Monday, 1 September 2014

Baby Steps









As our imminent to move to a countryside village draws closer, I have spent the past few weeks preparing for the rural life. Louie and I have spent days driving around the local area, getting to grips with the local shops and visiting places we can spend time in the future.

This weekend however, we have concentrated on the rural tradition of preserving. I can't wait until we will have produce from our own garden to make goodies from, but as we don't have the resources this year, we have sourced ingredients from the local area. On todays menu was Damson Jam, Tomato Relish and Malted Bread, all of which were made with local ingredients. The feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming!

It is a very exciting time for us at present, with Louie starting school and us moving in to our first home. You may need to bear with us at times, but we will be back, and bigger than ever by the looks of it, with lots  and lots more treats like these!




Sunday, 31 August 2014

Upton by Tractor










Today we drove down to Upton House in Oxfordshire for a tractor ride around the estate. The wider Upton estate is made up of private farms which maintain arable and grazing fields. The tractor ride took us around the different working fields of the estate, showing us oat fields that were being cultivated by training racehorses, a living bird feed table, working woodland and lots of sheep!
It was lead by the estate manager who also runs the Birds and Bee's seed shop, which uses grains and oils from the Upton estate to create delicious foods for the wildlife from the farming methods already in place.
The views from the tractor ride were phenominal, as you can see! Especially the view of the house and gardens from the other side of the hill.
We spent the rest of our afternoon on the green relaxing and listening to the jazz band playing all afternoon. It was a grand day out!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Calke Morning









Louie has been nagging for me to take him to his favourite place every day for the past few weeks. We needed to get out from under Pappy's feet for the morning so we took off and arrived at Calke really early.
Being so early, we were one of the first families in to the Garden of Imagination and it really was lovely to have the whole field to ourselves.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Louie, Starting School



It has been a long time since I have done one of these posts, however with Louie starting school a week today, I thought it was the perfect time to make a little log (for myself!) of where he is in himself and his development.

Louie is fiercely independent. He can and does do most things on his own. He loves to pay for his own items in shops, he will brush his own teeth, get his own food/drinks and will do most things independently where appropriate.

He loves to play with his cars, playmobil, train set and various puzzles and jigsaws, of which he shows a certain aptitude for. He has started playing more independently, although he will still play much better with a friend.

Sonny has become Louie's best friend. Although they haven't always liked each other, now they are becoming great pals. Louie will lift and carry Sonny with ease, giving him cuddles and letting him sit on his lap. This is something I thought I'd never see, what with Sonny being so vicious!

Louie is able to write his first name completely independently, as well as a handful of other words. We are still working on getting his surname but in his defence, it is a bit tricky! His drawing has improved beautifully and he will have a go at drawing most things. I can't wait to see what he creates for me once he starts school.

Every month Louie buys his Octonaut magazine. This is a highlight of the month for him. He reads the stories with Pappy before bed, we concentrate on all of the writing and puzzles, he enjoys sticking the stickers and of course a little toy each episode is the icing on the cake.

Louie's favourite progammes at the moment are Great British Bake Off, Octonauts and DipDap (a cute little animation on Cbeebies) although he does like a good movie, anything featuring John Candy is a winner at the moment.

We are lucky to now get the occasional full nights sleep! Maybe once or twice a week, Louie will treat us and sleep through the night although we are hoping that when he starts school full time, he will extend this to every night! We can only hope!

He still loves visiting National Trust properties, asking to visit Calke Abbey almost on a daily basis (I wish I was exaggerating...). He loves being out of doors and visiting gardens. He really seems to appreciate gardens and flowers, which is very sweet. He is trustworthy enough to wander off on his own in places that I am familiar with, to enjoy places in his own 'space'.

Sausage and Mash is his current favourite meal, but he still eats a good variety of meals most of the time. He still loves Olives and hates Stilton, so no change there!

In conversation, Louie comes out with the funniest phrases and sayings. He usually sounds like an old man when he comes out with 'oh when I was young' and other things that don't seem right coming out of a small child!

Well that is all for now. I have frequently looked back on 'Louie, Three', which has served the purpose I intended, so hopefully, I will be looking back and remembering those sweet days before my baby starts school, with lots of happy memories!


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Wildlife Walk









Yesterday we spent the morning at the Sense Valley Forest Park, a serene landscape formed from a former coal mine. Whilst walking, we spotted lots of wildlife. Butterflies, ducks, frogs, swans, many birds and even some otters in the lake, although the only wildlife willing to cooperate for the camera was Louie!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014



Today we took a drive around the Leicestershire countryside that we are soon to be calling home. Oh how I love the hay bales strewn across the fields at this time of year, it is so comforting to think that these very fields are spitting distance from our new home. We have started to familiarise ourselves with the localities, shopping in the local shops and villages, showing our faces and all that!







After a lovely day, we spent the afternoon yummy iced buns. Since the latest series of Great British Bake Off started, my friends and colleagues have been setting me little challenges each week. This week I was tasked with iced buns. I think they look alright for a first attempt, even though I don't think Paul Hollywood would be too impressed with my imperfect buns! I can not wait to sit down with a pot of tea and an iced bun and watch Bake Off with my boys!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Hanbury Hall














A quiet family Sunday trip to Hanbury Hall and gardens. Time spent playing and being silly, making the most of the time before our baby starts school next week.
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