Sunday, 30 May 2010

When toddlers dress themselves!

You gotta love a boy who isn't afraid of colour.

We saw Granny & Grandpa yesterday.

And after the first pair of trousers I made for her were too small I've made some with room to grow. It's Anna Marie Horner's flannel and lovely for some light but warm summer trousers.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


The bike is a great success.

Although even the bike can be set aside momentarily for a play on the gym equipment.

Or a climb of the tennis court fence.

And his new best friend is the cat down the road. They've spent a lot of the day in conversation.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Beds and cake

The most adorable dress on the most adorable baby - well I think so anyway.

I really value night time parenting although it's getting hard with two of them. The bed has been in various configurations over the last few years and this week we've changed things again.
We used to have the cotbed against the bed but it's not been used in a while and I've been missing having a clock and light within reach so it's now been moved under the window and the mattress lowered in the hope that Isaac might want to sleep at a small distance from me - I sleep in the small space between them...

I suspect that the cotbed will be unused and will eventually become covered in clothes etc but it's worth a try before we take it down.

There are now bed guards on either side and there's plenty of space in the bed in theory (although toddlers can spread A LOT whilst they sleep). Isabel's getting less sicky but it's been easier to have a small sheet with a disposable changing mat under it than to change a king sized bed every day. It's not been needed for the last couple of nights but I don't want to stop the practice too soon.

I've been wanting to make cake for 4 days now but not had time and today I finally for chance to use some lavender that I'd bought to make a cake.

From this:

To this:

What could be more perfect! It's yummy.

Art in the neighbourhood

The month of May is full of art in Oxfordshire and for this week it's artweeks in our town.

We have a new exhibitor in our neighbourhood who has a bit of a passion for robots. We loved it! There'll be a robot coming to live here at the end of the week but here are some we couldn't afford.

Then we went to see our friend and neighbour Steve who for one week only is exhibiting in an old garage. The boy had had his fill of art and spent most of the time watching the buses and playing on the pavement.

One of Steve's skills is manipulating photos. In this one he's made it a negative so that the vapour trail and lighthouse are both black instead of white. It was my favorite image in the exhibition.

We live in a pretty great neighbourhood really.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

A Cow for Daddy

Today was a boring normal kind of a day with not much happening so I got the paints out and Isaac had a great time. Often he only paints on one bit of paper and then gets more fun out of putting paint on himself but today he had purpose to his art and he did painting after painting and was very determined about when he'd finished one.

One of the odd things to come out of having a hospital birth was that we were given these sponge things by someone (the anaesthetist?). They're great for painting with.

After painting comes the clearing up - and whilst we're very eco with the washing up liquid we use we're less so with the amount of water that goes down our drains...

Here's the nice neat blog picture.

And here's the reality of our kitchen (and this is pretty tidy as we only came home a couple of days ago).

Susan Striker in Young at Art talks about trying not to fix meaning into children's paintings and on the whole I agree with her. What today is a tree might be a rocket tomorrow etc. But today for the first time Isaac had an idea of what he wanted to paint.

'a cow for Daddy'

He said 'this is the tail' and 'that's it's sort of head' as he was painting it.

This was 'a sort of thing for you'.

And then there were several that were a 'thing for Isabel'.

One of the advantages to having put on weight is that I get to wear my favourite skirt again.

I've been hoarding this with the intention of using the fabric for 'something' some day but right now it fits me perfectly (which very little does at the moment).

Isabel is a very chilled soul (although I'm wary of tagging her with such a label as I don't want to fix her in one role or another - she will be who she wants to be but for now she's very easy going).

And there's one thing my kids do well - gorgeous belly buttons.

A cow for Daddy

that's it's tail and that's it's sort of head

a sort of thing for you

a thing for Isabel and another thing for Isabel

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Beach again

The weather's been better again today so after the boys got back from a train ride into Swansea we all hit the beach.

After reading Kat's blog I thought I thought I should put some more effort into being in the photos with the children as well as taking photos of them. I haven't got around to that yet but I did take this - it's a pretty accurate of what it's like to be feeding two children day and night.

The beach here is more your wellies and waterproofs kind of a place than bikinis and sun loungers but the advantage of that is that there aren't many people on it.

The boy does love a good puddle.

And tunnel.

And erm.... cage.

Daddy got to snuggle Isabel on his chest today while I had Isaac on and off my back.

And just because she's gorgeous.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A real giraffe

The weather was terrible today so went to the farm. Folly Farm to be precise. The idea was to do lots of indoor thing but the lure of giraffes made us brave the outside.

Isaac declared that this was 'a real giraffe' and told passing strangers the same.

As we approached the camels he declared that 'that a frontrian and that a bactrian' (he's known the difference between a bactrian and a dromedary for a while).
(And not that's not an attempt at an arty shot it's just how misty it was!)

I'm not sure what he enjoyed most but the ride on the train in the funfair bit was definitely a highlight. He watched everything the operator did and rang the bell on his ride round and then closed the door behind him when he got out using both bolts.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Back at the beach

For the second year we've decamped to South Wales for a few days for our anniversary (7 years, how did that go so fast?). The beach is whole 30 seconds from the house and so gets visited many times a day no matter what the weather.

The boy and the bear are in their natural habitat.

And yes in the middle of all those rocks is my son.

We're getting a lot of use out of the slings.

There are lots of castles near here and last year we left it very late to see our nearest so it was first on the list this year. When we arrived the car park was blocked though as they were in the process of installing a huge sculpture (one of 15 that will be on show during the summer).

I thought the castle would be great for a climbing boy but a crane was even better!

We did some shadow play in one of the towers.

Isabel and I had a little pit stop in amongst the ruins. She's growing up so quickly.

The crane driver was happy for Isaac to help (once the work of art had been unloaded).

And then the boy had to take another photo - anyone'd think that all I did was feed this girl (it feels like it sometimes).