Siblings September 2016

We’ve had such a lovely summer holiday and the last month has seen so many gorgeous moments between our lovely pair that I don’t really know where to start. As such I apologise for the glut of images but I can’t help snapping away when they are being adorable with each other, and this linky does give me the opportunity to show those images to the world.

So, as ever, my children love to mess with each other. It’s pretty equal and both usually give as good as they get, and are tolerant of each other, resulting in lots of lovely giggles. There are times when one isn’t in the mood but those times are rare and they generally have so much fun together. photogrid_1473602607206

They love playing together and although there are times when LM messes up what Monkey wants to be doing (like running over to stand on the picture he was painting when we were painting outside last week, before running off with a huge cheeky grin on her face!), there are more times when she just plays alongside him. I particularly love how they sit and play lego together in his bedroom. So cute! photogrid_1473603516697

Monkey is so overprotective of his sister and always wants to make sure she’s ok. Sometimes I have to tell him that he should go and have fun as I am there to look after her. He doesn’t always think I am doing a good job though, so I am not sure what that says about my parenting haha. In truth though he thinks he is a parent too I think which is lovely but I do wish he wasn’t such a worrier sometimes. Still, it makes for some lovely moments where he says he is looking after her. photogrid_1473685688524

The loveliest recent development is that LM, who is not the biggest of hand-holders at the best of times, now loves to hold her brother’s hand. It started on a recent outing where we had a stand off going and LM would not walk the direction we were going. We were trying to move on so she would catch up when she wasn’t getting our attention for her behaviour, but Monkey, with his over-protectiveness, did not approve of this method. He did not like that we were leaving her behind so I announced “I will go get her.” Now, if hubs or I had gone and taken her hand to lead her then all hell would have broken loose, but, miraculously she allowed Monkey to lead her by the hand. photogrid_1473604113753

From then on she has not only allowed him to hold her hand but actively demands he hold her hand sometimes, which we do find completely adorable.photogrid_1473607111665

Monkey doesn’t always want to comply with her demands, it has to be said, but is a bit of a softy and usually relents. I love this video of a very reluctant superhero gradually giving in to his little sister’s demands and holding her hand!

Another little development has been an addition to our bedtime routine. Once LM has had her stories read, it is time for her to say goodnight to her brother with a kiss and cuddle. Just adorable! 20160912_142002

I think that covers most of their recent cuteness together! When this post is published Monkey will have only just started his week of mornings at school and I think LM won’t really have missed him much. But I get the feeling that as he starts doing full days that she really will note his absence. I wonder how their relationship will change as a result.

dear beautifulEthans EscapadesBest of Worst

Hello Autumn!

Well, it’s official, we are now well into September and Autumn has well and truly arrived. There’s lots I love about autumn but if I’m honest there are some things I don’t love about it too.

What I love

Every outing can turn into a nature trail

Monkey is constantly on the hunt for acorns at the moment and I have had to explain it is still a bit early for conkers. In addition to the usual sticks that come home with us even after the shortest walk, we now have leaves and acorns and all sorts of other bits entering the house on a daily basis. Hubs is less than impressed by this haha.photogrid_1473574575444

Blackberry picking!

We have already been blackberry picking 5 times locally and once when visiting Auntie mags. We’ve had 3 blackberry crumbles already and a freezer filled with blackberries. Always great fun foraging with the kiddies and yummy free food afterwards, win win!photogrid_1473575030571

Crisp air and sunny skies

I’ve always loved a fresh autumn day and though we aren’t quite there yet this year I am looking forward to those crisp mornings.

Puddle jumping

While I don’t exactly love the rain that autumn can bring, the kids do adore puddle splashing and we’ll I adore their happy faces. Thank goodness for waterproofs is all I can say!photogrid_1473575386322

Kicking up leaves

Always one of the best autumn activities and I am looking forward to kicking the leaves with both kiddies this year, especially LM as she is older and I think will appreciate it more this year.

What I don’t love

Big horrible spiders

Yes at this time of year the big beasties find their way inside. We’ve actually been really lucky since moving in here and haven’t had many… But already 2 this year so our luck ha changed. I’m less terrified of them than I used to be and really try and put a brave face on for the kids, but in truth they still scare the bejeesus out of me and make me feel quite nauseous. Eurgh definitely not something I like about this time of year.

