With the Bank Holiday weekend upon us, daddy working ten hours shifts each day and the children desperate to get out in the fresh air I asked them where they wanted to go yesterday. The answer was to have a picnic, collect nature things and not go in the car. Miss M loves cycling and was keen to go on her bike so I decided we’d spend the afternoon in Central Park, the main park for the city and only a 5 minute walk from us.
So we set off with Miss M leading the way on her bike, and Mister B in his pushchair (I knew his little legs wouldn’t last long walking), and explored the winding paths, up and down the hills and stopped whenever we saw something of interest.
They each had a bag to collect their treasure and we found a lovely area full of willow, oak and horse-chestnut trees where we parked the bike/buggy and set off exploring.
We then decided to move on with Miss M going full steam ahead on her bike, she turned a corner and as we followed we saw her bike parked up. I looked over to the side of the path and there she was, straddled across a fallen tree trunk pretending to ride a horse!!
After lots of fun and giggling we decided to find a spot for our picnic and carried on up the winding paths until we came across a beautiful open space, the grass full of daisies and a gorgeous hedgerow blooming with pink flowers. We sat down and enjoyed our lunch with the glorious sun rays beaming down upon us – we had found ourselves a little sun trap with no one in sight and silence apart from a few birds tweeting in the trees.
After eating we carried on through the park and found a bench which they both got really excited about and insisted on sitting on. We then headed up to the little playground which Mister B absolutely adored having a go on everything he could.
After four hours strolling around, foraging for nature’s treasures, enjoying a picnic in a field full of daisies we were exhausted and headed home to relax and share our adventures with daddy.
Ten days ago I became an Auntie once again to a gorgeous little nephew, although due them living 125 miles away the first opportunity we have had to meet him was yesterday. With the husband working nights this week, he was up all Friday night which meant I was left to drive (long distance driving is usually something I would avoid!!). So with him snoozing against a pillow in the passenger seat we set off and the journey wasn’t too bad, the sun was shining and the children were amused by the various things I pointed out along the way… until we hit the M5 and hit a standstill!! There I was in the outside lane with the handbrake on, the children starting to get fidgety, the sun was blazing through the boot which was full of the baby blue cupcakes that I had stayed up baking the night before and there was nothing I could do except crawl along the odd ten feet as and when the car in front moved.
About half an hour later we started moving again and before we knew it we arrived to meet the new member of our family. Miss M was in awe of such a tiny baby, not really remembering how tiny Mister B was when he was first born. She was keen for a cuddle and looked so proud to hold him.
After lunch we all took a walk down the road to the local fete on the village common. There was a little play park next door which immediately caught Miss M’s eye so we let them have a run around to stretch their legs before the inevitable 125 mile journey home a bit later on.
We returned to my brother’s house for a glass of Champagne and one of my cupcakes to celebrate the birth of his new son. It was lovely afternoon spent catching up with family, my parents had travelled there as well who I don’t see for months at a time so being altogether is one of those special moments we get to enjoy just several times throughout the year.
We decided to get on the road home before it got too late and before we’d even reached the motorway I turned around to find two sleeping little beauties exhausted from their busy day meeting their new cousin and playing with his big sister.
Wow – it feels like so long since I blogged, I took an unintended long break over the festive period due to being just so busy!! The run up to Christmas was crazy with so much going on and so many things to do and Miss M and I both felt a little poorly during the week before.
It was so exciting to see Miss M in her first school nativity, where she chose to play a shepherd. I was slightly annoyed though when the show started and proud Mister B couldn’t help himself and called out to his big sister upon seeing her a number of times and the mother sitting in front of me turned round and told me to leave unless he kept quiet!!
My parents arrived a few days before Xmas which was nice and gave me some time to wrap presents – how many? – I wish I had counted but my arms were aching and fingers sore by the time they were all done. But the fireplace didn’t disappoint on Christmas morning when Santa had done his deliveries. Miss M and Mister B were so excited and didn’t know where to begin.
