Showing posts with label Boys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boys. Show all posts

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Project 365: Days 160 - 166


Day 160: Shipwreck - we went to Rhosilli Beach which is part of the National Trust coastline and had an amazing day. The weather was beautiful, we jumped over waves and checked out all the caves, and even saw an actual shipwreck. How cool is that?

Day 161: Reading - Ethan loved to read and tries to read anything and everything. He's in bed reading a Batman comic and doing the puzzles.

Day 162: Peppa Pig - we got a personalised book to review and it's now one of Ollie's favourites as he can't believe that it's actually him in the book.

Day 163: Who cares if it's raining? - my friends came for lunch and the children decided that they would like to go out to play in the rain. Ollie loved jumping on the trampoline wearing only his t-shirt.

Day 164: Monsters! - Ollie loved the Lego monster that his dad made for him and went around the housing roaring at anyone in sight.

Day 165: Girls weekend - I went on an overnight stay at a spa in Birmingham with my friends and it was amazing.  To be honest, it was more about the food, wine and gossip and less about the treatments for me.  And the food was totally amazing. This is my extremely chocolatey dessert.

Day 166: Home Sweet Home - I loved my night away and having time for myself, but I did moss my boys and it was lovely to get home and see them.  There were lots of cuddles.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The start of our 50 Things journey

National Trust Wales  recently asked if we would like to get involved with a campaign called 50 things to do before you're 11¾  and I jumped at the chance as I thought it would give us ideas for things to do and motivate me to write about them.  After scouring the National Trust website I found the perfect place to start.  Tredegar House were holding a Pirate Day on bank holiday Monday, which I knew my boys would love, and it would give us a chance to find out more about what's involved.

So, armed with one pirate and two children, we went to find some treasure.



We'd never been to Tredegar House before and we were amazed at how beautiful it is.  It's a fabulous 17th Century mansion with amazing grounds that we couldn't wait to explore.  We were greeted by pirates on the way in and the boys were given questions to complete for the treasure hunt.  We were very excited to see all the games that were going on in the grounds, and even more pleased to see that there was a little bit of treasure (chocolate coins) for any game that they won.  Even Ollie got involved and the staff kindly gave him a coin for his efforts.  The weather was lovely and it was very relaxing watching the boys run around playing games in beautiful surroundings.  

Next we went on to the orchard where there were some 50 Things activities running.  We'd already picked up our scrapbook so we were ready to start filling them with stickers.  The boys decided to build a den and a member of staff showed them how to use all the branches that had been gathered locally to build a shelter in the wild.  They really enjoyed all the hard work and were rewarded with this fantastic den for their efforts. I think they'll be asking to build one in the garden when we get home though I might have to find a tree first.  It was great to watch them working together to get this finished.  They listened to the staff member, which was unusual enough, but the help and support they showed each other almost brought a tear to my eye.  After all, I'm more used to breaking up their fights.
    

Then on to the next activity which was plant it, grow it, eat it.  We're actually doing this at home at the moment but the boys wanted to grow some cress and get their sticker so it was more official in their scrapbook (obviously their mum and dad signing it off just isn't good enough).


Two activities completed and it was back to pirate fun.  They walked the plank while their father tried to soak them with wet sponges, but they soon got their own back.  They made their dad walk the plank and by the time he'd finished he was wetter than the three boys put together.  They were throwing the sponges at point blank range.  I stayed a safe distance away, making the excuse that I couldn't get my camera wet!



After playing every game, and eating as many chocolate coins as possible, we found Captain Morgan's treasure.  It was safely tucked away at the bottom of a tree and the boys were able to complete the treasure hunt questions.

Next it was time to explore the amazing house.  We went inside and gazed around us in wonder at the extravagantly designed rooms.  The room guides were fantastic and explained all about the history of the house.  I had been worried about taking the boys inside as they do like to run around but I needn't have worried.  My oldest became engrossed in a talk about the house, and my youngest two were fascinated with everything that was to be seen.  

The dining room was dressed with a table laden with food; then in another room there was a dressing up box and old fashioned games that we could actually sit and play.  This was no stuffy museum with nothing to touch.  There really was something for everyone.


