Tuesday, 8 October 2019

September Favourites

Despite a few health hiccups, September was a fantastic month which means there's a lot to talk about in this month's favourites post! The year might have flown by so quickly but the best is still yet to come; later this month we're getting married, heading off on our Disney-moon next month and of course, December brings us Mini's second birthday and all the delightful festivities of Christmas! So let's have a look back on all the things I loved this September!



Chessington World of Adventures


Our trip to Chessington World of Adventures was easily the biggest highlight of the month! We made the most of Matt's staff benefits to have a great mini break on a budget and we had a lot of fun. Sure it was exhausting and I used up too many spoons and paid the price but ultimately it was worth it.

Due to my poor health last month, I'm running a bit behind schedule with my blog posts at the moment but I promise my Chessington posts will be with you very very soon - keep an eye out for them!




Sandford Caravan Park


At the start of September, my dad and step-mum came down south to visit us for a weekend and stayed at one of the many nearby caravan parks. I wasn't sure if we would decide to stay too as I quite like my creature comforts and being able to retreat when things get a bit much for me - especially since being social sucks every last ounce of energy out of me nowadays. But we decided to just go with it and see what Sandford Caravan Park had to offer. And honestly? We all loved it so much.



Painting


With our wedding approaching fast, I've been getting down to some DIY projects and many of them have been quite arty. So first of all, this month I had to get stuck into learning how to draw and then I needed to learn how to do watercolour painting. It's very therapeutic but sometimes I just don't have the energy for it as it requires a lot of concentration and arm movements.



Holiday Planning


Another thing we loved was the ability to really get stuck into holiday planning. We were obviously planning out our Chessington trip as the month started, then booked a spring-time caravan holiday since we enjoyed our time at Sandford so much and of course, Disneyland Paris is on the horizon now too.



Aaaarrgghh Spider by Lydia Monks


Okay so we've been reading Aaaarrgghh Spider now for several months but I've chosen to include it here because this month Mini started joining in, saying "aaaah spadah". He now has his own pet spider that he adores - a massive garden spider that lives outside our living room window.

Mini smiling at his spider on the window!



Mini's Development


Speaking of Mini, September has really been his month to shine. There have been so many proud mama moments this month that I'm just going to do a little list.


Holding Our Hands In Public

After hearing another mum describe our use of toddler reins as being "like putting a hamster on a leash", we decided to give Mini a teeny bit more freedom and we were so proud of him for holding our hands nicely and walking around without running off.

P.S. Not your monkey, not your circus so keep your nose out of our parenting choices Karen.


Recognising A-Z and 1-10

This was really a wow moment for us because Matt discovered that if he showed Mini a letter or number, both in and out of sequence, he could recognise which letter or number it was and say it out loud. Apparently it's a skill that's usually mastered by most children around age 3 so it's really impressive.


3 Word Sentences

He's completely skipped the two word sentence stage and jumped into saying "I said yes" and "I did it".


Colours

He'll point to something and say what colour it is if he knows it which at the moment is only red, green, pink and purple but still, impressive!


Learning New Words

It's mad to think that a few months back we were starting to worry about his speech development because he learns words so fast that we can barely keep up with what he knows and doesn't know. My personal favourite that he learnt this month is "dinosaur".


Acting Out Scenes From TV/Movies

Perhaps the most entertaining of all is the way that he recites and/or acts out scenes from his favourite movies or TV shows. He seems to know when the moments he wants to copy are coming as well and gets himself into position ready.




One thing I don't think I've mentioned on here before is that I am a highly sensitive person. I always have been and I guess I always will be. So this blog post is actually a few years old but I only just read it and felt that it deserved to be included here because September was one of those months where the highly sensitive part of my personality really took centre stage.

