03.07

Cider-with-Rosie-Blenheim-Palace-Oxford-2

As anyone who runs their own business will know, one of the biggest challenges is to take time off. Hence why it took me 6 months of pestering to get Jason to finally put a free week in his diary! We’d hoped to make it out to France to be with Tania and Freya, but since Ottilie’s passport didn’t arrive in time (boo!) we decided to just schedule in a load of family days instead.

It turned out to be one of my favourite weeks we’ve had together since Ottilie was born. We took Ottie swimming (she’s a water baby!), we had lunches out together (Franco Manca forever), we tag-teamed childcare to steal an hour to ourselves here and there…and, we day-tripped it over to Oxford for a visit to Blenheim Palace!

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The palace was easy as pie to get to, about an hour and a half’s drive from where we are in Surrey. We packed up a picnic, got on the road right when Ottilie was due her morning nap, and she snoozed the whole way! (Tell me it’s not just us who has a car-hating baby? If she’s awake we have maybe a 5-10 minute tolerance period before she wants out, and she isn’t shy about vocalising her feelings!!)

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^^ Those two <3 Ottilie LOVED spending a week with her Dadda, and when he left for work this morning she was so sad. It was the cutest thing <3 ^^

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Blenheim Palace is Churchill’s birth place and childhood home, and is without doubt the most beautiful stately home I’ve visited. We decided not to take a proper tour round the state rooms since we knew we’d end up missing most of it as we juggled Ottilie between us, but there was so much information laid out all round the rooms that I still felt I came away having learnt so much. Did you know Churchill predicted the day he was going to die?! And he was once heard to say ‘All men are worms, but I believe I am a gloworm!’. I love that!

Since we were there midweek the place was quite quiet, so in one of the empty rooms we let Ottilie have a whizz around on the floor since she was tired of being carried. We thought it’d be fairly quiet and discreet and that she wouldn’t get in anyone’s way…until she realised that the room had an amazing echo, and so spent a good five minutes shrieking and chatting to the ceiling. I’ve never known a baby love the sound of her own voice as much as Ottilie does, honestly!

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^^ This is the actual room Churchill was born in, and locks of his hair cut when he was just five years old are on display on the headboard. Isn’t that amazing? ^^

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With the tour finished, a tea pitstop was in order. Ottilie shouted ‘GUCK!’ over and over at some ducks (She’s all about the animal words! Cat is ‘cak’ and dog is ‘gog’!), and Jason read ‘Dear Zoo’ three times on the trot.

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We finished up with a mosey around the rose gardens, and whilst I made notes on the different flowers I want in my fantasy garden, Ottie moseyed around on the grass and handed each and every leaf she found to Jason one by one. Who needs toys, hey?!

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15.01

Cider-with-Rosie-Twinings-13

If there’s one thing I’ve realised the value of, over the past few months, it’s a quiet, cosy family morning.

Having Miss Ottilie in our lives means that weekend lie-ins are a thing of the past (though since I do the night feeds, Jason often takes her out of the bedroom first thing so that I can have a little extra uninterrupted sleep!), but instead of mourning the peaceful weekend mornings we used to have, I’ve just been embracing the wonderful early morning chaos.

When Ottilie wakes in a happy mood and spends the first few hours of the day (before the ‘I need a nap crankiness’ hits!!) cooing and laughing and talking to us, it truly makes me feel like I’ve won the lottery with this lovely little family of mine!

My favourite kind of weekend mornings now are all about wearing our PJs for as long as possible, cuddling up together in bed with cups of tea, eating at least two different types of breakfast food over the course of the morning, and then heading out into the fresh air with those two lovely dogs.

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Last week Twinings sent us over a beautiful parcel filled with their range of Fruit & Herbal Infusion teas, and invited us to embrace all things ‘natural’. And it couldn’t be better timing for me, really, since over the past year I’ve all but given up caffeine, and the teas are all naturally caffeine free!

I was never sure of exactly how much or little caffeine was acceptable during pregnancy and so just switched over to decaffeinated for ease, and even though now I don’t worry about the odd cup of coffee, my tolerance to caffeine has all but disappeared!

So now that I’m all about the caffeine-free drinks, herbal and fruit teas have become my go-to. The Twinings infusions are beautiful- light and refreshing, and make the perfect natural alternative to the strong, headache-inducing cups of coffee I used to drink every morning!

I started this past Sunday with a few cups of the Strawberry and Raspberry Infusion, and it tasted and smelled so delicious even Ottilie was leaning into my cup!

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With our bellies filled (Ottilie’s with milk, ours with toast, porridge, orange juice, and a few cups of tea), we decided that though staying in PJs all day was tempting, we were all in need of a blast of fresh air.

And the weather outside obliged on that front, with bracing winds that had us all wrapping up in as many layers as we could fit on!

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Our weekend dog walks always make me so very happy- stomping round the woods with Ottilie tucked up cosily in the wrap on either mine or Jason’s chest, it feels exactly how I always imagined our life as a family of three would be. And I love the idea that Ottilie will grow up with fresh air in her lungs, rosy cheeks, and feeling connected to the natural world around her.