A big beastie running across the floor the other night

A big beastie running across the floor the other night

Getting darker in the day

We often get out in the late afternoon with the kids and have lovely evening walks in the summer so I’m not looking forward to the darker evenings. Especially not in winter when it is dark around 4pm! Just not the same being outside in the dark. Also, since becoming a runner this will really test me, not so nice running through the local woods in the dark is it? So I guess I will be pounding pavements with street lighting instead through the winter!


With colder weather inevitably come germs too. One of my friends’ little boy has already come down with croup this year and I so hope neither of ours get it again this year! Absolutely terrifying when your little one is struggling to breathe in the early hours and just hope we are luckier this year! Even without croup though we are bound to get a heck of a lot of germs, especially with Monkey starting school. The coughing through the night and covering everyone with menthol rub and just generally feeling rubbish while trying to parent a poorly and ratty child. Yeah not looking forward to that aspect of the next few months.

We’ve had a really wonderful summer this year, so full of smiles. While there are definitely downsides to the colder months so far we are having a fun autumn (it helps that the weather has still been really good, on the whole) and will no doubt have tonnes of fun over the rest of autumn and winter. I just hope we aren’t too unlucky with all the germs this year!

What do you love and loathe about autumn? What’s your favourite time of year?

MummascribblesBest of WorstMonkey and Mouse

Little Miss at 22 mths

Another couple of months have passed so it is time for another update on our little lady. She seems to have changed and grown so much lately as she really moves from being our baby to being a real little girl.IMG_20160822_122311

Where do I even start? Well I guess her speech is one of the biggest developments. She’s still not properly talking but she is jabbering on almost constantly these days and there are definitely more recognise able words amongst all the babble. “wandat” for I want that “ishweh” for it’s wet and lots of mama and dada. She likes counting and copies our tone for saying “one, two etc, even if the words aren’t right yet. There’s loads though and I’m sure in the swing earlier she said some form of “I want to get down” and was jabbering on about her boots too. Because it’s hard to describe written down, and I’ve wanted to record her jabbering for posterity, here is a little video of random clips of her chatting.

We don’t always understand her though which can lead to a heck of a lot of frustration and some serious tantrums. She is still so bossy and likes her own way a lot which also leads to tantrums when we say no. I wrote previously about some of the challenges of this age so won’t go on about that too much here. We have used the naughty spot for the first time recently though and it seemed to work quite well.

Another way she has so obviously grown up lately is the little routines she has developed. After playing the sand outside, for example, she will lead me into the house with her hands out in front of her, through into the downstairs loo and steps on the step so she can wash her hands. Another example is making sure stair gates are shut behind us when we enter/leave the living room etc. Very sweet. She’s also getting so lovely and following instructions and lives giving people things or “helping” with something. She will lay herself down when ready for a nappy change and another of her little routines is climbing into her brother’s chair once he has vacated after breakfast and hoovering up any porridge he left behind, even when that really isn’t very much!


Speaking of climbing she can now climb onto chairs pretty easily and in fact loves climbing on things, and I’ve even found her sat in her buggy having climbed in by herself.  We really had to watch her on a recent holiday as she was climbing on all sorts of dangerous things! I loved it recently at soft play though when she climbed all the way up by herself to follow her brother and friends. She is doing so well and is so brave. I was of course keeping a very close eye on her!PhotoGrid_1471959296711

She’s also getting good at showing how much she loves friends and family now. She will willingly and voluntarily give her relatives lovely big cuddles and often kisses which of course everyone loves.

She’s really good at waving hello and goodbye and screams with happiness when she sees someone she loves, especially her daddy! You may want to turn the volume down for this clip taken from my instagram feed haha.

So what else is she up to? Well she’s learned to ride her brother’s scooter, and we have bought her her own one… But she only ever rides it very briefly and isn’t interested beyond that. I still think she’s done phenomenally well though as Monkey only really got to grips riding his this year! She loves dressing up and often brings me a dress, a hat or her favourite dragon costume to put on her.PhotoGrid_1471957406442

She has a lovely little imagination already. She loves playing with people and putting them in cars, feeding them or putting them into bed. She’s also learnt the cutest little habit of closing her eyes and pretending to be asleep. Makes me melt as it is so adorable!

