This is my story as I stumble my way through family life

With one toddler and another new arrival on the way, this blog shares with you some of the things I see and think and also hopefully gives newer dads and dads to be some ideas based on what I did (or often, did not...) learn

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Sea Life Centre - A great day out

We had a family day today and took the boys to Weymouth to the Sea Life Centre

First, I can't understand how a few days sailing at the Olympics in 2012 could possibly justify the years and expense of chaos which has been brought to the area's roads- are there really going to be that many people turning up that it requires a whole new road into the town?

Anyway, the place was pretty empty and we had the run of it- there are a dozen or so different 'pods', each with a different theme and creature type.

Ollie's favourites were the sea lions by some way although our schedule was decided by Victoria who insisted we see feeding time for the penguins and the turtles
What was really good was that because it was quiet, the talks were almost one on one and we learned about the animals as well as saw them

One tip though- they charge you £17.50 for an adult turning up on the day- print your tickets from the web beforehand and a couple pay just £19- it is value for money at that price but I might have had a different view at £35...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Advice time- breast pumps

I never thougt I would spend so much time talking about these but if ever you get to buying one of these, make sure you read the reviews out there

If you do, you will realise the Tommee Tippee one is rubbish and Medela is the brand to get

Guess what we bought first time round? Yep, Tommee Tippee.
Guess where it ended up after less than two weeks? Yep, the bin (apparently it has a tendency to suck the milk down the wrong pipe and into the motor rendering it useless for ever more- what a clever design feature...not

Don't take my word for it though, here is a typical review site we should have read:

Have a look at this range for our successful, second time round purchase:

Who would have thougt boobs would need such consideration?

The tantrum all men dread (I am talking the wife not child)

It has been a while but I knew it would happen sooner rather than later now the baby has arrived but Victoria lost this morning to the mother of all "none of my clothes look good any more" tantrums.

Now in the past I would have tried to resolve this in true solution seeking style by suggesting outfits, telling her things look good and finally allowing frustration to get the better of me and going for the "sort yourself out love, we are meant to be going out" approach. Unsurprisingly, none of this ever worked and usually had the reverse effect.

Nowadays I have learned to just leave her to it. I busied myself with the kids downstairs and left the bedroom as an interference free vacuum, all the time resisting the temptation to ask what was in the two great big wardrobes if she had no clothes to wear.....

She eventually emerged just after 1pm- only two hours after we were meant to go out for the day.....

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Visit to Father Christmas

We tool Ollie to are Santa today. This was the second time: last year we took him and he cried: didn't like it at all.

This year was better- he just scowled although he did talk a little: he knows that Santa brings presents but you would think that he had been told santa was taking all of his presents away!

I am sure potty training shouldn't be this hard

I have read boys are tough to
Train but this is ridiculous- various accidents arevtalibg their toll on the lounge carpet and Ol seems to have adopted the tactic of weeing just after getting off the potty.

The reward system is not working nor is the clockwork approach where he sits on the potty every half hour.

Any ideas would be warmly welcomed!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Big day- potty training starts today

So yesterday we went off to town to let Ollie chose his new pants and today is the first day of the rest of his life as my Xmas project is to get him potty trained. So far we have had several sits on the potty but no outcome. The good news is that his pants are dry too.

The waiting for the first success or disaster is unbearable though....

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The morning after the night before....

We had our first night out since Josh arrived last night.

We went with a group of our closest friends to a great bar overlooking Bournemouth beach for a bit of a Xmas dinner- nice food, copious wine and a great crack later we returned home to relieve the grandparents of baby sitting duty at about midnight and found both boys nicely asleep.

Ollie woke at eight this morning(his sleeping pattern is great again after the success of the sleep chart) and Josh didn't stir for a feed until five.

All was good but for the fact that one of us had to feed him- thus did not feel good with our first hangovers in a year. Short straws were the order of the day buy luckily it was breast feeding time so I had the long straw!

Reckon it will be another year before we try alcohol again though!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Talking to your kids on the phone

All of a sudden Ollie has started to become really chatty when I call home (in fact we have to stop him answering the phone) and you can actually have a conversation with him.

On the one hand it is a fantastic thing to be able to speak to them on nights like this when I am away with work. On the other hand, I can't help feeling sad when he asks "do you want to come home and have a cup of tea with me daddy?"...your heart just melts....

