Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: family photos (page 2 of 3)

Me and Mine September

The observant among you will notice that this weeks post features 2 children not 3; baby boy has still yet to make an appearance despite the lady of the manor being adamant that he was going to be early. We’re now less than 2 weeks from due date so this should definitely be the last me and mine with only 4 people in the photo. September feels like it’s been a busy month but sitting down to write this I can’t exactly remember what we did that made us so busy.

This months photo was taken just last night after we’d been for a very rare dinner out with the children to Pizza Express in Marlborough. It’s the lady of the manor’s birthday today you see and the week’s schedule meant that last night was the best night to go out for dinner. We had such a lovely time eating and chatting with Matilda and Henry and then a lovely walk down Marlborough High street to look in the shop windows and enjoy this balmy late September weather. It’s also I think the first selfie that I’ve included in the me and mine posts this year, although technically I guess a lot of them are selfies just with a remote for the DSLR rather than holding a phone!

Marlborough selfie

This month I have been mainly building things and catching up on odd jobs before the baby comes; I built a pergola (finally) to go over the bench seat we put in the garden a few months ago. It’s lovely having a seat half way down the garden to sit on and has become one of Matilda’s favourite spots, I think she likes having the ‘roof’ over head. We plan to grow a rose up and over it next year which should hopefully make it even nicer to sit under. The second thing I’ve been building is a log and bin store to go behind our garage, with the log burner installed we now need somewhere to store and season the logs of course. I’m really quite enjoying building things like this, they may not be perfect but it’s great doing something practical. I have of course also been running and training for York marathon in 10 days (assuming baby boy doesn’t arrive before then).

Finished pergola

Matilda has seemingly spent September growing up by at least 2 years; she’s now going to preschool 3 days a week and it’s amazing the change in her as she gets more grown up and learns so many new things. She’s absolutely loving being there now and the ladies that run it are full of praise for how well she behaves and how she now looks after the ‘little ones’. I don’t want to boast but I’m claiming that as top parenting skills! She’s also started gymnastics this month and now spends 45 minutes every Saturday morning learning to balance, jump and roll around which is right up her street and a nice way to channel all that energy she has.

Henry has been enjoying some time with his mummy this month on the day Matilda is at preschool and he isn’t, I think he quite likes the peace and quiet and home and not having to put up with being told what to do by his sister all the time. He’s also spent much of the month scooting around on his balance bike and will happily spend most of the day going around the garden and doing races. Despite being 13 months younger than Matilda he’s as good as if not better on the bike than she is.

balance bike

The lady of the manor has spent September putting up with an awful lot of pain from the baby boy in her tummy; she had a growth scan last week as they were worried he was getting too big and found out that he was lying transverse. Certainly explains why her bump had been hurting so much! She’s also been organising everything we need to have the beautiful home birth that we’re hoping for, although not entirely sure the kids needed new clothes and beds for that…

Next month I will hopefully bring you a very exciting first family photo of us as a party of five. Which will be pretty darn cool. I think that might well be enough to keep us busy for the next few months!

dear beautiful

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

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 May

The end of May seems to have crept up rather quickly; it’s been a busy month and as you’re reading this we’ll be heading off for a weeks holiday in Seaford, East Sussex, so plenty of distractions. Which all meant that I realised on Thursday that we hadn’t yet taken a me and mine photo, but all was not lost as Friday was a perfect day to take a family photo. You see yesterday we went for the lady of the manor’s 20 week scan and found out that we are officially team blue!

Which is all very exciting, although the lady of the manor has had to adjust a little as she was sure it was going to be a girl. But there was no doubting it’s a boy, takes after his dad of course. Now we just need to find a boys name we like, something we struggled with when choosing for Henry, lots of discussion and use of veto’s coming up no doubt. But if anyone has any favourites to suggest do let us know.

Me and mine may

This month I’ve been mainly running an ultra marathon (you may be noticing a theme in my updates) which in this case was 40 miles along the Ridgeway. A beautiful day of running and actually surprisingly felt ok doing the distance. Also perfect prep for my big charity run in July. Since then I’ve taken a nice break from running to rest and filled my time starting to build my pizza oven. Made some progress but still a while off being able to eat delicious crusty pizzas fresh from the oven.

Henry has been busy turning 2 this month and having a joint birthday with his big sister at the start of the month. He got the biggest bucket of cars you’ve ever seen along with a ELC garage for his birthday from us and has been a very happy little boy ever since. He also had his first settling in session at preschool, he’ll be joining Matilda one morning a week from June and they seemed to really enjoy both being there.

Me and mine May

Matilda has been growing up far too fast, she’s had a hair cut this week (2nd one ever) and looks so grown up. She’s very excited that I’m building a pizza oven and keeps asking me when she can cook a pizza in it. She’s also decided that her first pizza will have ham and pineapple on it.

The lady of the manor has of course mainly been busy growing a baby which she tells me is very tiring, but the children have at least started consistently waking up near or after 7am and enjoying a snuggle in our bed before getting up properly. She’s also taken great pleasure in installing a full suite of Ikea storage solutions in our playroom so that the kids toys are organised alphabetically and by colour. Finally she’s been tending to her ever expanding veg patch and greenhouse which hopefully soon will be giving us delicious tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, strawberries and much more.

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

Me and mine February

Me and mine February


We’ve been doing an awful lot of this recently, the first sign that spring is springing and we’re in the garden with our wellies and waterproofs on. In fact Matilda will often trot up to us and say in her cutest teenager voice “shall we get some fresh air”.  It may not be warm yet but having some daylight in the mornings and evenings again plus those beautiful blue skies gives you a little boost doesn’t it?

Sure that little house is a bit tatty and needs some railings to stop the crazy little things slipping off the edge (gramps will be fixing that very soon) but we love it. So funny watching them go inside and pretend they live there and then say boo at the window. Love that the previous owners left this behind and I think it will be much used over this summer!

This month I’ve been mainly marathon training (of course) which while fun has been a lot of hard work in this ridiculously windy weather. But I’m loving the challenge and loving the feeling of getting fit and strong (if you want to read more about running you can check out my running blog). I’ve also been transitioning; to a new job and a new desk. Same company different view and a big challenge ahead.

The lady of the manor has spent most of February trying to get 2 toddlers to eat properly and more than just bread, butter and cheese. She’s also been looking at schools (scary grown up stuff) while I’m really not quite ready to accept that Matilda will be going to school next year!

Henry has been teething for what feels like the whole month. Which has changed him from the cheeky, smily laid back boy into one grumpy little ball of painful gums. He’s also learning to talk an awful lot more and in particular to say “I’ll be back in a minute”.

Matilda appears to have finally figured out that she does still need a nap and that lying down on the sofa for an hours sleep is just as good as going to bed. Although not sure if a grumpy just woken up Matilda is better or worse than a grumpy hasn’t had any sleep one.

dear beautiful


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