Tuesday 29 July 2014

Mini Milestones - Elliot at 20 months

I've read a few blogs which feature mini milestones of their toddlers and I love seeing how Elliot is progressing compared to other children his age. I can't promise a mini milestone post every month but I will definitely be aiming to do regular updates! I think it will be really nice to look back on see how he is growing because at the moment, life seems to be passing by in a blur and before I know it, he'll be a teenager!!

Elliot's speech is improving all the time and I now understand lots of what he is saying even if it does sound abit gobbleygook! He has lots of words that he now knows such as bath bath, cheeeese, ta, car, poo poo , tractor, Peppa, keys, drink, tea, yes, no (he's very assertive when he says no!), mine, youtube (guess what he likes doing on the iPad!!), splash and bat! He can also say nanna and grandad really well - two words he gets very excited about!
In the past week he has started to put words together which is very exciting. This morning he said "mummy bath bath!" when I was on my way into the bathroom for a shower!
Also this week Elliot has started saying "mummy" and "daddy" rather than mumma and dadda. It's very cute but makes him sound more grown up!
Obviously there are lots he can't say yet but gives it a good go - he can't say Laura (my sister) and calls her Agalag!!
Elliot loves making animal noises and knows which noise belongs to what animal. I'm proud that he's been able to do this since before he was one. My favourite animal noise he does is the pig!! We found a really good video on youtube that he really loves oinking and roaring along to:
The Animal Noise Song

We've been trying to introduce counting and Elliot is getting really good at holding up one or two fingers when we ask "how many..." questions. He's got lots of books that have counting themes so I try and make sure we read these regularly.

Physical Development
Elliot has been walking since 11 months and once he'd passed the chimp phase (arms in the air, waddling along!) there was nothing stopping him! He doesn't mind being in the buggy but he'd much rather be walking...or running!! I stupidly didn't put him in a trolley in the supermarket the other day and he ran from one end to the other - I didn't know his little legs could go that fast!! I had to run after him...my little legs certainly don't go that fast!! It's amazing how far they can walk too - on a daytrip a few weeks ago we took the buggy but he was barely in it and must have walked about 5 miles by the end of the day. He slept well that night ;)
He likes to climb and we've recently discovered he can climb onto our dining table chairs. No more leaving things on the table - everything is in his grasp now! Speaking of which, he can now also reach the keys in the doors and I'm sure it won't be long before he realises how to unlock them!!

Social Skills
We started going to our local Under One's baby group when Elliot was around 10 weeks and it really helped with his social skills. He's a very friendly little boy and not clingy in the slightest. He's happy to go off and play and he only comes to find me when he's hungry or thirsty!
Elliot really likes to cuddle his little friends now and it's lovely to see but he hasn't quite mastered knowing when to stop!
We met some lovely friends through our various baby groups we have attended and it means there's always someone around for a playdate :)

We are really lucky that Elliot isn't a fussy eater and will pretty much scoff whatever is put in front of him. I have noticed that the warmer weather has affected his appetite a bit - lunch times can be a bit hit or miss but he'll always have a nice big meal at teatime so I know he's not going to go hungry! His favourites are sausages (of any variety!), any fruit & veg, wafer thin ham, cheese (he helps himself straight from the fridge!), pasta and his current snack of choice - ice pops! He also loves cake but I do try not to encourage his sweet tooth!

Favourite Things
Trains - especially those "borrowed" from Grandad's shed! My dad has a little model railway in his shed and Elliot always makes a beeline for this when we visit. They spend ages in there!
Ducky - Ducky was purchased by my husband on the day Elliot was born, he was meant to be at home having a sleep while we rested at the hospital but instead he found himself in Toys R Us itching to buy him his first pressie! Ducky has seen better days - he's been in the washing machine a few times, plus cuddled to death every night. Not to mention dropped in the litter tray!
Stickers - before we had Elliot, my brother in law hated it when we gave his children stickers and I never understood why.....now I do!!! Elliot loves stickers but they get everywhere, I went out with a sticky Iggle Piggle stuck to my bum last week! Still, it keeps him quiet!
Books - I've always been a bookworm and I love that Elliot has inherited this, he has so many books that I've literally run out of room in his bedroom. Quite often I find him sat in his room on a pile of books!
Football - I've written about this in a previous post but he loves kicking a ball around, and he's so happy at his Little Kickers football classes on a Saturday morning!

Elliot and his Grandad in their favourite place :)

Thursday 24 July 2014

Trendy Tot Thursday

I'm a big fan of cool tshirts on Elliot and I thought what better way to show them off by taking part in Trendy Tot Thursday #TT_Thursday on Twitter! Everyweek I'll be posting a pic of my outfit of the week....most likely to be a shorts and tshirt combo!

