Rather surprisingly, July has seemed to pass a little slower than the other months. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the gloomy weather and so we’ve spent more time indoors.
It's a shame the weather has been so bad as it was so great last month and we had so many days out in the sunshine!
Read on to discover what we got up to as a family in July 2015.
Personal family lifestyle blog diary - what we did in June 2015
This month a bird flew into our living room window. It’s happened around four times this month, usually pigeons, but this time it was a small brown bird, perhaps a finch(?), and it didn’t fly away.
Ben took a close look and we assumed its wing had broken. We searched for what to do online as I feared it wouldn’t be long before a cat discovered it. Ben brought the little chap inside and we had a look online.
I was pretty shocked to discover the first result, the RSPB, pretty much just recommend humanely killing the birds in such a situation! Really?!!
I was certain I’d seen birds on TV with broken wings taken to vets, but perhaps I was imagining this.
A second website helpwildlife.co.uk offered a much more reasonable response and even the RSPCA website recommended veterinary help.
Sadly it was a Sunday evening so we couldn’t pop to the vets, so brought him inside in a tray with a little bird feed. Sadly he got scared and tried to fly away. He hid under our wood stove for a while and then went outside disappearing into the foliage.
I really hope the cats didn’t get him and he was just shocked and managed to fly away. I tried to look for him the next day, but could not find him.
Bella’s development is really coming on. The development emails I receive suggest she should learn her numbers now. Bella already loves counting to 10 and knows the rest of the numbers to 20, but often gets the last few a little mixed up. She’s also recited the alphabet for a while now and loves doing her ‘ABCs’ as she calls them.
I have a feeling she’s going to be very academic and enjoy school.
Her vocabulary is ever increasing and I love the new phrases she picks up and repeatedly says. Some Bellaisms for this month are:
‘I’ve got an idea’
(Bella has lots of ideas recently, especially to put Reuben in his bouncer so I can play with her!)
Me – ‘Bella, are you OK? Do you need help?
(She’s been in the bathroom for a while)
Bella – ‘No Mum, don’t come in!’
Me – ‘Why, what are you doing?’
Bella – ‘Going through your drawers!’
Got to love their honesty at this age!
‘Mummy! Can you hear it?’
(Realising I can hear things even if I’m in another room)
‘I’m not Bella, I’m Nana and you’re Aunty Jess’
(This has been the first month Bella has started to pretend she is someone else!)
Reuben is doing fab. At his last weigh in he was already 17lbs 11oz, so now he is probably well over 18lbs!
I’m not used to it as Bella was always so tiny. She was always very below average on the weight chart, but Reuben is over the 91st percentile!
He seems a few months older because of his size. I have to remind myself he’s only just 5 months.
I bought him a Jumperoo this month so he may start to lose some of his baby weight! Bella had so much use out of one we borrowed, we just had to get another. Hopefully Reuben will have lots of fun in his too.
He hasn’t rolled yet, but is very close. He has started lifting both knees to his chest as he lies down and rocking slightly. He can roll to one side from his back, but will always roll onto his back again. I’m sure he’ll roll over any day now.
Only a month or so and he’ll be sitting up unaided and having his first tastes! He has gummed his fist nonstop this month, so a tooth may also be on the horizon!
Home improvements update
I’m not sure Ben has done much to the house this month that I can remember, but I cracked on and completed my office. It’s in a room which used to be a garage and the old owners had it converted.
We’d had a few ideas about what to do with this room including adding a downstairs toilet or making half into a playroom.
The toilet idea would be great, but as it’s on the other side of the house to the drainage, a Saniflo system would be needed which we aren't too keen on.
I’m hopeful we will add an extension onto the back, one day, to give us a larger kitchen and enable us to convert the old kitchen into a downstairs toilet and utility room.
I needed more storage space for my stock and will be working most evenings, plus some day times once I reopen my shop. We agreed I could have the spare downstairs room mainly for Lylia Rose. Yay!
I have added a sofa bed too so we have a space for someone to stay if we ever need it. I’m so pleased with how the space has turned out and it’s now a useable room. We had started to use it as a giant cupboard which really was a waste of having an extra downstairs room.
Growing fruit and vegetables update
Today I have been totally distracted by my garden and the wonderful things growing there. Literally overnight some glorious yellow flowers have grown on my courgettes and yellow courgettes. I wasn’t expecting these and they look amazing! Someone on Twitter has kindly commented to let me know these are also edible too, even more amazing!
