Sunday, 28 September 2014

Indian Summer

The first day of Autumn has officially been and gone, but it's still summer here on the Island. And we are determined to make the most of it. Arlo and his friend Isla had a play date on the beach last week, running round, playing with stones and exploring the beach huts (which included an attempted break-in, see picture four). They each took it in turns to follow the other around for a bit, with the one in front always looking back to check they were being followed. These two have been friends for (almost!) their whole lives and they play in the sweetest way.

Dear Summer, please stay around for a while so we can have more days like this one. Fondest, Poppy & Arlo xxx

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


This is Arlo playing with his little cousin George. They both love stripes and have a habit of wearing the same outfits. Arlo is mad about him already.

This is Arlo playing with his little cousin Archie. Even though he's a year older than Archie, the way Arlo treats him - with soft squeezes and slobbery kisses anywhere on his face - is very gentle and makes me very proud. He tries to share his toys with Archie even though Archie's little hands aren't quite big enough to hold them yet.

Having never had cousins my own age, I'm so excited for Arlo to grow up with four (so far!) cousins that he can run around with, teach and learn from. They're all so close in age that it's really exciting to think of all the adventures they will have together. After being the youngest in most situations for so long, it's also really nice to see Arlo being the oldest, taking on a new role with his two newest cousins. So far he's good at sharing. Phew!

When we're out and about around town we often get stopped by other children waving into the pushchair and saying "hello Baby Arlo!" It's happened a couple of times this weekend and it makes me realise that he has a whole social life of his own going on at his childminder's, with some little friends that I haven't even met. He's not the youngest there anymore either, which is a bit of an eye-opener for me. When he first started going these he was so little - truly a baby still. He could only just sit up, and all his meals were milk. Milk that, in the early days at least, was expressed in train toilets and in-between client meetings while I was at work. (Proud to say I never had a leaky-boob-during-meeting situation, although it definitely got close).

Now he wolfs down three meals a day, has his own little circles of friends and family, and has learnt so much that he has things to teach others. He knows what noise a lion makes, and what noise a monkey makes. He can say "whaaaassssatt??" and point at things so he can learn new words, which he does about a hundred times a day. He's growing up. I miss him as a baby, but I'm also bloody excited to see more of him as a boy. Him and his little cousins too.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Busy doing nothing

So something really nice (and rare!) happened this week. Arlo and I went to meet friends at our favourite park. It's our favourite because a) a fun play park in its own right, and b) it's next to a place that serves a good coffee, which meets both of our basic needs. When we got there, Arlo was snoozing in his pushchair,  and our friends hadn't arrived yet. So I had nothing to do.

I had nothing to do. I can't remember the last time that happened. It was unexpected and really lovely. I sat on a bench, and looked out to sea, had a little ponder, that kind of thing. There's something about being near the sea that I find very reassuring. It's a constant. Usually, having a good old look out to sea helps remind me that 99% of everything in life is pretty insignificant and that 'living' really just boils down to a few basics that are really important (and brilliant).

Also, I've also been watching The Walking Dead every night this week and it also reminds me of this concept, but in a different (zombie apocalypse) kind of way. Both valid I think. Either way, I was very grateful for ten quiet minutes to spend doing nothing.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday I'm in love... with my top ten winter coats

I love Autumn. It's a new chapter, the beginning of the Xmas countdown (I start early) and most importantly it means WINTER COAT SHOPPING. Is there any better kind? There are some lovely lovely coats around this year, I've been spending ages pouring all over them all (online obvs - the Island does not boast the best shop selection it has to be said). So here's my top ten. Clearly a bit more narrowing down needed.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 910

Sunday, 14 September 2014

When Arlo met Harry

We had a play date last week with Arlo's little friend Harry (and my grown-up friend Jess!). Harry and Arlo are very close in age and look so similar - same height, amount of hair (i.e. not much), and although they're broadly at the same stage of development - wobbly walking and a few choice words of vocabulary under their belts - there's some things Harry has mastered that Arlo has yet to, and vice versa. It's a nice reminder that all kids are different and it's not a race to be the first to walk, or talk, or sleep through the night (that last one would be much appreciated though!). We all get there in the end, and for now I'm just enjoying the journey.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Friday I'm in love... with the favourite reads of a little bookworm

When I wrote this post a few weeks ago I was worried about ever getting round to reading any of the books that I've been stockpiling, waiting to be read. But that doesn't mean that no reading is happening in our house - in fact, we have a mini bookworm in our midst. Reading is probably the first thing Arlo does when he wakes up in the morning, and one of the last too. The way he pours over every page of his favourite books is such a lovely thing to watch - it's something I want to nuture and grow in him so that he always loves to read.

