Just like that September is over and we’re firmly into Autumn. This time of year is my absolute favourite; it’s so full of promise with the excitement of winter to come. After a busy summer it also feels like the time when things start to settle back down to normal. It’s felt like that for us this month, a time to find our new normal as a family of four… not that it’s been a quiet month by any means, it’s been mayhem from start to finish. Fancy seeing what we’ve been up to? Of course you do, you nosey parkers; luckily for you it’s that time of the month when I’m sharing what we’ve got up to including some of our less than share-worthy photos!
September saw us start the month by packing up the car, sending the dog off to my parents and heading down to Seaview Holiday Park in Cornwall. We’d been in the area a couple of weeks earlier which meant we could have a chilled weekend without feeling like we had to rush around seeing everything. I’ll admit to feeling sad about not going abroad this year but watching the toddler race around the holiday park made me realise that we could be anywhere and he’d love it. We splashed in the pool, spent the day at the beach and made the most of living in a compact space which meant the toddler could sit in the lounge whilst we snuck in a lie in! As part of the trip we visited the Eden Project, which was a great day out for all of us. Since becoming a parent, places with plenty of open outdoor space are very appealing so this fitted the bill perfectly. Another thing ticked off the list!
Next up, Peppa Pig World. We’d planned to go before the Summer holidays as a birthday treat for the toddler but being heavily pregnant ruled that out in the end. I’m glad we waited, he’s matured a lot over the last five months and was a perfect age to take it all in. We drove up and back in the day, thinking that we’d be finished in a few hours but it was a full day of fun and activities. Being September, it was relatively quiet as the holidays were over meaning we had some short queue times. We met Peppa and George, rode on every single ride and then made our way out of Peppa Pig World and in to the rest of Paulton’s Park.
There’s a huge dinosaur themed area which appealed to our dino fan so we rode a rollercoaster and then went on a dino hunting safari – the toddler was terrified! He’s brave most of the time but the animatronic dinosaurs were a little too scary for him despite us telling him they weren’t real. It’s so easy to forget how realistic puppets and models are at that age! Highlight of the day – when they made us strap the baby into her own seat for a whole ride… yeah…
That weekend we did one of my favourite things; we had our photos taken professionally. I hate having my picture taken normally but last year we took part in a family photoshoot as part of the blog and I adored the photos. So this year, when hunting for a birthday gift, Dave decided to buy us a similar experience. Helen, from Helen Lisk Photography, came to our house for the morning (cue mad tidying and de-cluttering) and spent the morning blending in to the background, entertaining our little ones and taking some absolutely beautiful shots. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I cried when I saw them. I’m going to do a complete post to share them because I just cannot do them justice in this post but here are a few of my favourites. My heart!!
September went out just as it started, with a weekend away. We’ve been so fortunate to work with some great brands on here over the last few years and I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to work on some review trips. This one took us to Beyond Escapes just outside of Paignton, Devon. A lodge for the weekend, we took our time relaxing in the hot tub before spending a day out in the countryside of Stover Park. I’m a big convert now to small mini breaks, we take our own food from the cupboards here, pack up a couple of bags and get that quick break needed to give us some quality time together. I can’t wait to get some more booked in!
In between all of that we’ve been lucky enough to see some of our friends, spend some late summer days at the beach and get drenched in the autumn rains as the weather starts to change. This month saw us all go down with a family cold as well as giving me the gift of food poisoning; so much fun with a newborn that wants to breastfeed all the time! The toddler had his two and a bit year assessment and is progressing wonderfully and the baby faced her final set of inoculations by demonstrating her impressive lung capacity. Joy.
As the schools restarted, we’ve gone back into swimming lessons with Water Babies, something that I have mixed feelings about. The toddler loves being in the water but has a huge fear of going underwater and I’m not 100% sure he’s getting much enjoyment out of his lessons. It feels like a waste to stop them now so we’re keeping going but attempting to go more as a family outside of the structured classes. The upside is that the baby gets to swim with us when we go then and she seems to love the water, perhaps we’ve chosen the wrong child to teach to swim. I just hope he turns it round soon as it’s hard to know whether to continue it or not.
Aside from that, he continues to keep me entertained during the weeks. Toddlers are awesome aren’t they?! I mean, he can be brutal, has energy beyond measure and knows exactly what he does and doesn’t want to do but he’s amazing. I find him increasingly good company to be around, even during his stroppy moments. This month I’ve tried to make more of an effort to go out as a threesome. Normally we stick to group outings with friends but there are plenty of days when no-one is available and I know that I’ll go stir crazy stuck indoors. I’m feeling increasingly confident about taking them out and about alone, providing I know the place and have a couple of escape plans ready if a meltdown happens, from any of us.
The baby is growing up at an incredible rate. I feel like I’m always focussed on her brother but my goodness is she a delight. She’s so chilled out in comparison to him and will happily watch him whirlwind around her. We’re in more of a routine with her sleep patterns and I can roughly plan our days to maximise quiet time being at home or to suit what we’re up to. I think she’s going to be a tall little girl, she’s already stretching out of the bottom of her 3-6 month clothes and she still has a couple of months left in them! Rolling (she rolled off of the sofa – gulp) is progressing well and she’s mastered doing 360 degree spins in her next2me crib in the night. It’s incredibly confusing to wake up to her toes rather than her face!
The face she made every time a photo of me popped up on the screen… never mind that I was sat right behind her!
As for me, things are going okay. I’ve started talking about going back to work and the baby is now booked in to start in the new year. It feels weird to be thinking about it, to the point that I may write something separate about my work mentality this time round (these were my ramblings last time!). So much of my self-identity is wrapped up in working but I also feel like I only get this time once. It’s a tough thing to be thinking about so I think I might stick my head in the sand for a bit longer first.
The Slimming World is experience is proving to be a challenge at times (helllloooooo cakes!) but I’m back to my pre-baby weight and feeling far more like ‘me’ in my normal clothes. I’m still finding that our days can be a bit hit and miss, I’ll be honest, two children is more of a gear change than I was expecting. Some days it feels so easy and other days I wonder what on earth I’ve done. It’s usually the days where we have no real plans or something unexpected happens and it throws me off. So this month I want to focus on having more planned things to do, even if that’s just activities to do in our days at home. If you’ve got any suggestions then let me know!
And that’s really it for this month. Isn’t it funny how you feel like you’ve done nothing but when you look back, it’s been action packed? October is shaping up to be a bit quieter; I’ve got a shopping day planned with my mum (and the baby… could be hit and miss!), a week’s trip to North Devon with the mini-fam and am hoping to get up to Bristol to visit my sister for a few days. I’m thinking of taking the kids on my own which is terrifying but I think will be good for us to do. How hard can it be, right?! I also want to get the toddler into his own room, get the Christmas shopping underway and have a month of limiting our spending as it seems to have snuck up. Gosh, on second thoughts it doesn’t sound that quiet really, does it!?