Monday, 6 December 2010

Christmas when all your friends have kids

I thought we had been really sensible and in advance in the half price toy sales using cash back sites and tesco club card exchanges so that all of the kids wenowhaveto buy Tor didn't come as such a shock on the December credit card bill.

Getting home today I found myself sorely mistaken- I had forgotten two key factors: all of our friends' kids have multiplied since last Xmas PLUS I had not taken all Ollie'slittle friends from his classes into the equation.

Some days I yearn for the days when all of my money at Xmas was spent on nights out and sales shopping....oh well!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Toddler not sleeping? This trick worked!

Ollie has been a pain over the last few weeks with waking up in the middle of the night and being difficult about going back to sleep.

This is probably something to do with the arrival of Josh and the fact that he is sleeping in his Moses basket in our room.... Whatever the reason, it had to be nipped in the bud as it was no good for him and us!

Victoria decided to try the carrot and stick approach- if he woke during the night, the next morning he had one of his fav toys put in the "naughty bag" for the day (stick). What she has been really good at is ensuring he understood why and when asked, he now is always able to tell you what is in there and why.

The carrot is that if he sleeps through, he gets a sticker on a home made Bob the Builder themed Reward Chart and, as Brucie would say, "what do points make? Prizes!". When he has enough stickers he gets to choose a new toy at the shops.

This technique has really worked as he understands when he has been naughty and what he needs to do to be rewarded.

Give it a go- the cost of a new toy is cheap compared to lost sleep, trust me!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Gina Ford's contented little baby book

This is the second baby that V has tried to use the Gina Ford 'bible' to sort out a routine for the new addition .

The baby may become contented BUT how come it turns the mother into some demented obsessive who goes mad if the baby is not feeding at exactly 10.30 pm or awake when the book says he should be asleep?

Monday, 29 November 2010

The carvery conundrum

So, we went out to lunch yesterday at a lovely pub in the New Forest.

You know the sort: all low beams and roaring log fires. Victoria and I had the carvery and that left the question what to do with Ollie's food. We wanted him to have a roast but they charge six quid for a kid's portion. Now , I am not being tight but I don't want to pay six quid for a two year old's meal. We did the obvious thing then and created him a little meal off our plates.
It worked out fine but the pub obviously don't like this happening as getting a side plate off them to serve Ol's meal was like pulling teeth...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Kids's bedtime tricks- they will do ANYTHING to stay up

Ollie is starting to pull every trick out of the book nowadays. Tonight he wanted the same little book read over and over: I had to draw a line at the fourth time. I talk a lot but even I get fed up of listening to my own voice.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

What is the best thing to do.....

Am I the only one who is or has been in this situation (i am sure I am not) but I find myself in an awful quandary every night.

I have been back at work ever since Josh arrived basically and so the early mornings are still there as I travel around the UK.

Tor is obviously up in the night feeding Josh and as she is breast feeding, it isn't really something I can help with. I can't help feeling guilty that I am sleeping while she is awake with the baby but there isn't much I can do and ultimately, Victoria can sleep on past 5am when I get up.

Should I be doing more or is this just the way it is?...

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Wow, I cannot believe how different it is having two kids

I knew it would be different but is is bonkers

The whole situation may have been complicated due to me going back to work for a few days this week but I am knackered.

If I am not winding Josh or changing his nappy, I am keeping Ollie entertained, walking the dog, cleaning, washing, cooking or generally running around.

Tor meanwhile has pretty much been feeding incessantly- little Josh is an eating machine. He might be little now but he obviously doesn't intend to stay that way as he is loving the gold top!

Good fun tonight though- me and Ollie had Josh in the bath with us for the first time. O
Lie was really good and didn't splash (for once)while Josh must have liked being in there as he cried before and then cried when he got out.

Tomorrow we go to register the birth and are chancing taking both the boys out for lunch.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

At last, he's here. Joshua James Levi arrived last night

8lb 1oz and he and mum are doing well now.

A few complications for mum meant a few scary moments but the hospital staff were amazing. I didn't think watching could be so traumatic though

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Big day today (hopefully)

So, here we are. Ollie and Baz safely at grandparents and a small fortune in the hospital car park later, we are on a maternity ward waiting for the induction process to get started.

