S is 2!

Over a month ago (bad mummy blogger alert!) our beautiful blue-eyed baby boy turned 2!

I still can’t believe it, I know everyone says this but seriously, S still looks and is the same size as a baby!

He can still fit in a lot of 12-18 month clothes!

Personality

Anyway what’s our little 2 year old like?!

Wild!! Is this second-child syndrome or just a difference to his bigger brother W I don’t know but S is more fearless and headstrong than W… quite often the ringleader leading older children astray! Loves being the centre of attention! His self-confidence is great…. apart from when you need him to listen to you to stop throwing his food etc!

Toddler with ducks roath Park

He loves music and has been quite obsessed with ‘wheels on the bus’ for months and months now. He’ll do the driving motion and say ‘rah rah’ (round round) if he wants to hear it. We bought him a ride-on bus and play bus for his birthday and he loves them!

He’s so obsessed with wheels on the bus that he loves taking wheels off their toy cars…. we’ve no idea where they’ve got to so can only imagine that somewhere in the house/garden there is a stash of wheels!!

Talking

He’s a bit behind his talking compared to where W was at this age. It’s hard to imagine W was S’s age when S was born, S seems so much younger, partly because his language is a bit further behind.

Nothing to worry about though, his talking is coming on, he’s just started putting words together like ‘dadda car’ or ‘dadda ipad’. He says quite big words like ‘ambulance’ and ‘aeroplane’. I’ve been trying to teach him numbers and colours for months and he finally said ‘blue car’ the other day!

Instead of saying hot he gestures with his hands and says ‘ai ai’!

He’s becoming very good at copying us and saying things like ‘five minutes’ ‘not this one’ and ‘here we are’

Skills

He has quite good communication skills… he’ll grab me by the hand to where he wants to go. He’s started following tasks like tidying up and putting things in the bin. He loves coming with me to feed our cats.

When he’s on form, he’s very self-sufficient playing with his toys etc. By this age W always lined his toy cars up but S doesn’t do this. He loves driving his little tykes car, and generally loves the outside. Loves ducks, dogs. On his birthday weekend we went to Bluestone and he happily sat next to ducks by the lake!

Toddler with dog

Routine

He usually wakes about 7-8am and has a 2 hour (ish) nap about noon. Goes to bed about 7pm and can sleep through but this heatwave since his birthday has messed that up a bit! He still has milk for bed and has started asking for it in the day now which I think is just down to the hot weather. Food… depends what mood he’s in, usually likes ham, chicken, hummus, pasta and fruit.

He’s much fun and has us in stitches with his funny faces… rolling his eyes etc. Life is certainly an adventure with this one… no time for sitting still… running, jumping, climbing! He loves slides and swings!

What a fun (tiring!) 2 years S… let’s see what the next year brings, love you our little blonde, blue-eyed boy xxx

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W turns 4!

Nearly a month ago now, our beautiful first-born turned 4… where does the time go?!

His 4th birthday

Poor W didn’t have the best of birthdays, he’d been fighting a virus on and off all week, he went to school as usual in the morning but just had a lazy afternoon at home with his dad and little brother, and opened his presents when I got home from work…. he was very pleased with his Paw Patroller that he’d been hinting heavily at for weeks! Brother S bought him a couple of dinosaur-related toys that cheered him up to!

He did get to take a cake to school… not just any cake but a Paw Patrol cake! When I did the school run the next morning, about 4 parents commented on it saying how well it had gone down! He must have been a very popular boy that day 😍 and it made me feel less guilty about not hosting a full class party for him!

His birthday party

A few days later he had his party at a local leisure centre, same place he had his 3rd party… bouncy castle etc, lots of family and some friends including one of his best friends from school! This year we got Catboy to make an appearance, although W wasn’t overly bothered… but S absolutely loved him!

We did the usual party food grub, in dinosaur-themed party food boxes and guests got a dinosaur-themed party bag to take home. We forgot to take the dinosaur table cloths and dinosaur balloons… yep I spent a fortune on eBay!

W at 4

He’s clever, curious, very loving and caring, and very polite. Loving and caring in the way he looks out for his little brother, but also me and my OH too.

