Happy 3rd Birthday

It still amazes me that you have been part of our lives for a whole three years already. On one hand it seems like you’ve always been part of my life and I can’t remember what life was like without you being in it and yet on the other hand it only feels like yesterday that you were born.

Everyday you amaze us, everyday you bring such joy and happiness to our lives, everyday I’m so thankful that we’ve been blessed with you, our gorgeous, most precious gift. You continue to thrive, you are developing the most wonderful personality which can be both brilliant, and not quite so much. You are stubborn and headstrong, kind, loving and caring in equal measures.

Today (Tuesday) you turned three and the pure delight on your face when you opened the door to the lounge and saw all your presents and balloons was just magical. You’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen that you are turning three (p: fwee) for weeks now and today is the day.


We are having a family day today as you’re having a party on Saturday so that your friends can all come. Despite you waking up with a stinking cold, the day started (early, as is the norm) with opening your main presents from us (the rest hadn’t arrived, despite paying extra to get them here on time), Uncle Daniel, Auntie and Auntie Ann and a bit later in the morning (at a more socially acceptable time) your Granny and Grandad came to help you celebrate and brought you their gifts then we had a wander into town and had a birthday tea cake at Wroes where everyone wished you a happy birthday. You were so in awe.


Because the weather wasn’t that great in the afternoon we all went to Splash and you had your very first Waves session with Daddy. You delighted in jumping over the waves and kept shaking off Daddy’s protective hand because you wanted to be a big boy and do it yourself. Daddy also swallowed his fears and took you on the slide, to say you loved it is a real understatement, we heard you screaming and laughing from the moment you sat down at the top to the moment you shot out the bottom shouting “More! More!”, it was truly delightful watching you having such a wonderful time and I’m so glad Granny and Grandad got to see it too.

 

I think the excitement took its toll on you mind, because at the end of swimming however, you suddenly felt really poorly so we got you dressed and took you home. I think you’d probably drunk a bit too much pool water, along with your water and it made you feel a bit icky, by the time we got home you were feeling a little better.

Back at home we had a little birthday tea with Granny and Grandad and we sang you Happy Birthday and gave you your first  (of two) cake. I made the same as I did for your first birthday so that you could have slice. Once more you delighted in blowing out the candles so I had to relight them… several times.


The Presents:

From Mummy and Daddy:

  • Playmobil Pirate Ship
  • Pop up Pirate
  • Jigsaws
  • Pirate costume
  • Jim Jams
  • Dressing Gown
  • Playdoh


Auntie:

  • Playmobil Fire Engine

Auntie Ann:

  • Playmobil Ambulance

Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam, Ella and Tommy:

  • Playdoh Icecream Treats
  • Playdoh Cake Party
  • Playdoh Sweet Shoppe Cookie Creations

Uncle Simon & Auntie Jacqueline:

  • £££

Andrea:

  • £££

Great Granny Pat:

  • £££

Granny & Grandad:

  • Playmobil Landscaper
  • Dinosaurs
  • Personalised Bag Chain

Gemma, Seb, Leo and Toby:

  • Playdoh Activity Table
  • Pirates Sticker Book

All in all it was a quietly busy and successful day and all I hope is that you enjoyed every minute of it my beautiful, darling boy.

We love you to the moon and back, and beyond.

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    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

    42 Weeks Old

    Compared to last fortnight it’s been a relatively quiet one. You’ve been in such a good place on the whole but by the 10th I came to the conclusion you were definitely in your next leap… Über grumpy baby.

    We’ve been swimming in Holsworthy and at Kate’s parents house, you do love being in the water, thank god. We’ve been enjoying the most glorious weather with lots of long walks and plays in the park and on the beach, I’m dreading the onset of winter.

    On the 9th we went to our first Music Train session, despite being tired you appeared to like it. There’s lots of singing with actions, movement and play with your friends, Mila, Grayson, Samuel and Corey. Afterwards we had a fab afternoon with everyone.

    On the 10th the Life Centre Creative Toddler sessions started again so we popped down for a play. I expected it to be packed but it wasn’t at all. Coral, Buckey and Finn were there though.

    On the 12th we started on a 4 week Here’s Looking at You Little One course at the children’s centre. It’s basically a group session where we (as parents) learn how you will develop and ways in which we can enhance this development through play and activity thus lessening your frustrations. It’s brilliant! This week we painted your hands and feet and took some more prints (slightly more successfully than last time). We played in the sensory garden and you even rode a trike, the look of pride on your face was incredible, you looked like a proper little boy!

    After this we raced home for a visit from Kieron, Tom and Arty dog. Kieron is my oldest friend having known him since Charmouth Playschool days and then the Woodroffe School and Weymouth College years. I haven’t seen them for far too long and this was the first time they met you. We had a lovely walk and chill on the beach and Arty kept scaring you by barking in the beginning but when on the beach we all started barking when he did until you found it funny instead of scary.

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    (I stole this image from Kieron, you weren’t looking at the camera for mine)

    Health
    All good.

    Teeth
    On the 1st September I spied a glimpse of tooth on your upper gum (your left front tooth). Not exactly where I expected to see it and of course you won’t open your mouth for the HV so she can check it but I’m 99% sure that’s what it is. On the 11th I spied the other one popping into view too.

    Firsts
    Sat and pushed along on a trike for the first time on the 12th September.
    Met Kieron and Tom for the first time on the 12th.

    Character
    You continue to be such a happy, funny, chilled out little boy. Always laughing and smiling despite these teeth coming through. You’re becoming so explorative now the world is becoming bigger to you. You study everything you see so deeply and we can actually see your thought processes sometimes whilst you repeat tasks over and over until the outcome you wanted is achieved, you really are quite incredible.

    Development & Coordination
    Movement: I’m going to just use this heading now to encompass it all as your sitting, crawling and standing have all been mastered. You continue to cruise the furniture and even stand unaided for a few seconds at a time, the look on your face is priceless… Soooo proud.
    Speech: This has come on in leaps and bounds this fortnight and it almost sounds like you’re saying proper words eg: hiya, baba whilst waving. You’re also stringing sounds together which makes it sound like you’re saying a sentence, what this is I have no idea though lol.

    Entertainment
    You’ve recently learnt that you can flick things away from you and love nothing more than doing so then chasing after that item to continue your little game. Peek-a-boo has returned with a vengeance, nothing seems to crack you up more than when we hide round a corner and reappear and you’ve started to instigate this by hiding yourself behind, or under something. Boxes and balls continue to rate highly in your favourites and you’ve taken to wanting a ball pit ball to come with us when we go out.

    Daddy and I have discovered the most hilarious book in Dr Xargle and I can’t wait for when you’re older and can understand it. It’s under lock and key until then so you don’t rip it up.

    Sleep
    This is totally erratic at the moment. You pretty much settle for the night between 6 and 7.30 but you’re still waking every 3-4 hours. I don’t know whether this is due to heat, as it’s got warmer again, teeth, leap or just your pattern. I’ve fully accepted that you’re not going to sleep through, EVER!

    Getting you to nap during the day is also turning into a bit of a mission, all the fail safes are, well, failing largely. Though this does mean you settle earlier at night, trouble with this being you wake earlierin the morning… I really should go to bed earlier myself.

    Growth
    20Ib 9oz

    Feeding
    New tastes: Marmite… You LOVED it! Crumpets. Arancini. Boiled Egg. English Muffins. Coriander.

    You are now successfully eating three meals a day and I’m finding that now you’re drinking a lot more water you’re not having as many milk feeds during the day, though you make up for this in the mornings, evenings and at night.

    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.