Sunday, 31 March 2013

"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking."

 
The sun has been glorious where we are but unfortunately its been absolutely freezing so this morning we were umming and ahhing whether to go out or not. We decided to stay in but after lunch Opeie started to get restless. It's come to our attention today that we have never taken Opeie to feed the ducks, I'm not sure how that hasn't happened but it seems like without realising we've managed to avoid it. So we wrapped up warm and went for a drive to a lake up the road, but not before heading to the shop for a couple of loaves of bread.


Opeie was getting so excited when the ducks were eating the bread he had thrown that he was laughing and shaking. It really is the simple things that entertain children the most and all it cost was the price of a couple of loaves. It was a lovely walk despite the weather, i felt really bad though that we hadn't taken him before.


On the way back to the car we got to have some fun splashing in puddles...


We got back to the car and headed home but then decided to take a detour as the sun was still blazing. There's some Abbey ruins not far from ours and Ive never been down there as the gates are always locked, but today we thought we would give it another try today. It was a nice surprise to find them unlocked so we went for another walk. Although it was still very cold the sunshine really made it a beautiful day.


Opeie was excited running about and it was obvious that all he needed was a bit of time out of the house. When your kids have been poorly you cant help but try to keep them in the warm in hope they get better but being cooped up was clearly getting to Opeie and getting out and about in the sunshine did him the world of good. We headed home after a little bit of investigating and he was in a much better mood.



"Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others."



Sometimes i don't think that Mrs M realises just how lucky she is. Not only does she get to rub shoulders with myself and the boys but yesterday she got to have a sit down meal with three comic heroes. I thought she would be so overwhelmed that she would have written this post herself!? Tut Tut Mrs M!!



Saturday, 30 March 2013

"Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away."


A few days back we read a really sweet post written about us by the lovely family behind Snowingindoors, we've become good friends with them over the months and they really are a great bunch. After hearing of Annie's new interest in Lego and being huge Lego lovers ourselves me and Seth decided to send a little package to welcome her in to the world of Lego, here's what happened when the package reached its destination...


"Feeling hungry? Time to eat. Finish off with something sweet!"


Yesterday the sun was out and was desperately trying to warm the place up, it looked lovely from our lounge window. Seth wasn't with us yesterday which always makes Opeie a little blue so we decided to try and make the most of the sunshine and get out and do something. Opeie was still feeling a bit off but we had had a quiet day in for his birthday. After cleaning the house we jumped in the car and headed up to see our friend Chris.


It was lunch time when we arrived so we picked Chris up and went for Lunch at TGI's, Opeie was asleep when we picked up Chris, so he was very excited when he woke up and saw his playmate sitting next to him. Chris and Michelle had kindly brought Opeie some birthday and Easter presents and after the excitement of opening gifts yesterday he was eager to get in to them.


The food as always was lush but the company made it so much better, we love spending time with Chris it was just a shame that Michelle was unwell and didn't join us. Opeie managed to eat a little too which after the food protest he's had over the last few days was a good sign.


After lunch, a potter round the shops and almost driving the wrong way up a one way street we headed back to Chris' for a cuppa and a chat before heading off home with a grumpy and very tired Opeie. It was a great 2nd 2nd birthday and today we will be celebrating his 3rd 2nd birthday with family. Thanks Chris for a lovely afternoon it's always great catching up with you.



Friday, 29 March 2013

The Great Birthday Bird says, "Hop to it! Get dressed! It's your day of all days! It's the best of the best!"


I don't know who was more excited about Opeie's birthday, Me, Mrs M or Seth? Opeie doesn't really understand so as he floats around in his little world of books, cuddles and super heroes we were all rushing about making sure everything was sorted for him to have an amazing day, even if he didn't understand what was going on exactly. 


Seth woke up first and as i had gone to bed late i was dead to the world. Mrs M soon followed but then they both went back to bed and i got up to make Seth's lunch for school (there's no rest for us parents). Opeie woke up in his usual grumpy way, squinty eyed and looking for the good stuff off mommy.  We all sang happy birthday and then moved in to Seth's room. Opeie was really excited about the Cat in the Hat bunting we had made and the pile of presents sitting on the floor all for him. I thought about how excited i used to get as a child, it'll be even better next year when he understands that it's his special day.


The presents were excitedly torn open and it was clear that he loved the present Seth had brought him the most. Spider-man and all his new friends got the attention they deserved and Opeie and Seth played happily together while we sorted out breakfast. After breakfast Opeie opened the rest of his presents and was excited about the new birthday Dr Seuss book that Mrs M had found...