I’m obviously biased and even though she drives me crazy I just think she is such a gorgeous little girl. She’s so cheeky and funny and doesn’t take herself seriously at all, pulling the funniest little faces. She’s a little gymnast and throws herself around and she loves to learn too. She loves having a good splash around outside, playing with her granny’s dolls and playing with her brother.


This age certainly has it’s challenges but it is also amazing to watch her grow and change so much all the time. Our little girl.

Enjoying getting out and about again! 22 months old

With the combination of sunnier weather, and my new pelvis support, Monkey and I have been out and about loads over the last week.

We’ve played in the sand in our neighbour’s garden…


and popped to the park near our friend’s house.

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Monkey and my friend’s little girl always play really nicely together, even though she’s just over a year older. Although this week she got cross with him trying to play with her favourite train, then he got a bit nervous of her! Bless ’em! Sure it’ll be fine again next time!


Then Thursday our plans with friends were cancelled last minute due to poorliness 🙁 so we popped to a local country park, which I knew had built a new play area that opened for the easter holidays. What I didn’t realise was that the whole play area was basically a big sand pit!


Monkey had fun, then fell on his knees in a big water play are (thankfully we had spare trousers in the bag!).

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The only problem was that with it being the Easter Holidays it was pretty chaotic in there! We were playing on the slide and there were some bigger kids fooling around on there too which made me a little wary. It was quite a wide slide and they were going down in groups and sideways and tumbling all over the place irrelevant of the tiny tots also wanting to go on the slide. I was keeping a close eye as Monkey desperately wanted to go down the slide. He went down a couple of times then got bashed from behind before he had a chance to get off the bottom of the slide (Monkey was fine). I had a calm word with the boy (who I guess was around 7 or 8?) to just be a bit careful around the little one and then less than 30s later the same boy completely knocked monkey over, face first onto the wooden steps.

Cue lots of bawling from Monkey and I have to admit I got a bit cross with the boy in question. I know he didn’t mean it but it seemed so careless. There were cries of “It was so and so’s fault” and I think I said something like “I don’t care whose fault it was, you all need to be less selfish and more careful around the little ones.” He ran off to his grandparents but with Monkey screaming his head off I don’t think they objected to my calm telling off! Hate having to do it but couldn’t pretend it was ok, the play area was for all ages and they just need to be at least aware of what they are doing around little ones and considerate to others. Maybe I expect too much of them?

Anyway after that Monkey was a bit more wary of the play area so we went for a run around with his ball! He is great at kicking it now and is a good dribbler (in more ways than one as he still needs dribble bibs, eye roll!) .

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Then we played peepo around some trees.


Before going to watch some kites flying, which he found fascinating, and see the little miniature railway.

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Then it was time to go home!

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It’s been lovely getting out and about a bit more! What have you been up to with your little ones outdoors lately?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monkey’s Mini Milestones at 22 months

I feel that Monkey is learning so much all of the time lately, that I need somewhere to record these little milestones (the lovely ones … and the less lovely ones). So I have created Monkey’s Mini Milestones – so every now and again there will be posts like this! Mainly a way of charting Monkey’s development, and his likes and dislikes!


Monkey is being very chatty lately, most of it is still undecipherable but he is really trying to talk to us!  Some of the words we do understand are:

Yum yum
Oh dear – after yum yum this is his favourite phrase, very cute as sometimes it sounds more like oh doo or oh doh but when it is accompanied by his hands to his mouth it is very lovely!


Last week, while enjoying the sun with my neighbour he managed to make his first bubbles! He doesn’t really understand blowing yet but he after a little experimentation he learnt to dip a ring in a bowl and wave it around to create bubbles! Simple thing I know but I was a proud mama watching him figure out how to do it!


