29 July 2016

20 things to do in the summer holidays

The little ladies and I wrote a list at teatime the other night of all the things they'd like to do over the summer holidays. I thought I'd share our list with you in case you're in need of some inspiration over the next 6 weeks, in no particular order here it is:

1. Go to the beach
When I think of Summer I immediately think of the beach. There is something so lovely about the sea air, sand between your toes and padding in the waves. Our favourite beach is Holkham in Norfolk as even when it's busy it feels really quiet and it's so beautiful. It's a simple day out and the girls will spend hours building sandcastles and collecting shells. We always like to finish a beach day with fish and chips as they always taste so much better when eaten at the seaside!

Holkham Beach - things to do in the summer holidays
The little ladies enjoying the soft sand in the dunes at Holkham Beach

2. Go to the woods 
We love visiting our local woodland for a walk, some shade and an explore on warm days. There's also a play area, kids activity trail and cafe at the one we visit. Check out the Forestry Commission to find a wood near you. The girls love following the paths, climbing trees and picking up sticks.

Climbing trees in the woods - things to do in the summer holidays
Ellie and Phoebe hiding in a tree!

3. Go to the park 
We are lucky to have several amazing country parks nearby all with different things to offer, from wonderful adventure playgrounds, to water gardens you can splash in, to feeding the ducks and excellent cake in the cafes. Best of all they are mostly free apart from parking charges. We also have a playground in walking distance and if in doubt we often head down there with a blanket and a picnic and the girls can run off some energy.

A trip to the park - things to do in the summer holidays
Lottie and Phoebe having fun at the park

4. Visit our favourite National Trust properties 
Our National Trust membership paid for itself very quickly and it's fantastic when we're looking for something to do. Our favourites are Belton House, the Wimpole Estate and Lyveden New Bield. We'll visit all of these over the summer along with hopefully some new ones, I'd love to take the little ladies to Stowe and Anglesey Abbey. The National Trust have a fantastic booklet which you can pick up at any of their sites called 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 with lots of ideas inside.

A day out at a national trust property - things to do in the summer holidays
Phoebe exploring Lyveden New Bield

5. Go fruit picking 
This is such simple fun and the little ladies love it, we give them a punnet and off they go. I love that it teaches them about where food comes from and that they are in the fresh air and how keen they are to eat their pickings. It's really affordable too costing just the price of the fruit you pick.

6. Visit a castle
There's something really magical about visiting a castle, they really set the girl's imaginations running as they pretend to be princesses or knights. The sheer size of them is mesmerising and there is just so much to explore providing a whole day out. It's really exciting climbing the steps from the keep or looking out at the landscape from the tower windows and learning about the people who used to live in them.

7. Go swimming
The girls are little water babies and love swimming, they will happily splash around for hours. Our local pool has a wonderful toddler area with slides and bubbles and a paddling area so we'll definitely be visiting the pool along with lots of paddling pool days in the garden.

go swimming -  things to do in the summer holidays
Ellie in the paddling pool

8. Go to the cinema 
We like to save this one for one of the inevitable grey, rainy days when a trip to the cinema is the perfect treat. Many cinemas do a pocket money showing on weekend mornings and during the school holidays. Our local cinema shows a different children's film each week at 10:15am every day for just £1.50 per person which is just fantastic value. Odeon Kids is just £2.50 per person and they're showing some great films this summer.

go to the cinema - things to do in the summer holidays
A movie and popcorn is a great rainy day treat

10.  Home days, making and baking and playing in the garden 
There's a lot to be said for planned in home days and lazy mornings in the school holidays. Movie afternoons where you close the curtains and make popcorn are just the best, baking cakes or biscuits is a firm favourite in our house along with, colouring, sitting and building lego, making story baskets of our favourite books, playing in the sandpit, with the paddling pool and water table. Whatever they like doing - a mix of free play, downtime and some structured activities work best for us. 

days at home - things to do in the summer holidays
Snuggling in out play tent

11. Visit family 
For us family is really important, we'll make sure we go and visit grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins and great grandparents even if it's just for a simple cup of tea and a catch up. A change of scene can be great for everyone and it's a good opportunity to distribute things we've baked or made on or home days :)

visit family - things to do in the summer holidays
A nice cup of tea and a biscuit with family or friends

13. Go for children's afternoon tea 
Dobbies Garden Centres do a very sweet children's afternoon tea for a modest £4.95 per child. I think it's really fun and such a special treat. We put it to the test and the little ladies loved their flower shaped sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and ice cream, Phoebe even had decaf tea in a china cup.

