Saturday, 12 April 2014

Exploring

For a little girl who cracked the walking thing at 9 months old, until recently Effy's not been a walker. You might remember our battle of wills resulting in a stand off (actually, she was planking face down in a puddle) over walking to the park when I was quite heavily pregnant. But something has clicked in that head in the last month - perhaps her new found "grown up sister" status - and she loves walking. In fact, when we got home from walking Hamish last night, she refused to come in the front door insisting that we go back out with him... Lucky pooch.

So, now we can enjoy being on foot and with the better weather, we've been out exploring and discovered two new places to add to our favourites list.

The first is Forestry Commission Fineshade Woods, between Corby and Stamford - we've been several times in recent weeks, alone and with friends. There's a multitude of reasons why this place is worth a visit - or several. To say it's a new discovery is a lie - we had been once when we first moved back here but had forgotten about it.

The forest has multiple walks of different lengths and some are more accessible on others. But there's one that is completely buggy/wheelchair etc friendly, and it's not too long, so small legs can do it (and it's not too far for a piggy back if you get tired). It's also dog friendly, and well behaved dogs needn't be on a lead. There's also paths for cyclists and you can hire cycle equipment on site. 

There's also a play area with plenty of things to do for the younger kids. Effy absolutely adores the little hut and likes to have imaginary dinner parties in there with her friends! And right next to the play area is a lovely cafe, with delicious paninis and cake, that's reasonably priced and worth going back to. There's a number of little shops on the complex. So you can definitely make a day out of it, or a shorter visit if you wish. 

The only downside is having to pay for parking - £3 for the day, which isn't astronomical but arguably there are other places to walk and play for free. That said, if it's somewhere you want to visit regularly, we we do, the Forestry Commission do Discovery Passes for each forest, that make parking free, so we've invested (it applies to both our cars too) for the year - we only have to go 9 times for it to pay for itself and that's definitely doable.

Yesterday we popped down to explore the Gruffalo Trail, part of the 15th anniversary of the Gruffalo celebrations. Lots to do for children of all ages, we were a smidge disappointed that there was no Gruffalo at the end, and that he doesn't arrive until June... Worth noting if you had planned to visit your local forest for a similar event, as I didn't think the literature available was very clear! 






Our second find is Stanwick Lakes, not far from Wellingborough. We've been meaning to go for years, but it's a bit out of our way. However when we had friends staying recently, we took the multiple geochaching opportunities at the lakes as a challenge and went to see what was there.

In a nutshell, it's beautiful there. Calm and serene, with lots of nature to see, particularly waterfowl. It's big enough for you to walk for a while without seeing anyone, but not too far back to the car! There's also an amazing adventure play area, although we didn't get to explore as it started hailing and I had forgotten the rain cover... But it's definitely on the list of places to return to! The cake in the cafe was really quite exquisite too... A word of warning, geocachers; lots of caches were not there, or not what they were listed as. It's definitely worth reading recent logs before looking! 

It's easy to get stuck in a rut of heading to the places you know all the time, and sometimes I forget there's more to explore. However, both Fineshade and Stanwick have so much to do, I don't feel like we ever experience the same stuff on our visits... And I can't see any of us getting bored of either in a hurry!





Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 11 April 2014

Family Photo Friday #15 - 11/04/14

Better late than never right? I've been spending the last 24 hours trying to log into my LinkyTools account and failing, hence why Family Photo Friday is pretty late off the mark. But I'm here now! 

Despite D being home this week, we've not done so well on the photo front - but I had forgotten about this photo of D trying to help E over her slide fears while at a birthday party last weekend... I think we've cracked it! 



My favourite photo from last week was from Charlie at Learning Lessons in Mummyography. A beautiful photograph of Euna celebrating her second birthday. 

Usual rules apply...



  • Share a family photo from your week just gone. It needn't be a Family Photo Friday specific post, I don't mind you recycling! You can join in weekly, monthly or just whenever you can. It can be a formal portrait or a snap from your phone, something you posed for or something you caught when no one was looking. It could be from a day out, a gathering, an activity at home, it doesn't matter so long as it gives a snap shot of what your family looked like during the week that's just been.
  • Give us a brief explanation of your photo. 
  • I'd love it if you could grab the badge to add at the bottom of your post and Tweet about it using #familyphotofriday - my Twitter handle is @oneformybaby12.
  • Pop over to visit at least two other bloggers and see what they've been doing - maybe you can watch their family grow and change too!
  • Leave a comment if you can.


  • I promise to visit as many of you as I can and I'll pick my favourite photo to share next Friday.

    Happy photo-taking and memory-making!


    Family Photo Friday @ Thursday's Child, Friday's Thoughts





    Word of the Week

    D is home for the Easter holiday having only taken a week off when Lowen was born. The house is in chaos, as I've not been able to run errands, lift stuff or find the time to get things sorted. So at the start of the week we made a huge list of the things that needed to be done so we could work through... It's going well and the house is starting to look more normal... Although sometimes you have to go backwards before going forwards, like getting all of Effy's clothes out of the loft on Wednesday night to find the 0-3 month vests which is helpfully bagged up in their own in a small bag. 