We have just had the process explained:

Step one. Orders lunch (not for me- I will be crossing the road to the garage)
Step two. Monitors heartbeat for half an hour
Step three. Pessary inserted (sounds lovely)
Step four. Free time (go and wander off for a
step five. Six hours later something might happen or repeat process again

Feels like it is going to be a VERY long day

Monday, 8 November 2010

Ollie decided the fireworks were a bit bright and took appropriate action

Ollie's attire for Bonfire Night

Make Xmas that bit more affordable: fantastic Asda toy event!,default,sc.html

Eight days late and still no sign of baby. Yesterday brought an interesting experience

Victoria had another stretch and sweep yesterday and I got "lucky" enough to watch.

It reminded me of the tv programme 'All Creatures Great and Small' that mum used to watch. Those of you who can remember it will be able to picture the (fairly regular) scenes that saw the vet James Herriott put on his rubber glove, slide his hand up a cow's backside and wangle it around describing what he felt as he went.

The midwife yesterday performed a very similar turn. It must have been pretty uncomfortable to say the least for Victoria. I didn't enjoy the exeperience much either as, aside from watching this being performed on the one I love, I was getting vivid flashbacks to my recent prostrate examination ( Gents, if you haven't had one yet, this is not one of the good things about getting older).

Anyway, she is 2cm dilated, the baby's head is in the right position and there are mild twinges in the right area this morning so fingers crossed for today....

Thursday, 4 November 2010

I took Ollie to his Musical Steps class today; might have been fun but for the fact that he was in an almighty strop

I am not sure that singing and dancing is for me (I know it is not) but never really got to find out as I spent the whole class trying to coax him into doing something that wasn't crying, shouting or doing the opposite of what the class leader was asking the kids to do

I am sure all those mums were mightily impressed by my parenting expertise...not

Nesting overload- Victoria's frustration at late baby turned into manic redesign of lounge last night; help me; this cannot go on...

Everything got moved- sofa's chairs, cabinets

Put it here, no there, no, still not happy; over there

I am sure that was more tiring for me than labour will be for her- maybe that is what it was all about? Who knows, just let that baby be here soon!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Still no arrival.Victoria is now having acupuncture while drinking pineapple juice sitting on a birth ball

Thanks to David and Alex for the birthing ball and stairs suggestion. The ball has only been used to relive uncomfortableness up to now!

Yesterday Victoria went to the midwife and ended up walking like a cowboy after a membrane sweep- very uncomfortable I am told...

Today it has been a visit to Dr China and some acupuncture

Tomorrow, who knows but trust me, we will get through this list pretty sharpish:

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Poor Ollie-winter is here and Victoria is making him wear a vest

I can still remember when, as a kid, the day arrived that I didn't have to wear a vest any more and the sheer relief that no longer would I have to wear this horrendous, unflattering piece of clothing.

I know that kids need to wear extra layers now the weather has changed but I said to Victoria that we should put him in little white tees so what does she return from Mothercare with? That's right, #*?#! vests.

This calls for fatherly intervention and a visit to the shops to counter this with some t-shirts. I cannot have him wearing vests when he is old enough to realise the gravity of this situation....

Monday, 25 October 2010

Free Lego for kids every day for ten days with the Daily Mirror

If you haven't heard about this great free offer, follow this link for more details; makes great pressies for your kids' mates or Ollie is getting his as stocking fillers!

Working from home is a dangerous occupation when you have a wife days from her due date who just wants to get on with it

Say the wrong thing or even look at her in the wrong way and the wrath falls upon you..... Which way is the office?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Every night for the last 10 days we have read about a baby in mummy's tummy

I think Ollie gets what the arrival of his new baby brother is all about now!!!

Brilliant book but how many times can you read the same thing over and over???...

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

New dads beware; nothing prepares you for a baby pooing in the bath....

Happened last night and it was definitely something very new. Luck Ollie's toddler diarrhoea has passed but still the task of fishing out three decent sized stools from a warm bath was not what I signed up for!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Can't say simple words like 'two' but can sing a song about arshavin

I still can't get to grips with Ollie's speech development. He struggles to say simple words like you or two ( he can say thrm, just can't be bothered) yet ask him to sing s song about Arsenal and he can get Arshavin syllable perfect!

Two years old and wants to be the next Frankie Dettori

Unfortunately for Ollie, as he is in the 99th percentile size wise for his age, he may already be heavier than some of the jockeys he likes to watch on the telly with his dad!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Built Ollie a playhouse today: how hard can it be?

