Monday, 23 December 2013

My heart melted tonight...

It is that time of year when I become really conscious of traditions both old and new, considering things from our own childhood we'd like to carry on as well as creating new special ones just for our little family.

Tonight I think we made one. 

The advent bag was the treat of going back downstairs after bath time to find a little 'tea party' had been set up including cushions, a blanket, lights off (except for the tree), hot chocolate and something Christmassy on the tv - The Snowman. It is the first time we have done this as a family since Mabel normally has an attention span of about 10 minutes and obviously with Wilf you can half that. 

Don't know if it was the music or just novelty but Mabes sat all the way through and was literally mesmerised. She sat with her hands over her mouth in silence only occasionally exclaiming, "what's he doing now" and, sharp intake of breath, "it's Santa!" When the snowmen dance she tried to sing along and clapped in that baby like way (unadulterated joy) I realised she has stopped doing as often anymore. I loved the film as a child so that probably added to my emotional moment but for that 30 minutes I found myself viewing it for the first time all over again and so so grateful to have had the opportunity to do so. She kept squeezing my hand. Let that never end. 

G Kisby got the slightly short straw, Wilf sat still for about half of it then started smacking him in the head with his empty milk bottle, which was a blow. Quite literally.  

Other treats have included getting up early to see the lights in Manchester city centre, a Christmas bed time sing song with Grandma and pink milk (food colouring - possibly the cheapest and easiest way to make her day ever). 

Anyhow, aside from Christmas a quick update on house progress.

The move is done. It was tough going, Mabel did become a little unsettled and we had some very disturbed nights sleep around the actual move date but hopefully things are back to normal now. I found it much harder than I thought, it was the first time I had felt emotional about leaving a house (we have moved a fair amount for our years - get bored easily) but we started our family in that house (literally in Wilf's case) and have great friends in Yorkshire. There is always a bit of trepidation I guess in moving somewhere new and having to make new friends etc. and I think the fact we knew we were moving twice didn't help. But we can't complain, I am currently sat snuggled on the sofa next to a lovely Christmas tree safe and warm with a new house that we are giddy about hopefully to be ours at the end of Jan. 

So I am off to plan some Christmas games, decide on my songs for the Christmas dinner playlist and eat some more yule log (the one food item that makes Christmas for me - incase you wondered).... 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Having to prioritise

Things are quite frankly ridiculous on the busy front at the moment. I have so much I want to do at the moment, I have lots of blog posts in my head but so much in my mind generally that I just can't find the time.

We have exchanged contracts on our house and complete in 2 weeks but as yet haven't got anywhere to go. Our purchase went wrong (horrible survey and down valued by mortgage co but no movement on price so we walked away) which has meant we are back to renting. Should be easy but around a South Manchester things rent so quickly and with us only wanting a 6 month lease we are struggling to get anywhere. In amongst all of this we have found another house to buy and had an offer accepted and I have gone back to work after a year of mat leave. Think Fee is genuinely concerned we might end up there since she has started looking at holiday lets for us, ha ha. She is right to be concerned, we fully might!

So all spare time is spent packing, searching, solicitoring (v diff to soliciting I realise) with a tiny amount of panicking thrown in for good measure. G Kisby and I are known I think for being a bit last minute and my calm other half is not even remotely anxious about all of this, love him for that.

But fingers crossed we have some sort of solution and plan shortly so I can get back to some fun stuff  like preparing 'advent bags', Christmas giddiness and finishing lots of stuff I haven't like Wilf's 12 month photo collage.

For now G Kisby has suggested we open a decent bottle of wine to 'celebrate' er our nearly last weekend in our house.
Love him for that too...

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Empty threats...

So hopefully I am not alone in finding this to be a pretty big part of parenthood?

Mabes is particularly testing at times and in recent weeks we have taken to looking at new ways to manage this (at some point surely every parent also worries that they have lost control and need to be firmer on the discipline front? No..just me?)
So she refuses to do what she is told, i try the, "do it now or there will be no tv before bath tonight"

She glances at me. I reckon she can detect in my voice the tone of someone who hasn't thought this through. Who am I kidding, any tv ban is gonna hurt me more. Too late, I have to see it through. She takes her chances and continues doing whatever she wants. An hour later I am still waiting for the chance to reassert my authority and finally it comes,
"Can I watch Ben and Holly now?"
"No, remember before when mummy said..." I begin
She has seen a light up flashing ball under the sofa and goes to aim it at her brothers head before I can even finish the sentence. Completely unbothered. Dam it.

