Life lately and struggling with three..


Hi guys I wanted to check in with a little 'Life Lately' post and a catch up. It's felt like a while since I've done a bit of a life update. I know when Wilf was smaller and motherhood was so new (and there was only him!) I used to do posts about how I was finding each age. WELL we just hit three with Mabli and let me tell you that since I now how have two children that 'threenager' is more definitely a thing..

I struggled a lot with this age with Wilf but was never sure if it was also because it coincided with me being pregnant and having less patience and energy as well. Turns out three is just pretty hard, ha!

Both my kids were pretty easy two year olds which always leads me to a false sense of security and having blanked out some of my darker times with Wilf at this age I'm just starting to realise how challenging it can be..again.

For the most part it's the 'meltdowns' that are the biggest issue currently. I know she is so small and those emotions can be so big. I know that she's not acting this way through malice or because I've failed in my parenting. It's just how she feels right now. I know when I'm feeling frustrated or cross that I often find it hard to control my emotions so I know deep down that to be so little and have these feelings must be so much harder and probably very upsetting and overwhelming for her.

Still that doesn't stop me from the deep sighs, tense words between Tom and I, the guilt that whilst I'm dealing with Mabli so much Wilf is being left out more. It doesn't stop me from crying too when we are in the middle of a partially bad episode or when you're mini dictator is telling you that you need to perform about five different contradictory tasks at the same time or she is going to scream louder. That you know how the atmosphere can change in a second if the wrong cup is given or you've not quite understood what was asked of you. We are walking on egg shells a lot lately!

I wanted to remind myself and also share some things that I know help us with this age. I don't always succeed mind you but it's always good to have a plan...right??

Make things simple - I know one of my mistakes when Mabli is having a meltdown is giving her too much choice. I know that when I'm feeling stressed the last thing I want to do it make more decisions so asking her lots of questions to try and work out how to make her feel better often has the complete opposite effect. Instead I stick to things I know she will like and tell her we are doing that (que listening to a song from Frozen..ha!) or reading a book or watching some CBeebies etc until she has calmed down. Not always so easy when out and about though. Often I'm stuck with feeling like this is 'giving in' to her behaviour but it I'm also reminded how little she still is and how much help she needs when she's feeling this way.

Sleep - This is such a biggy. Our worst days are days when she's overtired. We are still working out naps, some days she will have one, some days she will skip one. | really try to not let her nap after 3 but now she has started nursery a couple of days she will often be falling asleep as soon as she gets home. To tackle that the next tip is the most important..

Be Organised - I'm not one of those people to whom routine comes naturally but being organised and sticking to a routine definitely helps. To make sure she doesn't fall asleep to early I make sure that I make her a quick easy dinner on nursery days that I can make in the 5 mins from when she gets home (beans on toast is great for these days!). Planning our other days together is also really important I find that when she knows whats happening she happier.

Stay Calm and Cuddle - Sometimes this feels like the hardest thing to do. Sometimes I've done it literally crying along with her but I always try and stay mindful of how much harder it must be for her if its this hard for me.

Acknowledge their feelings - I read this tip in the book 'How to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk'* (which I need to re-read!) about how you should repeart and spell out their actions and feelings. So when Mabli is saying (yelling) 'I don't want my socks' for example I'll repeat 'you don't want your socks' until she realises I know what she's saying and feeling and stops. Usually I'd be tempted to try and explain why she needed them but I know that she needs to calm down before I can really try and attempt that. Same goes with when she gets cross I just say 'you are felling very cross right now' etc until she can see I understand how she's feeling (or so she can understand how she's feeling herself).

I'm not saying I have it sorted because this age is super tricky but I do find it I have these bits sorted then it's a little easier maybe!

Do you have any tips??

(pictures by Through the Woods We Ran)
Outfits worn a previous collaboration with Boden which you can see here.

