Saturday, 27 September 2014

#freelego

Well it's come to the end of another lovely week of #freelego from the Daily Mail Newspaper. If you didn't already know, then i'm sorry, you missed out. Unless you have family who read the daily mail and horde newspapers, then you might still have a chance. If you can fill out the coupon, and send it away to the address shown, then you will receive your free Lego in about 6 weeks time. 

We managed to visit WHSmith every day from Monday-Saturday and buy two papers and collect two lego packs. On the first Saturday, we happened to be in town (I know, we're crazy!) and the Sunday we took a trip to Toys R Us to play with all the toys under one roof collect our Lego. 

LJ and I happened to be in town on the Monday and Tuesday for playdates and swimming, so we swung by and picked up Lego. 



He loves lifts with mirrors.

We got two papers each day because I found out that you can do this and it's completely acceptable. We've saved the other packs from any free Lego that we've got, ready for when we need to bribe use it for a present for LJ. 



This Lego giveaway has been really good for us, there were a lot of mini figures included in the packs this time round. In fact, out of the 8 days of free Lego, you came out with 8 mini figures, as one pack didn't have one but another had two.

Our mini figure storage units are getting a bit over-crowded.



If you remember, we have two lovely 16 mini figure storage display cases, that Ali and I received for our most recent birthdays. In his yellow case, he keeps all his favourites, mostly superhero mini figures. In my red case, I have my Simpson's collection, although I might switch them out sometime soon. All the rest of the mini figures are in this 3 tier case.



With the recent influx of mini figures, we will have to 'build' new housing on the upper levels. Let's hope Aldi still have these plastic storage boxes to click on top.

I noticed today that WHSmith have the new mini figure series 12 on display in store now. This week, on our food shop, we picked up the next figure from the series.



Another one we had on our favourite list. She's currently hanging out with the other warriors on the top storage tier. 

So here is the round-up:

Day One: Lego Movie



I feel like i'm sick of the LEGO movie now, this is the 3rd wild style we have, but the add on tools/weapons are handy. 

Day Two: TMT



It's a turtle! It's cool! ... My favourite was the pink bricks. I got to put this one together, LJ and I took some time on the Tuesday to put some of them together.



Disclaimer: Yes, child is under 3. No, they didn't eat anything. 

Day Three: Lego City



Anyone else think he looks like W.W from Breaking Bad? .... No? Just us?

This one was pretty neat because of the moving parts. LJ liked playing with this one after we finished building, I had to have the turtle. 



He is so bossy at the moment with instructing you to be places and play with certain toys. If you put down a toy that he has given you, then he will pick up that toy and place it back in your hand. Just hold it, he's not worried as long as you've got it.

Day Four: Chima



When Ali has previously pointed out packs of this stuff, I've begged us not to get involved in another Lego Spin off because it gets out of control. Upon opening this free pack, I'm quite liking the animal style Lego figures and bricks. I could be persuaded (in the future!!).



This is the photo we sent Ali while he was working.
a. to make him jealous we were building Lego. b. to show him cutie picture of his son. c. to show him what I was doing instead of things I should be doing.

Day five: Lego City



This one was the bonus prize! Two mini figures! He will be able to join the strong police force we have currently residing in unit 2 of the storage block.

Do I get extra points for photo taking with scenic views?

Day Six: Star Wars

This one was the boring one, no mini figure. However a spaceship is always wanted by future five year olds, so one for the box.



I apologise for the out of focus picture, I had to take advantage of junk space mail. 

Day Seven: Chima

More fun animal weapon Lego!



Ali jumped at the chance to build this one, the big wheels are pretty cool. Also it comes with the flame Lego piece, which means I only need about 50 more to build the sea scene that I saw in a LEGO build book.

Day Eight: Lego City



The final one is a Lego City: Arctic Guilder. At first glance, I thought he was a 80's space rocket guy. We are big fans of the classic helmet Lego piece. 

