Monday, 29 April 2013

Thomas' first campside

We decided on a whim to go camping this weekend.  Well, on as much of a whim as you can decide to go camping when it involves two children, a full car boot and top box.  We gave ourselves a week's notice.  Marisca was so excited when we told her, mostly about her big green tent and the food that would be in it, and how we would go to a 'campside'.  And of course, that it was to be Thomas' first experience of camping.

So Elspeth booked a nice place 45 minutes up the road at Settle, close enough to jump in the car and come home if needed, but far enough to definitely be a weekend away.  We checked the weather forecast - showers and a bit colder than last weekend - and were away.

We had a brilliant weekend.  Great weather for the Ingleton waterfalls walk, bubbles and balloons at the canpsite, Marisca sleeping in until 8 on Sunday morning, fried egg sandwiches, ice cream farm.  Yes, it hailed while the children wailed as we were pitching the tent.  (They were wailing in the car, not in the hail).  Yes, Marisca's ready bed deflated so we needed to share our thin mattresses with her.  Yes, it was so cold overnight that the tent showered ice on me when I got out in the middle of the night.  But, yes, we had a great time, Tom enjoyed himself, Risky loved it, we've proven that we can take them both camping, the top box and roof bars ensemble worked well, we reminded ourselves yet again how happy we are to live in striking distance of the Dales, and we've now a plan for a weekend camping every month for the season.

I had three almost identical photos like this.  I had to delete two of them as having three made no sense, and it was very difficult to do.  What an amazing, lovely boy we have.

Risky enjoying climbing, again.  The campsite had two play areas, which was fun.  Both were really a little big for her, particularly the steepness of the yellow twirly-whirly slide.  I helped her to the top, and then she just... disappeared.  And then landed with a bump and a wail.  We didn't play any more after that.

The waterfall walk was lovely.  The sun came out but it was still chilly enough to keep too many crowds away.  Marisca mostly rode in the backpack but did do one big long walking bit, up and down steps and over rocks and roots.  I didn't take a tripod with me - a shame for the missed photography opportunities, but not a shame for getting home in time...

A rare full-family shot, courtesy of a kind stranger.  A nice family plus waterfall shot, if you ignore Risky desperately trying to keep her hat on, me quinting, Elspeth's hair going wild, and Tom staring off into the distance.

Another one of a cute boy in a ghost outfit.  What a sweetie.

The ice cream farm is so popular now, we never manage to get a table with less than 45 minutes waiting time.  Thankfully yesterday Marisca was very happy to play on the big outdoor play equipment.  Ladders, slides, things to drive, and she even had a go carting hay around (below).

Ready for an ice cream please Mummy...

And finally a first camping comparison.  Being born in November meant Tom had to wait until he was 5 months old before his first experience, whereas Marisca went at 3 months, and much sunnier it was in August 2010 too.  Tom has already dislodged one button from his ghost, and the way he fills it means we don't think it'll last the season.  A great shame!

A walk and a weekend

Ostensibly this is a post to note a nice weekend with Will and Emily last week.  We met at Monsal Head, had a lovely walk, came home for fish and chips and Cory band in concert, and then a history tour around Saltaire after lunch in the mill.

But really I didn't take any photos that indicated we had any guests, and just took photos of the children.  Which we're well overdue, so here they are!

Actually on a walk the previous week, up the valley a bit.  I like it though, so here it is.

Actually just taken one morning, as we don't have enough pictures of Tom in a nappy.  

Actually on the walk, or at least at the car park while we waited for the others.  I was so pleased that Marisca wanted to climb up this rock over and over.  She's always been a happy chatty reading girl, but has seemed slow to get on with physical adventuring.  She's just getting the hang of climbing though which is lots of fun, and occasionally worrying.

Marisca in scone eating (shock), milk drinking from the jug (shock) mood.

And finally, enjoying the Monsal Trail Blues.  She's laughing at Will's dancing and/or singing at this point, so there is some evidence that they were there.

Thank you for a lovely weekend, both!

My godparents are my favourite

In response to Elspeth foolishly asking the other day "Who is your favourite parent", Marisca replied "My godparents".  As she'd not seen them for a couple of years, this was quite impressive.  But now she has more good reason to love them, as Sian and the girls came over from Australia for a visit.  Bringing a pair of big girls for Marisca to run around the house, giggling and playing with, will make them very popular.  Australia is too far away and any visit too short, but it was really great to see them.

Chris wasn't able to make the trip, but he was there in spirit:

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Five months

In honour of the monthly post I got Thomas weighed today: 7 kg exactly, which is 15 lb 6 oz in old money. He is tracking nicely along between the 25th and 50th centile. People keep telling me he looks big, even though he isn't - he does look healthy and chunky, so maybe that's why people get confused! This photo is the first outing for 6-9 month clothes, including a pair of trousers made by me, which I'm rather proud of.

So what is new this month? Well, Thomas can definitely roll now, though he tends to get very upset when he manages it as it is not deliberate! He loves playing in his activity centre and will bounce up and down and reach for the toys. He also loves it when his sister plays 'role polys' with him or squishes his face into weird shapes - it is lovely watching them interact and seeing how much they like each other.

Of course the question people always ask is 'is he sleeping through yet?' We don't expect him to, which is good as night wakings are still very random. In the last week we seem to suddenly have a pattern for daytime naps, though: a forty minute nap a couple of hours after waking, a longer nap in the middle of the day and a power nap if required just before tea time. It is nice to see the patterns emerging and be able to plan around his needs, rather than hoping he will fit in with my plans.

Thomas is continuing to be a delight to have around: happy, smily, chatty and cute. What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Saltaire Blonde

A great photo that Stewart took at Thomas' christening.  Our Saltaire Blonde.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Thomas, smiling

That last post was quite Marisca-centric.  Well, Thomas has been his usual self, which is to say incredibly smiley, and so here are a couple of smiling pictures from the weekend.

And another that also makes me smile:

Easter weekend

Unusually, we didn't see any family at all this Easter.  Instead, we enjoyed a number of mini trips and spent lots of time playing together.  The first trip took us to Ikea for some sundry bits and pieces, where Marisca chose new toys for herself and for Thomas, from Gramps (thank you great gramps!).  All have been lots of fun over the weekend.

Then, in a surprisingly fun episode, Marisca decided she wanted to join me washing the car!

Sunday saw Marisca do an egg hunt, looking to fill her eggbox with squishy eggs that Elspeth sewed and I stuffed the night before.  That was much more fun than anything chocolate related.

And finally, today we got around to the chocolate bit, and Marisca had fun making an elephant hand puppet courtesy of cousin Alice.

So, all in all it was a lovely long weekend.  I'm already forgetting what we filled 4 days with, but I do feel well and relaxed and happy with my family life, as the weekend comes to a close.  Happy Easter.

Two cold walks

We have had two walks this Easter weekend.  On Easter Sunday we went over to Holmfirth to meet with Mary, Stewart, Reg and Maggie, for a pub lunch and a snowy walk around Holmfirth.  The weather was beautiful, but of course cold.  Mostly snow-free underfoot but with some significant drifts that we had to negotiate.  When the drifts enable you to step over the wall rather than use the stiles, it's quite drifty.  It was a great walk, but Marisca got cold and unhappy for the last half mile.

Somehow we didn't quite learn from that, and went out for a short walk around Ogden reservoir today.  It was significantly colder and less pleasant - no warming sun out - and it was an all-round failure of a walk.  We made it across the dam through grim determination, and I took these lovely photos to remind us of what fun both children were having.

We then came home and stayed home for the rest of the day!