As mentioned two days ago, Elfie and his new friend Chippie didn’t return to our home after a day of extraordinary bad behaviour from both boys.
Its been almost a year since we last published a post on 2 Bottles of Milk, so where have we been?
Last Christmas I was so ill that I spent most of Christmas Day in bed asleep and it got me thinking about how hectic our lives were and how we needed to relax and let something rest for a while and that was unfortunately the blog! With everything that Leo had gone through and a new baby, as well as life in general it was the easiest thing to let go and allow more time for all the other stuff that was going on at that point.
Oliver finished his last day of pre-prep last Friday, but his time with them isn’t finished just yet.
Every major holiday they run a club with fun themed days for the kids and this holiday is no different. Oliver attended a session just before Christmas just after we had decided to send him to the school to see how he would get on with his then new teacher. So when we got the letter that they were running sessions for the first two weeks of this summer break we asked him if he wanted to go to any of the sessions, now I expected him to say no. However he jumped at the chance, he is attending two different sessions one of which we chose as it fits into our holiday for this summer and the other he chose.
The session he chose is running next Monday and he can’t wait, he chose a session entitled Totally Bubbles, now we can all imagine what that will include and I can’t blame him for being excited, I’m excited for him.
The session we chose he attended yesterday and this session was entitled All About Disney. We have recently being going a bit Disney mad in our house as our summer holiday this year is to Disneyland Paris, the boys don’t have a clue yet but Keighley and I are starting to get excited.
When I went to pick Oliver up this afternoon his teacher, who runs the sessions, said that he had been beaming from ear to ear all day and that he has had an immense amount of fun. He had been playing with kids from his class and other classes all morning and had also partaken in two craft activities one of which was making a magic mirror and the other was a Minion face, now I know that Minions aren’t Disney but who cares he had a lot of fun. The thing he was most excited about was having his face painted as it was a first for him.
I am so glad decided to send him to these sessions as his excitement is worth it.
Oliver has been asking for a bike for a little while, long enough for us to know he was serious about wanting one. He has been riding a bike at school during breaks and at lunch and has developed the desire to further pursue the new skills that he had acquired.
So recently we went to the bike shop and let Oliver choose a bike that both he liked and we thought suitable for him as a first bike.
Well to say it has been a success is an understatement. He loves it and he loves riding his bike. The bike he chose was a Police themed bike and he loves it.
I wrote last week about how I’m really not a fan of sport or exercise, however the one thing I have always enjoyed is Cycling. I haven’t really kept it up as an adult however as a kid I rode practically everywhere. Summer holidays were spent riding to local parks and woods and spending the day out on bikes with my brother and friends. Since Oliver has gotten his bike we have already been out multiple times and both Oliver and Leo have enjoyed the rides in the countryside around our village, Leo has use of Olivers old trike, which has a handle for myself or Keighley to push him along.
I am looking forward to the future when the boys are that little bit older and the whole family can go on a long cycle ride for the day. This wont be for a few years yet but in the mean time we have to concentrate on getting Oliver less dependant on his stabilisers and riding on two wheels rather then four. I am looking forward to how Oliver and Leos riding skills develop over the next few years.
Now anyone that knows me well will know that I’m not overly interested in sport, participation or watching, that doesn’t mean however that I don’t understand the benefits and therefore encourage my kids to be as active as they can.
Yesterday Oliver’s School had their Pre-Prep Sports Day followed by a family picnic and awards ceremony.
Due to the age of the kids (2 and a half up to 5) the teachers kept it relatively simple, in that the most the kids did was race against each other in a flat race and a novelty race. This however meant that the kids loved the morning and were happy to participate and then sit and wait for their next turn.
Oliver raced quite early on during the flat racing and really enjoyed himself, he has told me recently that he loves running and a photo we have of him during his race that shows how much he was loving it.
Oliver’s class then participated in a Novelty Race called ‘Changing of the Guard’, I should point out that all the novelty races were named after a theme which was ‘The Best of British’. I his race Oliver had to run and grab a flag and wave it then run down to a hoop and salute in it then finally run to the finish line. This race was purely about having fun and that’s what Oliver had.
The picnic after was a great idea and all the kids loved it as they were able to play whilst the parents chatted with teachers and other parents. During the picnic the children were all given medals for participating and they were all proud of them.
Although I’m not a huge sports fan I am glad that Oliver had such a good time doing exercise and not realising that he was and that is the best way for him to keep fit and healthy and exercise for the rest of his life.
Our Easter break in this household lasted three whole weeks, three weeks I hear you say!!! Yep three weeks. My wife works in a private school and they have longer and different holidays from state schools. As Oliver attends their Pre-Prep he also got three weeks off.
As you can imagine keeping the kids entertained for three weeks was difficult but we decided to take advantage of this and aside from the days out and doing lots of crafts we also decided to educate the boys in some Disney Classics.
