Saturday, 14 July 2012

Another Little Video From our Holiday

Our son had his eye on this little Noddy car ride all week. It was on our way to the beach and we passed it daily so didn't want to let him have a go in case we couldn't get him off and in case he wanted a go everytime we walked passed it.

On the last day, while I was packing the cases, my other half took him for a little walk and finally let him have a sit on the ride. He was loving it, turning the steering wheel and laughing (he is obsessed with cars!) and when some money was put in and it started moving he slowly started to change his mind and decide it wasn't fun any more and wanted to get off!

Jill. x

Friday, 13 July 2012

More Soup Please Mummy!

My son can be a somewhat fussy eater, he can like something one day and then make it again for him and he just won't eat it. However one thing that always seems to go down well is homemade soup. Leek and potato is his favourite but I wanted to try some different veggies so also added some kale and spinach, as you can tell by the photo it was very popular indeed!

Although I'm not sure how much ended up on his face and bib and how much ended up in his tummy.

Jill. x

Monday, 9 July 2012

Starting the Search For THE Dress

This weekend saw my first visit to a bridal shop as a bride to be! I've accompanied others on a couple of occasions in the past but this is first time I've looked at any wedding dresses for me. I've never been very weddingy! And haven't had a dream wedding or dress in mind since I was a little girl as I never really thought I would get married. Always too independent and not sure I would ever find anyone to put up with me for long enough!

It's less than a year until we tie the knot so I thought it was about time I started looking, I did have some gentle nudges from some good friends! I had no idea dresses could take so long to order and as I think it may take me a while to find the right on I thought I should get cracking with the search.

After some googling, which didn't help much as all the dresses I found seem to be super cheap and from China (they maybe ok, but don't want to risk it!), I decided just to take the plunge and visit a local wedding shop to try some dresses on. I went on my own to a really friendly shop in Bolton and they asked me to choose 4 to try on to get me started.

To start off with it was so difficult, as I walked down the rows of dresses I kept thinking I'm never going to find any I like! I'm not into the big princess dresses and not that keen on sparkle so my options were rather limited, I finally found 4 to try on and to my utter suprise I really liked the shape of first one I tried on (despite it having feathers on, don't ask!). The other 3 were better than expected too so although I may have some way to go to find my dream dress, I'm much more positive now that it is out there somewhere!

I'm keeping a little board on pinterest with my wedding ideas (most of them probably out of my price range) but if you want to see what I like so far see
I'm thinking of going for a 'lace' theme so if you have any ideas or suggestions I would love to read them in the comments below.

Jill. x

Friday, 6 July 2012

Love to Dance!

Was going through our (many!) holiday photos and videos and came across this one and decided to share. My little boy loves music and doesn't care where he is or who's watching, if there's a tune he likes he shows his appreciation by doing a little dance! This little video was take at the Castello S. Jorge in Lisbon where there just happened to be a guitarist playing some lovely mellow music while tourists looked around the castle.

Jill. x

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Very Busy Week = Very Tired Boy!

This week has been so busy! In my normal week not much happens really, my little boy goes to nursery for a couple of mornings a week and to his grandparents a couple of afternoons so I can keep on top of my work and the house. And then I usually take him swimming once a week, the park for an hour or so once a week weather permitting and also to a Tumble Tots session once a week. The rest of the time he's at home with me and I try to keep him occupied and work when he's busy playing or napping!

This week however, we've been having a new boiler installed as well as having all the radiators flushed out, and it's taken a couple of days to get it all done. I thought it would be better to take the little one out of the way on the days the work was being done. My other half has been working from home so he kept an eye on what was going on and was available to answer any questions and make the tea!

So it was up to me to take our son out, keep him occupied and hopefully tire him out! And also find new things to do when the weather's too wet to take him to the park or out for a walk.

On Monday, for the first time we went to a soft play centre. We went to the 'The Funhouse' in Swinton, Manchester and as it happened it was their 1st birthday so entry was only £1 (usually £3-£4.50 depending on age and day). It's not too far away from where we lived and was perfect for a few hours activity. My son absolutely loved it there, he's 2 in September so still a little young to really make the most of it but was fascinated watching other children playing, climbing and sliding! He was also on a constant mission to put any loose balls back in the ball pool, as other children we throwing them out he kept going putting them back in, bless him! Wish he was that tidy at home!

At the Funhouse they had 2 separate areas, one for under 5's, with various areas suitable for little ones from about 12 months and then another larger area for over 5's with lots of climbing and slides! My little one was desperate to go in the area for older children and I had to carry him away in tears on more than one occasion! He also really didn't want to leave the soft play centre and it was only with the help of one of their 1st birthday celebration balloons that I managed to get his shoes on and get him to the car!

On Tuesday, the weather was still pretty miserable and there were a few bits I needed to buy so we headed to the Trafford Centre. While we were there we happened to be walking past the cinema and I noticed that Tuesday was their day for the 'Newbie' screening. I don't know if all cinemas do it but Odeon do what's called a 'Newbie' screening once a week where parent's can take their babies to the cinema, and as it's only aimed at Parents and babies you're not too worried about them having a little cry or, in the case of toddlers, a little run around!

I'd heard of it before but never been and the screening started at 11.30am, which was only about 10 minutes away so I thought we'd give it a try! The screening was of 'Rock of Ages' and I'd never heard of the film but these days I'm really out of the loop so had no idea what to expect and hadn't been to the cinema since I was pregnant.

