Saturday, 26 April 2014

Easter


I hope you all had a lovely Easter break! One of my favourite things about having my own child is getting to enjoy all the holidays through the eyes of a little one! We had a fantastic long easter weekend, it was so lovely to have 4 days off together as a family and fill them with fun! 

On Good Friday, we went over to my grandparents for fish and chips. We normally do this every year and the whole family goes round, this year was different though as some of the family were away on holiday and so it was a quieter Good Friday.


I'm sure next year, LJ will be tucking into some fish and chips! This year, he settled for some cheese sandwiches and his usual lunch bits. The weather was finally warm enough for his new romper suits! I just LOVE seeing those arms and legs! It's been a long winter.


My brother managed to come home for a visit and it was great for him to see LJ and spend time with him. LJ has two uncles and two aunties but only one lives in our home town. I'm sure he must look like he's grown loads each time they come home and see him. 


He also got to play with his (my) cousins and had lots of fun knocking down the towers they built for him. They are all much more interested in him now that he wants to play with them and is less likely to throw up/fall over/cry at them. 

Ever wondered why I loved babies so much? 

I grew up as the oldest grandchild on both sides and apart from my brother and sister, I didn't get a cousin until I was 7 and then they arrived one every year after that for the next nine years! I had lots of practice with babies rather than cousin play mates. 


This was a couple of weeks ago but I thought i'd better throw it in the Easter post. My cousins in America always have their little ones pictures with the easter bunny and i'd never seen it here. So you can imagine how beyond excited (much to Ali's embarrassment) that there was a bunny in our shopping centre! Now baring in mind LJ is going through some separation anxiety issues at the moment, I figured the bunny could go either way. The whole he'd love the bunny or he'd be traumatised for life. 

He LOVED the bunny. The bunny also loved him. I ended up doing the whole So... we better get going LJ... while thinking - give my baby back you easter baby stealing bunny. 


He was so chilled out! Remember this baby is NOT a chilled out baby. This may be one for the record books, he sat STILL for 5 minutes. 


We then got involved in a easter egg hunt around the shopping centre that involved me dragging a baby and a daddy into each shop in excitement. The reward was a chocolate bunny which of course I saved for LJ totally ate myself. 

So back to the easter weekend. 

On the Friday evening we picked up my best friend from Uni - Nel, or to LJ 'Crazy Auntie Nel'. She isn't really crazy, she just gets herself into some situations that make you think she might be crazy (When I was 37 weeks pregnant, we went to the beach and her and Ali were throwing a frisbee about and it ended up in the sea, so she went in FULLY CLOTHED to get it.)


(She'd broken her thumb 
playing Ultimate Frisbee and it turns out 
you have to have quite the extreme cast for a thumb break)

The plan for Saturday was to take LJ on two 'First' experiences - A train for the first time and on the beach for the first time. We started the day with a Toby Carvery 'All you can eat' breakfast (Yes, who knew they did breakfast?!) and it was YUMMY. It set us up for the day and fried breakfast ranks in my top 10 foods. 


So we got to the little train station near us to get the train to the coast. We stood all excited and got LJ out of his pram and we waited, and waited and then another man on the platform announced that the train had been cancelled (and we totally did the whole - do we take his word for it?). 

Well, lesson one of trains for LJ, they don't always run on time or at all. 

So back in the pram he went and we walked the short distance back to Ali's parents to wait for the next hour train. It all worked out well as LJ really needed a nap and I was worried he'd be asleep for the whole choo-choo train experience. 

Take 2.


He LOVED it! I think he was curious as to why he wasn't belted down, why he got to sit on mummy's lap and that he could see out the window. He got a little bit too excited and tried to grab the hood from the person sitting in front of us. I'm not sure if they were just tired or hungover but they did not look happy. The journey is really short, we were just taking the train instead of driving for the fun of the train but it was lovely to see LJ's face! 

Don't let the sunshine in the following photos fool you. It was BLOODY FREEZING on the beach. I'm so glad I packed LJ's coat as the wind was so strong but the sand was quite warm, so we all kept close to the ground. 


You can see that LJ was far too involved in sandcastle building to partake in the family photo (a rare occasion anyway). It's always lovely to see  him experience new things and watch how excited he gets (wrists and ankles rotate and lots of happy noises, we call it the 'helicopter').


