Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: Matilda (page 3 of 13)

Me and Mine August

A day late with my me and mine August post but my planned writing time this weekend got taken up with pizza cooking and running which I’ll be honest are likely to come higher up the priority list almost every time. But here we are with another month gone, it’s the first of September and you can feel autumn coming. I love this time of year, the heat of the summer is gone and the prospect of autumnal walks, hearty roasts and stews and a roaring fire is just around the corner.

We’d planned to take another photo yesterday while out watching my brother do his first half Iron distance triathlon but in all the excitement forgot. So I’m reverting back to a photo taken earlier in the month at my sisters wedding. Not the greatest photo ever, it was so hard in the dull light of a conference room with no windows to take anything crisp and clear (I think I may have reached the end of my photography skills) but I still like it. Matilda is of course doing her fake smile face, but I can live with that as without the bribe of chocolate she wouldn’t even be looking at the camera.

Me and Mine August

August was a month of new experiences for us as a family; first time on a plane for the kids, first wedding as a family and first camping trip. Not bad really and while stressful at times was also a whole lot of fun.

Finished pizzaThis month amazingly I haven’t been doing a running race, but I have been running of course, I’m half way through the build up to the Yorkshire marathon in October. One last running focus for the year and one I’m quite excited about having set a big PB time goal. Although there is a risk that baby boy arrives early and scuppers my plans as his due date is 4 days after the marathon (the marathon was booked before the lady of the manor got pregnant I’d like to point out).

August also saw the wedding of my sister over in Ireland so involved the first trip on a plane for the monsters (ignoring the fact that Matilda flew to New Zealand aged 6 months) which was a whole lot of fun. I’ve also been perfecting my pizza recipe and cooking, which has resulted in quite honestly the most amazing pizza’s outside of Italy. Thin, crispy and full of flavour. Incidentally I wrote a post on how to build your own oven if you’re interested you can find it here.

The lady of the manor has spent August trying not to remain patient with 2 little children who have decided they most definitely don’t want to sit still at meal times but do like to argue whenever possible. She’s been enjoying afternoon naps with Matilda on the sofa while watching Frozen and doing an awesome job of growing a baby.  She also had a job interview, it may sound odd given she’s 34 weeks pregnant but it was for a NHS job that hardly ever becomes vacant so she decided to apply. She made it to the final 3 but alas didn’t get it, but hopefully a foot in the door for when she wants to return to work. The lady of the manor has also decided on a name for baby no.3, which apparently I have no choice in.

Matilda in bridemaid dressMatilda has spent most of August growing it would seem as many of her clothes no longer fit. She has also been constantly hungry during the day to go with it, not that this makes her eat any faster of course. She’s also been a bridesmaid for the first time and LOVED wearing a pretty dress all day and could be seen twirling it at any opportunity. I did however have to sneak taking photos as she’s decided she definitely doesn’t want her photo taken any more and just hides her head if I point a camera at her.

Finally in August we learnt that Matilda is a daredevil and loves climbing, she’s climbing 2 (small) climbing walls at playgrounds plus up the cargo net on the side of a large playground without any fear or trouble. Looks like I may have a climbing buddy at the climbing wall next time I go!

Henry as a page boyHenry has been mainly angry in August, everything is ‘my do it’ and if you try to help or tell him no you can guarantee a tantrum. I guess we’ve hit the terrible two’s? Tantrums never last long with him though and within a couple of minutes he’s back to his normal cuddly self like it never happened.

August has also seen Henry’s obsession with tractors go to another level with harvest season in full swing. We have a farm next to our house and Henry spends hours sat at the top of his slide looking over the fence and watching the tractors come and go. We have of course also been to watch the combine harvester in the fields near us, one of my favourite things and love being able to explain to Henry how the harvest works and for him to see his books come to life.

Finally Henry did a great impression of a well behaved page boy at the wedding and even kept his outfit on all day which I was amazed about.

