19 Months Old

It’s been a fairly eventful and busy month for all of this. The house purchase is slowly coming on despite having to get a concrete survey done to check for Mundic block (all good) and a few minor problems brought to light by the survey but nothing catastrophic so we continue to plod on. I’m just desperate to get in so you have a garden to play in.

So what have we been up to to month? We’ve had lots of play dates and trips out with Mila at the weekends. On the 26th we headed to the beach for a play with Mila and Grayson which was lovely despite all the food going in the sand, not to worry of course, you guys still consumed it all.

  

I suppose the biggest news of the month came on the 30th where your new car seat arrived. We bought the Maxi Cosi Axiss in the end. your first trip out in it was to the Trelay in May Family Festival which was a little odd but you liked running around the field and playing with the hula hoops so it wasn’t a total damp squib. I’m not sure if we just arrived to late or what but there didn’t appear to be much on and the circus skills for children that I read about did just appear to be the hula hoops on the ground. On paper it sounded immense, oh well we live and learn, Daddy’s face was an absolute picture. You seemed to like your new chair and revelled in being able to see so much more and you grinned and laughed all the way there and back. We went to brooks on our way home and the joy ended as it took us nearly 15 minutes of the worst tantrum to get you back in the seat to bring you home. Luckily this has only been repeated once more since and that was after a very long car journey so I can’t blame you for the latter.

  

On the 2nd we met Samuel and Mila at Harlequins in Bude. This was our first time there and I was actually rather impressed, though I was dutifully warned that was the quietest it has been, EVER so that could have explained it. The ball pit in the big kids area (where you insisted on going) was so deep I nearly lost you, you found this absolutely hilarious!

On the 6th we went to the brilliant Gnome Reserve and Wild Flower Garden at Bradworthy with Mila. What can I say? We blooming loved it! We all had to wear gnome hats for the duration and you happily donned your blue fluffy number to the delight of Daddy and I. You guys loved wandering around the gnomes, with you desperate to get up close and personal at every given opportunity. After the Gnome trail we had to walk through the wild flower garden and count all the faeries and answer a quiz… We aced it, of course! The food there was fantastic, homemade sandwiches and cake at extremely reasonable prices. So many of these places sting you for less than mediocre food so it was a welcome relief to find somewhere that doesn’t try and rip you off at every given opportunity.

 

On the 9th we went to see Roo on the farm with Samuel and Mila after group. You guys had a fantastic time in the garden on all of Roo’s trucks and swing then looking at all the animals including the chicks. You marched around the entire farm shouting at stuff and laughing at the top of your lungs. You even sat in a real tractor and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look so awestruck.

  

On the 11th we started swimming again at Splash! It’s the same session we attended last year so have been going every Thursday since. Not sure the time is the best for you as it’s right in, or directly after your nap time so you’re a little clingy and not always ‘in to it’. I’ll carry on for a couple more weeks and if it’s proving difficult well just go in a normal parent toddler session, without the instructor, which are at better times for you. I’m glad you still love the water though and are handling diving a lot better now too, not bad since the last time you were in the water was at Centre Parks in December… baaaaaaad mummy!

On the 13th we went to the Milky Way again. Unfortunately Mila couldn’t join us as she was picking up her new car seat too. We still had fun though and it suitably exhausted you.

On the 14th we decided to pop up to the first annual Seaweed Festival at Clovelly where we net up with the wonderful @SeasideDolly along with a few other Twitter friends, including Wendy and Lee. You were mesmerised by the geisha girls on stilts, whilst we quietly panicked for them as the marched around the peaving cobbled harbour wall. Dolly captured the most beautiful images of us of which she’s kindly let me use for the purpose of this blog.

