Sometimes it is the spontaneous, and very ordinary outings we have, that become the ones that hold the moments we most treasure. And this was certainly true of our little adventure on Saturday.

We had various plans and things to do on Saturday, and yet at 1pm we found ourselves doing none of them, and instead heading up to Sewerby Park (over in Bridlington) for a nice walk and some family time. We decided with the weather being nice, that they could see the animals there, play on the park, and generally just enjoy a little wander together.


Up on the cliff tops and overlooking the bay, it is a place we have visited numerous times and love….An ordinary part of my childhood and now an ordinary part of theirs. A place full of lovely memories and ordinary moments, nature and beauty, and something for us all. Of course when they realised where we were they burst with excitement to be there!

 Alice however is a bit of newbie to Sewerby Park, and whilst she probably came with us as little baby on previous visits, she certainly wouldn’t have remembered or gotten much out of it. I found that this time it meant we had an opportunity to see it all with new eyes and see it from her perspective. The kids enjoyed pointing things out and coaxing her to see things they thought she would love! It started when I decided to let her out of the buggy to explore with her siblings, we were in no rush and I wanted to let her wander to see what she did – She wandered around, not after them, but on her own, and loved her new found freedom. It was so lovely to watch her, and then to watch them all together; Ethan and Megan trying so hard to coax her in to following them! It provided several moments I wanted to bottle up and treasure forever.

She wandered to the animals and shouted as if we’d never seen them before, and wandered with eyes wide, in awe at the sounds, the sky and the world around her. She wandered from pen to pen on a mission, with her little finger pointing as she went, and then so expressive as she peered in at the animals behind each fence…. “oooing” and “Ahhhhhing”!

She wandered her own way and at her own pace and I had no choice but to follow and allows her her independence.

 There is always something lovely about going to familiar places filled with wonderful memories, and these are made more when you can see and appreciate them with fresh eyes. It’s crazy to think how quickly time is going and how fast Alice is growing and changing. I feel we are now in this wandering stage… exploring all we can and taking in the sights and sounds of the world. It takes a little longer, but I love these moments when we can slow down and remember how great the ordinary stages and moments are. This little wanderer certainly brings so much to our lives and our family with each step she takes in a new direction, and with each new thing she points out to us.

The Ordinary Moments
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Part of our weekly routine now includes playgroup on a Friday morning, and we love it. Whilst taking toddlers and preschoolers to playgroups is an ordinary moment for most, it hasn’t been for us until now, and its taking some remembering, but we are now really getting into it.

Alice is obviously my 4th child, and the 3rd we are raising, and in some ways I am doing things differently. With the “Ethan and Megan at home” years, our routines were very similar for them both. We went to baby massage, Yoga, music sessions and soft plays – it grew with them. Despite being surrounded by various playgroups, I never accessed them or perhaps went sporadically but never felt a part of it. I guess I was a little nervous to break into what I assumed were already formed friendship groups and worried that i’d be a loner on the edge so just didn’t bother. With friends I already had, and family I already saw, I didn’t feel a need for it in my life as I had enough contact with other mums and tots! Either way it wasn’t until my sister in law told me how much her kids loved playgroup, that I felt perhaps I was missing out there and made a mental note to go … one day!

When we moved here and I received the list of the village baby and toddler groups I spotted that a playgroup ran every Friday and was rather excited! Despite that (and several invites from mum’s in the playground) I only made the effort to start going just a few weeks ago. Like all things here in the village I was made to feel so welcome, had plenty of people to talk to and get to know better, and we have both enjoyed the lovely little group that meet weekly for playgroup.

I think in a lot of ways it’s different to other playgroups I tried to go to, because it has that familiar community and inclusive spirit running through it that we have really loved here, and grown accustom to! Such welcoming, kind people instantly relaxes you and makes you want to return because everyone is just so lovely. For a newbie/outsider and first timer like me, that has made an incredible difference.

I am glad I went and continue to go… walking up after the morning drop off, because I have loved watching Alice become more and more comfortable over the weeks too and get into the flow of it all. Her confidence has grown, and she has gone from clinging to me on the first week, to now where she now plays for ages with prams, trikes, and her fave – the little slide! I love to see her waltz in, and see her at break time sit with the other kids drinking her juice and eating her biscuit (custard creme is her preference apparently!), and then running around with no real direction. Every week she ends up on top of the tables whilst I am engrossed in nattering, and every week at approximately the same time she whines at me to say its almost nap time and we need to hurry up and leave!