So, in a bit of a contrast to my last post on books, here's a selection of books that we just can't put down at the moment:

1. One of the prettiest books we own, It's absolutely beautiful, full of colourful illustrations and cut out letters that take you through every letter of the alphabet - lots of pages to be turned which means it keeps Arlo occupied for longer than ten seconds at a time.
2. This simple book is one we keep coming back to. Raised circles in block colours help Arlo's little fingers count out each number and it's lovely and chunky so it's withstood lots of vigorous page turning so far!
3. An oldie and SUCH a goodie. In fact, this was a favourite of mine when I was little. My sister bought this for Arlo for Xmas, and it was such a joy to read again and rediscover. Janet and Allan Ahlberg just write the best books, full of beautiful illustrations that capture family life years ago.
4. Another gift - this time from Arlo's Grandma Wild, who gave him this because it was one of Alex's favourites when he was little. The story's brilliant - this one is more wordy than his usual books so it's a good sleepy bedtime read.

So even though I haven't got round to reading any of my planned books so far, I'm acting out my reading dreams vicariously through Arlo The Little Bookworm.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Don't wake me, I plan on sleeping in

This is my favourite sight - sleeping Arlo. Lately getting to this stage has been taking longer and longer each evening. We're at a really funny sleeping stage. But if I've learnt one thing about parenting, it's that nothing lasts forever, so we'll just stick it out for now and wait for this to pass and the next funny stage to come. Until then, I'll be dozing off at every opportunity...

Post title inspired this wonderful number

Sunday, 7 September 2014


Arlo and I went on a proper day trip to the seaside last week. This is one of the only quick snaps I managed to squeeze in, which is testament to a) how much fun we had and b) how much of a jam-packed day it was.

I've been the last of my set of three best mates from school to become a mum, and although we've always kept in touch we're all much closer now that we each have kids. As I read somewhere the other day, having children is a real equaliser. So we met up with my two school BFFs, each with another two kids of their own, for a day trip out. We went to Brownsea Island, off Poole, which considering we left from an Island to get there in the first place, meant a lot of boats. In fact, it was a ferry-bus-train-walk-even smaller ferry combo, which with three pushchairs, five kids and picnic in tow felt like quite a lot of work! It was well worth the effort though - we saw peacocks, narrowly avoided a savage goose attack, let the kids run free and play, and managed to catch up ourselves in between it all.

There's something really comforting about spending time with someone who knows everything about you, including loads of really embarrassing stuff like that time you fainted in front of the whole year in assembly because you didn't want to have your BCG injection, or when you thought blue hair mascara was a good look (those are hypothetical occurrences, obviously. Ahem.) Yes they've been there for all the big things like babies, weddings and birthday milestones, but they were also there for all the stuff that hardly seems significant now, but at the time, as teenagers, probably shaped who we are more than we know. (The hair mascara probably not so much). Conversation flows easily.  Silences are comfortable. It's reassuring.

It was all over too soon and as I waved my friends off on their ways back home I wished these kinds of days came round more often. Not only because spending time with them is so good for me, but also because I want our kids to be able to enjoy this kind of friendship in the future too. Just maybe without the goose attacks.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Friday I'm in love... with a little dancing skeleton

We have a fully-fledged walker! I don't know how to use words to describe how happy this makes me. When I first made this little gif I spent a long time watching it and giggling to myself - at Arlo's dance moves, at his little skeleton jim jams, the fact that he's inexplicably waving an old school iPhone charger at me...

And how happy he looks to see me. Doubtful as happy as I was to see him.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Confidence is a preference of the habitual voyeur of what is known as...

We have been so lucky with the weather this summer. Last summer Arlo was so brand new that we couldn't really get out in the sun much - I can remember days spent indoors, with windows open and fans whirring, just trying to keep him cool. This summer we made up for it, spending as much time outside as possible - and for Arlo, that means many trips to the park. The park used to be a bit underwhelming for him really, as he was just too small to get involved, but know he's bigger he loves it - he crawls all the way up the slide just to slither back down on his tummy, and the swings make him very happy indeed (see above!) Here's to as many more park visits as we can fit in before the sun takes his hat off for good this year.