   

 

On the 19th you handled an epic 6 hour road trip up north, beautifully. Only really losing it with 12 miles to go. Thankfully the services we stopped at had a huge expanse of grass and a play area. Our reason for our trip was so I could see your Grandad who is very poorly at the moment. Unfortunately he was too unwell to see you but hope you’ll see each other when we go up again in a couple of weeks, all being well. We stayed at the Premier Inn in Ashby De La Zouch and I can’t say enough good things about it. We had room 105 which was massive, meaning we all had plenty of room to manoeuvre around each other. The staff were amazing in the hotel and the restaurant where they spoilt you with crayons and paper, balloons and food. We were given a cot cover by the fabulous Snoozeshade company which was simply AMAZING (full review to come). Simply put, the best piece of kit I’ve never bought, meaning we didn’t have sit with the lights and TV off when you went to bed at 1830. We simply zipped you up whilst we were still awake and you slept blissfully unaware of the lights in the room. 

  

On the Saturday, after popping in to see Grandad in the morning, we went on to see Granny and Grandad Holder in Doncaster. The weather was such a contrast to Friday, unfortunately meaning it was raining pretty much all day so we met them at Charlie Chalks Fun Factory at Cheswold Lodge as it’s a Brewer’s Fayre plus a big soft play area. Simply put this was absolute hell. It was packed to the rafters, we waited ages for food (not helped by not being told we had to order at the bar). It was dirty, the high chairs were awful AND filthy and the soft play had seen better days… Probably a decade or so ago. I forgot to tell your Daddy not to put money in those arcade vehicles that you sit in, so he did. Cue a serious meltdown of monumental proportions and a stressed Daddy feeling like people thought he was abducting you as he tried to extricate you from said machine. I seriously wanted to dunk us all in bleach when we came out. Thankfully when we came out it had stopped raining so went for a nice walk then back to your Granny’s house where you had a play with her and Grandad before we had to get you back to the hotel for tea. We stayed at a Premier Inn again, at Lakeside but it was far inferior to the one at Ashby, tea time was hellish as, again, no one told us we had to order at the bar and we waited over half an hour for some beans on toast, on arrival the toast hadn’t even seen a toaster it was just dried out white bread and lukewarm beans on the side, awful. However, the staff were lovely in the morning and on reception.

The 21st was Father’s Day so we surprised Daddy with some personalised marshmallows from Boomf and a card we made a couple of weeks ago. He spent the rest of the day driving us home… A bit of a mission for you, I’m afraid. You didn’t take too kindly to yet another day in the car, poor you.

  

Health

Another small cold. No fever but lots of snot.

Teeth

No more are emerging but all others are pretty much through now, the drool has eased off a little, thankfully.

Firsts

On the 15th you said “Hiya” for the first time. 

On the 16th you had your first proper paddle and play in the sea with Samuel. 

On the 17th you said “Ba Ba” when asked what a sheep does.

Character

You amaze me everyday with your fabulous character. I see so much of myself, your Daddy and my mother in you. You are headstrong and determined (much to our embarrassment when you pull a tantrum to end all tantrums). You love the outdoors and are at your best when free to run around. You never tire of running across the downs, cricket pitch and pitch and putt chasing the birds and picking flowers.

You are so loving and have started to enjoy sitting and snuggling whilst watching the odd programme you like on television and don’t have to be asked twice for a cuddle or a kissle, of which I will never tire.

Muscle Development & Coordination

Mobility: Running, climbing, balancing, nothing stops you from giving us more grey hairs than we’d like.

Communication: On the 13th June you surprised us all by saying (something that sounded like, and in the right context) “Hiya” and on the 17th you finally replied to my incessant “And what does the sheep say?” With a very definite “Ba Ba”. Yes, I cried and no, it wasn’t a one off. You woke up on the 15th happily saying “mama mama mama mama mama” which was just adorable and have also been saying it in your sleep which of course I’m thrilled about 😂. You’ve been babbling away more and more each day too so I think it’s safe to say we needn’t of worried, you just decided to wait a bit longer before attempting speech. 

Entertainment

You’ve taken to feeding the cat now by picking up a packet of her food out of the box and walking over to her bowl and making out you’re tipping it in. You then shout for her to come and eat. 

