We’ve now completed three quarters of 2017 and into my favourite season. It seems that everyone loves autumn too and I totally understand why although I am unsure how we’ve managed to complete 3 quarters of 2017 already
I write this whilst laying on an inflatable mattress surrounded by fabric walls and a fabric ceiling. For the third time in as many weeks we are camping!
J loved it so much at Camp Bestival she asked to go again as soon as we got back, and as we had been given a new tent by someone at work and needed to test it we thought ‘why not?’
Last weekend the hubster took her to a local campsite and this weekend I took her to mum and dads back garden as I wanted to see how confident and comfortable I was with her camping on my own
Both times we’ve put the tent up together and both times it’s gone fine, especially as we had no instructions! Each weekend the other adult has returned home for a good nights sleep and the other has had BBQ’s, tent parties and nights snuggled with J
She has adored every part of it and has been so excited each time we’ve told her – in fact next week I think she’ll be upset as it won’t be coming out again! With the success of it over the past few weeks we’ve decided to bite the bullet and go camping for a week as our main holiday next year
We figured if we can survive the constant rain at Camp Bestival (and a child who enjoyed running and spinning in the mud) then we can do a week in the classic unpredictable British summertime, come rain or shine
I love that you can strip it all back, sleep in a tent, have a BBQ and it makes for a great adventure for her (and us) even if it’s as simple as in my mum and dads back garden – it’s something every kid loves doing isn’t it?
I have driven through Bath many times and every time I have said I wanted to stop and visit it. From the car it always looked majestic and one of those places I knew I would fall in love with. In February the hubster surprised me with a grown up trip to visit this beautiful city without the stresses of a 4yo in a city and my oh my it didn’t disappoint
A couple of weeks ago we visited our good friend RH who has moved up to Crewe. Going from seeing someone on an almost daily basis to once a week or fortnight when she was back down south for work, to once a month if we were lucky because she changed job roles, has been really hard. We’ve been trying since August to get a date in the calendar and finally we managed to secure one for mid November
Instagram is quite literally my favourite social media platform. I love looking at beautiful photos, reading snippets of daily activities and seeing new places to explore. Last week I saw a stunning photo of a “tunnel of trees” and after a quick search I found out it was a short drive away from us in a small place called Halnaker in West Sussex
We decided to make a day of it, taking a car picnic with us with a plan to walk through the tunnel of trees up Halnaker Hill to the windmill at the top. The walk wasn’t a long one, 1.5 miles there and back but it was simply stunning. As soon as we entered the tunnel we felt like we were transported into a magical woodland, with the autumnal colours on the trees, leaves on the ground and sun glistening through making it feel like a different world
Never one to sit still, on our week off we managed to visit 4 counties in 4 days; North Yorkshire, Hampshire, Dorset and East Sussex
After arriving home from York we decided to visit Corfe Castle with our National Trust passes. Travelling to Dorset from Hampshire after a day confined to a car we didn’t think that J would manage another lengthy trip but she surprised us and was so well behaved. She sat and chatted happily to us in the car throughout the journey
We arrived late morning and the sky was stunning, with cotton wool type clouds and very little breeze. We took the longer route from the National Trust car park to get to the castle, walking along the nature trail which was quite scenic and with a little river alongside it, and then began the trek up to the top. We chose not to do the children’s activity paper this time round and instead explore together
Life in general and holidays seem to have got in the way these past few weeks and I’ve struggled to find time to put pen to paper so to speak. Hopefully April will see calmer times and a much needed catch up as I have so many photos from our adventures
A couple of weeks ago we visited Longdown Activity Farm for Mother’s Day and took my mum along with us. We last visited on Father’s Day in June last year, and it’s quite nice as parents go free depending on which day you’re celebrating. Mum hasn’t been to any farms or zoos with us since having J, and it’s been years since she last visited Longdown with me as a little girl so it was nice to experience it with her and for her to reminisce from when I was young
As soon as we entered the farm we went straight to the hens and see if there were any eggs available for collection. J found one in the access holes and was pleased as punch, taking it straight to the farm shop and receiving a big sticker. She was a little sad to see it go, but I promised her that at the end of the visit we would buy some eggs to take home, hopefully including the one she had found
The next stop was the calf shed and bottle feeding the calves. J got straight into it and the calves greedily gupled on the bottle as she was holding it. Mum and I helped her as she fed the calf and the hubster looked on, snapping away at the camera. I mentioned a while ago that there’s so few photos of mum and I, and even fewer of mum, J and I, so this was a perfect opportunity to rectify that and I find that I struggle being on the other side of the camera but he did a pretty good job!
