As you can probably tell by the large amount of red suits, large fluffy white beards, and festive jumpers in this Life in Pictures, we are well and truly ready for Christmas. And by that, I don’t mean “I’ve actually finished the shopping and written cards” sort of ready, more that we’re enjoying the festivities with the little ones. Harper is definitely at the age where Christmas is magical for her. She’s taken to wearing tinsel like a chic scarf and is really trying her hardest to be good at all times.
Last year we thought we’d start a little Christmas tradition of taking the kids ice skating – and it was an utter disaster. The second Harper’s skates touched the ice, she wanted to get off, but we had to complete a lap as you can only go in one direction – and once you’re on, you’re on. She let go of her skating aid, Magnus the Penguin, within seconds, so we were left trying to simply keep her upright and not lose any fingers. So I was understandably apprehensive about trying again this year. Luckily, all she seemed to remember from last year was that she got a gingerbread man in the cafe at the end, so she was up for giving it another whirl.
Last weekend Harper and I did a first – we ran the Brighton Color Run together. It’s a 5km race where you get showered in powder paint on your way around the course.
I’ve got a long history of running, starting when I was 16 and was working on the reception of my local gym. I’ve run everything from 5kms to marathons, and going for a run keeps me on the right side of sane.
We got invited to a lovely crafty event in Brighton on Friday night. Posh Totty Designs have just launched PTD Makes – super cool craft classes in their beautiful studio in the Laines. We were invited along to a Macrame class and we were so excited about trying something new (as well as hanging out crafting and NOT doing the bedtime routine)!
We had an exciting Bank Holiday Monday promoting our craft books with a lovely bunch of local authors at Yellowave in Brighton. Authors Mel and Madeleine read their books, A Cat Called Panda and The Sky Guys.
The lovely Lorna from our local art class, Story Carousel, made panda and owl masks with the kids. If you’re in the Brighton area you should go along to one of her classes. She is so creative and comes up with lovely kids makes.
Life in Pictures is a bit of this-and-that this week. We’ve been on a few family outings over the past few weeks and have only come back with a few snaps from them, so I’ve put them all together (we haven’t been that busy in one week!)
We went to visit the Arlington Bluebell Walk for a little stroll. We were so ill prepared as it was really muddy and we hadn’t brought wellies and it was freezing. After this photo Harper refused to get out of the buggy as it was too ‘yucky’. Luckily Grayson was quite happy toddling around for a bit. Not one of our most successful trips out but you live and learn, right?
During the Christmas break I had grand plans of putting my feet up and switching the computer off for a week or so. Unluckily, I ended up getting flu and missing the whole thing. But we did manage to do one winter activity and take a trip to the Brighton Pavilion Ice Rink for a turn around the ice with a nice penguin called Magnus. We had the help of the grandparents to look after Grayson, and wave from the side of the rink, which was such a nice treat.
Blimey! We made it through the past 365 days, and what a whirlwind it has been. Yesterday my littlest Little Button, Grayson, turned 1. We celebrated with a mini party, with cake, balloons and musical statues (on Harper’s request!). I don’t know if it’s reaching this milestone or the time of year but looking back over the previous year makes me realise that this parenting thing has sure brought a lot of ups and downs. Who knew that negotiating a toddler, a newborn, trying to work, and just getting dressed everyday on no sleep was tricky? I can’t say I’ve been at my finest at times in 2015, and always have that mum-guilt, but adding Grayson into our little family has made me more determined to be bigger and bolder everyday.
A few mornings ago we got up and out really early to go and have breakfast with Father Christmas at Wyevale Garden Centre in Brighton. We went there in the spring to meet the Easter Bunny and had such a lovely morning, so we were very happy to be invited back to meet Santa. We got to pull crackers, eat scrummy breakfasts, decorate Christmas tree biscuits and hang out with the big man himself. It’s was how every festive breakfast should be.
So, we’ve had a happy busy week! We spent two days in an art studio in Lewes doing a photo shoot and adding some finishing touches for a project we’ve been working on all year. We’ve put so much into it and to see it all coming together made us feel very proud and excited. We were happily getting under the photographers feet taking snaps of our kids as they behaved beautifully* throughout the shoot.
This week it seems we’ve been super busy and not just with Christmas preparation! We made a trip up to London to see the sights and meet up with family. We managed to bump into The Clangers and squeeze in a carousel ride on the South Bank whilst we were there too. We also celebrated Grayson’s best friend’s first birthday with a little farm visit and ended the week meeting the big man himself, Father Christmas.
This week we’ve tried to keep warm and cosy inside because it’s been mean and cold outside. Occupying toddlers is HARD in the winter isn’t it?! We did get a bit of time with the grandparents though and wrapped ourselves up for a little trip to the farm to pick some apples and had a go at riding a bike for the first time.
This week we braved the wind and rain and escaped to the countryside to go to one of our favourite places, Wakehurst Place. We quite often find ourselves there when we’ve got no plans as the fresh air, beautiful photo opportunities and really lovely cakes are worth the journey and inevitable naps in the car. We also hung out with cousins and had a splish sploshy visit to Blackberry Farm, right before the weather decided to go all mean and cold.
We’ve been going to a local art class, Story Carousel, for a few months now, and have really been enjoying the different bundle of art we come home with every week – from puppets and masks to musical instruments and story props. The very talented Lorna, who runs Story Carousel, is brilliant at coming up with creative projects week-in, week-out, and is always on hand to grab Grayson when he’s crawling into the giant sensory bin, which is handy when Harper and I are covered in glue, glitter and paint. We asked her to come up with an easy project to do with kids, which would make a brilliant Christmas gift idea. Over to Lorna with how to make a printed picture with your little ones.
Now that we don’t live a few minutes round the corner from each other, each week we meet up and try and find something fun to do. Which isn’t always that easy when it’s hurricaney and pouring down! This week we had a chilly trip to Spring Barn Farm. We had our run of the outdoor play area (as no one else seemed mad enough to brave the wind). We got soaking feet so warmed up with a cup of tea and a big slice of cake!