You still love using anything long as a Hoover and Daddy surprised you one day, on returning from a week away, with a real toddler Dyson DC14 which even works!! Ok, so the latter feature is pretty poor as it won’t even suck up a feather but you love the noise anyway. It did take you a couple of hours to get used to it as you kept reverting back to your cardboard one but you soon took a shine to it.

You’ve taken a real shine to your ride on Cow and it’s dragged out everyday from wherever it’s been stored. (Or hidden by Daddy). Usually you try and stand on it, or on it’s front wheels which has resulted in a few tumbles but you do love it, speedy.

  

Throwing and emptying things has been a firm favourite that I’ve noticed this month. Whilst I was cleaning the bedroom you were there throwing the contents of a stationary bag across the floor. One day you decided to throw every single ball pit ball over the gate into the kitchen and it really tickles you when you throw your Ballapalooza balls down the hall, I’m thinking it’s the noise they make that’s the entertainment.

You have really taken a shine to the train set that you ‘inherited’ by your cousin and it’s out every, single day. This means that I’ve been perfecting my engineering skills and trying to come up with a different track every day, these efforts can be seen on my Instagram account, along with a few you and Daddy have done too. Your attempts have quite frankly been amazing, twists and turns and even joining on occasion.  

Sleep

I’m pleased to say that, apart from the very occasional hiccup, you continue to sleep through the night. You still only seem to want 10 hours though meaning that you’re usually awake between 4 and 4.30 but I’ll take that for the sleep throughs. Your nap is, more often than not, 2 – 2 1/2 hours long and still between 10.30 and 11 so we continue to miss most of our groups at the moment.

Growth

Due to nap clashing I haven’t got you weighed this month. On our scales you are 26.2 Ib

Feeding

You’ve been a bit picky this month. Not sure why but unless it’s covered in cheese or baked beans you won’t try anything. Mildly annoying and I’m trying not to succumb to your demands but it is very demoralising to say the least, I’m hoping it’s a phase you’ll soon be out of.

New Tastes: Quorn Turkey Slices

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18 Months Old

A year and a half.

A year and a half.

A year and a half you’ve graced my world. A year and a half I’ve been privileged to call you my son. A year and a half since the greatest love of my life entered my universe. A year and a half we’ve kept you alive.

You have brought such wonderful joy to my life Noah and for that I will forever thank you for. You, who was so longed for, so waited for, so craved for and so welcomed. For a year and a half I have been a different person, a better person, a happier person, a more rounded human being, complete and you have made me that way.

Do I miss the person I was? No, not one jot. Do I search for the me? No, because this is who I am now and I couldn’t wish for it to be any other way. Put simply I would walk in front of a train for you and I would never have done that for any reason before so yes, I am a different person.

What’s been happening this monumental month? In short…. Tonnes!

I decided to sign us up for Here’s Looking at you Little One again as it’s a really interesting 6 week course, which basically means a free 6 week play group. We’ve done everything from playing with play dough, mud, water, exploring the garden and your emotions and learning all about your emotional, physical and behavioural development. It’s a great place for you to be let loose and play whilst I learn how to best deal with your tantrums and schemas. All in all it’s brilliant. It actually started on the 17th but due to me being out of action we only got to do 5 weeks. Unfortunately it’s ended now so we’ll have to find something else to do on a Friday. 

We’ve been attending a Shining Stars session on a Tuesday which is a nice little group and means you get to raid the shed for the brooms and push the toy Hoover around the room for the whole session, I hope your desire for cleaning continues when you’re old enough to actually do the housework.

  

We’ve had tonnes of play dates with Mila where we’ve been playing on the Castle lawn, beach, Little Stars and at home. 

  

On the 4th we tried out Trethorne for the first time with Mila and Roo. It was good but a little pricey for what it actually was and you were far more interested with the giant broom (the Rolls Royce broom as we called it) in the barn than any of the animals that were in there. The soft play area was pretty good, despite smelling like the animals had not long been moved out of the shed it was in.

