Saturday, 26 September 2009


As everyone knows, when you become a mother, you immediately acquire the ability to make a scale model of Tracey Island with an egg box, create a shepherds oufit out of last year's angel costume, and make clothes that look pretty. So, inspired by a crafty friend, I decided to test my new found creative skills by customising a t-shirt for Maisie's birthday. Here is the result:

I'm pretty proud of it!

Friday, 25 September 2009


Nathaniel has had a fine first birthday! He enjoyed opening presents, and sometimes even played with the present instead of the wrapping. Thank you very much for all his exciting new toys, clothes and books.

As we were having a few of Nathaniel's friends round for coffee, I decided that he should have a cake. I dutifully created one covered in thick chocolatey, fudgey icing, and then realised my error. Although I'm not particularly house proud, the idea of five one year olds smearing that icing all over the sofas.......

So I made a second, baby friendly cake with substantially less icing. This one was a serious victoria sponge filled with home-made plum jam made the night before at the WI (don't laugh yet - I'll explain another time!).

Two cakes!

The cake went down pretty well! Nathaniel was slightly confused with the whole candle-blowing business, but he greatly enjoyed doing the eating and attacked any piece that stayed still.

In fact he dealt very well with the whole party atmosphere. We limited guests during the day to five babies plus parents, and so it wasn't too overwhelming. Nathaniel actually played with his friends!

(some baby's identities have been concealed....)

In the evening, we had a second wave of visitors (and presents!) after everyone had got back from work. Nathaniel stayed up a bit to open up his gifts and try on his hats(!) and then went to sleep to allow us to enjoy a celebratory curry and beer!

A baby can never have enough hats!

Monday, 21 September 2009


One giant step for a small man... and another... and another!

Hooray for the walking boy!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Travelling on two feet...!!

It's official. Nathaniel can walk!

For a few days he's been taking two or three steps on his own but only if you place him facing you and encourage him to come to you, but nothing intentional of his own volition. However, today, after repeatedly taking 6 or 7 steps on his own towards us in the afternoon, this evening he merrily increased this to 8 and then 10 steps and then... he actively turned round away from what he was standing against to walk in a different direction to which he was facing. Shortly after, he then actively walked around Tassy, without holding on to get to where he wanted to go (in order to get to the oven - he current favourite appliance!)

We have no evidence to show yet (for those of you hoping for a video) so you'll have to take our word for it for now!

Let the increased mayhem commence...!

Sunny Afternoon

Today we took advantage of the beautiful blue skies and Nathaniel's new bike seat and decided to go to the Ebor Inn in Bishopthorpe for a cheeky afternoon pint. We got a packet of Scampi Fries as well. Nathaniel thought he'd check them out:

We sat in the sunshine in the pub garden whist the man romped around, stacked his cups and tried to post his wind up car through the holes in the table:

Nathaniel then had another return visit to the site of his first ever swing. This time he thought he'd up the game to swinging high in the air with no hands..!

After the swinging, we finished our drinks and headed back home for the man's afternoon nap.

However, we didn't get there before the nap arrived! He was looking very sleepy yet uncomfortable, so we investigated the reclining feature of the seat. Within a minute he was asleep!

Sleepy man

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Travelling on two wheels

Nathaniel now has his own bike seat. Much deliberation went into this purchase (as if anyone expects anything less!) and we eventually went for the Hamax Plus system (for those who care). He he seems to be happy with it. He is much less happy, however, with his helmet, which he's surprisingly good at preventing reaching his head when you try to put it on. It currently involves one of us holding his arms! However, once in his seat he's happy - this is him on his first journey up the road:

We then played with the box the seat etc was delivered in:

NathanielWho's in the box?

Tickle Stick!

We have been cleaning this week. Nathaniel looked dusty so I dusted him with the feather duster. He thought this was extremely funny. However, the one thing he then found funnier was grabbing the duster from me and attacking me back!

