Saturday, 29 June 2013

Meal times

Meal times can be hectic, with a baby smearing food everywhere and a toddler refusing to eat whatever we have lovingly prepared. But they are also full of fun, as the children sit next to each other at the end of the table.  Marisca is very good at sharing her meals with Thomas - at breakfast she spoons shreddy beats onto his tray, and this evening she tried to give him the crusts from her toast...

A new friend

Meet Jessica, on the left. Jemima, on the right, has been a member of the family for a long time, a very loved present from Chris and Sian. So when we saw Jessica sitting forlornly in the 99p bin in a charity shop she just had to come home with us! 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Father's day

Back to the usual approach - posts about specific events at least a week after the event.  I think that's how long it takes for time + memory + energy to arrive at the same point alongside me and the camera upstairs at the computer.

Two particular fun events from Father's Day.  At church I went out with Marisca to Sunday Club, where the children were all encouraged to write answers to questions about their dads, inside a nicely decorated cards. Choice answers from Marisca, to my questioning, below.
My daddy's favourite food is... Salad
My daddy's job is to... Work
My daddy makes me laugh when he... has a funny face
My daddy is the best at... ironing
Hmm, interesting to know how my darling daughter sees me.  Heart warming though too, as "I love my daddy because... he gives me BIG cuddles".

We're also going through a development phase with Marisca, who suddenly wrote her name the other day.  We thought nursery had taught her how to do it, and were impressed.  Nursery thought that we'd taught her.  But she'd just done it herself.  I don't know how, but I'm proud of her for it.

The second event was the Hebden Bridge Hymn & March Tune Contest, which happened to fall on Father's Day.  A pretty standard contest with my new band, Elland Silver, except that after marching down the street, as I walked into the area for the contest, I saw Marisca squealing with excitement about seeing her daddy with his tuba, and telling everyone nearby that I was her daddy.  And that made me play that extra bit better, and made me proud for the second time that day, to be her daddy.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Another daddy daughter day

The first daddy daughter day since, well, a long time ago.  Elspeth was off rambling with WI and took Thomas with her, so I had Marisca to myself.

We sorted laundry, we made cheese biscuits, we played fruit towers, we went to a cafe for lunch, we went to the library and read dozens of books, we went to Ruby's party at Little Daisies, we got drenched on the way home and we felt quite tired at the end of it.  What a lovely day, pictured below.

And no, that wasn't all her tea, she just demonstrated considerably more staying power than her peers.  You go girl.

Friday, 21 June 2013

My girl at 3

We missed giving an update when Marisca turned three, I think it must have got lost in all of those birthday and holiday posts.  So here it is, Marisca at three (and a bit).

Marisca is a funny, charming, and bright little girl who adores her little brother.  She's also a shy vegetable shirker.

She loves her books and her letters, and especially enjoys pointing out 'her' letter whenever she sees it.  She's started to be a climber after a long while of physical cautiousness, and will wander off at ever increasing distance from us when we're out and about, but remains cautious and clingy in new situations and large groups of people.  She loves the flow of events, with a current obsession for bedtime routine and breakfast, which comes after sleeping.  Breakfast remains the best meal of the day, particularly if it's shreddy beats followed by toast.  Most of the cute mispronounciations have left and we revel in the few that remain.  Her memory continues to amaze, and she seems to be able to summon up any event from the past year at will. Marisca likes craft and is proud of the things she produces, still enjoying sticking the most and getting quite good at colouring, starting to show an interest in keeping within the lines.  She has lost her aversion to mucky hands and sometimes colours them in too.  

And I love spending time with her on her own or as part of our whole family.  Life moves at pace with two children, and there rarely seems much opportunity to step back and enjoy what we've got.  So on this damp morning as I sit up with Tom before Marisca wakes up and drags us all to breakfast, I can take a moment to reflect on my growing girl and how much I am enjoying that growth. And smile, broadly, at the memories.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Seven months

Seven months and suddenly Thomas seems like a different person! Gone is the little baby who lay on his back and stared at the world. Now he is a little boy who sits up happily, grabs anything within reach and loves being played with.  We have set up a corner of the sitting room as his base, with treasure baskets and books and he loves spending time there. Everything is explored thoroughly, and everything goes in his mouth. Beware if you leave paper in reach as he will chew it until it disintegrates - I lost a pattern piece the other day when I turned my back on him in the spare room, so no more funky sun hats for Tom.

