Sunday, 23 December 2012

Thea walks

Thea has been thinking about walking for a bit and doing the occasional step when she absoutely needed to, but on the whole, she has been resolute that the fastest way of geting anywhere is to crawl. And she is quite right, she crawls extremely quickly (like a prancing pony, Grandpa Beard says!).

But over the last couple of days she has suddenly seen the use of walking, and got really into it. Here is the proof:

What fun.

Monday, 17 December 2012

A Monday

It the first Monday of the holidays and so we have been bumbling around doing stuff as we fancy it.

The day started with carboard boxes. You can never have too many!

Then we played with Mary Poppins (who can remember why the crocodile is named Mary Poppins? And why he is still a he despite the name?). Interestingly, both children are perfectly happy to allow him to eat their arms, legs and heads despite neither being very fond of crocodiles that they see in books.

Then we danced around to crazy Christmas music. Everyone's favourite is "Santa Claus is coming to town". Thea starts bopping as soon as she hears the introduction and Nathaniel does a good wiggle.

Then we made the most of the Christmas tree. Thea is entranced by the decorations and spends as much time as possilbe removing them for playing purposes. The ringing bells are rung and then deposited over the house and the balls and placed in things. This affords hours (literally), of fun!

Meanwhile, Nathaniel and I have been enjoying Thea's hair which can only be described as a ginger mullet! I do hope she grows some on the top of her head next....

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Nathaniel has been dabbling in reading for a good year, but not with any sticking power, and not wanting to be a pushy parent, I have just let him play with it when he wanted to.

But he is being horrid at the minute, and that normally means that he is bored! So we got out the dreaded castle books!

And one day later he read his first book!

He is very proud of himself!

Update: The next day he read the next one, and it looks like the third one is not going to be far away!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Play Dough

It seems to have suddenly become that time of year when you find yourself faced with a long afternoon to entertain ratty children in. This is partly Thea's fault - there is only so much time she can spend playing in the garden in the cold until she can walk, and she is refusing to even try at the minute! Nathaniel is going through an easily bored stage - he needs a new challenge, but is resisting all my efforts to provide him with one.

So it wasn't a very promising afternoon. But then Nathaniel remembered play dough, and it was a roaring sucess!

Nathaniel made worms and words and cogs and bread and biscuits. Thea put play dough marbles in and out of tubs. I made butternut squash and lentil soup (not pretend).

Its really interesting watching Thea play. At the same age, Nathaniel would put all the items into a container and then look around for something else to do. He had completed that task and needed a new game. Thea is more creative. She put all the balls into the pot. Then she poured them into another. Then she dropped them from a great height into another making a good noise. Then she put them in another and squished them all together. She found sufficient variations on this theme to last a whole hour of play dough and only then resorted to taking nibbles out of each one with a cheeky grin on her face!

A most acceptible afternoon.

PS I wondered what Thea had been doing so quietly while I was typing this. She's just come back into the room and now I know. She has taken little bites out of every item in the veg box!

Sunday, 2 December 2012


It's starting to feel a little like a Victorian Christmas with sharp white frost coating every outside surface each morning.

Today it was particularly cold and so we slipped and slid along to the moor to see what was happening there. In the last few weeks we have had so much rain (more obsession about the levels of the Ouse, now available online), that the moor has looked like this:

So now, after the cold, there is quite a lot of ice. We had fun breaking it up and throwing it, all the time trying not to let Nathaniel go skating, either by accident or on purpose!

He got quite ambitious regarding the amount of ice he thought he could throw:

In the afternoon we went to the advent spiral at school. This is one of those wonderful traditions that doesn't really work with a bunch of pre-schoolers, but having participated for a few years, when they are a bit older, they really appreciate.

Everyone assembles in the gym (freezing cold!), and sings carols while, one by one, each child walks through a spiral made on the floor from boughs of fir trees. When they get to the centre, they light their candle from the central candle and then place it along the sprial. So after a few have done it, there is a spiral of flickering candles as well and greenery. Its very beautiful, but entails getting toddlers to sit still and quietish while 200 kids walk around the room!

Our two were pretty good, probably because they got to walk the spiral about half way through, breaking up the time rather well, and becuase we were sitting close to the "band", so they both spent most of the last 20 minutes watching the instruments carefully. Nathaniel was particularly enamoured by the flutes.

I guess someone has to be.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Not the birthday we were expecting.

This is the washing machine containing the second load of sick-coated clothing of the day.

Poor Thea spent last night throwing up and is continuing the trend today.

So roast chicken with friends and carrot cake have been put on hold.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


The most useful thing about having to visit a hideous out-of-town shopping centre - finding a garage forecourt with cars for sale on ramps!

Less useful - the extent of my knowledge of what all those bits if metal were!

Sunday, 28 October 2012


We used to spend so much time in Rowntree Park that I would never have believed that something coud change and us not know about it immediately.

But now that we live a whole 10 minutes cycle away, we are not so on top of things.

So we took great pleasure in discovering that they had created some woodland paths along the back and there is now even a waterfall!

We also enjoyed the bike ramps while there was no-one there to get in our way.

Thea was more cheery than this most of the time.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

How they are now

Nathaniel at 4 years and 1 month

Dorothea at 11 months (mostly snotty)

Another Tuesday

Some playing:
And then messing about in the garden. Everyone likes gardening.

Friday, 19 October 2012


Nathaniel attends a music group which he really enjoys. Recently they have been doing a good deal of xylophone playing and Nathaniel has been desperate to play. (Check out the marimba ponies on YouTube to see what he's wanting to do).

He was overjoyed to find a music set at the toy bus, but in my stupidity I didn't think to check that the xylophone actually worked, so now we have a xylophone which has its longest bar making a higher note that one of the shorter ones (?!), and three bars making that same note.

It hasn't deterred Nathaniel from making music though. This is his rendition of Hickory Dickory Dock. He worked it all out in advance and then asked me to sing it. The chimes are played during the words "hickory dickory", the triangle is for the clocked striking one (or two or three), the xylophone is used for the mouse running up and down (except due to the previously mentioned disabilities of the instrument, its not really clear when its going up or down), and for the tick tock.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


It hasn't been a particularly exciting day, but very pleasant. A good day for an autumnal cycle into Acomb to buy new toothbrushes (?!), and then stop to munch elderberries at every tree on the way home.
Thea seemed to think it was relaxing!
We have heard about Thea's prowess with a bowl and spoon but not had concrete evidence of it. Now we have! Hooray for rice pudding.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

When it rains....

.....make great towers of recycling!

Sunday, 30 September 2012


Today we had lunch at Wagamama which Nathaniel had been looking forward to for some time.

He calls it the prawn and noodle restaurant and very clear that we would be ordering the lollipop prawn kushiyaki.

Unfortunately after one bite he decided that it was too spicy even for him. Ian and I thought it was quite hot too.

But Thea was not perturbed. After she had finish chewing on the stick she slowly worked her way through a whole one and was not put off when a couple of bites turned her face bright red!

(Nathaniel declined to take part in any photos.)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


We've been a bit busy, but will do some updating very soon.....

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

More movement

We suspected that a weekend camping would be the catalyst for proper crawling and now nothing is safe. Mostly we see this:
and this...
and this: