Living Arrows – 52/52

Our last Living Arrows of the year. I have loved each Sunday night, looking through the photos of the week and picking ones to share in this post. It has been a great way to see how the children have grown month on month and to document the weeks as they have gone by.

This week’s pictures were taken at Christmas, obviously, as that is about the only day my camera has made an appearance this week. We had a wonderful Christmas and although I am now back at work we have managed to have quite a lot of family time. I have loved Hubby being home over Christmas, LP being on holiday from preschool and the lazy mornings and relaxed days that it has given us. It’s great to have so much quality time together.

Some of LP’s favourite Christmas presents were her dressing up clothes and she loved spending the day making us all better in her Doctor outfit as well as fixing her cuddly toys too!

IMG_7313

Little Man spent most of Christmas borrowing his big sister’s toys and at one point sat down to practice his writing skills on her new stationery! He loves being a ‘big boy’ and using things that he knows aren’t meant for him – age ratings go pretty much out the window with baby number two!

IMG_7294

So there we have it, our last Living Arrows of the year. I’ve loved joining in and will be joining in again next week for the first installment of 2015!

living arrows

Bucket List 2014 – How did we do?

At the start of the year I created a Bucket List of things I would like to do this year as well my usual small list of resolutions. We have had fun ticking things off the list and it was a great change to our usual short list of resolutions. So how did we do?

2014 Bucket List

Well I took LP to the cinema to see Star Wars Rebels for a blogging event and then Hubby and I took both the children on a weekend morning – they loved it and we will definitely be going to the cinema more in the future as a family – when Hubby and I are both off work!

We had a few BBQs this year, mainly to celebrate Birthdays or just Hubby, the kids and I. In hindsight I think ‘having a BBQ’ was a little too ordinary for our Bucket List!

I have been to quite a lot of blogging events this year, mainly BritMums, and have met some amazing people through blogging. After my first full year of solid blogging I can safely say that my blog is a permanent fixture in my life and I’ll definitely be going to more blogging events in 2015! I have also made so many new friends through blogging that I will be forever thankful for.

20140622-154344-56624723

We saw fireworks on one of our visits to Legoland and it was Little Man’s first fireworks experience and LP’s first fireworks where she was able to watch them and oooh and ahhh at them. We are going to try and go to fireworks every year now, again, work permitting.

IMG_2554-720x540

We had an impromptu day in Brighton and managed our noodles on the pier tradition. I know everyone raves about seaside fish and chips but for me there is nothing quite like noodles at the end of Brighton pier followed by a spot of 2p machine arcade playing!

IMG_4419-720x479

Hubby and I had a wonderful weekend away where we got all dressed up for a child free evening and the children also had a night with the grandparents – this will be something Hubby and I try to do more often when we can but it is hard to make time with both of our working patterns – it makes it even more special when we do get a chance to have some time alone. This weekend also featured afternoon tea but we also had amazing afternoon tea when we were on holiday in the New Forest and again on holiday in Cornwall at Cardinham Woods.

IMG_3169-720x479

We didn’t quite make it into London this Christmas but did get to see Santa at Alice Holt Forest. LP loved it, can’t stop talking about Father Christmas and we will definitely be going into London to see him and the Christmas lights next year.

IMG_7017-720x478

Although I didn’t make bread this year I did make jam a few times and I also continued work on our vegetable patch. It isn’t finished yet but we did grow some more strawberries, blackberries and our first harvest of potatoes too. I’m hoping that our vegetable patch will be finished in a couple of years but it’s a lot of work whilst juggling two children and work shifts so expecting the vegetable patch to be finished this year was slightly unrealistic. We did give LP a section of veg patch though that she used purely to dig.

IMG_1162-1024x681

I started exercising – running – this year which I never expected and did get down to my Weight Watchers goal weight, although briefly. I have stopped exercising and worrying about a diet until after Christmas and will be picking this back up in January.

IMG_1690-e1409431746355-720x540

We took the children to the beach, paddled in the sea and took LP swimming a couple of times but we also signed her up for swimming lessons and she has started to settle into them and splashes about happily. She still has a long way to go until she’ll actually be swimming but her confidence in the water is improving week on week.

IMG_4498-720x479

We had a couple of no screens evenings – one with friends where we played board games, drank and laughed. The other was with Hubby, carving pumpkins together - a first for both of us!

IMG_5443-720x478

I’ve embraced messy play and LP now regularly plays with messy things although we reserve them for when Little Man is napping. We’ve also spent a lot of time getting messy this year at farms, forests and anywhere else!

IMG_3697-720x479

We have also taught Little Man to self settle although we had a bit of a regression because of teething but I am happy to say we’re now back on the right track with his sleep – fingers crossed! We have got a very firm bedtime routine with both LP and Little Man now, reading them both bedtime stories, looking at the stars and moon and having a really nice, relaxed time.

We celebrated all of our Birthdays this year in different ways and over the course of the year I cooked and ate so many things that were new to me. All in all, our 2014 Bucket List may not be completely ticked off but it has helped me to cook more, experience more with the children and teach us all new things.

All in all our 2014 bucket list has been a success and I am looking forward to putting together our 2015 list, I can see bucket lists being a fixture in our lives for years to come.

How was your 2014?

Me & You – December

Our last Me & You of the year! Hubby and I hardly ever have photos of just us and taking part in the Me & You series has really made me try harder to take photos of us together, even if I am late with the post more often than not!

IMG_7430

This month has been a pretty good one for Hubby and I as both of us have had some time off over the last few weeks with me working just two days a week rather than the usual three and only working one day during Christmas week! Hubby finished work on 23rd December and isn’t back for a little while aside from New Year so we are making the most of relaxing evenings together.

