Daisies and Dandelions

I feel as thought I’m really playing catch up at the moment.  Being without internet for near a week, with the busy-ness we’ve had means I’ve not posted things for ages and I keep mentally storing up things I want to post but with my mind in its current state, I’m sure a lot has gone by the wayside.

This post was one I originally wanted to write after Joel’s birthday when we sat on a sunny hill and taught him the difference between daisies and dandelions.  He still remembers which one is which now, and proudly roars at the dandelions and picks daisies carefully with a long stalk so he can give them to Grandma.


Joel loves walking Izzy.  Izzy isn’t so enamoured as she prefers a faster pace!!


The other morning I walked the long way round from our new house (20 minutes rather than 3!!) so Izzy could have a walk and do her business, and the hedges were full of flowers.  So Joel and I picked daises, buttercups, pink campion and cows parsley which made a lovely little posy.  I told Joel he could give them to Grandma and he clutched them in his hand all the way there!  We rang the doorbell once at my parents and Grandma opened the door to find Joel holding his posy up to her!!  It was so cute 🙂

Anyway, since them he’ll find daises, exclaim over them, carefully pick them but only want to give them to Grandma!  And it’s normally me with him but I don’t merit a daisy apparently!!


Searching the grass for flowers….

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Daisy!   Grandma?!!!


My parents, Joel and I popped over to Leeds on Friday to visit family for the day.  We had to leave before 9 for a 2 hour drive and although Joel was a bit put out that he was taken away from his playing time, he was fine once we set off.  The whole way he pointed out buses, vans and nee-naws.  Oh, and the left over snow over the pennines!

We firstly went to Uncle F’s and Aunty M’s for tea and coffee where my uncle offered a plate of biscuits.  Joel carefully measured them all for size and took the hugest chocolate biscuit on the plate!  He’s no fool that boy!!j  Anyway, their house is all cream, with cream carpets and sofas and luckily my cousin was there with her three children (the youngest being 3 weeks younger than Joel) so there was a bit of distraction and I was able to wipe everything that he touched with melted chocolatey hands before they noticed.  I was on tenterhooks though!!

All four of them then sat round the kitchen table for an oatcake at noon.  Aunty M asked Joel if he’d like cheese or egg, and he said egg, so egg he got!  He was a bit tired by this point and pretty much ate the egg but not much oatcake.

Then we had to pop over to Aunty C’s and Uncle A’s where my other cousin was bringing 12 week old Lucy!!  And she was gorgeous.  Really pretty features (and its’ not often other peoples babies actually looks that cute at that age!!) and so alert and holding her head up.  Joel was wonderful with her.  I don’t know where he learnt it, but he gently stroked her head a couple of times when he went to have a look and pretty much entertained everyone once he realised he was the centre of attention.

Cousin Martha and my sister came along too and it was a lovely family day out.  We had a lovely lunch after which Joel dropped off for his nap in his buggy 2 hours too late!!  Then we headed for a park in the afternoon and as we walked around a lake, the sun came out and it was warm!  The first signs of this winter finally being over!!  Joel toddled at his pace, and I’d put him in his wellies, the paths were pretty muddy and grandad was holding his reins.  I should have probably warned grandad that Joel likes to stamp and jump in muddy puddles, just like Peppa and George but he found out the hard way when his trousers got muddy droplets on them!!  He leapt sideways like a gazelle after that at every puddle we came to!!

After a rather splendid Yorkshire tea where Joel ate three sausage rolls and four tomatos and licked the icing off a fairy cake I got him into his pyjamas.  He was the only toddler left now and he was determined to show off.  He strutted about playing his guitar, singing, falling over for effect, and then bent over with his little bottom towards the grown ups and began blowing raspberrys!  Well, they all fell about laughing.  I don’t think he knew he was ‘fake trumping’ but once he got the reaction he’d been after that was it.  It was raspberrys here and raspberrys there and I guess you had to be there but we were in hysterics!

Finally it was time to go home and he stayed awake the whole journey back!!  We got home for 9pm and by 9.15 he was tucked up in bed and sound asleep.  And we’d had a really nice family day out 🙂

Sunny Saturday

How nice it is to see the sunshine for once!  It feels as though we’ve not seen it for months and months on end!

Joel woke up at 7am and Steve took him downstairs so I could lie in for another hour.  Of course, Steve only lies on the sofa and falls asleep which leaves Joel to fend for himself, but he’s very good at playing with his toys and Steve is technically there if he needs him.

