A Day at 5 Months*

* I decided make this record of our day with Alys at five months as I did the same for Ivy the same age (read it here) and it's a really good snap shot of what our lives are like at this time. However, by the end of the day we were all a mess and I was fretting to Josh that I was the worst parent ever so I wasn't sure whether to post it. A few days on, I'm over it and I've decided to share. Our days are normally a little more harmonious than this but hopefully it'll show that we're just a normal family with mundane (sometimes stressful) days just like you!

7.11am: I prise open heavy eyes to the sound of rustling and pattering feet. A cheeky face pokes around the door..."mummy, I've got a poo!". Oh joy. Our day begins.

7.30am: We all snuggle in bed until Josh takes Ivy downstairs for breakfast and I feed Alys whilst trying to pretend I'm still asleep. Another 3am feed has left us tired before the day begins.

8am: Josh gets ready for work so Ivy comes back upstairs; we snuggle and play and then I get her dressed and do her hair.

8.30am: Josh's boss arrives for an early meeting. I put Alys down for a nap and Ivy in front of Dora and jump in the shower.

8.50am: I sit down with cereal and a (much needed caffeinated) cup of tea to try and read my bible in peace while Ivy is watching TV but after five minutes Ivy is fed up of watching Dora and wants to play downstairs. I give up trying to get any bible reading done and we colour pictures of flamingos and talk about eggs and baby birds.

9.20am: We do teeth and I wake up Alys, dress her and feed. Ivy runs off screaming after I tell her it isn't appropriate to shout 'BUM' at her sister.

9.45am: We pack a bag and head out to a local parents and toddler group. I realise I've forgotten some books I needed so run back to the house. We are now running late.

10.05am: Arrive at the zoo that is parents and toddlers. Juggle Alys and Ivy through playing, snack time and songs.

11.30am: Powerwalk over to St Mary's to catch the end of their mid-week communion. The ladies like to see the girls and it's good to catch up. Alys naps.

12.15pm: We walk home and I prepare lunch. Josh joins us later so I slip away to feed Alys and eat cake in peace.

1.30pm: We all head over to church to discuss and plan some Christmas events. Ivy plays and we try to get Alys to nap.

2.45pm: Alys falls asleep in the pram as we head home. I try to get some housework done, but it's slow going whilst trying to encourage Ivy to play independently (I failed), doing potty runs and clearing up failed potty runs.

3.30pm: I've still only managed to unload the dishwasher and start the washing up when Ivy has a tantrum and wakes up Alys. Ivy and Alys 'play' while I speed clean the kitchen.

3.35pm: I tell Ivy off for jumping on Alys. Alys cries. Ivy cries. I consider whether it's too early for gin.

3.55pm: I feed Alys and try and contain Ivy who is rapidly deteriorating into a tired, snotty mess. It all goes downhill from here. We snuggle in bed and watch 15mins of the Great British Bake Off to try and regain some sanity.

4.30pm: I put Alys down for another nap because her sleep has been a bit disrupted today and try (but mostly fail) to play a fish counting game with Ivy.

5pm: I start to prepare dinner (leftovers from yesterday) for me and Ivy. Josh is working.

5.20pm: We battle our way through dinner (I should have given a main meal at lunch time). Ivy is too tired to reason with so I give up and put her straight to bed an hour early. Bedtime is fraught.

5.45pm: I lie in bed watching the end of the Great British Bake off, eating pudding and feeling like a bad parent.

6.15pm: I wake up Alys (she didn't appreciate it), dress her for bed, feed and then back to bed at 6.45pm! Tidy up downstairs.

7pm: I had planned to do several jobs tonight but instead I write this blog post and lie comatose in bed watching The Good Wife. Today has been a tough one!

9.30pm: I feed Alys and put her back down.

10pm: Josh gets home from work and we chat and go to bed. ZZZZ

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Our little Ivy turned THREE last week. Can you believe it?! We had a fairly quiet day as Josh was working all day but she enjoyed celebrating at church and getting lots of attention! We put a helium balloon outside of her bedroom to find in the morning and we could hear her giggling all the way along the hall as she made her way to our room! It was such fun that she could understand what was going on and get excited this year!

At three:

// Ivy has made the transformation from toddler into little girl. In the last six months her conversational skills have really come on and she can communicate whatever she wants now, and regularly comes out with some hilarious things. She also loves running, jumping and climbing.

// Her favourite food is fish and chips (she'd eat it every day!). Eating is still quite a battle, but it has improved from what it was. It is still a challenge to get her to eat any fresh vegetables but we try to disguise what we can and she'll happily eat fruit.

