Sunday, 3 November 2013

Colchester Zoo and Romney, Hythe, Dymchurch Light Railway

The last two days have been a whirl wind of activity, on Friday I strapped on my big girl knicker and took both kids solo, well with another friend who has two young ones, to Colchester Zoo. On a whole I have left major outings till the weekend when I would have back up support from Daddy but the opportunity presented itself and I felt a little more adventurous knowing I would have our dear friend Fran's support even though she would have her own two to contend with.

I have to admit I am still finding it hard to have realistic expectations for Joss at three years old. She frankly does not care that it takes military precision to get two kids out the door with all the paraphernalia, around naps, and drive an hour to the zoo. Nor does she care that it cost £30 just to get in and not only should there be no whinging or melt downs but it should be pleasant and enjoyable for all and she should be having fun gosh darn it!

She did have fun there was just a lot of whinging and melt downs mixed in with it. I also just need to learn if she is required to walk more than 50 yards I had better bring the double push chair because no matter how slow I am prepared to walk if Jasper gets to ride in the pushchair then so should she.

Feeding the goats and seeing the pigs were probably the highlight of the Zoo trip. I missed the peak time for Jasper's nap driving home and spent over 30 minutes singing The Hokey Kokey with Joss on the drive home which oddly settled Jasper to sleep.

Today we set out for the Romney, Hyth and Dymchurch light railway in Kent about 90 minutes from where we live. Joss has been asking for weeks to ride on the train (we drop Philip off nearly every morning at the train station). It was a great call. We got on at Hyth and jumped off a few stops later at New Romney to visit the model railway museum. This turned out to be a huge hit with Joss she watched the trains go round the model tracks and got excited to push the buttons to start up different trains.

There was even a Postman Pat model train!

We then got back on the train to the end of the line at Dungenes which has amazing pebble beaches and Joss got her fill of throwing the pebbles back in the sea.

I have never seen star fish on the beach here and Joss had great fun picking them up and having a good look.

The day was tempered with it's fair share of whinging and melt downs but on a whole very enjoyable and definitely right up Joss's ally and Jasper sat in my arms mesmerised by the model trains reaching out to try and grab them each time they went past.

While the effort seems enormous to execute these days out seeing Joss's excitement and wonder at things really does make the effort seem worth while.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Oh Help! Oh No. . .

It's a Gruffalo!

This was our first year Trick or Treating though I have dressed Joss up in years past. I wasn't sure how it would go down but spent the day talking about Halloween and Trick or Treating with Joss. I choose her costume in as much as I picked it up around Easter time on sale for dressing up but it has never really gotten used as she as of yet is not really interested in dressing up.

To be honest if we hadn't been meeting up with a friend pretty sure she wouldn't have put the costume on. It took some convincing that the only way she could go trick or treating was to have a costume on. 

Once she had done the first house with her friend who is 3 years older she was gung-ho and had a brilliant time. We just hit about 5 houses on the street that we know well and she was pretty happy with her haul of candy. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

While You Were Sleeping

I have started to organize photos for the year to make a yearly photo book and in the process of uploading the photos from my phone I realize I have an insane amount of Joss sleeping so here are some of my favorites

Last Night in her Cot Bed

Crashed out on the drive home from taking Grandma Traci to the Airport

Crashed out after about two hours of sleep while spending the weekend away

Same weekend away crashed out in the pushchair luckily we had the sling for Jasper

The I didn't need a nap today but as soon as you put me in the push chair I am gone crash out
Quick nap on a day out to London so we can keep partying later 

The hope you don't mind I hopped in your bed when you weren't looking

The oh year maybe it was too early to get up

Last Sleep as a two year old

First sleep as a three year old clutching the handbag that was a favorite present

Hard won nap #1

Hard won nap #2

Hard won nap #3

Hard won nap #4

Really I don't need a nap (she gave up naps about a month ago, she needs one but won't I gave up)

The you pushed my buttons so many times today I wasn't sure both of us or either of us would make it till bed time but seeing this almost makes it all right.

Friday, 25 October 2013

10 Things Right Now - Jasper

1. You are so wiggly, no matter what we are doing you have to wiggle. You wiggle on the floor rolling all over kicking and flapping your arms. If someone stands you up you would think you have springs for legs you just bounce. Changing times have become interesting as you want to wiggle and flip all over. Getting you dressed is an extreme sport.

2. You have two bottom teeth but it feels like you top two teeth are making their way.

3. You love food so far you have had sugar snap peas, sweet potatoes, toast, pears, and we tried baby rice but you flicked the spoon at me and that was the end of spoon feeding, Baby Led Weaning all the way around here.

