Blackberries

DSCF3876For the first 2 years of your lives we all lived together in our big house in the Midlands. The “big old house”, with the big old garden.

You don’t remember it. I do.

I remember how I was your full-time, stay-at-home Daddy. For your first year with Mummy, and for your second year by myself when Mummy went back to work, with reduced hours.

034I remember it all so well. You don’t.
Continue reading “Blackberries”

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School! When did this happen?!

We were really proud of Jake & Ellie yesterday.

They had a dental check-up first thing. We managed to get there in good time after pulling out all the bribery & corruption stops in getting their teeth cleaned!

When there we found some great books that we enjoyed before going in. Jake & I are still waiting to hear what happened to the terrible pirate who got seagull-poo in his eye…

On the dentist’s chair they thought it was all a hoot, & actually seemed to enjoy having their teeth examined. They really enjoyed the retro-style dark glasses too. I just wish I’d taken some photos: they looked very coool.

Their teeth are fine, by the way: Jake has all his & Ellie has her last one coming through. We had suspected she’d been teething recently.

In the afternoon we went to our first meeting at the primary school where they’re starting pre-school next month! The presentation was a little chaotic, to be honest, & we couldn’t hear a lot of it due to nearby noisy children. But the staff were very pleasant & seem competant, & the facilities seem excellent.

We were so pleased though that Jake & Ellie really enjoyed themselves, & seemed at home straight away. It helps that their 3 friends from Karen’s little group are there too. We planned it that way, & it’s the reason we chose this school.  I so love it that they have been & are making good friends like this.

Ellie especially seemed as if she’d been there all her life: she loved it! After only a few minutes it was “‘My school” this, & “My school” that; “My school has milk and biscuits!” she said to me excitedly.  She cried when we had to leave, so we let her play in the playground for a few minutes.

Spider-Man
Jake could be heard laughing loudly from the adjacent room while playing at the sand-table. He then became slightly fixated at the unfeasibly large numbers of Spider-Man action figures there, and introduced himself to everyone by backwards bear-walking between the seated parents & the projection screen, then back again! He was being Spider-Man, obviously.

They were even well-behaved in the supermarket afterwards.

I love these little guys! All the time, obviously, but I feel especially fond of them when they make us proud like this.

I still can’t get over how grown-up they are now too. They’re little people now, no longer the helpless little babies they once were.

Times change, & life goes on…

Activities for Active Twins

Back in our old family home near Brum, in what now almost seems like a different life, we used to take Jake & Ellie to loads of really good regular activities; particularly in their 2nd year. There were playgroups at a local nursery, each slightly different, with arts & crafts, messy play, reading, puppets, musical instruments & singing + signing. They were excellent, & it was a great shame when they had to stop due to budget cuts just before we moved. There was also a great church-run playgroup, Tumble Tots, & a home & away playdate.

Since moving to Wales & their spending much of Mondays – Thursdays with Karen’s little group, as a preparation for Nursery, we haven’t done that so much. Karen takes them to a church playgroup but, apart from Tumble Tots until the local franchise went belly-up, that was about it.

Just recently though we’ve found a couple of brilliant activities for them. I think it’s partly that they’re old enough now that they’re able to take on more mentally & physically demanding activities. They’re both on a Friday, which may account for why I’m often so tired on that day!

In the morning – after grocery shopping, which is always fun* – we do Monkey Music. There they learn rhythm, playing percussion, associating actions with sounds & music and some basic dance skills. It’s great, & they really enjoy it.

We’ve also discovered a children’s gym, where we go after they’ve had a nap. It’s huge! It caters for all levels, from the casual user (us) to serious competitive & successful gymnasts. It’s a real find: there’s everything you could imagine there & more: a big central space with soft things to roll or jump on, in or over. Things to throw & kick. A bouncy castle with a climbing wall & slide. A trampoline, a little running track, vaults, parallel & non-parallel bars, beams, rings, a rope swing. Not only all that but the apparatus available seems to vary each week.

What they are brave enough & physically able to do has been a real eye-opener for us, & they seem to be able to do more each time.

And do they enjoy it?

They seem to…

*Sarcasm, yes