Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Ordinary Moments #1- The first swimming lesson

This week I've decided to take part in The Ordinary Moments linky. Put in place by one of my favourite bloggers, Katie. As Ava grows I want to remember these little moments that I'd otherwise forget.

This week a little milestone happened for Ava, on Friday she had her first swimming lesson. It's something I've wanted her to do for a while but a few weeks ago Nath's auntie said she was going to start lessons for toddlers so it was the perfect opportunity.

She's been for a splash about with us from a young age but I think that learning to swim is SUCH an important skill to have. There was only Ava and another little boy in her class so they had a one to one lesson which was great. Ava was so happy in the water. She grinned from ear to ear and giggled the whole time. It was lovely to see.
She's already quite confident in the water, having been used to the pool from a young age. I'm pretty sure she'll pick it up quickly.

I can't wait to watch her grow with confidence and progress in the water.

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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Our trip to Drayton Manor Park & Thomas Land

A few weeks ago an exciting invitation popped into my inbox. We were asked if we would like to go to a blogger event at Drayton Manor park, have a VIP screening of the new Thomas the Tank Engine film, "Tale of the Brave" and spend the rest of the day exploring the park.

I've had to sadly decline invitations that I've had in the past as they've all been in London but with this event being just over an hour from our hometown, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately Nath couldn't come so my excitement was also tinged with a little apprehension as I'd never had a big day out with Ava by myself.

We were asked to arrive at the park for 10.00am although we arrived slightly earlier. The park was open but none of the rides opened until 10.30am which I have to admit was pretty frustrating, especially with an excited toddler in tow who was desperate to get onto the rides. Luckily I managed to distract her until it was time to head over to the 4d cinema for the VIP screening. I was impressed with what they'd put together, a little waiting room for the bloggers complete with popcorn and Thomas the Tank juice cartons for the little ones which I thought was a lovely touch. I also loved the fact that the room had been filled with Thomas the Tank toys to entertain the children while us mummies chatted away. Before the start of the film we had a special visit from the Fat Controller who then led us into the cinema.

The cinema was big and spacious but not ideal for a small wriggly toddler who did wriggle out of the big chairs a couple of times. Much to my embarrassment Ava lasted a whole 5 minutes into the film before she started shouting the place down (sorry to any fellow mummies!) I think a combination of no nap and having seen the rest of the park meant that there was no way she was going to sit still! However we were kindly given a very generous goody bag which contained a DVD copy of the film so a full review of that shall be coming soon.

We headed to the nearby zoo which Ava really enjoyed. She loved spotting the monkeys and the meerkats (however wasn't so keen on the reptile house). She loved that we sat opposite the monkey enclosure to eat our picnic. From there we walked to part of Thomas Land, it's split into two parts, the main park which is situated near the main entrance and contains all of the rides or the dino trail and large outdoor play area that's accessible via a short train ride from the main park or on foot.

The outdoor play area was huge and I'm pretty sure Ava would have stayed there all day if i'd have let her. I had to drag her away with the promise of returning later on. Much to Ava's excitment the little train that picked us up from the station was Thomas. It's such a great idea and leads you right into the heart of the park. Ava was able to go on practically all of the rides with me and I felt comfortable leaving my buggy in the buggy park. I thought it would be difficult managing Ava, the buggy and our bags by myself but it was surprisingly not stressful at all. There were plenty of places to park the buggy. They also have a café, sweet shop and the biggest Thomas the Tank Engine shop in the world in the little park.

We only ventured out of Thomas Land to go to the Zoo and onto the carousel (Ava loves them), I thought that we'd run out of things to do but we were at Drayton Manor for a total of 6 hours! Impressive. Once Ava had been on all of the rides she could go on we hopped back onto the little train and spent the last hour in the outdoor play area.

For me the day couldn't have gone any better, with most children being back in school and it being a a weekday there were minimal queues. Also with us being in the middle of potty training there were plenty of facilities around the park. We did use our Dry Like Me pads but I'm happy to report that apart from one little leak Ava stayed dry throughout the day!

I was thrilled with how well the day went, we had an amazing time. The park exceeded my expectations and we'll definitely be returning.

I put together a little video of our day out, enjoy!

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Goodbye Summer

As I write this I have a cosy blanket over my knees, candles lit and have just had a lovely hot cup of tea (and 2 slices of cake, sshh)

Autumn is definitely on the way! I feel like this Summer has past us by so quickly which makes me feel so sad. I'm such a Summer baby but with all of the wedding preparations we've been doing it feels as though family time took a back seat.

We did manage to squeeze in some fun bits though.

