Hello hello! Hope you’ve had a nice week? For us, it was half term and it’s been very lovely. I think I’m in a minority in the parent world, but I really love half term. Not in a slushy way, more that we like not being ruled by the routine! School is still new to us, and we (I) have struggled a bit with getting up and getting out in the mornings. In fact, I’m crap at it. Despite my best intentions for calm TV-free mornings of getting ready without any tantrums and laughing into our cheerios, we always end up late, missing socks, forgetting book bags and running to school with a sweat on. So this week has been about lie-ins. Not lie-ins like they used to be mind, more “you can take the ipad to your bedroom as a special treat!” kind of lie-ins. Which are almost as good. Almost.
Last week we did something we hadn’t done before together, we took the kids swimming. In our 16 years of friendship we have never hit the pool together. We had three out of the four buttons with us so we knew it would either be amazing or a total disaster… but we risked it. And (thank the lord) it was ace! And yes, that picture above, we did set the camera up on a sun lounger then leap unelegantly into the pool to try and get a pic of all of us. We felt like right idiots doing it, but we have no group photos!
I don’t mean to whine (although I’m told I’m good at it), but this week has been a bit of a turd. It can go away now. New week please. It started off nicely, with a princess party and a little happy-muddy walk in the woods. I only have this one photo because I managed to donk my camera and it stopped working (caused a mild panic attack, but it started up again. It was just pissed off that I donked it).
When we have a free day at the weekend, our default family activity is to visit a National Trust property. We’re slowly working our way through the ones in Sussex and Bateman’s is our new favourite. It was the home of Rudyard Kipling, where you can view the house and a water-mill, and follow a lovely little fairy trail around the grounds. Normally when we venture out for an afternoon, the kids take it in turns to be tricky but we managed to escape any wobbles for a whole afternoon.
Happy first week of January! This week has been a nice back-to-normal kinda week for us. I’ve been hanging out in the park and making crafty messes with my little one. I thought I’d feel really sad to take down the tree and say bye to Christmas, but it’s actually felt nice having our space again and getting back to routine. Our Christmas box is so rammed full that it no longer fits through the loft hatch – I need to stop buying decorations! So there’s a sad little festive mountain sitting on the landing where it will probably stay till March, going on previous experience.
And just like that, our Littlest Little Button, Grayson, turns two. Having his birthday straight after New Year means no sooner have the party poppers gone away, the party hats are back on and any New Year’s resolution to not eat cake goes out the window. Today, we’re celebrating with a little party and a big cake with our nearest and dearest.
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.
This Christmas feels like it might be the loveliest one yet. Both my girls have a good enough understanding of what it’s about (like, ish) and it feels pretty magical. We’ve not done a lot in the way of decorations yet because our house is still being refurbished (boooo) but we did drive to a farm to get our Christmas tree this weekend. The farm was closed. Massive anti-climax, excited happy children quickly turned into wailing angry children. We f~ked up. But we plied them with snacks and headed to our little local Christmas fair which cheered them right up.
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.
I find it very hard to pull myself – and my kids – out into the cold at this time of year. It’s so easy to spend a day snuggled up with a duvet and hot chocolate and a whole heap of Disney. But we forced ourselves out this weekend to Wilderness Wood (near Uckfield) and I’m very happy we did because it turned into one of the loveliest days out. It’s such a beautiful place, full of fresh air, nature and wintry magic.
Back in the Spring, we had a trip out to Kew Gardens to see the cherry blossom trees, and vowed to go back to see what it looked like in Autumn. We made the trip recently and we were not disappointed.
The trip wasn’t wildly successful as both kids basically just wanted to have a snack or sit in the single buggy we took with us, so we didn’t get to explore as much as we were hoping to. We did see a little part of the grounds in-between mini meltdowns over ice creams, grapes and… well, you name it really!
So a while ago, before coat-wearing weather was truly upon us, we took a family trip to Bodiam Castle. We’ve been kinda busy of late with work and other commitments so it’s taken a little while to sort these photos out. When we’ve got a free weekend we seem to venture out to a National Trust place, at least while the weather was warm enough, and this one has to be a new favourite.
This week has been so busy! Usually our worky things get spread out a little bit but this week, er, nope. All whacked together in one jam-packed half term week. It’s been fun, hectic and tiring in equal measures.
We began the week doing a day of baking for our next craft book… the theme of which we won’t say but there might be a little clue in the pics if you’re clever enough to work it out :-). Luckily we only had Grayson around to help us out who spent the whole day trying to climb on the table (where the cake was) and say “ARRGH”. He wasn’t much of a help decorating biscuits.
I’ve been a bit unmotivated with my camera recently. To be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit bad about snapping a thousand photos a week and constantly having the lens in my kids face. I worry sometimes that I might be missing out on experiencing these moments by being behind my little memory box. I worry that my kids will grow up with every single second documented by photo or by film – whereas I have probably 30 photos per year of me as a kid. And just one (totally horrendous) video. Is that a bad thing? Perhaps not. But there will be no mystery for my kids. The boundaries between real memory and illusion of memory will probably get seriously blurred. So maybe I should step back a little.