Freddie’s first walk

We recently went for a walk in the Vallee De Mai.  Not an unusual event for us, we go at least once a month!  It is without doubt our favourite place to go for a walk.

If you don’t know, the Vallee De Mai, is famous for being the home of the Coco De Mer, the largest seed in the world!  It really is huge, apparently weighing up to 30KG at full size!!

Freddie’s first walk

This visit to the Vallee De Mai though, things were a little different!  This time we ALL went walking!  It was Freddie’s first walk, as opposed to being in the baby carrier!  This kinda blows my mind, It seems like just a minute ago it was Arthur’s first time walking around there!!

We had such a great time.  With Freddie walking around too, the whole dynamic changed so much, but only in a good way!

Arthur was absolutely delighted to get to run around with Freddie in there and Freddie was so excited to finally be able to get down and really explore the place as opposed to just being in the carrier!   It was amazing to see them exploring together!

Walking amongst giants, my boys look tiny in there.  Perhaps thats why I love going so much! This is one of my new favourite pictures!

 

Arthur took great pleasure in being Freddie’s personal tour guide.

 

They both are becoming so confident and independent, it’s amazing to see them running around without a care or fear.

freddie's first walk

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As always, we stopped at our favourite spot, to look at the river, of course throw a few sticks and stones in, and to look for crabs!

It was also a big trip for another reason as it was the first time Arthur walked round the whole way without needing to be carried.  As you can see, he was very proud!!

 

I have blogged about coming here before, and I am certain I will blog about it again!  So, apologies if it seems a bit repetitive, but it really is such a special place to go.  If you are visiting Seychelles it is an absolute must (with or without kids!)

I am so happy to have such an amazing place for our kids to explore.  We are so lucky to have so many amazing memories (and pictures) of the boys having the best time here.  They are true explorers, and I hope that they will forever love the outdoors as much as they do now!

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Splish Splash Splosh

You may have seen on my Instagram that we’ve had a fair bit of rain here recently!  I thought it was only right that I wrote a little post about it!

Rain babies

Arthur has always loved the rain!  He absolutely loves to be out in it.  He’s been like that since he was so small.

As soon as it starts to rain, he runs out and splashes in the puddles.   Now he’s even started to know that it might rain when it goes all dark and cloudy, so the excitement begins even before the drops start to fall!

In the last month or so, Freddie has started to show lots of interest in the rain too.  He is ALWAYS outside anyway but he’s starting to figure out that the rain is lots of fun!

We definitely do have two little rain babies!

Splish Splash Splosh

Last week was half term so Arthur was home from school.  We had quite a lot of rain, it started the afternoon that school finished!!

Arthur being a true nature boy, generally likes to take all his clothes off to be out in the rain but this time I managed to persuade him to keep his T-Shirt on!  Freddie, totally not fussed went out as is!!

splish splash splosh

This was the first time Arthur had actually used his umbrella in the rain.  Usually he likes to take it out and about when its dry, but not when it’s raining.  You know, because it was stopping him getting wet and what’s the point of going out in the rain if you’re going to be dry right?

splish splash splosh

On days like this, even with an umbrella you’re going to get soaking wet!

This was the first time that the boys had really had the chance to be out in the rain together!  It was so much fun to watch!

Splish Splash Splosh! Rain in Seychelles

You can definitely see that they were enjoying each others company out there and it really did add to the fun for them both! It was so amazing to watch them both having so much fun together.   Arthur was teaching Freddie to go “splish splash splosh” in the puddles!!

Splish Splash Splosh! Rain babies, loving the rain

Freddie discovered an extra bonus, the rain drops are even bigger running off the roof!
splish splash splosh

We are so lucky that it is so warm here because we don’t have to worry about them being cold in the rain!  If we lived somewhere else it would be a nightmare trying to get them to get dressed before they ran out the door!!

 

All together now!