At the end of May, not long after it's opening date, we took a family trip to Cbeebies Land at Alton Towers where we had a brilliant day. I definitely recommend a trip if you're thinking of going.

Nath and I went on our respective stag & hen do's. Him, Marbella. Me, Barcelona.

I completely adored Barcelona and am desperate to go back. It was amazing!

We also started potty training with the help of Dry Like Me training pads but as I explained in yesterday's post, potty training seems to have gone backwards lately. A minor set back, hopefully she'll get back on track soon.

We've managed to squeeze in coffee dates, picnics, park trips and Ava even had a trip to the seaside with daddy. Next Summer we'll be ready to squeeze every last drop out of Summer and I'm so excited to finally be married.

My poor little blog has suffered over the Summer too. This space has been far too neglected so I'm planning a few posts and a possible revamp.

I'm also quite looking forward to Autumn this year. With nothing left to plan it's going to be full on family time and I can't wait!

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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Toddler sleep regression

Toddler sleep regression wasn't something I'd heard of until last night, out of frustration I googled it and discovered this website. What it said described Ava perfectly. I feel relieved that this is actually a "thing" and not just down to bad behaviour or something.

What the website explained is that Ava is currently asserting her independence and is testing the boundaries. She's letting us know what she does & doesn't want to do, napping being on the less favourable list.

She is looked after by a variety of people whilst I work part time during the week. Nursery, Nath's mum and my auntie and they all struggle to get her to nap during the day. The trouble is, without a nap she falls asleep at 4.00pm when I pick her up causing havoc at bedtime. The last few nights bedtime has been almost 10.00pm! Not ideal as you can imagine. We've now told everyone that she MUST nap between 12.00pm & 2.00pm. We're hoping that this will solve our problem.

Also Ava seems to have gone backwards with her potty training. She was practically dry. I'd say she was about 95% potty trained, save a couple of rare accidents here & there when she was playing and would forget.

When Nath and I got married last Friday we didn't want to risk her wetting herself in church and as it was going to be a very busy day we decided to put her in pull-ups. The thought of chasing her around with a potty all day or her soiling her gorgeous dress would have been far too stressful!

She was then having a number of accidents during the day which became so stressful for us both. Today she's had one accident so I'm hope that she's starting to get back on track.

Is toddler sleep regression or going backwards with potty training something you've experienced?

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Ava wears- Summer to Autumn transitional pieces

I wanted to get this post up as soon as possible as I have a sneaky feeling that when I took the pictures (a couple of weeks before my wedding) it was the last of the Summer sun! As much as it pains me to say.

I feel like this Summer has gone by in the blink of an eye, probably because we've been so preoccupied with wedding things.

I bought this little outfit on a whim, I'd actually popped to Next to look for a pair of wedding shoes for Ava. I came out without any shoes but with this gorgeous outfit instead. I just couldn't resist!

I just love the pattern on the skirt & I'm not usually a fan of mustard colour but I think that it's the perfect transitional piece. It will look gorgeous paired with chunky tights.

I paired the skirt with Ava's little suede Zara booties that are no longer in stock unfortunately. They do have some lovely ones for A/W at the moment though.

I'm also looking forward to pairing the tshirt with a thick cardigan. It will look so cute!

Tshirt- Next/ Skirt-Next 

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Just married

Well, technically I've now been married for 4 whole days now but our wedding feels like it was weeks ago! It's definitely true what they say, the day goes past at a ridiculously fast pace and now I'm so sad it's all over!

I'm going to put together a series of the different aspects of my wedding as I didn't want to just dump a load of photos into one post. I'll also write a post with some wedding tips, you'll probably get bored of my wedding spam before long but it was such an amazing day I want to stay in that wedding bubble for as long as possible!

I'll be putting the series together once we have all of the photos back from our amazing photographer but until then, here is a sneak peek!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

5 days

Yikes, I've been SO absent from my blog. I failed miserably at my vlogs after Barcelona. Wedding stuff just seemed to pick up pace and I never got around to it.

And now we're here, counting down on one hand, the wedding rehearsal looming tomorrow and a funny feeling starting in my stomach. Somewhere between butterflies and feeling as though I've been on the waltzers and am going to vomit at any moment.

It's been such a long time coming, we've been engaged for over 2 years. Wedding deliveries are coming in thick and fast and we still have SO much to do. But it's exciting, all this anticipation because I know that this time next week I'll be a married woman and it will all be over. So as stressful as it can be at times I'm trying to enjoy it all. I also can't wait to share what we've been up to on my blog! I feel like it's all been very hush hush but after the wedding I'll be sharing plenty of photos and wedding tips.

Thank you for sticking with me! If you want a few sneak peaks the best place to follow me is on Instagram.