Wilf is as bad, stropping when he doesn't get what he wants I find myself saying, "no Wilf" repeatedly, "Mabel is playing with it, you have to give it back" until the screams get so loud Mabel looks at me, eye brows raised and just passes it over. "Think he must have sore teeth mummy" she explains. Jeez how often must I have said that to excuse his behaviour for my two year old to pick it up. The screams then stop immediately. I remind myself for the second time this week, o.k day, that I must nip this in the bud.

Then I realise even G Kisby laughs in the face of my threats. I broke my phone ages ago and have been using a relic from the Nokia museum ever since. He wanted a new iPhone 5 so suggested that if I waited until it came out I could just have his old iPhone. Months after the release I am still waiting.
"Right, if you don't get a new contract sorted this week I am having your phone and you can use this one" I threaten
"I don't think so" he laughs with a face of, well, bemusement.
"Right. O.k then..." Rubbish. What the hell.

Finally to top it off I have found the new level of giving myself empty threats. Said stupid phone barely has predictive text and definitely don't even get me started on the spelling functionality. "Right, that's it. No more texts, I am not putting up with your crapness anymore" 
Puts phone down. 
Way to tell the phone, bet it feels bad now.

Needless to say I am still using it...

Thursday, 31 October 2013

A year ago today something very special happened...

I still find myself slightly emotional when I talk about Wilf's entrance to the world, I don't know if it is because I have since watched birth programmes and realised just how much you don't want to have an 11lb baby at home (slightly haunted by the 'what ifs') or because it was just soooo somehow amazingly perfect that it just is heart wrenching. 

I feel so lucky to have spent the last year with such a gorgeously happy and content little man. He has always been a smiler and continues to charm with his 'half laugh' and cheeky knowing look. I wouldn't say he has been the easiest baby at all times but sleep and eating wise we really can't complain. 
I fell in love with him the minute he arrived and having spent much longer at home together (and having been longer breast fed) I did worry how he would cope going to nursery recently. But we've been so proud of how sociable and confident he is. Sometimes I get shown the cheek upon drop off but that's fine, he's asserting his independence already and I do think he will be quite the strong minded and assertive wee chap. His sense of humour is coming through more and more and he is such fun to be around.
Mabel takes the plastic ice lolly holder away 
(what the hell, does anyone else have random stuff in their bath?)
Mabel can't stand the noise and passes it back
My favourite time of day is after a bath when they are both in the nuddy and go a bit crazy for half an hour. Wilf practically runs with his walker and his big tummy from room to room with Mabel chasing him. She screams with delight and he copies. I love it. I can't get enough of it. I'm trying to stop myself being scared that I will forget it one day. There's no point being scared, I need to stop being so worried about capturing everything and just live in the moment.

We are lucky, our moments are so so good.

I've also stopped worrying about him getting the same attention, Mabel still getting one to one time, how we remain consistent, etc etc. In the bath last night they spent the whole time putting bubbles on each others heads and finding it hilarious. We didn't see what was so funny. They might miss out on some stuff but they also gain in other areas and what's so special now is how much they love each others company. He is no longer quite the giant toddler that I feared he would be - though saying that he did skip the 'cruiser' shoe stage on account of his massive size 4 feet!

We spent his birthday at the museum and eating Pizza for lunch (felt only right since at 11pm last year we were sat staring at our newborn, completely shell shocked, eating takeaway pizza with a midwife who really needed a bigger uniform and ate more than all of us - very funny. She didn't need any persuading to take the remaining slices home with her). Don't think I mentioned her in my original birth story. The bedroom where Wilf was born was really not that big and since I took up most of the room on the floor and there were 2 male paramedics in there things were pretty tight. She put the placenta into a cardboard bedpan type thing (it filled it right to the top) then couldn't get up off the floor whilst holding it. We had a really awkward few moments while she tried to launch herself up without tipping blood everywhere while we all supressed sounds like, "woah" and "argh" and one of the paramedics tried to tactfully give her a hand. She was super disorganised and lost everything from a needle to a chord clamp. She also decided I didn't need any pain relief for stitches but lets not go there. The hospital I later complained to decided not to go there either and never replied to my letter. Hmm, I digress.