*affiliate link


Our family photo session in Porto

I'm still working through the last of my Porto posts and still have a 'where we ate' post thats almost finished (I know so many are asking for that!) but before I did I wanted to share the family session we had taken at Serralves. Although we've worked with amazing photographers in this country I'd never thought to book one on holiday. To be honest my biggest hesitation was that Tom might not be keen but actually when he realised that it would mean I would be less stressed about trying to get pictures of us all during the week then he was all for it.

We booked Fotografamos who we found on Instagram and I loved that they had a few pics of families on their feed although they are predominantly a wedding photographer couple. They also are parents of a little girl around Mabli's age which made me feel like we would have a little in common to chat about during the shoot.

Anyway we absolutely LOVE the photos they took of us so I wanted to share them here too. It was such a beautiful location and the kids were just so excited to run around the beautiful gardens. I'd definitely recommend a trip to 'The Pink House' if you are visiting Porto!

P.S how grown up are the kids looking?! 

10 Things I Love Friday sale edition

1, Kendal Jumper 
2, People Tree X V&A organic wide leg trousers 
3, Kings of Indigo Alice organic jean 
4, Free People denim jacket 

Hey all! It's been a little while since I've done one of these but I was shopping for some boots for Mabli and somehow went down a rabbit hole of looking at the sales. I totally missed then in January as all I wanted to do is minimise our things not add to it. I still feel that way but I think adding a couple of good investments in your wardrobe is also important. I actually love the Kendall jumper so much I think I might have to get myself the other colour-ways now they are on sale! This is it in the red.

All these items are currently on sale! Hope you like my picks! 

9, Burton Snowboards rain jacket 
10, Adidas pink backpack 

Which is your fave?

This post contains affiliate links 


Porto for families

This has been one of my most requested posts lately and I'm finally getting round to sharing. Mabli started childcare this week (more on that later!) so I have some dedicated time to breath some life into my slightly neglected blog. Anyway more on Porto!

If you follow me on IG you will know we absolutely loved visiting this city as a family and I found it so much more child friendly than other city breaks we have taken. We've visited Portugal a few times now and although we loved Lisbon I did find Porto to have a much more relaxed vibe.

The first place we visited was World of Discoveries which is a museum about Portuguese navigators sailing across the ocean and exploring different countries. The best part was the animatronic journey across the world on a mechanical boat! We are big fans of traditional 'rides' like this (our favourite place for things like this is Efteling!) and we all loved it!

We were done by lunch and headed next door to a vintage shop and cafe. It was so sunny that day it felt like British summer even though it was December!

I'd definitely recommend visiting this antiques shop if you are into that kind of thing but even if you're not the cafe outside was so friendly. Lots of options for kids too (ours had a toastie and fries).

We walked back to our Airbnb along the river which was beautiful. We found we could walk most places in the city but when we ventured to some places a little further a field we used Uber. The kids have backpacks that turn into booster seats (from Trunki) which are perfect for travelling. Mabli is technically a little too small for hers but we feel its better than not using one. We also found that Uber drivers in Porto were so good about seats, all them carried at least one child seat in their boot!

One of the most beautiful places we visited was Serralves which is a place I'd been so excited to visit since I looked up the area for our trip. I really wish we'd gotten there a little earlier in the day actually as two hours didn't quite seem enough. The kids have loads of fun running around the garden and we also visited the art exhibition in the house.

We actually did something new to us and booked a photographer to meet us there for a family shoot. I'll share those pictures in a different post but it was such an amazing setting and one for us to really remember our time there.

Another beautiful place we visited was the botanical gardens. They also had an exhibition on which was brilliant. We spent all morning here and then grabbed an Uber to the beach for lunch. I'll write a separate post on veggie / vegan places to eat as there was so many!

We visited the beach area twice and played crazy golf as many times ha!

Another beautiful spot we visited one evening was the Crystal Palace gardens. Tom took this snap as I took Wilf down to check out the little turret along the walls (to him it was a castle). I think its one of my favourite pictures of our time there.

Other than that we spend most of our time pottering around, popping into beautiful art galleries and posing in front of colourful tiles and walls!

If you want to see where we stayed then check out this post. A post on where we ate will be live ASAP.
I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know if you have any questions about any of the places we visited!
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