His first reaction to the sand on his bare feet. You'll have to excuse the camera work, this is why there is hardly any film of LJ and I... Daddy can't work the camera, he also cut it in half. 


Excuse the runny nose, we were in the height of teeth cutting at the time (His two top ones have FINALLY cut now). He did really well and we had no sand eating issues until the end when we were leaving and his teeth were hurting and he tried to touch them with his sandy hands. 


So much fun. It was one of my favourite days and experiences seeing him play with the sand and he isn't half bad with a spade either. 


We discovered that he gets very upset if you fill the bucket with sand for a castle. It also took a lot of attempts for us to get a good castle and then he loved to stick his hand in the middle of the castle after. I guess he really is the king of the castle.


This is now my new favourite photo of the two of them. Sunshine, happy baby, happy daddy. So much love! He rules the directions in walking now, he is very strong for such a little baby and he will refuse to walk in a direction and twist you until you are going the way he wants. If you don't then he'll throw his head back and cry (like he did about 10 seconds after this photo)




Turns out he just wanted to see what that noisy (although familiar noise from all the white noise we played him as a baby) mass of water was. I love the start of the video 'Do you have spare clothes for him?' ... 'Yep' ... walk baby into sand and water. 


You'll hear in the video how windy it was. Hopefully in the Summer we will be able to bring him back and he can have even more fun with less clothes! 


My little crab baby heading out to sea. Yep we still have the crab zombie crawl going on. 


I'm glad he wasn't freaked out by the sand (I admit I get a little freaked out myself, sand gets EVERYWHERE) 


I had to snap some baby sandy toes. He always curls his toes at the end, it was very hard to get the sand out of those tiny spaces. 


It wasn't all fun and games for LJ, mummy got to have ice cream too! 


So as the day came to a close, we waved goodbye to Auntie Nel back on the train to London and LJ pointed at where the train had left. Pointing is his new thing of the week, well last week now, they move through things so quickly. If he isn't pointing at birds, it's toys or daddy.

Easter Sunday.


#sundaymorningmadness 44 weeks. Ok, I admit in the excitement to give him his easter gifts that I forgot all about Sunday Morning Madness. It was that mad. I did discover that he hates anything on his head now and my dream of a cute easter bunny photo went out the window. Oh and the tongue out is the new thing this week (Can I have pointing back?).


I might have gone a little overboard on the easter presents, not that I spent a lot, just that it looks a bit OTT. Who cares? He is my baby and we'll be happy holiday people! 

You can see from the picture that he found the one small bit of chocolate that I hid in the bag. This kid had his first taste of chocolate over easter and he went CRAZY for it. I'm talking he was coughing and still shoving bits in his mouth in a crazed i'm never going to get another chance to get chocolate again kind of way. Chocolate is still reserved for special occasions (and really poopy nappy changes when I need him to lay still, yes i'm already using it as bribing material) and he has only ate the ears off the cow so far. 


We got him the bunny and then a couple of books with sound buttons that made chick and bunny bouncing noises. He was quick to learn how to make the noise go off. I was quick to learn not to buy my own child noisy toys.


He loved the books and there was also a basket of coloured eggs that he liked to shake too (they had chocolate eggs in for a egg hunt). 


A few of my family were staying an hour away at a Haven holiday park over the easter break and so the rest of the family decided to go drive and spend the day with them. LJ slept the whole way and was very excited when we got to the park. There was bubbles, the dog, lots of children. He loved all of it. 


LJ was very lucky and got more easter gifts. It was like a mini birthday for him and I love seeing what other people get for him. 


You can see LJ always goes for the food! Mum thought smart and got him a bowl of fruit snacks that look like sweets. 


The place had a swimming pool and we headed there in the afternoon with my cousins. LJ loves a pool! My cousin Chloe took some great photos of him and us in the pool and this one just cracks me up! I think everyone had a go at a good caption for this photo. 


It's safe to say that the swimming tired him out and he had a nice snooze with his new Bradley bear from the Haven shop. 


Soon it was time to go home, after a bit of play in the motor home, LJ got changed into his Pjs (I love a baby in PJs!) and Nannie gave him his milk and we hoped he'd fall asleep in the car on the drive home.