Our morning of present opening didn't quite pan out as planned. A 5.30am get up was followed by us forcing Wilf to open gifts and forcing Mabel to put them down. In the end we just let Mabes crack on but then struggled as she kept asking for 'her book' and 'her doll'. We bought Wilf a wooden trike which was a bit too big for him leading to lots of banging against walls and frustration. They fought over it so much G Kisby decided he was putting it into the hall out the way which went down well with both. You can imagine the carnage. 
But following that things went well and he loved lighting the pumpkins and eating his chocolate cake. We are having a wee party next weekend so will do a proper cake then (G Kisby has been asking for a chocolate caterpillar since our wedding day 3 years ago so when I suggested he picked one up just for today he was eager).

So happy birthday to our gorgeous, amazing little man. I had a moment tonight after his milk when he stayed still long enough for me to stare into his eyes and hope he feels somewhere just how much we love him. I will add the Pierre Duck photos on the party post since he literally wouldn't hold the dam thing today!   

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Building up to the big One

Wilfie turns one in a week and it has been a really busy month so thought I should squeeze in an extra post.
We started October with a trip to Worcester staying at family friendly hotel The Elms. We hadn't done the hotel thing since having babies and were both a bit unsure how it was going to work. However, we had a huge room with plenty of space, a lovely bathroom and the hotel itself was fully equipped with everything available from change mats to bottle warming. Although by no means perfect (and not sure how positive I'd still be if we'd paid full price, we went on a deal) it was pretty good. The pool was ace, it was fab to go down to the bar for dinner with G Kisby of an evening (albeit for about 2 hours before getting back to watch Breaking Bad on the ipad tucked up in bed) and there were lots of nice touches for children like a trampoline, play area, fairy trail and plenty of outdoor space. Wilf had a virus and wasn't himself at all so we had to keep him dosed up and he slept loads, poor wee guy was a real trooper but clearly felt rubbish.

We spent time at nearby West Midland Safari Park which made for a good day out (no sightings of any 'bafoons' for me this time - I still swear such an animal exists). We bought some feed to give to the giraffes out of the car - it was ace. I was the only one who thought so. Mabel panicked when the massive tongue came launching at her head through the open window, Wilf was so groggy he hardly noticed, G Kisby was clearly nervous about the hygiene. I carried on regardless. Felt slightly bad at shouting, "come on Mabes, man up" as she scrambled to the other side of the car. Think all 3 of them ended up in the drivers seat at one point. The park was pretty much deserted with it being mid week and freezing except that they were planning for halloween so all the staff were dressed up as scarecrows and with no rides to run were sweeping up leaves etc. Felt like some sort of horror movie.
We also visited lovely Ludlow with it's pretty castle. For lunch we went to a lovely place called The Green Cafe which gave you hot water bottles in home knitted covers if you sat outside (love that) and brought out huge bowls of amazing Moroccan butternut squash soup with toasted almonds and lemony yoghurt on top.The castle was far more about me than the kids and getting both up a turret was trickier than I realised at the bottom. A big scare too far coming out of a dark passage led to a fairly quick exit. 
Following such a great mini break could have been tough (and yes I did throw in some holiday blues) but we then head to Tarn last weekend for our annual family get together,

This year the theme was Calamity Jane and as always everyone joined in with gusto. G Kisby claimed not to know much about the film but somehow still managed to spend money on an inflatable outfit. Which unknowingly matched Al's - hmm. We ate cow pie and biltong, played games such as 'lasoo the granny' and laughed more than I remember for a long time. Probably since last year. There are lots of little ones now and they loved the party games earlier in the evening with Mabel (not) coping well with losing. Need to keep working on it. We really miss our Scottish rellies and the weekend always goes far too quickly but tons of happy memories from this one and already thinking about the Grease theme for 2014. Photos to follow on this one.

At the end of the month we also caught up with friends we'd not seen for too long (you can't beat Pizza Express for child friendly Saturday lunch) and had a gorgeous walk around nearby Blackmoorfoot Reservoir - making the most of the wonderful Yorkshire countryside while we are still here. 