Take that!

Then tickling people with the new found tickle-stick became the must do activity of the hour...


Worn out from all the tickling...

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Prawns and other animals

We had prawn & pea risotto - this was Nathaniel's first experience of prawns (and risotto). All was hoovered up at a great rate and thoroughly enjoyed!

Mmmmmm... prawns!

And whilst on the subject of hoovering, we decided that Nataniel needed to conquer his fear of the Dysonaur as it was hindering our ability to clean anything. I sat down with him and explained that it was going to make a loud noise, then we turned it on. He was unsure, but eventually seemed to accept it. After we'd turned it off, he then started to explore it more and seemed happy. Then it all went wrong again when he explored the big red on/off button and it whizzed into life. He was not altogether pleased at this...!

Mummy, I don't like this animal...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Sea!

Yesterday we went to the sea.

This was Nathaniel's first visit to the sea - we decided that he needed to see the sea before he was a year old so we went to Robin Hood's Bay for the day. This was Nathaniel's first view of the sea:

The sun was peaking out from behind the clouds and we had a short wander around the village and then down on the beach before selecting a bench looking out over the sea and stopping for some lunch.

Nathaniel got bored of listening to the camera beeping, so went back to his lunch!

After spending most of lunch trying to get over the back of the bench to the rocks, we let him have a climb:

We then had a leisurely wander along the beach in the sunshine. Lots of dogs were talked to and Nathaniel established that the sea wasn't scary, despite making lots of noise. By this time, he'd been in the carrier for a while so we wandered back up to the cliff top for a romp.

More towers were built:

And then knocked down:

We had a crawling race, which I won, but only because Nathaniel got distracted by various things to eat on the ground, such as litter.

Tired from the exertion of a long race we went for an ice cream:

Nathaniel greatly enjoyed Tassy's ice cream, although he found it a little cold. Then, after a little demonstration, he worked out that he needed to lick the ice cream rather than bite it:

This made it even more palatable so he decided he wanted much more of it...

A very fine start to the week.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

See the Signs

Nathaniel has spent the last month pointing at signs, mainly the numerous parking permit signs between us an the centre of town. Here is an example:

Saturday, 12 September 2009


Nathaniel has moved from the demolition to the construction industry. It's very exciting. Previously, if you built a tower of blocks and then put the man anywhere near, it would only be a matter of seconds before it was lying in ruins. However, today he decided to take the oppostite approach and built several towers of blocks.

This is not his best tower as he'd alreday built several by this point, whilst I watched surprised! But it gives you the general idea.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

An Apple A Day...

This week Nathaniel has been mostly easting apples.

Sunday, 6 September 2009


This weekend it was the annual sailing club regatta. YRISC (us) and YOSC (them down t'river) meet up at one of our clubs for a day of persuit racing. Traditionally the weather is extreme. It is either very hot and sunny (eg the year that everyone just drifted downstream and then paddled up while trying to ward off heat stroke by hiding in the shade behind the sails) or very wet and windy (eg the year that my helm capsized us and then hit his head, filling the boat with blood, ian capsized a topper about 14 times and when we got back to our club the buoys that we had set to mark the edge of our jetties had been submerged by the rising water levels). So it was mildly disappointing to those of us who were going to be on the shore that this year it was mild with a steady wind and gentle gusts of ~15mph. Lovely sailing weather.

There were 15 boats out in total, with a good crop of GPs and Enterprises and a couple of oddities (Aphaches sail like slugs!). I always get rather irritated by this event (I blame one parent in particular!!), so I will limit myself to mentioning that the rules of the road were interpretted differently by different boats, but that this didn't stop the whole event being won by marvellous sailing (and careful attention to the rules) by James and Neville in the Wanderer. Ian and his crew Dorothea came second! A pleasing result!

Chaos on the river

I make no apology for taking more photos of Enterprises than of GPs - they are so much more interesting!