// She doesn't nap in the day anymore so we tend to put her to bed at about 6.30-7pm depending on how tired she is. She will normally sleep until about 7am. Bedtimes are generally okay, although sometimes it's a challenge to keep her in bed. Normally she is so tired that she doesn't have the energy for a fight!

// Ivy is potty trained! Finally! We have been potty training on and off for the last few months but Ivy never really got it, and with lots of travel and disruption over the summer I didn't have the energy to push it. However, the day after she turned three she started to use the toilet and has been dry ever since. We're still working on night-times but have had a couple of successes so far.

// She loves reading, doing puzzles, cooking and watching Dora or Peppa Pig. She doesn't like getting her hands dirty.

// She definitely has her own opinions! Some three-year-old behaviour is certainly challenging, and although Ivy is old enough to know what she wants to do it's difficult to reason with her about things that aren't such a good idea! We're just trying to be consistent and hoping this will pass?!

// She is still very friendly and sociable and is great fun to be around. She loves giving hugs and kisses and especially loves being around her sister - although she has been a bit rough recently. She also likes talking on the phone and Skype.

I love spending my days with this girl - even if it is exhausting sometimes! Ivy starts nursery part-time in January so that will be a big adjustment for us all.

Happy Birthday sweet one!

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We have just got back from a two week holiday and we've already hit the ground running and are back into normal life with a vengeance. I wanted to do a quick holiday diary so we could remember what we did. It's going to be a long one so here goes:

Friday (4th Sept)
Josh had a car crash at the end of August (not his fault) so before we could go on holiday we had to pick up a courtesy car! All the paperwork and phonecalls have been such an annoyance but on the plus side we got a fancy Ford S-Max to take on holiday so we enjoyed a smooth journey to Wiltshire to begin our glamping holiday. We arrived quite late so the evening was a flurry of cooking tea, unpacking and trying to sort out the girls. We stayed in a safari tent on an organic farm - it was great!

We spent the day relaxing around the farm as there was plenty to do and explore. Josh's highlight was a farm tour where he got to drive a gator and feed the cows.

We met up with my sister and family in Corsham for church, went for lunch and then spent the evening back at the tent with them.

We had a lazy day with a yummy cooked breakfast at a local farm café and a stroll along the canal and the Caen Hill locks.

We went for a walk in the morning, which felt very autumnal with the hedgerows bursting with blackberries and sloes. We met up with some old university friends in the afternoon/evening which was really fun.

Longleat day! We went 'on safari' and loved exploring the rest of the park. Ivy loved it and we thought it was great too! We also paid with Tesco vouchers which took the sting out of what would have been a very expensive day!

We had another relaxed day in and around the glamping tent. In the evening we took Josh's Granny out for a meal as it was her 80th birthday.

We had to pack up and say goodbye to the glamping farm (which made us sad!) but then it was off to meet up with all of Josh's family for a weekend in the Cotswolds celebrating his Granny's birthday.

We had lots of family time including games, tennis, swimming and eating.

More of the above but with the addition of me falling out of a canoe into a lake much to everyone's amusement. Ivy also discovered she likes swimming. It was a really fun time.

We packed up the holiday house and visited the Cotswold Farm Park with Josh's parents. It rained a lot but it was a really good day out between the showers. We then made the journey down to my parents' house in Devon.

I spent the day helping clear out some of my sister's house. It was a long and hard day but I think we made some headway with what needed to be done. We still hadn't booked anywhere for the rest of out holiday so we spent Tuesday night scouring the internet and decided...

...there was no where we wanted to go (in the time we had) more than back to the glamping place in Wiltshire! There were still plenty of places we still wanted to explore and we managed to get a late availability deal. It was pouring with rain all day and Ivy was ill so we stretched out the journey by driving on A-roads and stopping at various places before arriving at the tent. It was one of my favourite evenings of the holiday - we made a roaring fire as soon as we arrived and cozied in for the night with the rain pounding outside. Ivy woke up in the night with a raging temperature which wasn't great so we didn't have much sleep!

The rain stopped and we enjoyed a glorious day at Castle Coombe and went for a walk. Both the girls were ill and grizzily though so we ended up driving around the Wiltshire countryside heading for any little village that looked good on the map. We found some beautiful places and very posh houses!

We managed to (accidently) find a pram-able walk and went for a great five miler; it was one of the only walks we actually managed where we were able to walk properly without one of the girls making a fuss!
My sister and brother-in-law met us in Laycock and babysat the girls so we could have a meal on our own - it was bliss! They then came back to the tent with their kids for a meal, fire and fun. Ivy enjoyed riding on an electric tractor!
We headed off home early so we had time to sort things out at home and for Josh to write his sermon for Sunday. Our holiday was sadly over!

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