Monday 29 June 2015

“In a society where everyman is fox-minded, you need to be foxier than the fox!”

Its been a while since our last Gifts from the Pirates Fox hunt update,  Considering it started over two years ago now, the family game is still going strong.  I didn't think we had spotted that many over the last month or so but as i emptied my phone i realised there were quite a few foxy shots there, hence the update. Anyway i wont waffle on here's what we've found.

I love that this game all came from Opeie before his second birthday and that it became a 'thing'. It seems that our love of Foxes and crazy hunting game is going nowhere, so stay tuned for our next foxy update.

“The Gruffalo said that no gruffalo should. Ever set foot in the deep dark wood.”

Ever since our Super worm trail a week ago at Wyre forest Opeie has been craving some more woodland adventures. He loves being outside pottering around in the sun and I'm game for anything that takes me away from the mundane tasks of household chores.  The weather has been so lovely over the last few days and after dropping Seth off at school we made our way to Cannock Chase in search of another Gruffalo. Opeie made it quite clear that he would again be in full control of getting us to our destination.

As soon as Opeie had stepped out of the car and his feet were firmly on the ground he made a bee line for the first Julia Donaldson picture he could find, he was a four year old on a mission. I happily trailed behind while he rushed off shouting "come on daddy, run!".

I do love visiting Wyre Forest but i definitely prefer Birches Valley forest as it is filled with all manner of weird and wonderful sculptures and random things for Opeie to climb on. Opeie seemed a little confused by the giant wooden carving of a trainer though.  

The great thing about Birches Valley too is the area of forest set out for the hardcore forest adventurers. A huge area that has lots of fun dens made from large branches. The boys love making bases in the woods wherever we go and there is no end to the amount of den making material available. The branches here are the best we've found for making a bow and arrow too. so as Opeie ran through the woods pretending he was Hawkeye i added to a few more branches to some partially built bases.

Like i said... Weird and Wonderful!

Our Superworm trail went a little off course at this point and our attentions were on another of Julia Donaldson's creations. The little brown mouse took us away from our super adventure and before we knew it we were surrounded by all those less friendly animals.

And then in the distance there he was, the monster of the hour. With those knobbly knees and turned out toes and the poisonous wart on the end of his nose. There he was in all his glory...

 And then it was lunch time so we found a hill to sit on in perfect view of the Gruffalo and tucked in. We were also in perfect view of a school trip of a class of children which must have been a reception class. Watching all the children run about excited was lovely but what i didn't like was the lack of patience the teachers/helpers had and the tone of voice some of them were using with the children. Opeie said 'Dad can i just stay at Daddy nursery?', he's such a cutie.

Before heading out on our forest adventure we had popped in to Smyths to pick up some LEGO for Opeie's great behaviour and for the fact that he is now sleeping really well. Its made a massive difference to his energy through the day and has had a great impact on myself and Mrs M too so it definitely needed to be rewarded. So as we sat eating our lunch we built a bit of LEGO too, a perfect afternoon.

Maybe a little too perfect as while Opeie was building a Superworm from rocks he could find lying about i decided to check my phone, which i hadn't done for a few hours and realised it was almost 4. we were 45 minutes drive from Mrs M's work and we needed to be picking her up for 4:30, Oops. We were having so much fun i had completely lost track of time.

As we rushed back to the car we spotted a Hare and a Tortoise so i told Opeie the story as we made our way back. It was a fun afternoon of woodland adventuring and he's already asked to go back again this week, I'm thinking we go looking for a new Gruffalo at one of the other great Foresty Commission sites. Stay tuned for more adventures.

Saturday 27 June 2015

Opeie, I need you to be the Ant-Man.

Sometimes i feel so sorry for the boys. If like us, as a parent you are completely smitten by your children there is a good chance you are continuously shoving a camera in front of their faces. Add in to the equation that i am a dad blogger and you can imagine how much the camera comes out. I am terrible for all the 'go and stand over there' and 'pull this face', especially when i am writing our LEGO posts and more creative reviews.

I should know better, I would hate having a camera pushed in front of me but most of the time the boys just go with the flow. Sadly though, sometimes they are not in the mood and one of them cracks. A few days ago was one of those times. The day Opeie started to shrink!.... and wasn't very happy about it.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

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

Opeie loves celebrating his toys birthdays, Rose the cat has had three birthdays in the last 3 months and it always seems like someone is getting the star treatment for the day. Last week the birthday boy was the Cat in the Hat and after receiving a package from Bigjigs toys Opeie came up with an elaborate plan on how we were going to celebrate. The sun was out and we had an afternoon to do what we wanted so Opeie informed me of his plans and we set about trying to make them happen.

The Plan:
  • Pack a bag each full of relevent items for our mission
  • Scoot to Ironbridge and embark on an adventure collecting items for the ultimate toy birthday party
  • Convince local business owners to let us do what we want in their establisments
  • Document our adventure with pictures (Opeie loves us taking pics)
  • Make sure the Cat in the Hat has a Birthday to remember
  • On completion of our tasks make our way home and party for the remainder of the afternoon
 He certainly doesn't ask for much that boy of mine, but who am i to deny him his fun.

The first stop on the Birthday mission was the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron where we pulled up our Micro scooters for a spot of tea and scones. We explained to the lady running the Cafe that it was the Cat in the Hat's birthday and that we needed to pick up supplies for a party (yes we did go through this story with everyone we came in to contact with that day). We spotted the perfect box of twelve biscuits skillfully baked by Bigjigs toys, delicious!

Like Opeie and myself, the cat in the Hat is quite partial to a peanut butter and jam sandwich and Opeie wanted to make sure that his friend had all his favourite food at the birthday shindig. As we were leaving the cafe we walked through the shop connected and noticed exactly what we were looking for, so with the help of a very excited Opeie we explained to the staff about the celebration and what we needed and they happily obliged. With our Bigjigs toys Peanut butter and Jam acquired we jumped back on the Micro Scooters and continued our adventure.

While scooting along the high street Opeie shouted "Cake!". You cant have a birthday celebration without Birthday cake and Opeie's sighting of Queenie's cupcakes made it quite clear where the next stop on our destination was going to be. The lovely lady on the counter asked all about the Cat in the Hat and his birthday and Opeie was loving telling her all about it. It was so great how everywhere we went staff were embracing Opeie's plans and being really friendly. We left Queenie's with our Bigjigs Birthday cake a perky cat and a very happy little events organiser.

There was only one thing left on Opeie's list and i think it was bright, hot sunshine that was keeping it at the forefront of his mind. We knew as soon as we spotted the sign for Vanilla ice it was time to pick up the Bigjigs Ice lollies and again the chap in the shop was very friendly, he even said we can go wandering behind the till for pictures. There must be something in the water in the river Severn that makes everyone so friendly. Well that was our shopping for previsions done and what a great spread we were going to be putting on.

The weather was far to nice to go straight home so we made the most of Ironbridge's beautiful park before heading home. Scooting around for an hour before parking up and having a run about. It was the perfect way to spend the cats special day.

The excitement of Opeie's garden party was getting too much so he asked if we could go home and start getting things ready. With all the great Bigjigs food we had collected on our shopping/scooting adventure the party preperation was going to be a huge job, but the sun was shining and everyone was having a great time. Opeie organised everything pretty much by himself and then it was party time.

 After a couple of hours serving our guests, playing pass the parcel and dancing it was time to relax with a good book. An eventful afternoon was had by all. Great food, Great company and some fast wheels to run our errands on, Perfection!

Until our next Birthday adventure... Have fun! x