Monday, 29 February 2016

Doing It By Himself

Well Bear is all grown up. He doesn't need any help from Grandad or Nanny to have his bottle in the mornings. Or to drink water from an open cup. He doesn't need a morning nap either. He's doing it by himself.

Woe betide a helping hand! Teddy's will be thrown. There will be stomping of feet and slamming of doors. Then tears. 
We have to guess what it was we have done wrong, stop doing it and then all is right with the world.

He's a big boy now. He's 16¾ months old. He's doing it by himself. I just can't wait until he's a teenager.

toddler lying on floor with head on cushion, blanket over lap, drinking milk from bottle
Lots of tears and shouts before we got this exactly right. Happy grown up Bear.

toddler in highchair with orange cup drinking water
Drinking from an open cup. Put it to your mouth, tip, drink!

toddler leaning over drawer front. Feet off floor and head in drawer
I can reach

toddler reaching up to door handle
I can get my own coat

toddler sat on floor staring blankly, looks like he's about to nod off
I don't need a morning nap, I'm not even sleepy

toddler asleep in car seat
Just resting my eyes on the way to the shops....

reflection in mirror of toddler asleep in car seat with dummy
......Oh and on the way home too.

toddler playing in garden, sun shining
Water. If there is any water in the garden I can find it.

toddler alone running up ramp
I don't need anyone I know where I'm going.

toddler sat in shopping trolley
You are allowed to push me as long as I don't have to sit in that awful seat.

Happy toddler sat in washing basket with mouth wide open as if shouting
Smile for Mummy!

Toddler stood by open front door looking out
C'mon Grandad! I'm waiting.

Toddler and Aunty selfie both saying cheese
Selfie with Aunty Sarah. Say cheese.

What's new this week?

It looks like Bear has dropped his morning nap. It makes him super tired by the afternoon  but we were wasting at least an hour in the mornings trying to get him to nap, and failing.

He can drink out of a cup without spilling it all down his front

He continues to understand more complex instructions "Your sleeves are too long" Bear looks at his hands" Let me turn them up" Bear offers his arm for the sleeve to be rolled up.

He has a wicked sense of humour and laughs easily. For example. He was pointing at things for me to tell him the colour, blue bowl, white tray. He pointed faster and faster until I couldn't keep up and using noises and hands pretended my head exploded. He just fell about laughing....then we did it all over again.

He is starting to understand how to put glue onto paper to stick things. He made a daffodil at Tots for St David's Day and he did all the glue himself.

No new words but the ones he already uses are spoken clearer. He is a great mimic too. 
Sing a word or phrase. Bear will copy. 

Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do 

The crows make a racket. Bear will "caw" loudly.

Do you have a grown-up toddler? 


Sunday, 28 February 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 9

#MySundayPhoto this week is of our Magnolia Stellata just breaking into flower. The day was glorious, the sun shone and out of the wind it was warm.

The sky was blue and just one bud had burst. Spring is really on it's way.

Lots more lovely photo's at  @Photalife  #MySundayPhoto 


Friday, 26 February 2016

A Cardiff Garden In February

Welcome to my Cardiff Garden. February has given us beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Cold frosty days, more rain and days so warm I thought Summer couldn't be too far away. Lots of plants have continued to flower throughout the year and we can welcome a few new ones too.

The mild weather brings pests. The usual slugs and something that has attacked the passion flower. A few days ago it was looking beautiful and now it is looking so very brown and sad. Lets hope whatever it is doesn't kill it!

We are also seeing more wildlife in the garden although catching them on camera is proving difficult.

I hope you enjoy my pictures of a Cardiff Garden.

A blue-tit on a fat ball feeder
Blue-tit through the glass patio doors so a bit hazy

Monday, 22 February 2016

Half Term Hibernation

It's half term this week so all of us who have only pre-school children have hidden away and hibernated until the big children go back to school and give us our peace and quiet back. Everything costs more and is so busy. I know that's how it is but if you have a couple of school age children it just works out so expensive. Although idle hands.......

Toddler bent over in kitchen drawer, onions scattered across the foor
Bear throwing onions out of the drawer, potatoes next.