Four walls, a floor and a roof. A few screws and nails: doesn't sound that hard does it?

It wouldn't be if they just left you to it but instead the makers try and complicate it with instructions. I'm a bloke: why do I need instructions - I am
not wired to read them

Well, you need them to ensure you don't almost get the job done only to find you have the roof on the wrong way round and have to undo half of what I thought was finished....

Friday, 15 October 2010

Why the big surprise over men not choosing baby's name?

All the baby news today has been about how it is primarily the mum who chooses baby's name and there seems to be a sense of surprise about this!

I am not sure why that is- am I different to any other dad out there who knows his place e.g. that I always know the big decisions don't really lie in my hands, however much there might be an illusion that my say is valuable!

I just about have the power of veto (thankfully to get rid of some of Victoria's more left field suggestions) and for that I am grateful so as I say, why the big news today?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Trying to explain to a toddler about an impending new arrival

A friend has lent us a couple of books that try and help explain to a first child about what happens when mummy is pregnant and what is likely to happen with the arrival of a new brother and sister.

With a couple of weeks to go, I have been reading these to Ollie to try and make sure he knows what is going on.

It seems to be working as I have read this (at Ollie's request) for the last four nights and he is now telling me that it is Joshua (our apparently #1 name choice) in mummy's tummy and that he will soon be arriving to bring him a present (see previous post!!)

I would definitely recommend one of these which is called "There's a house inside my mummy's tummy".

Sounds wierd I know but Ollie really seems to get it!

Don't just take my word for it, these reviews are on line:

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

How funny is it when kids learn new words?

One of the things that amuses me most is that every day, Ollie's speech and the way he says things develops.

He has just learnt to say "I don't know" when you ask him something he doesn't know the answer for but he pronounces it with really precise annunciation (unlike most other things he says) so it sounds REALLY cute.

Then, when you tell him the answer, he apologises "Ohhh, I'm sorry, I didn't know that"

It absolutely cracks me up every time but also melts me a little bit as well

Mind you, I am not kidding myself that he is going to be so polite for very long- he is a boy's boy so I know this is just a phase I need to appreciate while it lasts!!!

Monday, 11 October 2010

I hate it when kids can't tell you what is wrong

Ollie was awake most of last night. We know he isn't feeling great and medicine won't do it; he just feels rotten with the toddler version of manflu.

The joys of having kids.....

ps Dads- I eventually got two hours sleep last night by putting Ol into our bed with Victoria (where ironically he went straight off to sleep as he was feeling reassured) and I retreated to the spare room
....use this tactic sparingly for your own safety....

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Best time of the year in the new forest

Autumn is glorious- beautiful weather, leaves on the floor, great dog walks, fantastic pub lunches and no grockles

Have a look at the interested observers at nappy change time!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Aren't grandparents great

Victoria has picked up Ollie's illness this week and after a night of pregnancy induced poor sleep last night, was at the end her tether this morning.

Working from home today was looking like a nightmare so decisive action was needed: a quick call to mum and dad and they stepped into the breach.

Cue the end of the day and we have a tired, happy little boy and a rested, chilled wife

as I said, grandparents ate great!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

New baby not far off: how to get Ollie to welcome it

We have heard too many stories of first children not taking well to the arrival of a new baby who might dilute some of the attention they have so far had completely to themselves.

Bribery seems to be the route we are going at the moment and on the gave of it, the tactic is working so far as Ollie is telling us he wants the baby to come as Hr is bringing him a present. When thenbaby is actually here, I wonder if he will still be excited?

Any ideas how to deal with this from other dads who have gone through the arrival of a second child would be really welcome

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Why do kids illnesses not have an early warning system

Came home to a disaster zone tonight- not only is Ollie I'll but now Victoria is as well.

It is an occupational hazard for a parent that you get what the kids have so you always expect it but Ollie being ill was just one of those things that you don't see coming. After a really busy and fun sunday he all of a sudden started coughing and spluttering and had a horrible night all bunged up bless him.

With an adult you kind of know when you are about to come down with something but with kids you never know and that means it is just a nightmare when it happens.

