Friday, 23 September 2011

And lo she walks!

Penelope has finally started walking.  OK she's 17 months now, so she clearly wasn't in much of rush.  Mind you I don't know why we're always in such a rush to get them to walk - as one of my friends said you spend two years desperate for them to walk and talk and then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up!  

If you think about it you spend much longer walking (generally) than not so who can blame her for wanting to be carried for a few extra months, while she's still cute enough to get away with it!

It got me thinking about some of the differences between Max and Penelope.  It seems strange to think they were both "cooked" in the same place (!) but they are quite different:

Max - 10 and a half months; Penelope - never!

Bottom shuffling:
Max - never; Penelope - 1 year

Max - 13 months; Penelope - 17 months

First tooth:
Max - 5 months; Penelope - 10 months.  By the time Max was 17 months (as Penelope is now) he had practically a full set of teeth (16), whereas Penelope currently only has 8.

Max - about 16 months; Penelope - 10 months

Sleeping through:
Max - a tad shy of 9 months; Penelope - 6 and a half weeks!  And yes I do mean weeks!!

In some ways though they are similar.  They both smiled at around 5 weeks and sat at 6 months. 

And sometimes scarily similar - when Max was cutting his first teeth, he cut the bottom middle two first and then the outside top two next.  There was a period of about 6 weeks where Max looked like a vampire.  Penelope cut the regulation bottom two first and then went and did exactly the same and looked like a vampire for three months!  Who knew it was possible to give birth to two vampire babies??!!

Yay - well done baby girl!  Or maybe, in a couple of weeks, not-so-yay when I am chasing you everywhere.  Anyway Penelope, Mummy is very proud of you xx

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Unexpected things

Sometimes the unexpected can be the nicest - like a handmade bunny from a friend.  Also when you have no expectations of something you cannot be disappointed and the only way from there is up!  Conversely when you have high expectations of something, it can be hard for it to live up to them.

Paul and I went to Barcelona in 2005.  Everyone had said what an amazing place it was and, whilst we had a brilliant time and I would go again, I don't think it quite managed to live up to the hype.

In September 2006 Paul and I went to Ireland to watch a couple of days of the Ryder Cup and I went expecting the worst.  Two days of watching grown men trying to get small white balls in holes didn't strike me as a great way to spend time.  As it was I couldn't have enjoyed the Ryder Cup more as my expectations, which were admittedly very low, had been far surpassed.

On Sunday we took Max to the new Lego shop that had opened in Liverpool.  After much deliberation he decided not to get the Lego fire boat (mainly because they didn't have it) and got the Police lorry.  Here he is building it with Daddy, and Penelope trying to emulate her big brother!

After we had spent some time (and some cash!) in the shop, we took a walk down to the Albert Dock.  It turned out that the Mersey River Festival was on and all sorts was happening.  We wandered all around seeing different types of ships which kept Max fascinated, water skiing displays and street entertainers.  Max and Paul had a visit on to the Zebu, an actual pirate ship.  A small boy's day was complete with a visit below decks and some chocolate eggs.  We then saw an acrobatic plane display before making our way home.

We had some lovely family time and made all the nicer because it was completely unexpected.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Bribery - noun: a mum's best friend

It has been a week of firsts in this house.  On Monday Max started "big" school and confounded all my expectations by taking it like a duck to water, well, so far anyway.  I have managed to leave him each morning without any tears or clinginess.

Today's first was his first "big boy" swimming lesson without me getting in the water with him.  Max has been a Puddleduck since he was about 12 weeks old and Penelope has been one since she was 7 weeks old.  He has been through Floaties, Splashers, Kickers, Little Dippers and Dippers and has now graduated to Swim Academy.  

Being in Swim Academy means that he has to get in the water without me and when I first mention this to him the tears weren't far away.  I have since tried not to mention it but when I picked him up from school today it was a bit hard not to mention it, especially as we had to race home to jump in the car to get there in time.