We also finally got round to a little video project that i've had in mind for a while.

Time-Lapse Lego Building. 

We used the kit in the above picture and I stood above Ali while he built the pack (Aren't we productive in nap times?!). He said he felt the pressure but it all went well.

Enjoy!

Let's hope it's not long until the next free Lego Giveaway. Our rabbits now have 14 weeks worth of newspaper for bedding. 



Lego Time-Lapse from Samantha Rhind on Vimeo.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

15 Months.


Time comes round so quickly, the month flies past and suddenly it's time for the next photo. 


I used my new trusted method of white chocolate buttons. Can you tell?

Dear LJ,

You are teething again and putting everything in your mouth.
You now have size 5 feet.
You really need to get mummy to weigh and measure you sometime.
You say more words but they make one off appearances.
You can shout 'Grandad', prefer saying 'Dad' and switch between 'Mummy' and 'Mama'.
You love to run and wait to be chased.
You most favourite thing is to watch and feed the fish.
You now withhold kisses and prefer to offer your head.
You are so bossy! You will pull people by the hands to where you want them to play.
You love to scream at the top of your lungs.
You've become so ticklish.
You giggle more than ever.
You trump all the time but pretend nothing happened.
You point, tap and pull to communicate.
You like to stroke dogs and say 'aww'. 
You are still unsure about up close with any animal bigger than you.
You know what you want and do a fake cry if you don't get it.
You generally love foods you shouldn't have all the time.
You much prefer to eat off someone else's plate.
You like to watch football with Grandad and shout 'goal'.
You smile when you see the door to your Nanny Sandy's house.
You love to put toys and dummy's in Nanny Sue's handbag for her to find later.
You like when Grandad King's does silly voices to the dragon toys.
You squeal when you see Granny Wheels.
You always make Grandad David play with you before he goes to work.
You make all your great grandparents get down on the floor to play with you.
Your favourite colour crayon is brown and you make mummy use blue.
You won't eat chicken or potato.
You love a little pot of tomato sauce with your meal.
You copy all the time, copy mummy coughing or Great Nanny getting up.
You have been working on your animal noises. 
You only sit still when I put on videos of you.
You love to drop things through the stair gate at the top of the stairs.
You like to pass me each shoe when we put your shoes on.
You don't like wearing socks.
You tell me 'gone' when you've finished your bottle and wait for me to take it.
You smile cheekily if you see mummy and daddy kiss goodbye.
You make us love you more every day.


I love sitting down and making the 'month in one videos' now. My iMac makes the experience much more enjoyable and as i've kept organised, it's a lot easier on my stress levels. We appear to have done a lot in LJ's 14 month! The video was jam-packed. 


I was reading back on a few blog posts earlier. I'm not sure which direction the blog is going in, or what sort of thing it will cover. I'm attempting to keep at it because I made it a resolution (and it may be one of the few I actually complete!) and I enjoy having it as a place to share, think and ramble. I have posts planned in my head but time is limited. Can you believe I wrote 10 blog posts in January? ... I've wrote on average 2 the last few months. I'd love to say I will be better, but in reality I have plans coming up that will limit my time even more. I'll cover more later, but hopefully it won't be forever and it will be worth it.


I don't know if it's the influx of new babies, pregnant ladies and a better sleeping 15 month old, but i've had time to reflect. Babies are only babies for such a short time, each stage is so short in the grand scheme of life. It makes me think, did I really complain so much about my lack of sleep? Surely I must have known babies don't sleep, they need to feed regularly and have cuddles. They need to have their mummy and to feel safe. I'm ashamed sometimes that I complained so much, but then that was the sleep deprivation talking. What i'm trying to say is i've slowed down and took a step back and realised that I need to find the positives in every day, no matter what sort of day or how limited my patience is.


So what if he needs me to fall asleep? It's not going to be forever (or he'll have major problems when he gets to University). So what if he wakes up early? We get more done and i'll have years to lie in when the house is quiet with sleeping teenagers. So what if he always wiggles and tries to run away when I change his nappy. It won't be forever. 