After a thorough exploration we headed out into the courtyard where there were yet more games for the boys.  They had more chocolate coins and played in the pirate ship before going to make some pirate hats which was great fun.

Pirate Zac

Total concentration

Isn't this the best pirate hat you've ever seen?

We had a totally enjoyable day.  Our 50 Things adventures have started, we have played and had lots of fun, and learnt a little bit about our local history.  What more could we ask for?

And the icing on the cake was.......


A perfect end to a perfect day.


A few more photos from our day

All that's left do do know is decide which activity on the 50 Things list we should do next.  Maybe we'll make a mud pie, skim a stone, or even build a raft.  The possibilities are endless.

Find out more about National Trust Wales on the Facebook and Twitter pages.




I am linking this post up with Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Trials and Tribulations of Toilet Training


And I do mean toilet training.  None of my boys have been very interested in using the potty so we've gone straight to the toilet.  It involves a few weeks of them desperately holding onto me for dear life, but they do learn to balance themselves.  Eventually.

I'm in the process of getting my third son ready to make the transition from wearing nappies to wearing pants.  You'd think I'd know exactly what I'm doing as it's my third time, but as all children are different, so is each experience.

I've always been quite relaxed with toilet training and prefer to take the childs' lead.  My eldest son took to it quite quickly and loved to copy his daddy by standing on his little stool to wee in the toilet.  It was great at home but not so great when we went out.  I remember one thirty minute car journey where we went through four pairs of trousers and I realised that he wasn't quite ready and put him back into nappies.  I know this is against what all the textbooks say, but it worked for us.  About a month later he decided that he wanted to try again and this time it worked.  Apart from the occasional accident (usually at night) we never looked back.

When it was time to do the same with my next boy, I stupidly assumed it would be just as easy as before.  How wrong I was.  He would wee on the toilet but absolutely refused to poo.  He would hold it in to the point where he couldn't eat and he felt ill.  He used to leak (sorry if you're eating) and I had no idea what to do with him.  We tried everything that we could think of; we would let him watch us on the toilet, we discussed, begged, comforted and shouted at him; we bought books about what happens when you poo, and discussed it with the health visitor.  We even let him poo in the garden.  We were at our wits end.  He started to smell and I was worried about him being teased because of this.  Everywhere we went became stressful as we usually ended up in a big mess as bits would leak through.

The only thing that worked in the end was watching him every second, which was difficult as he would try to hide it, and as soon as he showed signs of holding it in, I would rush him to the toilet and make him sit there.  He would sob and I would feel guilty, but he wasn't able to hold it in when sat on the toilet and it would all come out.  It was terrible and I hoped I would never have to go through this again.  He did overcome it eventually, though he is still a very private person when using the toilet.

I was prepared for anything with my youngest son, but was still a bit gutted when he started to withhold his poo.  The difference this time was that my previous experience helped and I run him to the toilet as soon as he starts to hold it in.  At two and a half he is getting much better thankfully.

But now I have a different problem.  He stubbornly refuses to wear pants.  He asks to use the toilet when at home and is well controlled and well aware of when he needs to go.  He just won't wear pants.  It's easy at home, I can just leave him with nothing on, but I can't exactly do that to go out.  He also refuses to wear trousers with nothing on underneath so that's not an option.

We've had conversations around whether big boys wear nappies or pants, but he is adamant that he is still a baby who wears nappies (at any other time he insists that he's a big boy).  My mother suggested that it could be that he sees his brothers wearing boxer shorts so he wants the same, so I tried that but it didn't work either.  I bought him Thomas the Tank Engine pants as this is his favourite character, but it still didn't tempt him.


I've tried pull ups in the hope that it'll make the transition easier, but he just calls them nappy pants.  I've tried putting pants on over his nappy but he screamed until I took them off.

Experience tells me that I should just wait until he understands a little bit better , and to be honest, I'm not at all concerned.  I just wonder why.  What has caused him to not want to wear pants?  What causes any issue that a child has with toileting?  Is it something that we've said, or done?  Something they've seen on TV?  I'll probably never know.

