Pool Party

No time! No time!

It’s busy busy busy as usual, if not even busier. Truth be told, we’ve been out having too much fun at the summer festivals for me to blog. So this long overdue (you can tell by the weather!) but better late than never!

The exciting news here is that all the busy times have paid off and yesterday I had my pre-registration visit with the Care Inspectorate resulting in a Registration in a few weeks time! I’m going to be a childminder! I have so much planned and can’t wait to get back to more of what I’m good at and be at home with Sandy and Rozzie more. What’s more is this is my own business. It means so much. So there will be more to follow on that shortly, but for now, enjoy our pool party from June I believe, and I will update on Sandy turning four as soon as I can!

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The Last Warm Day of the Year

The first two summers since we moved to our new house in 2013 were fabulous. Long spells of warm, dry weather lasting weeks on end and several of them. After two years of this it was expected therefore that we have a poor summer to follow, but little did we know how poor. Turns out we barely had two days in a row of good weather the whole of June, July or August and the less said about May the better! Luckily though Autumn has delivered a last gasp of warmth before we head into the depths of winter.

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We made the most of it in the garden, digging up potatoes.

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Sandy and Roslyn each grabbed their spades and sat next to the vegetable bed while I uprooted the last of the spuds from this year. They didn’t seem to do as well this time round but that’s beside the point.

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Roslyn was incredibly proud and very possessive of her harvest!

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It was typical that I’d just that weekend packed away all of our summery garden stuff that the sun would shine, but we still had great fun the mud, sand and water.

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We said goodbye to summer and hello to autumn finally. Our Jumpers are back on and there’s a chill in the morning air. Despite the lack of sun this summer I feel ready for the change. We are embracing fallen leaves and approaching Halloween before we have my birthday, bonfire night and then head right into the Christmas spirit! We cant wait!

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York: Day 2 of a holiday extravaganza

We started out our second day on holiday by waking up surprised to have not had an utterly sleepless night. Then we did a leisurely arrangement of ourselves for venturing out. Despite it involving a 30 minute long bath we were still on the streets of York by 8am and at a loss for what to do. We grabbed some breakfast then headed back to the park beside Yorkminster where the kids roamed happily in the sunshine.

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After that we went to York’s Chocolate Story. And by went I mean faffed about going the wrong way based on hunches for half an hour. But it was okay because we were early as ever and actually arrived bang on time, taking part in the first tour of the morning. The tour told us all about the history of chocolate making in York and involved eating a lot of chocolate so it was a win-win. We had chocolate drops, an aztec chocolate chilli drink, quality streets and chocolate to taste professionally. There was a computer projected machine which turned the beans into chocolate and Sandy was the one who moulded the chocolate.

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After that we got to make our own chocolate lollipops which Sandy enjoyed, pouring a ridiculous amount of sprinkles on to his. While they dried we saw a chocolatier make moulded fondant chocolates, and then we got to eat them all. It was great and I’d go again for sure!

Roslyn fell asleep fairly soon after the tour as she was shattered still from the day before so while she napped in the sling we walked to the castle and found a carousel for the boys to enjoy.

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Sandy was brave and went on a horse this time; previously he’s always opted for the seats. He chose “Paris”.

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We went to the castle but didn’t go in as it was a good climb and we had the buggy. Instead Sandy scaled the hill despite notices not to.

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After that we wandered over to the National Railway Museum. Roslyn woke when we entered and were greeted by the most lovely staff. We went to the restaurant for lunch which is themed like a dining car before heading into the main part of the museum to explore.

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Here we are on a very fast chinese train… (excuse my not knowing anything about the trains as the two littles didn’t exactly respond favourably to standing and reading)

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They have a brilliant place for young children to play with brio tracks, soft play type things, a model train to build and a pretend ticket office. We spent an hour alone there while Sandy and Roslyn played away.

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Roslyn had her first holiday romance as a younger man (9 months) crawled over to her and they started hugging and kissing for a long time. It was very sweet.

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Sandy loved playing with the model train and dressing up in the hard hats and vests. He was utterly adorable in the ticket office sticking his head out of the window saying “tickets please! you go to the seaside now” before running around the place handing out tickets to anyone who he saw.