Lesson to new parents- ALWAYS have calpol in the house: it is the only way you can be anywhere near prepared

Monday, 4 October 2010

Child benefit changes- grumpy today

Don't get me wrong- i don't think that people should get benefits that they don't need but making decisions like the government just has needs to:
a. Be fair
b. Get done in the right order of priority

Why is it that the easy way to introduce swinging cuts is to hit those who do the most to fill the government's tax coffers?
Why isn't today's headline about closing those ridiculous loopholes that allow families to claim outrageous amounts of money, where they are encouraged to never get out of bed and do a day's work, where having another kid means they get yet more money

Priorities Mr Osborne, PRIORITIES

Friday, 1 October 2010

Check out my money saving tips-being a dad is expensive-

As we are having another baby boy, I would have thought that we had most stuff we would need for our new arrival.

Turns out my wife didn't share this view and you would be amazed how much we have had to buy ahead of our second child. Having a baby can be expensive so here are a few tips that might help:

1. Buy goods on a money back credit card and earn a % of everything you buy. This website gives you a few options:

2. When you buy on-line, do so through a cashback site. I use one that my work have set up but there is a guide on money saving expert that helps you see how this works and choose which one to use:

3. Always shop on sites like before hitting "buy" to make sure you haven't missed any offers that might be out there

4. If you are buying from Mamas and Papas, then before you do so, check out their little known and not advertised outlet stores. We got the dresser we wanted from there at £200 less than it's catalogue price and that was after we spent money getting a courier to bring it down to us from Stoke to Bournemouth. The stores I know about are in Stoke and Huddersfield. We didn't visit but just called them to see if they had what we wanted (and they did!)

If anyone has any other tips, let me let other dads know!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

When do kids get what xmas is about?

Last night I got home just in time to do Ollie's bedtime story. We had a little chat before he settled down and he asked me where his present was!
It turns out mummy and he had been having a chat during the day about Christmas, what it was all about and of course, his little ears remembered that Santa, among others, would be bringing him presents.

Unfortunately, two year olds have no concept of time so he felt a few hours was long enough to wait for xmas. This could be a long three months......

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Birthing leaflets- the funniest thing you will ever read!

Victoria brought home a birthing advice leaflet from her ante natal yoga class last night (lesson one- always take an immediate interest in these things and treat it as though it is the sports pages of the newspaper) and you can't help but laugh at what is written on it.

There were a couple of golden nuggets though:

1. That she should take things like breath spray and perfume with her as it is nice to feel fresh during labour?! What is more, they advise that the birth partner also uses these; as if she will even notice whether I have a fragrant aroma or not.... "hang on love, I know you are at a vital stage but I need to grab a shower so I am at my best for you so if you could just stop pushing for a few minutes..."

2. That although the contractions are hard work, when it comes to the pushing, the mother feels an "altogether more pleasant feeling". I have asked Victoria and she was unable to confirm that the pushing was a lovely time first time around......

Who writes this stuff? Classic

Monday, 27 September 2010

Seriously- think ahead when buying a pushchair; save yourself ££££'s

My last post talked about thinking a bit more long term when buying a new pushchair. Having now sold our first one at a 70% loss on what we paid just two and a half years ago I thought I needed to write again as I hope I can save you the pain I am currently feeling in my wallet!!!

If the Phil 't & Teds isn't for you the n I have posted up a few more options below.

I have to say though that for me there are a couple of big wins with the Phil & Teds:
1. It isn't that big and is absolutely fine to use when you just have one kid (as we currently do)
2. It is really easy to fold up. A squeeze of a clip either side and there you go, job done and in the boot!

Jane have just introduced a new twin model:

Graco have a nice looking model and ebay is always a great place to source pushchairs:

Mothercare have a great range that caters for all needa and taste

Have a look at the MyChild on the Mothercare site at great price of £199 and only available on the web:

Still confused, Tesco have a great little advice guide to help:

If you want the real low down on what pitfalls to avoid, Which (the consumer advice people) have a quick 5 minute guide of what to watch out for:$ja=kw:pushchair|cgn:BABYC-BTRAN-PUCHS%2bBROAD-GENRC%2bPushchair|cgid:1186456340|tsid:21629|cn:BABYC-BTRAN-SPART-Baby+Transport|cid:34422320|lid:25559581|mt:Broad|nw:search|crid:2575142840

Or there are loads of product videos on You Tube; here are a few:

Thursday, 23 September 2010

I must buy a climbing frame

Got home for the first time this week to see Ollie

After the fastest cuddle in history Ollie proceeded to spend the next fed minutes climbing up me like I was a tree. That is surely not what Dads are for!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Phil & Teds Sport Buggy & Double Kit - Kiddicare

So here is what I learnt about buying a pushchair

When we were expecting Ollie a couple of years ago, we looked into every possible pushchair on the market. there are loads of options and plusses and minusses for all of them. You could one from any of the brands below (and more I have missed):

Everyone looks at a travel system so that the car seat and pram all work together and hopefully saves a bit of money by buying it altogether.

