Hugo | 15 months 

Dearest darling Hugo,

So this is my first little letter and update for you. I cannot believe you’re 15 months, well over a year it’s just unbelievable. You’ve turned into a proper toddler over the last month, walking, actually more like running, everywhere. You are into EVERYTHING and I’m constantly having to stop you from climbing onto the open door of the dishwasher, or from unraveling an entire roll of toilet roll! You really are a wild one and I definitely can’t take my eyes off you for a second. Absolutely nothing like your brother when he was your age. You definitely know your mind a lot more and have had a fair few tantrums already!

The things that seem to make you most cross are when you have to go in the car or buggy for the school run or errands etc. You just get so cross as you constantly want to do your own thing and go your own way. Hopefully as you get a little older and can communicate better, you won’t get as cross with mummy.

You still love waving at EVERYONE and really liked walking up and down the aisle doing this on the plane last week. You have the cutest and funniest little wave and it really does make people laugh. You’re still not talking much and pretty much only say ‘mama’ ‘dada’ and kind of ‘bye-bye’. But you understand A LOT and are pretty responsive if we give you any instruction. You constantly nod no and shake your head yes when we ask you questions.

You’re a pretty good eater and have an incredible appetite. You are getting a little fussy as you get older, but still eat so many foods. Your current favourites are sweet potato mash, sausages, lamb curry, shepherds pie and pesto pasta. Your are massively into snacks and fruit and you constantly point and scream at the snack cupboard or fruit bowl. When mummy says no you throw yourself on the floor and cry. Your favourites are pretty much any fruit, but especially berries, pomegranates and banana. And you love oat bars, Heinz baby biscuits, dried fruit bars and crackers. You guzzle down water and have been having some of mummys morning smoothies too.

You do love a bit of TV and absolutely adore Peppa Pig. You’re quite partial to a bit of go-jetters and twirlywoos too. Of course Finley enjoys watching things that probably aren’t too appropriate for you but you zone in on them anyway.

You adore your older brother and he does you in return. You do sometimes get a little cross with him if he won’t let you play with a toy or if he’s got a snack you want. You do like to wreck his room and hit him with numerous toys, but he’s pretty good and doesn’t really get cross with you.

You’ve always been a really good sleeper since birth and sleep from 7pm-7pm, sometimes waking a little earlier, sometimes a little later.

We have a little weekly routine now all the chaos of birthdays and Christmas is over and you seem to thrive on it. We started Tumble Tots last month and you’re loving it so far. We also go to song and rhyme time at the library, and although you do run around the library a lot, you really enjoy the songs and stories. We definitely want to find a couple more playgroups to go to, so mummy will have a look for some nice ones for us.

I love you more than all the stars

Mummy x

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What we’ve been reading | January

We absolutely love books in this house and some of my most favourite childhood memories of my own, are snuggled up in my room endlessly reading. My favourites were Roald Dahl, Goosebumps, the Point Horror collection, and everything from Judy Blume and Sue Townsend. I also have precious memories of reading with my own children. Finley has always been massively into stories, and now he’s learning to read himself, he’s enjoying it even more. Even as a toddler he would sit for ages listening to stories without getting too restless or fidgety. Hugo at 15 months, has just recently been hit with the reading bug, and loves nothing more than curling up in your lap with his favourite (albeit very short) books. Me and the husband both read a lot, but I must say I really haven’t read as much as I’d like to the last couple of years. I blame Instagram and Pinterest! Having said that, i do aim to try to get through a book a month as I really am so behind with all the current reads and i’d like to catch up.

So here’s what we’ve been reading this month…

 

  Hugo is absolutely loving the baby lit books and he points to this particular title first thing in the morning from his cot. It was actually a Christening gift from our friends, but we do also have a couple of other ones that he loves too. But this being the absolute fave for a couple of months now. It is such a beautiful book and I love the idea of adapting classic novels for little people. The other one he’s been particularly interested in, is this Eric Carle illustrated book. I’d not heard of this the first time round with my eldest, but we are loving sharing it with Hugo. We actually got it for him for his first birthday along with a few other books.

Finley has had the same favourites for a while now, but after a few new Christmas presents, he is really loving these and we thankfully get to read something different! The first was a gift from a friend called ‘The big blue thing on the hill’. It’s about a campervan that turns up in the middle of a forest which is home to a bunch of animals and causes them to all try their hardest to get rid of it. It’s quite appropriate for us as we bought a campervan last Easter so Finley finds it funny that the animals don’t know what it is.

