting to 40 on a family walk, and reading the side of a measuring jug we are playing with, so he recognises numbers in the hundreds and thousands!

His imagination is helping at playtime too, playing with trains the other day he grabbed some cuddly toys and announced ‘tickets please’ and made them all give him pretend tickets, and he gives all his toys voices too which is just adorable. On another occasion, we had loads of fun playing with his motorbike outside where he wheeled up to my ‘petrol station’ (the swing) and paid me to fill up the tank (using a bubble wand) then I had to give him his keys, hehe. Almost everything has the potential to be a rocket ship too… with crayons, toy screws, cars and all sorts being vooshed around the house until I made him a very basic rocket which he loves!

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He sings all the time and at the moment his favourites are the Postman Pat and Bob the Builder theme tunes, which he knows pretty much word perfectly (even if it does sound a little like ‘Postman Pat is a black and white cat’ sometimes).

He is such a caring little boy for the most part frequently giving us all (including LM) cuddles and saying ‘I love you so much’ which melts my heart everytime. He quite often asks us ‘are you ok?’ and when he is playing with cars now tells me to be careful so I don’t slip… potentially as a result of seeing me slip more than once!

He loves helping (which is great as it is often a good way to persuade him to do something) and particularly loves helping Daddy in the garden.

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He also loves making his sister laugh, which is lovely.

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On the flipside he is going through a fearful phase and seems to have a little separation anxiety. He has been having ‘bad dreams’ and getting scared of things he isn’t usually afraid of, including episodes of Postman Pat that he was watched many many times before.He says he misses us when he goes to playgroup and gets upset about going even though he does have fun when he is there. He is increasingly jealous of LM now and wants our attention when we are looking after her. Again getting upset at times which is hard.

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He had to go in the buggy so he could play with the toys that are there for LM!

 

But then he is so contrary too and sometimes when we give him our attention he doesn’t want to know… but of course when we are busy he desperately wants our attention. He would swear black is white sometimes and if we say no we don’t have something, he will insist we do, which when we really don’t is incredibly frustrating! Though I suspect he is just being a normal three year old so try not to let it irk me too much.

Although we have times where he drives me a bit crazy, for the most part he is such a lovely little boy and I am so proud of him and I can’t quite believe he is my little boy.

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Proud of my Monkey

I only wrote an update on what Monkey is up to at the moment last week, but then he went and did two things that made me so darn proud to be his Mummy that I just have to share them.

Standing up for himself

We went on a playdate to one of our fave soft play places last week with good friends. Monkey and his friend were having a lovely time going up the steps and down the slide while us Mums were having a natter and playing with LM. Then to my right I suddenly saw an altercation.

A little boy, younger than Monkey but walking and talking (so difficult to gauge age) hit Monkey. I’m not sure why but Monkey was half climbing the step and had turned back and the little boy was standing on the floor and had hit him. Instead of hitting back, Monkey loudly and clearly said “Stop it!” to the other little boy (I hung back, it is always good to see if things can be sorted between themselves). Unfortunately the other boy then spat in Monkey’s direction and actually slapped him in the face.

Of course I intervened and started to say “Excuse me, that is not nice” but the boy’s daddy ran over and told him off and made him apologise. The point though? My lovely Monkey didn’t hit back, didn’t retaliate, but he did stand up for himself, using words, not violence.

That made me HUGELY proud of him. So proud it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. His skin is like mine and turns red very easily so he had a bright red cheek for a while and the thought of him being hurt by another child also makes me quite protective!

I was also proud as he didn’t let it bother him. He didn’t get upset by it or stop playing. In the not too distant past an altercation like this would have really rattled Monkey. He would have been scared of the other child and of all other children for a while. This time last year he was terribly afraid of other children after being knocked over. So the fact that he was absolutely fine afterwards is just another sign of how grown up my little Monkey is getting. Definitely a proud mummy moment!

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Naming his drawings

Slightly less dramatic but another proud moment was when Monkey was doing some painting at the weekend. He actually started to tell me what he was drawing. In the past when i have asked him what he is drawing or painting he has sort of looked blankly while he splodged paint around and said “I don’t know.”

