The weather recently has been a bit pants hasn't it? It's been wet, it's been freezing cold and it's been foggy. It hasn't exactly been calling out to me to get out exploring and with a month of chicken pox in the house, along with the various coughs and colds – there has been a lot of time spent indoors.
This week though? This week the weather changed.
The temperature rose, the sun made an appearance and it put me in a ruddy good mood – such a good mood that I really wanted to get Zach into the outdoors to have some fun.
We are very lucky that where we live, we have a whole array of things we can do. Living with a gorgeous country park round the corner means lush walks and being that close to the country means that it doesn't take much to get even more country fun. About a fifteen minute drive from our house is a huge nature reserve run by the RSPB. We have been there before as a family pre-Oscar – in fact the last time we went was in the summer, on a really really hot day when I was heavily pregnant. On bog standard days, they don't have a huge amount going on there and we just go for a lovely walk and do some wildlife spotting. Because it's half term though, they have lots of activities to do throughout the week and so on Monday I thought we'd head on up there and get exploring.
I couldn't have picked a better day to be honest. The weather was gorgeous and we were soon a tad on the warm side with the sun beating down on us.
I had packed us some sandwiches and so we had a bite to eat when we first got there because, as always, Zach was hungry!
We then started the first activity which was a bird walk. Zach was so very enthusiastic about this as he started to move some logs to try and build a birds nest. He had a really good go and did a really good job with just a little help from mummy.
We then went on our walk to see what we could find from our list of things to try and spot. He was a little less enthusiastic about this as time went on and was a bit more interested in jumping in muddy puddles and making marks in the mud!
Once we had finished our walk and seen a few birds that I didn't know the names of, I gave Oscar a feed on a bench (my boob got a bit chilly!) and then we took part in the other activity of the day which was pond dipping. Zach loved this and we had a brilliant time filling a bowl up with pond water, grabbing the net, emptying it and looking for creatures. We saw tadpoles and little wriggly water worms (that is not a technical name) and a couple of other insects that I can't remember the name of (I stupidly lost our piece of paper that had them all on).
It was such a fun day together and because Oscar was asleep for the majority of it, it was some real quality time together and a real bonding session – something that we don't often get to do anymore.
Now the weather is a bit warmer and we don't have a gazillion illnesses doing the rounds in our house, I am planning on doing a lot more of this kind of thing. With the countryside on our doorstep, there really is no excuse!