Birthday Trip

On Monday I turned 26 years old. I tend to avoid working on my birthday so I took an awkward week off where I worked until last Wednesday and went back to work on Wednesday. Because I managed to book this time off, my wife had planned for the three of us to go away to Legoland on my birthday. On Sunday we went to Windsor where we had a hotel to stay in that night so we could make the most out of our day the next day. When we arrived we had an hour until he had to check in. So we looked around the town. Firstly I found this sweet shop which had loads of different sweets and chocolates. I felt I was in heaven. Theo and my wife went outside as Theo didn’t want to stay in the shop. I ended up buying myself a Jack Daniels Honey chocolate bar and got my wife a double lolly and a Harry Potter chocolate frog. We carried on looking around the town until it was time to check into our hotel. We checked in, sat around for about an hour and decided we needed some dinner. We had some vouchers worth £30 so we looked at where would accept them and we found cafe rogue, which we both have always wanted to go to. We ordered our food however they didn’t have the first three things I had ordered. Never mind I decided to have something else which I also enjoyed. We also looked on my phone for any discount vouchers online. To our surprise a £60 meal actually cost us £10. After dinner we went to see the castle, there were a few children around Theo’s age running on grass outside, so Theo ran up and down the slope for a while and sat with us watching planes fly pass really low. That evening we got back to the hotel and put Theo to bed about 8 o clock, we had to pretend we were asleep so that he could go to sleep. once he was asleep I decided I needed a beer, so I went down to the hotel bar and asked for a pint. To my surprise they couldn’t even pull a pint so I had to give them a micro lesson (from my old days of working on a bar) because of this they actually gave me my drink for free. Didn’t even need to tell them it was my birthday tomorrow haha.So the next day we had breakfast at the hotel and made sure we ate a lot as Legoland would’ve crippled us if we got food there. We went to the shuttle bus stop in Windsor town centre and took the bus to Legoland. We got there just as the park opened. We told the woman at the desk it was Theo’s birthday so she gave him a badge, which my wife made me wear all day. Once we entered the park we went to the Lego Star Wars exhibit, where they have made the battle scenes from each movie out of Lego. It was simply amazing, however my wife had to rush through as Theo was terrified because it was dark and loud. We went down the hill slightly and we saw a Lego batman room, so we went in and they had tables full of Lego so you could make batmobiles and run them down a ramp. As a surprise they brought out a man in a costume of Lego batman so the children could take pictures with him. Throughout the day we went on to do many things such as, watch some shows, go on some boats, some rides that Theo could go on. We went to “Atlantis” and they had submarines which take you through and aquarium, which once again was dark and loud so Theo was terrified. Lastly they have a water park because it was a scorching day we got Theo a swimming nappy and let him play in the water park, watching from a distance I could see him playing with other children and it genuinely made me feel so warm inside. Then when he wanted to touch something and a child pushed him, I wanted to kick the child (don’t worry there were no injured children haha).

All in all it was a lovely day, we ended up getting home around 8:30 that night and we were exhausted, we put Theo to bed around 9 (two whole hours after his usual bedtime). Then we opened my presents and cards, which to be honest, I was so tired I wanted bed more than presents by this point
-Jeff