Last week we went to Center Parcs with a couple of friends. I have a real love for Center Parcs and whenever we go we make full use of a break from the 10am opening on the first day to the evening on the last. Aside from Christmas when I was poorly and a bit of a write off, the last time we had some ‘proper’ family time together was when we went to Florida in September, so it was long overdue
Unfortunately we started the week with an unwell child so we weren’t quite sure how the week would pan out, but overall it was a pretty great week full of family time and memories. I took so many photos that I still haven’t gone through but my Ordinary Moments this week is about the short but amazing family time we had together
J has started to tell us constantly that she loves us, although she does it at least 30 times a day it is adorable and she even extended it to our friends midway through the break which I think they were a little shocked with to begin with. She really is the most loving little girl I know and it does get a bit tiresome at times so I often have to remind myself it’s not going to last forever and not to get weary when she says it
I spent a lot of time trying to do one on one talking with J, or holding hands with her and the hubster when walking and just trying to be a ‘fun’ mum rather than the normal stressed out and tired mum I generally feel I can be. J seemed to appreciate this and we shared a special lunch of pancakes together on the Thursday before meeting the hubster and the group for a swim
We came back from Florida with the most awful post holiday blues and within a few days back I had booked a mini break away for the end of November in Somerset with the hubster, J, Lexi and some friends. We had been 6 years ago for the hubsters 30th and although I’m not usually a fan of going to the same place twice the price was very reasonable and the hot tub was the selling point for the group. Although many people shudder at the thought of no phone signal I love it, and although they have internet now there is no phone signal whatsoever so quite a good cutoff from the world (although we found ourselves checking out social media on occasion!)
We chose the end of November for a couple of reasons; November is probably the worst month in the calendar for weather, dark days and poor health, and the other is that on the 30th November both the hubster and J have their birthdays. What better excuse to get away and enjoy some time together in the great outdoors?
We arrived pretty late on Friday night as we all had to work and there was a fair bit of traffic on the road. Before we left the hubster and I had decided to have Saturday as their birthdays as we knew their actual birthdays would be spent driving home. As soon as we put J to bed we set to work on decorating and wrapping the final presents whilst we waited for CJ and DC to join us with a yummy lasagne for dinner
Of course it would be rude not to spend some time in the hot tub so the 4 of us went in and had a good old chat. There’s something pretty surreal about being in a hot tub in the middle of Winter looking at the stars with a cold face but toasty body – though I didn’t particularly like the walk (run) back into the warmth of the lodge!
I didn’t sleep well at all on Friday night, CJ and DC slept downstairs in the double and we had J in our room whilst we slept on the singles. J was finding it difficult to adjust in a new room and bed so kept waking throughout the night and at around 3-4am a little face appeared at the side of my bed asking to get in with me. The rule at home is a firm no, but when we are away I don’t mind her sleeping in the bed with me, as long as it doesn’t interrupt the hubster. The only problem sharing a single bed with a tall toddler is the arms and legs everywhere and I found myself awake on a teeny bit of the bed whilst she sprawled out! That’s love for you…
At 630am on Saturday morning we decided it was time to get up and open presents. This year J really seemed to understand the whole present thing and spent lots of time choosing which one to open and opening them. We realised in the year she didn’t have much in terms of ‘activity’ games that she could play with us, so we made a point of buying some and she’s played with them ever since we got home
It finally happened, last week I turned the big 3-0. The hubster had promised to make it a birthday to remember and the Friday before my birthday we set off for a short break away to Center Parcs. It is honestly one of my favourite places to holiday in the UK and when I found out the week before I could finally get excited before going