Museum expedition

So, as promised, we took the boys to the science museum, as Thomas’ birthday treat. In true toddler-style, the train journey itself was exciting enough, but even though Thomas has a fever at the moment, he had a really good day. We kept it simple, planning only to visit the under-6s section in the basement, and the Launch Pad.

Ollie seemed a bit overwhelmed to begin with, but soon settled down to something familiar,

Then really got into it!

Then we sneaked over to the Natural History Museum to show Thomas the dinosaur. He’s really enjoyed “Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: Missing Treasure!” which has also prompted an interest in skeletons. I took it too far though, when I went on to try and explain circulation as well, and now he’s convinced the end of his finger will turn black and fall off. Anyway, we were going to go through the whole dinosaur exhibition, but it was so crowded and claustrophobic, that I figured for what he was going to get from it, it wasn’t worth putting ourselves through it. Still he was satisfied enough with the ones he did see, and even posed next to Darwin purely for my satisfaction.



Thomas was very excited to have a bath with his Thomas-the-tank-engine merchandise bubble-bath, and wear his new dressing-gown afterwards:
I had to post both these pictures because I thought it was strange that he was crossing his fingers in the first one, and I didn’t have to correct for red-eye in the second one, even though it was taken in quite a dark room – he has got very dark eyes.


3 years on…

Today Thomas was 3. I was very excited about his birthday, but while he is in the spotlight, I can’t help thinking about it in terms of “Wow, it’s been three years since my life was turned upside down!” I don’t mean this in a negative way, but, as millions of mums before me must’ve thought on their 1st child’s 3rd birthday, “so much seems to have happened in 3 years!” OK, so i did squeeze in another baby and everything, but some days it seems that going to hospital to have Thomas happened millions of years ago.

Anyway, enough of me blabbering on, Thomas had a great day, where he mostly got to choose what to do. Except taking Ollie to the GP. Ollie has been quite poorly, and it turns out the ulcers on his tongue are not from teething, but from a virus. The doctor identified them straight away. He also said Ollie’s throat was a bit red, but his lungs checked out fine. The advice was to keep on with bonjela and calpol/nurofen and come back if it got worse. Well, I am going to need drugs before Ollie does. It’s making him understandably very irritable and tearful, so he is mostly screaming with rage or crying. Watching him trying to eat is ripping me up at the moment, as he winces and cries when he catches his ulcers on something. He’s been getting lots of yoghurt, which seems to work best, but I may have to resort to purees for my own sanity. At other times, he seems fine, as you will see from the photos, so I just have to remember that this state of misery won’t last forever. I have to admit we swabbed his tongue with some Corsodyl this evening, which the doctor didn’t advise. It was actually less traumatic than the Bonjela (probably because he didn’t know what to expect) and I’m sure will be more effective, even in the small amount we put on there.

Anyway, after the doctors, Thomas chose to hang out at his favourite café, then on to the play park to look cool:

Then his grandparents popped round for dinner, where the cake his bedstemor made stole the show:

Though Thomas, with his eye for detail immediately asked “but where’s the CD slot, Bedstemor?”
He was really impressed though, and it took quite some persuading to get him to let us cut it up and eat it. He is at a great age for receiving presents as he was genuinely really pleased and excited when he opened every present.

We were still far too disorganised and new-at-parenting-especially-TWO-toddlers to organise a party for him this year, but a trip up to the Launch Pad part of the Science Museum, with a quick peek at the big dinosaur at the Natural History Museum on the way home should really make his day when we go with his grandparents later this week. Now that we are more settled, and I have some party ideas, and know about some venues, we should be able to get ready for next birthday, if we start planning now.



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Just the two of them…

on the farm




So, now that I’ve got all these photos off the phone, I thought i’d post some of the older ones. But also, this is a bit of an admission, I’ve begun to admit to myself that I would like another. I can’t believe I would ever say that, but I’ve started to feel like I’m coping again, and it’s such a shock, so I feel the need to be thrown back into the terror and chaos that newborn babies bring me. There are so many cons to the decision, that it really shows up just how big the obvious “pro” would be. Still, I figure I’ve got a couple of years to think about it, and by then, well, I may have changed my mind again. I was talking to someone at a toddler group about wanting to leave a bit of a gap this time, and she said “nono! you wanna get them all close together – much easier in the long run!” I think she may have been made of stonger stuff than I!”

You may have noticed me posting a bit more (like, 3 posts in 1 day) well, I’m trying to get used to my mac. I have installed Ubuntu Studio on the Dell, so there’s no going back now. (though, actually, I could probably install all I need on there anyway, but I’m making an effort).
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I can’t believe in the 21st century, that it is SOOOOO hard to get photos off my phone onto the laptop. My first port of call is usually bluetooth. The two things are paired, and I can send files from laptop to phone, but if I try the other way around, i get “sending failed”. SO, next choice is the phone -> USB cable provided with my N73 which worked brilliantly with Ubuntu. Do you think I could find this cable anywhere in our house? Bearing in mind we have two of them? Of course not. So, I have to find the card reader, and its cable, and remove the mini SD card from the phone, and get them off that way. Do you think iphoto can get them all first time? No! I have to do it twice (second time I used Finder).

Anyway, after that little rant, I really meant just to post this picture of Ollie signing “raisins” which he now does only for chocolate raisins!
This photo was taken in June, when he was 14 months. Sorry it’s not very good quality.