We had a lovely Christmas day although I have to say by far the most exhausting for me – I don’t think I got to sit down other than to eat Christmas dinner!!
After Christmas was over we had a few days to relax before preparing for Miss M’s birthday party on New Year’s Eve. I cheated this year and decided to hold it at the local leisure centre with a bouncy castle and despite costing double the amount that I spent on a party last year for the same number of children I have to say I was slightly disappointed with the overall way it ran and will definitely go back to doing a party myself again next year. I also cheated on the birthday cake!!! The first year I haven’t made my children a homemade cake but I did make it up slightly by baking some yummy chocolate cupcakes, iced in buttercream and finished with a personalised pink M&M!!
On New Year’s Day my gorgeous little Miss M officially became 5 years old!! Where have the last five years gone? We had a lovely day, which started sunny so ventured down to the park on Miss M’s new bike and Mister B’s new scooter. We then enjoyed a birthday lunch with family before opening birthday presents and relaxing for the rest of the day.
So although busy, we have had some lovely family times over the last few weeks and I look forward to see what 2013 brings us!!
I’ve missed Miss M dearly over the last week while she’s spent time with her grandparents in Kent – a rare break for me with having no family down in Devon, but a great opportunity for her to experience new and exciting things and spend quality time with family. And as expected there have been up’s and down’s over the week – the fun days out she’s had but then the teary phone calls to mummy each night declaring how much she misses me.
But the week is over and it was time to pick her up – we thought about driving to a half way point – but Bank Holiday Monday with Mister B in the car – NO!! So I took the train on my own to meet them in London and pick her up. Meeting at the V&A museum, Miss M nearly toppled me over with the tightest cuddle ever but we soon set of to peruse the museums offerings and was kindly handed a crafty boat activity pack for Miss M to make inspired by the designs we could see on display.
We then headed through the central courtyard to the V&A restaurant where I enjoyed an Aubergine Parmigianno – yum!! The chocolate meringues looked amazing but I went for a slice of chocolate cake to share with Miss M.
The architecture of the building was stunning and I couldn’t take my eyes off the gigantic balls of lights dangling down from the intricatly designed ceiling.
We then decided to pop next door to the Natural History Museum as Miss M was keen to see the dinosaurs although the volume of people in there compared to the V&A was considerable and it was a little too claustropobic for poor Miss M who loves the fresh air and outdoors.
So after exploring dinosaurs we headed off on foot to Hyde Park, past the Royal Albert Hall and across to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground.
Miss M loves being free to run around and her face lit up when she saw what awaited her. Having never visited here before, I was a little unsure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to see that the gated playground was manned and numbers were controlled to ensure there was no overcrowding. The playground was very green, bushes and trees everywhere and through every little winding path you followed there was something new to explore. The main centre attraction is a giant wooden pirate ship surrounded by sand and I have to say Miss M spent most of her time there.
After a long, tiring but fun and enlightening day it was time to go home. Thinking Miss M would sleep for the three and three quarter hours train journey I was mistaken. She was full of beans and couldn’t manage to sit still in her seat for the entire journey home. And finally we were home sweet home. x
So that time has come – 52 weeks of being on maternity leave reaches an end!! It was great but I won’t me going back for any more. My dear Mister B starts nursery on Monday alongside Miss M – who is very excited at the prospect of her baby brother joining her. Although mummy doesn’t share quite the same excitement of sitting at an office desk for 8 hours daydreaming about the endless chores waiting for her at home and her poor baby boy enduring a long day on his first adventures at nursery.
But I am grateful for the bit of winter sun we had last week – October sun – who’d have thought it? It gave me a chance to have some fun in the local park with Mister B and Miss M while daddy was working. Mister B loves the baby swings and we always get him giggling on them.
While Miss M on the other hand likes a bit of adventure and has to go on everything especially loving to climb or go down the slides!!
So I guess it’s preparation and organisation this weekend ensuring everything’s ready on Sunday night, clothes out, bags packed, packed lunch made……..and now I wait for panic mode to set in on Monday morning – arghh!!