Weekly gratitude// Nana cuddles and paddling pools

We’ve had a few cooler days here this week, and if I’m honest, it’s been a bit of a relief. But I’m pleased to see the sunshine again. I’ve got lots to include in my weekly gratitude this week, including learning from experience and making for a better event this time around, time with family and friends, and a little bit of retail therapy.

grandmother cuddling 15 month old girl, smiling, looking down, with baby snuggled into her chest

Pool party

Last Saturday, we were invited over to some friends’ house for a playdate with a few others. It was a gorgeous sunny day, lovely company and the girls had a great time playing. Frankie was of course intent on throwing herself off the top of the slide into the paddling pool for much of the time. So it wasn’t as relaxing as Saturday catch-ups were pre-kids, but so nice all the same.

We then went home and Frankie threw herself straight into our new paddling pool at home – the girl is such a water baby.

Nana cuddles

In the afternoon, my mum came to us while my dad was out. She can be at home alone for short periods, but her dementia means that she can get confused. So if it’s for any length of time, she’s best with someone. Since I had children, I rarely get the chance to have a good old natter with my mum (there’s a theme starting here, isn’t there?) Frankie is usually trying to find a way to harm herself, or someone needs a snack, or a nappy change. You know how it is, you never finish a conversation with children around. I love the craziness of my two. But it was also really nice to have lunch in the garden and a good old natter with mum. Then when Frankie woke up, she went for the biggest nana cuddle ever. You could just tell how much it meant to my mum. Precious memories.

Sand pits and swings

Our ususal Zumbini class was cancelled on Monday, so we went to a new park with a friend and her little ones. Sometimes it’s nice to break the routine and do something spur of the moment, isn’t it. The girls had a lovely time  in the park, which is like a massive sand pit with all the play equipment inside it. Lottie would have hated that sensation even a year ago, but she went in no questions asked, so I think her sensory processing is really improving recently. I’m still finding sand now though.

Primark haul

Was I the only person in the UK with only one pair of shorts? I mean, when was the last time the sun shone in this country for longer than a week? My one pair weren’t cutting it any more, and having filled the girls’ summer wardrobes for the past few weeks, I decided to treat myself at last too. So good old Primark came up trumps with three pairs of shorts for all occasions, and I’m really sorry if that purchase means that summer will now be over.

Teeth

Poor Frankie is in teething hell right now with her four canines coming through at the same time, so we are, of course, all in teething hell too.But two have come through this week, so she’s halfway there and hopefully the other two will come soon and give the poor child (and the rest of us) some relief and some sleep. #prayforteeth

A new farm

Gary is off on Wednesdays, so we always try to plan a bit of an outing. This week we visited a new farm and the girls had such a lovely time. It’s a nice big space, so they had plenty of room to run around. And the beauty of him working weekends is that we always get a quieter visit than you would on a Saturday, so the girls got up close to all the animals, which they loved and the staff were fab and explained all about the different residents.

Lunch date

For my dad’s 70th, my sister and I gave him ’12 months of 70′. Basically, it’s a little treat each month for a year, and then we will put together an album of photos and memories at the end of the year as a keepsake. We did the same for my mum. So July’s treat was lunch out with us and we went this week. I would never think to organise this sort of thing otherwise, but it was so nice to have some time out. There were no children, it was just the three of us and a catch up and a sandwich. Making time for this sort of thing and not always being too busy, is so important. And stepping out of normal routine (ie taking the kids to see mum and dad) is also really important.

Early Years celebration picnic

It’s nearly the end of Lottie’s first year of preschool. It seems like just yesterday that we were buying that uniform and crying after drop off. The preschool, nursery and reception classes all got together on Friday for an end of year celebratory picnic.  Learning from the mistakes of sports day, I found someone to look after Frankie while she napped at home. And my big girl and I went out on our own.

We had such a fun couple of hours, exploring the forest school, playing with friends and having our little picnic. Lottie panicked a bit when she first got there as it was busy and noisy, but without Frankie to contend with too, I was able to keep her calm and happy and she seemed to really enjoy it.

Dogsitting

If you follow my social media, you’ll have seen that we had my sister’s dog here overnight. I keep dropping hints to Gary about getting a dog and they haven’t really got that far. So when my sister needed someone to look after Ralph, I thought it would be a good trial run. Frankie is dog mad, and Lottie loves all animals. It went so well, the girls loved it and Lottie even said some new words to him (paw, hello, sit, down). I think I may be winning Gary over to my idea…

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