Potty Training & Big Steps

So when Theo started nursery in January, he was the only child in nappies. His nursery worker said one he is settled they will try and start him off using the toilet. So it’s may and over the last two weeks Theo has been using the toilet at nursery. Yesterday my wife said he was dry all morning at nursery. I thought to myself “could this be the start of him being potty trained?” When he came home he did 2 more wee’s in the potty. So today is the first day of annual leave from work. (My birthday is in a few days so I wanted to spend the week with the family), so this morning I had a lie in, while my wife got up with Theo. When I woke up she told me that Theo had used the potty twice this morning. When I got up he didn’t seem to want to use the potty, and wet himself (oh well accidents happen, I wish I could get away with wetting myself) but then his mummy went to work and he has used the potty 4 times since. Each time he uses the potty he was treated with a chocolate button, until these ran out so the last two times he actually didn’t get a treat, we just celebrated and hi fived. I then decided we needed some fresh air so I went to our local supermarket and made the risk of him not wearing a nappy. We were out for about 40 minutes and he didn’t wet himself. In 3 and a half years and he went out without a nappy for the first time. While we were out he saw some sunglasses that he wanted and I decided he could have them for his incredible progress over the last few days. At this rate he will be potty trained in no time. He even pulls his pants off and declares he needs a wee in his potty. Later in the day I saw him go into the corner and start tensing as if he was go big for a poo, I asked him what he was doing and he said “I’m doing a poo poo” so I said to him “let’s use potty” and he sat on the potty for a good 20 minutes, and to my amazement he did a poo. So this carried on over the next day he continued to do wees in the potty or toilet and also did a poo, this time he completely missed the bowl of the potty and it was sat on the seat haha. His mum had to clean that one up. So it’s Sunday and we are due to go to Windsor for my birthday. Me and my wife were slightly skeptical about how we were going to carry this on out of the house so we went to a local shop and got a cheap potty to travel with. It was a 2 hour train journey consisting of different trains and tubes, but on the last train we let Theo sit on his potty and try to do a wee wee. He sat there however nothing came out. However when we got to Windsor, my wife took him into a toilet in a department store and he went, it was a success out of the house and he still will go. So he carried on going throughout our time away. The next day we went to Legoland (I will do a post about this in a couple of days). All day he would go to the toilet with his mum and use the potty. Until in the afternoon we were queueing for a ride and Theo told us “there’s water in my trousers” just as we got to the start of the ride he had an accident. We assured him there was no worries and changed his clothes and he got on the ride. During the whole trip he did not do a poo. So when we got home that night we all went to bed early as we all had to get up to take him to nursery for next day ( I was still off work). So we wake up in the morning and take Theo to nursery, we told them that he was no longer wearing a nappy and they congratulated him. When we came to collect him they told us he used the toilet multiple times. Later in the day he was a bit upset and his mum asked him if he needed a poo, he said yes. Within 2 minutes he did a poo in his potty. So this is the beginning of Theo’s potty training story which has been a great experience.2 weeks ago this was never a discussion. We’ve always allowed Theo to do things in his own time. A lot of people would ask from when he was 2 years old “is he potty trained?” Or ” you should start potty training him”. We did try on multiple occasions, however he was not ready, this time he has taken to it without a hitch, this just shows, if your child is not ready they won’t do it.This is a giant learning experience for all of us and any one with advice, it would be amazing to hear your views.

In the title of the post I mentioned “big steps”. You may be wondering what I mean by that as I’ve only spoken about potty training. Over the space of our trip away, Theo has made many big steps into growing up. Firstly is that he spent the whole trip away in pants, he had a nappy for bedtime however it’s early days and getting him to go through the night could be a while. He also slept in a proper bed for the first time. At home he has a cotbed which still has the sides on it. Whenever we have gone away before we’ve always put him in a travel cot, however this time the hotel had a 2 camping beds together and he slept on them all night, at one point he nearly rolled to the edge of the bed but most of the night he stayed in one place.

We are really proud of our boy and the progress he is making, it’s very scary that he is losing the last things that make him our baby.
-Jeff