On the 9th we met Amanda and Mila at Blackberry Farm and you guys had a wail of a time in the garden, playing with the animals and watching me feed some lambs. It really is a fab place, as it’s a farm shop, officially, it’s free but has tonnes of beautifully cared for animals that you can walk with and look at. The food is amazing and even has a play area in the restaurant for you guys. There were even some newly hatched chicks in there which you were besotted with. Afterwards, and the next day, we went to Brooks Garden Centre where you are fast preferring the toy sales area over the soft play that we have to pay for!

   

On the 11th I took you up to Daddy’s office as we haven’t been in a while and the girls were apparently complaining they hadn’t seen you in ages. You were very shy in the main office area but when you were in Daddy’s area you were quite relaxed playing in his chair and with the pens.

  

On the 12th we met Samuel, Grayson and Mila at Rosie’s play park where you had a fabulous time, despite falling off a bench and cutting your chin. Afterwards we went to a couple of other parks with Mila.

  

On the 17th my Auntie Ann and Uncle Brian came down to Sidmouth so we went over for lunch to see them along with Uncle Simon, Auntie Jacqueline, Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam, Ella and Tommy. We ate at Dukes and you were so amazingly well behaved at the table and considering we were there for sometime it was monumental. You shared my pizza with me and ended eating half, a good thing seeing as I’m meant to be on a diet. Afterwards we went to the park and for a walk.

That night we decided to stay the night and chose the Woodlands Hotel which has been recently taken over by Uncle Simon’s school friend Dan Cozins and his wife, Megan. What a fabulous place. They’ve done so much to it and it really is beautiful. You had fun racing around the conservatory and garden and playing with the toys they had there. We had a stunning suite which meant you had your own bedroom which was a novelty. The AngelCare worked in the lounge and restaurant too meaning that we got to have a meal outside the room and joined everyone for a good old reminisce. You charmed everyone the next morning at breakfast with your laughter and shrieks of excitement and enjoyed most of my breakfast aswell as your own.

We rounded off a play date month celebrating beautiful Roo’s first birthday. His mum, Jess had laid on such a fabulous spread of food and cakes (for both mummies and babies) and then you spent the rest f the time playing with all his toys in the garden, along with the Little Tikes Spray & Rescue Fire Truck we all bought him. You all had a great time and you got extra excited about all the real tractors, and brooms, in the yard.

Health

Another small cold but nothing horrific. A few episodes of nappy rash, have noticed it ‘seems’ to be when you’ve had lots of strawberries so I’m cutting them out for a while to see what happens. It was nothing a bit of miracle cream, Metanium, didn’t sort out overnight though it was extremely sore for you at the time, bless you.

Teeth

At the beginning of the month I noticed your Right Lower front molar had all but come through, that shot through because I checked a few days before and there was nothing there. On the 7th I noticed your Upper Right Canine was coming through and the next day your Upper Left popped through, no wonder you’ve been chomping on everything. I really should buy shares in Ashton and Parsons which have been a godsend.

Firsts

On the 9th you started to try and jump independently, you only manage to leave the floor with one leg but you’re so proud none the less.

Character

You are such a determined little boy and you don’t give up easily. This usually transpires when trying to get to the cat whilst she’s on her tower, you will not be deterred from climbing up there, despite the fact it’s actually quite tall and dangerous. We’ve taken to blocking the side table with boxes to prevent you using it as a stepping stone but you soon learn how to pull everything off to give you a clear run.

You remain so thoughtful and spend so much time studying things and enjoy problem solving. You’re more interested in things that challenge you thus you’re drawn more to adult tools and ‘things’ than ones developed for toddler use. You spent an age with a hex key trying to do up a screw on your high hair when I took it apart to clean it and I’ve lost count of the times you’ve demanded I put a chair I front of the front door so you can climb on my lap and put the key in the keyhole, over, and over, and over again.

  

Muscle Development & Coordination

Mobility: You are running around everywhere at the moment which can be a little nerve wracking when on concrete or slate. I constantly have my heart in my mouth but know you have to do what you have to do. I’m always telling Daddy off for telling you to be careful in the hall (it’s slate), of course his fears were realised at the end of the month when you tripped over your own feet, face planted the slate floor and split your lip really quite badly leaving you with an impressive trout pout and monster bruises. I’m just glad your teeth survived.