This morning we all trundled over to the castle for a lovely walk.  We got Izzy to come with her ball launcher and all put our wellies on.  Joel loves going for walks at the moment, although it takes a lot of time to get him to toddle along.  He likes to stop and smell the roses (figuratively speaking) so it takes a lot of persuasion from us and occasional picking up to be a plane to get him to keep motivated and moving.

Anyway, it took well over an hour to walk the 20 minutes woodland path but Izzy didn’t mind as she had lots of ball throwing and was quite shattered by the end of it.  Joel even managed to stay awake in the car and have spaghetti and yoghurt for lunch before realising how tired he was and bursting into tears.  I made a delicious chilli con carne last night and we all had it for tea and there was one portion left which I wanted for lunch with sour cream and nachos.  It was just as tasty as I’d remembered too.  Joel kept helping himself to forkfuls from my plate alongside his spagetti.

He got bolognese sauce and yoghurt all over his face and as Steve had left me to sort lunch and was on his laptop in the lounge, I sent a very messy joel through to him and giggled to myself as I heard Steve saying ‘don’t touch, don’t touch!’ and having to clean him up!!  One way to get him to assist with these things I suppose.  He’d hate to get yoghurt on his laptop.

Joel is currently snoozing but we may go along to a softplay area this afternoon with him and have tea out.  Steve’s idea which is a nice one!   We’ve not had a date night for months so I think we’ll have to go out for dinner next month for our anniversary.  I’d love somewhere that did fine dining but Steve would grumble about prices and say he’d prefer a BigMac.  Maybe there’s somewhere in the middle which isn’t an Indian!!  (STeve will either go to MacDonalds, KFC or Indians.  He doesn’t do proper restuarants whereas I want tablecloths, candles and proper cutlery!)



…is Joel’s new word. He likes to point at them, say ‘door’, to which we reply, ‘yes it is a door!’ and then he’s happy.
I think he’s just enjoying the novelty of being understood. Of course, when he says, ‘Mama’, and then goes into a big lot of baby babble, he still looks at me as though I ought to understand everything he’d just said.

I think he’s got more teeth coming through. He’s been gnawing on his thumbs in the back of his mouth and a bit off his food recently. He would’t eat any tea last night (roast lamb and potato bake) although he did eat a few green beans. He wouldn’t have any lunch today (cheese sandwich, although he had a bit oc cucumber). He was however tempted by a white chocolate pudding thing and a fig roll. He certainly has a sweet tooth regardless of mouth pain.

Dinner however was a huge success. It was a slimming world recipe for Chicken Parpadelle, which I served with tagliatelle instead. I could only find a mixed bag of green and normal, and although he eyed the green pasta with suspicion, after a little lick, then a little nibble he realised it was the same as regular pasta then managed to clear his plate apart from a few bits of chicken, which although they went in, soon came out again into his bib, and the sauce was all made of up hidden veg so I shall be making it again. I added smoked paprika to the sauce to make it tastier, and then some chilli salt to mine once at the table. Delicious! Pasta meals are the one that I know Joel will eat up.

I’ve not been out much today with the little dude. I’m still deaf in my right ear. I saw the dr, and he said the infection hadn’t gone down, so I’m now on different antibiotics for another week! I just want my ear to clear. He said the ear drum was bulging and I had fluid behind it. Sometimes, when Joel starts sounding a bit whingy in a higher pitch, I hear it in a tinny, harmonic which wounds like mini robots in my head. I don’t fancy going to work tomorrow so may ring up for a holiday day in the morning if they’ll let me. Being deaf at work is no fun at all.

We had a good weekend though. Saturday was spent with the morning taking a walk up to the hospital field. Joel walked all the way there, had a good run around in the grass and was highly amused by a bike rack, some steps and a railing. He just climbed, and peeked and had as much fun as the previous weekend at Splash Landings, but for free!

Sunday we went to Church and Joel was really good. I wasn’t playing, (due to the afore mentioned ear) and he just sat with me, went to dance with the other toddlers, waved a flag and happily went out to creche so I could stay and enjoy the rest of the service. I then headed off for my choir practise and left Steve to it! I got back with both of them lying on the sofa with Steve watching the tv and Joel watching the laptop. So Daddy time wasn’t so much building dens and rail tracks as Steve looking one way and Joel the other. Tch.

I also found a really good children’s worship group which teaches bible verses in song. I think it would be good for all of us, and the music is rock and funky, not saccharine either! We can listen to the songs with Joel, and take them with us to the church weekend away.

Other news, I put 1lb on last week. This ear thing has made me miserable and want to eat sweets and chocolate. Not good. I’m trying to make a better effort this week but so far I’ve already polished off a big bar of Cadbury’s chocolate.

