Thursday, 31 December 2015

A New Year's Eve Walk

We thought an end of year walk would be just the thing to blow away those Christmas holiday cobwebs. Undeterred by the cold and the prospect of rain later in the day we donned coats and headed out to Bramcote Hills Park for some much needed fresh air. We had a lovely walk in the winter sunshine, with Alex finding just about every puddle along the way. Now there is a boy in need of a pair of wellies! If there is any water on the ground my boy will find it and then in he goes!

We had promised the Podlings some time in the play park at the end of the walk, but just before we got back there the clouds came over, the wind picked up and the temperature plummeted. Not to be put off, we got out the Thermos flasks and the accompanying treats that Mark's mum had packed up for us all and set ourselves up on a picnic table whilst Lily braved the park. Then the rain started! We doggedly finished our tea and biscuits (we are British!) and then fled to the cars just before it really started hammering it down. Our New Year's Eve walk certainly achieved the initial objective of blowing away the cobwebs!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Boxing Day Cousins

Boxing Day was a big affair as the whole of Mark's family came together for the traditional family Boxing Day barbecue. It was the first time we had all been together since Poppy was born, so it was the first time all the cousins were together. The above picture was the best I could manage from our rather hilarious attempt to get a photo of all the grandchildren. Utter chaos, as you can imagine, but at least you can see eight children in the photo! Eight children and half of them are mine! It was a fun gathering with lots of baby cuddles and quality family time. Family gatherings are certainly going to get interesting as these little people get older!

Mark's brother Greg and his wife Kelly with their twins, Taylor and Freddie

Freddie the elf!

Taylor is crawling now, so I followed her into the kitchen and snapped a quick photo. Not sure what she made of the camera though! She looks a bit perplexed!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Christmas Day 2015

We had an absolutely wonderful Christmas and it won't come as a surprise to anyone to learn that I took a great many photos to record the day! The Podlings told us it was the best Christmas ever, so that made me very happy! 

Grace looking pretty in pink

Baby Poppy taking it all in

Alex and Grace play wonderfully alongside each other. They are only four months apart and I love watching them together. Alex is very fond of Grace and cries whenever it is time for her to leave. They are just so sweet together!

Emma and Daddy building Lego Friends, which is all Emma wanted for Christmas!

Alex mostly had cars for Christmas and had the most fantastic time playing with them all!

This handsome fellow is growing up before my very eyes!

Tom and Alex had matching jumpers for Christmas Day and Tom wanted us to try and get a photo of them together. We didn't really get a good shot, but they had a fantastic time together in the attempt!

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

I love Christmas Eve! In many ways I find it more magical than Christmas Day. The excitement and anticipation as the children await the arrival of Father Christmas makes it so special. This year we spent Christmas with Mark's parents. I packed a special Christmas Eve basket for the Podlings to open in the evening, containing all the elements of our usual Christmas Eve traditions, and some new ones. The basket contained four new sets of pyjamas, a tin of shortbread, hot chocolate and my childhood copy of 'The Night Before Christmas'. It also contained a special new plate and bowl for the Podlings to leave out their treats for Father Christmas and the reindeer and four packets of magical reindeer food that my parents had given them to scatter outside on Christmas Eve.

First, they scattered their reindeer food in the garden before having baths and getting into their new pyjamas. They then had their supper whilst I read 'The Night Before Christmas' to them. I took Alex up to bed first and spent time rocking and singing him to sleep, a delightful Christmas present to myself as bedtime is normally more efficient than that! We tracked Santa's progress with the Santa Tracker App and they left out a mince pie and some milk for Father Christmas and some water and a carrot for Rudolf. We then tucked the other Podlings up in bed and were rather surprised at how well they settled. It was a truly magical evening!

Alex wasn't really co-operating with the traditional Christmas Eve pyjama photo. There are a great many outtakes and this was about the best picture we could manage of the four of them!

Finding out where Father Christmas is with the Santa Tracker App on Daddy's phone

A freshly washed baby in a new babygro...heavenly!

'You didn't really want these lights on your Christmas tree did you Nanna?'

A lovely photo of my two eldest Podlings. If only they could get along like this all the time!

Three of the Podlings with their lovely Nanna

Not quite sure why Emma has a carrot in her mouth here!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Meeting Poppy

Our newest niece, Poppy Olivia P-

Chritsmas eve was particularly special this year as we got to meet our newest niece. Poppy was born on the first of December and is the second daughter of Mark's youngest brother Ryan and his wife Carrie. Her big sister, our delightful niece Grace, turned one in September and she seems, so far at least, to have taken being a big sister in her stride. They met us at church and then we went back to Mark's parents' house for the rest of the day where we got to indulge in lots of lovely newborn cuddles. She is so precious!

Congratulations Ryan and Carrie and welcome to the world Poppy!

It's no secret how much I adore newborn babies and my beautiful new niece is no exception. I loved getting to meet her.

The eldest grandaughter with the youngest grandaughter, both with flower names. Lily is in her element here...she adores babies.

Poppy has an incredible amount of dark hair. Her hair reminds me of my girls, who both had lots of dark hair when they were born (particularly Emma), although they were both blond by the time they were one.

Uncle Mark with his newest niece. Here is a man who is used to holding babies!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Everyday Moments

Everyday moments in December, because I want to remember the little things.