Childrens afternoon tea at Dobbies
Children's afternoon tea at Dobbies

14. Go for an ice cream or milkshake
The little ladies love nothing more than walking with their dolls in pushchairs or scooting into town for a milkshake or ice cream at our favourite cafe. It's such a special treat and they literally jump for joy when we suggest it and it can really break up long days.

a treat in a cafe - things to do in the summer holidays
A treat in a cafe

14. Visit the zoo
Like most children, the little ladies love animals so a visit to the zoo is definitely on the cards. It's great fun as well as educational and everyone gets something out of it. If you shop with Tesco you can swap your clubcard points for tickets to several zoos across the UK (or other days out) which can make an otherwise pricey day a very affordable one.

visit a zoo - things to do in the summer holidays
Lottie and Ellie watching the penguins

15. Visit Bewilderwood 
Whenever we have been in Norfolk, the little ladies have picked up a leaflet for the magical Bewilderwood, an outdoor adventure playground in the forest with so much to do.  It's such a fun place where children and their imaginations can run wild. You can read our review here

16. Visit a theme park
Last year we went to Legoland in Windsor and it was all kinds of amazing. We've also visited Peppa Pig World in the past which was also fantastic. This summer CBeebies Land at Alton Towers is on our radar before Ellie gets too old for it.

visit a theme park, legoland - things to do in the summer holidays
Ellie, Phoebe and Daddy at Legoland

17. Visit The Dinosaur Adventure Park
We went to Dinosaur Adventure when Ellie was two and she still remembers it. We'd love to go back as there is so much to do there and we know the little ladies would love it. There is are several brilliant play areas, a dinosaur trail, a farm and a new water play area. This is another place which accepts Tesco Clubcard Vouchers which is just fab.

Dinosaur adventure park - things to do in the summer holidays
Ellie at the Dinosaur Adventure Park

18. Have friends to play
We love having our friends to play, last year we created a playroom in what was Daddy's office and there's lots of fun to be had in there with friends. Things like our play shop and play kitchen and colouring area get well used during play dates as do the big boxes of duplo and plastic animals. It's lovely for me too as I get to see a friend too and drink tea and eat cake.

have friends to play - things to do in the summer holidays
Playdates are fun for everyone

19. Visit London 
London is such an exciting place to visit with so much to see and do - the girls love the train journey too. On our London to do list this year are: The Natural History Museum, The Princess Diana Memorial Garden in Hyde Park (both free) and then dinner at Rainforest Cafe or Disney Cafe in Harrods. We'd also love to take the girls to see a matinee show in the West End.

A day out in London - things to do in the summer holidays
A trip to London

20. Go to the farm
The little ladies love going to the farm and seeing all the animals, they all have their favourites and it really wears them out as they walk around the farm and play in the play area at our local one. I like that it's fun and educational for them and that they're in the fresh air.

visit a farm - things to do in the summer holidays
Phoebe meeting some sheep at the farm

I hope you have a fantastic summer with your littles whatever you are up to. You can keep up to date with our adventures over on my Instagram and i'll be popping some reviews up on the blog of the places we visit over the course of the summer. If there's somewhere you love and would recommend to other families do let me know in the comments below.

Happy Holidays!

Me x

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23 July 2016

Goodbye playschool

Wednesday  was Miss Boo's last day at playschool, it feels like a big day in the life of a little and also as a Mother so I've decided to document it. Since January when Miss Tibs started playschool I have taken a photo of them together every Monday morning on our doorstep. As I took their picture I got a lump in my throat as I realised this was the last time they would share this kind of time together for a while, until the school holidays or when Miss Tibs joins her in 2 years.

Miss Boo has helped her little sister settle in so well and given her such confidence, they love being together and are the best of friends (most of the time). They were both so excited to go to the end of term party with all their friends but as I drove home I couldn't help but cry with feeling just a bit overwhelmed that this little chapter was coming to an end for Miss Boo and rather selfishly, for me too. I've been at home with her for 4.5 years now and it feels monumental that she's heading off to school in 6 weeks time. It also hit me that she's no longer a preschooler but a little girl and I hadn't noticed the change in her until I looked through her key file of all the photos of when she started aged just 2. 