This week, my favourite outfit was this: 

T-shirt - Next
Shorts - Tu @ Sainsburys
Trainers - George @ Asda

You can't see it on the pic but the back of the tshirt has sticky out dinosaur spikes which Elliot loves! The shorts have been worn to death this summer already but they go with everything and they wash really well, you can't fault Sainsbury's clothes for kids. 

Check back next Thursday for our next outfit post :)

Wednesday 16 July 2014

There's no such thing as a Gruffalo....or is there?!

I bought Elliot the Gruffalo book when he was very young and he has always loved the story, and all the characters in it. He loves making the animal noises when prompted - his fox noise is hilarious!! He's got Gruffalo tshirts, a hat, an outfit, multiple copies of the book, a moneybox, height chart, wellies, slippers, a dinner plate....the list goes on!

Moors Valley Country Park ,one of our local country parks was chosen as one of 15 forests in the UK to provide a home for a sculpture of the Gruffalo to celebrate his 15 year anniversary. Being such huge fans of the book we knew we had to arrange a visit so we could see the sculpture and let Elliot meet his hero :)

Yesterday we set off in search of the Gruffalo and had such a lovely day. The weather was amazing, the park was lovely and quiet and we found the Gruffalo! Because the park was so quiet we took our time and spent lots of time exploring the playtrail. Elliot really enjoyed climbing up and down all the wooden play equipment - he was even brave enough to slide into a snakes mouth! There were only a few other families playing on the climbing frames but I can imagine it gets exceptionally busy here on weekends on school holidays.

We stopped  for a picnic midway round the trail and it was so peaceful! Elliot even got to try out his new Gruffalo sandwich box :)

The Treetop Trail was our next destination - this is a wooden walk way, 5 metres from the ground which winds through the trees. Sadly it isn't pushchair friendly so I had to take the detour and let the boys go up but I could hear Elliot's shouts of "mumma!" all across the forest!! The tree top trail gives you a great view of down below and Elliot tried his hardest to spot the Gruffalo but I think he was hiding ;)

On from the Treetop Trail we took the "Lookout" walk which took us on a gentle stroll through the trees up to the highest point. Bit bumpy with a buggy but Elliot loved clambering up the path! We found great views from the top and again it was so peaceful. Still no sign of that Gruffalo though!

Elliot began to flag on the way down and despite saying no he didn't want to go in his buggy, he fell straight to sleep as soon as we strapped him in. We worked out that he walked around 4 miles which is a long old way for little legs! Our walk ended up at the railway station but unfortunately Elliot was still asleep so he missed having a ride on the steam train. Bit of a shame because he loves trains but I'm sure we will be back :)

We didn't get a chance to go into the playarea as Elliot was still snoozing but Moors Valley have two great play areas, one for bigger kids and the other especially for little ones. Another thing to add to our list for next time!

Just as we were beginning to think we'd never find the Gruffalo, we spotted him lurking in the picnic area by the Visitors Centre - yay we found him! Luckily, Elliot had also woken up by this point so he was able to see for himself that there is such a thing as a Gruffalo!

The wooden sculpture was brilliant and really well done, he even has a poisonous wart at the end of his nose! Elliot was a bit unsure at first but soon he was happy to go right up to him and he spent ages running around gruffalo looking at his purple prickles on his back. As the park was so quiet we were able to take lots of photos without feeling rushed and Elliot really enjoyed meeting his new friend!

We had such a great family day out at Moors Valley and Elliot had such fun stomping around the trails looking for the Gruffalo. We will definitely be back :)

Linking up with...

Entertaining Elliot

Thursday 10 July 2014

Future England Star?! Little Kickers Football Classes

Elliot is football mad and loves nothing more than being outside in the garden kicking a ball around. Or anything vaguely resembling a ball! (I caught him playing football with a satsuma the other day.....!)

I'd heard about Little Kickers, a fun and informal football class for boys and girls from the age of 18 months. The more I read about it, the more excited I was to get Elliot signed up!

Elliot had his first class last Saturday morning and he absolutely loved it, as we knew he would. He was given his own little football kit to wear and he looked very cute running around with the other toddlers! The children started off with a kick around (Elliot couldn't believe his eyes when he spotted all the footballs) and moved on to games. The fun games are designed to help with their balance, co-ordination and even their problem solving skills. The session ended with a circuit which featured activities such as a net to crawl under, a "snake" to jump over and a goal to score!

 The class was run by two friendly young lads and they were so good with the children, having patience where needed (toddlers do their own thing don't they!) and being very encouraging. I went along as a spectator but my husband took part in the class - it was really nice for him to have something special to do with Elliot and I imagine this is only the beginning of the daddy and son football Saturdays!!