Just in the background to all of the above we also found a house we love and had an offer accepted (hugely hoping we can now link the two up and not have to rent) and G Kisby got signed off for a promotion he has worked very hard for (very proud).

Phew, life is very busy but we wouldn't have it any other way....

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Summer bonus time!

So September has been a treat. In lots of different ways.

Most recently the added bonus sunshine we've had leading to a day at the Southport and the nearby Ainsdale beach which was just fab. We had fish and chips, Mabel loved the carousel and we all wondered how long she would be happy putting 2p's in the machines (a long time apparently). Wilf probably doesn't remember being on the beach last so he was completely giddy and literally crawled into the freezing cold sea. He'd have carried on if we didn't keep dragging him back.
The beach was very clean and wonderfully empty. We'd have stayed longer if it wasn't for the long ish drive home again, the wind on wet clothes and the sheer volume of sand in Wilf's mouth. We always enjoyed a walk along the coast when it was just us two, now we are four it is just ace and is one of those times that being around children makes you remember what it is to be 'child like'. As in, I would never have got as wet as an adult if it wasn't for Mabes encouraging me further into the sea and actually it was loads of fun.

G Kisby celebrated the big 33 for which we booked in a cheeky night away at the Chalmondley Arms.  For once we didn't try and cram too much in and instead had a lightish lunch, watched a film, read the papers, dozed for half an hour then started things off with a 'Gintroduction' early evening sat outside in the sunshine (what are the flamin chances late Sept?)

We of course then ate too much and waddled back to bed about 9.30pm only to be woken by some late night revellers at the ungodly hour of 11pm. Gosh how our lives have changed that we are woken up by people returning at 11pm! We are so so grateful both that Mabel and Wilf LOVE staying with Auntie Fee & Uncle Al and that the feeling is mutual (though obviously not so mutual from their side that we could book them in fortnightly I don't think). We are so lucky to have such close family that we don't worry about them even for a second. We don't even have to really run through a routine prior to leaving and know that any parenting decision made will be pretty much akin to your own. O.k maybe not on the one that Wilf didn't drink his bedtime milk because he had shared too much of Kenzie's pizza before bed, but on most things (love you).
Aside from that we appear to have found a new buyer for our house (though not wanting to say too much on that for fear of jinxing so more later). First timers who want to move before Christmas - argh!

And as for Mabel and Wilf...

Wilf started nursery a few weeks ago, not on his full quota yet but just slowly settling him in. We weren't sure how this would go since he is going through a very clingy phase and doesn't like me even leaving the room. However, generally he is pretty confident and content so it could have gone either way. Luckily he has been absolutely fine and although he does give a mean bottom lip and short cry upon being handed over, by the time I have taken Mabel to her room this has stopped and he is digging in to his weetabix happily.
Not to be outdone by his sister, check out his nursery bag - by Tillie Mint
He also took his first step a week ago and has since become very cocky, very quickly on the walking front. G Kisby walked at 9 months and apparently it is genetic so not surprising I suppose that he is off already.
(This is the pierre duck photo - I seriously could not get him to stay still so had to attach it to a walker)

On a month of firsts he also decided that his first word would be 'fish' (what the hell) shortly followed by 'teeth'. I kid you not. That's if you don't count 'dada' which of course I don't. And I swear I have heard him utter 'mama' under his breath and then completely refuse to repeat it when I get excited.

Mabel has taken to asking everyone she meets their name and age. I know I should probably get her to stop the latter but I can't help but enjoy watching how people respond. She has also taken her adult tendancies to a new level with outspoken praise, "well done you two, you have eaten your dinner all up with no messing" to G Kisby and I. 
"Er, I don't think so Granny" in response to Granny poking her for fun, "we don't poke".
And "come and sit on my knee" to her lovely friend Tilly (who is a year older). Luckily her bossiness is normally delivered alongside a fair amount of charm so she gets away with it. 

She also has a new imaginary friend called Lulu. No idea where this has come from (hopefully not G Kisby's Lulu impression which only comes out when a certain Take That single is on) but I just started to notice her mentioning this and when I asked she responded quite openly that, "Lulu is my pretend friend - catch Lulu" before throwing the ball. Hmm, not sure on that one.