If you are planning to have two kids though, this plan quickly falls apart as if the first is still young and still using a pram, you need something to carry both kids.

We have just had to sell our lovely first pram as this is our very situation and had to buy a Phil & Teds- if only we had thought, I would have done this first time around!

The moral is think ahead- it may save you money in the long run plus you will still end up with a great pram!

Attention dads to be- don't miss my big tip on buying a pram later today!

Monday, 20 September 2010

The art of negotiation

I am ironing babygro's whilst watching the cricket.

For once victoria has no leg to stand on in tv remote ownership wrangling

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Bad nights sleep-only one thing to do:TIRE HIM OUT

The unexplainable has happened again and for the last two nights, Ol has spent at least two hours awake and in and out of our room.

This happens every so often and there is never an obvious reason: he isn't I'll, his routine has not changed, nothing has upset him so what causes this to happen?....

Today we did the only thing you can and that is to try and give him do much to do and so much fresh air that all he can do is sleep soundly tonight (fingers crossed)

so swimming this morning, play in the garden after and then a long walk feeding the ducks and a good play in the park to finish

I'll let you tomorrow if it works...

Friday, 17 September 2010

Don't they grow up fast?

Got home last night after a couple of days away with work. Am convinced Ollie has grown about six months in that time!

It is amazing how they change so fast- you don't really notice how much more assured their movement becomes, how their vocabulary at that age expands every single day

Tell me I am not the only one that thinks this?

I am sure that as he grows I am going the other way!!!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Kids say the funniest things

I think the funniest thing about a two year old is as they learn to speak.

Apparently last night Ol wasn't too keen on the dinner Victoria had cooked him and felt he should express his displeasure:
"I don't think I like this and you are not being nice giving it to me. I think that you should cook me something better"

Can't imagine the response if I had said that but I am guessing I would have been wearing the meal....

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Tupperware party

Is this a bloke's worst nightmare- tonight my house has been invaded by a load of women for a Tupperware party my wife has decided to host

If she is going to do this sort of thing she could have at least chosen Ann Summers?....

Instead I am banished from my tv with sky on a champions league tonight and left to try and get Ollie to sleep amidst a cacophany from my the dream....

Monday, 13 September 2010

Change bag

Day off today so we went out. Both of us thought the other had brought the change bag, neither had. Inevitable happens, panic ensues...

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Took Ol for a haircut today. Why did the hairdresser put him in a gown and not me when he is sitting on my lap?

Unsurprising result-all of his wet cut off hair stuck to me requiring total change of clothes....

Taking a two year old to church

We have started to go to our local church over the last few months. Both Victoria and I have always planned to take our kids to Sunday school to help them learn and puck up the right values in life but not quite this early.
In order to get Ollie into our local school, we stand a much better chance if the vicar recommends us so we now attend the family service. Today we went to a Eucharist- not quite so much fun for Ol and as a result his attention span saw him and Victoria in the crèche and me in church.

I have got to say though, the people there could not be more welcoming and properly nice- no wonder the place was packed!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

The nightmare of choosing baby's name...

Seven weeks and counting to the arrival of our second baby and I am feeling the pressure of choosing his name. Victoria keeps throwing names at me, most of which I don't like apart from two and from them she has pretty much chosen one.
I can't help feeling challenged to find another but have you ever looked at a list; they are huge!

I find myself absent mindedly assessing people's names as I meet them or as I watch a game on telly but as the clock ticks, I've got nothing....

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

I really need to watch what I say

Got a telling off from my mum today: ollie spent the day with his grandparents and mum is very disappointed because not only does ollie mimic words he has heard me use which I ought not to around him BUT now he is using those words absolutely in context.

I think it is time I reined it in before he starts at his church run nursery school!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Oh no, internet shopping at two years old....