Once the dogs were suitably worn out and mud-caked, and with a quick stop off in the village for a fresh bunch of flowers to brighten up the living room, we made our way back home for lunch.

And since it was a Sunday, and Sunday has its own set of rules, I’m not ashamed to tell you I put my PJ bottoms straight back on and curled up to cuddle my sleeping baby with yet another cup of tea in hand.

Bliss.

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* This post was sponsored by Twinings. Thank you for supporting the sponsored content that makes Cider with Rosie possible. *

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31.10

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Last week Jason took a week off work, so we made the most of having time together as a family and headed into Guildford for lunch and a spot of shopping on Friday!

Ottilie is so much more alert and awake now, and it’s amazing! She spent our whole lunch sitting up with us at the table- staring around, smiling at us both, and peering nosily over our shoulders at the people sitting around us. It felt like she was really there *with* us, you know? It really is so true what people say about parenthood, it just gets better and better! We’ll just not mention the fact that she left the restaurant wearing a different outfit to the one she arrived in, due to a certain nappy situation…

Lunch itself was pretty great too! The Giggling Squid is a new Thai restaurant on Chapel Street in Guildford, and the green curry is without doubt the best I’ve ever tasted in England! It came pretty close to being as amazing the ones we ate in Thailand on our honeymoon (that are up there as some of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten), and that really is saying something!

You’ll have to excuse the grainy iPhone shots in this post, but I keep forgetting to take my proper camera out and about with me. But I figured it’s been such an age since I posted, you wouldn’t mind? ;)

I hope you’re all well, and have a happy Halloween!

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09.08

Cider-with-Rosie-34-weeks-pregnant

How far along: 36 weeks! I’m officially in my ninth and final month of pregnancy, which is so surreal. Baby is apparently around the size of a papaya this week…though I’m guessing my app means one of those giant papayas you see in fruit markets and greengrocers, not those teeny mango-sized ones you can pick up in the supermarket…

Days until due date: 28!

The bump: Allllll out front these days! I keep forgetting how much bigger I am compared to my normal self, and am forever bashing my bump into the corners of tables, my car door, cupboard handles etc. etc. I’ve even managed to bruise it a couple of times, which isn’t very comfortable!

Weight changes: No idea!

Stretch marks? None, thank goodness. I’ve been very lucky so far- hoping the luck holds out over these final couple of weeks!

Cravings: I’ve definitely got more of a sweet tooth than normal, but I’ve not been craving anything much really. Oh, though I did get a major hankering for flapjack on Friday, and ended up making a batch on a whim! They were pretty tasty. My favourite snack at the moment though is frozen raspberries- so refreshing and tasty!

Sleep: What with my constant trips to the loo, the need to sleep on my left side (which I HATE!), and just my general restlessness, it’s fair to say neither Jason or I are sleeping all that well these days! I guess it’s all good practise though, and I’m amazed at how well I’m functioning on such broken sleep. I keep waiting for the third trimester exhaustion to hit me, but apart from the odd tired day, I’m not really feeling it at all.

Symptoms: A slight touch of occasional heartburn (having to order a mild curry when Jason and I treated ourselves to an Indian the weekend before last was SO rubbish!!), and a definite loosening up of my joints. But nothing I could complain about, really!

Best moment this week: Finishing up our beautiful nursery with a lovely armchair from HomeSense! It was a total steal, and I’m thrilled with it. Oh, and packing mine and baby’s hospital bag, which makes everything feel so very real!

Worst moment this week: Probably the super stressy, hormonal couple of days I had the weekend before last (so technically not exactly this week, but still…)! I’ve been fairly chilled this whole pregnancy, and since I usually suffer so badly with my hormones once a month, it’s been both a surprise and a joy! But I wasn’t myself at ALL the weekend before last, and I think Jason was glad to go back to work on Monday, ha! But I’m back to normal now, thank goodness! Thank goodness for us both…;)

Miss anything? Oh, just cheese. I’ve been thinking longingly about all the mouldy, stinky cheeses I’ll be able to eat once baby is here, and will be totally gutted if our first meal home post-birth isn’t a cheeseboard with lots of fresh apples, grapes, and crusty bread. Oh man, I can’t wait!

Movement: Lots, though I think baby is running out of space now since the movements aren’t quite so expansive as they were a few weeks ago. Instead I’m feeling tiny knees, feet, and elbows pressed up against the sides of my belly, and a little baby bottom right underneath my ribs!

Gender: A surprise!

Belly button in/out: Out! Especially when the baby is pushing right out against the front of my stomach.

Wedding Rings on/off: On!

Mood: Pretty fab! I’m both insanely impatient for what’s to come, and also nervous about how much our lives are about to change in just a few short weeks. We’re so, SO excited to be parents though, and think we’re as ready as we’ll ever be for the chaos!

Looking forward to: Being considered officially ‘full term’ from this coming Monday onwards!

 

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