September in theory is going to be a quieter month as we get ready for the arrival of baby no. 3, but we’ll see, if he comes early then it could be the craziest month of them all!

dear beautiful

Daddy, I want to be a princess

When you take one small girl whose list of top 5 favourite things to do would include wear pretty dresses and play in the snow and introduce her to a film featuring both of those AND singing you end up with my life just now which is a constant loop of “DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN” sung very loudly and accompanied by swishing dresses (her not me).

Matilda in Princess dress

It also results in conversations like the one I had with her at the dinner table last weekend:

Matilda – Daddy? I’d like to dye my hair.

Me – *picks himself up off the floor* *panics, thought he had at least 10 years before having this conversation* Would you? What colour would you like to die it?

Matilda – I’d like it brown with a white bit at the front here

Me – *penny drops* you mean like Anna from Frozen?

Matilda – yes exactly

We’ve also had teenager like anguish that she wants to grow up so that her hair is longer (like Anna and Elsa) and demands that we plait her hair like Elsa’s. But that isn’t where the princess obsession stops, oh no! Her favourite book right now is called ‘a Royal fairytale’, it was a freebie from Britmums 2 years ago if I remember rightly and has been hidden away because I didn’t like it. It’s the story of William and Kate and she loves the pretty dresses and how they live happily ever after with a little baby called George (which incidentally is her favourite name for our baby).

I’m all for letting her choose what she wants to be in life and we’ve done our best to avoid gender stereotypes but I fear that the power of Disney and the classic fairytale has been too much this time. But on the positive side if you put Frozen on in the afternoon she’ll snuggle down on the sofa and fall asleep in less than 30 minutes. Strangely enough it seems to have the same effect on the lady of the manor too and while I’ve been on holiday this week has meant at least an hour of blissful peace as the only awake person in the house.

Matilda in dress and wellies

For now daddy’s little princess is going to be exactly that and I love it. I also love that while she loves her pretty dresses that she can swish in she also loves going for a walk to find the combine while wearing the dress paired with some wellies. Not entirely sure what that style is called but I like it. But I think I’d better start saving for all the Frozen themed presents she’s going to ask for for Christmas.

Me and Mine July

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed that I totally failed to write a me and mine post last month, that might give you some idea how busy the end of last month was. In fact I didn’t even notice that I’d forgotten until a week into the month. More of why I was so busy in a moment but for now I give you the glory that is our July photo. Taken during a family BBQ (a bad shirt BBQ hence my beautiful attire) where Matilda decided that she was definitely not having her photo taken and Henry as usual looked like he was focusing on doing a wee in his nappy. One day that might both actually smile, having said that I quite like photos where we aren’t all just staring at the camera.

Me and Mine July

I love that the last photo I shared for May had us all sat in jumpers and jeans while here we are bathing in the glorious summer weather. It’s also amazing to see how much Henry has changed in 2 months, he’s really turning into a little boy all of a sudden and is so full of chatter.

This month I have been mainly running an awfully long way, 100km to be exact, I completed the Race to the Stones the day before this photo was taken to raise money for Save the Children and Tommy’s. If you look closely you can see how red and swollen my ankles are, I spent most of the BBQ sat with my foot up on a chair and an ice pack on it!

While I haven’t been training for that race I’ve been in the garden building my pizza oven, often until it’s too dark to see what I’m doing. That’s all done now also and we had the first pizza last weekend, still fine tuning managing the fire but love the feeling of cooking that way. Oh and I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to share a photo again of me during the Race to the Stones here also, absolutely love this photo taken by the race photographer.


The lady of the manor has spent most of the month struggling with the heat and realising how much better it was being pregnant in the spring time with Matilda and Henry. She’s also been masterminding the makeover of our lounge complete with new chimney breast and log burner. It looks great just not ideal weather for firing up a log burner! She’s also finally in the last week been enjoying a little peace and quiet while I take the kids out at the weekend. Love having quality time with them and hopefully helps give her a little break every so often.

