Monthly Archives: May 2010

First shoes

Austin is walking really well now, doing mostly walking and very little crawling so off we went to get him his first shoes!

We went with Nanny, Grandad and Amy so we met at their house first for some more presents!!!

For his birthday he got mainly money so we paid that into the bank ready to put some toward a new pram and car seat and some into his savings account.  Then after some dinner we went for his shoes….

He seemed a bit confused getting his feet measured and he was a 3.5G.  So half a size smaller than Noah!!  Once he had his new shoes on he had totally forgotten how to walk and just fell over!  With every pair of shoes you got £5 off some doodles so we got Noah some as well since he had just about grown out of his old shoes which he had had for over a year!!!!!!!!  Then it was a mad dash home as I was off out in the evening.


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The kitchen!

Britain’s Got Talent has finished so I can finally catch up on my blog!!

The house seems to have really slowed down I’m convinced it’ll never be finished!  The kitchen just needs little finishing bits like the boards under the cabinets, picture rail and skirting board and one alcove needs painting!  Elvis is broken and Richard has spent the last few weeks before and after holiday fixing him.  So incase the kitchen never gets finished and before we make a big mess of it here it is………

I am really pleased with how it has turned out.  Considering the units, sink, tap, shelving and spice rack/jars were under £1500, tiles £40, cooker £500 and the worktops £200 I think it looks pretty good.

Just the utility room, hallway and fireplace to go after the kitchen is complete…..Maybe by Christmas….ha in my dreams…….

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Home at last

I don’t think I have ever been so happy to be home!  The holiday was great and it was lovely to see everyone, but it was so tiring and so much travelling and it’s just nice to be back home where I don’t have to hover over the kids making sure they don’t break any valuables!!!!

We got back and went straight back out to mini club and had pub tea.  The next day was back to school for Caitlin and Noah so me and Austin went shopping for things for a birthday tea for Austin and then took a cake to play group.  Unfortunately Austin fell out of the playgroup door…even though there is no step or anything just a doorway that leads straight out into the playground!!  So his head was even more lumpy for his birthday tea photo’s!!!!!!

We had party food….of course!  And a cake!!!

Followed by presents!!!!!!

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Austin turns 1!

Austin has turned 1…..where on earth has the last year gone??  Lost to renovations and living in chaos….  I feel like his first year has been a bit poor in comparison to Caitlin and Noah’s, there are so many toys we just didn’t get chance to unpack, very little floor space for him to roll about on, not as many days out and no proper holidays….  And since the house is still a bit chaotic and not really safe for small visitors he didn’t get a party…next year!!  But he is super content and didn’t seem to mind any of this.

He was late to crawl but as soon as he realised moving about got him to all kinds of things and allowed him to follow Caitlin and Noah he soon decided to walk!!!  I still can’t believe he took his first steps in the same week as Caitlin and Noah did….that is so close it is spooky!  He chats away to everyone and if he thinks people aren’t listening he shouts, obviously going to be an early talker like Noah and never stop once he’s got it!!!  He is pretty much the same size as Noah at that age and also looks a lot like him.  He adores Caitlin and Noah and follows them around trying to play with them.  They both adore him but do sometimes get carried away playing together and race off without him.  Austin is a good sleeper he sleeps through all the time but sometimes wakes up a bit too early, but not ridiculously so.  He loves his food and is very vocal if you have something and he hasn’t!!!  I think bread and bananas are his favourite.

On his birthday morning we were still away and Nan had put some balloons and a banner up for him which was cool….

Eventually once everyone was up and ready he got to open his presents from Nan….

Caitlin helped him but I think he thought it was all a bit boring really…….

….until he got………

….the wrapping paper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Always a hit!!

The weather was still nice so we headed out for a drink and a play on the swings…

…before birthday cake!!!!!!!!!!!

And time for a quick slice before bed….

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Driving, driving, driving!!

So we set off from Grandma and Grandad’s just before 9pm on the Sunday…..  We tried setting stupid woman to no toll roads to save us 60 euros but she couldn’t seem to do a route without them so we gave up and took the toll road….but then in true stupid woman style she took us off the toll road to go through the middle of Paris!!!!!!!!  Me and the kids were supposed to be sleeping while Richard drove through the night.  Austin had other ideas and was still awake after a few hours having refused to drink his bedtime milk.  He finally gave in and drank it and fell asleep.  Noah of course woke up just after midnight and wittered away to us for over FOUR whole hours!!!!!!  I couldn’t sleep due to toll booths, Noah and a very uncomfy seat!  We got to the tunnel a bit early and managed to get on an early train, on which Noah finally gave in and fell back to sleep…..only for Caitlin to wake up!  We arrived at Nan’s just before 6am all completely knackered….  We waited until after 6 to wake her up and I went straight to bed.  The kids were all completely exhausted and so completely unreasonable…wouldn’t eat, drink, play nicely etc etc….  Richard tried to sort breakfast with very little success then also headed off to bed.  I could hear tears, fighting and general unrest downstairs but after a few hours sleep I got up and sent Noah to bed.  He had had about 4 hours sleep and so was beyond reasoning with.  Caitlin had had more sleep but still not enough, and even Austin was tired. 