All I do know is that children who are brought up in seemingly the same way, all have different issues.  I may as well throw that textbook away.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Project 365: Days 76 - 82




Day 76: Fireman Sam - O is going through a dressing up phase and is loving his Fireman Sam sleepsuit at the moment. I just adore the toddler phase.

Day 77: My three boys - it's next to impossible to get a decent photo of the boys together but I came home from work today and they were all in a cooperative mood.  It was only when I looked back at the photo that I realised my oldest doesn't look too happy.  I think it was because his little brothers were messing around a little bit.

Day 78: Rock Star - E was trying to develop his rock star slide with the guitar.  He didn't quite get it though and just ended up lying flat on the floor!

Day 79: Thomas fan - O spent most of the day playing with his trains.  He's lined up all of his Thomas trains to go around the track.

Day 80: Driving in his car - the weather was a bit nicer today so we dusted off the battery operated Lighning McQueen car for O. He loved it!

Day 81: Puddle jumping - O took great delight in jumping in every puddle in our driveway. He soaked himself (and me) but it was great fun.  

Day 82: A new belt - My oldest two boys had their kickboxing grading today and they both got new belts.  They are doing so well at kickboxing and I am so proud of them.  They are both little stars.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Same old routine

I've been staring at a blank screen all day, struggling to come up with the words I need.

The day didn't start too well. I spent my morning shouting trying to coax the children to eat their breakfast and get ready for school, though that's nothing new.  It's always a mad rush to get out of the house on time but this morning was particularly bad.  It started when I woke with a start and realised that I'd slept late.  Not much but still a bit later than planned, and my mornings are planned to military precision.  I shot out of bed, made the children their breakfast, made their packed lunches and then sent them upstairs to get washed and dressed.

That's where it all started to go wrong.  Within five minutes there was shouting, fighting, crying and then laughing as my youngest proceeded to throw all his toys down the stairs.

I went up, shouted a bit and eventually got them and myself ready to go.

Then I couldn't find my keys.

I spent what seemed like ages racing around the house looking for them, trying to phone hubby (I needed someone to blame) and then found them.....in my coat pocket!

I got the boys to school on time (by some miracle) before heading back home.  Just me and the baby for the day.

Then, 3.30pm arrives and it's the same sort of thing as above, except in reverse and intensified by about a million percent because everyone is tired.

Bedtime is the worst time of day for me.  The boys are excited at seeing their father, they're tired but don't want to go to bed, and I'm heading for breaking point.  All I can think about is wine settling down in front of the TV but the boys aren't going to give up any time soon.

It soon ends in tears (occasionally my own) and the house descends into calm.  Finally no more screaming, tantrums or cheekiness.  For a few short hours at least.

I savour this time of night where I get to relax and be me for a while.  I'm not being nagged; I'm not having to break up fights, answer constant questions or respond to demands for food and drinks.

It's also the time where I sit and reflect on my day and wonder what I could have done better.  I watch them sleeping and I realise that my boys are still so small.  I don't want to spend my days rushing and having to shout at them.  I want to savour this time when they're still young and innocent.

However frustrated and annoyed I get, it doesn't take much to change all that in an instant.  My oldest looking me with his big puppy dog eyes, my middle boy giving me a bear hug, and my youngest holding my hand.  It's these small things that make all the difference.


Friday, 24 August 2012

Disorganised mum

There's just over a week to go before my older two boys go back to school.  My oldest will be starting Year 2 and my middle boy will be going into Reception.  They are both looking forward to seeing all their friends and I am looking forward to no more fighting seeing their happy, smiling faces at the school gates.  I can't wait to see them back in their uniforms, with their new shoes and packed lunch bags.  The only problem is I haven't actually bought any of them yet.

I'll make all the usual excuses now.  The holiday has flown by, it's hard to go shopping with all three boys, work, life, money, children, everything seems to get in the way.  The truth is though, I'm really disorganised. I spend a lot of my time planning but never actually doing anything about it.  It's all in my head but I find it difficult to put things into action.

I am very much the type of person that likes to work under pressure; I find I get more things done when I've got a deadline looming.  I'll sit and think about everything I've got to do but unless it needs to be done instantly I file it away somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind.