Saturday 5 July 2014

Fun at Farmer Palmers!

Farmer Palmers is a brilliant family friendly attraction for under 8's located here in sunny Dorset. Since Elliot started walking last year we have purchased an annual pass and have definitely got our moneys worth already! We always have a great time whatever the weather. Here are our highlights:

Lamb Feeding:
This never ever gets boring! The lambs are always so over excited to get their bottles and I love it when they are released from their pen and they made a mad stampede to the waiting kids. The first time we went, Elliot was sat on my lap without any shoes on as he wasn't quite walking yet - a rather overly enthusiastic lamb came bounding over and started sucking on his toe!! Very funny but Elliot wasn't quite so keen and it took a few visits to get him used to the crazy hungry lambs!

Guinea Pigs:
Who doesn't love a guinea pig?! Elliot loves having a squeaking guinea pig on his lap and he always says "ahhh!" as he strokes it! 

Bouncy Castles:
Farmer Palmers has not one but two big bouncy castles - this is good for tiring toddlers out ;)

The Tractors:
I think this may be Elliot's favourite thing about FP - lots of pedal tractors to sit on, push, pull round etc. He would spend all day in this bit if I let him! 

Things to Climb on:
FP has a large sandy play area with plenty to keep the kids busy - swings, slides, climbing frames...you name it, they have it! Elliot's favourite things to play on are the wooden animals - especially the horses! 

The Henhouse:
Farmer Palmers has a brilliant cafe which sells amazing cakes amongst other things! It's good value and the portions are pretty big....and they do Slush Puppies, yum! 

Lots more fun stuff including the bouncy tractor ride, the Woodland trail, the splash zone, animal pens, pig racing, deer safari, hay slides, go carts etc etc!

You might even be able to spot Farmer Palmer himself! 

There really is so much to see here - we never ever manage to squeeze in everything in one visit and this is why we enjoy coming back again and again. 

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Co-op Carnage!

I have a long standing issue of my local shop and their lack of room for buggies in the aisles!

Our local co-op is really convenient to me - I live two minutes from it so I'm always popping in to grab a few bits when my weekly shop is running low. I've always shopped in there since moving to the area, but it wasn't until I had Elliot that I realised how small and cramped it is. My buggy is a Silvercross Freeway and it's lovely to push, has lots of room underneath but it is rather bulky. But is by no means the biggest buggy out there! Everytime I pop in, I usually end up leaving the buggy at the end of an aisle and dashing about grabbing my shopping whilst keeping one eye on Elliot because there is literally no room to manoeuvre in the aisles.

A couple of weeks ago I popped in and we had an embarrasing collison with a cardboard twix promotion stand! The following week it was a stack of french sticks! It's always in the same place too, just by the check out where everyone queues so I have no choice but to battle down that aisle. When the french sticks got bashed over, there were boxes of stock all along the aisle meaning the width was actually less than my buggy - not good! So I thought sod it, and I barged on through leaving a trail of destruction!

Today we had another incident which was probably the most embarrasing yet.... it involved water!! We were queuing down my least favourite aisle and I realised that the gap to get through was cluttered with buckets of water with flowers in. I thought I'd be ok but as I wheeled through my wheels took the buckets out leaving a massive pool of water with some sorry looking bunches of carnations in the middle! There was a big queue and everyone was staring, no one offered to help and the sour faced bag on the till looked disgusted as she called for assistance over the loud speaker!! I mentioned that there was not enough room and she just tutted. Along came a young lad to clean up the mess and I could hear him moaning "oh for gods sake, whats happened" so I turned around and in my most pompous moany old lady voice I said "there's not enough room for a buggy, THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED!!". I picked up my shopping, avoided the giant puddle of water and flounced out....almost knocking a tower of toilet rolls over!

I do wonder how wheelchairs manage to get around the shop if buggy users are having problems. Are your local shops buggy friendly? Have you ever had an embarrasing moment involving a tower of beans?!

Life with Baby Kicks

First ever blog post!

I love nap time. Two hours, sometimes 3 if I'm lucky where I get to sit down and relax! Of course I should be doing productive things like cleaning or preparing dinner but once I sit in front of my laptop I can easily waste those few hours by replying to emails, or catching up with friends on facebook.

Recently I've found myself reading mum/family blogs online and I thought maybe I'd give it a go. I've always enjoyed writing and I'm a stay at home mum so have lots of time to get out and explore the world with Elliot, hopefully giving me lot of things to write about!

Please bear with me whilst I get to grips with this blogging malarky :)
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