He loves giving high fives and now sticks his thumbs up (previously he held up 1 finger instead). He tries to count on his fingers, at a birthday party during the games, daddy was telling him so and so had ‘won’ and Monkey kept holding his finger up, as if to say ‘one?’  He loves numbers and likes pretending to count. He basically points at things in a row making lovely noises like ah, noo, mah, buh etc, so cute! He loves clocks and things too and is just fascinated by clocks and numbers.

Whenever we are out and about and he hears an aeroplane, his hand goes over his hear to indicate he has heard it, and then he HAS to find where it is in the sky. He very often spots them way before I do, even when they are tiny and far away! Clever monkey!

He is such a good climber, and has been for a while but we are proud that he now finally understanding how to climb backwards down something, rather than essentially leaping off hoping to be caught!


He still loves Wind the Bobbin, of course, but he has a couple of other new favourites too:

Row Row the boat – he can be seen standing by himself rocking backwards and forwards, which is v cute, and at every opportunity he commandeers Mummy to do it together! He’s getting very good at the Lion roar too hehe

The Wheels on the Bus is another favourite – he has always loved buses and now whenever we see one his arms go round and round until I sing it to him hehe


Monkey loves books, always has done and we have loads, and it is funny seeing some go in and out of favour! His favourites at the moment are:

Zaza’s Baby Brother – we’ve had this for ages and he was never interested before, but at the moment he is obsessed with it – I wonder how much he understands about me being pregnant, it does seem like quite a coincidence though!

Pig in the Air – This was one of daddy’s books as a child and Monkey adores it! He giggles his head off at the clumsy piggy falling over while trying to fly, says ‘go’ when he takes off, and ‘Oh dooo’ when he crashes into a tree he he. It is funny, I confess to being a bad mummy though and trying to hide it after reading it about 5 times in a row – I love how much he loves books, I do, but it’s exhausting re-reading them over and over!


He’s been increasingly fussy again lately so we have been reevaluating snacks etc to see if we can get back on track a bit. He’s so stubborn though and knows where all the snacks are in the cupboards and of course wants them all the time instead of his meals. Joy! We need to look at what we are doing too and try and get back to following the rules that helped us before!


Cars, train, helicopters, BUSES, basically  anything transport related is a big fave at the moment, particularly his Postman Pat cars!


He loves dens at the moment, particularly with my Granny Square Blanket as the roof (which I love!). He is so good at building with Duplo now and he also made a fantastic tower with his blocks the other day, clever little builder!

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Monkey has two very definite favourite colours at the moment – red and yellow! He is getting good at matching colours in general but red and yellow are definitley the faves. When we are playing with multicoloured things he always finds the red and yellow ones and holds them up for us to label. Even in a craft shop last week he suddenly produced a red pen and a yellow pen from a display behind us! Seriously obsessed – not sure but maybe it comes from his love of Postman Pat?

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Less nice things

He has taken to picking things at the moment – picking his nose, picking the wax out of his ears, picking at his bathy crayons, picking, picking picking! Yuck!

He is extremely stubborn. This isn’t a particularly new thing but he is insanely stubborn at times and gets himself so worked up when we say no to things but he does not give in. For example if we say he will get pudding if he eats one more bite, there is no way he will take that bite. None. Absolutely zero. So he doesn’t get pudding but it makes for some miserable stand-offs!

So that is some of the things I can think of that sum up Monkey’s development right now! I love seeing him grow into his own person with his own mind – even though he drives me crazy sometimes! How do you keep track of your mini milestones?

Ethans Escapades


Monkey’s Musical Medley – 22 months

I don’t very often post videos as I find pictures a bit nicer, but if you have a spare minute this one is worth a watch!

When Monkey is happy, for a long time he has obviously been singing in his head as he stops what he is doing and ‘winds the bobbin’ doing all the movements. He can be doing anything, watching something he loves on TV, playing at the park or on the mud, doing some messy play, and he stops and winds the bobbin.

Lately though it has become something more and he adds all orts of extra movements in, and in a seemingly random order. I’m not entirely sure what this sounds like in his head but he clearly loves it! I managed to catch a bit of this during some painting the other day and I think it’s hilarious.

Funny Monkey!

