Day 122- better days are coming

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Day 122 – Jul 17th

Some days you just can’t find anything to watch, seen it before, or just not in the mood… at least that’s what I’d like to think when I walked in from work and caught my daughter emptying the dvd drawer on to the floor! The chances are that she just took pleasure in pulling out each case and tossing it onto the floor behind her! Now if only I could teach her how to put them all back properly…

With the wife’s newly acquired bad back, it was down to me to look after the girls as much as I could tonight,which included bath time. I just needed a littl time to cool down in front of the fan, after a warm cycle home in the sunshine, before I started.

After Olivia’s full on party weekend, plus a trip to the park that morning with mommy and nanny, she was happy enough to chill out on the sofa… although the same can’t be said for Chloe who doesn’t have varying levels of energy, it’s either full on or stop!

It’s nice to relax once the girls are in bed, but this is not a week I can slow down, plenty of things to keep me busy once the girls are asleep and my time is freed up. On top of putting together a wedding album, there is a bunch of jobs that need doing in the garden. It was a warm evening and another sweat fest before bed, but we’re seeing definite progress now! As soon as it’s ready we’ll be able to order some furniture for it!

The garden should be a place for not only fun with the girls, but for rest and relaxation too. Looking at all the things that need doing and wondering where I’m ever going to find the time has not been relaxing, it has turned out to be a little bit stressful when I’ve actually put some time in, found myself busy the following weekend and then it rains the weekend after that, as I  watch everything grow back, and then end up repeating this process again several weeks later.

Positives to take from this? Firstly, I’ve managed to grow a lot of flowers from seeds, and the garden is looking very pretty, and the bees are happy. Secondly, the top of the garden that is being dug up, and has been a problem for so long, will hopefully be finished by the weekend, and after that the garden won’t need nearly as much maintainence to look good! 

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

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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 120 – expect the unexpected

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Day 120 – Jul 15th

Party 1 of 2 for this weekend, and it would seem that our 3 year old daughter has a more active social life than us! The first party was at an adventure play centre not too far from us, some good friends of ours had booked it for the second year in a row as the kids all seem to have fun here last time, there is plenty to do, even if it rains, there’s food, face painting, things to climb and ride, and last year was a success, and so why change it if it works?

We were already having a lovely time at the party, but weren’t prepared for the surprise we got when the hosts took us to one side and asked us to be god parents to their new little baby girl, we were delighted! We would loved to have had them for Chloe’s godparents, but Clare had already insisted on siblings, and thrown into the deal we also had to have at least one catholic godparent too. Its so nice when friends consider you close enough to ask though. This particular friend was a girl I met whilst working behind a bar many years ago, one of the many bars I have worked in throughout the years, mostly throughout my 20s, but also one of the few people I have actually managed not only to stay in touch with, but also keep a very good friendship with, to the point where now we are both married and she is also great friends with my wife.

Its no secret that having kids can affect your friendships with people, and alter the dynamics of your relationships to either strengthen or break a friendship. Sometimes you will see some friendships just fade away in front of you, but the ones that don’t tend to stand the test of time. It definitely helps when your friends all start to have children too and you can suddenly hugely sympathise with each other on all the reasons you have for either being late, or not being able to turn up to certain events at all, as well as having plenty to talk about and great reasons to catch up, rather than just the previous carnage of yet another drunken night out where you didn’t even remember getting in at 3am with a takeaway wrapper in your hand. Of course, nights out are still important, but often I just don’t have the energy these days!

With todays birthday party out of the way, it left us with the rest of the afternoon free, and so we took the opportunity to visit my mother so that she could see the girls for a while, as we hadn’t seen her at all last weekend. The girls always love catching up with their grandparents, especially if it includes running around the garden, although it did mean getting home a little later than we had planned, but it was worth it!

Day 114 – What do ducks like to eat?

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Day 114 – Jul 9th

A picnic in the park with friends on a sunny Sunday afternoon, it’s pretty much what the weekend was invented for! 

The date had been in the calendar for a few weeks to catch up with our friends from our antenatal class, back from before Olivia was born four years ago. We’ve not only stayed in contact, but stayed good friends with them all, although we see some more than others due to geographical locations and work commitments. There was no plan for today, just that we were saving the day to catch up, but at the last minute, with the weather looking good, someone called for a picnic in the park. A good shout in my opinion! 