Then I have these really proactive days where I get loads done, I feel full of energy and positivity and life is good.  The problem is that these are few and far between.

Every so often I decide that I need to get organised and make lists of everything that I need to do and not wait until last minute.  Then all of a sudden it is the last minute and I haven't done anything again.  How does that happen?

I've always called myself a lazy mum.  I don't believe in making things difficult for myself and will always try to find the easy option.  My children all slept with me when they were babies as I was breastfeeding and so it meant I didn't have to get out of bed to feed them (and I also liked having them in bed with me).  I even used to joke that I breastfed because I was too lazy to make up bottles (that really is a joke as breastfeeding isn't the easiest thing to do, not in the early days at least).

I do get things done (eventually) and I don't think that it has any real detrimental effect on anyone (though it probably frustrates friends and family who expect things done quickly).

This is even a disorganised post.  I intended to talk about getting my children ready to go back to school and I end up going off on a tangent.

So, back to school.  Sometimes good things really do come to those who wait.  I like to enter competitions and today I won a £25 voucher for Clothing at Tesco, so this will go some way towards buying their uniforms.  That will be a huge help as there's a lot to get for the two boys.  I'm also going to get their school shoes this weekend so that'll be another item ticked off my list (if I had one that is).

I know I'll get it all done.  I did last year.  Don't my boys look handsome in their uniforms?


So I've decided that I'm going to make a list of everything I need to do and buy over the weekend.  By the time I go back to work on Tuesday it will all be bought or ordered.  But perhaps I'll write my list tomorrow.  After all, it's late now and I've got tweets to write cleaning to do before bed.

If anyone has any tips or advice to help cure me of my laziness and rescue me from my disorganised life then I'd love to hear it.  Otherwise a slap across the face may work.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Misunderstood

I've just had a big reminder to be careful of what I say to my children.

It was a struggle to get the boys to bed tonight. They all came downstairs when their father got home from work and it was clear that they didn't want to go back to bed.

My middle boy asked me if he could have some warm milk before going up, so I made it for him and as I handed it to him I said "up to bed now and I don't want to se you again".

He went up and I settled down.

Five minutes later my oldest son came down and asked me why I didn't want to see Ethan again?

I didn't know what he was talking about at first, then it clicked. I ran upstairs to see Ethan and he was lying on his bed, sobbing his little heart out.

I gave him a huge cuddle and explained that I meant I didn't want to see him for the rest of tonight. He thought I didn't want to see him ever again. My poor boy.

That'll teach me to think about what I say to the children. They take everything so literally.

As if I wouldn't want to see this gorgeous face again.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Up to mischief again

I got home from work at lunchtime today and as soon as I walked through the door I could sense that there was mischief in the air.  You've been there right?  When you can't see anyone but you know by the noises from somewhere within that there are little people up to no good.

Boy was I right.

I wish I wasn't.

My father had kindly looked after them for me to work and they had run him ragged.  Shouting, screaming, nagging and fighting had been the order of the day.  Needless to say he didn't stay long after I got home.

I made them lunch while they ran around the garden and got themselves covered in mud.  I can cope with that.  They are boys after all.  The noise levels were high and my tolerance levels were dropping fast.

After lunch I put the little one to bed and went upstairs to do my ironing, leaving the older two boys with the threat of bed if they didn't behave.

All was quiet for a while and I was enjoying watching Come Dine With Me while working my way through the mountain of ironing.  Then, about 30 minutes in, they started fighting.  I went downstairs, shouted at them to behave and went back to my ironing.

I appreciate that a day stuck in the house is boring for young boys, but sometimes it just can't be helped.

I must have gone down about three more times in the next 10 minutes to tell them off.  They were jumping on the furniture, taking all the photos off the shelves and fighting in between.

I could feel my blood pressure rising each time I went to speak to them, and all I got in response was cheekiness.  I was desperate for bedtime.

I told them that they were having a bath and going straight to bed after their dinner.  More cheek!  They don't listen to me, and just answer me back.