4. You have stopped sleeping through the night and it is killing me but you have settled into a dream feed around 10.30pm, another feed around 4.30am and then up between 7am and 8am.

5. You are such a chilled baby, you don't mind the vacuum and are happy to have it run right up to you and around you. You are happy to chat in the cot for a good length of time after you wake up and most naps I just put you in the cot and you chat away till you get tired and fall off to sleep.

6. You LOVE your sister anytime she is around you give the biggest smiles and you try to keep up with her by rolling and commando crawling after her.

7. You have started doing this thing where you pass toys between your hands and feet it kills me you look like a little monkey doing it.

8. You now give cuddles you will rest you head on my shoulder and borrow in, you have also started giving kisses, I think, you will open your mouth and plant it on my face.

9. You are very vocal and I always hear jibber jabber and squaks from you and you love the sound of your own voice you almost wind yourself up with it.

10. You have absolutely no use for learning to sit no matter how hard I try to work with you it is always a mission to get you to bend in the middle and even if I do once I have you in a tripod you think it is a great place to launch yourself from to try and crawl.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

10 Things Right Now - Jocelynne

One my Autumn Bucket List items was to Document Life, I am still trying to find a good blend of that between electronic and physical hold in your hand methods.  Ali Edwards does 10 Things Right Now Posts at regular intervals for her two children and recently herself as well and I though it was a brilliant way to document what is happening in our life right now.

1. You have been in Preschool for eight weeks now and you love it, in some ways I can't believe it has been 8 weeks already and in others it seem like you have always been going to preschool.

2. We have to use two different Lollipop Ladies (crossing guards) (yes there are Lollipop Men ours just happend to both be Ladies) on the walk to Preschool and you think they are the best things since sliced bread. You get so excited as we come up the the crossing and excitedly say good morning to them as we cross the road. If you are ever dawdling too much on the walk I can always say "help me find the next Lollipop Lady and you get excited and speed up. We don't normally walk home from Preschool but when we do you are always disappointed they are not there as they are actually for the two schools we pass and the finishing times don't match up with your Preschool.

3. You are obbsessed with the concept of Past, Present, and Future. We chat a lot about what you did yesterday, what we are going to do during the day and what the plans are for tommorrow and in the near future. Items we only do once a week we count sleeps till you do it again.  So on a Monday if you ask me how long till Gymnastics I will tell you three sleeps. You seem to understand the future time line better than the past. Everything in the past is yesterday for the last few days or a long time ago for anything over a week or so.

4. You love Wheatabix for breakfast and would eat 6-8 of them if we let you but we have implemented a 2 Wheatabix rule as I worry about if that much fiber can be good for you. After that you can have a bowel of another cereal or toast or fruit.

5. Your favourite toys at the moment are your wooden dolls and doll furniture that have been gifts from both your Grandma Traci and Pa as well as your Grandpa Arnold. You also like your Postman Pat figurines and all the little bits that go with them

6. You love to bake with me or more often your father. You seem to think that you should try each ingredient and I have on occasion grabbed a spoon from you before you shove a big wad of butter or spoon of flour in you mouth. The moment you hear the beaters going you come running to claim it when I am done mixing. You find it hard to believe that there would be things you wouldn't want to lick of the beaters.

7. This morning while driving Jasper worked himself into a freenzy in the car and was screaming quite loud and you started screaming at the top of your lungs "IT'S ALL RIGHT LITTLE MAN DON'T CRY" "SWEET BOY I LOVE YOU THERE IS NO NEED TO CRY" "IT'S ALL RIGHT LITTLE MAN I AM RIGHT HERE BESIDE YOU" It almost brought tears to my eyes, I love the fact that you mimic the same things I say to Jasper to calm him down.

8. Every night when you go to bed you ask me to lay down by you and unfortunetly most of the time I can't as Jasper needs looking after at that point but when your daddy is home I secretly love doing it as I know I won't get the chance forever.

9. You are a stickler for rules and routine. Every night we set the timer after you get in the bath for when it is time to wash your hair which signals the end of the bath. Tonight you were really tired and asked to get out and I said okay lets wash your hair you responded "No mummy we can't the timer hasn't gone off"

10. You are ALL about asking questions, sometimes it seem a bit like the Spanish Inquisition especially in the morning as I am not a morning person and it takes about all of my brain power to get us out of the door on time. Most of the time it is the same questions you ask all the time and already know the answers to buy sometimes you come up with humdingers.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Day in the Life Autumn 2013

I am joining Navigating the Mothership again for her quarterly Day in the Life post 

