the siblings project {september}


September brings the solid lump of uninterrupted sibling time to an abrupt end. And my goodness has it been a month of change so far. First the little gang lost Dylan to school, and the girls had a week of adjusting to life at home without the one they both totally hero worship. And then just as they settled into that as a new norm, Everly was off to school too, and while this means Dylan and Everly now get the excitement of sharing something new in the form of both being school kiddos together; it's all left Quinn a little forlorn. 

Its always the way with parenthood, and with life I guess, that just as you get used to things being a certain way, they change. Change is the only thing we can rely on. And give us another week or so and this new normal will feel just that... normal. 


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oh the places you'll go Everly {2017}



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oh the places you'll go Dylan {2017}



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the me and mine project {august}


Rich is loving
* the new football season.
* our day out at Warwick Castle.
* going to watch the 20/20 cricket.
* Quinn starting to use the potty like a big girl. 
* having a man den to play X-Box.

Lucy is loving
* the long bank holiday weekend. 
* that we've booked two holidays for next year. 
* the newly decorated snug (or as Rich calls it "man den" or as the kids call it "playroom")
* finally getting her braces. 
* houmous and avocado flatbreads. 

Dylan is loving
* learning the elements of the periodic table. 
* reading The Faraway Tree with Mummy. 
* mastering riding his new bike. 
* watching Julius Jr. 
* having Uncle Matt home. 

Everly is loving
* playing in the paddling pool. 
* wearing summer dresses - every single day.
* practising school hair styles with Mummy. 
* meeting a princess at Warwick Castle. 
* sleepovers with Dylan. 

Quinn is loving
* having Dylan and Everly home to play with. 
* pirate books. 
* using the potty. 
* pouring water out of the paddling pool. 
* anything to do with Peppa Pig. 


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the siblings project {august}


Oh August... you are a month, quite simply, MADE for The Siblings Project. So much play time, together time, bonding time. There has of course been some arguing time and bickering time and wanting-a-bit-of-time-out-from-each-other time too. But mostly, its been the former. And its been a total pleasure having all three of this trio around all day everyday.


I actually took these photos completely spontaneously one morning when the kids were in a particularly cheeky, funny, smiley, humouring-their-old-mum kind of mood. I grabbed them on my phone, because that was to hand, and the big camera was downstairs. And I just love love LOVE them! I don't think I've ever managed photos that capture their personalities quite as well as these do... my little crew of complete nutcases!


25

the starting point


I've been wanting to share this ever since we moved, since before that actually if I think about it. I think as anyone who has ever moved house will know, the urge to put your stamp on a place is big. I'm undecided as to whether the fact we already knew our new house made this worse or better. In many ways it was nice to move in and know that we didn't need to rip out the fixtures and fittings of a random stranger we didn't know (anyone else just find the whole toilet seat and carpet thing a bit yucky to think about, or is it just me?), our home was brand new when my Nan bought it, and then we bought it from her, so we knew what we were getting into and there was something very comforting about that. But on the flip side, we knew the house.... and it was my Nan's, so it felt very strange for quite some time to be here without her, and to sleep here, and to get our heads around the fact it is now ours. Such a weird and unique and fun situation.

But the place is starting to feel like home more and more now. We are gradually making it our own, with a lick of paint here and a make over there. Don't get me wrong, it's going to be a long time before we are anywhere near "finished". In fact I doubt we'll ever be, because I'm sure we'll always be finding new things we want to do to improve and change where we live. But I am so excited to share some of the changes here on this blog; the room makeovers, our DIY adventures and everything in between. And I feel like, in order to paint the fullest picture, it's nice to see the beginning, the starting point; which will hopefully highlight just how far we've come.

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the me and mine project {july}


Rich is loving
* that Game of Thrones is back.
* Everly's graduation. 
* buying a new bike.
* visiting friends and family "up north" for a couple of days.
* seeing the kids ride their new bikes. 

Lucy is loving
* my lovely "little sis" get married. 
* watching The Handmaids Tale.
* seeing Everly graduate from preschool. 
* being able to host so many friends and family this month. 
* that we got tickets to see The Killers. 