A month or so ago I picked him up from playgroup and he whispered to me ‘I’ve got something for you in my pocket’ and he’d picked some daisies for me because he knows I love flowers!

Clever in that he learns quickly and retains information ‘they’re not flumps, they’re mallows’ ‘how do you know that?”that’s what paw patrol call them!’

Curious in that he asks ‘why’ about a million times a day!! ‘Do grasshoppers live in water?’ ‘No they live on land’ ‘but why mama’ ‘cos they don’t like to get wet’ ‘why?’…. 😂

He has a way with words… all his requests begin with ‘a long time ago, I would like….’

He’s full of intrigue and has a great sense of imagination. Loves playing in his own little world but equally is pretty sociable.

He can also be very sensitive at times. Although he can be confident enough, I feel like he’s always be a follower, not a leader. In big groups or new situations he can become a bit reserved. And he can still cry over the littlest of things.

Being a May baby he’s one of the youngest of the school year, and combined with his sensitivity and gentle nature I do worry sometimes that he’ll always be a bit young for his age.

W at school

W started school (nursery) back in September and he’s come on leaps and bounds. They have an amazing teacher and the focus has been on confidence and structure… getting them ready for their reception class.

He settled in ok straight away but he was a bit shy. For the Christmas concert he cried every day in rehearsals and we didn’t think he’d make it but he did! When we had a parents evening around Easter his teacher said he’s come a really long way in terms of confidence which is a huge relief.

He gets on well with the other kids and has some small groups that he hangs out with (one being ‘the superhero crew’!)

He never shares much about what he gets up to in school every day (although he did tell me when the teacher threatened to phone the police on them as they weren’t tidying up haha!) but he can write his name, and follow letters/numbers when he’s writing. He can draw numbers 1 to 10. He can draw little pictures eg his family, which is so cute!

At home he’s showing signs of starting to read… basically there’s a couple of books (toddle waddle, 10 little dinosaurs) where he’s memorised the words!

He’s good at tidying up, although he does get distracted!

He’s recently started dressing himself and wiping his own bum!

Likes and dislikes

Likes dinosaurs, Andy and the prehistoric adventures magazines, trips to McDonald’s, days out and soft plays, treats, ice cream, sharks, stories, adventures

Can’t actually think of anything he dislikes right now!

He loves his little brother S and is an excellent big brother, looking out for him and having lots of fun with him. Although they do have their moments, fighting over toys usually. W can still throw a good tantrum/meltdown and he’ll say ‘I don’t like you anymore’ or ‘I’m never going to play with you again’

Eating and sleeping

He’s a pretty good eater, still loves pasta which has been his staple favourite for 3 years now! Recent new foods he’s tried and liked are baked sweet potato and chicken korma (he loves the naan breads and poppadums that come with it!)

We moved house nearly a year ago and he got his big boy bed. Since then probably every other night he’s wandered into our room… we went through a phase of letting sleep with us but now we (OH!) puts him back in his bed in the middle of the night.

Vital stats

Bad mum alert. No idea what his height or weight are. Weight wise actually he’s between 15 and 18kg as he’s in between car seats.

He’s in 3-4 tops, 2-3 bottoms and size 8.5 shoes.

So another year’s gone by. Such a big boy, in school and everything! But not too big for lots of cwtches, a lovely, loving, well-behaved, imaginative boy! We love you W xxx

Toddler S’s 21 month update

Less than 3 months to go til S turns into the big ‘2’ so thought I was due to write an update 🙂

Vital stats

I feel like not much has changed since his 18 month update. He’s still a tiny chappy, in 12-18 month clothes and size 4 nappies and size 5 shoes. He’s had a few more teeth come through lately but I honestly can’t see in his mouth long enough to know how many teeth he has!

S usually sleeps through but every now and again has a regression or cough that makes him wake in the night. When he does sleep through it’s usually for 13 hours and he wakes up about 8am which is funny as his older brother was always a 6am riser! S still has a bottle of milk for bed, a habit we took a long time to kick with W too! And S still has a 2-3 hour nap (12-2/3) every day.

Likes

For the last month or so now he’s been absolutely obsessed with ‘rah rah’ which translates as ‘wheels on the bus goes round and round’. Every time he wakes up he dies a driving motion with his arms and asks for ‘rah rah’ which means he wants to watch endless YouTube versions of wheels on the bus! Or the book version he has of the song..

