A few of my favourite things

Monkey has now been in his big boy bed for over a week and he is doing so well in there. He has developed an interesting habit now too, which actually we find really adorable!

We put him in his little bed, he lies down and we shut the door. We go down the stairs and we can then hear him get out of bed and run around his room. He then gets back into bed and has a sleep.

When we go to get him after his nap, or first thing in the morning, we find him like this, surrounded by a few of his favourite things.


Some of his fave books, a teacup, a load of blankets, lots of cuddly toys, his lightning mcqueen pillow, and randomly this morning, a pack of wipes he had  started emptying!

We aren’t entirely sure how he sleeps amongst all of this, or how comfy it can be, but he seems happy enough and we think it is dead cute!


Ethans Escapades

Family Day at the Zoo

We are really lucky to have all of our immediate family really close by, which means we see them really regularly. We are also really lucky to have a fab little zoo, called Hamerton ZooPark, within about a half hour drive of us. We’ve been once already this year and because they offer a great value season ticket, no doubt this won’t be my last post about it either!

It is such a great place, but it opened *I think* in 1990 and would have been a lot smaller then, so wasn’t somewhere either hubby or I went to as kids. But both of us had been as adults and it is a fave place for us. My parents though, had never been, so this Easter Monday, when talking about what to do as a nice day out together, we decided they really needed to see how great it is! My little bro and his lovely girlfriend love it there too and really wanted to come for a fun day with Monkey.

The other option for the day was a local farm, but last year Monkey was terrified of the noisy sheep and while I do want to take him back, I thought avoiding sheep may be safest for a stress free family day out!

We really lucked out with the weather as it was such a glorious day! Monkey was dead excited at just being able to run around with some of his favourite people there to play with him!

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He was also really brave and stroked a donkey, and a goat! Clever Monkey!


I also took my big camera this time, and managed to get some nice snaps of some of the lovely animals!

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It was a lovely time of year to go too as there was some gorgeous baby animals! I loved the baby meerkats!

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And we saw this gorgeous baby wallaby emerging from his mumma’s pouch, and then jump right back in again!

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Monkey loved seeing all the animals..

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But I think he loved spending time with his family more than anything!

P1030295 P1030296 P1030281Cool dude in Daddy’s glasses!

Overall it was just such a lovely day in the sun!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Family fun over Easter

My word of the week this week is Family. For a couple of reasons, one being that with the long Easter weekend, we spent a lot of time with both sides of our family, having a lot of fun. But also because with my birthday being right after the weekend, Daddy took a couple of extra days off work so we have had 6 whole days having fun as a little family of 3.

So, what have we been up to?

On Good Friday we went to a local garden centre with hubby’s family, Monkey had no idea that we were meeting any of his favourite people there and he honestly got so excited when he saw his grandparents, his uncles and his aunt. I wish I could have captured that excitement a bit better than I have but you can hopefully get the idea from these pictures of him dragging his grandparents around the shop!

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Monkey was also in mega cute mode as he was cuddling some of little animal statues, he is so into cuddling everything at the moment bless him!

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Easter Sunday was another family day as we popped round to my parent’s house in the morning to visit them and my auntie who was up from London. Monkey loved dragging Daddy and his grandparents off to play with cars, while Mummy got to have a nice sit down, yay!


Then Sunday evening we headed to Hubby’s parent’s for dinner – Hubby’s Grandma, or Umuma, was from Singapore so curry is more traditionally their Sunday meal, so we went for a very yummy Easter Sunday Curry! Again Monkey loved all of the attention he got from all his family and actually had some lovely moments bonding with his Great Grandpa, who he can be a bit nervous of sometimes. So that was very lovely too!

Monday was a trip out to one of our favourite local zoos, Hamerton Wildlife Centre, and I took more than enough photos to fill a whole post so will write a separate one about that, though he had so so much fun with his Nanny, Grandpops, Uncle Mark and Auntie Fran, it was just lovely 🙂

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Tuesday I got a day off (hurrah) as Daddy took Monkey to tumbletots and then started his creative challenge of making me a birthday card with Monkey 🙂 I had a lovely peaceful day while Daddy and Monkey got some Daddy Son time going on 🙂

Wednesday was my birthday so we headed to Cambridge to do a bit of shopping and just enjoy the sunshine really! After getting a bit bored of shopping we gave Monkey a lovely run around with Daddy in the park, and he had a whale of a time, and was a good boy for the rest of the shopping trip, and I got a few lovely treats! Yay! 🙂


Thursday Daddy was back to work so that’s where the family time ended, but we really had such a lovely time, and Monkey has been so happy getting so much attention from Daddy, and the rest of his extended family!

The final exciting thing to note is that today (Friday) we have our scan, so we will get to see the newest member of our family for the first time! Eek! Exciting, and obviously fingers crossed that all is well :).

What’s your word of the week?

The Reading Residence
Family Photo Friday @ Thursday's Child, Friday's Thoughts

Easter Fun 2014 – 23 Months old

Happy Easter!! Hope you have all had a lovely relaxed weekend so far and eaten lots of chocolate? No? Well there’s still time!

We’ve had lots of Easter fun so far this year!

We’ve made Easter Nests, Easter Cards and been on an Easter Hunt, and Monkey has loved every minute!

Easter Nests

There is obviously different ways of making easter nests but I like to use Shredded Wheat, as then they feel a bit more nest-y.