Thomas may not be talking, but he can make his likes, dislikes and wants very clear these days. Woe betide you if you try to eat something without him getting some of it. He has a good arching back movement when he wants some milk and will giggle and grin if you sing for him. He loves watching and playing with Marisca, and kicks with excitement when Tim or I come back after being away.

Meanwhile, two teeth have made their appearance this month. We didn't really notice them cutting through as Tom was no more grumpy tha usual, and his sleep was no worse. But there they are, showing through the gums, so he is learning about tooth brushing now. Hopefully the others will cut through equally easily, but we will wait and see!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Bradford Festival

This weekend saw Bradford Festival in the city centre, and not having been into Bradford as often as we might, we went along.  It seems to be largely music-based with one stage in city park, and another at some unknown location, and then some street theatre scattered about the place.

I'd not say it was spectacular.  We enjoyed the folk band, would have spent longer watching the comedy science show had the heavens not opened ("Time for lunch?"), and enjoyed the surroundings of city park again.  The programme looked like it would get a bit more interesting later on in the evenings, and I hope it has been successful in bringing people to Bradford - all of the news about the fears of the media museum closing (30 years old this year) has got people rather irate.

We did enjoy being out and about as a family, and I enjoyed some long lens shots of my girl running about.  See below for details.

An indication of the changeability of the weather - unfortunately in this case the weather was coming from dead ahead.

Two of the street acts.  Seagulls and fish.  I didn't see whether or not they encountered each other and dread to think what might have happened...

A boy eager for his lunch, which he finally gets.  

The clock tower, just because I like it.

And the girl, running with her balloon...

...making a textbook landing...

...failing to make a textbook landing...

...and enjoying a well earned biscuit!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Another camping weekend - Nidderdale

As discussed previously, we've a plan to camp every month this summer, and last week was our second.  This time we had sun rather than hail as we were pitching, although despite a lovely warm Saturday, there was enough rain on the Sunday, when we had to get away relatively quickly, that the tent was again wet when we had to strike it.  Ah well, we're getting good at that.

Predictably, we had a lovely time.  Because we always do, really, because camping is great.  It was great this time as well because we were joined by Pippa and Ian for Isadora's first camping trip, which went well enough for them that they stayed on an extra night!  It was lovely for Tom to have someone to play with (a.k.a. sit near to).

We camped at Studfold up at the top of Nidderdale.  A compact campsite but with large enough pitches to give enough space for everyone.  It has an activity trail next door, and we'll be back to camp when the children are old enough to enjoy that.  

We went to Brimham Rocks on the Saturday, a large bunch of rocks just hanging around together near Pateley Bridge.  They're impressive things: possibly my description and photographs don't do them justice.  Risky was gleeful to be going near rocks again and spent a lot of time scrambling over them, including going on her hands and knees over stones no higher than her ankle, just for the fun of it.  

Some of the rocks.  Biggish ones.

Some of Marisca's scrambling.  I've not got many photos this time - largely because I was in charge of my Girl's safety and there were some rather large drops around!

I'm trying to decide if this is a better catalogue pose for the wild (a.k.a. normal) hair, which goes with the scenery, than if she's actually managed to keep it tidy in the hairband she was wearing 10 minutes previously.

Of course we took the opportunity for a picnic, and my lovely boy and girl obliged with comedy sausage roll eating.  The third picture is included for a balanced diet.

[By the way, Elspeth knocked up Tom's new sun hat during a nap last week.  How brilliant is she?]

And finally, I could have written a whole separate post about the requisite campsite washing bowl bathing, as I've got some cracking photos.  Here are my favourite three.

Marisca had a go too and, for the record, did manage to squeeze herself into the bowl, with rather less space than last time.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

I'm eating

Whenever I can really, I'm eating.  I'll try pretty much anything but have a definite preference for carbs.  I'm pretty good with a spoon but sometimes it's easier to just use my hands.  It's lots of fun!

Friday, 14 June 2013


We've had a spate of parties recently, mostly from the group of people turning 3 at Bonbons. Most have been at Little Daisies, a great soft play centre for under 5s in Shipley. Apparently, although the boys are invited its only the girls that attend, all decked out in their little party dresses, it really is lovely.
I think we have one more before we pause, and I'm sure that, by the time they're all turning 4, there'll be a new exciting location. Funopolis, perhaps.


I tried the classic 'got your nose' trick today. Marisca just said "no daddy, that's your thumb, my nose is here.".