Armed with our picnic blanket, a hamper full of food, a ball and a Bluetooth speaker for some music from the phone we went off to meet our friends. It was a lovely afternoon in the sun with the kids playing together and running about, enjoying an ice cream and watching one of the dads try to fly a kite. 

There was also the madatory feeding of the ducks, which we had brought some oats for, after recent articles highlighting the issues around giving bread to the ducks. It seems a little strange that a tradition for parents and grandparents that has been going on for decades, has only recently come to light, in that we should not be using bread to feed the ducks. Something to do with a lack of nutrition and the ducks filling up on this rather than having a balanced nutritional diet, which can lead to deformities in their wings, a disability known as angel wing, that can hamper their flying or even stop it altogether. On top of all the uneaten bread polluting the waterways, as people just keep on throwing it in, regardless of how much of it is already floating around in front of them. Conservationists instead recommend oats, peas and sweetcorn. We like to think we did our bit.

It was no surprise that the girls both fell asleep in the car on the ride home, and we even got them both from the car to the sofa without waking them up. A truly pleasant afternoon out.

What you do with your weekend?

Day 106 – There’s a party goin’ on

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Day 106 – Jul 1st

The first of two birthday BBQs, today was the brother in laws 40th, and the sun was out. Both food and booze was not in short supply, so no-one went without, and overdoing things became a very real probability. I tried to take it easy, but afternoon drinking is a surefire way to make poorer and poorer decisions as the day goes on! You become less able to recognise or even care about your limits.

I had to be somewhat careful though, with the following day being the wife’s birthday, I could not wake up hung over and, having spent half the morning in bed, I had certain responsibilities, as a husband and father. Cards and presents needed to be delivered to the bedroom!

Sadly the excess consumption did catch up with me, and the middle of the night acid reflux scenario reared its ugly head again, a sure sign that I had overdone things. It meant a rough nights sleep, especially considering we had no antacid medication left in the house.

Day 086 – A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart

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Day 86 – Jun 11th

After a family orientated Saturday, it seemed like the only way to spend Sunday was to complete the family based weekend with a visit to my mother, who hadn’t been able to make it over to yesterdays BBQ. Its easier for us to go to them, and I like to make sure I get over at least every other weekend so that they can see the girls, as they no longer have use of a car, and it really brightens their day to spend some time with the girls.

Originally we had to fit the visit in between Chloe’s nap and dinner, a tight squeeze, but we could do it. However, I never like to rush a visit, and so we ended up taking the dinner over with us, meaning that we didn’t have to rush home any more, and my mom didn’t have to cook. Everyone wins! One thing we DID have to try and get home for was the Canadian Grand Prix though. Eating at my mom’s had at least bought us a bit of time, but Formula 1 is about the only tv I watch, and being the geek I am, I try to watch it live where I can, so I can enjoy all the lap times on my iPad! Its sad, I know, but it keeps me happy!

The girls had clearly not learnt from an exhausting Saturday running around my uncles garden and continued to do the same this afternoon, meaning another quiet car ride home, and presumably two exhausted grandparents!

Day 085 – I hope I look that good when I’m your age.

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Day 85 – June 10th

With my nan’s 90 birthday just a few days away we got to enjoy a rare family get together today. My uncle and aunt were hosting a family BBQ and most of the family had made it over. The weather stayed dry for the afternoon, even though it was a little windy, it at least allowed us to cook outside and watch the children playing on the lawn.

I enjoyed catching up with some of the family, although as with most families, not everyone gets along, and so there were a couple of people I wasn’t really talking to. I’ve always been a neutral character in my family, much like my uncle, as its a reasonable sized family and there has been a little friction amongst a few of the aunts and uncles along the way. My one aunt and cousin burnt their bridges a few years ago, and as neutral as I always have been, this was the final nail in the coffin for me. I have turned my back and would rather walk away from any negativity. I want to surround myself by people that I care about and care about me. Thankfully, most of today was spent doing this.

The girls didn’t stop all day and totally wore themselves out, making it a very quiet drive home. We stayed longer than we’d anticipated and ended up getting home just before the girls bedtime, and so once the girls were in bed, we decided to treat ourselves to a take away, rather than trying to start cooking late in the evening.