Saturday, 31 March 2012

Modes of transport

Life has suddenly got easier - Dorothea is now officially big enough to ride in the bike trailer which means that we can get around sensibly again!
Our first trip - to town in the fog

Nathaniel and Thea and I used our new found freedom to meet some friends for some cycling today, and Nathaniel's friend brought his new pedal bike. He was kind enough to let Nathaniel have a go. On his first attempt I held the back and gave him a push to get him going so that he could work out how to pedal. Duration - about 30 seconds. Here is his second attempt:

 It's so unremarkable, it's boring! No £250 from You've Been Framed for dramatic face planting for us. Let it be known that kids who have scooty bikes take 30 seconds to learn how to ride a pedal bike!

The scariest bit came this evening when I discovered how much kids pedal bikes cost!

(NB He is burbling about his discovery that the bike has back-pedal brakes)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Maternity leave - how to do it

I've got the hang of maternity leave this time. No desperately trying to entertain the baby. So I've done some sewing. A taggy for Imogen:
and some bean bags for Amelie.
They are all rather flawed, but I had so much fun making them!

And today we spent a very happy hour on the grass outside.
Can you imagine Nathaniel ever just sitting for an hour?! I read my book. Dorothea watched the tree. Perfect.

Monday, 26 March 2012

18 weeks

What Thea likes to do most is stand. And hang out with Nathaniel. Here they are entranced by Pingu. I had forgotten how great it was! Thea looks like she is kneeling, but those are in fact her legs! Most of them are hidden by the giant cloth nappy. And if you look closely you can see the lovely pox scabs. She has had the pox much more convincingly than Nathaniel and looked so much like a proper plague victim that I couldn't bring myself to take photos of her spots!
This is Thea's favourite way of winding down before a nap - listening to Ian play the guitar (please ignore the piles of clothes - we are trying to sort them out!).
This makes her very happy, do little dances and blow lots of accompanying raspberries!
She loves having a big brother and is happiest when she is with Nathaniel. He's sometimes rather nice to her as well! Today he made her a shade so that she wouldn't get too hot in the sun:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


This weekend we headed down to Shropshire with James and Beth. As we both now have babies, we decided not to waste valuable time and energy in researching new venues, so we went back to the same cottage, which we had found to be exactly right last year.

And new activities seemed too much effort as well, so we just repeated them albeit with major alterations to reflect the fact that the carryable 2 year old had turned into a semi-independent, boisterous 3 year old!

Ian and Nathaniel took an early morning walk up Caer Caradoc in the rain.

When the rest of us got up (babies had slept for longer in the morning than Nathaniel, but made up for it by enjoying our company in the night!), we watched them play in the stream using binoculars.

We visited Carding Hill Valley and slowly made our way up it rather than down. This took a long while as Nathaniel wanted to watch cars go over the ford (many times):

and play in the stream.

He and I spent at least 15 minutes investigating the drainage systems for the houses on the side of the valley. N has an endless fascination for seeing how a drain and pipe on one side of the road can take water to a waterfall on the other side!

We did eventually manage to climb up most of Bodbury Hill.

It would have been nice to get to the top, but we were keen not to push Nathaniel too hard, and to make it down again before it stopped being fun. We just about managed it. The last bit required quite a bit of encouragement, but everyone stayed happy.

It looks much more impressive when you see the hill from the top. It is the one to the left of the picture.We are seriously high here - you can't see the valle floor.

The next day we drove (!!!) to the top of Long Mynd and walked and scooty biked along about 500 yards of it(!) to the trig point. It was ridiculously windy and really quite cold, and I'm not sure that the babies had that great a time. But we enjoyed the view, and Nathaniel enjoyed his biking. Again, quite a bit of encouragement was needed, but he reports that he had lots of fun.

I think he was quite pleased when he saw a grown up mountain biker reach the top shortly after us. There is nothing like a bit of external verification that what you have done is worth doing!

N also discovered the joys of heather. Who would have thought it would be so much fun to fall over in it and have to be rescued (about 100000 times).

Coming back down was fun. We observed our blood pressure hit maximum while Nathaniel free wheeled at an amazing speed down a rocky path. He got several serious wobbles and when he got the end, he got off his bike pretty quickly, but once the adrenalin had dissipated, he seemed to think it was all good fun. And while we ate a rather chilly lunch huddled behind the largest shelter we could find, he did some zooming.

It was a lovely weekend. We got to chat and catch up and meet baby I, and yet again vow that we will be back to this part of the world to explore some more.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The new sailing season

Today was the first day of the new sailing season and the weather obliged by being glorious. The sun shone, it was warm, and there was little enough wind for Nathaniel to sail, but enough to make it worth while. Dorothea was very interested by her first proper visit to the club (she slept through a clearing morning) and enjoyed getting involved. She greatly enjoyed rigging and waved her arms and legs madly trying to get hold of ropes and sails and had the same intent concentrating face that Nathaniel pulls. I assume that she has taken it all in and will be able to rig an RS200 perfectly now!
Nathaniel was pleased to be back and enjoyed all his favourite activities such as rigging the boat,
and pushing it down the slipway
and discovered that he had grown since October and could now lift more things and climb higher.
He was, as ever, very pleased to see the YRISC matchbox car selection! Ian and Nathaniel sailed in the first race and Nathaniel discovered that the river was rather cooler than it had been in the autumn and that trailing his fingers overboard led to cold fingers.
We had a tasty lunch and then I comandeered a GP while the others were eating and had a wonderful pootle down the river while everyone else was eating. It was perfect - the sun on my back, and enough wind to allow me to close reach all the way down to Naburn properly hiked out with the water bubbling merrily beneath me. I almost didn't come back!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Pox on you

Sorry we've been a bit quiet. We've been busy.
This was the first night, before he got properly spotty. Then we weren't allowed to take photos. But it was impressive!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

15 weeks

This is Dorothea's main position: one hand on top of head. It makes her look wise - like she is thinking very deep thoughts!

14 weeks