Family Life – Have a nose into the life of the Family behind www.babynotincluded.co.uk. Living in the South West with our two kids, Ryan and Isabelle and our Labradoodle Charlie we love to explore our surroundings. You will find us either at the beach or the forest dog walking. We love to be out and about exploring what the South West has to offer.
4 month baby update – I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again. Time is truly flying away and Freddie is getting bigger by the day. He’s four months old now and is starting to form his own little personality.
He’s definitely a smiley happy baby and the only thing that makes him cry is hunger or fighting tiredness at the end of the day. Oh and he’s rather put out at being put down as well!
He loves to see everything! The trees when he laying in his pram, and I’ve just got a sling so that I can at least attempt to do things which he loves. He clearly likes to be upright and in prime position for absorbing everything going on around him.
He’s desperately trying to sit up. If we lay him down he stomach crunches so the his head and legs are up. Imagine an overturned tortoise!
Freddie smiles a lot which is always nice when you’re knackered. He has really ticklish feet and back and does a proper belly laugh when tickled.
Poor Freddie! As I said he’s a smiley happy baby, but his gums are definitely giving him troubles. He has flushed cheeks and a temperature at it’s worst, and his little confused face is so sad to see. There are no signs of any teeth cutting through yet though. He dribbles and chews on anything and everything, but he likes the teethers that you can put in the freezer and also his Squidge & Pip teether.
Freddie is very inquisitive and loves to play with toys. He has quite good hand eye coordination and can pick toys up and move them around until he finds the right bit that he wants to chew on. His favourites have to be the Lamaze toys that you can clip to his chair or pram with lots of textures and dangly bits.
He also quite likes tummy time on his play mat. He has a tummy roll which he can push himself forward on.
We’ve just started Baby Sensory Classes which Isabelle did as a baby and the first week he just stared at all the other babies, but this week he was more interested. Who knew that an egg box and pegs were so interesting!
I’ve particularly been keeping an eye on his weight since I’ve reestablished breastfeeding to make sure that he doesn’t suddenly dip. I’m so pleased that he seems to be gaining weight at a steady rate with his last weigh in at 15lb 3oz. He’s in size 3 -6 months clothes which he fills nicely as well.
He had his last lot of immunisations last week which left him with a temp and feeling grizzly, but it’s nice to know that he’s done now until he’s a year old.
This has been my biggest concern. Restarting breastfeeding has been so rewarding but also a major source of paranoia. Is he still hungry? Has he had enough? Am I making enough milk?
So I was offering him formula after nearly every breastfeed ‘just in case’ he was still hungry. He wouldn’t drink it so clearly he’s getting what he needs.
He’s not that great at it. He likes to be in my arms and not in his crib. We were lulled into thinking we had a bit of a routine going and then just like that it’s all over the place. I’ve been reading up on the four month regression. It’s just a stage which could be e down to a growth spurt or teething, but either way we hope it settles down quickly.
Baby Days – 8 Week Update – I’ll probably start off by saying this every time, but seriously where has the time gone! Freddie is now eight weeks old and has fitted in like he was always here.
Boy this boy is growing! We’re packing away too small clothes at a ridiculous rate. He was weighed on Wednesday and now weighs 12lb 8oz and is quite long. He feels more sturdy in my arms now but still needs support for his head which he flings about.
He’s smiling a lot now which is awesome. His little crooked smile makes the night feeds and tiredness all worthwhile.
He’s cooing a lot as he takes in his surroundings and I don’t think it will be long before they turn into little chuckles.
Obviously the TV is an attraction with the colours and sounds but he gets very excited when he hears voices but can’t quite see the person and is looking around to find them.
This morning he was getting very excited, kicking his legs and feet and waving his arms at Daddy’s dressing gown which was hanging on the bedroom door. I think he was waiting for daddy to turn around.
We can now play with toys for around 10 – 15 minutes before he’s had enough.
We have a playmat with dangly toys, lights and sounds but I think his favourite things are bells. We have quite a collection of children’s instruments and shakers from when Isabelle was tiny which all the little ones that visit seem to love including Freddie.