Dishwasher with utilities bill place in the plate rack
Bear helped to load the dishwasher.

toddler sat on bottom stair with head to one side looking innocent
Me? Naughty? Not me!

The weather has been glorious. Very cold and sunny and it only rained on Wednesday.

Bear just loves being outside and is just getting over his sore throat and ear infection so we wrapped him up all warm and went in search of swings. Our local playground had removed the swings for upgrading so we ventured a little further (in the car not walking unfortunately) and found our other favourite playground chained up!

metal yellow gate and black fence chained together and padlocked
Chained up gate to our playground

empty playground
No children playing on a sunny day at half term. They are outside looking in.

Bear didn't mind he's too young to realise he couldn't go on the swings so we made the best of it.

Four pictures of a toddler on a climbing frame. Lots of smiles
Bear enjoying the climbing frame 

toddler walking on path in park carrying daffodil.
Bear legging it with his golden treasure- a daffodil

Back of a toddler walking on path next to a quiet road in sunshine

We spent lots of time in the garden just pottering, splashing in puddles and moving stones. Bear likes to move the gravel from the greenhouse floor to anywhere else at all. I have no idea how we will mow the lawn in the spring!

toddler in greenhouse with trowel and gravel in bucket
Ooh! Stones make a splash when dropped into water

Grandad carrying toddler in garden, looks like they looking at something and are talking to each other.
What have they found?

toddler crouched in puddle touching the water with his hand
A puddle!

What's new this week?

He points to the dentinox and puts his finger into his mouth and rubs his teeth

His favourite new word this week is dark. He also grunts and points when he wants something. I think we may need to work on that a little.

If we read together he is more involved, he knows what comes next.

When we read his first books for babies if I ask "where's the ......" he points to the picture. It used to be just simple things like balloons, cats, dogs, ducks. Now he knows so many more. Clever Bear.

Did you hibernate for half term or face the crowds? 


Sunday, 21 February 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 8

This week #MySundayPhoto is of Bear and a daffodil. 

We had gone to the park and the playground was shut. It was a beautiful sunny day but very cold. We found a patch of daffodils and Bear found one just lying on the floor. He grabbed it like it was treasure and legged it! 


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Meningitis B Vaccination - Who Should Pay?

In the news this week has been the devastating story of Faye Burdett, a toddler who died from sepsis caused by meningitis. The family had the most awful choice. Major surgery, involving multiple amputations, that had a really high risk of killing their 2 year old or allow her to pass away peacefully. They chose the second option. I do not know what I would choose and I hope I never have to.

What is really tragic is that this illness can be vaccinated against. The vaccine is safe and gives 90% immunity. So why didn't they get their precious baby vaccinated? Were they one of the parents that do not agree with vaccinations? No, this vaccine is only available on the NHS to babies born after 1st July 2015. 

Their baby was too old.

Faye was two years old.

My grandson is too old. 

He's 16 months old and too old for this government to protect him from this awful disease. He was born 10 months to soon. If he has any siblings or cousins they will be protected. They will be born after July 2015.

So should I pay to have him protected? 

The meningitis B vaccine is available privately and it would take (depending on age) about three doses. The cost to the NHS is £75 + vat. To you and me it would cost a minimum of £125+ for each dose. That's £375 for the full vaccination. Is my grandson worth it? Absolutely! He's worth his weight in gold. Should I pay for it? 

What about all the children that have no-one that can pay for it? Should they be disadvantaged? Children under five, teenagers and young people are most at risk. They should all be vaccinated on the NHS.

Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, friends should never have to experience this. It is preventable and that is what the NHS should be doing, preventing illness. If Faye had survived she would have been seriously handicapped, not just physically but possibly mentally too. This disease is of the membranes around the brain, there is a very high risk of damage to the brain. 

The effects of meningitis cost the nation vast amount of money and heartache. It is preventable. Young people are the major transmitters of this disease. University's are the ideal environment for transfer from one individual to another. It is thought that vaccinating young people would drastically reduce the risk of contracting meningitis.

The Government must give the NHS funding to roll this out to all children as soon as possible. There is a petition to ask the government to fund this here. I've signed it.

Most of my facts were found on this excellent website. 

Should we pay to protect our children? Have you paid to have your child/grandchild vaccinated? 


