Monday 30 September 2013

"i can do it myself daddy"

Seth has started his next big craft idea which so far is looking great (even though its only had about 30 minutes work on it). I will write about it when it's finished which could be some time away. As part of his new creation he needed some old fashioned wooden clothes pegs. I thought they were going to be a nightmare to find but luckily I found them in the forth shop I went in to, good old Asda living.

He needed white paint too and before I knew it I had a basket full of craft bits and bobs. It wasn't a great day weather wise so a craft session for me and Opeie was just what we needed. As soon as we got home we set the table up and began creating. Because Mrs M works all week we try and make plenty of cards to say thank you for taking care of us.

Using foam letters and getting them straight with a 2 year old is difficult but we managed it and it looked great. Opeie told me that he wanted to make one for nanny and grandad too so we quickly got to it.

After all the tag team precision foam letter placing, Opeie grabbed himself a new piece of paper and freestyled himself his own creation, which definitely had more character than the ones we created together, proving once more that "i can do it on my own daddy" (his new favourite saying).

Saturday 28 September 2013

"Our thinking and our behaviour are always in anticipation of aresponse. It is therefore fear-based."

It had been a while since the pirates had visited the house, not because the boys had been misbehaving but because we're saving for something (all will be revealed). The boys have been so good and we thought they deserved a mini treat. For those of you that don't know where our name came from, this ones for you.

We Introduced the pirates in to our daily life to keep Seth's behaviour at a level you expect from your child and to reward him for being a great kid. He's never been a naughty child but he did go through a phase of throwing some pretty immense temper tantrums. To be fair I put a lot of it down to the transition of having his life split in two and going from house to house.

The pirates watch the boys all the time, much the same as Santa who watches them at home through the light fixtures (quite a creepy thought really). The pirates though watch the boys EVERYWHERE. When they have a good run of excellent behaviour or they do something especially great they are rewarded and this can happen anywhere. When Seth was ill in hospital the pirates visited and left him something in his room. they leave things in his car seat when hes had a great parents evening. They've even been known to leave gifts on benches in parks.

When were at home and the pirates have been, the boys hear the sound of waves crashing against the beach (good old white noise app on the iPhone) and they excitedly search the house looking for their message.

The pirates have become a big part of our lives, even more so with the blog being started.  What's nice is that all the excitement Seth has already had from it Opeie is now just starting to understand. Seth and Opeie are great children, thoughtful and caring. The way we bring them up has everything to do with that and the time and effort we make with them has been important to their development. It's nice to think that those pirates in the sky have a little influence on that though too.

"Raising children is an uncertain thing; success is reached only after a life of battle and worry."

This time last year i was about to write a post about our Halloween celebrations, We had brought tickets to go to Blists Hill and Mrs M made me up to look like a zombie. Well almost a year has passed and i find myself feeling exactly how i looked that night, like a zombie. Opeie has had some major dietry issues over the years that have made him poorly but hes never actually had an illness, well that was until last night.

For such a laid back guy it's amazing how quickly I went in to stress mode. Maybe it's a stomach bug, maybe something he ate but our little boy was being continuously sick last night and I couldn't bear to go to sleep as I was stressing he was going to throw up in the  night and choke so I stayed up. He must have woke up 20+ times and looked so uncomfortable the poor thing, I could have cried. When your feeling poorly yourself it's terrible but when it's your child the stress and worry is far much worse than that. I managed to catch a few hours at 6am but I don't feel much better for it. Opeie seems a little better this morning but I think it's going to be a long day. Plenty of cuddles and 'The Cat in the Hat' for us I think.


Friday 27 September 2013

"A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait."

Every day I'm feeling more and more obsolete, Opeie is becoming so independent that at times like this I'm at a bit of a loose end, it's good for the writing though especially on days like today as Opeie runs about the soft play area desperately trying to befriend everyone he comes in to contact with. He does say 'come on daddy' every now and again but once i start following him he's off again happily talking to other children.