It was a huge screen room and there were only about a dozen mums with their babies so there was plenty of room to spread out. I think my son was one of the oldest and I wish I'd taken him when he was younger as he'd have been more likely just to sleep through it! He sat still for the first 15 minutes with the help of some Quavers and then decided he wanted to test out all the seats! We ended up moving from a seat in the centre aisle to a row at the side, so I could sit at the end near the aisle and he could run up and down! Eventually he did run out of steam and fall asleep leaving me to enjoy the rest of the film in peace!

As for the film, it was ok. I was a little worried as when it started they immediately burst into song, and musicals are not my thing! But it had a great cast, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, and it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. It's only something we'd do every so often though as I can't believe how expensive it is to go to the cinema, £7.50 for one ticket!!! I'm not looking forward to my son being older and asking to go regularly and taking friends etc. Or if we have another child, it'll cost a fortune to go and see a film as a family!

Anyway, I'm sure there will be future rants about cinema prices, I just hope they never stop doing Orange Wednesdays!

On Wednesday we met up with a friend that I hadn't seen in years which was really lovely and we met in a child friendly coffee shop in Warrington where my little one could pay with cars and look at books while we had a good catch up!

Today though, he's absolutely exhausted! I think all the activities this week have really taken it out of him, we went to our normal Tumble Tots session this morning but he was so tired he was trying to get settled for a nap on the crash mats, we ended up coming home early where he's been asleep on the sofa ever since! So a perfect opportunity to quickly write this and catch up with some work!

Jill. x

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Papillons!

Someone who is really please we are back from holiday is one of our Papillon Dogs, Amelie (or Ami as we affectionately call her) has been following me around non stop since we got back. Everytime I get up to leave the room she's there at my feet, even when I go to the bathroom she waits outside the door. That's if she's not snuck in with me!


We have two Papillons, Amelie who's nearly 4 and Rafael who's nearly 5 (and we refer to as Rafi). I should explain now that I'm a really big tennis fan (Wimbledon has been very distracting this week!) and they are named after two of my favourite players, Amelie Mauresmo and Rafael Nadal!

They couldn't be more different, Ami is 'princess perfect' she rarely has a tangle in her coat and is always super white, even if she's been out in the rain or mud she's dry and clean within minutes!

On the other hand, Rafi is a right little scruff bag! He's the complete opposite he can be lovely and clean after a bath and the immediately goes and rolls in the mud and you just need to look at him and he gets another knot in his fur!

Rafael (still a bit wet from his bath!)
They are both so different in personality but both really lovely dogs. I'd never had a dog before I got Rafi, and then Ami a year later, and I'm so glad I chose Papillons as they are just lovely and have been so good with our little boy.

Jill. x

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Post Holiday Blues!

It's just over a week since we got back from holiday, and the post holiday blues have definitely set in. Certainly not helped by the weather, all I've seen when looking out of the window since we got back is grey sky! Not that I've had too much time to look out of the window, I've been so busy catching up with emails (nearly there!) as when we were away I hardly checked them at all because holiday is family time!

I remember going on holiday with my mum and dad and my dad taking his laptop, being constantly on his mobile phone and even arranging for people to fly out for meetings, even on holiday he rarely switched off from work.

Anyway, we hadn't been abroad as a family before and we were in two minds as to whether it would be a good idea just yet as our son is nearly 2 and we weren't sure how he'd be travelling on a plane as well a going somewhere hotter than he's used to, but we decided to just go for it and overcome any issues that arised.

We wanted to go somewhere that wouldn't be too long a plane journey, so it would have to be Europe and we decided on Portugal, Estoril (near Lisbon) to be precise. There were other reasons for choosing to go there, it's on the Atlantic so it doesn't get too hot, there's always a lovely cool breeze, and most importantly from my point of view I'm really familiar with the area.

Beach in Cascais

I should explain now that my parents took me there on holiday when I was 2 or 3 and then a couple of years later when I was 5 we ended up moving out there. We lived there for 7 years before returning to England; and although I was only 12 when we left it's somewhere I think of as home and I love being there. I also still have some wonderful school friends there too who I still keep in touch with, although not as often as I should!

Our holiday was a wonderful mix of sightseeing, playing and relaxing on the beach and a heck of a lot of eating! Which I now have to pay for down at the gym :(

As far as sightseeing goes there were places that I remember visiting with my family or on school trips and then there were other places that I'd never been to or at least have no recollection of. We spent a couple of days in Lisbon, which is about 15-20 minutes from Estoril and also a day in Sintra which is up in the hills (about 20 minutes again in a different direction) and is so beautiful and is full of castles and palaces and if you are ever in that area of Portugal most definitely worth a visit.

View of Lisbon from Castelo de São Jorge

Palacio De Pena, Sintra

Our son's favourite day was when we went to the aquarium in Lisbon, it's very modern and the 2nd largest in the world. He just got to run around looking at all the fish and wildlife, we were there for a few hours and he slept extremely well that night! He also loved being on the beach with his new bucket and spade!

Asleep on the beach!

With it being somewhere I'm really fond of I was over the moon that both my partner and son enjoyed being there as much as I did so hopefully we will be able to return more often. It's been nearly 7 years since my last visit and I hope it's not so long until the next one!

Jill. x