Siblings #5 {May}

Just squeezing in my May “Siblings” post on the final day of the month.  It’s been a big month for my duo as they have just moved in together to share a bedroom.  They’ve spent a lot of time together this month, with our holiday to Cornwall, plus half term last week when Alex hasn’t been at nursery.  Their giggles every evening as we shut the door is a sign of their relationship getting closer – but more on how that’s going next month!

For May’s post, I’m remembering a lovely trip to Dryham Park – a stunning National Trust park and house that marked the midway point on our long drive home from Cornwall.    Typically, the weather was significantly sunnier and warmer than it had been all week we were away, so we were pleased we chose to stop somewhere with so much outside space so we could enjoy it.

Dryham is truly beautiful – an incredible house nestled amid rolling hills where deer roam free.  We enjoyed a yummy lunch sprawled on the lawns surrounded by the gorgeous architecture.

The house is having some fairly major refurbishment – so Matt took the opportunity to tour the roof while I explored the grounds with the children.  He looked the part in his high vis jacket and hard hat – and got some great shots of the lush, green park.


Meanwhile, I trekked up to the brilliant Old Lodge where there are loads of natural play areas.  I loved exploring the flourishing kitchen garden, enjoying the herb and flower planting in old tyres!  We picked a great time to visit as everything was really in bloom.


The children stretched their legs exploring the wooden climbing frame and logs – able to run freely in the secure space.  It was the perfect antidote to being couped up in the car for hours.


We’re already big fans of the National Trust – 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4, and so took the opportunity to plant something to eat.  I think we may have ticked that one off several times, but the children never tire of digging dirt and planting seeds!  Let’s see if we end up with pumpkins and sunflowers!!


Sophie and Alex really worked as a team as they were planting and watering their seeds – and gave me my May Siblings photo as we walked around the grounds!  It was hilly and quite steep, and I wasn’t sure Sophie was going to make it up the climbs!  But her big brother came back to hold her hand and coax her up the incline.  And sure enough, she found some more energy and made it to the top.


Can’t get enough of seeing their little hands clasped together!


I wish we’d had more time to explore Dyrham Park – it was enormous, really welcoming and truly beautiful.  The only downer on the day was the fact it was so hot, the Marshfield Ice Cream stand ran out of flavours my mid afternoon, putting an end to our daily holiday dairy fix!  But that didn’t take away from a wonderful excursion for my siblings.  We’ll be back!

dear beautiful

Siblings #4 {April}

I’m glad it’s time to write about my siblings this month, as I had one of those evenings last night where things didn’t go well between them!  After much bickering between them about who got the bubbly end of the bath (!), an elbow in the ribs from Alex saw Sophie wailing, and her big brother in a tantrum about being banished to bed early.  It wasn’t my finest parenting hour and left me feeling a bit down about how hard being a mum is and how I could have handled the situation better.

Thankfully, as Anne of Green Gables once said, “tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it” – and everyone is back on top form this morning and our siblings enjoyed a good snuggle together on the sofa watching Thunderbirds soon after they were up!  And I’m enjoying looking back at photos of the pair of them from last weekend as it’s a good reminder that they are generally brilliant together.

We were back in Berkshire with my in-laws and the children were entertaining themselves on the swinging chair in their garden.  From inside the house, all I could hear were Sophie’s squeals of laughter and Alex giggling.  Alex was swinging his little sister high and making her laugh and laugh.  I should have recorded it as the sound was so joyful.

We grabbed the camera and tried to capture some photos – so these are my siblings in April.  I love Sophie’s face!





Siblings #3 {March}

Alex and Sophie’s relationship is certainly becoming more emotional this month!  We’re seeing much more bickering over toys, a strong sense of competition between them, and occasionally downright rage (particularly from Sophie) if Alex won’t share something with her!  It’s quite something to watch.  But we’re also seeing much more affection between our siblings.

They are becoming such a team, racing around together – Sophie usually pursuing her big brother. Here they are racing around City Hall with each other having the best time.

Sibling chasing

My favourite new thing this month is how they comfort each other.  If Sophie is sad (or cross with me), Alex has spontaneously cuddled her and taken her hand to make her feel better.  They often walk to our childminder’s house hand-in-hand in the morning, chatting away. My heart melts every time they do it.  He’s starting to really look out for her and it makes me so proud to be their mummy.
Sibling cuddles

dear beautiful

Siblings #2 {February}

I can’t believe we’re already at the end of February. I haven’t managed to take a family portrait – but I have taken a few more snaps of my crazy siblings to share.

We’ve noticed Sophie getting more confident this month – particularly with deciding what toys she wants to play with. Now she’s getting older, she’s keen on Alex’s toys, so we are increasingly getting little squabbles when they both want to play with the same thing. And invariably when they seem to be playing nicely with their own toys, Sophie decides Alex’s looks much more exciting. Cue tears and screaming!

But on the whole, they are firm allies! Here they are today at the Discover Centre in Stratford enjoying some rough and tumble. One day I will remember to video them as the sound of their hysterical giggles is so uplifting!


Sophie in particular finds Alex completely hilarious (which is clearly perfect for my boy who loves being the centre of attention!).  I think my favourite sibling moment this month was last weekend when Matt and Sophie collected Alex and I from a birthday party.  Sophie was fast asleep in the car so didn’t notice Alex sit in his seat next to her, proudly sporting his Spiderman face paint.  She woke with a start a few minutes later, which would normally result in tears.  But she took one look at Alex and burst out laughing.  Here’s a sibling selfie just afterwards:


dear beautiful

Siblings #1 {January}

I started this year with a personal aim of being a bit more focused with my blogging. Of course, my grand plans have been foiled by the complete craziness of my life! But I have made a start. I’m participating in a #project365 initiative where I take a photo every day for a year and have managed 40 days so far without missing one – and I’ll share those pics on the blog every month.

Something else I’ve been keen to try are some of the family blogging projects which challenge bloggers to capture a theme each month. I read a lot of blogs, and particularly enjoy two theme projects:

  • Siblings – capturing in a photo each month a developing sibling relationship
  • Me and Mine – snapping a family portrait every month

I didn’t manage to get a full family portrait in January, but I did capture some sibling moments, so I thought I’d start with that!

I’ve talked to Matt quite a bit this year about how I feel in the last few weeks we’ve seen a real difference in Sophie and Alex’s relationship with each other.  Until very recently, they played well in the vicinity of each other and got on well.  But suddenly they have started playing together properly.  I regularly hear giggles coming from the other room or from Alex’s play tent, and find the pair of them engrossed in a game together.

Sophie follows Alex everywhere, copying him and really looking up to him (not sure he’s the best role model…), and they have really started showing each other affection and care.  It is such an enormous pleasure to watch and I’m really looking forward to seeing their budding relationship develop.  I am sure there will be many fights, but I hope I keep hearing mischievous giggles for many years to come.

Here they are visiting our local ducks and geese:


They had a brilliant time together at Baby Booters, a local football group:


And, my favourite pictures of January – my duo crammed into a cardboard box enjoying a cuddle and kiss:


dear beautiful