So we used:
1 pack of Shredded Wheat 16s
400g Belgian Milk Chocolate (we are a little in love with the Waitrose own brand Belgian Milk Chocolate at the mo – seriously, you should try it, yummy!!) We actually used a little less than this as I had scoffed some beforehand, but it would’ve been better if we had the whole bars!
Mini Eggs

Easter Nests

Basically you bash up the Shredded Wheat, Monkey helped with this, until it is really fine. I actually find using the end of a big rolling pin is the best bashing method! Lots of fun!!

Melt chocolate, we do it over the hob in a bowl over simmering water, but I hear microwaving is very easy too!

Mix, then scoop into cake cases, and add eggs.

Very simple, tasty chocolatey fun! 🙂

Easter Cards

After the success of Granny’s birthday card a couple of weeks ago, i thought we’d use a similar  method for Easter cards and involve monkey with some finger painting! The first time we tried unfortunately Monkey just mixed up the paint and we ended up with some murky brown splodges, he had fun, but not very attractive or easter themed!

We tried again at the weekend with some different colours and had much more success! Once the masterpieces had dried I cut them into egg shapes and stuck them onto some cards. Monkey finished them off with some lovely colouring! Easy peasy Easter cards!

Easter Cards

Easter Hunt

Because we would like to avoid too much of a sugar rush, we got some other bits in addition to eggs, to make this an Easter Hunt, rather than an Easter ‘Egg’ Hunt. I dotted the chicks and bunnies, signs and eggs around the front garden (the back garden still being mainly mud at the moment, with less places to hide them!) for Monkey to find. With the weather forecast for Easter Sunday a bit miserable we did the hunt on Saturday afternoon, in case it got rained off on Sunday!.

Monkey loved it, I mean it lasted about 5 minutes but he had lots of fun with all his bunnies and chicks, and putting them in his little basket. He obv loved eating the choccy eggs too!

Easter Hunt

I used to love Easter as a kid, Easter egg hunts, chocolate, but as an adult I didn’t really celebrate it much. Now we have a little man it is bringing the fun back again and I am loving all the Easter fun this year!

Have you had much fun over Easter?
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

The Reading Residence
Mumday Monday

First night in a Big Boy Bed! – 23 months

We did it! We have made the move from cot to bed and so far all has gone pretty smoothly!

We talked about making the transition a few months ago, and felt perhaps that neither Monkey, nor Daddy and I were quite ready for it. Then I fell pregnant and the problems with my pelvis started to flare up. With a new baby going to be needing the cot at some point we wanted to make the transition far enough in advance that Monkey wouldn’t feel pushed out of his cot. But then with my pelvis problems meaning that I shouldn’t lift him very often, if at all, we know we really should make the transition even earlier.

A while ago we bought his bed in the sale and he had really liked it in the shop. Keen to involve him in the process we took him shopping to buy some bedding, even though I had an idea of what to get him. A lot of the soft furnishings in his room are already matching, with a lovely cloud pattern which he adores, so I hoped that buying the same range of bedding would attract him to it.

We weren’t sure whether to ease the transition by having both cot and bed in the room for a while, or to go cold turkey and take the cot out straight away. In the hopes that it would make it easier, we did the former. He liked his bed immediately and cuddled up with his bedsheet – though he hated the duvet and pillow and wanted nothing to do with them! We will worry about those at a later stage I think! Too much all at once.

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But even though he liked his bed and lay down on it, as soon as it was nap or night time, he would get off the bed and try and get in the cot. A week of this and we realised that he would never sleep in his bed while his cot was in the room. Which makes sense really, but we were nervous of his reaction to us taking his cot away so we waited until the Easter weekend, when we had a good stretch of hubby being off work, in case we had a few sleepless nights!

Good Friday was the day. After his nap, hubby dismantled the cot and put it away, moving his bed to the position his cot was in, and hanging the little cot pockets that used to be on his cot, onto the end of his bed. I know this seems to be a weird position, but has always slept with his head by the door, and well, why not if it makes him happy?

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Anyway, we had talked about how best to go about it should things not go smoothly and he not stay in bed. I always liked watching Supernanny on TV and while I don’t agree 100% with everything she says, I do like her common sense approach to things, so we have Jo Frost’s book on Confident Toddler Care and looked to see what her advice was. We ended up using her stay in bed technique.

Basically you follow your normal routine, and put them in bed. When they get out of bed, you say ‘bedtime darling’ and put them back. The next time it is simply a firm ‘bedtime’ as you put them back. After that you put them back in bed with no contact whatsoever. No talking, no eye contact, no form of communication. And so on until they eventually give up.

We felt this was definitely worth a try, so hubby took him for bath and bed as normal. Monkey was really excited about his bed being in the place of his cot as soon as he got upstairs, and didn’t even want his bath! Very unusual but we wanted to use his excitement if we could. Hubby did at all as planned and followed the technique to the letter, and you know what, it worked amazingly!

Monkey got out of bed 5 times, then resigned himself to it and stayed put, and stayed put all night long! He can be seriously stubborn sometimes so this really did surprise us! He even slept in a little late in the morning, bonus! We were concerned nap times may suffer, but nope the next day he went straight down for his nap and slept really well!! Hooray!!! The same happened that night.

In hindsight, we probably “should”/could have done it cold turkey, but in the end this worked so well I think because of the preparation and I think the technique really helped too. Either way all is well that ends well and our little boy is growing up! Bless him!

So, while this was a very special event, it will now be a very ordinary moment, a real sign he is not our little baby any more!


Ethans Escapades