Planning ahead for #30DaysWild

Yesterday I signed up to the 30 Days Wild challenge.

Organised by The Wildlife Trusts, the charity is challenging people to do something wild every day during the month of June.

Today I’m thinking I might have been a bit too enthusiastic.

The photo I’m currently using on Twitter and Facebook was taken in a field by the side of a local play park that we have enjoyed visiting a few times.  All four of us together, sans pushchair:

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Today, buoyed by my impulsive internet information field filling, I decided it would be a good idea for Luke, Willow and me to take a stroll there in the afternoon whilst my husband was still at work.  Which meant the double pushchair came too.

When I reached the fenced entrance and discovered it was too narrow to get the pushchair through I should probably have given up then.

But, proving the ultralight credentials of my Joovy Caboose Ultralight, I hoisted the buggy over the barrier determined not to be thwarted by the first obstacle I came up against before the challenge has even started properly.

Light it might be, but an all-terrain vehicle, it turns out, it is not.

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Willow was in for a bumpy ride when she decided she was too tired from climbing up and down the park’s slide to continue walking and I was glad that, despite threatening otherwise, it had remained a fairly dry day otherwise I’m not completely convinced I would have been able to experience the relief of emerging out from the other end of the path back on to pavement.

Our walk definitely fulfilled the remit of getting closer to nature though as Luke delighted in making his way through flower gates, over plant hurdles and in generally being an intrepid explorer for the afternoon.

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We were even treated to an aerobatic display by the Red Arrows as we headed home – a regular but always stunning sight in the vast Lincolnshire skies – and I figured there are some skills that are probably a lot more involved than just pushing a buggy across a field.

So, however ill-advised, I remain undeterred and am looking forward to welcoming June and its challenge to “make room for nature in your life”.

“No matter where you live – from an urban jungle to a windswept mountain – wildlife and wild places are all around, waiting to be discovered by you,” say The Wildlife Trusts.

Added to the promise we’ll “feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature” by taking part, I await the inspirational pack that’s on its way to us in the post with great anticipation.

If nothing else, its wallchart planner might help me plan ahead a little bit better.

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Sun shines on country show

IMG_20160522_132056336_HDR (2)Now we’re nearing the end of May show season is well and truly underway and, if you live in such an agricultural county as Lincolnshire, it’s pretty hard to miss all the different events that are staged in celebration of the countryside.

In April we visited the Lincolnshire Showground for Countryside Lincs and last weekend it was the turn of the Woodhall Spa Country Show.

Back before my husband’s cultural references included mentions of Rapids Johnson whenever we’re near animals, such outings probably included a lot less bouncy castles but Luke and Willow both enjoyed a bounce at the beginning and end of our visit and we’re certainly not often going to deny them the opportunity to use up a bit of energy.

IMG_20160522_134910433_HDR (2)A visit to see the big tractors was always mandatory though and both big and little boy were happy viewing the machinery on display.

The sun shone throughout the day fortunately proving the weather forecast wrong, causing a long line at the ice cream van and beaming upon equestrian acrobats, livestock entrants, a flypast, steam engines, vintage vehicles, heritage displays, shopping opportunities and much more.

And Luke even got to meet “Batman”, otherwise known as the bat the Lincolnshire Bat Group brought along with them.

Shows still to come include:
Burghley Game and Country Show – May 29th & 30th, 2016
Messingham Show – June 5th, 2016
Brocklesby Country Fair – June 19th
Lincolnshire Show – June 22nd & 23rd, 2016

Heckington Show – July 30th & 31st, 2016
Revesby Country Fair – August 7th, 2016

Today we saw inside the car

Every situation is a learning opportunity isn’t it?

That’s what I tried to tell myself when, after I great deal of faff and effort, we finally had everyone in the car ready to go to swimming classes when it turned out the car itself wasn’t ready to go.

car photo 2Piling back into the house with one child greatly upset and the other finding it extremely funny and exciting, my husband then had to start the search for our insurance details.

Fortunately, whilst it turned out we’re only covered for roadside assistance and not if we breakdown on our own driveway, his call was dealt with efficiently and we soon had a lovely man from the RAC underneath our bonnet.

Attempting to redeem the situation, I thought I’d take the mini ones out to see the workings of the car, considering Luke especially is really interested in vehicles.

photo 2Turned out they were actually far more excited by being able to sit in mummy and daddy’s seats and rearranging everything that was in the front of the car instead but at least they were entertained and, one new battery later, the car was soon making far more promising noises again.

Cars are an endless source of issues aren’t they?  We spent ages deciding whether to buy a new one until the decision was very quickly made for us when the old one stopped.

We asked for the advice of friends and settled on a Vauxhall Zafira after several very helpful people confirmed its flexibility for us – On the road again – but of course no-one could foresee that some Zafiras were soon to be subject to a recall.  And now those same Zafiras are getting a second recall…  (Click here for more details).

Whilst we wait for our second letter from Vauxhall I hope that our car bursting into flames will not be our next learning opportunity.

Model behaviour

Lincoln Fashion Week

My 17 month old daughter currently doesn’t like wearing clothes.

My 3.5 year old son gets incredibly tired after nursery and, when he’s incredibly tired, he’s incredibly cranky.

So the day before they were due to take to the catwalk as part of Lincoln Fashion Week, when it had taken me more than an hour to dress my daughter that morning, I was beginning to question my decision to sign them up as models.

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Photo: Lincoln Fashion Week

But, as I kept telling myself, you have to give your children the chance to surprise you – and that’s exactly what they did.

13241260_1099193756769710_7506725062638267186_nNot only were they very well behaved, they absolutely loved it!

Strutting their stuff down the catwalk in the Waterside Shopping Centre, they were wearing some adorable clothes from Boots Mini Club range and enjoyed posing in them at the end of the runway.

Their first outfit was holiday clothes and, whilst in my relief of it going so much better than I predicted I would have been happy to stop there, I was glad there was more to come for them as as soon as Luke left the catwalk he said “again, again”!

13227006_1099194080103011_70222504292201398_nThis is when we had a slight wobble.  When, mid change into the sleepwear outfits, Willow decided she wanted to try Luke’s socks on, he wasn’t as keen on the idea.  (Socks are quite a political area in our house at the moment).  Thanks to some quick distraction work on the part of Grandmum and one of the organisers, and Willow deciding her own socks might be preferable after all, the mini meltdown was quelled and we made it back out on to the stage.

The final outfit was occasion wear and even included a hat for Luke which he was very pleased about.  We haven’t often had the opportunities for dressing up so it definitely pleased this mummy to see her little ones looking so smart and gorgeous, even if only for a few minutes.

Now I’m definitely looking forward to #LincolnFashionWeek 2017!

Are your children interested in fashion?  Then they might be interested in this Printables post: Print is the New Black for Fashion Focused Youngsters.

Hello, hello, how are you?

Introducing The Mini Malpi

Does the year 2016 still sound futuristic to anyone else even though we’re living in it?

If time didn’t keep accelerating with your own advancing years anyway, a sure fire way to make sure it travels at supersonic speed is to have children and try not to blink whilst you watch them growing from tiny baby to toddler and beyond.

And, whilst they’re changing all the time, so are you and your family unit.  My cultural references certainly didn’t used to include the programme this post’s title alludes to until a couple of years ago.  And, while our telly seems to be permanently stuck on channel 121, our bookshelves have been refilled with lift the flaps, touch and feel and pop-up titles.

I started my parenting blogging journey for a local family magazine Molly’s Guide – click here to read my Luke’s Guide posts – and since then I’ve missed writing about our little adventures so decided that I should finally get on with setting up my own blog and so here it is.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading them!