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We managed a (rather overexposed) family photo!

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All in all it was a fabulous place to visit. I can’t believe it is free as it is so expansive, you really could spend a whole day if not several there. I wish it was close to home so I could take the kids every week!

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After the museum we headed to another burger joint called Byron which was delicious. When we entered we were that family everyone dreads turning up to thrash and cry next to your relaxed meal, but luckily once the food was going in S and R chilled out a bit and everything calmed down.

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We headed back to the hotel utterly exhausted and put the kids to bed straight away, stupidly thinking that the decent nights sleep before would be replicated…

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Day 3 coming soon!

Finally! Paddling Pool Weather!

Last week, while parts of England were having a heat wave of 40 degrees and sun, we were having a heat wave of muggy overcast days and hot showers. We planned a work BBQ based on the weather forecast and, as expected, it changed closer to the date and we ended up taking refuge at a colleagues home from the rain rather than BBQing it up with the Kelpies.

However, we were lucky enough (ha) to have ONE sunny day during this heat wave and the kids and I made the most of it by getting the paddling pool out.

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Sandy and Rozzie inhaled strawberries as I pumped up the pool…

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…and pumped…

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…and pumped…

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…and then worried about repetitive strain injury as the bloody thing was still only half done…

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…and then I finished it and realised I’d only done one part of the blasted thing so I gave up and made it a rather shallow pool (which actually was ideal so Sandy could get in and out at his leisure).

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We put the chute from the climbing frame into the pool to make a waterslide and I poured buckets of water down behind Sandy as he went down.

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Roslyn loved it. Luckily I’d put the water out early and let it heat up over lunch so it wasn’t too chilly for little skinny bear.

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Much splashing fun!

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Water slide King.

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We then had a BBQ with home made elderflower champagne (a post on that to follow!) which was the lovely end to a fab day. Here’s hoping there will be one or two more before the end of summer.

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Soon it will be all systems go for our holiday which I don’t think I’ve mentioned on here yet. We are going to York for two days, then Sheffield to see my Great Aunt Marjorie, on to Derby to have a MASSIVE third birthday party with Sandy’s mumsnet group, on to Portmeirion in Wales for two nights and up to the Lakes for two before heading home. I’m quite excited! We’ve planned lots of exciting outings on the trip and (apart from sharing a room the four of us each night!) can’t wait for our first holiday as a family of four!

First Beach Day of 2015!

When the sun shines you make hay, or if you are us, you head to the beach. Because lets face it, the one day it’s warm enough may be the only chance of the year, so you’ve got to take advantage.

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It was roasting for two days at work and I was a bit worried the weather wouldn’t last until I was off, but luckily it did and we headed out for Troon, our favourite beach location, and set up camp.

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We went to the beach just the three of us last year when Roslyn was a newborn and, while manageable and fun for Sandy, it wasn’t the relaxing beach experience you would get without a newborn baby in tow.

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This trip was a whole different kettle of fish (heh) though, as Sandy and Roslyn LOVED the beach, were very low maintenance and we spent four very summery and relaxing hours there.

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It seemed the day for lots of Sandy favourites to come out the woodworks too. Aside from the obvious draws of water and sand, there were numerous close up planes flying from Prestwick airport, a beach combing tractor, a police buggy and a moris minor fire engine!

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For Roslyn it was her first real beach visit, inasmuch as she actually got to play on the beach this time. She adored it. At first she sat on the blanket and batted the sand with spades, but before long she was romping about and eating her body weight in sand. I dread to think of the nappies to come!

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Sandy was very into digging holes and making castles (which were promptly destroyed)…

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…as well as just running wild.

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Being here a year on brought home how much he’s changed in a year. Once again I see him closer to child than baby.

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Rozzles ate up her lunch from the tent…

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…while Sandy deemed eating as a waste of valuable beach time.

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Before long it was time to hit the water so the kids donned their costumes…

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…and got stuck in!

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One of the reasons I love Troon beach is due to the puddle of water that remains half way up the beach after the tide has receded. When the sun is out this turns the normally chilly Atlantic water rather warm which is fab for letting little ones splash in.