Dylan is loving
* performing arts day at school. 
* riding his new bike. 
* having Uncle Matt and Auntie Tiff back for a visit.
* his finally finished bedroom. 
* being on school holidays. 

Everly is loving
* her special graduation day. 
* eating "twisty breadsticks" (cheese straws).
* her work-in-progress room makeover.
* her new bike, that she's named Daisy.
* talking about when she goes to big school. 

Quinn is loving
* having her big brother and sister home from school. 
* eating strawberries and apples and peas.
* taking her own nappy off (even when she's not supposed to!)
* summer holiday lay ins. 
* dancing to the live wedding band (the same that we had at our wedding).


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the siblings project {july}


I'm not sure where the last month has gone, but it's definitely run away from me a bit. It doesn't seem that long ago that I posted my last post for The Siblings Project, and here I am again. The past month has been all about fun in the sun; and my little band of adventurers are definitely happiest outside, and together, and it without a doubt brings them closer together... so I absolutely can not wait for the school holidays to finally start. Six weeks of together time and exploring and playing and fun. And probably arguing and annoying one another too, but that's all part of the sibling experience I'd say.


Mostly I'm looking forward to a slowed down pace of life. I won't miss the morning hustle to get out of the door for school. And I can't wait for things to just feel a little less rushed. Like taking photos... at the last minute... when you realise you've run out of days in the week and hours in the day, and you still haven't had a chance to grab those photos you need for a post... and the kids are already in their jimjams... yeah, I am looking forward to just having a bit more time that is all ours.


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the me and mine project {june}


Rich is loving
* the new floor.
* hosting a Father's Day barbecue.
* helping manage a little team at the football festival. 
* that mini eggs are back!
* the new Royal Blood album.

Lucy is loving
* enjoying the sunshine in our garden.
* our lovely new living room and playroom floor.
* having Jenny and kiddos to stay for the weekend.
* a beautiful afternoon at the beach.
* making weekend vlogs. 

Dylan is loving
* playing in the paddling pool. 
* his new gallery wall. 
* meeting his new Year 2 teacher. 
* his tennis classes. 
* one-on-one reading time at bedtime. 

Everly is loving
* her taster days at big school. 
* being outside in the garden. 
* mini Magnum ice creams. 
* summer dresses. 
* picking bits for her room makeover. 

Quinn is loving
* strawberries, strawberries and more strawberries. 
* watching Peppa Pig. 
* eating peas with her fingers. 
* dancing. 
* giggling like crazy when she's tickled. 


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the siblings project {june}


If my kids ever have a band... I feel like this needs to be the album cover. Everly has all the charisma, sparkle and high kicks of the 'front man'; there is no way she'd let anyone else hold that microphone anyway. Dylan is the keyboard player, or maybe the guitar player... who am I kidding, probably both; he'd come across as the slightly geeky one when they are interviewed, but he'd be the one keeping the show on the road. And Quinn... she'd be the drummer; no doubt about it. She'd keep her head down, her mouth shut, swing that crazy mop of hair around like there was no tomorrow, and she'd more than likely be the one trashing hotel rooms too (pretty sure she's practising for that one already!)

Come to think of it, I'd quite like my kids to start a band. Best get them signed up for some music lessons!

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the me and mine project {may}


Rich is loving
* introducing Dylan to Mario Kart.
* going to the May Day Fayre in our old village.
* his new Weber barbecue.
* smashing up the garden and filling a skip.
* Liverpool qualifying for the Champions League.

Lucy is loving
* putting our stamp on the house with some room makeovers.
* the sunshine finally arriving.
* getting to wear new summery clothes.
* watching Jamestown.
* sharing our Dubai vlogs.

Dylan is loving
* reading, reading and even more reading.
* learning to play the Nintendo Switch.
* his newly decorated bedroom. 
* watching the DVD of the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
* riding his scooter around the garden. 

Everly is loving
* playing at her sand and water table.
* doing Forest Schools at preschool. 
* wearing summer dresses.
* reading We're Going On A Bear Hunt to Quinn. 
* the paddling pool.

