Jump on it!

Who remembers space hoppers?! (It’s OK; you don’t have to admit it if you don’t want to.) 

The good news for those of us who do – whether we’ll admit it or not – is that they seem to be making a comeback!

And for those who don’t – read on! (Hint: they’re great.)

I was delighted to receive from the fine people at confused.com not 1 but 2 great space hoppers – complete with natty pumps –  as part of their #Jumponit campaign.

Jake and Ellie were very excited about this, and also were determined, as ever, to do as much as they could themselves.

So, first step: Pump it up!

It was fun! but then we had a bit of a surprise:

Even so, we were pumped and ready to go, so there was nothing else for it but to head out & test-drive our new bouncy toys!
Fair warning: some of this was filmed by a 5-year-old boy. He did his best…)

I love how Jake tried to make his hopper smaller by trying to let some air out! And I’d forgotten just how much fun a good bounce in a space-hopper is!

Also: I’d like to point out, please, that there was a storm here the night before. My garden is messier than usual, honest…

As you can see we had a lot of fun, thanks to confused.com: Jump on it!

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The Gift of Giving

These days I usually spend most of Saturday looking after the twins on my own, allowing the Mummy to catch up on jobs.

I’d got into a habit of buying a toy or gift each to commemorate ‘Daddy Day’. I soon realised it set a dangerous precedent!

It very quickly went from being a nice little treat to something they came to expect. Aside from the house piling up with toys it also was in danger of becoming an expensive habit!

I managed to gradually cut down so that it became an occasional thing & that – I thought – was that.

Then in the car last Saturday (why is it always in the car?)…

Sitting in the back of the car sometimes seems to give them the opportunity to have a little think, Jake especially. Ellie is probably more likely to give us a song! That’s if they’re not arguing, of course.

On this occasion Jake had been thinking back.

“Daddy?”

“Yes Jake?” I replied cautiously.

“Do you remember when you used to buy us presents every ‘Daddy Day’?”

“Yes Jake”

“You don’t do that now. Why have you stopped doing that?”

“Well it costs a lot of money to buy you each toys every week, & I’m not sure I can afford it”

“Oh Daddy: I can give you my money & you can buy toys every week for us again!”

“Oh, you mean your birthday money?”

They each received about £40 cash on their birthdays from their friends, on top of toys & other gifts. I’m pretty sure they have more money than me at the moment!

“No, that’s for me to buy toys with.  I mean the money that I found today. OK Daddy?”

He’s holding up a 10p coin I think he found on the back seat of the car…

Well, as they say, it’s the thought that counts!

 

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Birds, bees, needles & lots of spots

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It was during the recent trauma – and closeness – of our vigil with Ellie during her week in hospital with ‘the pox’.

She slept a lot of the time, day & night, due to her illness & the medication she was taking. She’d just recently awoken, & we were doing ordinary things, like watching children’s TV or videos, & chatting.

We got to talking about our being in hospital when she & Jake were born, when out of the blue she said:

“Doctors make babies, don’t they?”

Umm…

Continue reading

The Story Behind the Photo

This was my Silent Sunday Photo on the weekend (many thanks, by the way, to everyone who offered words of support):

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Ellie was in hospital, & on a drip. Neither she nor Jake have ever had to spend time in hospital like this since they were little babies; obviously it’s been a difficult time for all of us.

So why was she there? Continue reading

Outdoor Messy Play!

It’s the best place for it, in my experience. ‘Outdoors’, that is. The clue’s in the name: Messy Play. It’s messy!

It all started with an old tin of Smash* I found in the kitchen cupboard.

It was spotted.

“What’s that, Daddy?”

Such innocent little faces. Such a loaded question. Continue reading

Fashionable Dad Gear: A Must for Every Dad

OK, so what’s the latest in dad gear? What does every father need… and simply cannot do without? Let’s start with the basics…a diaper bag (or tote) for one, a wallet, comfortable clothes and shoes for keeping up with his kids… and a great watch to top it all off. Moreover, if they happen to look cool, that’s much better. Here is a list of six ‘must haves’ for every dad.