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Thanks to Auntie Emma for Roslyn’s adorable costume!

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Roslyn was close to getting up and standing on her own at the beach, on all fours, almost ready to go… but not quite!

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Of course before long Sandy wanted to go to “the big water” so we went down and jumped some waves.

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Rozzie found it a bit chilly, even on this hot day, so we headed back up to the tent for a dry off, clothes change and fiftieth reapplication of sun cream. My vigilance paid off though as no-one ended up burnt despite being outside so long.

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I made a throne for the queen of the beach which was promptly destroyed by the king of the sand castles.

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Then Roslyn really came into her own, warmed and filled with sandwiches, she rolled about in the sand giggling away. She kept crawling off to try and join other families, then ended herself laughing as I shouted after her to get back!

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No visit to the beach would be complete without icecream. I figured Roslyn was already filthy so she may as well have her own cone.

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By the end of it it had sprinkles on, in the form of sand. Yum!

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The next thing we knew the police had arrived in their beach buggy and all the kids were taking shots in it. I couldn’t get Sandy to wear the policeman’s hat but he and Roslyn went for a ride. Then he had the tantrum to end all tantrums as I dragged him back to the tent. Eventually he accepted that the policemen had gone to do their work but it didn’t stop him spending the remainder of the afternoon looking out for their return.

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As we packed up and headed back to the car (after chasing Sandy for several minutes to get him off the beach) we spotted a moris minor fire engine and Sandy donated some pennies and got a photo with it.

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It was a brilliant day out at the beach and, as I said last year after our beach day, at least now even if the weather is rubbish the rest of the year, we will have had our day in the sun!

Beach Bums

You know what? Scotland is such a fabulous place to live right now! Before summer I was lamenting our inability to afford a foreign holiday this year but now I’m so glad we didn’t get to have one. It’s been so warm it was even 30 degrees last week when we went to the beach.

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Miss Roslyn smiled for this picture.

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And that was pretty much the last she smiled all afternoon. Poor girl had an upset stomach (AGAIN) so needed a lot of sling love from mummy.

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Which as no problemo as daddy had the sandman covered for beach fun.

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See here, they are digging…

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… For jobbies. BOYS EH!!

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Since the weightlifting event Roslyn’s hat went MIA. I thought she’d nap in the tent and play in there too so didn’t make a detour to buy one, but as she needed sling time I had to make an impromptu one. So, for future reference, a muslin and hair band can make a stop gap hat.

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More jobbies.

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The best thing about babywearing on the beach? The baby belly cover up it affords you. PHEW.

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We certainly hit it off weatherwise and I was so glad we postponed our city day until Sunday, it would have been molten in town but was perfect at the beach. The breeze kept Roslyn cool and the water was pretty mild, as you can see by all the paddlers! I’d hoped to have a proper swim myself but alas, babies needed me. Ho hum, exercise can wait!

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We did have a good paddle though and sandy was loving it.

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Stuart had a blast too and, amazingly, managed to avoid all sunburn bar a little red neck.

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I remember my mum saying earlier in the year that this would be sandy’s time, the summer now he could walk. It totally is. This boy was made for the beach.

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And the obligatory sandy spots a plane picture. They make his wee face light up so much!

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A little Christmas in July for you. The only chocolate in the house.

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As per usual Roslyn drew in the crowds and offers of family photographs, which is great to get a shot of us all together.

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Current sandy obsession? Stars. STAAARRRR! He demanded I draw one in the sand for him.

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Then he danced all around it.

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Such a perfect day. It really feels like we’ve been having an amazing holiday from home this week. As a woman on the beach said to us, who needs Spain when we’ve got this! And only an hour away too. And the perfect end to a perfect day? Ice cream.

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Ice cream EVERYWHERE.

Summer Morning at Polkemmet

I’m becoming a summer lover. I used to be all about the winter, but now I’ve got a boy who just loves to roam I’m being converted. That and the fact we’ve have two amazing summers in a row now!

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So we hit up Polkemmet again on Sunday morning to let little legs get a stretch. He’s coming on leaps and bounds with his words and comprehension. He knows the water is wet and very dangerous. He knows the barbecue was burny and the water in the bath can be too. So smart is our sandy.