Oh how wrong we could have been. He didn't fall asleep the whole way home and to make things more difficult, he did a poop on route!


So we got to experience our first lay by nappy change. Not bad for 10 months in! 

Monday.


On our way back from the beach, we found a second hand toy shop in the train station. We spotted a pack of Biro train track and some trains for £10 and we just had to get it for LJ. My brother had loads of this stuff when he was little (and has now sold it - great!) and I love that it's wooden and simple and lots of fun as they grow. This was LJ on Monday morning looking pretty excited at the new trains, right before he pulled all the track up but thats to be expected. 



The weather was a lot better on the Monday. LJ got to sport the bright coloured shorts I picked up for him last week in H&M (I'm all for bright and bold!).

My dad was working in the garden so we had bacon sandwiches outside in the sun while LJ played with his trains on the (fake) grass. The above picture cracks me up because LJ looks majorly confused and I think he looks like a little alien in a spaceship. 


I had one last attempt at the bunny ears, which ended up being broken bunny ears and LJ would rather risk standing on his own than having them on his head. 

I hid the bright coloured eggs for a egg hunt but LJ wasn't that interested. So we just played in the garden with the eggs and the much loved trolley. 




It was the perfect way to finish off the long weekend. To add to a weekend of firsts for LJ, we decided to go get him his first shoes. I know, I know, he's not walking on his own yet but coming from someone who has a baby that wants to walk everywhere inside and out, no matter what the weather, I needed a solution to damp scuffed moccs. When I heard about Clark's 'cruising shoes' collection, I thought this would be the solution.


LJ decided he'd sleep through this first experience. I'm kinda thankful as I can imagine the trouble to get him to stand still long enough to have his foot measured. We picked out a pair of summery type shoes to make him through the warmer months until he's walking and can get some walking first shoes. 



LJ seemed to love them! I was a little sad it made him look like a toddler but happy that he can now walk around anywhere outside and I don't have to worry about him hurting his feet or getting wet feet. 


Talking of all the easter bunnies, here is Bonsai and Cloud, our easter bunnies! You'll hopefully see a lot more of them towards the summer months. They used to be house bunnies before we moved back with my dad and then they were outside bunnies! 

We finished off our easter Monday with a lovely meal out with my dad and Sheila and I enjoyed this yummy dessert!


I've got a few posts in the pipeline and I still need to do my designs for Logi Bear Prints but i'll get there soon! Thanks for reading, I hope you've all had a good week back to routine! 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter chick cards

Family members look away now! You will Ruin your handmade surprise for the weekend! 


So I love to get LJ involved in the hand making of cards for family! It's just more acceptable to go back to hand made cards when you have a little person to say 'made' it. 

So we made Easter chick cards! (By made, I mean LJ screamed through the foot printing part while shoving Cheerios into this mouth) 


They are super easy to make! I've managed to do them in a evening after work (along with a little 'here's one I made earlier' with the foot printing being done yesterday)

So you will need -
Yellow kid friendly paint
Some white card/paper
A thick black pen
A orange crayon/pen
Some pretty backing card
Scissors
Tape/glue

Additional extras - some yellow feathers

I managed to find all this in my craft box! Another win for me as I'm bad at going out and buying it all new! (It's properly why I had it all in there in the first place)


I started with printing LJ's foot with the yellow paint on some white paper. I tend to pop him in the highchair while I do it to reduce run away paint feet. It depends on how old your little one is and how much they like their feet being tickled (turns out mine no longer likes it). 

I just printed 3 footprints per sheet of paper, it depends if you have a million family members like us or if your just making a couple. 

After the paint was dry (and baby was over the trumatising odeal of feet ticking) I just cut round the feet leaving a small gap so that you can see the footprint. You can use any colour card or paper, I wasn't sure what would show up best so I went with white. 


We have a variety of 'chick' shapes depending on how little wriggling was going on at the time. I then used tape folded over to stick my feet toes down on the backing card. This card was just a square pack of 20 different designs for about £2 from Wilkensons. It had been kicking about for a while due to all the pink and purples, so I figured it was Easter egg like. 


