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Our Lovely Long Easter Weekend...

on Tuesday, 22 April 2014.

The Easter bunny has been and gone and we now have at least a year's supply of chocolate currently taking up space in our cupboard causing us to have a tremendous amount of lost willpower.  Our four day weekend was just what we needed, a chance to relax and have some quality time together as a family.  I couldn't have asked for anything more and I am sad it is over for another  year. 

I have been feeling really emotional this weekend, I don't know if it was seeing the magic on my girls faces while out hunting for eggs, seeing my 90 year old grandparents and creating memories that I treasure so much each time, or just spending time with different members of my family but I have had to blink back tears on a few occasions as I have sat back and watched the people I love having a good time.  

It was a quiet yet subtly hectic weekend- Friday was spent over at my grandparents having slow roasted gammon and hunting for eggs on their farm, Saturday we went over to my Dad's where my other grandparents were visting, Sunday we went to a local farm for a day out with my sister before going over to my Mums in the evening as it was her birthday and Monday was spent being lazy and doing some tidying and baking.  It was just a laid back lovely weekend with two little girls who were on their best behaviour considering the amount of E numbers consumed.  (Although on Thursday night Mads drew a masterpiece on my new wallpaper with biro and we can't get it off but I couldn't hold a grudge with a three year old all weekend!)

Below are some photos and a (rather long) video of our bank holiday weekend together.  Why can't every weekend be four days long and full of chocolate?  

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A little early Easter treat.

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Bunnies everywhere.

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The girls Easter baskets- a gorgeous Jellycat bedtime bunny and mouse, the obligatory bunny ears, chocolate friends and marshmallows.  We normally have them on Easter Sunday but we had them on Friday this year as we went over to my Grandmas for an egg hunt.

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The little hand knitted chicks from my Mother in Law had kinder eggs hidden in them- Mads loved them and said 'Wow' when she realised there was her favourite treat inside.

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The cheekiest Easter bunny that there ever was.

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We went over to my Grandparents for lunch on Good Friday with my Mum and the rest of the family.

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Ready for egg hunts.

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Some new friends guarding the egg bucket.

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Hunting.

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Mads had a great time searching for eggs in Great Grandma's garden.

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'Found one Mummy!'

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Checking out her big sisters loot.

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My Mother in Law made the girls these gorgeous 'matching but not matching' bunnies and my Mum also made them a lovely Easter basket each.  They were very spoilt with little treats.

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More friends.

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Mads went for a walk with Great Grandma (they live on a big farm with lots of gorgeous land) and picked me some flowers.  Her little face was so cute, she was so proud to give them to me.

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On Saturday we went over to my Dad's as my Grandparents were visiting from Wales.  Nothing is more special to me than these family times, we are aware how lucky we are to be able to make these memories.

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Digging in the garden with Grandpa.

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 Sharing a joke with Daddy.

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On Sunday we went to the farm that we went to last year, Mads loved feeding all the animals.  I didn't take many photos while we were there cause I didn't want to get my camera wet (obligatory British bank holiday rain) but I took some quick video clips. 

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Because when my girls are grown up they will really want an awkwardly posed photo of their Mummy and Auntie in front of a ridiculously old fire engine.  Who wouldn't?  

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Mads and I did some Easter baking on Monday because with all the mountains of chocolate we had in the house we just needed that little bit more sugar.

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I love this photo of my Nana and Mads.  I will treasure it for all the happy smiles.

A little video of our weekend too.  It is rather long, anyone who gets to the end can have a leftover Easter egg.  Maybe.

 

 

All in all it was a lovely weekend.  One of those ones where you just feel thankful to have a slightly boring ordinary life.  Roll on the next bank holiday!

 

NB We were very kindly sent the Jellycat bunny and mouse for Mads and LL's Easter Basket. Thank you! :)

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #16 'Aaaaaaah.'

on Sunday, 20 April 2014.

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At fourteen months LL has such a happy and carefree personality and in turn she brightens our days.  She still seems so little to me- most probably this is second child syndrome, whereas Mads seemed quite grown up at this age LL really does still feel like a baby.