The other books this month are definitely some of my faves ever. Both were Christmas gifts from the big man himself and we all adore them. The first is the award-winning ‘Press Here’ by Herve Tullet. It really is such a clever and interactive books and i think, would be a hit with all ages. I’d been wanting to add it to our collection for a while but held off buying it until Christmas. The other is by Oliver Jeffers and the seqeul to ‘The day the crayons quit’. It’s titled ‘The day the crayons came home’ and it is absolutely fantastic. We’re huge Oliver Jeffers fans in this house and after Finley received the first book for his birthday , he was ecstatic to see this one in Waterstones. This was one of two presents he asked Father Christmas for (the other being a Power Rangers toy but lets not spend time talking about that!) and of course come Christmas morning, it was under his own little bedroom tree. It really is just as good as the first, if not a little funnier with new characters that are brilliant.

Lastly onto what i am reading…(and have been for the last two months!) The Goldfinch. I know I’m pretty late to the game here but I had so many books i already had to get through last year that I wanted to resist buying anymore until i’d made a good dent in that pile. I’m only actually about a quarter of the way through but it’s totally gripping and I’m really going to make some time to finish it over the next month. That means getting to bed earlier than midnight!

I’m thinking of making this a regular monthly post as these are definitely the kinds of posts i like to read on other blogs, and it makes a nice change to talk about something different.

{The ordinary moments 2016} #5 ‘Home is where my heart is’

We’ve been in the French Alps for the last week and really did have such an amazing time, made some wonderful memories and experienced ‘firsts’ for us all. We love travelling and adventures big, and small in this house, but there’s one thing we all crave at the end of any trips and time spent away, and that’s home. It doesn’t matter where this is, it may not be the place you grew up, the nicest house or even one place in particular, but we definitely all have a place we call home, and somewhere that holds some pretty special memories. I love our home, don’t get me wrong it has some flaws and we are currently in the long term process of renovating it to make it exactly what we want, but I love coming home at the end of a long day, or after a holiday or trip. As we landed on the runway in London, me and the husband let out a contended sigh that the end of our long travelling day was coming to a close and that we’d be turning the key in our front door in an hour or so. As we walked through the door, it was a bit cold and had gathered a bit of dust in the week that we’d been away, but we were so happy to be there and headed straight for the kitchen, the heart of our home, for a well deserved cup of tea and a biscuit. The boys, although had so much fun away, were thrilled to be reunited with their playroom full of toys, and us in turn were happy not to be crawling up and down the stairs with Hugo as we were finally somewhere with a stairgate!

It’s funny, I was never much of a homebody growing up, and really didn’t miss home when i did some travelling in my teens. But since having children and actually making a house into a home, it really is my most favourite place. I think a big part of that is the creature comforts with having children, they have all their toys and everything they need right here, bedrooms to play in, their own beds, and we have all of our things. But it’s also  the place I feel the safest and the most content. It’s the place where memories have been made, good and bad, and plenty more to be made along the way.

The boys having a much needed PJ movie morning

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A little corner of our favourite space – The playroom

Linking up with Katie at mummydaddyme

Me and Mine 2016 // January 

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I’m so excited to finally be starting the me and mine project, linking up with the lovely Lucy at Dear Beautiful. I love looking at everyone else’s photos, especially when you can see all of the photos together that have been taken over the course of the year. We have so few photos that we’re all in, and definitely very limited ones of me as i’m always behind the lens. I feel really positive about joining in with this project, as it will be something so nice to look back on, and it encourages us to really make an effort trying to get a picture of all of us. That being said, this was quite a difficult task to achieve! Having been away with friends for the last week, we should have really thought about asking them to get a pic of the four of us, but we were just so busy that i really didn’t take many photos at all, as everyone seemed to be in a different place, either having separate ski lessons or just going for a walk to keep the babies entertained. So with that I left it till the very last minute (3pm today!) to walk to the end of our road, set up the gorilla pod, where the legs for some reason were not staying attached and kept on falling off when I was trying to get a good angle to set it down to take this pic! You can’t tell here, but i really think the husband wanted to kill me just before this was taken as it took me so long to fix the bloody gorilla pod that Hugo kept on running off and launching himself bum first into muddle puddles then having a tantrum when he was lifted out of them! Definitely need to invest in a proper tripod and maybe a remote! The picture isn’t the best, but it’s the best I could do with a grumpy husband and a screaming one year old that really didn’t want to be confined for the sake of a photo!

