Back From Our Holiday!

First thing I have to say is wow to the weather!

Welcome to our tent!

It’s been blue skies and sunshine all week long!  I was actually glad to see clouds on getting back home last night.

So… camping!

It’s not a stress free holiday by any means, but I don’t think any holiday would be stress free with a 15 month old!  The days of lie ins have long gone and have been replaced by chirping at 6am with crying if not allowed out of the tent first thing to play outside!

Joel is very much an outside baby who wants to be outside as often as possible.  He would go to bed at 9.00pm at the earliest and be up again at 6.00am.  He could see us from his travel cot and shout us awake like an alarm!  But once he’d gone to sleep he did sleep through…


When we got there it was a bit stressful trying to set the tent up, keep Izzy under control and make sure Joel didn’t disappear or get in the way and hit by poles and such, but we’d soon got it all up and sorted, and Steve took Joel whilst I sorted the inside and set up the kitchen and beds.

We’d decided as camping wasn’t expensive, we’d not bother with cooking and would eat out as much as we liked, so we found a little town nearby called Llanwit Major and got a Chinese for our first night.  Joel had chicken fried rice and loved it!  It was nice to not have to cook.

The next day Steve’s parents joined us for a couple of days and brought their caravan, so they cooked for us, with barbeques each night which was nice.  It also meant that Steve and I got a chance to have an evening together where we visited some beautiful coast line at sunset.

We had a lovely day on the Monday at Ogmore Beach.

 It was £4 to park all day and it was a glorious expanse of sand once the tide was out.  Joel absolutely loved it. I was actually worried he’d crawl into the sea and keep going!  He toddled in all by himself and would have gone in up to his neck had we not got him back!!  He learnt how to make sandcastles and how to knock them down!  He enjoyed an ice-cream but not the mini milk we bought him, he wanted Granny’s Magnum instead!

On Tuesday we went out to Margam Country Park which was free to enter, but £3.90 to park all day.  We had a lovely picnic in the shade when we got there and wandered around the huge expanse of land!  We took a train ride up to the stately home and walked back down again via a farm trail.  Joel cried at the chickens (??!!) and the goat (a bit more understandable as it had huge horns) but he liked the turkey!!

Then we had a little rest and by the time we found the Orangery and Nursery Rhyme land Joel had crashed out asleep.  Steve attempted to rouse him, but he was having none of it, and slept all the way back to the site!

 On Wednesday Granny and Grandpa headed off early, and in the afternoon after lunch at an Italian restaurant, we went into Cowbridge for a look around a different town.  I hadn’t packed a pair of shorts for every day of the week for Joel but it was too hot for him to wear jeans or long trousers so I found a little 2nd hand babywear shop and got him two pairs of shorts as everything he wore, every day got grubby.  they saw us through till the end of the week!

On Thursday we headed back to Ogmore.  Firstly, we went to the castle which was a free place, and a lovely ruin which looked great against the river and blue skies.  Joel had fallen asleep again after waking up early once more, but woke up by the time we were leaving and had a little play there.  

We had a spot of lunch at a pub opposite called ‘The Pelican in Her Piety’ which was a bit of a mouthful!  We shared a tapas plate and got Joel a little lasagne which he didn’t really want, he just ate some our of ciabatta bread so Steve polished that off too.  I cooked him some pasta once back at site which he ate up so I guess as long as he has his milk and cereal for breakfast and a good meal with snacks in between I’m not too worried.

Later that evening we had a nice surprise as we met my cousin who was staying on the same site for a couple of days!  So we got Joel and Lucy together to play.  It was something of a very random coincidence!!

On Friday we got the tent emptied, Steve loaded the car and we dried the tent out in the sunshine.  We set off about 11 and stopped for lunch in Monmouth.  We found a fab little pub called the Raglan Arms and had a lovely ‘end of holiday’ meal in the sunshine outside.  Joel had some mash, an egg and baked beans and although he ate the egg, he snubbed the delicious mash and only nibbled at the beans when normally they’re a staple go to!  He did again eat some homemade bread with butter though and shared some fruit and cream from my pavola for pudding.

We got back home for dinner time on Friday and I managed to get to Asda for a quick shop, then three loads of washing through before settling down to watch the Olypmics opening ceremony, and Joel, having slept most of the way home with the car sending him off was up till about 10pm!!

And that brings us to today!  And the sun has dried all my washing which is most helpful, as Joel and I are leaving Steve behind on Monday to join my family in North Wales where the forecast is not so nice, but I don’t really mind as constant sun cream and worrying about hats is a pain!!  All in all though, camping was not so bad, just tiring but I’ll get my lie ins this week knowing my parents will take Joel of a morning!  Yay!

