The first Christmas is nearly upon us 

Sam’s first Christmas looms ever closer and is now only a matter of hours away, although hopefully he’ll sleep through the first few hours of it! 

Despite him not really knowing what’s going on, I can’t wait to give him one of our presents for him – a xylophone. He loves hitting things with his stick and I think he’ll really enjoying getting a sound back! We’ve also bought him a little pull along cart with blocks in, and luckily this week he has started happily pulling his ducks along as he cruises and walks around. 

Yep. Walks. He’s now managing 3-4 free steps and can confidently pull himself from lying to sitting to standing and then walk. How quickly he progresses!  

So, here’s to the first Christmas, the couple of presents from us and the pile he’s likely to get from everyone else!! 

Happy Christmas everyone. 

  

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A little bit of Welshland

We’ve been in Wales for just under a week now, loving our time with my grandparents and Sam. He has adjusted better than I hoped he would and has even slept for the majority of the evening a few times, allowing us some downtime. 

The weather has been kind and we set off for Dinas Head for a stroll the other day. Optimistically, we started off with Sam in the stroller but it soon became apparent that this was very much a sling walk! Back to the car I went with the pram. The sun came out in all its glory and this was of course the one time I didn’t have a sunhat for Sam. No problem! A muslin, a knot at the front and on his head it went. About as English as you can get…poor child. 

The going was fairly tough with uneven surfaces and Carl carrying Sam, me in totally unpractical shoes. I had been wearing sturdy boots but deemed it far too hot (which it was) so I donned my favourite Mel by Melissa flats…which are made of rubber and wholly unsuitable for a sunny walk up a cliff, resulting in blisters and a turned ankle. What a muppet. 

It was a glorious walk though with gorgeous views over the crystal clear blue sea, wild flowers all round, mushrooms hinting at the stories of my childhood; tall enough for little pixies and fairies to dance under, if you have the imagination for such things. 

We had a BBQ yesterday, despite it turning chilly in the evening and Grandpa, always on form, presented us with a wonderful platter of food. Upwords was the game of choice for the evening (as it often is) and since Grandpa had declared it to be the world final game, it was all gloves off. It was very close but I managed to sneak in a victory! 

The sun is shining again today, so maybe we’ll head back to Dinas Head to complete the other walk there (I will be wearing more suitable foot attire!) or maybe we’ll set off for an alternative destination. 

All in all, we’re having a lovely relaxing time with good food, lots of laughter and sunshine.   

Sam’s first trip abroad

Yes, it might be pushing it a little to describe going on a bridge over a river into the Land of Song as ‘abroad’, but it’s the closest Sam will come for a while so I’m sticking with it.

 

Wales

We are just inland from Cardigan

 
We arrived in leafy Pembrokeshire last night after a 4.5 hour journey along the picturesque M25 and M4. Astonishingly (and I don’t think this is too strong a word here), Sam fell asleep on me at home, slept as I put him in the car … and remained asleep until we reached Blaenffos, the closest village to our destination! Even then, he only whinged a little rather than launching into a furious tirade. 

Overall, the drive couldn’t have gone better and it was a marked improvement on the last trip when I was 7 months pregnant and incredibly uncomfortable sitting for that long.

He slept well last night; we kept him in with us to help him adjust, but tonight he’ll be in the cot. As for naps, for now I’ll feed him to sleep at nap time and let him lie on me. When he’s more used to it here, we’ll attempt to put him in the cot for naps but, since this is a fairly recent step even at home, we’ll see how we go. We’re here for over a week so hopefully he’ll settle into his usual routine during that time. 

So here we are! We survived the journey and my grandparents have finally met their cheeky, energetic great-grandson. Sam seems entirely happy here and has skipped his usual shy, quiet period where he susses out his new surroundings, instead opting for jumping and shouting just as much as at home. 

I already miss the jumperoo.

Sam’s first holiday

We have survived Sam’s first trip away. Our week in Center Parcs was brilliant! Thoroughly recommend it to anyone as either a family or group holiday (or both). We stayed in a villa with sauna, games room, open plan kitchen-diner and 4 bedrooms, all with en suites. We were extremely close to the Plaza which holds the swimming pool and restaurants, and only a few minutes away from the village square with pottery painting centre (where we had Sam’s hand and footprints moulded) and pancake house. The Spa ‘Aqua Sana’ was slightly further, but could still be walked to in 15 minutes.

Longleat Center Parcs is hilly. One day I think we clocked up about 8 miles worth of walking, but that doesn’t take into account all of the hills! I definitely did a lot of exercise last week…and a good thing too since we also ate a LOT! Carl and Jon are big fans of cooking excellent cuisine, so a large food shop was done on the first day and we had homecooked dinners every night. Lamb, a BBQ, fish stew, pulled pork…we were spoiled! I can’t remember the last time I ate so much food.