The baby got up and joined in with his brothers nonsense while I slowly banged my head against the wall  tried to regain some control.

I carried through with my threat and sent them straight upstairs after they had eaten.  No treats, no DVD, just bath and bed.  They shouted, they cried, they begged to be able to watch a DVD.  I said no.  They cried some more.

They ran around upstairs, naked, refusing to listen to me, yet not understanding why they weren't getting any treats.

I put them to bed and they were still making demands.  There was no way I could back down as I needed to show them I was in charge (I don't think I believed that any more than they did).

Hubby came home in the middle of all this and went up to see the older two.  I was happy to leave him to it all, but then I could hear "mama, mama".

I went up to see my smallest boy and this is what I found.


He's a cheeky little monkey, but he always makes me smile.  He is definitely following in his older brothers footsteps!


I'm linking up to A Strong Coffee for Mischievous Monday

Friday, 10 August 2012

Future Olympians?

As a parent I am expected to help shape my children's future.  I should help them to develop skills and a good understanding of how to deal with the world around them.  I have tried my hardest to do a decent job with this.  I've tried to instil a sense of what is right and wrong, encouraged them to respect other people and their views and opinions, enforced good manners and politeness, all while allowing them to build their confidence and develop independence.  I didn't realise that my children would change who I am.

I have always been a bit apathetic.  I've never really had much interest in anything that involved politics, religion, sport....  I was always happy to just coast through life, not worrying about much and not having any strong opinions of my own.  That was until I had children.  I started to realise that everything is political; my children's schooling, healthcare, our family finances.  I had to start caring about what was going on in the world as it affected almost every part of our lives.  

Even my religious beliefs have been tested as children have absolutely no boundaries in their questioning.  In school they are told about Adam and Eve.  When they asked me about this I tried to explain the concept of Evolution while trying to be very diplomatic and saying that different people believe in different theories.  Evolution is not that easy to explain to four and five year olds, but I gave it a shot.  I don't think they really got it!  Whether they did or not doesn't really matter, I'm just trying to educate them; to provide them with all the information that they need to make their own minds up.

Having children has changed me in ways I had never thought about.  I have never really understood sport.  When I was younger I liked watching gymnastics and ice-skating on TV; I was a member of a netball team and a cross country running squad many moons ago, and I even did a bit of ballet dancing.  As I got older I lost interest in watching sport on TV and didn't do anything myself.  I'm not that active, preferring to drive most places and only dabbling in the occasional bit of exercise when I put on a few pounds.  I had never bothered to watch the Olympics as it never interested me.

Again, children has changed all that as I want to show my children what is happening in the world.  I took them to see the Olympic torch when it passed in a nearby town and I was so excited.  I felt very proud and extremely patriotic.  This was quite a new feeling for me, but seeing my boys excitement was priceless.  My oldest son had written a letter to Tim Baillie & Etienne Stott as part of a school project and they had replied and sent a photograph.  The school had also arranged for an Olympic torch to be shown to the children, so anything to do with the Olympics was huge for my boys.


I still never thought that I would actually sit down and watch the sports on TV.  Yet, every spare bit of time I get I find myself looking to see what sports I can watch.  I love to show the boys what they could do when they grow up.  They are both learning to swim so it was great to show them the swimmers and tell them that if they keep practising then they could be just as good one day.  I even watched a BMX race today as my oldest has just leant to ride a bike so this was very appropriate.  Then tonight I got obsessed with the men's diving because it's just edge of your seat stuff (nothing to do with fit, muscular bodies, honest).  I'm gutted now that I didn't get any tickets to actually take them to watch some of the Olympics live.  

I want my boys to see that there's a big wide world out there and they can do anything they want if they work hard.  There are so many options open to them and I will try to give them all the opportunities they need to decide which is best for them.

They're already practising their skills.                                                                                                                                                                 
Future Bradley Wiggins??
He can do some cool tricks on his scooter
I think wheelybugging could be the next Olympic sport
For now though, they're already collecting medals and trophies.  I think I could definitely have the next generation of Olympians.