The Vale of Glamorgan-20120721-00512.jpg

So we're on our camping holiday, and whilst I admit the preperations and setting up got me more than a little fractious and stressed, today has been nice!

We went out this morning to get our bearings and found a huge tescos nearby, and were joined after lunch by my in-laws.

We stayed onsite this afternoon and joel took great delight in playing with water and found izzy's water bowl very convenient!

We've been so lucky with the weather and it does make all the difference with a camping holiday.

Joel was so excited last night he was up till 9.30 and with hardly a nap today he crashed out at 6pm so I'm off to bed now in case he wakes crazy early!

Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media

Nom nom days

So yesterday I commented that Joel seems to be regressing on the food front.

He’s very picky with his food at the moment.  Even something I give him, such as roast chicken thighs, green beans, carrots and potatoes he’ll pick at, try munching, bleurgh it all out, then look to see what I’ve got!

This evening as he was eating his lovely chicken dinner (which was leftovers from last night for us) I was eating fish cakes with quite a strong cheese and leek and smokey flavour.

Of course he wanted to try it, and as he’s good about trying all manner of things (the thing with Joel is getting him to actually swallow the food) so I gave him some.  He promptly ate it.  I gave him more, he ate that too. I got Steve’s from his plate as he wasn’t yet home, and between us, we ate them both!  I’d say he ate most of one himself to be honest.

I know he does eat proper food at nursery.  They told me yesterday he ate cabbage!!  He won’t eat that for me.  He’ll put a bit of food in his mouth if I’m lucky to try (and I’m talking about proper food here!), sometimes he’ll just lick it and other times munch it.  Sometimes it goes down, other times the tongue pushes it out.  Sometimes he munch and spit, then wonder and pick the spat bit out and put it in again and then eat it!  I don’t know if it’s a texture, taste, not sure about new things or what but I feel glad he’ll always have a good breakfast.  He’ll eat cereal till the cows come home, toast, yoghurt and fruit, drink water and smoothies.

I do worry about him eating enough meat.  He did eat some chicken thigh today and it went in and down rather than out in his bib.  He enjoys minced beef in sauces like bolognese, chilli and moussaka.  But normally, a roast dinner is a no no.

Bread he loves.  Eggs, cheese and all manner of pasta.  We had pesto pasta for tea the other night.  Fast and easy and we sat together at the table as a family and ate together.  That doesn’t happen so often as Steve doesn’t come in till after 6 and that’s too late for Joel.  so normally, Joel and I sit down together to have our tea although if it’s extra casual I might allow him to sit next to me on the sofa and we might have a sandwich or eggy bread.

It’ll be interesting to see how he eats whilst we’re camping!  We won’t have a table, and now he’s walking he may just end up running away and getting down.  We will have to see how he copes with the changes.  But as long as there’s pasta and sandwiches, I suspect we’ll be ok!


Well, I don’t know what’s changed with Joel’s sleeping but I had come to rely on him as a bit of an alarm clock!  I won’t make that mistake tomorrow as this morning we slept in till 8am!  Steve got up and went out at 6am and the last thing I remember is thinking I may as well get up and get ready as I didn’t have time to nap again and suddenly it was 8am and Joel was saying ‘da ba’ and sitting up in his cot playing with his soft toys.

We then had a mad rush of getting us both up and ready and dressed, walking to mum and dads to drop Izzy the dog off (so she had a walk) and then getting Joel to nursery in time for breakfast to get me into the office 9am!  I hate rushing but Joel was fine.

I got to my desk in good time but a bit red in the face from power walking pushing the buggy then climbing the hill to the Uni!!

I took Joel’s coat of him, changed from outside shoes to inside shoes, took his blankie and we walked down the corridor to the baby room and he took a couple of steps inside, then stood and looked to see what was going on.  Turned to see me trying to go and howled. I think because it’s a Wednesday he cries more because it’s new again whereas Thursday and Friday he’s more in ‘nursery mode’ and settles in faster.

Anyway, next week we’re holidaying so he’ll have a totally new experience of living outside in a tent!  And I’m keeping everything crossed but the weather looks as though it might be holding and being nice and if so I will be the happiest girl in the world as camping in the rain is miserable but camping in sunshine is wonderful!  And hopefully lots more lie ins will happen!!  I don’t mind oversleeping when on holiday 🙂

Progress and Regress

Progress:- Joel has been walking much more!!  Well, he started again yesterday and began just standing up in the middle of the floor!!  Then stepping out!  He was walking from sofa to sofa between Steve and myself and then gained confidence and was toddling around along for longer distances!!

