Lots of fun outdoors in the sun.

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.PhotoGrid_1462451960395

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!PhotoGrid_1462452168928

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!PhotoGrid_1462452395775

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!PhotoGrid_1462452801654

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.PhotoGrid_1462477006763

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!


My word of the week is outdoors.

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Little Miss is 18 mths old

Wow, so our gorgeous, clever little lady is 18mths old. I can’t believe it as the last 6 months have seriously flown by and she really is growing into a little girl before our eyes. Our baby girl is just not a baby anymore and that’s a scary thought.18 mths

So what is she up to? Well in many ways she’s not changed that much since my update last month, but in other ways she really is developing and changing so much all of the time.

So similarities first. She is still fiercely independent and loves to go her own way when we are out on walks. She is still absolutely obsessed with puddles and it can be seriously hard to get her away from one she is having fun splashing in. Cue screaming and tantrums and kicking off wellies as she certainly knows how to let us know her displeasure! She’s also discovered daisies this month too which really slows down our walks!PhotoGrid_1461566330322

Her communication is one area where she has really developed this month. We still don’t have many words but it really feels like she is on the cusp as there are lots of *almost* words. Still duck, hiya, mama, da-de (somewhere between dada and daddy), dat (that) but also approximations of no (nananananananana at increasing volume), yes, wow, out, down, boots, and my mum is convinced she has said car too. Aside from the words she is really good at letting us know what she wants and getting us to do her bidding. She has an ‘ayow’ noise, which accompanied by a hand wave, means “get me that” or “I want that” or “hold my hand” or basically “help me with this” which we have to interpret depending on the situation!

We are getting good at this but she does expect everyone to be able to understand her too. She is such a little attention seeker actually and loves getting people to do her bidding. On play dates she will always try and persuade (by taking their hands, saying ayow and leading them to where she wants) other mums to help her, even when she doesn’t really need helping! She is such a flirt too and positively beams at people and is learning that helps her get what she wants. Especially with her softy uncles who all adore her!

She has also developed some other really cute hand movements. She loves playing hide and seek (thankfully as Monkey insists on playing at least once a day) and is so cute when she holds her hands up and looks around in imitation of us saying “where’s he gone?”. She also does a similar hand movement when she has done something she is proud of. So when she has put some puzzle pieces in, or I’ve helped her finish something, and it is lovely seeing her so proud of herself. The other hand movement she has learned this month is a high five. She loves giving people high fives and generally has to give a high five to everyone in the building!PhotoGrid_1461585348189

Her personality is developing so much and she loves to laugh and loves trying to make people laugh. She’s actually a bit of a show off, running around and spinning and beaming at people who come to visit. As I mentioned she is an attention seeker so she likes going up to people and messing with them. With adults she goes up with a big grin and almost throws herself at them, and with other kids, she likes trying to tickle them and messes with their hair. She constantly does this to her brother and it does make him laugh!

She loves being chased by her brother and by me, and will take any opportunity, especially at nappy change time or when I am trying to get her dressed, to run away giggling! I do indulge her quite a bit as it is gorgeous seeing her so happy while saying “Mummy’s gonna get you..” hehe.PhotoGrid_1461576088907

Because I have felt a bit like I baby her I have been trying to make sure I do lots of activities with her this month. I looked up the activities I did with Monkey at this age and have been trying to do similar with LM. So we have been painting and playing with play doh which she loves. I’ve also got some puzzles and very simple jigsaws out and she loves having a go at those.PhotoGrid_1461585495955

We’ve also made a bit of a change this month and have moved from the high chair to a booster chair at the big table.
She was in the high chair far longer than Monkey and has always been happy in there but lately less so. She loves sitting at the big table with us and positively beams at Daddy and I during dinner which is amazing. Food wise we are going through a bit of a fussy stage with her unfortunately. I had hoped that baby led weaning would have maybe prevented this but I really hope she doesn’t get as bad as her brother was at this age. So far she still adores fruit, ans she likes what she likes. So meals we have frequently, such as tortellini in pasta sauce, curry, Thai curry, falafel, cheese on toast, soups, carbonara etc, she loves and will tuck into. Anything we haven’t had for a while or anything new she just will not try and it generally ends up on he floor. Seeing a plate of lovely food fly across the room is so frustrating but I am trying to rise above and give her just one or two bits at a time to throw and hope she gets the taste for it! She’s even started pulling apart trusty fish fingers so she will eat the breaded bits around the edge but not the fish despite previously loving them. So frustrating! She does have a good diet so I am trying not to stress but it drives me mad too and I hate having such fussy eaters.20160412_170840