And when he’s had enough of ‘rah rah’ the other thing he’s obsessed with is Baby TV, he loves it!

So I think it’s safe to say he prefers music and visual sounds to playing with toys. He’s always loved music, he got a load of musical instruments and toys (e.g. Baby stereo) for Christmas!

Communication

I don’t think he’s picked up any new words since his last update but I’m not too worried as he still communicates well, babbles a lot and has his own words for things e.g. Medicine is manamana!

He can recite a load of animal sounds on demand, and point to things. Talking of animals he loves ‘quack quacks’ and ‘cat cats’!

What we’ve been up to

Our house has been a bit of a building site but is finally done, so plenty of room to play around in! We had a week in Spain in January which I’ll blog about. And he experienced his first snow a month or so ago…. he was not very impressed!

Overall

S is pretty happy-go-lucky, he goes with the flow, following his brother W and older kids around. Having said that he likes getting his own way and doesn’t like being told off (who does!?)

Generally enjoys his food and still loves making a mess out of it. Loves exploring softplays… he’s off!

6 alternative things to do with a toddler in Cardiff

Everyone’s writing family bucket lists for the year ahead… I thought I’d try an alternative take on the must-do things for a toddler in South Wales… forget Barry Island and St Fagan’s…. what about…

  1. Car wash – the nearest theme park is probably Oakwood which is a couple of hours away. Save hundreds of pounds on a theme park trip by using one of the drive-through car washes… your toddler will find it amazing (and maybe scary) and funny! It’s a good few minutes of entertainment (longer than a rollercoaster) and you end up with a clean car… bonus! There’s one by the Tesco on Western Avenue, pop in there to get a free piece of fruit for said toddler and then treat them to a McDonalds which is also nearby!
  2. Cardiff airport – can’t afford a foreign holiday? Check the departures/arrivals on the airport website (they’re not that frequent) and go and watch an aeroplane land and/or take-off instead! Much excitement for the little ones and chuck in a car picnic for the full sense of adventure! We’ve watched them from the Premier Inn car park and also the playing fields in St Athan where you can see small/private planes take off too!
  3. Pugh’s garden centre – we don’t have an aquarium or zoo nearby so here’s the next best thing. The fish shop at Pugh’s in Morganstown is AMAZING… such a massive selection… plus a tank that little ones can stand in and watch the fish swim past them! With free parking, this is a great, low-cost way to spend a couple of hours…. see snakes and lizards in the reptile shop, treat them to a cheap book or toy in the Works then have a cuppa and a cake in the family-friendly cafe in Pugh’s itself… perfect!Pughs Garden centre fish
  4. Ikea -another great place to kill a few hours…. let your little ones run wild over the showrooms, they will play house for ages! And follow the arrows around the store to the family-friendly restaurant, great value food and good facilities e.g. Plastic cutlery for kids. On a nice day they also have a play area outside. Just don’t go on a weekend. Or when you actually need to buy something. (For those times put them in their crèche!!)
  5. McArthur Glen – best place to get toddler’s feet measured? Clark’s McArthur Glen…. you get the quality of Clark’s but at a fraction of the price! Free parking so a much better idea than going into the city centre… kids love running wild here and wait til they see the free dinosaur-themed play area! One parent watches them while the other gets some retail therapy in! Finish your visit off with an ice-cream or Wagamamas (crayons included!) just don’t let them see the Little Tykes cars you can hire…. oh also this is the only place in South Wales I’ve seen family-friendly toilets with an adult-sized and child-sized toilet in the same room… cuuuuute!
  6. Funky little chickens – if getting your feet measured is a milestone, what about haircuts too… are you really a toddler from Cardiff if you haven’t had your hair cut at Funky Little Chickens?! You get to sit in a car and watch cartoons, so don’t even notice the hair cut going on… genius! Plus they have toy box to keep them entertained while they wait 🙂

So there you have it. Can you think of any other random places that could be added to the list?!

Toddler S’s 18 month update

A few days before Christmas, toddler S turned 18 months old. We can finally call him toddler S…. because he’s finally toddling!!

