Wednesday 31 July 2013

"The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most."

I generally try and pick one thing a day to concentrate on with Opeie's learning. Some days it letters others its numbers but over the last few days me and Mrs M have been working on his colours which is going really well. While doing her usual window shopping on amazon Mrs M spotted some colour flash cards that were perfect for Opeie and and great for us too.

Both being quite arty and coming from a creative background we have both used pantone referencing in the past so these pantone flash cards are great. On the one side of the card is solid colour with the colour name and reference code and in the other side is cute drawings relevant to colour and description (very cute).

These have been stuck all around the house and we ask Opeie throughout the day what each colour is. He's getting a lot better at knowing his colours now which were really pleased about. I love watching Opeie develop and he seems to have changed so much over the last few weeks with his speech. Its great to know everything is moving in the right direction and he's not struggling to much with anything.

"By sticking out his tongue and curling it sideways to explore the hairy jungle around his mouth, he was always able to find a tasty morsel here and there to nibble on"

Seth requested that we have a craft session a couple of days back, he had been reading the blog to catch up on what he had missed last week and saw mine and Opeie's mask making craft post. Seth was desperate to get in on the action so our craft activity became mask making part II. Opeie was shattered and due his nap so we all lay on our bed and read some of Roald Dahl's 'The Twits' which is Seth's favourite book. Opeie soon dropped off (probably because of the lack if pictures) and Seth said 'can we make a Mr Twit mask?'

Seth wanted to make sure he got the details right so grabbed his book and used it for research, he knows the story so well that he didn't really need it but it was cute anyway. It was most important that we included the "slimy tail of a tinned sardine", "mouldy old cornflake" and piece of "maggoty green cheese" in the beard. We shredded lots if card to make his beard hairs that "stuck out straight like the bristles on a nailbrush'.

The mask was a great little craft activity and only took us about 40 minutes to make before we moved on to something else. Mrs M was very impressed when she go home and has now requested a Mrs Twit later in the week (something to keep us occupied for another afternoon during this dreary british summer).

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Movin' to the country gonna eat a lot of.... Raspberries?

Yesterday was our first day of the summer holiday with Seth because of him being away. Mrs M woke up and came in to us in the morning and mentioned going to Essington farm for some PYO fun. We went a few weeks back but Seth wasn't with us and missed out on the fun, plus they didn't have much in season. Mrs M had completely run out of her beloved beets and I was low on greens for juicing so we got ready and headed out.

It was a sunny morning but as soon as we pulled away in the car it started to rain, typical. We debated turning around but Mrs M was in a positive mood and said 'let's just go', luckily when we arrived at Essington the rain was just coming to a halt and the sun had definitely got his hat on (hip hip hip hooray). There was plenty more in season this time round so after filling a basket with beets we moved on to the onion field (yummy). Seth doesn't like onions but as long as he got to pull something out of the ground or rip something off a tree he was in his element.

We soon moved over to the raspberry field and Mrs M turned in to a gannet. Stuffing her face like they were going out of fashion, that was until PC Seth pointed out that she needed to pay for those before consumption. This was followed by Mrs M shiftily sneaking them every time Seth wasn't looking (never underestimate Shropshires finest I wouldn't put a citizens arrest past him).

Me and Opeie walked off up the field and I spotted what I thought was a grasshopper jumping through the grass but when I bent down to have a closer look i realised it was the smallest little frog I had ever seen. He was adorable, Opeie was excited and kept repeating 'Ribbit' and Seth told us he wanted a pet frog. Mrs M offered to pitch him a tent up there so he could live there but he thankfully declined.

We spent a good hour or so picking and our baskets were full of raspberries, onions, beet root, gooseberries and peas it was a good little haul and should keep us covered for the next few days at least. We do go through so much veg though that I'm sure we will need to visit again soon.

Its great having Seth with us during the week, we always feel a little guilty when were out doing things and he's cooped up in school. we will certainly do our best to make sure he has a fun holiday while he's with us. As for me and Opeie, well were always joined at the hip but he's clearly a much happier boy now that his big brother is here to look after him.

Monday 29 July 2013

“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”

Seth hasn't been with us for the last week, he's been away. Obviously we really missed him so today knowing that he was coming home we were all really excited, Opeie especially (he's been asking for his big brother every day). After all the big hugs and kisses Seth was desperate to give Opeie something he had got him while away, a selection of super hero ducks. It was so sweet how excited he was to give his little brother his gift and Opeie was really happy when he saw them. I love that they are so close it's so important and knowing that Seth was thinking about him while away makes me so happy. They've been joined at the hip this morning, Opeie's going to be even more excited when he realises that Seth doesn't have to be in school for a while.

Roll on the summer holiday and some amazing adventures with my favourite people.

