We all woke up around 8:30 and when I looked at the time I think I thought there must have been something wrong with it because waking up this late barely ever happens! 

As soon as we came downstairs we all became full of excitement after discovering that our Oak eggar moth had come out of his cocoon!  We had hoped for a female because we wanted her to lay eggs for us and they are slightly bigger with bigger and fluffier antennas but we were super happy anyways. He was beautiful.  The two of you took turns holding him and loved it. Nixie, you, named him Thorn. 

We quickly made smoothies for breakfast and then jumped in the car and made our way to Exbury Gardens.  We had been wanting to take you, Forrest, back to the steam train since we discovered your love for them while we were in the Isle of wight.

We had a bit of time to kill so we played in the playground. Nixie, you were immediately drawn to the climbing frame and you are becoming so confident and Forrest, well you loved the slide but the swing was your favourite. I even got to join you on it and it was amazing,  I felt like a little kid!  Just feeling you snuggled into me as we went back and forth was the best sensation, It was like you were my personal weighted blanket.

When it was time to board the steam train you and Nixie sat next to each other. You really enjoyed it and your eyes were big with the most beautiful wonder but you were very serious for most of the time taking it all in but there were moments where you would all of a sudden shout out, “Choo-choo!” and then do a little seated happy dance!  

Afterwards we headed straight for the furthest end of the park and stopped along the way to climb so many trees. Forrest, you were a bit tired and wanted to be carried at times but we managed to bribe you with candy (I’m not super proud of this tactic but it worked every time and gave you a new energetic lease on life!). Along the way you kept picking me flowers and Nixie, everytime you climbed up a tree you would call me to take a photo. There’s a big pond with lots of big fish in it and both of you loved laying on your bellies watching them swim by, they made really amazing shapes along the surface of the water which we were all pretty amazed by.  And Forrest at one spot there was a stone path you needed to get across with water on either side and there was a bit of a gap between one of the stones and at first you were very scared but after crossing it very cautiously a couple of times you moved up to jumping over them! I love how you are able to face your fears.

We made it to the Beaulieu river and we all enjoyed the view and some more climbing. Nixie, you preferred the trees but Forrest you were content with climbing up and down the bench.  Eventually it was time for us to head back.  You, Nixie and daddy went  ahead because it took a little while to convince you, Forrest, to get off of the bench. When you were ready I was a bit ahead of you when all of a sudden I heard a muffled cry and I looked back and couldn’t see you at all, my heart started racing and retraced my steps and saw that you had somehow fallen off the path into a Gorse bush!! You must have been looking out at the view or something and stopped looking at where you were going but luckily you were OK and I only had to pluck out some thorns from your hoodie. 

When we caught up with daddy and Nixie, she was sitting with her feet over this little bridge feeling a bit sad saying she wanted you & daddy to be ahead so that me and her could be alone but instead you went and sat next to her.  Nixie, you and I are really overdue for some alone time and we will make it happen properly soon, I promise. 

We ended up carrying you both on our shoulders for the walk back. Nixie, you were on daddy's and Forrest, you were on mine. It started to drizzle a bit and Forrest, you had picked this giant leaf and used it as an umbrella, it was so very sweet! We made it to the car and on the road just before the crazy heavy rain started! And Forrest, just as I had expected you were asleep within minutes. 

Nixie, you  wanted me to carry you in so I did & then I carried Forrest into bed.  Me and you then decided to dissect Thorns cocoon because I wanted you to see that they have a pupa inside it.  You thought it was pretty amazing. Then you, me & daddy played Operation which is one of your favourite games but ended up having an upset because you didn't get the bread basket and ran into the kitchen. But then after a little time to calm down you  came back and all was fine again. You even ended up winning! Then it was time to start making dinner. We wanted  sushi and onigiri so we needed to make sushi rice. I was going to sneak away and get some stuff done on the computer but then Forrest, you,  woke up but you didn’t want to. I managed to get you downstairs for boob and then eventually you woke up properly. I heard the bath water running so I went upstairs to see and it was you, Nixie practising holding your breath under water with your goggles on and everything. Just since yesterday we have started leaving the baby gates open to allow you, Forrest, to come up and down as you please. I can’t wait to get rid of them but also it makes me feel slightly anxious, I worry you’re going to fall even though you never have! Forrest, you, ended up jumping in the bath too just as Nixie jumped out.  

Once the rice was ready we all went and began making our sushi and onigiri. Forrest, you were not making it easy!  You just  wanted to eat all the food and the rice and kept running away with the breaded sweet potato or trying to grab the bowl of water almost spilling it everywhere but at the same time you really wanted to help and be involved.  The two of you ended up going into the garden midway through making the sushi and me & daddy were actually super grateful for that just so that we could finish it all so that we could eat! When it was all ready to eat I gorged myself. It was so good,  the roll that you, Nixie, did was the best. You are getting pretty good at making sushi now. 

After dinner you, Nixie, noticed that Thorn was finally trying to fly. You really didn't want to let him go, you told me you really loved him but I had said that since he was  trying to fly I thought it was time for us to release him especially since he only lives for about 4 days and I was so proud of you for immediately agreeing to that knowing it was the right thing to do.  We decided to head to our beach and release him where we found him.  You took such care of him and carried him so carefully. When we got to the spot I got him out and put him in your hand but then Forrest, you, wanted to hold him too so you did for a second before Thorn went back to Nixie. He started really fluttering his wings and we knew he was getting ready to fly.  A woman walked past and said, “wow a butterfly! I can't believe how still it is in your hand!” and you, Nixie, immediately replied, “it's not a butterfly, it's a moth.” The woman was amazed.  You  continued to tell her it was a male moth and  that the females are darker and have thicker antennae. I was so proud of you at that moment for sharing all these facts. It seemed to stay in your hand forever (about 3 minutes) before it finally was ready to fly off and I was surprised how emotional it was when he did fly away! We all cheered for him!   It was such a gorgeous moment and I could tell that you felt a little sad but you just ran up to daddy and gave him the biggest hug.  

Then we went to our little beach and it was so beautiful.  Forrest, you were busy collecting shells and filling them with sand and as to be expected it wasn't long before you, Nixie got in the water. First you just took your trousers off and went in as far as your knicknocks but then you got naked and had a proper swim. I love how free you are,  it's such a beautiful thing. The sunset was beautiful tonight and lit up the sky with incredible oranges. I said it was giving me goosebumps and then you said I'm getting them too!  You were in absolute awe and  even you, Forrest said “wow!” too. On our way back it started to rain and I was carrying you, Forrest, under my hoodie to keep you dry. You were all snuggled up and I could feel your warm breath on my neck.  It was the sweetest. 

As soon as we got home we brushed our teeth and went to bed. You, Forrest, were so tired that you fell asleep without a story! After daddy read to you, Nixie, you came in and snuggled up with me and fell asleep with my arms wrapped around you. 

Such a beautiful end to a beautiful day.