Walking

He’s been walking for about 6 weeks now and so he finally has his first pair of shoes (3.5G) a bit smaller than his big brother’s (a 5 at this age!)

As the weather’s bit a bit wintery we haven’t ventured outside for too many walks, I’d forgotten the fun of teaching them to stay on pavements… and now we have double the fun as the first time I took both boys out without S’s pushchair of course they walked in different directions!

Talking

S can say a handful of words… mamma, dadda, his brother’s name, banana, tractor, tigger, cat, dwr (Welsh for water)

But he’s pretty good at communicating. He knows a few signs that we taught him when he was a baby… the main one he uses is pointing at his mouth when he wants food, and signing for his milk after his bath.

He’ll point to what he wants, he directs you where he wants to go eg towards his coat if he wants to go out! He babbles a lot… so I think when he starts talking properly, he won’t shut up!

Personality

He’s had a tough couple of months, first with a sickness bug then with a lingering cough, but when he’s on form… this boy is wild!

He doesn’t sit still, always on the move. Switching stuff off. Throwing stuff! When o take them both to softplay, he’s fearless… off he goes!

He’s musical, loves music and dancing and repeats songs he hears etc. It’s only now he’s starting to sit down for storytime.

Routine: eating, sleeping etc

This week he’s actually slept through for 2 nights in a row, for over 12 hours… quite a shock as for MONTHS now he’s been waking at least once or twice a night for milk/attention/play…. habits we need to get out of if he doesn’t start sleeping through consistently soon!

He has a daily nap about noon which usually lasts between an hour or two. We still do our bedtime routine and he goes to sleep (with a bottle of milk, my bad) by 7pm.

He still likes his food especially pasta and fruit.

Vital stats

No idea on height and weight but he’s in 12-18 month clothes and still in size 4 nappies. He’s had 2 haircuts (he has lots of blonde hair!) and I think he has 10 teeth.

Favourites

playthings… phones, he loves playing with our smartphones, toy phones, our landline.. so much so that a month ago he accidentally dialled 999 and the police turned up at our doorstep to make sure everything was ok :0

Book… like I said he’s not a huge fan of storytime but Santa bought him Julia donaldson’s ‘monkey puzzle’ which he’s loving at the moment. He makes monkey and elephant noises when he sees them 🙂

Random habit… he’s done this weird thing for ages now, he likes putting his socks under his chin and holding on to them with his chin… very strange!

Can’t wait to see what the next few months brings 🙂

W’s first girlfriend, and first parent’s evening

W had only been in school a week or so when he started talking about ‘M’. He said he was going to invite her over to watch Zootrpolis, and then the next day he said she’d kissed him!

A few days later on our class Facebook group, her dad outed them… she’d told her dad they were girlfriend and boyfriend and that they were going to get married on Barry Island!

I was really not expecting to be dealing with child romance at such a young age! It’s very cute. She lives nearby so they quite often walk home together….. melts my heart!

Young love
W has settled really well into school, never had an issue dropping him off… he’s straight in there. He doesn’t tell us much about what goes on there and I tend to learn more about what he’s been up to via the other parents!

So it was great to go to our first parent’s evening this week! His wonderful teacher showed us his workbook, which they use for assessments. I was so proud to see his work following letters etc.

His Welsh language, drawing and writing skills are all coming along nicely. So we just need to keep practicing more at home. She also told us he was a little shy at times e.g. Needs to be more confident asking to go to the loo.

We told her that his confidence had grown loads since starting school… he likes going to the loo by himself now and can wipe his own bum! And he’s getting much better at dressing/undressing himself.

Teacher said he loves outdoor play, and exploring…. he’s definitely going through an exploring phase. He loves carrying his backpack around, filling it with all sorts just like CBeebies’ Andy!

He’s grown up so much in this past half term. We’re very proud of him. Luckily he still loves cwtching in and sitting on my lap and long may that last – they grow too fast!

Baby S’s 15 month update: what to expect at the 15 month health visitor check 

I’m not a particularly nervous person but I always worry a bit about health visitor checks! For baby S’s 15 month check I was worried he’d show up as underweight and a bit behind on development milestones as he always seems a bit behind what his older brother was doing!