And we've had some ace trips out this month including Magna Sheffield which I would definitely recommend. It is aimed at older children but there was still loads to do and see including a fire tornado, lots of water play and a wind machine. The added bonus was an outside water play area which we had to ourselves on account of the cold. I went prepared with a full outside suit for Mabel but didn't consider the fact that she would run to the other side then refuse to come back alone. I got soaked running around after her and found us both doing involuntary high pitched screams as we hurtled about. 

So on to October which actually promises to be even busier with G Kisby having to start his dissertation, packing to be done, a short break to Worcester and our little guys birthday...

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Pesky pox return, for real this time!

We weren't entirely convinced that Mabel had chicken pox last time and turns out we were right. 

August brought spots galore. Wilf was covered but turns out that was nothing compared to Mabel. Felt really sorry for Wilfie, he was not happy. On the morning before the spots came out I thought he had found his boys bits. Felt like a bit of a momentous day for him. Turns out he was just itching them, why do the pox like to come out in the worst places? Bad times.

Mabel had a couple of really sore ones around her eyes, it was tough to stop her scratching and the redness meant she looked so poorly. Supposedly they feel better once the spots come out which seemed to be the case for Wilf but Mabes just got worse and on one day actually kept asking to go to bed. Her ongoing high temperature and some gunk which I won't dwell on here led us to conclude that an ear infection was to blame which added another week in the house. Seriously, by the end of the fortnight we were all going stir crazy. I find that even when the spots are no longer contagious they look so bad that I am conscious of being around other people. One women came up to me in the street and exclaimed, "you look like you've been beating her up" as she then walked on. Hmm, there are so many things wrong with that comment I am not even going to start.

We had a really hectic few weeks at the start of the month. An offer on our house meant some frantic house hunting and sorting out of new childcare arrangements. There are a few changes with work which require thought. Then the house offer fell through, we failed to get our own offer on a property accepted and we were right back to square one. So we have decided to take ours off the market and stay put for now. We don't need to actually move for another year when we need to be in the right place for Mabel's school so when nothing falls into place I think you need to stop trying to force it and go with the flow. We are really wanting to get over to Manchester to be closer to family and get settled somewhere for the longer term but it needs to be the right place and for now at least that just isn't happening.

Although slightly disappointed I have to say it will be good to stop checking Rightmove daily and start doing some more fun stuff (who am I kidding I am flaming addicted).
Blackberry picking was a hit

On other news Mabel moved into 'pre school', 
She announced in the car one morning,
"Mummy I don't want to go to nursery today"
"Er, why's that?" (my voice already going into high pitched positive overdrive ready to persuade her that her friends would miss her etc etc)
"Because now I go to pre school"
"Oh yes, very well"

There has been a real difference in her since the move or maybe it is a coincidence and it has just coincided with a development spurt. You can have a proper conversation with her almost, not just reply to questions but actually chat. And the 'why' questioning has begun. This one isn't good for me, I have very poor general knowledge. Not helped that its first airing was in response to one of my made up stories in the car about Mr Twinkle the gigantic star who was sad because someone had pulled out the plug and his light had gone out. After getting into the realms of electricity I bailed out and went for, "he just was". Not good so early on.

On a good day they play beautifully together, Mabel "teaches" him colours and gives him her cheerios (bad I know but kind all the same). They kiss each other and Mabel can't give him enough cuddles. On one bad one I heard her shouting, "hurry up Gaston" (ladybird character from TV programme) as she rode him through the living room. I say rode, more wrestled as he tried in vein to crawl away. She whinges, he joins in (I swear he thinks its sport). He cries in frustration at not being able to do something, she feigns an injury and cries louder. I try to ignore both.

Wilf has also changed loads. He points at lots now and attempts some sort of word (rarely sure what but I go with it). His main goal in life is to stand and he coasts around everything and loves his walker. The hardest part is that if you stand still long enough he climbs up your leg. He does the actions to a few songs and is signing more by the day. The only problem being that when tea isn't ready for another 15 minutes and he sits on the kitchen floor signing for hungry I feel awful. Not sure what the sign is for, "understand what you're signing but the pasta isn't cooked". He gets cheekier by the day and loves to be chased and scared. 