In the afternoon after a nice long sleep for Noah we headed out for a drink by the river…

We still had to tread carefully with tired children but the fresh air did everyone good!

and we went on some swings…of course!

Before heading back for an early night before………..a certain little someones first birthday….

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Luche, France…holiday part 2

We set off to Grandma and Grandad’s after Disney, which was about a 5 hour drive.  It was pretty much bedtime when we left so Noah fell straight asleep and Austin followed suit soon.  Caitlin likes to stay up later and isn’t as tired going to bed anymore so she stayed awake for a good hour or so.  Noah being a light sleeper didn’t manage to stay asleep the whole time and when he woke launched into his then what’s!!  He gives a (usually dramatic) scenario and then say’s then what??????  This time it was “If I fall asleep before we get to Grandad’s…then what??”  And so it continued for about the last hour of the journey!!!!  Stupid woman had no idea where we were trying to go so when we got to Brioux sur Butone and then had to phone to be shown the way.  By this time it was just after midnight so we just bundled the kids to bed.

In the morning we had nice fresh bread from their bakers….  and then had a tour of Grandma and Grandad’s house.  They have a lovely old French farm-house and their garden is fantastic…it is plenty big enough to play in but led straight onto farm land so gave the illusion it was enormous….(their garden ends at the pale grass)

Caitlin and Austin then tested out the hammocks….

…which Austin obviously found far too relaxing….

So we scooped him up and went out to see the local area.  We went to an old wash area and play ground and had a go on the swings then did a bit of fishing

where we caught some tadpoles…

…which Caitlin held!  And also a frog, caught by Richard, which we put back!  After lunch of French bread, ham and salad where Caitlin decided she wasn’t a big fan of “round bread” we headed back out to a small river alongside another play ground.  We took their wellies and they had a paddle in the lovely clear water…

It was then time for tea and a nice early night.

On the Friday we went to a nearby lake for a walk ….

and played on the swings where Austin bounced away on a springy thing…

We then went to visit some of Grandma’s friends.  One lived in a gorgeous converted mill…mine and Richards idea of an ideal home!  They had a small river running through the house and a weir in the garden.  We sat out drinking with the sound of water running…perfect!

Saturday started out with a trip to the local market, which was very small.  It was funny because Luche where Grandma and Grandad live, and the surrounding towns (by town I mean group of a few houses!!! – Grandma and Grandad’s town has 3 houses!!!!!!!) are all really remote and apparently market day is a big thing and really busy…but we thought it looked deserted…there mustn’t be a soul there on a weekday!!  We then had lunch at a local cafe bar where Austin made a friend Katie, who was a week younger than him.  Then it was onto the nearby zoo….  Katie’s mum hadn’t been too enthusiastic about the zoo but it was great!  All really modern and small enough to get close to the animals

but not so small it didn’t have anything exciting…

Austin then had a great time playing back at the house with the doors of the summer kitchen!

On Sunday morning we went to a carboot, then Richard had a sleep ready for driving home overnight!  While he was asleep the kids played in the paddling pool and on Grandad and Grandma’s swings which were by far Caitlin’s favourite part of their house!!!

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Holiday part 2 – Disney Paris

After the London to Brighton mini run we headed straight off for our Eurotunnel.  Caitlin and Noah were fascinated at how we were on a train under the sea!!  And then with no passport checks what so ever we were in France…..  We headed to our formula one “hotel” (very small room with insufficient beds – the max you could have was 3 beds so we had to make do with that!!)  We got there at about 10pm by which time everyone was very tired and grumpy and it took a while to convince Noah and Caitlin to stop fighting over space in the single bed….

In the morning we woke up and went in search of breakfast….but couldn’t find anywhere open so we gave up as we had some food in the car…bananas, fruit pots etc!  We then headed to DISNEY!!!!!  We were told we wouldn’t be able to check in until 3pm but could use the park but when we got there our room was ready so we checked in straight away and went straight out to the Disneyland park…..

…unfortunately we seemed to have taken the British weather with us and it was pouring with rain!!  As we had forgotten the rain cover for the pram we had to spend £8 on a glorified binbag for Austin so he kept slightly dry!!  Our £8 must have worked though because soon after we bought it the rain eased off – bargain price for good weather!!!  And Caitlin got to see one of the 2 things she had her heart set on….the castle!!!!!!!!!!!

We also went on a few rides and then it was time for dinner.  Wow that was expensive…at £25 for 2 adult meals and 1 portion of chips to be shared out between the 4 of us!!!  And as you can imagine it wasn’t all that nice either!!  We then managed to find a ride that Austin could go on…well you had to be 1 so we told a small lie and said he was…well he was only a week off!!  They looked like they didn’t believe us but did let us on….surprising really since he is monster baby…

(and yes that really is me – a rare sight a photo of me but it looked ok so I thought I’d be brave!)  And we went on more rides….

