Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Edinburgh & Loch Lomond Loving!


 So after Ella's blessing weekend Mara stayed an extra day and my mom stayed for 2 days which was super fun, because it would have been sad going from all the visitors to suddenly having none again!! So on the Monday morning we headed to Edinburgh because it's my fave place! and because Mara had never been before!!

I had been wanting to check out this place called Mimi's Bakehouse in Leith for aaaages! I had heard about their amazing baked goods, but I didn't know they did tasty lunch food too!

 Everything on their menu looked so good but to fill that little Vancouver shaped void in my heart, I had to order the french toast with bacon and maple syrup! It was amazing, and huge!

 All the decor inside is fun, even Ella was mesmerised by it all!

 I loved all the bunting...

 and the rolling pins and whisks hanging from the wall!

 Their treat cabinet on the day we were there was sadly not overflowing with the decadent layer cakes I have seen on their facebook page...

but when I heard that these treats were coconut flavoured I was sold! They were amazing, a layer of chocolate and biscuit on the bottom, then a layer of creamy coconut filling on top finished of with milk chocolate and bounty bits - yum!

We could have gone home right then and we would have all been happy!

 but we headed into town and did all the touristy things!

 A stop at the castle is a must!

 Although Ella must have inherited my opinions on castles and she found the whole thing pretty boring so just slept through!!! hehe

 The Princes St gardens were really starting to pop with colour! enough to actually keep Ella awake! She does love looking at trees and flowers when we are out on our walks, I think she will be a nature lover like her daddy!!

 The next day we woke up and there was a rare sighting of sun!! The weather was also semi warm! so we decided to head to Loch Lomond! Luckily By was working in the area that day so he was able to meet us for lunch.  We went to The Tullie Inn...

 which is really beautifully done inside,

and the food was amazing! pulled pork burger for me!

 and steak pie for By!

This was how Ella felt when I told her we were meeting Daddy for lunch!

She is a daddy's girl through and through!

 Taking advantage of the good weather, and feeling pretty full after lunch we decided the best way to see the Loch would be a Loch cruise! This was super fun!!

 The views were amazing!

 Love how green and lush the trees are, and that giant hotel in the middle of them all is a pretty impressive building!

We also passed this cute little island in the middle!

 and Ella got caught up on lots of Granny loving!

It was the perfect way to spend a semi sunny day!

This past weekend By's mom and her husband came to visit.  They're living in Tanzania at the moment so were just back in the UK for a few weeks.  Scotland really pulled out all the stops and we had one of the hottest days we've had so far (despite being overcast..I think it got up to 23 degrees!) so again there was no question about where we should head...and we returned to Loch Lomond!

 We drove the back road scenic route, and By took us to this little spot he'd discovered when he was at work one day! It's only about a 20 minute walk up to this hilltop, and you get rewarded with that amazing view!

 Milk on the go for Ella!
She'd decided she was bored of the sling and wanted to see the view! so she hopped a ride on Daddy's shoulders on the way down!

Cuteness overload - look how teeny tiny she is up there!


I think their smiles say it all! She loves her daddy and she loves the nice weather!

We headed back to The Tullie Inn in Balloch for a spot of lunch, and then onto Luss, which is somewhere we had never been before.  

 I think it's one of the only areas of Loch Lomond that has a 'beach'.  It is just small and not sandy, more stony but it was packed and seems a really popular place to go!!

There's nothing like an ice cream to cool you down on a hot muggy day, Kathy tried the tablet flavour as it's a must when visiting Scotland!

 The little village of Luss itself is very cute! with all these little well kept cottages, and their amazing gardens!

 Yes, Loch Lomond - you're going to make it hard to leave! We only have about 7 weeks left here...time is just flying by!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A 4 Month Old Update!

 This little bundle of happiness turned 4 months old today!

 She was still enjoying monkey's company...

 Until she pushed him over and acted like she didn't know what had happened!

 but that cheeky grin was fooling no-one!

 She pulls the funniest faces!

 and poses!

 We call this one her vogue pose!

and here she is showcasing her million dollar giggles!!

 She is finally in 3-6 months clothes, although still fitting a lot of her 0-3 stuff still and she has moved onto size 3 nappies and is taking all her naps and sleeps at night in the big cot so it's all been happening this month! She is growing at the speed of light, and I can't quite believe how fast it's all happening! She has just been doing so much and so many new things this month so be prepared for picture overload! I couldn't narrow it down!!

