I cannot believe it is already Sept, these past few months have felt a bit like a dream. We have come to an end of an era,  your dad started a new job yesterday after 4 months of being at home with us. Well he's still at home but tucked away in the office so it feels like he isn't around. It's quite a big adjustment and we're still finding our new rhythm. 

I Woke up around 7:00 feeling a bit grumpy due to lack of sleep but as soon as I opened my eyes all I could see was a super happy smiley and smoochy Forrest and a very happy and rambunctious Nixie that my mood faded and instead I was able to feel grateful for all these sweet little moments. 

I really wish I would have had my camera when we all woke up to capture Forrest's smoochiness and I also wished I took photos of you this morning when you wanted to read one of your favorite books Elmer,  we have a special spot on the couch where we get al snuggled up and we always have to be under a blanket and you always lean your head on me in the most beautiful way. They are some of my favourite moments in the day. You are so into books all of a sudden and I love it. But I was too busy for photos this morning because I was rushing around trying to get us all ready to head out for an adventure, we had a home ed "exploring nature with children" meet up in the forest in the early afternoon and since I still can't drive us and daddy couldn't drop us off I became in the mood for an adventure and wanted to cycle there and to make a day of it.  Once I managed to squeeze all of our things including all the craft materials for the meet-up into my bag and our picnic into your (Nixie) bag we had some time leftover before we needed to head to the train to read a bit in our tree book about seeds since this first week of exploring with children is all about seeds. We dipped in and out of this curriculum last year when it suited and flowed with us but having a group to do it with is just so much fun. 

We left the house around 9:25, but we didn't get a chance to say bye to daddy because he was on a call. As we got halfway there I realised that we had forgotten our facemasks! So we made a super speedy stop at boots where I managed to call for someone who worked there to grab some masks for me and then you Nixie went in and paid for them. If I would have had to get off my bike and get Forrest out we would have missed our train!  I had been a little bit anxious taking you on your bike through town to the station but you did amazingly, even though you were too afraid to cycle down the hill you managed to walk fairly quickly with your bike. We arrived just as the train to the ferry was pulling up,i always prefer to get on here rather than wait for it to come back. I didn't know which carriage to be on but the train man pointed to the one 'over there' and said there were already Two bikes in there but that I could try. Anyways by some miracle I got us onto the carriage and it involved getting you (Forrest) out of your seat and putting you down on the platform next to Nixie (thankfully you are not a runner) then quickly putting my bike on the train,  then your (Nixie) bike then you then me and Forrest,  it was really quite hard and stressful! I was holding the train up and I had hoped someone would have helped me but there was no one and probably because of covid the train guy didn't offer to.  Annoyingly I got us on the wrong part of the carriage which the train guy would have seen but anyways my bike didn't really fit there without blocking the path so once we arrived at the ferry stop I rushed to get my bike to the place where there's space for bikes and luckily you and Forrest just sat ever so nicely on the seats.  Your bike Nixie I could just carry over the seats.  Once the bikes were all sorted we moved seats and could finally relax! And I took many deep breaths!

This was our first time on the train for more than 6 months! Forrest, you just sat so still in your seat,  super unsure of it all,  and a bit scared,  you wouldn't move an inch, you kind of looked frozen in place but Nixie made you relax and you were even giggling at times.  

When we arrived in brockenhurst I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get us all off but I managed without anyone getting hurt!  Nixie you got off first,  then I handed you your bike and then I managed to get my bike while holding Forrest off without falling..it felt like an incredible achievement!  It was the first time I'd ever gone to the forest on my own with the two of you and the first time ever taking the bikes on the train and only the 2nd time we've ever gone on a bike ride just the three of us (the first time was yesterday when we cycled to keyhaven and did a circle to our little beach and the third time having you Forrest in the bike seat, the first time I tried I actually fell with you into a bramble bush (luckily you were unphased by it)! 

But we weren't in the clear yet,  we still needed to get ourselves into the lift and out of the station and this was when everything went all wrong. The first lift is so ridiculously tiny and we could barely squeeze us in...and in doing so I managed to bump your (Forrest) face which caused you to really cry in pain and then you (Nixie) started to panic that your bike wouldn't fit and started flailing around just shoving your bike in a distraught way which made ever a lot harder but somehow we managed to get the door to shut and up we went but getting out somehow turned into a really traumatic experience too,  you were still super stressed and panicked again trying to get your bike out and in doing so you hurt your finger and started to cry and Forrest you hadn't stopped crying so when we did all get out of the elevator we all just sat on the ground and hugged it out until you guys calmed down and felt OK again. It took about 5 min. It was really awful,  I felt so bad for the both of you.  But we still had another elevator to go but at least this one was much bigger and it wasn't hard to fit us all in but it still caused you (Nixie) to panic when it was time to get out,  I've never seen you so scared in that way before and I wish there was something I could have done to have made it a better experience for you, I was surprised by how much it upset you and I just wanted to make it all better. But once we were all out and ready to ride our bikes again everything was good again. I had been a bit worried about getting us from the station to the bike path (we stayed on the sidewalk because you're not ready to be on the road) and we avoided the high street which made it a lot better and you did absolutely amazingly! 

When we did reach our path cutting across Black Knowl I felt a huge sigh of relief and from here on out it was mostly smooth sailing.  I absolutely love cycling through the forest and felt so happy that we managed to make it. It wasn't long before Forrest you fell asleep, this was the first time you've ever had a nap in the bike seat and I'm so grateful that I'm able to recline it so you can be more comfortable. 