Quinn is loving
* her new pretty bedroom. 
* shouting "book" and then being read to. 
* dancing to Dingle Dangle Scarecrow.
* eating chocolate brioche and croissants.
* saying "no" and "down" and "hey" and "bye".

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the dubai debrief


We've been home from our holiday in Dubai for over a month now, and I feel like it's taken me that long to come down from the holiday high and be able to put the whole thing down in words. It was just such an adventure for us, and such a fantastic experience, that I'm conscious of wanting to do the whole thing justice.

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the sibling project {may}


One of the first things I fantasised about when I first found out I was pregnant the second time around, was that moment way-way-way-ahead in my future, when I would stand back, and watch Dylan and his younger sibling walked off together hand-in-hand. They'd be ready to explore and take on whatever the world threw their way, with their sibling at their side. And the fantasy came back thick and strong when I was pregnant for the third time; having watched Dylan and Everly forge such a special friendship, and love every opportunity to adventure together, I couldn't wait to see them both showing their younger sibling the things they knew.

While there are undoubtedly a few downsides to being a third baby (being dragged all over the place regardless of how you feel about it, having no toys to call your own, and the constant attentions of well-meaning siblings being just a few) I think what Quinn has in her big brother and sister, far outweighs any negatives. They love her so fiercely. They are desperate to teach her things; new skills and new words that bring her one step closer to being an equal playmate. They simply love showing her their world. And they scream blue murder if they think there is any possibility she might get herself into mischief (although I'm not sure that she'd always see that as a bonus!!!)


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the me and mine project {april}


Rich is loving
* Atlantis Aquaventure water park.
* playing the new Nintendo Switch.
* a day of beach hut fun.
* Quinny's obsession with Peppa Pig.
* having a Shake Shack Shackmeister.

Lucy is loving
* our amazing trip to Dubai.
* sliders from Salt on Kite Beach.
* decorating Dylan and Quinn's bedrooms.
* candles from Bath and Body Works.
* our first beach hut day of the season.

Dylan is loving
* going to tennis coaching.
* riding the rapids at Atlantis.
* seeing and going up the Burj Khalifa.
* being Star Player at football. 
* doing a special show and tell slideshow about Dubai at school.

Everly is loving
* floating in a donut rubber ring. 
* a day on Kite Beach.
* playing with the sand and water table in the garden.
* chocolate ice cream.
* wearing summer dresses.

Quinn is loving
* Peppa Pig.
* playing in her bedroom.
* singing along to Ed Sheeran's Galway Girl.
* playing in the sand at the beach.
* her first holiday.


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the siblings project {april}


April so far has been ALL about sibling time. Between our holiday to Dubai (oh yes, we went to Dubai for those who don't follow on Instagram) and then a second half of the Easter holiday spent stuck at home in chicken pox confinement, these three have been thoroughly in one another's pockets. And I am pleased to report that on the most part, it's been lovely. I always feel like my kids pull closer together when they are off adventuring, as they discover new things together; and that was certainly the case on holiday. They seem to connect some how, and want to share the experiences they have with each other. There have been moments of course; jet lag and hot temperatures and then being stuck at home with spots can stretch even the coolest temperaments a little thin at times. But I think that when we are back to the normality of school next week they will all miss each other a lot.

Dylan and Everly remain as close as ever. They'd do everything together if they could. And being away on holiday has given them so much opportunity to indulge in just that. They absolutely loved sharing a room in our hotel, and getting to go back to their bedtime and morning chats together which they've missed so much since we moved (which meant we were back to square one with them missing each other at bedtime once we got home). But I'll never be anything but happy to hear how they miss each other each evening. Plus school holidays have meant later bedtimes, and longer times to sit and chat together before I send them to their own beds for lights out. I'm sure that little bit of time snuggled in a bed together reading books and chatting away is their favourite time of day. Which I will be sure to remind them of when they are teenagers and can hardly bear to be in the same room.