After a bit of persuasion bribery* we made it into the car and to the swimming pool.  Max was unsure about going in and the teachers were really good and didn't try to push it.  After about 5 minutes Max made it into the pool (Mummy having mentioned the aforementioned bribery again) with no tears at all and took part in all the swimming just as he would have done if I had been in with him - there was one very proud Mummy sat on the side!

*And the nature of the bribery? A visit to the new Lego shop that is opening this weekend in Liverpool and the promise of this

He's had a great first week (new school, new swimming) and has got 20 stars on his chart for listening to Mummy and Daddy - I think he deserves the Lego Fire Boat.  I truly have an amazing little boy.  Love you Max xx

Monday, 5 September 2011


...was the big day in our house.  Max started school!  The day didn't get off to the best start when Daddy told Max that he couldn't take Luise* (his bear) to school with him - tears ensued until Max could be persuaded that the best thing would be to either put Luise in the window (so Max could see him when he came back) or on the stairs (so he'd be the first thing Max would see when he came through the door).

We were ready so early that Max got the unexpected treat of some TV before we had to walk to school.  Actually when I say walk what I really mean is an enforced route march as Max scoots ahead on his scooter and I try and keep up!

He had had two taster sessions in July and each time there had been tears when he was left so I was expecting more tears this morning.  I was pleasantly surprised that when it came time for me and Paul to leave that Max gave us each a kiss and cuddle and was perfectly happy to be left with his pal P.  I was so proud of my little boy at that point.

I walked home, watched a bit of uninterrupted TV of my choice and then met J for a coffee/tea to compare notes on our first experience of the school run.  After that I went to Ikea to purchase three items and (as is always the way) came out having acquired several other things that I did not really need!

I was however very nearly late to pick Max up - in my defence I got sidetracked building one of the pieces of Ikea furniture for Max's bedroom.  Thankfully I realised just in time and made it with 5 minutes to spare.  How bad would I have felt if I actually had been late??!!  Doesn't bear thinking about especially as when we left school Max said "I was worried about you Mummy" "why Max?" "because I thought you might not come and pick me up but you did" PHEW!!

It appears (from what Paul and I have been able to glean) that he had a good day and spent most of it playing with P and water.  He didn't get to draw "as there weren't enough spaces".  And he ate three packets of raisins.....

Here's some pictures of my beautiful little man 

Fingers crossed he's as enthusiastic again tomorrow.

*The bear came with that name - if Max had named him he would have been called "Max"

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Pre-school is over....

It was Max's last day at pre-school today.   Here he is in his uniform this morning

He's been going to the amazing Kids Allowed nursery in Manchester since he was about 10 and a half months old.  He started off in the baby room, progressed through Woddler 3 and Toddler 2, finally ending up in Pre-school 1.  At every step of the way the staff have treated him as if he were their own.  It made it so much easier for me to leave him there (and now Penelope) knowing he would be so well looked after.

In every room Max had special bonds with certain members of staff.  When asked who he loved best, Mummy or Meg - he said that he loved us both the same!  Not quite the answer you hope to get as a mother but an indication of just how safe and secure he feels there.  Either that or he'll be a politician when he's older!! 

One of the many great things about Kids Allowed is that they genuinely want to improve and take on board parents' suggestions, if they are able to, in order to improve the service they are giving.   Also the staff retention is great which means the children have consistency of care.  Penelope's keyworker in Woddler 3 is the same keyworker that Max had when he was there.

When Paul and I first looked at nurseries for Max (while he was still a bump!) we saw one locally which was ok and, if Paul hadn't had to move office locations, we probably would have sent Max there.  When I visited Kids Allowed with my mum (Paul didn't actually see it until Max started) I just got such a great feeling about it.  With certain things I am a great believer in your "gut" feeling and nurseries fall within that category.  I have to say I haven't been disappointed.

This post is really just to say how grateful Paul and I are for all the care that Max has been given in his time at nursery.  We'll still be there with Penelope but Max and I are going to miss Kids Allowed.  Well actually Max is going to miss Meg......

Yep pre-school's over and proper big school is just round the corner - only four more big sleeps - forget Max, I am so not ready for this, eek!