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, 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!