Opeie is such a loving and thoughtful little boy for his age and people always comment on his politeness and manners when we are out and about. As I sit here writing this I can hear Opeie saying 'what's your name? I'm Opeie (or Hopeie as he pronounces it). Opeie clearly needs to be around children his own age more now so (despite it being very upsetting because i makes us even more aware how quickly the time has gone) we've started looking at nurseries. 

It's great when were out and he talks to new children but some of them like a little boy today can be really quite mean. Today Opeie met two boys (cousins), Charlie, a sweet little boy around Opeie's age, happy to just be running about and William, a child I can only describe as a spoilt little brat with a terrible attitude who was probably a year older.  This little monster got the hump because his cousin wanted to play with Opeie so started saying things like 'go away' 'we don't want to play with you' and 'stop following us' he even tried to block Opeie's way out of spite. Opeie doesn't understand thankfully and was happy just running about but honestly I just wanted to trip the little monster over.

Kids at the age of 3 and under shouldn't be like this. They are supposed to be innocent and want to be friends with everyone they meet. What annoyed me more was the mom could hear her son yet said nothing, she seemed like quite a well to do woman as well. Apart from me telling the boy that I thought he was very rude and shouldn't talk to people like that I managed to bite my tongue. The last time we were at this soft play area I told a boy off for purposely pushing Opeie over with quite an aggressive look on his face. To be fair though the dad dragged his son out of the place and wouldn't even look me in the face. It's not my place to correct other people's children but if their parents can't be bothered I'm not having anyone be abusive to my boy. If I heard Seth or Opeie talking to anyone like that I would be devastated, but they have been brought up to show respect.

Opeie started to look tired and i was needed once more for cuddles (good to know i still have some uses), my very sweaty haired boy needed some sleep. I may be needed less and less as the days go by, he makes it clear he can brush his own teeth, feed himself and put his own shoes on but I will always be there to protect him and fight his corner, were a team and I'll always have his back, no matter what.

Monday 23 September 2013

"A boy called george had an excellent plan, To go and discover the Yeti. He put in his backpack a warm woolly hat. A map and a tin of spaghetti"

I'm a sucker for good rhyming children's books. Although I love reading stories to the boys (and trust me we get through a lot of books), personally there's something much more entertaining about books in rhyme. So when we were very kindly asked to review Spaghetti with the yeti by Adam and Charlotte Guillain, I checked with the boys first (which I always do before reviewing anything for them) and they loved the title so I happily accepted.

We were off out a couple of nights ago after school to have a picnic and make the most of what's left of the semi warm weather. Our new book came with us as entertainment as it had arrived that day. I asked Seth where he wanted to read said book and he chose a random tunnel made of plants and vines (apparently the sort of habitat a yeti would live in if suddenly the snow melted).

The book really was a great read for children and the boys were hooked from the moment the first words left my lips. The book follows George...

 ...a young adventurer, who is on a mission to find the mythical beast, the yeti. Armed only with his sense of adventure and a tin of spaghetti. Along his yeti tracking journey he comes in to contact with many overly hairy and quite unpleasant looking female monsters to get to his prize (kind of reminded me of my own journey to finally meet Mrs M).

 I love that the boys were more and more eager to see the Yeti as i read each page detailing the yeti's dinner time preferences (Lobsters, crabs, goats and bones). They also had a good chuckle at one of the monsters and said that she looked like Mrs M in her flowery shower cap.

The book was great for Seth to read too which means he can read it to Opeie (i love it when Seth reads to him). We would definitely recommend this book and would be interested in any future releases. A big hairy thumbs up from

Friday 20 September 2013

"I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait."

There is something so heart warming about the first time your child brings you a picture that they have drawn of you, and today was that day. Usually when Opeie draws its The Cat in the hat, the Lorax, Spider-man or maybe one of the Wonder pets but today Opeie's little face was very excited and he looked very proud handing me a picture he had drawn of his ever doting Daddy.
Ive seen many a squiggle on a piece of paper that is his interpretation of his favourite book or movie characters, but today Opeie's drawing actually had human characteristics, i was really impressed at the detail, you may not see it but Opeie informed me that the darker squiggle at the bottom was actually my beard, Genius. It's only a small drawing and i really don't want to lose it so I'm going to cut it out and stick it in my sketchbook i have started of Opeie pictures. Today marks a big step in the creative side of Opeie's development, I'm so proud of the way he is turning out and for 2 years old i think his artistic expression and creative thinking is truly outstanding.

