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September 2018 monthly family roundup

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Wow, one whole month has gone since the kids went back to school!  Well, Bella back to school and Reuben back to preschool.  Reuben is at two settings and one of them is term time only so he didn’t go there for the school holidays, but upped his hours at the other setting.

Luckily both kids have settled really well into their new school year.  Bella has been keen to go everyday which is a great sign, so she must really like her teacher.  Reuben has also enjoyed being back and seeing some of his friends he didn’t see over the holidays, but many of his old friends were older and have moved up to school.  This is his final year before proper school so I’m excited to see him grow and change so much this year.

Autumn is properly here now and we even lit the fire for the first time last night!  I can’t believe it’s that time of year already.

Here are some autumn posts from September:

My winter bucket list
Autumn style staples for kids – how to have a capsule children’s wardrobe

Read on to see what we did as a family in September 2018.

Welcome to my latest monthly family roundup.  Once a month I look back through our photos and my planner to record the highlights of the previous month.  It’s a great way to create an online scrapbook that I, hubby and the children can look back on for years to come.  I always think that even if the rest of my blog fails somehow one day, I’d still write these posts and use my blog as an online memory book for me and the children.  I bet they’ll love reading through this category when they’re grown up!

Reuben’s swimming lessons

Reuben started his swimming lessons this month and they haven’t gone well!  I was going to wait until he was around four years old, like Bella was, but he just seemed so ready.  He’s never been afraid of the water and loved going to the pool as a family.  He’d spend most of the time jumping in, didn’t mind splashing or going under the water a bit and even started to refuse wearing armbands and would try to swim!  He seemed at the perfect age to start a preschool lesson, but it did not go as expected.  He had three lessons and just did not want to get in the pool or even jump in. He was like a different child in the lessons compared to when we took him swimming!  He’s also very stubborn and I think he has it in his head he doesn’t want these lessons so he’s not going to do it!  We’ve decided to wait until he’s older and his language is more developed and try again.

Meal out with Mummy as a treat before back to school!

Bella’s swimming lessons

Bella is doing so amazing!  She is very close to swimming by herself!  It’s been quite a journey.  Bella was always petrified of the water and didn’t even enjoy swimming with us as a family when she was younger.  She was just petrified!  We tried a year of swimming lessons and she didn’t progress, so this whole year she has had private lessons.  It was a very slow start, but he rightly concentrated on her confidence in the water rather than swimming technique. It was just what she needed.  In the last couple of months she really has come on leaps and bounds.  She’ll swim for around six seconds with a float whilst keeping her head in the water!  She’ll also jump in holding one hand.  She’s also very close to swimming without the float as soon as she realises the water will hold her up!  Whilst these may not seem like he achievements in almost two years of lessons, for Bella they are amazing.  Even just say three months ago she’d scream so loud if water splashed her in the face and wouldn’t even put her nose in the water!  All of a sudden she is swimming with her face in the water and jumping in with a big splash!  Well done Bella!  I have promised her a trip to a vegan café for a slice of cake as soon as she can swim by herself so she’s on a mission!

New mortgage

We have signed up to a new mortgage deal so will be staying in our home for five years.  I’ve said before on this blog how we were so undecided on what to do.  There were some lovely new builds near our home and I had my eye on one, but it would mean doubling our mortgage!  I really don’t want to be a slave to a mortgage and dream of being mortgage free.  So we decided (or I decided) to stay put for now.  The mortgage rates are so amazing at the moment that we have left our deal a year early so we can lock in a much better rate for five years.  We don’t save anything for the next year, because of the product fee it just cancels out any potential savings, but we do have the security of a much lower rate for five years.  I was worried if we waited until next Summer when our current five year deal was up, that the rates could have increased.  Whilst our home is in no way ideal for us and the layout and single toilet is frustrating, we’ll have to settle down and be done with it for five years at least!  It’s kind of nice in a way to feel settled for a while after being so undecided on what to do for so long.

Vix dental work

Starting to see the final result with a temporary bridge!

My dental work is ongoing and I have had my teeth prepared for a bridge.  I’ve had two temporary bridges so far and I should have the permanent one fitted in October.  I’ve not logged it on my blog yet as I may do one final finale type blog post in my Braces at 30 section to explain what’s been going on.  It’s so nice to come to the end of it all after 2.5 years!  I will soon have my mouth back and the appointments will die down!

Sudeley Castle

We only had one day out in September.  As we had the kids swimming lessons Saturday mornings to early afternoon, it meant we could only plan a whole day out on a Sunday.  Plus Ben was building a new shed in the garden which meant he needed days to do this.  So things have been quiet on the days out front.  Luckily I was invited to review Sudeley Castle so we did manage a lovely family day out here: My very honest review of Sudeley Castle and Gardens – Family days out in the Cotswolds

Ben builds another shed

Ben has built another shed!  This time from scratch!  His first is his workshop, but he had nowhere to store anything.  The second shed is for storage and also as a ‘show shed’ as he can build them from scratch in all sorts of sizes for other people.

You can follow him on Instagram here to see all his projects in our home and the furniture he makes:

Boating on Pittville Lake in Cheltenham

Having lived in Gloucestershire all my life, and Cheltenham for 26 of those years, I had never gone boating on Pittville Lake in Cheltneham until now!  So much fun!  The kids loved it and we obviously didn't make them row the whole way!

Just general life

This month has mostly been about settling the kids back into school.  They’re always tired when they go back to school and have a full on week again.  Though they did go to childcare in the holidays, it was for less hours than normal school and more relaxed – more play than learning.  It feels like a much calmer month with fewer days out and so on, but was probably needed after a busy summer.  Even without proper day out plans we are always so busy with the gym, family life, visiting friends and family (and a new baby this month – our friend’s new baby, Ella), random appointments, homework and so on.  It never stops!  Work has also been so busy and I never have enough time.