I've made it my aim to try and complain less about the struggles and focus on what an amazing, bright, loving (if a little hyper) boy I have and enjoy every day. 


A problem is only a problem if you make it one. 

Of course i'm only talking about my baby, i'm still very much going to be prone to complaining about all other things in life, like rising house prices and not enough hours in the day.


Look at this chilled boy behaving for his photos (with a little chocolate help!). I remember when I couldn't even get him to sit for one photo.


(7 Months)

I stare at him all the time now, well more so than I did before. Where did those long legs come from, or those big feet and chubby hands? I notice his hair suddenly longer and thicker and think, when did that happen? Friend's will ask me a question like what first foods did you give him? and i'll end up looking at old photos for an hour and wondering did I really have a baby so little. 

It's still strange now to think I have a 'son' and he's 'one'. Strange to think Ali and I are parents and in the future we will have a five year old, a ten year old, eighteen year old. It's crazy but when you think about having a baby, you think just that. A baby. Somehow I could always picture us with a baby, but I can't imagine us with a ten year old. 


A few friends (It feels like everyone!) are currently pregnant with baby number 2. I'm properly sounding to them like i'm asking a lot of questions, but i'm just curious. I LOVE the idea of having a second (Don't panic, not yet!) but I just can't imagine me actually having more than one child. I can't imagine having two people that want my love and attention at the same time. Ok, I can't imagine LJ sharing my love and attention at the same time. Would I do it all the same? Would I change my parenting methods? Would I keep up with the same amount of photo and video coverage? 

You're properly laughing at me right now, whether you have one, two or no children. Of course not, you'll have too and no you won't, you might say. The truth is I have no idea, i'll continue to ask curious questions from second time mums and pin fun pregnancy number 2 photos on Pinterest. For now, i'm happy with my one and i'll look forward to baby cuddles from others.


I realised I've been rubbish at sharing little video clips from my DSLR. I'm still learning, it will always be an ongoing process and I can go weeks without picking it up, but when I see the footage, it's always worth it. 


I love camera phone pictures for the everyday, the 'oh quick he's doing something cute' moments, but nothing beats a proper camera photo. 


Just when you think you're packing away the Summer clothes and bringing out the cosy leggings, BAM 20c weather in the middle of September. 


We took the opportunity to break out the paddling pool for one last time, wear in the new wetsuit that daddy picked up and cool down in the sun. I grabbed my camera for some shots but my bossy one year old insisted that I pour water over his head at the same time. Mummy multi-tasking to the rescue. (Don't worry, the photos took a minute and I put it down and played with my son.) I know there will come a time when he doesn't want photos and that is fine. I want to remember everything, so I panic if my phone dies or I've not got it with me, I think it's a separate worry issue of mine and I might try and explain it more at some other point. I know there is a lot of hate out there for mama's behind camera's, but we do it for a reason. Even if those reasons are different. 


One for the LEGO fans...

Remember how the Series 12 mini figures weren't out until October?



Look what we found hidden in the Tesco aisle on Monday 15th September. 

It's strange because I had a feeling they would be there, so we went to check. I squealed a little too excitedly, maybe because I love the yellow packets and maybe because I was right. 



Ali talked me down from buying two. There is just something exciting about picking up a random packet and not having to worry if you have it or not. We got the one I picked up first, when I looked at the packets. I've always had this thing about getting the one I first picked, when I was younger, I would pick a cuddly toy out and just had to have that one, because I choose him first. 



We got the miner! One of Ali's favourites. 

They come with an added extra for the kids (or big adults, but not Mac users) as they have a game code in each packet.



You can log on to LEGO.com/minifigures and enter the code and have the mini figure in your game. I went to log on, so I could discuss if it was a good thing, but it turns out that Mac users aren't supported, so PC users, let me know! 



