Good Morning

Good morning! It’s only 7am but TTB and I have been up for an hour officially, an hour and a half if you count the 30 minutes that he climbed on my head and I pretended to be asleep for. He’s having breakfast and I thought I would come and chat on here. I realised I haven’t really “chatted” on here for ages. It’s hard to find the time sometimes, and I worry that my chat is really boring as so much of my time is toddler-focussed. For example, most of the photos I am using in this post are of he and I walking together. Because that’s what we do at the moment! We are walking! He needs to walk more and by gaw he’s keen, always wants to walk and rarely accepts the pushchair now. Last week he walked all the way to Tesco and back and we had to stop and pick up all the dropped leaves that he found. I had to get him a carrier bag from Tesco in the end for him to carry them all in.

Of course he wanted to do the same thing again the next day, only he noticed the buses in the bus station on the way and we had to go and watch them for ages. Meh, why not? We had the time. The way I see it is that I am training him up to walk and behave properly in town and shops. To hold my hand when we walk, not to grab things off the shelves, not to pick up every single thing he sees. How to cross a road (he loves to tell me when the man goes green). That kind of thing. So we may as well take the time!

We got thoroughly caught out a week ago, thinking we’d caught a gap in the rainy weather to nip out and get bread. Of course, he refused the pushchair and it’s hard to “nip” when he’s walking and we got caught in the most torrential downpour. Everyone was hiding in shop doors and under the market stalls and I tried to do the same but he just shrieked that he wanted to walk. We were wet anyway so I thought we may as well just carry on. The rain was bouncing off the ground, which was swimming with water, and we got so wet that we both had to strip off in the hallway when we got in and have a full clothing change. It sounds awful, but you should have heard his laughter! His delight at the feel of the water on his (sandalled) feet and how it was rushing down the hill and around his toes. It’s hard to be frustrated about being soggy when it made him so happy.

Ironically when we went out later in the afternoon to splash in all the puddles that I was sure would be there, it was so hot and sunny that we only found a couple and were very hot in our wellyboots. Which I’d had to wear because my shoes were still full of water from the morning! Splashing in puddles is a top toddler activity and now we even have to go through them in the pushchair.

My father in law visited the other week and we went to the clay painting place in town to put TTB’s handprints on a mug for him. I’ve been training him up (TTB, not my father in law) for this moment for months, practising at home with paint and paper. He can now spread his fingers and place a handprint on command! Good lad. We were super fast: paint on hand and then SPLAT press it to the cup. Wipe hand quickly with babywipes, and repeat with other hand. I am planning a pre-Christmas trip to do something Christmassy too. I am also planning to consult Pinterest for ideas beforehand.

Thank you for all your Frozen Blanket love – it makes me so happy a) to get something finished and blog about it b) all your kind comments and c) seeing it pinned on Pinterest. I love that!

I like to use Pinterest when I haven’t had time to make things myself. It’s like being creative by proxy. I see lovely things and feel really inspired and satisfied despite not having made them myself. Quilts particularly make me feel like that! I like to have a quick browse on my ipad before I go to sleep so that my thoughts are filled with colourful, creative things. There are some awful things on there too though! Sometimes I see people pin things and think … really? You really like that/think that’s a good gift/ would eat that? Ok I admit, Pinterest makes me feel creative AND a little bit judgemental ;-)

I remember a time after having TTB that I realised I hadn’t laughed in such a long time. I can’t remember when it was … maybe a month, maybe two, maybe more? after having him. I’d been so tired, so unwell, so absorbed in the responsibility of caring for him, so tired, so exhausted (you get the picture) that I just hadn’t laughed. And I went onto Pinterest and I found “texts from dog” and “damn you autocorrect” and I just laughed and laughed for what felt like the whole evening (probably less than that as I imagine he woke up before long). It felt like the biggest release!