This has of course been my job all along - to nurture and grow her into a lovely little human to go off into the world but my it's hard giving them wings and letting them fly, way harder than I ever imagined it would be. She of course is beyond excited to be a 'big girl' and start school, and I am excited for her as I know she's ready and that she'll continue to thrive and absolutely love it. It's the change that unsettles me and ultimately that her sisters and I will miss her so very much when September rolls around. As I flick through her beautiful learning journey book that her playschool key worker created for her I've learnt things about my daughter that I didn't know and I couldn't be prouder. The final piece of work she did at playschool was about looking forward to school and I just love her answers:

I've tried to talk to her lots about going to school and whether she has any questions or worries and what she is looking forward to and she has seemed pretty non plussed about the whole thing. To see that she is excited to make new friends but also worried about making new friends makes my heart hurt a little bit, as long as she stays true to herself and sticks to our family motto of being 'kind and gentle' then I know she'll be just fine. She's so intrigued by PE and school dinners, it really made me smile that she put these as things she is looking forward to - I hope she's not disappointed (I was never a fan of either!). Most of all I love that's she's inherited my love of books and that she is thirsty to read and I can't wait for when she inevitably sits and reads her little sisters a bedtime story in the not to distant future.

We had to choose a book for her as a commemorative leaving present from the playschool and chose "The book with no pictures" which is all about words and how clever they are. When she opened it  she was confused as to why there were no pictures but when I read it to her she listened so intently and laughed and asked me what the words said, it was the perfect book for her as she starts the next part of her journey. 

So that's it, no more playschool for Miss Boo and kind of the end of an era for me in that I won't have 3 little ladies at home for the most part with me any more. I'm going to make this a summer for us all to remember, we'll have lots adventures together and lots of long lazy mornings eating pancakes in our pjs too before we are tied into 9-3, Monday to Friday school days and then we'll count down until the weekend and then half term when my sisters can be a three all day long. While Miss Boo is having a wonderful time learning about the world at school I will make sure i have lots of quality time with Miss Tibs and Miss Dot so that they can follow (although not too quickly) in her lovely, confident, independent footsteps.

Me x

16 July 2016

The Mothership

The mothership, what a tumultuous vessel. Life on board the mothership is a interesting journey...One minute you're happily sailing along on some kind of idyllic cruise liner, it's amazing, everyone's having fun and you can't believe how lucky you are. There are lots
sunny days which are so enjoyable and you're so glad you hopped aboard.  

The next minute the weather turns and brings stormy days with tricky conditions to navigate. There are ups and downs as the ship bobs up and down on the waves and keeping the ship sailing in the right direction requires a lot of effort, we won't even mention finding the time to clean it...

Then there are the days when the cabin fever really sets in and you just want to get off... Except you're running out of fuel and there's no sign of land nearby. You consider momentarily jumping ship but there are no lifejackets and the water is shark infested. You'll have to wait, your passengers need you. Time to find a lifeboat and send out an s.o.s.

This is the kind of day I've had today and it's the worst feeling. The little ladies have cried back to back ALL DAY. Miss Dot kindly woke everyone up at 5am so they're overtired and very grumpy. They are fighting continually, point blank refusing to nap and no matter what I do I just can't appease them or distract them. The mothership has been invaded by pirates and I just want to get off; it feels like it's sinking fast.

Today, I felt completely mothered out by 2:30pm, exhausted, exasperated, frustrated, irritated and then guilty for feeling all those things. This is when I know that at the next possible port I need to hop off the ship to avoid a collision course, breathe and do something for me. Today amongst the storm I hid in the kitchen for 2 minutes, ate a bar of chocolate, made a cup of tea and drank it hot; it was like finding a spare fuel tank, albeit a small one but enough to get me to land before sunset. Tonight I'm going to run a hot bubble bath and try and relax as a kind of compass reset. Then I'm going to ask my husband to take the helm and take the girls out for the morning on his next day off so I can get off the mothership for a bit and refuel the tank properly. Then i will be ready to get back on board, turn the ship around into calmer water and set sail again back on that Caribbean cruise, possibly with a mojito in my hand :) 

Me x

Dear Bear and Beany

12 July 2016

Top tips for a trip to Disneyland Paris

We have recently returned from 6 absolutely magical days in Disneyland Paris with our 4, 2 and 10 month old girls. I wanted to blog about our trip not only to capture the many memories we made while they are still fresh in my mind; but also to share our experience and tips on visiting this special place with young children. I've put together some top tips which we found really helpful and made our first experience of Disneyland Paris a brilliant one.

