Back in the day before children (BC), I used to love a good walk on a Sunday, especially if it ended up with a big roast dinner and a glass of something alcoholic. Bliss. Now, life is different. We still go on walks, we just don’t get very far. The vision is always far removed from the reality. Our walks are perpetuated with desperate attempts to find things on the way that might make the little lovelies use their feet a bit more, with me acting way over-enthusiastic about things like rabbit poo and twigs. And there is a lot of bribery. But it’s slowly getting a bit easier.
Does Christmas feel like a stretch ago to anyone else? We began the New Year with Grayson’s 3rd birthday, so this week is the start of getting to grips with 2018!
Christmas was in one word… cracking this year. We spent time with both sides of the family, hung out, played games, put our phones down and I got to get some training in for the Brighton Half Marathon next month.
Now the weather has taken a turn and is freezing cold, we’ve not been out too much, so getting photos just hasn’t happened recently. I rarely get the camera out at home so the kids are going to have vague memories of our house and think all we did was go out!
Last weekend we didn’t have any plans and wanted to give the kids a good runaround/good nap in the car, so we drove to Dungeness. Dungeness is a funny blend of bleakness, a beach, a power station and a load of fishermans cottages all within one hamlet. The first stop was the pub, which we were both dreading. Grayson has a tendency to not sit down at meal times so taking him out for food is always a little tricky. But this was pretty much the first meal we’ve had where the kids sat, ate and didn’t wriggle around too badly. I didn’t dare take photos as I didn’t want to break the spell.
We quite often find ourselves venturing out to a National Trust place of a weekend when we’ve not got a swimming lesson, a birthday party or any work planned, and our favourite by far is Wakehurst Place. It’s a bit of a drive from Brighton, which inevitably means the kids are mega grumpy when we get there as they’ve napped in the car, but it’s well worth the moody mini ones.
I think I may have found my happy place… Croyde in north Devon. If you’ve not been then I urge you to go. Actually, don’t go, as then there’ll be less room on the beach!
We went camping with friends over the Bank Holiday. Camping has never been something I thought I’d like. I only went once as a child with the girl guides, when everyone in the four-person tent I was in got food poisoning – I still have vivid memories of us all throwing up rice everywhere (sorry if you’re eating your breakfast). We were so ill we had to go home early.
Play date and mum friends to me are like dating….with a toddler or two in tow. It’s a bit like trying to fit a square peg in a circular hole. I’ve been to numerous houses over the years where I’ve got on with the mum and got engrossed talking about Eastenders when the toddlers are pulling each other’s hair out and screaming “mine” or the other way around where the kids are delightfully
parallel playing (ignoring each other) and the conversation with the parent is as dry as their cake and amounts to “So…how many teeth does your child have now?”. I’m exaggerating slightly but you know what I mean.
A few weeks ago I posted about the first half of our trip to Cornwall with my brother and his girlfriend, and I’ve finally managed to go through the remaining holiday snaps.
We spent a glorious day in Watergate Bay, Newquay, where Katie and I had a lesson in Standup Paddle Boarding. I think it is becoming our new favourite thing… ever. It was lovely to learn something new, not have something or someone demanding my attention, and work a few different muscles than usual. We’ve had another go in Brighton since we’ve been back and are planning to go a lot over the summer.
I love it when my husband has a day off during the week as it means a day when it’s not just me responsible for two children and therefore a bit like a bonus weekend day. A couple of weeks ago we had such a day and as it was sunny we decided to tick off a place we’ve been wanting to visit for a while – Kew Gardens. As the cherry blossom walk is in bloom at the moment we went to have a little look around the grounds. One of Harper’s middle names is Blossom, so it was nice to be able to show her what she was named after (OK… she may have slightly been named after the 90’s TV character with that name too!).
When the sun is shining Brighton is just brilliant. We’re really lucky to live so close to the sea, so we often pop down to the seafront for a wander (along with the rest of Brighton it seems!). We went for a coffee during the week and went to say hello to the sea. Unbeknown to me we got a
bit lot too close to the waves and got drenched feet within about five minutes of being there. Both Harper and I walked around with a nice squelchy sound for the rest of the day.
We paid a visit to London Zoo recently and Harper’s face says it all. It might have been absolutely freezing but she was in awe and so excited to go to the zoo and see some of the animals we keep reading about in her books. We took along her cardboard binoculars (tutorial coming soon) and gave her a disposable camera to take photos of all the things she wanted to remember from the day. I can’t wait to get them developed, though I’m pretty sure the whole camera is basically going to be the ground, the inside of the changing bag and hopefully a blurry tiger or penguin.
Sad sad faces that Christmas is gone. It seemed to be over before it really got going didn’t it? And now I’m joining the rest of the nation feeling grumpy, fat and poor. But we did have a really lovely time, so I can’t complain. It was the first time I had ever been away from my parents for Christmas and I was anxious about that (fully appreciating how wet that sounds given I’m nearly 34) and also nervous about having people over here. I never really thought about how much pressure there is to make Christmas dinner nice…. if it tastes crap then it’s crap for everyone! But thanks to Ocado and the immense amount of dinner options you can buy ready made (like, all of it), it tasted lovely. Phew!
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.
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.