So January…usually a pretty quiet month for us, back to healthy eating, trying not to spend any pennies after the explosion of Christmas, but actually it was a super busy month for us this year. We started the month with the husband and Finley still on Christmas holidays and enjoying our last few days at home, and with a trip to Disney-on-ice thrown in. Then it was back to school, work and toddler groups. I spent the first couple of weeks researching a place to stay for a few days over the Easter holidays, organising the husbands birthday surprises and presents, and planning for our ski-trip. After that came a lovely night out for the big birthday with 22 close friends, then a few days later our ski-ing trip to Chamonix and more birthday celebrations. We arrived home on Friday and have had a lovely chilled weekend at home, unpacking, doing chores and just generally relaxing together. Oh and how could I forget to say that Finley came out in chicken pox on the first day of holiday, what bad timing! But all was pretty much ok as he didn’t have it too bad, we just delayed ski school by a couple of days hoping that he wasn’t contagious anymore. Anyway the French didn’t seem to bothered about it but hopefully he didn’t infect everyone there! Just waiting to see if Hugo catches it now…

So with that busy month out the way, i’m really looking forward to a pretty quiet February with a well earned half-term thrown in.

The Me and Mine Project

{The ordinary moments 2016} #4 ‘Special birthdays’

So this post is so late that it’ll be time to do the next one, but we’re currently away on holiday so getting any time to write, and with limited wi-fi has proved difficult.

As I said, we’re currently away on holiday ski-ing in The Alps. We’re staying in a beautiful chalet with some good friends of ours and their two children. We’ve had such a fun week, and Finley has absolutely loved his first time ski-ing. I’ll do a proper post detailing it all later, but for now I just wanted to write about the the reason for the trip, and that is for the husbands 40th birthday. We’ve had various celebrations going on for a couple of weeks now, ending with this wonderful holiday. We wanted to do something special, but with it being in January, it does limited what’s available to do. So with that, we decided to embrace the cold and come somewhere snowy and beautiful, with some fun activities thrown in.

So happy 40th to an amazing husband and daddy, we love you more than anything and hope you are having the bestest of days

 

Linking up with Katie at Mummydaddyme

The biggest and littlest {week three)

 
 He is been working so hard with his reading and practicing his words,

is really thriving at big school

and does not stop asking to have his friends over for dinner!

 
He is having such a great time exploring the outside world on two feet,

touching and feeling everything

and has started to have some major meltdowns when he doesn’t want to do something!

{The Ordinary Moments 2016} #3 ‘Park life’

We love an adventure in this house, but at the same time, we also love the chilled days and just popping out the house for an hour or two for some fresh air and to stretch our legs. Today was definitely one of those days. The husband turns the big ‘4-0’ in a couple of weeks, and we’re actually going to be away on holiday, so he decided to have a little celebration with our friends last night. A cosy 22 of us went for dinner and cocktails and had a super fun and wonderful evening out. It was a pretty late one, and of course the husband got the lay-in, what with it being his birthday celebrations, so this morning definitely called for a slow and quiet one. I love these kinds of days, but I do start to get a little cabin fever and need to pop out at some point, even if only for an hour. Where do we always end up going? To the park of course. We’re actually really lucky that we live in walking distance to a lovely little place  called Hylands Park. We had a picnic there last August on a gorgeous Summer’s evening which I wrote about here. It has a beautiful country house with formal gardens on site, but also a really wonderful adventure playground. We’ve spent so much of the boys childhoods there, so it really does hold lots of special memories. It was a pretty special one today as it was Hugo’s first proper outdoorsy walk as he’s been a bit too unsteady until now and still crawled lots.

I completely forgot to take my camera but did manage a couple of iPhone snaps. I must say though, my boys are a nightmare to photograph. I see all these beautiful pictures of bloggers children, posing nicely and everyone looking at the camera. But when I try and get a nice pic of mine, Finley is always pulling this horrible awkward false smile and looking in a different direction, and Hugo is trying to run away and pretty much never looks at the camera! Any tips would be hugely appreciated! 