Aside from that we had a lovely 2 days with cousin Alfie who came to stay. Fancying a break from being around the house and with his brothers he showed no teenage tendencies with us and had impeccable manners, did lots of talking (rather than gaming) and was an absolute pleasure to have around. I did take a few pictures but he won't thank me for them so I will keep them off.

And so onto Sept (come on last bit of summer sun, you know you want to)...

P.s Had a 'Keep in Touch' day at work this week. All went well, no nappies falling out of bag, managed to look fairly together, wasn't late etc. All until I shook my head and my hair jingled. Yes, I had some 'special' beads in my hair. I remembered that this morning I couldn't find my hair bobble so whilst in the shower used one of Mabel's meaning to swap it over. Really hope no one heard the fact that I sounded like a 2 year old.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Big changes this month...

The most memorable, or should I say noticeable, for Mabel is that she no longer wears nappies. Aside from the cost thing (and perhaps the odd looks from other parents I suppose if you wait until they are about 5)  I am not sure why we would have rushed to do this one any earlier.

We literally just thought we would let her decide when she wanted to do it (perhaps with a little encouragement over summer). So a couple of weeks ago she got up and announced, "I am going to wee on my potty, I don't want to wear my nappy".

"Ah man", I thought, "not on a nursery day surely. I will have to try and persuade her to wait".
Then I thought it through some more (first few days the hardest, lots of accidents, etc, etc)
"Noooo problem, let me get it out for you" (hmmm those nursery fees were about to pay off).
Turns out I needn't have worried either way. She has been brilliant. Very few accidents all the way along and takes it all in her stride. No fear of the toilet and exclaims, "nevermind" when she does get a bit wet and flaunts off wearing no pants (almost to the point where I did need to hint that at some point someone will mind so lets just keep trying to remember to get there in time).

We have had a few issues on the poo front, seriously why does it seem so different once not in a nappy. I have to really control my face as I literally hold my breath taking the potty to clean. And G Kisby came in from work and whisked her up in the air one night only to find that the excitement caused a little visit down his work trousers (hee hee, again had to hide my facial reaction).

And I know we are not quite out of the woods yet, about to get on an open topped bus in Ambleside she decided she couldn't wait (good oh, hoping people just stepped over the puddle on the way on) and I am well aware now that it is not quicker to leave the house,
"Mummy I need a massive poooooo" she shouts as we literally get to the door,
"Really?" I ask
"No" she answers
Hmmm, what to do here. Am I being double bluffed? Is she literally taking the p** out of me because we are in a rush or does she actually want to go. Can I take the risk?
"Lets have a try anyway?" I suggest although obviously because it has come from me I then have to battle to get her on there, all the time Wilf waiting in the car.
"Can you pass me a book?
"Can you just concentrate on getting your poo out?"
"Nooo I need that book"
"O.k, you relax then, have a read, get pushing" I try.
5 minutes later, really knowing that I shouldn't rush her. No one needs to be rushed having a poo and especially not when you are pooing in a strange new place.
"Has your poo come yet?"
"No poo" she exclaims taking a good look between her legs.
Repeat the last 2 lines about 5 times before I give up,
"O.k lets try again later we need to go..."
I realise this will get me into trouble soon enough and no doubt knowing me it will be similar to on a walk recently when I took the portable potty bag only to realise I had taken out the actual potty to clean and not replaced it. Only we will be in a shop. Or an open topped bus...

And for Wilf it has all been about the moving. He had become very pesky on the movement front for most of the last month. Even when not officially crawling he got around the room super quick either by rolling, shuffling or commando crawling backwards. I found him with chairs pulled over, eating soil from the plant pot he pulled over (2 years that has sat there, Mabel never did that) and with his fingers in (for the purpose of social services, 'around') plug sockets - back to some child proofing I think. Then on Tuesday he suddenly worked out how to actually crawl and hasn't stopped since. Although actually he does stop, usually to pull himself up on something or someone. The former normally completely unstable and the latter unwilling. Mabel thinks it is very funny that he climbs up her. For about 2 minutes. Then she just gets up and he is flung off. Hard to explain to her not too when she was the initial victim.

He is making more new sounds and starting to have a little more of an attention span for reading a book or playing a game of stacking cups etc. He still adores water so I have been trying to do lots of activities with this in mind (spaghetti water play was a huge hit).
He still laughs at no one as much as his big sister. Fingers crossed that continues!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Lots of water play in July!

