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!