Here’s a roundup of the photos Hubby and I have taken for Me & You this year. I’m looking forward to taking part in 2015.

MeYou-January

IMG_5268-1024x681

meandyou-1024x681

IMG_8600-1024x681

MeMine-May-1024x681

MeMineJune-1024x681

IMG_2294-720x479

20140806_105240-720x405

IMG_3169-720x479 (1)

20141026_202600-720x405

IMG_6339-720x478

IMG_7430

dear beautiful

The New Year Tag

Aby over at You Baby Me Mummy tagged me in The New Year Tag and as I love a tag I couldn’t wait to answer the questions, so here goes:

What was your highlight of 2014?

On a personal level my highlight this year was getting to the point in family life where Hubby and I can both work opposite each other without the children missing out and us both being able to share the childcare – with the help of my wonderful Mother in Law. I didn’t expect to be able to work around Hubby’s shifts and being able to has given us so many options. It feels like we are always working but we are working to give our family the best in life and for me, getting to this point is a definite highlight. It’s also nice that we now have two self settling, good sleeping babies and have our evenings back and a decent night’s sleep every day – that is something I could only have dreamed of at the start of the year!

What are you excited for in 2015?

I’m excited for my new blog to go live at the start of the year – Redhead Babyled has been incredible but it has run it’s course and I am looking forward to the next chapter in my blogging life.

I am also looking forward to our first family holiday abroad and starting the ball rolling with our plans to extend and renovate our home – 2015 is going to be an exciting year!

Any new year resolutions?

Last year I started writing a Bucket List for the year so I will be doing this again for 2015 but on top of that I have made a few blogging resolutions that I’ll be writing about separately and also a personal resolution to do more for me, take better care of myself and have a healthier lifestyle.

Blogging high?

On a blogging front it was incredible to be nominated and shortlisted in the BiBs at last year’s BritMums and for my first full year of blogging 2014 has been pretty epic – so many new friends, experiences and opportunities – blogging as a whole has been a highlight of the year!

Picture of the year?

There are so many photos that I love from this year but really it would be my header photo. Taken a few days before Little Man’s 1st Birthday, when we had his cake smash, it summed us up at the time. Laughing, happy and the ‘baby’ Little Man before he had his first haircut. We have grown so much as a family this year but for me that time – Little Man becoming a toddler, LP a few months shy of preschool and Hubby and I exhausted but so happy is how I will remember 2014.

header

I now need to tag a few people to join in so if you’d like to answer the above questions it would be great to read your answers!

I tag:

Mental Parentals

Sarah at Toby Goes Bananas

Lauren at Belle Du Brighton

Beth at plasticrosaries

Katie at Hurrah For Gin

Our Christmas 2014 – The Ordinary Moments

I know Christmas isn’t really ordinary but this year was what will one day be a typical, ordinary Christmas for us and one that we all really enjoyed and hung on to for as long as it lasted. This Christmas felt like our first ‘proper’ Christmas as LP was old enough to understand it and I think we all got swept up in the Christmas magic this year.

We spent Christmas Eve getting the children’s hair cut, relaxing, baking and tidying the house ready for Santa’s arrival. The children had their Christmas Eve box and watched countless Christmas movies before venturing outside to hang Santa’s key up, throw reindeer food everywhere and watch Santa fly overhead – thanks ISS for your amazing timing! This was one incredible special part of Christmas Eve for me – both LP and Little Man walking around outside shouting for Santa, waiting for him to arrive. We then came in and LP had a phone call from the Portable North Pole Santa which was the icing on the Christmas magic cake for me – I could have cried. Her face, telling us how Santa was coming and how she’d seen him in the sky. That whole day is one that I would love to bottle and relive over and over.

The children left Santa a mince pie, glass of milk and carrot for Rudolph before having a bath, getting their new PJs on and reading The Night Before Christmas in our bed. They both went to bed without a fuss and slept until just before 8am on Christmas morning.

Santa leaves the presents under the tree in our house so the children put their dressing gowns on and we all went downstairs to see if Santa had been. LP went into the lounge first and took it all in before saying ‘Presents! Santa’s left presents for me and brother!’. We then had a relaxed hour or so of taking it in turns to open presents whilst drinking tea and enjoying the moment before having a break to have homemade chocolate croissants and get ready into our Christmas clothes.

IMG_7262

IMG_7267

We then had another present opening session, some playing and I started to put Christmas lunch in the oven although I’d prepared most of it the day before – Christmas is for playing, laughing and saving every moment to memory, not for being stuck in the kitchen!

IMG_7298

IMG_7294

IMG_7346

Unfortunately for LP we realised at this point that we had a little unwelcome visitor for Christmas – conjunctivitis. LP soldiered on all day with the help of some eye drops Hubby managed to go and get from the chemist but her poor eye got worse through the day and her other eye was also infected by the end of Boxing Day. After she was poorly last Christmas too I am hoping that we’ll have a sickness free Christmas next year!

IMG_7307

IMG_7321

Hubby’s lovely parents came round in time to open yet more presents before lunch and we cracked open the champagne – I had a glass or two of Bucks Fizz and really enjoyed it after a few years of being pregnant or breastfeeding!

Christmas dinner was lovely – even if I do say so myself – and we finished just in time to watch the Queen’s speech followed by an afternoon of Disney movies and playing. It was relaxed, informal and perfect.

IMG_7364

IMG_7367

After Hubby’s parents went home Hubby and I cracked open the cheese and biscuits, drank cups of tea and watched some Christmas TV. Boxing Day was spent with yet more relaxing, a visit from my Brother ‘Uncle Treasure’, a traditional buffet lunch and then yet more relaxing.

IMG_7371

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for more from Christmas this year, I loved it and cannot wait for next year when Little Man will be able to appreciate it a bit more too.

mummy daddy me