Monday, 29 June 2015

In Quest of the Red Squirrel

On Saturday we ventured up to the coastal forest in Formby in Lancashire in quest of the red squirrel. Our native red squirrel is a rare sight since the introduction of its American cousin the grey squirrel and they can now only be found in a few locations, mostly in Scotland and the North of England. Formby is one of the few locations you can still hope to see the red squirrel, largely by virtue of the fact that they keep the grey squirrel population down there.

It was with much excitement that we arrived at the forest and Lily and I both spotted a red squirrel before we even got out of the car. Thanks to a nappy related incident, Mark dropped us at the forest and then drove back to a nearby supermarket to sort out the offending baby. Whilst he was gone, I bought the older Podlings an ice cream and we ambled about the forest and saw at least four or five red squirrels.

When Mark and Alex got back, we walked through the forest to the beach and spent a happy hour on the sand there. Mark hadn't yet seen a red squirrel, but we had seen so many we thought he was sure to see them on the way back to the car. We were wrong! Poor Mark! We drove all the way up to Lancashire so Mark could see a red squirrel and we all saw one except for him! We all had a lovely time though and we will definitely go back, not least to give Mark a chance to actually see a red squirrel next time!

These little chaps are hard to photograph as they are so fast!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

School Summer Fayre

The school summer fayre is something of a highlight in the year for the Podlings. Where else can 20p buy you a new toy? I always give them a pound each to spend on whatever they like and the girls inevitably spend it on stuffed animals! There was a man selling rock and mineral specimens this year which actually tempted Tom to part with some of his money (he normally prefers to save, sensible boy). He has a slowly growing rock collection and a fledgling interest in geology that I am keen to encourage. Lily also started her own rock collection with a couple of specimens she bought at the fayre. Emma loved the cat glove puppet she bought and enjoyed a good bounce on the bouncy castle. Alex just loved being out of his pram! 

Emma having a minor strop because we wouldn't let her have a second go on the bouncy castle 

Alex decides to cheer Emma up with a game of Emma Squish

Emma Squish basically involves Alex climbing on Emma and squishing her! Emma is such a sunny little person that she can't maintain a strop for long!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Fathers' Day at Ladder Edge

For Fathers' Day we took a walk in Ladder Edge Country Park. We had never been there before and we were completely captivated by the beauty of the park. The meadows were full of rabbits, the woodland was cool and beautiful and the buttercup meadow was nothing short of breathtaking. I took a shocking number of photographs in a vain attempt to try to capture the beauty of the day. It was one of the nicest walks we have ever done, like something out of a dream. A truly memorable Fathers' Day! It may have been our first visit, but it won't be our last. Ladder Edge is sure to become one of our favourite walks. 

The Podlings were thrilled to see so many rabbits

Alex tucking into a ginger nut. This boy loves his food!


Lily's epic photo bomb!

Happy Fathers' Day to the man who made all my dreams come true

Friday, 19 June 2015

Baby Loves Books

You have to love books to fit in around here and little Alexander is no exception! I keep a few baby-friendly board books under a table in the lounge and he loves nothing more than pulling them out and looking through them. He loves to be read to and his favourite books are those with pictures of babies in them. although he is starting to really enjoy lift-the-flap books too. He doesn't often give kisses to people, but he will kiss the pictures of the babies in his books! 


Monday, 15 June 2015

Lots of Babies and A Play!

Lily enjoying some baby cuddles with Taylor. Lily is so good with babies, a proper little mother.

We spent last weekend at Mark's parents' house. Mark and I were having a rare night out at the theatre and Mark's parents were babysitting for us. We dropped the Podlings at their grandparents' house and had a quick (and delicious!) tea there before hastily changing and driving to Northampton (an hour away) to see The Hook by Arthur Miller, which was enjoying its world premiere run at the Royal Derngate Theatre in Northampton. Mark is a big fan of Arthur Miller and particularly wanted to see this performance and I am so glad we went. It was fantastic and we both enjoyed it immensely. We used to go to the theatre quite often before we had children and it did make us realise how much we missed it. We are hoping to find more opportunities to go the theatre now that we have rediscovered our love for it and to hopefully introduce the children to it too. Now if money only grew on trees...

On the Sunday, Mark's brothers and their families came round to visit too. We are quite a houseful when we all get together now, with seven children between us and another one expected in November (Ryan and Carrie are expecting their second child, a younger brother or sister for Grace). It is lovely when we can all be at there at the same time and there was much baby swapping and cuddling between us!  The Podlings love their cousins and they love being able to spend time with them. I hope that will always be so.

Pretty little Taylor, looking very sweet

Beautiful Grace, who has the most heart-stopping eyes

Handsome Freddie, who kept pulling funny faces at me every time I tried to take his picture. This is about the only one where he wasn't!

Freddie with his Mummy, my sister-in-law Kelly

Grace and her daddy


I love this photo of Alex and Grace