The sun did not shine, it was to wet to play...

...But there was no keeping us in on this grotty wet day. After dropping Mrs M at work a few days back we headed out on a mini adventure desperate to make the most of the afternoon. We had been to Attingham Park a week or so ago but seeing as we don't have to pay now we thought we'd venture that way. On arrival the weather seemed pretty bleak but it wasn't raining and Opeie had a huge smile on his face as always, so our adventure began...

But as expected the rain soon started thrashing it down and we excitedly ran searching for somewhere to take cover. We made our way to the dark tunnels built into a hill. Opeie armed only with the Darth Vader torch on my keys lead the way, the flash on my phone came in handy too.

The rain slowed down a little but neither of us were going to let a bit of water ruin our fun so we continued our mission to the playground. Opeie stopped us ever few minutes to show me mushrooms he had spotted.

The playground as you can imagine was soaking but our backpacks made excellent bottom protectors stopping us from getting wet...

Not the slide though, Opeie made it quite clear that he was not prepared to put up with a soggy bum walking back to the car so the slide was a definite NO NO! (Arms crossed to make his point clear)...

Opeie found us a little hut with a roof to stop and have a snack, it didn't have any sides and we were still getting wet but it was cute that he wanted to sit there for cover.

Soon after, the rain started thrashing it down again and we both had wet feet so we began our hike back to the car but not without Opeie stopping at and standing on every "Lorax stump" that he spotted...

And then it was shoes and socks off for the journey home which Opeie found very entertaining

When you see a pair of shoes on a radiator you know that fun has been had.    

Wednesday 18 September 2013

"You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is."

Over the past few weeks we have become a family of scrumpers, foraging for food wherever we can find it. It all started when Mrs M took us to an apple tree not far from where she used to live, turns out though that there are literally apple trees everywhere, I've just never paid much attention until now.

So armed with our supermarket hessian bags or apple sacks as they have now become we have been Investigating all over and have been lucky enough to have picked around 10 large bags of various kinds of the juicy treat (three of those this morning).

The boys have really been getting involved and our foraging exploits have been teaching them a valuable lesson in sustainability. It's also great for teaching them to respect the food that they eat (plus it always tastes that little bit better when you know you have picked it yourself).

It's not just apples that have been getting all our attention though. We've found plums and pears in a derelict monastery orchard which was a great find, elderberries, hazelnuts and buckets of blackberries (which you can find everywhere this time of year). We've definitely taken full advantage of our surrounding area and had lots of fun in the process. If people could see Mrs M riding around on my shoulders, us giggling like teenagers while she reaches for apples they would think we were hilarious.

Recently Mrs M has gone into her usual preparation for hibernation mode, which she does every year for winter, so our new found love of foraging means that there are plenty of pies in the freezer ready for thoring out, bags of peeled and cored apples for winter cooking, not to mention a lovely selection of chutneys and jams. Mrs M's squirrel like tendencies are adorable and she really looks after me and the boys, we will always be eternally greatful for what she does for us. We're a great team and doing everything as a family is so important, it keeps us close. We will continue to forage while the fruit is available and will definitely be more prepared for next years harvest.

Friday 13 September 2013

'To inebriation... And beyond'

Just a quick post for Em over at On our recent post for about our Haba picnic we were having, Em pointed out that when Buzz lightyear came over to 'chez snowingindoors' for a picnic he had a bit of bad behaviour. I didn't want to Include this picture in the post as i was ashamed but actually Mr Lightyear did act quite inappropriately. Turns out on both occasions he made it clear that alcohol is bad and should not be brought to these kind of get togethers. Tut tut!

Anyway for you Em, the picture i didn't include...

Tuesday 10 September 2013

"There is an innocence in admiration; it is found in those to whom it has never yet occurred that they, too, might be admired some day."