While we all had separate activities booked during the week, we went to the pool as a big group on both Wednesday and Thursday. Sam loved the water by the end and laughed his head off. We all enjoyed the slides and rapids (I obviously didn’t take Sam on them!), although I did think the boys might be thrown out after their antics on both! Ignoring the light system on the slides and going down in quick succession…throwing themselves down the rapids and taking out other people… So much fun being a big kid! I think we all came away with RRI: ‘random rapids injuries’ – I still have a huge bruise on my knee from last Tuesday!

When we arrived home, Sam was all out of sorts. I think he missed the constant excitement of being with his uncles and aunt. Poor bub, the post holiday blues…

All in all, it was an excellent holiday and so good having a few days away. We’re already planning next year’s trip. Can’t wait!

This is the life

Pedicure, swimming, massage…it hasn’t been a bad day. 

Becky and I started our day well with a pedicure and now have beautifully sparkly pink nails – it was lovely having an hour or so to relax and be girly, laughing with Becky and enjoying a free glass of bubbles (acceptable at 10am, right?). The stroll back from the Aqua Sana to our villa mainly consisted of us laughing and talking rubbish. 

We walked in to see Sam in his bumbo, Carl feeding him a bottle and Toby and Jake (2 of Sam’s uncles) both distracting him so he would take the bottle without realising what he was doing. How many men does it take to feed a baby…? 

This afternoon, we all went to the pool. Sam loved it! First stop was a shallow toddler pool. He nearly fell asleep floating on his back as I supported his head and back (mind you, his wet suit is so buoyant that I could probably have let him go). In the main pool, Becky and I bounced around with him and, once he settled, I pulled him along on his front…he was kicking his little legs away! Definitely going to be a water baby! After a feed on poolside, he fell soundly asleep wrapped up in a towel. Angelic…when he feels like it…

Late afternoon had a hot stone massage in store for me, which was so good. I’ve never had one before but I would recommend it. 25 minutes where I thoroughly relaxed and switched off from everything. 

As they say, sometimes a change is as good as a rest. 

Swim lesson

Sam had his first short swimming lesson today. Did he enjoy it? Well, he was definitely the most vocal in the group!! Typically, it was exactly when he would have been best off napping. He pretty much cried through the half hour session…except for when Carl lifted him up and down, in and out of the water. At the end, we had a few minutes in a jacuzzi (bubbles off), lay Sam on his back in the water…and he nearly went to sleep!! Such a tired little man. 

Sam’s first certificate for the wall

Center Parcs is a perfect family holiday and our villa is great! Open kitchen/diner, games room, sauna, all the rooms have nice ensuites. Can’t complain!

Sam struggled with sleeping upstairs without us, so we kept him down with us all evening – he was very unsettled yesterday after a 3 hour car journey and all new surroundings. At least I have new routes to walk when I want him to sleep…

Holiday planning

We’re off to Center Parcs in 3 weeks and I decided to start jotting down what we need to take…I think we need a new car to fit it all!! Problem with babies is having no idea how many outfits they’ll need a day. Sometimes we only need one, but on Sunday we had gone through 3 sleepsuits by lunch.

Carl and I need a few clothes, bathroom stuff and swimsuits. 

Sam needs EVERYTHING. Except the jumperoo…which is only staying home because I’m not sure I can get away with taking it on a 5 day/4 night trip… It’s a ridiculous list, especially since Sam is so dribbly and has a habit of being sick down entire outfits. Also, who knows what the weather will do. 

Clothes

8 x sleepsuits

10-12 x short vests

8 x long vests 

4-6 x long sleeved t-shirts

4 x dungarees/rompers

4-6 x leggings/trousers

5 x socks 

4 x jumpers/cardigans

Swim shorts, wet suit, arm bands

3 x grobags

Every bib and muslin!

Sun hat 

Nappy changing 

Changing mat and towels 

3 x packs wet wipes

1 x big pack nappies 

Sudocrem

Hand gel 

Everything else

Pram, car seat, base, stroller

Changing bag

3 x blankets

Bath, bubble bath, flannel, towel

Travel cot

Play mat, crinkly animal book, tummy time cushion 

Sensory box, lion toy, dog, vtech music car, teething necklace, Sophie teething toy

Bumbo

Formula, bottle/food pot, baby rice/purées, feeding spoons, bowls, steriliser 

Gripe water, infacol, calpol, bonjela, arnica

Sun cream 

I’m sure we’ll take a lot less next time…or will we…