I chose this particular day as it had a bit of everything me as a mum, Joss at preschool, me at work. Somewhere in the day I got really angry, Jasper hasn't been sleeping well at night and it just happened to be a day that I DID NOT STOP, stuff needed to get done and the weekend was already packed. I was already feeling discontent with how our days were playing out but seeing it all in print and photos and notes really made me angry. So much so that I almost didn't write the post.  It took me almost a week to process my feelings on the day and when I sat down to write it I found that the notes I had taken on my phone had deleted themselves (I upgraded to iOS7 in between doing DITL and getting around to posting it I blame that) I just about decided to walk away from it for this quarter but as documenting life has become really important to me and I believe in documenting the good with the bad I persevered. Unfortunately loosing my notes means I lost a lot of the timing and some of the little things but on a whole you see our life.

Friday 11th of October 2013
Joss 3 years old
Jasper 5 months old

Jasper wakes to feed he woke at 2.17 am as well, yes I know the exact time.  I try to feed him and get him to go back to sleep

I give up on getting him to go back to sleep and stumble down the stairs put Jasper on the floor under his baby gym and stumble around for a bit I don't just wake up. Decide that I have time to wash my hair. Philip is in the shower, then gets Joss up.  I did try to get her up when I came down but as I don't normally get up at this time and she knows she has to wait for Philip to come get her after his shower she looks on this with suspect like maybe I am trying to tempt her then punish her when she gives in. Philip starts breakfast with Joss and grabs Jasper to entertain him.

While both kids are entertained I quickly pack Joss's lunch, today's request was tuna on toast, strawberries, raisins, digestive biscuit (basically a graham cracker) and not pictured cranberry and raspberry yogurt.

Just before 7am kids are bundled up and thrown in the car to run Philip to the train station we get back around 7.20 and a round of teeth brushing, dressing Joss, and doing her hair (only combed no pony tails today) is completed.

7:45ish Jasper is fussy and needs a nap as he was up so early and I know there is no way I can drag him out till the school run so set Joss up with some programs on Netflix and go upstairs to nurse and settle Jasper.  I come down and inform Joss that we are going to take the "vroom vroom" car to preschool today instead of walking as Jasper needs a nap.  I expect a full blown meltdown but she is so excited to be watching programs on the computer that she just kind of mumbles yeah.  I decide to use the time to finish some banking I need to do for work later in the day and to organize the shopping list

Philip has emailed me a recipe he wants to make so I go through the cupboard to see what we have and what we need.

8.55 Of course Jasper has to be woken to do the school run, something so wrong about waking a napping baby but  needs must

we have started setting the timer for Joss when it is time for her to finish an activity or for things she does not want to do and on a whole it works really well.

This morning was the exception she did NOT want to stop watching programs and I realize that my computer wizz toddler has changed the program to DORA which makes my blood boil as I have managed to avoid this for going on 3 1/2 years (DORA'S voice really really irritates me)

I manage to get Joss settled down and coat on when she melts down because she does not have a ponytail in her hair even though she was very clear earlier in the morning she only wanted it brushed she didn't want it pulled up in and way.  I leave Jasper on the hall way floor bundled up and quickly throw her hair up into a ponytail

9.05 we are all buckled in and manage to get off basically on time

Shortly before 9.15 We arrive at preschool Joss finds her name and adds it to the board

Hangs her coat and puts her back pack away.

9.15 they open the doors to the inner  part of the hall and Joss gives me a kiss and heads in.  During all this Jasper is in his car seat in a corner of the outer hall.  We head straight off to my Weight Watchers meeting in route I realize I have forgotten the pushchair and will need it since I am doing my banking across the road from my meeting.  Luckily I have to pass the house to get to the meeting so quickly pull up and throw the push chair in

Jasper falls asleep on the way and I am early so sit in the car checking e-mails, social media and sending a few txts.

Just after 10am I manage to get Jasper in still asleep in his car seat and get weighed, its a loss but it is coming off SO SLOW this time I am finding it hard with two to be as dedicated as I was after Joss.  I also weigh less to begin so while I want to get back to what I was before I fell pregnant with Jasper I am not as unhappy with my weight like I was before and after Joss. I leave Jasper asleep in his car seat near some of the old ladies who love to love on him and grab myself a hot chocolate from the kitchen. He wakes while I am grabbing it.

Jasper is getting too fidgety to be happy in the car seat or push chair for very long if we are not on the move so I choose a seat on the aisle and lay out a few blankets and toys and he is happy the whole time which means I actually get to listen to the meeting talk.