She has the widest and happiest smile which spreads across her whole face and she gets excited by the silliest things.  She is also incredibly affectionate, her favourite thing to do is cuddle.  Whether that's Mummy or Daddy, Grandma or a cuddly toy, if you give her something soft she will wrap her arms around it so tight and squeeze it while letting out a long sounding 'aaaaaah' noise.  

She buries her face into your shoulder or into a toy and almost nuzzles to try and get comfy.  She will cuddle me for ages and I must admit to relishing every single one.  I love to bury my face into her silky soft hair, Mr E and I have always thought that for some strange reason her hair always smells a little like popcorn.  If you hold your hands out to her she will crawl as quick as she can across the room smiling and giggling and will hold out her arms so you pick her up and hug her tight.  

For some reason she prefers cuddling Mads toys to her own and Mads is so kind to her especially in respects to her favourite friend Pongo the dog.  I took this photo of LL snuggling in close to Woody the lamb with a huge smile on her face.  She really does have the most infectious personality and you can't help but smile when you are around her.   It's a joy to see her growing and becoming her own little person.

I feel very privileged to be the one who this little girl loves to cuddle the most.  What is about a cuddle from one of your children that makes even the stressful of days seem that little bit better?

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You are 13 Months (but technically 14!)...

on Thursday, 17 April 2014.

My Dearest LL,

Mummy is really late in writing your 13 month letter, in fact you are now 14 months.  Oops.  We have just been so busy and the weeks seem to be going so fast. I will get back on schedule from now on but for this month only I will merge your monthly letters together.  After a very happy 1st birthday, you have settled into life as a 'not quite a baby not yet a toddler' very well.  

You have been at nursery for almost two months now, just for two long mornings a week.  At first you used to cry when Mummy left, although when I rang ten minutes later I was told you were always happy.  However for the last couple of weeks you have been fine when I drop you off, you hold out your hands to your key worker and smile when I wave goodbye to you.  It makes Mummy feel such a sense of pride that you are now a confident little girl.  When I pick you up you always get a little overwhelmed when you hear my voice, and let out a little cry.  They tell me that you are a very quiet little girl, happy in your own little world and are absolutely no trouble at all.  Apparently you love to do painting and I absolutely adore getting pictures from you and your big sister.

You are trying so hard to talk and are constantly babbling away.  None of it makes sense yet but I love to hear you chatting away to yourself.  You say Mama but don't say it in relation to me yet and we are sure that you are saying something that sounds suspiciously like 'Hi-ya' which is funny as we don't know where you have picked it up from.  You get quite vocal and shout and pull very serious facial expressions, almost as if you want me to understand what you are saying.  You absolutely love to point at everything and anyone and let out a little noise.  You love me to tell you what everything is and then once I have told you you point at the next thing!

There is no sign of walking on the horizon yet, but your big sister didn't walk until 15 months so I am not too worried.  She was more steady at this point but you just aren't stong on your legs and aren't standing on your own for any period of time.  I secretly like the fact that you are still a baby in that respects.  You stand up against anything and everything and cruise along the furniture, as well as nipping across the lounge with your baby walker.  You still seem too little and small to be walking, and it makes me laugh to see you with a huge smile on your face as you push it along. 

Your absolute favourite thing to do is dance.  You love to shake your little bottom and hold out your hands and bop to whatever beat is on.  You love 'What makes You Beautiful' by One Direction and notice it as soon as it comes on in the car, your little face breaks into a huge grin and you literally shake and dance with excitement.   Mads and I love to put it on and watch you, it's utterly adorable.  You also love it when Mummy sings 'Girl look at that body' which perhaps is a slightly strange thing to sing to a one year old, but you wiggle and giggle whenever I sing it.   

Another thing you love to do is cuddle.  You are incredibly affectionate and love to snuggle in our arms.  If we say 'cuddle' you will bury your face into our arms and say 'aaah' which is very sweet.  You love to cuddle your toys, although your favourite thing is still your big sisters dog 'Pongo'.  

You are sleeping fabulously and eating just as well.  The only things that you aren't keen on is jelly and fruit, I have no idea why as Mads loves any sort of fruit but you always spit it out.  Other than that you will eat everything so I am not too worried. You are going through a phase where you will let out a funny little noise if someone else is eating something that you want.  You defintely know what you want and will have little strops if you don't get a little portion of your own to try.