15 month health visitor check
I didn’t need to worry, he passed with flying colours. This may vary by region but here’s the checklist we talked through in his check-up:

  • Eating – what’s his appetite like, what does he eat, does he feed himself… S generally loves food and loves feeding himself trying to use a fork and spoon!
  • Drinking water – does he use a sippy cup, yes and actually prefers normal plastic cups ie without the lid
  • Sleeping – he goes to bed lovely about 6.30-7pm but usually wakes once a night – 10/11 or 2/3. Sometimes we give him a dream feed, sometimes he still wakes later on. We give him milk to go back to sleep, you gotta do what you gotta do! She thought he might be hungry but I think he eats as much as he can in the day… I think it’s just a bad habit now!
  • Walking – he’s taken a few steps but he much prefers bum-shuffling. She saw him walking while holding on to the sofa so she was happy with that. She told me that bum-shufflers end up having more supple limbs which I never knew!
  • Climbing stairs – yes he can! And a few points he’s gone to climb the stairs when he’s ready for bed, clever boy!
  • Words – by this age they want them to be saying 2-6 words and S says mamma, Dadda, nanna and his brother’s name. She heard him babbling lots and she said babbling is good as it means they’re trying to talk!
  • Clapping – he’s been clapping since he was 8 months 
  • Building stacks – can they stack things? She saw him building duplo blocks and was happy with that 
  • Pointing – can he point at things he wants? Yes! Usually the things he’s not allowed!
  • Hidden things – if you hide something, does he realise it’s hidden? Yes – remote controls!! And he’s great at hiding things himself… last week I lost my car keys… they were in the mop bucket!
  • Pincer grip – can they pick up little things? Yes – raisins is a good example!
  • Scribbling -can he hold a pen and scribble, yes and my work notepad is testament to that!
  • Dentist – S has 12 teeth, she reminded me to get him registered with a dentist
  • Potty training – he’s showing no signs of being ready for this, but most don’t until they’re about 2 so I’m not even sure why they ask this?!
  • Vitamins – the only thing she didn’t mention is vitamins, some other mums have mentioned that we should be giving them vitamin supplements?
  • Weight and height – so the thing I was most nervous about didn’t even happen! As S was getting grisly for his nap, she told me to put him down for his nap if I wanted to… and said not to worry about his measurements. She could see that he was happy, lively and alert so I guess she was happy!

So all in all a good visit. He’s had a tough few weeks of teething but seems ok again at the moment. Still loves music and his big brother!

Talking of his brother it’s always nice to compare their updates – funny they both had 12 teeth by 15 months, funny I was calling W a toddler but S isn’t quite toddling yet so still our l’il baby! 

REVIEW: Cocobubble – dinosaur bath-time fun for kids!

I’ve blogged before about how much the boys love their bath-time as part of their evening routine.

So it’s always great for them to have new things to play with in the bath… so I was delighted to get sent some fab things to try from local, Cardiff-based company Cocobubble.

For W we were sent a ‘Dinosaur adventure pack’ (RRP £14.50) which is a pack of dinosaur soaps and a dinosaur finger puppet that can help to build a nest of ‘sand’ (lemon-scented play paint/soap) in a coconut shell for the ‘dinosaur egg’ (bath bomb!) Continue reading “REVIEW: Cocobubble – dinosaur bath-time fun for kids!”

W starts school! 

Yesterday was a huge day, W started school. School nursery to be precise, they start early in Wales at age 3.

The run-up

We bought his school jumper and polo shirts a few weeks ago, he’s so small that even school trousers aged 2-3 are too big on him so I checked on the Facebook group for the class parents if joggers are ok to wear… they are… phew!

Didn’t manage to get his haircut in time so looks slightly overgrown.

The day before his start day I had to nip up to the school to get the paperwork I was given to fill in months ago. I had visions of him being turned away on day 1 for not having filled it in!!

I booked this week off as it was such a big event. So W and I spent Monday together, bought him new shoes, had a wagamamas then went swimming… lovely day!

Tuesday and a Wednesday afternoons he was back at Cylch meithrin (Welsh pre-school playgroup), they’ll be doing his wraparound care, was good to get him back into a bit of a routine….

Then it was time for….

The big morning Continue reading “W starts school! “