Monday, 22 December 2014

Sous chef

Tom has recently got very into cooking. If he sees me working in the kitchen he comes rushing over and climbs onto a chair going 'I help, I help'. He insists on wearing an apron, and prefers Marisca's butterfly one - I must see if I have any of the material left to make him one of his own.

It isn't just cakes he likes helping with either - here he is having a good go at chopping a tomato. He is a pretty good sos chef and we have lots of fun together!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Decorating the tree

It must be the penultimate weekend before Christmas, so that's Christmas Tree time!  It was lovely having both children interested and involved and neither made much of a pig's ear out of anything, which is nice.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Christmas Angel

With Marisca starting school there have been many firsts - this week she got to star in her first Christmas concert, and we got to see our first one! The reception and key stage 1 children did a combined performance of 'children of the world', looking at different Christmas traditions in different countries. Marisca has been singing the songs to us for weeks, so we were looking forward to hearing them in context.

As you can see from the photo, Marisca was an angel, along with most of her friends, and very sweet they were too. I (Elspeth) was in floods of tears from the moment she climbed on stage, I was so proud of her - she sang all the songs, watched the teacher and was generally lovely - as were all the children. My admiration for primary school teachers has increased no end, I can't imagine how they got 180 children to remember lines, sing songs, sit and stand in the right places and generally pay attention, but they did.

There is a repeat performance this evening, so Tim is heading along to support and generally enjoy himself. I suspect there will be fewer tears from him, but just as much pride in our schoolgirl daughter.

EDIT (Tim): yes that's right.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Birthday fun

I suppose Tom had two birthday parties.  The main event was the weekend before he turned two,but we also had a little birthday tea and present session on his birthday.  Pizza and party rings, very popular.

Of course the problem with presents on your birthday after tea when you're two is that you are generally not very fast at opening presents, and far too excited with the contents to be bothered about the next present for quite some time.  This, in turn, means you're quite excited come bed time, and refuse to consider being in your cot until Mummy comes home at about 10 o clock.  Still, we enjoyed the first evening of Tom being a terrible two sitting together on the settee watching crime drama.

The main event was a shared party between Thomas, Lewis, and Penny, which we had in the narthex at church.  Plenty of space, plenty of toys, meant for plenty of children and plenty of noise.  They had a whole lot of fun, as you might imagine.  

This is the closest we got to all three sitting down together.  Note the snazzy matching outfits sewn by mums.

This is probably the time to point out that the party was circus themed.

So, yes, ridealong toys were involved and a firm favourite.  Here's Tom playing with Adair, and then trying to drive through the tunnel.  Unsuccessfully, although that didn't stop him trying multiple times.

Having the party at church meant that we could use the toddlers' play equipment, such as the ever enjoyable slide, and the parachute.  Tom loved the later although only to watch really, and he certainly helped others to vacate the slide as soon as possible for him to have another go.

Then we finished off with a birthday tea, a big top cake, and a lot of tidying up.  Thanks go to Kirsty, Jayne and Elspeth who did all of the organising, and to the various grandmas who commandeered the kitchen.  Thomas had a great time.

Happy birthday Thomas

So our little boy is two.  His birthday has snuck up on me in the same way that Tom does - he quietly gets on with his own business and suddenly you turn around and he's two.  He's a lovely two too; he's giggly, he's affectionate, he's curious, he's independent, and he's a charmer.  He's my little boy.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Half term holidays

With Marisca starting school, we've started having school holidays.  I took the week off and had the first two days with the children while Elspeth worked, and we then did our tour of the South for the rest of the week.

Monday and Tuesday were mostly hanging around at home and doing various bits and pieces.  Including the ice cream farm in non-ice cream weather...

And here's Marisca in a characteristically eclectic set of patterned clothing!

On the drive south we stopped at Bolsover Castle, making use of our English Heritage membership.  Since we were here last, they've built a very cool playground, featuring a long wooden wall walk which both children rather enjoyed.

And we had a bit of a walk around the grounds too, including this lovely tree.

We then popped into the main castley bit and I found a couple of statues in alcoves.

Yesterday, after finishing the visitations, we went on the train into London from where we were staying in Richmond.  Both children loves the trains, of course.  And Marisca looks all set for the big city in her new hat, appropriated from Karen earlier in the week, and not since relinquished.

In London we made a point of visiting Big Ben where the real life bongs are that we hear at 6pm on the radio quite a lot.  That was quite exciting.

And the last photo is of Tom, enjoying a cake while London hustles and bustles around him, at the Natural History Museum.

It's been a good half term holiday, finished off before driving home with a Personal Best in the 5k parkrun at Bushy Park.  Convenient timing and location to be there on Saturday morning, wasn't it?!

A relatively nice trip

The clue's in the title - we had our annual trip to the South to catch up with grandparents and the like to show them how much the children have grown and how talkative they are.  And although we didn't do any staged photographs this time, here are a few.

A summery autumn day in Richmond Park

As part of our tour south we found ourselves in Richmond Park on Friday in quite lovely warm temperatures, to have our picnic lunch.  This, naturally, led to some children having fun and a daddy having fun photographing the children having fun.

Here you go.

Elspeth's birthday

Before we get to someone's second birthday we ought to acknowledge that Elspeth's had a birthday too!  We had a lovely autumnal day visiting the little park and the mill.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A weekend at home

I quite often save my posting (and taking) of photos for when we have a weekend away or a special event or something.  My camera's been languishing in the cupboard and so I thought I'd take it out this weekend and just photograph some of the things we do.

So here's Tom in a normal weekend morning pose - having done some colouring (not entirely on the paper, you'll notice).

Meanwhile, Marisca was working hard at her alphabet, entirely unprompted.  I'm pretty impressed, although she has more than enough Es to go around.

Later on Marisca and I went down to the local produce market.  It seems to be picking up again, with 10 or 11 stalls today, and we picked up some good sticky toffee pudding, some cheese, and some sausages.  And today there was a crepe stall and we happened to need a snack, so Risky chose a chocolate one.  She was quite excited.

Later on in the evening we did go out - another event in city park (the Bradford Shine festival).  The kids enjoy being out a bit late, having tea out in a cafe, and wandering around with glowing sticks looking at the lights.Similar to Light Night in Leeds last week, but smaller and less busy.

And then today, we had planned earlier to go out for a short walk.  The day started very foggy and gloomy, and hadn't improved by the time we left church, but had fixed itself shortly after lunch to turn into a lovely sunny autumn day.  We had a 1.5 mile(ish) walk around Chellow Dene, a very local pair of reservoirs and wooded area in Bradford.  We've not been before but will again.  Suitably sustained with flapjack and orange juice, the children both walked much of the way, enjoying exploring and playing.

And although they still fight (and Tom was in tears 10 seconds after this photo), it's nice that they're enjoying playing together and interacting more and more.  Here Marisca is helping Tom to do up his backpack.  Even more surprisingly - it's actually her bag.  Cute.