I love that she loves playgroup, and that we have both slotted in and have an enjoyable time there. I love we have these moments together that are so different to what life was like with the others.

Play group has never been an ordinary moment for us, and perhaps I missed something there with Ethan and Megs, but now it is with Alice, and we both enjoy it and I am grateful for that. We look forward to our ordinary moments of playgroup each Friday morning, from the friends we meet there and the fun we have, to snack time, and of course those custard cremes!!

The Ordinary Moments
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I am no stranger to a soft play, they are an ordinary moment of any preschooler or mum’s life, and love or hate them, they are a great place to catch up with mum friends and ditch the kids to let off some steam! With our initial years raising our family in the City, we were surrounded by them and had several at our finger tips, and whilst I rarely went in them with the kids (they gross me out) I loved to see them having fun and going nuts whilst I had a sneaky hot chocolate and lots of chats. We would spend hours at them, especially on rainy days and even now in school holidays we can occasionally be spotted at the ones for older kids!

Now Alice is 1 and toddling around, I guess we go full circle and start that all over again. The difference however for Alice is that she is on her own, and we are now living in a village!

Here in East Yorkshire, aside from family and school friends that I have to travel a little ways to, I don’t know as many local people as I did back when Ethan and Megs were younger, or even where the local soft plays would even be with out the help of a little google, so I was super excited to find out when we moved in that the village has their own soft play (yes really). I was kindly invited by a couple of childminders in our early days here, with instructions that it was a mile down the road crossing several fields to get there, but it runs twice a week, is cheap, and well…just perfect!

It is far different to what I have been used to but I love all the more so. Soft Play village style involves a mile walk across fields, through woodland and past some goats and chickens. It is a beautiful walk that I have enjoyed taking each week which leads you out over some tracks and finally to our destination of “Soft play” at the local sports grounds. It is a pop up one and therefore half the price of that in the city and has far less kids there too. It is super chilled out and everyone talks to each other over a free cuppa and is clean and easy to watch the kids at. It is just a cute little space for kids to have fun with the other kids they know from all of the other groups we all go to for a couple of hours twice a week! Its more of a club/playgroup than a business and I have thoroughly enjoyed going along each week with Alice.

I love our walk there and back with its stunning views, and I love to see her toddling and crawling with the other kids.

I love that such an ordinary thing as that of going to soft play has now for us become an adventure – A 2 mile round trip of little country lanes, horses, old windmills, fields and new friends.

The village soft play is now part of our weekly routine that we look forward to… an ordinary moment in our week to meet up with the other weekly soft play goers to have chats, drinks a little play!

I love that for Alice her ordinary will be this cute pop up soft play. It will be walks through the countryside to get there and it will be those little kids from the village that she sees at everything else. I love the slow and chilled pace of life here, our new ordinary and the little moments of quaint traditions that we can now be a part of together in this new chapter and stage of life…

 

The Ordinary Moments
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An ordinary moment for the majority of children, comes the day when they can stand up tall! Oh the joy when they learn to stand. That moment when they’re not quite ready to take those first steps, but the wobbles are diminishing and they are gaining their confidence. They stand there so amazed at what they can do and its just so cute!

It seems like a lifetime ago that my kids were learning to stand, learning to walk, and learning to hold their own and stand tall. I forgot the excitement it brings, the sheer joy and relief that they can do it, and just generally how great/useful it is to pop them down on their feet.

Last week was a tough one, but on Tuesday it was made a little brighter when Alice suddenly stood up grinning at us. I couldn’t believe it! She was 13 months a couple of weeks ago (the age both her living siblings were walking by) and out of sheer anticipation I have wondered when the day will come that she takes those first steps. I practice occasionally with her, and the kids walk her around daily to get a feel for it, but up until now she finds it more fun to drop down on her bum and start laughing than toddle along. We stand her up, she drops down and it has become a great little game – for her!

On Tuesday however it was different, she was steady, she was determined and she stood up tall in her room with the biggest smile. I tried not to be too over excited whilst I grabbed the camera, but when Ethan and Megs got wind of it, we all just went a little nuts clapping and cheering!

Since that ordinary moment of standing up tall on her own, day by day she has gained her confidence to stand a little more, for a little longer. I am so excited to have witnessed this ordinary little moment and milestone in Alice’s life and to feel the joy of seeing another of my kids standing up!

The Ordinary Moments
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