365 project, Photography

Day 070 – Only mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun 

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Day 70 – May 26th

The warm weather continues and I get home after work to find my three ladies at home, sat around looking fed up as they were just too hot to do anything. The paddling pool was still out and so we decided to put some clean water in it and throw the girls in. The wife was heading out to the hospital to visit her mom again that evening, so it was down to me to get the girls ready for bed. Both of them were feeling tired, so it was a fairly simple process. Chloe had her milk and was almost instantly read for bed, almost as if the milk was telling her body “time for sleep”. Olivia is allowed to watch the iPad in bad on a Friday and a Saturday night, so she was up early to watch a few episodes of Paw Patrol, the new favourite watch. We have had to put restrictions on the use of the iPad as Olivia is becoming quite obsessed with it, and I don’t think it is healthy to let little brains become absorbed in this virtual world. A report I read recently, which can be found here, suggested that even very young children can become addicted to them, and excessive screen time can lead to obesity, aggression and depression. We like to make sure that the girls get a balance of everything, painting, writing, outdoor play, as well as time in front of the tv to relax, and some iPad time, which I try to strictly regulate, as Olivia, although not even 4 yet, would live on the thing if she could! I don’t mind 30 minutes in bed on a Friday and Saturday night though, everything in moderation!

With the girls asleep, its time to put my feet up and relax, Friday night, the start of the weekend, and more importantly the start of half term and a whole week off work.

365 project, Photography

Day 064 – Its not the size of your family, its how often you see them

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Day 64 – May 20th

When the wife and me sat down to plan our wedding about six years ago, one thing became obvious very quickly, in that there is a huge contrast in the size of our families. My mom, for example, was one of six, whereas the mother-in-law was an only child. Consequently, I have many cousins, whereas the wife only has one.

Whilst growing up, I used to play with my cousins a lot, almost as much as I played with my friends, in fact they were pretty much just an extension of my friends. Over the years the family has broken down quite a bit, to the point where we barely see each other now, my mom and her siblings don’t really get on a great deal. As a result, family get togethers are few and far between, which does make me a little sad considering how much we used to see each other while we were growing up. In fact one of my cousins even unfriended me on facebook because her mom and my mom don’t get along, yet me and her have never fallen out, in fact far from it, we were quite close at one point, and now because of our mothers squabbling she’s turned her back on me. Still, families are weird, and there is certainly no escaping this fact, no matter how big or small they are. Having a smaller family, like my wife’s does make things much easier, and the fact is that they all still see each other much more frequently.

Olivia and Chloe have got four cousins, although the two from my side, my sisters girls, are all grown up, so we don’t see a great deal of them. The two from my wife’s side, her brothers children are still little, with one the same age as Olivia, so they like to play with each other whenever they get chance. Today happened to be one of those days, although it soon became obvious that the new kids film ‘Sing’ was taking over the living room today! At least they weren’t running around and screaming like idiots!

Photography

Day 58 – The day the rain never came

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Day 58 – May 14th

I’m not sure a Sunday comes much better than a Formula 1 Grand Prix at lunchtime, followed by eating out at a carvery in the afternoon.

We bathed the girls in the morning after failing to get it done on Saturday night, and with it being a surprisingly sunny and warm morning, headed out into the garden to play. Any opportunity to turn the tv off and burn a little energy is always welcomed. The frustrating thing is that the weather forecast had made us certain we were expecting showers, and consequently this meant we had planned very little. It would have been the perfect day for a BBQ if we’d had any idea of how nice and sunny it was going to be.

Of course, we could only assume that the promised rain was going to make an appearance at some point and so opted to head out for a carvery once the race was over, rather than chancing a BBQ or even cooking. We even gambled on the blue sky and sunshine, and walked down to the carvery and back to stretch out legs, as any rain was clearly not going to be here any time soon.

Its a bonus having a carvery on the doorstep, but Sunday afternoon seems to be when everyone wants to go, the place was very busy, even though we hadn’t gone at lunchtime, and the experience wasn’t quite as much fun as it could have been. I like my food hot, not the room I’m sitting in! The food was good though, and the staff were helpful, so you have to give them points for that. Our favourite carvery is a bit of a drive away, but its definitely worth the effort, we must book at table there soon, and with my birthday coming up, it looks like we have an excuse!