Everly and Quinn's relationship is so fun to watch. They seem to be drawn to one another as they play, but they also seem to really irritate each other too. It kind of feels like a whole new thing for me, because Dylan and Everly has always got along so well. But both these girls will already do things simply because they know it annoys the other, and they can both get a little feisty when they are together, in a way that neither ever does with Dylan. Something tells me that these two will have something of a love-hate relationship as they grow. They love to be together, and are so similar, but also so very different, and so good at pushing the other's buttons. I'm guessing that's maybe just part of the sisters dynamic... but having grown up with a brother, this whole sisters thing is all new to me.

Dylan and Quinn... well... it's simply a love thing. He dotes. She idolises. It's funny, before she was born I wasn't convinced that these two would have that much of a bond, with their larger age gap and the fact he's off at school so much. But I was wrong. Dylan is the one who instigates bringing Quinn into the games he's playing with Everly. And he is so fiercely protective of her when she's upset, and so proud of her when she does something new. In turn she simply looks at him with gooey eyes like he's the best thing since sliced bread.


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the me and mine project {march}


Rich is loving
* starting some home improvements.
* having Euroshop fun in Dusseldorf.
* Doritos Heatburst.
* finally watching Peaky Blinders Season 3.
* going to the recycling centre every weekend.

Lucy is loving
* interiors shopping.
* hanging washing out on the line.
* smelly candles.
* new make up brushes.
* a lovely Mother's Day out together.

Dylan is loving
* reading his joke book.
* doing a whole school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
* seeing the air ambulance on the school run one day.
* watching Go Jetters.
* having his own bedroom.

Everly is loving
* watching Moana.
* planning her birthday presents... for September.
* playing tea parties with Quinn.
* wearing dresses.
* bedtime reading with Dylan.

Ashlyn is loving
* watching Teletubbies.
* sitting on the stairs and watching the world go by.
* giving kisses.
* eating peas.
* Kit the cat.


27

home {a little life update}


I think it'll take a little while yet before we feel "settled", but we're definitely on our way now. In fact it was only as I edited this video of moving day that I realised just how far we've come. How despite my emotions over leaving the old place; we've not looked back since. How even though we look around and still feel the desire to "put our stamp" on these walls; we've come a long way already. How much more at home we are feeling in our home now.

Rich and I still look at one another and say we can't believe we live here. And how we don't feel grown up enough for such a proper grown up house. 

I've had a lot of people asking if I would do a house tour. And here it is... of sorts! This is the bare bones of our house, with no furniture and none of the things that make a house a home. It gives you an idea of space, but not of what I envisage when I look around. It might take us a while to get to that point... but get there we will. So you can definitely expect more house tours, and room makeovers, as we transition this place from a house into a home that feels truly ours.

I have been loving getting stuck into shopping for the new spaces. So much so that I shared a haul of some of my recent homeware purchases. I love watching these kind of videos and seeing the things that other people pick up. So if you do too, then you can check it out here. Or you can check out lots more hauls here.


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the siblings project {march}


This past month has certainly been one of changes. In fact, while I normally feel like time flies from one month to the next, and that when time comes to do a post for The Siblings Project I've barely finished doing the last one... thats definitely not the case this time. Last month's photos feel like there were take absolutely ages ago. We were into the last days in our first home, and change loomed on the horizon. Well change has happened. And not just the obvious big change of address... things have changed between my trio this month too.

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home life project {march}


I already feel stupidly nostalgic looking back at last month's Home Life Project post, because as much as I knew that we'd sold our house and would be moving, it didn't really feel real. It didn't feel real on moving day either. And if I stop and think about it, it still doesn't feel real now. 

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the me and mine project {february}


Rich is loving
* new television.
* new house.
* that he was brave and stroked an owl
* watching Everly trampolining.
* catching up with everyone at a family birthday party. 

Lucy is loving
* being a proper grown up with a proper house.
* planning room makeovers.
* having fun family half term days out together. 
* celebrating Dylan's sixth birthday.
* that the moving house stress is finally behind us.

Dylan is loving
* being six!
* the new science books he had for his birthday.
* having his own bedroom. 
* the pig racing at Bockett Farm Park. 
* memorising capital cities. 