July has been such a fab month. Yes I realise it is not yet over but I had a spare half hour so thought I would crack on...

LOVING the sunshine. Don't seem to remember it being predicted which makes it all the better (nothing worse than to expect a summer and get just a another milder version of last year). And we have had some really great weekends.

Seeing our Scottish rellies again a few weeks ago was a real treat. The whole family met up for hot dogs, ginger beer and eton mess in the sunshine. And 'Uncle Al' had created a mud kitchen in the garden. You have never seen anything so exciting for a child, in fact I would have happily had a few hours playing myself (for more photos of exactly what a mud kitchen involves see

We also had a trip to The Lakes with our lovely friends, The Miltons. On previous trips Mabel has been slightly nervous of their huge dog Daisy, who although friendly is a little boisterous. Not so this time (check out baby Monty taking a dive in the background!)

Pretty much the entire three days was spent in or around water whether paddling at the lake, in the paddling pool or the small stream that runs through their garden.

We had a really lovely break including days out on a boat, an open top bus ride and fish and chips in the park. Not to mention evening barbeques, some girls' free time shopping/drinking wine in the sun and even a game of Cluedo! We picked up some ginger and rhubarb jam (mmmm) from a little cottage opposite this quaint village hall...

The bus was much faster than we realised and shortly after this picture we had a near miss from a passing tree which nearly whipped Monty in the face. Adrenalin loving Mabes was in her element:

The weather also made for a lovely day at Greenhead Park in Huddersfield with our NCT friends. You have to love a well maintained and managed park space. Greenhead Park was renovated a couple of years ago and now has an huge open paddling pool, great play areas (including den making materials and water pipes etc), a lovely cafe and miniature train rides. Since all being back at work we haven't met up as a group for a long time so it was great to see our now big girls playing together and generally catching up on everyone's news. 

Aside from that we continue to fit as much as possible into our lives. G Kisby has been busy doing his last assignment of the year for his masters course and we have been viewing houses as much as possible since working out that we can (just about) afford to rent our house out rather than sell (since we can't find a buyer). We did get an offer but it was low and they hadn't sold their house so I guess it was pointless. Curses to the slow housing market. We are both a bit unsure of the whole renting thing but since neither of us have a pension perhaps it will turn out to the best option. We'll see.  

August is likely to be just as busy if we manage to find a house but very exciting....

Monday, 15 July 2013

Did I mention...

Post pregnancy pilates? If I didn't then I meant to. First time round I didn't do anything toning wise, I wasn't massive even by the end and Mabel was such a non sleeper I spent hours walking the streets with her so didn't feel I had to.

With Wilf it has been very different - perhaps this time my body wasn't quite so 're-boundable' (such a word? If not it should be) and I have struggled to get my stomach back to normal. The muscles still haven't properly knitted together and I am really conscious of still looking pregnant. He is also very heavy to carry around and I do find myself with dreadful posture.

So I have been going to a really good baby friendly pilates class. And they don't just say it is baby friendly, it actually is. How thrilled am I to have found it.

I had bought a dvd and tried to find on YouTube ways to re-knit stomach muscles because i knew you could do more damage by just doing sit ups. But actually I don't think there is any substitute for a good instructer since I now realise that when I claimed I could pretty much do the entire dvd and not ache the day after it was very much that I was doing it wrong. 

And what else has been going on. Well I have been continuing to try and wind down my breastfeeding. Easier said than done. I've had awful mastitus (fully in bed with 'flu' like symptoms, that whole switching between changing jammies due to sweat followed by shivering over a hot water bottle. Even woke G Kisby up in the night in tears because I thought I was losing my mind talking jibberish. In hindsight just my temperature but not nice. Made me realise how lucky I am not to have felt that ill for such a long time.  In fact I can't remember the last time). G Kisby had to stay off work but a course of antibiotics sorted it out.
(not sure why this bit is green, can't seem to get it to go back?)

Things are now loads better and I am pretty much finished. The only issue is that I have kind of stopped using my left boob in favour of my right. I didn't think this through. I have the most ridiculous looking boobs in the world. When I go swimming I have to use Wilf as a human shield as I get in (not hard, even with one 'Jordon' boob he covers me up). People must think I have had a boob job but could only afford one side. One boob is literally knocking about in my massive feeding bra while the other is trying to get out the sides. Curses, dam this not thinking things through.

