Wow hasn’t it been a hot one this week? My social media feeds have been full of sunny scenes; blue skies, paddling pools, ice creams and lots of smiles. There has also been plenty of moaning about the heat which amuses me given that a week ago many of us were moaning about our lack of summer. But hey, we’re British and moaning about the weather is just what we do. Plus it has been seriously hot!
So what else to do than to try and find ways of keeping cool. Fans in bedrooms, ice on temples, ice lollies, oh and of course playing with water in the garden. I love our garden, we’ve put in a tonne of effort to get to this point and now it just such a lovely place to be. I also really love our gazebo as it provides us with some much needed shade on these hot hot days. Because pictures speak louder than words, instead of rambling on, I will show you how much fun we’ve been having outside this week.
So at the end of a summers day this is what my garden should like. Covered in abandoned toys, with sand and water everywhere. Miscellaneous items of clothing and towels strewn across chairs to dry and just general detritus left about. Evidence of a lot of fun had outside, and evidence that I have enjoyed it as much as my kids have rather than constantly cleaning up after them.
I am so British and I talk about the weather far too often but hasn’t the weather been glorious this week? So nice to finally feel the warmth of the sun and we have spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying it.
Last weekend we spent a lot of time outdoors doing some gardening. We were due to have some friends to visit but their little girls came down with a nasty stomach bug poor things so that had to cancel at the last minute. We thought we would take the opportunity to do a few bits on our front garden as we have finally had the driveway finished and it was time to lay some turf and do a bit of reorganising out there.
Bank holiday Monday we went to meet some friends at NT Stowe for the day, I will share more about that in a separate post but we had a lovely day and were lucky to get a bit of sunshine!
Tuesday Monkey and I were both feeling full of cold so actually spent most of the day indoors, but we did go for a walk and a scoot and I am so proud of Monkey as he is amazing on his scooter all of a sudden. He’s not been keen on this new one and really hasn’t wanted to learn how to do it, but he has finally got it and looks so grown up scooting down the path.
I was also proud of myself as even though I wasn’t feeling great I got out for a run. It’s my latest thing in a bid to get healthy and so far I really am enjoying it even though I’m not very good at the moment!
Wednesday my mum and I took the kiddoes to our favourite local farm Park and the weather was amazing! So warm and sunny and just lovely so we had such a wonderful day!
We spent more time outdoors at home that afternoon too watering the turf we have just laid and our little lady discovered she loves running through the spray of water from the hose. Shouldn’t be surprised really given how much she loves water!
I was also really proud of our Monkey who wanted to get on his bicycle. He’s had it nearly a year but we always struggle to motivate him to have a go. But one of his friends has recently got a bike and is already riding without stabilisers so his has definitely been a motivating factor for him! He has still a way to go but is definitely improving and his Uncle Marky popped over to borrow a ladder so he helped him out a bit too.
Thursday Monkey went off on a coach trip with playgroup, eek! Made me nervous but he had a wonderful time. Meanwhile LM had a little play with her friend (and I chatted with my friend) then we had another good friend pop over with her gorgeous little man, we went for a walk then enjoyed sitting out in the sunshine.
Finally this afternoon when Monkey returned from his trip we got some water in the tuff spot and had a play outside. Monkey wanted to take a picture of his baby sister and I and I was quite impressed with he got! Budding photographer. LM of course adored jumping and splashing in the water haha. Love this weather!
A couple of weeks ago we were at a friend’s house when LM climb herself up their step stool and started splashing at the sink. My friend was happy for her to do so with us keeping a close eye and said she did ‘tap time’ play with her little girl. For so long LM has been content to potter and while we do little activities it made me realise she was ready for more. So this week we have been having a lot of wet fun at our kitchen sink.
And it has been so so lovely to see her having so much fun exploring the water, pouring and splashing. She gets water absolutely everywhere but she has so much fun doing it.
Don’t get me wrong seeing her up the steps tool terrifies me slightly and unfortunately she has fidgeted and sidestepped off a couple of times. I felt awful but she wasn’t hurt as I was there to catch her and she was just desperate to get back up to the sink again. She now loves this and wants to do it all the time. The low point being when she slipped mid climb up and though I tried to catch her shecut her lip… but after a few years bless her she was right back up those steps determined to get to the sink and splash!
And who am I to resist when it makes her so happy?
Simple playtime ideas really are the best sometimes and it is lovely watching her concentrate and knowing she is learning while she is enjoing herself so much.
Much as I love doing more structured activities with Monkey, to make cards, or pictures or baking, some of my favourite activities are a lot more free play based. Activities I can set up pretty simply and then leave him to it. Watching where his imagination takes me always cracks me up and it’s also great to literally watch him learning as he plays.
Since LM was born and with all of the illness we have struggled with this year, I have gotten a bit lazy with regards to setting up activities, mainly out of fear. Fear of the mess I have to clean up. Fear of how stressed I am going to get dealing with him and the baby at the same time. I have pulled myself together a little though and one day decided to get a job done that has needed to be done for ages, and involve Monkey in a bit of free play at the same time.
The days are getting shorter and the evenings are drawing in, but for the moment it is still quite warm at least. When Daddy comes home just after 6 in the evening it is family dinner time, but after dinner is very much Monkey and Daddy time. Monkey loves the time he gets to spend with his Daddy and lately they have been very much making the most of the warm evenings and having a lot fun in the garden between dinner and bathtime. Monkey always has loads of energy at this time of day so I guess that’s why it is called the witching hour!
Most of the time I leave them to it but a couple of times lately I have poked my head out to watch the giggles.
Sometimes they do a bit of gardening, and Monkey loves running under the stream of water from the hose if Daddy is watering the plants.
Sometimes they just run around like a pair of loonies, or play in the sand pit, or on his climbing frame.
Whatever they do though they have a lot of fun together and the fun continues into bathtime. There was so much giggling at bathtime the other day that I poked my head in… to be told “bye mummy, close the door” by Monkey. Charming eh? I know when I am not wanted! Made me chuckle and made me very happy to know he was just having fun with his Daddy
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!
I’m not sure if it is toddlers in general or just him, but Monkey loves helping. He can be getting in the way and under my feet but if I give him a job to do, he is so excited. He doesn’t always actually help that much but it certainly keeps him busy while I am getting something done, and he does look cute while he is helping! Plus I figure it helps him learn life skills. For example he likes cleaning up after himself when he has spilt something on the floor or on the table.
So anyway we were doing some tidying in the front garden last weekend, which involved a bit of chopping but mainly weeding. Rather than Daddy doing it all and me trying to entertain Monkey elsewhere, we figured we could get Monkey involved. His Granny & Granddad bought him some gardening bits for his birthday, which have mainly been used in the sand pit so far, and it felt like the perfect opportunity to do some gardening with them!
There is a little outdoor water park in Peterborough (Bretton Water Park) that I have heard about a few times, but not been to before. It doesn’t really have much information online about where it is or how to get there but in photos I had seen on Facebook etc. it looked great, so I decided to give it a go.
We spent a lot of time enjoying the beach while we were on holiday, and I was loving how much Monkey was enjoying it, and how occupied he was with building in the sand. Now we are home and the nearest beach is over an hour away and too far to go for a day other than as a special event really! So with the sun shining last week I decided to re-create the beach feeling at home.
We got the paddling pool out and filled early in the morning in the hopes it would warm up. Last time we tried the paddling pool the water was just too chilly for Monkey and he didn’t like it. I thought it was worth a try though. I then got out his sand table, which he does love but is a bit small for making castles etc in, and then decided to use our Tuff Spot for added beach style fun.
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.