As it was a special occasion we all enjoyed a piece of cake before Seth headed off to school...


We really wanted to get out and do something with Opeie to celebrate his day but unfortunately he's still not feeling well and as soon as Seth had gone to school he went into grumpy mode. All Opeie wants to do when he's not feeling great is lie in bed and read books, which suits me fine as i love having a nice warm cuddle in bed.


We did manage to get out for a little later in the day and me and Opeie got to spend an hour with Nanny Roo and Auntie Lotty who we love very much. Although we didn't get to party properly we will be making up for that the weekend when hopefully the birthday boy will be feeling a bit better.

Happy birthday Opeie Daddy loves you so much!


Thursday, 28 March 2013

"And here comes your cake, which was baked just for you. Happy birthday, dear baby! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!"


I wanted to get a post written last night about the last minute preparations for Opeie's birthday today, unfortunately there were so many last minute preparations that i was up until 1:45 this morning taking care of them and now feel like a zombie. As Opeie has become Lorax, Grinch and Cat in the hat mad we decided to make Dr Seuss themed decorations and Cake.


 We tend to buy multiples of the books we love if we see them in charity shops as they can sometimes come in handy and Opeie's birthday gave us a great use for our extra 'The Cat in the Hat' and 'The Cat in the hat Comes Back' books. I decided that i wanted to make bunting to decorate the boys room by cutting out triangles from the books. Mrs M then stitched each piece on to ribbon and it ended up looking really nice. We're such a great team!


We had originally planned to make a Cat in the Hat cake too but at the last minute we decided to make a Lorax cake instead and when i say Last minute i mean last minute. Mrs M baked the sponge cakes yesterday afternoon and i didn't start decorating it until the boys were in bed. Me and mrs M dirty iced the main base together, although Mrs M kept getting side tracked wiping butter icing on my head and licking it off (very hygienic). Not long after that (when i realised i didn't have enough fondant and had to pop to Asda) Mrs M decided to desert a sinking ship and go to bed (she had been at work though so she can be forgiven for that i guess).

Ive never decorated a large cake like this before as im more of a cup cake kind of guy so i did find it a little challenging for a first attempt but after a few hours of hard graft i think the finished item came out quite well. I was a little dissappointed with it when i went to bed but it looked a lot better when i woke up (must have been the fact that i was so tired and possibly a little grumpy).

Opeie was very excited when he saw it and even managed to blow the candles out on his own, making Seth (his full of air tag team partner desperate to get in on the candle action) obsolete. 



"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it."


I can't believe your 2 already, I love you more than you will ever know.
                                                                                                                 Daddy xxx


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Another act of kindness from the loving big brother.


Its Opeie's second birthday in a couple of days and we're all getting very excited, when it comes to that little cutie i am always blown away with how kind and caring Seth is. He's always sharing and always does kind things for his little brother. A few weeks back Seth came to me and said that there was something specific he wanted to buy Opeie for his birthday, he wasn't sure how much it cost but he wanted to know whether he could sell some of his old toys on eBay so that he could buy it for his little brother.

We had a good mooch round his room and i got listing on eBay. We sold a couple of things which made us enough for Seth to buy what he wanted and when it arrived a couple of days back he was very excited and now cant wait to give it to the birthday boy. While Opeie was in the bath tonight we wrapped it quickly so its all ready for the big day.


I think its adorable how much he loves Opeie, i would never have done something like that for my sisters at that age, he's a very lovely little boy. Hopefully Opeie will be exactly the same as he is brought up with the same values and will always be told how important it is to take care and do nice things for the people that love you.



Monday, 25 March 2013

Classic wooden childrens toys, Done properly, the Bigjigs way.

 

The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.

I sat there with Opeie.
We sat there, we two.
And i said, "How i wish
We had something to do!"

Too snowy to go out
And too cold to play ball.
So we sat in the house
We did nothing at all.

So All we could do was to
Sit!
    Sit!
        Sit!
            Sit!
And we did not like it.
Not one little bit

And then on the front door
We heard many knocks.
So loud that we almost
Jumped out of our socks.

We jumped up quickly.
Ran to the door in a rush.
And there stood the postman
With a package for us.
And he said to us,
"Why the sad mouth on that mush."

"I know it is wet
And the sun is not sunny.
But i have a package from Bigjigs
Full of good fun that is funny!"