I still can't quite believe that my tiny newborn is now over a year old, yet at the same time I can't believe that you haven't always been in our lives.  You have just fitted into our family perfectly and we couldn't possibly imagine what life was like before you.  

Mummy couldn't love you anymore if she tried.

Thank you for being mine,

Love Mummy

xxx

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 PS.  Look at your eyelashes!  When Grandma saw this photo she asked if I had put mascara on you. I can assure you I didn't put mascara on my 14 month old.  They really are so beautiful, Mummy is very jealous.  I love this photo of you. 

Two Very Special Friends.

on Tuesday, 15 April 2014.

There are many very special things about being a parent.  But one of them is seeing the magic on your children's faces when they experience something new and exciting for the first time.  Those twinkly eyes dancing around, the happy smiles and the sheer wonder etched across their faces.  

Blogging has brought me a great many things but last week I did something with my girls which truly was so simple yet so special.  We went to make two very special new friends.

I have known about Build a Bear Workshop for a long time, in fact Mads has 'Rosie Rabbit', who one of our dear friends bought for her on the day LL was born.  However we hadn't been before, mainly due to the fact that I wanted to wait until they were old enough to understand.  I was really excited to take them, and Mads was excited to go and 'make a special friend' too. 

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We arrived and were greeted by the two lovely members of staff who were helping us make our new friends.

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There were lots of different animals to choose from but after careful consideration Mads decided she wanted a lamb and she wanted LL to have a bunny.

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First up we were told to cuddle each animal to make sure that the cuddles were good.  Mads thought the lamb was very cuddly!

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It was then over to the sound machine to pick a sound for our new chums.  Mads decided that her lamb would say 'I love you' and LL had to have One Direction 'What makes you beautiful' because she gets so excited and dances every time the song comes on.  

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The Build a Bear experience is so hands on for children, Mads was absolutely transfixed with everything that was going on and her smile was honestly so wide.  

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The next thing to do was give our friends some stuffing.  Mads get to help do hers and LL's by pressing on the foot pump.  This was 'the best thing ever.'

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LL was in awe of everything and the staff were so lovely with her, telling us that she had made their day with her happy smiles.  Auntie Annie doesn't look so impressed!

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Cuddling to make sure the stuffing was perfect.

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Next we needed to give our friends a heart.  We had to kiss it, shake it and rub it on our knees as our new friends would always '(k)need us.'  The staff were so great at making it an amazing experience.

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His heart went in so he was ready to be stitched up.

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LL loved to crawl round the shop and stand up to try all the things for herself.

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Next up our new friends needed a bath and their fur brushing.  

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We then had to decide on outfits for the as yet named Lamb and Bunny.  Mads decided the lamb was a boy and the bunny was a girl so we set about sorting out their new wardrobes.

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As Mads is obsessed with Toy Story, it was entirely necessary to go for a Woody outfit.  LL's bunny was dressed in a pretty summer dress.  We also bought them a pair of pj's each as well.

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Finally we needed to make our new friends a birth certificate.  It was decided then that lamb would be 'Woody' (we are nothing but original) and bunny would be 'Blossom'.

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And that was it!  We were given boxes to carry Blossom and Woody and sent home to enjoy our new friendships.

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I can honestly say that since we brought them home, Mads hasn't been too far away from her new friend Woody.  She absolutely loves him, and the fact that she got to experience seeing him made has meant it is all the more special for her.  She asks to put his PJ's on every night, although this means bedtime takes twice as long.  And LL loves to snuggle in close to her new bunny Blossom too.

The Build a Bear concept is simple, but we truly had such a special time there.  The staff were amazing with the girls, and the whole experience is so special for children.  Mads was at the perfect age to enjoy it and find it so magical, and LL just smiled and giggled non stop.  I found it so wonderful watching them having such a great time, and I will remember it for a long time.  There is something so lovely about watching your children's innocence and child like wonder.  

We can't recommend Build a Bear highly enough, and I know that Woody and Blossom will be special for a very long time.  In fact as I write this there are two little girls snuggled up in bed asleep with their arms tucked around their lovingly created new friends.

 

NB. We were invited to try out the Build a Bear experience and given two bears and some accessories (plus buying some too!) but all thoughts and opinions are my own, and we would have written about it anyway.  It's the most fun my girls have had in ages!

 

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