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Day 187 – Why did you do it then?

Day 187 – Sep 20th

Ah yes, hump day is here, we are now closer to Friday afternoon than Monday morning, its all downhill to the weekend from here. I had treated myself to a cruise into work on the motorbike, and even the weather was treating me to a dry day while on two wheels. I have committed myself to at least three days a week cycling as I need to make sure I keep up a regular amount of exercise each week, and although  I am already feeling the benefits, its nice to have a break in the middle and use a bit of horse power rather than leg power.

It is much nicer to get home not feeling all hot and sweaty and being able to pick the girls up without having to change out of a soggy top first… although today it seems that neither of them were especially interested in daddy getting home anyway. Olivia was burnt out from a shopping trip out on the bus with nanny and had collapsed on the sofa in front of the to before falling asleep shortly after I got back, and Chloe had only managed a 45 minute afternoon nap instead of her usual 2-3 hours and didn’t quite know what to do with herself, leaving her a little bit cranky in between smiles. 

Chloe loves to play and can get a bit rough at times, and has taken to head butting things lately, so today when she bumped her head on mommys knee it clearly hurt a bit. She got over it pretty quickly, but I still had to grab a photo as it was quite funny. She’ll soon learn to make the connection between head butting things and it hurting! 

Back out to the gym this evening, needing to keep up the exercise even though I didn’t cycle today. Feeling a little nervous about how much my foot is going to hurt in the morning if I run tonight, may need look into booking an appointment with a physio soon!


Day 162 – Game of Confusion

Day 162 – Aug 26th

Gotta love the Argos fast track delivery, yesterday’s brand new BBQ was ordered in the afternoon and here in the evening, but it was too late to put it together. 

With the in-laws due over for a BBQ lunch, I had got some time in the morning to put it together, but was frustrated to find some damaged parts when I unpacked it. With no time to waste, I was straight on the phone, and thankfully Argos were really good and said that they’d have some new parts out that evening, even though I explained that I’d have to use the original damaged ones before they got here and took them back off me.

It was a lovely afternoon and great to be out in the garden enjoying our new furniture with the sun shining down on us. The in-laws hadn’t yet seen the newly renovated garden and were suitably impressed by it and also enjoyed their lunch cooked on our new BBQ which was much nicer to cook on than the old one.

With the girls in bed that evening, it was time for a little Sunday night drink, which is of course fully acceptable due to it being a bank holiday weekend. No Monday morning blues for us! With drink in hand, we turn to the TV and put on Game Of Thrones. Initially we’d put off watching it at all, as we were convinced it wasn’t really our thing, but with the constantly growing chatter about it everywhere we turned, it couldn’t be ignored. It was literally all over facebook, our friends were talking about it, and we just couldn’t seem to escape it. In the end curiosity got the better of us and we sighed and gave in. Thankfully our subscription to Sky TV allowed to access their boxsets collection and get started on the first season, right up to the last but one episode where, without warning, it deleted the entire first five seasons and left us high and dry not knowing what happened in the final episode. Both the wife and me, if we’re completely honest, still weren’t completely sure what was actually going on, it was all very confusing. There were so many names that were hard to remember, so many characters, so many different stories going on… we were promised big things with Game Of Thrones, and yet here we were almost at the end of the first season knowing that if anyone asked us to tell them about it and describe it to us or tell us about what had happened, we’d just respond with blank expressions and a shrugging of shoulders. I had to go begging and managed to borrow the first two seasons on DVD from my sister. We could finally finish the first season and cross our fingers that watching the second season would help us to understand what the hell was going on!

Tell me I’m not alone… I can’t be the only one thats given it a go and struggled to understand it?!

Day 158 – She’ll grow into them

Day 158 – Aug 22nd

Day 2 of motorbike training on the beautiful Suzuki SV650 and I was really wishing I could afford to take one of these bikes home once I’d finished my training, but sadly the finances aren’t going to stretch that far at this current time.

Todays weather was vastly improved, in fact we were starting to overheat in all our protective clothing every time we stopped, still I’d rather get home sweaty with some scuffed clothing than with half an arm missing after the road turned into a cheese grater should I come off the bike. At least this meant the roads were dry and there was no worry about coming off in the wet!

I was gutted to hand this beast back over at the end of the day, but at least I had built up my confidence on riding a big bike, it was just a shame the test is still so a few weeks away.

I came home keen to cool off a bit and dumped my stuff, only to find Chloe promptly trying to fit into the motorbike boots, she loves trying other peoples shoes on! She’s such a character! The trousers and jacket were a little sweaty, so thankfully she didn’t touch those!

Day 131 – It can’t rain forever

Day 131 – Jul 26th

With Olivia’s nursery day switched to today, we had to work out how to get her there this morning in the pouring rain. The instant and obvious choice was to jump in the car and drive round, which always pains me as it is walking distance… but Olivia was having none of it, and insisted on walking. My initial response was one of “oh for f**ks sake” muttered under my breath, but then I figured “so what… its just rain!”. What was my problem with throwing on a rain coat, putting up the umbrella and heading out for a refreshing walk in the rain? Well, quite simply there wasn’t one!