This time though I didn’t even ask but he proudly announced that one painting was a plane, “Dusty Crophopper” from the film Planes to be precise, and that the blue splodges were footprints.

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Then, my favourite, he painted a rocket ship with fire coming out of it!

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His imagination is really growing lately and he is coming on leaps and bounds all the time and may be a daft one but again I was just so so proud of him for drawing actual things and telling me what they were.

Oh yes and here he is really proud of his “rainbow finger” too.

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I love being his Mummy :)

My word of the week this week is, proud.

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Monkey visits the Theatre!

For a while now I have been thinking about taking Monkey to see a show, and wondering how he would get on. There are so many great shows out there aimed at kids but none of the big ones seem to come to our nearest theatre and I was loathe to take a big trip to one for him then to hate it and want to leave immediately. Shortly after Christmas Auntie Ericha called with a leaflet from our local theatre giving the names of a few child-friendly shows, and, after a bit of umming and ahing I decided that it was worth a go. So this weekend the three of us (Monkey, Auntie Ericha and I) headed off to the theatre for Monkey’s first ever show!

WP_20150216_10_51_13_ProWe went to see a puppet show called Arthur’s Dreamboat, which is aimed at ages 2-8, perfect for Monkey at 2 years 9mths. It is about a boy named Arthur who has a dream about a wonderful boat. He wakes in the morning and wants to tell his family about his amazing dream but they are all too busy to listen to him. He has a boat on his head that grows the more people he tells and eventually the boat gets big enough for all of them to sit in!

Monkey did really well at the theatre, he sat really quietly to wait for it to start although he did keep asking how long it was until it started, thankfully it only started a few minutes late, when most of the stragglers had arrived! When the lights went out he wanted them to be turned back on but thankfully was ok with the dark once the show started. The little boy behind who I guess was a similar age got very unhappy at the darkness and cried his head off – I did worry that the crying would be contagious but he did really well and thankfully the little boy behind us calmed down too.

One of the first puppets to come on was a dog which Monkey did not like “don’t like that” and again I worried that this was the beginning of the end. Thankfully though he did enjoy the people puppets and when they were on he sat mesmirised watching and listening… but every time the dog came on, which was supposed to be funny, Monkey hid bless him! Not sure why really, most of the other children seemed to love it!

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There is a bit where Arthur’s baby sister was hitting a lobster and Monkey really chuckled along. He was grinning away too, though it was so difficult to get a good shot of him in the dark I did manage to get a few pics!

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We had a lovely time and I think he did really well as it was a totally new experience. It was 45 mins long and that is about the longest he has ever sat still, even when watching his favourite “postman pat film” at home he is usually up and down and all over th eplace while watching it so this was really good. Maybe we aren’t too far away from taking him to see a longer show, or even to see a film at the cinema!

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Not My Year Off
Post Comment Love

Settling in to playgroup

As regular readers will know, Monkey started playgroup in January. Other than a few blips he has settled in so well and we are hugely proud of him.This is a little boy who has always been quite clingy, he had very bad separation anxiety and alwyas wanted his Mummy there. At soft play or at the playpark I have long been the mum with a child clinging to her legs unless I am clambering up the slide with him. I have wondered in the past if it is my fault because I am a SAHM and wondered if a nursery setting would have been better for him, or worse!

My fears and worries have subsided over the past year as he has grown up a bit and become more and more independant. I was still very nervous of him starting playgroup and he was originally due to start in November when he turned 2 1/2. Becuase this coincided very much with LM being born we decided to defer it a couple of months and start after Christmas. As the date neared, although a little apprehensive, I was quietly confident as he seemed to grow up a lot in the few short months since his baby sister was born and get that little bit more independant, I guess he had to really!

For Christmas we got him a lovely book to help him get excited about starting playgroup and in the week or so before he started we read it over and over again. He loved it and was definitely excited to go. The book was great too as it explained about Mummy going away, and then coming back again.