Both of our boys love Toy Story, Cars and anything Mickey Mouse but beyond that they know very little. We have a family trip to Disneyland Paris coming up later this year and both myself and my wife have become worried that they won’t know any of the characters that appear in Disneyland.
The first movie we decided to show them was The Lion King. This is probably my all time favourite Disney Movie. Oliver started off by saying it was going to be boring and that he wanted to watch Cars for the hundredth time. However once it started he was hooked from beginning to end, Leo on the other hand was hooked as soon as the Disney logo appeared on our TV screen. He loved it and even made a roaring sound whilst using his sign language to sign animal. A very proud Mummy and Daddy.
The following day we decided to stick The Jungle Book on (we had a sort of unofficial theme going on that weekend). The boys both loved this. They loved the songs and the music and both went and got a Baloo the Bear soft toy we have from when we bought the DVD a few years ago.
I toyed with the idea of the animated version of Beauty and the Beast but am worried it might be on the scary side for a four year old and a two year old.
Following on from The Lion King and The Jungle Book we also watched the Toy Story Saga and both Cars movies during the course of the holidays.
We also had Oliver’s class mascot stay with us for the three weeks who just so happens to be Minnie Mouse so we truly had a very Disney Easter.
As most parents know there is nothing more scary then planning a long trip with young children involved, invariably there is some sort of melt down from someone due to the time spent cooped up in whatever form of transport you are using at that time.
As a result we have had to plan how we are going to keep the kids amused for the journey and, this applies to a plane, how are we going to make sure we aren’t the family with the screaming kid. To that end we have come up with five top tips for travelling with two young kids.
1. Number one is simple, and to be honest obvious, but plan your journey.
This is a natural when you are travelling by plane but also essential when travelling a long distance by car. It is important to know which roads you will be on and for how long.
2. When travelling a long distance by car babies shouldn’t be in a car seat more then two hours so you will need to make regular stops, so therefore not is it only essential to know the roads you are going to be travelling on but also where any stops or services are to give your children and you a much needed rest.
3. When travelling by plane or boat make sure you have packed everything you can think your children will need. When we flew a couple of years ago we got Oliver a little Thomas carry on case that he then filled with a few toys and we put snacks and a few bits for Leo and also a tablet computer with some downloaded videos for them to watch. That way we knew we wouldn’t be those dreaded parents with those kids that scream all the way.
4. One of the main things about travelling with kids is making sure you stay calm and collected. If you seem in control (even if underneath you feel stressed) you’re kids will stay calm and not stress out about having to be cooped up for hours on end.
5. And finally….. The most important piece of advice we can give is have fun. Make the journey as fun as possible and it will feel like it went a lot quicker.
Ifall else fails take ear plugs so you can’t hear your kids playing up.
As it’s the Easter Holidays and Keighley and I are looking for ways to entertain the kids so they aren’t stuck indoors all day every day. As I posted earlier this week the boys love arts and Crafts so we always do a lot of that with them, however they also love the great outdoors and as this week has had some lovely days we taken advantage of them.
The boys are familiar with almost all our local parks and every now and then you want to do something or go somewhere you’ve never been before. Earlier this week a quick Google led us to a lovely country park in north Kent near the Dartford crossing and Dartford.
The Country Park is a pretty standard park in the terms of the way it’s set out but it is also very beautiful.
We sat and had a picnic in a massive sloping field and then went for a walk up a gravel path and then down through an avenue of trees.
The kids loved the freedom of being able to run around and being able to wear themselves out.
We would thoroughly recommend a visit to Darenth Country Park. The best bit is also Country parks around the country are free to use and are a great way to keep the kids busy this holiday, so why not go exploring with the kids.
We have a fantastic woods near us that we don’t go to often enough.
I’ve been going as long as I can remember. I spent many an hour there as a child with my parents and grandparents, climbing trees, swinging on rope swings, jumping streams etc…
This is a place that is special to me and I’ve always wanted the boys to experience it as well. We went earlier this week on one of those cold in the shade yet slightly too warm in the sun days. The woods were a constrast between a boggy mess where we were getting stuck in the mud through to a frozen stream that the boys loved to look at.
I had read on a local Facebook Group about a farm that allowed you to go and pick your own pumpkins and thought the kids would love it. Last year we had taken them Potato Digging and they loved it so thought this would be a fantastic idea.
When we arrived we parked in a field near the entrance and were greeted by two huge round hay stacks with pumpkins painted on. Oliver loved them and ran up to them asking for his photo to be taken.
We entered the place which was obviously a great big field to be greeted by a very friendly person who explained what we had to do and what else there was to do once we’d finished picking our pumpkins. This included things like Pumpkin Bowling and other games.
We grabbed a wheelbarrow and headed off into the field. Oliver and Leo immediately started picking up pumpkins they wanted so Daddy had to step in and sort out what was actually useable for us.
We ended up with six pumpkins and Oliver also picked some corn on the cob to take home and eat, which in total came to £9 so a lovely cheap trip out. The kids had a lovely time and Oliver has asked if we can go again.