A Tunnel of Trees

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

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On Edge {Ordinary Moments Week 11 – 13/3/16}

I’m writing this on Sunday morning, the hubster and J have gone to a birthday party and I’ve been sat for a while wondering what to write for my Ordinary Moments post. Not through lack of activities or events, but through how I’m feeling right now

I’ve  had a really lovely week with my family despite being back at work. Mothers Day last weekend was great and I had some lovely family time with mum and dad, and on Wednesday I had some real proud mummy moments with her learning to write and taking her first ever swimming lesson without me in the water. I was honestly amazed at just how well she took to the swimming, especially as the week before at Center Parcs she literally clung to me in the water and would not let go of me. I was a little (incredibly) apprehensive about her going in, but she was fine – amazing in fact – aside from a slight meltdown towards the end when a boy splashed her

That all seems to have been dwarfed by this weekend and her behaviour. We have been very lucky with J the past few years, suffering very few tantrums and generally having a well behaved child. This weekend has felt as though she has combined those few years  and her turning three, and she’s come at us with a vengeance. We seem to have gained a mini teenager with her back chatting us, not doing what she’s told, and with every instruction we have given her, is asking ‘why?’ or simply saying ‘no’ and going off and trying to do her own thing

It’s really taken us aback, and I’ve felt unbelievably on edge, and in turn, the hubster has too. The 1, 2, 3 countdown is getting to 3 and we’re following through with whatever threats and promises we have, but she just doesn’t care. I honestly dread to think about the teenage years, the last 36 hours have given me such a headache and I would do anything right now to have my lovely daughter back

I know and hope it’s just a phase where she pushes the boundaries, but when you’re least expecting it, it really takes you off your feet, especially after the last few great weeks of family time. Yesterday we took the girls for a walk and ride to Hockley Viaduct and throughout the entire walk I was grumpy with the dog, J and even the hubster for numerous reasons. It was a beautiful day, the first day it’s actually felt like Spring but we just didn’t feel it which is so unusual for us

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After spending the day in turmoil, we decided this morning that we would part ways for the day and ‘tag-team’ swap with J, to give the other some much needed breathing space. When the hubster suggested it I felt immensely guilty as I normally treasure my time with her, and him. But actually I couldn’t have been more relieved

I know I don’t see her a huge amount in the week and like to make the most out of the weekend, but I’ve felt myself turning very quickly into shouty mum after the last few days of dealing with her

Those 2 short hours today will give me some much needed sanity, so I can enjoy what’s left of this beautiful sunny weekend with my girl. After all, one happy parent is better than 2 grumpy parents.

Linking up with Katie for The Ordinary Moments

My Sunday Photo {Week 11 – 13/3/16}

We went to Longdown Activity Farm for Mothers Day with my mum last weekend. It’s been a long time since we had a full day together and we had a great time feeding the animals, playing on the equipment and interacting

Near the end of the visit mum requested to have J’s face painted and J chose a tiger. The queue was quite lengthy but J was really excited about having it done so we continued to wait while she played. The face painter did a great job and didn’t take any time at all, and J was equally as good, sitting still and listening to what she was being asked

Following the face painting J spent the rest of the time we were there roaring at us and passers by, and mum was pretty pleased that her granddaughter was happy. It was a great day out and I look forward to another adventure with mum again soon

 

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Family Time {Ordinary Moments Week 10 – 6/3/16}

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

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Me and Mine {February 2016}

February has been one of those months where it just whizzed by but at times it felt like time itself had stopped. J spent most of the month feeling off colour and coughing a lot at night and we have had to slow down and let her rest, especially on the weekends which is very unlike us

It’s not been all bad because we have managed to move her into the second biggest room, the back room (previously known as the junk room) and we’ve had a really big clear out and generally decluttered upstairs. This was our most unloved part of the house as we only use it as a dressing / sleeping / bathing area, but I’m more inclined to spend time up there now and J loves her new ‘big girls bedroom’. Remarkably it’s stayed tidy too!