You are also experimenting with jumping, though leaving the floor seems to elude you at the moment. You are mastering your balance by standing on whatever you can, whenever you can. This, of course, will see you in good stead when you take up surfing.

 

Communication: We’re getting a lot more consonants now and you’re constantly mouthing sounds but not yet vocalising them. You have started to make conversational sounds too, finally. You cheer when you do something that exites you and make the noise of the Hoover.

Entertainment

We recently bought a Fisher Price Ballapalooza from a friend who’s son didn’t take to it, you absolutely love it. You love the dance music it plays and your face lights up and you soon start busting some moves. You’ve already figured out how to take parts of it off and put back in again.

You still love your brooms, hoovers, dustpan and brush, water and sand. Your latest idea of fun is throwing your Ballapalooza balls down the hall and hearing the noise the make, this sends you into a fit of screams, cheers and giggles.

Sleep

Without wanting to tempt fate I can say that since the 12th you have slept through the night!!!! Except for a couple of evenings where you have woken at about 2130 or 2200 you have pretty much slept from 1830 to 0430. The early mornings are killers but I’ll take them for you to sleep through. Now if only we can get the cat to stop waking us up 6 times through the night we’ll be well rested human beings once more. Your daytime nap generally lasts anywhere between 1 and 2 hours around 10 which means we are still missing out on the Life Centre Creative Tots session.

Growth

Weight: 25Ib 14oz

Height: 81cm

Getting your measurements this month was challenging to say the least. As soon as I undressed you and the health visitor said hello you clung to me like a limpet. You would not let go for love nor money. It took 30 minutes and the health visitors to leave the room for you to finally stand on the scales and measuring your length was done whilst dressing you so I’m not entirely convinced we were as accurate as usual. I’m hoping you were just tired and this isn’t the start of something toddleresque.

Pretty much all your 9-12 month clothing has been retired, what remains are a little short but need to be replaced before I put them away.

Feeding

New Tastes: Tuna; Tuna and Sweetcorn Fishcakes; Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages; Popcorn

Centre Parcs Winter Wonderland

We have not long come back from our very first family holiday where we spent 5 days (8th-12th December) at Centre Parcs Winter Wonderland, Longleat Forest with our 1 year old son, Noah.

It was truly magical. A friend told me it hurls you into Christmas head first and she was right! From the moment I saw the snow clad entrance signposts I was catapulted into all things Yuletide.

We had to queue a bit from the main road to get checked in but the queue moved quite swiftly until we got to the arrivals lodge where there are about 12 check in ‘windows’. Check-in was quick, friendly and hassle-free, no need to get out the car. We were greeted warmly by the arrivals host and gave our name and lodge number as we’d forgotten our reference number. She toddled off to check us in and returned with our keys and welcome pack, showed us in a map where we needed to go and sent on our way, the whole process took no longer than 10 minutes.

Luckily we arrived a few minutes before 1500hrs so didn’t have to wait to drive to our lodge. Due to the nature of Centre Parcs visitor vehicles are only allowed on site between 1500 and 2300 hrs on the day of arrival (Mondays and Fridays) and only up until 1000hrs on day of departure (Mondays and Fridays). Outside these times it’s only site vehicles and the land train allowed.

Getting to the lodge was a bit of a bun fight. People seem to forget how to drive in there so be careful, cars all over the roads and drivers too concerned with looking at signs to lodges than the road, it was a bit hair raising. We found our lodge fairly easily, we had chosen Woodland Lodge 416 in the Pine Area on booking as it was on the outskirts of the park and in an area fairly close to the main arenas. I would highly recommend these peripheral lodges as we seemed to have more privacy when it came to windows… The main living area windows just looked out onto forest and in a lot of the inner lodges you could see right into the kitchen/living areas from the roads.

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View from lounge window

The Lodge
We pre-booked the Woodland Lodge 416 in the Pine Area and were suitably impressed.