Children & Pets

When I was younger i had multiple pets, I had hamsters, goldfish, cats and even a dog. The hamster didn’t end to well as I killed it because it didn’t eat it’s chocolate button (oops). Goldfish got Pierced by my cat and my dog bit my face as she was having an epileptic fit. So the main survivor was my cat. I got him when I was 4 years old. He was a Tabby kitten called Dennis. As an only child I saw Dennis more as a sibling than a pet. We would cuddle, he would look after me when I was ill by sniffing my face and never leaving my side. With having Dennis there I learnt responsibility of looking after a living thing. He was in indoor cat so I did his litter tray, I would feed him and even tried to cut his fur once because he needed a haircut (once again oops). We had Dennis for years and he was truly a part of the family, he passed away when I was in my first year of university, but in his last moments he came to everyone in the house and then died in my mums arms, as if he was saying goodbye to us all. I was devastated. But he was very old and blind by this point and he lived a good life.When I met my wife, she had an old Staffordshire bull terrier called Kane, he used to always bark at me when I came in the door. My wife would tell me stories of how they would play fight in the garden and be really close. Kane was really attached to my wife but distanced himself a bit when she got pregnant. When Theo was born we kept Kane away from him for a while, but as Theo started to bounce around in his walker he would play with Kane. When he was out of his walker this continued, Theo would chase him, pull his tail and even fall on Kane, bare in mind Kane was a very old dog by this point. Sadly Kane died last year, I remember I was at work and my wife had phoned me telling me. Later that day she posted a picture on social media of Theo saying goodbye to Kane, which was the perfect send off.

At Theo’s nursery they have a stick insect which they look after and have to go to the park to collect leaves for it to eat. In his nursery review his teacher said he won’t hold the stick insect though haha.

The other night me and my wife were talking about when we have our own place, we can get a pet. She leans towards wanted a dog and me a cat. So we started looking on the RSPCA website and saw 100s of dogs on there who need a home, my first thought is why do people give dogs such silly names. We were saying that Theo needs a companion like we did growing up, but this won’t be possible until we have our own place.

The point of this post is that the majority of us have grown up with a pet, whether it’s a cat, dog, hamster, fish or even a rabbit (could be anything else too) however they are not just an animal you keep because it’s cute or cuddly. They are a part of the family and by having a pet your child could also learn many responsibilities, have a companion and also build memories with.

If you have any stories about a family pet as you were growing up or even your child and their pet, please let us know, it will be nice to hear about.
-Jeff

Cinema Visits

Since Theo was 18 months old we’ve been able to take him to the cinema, quite often too. He has managed to see films such as; 
Penguins of Madagascar

Inside out

Home

Trolls

Thomas the tank engine

Zootroplis

And few more which I can’t remember as they we’ve with his mum. 

When we’ve taken him he’s always been good, sits there eating his popcorn, talking away but who really cares about this when you’re paying £1.50 for a ticket for a film that’s mainly for your child. 
So recently, out of nowhere like an RKO, Theo has developed this fear of the cinema. To the point of us having a lunch in Pizza Hut, and making a spur of the moment decision to go and watch the Power Rangers Movie, the moment we walked in the building he was crying and screaming as if he was terrified. All I’m thinking in my head is where has this fear come from? He loves watching Power Rangers at home and has shown excitement for the movie. He even did this with Star Wars Rogue One, acted excited then when we asked if he wanted to go he would reply “I don’t think so”

So leading up to this weekend, he starts to ask his mum if they can go to the cinema. She looks at times and sees that the only showing available is when she is at work, but I was off so she said “daddy will take you”. So all weekend he’s buzzing about going to the cinema, we go out to the pub for breakfast on Sunday morning and mummy leaves us to go to work, he’s still talking about it. I purchase the tickets on my phone so it’s all done ahead, he’s still excited. We get off the bus outside the cinema and he calls it a beautiful building. We walk in the building, “I don’t want to go to the cinema”. Really? Did he just do that to me? I asked when I was buying tickets and he said yes. Now all of a sudden r doesn’t want to. So what do I do? I used emotion against him, I told him I would be upset if we didn’t go in, as I had already paid for the tickets, I did tell him that he could take George pig with him, and we would skip the adverts so he would only watch Peppa Pig. So he agreed to come and watch the film. We sat outside the room until the adverts were over and walked in when the film started. We found our seats, Theo sat George Pig next to him and they sat there eating popcorn and watching Peppa Pig. Theo was even singing along to all the songs. After the film he went and told me he was a brave boy as we sang the muddy puddles song walking down the road to meet his mummy.