So we'll be getting one each week with our food shop, I think there is a wide range of characters that the guessing game will be easier than with the Simpsons figures. If you want to see the full range of Series 12, check out my previous post here

FREE LEGO 

I meant to post this before yesterday. However the daily mail free lego with every paper is on from Saturday 20th to Saturday 27th September 2014. Just pick up a daily mail newspaper in a W H Smith store and get your free lego straight away, or pick up a newspaper and either use the coupon to pick up your free LEGO from a Toys R Us, or send it off and wait a few weeks to get your LEGO sent to you! 


They have done this before but this time you get quite a few mini figures with the kits!

We got Wild Style yesterday - 


You can read more about it here on the daily mail website. 



I'll leave you with a short video of more fun on our food shop (Am I the only one who enjoys food shops?!) 



Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Oh I do love to holiday beside the seaside.


So this year we went away to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. It had been planned for ages, possibly before I even had Logan. All 17 of us went away to stay in a house in Norfolk for a week.




It was a blast! Everyone had a great time experiencing a big family holiday and LJ loved it. We took the opportunity that everyone was together to take some fun family photos, i'm not sure what everyone originally thought when I asked them to jump, but this was the result!


It was a lot easier getting the grandchildren photo, now that everyone is older. I don't think we've had one all together in years. 


We also took the opportunity to take an Oscar's style selfie. LJ's face cracks me up every time. It's like he's just realised he's part of a crazy family. 


We also had a fun fingerprint photo to take part in. I first heard about fingerprint trees when my friend was planning her wedding and showed me a website called not on the high street. I got one print for my Grandmother's 80th birthday for the whole family to do, and this one for my grandparents wedding anniversary. The print ink from my local craft shop. It's an easy project to celebrate a milestone family event and it appears everyone is excited about producing a finger print. 


The house itself was amazing. It had 8 bedrooms and you'd find yourself going upstairs and having to take a second to work out which direction your room was in. We were lucky enough to have a cot in our bedroom (One less baby related item to squeeze in the car) and LJ adapted well to it, although later in the week, there was talk of a friendly ghost (more on that later).


We were fans of the pool table in the conservatory, I think we all challenged each other every night to a game (or three!). There was no Wi-Fi signal, so even though we realised how much we relied on our phones (How do I check the weather?!), it was great to just chill out and hang out with my cousins, or play games. We had two epic games of monopoly during the week. We actually stayed up later than the adults to ensure there was a winner.


I even got to read a BOOK. My first book since the day before I had a baby. I spent the first couple of days catching up on some much needed sleep and reading. I knew I needed to finish reading my book before the week was up, otherwise I would never have finished it. It's one I bought months back, by my favourite author Jodi Picoult. I love her books, they usually cover a controversial situation and suck you in. Her characters are written in such detail that you will feel like you know them and you can picture what they look like. I used to read about two books a month pre-baby. I love how you can get consumed by a book and go off into dreamland. I know I had some good sleep because I actually had dreams. I used to dream every night but now my mind is running on overdrive and I either don't remember or I don't dream. 


The house was right by the beach and the view was amazing. Our local beach is closest to a busy shipping port and the water is less than desirable. This water looked slightly better, like I might actually consider going in it (If it wasn't bloody cold!). 




I got LJ to partake in the traditional pram-abanded child look-photo. I made sure the breaks were ON and Ali was just off shot and he wasn't that close to the edge anyway. He doesn't look too happy about the delay in us getting to the beach. We had OK weather all week - a little bit winder than what we'd been experiencing and some rain in the mornings, but we made it to the beach 3 times in the week. 


LJ loves the sand and the sea. He was loving the shallow tide and jumping the waves. I'm a little bit less a fan of the beach, too much sand, everywhere. Also taking a baby to the beach is lots of fun and then in one second they can go from - i'm having fun - to - i'm cold and hungry. 


The above is a little video of LJ in action testing out the beach.