Sunday 28 July 2013

"Doing science, Doing science, making things and breaking things"

I have written many posts about how amazing charity shops are, sorry this is another one of those posts. last Friday i decided to go on a long walk for a bit of exercise, i try and do this as much as i can to aid my healthy eating. I'm never going to have that hot wedding body otherwise. I power walked a good few miles and then decided to head to an area where there's a few charity shops before i headed home. I always check charity shops for books as the boys plough through them like they are going out of fashion (which of course is great). I walked in to my favourite of the shops in that area and was so glad i had ventured that way. Seth is science mad and his head is like a sponge for information. A few days before a local school had donated a lot of books to the shop and luckily i had gone out for my walk with my backpack on.

I managed to get thirteen great science and information books and even found Lemony Snicket's a series of unfortunate events book three as I'm reading book one to Seth at the moment, Cat in the hat (the movie adaptation) and a cute illustrated children's book which i knew Mrs M would adore. How much for i bet your wondering? 16 books for £1.50, and that is why i love charity shops so much, more than enough books to keep the boys entertained over the holiday. Stay tuned for a summer of science experiments.

"My life is an ongoing, ever changing adventure."

Mrs M was doing her usual yearly bit for charity this weekend and as much as I wanted to get involved this year it wasn't really fair on Opeie, so once the car had been unloaded and gazebos had been erected, me and my little padawan set about our adventures. It was another beautiful morning so we headed over to the Lickey hills, I used to go there a fair bit when I was younger so it was nice to know my way around. There's two main parts, being the forward thinking dad that i am i decided on the side with the visitor centre as I thought it would be a safer option for our newly qualified, big boy pants wearing toilet user.

I packed my backpack with snacks and books and lifted the little adventurer to his favourite spot on my shoulders. It was exactly how I remembered it which was nice, it was quite early so there wasn't many people about. First thing Opeie spotted was the playground, most of it was for bigger children but that didn't stop Opeie. I find when we're at playgrounds or soft play areas that a lot of children are so rude. Opeie tries to make conversation with any child that makes eye contact and some of them look at him like 'why are you talking to me', I always think its such a strange attitude for young children you would think they would all be really smiley and happy of the interaction.

After charging round the playground for a while Opeie's eyes lit up, he got really excited and was repeating 'Gastons cave', I looked over to see what he was talking about and it was a rock sculpture next to the park. Opeie explained to me that Gastons cave was really messy so we pretended to have brooms and sweep it out. 'Gastons house nice and clean' I think that means we did a good job.

We headed off for a walk through the hills but didn't get very far before Opeie rubbed his tummy and and said 'Opeie hungry'. We found a nice grass area to sit down and while Opeie had some snacks i read him a few of the books i had packed. It was so lovely sitting under a tree reading in the nice weather.

Snack time passed and we continued our journey through the woods. I love just walking about in this lovely weather, we could hear the birds tweeting and rustling through the leaves and Opeie was on butterfly watch and there were plenty to keep him occupied. As we were walking deeper in to the forest we saw a horse coming towards us and Opeie froze and we watched it pass by. Opeie then referred to me as 'Daddy horse' and i galloped after the horse doing my best vocal impressions.

We ended up in the middle of nowhere and we had been doing a lot of walking down hill so the walking back was starting to seem a little daunting in the heat with Mini Lester Piggott on my shoulders commanding me to 'go faster daddy'. We eventually found our way back to the car park but we walked straight past and to the gift shop as Opeie had spotted an owl mask when we first got there and was talking about it for a lot of the morning. I requested the owl mask but then Opeie said 'Daddy fox in socks' and 'Mommy......' (pointing up at a hedgehog), so they came with us too.

After lunch i assumed Opeie would want a nap, it was getting to that time of the day but he had other plans. As there was no chance of him going down we drove over to the other side of the Lickey hills, the side with the castle. As soon as we got out of the car and Opeie laid his eyes on said castle he was off like a whippet. Its not a proper castle it's only little and was built i assume just for the view, to Opeie i bet it still looked huge though.

Opeie soon started to feel a bit tired so we headed back to the car and went for a drive to get him off, it didn't take long. As soon as he was off i found a quite shaded place to park and reclined my seat, trying to get as comfortable as you can with a steering wheel on your knees. Mrs M text and said she would be late finishing so i did a bit of internet searching looking for somewhere close to go and keep Opeie entertained. We ended up going to the Botanical gardens, it was close to where Mrs M was and I'd been there before with Mrs M on a uni trip and knew Opeie would at least like the shop and the playground. He woke up not long after i pulled in to the car park so the adventure continued...

I don't think that Opeie was the slightest bit interested in the beautiful plants and flowers but he was loving the big fish. Opeie made a new friend called Eva on the playground which was really cute and i chatted to the girls mom as they played, its nice on these days out when its just the two of us to have a little adult conversation.