   
    
 
As usual linking up with the lovely Katie over at mummydaddyme 

Starting school

Dear Finley,

Well here it is. The day you start school. I have really been dreading it, pretty much for the last year, hoping that this summer would last a little longer. I can’t quite believe that the day has arrived. It’s surreal and definitely scary, yet exciting too.

We were a little bit in limbo before the summer holidays, holding out for a place on the wait list for our first choice school, knowing we were top of the list, and we were finally offered a place on the very last day of term. It was amazing news but because of this, you missed both the playdates and I never got a chance to meet any of the mums to arrange something over the summer. But none of this really matters all that much, children at your age make friends so easily and you’re such a fun likeable little boy that I’m sure you’ll have a new best friend within the first week!

So with all this in mind, the past couple of weeks have been super busy having lots of fun days out, and one final camping trip of the summer. But also busy with sorting out all your school bits and bobs, ironing and hanging up your new uniform, and buying your first ever pair of school shoes (which you said you don’t really like as you find them too hard and heavy!) Last week you had a little playdate at school, just for an hour, and that was so emotional for mummy. I cant imagine what i’ll be like today! You are really excited of course, I thought you may be a little nervous as we don’t know anyone at this school, but you seem to be taking it all in your stride and are not really fazed by it and I couldn’t be prouder.

I am of course excited for YOU, and this new chapter in your life. I absolutely loved school when I was a girl and have so many happy memories, therefore I  can’t wait for you to experience all of the same. Saying that, I myself am so not ready for this day. The day everything changes. Im really struggling with the thought of not having you here with me every day, the fact that you HAVE to go to school. I can’t just let you have the day off like in pre-school, if we decide to something fun. It all seems so grown up… It’s so true about what they say that the days are long but the years are short. I feel like i blinked and nearly 5 years just flashed by without me relishing every single moment.

It’s going to be tough for me not knowing what you are doing, not being there for you if you fall over and hurt yourself, or if someone is mean to you.

You are such a fun spirited, outgoing, funny and kind little boy, and I know you’re going to thrive, I know…I just wish I could rewind just a little, for a few more weeks together to enjoy, just us, being together. But of course I can’t so I’m already thinking about half term!

I’ll be brave for you my darling boy, i’ll hold back the tears when we kiss goodbye, but I may just squeeze you that little bit longer at your classroom door.

But i’ll be so proud of you and the big boy you’ve become.

My biggest baby at big school.

I love you more than all the stars and the whole world

Mummy x

 

This is a backdated post but definitely one I want to have to look back on here

Our trip to The Peak District 

Way back in August we had a fantastic camping trip to The Peak District. We decided to buy ourselves a camper van at Easter, and we did a couple of days then, but this was our first proper trip – a whole week in the camper! We’ve not really camped much before this, apart from festival camping, but we really did have such a lovely time. I must admit, I do find it hard, the whole communal toilets and shower block thing, and the campsite we chose was really basic, but it was all fine. Of course I made sure I wore my flip-flops in the shower though! We stayed in a beautiful location, at a site called Shallow Grange Farm, it was so picturesque and on a working farm. As I said it was really back to basics, no restaurant, shop or leisure facilities, but actually I loved it. The boys were free to roam (although it was pretty hard confining a crawling baby to the van in bad weather) and explore the surrounding land, and they loved having that freedom. The weather wasn’t the best, but rain was predicted for the whole week, so we did well with just getting a couple of days of it.

There is so much to do, in and around The Peak District, so we were spoilt for choice. It’s somewhere I’ve been wanting to visit for a while now, so I did some research and jotted down all the must-do things. We went to the amazing Chatsworth House twice we loved it so much, visited Bakewell, Buxton and Matloch Bath, rode the cable car at The Heights of Abraham, and spent a day at Alton Towers. We of course went on lots of lovely walks too, and had a beautiful afternoon at Dovedale.

It really has been one of my favourite trips, we absolutely loved the area, and we’re hopefully starting to get the hang of the camping lark a little more, so will undoubtedly make our next trip even easier.

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DSC03568Family photo fail as usual

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The biggest and littlest {week two}

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You’re enjoying being back at school and seeing all your friends again,

having after-school play dates

and keep on asking for chilled out days just playing at home

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You have pretty much given up the crawling and now walk everywhere,

are really enjoying playing with the ‘big’ children

and have been a little cranky this week which I think is because you’ve got so many teeth coming through