The castle is as every bit magical as we had imagined
Ellie and Phoebe in awe at the castle

Planning your trip

Keep the trip a surprise if you can. I think our little ladies may have exploded with excitement had they known we were going and with no sense of time of how long a week or to be honest even a couple of days is it would have been torture for them.. and us! We told the girls we were off to France and then revealed exactly where just before we were about to leave. Here's how it went down:

We booked our trip with Disneyland Paris  directly to make the most of an offer they had on giving us 2 extra nights and 2 extra days free with free entry into the park for children under 7. Having originally thought we would go for 3 nights, 4 days this took us to 5 nights, 6 days at the Wild West themed Hotel Cheyenne which was about a 15 minute walk from the parks and a 10 minute walk to the Disney village. We stayed in one of the newly decorated Texas Rooms which are Toy Story themed and provided a perfect base for our stay. 

We opted to travel by Eurostar rather than flying as we are less than an hour by train to London and connecting to the Eurostar from Kings Cross is super easy. It's worth knowing that you can get significantly reduced fares on your train travel to Kings Cross St Pancras if traveling by Eurostar to Paris by contacting Eurostar Domestic Travel on 01233 617 913. Booking our Eurostar as part of a package with Disneyland Paris gave us Disney Express Tickets which meant that when the train arrived at Disneyland Paris with three (ok two) very excited little ladies we could go straight into the park and having dropped our bags at the designated point at the station they were taken straight to our hotel and the magic could begin straight away.

The surprise busy bags we put together for the little ladies

Put together a surprise Disney travel pack

I'd really recommend buying some Disney treats before you go as everything is very expensive when you are there. We spent a few weeks collecting bits and bobs to give the girls on the train to keep them busy. They were so happy with them and they definitely kept them busy as well as hopefully making the journey feel as special as we knew the trip would be. They included a travel sized Disney princess colouring pad and crayons, a minnie tsum tsum, stickers, a Disney lego mini figure, a frozen themed chocolate lollipop, a disney kinder egg, some mini princess travel books and an olaf pen. Most of this was sourced from eBay and supermarkets. We also got the girls some minnie ear headbands for less than £2 each from eBay before we went which they didn't take off the whole time we were there, they were about 13 euros each in the parks so I was really pleased we had pre purchased some as the girls were too little to tell the difference.

Don't forget to pack some Minnie or Mickey ears!
Just about to leave in their Minnie Ears!

Take some princess dresses with you

We packed some of the girl's princess dresses so they could wear them there. It was wonderful watching them skip through Disneyland in their Elsa and Anna dresses, they really felt like real princesses. They wore them to the frozen sing along show and because they were dressed as princesses we were given seats a in special princess area of the theatre which the little ladies just loved. It's so nice for them to be able to wear the outfits when they watch the parade too or when they meet their favourite characters at meet and greets or character dining experiences. Again they are expensive to buy there so worth taking with you if your children like this kind of thing.

Take princess dresses with you
'Anna and Elsa'

Pack snacks

I would also recommend taking lots of snacks as food is expensive to buy in the parks and healthy food is also tricky to come by. I took a whole bag filled with things like dried fruit to nibble on and some mini packets of biscuits, crackers and crisps which kept the little ladies busy while in queues. I also packed some large zip lock bags and at breakfast time popped what the little ladies hadn't eaten into one of these bags and they had breakfast on the go later or ate it for lunch. It was a continental style buffet breakfast with croissants, ham, cheese and little french rolls. It seemed a shame for it to go in the bin and the girls ate very little of what we made them at breakfast time as it was quite busy and overwhelming in the buffet hall, i'd say this saved us about £30 a day, as we didn't need to buy lunch. 

Fruit is quite hard to find in the park but I did find a stall selling it in Adventureland near to the Aladdin meet and greet area which sold apples and bananas and another just inside the Walt Disney Studios one afternoon. They were 1.50 euros but Phoebe kept asking me for fruit and they were devoured so we happily paid this.

Fruit is available from a stall in adventure land
The Fruit Stall in Adventureland 

Plan your meals and book restaurants in advance

On the subject of food i'd definitely research and plan how you're going to eat while you're there. It is absolutely worth booking some if not all of your restaurants in advance, firstly to guarantee a reservation as the popular ones get booked up quickly, particularly around normal childrens mealtimes. 

Dining in cafe Mickey
Lottie and Minnie in Cafe Mickey
We booked Cafe Mickey and the ratatouille restaurant Chez Remy about 2 weeks before we went as we knew these were definitely places we wanted to eat. Both were fantastic experiences and we all really enjoyed it, the food although at a premium was very good. Meeting the characters as we ate in Cafe Mickey was brilliant and the girls loved it. 

