Wednesday 5 February 2014

Happy Birthday Mabel!

There is still lots going on for us at the moment. Important decisions to be made and things to happen. We continue to live out of boxes and battle for time.

I've read lots recently about creating balance and indeed our New Years resolution was all about regaining balance and we had wanted to redo a kind of 'audit' thing and do some thinking about priorities etc for the year ahead. Funnily (good I think that we see the irony) we haven't had time yet to do the planning session we had down for start of Jan. Feels like it will never settle down, maybe this is it and life just gets faster and faster. Maybe we will never get a chance to think while we are always accepting of the fact there isn't time to think. Anyhow I completely digress.
Our little lady turned a big 3 years old on 25th Jan and I wanted to blog about her party. Also about some other things with our little people that are making us smile right now.
Mabel very much got the fact it was her birthday this year and in particular had asked a lot about a party. Now I kind of blame Peppa for this but also her love of cake and musical statues. I think it could have been just me and G Kisby, a bit of chocolate sponge from M&S and a game of trying to keep a toddler still (poor Wilf, he is out every time) and she would have been happy.
Granny and Grandma Babs making each other laugh

As it was we invited the family round for a small celebration. Pizza, cakes (natch), more cakes, balloons and indeed party games.

She was beautifully behaved, said thank you to everyone for her gifts and wonderfully giddy about the whole experience. It made us smile when at a later date asked if she was 3 replied that no, it was last week, she is 2 again now. Thinking I might start saying that.

Uncle Dave made beautifully decorated Maisy mouse cakes and Grandad a whole feast of puddings - mmmmmm. Possibly her favourite gift of all (including our gift of a balance bike) was some more lego. She has taken her building to a new level and has whole villages on the go. Well not quite, normally a hospital and a house, sometimes with a car, but even so. Wilf enjoys. well, breaking it down. He plays the role of King Kong in the village. Or the largest baby in the village. She starts saying, "Mummy distract him, distract him" and tries to get her buildings onto the sofa. If it didn't make me laugh (sick I know) I'd get there to help sooner but normally he does make away with some sort of roof or hospital bed in his clammy mit. 
 I have included here a picture of Wilf in a bunny suit. It was one of Granny's slightly random gifts for Mabel, it didn't fit, it felt wrong to waste an opportunity for humour. I have to be honset there is no other reason for its inclusion than that.

Anyhow there are a few other things we don't want to forget:

Wilf is has turned a little tricksy (surely not two headstrong children). The back arching when trying to get him in the car has started (remember from Mabel), only this time it is like battling to 'chop' a teenager.
He sleeps with his bum in the air and head rammed right into the end of the cot. Always has. is very cute. 

Shortly after Xmas they moved into a new phase, one which for about two wks was incredibly hard. Wilf just wanted everything Mabel had and they annoyed each other constantly. Luckily that is now only 50% of the time. Mabel has such amazing patience considering how frustrating it must be and shares so well. Wilf is then stroppy and doesn't yet understand sharing. The lovely side of the change is that they also play together, not just alongside each other or tolerate each other, actual games. Like catch (Mabel throws it at his head still, often a bit harder than necessary but at least he picks it up and launches it back now), she helps him climb into the washing basket with her and pretend its a boat, they, erm, wrestle. Wilf stands on her, she finds it hilarious. That last one always ends in tears. Not the 1 year old's as you'd expect. And he knows he is funny now and plays to it. He is funny. And truly adorable.

Mabel is the happiest little girl and very charming. She is still incredibly strong willed (new nursery have started commenting on it) and has an amazing imagination. Unfortunately Wilf has become a bit feardy as a result of her vivid descriptions of horrible beasts and big bears. She is always describing one hidden in the dark bedroom or round the corner or even in the bushes (poor Wilf). He has even become terrified of the Gruffalo. Like literally we can't open the book without his panicking. Whereas she remains fearless, a huge slide at the play centre caused actual friction burns right down her back but she insisted on going on again and again. She has what she calls. "her chicken pox" wounds to prove it.

Yes a Gruffalo dress up. Poor Wilfie again

She still has a pretend friend (Lulu - boy) who makes an appearance at random points and with whom she enjoys a game of catch (hmm flawed surely, at least play cars) or babies. It is very funny to listen to now as she speaks for the other characters,
""Raaah, raaah I don't want to go to bed", said baby Anna" and then describes, "that was baby Anna crying Mummy, its just pretend". The fact she thinks the explanation is required probably a reflection of how often I say stop making that silly crying noise.

They both love to dance. Especially in front of the mirrors in Mabel's current bedroom. And Wilf is saying loads more words. Random ones like, 'back' when he goes down stairs and 'Babel' which is very cute. Occasionally he will use two together now too, 'cach ball' 'duck, cak, cak'. It is ridiculously stereotypical but he loves a set of dinosaurs Granny bought for Xmas, carries one around everywhere and still loves water and pouring.

So happy birthday gorgeous girl, we love you too much to even describe!