Monday, 15 February 2016

Why I'm A Proud Grandmother

I'm a proud Grandmother.

Every day Bear does something that makes me laugh or gaze in wonderment at his new achievement. He is a really happy, mischievous little boy.

So what did he do this this week that made me so proud?

He hasn't been well for what seems like ages. Teething, cold, just off colour. This makes him short tempered and clingy.

I want to sit there, no not sit, carry me...not you! Put me down, pick me up...oh 

Whatever we do will be wrong. It's been that sort of week. (Update - Bear went to the Dr's on Friday and has a sore throat and an ear infection. He needed antibiotics too. No wonder he was grumpy)

Wednesday was Tot's club and off we went a little late. We are always late! It was heaving. Every toddler from North Cardiff must have turned up.

toddler looking into full room

We squeezed ourselves in and Bear went off to play. He found a nice little friend and they played happily at a table with tea cups, plates, that sort of thing. Then the inevitable happened...they both wanted the teapot. Neither was going to give in and a tug of war was about to develop when suddenly Bear let the boy have the teapot. He looked at Grandad and me, gave a huge smile and applauded himself! We, of course, praised him and he waited. It wasn't long before the other boy became bored with the teapot and Bear had his turn.

He could have pulled hard, he was slightly bigger than the other boy. He could have had a tantrum but no. He shared. What is more amazing is that he doesn't have to share at home or with us. He is an only child, everything is his.

That's why I am a very proud Grandmother.

Two toddlers playing with cups and teapots
Playing nicely. They are about the same size, the other toddler is sitting down.

Two toddlers playing with cups and teapots
Still good friends....

Two toddlers both wanting the teapot
Tug of war at it's best

The weather has been quite dry but cold this week so we went to our local park but sadly the swings are gone and it's being refurbished. That is fantastic news but what I don't understand is that the sign says work will begin on March 21st, and it's already dismantled. Next week is half term, I wonder why they didn't wait another week?

picture of frame without swings in park
No Swings. Frame nicely painted though.

sign saying work will start on 21st March, it's now only 11th Feb
Work will start on March 21st, mmm it's only 11th February

picture of fence isolating work in park
No big swings either

They did leave the wavy thing that I had no idea what it was. Bear knew and he's just the perfect height.

three pictures of a toddler walking through and under a metal frame

We tried painting this week. I really don't mind messy play at all so was happy for hands, face and more to get covered. Bear had other ideas. he hated it on his hands and just wanted to wash them. I will try again next week.

picture of a painting in red and a toddlers hand at a sink covered in red paint
Bear didn't like hand painting, or a brush, so straight to the sink to wash it off.

What's Bear been saying this week?

Nothing as amazing as "Don't touch" last week;

Poon                for spoon
I don't know     mostly copying one of us saying it
Tick Tock        at both digital and analogue clocks

He is starting to recognise colours. I quite often say things like "Green. Grass is green, and this ball, and your socks, they are all green" pointing to the object in question.

On Thursday I was giving him some orange and doing the same "this is orange, and that ball is orange and your cup is orange". Pointing to each in turn, and then he pointed to the orange fox on his dungerees!

He still refuses to call me Nanny. He just laughs if I ask him to say it. He is well aware of who we all are and will happily point at each of us in turn, including himself, when we say the names.

So I'm thinking of changing my name. I quite like Gorgeous or Darling, what do you think? 


Sunday, 14 February 2016

#MySundayPhoto Number 7

#MySundayPhoto this week is a picture of the beautiful table, decorated by her friends, at my daughters hen night.

It was a great night at the Cosy Club. Fantastic friends, delicious food and not too much to drink. It was very elegant and we laughed so much!


Saturday, 13 February 2016

Cosy Club Cardiff - Review

The Cosy Club Cardiff is a popular restaurant in the City Centre. I have been for lunch on a few occasions and the food is scrummy!

Cosy Club Cardiff Menu

My daughter is getting married at the end of February and her friends chose the Cosy Club for her hen night. They are not drinkers and they wanted somewhere we could all talk, so not too noisy, and that had great food.
The Cosy Club were happy for the table to be decorated and being a Sunday evening it wasn't too busy.