I guess we have become a little obsessed in these modern times, with things being made easy for us, getting away with being lazy, being comfortable and dry in our cars, not having to walk anywhere, getting places quickly and not having to wait for anything, and can become a little removed from the simplicities of walking in the rain, laughing with little ones as they jump in puddles, taking our time and remembering that life is about the journey, not the destination.

And so it was, rain coat on, umbrellas out, and off we walked to nursery, making sure Olivia had her boots on, as there was definitely going to be some puddle jumping going on!

It was good to see our friend Tracy today, who stopped by for a coffee with her two little ones. You always know when you’re in good company when you’re not quite sure where the time went when they come to leave! She’s such a good person, even with her lively son and baby daughter, she’s always offering to help and babysit if we need it, like she doesn’t have enough to do! Pre-babies, the four of us often used to enjoy drinks and dinner together, hopefully we’ll be able to do that again eventually when the little people begin to sleep properly.

Thankfully the morning rain did end, and the clouds vanished and the sun came out, giving way to a beautiful blue sky, so after Tracy left the three of us were able to take a family walk up to the nursery to pick Olivia up, and also stop off at the in-laws on the way home, before heading out for an unhealthy and nutrition free chip shop dinner for us and the girls!

Day 130 – Make plans, but be prepared to change them

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Day 138 – Jul 25th

A surprisingly warm day to kick the six weeks holiday off with. After walking Olivia up to nursery the rest of the day was a little unplanned, something I didn’t want to be happening for the rest of the holidays, we need to sit down and start planning a few activities, days out and visits to see family & friends. There is plenty we can do, although I don’t want to fill every day up. We need days at home to rest and relax, they are just as important, providing that we’re getting out and doing things on our list.

I needed to pop back into work to collect something I’d left there, and also needed to visit one of my sisters to drop something off as well. As the wife was out doing the food shopping, I took the motorbike and felt like I’d nearly cooked myself, all wrapped up in protective clothing in the sunshine! It’s nice that in the middle of the day during the holidays, the roads are so quiet. I am definitely beginning to feel the restrictions of a 125cc motorbike now, and cannot wait to get my theory test out of the way next week, then I am one step closer to taking my full test and upgrading the motorbike to something with a bit more poke. I am not wanting to pull wheelies, or race cars along dual carriageways, or anything like that, but part of the bonus of being on two wheels is being able to do things like jump to the front of a queue and pull away when you need to, rather than the car behind you trying to squeeze past because you’re just not accelerating fast enough.

With the girls in bed, it wasn’t long before the wife headed up and I was left alone downstairs, so I figured I would treat myself to a little drink to being on holiday, and although I hadn’t ticked much off the to-do list today, I am confident we’ll get plenty done over the next few weeks. Just need to get a bit more practised in getting to bed early now!

Day 121 – I need to go back to work to get over the weekend!

Day 121 – Jul 16th

Sunday meant party 2 of 2, and this time we were off to another venue that we had also been to before. It was a soft play party for one of Olivia’s nursery friends, and its always nice to see the other parents, as we don’t get much chance to speak when our paths cross so briefly as we pick up our little ones from nursery. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to take siblings with us to things like this, but with Chloe being just a toddler, no-one really noticed her anyway. The kids played lovely together, and it was great to watch them all interacting, as we don’t get to see that at nursery, obviously as soon as we turn up to take them home all interactions cease and they get excited about seeing their parents and going home instead.

After the party we had a little free time, lunch wasn’t needed as we’d been fed at the party, so it was off to the other nanny and grandads house, as the weather was nice and a walk would do us good anyway. Both sets of grandparents in one weekend isn’t bad, as neither of them are going very far at the moment, so its nice to take the girls to them. Little ones have a magical power to instantly cheer people up, that us grown ups just don’t possess!

The last time we’d gone round we left the girls little car there, so this was a chance to pick it up and walk it home. Chloe was keen to jump in, and Olivia was happy to push her, its lovely seeing them play together. Having one baby is an amazing, life changing event, but there is just something extra special about having two and then watching them interact!

With the girls finally in bed after an exhausting weekend, it was time for me to get my sweat on… with the top of the garden being renovated, there was suddenly a big pile of earth that needed removing, but as it was good quality, fertile soil that had had little growing in it, I was reluctant to just throw it away. So I spent the next hour sieving out the rocks and spreading it around the garden. I was honestly exhausted after this, who knew gardening could be so tiring?!

Day 117 – run like the wind, walk like an arthritic old man!

Day 117 – Jul 12th

Last nights gym session felt good, I got a bit of a sweat on doing a warm up time on the exercise bike, then took to the treadmill to push my running a bit, in the hope of being in a position to consider this years half marathon.