Everly is loving
* her new big bedroom.
* being gradually reunited with the toys that were packed away. 
* eating mini eggs (always five, and matching ones are really exciting)
* cuddling her baby Rapunzel doll at bedtime.
* a new Equestria Girls movie on Netflix.

Ashlyn is loving
* riding the tractor at Bockett Farm. 
* sitting on Everly's bed and looking at books. 
* carrying Kit everywhere she goes. 
* eating raisins.
* watching the Teletubbies and Something Special. 


37

the siblings project {february}


Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? With one thing and another going on over the last couple of weeks, I managed to leave it right until the last day to get my sibling photos this month. Which can be a total recipe for disaster as I feel the pressure to get the shot and the kids decide not to play ball. But this month it all fell together nicely and I actually love the snaps I got. 

The last day I had available to take them, we were having a lazy day at home together. So I just stuck the kiddos on the sofa started clicking and not even a minute later, we were done. No cajoling, shouting or bribing necessary. And three big happy (if slightly crazed) smiles. I wanted to take our photos at home this month, because home is about to change, and that makes me all kinds of sentimental. And there is something special about capturing them in their natural environment, somewhere that they are completely happy and relaxed and - quite literally - at home. 

With each passing month the gap between Quinn and the older two seems smaller, she seems more and more included, more and more a part of the gang. They treat her a little less like the baby these days. She's welcomed into their games and play now, without me having to remind them, or without her simply following them and pestering them until they pay her attention. They sneak off together to play in the bedroom, or to quietly sit with books, or to cheekily empty a kitchen cupboard. And nothing makes my heart melt quite as much as it does when I stumble across them doing something  together of their own planning.

I mean, seriously? Squad goals, right there!


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these three {week six}


He is six... SIX! Six sounds so much bigger than five (but then I think I've said that every year). It was a birthday all about things for his new bedroom when we move, and lots and lots of information books; which might sound kind of dull and boring to most kids, but was exactly what this kid wanted.   He was so kind and polite even whilst being the centre of attention on his birthday; not forgetting a single thank-you, and making sure his sisters helped out and felt included. He honestly makes me so proud, he's growing up to be such a gent. 


She had a nasty bug of some sort mid week (which her brother had a few days before) which completely wiped her out, poor thing. She's not often poorly and definitely has the strongest immune system of the three, so it feels really heartbreaking to see her so sad and feeble. But fortunately she fought it quick and is super excited about having a week off of preschool, and more importantly, a week with Dylan off of school to play with her.


This little munchkin seems to be growing up in leaps and bounds lately; she's made that transition from being a big baby who was just starting to walk, into full blown toddler mode. She's pushed my buttons a bit this week too, with some epic wobblers, and just generally constantly looking out for trouble, whilst being allergic to the word "no". Good job she's cute, and has a smile that could melt ice.
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home life project {february}


If you're not in the mood for sentimental, then it's probably best to look away now.... okay, I warned you! 

One of the reasons I am excited to be doing Home Life Project this year, is to track those subtle changes in our everyday family life over this year. I know that by December, the games that were favourites in January, the clothes the children wore in April, and the faces of my little three will all have changed; maybe only a little, maybe a lot. But a year is a long time when you're little, and it's nice to record these moments and acknowledge those changes. 

But that isn't the only sort of change this year brings. Amongst all the little changes in our ordinary life that these monthly posts will record, there is also a big change. 

This month is the last one in our first family home.

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these three {week five}


Dylan is so excited about his upcoming birthday that I think he might just combust. He's been counting down the days for the past month, and he can't wait to have his chocolate birthday cake and Nanny's rice krispie crunch; as per his birthday traditions. I simply cannot believe that at this point six years ago he was still lurking in my belly, about to rock my world in the most amazing way imaginable. 


I look at Everly lately, and I wonder when it was that she suddenly grew up. She just looks so big all of a sudden. I feel like in the months before he started school, her big brother still looked like a toddler, whereas this little lady would pass for a school girl more comfortably than she does a preschooler. Having said that, she told an epic fib to get herself sent home from preschool last week, and completely played everyone... so she's either got a lot to learn about growing up, or she's already a bit of a genius!