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Is it almost mid Jan already?

Ooh I hope so since my birthday is on the 16th and who doesn't like a birthday, especially one with a date night included. Uncle Sams Chop House in Manchester calls on Friday for their legendary corned beef hash (think large portion of amazing ness with a crispy piece of bacon and poached egg) and a large glass or two of red wine in front of a fire. Alongside my favourite person ever. Mmmm.

So Christmas came and went then. It was gorgeous, it was great fun and it was a little indulgent. We no longer have the drive over to visit family so it was nice to relax at home in the morning. Mabel kind of got the Father Christmas thing, though she kept declaring, "it's my Xmas soon". When you stop to think it is really weird the whole thing. Why would a large bearded man you don't know, come down (in our case a non existent) chimney, have a snack, let his wild animal into the sitting room, leave presents but only if you've been good (when? today?) and not stick around to at least say hello?

Much fun with the cousins

We decided not to do too much excitement on Xmas eve (joint decision though I admit to struggling to stick to said decision and whipping them into a small frenzy whenever I could get away with it) but for this year at least we had no going to sleep issues. 

And we even had our own little Santa treat in the form of a lie in until 6.45am (yep, what every parent wants for Christmas, oh how times have changed). Wilf managed 7.30am, Mabel and I were both past ourselves waiting to start opening but moral compass Daddy was strict on holding back (rightly so).

G Kisby did a splendid job of wrapping a scooter for Mabel (a £10 one I picked up in Mothercare sale months ago, which was handy since she decided, upon being questioned by everyone she met in the run up to Christmas, that this was the only thing she wanted. A purple one actually but we managed to side step this. It was unfortunate really since we'd bought her a balance bike which remained in its box for her birthday. Wilf came down to a 'sugar chute' - a toy you realise not actual gum ball machine (B toys - really liking this make of toys).

We tried not to do volume in any way (I find some of that a bit disconcerting) so except for a few stocking fillers and a new book each they both got one gift from Santa. Though lots from everyone else which was lovely. Mabel was giddy, Wilf was giddy (though not about the toys or paper, he is just generally a bit giddy when she is), yeah we were all a bit giddy.

The rest of the Christmas period went a bit like this:
More kindness and lovely gifts 
M&S mulled rum punch from approx 2pm onwards (forgetting it is pretty strong, turns out the witching hour is soo much easier when slightly drunk. Hmmm)
Repeat for about 3 days

We stayed with family B-C for the few days, the Xmas ham was the best yet (well done boys), Xmas dinner was divine (well done Fee), Xmas games were as funny as ever (well done everyone). 
Granny trying to get a chocolate off her forehead in the 'minute to win it' challenge was a highlight as well as seeing the Bryce -Yang family on Boxing Day. Poor G Kisby had to return to work which was a bit rubbish but hey he had last year off which was better with a 2 month old.

The lovely Janet who buys the best, most thoughtful presents ever
New Year was then spent with our lovely friends Amy and Matt at their house in Barnsley,

Again we ate well, drank champagne from their wedding (hmm I like that kind of sharing) and played more games. Since I don't cook and we do a course each (I was offered a sympathy vote this year and told I could make 'pour drinks' and do nibbles. I declined) I did games instead. We 'swapped partners', just for the games you realise, which made the Mr and Mrs Smith quiz round very funny.  

By midnight (which we all made - hooray) the tea was out and Amy had removed her skirt to allow her to play the 'how low can you go' game (you know where you keep tearing a strip off a cardboard box and you can only use your mouth to pick it up). I like that kind of commitment to winning. It was a very funny night and although we both suffered a bit when Mabel plodded into our room after what felt like about 3 hours sleep (I ended up going back to bed with a headache on NYD at about 11am, oops) it was worth it.

We then went to Brighton before returning to work and starting a whole new routine including a new nursery and more, which is all for another night.  

Along with some updates on Mabel and Wilf and conversations like the one we had tonight,
"How the hell does Daddy get this stupidly long car to go onto this drive?" I asked no one in particular. It was the Passat, which I was driving for the first time in ages, same car I drove into our old house when Mabel was about 5 days old and cried sat on the drive, funny in hindsight. 
"It just doesn't seem to fit" said to myself more than anything as I reverse and attempt to re park for the third time, "I'll have to park it on the road like normal, I don't get it".
"Mummy, why not just drive onto the stones a little bit, then it would fit" Mabel chirps up from the back.
"You reckon?" (am I actually taking driving advice from a 2 year old?)
"Yes Mummy, try it"
I look at the drive. She has a point. She was dead right. I just needed to let the front of the car go onto the small stoned area across the window and it did fit."
"Oh, turns out that was right Mabel, thanks"
"You see Mummy, it's really easy, you just need to try"

Oh no, I'm not sure what is more worrying, her thinking (knowing?) she is in charge or the fact that I so accurately fit Fee's statement (in a game we were playing over Xmas),
"How is Nelly so thick for an intelligent person"
Thanks for that by the way.