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On arrival we were amazed how big the lodge was. You entered the lodge into a hallway which had a separate toilet and a huge storage room which housed a vacuum cleaner and other cleaning implements, boot rack and a proper drop-side cot. We chose to use the travel cot we brought with us but the instructions on the one provided were easy to follow and it looked spotlessly clean. This was a great room to put the pram in too.
This hallway lead onto the main living area with the kitchen (on the right) and dining area (on the left) at the front of the property and the living area at the back with sliding doors opening onto a patio with chairs and a brick built barbecue area. We didn’t use the barbecue (for obvious reasons) but there were instructions stating to only use the barbecues supplied at the Parc Market. All that could be seen from this patio were pine trees and a small window into next door’s living room. This main area had wooden flooring with a rug in the lounge area.
There was a big chalkboard in the kitchen/diner area with a nice welcome message from housekeeping plus a bowl of chalks which Noah enjoyed (probably less than we did though).

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The kitchen was well equipped with four ring gas hob, gas oven, microwave, dishwasher and plenty of cupboards. 4 dishwasher tablets were provided as was a spare bin bag, a few tea bags, coffee sachets, sugar and UHT milk.
The bin has two compartments and a message asking to recycle. The recycling and general waste bins are located on the road outside the lodges, ours was right outside our lodge which was handy.
The bedrooms were either end of the lodge. The twin room located off the dining area and the main double and bathroom off the kitchen. Both rooms were carpeted and had hair driers as standard at a small vanity area. The bed linen was of good quality and despite the fact there were only two adults all beds were made up and towels provided for four.

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The lodge had gas central heating that was controlled by a thermostat in the main living room. We thought it was on a timer initially until we read the lodge’s ‘instruction’ manual and realised that by upping the temp on the thermostat the heating would kick in, I think it’s set fairly low. There is also an open fire which can only be used with fire logs again bought at the Parc Market. We pre-ordered a pack of three which were there on our arrival and just happened to have a free one so had enough for the week.
The lodge was spotlessly clean and in good working order, no real signs of wear. If I was to find fault I’d say the cushions on the lounge could do with being removed and the sofa hoovered, also underneath the sofa… I only discovered this whilst checking for any toys Noah may have posted somewhere.
The highchair was really good too, though I did have to put a cushion behind Noah so he didn’t slip and slide everywhere but this was no issue.

Bike Hire
We had hired two bikes, a trailer for Noah and helmets prior to arrival and when we parked the car we went to the cycle hire on the way back to our lodge. As we’d pre-booked we headed straight to the front where we were quickly assigned bikes and helmets. Criticisms to be made were that we weren’t given any instructions on how the bike worked and pretty much sent on our merry way with no information or safety talk. Helmets didn’t fit neither my partner nor Noah (too small and too big respectively). It wasn’t until we got back to the lodge we realised we had no bike locks, something we had read were provided. We popped back the next day and told to help ourselves from a big bin at the collection point. It would have been nice if the guy had told us this on collection, but no real harm done.
A nice additional service they could provide would be to deliver (and collect) your bikes to your lodge for you, with a baby it was a bit of a mission and we would have gladly paid a little extra for such a service.

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The Subtropical Pool
Wow… Just wow! What an arena!
Changing areas were spotlessly clean providing individual male and female cubicles. Separate male and female communal changing and family changing cubicles (with pull down changing unit and nappy bin) which all had two doors, one in and one leading to pool. Lockers were huge and plentiful. Take £1 coin for these. There were two giant body driers (like at Alton Towers) which were a novelty. Showers plentiful and powerful and leading into pool through a foot trough.
The pool area itself is really impressive, lots of plant/tree coverage giving it a jungle feel and this main pool has a wave machine, Tarzan would call out five minutes prior to activation. Off the main pool there was a little swim through ginnel which lead to a whirlpool area which Noah loved, this opened into the flume landing pools too.
Next to the main pool is a toddler and separate baby pool area with mini slides and warmer waters… Only criticism is the areas were largely taken up by lounging parents watching their older children meaning us with teeny tinies couldn’t get in until they vacated the area.
Taking a little jaunt upstairs you will discover a café, cabanas which you can hire, flume access and the entrance to the outdoor pool which had a ice plunge pool and entrance to the rapid ‘ride’. This area was truly magical amd I can imagine in the evening even more so. In true Winter Wonderland style it was highly, but tastefully decorated and there’s something decadent about being in the cold outside but in warm steaming waters.