It goes without saying that younger siblings look up to the older ones, but Quinny just totally worships her big bro and sis at the moment. She'll chase them from room to room, desperate to be with them, to join in their games - even when those games are too fast or too complicated or just too crazy for her to fully join in with. She's also turned into a bit of a bookworm overnight, and emptying books onto her sisters bed so she can sit and 'read' them to herself, is one of her favourite things to do. 
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the me and mine project {january}


Rich is loving
* stocking up on mini eggs.
* eating fancy soups.
* visiting Poland.
* Quinny grabbing his head for cuddles.
* getting prepped for moving house.

Lucy is loving
* going for walks with Quinn in the buggy.
* having new make up.
* making plans for the new house.
* taking weekly portraits of the kiddos.
* the evenings drawing back out.

Dylan is loving
* planning his new bedroom.
* naming capital cities.
* making his solar system model.
* going to Jump Street for his best friend's birthday.
* counting down to being six.

Everly is loving
* playing with her Belle and Moana legos.
* her snugly new duvet cover and pillow.
* eating mini eggs.
* the day she stays for lunch at preschool. 
* looking after her baby Rapunzel doll. 

Ashlyn is loving
* Kit, her cat.
* climbing on the sofa.
* giving cuddles.
* eating raisins.
* emptying the book shelf.


30

these three {week four}


The map obsession continues with this one; old maps, new maps, artistic maps, technical maps, globes, poster... he's not fussy, and he'll spend hours staring at them and taking it all in, finding the countries and cities that interest him most, talking about what continent they belong to. He gave us a bit of scare too this week, when what seemed like a simple cold suddenly left him gasping for breath; a call to out of hours resulted in a visit from an ambulance, but fortunately it wasn't anything too serious and he's bounced back quickly.


She's always been such a walking contradiction; she can be a total wild child, bouncing from crazy game to crazy game, singing a song, pretending to be a popstar, while bouncing on the bed in a cloud of messy hair and noise. But she can also be so incredibly grown up, sensitive and caring. This week I sent her to collect her shoes, ready to head home from my mums, and she came back with her shoes and my nan's walking stick... simply because she knew G.Nan was going home too, and she thought she would want it. Totally unprompted. She just seems to be in tune to peoples' needs and feelings in a way that is wise beyond her years. 


This little sunshine is such a total hoot to be around at the moment. Just in this past week she has worked out how to climb up onto the sofa, has learnt to blow kisses, and has given about a million cuddles. Having never shown any interest whatsoever in the television, she's suddenly showing a fondness for The Teletubbies, and for good old Mr Tumble. And speaking of fondness, she's head over heels in love with her cat Kit; every nap and night time in the past week, we've found them snuggled up together... and of the million cuddles she's doled out this week, he's easily been on the receiving end of half. 
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these three {week three}


This guy... I know for a fact he knows more countries and capital cities that I do, and I'm pretty sure everything that I know about planets I learnt from him. I have no idea how he manages to remember so much! He's been busy with some sort of birthday party marathon lately, but this past week included a Jump Street party, and ones with an old school disco and party games; both of which were apparently 'the' best party ever.


She has got the funniest little sense of humour on her, this one. She just seems to have this way about her that keeps us all smiling. Except at meal times... at the moment meal times are trying. Not because she's a fussy eater - she eats most things we put in front of her - but because she just takes soooo looooong to eat. Hopefully she'll speed up a bit before she starts school, or she'll lose her entire lunch time looking at her dinner.


What can I say about this little smasher that I haven't said a hundred times before? She's just amazing. She's getting a bit of a temper on her, and can throw the most impressively dramatic strops if you give her the last raisin and don't magically produce more. But she's also getting funnier and cheekier by the day. And she's so incredibly affectionate; she loves grabbing our necks and pulling us in for a cuddle, and if Dylan or Everly are upset they get constant hugs and strokes and "ahhhh"s until they are smiling again.
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