What is my wife doing? Get home tonight to be told Ollie has been eying up the present HD wants his brand new baby brother to bring him when he is born in October.
A two year old choosing his toys online seems like a slippery slope to me.... Seems as well as inheriting my live of football, Ollie has his mum's main hobby as one of his two!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Great tip: getting a toddler to wake when you want

We bought this brilliant Thomas the Tank Engine alarm clock. You set the time you want Thomas to wake up and push a button. Thomas closes his eyes and gives off a gentle light until your specified morning wake up. Ol might only be two but he understands not to get up until Thomas wakes up

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Good idea, badly executed....

Tesco have an offer on where you can trade clubcard vouchers for double their value. Victoria decides to use these to get cracking on Xmas presents for the masses of kids we buy for- great idea considering what we spent last year.

Not such a good idea is spending them on the last day of the offer- horrendous queues at store customer service desks while the website seems to be on strike

Makes you wonder if it was really worth the hassle.....

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Bought blue fabric softener tonight. Got home to barrage as apparently blue is unacceptable. See what happens when you try and help....

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Be careful what you say

Got home tonight just in time for bedtime and told Ollie I am on going on a plane tomorrow

After a bit of a chat, I said I would take him on a plane again soon and asked him where he wanted to go- he said Grandads

After a couple of minutes this became his idea that he is flying to Grandads tomorrow......

I'll be out before he gets up so good luck Mummy explaining that one!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Snoring dog

The fourth member of our family is our 10 year old King Charles- he was snoring so loud last night we couldn't hear the tv and had to wake him up- have a listen!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Bank Holiday Weekend

Sometimes you reflect on what feels like a great time at the time and then realise later on just how special it was.
 Sunday was a day like that- I took Ol out for the day on my own as Tor was feeling the effects of being seven months pregnant and we spent an afternoon in town at the excellent Dinosaur expo at the BIC We then followed this up with coffee and a cake (the eating machine polished off a Oain au Chocolat with no assistance-gone are the days of sharing) and then a walk down to the beach and some paddling (which of course turns into jumping and then a very soaked toddler).

 Even at the tender age of two, you can see a real force of personality shining through and every day something new comes out in him. on Sunday I learnt that however much you worry about them at this age, they don't share your fear and are capable of a whole lot more than you think- have a look at the attached video.....

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The night even calpol didn't work

Well, after my moaning about Ollie not getting to sleep, the last few mights have been easier and last night he went off without a peep

Come 3am though a different story- Ollie came in to our room telling me a book needed putting away. Not an irregular occurence as he has ome of my tidiness OCD. The problem was that between then and me leaving the house at 6am, he pretty much remained awake.

Victoria spent a chunk of time with him trying to calm him back to sleep to no avail. I was up and down on several occasions and on each one he started to get more upset saying his mouth hurt and then his tummy hurt and then it was his ear. Who knows if any of it was true because even though they can speak at two, they can't really tell you  what is properly the matter.

I tried calpol, spent an hour in with him (during which he did doze) and then eventually brought him in with us which normally does the trick although is a last resort to avoid it becoming an all too appealing habit.

I haven't yet come across the manual that solves problems like this but if you are a new dad, strap yourself in and just accept you are going to be tired!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

out early, late home

Can't believe how excited Ollie gets if I come home and he is still up (and he has been up way past bedtime the last couple of nights)

He can't stop talking and telling me about his day and it is funny how that becomes the best thing about my day

I love getting the opportunity to see him as all too often I am out way before he gets up and not back until afterwards. It is amazing how it doesn't seem that long ago that a beer was all I looked forward to after a long day at work and two hours home on the train!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


A potential aid to getting a two year old to sleep is the Seahorse

Never heard of it? Well, have at the link below

It is basically a cuddly toy which gives off a soothing light from its' tummy and plays lullaby tunes

Listening to it I think I could fall asleep with one of these pretty quickly. The day Ollie got it he couldn't wait to go to bed (unheard of) and he was as fast to sleep as I think he ever has been

This was three nights ago and obviously he has not been off like a dream every night but it is definitely helping a huge amount (we have had no 10pm still awake efforts)

If you are having the same problem, it could be the best £12 you spend!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

how do you get a two year old to sleep?......

after an almost perfect first year and a half of sleeping from 7.30 right through for 12 hours, the last couple of months have seen this new phenomenon of our just turned two year old decide that he no longer needs to go to bed when we decide

we have come to learn every trick in the book from "i've got a poo in my nappy" (when he hasn't) to "sing me a song" to my knee hurts" (probably does from getting in and out of bed so many times)

we are trying all the techniques- Victoria is a big fan of Supernanny but still he fights going to sleep and lat night we could still hear him at 10pm

it isn't a big deal compared to some people's ordeals that you hear about but any advice would be welcome (we are currently trying soothing stories via a stereo)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Dads blog: there is always a reason....