He doesn’t mind tummy time which we do on our bed with his as he can hold his head up but again this is limited to around 10 minutes.
Freddie is a hungry boy and likes his milk. He was breastfed and then infection struck so went onto formula, but this little boy never gave up on breastfeeding and so we’re currently restarting (did you know you could do that?) with a combination of expressing milk, formula and breastfeeding. It’s not going to be easy but I really didn’t want to stop breastfeeding and clearly Freddie didn’t either!
I think we’re lucky that we are receiving support to achieve this both from health professionals and local groups. Having watched the Channel 4 documentary on breastfeeding which has raised lots of opinions and highlighted the lack of support across the country was quite sad, but maybe something good will come off the back of it.
We seem to have just fallen into a sort of pattern particularly at night which is a feed at around 8.30-9pm and then he goes down until around 1 – 1.30am and up again around 4am.
Family Friendly things to do in London – London is the capital of our country and also a really interesting and fun place to take the family. However, like most days out in the UK it can be a costly business so I thought I would have a bit of a rummage around to see how you can experience London as a family which won’t break the bank.
The National History Museum – This would be one of the top things on my list of things to do whether it was a paid admission or free. Meet a T-Rex, experience an earthquake and take a trip to the centre of the earth. For a really special treat (not free) you can stay the night at the museum and experience a torch light tour which sounds absolutely amazing.
The Science Museum looks like it would be a really fun place to visit with loads of interactive activities. Some of these are paid and need booking in advance, but if you pop over to their website there is more than enough to keep the little ones and the big ones busy.
London Motor Museum – If cars are your thing then this is a must see exhibition. They even have the likes of Herbie the Volkswagon Beetle, the original Batmobile and the Ford Gran Torino used in the Starsky and Hutch TV series.
The V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green houses the UK’s national collection of childhood objects, all dated as far back from the 1600’s to the present day. There you will find toys, dolls and games. They also run lots of events and workshops so make sure you check their website before your visit.
Horniman Museum & Gardens – They have lots to see including animals (real live ones), an aquarium, butterfly house, 16 acres to run around and discover wildlife, a hands on base where you can touch and experience various things, a music gallery, a natural history area packed full of taxidermy, skeletons and fossils, a nature base and nature trail. There is a small entrance fee for this but it’s definitely up their in the budget friendly category.
Take a trip to Grenwich to see the Royal Observatory, the Astronomer Royal’s house and stand on the Meridian Line. The best way to see all of these is by getting a Day Explorer Ticket where you will have access to all sorts including The Royal Observatory, the Cutty Sark, the Meridian Line and Museums.
The Royal Academy of Art – Run free family workshops and activities so do check their website to see what’s on. Once you’re done you can go and have a play in the fountains outside!
London Zoo – Meet the Majestic King of the Jungle, enter the Gorilla Kingdom and get up close and personal with the Lemurs in their walk-through exhibit. There’s loads of things to see and do at the Zoo. If you’re lucky you may get to experience Zoo Nights on selected dates.
Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace – It’s definitely something you don’t see everyday and is a definite must-do if you haven’t already done so. Once you’re done it’s nice to take a walk through St James’s park.
Spot the Deer at Bushy Park near Hampton Court Palace before wandering through the gardens of Hampton Court Palace. There is a fee to enter the palace but you can wander through the gardens free of charge.
Clapham Common – There is loads of open space to play and run around as well as three ponds, a fishing pond, a duck feeding pond and a model boat pond. There are also two playgrounds, a huge paddling pool and a bandstand café for refuelling.
Timber Lodge and Tumbling Baby Playground at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There you will find rock pools, sand pits, treehouses and wobbly bridges as well as slides swing and plenty of space for running around or having a picnic.
Coram’s Fields – In Central London is a definite pit-stop. They have Playgrounds, a small Farm, a Café and Sports Pitches. Lots of room for the littles to burn off some energy.
Brockwell Park – Apparently one of the best parks in South London it has a great playground with zip wires, climbing frames and tunnels as well as a sandpit and paddling pool (be warned with water jets).
Centre for Wildlife Gardening – Here you will find mini-habitats, ponds to explore, a chalk bank, woodland copse, herb gardens and lots of bug sanctuaries and hotels.
