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.

Thursday 28 March 2013

"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
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 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:

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.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

“Look at me! Look at me! Look at me NOW! It is fun to have fun But you have to know how.”

Seth's been off school today poorly after being sent home early yesterday. Poor little fella has got a cough and has been grumpy with it too. He's been in his PJ's all day and we haven't left the house which has been nice as i really didn't fancy going out in the cold today. Seth and Opeie played with their wooden train track while me and Mrs M blitzed the house, building a huge track that ran through three rooms.

After we had finished off what needed to be done i asked Seth what he wanted to do and he decided he wanted to do some Lego building, "what do you fancy building today Seth?", "Hmmmm.... can we make The cat in the Hat please?". Ive been secretly hoping that Seth would say this at some point as i needed an excuse to build some Dr Seuss characters. 

Seth as always blew me away with his very cute build, They always make me smile. Opeie helped look for coloured bricks for us too, i cant wait till he's a little older and can get stuck in properly it's going to be so much fun. Seth wants to make thing 1 and thing 2 next so don't forget to check in on us again. Until next time...

"Good morning, that's a nice tnetennba."

A few nights back our good friend Chris came to see us for tea and a catch up which was great. He's a lovely chap and always makes lots of effort with the boys. We did the adult chatting (and emptied a couple of bottles of wine in the process) and in the morning he came with me and Seth to Tae Kwon Do which was a nice change. Seth was eager to get home from his class though as he had been going on all night about playing countdown (our boy is so retro). As soon as we got back we were handed our pads by Mrs M, our very own Carol Vorderman...

Seth was loving it and even came up with some longer words than Chris (tut tut Chris), although he did make up for it on the maths round. We all took it in turns to be Carol and surprisingly we ended up playing for quite some time. Thanks to Youtube we even had the countdown theme to use while we were playing. I wonder what will be next on Seth's list of retro games? im really hoping it's something like Blockbusters and not Bullseye!

Tuesday 19 March 2013

"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees"

Opeie's recent obsession is The Lorax and yesterday we watched the film three times with the old film and the book breaking it up (Got to love the variety). I do love it though so it's not to bad at the moment, he was pretty much the same with Bee Movie a while back. I found a free app in the iPhone Appstore which has also been keeping him occupied...

Opeie's been sticking a Lorax moustache on all his pictures but the cutest thing is that he's been continuously telling us how he feels about trees...

Monday 18 March 2013

"If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm. "

Today i planned to take Opeie to his pottery class as we haven't been for the last two weeks. Mrs M was at college so i wanted to get out and about. It was quite cold but the sun was desperately trying to warm everywhere up so i wanted to make the most of it before we got more rain or even snow like yesterday. Opeie had other ideas though and being the bookworm that he is he just wanted to lie on our bed under the duvet and be read to. So after reading The Cat in the Hat, The Cat in the Hat Comes back, Green Eggs and ham, Dr Seuss ABC, scrambled egg supper, if I ran the zoo, crazy colours, nutty numbers, dizzy days and how The Grinch stole Christmas, (It's been the usual Seuss fuelled kind of day) I decided it was time to get outside for a bit (but not before Opeie washed his hands a few times, i think he has a little OCD on the way).

I hadn't let the rabbits out at this point so I wrapped Opeie up and we headed up the garden. Opeie hadn't been up to the rabbits for a while as it was really wet and muddy. Today's burst of sunlight had dried the ground out a little so I put Opeie's outdoor table in part of the rabbit run so we could sit and draw while watching the bunnies. Being the organised dad that I am I printed off lots of rabbit pictures for us to colour in and keep Opeie entertained which he loved. 

Opeie must have known it was muddy in the garden as he opted for his fancy pink Peppa pig wellies (this next pictures for you nanny Roo).

The temperature dropped after about 40 minutes so we headed inside for a spot of lunch and of course an extra helping of Dr Seuss before picking up Seth from school.