Ethans Escapades


Playtime at the Park

Last Sunday, for Mother’s Day, we were off to my brother in law’s for a big family lunch. It was his birthday the Wednesday before, and my Mother in Law’s birthday the week after so it was kind of a big joint celebration. We were at a bit of a loose end that morning though and Monkey was raring to go as always, so we want for a little family stroll and ended up at a local play area. It’s quite funny really as both hubby and I grew up in this area and this park is attached to the primary school we both went to. And some parts of it are exactly as it was 20 odd years ago! Some things have gone, but others are exactly the same, so it brings back a lot of memories.

Anyway, totally sidetracked there, the point of this post is basically to show you how much fun Monkey had monkeying around with his daddy at the playpark! Just lovely to see the pair of them having so much fun together!

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I was obviously there and having fun too but with my current pelvis issues I cannot be running, climbing and messing around quite as much as I would like to be. Which makes it all the more important for Monkey to get this time with daddy!

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Monkey found a gap in the fence and took daddy for an adventure in the woods next to the park..

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Than it was back for more smiles & fun in the park, crawling through tunnels…

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… and walking on his daddy’s feet!

Then Daddy was very impressed to see Monkey sitting on a big boy swing! He is very good at balancing himself and holding on, and he loves it!



All in all it was just a lovely, impromptu morning of fun in the park 🙂

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

The Reading Residence

A spot of weeding in the sunshine

As the clearance stage of Operation Garden renovation is over, and we are waiting for our contractor to start work on making the garden pretty again, we have been enjoying a bit of a rest from garden stuff. However the front garden has definitely been a bit neglected and is in serious need of some weeding and TLC.

So with the sun out on Saturday we went out for a spot of weeding in the warm weather. Monkey helped a bit too, though mainly he just played in the mud. We didn’t mind him entertaining himself though 🙂

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It was good to see some soil around the plants rather than just weeds!


It was also lovely to have a good look at some of the plants. There were a few shrubs that we thought hadn’t survived after our long summer last year and the very wet winter, but to our delight even the most dead looking plants have got some beautiful green buds.


I love the little flowers on this gorgeous shrub too, Spring is well and truly here, hip hip hooray!!


Unfortunately we have quite a bit more weeding yet to accomplish but we at least made a good start. I’m just looking forward to my bluebells flowering now!!

How does your garden grow?

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

“How to Catch a Star” Review, Activities and GIVEAWAY!

We have been sent a lovely book to review by Harper Collins. It’s the 10th Anniversary of ‘How to Catch a Star’ so we received the book in  a lovely presentation box and it came with some lovely extras. The book itself (and a spare copy to giveaway, see below!), a poster, some lovely activity sheets, some glow in the dark stars and a very lovely star shaped USB stick, which has the activity sheets on it.


The book itself tells an enchanting story of a young boy who loves stars so much that he wants to catch one and have lots of adventures with it. Monkey loves stars too so it went down very well in our house.

Our favourite quote from the story is

“He thought he could fly up in his spaceship and just grab the star.

But his spaceship had run out of petrol last Tuesday when he flew to the moon”

Monkey very much enjoyed reading the book and looking at the pictures with his daddy!

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And he loved the glow in the dark stars and the star shaped USB stick.

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We also had great fun with the activity sheets, though some of them were a little advanced for Monkey he loved colouring all of them in 🙂

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We then did a little star themed painting with a star cutter and a sponge cut in the shape of a star (well, I tried to cut it in the shape of a star! hehe It went a bit wonky! hehe

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To my surprise Monkey did manage to stamp a few stars with the sponges, but then smeared them all over with his fingers hehe. Ah well, at least he had fun!

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Overall it is a lovely lovely story that I am sure will be a family favourite for many years.

Out on the 27 March, the 10th Anniversary edition of How to Catch a Star is  now available from Amazon for £12.99. (At the time of writing it actually looks as though the price is currently reduced to £9.09!)


Alternatively you can win a copy of this lovely book by entering the below competition!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent the book for the purposes of this review but all views and opinions are my own. Winners will be contacted within 48 hours of the end of the competition. Competition is open to UK residents only and the book will be posted  within a week from the end of the competition. I accept no liability for items lost in the post.

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