Friday, 12 February 2016

How to Sew a Crochet Hook Roll - Perfect Gift For Mothers Day

Are you looking for something special for a Mothers Day Gift? This would also be perfect for a birthday or Christmas present. If you can sew a straight line then this is an easy and perfect gift for anyone who loves to crochet.

My daughter in law loves to crochet and she bought herself some fabric, buttons and lace from The Works. It was not at all expensive. With a sketch from her and my notes when I made myself a knitting needle roll I made a crochet hook roll. I practised with some Rosalind Rose fat quarters from Higgs and Higgs . A stunningly beautiful floral, with a complimentary polka dot and a plain lemon cotton. I just love their fabrics. After I did my practice run I changed the pattern slightly and made my daughter in laws. Both are just so practical and pretty.

The amount of fabric needed is small. It could be cut from your favourite remnants or even from clothing no longer worn, maybe a skirt or blouse.

This roll has slots for crochet hooks and a pair of scissors. It has a little pocket for needles and a ribbon to hang stitch/row markers.

The completed size is approx 6½" high and 13½" long. When rolled it is approx 2½" wide, depending on how many hooks you squeeze in!

crochet hook roll in flower print fabric
Beautiful Crochet Hook Roll


Monday, 8 February 2016

Kissing Worms and Other Toddler Delights

We have had a great week. Bear finally seems to have recovered from whatever it was that made him poorly last week, although Grandad is now full of cold.

On Monday Bear helped me make Blueberry Muffins. Now I'm not the best baker so he couldn't really mess it up and they are so easy to make anyway. I halved the amount of sugar so they were toddler friendly and used frozen blueberries. The problem with frozen blueberries is that when they thaw lots of  lovely blue juice runs out.

toddler sat on chair with blueberry stain around mouth
I helped with the blueberries!

Bear helped with the blueberries and the cases. He tasted the sugar (mmm nice) the flour (mmm not sure and confusing because he was looking for flower) and the salt (mmm nice too).

He stirred the egg and helped sift the flour. It's a shame he's too young for raw eggs because licking the cake mix is the best part.

The kitchen ended up a mess but he just loves to help.

Kitchen wortop with bowl, flour, mixer and other baking stuff spread all over

Blueberry muffins in blue paper cases

He even likes cleaning at Tots club.

Toddler with toy Vacuum cleaner

It's been quite sunny and warm this week in-between the showers so we have spent more time in the garden and the local park. Bear has watched ants crawl and found a dead ladybird. He uncovered some worms and bent down to give them a kiss! Oh no, kissing worms is not good.

picture of two worms on a step
Worms that were hiding and Bear wanted to kiss

toddler in garden pointing up
Blueberry stains on his mouth, a handful of soil and pointing at wind chimes. What more could a toddler want?

toddler with watering can in green house all wrapped up with scarf and hood
All wrapped up against the cold

toddler sat on steps in park
Sat on the steps watching the world go by

After my failure to see anything during the Big Garden Birdwatch (you can read about it here), this week we have had lots of visitors including Bluetits, Jays, Magpies and Pigeons.

pigeon eating seeds
Photo taken through the kitchen window of a Pigeon eating seeds. .

Bear hit a milestone this week. He's been chattering away for ages, he mimics everything we say but this week it was different. He practised his first sentence. Don't Touch!

Do we say it to him so often that it's the first thing he thought to say?

I have a side table next to the sofa where I sit that has a few bits and pieces on it. The land phone, the TV remotes, a collection of letters that need to be replied to, that sort of thing. Bear has been told from an early age not to touch, it's Nanny's. He completely ignores me of course because who can resist such delights?

On Thursday Bear stood by my table and pointed at each item in turn and said "Don't touch!" then wandered away.

Later in the afternoon he was sat on the bottom step tapping his feet. He wanted to go to bed for a nap and had placed Grandads boots and his wellies on the step. I automatically picked them up and put them on the floor.

"Don't touch!" he scolded. He then picked up his wellies and whilst saying don't touch he put them back onto the step, then onto the floor. "Don't touch!" he said again looking straight at me.

"OK" I replied "I won't touch. I will leave them there. Lets go to bed".  Bear climbed the stairs and I managed to take a quick photo before chasing after him.

I think it won't be long before I can begin a "what the toddler said" series of posts!

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