Then you can use your orange crayon/pen to draw on some legs and a beak and added in a little shape for the wing. I used my black pen to add in an eye and wrote my message on the card. The added extra is some yellow feathers for a little extra detail on the wing, I didn't have any feathers (that I could find - I'm sure I do somewhere) so I might add those on tomorrow. 

ta-da! 
Cheep-cheep!
Easter chick card! 


A nice quick and easy (and fun!) project to do with your little ones (or big - everyone loves a fat chick!) 

Have a great Easter everyone and enjoy the long weekend! We have lots of fun and exciting plans! 


Ps - look who turned 10 months old today, he looks like a toddler! #timeslowdownplease 

Monday, 14 April 2014

It's all about the LEGO LEGO LEGO.

So today I found out that if you do a blog post via your phone and then your phone dies, so does your post. It's hard enough writing one blog post, let alone trying to remember it all again to rewrite it.

So yesterday I apparently FORCED Ali to open the lego sets he's been hoarding since December. By forced, of course I mean it went a little something like this -

'I think I'm going to take out all the minifigures from the storage box and put the superheroes in there'

'What about the turtles?'

'They ARE superheroes too'

'Oh. Well I'll take some photos when you do'

'FINE. I'll do it now.' 

Forced. Yep. I actually started a fun evening, can't you tell?


Disclaimer - the mess in the background is organised clean mess, so it doesn't count, right?

So LJ got his first experience of some Lego, or his first experience of seeing what a nerd his father is. 


He was more interested in his bread and houmous but had to listen to his daddy's jibber jabber anyway.


So Ali got the Ironman set back in December for his birthday (His 28th Birthday I might add) and then we picked up the superman set in Sainsburys this week as they have gone half price. I often forget why we go to a supermarket as we always end up in the toy aisle first. Most of the time we aren't even looking at toys for LJ, mostly daddy's toys. 


I was pretty curious. I've never had a LEGO set before with instructions and various parts. I was a freestyler with random LEGO at my grandmothers house that somehow used to be enough to make a whole LEGO city. 


I listened to Ali go on about how many parts there were that he hadn't seen before, which old ones were his favourites and I must have heard the word 'cool' used about 20 times. Meanwhile I was juggling giving LJ more bread as he ate it faster than I could rip it apart while also managing to flip the spoon in the food up and onto the blinds and floor (missing the LEGO, thank goodness) and trying to listen to all the facts and tales that Ali was trying to explain to me. 

Talking of multi-tasking, it might surprise some of you to learn that I actually have a grade B in A-Level English Language because apparently my grammar in this blog is terrible. As a mother who stupidly made a New Years resolution to write a blog for a year, while also returning to work part time and juggling everything else I try and get done, I'm just happy if I make it through the day with my clothes on the right way round.

#sorrynotsorry I don't have time to worry about the grammar. I'll do my best but it tends to just flow off my muddled head inbetween resettling a baby, cleaning up after the day, sterilising bottles for the next day, doing the washing, putting away the washing... You get the picture.


Back to the LEGO. 

The completed superman set, as shown above, involves a car that can be flipped from the bottom of the tower. I see flying objects and lego underfoot in my future, this doesn't look good. This is why I need a girl to help push back the LEGO barrier with the likes of Barbie dolls and polly in my pockets. I tolerate the buying of the LEGO in the promise that if I ever have a girl, I can go grown up crazy buying up Barbie dolls before the girl can even hold something in her hand. 


Ali was quite impressed with my iPhone LEGO photoshoot. Admittedly the light isn't great as we were losing it fast and I was houmous food flipping between shots. It's amazing what you can do with a sheet of white card, yep, that's the secret. I spent months following a bunch of people on Instagram with the impression that they all owned beautiful white walls and tables to which they took photos of their beautiful things on. One day, a lady simply commented that she used a large white sheet of card next to a window of natural light and the dream was shattered. So there you go folks, £1.75 white card from Papercase that I keep in the conservatory to take photos against. 


Apparently the first instruction in a LEGO manual is to sort the parts into colours. I had already been drawn to do this (there was bright oranges and blues...Ooo) but was shooed off by the master builder.


Now I obviously don't know Ironman as well as I thought because I didn't recognise the villain. At first Ali said he wasn't cool and then he realised he had a gun. 


