14.11

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After almost seven years of Sunday mornings in our little white house overlooking the pond, this Sunday was our last one here. And I’m feeling…so many feelings about it!

Emotional that we’re about to say goodbye to the place that’s been our home for so many years, happy and excited about the move ahead of us, sad to say goodbye to the community of sweet neighbours we have all around us here, and so, SO ready to be living in our new home with a field of lovely sheep right next door and a bigger garden for the dogs and Ottie to play in and more space so we’re not all on top of each other!

The last few weeks have been crazy stressful for a myriad of reasons, and adding a move into the mix has just about sent me over the edge. But we’re so nearly there! I just have a to-do list as long as my arm to get through this week, then the packing is being done Thursday (it’s costing way less than I ever expected to have packing done, and is saving my sanity right now!!) and then on Friday we’re off!
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We spent this last weekend in our first family home just enjoying some quality time, with a slow start (thank you Ottilie for sleeping in late!(ish) and then breakfast all together downstairs. Coconut porridge is my new favourite thing right now, and I can’t work out why it’s taken me more than two and a half decades of life to realise that adding desiccated coconut into your oats makes the best bowl of porridge imaginable! Topped with apple compote (made with apples scrumped by our eighty year old neighbour, thank you George!) and a dollop of peanut butter, it’s the perfect winter breakfast.

Ottie demolished her own porridge, and then some of mine, and THEN a slice of toast, because she’s completely ravenous at all times now ever since she started walking! Seeing her toddle around the house still completely blows my mind. Fellow parents, will I ever stop thinking my daughter is the most incredible being on the entire planet?! ;)

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With breakfast over, and our whole family up, showered, and dressed, we rounded up the dogs and headed out for a walk. Oh, and check how grown up my baby looks in her new car seat! This is the last product we’re trialling from Graco’s range, and it’s a wonder product.

The Milestone carseat goes from newborn to age 12 (yep! 12 years of use from one single product!), and is completely adjustable to grow with your baby. The carseat has such an intuitive design, and the smooth mechanism of each lever makes so easy to alter things like the height of the straps and headrest and the recline of the seat, all of which ensure that your baby is held safely and securely as they travel.

Since Ottilie is now over 9kgs we’ve put her in the forward facing position, which she absolutely LOVES. I’ve honestly never known her so content in the car! And having her forward facing makes it so much easier for me to keep her happy on longer journeys if she does get grumpy…usually by passing back a handful of snacks to keep her busy!

These little flapjack bites were way more sugary than anything I usually allow her, but she did get a little nibble and I’m not sure she’ll ever be content with her sugar free baby oat bars ever again…

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^ Doesn’t she look so snug and happy in there? We were so unhappy with the baby carseat we bought for Ottilie to have as a newborn (not a Graco one, might I add!) and so I’d already decided that we’d replace it for baby number two (not pregnant, might I ALSO add!!) but now we’ve got this one we won’t need to!

The seat reclines through a range of positions, and again is easy to adjust as your baby grows. We’ve got Ottie semi-reclined still, and it’s just far back enough that she can nap comfortable but upright enough that she can see what’s going on. ^
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The light was so beautiful when we got up to the woods, golden and green-tinged as it shone through the trees. And bitterly cold too!! The weather’s snapped round here in the last couple of days, so much so that the pond outside the house was frozen in places early on Sunday morning.

But with a human hot water bottle strapped to my front keeping me toasty both with her cosy body heat and through the effort of hefting a 14 month old baby along on an hour long walk, I soon lost the chill in my fingers!

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These photos of Ottilie and me might be some of my all time favourites of us. She was completely obsessed with the flip-top lid on my flask of tea, and wanted to open (‘opeeee opeee’!) it over and over again. It’s always the simple things that captivate a child, isn’t it?

This age she’s at right now is absolutely my favourite so far. Seeing her personality shine through more and more every day is just a complete joy, and her being able to communicate so well with us now makes life so much easier! She’s the cheekiest, noisiest little girl, and we just adore her. <3

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This post was created as part of my ongoing partnership with Graco! Thank you for supporting the sponsored content that makes Cider with Rosie possible.

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13.07

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Reasons why this walk was such a lovely one:

We dodged the rainstorms that arrived without warning on and off throughout the day.

Jason and I were out together midweek, which hardly EVER happens.

The look of quiet boredom and frustration on Teddy’s face whilst he waits for Elsie to behave herself for long enough on the lead that they both can be released and begin tearing around like lunatics.

Kayakers on the river who nod and smile and say hello, who we nodded and smiled and said hello right back to.

