Day 087 – One day we’ll be friends

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Day 87 – June 12th

What a way to start the week, having friends over for dinner and getting to meet their new baby girl… finally! We should have met the little lady a couple of weeks ago, but had to postpone because of our two snotty little urchins!

The wife had made us a delicious lasagne, and it was nice to do something a bit different on a Monday night, rather than trying to squeeze all our social activities into a weekend. We got to spend a good couple of hours with our friend and the girls were intrigued by this new little person in the house, including Chloe, who suddenly doesn’t seem so little any more. Olivia was as gentle as could be, as she always is around babies, she’s so good. It makes me very proud! Just a shame it wasn’t a little hotter so that we could have taken a drink out into the garden! On saying that, firstly the weather forecast suggests the next couple of weeks are going to warm up a bit, and secondly, I did receive a delivery of wine today, the first time I’d ordered any online. Normally I just go to the supermarket and find out whats on offer, but I thought I’d try something a little different. Per bottle, this works out even cheaper than supermarket wine, and the bottles have been selected to go in a bundle, rather than just some random ones put on promotion in Tesco! The only difficulty now is trying not to finish them all in a week, there’s a reason I only buy a bottle at a time normally!

Day 075 – There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.

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Day 75 – May 31st

Today was a day we’d really been looking forward to, catching up with some wonderful friends and their new baby for some breakfast at the local harvester, and not just any breakfast, but all you can eat breakfast with unlimited tea and coffee! It sets you up really well for the day, and usually means we can totally skip lunch after one of these.

Its a great opportunity to tuck into some lovely food and really enjoy breakfast, but it is also a great chance to catch up with our very good friends who we don’t see nearly enough of. There is no rushing here, and none of us are checking our watches anyway, its just a nice relaxed morning.

With our bellies full, we decide that this time we are all going to walk some of it off around a nearby park, and head out to a lovely place called Haden House park with a number of play areas and a great walk around it, that I have unfortunately only been to once before. The last time I went was a few years ago on a cold winter day, and so I couldn’t enjoy the sunshine like I did today. I think its definitely a park we need to be heading back to again soon. The walk got our heart rates up, the kids played and rolled on the grass, the flowers were beautiful. A great place to stretch your legs in.

After we got home, we had a visit from another friend who brought her son and her newborn baby girl. Her son played with Olivia in the garden, and we got the paddling pool set up for them, with the slide going into it. They spent plenty of time outdoors, and had a great time together. Nothing like seeing kids laughing outdoors and having fun. With the weather over the next week being a little uncertain, we need to take advantage of the sunshine while we can.

Day 050 – You’re not my number one any more

Day 50 – May 6th

Saturday was a day of ‘firsts’ which started with a visit to the dentists. It was Olivia’s first time visiting the dentist and having her teeth looked at, and the first time I’d gone to the dentist in years, and actually had to pay for it. Yes, it has been that long since I last saw a dentist that the last time I went it was free as I was still in full time education. I’ve been lucky, I know that, I’ve always had good teeth and so have never been worried too much about whats going on in there. It was all over quite quickly, without much drama, although Olivia was a little intimidated by the big dentist chair, and ends up sitting on my lap while I was in the chair, even though we’d tried to prepare her for it, for a couple of days, but at least she didn’t run out screaming.

After a quiet afternoon, we decided that we were going to treat ourselves for tea, and all head out to the chip shop. The girls eat well during the week, and always get a fair.y balanced mix of fruit, vegetables and dairy, so we  don’t mind the occasional treat once in a while. 

That night was a chance to catch up with one of my oldest friends at the local pub, as Clare is often early to bed anyway, even at the weekend, so she doesn’t mind too much. We don’t see each other that often considering how close we live to each other, but at least we both have somewhere we can walk to when we do get the opportunity. Whilst I was out having a beer, my phone pinged with a photo message, a little baby! One of my close friends and his fiancé, had just had their first baby, a beautiful little girl, and a relatively text book delivery too. What wonderful news, it fills my little heart with happiness! We can’t wait to meet her, and watch Olivia and Chloe play with her as they grow up. 
So today I raise a drink and congratulate my friends on their new arrival, baby Isla born today! 

Day 044 – Let them be little

Day 44 – Apr 30th

Sunday was a stay at home day, with the wife going out and taking the car, I was stuck at home for a while looking after the girls, which was fine as the weather forecast wasn’t fantastic and the Russian Grand Prix was on that afternoon anyway. Before there was any hope of watching the race, I needed to feed the girls. Olivia was excited about the idea of helping me to get lunch ready for both of them, she absolutely loves to get involved and help when she can. I hope she’s this keen to cook when she’s older!

