Pippin’s 10 month update

There’s been so much going on of late that I haven’t really had the inclination to write much. Not just in our own lives, although that has been really busy with the renovation, and I’ve also started therapy in order to deal with some of the feelings I have around Pip’s birth. It also seems that every time you turn on the news right now there’s another terrible thing happened. There seems to be so much sadness right now.


Pippin continues to grow, as babies do, and she’s thriving. We had her 9-12 month check this week, and the health visitor said she’s in the top end of the bracket for development. I try not to look at the lists of things she should be doing, but it is always good to know she’s doing well.

She’s still in the 91st for weight, which surprised me a little because she never stops moving! Although she has lost a little. She’s also just under the 50th for height at 71cm. Her dad says she takes after her parents: short and stocky! It is true that she has little legs, just like me. Her trousers always have to be rolled up.

She’s surprising us now with everything she can do. In the last couple of weeks she’s moved on from walking whilst holding both of your hands to just one hand. She has also mastered climbing the stairs, which is a little scary to be honest.


Her sixth tooth also cut this week, so she’s dropped the amount she’s been eating. She has also dropped her milk feeds to three per day, although she still feeds massively overnight.

Still exclusively breastfed and unfortunately although we’ve seen a bit of an improvement in her allergies Dairy is still a no go.

She is loving turning the pages of books right now, and is having a go at putting the rings on to her stacker. She still absolutely loves knocking over towers, but has also started kicking them down too. She can also kick and throw a ball, although it very often doesn’t go where she intends it to.

Pippin and I had a joint trip to the dentist and we’re starting to get somewhere with the teeth brushing – although I think she likes the toothpaste a little too much!

Her birthday feels like it is coming along at a really rapid pace now, and I’m just hoping to get back into our own house in time for us to throw her a little party!

Pippin’s Adventures: Washington Old Hall, Sunderland

Despite travelling to the North East a lot to visit family, we’d never actually really explored further than the local beach. Partially because the journey was quite long, and we never really spent enough time there, so every minute was spent with family. But when we travelled back to meet up with family on what would have been my Nana-in-law’s birthday we took the chance to nip in to a local National Trust property on the way home and I’m very glad we did.

Washington Old Hall, in the heart of Washington Village, has links to (you guessed it) George Washington, former President of America. Or maybe you didn’t guess it, I certainly didn’t. Apparently the hall was home to five generations of his ancestors.

Interesting as that was, I was more interested in its later life.

The Hall is probably one of the trusts smaller properties, but it definitely made up for it not only in the beauty of the grounds but also in the content of the property.

National Trust properties are very often stately homes that were once occupied by the elite, and though I love to see that decedent side of our history, sometimes it is interesting to see the lives of people more akin to my own ancestors.

Washington Old Hall is not just the home of George Washington’s ancestors, in more recent years it was also a tenement property. In the 1930s it housed a number of families, and one of the rooms within the hall houses a recreation of one of those rooms. I couldn’t get over just how many people were squeezed into such tiny spaces.

From a family point of view there’s no access for pushchairs apart from on the ground floor. This didn’t bother us particularly as we had the carrier too, and apparently there is also a hip carrier that you can borrow if needed. They will store the pram for you so you can collect it for use around the garden, and there’s a lift to help you access the lower parts of the garden with pram.

There is a walled garden, and a lovely tea room where Pippin and I shared an Ice Lolly whilst Daddy had a clotted cream scone. Which was just cruel frankly.

They also had a small playground, and Pippin had her first ever ride down a slide – and hated it.

My favourite part of the whole property was the Nuttery. Basically a wilderness created for wildlife and completely stunning. We spent so long just watching the tadpoles in the pond, and the bees in their insect hotel.

Pippin loved bird watching from the shelter, although she didn’t quite understand the concept of being still and quiet – I think we have some work to do before she will manage not to scare off any birds within a ten mile radius.

I really hope we will get to visit again, I’d love to go in spring and see what the Nuttery looks like then.


The Wall is Down

I knew this was happening, but it still shocked me.


I have no wall in my living room. Just a big hole open to the outside world. I guess this is one way of bringing the outside in…

This is one of the nice, optional things we thought we might as well do whilst we’re having to have a rewire anyway. It is also completely practical when you have a small child. The actual doing of the work is completely impractical in every way (here’s a tip for you, if you want to buy a 1930’s house, buy it and complete all the work before having children), but the end result will mean a much safer family home all round.

Our house was built in 1936, and the layout must have remained unchanged for many years, but at some point after 1970 the owner at the time built a garage and utility room extension. This was incredibly useful for housing things like a washing machine, dryer and freezer that wouldn’t fit in the tiny, 1930’s kitchen. However, it meant that the only access to the garden was via the garage, which isn’t particularly safe if you have young children. There are plenty of things within that garage that I don’t want small children anywhere near.

So we fixed it by putting a bloody great hole in the wall. Now we have garden access.

But oh the shock.

I can kind of see how this is going to work out, it is going to look nice. But this is the first big job of the renovation and it is a little bit scary.


Walk all over Cancer: Day 1

Step Count: 2467

Pippin’s Steps Count: 1

Total: 2468

Deficit: 7532

Surplus: 0


Ok. Clearly today went absolutely terribly, for two reasons.

1. I have lost my fitbit, which is devastating. It is somewhere either at our house or in one of the boxes we’ve moved to my in laws, but where it is I can’t be certain. I’m reliant on my phone and it isn’t the best. So, I actually did a walk into Beaumaris too, but it didn’t count that.

2. We went on what should have been a lovely long walk to South Stacks Lighthouse in Anglesey. It was so windy that I didn’t feel I could walk parts of it as I was baby wearing.


Tomorrow will have to be a new day, and of course that makes my new goal 17,532 steps for tomorrow – so I will have to do plenty of walking.

Today it is June

So, a while back I signed up to do something different in June.

This June I am going to walk 10,000 steps a day, and hopefully raise £40 for Cancer Research UK by doing so.

Which is funny, because I currently average about 1000 steps a day, so I really, really need to get moving.

I don’t know anyone whose life hasn’t been touched by cancer, whether they have lost someone, had someone beat cancer, know someone with cancer or had cancer themselves.

We are lucky enough that we know many cancer survivors, people who beat Breast Cancer, Bowel Cancer and Skin Cancer. Sadly we know more people who lost their fight, and cancer took my husband’s nana earlier this year.

I’m doing this for all of them, I want more people to have treatment and survive cancer.

So, this is me. Dragging my dodgy post-partum hips on 10,000 steps a day, and if you fancy donating then that would be wonderful.