We only stayed for an hour or so as it was getting close to mommy pick up time and i had some work to do taking down gazebos and loading everything back in to the car. Me and Opeie had a fantastic adventure and I'm really looking forward to the next one, he really is one of my three best friends (I'm sure you can guess who the other two are).

Friday 26 July 2013

Making the most of these sunny weekends

It's almost the weekend and I'm literally counting down the hours till tomorrow so we can head to the beach again. I really appreciate the weekends since Mrs M has been back at work 5 days a week.  Fingers crossed the weather stays this nice.

A couple of quick craft activities to fill the morning. Painitng eggs and making masks.

Because of the great weather we have hardly done any craft activities over the last few weeks, none of us really want to be cooped up indoors, i know i could do it outside but lets be honest its never going to win over a trampoline and a good old fashioned ball. yesterday though Opeie was adamant that he wanted to stay in and colour for the morning so i went hunting through the boys craft boxes. back at Easter time we had brought lots of plain polystyrene eggs, designed and painted a few but didn't end up doing anything with them, there were plenty left over so i got them out for Opeie so we could continue our decorating, still with no idea what we are going to do with them.

We've now ended up with a big box of decorated eggs to play with which I'm sure Seth will find a use for at some point. As Opeie scribbled away at his eggs he gave me clear directions as to which characters he wanted me to create for him...

Opeie soon got bored of colouring eggs and said 'scissors', while pottering round Ikea last week Mrs M picked up a big pack of coloured card for the boys so seeing as Opeie was in a foreman style craft mood dishing out his character requests we started chopping away at the paper to create some masks and Opeie did an excellent job of gluing all the pieces together, in the words of that rather annoying children's program 'wonder pets' that he likes so much, "whats going to work? Teamwork!".

Thursday 25 July 2013

sketchbook memories #3 - Opeie in the bath wearing daddy's fashion disaster glasses

After getting home a bit later than we expected too last night neither me and Mrs M were in the mood for a big tea so we had a snack. No tea meant no washing up which freed up the remainder of my evening nicely for a spot of drawing. Sketch number three is a picture I took of Opeie in the bath wearing my old glasses.

A few years back I had kind of a Timmy Mallet thing going on with a selection of oversized and colourful specs. Looking back now I don't know what I was thinking and from the picture I took its clear that they were a lot cuter on mini me.

Previous Sketchbook Memories:

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Co......? Co......?

Just a quick post because of something that made me laugh today that i really don't want to forget, Mrs M was talking to Auntie Lotty earlier about being pregnant with Opeie and was desperately trying to think of a medication she was on "it was Co... something?" "Co.... Co....?" Opeie placed his index finger on his lip looking deep in thought with a very serious look on his face and said "Hmmmm..... Coconut?". The boy is a genius, clearly Mrs M hadn't been on a course of coconut but Opeie's unknowingly witty comment had us all in hysterics. Keep up the great work Opeie you are one very entertaining young man.

Monday 22 July 2013

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."

When we placed our order with Cable and Cotton last week for a set of their beautiful lights I couldn't decide on where I wanted to put them for photos. I wanted somewhere that would really highlight how great the looked from the pictures on their website. Myself and Mrs M had spent quite some time playing with the create your own option on the website which is great but after lots of tinkering we decided to have their pre-selected Mocha Amour set, a relaxing mixture of browns, pinks and purples. we ordered the 35 light set and were really excited about them coming. We didn't have to wait long though because they were delivered within two days.

The weather has been so nice the last two weeks so I wanted to photograph the lights outside when they arrived, I had the idea of setting our tent up in the garden Friday or Saturday night for mine and Mrs M's date night, I thought a nice meal outside with pretty mood lighting would be lovely but as with many of our attempts at date night our little cuddle loving 2 year old took president and our plans were changed.

Last night though I decided to get the tent out anyway for a play in the garden so it gave me the chance to finally get the lights out and put them together. They really are beautiful and unique lights, each ball is hand crafted giving each one it's own character. They are easy to put together although a little to fragile for my liking being the heavy handed buffoon I am. It was quite clear from opening the box that once up they need to be out of reach of young children or they wouldn't last five minutes. It didn't take long to attach all the balls and after grabbing the extension cable I headed up the garden lights in hand. We pinned them to the tent doorway using hair pins (got to use what you can find!) and as the sun was setting we went inside and grabbed a pile of duvets, pillows, blankets and most importantly books. We all got tucked up and then I switched the lights on. 

These lights are truly amazing, very subtle and mood setting. I love how different they look on to how they are off and i think that mini ones would look amazing on a Christmas tree. The lights turned Opeie's already adventurous reading in the garden at night, in to something magical. As the light dropped and the night got darker the lights became warmer and more beautiful. They really made our reading session. Although I didn't get to use them on date night having them light us up while having a cuddle and reading to Opeie seemed so much more perfect.

To view more of their great products and colour schemes visit..