Matilda has been absolutely loving preschool in July, the move to her new one has really paid off, so much so that she’s now complaining that it’s the summer holidays and she can’t go. She’s learnt so much there and you can see how we’re going to have to keep her brain busy over the next few weeks. She’s also become completely obsessed with princesses and in particular a certain one called Elsa! She’s constantly singing the songs and swishing her princess dress around.

Henry has found his singing voice this month; mainly from going to preschool and he also can give a very good rendition of ‘do you want to build a snowman’ from Frozen. However I think Rainbow Fish is his favourite, never heard of this song until they went to preschool but it’s lovely and is sung to the tune of twinkle, twinkle little star. He’s also started to show some signs of being ready to potty train, going to put it off a few more weeks but he’s starting to use the toilet a little. I’m sure once we do start we’re going to find him weeing in the garden or in the corner of rooms though!

dear beautiful

Me and Mine April

We decided to be brave this month and attempt a Me and Mine April photo away from home and what better location than Avebury? For those of you that don’t know about Avebury it’s a neolithic stone circle in the same guise as Stone Henge but much more accessible and I think more interesting. It’s also conveniently situated just 10 minutes from home so the idea was a nice walk with the kids and the hound then take a photo or 2 in front of the stones. I had visions of a lovely family outing with a nice little picnic along the way.

However the reality was unsurprisingly different, Bracken who is used to running with me did not enjoy being on a lead and pulled my arm off. Matilda complained that she was SO HUNGRY within 10 minutes of arriving and I forgot both the tripod and remote for the camera. Which resulted in a hilarious 10 minutes of running backwards and forwards to the camera to set the timer while it was balanced on my rucksack while trying to keep 2 toddlers in one place and get a photo that wasn’t slanting.

We just about managed to get a decent shot and it is of course the first one of these where we can officially share that there has in fact been 5 of us (plus the dog) in the last 2 me and mine posts as the lady of the manor is pregnant with our 3rd baby.Yes that’s right people we’re going to have 3 children under 4 come October!

Family photo at Avebury

This month I have mainly been running a marathon, celebrating my birthday and thoroughly enjoying the long weekends. It was my first road marathon (previous 1 was offroad) and I didn’t quite hit my target time but nonetheless pretty pleased with myself for doing it. However thoughts now turn to my next challenge and my recently announced Fool on the Run challenge where I’m going to be running 100km to raise money for Save the Children and Tommy’s. If you can spare a few pounds to sponsor me I would be eternally grateful.

The lady of the manor has been adjusting to life with an expanding bump again and claiming that despite 2 previous pregnancies not that long ago she doesn’t have any maternity clothes to wear. A likely story! She’s also been discovering that spicy food really doesn’t agree with her in this pregnancy after fajitas made a rapid re-appearance. She’s also been planning our lounge redesign which will hopefully include a log burner as the centrepiece.

Matilda has been getting older with her 3rd birthday a couple of weeks ago which was a relatively low key affair with some family with a bigger joint party for Henry’s birthday also which is in May to come in a few weeks. She’s also been changing preschool and is now doing 2 days of 9am to 1pm at the new place. She seems to have settled in really well and actually likes being left now which is a big step. The preschool is attached to the primary school we want her to go to so it feels good that the decision to move here has worked as we hoped.

Henry has started lying in (which is a big change from last months post where I complained of the 5am starts, he’s now regularly asleep to 7.30am which is just amazing. He’s also developed somewhat of an obsession with worms this month and every time we are in the garden he demands we go searching “wiggly worms daddy, wiggly worms”. Which I don’t mind at all, great fun going bug hunting.

Finally just for your amusement here’s a few of the outtakes 🙂




dear beautiful

Me and Mine March

Me and mine March

What better time to my me and mine post than a Sunday evening after a gloriously sunny Mothers day? We’ve spent most of the day outside with friends at a farm feeding baby animals, playing on swings and generally having fun as a family. Something to be said for simple family activities like that and certainly my 2 are much happier running around a farm than any theme park.