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All the flooring was cleverly cut stone meaning it was totally non-slip. Considering there were a lot of people there the pool never felt crowded and we took Noah into all areas (bar the rapids and slides, of course) in an inflatable seat with no real difficulties.

Also, point for parents, photos are not prohibited in the pool area… Something we missed out on as assumed it would be banned as is the case in so many public swimming areas.

The Parc
The resort is beautifully kept with plenty of staff keeping everything in tip top condition. Included in the price of the holiday are Adventure Playgrounds, Children’s Soft Play Area, Subtropical Pool, Cycle Paths and the Beach (yes, there’s a beach). There are dozens of bookable activities from indoor and bar sports to outdoor and water sports and activities. My only criticism is that there isn’t anything for the really tiny ones to do, everything seems to be geared to the 3 years and up.

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We spent a lot of time walking (for N’s naps) and cycling around the Parc. The cycle paths are very well maintained and where there is a steep road for vehicles there is always a wooden cycle way which either goes into the forest, as the road drops away into a dip, maintaining a flat path or where a hill does need to be climbed they are sloped nicely, obviously at a gradient acceptable for wheelchair users, even I managed to cycle up from the Lake to main area without breaking a sweat.

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There is a land train that runs around the Parc every 20mins to half an hour which is quite sweet, not that we needed to use it. Apparently you can’t take a buggy on board so be wary of this. One day they did have an issue with one where it leaked diesel and obviously hadn’t been discovered until it had driven around the Parc a few times meaning everywhere reeked of diesel and the roads (having just rained) were a tad treacherous under foot/wheel as no one did a clean up operation on it. A little annoying as everything we wore seemed to smell after cycling.

There are a vast array of restaurants to eat at. We only ate out twice and did this at Hawtons as it was close to the pool, open and friendly (despite the bottom of my water glass falling out soaking me in ice cold water). The vegetarian food there was lovely and fairly reasonable.

The Parc Market
In reviews this got quite a lot of negative comments due to price. We didn’t find it that horrific to be fair, living in a seaside town we have local shops that charge more than they do so I think a little unfair to criticise. You can pick pretty much everything you need up here though if you’re in a rush and there’s a queue, don’t expect it to move quickly.

Winter Wonderland
This is set up in the Market Square and is truly magical. There are lights in nearly every tree, snow, real reindeer aswell as 4 singing reindeer, Glühwein, Santa’s Workshop where you get to meet Santa himself and lots more. Noah was totally mesmerised despite being able to really get involved with it all.

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All in all we were blown away by the whole experience and intend to book again for next year. It really does throw you head first into Christmas.

32 Weeks Old

Your Daddy took a week off work this fortnight so we’ve been doing lots of things as a family which has been lovely, coupled with the most amazing weather it’s meant we’ve done lots of walking and visits to cafés where you’ve behaved beautifully and joined in with our brunches.

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On the 27th we took Daddy swimming with us at Sandymouth where I got a telling off for taking a photo (oops, naughty mummy but I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity).

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On the 3rd we went to Splash for a proper swimming lesson with friends in order to get a proper photograph done. You got thoroughly doused with water from a watering can and handled it really well so next week you should have your first ‘dive’… Eek! The instructor is great and is teaching you water safety which I think is so important alongside enjoying being in the water. I recently watched a video from the Infant Swimming Resource on how babies can be taught how to survive if they ever fall in water, it blew my mind.

