Saturday, 29 August 2009

Harv's Fire Pit

Here's Harv's fire pit - he dug it out in the area previously occupied by naughty rabbit, Maggie. The bricks were some that have been lying around in the garden since we moved in. It now has sand around it too, to keep the weeds from growing right up to the bricks. We've had a few fires in it on these not-so-summery evenings, including one when Mike, Kathy, Mel and Paul joined us a couple of nights ago. Kath said how much she liked our garden - but of course it's the friends and family that come and join us in it that really make it such a lovely place.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Six Months Old!

My gorgeous Thom is six months old - where did that go??

Having learnt to get around wherever he wanted to go by rolling whilst we were in France, he has been capitalising on this since we got home, and also added a commando style crawl to his skills.......
He can also sit up all by himself now and has cut his first tooth. (All very textbook - wasn't expecting a textbook bub, but definitely not complaining!)
He loves singing and music, is a very smiley baby, and is very popular with the general public, especially when he's beaming out at them from one or other of the slings.
He feeds himself cooked veggies and the odd bit of bread or biscuit, and spoonfeeds himself fruit purees and yoghurt, but his favourites are big slices of melon, nectarine, peach and plum, which he grabs hold of and buries his face in. All of which means that he now has rather a lot of baths - which he loves - more than making up for the lack of them in his early months....
And last week when he was very grumpy and struggling to get to sleep he fell blissfullyasleep as soon as Harv started to play his guitar to him - didn't get a photo of that but here are some others -

Here he is listening to Mike, checking out a wooden carrot, being adored by his big sister, and all ready for bed in a rather delightful home tie-dye number......

We have just waved Harv, Eve and Noah off on an overnight camping trip, so planning to really luxuriate in his company - my beautiful bub....

Friday, 21 August 2009

I love the nhs!

Okay, so I don't always, but this week we have got more than our money's worth from it.
Harv got checked over in preparation for the Cardiff half marathon he's running. I received amazing treatment at our very local minor injuries unit for a horribly painful knee. I was seen immediately on arrival, x-rayed, had advice from a knee specialist and referred for physio and ultrasound therapy in under 2 1/2 hours. Eve fell off the carousel at Blist's Hill and the staff decided to call the paramedics to check the cartoon-style bump on her head - she's absolutely fine now, but was just slightly dramatic about it at the time. She cheered up when they measured her pulse and sats which she found very interesting. Noah had a home visit to fit his new hearing aids (which we decided on instead of grommets to combat his glue ear)- she ended up taking the moulds away again as they were a bit dodgey, but we are always very grateful for home visits rather than trips to hospital. And Thom visited the doctor for his slightly dodgey toes (which are now fine). This is an extraordinary week - we're not usually such a drain on the nhs......... Above is a photo I've been meaning to post for a while - Noah had moulds made of his ears - we watched a sneaky bit of Kung-Fu Panda while we waited for it to dry. He did really well - can't be nice having play-doh type stuff in your ears?!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Coming home...

Harv kind of despairs a bit at me because I'm always SO happy to get home after a holiday (he always spends a couple of days a bit miserable), but there are so many lovely things about coming home: blackberries (picked from over the fence of our back garden), Eve, Noah and Thom having their first go at the splendidly updated treasure basket; chicken pie, home-made by Harv; jam tarts made by Eve; and the marrows our courgettes turned into while we were away, some ripe apples from our tree and a fat bunch of lavender - which will hopefully be turning into chutnies and herb pillows for Christmas.

Two Weeks in a 'Camping House'

Fab things about this holiday:

Thom strarted to roll to get moblie - loved rolling off the picnic blanket the moment you put him on it and grabbing a crafty handful of grass to munch on.
Noah's speech moved on amazingly - 'pah-oo' for thank you, 'pile on!' for fighting, and very clear 'bonjour' and 'aurevoir'.
Eve LOVED the water slides and swimming in the river - she's very confident now and could swim with armbands all the way across the river.
The beach! How often do you come across a beach with lots of lovely shade for bubs and mums?! And swimming in fresh water rather than the sea means you don't HAVE to shower...
Harv indulged his love of BBQs.
And of French wine......
Mike El Mundo joined us for a few days.
We truly lived life in the slow lane.
Beautiful fields full of sunflowers and sweetcorn. Eve always exclaimed with delight at them.
Noah played happily for half an hour with two coathangers who were 'fighting'. (I don't wish to stereotype my own son, but honestly......)
Discovered that Thom could, in fact, nurse in the sling (I never thought we'd manage) when he decided he was hungry during the quiet bit of a son et lumiere at Grottes des Villars.
Thom happily scoffed apricots, melon and nectarines.
Saw loads of OLD cars and caravans - instead of all the shiny 4WDs back home.

Not so fab things about the holiday:
Driving 800 miles to get there.
Washing Eve's sleeping bag by hand. Nuff said.
Sweating in the tent - OMG.
Finding Thom sucking on the tyre of the pushchair. (Actually, that's not so bad, just a bit euwwww).
Hearing Eve from the back seat of the car 'Mum, Thom likes chocolate....'
Wanting a cigarette for the first time in years because of all the passive smoking in outdoor bars.

More photos from Chinon

St Aulaye and Chinon

Noah, who's never been that interested in cars before, was immediately drawn to this one - wicked!
The river beach in St Aulaye - you can just make out the raft moored in the middle of the river that Harv often swam Eve and Noah over to. In fact Eve swam for herself. Noah loved jumping in off the raft in Harv's arms.

A view up at the tree which Eve insisted Harv took on our last day in St Aulaye; an arc-en-ciel (go my GCSE French) and Eve and Noah inside the tent.

Summer Hols

We set off on Monday morning and travelled down to Ashford, via 1 1/2 hours on the M25, where we stayed over in a Travel Lodge before getting up at 5.30 to catch the 8am Katamaran Ferry to Boulougne........ This all went smoothly, we drove a bit too far around Rouen, but still not too hideous a journey, then stopped somewhere in Normandy where it all went a bit urghhhh. Because of a tuna sandwich that we hadn't see the last of.....
I won't bore on - the journey down to Tours went on an unfeasible amount of time, and was punctuated by frequent stops to comfort and clean up poor old Evie-chops who was sick, sick, sick. Then sick again in the corridor of the F1 hotel we stayed in - budget-style, it was poor Harv who cleaned up as only one person was at work at the time.
We arrived at the camp site in St Aulaye in time for late lunch the next day, though, by which time she was pretty much mended. And thank you and merci again to the lovely lady and her sons who helped us put up the tent on the hottest and most humid day of the year so far......
As usual for me I have been scared to sit down and update this blog for the past week, for fear that I'll be here for hours! The bigger the job, the greater the likelihood of procrastination...... So I'll try to chip, chip away instead. Here are some pictures from the garden, from the middle of July. A flower stew for the fairies; sunflowers and passionflowers; courgette plants in flower; and a tea party that looks as though it was abandoned in favour of a golf round - who knows - by the time I took this photo Eve and Noah were chasing eachother up and down the slide.....