On Yer Bike! 

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.

 

First Trip!

Yesterday Oliver went on his first ever school trip to a local Farm and it’s got me thinking at how he is now growing up. 


The thing is I don’t know if I’m ready for it. I can vividly remember him being born and bringing him home from the hospital and now he is venturing off on adventures with his pre-prep school. 

When I went to pick him up from the school yesterday afternoon he was full of the excitement of spending the day with his teachers and friends and everything they had done at the farm, including seeing a Sheep race, and I am pleased that he is growing up and becoming independent. However inside there is a part of me that realises that this is the start of a long journey that eventually leads to him moving out and getting a place of his own. 


Now I realise that, that is a long way off but it did dawn on me, as he was telling me all about his day, that he was starting to move away from being almost completely dependant on myself or Keighley. 

Oliver starts Primary School in September and so I know that during his time there he will be having more day trips out and also trips out to friends houses and also trips out with friends. I also know that this is part of growing up and that every child and parent go through it. There is part of me though that has been taken by surprise by the speed it’s happened. As I said at the beginning of this post I can vividly remember Oliver being born and bringing him home from the hospital and also those first few days however over the last few months he has grown in confidence and character and now in experiences beyond Mum and Dad. 


There is a huge part of me that is looking forward to what the next few months brings in terms of Oliver’s development but there is also a small part that is sad to see that development. 

Sports Day Fun! 

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.

oliver1

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.

oliver2

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.

We’ve Ditched the Dummies

Every child that has a dummy hits that time where Mummy and Daddy decide to take it away even if that decision to take it away is filled with a slight dread and fear of how said child is going to react. 

Well for us it’s been one week since we’ve ditched the dummies for Leo and it’s gone surprisingly well. Considering Leo started nursery just after Easter and seemed to have become slightly more dependant on having a dummy he has given them up quite easily. 

He now only has them at bedtime although he was ill over the weekend so had one for a nap as well, but other then that he has adjusted to day time life without his favourite companion. 

When we went through this process with Oliver we had the same fears but Oliver was showing the signs of wanting to leave the dummy behind where as Leo hasn’t been. However just like Oliver he has surprised us and moved on with little aggro. 

There has been one side effect of taking Leo’s dummys away and that is his speech. Without meaning to sound rude since last Monday he hasn’t really shut up. He has literally babbled and spoken almost non stop since, which is both great and annoying in equal measure. Sometimes you just like that quiet time, every parent will know what I mean. However the fact he is babbling non stop means that we have had a few new words as well, most notably his new favourite NO! 

The next big, and it will be a big with a capital B step is to remove the dummy at night but for now we are happy to have succeeded in the day. 

We would love to hear about your dummy removal stories, feel free to comment below. 

Top Tips for Travelling with Kids 

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. 


Since Oliver has been born we’ve had three trips to Greece to see family with him and then Leo as well as long car journeys and even an hour boat ride. 

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. 

If all else fails take ear plugs so you can’t hear your kids playing up.

Plutonium Sox

Two Years of Hearing Aids

On this day two years ago Leo received his first pair of hearing aids.

Having been diagnosed with a hearing loss during his New Born Hearing Screening Test after they failed to get a result Leo was sent for further testing including a NBR which is a test they do when the child is asleep to see if they can get any feedback on his/her hearing.

Following the tests they did Leo’s audiologist sat down with Keighley and my Mother in Law and explained that he had a hearing loss and that he would need hearing aids. This was around Easter time two years ago.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years as so much has happened in that time including an MRI Scan, Genetic Testing and a referral to St Thomas Hospital for Cochlear Implant assessment after Leo had a further hearing loss in December last year.

In those two years we have had times when he has been great wearing his aids, he started off so well and then he figured out that he could remove them and either throw them or in a few cases feed them to the dog. Each and everytime his audiology team have just replaced them and we’ve moved on. We’ve had more molds then I can remember because Leo was growing so quickly as a baby he would need them redone every week. 

It’s been a tough journey the last two years and a steep learning curve but it’s also been an amazing one as we have a learnt a lot. We’ve also watched Oliver learn to watch out for his brothers hearing aids as well as his brother when they are out playing. Both the boys have learnt some basic sign language and that is continuing and it’s amazing to see how well they both adapt to the situations we have thrown at us.

I’m gonna leave this Post with the video of Leo getting his hearing aids for the first time and having them switched on. To me it’s still as amazing now as it was then.

 

Would you Live in Pontypandy? 


My youngest son has recently become a huge Fireman Sam fan, we’ve watched a lot of the more recent stuff and I’ve even found the originals from way back when on YouTube. 

Whilst watching it with him I got to thinking that it must be a lovely place to live, it seems like a lovely small town with beautiful rolling hills and mountains surrounding it, also the sea on one side. Sounds like a lovely place doesn’t it…. 


However when you actually stop and think about it there are multiple reasons why living in Pontypandy is an awful idea. 

