September, September: Autumn’s here

Autumn fruits

Parents in the UK may recognise my blog title from the month specific song on CBeebies, all about the joys of chillier days and falling leaves. Not actually the most appropriate as it has felt more like Summer for a lot of the the month, although now we’re into October it is definitely Autumn with crisp, cold or misty mornings and hedgerows laden with berries, hips, haws and other fruit.

My poor little blog has been very neglected this last month. I have been working on a few posts but was shocked to discover I haven’t checked in at all since my last monthly round up post. The weeks have just flown thanks to a last minute holiday away, and more settling back into work for me and the childminder for Felicity. I’m very much hoping to get more into the swing of everything when we’re in a proper routine, and catch up on blogging as well as life!

Beachy days

Bucket and spade

Beach crawling
This is the first September since I left full time education that I’ve had the really strong ‘it’s the end of the Summer’ feeling. I think because we managed to time going down to my family holiday home in Kent for a heatwave in the middle of the month we really savoured Summery things. We were incredibly lucky and basically had a bucket and spade holiday a bit late. We swam in the sea and were on the beach for hours every day. Felicity loved it and would have crawled for literal miles if we had let her.

Then all my lovely Mum friends are making decisions about heading back to work (or not) and the routine of mine and Felicity’s weekly meet ups and activities are about to change. Properly feeling like end of the holidays – although maternity leave is definitely not a holiday – September was filled with lots of last days out with the babies, culminating on Saturday with a Mum’s only spa day which was just heaven.

Dahlia

Dahlia festival

Anglesey Abbey

Despite the summery mood we have been embracing the new season with blackberry and sloe foraging, which will soon be transformed into crumble and sloe gin respectively. We also continued our accidentally created tradition of going to the dahlia festival at Anglesey Abbey. We must have been for the last 2-3 years and I think it will be a nice tradition to carry on as Felicity grows.

October is shaping up to be an exciting month, with Felicity hopefully perfecting her walking, her first birthday and getting into our new routines. Also I’m aiming for at least one more blog post than in September!

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Some postcards from August

August has vanished under a pile of lovely trips out and lots of sunny days, with a bit of going back to work stuff thrown in. The last half of the month disappeared with crafting for my friend’s wedding. It seems I can do one hobby type thing at a time as from the minute I started making lots of poms poms for the reception venue my blog writing disappeared. Here are some pictures from our August adventures.

Lavender

– We are lucky enough to live near to Hitchin Lavender Farm so one sunny afternoon in early August we spent an afternoon picking some lavender from the fields and taking lots of posey photos of Felicity. She absolutely loved the sensory experience of the amazing smells and all the bees buzzing. There was a lot of excited noises and pointing.

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– I’m in love with our tree surrounded garden this Summer.

Sharing books with Daddy

– Felicity has really got the hang of books now, and is a little bit obsessed with particular stories, this book about puffins is a  favourite.  I have so much to update on my Reading with Felicity series as well!

Family walk

– We’ve just invested in a proper hiking backpack for Felicity and we test drove it round Wimpole Estate, taking in the art installation examining the work of Capability Brown (we just used the giant mirrors to take a family selfie though).

Alpacas

– The alpacas at a farm day out with our NCT friends got a very impressed response, complete with squeals demanding the buggy be moved to follow them along the fence.

Ickworth

– Another National Trust day out, such glorious blue summery skies at Ickworth in Suffolk visiting my Aunt.

Finally joining in with #ThisLittleBigLife 

So it’s only taken me weeks but I finally managed to take photos for the great new link up run by Sarah Rooftops and Squished Blueberries. Which is all about capturing the special little uncelebrated moments at weekends and on days off. Our weekends have been so manic this Summer with lots of very big events like weddings that it didn’t seem in the spirit to join in before now. Last weekend was completely unplanned though and I actually remembered my camera – so here we go. 

We quickly nipped to Wimpole Home Farm on Saturday morning as we didn’t want the whole day to disappear into a blur of chores and it was a lovely day. This was the first visit where Felicity was really interested in everything. Her favourite animals were the rabbits, pigs and the shire horse. 

Very intentWimpole piggiesLook a horse

Afterwards we enjoyed sampling the National Trust cake and tea in the gardens, and relaxing on the deckchairs. 

Just relaxing on my deckchair

The rest of the day disappeared into a haze of errands and the worst kind of shopping – buying expensive things that are very dull, in this case a next size up car seat. It was so manic I failed miserably to capture any of the small moments, until we got to bath time when we tried out Felicity’s new hoop bath toy. 