Arthur was not going to let me off just sat taking pictures.   Yep, Mama had to go out in the rain too!  We all ran around like crazy and got soaking wet, Daddy had to join too of course! Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!) we were all too busy having fun at this point to take photos so you’ll just have to take my word that we really did all get out there!

This was repeated several times over the half term!  I hope that it continues to be something that they love to do together, and with us for a long long time!!

 

Do you have little rain babies too?

splish splash splosh

 

 

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Our first crop!!

It’s taken almost 4 years but we finally have had our first crop of Bananas!!
We have attempted to grow bananas once before but it failed….which is pretty impressive considering they grow wild here!

When we moved into this house there were already banana plants growing here so I don’t think we can take too much credit for these, but hey we didn’t kill them so I think we will take that for now!

About three months ago we noticed that one of our plants had flowered and there were teeny tiny little bananas growing.
After a quick search online we discovered we would be waiting for around 3 months until they would be ready to eat. It seemed like a really like time, and a lot of time for something to go wrong!

This Friday, Mark came home from school and very excitedly proclaimed that there was a yellow banana so it was time to chop them down!
We had learned that you just have to wait for one banana to be yellow to chop them down, not all of them!

Our first crop of bananas

So we got the machete and the camera and we headed out to the garden- yep it’s totally normal to have a machete here!

Our first crop of bananas
The bananas here are about half the size of ones you get in the UK but with twice the flavour!! They are so so delicious and are a perfect size for baby led weaning! The boys absolutely love them!

Our first crop of bananas

Arthur has been giving a running commentary on the bananas pretty much every day since we first spotted them and loved to tell us about the “green bananas” so it was cool to show him that they had now started turning yellow!
Our first crop of bananas

After they had been chopped down, we showered off the bananas to make sure there weren’t any beasties living in and amongst them – luckily there weren’t!   Arthur had the honour of having the first banana from our first crop.  We have all since had one and they are so good!

Bananas are super cheap to buy here so it’s not like having them will be saving us lots of money but it’s definitely satisfying to know that these have grown in our garden!  It’s been fun to show Arthur how they grow (and for us to learn about it too)

There is already another lot of bananas growing in the garden, we think they will be ready just in time for us coming back after the summer!!

 

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Arthur has started school

The time is here, Arthur has started school.

Arthur has started school

We are so proud of how our little man has got on.

I have taken Arthur in to school to play at get used to it for a while now, but it has only ever been for an hour or so and never on his own.

So I’ve said before but the international school here on Praslin starts in reception 1 (3yrs old) right up to 6th form where they do A-levels (18yrs old).  Reception 1 is essentially nursery.  The school follows the British curriculum so kids are doing as they would be in the UK.

To help get the little ones settled they are allowed to start in Reception 1 in the half term that they turn 3 years old.  So Arthur is starting this last half term of the school year
We agreed with his teacher that Arthur would just come in for the mornings for now.  He will go full time in September.

So, on the 30th May Arthur got his little school uniform on and off we went to school.  I tried to get lots of obligatory first day of school pictures, Arthur was not all that interested in that though!!

Arthur has started school

 

Arthur has started school

It is a moment I’ve been trying to prepare myself for for what feels like ages now.  I won’t lie, I’ve got myself upset many times just thinking about it all!!

arthur has started school

arthur has started school

We walked into school and his teacher met us outside, she took Arthur to the classroom and off he went.  He gave me a kiss and said “bye bye mummy!”  I was so proud at how he took it all in his stride!

I managed to hold back my tears until I got to the car where I allowed myself to have a couple minutes before telling myself to get a grip!!!

We are in the amazing situation that we know everyone at school really well and everyone has known Arthur since he was born so I knew that there were so many people there looking out for him…..including of course Mark, being the headteacher!  I think he found a few extra reasons to pop down and have a little peek in the class for Arthur’s first day!!

I had lots of texts from different people, updating me through the morning letting me know what Arthur was up to which I loved!

Freddie and I had a nice quiet morning together, we had lots of stories and cuddles before his nap.  I then had a couple hours to myself for the first time in AGES!!  I didn’t really know what to do with myself and as a result wasn’t all that productive!!