I read an interesting article the other day about letting boys be boys. Let them run around with guns and weapons and be distrucive. Growing up in a household where we didn't have weapons to play with, I'm still undecided on my views on letting my son have guns and swords etc. Obviously Ali was allowed all sorts of weapons growing up and well him and his brother aren't crazed criminals, so I guess it doesn't mean anything. I think I'm just worried about my son running around being a little s**t with a gun and shooting people and being generally annoying. 

I know I have a little while before I'll come face to face with that tough decision, for now I can enjoy trains and cars with my baby, no doubt his daddy will want him to be running around with a nerf gun with him, so maybe I can just delay what age he's running around with a gun.

Others with little boys, what do you think? 


Finally the last of the sets that Ali just HAD to have were the teenage mutant ninja turtles. I just had to google the order  of their name, yep, I knew what they were, but I couldn't remember if they were teenagers before ninjas or they are ninja mutants or mutant teenagers. 

My only experience of the TMNT is from the 90s when my brother and I used to play the old nintento round my Nan's and my auntie would help us out with this game. 


All I really remember is they ate a lot of pizza. If you've ever wondered how I became a mix of creativity and girl nerd, well one grandparent had pens and paper at her house and the other had various nintento systems. I spent my time writing my own stories and then watching my nan show me where all the secret levels were on Mario. 

Ali loves the turtles and is super excited they are making a new film about them. So he used some of his birthday money to get a couple of sets and he's already said LJ won't be playing with them (what a meanie - Lego movie sound familiar?)


Since I attempted writing this post and then rewriting this post, he has got the final turtle. Leonardo used to only come in a £60 set but they've just realised a £12 set so that tight arses... I mean older men buying LEGO can complete their set. 


This is about as close as LJ gets to playing with the set. 


Ok, I guess they look pretty cool. He hasn't made the sets up for them, apparently he doesn't want to lose the bits when we move. 

Yes folks, we may never own our own house but we'll have a hell of a LEGO collection. No seriously, the house saving is on track. We have however already had a disagreement about where the turtle LEGO sets will be displayed (totally NOT the living room.) 

Do you want to know something funny? 

When Ali and I were picking baby names out for LJ, we decided to each write a list of names we liked then swap them and we could cross out any we definitely didn't like and would be left with a final list. So I get Ali's list and I'm curious where the influence of names such as Leonardo and Michaelangelo came from. It turns out that nearly ALL the names on his list were from his favourite cartoons or tv shows. I'd say this is why men don't pick baby names, however I can neither confirm nor deny that LJ was named after Wolverine.


So I took this photo before we got the final turtle. However on Friday evening while I was in the middle of tackling a crawling child with a poopy nappy, running a bath and getting things ready for bedtime... Ali was rethinking the order of LEGO minifigures in the display box. 

I know, we wonder why mummy gets stressed. He actually is a really good daddy and normally always helps with bathtime when he's here, I guess he just needed to get the order of 16 figures just perfect. 

Seeing as we can't afford lots of these lovely LEGO storage boxes, we had to find a solution to keep the others somewhere until we win the lottery or something. 


We have since found some LEGO boards to keep them all in place. Everytime we picked up the box, they would have a mix and mingle and their would be spears poking everywhere. This has prompted Ali to go searching in his parents loft for his first minifigures, so expect a post soon with vintage minifigures! If you have some old LEGO minifigures, let me know! Send me a picture! I would love to see them. 

If you were wondering about the LEGO movie minifigures, we are nearly done! Ali finally got me the mermaid last week and his dad swapped us the female robot From the Wild West. 


We ended up with two swaps last week for the first time. We go by a tactic of feeling for the most unique item in the pack and most the time this works. The student may soon overtake the teacher as I picked us up the DJ wild style this week.


It seems that Shakespeare with a bald head piece is quite hard to locate. He's our LAST one for the collection, so if you have him as a swap, let us know which one you need in return and we'll go feel up a packet for you - now that's a service and a half. 

Our LEGO crazy week didn't stop there. Ali ended up bidding on two older minifigures on EBay for 99p each. 


Meet Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde and a sparton lady. I get caught up in the excitement when Ali actually wants to spend money. Now if only I could get him excited about baby clothes and stationary, I'd be set.