He’s been sleeping through for 12 hours.  It’s rather good actually.  He’s getting up at 7am at the moment but as I was off last week and I’m on holiday next week I’m feeling rather chipper this week!!  M

Regress:- Joel’s eating has got rather picky, but only at home.  Nursery assure me he eats all his meals up when there.  I guess I have to believe them as they do say if he hasn’t when he’s ill or teething.  At home he seems to want things like pasta (he absolutely loves saucy pasta and will eat it with any sauce on but is a good way to get some meat in him with a bolognese).  He loves eggs, and cheese but seems to have more of a sweet tooth and goes crazy for cakes and puddings.  A couple of weeks ago we ended up having pasta every night, but this week I felt we ought to introduce him to new flavours and textures so he’s been having what we had!  Turkey burgers one night, chicken tikka wraps (Joel’s had lots of yoghurt) cauliflower cheese with sausages, but he’s turned his nose up at most of them!  I guess if he’s hungry he’ll eat them and we’ll be having pasta again this week at some point!!

Chirping Morning Bird….

I don’t know what it is about mornings that makes Joel so happy.

I guess I used to be a morning person.  I enjoyed waking up and having a stretch, that first cup of tea and getting on with the day and I was up earlyish – 6am on a week day, and 8am on a weekend.

But now, it’s like I need just that little bit more sleep, and at about 6.15 I’m woken up by him shouting, and singing, and chirping to himself in his cot!  I roll over and try to zone the sounds out but can’t get back to sleep.  He’ll be happy and chirrup for about half an hour before you either hear yells of ‘I’m awake parents, come and get me’ or pushing grunts meaning he’s filling his nappy earlier than normal!

Either way, thats my signal to actually get up and out of bed myself!  I can poke Steve in the shoulder for all I’m worth, he ignores me and he ignores the noisy baby.  Except at weekends when he knows I’ll flip out and yell for all I’m worth if he thinks he can get away with ignoring him when I need one morning of a lie in.  (Steve slept in till after 9am yesterday!! – and then has the gall to tell me he’s still tired, I don’t think so).

So on getting up my joints feel creaky, my knees and feet ache, my eyes feel blurry and my hair is a birds nest on top of my head.  I stagger into Joel’s room trying to remove the knickers wedgie and sort my pj’s out as they’ve ridden up and there he is.

Mr Happy.

His face breaks into a big beaming smile.  He puts his arms up to be lifted out of the cot and he gives me a cuddle and a kiss (well, his version of a toothy, wide mouthed, sloppy kiss anyway!) and he points to the door and says ‘uh uh’ (meaning ‘carry me downstairs to play Mummy’) and when I take him to have his nappy changed he cries as it means playtime has to wait for two minutes, then as we walk down the stairs he smiles and laughs and shouts to hear his echo at a certain point and kisses me and giggles.

By the time I’ve put the kettle on for my cup of tea, and we’re sharing a bowl of shreddies I’m more awake and I think that I’d miss this time if I didn’t have it any more.  But then I think, we’d have it anyway even if it were 15 minutes later starting!!

I get a lie in tomorrow though.  And I need it!!


I think Joel just doesn’t want to walk!  We had the first steps weeks ago and nothing in between! 

Then suddenly yesterday he was playing at my Mum’s Little Tikes Kitchen and opened the oven door.  He walked back up to the oven and then bent down to take the pizza out of the oven (a plastic one!!) and walked back up to the cooker surface!  Just like that!  And the funny thing is, he didn’t even know he’d done it!!

I think he could totally walk if he wanted to!  He’s just choosing not to, and stay my baby for a little longer!


The weather here has been atrocious for what feels like weeks.

This morning however, the sun shone for a little interlude and we jumped at the chance to go out in it.

And I’m glad we did as it’s back to bleak rain again now.

We headed to Cannock Chase and took Izzy for a good long walk in the sunshine with Joel in his backpack (which he seems to enjoy) and after a good bout of climbing hills and generally exhausted Izzy with ball throwing we then sat outside the Barley Mow at Milford for a spot of lunch together.  It was really nice.

Then we called in at my parents to say hello to my sister and her twins as they’re in Stafford for a wedding.  Joel loves seeing older kids play but was getting a bit in the way of them having fun on the big slide in the garden.  He kept sitting at the bottom of it and trying to climb up whereas they were coming down at a rate of knots and threatening to knock him over so we came back so he could nap.

I really really hope that it dries up for our holiday!!  Camping in the rain is not what I have in mind for us!