When I went to pick Arthur up he was really happy to see me and Freddie but didn’t want to go home, a good sign for sure!!  We managed to get him in the car and then we had a lovely quiet and cuddley afternoon at home.

That evening, we got an email with lots of photos from Arthur’s first day by his teacher, it made my day to get a peek into what he had been up to that day!

Arthur has started school

Arthur has started school

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Arthur has started school

After a couple of days we’ve got into the swing of it  now those couple of hours when Freddie is napping flies by as I get as much done as I possibly can – I had visions of being able to spend more time blogging, that REALLY hasn’t happened!!

It’s now been 2 weeks of school for Arthur and he’s absolutely loving it.  He is settling in so well, we really couldn’t be more proud of him.

His teacher tells us that he’s joining in with activities more and more every day which makes me really happy to hear.  Arthur comes home and sings songs he’s learned at school, it amazes us how quickly he’s picked things up!!

Arthur has been napping again in the afternoon most days after school, he comes home so happy but tired.

I know that starting school has been so good for him in so many ways but particularly for getting to socialise with other kids his own age!

For me its really nice to see him coming out of his shell with other people, he has always been quite shy around people he doesn’t know. I can see his confidence growing in even this short time.

I felt really sad at the ‘end of an era’ of having my now not so little guy at home with me every day, but seeing how happy he is and how good it has been for him has really helped me to get over that. We are now celebrating the start of the school era for Arthur!

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A peek at our new house!

Mark has been made head teacher (proud wife alert!)  The current headteacher is retiring at the end of this term and Mark will be taking over from then!

As part of his new job we got to move to a new house.  It feels like no time since we moved into our last place, it was in fact less than a year!  Regular readers of my blog will know some of the negative things we experienced since living there, but also we have some truly wonderful memories from that house.  It is the first house we brought Freddie home to, Arthur started sleeping in his big boy bed here and potty trained too!  I also will have lovely memories from our great garden there.

We are very excited about our new house.  It’s 4 bedroom 2 (amazing) bathrooms, a big wrap around veranda and a beautiful garden!

Arthur and Freddie are settling in here beautifully, Arthur loves it and keeps proudly proclaiming “new house” with a big grin on his face!

Koopa is beside himself happy, as the house is so open we’ve decided to give up on trying to keep him outside and as I write this he’s lying by my feet next to the sofa!
I’ve shared a few pictures on Instagram, but here’s a few more!  Take a peek at our new house!

A peek at our new house

A peek at our new house

A peek at our new house

A peek at our new house

A peek at our new house

A peek at our new house

A peek at our new house

These are some of my favourite bits, but there’s still lots to get sorted so I’ll share more pictures when we are fully settled in!   I love that there are a few quirks in this house, it’s not new and I love that!  There’s lots we can do to make it our own.

The kitchen sink might just be my favourite thing of all, the kitchen in general has a real industrial feel to it!

The house is huge and it’s definitely going to be a lot to keep on top of.  Our cleaner has stopped working for us as she got pregnant and it was too much for her to do (understandably, I struggled cleaning my own house when I was pregnant let alone someone else’s!) so we are in the look out for someone new to help us out!!  In the meantime I’ll tie mops to the kids feet, I’m kidding….I think!

 

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Yoga at Raffles hotel Praslin

Yoga at Raffles hotel Praslin

For the last few weeks I have started going to Yoga at Raffles hotel Praslin.  I’m just going once a week right now but I am loving it.
The location is incredible.
You come down these beautiful steps to the spa.

Yoga at Raffles hotel Praslin

Then head into the yoga studio.  Take a look at that view!!  You can hear the waves crashing too, it’s amazing.

Yoga at Raffles hotel Praslin

The instructor is brilliant.  She has a great vibe about her without being a crazy yoga lady.  The class has varied each week, always good to keep it interesting!
The first class I went to was really relaxing with lots of stretching.  It was lovely, that night I was so relaxed I fell asleep on the sofa, even earlier than usual!
But my favourite classes are the ones where there’s been lots of strength building and I’ve been really aching afterwards!  I like to know that I’ve worked hard and this class has definitely left me feeling that way!