Dinner at Cafe Remy was fantastic
Chez Remy in the Walt Disney Studios Park

Our favourite meal was definitely in Chez Remy and felt like a well deserved treat after a busy day in the park. We also ate at the rainforest cafe in the Disney Village which again was a wonderful experience with good food. I think expecting food to be expensive and budgeting for it and planning where you want to eat in advance really helped. We also ate a buffet style meal at our hotel one evening and then had some cheaper more snacky meals at the Earl of Sandwich and Mcdonalds.

Before we went I spent a long time reading about all the restaurants and viewing sample menus on an independent website called www.dlpguide.com: it was so useful and gave me a good overview. We didn't book a meal plan as 2 of our children were under 3 and the children's menu starts from age 3 upwards. We were able to order just one child's set menu and split it between all 3 girls as the portions are generous and they also shared from our plates. The staff happily offered extra plates for our two youngest. I think if we revisit when all three girls are older a dining plan may work out better value as you can use your dining plan vouchers in all the restaurants and top up with cash if the cost of your meal exceeds your dining plan allowance.

Put together a rough itinerary 

I really recommend doing as much research as you can before you go and putting together a loose itinerary as it will make your trip so much more enjoyable and you'll have more time to have fun rather than trying to figure everything out when you are there. I read a lot of other blogs and watched a lot of vlogs before I went which were full of handy hints and tips and nuggets of golden Disney knowledge, one of my favourites is the Trip Advisor Disneyland Paris Forum. There is just so much to see and do with lots of shows, meet and greets and parades etc you could easily miss if you don't plan. Obviously make it something that is flexible as it's all about having fun here!  

Waving in wonder as the parade goes by
Absolute wonder at the daily parade

Check the show and parade programme in advance

Another top tip is to get hold of the the most up to date show and parade programme which you can find on the Disneyland Paris website, it does change regularly so worth checking before you go. You can also pick these up along with park maps as you go into the park but who wants to be studying schedules when there are rides to go on!  I also downloaded the official Disneyland Paris mobile App which includes a map with current queue times which was really helpful, particularly for things like the very popular princess pavilion when you can meet a princess. 

Meeting the princesses was a highlight of our trip
Phoebe and Ellie meeting Snow White

Take a pushchair

If you have small children i'd advise taking anything with you that will make your day as easy as possible and a pushchair is an absolute must. It's so tiring spending a whole day in the park as an adult and a long walk back to the hotels so I can only imagine what it would have been like for our little ladies if we hadn't had our fabulous Out n About Double Nipper with us. The girls sat and napped in it when they were tired or if it was really busy and we needed to keep them together in a crowd. It was also great for popping coats and other bits and bobs in that we would otherwise have had to carry. I also took a sling for the baby which meant she could see what was going on and also freed up a space in the pushchair, pac a macs for the forecast showers we had while there and water bottles to fill up. There are water fountains outside all of the toilets, we didn't buy any drinks at all while we were there apart from at dinner time. 

Taking the pushchair with us was invaluable
Phoebe and Ellie asleep in the pushchair

Things not to miss...

  • The parade is amazing, we watched it twice once on main street which had a great atmosphere but was very busy and once by the turrets in Fantasyland just down from Pizzeria Bella Notte. The latter was our favourite spot as it was close to the start and meant once the last float had come by we could go on some rides or queue for the Princess Pavillion while most other people were still watching the parade. 
  • The fireworks are just spectacular. They are on late (park closing time) but worth keeping the children up for just once, our little ladies couldn't believe their eyes and thought it was literally magic. A late afternoon nap and a slow morning the next day and you're good to go.
  • Meeting characters was a highlight of the trip for the little ladies, they got so excited and were over the moon to have a cuddle, picture and ask them to write in their autograph book. It's worth leaving a blank page next to each signature so you can print out and stick in the co-ordinating photos when you get home. Character dining was a brilliant way to meet lots of characters in a short space of time.
  • Our favourite rides were the teacups and its a small world in Fantasyland, and the Ratatouille ride in the Walt Disney Studios park is amazing and well worth the long queues or getting to the park early for and snapping up a fast pass which gives you an allotted time to ride.

