The Adventure of Parenthood

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Me and Mine - July

Last July was swelteringly hot, the evenings were sweaty and it felt like summer was going on forever.  I remember watching it out the hospital window, consoling myself with the strong rays I was protecting my children's skin from.  We missed a whole month of sunshine, of being outdoors and this July we have tried to make up for it.

Our days have been spent outdoors as much as possible, with plenty of mornings at the beach, picnics at lunch time and afternoons in the park.  We have spent lazy evenings eating fish and chips out of paper cones watching the children build sandcastles on a deserted beach and if we need some quiet, we have driven motorbikes round the garden, enjoyed bbq's and played with the sandpit.

One evening we met a local photographer down at the local beach, and she took some lovely photos of our little family, capturing us now.  My not so little toddler who is excited and ready for new adventures.  My slightly crazy 17 month old, who would spend all day in the sea and loves to roar, and the bloke and I, enjoying the best side of the place where we grew up, and where we are bringing up our family.

Mummy is loving her new laptop, dinner time picnics, having a new baby niece to cuddle and the way Archie tells you back off if you tell him off first.

Daddy is loving our new sofa,  going out with his brothers and gaming buddies, cooking pulled pork in the slow cooker and when Dylan asks him about his day as soon as he walks through the front door after work.

Dylan is loving his first session at nursery summer club, doing pages in his phonics book, the excuse to eat ice cream far more than I would usually allow and having friends over and then dissappearing to his room to play together.

Archie is loving roaring, at everyone and everything, piling cushions on the floor and practising dramatic falls and other stunts, saying more words and when I let him walk rather than putting him in the buggy.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Archie at 17 Months

Suddenly Archie looks so big, I don't know if it is the fact he is walking so much more, the clothes he wears or the fact that I have been thinking of him as a baby until I was forced to face the toddler he has become.  

Archie is a boy who knows what he wants, is determined to get it, and will let you know how displeased he is if anything stands in the way.  No obstacle is too big, no mountain too high that he won't attempt to go over, under or through it in the pursuit of something he probably isn't allowed.  If I tactfully block his way, I am met with a mini meltdown, and I catch a glimpse of the terrible twos which we seem to have skipped with Dylan but are inevitable with this little dude.  He is by no means bad, but he is testing the waters.

Mostly, Archie is a very happy little boy.  He loves being outdoors and the heat doesn't seem to bother him.  If you get a paddling pool out, he will climb straight in and sit patiently, even if there is no water in there.  The sand pit is equally as enticing, and these two places are about the only ones where he will just sit and play peacefully. I have started letting him out the buggy now he understands that he has to hold my hand and we walked all over the town together, him with a huge grin on his face, pulling me along excitedly.  

Archie is cheeky - everything from his mannerism to his grin and we love him for it.  He knows how to make us laugh and he knows when he is doing something naughty.  He loves to copy his brother, but also tends to lead him astray at the same time.  

Archie has always loved his food but he has decided exactly what he wants to eat now (carbs of any and every kind) and what he doesn't (veg), and if you dare to put some peas on his plate then you need to be prepared for them to be thrown out of the high chair one by one, with a little giggle as it happens.  We are still safe with vegetables hidden in meals though so we are having to be a bit more clever.

Roaring is an all time favourite pastime, and he will grab dinosaur toys and walk them along my arms or legs roaring at me,  He has also been doing this with food, and it isn't odd to see him grab a cheerio in the morning and make it roar across his high chair before dropping it into his mouth in an overly dramatic manner.  He loves lions and ducks (and these are also his favourite animal sounds to make), and quacks at every duck or bird we see.  He may look a little odd chasing pigeons quacking, but you can't help but smile.

Archie is talking a little more, although he says barely anything compared to Dylan at the same age.  This month's most used words are 'wee wee', 'down', 'car', 'water', 'football' and 'Dylan'.  He is happiest when his brother is around although their relationship is as up and down as you would expect from siblings so close in age.