Golders Hill Park Zoo – Hampstead Heath. Explore and visit their collection of rare birds and animals before heading off for a splash in one of the swimming ponds and lido.
Dukes Meadow Park, Chiswick – With it’s own beach and adventure playground! There are also lots of sports that take place, a kiosk for food and it also hosts the Fine Food Market.
Open Top Bus Tour – A must do when you visit London, but do look out for deals as these can be particularly pricey. Groupon are currently offering a family Open Top Bus Ticket for £49 which may seem pricey, but it’s definitely one to tick off your bucket list.
Windsor Duck Tours – Am I the only person that wasn’t aware these things even existed. Basically it’s a boat with wheels so you start the tour on land, and then it drives into the water and becomes a boat. So cool!
Camden Town Market, Spitalfields Market and Portobello market are definitely worth a visit. Be warned though as it will be extremely busy.
City Cruises – Down the River Thames for the ultimate London sightseeing experience including Big Ben, The London Eye, Tower Bridge and more with various pick-up and drop-off points along the way.
Borough Market – near London Bridge where you can find an array of fresh and organic produce including fruit, veg, meat and cheeses as well as baked treats, condiments and scrummy street food.
Brick Lane Market – Have a good old rummage through vintage clothes, shoes, furniture and bric-a-brac with Sunday being the best day to visit.
Broadway Market, Hackney – here you will find local artists and craftspeople selling unique and unusual clothing and gifts as well as locally produced foods, furniture and more.
Maltby Street Market near London Bridge Station is a foodie heaven with lots f street food on offer including New York Style Sandwiches to authentic Mexican Street food.
Hamley’s Toy Store – Here you will find over 50,000 toys spread out across seven floors to indulge your inner child. Whilst it’s free to go in, you may not be able to get out without spending a penny or two.
Take a stroll along the many areas where you will find some pretty cool Street Art including Banksy. Head to Camden Town where you will be in for a colourful treat, and Shoreditch is up there for ever changing artwork, and there’s even an organised Street Art Tour you can take to ensure you get the full experience. The tours aren’t free but you could navigate through the areas yourself.
If street Art is something that you’re interested in then head to The Rise Gallery in Croyden where they house an array of cool artwork. They also do organised tours of the local Croyden Street Art.
Lewisham hosts over 60 public artworks which you can find listed on the Council Website or you could follow The Line which is a self-guided walking tour linking The O2 and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Part where you will discover artists such as Damien Hirst, Alex Chinneck and Eduardo Paolozzi.
Take a walk along Regent’s Canal where you will see an array of colourful narrowboats overlooked by the aviary of London Zoo you can take in the scenery and chill away from the hustle and bustle.
London Stadium Tour – Take a walk around this fantastic multi-purpose venue which is home to West Ham United and UK Athletics. The tour includes panoramic views into the stadium, a look around the changing rooms, visit the indoor running track and walk down the Players Tunnel. You could also pretend that you’re the Manager from the Managers dug-out.
A self-guided Treasure Trail – Discover a local area and all it’s hidden gems. Either downloads and print or have one sent to you in the post. The trails are full of clues, facts and information on lots of areas including London. Pack a picnic and off you go.
This is just a handful of the fun things that you can see and do in and around London BUT before you go booking or paying for any attractions, have a look at sites such as Groupon to see what Family Friendly things to do in London you can take advantage of.
This also applies to where you stay when you go. If you have children below school age, I would recommend visiting outside of the school holidays as these times will be less busy and you may get off-peak prices as well. However, school holiday deals are also available so it’s always best to check beforehand to make the most of you money.
My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations – If we could travel anywhere around the world based on the foods we’d love to try we would travel to some pretty amazing places.
We love a variety of cuisines and thankfully neither of our kids are fussy eaters so we relish trying out new recipes and supermarket finds. So if our bellies were our holiday guide where would we go:
For Falafel of course. I love it. It’s known as the ‘poor mans burger’. It’s made of crushed fava beans, rolled into balls and fried. It’s most commonly served at breakfast to give people energy throughout the day. We would usually have Falafel with hummus or tzatziki (I know that’s Greek), hummus and salad. We’ve also made our own version of Shakshouka which eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin.