This month has been all about snuggling things! When she goes in her carseat she loves to snuggle 'Raff' her little giraffe attached to a little blankie.  It's so cute how she snuggles in with him...

and even one day when I lay her down on the bed whilst I folded the laundry, I gave her some of her cuddly toys to keep her company and I turned around to find her giving them a big squeeze...

and when she sits on the sofa, the snuggling continues with her monkey and her taggie!

She loves to watch baby Einstein and it holds her attention for so long!

Love this shot of her in her bumbo, the way she's got her arms down at the side makes it look like it's her little armchair or something!!

We turned a corner with tummy time this month! Previously she used to cry everytime we tried it with her, but we've been building it up slowly and found creating toys as a diversion worked well...

and we also read she should be having more naked time so we combined the two! Our little naked tummy timer!

Tummy time doesn't just have to be on the floor, here she is doing it on Byron's propped up legs and feeling pretty pleased with herself!

She is no longer content lying down and tries desperately to raise her head and legs up at every opportunity to try and see what's going on around her! For that reason, she still loves to sit in the bumbo and see more of the world! 

and sometimes when I need to get busy in the kitchen, she accompanies me as assistant baker from the floor in her bumbo!

She also sits in it and watches herself in the mirror while I do my make up in the mornings!

She is still the happiest smiliest baby on the block! and there are five sure ways to make her smile:
1) sing the song if you chance to meet a frown, it's a song the kids in our church sing, and if you make the accompanying frowny and smiley face she loves it!
2) sing the hokey cokey and before you sing the hokey cokey part say 'altogether now', I don't know why but she loves that bit the best!
2) make the sound whoosh, and even better then say 'whooshie whooshie woo' she loves it!
4) sing ring around the rosey, and do a really exaggerated sneeze on the 'A-tishoo' bit, it gets her every time!
5) make a kissing noise by saying 'mwaaah', this is really cute because she smiles and loves it when you just kiss the air, but if you plant a kiss on her check then she also beams away and it's almost like she's showing how happy us loving her makes her! or at least that's the way I like to look at it!

and here's her firsts for the month...

First laugh!! I was singing her a kids song from our church called Do as I'm Doing and making her jump up and down when I heard  that cute little first laugh! Daddy had to wait another week before he heard it when I sung 10 fat sausages to her, and then I managed to finally capture it on video one day this week singing her a silly song about socks whilst taking hers off!

First time taking a bottle since she was a teeny baby, we have tried relentlessly to make her drink some milk from a bottle at night and she was always having none of it.  Finally one day she took some from a bottle, and then after that day she only wanted the bottle all day every day! She's a baby who knows what she wants! She likes to be in charge of holding it too!

She has definitely become more vocal! Here she is showcasing her new little noises and chattering away on her playmat...

First time in her door bouncer! Her little teeny feet can't reach the floor yet but she still thinks it's pretty fun just to spin around and round, and have mommy and daddy push her back and forth like a swing! I can't wait to take her on real swings - she will love them!

First time swimming!

She was more excited about it than this picture suggests! The pool where we take her doesn't allow cameras 'anywhere in the facility' apparently so we had to take this pic in the changing room to be sly, and so the brightness of the flash was confusing her a bit!

She does love the water, and is going to be a water baby for sure! She wasn't 100% sure about when they dunked her at the end though!

The following week we got her a proper little swim vest so she looked the part! It's a sing and swim class we take her to and it just so happens the songs they do are all her faves: 5 speckled frogs, grand old duke of york, incy wincy spider, hokey cokey and if you're happy and you know it!!

She seemed to be getting a bit bored with bathtime so we were gifted a ton of new bath toys, and we've also been letting out the deep water near the end and letting her have a splash by herself in the shallow water which she just thinks is the greatest thing ever, how she loves to splash! Here she is eating some of her new letters for the bath!

We took her on her first serious hill walk! All 12,500 steps of it (according to my moves app)

She had a limited view from the sling, and she wasn't a fan of the wind on the top as we stopped to feed her!

This was our little family pic as we made it to the top! You can just see Ella's feet peeking out!!

Granny came to stay for the weekend as I flew solo for the first time with By away climbing Snowdon.

We took a trip down to the Preston Temple with some of the other women in our church, and as it was Ella's first ever visit to the Temple we had to document it!

In our church we believe that, through the Temple, families can be together it was a lovely sunny day to share with my family.

I hope one day Ella will grow up to love to see the Temple as much as we do!

and her final first was her first time wearing a sun hat! It hasn't ever been sunny enough up here for her to need one!! Hopefully that will change in the coming months!

It's just been the loveliest month, with every day bringing new little skills and cute things she is learning to do.  We're so blessed we get to watch her develop and grow into the wonderful little daughter she is, she brings us so much happiness and joy!

5 months we're ready for you...let's see what you bring!