Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

SWOS 2018 Weekly Roundup - Five - Fairytales and Forests

Another week gone and only one week left to go. Didn't the weather take a turn this week? This weekend has felt practically autumnal with long trousers and jumpers back out! I even wore boots today!  Nearly all of the back to school shopping is complete (all bar a pair of PE trainers for Xander and some forest school wellies for Zac). Shoe shopping was surprisingly painless yesterday considering how awful the shoe shop experience had been at the start of the month, and even better Zac's feet hadn't grown so his current school shoes will do until half term now I hope! Now all Mum has to do is shorten trousers a little, take in PE shorts and joggers for my skinny boys and make PE bags! 

Fairytales and Forests Week 


We kicked off Fairytales and Forests Week by taking a trip up to Bedwellty House in Tredegar for a fairytale story trail around the grounds with Louby Lou Storytelling. I had found this event completely by chance on Friday (while investigating Louby Lou for Zac's birthday entertainment) and was really lucky there were spaces left as they had just opened up a second group because of the level of interest.  We really enjoyed ourselves, Zac and Luc especially. 

Zac was straight in there enjoying all the storytelling, role playing and games and especially enjoyed meeting Granny in the cottage.  Luc couldn't believe his luck that I was allowing him to run free with the rest of the big children crowd! Haha!  Xander, well, he got stuck in for parts and he did enjoy himself but I'm becoming more and more aware that he is feeling too old for these sorts of make-believe games. I think he felt much bigger than most of the other children there and I got the sense he felt a bit self-conscious. Sigh, my boy. I'm not ready to give him over to 'older boy' yet at all!  After the trail ended we explored the park a bit and they all had a go at climbing trees. 

We visited Grandma (the boys Great) for her 89th birthday on the way home which I think she really enjoyed, playing games with the boys and laughing at all their hustle and bustle chasing eachother around her armchair. 


We had a house day and the morning was exceptionally hard work. A month long battle of their resistance to help with the toy tidying up came to a head and I thought my head was going to explode. Anyway, we turned it around in the afternoon with some baking of fairy cakes and icing them in some vivid bright colours.   Luc had a nap for the baking so he was our chief taster when he woke up! 


Big boy Wednesday led us to the forest. We dropped Luc to nursery and then went up to the Secret Forest in Forest of Dean. It is a quirky little place not far from the much larger Puzzlewood and opposite Clearwell Caves. The boys enjoyed fairy spotting through the walk and we counted 55 little fairies around the forest. Then they played in the small park and made friends with another little boy who we spent the rest of our time with while I enjoyed a cup of tea with his grandmother!   

It was a lovely visit, reasonably priced at £8 entry for the three of us, and with the play in the park we were there around 2.5 hours.  Probably not somewhere we will go again as it is quite far for only half a day visit from us, and mostly because there wasn't proper toilets there - going on a compost toilet was quite a unsettling experience I tell you! (Which wasn't obvious on the website prior to visiting!) If you've never seen a compost toilet as I hadn't - it is a box with a toilet seat on, filled with sawdust, you wee and then pour a scoop of sawdust on top! (The boys refused to go into them at all let alone sit on them because they were stinky, and they were stinky, and Zac was especially disturbed by the whole idea because he wouldn't wee the entire day anywhere even when we found proper toilets!) 

We ate our dinner in the car and then went from there to Tredegar House and grounds to fill the afternoon. We all really enjoyed ourselves. We walked around the lake and wooded area and made the Gruffalo story as we went. The boys immersed themselves and really enjoyed finding the nuts for the mouse, discovering an underground house for the fox, treetop houses for the owl, logpile houses for the snake as well as feathers, streams, rocks and even a pile of woodchip that Xander decided was the Gruffalo's fur. (Also can I point out the fab photo of Xander and I taken by Zac?!) 

Then the loved more tree climbing, running through big fields and finding a tree that had a hollow trunk that they could walk right into and look up to see the sky. It was a lovely afternoon and the start of 'The Gruffalo' becoming a theme for the rest of the week, fully led by the boys who before we had even left the park asked me to make them a Gruffalo tuff spot at home! 


A morning at the park for Zac to have a play with one of his favourite nursery buddies and then little more shopping and then an afternoon of me creating a Gruffalo tuff spot as requested. Our Gruffalo teddies joined in the fun and I threw in some playdough for the boys to make the other characters. 

The boys really loved this again and both boys were loudly reciting the story along side me and without me and made some fabulous representations of the characters with the playdough. I really enjoyed watching them play until the rain arrived and sent us retreating back indoors. 


We went up to Mountain View Ranch with school friends today. We've really enjoyed spending lots of time with this Mummy and boys this holiday and today was no different. Each of the boys were given a turn to choose something on the ranch to explore off the map and we did the Gruffalo trail, explored Hobbit Hill, jumped in muddy puddles, found a unicorn in the woods, enjoyed the treehouses, robe swings and wishing well in fairy forest, explored the Lost Boys hideout, ran around for ages in the willow maze, roasted marshmallows on the campfire, had a go at some archery and eventually managed a turn on the new jumping pillow after some pretty heavy showers. The boys got absolutely soaked, muddy and covered in sand but all had a wonderful time!  

Friday family film night was Shrek this week, although I fell asleep on the sofa and Jon sent me up to bed before 8 so I didn't watch all of the film. In bed before Xander and Zac! Haha! 


I had originally planned another trip to the Forest of Dean today but I decided that actually I was still feeling pretty tired and we utilised the time instead to get school shoe ready and then go for a walk more locally after dinner. 

We walked through the wooded path running alongside the river from the boating lake up to Croesy park. The boys took their bikes and Xander had his first go at no stabilisers. Which I must admit didn't go terribly well and in the end he wasn't at all in the mood for trying. We tried him having a go on grass and throwing him in at the deep end and then took it as far back as taking the pedals off to make it a balance bike but apparently with the seat lowered and pedals off his bottom hurt. So we gave it up and had a long chat about being a self-believing Sam and persevering Poppy (as per their growth mindset super hero characters from school!) 

He and Zac did however very much enjoy bumping into their friends (the same friends as our Mountain Ranch visit) and having a play in the park with them. 


Today hasn't had much of a fairytale or forest focus apart from watching Robin Hood with the boys this afternoon.  Instead we've been to church this morning and the boys enjoyed a family fun day there and then an afternoon with family and cousin visits. 

Then this evening I took Xander out again to practice learning to balance on his bike without stabilisers. We had tried after dinner to more complaints of the seat now being too high, so when we got home we again lowered the seat and I asked if he wanted to try one more time before we put the stabilisers back on and forgot about it for a while. He said he did, so we went out for a special Mummy and Xander trip and he was excellent; a new found can-do attitude and did extraodinarily better than he had yesterday. He was picking up speed, trying giant steps, holding his feet in the air and balancing, even beginning to turn the bike a little while balancing. Then he came home and showed Daddy what he had learnt to do outside of our house - which even included balancing down our downward gradient! I'm super impressed with him and we fully intend to practice every day with him until he has mastered this very grown up milestone of riding with no stabilisers! 

So it is the last week. Sob. I better get myself back into some sort of teacher mode this week and really make the sure the boys are ready for going back to school. 

But we still have one week, and we're going to make it a good one. Starting tomorrow with a whole family day out complete with grandparents, auntie and uncles and cousins.  

Spooky Week. 


My Photo
After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
View my complete profile

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Blog archive


Mumsnet Badge

Written by C.E Morgan. Powered by Blogger.