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Clara at 10 months

Clara is 10 months today and this picture sums her up completely…

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She is so full of life, fun, happiness and smiles. I love how at 10 months she’s managed to form beautiful relationships with Benedict and Rose.  They can’t get enough of her – Rose knows to get Clara a rattle when she’s tired of being in the car, and Benedict knows exactly what faces to pull to get a giggle! She fits in so wonderfully with our family and I can’t believe we’ve only known her for 10 months.

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Scotney Castle

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Eoin and I have been thinking for a while now to get a National Trust membership. We missed the boat for this summer but yesterday we decided to take the plunge and I am so glad we did!

Today, I took Rose and Clara to Scotney Castle. We thought we’d suss it out to see whether the boys might like it! It dates back to the eleven hundreds and used to be owned by the Hussey family. The place is enormous with lakes, woods, parklands and lots of different walks and trails, so I’m really excited to go back and explore properly as a family.

Today we mainly explored the natural play area which is really unique. They had a mud kitchen (Rose was in her element!), a wooden house, swings, a toy theatre, some drums made out of tree trunks and a ball slide. It was really fun!

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The play area:

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Penshurst Place

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Last weekend we went to Penshurst Place, home of Anne of Cleves, with some family friends of ours.  It’s been a while since we’ve gone to a place like this but I think Benedict and Rose are old enough now to properly enjoy it; it was a really fun day out! We played lots of hide and seek, and introduced to the game 20 and 20 home, and sardines.

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Another Summer Birthday Picnic

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This year we decided to do a joint birthday party for Benedict’s 5th birthday and Rose’s 3rd. We went back to the same place we had a picnic for Benedict’s first birthday… little did we know we’d be returning four years later as a family of five and a proper children’s birthday party in toe. Benedict has been talking about his ‘number 5 birthday party’ since last October, so not much pressure then!

We really could not have had a better day though.  It took a lot of planning but it was so worth it. We had sports day races, pin the tail on the donkey, fajita wraps, a treasure chest birthday cake, a scavenger hunt, and some very excited children!

IMG_0465Scavenger hunt

 

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unnamed (1)Pin the tail on the donkey

664a3ed0-a74f-4c30-92d2-e855458f70e8Birthday cake time!

Eoin spent the night before the party putting together the treasure chest cake. Headphones in and listening to dance music… he was definitely in the zone!

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Clara Cecilia

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The newest addition to our growing family, Clara Cecilia, was born on Saturday 9th December at 6.15am weighing a healthy 8lb 6oz! She is absolutely incredible and we are all loving her so much.

I was very lucky to have my sister staying with us for a month before Clara was born.  I can’t express enough what a help it was to have her around during that time; doing the school run, baking bread, cooking homemade soups, preparing our meals, but also just being able to have lunch together and to watch a bit of cheeky daytime tv while Rose was napping! It was a really blessed time and I’m so thankful for her.

Clara ended up coming two days late and it was the curry that finally got things moving! We celebrated the Immaculate Conception with a hot curry and two hours later all the action started!

Benedict and Rose are madly in love with her. Every time Benedict comes home from school he goes straight to Clara to give her the most gentle hug and kiss, its really beautiful to watch. And every so often Benedict will burst out with “We’ve got our new baby sister, hooray!” Rose is also very enthusiastic with her hugs and kisses too, we’ve had to teach her a safe way of going to kiss her rather than just pouncing on her with her enthusiasm!

In the hospital:

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Benedict and Rose first meeting Clara at home:

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Clara at 5 weeks old:

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The Lakes

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A couple of weeks ago, a group of us were lucky enough to spend a few days in the Lake District in a house with the most incredible view imaginable! It was like waking up to a real live painting every morning.

It was an awesome few days spending time with other young families similar to us. It was also a great opportunity for the children to have fun and play together. We were a pretty big group – in total there were 15 adults and 10 children all staying under one roof – and somehow it actually worked! At around 7.30pm each night the parents would gradually disappear with their children for their baths and bedtime, and then by 8.30pm the adults were enjoying the evening together with great food and company!

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The first day we enjoyed a boat trip on Lake Windermere and ended up in a beautiful English restaurant for lunch over looking the lakes. Above are some of the children on the boat.

Most of the week it rained so we were on the look out for day trips indoors. We found Beatrix Potter World which I would really recommend. It was a long queue to get in but the amount of detail that had been put into creating the characters and scenes from the stories was truly astounding. And the children absolutely loved it, it was like the books had been brought to life.

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Above – story time before bed. And below, some playing first thing in the morning

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Below – the adults’ very serious play time with scrabble

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Below – the whole crew on our last morning together:

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