When your a grown up it can be easy to forget just how fun life can be, how once upon a time just running about on a large piece of open land could be the most fun you've ever have. One of the things I love about being with Opeie all the time is that I'm reminded of this everyday and it will never get old. He is such a happy child, pretty much always smiling, always excited about every little thing and is one of the most loving and caring children I've ever seen. I really couldn't ask for a greater little boy and I'm so proud of the way he's turning out.

Being a father has given be such a better outlook on life and I will be forever grateful for what that little boy of ours has done for me.

"At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talkwell but not too wisely."

If you're anything like me, you kind of dread the words 'can my friends come round for tea?' Loads of over excited children running about and generally making a racket. Are they going to destroy the house, What am i going to cook, most people don't eat like us. Luckily our first experience of Opeie's friends coming round for dinner was effortless and relaxing. A nice bunch of friendly characters who were happy to eat whatever they were given no questions asked.

Together me and Opeie lay down a blanket, sat everyone at their places and set out the plates and cutlery. It was a casual affair so no need to break out the silverware (if we even owned any) and on the menu was a selection of fine cooked meats a smorgasbord of tasty cheese, pasta, vegetables, potatoes and a grilled meat selection for the meat eaters amongst them. For dessert, freshly picked Pears, Oranges and Bananas, Our food had been carefully prepared by the culinary genius Haba using only the finest Ingredients and materials. Food that was suitable and safe to be served up by a 2 year old and he loved every moment of being the party host/chef (we're definitely going to have to buy that kitchen for christmas)

Opeie spent time lovingly slicing a loaf for his guests...

There were plenty of greens and veg for the herbivores in the party...

Everyone was having a great time, the food was enjoyed by all and the great company and surprisingly Intelligent conversation made it a perfect afternoon with friends. Buzz and woody kept us entertained with their witty humour which kept us all struggling to keep our food in our mouths due to uncontrollable laughing.

Opeie had lots of fun with his friends at lunch time and I'm sure they will be joining us again soon, everyone left with full tummies and a glow in their cheeks from all the smiling.

The Haba play food has been a fantastic addition to our play times and these role playing activities are great for Opeie's development. The soft materials used my Haba are great as it gives younger children the confidence to play how they want with it without the possibility of hurting themselves (like with some of the heavier wooden foods aimed at slightly older children).

All the food mentioned can be brought from and they have a fantastic selection, I'm sure our friends will be round for tea again so we'll have to get looking what culinary delights we can serve for next time.

Sunday 8 September 2013

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

'I don't like people!' is a phrase i tend to use a lot, not because I'm some strange hermit man that shuts himself off from the rest of the world, but any of us only have to leave the house and walk down the street and chances are you will come across some moron that is doing something that really gets up your nose, a parent being verbally abusive to their child, people walking down the street in their PJs because they cant be bothered to get dressed, young kids smoking and being aggressive (i could go on). Because of this and the fact that i have been let down so many times by family and previous friendships i can be a bit of a grump and it takes a lot for me to trust people. Generally 'people are horrible'.

Every now and again though my faith in humanity is restored and today was one of those days. Myself and Mrs M have been eyeing up an apple tree from over our back fence, the apples are a beautiful red colour and because we go through so many in a week we wanted to see if we could get some. Over the past few weeks we have noticed that they hadn't seemed to be being picked so earlier today i popped round and knocked on the door to politely ask if we could fill a bag. I knocked the door and i saw someone behind the net curtains look out but they wouldn't come to the door (be honest how many of you would open the door to me?). So i headed home, Mrs M, the younger and clearly more attractive one of the two of us popped round instead thinking that maybe she would be more approachable, but sadly the same outcome, so we dropped a note through the door (i wouldnt want anyone worrying or thinking we were dodgy and up to no good).

While we were putting the boys to bed earlier the door went and Mrs M went and found an envelope on the floor...

It blew me away that this gentleman had taken the time to type out what i thought was an unbelievably sweet letter. Its very rare that you come across people that are this thoughtful and honestly receiving this unexpected letter put me in a great mood. I'm safe in the knowledge once more that there are kind and thoughtful people all around us. Thanks Bobby x