The Smile Files

The Smile Files – May 2018

May is such a lovely month, there are not just one, but two bank holidays, plus half term, some beautiful sunny days and of course a royal wedding (wasn’t it fabulous, traditional and regal yet modern and personal, and what a gorgeous bride!) Our month might not have been quite as exciting as Harry and Meghan’s but it’s certainly been busy and we have definitely made the most of the bank holidays and sunshine!

We had a lovely morning at the Bluebell Woods near us. It’s so pretty, a lovely walk and there is also amazing homemade cake too, so what’s not to love! I actually got some lovely photos of the girls for once and a lovely lady also stopped and offered to take a photo of us all, so we have a nice family photo too. Yes by the end of it the girls were getting a bit grumpy (particularly Sienna who had found a stick and was then utterly heartbroken when it broke in two, she was heard sobbing ‘this has ruined everything, I don’t even like bluebells anymore’ – did someone say Drama Queen??) so the smiles had faded a bit and Freya had fallen over so her white T-shirt was now mud coloured but that’s just a normal family trip out isn’t it?

It has been such a sunny month that there has been lots of walks to the local park. It’s such a simple activity but the girls are always happy and everyone knows happy kids = happy mum! One day after school the weather was so lovely we had an unplanned, spur of the moment decision to walk to the park near school, had ice creams, a walk around the lake and played on the park and the girls were so happy and lovely that we ended up staying hours and Dave came to meet us there after work!

To start off our half term week I booked us in for breakfast and made it a surprise so Dave and the girls didn’t know where we going! There was no reason for it to be a surprise but kids love surprises don’t they and Sienna especially found it really exciting and it made a normal family trip out just a bit less ordinary. We went to Lichfield to Pom’s Kitchen where we had never been before and it was lovely, great quality food (all locally sourced), very family friendly with super helpful staff, I’d highly recommend it (we will definitely go back!) A trip to Beacon Park in the sunshine followed by a walk to the beautiful cathedral and then Stowe Pool made it a lovely trip out, Lichfield is not far from us at all and it’s a lovely city yet we don’t visit very often.

Half term has been pretty busy of course, despite the fact that I wanted a quieter week than usual as our last few school holidays have been non-stop and I really felt we all needed a bit of a slower pace. We haven’t gone too far from home but instead have stayed fairly local going out for lunch and to the park a few times and we went strawberry picking at a local farm which the girls really enjoyed. We had a lovely day in Birmingham (we got the train, went to the Sealife Centre, saw Dippy on Tour at the museum, had a picnic by the canal, bought new trainers for Sienna and Freya and finished off with dinner at Pizza Hut, one of those amazing days when the girls are all super well behaved and happy!)

We spent a lovely day at Shugborough, one of our favourite National Trust places. Milly is starting to be a volunteer here (she is doing conservation and heritage at uni in September, and her love for history and old buildings all began at Shugborough when my mum used to take her in the school holidays when she was little and I was a single mum working full time). On Thursday she had an induction day so we spent a lovely relaxing day wandering around the grounds and the house, walked down to the canal where we helped a lovely couple go through the lock in their boat (not sure who enjoyed that bit the most, Sienna or Dave, they both seemed equally excited by it all!) I find National Trust visits really relaxed trips out, the girls love the freedom and space to run around outside and the scones are always fab (I went for a lemon scone this time, delicious!) and despite a bit of a dodgy looking weather forecast the weather was gorgeous for us and we spent six hours there!

Luna has been plagued with really severe ear infections in both ears for over 6 weeks now, she has had disgusting, stinky, gunky ears that have led to four courses of antibiotics, ear swabs, a narrowly avoided hospital admission (when her ears were bleeding) and now a referral to the ENT clinic. Bless her, she has been her usual happy self through it all (as long as no-one touched her ears when she would absolutely scream the place down, poor thing!) and finally after the results of her ear swabs came back she has been given different antibiotics and antibiotic ear drops and at long last we are seeing some improvements, which is a huge relief!

We have new wheels! Not just a new car (for Dave, his mum and dad have had a brand new Golf, so they very generously gave us their existing Golf!) but also a new pushchair for Luna, which I love! You might have spotted it in a couple of the photos already, it’s a Cosatto Woosh, which is quite a new model I think, but after extensive research into which one would be best (there are just so many choices these days!) I finally settled on the Woosh. I wanted something a bit smaller and lighter and it certainly ticks all the boxes as it’s very lightweight, folds really compact, is very easy to push and steer one handed (essential when on the busy school run and trying to keep hold of Freya who has a tendency to make a break for freedom if you don’t have a vice like grip on her!) yet it’s spacious and sturdy too, and I love the bright colours and patterns that Cosatto do so well! The only downside is there is no Cosatto buggy board for it, but we are going to try a universal one and see how we get on.

Finally, this month I’ve been using the 1 Second Everyday app, which I absolutely love. I don’t have the time or patience to make vlogs but sometimes photos just don’t capture quite enough. This app is super simple, it takes almost no time at all so is perfect for me, you literally just film one or two little snippets every day and upload them to the app. I have used it to capture everyday life moments that are just very ordinary (and occasionally I forgot to film anything so you will just see the girls sleeping, oops!) but I love the results and will definitely try to keep it up.

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