I tried my first Gyros at a fete type event where there was a pop up Greek stand. Traditionally make with marinated pork, beef or chicken but mine had fried halloumi in it (another one of my favourites). Essentially it was fried halloumi with tomato, onion and tzatziki wrapped up in a pitta bread which would usually be considered ‘street food’. Mine also came with chips that were coated in oregano which were also wrapped up in the wrap. Delicious.
Jerked Pork and Blackened Fish. Chris would be in food heaven in amongst the food shacks before settling on the beach to chill whilst the kids try the local fruit. I’m sure Chris would also have a taste of Curry Goat but he might be eating that on his own.
Have you tried a Galette? When we went to France about five years ago now we stayed in Saint Jean de Monts which was lovely. There was a long strip of restaurants and bars which never seemed to close. There were two particular dishes that seemed to feature in every single restaurant and they were galettes and muscles. I’ve never tried and nor do I intend to try muscles and I really wasn’t keen on trying the galettes either. A galette is a pancake made with buckwheat which is served with either sweet or savoury toppings. Now, I’m totally up for pancakes with fruit, lemon juice and maple syrup, but the thought of savoury toppings didn’t really do it for me. However, when we went out to eat one evening we went to a galette restaurant so I had little choice in the matter. The basic galette topping seemed to be ham and cheese with an egg on top but I figured that if I was going to give them a go then I’d better jump right in and opted for garlic mushrooms in a white wine sauce (think vol-au-vent). I was a total convert and tried the ham, egg and cheese which was a fave of the kids.
5. New York
I have a hankering for New York. I’ve never actually been to America, but having been a huge fan of friends it’s definitely on my bucket list of places I would like to go. I think Christmas time would be my preference and again it would be the street food vendors that would tempt me first. I’d have to have a try of a chili dog and a proper pretzel. Warm, chewy and covered in salt. Yum.
I’d be in big trouble if I didn’t mention India as Chris’ family on his mums side are originally from India. We eat a lot of curries with mild ones for the kids and spicy one’s for us. We love all the side dishes such as Dahl (curried lentils), Chana Masala (curried chickpeas) and Aloo Dum (curried peas and potatoes). Again, we would be in heaven walking through the brightly coloured markets with all the food smells tempting us. I’m not a vegetarian but I do really love curried vegetables and one of my favourites are vegetable samosas which the kids also love as well. Samosas were traditionally cooked around campfires during overnight trade journeys as they were easy to prepare and could be eaten cold en route.
Oh I do love Mexican food. Tacos are one of our weekly staples. It’s quick and easy to prepare, plonk it all in the middle of the table and everyone can help themselves which always goes down well with families. The beaches look amazing and I can see the appeal for the most romantic of holidays on our own or an action packed family holiday with paddle boarding and snorkeling.
Forget all the cured meats, paella, bean stews and prawns fried in garlic and cut to the Churro’s. Whilst in Spain you couldn’t walk ten paces without being drawn to the churro stands. In the evenings when all the bars were open and the restaurants were overflowing with people, we were surrounded by people walking around with cones of churro’s in hand. Essentially these are just like the warm donuts that we get here but in stick version which are covered in sugar and most likely doused in Nutella. I prefer them on their own as they come which I think the sellers found slightly odd but the kids liked to dip them in Nutella.
This is definitely a meat eaters paradise. Huge hunks of meat, sausages and ribs cooked over an open fire or barbeque (parrillada) and eaten with a drizzle of olive oil or a favourite of ours, chimichurri which is herbs, olive oil and garlic washed down with a glass or two of Melbec. I’d also love to try the provoleta which is their version of grilled cheese and empanadas which are either sweet or savoury filled parcels.
Last but definitely no least. Italy is definitely somewhere I would like to go for a grown-up child-free holiday where we can take in the sights and take in the glam Italian lifestyle. I dream of lazy mornings venturing out for morning coffee and pastries followed by a spot of handbag shopping. Walking around the shops whilst not having to keep a beady eye out for the kids touching anything and everything. We could find out from locals where the best place to eat would be which are generally the less touristy areas so that we could sample some of the traditional foods such as Antipasti, Calzone and Frangipane not forgetting pasta and pizza. With baby number three due any day I don’t see this being any time soon, but a girl can but dream!