A Dads blog: there is always a reason....: "Today I got a reminder of something all Dads should remember- there is normally a reason why kids cry This applies right from the day they ..."

there is always a reason....

Today I got a reminder of something all Dads should remember- there is normally a reason why kids cry

This applies right from the day they are born and is definitely still right for my two year old. The difficult part is finding out what the reason is

This morning Ollie woke early. I was getting up but it was too early for my heavily pregnant wife so I put him back to bed and unusually he started to whinge rather than play or go back to sleep

Twenty minutes later, coming back from walking the dog I was greeted by wet sheets hurtling down the stairs

As I said, the secret is finding out the reason for the tears, saves a whole lot more trouble!.......

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Well my great intentions of daily updates fell at the first hurdle.

I knew Saturday was expecting a bit much but of course forgot the payback for getting a full boys' day was that I get full daddy daycare duties for Sunday and also my day off on Monday (rule one there for expectant Dads- time spent on lager or sport related activities once your family is more than just the two of you comes with significant payback!)

I thought I would add another bit of wisdom for those of you who have their first baby on the way:

Our microwave broke down over the weekend which is a pain because it is unexpected expense when the wife is already buying everything and anything ahead of our new arrival BUT there is an upside.....

Two years ago the microwave which had served me so well for a decade gave up the ghost. My wife went out with my mother(I was laid up after a knee op) and replaced it. What they did not consider was how it worked; just that it was the nicest looking among the cheapest models. This microwave had a manual control which was fine of you were defrosting something for 10 minutes but a complete disaster when heating milk for baby which, it seems, goes from freezing to boiling in a matter of milliseconds at a certain point!

As a result, far too much time was spent trying to cool down overheated bottles under the tap while a screaming baby cannot understand why the milk he expected was not immediately delivered in the weeks and months after breastfeeding stopped

There was one thing therefore I knew you need as an essential function for a microwave in a house where you have a newborn but I also learnt something new this weekend....

I therefore took on the responsibility of replacing the microwave (any purchases in an electrical superstore are surely an alpha male job) and looked for one with an electronic timer. This task was duly completed with yours truly very pleased at picking up such a model at a fantastic price, a model rated no1 conventional microwave by Which to boot!

Unfortunately I was back at Comet yesterday trading up to a more expensive model which did exactly the same things. Why you ask? How wrong can you get it?

Well, what I failed to consider was that microwaves come in different sizes (they all look the same to me; it isn't as if they are a TV is it- when do you go round someone's house and talk about the size of their microwave door?) and that there was no way our bottle sterilising kit, which is the size of the iceberg which sunk the Titanic, was ever going to fit into my great little purchase. Lesson learned- you need a minimum 23l microwave if you want to sterilise bottles in it!

Which one did I buy?

Well I actually got a good little deal on a display model which is actually a combination microwave and quite handy as we only have a single oven. It is a good price for all the things it does even at its RRP of £79.99. Have a look at the Daewoo KOC9Q1T

Friday, 13 August 2010

Hi to cyberspace....This is day one of a brave new world for me!

The reason I have set up a blog is that my wife and I have a new addition on its' way to our little family and there are loads of places that Victoria can go and find things out about pregnancy, what to buy, where to buy, what is going to happen to us that has happened to others etc etc on sites such as Emma's Diary

For a Dad it is a whole lot different though; I never managed to find a favourite site the first time around and certainly couldn't tune in to any of the books that are out there as they just want to tell you what to do and frankly, scared the life out of me with what seemed like the horrors of parenthood and how life as you know it is coming to an end

So what am I trying to do?

Well this will be a diary really. I will try and update it every day and it won't be a ramble but as every dad or expectant dad knows, every day brings something to talk about. Some days it will be questions and other days it is stories. I am going to share mine with you and if it makes good reading great!

A little advance warning though- tomorrow I am at the 2020 cricket and so will attempt to update via my iPhone (hopefully before too much beer has flowed...) so it could be a miracle of modern technology or, more likely, a disaster