With lunch out of the way, it was nap time for Chloe and Olivia was more than happy to settle down to watch a film on the iPad (any excuse… she loves that damn iPad, but that’s another story!), leaving me free to sit and watch the race in peace. Then, almost as if I’d scheduled and engineered the day myself, Clare arrived home just as the race finished and Chloe was waking up. By this time Olivia had been very patient about not going very far or doing a great deal today, and was starting to get a little bored, so seeing as we still had time left we all threw some towels in out bags and headed out to the swimming pool for an hour.

We don’t normally do things so spontaneously, as getting out of the house can often take a lot of planning, but we managed to do it, and remember everything, and it turned out to be a really fun afternoon. I just hope we can do it all again soon. It was Chloe’s second time in the water and she seems to be quite enjoying it.

I’d put the slow cooker on that morning, and so dinner was ready almost as soon as we got home, after a few bits were thrown on the hob, to go on the side. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday at all, and the beauty of it was… no work on Monday morning. Gotta love a bank holiday weekend.

Todays photo was taken after our swimming session, Chloe was in one of her climbing moods again, and although engrossed in the tv she had decided she was going to sit on the backrest of Olivia’s chair. Repeatedly I took her down and put her on the floor, and seconds later she was back again. In the Good Parenting Handbook (This may or may not exist!) I am sure it mentions about removing temptation and taking the chair out of the room, but to be fair, she is now quite practised at climbing and getting herself down again, and seems to do it with some confidence. She was safely removed for about the tenth time straight after the picture was taken. No babies were harmed in the making of this photo!

Day 042 – Just put one foot in front of the other

Day 42 – Apr 28th

Friday is here at last and I waste no time in leaving work and heading home. It always feels nice being home just after 4pm, still plenty of time to play with the girls before they go to bed, or even need their bath!

One thing that has become quickly apparent this week, especially today, is how much Chloe is walking everywhere now. She still has a bit of a wobble, and hasn’t given up on dropping to the floor to crawl somewhere if she wants to get somewhere quickly, but its nice to see the walking actually becoming something of a preference! It means a lot for so many things, like going out for walks as a family, sure it may slow us down a little to have Chloe attempting to do part of it on foot, but at least we can now wear Chloe out a bit too, rather than just carry her everywhere. Not having to put the buggy or carrier in the car means we’ll have so much more space for other things!

Friday is bath night for the girls, and its our goal to get them in and out of the bath, and into bed nice and early so we can settle down and put a film on. We can’t start films too late these days, or I end up watching them on my own. We’d agreed on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for tonight, I’d bought the Blu-Ray a while back and as I hadn’t had time to watch until now, it was only this evening that I realised I’d bought the original version ie in swedish with english subtitles! Just my luck! Thankfully the english version happened to be on Netflix, so all was not lost! Now to kick back and enjoy the start of a long bank holiday weekend!

Day 032 – Turn off the tv and get outside

Day 32 – Apr 18th

Just as the brexit dust has settled, people have started getting used to the idea a little more, and the very vocal online community of angry remainers have started to calmdown… the government tosses another political hand grenade over the fence, and called a general election for this summer.

Aside from the usual news reports and party political broadcasts, this can mean only one other thing… Facebook is about to become a political soapbox for a bunch of new found experts on the matter. It’s going to be pretty much unbearable for at least two months, and most likely even a month after its supposedly over! Everyone will be sharing their opinions, telling everyone else which way to vote and making them feel bad if they don’t. I would even consider coming off Facebook for a while, but I know thats not really going to happen, and why should I?! It’s my Facebook too, and its serves a purpose for what I need it for. There is an alternative of course, put the phone down (does no-one use a laptop any more?) and just go outside, which is exactly what I did today.

I’d already spent a portion of the afternoon walking round Lickey Hills, and as soon as we collected Olivia from nursery we were straight out in the back garden. Not having the tv on makes me happy, its good to be outside. I made sure Chloe came out too, I was fairly sure that even though she is still putting everything in her mouth, the grass at least would be safe from being chomped on!

Day 024 – A little effort can go a long way

Day 24 – Apr 10th

T’was the first day of the holidays, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a… oh wait, we have children, we were up at the crack of dawn as usual!

With two weeks to spend together as a family, we made a few plans, mostly around who we were going to see on the days that Olivia wasn’t at nursery, as we don’t like to leave her out where we can avoid it. Today was one of the days where we had no plans, so I decided to text a friend and see if she was free. With her newborn baby, she was also off work, and it was a nice chance to catch up, plus her older son and Olivia always play well together.

A few hours always seem to flash by in the blink of an eye when you are in the company of good friends, and today was no exception, but I at least managed to grab a few photos while they were here. This one for todays shot was set up in less than five minutes, and the result of only a dozen shots. After briefly touching up a few aspects in photoshop a pretty standard procedure for all photos, I was happy that this was the sort of shot that would probably end up displayed on a wall. Its nice to be able to do this for friends.