Right, it’s time to bath Joel. He’s just invented this game where he shouts ‘un’, ‘oo’, ‘ee’ (maybe 1,2,3!) then throws himself from the arm of the sofa onto me. We’ve had one clonked heads episode, which was before I understood the rules. I think rough and tumble is better with Daddy!

So We Had A Nice Day….

We had a nice family weekend with my sisters all visiting for some point of it.

Peek a boo tennis player

I see you!!

Theo and Isaac on their bikes!

A man and his dog on a lead and Steve and Joel on a lead!

Riding a fish!

Sitting on a log

Clambering on a giant dragonfly

 Sarah, Aaron and the twins came on Saturday, so in the afternoon we all headed out to Birches Valley in Cannock Chase.  They have a lovely mile long sculpture walk which they pedalled around, and Joel had a bit of a toddle and play.  There was a great park as well, which was admittedly a bit big for Joel but he had a good go at the slides and swings there.

Joel loves slides
Trying out the monkey bars but he’s a bit small!
 When we got home we had hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows to warm us up, and Joel loved his from a mug, and grabbed it to down every last drop that he could from it and got cream all over his face!

Then we had a hot dog supper with onions and ketchup although Joel took his sausage out and therefore had a ketchup sandwich for his tea!!

And once it got dark, we had a box of fireworks that Steve lit in the garden which the twins loved, but Joel got a bit bored of once he realised he wasn’t allowed outside with the big boys.

One in focus boy and one blurry boy!

Then on Sunday Amy, Karl and Martha joined us and we had a bit of a relaxing day with a bit of a walk, a nice Sunday dinner and it was nice for the cousins to play, although Joel and Martha are still a bit small for Theo and Isaacs games!!  although Joel tried to keep up with them and got a bit in the way poor thing!!

And neither were terribly happy about having to sit on laps for a group photo!!!
Martha at 7 months is nearly as big as Joel at 18 months!

Bank Holiday and Other Stuff

I’m really missing my laptop and I’m not updating this as often as I should.

Joel is a little comedian at the moment.  He has real comic timing and loves to tease us with his cheeky smile!  He finds it hilarious to feed us his food and sometimes offers it and then whips it away and eats himself whilst laughing at us!

He’s getting good at communicating with us.  He nods yes and no when asked a question and seems to have a good understanding of what we say.

His eating had been a little bit picky but he’s got better recently.  He seems to love green French beans, quiche and corn on the cob this week!  I made roasted corn and having cut it from the cob for Joel’s plate, he saw me eating it and wanted to try it that way and liked it!

His walking is brilliant now.  He has no trouble with corners or bending down to pick things up.  It’s as though he waited until he could do it properly rather than have an inbetween stage!

The other good news is that work have agreed I can go part time from October.  I’ll be working three days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and the Faculty Management Team have approved it too.  It just has to go to executive first for the final decision.  I can’t see it being turned down though.  I can’t wait.

I was ill again last week with another lurgy which means I’ve had too many sick days this year already and I’ve only been back at work for 5 months.  Hopefully being part time will be less stressful.  Joel will be going to nursery on a Wednesday and Thursday and my parents on a Tuesday.  I then will have him on a Monday and a Friday.  It’s exciting to think we can plan some activities.  We had a card through the door advertising Tumbletots and Steve thinks I should take him there!  I’d like to take him to Waterbabies to learn to swim but it’s expensive.  We’ll have to look into it.

We’ve been down to Exeter for the Bank Holiday and we had a nice time.  On Saturday I had the day to myself and went to a hairdressers for a major cut, and got some shopping done for work clothes as I don’t have many clothes for work in winter.  It was nice to have some me time, knowing Steve’s parents were happy to be entertaining Joel!  In the evening, Steve and I went out for dinner with Steve’s brother and sister-in-law.

On the Sunday we went out on their boat at Teignmouth which was fun but scary as it’s a power boat thing, and you sit on the edge and bump across the sea.  How I didn’t fall in I don’t know.  Joel loved sitting on the beach and digging whilst watching all the kids and folk in the sea.

We also discussed Christmas plans as I’d like to be at home for Christmas day so had thought if we went down before and drove home on christmas Eve it would mean we get Christmas week in Stafford which is easier for us and we get to go to our Church.  It seems early to be thinking about it, but it’s September soon!!

So Joel is 16 months old now and a proper little toddler.  He’s brilliant and we love him so much!!  It’s amazing to see what will happen next!  he’s learning so much all the time.


He loved doing his sponsored toddle!  And everyone was very impressed with his outfit which was only an old vest with cheap fabric pains and a bit of gauze for a cape!  The kiddies raised over £100 just from meeting people out and about round the Uni!
 He is my little super hero!!