Around mid month, after a couple of weeks of taking it easy J was starting to play up as she isn’t one for sitting still, so we decided to go out for a family walk to St Catherine’s Hill in Winchester, with the plan to take some photos at the top of the hill

The photos make me laugh just looking at them, the hubster had stood for ages waiting for me to set it up and J was desperate to use my camera and sat on the floor also waiting for me, getting slightly frustrated as I wouldn’t let her use it until I had finished the photos. My knees were muddy from setting up my camera on the damp grass (must invest in a tripod, the gorilla-pod just isn’t cutting it at the moment) and the dog went on a mad one racing around the field (after I didn’t actually notice her in the first photo or the one where she photobombed us). It was a typical attempt of trying and failing but making some funny memories along the way

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Interrupted Sleep {Ordinary Moments Week 7 – 14/02/16}

We have always been lucky with J, from 4 weeks old she slept through the night and very rarely does she wake up, so when she does it really gives us a shock to the system. I am fully aware we aren’t “the norm” and many other households struggle with sleeping toddlers/preschoolers but for us interrupted sleep is something we really aren’t used to, and don’t cope well with as a result

The last couple of weeks J has had an awful cough, which has woken us several times in the night and given us frequent 5-530 starts. This has seen us somehow return to zombie parents, trying to figure out in the midst of sleepiness whose turn it is to see to her whilst fumbling in the dark for medicine and drinks

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The Bond {Ordinary Moments 2016 Week 2 – 10/1/16}

Lexi always used to be ‘our baby’ so to speak and our life and even our social life tended to revolve around her. When J arrived on the scene things died down, Lexi naturally moved down in the pecking order and she didn’t really know what to think of this tiny little being in her space

The last couple of weeks we’ve watched the dynamics change once more. Lexi is no longer avoiding this tornado of energy called J that has wreaked havoc on her life, but is now following her and playing with her. Lexi still won’t sit by her feet (mainly because J doesn’t sit still for very long) but she seems to have accepted her at long last and will finally go into her room to see her in the morning when she wakes, and she will even sit for cuddles

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“You Are Selfish”

This week I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen since I was pregnant. We are by no means close or what I would call friends, just someone I knew through my profession

The person asked how my baby was doing and was shocked when I informed them that J was approaching 3. They then asked if I were to have another. To which I responded with my usual blanket response “I’m happy with one”

The feedback that instantly came from this person’s mouth was (in exact words) “you are selfish” which quite upset me. The conversation continued briefly, with me advising I had a bad pregnancy and this person continuing to informing me that I was selfish again because my daughter needed to have a sibling

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I’m just not ready

I’m feeling emotional this week, more so than usual. I am a bit of a wreck with my emotions at times though pretty often blame it on hormones (sometimes you just have to use those blasted hormones to your advantage!)

There’s a combination of things going on but the one thing that’s really bringing a tear to my eye and making me both proud and sad at the same time is my girly

She has all of a sudden grown up; she has shot up in height, her determination has grown and her ability and understanding has increased. For the 4th consecutive day she has got herself dressed without fuss and is in general such a pleasure to be around. It’s bittersweet, I want her to be independent, but I am already starting to miss the ‘need’ for my help

She has become quite insistent on going out on her bike and you know what, she’s mastered the art of turning corners and has even started to stand/pedal to get more momentum (although we keep stopping her in case she falls)

She’s been out on the bike a couple of times with me, although the hubster came out with us both on Sunday for the first time in ages and as she pedalled off he just looked at me  in complete shock and awe saying “whats happened to our baby?” and “how did I miss that?” It really is hard to believe that she is only 2 and still a toddler of sorts as her physical ability is brilliant and that of a 4-5 year old

On her bike, so so confident
On her bike, so so confident

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The Plight of a Dad

It’s the hubster here, taking over wifey’s blog for a night

When wifey was a new mum she was struck with Post Natal Depression, she didn’t want to go out much, struggled to socialise with new and other mums, and found the adaptation to motherhood very difficult

The first few months were just about getting by, finding our feet, and adapting to everything J threw at us, so I can’t say I was much use on the socialising front either!

Fast forward 2 and a bit years and wifey has recovered, she’s a happy mum and adores J, though with our struggle at the beginning, we have very few friends with children – much less any the same age as J

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