Archie's personality shows more and more each month, and one thing is for certain, this little guy is going to be cheeky! He is challenging, extremely cuddly, hilarious and loving.  He loves to give kisses and he will come to me for cuddles throughout the day.  He keeps me on my toes, loves to make people laugh and has the most infectious smile.  Only one more month until he is one and a half, and possibly a haircut in the meantime!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Beach Times

We love the beach (you may have guessed this already), and we have our beach bags ready to go with all our essentials, all summer.  I can grab the bags, hang them on the buggy and just go which is perfect when you have two toddlers in tow!

 We have been sent some lovely bits which have found a permanent place in our beach bags, the first of which is a pair of personalised towels for the boys from Stuck on you.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Summer Sandpit Fun

My boys love each other in a way that only siblings will understand.  They cuddle, and copy, and wrestle and fight.  They tell tales on one another, and then make up, and they are happiest when the other is around.  We were recently send a lovely large sandpit from Plum, and it has made afternoons in the garden so much more peaceful. I see a friendship between them, and maybe it is the fresh air, the variety of toys or the simplicity of sand in a pit.  Whatever it is, they can play for hours both side by side and together, without even noticing if I am around or not.  The sand captures their imagination in a way that a toy in the house rarely does and I am looking forward to plenty more fun in the garden this summer.

Monday, 14 July 2014

This Little Boy of Mine

Next month, my little boy turns three.  It will have been three years since he arrived in this world, long, pink and screaming.  In three years he has grown so much, come so far, yet he is still but a baby in the scale of things.  He has so much still to learn and he is desperate to take it all in.  

In only two short weeks, he will attend his first session at nursery.  We spent lots of time researching different options in our area, visiting the nurserys and choosing the one we thought would best suit our little boy.  Dylan will join the preschool unit in a local nursery and spend 15 hours of his week with 26 other children who, just like him, will start school next year.

Many of his friends already attend and I have heard only good things.  We looked round and Dylan fitted right in, getting stuck in with puzzles, chatting to the staff and not wanting to go home at the end of our visit.  He is sociable, friendly and confident and I have no worries that he won't slot in.  We have daily questions about when he can start, he is desperate to follow his friends through the blue gates and when we do the nursery run to pick up a friend's son once a week, he loudly tells anyone who will listen that this will soon be his nursery too.

He is ready, well and truly ready.  He wants more, he wants different and he wants to be with other people his size.  I, however, am a little nervous.  For three years, he has been with me.  I have left him with family and carefully selected friends.  I have chosen every child that he plays with, am aware of every game he knows, every word he can say, and when he cries, I am there to dry the tears.  

Nursery will mean other people get to see my little boy, have a say in how he thinks, what he learns and how he plays.  They will witness a side of him that I never will. and I am sad that this period of his childhood is about to end.  He will be starting in slowly, doing two 9-12 morning sessions per week over the summer holiday to make childcare arrangements easier, and then taking his 15 hour free quota from September.

It is a big move for my little boy, but one which he is ready for, and one which I need to be ready for too.  

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Healthy Toddler Snacks.

I am lucky that both my children are good eaters.  With the exception of sweet potato, they eat nearly everything put in front of them, and they eat an awful lot of it too.  I can only imagine what my food bill will be when they are teenagers!

Both mid morning and post nap, they have a snack, and I love coming up with different healthy and fun things to give them.  Here are a few from this week:

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

An Adventure at Whitstable Beach

whitstable, beach kids, adventures, adventure at whitstable beach

'Would you like to come into my adventure, mummy?'

Sometimes I worry that he hasn't quite got it, but then he makes me hop from cushion to cushion as we jump on the train, or he takes me into the 'jungle', where in reality no plant is higher than our knees and the most exotic animal you will find is a squirrel.  

whitstable beach, adventures in whitstable, toddlers on the beach, brothers

Dylan is nearly three and I can see his imagination growing every day.  He loves to play pretend, making whole scenarios in his head and his favourite place to have these adventures is outdoors.  The park, the beach, the alley down the side of our house - it doesn't really matter when you are two, what matters is who you are with and what you are doing.

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