Bedtime

Sunday was an equal failure in photography terms as I was very dopey from a particularly bad Felicity night. We did have a lovely barbeque with Will’s parents and I finally managed to cut some of the sweet peas that Will has been growing for me though. 

Sweet peas

So that was May

Well this last month flew past. I always feel like this at this time of year, I think as the days get longer and the weather gets better I try and cram more stuff in so everything goes very quickly.

We’ve had several glorious bank holidays to spend time as a family, a few days out and a lovely trip to London to celebrate a family wedding. There has been some glorious weather and the first barbeque of the year with friends. Felicity was very impressed with her first taste of sausage.

Enjoying the sun in the garden

Although the weather has now gone horrid a lot of this month has been warm. A lot of time has been spent in the garden or experimenting with our new baby carrier – a Connecta – which has made mid afternoon walks through the woods and fields a nice change of pace from endless buggy tours of our ‘technically a small town but verging on the size of a village’ home and the supermarket.

 

Sling walks

We’ve hung out with our Mum and baby friends once a week, discovering ball pits and swimming for the first time. Felicity has also thoroughly mastered crawling which has made her a lot happier as she’s able to explore more but has the disadvantage that she is finding ways to get into scrapes and accidents in lots of new interesting ways – and terrifying me frequently in the process.

Jennifer from Pastry & Purls invited us to celebrate her birthday at the Harry Potter Studio Tour and a grand day out was had by all. It was so lovely to catch up with Jennifer and finally introduce her to Felicity. There will be a more detailed post on visiting the Studio Tour with a baby very soon.

Jennifer and Felicity

Family photo with the Hogwarts ExpressKnight Bus

Towards the end of the month we headed down to London for a few days for Will’s brother’s wedding. Such a happy occasion! Will was performing some best man duties so the wedding day itself was busy but we arrived early the day before and enjoyed wandering round Greenwich. I’d forgotten how much I love London and we had glorious views over the East End from the hill in Greenwich Park, and also whizzed round the outside of the Cutty Sark, although the weather was starting to turn at that point.

View from Royal Observatory Greenwich
Cutty Sark

Since getting back from London thoughts have turned to preparing for our epic trip for Will’s sabbatical work in the Cairngorms. We are off for almost a month (although not really – it’s complicated by more weddings!) and stopping for a family holiday in the Lake District before heading to Aviemore. I will be trying to entertain myself and Felicity while Will is working – we have the sling so I’m hoping on some good walks with plenty to look at for Fliss. I am slightly regretting booking a cottage with a ‘steep bank’ in the garden – we really didn’t think she’d be crawling yet! We’re then finishing it off with more holiday in Northumberland and a wedding in Somerset is thrown into the mix too. I’m both excited at seeing new places, and slightly nervous about Felicity’s  reaction to all the changes. I’ll keep you updated…

Easter and life lately 

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Time has flown here – can’t believe it’s well over a month since I last posted. We’re coming to the end of a very relaxed long Easter holiday weekend. Will took a few extra days of leave so we’ve had a lovely amount of family time. We haven’t really done anything particular, aside from eating. Look at my two favourites on Easter Sunday! I am getting a bit obsessed with secondhand Baby Boden dresses as you can see.

Felicity is now sleeping better at night (note use of the word better not well there!) she is still up and down like a yo-yo although we have had a few glorious nights of four – five hour stretches and she generally goes down OK at the start of the night now thanks to our bedtime routine. Although it is not great, it is better than the sitting up all night with her stage,  just need to remember that and hope it’s all heading in the right direction. It’s quite scary what sleep deprivation does as the nights where she’s only woken up a couple of times I’ve felt horrible the next day. I think because my body is like ‘yes yes this is what I need – more please’ but more never comes! I used to write blog posts in the middle of night or when she was napping on me, hence the lack of posts lately now I’m not up as much (which I’m definitely not complaining about).

I can’t believe how much my tiny baby   has grown and all the new things she has learnt to do, she finally treated us to a few giggles, can now grab everything, and is very very interested in food. So interested in food in fact that we have thrown the ‘rules’ out of the window and   started giving her some solid food even though she’s not six months. She just needs to learn to sleep better now – naps are even more sporadic as she’s just too interested in everything else going on. This is currently being typed whilst standing in our utility room rocking the pram. Shhh about wondering what will happen when she outgrows the pram – I’m not thinking about that just yet!