On the 4th we mostly stayed glued to the internet while your Uncle Simon met the Queen in his capacity as 1st Captain of her new aircraft carrier the HMS Queen Elizabeth as she officially named her. It really is a very proud day and makes me think of your dear beloved Grandma who would be beside herself with pride. He even had a piece in our local paper The Lyme News.It’s a good thing your Daddy has gone away for the weekend and the weather is rubbish. I managed to get this image from his appearance on the television. Just ignore the misspelling of our name.

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Health
All good

Teeth
Hmmmmm well you’ve discovered your teeth and what they can do now, much to the detriment of my fingers, arms and nipples!! You love having your teeth cleaned, I bought you a little toothbrush that fits over my finger and recently bought toothpaste thinking it was strawberry flavoured, it was mint… You love it!

Firsts
On the 14th you had your first swing at the Weir.

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On the 22nd you started properly babbling. You’ve found ra, ba, da, wa, ma and ga.
The 26th saw you move forward in a sort of commando drag/crawl.
On the 1st July you did your first plank whilst at a friends house, I went a little bit mental… Luckily I don’t think anyone noticed.
On the 29th you started head bopping to music. You especially love Pharrell Williams “Happy” and Spandau Ballet’s “Gold”
The 2nd saw you commando crawling as your preferred method of forward propulsion. Rolling to where you want to be is a rarity now.
The 3rd saw you rocking on all fours so it’s only a matter of time.

Character
You’ve been a lot less fractious this last fortnight, I think your teeth have ceased giving you grief as they’ve pushed right through now.

Muscle Development & Coordination
Movement: the start to this fortnight saw you desperate to crawl and you’re so close to doing it, you just need to lift your head up because at the moment you’ve got your bottom in the air and are pushing forward with your feet but your forehead is still firmly planted to the floor. Although on the 1st you did your very first plank and on the 3rd you were on all fours rocking so I’m hoping you’re going to master it before too long.
Sitting: you sit unaided superbly now even when looking behind you, though still a little wobbly at the most extreme of that point.
Standing: you still love to pull up into a standing position and always want to let go with one hand. We’re helping you practise standing holding against something at the moment. You are solid when standing on our lap with your hands on our chest, must be a trust thing.
Coordination: You’re mastering shaking things without bashing yourself on the head now and very rarely miss putting a spoon in your mouth. You’re even managing to turn the spoon in your mouth so as to get it’s contents.
Speech: as mentioned above, you’ve finally found your babble. You ra, ba, da, wa, ma and ga willingly and are loving experimenting with them with the addition of volume. It’s hilarious and we love hearing you. It’s like you’re turning into a proper little boy now that we can finally hear your voice.

Entertainment
Anything that makes you move. You’ve started head bopping to music which is so sweet so we’ve been listening to lots of music. You particularly like Pharrell Williams’ Happy and Spandau Ballet’s Gold because of an advert that’s on tv at the moment, every time it comes on you stop what you’re doing and bop.

Sleep
Well, what can I say? You’ve never slept well but I’ve always prided myself that you settle really easily and quickly when you do wake up at night. Now that has gone. It seems since you’ve moved into your cot settling you into it is a nightmare. You’re asleep in my arms, so asleep you’re snoring in fact, but as soon as your head touches that mattress you thrash yourself awake. I pick you up, you instantly fall asleep and then the cycle repeats itself. It’s taking well over an hour to get you to settle initially and every time you wake it takes about half an hour. I’m exhausted. We even considered controlled crying which I’ve never been keen on but when I went into you after the four minute interval (that felt like a lifetime) your arm was through the cot side and you were banging your head on the headboard so I gave up. You soon went to sleep on your own accord and since that you haven’t been quite so bad.

Growth
I haven’t weighed you this fortnight.

Feeding
Your weaning journey continues and you’re getting more confident with swallowing now. You happily knock back weetabix, yogurt (of course), cucumber, toast, rice cakes and biscotti. Fruit favourites are strawberries and nectarines, the latter of which you went wild for when you first tried it today. Veg are slowly improving. We’ve tried you with avocado, scrambled egg, eggy bread, cheesy leek and potato, lentil wedges all of which you’ve tucked away. You still won’t drink water very readily, you happily glug it but tends to mostly just fall out your mouth.