Admittedly this time of year is not inciting the same thoughts and fears and worries as it did last year (which I know I went on and on and on about at the time) but I have been thinking a lot about little Mr Newborn Tiny Tin Bird lately as in a few short weeks (5 and a half) he turns TWO YEARS OLD. I keep waiting for myself to be shocked by this revelation (that’s why I used capitals) but no, if someone was ever ready to turn two it’s he. Nearly all of his friends are six months older than him so we’ve done lots of second birthday parties already, which is really nice as it subtly prepares my mind in advance! He’s a wonderful little boy and I just delight in being his mum.

Sometimes when I think about blogging, or read other people’s blogs, I worry that I’m boring, not creative, don’t take enough beautiful photos, don’t make as much yarny output as I should. But not for long really, because I have always wanted to be a mum, and these young years just fly by, honestly, you don’t really believe it until it happens. I want to make the most of being a toddler-mum! I like taking him out on slow rambly walks, I like drawing round our hands and feet, I like blowing bubbles for him and chasing him in the playground or spotting him for endless goes on the slide. I like reading the books he brings me, over and over. And I think to worry about not doing enough crochet or knitting or blogging right now would be ridiculous. There is so much time for creating isn’t there! Sometimes I feel like I should apologise to you for not writing much very often here, but really, at the moment I do think the balance is about right.

I need to sign off here as aforementioned almost two year old needs me to get him dressed now. Nice to talk to you x

Our Week Away (In pictures)

After the Tour de France, TTB and I travelled back “home” (my mum’s home!) with my mum and Alice, and spent the week with them and the rest of my family there. Andy came down the following weekend as well. It was a bright and colourful week with most of our time spent in my mum’s garden. She thinks that her garden is a bit disappointing and that she wishes she had more time to spend on it. I think you can see that it is actually very beautiful (and I hope that she knows that really!). TTB simply adores his Grandma and trailed round after her like a shadow all week. He hardly wanted me at all! All of my family adore him too and my goodness does he like to be the centre of attention. Boy loves an audience.

I think we walked up the farm track almost every single day, the most delightful of which was early on Thursday morning (well, 8:45 and I’d been awake for several hours so not that early really!) when the sun was hot and the sky was perfect blue. The thistles were teeming with butterflies and it was incredible to watch them all. I think they must have all just hatched! They were mainly Meadow Browns (male and female) and Gatekeepers but I was thrilled to see some Ringlets as well, and of course some Small Tortoiseshells. Clustered on a patch of nettles were lots of spiky caterpillars and when I looked them up in the butterfly book at home, I discovered that they were Peacock Butterfly caterpillars so they’ll be flying around before too long. Rather pleasingly, the butterfly book (it’s not the most current one!) has a page entitled “Curiously Shaped Caterpillars”.

We had a couple of trips out for coffee and cake, one followed by a wonderful trip to the woods: TTB’s first time going to the woods as a fully loose running around toddler and I think the photo of him, Alice and Rachel says all you need to know about his enjoyment while we were there. In his new wellies, no less. I do so love taking him to the places that I went as a child, I like that it’s kind of “full circle” and I like that he gets to do a bit of his growing up in “proper” Northamptonshire countryside. As beautiful as North Yorkshire is, it’s just not the same as the South Northamptonshire countryside :-)

It’s startling just how big he is looking lately, it’s always more pronounced when I take him to stay with my family because I see him in a setting that’s not continual. He can reach more, do more and climb on more than he did before. He played with toys that were ours; my brother’s tractor and trailer and the little “bunny bike” that was a gift for one of my early birthdays and has been passed along between all of us. He had a blast in the garden, really. My mum bought him a little yellow bucket so that he had something to carry his snail shell collection around in, something that he is very very interested in. We let him hold a few live ones as well but I can assure you that absolutely no harm came to them and they were safely relocated after he had had a good look.

On our last full day, Saturday, we did the farm track/butterfly walk again and were rewarded with a big red tractor, and then went to Canons Ashby for (a not so great as it turned out) coffee and cake. The car park is manned by some nice old men who will take you up the long path on a golf buggy thing if you are not able to walk well yourself. They have a super little caravan hut thing that they sit in and I peeked inside it: crochet granny blanket! Yes!

