Friday, 30 January 2015

Snow Day!

Hooray for snow! I received a text message from the Podlings' school just after seven this morning informing us that the school would be closed today because of the snow. There was much rejoicing! The girls couldn't wait to get dressed and go out and play in it. Tom doesn't like being cold and isn't a huge fan of snow, so he just stayed in the warm!

Lily and Emma had great fun outside and built the most adorable little snow baby. They made snow angels, threw snow balls and generally had a great time. They have so much fun together, these two! They eventually came inside and warmed up with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

After lunch, I built a tent in the lounge for Emma, which she made her own and then spent the afternoon camping in it. Tom and Lily largely kept themselves entertained (anyone who tells you that having children gets harder as they get older is lying to you!) and Alex enjoyed having all his siblings home. Even Mark was working from home today because of the snow. I love having my family home!

We ended the day with 'The Snow Queen' for our bedtime story. It seemed appropriate!

Snow baby!


Thursday, 29 January 2015

Silver Linings

Proper snow at last!

I've been feeling really under the weather this week. I have a cold and an annoying cough that is making my asthma bad. I'm tired, my throat hurts constantly from coughing and I'm feeling really wiped out. I have lots to be thankful for though and although my ironing pile is slowly building up and the kitchen looks like a bomb hit it, I am choosing to focus on the things that make me happy. Here are a few things that have made me smile this week.

The serious business of eating! Alex loves his food and it is a delight to watch him enjoying it.

Going to collect my Podlings early from school because of the snow

The lane behind our house on the walk up to school. So pretty!

Getting to spend bonus time with my Podlings. Love this girl! She is getting so grown up!

My big boy in the snow. Love him to bits.

Emma making snow angels on the driveway in full school uniform! This wonderful, crazy, bubbly little girl makes me smile every day. She is one of a kind!

That face!

Alex has really mastered sitting this week and is now working very hard on standing.

Finding a home for some wonderful books! Mark's mum gave us her father's collection of art books at the weekend. I have added my own paltry selection of art books to them and found a home for them  all under the computer in the dining room where we can all access and enjoy them. 

This little guy! Those beautiful blue eyes! What's not to love!

Silver linings

Not pictured, but definitely making me smile is our new, super-fast fibre broadband connection. Uploading photos is SO much faster!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Alexander at 8 Months

Alex turned eight months old on the twelfth of January and I am left wondering where the time has gone. At the same time, it feels like he has been with us for ever! He is an absolute treasure and continues to be the object of affection for his older siblings. The novelty of a baby brother still hasn't worn off and if anything they delight in him more and more as he grows and gets more 'interesting'.

Alex is a very happy baby and smiles readily. He has the most delightful giggle which we hear often, but Lily is still the only one who can reduce him to uncontrollable fits of laughter. He has a real soft spot for Lily! He is also quite the Daddy's boy and wants Mark to pick him up the second he gets home from work. Mummy just won't do once Daddy gets home! He still only wants me at night though...typical!

Alex now goes to bed at seven and sleeps until around one or two. He then has a quick bottle and sleeps until around 4.30am at which point he normally comes into bed and sleeps with me until around seven. I did the same with Emma when she was a baby. Eventually the 4.30am waking got later and later until she stayed in her own bed until seven. I'm hoping the same will happen with Alex!

Alex is a baby who likes his food. He is now on three meals a day and has a decided preference for savoury foods. He treats commercial jars of baby food with the contempt they deserve, preferring my home-cooked offerings. You should see this boy hoover up a dish of fish pie! He loves finger foods and really doesn't make much mess when eating them. If you give him toast, he eats the lot (including the crust), there is never anything left to clear away! The problem with him liking food so much is that he has next to no interest in his milk any more, which is why, I suspect, that he is still waking for a bottle in the night. He often drinks more in one night feed than he does all day!

I have no idea what he weighs at the moment, but he is outgrowing some of his 6-9 month clothes already. He seems very big to me, but that might just be because Emma was so very petite as a baby (and still is!) He still has no teeth, but is by far the most dribbly of my babies. He can now sit unaided, though has a tendency to topple sideways so I always put cushions around him. 

Alex is very mobile, though not in a conventional way. Like his big brother at the same age, Alex has worked out that he can get around quite effectively by rolling. He assesses which position he needs to be in to get to where he wants to go, pulls himself around until he is pointing the right way and then rolls over and over until he gets there. He is surprisingly fast and into everything! He has a phenomenally good pincer grasp, which means there is no item too small for him to pick up and try to put in his mouth. He is keeping me busy!

In looks, he is the spitting image of Tom at the same age (except Tom was bald!), but in personality he reminds me so much of Emma as a baby. He has the same easy-going nature and sunshiny disposition and, unfortunately, the exact same grunt of frustration that she had. The only baby noise that seems to be able to get under my skin and two of my babies have done it! Alex has just decided he wants to be able to move forward, but can't work out how to do it, so I'm hearing his frustrated grunting quite a lot at the moment!

I wanted to record all this now because I know how quickly babies change and how quickly we forget what they were like. I so wish I had recorded more from when Tom and Lily were babies. I didn't know I would forget so much! Alex is growing so fast and I am trying to soak up every moment of his babyhood...even the grunting! They don't stay little for long.


Monday, 19 January 2015

Playtime for Alexander

I put together a little discovery basket for Alex this afternoon from objects from around the house. The basket included, among other things, a pine cone, a lavender sachet, a marble egg, two large stones of different textures and some pieces of ribbon and fabric. I tried to find things of different textures and weights for him to explore. Alex had lots of fun investigating his basket and the look of concentration on his face as he chose and explored the different objects was delightful. He loved the piece of rik rak, but was particularly fond of the wooden spoon, which he took great delight in biting. Lots of fun for baby in one handy little basket. I will definitely be getting this out for him again.

I added a few more things after I took this picture


Sunday, 18 January 2015

My Beautiful Girls

They make me happy!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Weekend of Wintry Walks

Winter walks in Greenway Bank Country Park and Deep Hayes Country park to make the most of the dry days. The cold certainly blows the cobwebs away!


Monday, 12 January 2015

Baby Backpack

Alex is now too heavy for me to carry in our forward facing sling, so we tried him in our back baby carrier for our walks this weekend. As you can see, he rather likes it!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Grace's Christening Day

Last Sunday we came together on a cold and frosty winter's morning to celebrate the baptism of our beautiful niece, Grace. The Christening took place in the stunning 13th century All Saints Church in Bakewell, Derbyshire. Ryan (Mark's youngest brother) and Carrie married there on the 28th December 2013 and had originally planned to hold Grace's Christening on their 1st wedding anniversary. Whilst they were blessed with a beautiful sunny day for their wedding, they were not so lucky with the weather this year and the original Christening had to be postponed due to the snow. It was rearranged for the following Sunday and although the ground was white with frost, there was no snow prevent us all from getting to Bakewell this time.

It was a lovely service and Grace behaved impeccably! She looked absolutely adorable in her Christening outfit, which had also been her Christmas day outfit. It was a wonderful celebration of her birth and her welcoming into the church.

After the service we all went to a nearby pub where we all enjoyed a carvery before Ryan and Carrie cut into the Christening cake. We then went back to Mark's parents house to pack up our suitcases (we had been staying there over the New Year) and were able to spend a couple of hours with Grace there before we had to go home. The Podlings were thrilled to be able to play with their baby cousin, who is such a little doll!

A very special day celebrating a very special little girl.

Grace was largely unmoved by all the fuss!

All Saints Church, Bakewell in the Peak District