Anyway back to happier things, as I mentioned above she loves puddles but basically she loves water in all its forms. She adores water play and watering the garden. We have done water painting which she was brilliant at and she adores bathtime fun in the bath. To be honest she would be happy playing with water most of the day I think haha and at least it is an easy activity to clean up.PhotoGrid_1461581799751

She also adores just going for a walk. She frequently finds her wellies or a pair of shoes and is actually amazing at getting them on herself which I am dead impressed by. She then presents me with my shoes and I know it is time to go out. She can walk for ages and we have braved a few short walks without the buggy as she can walk a good long way now when she is in the mood. The buggy does help though if I need to get her away from a puddle!PhotoGrid_1461585791928

She loves visiting our friends next door who have a trampoline in the garden and she lives bouncing on there. Their 8 yr old is also really really good with her and gives her loads of attention which she also loves. We joke that she is going to be a gymnast when she is older as she loves being upside down and being flipped over and helped to do role poleys. It’s a bit barmy actually as she even likes lying back and being upside down in the shopping trolley, looney girl! She loves climbing and unfortunately after copying some older children now likes climbing up the slide, which means I have to really watch her and make sure she goes up the steps rather than the slide itself! She’s also teaching herself how to use Monkey’s scooter which is cute and a bit amazing to me as Monkey’s only really got good in the last year. They really are such different children.PhotoGrid_1461586218971

These updates are never the most eloquent of prose as I keep adding bits as I remember them, and I know that they are a bit picture heavy, but I hope one day she will like to read what she was up to at this age. She is a force to be reckoned with at times and has the loveliest smile that just melts the heart of anyone she bestows it on.18 mths 2

She drives me potty at times but I adore her all of the time.

Little Hearts, Big Love#ToddlerApprovedTuesdayEthans Escapades

First attempt at Fancy Dress – 18 months old

I’ve been thinking for a while that it may be a good idea to start a fancy dress box with Monkey. Another way to have some fun when we are stuck in the house more over the winter, and I hope it will also help with teaching him how to get dressed, maybe! haha But I hadn’t got round to doing anything and I wasn’t 100% sure how keen he would be.

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A week or two ago, daddy had a meeting and came home from work a bit early (yay), he kicked his smart shoes off in the lounge and sat on his laptop to do some work (boo). To make Monkey laugh I put Daddy’s shoes on, which are huge. He is a size 12, whereas I am a size 5 1/2.  Monkey giggled but then to my surprise he came and tried to put them on him! So we did and he was loving walking around the living room in them, and he really started to get the hang of stepping in and out of them, it was so cute.


Then a couple of days later, round at Uncle Simon’s house with daddy, Monkey was having great fun putting Uncle Simon’s gloves on and off!

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So I thought that maybe it was time to start a fancy dress box for him. I had a box of stuff in the loft from the parties I had in my wilder, pre children days so went to have a nosey and see what was in there. I found a couple of wigs, some glasses from a harry potter costume, and then got a random selection of old scarves, gloves and other big t-shirts from the bag destined for the charity shop.

We got the box out one afternoon and had a bit of a giggle with it, but it wasn’t hugely successful. He had the most fun with glasses and wigs, and a scarf stayed on for a few seconds, but I didn’t even attempt Tshirts or bigger items, not on the first try. It was fun but I think it’s something he’ll enjoy more as he gets older.

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He still likes shoes though, and tried putting mine on when we went for a walk this afternoon! I’m sure I will get the box out again over the winter months and hopefully he will get more adventurous the more we do it.

Do your little ones like fancy dress?

Gloop – a very messy playtime idea! 18 months old

With it being so cold and blustery outside at the moment I have been trying very hard to keep Monkey entertained without leaving the house… and without boredom creeping in. We have his trains, duplo, car and garage, crayons, play doh, puzzles, books, stacking rings, shape sorter, kitchen with tea set, honestly the list is endless and yet within about half an hour he seems to be bored of all of these things and driving me round the bend by throwing everything around the room! I have actually decided it is time to put some toys away for a week or two, then we can rotate some in and out, we shall see if that works.