Last month I witnessed:
  • horrendous fat-shaming
  • homophobic content
  • transphobic content
  • videos of mindless violence that were honestly too graphic to repeat here but that are burned into my brain forever
  • websites that discuss whether disabled people are really ill
  • a website full of bullying and defamatory comments about bloggers, vloggers, celebrities and other influencers purely because it's "what you get when you do what you do" which is BS, by the way
As you can see it was a pretty toxic month. But honestly the hardest part of being a HSP isn't the emotional burden, it's that other personality types just don't get it. Even Matt, bless him, doesn't get it. He's always saying stuff like "just don't think about it" which is not how the brain of a HSP works. To demonstrate to him just how complex it is, I unloaded twenty years worth of mental scars - from movies to newspaper articles, to comments I've seen on social media. It's quite relentless not being able to let negative stuff go so I guess you could say it was the perfect time to read about the ways that a highly sensitive person can provide some self-care for themselves.




Ugh, to be honest I didn't even realise this was a taboo topic - I've been talking to my friend Nat about this for almost two years now! Parenting is a blessing, of course, but it's a lot of work. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! You don't get to call in sick, you don't get to have breaks when you need them, you have to push yourself beyond your physical capabilities every single day and naturally that results in burnout. 

Throw chronic fatigue into that mix and it's a constant cycle of burnout that you can't escape from. There simply isn't the opportunity to get the rest you need to reset. Oh well... it is what it is!



Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Yes, I finally read it! I spoke a little bit about wanting to read the Cursed Child in my Autumn TBR and I am so glad I did. What a wonderful story! I really enjoy stories that champion friendship and love and who doesn't love a good "time-travelling has consequences" theme!

Although if I'm completely honest, I'm relieved that I got to read it instead of seeing it performed at a theatre because I think some of the darker, more immersive moments would have been too much for me. Dementors are scary enough on the page or screen so those scenes in particular would have been more than mildly uncomfortable. And that one scene towards the end where they have to watch a pivotal moment unfold without disturbing it was absolutely heartbreaking.





Leave Your Mark podcast


A few months back I read the career guide Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht and have done nothing but gush about how fantastic it is ever since. Now there's a podcast and even though I've only had the chance to listen to one episode so far, I think it's great! There are some great topics being discussed so it's definitely worth checking it out.



The Middle and One Tree Hill on Prime


Amazon Prime Video has really upped its game lately and part of that was answering my prayers and delivering not one but two of my all time favourite shows so that I can binge-watch them! Yay!

I'm most excited about One Tree Hill because I can't wait to get stuck back into all the drama and see those wonderful performances and cameos from the likes of Jack's Mannequin, Gavin DeGraw, Fall Out Boy and of course, Tyler Hilton all over again.

Fun fact: I've actually seen all four of those acts live and so, as a little bonus, I've included a video I took of Gavin DeGraw performing I Don't Wanna Be live in London back in 2015. Enjoy!




Taking Part in Gabby's Tag!


You know I love a good tag post so when Gabby from GABBYABIGAILL tagged me in her '25 Things That Make Me Smile' post, I knew I was going to have a blast taking part. Looking at the things that make me happy, made me really happy - who'd have thought it? So if you haven't checked out my list yet, please give it a read and maybe even take a few minutes just to think about what makes you smile. It'll give you a lovely little boost, I promise!



Strawberry Meringue


A monthly favourites post just isn't complete without something edible and today I give you, the giant strawberry meringue!

This was so big, it was eaten in three sittings. Three! These meringues are out of this world and can be found at the Cornish Bakehouse in Poole. It's right next to the level crossing, the smell of the pasties will lure you in but honestly, it's the giant meringues you want.




The Circle


Last but definitely not least is the return of our favourite reality show, The Circle! If I'm honest, it doesn't feel as great as last year's but we both absolutely love Tim. But then again, who doesn't? He's a national treasure!


That's all I've got for September but please do check out my previous monthly favourite posts if you enjoyed this one. You can find them by clicking the links below!


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* Featured Image by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash
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