Watching the episodes with Leo the first thing I noticed is obviously the amount of fires there are! No matter how many times the residents of Pontypandy are told about fire safety they never seem to learn, in fact in one episode one of the characters Mike Flood actually says ‘Hang on! That’s my house, again!’ When he finds out his house is on fire. 

Then there’s the Great Fire of Pontypandy, which is caused by Norman Price trying to cook sausages in the forest after being told that no fires are allowed due to how dry everything is. The fire services response to this is to evacuate the town and go out to sea as they can’t put it out. 

Fires don’t seem to be the only problem that Pontypandy suffer with though, there’s an extraordinary amount of floods, avalanches and other natural disasters that people have to be rescued from on regular occasions. Add to this the fact that the residents of Pontypandy seem to have no common sense when it comes to not getting into trouble, things like not following your satnav when it tells you to drive into the sea for example, it just strikes me as this place would drive you up the wall and a place that I personally could not live. 

I know it’s only a children’s TV program but sometimes you do have to think about what these places would be like in real life. Having been to the Welsh Valleys and seeing how beautiful and peaceful they are I can imagine that Pontypandy is like this, however for the reasons listed above it’s certainly a place I would not want to live. 

OMG You’re Four Today!


Oliver is Four years old today, how on earth did that happen??? 

I can literally remember bringing him home from the hospital as a little bundle of joy that was completely dependent on myself and his mum. 

Fast forward four years and he is a confident, yet reserved on occasion, outgoing, sometimes mouthy little boy, who is loving life and everything in it. 

Over the years we have seen his interests change and grow with him but the one thing that has always been a constant, and will be for years to come, are his cars. He absolutely loves them. His favourites are the cars from Disney Pixar Cars and we are already looking at taking him to see the new movie out later this year. 

At the start of this year Oliver started in a new nursery which he loves and he has come one leaps and bounds since January. He enjoys going in every morning and there have been mornings where I have felt like he’s out grown the need for Daddy but then I get the hug and kiss telling me he still very much needs myself or Keighley there as a support and that’s what we will do as in the next year he starts school and develops more skills and hobbies that’ll set him up in his life. 

All that needs to be said is to wish Oliver a very happy 4th Birthday and may it be everything you want. 

Yikes! You’re Two!


Leo turned two today! Where have the last two years gone?!? 

I can still remember sitting outside theatre in the hospital waiting to here his cry or hear of news that both my wife and him had made it through delivery. The change at that point from being a Dad of one to being a Dad of two didn’t really dawn on me, however over the last two years I have realised how lucky we are to have two children close in age. Yes they fight from time to time but mostly they get on well and really care and love each other. 

Leo has had a life full of appointments for his hearing and although that isn’t slowing down anytime soon, (in fact we have more then ever) he is always receptive and upbeat in his attitude. 

Today we’ve had a quite Day celebrating his birthday with just myself and Leo for most of it. However at the weekend we are going to be seeing lots of family and celebrating more. 

There are times I wish he would slow down with the growing up, especially recently as he’s seemed more and more like a little boy rather then a toddler. We all take the moments to laugh and share and enjoy and those will be the memories I will cherish and remember for years to come long after he has grown up. 

Happy Birthday Leo. 

Back from a Break. 

Our last post was way back in June and since then all we’ve really done is post pictures to our Twitter and Instragram accounts. 


There is no reason for this beyond the want to spend more time with the family and enjoy summer, and it was a nice summer as for us as well. 

So what have we been doing in the 2 Bottles of Milk household this summer. 

Well a lot actually. Here we are going to give you a brief overview some of which will follow in bigger blog posts others will stay as that just an overview. 

LegoLand

In July we were lucky enough to go to Legoland thanks to the coupons in a well known National Newspaper and we had a wonderful time. 

Although Oliver and Leo were too young for a few of the rides there were more then enough to keep them amused all day and too be honest we could have had another day there and not got bored. 

DIY


One of the things we have wanted to do for a while is erect a wall between our kitchen and living room. As anyone with young children knows the last place you want them when cooking is in the kitchen under your feet. 

Well we finally got around to actually doing it this summer and the transformation it has made to the room is amazing. Although not painted yet it’s amazing how different the room looks as a result. 

American Speedfest @Brands Hatch


This was an amazing day out that both the boys loved. Oliver has need mad on Disney Cars and cars in general for as long as I can remember now and this was the perfect day out for him. 

The boys got to meet Mater, Finn McMissile and Lightning McQueen along with a host of other cars that were present and also watch some NASCAR Racing that is held at Brands Hatch every year. 

We’ve also had great days out at Hadleigh Castle, The Beach and Greenwich Park in London. 


Personally I’ve been busy with work (two weeks in Cambridge was not fun) and also marking 50 years since Star Trek first debuted by going to see the new movie Star Trek Beyond and looking forward to Destination Star Trek in October and Star Trek Discovery (coming next year to Netflix). 


As we look forward to the end of the year and the many things we have to look forward to and the things that come around year after year. We will be blogging as much as we can and we will also be doing our, now annual, ‘Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas’ from the 7th November onwards.