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And Roslyn is coming along nicely too. After all her progress in finding her hands, batting her toys and rolling more last week she’s settled into a nice growth spurt these last few days and is feeding and sleeping a lot.

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After a short walk sandy was back at the park with his daddy. He loves being with both of us at the moment and as soon as one of us isn’t there he’s asking for them.

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Best daddy ever.

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After sitting on that… Um, thing… Both stuart and sandy had wet jeans. It looked like they’d wet themselves. Stuart didn’t care because sandy was happy. Good daddy. Sandy thought it was hilarious that they had matching wet patches to go with their matching t shirts.

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Such a fun loving chap. Last time we visited he was too small for most things, this time he was raring round, climbing, sliding and having great fun.

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Love a matching outfit day.

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Stuarts always telling me of the kind of dad he doesn’t want to be. He isn’t any of the things he worries about.

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And this happy daddy’s boy is the proof of that.

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Swinging with my babes.

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I love these summer mornings where the heat grows and dew dries and it’s still and promising. I’m going to be quite sad to see them go.

Another New Home

My brother finally managed to get the keys to his new house. It is brilliant, I mean, just look at those doors!

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It’s the whole length of his living room, open! So beautiful, bringing the outside in.

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We popped by this morning to see the house. Sandy and I helped jamie pick the colours of his kitchen, bathrooms and floors as I was heavily pregnant with Roslyn. It was fab to see them all in situ.

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Roslyn, thoroughly impressed.

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Who’s got two thumbs and a new pad?!

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Sandy loved the place so much that he got too excited to bother stepping over the doorway out and fell flat on his face. Three times.

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It’s hard to think about practicalities when there are diggers though! Or tractors, as he is calling all large wheeled objects that aren’t cars. Here he is checking out a “tractor” from upstairs.

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He made himself right at home. Probably because it’s similar to our home being a new build, oh and totally awesome!!

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Roslyn even fell asleep so she was clearly very at ease too.

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Then she woke up though and was the life and soul.

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“Mummy, tacta! MUMMY! TACTARRRRRR!”

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As a side note this one is getting too big for her boots these days? Where did my newborn go?!

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So Jamie was getting his sky put in as we left to go the post office with bribes of sweets for good behaviour (aka not running into the middle of the road and/or thieving pancakes without paying) and home for naps. But he’s moving the majority of his stuff in this weekend so I can’t wait to see it totally furnished. Congratulations JIM!

At the Park, Again!

Just a few more snaps from an afternoon at the park. Again. With friends again!

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Spotting planes, again!

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This time we were hitting up Strathclyde park. The bit near m&ds. There was me coming in the car, Vicki with Rohan in the buggy and her husband Chris driving. Yet all three of us ended up at different play parks in the same place ha!

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Oh and it rained grass.. I’m not even kidding! What the heck?

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Sandy loved this thing til he fell off it backwards, then he was in a funny mood. He kept wanting to go back on it and, um, make out with the pole. Strange child.

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I’m so grateful to report that he is back to his old self now. Saying yes and being ultra gentle with him has worked. So scenes like this – impromptu kisses – have returned. Thank goodness!

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Check out Roslyn borrowing rohan’s hat and rocking it.

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Rohan is the cutest wee thing.

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Chasing his mummy.

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Loving this weather and all these outdoor things we are getting up to.

We visited almond valley heritage park with friends the other day too and signed up for a years membership much like we did for the science centre so no doubt I will be reporting back on how fab that is for toddlers too soon.

Friends x4

Just a quick one. Some fab pictures from a playdate with my friend Jill and her beautiful boys Alex and Dan. Alex was born within a week of Sandy and Dan the day before Roslyn.

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How’s it hanging, Sandy?

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Boy loves to climb. Best to take him places it’s safe to do so.

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Such a chilled out little guy is Dan man.

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Shortly after we arrived a crap bus load of primary school kids arrived so we took them to run around. But they found impromptu climbing frames in the shape of picnic tables instead.

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Sharing snacks.

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I think he was trying to tell me I was getting a little snap happy!

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Alex plane spotting.

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Sandy says “Byeee” to the plane.

Thats all for now!