I’ve always loved yoga, but have tended to do it at home.  It’s been great to go to a class and experience it in such a different way.

Our instructor likes to use essential oils, it’s not something I would ever consider but it actually does add something special!

Another added benefit of actually going to a class is that it gives me a real break, some real ‘me time’.  I think it’s really important to be able to get that time to myself.  It’s also nice for Mark to get some time with the boys on his own too!

I started running again (more on that soon) in October, when Freddie was about 10 weeks old.  I’m finding that yoga really is the perfect companion to running in helping me regain my figure and my fitness after having Freddie!

I feel so lucky to have access to such a great class in a beautiful location.  Another amazing perk of our expat lives here in Seychelles.

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Day out on a catamaran

I’ve written before about how one of the definite highlights of expat life in the Seychelles is getting to go on boat trips!

Well we recently got to indulge in just that.
It’s been a little while since we’ve done a boat trip.  The longest time Arthur has been on a boat is an hour and Freddie, at only 3 months old had obviously never been on one!  This was the perfect opportunity to be able to go with the kids.

So, every year the school hosts an annual dinner dance and auction.  One of the travel company’s always donates an outing on a big amazing catamaran.  Last year it was won by a man who donated it to the PTA as a way to help raise some more money for the school.
This meant that for a few hundred rupees (about £20) me, Mark and the boys were able to spend an amazing full day out on the boat.

The catamaran is truly amazing  with a large indoor area.  This was perfect for Freddie as it meant we could keep him out of the sun!  It ended up being great for us all in the end as we did have a couple of rain showers while we were out!

When we got on the boat Arthur was at first a little unsure, until he realised that he could jump on the trampoline things at the front (yeah, that’s the technical term for those bits….) then he was delighted!!

day out on a catamaran seychelles

There was about 50 people from the school out with us.  It was such a great day.  I’ve only included pics where you can’t really see anyone else in, just purely because they might not wish to be included on my blog!!

Freddie was amazing all day.  We very nearly didn’t go on the trip as we were worried about being out on the boat all day, but as I mentioned before there was a big indoor area and that was what made us decide to come.  We needn’t have worried anyway, he was so good.  Everyone was loving getting Freddie cuddles, and he was delighted to be getting lots of attention!  We kept him inside a lot of the day but did get him out when it clouded over and cooled off a little towards the end of the day.

Seychelles catamaran boat trip

We sailed around stopping off at different islands and beaches for lots of swimming and jumping off the boat.  Arthur loved getting in!!  He was a little nervous getting too far away from the boat but he did amazingly well for such a little guy!  He thought it was great that the steps went right into the water.  We didn’t get any pics of us in the water, we were too busy having fun!
seychelles catamaran boat trip

seychelles catamaran boat trip
The boat was out 9-5 and Arthur did not stop the whole day.  We didn’t stress about him not having a nap, he was having so much fun and he was so well behaved!

seychelles catamaran boat trip

seychelles catamaran boat trip

As always when out on a boat you get some pretty amazing views
seychelles catamaran boat trip

seychelles catamaran boat trip

 

seychelles catamaran boat trip

I really like this picture of Mark and I, was so sad that there was water on the lens!

seychelles catamaran boat trip

 

I couldn’t believe it when we pulled back up to the jetty.  The day had gone so fast, it was amazing.  The weather had been a little all over the place, but that worked for us, it meant it wasn’t too hot and we didn’t get burned!  Arthur crashed out in the car on the way home, which then resulted in him not actually going to sleep till about 10pm, not ideal, BUT that was a small price to pay for an amazing day out.  Days like this where we are reminded of what an amazing place we live in!  There are of course hard days, and days where things get on our nerves about here, but getting to go out on a boat like this with our kids is so incredible!!

Ersatz Expat
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