Trophies and medals from their latest kickboxing competition

Thursday, 9 August 2012

One of those days

I've had a bit of a shitty day today due to my shopping arrive more than an hour and a half late resulting in me being two hours late for my lunch with my friends, then I had really bad toothache this afternoon and there wasn't a single painkiller in the house.  Combine this with the boys not listening to a single word I said and I can safely say that it's been 'one of those days.

For this reason I've decided to spend the rest of my evening eating junk food and watching reality TV to cheer myself up but I knew I had to write a post first to make sure I get my new shoes at he end of the month.  So for today I'm going to post my favourite photos from the day.  Because even with everything that went wrong, the boys still had fun.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Best friends

I've been looking through some old photos and reminiscing about times gone by.  My boys are growing up so quickly and I find it's so easy to forget what they were like when they were small. There's only 17 months between my oldest two boys and all they seem to do these days is fight. They are also inseparable and it's very much a love/hate relationship.  They look the same, they laugh at the same things, but they are also worlds apart in their personalities.

When they were little I was quite stressed and suffering with my phobia and I felt like everything was a struggle.  Looking back at photos from that time brings a mix of emotions as I remember feeling scared and exhausted yet besotted with my boys.  I remember being sat with one either side of me, both wanting cuddles.  I can't remember what they were like with each other.  I suppose this s the reason we take lots of photographs of our children.  I found this photo, memories come flooding back, and my heart melts.


As they get older they think it's 'uncool' to show that they love each other, but I know from their laughter when they're together that they'll always be best friends.  Though now they've got another brother to add to the mix and nothing makes me happier than when I watch them all play and laugh together.  I hope that nothing ever breaks their bond.

I am linking up with dear beautiful boy See It Snap It Love It.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Styling with Next

When I walk into most children's clothing store I get really frustrated with the limited choice of boys clothes, and this is usually emphasised by the pure abundance of clothes for girls.  I don't really get it.  I want to dress my boys well and make them look good but some clothes shops seem to think that all boys want are jeans and blue t-shirts.

Thankfully, this isn't the case everywhere.  I love that I can walk into a clothes shop such as Next and see a huge array of boys clothes in all colours and designs spread out before me.  So when I discovered that All Baby Advice were running a competition to win £500 to spend at Next I had to give it a go.

I have loved searching through all the gorgeous clothes on the Next website to find the perfect outfits to suit my boys personalities.

First up is Zac:


Zac is 6 years old and has just started to become interested in fashion.  He is quite small and clothes always seem to look great on him.  His favourite hobby is playing computer games and he loves anything red.  I have chosen a pair of Belted Indigo Skinny Jeans as the skinny fit works best with his shape, and he also really need a belt to hold his jeans up!  I have paired these with the fantastic Grey Stone Roses T-shirt.  As soon as I saw this I knew I had to get it for him.  Firstly, the song title named on the t-shirt "I wanna be adored" is so apt for Zac.  As my first born he has got a bit of a superiority complex (I refuse to take any responsibility for this!)  The song could have been written for him.  Also, my other half is currently reliving his youth and is off to see The Stone Roses on the weekend so I know he would absolutely love to see Zac in this (plus I must admit I think it's really cool).  I have added a Navy Angry Birds Hoody to satisfy his need for anything gaming related and to add a bit of fun.  This outfit is then finished off with the Lace-Up Shoes in red and the Red Nylon Jacket simply because red is his favourite colour.  Altogether a cool outfit for my cool dude and all for just £80.

Next up is Ethan:



Ethan is 4 years old is very different to Zac even though he looks up to him in lots of ways.  He is a stockier build, loves anything green and is obsessed with dinosaurs.  He's not very interested in clothes and all he wants is to feel comfortable.  For him I have chosen these Grey Rib Waist Roll Leg Trousers.  He isn't keen on denim as he says it irritates him so would much prefer these soft trousers.  Also, he would feel much more confident being out and about in them as he can pull them up and down himself (he's not very good with buttons yet).  I have added the Dinosaur Badge Polo Shirt in green because, as I've already said, green is his favourite colour and he will love the dinosaur motif.  I'm continuing the dinosaur theme with the Navy Dino Hoody and I've finished Ethan's outfit off with Grey Retro Trainers and a Hooded Nylon Jacket in green.  I think this is a lovely outfit for a dinosaur mad boy and the whole thing costs only £68 in his size.