In a bid to occupy him for more than a few minutes I decided to give Gloop a try. I have read about this quite a few times but been a bit wary of giving it a try as I know what Monkey is like and I was concerned about the mess. But this week I decided we should go for it, so set off to the kitchen.


What is Gloop?
If you haven’t heard of it before, basically when you mix Cornflour and Water together, at a certain consistency it becomes a very weird texture, whereby it is solid when you are holding it and squeezing it around, but if you stop moving, it turns back to liquid. You can see in this short video what I mean.


Monkey really enjoyed himself, but oh my goodness the mess! I should have thought about it before, but whenever Monkey has something stuck on his hands, food, stickers, anything, he gets a bit frantic and shakes his hands all over the place in a bid to get it off. Well you can imagine what he was like with the gloop, so it went everywhere!!


He also decided it was really fun to pour it all over his trousers. Then he decided he wanted to grab me so both our clothes were actually covered – thankfully being just cornflour and water it came out easily. I have read before where people use food colouring too to make it the sea or something, but I am very glad that at this age I didn’t go with the food colouring option – I may wait till he is a bit older before I try that!


My big mistake of the day was to have a jug of water with us. The idea was so he could dip his hands in to wash off some gloop (and therefore limit the amount of gloop flying around the kitchen when he shakes his hands about) but in reality all he wanted to do was tip the water all over the floor and then stamp in the puddles left. D’oh! Completely my fault as I should have known but I still got a bit cross.

He very much enjoyed himself though, and it certainly kept him occupied for a while which was the main thing!


Have you ever tried gloop? Was your house as messy afterwards as mine?


Play doh playtime and threading cheerios on spaghetti – 18 months old

Monkey has been enjoying playing with play-doh for a while now but I realised I hadn’t mentioned it in my blogs for a while. Ages ago I made some home made play doh but then Grandma found some on offer and we have been using the bought stuff ever since. We  started off very simple, rolling balls, cubes, just pulling it around, rolling it up, it is a great way of keeping him entertained. It can be messy though so iti si an activity that is very much restricted to the conservatory! He has lots of fun at Grandma and Granddad’s too, as Grandma has found lots of fun stamps and things on ebay which are great.

At home though I have been trying to come up with things that we had around the house already to use to make the play doh playtime a bit more interesting. So this week we used a sieve he had for playing in the sand, some cookie cutters, a rolling pin and a baby comb, which he mainly used like a knife.

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But sometimes even the simplest things still work, as I made a bridge and a ball that he was pushing through, then I made a stick man but his head fell off, oops!

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Something else that I have wanted to try for ages, is threading cheerios onto spaghetti. I’ve waited mainly because of Monkey’s age, but also just because I haven’t got round to it. I got the idea from this lovely website. As we had the play doh out I thought we should give it a try. I was slightly concerned that Monkey would just want to eat the cheerios (another reason I haven’t tried it with him before) and I was right!! haha straight away he was like ooh yummy yes please, haha! He also very much enjoyed playing with the spaghetti, and to my surprise he can actually thread the cheerios on to the spaghetti! I wasn’t sure if he would be able to as it is quite fiddly, but he did do it a few times… in between eating most of the cheerios! haha

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He did seem to enjoy himself though, as well as flexing those fine motor controls, which is always the most important thing.

More Autumnal Fun and kicking up leaves – 17-18 months

The clue is in the title really but Monkey loves kicking up leaves! My regime of making sure I tire him out enough to nap well and sleep well is working and involves a lot of time wandering about outdoors.  Actually I think that was just a blip as his naps are basically back to normal now, yay! Sorry, sidetracked, yes lots of time walking outdoors. When my mum (Nanny) and I first showed him kicking up the leaves he looked at us like we had gone mad, but lately he loves it! As you can see in the pictures 🙂

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Not much else to say about it is there really! So cute though! In fact I am finding this to be such a cute age. I have pretty much thought that at every age but his personality is really developing now and he is such a funny little monkey. He’s playing so much more independently, babbling away constantly (though still no words) and just chuckles and grins all the time!