Ollie just said “bus” so I thought i’d list his vocabulary, as a record, as he’ll be 18 months in just over a week:
car, down, three, four, Daddy, Mumm-ay., tree, ball. eeeyuare (here you are), ereyuare (there you are). Castle, cuddle, bubble and shoe. These are all clearly discernible, used often. He will attempt to say lots of other words, like “table” but it really doesn’t come out right! He will also say “woof, mieow, and meeeerowwwwwww” instead of dog, cat and aeroplane.

Thomas uses “but, mum, that’s not the point” when I tell him off, or try to explain why he can’t do something. If he gets really angry with me, he “calls the police” and tells me that he’s asked a policeman to come and tell me off. Or sometimes he puts me in prison. He’s very receptive to taking deep breaths to calm down, and sometimes i can distract him by making him “blow out candles” where he has to blow on my fingers, and I let each one fall as he blows it out. Just another deep breathing technique.

A funny discussion we had today when Thomas was playing in his room: “mum, there’s scary hands in my room” me: “really, whereabouts?” Thomas: “on the wall, i’m scared – scary hands.” I have to admit that at this point, having avoided “Amytiville Horror” and other horror films on the grounds that they were too scary, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up a bit. Me: “I think you are using your imagination – would mummy be able to see them if she came into your room?” Thomas: “yes, come and see!” So I followed him into his room, and sure enough, there were scary hands on the wall! But they were shadows cast from a toy that was hanging off a shelf. I showed him where the shadow came from and explained that it was just like in “The Gruffalo’s Child” with the Big Bad Mouse. Phew.


First Master


So, an exciting day for us, as we get our first ever “Master” cut. So it’s pretty much all David’s work at this stage, but exciting to see him go off to master the first 3 tracks, then take it over to the EMI Pressing Plant. (Portal Space Records).

For my part, it was Thomas’ second proper session at nursery, so I took the opportunity (with Ollie down for his nap) to get around to installing Ubuntu Studio on the Dell Laptop. It’s got a few teething troubles, and I need to read the HowTo to get started, but I’m quite excited about it. Having trouble with the wireless card. This is especially annoying, as it worked fine with my previous Ubuntu install, and it turns out I could’ve just installed Studio within that OS. ANYHOO, it’s still fun to be figuring it all out, and be back in my chat rooms where I got into all this linux stuff anyway, and incidentally taught me to touch-type.

Also, i’m really happy with our new Lumix. Well actually it’s an old Lumix, but we got it off ebay for £27. It’s nicely battered, but works perfectly, and I’m pleased to have bought something secondhand.

Also, I’ve been reassured about Ollie’s behaviour. I thought he was just becoming a small screaming ball of frustration. But, talking it through at toddler group has helped to remind me that he’s a normal 18-month-old. Firstly, my newest best friend and sanity-bringer suggested I tell Ollie that he’s going to have his nappy changed, and then he can have a biscuit. This worked a treat the first time, but he’s become more tricky again. At least it’s broken the cycle. Having to physically sit-on and restrain a baby, while he screams as if you’re breaking his legs, just to get him in a clean nappy, is not good for the soul. The other thing my friends pointed out is that it’s a stage, and will soon be over, like all the other stages. I also need to get better at keeping my cool, as I suspect a lot of the shouting is pure copycat behaviour. It was so much easier to take a deep breath and calm down with just one. I am getting better at judging whether it’s a tantrum best ignored, or whether he genuinely needs some help and support to deal with the frustrations of not being able to fit the square shape into the round shape-sorter hole.

Thomas has stopped waking up to come into our bed at night. A combination of nursery and sticker chart achieved this overnight. He is now at nursery for two afternoons per week, 5 hours per session. He loves it and it totally tires him out. He’s still carrying imaginary friends around with him, but they vary as to which film he’s watched lately. Today he took Aladdin to nursery with him. On Wednesday he took Lilo (from Lilo and Stitch) to playgroup.


Couple of photos

It’s been a while since the last post.

Thomas has been enjoying playgroup and started his induction week at nursery, which we had to attend every day. On thursday he woke up and said “mummy, I’ve been sick in my bed” and this was extremely true. He continued to be very ill all day. This cut our nursery induction short by a couple of days, but when phoning in sick, Jo, who I think is his “keyworker” said he would be fine to start properly on Monday. Then we all got it, even my mum and dad. So we are slowly dragging ourselves back to normal.

Ollie is saying more and more words. I think he is trying more words than Thomas did at this age. He is starting to recognise numbers and letters, he can point at 3 and 4, and say “three” and “four” he is less confident with “two”. He will point out “B” and “O” and say them, but that seems to be it for now. He does a very good impression of an aeroplane “meeeeerowwwww” but makes a similiar noise to indicate a cat, and in fact quite a few other animals, unless it’s a leopardy-liony-tigery sort of thing which he will growl for. He will often growl for ducks, which is a bit weird. He clicks his tongue for horses, and says “ee-ore” for donkeys. Two of his first words are “share!” and “mine!” Best of all, Ollie is a fantastic dancer, and will dance really well to any music – even Bach, we found out by accident! He also sings a lot, both joining in, and also just humming to himself as he gets wheeled along the road.

Anyway, this post was really to put up a couple of photos. One of each, from the beginning of September. They were taken by Aunty Jo, as we are camera-less for the moment. The picture of Ollie has sparked the “dummy discussion” on facebook!