"Now I know that inside
Is a fun toy you'll find good.
With a strong and sturdy
Classic design made of wood..."


It's another grotty day outside, cold, wet and not very inviting. Also Opeie is still unwell, it's times like this that I'm glad there is so much to do in the house and it helps that we're a creative bunch. Although Opeie loves to paint and stick, for him its all about toys and he loves having something new to investigate. You cant go wrong with wooden toys, they are classic, durable and safe to play with, no need to worry about small parts and the designs are timeless.


This week Opeie's wooden farm house shape sorter from Bigjigs arrived through the post and he was instantly hooked. We've had standard shape sorters before and they helped with teaching Opeie the difference between a square and a circle but I think once a child has crossed that hurdle in their development finding the right hole is no longer challenging and they tend to lose interest. The farmyard sorter takes it to the next level helping Opeie to learn obscure shapes and learn about animals more. This shape sorter really makes him think more.


The colours and design are great and I like how the animals names are on the back of each piece, helping with reading too. Each animal is a different vibrant colour so teaching colours also comes in handy, it's a wooden play set that ticks all the boxes. The only thing I would add to the design is to give each animal a number just to add in counting to play. The animals are a perfect size for little hands and as you would expect from Bigjigs each wooden piece of the set is smooth and beautifully hand painted, no need to worry when leaving your children to play (we all need to nip out to make a cuppa).


Opeies favourite part seems to be the fact that it also doubles as a carry case with a removable roof to easily remove the famyard animals. Opeie spent most of the morning seeing what else would fit through the new exciting animal holes, although trying with all his might it seems that the Incredible Hulk does not fit through a Goose hole (who'd have thought it). The animals have also been seen grazing along side his wooden train tracks today too.

Even though Opeie was poorly he still took the animals to our bed to play...


Opeie's had lots of fun playing with them but lets not forget the other little toy lover in our house, although Opeie used it for what it was intended for, Seth found his own way of making the new toy fit his creative needs. Overall making it the versatile toy I hadn't noticed it was when opening it, Thanks Bigjigs.

We are really passionate about wooden toys, as safeplay is always at the forefront of our minds when choosing toys for the boys. The guys over at brickdave.com have written an interesting article about safe toys for inquisitive little hands and minds, you can check out the link HERE!


To find the Bigjigs farmyard shape sorter online or view lots of their other great toys then be sure to go to: http://shop.bigjigstoys.co.uk/



Thursday, 21 March 2013

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."


I'm not a very stressy person, i don't generally let things get to me and I'm pretty laid back in most situations (maybe a little to laid back if you were to ask that lovely lady of mine). Mrs M does enough stressing and worrying for the four of us so i try to spend my time calming her down and making things a little easier on her. Last night though was a different story.
 

Opeie woke up after being asleep for a couple of hours screaming and it seemed like he was struggling to breath. Despite my usual laid back/things will be okay attitude, i felt like i was going to have a panic attack and all rational thinking seemed to go out the window. I was fully aware that Seth had been off school that day and had been coughing and was quite unwell but that didn't register at this point. Opeie sounded like he was struggling to breath and i thought the worst. When it comes to your children i don't think you can help feeling this way. As it was the first time Opeie had really been ill i think it just magnified the situation for us as doting parents.


Two years back Seth ended up quite ill and after many trips to the hospital and being told those magic words Doctors learn at medical school over and over again "It's Viral" they finally diagnosed him with having pneumonia. The month leading up to that point was very stressful and upsetting and the two weeks that Seth spent in hospital brought on many tears, but during that time i felt like i was the strong one, calming Mrs M down where i could.
 

It came to my attention last night though that with Opeie being my child, my feelings were different and as i said before my rational thoughts had vanished. Seth is always treated like he's my boy and i don't like to think that i feel differently about them but clearly I'm not the overly panicky parent with Seth because i know he has many other people around him to make sure he's okay.When i think about it I'm bound to act a little differently as me and Opeie are practically joined at the hip and Seth has another life outside of us three.


Thankfully it wasn't anything serious last night and clearly he had just picked up what Seth has got and was struggling to clear the mucus, That mixed with a high temperature and the shakes was very frightening, obviously for us and him. It made me think how lucky we are that he is such a healthy child over all (thanks to Mrs M's magical produce). It's a grim thought but i don't know what i would do if anything happened to him but i can be safe in the knowledge that the one thing that does knock my laid back attitude clean off its feet is the development of my boy, the most important thing of all.



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