Later in the evening, my Grandma came over and we all had a big “summer feast” in the garden. So lovely and relaxed. The watermelon we had was eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenormous … we had to slice it in half to weigh it because the scales couldn’t cope with the full weight. Each half weighed 6lb 10 oz! Incredible. It was so juicy. I LOVE watermelon.

I have so enjoyed writing this post and sorting out the photos for it! Of course it’s just a small selection of the staggering 958 photos I took in one week but I don’t think my blog would cope if I posted them all haha. Anyway I hope you enjoyed looking at them too :-)

x

One Amazing Saturday

(that’s where I keep my bananas too … )

 

I imagine this is old news now as it’s just over a week since the Tour de France passed through! Still, it was a rather amazing day. My mum and I headed into town early (around 8:20am) with Tiny Tin Bird. Town was busy already with people sitting by the barriers, in it for the long haul to secure their space at the front. A brass band was playing on the balcony of the town hall – we heard their renditions of “Daisy, Daisy” (they said this was their only bicycle related song!), “Working  9 to 5″ and “Never Gonna Give You Up” . They were so good! Andy thought it was hilarious that we got Rick-rolled by a brass band but I don’t care, they were great. Later on we heard them doing some Beyonce as well!

After walking around and taking some photos we did a big loop of the town, going down past the station, out of which was pouring hundreds of people. It was quite something to see.

People had been commenting in the days prior that the supermarket shelves were bare from people panic buying, but when we went to Tesco that morning it was so quiet and the shelves were the fullest and neatest I’ve ever seen them. The roads were closed and so the usual traffic noise wasn’t there, it was rather eerily calm walking back home. That is, until you round the corner and see all the people! In the hour or so since we’d been in town there were about three times as many people and still more were arriving. We went home for a late (second!) breakfast of croissants and then we heard the sponsor cavalcade start to come through the town. Alice (my sister) was up and dressed by then so we grabbed her, stuffed TTB into the Ergo carrier on my back and slipped through the back streets into town. It was HEAVING with people. the narrow pavement where we ended up was three people deep and people were trying to squeeze through. What an atmosphere!

We stayed there to watch most of the cavalcade and then I suggested moving further along the road where there was more space, but we’d be a bit further away from the barriers. I’m glad we did, TTB had started to get overwhelmed by the crowds (he sat on my back just saying “no! no!” and although it wasn’t a scrum, people were just moving through politely, he wasn’t happy and I’m glad we moved. He was happy seeing the helicopters flying overhead! It was actually a much better vantage point as we were able to see the road coming down the hill as well.

After the sponsor vehicles had all gone through I took TTB home because it was still an hour and a half until the bikes were due to come through (they hadn’t even started the race by this point!) and he couldn’t wait that long. I so wished I could have stayed! When I got home I followed the BBC live updates and texted my mum about where the cyclists were. When they got to Addingham I left TTB with Andy and ran all the way back down to see them – I made it just in time! Everyone whooped to see the two breakaway cyclists and then it was an impressively long gap before the peleton arrived. It was wonderful seeing everyone cheering, so loud and so happy. I wonder what the cyclists felt like? They must have had cheering like this along the whole route! And then it was over and people began to disperse. One thing I really liked was that so many local people came out to see it (you can tell because they all went back to their houses rather than to the station!) and I liked that because it’s been so pumped up for ages about how many tourists will be coming to the town, and the council sent round quite a grovelling (in my opinion) letter a couple of weeks ago explaining just how much disruption there would be, but I’m glad that the local people did come out and watch too. That’s a bit rambling but you know what I mean.

The crowds of people were so happy, and so friendly and good natured. Everyone was really helpful and accommodating and nobody pushed or anything like that, it was just a great atmosphere and everyone seemed genuinely thrilled to be a part of it. I admit I was rather sceptical beforehand as it just seemed to be SO much disruption for such a short amount of time (seeing the riders), and also more importantly because Andy and I had tickets for something in Leeds in the evening and we thought that we wouldn’t be able to go because all the roads were closed and the trains were so busy. We did manage to though so that was ok :-) It was a once in a lifetime thing to see and I especially wanted TTB to be able to say he’d been there, even if he doesn’t remember anything about it. Because that’s important, isn’t it? Being able to say that you were there!