I do need to read up about the things I’m growing. I kind of just went for it and purchased a bunch of veg plants in tiny pots without reading much. I have, however, read a lot about potatoes so feel a little more knowledgeable with my spuds. I’m continuing to read bits and pieces every day as and when I can to learn as much as possible. Hopefully in a few years I’ll be a ‘grow your own’ pro.
I thought perhaps the cherries on the cherry tree were inedible. The cherry tree was already here when we moved in last May. Last year they tasted very bitter and then disappeared in a day as the birds pinched them. Today I noticed some were turning a purple-red colour, so decided to try another.
To my amazement they are actually edible!
Not sweet, but much less sour and sharp than the red ones. So today I will be covering the tree in netting to stop them disappearing before my eyes. I have already picked the more purple coloured cherries to make a delicious cherry juice this evening.
It really is so very satisfying picking food from our garden and enjoying it. I can’t quite explain it, but it feels quite wholesome, a bit magical and very satisfying.
I’ll also be planting some more potatoes today. I ordered 3 types of ‘late’ potatoes from Suttons. I received Charlotte, Nicola and Maris Peer. I had only ordered 3 potato patio bags as I didn’t realise quite how many seeds I’d receive! It was 1kg of each, which is quite a lot!
The patio bags are 35cm wide and I can only plant 4 seeds in each. I’ve today received six more patio bags so will be planting nearly all the rest. I’ll then store the remaining seeds in the fridge until next spring!
Potatoes look really fun to grow and they are meant to be relatively easy whilst giving a good yield, if they stay disease free! I have planted my seeds on and under around 3 inches of soil. I went for some specific Miracle Gro for potatoes compost which should feed them for a good six weeks.
Once the shoots pop through the surface I’ll keep covering with soil until I reach the top of the bags. Once the plants start to flower, the potatoes can be eaten. Once the plants start to die, the potatoes are fully mature.
So I know which are which I made some DIY plant markers with items I found around the home; a nice long wooden BBQ skewer, white label sticker and sellotape to waterproof.
Fingers crossed for lots of amazing veg and fruit!
Garden Games Blue Aztec Teepee
Look at our, I mean Bella’s, new garden teepee! Isn’t it just awesome?! This funky wigwam makes me wish I was three again so I could enjoy it as much as Bella! I have crouched down and crawled in, but it’s not quite the same all hunched over. Bella has insisted we sleep in the teepee, which would be super fun if I could fit more than half of me inside! Perhaps we will put it indoors in the living room one night and make a cosy sleepover den. Oh yes, that sounds like a fab idea!
I’d been eyeing teepees up for a while and finally had an excuse to buy one. We are organising a very exciting garden event in the summer so this will be perfect for the children to play in. I’m so pleased I picked this one as the material is super thick and waterproof. It looks like it will last for years to come and Reuben will get to enjoy it once he is running around.
They also look so cool too, don’t you think? I just love looking at it in the garden! I’m definitely drawn to Aztec prints and love the cone shape of the wigwam. It’s also practical too, shading Bella from the sun and providing her with somewhere cosy to relax in the heat (even more so once I fill it with cushions!).
Ben’s birthday was towards the end of July so we enjoyed some family time. We had planned on a trip to Pittville Park on his birthday, but typically it rained all day. Literally from 5am to 11pm!
We went to a soft play in Cirencester instead called Magicland. Everyone else had the same idea as we queued in the car park for at least half an hour in the rain! Bella (and Ben) had great fun once we were indoors! We had three pub meals over the weekend too and enjoyed a canal walk.
A bittersweet August coming up...
August will be a bittersweet month.
It’s my 30th at the start of August and we’ll hopefully enjoy a nice day out at the beach. I'm feeling very confident with what I want to do with my life going into my 30s, so I'm not worried about the big 3-0!
Reuben will undergo his second balloon dilation operation to his heart in a couple of weeks. We’re still doing our best not to worry about it until the day.
We have a very exciting event planned too in August... We are getting married!
Me and Ben will be tying the knot in a basic registration and celebrating with a Wedfest - eeeeek! So exciting! Pretty much everything is organised now and I’ll definitely showcase the day in a dedicated blog post after the event.
August is going to be very eventful!
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