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

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