How do children develop these fears and suddenly over come them? How do we give them the little push they need to face these fears? I’ll tell you how… FOOD!!

I will upload a picture or two to Instagram so that you can see our adventure to the cinema.

-Jeff

Ask us anything

So with us growing and sharing material with you guys. We wanted to do a post in the next couple of weeks answering questions from our followers.

So blank canvas here, ask us anything you want to know and we will feature all questions in our “Ask us anything answers” blog post in May.

Once again thank you for all your support. 

– Jeff & Paul 

Family time

So this week I decided to take some time off from work to spend with the family, as the in laws are on holiday it felt like the best time to spend time as us 3 rather than have everyone around. Tuesday and Wednesday we put Theo in nursery for the morning so me and my wife could actually get to spend some alone time together which he haven’t actually done since Theo was born. We used this opportunity to go out to our local pub for breakfast and to Costa for a nice coffee. We also used the time to play some Xbox as that’s a mutual interest that pretty much got us together. After nursery on Tuesday we took Theo out for an ice cream because he was such a good boy.

On Thursday it was really sunny so we pretty much spent the afternoon in the garden playing football and having a picnic (the featured pic is Theo on my shoulders in the garden).

Friday and Saturday we spent most of the day in the garden. However we went to a local pub restaurant for some lunch which was lovely, the boys ( me and Theo) ate the most of course.

On Sunday we made a barbecue in the garden, I won’t lie I was a bit worried as I’ve never done a barbecue before but it came out really well. There was burgers, sausages and chicken plus some vegetarian bits for the wife. We spent the whole day playing in the garden with good food and drink. To the point I even got sunburn.

I went back to work for a four day week, and have now got a four day weekend with the family which is really lovely. Yesterday I took Theo to our local town and as we were walking around we saw someone dressed up as one of his favourite tv characters. So as we got home Theo decided he wanted to have a picture with Bing for his bedroom so we had to turn back around so he could see Bing again. As we waited for Bing we did an Easter egg hunt the shop in the shopping centre had set up as they were doing a fundraising day. Once Bing came out I have never seen my boy so happy. I will post a pic and video soon.

With me working so much during the week and my wife working at the weekends it’s near on impossible to spend a whole day together so to get a whole week together is a blessing, which we made the most of, as a family and as a couple.

Sometimes you tend to get so caught up in your careers, you get frustrated that you don’t get to see your family or sometimes forget how to spend time together when you get a chance to.

So my tip of advice is, you don’t need to go away to take annual leave from work, take a few days off at home and be a family unit, it’s always a great time spending it as a family.
-Jeff

Baby Boxes

I was watching the one show last night and they were discussing the new baby boxes that the Scottish government are giving to new parents.These boxes have 50 items that parents will find useful in the first year of their child’s life.

The box contains a mattress because the box itself is made for the baby to sleep in, this has been proven to reduce the amount of cot deaths I will come back to this point a bit later. It also have clothes, a digital in ear thermometer, a bath and room thermometer.

The reason I said earlier that it has been proven to reduce cot deaths is because it is a scheme that has been active in Finland since 1938. Before the scheme started in Finland, 65 out of 1000 babies died of cot death. These numbers rapidly reduced with the introduction of the baby box. The scheme is not just there to reduce cot deaths though, the main reason it was made was to make sure all children had the same start in life.

When my wife was pregnant she actually looked at buying one of these boxes, however the price was quite high for the one she wanted and decided to go against it.

My view is that these are an amazing idea, especially for families from poorer backgrounds who might not be able to afford all of the necessities that their child may need, plus it’s a free bed for your child to sleep in.

Let’s hope these come to more countries around the world in the near future.

If you’re not in a country that these are given to you by the government you can purchase them from;

Www.thebabybox.com
-Jeff