It's really amazing because no matter how many times I visit this part of the forest I am always full of awe at her beauty and a sense of carefreeness returns to me and I feel so happy and content.  Nixie you were really enjoying yourself too and I love the affect the forest has on you, it's like you become the best version of yourself. As we were trying to navigate around some muddy areas we came across a chicken of the forest which someone had smashed to pieces and it made you and I so sad!  After a bit more cycling we reached the area of Heather where I wanted to have our picnic but in order to get there I needed to lift our bikes over a little fence and in doing so I managed to snap my rear brakes!  I was so annoyed but at least it was something fixable and I straight away sent a message to Kevin and he ordered me some new ones. 

What a perfect day for a picnic, the sun was shining down on us,  and we were surrounded by beautiful hues of purple, we found the most perfect spot to lay out our blanket next to some big beautiful trees. Forrest you had woken up just before we arrived and couldn't have been happier to get out of the bike seat and move your legs. As soon as I said OK its time for our picnic you like clockwork immediately set down and await your food,  I think it's so sweet. After we ate we still had a little time before we needed to get to the arboretum so we read a book,  the little seed,  and you were both so into it!  Reading books outside of always better than reading inside!  Afterwards we all went looking for seeds and found some really nice pinecones and Nixie you kept trying to climb the trees while Forrest you kept wanting to kiss them and then you wanted to kiss me and Nixie over and over again.. I just love your smoochiness.  You are so delicious!  It's the way you give kisses that so sweet,  you pucker your lips as much as you possibly can and lift your chin and look straight into our eyes and sometimes run to us at the same time with so much enthusiasm. 

When it was time to go I put you back in the bike seat and crossed my fingers that we would be OK cycling with only one break.  Luckily we were and made it to the arboretum without and issues.  I locked up our bikes and while I was doing that you and Nixie were playing the "ouch" game with a bit of Holly and you seem to think it's the funniest thing ever. We just explored a bit and collected seeds while waiting for the other families to arrive. Forrest you are so incredibly easy going, you happily hold my hand when we need to go somewhere and you stay close to me rather than just run off like your sister did when she was your age or like she does now! Also since you don’t have daddy here to put your treasures in his pockets youve started to put them into the pockets of Nixies backpack, Nixie seems to think this is so adorable!

This was our first ever home ed meet-up and what an amazing experience we had,  there were moments when I just looked around and felt such incredible happiness at seeing all these families come together in the forest and doing arts and crafts, sharing and laughing with each other. I also I got to hang out with some of my favourite mama's too which was an added bonus.  Nixie you were right at home and had so much fun running around and meeting the other kids,  Forrest you are the complete opposite of your sister and so much more contained and mellow,  you are very relaxed and were so chilled,  it was your very first experience of a fairly big group and you weren't even overwhelmed,  you took it all in your stride.  We all made birdfeeders out of pinecones and almond butter and you were really into it until you realised you could just eat it which is what you did for most of the time,  you planted yourself down right in front of the almond butter tub and just kept eating it with your spoon!  It was so cute!  Nixie you also took a special liking to the younger children and there was this one little girl you just adored and who also Forrest you loved to cuddle towards the end.  We also made some cards and Nixie you wanted to give yours away to one of my friends.  Later during story time which you really loved,  you started to give out crackers to everyone, it was so sweet but the thing was they weren't your crackers to give!  But luckily no-one seemed to mind! 

When it was time to leave we had a bit of an issue getting out of the arboretum.  I was pushing my bike with you forrest already in it and Nixie my beautiful friend was helping you out while also holding her little one and helping me with the gate but there were also several horses who decided they wanted to get in too. We didn't know what to do and there wasn't much we could do since we had to make sure our little ones were safe first so all the horses barged their way through before me and Forrest could get out. 

 Before we could head back home though I needed to get you Nixie an ice cream since I had promised I'd get you one if the van was still there. It had started to rain a little so we took cover under the trees while you and Forrest shared it.  When we did start our cycle back it had really started to pour down! We were getting absolutely soaked but somehow Forrest you had managed to fall asleep in the downpour!  I felt so bad for the both of you since I hasn't packed any water proofs. It wasn't supposed to have rained! 

Daddy finished work at 17:00 and I managed to send him a message in the rain without ruining my phone to have him come get us at the station, I didn't want to put you guys through another traumatic train station experience in top of being soaked if I didn't have to!  Since our bikes don't fit in the car I locked mine up and once daddy dropped us off at home he went back for mine but he needed to take out both your car seats first. 

You two had become pretty giddy and we're pretending to fly like birds with your feathers while I made us our dinner. Oh and I had the most incredible surprise waiting for me when I got home, a new book called a kitchen apothecary and it is gorgeous from a very good friend and I managed to have a little look with you both but can't wait to look at it some more on my own! Oh and Forrest you tasted sriracha sauce and were not a fan at all and became quite upset and needed water, I felt bad for you but you only had such a teeny tiny amount only because you wanted it so badly and I wanted to stop you from screaming.

After bath we decided to have a special movie night of watching the second Harry Potter movie since you Nixie and daddy had just finished the second book last night. I absolutely love seeing your reaction to these movies there are parts of it where you are belly laughing so loudly,  it's amazing!  Although you do say you like the books more because in the movie they leave a lot out. Forrest had fallen asleep in my arms so I brought him up to bed and came back down to snuggle you on the couch. Just as we were getting to the end of the movie I could hear a really loud and strange meowing sound,  I said to your dad oh I bet it's Mariam having caught something and he said on no I think it's just muaddib wanting to get in.. Well I was right a few seconds later Mariam brought in a mouse and dropped it right on the rug in front of us.. Daddy immediately went to sort it out thinking it was dead but then we realised it was alive!  Luckily daddy managed to get it out of the house straight away before it had a chance to get under the couch. Once the movie finished I put you to bed and we had such a sweet snuggle until you eventually fell asleep.