In preparation for our trip we really should have watched the Disney channel or at least some Disney films because none of us recognised any characters!!!!!!  Noah knows Lightening McQueen and Caitlin knows the Disney princesses because they are on her cup and plate!!!!  I thought the characters wandered about mingling with the guests but they don’t you have to queue up to meet them and they switch every half an hour or so.  So we queued up to see Minnie mouse – Caitlin liked her dress!!  We got to the front of the queue and met mickey mouse who they were all quite scared of….

…and then just as it was our turn with Minnie she was swapped with someone we didn’t recognise at all!!!!!!!  We had to ask who she was and it turns out she was Jessie from toy story…..ah well never mind!  By this time with our pathetic breakfast and shared dinner we were hungry so we left to get some tea.  We decided against the £70 option available in the park and found a sports bar outside.  Then it was time for bed and Richard headed out to the supermarket to get a packed lunch and some beer!!

The next morning we had a massive buffet breakfast and realised we could have acquired our packed lunch here but never mind!!  Then we headed to the other park – Walt Disney studios…. 

As we were in a Disney hotel we had access to the park 2 hours before people who weren’t in a Disney hotel so we got straight on the Aerosmith ride and then on the tower of terror, although both were good they weren’t as good as the US versions.  Then we went to see the stunt car show!

which Austin was truly amazed by…..

The Cars ride which Noah had been looking forward to was in this park so we went there and Noah was chuffed to bits to see a giant Lightening McQueen, but it was really hard to get a picture of that so we had to settle for a photo with a billboard…

On our way out of the park Caitlin managed to get a quick photo with Minnie Mouse!

The next morning we started out back in the Disneyland Park to meet the princesses.  They were by the castle for 2 hours…and after a 1.5 hour queue we finally got to meet one….

and even Noah wanted to give her a hug!  Poor many kids must she have to grin at and hug??!!


We finished off the rides we wanted to go on and then went back to the other park to watch the stunt show again…

After that show the stunt driver were available for photo’s so Noah waited for them…

Before we left Paris we went back to the shopping mall for some tea where we saw our one and only French mini!!

True to form even though we just selected previous destination Stupid Woman sent us a different way to yesterday!!!!!!  She is so illogical!  After tea it was time to set off for Grandma and Grandad’s….  After a few hours we noticed Caitlin had fallen asleep….

all snuggled up with Snow White!!

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The start of our holiday….

First of all I will introduce you to “stupid woman!”….she is the sat nav in Richards new car and she really is stupid…she has no concept of directions and sends you in completely the opposite direction lots of times!!!  For example I was going somewhere I vaguely knew the way to but got  directions incase the way I went wasn’t the best way as I wasn’t that familiar with the area….  Her route was 14 miles long….much further than I thought….she said to go straight on, but I knew left was a better option…she recalculated and hey presto journey was now only 6 miles!!!!  I’m sure she is in cahoots with the car manufacturer to make your mileage warranty run out sooner!!!!

Anyway onto our trip!!  We headed down south to Nan’s house first for a quick stop over….

…and play in her garden then after a night’s sleep it was an early start to a mini show….

Noah insisted on having his picture taken with all the blue mini’s while Caitlin found all the pink ones!!!!!

The show is on Madeira Drive in Brighton and about 2000 mini’s have tickets to park on the seafront (and another 2000 just turn up and cause parking chaos in Brighton!!) They have a big PA system that has speakers right along the seafront and Caitlin and Noah went on stage to tell them about our mini’s, they both got a sticker for doing that which they were chuffed about!

We then tried to get a photo of Austin with an Austin badge but he kept running away…

Then the rain started and so we headed off on the next part of our journey….

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Loads a posts!!

We’ve been away with stupid woman, we’ve seen princesses and people on fire, we’ve spent more time with stupid woman, we’ve been to the middle of no-where, we caught frogs, we were subjected to more stupid woman (I may just kill her!!), we had exhaustion, we’ve had a 1st birthday, we’ve come home and had more birthday celebrations……and there are “loads a posts” to follow………..

While I trawl through my 400+ photo’s here is my favourite from the tiny screen on my camera….

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New playground and a new top!

Our local playground has been having a facelift!  It used to be pretty poor with really old equipment, which has all been replaced with wooden wigwam structures, a zip wire and a rope climbing frame!  So this week as the kit is finished and they are just doing the landscaping we called in on the way to collect Caitlin from school.

I think it is aimed more at older children so won’t really be good for us at busy times but since Noah had the place to himself he could have a go at the rope climbing and managed to get to the top of the wigwam….

While the kids have been in bed and Richard at work I made Caitlin another new top ready for a mini show we’re going to soon…..

…the lighting is terrible but I am really pleased with how it turned out.

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