Friday, 29 March 2013

A big girl

We visited Isadora for tea on Saturday, and I was struck by how big Marisca looks, and how lovely she was with the two littlies.

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Today, Thomas is mostly in stripes!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

One magical sunlit day at the zoo

After the family visits we had a fully 'holiday' day, going to the zoo!  I've been meaning to take Marisca to the zoo for a while, and we were rewarded with a very happy little girl.  It amazes me that she remembers things so well (she still tells me about going to the station to see Toby, and that she had a ride, and that she rang the bell,  ding ding ding).

She talks about the gorillas as one of her bests.  She loved that there was a mummy, and a baby (pictured) as well as a very big daddy who fell asleep.  Everyone else in the area loved that she pointed at the big silverback and said "That's you, daddy".

She won't remember this, it was just llamas.  But I like her peering over the wall.

Before we left in the morning, Marisca said there would be monkeys and horses at the zoo.  We found both, and she even got to ride the horse!  What a very lovely cute little carousel.

Meerkats (plus Marisca doing a decent impression).  "There were 8!"

One of the elephants.  There were four, and one of them scraped her trunk around on the wall, looking to pick up some tasty treats.  I'm not sure why she remembers that particularly, but if we ever mention elephants now, she talks about scraping.

Ah, the real favourite.  A baby spider monkey.  We stayed here for a long time watching it swing about, climb up, and fall down.  Lovely.

Lastly, I can't allow the trip report to finish without talking about the noisy monkeys.  Twycross has (or is?) the world primate centre, so it was all about the monkeys (and apes, etc, but Marisca was really just calling them all monkeys).  Bonobos, chimps, gorillas, orangutans, teenytiny monekys, all quiet, all swinging or lumbering, all admired.  Gibbons, however... What A Racket.  A really amazing noise as they start screeching and howling in all kinds of ways, maybe 30 of them all at a time, the sound starting with a couple of calls and building to a cacophony like a carpark full of cars with their alarms all blaring at once, in an echo chamber.  It was amazing.  And, if you're 2, terrifying.  

So now we talk about how much we like quiet, swinging monkeys.  It was a great day.

Monday, 18 March 2013

4 months

Chatting with a friend today, I commented there doesn't seem to be much to say about four months. We haven't reached any of the major milestones yet, like walking or talking so I can't tell you what a precocious genius my son is. That will come, of course! So what can we say about Thomas this month, aside from the fact that he is lovely?

Well, he has certainly learnt how to get our attention this month. Spend some time chatting to him and he will gurgle, kick, giggle and coo to keep you smiling. Sing to him and he is even happier - head, shoulders, knees and toes and the wheels on the bus are favourites at the moment. When he's not lying on his mat he loves sitting upright, so the bumbo seat is proving very useful, and he loves looking around from the cosy vantage point of the sling.

Thomas keeps us guessing overnight, as we never quite know when he will wake, and whether he will want feeding with Mummy or cuddles with Daddy. According to our new baby book 'the wonder weeks', every now and again babies have a mental development spurt which includes waking more, grumpiness and fussy feeding. One lasts from around 14 to 19 weeks, so we are putting any odd behaviour or broken nights down to him being wonderful. He has decided on a bedtime, though, of just after seven, and a morning wake up of between 5:30 and 6. We can work with that for now.

Oh, and did I mention he rolled over the other day? Just once, by accident, but it just goes to show my son is a genius.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

A Grand Tour South

Living in the North has very many advantages.  One of the disadvantages though, is that it's farther from the South, and particularly people in the South.  It is closer to places like Scotland though!

This last week we brought the South a little bit closer, by taking a week off and doing a Grand Tour of the South.  We visited most of the southern family contingents, in Chessington, Basingtoke, Ferndown, Milton Keynes, and the empty house in Stow too.  

It's the farthest south that Thomas has ever been, and the first time he's met both of his great grandparents.  Both he and Marisca managed well with quite a lot of car journies and nights in different and unusual places.  And they were both very charming with everyone, Thomas with the smiles, and Marisca with her demands to read with her.

First was my grandma, now known as Marisca & Tom's G'G'Ma.  It was great to see her looking so well and to catch up on the news from Kimberley.  I think she enjoyed having us there, and Tom enjoyed being paraded around all of her housemates!

Later that day we went down the M3 to Basingstoke to see Jennifer.  Gran and Grandad were there too, as an added bonus!

Finally, further down the M3, we saw Gramps and Karen, with more reading, more cuddles, and a nice lunch out.  Gramps is as lovely as ever and had a good long cuddle with Tom.

So that was all grandparents and great grandparents in the space of two days!

Another lovely baptism

Last weekend was Isadora's baptism, one of Tom's cohort of little babies (although six weeks his senior).  It was our first experience of a Catholic baptism - the form of words and concept is much the same but the service is a shorter but dedicated baptism service, rather than being part of a standard service.  It was an intimate service given that all of the people there were there for Isadora.  

Tom gives a good impression of being bored by the whole thing... [Blurry photo but I like the expression so much I've kept it!]

And Marisca had plenty of fun running around the church with Charlotte afterwards, and then having lots of people read stories to her at the party later on!

Thank you Pippa and Ian, and of course Isadora.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hotel breakfast

Cheese, a cinnamon pastry, pancakes, cocoa pops, toast, more cocoa pops, toast dipped in apple juice. Marisca likes hotel breakfasts!