Mabel has also started potty training. I will leave the gory details until my next post (yes they are gory, why does cleaning a nappy feel very different to sorting out a full size poo in a potty. Or, er not in the potty. But definitely in the heat. Blurgh). 

And I have also been lucky enough to have that first experience (which I am sure all parents must have) of the door being opened by your toddler in a public toilet while you are having a wee. Mine just happened to be the toilet in the swimming pool changing rooms. So yes, I was pretty much naked. And in my dart to the door I pretty much soaked my own swimming bottoms. On this occasion I chose to follow the rules and shower before entering the pool.

No pictures, can't get them off my ridiculously old phone (doesn't even have predictive text, smashed mine and had to get one 'out the drawer' - you know the kitchen drawer I mean?)

More to follow... 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Wilf at 8 months, Mabel at 2.6

Wilfie boy is changing loads at the moment.

He has started pointing at things (I have been playing to his interests and he will recognise pictures in a book, namely banana, apple, you see where this is going...) His signing is ace, he signs for drink, all done and 'clean hands'. Hmm, all food related again. Turns out he doesn't actually sign for 'all done' regularly enough. I sign for 'all done' and he gets cross. 

He is also starting to love toys that actually do things which I personally find a bit more fun.

He rolls across the floor at some speed and is right on the verge of crawling. He will pull himself up on things and does the same thing Mabel did which is climb onto any thing or one that has been silly enough to sit close to him. I found him wrestling Mabel the other morning. They were laughing but it was only a matter of time. And I don't reckon our 8 month old was going to be the one crying.

They still get on really well. Only once this month have I had to rush through to find Wilf screaming on his back and Mabel looking sheepish on the sofa. I resisted the urge to judge too soon asking, "what happened?" rather than, "what did you do to him?"
"Wilfie fell over and banged his head"
"Yes I see, how did that happen"
"Was an accident"
"So how did it happen?"
No answer. Continues to look sheepish standing well away from the scene of the crime.
Wilf continues to scream, think he must have got a fright since he is usually pretty hardy. The screams obviously hit a nerve.
"Sorry Wilfie"
"You don't need to say sorry if you didn't do anything. Did you push him?"
(hmm thought so. At least she has a conscience!)

Mabel's current obsession is 'favourites'. I think she has just got the hang of this concept since she now asks and tells you her favourite everything from colour to song. If you try and give an opinion she will normally tell you that can't be your favourite and then tell you what is. Hasn't fully got the concept then. 
She continues to be 'spirited'. The best only way to channel this is to let her think she is the one making the decisions and give her lots of responsibility. I am thinking we can just carry on this way until school when we can let someone explain that she can't always be the leader. Good luck with that. 

She has also taken to talking to anyone and everyone. Nice in the shop when it is an old lady and it clearly makes their day. Less so when it is the 18 year old at the reception desk at the pool who she is clearly making feel very uncomfortable (when does social awareness come?) or waves like the Queen from her pram saying "hello" as we pass random strangers on the street. I was pretty shy as a child whereas when at a recent birthday party she was dancing for a group of people she didn't know, asking another to help her get a plate from the buffet and showing another person her 'fat tummy'. It makes me uneasy watching her. It is hard because I'm not sure I like the trait of 'showing off' or wanting to be centre of attention but should you try and stop it? She hasn't learnt it from us so it must be nature. I am conscious that I don't want to dampen her natural confidence and social side because I don't always feel comfortable with it.

Although the changes are less obvious as they get older I am still fascinated and amazed by how much she knows and learns every day. She recalls events now from some time ago,
"We went to the museum and then went to the cafe and I had a banana and climbed into the chair my own self"
(er, yes we did)

It is really strange that we are slowly not becoming the centre / most popular people in her universe,
"No, Aunty Fee feed me my beans" the other day was met with a, "what the hell?" under my breath.
Thinking this will be something we need to get used to. Particularly with Uncle Al around, they spend time making magic potions using wooden sticks and he whips up snappable play dough in about 5 minutes. 

Here is our boy with his Pierre Duck. Notably I couldn't get him to keep hold of it this month for launching himself forward, which I thought told a story in itself: