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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Last week (like many of you I’m sure) my social media was flooded with back to school pictures of friends, family and fellow bloggers kids, all kitted out in new uniforms and excited for the new school year. It has come around so quickly and I am honestly really sad to see Ethan and Megan returning to school after what has been an incredibly fun and adventurous 6 week Summer holiday!

I am really proud of how quickly we have all fallen back into the school run schedule, and how much they love being in their new classes and seeing all of their friends again! They were super excited to get back to it, and I smiled as I peered in on them before we went to bed last Monday night, and caught a glimpse of their new little uniforms all laid out with precision – Megan’s on the end of her bed, Ethan’s on his desk. Their little shoes, a size bigger, were sat by the door all shiny and ready for them to trash… their PE bags repacked, and book bags sat waiting to be filled with all manner of tat they choose to bring home!

I cannot believe they are now in year 1 and 2. I cannot believe that those busy days of having them at home and going to toddler groups are so far gone now and they are well and truly in the flow of school life, our family a new seasaon. Life is filled reading books, playground antics, school dinners, PE, assemblies and sports days (to name a few). They have mastered the playground, their teachers names, and they have their crew! They are so happy, and I am glad for that, but it really is a stark reminder at the start of a new school year, just how fast they are growing up, and just how fast time is flying by.

This time of year is always a struggle for me too, and not one I always wear on my face. It is just my new normal and a time of deep reflection. It’s a time of year that thrusts me into a moment where like you, having had my kids with me daily, it’s all suddenly gone. It brings a quiet house and moments where I suddenly realise they’re into a new school year, a few inches taller, a few months older, a little more independent. All of that is okay, its weird and a little emotional, but its okay. Its all of that combined with it also always being a week or so before we pass through the anniversaries of loosing Poppy, that means that September has now become a huge reminder of days that will never come for us with her.

Back to school is exciting, but its the marker to countdown to her anniversaries and remember what we will never have.

We will never get to see her starting Nursery next term, or buying her uniform and new black shiny shoes. We won’t see her running up the road excited to see her friends after the summer, or nervous that her new teacher might not like her. We won’t ever know if she will love school dinners or get to post the pictures of her celebrating the start of a new school year with her siblings all over social media.

No one will ever know that their child might be missing out on another friend and class mate, the teacher one less pupil to teach that year, but with each school we will. So, whilst I am pleased with how smooth these last couple of days have been, and how excited Ethan and Megan are for school again. Whilst I love to see them excited for school and get excited to hear of what they have been doing too.  I am always a little sad for our little flower missing from the action, the pictures and new adventures of going back to school!

This Year Megan still wants to be a vet, and Ethan a Teacher (“NOT the assistant – the actual teacher”). I hope your kids are enjoying their new years, classes and friends!

 

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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It’s been a funny old week this week with a lot of our days mainly spent playing indoors / at home, or at the village park with friends and cousins. The plans we had went mostly out of the window, with the days being more spontaneous and slow which was needed after lots of travelling and late nights! We have enjoyed another week of the Summer Holidays, with my favourite ordinary moment this week being that of seeing Ethan & Megan sat together sewing and creating fabulous hand puppets.

Before we even broke up from school for the Summer break, Ethan had asked if we could sew and make hand puppets one day in the hols. He has loved the idea since he made one in class and wanted to make them again with Megs, and so of course I said “Yes”! It has taken us a couple of weeks to track some kits down, but on Thursday, in good old faithful Wilko’s we found them – and he couldn’t have been more excited!

On Friday we had to wait in for the BT man to come (round 3) and so whilst I used the time to pack for our holiday, they sat sewing, sticking and creating. The harmony and friendship between them was lovely! The help Ethan offered his sister was great to witness, and it was a moment that made my heart full! I hope they will alway have a desire to hang out with each other. 

I love the ages the kids are at right now – young enough to still need me, yet old enough to do tricky things independently. I love to see them getting along, laughing and chatting about people and life whilst they sit out on the decking sewing hand puppets! It was an ordinary Friday, an ordinary moment of sibling harmony and therefore a great mama moment!

The Ordinary Moments
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