Watching Elsie attempt to launch herself into the water every 100 yards or so, because she’s suddenly found her springer spaniel water obsession. Teddy knows not to even try, though sometimes sneaks in when we get distracted…

Spotting the last of the elderflower blooms. Next year remind me to collect enough for a bottle of homemade cordial before the season passes?

Baggy dungarees that are too comfortable for words, and don’t fall down every ten steps like silly maternity jeans…

Both dogs mad attempts to reach the pigeons that roost underneath the big wooden bridge, through the gaps in the boards. The pigeons sit there cooing away smugly, knowing they can’t be touched.

Blackberries already growing greenly on the bramble hedges along the water.

And last but not least, the puppy who wore herself out so thoroughly that she decided to take a nap right in the middle of the field, three quarters of the way round.

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02.03

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I N   W H I C H   T H E   D O G S   D O N ‘ T   M I N D   T H E   R A I N   O N E   B I T .

‘Let’s take the dogs for a nice walk tomorrow morning’, I’d said to Mum, on Monday afternoon. ‘The weather’s been so nice today, and it’ll be beautiful up at the lake!’

Ha. Tuesday morning dawned grey and overcast, and the sky grew more and more ominous as the hours wore on.

By the time we had both dogs packed up in the back of the car (which lasted all of about three seconds, as Miss Elsie likes to squeeze between the seats and ‘sneak’ onto the lap of whoever’s riding in the front passenger seat), our wellies stowed in the boot, and were on our way up to the lake, the heavens had opened and the first drops of rain were falling on my windscreen.

The rainstorm was in full swing as we reached the lake, but, as any fellow dog owner will know, the needs of our favourite four-pawed companions came before our own, and so out the car and down towards the water we trudged.

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Not, I’m glad to say, without a quick pitstop at the cafe for an egg roll and a flat white a-piece.

A hot egg roll, it turns out, is exactly what’s needed to act as fortification ahead of a walk in pouring rain and driving winds. Teddy admired it with longing eyes, but didn’t get so much as a scrap…

It’s pretty hard to resist a face like this though!…

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Warmed and full-bellied, the four of us made our way out from the cover of the seating area and down towards the path around the lake.

It was Elsie’s first visit to the big lake, and I didn’t expect her to be too keen on the water itself as she’s always been to nervous to do more than dip her toes in the edge of the ponds near where we live.

She decided though, despite this being one of the coldest and wettest dog walks we’d ever been on, that it was time to live up to the reputation all springer spaniels have as being completely obsessed with water, and went bounding off down into the shallows and just started swimming right away!

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It took Teddy a fair few attempts to pluck up the courage to actually start swimming instead of just paddling when he was Elsie’s age, but Elsie went in all guns blazing. It was completely adorable, especially given she’s definitely much more timid than Ted on the whole in most other things!

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We didn’t make it anywhere near to doing the full four and a half mile circuit of the lake, since Elsie’s legs aren’t up to it yet.

And to be honest, it was a blessed relief to need to keep our walk fairly short, since by the time we got back to the car all four of us were pretty chilly and soaked to the skin.

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I sometimes hear stories of dogs who take one look at the rain and refuse to be walked until the bad weather clears up. Do they really exist, or is that just an urban legend?

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26.01

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U N P L U G .

You might’ve noticed a little gap in posting around these parts last week (okay, and on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram…basically online in general!), and the reason was that I’d been hit with a pretty severe case of the January blues.

And they hit me hard! I don’t think I’ve ever felt as uninspired, as lacking in creativity, and as just plain old down in the mouth as I have over the past ten or so days.

But you know, it’s nothing that a few days sans-Internet couldn’t fix! I got cracking on a little life admin instead, switched off from all things notification-inducing, and recharged my batteries.

I hope you didn’t mind too much that I went totally AWOL (I had a serious case of blogger guilt!), and that jumping back in with a few photos of last week’s glorious frost will make up for things!

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If I’m remembering correctly, this walk was Elsie and Teddy’s first outing together.

It would’ve been a lovely one anyway, just seeing the two of them bounding along together, but the layer of sparkling frost that had settled overnight made it all the more beautiful.

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The ground crunched underfoot, frozen-over puddles acted as ice rinks for little paws, weak sunlight shone through the trees in misty beams, and the whole forest glittered more beautifully than my camera could capture.

And the very best part of it all?

The frozen ground, usually a sea of the sort of claggy mud baths that Teddy’s always adored and Elsie’s fast learning to, kept all eight of the paws in my care blissfully clean and dry.

And since the littlest spaniel shares her brother’s hatred for post walk hosings-down and likes to make them as arduous as possible, it really was a relief…

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