    We'll be making more lists as we're going away next week and the only way to survive a holiday with a new born it to make a huge list of everything you need.

    Lists, lists and lists of lists.



    Tuesday, 8 April 2014

    The Second Child

    Last night I dressed my baby in a sleepsuit that was mine as a baby. It was, no doubt, from a baby boutique, such was my mother's taste, but it didn't stop her chopping off the feet when my legs got too long. My elder daughter wore it, and now the little one shall wear it too. I LOVE that we all have this hideous sleepsuit in common.



    It's funny, as earlier D and I were talking about getting Effy's first outfits out of the loft for Lowen. We had to buy little things the Lowen, as everything of Effy's was too big, even the neutrals I bought were 0-3. Having initially rejoiced with my wallet at the prospect of never needing to buy new clothes-that-would-barely-be-worn-again, I suddenly felt guilty. Poor Lowen will spend at least the next 8 years in her sisters hand me downs. Tomorrow I will go and buy a pack of Next sleepsuits for her, so at least she has something of her own.

    An only child, I never had hand me downs. Except for my bike, which had belonged to my male cousins before me. It was, obviously, blue. And I bloody hated it. 

    It got me thinking about "second child syndrome". It made me think completely irrationally. Will she be forgotten about? Will she be resentful? Will she do things faster as she watches her sister do it? Will she be constantly compared to her sister? Will she struggle academically because her sister will always be doing SATs, GCSEs, A Levels first, and they're more important? Will I leave her sleeping upstairs and go out without her? Will she despise the hand me downs and pull the favouritsm card?!

    Whatever she may think, my credit card is pleased that we have a seasonally appropriate, barely worn wardrobe in the loft. It's too good to be forgotten about. People always talk about "the second child" and "the middle child" in such a negative way, but there's plenty of good reasons too... 

    For example, Lowen will learn from her big sister's mistakes. She'll have heard us count to three with a sanction in place. She may have witnessed first hand what happens if you draw on the sitting room floor, or put the potty on your head when it's got wee in it.

    She'll benefit from our mistakes, our parenting fails, but also our parenting acalades and successes. 

    She has her sisters' toys AND her own toys to play with.

    She has enjoyed high class television such as Peppa Pig et al from a very young age. TV was banned until Effy was 1... That's education right there, that is...!

    Most importantly, she had a confidant in her big sister. Always. She will never be lonely, or on her own. She'll always have a playmate, even when mummy and daddy are cooking or hanging the washing. She'll always have someone to blame.

    And that has be worth more than a mini shopping spree for outfits she'll never remember instead of hand me downs.

    Long live the hand me down, I say.




    To the left, me and my dad, and to the right, Effy enjoying the clowns.

    Post Comment Love

    Friday, 4 April 2014

    Family Photo Friday #14 - 04/04/14

    As an only child, I grew up pining for a sibling. Someone to play with, to fill my time with. Someone to take me side, and someone to blame. My friends said I was lucky to be an only child, and not have to share, but actually sharing was all I wanted to do.

    So you can imagine my joy a month ago when not only did Effy gain a sibling, a best friend... She gained a sister. She ADORES "baby sister" (who isn't yet known by name!) and Lowen is captivated by Effy, watching her, cooing at her, and no doubt getting some bad ideas for when she's older. They are already everything I wish I had had. They'll never be lonely... I hope they grow old together.

    So, my family picture this week is me with my beautiful girls. I cannot describe the love I have for them. 



    I particularly enjoyed the story behind the picture from Ups and Downs, Smiles and Frowns... A picture of all three children looking in the right direction at the same time! Thanks so much for linking up!

    Let's recap the rules!


  • Share a family photo from your week just gone. It needn't be a Family Photo Friday specific post, I don't mind you recycling! You can join in weekly, monthly or just whenever you can. It can be a formal portrait or a snap from your phone, something you posed for or something you caught when no one was looking. It could be from a day out, a gathering, an activity at home, it doesn't matter so long as it gives a snap shot of what your family looked like during the week that's just been.
  • Give us a brief explanation of your photo. 
  • I'd love it if you could grab the badge to add at the bottom of your post and Tweet about it using #familyphotofriday - my Twitter handle is @oneformybaby12.
  • Pop over to visit at least two other bloggers and see what they've been doing - maybe you can watch their family grow and change too!
  • Leave a comment if you can.


  • I promise to visit as many of you as I can and I'll pick my favourite photo to share next Friday.

    Happy photo-taking and memory-making!


    Family Photo Friday @ Thursday's Child, Friday's Thoughts





    Word of the Week

    We're getting back to normal. The visitors have calmed down, I'm feeling good and we're getting used to our new life. Both of us mucking in at bathtime, more poo and more mugs of tea. More chaos, more hectic, a little more head scratching.

    I like it like this.

                               



    The Reading Residence
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