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One – A Great Watch

Sure, your smartphone can give you the proper time. However, when you’re busy running around, trying to get the kids to school on time (or to that last-minute appointment) a watch is really handy.  Why not invest in a quality watch that will last. From the day they start school, until they march across the stage at graduation, you can wear the same smart style. Michael Hill Jewellers is a great example for classic watches like these that stand the test of time.

Two – A Wallet

Another place to make a sensible investment is in a durable wallet. Find one that clips on for extra security. Separate compartments for sorting bills and credit cards also help. Moreover, if the wallet happens to have a section for pictures of the kids…traditional and perfect!

Three – A Tote (Diaper) Bag

Men’s tote bags have taken over the old-school briefcase, (and they don’t have to look like purses). They hold many of the necessities that just can’t be packed into an attaché case. Take diapers, gym shoes, your son’s favourite blanket, extra clothes, biscuits and bottles. Now you can look cool and still carry around everything you might need! Who knows, there may still be room for a laptop!

Four – Good Looking Shoes

Before the children came along, shoes had a completely different meaning. Today you can get the comfort that you need in some truly awesome styles. Just because you’re a dad, doesn’t mean that you can’t be fashionable. From low cut boots and loafers, to dress shoes with extra support, there’s almost no limit to great looks for men (and happening dads). They best part… they can help you keep up with the children!

Five – Comfortable Trousers (and Shirts)

The fashion focus is on men, and the choices are better than ever. So, when it’s time to leave the sweatpants at home, you can go out in style. From jeans and chinos to dress pants, relaxed chic is perfect for any occasion. Pair up any number of hot colours… blue, brown, beige with a button down shirt, jumper or polo shirt and you’re out the door and ready to rock. What’s more, today’s stylish dads really can’t own too many shirts!

Six – Sweaters and Jackets

Sweaters are back and jackets are here with retro style. They’re the perfect add-on to any fashionable outfit. With so much rushing around, from here to there and back… it never hurts to carry along something to pull on, when the weather shifts. Pull on a hat, some shades, and carry a raincoat. Now you’re set for just about anything.

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The secret to being a trendy dad is being prepared. Raising kids is full of surprises, yet when you’ve got just about every situation covered, you can relax and enjoy the ride!

Written in collaboration with MichaelHill.com

Shhhh!

Jake, to me, 1 day last week, in hushed tones:

“Daddy, I love you both: I love Mummy too – but I love you the best”

😀

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Wot So Funee?

Before and After

I’ve been unhappy for some time with the way Jake & Ellie’s toys are stored in the small space I have available. My solution was to buy some IKEA shelves & boxes; then I saw how a friend, a childminder, stored her many toys & games.

She mostly used shelves, that way nearly everything was visible & available.

As with most things in their lives I don’t like to dictate what they do; I like to give them as much choice as I can. It also helps me to be able to find toys when I need to.

So I had a tidy up!
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A Worthy Ambition

My boy Jake is a thoughtful little fella, this much I have learned.

We were in the reception area of the children’s gym, where the 3 of  us were resting between the running, climbing & jumping that we so enjoy there.

He was enjoying eating a ‘treat’: a little chocolate bar.

Thoughtfully, he said to me, between mouthfuls:

“Daddy, you know how I’ve said to you that I want to be a Scientist?”

(It’s true: he has, on many occasions.)

“Yes”

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“Well, I think I know what sort of Scientist I want to be. Do you know what sort of Scientist I want to be?”

(An unusually talkative one, probably!)

“No, I don’t: what sort of Scientist do you want to be?”

“I want to be a Chocolate Scientist!”

He likes investigating things, & he likes eating chocolate: it’s just logical!

He was delighted to learn that it is actually a real job, that he can indeed be a Chocolate Scientist! Although I suspect the job spec may not involve as much chocolate eating as he probably expects…

Still, I wish him luck: watch this space!