The big day dawned and it went pretty well. He pulled a sad face as I left but didn’t scream or cling, Apparently he was very unhappy throughout the session and he did cry when we picked him up but that was to be expected and we were so proud of him. The second day was much like the first and although he wasn’t too bad when I left him, they did say he had again been quite upset throughout and he cried when I collected him. On the walk home he was quite positive and saying he loved playgroup so I was comforted by that and was just praying things would improve.

running to playgroup with daddy on his first day

running to playgroup with daddy on his first day

Dropping him off for the 3rd session was the real low point. He cried a little before we left home but then cheered up and practically ran all the way there, very excited. He then cried when they opened the doors even though he had been saying he was excited to go in. He then cried for ages and clung to me, dragged me inside to where they read stories and didn’t want me to leave. I found that so hard but had to be strong and smile and promise I would pick him up. I smiled and left him in the care of the playgroup despite every instinct telling me it was wrong. I came home and struggled. I took to facebook for some reassurance, to hear from other Mummies that this was a low point and that it would get better. (Huge thanks to the lovely ladies who supported me through this.) I know that him going to playgroup is really good for him but I just worried that he wasn’t ready for it.

I was anxious the whole time he was there and concerned that it was getting worse rather than better. To my relief though, when I went to pick him up, one of the staff immediately said he had been better that day. He had been getting involved in activities and had not been upset. Phew! I nearly cried right then as it had felt worse at the drop off and I was concerned he would have been upset throughout again. To know he wasn’t was wonderful! He balled his head off when he came out and I really had to choke back the tears and not show him how upset I was, especially as my tears were more of relief than anything else!

On the way home that day he was telling me what he had done that day and he said “I cry a bit… don’t like cry” which nearly broke my heart and I told him it is ok to cry sometimes but that there was no need to cry at playgroup because playgroup is fun and Mummy will always come back and get him afterwards. He seemed pretty content with that.

On the 4th session he was again a little unhappy leaving home then excitedly running all the way there. He was so excited that unfortunately he tripped and cut his lip open halfway there! Not good timing! I had no tissues or wipes or anything ( as it is literally a 5 minute walk) so had to use my gloves and his scarf to mop up the blood pouring from his poor lip. I carried him the rest of the way and thankfully some other mummies had wipes to clean us up as we were both covered in blood at this point. I was really concerned about how upset he was but as soon as they opened the door he bounded right in. I explained to the staff about it but he seemed fine so I left him to it. The best thing was that that afternoon there was no tears at all when I picked him up, hooray!

And, well that was it. Since then he has not cried when I have dropped him off, or when I picked him up, and the news from the staff is that he is getting more and more confident. He goes outside to play and he loves joining in with the singing at the end. He is just loving it! He keeps saying “Is it playgroup tomorrow?” and “I do singing at playgroup” and he picks up toys and says “we have this at playgroup.” He is so proud of all the things he has made at playgroup and wants to show anyone and everyone all of his creations.

A few of Monkey's creations at playgroup!

A few of Monkey’s creations at playgroup!

It is such a relief to know he enjoys it so much and he is growing up more and more as the weeks go by so it was definitely the right thing to do!

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Little Miss at 4 weeks old

WP_20141118_09_38_01_ProLittle Miss is 4 weeks old today. The last 4 weeks seem to have both flown by and lasted forever, isn’t that just the way of it with newborn babies?

Colic has well and truly taken over too unfortunately. After spending a lot of time fretting about whether there was anything I could do to help or prevent the colic, at the weekend we reached a level of acceptance I think. We have to accept that our evenings and a lot of night times are spent trying to soothe a baby in pain. Horrible as it is, it is only for the next couple of months and then we know it gets better. We have been through it once with Monkey and we can get through it again.

Having said that, the last few days have been really tough. She is definitely worse when I have eaten dairy as on Monday night we had a really cheesy dinner. I didn’t even think about it as it was a meal made and frozen before she was born but it is made largely from milk and cheese. And well since then she has been really rough. That night was awful and Tuesday morning she did a weird jelly poo (sorry if TMI) and spent  lot of the day in quite a lot of pain and therefore very unhappy.