Plan A foiled by yet another injury. Finished my run, fine. Got showered and home, fine. Woke up this morning, could barely stand on my left foot, let alone walk! The day improved with some pain killers and a bit of stretching, but here I am at the end of the day, and still in pain! Hoping some rest in bed tonight will help. I did, however, spend the day hobbling around like I had broken glass in my shoe. It was a close call with giving work a miss today, but it at least got easier as the day went on.

So much for exercise being good for you, I sometimes wonder how I managed to do five half marathons and two Tough Mudders with numerous injuries temporarily putting me out of running so easily recently.

Came home to an empty house today, quite unusual, and managed to take a few minutes and enjoy the peace and quiet for a little while before I could hear the car pull up on the driveway again and the silence was broken. Suddenly two eager little girls came running into the living room looking for daddy. However daddy was not feeling the urge to jump out of the chair. It was my plan to spend as long as possible sat down resting my foot tonight, which I hate doing while the girls are up, as they deserve my attention, but I really had to rest this foot. We did spend a little time in the garden though, but it wasn’t long before both of these little ladies were shattered, Chloe who was overdue a nap and already whinging, was the first casualty of a busy day.

When there was only Olivia, before Chloe was born, it was quite easy to manage our day, doing our best to incorporate nap times and bed times, but now that there is two, it isn’t quite so easy. People often ask what changes the most when you have a second child… well, there is plenty! Time management is the biggest challenge. Chloe seems to have fallen into similar naps as Olivia did around the same age, but its not always easy to squeeze them in exactly when she wants them, as there seems to be a lot more fluctuations on the times she actually wants to go down, whereas you could almost set a clock by Olivia’s naps. Today was a day when Chloe could actually have done with two naps, but there just wasn’t a chance to get the second one in… and cue grumpy, clingy Chloe!

Even when she’s in a bit of a grump, she can still make us laugh, and always gives the best hugs!

Day 108 – Some days you just don’t have it

Day 108 – Jul 3rd

Its the Monday after a weekend of overindulgence. I have probably drank a little too much, and definitely ate too much. Its not a good feeling. I am now struggling to fit into the majority of my jeans and I am too exhausted to do anything about it. The wife had to go out in the evening, and this was a perfect excuse for skipping the gym tonight, it’ll keep until tomorrow!

Trouble is, when you’re just not feeling it, you’re probably going to struggle to find yourself taking a good photo too!

Today was one of those days… tomorrow will be better!

Day 105 – The birthday weekend begins here

Day 105 – Jun 30th

Its Friday and the beginning of a weekend of celebrations, with the wife and her brother having birthdays only a day apart, and the forecast for the weather looking promising, it was set to be a good weekend.

As it was a birthday weekend, I thought I’d start the celebrations on Friday night and so I’d secretly arranged for one of my sisters to come over and babysit once both the girls were in bed, so that I could take the wife out for something to eat, a rare treat for us these days. It may have been the local Indian restaurant, but the foods always good, and we’re close to home if Chloe were to wake up and not settle back down. 

With the big one having an unexpected nap when I got home from work, the chances of getting the girls up to bed early were looking slim. Thankfully Olivia is at an age now where we can explain things to her and reason with her, and once we explained that we were going out for dinner and that her aunt and uncle were going to be downstairs, she was fine with it, as long as she could watch the iPad in bed for a bit at bedtime, which is allowed on a Friday!

Bring on the sunshine and BBQs!

Day 102 – The future is digital and you can’t fight it

Day 102 – Jun 27th

As a parent, there is a clear and strong dilemma between how much technology you should allow young children to be exposed to. One part of you wants to say “no!” and make them play with more traditional toys, and the other part of you wants them to embrace technology knowing it will be a massive part of their future and not wanting them to get left behind,

In our house we try to balance it, and if anything we perhaps bias that balance in favour of more traditional things, like playing outside, jigsaw puzzles, writing with a pen, painting with brushes, going swimming, knocking down dominoes, having a story book read at bedtime… and all these are great, but there is no disputing the fact that the future is digital, and kids need to learn how to be fluent in this new language.

We allow Olivia to watch the iPad in bed for around 20-30 minutes on a Friday and Saturday night, and use it very occasionally during the week. Tonight, however, she had been nagging at me to use the computer to do some drawing. I have my swanky new laptop which she is NOT touching, and my old laptop which I wouldn’t really be fussed about if she dropped jam sandwiches all over it.

I loaded up the website of the kids tv channel NickJr, as they have loads of activities for kids, and found a colouring in page, which she had fun messing around with. Using the trackpad on a laptop is something she hasn’t really done before, and a skill she was clearly picking up as she went, but to her credit she quickly got the grasp of it and soon didn’t need my help at all.

She will no doubt be asking for the computer each day, for a few days now, but we’re going to have to go old school for a bit and get her playing with some toys, paints, crayons again, and we can save laptop time for last thing before bed, so she’s not on it for too long.

Parents, how do you deal with, or (if your kids are still really young) intend to deal with this problem?

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