Days are so funny with a baby – they are so filled but not with much, yet fly so fast. As well as the everyday stuff we have   attended a wedding (the first of five we have this summer) which involved a long car journey, and Felicity’s first stay in a hotel. She loved all the people but was very confused about why everyone was clapping and cheering then suddenly being very quiet during the wedding ceremony. She loudly voiced her opinion during her Godfather’s reading with a loud ‘Bah!’ It was a happy noise at least.

We’re organising her Christening which will be a lovely chance to celebrate her birth and welcome her to the world with  family and Godparents. Also I’m hoping it’ll give me the chance to be able to attempt to do something vaguely crafty and decorate the hall we’re having lunch in afterwards.

Finally, we’re planning an exciting family trip in June. I’m still trying to decide whether we’re mad but we are heading off on a long road trip up to the Cairngorms. Will has the opportunity as part of his work to take a sabbatical to do something useful for wildlife conservation. He has some pretty niche skills so is going to swap his desk job to go and try to find a rare hoverfly. I’m teasing him and saying he’s going to be staring at a log for two weeks! As I’ll still be on maternity leave Flissy and I will be joining him and tagging on some family holiday at either end to break up the journey by staying a few days on our way up and down – exact routes are being planned. If anyone has any tips about travelling with an 8 month old they’d be much appreciated. We’re mainly thinking we need to buy a roof rack at the moment!

Before all that excitement we’ll just keep pootling on with our happy if very sleep-deprived life of discovering the world closer to home with Felicity.

Christmastime 2015 

It’s felt like a funny run up to Christmas in a lot of ways; with a newborn seasonal fun has got rather pushed out of the picture. So many things have not quite happened, no cards written (sorry friends and family) no mince pies baked, no mulled wine and no turkey consumed as yet! We have still managed to mark it in little ways though. I finally started playing with my letter banner kit to make decorations for our kitchen. I love how cheery they look on grey grey days. 

It’s always a joy to get the favourite decorations out, I always forget about some and am happily reminded when going through the boxes. Also we finally had room for a real Christmas tree for the first time this year. Even though it is quite small I love it so much and went a bit crazy with pom pom decorations that I made last year

I did manage to do a bit of Christmas making as well, I played with cornflour clay to make a few (very simple and, err, ‘rustic’) presents – more on that another day. I had some clay left over to make some snowflakes to decorate the wrapped gifts. 

Having the little one does mean there are wonderful dressing up opportunities of course. I’m so sad she’s already grown out of her elf costume – those feet!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas – I hope it is filled with peace and joy. 

Colourful Christmas letter banner   
Bird ornament  Christmas tree  Cornflour snowflake wrapping decoration  

Little elf  

Sunday night delights #19 (a bit late)

I’m a little late with this post as I really wasn’t feeling very well most of last week lasting into the weekend. Magic antibiotics have helped though!

This weekend…

Was mainly about packing, sleeping and pizza. Packing because – drumroll – we have exchanged contracts on our house which means we’re moving at the end of this month! So excited it’s finally happening. There will be much blogging about DIY I’m sure when we’re in.

Sleeping because of said feeling poorly. So much time in bed reading, and little trips out locally and generally taking things slowly. Didn’t feel we missed much though as when we did (briefly) get outside it was grey and drizzly.

Pizza, because of Valentine’s Day. We don’t really ‘do’ Valentine’s Day at all, in fact this year we didn’t even do cards, so instead we treated ourselves on Saturday to a takeaway pizza with some friends. Will and I also did a little bit of the suggestion on Seeds & Stitches of telling your partner why you love them – this really was lovely and is completely free with no real preparation needed (which with our move is a massive help as we’re doing nothing but preparing in other aspects of life). Good for all year round of course, doesn’t just need to be saved for Valentine’s Day or anniversaries!

The week to come…

There’s going to be pancakes (it’s the season), birthday present choosing – we have about six special birthdays in the next month – and crochet, which has got horribly neglected with house stuff and illness. Nothing helps me focus more generally in life than making in the evening, really notice it when I’m not doing anything. I’m still not really making anything specific, just lots of granny squares which I’ll work out what to do with them at some point.

5 things I’m grateful for right now…

  • Knowing we will be moving into our lovely new house – can’t even express how lucky and blessed we are for this one.
  • Antibiotics – for obvious reasons (ie they’re magic)
  • I’m re-reading the Poldark novels, as the new TV series will be starting soon. I’m a lifelong fan of the books and the 1970s TV series – so the remake is a big deal for me!
  • It being light in the mornings when we’re getting up – makes waking up that bit easier.
  • Packing our boxes using multi-colour tape I got from Tiger and eBay – colour coding heaven!