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Bye Bye Mummy

We have reached a bit of a milestone with our gorgeous boy. Not one you will find listed as a milestone in a baby book but a milestone  for us nonetheless. Monkey has always been, how do I say this nicely? Well, a bit clingy really. He has switched the clinginess between Mummy and Daddy but in general he has always wanted to be very close to one of us, pretty much at all times.

He just isn’t a child who will run off to play at a play area, or who is happy to be looked after by anyone else. He likes to know where Mummy and Daddy are, he wants us to be with him. The degree of this has fluctuated over time, and we have had periods of real separation anxiety, and periods where things have been a little easier, but the attachment has always been there. It is just a part of who he is.

Lately though, there have been some real signs of independence. Every Monday his Nanny & Pops take him out to rhyme time at the local library. All 3 of them love their time together and he has always enjoyed it… but until recently he has kicked up a bit of a fuss about leaving me at home. He’s been fine by the time they got to the end of the street, and even the end of the drive some days but there has been a few tears every time for a while.

The last few weeks though have been a lot better. Instead of getting upset, he has left with no fuss at all. He takes his Nanny’s hand and walks out the door. And as he goes.. he says “Bye Mummy.”

It is amazing how much I love those two little words and I am so proud of him, growing up and taking those first steps of independence. In many ways he is the same as ever and wants me with him at the play area, and likes to know where Mummy & Daddy are all the time, but it is still a big step in the right direction.

Bye Mummy

Bye Mummy

Ethans Escapades
#BabyBabble

Baby, baby, baby

The only word I can think up to sum up this week is “baby!” Because, since our scan on Tuesday, the fact that we are having another baby has suddenly become more real. Whether it is because we know “it” is in fact a “she,” or because we know that she is growing well in there I’m not sure, but she has now become a reality.

It’s suddenly dawned on me that we are in no way ready for another baby! I know we have a while to go yet and so I am not overly stressed or panicky, but I am suddenly feeling that we aren’t ready, and I so hate being unprepared for things. Complete control freak! I know I’ve been thinking about things like whether to get a new buggy, but that’s as far as we’ve got, thinking. My lovely physio (who is also pregnant, and due a week or 2 before I am) was asking me last week if we had everything and if we were ready, and I was so blasé and said we were pretty sorted, when we really aren’t!

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Our Brave Little Monkey!

Part 2 of the bad bank holiday weekend story!

After coming home from hospital Saturday night, thankfully hubby and I managed to get a decent night’s sleep. Sunday afternoon we had planned to have Monkey’s 2nd birthday party. As what I had been so poorly with didn’t appear to be contagious and, though I was very tired, I was feeling a lot better so we decided to go ahead as planned. We did have chats with some of the family and Monkey’s Great Grandpa decided not to risk it in case he did get poorly, but everyone else wanted to come along and celebrate the little man’s birthday, and I certainly didn’t want my being ill to put a stop to the fun!

Everything was fine throughout the day and hubby’s bro came round to give us a hand with jobs and entertaining Monkey as I was still not a lot of use to man or beast! We popped to the shops to buy a birthday cake as we hadn’t been able to make one, and Monkey desperately wanted the Peppa Pig cake and insisted on carrying it all round the shops, back to the car, and in the car on the way home! Miraculously it survived! (Sadly I didn’t get a pic of this – a clear sign I was not well and wasn’t thinking clearly lol!)

Monkey had his nap and then the family started arriving and Monkey woke around 4, which was when we had planned to start everything. It all started off really well and Monkey was thoroughly enjoying opening his presents and having his family round.

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Then, about half an hour in, things went pear shaped :(

Monkey threw up everywhere, the poor thing, and we were immediately concerned but tried to be optimistic. “He’s just over-excited” was said numerous times, albeit with frowns and doubting looks! He opened a few more presents and then threw up again, and again. There was no escaping it now, Monkey had caught whatever bug I had. Our wonderful lovely family were so great at helping tidy things away and even clearing up the puke while hubs and I looked after our little man, but we made it clear, particularly to older and more vulnerable members that they should get outta there as soon as they wanted as we really didn’t want anyone else to catch it!

What followed was our little man being really poorly and throwing up a lot over the course of the evening, but you know what? He was such a darling. He coped so well with it all and we were so proud of him as he just acted so maturely for a just turned 2 year old.