You’ll notice that Matilda is doing her best cheeeeese face and Henry is of course not looking at the camera as normal, although he was a little knackered by this point. But for once we didn’t have to rely on a tripod for the photo as with much pain on my part I handed over control of the photo taking to the friends that were with us.

This month it feels like I have mainly had a cold which thankfully seems to be finally shifting today just in time for next weekends marathon (eeek!). I also spent a week in Morocco for work which really wasn’t as exciting as it sounds, I’m thankful that my new job is going to involve a lot less travel. Hate going away from my little crew too often.

The lady of the manor has been enjoying the first signs of spring and being able to get her toes out again, it’s at this point I remember exactly how many pairs of Birkenstocks she has. She’s also begun planning for birthday party season in our family with me, Matilda and Henry all celebrating birthdays in the next 2 months not to mention 4 other family birthdays!

Henry has decided that 5am is the new 6am which has led to caffeine being a precious commodity in our house. Him and Matilda are also slowly starting to learn to play properly together and have hilarious chats with each other in what often sounds like a different language.

Matilda has been constantly hungry and comes wandering up to you at least every 30 minutes asking when lunch is or moaning that she’s hungry. Can only assume she’s having a growth spurt as despite all that eating there still isn’t even a millimetre of fat on her. I’m sure one day all that food will have kicked in and she’ll wake up 6 inches taller.

dear beautiful

Discussing willies with a toddler

“I like your willy daddy”

Not quite the conversation I was expecting to have with Matilda when I came out the shower but as a modern man I’m not uncomfortable discussing these things, they are perfectly natural after all.

So I replied with a ‘thank you’ and started to get dressed.

“Henry has a willy too daddy”

“Yes, yes he does, that’s because he’s a boy”

“I don’t have a willy”

(can you see we’re a bit obsessed with willies at the moment and what makes boys and girls different?)

“Do you not Matilda? Is that because you are a girl like mummy?”

“Yeeeessss” *starts inspecting her bunny* (to be clear I’m talking about a toy bunny here, this isn’t our name for her lady bits)

“Bunny doesn’t have a willy either”

“No? Is that because she’s a girl”

“Yes, she does have a bum though”

Is this what it feels like to home school your children? Modern man I may be but this is beginning to stretch my natural English resistance to discussing things ‘down there’. I can feel the sweat beginning to form on my brow, I was not prepared for this conversation so young and definitely not when feeling a little exposed wearing just my boxer shorts. So I decide distraction is the solution to avoid going any further down this path.

“shall we go and watch Postman Pat”

Toddler Christmas withdrawal symptoms

Chopping up the Christmas treeMatilda has loved Christmas this year, she really got it, but what she loved perhaps most of all was the tree. In fact all trees, if there was a competition for who could spot a Christmas tree first as you drive around she would win it hands down.

As a parent this was awesome, experiencing the magic through the eyes of your children is just fabulous. That is until you have to be the one to break the news to her that it’s time for the tree to leave its cosy corner in the dining room and head off to Christmas tree heaven.

The conversation went a something like this:

Me: Matilda, it’s time for us to get rid of the tree now that Christmas has finished. 

Matilda: but I don’t want to, I like having a tree.

Me: I know, but it’s not Christmas any more so we need to take it down and we’ll get another one next Christmas.

Matilda; *pauses to think* ok, that’s fine, we’ll get another one later?

Me: yes we’ll get another one later

Matilda: maybe this afternoon?

Matilda with a Christmas tree branch

Now you can’t really fault that logic can you? But what do you do? There is no way we’re keeping the tree for a year. Well dear reader, I came up with a perfect plan. The next day I got Matilda to help me move the tree out of the house and then we cut it up and put it on the compost heap. I figured this way she’d know exactly what had happened to it and where it had gone.

Then came the clever bit, we have a small Christmas tree in a pot in the garden that Matilda was given on her first Christmas. So I grabbed that pot and put it on the decking just outside the house, then I decorated it with some outside lights. Now we have pretty Christmassy lights just outside the window, which with the dark evenings and mornings can be on everyday for Matilda to see.

Garden lights

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