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...