Wow that’s quite a list now that I’ve written them down and one that I imagine will only get longer as we discover more cuisines and places.
If your belly were to lead you to another land where would it be? Plan your dream foodie destination with Destination2 Holidays where you will find everything from family holidays, honeymoon destinations, gorgeous beaches and adventure holidays.
Where would you recommend as your Top Family Foodie Destination?
* This post was in collaboration with Destination2 Holidays but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
#whatwedidthisweek – Back to normality. I’m back at work and Isabelle is back at school. I was feeling positive in the morning until I got to work and remembered that all my email folders had been deleted by our IT department. It went from bad to worse as there’s no getting them back. BUT it’s okay because I can create new ones. They just won’t contain any of the work so not that okay really.
I’m really struggling with back ache this week and not being able to walk very far which you can read all about in my Pregnancy Diary Post. This was so apparent when we took the dog out for a walk and our usual twenty minute loop took more than an hour. Thankfully, although it was bitterly cold the sun was out so it wasn’t all too bad.
Isabelle decided to make herself some jazzed up socks that look more like something you would put over a cast, but she was really happy with her creations so who am I to argue.
It was my birthday on Wednesday. I worked and kept it quiet from my colleagues as I don’t feel particularly in the mood for celebrating the fact that I’m getting older and knackered. I did however, come home to a lovely Pina Colada birthday cake made by my Mother-in-law. I was also given lots of lovely presents including some nice relaxing bath things which I’m sure will help with my back ache. I was also given some ‘fat clothes’ aka maternity clothes which I wasn’t so keen on. Why do they have to be so mumsy and stripey!
The weekend’s I’m finding harder than the weekdays as Isabelle really is a super ball of energy. She doesn’t really do sitting and playing so that I can rest. She needs constant entertaining which is exhausting. I’ve managed to get her to watch some you tube videos but only at the same time as she’s doing her gymnastics routines or playing ‘don’t touch the floor’!
Even though she’s seven, she can’t quite understand why I need to sit down or just have a little bit more quiet that normal.
Sunday we went into town to take back some of the ‘fat clothes’. We had a look at the prams in Mothercare where Chris nearly had a heart attack looking at the price tags. There are a few that I really like with the Egg Stroller being at the top of the list and a Silvercross one as well. Isabelle really enjoyed picking out clothes that she would like to buy both for a girl and a boy. We went in Mothercare, Primark Debenhams and H&M and that was as much as my back could manage.
I did, however pick up some new bits and bobs including some comfy PJ’s. Isabelle bought the brightest pink fluffy jumper from H&M which she absolutely loves. She does look rather gorge in it though.
We went out for dinner in the afternoon to the Mill on the Exe but I had to get Chris to drive me so that I didn’t put any more pressure on my back. They do a rather large carvery so I opted for a child’s portion. Good job really so I had some room for the chocolate brownie afterwards.
The rest of Sunday as I knew it would resulted in me sitting on the sofa in a coma like state with the odd trip to the kitchen to take a swig of Gaviscon.
#whatwedidthisweek – I thought I would resurrect this weekly post. I had been thinking about vlogging but I just can’t put myself in front of a camera.
So as not to stray from school holiday tradition isabelle was poorly. I’m trying desperately to dodge her coughs and sneezes but it’s almost a given that I’ll get it since her fave place is clamped to my side.
Before she got really poorly we went to Poundland at the weekend so that she could do a Poundshop Haul video. I’ve yet to edit it but will get it up as soon as I can.
We’ve done a few bits and bobs at home, such as make a cardboard car and a mermaid tail. She wanted to do some cooking but, well the permanent snot slug trailing down her face definitely says otherwise.
I ordered some Orbies as Isabelle has watched loads of videos of kids sitting in baths full of them or putting their feet in wellies full of them. They arrived on Wednesday so we popped them in a bowl and waited for them to grow. It didn’t take as long as the instructions said and Isabelle couldn’t resist keep putting her hands in them.
Daddy wasn’t impressed as they kept popping out of the bowl, and these things ping in every direction and are quite tricky to pick. It’s quite therapeutic to put your hands in them, but as to what purpose they serve I have no idea.
The next day I said she could put them in a big bowl and put her feet in them which she really enjoyed. it was really cold and they squished under her feet. Any ideas for what to do with these would be greatly appreciated.
Days at Home
The rest of the week went by in a bit of a haze of playing board games, colouring, endless snacking and watching you tube video’s. Believe me there are only so many videos that you can watch before you start climbing the walls.
Isabelle did get a mystery Valentine’s gift through the post, the person responsible has yet to come forward. It cheered Isabelle up no end though.
Isabelle’s attention span is much the same as a goldfish so we start doing something and then she wants to go and lay on her bed. She’s not really eating very much, more like snacking. The poor dog is looking longingly at us to take him out, but as it’s constantly raining, Isabelle being full of a cold and me walking like an old lady due to back ache the poor thing has no chance.
The days have been long and really boring.
A bit of normal
Thursday we went out to McDonald’s for lunch. Isabelle still has a cold but the thought of going to McDonalds where they are also giving away The Amazing World of Gumball toys (if you haven’t watched it, don’t – it’s rubbish) was enough to get her out of the door. It was heaving and we were lucky to get a table but she enjoyed it enough before her face started to go red and blotchy and we knew it was time to make a move.
The McDonalds we went to is in the middle of a retail park so you can imagine what the car park was like. Not the best time for me to have to jump out of the car at the exit of the car park therefore forming a queue so that I could stamp out the pain going from my back and shooting down through my leg BUT I did it anyway. Flippin cramp and weird shooting pains.
Friday was Isabelle’s first full day of feeling normal (still snotty) so Daddy took her and a friend to ibounce to burn off some of the stored up energy and I got to do some work. I’ve started a course called Finance for Freedom which is really quite interesting. I’m totally British when it comes to talking about money, but it’s amazing how our finances affect our happiness etc so it’s a bit of an eye opener. I’m going to post about this separately as I’m sure you will find it an interesting read.
Saturday I finally went for the haircut that I’ve wanted to have for a couple of week’s. I thought pregnancy was supposed to give you lusciously thick glossy hair but mine has taken on the look of an abandoned birds nest. I’ve had all the dry ends cut off so it’s quite a bit shorter than I wanted but it feels so much nicer. I’m going to give coconut oil overnight conditioning a try to see if this helps to keep it from going so dry.
Today I went to see my dad who is currently undergoing chemotherapy. He’s had three cycles so far and has fared pretty well apart from not being able to sleep very well. He’s just started to lose his hair which given that he’s almost bald I don’t think he minds. His sense of humour took quite a beating but he seems to be getting this back a bit which is nice. He’s originally from Scotland so I thought I would buy him one of those ginger wigs with the tartan hat attached as a joke present.
Back to work tomorrow and due to our pretty miserable week, I’m really looking forward to going back. Not so much the thought of my alarm clock going off at 5.30am.
Yesterday was late night shopping in Exeter and as I’m feeling a little bit less exhausted at the moment we thought we would take the opportunity to take a trip to the Christmas Lights.
I met Chris and Isabelle in town after I finished work in the hope that we could catch the 5pm showing of Spark which are an LED drumming group in Princesshay.
We turned up just in time as they had just started. It was heaving so it was quite difficult at first to find a spot where Isabelle might have a chance to be able to see.
We did find the perfect spot where lots of children were and Isabelle had the perfect view until a group of women came and pushed their way through and stood in front of the kids. I was more than a bit annoyed!
However, it took a bit of an unexpected turn when the drummers started to march through the crowd and headed off through the shopping centre. Everybody upped and left to follow them.
At first we weren’t going to follow as there were so many people we didn’t think we’d stand a chance of being able to see them. We headed off in the directed of the Charity Christmas trees, which if you know Exeter are in behind the side of Debenhams and go along all the way past Chando’s Deli (yum) where you end up back in the centre of Princesshay.
It just so happens that we ended up in the middle of the Spark drummers. Quite literally as they went past either side of us which was quite a treat. We had a great view and managed to watch the remainder of the show.
We finished off our Christmas Lights outing by going for food of Isabelle’s choice, so off we headed to McDonalds to join the longest queue along with half of Exeter’s parents and kid population!
This year I think I’m going to try and convince Chris into taking us on a bit of a tour of the streets where there are houses that have decorated the outside of their houses. I thought that we could have some snacks, maybe some chocolates and even a cup of hot chocolate (in a travel mug). I’ve yet to mention this so Sshhhh…….
It’s been a while since I wrote a Happy Days Linky post. Mostly because we’ve been sitting on a secret. A big one!
As announced this week by Isabelle we are looking forward to becoming parents again in June 2018.
Whilst we’re extremely happy with this news, I’ve been feeling really poorly and was slightly worried about announcing to the world as we did have a bit of a scare at about eight weeks.
I am officially 14 weeks today and the exhaustion that I’ve been feeling has eased off enough to feel half human.
I feel a bit sorry for Isabelle as I’ve not really had the energy to do very much so we’ve watched quite a lot of films snuggled on the sofa where I may have had a sneaky catnap or two.
Advent Calendars – Isabelle has been on countdown for ages to the day she could start opening her calendar. We got her a Smiggle one this year and Nanny got her a My Little Pony Chocolate one. Ryan has two also but he’s far too grown-up to show interest either way. We also got Charlie (the dog) one which is full of gourmet dog treats.
We went to Isabelle’s Christmas Fair at school on Friday where there was a game where you either got a prize or a Brussels sprout. Isabelle asked what you did if you got a sprout to which I told her you had to eat it. She won one prize and one sprout. I burst out laughing when she turned round with her mouth full of chewed up sprout, crying that she was going to be sick. Of all the times to take any notice of what I say it was then. Bless her.
Our day at Peppa Pig World originally posted 26.09.13
I’ve just realised that I was meant to blog about our birthday day at Peppa Pig World.
Our daughter turned three at the beginning of September and we deliberated over whether or not we should have a party or a special day out. We thought we’d give Isabelle the choice knowing full well that she was going to choose Peppa Pig World.
The drive there was plain sailing and only took us a couple of hours from Exeter.
On arrival we were directed to our parking space which is possibly the only thing that I could complain about as they packed all the cars in the carpark like sardines and as usual we managed to park ourselves inbetween a 4 x 4 and a person of larger proportions which meant that it was a bit of a squeeze to get in and out of the car.
Having a toddler and a teenager can cause a lot of problems, especially on days out which wasn’t a problem as whilst we visited Peppa Pig World, Ryan and his friend went to the normal Poulton’s Park theme park and just met us for lunch.
Isabelle was absolutely amazed by Peppa Pig World and didn’t know which way to look or run first. We had a quick mooch around to decide what we wanted to do, and whilst we made our minds up Isabelle went in the playpark which was Fab. Everything was made to look exactly as it is in the programme with attention to detail every step of the way.
It totally made Isabelle’s day when she spotted the Muddy Puddles Water Play area which is right up her street. Off came the shoes at the speed of light and off she went before we had a chance to head her off. We were going to save this for towards the end of the day but hey ho it was her birthday treat!
This was loads of fun. I happily sat with the bags etc whilst Daddy went in for a bit of splashing. After much splashing and getting completely soaked it was time to move on to something else.
Unfortunately the day that we went there were a few showers which were quite heavy but thankfully only lasted a few minutes at a time and a bit of drizzle towards the end of the day. We went on every single ride including Miss Rabbit’s Helicopter which was the one we queued the longest for, the Balloon Ride and Isabelle’s favourite was the Windy Castle Ride.
We had planned to take a picnic, but in the end we decided to eat there instead. There were quite a few places to choose from dotted around both Peppa Pig World and the remainder of Poulton’s Park. We met up with the boys and sat underneath this huge outdoor roofed picnic area. This was when the first and heaviest shower started and we were grateful for the shelter.
When we sat down to eat, Isabelle found it really amusing that like the real Peppa Pig the ducks came for a bit of our picnic (or burgers as was the case). The food was standard pricewise and more than acceptable tastewise. I had a spicy beanburger which was very tasty.
Hotfooting it into the shop which we had hoped to save until the end, but the rain started again Isabelle was again amazed at all the things that you could buy. As it was a birthday treat she chose herself a Peppa Pig Nightie, A Snack Box and Peppa Pig’s Teddy and away we went.
Throughout the day Peppa and George make guest appearances. Isabelle wasn’t sure about these so Daddy picked her up so that she could have a closer look. Isabelle seemed to mellow and even reached out to touch Peppa, at which point Peppa whipped her head round and headbutted Isabelle in the face.
There was plenty of photo opportunities in and around the park which looked just like we were onset ourselves. We don’t really have a willing participant with photographs which generally come out looking rather blurred (or maybe I’m just really bad with a camera).
It was a great day and the teenager and his friend had a great day in the main part of Poulton’s Park despite the weather. I would definitely recommend it to anybody with a Peppa Mad infant, or just for a great family day out.
Happy Days Linky – Back to School and off into the World of Work
Happy Days Linky – Social media will be packed full of smiling little faces stood in front of their front doors with their brand spanking new school uniforms, shiny shoes, bags and book bags all eager to start or be back at school.
Monday I was totally the beamingly proud mum sending off my ‘little one’ for his first day at work! Ryan started his first day as an Apprentice Carpenter today. He went off wearing his new work uniform with his high vis vest in his bag, his packed lunch and a smile on his face. Unfortunately he wouldn’t pose for the obligatory standing in front of the front door which is a bit of a shame. Nonetheless, it was a total proud parenting moment.
Routine – Tuesday Isabelle went back to school. She was pleased to go even though she was a little Monkey at bedtime last night and could barely open her eyes.
Birthday Cake Prep – With a full week at work I did something that I’ve never done before. I made the sponges for the cake and put them in the freezer. I knew that it would be stressful getting the cake made so I wanted to be as organised as possible.
Birthday – Friday was Isabelle’s 7th Birthday. The day started at around 6am and was a flurry of presents, pancakes and then a rush to get dressed and out of the door to school and work. The look on Isabelle’s face when she unwrapped her presents was what us mums and dads live for. We’re much more savvy with present buying these days. Quality over quantity. We bought her exactly what she’s been coveting for the last few months. She’s a huge Kids You Tube fan so we managed to get her a giant surprise egg which we filled with ‘blind bags’ such as Shopkins, Num Noms, Trolls and such like. Her face was priceless.
Birthday party – I am pleased to report that the birthday party that we arranged for after school at the local ibounce trampoline park was totally worth it. All the kids that were invited came (yey) and they all had an amazing time. I couldn’t resist a bounce myself and even went off the platform backwards with a little bit of encouragement from the kids! You can see that on my Instagram if you like!
More birthdays – September is the month for birthdays in our family. Clearly the result of all those Christmas party’s. Ha ha!
Sleepover – Isabelle had her first sleepover at our house this weekend. She has slept at her friends once before, and this was our turn. They had dinner then mostly amused themselves with all of Isabelles birthday presents. We watched Strictly which was a bit disappointing as there wasn’t much dancing. They did, however have a bit of a boogie in front of the TV. There was no fuss getting them to bed, and it was quite sweet listening to them whispering and giggling. They didn’t stay up all night as they’d planned and once they were asleep they were gone for the night. The morning saw them trampolining in their pyjamas before resuming trying to cram in a play with EVERYTHING. It’s fair to say that it was a success and I’m just waiting to see how long it is before we get asked again.
Photo’s – Don’t you just love it when the memories come up in your facebook feed? I love it and more so when it involves a birthday and all the pics from previous years come up. This picture is Isabelle’s first birthday when we bought her first trike. Look at that face!
New job – I know I posted about my new job the other week, but this is another new job. I’ve just had the official green light so am pleased to announce that I am the new Local Editor for Mumsnet Exeter. I’m really excited about this.
We’ve had a fab week. I hope you have too!