Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tynemouth Priory and Castle

We took a little break to the North East of England for the Bank Holiday weekend. We drove up late on Saturday so that we could have two full days there. On Sunday we visited Tynemouth Castle and Priory, high on a rocky headland on the North East Coast, overlooking the North Sea and the River Tyne. The remains of the castle, keep and Benedictine Priory are all that are left of nearly 2000 years of history. The priory was originally founded in the seventh century, but was destroyed by the Danes in 875. The priory was then re-founded in the eleventh century and it these remains that can be seen today. It has a fascinating history and the ruins are quite breathtaking and well worth a visit. The Podlings had a wonderful time here and were very reluctant to leave..We treated them to ice creams from the gift shop, so everyone left happy It was, in short, a lovely family day out!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Lily's Tenth Birthday

A Pegasus cake for my Greek mythology loving girl. I was really pleased with how the cake turned out. I tried some new things when decorating this cake and I think they worked really well. Lily loved her cake and was sad that we had to cut it.

Emma decorated the fairy cakes for her sister

Friday, 27 May 2016

Lily is Ten

Lily has reached double figures! I say it every birthday, but where has the time gone? Lily continues to delight us all with her bubbly personality. She is a funny, clever and creative girl and spends most of her free time drawing and listening to music. She loves to bake and can often be found whipping up a tasty treat in the kitchen. She is doing brilliantly at school and is making her Daddy and me very proud.  She is a reliable, sensible girl (most of the time!) and is very helpful with her younger siblings. In short, she is a delightful girl whom I am very proud to call my daughter. 

Happy 10th Birthday Lily,
We love you!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Alexander's Second Birthday

Alex had an absolutely lovely day on his birthday. He has seen enough birthdays with three siblings to know that those pretty wrapped parcels contain presents. My original thought that he would spend the day gradually opening his gifts was quickly revised when he came downstairs and wanted to open all his gifts straight away! He was a very lucky boy and got lots of lovely presents, most of them with wheels, which made him very happy. He now thinks all presents contain cars!

One of the nice things about May birthdays is the weather and my little outdoor boy was blessed with a gloriously sunny day for his second birthday. After breakfast, we blew bubbles in the garden and then went for a lovely walk in the countryside behind the house, stopping to blow dandelion clocks and admire the wildflowers and butterflies. A perfect morning with my littlest Podling.

Mark's parents came round to spend the afternoon with us, bringing more gifts for the lucky birthday boy, including a lovely sand table. We had a lovely birthday tea and Alex knew exactly what to do with his cake. He certainly enjoyed eating it! It was one very happy little two year old that went to bed that night having had the most delightful day, perfect in every way for our special little boy.

Enjoying his new toys

Showing us his sweet birthday outfit

Lots of Mummy kisses!

A country walk for my outdoor boy

Stopping to enjoy the flowers

A teddy driving in the countryside for my outdoor, car-loving boy, lovingly made by Mummy

I was really pleased with how the cake turned out. 

The cake topper was a Cherished Teddy ornament that will now be displayed in his room

Homemade fairy cakes for the birthday tea

"Happy birthday to you!"

Make a wish

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Alexander is 2

My littlest baby turned two years old and I am in denial! It doesn't seem possible that two years have passed since this sweet boy entered our lives. It seems incredible that even when you are determined to savour every moment, time still slips by so fast. Alex is such a happy, smiley little boy and makes us laugh every day. He is at his happiest outdoors and will walk for miles. We no longer bother with the baby carrier when we go on our walks, he just walks right along with us. I've never had a toddler actually wear out a pair of shoes before, but my little outdoor boy has managed it! He loves cars (and all things that go) and will play quite happily on his own for long periods of time with his toys. Anyone with a toddler will know what a boon that is! His speech has suddenly taken off and he is learning new words by the day, even making up a few of his own. The whole family now calls Lego 'dugadee' thanks to Alex. We have no idea how he came by that name, but it seems to have stuck! He is much indulged by his older siblings and adored by us all. 

Happy 2nd Birthday Alexander
We love you Boodle Boy!

Monday, 9 May 2016

A (chilly) trip to the beach

We took a trip to Formby Point on Saturday so the Podlings could have a runabout on the beach. It was rather cold, but we were armed, as usual, with our Thermos and a picnic to sustain us. The tide was exceedingly out when we arrived, which was probably a good thing as my crazy kids would have ended up in it otherwise and it was much too cold! The girls and Alex satisfied themselves with paddling in a very cold pool the tide had left behind. Tom, who hates being cold, kept himself happy exploring the dunes. They all had a wonderful time playing on the beach and as it was getting late we decided to treat them to KFC for tea.

Alex's happy demeanor on the beach belied the fact that he must have been sickening for something. He hadn't had much appetite over the day, but that hadn't given me much cause for concern. When we got to the restaurant, Alex was a bit unsettled and grumpy, but I put it down to tiredness as he started to tuck in to chips and ketchup. He suddenly started to get unhappy again and climbed onto my lap, shortly before emptying the contents of his stomach over me and the floor! Fantastic! Alex has never been sick before and he saves it until we are eating out! We were expecting a terrible trip home, but thankfully both he and Lily (who was also feeling unwell) slept in the car the whole way. We put them to bed and although Alex was still a bit peaky the next day, they were soon right as rain. An interesting weekend on the whole! 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Price of Popularity

Alex adores Emma. As soon as she gets home from school he wants her to play with him. "Memmy, pay!" ("Emma, play!") is an oft heard refrain in this house and if she doesn't come straight away, Alex will take her by the hand and try to drag her to where he wants her! Emma is a very sweet-natured child who loves to please, so most of the time she will play with him, even if she doesn't really want to. Every now and then though, the girl needs a little peace and wants to play by herself. I snapped a picture of her today playing with her Lego Friends under the kitchen table, trying to hide away from her baby brother. She didn't get long before he found her! 

Monday, 2 May 2016

Clumber Park

On Sunday we met up with Mark's parents for a lovely walk around Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. We didn't have a particularly long walk, but it was very pleasant and peaceful. There were a lot of water fowl and the Podlings were delighted by the little goslings. We loved watching the squirrels chasing each other in the woods and I enjoyed spotting the woodland birds. We finished up in the lovely adventure playground where the Podlings tucked in to the chocolates grandad had bought and then, as a final treat, we bought them ice cream from the gift shop. We would like to go again and explore further as the park is fairly extensive and we barely scratched the surface.

We went back to Mark's mum and dad's house afterwards for a lovely (indoor) barbecue tea and left rather late for our drive home. Thankfully the bank holiday meant that the Podlings could all sleep in the next morning, which they obligingly did, allowing Mummy and Daddy a little more rest also!