Lastly we have Oliver:


My last outfit is for 20 month old Oliver.  He couldn't care less about what he's wearing but I love this as, unlike with the other two, it means there's no arguments about what I've picked out for him to wear.  He is busy and noisy and adores his big brothers.  He loves Mickey Mouse and kicking balls around.  He is a happy, smiley little boy and I love to see him in bright colours as they suit his personality.  I have chosen a pair of Mid Badge Jogger Jeans for him as they've got a ribbed waist which will make it easy to get them off for those many nappy changes, and also ribbed leg cuffs which I think is vital at this stage as it avoids the 'tripping over the trouser leg' problem when he's toddling around.  I've added this Little But Loud T-Shirt as this is exactly what he is!  This Blue Stripe Zip Hoody will keep him warm while still looking cute and then I've added Grey Character Shoes and this Yellow Transport Print Cagoule which will add a fantastic splash of colour on grey, rainy days.  This outfit will suit his cheeky personality and I know will be very hard wearing, as all Next clothes are.  It is great value for money at £60.

So there's my three gorgeous boys styled in outfits that would be perfect for them and I have only spent £208 so I would still be able to buy lots more.  I have started adding more items that I love onto my Pinterest board which you can see here.  It's my virtual shopping list for my boys.

If you would like to enter this fantastic competition why not pop over to All Baby Advice to find out what you need to do.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A castle and a dragon hunt

We took the boys to Castell Coch today (Welsh for Red Castle)  Even though it's not far from where we live, I haven't been there since I was a little girl and every time I pass it I want to go inside.  Especially at night as it's all lit up so it actually looks red (the link I've included shows a picture of this).  It's not a real castle, though it is built on the foundations of one, but it is the most magical, fairytale building I have ever seen.  Another reason I wanted to take the boys there was to take them on a 'dragon hunt'.  I'd read about an amazing sculpture trail for children which includes a treasure chest, a fairy tree house and a scary dragon.  The boys were so excited.  Here's our day in pictures.....
Interior




Castell Coch

                           









The inside of the castle is just as amazing as the outside, with walls and ceilings painted with intricate drawings of animals and birds.  I'd forgotten how pretty it was.  The boys were amazed to find a bedroom at the top of a turret, with all the furniture completely intact.
Even the baby loved it

They can't wait to explore



















After we'd examined every inch of the castle, with me having palpitations every time they walked down a steep, stone staircase without holding on, we went out into the grounds for a picnic.  It was bliss just lying on the grass on a beautiful Spring day.  

When everyone had eaten their fill we went off to find the dragon.  Now, this was something I hadn't done before so I had no idea where to look.  I had to send hubby to look at the map (my map reading skills are non-existent) and then off we went on our walk.  It was quite a way, and being quite warm plus having to carry the baby most of the way, it wasn't that easy.  But I'm so glad we did it.  Ethan was reciting verses from "We're Going On a Bear Hunt" (not exactly accurate we we understood the general idea!)  It was great fun.

Ollie having a walk
 
After walking up steep hills and along seemingly never ending paths (can you tell I'm not used to walking?!), we eventually came across the start of the sculpture trail.

Firstly, we discovered a spider.........

The boys were a bit scared as they thought it might come to life!  I blame Harry Potter for giving them a fear of wicked things in forests ;)







Next was a witches cauldron full of toads and creepy crawlies............




We were still on our dragon hunt and Ethan had his mighty sword ready to slay him.


And then we found him....... complete with a giants foot in his mouth.  What was he protecting I wonder?



We found carvings in the trees right by a fantastic treasure chest full of gold (I wish)


We'd found the treasure at last!  We'd hunted high and low, crept past defeated a spider, and slayed a dragon.  Hooray!  The boys were happy but exhausted and demanding ice-cream (erm, not a chance in the middle of the woods).  It was time to go home.

Zac is already looking forward to the next adventure
We're already planning where to go next weekend.  We're thinking dinosaurs....................