30 Jun 2016

Wild Ones // Temple Newsam

In England you have to make the most of the sunny days and as so on Saturday as the sun shone we decided to head to Temple Newsam in Leeds. I used to go there in my student days and so it was a nice trip down memory lane and great to share it with my little family too. 

We had a picnic and the baby, whose recently been weaned, was hoovering up all the leftovers. Then we explored the gardens of the house and the Toddler enjoyed running around the maze. We even managed a really rare family shot with the self timer. I also love the pictures of the kids with their daddy. We love spending weekends together as a family. 

We got ice-cream as the Toddler is obsessed and always ends up covered in it. The grounds are massive and the Toddler did really well running everywhere and exploring it all, but ended up on daddy's shoulders as it was too much walking! I'm glad to have these photos as after this day out daddy took the Toddler to the hairdresser and cut all his golden locks off. Waaah!


24 Jun 2016

You know you're married to a Belgian when...

1) You go through a tub of Nutella a week. At least!

2) They are horrified at the cardboard sold in supermarkets in the 'bread' aisle and that this so-called-bread could have a sell by date that lasts a week. (Can you believe that in Bruges they have bread vending machines as all the shops shut at six?)

3) A bum bag in considered an appropriate 'fashion' accessory.

4) They will only drink sparkling water.

5) They drive way too close to the car in front.

6) They turn their nose up at waffles (too touristy) and always order pannenkoeken met suiker.

7) They are obsessed with football and force your whole family to get dressed up for every game and go crazy when a goal is scored - in Flemmish of course.

15 Jun 2016

The Siblings Project // June 2016

I can't believe that one of the things I was most concerned about, when pregnant, was the bond between these two. I thought that he might be jealous or that he wouldn't be very interested in her until she was mobile.

Well in fact the best thing about having a second baby has been witnessing the bond between the two of them grow. No-one can make her laugh quite like he can. If she's being grizzly we ask him to try and cheer her up and he dances, manically, in front of him singing the Go Jetters theme song, 'go, go, go, go, go, Go Jetters!' She kills herself laughing. She always looks for him in the room and is captivated by all his crazy antics. 
He also enjoys entertaining her by launching himself off the sofa. I think they will be a frightful duo when she is older! Even now she enjoys going high on the swings and going down the slides with us.

Our local park is a bit limited in that it only has a slide and swings and so we have to make up games to amuse ourselves. One of 'their' favourites is putting her at the end of the slide and then he races down and I lift her out of the way just in time. He calls it the 'crash game' and it is requested often, but I do get some looks from the other mothers in the park!

He loves to cuddle her, sometimes it verges on squashing - but I think that he has good intentions! He likes holding her hand and when I pick him up from playgroup he always has a little chat with her in her pram - as if he's missed her. 

In many ways she's a very similar baby to him - in looks and personality. She is very wriggly and always wants to be upright or standing checking everything out. She rocks back and forth on the spot or in your lap desperate to crawl. She is commando crawling now - a very similar age to her brother - and I'm sure it won't be long before she perfects the technique. They sleep in a similar way with their hands above their heads. She is very smiley too and, like her brother, her smile lights up her whole face. They were both very sociable babies too and love having lots of family and friends around.

We ask him, "is she cute?"
"No she's a girl." 
Could be a sign of things to come!
In fact now she is shuffling around she is starting to grab his toys more and chew them and he's not very keen on this, so I can see some sibling rivalry in the future but for now watching their interactions is the sweetest thing ever. In fact it makes my heart very full.

The Me and Mine Project

13 Jun 2016

The Toddler Turns Three...

I always seem to do these updates sporadically, rather than on specific but today I am in time for his third birthday . But I am always glad when I do publish them as you think you will remember all the little things, but already his first year is becoming hazy in my mind and now confused with his sister so some things I want to remember about this age...

For me it is the best age. The terrible two tantrums have calmed down and you make me laugh all the time. You've lost the baby cheeks and dimples and now you've grown into a solid little boy, you look light but are very heavy - must be all the muscles.

Your favourite things to do:

* Go really fast on your scooter down a hill

* Make 'fwends' with older boys at the park or soft play and join in their games

* Complete puzzles for 5 year olds

* Play with other peoples toys

* Make up little stories using his Batman legos or dinosaurs

* Watch tv - especially 'wetwix' and youtube which you call 'game' as you watch it on the tablet and you used to use the tablet to play cbeebies games but now you're all about Thomas and Friends stop motions, Ryan's toy review and watching other people play computer games

* Be chased and play hide and seek - your hiding skills have vastly improved from when you used to hide behind the curtains every time. You barely cover your eyes and say, "1,2,6,9,10 ready I come!" Plus if you don't find him quick enough he shouts, "I'm here!" or just pops out from his hiding place.

* You're obsessed with ghosts and monsters and every random noise is always one or the other.

Your speech has improved a lot this year and you've progressed from saying a few words and phrases to sentences. Some of my favourite things that you have said lately, "mummy I yike your tshirt." "Rara is my favourite." You call upstairs downstairs and nothing will change your mind about that. You sing along to all your favourite cartoon theme tunes and often only actually know a few words and just sing them really loudly - its very cute. 

Your favourite foods are pasta, sausages, fish fingers, chips, pineapple, toast and porridge. When I say we're going to the supermarket you say, "supermarket?Popcorns, sweets, guagagine (magazine) ..."


Your best friends are Nancy and Annabel as you see them the most. You also like playing with your other nursery friends Jessica, Huxley, Miriam and the 'twins'. You love 'Sasher' (Asher) too and go swimming with him and Jon and the 'gerls' every Saturday morning.

Quiz your toddlers: Ellis at 2 3/4

What's your name? Ellis

How old are you? Two

When is your birthday? Batman

How old is your mummy? Umm…

How old is your daddy? Daddy sleep

What's your favourite colour? Blue

What's your favourite food? (Big pause) Pasta

Who's your bestfriend? Mia

What's your favourite tv programme? Wescue Bots

What's your favourite film? Monsters Inc

What's your favourite song? Popcorn Popping and Twinkle Twinkle

What's your favourite animal? Wions

What are you scared of? Doggy

What makes you happy? Puzzle

You really are such a fun, lively and charming little boy. Parenting you can be exhausting as you're so full of energy and love to run off in public places. However our lives would not be the same without you in it. You are the loveliest big brother and really make your sister laugh and are always very concerned when she's crying etc. We are so blessed to have you in our family!

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