Spring has sprung

Spring seems to have sprung… finally! And we’ve had a lovely few days. I think this is my favourite time of the year. As I remarked to a friend this week, “it is not until spring arrives that I realise how truly miserable I have been all winter”.

We have enjoyed several excursions. On Saturday we revisited Oakington Garden Centre with Daddy. Yesterday we enjoyed a walk around Milton Country Park in the sunshine (for a change!) and today we have crossed the border into Suffolk to visit a friend in the little village of Exning.

I love the fact that now I can occupy the both of us for an entire morning or afternoon by pottering to the park or walking through the woods. In the dark depths of winter I have felt obliged to attend countless baby groups, attempting to keep myself entertained whilst cooped up in a dingy hall. And leaving the house has been a breeze: no coats or brollies required. This morning I was able to meet a friend at the park with just a few minutes notice. We popped some light clothes on and I strapped Little Piglet securely to my back in the Ergo.

However the light sunny evenings are playing havoc with Little Piglet’s bedtime routine. And the blackout blind that we purchased in anticipation of this event is too small. But at least he is allowing me to get a lie in every morning (although it means that leaving the house before midday is near impossible at present!).

Below: “Sometimes I fall asleep in the swing”



Pots of fun

Today we visited Oakington Garden Centre, a small family run establishment north of Cambridge, where we enjoyed playing in their pots and their farmyard as well as a warm drink in the The (delightful) Olive Tree Cafe.

Below: “Mummy thought it would be funny to put me in a pot, and even funnier to put me in the farmyard”



Wimpole wanderings

Today we visited Wimpole, a National Trust estate comprising a Georgian mansion and beautiful grounds with a home farm. It was a glorious sunny day (albeit a bit on the chilly side for spring) and we spent the first part of the afternoon pottering around the grounds. We were with a friend who is almost 39 weeks pregnant so she waddled with us. In retrospect I wish I had taken Little Piglet in his carrier (we have an Ergo, and he sits comfortably on my back) but because he was sleeping in his carseat when we arrived I had simply transferred his carseat to the buggy base. It did make for some hairy moments, such as when the buggy wheels toppled into a cattle grid. And eventually our progress across the fields was halted by a stile. Had my friend not been quite so pregnant we might have made it over the stile, and it would have been no obstacle for the Ergo. We passed some rare-breed cattle en route and enjoyed some stunning views of gently rolling hills. Little Piglet was not overly impressed with the scenery and indulged in some breadsticks which proved (once again) a useful distraction. He is not a fan of spending time in the buggy and would have been happier sitting on my back.

Following our gentle stroll we sought out the restaurant for a drink. Some hardy visitors were braving the outdoor seating area and rewarded with a lovely view across the garden. We all resisted the tempting cakes (me because I am on my post-pregnancy diet, my heavily pregnant friend because she feels fat enough already and Little Piglet, to be fair, was not given the option) and enjoyed a refreshing drink. Little Piglet was not very impressed with the seating arrangement. Now that he is mobile (crawling and cruising), sitting still is no fun at all. And the floor was far too dirty for little hands. So he wriggled on my knee whilst I attempted to occupy him with my mobile phone and a bottle of water. My little milk monster was also craving his milk fix but refusing to feed in the noisy restaurant so I eventually fed him sitting on the toilet. I felt very guilty as he slurped away, listening outside to women discussing whether our cubicle was in fact occupied or out of order.

The journey home proved a bit too long for Little Piglet. He had been cramped in his carseat for most of the afternoon, with the exception of a brief outing in the restaurant during which he was not even allowed to stretch his legs. However I enjoyed the drive through the Cambridgeshire countryside and I anticipate that we will spend many happy afternoons exploring Wimpole in the future.



Mums who munch

Today Little Piglet and I met Aunty Suzy for lunch at a lovely independent cafe situated on Trinity Street in central Cambridge. Michaelhouse Cafe is a perfect place for mums and little babies to lunch.

Michaelhouse café is set within the 14th century church of St Michael’s, a Parish and Collegiate Church in the heart of Cambridge. Their menu is sourced from local producers and today we enjoyed sweet potato, chilli and coconut soup.

Little Piglet enjoyed the soup too. And whilst Aunty Suzy and I dug into a chocolate brownie for dessert, Little Piglet was distracted (and content) with a handful of juicy sultanas. Like most little ones, he has a sweet tooth and I have discovered this week that sultanas are a big hit. They are big enough to pick up with his finger and thumb (thereby practising his pincer grip) but small enough to swallow whole (after chewing I hope!) so minimal effort is required (Little Piglet is not very patient, so this is important!).

Below: Tucking into some scrummy sultanas