More cousin love and a tug of war

Next installment in my attempt to catch up – I’m now going back two weeks to jot down what we got up to just before our holiday week.  And it involved even more cousins!

I love that the children have so many cousins (8 between Matt and my brothers, plus another 4 if you include “step-cousins”!).  I grew up having two cousins on another continent (hello Ian and Joanna) who I sadly didn’t get to see very often.   All of Alex and Sophie’s cousins live pretty close, so we manage to see them relatively regularly – although probably not as often as we should.

We had a good excuse to get together a couple of weeks ago, as Matt’s Auntie Joan was visiting the UK from her home in San Francisco – so the Agar clan gathered in the Surrey Hills for a bit of a family get together.  As an aside, Joan’s visit caused an incidental milestone in our parenting experience – she invited Matt and I, together with his brothers, to a wonderful grown up dinner in Primrose Hill.  So for the very first time since having Sophie, we left the children for bathtime and bedtime with their grandparents.  And it went brilliantly (cue Matt and I booking lots of date evenings and maybe even a trip away… my parents will probably wish it was a disaster!).  Here’s grandma encouraging a good game of peekaboo:


Anyway, back to the cousin reunion.  We headed down to the Surrey Hills nice and early so we could have an explore of Newlands Corner.  It was a bit gloomy and threatening rain, but we headed out to look at the view.  Sophie, wearing a skirt for the first time in months, loved having a run around – although the cold wind made her nose go red!


As the sun came out, I managed to get a lovely shot of my cute little family


After a quick cup of tea and some chips to warm us up, we headed over to Matt’s brother’s house to meet the rest of the family.  Matt enjoyed reading a story to his newest nephew, William, while Alex disappeared upstairs for ages with his cousins Thomas, Edward and Max.


Sophie took a liking to her only other female cousin, Jessica, and spent ages running around the garden with her and the resident dog, Monty!


On Sunday, we began our drive up North – with the first stage to reach my parent’s house in Northamptonshire.  We stopped in at the Bekenscot Miniature Village again as it’s a perfect half way point in the drive.  Learning from the last trip, I took minimal stuff and left the buggy in the car, so we could let the children lead the way around the narrow paths.  And, like last time, they loved it.


Alex even tried his hand at some photography – he looks quite the pro here!


10341993_10100172436524845_7568049498007490811_nWe had a sunny picnic and then whiled away some time in the brilliant playground.  Alex is getting really good at climbing and has announced that when he is four years old he will start climbing lessons!  His favourite thing was soaking the pirates again with the waterguns.


We arrived in Blakesley mid afternoon and wandered over to the playground – only to find a football/cricket club open day.  Its such a friendly village, no-one minded when Sophie and Alex got stuck into the activities!  Alex was so excited to take part in a real tug-of-war.  I’m pleased to say that the village girls beat the boys – despite Alex’s attempts to pull as hard as he could!


I was a bit concerned to see my dad attempting to put Alex in the stocks –

stocksbut highly amused to see the position swapped, and Alex pelting his grandpa with wet sponges!


It was a beautiful afternoon – I just love getting out of the city (for short trips!).  Very pleased my parents have chosen to settle in such a nice part of the country.


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