His favourite part was walking into the sea and then being lifted backwards over the waves to 'run away'. The water wasn't too cold (by this I mean it felt like it had come out of an ice machine a couple of hours ago, instead of just now). It's great now LJ is a bit older, because you have to worry less about them getting extremely cold. Even though the photos look like it was a miserable day, it was really just the wind that was strong, which is why we are in jackets. We spent some time building sandcastles (well trying!) and LJ loved using his spade. He made it his mission to destroy any castle that looked remotely like it might pass for a castle and ensured you used whatever bucket/spade he gave you. 




It was a much nicer day when we went to the beach later on in the week. I tried to jump in some photos, mainly to remind LJ that mummy was there too. Luckily my cousins are super at taking a photo when I ask them too and I have some mummy and LJ moments caught on camera from this holiday.


Remember how I said LJ's favourite bit about the beach was the sea? Well actually, it might have been the food after the sea. He got to try out a lot of foods that he wouldn't normally have!  I figured he was on holiday and as long as it wasn't going to hurt him then he could have it. Safe to say that once he popped he just couldn't stop with the pringles on the beach.


We also attempted some family selfies from the holiday! LJ already looks like he's done with a camera being shoved in his face and he's only a year into his life this life. 


My cousin snapped this one on a late afternoon walk. I think we were showing him ships on the horizon, I'm not sure he cared.


This crazy guy made a bet with some of my cousins that they would all go in the sea. 

They lasted 10 minutes. 

It was cold. 


I found a solution to my problem of how I was going to put my ever growing baby into the Tigger suit one last time. Turns out, a Tigger onesie is the perfect outfit to put on after you finish playing in the sea. It also means that mummy and all your family will want to pick you up and cuddle you ALL THE TIME. 


Oh, remember what I said about tasting food he doesn't normally have?


In case you were wondering if that was a huge bruise on LJ's head. Yes, you are correct. LJ  bumped his head, not one, but three times on holiday. It was the first time he's had a real bump and he looked like he might grow some kind of horn there. First was laying out into a wooden sideboard, second was falling flat on his face off the edge of the sofa and third was bumping his head on the headboard of our bed during his normal acrobats of 5am wake up calls. He was fine, a little cry and back to golfing and being a terror.




LJ is really into his golf. He loved the big garden on holiday as it allowed him to really practice how to run around with a golf club.


LJ also realised that his cousins were all addicted to loom bands. He became a model for them during the week to show off their new creations. Disclaimer - Yes i've read the loom band horror stories, no he was never unsupervised, no he wore them no longer than 5 minutes at a time.


We visited Cromer on one of the days as it was only a short distance from where we were staying. LJ had his traditional pram-with abandoned child- pose on the pier. I'm not normally freaked out by heights but I was a little weary about being on the pier when I could see through the planks beneath my feet. We let LJ free from the pram and held on to him for dear life. He enjoyed peering in people's crabbing buckets to see what they had and watching the waves below his feet. 


It was a great experience to get so far out to sea without being on a boat. The weather was strange that day, very cloudy and dark but when a section of sunshine got through, it made the sea a very green colour.


LJ and I watched the sea moving below us and saw everyone's crabbing lines dangling down. It was the same week as the cromer festival and so I expect it was busier than normal. We got to hear a samba band playing from the pier and the hustle and bustle of the seaside town.


We also found LJ's pub! 
What? You don't take pictures of your kids looking abandoned outside pubs related to a name?


Finally, my family kindly watched LJ for an evening and Ali and I went on a date night! We walked along the empty beach and chatted while we wait to go to the restaurant for our meal. We jumped down onto the (cold!) sand and set a picture for self timer. It was a nice evening but we did have to wait an hour for our food. Luckily it was good food and we needed it as we both seemed tipsy after one beer for him and one wine for me! (We don't get out much these days!). 



It was a lovely holiday and the whole family enjoyed seeing each other every day. I know LJ missed his big cousins when he got back home. He came back learning some new skills from copying the older kids and I think he grew up loads before my eyes too!