He basically wanted to be in bed, on his own. When he was throwing up or crying, of course we were there, to cuddle, clean up, change sheets and clothes, rub his back and soothe him as much as possible. But basically as soon as he had finished, and often before we had finished cleaning floors etc, he would snuggle down in bed and wave goodbye,as if to say “It’s ok Mum & Dad I want to sleep now.” One time I lingered briefly in the doorway after he’d waved me away, because honestly I didn’t want to leave my poorly boy alone. I wanted to hold him and let him sleep on me. But he lifted his head, frowned and waved at me again, like “seriously, leave me alone, mum.” Honestly he melted my heart.

Another time hubby and I were knelt at the side of his bed and he was looking up at us with his gorgeous puppy dog eyes and Daddy said “Are you ok Monkey?” Monkey shrugged his shoulders, held his hands out to either side, and said in his gorgeous way one of the few phrases he knows “I don’t know.” Then he snuggled back down and again when we hadn’t left immediately, lifted his hand and waved us away.

Sadly a few hours later hubby also succumbed to the bug and was terribly, terribly poorly. My worst point of the night was soothing a poorly little man upstairs, with puke in my ear and hair, and all down my back, while listening to hubby throwing up downstairs. Really not a very good point of the weekend, and honestly with still not feeling 100% myself, being surrounded by all that vomit was not very fun.

We survived however, as you do, with numerous loads of laundry.Thankfully ages ago we bought a spare version of Monkey’s favourite blanket and managed to keep the two blankets in rotation between wash cycles. We only have one doggy bear unfortunately (Monkey’s favourite comforter, so named because we have no idea if it is supposed to be a dog or bear!) as it was a gift and we have never been able to find it to buy a spare. Thankfully he survived the night with some damp cloths and got a good wash in the morning! If anyone has seen this dog/bear/comforter toy anywhere, please let me know so we can buy an emergency replacement for the future!

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Monkey slept through from around 11pm (thank goodness) and hubby managed to sleep from about 2.30am. Around 6 am I heard Monkey knocking around and so went to give him a little water. Again, as soon as he had his drink, he gave me a wave and snuggled back down again to get some more sleep, and slept in til around 9am (VERY late for him).

Amazingly he was full of beans yesterday (Monday), and had far more energy than hubby or I, so he managed to open his remaining presents and have a good play, though a lot of Peppa Pig was watched!

Opening presents in his jammies

Opening presents in his jammies

Poorly boys watching TV

Poorly boys watching TV

Unfortunately though he had a poorly tummy Monday night and was not himself Tuesday morning. He threw up again and then slept a large portion of the day away, though he did later perk up (in between naps) and have a good play and a munch on some dry crackers. He was much happier after a second long nap in the afternoon and ate some soup for tea, so fingers crossed he really is through the worst this time! Hubby is also doing a lot better today thankfully though he and I are both still pretty exhausted from the whole weekend! As I type though i can hear lots of post bath time fun and singing of row, row the boat so I am confident both my boys are on the mend, if a little skinnier than a few days ago!

We are just amazed by how well Monkey coped throughout the whole thing. Obviously he cried a lot and was very upset when he was being sick etc. and obviously we would have been there to cuddle, rock and soothe all through the night if he had wanted or needed us. But he didn’t. He wanted his bed and his favourite things, and to be alone. Even today (Tuesday), he has made it clear when he wanted to go back to bed and just be on his own and it has felt so strange being without him through the day. But, I guess when you scale it up to adulthood, it’s what we want to do. To just rest and be on your own. To have a bit of a moan and receive some comfort, but then go and get some more sleep again.

So it may seem like a strange post to link up to Small Steps, Amazing Achievements, and Loud & Proud, but we are so so proud of him and can’t believe how quickly our little monkey is growing up!

N.B. We still have the Peppa Pig cake, it never made it out of the box – so as soon as the illness is well and truly gone our brave little monkey will get a lovely treat!

Oh, and thankfully, at the time of writing, none of our family have caught the nasty bug so fingers crossed none of them will either!

Ethans Escapades

Not My Year Off