As the day drew to a close the sunset was giving us some hope that the day was going to stay dry and I wanted to take a slightly different spin on my usual type of sunset shot. I liked the way the rooftop aerials were lined up and disappearing into the distance, and thought a black and white twist would be interesting. Does it work? You decide…

365 project, Photography

Day 056 – Lets get the day started

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Day 56 – May 12th

The mornings in our household tend to follow a similar pattern most days. Lately we’ve been quite fortunate that the girls have started sleeping in a little later and not getting us up at the crack of dawn, although the changing sunrise times in the morning seem to have confused Olivia who thinks nothing of coming in to wake us up just because “its daytime now” regardless of what the actual time is.

Generally we get visited each morning by Olivia coming into our room and asking to go downstairs, although we almost always convince her to wait a bit and watch some tv in our bed with us first. We need a little bit of time to get going in the mornings, and the thought about leaping out of bed just to sit around on the cold sofa while madam watches Paw Patrol doesn’t really excite us that much.

Sometimes Chloe isn’t too far behind Olivia in waking up and we try to squeeze all four of us into the same bed, and suddenly a double bed begins to feel a bit more like we’ve tried to squeeze two adults into a single bed, especially when the little ones begin to fidget! We manage to make a little room for each other though, and keep our fingers crossed that they will just chill out for a little while, instead of Olivia wanting to turn out bed into a trampoline while we’re still in it!

At least today is Friday and the weekend is almost here!

365 project

Day 055 – Got ma snacks, got ma tv…

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Eating in front of the tv is not something I generally encourage, for a few reasons. Firstly, with Olivia it doesn’t take much for her to get distracted, and its not unheard of for a slice of toast to last her over an hour! The other reason is that studies have shown that you eat considerably more when you are watching the tv and just blindly shovelling food into your mouth without thinking about it.

Now we have both of the girls eating the same as us most nights, its nice when we can all sit around the dinner table together. At this point, as we’re all sat around the table, I will often turn the tv off and put some music on instead. Its so much nicer than having the girls straining to see over your shoulder and I find it more relaxing anyway. It makes dinner a bit more of an event, and its a good chance to spend time together.

Sometimes the girls eat before us, and when this is the case, its usually in front of the tv. Lately Chloe has been paying more and more attention to the tv, although she no doubt has no idea what is going on, but you can clearly see her transfixed by it. Still, this is usually when she is tired, as she rarely stays still long enough to watch it when she is on the floor.

Todays photo was from dinner time, after she’d tried to feed herself tomato pasta. Its a time when you always need to keep the baby wipes close at hand, and make sure there are plenty in the pack! Oh what did we do before baby wipes? They can literally clean anything, I think we’ll still be buying them when the girls have both grown up!

365 project, Photography

Day 045 – We all share the same blue sky

Day 45 – May 1st
Its Mayday, the public bank holiday, and a free day off work! Who doesn’t love a free day off work!? Like any British bank holiday tradition, the weather was notoriously unpredictable. One minute cloud, one minute blue sky, then rain, then blue sky again! Who doesn’t love inconsistent weather when you’re trying to plant what to do with the day?!

The obvious choice was to visit the mother today, she loves to see the girls and finds it difficult to get over to our house now they no longer have a car. So that’s what we did, the girls love going over, as they are always spoilt. That’s grandparents for you, I think spoiling grandchildren is in part of their job description.

365 project, Photography

Day 043 – If you go down to the woods today…

Day 43 – Apr 29th

When the weather forecast for the bank holiday weekend looks a bit damp and you see one day of dry weather, it almost seems a crime to not take advantage and head out for a walk. I wanted to get out and do something as a family, something that wasn’t too far from home, but wasn’t just the local park again.

After a little research and debate, we agreed on Arley Arboretum, as I’d been wanting to take the girls there for a while. It was a lovely place, parking was easy, especially when I thought it was going to be busy there. We stopped for a quick photo in field on the way in then took a stroll around. There was a beautiful italian garden, tea room, a maze, bluebell walk, play area, and a view over the severn valley railway.

Our first stop was the tea room for a spot of lunch. We were meeting friends, but their new baby meant they were late getting out of the house, which we totally understood. So we finished lunch and headed out to start our walk. Taking in the gardens and bluebells was lovely, we managed to successfully navigate the maze, and spent a little while in the play area before our friends arrived. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and I will certainly looking heading back there again soon.