We had the most wonderful family holiday at Disneyland Paris and can't wait to go back
Making memories together in Disneyland Paris 
It sounds so cliched but we had the most magical week, the little ladies absolutely adored it and so did we. We spent quite a lot of the holiday trying not to cry at their wonder at everything and at their pure joy on the rides and everything they saw. The moment you first walk into the park and they see that iconic castle is indescribable and super special. The looks on their faces as they meet a princess or cuddle Minnie Mouse are almost impossible to capture. My final tip is simply to take lots of photos, drink it all in, and make some beautiful memories with your family, it's a holiday you will never forget.

Me x

If you have visited Disneyland Paris and have any other tips please do leave them for readers in the comments below. Thank you.

10 July 2016

When the puzzle is complete

Whether or not we are having more children is something I am asked regularly. I guess with 3, four and under people figure we'll add to our brood for good measure or they (wrongly) assume that having 3 girls we might want "to try for a boy"?!!! (That statement absolutely infuriates me but I'll hop down off my soapbox and get to the point) The answer as it stands is simple:

"No, we are not planning on having any more children."

Our family is complete and we won't be having any more babies

Reaching this point is a strange and unfamiliar feeling and if I'm being completely honest, it's something I find quite hard to say; but then drawing a line under something is always hard whatever it may be. 

It's hard because it's a stage of my life that I am saying goodbye to and that I won't revisit, something I'm moving on from. I'm not great at dealing with change, maybe that's why it feels like quite a huge thing to me. It's all that I've known for the last 5 years having been pretty much continually pregnant or with a baby in my arms. I have felt quite sad packing away a just handful tiny baby grows into keepsake boxes yet at the same time relieved as the nearly new sale box fills up with the bits Lottie is quickly growing out of. The baby bouncer and play gym have recently been added to the pile too and they'll be more to come. It's the end of an era I suppose, something to let go of and the 'things' are a physical representation of that. At the same time I feel so pleased to be able to clear the clutter and have happily passed things on, something I would never have been able to do before and squirrelled them away in the loft just in case ;)

I do feel sad that I will never have a baby bump again, or feel those magical kicks and even that I won't give birth again. And there is something so lovely about having a baby, I have loved snuggling all 3 of mine and gazing at them for hours on end. However Phoebe and Ellie have already shown me that there are such exciting times ahead and also there are definitely things I won't miss about the baby days!

There are many reasons we have decided our family is complete, some practical, some financial, some emotional and after 5 year of very little sleep - I so need some! On a personal level I very much feel like there is only so much of me to go round and that this regardless of the practical and financial aspects it is the best thing for me and my family, but most of all I feel complete. I really do.

Numerous people had said to me that that just knew when they were finished having babies and until Lottie arrived I hadn't felt it. In fact, the week after Phoebe was born I knew I'd like another one. My mum took this photo of us on a family holiday to Suffolk and as she took it she made a comment about our lovely little family being complete. 

I very much felt as though it wasn't and when I look at it now there is a very obvious gap which Lottie has wonderfully filled. When Lottie was placed on my chest seconds after being born I felt this overwhelming feeling of completeness and relief and now when I take pictures of all 3 little ladies together it's like we were always meant to have 3. 

Having 3 children so close together has been hard, a real challenge at times but also immensely rewarding and I love it. However, it has meant that my husband and I have come bottom of the pile for a very long time and I feel like it's time to get back to 'me' and 'us' a bit. We had our first night out in 10 months the other night and it was just blissful, before now I wasn't able to leave the baby as she was very unsettled in the evenings and just wanted her mama and before that I had another baby and another one before that! 

She's much more settled now and sleeps in her own cot on a more predictable basis and will settle with daddy. This is so bittersweet and I actually cried last week when she slept through the night for the first time as I wasn't quite ready for her to not need me so much. I know that sounds totally bonkers. I think it was exacerbated by the fact that Phoebe potty trained herself the week before that and Ellie has been going to settling in sessions at school, it felt like they were all growing up too quickly and they didn't need me as much all of a sudden.  My poor husband didn't know what to say as I cried into my morning cuppa. He sent me this message later that morning which I think sums it up brilliantly: 

Lottie is now 10 months old and I just don't know where the time has gone, this last baby, our final little puzzle piece has slotted right in and I have just loved it. I will savour the last of these lovely little baby days over the few months - even the sleepless nights... (Yes...Lottie decided she didn't like sleeping through the night after all so we're back to middle of the night cuddles for a while longer...) because time is so precious and it will all be just a foggy memory in the not too distant future.

As I move into this next stage of motherhood I think it's really important to remember that no matter how big they grow and how old they get, they will always be my babies. 

Me x