11.00 meeting is over and I ask the ladies if I can leave Jasper with them for a minute while I swap the car seat out for the pushchair from the car.  Of course they are happy and the love all over him while I am gone.  I do a quick nappy change and get him bundled up and in the pushchair it amazes me how long everything take and by the time we are ready to head out it is 11.15

We pop across the road to do my banking for work then back in the car to head back towards home with a stop off at the grocery store.

12.15 What should have been a 20 minute drive to the grocery store takes 45 due to horrible traffic and Jasper falls asleep.  I know I am really pushing it with how long he has gone between feeds so think I will pop into the cafe in shop and have lunch and feed him then do the grocery shop until I get into the cafe and realize the line is so long and they are so slow it would take longer than just doing the shop and Jasper is in good moods so I chance it. I manage to get the shopping done and him back in the car before he lets me know I have pushed the feeding boat too far luckily it is a two minute drive home.

1.15 throw little man on the bed so I can quickly put some freezer stuff away then head up to feed him.

1.30-1.45 heat myself some soup and let Jasper roll around in the living room with some toys while I have the soup and give into Skippo obsession on my iPhone.  I quickly check Facebook and a work colleague has posted some sad news that I knew was the out come but seeing it in print from her really hits me and I take Jasper upstairs for a cuddle and a cry. I decide to keep busy as I have known this was the outcome for about a week and it has weighed so heavy on my heart that I don't want it to consume me.

1.45-2.30 Jasper helps me sort and put away some clean laundry and then we go through a bag of clothes a dear friend has given me for him and pull out all the clothes that are the right size and I go through his drawers and pull out everything that is too small.

2.30ish we are in the car to pick up Joss from preschool and I go through the routine of checking for projects. This weeks theme has been transport. and today they made oragami boats.

I check the notice board to see what they have been up to for the day, on Friday she does a double session the orange is morning activities and the red afternoon. She comes out at 2.45.

It has been raining all day but of course it was chucking it down when I picked up Joss and I got absolutely soaked getting everyone in and out of the car the glamours post school run in the rain selfie.

3.00-3.45 Joss has snack and we chill out and wind down from preschool Jasper fell asleep while I was waiting for Joss and I managed to get him in asleep in his carseat.

3.45 we head out to pick Philip up from the train station as Friday's he usually works an early, Jasper is still asleep and I manage to get him back in the car.  

Joss is having a serious case of back seat driver and road rage. "Mummy your going the wrong way" (I am going the only way to the station) "MUMMY WHY ARE YOU STOPPED WE NEED TO BE GOING!" I try to explain that we have to wait for the kids to cross the street with the crossing guard. It is not a satisfactory explanation. "MUMMY YOU NEED TO BE GOING!" 

We actually make it to the station a few minutes before Philip's train arrives and Joss notices her lunch box is still in the car and she knows that she didn't finish her lunch and wants it.  I offer to hand her stuff back as I don't want her to have the tuna sandwich in the car but this is not a satisfactory offer to her and Philip arrives to full melt down.  This pretty much last the whole way to home with some more road rage when we have to stop for a red light, Jasper wakes at some point on the drive home.

4.15 we are home and I grab Jasper to feed him, he feeds a bit but is too excited which is unnerving since I need to leave soon for a work meeting.  I get myself ready for the meeting while Philip does dinner for Joss.

5.00 Jasper decides he is ready to eat of course I am already in my dress for the meeting so it leads to an interesting feed.

5.15 ready to head out the door for work meeting, I know I will probably be early but can never tell with traffic.  As I get closer to the venue I stop for a dinner of champions of Quavers (cheese puffs) and a Pepsi Max

6.00-7.45 Work Meeting, little bummed that it is basically rehashing a bunch of stuff we have already done and I am missing out being with hubby but a night off dinner and bed time routine is nice as well.

7.45 head straight off from work meeting to get a friend to sign my naturalization paper work but she has unfortunately forgotten and is out for the evening. I call Philip to ask if he wants anything from the shops an quickly pop in and grab a few bits as well as a pack of vegetable sushi as I am starving and know there won't be any dinner left

8.30 arrive home and Philip is working on the recipe he wants to try so I sit down at the dining room table and chat with him and generally catch up.  I am still really upset about the work colleagues news and generally frustrated with the whole transition back to work with two kids.  Some of it just has to sort itself out and some of it I need to look at and see how we can simplify our lives as I have a tendency to pack to much in till I break and then have a mini melt down

At some point Jasper wakes and I feed him then come back down and Philip and I discuss more how to change routines and schedules as well and chat about Joss and her current laughable moments and how to better deal with morning routine.

I head up and try to move Jasper into the cot but he wakes in the process so I feed him again but then am wide awake so listen to a podcast on my phone and fall asleep to that.